27 February 2009
Jimmy Tanks heard a commotion outside his mobile home bedroom window in his mobile home in Halsell, Alabama at 2:30 AM. Tanks grabbed a gun, walked out the back door and confronted who he thought was a thief trying to steal his Chrysler Sebring. In reality it was a repo man and two helpers trying to tow off the Chrysler Sebring. After shots were fired, Tanks wound up dead.
It may be the only known case of a man killed over a Chrysler Sebring.
The man, there to repossess the car, Kenneth Alvin Smith, is now awaiting trial on a murder charge.
26 February 2009
So far, it appears that President Obama misled the hard left wing of the Democratic Party about where he was going to go on foreign policy - at least, judging by his picks for Secretary of State, and Secretary of Defense. But he did more than mislead Idahoans when he said, "I won't take away your guns." He lied to us.Or this:
On Tuesday, (Obama) left the impression that we need merely end "tax breaks for the wealthiest 2% of Americans," and he promised that households earning less than $250,000 won't see their taxes increased by "one single dime."Or this:
Mr. Obama is very good at portraying his agenda as nothing more than center-left pragmatism. But pragmatists don't ignore the data. And the reality is that the only way to pay for Mr. Obama's ambitions is to reach ever deeper into the pockets of the
American middle class.
President Obama, who took a no-earmark pledge on the campaign trail, is listed as one of dozens of cosponsors of a $7.7 million set-aside in the fiscal 2009 omnibus spending bill passed by the House on Wednesday.Please - if you voted for Obama, defend any of this crap. You sure seemed engaged before election day. How about some honest engagement for the four years of the actual term?
No changes are expected to the earmarks requested by other lawmakers who ended up in top jobs in the Obama administration months after they sought set-asides for special projects in the bills that became the omnibus (HR 1105).
Obama’s name jumped out on a list of many earmark cosponsors because he and his staff have been so emphatic about his no-earmark stance.
Wednesday morning on the CBS Early Show, Vice President Joe Biden asked, "But what I don't understand from Governor Jindal is what would he do? In Louisiana, there's 400 people a day losing their jobs. What's he doing?"CBS Early Show, where statements go unchallenged nearly every morning.
But that claim is wrong if you look at the numbers from the Louisiana Workforce Commission. "In December, Louisiana was the only state in the nation besides the District of Columbia, according to the national press release, that added employment over the month," said Patty Granier with the Louisiana Workforce Commission. "The state gained 3,700 jobs for the seasonally adjusted employment," Granier said of the most recent figures. Those numbers are available on Louisiana's employment website, laworks.net.Yea, but Dan Quayle was the idiot, right?
25 February 2009
In 1978 (President Jimmy Carter) he signed Senate Amendment 3534, a portion of which gave each household permission to produce up to 200 gallons of tax-exempt beer each year.How about that?
If you’re looking for a textbook example of how government can stifle innovation and discourage productive activity, even when operating in Regulatory Lite mode, the story of home brewing in America should hit the spot.
He was surprised. He is the CHAIR of the Senate Banking Comitee and he was surprised. He is a blithering old fool who's time has come and gone decades ago and he's a crooked old bastard, too.
Sen. Chris Dodd is apologizing today for his comments Friday suggesting that it might be necessary to nationalize some banks for a short time. (Dodd), told reporters in Washington that he was surprised by the market’s reaction.
Given the rumors flying last week about the government pumping more money into major banks and wiping out shareholders in the process, Dodd’s comments Friday helped drive Citigroup Inc. as low as $1.61, a new bear-market nadir. The stock closed at $1.95, down 56 cents, or 22%, for the session. Bank of America Corp. fell as low as $2.53 on Friday before recovering to close at $3.79.
24 February 2009
As a child, you might start off playing 'house,' then maybe 'cops & robbers.' I think we've all heard tales of playing 'doctor.' Well now we get a good glimpse of this generation's need to play 'college protester.'
I sure hope these children (notice the skateboard?) get the mental health treatment and/or elementary education necessary to make them somehow useful in the future because, right now, I wouldn't hire them to dig holes.
Excellent analysis here.
23 February 2009
Police Public Relations Officer Mr. Tunde Mohammed said, the neighbourhood vigilante group chased a two-man gang, “while one of them escaped, the other was about to be apprehended by the team when he turned his back on the wall and turned to this goat.”
Not ones to be fooled, the police promptly arrested the goat. Home video knowledge is that at some point the goat would become human again.
