Friday, October 31, 2008

Come on, Ohio, turn DARK blue! by Sybil Adelman Sage

"My father-in-law is a racist and my mother-in-law thinks her vote doesn't count" -- a 38-year-old Ohio woman tells me after I introduce myself as a volunteer with the Obama campaign. Other responses likely to stick with me even after the results come in on Tuesday night:

"No, honey, I don't need a ride to the polls" -- an 87-year-old woman with a ready laugh. "I have a sister who's a year younger and we volunteer two days a week...and we do yoga!"

"I'm a Republican, but when McCain picked Sarah Palin, he lost me" - several people.

"I'm so nervous" -- a 52-year-old woman in Virginia. "I want this to be over." I urge her to go onto BarackObama.com and make calls, as I'm doing, to allay her anxiety. "And if that's not enough, drink a glass of wine," I advise, adding, "The only red I want to see in these next few days is in a wine glass.

"You know why I won't vote for him," a 64-year-old West Virginia man, after admitting he hates McCain. When I refuse to supply the words, he tells me, "It's his color." This is a departure from all those who refuse to share their issues with me, arousing my suspicions.

"I'm undecided. I'd vote for whichever one would end the war soonest" - a Pennsylvania woman.

Perhaps the most enthusiastic response is from a dog, who barks continually during the entire conversation. I joke, "Is that a bark for change?"

Though I can't know that my calls have any impact on the campaign, I'm keenly aware of their effect on me. "My 25-year-old son was in an accident and is now paralyzed. I'm counting on Obama to fund stem cell research" -- a mother with a son the same age as mine. My determination is fueled by her desperation. Despite fatigue and a dry throat, I continue calling.

only four more days...by judi sadowsky

i can't stand the suspense. i can't remember counting down days like this since my last pregnancy. up until a few months ago, the only morning numbers that had any meaning for mean were on the scale. now, i can't wait to open my eyes in order to check out the latest zogby poll and let's face it, the dow jones.

for twenty months we have waited for the outcome of this battle and now that it is finally here i am terrified. what if we win? what if we don't win? and most importantly, regardless of the outcome, what is going to happen to all our new friends? just the way hurrican katrina turned anderson cooper into a media star, this election has had it's own share of new faces.

i am going to miss all the pundits who, up until twenty months ago, had never had a tv presence at all. the last time some of these guys and gals even had their pictures taken was probably for their high school year book and you just know they were on the nerd page. now they are super stars and oh how i am going to miss them. little michael wolfe with his impish grin and over sized glasses always brightened my day and howard fineman of newweek magazine always had something pithy and amusing to say. but with only four days left how are we ever going to know how howard's hair is going to turn out? for the first year and a half of tv fame howard, a man of a certain age, was sporting a hair color that could best be described as titian red as worn by an old stripper. whether or not howard, or possibly mrs. fineman seemed to be doing the dying at home in the kitchen sink you could always tell when he had been freshly dyed due to the residuals of color around his hairline. suddenly, a couple of weeks ago, howard started letting the grey grow out. four days is not enough time to see the finished product. and little chuck todd has grown into a man right before our very eyes. with his pie charts and graphs, there are times, i swear, he is channeling the late tim russert.

yes, i am going to miss these guys. they have become like family. come to think of it i have been spending more time with them than i do with my own family. my friend paula called me last night in a panic to tell me that jon stewart and rachel maddow are starting to look exactly alike. i calmed her down and then turned on my tivo to check. she is right - twins separated at birth - they are all starting to look alike. it is time for this endless election to be over and i can stop obsessing about all these strangers and get back to weighing myself obsessively.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Today's grouses...by Sybil Adelman Sage

Senator Obama, when we watch an infomercial, we expect to be able to call an 800 number and order products that will improve our skin.

Senator McCain, people who live in seven houses shouldn't throw stones about how others spend money. By the way, you don't need another house.

Why didn't somebody tell me about the Bradley effect when I was single? That explains all the guys who said one thing, then did another!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

"I'll have what she's having" -- remembering Estelle Reiner...by Sybil Adelman Sage

There’s a cartoon in the November 3rd “New Yorker” showing pall bearers carrying a coffin. The caption reads, “I’m just glad he had a good life and filed his absentee ballot last week.”

Estelle Reiner, Carl's wife of 64 years, died a week before the election, had a good life and had filed an absentee ballot. There was nothing cartoon-like about her. Though her life was filled with laughter, she was always real.

When I last saw Estelle, about two years ago, she took me aside to say, “I’m an old lady and I don’t want to die with George Bush in office.” I told her I’d just heard the very same thing from Kitty Carlyle Hart, whom I didn't know, but had been sitting next to at an event. That's how she'd answered when I'd asked her after such an illustrious past, what she was looking forward to.

