Saturday, November 29, 2008

Meet Michelle

Super Superintendent Michelle Rhee is changing the public schools in Washington D.C.

Change Barack Obama believes in. (But not enough to send his own kids there.)

In the meantime, Rhee's two kids go to public school. Thanks to her high expectations and no-nonsense demands of teachers, more and more kids are actually learning.

Someone from Chester ought to take a look.

Flip-Flopping on Public Safety

Mark Steyn makes fun of London's new campaign to protect drunk women from their own footwear.

He says the photo of the police superintendent with the cure is worth a click. He's right.

Reminds us of Hot Fuzz. You want a laugh? Rent it.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Lori Drew: Lethal Internet Bully

So what do you do with a 49-year-old woman who pretended to be a teenage boy on the Internet in order to embarrass a teenage girl she suspected of being mean to her own teenage daughter, leading the girl to commit suicide?

You give her a slap on the wrist, that's what you do. And you leave the rest to the blogging community.

Barbarians at the Gates

Obama's prospective choices for his war cabinet are a disappointment to the anti-war left.


Money Q:

"If reports are correct, on Monday the President-elect will ask Robert Gates to stay on as Secretary of Defense and name retired Marine General James Jones as National Security Adviser. These are the Administration posts most critical to the successful conduct of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and to possible entanglements with Iran, North Korea and who knows who else. With these personnel picks, Mr. Obama reveals a bias for competence, experience and continuity. Hence the caterwauls from his left flank."

We guess Joe Sestak is too valuable in Congress for Obama to make part of his team. That, and he - like Obama - got it wrong on the surge.

As the edit points out, by keeping Gates, if things go wrong, Obama won't get as much flak from Republicans. Smart.

Da' Birds: Too Little, Too Late?

Go figure. But reports of Donovan McNabb's death were greatly exaggerated.

Nothing's Coming Up Rosie

If you've been wondering what Rosie has been up to since leaving The View... it's this..

A rather colossal failure. No audience, bad reviews. As the NYT put it "hokey comedy with an enemies list."

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Corporate Jet Outrage

Former Baseball Commissioner Fay Vincent doesn't defend the use of corporate jets so much as he mocks the hypocrisy and jealously of those politicians and others who foment outrage over them.

We learn that billionaire Warren Buffett named his private jet "The Indefensible." Clever that. Just who does he have to defend himself on how he chooses to spend his own money? This is the same guy who argues for higher taxes for the wealthy but shields his own dough from those taxes.

I remember seeing Bill Gates sitting in the Seattle airport some years back waiting for the same plane I was.

What I remember thinking was this: If I were a billionaire I'd have my own jet. What an idiot!

Of course, this was before the whole global warming craze.

Gates, has smartened up since then and gotten his own. His carbon footprint be damned.

MORE: At least the auto executives are being shamed into getting rid of a few of their corporate rides. They have nothing to do with improving the fiscal health of the U.S. car industry, but won't that make you feel better about the Democrats giving them billions in taxpayer green?

Boris Becomes Bullwinkle

Drudge headline:


Bullwinkle: "Hey Rocky, watch me pull a theory out my butt."

Rocky: "Again?"

MORE: And for those too young to remember the real BORIS...

Babe D'Iganazio R.I.P.

Babe D'Ignazio, owner and inventor of the Towne House restaurant in Media, has died.

His family does an excellent job of explaining to our Paul Luce who Babe was and what he did in his 90 years on earth.

The Towne House lives on.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Pardon Me Sir...

Unlike Bill Clinton, George Bush issues his pardons long before his last day in office.

Anyone want to complain? Marc Rich? Eric Holder? Anyone? Bueller?

From the Dark Clouds, Silver Lining Department

Let's see, which would you rather have $2 a gallon gasoline or the value of your 401k not cut by a third?

And Now We Return to Our Regularly Scheduled Broadcasting

WaPo's Richard Cohen says Obama is perfect for Goldilocks, not too hot and not too cold, just right (or left).

Money Q:

"He has always remained ironically detached and that has served him -- and now us -- very well indeed. It's now clear that he will not govern from the left and not really from the center but, as his campaign suggested, from above it all."

How about that? Barack Obama is governing from Mt. Olympus -- and he hasn't even taken office yet. This is all based on his appointing Clinton retreads. How about Richard Cohen for Minister of Information?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Life Without Possibility of Parole...

That's what the jury in the Jason Shephard murder case gave Bill Smithson yesterday evening, after less than an hour of deliberation.

The jury foreman cited Smithson's lack of a prior criminal record and his use of drugs the night the 23-year-old Shephard was killed, as the mitigating reasons Smithson avoided the death penalty.

When the sentence was read, Smith embraced his lawyer Mary Beth Welch who argued the penalty phase of his trial.

ADA Tom Lawrie pronounced the DAs office "most satisfied" with both the verdict and the sentence.

"The jury had no difficulty of finding the defendant guilty of all charges," he said.

The verdict, he said, reflected the jury's "outrage and disgust" with what happened to the victim that night. Only the lack of a previous criminal record prevented Smithson from getting the death penalty, Lawrie said.

Karla Afshari, Jason's sister, read a brief statement to reporters outside the DA's office.

"We are grateful Jason was able to have his voice heard and it was understood. Now we are able to focus on how he lived and for our family, not how he died."

The family declined to take any other questions.


During her closing statement to the jury Welch said the "ultimate punishment" was reserved for criminals for whom no redeeming or mitigating factors could be found.
She also asked for the jury to consider "mercy" but that was objected to by ADA Lawrie who said it was not proper to consider that as a mitigating factor.

"Mercy is an emotional response," he said.

Judge Barry Dozor sustained Lawrie's objection.

After a string of family members and friends testified to his good qualities, helpfulness and decency, Smithson took the stand to tell the jury about himself, his life as a closeted gay man and his descent into a culture of drugs and sex.

He said he didn't know he was gay until his mid 30s, though he sexually experimented with his friend Rob Nardello, starting when he was 19 and for some years after that.

Nardello described Smithson as a "friend with benefits" and said the two kept their sexual liasons a secret from their other friends and family.

Smithson said he considered himself a bisexual until his fell for his "first love," another man.

After they broke up, he said he "struggled" with "living in a homophobic society."

When that relationship ended, he said, "It was tough for me. A first love is so important, so big. It took me a hard time to recover from that."

