Saturday, February 28, 2009

Get Them Some Diapers

Greenies make war against toilet paper.

Richard Milhouse Obama

Ralph Peters calls Obama on his phony Iraq pull-out.

He's trying to appease his left-wing basers. Will they fall for it?

Bus Driver of the Year

Meet Maxine Alexander: Maniac. Sorry, alleged maniac.

The Best Revenge

The CFO for a Bryn Mawr-based behavioral health-care referral agency allegedly embezzled more than $386,000 that he spent on lavish trips, fine wines and cigars, according to District Attorney G. Michael Green.

Glad to see he didn't just blow it.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Oh Yeah, This Will Work

CPAC shoots itself in the foot, if not the head.

Dumb conservatives are no match for dumb Democrats. But they're trying.

True Colors

The "centrist" turns out to be a sneaky, pro-huge government, hard-core lefty.

Larry Kudlow concurs.

Let me be very clear on the economics of President Obama’s address to Congress and budget. He is declaring war on investors, entrepreneurs, small businesses, large corporations, and private-equity and venture-capital funds. That is the meaning of his anti-growth tax-hike proposals, which make absolutely no sense at all — either for this recession or from the standpoint of expanding our economy’s long-run potential to grow.

Other than that, great budget.

Obama Nominee: Pregnancy = Slavery

Andrew McCarthy and Sen. Arlen Specter catch Obama Office of Legal Counsel nominee Dawn Johnsen in a lie concerning a radical (and absurd) legal argument she made in support of abortion rights.

She compared unwanted pregancies to slavery which is prohibited by the Thirteenth Amendment.


Here is what Johnsen argued in footnote 23 of the amicus brief she filed (as the head of the National Abortion Rights Action League) in the Supreme Court’s 1989 case Webster v. Reproductive Health Services, 492 U.S. 490 (1989) (No. 88-605):

"Statutes that curtail [a woman’s] abortion choice are disturbingly suggestive of involuntary servitude, prohibited by the Thirteenth Amendment, in that forced pregnancy requires a woman to provide continuous physical service to the fetus in order to further the state’s asserted interest."

She's says she didn't make such an argument. The evidence is clearly otherwise.

Read the whole thing.

A Shot In The Dark II

Matt Steven, the blind kid from Drexel Hill who hit the last-second foul shots for his CYO team, UPDATE:

It was Matt's uncle, Joe Moran, who alerted us to this story. We just received an e-mail from him.

He writes:

The team has been invited out to dinner by a man who would rather remain anonymous, he said that it was great to open up the paper and read about a bunch of kids who made the right decision. The Mayor of Upper Darby has invited the team to the next council meeting so they can be recognized for what they did. Also, the CYO Hall of Fame contacted the Steven Family and invited them to thier next dinner. There are also a few people that read your article and sent it to people they know at ESPN.

Cool. It's a neat story and we wanted to thank Joe from bringing it to our attention.

Who You Calling a Coward?

Stuart Taylor Jr. joins the conservation on race, Attorney General Eric Holder asked for.

And he gives it to Holder... right between the eyes.

It begins:

Dear Mr. Attorney General:

Your speech commemorating Black History Month by calling America "a nation of cowards" because we "do not talk enough with each other about race" -- a topic about which we talk incessantly -- was unworthy of the admirable public servant I believe you to be.

The speech was, as others have pointed out, embarrassingly misinformed, hackneyed, and devoid of thoughtful contributions to racial dialogue.

Read the whole thing.

Whistle Blowing in the Wind

My print column is up on the county's Director of Employment and Training Frank Carey, and an anonymous attempt to embarrass him and his office.

What did I learn? Among other things, that Carey is the county's snappiest dresser since Thaddeus Kirkland.

Notes On A Scandal

Woman "sexually assaults" 14-year-old boy in Lower Chi. Hmmmm. Is that what she did?

Let's face it, it's not like he was 6.


Welcome to the Obama Revolution, paid for by your children and grandchildren.

All you have to know, Paul "Carmen Kia" Krugman loves it.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

"Robert Blecker Wants Me Dead"

This looks like an an awesome documentary. Here's the trailer. Check it out.

Friends don't root for friends to be executed.

Or do they?

"I'll Kill You," He Explained

An assistant principal at Academy Park High School has been CRIMINALLY charged with making terrorist threats against an 18-year-old male student for saying "I'll kill you" during an hallway argument at the school.

We have many questions about this incident.

Who reported it to police? Did the witnesses and the alleged victim believe that Mark Duncan, the 50-year-old administrator in question, was seriously threatening the young man's life? Was Duncan holding a gun at the time? A knife? A razor? Did he ever put his hands on the student?

Does Duncan have a history of shooting, beating or killing students? What did the "victim" say to Duncan that provoked such an intemperate response?

Is it not ironic that the last assistant principal in Southeast Delco to get into serious trouble, Rich Joseph, did so for allegedly saying to a student, "I love you." At least he wasn't criminally charged, just fired, only to be rehired a year later when the school decided the charges against him were baloney.

Certainly, if Duncan angrily said to a recalcitrant student, "I'll kill you," that would be cause for his bosses to have a conversation with him and maybe even bring disciplinary action.

But criminal charges? As we said, we need to know more.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A Nation of Cowards... NOT!

Abigail Thernstrom, the author of "America In Black and White: One Nation, Indivisible", takes Eric Holder to the woodshed or race.

Money Q:

It’s not obvious that there is value in a “dialogue” about race of the sort that Holder imagines. Yes, conversations are nice — about the Academy Awards, the NBA, the price of gas, our economic worries, the elderly parents we take care of, the resolutions we’ve made to get more exercise, or our love for junk food. But we don’t need Holder’s version of a conversation. The last thing Americans need is more race chatter. It doesn’t bring us together; it separates us. And, in any case, our record on race in recent decades has been one of courage, not cowardice.

Read the whole thing.

Bigger Fish to Fry

Climate Change you can't believe in.

Torture on Obama's Watch?

A human rights lawyer is claiming that abuse has gotten much worse since Obama became president.

