Expensive Lesson for Maine as Health Plan Stalls
By Pam Belluck, The New York Times
Portland, Me., April 23 — When Maine became the first state in years to enact a law intended to provide universal health care, one of its goals was to cover the estimated 130,000 residents who had no insurance by 2009, starting with 31,000 of them by the end of 2005, the program’s first year.
So far, it has not come close to that goal. Only 18,800 people have signed up for the state’s coverage and many of them already had insurance.
The story of Maine’s health program — which tries to control hospital costs, improve the quality of health care and offer subsidized insurance to low-income people — harbors lessons for the country, as covering the uninsured takes center stage. States, including California, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, have unveiled programs of their own, seeking to balance the needs and interests of individuals, employers, insurers and health care providers. (link)
Monday, April 30, 2007
Even here in rural Southwest Virginia, on remote Big Walker Mountain, stories are told of that union cavalry brigade in 1864 that came up the Raleigh Grayson Turnpike that today forms the southern border of my property, on its way to Wythe County to burn the railroad depot as well as the lead mines down near Austinville.
That history should prevent me from pushing a spade into the ground to replace a fence post? Some think so.
A film company executive writes to the Roanoke Times this morning, lamenting the fact that Wal-Mart plans to build a new store outside of Appomattox. On, as you might imagine, historically significant real estate:
Look. Nobody holds dear the history of our great state more than I do. But it's history. There are books written to capture those moments in time. Books. Museums. And more than a few parks.
Wal-Mart advances on Lee's last battlefield
By Robert Lee Hodge
America is in an internal war today; perhaps the biggest threat to the very existence of future generations of this blessed country is the struggle for the future of our lands.
Will the pastures of the family farms and the mountains and valleys of hardwood forests succumb to the asphalt and concrete that overpopulation brings?
As I toured Appomattox last year, I saw that development in historic areas has increased more in the last five years than in the past 142 years since the surrender. Wal-Mart announced this month that it will build on the ground that was fought over primarily by a Federal cavalry brigade under ...
Is it necessary that there be another ... ?(link)
We Virginians need to live for the future, and fight the urge to bind ourselves in the cement of the past.
I say let Wal-Mart build. And, like the store across from Lambeau Field in Green Bay that has a department set up with Packers memorabilia and what-not, the new Appomattox Super Store can feature - and sell - Civil War remembrances, for those who feel the need to touch our history.
And it's not like our politicians can't take a portion of the fantastic tax revenue that will be realized and devote it to the nearby public library, where the Appomattox saga is preserved for all time.
It's history. Put it in its proper place. For our children and grandchildren to enjoy.
A) George W. Bush cut taxes in 2003.
B) The economy is kickin' ass.
Whether you agree that (A) brought about (B) is up to you. But do we really want to chance the proposition that it didn't? Might the opposite have the opposite effect?
Apparently one Democrat wants to chance it:
Edwards pitches Clinton-era taxes
By Stephen Dinan, The Washington Times
San Diego -- Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards said yesterday raising taxes for higher-income families back to their levels under the Clinton administration is a floor, not a ceiling, and he would consider even higher tax increases. (link)
Remember how, in the Clinton years, those "higher income families" liberal Democrats like Edwards talked about, especially those households with more than one wage earner, ended up including most of the middle class? Let's not go there again, please.
I chalk this up to John Edwards knowing that he doesn't have a prayer of ever being nominated by his party so he's playing to the insanely liberal base. And "tax the rich" makes 'em squeal with delight. This'll get him into those cocktail soirees out in L.A.
But for it being sound fiscal policy, we've been down that road. This spells doom for America.
Not that the Democrats care that much anymore about America ...
Sexual Threats Stifle Some Female BloggersA Beretta 9mm and a concealed carry permit will solve that problem, honey.
By Ellen Nakashima, Washington Post Staff Writer
As women gain visibility in the blogosphere, they are targets of sexual harassment and threats. Men are harassed too, and lack of civility is an abiding problem on the Web. But women, who make up about half the online community, are singled out in more starkly sexually threatening terms -- a trend that was first evident in chat rooms in the early 1990s and is now moving to the blogosphere, experts and bloggers said. (link)
But to the point made here, I guess those visitors to this weblog who occasionally tell me what I can do to myself, (though Lord knows why I'd want to) (I still haven't figured out how I'd do it even if I wanted to try) (and whose comments I routinely delete) are leaving less starkly sexual comments?
Either that or women feel more threatened by the lowlife, spineless degenerates among us. All of whom can do the following ...
In Washington D.C. restaurant owners are finding ways to accommodate both groups. And good for them:
Eateries embrace patios to lure exiled smokersOf course, some people will gag at the thought of there being smokers anywhere within the same time zone. And then there are the anti-smoking nazis ...
By Jen Haberkorn, The Washington Times
D.C. restaurants have a big dish of alfresco on the menu for the spring.
An increasing number of restaurants have applied for permits to open sidewalk cafes and allow patrons to dine outside.