He said he met a gay man online who introduced him to crystal meth. He started out snorting it and then injecting it some years later.

He started out using it just to be able to stay up and party longer and drink more. But then it became something of an end in itself.

"The more you do the more you want to do," he said of the drug.

He said he'd stay awake for three days straight, Friday through Sunday, and eventually up to six days straight.

And then he would "crash and crash hard."

Under cross examination, Smithson said he did meth with doctors lawyers and lobbyists from New York City to Washington D.C.

Even as his drug habit became more and more steady, he said "my work performance was always excellent.

"I learned how to manage the drugs, to pull back to manage the work."

He said he purchased drugs for his own use and occasionally shared them with friends.

When Lawrie asked him about a discussion with his former boyfriend Dan Hall concerning the use of GHB to intoxicate someone for the purpose of having sex, Welch objected. After a sidebar, Dozor sustained the objection.


It is probable that appeals will be filed in this case, though there's no telling what the grounds will be.

Having not taken the stand in his own defense during the trial, Smithson couldn't be asked any questions about his actions the night of the crime itself. The man, Smithson's lawyer, suggested had committed the murder, F. Bruce Covington still has to go on trial on assorted drug charges.

I'll be writing about the case for Wednesday's print column.

Smithson: Narcissistic, Drug Addicted

A forensic psychologist testified this morning that convicted murderer Bill Smithson suffers from a mixed personality disorder that includes narcissistic and histrionic traits.

Smithson was convicted Friday of first degree murder, kidnapping, attempted rape in the killing of Jason Shephard.

Monday morning the penalty phase of the trial began to decide if Smithson would get the death penalty or life in prison.

In addition to the personality disorder, Dr. Gerald Cook, said Smithson also suffered from drug dependence and had a history of alcohol abuse.

Cook said after testing and examining Smithson he found him to be in "denial" and "repression" concerning a childhood, in which he didn't get the nurturing he needed to become a well-adjusted adult.

Cook said dependence on crystal meth can have the long term effect of causing addicts to be "anxious, paranoid, violent, and self-destructive."

Based on his opinion, Smithson was "under extreme emotional disturbance at the time of these events..."

Cook also suggested Smithson was "self-centered" and sensation seeking."

He also said that Smithson's drug use seemed to increase after his grandmother, to whom he was very close, passed away.

Under cross examination by ADA Tom Lawrie, Cook said that while Smithson might have "functioned well" in his job, no so much well in his personal life.

Cook also sound her tested the defendant for "organic brain damage" and found none.

The only witness for the prosecution was Jason Shephard's father, Kyle Shephard, who described the loss of his only son.

"He was the core of our family," Shephard told the jury.

Shephard talked about his son almost as if he were still alive.

Lawrie asked him if the two years that have passed since his son's death have helped mitigate the pain.

"No," Shephard quietly replied. "It's been two years of nightmare."

He described his and his wife coming to Philadelphia to search for their son, only to be met by Smithson. While he drove them to their hotel, Jason's body at his house.

"The person we shook hands with (that night at the airport) was the person who took his life."

As for Jason, "We can't imagine the suffering he went through that night," his father said.

By the time he left the stand, even the defendant was wiping his eyes.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

As For the Penalty Phase...

My print column is up but the headline "Spencer: Death Penalty would be unjust sentence in Smithson case" is wrong.

I don't say it would be unjust, quite the opposite. I just say I'm not for it.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Smithson Guilty on All Charges

Bill Smithson has been found guilty of 1st Degree Murder, attempted rape, kidnapping, abuse of corpse and other related charges in the death of 23-year-old Jason Shephard.

There was a gasp from Smithson's family and friends when the verdict to the Murder One charge was read by the jury foreman.

Smithson showed no emotion and stared straight ahead as each charges were read and verdicts were announced.


As the verdict sunk in, more and more of Smithson's friends and family began to sob.

On the other side of the aisle, Kyle and Carol Shephard, Jason's parents, hugged each other and wept quietly.

More to come.

UPDATE: Smithson now faces a death penalty hearing which will begin Monday.

A gag order is still in effect which prevents anyone involved in the case from speaking to the press. That includes family members, witnesses, lawyers and law enforcement.

Meanwhile, in the Great White North

Maybe we all can just get along.

A lesson from a couple of polar bears and a pack of sled dogs.

UPDATE: But let's not forget what happened to Tim "Grizzly Man" Treadwell.

In the Jury's Hands

My print column in today's paper on the Shephard murder trial is up can be found here

Baby, It's Cold Outside

During a break in yesterday's trial, Det. Joe McCunney, looked out the window and noticing snow flurries, leaned over railing and said to the family of Jason Shephard, "I'm doing my best to make you feel at home outside."

Kyle and Carol Shephard smiled gratefully.

Waking up this morning the Shephards, who are from North Dakota, must have really felt at home.

The jury is still deliberating the fate of the man our DAs office believes murdered their son.

More later.

Trials and Tribulations

While the Jason Shephard murder trail was going on yesterday at the courthouse, a 50-50 fundraiser was being conducted to benefit the Delaware County Thanksgiving Food Drive conducted county Office of Behavioral Health.

Tickets were sold at the courthouse entrance and $600 worth were purchased.

And the winner was.... Fen Bruce Covington's attorney Steve Leach.

Lucky man. And Steve was nice enough to kick $100 back to the charitable cause. Good for him.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Defense Witness Claims Covington Drugged, Raped Him

The jury in the William Smithson murder trial should have the case by later this afternoon to start their deliberations.

The defense rested its case this morning after putting on several character witnesses and an admitted long-time drug addict who claimed Fen Bruce Covington sexually assaulted him by slipping him a date-rape drug during one of their meetings at Covington's Narberth apartment.

According to the man, an unemployed 27-year-old, he met Covington on a gay chat line back in the fall of 2006. The two got together later that day to take drugs and have sex.

He testified that the two of them would get together approximately once month at Covington's apartment and occasionally with other men at other homes.

The man who described himself as a "responsible drug addict," said he became increasingly concerned about Covington and his behavior and his sexual fantasies, which included using the drug GHB to knock someone unconscious and have "anal sex with them without their knowledge."

He said in February 2008, he was at Covington's apartment when he started "nodding out." This was after he'd been voluntarily injected with "crystal meth," a drug that would normally speed someone up.

