Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Understanding War and the American Character

Fascinating interview with author and military historian Victor Davis Hanson.

This is the second in a series of five, watch them all. They're well worth it.

I stole this from Tony too.

Liberal Media Gone Wild

Stole this from my colleague Tony's blog. (Fair is fair, he reprinted a whole column of mine in Merc. Thanks Tony.)

Stay tuned to the end where Chris Matthews "seriously" asks if the Republicans incitement to mob violence is "criminal."

More here from Jonah Goldberg.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T, Find Out What It Means to Me...

Temple nurses go on strike. According to their signs, they are demanding "respect" and "recognition."

Not more money? Not better benefits?

Write it in the contract. "We RESPECT you. We RECOGNIZE you!" Demands met. Now back to work.

Militia Whackos vs. Ghetto Gangs: Which Is the Greater Threat?

While the FBI and Justice Dept. investigate those scary Christian whack-jobs in northern Michigan, suspected gangs play shoot 'em up in the nation's capitol.

Why should we be more worried about protecting the government than protecting some of the nation's poorest and most vulnerable citizens?

Mumia in the Age of Obama? Still Guilty!

Live on Death Row: Mumia at the Crossroads in the Age of Obama.

According to the press release from Educators for Mumia Abu Jamal (EMAJ) the "time for negotiation is over." They are appealing to Attorney General Eric Holder for justice.

Maybe Holder will approve a new trial for Mumia, this time in New York City. In the meantime, the EMAJ will be holding a conference at Columbia University this weekend to discuss whatever it is these people, these "educators" discuss.

According to Negotiation Is Over, Mumia Abu Jamal is "brilliant, humane, and (the) prolific writer and advocate for social justice who has become known as the “Voice of the Voiceless.” He is also a liar, a huckster, and an unrependent cop-killer.

Case closed.

Newtown Square P.O. to Relocate

Newtowners are going to miss their post office.

A couple of weeks ago I chided the County Press for not putting a question mark at the end of their headline "Newtown Square P.O to Relocate," given that negotiations were ongoing. Turned out the Press was prescient. It certainly knew more about the intentions of the George Spaeder's tenet, than Spaeder did.

A Tragedy of Shakespearean Proportions

Will Bunch says the Climategate scandal is much ado about nothing but, if you check the comments, his readers don't seem to agree with him.

"We're Twisting Arms, We're Threatening People..."

ReasonTV gives three reasons how pubic sector unions are killing the economy.

A Trip Down Protest Memory Lane

Democrats and some media outlets are dismissing the Tea Party protests as violent, scary and un-American.

Evan Coyne Mahoney helps us recall how reasonable and patriotic dissent was when George W. Bush was in office. (Warning: Bad words abound.)

Everyone Should Know His Name

Real estate magnate, bounty hunter, and Cheers bar owner, Bob "Herky" Herdelin, gets a lot off his chest. My print column is up.

Obama: I Am Not a Crook!

Noemie Emory, a woman of the Right, sees a connection between how Obama and the Democrats passed healthcare (not illegally but illegitimately) and how Richard Nixon attempted to save his presidency.

Meanwhile, a man of the Left, Howard Fineman, sees that the Democrats are in serious trouble thanks to their healthcare "folly."

Blaming the Victims

Democrats and the White House blame corporate America for following the law. Meanwhile their shills at the New York Times and other Democratic house organs dutifully ignore the clear meaning of these writedowns.

Liberalism's Reflected Glory

Shelby Steele on our transformative and narcissistic president.
Of the two great societal goals—freedom and "the good"—freedom requires a conservatism, a discipline of principles over the good, limited government, and so on. No way to grandiosity here. But today's liberalism is focused on "the good" more than on freedom. And ideas of "the good" are often a license to transgress democratic principles in order to reach social justice or to achieve more equality or to lessen suffering. The great political advantage of modern liberalism is its offer of license on the one hand and moral innocence—if not superiority—on the other. Liberalism lets you force people to buy health insurance and feel morally superior as you do it. Power and innocence at the same time.
Read it all.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

He'll Leave His Way

Big Bob says he will be out of the bar business by the end of the year. But he will not be "pushed out" of Upper Darby and that he plans to sue UDPD boss Mike Chitwood for defamation.

And a parting shot...

Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous with Bob Herdelin

Big Bob gives a tour of his bathroom, gives a shout out to John McNichol and tells the Oprah Winfrey Story.

More from Big Bob Herdelin

Herdelin explains why he and his bar gets blamed by police for every negative incident that occurs at 69th and Market in Upper Darby

And why, when he's a multi-millionaire, he stays in Upper Darby and lives over a dive bar.

Wake Up, Walsh People!

Salon columnist Joan Walsh asks "What the matter with white people? when it comes to understanding that Obamacare is good for them.

In turn, white people are asking "What's the matter with Joan Walsh?" when it comes to understanding that long-term high deficits, higher insurance premiums, higher taxes and government-rationed healthcare aren't good for ANYONE!

Poor Joan.

But that's what happens when you listen to that pudgy, little, white idiot, Frank Rich.

"Herky" Herderlin Gets a Hearing

I went down to Cheers bar in Upper Darby Monday night to see if I could talk to its owner Bob "Herky" Herdelin. The bar was closed.

But as I was about to leave, across Market Street came the unmistakable figure of the former LaSalle College basketball star. Almost, 70 years old, Herdelin is 6-foot-4 and weighs 210 pounds.

For a man who has a self-proclaimed net worth of $80 million, he dresses like a college bartender, jeans and a Wharton sweatshirt. He invited me up to the room he lives in over the bar to talk about the closing of Cheers and being persecuted by Police Superintendent Mike Chitwood.

More to come.

All American Pharmacy Assistant

Nova's Scottie Reynolds makes first team All American and he's offered a career in medical billing. (Check out the comments.)

Premiums to Jump Along With Excuses

Healthcare premiums could rise 17 percent for younger Americans.

Top Three Backroom Democratic responses:

3. Who cares? Young people don't vote.
2. Let's haul insurance executives in before Congress and blame them for hating young people.
1. Let's accuse younger Americans of being racist.

UPDATE: Even better number one thing overheard in the Democratic cloak room: "Let's raise the age you can stay on your parents' insurance plan to 68."

Monday, March 29, 2010

Christian Militia Busted

Christian militia members charged with conspiring to kill cops.

Charges are one thing. Let the feds prove it in court. If they do, they should put these jokers away for a good long time.

The GOA Punks the EPA

A bogus gas-powered alarm clock meets the EPA's standard for an "Energy Star" product. John Stossel and the New York Times report.

Coming soon from Obamacare, a solar-powered pacemaker.

I made that up, but I wouldn't be surprised if it passed EPA muster.

Frank Rich is a Pudgy Little Idiot

Opposition to Obamacare = Racism?
Frank Rich spent many years as the theater critic for the New York Times, where, at worst, his venom could cause a Broadway production or two to close down.

Now, however, Mr. Rich opines on political and social issues for the Times, and, while the results are usually mildly amusing (even if unintentionally so), his reach has grown a bit, so the damage he causes can travel beyond the footlights. I’m not sure why anyone turns to Rich for political analysis—heck, you might as well read the rantings of a TV game show host—
so writes the Wheel of Fortune's, very clever Pat Sajak.