If Bush did nothing else of value – and the evidence suggests that's the case – he motivated some extraordinary, elderly women to keep going.

Strangers remember Estelle as the woman in “When Harry Met Sally,” who said, “I’ll have what she’s having.”

If there were a movie, “When Carl Met Estelle,” who wouldn’t look at Estelle’s rich, long and loving life and say, “I’ll have what she’s having?”

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

From maverick to diva ...by Sybil Adelman Sage

With the McCain campaign denouncing Sarah Palin as "a diva," publicly criticizing her for operating independently, claiming she doesn't have trusting relationships with anyone, including her own family, and referring to her as a "whack job," it's conceivable that Palin will decide to jump ship and announce she'll follow in the footsteps of fellow conservatives, Christopher Buckley, Scott McLellan and Ken Adelman to defect and support Barack Obama.

Nobody from the campaign has taken responsibility for the $150,000 shopping spree. Palin clearly resents taking the heat and has been telling crowds in the battleground states that she wears a $35 wedding ring she bought herself in Hawaii and that she shops at a consignment store in Alaska.

Even before the big splurge, she looked pretty spiffy. Who are those Alaskan fashionastas discarding all those snappy outfits? Woodbury Common outlet shops must be worried about losing business as frugal shoppers will surely head to Anchorage thrift shops.

Determined not to be seen as a spender, today in Quakertown, Pennsylvania, it wouldn't be surprising if Palin went off script again, lifting her Valentino skirt to show her pantyhose, telling everyone she bought them used, pointing out the snags and runs made by their original owner.

The discord between the Republican candidates may be a prelude to Palin's departure from the ticket. Should this happen, it would be McCain's brilliant October surprise, a way to improve the odds of his gaining ground with the undecideds.

And given Palin's broader definition of vice-presidential duties, Biden may welcome her aboard to share the job of running the Senate and making policy.













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Monday, October 27, 2008

Reflections on This Campaign...by Sybil Adelman Sage

Mercifully, we're approaching the end of this campaign, a time to reflect on what we've learned:

1. Nothing should be taken for granted. Think Hillary.

2. Relationships can be destroyed by political disagreements. The evidence is you can't persuade anyone, most notably relatives, to share your point of view. Better to make calls to the battleground states.

3. Scandals and gossip don't stick. However significant they may appear while being discussed on cable news shows, they don't necessarily undermine a candidacy unless you're Gary Hart or John Edwards.

4. "Frankly" and "sort of" have become conversational tics for those too old to insert "like" into every sentence.

5. The stars of this campaign are the Obamas, David Axelrod, Stephen Colbert, Jon Stewart and Rachel Maddow.

6. Though it's conceivable that Sarah Palin's seeming indifference to criticism is a function of a narcissistic personality disorder and that John McCain's angry outbursts reflect post-traumatic stress syndrome and both have been accused of having had extra-marital affairs, they have plenty of supporters. Americans may be more forgiving - or dumber - than many of us believed.

7. Sarah Palin has done more for "Saturday Night Live" than John McCain. Her appearance on the show drew some 9.7 million viewers, raising the show's ratings by 47%. It would, therefore, behoove "SNL" to pick up the tab for her wardrobe, hair and make-up.

8. When anyone criticizes you or brings up one of your failures, a valid response is, "Why are we talking about this when what people care about most is the economy?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Joe the Politico? by Sybil Adelman Sage

Might Joe the Plumber have aspirations of becoming Joe the President?

Apparently not satisfied with 15 minutes or 15 days of fame, Joe the Plumber, aka Sam Joe Wurzelbacher, motivated by the enthusiastic reception he's received from the Republican party, is considering running for office. He may go up against longtime Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur for Ohio's 9th district on the state’s northern border, where she's served for 25 years and remains a popular figure.

Qualifications? With the bar so seriously lowered by Sarah Palin, Joe feels he has the experience to serve a country that's in the toilet.

We'll know Joe is being taken seriously when we see him with a personal shopper at Barney's.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Who'll be making robocalls...by Sybil Adelman Sage

Likely upcoming robocalls from the GOP:

"Hi, this is Osama bin Laden... Have I reached Joe, the martyr? ...With the election getting closer, we're trying to get a sense of whom you're supporting. Afghanistan will make a difference in this election." (if McCain) "That's great." (if undecided) "You know that Obama is not one of ours, don't you? Don't be fooled by his name. Maybe he once knew a terrorist, but I know terrorists, and Senator Obama is no terrorist."

"Hi, this is Sarah Palin... Hi...was it good for you? The last eight years is what I'm asking about...Would you like to do some reformin' with me?" (if yes) "That's great." (if undecided) "Hey, do you like my shoes?...I've got plenty more like 'em...Tell me whatcha want your vice-president to do and I'll put it into the job description."

