The 2018 Sammy Awards – Part III

Greetings Manoverse, and welcome to the exciting conclusion of the 2018 Sammy Awards. If you haven’t already done so, please go back and check out parts 1 & 2, then we’ll meet back here.

 

 

 

All caught up?? Awesome. Please welcome back the host of our show, British comedian & talk show host Michael McIntyre!!

 

 

 

 

After some side-splitting comedy from our host it’s time to present our next award. It is a privilege for this show to reunite what ESPN never should have separated. For nearly two decades they made early morning weekday hours fun & informative for sports fans everywhere, and along the way they picked up five Sammys, including a Lifetime Achievement Award a year ago. They’re still on TV & radio, but the magic is gone, so it is wonderful to have them together again on our stage. Please welcome author, vociferous New York Jets fan, & the host of ESPN’s Get Up, Mike Greenberg, and former NFL defensive lineman & host of ESPN’s Golic & Wingo, Mike Golic!! And the nominees are:

 

 

Best Sports Story

 

The Tide Rolls Again

The 2017-18 Alabama Crimson Tide went 11-1 in the regular season and failed to even make it to the SEC title game…but it didn’t matter. The powers-that-be handed them a spot in the College Football Playoff anyway, and the Tide rolled to their 17th National Championship, their fifth in nine years with head coach Nick Saban at the helm.

 

Dr. Larry Nassar

Dr. Nassar was a physician at Michigan State University and for about 15 years served as the team doctor for USA Gymnastics. During that time he sexually abused over 200 young people, and after being sent to prison in 2017 for child pornography in 2018 he was convicted of sexual assault to minors, so he’ll be spending the rest of his life in jail and one can assume eternity in Hell.

 

Philly Wins The Super Bowl

The 2017-18 Philadelphia Eagles went 13-3 in the regular season, easily winning their division. They proceeded to cruise thru the playoffs and clash with the dastardly New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII (that’s 52 for all you non-Romans out there). What makes the story interesting is that starting quarterback Carson Wentz was lost to a torn ACL late in the season, so the Eagles ended their regular season and faced the playoffs with journeyman backup QB Nick Foles under center. Fortunately for Philly fans Foles was up to the task, and he even caught a touchdown pass in the Super Bowl.

 

The Olympics

There was a Winter Olympics in South Korea last February. Did anyone notice?? Does anyone remember a single solitary thing that happened?? I didn’t think so.

 

The Madness of a 16 Over a 1

Villanova beat Michigan to win the NCAA basketball tournament (aka March Madness), but that wasn’t the most interesting part of the event. Two other things stood out. Probably the most enduring image of the tournament is the 11th seeded Loyola-Chicago Ramblers, with their Gryffindor-esque scarves & 98 year old nun Sister Jean cheering them on, making it to the Final Four. But before that history was made in the first round when the 16th seed UMBC Retrievers upset the #1 seed Virginia Cavaliers…the first time a 16 has ever beat a 1.

 

Tiger Woods

Once upon a time Tiger Woods was not only the best golfer in the world, he was probably the top athlete overall. Of course we all know that health problems & personal issues knocked him off that perch nearly ten years ago, and it’s been a long road back. At one time it was a foregone conclusion that Woods would surpass Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 major championships, but in the past several years most began to question whether he would ever win another major…or even a tournament. However, in 2018 Woods began to somewhat resemble his old self on the course, winning the Tour Championship in September, placing sixth at the British Open, & finishing as the runner up at the PGA Championship.

 

Ovechkin Wins The Cup

Alex Ovechkin has been considered one of the best hockey players in the world since debuting with the Washington Capitals more than a decade ago. However, his talent had not translated into post-season success, with the Caps being ousted early year after year. That all changed in 2018, as Ovechkin led his team to their first Stanley Cup.

 

The Warriors Beat Lebron…Again

The Golden State Warriors have faced the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals for four straight seasons. In 2015 & 2017 the Warriors won pretty easily. In 2016 Lebron James willed the Cavaliers to a Game 7 victory. What would happen in 2018?? Well…a sweep for Golden St. It wasn’t pretty, and really not that interesting.