Abuses began to pick up in December after Obama was elected, human rights lawyer Ahmed Ghappour told Reuters. He cited beatings, the dislocation of limbs, spraying of pepper spray into closed cells, applying pepper spray to toilet paper and over-forcefeeding detainees who are on hunger strike.

Anybody think this "attorney" and his clients might be LYING?

Cave Dweller Feels Recession

Man living in cave faces foreclosure.

Yeah, but it's a pretty nice cave.

Uh, Keith, You're Mike's Hot

Keith "Oh God!" Olbermann, what a pro!

UPDATE: We're told that it was actually Chris Matthews uttered the "Oh God" comment. So it was Tweedle Dum, not Tweedle Dee.

Spencerblog regrets the error.

Goldilocks and the Three Obamas

At his inauguration, President Obama promised not big government, not small government but "smart government."

What are we getting? GIGANTIC government, which doesn't sound so smart.

Putting Away Childish Things... NOT!

Holman Jenkins on Obama's and the Democrats "childish" wish list.

Money Q's:

Mr. Obama came to office without a conspicuous vision other than "bipartisanship" and a belief in the beneficent influence on America and the world of seeing a black man exercising the powers of the presidency. He wields his party's shibboleths like one who sees them mainly as levers for delivering the goods. His ideas about the exercise of politics, in fact, may be accurately reflected in the recent stimulus bill -- in office you supply the wish lists of those who put you there...

... And, by the way, he kids himself if he believes he will be allowed, like FDR, to preside over a depression without being politically blamed for it. The public is different now -- the world is different -- and he will own the "Obama depression" sooner than he thinks.

Read the whole thing.

The Road to Collingdale

Delaware County Council takes its show on the road.

Sounds like they talked a lot of crap.

Nice crowd though. They should do this again. Once a month sounds about right.

Been There, Done That

11-year-old kid accused of setting the fire in Chester Township:

Is a Pyro or just a kid playing with matches?

We're betting the latter.

NASA's Global Warming Satellite Fails

NASA launched a global warming monitoring satellite the other day. Due to mechanical difficulties it ended up in Pacific Ocean near Anarctica. The launch had been eight years in the making and cost $1.9 billion.


We blame George Bush.


My column on CYO designated foul-shooter Matt Steven is up.

A quibble with the headline: He wasn't the hero. His teammates were the heroes.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Or Is This Better?

It's Me Again, Is This Better?

FOO Fighters

FOO (Fan of Obama's) David Brooks is starting to realize that Obama may not have all the answers.


Readers of this column know that I am a great admirer of Barack Obama and those around him. And yet the gap between my epistemological modesty and their liberal worldviews has been evident over the past few weeks. The people in the administration are surrounded by a galaxy of unknowns, and yet they see this economic crisis as an opportunity to expand their reach, to take bigger risks and, as Obama said on Saturday, to tackle every major problem at once.

He adds:

President Obama has concentrated enormous power on a few aides in the West Wing of the White House. These aides are unrolling a rapid string of plans: to create three million jobs, to redesign the health care system, to save the auto industry, to revive the housing industry, to reinvent the energy sector, to revitalize the banks, to reform the schools — and to do it all while cutting the deficit in half.

For the record Obama and his aides aren't promising to create three million jobs, they are promising to "create or save" three million jobs. The difference is quite significant, in so far as, the claim is and will be unverifiable. There is no way to measure the number of job "saved" by any economic plan. And so it is simply a weasel way to avoid responsibility for not living up to a bogus promise.

Spend, Baby, Spend

During the GOP presidential convention last August, the chant of "Drill, Baby, Drill" could be heard echoing through the hall.

The Republicans lost and the Democrats have blocked any new attempt at off-shore drilling in the name of the protecting the environment.

But Thomas Pyle, President of the American Energy Alliance, says more than a million jobs and billions in tax receipts could be gained by permitting new drilling.

Money Q:

With more than 85 billion barrels of recoverable oil and over 440 trillion cubic feet of natural gas located right off our shores, exploration in the OCS stands to contribute $273 billion annually to the national economy. That's good news, especially for the 46 states that now face a combined $350 billion budget shortfall for the next three fiscal years. Economic relief wouldn't end there -- America would sustain approximately 1.2 million well-paying jobs each year over the life of production.

Democrats would rather "Spend, Baby, Spend" money they have yet to collect from future generations, than anger the environmental lobby that helps make up their coalition.

(Hat tip: The Merc's Tony Phyrillas)

Bad Beat for Sixers

The Sixers have had some bad beats this season. This one may be the worst.

The Mavs Dirk Nowitzki, the Celtics' Ray Allen and the Spurs' Tony Parker have all hit buzzer beaters to sink the Sixers. Add the Nets' Devon Harris and his half-court fumble-throw to the list.

Mom Needed a Cup of Joe

Her chances of winning Mother of the Year are slimming.

Don't Ask, Don't Tell

Male Army deserter found wearing thong and in possession of three pairs of women's underwear.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Devil Made Him Do It

Satanist sues prison for interfering with his religion. Click on the photo, if you look close you can see the horns.

Mockery Is the Sincerest Form of Flattery

When Hillary mocked Obama for his professed faith in bipartisanship she was right.

"The sky will open. The lights will come down. Celestial choirs will be singing and everyone will know we should do the right thing and the world will be perfect!"

It hasn't turned out that way. It's George Bush's fault.

More On Moyers

Andrew Ferguson has been onto liberal scold Bill Moyers' sanctimonious hypocrisy for years.

The latest revelations in the Washington Post of Moyers' trying to dig up blackmail dirt on homosexuals for the Johnson Adminstration are hardly a shock.

Money Q:

The most surprising thing about the recent revelations concerning Bill Moyers is that anyone should be surprised. For those of us who care--and those of us who care, care deeply--detailed accounts of Moyers's career as a political bottom-feeder have been publicly available since the mid-1970s.

A Photo of Me

Oscar Night

Slumdog Millionaire wins Best Picture. (Good, we liked it a lot.)

Kate Winslet wins for The Reader. (Fine. Didn't see it, sounds overwrought. But Winslet is a great actress and she gets naked a lot.)