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

good-bye to all that...by judi sadowsky

when the tv show "friends" came to an end i was crestfallen. what was i to do on thursday nights without rachel and ross, joey, phoebe, chandler and what ever courtney cox's character's name was. when "seinfeld" went off the air, the only thing that consoled me was the fact that julia louis dreyfus and i went to the same manicurist so that once a week i could get an "elaine" sighting. losing those shows put a big hole in my life but it is nothing compared to the emptiness i am going to feel in just thirteen more days.

"seinfeld" and "friends", beloved as they were, were on once a week and they were fictional characters. in less then two weeks we are going to be losing the best show on television. for close to two years, every day, twenty-four hours a day, we have been watching the best reality show in the world! the cast of characters couldn't have been written. what with bill and hill and philandering john, with his terminally ill yet lovely and gracious wife elizabeth, we were riveted. and then along came barak, so foreign, so exotic with his wife michelle, a black jackie-o and their two, definitely ready for prime time, children. and that was just half the cast. we had rudi and judi, who couldn't wait to get her hands and her decorator on the white house and mitt the mormon, with a busload of children and grandchildren and also a lovely, yet ailing, wife. then there was huckabee and the wife in need of a makeover. and war hero john mc cain with trophy wife cindy, two families worth of children, an ex-wife and, for good measure an adopted daughter. a black one at at that. just when we thought it couldn't get much better along came joe biden with his compelling and tragic story, a blond wife who also could think and a son on his way to iraq.

oh yes folks. this was a tv show made in heaven. then, it must have been sweeps week because suddenly, a new cast of characters were added - the palins. sarah and todd and track, a soldier boy, bristol, an unwed pregnant teenager, her rebel boyfriend levi, willow, piper and special needs baby trig. you couldn't write this stuff. i would have loved to be in the meeting when some writer was trying to pitch this show. it would have been turned down instantly as too unrealistic. no one would ever believe it. and now, after almost two years, they will be leaving us. all but two will go the way of "the beverly hillbillies", "archie bunker" and "family ties".

on november fifth our favorite tv show of all times will be over. so long to the cast and the judges, rachel, chris, keith, bill-o, sean, and rush. we are gonna miss you guys. i guess i am going to have to start watching "dancing with the stars".

Sarah Palin's Designer Duds and Milk Duds...by Sybil Adelman Sage

To dress Sarah Palin and the Palinettes for campaign stops, the Republican party has spent over $150,000. In September $49,425.74 went to Saks Fifth Avenue with $75,062.63 dropped at Barney’s and Bloomingdale’s in New York and Macy’s in Minneapolis. Hair and make-up ran an additional $4,716.49. Whose hair stylist did they use anyway? John Edwards'?

Didn't this woman own clothes? What did she wear when Putin was flying over her house? Tina Fey could have lent her the red jacket she needs only on Saturday nights. Don’t the Republicans know what you can save at Century 21, Daffy’s and Loehmann’s? Why didn't the governor show them how to use e-bay? This party spends $150,000 to clothe someone for three months and wants us to trust them to restore the country's economy? They'd buy something new just to declare bankruptcy!

The "show, but don't tell" policy -- dressing up Sarah Palin so she can refuse to answer questions -- reflects the cynicism and insecurities of the party as well as our country's obsession with glamour. McCain proudly introduced his arm candy vice-president, and instead of having her briefed on the job description, allowed her to misstate the VP's responsibilities not once, but four times. Did they think that putting her in different designer duds and sexy pumps would obscure that after six weeks of campaigning, she still has no concept of what the VP does?

Fashiongate may not have been generated by Palin, but it coincides with the disclosure that the governor charged Alaska $21,012 for having her children accompany her to events where they hadn’t been invited, later amending the paperwork to show this was for official business. The charges included hotel and commercial flights for three daughters who joined her to watch Todd in a snowmobile race and a trip to New York, where she and Bristol spent four nights in a luxury hotel though she attended only one five-hour conference.

Alaskan law does not specifically address expenses for a governor's children. Palin justified having the state pick up the tab by claiming the girls had been invited, which has been disputed by organizers saying they were surprised when the children showed up uninvited or that they'd agreed to a request by the governor to let the children attend.

Do Alaskan tax payers have the right to know how many Milk Duds these kids took out of mini-bars?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Biden's October Surprise Party...by Sybil Adelman Sage

Dreading an October surprise must have been too stressful for Biden, so, in a pre-emptive move, he provided it himself by announcing that Obama would surely be tested during his first six months in office and would need a lot of help.