Vanity Unfair

Centrist Robert Samuelson on the destructive hubris of Obamacare.
When historians recount the momentous events of recent weeks, they will note a curious coincidence. On March 15, Moody's Investors Service -- the bond rating agency -- published a paper warning that the exploding U.S. government debt could cause a downgrade of Treasury bonds. Just six days later, the House of Representatives passed President Obama's health care legislation costing $900 billion or so over a decade and worsening an already-bleak budget outlook.

Should the United States someday suffer a budget crisis, it will be hard not to conclude that Obama and his allies sowed the seeds, because they ignored conspicuous warnings. A further irony will not escape historians. For two years, Obama and members of Congress have angrily blamed the shortsightedness and selfishness of bankers and rating agencies for causing the recent financial crisis. The president and his supporters, the historians will note, were equally shortsighted and self-centered -- though their quest was for political glory, not financial gain.

Cheers About To Be Cancelled

A new bust at Cheers.

The four people arrested were Joseph (Woody) Johnson, 45, of Harding Avenue, Havertown, for alleged drug dealing, and Emily (Diane) Brady, 49, of Radbourne Road, Upper Darby, Fanny (Norm) Johnson, 55, of Concord Road, Darby, and Devyn (Carla) Koehler, 21, of Pechin Street, Philadelphia, all for alleged drug possession.

No Sale

The president's effort at selling his party's healthcare reform plan AFTER passing it, isn't working.

No wonder the left has to resort to charges of racism and exaggerated accusations of violence.

The People: "We hate your healthcare plan."

The Dems: "Look over there, a squirrel. A really mean squirrel."

Preferring President Palin

The father (grandfather) of neo-conservatism, Norman Podhoretz, defends Sarah Palin by reminding his conservative friends that before Ronald Reagan was RONALD REAGAN, he too was considered a light-weight air-head.

Podhoretz is careful to say this doesn't mean that Palin should be President of the United States but I certainly agree with him that based on his performance so far, he would prefer Palin in the Oval Office than its current resident.

What Palin understands that Obama seems not to is that America has been a force for good in the world and is not a nation that needs to be led on an apology tour of the galaxy.

Too many people are mesmerized by those with oratorical gifts. They confuse erudition with competence and I.Q. with wisdom. There have been many very smart men who have been utter failures as political leaders. Jimmy Carter to name one. While there have been others, like Reagan, who wasn't so intellectually gifted but understood the big things in politics and life.

Nice to have both brains and wisdom (like Lincoln). But better wisdom without brains (Truman, Washington) than brains without wisdom (Wilson, Obama).

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Obama Cracks Down on Afghanistan

(Reuters) - President Barack Obama arrived in Afghanistan on Sunday on an unannounced visit during which he will press President Hamid Karzai to crack down on corruption and battle drug traffic.

Or what? He'll impose Obamacare on the Afghan people?

Ed Rendell Misinformed Misinforms

I'm watching Ed Rendell on ABC's This Week claiming that thanks to Obamacare insurance companies can no longer decline to cover children with pre-existing conditions.

Except, the Democrats were so busy twisting arms and bribing their own members to vote for this unpopular bill they FORGOT to include the provision and make it operative. Oh well, most insurance companies will be cover such children anyway even though it isn't the law of the land.

I watched Rendell on film last night explaining why it was important for his friends and political patrons to move $25 billion worth of art from the Barnes Foundation in Merion to Philadelphia, a city where the police can't protect its citizens from "flash mobs" of rioting "children."

Here's an idea, just sell the Barnes collection to the highest private bidders. That will fund healthcare for children in this country... for about three months.

You Can Keep It? Says Who?

"If you like your current healthcare plan you can keep it."

Remember who said that?

Well, it was either a lie or the claim of an incredibly ignorant person. The kind of person who doesn't know the difference between liability insurance and collision insurance.

Obamacare By Any Means Necessary

Disdain for We the People.
...Obama exhibits disdain for those he governs.

Accustomed to the hosannas of fawning admirers, he turns a deaf ear to anyone suggesting he might not have all the answers.

He simply declared his presidency demanded passage of this controversial legislation, and Congress assured him it would comply, by any means necessary.
That's what you get when you give all that power to any one party. And yet, you seem to especially get it if that party is the Democratic Party.

A $25 Billion Art Heist

The looting of the Barnes Foundation for political prestige and power. They've made a very cool movie about it. My print column is up.

Catholic Schools vs. Public Schools

As Catholic schools struggle and fold, pay continues to go up for public school teachers.

What a joke.

Once Again, The Race Card is Back

Frankie One Note explains the anger. It's all about racism, of course.

Meanwhile, Andrew Breitbart is skeptical. He offering a $10,000 donation to the United Negro College Fund for hard proof that anyone shouted the n-word at Rep. John Lewis during the Dems anti-Tea Party march to the Capitol steps.
If we let them get away with Saturday’s stunt — using the imagery of the Civil Rights era and hurtful lies to cast aspersions upon the tea party whole — then they really will have won the day.
It’s time for the allegedly pristine character of Rep. John Lewis to put up or shut up. Therefore, I am offering $10,000 of my own money to provide hard evidence that the N- word was hurled at him not 15 times, as his colleague reported, but just once. Surely one of those two cameras wielded by members of his entourage will prove his point.
Breitbart will settle for Lewis passing a lie detector test.

UPDATE: Obama IS losing support among white male voters. But it has nothing to do with race. As Jimmy Carville would say, "It's the agenda, stupid."

Fiscal Protection Racket

Bob Herbert says the public needs financial abuse protection. He's right. But wrong about who they need it from. Check out the deficit and debt, Bob. The federal government has the national credit card and it's on power spending spree the likes of which have never been seen.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Reality vs. Obamacare

Nobel-Prize winning economist Gary Becker on Obamacare:
It's a bad bill... Health care in the United States is pretty good, but it does have a number of weaknesses. This bill doesn't address them. It adds taxation and regulation. It's going to increase health costs—not contain them."
As more and more people understand this, more and more people are going to understand they were misled by the Misleader-in-Chief.

Obamacare Writedowns Costing Billions

The damage wrought by Obamacare begins.

Barnes Trumped

I saw The Art of the Steal last night and I'm writing about it for tomorrow.

Here's the trailer.

The Dems, Gut Checked

Greg Gutfeld makes the case for anger:
We are angry not because we lost, but that we lost to losers. I'm not talking about Obama, or the Dems. They're winners, sadly. I'm talking about progressivism. The reason why I'm angry, my friends are angry, and my imaginary unicorn Captain Sparkles is angry - is because the greatest, most winningest country in the history of the world, just embraced the loser's doctrine.

For two hundred plus years we've kicked ass, and we're now choosing the belief system of the idiots whose asses we've kicked.

So that's why I'm angry. And why you're angry too.

And when jackasses try to take away your right to be angry - by calling it racist or extremist - tell them they're the racists. Because it's those tools who assume that anger can only be about race. And if they disagree with you, then clearly they're not just racists - but probably homophobic cannibals, too.

