Thursday, June 17, 2010

Thoughts While Shaving: Holy Crist! With a Florida Billionaire Tied to Heidi Fleiss and Erotic Art, Dems May Have No Other Alternative

Feast of St. Gregory Barbarigo*

                             Judas Crist,  What a Dilemma for Dems!
            An overweight, jowly octogenarian, I am in no position to criticize others’ looks…but there’s something about the lanky, Charlie Crist…shirt open at the throat…tan skin glowing with fragrant lotion,..touched off with expensively coiffeured electric-white hair—who rides in a limousine with an electric fan playing on him so he doesn’t perspire…that leads me to think that what they said about Gotti was right: After age 50 one’s face  begins to look like what he really is. 
        Crist, Florida’s onetime Republican governor now running for U. S. Senator who switched to independent and is flirting to get Dem votes this November,  reminds me of a guy who would stop you as you’re walking down the street, beckon with a long, tapered, expensively manicured finger and say: : 
       “Hey, bud.  Come here.”   
        You say: Huh? 
         “Listen.  Come closer.” 
      “I don’t bite. I said closer.” .”
       Sir, I’m about as close as I want to be.
      “Okay, okay. No offense.  Don’t get upset.  No offense.  Listen--.”
      “I gotta tip for you.”
      A tip?  What kind of tip? 
     “Investment. You know. You allergic to making some money?”
        No, but I think I’m allergic to whatever lotion you’re wearing.
      “You crazy?  This is L’Oreal Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Mist.  Can’t get it in the stores.  You wanna address where you can send for it?”
      Maybe that’s a complete injustice but that’s the way I feel.
        Lead him into a room, snap off the lights and all you’ll see is the incandescent, albino hair.  Creepy. 
        Creepy also is the way he’s changed all his major positions within a fortnight—as a Republican  was for an education reform bill the teachers unions hated  but  an “independent” governor vetoed it...was pro-life as a Republican  when parental consent passed but as an “independent”  vetoed it…was against repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell” as a Republican but now as an “independent” wants to overturn it…was for offshore drilling as a Republican but now as an “independent” opposes it…opposed the confirmation of Sonia Sotomayor when he was a Republican but now as an “independent” supports confirming Elena Kagan.  
         That’s why he’s now called Judas Crist. Rather catchy, huh? The story is that having plumped late for McCain which resulted in a Florida primary victory for the senator, he wanted to run with McCain real bad…so bad that, reportedly recognizing he should have a wife, he got engaged and quickly married (second time) in July, 2008, the Republican convention convening in early September.  
           He started off as the establishment…Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee-endorsed…candidate for the U.S. Senate—but Marco Rubio, the former state House Speaker, entered and seized command of all the conservative social issues. When it looked sure that Rubio would beat him, Crist announced he was switching to “independent.”  He changed all his key social and philosophical beliefs overnight…as quickly as he got married the second time… to improve his odds. 
           Now for the primary coming up August 24, Florida Dems have up to now strongly favored a black man for the Senate who is no slouch—Rep. Kendrick Meek, a former state House and Senate member who easily defeated incumbents, who represents Miami whose district covers much of northeast Miami-Dade county whose mother was in the House before him (the two were only the third mother and son to serve). A former football star at Florida A&M , Meek is regarded highly in the House Dem caucus, serves on Ways and Means and is able to generate ample campaign funds.    
            So until recently there was a three-way for the U. S. Senate in Florida—Marco Rubio, a favorite of conservatives…Rep. Kendrick Meek with a heavy following among Dems where the African American vote could be an estimated 30%...and Judas…er, Charlie…Crist.  Charlie’s trying to cut deals with the Dems, saying privately this is not the year for a black to get elected to the U. S.  Senate, fellas (Obama’s not all that popular here)—besides I’m available as a supporter for all your issues.   
         And indeed until recently it looked like Meek will be washed up after the primary, with Charlie Crist moving in strong for the general election Nov. 2. But then it got complicated. 
         Enter a billionaire into the Democratic Senate race…one worth at least a couple of billions: Jeff Greene, 53. Greene is not a guy you want to buy the company you’re working for. He’ll tell you anything you want to hear and God help you if you trust him.   
          He was born to a working class Jewish family in Worcester, Mass. and his rise was spectacular…but this is not a business rags to riches story.   He moved to Los Angeles in 1980, started buying properties;  tried to run for Congress as a Republican in `82: it didn’t work. By `91 he had $35 million worth of equity. Then the market collapsed; he sold an apartment building at a $2 million profit and immediately reinvested in the once-again rising market.  By 2008 he had 7,000 rental units in southern California and his net worth was over $700 million.   Greene got his dough shorting the sub-prime real estate market where he appropriated his shorting technique from John Paulson (not Henry) who became a key figure in the Goldman Sachs/SEC case.   
         Greene likes the good life. His story ran as a documentary on CNBC; Forbes featured him as a guy who created his own hedge fund, nabbing credit default swaps that spiraled as the sub-prime mortgages fell.  He has five homes, including a 63,000 square foot one in Beverly Hills, a mansion called Palazzo di Amore where he was married (the first and only time thus far) to Mei-Sze, 20 years his junior; Mike Tyson was Best Man: the bash costing $1million and a 145-foot yacht.   A few bits of political trouble: His house guest for about a year in California was Heidi Fleiss, who did social work among the rich, being known as Mistress to the Stars.   She stayed with him after she got out of jail.  He says they were like brother-and-sister.  Yeah: right. 
         Also which is just ducky for a candidate for the U. S. Senate, Greene likes to collect erotic art.  
        Greene moved to Florida where his 86 year old mother has lived for 40 years, took up residence in Palm Beach, voted only once in the state (in 2008 by provisional ballot) and decided to run for the Senate. He has a crack campaign team: Joe Trippi, the ex-Howard Dean campaign manager; Doug Schoen a partner with Mark Penn both of whom worked for Hillary Clinton in 2008 and Paul Blank former political director for Dean. (Dean however backs Meek).  Greene has already spent $4 million and says he’s prepared to spend the moon to win…starting off at $40 million.   
          The latest poll—Quinnipiac—shows Greene and Meek tied and Rubio inches behind.  
         Greene’s candidacy is disturbing to many Florida Democratic leaders. They want to stay with Meek because he and his family have such a strong hold on the black vote.  But behind the scenes, they want to convince Meek to get out of the race so they can back Judas…yes, I finally have that right… Crist.  By all means they don’t want Rubio to become Senator! 
        Doesn’t look like Meek will listen to them. And if he loses the nomination, the black vote will likely be so depressed it will stay home in November.   But there’s hope that Meek will make it.  The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is probing Greene.  Sure,  Trippi is fighting them tooth and nail…pointing out that Sen. Bob Mendendez [D-NJ], the chairman, has been riding on Greene’s corporate planes many times.   
          But I still think one look at Crist and Greene…and a squint at Meek’s far-left record… and you’d want to vote for Rubio.    
  *: Saint Gregory Barbario [1625-1697]. Born of a noble family…how many other saints’ bios start that way…in Venice, he became the bishop of Padua and took part in the Congress of Munster (1648) which ended the Thirty Years War. He was ordained in 1655, worked heroically to save people from the Plague of 1655.  Pope Alexander VII recognized his service and made him bishop of Bergamo and made him a Cardinal before transferring him to Padua.  There he founded a college and seminary, provided a fine patristic library and printing press to publish Catholic works that were distributed to Catholics in Muslim countries.   
         He took part in five conclaves and was himself considered a serious candidate for the papacy.  He was beatified in 1761 and canonized in 1960.

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