22 February 2009
A Pentagon review of conditions at the Guantanamo Bay military prison has concluded that the treatment of detainees meets the requirements of the Geneva Conventions. The report, which President Obama ordered, was prepared by Adm. Patrick M. Walsh, the vice chief of naval operations, and has been delivered to the White House.So now Guantanamo Bay is OK?
But during the campaign, they told me it was the American Gulag. I guess dissension is no longer the highest form of patriotism now that Someone Else is in the Oval Office. I sure hope no one remembers all the politically-charged promises made not too long ago:
Walsh's report was a broad endorsement of the Pentagon's management of the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, and it urged prison authorities to continue efforts across the system to maximize the ability of the detainees to socialize and practice their religion, according to the government official.
During the campaign, Obama, while eschewing details, appeared to favor federal prosecution of terrorism suspects. Under this proposal, the new administration would shutter military commissions, review the files at Guantanamo Bay to send as many cases as possible to federal court for prosecution, and release the balance of detainees for prosecution or resettlement in their home country or other nations.Good luck with all that.
The new administration expects that European countries and Persian Gulf states that previously resisted accepting Guantanamo Bay prisoners will be more open to resettling some who are cleared for release or who cannot be sent home because of the risk of torture.
16 February 2009
Fallujah and Anbar are just out of an internecine civil war/insurgency (if it's indeed finished), that's followed a destructive invasion, which came on the heels of 12 years of debilitating international sanctions and 30 years of repressive authoritarian rule. It's not a bastion of fucking Rotary Club nominees. When you pick from an attenuated (and flawed) lot, you take what you get--that's a simple law of nature.Read it all. It's exceptional.
When war comes (and to repeat, we're well beyond the point of talking about whether that war was just or not) anybody with a pot to piss in picks up--with their pot and all their belongings--and moves away; in this case to Syria, Jordan or Saudi Arabia. Those left behind are generally not the richest or the best educated of the lot. They are the fighters and the scrappers--the survivors. When it comes time to put the pieces back together, it's going to be those who stayed--and who are still standing--that lay down the first blocks in the new foundation.
Those scrappers are often brave, but they're survivors first; and in a conflict as dirty as a religion-on-religion civil war, they're often tarnished. It's these characters--and the tribe (I don't care how much the military likes or dislikes a particular front runner, if his tribe is the strongest and he's its sheik, he's going to be the area's leader)--that will control the government until normalcy resumes. How long will that take? Who's to say? I couldn't see it taking less than ten years.
The heart of the problem in all of this isn't only with the people of Iraq, it's also with Americans in this age of rapid and uncensored hydra-headed media--and the fact anybody can print anything. The threat there lies in the fact that 80-percent of people in society are grazers (and you can check Chomsky on this, Colonel Malay, or anybody who's served time); non-thinkers that only want to be herded and told what to do. It's those people who read your half-truths online and don't realize you're "independent" for a reason.
15 February 2009
During a decade in Congress, California Representative Grace Napolitano has pocketed more than $200,000 of political contributions by charging as much as 18Compare what she did with this explanation of money laundering.
percent interest on money she loaned to her own campaign.
The suburban Los Angeles Democrat made the $150,000 loan in 1998, when she was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. Through Dec. 31, her campaign committee has used donations to pay Napolitano $221,780 of interest while reducing the principal by just $64,727, a review of her Federal Election Commission filings shows.
A popular bicycle rental scheme in Paris that has transformed travel in the city has run into problems just 18 months after its successful launch. Over half the original fleet of 15,000 specially made bicycles have disappeared, presumed stolen.
Vandalism and theft are taking their toll and the company that runs the scheme, JCDecaux, says it can no longer afford to operate the city-wide network.
Socialism is a loser, not only where a profit motive is in place, but even in a places where it might otherwise be embraced or accepted.
Yes, domestic violence exists in all countries. Femicide, like homicide, also exists everywhere. But honor killings follow another, and quite distinct profile. But this honor killing in Buffalo (New York) is very important for another reason.
Perhaps Hassan and his supporters will argue that financial pressure drove him over the edge or led to temporary insanity. But, if so, why a be-heading? Why not a simple shooting? Curiously, when Hassan went to the police, he merely said that his wife is dead. He did not confess and say that he had killed her. In fact, some evidence exists to suggest that he first tried to cover up his role in the crime.
Stay tuned. Brother Hassan might soon claim that Aasiya forced him to be-head her, that she drove him to do so, that he had no other choice. And, from his own point of view, he will be telling the truth.
UPDATE: An unfortuante, yet accurate caption to a photo.
12 February 2009
Take your pick -- on the one side, we have free-market capitalists who took huge amounts of money as their companies eroded the savings of tens of millions; on the other, we have supposedly egalitarian liberals who skipped paying taxes.
