Tag Archives: Eliot Spitzer

12 years after 9/11, and where did the time go? Spitzer and Weiner go down in NYC, and a twist in the mayor’s race. And Arsenio’s back!

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Time is a funny thing; it never stops, just keeps marching on, but somehow its passing can still sneak up on you.

I have to be honest: I didn’t realize 9/11 was coming this year. Usually, I start to think about it on Sept. 4, or 5th, as it gets closer and closer and I realize that yet another anniversary of the most awful day of our lives is coming closer.
But this year, it kinda snuck up on me. I didn’t realize this was 9/11 week until Sunday.

And I feel guilty about that. The date deserves and demands to be paid attention to, to be commemorated, and to never, ever be forgotten.

I can’t believe it’s been 12 years. At once it seems like so long ago, and just yesterday, that I was riding a Long Island Rail Road train into NYC that morning, on my way to work, when I heard on my Walkman radio (seriously, I still had a Walkman then) that a second plane had crashed into the Twin Towers.

The memories are awful. But I’m glad they’re still there. I hope they always will be.

My usual 9/11 recommendation: Check out this incredible 9/11 memorial slide show and song by Jason Powers.

Twelve years. Never, ever forget.

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**Tuesday was a big day in New York City politics. First of all, looks like we’ve finally gotten rid of the stench of Anthony Weiner, who finished with a miserable 5 percent of the vote in the mayoral election. (Somewhat surprisingly, Eliot Spitzer, Weiner’s partner in sleaze, also got beat in his race for city comptroller. Not sure Spitzer is dead politically yet, though.)
Second, I actually voted for the winning candidate in the Democratic primary, which rarely happens. Bill de Blasio won, with it appears to be 40 percent of the vote, which means he won’t have to compete in a run-off.
I like De Blasio the more I see and hear of him; he’s a true progressive who will, I hope, end some of the racial profiling practices of the NYPD, and try to rein in the income inequality which is rampant in my city.

It was a good day in NYC politics; a couple of bums were shown the door, and a new, progressive voice should be on his way to City Hall.

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**Finally today, this may not mean much to most of you, but Arsenio Hall is back on late-night TV, and I am very excited.
Arsenio was a big part of my childhood; I loved that finally there was a young, hip, funny guy on TV instead of old and stodgy Johnny Carson. Arsenio was a breath of fresh air, he was hilarious, he had different guests (way cooler musical acts than Leno or Letterman did), and he could also do serious, groundbreaking television, like he did when Magic Johnson appeared after telling the world he was retiring because of the HIV virus. (It was truly an extraordinary TV moment; if you don’t remember it, click here for their emotional interview.)

Arsenio dressed different, and acted different, from anyone else on TV back then, and this suburban white kid from Long Island dug him, always trying to stay up a little later to see who was on.

Anyway, Arsenio went away for a while after his show got cancelled in 1994, did some reality TV lately, and now is back with a new late-night show.

I caught the premiere on Monday, and yeah, it was a little cheesy, and yeah, it looked like the exact same kind of show he did in 1994, but you know what? I still dug it. And I’ll still watch occasionally.

He was a happy memory from my childhood, and I’m glad to have him back. Now let’s get busy.

The return of Eliot Spitzer, and why anyone should care. The George Brett pine tar batboy speaks out. And the Rollie Eggmaster: another ridiculous new product

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So the big political news in election-race politics this week is that Texas governor Rick Perry may run for President (on behalf of all bloggers looking for comic material, Rick, please, please run again. He has ZERO chance of winning but man he is fun to rip), and Eliot Spitzer, last seen on the national stage eagerly participating in a prostitution scandal as “Client No. 9.”

Spitzer, if you haven’t heard, is predictably jumping back into politics, running for comptroller of New York this November. It’s a position where he’ll once again be in the spotlight, and due to name recognition alone, I expect him to win.

