Tag Archives: Rahm Emanuel

“Parenthood” is back, yay!”. Two 9/11 stories worth your time. And the Chicago teacher’s strike

It’s officially fall TV season, although the show I’m most eagerly anticipating, “Homeland” on Showtime, doesn’t start for another three weeks (Sept. 30, you can’t get here fast enough! Once again, this show is incredible for those of you who haven’t seen it).

Still, I was excited Tuesday night that “Parenthood” is back. I have sort of a love-hate relationship with “Parenthood,” if you’ve been reading my blog awhile. Sometimes it’s fantastic, moving and well-acted and funny and all that’s good about television.

Other times, it’s so ridiculous and far-fetched with its plotlines and how its characters behave, that I get mad at it and throw pillows at the TV (not really, but my fiance has restrained me a few times so I almost did).

But the good parts outweigh the bad, so I came back to the show eagerly Tuesday night (SPOILER ALERT. IF YOU HAVEN’T YET SEEN IT, SKIP DOWN TO THE PHOTO OF THE PICKETING TEACHERS).

I thought it was a pretty good episode. I’m not sure how Ray Romano is going to fit in; this show has enough trouble finding screen time for its huge cast, so one more person (actually two, if we count Joel and Julia’s newly adopted son Victor) just makes it more complicated. But I liked he and Lauren Graham together; they seemed to have good chemistry. Poor Mr. Cyr; you just know things won’t go smooth for this engagement.

I thought Haddie’s departure was sweet; I bet she’ll be back home from Cornell and going to Berkeley by Christmas (and wasn’t it weird that neither parent flew with her to drop her off at college? Seems like a big deal). And I loved Max putting olives on his fingers at family portrait time; such a Max thing to do.

Happy to have “Parenthood” back.

**As someone about to officially enter the teaching profession (I wasn’t able to land a full-time classroom position in NYC this fall, but am hoping to start substitute teaching in a few weeks), I have to weigh in on the continuing saga that is the Chicago teachers strike.

Here’s a terrific little summary of the issues involved, from the Dylan Matthews of the Washington Post.

I have to say that of course I side with the teachers here, but this strike isn’t as cut and dried as “politicians bad, teachers good.” Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his team seem to be willing to at least work with the unions a little here, and clearly Chicago teachers have dug in their heels. (I actually agree with the city that laid-off teachers shouldn’t be “automatically recalled” when jobs open back up.)

I also think it’ll be fascinating to see Barack Obama tap-dance around this one, being that Emanuel was one of his top aides and Obama himself is a big fan of the kind of education reform Emanuel is pushing.

Will be very interesting to see, if this goes on for a while, if it hurts Obama in the campaign.

**And finally, I hope everyone got through 9/11 and the memories of 11 years ago OK. Here are two stories I saw Tuesday that are worth a read. First, a story of an incredible 9/11 artifiact: a note from one of the victims of the World Trade Center attack was found, and 10 years later returned to the man’s wife.

And the second story knocked my socks off; it’s a letter written by Frank Culbertson, an astronaut who was aboard the International Space Station on 9/11. He talks about what he saw, and felt, being so far away and yet being so attached as an American. Truly a perspective you’ve never seen before.

A few words about Rahm on the way out. And Cambridge cops really love yoga

Rahm Emanuel is a force of nature, the media always say.

I always thought he was just a really intense guy who got WAY too much attention over the past year and a half.

Emanuel, if you’re not sure who he is, is President Obama’s chief of staff, and he’s leaving the White House Friday to go run for mayor of Chicago, next year.
I say good riddance, actually. As a liberal, I’m pretty damn frustrated with him and his boss.

I had such high hopes for Rahm when he and Obama took over 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in January of ’09. Here was a guy who knew how to fight Republicans, and didn’t give a damn about how the sausage was made.He was tough, he could be a bastard sometimes, and he had a reputation for getting things done.
And he had 60 votes in the Senate, and a Democratic House, and a country aching for change.

And yet, what did we get? A watered-down health care bill, that took a year to get passed. A smaller than we wanted stimulus. Absolutely nothing done about Guantanamo Bay. Incredibly little done on gay rights, or human rights in general.

Emanuel came in breathing fire. Turns out he couldn’t even get the front door warm. Emanuel is a symbol to me of waster opportunities in the first 1 1/2 years of the Obama administration. So if he wants to go, let him.

Check out this excellent essay in Slate magazine on Emanuel and what a big disappointment he’s been.

**So this was a strange story. Police officers in Cambridge, Mass. have been giving out more than just parking tickets in the city.
Now, the cops are giving out yoga instructions on the back of the violations. Perhaps they think looking at Downward Facing Dog will reduce the stress of getting caught.

“It’s trying to debunk the idea that all parking tickets are a hostile action,” said Cambridge’s transportation chief.”

Um, sure, whatever you say chief. Because i know when I get a ticket, a little yoga direction always makes me feel better.

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

journey.2

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…