June 2010

OK…I’ll just post the story, you do with it what you will.

Sunday Standard

Kenyan-born Obama all set for US Senate

Kenyan-born US Senate hopeful, Barrack Obama, appeared set to take over the Illinois Senate seat after his main rival, Jack Ryan, dropped out of the race on Friday night amid a furor over lurid sex club allegations.

The allegations that horrified fellow Republicans and caused his once-promising candidacy to implode in four short days have given Obama a clear lead as Republicans struggled to fetch an alternative.

Ryan’s campaign began to crumble on Monday following the release of embarrassing records from his divorce. In the records, his ex-wife, Boston Public actress Jeri Ryan, said her former husband took her to kinky sex clubs in Paris, New York and New Orleans.

“It’s clear to me that a vigorous debate on the issues most likely could not take place if I remain in the race,” Ryan, 44, said in a statement. “What would take place, rather, is a brutal, scorched-earth campaign – the kind of campaign that has turned off so many voters, the kind of politics I refuse to play.”

Although Ryan disputed the allegations, saying he and his wife went to one ‘avant-garde’ club in Paris and left because they felt uncomfortable, lashed out at the media and said it was “truly outrageous” that the Chicago Tribune got a judge to unseal the records.

The Republican choice will become an instant underdog in the campaign for the seat of retiring Republican Senator Peter Fitzgerald, since Obama held a wide lead even before the scandal broke.

“I feel for him actually,” Obama told a Chicago TV station. “What he’s gone through over the last three days I think is something you wouldn’t wish on anybody.”

The Republican state committee must now choose a replacement for Ryan, who had won in the primaries against seven contenders. Its task is complicated by the fact that Obama holds a comfortable lead in the polls and is widely regarded as a rising Democratic star.

The chairwoman of the Illinois Republican Party, Judy Topinka, said at a news conference, after Ryan withdrew, that Republicans would probably take several weeks to settle on a new candidate.

“Obviously, this is a bad week for our party and our state,” she said.

As recently as Thursday, spokesmen for the Ryan campaign still insisted that Ryan would remain in the race. Ryan had defended himself saying, “There’s no breaking of any laws. There’s no breaking of any marriage laws. There’s no breaking of the Ten Commandments anywhere.”

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Nine years…that’s how long that damned sandlot has been causing us grief.

Day after day the sandlot dictates our routine…come home, take off your shoes, shake the sand out, brush the sand out of your arms and hair.

Yet, we found sand everywhere in the house every day.

Why do schools feel it necessary to have a sandlot anyway?

First, it was our oldest, and his big shoes; amazingly enough, it was our youngest, with the smaller feet who set the standard for sand carried home from school.

When there were two coming home from that damned sandlot, it was a ten minute chore to get the sand out.

Then one went off to Middle School, where the sandlot is just not cool, and that sandlot suddenly wasn’t the unbeatable foe that it had been.

Today, we picked up my youngest; the last day of school for Mrs. M’s Fifth grade class. On to Middle School for our baby, and High School for our oldest.

I thought that it would be nice to be there, to pick him up one last time, and someone needed to drive Mom home anyway.

Then we saw it…incredible.

On the last day of school, the County had dumped two massive piles of fresh sand in the sandlot, and there they were…the five amigos, my youngest and his crew, rolling down the piles of sand like they didn’t have a care in the world.

I have to hand it to that old sandlot, it was going out of our lives in a blaze of glory.

It lives to fight another day.

We wiped the boys down before they got in the car…Trey had more sand on those skinny boy legs of theirs than you would think humanly possible; my youngest had sand in places you don’t normally get sand in unless you’re surfing, and the amount of sand we dumped on the grass outside would nicely decorate a small fish tank.

But now, finally, we are done. The enemy of these past nine years, the damned sandlot is no longer a threat; sandlots are not cool when you are in Middle School.

Now, we won’t have to dump sand from shoes before we enter the house any more, and there won’t be unexplained sand piles on the carpet, no mysterious sand in the backpacks, and no shakedowns before anyone gets in the car.

The sandlot is gone from our lives forever.

Our old nemesis lies defeated at last.

Then it hits me like a ton of bricks.

Damn…I’m going to miss that old sandlot. I am going to miss it a lot.

I miss it already.