The number of sidewalk cafe permits filed with the District's Department of Transportation typically rises with the spring temperatures. But this year, that increase is a lot larger.
Some restaurateurs say the increase can be attributed to the District's smoking ban, which went into effect in January and outlawed smoking in all restaurants and bars, with few exceptions. Whether patrons can smoke on a patio is up to the restaurant owner. (link)
But this is a good thing. Restaurant owners will make a buck, despite their government's worst intentions, smokers can appease their addictions, and those who don't like the taste of Marlboro can eat their foie gras with relaxed contentment.
At least until the Democrats in D.C. get a hold of their legislators ...
'Disturbia' The Be$t Of WorstOuch.
By Tatiana Deligiannakis, The New York Post
April 30, 2007 -- "Disturbia" landed at the top of the box office for the third straight week - beating two new releases without breaking double digits in receipt millions.
The thriller, which stars Shia LaBeouf, brought in $9.1 million - earning a total of $52.2 million - despite a "three-week lull" at the box office, according to studio estimates.
Meanwhile, the teen-ghost drama "The Invisible," with Justin Chatwin, debuted in second place, with $7.6 million in sales.
Nicolas Cage's action movie "Next" took third place, with $7.2 million, a low figure for a star who can typically open a movie with $20 million, Bock said, adding: " 'Next' got nixed by audiences." (link)
I've always enjoyed, well, nearly always enjoyed, Cage's movies. "National Treasure" (which I watched again just the other night), "Matchstick Men," "The Rock," "
Here's hoping Nicholas Cage finds his box office mojo again soon.
I think we would all agree that grandmothers are special. That being a given, knowing that your granny is living in sordid squalor, is barefoot and coexisting with the chickens, is beyond the pale. Especially when you are filthy rich.
A potential campaign slogan he might want to consider:
"Barack Obama: A chicken in every dilapidated, one-room, lice-infested hovel."
Photo (less caption) courtesy of the New York Times
Which voters Mayor Bloomberg thinks he's going to reach out to that every Democrat in the race isn't scrambling to capture wasn't made known.
Sunday, April 29, 2007
We had tons of fun yesterday at the book-signing benefit held in Roanoke for Kevin Jamerson, the Moneta firefighter who was injured on the job and who is facing staggering hospital and medical bills. I took quite a few photos of the event. I'll share a few.
You can see we had a huge turnout of fire equipment from area departments. The response is greatly appreciated.
Author and Roanoke firefighter Lt. Rhett Fleitz is seen here talking to one of the many people who came in to buy his autographed book and chat with him. As you can see, (click on the image to enlarge it) Rhett also pitched in and helped sell some of the merchandise there at the First Due Gear store.
Here, left to right, are the sponsors of the benefit drive, Jarrod and Sarah Fuhrman, and the man of the hour, Kevin Jamerson.
Thanks to everyone, and especially to Sarah and Jarrod, for making this a success. Hopefully we helped pay a few of Kevin's bills.
Thanks also go out to all of you who stopped by. My greatest reward was in being able to chat with you and get to know some of you I've only communicated with via email in the past. Such is the America we've created for ourselves ...
Again, thanks from the bottom of my heart.
Uh, fellas. you've made a mistake. An honest mistake, I'm sure.
"I am still confused as to why they chose to lie and tried to make me a legend when the real heroics of my fellow soldiers that day were, in fact, legendary."
-- Former Army Pvt. Jessica Lynch, testifying about the Pentagon's attempt to paint her as a "female Rambo" after her capture and supposedly dramatic rescue in Iraq. (link)
In her testimony, Lynch never mentioned the Pentagon. Nor did she accuse the military of attempting to do anything with regard to the story that came out after she was released. In fact, if you read the transcript carefully (try your best), you'll see that the only attribution she makes to the fostering of lies is the media.
Here's the pertinent part of her testimony before that Congressional committee on April 25:
When I remember those difficult days, I remember the fear. I remember the strength. I remember the hand of a fellow American soldier reassuring me that I was ok now.Read the whole thing. There is not one mention of the military - or the Pentagon - attempting to "paint her as a 'female Rambo.'" She cites only the media.
At the same time, tales of great heroism were being told. My parent’s home in Wirt County was under siege of the media all repeating the story of the little girl Rambo from the hills who went down fighting.
It was not true.
I have repeatedly said, when asked, that if the stories about me helped inspire our troops and rally a nation, then perhaps there was some good. However, I am still confused as to why they chose to lie and tried to make me a legend when the real heroics of my fellow soldiers that day were, in fact, legendary. People like Lori Piestewa and First Sergeant Dowdy who picked up fellow soldiers in harms way. Or people like Patrick Miller and Sergeant Donald Walters who actually fought until the very end. (my emphasis)
Someone at the Times has allowed his hatred for President Bush to cause him to do bad things here. To make things up. Again.
Carbon-Neutral Is Hip, but Is It Green?
By Andrew C. Revkin, The New York Times
THE rush to go on a carbon diet, even if by proxy, is in overdrive.
