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Friday, January 18, 2008

Thanks for all the fun times Richard Knerr

You probably don't recognize his name but you probably familiar with some of his toys...
Richard Knerr, who gave the company he and a friend started in a garage the altogether appropriate name Wham-O, then marketed products that for two decades virtually defined frivolity in postwar America, from the Hula Hoop to the Frisbee to the SuperBall, died on Monday at his home in Arcadia, Calif. He was 82.

The cause was complications of a stroke, said Stefan Pollack, a Wham-O spokesman.

Mr. Knerr (pronounced nur) and Arthur Melin had a talent for turning seemingly quirky ideas into national passions. In 1958, their Hula Hoop invigorated members of a rock ’n’ roll generation eager to shake their hips, if only to keep the precarious plastic ring from dropping to their feet.

The marketplace shook almost as much as derrières. Richard A. Johnson, in his book “American Fads” (William Morrow, 1985), said the plastic hoop “remains the standard against which all national crazes are measured.”

In the first year, Wham-O sold as many as 40 million hoops; by 1960, 100 million, a mark no other toy had ever reached. After too many households had two or three of the hoops, the fad evaporated, leaving Wham-O marooned on a mountain of tubular plastic. Total profit: only $10,000, a result of business inexperience and millions of unsold hoops.

“We completely lost control,” Mr. Knerr told Forbes magazine in 1982.

The Hula Hoop financial debacle was unusual, however. The company had done, and would do, considerably better on products like the Frisbee, for which it bought the rights, streamlined and named. Brought to market in 1957, the Frisbee became a lasting diversion, and even the basis of competitive sports, some of which Wham-O invented.

Other Wham-O brainstorms included the exceedingly bouncy SuperBall, the Water Wiggly sprinkler, the Slip ’N Slide water slide, the Limbo Game and Silly String, a seemingly endless stream of liquid that hardened after being expelled from an aerosol can, all too often in a child’s hair.

DeStefano backs Obama, host canvass kickoff in New Haven tomorrow

With the presidential campaign in full swing, the Obama campaign launched their TV ad campaign in Connecticut and have New Haven Mayor John DeStefano kicking off their door-knocking/canvass program tomorrow.

Via the Obama campaign press release:
Senator Barack Obama’s Connecticut campaign announced today that Mayor John DeStefano will host a canvass kickoff in New Haven tomorrow morning. Mayor DeStefano will address grassroots Obama supporters gathered at Wilbur Cross High School and will to go door-to-door to talk to voters about Obama’s consistent opposition to the war in Iraq and his ability to bring people together for real change.

Mayor DeStefano endorsed Obama earlier this month, citing his ability to bring new people into the political process at this critical time for our nation.

Door-to-door canvass for Obama with Mayor John DeStefano and local supporters

TOMORROW, January 19, at 9:45 a.m. EST

Wilbur Cross High School
181 Mitchell Drive
New Haven, CT

Will the Lieberman-McCain ticket become a reality?

Olbermann thinks so...

Get your Dump Joe buttons ready.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Mitt Romney's fake photo-op EXPOSED

First, Mark Nielsen Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton's man for president claims that he saw his father walk with Martin Luther King, then his laundry list of flip-flops are exposed, and now this!?!
A well-publicized weekend photo-op for Mitt Romney turns out to have been missing a piece of information that might have undermined its credibility: the unemployed single mom at the center of the event was the mother of a Romney staffer.

Local and national media outlets, including Politico.com, reported that Romney was the picture of empathy as he sat at the Marshall, Mich. kitchen table of 51-year-old Elizabeth Sachs, a single mother of two who lost her job as a retail manager – as well as her health insurance – and is running out of money as she tries to sell her house to move to Florida.

What wasn’t reported – and what the Romney campaign did not reveal at the time – was that one of Sachs’ sons, Steve Sachs, is a paid employee of Romney’s campaign, organizing five counties in Michigan.


Romney has campaigned in Michigan on a pledge to help revive the state’s struggling economy. In introducing Sachs, Romney discussed the economic difficulties in the community and described the particular plight of his hostess — but made no mention of her ties to his campaign.

"It means a real tough setting for a mom with two sons," Romney said. "One son is still in high school. Another son [is] getting ready to go off into the police academy in the west."

Ironically, when it came time to take questions from the reporters gathered around Sachs' kitchen table, Romney joked: "If you don’t want to answer any questions, that’s fine, too. What I’ve learned is, if they ask a question, you can answer something else."

"Oh, ok," Sachs responded, laughing along with Romney.

"Just talk about the general subject," Romney suggested.

Talking to a small handful of reporters after Romney and most of his press pack had left the kitchen, Sachs offered details about her age, job situation, and her effort to sell her home.

When asked about her children, she only said that one was "20, soon to be 21" and that another was a teenager.
You know, this man is like a gift that keeps on giving.

My pals at Crooks and Liars put it best when they said this:
After all of the fuss the media and the rightwingnutosphere made over Sen Clinton’s campaign coaching a questioner in Iowa, I wonder how much attention this will get? I don’t know about you but if you ask me this seems all-too reminiscent of Bush’s fake photo-ops, fake WMD evidence, fake Iraq news stories, phony pressers, and fake town hall meetings so he could “catapult the propaganda.” Does America really want to go down that road again?