"When I came to," he testified, "I had additional injection sites on my body." He also said "I had been penetrated anally."

Under cross examination, the man said he has been a meth addict for 15 years, which means his addiction started when he was 12-years-old.

He claimed the injections Covington gave him while he was unconscious landed him in a psychiatric hospital.

When Prosecutor Tom Lawrie ask the witness, "You reported this incident to the police, didn't you," Defense attorney Guy Smith objected.

During a sidebar with the judge and attorneys, Smithson appeared to be wiping tears from his eyes with a white handkerchief while witness remained on the stand.

The defense has consistently attempted implicate Covington, who was in the Smithson home when Jason Shephard was killed, as Shephard's killer.

Covington in statement to police said he never saw or met Shephard that night and was asleep in the basement when Smithson and Shephard came back to the house.

Outside the jury's presence Covington cited his 5th Amendment rights in declining to testify about anything he did at Smithson house that night.

On agreement of both the prosecution and the defense, a statement was read to the jury that said Covington faced criminal charges in connection to this case and had invoked his 5th Amendment rights so would not be available to testify.

Closing arguments will begin this afternoon. After instructions from Judge Barry Dozor it will be in the jury's hands.

UPDATE NOTE: I have removed the name of the 27-year-old witness at the request of my editor and due to his claims of being a sexual assault victim. Typically, we do not print such names in the paper so we decided it should be removed from the posting.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Maury, Montel, Geraldo, Sarah?

"Sarah Palin destined to be the white Oprah."

Better than being destined to be the female Jerry Springer.

Day Three Ends With a Whimper

The third day of trial testimony in the Jason Shephard murder case came to an end with Defense Attorney Guy Smith moving for the acquittal of his client Bill Smithson on almost all the serious charges against him from murder to attempted rape, to kidnapping.

All of Smith's motions were denied by Judge Barry Dozor.

With the prosecution resting its case, Smith said he would be presenting three character witness tomorrow and one subpoenaed material witness. Whether that witness will be allowed to testify remains unclear. Dozor cited questions of whether testimony from the witness (whom he referred to as "she") might be considered "prejudicial."

The prosecution's final witness before resting was State Police Detective Joe McCunney, who served as the lead investigator in the case.

McCunney spent a significant amount of his time on the stand reading various statements given investigators by Fen Bruce Covington, the one other man known to have been at Smithson's house the night Jason Shephard was killed.

According to McCunney, investigators came across Covington's number in Smithson's cell phone. When he was called by the police he said he was aware that Smithson had been arrested and voluntarily agreed to come in for an interview.

According to the statement read by Det. McCunney:

On the night that Jason Shephard was killed, Covington said he talked to Smithson about getting a "group" together for sex at his house. He was invited over and said he arrived at around 9:30 p.m. According to the statement, he and Smithson went down to the basement and watched some gay porn. During that time Smithson told him about an intern at his company that he found attractive. Covington said Smithson also mentioned a fantasy about having sex with straight men and younger men.

He said Smithson went out and that he fell asleep in the basement. He claimed to have left the house sometime that night. He refused to admit to any drug use himself.

In a second interview, Covington was slightly more forthcoming. He told police that he first met Smithson about a year earlier at a party. Smithson introduced himself as "Eric." They subsequently got together 8 to 10 times at Smithson's house. He mentioned one night when he had sex with both Smithson and Smithson's then live-in boyfriend, Daniel Hall. He said they all used Crystal Meth and GHB to enhance the experience.

When asked who typically brought the drugs, Covington said he "I prefer not to answer that question.

Again he was asked about the night of Jason Shephard's murder. Covington said he arrived around 9:30 and he and Smithson watched a gay porn movie together. He said Smithson mentioned an intern who he found attractive and talked a lot to about sex. He (Smithson) thought he (Shephard) might be interested. He said Smithson left the house and he (Covington) fell asleep, woke up and left the house between 11:30 and midnight.

Asked about whether Smithson might have talked about a "body" being in the house or a "killing" Covington answered "No. Heavens, no." He said that he'd seen Smithson having sex and said he was "aggressive, yes but violent, no."

Lawrie then asked McCunney about a third attempted interview with Covington after the DAs office received information from Defense Attorney Smith that Covington "wasn't being completely honest" about that night.

Accompanied by his attorney Steve Leach, Covington came for an interview. Declining to speak to investigators directly Covington changed his story. He said that he didn't leave the Smithson home that night after he arrived. He said after he went to sleep he founds himself locked in the basement. He had to urinate so he did so in a cup. He didn't get out of the basement until Smithson let him out the next morning.

He said he never saw or met Jason Shephard that night.

On cross examination, Guy Smith brought up Covington's phone records. All the calls between Smithson and Covington that night were initiated by Covington. The calls suggested that Covington didn't get to Smithson's home before 10:35 p.m. that night.

Smith suggested that police hadn't questioned Covington vigorously enough seeing as how "he lied that night" about how long he stayed at Smithson's house. By his own later admission Covington was most likely in the house when Shephard was killed.

Smith asked McCunney if he ever found a cup with urine in it or took pictures of a such a cup when the house was searched three days later. McCunney said while cup and glasses were found in the basement none had anything that appeared to be urine in them.

Also Smith asked McCunney to read off the three movies Shephard apparently rented in his hotel room that night before going out with Smithson. They included a video called "Bisexual Orgy," which was viewed for 22 minutes, "The Works" for 2 minutes and the "Nacho Libre," a Jack Black comedy for One hour and 36 minutes.

On redirect, Lawrie asked McCunney Covington's profession. After a bit of confusion, McCunney replied, "He's a lawyer."

Earlier in the day, outside the presence of the jury, Covington was subpoenaed to the witness stand by Smith where he took the 5th concerning any questions about the night Shephard was killed.

Previously he made several incriminating statements involving the taking, giving and injecting of drugs. He has been charged, thanks to his changing stories, with making false statements to police and drug charges.

By tomorrow afternoon, the case should be in the jury's hands. It appears Smithson will not be taking the stand in his own defense.

More tomorrow.

Jason Shephard's Dad Takes the Stand

Kyle Shephard sat in the witness box, his hands folded, looking straight ahead. Many in the courtroom were wiping their eyes and noses after weeping, including juror number 4.

The white-haired father of the Jason Shephard, the young man found dead in Bill Smithson's basement, had just testified about his son's last days and his converstations with him.

