Saturday, September 01, 2007
As long as it's not me.
This whine in yesterday's Charleston (WV) Gazette about middle-class Americans not having "free" health care being made available to them through a federally mandated Children's Health Insurance Program reminded me of something I picked up from an article I read the other day in Cigar Aficionado. It had to do with cigar smokers being the latest target - of many - of government-largesse-at-the-point-of-a-gun.
Unfortunately, there is no on-line version of the column but I found a similar one - via the magic of google - in a recent issue of the St. Petersburg Times:
Cigarmakers in a panicA 20,000% tax increase.
The federal tax on each cigar could rise from 5 cents to $10.
By James Thorner
Eric Newman punches the numbers on his calculator and gapes at the results one more time.
It's no mathematical error: The federal government has proposed raising taxes on premium cigars, the kind Newman's family has been rolling for decades in Ybor City, by as much as 20,000 percent.
As part of an increase in tobacco taxes designed to pay for children's health insurance, the nickel-per-cigar tax that has ruled the industry could rise to as much as $10 per cigar.
"I'm not sure in the history of man, since our forefathers founded the country in 1776, that there's ever been a tax increase of 20,000 percent," said Newman, who runs the Tampa business founded by grandfather Julius Caesar Newman. "They had the Boston Tea Party for less than this." (link)
To pay for health insurance.
For the middle-class.
What are we doing to each other?
So it is with sadness, but at the same time a bit of exhilaration on my part, that Tony Snow announced to the press that he's leaving the White House:
Snow out, Perino in at White House post
By Jon Ward, The Washington Times
White House press secretary Tony Snow resigned yesterday, leaving the Bush administration without its top communicator heading into a fall showdown with Democrats over the Iraq war and spending.
"I ran out of money," said Mr. Snow, a father of three who left a lucrative job at Fox News for the $168,000 a year job. "We took out a loan when I came to the White House, and that loan is now gone." (link)
But who is this Perino person? Why have I been overcome with a sense of exhilaration with Tony's announcement?
Fellas, we now have this ...
... to deal with this:
The stuff dreams are made of.
If you were thinking Dick Cheney - forget it. He's already signaled the media that he doesn't give two squirts what lies they print aboout him. He's not going anywhere.
No. It looks like they'd prefer a more inviting target. Another one they can inflict damage upon. To wit:
As Her Star Wanes, Rice Tries to Reshape Legacy
By Helene Cooper, The New York Times
There was a time when, perhaps more than Hillary Rodham Clinton or Barack Obama, Condoleezza Rice seemed to have the best shot at becoming the first woman or the first African-American to be president. But that was before she sounded public alarms based on faulty intelligence to justify the Iraq war, telling CNN, “We don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.” It was before a former top Bush administration colleague, David Kay, charged with finding unconventional weapons after the Iraq invasion, referred to Ms. Rice in Bob Woodward’s “State of Denial” as “probably the worst national security adviser since the office was created.”
And it was before furious Lebanese hung a huge banner depicting Ms. Rice’s face, with blood dripping from her lips, from a bridge in central Beirut.
... a lot of her gloss has diminished under the steady drumbeat of exposés and tell-all books about the unraveling of the Bush administration and specifically about her inability, as national security adviser, to effectively arbitrate the running turf war between Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld over Iraq policy, a war which she, and President Bush, allowed Mr. Rumsfeld to win. (link)
That's the big charge against her, by the way. Condi Rice "allowed" the Secretary of Defense to "win" an argument. Pretty weak, by most rational, fair-minded peoples' standards.
More importantly, think back to all the bumbling fools that Bill Clinton had in his cabinet - Janet Reno, Madeleine Albright, Joycelyn Elders, Les Aspin. These people - none of whom came under criticism from this same New York Times for being total incompetents - made Condoleezza Rice look like an absolute wunderkind. Which she is.
But you'll never know it if you get your news from the mainstream media.
To them, she's but the next target. Red meat.
Too bad. So sad.
From the day he took over the Duke lacrosse rape case, Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong charged forward with a strident determination that the guilty would end up in jail. Ultimately, the since-disgraced former prosecutor only succeeded at putting himself behind bars."Judge Sends Duke Prosecutor to Jail," The Associated Press, September 1, 2007
* "Nifong was sentenced Friday to a single day in jail, having been held in criminal contempt of court for lying to a judge during his pursuit of rape charges against the three falsely accused lacrosse players."
From Scott at Powerline:
I pity the poor schmuck who actually drops something on the floor or brushes up against someone else in a public men's room - anywhere in the USA - right now. He's liable to get his ass kicked.
The eagles have landed
As luck would have it, our departure gate at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport took us past the Northwest Crossing men's restroom that Senator Craig made famous. We waited until our arrival at Midway to use the facilities. Off to the panel on Dred Scott at 150.
JOHN adds: I passed through the airport this morning, too. I'm still not clear on what rest room they're talking about, so I avoided them all. (link)
Tolerance is one thing. To have to put up with these degenerates while trying to relieve oneself is another.
We're in a surly mood. So be forewarned. Do your business and leave.
There'll be much said and written about specific recommendations in the days to come. And the mainstream media will hype portions of the report ad nauseum, especially those that have to do with disarming the law-abiding public.
So the NRA has responded with a rebuttal to that part of the panel's report. I reproduce it in full here because it is of great importance that rational consideration be given to these recommendations and all related facts and circumstances be included:
Panel On Virginia Tech Murders Pushes Anti-Gun Agenda.
Yesterday, the “Virginia Tech Review Panel” released its report on April’s horrific mass murder on campus. Most media attention has rightly focused on failures of communication. These include failures to share information between university officials, mental health counselors, campus police, and killer Seung Hui Cho’s parents, as well as the university’s failure to promptly notify students, faculty and staff promptly about the first two shootings on campus. Yet while the panel effectively reviewed those issues, it used its chapter on “Gun Purchase and Campus Policies” to promote an anti-gun agenda that has no relationship to this spring’s tragedy. Many of its findings and
recommendations are contradictory; none would have had an effect on Cho’s rampage.
● The panel claims it “knows of no case in which a shooter in campus homicides has been shot or scared off by a student or faculty member with a weapon.” The panel ignores the appendix to its own report, which mentions the 2002 incident at Appalachian School of Law in nearby Grundy, Va., where three students confronted and physically subdued a fellow student who had killed three people. The appendix, like most media reports at the time, doesn’t mention two of the three students who stopped the attack were armed. .
● The report claims people carrying guns pose a high risk of accidental shootings and suicides, or of misbehavior due to bad temper, intoxication, or other abuse. But the panel ignores 20 years of overwhelming data on law-abiding citizens who carry firearms in Right-to-Carry states. Instead, it supports its argument by noting that off-duty police officers are arrested each year for assault. Would the panel suggest disarming the police?
● The panel calls for new restrictions on firearm sales, including those at gun shows—though the panel itself describes how Cho received his guns in an over-the-counter transaction at a gun store.
● The panel discusses the now expired federal limit on magazine capacity. It concludes “that 10-round magazines that were legal [under the 1994-2004 ban] would have not [sic] made much difference in the incident. Even pistols with rapid loaders [sic] could have been about as deadly in this situation.” But just a page later, the panel contradicts itself, concluding that “[h]aving the ammunition in large capacity magazines facilitated [Cho’s] killing spree.” .