Sean Penn wins for Milk. (We were rooting for Mickey but fine. Penn's a great actor. And what would the Oscars be without a lecture?)

Danny Boyle wins Best Director. (Good. After all, he directed the Best Picture.)

Penlope Cruz wins Best Supporting Actress. (She was good in a mediocre Woody Allen movie.)

The late Heath Ledger wins Best Supporting Actor. (Good. His Joker put Jack's to shame.)

Drudge is reporting that the night was marred by a lack of stars. We barely noticed.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Bill Moyers: The Queer Hunter

Turns out PBS' Progressive moralist Bill Moyers was a gay-hunting, would-be blackmailer during his LBJ years.

The Sunday Funnies

Check out the E*Trade baby outtakes.

UPDATE: Almost forgot the Shankopotamus.

That's Not Funny!

My column on the The New York Post's cartoon controversy is up.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

John Pawlowski: RIP

As heartbreaking as it gets

"Money For Idiots"

Interesting analysis by David Brooks.

"The nation’s economy is not just the sum of its individuals. It is an interwoven context that we all share. To stabilize that communal landscape, sometimes you have to shower money upon those who have been foolish or self-indulgent. The greedy idiots may be greedy idiots, but they are our countrymen. And at some level, we’re all in this together. If their lives don’t stabilize, then our lives don’t stabilize."

Sounds about right. Frustrating, but right.

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Senator from Countrywide

Sen. Chris Dodd in the crosshairs.

Daniel Starling: "Did Campaign Cash Influence Bailout? Banks Get 258,000 Percent Return from Investments in D.C. Pols."

As ethics expert Ken Silverstein recently wrote of Curt Weldon: "... Perhaps the feds can’t demonstrate that he belongs in jail... One thing is certain, though–he doesn’t belong in Congress."

Can't the same thing be said about Sen. Dodd?

Wonder if the feds will wait until three weeks before Election Day 2010 to raid his house.

Mission Improbable

The most ethical party in HISTORY.

This party will self destruct in 2 minutes. Good luck Mr. Phelps.

Time to Free Beatty?

It is, according to Media's Michael Jordan.

According to Jordan who writes he visted Chadwick recently in jail, where he has been for the last 14 years on contempt charges...

"Chadwick’s smile and good cheer make an unendurable environment endurable. He is the Sun Doctor for everyone at the Hill, prisoners and guards alike."

At least, Jordan doesn't buy Chadwick's lie that he lost all his money in a foreign real estate deal.

I too have visited Chadwick in prison, though not recently. His then lawyer was trying to convince me that Chadwick was crazy. He had to be to sit in prison for so long. Chadwick himself didn't seem or act crazy to me. Just stoic and stubborn.

Maybe he was hiding his sunny side from me. Or maybe he's changed into the happy- go-lucky fellow, Jordan describes.

There is a good argument that after 14 years, Chadwick should be freed. But anyone who doesn't believe the former lawyer isn't a manipulative liar doesn't know the facts of the case.

The Pride of Yeadon

The Yeadon finance director, who not too long ago accused a borough councilman of sexual harassment, indecent assault and stalking has been suspended from her job without pay while an investigation is conducted into missing borough funds.

What a lovely mess!

Suspected Arsonist Caught

Too bad 19-year-old Roger Leon Barlow didn't dime himself out earlier by singing in a local convenience store.

"The fire company is going to be mad at me. The fire company is going to be mad at me."

The fire company and the entire adult population of Coatsville.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Chain-Smoking Hubby Pays Off for Widow

Headline: Widow of Fla. chain-smoker gets $8 million in damages.

No she doesn't. She was awarded $8 million by a jury. Getting it is a whole different matter.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

More Murtha Monkey Business

The Murtha story get better and better.

At least the FBI didn't make the raids three weeks before elections.

Nicky "the Hat" Pleads

Without the nicknames this story about a fairly small-time gambling ring isn't nearly as good.

Spencer The Blog says The Hat will do 11-23 months. We're giving even money that it will be 11. (Minus the vig, of course.)

Put Up or Shut Up

My print column on the long-running Weldon investigation is up.

Divining Obama's Process

Tony Blankley on trying to understand Obama's management style.

Here's the new president on one of his signature campaign issues.

President Obama: "And we then provide, uh, the process whereby Guantanamo will be closed, uh, no later than one year from now. We will be, uh. ... Is there a separate, uh, executive order, Greg, with respect to how we're going to dispose of the detainees? Is that, uh, written?"

Uh, no.

Philly Cops Wrong in Display Case

Philly Judge Craig Washington is underfire for disrespecting a memorial display to honor fallen cop John Pawlowski in the 35th District Police headquarters.

The display was put up in front of the judge's bench where accused criminals are brought for hearing. Washington ordered it taken down and when police balked he turned down the photo of Pawlowski himself.

The cops were furious and Washington has been temporarily reassigned.

As much as we would like to side with the police in this case, Judge Washington is right. A courtroom, even one in a police headquarters, should be free of such displays. The appearance of impartiality and fairness demands it.

Maybe the judge could have handled it more diplomatically but Philly's finest ought to understand this too. Even as they grieve their fallen brother, justice must remain blind, impartial and fair. And judges must make sure of the appearance thereof.

The Children's Hour?

A madam who forced a young girl into prostitution or a troubled teenager who lies very well.

Upper Darby cops better have more evidence than the word of this girl.

Our Way Or the Highway

Partisan Thomas Frank says "bipartisanship is a silly beltway obsession."

That makes President Obama either a silly, silly man or a cynical liar.

Slaying A Smiling Dragon

Amity Shlaes slays the FDR as savior myth.


"What about that pro-New Deal academic consensus to which the president refers? About 15 years ago, Robert Whaples of Wake Forest University put the following proposition to economic historians, some of them trained economists, others trained historians: “Taken as a whole, government policies of the New Deal served to lengthen and deepen the Great Depression.”

"Three in four historians disagreed. Economists were split evenly. The consensus just wasn’t there."