In addition to the celebrities — Leo, Brad, George — politicians like John Edwards and Hillary Clinton are now running, at least part of the time, carbon-neutral campaigns. A lengthening list of big businesses — international banks, London’s taxi fleet, luxury airlines — also claim “carbon neutrality.”
Also, a largely unregulated carbon-cutting business has sprung up. In this market, consultants or companies estimate a person’s or company’s output of greenhouse gases. Then, these businesses sell “offsets,” which pay for projects elsewhere that void or sop up an equal amount of emissions — say, by planting trees or, as one new company proposes, fertilizing the ocean so algae can pull the gas out of the air.
But is the carbon-neutral movement just a gimmick?
On this, environmentalists aren’t neutral, and they don’t agree. Some believe it helps build support, but others argue that these purchases don’t accomplish anything meaningful — other than giving someone a slightly better feeling (or greener reputation) after buying a 6,000-square-foot house or passing the million-mile mark in a frequent-flier program. In fact, to many environmentalists, the carbon-neutral campaign is a sign of the times — easy on the sacrifice and big on the consumerism. (link)
That having been said, I'm still trying to get my arms around the purpose behind this New York Times National Enquirer-like exposé:
New Jersey’s Governor Often Wasn’t in New JerseyThe governor, who only days ago was fighting for his life, travels a good bit. Stop the presses.
By David W. Chen, The New York Times
Trenton, April 27 — Long before his devastating car accident, New Jersey Gov. Jon S. Corzine often handed the reins of power to State Senate President Richard J. Codey, as he frequently traveled out of state on business or for pleasure — far more frequently than did his recent predecessors.
Mr. Corzine designated Mr. Codey, a fellow Democrat, for the first time the day after he was inaugurated, for a day trip to Washington on Jan. 18, 2006. Before the April 12 crash on the Garden State Parkway, Mr. Corzine did so most recently for the Easter weekend, to spend time in the Hamptons with his family.
In all, Mr. Codey, or the next official in the line of succession, has been called on to substitute for Mr. Corzine for nearly one in four days of his 15-month governorship, according to official records reviewed by The New York Times. (link)
There's something nefarious behind this. I don't know what it is, but ....
Cause and effect.
Sounds so simple:
A case for more gun controlMcManus makes a very simple argument: There are more guns in circulation in the USA and we have more murders being committed because of it.
By Michael J. McManus, writing in the Washinton Times
Katie Couric asked a legitimate question after the horrific mass murders at Virginia Tech: "Should government impose restrictions on what kind of guns are sold, and to whom? Would these restrictions make us any safer?"
The answer is a resounding yes. Consider the facts.
In 2004, there were 73 firearm murders in all of England and Wales. Seung-hui Cho killed almost half as many 32 plus himself. That was more than half of the 49 gun murders in a year in Cho's native South Korea.
Japan prohibits handguns. Shotguns are strictly regulated, and rifles can be bought only after owning a shotgun for 10 years. Result: only 35 murders and 47 gun suicides in a nation of 127 million.
By contrast, in the United States, 11,344 were shot and killed, plus 16,750 by suicide. That's 343 times Japan's rate. (link)
But correlation does not causation make.
Darned if there isn't a related story in the other Washington paper this morning:
An Armory in Gun-Shy EuropeAnd how about McManus's contention that more guns breed more crime? To his detriment but to our edification, he just had to cite England and Wales:
By Kevin Sullivan, Washington Post Foreign Service
Switzerland, a country of 7.5 million people with an estimated 2 million or more guns in circulation, sits as a heavily armed exception in the heart of Europe, where most countries have strict gun-control laws. Virtually all able-bodied Swiss men are required to serve in the military, which issues them assault rifles or pistols, or both, which they store at home and keep when they leave the service.
No one knows exactly how many guns are in Switzerland -- estimates reach 3 million or more -- in part because military guns have been passed down through generations. The Geneva-based Small Arms Survey estimates that the country has 46 guns per 100 people ... (link)
According to Swiss police, there were 204 homicides in Switzerland in 2005, including 48 that involved guns. That is about the same number of gun-related killings as took place last year in England and Wales, which have strict gun control and a population seven times the size of Switzerland's.Notice it says England and Wales had the same number of homicides in a country with seven times the population. To draw a fair conclusion from that stat, Mike, more guns equal fewer murders. If we want to draw overly simple conclusions.
So. What have we learned? Two things:
● There is no causal relationship necessarily between gun proliferation and homicide.
● There are no simple answers to Virginia Tech. Mike.
Ex-Senator Injured in Chicago MuggingExpect to read the following editorial in the liberal Roanoke Times tomorrow morning:
By Herbert G. McCann, Associated Press Writer
Chicago (AP) -- Former U.S. senator and presidential candidate Carol Moseley Braun suffered a broken wrist when a mugger tried to steal her purse, authorities said Saturday.
Braun, 59, was standing at her front door late Friday when an assailant came out of the bushes and tried to take her purse, said her spokesman, Kevin Lampe. When Braun resisted, the man pulled a knife and cut the strap of the purse.
