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Rick Katz's irreverent and irrelevant look at the world.

CREDO (take your pick)

"It’s easier to be credible when you are telling the truth." - Rick Katz

"I'm a man of principles.  If you don't like them, I can change." - Groucho Marx

"Time has a way of demonstrating that the most stubborn are the most intelligent." - Yevgeny Yevtushenko

About the Rant



March 23, 2010

I have often quoted Will Rogers who famously said, "I am not a member of any organized political party.  I am a Democrat."

Well, over the past week, culminating with President Obama signing the health insurance reform bill today, the Democratic Party acted in a way which would have astounded Will Rogers and, I think, made him proud.  Democrats were almost as galvanized to get health insurance reform done as Republicans were to stop it.  The leadership of the President, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi was extraordinary.  Think about it for a moment.  As bad as Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are as public speakers, how good must they be behind the scenes to (1) be elected by their peers to lead their caucuses, and (2), achieve historic votes which are joined by such disparate views within the party as pro-lifers and pro-choice advocates?

The Republicans role in our political scene?  They have cast their lots with the likes of the tea-baggers, Rush Limbaugh, and Glenn Beck.  "You lie!"  "Baby killer!"  "Nigger!"  "Faggot!"  The party of Lincoln has become the party of Tourette Syndrome (with apologies to people actually afflicted with Tourette Syndrome who have no choice or control of their inappropriate outbursts.)  It is up to the moderates and progressives in our society to be sufficiently energized to prevent the hysteria of the right from actually getting the traction and momentum in the electorate that they expect.

So, The Daily Rant is back!


July 4, 2009


For anyone who believes in a concept of heaven and hell, can there be any doubt that there must be a special place in hell for pedophiles?

I just watched the recording of the "Sarah Palin" announcement that she is resigning as Governor of Alaska.  We've been spoofed.  It was really Tina Fey (or maybe Sasha Baron Cohen).


January 21, 2009

Odds and ends...

Chief Justice John Roberts screwed up the oath of office.  Can we impeach him?

Senator Kennedy, please get well.  We need your leadership in the Senate to pass the healthcare reform which has been your mission.

Appropriate tribute has been paid to civil rights leaders who laid some of the groundwork for President Obama (gee, that sounds good!).  Martin Luther King, John Lewis, and even LBJ have been acknowledged.  I'd like to add a name - Bill Cosby. 

I haven't been a big fan of Bill Cosby, the entertainer, since his early days as a standup comedian ("Noah, build me an ark.").  I wasn't even a regular watcher of his long running TV show.  However, I believe that the Huxtable family did a lot to get white people to recognize the existence of and even identify with a middle-class black family.  Unlike Redd Foxx, the Jeffersons, or other shows with black stars, the Huxtable family was normal, not a caricature.  It made a difference.

Watching Bush leave the Capitol in Marine One, I would have preferred to have Obama watch him board a Greyhound Bus.  I suppose tar and feathers would be asking for too much.

Bush’s Hole...

This Rant is not obscene, not in the traditionally obscene way. Then again, it is very obscene.

Bush’s hole is not an anatomical reference. It refers to the hole which George W. Bush has dug for the American people. It is a hole dug environmentally, diplomatically, medically, and economically. It is a hole so deep that we can barely see daylight even when we are looking straight up at high noon.

Global warming is not a myth. Bush spent six years denying it even existed. This denial was an important part of his refusal to sign the Kyoto Accord. His other justification was that the U.S. would be economically disadvantaged by third world countries which did not follow the lead of the world powers to become green. Not only have we failed to work on the solutions to global warming which will take decades to influence, we made global warming worse, digging the hole deeper.

