Tag Archives: Cory Booker

Tonight I’m meeting a Presidential candidate, who I hope is on the ballot next November. Simone Biles continues to do amazing gymnastic things. And cocaine, or bird poop? You decide!

So in what may be the most obvious statement I’ve ever made on this blog, I tell you this:
I’m really, really into politics. And I really like seeing how the sausage is made, getting up close and personal to candidates and trying to learn as much about them, and the people close to them, as possible.

Sometimes, seeing them up close validates what you previously thought: I’ll never forget standing on line for hours at Bethune-Cookman University in Sept., 2008 waiting to see Barack Obama. And then getting into the auditorium and feeling the special vibe and enthusiasm he brought to millions.

On the other side, I’ve written here before about being a recovering John Edwards supporter. I spent hundreds of hours in 2004, and in 2007, volunteering to support a man who I thought embodied everything I wanted in a President. Only to find out later he was a lying, conniving fraud who was wildly unworthy of all my effort.

Anyway, my point is I love to get personally involved in candidates, and campaigns, and so far in this 2020 cycle I’m eager to support two Democrats above all others: Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, and Senator Kamala Harris of California. (Elizabeth Warren, I love deeply and truly, I’m just not quite ready to pledge my support to. Not that she needs it, she’s doing awesome right now.)

I’ll talk more about why I am on Harris’ bandwagon in another post.

I’ve been following Booker’s career for 15 years, and have been a fan of his since first learning about his passion, commitment and humility in turning around one of America’s worst cities, Newark, N.J. I’ve watched Booker rise and overcome quite a few obstacles, some of his own making, to become a respected Senator and a powerful voice on the left.

He’s always had Presidential ambitions, that much was clear, and I’ve been waiting for him to make this run for a long time.

Now I am not a blind supporter; I know he has his faults. Booker had some trouble with the ACLU over Newark’s policing, he’s a little too close to Big Pharma, and his school improvement deal with Mark Zuckerberg didn’t work out too well.

But overall I’m impressed with Booker’s progressive ideas on issues like criminal justice and marijuana, and on many other topics. He’s a very smart man with the charisma a leader needs.

And tonight, I finally will get to meet him, I hope.
I’m headed into Manhattan this evening for a small fund-raising event for Booker, at which I hope to truly size him up. You can’t ever truly get to know a politician, I know, but in small settings you get to see how they are up close, when the cameras are off.

I don’t expect to gain any huge insights, but maybe a collection of small ones. I hope to find out, in essence, if Booker is more Barack Obama than John Edwards.

**Next up, every once in a while Simone Biles, the greatest American gymnast of all time, shows up to remind us how amazing she is. She continues to push the sport forward, and this weekend at the U.S. Gymnastics championships she did all kinds of amazing things.

In the clip above, Biles becomes the first-ever woman to land a triple-double to open her routine.
I’m not entirely sure what that means, but she is so badass.

**Finally today, this story cracked me up because of its ridiculousness. Meet Georgia Southern University quarterback Shai Werts.

Last Friday night, young Mr. Werts was arrested during a traffic stop. It seemed the police found a white substance on the hood of his car was tested, and the test came up positive for cocaine. So Werts has hauled off and charged with misdemeanor drug possession.

In the police body-cam footage released, Werts and the officer discuss the substance found.

“If anything, there’d be a one in 1,000 chance that these things are faulty, but I don’t think they just turn pink,” the officer said.

“I swear to God that’s bird poop,” Werts said.

Guess what? Werts was right. It WAS bird shit, further tests showed. And so Werts was released after spending a night in jail.

I mean… how in the world could bird poop and cocaine contain the same properties? Someone get Bill Nye the Science Guy on this, pronto.

In the meantime, little flying creatures who soar above our heads? Please lay off the white powder, it’s a bad, bad habit you’ll never kick.

 

Michelle Obama and the Democrats show how it’s done, with 2 beautiful days. And Trump pissed off his littlest followers, and now they’re suing

My goodness, what a breath of fresh air the last two days of the Democratic National Convention has been.

Look everyone, actual grown-ups giving speeches, with specifics, and those crazy little things called facts, and somehow giving us the idea that America isn’t a complete hellhole just a few weeks away from total obliteration!

The contrast could not be more obvious. Monday night and Tuesday night in Philadelphia, a cross-section of America, people that actually look like America, walked up to the podium and spoke from their heart with an uplifting, realistic message.

And Tuesday night, a little before 7 p.m., a woman became the nominee of one of our two major political parties, for the first time ever. Even though it has been known for months that Hillary Rodham Clinton would make history, it was still pretty amazing to see it happen.

So much I want to talk about from the first two nights, but I have to start with the greatest speech from a First Lady, maybe ever.

— I mean, how inspiring was Michelle Obama? This highly educated, graceful, beautiful woman stood on the stage at the Wells Fargo Center and tore the roof off. She spoke so movingly about her daughters, and about history, and starting at the 11:30 mark of the above video, uttered one of the greatest passages I’ve ever heard spoken.

“Today, I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves. And I watch my daughters, two beautiful, intelligent black young women, playing with their dog on the White House lawn.”
What an incredible line, delivered beautifully. I know she would never, ever do it, but I’d vote for her for elected office in a nanosecond.