He spoke quietly, at times almost inaudibly, about what kind of person Jason was.

His words painted a portrait of a good and dutiful son, athletic, hard-working and trying to do well at his temporary job as an intern with Daktronics Inc.

Prosecutor Tom Lawrie led him through his testimony.

We learned that Kyle Shephard is a parts manager for John Deere and another automotive dealer. That his wife, Carol, and he raised two children, a daughter and Jason in Cavalier, North Dakota, Pop. about 1,500.

He said Jason was a college student in South Dakota who had finished his junior year when he was offered the internship with Daktronics.

He said Jason had traveled to San Antonio and New York before coming to this area for Dakronics. He said his son called him two to three times a day.

Prosecutor Tom Lawrie as him whether his son ever had any issues with drugs growing up.

"No," said his father.

Jason was an athlete, a runner, and neither he nor the friends he hung out with messed around with drugs.

It was on his second trip to Philadelphia in September that Jason lost his life.

His father said he drove a sound system from South Dakota to Pennsylvania for Daktronics for demonstration purposes.

Lawrie drew the witness' attention to Monday September 18, 2006. Kyle Shephard said he talked to his son twice that day.

"He was upset about some things," Shephard said.

The sound system he'd lugged all the way from South Dakota wasn't working. Jason was trying to get it fixed but didn't know how. His father tried to calm him down, reminding him that he's an intern, not a sound engineer and it wasn't his fault the machine didn't work.

That evening father and son spoke again. Jason was calmer, "cool and relaxed."

He told his dad that he was going to get up early the next day, around 5:30 a.m. to beat the traffic in to work.

"He was afraid of letting the company down."

And that was the last time the two every spoke. Jason's father called him Tuesday evening but received no answer.

It was on Wednesday morning he got a call from Jason's manager Kathy Robbins from the home Daktronics office.

She said Jason never made it to work that day. A missing persons report was going to be filed by the company's office manager in Edgmont.

Sometime after that, Shephard said, he got a call from his Philadelphia supervisor. As he talked more about what the supervisor said, Judge Barry Dozor interrupted him and asked who the supervisor was.

"That would be the defendant," Shephard said quietly.

Daktronics arranged for Mr and Mrs. Shephard to be flown to Philadelphia to assist in the search for their son. They arrived at Philly airport around 11 p.m. Wednesday night.

"Did anyone pick you up?"

Again, and for the second time, declining to call Bill Smithson by his name, Shephard said "that was the defendant."

Lawrie asked if there was any conversation with Smithson, during the drive to a Chester County hotel. Shephard only recounted that when asked if he had any idea where Jason might have gone, Smithson said "No."

All the while, Jason Shephard's body at the Smithson's home.

The next day, both Kyle Shephard and his wife distributed flyers that continued a photo of Jason and information that he was missing and a number to call.

By 5 p.m. that afternoon, they received a phone call from the West Whiteland Township police to come to the station. They sat for an hour and a half before more police arrived and they were finally notified.

"They came to us and told us our son was found dead at a home and he was strangled."

Kyle Shephard's voice barely wavered, but juror 4 immediately reached for the box of tissues in front of her on the railing of the jury box.

Behind us, various members of the Shephard family sniffed back tears.

Moments later, during a sidebar, various jurors stood up to stretch their legs, and Carol Shephard wiped the tears from her face.

In the witness box, Kyle Shephard sat, hands folded, staring straight ahead. His testimony contained not one milligram of anger, only sadness.

He was a picture of pure, unmitigated grief.

Smithson Trial Enters Third Day

As the Smithson trial enters Day 3, it is becoming weirder and weirder to contemplate the utter horribleness of the crime with which Bill Smithson stands accused.

I'm pretty sure it's the fact that I know Bill that makes me at least a little sympathetic towards him and his situation. But when you think of the crime he is accused of committing well, if it happened like ADA Tom Lawrie says, Smithson was nothing less than a predatory monster the night Jason Shephard was killed.

The prosecutor's narrative is this: Smithson becomes attracted to the much younger Shephard at work. He lures the intern from South Dakota back to his Thornbury Township home. He arranges for a date-rape drug to be supplied so he can drug his victim, making him easier to overpower and then rape.

When the drug doesn't work well enough and a weakened Shephard attempts to fight off his attacker, Smithson, hopped up on crystal meth, chokes the life out of him.

If this had been a case of a 41-year-old man accused luring a 23-year-old woman to his home, drugging and killing her, there is no question a prosecutor would be seeking the death penalty as well.

Yesterday, medical examiner Dr. Bennett Preston testified that Shephard was strangled from behind with some sort of rope or cord. He said it would have taken 2 to 3 minutes to have rendered Shephard unconscious and another one to two minutes to kill him. He identified bruises on Shephard's arms as defensive wounds. He made it clear this was no "accident," as Smithson allegedly suggested to his former lover Daniel Hall.

Later testimony from Shephard's old girlfriend painted him as heterosexual to the nth degree and borderline homophobic.

In the courtroom, more and more supporters of the Shephard family continue to show up, apparently from South Dakota. The entire back bench is filled with spectators.

The appearance of F. Bruce Covington is expected today. He is the man who Hall says provided crystal meth and GHB to Smithson and himself for sex parties, in the hopes of getting a little action himself. Covington was allegedly at Smithson's house the night Shephard was killed.

Hall claims Covington, who is in his mid-fifties, used to "creep out" other party-goers at Smithson's house. The irony of this is apparently lost on Hall who managed to creep out an entire courtroom with his testimony describing the lifestyle he apparently hoped to resume with Smithson when he drove from Virginia Beach to Glen Mills two years ago.

Now, after testifying against his old "partner" Hall comes to court and sits with Smithson's family members and friends, apparently as a show of support.

More later.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Bill Smithson On Trial

The trial of my former Daily Times colleague Billy Smithson continues today in Courtroom 6. Don't come. It's pretty crowded.

Yesterday, evidence was presented that suggested Smithson killed 23-year-old Jason Shephard in a drug fueled attempted to have sex with him.

The most damning testimony came from Smithson former "partner" Daniel Hall, who said he got a phone call at his parents home in Virginia Beach from Smithson asking him to come up to his Thornbury home because he needed help.

Hall, hoping Smithson wanted to reconcile, jumped in his car drove 4 and half hours to meet him at his Tanguy Road house.