Target, Isolate, Distract

David Harsanyi on the Masters of Distraction.

Poor Democrats! The people are angry at them and some of them are behaving badly, insensitively using scary words, like "target" and holding candle-light ("Torch" light?) vigils. These tea partiers are "mad, MAD," they'll tell you. As in crazy and insane. And let's not forget, racist. And anybody who doesn't agree with their badly-needed, history-making healthcare reform bill are racists by proxy.

Will the Democrats' campaign of distraction work? It will with a certain portion of the media. But, with the voting public? I doubt it.

As I Was Saying...

Gee, this sounds familiar.
“In plain English: Insuring a bunch of people in a few years is no guarantee they will actually get access to medical care. Why? Because Texas, along with the rest of the country, has a shortage of doctors. It’s especially acute in primary care. And it is expected to worsen as more uninsured people get coverage.

How did this shortage happen?

A lot of studies, including some cited in this space, list various reasons: Primary care doctors don’t get paid as much as other doctors, and they don’t get reimbursed for talking to their patients about how to stay healthy. The average doctor graduates from medical school with $150,000 in debts, according to Dr. James Rohack, president of the American Medical Association. With that kind of debt, many of them can’t afford to get into primary care.

Still, I was stunned by a statistic Rohack shared when I heard him speak at a conference in Austin on Monday: 67 percent of U.S. doctors are specialists; just 33 percent are in primary care. If current trends continue, he said, we will be short 124,000 doctors of all stripes by 2025.

Few Texas doctors want to take care of patients on Medicaid because the payments are so low. And most of the newly insured people from the new health care law in 2014 will be on Medicaid. What will it be like for them when they become insured? And as they clamor for care, what will it be like for the rest of us?”

ObamaCare’s new slogan: Tax and Ration.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Wouldn't This Be Special

The Washington Examiner is calling for a special prosecutor in the le affair Sestak.
Specter spoke out on the Sestak affair two weeks ago, suggesting that Sestak name names, or else pipe down. "I'm telling you it is a federal crime punishable by jail," Specter said, "and anybody who wants to say that ought to back it up."
But the allegation ought to be taken seriously because it fits a pattern of White House behavior. Last September, the Denver Post reported that White House Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina offered a U.S. foreign aid job to Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff. The offer was meant as an inducement to make him drop his Senate primary challenge against incumbent Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet.
The hits just keep on coming.

Attempted Skankapodomy?

Susan Finkelstein found "not guilty" of prostitution. Found guilty of attempted prostitution.


Not Bad for Government Work

Veronique de Rugy picks up on a recent theme of Spencerblog: Public employee wages and benefits vs private sector workers.

Question of the Day.... at Paige's Auto

Do you know the difference between liability and collision car insurance? (Because the President of the United States doesn't - see my column posted below.)

Pretty darn close.

Not too far off.

And from the owner himself...

No, he's not, he said, after the camera was turned off. I say, Joe's just being modest.

Awesome Pet Trick of the Day

"Amazing Grace." But you have to listen with dog ears

Hate on the Left

Democrats claim they are being threatened by right-wing kooks. But kooks come from all parties and in all political persuasions. As these threats against Sarah Palin and her family make clear:
@sEaTtLe_MeTrO Death 2 Palin family them retarded hillbillies take teabaggers w/ you hateful bitch

and this:

We cant expect gov to intervene we must shoot Gen. Palin on site be 4 her troops strike again!

and this:

@interactionswst one word racism choose sides plain and simply that bitch Palin launch an attack, she need 2 b shot on site!

and this:

@Palin360 you need 2 b assassinated soon we ll settle 4 one of the family if not u!

and this:

maybe it takes a murder or 2 2 get the point across take aim at radical TP members

and this:

@BRIANGLAD Palin will b met with gunfire her or her family

and this:

IS Sarah Palin still alive, please feel free 2 domecheck that bitch! she will look good in tha box the TP left on someones lawn

and this:

Yeah shorty i know soon as a bitch get killed bout a lie then ppl gone realize how stupid n lack info can get u hurt TP f---- wit fire

and this:

@Southfive her map w crosshair need to b put on her family she that bitch can die or a TP supporter

and this:

Does Palin really want what she ask 4? we ll see after death strikes i guess no pose 2 see her rhetoric,it can b dangerous. but who cares!

and this:

i got 2 go see how many more targets Gen. Palin got mapped out that bitch gone get or someone i hope its GOP one of them racist f-----s

and this:

THe street gangs of america can take on the teabaggers and Palin. TP is callin 4 war just shoot any TP associates and family MS13 BITCHES!

and this:

I cant wait till someone serious hurt that bitch Palin or one of her children soon she out of control!

and this:

@Oplis the ppl of color have been wait n 4 no one can agree on history so suggest the Palin plan let roll!ms13 will take care of that bitch

and this:

Palin came 2 lower 48 2 start a civil divide this could b the moment of truth 4 americans 2 put her down

and this:

i encourage ppl 2 meet the TP wit the same acts of violence Palin instructs them 2 do we need 2 harass them 2 their racist graves

and this:

#hcr proof that Palin targeted Va. rep. w/ her map and someone followed up we have 2 stop this terrorist name Sarah someone please kill her!
Is Paul Krugman amused?

Just Who Are the Extremists Here?

Paul Krugman, the furtive, darty-eyed little columnist for the New York Times, says one of the two great U.S. political parties is "going to extreme."
I admit it: I had fun watching right-wingers go wild as health reform finally became law. But a few days later, it doesn’t seem quite as entertaining — and not just because of the wave of vandalism and threats aimed at Democratic lawmakers. For if you care about America’s future, you can’t be happy as extremists take full control of one of our two great political parties.
I admit it: It's fun feeling smarter than a Nobel-winning economist when it comes to understanding the political ramifications of a major political party marching in lock-step off a cliff to follow the demands of its most extreme members. But a few days later, it's hard to be happy with the "glorious mess" that Obamacare is going to make of the country's healthcare system. Unless it is repealed, we are looking at European-level taxes and rationing.

The country's in the very best of hands, the hands of hard left-wing Democrats. They conquered the moderates in their own party and now they will watch them go down in flames in November.

Well, as Lenin said, you've got to break a few eggs to make an omlette. Unfortunately, the Democrats have no pan and no stove. All they've got a big runny mess of raw legislation and a growing majority of people who are telling them, "We ain't eatin' that!"

UPDATE: John McCormack catches the Krugmeister in a bit of hypocrisy.

On the Backs of Children

The Democrats passed Obamacare, you know, for the kids. They didn't mention how much it was REALLY going to cost, or how they are the ones who are going to pay for it.

My print column is up.

