Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category

Feinstein’s bill shows Democratic creativity and sympathy, too

June 16, 2008

Thanks to Sen. Diane Feinstein, Arthur Mkoyan can unpack his bags, indefinitely.A Dream Deferred

Mkoyan, a 17-year-old illegal alien from Armenia, recently graduated from Bullard High School in Fresno as the school’s valedictorian.  Shortly after his commencement, Mkoyan was to be deported back to his home country, along with his family, which includes Arthur’s U.S.-born younger brother.

This family has been here most  of Mkoyan’s life, making Arthur as American as most of his high school friends, save for the fact that they are U.S. citizens and Mkoyan isn’t.  So, valedictorian or not, it was back to Armenia, American immigration law said.

Enter Feinstein, a senator who demonstrates the kind of creativity that is emblematic of the Democratic party, when it comes to protecting those in need.

Although most political pundits will tell you that the new bill Feinstein recently introduced has virtually no chance  of becoming law, her bill, which gives people like Mkoyan the right to avoid deportation, can be introduced yearly until Congress finally resolves the issue.  Knowing how fast Congress moves, the next we hear about Mkoyan may be when he applies for his AARP card.

Meanwhile, at least for now, young Mkoyan is off to college and, hopefully, medical school.

And Diane Feinstein has struck another blow for civil rights in America.


Gas prices sure to fall, or will they?

June 8, 2008

For the doomsayers who claim gas prices will one day reach $10 per gallon, check out Shawn Tully’s insightful article on oil futures.

If the economists are right, we may be in for some relief.

Chicago’s Maxwell Street lives up to reputation

June 4, 2008

I recently saw historic Maxwell Street in Chicago, on the UIC campus.  Now, by no means am I a food critic or a city reviewer, but I do like to eat and drink, so I figured I’d lob a some comments your way about a few places on Maxwell.

There’s a spot on the corner (a sports bar of sorts) that was so forgettable I can’t remember the name.  My glass of wine, which was so bottom shelf I think it came off the floor, was eight dollars.  Mind you, I’m not ignorant about the price of alcohol in nice places, but the service should be at least fair, when you’re making a small mortgage payment for bad wine.  The service was so bad at this place that I left before ordering something to eat.

Next stop, Juniors.  Now, we’re talking.  This is a nice sports bar, with trivia, fast and friendly service and some of the  nicest people you’d ever meet.  Not to be forgotten is the scrumptous steak sandwich — one of the best you’ll ever find.

For the coup de grace, breadfast at Hashbrowns.  Let me tell you this is the epitome of the old-fashioned, hole-in-the-wall, grill-in-your-face greasy spoon that real breakfast lovers drool over. 

I ordered the house hash browns, sausage (gigantic, juicy pork  links) and French toast, which was light as a cloud and came with a delicious vanilla sauce.  I’d be tempted to drive the six hours it takes me to get to the Windy City, just for breakfast at Hashbrowns.

By the way, my meal was ready in five minutes.

Once again, I’m  no food critic, but if you’re taking a trip to Chicago, don’t miss Juniors and Hashbrowns and a stroll down historic Maxwell Street — the pride of the UIC area.

Hillary and Obama, a marriage made in . . .

May 24, 2008

It’s time for Barack Obama to think about a running mate.  Sure the democratic presidential race is still close, but everyone this side of Howard Wolfson knows HIllary can’t win, no matter how many rabbits she tries to pull from her political hat.

The Dems call Obama-Hillary a dream ticket, and if youZD Net photo polled Democratic voters, most would love this match made somewhere in  Washington nirvana.

How, though, would swing state voters and independents stand on this union of change and experience?  Washington correspondent Lynn Sweet says Obama has a list of potential running mates that includes, but is certainly not limited to, Hillary.

Some notables on the list are: Bill Richardson (a solid candidate but a bit too on the nose), independent New York mayor Michael Bloomberg (savvy, but also an obvious stretegic move), Joe Biden, who would be a good choice based on his excellent political record but he looks like a loser, and as Sweet so aptly illustrates John Edwards, who couldn’t get John Kerry over the top, so who’s to say he’ll help propel Obama into the White House?

All of this supposition brings us back to Hillary.

The best reasons Obama has not to select the New York senator is a) the choice makes him look like he’s the Democratic National Committee’s puppet, and b) there’s an unspoken fear in the Obama camp that the undecideds, who may be leaning to his side, would disdain Obama in November because they’ll believe Hillary will clash with Obama’s “Change” mantra.

This decision, as muddled as Lynn Sweet and this post makes it appear, is really not all hat difficult.

All Obama has to do is name Oprah as his running mate.  She helped him leapfrog Hillary, so why can’t she help him crush John McCain?  Sure, it’s an old idea, but as the primary season nears an end, the idea has a certain freshness to it.