But upon getting there, Smithson was acting all "sketchy" and "paranoid."

Hall said when he asked Bill if there was anybody else in the house, he said "Yes."

So strange was Bill's behavior he asked asked him if the person was alive.

"He said, No."

It was after that, Smithson led him to Shephard's body. It was in an upstairs bedroom covered with a sheet.

Hall said he felt for pulse but there was none. Hall said he told Smithson to call the police but Smithson said he couldn't because of how his family would react.

It is defense attorney Guy Smith's hope to point the finger at another potential killer, Fen Bruce Covington, who was allegedly at Smithson's home the night of the killing.

Under cross examination, Hall said Covington typically supplied Smithson and him with drugs, including crystal meth and GHB, a sexual stimulant.

Hall said that when Covington stayed at Smithson's home he typically stayed in the bedroom where Shephard's body was found.

He described Covington as someone who was only invited over to parties at Smithson's because he brought the drugs, otherwise he "creeped" them out.

Hall, who said he still cares for Smithson, tried to walk back from a statement he gave police after returning to Virginia Beach, which led to Smithson's arrest. He said he couldn't sure if Smithson ever told him about a fantasy he had to slip GHB, which is also known as the "date-rape drug," to an unsuspecting person, for the purpose of making that person pliable for sex.

Under questioning from Smith, Hall said that "slippin' G" was slang in the gay and drug-taking community for "taking it" voluntarily.

So far though, the defense's attempt to implicate Covington as the Shephard's possible killer, remain fairly weak.

According to Hall, Smithson told him he was the "only person" who knew about the body in his house.

Furthermore, a statement from Smithson's niece, was stipulated into evidence. According to the statement Smithson implicated himself as having "hurt someone." It was apparently his niece with whom Smithson was talking on his cell phone when he was arrested. He was at the Glenwood Cemetery visiting his grandmother's grave.

The prosecution also showed how Smithson went to great lengths to mislead police by filing out a missing persons report on Shephard, who was interning with the company for which Smithson worked.

Shephard's body was eventually found in Smithson's basement after his arrest.

For those of us who know Bill, his arrest was beyond shocking. Ebullient, friendly, happy go-lucky is how I remembered him before he left the Daily Times.

In court, friends and family members take up one side of the visitors gallery while the family and friends of Jason Shephard take up the other side.

Bill looks thinner, than I remember him, gaunt and shrunken. During testimony he frequently confers with his lawyers and takes notes. Occasionally, during breaks in testimony, he'll look back and smile at someone he knows.

Monday's session ended early and after the jury was released, Bill stood and nodding greetings to many on his side of the aisle. With the jury safely out, Sheriff's deputies, motioned Bill toward them. He apparently knows the drill well. He turned his back and was handcuffed, then led out of the courtroom and back to jail.

This is a death penalty case, the killing of a person while in the commission of an attempted rape. That is the prosecution's theory of the case.

It will continue this morning.

NOTES: It's weird being at a murder trial and knowing so many of the participants, including the suspect. Defense attorney Guy Smith's daughter, Lizzy, is the goalie for the Delaware County Special Olympics Soccer Team. Jake Spencer is a teammate. The weekend before last, the team for the first time won gold at the state tournament at Villanova. Guy couldn't be there because he was working 24/7 on the Smithson case.

Prosecutor Tom Lawrie is a former member of the Daily Times Community Advisor Board. And of course, Bill is a former ad salesman for the paper.

Also yesterday, during the trial some idiot left his cell on and it went off in the middle of testimony. That idiot was Spencerblog. Our apologies to Judge Barry Dozor for disturbing his courtroom.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Justice Delayed and Delayed

Billy Smithson finally goes on trial today more than two years after the strangulation death of 23-year-old Jason Shephard.

What took so long? Ya' got me. I'll try to find out but there's a gag order on about the case. At least the trial is open to the public.

Bring On Big Big Big Government

Amity Shlaes on never letting a crisis go to waste.

Talk About a Honeymoon

Howie Kurtz notes the media's Obamania.

Money Q:

"Obama's days of walking on water won't last indefinitely. His chroniclers will need a new story line. And sometime after Jan. 20, they will wade back into reality."

It shouldn't take that long but it will. It will take longer.

Tied Up With Nowhere To Go

The Eagles kiss their sister. Their incredibly ugly sister.

A Murder in Upper Darby

Linda Reilly does a great job covering the memorial service of Upper Darby's Hoa Pham, killed in one of uglier crimes in Delaware County history.

Money Q:

“This means a lot to our family,” Giang Pham, 26, one of the victim’s six children, said after the Vietnamese-English candlelight ceremony. “I don’t know how to describe it. I’m honored. It was a beautiful service. We were surprised by the amount of people and the support from state and township officials. We are grateful for their help. We couldn’t ask for more."

Just one thing - and that would be to catch the rabid animal who did this.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Sestak and Friends

Joe Sestak's very "good friend Keith" Shuler is thinking about running for U.S. Senate.

Friday, November 14, 2008

What Does GM Stand For?

Megan McCardle on why General Motors shouldn't become Government Motors.


Michael Yon says the war in Iraq is over and we won. No thanks to some people.

Now, on to Afghanistan, where Obama says we really need to take the fight to the enemy.

Secretary Clinton?

Secretary of State Hillary?

Perfect. As long as he doesn't put her in charge of Healthcare.

Throwing a Bomb to Obama

Peggy Noonan says:

"A week and a half after the election, the idea has settled in that America just threw long. People hadn't heard of Mr. Obama two years ago, they know they don't really know him now, and they just gave him the presidency. America threw long, and America is praying for a dazzling reception. People want him to catch the ball."

Read the whole thing.

You'd have to be a pretty big idiot to want Obama to fail especially in times like these. Of course, there were more than a few pretty big idiots on the left rooting for George Bush to fail at every turn in his president. They even claims some of his successes (the surge, for one) failures.

What America needs right now is stability so that our markets can recover and consumer confidence returns.

But if Obama adopts the extreme policy positions of the left, of long-term government intrusion into the markets, high taxes, protectionism, more welfare and greater than needed regulation, he will fail. And it will be his own fault. And America's loss.

Osama and His Security Blanket

CIA Director Michael Hayden tells ABC that Osama bin Laden is alive but spending most of his time and efforts staying that way.