The Disuniting of America

Today's headlines from the Drudge Report:
Obama's Campaign Fundraises Off Threats...
Shot Fired At GOP Rep. Cantor's VA Office...
VIDEO: Clyburn says Republicans 'aiding and abetting terrorism' against Dems...
Rep. Markey asked for police patrols at home...
WHITE POWDER: NY Congressman's office evacuated after threat...
Dems Accuse Palin Of Stoking Liberal Hate...
President mocks Republicans for acting is if bill is 'Armageddon'...
Threats against lawmakers spread after vote...
Headline from Aug. 2007 Washington Post:
Obama Says He Can Unite U.S. 'More Effectively' Than Clinton

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Welcome to Obamachusetts

Massachussetts tried to prevent America from repeating its mistake by sending Scott Brown to the U.S. Senate. The President and his henchmen refused to listen.
The universal insurance coverage we adopted in 2006 was projected to cost taxpayers $88 million a year. However, since this program was adopted in 2006, our health-care costs have in total exceeded $4 billion. The cost of Massachusetts' plan has blown a hole in the Commonwealth's budget. Just last Thursday, Gov. Deval Patrick's office announced a $294 million shortfall related to health-care costs.

If not for federal Medicaid reimbursements and commitments from Washington to prop up this plan, Massachusetts would be broke. The only reason MassCare has survived is that we have been repeatedly bailed out by the federal government. But that raises the question: Who will bail America out if we implement a similar program?
So asks the Mass. state treasurer Tim Cahill.

Don't ask. Just believe. The country's in the very best of hands.

I'm Only A Bill

The Heckler's Veto Upheld in Canada

Michael Moynihan: The precious and impressionable dears at Ottawa University are saved from the horror that is Ann Coulter.
If you are Drudge reader, you have doubtless now heard that conservative firebrand Ann Coulter was greeted with a heckler’s veto yesterday at a speech in Canada. For reasons of "safety," the cowardly cops and spineless administrators at the University of Ottawa cancelled the lecture, sending a martyred Coulter to perform for CBC cameras instead of a hall full of impressionable students. I don’t suspect I agree with Coulter on much of anything (especially her hagiographic treatment of ol’ Tailgunner Joe), but that’s rather beside the point. It is, instead, about the role of the university in making sure people like Coulter, once invited, are permitted to present ideas without being mau-maued.
They may not be precious but they sure are impressionable. They are clay in the hands of left-wing university professors. At least some of them are.

Stupid Pet Trick of the Day

James Cameron: People Lover

The director of Avatar doesn't care for Glenn Beck or anyone who is skeptical of global warming or who doubts his contributions to world affairs.
Asked by THR if he felt the right wing's attacks against him were continuing, Cameron replied: "They're not attacks. They're just people ranting away, lost in their little bubbles of reality, steeped in their own hatred, their own fear and hatred. That's where it all comes from. Let's just call it out. Let's have a public discussion. That's what movies are supposed to do, you know, you can have a mindless entertainment film that doesn't affect anybody. I wasn't interested in that."
The fabulously wealthy director of the intellectually stimulating film "Titanic," said that from his mansion in the hills above Hollywood.

He was "equally unsparing in his comments about those who don't accept global warming as fact."
"That's right," Cameron said. "I want to call those deniers out into the street at high noon and shoot it out with those boneheads."

Turning more serious, he added: "Anybody that is a global warming denier at this point in time has got their head so deeply up their ass I'm not sure they could hear me."
Turning more "serious"? Is the writer mocking Mr. Cameron or is he "serious" himself?
By making the environment the theme of his home video release plan, Cameron is sending a message.

"Look, at this point I'm less interested in making money for the movie and more interested in saving the world that my children are going to inhabit. How about that? I mean, look, I didn't make this movie with these strong environmental anti-war themes in it to make friends on the right, you know.
Got it. The hundreds of millions of dollars he has now from making mindless action films are enough to sustain him. Now it's time for "The King of the World," to save it. You know, for the kids.

As for the people who are more interested in fixing the unsustainable and out-of-control entitlement programs that will bankrupt this country and impoverish OTHER people's children...
"They're not on my Christmas card list... "It's not going to change my lifestyle at all if they don't talk to me.
Of course it won't. He's fabulously wealthy and lives in mansion. His lifestyle is well assured.
But, you know, they've got to live in this world, too. And their children do as well, so they're going to have to be answerable to this at some point."
And if James Cameron has anything to say about it, they will be answerable to the U.S. Government. Or, even better, some sort of World Government. Where people like him, people who know better how to run the world needs to be run will have the absolute power to do so.

No Wonder They Were All So Happy

Jonah Goldberg congratulates the Obamacarians. They got what they wanted, a "Trojan Horse" that will eventually lead to the single-payer system they always wanted.
The endgame was to get the young and healthy to buy more expensive insurance than they need or want. "Expanding the risk pool" and "spreading out the risk" by mandating - i.e., forcing - young people to buy insurance is just market-based spin for socialist ends. A risk pool is an actuarial device where a lot of people pay a small sum to cover themselves against a "rainy day" problem that will affect only a few people. Such "peace of mind" health insurance is gone. What we have now is health assurance. With health assurance, there are no "risk pools" really, only payment plans.

The Lines Are Drawn

Henninger on the GOP's finest hour.
Put it this way: If you produce a bill that Olympia Snowe of Maine cannot vote for, you have not produced legislation "for the generations." You have not even produced legislation that is liberal. You have produced legislation from the left. You have produced once-in-a-lifetime legislation that no Republican from any constituency across America could vote for.

Finally, we are achieving real political definition.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Meet the Future!

Geez, how cool is this thing?

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The Spencerblog Poll Axe of the Day

Here are the results.

Question: Should the government pay for sex offenders to get Viagra?

That's 100 percent against.

Erectile Dysfunction in the Senate?

Will Senate Democrats join the GOP in banning insurance coverage for sex offenders to pay for their Viagra?

Ryan's Revenge: The Truth

Rising GOP star Rep. Paul Ryan explains what Obamacare will do to the economy, healthcare costs and insurance premiums.
Sky-rocketing health care costs are drowning families, businesses and governments in red ink - leaving millions priced out of the market and without coverage. This legislation - with its maze of mandates, dictates, controls, tax hikes and subsidies - pushes costs further in the wrong direction.

Premiums in the individual market would rise from 10% to 13% for families. Our debt and deficit crisis - driven by $76 trillion in unfunded liabilities - would accelerate from the creation of a brand new entitlement and an increase in the federal deficit by $662 billion, when the true costs are factored in. National health expenditures will increase by an additional $222 billion over the next decade, according the president's own chief actuary, and $2.4 trillion in the decade after the new entitlement is up and running.

H. Beatty Chadwick Update

I just happened to be speaking with Media Attorney Mike Malloy about another matter but I asked him how his former client H. Beatty Chadwick is doing.

Chadwick is the defrocked attorney who spent 14 years in Delaware County prison on contempt charges. Malloy was the lawyer who finally got him released

"He's fine," Malloy said. "I do hear from him."

He living in an apartment in Delaware doing the "odd (legal) job" for friends. But then most of his friends are either retired or deceased, said Malloy.

Meanwhile, according to Malloy, the "Battle Royale" continues over what ever happened to Chadwick's money. He says he lost in an overseas investment and his ex-wife's attorney said he stashed away so as not to share it with her.

Anyway, if he didn't lose the money - and there is plenty of evidence that he wasn't straight with the court about it - Chadwick gave up 14 years of freedom to hang on to it. Pretty amazing.

Obama Wins Gold in Promise Breaking Event

Tony Phyrillas watches Barack Obama break 7 campaign promises in two minutes. It's got to be some sort of record.