During the struggle, Braun fell, fracturing her left wrist. She was later treated and a released from a hospital. (link)
Virginia should have closed its gun-show loophole, long ago. Perhaps the mugging of a former United States senator will finally convince state lawmakers of that.I can't wait.
No, the mugger did not buy a handgun at a gun show. Nor did he use a gun in the commission of his crime
Saturday, April 28, 2007
The boys over at the Roanoke Times
"Virginia should have closed its gun-show loophole, long ago. Perhaps mass murder at Virginia Tech will finally convince state lawmakers of that."The shooter didn't buy his weapons at a gun show - so we should pass a gun show law. Using that logic, we should demand, as a result of Cho Seung-Hui's heinous act:
No, the shooter, Seung-Hui Cho, did not buy his handguns at a gun show.
Still ... (link)
● ... a law requiring dog licenses for all pets
● ... boxers rather than briefs
● ... a ban on sugar-free ice cream
● ... that Phil get kicked off American Idol or be required to wear a wig
● ... that the Roanoke Times quit killing trees just to print such idiocy ...
For the love of God.
Apparently a lot of people up in D.C. have taken his campaign to heart. They're scooping up those big luxurious SUV's like there ain't no tomorrow (perhaps they saw "An Inconvenient Truth," found out there ain't no tomorrow, and have decided to go out with a smile).
I'll bet the shopping carts coming out of the Wal-Mart in Alexandria are chock full of curlicue lightbulbs too. Call it the balance of nature.
Area sales of luxury SUVs in high gearOh, that's right. The affluent are exempt from Affluent Al's providential proscriptions. It's us poor schmucks who are supposed to be paying five bucks for that light bulb.
By Bryce Baschuk, The Washington Times
The sport utility market may be down nationally, but some Washington-area auto dealers say their SUV sales are just fine.
"Our [Cadillac] Escalade sales have not stopped, it is our best-selling SUV," said David Marshall, a sales manager at Capital Hummer in Greenbelt.
"The clientele that buys Escalades can afford it, so gas doesn't seem to be an issue," he said.
Local SUV dealers attribute their continued sales to the economic stability of the Washington region.
"This area is very affluent and ... (link)
I wonder if Wal-Mart will allow me to run a tab...
Plumping 'Out': Lesbians Face Higher Obesity RiskNow if someone could come up with a study to explain Rosie's lapses into bouts of uncontrolled mental vacuity ...
April 28, 2007 -- Lesbians are twice as likely as heterosexual women to be overweight or obese, researchers said.
The report, in the American Journal of Public Health, is one of the first large studies to look at obesity in lesbians.
Ulrike Boehmer of the Boston University School of Public Health and colleagues looked at a 2002 national survey of almost 6,000 women, and found lesbians were 2.69 times more likely to be overweight and 2.47 times more likely to be obese. (link)
Thus far, in his short term in office, ultra-liberal Spitzer has proposed two major pieces of legislation. Neither of which has to do with fiscal matters.
The first involves abortion.
And now gay marriage:
Eliot Unveils Bill To Let Gays Tie KnotThe difference between Dean's attack on Republicans' obsession with "God, guns, and gays" and this proposal is in the fact that Dean, Spitzer, and their fellow liberals don't see this as being divisive. All their friends agree with the move(s).
April 28, 2007 -- Albany - Gov. Spitzer, following through on a campaign pledge, unveiled a bill yesterday to legalize gay marriage in New York.
The move by Spitzer drew praise from supporters of gay marriage.
"Today is a watershed moment in our community's struggle to win the freedom to marry in New York," said Alan Van Capelle, executive director of the Empire State Pride Agenda. (link)
Remember this. Use it.
But Howard Dean, moral arbiter of the Democratic Party, has a major problem with Rudy Giuliani's past. Why does this ring sorta hollow?
Dem Dean Flings Dirt At RudyAnd Bill Clinton is a saint.
By Carl Campanile, The New York Post
April 28, 2007 -- Rudy Giuliani's stormy personal life will be a "serious" liability
in his campaign for president, Democratic National Committee boss Howard Dean charged yesterday.
"His personal life is a serious problem for him," Dean said in a CNN interview, adding that Giuliani "has a lot of character issues."
Dean refused to discuss the specifics of Giuliani's personal woes, but ... (link)
From Robert Novak, whose column appears this morning in the New York Post:
Sen. Chuck Hagel, facing opposition from the right wing of the Nebraska Republican Party, is expected to decide within the next 21/2 months what he will do in 2008: run for president, seek a third term in the Senate or neither.Unlike Senator John Warner here in Virginia, Chuck Hagel isn't so much the liberal as he is a weirdo. Still, it's good to see a conservative stepping up to challenge Hagel's wayward meanderings into leftdom.
Hagel has been testing the presidential waters in Iowa and New Hampshire over the past several months. He would be the only major Republican presidential prospect who opposes President Bush's Iraq war policy.