I have a tendency to blurt out October surprises all year long, which is why tables, mates and the below sea-level kick to the shin are so useful. It's too late to retract Biden's statement, but he should be kept seated, wife at his side, her foot in in the ready position to prevent his from finding its way into his mouth. If that isn't possible, how about a muzzle?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

I Like New York in June & in October of an Election Year....by Sybil Adelman Sage

Making calls to the battleground states reinforces my love of New York and New Yorkers. Cell phones in hand, people of all ages are giving their anytime minutes to speak to those in states still pastel-colored on maps we see on TV.

Between wrong numbers in Pennsylvania and being hung up on, we share frustrations and a few details about ourselves so as not to remain strangers. We're not guarded, which may be why it's always a surprise to reach someone, ask if we can count on their vote for Obama and be cut off with, "Hey, don't we still have a secret ballot?"

Canvassing in Jenkintown, I was told more than once, "We don't discuss politics in our family."

Openness. That's one reason I love New York. Passion. That's another.

Making calls from the couch next to me was a man well into his 80's, a cell phone at one ear, a hearing aid in the other. A 46-year-old man I reached in North Carolina, who described himself as "undecided," repeatedly referred to his age as if he's ready for life support. When I told him he's twenty years younger than I am, there was a stunned silence. Even before he said, "You don't sound it," I'd noticed how many people I'd called sounded old.

In New York, 46 isn't old. In many cases, neither is 80. Most New Yorkers stay in the game. Yet another reason to love it here.

And this month I love New York because we all know that even if Sarah Palin can win a beauty pageant, draw crowds and pull off a performance on "Saturday Night Live," she's not ready to be a primetime player in Washington.

I'm grateful to live in a blue state, particularly this one.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Which one do you trust to lead the country?...by Sybil Adelman Sage

The candidates' body language became the centerpiece of post-debate fever once the pundits exhausted analyzing whether each candidate "did what he had to do" and if the exchange had been "a game changer."

Body language experts have been interpreting each blink of the eye, the difference between McCain's pursed lips (masking anger) and Obama's wide, toothy smile (confident restraint), noting each of McCain's bizarre reactions, gestures and tics. His use of "air quotes" while discussing late-term abortions when a mother's health is in jeopardy would have been explored in greater detail had the news shows not been cutting between this and "Breaking News" about Joe the Plumber.

The pundits continually re-define which states are red, blue, yellow and gray, updating us on how Florida bubbies, Prius owners, and college a cappella groups are likely to vote. With no more debates to hash over, it's conceivable they'll turn to handwriting analysts, psychics and astrologers to fill air time. This campaign has gone on way too long. The undecideds, if they still can't figure it out, should toss a coin. It would be more productive for remaining campaign funds to be distributed to the needy or put towards the country becoming energy-independent.

The only question still unanswered is whether or not multiple personalities all support the same candidate, but maybe that's what Colin Powell can clear up on "Meet the Press" this Sunday.

palin family values...by judi sadowsky

i am a mother and i am very confused. governor palin refers to herself as a typical hockey mom and married, one supposes, to joe six-pack. the fact that she has five children seems to resonate loudly with her supporters, but let's examine this.

first there is son track. at nineteen years old, he is off to iraq. while serving one's country is a noble thing, wouldn't a caring, responsible parent perhaps suggest to their teen-age son that, before going off to fight for his country and possibly dying there or coming home severely wounded, he might want to consider college first. when track returns home he will be an un-educated vet who, in this economy and without a degree, will probably have trouble finding a job.

then there is bristol. seventeen year old bristol has become the poster child for all unwed, pregnant, teen-age girls. i have a daughter and i know if she were pregnant and unmarried i would want, no make that need, to be with her to help her through such a scary time. who is bristol living with? has she, like her baby's father levi, dropped out of high school? who is holding her when she is scared and cooking dinner for her and answering the thousands of questions that all soon-to-be mothers ask. i was 25 and married when i got pregnant for the first time and i wanted my mother nearby. can you imagine how alone bristol must feel?

and then there is fourteen year old willow and seven year old piper (does it scare you that i know all their names and ages? it does me). doesn't anybody go to school in this family? do we see a pattern emerging here? shouldn't children be in school, not running around the country trying to keep up with their pit bull of a mother? with such little regard for the education of her children, we can see why she had such a hard time answering katie when asked what newspapers and magazines she read. is it possible that she doesn't know how to read?

and then there is poor trig. this is a new born child with special needs, who it appears, has not spent one night in the same crib since his mother was picked to be john mc cain's running mate. forget about down syndrome for a moment. don't just normal, everyday babies need some form of continuity and bonding with their mothers?