Let's go to the video.

Threats, Ultimatums and Bribes, Oh My!

Noemie Emory opines:
History was made Sunday in several ways. The bill passed is a historical change, and a massive expansion of government. It was also the first major bill to be passed against the will of the country, to be passed by only one part of one party, and in the face of a wave of public revulsion, expressed over 10 months in such different outlets as mass demonstrations, three big elections, and polls.

It was not only not bipartisan, but it was less than one party, in the sense that the great war of passage was the attempt by the leaders to force their members to vote in a way that outraged their constituents, by way of threats, ultimatums and bribes.
Read it all.

Reason vs. Obama on Obamacare

Who to believe about Obamacare and what it will do to the federal deficit: Obama or ReasonTV. You decide.

If Congress Can Require You to Buy Health Insurance... It Can Require You To Do Anything

In an interesting column, David Harsanyi quotes Marquette law professor Richard M. Esenber:
"If Congress can require you to buy health insurance because of the ways in which your uncovered existence (affects) interstate commerce or because it can tax you in an effort to force you to do (any) old thing it wants you to, it is hard to see what -- save some other constitutional restriction -- it cannot require you to do -- or prohibit you from doing."
Sounds about right.

So because we're all in this together, responsible for one another, how about this:

We know obesity is a big health problem in this country. (The First Lady has made it her First Cause.) People who are morbidly overweight add billions to our health care costs every year with their various ailments, diseases and medical conditions. Shouldn't they be required to lose weight by law? Or pay a fine if they don't? Maybe a dollar a pound, per month? That sounds fair doesn't it.

Let's go to the Body Mass Index or BMI calculator (you can find one here

Let's see I am 6'0" and weigh about 215 pounds. According to my BMI, I am just .8 percent short of being officially "obese." I am definitely way overweight and therefore I am substantially increasing my risk of being a burden on our national healthcare system. But if I drop exactly 32 lbs. I just make it into the "normal" range.

And so I should either lose the weight or pay a fine to the government of $32 a month or another $384 a year for my government health insurance.

Figure out how overweight you are? And then calculate what you should be paying our government for your irresponsible behavior and unattractiveness.

Sue, Sue, Sue de O - bamacare

Let the lawsuits begin, including one from our next would-be governor, A.G. Tom Corbett

She Paid the Two Dollars

Oprah settles defamation suit against African school headmistress. So we'll miss her star turn in a Philadelphia federal courtroom.

Bummer. I was gonna' bring my Flip Cam.

Stupid Pet Trick of the Day

Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks?

Healthcare Monkeys and Trinkets

If you want to further understand the health insurance problem facing America today read this.
Health insurers, and indeed Corporate America as a whole, are like monkeys who are caught by staking a glass jar to the ground with a shiny trinket inside. They won't let go so they can't get their hands out of the jar. That trinket is the ruinous and regressive $250 billion-a-year tax benefit for employer-provided insurance.

Corporate America isn't brave enough to argue against a direct subsidy to its employment costs, no matter how perverse its impact in insulating consumers from the true cost of their health care choices. Insurers are not brave enough to say: Give us a tax code that lets us go back to being insurers rather than a tax laundromat for the middle class's health-care spending...

A world-class hospital in India does heart surgery the equal of any heart surgery in America, but does so at one-tenth the cost (and increasingly attracts a world-wide clientele). The reason is not what you think: low-paid doctors and nurses. The reason is that competition works in medicine as it does in everything else when the patient cares about getting value for money. This is the great low-hanging fruit of health-care reform. It continues to hang.

A Declaration of Dependence

Doctors Richard Amerling and Jane Orient say Obama is taking our healthcare system in exactly the wrong direction. The future of U.S. healthcare can be witnessed at your nearest state Department of Motor Vehicles office.

My print column is up.

Poor Canada, Here Comes Coulter

Conservative firebrand Ann Coulter is headed to Canada to speak at three colleges. Some students are protesting her appearance and are saying she should be careful what she say lest she be found guilty of hate speech.

From the story:
Among Coulter's more contentious assertions is that the U.S. should invade Muslim countries and convert their people to Christianity. She has also suggested Canada is lucky the U.S. allows it "to exist on the same continent."
These aren't examples of hate speech. They're punch lines, especially the second one. But the campus speech fascists can't stand to hear anything of which they don't approve. Not content with simply not showing up, these censors like to shut people up and send them packing. If anything should be against the accepted practice at a university, it should be that.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Putting the Stup in Stupak

Stupak gets only 700 grand for his vote, while others got hundreds of millions?

I don't see it.

UPDATE: But check this out:

Joe Drops the F-Bomb, Remains Free on His Own Recognizance

Joe Biden drops the F-bomb in an open mike introducing the President of the United States.

At least he didn't say, "All black people must leave the White House now."

Do You Believe in Magic?

Obamacare? There's an APPS for That

I just got off the phone with Dr. Richard Amerling of Beth Israel Hospital in NYC. His take on Obamacare can be found here.

He is also the author of the Physician's Declaration of Independence and a member of Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (APPS). He will figure prominently in tomorrow's print column. Stay tuned.

9/11 al Qaeda Recruiter Ordered Freed

A federal judge has ordered al Qaeda recruiter freed from Gitmo.
Among Slahi's most notorious recruits were four of the September 11 conspirators, all of whom were members of the infamous Hamburg cell. Slahi’s role in recruiting the Hamburg cell for al Qaeda is explained on pages 165 and 166 of the 9/11 Commission’s final report. Slahi arranged for Ramzi Binalshibh, al Qaeda's point man for the 9/11 operation, and three of his cohorts to travel from Germany to Afghanistan so that they could train in al Qaeda's camps and swear allegiance to Osama bin Laden. Binalshibh's three friends were: Mohammed Atta, Marwan al Shehhi, and Ziad Jarrah--the suicide pilots of American Airlines Flight 11, United Airlines Flight 175, and United Airlines Flight 93, respectively.
Hard to see even the Obama administration complying with this order. But that's what you get when you give federal judges the power to review national security cases.

What's on Tap

Where Everybody Knows Your Name

I must have missed the episode of Cheers where the local police chief attempted to shut it down as a nuisance bar. But it went like this:

Norm gets drunk, passes out and Sam lets him sleep it off in the office. Cliff accidently leaves his mail pouch in a booth comes back for it and Norm, mistaking him for a burglar, blows his head off.

The police chief declares the joint a nuisance bar and attempts to shut it down but the Cheers crew Sam, Diane, Woody, Carla, Frasier and the rest rally to show politicians that Cheers is just a friendly watering hole where a tragedy occurred. Good humor and good judgment prevail. Plus, Sam quietly pays of one of the pols with an autographed baseball from his pitching days with the Red Sox.

Fade Out.

The Coercive Dependency Agenda

A must-read George Will column on what Obamacare does: It doesn't fix the healthcare system but it is a big win for the Democrats "dependency agenda."
On Sunday, as will happen every day for two decades, another 10,000 baby boomers became eligible for Social Security and Medicare. And Congress moved closer to piling a huge new middle-class entitlement onto the rickety structure of America's Ponzi welfare state. Congress has a one-word response to the demographic deluge and the scores of trillions of dollars of unfunded liabilities: "More."