 

France Wins The World Cup

Look, I realize that soccer is the most popular sport in the world. I know we Americans march to the beat of a different drummer. I have tried to develop an interest in soccer, but I just can’t do it. At any rate, Russia hosted the 2018 World Cup, and France defeated Croatia in the final. The United States failed to even qualify for the tournament, so any infinitesimal interest some of us might have had pretty much died before the event even began.

 

LA-Bron

After another crushing defeat in the NBA Finals it became clear that Lebron James wouldn’t be spending the last few years of his basketball career wasting away in Cleveland. The fact that he ever returned in the first place is a miracle because it is obvious that James’ relationship with Cavs owner Dan Gilbert wasn’t great, and that Gilbert doesn’t really have the means or the alacrity to put together a championship caliber team. Thankfully James’ didn’t make the same mistakes he made back when he initially ditched the Cavs for the Miami Heat in 2010. There was no “Decision” on TV. Whether it is the glitz & glamor of Hollywood, the history of Showtime, Kareem, Magic, Kobe, et al, planning ahead for a future after basketball, or the allure of working with team President Magic Johnson, it came as no surprise when Lebron James joined the Los Angeles Lakers. After a shaky start the Lakers are in playoff contention, although they probably can’t be considered legit title contenders at the moment.

 

Urban Meyer

2018 was quite the roller coaster ride for Ohio State Buckeyes football coach Urban Meyer. He was suspended for the first three games of the season after mishandling domestic violence allegations against a former assistant coach. The team fared well without him and looked like solid playoff contenders, but an October loss to Purdue doomed the Buckeyes’ playoff hopes. Meyer announced that he’d retire following the team’s bowl game due to a cyst on his brain that he’s been battling for years. From what I understand the cyst is not life threatening and isn’t usually a big deal for those that have them, but Meyer’s situation seems to be a bit more than a minor annoyance. He ended his career (for now) with a big Rose Bowl victory, and since he’s only 54 years old who knows what the future may hold for him.

 

 

 

and The Sammy goes to…..

 

 

 

The Philadelphia Eagles. It’d be tempting to give Philly the award simply for beating the hated Patriots in the Super Bowl, but the fact that they did it with a backup quarterback (who was named Super Bowl MVP) and used a fun little trick play called The Philly Special to secure the victory just made the story even cooler. Can history repeat itself this year?? Stay tuned.

 

 

 

Before we hand out the final award of the evening it is our pleasure to welcome one of the most talented singers in the world. His wheelhouse is old jazz standards made popular by crooners like Frank Sinatra, Van Morrison, Dean Martin, & others, but he has produced some lovely original pop tunes and is a must listen during the Christmas season. To sing a medley of his hits & personal favorites please welcome Michael Bublè!!

 

 

Thank you Michael!! That was tremendous!!

 

 

To present our final award The Sammys are honored to welcome the oldest presenter in our brief history. At 96 years of age she is still making us laugh, as she has consistently done during a career that has spanned eight decades. She has starred in beloved television programs like The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Golden Girls, & Mama’s Family, made frequent appearances on game shows like Match Game, The $25,000 Pyramid, & Password, and is a reliably funny guest on talk shows for many years. It is a sincere honor to welcome Betty White to the Sammy Awards. And the nominees are:

 

 

 

Biggest News Story

 

North Korean Summit

Back in June President Trump traveled to Singapore to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. It was the first ever summit between leaders of the two nations. The two men discussed Korean denuclearization and signed an agreement meant to lead to lasting peace between their countries.

 

Another Royal Wedding

In May Prince Harry, the younger son of Prince Charles & Princess Diana, married American actress Meghan Markle. I’ll give the Brits this much…they know how to make a spectacle out of just about anything.

 

Illegal Immigration, Border Security, & The Migrant Caravan

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost, to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”. So goes the poem that is inscribed on the Statue of Liberty. It is true that the United States is a nation of immigrants. No one is disputing that. The issue is how & where such immigration takes place. There has to be a system. There have to be rules. There must be accountability. America is a melting pot, and when people come here we expect them to adhere to our laws, pay taxes, become productive members of society, and embrace our culture & way of life. You can’t just sneak in, live anonymously, & take take take take without contributing while breaking any rules you don’t feel like following. President Trump’s promise to build a “big beautiful wall” along the southern border was a cornerstone of his 2016 campaign, and now Democrats refuse to greenlight funding for the project. The majority of Americans are in favor of border security, but it sure seems like certain politicians in DC are putting their hatred of the President ahead of the will of the people, and for a very long time it has felt like those same bureaucrats have cared a lot more about folks from other countries…like the thousands in the “Migrant Caravan” that have been heading for the United States from Central America for several months…than they do about the Americans they allegedly represent.