i am not faulting sarah palin for wanting to be the best that she can be. i am not faulting her for aspiring to the second highest office in the land. if she wants to run for president or king, god love her. i will support her right to do and be what ever she wants. but, if we women have learned nothing at all over this long hard road toward liberation, it is that we can not have it all - at least not all at once. sarah palin has had tough decisions to make. first, she decided to have five children. if ever there was a commitment and a life long one at that, you can't get much more committed than children, even one child. now multiply that by five, throw in a special needs baby and a soon to be grandchild and a grueling campaign for vice-president and you have created a perfect storm. sarah palin had made a choice to the detriment of her children and if elected, it will not only be this country that will suffer.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Therapists Explain Palin....by Sybil Adelman Sage

Two therapists responded to my request that they diagnose Sarah Palin, independently identifying her as having Narcissistic Personality Disorder, which accounts for the disconnect between reality and her reactions. One added, “I believe McCain has it also, but it may have been somewhat tempered by age. What's so refreshing about Obama is that he seems completely lacking in the typical personality dysfunction you see in politicians.”

The symptoms:

- A grandiose sense of self-importance (exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements).

The process of “tapping a running mate” isn’t passive and, in fact, is initiated by candidates proposing themselves. This aspect of the disorder explains how Palin could view herself as competent (though it doesn't account for the Republicans who support her). Most of us are amazed by her seeming absence of self-doubt, announcing “I didn’t blink” and repeatedly boasting about “fighting the old boy network” and rejecting money for the bridge to nowhere, claims disputed by others.

- Preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty or ideal love.

Palin, who entered a beauty contest, was eager to have her looks recognized and moved on to seek political recognition, continually striving for more, despite ambitions that far exceed her qualifications. She’s fired up and likes to say, “When John McCain and I get to Washington…”

- Believes he or she is "special" and understood only by special people (or institutions).

Thus her indifference to criticism and her ability to reject and publicly deny the decision made by the bi-partisan body (which she accused of having been partisan) that found her guilty of unethical behavior and abuse of power. This helps us understand how she shrugs off media attacks and remains buoyant.

- Requires excessive admiration.

Entering a beauty pageant and the way she's approached the campaign is evidence of this trait. Her wardrobe, hair and make-up show no signs of battle fatigue. One therapist pointed out that attaching importance to clothing and appearance is consistent with the disorder. Palin has no bad hair days.

- Has a sense of entitlement, i.e. unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations.

She was determined that the Alaskan officer comply with pressure applied by Sarah and Todd Palin, who wanted their ex-brother-in-law fired. That Sarah Palin sees herself as competent to be second in command of the United States is a demonstration of her unreasonable expectations.

- Is interpersonally exploitative, i.e. takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends.

In addition to the vindictive attempts in the Alaskan incident with her brother-in-law, we've seen her manipulate crowds, riling up insecurities and hostilities towards Obama. She's been accused of upstaging John McCain and promoting herself, rather than the candidate. When meeting political leaders in New York, it was apparent she fully expected to dazzle each, including Henry Kissinger and Ahmadinejad.

- Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others.

She appears almost indifferent to the needs of her children, two of whom -- the baby and the pregnant teenager -- have special needs at the moment. Palin put them second to her personal ambitions. It was also striking when she registered no emotions and pressed on at the vice-presidential debate as Biden teared up while speaking about losing his wife and other children.

- Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes.

Her facial expressions show her to be smug and self-satisfied. One therapist said, "Another aspect of her extreme narcissism is not only allowing the out-of-control anti-Obama frenzy to take place when she appears, but encouraging it. She does this with a smile and with no concern where it could lead. The crowd, as far as she's concerned, is cheering her on. And she is the center of the universe."

That therapist went on to say, “Add anger management issues to this and you have McCain. Palin also has features of Histrionic Personality Disorder."

This syndrome is defined by a strong need for applause, wanting things done your way, a quest for popularity, believing winning is no fun unless people know you won, desiring attention, competing for spotlight, needing to stand out to be happy, manipulating others, superficiality, feeling best when admired, using your looks to get what you want, vanity, performing and self promoting.

Alaska proved ideal for Palin's disorder. In Los Angeles, she would be one among millions of narcissists and unlikely to have succeeded beyond getting membership in the Screen Extras Guild.

John McCain & The Attendants...by Sybil Adelman Sage

Flanked by Cindy and Sarah, who've been programmed to smile and nod, with Rockette-like precision, in sync with each of John McCain's boasts, promises and wild accusations, the threesome looks less like a viable political team than a Vegas headliner and his two back-ups.

Which of us wouldn't delight in getting to see, "John McCain and the Attendants?"

With little tweaking, McCain's crankiness could be framed into an diva-like, abusive husband, sure to hit home with all battering men. He'd poke fun at himself for the disdainful looks he can't help throwing at Cindy, becoming sheepish when comparing their on-demand pecks to the passionate Al and Tipper Gore kiss, winning over the audience with self-deprecating jokes about his loss of sexual appetite. Out-of-work Sonny & Cher writers may still have dysfunctional couple material in their joke files.