Woulda Shoulda Coulda

Holman Jenkins on how the mortgage meltdown might have been handled on the QT. If it had been left to technocrats instead of politicians (in the middle of the presidential campaign) we might be in better shape than we are today.

Democracy has its limits.

Too Big to Fail?

California to Taxpayers: Drop Dead!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Questioning Authority on Global Warming

Mathematical physist Frank Tipler recalls the scientific predictions of global warming skeptic Reid Bryson.

Tipler writes:

"A true scientist demonstrates his knowledge by using it to make predictions which can be confirmed or refuted. Bryson successfully predicted, in December 1944, that the so-called “Caine Mutiny Typhoon” would hit Adm. William Halsey’s Third Fleet."

Reid the whole thing. It's fascinating.

Krugman Sliced and Diced

The always provocative Paul Krugman offers this insight in his most recent column.

"If you want to see what it really takes to boot the economy out of a debt trap, look at the large public works program, otherwise known as World War II, that ended the Great Depression. The war didn’t just lead to full employment. It also led to rapidly rising incomes and substantial inflation, all with virtually no borrowing by the private sector. By 1945 the government’s debt had soared, but the ratio of private-sector debt to G.D.P. was only half what it had been in 1940. And this low level of private debt helped set the stage for the great postwar boom.

"Since nothing like that is on the table, or seems likely to get on the table any time soon, it will take years for families and firms to work off the debt they ran up so blithely," Krugman so blithely writes.

Yeah, WWII, now there was a government public works program for you.

It cost $3.9 trillion (in inflation adjusted dollars). It required the rationing of many goods (from gasoline to sugar), the incarceration of thousands of innocent civilians (remember those Japanese internment camps?), other told and untold sacrifices and the lives of more than 400,000 American soldiders as well as tens of millions of non Americans. Those were the days.

Krugman has been complaining for weeks that the Democrat-crafted stimulus package is far too small. He would like to see goverment-directed spending that approaches a war economy. Why? He apparently thinks that governments spend money better and more effectively than individual citizens.

But suddenly, the shock of the collapse of the financial markets is making Americans rethink their spendy ways. This is both good and bad. Americans should incur less debt and save more. But more saving means less consumption, a slower growing economy, fewer jobs, and more difficult times for many Americans.

How this will all work out is anybody's guess? But the American people are not as convinced as Krugman and other liberals that a huge government spending program, is just what is needed right now. (According to Rasmussen, only 38 percent believe the spending program will actually help the economy.) And what the bulk of Americans think matters quite a bit because it affects how they act

Investor and businessman Francis Cianfrocca "Deconstructs Krugman" here.

He notes that "Krugman is a sober, first-rate economist, but also a woolly-eyed, low-grade political hack."

Sounds about right.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Media Control Doctrine

Listen to self-described liberal democrat, Camille Paglia blast her fellow Democrats for trying to bring back the Fairness Doctrine.

"They totally betrayed the soul of the party."

The Soft Bigotry of Low Expectations

Now that they have their "stimulus" bill, the Obama team is telling the American people not to expect a quick turnaround.

Roger Kimball:

"They haven’t even extracted the money yet and already they’re telling us poor suckers “not to expect instant miracles from the $787 billion economic stimulus bill he will sign this week, but said it would help eventually.”
Eventually? As in that “long run” about which Lord Keynes said, “in the long run we’re all dead”?


Our Bugs Don't Stink

Oh, so they're called Halyomorpha halys." The more common name is "stink bug."

Over the last year we've noticed them at our house. They don't seem to stink and they are so slow moving and defenseless that Mrs. Spencerblog has announced she feels sorry for them.

Which explains her strange attraction to Spencerblog.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Fascism On the Rise

With the help of Alexis de Toqueville, Michael Ledeen makes a pretty strong case that we're all fascists now!

Hello to All That Welfare

The Democrats' stimulus bill is bringing back the welfare state. Just what many conservatives and a few liberals worried about.

Mickey Kaus:

... As Bill Clinton recognized, voters may well have been willing to let government spend, but they didn't trust old style liberals not to spend in actively destructive ways, like subsidizing an isolated underclass of non-working single mothers with a no-strings cash dole.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Read As You Go!

Iowa county considers charging inmate for toilet paper. As I recall, the Delco Prison Board considered something along these lines a few years ago.

Money Q:

"As for Des Moines County elected officials: "They've got budget problems, and they're looking for places to cut. But what do you do for the guy who hasn't got the dollar for the toilet paper?"

A dollar? The Des Moines Register can't cost more than 75 cents. Read as you go.

Or just add it to his bill, like the U.S. government does to taxpayers.

Another Murdered Cop

Another Philly cop shot and killed. His wife was two-months pregnant.

The shooter was wounded and is in custody. Maybe he can go to prison, write a book and become celebrated by the hard and looney political left for being a victim of our criminal justice system.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Decapitation Alert

Muslim leader decapitates wife who was trying to leave him.

She had a protection from abuse order against him. It didn't work. Unless you don't consider cutting off someone's head "abuse."


David Boaz on Obama's use of "The Shock Doctine."

But He's using it for good, right? Not evil.

And the Consensus Is...

A whole lot of borrowing and spending but very little economic stimulus. The Congressional Budget Office has been saying so for weeks.

Sen. Stimulus

Stimulus bill enabler Sen. Arlen Specter's isn't polling very well at the moment.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Is This Another Global Warming Thing?

More than 600,000 are without power due to high winds blowing across the land.

The grill on our deck got blown over and it's a big bastard. Impressive.

A Censible Withdrawal

Republican Judd Gregg politely tells Obama where he can stick his Commerce appointment.

Who can blame Gregg after Obama caved to liberal interest groups and took control of the census away from the pros at the Commerce Department and gave it to his own Chief of Staff.

That pretty changey. But not, you know, in a good way.

Worst In Show: PETA

PETA activists dressed up as KKK Klansman outside of the Westminster Dog Show.

Things really got out of hand when they tried to lynch Best In Show winner Stump the Sussex spaniel.

"Stump is a traitor to his species for participating in such a exploitative
event," hissed a noose-swinging PETA volunteer. "Death to Stump!" shouted a hooded Ima Katt.