The position of the Bush administration with regard to global warming is but one example of our arrogance toward the world. Bush didn’t need a consensus to invade Iraq or to dictate nuclear policy to Iran or North Korea. Yet, under Bush’s leadership, the United States held off on stopping genocide in Darfur because there was no consensus. Bush preached about human rights and justice but violated human rights and the constitution in the name of national defense. Bush intentionally turned his back on any thought that the United States should or could be the leader of the world by being its moral compass. That this role for the United States is what much of the world wants was evidenced by the hundreds of thousands of Europeans who enthusiastically greeted Barack Obama in July in Berlin. It is why every poll of non-Americans heavily favored Obama in the presidential election. This is the easiest of the Bush holes for Obama to climb because the world will be there to lend a hand.

Similar to the lack of progress on global warming, medical science was confronted with walls erected by Bush’s executive orders which blocked stem cell research. Twice, Congress tried to overcome those walls only to have Bush veto the legislation. Ironically, the walls will disappear with the stroke of a pen when Obama asserts his executive power, hopefully in the first days of his administration.

The toughest, deepest hole is that which we face economically. We have spent nearly a trillion dollars in Iraq and, except for profits to companies like Halliburton, we will have nothing to show for it. Moreover, the price tag on Iraq does not include the future cost of care for the tens of thousands of wounded veterans. The consensus of the economic community is that it will cost a trillion more in economic stimulus to reverse the recession. However, using the model of FDR and the WPA, we will have a renewed infrastructure, highways, bridges and tunnels. Additionally, we will be on our way to a modern power grid which will enable the development of wind and solar power, both of which will reduce carbon emissions and enhance energy independence. If money to bail out the big three, GM, Ford, and Chrysler, is spent intelligently (and this is clearly one of the biggest challenges), we could end up with a car industry which is a world leader in the production of energy efficient vehicles. Together with the revolution in the power industry, we hope to create millions of jobs for Americans leading the world in high-tech solutions to energy and transportation.

The difference between Bush and Obama, is that Bush refused to recognize the problems for which he would not have had the vision to solve. Obama recognizes the problems and, I believe, has the vision to lead us from them, to start the climb from the hole. If, after four years of the Obama presidency, we can see the daylight, I predict that Obama will be reelected by a record margin.


January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day...

The Rant is back after an almost two week absence.  If you are looking at the cartoons I've selected and are disappointed in me for not taking the high road regarding our 43rd President, you have either not been paying attention or you just don't get it.  In either case, I hope you enjoyed Bush's Legacy Tour.

In our lives, we all have days or events which make an indelible impression on our lives.  Many of these events are personal, the birth of a child or the death of someone close, for example.  There are other events which are shared by a broader community.  For me, the assassinations of JFK, MLK, and RFK, the landing of man on the moon, the resignation of Nixon, and 9/11 are public events I will never forget.  Today is another one of those moments. 

According to the polls, Obama has already won wide public support for his cabinet nominations and handling of the transition.  In particular, his willingness to reach across the aisle has been a pleasant surprise to many.  Not to me.

Shortly after Obama announced his candidacy, I listened to an NPR story about Illinois State Senator Kirk Dillard, a Republican who had been castigated by fellow Republicans for giving interviews praising Obama's ability to find common ground with people who were ideological opposites.  “Obama has a great intellect and the leadership characteristics of our great American presidents,” said Dillard. 

Obama, in his campaign and transition, has exhibited the intellect and class which some are describing as post-partisanship.  Without question, he takes office with the country facing the most daunting problems since FDR assumed the presidency.  I am of the firm belief that no person in our country is as well-equipped to lead our country out of the morass we are in than Barack Obama.

Pay attention today.  We are going to witness the ascendancy of a great man.


January 8, 2009

Pot luck...

Don't mess with Jesuits...

From the Boston College web site:
- Boston College has terminated the employment of head football coach Jeff Jagodzinski, the University announced today. A search for his successor will begin immediately...
The announcement was made by Director of Athletics Gene DeFilippo at a 3 p.m. press conference in the Yawkey Athletics Center on campus...
Jagodzinski was named BC's 33rd head football coach on December 19, 2006, and signed a five-year contract. He leaves Boston College with a 20-8 record (11-3 in 2006, 9-5 in 2007). In both seasons, the Eagles advanced to the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship Game...
DeFilippo said Jagodzinski was terminated without cause...