Cindy's heiress background provides a fertile area for pre-nup jokes, and she'd wow the audience by admitting, with the right mix of pride and embarrassment, what she spends on homes, staff, clothing, jewelry, hair, make-up, etc. Younger, second wives will howl at her cosmetic surgery references and drag their "starting to lose it" husbands to the show after stopping to pick up a diamond tennis bracelet from the hotel's jewelry shop.

Sarah's character -- soccer mom turned mayor, then governor, aspiring to become the vice-president of the United States while stoically embracing the challenges presented by her family -- will go over with former beauty pageant hopefuls and all women unable to string together two intelligible sentences in the absence of talking points. She will be a role model for parents of pregnant teenagers who drop out of high school. Think Roseanne meets Hillary Clinton.

Hecklers will be deftly handled by the First Dude.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

"What's flying over the cuckoo's campaign?" by Sybil Adelman Sage

TGIF is no longer just the happy hour marking the end of "Casual Friday" and is becoming less festive as "Casual Friday" has evolved into "Casual Everyday" with so many people having been laid off, but late Friday remains popular as the preferred time for politicians to release information they hope will go unnoticed.

This past Friday's late-in-the-day disclosure was Sarah Palin being found guilty of abuse of power and of violating Alaska's ethics law. When questioned about it, Palin maintained that she was cleared, beaming while claiming to be pleased that she'd been cleared of any ethical misconduct, which was not the case. Asked if she felt she'd done anything wrong, her answer was Bush-like, a resolute, "No."

Should we assume she believes what she's saying? Or does she think it's her prerogative to say, "Thanks, but no thanks" to the investigating team's conclusion?

In another disturbing incident, Palin, at a rally on Monday, took some fans to be hecklers and reprimanded those far from the stage signaling they couldn't hear by interrupting her remarks and saying, "I hope those protesters have the courage and honor to give veterans thanks for their right to protest." Again, she either jumped to an incorrect conclusion or was choosing to define the actions so as to support her own agenda.

There's a serious disconnect between these realities and the Alaskan governor's responses. Flagrant denial is recognized as a symptom of paranoia. Another is delusions of grandeur, the only way to account for Palin's unflailing confidence that she's equipped to be second in command of our country.

Is the candidate paranoid? Are there therapists out there prepared to address this question? And what does McCain's choice of running mate suggest about his emotional competence?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

If you see Sarah Palin in Shul...by Sybil Adelman Sage

It may get harder to see the bimah in Boro Park if you're seated behind a woman wearing a "Sarah Palin Wig," now being sold by Sheitel.com, a Brooklyn wig shop and Web site for Orthodox Jewish women.

The wig, 100% human hair (no, it's not from a pit-bull), sells for $895, but "for you $795."

Though one of the 10 commandments is, "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife," there's no prohibition against coveting a soccer mom's tresses.

The Orthodox women are apparently into pop culture as previous celebrity-inspired sheitls were created to resemble the hair of Jennifer Aniston and Princess Diana. Interestingly, though both of these women lost their husbands to other women, there were no Angelina Jolie or Camilla Parker Bowles (seriously in need of conditioner) wigs.

Again, the Liebermans have been passed over. No Hadassah Lieberman wig?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Are you dating the right person?

There are perks to using AOL, today's being 8 clues to determine that you're not dating the right person:

1. You're not happy. Though you'd better be sure it's not because of politics or having been wiped out in the stock market.

2. You don't feel good about yourself.

3. The people you trust urge you to get out. If you've gotten this advice from 20 (or 3) friends, they may be onto something.

4. You find yourself constantly thinking about someone else. Exceptions being if you're lusting after Brad Pitt or Penelope Cruz.

5. You find yourself denying facts you know to be true. Aside from, "He won't dump me for a younger woman," which can never be ruled out, if you're rationalizing and making excuses, you're a shtummy.

6. The cons of staying together outweigh the pros. AOL recommends compiling a list and weighing how the advantages stack up against the disadvantages. Just starting this confirms it's not the right person.

7. Your instincts are saying get out. These are, no doubt, the same instincts that got you in, so beware of trusting your inner voice (see item 5, a common dating hazard).

8. You already know the truth. Time can be the factor that pushes you one way or the other -- "Leaving now means all this time has been wasted" vs. "I'd better cut my losses." Take a life expectancy test and do the math.