A passerby told Katt to "get a life," before punching her in the face and leaving her a crumpled and bloody mess on the pavement outside Madison Square Garden.

God Bless Our Econ Majors, They're NEVER Wrong!

George Will on Obama's fear mongering of economic catastrophe and the historic fallibility of our economic "experts."

Money Q:

"The federal government, with its separation of powers and myriad blocking mechanisms, was not made for speed but for safety. This is particularly pertinent today because if $789 billion is spent ineffectively or destructively, government does not get to say "oops" and take a mulligan."

But, of course, it does. That is exactly what our government will do. In fact, it will claim it's first shot was a great success while tee-ing up another ball and whacking it God knows where.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

An 800-Billion-Dollar Gorilla

Veronique de Rugy finds 800 billion reasons to be worried about the stimulus package.

Fortunately she only lists half of them.

Uninspiring, Unimaginative, Unoriginal

Michael Gerson finds little about Obama's first three weeks in office to praise. The stimulus package he left to the most partisan branch of government. What he got was a spending behemouth. Nothing inspiring, imaginative or original.

That is especially disappointing when it comes to education.

Money Q:

"The educational betrayal of disadvantaged children is the tragedy that causes no scandal. Most Democrats in Congress seem content to represent education unions. Most Republicans oppose federal standards as a matter of ideology. Governors, both Democrat and Republican, are only too happy to take federal money without accountability. If a president does not speak for struggling children in failing schools, they will be ignored. As they are being ignored."

Meanwhile back in Obama's home state...

American Idol... NOT!

Accused Drexel Hill arsonist Amanda Gessler makes national news for singing about how mad the fire department is going to be with her.

She even made it on to The Drudge Report.

It could be worse. She could have had octuplets.

Our Centrist Senator

Arlen "The Preener" Spector, is a committed to being firmly in the center. Center of attention, anyway.

Goldberg flays him.

Where's Waldo? Find Him at the Inauguration

Check out this shot of the inauguration". It's very cool. You can zoom on on people for miles and it self focuses.

First observation: Antonin Scalia (the guy in the funny hat) looks like he's getting ready to punch Obama.

Hat Tip: Glen Featherman

UPDATE: And check out Hillary making sure she knows where Bill's hands are.

UPDATE II: I found Denzel Washington and Sean Puffy. Can you?

What Happens in Washington, Stays in Washington

Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman wants Obama to apologize for discouraging taxpayer funded boondoggles to his city.

The bad economy has hit Vegas as hard as any city in the country.

We'd like to know how Nevada's senior sentator, Harry Reid, feels about this.

That Hissing Sound You Heard

The tax scofflaw who was too important to oppose for the position of Treasury Secretary had his first press conference... and flopped.

Reward for Dropping a Dime on Nun Mugger

My print column on the mugged nun, Bob Herdelin and Joe Forte is up.

For the record, I didn't call her "brave" or "lucky."

Just read it.

Female Firebug

Are we allowed to be surprised that the Upper Darby arson suspect is a girl?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Political, Not Censible

The White House power grab over the census is worrying some folks, Republicans and the statisticians who actually, uh, do the census.

Money Q:

President Obama said in his inaugural address that he planned to "restore science to its rightful place" in government. That's a worthy goal. But statisticians at the Commerce Department didn't think it would mean having the director of next year's Census report directly to the White House rather than to the Commerce secretary, as is customary. "There's only one reason to have that high level of White House involvement," a career professional at the Census Bureau tells me. "And it's called politics, not science."

Nun Mugged

UPPER DARBY — An 82-year-old nun was mugged and beaten recently in the parking lot of the St. Alice Church complex at Walnut Street and Hampden Road.

Our criminal class is getting dumber and more violent.

How much cash does an 82-year-old nun tend to carry?

UPDATE: Answer: Nun! Check out my print column in tomorrow's paper

Nancy Pants

Just who wears the pants in the Democratic party? Nancy or Barack. He's a lot more popular than she is and yet, he refuses to bring her to heel on her unpopular spending bill.

If Obama isn't careful, he'll soon be as unpopular as the Democratic congress, over which Pelosi presides.

Bus Meet Joe

Obama suggests he doesn't listen a word his talkative vice president says.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Global Warming Drives People Crazy?

Here's a rather strange story about how global warming causes or might cause mental illness in some people.

"Last year, an anxious, depressed 17-year-old boy was admitted to the psychiatric unit at the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne. He was refusing to drink water. Worried about drought related to climate change, the young man was convinced that if he drank, millions of people would die. The Australian doctors wrote the case up as the first known instance of "climate change delusion."

(Insert your Al Gore Jr. joke here.)

"Robert Salo, the psychiatrist who runs the inpatient unit where the boy was treated, has now seen several more patients with psychosis or anxiety disorders focused on climate change, as well as children who are having nightmares about global-warming-related natural disasters."

(Isn't there a pretty big difference between being psychotic and having a nightmare?)

Such anxiety over current events is not a new phenomenon. Worries about contemporary threats, such as nuclear war or AIDS, have historically been woven into the mental illnesses of each generation. But global warming could have a broader and deeper effect on mental health, even if indirectly.

"Climate change could have a real impact on our psyches," says Paul Epstein, the associate director for the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School.

(Climate change? Or the oh-so-scary reports on the "climate change crisis"? After all, it's not climate change that caused that 17 year old's refusal to drink water. It's his mental illness, right?)

Over this century, the average global temperature is expected to rise between 1 degrees and 6 degrees Celsius. Glaciers will melt, seas will rise, extremes in precipitation will occur, according to scientists' predictions.

(Make that SOME scientists. But in any case, be afraid. Don't drink the water. Check yourself into the nearest mental hospital.)

There is evidence that extreme weather events, such as droughts, floods, cyclones, and hurricanes, can lead to emotional distress, which can trigger such things as depression or post-traumatic stress disorder, in which the body's fear and arousal system kicks into overdrive.

(No kidding. But it requires an actual flood, or cyclone, or hurricane, right? Not the imagined kind.)

