Blogs > City Editor's Blog

By Jeremy Schiffres, Daily and Sunday Freeman, Kingston, N.Y.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Clearing my head

Sorry I’ve been MIA for the past week.
It’s been a busy period at work, and Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish new year) occupied much of my time from Monday night to Wednesday night, so blogging got back-burnered.
But I’m back now. And in case you care, here’s what’s been on my mind:

* Members of Congress look like idiots when they vote against a bill one day and then vote for it a few days later. I’m referring, of course, to the financial bailout package that the House rejected on Monday and approved on Friday. Did the deliberate flip-floppers think they were making some grand statement by voting “nay” the first time around only to ultimately vote “yea” in Round 2? Was it an election ploy – the ability to go home and tell constituents that the first vote represented true convictions but the second was a matter of necessity? If that’s the case, it was a pretty costly ploy. The rejection on Monday knocked 778 points (read: trillions of dollars) off the Dow Jones industrial average, and by the time the rescue measure finally got majority backing on Friday, investors had lost all faith and sent the Dow down another 157. When all was said and done, the bellwether stock index wound up losing about 7.5 percent of its value over the week’s five trading sessions – and people whose retirement savings are tied to the market lost a major chuck of their nest eggs. That’s worth remembering when deciding who to vote for in your congressional district next month.

* Sarah Palin was as pitiful in Thursday night’s vice presidential debate against Joe Biden as she was in her speech at the Republican National Convention (when she spoke well but said nothing of substance) and in her recent interviews with ABC’s Charles Grodin and CBS’ Katie Couric. All style, no substance. She’s got a smile that can light up a room and knows how to turn on that folksy (or perhaps phony) charm that Middle America seems to like, but her lack of knowledge about such basic things as Supreme Court cases, how many troops the United States has in Iraq, even the constitutional role of the vice president simply disqualifies her for high national office. And telling debate moderator Gwen Ifill that she wouldn’t necessarily answer the questions that were asked of her was just downright arrogant.

* O.J. Simpson’s trial for armed robbery and kidnapping is over? It’s been only three weeks, for heaven’s sake! I was planning my schedule for the next year around this thing. Now I’ll need to find other things to do with my time – like go to work and hang out with my wife and son. (Sigh!) And how ironic that O.J., convicted on all counts in the Las Vegas case, might spend the rest of his life in prison for a crime much less serious than the one we all know he committed 14 years ago. It’s kinda like when the feds got Al Capone for tax evasion.

* What is it about the Red Sox that so spooks the Angels in baseball’s postseason? Los Angeles, owners of this year’s best record in the Majors, beat Boston in eight of nine regular-season games in 2008, but come October, and forced to face the boys from Beantown, the Angels fold like a cheap suit. It all started in 1986, when the then-California Angels lost the American League Championship Series to Boston, four games to three, after leading 3-1 and being one strike away from victory in the ninth inning of Game 5. Then, after the Angels finally won the World Series in 2002 (a year that Boston didn’t reach the playoffs), the Sox swept the Halos in the 2004 and 2007 American League Division Series, and they’re about to do it again. Friday night’s win in Ahaheim gave Boston a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series, and Games 3 and 4 are scheduled for Sunday and Monday at Fenway. Translation for the Angels: Good night, drive safely, don’t forget to tip your server. See you next April.

* Speaking of baseball, how is that no one in management in the Yankees and Mets organizations is being shown the door after the Yankees failed to reach the playoffs for the first time since 1993 and the Mets coughed up a near-certain playoff berth for the second year in a row? Conventional wisdom dictates either the manager or the general manager gets the ax when such things happen, but the Yankees have announced GM Brian Cashman and skipper Joe Girardi are both coming back in 2009, and ditto for Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel in Mets country. And the teams’ owners expect better results next year? OK. Whatever.

* A story on page A3 of this morning’s Freeman tells of 20 condos in a new development in the Greene County village of Catskill that will be auctioned off on Nov. 1 because they failed to sell at market prices. In the current real estate climate, the need for such an auction is no surprise. What is a surprise, though, is that the auction is being held in Teaneck, N.J. (where either the developer or auction house is based). Wouldn’t it make more sense to hold it where the condos are located?

* Lastly, I’d like to wish my Jewish readers a happy new year (shana tova in Hebrew). As we say in shul, “May you be inscribed in the Book of Life.”



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home