The list stops short. I'd add:

9. There are addresses in your wallet of local battered women shelters.

10. He's running for office, my friend, and looks at you with disdain.

11. You know of more than one previous lover who was murdered.

12. The other person is still on Match.com or married.

12. This someone believes in conspiracy theory or Scientology.

13. He was caught on "Dateline."

14. He's 82, his house is called "the Playboy Mansion" and you're either of the 19-year-old blonde twins.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Anticipating the October Surprise..by Sybil Adelman Sage

I have to imagine that pharmaceutical companies, so adept at turning our tsuris into their profits, are feverishly developing drugs to cash in on the soon to be diagnosed syndromes, "recession reaction" and "chronic campaign fatigue."

Hopefully, they're rushing to combine chemicals to help us cope with however many "my friends" are still in store for us and outlandishly sinister accusations lodged by a woman attempting to wink and blink her way to the Vice-Presidency.

Is there any shot there will be a vaccine to prevent a possible October surprise, perhaps a conveniently timed report of a terrorist attack or threat to bolster the Republican claim that they're best equipped to "keep us safe?"

If nothing else, how about over-the counter roll-ons you apply to your forehead for immediate relief? Which of us wouldn't be willing to spend our remaining few bucks to anesthetize ourselves with products likely to be named:

"Screw Soccer Moms"
"Poll-ease"
"Undecided No Mo"
"Dismissing Da Mavericks"
and the big, across the aisle, money maker, "Blazing Through Bankruptcy?"

Thursday, October 9, 2008

the whole is for sale...by judi sadowsky

it looks like the whole world is in trouble - not just us. in some ways that fact is comforting, in other ways it scares me to death. reading the morning paper has suddenly become an act of courage. i stay in bed until i am sure that the husband has had enough time to run out, in his undies, to the driveway, bring in the paper and read the front page. then, and only then, do i venture out of bed to find out if it safe to start my day. every morning is a little bit like groundhog day, in my house.

one article i read said that this is the perfect time to start buying. real estate, stocks, everything will soon be going for bargain basement prices. the smart investor with money in his pocket (notice i said pocket not bank, not stock market) will be able to gobble up incredible buys which, over time will be worth billions. here we go again. we are barely into this world wide crisis and already we are being told how to profit from it.

last time i missed out on the big boom. we were too busy earning a living and raising two children to be making a killing in the market, but this time i am prepared. i have been doing a lot of research and i have made a decision. i am going to buy iceland! it seems like a very nice place. there are only 300,000 inhabitants, which is a smaller population than most american, large city, high schools, so i think it will be manageable. i saw a photo in the paper and they actually have high rise buildings and streets and hospitals and, hold on to your hats girls, department stores. i think i can make it work. it may get a little chilly in the winter (hence the name) but i've got that figured that out as well - i am also going to buy tahiti.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Contrasting troubles...by Sybil Adelman Sage

The account in today's "New York Times" about a 45-year-old Los Angeles man who, having been wiped out financially, shot his wife, three sons (described as outstanding students) and mother-in-law before shooting himself drives home the tragic desperation caused by this epic economic disaster.

But even without this story, it's hard to feel sympathy either for Charlize Theron or Raymond Weil, the Swiss watchmaker suing her for $20 million, claiming the Oscar-winning acress didn't fulfill a contract to wear their high-end watches.

This is a time for those who have it not to flaunt it, but to share it. It's also a time for those in trouble to make it known. Friends of the Los Angeles family are bereft and wish they'd had a chance to help.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

If McCain's going to "take the gloves off," how about Obama uses "elderspeak" tonight?..by Sybil Adelman Sage

With the McCain/Palin duo getting down and dirty, a front page article in today's "New York Times" about elderspeak suggests how McCain might be approached in tonight's debate.

Older people report that they feel infantilized when shouted at, ignored or spoken of in the third person. They're insulted by expressions such as, "Good girl!...Did you understand what I just said to you?...How are we feeling?"

In tonight's debate, the question I'd like posed to McCain - and not because it's an offensive bit of elderspeak - is, "Who did you used to be?" In this case it would be a legitimate challenge. After repeatedly reminding us of the noble sacrifices he once made for our country, Presidential Candidate McCain has shown he's now eagerly put his country's welfare second to his ambitions.

Monday, October 6, 2008

now what?...by judi sadowsky

with the economy in free fall, it doesn't look like the 700 million dollar infusion is going to work. the entire world seems to be in a major financial crisis. now what? being a baby boomer, i grew up in a world, that while not always peaceful, (think korea, cuban missile crisis, cold war and viet nam) seemed always stable. somehow, no matter what was going on, there was a belief that america was strong and that our leaders, no matter who they were, would do the right thing and take care of us. it doesn't look like that is the case anymore.

i feel like we are on a runaway train and nobody is driving. where are the grown ups? who is going to put on the brakes, pat us on the back and pour us a glass of milk? i am not an economist, but i know that a dow that is below 10,000 can't possibly be good. if only we knew how bad bad was going to be and when was it going to get better? for the first time in my memory, i feel like there is nowhere to run and no place to hide. no one taught us in school what to do when the end of the world came.