 

Thai Cave Rescue

In June a team of teenage soccer players toured a cave in Thailand and became trapped when heavy rains flooded the cave, trapping the entire team inside. For more than two weeks the youngsters & their coach were in the cave while a massive rescue effort involving thousands of people took shape. The entire group was eventually rescued, although one diver…a former Thai Navy SEAL…died in the process.

 

Trump-Putin Meetings

Just a few weeks after his historic summit with Kim Jong-un President Trump went to Finland for a similar get-together with Russian President Vladimir Putin. I’m not sure what was accomplished except reigniting media accusations of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

 

Justice Kavanaugh

When Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his intention to retire at the end of July speculation immediately began about his possible replacement. After President Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh of the DC Circuit Court of Appeals it appeared that there would be the typical political posturing but a confirmation was assumed. However, what followed captured the attention of our entire nation for weeks. 52 year old professor & psychologist Christine Blasey Ford stepped forward and accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her at a high school party almost four decades ago. Though her recollections are fuzzy, the story has more holes than Sonny Corleone on the causeway in The Godfather, & she appears to be about as credible as Milli Vanilli, the news media treated Blasey Ford like the star witness at a mafia trial. What should have been a slam dunk confirmation turned into an edge-of-your-seat drama, all based on specious allegations of what Kavanaugh may or may not have done when he was a kid forty years ago. I don’t believe for a second that Kavanaugh did anything to Dr. Minnie Mouse, but even if he made a pass at her or got a bit handsy, a) how come such allegations hadn’t become a thing as he was ascending the professional ladder, & b) should we really focus that much attention on something that a person did in high school?? At the end of the day the United States Senate decided that either they didn’t believe the accusations or that it didn’t really matter in the grand scheme of life. Whatever their thought process may have been Justice Kavanaugh was confirmed and now sits on The Supreme Court.

 

Parkland High School & Pittsburgh Synagogue Shootings

On Valentine’s Day a gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, killing 17 students & staff members and injuring 17 others. The gunman was a 19 year old former student who had made numerous threats in the past, but everyone from local law enforcement to the FBI completely dropped the ball. In October a mass shooting occurred at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA. 11 people were killed, 7 were injured, and the gunman was a 46 year old man who had posted anti-Semitic rants on social media.

 

Hurricanes Florence & Michael

Hurricane Florence was a Category 4 storm that hammered The Carolinas in September. Flooding was a bigger issue than high winds. 55 deaths occurred and the hurricane caused atleast $15 billion in damage. Hurricane Michael was a Category 4 storm that hit the Florida Panhandle in early October. More than 50 deaths resulted, and more than $4 billion in damage was reported in Florida & Georgia.

 

Mid-Term Elections

The 2018 mid-term elections saw the Democrats take control of the House of Representatives and Republicans retain their majority in the Senate. Overall, considering the relentless pummeling President Trump has taken from the leftist media & Hollywood elite since the day he took office it is somewhat surprising that the Republicans fared as well as they did. The next couple of years should be loads of fun.

 

California Wildfires

The 2018 wildfire season is the deadliest & most destructive wildfire season on record in California, with a total of 8527 fires burning an area of 1,893,913 acres. The fires caused more than $3.5 billion in damages and over 100 people died.

 

 

 

and The Sammy goes to…..