But as someone who once fervently believed Spitzer was on track to be the first Jewish President (hey, we’ll get a Member of the Tribe in the White House some day), I say this: Why should anyone care about Eliot Spitzer?

This was an arrogant, egotistical politician, who when he was taking on the tycoons of Wall Street everyone cheered, because he was fighting “bad guys” and everyone knew he was looking out for the public (as well as grabbing headlines).

But as N.Y. governor, he was a disaster. All his worst instincts came out, and he alienated everyone, friends and enemies alike. He has absolutely zero tact and no idea how to successfully deal with people, and he showed no political skills at all.

And now he’s back, and he still doesn’t get why people were pissed at him, and we’re all just supposed to forget about his appalling lack of judgement when he was governor?

Truly, I just ran out of “care” for Eliot Spitzer. God help us if he ever gets in a position of real power again.

**You know how much I love ridiculous infomercials on this site. This one is as silly as it gets. The Rollie Eggmaster. Because the world needs an easier way to make eggs.

My wife’s legitimate question upon watching this: How the hell do you clean that thing?

**Finally, 30 years ago this month, one of the most famous endings in baseball history, and one of the weirdest, happened at Yankee Stadium.
It was the most memorable Yankee game of my childhood. In the top of the ninth inning, Kansas City legend George Brett hit a two-run home run to put the Royals ahead, 5-4.
Only the Yankees challenged the umpires to check Brett’s bat for having too much pine tar, and after a debate, they ruled him out, setting off the most insane player-charging-umpire scene in baseball history. (the good part starts around 1:25 in the above video). I have never seen any human being in that much of a rage before.

A wonderful mystery to the story has been solved, as after 30 years the Yankee batboy who held onto Brett’s bat at home plate after the homer, is telling his side of the story.

Merritt Riley is a 47-year-old police officer now, but in this fabulous Wall Street Journal article, he explains why his idolization of Brett made him stay at home and give the Yanks the chance to object to the bat.

Very, very cool to see Brett’s reaction to it after all these years.

Al Pacino as “Dr. Death.” And Eliot Spitzer, the chutzpah king

Nobody likes to mention this, but Al Pacino doesn’t really make good movies anymore.

Seriously, as ESPN.com’s Bill Simmons has pointed out, Pacino hasn’t made a good major theatre movie in, like, a decade.

His last movie that I liked was HBO’s brilliant “Angels in America,” when he played the savagely profane but brilliant lawyer Roy Cohn. (Lewis family trivia: I’ll always remember that movie because Julie and I had our first phone conversation that night, it lasted three hours, and I learned later both of us wanted to get off the phone at about 10:59 p.m. so we could watch the West Coast version of the movie. See, we were made for each other.)

So when I heard good ole’ Michael Corleone was playing Jack Kevorkian, a man I admire greatly, in a new HBO movie called “You Don’t Know Jack,” I was pumped.

Saw the movie Sunday, and it was really, really good. I feel very strongly about euthanasia and why it should be legal, and I always thought Kevorkian was truly on the side of mercy. Pacino completely channeled Kevorkian, and director Barry Levinson got a fantastic cast to play off Pacino (Susan Sarandon, John Goodman).

I remember thinking at the time that all the same people who protested Kevorkian and called him a murderer, are also the same people talking about religious beliefs and showing “mercy” to people. Allowing someone to die with dignity is as merciful as you can get.

The movie was great, I highly recommend it. But it made me sad that 15 years after Kevorkian started gently helping those with terminal illness to stop the suffering, this country still looks at assisted suicide as such a sin.

I think years from now, many will wonder why such a humane act was deemed illegal.

**So I woke up Sunday morning to read in The New York Times that former New York governor Eliot Spitzer has reservations about likely Democratic nominee Andrew Cuomo, that he’s too politically motived, and that Spitzer isn’t sure he’s right for the job.

Spitzer, you know, the guy who decided it’d be smart while governor to use a prostitution service and pay for it with a credit card, isn’t sure someone else is right for the job.

