Dems Pull Out stops, Prez and Veep Rally Cleveland

Dems and GOP face off

GOP and Dems face off Tuesday

OBAMA: “America is like a car . . . We want the gearshift to be in ‘D’, to move forward. Not ‘R’, where the Republicans want to take us backward.”

By Bronson Peshlakai

Cleveland State University welcomes President Barack Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden to Cleveland on Oct. 31, 2010.

CLEVELAND — President Barack Obama along with Vice-President Joe Biden stopped by Cleveland Sunday afternoon to lend support to Ohio Democrat candidates in a last-ditch effort to keep Democratic control in the legislature with only two days to go until Election Day.

"Moving American Forward" rally with President Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden at the Cleveland State University Wolstein's Auditorium on Oct. 31, 2010.

Rallying support to “keep America moving forward,” Obama said the country was like a car. Prior to his election as president in 2008, Republicans were the driver of this car. The drivers then drove the car into a ditch where it got stuck. The president said when he took office, Democrats had to rappel into this ditch and push the car free. With the Dems now the driver of the car, the GOP right now wants the keys back. Obama said, the car is free of the mud, no help to the Republicans watching from above, some kicking dirt into the ditch on the Dems.

“The car is back on the road. And, it is pointing in the right direction,” Obama said. “We need to get the car moving forward now. We want the gearshift to be in ‘D’, not in ‘R’ where the Republicans want to take us backward, but ‘D’, so we can move the car, America, forward.”

President Barack Obama tells an audience in Cleveland to support all the Democrat candidates in Ohio, in order to "American Moving Forward," on Halloween.

The crowd cheered wildly. Both Obama and Biden praised Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland as one of the greatest governors in America. Strickland was seen dancing on the sideline while Grammy award-winning artist “Comment” played several songs during the rally.

While Obama was speaking, two men in their 20s sitting toward the back of Cleveland State University’s Wolstein Auditorium, began jeering loudly. Obama faltered, but the crowd overcame the distraction by shouting louder in support of the President.

Press cameras whipped around to catch the jeerers being led out by U.S. Secret Service Uniformed Officers while the president went on with his speech.

After the rally, organizers encouraged people to vote early at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections building, about five blocks away from the auditorium.

One thing prominent on all the candidate’s minds at they address people at this rally is the fact that every race in the state have narrow margins of competition. Strickland reminded rallygoers that in 2008, the election was so close that it could be averaged out that if every precinct in the state could have had one less vote, he wouldn’t be governor. With that in mind, organizers were signing people up to volunteer to canvass neighborhoods and make telephone calls from Sunday until Tuesday, in order to make one last-ditch effort to urge citizens to the polls this Tuesday — because Democrats could lose this race, if by just one vote.

A group of Democratic supporters wait in line for nearly two hours outside Cleveland State University's Wolstein Auditorium on Oct. 31, 2010. Photo courtesy of a kind gentlemen who had this picture snapped with his camera phone.


Happy St. Patrick’s Day

logo for happy saint patricks day

A toast from me to you -- Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

Beware the leprechauns!!

Time is flying by on Spring Break. Either too much stuff to do, or perhaps too little, since I’m not really doing any homework. But, nonetheless, It’s time to bring on the blarney charm and write something cool about St. Patricks Day.

man from Pierre dressed in green outfit for st pats day

A very festive Pierre resident bringing on the St. Paddy's Day spirit at Bob's Lounge in Pierre, S.D. This gentlemen dyes his beard each year for this occasion.

It’s always been one of my favorite holidays, you know dressing up in green, pinching people and consuming mass volumes of green beer. I think one the coolest moms on Earth put it so succinctly one year during a session of the South Dakota Senate. I can’t remember what she said verbatim, but state Sen. Nancy Turbak Berry, D-Watertown, told members of the senate “Happy St. Patrick’s Day,” and if she could pass along a tradition to the state legislature, St. Patrick’s Day would be a day to take off from work. Her kids, Seamus and Liam Culhane, were allowed to play hookey on St. Patrick’s Day, since birth — my sentiments precisely. As of right now, my brain has now checked “out” and is now off-duty. (OK, lemme finish my blog first. BTW, I post every WEDNESDAY, so come back here.)

portrait of South Dakota senator nancy turbak berry

South Dakota state Sen. Nancy Turbak Berry, D-Watertown

Adria Johnson serves green beer

Adria Johnson brings heavy pitchers of green beer to her bar patrons at the bar formerly known as Mitch's GrandStan in Pierre, S.D., March 17, 2007.