After Hurricane Katrina, rates of severe mental illness - including depression, PTSD, anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and a variety of phobias - doubled, from 6.1 percent to 11.3 percent, among those who lived in affected regions, a 2006 study by the Hurricane Katrina Community Advisory Group said.

(OK, Hurricane Katrina was a real event, though, according to hurricane experts, NOT attributable to global warming. Whatever. Is it surprising that an extra five percent of people who lost their jobs, homes and all their property in the flooding, saw an increase in anxiety disorders? What's this have to do with the teenager in Australia who won't drink any water? Answer: Nothing!)

Rates of mild-to-moderate mental illness also doubled, from 9.7 percent to 19.9 percent.

"After a disaster, people can feel inadequate, like outside forces are taking control of their lives," said Joshua Miller, a professor at the Smith College School for Social Work who responds to disasters worldwide. "They can't see a positive future. They tend to lose hope or become depressed."

(Like outside forces are taking control of their lives? Yeah, well, losing the home and city they've lived in for years will do that to some people.)

Severe disasters also destroy the infrastructure needed to provide mental health care, and forcibly displace people, severing social connections when people need them most, Miller said.

(Blah, blah, blah)

Climate change is expected to create about 200 million environmental refugees by 2050, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the international body established within the United Nations to evaluate causes and consequences of global warming.

(Wait, wait, wait. That number, the 200 million refugees? Does it make any difference whether the temperature goes up 1 degree this century or 6 degrees? Will their be fewer refugees if it's only 1 degree. The history of mankind is the history of people being displaced or killed by environmental disasters from floods, draughts, earthquakes, hurricanes, volcanoes and tital waves. But won't inflating the likelihood of such disasters cause more mentally-ill 17 year olds to stop drinking water?)

Of course, no one can predict what effect warming will have on our psyches.

(They're all so different don't you know.)

The links between mental illness and the weather can be tenuous or even downright contradictory.

(Now you tell us. But what about links between human activity and global warming? Any chance of any tenuousness there? What about solar activity and cloud cover?)

Depending on which studies you read, suicide is more common, less common, or equally common in hot weather. Ditto the weather.

(Oh, OK. Well, thanks for clarifying that.)

Tropic of Cancer

Henry Miller says the new head of EPA isn't likely to let hard science get in the way of the political agenda of anti-growth, green zealots.

After all, she is one.

Paul Krugman Performs

The Krooger is very, very upset with our new president for negotiating the stimulus package and listening to Republican centrists at all.

At least, he pretends to be. This way when the pork-loaded stimulus package doesn't work, Krooger gets to say, "See, I told you it wasn't BIG enough."

Krooger won a Nobel Prize for economics. But he won it for a very specific observation concerning international trade, called New Trade Theory. He is no more an expert on what this gigantic stimulus package will do to the U.S. economy than Jane Fonda is.

One thing they both have in common; they're both terrific actresses.

The Scandal Game

Suzanne Garment explains the relatively trivial crimes of Obama's failed nominees.

Having raised the "ethical" bar so high, our new president is wounding himself and his administration.

But this is what politics has become, a game of hypocritical gotcha'. It has been with us since the 1970s. It's their game, let them play it. We get to watch in awe and wonder.

'Twas Government Killed the Beast

Democrats have been blaming greedy businessmen and lack of regulation for the mortgage crisis and economic meltdown.

Wrong! says economist John Taylor.

Government, through bad monetary policy, both created and burst the bubble.

Money Q:

"The classic explanation of financial crises is that they are caused by excesses -- frequently monetary excesses -- which lead to a boom and an inevitable bust. This crisis was no different: A housing boom followed by a bust led to defaults, the implosion of mortgages and mortgage-related securities at financial institutions, and resulting financial turmoil."

Thus our King Kong economy was knocked off its perch on the Empire State Building.

Read it all.

Grammy Shocker

Al Gore wins for reading "An Inconvenient Truth."

Next up: On Broadway, Gore wins Tony for "An Inconvenient Truth: The Musical."

Fear Doesn't Strike Out

Doom, gloom, catastrophe? Unless Obama and Dems get their way on stimulus.

Feckless Ferkler

A career criminal leaves car keys in trunk allowing U.D. cops to find stolen drugs. Time to find another career.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

"Dreams of My President"

NYT columnist Judith Warner dreams of Obama in the shower and then goes fishing for other people's Obama dreams.

"Another Washington woman, a global health care consultant, expressed her sense of Obama-inadequacy in a dream: “I dreamed I was an Obama girl. I had a chance to be in the same room with him for the first time. There were dark velvet chairs and he was standing there with all this dark and mist around him. His lips so purple and sensuous as if to be otherworldly,” she wrote to me. “I moved gently toward him and then I said the wrong thing. Obama tamped it down like some vapor that didn’t register. He wasn’t even flattered.”

Gee, we wonder why. These people are just weird.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Ask Your Doctor If Stimulus is Right For You!

Stimulus, the new Cialis, watch out for all those nasty side effects.

The Stabenow Doctrine

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) is pushing to bring back the discredited "Fairness Doctrine" to force radio broadcasters to air more liberal programming.

The necessity for the doctrine is obvious. Liberal talk radio has consistently failed in the free market of radio broadcasting. It's the one media format that liberals don't control.

Wait it gets better.

Stabenow is married to Thomas Athans one of the founders of Air America, the little Liberal Radio Network That Couldn't - find an audience that is. No conflict of interest there.

Wait it gets better.

Last year Athans was picked up by Detroit police while they were investigating an Internet prostitution ring. Athans was stopped driving away from a hotel where he met one of prostitutes. He admitted to paying the sex worker $150 to perform oral sex. He was, however, not charged. And the police report was deep sixed until the Detroit Free Press filed a Freedom of Information Act request to spring it loose. (This was all before Obama made transparency the hallmark of the Democratic Party.) Athans was charged with driving the couple's Cadillac DeVille on a suspended license.

Spencerblog is recently on record as supporting legalized prostitution, as well as pot-smoking. But we can't tolerate politicans who own gas-guzzling vehicles that are used in the commission of crimes.