This brings up a host of questions: Why is Spitzer still asked by media members to pontificate and analyze, when he’s clearly a disgrace as a human being? Is there no “shame” period anymore in American life, or if there is, Spitzer’s sure seemed to be short.

Look, I don’t know how great or not great Andrew Cuomo would be as governor. I like what I’ve seen and read about him, my friend Andrew once worked for him at a non-profit and said Cuomo was nice, and his father is one of my favorite speakers ever (Mario Cuomo).

But that the New York Times would give Eliot Spitzer, one of the biggest megalomaniacs in politics, a platform to bash another gubernatorial hopeful, and that Spitzer would continue to come off as holier than thou as he has for years, just ticks me off.

An incredible hockey game is won by Canada. And the remarkable failure of NY’s Governor

Good for Canada.

That’s how I felt about 10 minutes after Sunday’s heart-stopping, mind-altering, breath-robbing gold medal hockey game between the U.S. and our neighbors to the north.

As disappointed as I was that the U.S., after a wonderful tying goal in the final minute, lost in overtime on Sidney Crosby’s blast through the legs of Ryan Miller (that’s called the “five hole” to you newbie hockey fans out there), I realized that winning this game, this medal, meant SO much more to Canada than it would’ve to the U.S.

I’m not sure there’s such a thing as a “joy quotient,” but in my head I believe there is. Who would a win make happier in this situation, the Americans, who rule the world and win everything, or a country of 33 million people who invented the sport?

It was a marvelous display of hockey, the best the world has to offer, for these last two weeks. The U.S. showed great heart and skill in getting all the way to overtime of the gold medal game, when people like me and others figured a bronze would be fantastic.

So thrilled to have been able to see Sunday’s game, and the one before it last Sunday. Two classics. If hockey doesn’t pick up some new fans after Sunday, I give up. The sport will never be popular.

Some quickie thoughts on the game:

– It’s only right that Sidney Crosby, the heir to Wayne Gretzky, gets the second-biggest goal in Canada history (Paul Henderson in ’72 still leads). Sid did nothing all game, but the great ones show up at the exact right moment.

– Patrick Kane. Wow.  What an amazing tournament for the American forward. As good as he is in the NHL season, he was phenomenal over the last two weeks. Glad the world got to see how lucky the Chicago Blackhawks are.

– Zach Parise, I’ve always hated you because you’re a New Jersey Devil. For that game-tying goal, you get a one-year pass where I don’t say anything bad about you. What a fantastic player he is.

– I’ll be very curious, as an NHL fan, to see the changes in some of the players who excelled in Vancouver. Does Ryan Miller, emboldened as maybe the best goalie in the sport, get even better and lead Buffalo places? Does Zach Parise get even more confident with the Devils? And closest to my heart, does Chris Drury play that well for my Rangers, and get us in to the playoffs this year?

– If that game had stayed tied after one 20-minute overtime, we would’ve had a shootout to decide it. And if the U.S. had won the gold medal in a shootout, I think everyone in Canada would’ve keeled over right there, while screaming “A shootout? What the hell kind of newfangled way is that to end a bleepin’ game?” And then their Molsons would’ve spilled as they hit the carpet.

– God I love hockey. So many people got wrapped up in this game Sunday. I’d say 80 percent of my Facebook friend universe had posted something about the game, and a bar in Daytona Beach that I pass all the time called The Wing House actually had “USA vs. Canada, watch it here” on its marquee Sunday. I’m willing to bet that’s never happened in Daytona Beach, ever.

Please, let’s hope the NHL uses this momentum now. It may not last long.

**So it was hard, but David Paterson has done it.

It’s hard to be a governor who ends up with as bad a reputation as his predecessor in the New York State top job, Eliot Spitzer. You know, the guy who was hiring high-class hookers and paying for it all with a credit card.