It sounds like Hayden wants and is willing to stay on at CIA if President-Elect Obama will have him. It would be a smart administrative choice because Hayden has quietly done by most accounts a pretty good job, but a difficult one politically. Obama would, no doubt, be attacked from the left if he doesn't replace him.

We'll see.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Whitehouse vs. White House

Some nitwit named Whitehouse is proposing all sorts of congressional investigations of the Bush Administration once Bush leaves office.

But the man who is going to live in the actual White House has cautioned against such silliness.

"... Mr. Obama has expressed worries about too many investigations. In April, he told The Philadelphia Daily News that people needed to distinguish “between really dumb policies and policies that rise to the level of criminal activity.”
“If crimes have been committed, they should be investigated,” Mr. Obama said, but added, “I would not want my first term consumed by what was perceived on the part of Republicans as a partisan witch hunt, because I think we’ve got too many problems we’ve got to solve.”

And that was BEFORE the financial meltdown.

Obama got elected because he is smarter than your average partisan Democrat.
But it would be amusing to see the party shoot itself in the foot, arm and face by continuing to display symptoms of Bush Derangement Syndrome.

Must Love Dog

It's nice that Peruvians are offering one of their hideous hairless dogs to the Obamas.

But if they need to go hypoallergenic for their daughter's sake, they should go with a Labradoodle.

Obama-supporter Love Dog Inc. right here in Media could hook him up.

UPDATE: But if he decides to go hairless, the least he can do is go American Hairless

What Tipped Him Off?

Newt Gingrich says the GOP is outmatched. Hey, no kidding, Newt.

Money Q:

Gingrich said that the best thing the Republican Party could do right now is stop worrying about the Republican Party. “We need to worry about the nation,” Gingrich said. “Wal-Mart doesn’t get ahead by attacking Sears but by offering better value.”

True. But doesn't stop liberals from attacking Wal-Mart.

Pull My "Bent Finger"

You gotta love a story with this many cool nicknames.

"Those defendants — Robert “Bobby” Beck of Morton; Victor “Vic” Novelli of Clifton Heights; Daniel Jude Diedrick of Clifton Heights; Cimino’s girlfriend Gayle Hudson of Thornbury; Gregory “King” Triantafillou of Norristown; David “Fat Dave” Stroj of California; Gregory Quigley; Spiro “Bart” Barbalios and Ralph “Ralphie Head” Abbruzzi, waived their preliminary hearing in late September."

All nicknames were provided by our Attorney General Tom "Tom" Corbett

First Lady Deserves Her Share of Blame

Obama links the First Lady to the failed policies of lame-duck president George W. Bush. Scott Ott has the scoop.

What Will Be Obamanomics

Newsweek's Cooley and Ohanian weigh in on Obamanomics.

Money Q:

"Barack Obama's stunning election victory was a compelling mandate for change, especially in regard to the way the economy has been run. People's lives and livelihoods have been deeply affected by the financial crisis, and Americans are justifiably worried and angry. To set the economy on the right path again, new checks and balances to regulate our financial system are already being discussed and explored. But even as we start to search for new solutions, we have already come to a perilous fork in the road.

"In one direction lies a backlash against capitalism. Some blame the crisis on excesses borne of laissez-faire policies that created wealth for a few at the expense of many. Given the current crisis, that sentiment may be understandable. But it is dangerous."

Read it all.

The Obama Market

The WSJ explains the Obama bear market.

Money Q:

"The voters may be full of hope about the looming Obama Presidency, but so far investors aren't. No President-elect in the postwar era has been greeted with a more audible hiss from Wall Street. The Dow has lost 1,342 points, or about 14%, since the election, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq hitting similar skids. The Dow fell another 4.7% yesterday.

"Much of this is due to hedge fund deleveraging, as well as dreadful corporate earnings reports and pessimism that the recession will be deeper than many had hoped. We also don't want to read too much into short-term market moves. But there's little doubt that uncertainty, and some fear, over Barack Obama's economic agenda is also contributing to the downdraft."

The markets will have to wait to see if he'll take on the big spenders in his own party or be one of them.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Snide White Pride in Bide(n)

Can white people take racial pride in Joe Biden becoming Vice President of the United States? According to Dave Konig, Yes We Can!

Tough Times for Some

Pennsylvania state university presidents are all getting raises. Who deserves our tax dollars more?

A Volt in the Neck

GM's car of the future is a consumer and taxpayer nightmare. Holman on the hoax of the Chevy Volt.

Audit? Nevermind!

No audit for the Obama campaign? How convenient.

A Bailout for the UAW

Nancy Pelosi is pushing for a bailout for U.S. automakers. Actually, the bailout is for their unions, a rather large Democratic constituency.

Hey Nancy, newspapers have unions too. Where's our bailout? Maybe we should have donated more to the party.

Public or Private? Are You Kidding?

The big question: Will the Obamas put their daughters in D.C. public schools?

Here's a prediction: NO!

And an offer: Does anybody want to bet on that?

Clarence Page minces around the question. And then finishes with this chestnut:

"The public schools belong to all of us, whether we use them or not. We should treat the students as though they belong to all of us, too."

This is baloney. The public schools belong to the bureaucracies and teachers' unions. We just pay for them. The students belong to their parents and in D.C. the poor and middle-class ones are forced, for lack of cleverness and resources, to send their kids to these lousy schools. At least Page gives props to the heroic Chancellor Michelle Rhee, who is fighting for reform every day. God bless her.

Paglia on Palin, Democrats and the Media

Iconoclast and Obama-supporter Camille Paglia lets Democrats and the media have it over their glossing over of the Ayers story and for succumbing to Palin Derangement Syndrome.

Money Q:

"Liberal Democrats are going to wake up from their sadomasochistic, anti-Palin orgy with a very big hangover. The evil genie released during this sorry episode will not so easily go back into its bottle. A shocking level of irrational emotionalism and at times infantile rage was exposed at the heart of current Democratic ideology -- contradicting Democratic core principles of compassion, tolerance and independent thought. One would have to look back to the Eisenhower 1950s for parallels to this grotesque lock-step parade of bourgeois provincialism, shallow groupthink and blind prejudice."

Meanwhile, political analyst Michael Barone is heartily booed for suggesting the media was furious with Palin for not aborting her Down syndrome baby. By the media, of course. He says he was trying to make a joke.