We certainly hope the prostitute in question paid the taxes on the $150 she earned from Mr. Athans or she'll never qualify to hold a post in any future Democratic administration.

The Angry Left and Sarah Palin

Yuvel Levin on The Meaning of Sarah Palin.

Money Q:

"The reaction to Palin revealed a deep and intense cultural paranoia on the Left: an inclination to see retrograde reaction around every corner, and to respond to it with vile anger. A confident, happy, and politically effective woman who was also a social conservative was evidently too much to bear. The response of liberal feminists was in this respect particularly telling, and especially unpleasant."

Read the whole thing. Conservatives come in for some criticism too.

Modest Proposals

My print column with a few modest proposals on how to cut the state's budget deficit, is up.

Krugman the Magnificient

1. Princeton economist/partisan NYT columnist Paul Krugman asserts that the GOP is trying to destroy the U.S. economy.

2. He says the Democratic "stimulus" spending plan is not nearly big ENOUGH.

3. He says Japan experienced a “lost decade” of deflation and stagnation in the 1990s — and the only thing that let Japan escape from its trap was a global boom that boosted the nation’s exports.

4. He has nothing to say about the story in his own paper that Japan's 1980s spending boom was a failure. (Probably wasn't big enough.)

5. He says "Count me among those who think that the president made a big mistake in his initial approach, that his attempts to transcend partisanship ended up empowering politicians who take their marching orders from Rush Limbaugh." (In other words, Obama should take his marching orders from Paul Krugman.)

6. He says Obama "must not shy away from pointing out that those who stand in the way of his plan, in the name of a discredited economic philosophy, are putting the nation’s future at risk. The American economy is on the edge of catastrophe, and much of the Republican Party is trying to push it over that edge."

In other words, those who do not bow down and worship Paul Krugman and his faith-based economic theory of huge government and massive deficit spending are, for all intents and purposes, traitors to their country.

What a great argument!

Spend, Spend, Spend

Critics of the stimulus package have pointed out it includes $88 million for new construction in Milwaukee's public schools even though 15 of its schools are empty due to declining enrollment and no new construction projects have been planned.

Our own Joe Sestak recently boasted that the stimulus bill would bring $23.7 million in school construction projects to his district. Just where and on what that money would be spent, well nobody seems to know right now.

For the time being, it's just a shiny trinket that Joe can hold up before the eyes of the voters and twirl.

Fear Over Hope and Change

Chucky the K observes Obama's choice of "hope over fear" is non-operative when it comes to the gargantuan, pork-laden stimulus package.

If fear is needed to pass the bill, let's whip it up.

And BTW pay no attention to those campaign promises of changing the way business is done in Washington.

Obama is the midget from Poltergeist: Lobbyists, tax delinquents, special interest greasers, all are welcome, all cross over.

GOP As Clueless as Dems

As for the GOP's answer (setting the mortgage rates to stimulate home buying) to the Dems' stimulus package, the WSJ editorial board skewers it.

Say 'Ello To My Very Beeg Fren?

How about Sayonara instead?

The NYT reports from Hamada, Japan: The liberal government's massive public works spending in 1980s while their economy was faultering, did little to help the long-term economy and helped turn the nation into a Tokyo controlled, big-spending welfare state.

Money Q:

"Nor is this remote port in western Japan unusual. Japan’s rural areas have been paved over and filled in with roads, dams and other big infrastructure projects, the legacy of trillions of dollars spent to lift the economy from a severe downturn caused by the bursting of a real estate bubble in the late 1980s. During those nearly two decades, Japan accumulated the largest public debt in the developed world — totaling 180 percent of its $5.5 trillion economy — while failing to generate a convincing recovery."

Phelps Dumped

Tony the Tiger says he's not so GRRRRREAT!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

CBO Trashes "Stimulus" Bill

The Congressional Budget Office says its better to do nothing than to pass a stimulus bill that does more long term harm than short term good.

Going Going Geithner

On the Right, civil disobedience is making a comeback thanks to our new Treasury Secretary.

The Perks of Power

Free private jet, a personal chef... these sort of management perks need to be investigated and possibly prosecuted.

Limit Ball Players Salaries?

Charlie Foxtrot echos Spencerblog on the limiting of executive pay.

"If this is the road that Obama wants to go down, the real question needs to far is he prepared to go??

"Will he be prepared to call for a limit on the salaries of professional athletes? Much of their exorbitant paychecks are due to ticket sales. Tickets to seats in many stadiums around the country that are subsidized by taxpayer funding. If they had to play in stadiums actually affordable to their team's owner's wallets, there would be no glut of money to pay them millions. New, shiny, tax-payer funded stadia/arena permit the owners to shower manna upon these athletes. And by definition, most of these players are failures, but still accept millions without shame. Thus I would expect Obama to call on the NFL, NBA and MLB to cap their salaries...or else they could feel some pain...Janet Reno style!"

Fair question.

Dems Losing the P.R. War

Liberal E.J. Dionne is upset with our new president. He's getting beaten by a defeated GOP.

"Obama's network appearances were planned as a response to a wholly unanticipated development: Republicans -- short on new ideas, low on votes, and deeply unpopular in the polls -- have been winning the media wars over the president's central initiative."

Short on new ideas? As if massive, porkified government spending is a new idea.

It hasn't ocurred to E.J. that the GOP is winning this "war" because it has the better argument.

Big Government's Trickle Down

The Democrats' form of trickle-down economics: Give more money to government (or allow it to print more money) and watch it trickle-down to the little people.

Only it won't.

Money Q:

"White House adviser Larry Summers argued that any stimulus must be "targeted, timely and temporary." This bill does the opposite. Mr. Obama pledged to "scour our federal budget, line by line, and make meaningful cuts." His cuts are unspecific and fanciful, while Congress's spending will be real and record-setting. Discretionary domestic spending will have nearly doubled by the time Mr. Obama stops dithering and starts scouring."

OK, so Bush, Rove and the Republicans deserved the criticism they got for not controlling spending when they were in office. Is that any reason to give Obama and the Democrats a pass on this nightmare of a non-stimulus package?

Don't Record Me, Bro!