His stance on the war may force a contested Nebraska primary against Hagel, who has been the state's most popular Republican in a generation. State Attorney General Jon Bruning has withdrawn his earlier support for Hagel and indicated he may run against him for the Republican nomination for the Senate. (link)
Who here has the cojones?
And the concept of hate? Well, they denounce it in no uncertain terms.
But let a black Anglican archbishop step foot in these United States and watch their seething wrath pour forth. These Princes of Peace become Vaders of Darth:
Visit by Anglican Bishop Draws Episcopal AngerYou may remember, all this began out of an interest in compassion. A desire to be inclusive.
By Neela Banerjee, The New York Times
Washington, April 27 —The Anglican archbishop of Nigeria, a fierce critic of the Episcopal Church for its acceptance of homosexuality, is arriving next week to install a bishop to lead congregations around the country that want to break from it.
Episcopal leaders say the visit threatens to strain further the already fragile relations between their church and the rest of the worldwide Anglican Communion. But Episcopal traditionalists say there is a growing desire among them to break away. A decision by the Episcopal Church in 2003 to consecrate an openly gay priest, V. Gene Robinson, as the bishop of New Hampshire profoundly alienated those theological traditionalists, and most of the Anglican Communion overseas, who contend that the Bible condemns homosexuality.
The Nigerian archbishop, Peter J. Akinola, will preside over a ceremony in Virginia on May 5 installing Martyn Minns, former rector of an Episcopal church there, as the bishop of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America, an offshoot of the Nigerian church.
The convocation was created in part to oversee congregations that no longer want to be in the Episcopal Church but would like to remain in the Anglican Communion. (link)
If it becomes any more compassionate, the Episcopal Church hierarchy will be taking up arms and burning people at the stake. Again.
Can't you just feel the love?
Economy at Its Slowest in 4 YearsBest guesses predict a rebound from this slow start.
By Eduardo Porter and Jeremy W. Peters, The New York Times
Economic growth slowed to its weakest pace in four years during the first three months of 2007, underscoring how the persistent slump in the housing market continued to serve as a drag on the American economy.
In its first estimate of economic growth for the quarter, the Commerce Department said the nation’s gross domestic product, the most comprehensive measure of overall economic activity, expanded 1.3 percent for the quarter, barely over half the rate recorded in the final quarter of last year. (link)
But the Democrats don't need to be rocking the boat right now. Reinstate the tax cuts.
Had Imus only been a darling of the liberal elite in this country ...
If he were, perhaps this writer for the New York Times would have come to his defense too, and begged him to stay on the air:
Under Fire, an Actor Lashes Back With a PlanGet that part about the publicity being bad for Baldwin's kid? Never mind the threats. Never mind the hatred. Never mind the rage. Never mind the fact that this animal called his own daughter a pig. Never mind the fact that this little girl's life is in danger.
By Alessandra Stanley, The New York Times
The fate of “30 Rock” looks dire. Alec Baldwin said on “The View” yesterday that he wanted to quit that NBC sitcom to write a book about “parental alienation.”
For the good of viewers — and readers — Mr. Baldwin must not leave the show.
His performance yesterday suggests that he may need some persuading to stay with the sitcom, in which he is brilliant, and away from talk show couches, where he is anything but.
It’s certainly in the best interest of the child. As bad as all the publicity over her father’s ranting voice-mail message must be for 11-year-old Ireland, she will have to live it all over again if her father quits show business. The book reviews — let alone the stand-up comedy routines — would surely inflict even more emotional damage.
Mr. Baldwin told Barbara Walters and Rosie O’Donnell that he wanted to devote his life to exposing the injustices perpetrated on divorced dads, and that he hoped ... (link)
The eleven-year old should be concerned about the publicity.
And the Times correspondent doesn't want to lose Baldwin. It would be bad for the TV production.
How utterly contemptible.
Listen to this recording of Alec Baldwin snarling accusations and threats aimed at his own daughter. An act for which he should be locked up. TV ratings be damned.
* requires media player
In Apparel, All Tariffs Aren’t Created Equal
By Michael Barbaro, The New York Times
Congress, it turns out, plays fashion favorites.
Take bathing suits. It slaps a 28 percent tax on men’s imports, but just 12 percent on women’s. Or overalls. The government imposes a 14 percent tariff on women’s, but only 9 percent on men’s.
There is no apparent pattern to the tariffs, which penalize men in some instances, and women in others. But the fees tacked onto clothing, shoes and swimwear as they enter the country’s ports may be the last legal form of sex discrimination in the United States, approved year after year by lawmakers and passed on to consumers.
For decades, apparel companies have grudgingly tolerated the peculiar disparities, writing them off as a vestige of smoke-filled, backroom trade negotiations.
But now, several major apparel makers, like Steve Madden, Asics and Columbia Sportswear, are challenging the tariffs in lawsuits against the federal government that have broad implications for the clothing industry, not to mention the battle of the sexes. (link)
Our courts these days seem to be involved in all aspects of the legislative process but this is clearly beyond their realm of authority. Because of something called the Constitution, the judiciary should butt out.
Key words (in clause 3): "To regulate commerce." In other words to shape, to adjust, to fix.