There will be subsidized health insurance for families of four earning up to $88,200 a year, a ceiling certain to be raised, repeatedly. The accounting legerdemain spun to make this seem affordable -- e.g., cuts (to Medicare) and taxes (on high-value insurance plans) that will never happen-- is Enronesque.
Read the whole thing.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Lie of Fiscal Responsibility

Peter Suderman at Reason exposes it:
Since the New Deal, American entitlements have consistently grown faster than projected in size, scope, and cost. Like unwanted houseguests, they cost money you don't have, and they can't be kicked out. Reform and repeal efforts are about as successful as kindergarten experiments with do-it-yourself haircuts. Indeed, the health care bill's very structure is a testament to this fact. Much of it is funded with changes designed to eliminate waste in Medicare and Medicaid—changes that could, or at least ought, to have been used to reform those programs, both of which are unsustainable. Yet the only way these changes were politically viable was if they were made in order to fund an all-new benefit. 

Spencerblog: The Video

Check this out:

Then this:

Pensioneers, Public vs. Private

Why can't public pension plans be more like private pension plans? They can. And should be. My Sunday print column is up.

More on the coming pension plan debacle here. It's even worse than you think.

Dems Spin, Will Be In Graves Soon

Democratic Congressional candidate Bryan Lentz weighs in the passage of Obamacare:
“This is the type of common-sense starting point we need to lower costs for the consumer, improve the quality of care and help stabilize our economy.

Wrong. This bill will do none of the above. It will not lower healthcare costs. You don't order the insuring of 32 million new people with taxpayer money and lower the cost of healthcare. People without health insurance spend 30 to 50 percent less on healthcare than people with it. Putting more people into the system will NOT improve the quality of care. Just like you wouldn't improve the service at the local McDonalds by putting new 50,000 people in line in front of you. What you get is longer lines, worse service. And when you finally get to the head of the queue you might get a $1 double-cheese burger. But then you might not. They might be out and tell you to come back next month. As for it stabilizing the economy, WRONG. The government re-ordering one sixth of the U.S. economy won't have a stabilizing effect. It will have a DE-stablizing effect, especially in the short term. Businesses will still be trying to figure out the requirements and effect of the new law for months if not years to come. It still has to pass the Senate through reconciliation, we'll see what it looks like after that. There is nothing stabilizing about the government making promises and running up debt on future generations.

U.S. Rep. Joseph Sestak, D-7, said: 

“The health-care reform we passed today will put an end to insurance industry abuses, extend life-saving care to millions, strengthen Medicare, and cut the national deficit.”

Again, more Democratic spin. This monstrosity will NOT put an end to insurance industry "abuses," it will turn them into public utilities, in league with the federal government government to ration care. The bill takes money OUT of Medicare in order to pay to cover the 32 million new citizens. If that's strengthening, please "strengthen" our public schools by lowering our property taxes. This new entitlement will NOT cut the national deficit, it will be like very other entitlement ever passed (from Medicare to Social Security) and increase the deficit in the long run.

The public doesn't like this bill because they don't believe it will do what the Democrats say it will do. It will certainly not provide jobs, (except for the hiring of 16,000 more IRS agents to enforce it) improve health care or reduce the deficit before November.

Both Lentz and Sestak (and/or Specter) are going to have to run for office defending it and the process of political bribes, kickbacks and corruption that got it passed.

The debate has just begun.

Change! CHARGE!

Victor Davis Hanson:
Do Democrats realize that we really have crossed the Rubicon? In the future when the Republicans gain majorities (and they will), the liberal modus operandi will be the model—bare 51% majorities, reconciliation, the nuclear option, talk of deem and pass, not a single Democrat vote—all ends justifying the means in order to radically restructure vast swaths of American economic and social life. Is someone unhinged at the DNC? They just blew up any shred of bipartisan consensus when their President polls below 50%, the Democratically-controlled Congress below 20%, and health care reform less than 50%. Usually unpopular leaders and their unpopular ideas seek the shelter of minority rights and prerogatives. What will they do when they are in the minority—since they’ve entered the arena, boasted “let the games begin” and shouted “by any means necessary”?

They Broke It, They Own It

WSJ predicts:
This week's votes don't end our health-care debates. By making medical care a subsidiary of Washington, they guarantee such debates will never end. And by ramming the vote through Congress on a narrow partisan majority, and against so much popular opposition, Democrats have taken responsibility for what comes next—to insurance premiums, government spending, doctor shortages and the quality of care. They are now the rulers of American medicine.

UPDATE: And Kim Strassall takes us inside the slaughter house
Perhaps the most remarkable Democratic accomplishment this week was to make the process of passing ObamaCare as politically toxic as the bill itself.

President Obama was elected by millions of Americans attracted to his promise to change Washington politics. These were voters furious with earmarks, insider deals and a lack of transparency. They were the many Americans who, even before this week, held Congress in historic low esteem. They'll remember this spectacle come November.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

224 to 206

One giant step for Obamacare and one giant leap for Democrats... off a cliff.

UPDATE: Recount: 219 to 212. (Forget hanging chads. Many Democrats just hung themselves.)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Joe, Mike, and the Sunshines

Joe Sestak should answer the question. Prof. Mann should be investigated. And the Sunshine family now know about their pot o gold. My print column is up

Closing Time at Cheers

A drug deal goes bad and a guy in killed in an Upper Darby "nuisance" bar. Chief Chitwood blames the LCB for not closing down the place sooner.

“This place is a shoot ’em up joint for drugs and weapons,” Chitwood said. “It really is a criminal enterprise.”

The owner of Cheers bar is a piece of work named Bob Herdelin. A former college basketball star and a Jersey shore real estate magnate, Herdelin made news a couple years ago when he tackled and helped apprehend a guy on the U.S. Marshal's most wanted list.

Despite his wealth, Herdelin prefers the company of the rough-and-tumble crowd in a bar where everbody knows his name.
The LCB has made it clear Herdelin's license will not be renewed.

Chitwood wants the LCB to be tougher when it comes to nuisance bars. That's understandable. But due process is due process.

Nice Work If You Can Get It

More government than factory jobs in Indiana for the first time since the Civil War.

If not even a good, fiscally conservative governor like Mitch Daniels can stop growing percentage of government workers, what chance does the rest of the country have?

The Demon Pass

Here comes Obamacare charging through the Demon Pass. Make that "deem and pass."

Congressional Democrats don't gave the guts to vote on this unpopular horror in an up or down vote so their leaders will resort to gimmicks and tricks. They are not fooling anyone but themselves. And they will pay for it come this fall. But what do Obama and Pelosi care. She's in a safe district and he has two years to make voters forgot. Moderate Democrats in swing districts are being asked to jump out of an airplane without parachuttes. When they go "SPLAT!" Pelosi and Obama will them will observe "You can't make an omlette without breaking a few eggs."

Like Rep. Jason "Humpty Dumpty" Altmire (D-Pa.)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Gorging on Suicide

Recent teen suicides have everybody talking here and elsewhere. But we should all remember a spate does not an epidemic make.