 

 

 

Justice Kavanaugh. I have said from Day 1 that the biggest reason I voted for Donald Trump was because I trusted him to make Supreme Court nominations more than Hillary Clinton. Nearly everything else a President does can be changed with the stroke of a pen by Congress or the next President, but the Supreme Court is a lifetime appointment that can shape our country for decades. There are oftentimes arguments & battles over nominees, but I don’t know if we’ve ever seen anything like what happened to Brett Kavanaugh. Only two people know what exactly happened at that party back in 1982…if anything happened at all. I didn’t find Christine Blasey Ford to be the least bit believable, and I am convinced that the whole debacle was a political hit job designed to destroy Trump’s nominee. However, IF something did happen to Ms. Ford and Kavanaugh was involved, then questions have to be asked. Why wasn’t this made public many years ago?? How had Kavanaugh gotten this far in his career if he is really such a scoundrel?? Should a middle-aged person be punished for being a creep when they were a teenager?? These are discussions worth having, because we need to decide acceptable parameters for destroying peoples’ lives. The Senate decided…for whatever reason…that, whether or not Brett Kavanaugh did something wrong forty years ago, he deserved an opportunity, based on his professional track record of success, to sit on the highest Court in the land, and now we prepare for the next skirmish.

 

 

 

 

 

evangelist Billy Graham…former President & First Lady George HW Bush & Barbara Bush…physicist Stephen Hawking…legendary sportscaster Keith Jackson… The Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin…Hall of Fame pro wrestler Bruno Sammartino…comic book creator Stan Lee (Spider-Man, The X-Men, Iron Man, Thor, The Hulk, The Fantastic Four, Black Panther, Daredevil, Doctor Strange, Scarlet Witch, Ant-Man)…actress (Laverne & Shirley) and director (Big, Awakenings, A League of Their Own) Penny Marshall… TV chef Anthony Bourdain… retired NBA coaches Jack McKinney (LA Lakers, Indiana Pacers) & Tex Winter (Chicago Bulls) and players Hal Greer (Philadelphia 76ers), Jo Jo White (Boston Celtics), Clifford Rozier (Golden St. Warriors), & Lonnie Shelton (NY Knicks)…TV host Robin Leach (Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous)…retired NFL players Jim Taylor (Green Bay Packers), Bennie Cunningham (Pittsburgh Steelers), Tommy McDonald (Philadelphia Eagles), Dwight Clark (San Francisco 49ers), Wes Hopkins (Philadelphia Eagles), Gabe Rivera (Pittsburgh Steelers), Billy Cannon (Houston Oilers), Bill Fralic (Atlanta Falcons), & Ron Johnson (Pittsburgh Steelers)…former New Jersey Governor Brendan Byrne…Pittsburgh, PA meteorologist Joe DeNardo & sportscaster Sam Nover….actors Burt Reynolds (Smokey & The Bandit, Hooper, The Longest Yard, The Cannonball Run), Jerry Van Dyke (Coach, My Mother the Car), John Mahoney (Frasier, Say Anything, Striking Distance), Harry Anderson (Night Court), Bill Daily (I Dream of Jeannie, The Bob Newhart Show), Donnelly Rhodes (Soap, Double Trouble), Louis Zorich (Mad About You), Frank Parker (Days of Our Lives), Mickey Jones (National Lampoon’s Vacation, Tin Cup, Home Improvement), David Ogden Stiers (MASH), Chuck McCann (mostly know for TV commercials), R. Lee Ermey (Full Metal Jacket), Verne Troyer (the Austin Powers series), Donald Moffett (The Right Stuff , The Bonfire of the Vanities, Trapped in Paradise), Herb Ellis (The Andy Griffith Show), Tab Hunter (Grease 2), Daniel Pilon (Dallas, Guiding Light), Robert Mandan (Soap, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Three’s a Crowd), Joseph Campanella (Days of Our Lives), & Ken Berry (Mayberry RFD, F-Troop, Mama’s Family) …authors Tom Wolfe (The Right Stuff, The Bonfire of the Vanities), William Goldman  (The Princess Bride, screenwriter of Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid and All the President’s Men), Harlan Ellison (Star Trek’s “City on the Edge of Forever”), & Philip