Given that 90 percent of women who find out that they're carrying a Down's baby have abortions, it was a joke that hit too close to home to be funny.

Not-So-Funny Business in Minnesota

Are the Democrats trying to steal a senate seat for Al "The Joker" Franken?

Maybe. Because he's smart enough, he's angry enough and gosh darn it, almost half the voters like him, but not quite enough.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

If It Sounds Crazy, Maybe It Is

A Georgia congressman suggests that Obama may become a dictator.

"It may sound a bit crazy to suggest..."

It doesn't just sound crazy, it IS crazy. Republicans should leave the paranoia to the Democratic fever swamps where it belongs

Welcome to Bailout Nation

GM has it's hand out. Who's next?

The State of the Continent

The WSJ sticks up for Sarah Palin and wonders if, after the actions of some of his campaign operatives, John McCain will too.

Question: Which is worse, a Vice Presidential candidate allegedly not knowing Africa is a continent or a Presidential candidate not knowing how many states there are in this union of ours. (Barack Obama said 57.)

Answer: Neither. Assume both are misspoken trivialities and move on. Palin back to the governor's mansion. Obama to the White House.

UPDATE: By the way, there are many indications that the "Palin Doesn't Know Africa is a Continent" story is a hoax.

You Must Be Smart If Your Name Is Adlai

Groupthink among the intellectuals.

Reaganism R.I.P.?

P.J. O'Rouke writes the obituary for modern conservatism. It's long but worth skimming for cleverness.

Dumb and Dumber

Sounds like this Upper Darby couple wasn't "Weed(ed) Out," they were Weeded In.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Mike McCloskey R.I.P.

The U.S. Marines turned 233 today.

One of them, Michael J. McCloskey of Media was buried today. He died last week at the too-young age of 67.

The Marine Corps Hymn was played as his casket was rolled down the aisle of St. Francis de Sales RC Church in Lenni this morning.

After saying "I love you, Dad," the last thing Mike's daughter Shannon said to a church full of grieving friends and family members was "Semper Fi."

He was a true character. Profane, funny, and loyal. Both sentimental and tough, like most Irishmen.

He's in God's hands now. Heaven help Him!

Not, Mike. God.

Reaganism Undead?

Rasmassun says Obama ran like Reagan on taxes.

It's pretty true. Now, does he have the sense to cut them for business and capital gains during a recession. Or will he raise them like Herbert Hoover?

What It Means?

Juan Williams on what Obama's victory means to racial politics.

Money Q:

"The onus now falls on individuals to take advantage of opportunities. That begins with keeping families together and taking responsibility for the twisted "gangsta" culture that celebrates jail time instead of schooling. With Mr. Obama as the head of government, discussion of racial problems now comes in the form of pragmatic discourse for how to best give all Americans opportunty, for example, how to improve schools."

Maybe, but good luck with that. Taking on the teachers' union is essential to school reform and Mr. Obama and his fellow Democrats have shown no interest in that. More likely they will do what they always do: call for more money to be spent to no good effect. That was Obama's record with Mr. Ayers on the Annenberg Challenge in Chicago ($160 million worth for no academic gains.)

The more things change, the more the stay the same. So look for more of the same from Democrats on education.

At Least One U.S. Industry is Doing Well

I guess some people didn't buy Obama's voicing support for the Second Amendment during the campaign so they're buying guns after his victory.

Fair enough.

UPDATE: Make that two, and can I have fries with that?

The First Sign of Buyer's Remorse

Eagles fans boo Joe Biden.

Hey, they threw snowballs at Santa Claus too.

It's hard to like Eagles fans but you have to respect them. They know talent when they see it and also the lack thereof.

Change You Can Believe In

If the NYT is right, Jamie Gorelick is being considered by President Elect Obama to be his Attorney General.

That would be the same Jamie Gorelick who while working for Bill Clinton's Justice Department under wrote the famous memo that set up the wall between the FBI and the DoJ leading to 9/11.

That would be the same Jamie Gorelick who made $28 million being on the board of a corrupt Fannie Mae while it played a significant part contributing to the meltdown of the lending industry and financial markets.

What do you have to do in Washington to be considered a failure? Oh yeah, have an R next to your name.

I'm Back...

And just in time to wonder if next year the Eagles might get themselves a running game that can pick up a yard and a half on 4 and one.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Welcome to the Barbershop

A symposium on what the election of Obama means to black people and racial politics in America.

Good stuff.

Spoiling For a Fight

Spoilsport David Harsanyi vomits on "unity."

And Then Depression Set In...

The Onion shines a spotlight on Obama obsessives and their pathetically empty lives.


Septic SEPTA Sorry

Well, as long as SEPTA's sorry about it's lousy service... Let's give it MORE subsidies and tax money.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Trashing of The President

A former Kerry campaign intern, reporter and lawyer says that the treatment of George W. Bush at the hands of Democrats and the MSM is a national disgrace.

We couldn't agree more.

A Big Fat Loser

A little good news for Republicans and Limbaugh fans, at least Angry Al Franken didn't win in Minnesota.

At least not yet.

The Maltese Admiral

It just came to me...

For years I've been trying to figure out who Joe Sestak reminds me of when it comes to his breathy public speaking style and now I know...

Peter Lorre, without the accent.

Check this out.

Here's to a Winner and a Loser

Also congrats to Nick Miccarelli who soundly defeated out-of-his-depth union boss John Defrancisco for Ron Raymond's state house seat. It was a bitter and angry race but the better candidate won.

Of the local Democratic losers this year, Haverford's Tom Quinn was by far the most impressive in my book. He lost to the entrenched incumbent Bill Adolph. Like Craig Williams, Quinn should run again. For something. Anything.

A Tale of Two Parties

Ron Coleman has a pretty good blog and a pretty funny (and accurate) morning after analysis of the election.

Here are two of his observations:

Given that it can’t be replaced, the GOP must be rebuilt from the ground up. A total loss of political power was the only way this was going to happen.

The most painful thing about this is not that the other side won, but that so very many of them are such absolute insufferable asses.

Williams Will Be Back

As expected, Joe Sestak prevailed over newcomer Craig Williams.

Demographics and the Democratic tide in this election were far too much for Williams to overcome. But Williams promises to be back. Good. He is far too impressive a Republican candidate not to take another shot.