Racial Intolerance.

"All black people" asked to leave N.J. Wal-Mart. Sounds like a stupid prank.

Meanwhile, in Philadelphia all Asian students were asked to leave a local high school. Well, not asked. But that was all the way back in December. Things are probably fine there now.

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia

The Sunshine family has unclaimed cash waiting for them. Broomall's Janet Greenberg, the state's Ambassador of Unclaimed Property, would like then to know it.

My print column is up.

Bucking the System

Gunman Holds Up Aston Dollar Store. How much do you think he got?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Fitting and Appalling Finale

Rich Lowry sees this week being a fitting end to the Democrats handling of healthcare:
The finale of the health-care debate couldn't be more fitting. House Democrats are considering passing an exotic parliamentary rule relieving them of the burden of voting for the underlying bill, which will be "deemed" passed.

So a bill sold under blatantly false pretenses and passed in the Senate on the strength of indefensible deals would become law in a final flourish of deceptive high-handedness. How appropriate for what would be the worst piece of federal domestic legislation since the fascistic, recovery-impairing National Recovery Act of 1933 or the Prohibition disaster of 1920.

Hello... Newman

On Obamafeld guess who plays Kramer.

I'm still not sure, is that Robert Gibbs as Newman?

Must... Watch... Hoops!

March Madness leads to lower productivity in the workplace?

I may have to take two days off to think about this.

Scientist Gone Wild

I have greatly enjoyed the recent give and take between Havertown gadfly Adrian Ashfield and Penn State Climate Big Wig Michael Mann. That Prof. Mann deigned to reply to Ashfield's criticisms in our pages was charming. That he figured the best defense was a good offense, was, I believe, a miscalculation.

Mann is at the center of the greatest scientific scandal of this generation: Climategate. And yet he has the nerve to claim Ashfield has made "false and defamatory" statements about him and his "work." Such words are usually used by lawyers in prelude to filing a libel suit. But they are just as easily thrown around by non-lawyers to intimidate their critics into shutting up.

Good luck with that, Mr. Mann.

The Commonwealth Foundation is calling for an independent investigation into Mann's behavior. As a tax-payer funded tenured professor and receiver of millions of dollars in federal research grants, Mann should be held accountable for his words, deeds and "science." His most famous "contribution" to global warming theory is the famous but now thoroughly discredited "Hockey Stick" graph.

As the Foundation points out:
The dramatic hockey stick received a great deal of attention and was featured in
the IPCC’s Third Assessment Report in 2001 as evidence of the significance of human influence on the climate. The graph came to symbolize the proof that global warming was manmade. But the hockey stick and its developer, Michael Mann,
soon began to draw some much-deserved scrutiny and criticism and, finally, a total discrediting.

When Canadian researcher Stephen McIntyre requested from Mann the raw data used to construct the hockey stick, Mann at first provided some information but then refused further cooperation, claiming that he didn’t have time to respond to
“every frivolous note” from non-scientists, according to a Wall Street Journal report. Mann also tried to block a congressional request for his data, but finally acceded to after generating a wave of manufactured, partisan criticism directed at the congressional committee.

Investigations by the National Academy of Sciences and Congress left the hockey stick in tatters, particularly with respect to its representations of mean global temperatures for the period 1000-1600. When the IPCC released its Fourth
Assessment Report in 2007, the hockey stick graph was nowhere to be found.

In summary, Mann created the prominent hockey stick with dubious data and analysis, and then tried to block other scientists from reviewing his work. Mann also fueled a public relations campaign against those who had requested his data,
including McIntyre and Congress.
Why such a "scientist" is still receiving federal money is testament to political nature of his work.

None of this is to say that the global warming issue shouldn't be taken seriously. But when scientists behave badly, when they hide their data, when they massage it to get desired results, they are not being good scientists. These men need to be held accountable.

Observers are calling Penn State's laughably weak probe into Mann's behavior, a "white wash," and understandably so. The school has a serious conflict of interest, given that Mann still brings in millions of research dollars from a very generous federal government. As the Commonwealth Foundation says Mann should be investigated by an independent body created by the appropriate legislative committees.

The Commonwealth Foundation points out
... it was during Mann’s tenure at PSU (since
2005) that he stonewalled efforts to obtain and review the hockey stick data and
analysis, and has viciously attacked those making such inquiries.
The foundation gives plenty of examples of this. His response to Ashfield's letter in our paper is simply more evidence.

Ashfield has Mann's number - obviously so, given his blustery and obfuscating response. Its time the rest of the state (and the country) got it too.

MEANWHILE: Al Gore continues his Chicken Little routine.

White Hats, Black Hats in Green Zone

Ross Douthat says with Green Zone and its "Bush Lied, People Died" meme, once again Hollywood gets the Iraq War wrong. Worse, it inartful and simplicitically partisan.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Education Costs: Even Higher Than You Think

How school districts keep the true cost of per pupil spending a secret from taxpayers. Thank you, CATO.

Lawyers 4 Our Enemies

Deborah Burlingame and Thomas Jocelyn make a pretty strong case against some of the U.S. attorneys who took on Guantanamo detainees as their clients.
But why would American lawyers, after 9/11 and the brutal slaughter of 3,000 fellow citizens, hand members of al Qaeda information about the war in Iraq and Afghanistan? The records indicate that attorneys were printing news off the Internet and passing it to detainees at the same time that U.S. forces in Iraq were sustaining devastating casualties from IED attacks.

"They would bring contraband in their briefcases, in manila envelopes," an active-duty officer familiar with Defense Department records on attorney access violations told us. "They did it because they knew the detainees were hungry for news and they wanted to establish trust."

I'm Just Saying... NOT!

Frank J. is "not here to say" that Roger Ebert can't keep political conspiracy theories out of his reviews but, oh wait a sec...

The Dubiousness of Obamacare

Centrist Robert Samuelson on Obamacare:
One job of presidents is to educate Americans about crucial national problems. On health care, Barack Obama has failed. Almost everything you think you know about health care is probably wrong or, at least, half wrong. Great simplicities and distortions have been peddled in the name of achieving "universal health coverage." The miseducation has worsened as the debate approaches its climax.
There's a parallel here: housing. Most Americans favor homeownership, but uncritical pro-homeownership policies (lax lending standards, puny down payments, hefty housing subsidies) helped cause the financial crisis. The same thing is happening with health care. The appeal of universal insurance -- who, by the way, wants to be uninsured? -- justifies half-truths and dubious policies. That the process is repeating itself suggests that our political leaders don't learn even from proximate calamities.
Read it all.

A "fiscal tsunami" is about to hit Pennsylvania, says Gov. Ed Rendell. The good news: N.J., New York Massachussets, etc. will all get wetter when it hits them.

The "stimulus" money that was borrowed by Washington and sent to bail out states did nothing but postpone it. The wave is on its way. Time to head for higher ground. Like Indiana.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Welcome to Right-to-Know Town

In Newtown Square what's sauce for the gander is sauce for the goose. My print column is up.