– Cory Booker = the 2024 Democratic Presidential nominee. He was powerful and passionate Monday night as well, making the case for Hillary strongly. I still think he should’ve been the VP pick.

MothersofMovement.DNC

— Another sensational moment Tuesday night was the speeches by the Mothers of the Movement, moms whose children had been killed by law enforcement in the last few years. Hearing their gripping, beautiful words of pain and grief is so important.

— Can’t believe I’m saying this, but I don’t think the speakers the first two nights hit Trump hard enough, specifically, how incredibly terrifying a Trump Presidency would be. The GOP spent four days last week on doom and gloom and fear and horror, preying on Americans’ worst nightmares.

I think 20 minutes of the nightmare of Trump and Putin destroying the world is in order, maybe tonight by Joe Biden. The case has to be hammered home, over and over, how catastrophic a Trump win would be.

— The Big Dog, aka Bubba, aka Bill Clinton, gave a long and mostly terrific speech about his wife Tuesday night. He humanized her, which needed to be done, telling great anecdotes about their life together, but when talking about how she sticks with things, he might’ve said “And she stuck with me through all my cheating and zipper problems, even after I got oral sex in the Oval Office! How ’bout that woman!”

Still, he was solid and seemed to, as always, relish the spotlight.

— Finally, allow me a few words to vent about the idiotic Bernie Sanders delegates who heckled, booed and disrupted the first two days: GROW UP. Seriously, grow the f up. Heckling Elizabeth Warren with chants of “We Trusted You!” and, most amazingly, “Goldman Sachs” was just ridiculous. Elizabeth Warren, the most anti-Wall Street politician in the country, getting heckled with “Goldman Sachs” chants… so stupid.

The ideological purity and absolute fealty they were demanding was so naive and juvenile, and booing their OWN hero, Bernie Sanders, during his speech Monday and then again on Tuesday showed these narcissistic blowhards to be beyond the pale.

We Bernie fans desperately wanted him to win. He didn’t. Shit happens. Get on board and realize a Trump Presidency would be astronomically awful. Grow up.

**Finally today, this story, pointed out to me by avid blog reader (and wonderful friend) Will, just about made my freaking day. Do you remember that incredibly creepy “pep rally” video I posted on the blog back in January, of three little girls doing a dance routine before a Donald Trump rally? If you don’t recall it, watch it above (Their group is called “USA Freedom Kids,” which sounds like an awful charity or something.)

Then again, maybe don’t watch it: It’s about the worst piece of propaganda I’ve seen since that awful Rick Santorum “Game on” commercial back in 2012.

Anyway, I’d forgotten about these little misguided darlings until Tuesday, when the Washington Post ran a story saying that the father/manager of one of the girls, Jeff Popick, is suing Trump because he never paid the group what they were promised.

“These are guys that insist they’re straight shooters,” Popick said, “‘You may not like what we’re going to say, but we mean what we say and we say what we mean’ — and they just would not say anything of any substance!”

“I’ve invested a lot of time, effort, money,” he continued, “and it’s just been complete silence.”

You can screw with lots of people, Donald Trump. But you do NOT fuck with the USA Freedom Girls, OK?

Good News Friday, all-Sandy edition: NY’ers come together. Cory Booker invites people into his home. And a Staten Island hotel owner chooses evacuees over runners

Pretty pooped again tonight after some more work today delivering supplies to folks in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, who are desperately in need of water, food, and shelter.

I know this blog has been very Sandy-heavy this week, but honestly, living in NYC it’s really hard to focus on anything else right now.

But it is Friday, so I found plenty of Good News to be talking about today.

First, this is a great column by Jason Gay of the Wall Street Journal, which gets at the heart of New Yorkers like few others things I’ve read this week. Yes, New Yawkers have the well-earned reputation of being obnoxious know-it-alls who think we have it better than anyone, and that tourists and other NY’ers are often nuisances.

But in a crisis, well, it can be a beautiful city to be a part of.

**Next, here’s Newark, New Jersey mayor Cory Booker, doing a little something very few politicians have ever done: He’s inviting those rendered homeless by the storm to stay in his house.

It started innocently enough on Twitter Thursday, when a Newark resident told Booker that she lived near him and was without power, and could she come over?
He said yes, which led to a dozen more people coming to chill at Chez Booker.

Very, very cool. As I said to a friend Thursday night, the NJ governor’s race between Booker and everyone’s new favorite leader, Chris Christie, in two years, is going to one hell of a race.

**Finally, a big controversy Thursday continued to be the city’s lame-brained decision to keep the New York City marathon on schedule Sunday. I understand why they’re doing it (so many thousands flying in, sponsor money, the economic boom to the city it provides every year) but it’s really just a bad, bad move.

However, at least one hotel owner is standing up to the race. Richard Nicotra, who owns a hotel on storm-ravaged Staten Island, has refused to honor marathon runners’ previous room reservations while he allows storm refugees to stay for a few more days.

It’s something many with a conscience would do, but it’s still a nice sight to see someone with priorities higher than the bottom line.