Let me digress now on the past three St. Paddy’s Day memoirs. Hmm. In 2009, I was traveling thru the small town of Pierre, S.D. It was only a year earlier the honorable senator made her remark about her family tradition. I was still living in Pierre, a political reporter at the Capital Journal, back then, but last year I believe I was heading back west to New Mexico, after working a few odd jobs in New York, and Michigan. Pierre has a lovely tradition of having a parade and bringing the whole town together to celebrate…. it was the first time I saw Pierre’s new mayor, Laurie Gill, waving to the crowd on the city float. It was chilly that day. Me and this little rascal; a kid of about 10 years old standing next to me, started being very competitive about gathering the candy being thrown around us. We bumped heads, literally, several times diving for Lemonheads and Everlasting Gobstoppers. The final laugh for the little squirt was me chomping down on a very piece of hard candy. A premolar that was losing life slowly all of sudden succombed to the candy and broke; nearly in half. OMG! Pain could not be measured on a scale of 1 to 10. Perhaps, 25, or 40 would be where I was on that 10 scale.

Dan Myers and Adam wearing goggles

Adam sporting fashionable St. Patty's Day mega glasses and Dan Myers at the Silver Spur Saloon in Fort Pierre. This bar is only opened one day a year to keep it's liquor license (valued over $100,000) alive.

Luckily, that’s where green beer comes in. And, Irish Car Bombs. Oh those people in Pierre. I think this was the third year I celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in Pierre. So to you my fellow Pierrites (or Pierronians, or whatever), I raise my Molson Ice (dyed green with food coloring just a second ago), to Dean Peterson, Dan Myers, Jen Neely, Jen “who throws bugs at Crystal L.” Cannes, Laz Szomor, Christopher “Shakespeare” Webb, Sheila and Gina, Jeff Bunn, Kent Anderson, and the rest of you mofos out there that I failed to mention — the best to all of you. What is St. Paddy’s Day without you? Geez. How depressing.

Laz, Dean and Chris

We can probably call these hooligans the Rat Pack of Pierre. From left, Laz Szomor, Dean Peterson and Chris Webb.

Let’s not forget about the mystical Irish creature who guards the pot of gold on this day. They are alive and well in Pierre… near the waters of the Missouri River, in and around La Framboise Island. I’ve heard the call of the leprechaun. Dean and I sent Chris Webb on his merry way to locate the bizarre creatures… he instead lassoed in a girl from the ruff. Oops, you know who you are… hehah. Just seeing if you’re reading my blog. Be thankful, I didn’t mention names here. Because, it was an amusing night. Anyway, they hang out in the dark shadows guarding their beloved treasure. They’re troll-like things — LEPRECHAUNS… scarey!

Bob's Lounge in Pierre

A look at Bob's Lounge on March 17, 2007, in Pierre, S.D. If you look closely at the sidewalk in front of the bar, you'll see a freshly painted shamrock. Cheers!

Well, enough of my musings of St. Patricks Day. My agenda for this afternoon is to see the holiday parade downtown Cleveland. It won’t be the same as Pierre, but it’ll have to suffice for now. Oh yeah, cheers to Bob’s Lounge in Pierre, as they repaint the green Shamrock on the sidewalk out front — a once a year festivity.

Bronson Peshlakai on St. Pats day 2007

Bronson Peshlakai, your's truly, wearing no flair for the St. Patrick's Day holiday in Pierre, S.D., 2007. I'm ready this year baby.

I’ve got my Kelly Green Polo shirt ready, as well as some Paddy’s Day trinkets that blink and stuff. Stopping for a bit of holiday merriment after the parade is almost a certainty. I was planning to celebrate this day in New York City, but other plans have creeped up last minute. This evening, I’ll mosey my way to Little Italy (Cleveland, not New York) to the Holy Rosary Cathedral to begin rehearsals for Easter services coming up in a few weeks. Let’s hope I don’t get caught up seeking an imaginery pot of gold by means of metabolizing ethanol molecules tinged with green dye.

Have a happy and safe St. Patrick’s Day!!!

“MacGyver” Spoof rated ‘Hard-R’, “MacGruber” Keeps Mullet Alive

Movie starring Will Forte,
and me as an “extra,” has release date pushed back

“It’s kind of in the vein of, like, eighties action movies, like there’s a very definitive bad guy . . . The thing that kind of blew my mind about it is that it’s like a HARD-R movie.” Bill Hader, SNL Actor

EDITOR NOTE: This is part one of a two-part series about the release date and newly released trailer of MacGruber, a spoof of 80s TV show MacGyver. Part 2 being published at this site Thursday will give a behind-the-scenes look at a filming location near Santa Fe, N.M., in August, 2009.

Will Forte from Sat Nite Live

Will Forte standing near his car as MacGruber, in this first official photo release

By Bronson Peshlakai

CLEVELAND — With the Oscars a short memory away, a movie spoofing 80s TV show MacGyver is ready to make its first public appearance and its makers are hoping the crowd will savor for it the next awards.

  In just under six days, Relativity Media’s “MacGruber” is scheduled to play at the SXSW Film Conference and Festival in Austin, Texas.

  The film produced by Saturday Night Live’s Lorne Michaels, among others, stars SNL actors Will Forte, as MacGruber, Kristen Wiig, Sam Elliott and Maya Rudolph. Ryan Phillippe and Val Kilmer also have starring roles in the film. Oh yeah, did I mention, I’m in the movie as a Peruvian villager? At least I was there during filming — we’ll see if I made the cutting room floor when the movie is released May 21, 2010.

