Joe's Scratchpad

Odds & Ends and Random Thoughts

Sep 2

Aug 29
I’m taking the long weekend off, folks. Check back on Tuesday!
–  Joe

I’m taking the long weekend off, folks. Check back on Tuesday!

–  Joe

Aug 28

Hillary, Hillary, Hillary…

"Hillary Clinton made her first extensive comments about the racial tensions that roiled Ferguson, Mo., in recent weeks, telling an audience in San Francisco that Americans “don’t want to see our streets look like a war zone.”

"The former secretary of state and prospective 2016 presidential contender criticized "inequities in our justice system" following 18-year-old Michael Brown’s killing by a police officer, which sparked more than a week of unrest in the small town…

"Clinton said her "heart broke" for Brown’s family as she watched his funeral on Monday



Folks, this is so transparently Clintonian that nobody who’s followed Bill and Hillary should be at all surprised. Rather than speak up as events in Ferguson were exploding – when her voice might have meant something – Hillary waits until the dust has settled and her pollsters and focus groups have told her which way the wind is blowing. 

The timing of Hillary’s comments reflect a purely calculated move, but one that’s quite understandable for a Dem presidential hopeful who wants to show support for Black concerns without alienating potential white voters who might be turned off by seeing her rushing to side with Al Sharpton while scenes of Black insurrection played out on national TV.

So, you wait until tempers have cooled and TV news has shifted national attention to ISIS and other matters. And, that’s then you magnanimously toss out a sop to the Blacks in hopes it will largely go unnoticed by most everybody else. 

Personally, I would have loved to have seen her show the courage to come out in support of the Dem’s most loyal constituency a lot sooner, but – hey – politics and race are a highly combustable combination for anyone aiming for the White House. So, I’ll grudgingly give her a pass on this one, although I see this as one more clue as to what Blacks can expect out of Hillary should she ever become president.

–  Joe

Aug 27

Aug 25

The Honorable James R. Spencer, the judge presiding over the ongoing trial of former VA governor Bob McDonald, has gotten some praise in the media for his wit and rhetorical skills. To give you an idea of the measure of this man, here’s a video from February when Spencer was honored as one of the 2014 Strong Men and Women in Virginia History event.

It’ll be interesting to watch how Spencer handles the explosive McDonald trial. Stay tuned.

–  Joe

Some Timely Advice…

Good News, Vino!


Bulletin from The Napa Valley Vintners trade group:

Sunday’s earthquake in Napa jolted 900-pound wine barrels from racks, damaged winery buildings and warehouses, and smashed perhaps hundreds of thousands of bottles of the valley’s best - a painful hit for an industry already struggling with the most severe drought in decades…

Because the 2013 vintage was a particularly bountiful one, and many wines have yet to be released, the quake’s impact may not be felt by wine consumers immediately. But in months to come that impact will likely cause shortages once bottled wine already at retailers is exhausted.

Except, that is, for boxed wines. Boxed wines generally survived the quake unscathed, and shipments of stocks on hand are expected to continue without interruption. 

Although long viewed with derision by wine purists, boxed wines have gained in popularity in recent years for several reasons, including ease of storage and the absence of breakage. But recent surveys also suggest that a prime reason for the growth of boxed wines is simply that the spouses of boxed wine consumers can’t easily tell how much wine their mates have consumed at any particular time because they can see through the boxes.

Now, after Sunday’s quake, boxed wine lovers have an added reason to embrace the box.

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