Roth (American Pastoral, Portnoy’s Complaint)…retired MLB umpire Doug Harvey…Hugh Wilson (creator of WKRP in Cincinnati)…infamous gangster Whitey Bulger…Weather Channel co-founder John Coleman…NFL player Edwin Jackson (Indianapolis Colts)…actresses Margot Kidder (Superman), Charlotte Rae (Diff’rent Strokes, Facts of Life), Peggie McCay (Days of Our Lives, The Andy Griffith Show), Connie Sawyer (When Harry Met Sally, Dumb & Dumber), Lari White (Cast Away), Nanette Fabray (One Day at a Time), Katherine MacGregor (Little House on the Prairie), Sondra Locke (The Outlaw Josey Wales, Sudden Impact)….former MLB general manager Kevin Towers (San Diego Padres, Arizona Diamondbacks)…cartoonist Mort Walker (Beetle Bailey, Hi & Lois)…retired pro golfers Bruce Lietzke & Hubert Green…musicians/singers Michael White (Thompson Twins), Vic Damone, Dean Webb (The Dillards aka The Darlings on The Andy Griffith Show), DJ Fontana, Vinnie Paul (Pantera), Daryle Singletary, Roy Clark (Hee Haw), Otis Rush, Matt “Guitar” Murphy (The Blues Brothers)…retired NFL coach Chuck Knox (Seattle Seahawks)…Steve Ditko (co-creator of Spider-Man)…former MLB players Willie McCovey San Francisco Giants), Ken Howell (LA Dodgers), Red Schoendienst (St. Louis Cardinals), Tony Bartirome (Pittsburgh Pirates), Tito Francona (Cleveland Indians), Bruce Kison (Pittsburgh Pirates), & Rusty Staub (NY Mets)…fashion designer Kate Spade…British distance runner Sir Roger Bannister (ran the first sub-4-minute mile)…disc jockey Adrian Cronauer (the inspiration for Good Morning Vietnam)…UNC Tar Heels basketball announcer Woody Durham…Pulitzer Prize winning political pundit Charles Krauthammer…professional sports franchise owners Tom Benson (New Orleans Saints & Pelicans), Paul Allen (Portland Trailblazers, Seattle Seahawks, also co-founder of Microsoft), Bob McNair (Houston Texans), Wayne Huizenga (Miami Dolphins, Florida Panthers, & Miami Marlins, also the founder of Blockbuster Video), & Alex Spanos (Los Angeles Chargers)… former U.S. Senator & Governor of Georgia Zell Miller and U.S. Senator & former Presidential candidate John McCain… television producers Steven Bochco (Hill Street Blues, L.A. Law, NYPD Blue, Doogie Howser MD), John Conboy (Capitol, Guiding Light), & Paul Junger Witt (The Golden Girls, Soap, Benson, Empty Nest, Blossom)…retired pro wrestlers/managers Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart, “Luscious” Johnny Valiant, The Dynamite Kid, Big Van Vader, Nikolai Volkoff, Paul Jones, Brickhouse Brown, Brian Christopher, Matt Cappotelli, Chris Champion, Jose Lothario, Larry “The Ax” Hennig, & Big Bully Busick…comedy club entrepreneur Mitzi Shore…Pulitzer Prize winning sportswriter Dave Anderson…talk radio host Art Bell…Oscar winning director Milos Forman (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Man on the Moon)…retired college football coaches Earle Bruce (Ohio St.) & Billy Brewer (Ole Miss) and basketball coach/AD CM Newton (Kentucky)…political commentator Ed Schultz…NFL coach Tony Sparano (Dallas Cowboys, Oakland Raiders, Miami Dolphins)…Tony Award winning playwright & screenwriter Neil Simon…former Marshall Thundering Herd QB Michael Payton…brewery executive William Coors (grandson of company founder Adolph Coors)…renowned sportswriter Paul Zimmerman (Sports Illustrated, The Thinking Man’s Guide to Pro Football)… Audrey Geisel (widow of “Dr. Seuss” Theodore Geisel)…NASCAR Hall-of-Famer David Pearson… infamous brothel owner Dennis Hof (Las Vegas’ Bunny Ranch)… former WV Mountaineers assistant basketball coach Gary McPherson

Points of Ponderation…..Episode 4.17

A semi-regular attempt to address some of life’s minutiae that might otherwise be overlooked…..

 

 

 

 

 

laugh2An acquaintance of mine recently opined that I have no “street smarts” because I don’t know how to lie. It was most certainly not meant as a compliment, but I took it as one. If a person thinks they are insulting another by calling them too honest I think that means they’re doing the whole insulting thing wrong.