Article I, Section 8
Clause 1: The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
Clause 3: To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes (source)
The courts should reject this petition forthwith.
Your civics lesson for today.
Friday, April 27, 2007
Panel Seeks Records of Political Briefings at AgenciesDon't worry. The Democrats will get around to substantive matters soon. Like their push to enact that Equal Rights Amendment they launched. Three decades ago.
By R. Jeffrey Smith, Washington Post Staff Writer
A House committee chairman asked 27 federal departments and agencies yesterday to turn over information related to White House briefings about elections or political candidates, substantially widening the scope of a congressional investigation into the administration's compliance with the law that restricts partisan political activity by government employees.
Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, made the requests after the White House acknowledged that ... (link)
A letter to the editor of the Roanoke Times this morning highlights the response to the massacre of 32 innocent human beings on the Virginia Tech campus last Monday that I predicted only hours after the horrific event occurred. See "Fewer, not more guns" here. Id est:
● Guns killed all those people.
● Not one mention of the psychopath who pulled the trigger.
Pavlov would be smiling.
Well, in a nostalgic sort of way, it's good to know that a few of those crazy feminists are apparently still alive (and, with the advancements made in recent years in plastic surgery, hopefully in better spirits). And still beating that long-dead horse:
Why We Need an ERA
The Gender Gap Runs Deep in American Law
By Martha Burk and Eleanor Smeal, writing in the Washington Post
Some members of Congress are looking to do something long overdue: pass the Equal Rights Amendment. Recently renamed the Women's Equality Amendment and introduced by its chief sponsors, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), the amendment would grant equal constitutional rights to women -- something we have yet to achieve. This simple concept had the blessing of both political parties until the Republicans struck it from their platform in 1980, with the Democrats following suit in 2004. (link)
You may remember Martha Burk, one of the persons providing us with this excursion into the past. She's the gal who captured the hearts of the mainstream press when she called for a national march on the Augusta National Golf Club (because it wouldn't admit women as members) a number of years ago and all of five - or so - people showed up to protest.
Well, Martha's still alive and kicking. And she still has her causes. And, I'll bet, the same following. With her, Smeal, Kennedy, and Maloney making four, with just two more to sign on to this ancient notion, her rallying cry will have assembled a gathering of activists that dwarfs her effort at Augusta National. As Randy Jackson would say: You go, dog.
These guys bring back a flood of fond memories: Feminists. Horse and carriage. Gas lights. Top hats and hoop skirts. Ah, the good old days.
Resign nowIt's good to see that I'm not the only person who sees Reid as a lightweight among lightweights.
By Barry Casselman, writing in the Washinton Times
In two recently published articles, one by the dean of the nation's political commentators, David Broder, and the other by the independent Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, the statement by Sen. Harry Reid that "the war [in Iraq] is lost" is revealed both as wrong-headed in the extreme, and mortally wounding his own party as it approaches the upcoming presidential election.
With Mr. Reid's recent declaration that all is lost, he has unilaterally taken on the onus of responsibility by his party for the blame of defeat.
Mr. Reid should resign immediately as majority leader of the Senate. As Mr. Broder has pointed out, there is no way to perceive his comments in a constructive or justifiable way, nor is there the slightest evidence that he will not continue to make blunder after blunder. He just is not up to the job. (link)
I'm not, however, ready to call for his resignation. Reid does, after all, represent his party so very well.
Subpoenaed Rice says panel knows her answersMs. Rice is not obligated to honor a Congressional subpoena. Especially this one that is a waste of her time - she is, after all, trying to help run the country (not to mention this wasting our time - we pay numbskulls like committee chairman Henry Waxman handsomely to get things done, rather than waste our time and money on issues that were dealt with years ago).
The Associated Press
Oslo (AP) -- Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said yesterday that she has already answered the questions that she has been subpoenaed to answer before a congressional committee and suggested that she is not inclined to comply with the order.
Miss Rice said she would respond by mail to questions from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on the Bush administration's prewar claims about Saddam Hussein's seeking weapons of mass destruction, but indicated that she would not appear in person.
"I am more than happy to answer them again in a letter," she told reporters in Oslo, where she is attending a meeting of NATO foreign ministers. (link)
Condi has learned how to deal with the Democrats and their witch-hunts. A lesson that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales needs to absorb. She ignores them, and focuses on that which she was sent to Washington to accomplish.
Condoleezza Rice. My kinda woman.
There's only one problem with that strategery:
U.S. general calls al Qaeda 'public enemy No. 1' in IraqJohn Edwards and his deep-thinking pals in the Democratic Party demand that we pull our troops out of Iraq so that we can focus on Al Qaeda. Leaving Iraq to Al Qaeda.
By Bill Gertz, The Washington Times
The commander of U.S. forces in Iraq said yesterday that al Qaeda terrorists are behind the recent spate of deadly car bombings and are now "public enemy No. 1" in the country.