when i was a little girl i remember learning about the continents shifting and land bridges being created and destroyed. i always wondered what it must have been like to be the person that was there the day it happened. i know those kinds of things took thousand of years to occur but somebody had to be there that day. i remember telling my mother that i didn't want to be the one to be there. i didn't want to be there the day the sun went out or the earth slipped off it's axis. she laughed at my foolishness and patted me on my head. i am so glad she is not alive to see this. she lived through the depression and the "war to end all wars", i know she believed she had lived through the worst, and she did, for her generation. now it is our turn and i hope we are smart enough and tough enough to take it.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Canvassing for Obama...by Sybil Adelman Sage

Ringing doorbells in a Philadelphia suburb to determine who'll be supporting Obama affirmed that middle-class workers, with a history of repeatedly being laid off, many holding two jobs to make ends meet, are conversant with the issues and looking to Obama to make positive changes.

Those in the more affluent area, some with McCain/Palin signs on their (still) well-manicured lawns, are more likely to be voting Republican despite what could fairly be characterized as eight years of an abusive relationship that culminated in having their bank accounts emptied out.

We'd been encouraged to follow-up with those identifying themselves as undecided. Most seemed hesitant when we questioned them about their issues, telling us:

"I just don't think he's ready."

"He may tax us."

"I'm worried he'll ruin our country."

They seemed less undecided than unwilling to be forthright. Why would they vote against their own interests? We began to suspect maybe they're the ones not ready for this candidate.

Canvassing affirmed the concern that in 2008 there's good reason to distrust what voters are telling pollsters.

Despite Obama's apparent gains, it's important we all do everything we can in the swing states.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Getting Bailed Out: first Ed McMahon, then the USA...by Sybil Adelman Sage

It was stunningly surprising to hear that anyone with Ed McMahon's long-time, considerable earning power could be broke and failing to make payments on his six-bedroom house once valued at $7 million while also defaulting on loans.

How could there be enough hours in a day to deplete the vast fortune garnered by this second banana bellowing, "Heeeeeere's Johnny" and "How hot was it?" If he couldn't get by on that, he was moonlighting making commercials. Even if he spent every free moment shopping on Rodeo Drive and ordering from the Home Shopping Network, it's hard to conceive of going through that amount of money. No one would imagine Ed McMahon applying for food stamps.

Both Donald Trump and Jimmy Kimmel rushed to his rescue, Trump by offering to buy Mc Mahon's home and acting as landlord, Kimmel by getting Ed a gig as pitchman for Pontiac cars.

Though I'd never heard, "As Ed McMahon goes, so goes the nation," our country was next to go into deficit, and we're being asked to kick in $700 billion.

Donald, Jimmy, is the country less deserving than Johnny Carson's sidekick? How about you take care of this?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

What I'd ask Sarah Palin at the debate...by Sybil Adelman Sage

If only to see Tina Fey's en pointe Sarah Palin impersonation, these are questions I'd pose to the Alaskan governor at the debate:


What would you do to revitalize America's economy? (I'm not sure anyone has the answer, but it would be fun to hear Palin dance around this.)

Distinguish between Hamas and Hezbollah. The Green Zone and the West Bank. Sunni and Shiite. Wall Street and Main Street. Newsweek and Allure.

Were you coached, or have you always avoided admitting your ignorance by filling the time with double talk?

Which of the high school classmates you appointed to high-paid positions in Alaska would you recommend for the cabinet?

So, when's the wedding? What will you wear? Who'll be the ring bearer? Who'll hold the shotgun?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

sarah palin - former p.t.a. president..by judi sadowsky

o.k. now he's done it! i have tried to be fair and balanced even while rooting for obama, praying for obama, dreaming about a president obama, i have tried to not hate john mc cain. i have tried, as hard as i could, to believe that he is a basically good man, who really just wants the best for this country, albeit, a bit too determined to win to make judicious choices, but now - now he has crossed the line!

today, while being interviewed about sarah palin, mc cain, in defense of his woefully under- qualified running mate, listed her accomplishments as a mayor, governor and p.t.a president! p.t.a. president?!!! i was a p.t.a. president and i think i can speak for most of the p.t.a. presidents around the country. first of all, every former and present p.t.a. president i have ever met were hundreds of i.q. points smarter than sarah palin. more importantly, i have never met or even heard of, a former p.t.a. president who has ever even considered putting that accomplishment on a resume for a job at walmart, much less for vice-president of the united states.

if sarah is planning to run cabinet meetings, the way most p.t.a. meetings are run, i only hopes she remembers to make sure that someone is assigned to bring the coffee cake.