 

 

 

 

 

playboySo I hear that Playboy is already bringing back nude photos, just a year after making the decision to get rid of them. What a shocker!! lol

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don’t have a dog in the fight, and I honestly do not know if new Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is qualified or not for thedevos position. DeVos was confirmed by the Senate a few weeks ago in a 51-50 vote, with Vice President Mike Pence casting a tiebreaker. What I would honestly like to know is whether or not very many of those who were vocally denouncing DeVos could name any of the recent Secretaries of Education under Presidents Obama or George W. Bush. Perhaps some do have valid concerns & informed opinions, but the pushback against DeVos mostly feels like opposition for opposition’s sake by people who just really don’t like Donald Trump. I am sure there will be a similar fight over Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, who is eminently qualified for the job but will be opposed simply because of his conservative values. Atleast in the case of the Supreme Court though the debate is legitimately important, whereas fighting over an Education Secretary seems silly since education decisions should largely be made on the local & state level anyway. If a big chunk of these bureaucratic positions at the federal level were eliminated tomorrow would it make any difference?? Does the Secretary of Education really have that much influence on a child’s school experience??

 

 

hfPerhaps 74 year old Harrison Ford ought to think about giving up his hobby of flying before he kills himself or others.

 

 

 

 

 

It is endlessly fascinating to me when small town nobodies who’ve never achieved anything in their sad little lives use social keywarmedia to disparage others that have actually gone out and made an impact on society.

Points of Ponderation…..Episode 3.17

A semi-regular attempt to address some of life’s minutiae that might otherwise be overlooked…..

 

 

 

 

 

Head-ScratcherRecently I ran across an article about a film called Kuso. Perhaps…contrary to some well publicized opinions…mixed martial arts really IS artistic in comparison.

 

 


fridge

Good information.

 

 

 

I won’t pretend to be a legal scholar, but all indications point to President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee…The scalesHonorable Neil Gorsuch…being a conservative jurist and a Constitutional originalist, and for me that’s the whole ball of wax. It is THE #1 reason I voted for Donald Trump. I decided that I could handle whatever shortcomings he may have and deal with any disagreements I might have with his decisions as long as, by the end of whatever term he serves (four years?? eight years??) The Court is leaning in the right direction. It looks like he’s off to a good start.

 

 

 

Well…it’s pretty spot on, right??

 

 

 

kroger-logoKudos to Kroger, who recently launched their ClickList grocery service. It’s like shopping on Amazon, only for fruit, cereal, & meat instead of books. You fill the virtual shopping cart at your own leisure wherever you happen to be surfing The Net, schedule a pickup time, call a number when you arrive at the store, and then someone brings your stuff out and puts it in your vehicle. You pay the person with your credit/debit card and boom…you’re on your way home without ever having to get out of your automobile. It’s not quite home delivery but it is close enough. As most citizens of The Manoverse know, I have used a wheelchair since childhood due to a birth defect called spina bifida. I’m not exactly old yet, but I’m not 20 years old anymore either, so getting in & out of my vehicle multiple times in a day is more challenging than it used to be. ClickList is a blessing for me, and I can see it being useful for elderly folks or young parents who would rather not take their small children shopping. I’d be remiss if I didn’t also recognize clicklistthe valuable benefits to those with a healthy disdain for screaming babies, stupid people, & humanity in general. I am told that WalMart is also offering a similar service, though it hasn’t become available in my locale just yet. The thought of never having to go inside WalMart ever again fills my entire being with delight.

 

 

 


Enough said…..

 

 

 

american-flag-1I find it fascinating that the same people who shout from the rooftops that “times change” and that we “need to be on the right side of history” when justifying arguments for certain social issues are the same folks who want to hearken back to the good ol’ days of Plymouth Rock & Ellis Island when trying to make the case for illegal immigration. You can’t have it both ways.

Persons of the Month – May 2010

I honestly do not know what sort of mental block I have when it comes to writing the Person of the Month entry every 30-ish days. My goal is always to complete the task in the last couple days of the month or no later than the first day of the new month. Somehow though I always run a few days late. I suppose it’s a good thing I’m not getting paid to do this…yet. When that day comes I will have to be more mindful of deadlines.