Rep. Bryan Lentz and Swarthmore police chief Brian Craig have gotten together to propose changing state law to allow recording devices on cop-operated tasers.

Sounds like a good idea.

The value of such recordings can be seen here.

Legalized Poker Machines?

With his proposed budget and past support of more and more gambling schemes to raise money for government, our governor deserves a new nickname.

Call him Ed "The Vig" Rendell.

Going To War With Nancy

Interesting radio interview with Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn) over the "stimulus" package, his battle with Pelosi to rid the bill of pork, and his claim that Obama would like to see a cleaner bill.

Meanwhile, traditional liberals and other leftists are arguing that there isn't enough stimulating pork in the bill or that all the fat doesn't matter.

Who wins this fight does matter.

UPDATE: More on this from Dan Henninger.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

"Imbecile Heads Hudsucker"

Spencerblog is watching "The Hudsucker Proxy," the Coen Brothers send-up of 1950s business and 1930s movies and newspapers.

These times give it special resonance.

Tim Robbins is great. Leigh and Newman are even better.

Good stuff.

Reviewing the Situation

If Obama can set compensation limits for corporate executives can it do it for baseball players?. After all the league enjoys a terrific anti-trust exemption.

Maybe he could force the owners to lower ticket prices to about $10, so more poor people could enjoy going to the games.

Something that will help us little people and not just soak the rich.

Hey, wait a minute. Won't lowering executive compensation actually cost the federal treasury money by lowering the amount they pay in taxes?

Maybe he should take a page out of this guy's book.

We're Sorry? For What?

Obama's apologies to the Muslim world are out of sync with history and America's efforts to free oppressed Muslims and come to their aid all over the world.

Jeff Jacoby explains.

Muslim supremacists need to called what they are and kicked in the teeth.

When Daschle Drove Himself

Hey Tom, 1986, those were the days.

News You Can Use

Hey, there's snow out there!

Lessons Learned: Money Talks

My print column on Joe Sestak's Education Summit vs. my Vegas trip is up.

Lobbing One In

Another Obama nominee in trouble, this one for "lobbying herself"?

More change of the same.

Sixers Lose...

... but beautifully and proudly to the NBA Champs sans Garnett.

A Bomb Has Been Planted - HA HA!

Some pranks are not only not funny, they can land you in jail.

Enough Already

TARP recipient Wells Fargo is taking some cuff for having a staff "recognition event" in Las Vegas.

Iowahawk explains why populist outage is unwarranted.

(Disclaimer: Spencerblog just got back from Vegas. No taxpayer funds were used for the trip.)

A Stimulating Wake-Up Call

The stimulus package is not only unnecessary, it could be harmful to our economy and slow its recovery.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Can't Anybody Here Play This Game... and pay their taxes too?

Another Obama nominee/tax dodger bites the dust

Update: And another one.

Non-Stimulating Protectionism

It is one thing to encourage people to "Buy American," it is quite another to make it the law.

Free, competitive world trade is good for everybody (everybody but some domestic unions).

The French are whining. They are right to.

Just look at what the Obama administration is doing to our moral standing in the world.

Scofflaw Daschle Disqualified: Not!

An activity both media liberals and conservatives can get behind: Kicking Daschle!

Let's face it, the guy's a tax scofflaw and hypocrite. He deserves a few kicks. And so do his hypocritical supporters.

Holy @#$%^! Batman!

This is The Dark Knight?

Baby Don't Grow

The Curious Case of Suraya Brown.

She's not getting any younger but she's not getting any bigger either.

Dodd's Dodge

Sen. Chris Dodd paid by the taxpayers to oversee the mortgage industry prior to the mortgage meltdown fiasco got a sweetheart deal from the nation's largest mortgage company (Countrywide) because he qualified for the "Friends of Angelo" program. That was a select group of influential players former Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo tapped for special favors from the mortgage giant.

Months ago Dodd promised to release documents that showed him innocent of any wrongdoing. The other day he briefly showed some documents to several reporters without allowing them to make copies.

The WSJ remains skeptical and critical of Dodd's past and ongoing behavior.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Barry Barry Funny

In the wake of the Daschle embarrassment, James Taranto nominates Marion Barry for Drug Czar.

Dumb Drexel Hill Doc Busted

Goes on Craig's List to barter drugs for sex.

A head shot is involved, you figure it out.

"Make No Mistake, I Deserve to Be Treated Different Than You"

Taxprof does a Tom "Free Ride" Daschle round-up.

My fave:

National Review (via InstaPundit): The Corner:

“Make no mistake, tax cheaters cheat us all, and the IRS should enforce our laws to the letter.” Sen. Tom Daschle, Congressional Record, May 7, 1998, p. S4507.

Pot Calls Kettle High

Libertarian Radley Balko pens the letter he says Michael Phelps should have written after being busted for pot.

It begins:

Dear America,

I take it back. I don’t apologize.

Because you know what? It’s none of your godd----ed business. I work my (butt) off 10 months a year. It’s that hard work that gave you all those gooey feelings of patriotism last summer. If during my brief window of down time I want to relax, enjoy myself, and partake of a substance that’s a hell of a lot less bad for me than alcohol, tobacco, or, frankly, most of the prescription drugs most of you are taking, well, you can spare me the lecture.

Hmmm. It might help get the EZ Wider rolling papers endorsement but other than that...

Czech, Please!

Czech Prez Vaclav Klaus disses Al Gore on Global Warming.

"I'm afraid that the current crisis will be misused for radically constraining the functioning of the markets and market economy all around the world," he said.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

A Taxing Question

What is it about Democratic appointees and their taxes?

A Prophylactic Spending Bill

Steyn on the Democratic syphilis package.

Spending Party Pooper

Meet Jim Cooper, Democratic congressman, fiscal conservative and grown-up in a town full of free-spending teenagers. George Will has the story.

Cooper hails from Tennessee and lost to Fred Thompson when he ran for Senate in 1994.

(His campaign incidentally was run by Swarthmore resident and former Avenging Aardvark catcher Thomas "Doc" Sweitzer.)

Thompson/Cooper in 2012