The result is the same. Our best educated, wealthiest and most connected in matters of finance proved our dumbest -- and our political leaders were less than ethical in meeting their moral responsibilities as citizens.
I will quote Elihu Smails, "Well . . . we're waiting!"
In the last couple of years, the Oversight and Government Reform Committee was a bulldog at the Bush administration’s heels. Then-chairman Henry Waxman conducted investigation after investigation, on topics from the Justice Department to global warming. Waxman was particularly fond of probing the Bush’s administration’s alleged politicization of just about every aspect of the federal government.
Now things are different. With a Democrat in the White House and Democrats running Capitol Hill, that old Waxman toughness is a thing of the past.
The short version: You can forget it if you think the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is going to do anything about the census controversy. So what happens now? Obama will do what he wants, with Democratic assent.
07 February 2009
A farmer from north Bangladesh has been named the country's top rat killer after disposing of 39,650 rodents over the course of a year. His kill-rate was equivalent to one every 13 minutes, officials say.Okay, that shows some initiative.
Binoy Kumar Karmakar, 40, won a 14in (36cm) colour TV in the government-backed competition to find the most prolific rat killer.14 inch TV? What the hell kind of reward is trhat? Even a nation like Bangladesh should be able to scrape for something better than that.
Either way, I'll bet Karmaker is prepared for the inevitable DTV transition, unlike the crybabies in another nation I could name.
President Obama's economic recovery package will actually hurt the economy more in the long run than if he were to do nothing, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday. CBO, the official scorekeepers for legislation, said the House and Senate bills will help in the short term but result in so much government debt that within a few years they would crowd out private investment, actually leading to a lower Gross Domestic Product over the next 10 years than if the government had done nothing.There are sane voices out there, but in the insane zeal to ram this turd through, is anyone listening?
That Biden bozo is already trying to manage the inevitable public outrage:
"While I appreciate the efforts of my colleagues to bring down the price tag of this bill, the fact is we still face a trillion dollar spending bill. Making it worse, the bill is 93% spending and only 7% stimulation.
"The good news tonight is that the American people are catching on to the fact that this is the largest spending bill in history and are becoming more and more vocal in their opposition.
Vice President Joe Biden acknowledged today that Democrats could face political repercussions in 2010 for their support of the $900 billion economic stimulus package. “If we do everything right, if we do it with absolute certainty, there’s still a 30% chance we’re going to get it wrong,” was his message at the meeting.If you ask me, "Hope" was a clearly a Trojan Horse. Now "Fear" has popped the hatch and is now pouring down the ladder.
So much for the president who in his inaugural address two weeks earlier declared "we have chosen hope over fear." Until, that is, you need fear to pass a bill.
And so much for the promise to banish the money changers and influence peddlers from the temple. An ostentatious executive order banning lobbyists was immediately followed by the nomination of at least a dozen current or former lobbyists to high position. Followed by a Treasury secretary who allegedly couldn't understand the payroll tax provisions in his 1040. Followed by Tom Daschle, who had to fall on his sword according to the new Washington rule that no Cabinet can have more than one tax delinquent.
05 February 2009
Used to be that when government decided what could and could not be broadcast, it was called fascism. Happily, under Obama, when the government decides what can and cannot not be broadcast it's now called fairness.
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) told nationally syndicated talk host Bill Press this morning that the recent flips of liberal Talk stations in several markets were a "disservice to the public."
Stabenow told Press that the airwaves are "dominated by one view" that "overwhelms people's opinions -- and, unfortunately, incorrectly," and said that "right-wing conservative talk hosts" are "trying to make people angry and saying all kinds of things that aren't true and so on."
When Press asked if it is time to bring back the Fairness Doctrine, Stabenow responded, "I think it's absolutely time to pass a standard." To Press' inquiry as to whether she will push for hearings in the Senate "to bring these owners in and hold them accountable," Stabenow replied, "I have already had some discussions with
colleagues, and, you know, I feel like that's going to happen. Yep."
03 February 2009
Not likely, Tom likes cars driven by other people. Problem is, he doesn't like the people enough to pay their medicare taxes as the nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services!
02 February 2009
WASHINGTON — The capital flew into a bit of a tizzy when, on his first full day in the White House, President Obama was photographed in the Oval Office without his suit jacket. There was, however, a logical explanation: Mr. Obama, who hates the cold, had cranked up the thermostat.Wow, I like it warm, too. My wife's from Hawai'i. We are putting on an extra layers during the coldest winter in decades, and are not trying to turn our Tundra winter into a Polynesian archipelago.