Army Gen. David H. Petraeus told reporters at the Pentagon that while there is noticeable progress in fighting insurgents and terrorists, the struggle to stabilize the country is difficult and will require a continued commitment of American forces and other resources. Al Qaeda in Iraq is "a very significant enemy," Gen. Petraeus said.
"I think it is probably public enemy No. 1," he said. "It is the enemy whose actions sparked the enormous increase in sectarian violence that did so much damage to Iraq in 2006, the bombing of the Al Askari Mosque in Samarra, the gold-domed mosque there, the third-holiest Shia shrine. And it is the organization that continues to try to reignite not just sectarian violence but ethnic violence, as well, going after Iraqi Kurds in Nineveh province and Kirkuk and areas such as that as well." (link)
Suppose these guys have any idea how stupid they come across?
Durbin kept silent on prewar knowledgeDurbin is, of course, lying through his teeth. But hindsight makes for very clear vision into the past. A past that he swore to keep secret.
By Sean Lengell, The Washington Times
The Senate's No. 2 Democrat says he knew that the American public was being misled into the Iraq war but remained silent because he was sworn to secrecy as a member of the intelligence committee.
"The information we had in the intelligence committee was not the same information being given to the American people. I couldn't believe it," Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin, Illinois Democrat, said Wednesday when talking on the Senate floor about the run-up to the Iraq war in 2002.
"I was angry about it. [But] frankly, I couldn't do much about it because, in the intelligence committee, we are sworn to secrecy. We can't walk outside the door and say the statement made yesterday by the White House is in direct contradiction to classified information that is being given to this Congress."
He cited the White House's claim that Iraq was trying to acquire aluminum tubes needed for a nuclear weapons program -- details of which have since been declassified -- as an example of bad intelligence, saying that there was an ongoing debate within the administration as it was being used in public. (link)
So much for Democrats and their promises.
Ugh, We're FrenchSays a lot, I think.
New York Post Wire Services
April 27, 2007 -- C'est ne pas possible! The French hate themselves even more than everyone does.
Fourty-four percent of French people think ill of themselves according to a poll by the International Herald Tribune and France 24 TV. Thirty-eight percent of Americans polled had a negative view of them, as did 33 percent of Brits, 29 of Spaniards, 25 of Italians and 14 of Germans. (link)
If another poll had been conducted however, we'd probably find that the French hate everyone else too. They are, after all, who they are.
General Says Iraq Pullback Would Increase Violence
Senate Passes Bill Seeking Iraq Exit; Veto Is Expected
They want out. No matter how many get slaughtered.
Thursday, April 26, 2007
"The challenge before us ... is whether we respond to al-Qaeda's barbarism by running away, as it hopes we do -- abandoning the future of Iraq, the Middle East and ultimately our own security to the very people responsible for last week's atrocities -- or whether we stand and fight.
To me, there is only one choice that protects America's security -- and that is to stand, and fight, and win."
"One Choice in Iraq," Washington Post, April 26, 2007
Guns and More GunsDude, if the NRA has been able to "silence every legislature in this country" and prevent the enactment of gun control laws, how do you explain the fact that we now have, according to the leading expert on the subject, 20,000 gun laws on the books at the federal, state and local levels?*
New York Times editorial
By now, the logic is almost automatic. A shooter takes innocent lives, and someone says that if the victims had been armed, this wouldn’t have happened. The only solution to a gun in the wrong hands, it seems, is a gun in the hands of everyone.
That’s the state of the debate over gun control today. The National Rifle Association and the gun lobby have silenced every legislature in this country. Instead of stricter laws, tighter controls and better background checks, the gun lobby proposes more guns. And what the gun lobby proposes, lawmakers deliver. (link)
20,000 laws and Cho Seung-Hui was still able to slaughter 32 innocent Americans at Virginia Tech last Monday. What, we're to believe that, had we only had that 20,001st law in place, he would have been prevented from committing that heinous act?
Please. We find you no longer amusing.
* I had earlier reported there to be only 10,000 gun laws on the books. I was off by half.
Our elected representatives have apparently tired of the everyday task of legislating and have taken on the role of private
Flexing Muscles, Democrats Issue 3 Subpoenas
By Neil A. Lewis and Eric Lipton, The New York Times
Washington, April 25 — In a vivid display of their new power, Democrats across Capitol Hill on Wednesday approved a flurry of subpoenas to fuel a series of investigations of the Bush administration.
The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform issued three subpoenas in quick order. One was to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to answer questions about the administration’s prewar claims about Iraq’s weapons programs and two were to the Republican National Committee and its chairman to be questioned about whether the party’s e-mail system was used by Bush officials to conceal some of their actions. (link)
Since the Democrats have decided to not do anything constructive ever again, do we still have to pay them
Well, it's a lesson that the folks at Nissan apparently now need to be taught:
Sales grow 7%. Profits decline 54%. I don't think that's how it's supposed to work.
Nissan's 1Q Profit Plunges 54 Percent
By The Associated Press
Tokyo (AP) -- Nissan's profit plunged 54 percent in the January-March quarter, contributing to its first drop in annual profit in seven years -- the first such setback under the leadership of Carlos Ghosn, who salvaged the Japanese automaker from collapse.