It seems like we are constantly breaking new ground here, which is fine by me. For May 2010 we will once again be selecting two POMs, but this time it is entirely by choice and not because I played a practical joke last month. Also, the two people we will be honoring are both politicians, which is sort of like giving the key to the city to an IRS agent or letting a stripper babysit your kids. However, I have retained just enough of my idealism to believe that there are still decent people whose goals are mostly selfless and untainted. As Padme  Skywalker said to Obi-Wan Kenobi about her husband Anakin…right about the time he was morphing into Darth Vader…”there is still good in him”. Admittedly my overriding cynicism will only allow that belief to be very limited, but atleast it’s something, right??

Our first honoree is a guy I am really growing to like and respect. In the past month I have seen countless video clips of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and in every one of them he absolutely owns the room he is in and the people who have the audacity to challenge him. He has taken on thin skinned media weasels, teachers unions, tax & spend liberals, and all manner of other critics. He is direct and does not mince words. Governor Christie is a statesman, not a typical 21st century politician. I do not live in New Jersey so what happens there does not affect me in the least, but when I see Christie speak it leaves me wishing my home state of West Virginia and our national government in Washington DC had such strong and effective leadership. This is a man who appears to have a deeply ingrained set of conservative core principles and the wherewithal to not back down from a fight. Governor Christie is fairly new to the spotlight but is already being touted by some as a possible 2012 Presidential candidate. He has stated that he has no interest in a run for the White House, and that’s fine by me. I would have no problem with seeing his career progress for another few years, whether that means another term as Governor (a tough proposition in liberal New Jersey), or maybe some other prominent position. One thing is for sure…Chris Christie is not some soft spoken moderate like John McCain or someone that people will refuse to take seriously like Sarah Palin. Folks do and will pay attention to him no matter what his job title may be, and that can be nothing but positive for conservatism in America.

Our second POM is another Governor, this time from the other side of the country. Jan Brewer was Arizona’s Secretary of State until then Governor Janet Napolitano was chosen by Barack Hussein Obama to become Secretary of Homeland Security. The line of succession made Brewer the new Governor and she is up for election to a full term in 2010.

Despite having been in office only a little over a year, Brewer has already been thrust into the glare of nationwide scrutiny.  In April she signed a state law that will…gasp…actually enforce immigration laws already on the books. This law has spawned widespread whining and temper tantrums from liberal politicians, pansy ass celebrities, the idiotic drive by media, and various sectors of an increasingly wussified American public. Protests, boycotts, and threats abound. Accusations of racial profiling have bleeding hearts wringing their hands and complaining, which is what they’re good at instead of actually solving problems. The law specifically states that police can “question people about their immigration status if there is reason, other than race, ethnicity or national origin, to suspect they are illegal immigrants after they have been stopped, detained or arrested for another crime or suspicion of another crime.” So, first of all, if you are in the country legally you have nothing to worry about. Secondly, even if you are already committing the crime of being an illegal immigrant you still having nothing to fear as long as you keep your nose clean and don’t commit another crime. That sounds pretty fair to me. I do not want to go off on a tangent about illegal immigration right at the moment, but I do not understand what all the consternation is about the issue. Yes, our Statue of Liberty is inscribed with the statement “”give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore, send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me”, but that does not mean chaos should reign. There is a process. You want to come to The Melting Pot?? Fine…but dammit you better be willing to melt. In my mind that means going through the proper procedure of legally entering the country and following the steps that have been laid out. My paternal great grandparents both came from Italy in the early part of the 20th century, and both went through Ellis Island and did what was right and what was expected of all new citizens. They did it, so why should people entering from Mexico or wherever else in 2010 be any different?? Why is doing the right thing such a difficult concept to grasp these days??

Thus far Governor Brewer has stood strong and faced the vocal opposition to the law she signed. She even met with President Obama and apparently did not give in. Tom Petty once sang “I won’t back down…you could stand me up at the gates of hell but I won’t back down…gonna stand my ground, won’t be turned around…I’ll keep this world from draggin’ me down…there ain’t no easy way out in a world that keeps on pushin’ me around but I’ll stand my ground”.  As long as the Governor sticks to her guns she will be another shining example of conservatism done right.