“He’s from Hawaii, O.K.?” said Mr. Obama’s senior adviser, David Axelrod, who occupies the small but strategically located office next door to his boss. “He likes it warm. You could grow orchids in there.”
I wonder how long until giant-mansion, jet-plane, houseboat Al Gore starts to admonish President Obama for the callous, mixed-message he's sending to America.
Meanwhile, in other my-own-rules-don't-apply-to-me news:
Wow; 0 for 2. Thankfully we have a established legacy media that'll never hassle him over these inconveniences.
On Jan. 21, the day after his inauguration, Obama issued an executive order barring any former lobbyists who join his administration from dealing with matters or agencies related to their lobbying work. Nor could they join agencies they had lobbied in the previous two years.
However, William J. Lynn III, his choice to become the No. 2 official at the Defense Department, recently lobbied for military contractor Raytheon. And William Corr, tapped as deputy secretary at Health and Human Services, lobbied through most of last year as an anti-tobacco advocate. Corr says he will take no part in tobacco matters in the new administration.
This economic stimulus is a joke and little more than a grab bag of goodies that will not come close to what is being pitched from the Oval Office.
Eight hours of debate in the HR to pass a bill spending $820 billion, or roughly $102 billion per hour of debate. Only ten per cent of the "stimulus" to be spent on 2009. Close to half goes to entities that sponsor or employ or both members of the Service
Employees International Union, federal, state, and municipal employee unions, or other Democrat-controlled unions. This bill is sent to Congress after Obama has been in office for seven days. It is 680 pages long.
For the amount spent we could have given every unemployed person in the United States roughly $75,000.
These new “secondary” forests are emerging in Latin America, Asia and other tropical regions at such a fast pace that the trend has set off a serious debate about whether saving primeval rain forest — an iconic environmental cause — may be less urgent than once thought. By one estimate, for every acre of rain forest cut down each year, more than 50 acres of new forest are growing in the tropics on land that as once farmed, logged or ravaged by natural disaster. “There is far more forest here than there was 30 years ago,” said Ms. Ortega de Wing, 64, who remembers fields of mango trees and banana plants.That's because for plenty of environmental non-governmental organizations, outrage is the product of their industry and they'd be lining up for taxpayer money even after 100% of the planet is old-growth forest.
The idea has stirred outrage among environmentalists who believe that vigorous efforts to protect native rain forest should remain a top priority.
What’s troubling about (Senate Banking Committee chairman Christopher) Dodd's scandal isn’t so much that it remains unresolved but that it’s a textbook example of how scandals in Washington are swept under the rug. Indeed, Dodd’s behavior follows an utterly predictable pattern. Thus, National Review Online presents the Christopher Dodd Guide to Managing Political Scandal.I'm asking.
Step 1: Proclaim your innocence. Step 2: Promise exculpatory evidence. Step 3: Hide Behind Your Fellow Congressmen.
While the press and constituents badger Senator Dodd to account for his mortgage, Dodd insists that he doesn’t need to be held publicly accountable because his peers in the Senate are going to make sure that everything is on the up and up. So when is the Senate Ethics Committee expected to pass judgment on Dodd, you ask?
Many human rights activists condemned rendition during the Bush administration, arguing that the government either intentionally transferred individuals to countries so that they would be tortured, or that it could not guarantee the safety of detainees once they were transferred to other countries.
Before-Human Rights Watch, a very respected and passionate defender of civil liberty, was one of the most vocal critics of the CIA's rendition program. In fact, Human Rights Watch prepared a comprehensive document that reports incidents of alleged torture of rendered individuals.
After-Now that the L.A. Times reports that rendition will continue during the Obama administration, Human Rights Watch has apparently altered its position. According to Tom Malinowski, the organization's "Washington advocacy director," the risk of torture and other abuses does not mandate the prophylactic cessation of rendition. Instead "Under limited circumstances, there is a legitimate place" for renditions, said Tom Malinowski, the Washington advocacy director for Human Rights Watch. "What I heard loud and clear from the president's order was that they want to design a system that doesn't result in people being sent to foreign dungeons to be tortured -- but that designing that system is going to take some time."
Whether it's decision on the economy, closing GITMO, or dealing with the Islamic menace, there's something about the Obama presidency that reminds me of the car-chasing dog that one day catches the car and has to ask "Well, now what do I do with it?" Now for the loser:
President Obama's interview with an Islamic television network has filled me with hope. Obama said the United States had made mistakes in the past, but "that the same respect and partnership that America had with the Muslim world as recently as 20 or 30 years ago, there's no reason why we can't restore that." The only question I have is what respect and partnership of the past 20 or 30 years was he referring to?