Well, the guy who succeeded Spitzer has bumbled his way through one mistake after another in the last two years. Paterson, America’s first blind governor (a worthy distinction, that) announced over the weekend that he’s not running for re-election like he said he would, because, apparently, he used his power as governor to intervene into a top aide’s domestic dispute.

Just terrible behavior by Paterson, really stupid stuff. I mean, not being the governor and paying for a hooker-stupid, but dumb nonetheless.

I have to tell you, I’ve always felt sorry for Paterson since he became governor. Here’s a guy, who never really wanted the top job, was more than happy working behind the scenes, and then gets thrust into being governor because his boss couldn’t keep his fly zippered or his wallet closed.

Paterson is a pretty poor public speaker, doesn’t seem to be passionate about much, and just kind of seemed overwhelmed by the job.

He’ll be a footnote to state history, I’m guessing. Now the path is clear for Andrew Cuomo (who I’ve always liked since my friend Andrew worked for him) to become Governor.

See ya, Dave. Hey, at least he’s a Jets fan. That ought to ease his pain of losing this plum gig.

Songs that just keep coming back, I call Obama’s peeps out, and life as a Jets fan

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Lot of stuff between the ears today, so let’s rock and roll:

** So two things made me think of the ultimate Journey song ‘Don’t Stop Believin’” this week: one, Journey singer Steve Perry, a lifelong San Francisco Giants fan, is apparently mad that the L.A. Dodgers are using his anthem as a psych-up song during their games.

And then it came up again while I watched the series premiere of “Glee” that Fox aired last spring, that featured a kick-ass performance by the glee club of the song in the final scene.

And it got me to thinking: Why is it that some songs just keep coming back into our pop culture sphere? I’m not talking about songs like “Y.M.C.A” or “Celebration,” by Kool and his merry Gang. I’m talking about songs that are huge when they come out, go away for a while, and then come back. Then they go away, come back, and well, you get the idea.

“Don’t Stop Believin’” is suddenly huge again. “Sweet Caroline,” by the great Neil Diamond, went away for a while, then the Red Sox brought it back a few years ago and it became big to a whole new group of people. Same for “I Love Rock and Roll,” by the great Joan Jett, which is now basically the theme for “Sunday Night Football” on NBC.

What is it about certain songs that allow them to have three or four lives? I truly don’t know. If you do, please let me know.

In the meantime, bringing up Journey means I get to share with you perhaps the greatest and most unintentionally hilarous music video of all time: Journey’s “Separate Ways.” I believe it was ESPN’s Bill Simmons who once said that if you were to take someone from the future and show them the 1980s in four minutes, this is what they should experience: Truly, truly awesome in its awfulness. YouTube won’t let me embed it but trust me, these are four minutes that will have you laughing out loud.

**OK, lest you think that all I do is cheerlead for Obama and our current administration, I have to slap them down for something. When W. was in office myself and other Democrats were pissed every time he and Karl Rove and Co. intervened in state and federal elections, trying to sway them and push candidates who only believe in their agenda.

Well, Obama and Rahm Emanuel are basically doing the same thing now, trying to get New York governor by default (hey, who knew Eliot Spitzer liked hookers, right?) David Paterson to step aside in next year’s race.  It was wrong for the last eight years, and it’s wrong now. What, the Obama administration doesn’t have enough to do.?

**One of my major pet peeves with the national news media is this bullshit “false equivalency” thing newspapers and TV stations do, where no matter how bogus the claim is from one side of the political aisle, it is presented as fact, all in the name of “fairness to all.” It’s complete crap, it was complete crap during the election when the Republicans made stuff about out of whole cloth, it’s complete crap when Democrats do it, too.

Well, here’s the brilliant Glenn Greenwald with yet another example of the media totally printing fabrications, just because one side says so.

**What’s it like being a Jets fan when times are good? My man Pearlman hits it on the head with this column. This is a fictional conversation, but he and I have had many very similar chats over the years.

**And finally, a little health-care humor to help you through a Wednesday…