SNL's Bill Hader

SNL Actor
Bill Hader

“I read the script, and it’s like a hard-R comedy, and it totally works. It’s hilarious,” SNL actor Bill Hader told New York Magazine. “It’s kind of in the vein of, like, eighties action movies, like there’s a very definitive bad guy. I don’t know if I can talk about the plot too much, but it’s hilarious. The thing that kind of blew my mind about it is that it’s like a HARD-R movie.”
  Industry critics and bloggers tout MacGruber of having coarse language and male nudity.

  When diabolical madman Deiter VanCunth aims to fire a missle at Washington DC, “only one American hero has earned the rank of Green Beret, Navy SEAL and Army” to save the day, an iMDB plot synopsis reads. “Just one operative has been awarded 16 purple hearts, two Congressional Medals of Honor and seven Presidential Medals of Bravery. And only one guy is man enough to still sport a mullet.”

Photo mug of the original MacGyver

Richard Dean Anderson

  The original MacGyver, played by Richard Dean Anderson in the 1980s, who transformed gum and nitroglycerin pills into bombs, and had a solution to most predicaments using a Swiss Army knife and Duct Tape, seems to be the idea behind MacGruber, at least according to MacGyver producer Lee Zlotoff.

  Zlotoff reportedly had plans to adapt the 80s TV action show to the big screen and was considering filing a copyright or trademark lawsuit against MacGruber’s release in early February, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

  “We felt they’re infringing our rights,” Zlotoff’s lawyer, Paul Mayersohn, told The Hollywood Reporter.

  A call Tuesday to Mayersohn, of Surpin, Mayersohn and Edelstone, a Los Angeles law firm, confirmed that Mayersohn may still be looking into filing the injunction, but no details were given.

  The film was filmed in and around the Albuquerque, N.M., area in August and September, 2009.

MacGruber film location near Santa Fe, NM

El Rancho de las Golondrinas,
film location near Santa Fe, N.M.

  I was part of the filming cast as a background actor for scenes set at a Peruvian village, where MacGruber reclused himself at a monastery type venue for 10 years after his fiancee was killed. These scenes were filmed at El Rancho de las Golondrinas near La Cienega, N.M., about 15 miles southwest of Sante Fe. (More on filming day in Part 2 of this series on Thursday)

  After 13 hours of filming in August, I was told the release date for the movie was April 14, 2010, but the movie’s release has been pushed back to May 21, according to Universal Pictures. MacGruber is now expected to hit theaters along with “Shrek Forever After.”

  For a $475 film badge, MacGruber is being shown along with other movies at the SXSW Film Festival March 15 at 9:30 p.m. CDT, at the Paramount Theater in Austin, Texas.

  MacGruber is directed by Jorma Taccone, who also had a part in writing the movie.

Be sure to CHECK BACK HERE TOMORROW, for Part 2 of this special series. Part 2 will include some pictures on set, and a first person point-of-view of the 13-hour day of filming with Ryan Phillippe, Will Forte and his sit-to-stand flipping stunt double.

A Navajo Marine Is Remembered

It’s always a sad feeling to hear news that another U.S. soldier is killed. But, when a soldier from your community is killed, shockwaves of reality hits you hard. LCpl. Alejandro Yazzie was a Marine fighting in Afghanistan when he was killed in action by sniper fire Feb 16, 2010. The young Marine joined the military just six months ago, and is now another statistic of life loss while in combat. Listed below are some links to click on to read more about Yazzie.

NPR Radio: A Burst of Gunfire, And a Marine Lost in Marjah 

NPR Reporter Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson was embedded with marines as they were pushing the front line deeper into enemy territory in Afghanistan. This nine minute piece shows the tragic moment when sniper fire rained upon a group of marines. Soldiers yell out KIA, killed in action.

12 News: Navajo Marine Remembered
Phoenix NBC affiliate 12 News Reporter Andy Harvey was the only television journalist to interview LCpl. Alejandro Yazzie’s family in Rock Point, Ariz. The community located about 50 miles away NE of Chinle was mourning the loss of Yazzie. The family was initially guarded about talking to the media and sharing photos of their son. Harvey, a Navajo as well, convinced the family to open up and talk about the life of Alejandro.

Navajo Times: Afghanistan Offensive claims first Dine life

Navajo Times reporters Jan-Mikael Patterson and Erny Zah visited the remote Rock Point community and got community reaction in their piece. This story has reaction from Navajo President Dr. Joe Shirley Jr., who said Yazzie is the 11th soldier to be killed in action in the Middle East since Sept. 11, 2001.

Family members had a funeral for Yazzie at the Farmington, N.M., Civic Arena yesterday. 

According to 1007 soldiers have been killed in action in around Afghanistan. This Web site has a comprehensive list of soldiers’ nationalities and which Afghanistan provinces has seen the most casualties.


Do you think U.S. troops should be pulled out of Afghanistan and Iraq quicker than what The Pentagon plans for?