Was it the respect and partnership the Iranians showed when they stormed the U.S. Embassy in Tehran on Nov. 4, 1979 and took 52 Americans hostage? Was it the bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut on April 18, 1983? Was it the bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut on Oct. 23, 1983? Perhaps he was referring to the bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait on Dec. 12, 1983, or maybe the kidnapping of CIA Station Chief William Buckley on March 16, 1984? Was it the bombing of the U.S. Embassy annex northeast of Beirut on Sept. 9, 1984? Was it the hijacking of Kuwait Airways Flight 221 on Dec. 3, 1984, that resulted in two U.S. officials being murdered? Was it the hijacking of TWA Flight 847 on June 14, 1985, that resulted in the murder of a U.S. sailor on board? How about the hijacking of the cruise ship Achille Lauro on Oct. 7, 1985, that resulted in the death of another innocent American? Was it the bombing of the Rome and Vienna airports on Dec. 12, 1985, that resulted in 20 deaths? Was it the bombing of LaBelle Discotheque, a popular club for off-duty U.S. servicemen, on April 5, 1986, in West Berlin that resulted in more than 200 wounded? Perhaps he was referring to the three Americans shot in Beirut on April 17, 1986? Maybe he meant the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 on Dec. 21, 1988, that resulted in 270 people murdered?
Clearly, when you look back at the past 20 to 30 years, it is obvious that the Muslim world has had the utmost respect and partnership for and with the United States, and then George W. Bush went and screwed it all up. Thank God (Christian, Muslim, or other) that President Obama is here to put things back the way they used to be.
J.P. PAWLUK, GOLDEN VALLEY
I wish I had some spare time because it'd fun to stalk George as he moved through life, whatever that might might look like. As soon as I saw George doing anything that resembled leisure, relaxation or enjoyment, I could run up and bust his hypocrisy with a printed copy of his own dour words and ending his fun at that moment.
Super Bowl XLIII could be viewed as a microcosm of 2009 America, where the rich continue to get richer. The NFL, the team owners, the players, the media and TV reap the financial benefits of the event, while America crumbles around it. For a week, the Tampa area's economy will benefit from the game. This is good. But then the "show" departs, and the area and its citizens will continue their day-to-day battles. Despite tough times, the football fans, being who they are, will see the game as almost a religious experience.
But, when the stadium lights go out on Sunday night, will the country be a better place? Will its citizens be in a better place? No! Will the Super Bowl have benefited anything or anyone other than the entities listed above? No! Jobless numbers will continue to rise; 45 million, including 18 million children, will still be without health insurance; schools will continue to hold bake sales to raise funds; much-needed human services will continue to be cut; veterans and the care they need will continue to be ignored; the causes and cures of deadly diseases will still remain a mystery, and government's indifference toward the average American will continue.
America will not be a better place, nor will Americans be better off, because of Super Bowl XLIII. In the big picture, it's not a very significant event at all. It's just a football game.
GEORGE LARSON, MINNEAPOLIS
This silly splurge essentially bankrupted the city library system and forced it to merge with the partially-redundant Hennipen County Library system. Spreading city-created problems over a wider tax base is a card frequently played by the chuckleheads in the city council.
Well, at the end of the day, at least there's a nice building there, right? Yea, unless it kills you.
The Minneapolis Central Library has closed most of its Nicollet Mall entrance because of icicles forming and falling from the building’s distinctive “wing.” Many people think the design of the building and wing is to blame, and someone should have foreseen this problem. “I think whoever designed this should be held responsible for it,” said Craig Jenkins, who said he visits the library regularly. “They should have known there would be icicles in Minnesota, especially with the way [the wing] was designed.”Sounds like the architect might not have bothered with silly details like the climate in which the library was to be built. Very reminiscent of the new California-designed movie theaters at Rosedale that included neato outdoor ticket windows. Good thinking!
When the building was built, reports said the wing would be equipped with a snow-melting system that would filter runoff and prevent icicles from forming, but Lief said he wasn’t aware of a system like that currently in place. He said the library has hired a consultant and is in the preliminary stages of finding a solution to the problem, but he added that it’s a complicated process.So, one might now ask was a de-icer really put on the roof when the ribbon was cut, or was that just happy talk from city's PR spigot? Now we're going to find a consultant. What'll that cost -I mean, on top of what you paid the rock star architect and his firm?
Another problem aside from falling ice is the blocked entrance and ice debris. “They just block it off and leave it until spring,” Jenkins said. “It’s an inconvenience for any taxpayer.”Walk around, chumps; just keep walking around. And pay you taxes on time, too.