He easily out debated Sestak in their one debate at Swarthmore College. (Sestak was smart to keep it at one. It is not his strong suit.)

Though Sestak told the Daily Times editorial board that he would not seek Arlen Specter's senate seat in 2010, that is a promise I expect him to break in the coming months. (It's not like he swore on a stack of bibles or anything.)

That would allow Williams to run against a Democrat to be chosen later, probably state Rep. Bryan Lentz, a solid candidate in his own right.

Again, demographic trends will be working against Williams but by then he will be better known in the county and he will have the advantage of history. Typically, after the first two years the party of a new president loses a few congressional seats. The 7th could be one of them.

Rubin and Her Scalpel

Jennifer Rubin conducts a post and pre-mortem of the Bush-Obama years.

No Stake In The Heart

Proud - and occasionally unhinged - liberal Thomas Frank at least gets this right: Conservatism is not dead.

"This is a story of decline but not necessarily of fall. Conservatives may believe that impoverished borrowers destroyed Wall Street. But we liberals will not fool ourselves that stupid bankers sank conservatism for good. This movement will be back, and the biggest fights are yet to come."

Hail To The New Chief Elect

The loyal opposition at the Wall Street Journal congratulates Barack Obama, 44th President-elect of the United States.

Money Q:

A man of mixed race has now reached the pinnacle of U.S. power only two generations since the end of Jim Crow. This is a tribute to American opportunity, and it is something that has never happened in another Western democracy -- notwithstanding European condescension about "racist" America. That blacks voted for Mr. Obama so heavily is a typical rite of American passage, and it is similar to the kind of cultural pride that Catholics took in the victory of John Kennedy in 1960.

Coming Soon...

Dr. Strangeleap: Or How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the O-Bomb.

Coming to a Daily Times near you Friday.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

President Obama

It appears Barack Obama is going to be the next President of the United States.

How interesting.

Congratulations to him and his supporters. We wish him well and much luck, it always helps to have more than a little.

UPDATE: The biggest disappointment of the night? It looks like slanderer and greedy pork merchant Rep. John Murtha is going to be returned to Congress. Ugh.

If Dems Win, Here Comes Hush Rush

Sen. Schumer and his fellow Democrats want more government regulation of political speech on the radio.

In other words, Hush Rush. Personally, I don't listen to him but good to know the government will be protecting those who do from overexposure.

Catholic Church Goes Nuts

The Catholic Church hires forensic auditor to investigate $1 million in funds that went to ACORN.

Money Q:

"In June, ACORN disclosed the embezzlement of $948,607 from the organization in 1999 and 2000 by Dale Rathke, brother of ACORN founder Wade Rathke. The embezzlement was kept secret from most of ACORN's board members until a whistleblower publicized the matter, and Dale Rathke subsequently was dismissed from the national board.
He still organizes ACORN's international nonprofit arm."

No wonder it's "nonprofit" if he's organizing it.

An Historic Event

What some voters and their children "learn" at Obama rallies.

Vote Fraud Welcome in Wisconsin

In Milwaukee, no official interest in preventing voter fraud. Despite the success of one police squad in revealing it.

Palin Probed, Cleared

Palin cleared in ethics probe.

This will no doubt swing the election.

Obama Fonda Fonda?

Jane Fonda returns to Broadway.

Word is, if Obama wins, she's on his short list for Secretary of Defense.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Coal in Their Stockings

Who do these coal barons think they are? If Obama says they need to be bankrupted. They need to be bankrupted. The thousands of employees in the coal industry can be put to work in pretty, clean green industries like wind and solar.

President Obama can just order the coal industry and their plants closed and relocate their workers to the Southwest and Northwest where they can be put to better use.

Finkle on Fickle Voters

David Finklestein writes about the "spiral of silence" that shocked pollsters in 1992 in England.

Could it happen in America in 2008? Let's hope not.

Joe the Vet

Joe the Vet is becoming quite the YouTube hit, with 11 million of them.

When I first watched it, I didn't notice he has a prosthetic leg. Pretty powerful stuff.

Sihk and You Shall Find

We were driving to New York City Saturday morning to celebrate a couple of birthdays when we saw something interesting.

In front of us on the New Jersey turnpike around exit 11 was a late-model van. On the back were two, large "Craig Williams for Congress" magnets.

What was interesting is when we passed the van I looked over and saw the male driver and his male passenger where Sikhs. They had the turbans, black beards, the robes, the whole deal.

Looks like Williams' supporters are a pretty diverse crowd.

I just called Williams' campaign guy Pete Peterson and told him the story. I asked him if they had anything to do with the campaign but he said no.

He theorized that they could be from Upper Darby, which has a pretty large Sikh population and some of them have a few turnpike concessions. He suggested the guys I saw may have been checking on their businesses Saturday morning.

Hard working guys those Sikhs. Small business guys. No wonder they're supporting the Republican candidate in their district.

Get Your Free Late Term Abortion - The Uniter At Work

If Obama is elected president he tell Planned Parenthood he will sign the "Freedom of Choice" act. So we can count on Partial-Birth Abortion being made legal again.

That will be good for the country, won't it? After all, in a depression we won't want a lot of extra hungry mouths to feed.

Please, No Drug Dealing

Headline: Upper Darby bar shut down down by PLCB.

It allegedly allowed drug dealing on the premises. For a minute we thought someone lit up a cigarette.

Guilt by Association for Thee

Guilt by association is a fine to charge to level but only if you are a card carrying member of the political left and an America-hating foreigner working in academia.

At least for Prof. Rashid Khalidi, Middle East historian and Obama friend.

UPDATE: Meanwhile, Philadelphia's own Daniel Pipes says Obama would fail a national security clearance. Good thing people elected president don't need them.

Bankruptcy is Better

Under a President Obama, no new coal plants.

Money Q:

"I was the first to call for a 100 percent auction on the cap and trade system, which means that every unit of carbon or greenhouse gases emitted would be charged to the polluter," Obama continued. "That will create a market in which whatever technologies are out there that are being presented, whatever power plants that are being built, that they would have to meet the rigors of that market and the ratcheted down caps that are being placed, imposed every year.

"So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it's just that it will bankrupt them because they're going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that's being emitted."

Notice that "rigors of that market" are really the rigors of a government mandate that punishes energy production.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Blow Out!

On the other hand Gallup is seeing it differently.