Who To Believe?

It appears that the Senate Ethics Committee is investigating the “sweetheart” mortgage deals that Countrywide Financial Corp. gave to Senators Chris Dodd and Kent Conrad.  According to this article, the Committee recently received secret testimony from a former Countrywide employee who testified that the Senators knew that they were getting special treatment and went ahead with the deals anyway.  The Senators deny knowing that they were receiving special deals.  So, who to believe — the Senators who chair the Senate Banking Committee and Budget Committee and accepted the deals without raising questions, or the dubious corporate flunky who made sure the deals got done?

Mike “Mad Dog” Adams

I made my second trip up to Put in Bay in the past couple of months and got a chance to be part of the “Gangl Gang” (my good friend Keli’s parents, their friends and some of her family). Each year the “gang” goes to see comedian/singer Mike “Mad Dog” Adams (see picture below) at the Roundhouse Bar (known for serving draft beer in buckets similar to a bar called Papa Joe’s on High Street year’s ago).

I really like Put in Bay because it reminds me of my Florida Spring Break days when I was younger, but for adults. You have those of all ages having a few adult beverages and letting their hair down including some celebrities (Elvis, Santa and the Grinch where in attendance when we were there). Most of the people in the “Gangl Gang” were over age fifty while Keli, her sister and both their husbands are in there mid to late twenties.

Mad Dog’s motto is “everyday above ground is a good day” and when he mentions his motto the audience is to respond by repeating it. Mad Dog has been making patrons laugh at the Roundhouse Bar and elsewhere since the early 80’s and he reminds me alot of a modern day Don Rickles. His routine consists of heckling the crowd while playing the guitar and singing a few songs.

Just a few pointers before you go see Mad Dog. Get a seat at the Roundhouse or wherever you are watching him before he starts playing because once he starts he keeps an eye on the door and all those who enter whether male or female will be subject to the question he poses to the crowd, “gay” or “straight” ? Of course, the crowd always answered “gay” to each and every individual who enters.

When patrons are leaving the bar he will often say “Hey wait, don’t leave I can play folk songs” and will break into the chorus of Danny’s Song (even though we ain’t got money) with the audience joining in. When Mad Dog gets a shot of alcohol while singing his songs his response is always “Looks like its time for a toast” to which all reply “Ziggy Zaggy, Ziggy Zaggy, Hoi, Hoi, Hoi” !

Mad Dog is totally hilarious and a very good time was had by all. I highly recommend seeing Mad Dog at least once in your lifetime if your not easily offended. Many thanks to Roberta and Kirk for inviting me !

Fear Of August

A lot of politicians on both sides of the health care reform debate are holding their breath as Congress prepares to take its August recess. They are terribly afraid what members of Congress will encounter when they leave their enclave on the banks of the Potomac and return to their states and districts, there to be exposed to their constituents in uncontrolled settings. O, foul horror! To be required to interact with the grimy, unshod voters, without talking points and instant polls to guide every interaction and aides to serve as a buffer! To be subject to unscripted moments, without caucuses and whips to instruct you on what to do when the people you represent ask you about what is actually on their minds!

It is pretty pathetic when both parties express such concern about what might happen when legislators take a month to spend some time with their constituents. I frankly think we would be much better off if our Senators and Congressmen spent much less time in the Washington, D.C. fantasy world and much more time in the real world, discussing the real issues of the day and the honest concerns of those who elected them. In any case, I am perfectly comfortable with whatever takeaway members of Congress get from their constituents over the August recess. Whatever it may be, it is bound to be more sensible and thoughtful than a lot of what our elected representatives are hearing from the pundits and fellow politicos in D.C.