Group net profit at Nissan Motor Co. for the quarter through March 31 totaled 70.6 billion yen ($595 million), down from 152.4 billion yen, as job reduction costs and higher taxes offset improved sales. Quarterly sales rose 7 percent to 2.8 trillion yen ($23.6 billion). (link)
Hey, Nissan, put me in charge. I can get you guys record sales, if selling your cars doesn't require that we turn a profit ...
Presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani came out swinging Tuesday, accusing the Democrats of being cowards and predicting that, should one of them be elected commander in chief, that he - or she - would "wave the white flag" of surrender.
And, in reaction to being bitchslapped, like whining children, how those cowards do howl:
Giuliani Broadens His Message on TerrorismThe Democrats don't want to be perceived as being weak. I'll pause for your chuckle to pass.
By Marc Santora, The New York Times
Manchester, N.H., April 25 — In his two months on the campaign trail, the central animating theme of Rudolph W. Giuliani’s presidential campaign has been that his performance as New York mayor on Sept. 11, 2001, makes him the best candidate to keep the United States safe from terrorists.
But when Mr. Giuliani broadened that message here on Tuesday night, saying that Democrats “do not understand the full nature and scope of the terrorist war against us” and that if they were elected the United States would suffer “more losses,” the response from his Democratic rivals was swift and pointed.
In his speech before Republicans here on Tuesday night, Mr. Giulani called the fight against terrorism “the defining conflict of our time.” If a Democrat were elected president, he said, they would “wave the white flag” in Iraq, cut back on surveillance of terrorists, restrict the ability of law enforcement officials to gather intelligence and limit interrogation techniques, curtailing their effectiveness.
The Democrats’ rapid response reflected a desire among their candidates not to let themselves be painted as weak, as many party loyalists believe occurred in 2004. (link)
I got news for these Conan wanna-bes. Their wimpish squeals of indignation, along with their incessant and ignobly timid implorings that we cut and run from the global terrorist threat, make them look like wienies, the likes of which Rudy Giuliani couldn't begin to effect.
I am Democrat; hear me roar.
Had the Supreme Court not acted rashly, the various states would have sorted the issue out on their own.
Finally, after so many tumultuous years, and so many deaths, we are beginning to move in that direction once again:
The people of New York apparently want to maintain their abortion-on-demand arrangement. Let them.
Spitzer Pushing Bill to Shore Up Abortion Rights
By Danny Hakim, The New York Times
Albany, April 25 — [New York] Gov. Eliot Spitzer said Wednesday that he planned to introduce legislation to overhaul the state’s pioneering but antiquated abortion law, shoring up abortion rights in New York.
The proposal follows the United States Supreme Court’s decision last week to uphold the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, at a time when several other states are moving to tighten restrictions on abortion.
New York took an early role in legalizing abortion, and the governor’s plan ... (link)
But the rest of us shouldn't be forced, by judicial decree - this is still America, after all - to live the way New Yorkers live.
A concept the Supreme Court, three decades ago, failed to grasp.
War Bill Passes House, Requiring an Iraq PulloutThe commander of our army in the field tells our representatives what he needs to win the war. They refuse him. Never in the history of this country has this happened. The Democrats are an ongoing disgrace.
By Carl Hulse and Jeff Zeleny, The New York Times
Washington, April 25 — The House on Wednesday narrowly approved a $124 billion war spending bill that would require American troops to begin withdrawing from Iraq by Oct. 1, setting the stage for the first veto fight between President Bush and majority Democrats.
Only hours after Gen. David H. Petraeus, the commander in Iraq, told lawmakers he needed more time to gauge the effectiveness of a troop buildup there, the House voted 218 to 208 to pass a measure that sought the removal of most combat forces by next spring. Mr. Bush has said unequivocally and repeatedly that he will veto it. (link)
Toeing the line, and bringing up the rear, ever the good toady, is our Congressman, Rick Boucher.
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
If not, go there now.
Are we to laugh or cry?
Kaine eyes changes in mental health rulesYeah. Let's share information. That'll keep crazy people from walking the streets and wreaking their delusional vengeance on our unsuspecting and undeserving loved ones.
The Associated Press
Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine said yesterday that changing the state's mental-illness reporting procedures could close the loophole that allowed Seung-hui Cho to buy the guns he used to kill 32 persons at Virginia Tech.
Federal law bars the sale of guns to people who have been judged mentally defective. But it is up to states to report their legal proceedings to the federal government for inclusion in the database used to conduct background checks on prospective gun buyers.
"Whether they are committed or required to get outpatient treatment, I think once there's an adjudication that they're mentally ill and they pose a danger to themselves or others, that is the kind of information that should be shared, we believe, with the national database," Mr. Kaine told WTOP Radio. (link)
I think enough information has been shared in the last week, Tim. How about we start dealing with the problem - psychopaths being allowed to live in our midst and inflict grievous harm on our way of life.
Share information. Give me a break.