Friday, December 10, 2010

Playing Catchup

Gilda advised me when I woke up Thursday morning that Syracuse, NY, was under two feet of snow. I checked the weather forecast—over the next few days more dandruff from the sky is expected in the city I love to hate.

For those not familiar with my disdain for Syracuse, here’s a link to a blog I wrote last December:

Name That Feud: Baby Boy Forseter, our grandnephew, has an official name—Jacob Peyton Forseter, to be commonly called Jake.

I won’t weigh you down with the lineage from whom Jake derived his first and second names, but I would like to dwell a moment on Peyton. Though his father, Eric, hopes Jake will find a good playmate in our one-year-old grandson, Finley, I’m not sure he is aware of the challenge he has placed before them.

According to, Peyton is of Old English origin; the meaning of Peyton is "fighting-man's estate". Finley, the Web site says, is of Irish and Gaelic origin; the meaning of Finley is "fair-haired, courageous one". I surely hope these English- and Irish-named Jewish kids get along.

The next Forseter grandchild is due in March. Eric’s sister, Karen, and her husband, David, live in London (he's a real English Jew). I can hardly wait to hear what name they’ll pick for their progeny, the sex of which we have yet to be told.

Dead as a Doornail: The mulcher is officially dead.

The mulcher my brother Bernie gave me last weekend lasted less than a day. It did not help matters that some of the leaves I mulched were slightly damp. Who knew that was a no-no? Nowhere in the instruction booklet—which I thoroughly read before using the mulcher—did it say anything about avoiding wet leaves. But that was the first thing the Black & Decker repairman asked me when I called for help. And it was the first thing Gilda asked about when I told her the mulcher died.

(Since Bernie does not read this blog on a regular basis, perhaps I’ll be spared his commentary.)

Next time, I will hark back to my tried and true method of handling yard work—I’ll pay to have someone else do it!

Yankee Misfortunes: I’m happy Derek Jeter and the Yanks agreed to a new deal, but the big news in baseballdumb (“dumb” because of all the dollars being thrown at players of questionable quality for contracts of too many years) is the vast improvement, on paper at least, posed by the dreaded Boston Red Sox with the signing of Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford.

With their solid starting pitching and the expected return of injured players from last year, the Beantown Boys are the team to beat in the American League, even if the Yankees sign Cliff Lee.

To qualify for the playoffs next year, New York will need rebound performances from A.J. Burnett and Jeter, more well-rounded results from Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira, Brett Gardner, Jorge Posada and Joba Chamberlain, and at least comparable statistics from Nick Swisher, Robinson Cano, Alex Rodriguez, Mariano Rivera, Phil Hughes, Andy Pettitte (if he returns) and C.C. Sabathia.

Equal Opportunity Rant: It’s time to vent against Congressional Democrats for saying they won’t go along with the compromise President Obama stitched together with Republicans extending the Bush tax cuts and stimulating the economy, including renewing unemployment compensation for the long term jobless (including many of my former colleagues).

Before the November elections, House and Senate Democrats couldn’t get the job done despite their majorities. The time to push principles has passed. It’s now time to govern; governing often requires compromise. Rare is the person who likes compromise. It means you didn’t get all of what you wanted. But that’s the way it works in government, Democrats. Don’t allow the GOP to turn you into the “party of NO.”

Don’t let the electorate believe it was the Democrats who raised taxes on the lower and middle classes. That’s a sure way to creating even greater Republican victories in 2012.

For Shame: Yesterday, Senate Republicans again scuttled an attempt to fund medical care for 9/11 first responders and others who became ill breathing the toxic air around Ground Zero. To use a phrase made famous by Joseph N. Welch in rebuking Sen. Joseph McCarthy in 1954, “Have you left no sense of decency?”

How shameful is it that the party that professes to be all about patriotism, law and order and American values cannot see the morality of supporting those who put their lives at risk for the sake of their country and fellow citizens? The GOP is balking at spending $7.4 billion in medical benefits but is happy to enthusiastically back tax breaks for the wealthy that would add $60 billion a year to the nation’s deficit.

For shame. For shame.

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