In fact, when Coach Jagodzinski's name was mentioned on Monday as being a candidate for the head coaching position with the New York Jets, the athletic director of Boston College publicly stated that if Jagodzinski merely interviewed with the Jets, he would be fired.  Jagodzinski interviewed with the Jets on Tuesday and was fired by BC on Wednesday.  The significance of his being fired without cause is that BC owes the coach for the remaining three years of his contract.

Coach Jagodzinski should have known not to mess with the Jesuits.  He grew up in a suburb of Green Bay, Wisconsin, was an assistant coach with the Packers before going to BC, and was thoroughly familiar with the legendary Vince Lombardi. 

After the 1963 season, the Packers' all-pro center, Jim Ringo, was one of the first NFL players to hire an agent to negotiate his contract.  Ringo and his agent went to Lombardi's office where Ringo introduced the agent who then had the temerity to ask for a $25,000 contract for his client.  Lombardi quietly excused himself from the room and came back a few minutes later.  Lombardi politely explained to the agent that he was talking to the wrong person because his client had just been traded to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Lombardi's background?  One of the legendary Four Blocks of Granite of the Fordham football team, a JESUIT school.


Definition of the day:  GENIUS

An average student with a Jewish mother.

"Earlier today, Barack Obama's daughters started at their new school in Washington, DC. Yeah, their teachers are really impressed and said that both girls are already reading well above President Bush level."  - Conan O'Brien


I saw the new Clint Eastwood movie, Gran Torino.  Not bad.  Well acted by Eastwood but hardly a stretch for him.  How can I describe his character?  Kind of a cross between Archie Bunker and Charles Bronson.

Three movies not to miss:  Slumdog Millionaire, Doubt, and Milk.

Since one of my football rules is that I am for anyone playing the Florida Gators,


January 5, 2009


January 1, 2009

The Daily Rant looks back on some people from 2008 who will be remembered, some not fondly...
2008 Goats

John McCain
for once again proving his willingness to mortgage his honor in a failed effort to win power [another upside-down mortgage]

Bernard Madoff
for stealing so much from so many including charitable funds entrusted to him

Elliott Spitzer
for doing what he had railed against as a prosecutor [ala Jimmy Swaggert]

Rod Blagojevich
for raising the bar for hubris

Sarah Palin
for raising the bar for public display of stupidity

Joe Lieberman
for emulating fellow Connecticut-born Benedict Arnold

Jerry Jones
for emulating George Steinbrenner as a win-at-all-cost loser

2008 Greats

Barack Obama
for leading the United States into an era of post-partisanship

Michael Phelps
for setting impossible goals and then achieving those goals
[honorable mention to Jason Lezak for one superhuman performance which salvaged a relay for Phelps]

Aaron Rodgers
for truly, classily, being a worthy successor to Brett Favre

Usain Bolt
for being the world’s fastest man, effortlessly

Natalie Coughlin
for being a champion woman swimmer without having shoulders like Dick Butkus

Charlie Crist
for extending the hours of early voting in Florida facilitating voter turnout even though this move was opposed by his party

American Electorate
for rejecting racism, smears, and knee-jerk patriotism
[I've never been more proud to be an American]

2008 Goners

Tim Russert
for engendering in the public a passion for the political process

Paul Newman
for a talent exceeded only by his humanity

George Carlin
for helping us see the absurdities in our lives

Sydney Pollack
for being a great director and actor and mentsch (I can personally vouch for this)

William F. Buckley Jr.
for being a thoughtful conservative

Alexander Solzhenitsyn
for his courage and eloquence in exposing the Soviet political prisons

Studs Terkel
for sharing the greatness of common people

Madelyn Dunham
for raising Barack Obama only to die two days before his election

W. Mark Felt
for his instrumental role in bringing down Nixon

Caylee Anthony
for all the children who die violent, premature deaths

Check the Archives for Prior Months.
Visit Rick's Collection of Aphorisms.

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