Friday, March 12, 2010

There Oughta' Be An Investigation

Republican congressman Darrell Issa wants an investigation launched into Rep. Joe Sestak's claim that he was offered a job by the White House to drop out of the race for the U.S Senate seat currently held by Arlen Specter.
Issa cited a federal statute barring federal employees from using “official authority for the purpose of interfering with, or affecting, the nomination or the election of any candidate” to the U.S. Senate and other seats. Such a violation could carry a fine or imprisonment up to a year, according to the statute.

"While the White House may think this is politics as usual, what is spectacularly unusual is when a candidate — a U.S. Congressman no less — freely acknowledges such a proposal,” said Issa in the letter. “Almost always candidates keep quiet about such deals, and for good reason — they are against the law."
The White House, according to a report in the Philly Inquirer, vociferously denied Sestak's claim, which makes even more sense now given such offers are "against the law."

Either Joe Sestak lied about being made the offer in order to drum up more interest in his campaign or someone in the White House is lying to protect a top administration official who committed a crime.

I'm going with the White House lying on this one.

But you've got to love Issa's line about how "almost always candidates keep quiet about such deals" as if breaking the law on Capitol is a matter of routine.

The country's in the very best of hands.

UPDATE: For some reason we can stop picturing Rahm Emanuel angrily coming up to Sestak, naked, in the congressional locker room, pointing his finger at his chest and shouting, "You're going to drop out of that race and take what we've offered or we will bury you."

We blame retiring Rep. Eric Massa for this awful picture in our heads.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Picture This

Getting Caught Stealing Means Having To Say You're Sorry

Lisa Marie Butler is sorry she stole $103,000 from Briarcliffe Fire Company. Not as sorry as Briarcliffe's insurance carrier.

UPDATE: They do have insurance don't they?


Massa on Larry King: "Are You Gay?"

"I'm not going to answer that question."

Not that there's anything wrong with asking it.

UPDATE: This man was elected to Congress

Better Late Than Never

My Sunday print column is up. And Linda Houldin isn't feeling the love.

Table Games

Harrah's is all in.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Naked Political Pressure Among Dems

Democratic congressman accused of sexually harassing a male staffer says WH Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel would sell his own mother for healthcare votes.

The Democratic party appears some disarray.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Anger in the Keystone State

Politico has a national story about how much people in a variety of states hate their state legistures. In Pennsylvania, the legislature's approval rating is down to 29 percent. The most amazing thing about that is it isn't LOWER. If more people paid attention Harrisburg's approval rating would be in the teens.

But check it out, the one pol identifiable in the "Throw the bums out" story is our very own State Sen. Dominic Pileggi. It must be all his fault. At least Politico, allowed him to explain.

Newtown Square Follies

Politically speaking Newtown Square is becoming the next Haverford. Political intrigue abounds. My print column is up.

The Obamacare Fiasco

Holman Jenkins on Obama's blowing of healthcare reform:
Here, Mr. Obama squanders the opportunity his presidency represented. For it's entirely possible to visualize incorporating this insight about the proper role of insurance with a system of guaranteed coverage and individual mandates à la ObamaCare, and indeed back when Mr. Obama was believed to be smart, we would have guessed this was the direction in which he would head.

Like any real reformer, he would have challenged both parties down to their ideological socks. Republicans would have had to swallow a universal mandate in return for an across-the-board tax cut to compensate workers for loss of the health insurance loophole.

Mr. Obama says he's content to be a single-term president. The soonest, then, we can hope for real progress on health care is three years.

NOW: Sestak Our Kind of Candidate

Sestak picks up the endorsement of the National Organization for Women. Given that NOW was last seen make idiots of themselves angrily protesting the broadcast of Pam Tebow's "celebrate life" ad during the Super Bowl, we're not sure their endorsement will help.

Who listens to NOW anymore? They're so 70s. But then this is a Democratic primary, so maybe.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


A 53-year-old Norristown woman is charged with theft after taking advantage of a $100-bill-spitting voucher machine at Chester's Harrah's casino.

$22,000 worth.

Building a Child of Clay

George Will scolds parents for being too soft on their children.
Memo to that Massachusetts school where children in physical education classes jump rope without using ropes: Get some ropes. And you -- you are about 85 percent of all parents -- who are constantly telling your children how intelligent they are: Do your children a favor and pipe down...

(T)he theory that praise, self-esteem and accomplishment increase in tandem is false. Children incessantly praised for their intelligence (often by parents who are really praising themselves) often underrate the importance of effort. Children who open their lunchboxes and find mothers' handwritten notes telling them how amazingly bright they are tend to falter when they encounter academic difficulties.

Edwards To Be Indicted?

A North Carolina grand jury is getting ready to indict former senator and presidential candidate John Edwards for campaign violations, according to The National Enquirer.

Well, they've got the Edwards story right so far. And first.

Seinfeld Sexual Harassment

Headline: No is no: More men file sexual harassment claims

Not in the headline... against their male bosses.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

UPDATE: This even happens in Congress.
First-term Rep. Eric Massa announced Wednesday that he will not seek reelection, saying his doctors have told him that he can’t continue to “run at 100 miles an hour.”

But several House aides told POLITICO that the House ethics committee has been informed of allegations that the New York Democrat, who is married with two children, made unwanted advances toward a junior male staffer.
OK, maybe there is SOMETHING wrong with that. But only if it's true.

To Your Health

The state of Delaware County's health is.... lagging, according to a new study.
Delaware County is lagging in several important areas regarding the health of its residents, according to findings of a public health study by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health released Wednesday.

The study found the county is improving in some areas, such as obesity, mental health and physical activity, but there are worsening trends for asthma, drug-related deaths, Chlamydia and low birth weight.
Is there any particular part of the county where these things are more prevalant?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Newtown Square P.O to Relocate?

The County Press is reporting that the Newtown Square post office is relocating.

This came as quite a shock to its landlord George Spaeder, who is in midst of negotiating a new lease with Rufus Hambright, Real Estate Specialist, Eastern Facilities Services Office with the U.S. Postal Service.

In fact, the Postal Service has an offer on the table to renew the lease for 5 years, according to an e-mail from Hambright to Spaeder.

The County Press says:
According to U.S. Postal Service spokesperson Cathy Yarosky, they have not been able to come to an agreement with the landlord on a new lease.
But that makes it sound as if negotiations have broken off, when they haven't at all, according to Spaeder.

The lease is up May 1. Plenty of time to come up with a new lease or not. If the Postal Service can find a better, cheaper location says Spaeder, more power to them. But he sees no reason why the office won't stay right where it is.

In any case, the Press' headline: Newtown Square P.O. to Relocate, should, at the very least have had a question mark at the end of it.

Looking for Human Redemption in All the Wrong Places

Jeff Jacoby takes apart Al Gore. Admittedly, that is getting easier and easier these days. Still Jacoby does an excellent job.
Gore is a True Believer; his climate hyperbole is less a matter of science than of faith. In almost messianic terms, he urges Congress to sharply restrain Americans’ access to energy. “What is at stake,’’ he writes, “is our ability to use the rule of law as an instrument of human redemption.’’

But while Gore prays for redemption, the pews in the Church of Climate Catastrophe are gradually emptying. The public’s skeptical common sense, it turns out, is pretty robust. Just like those Himalayan glaciers.

The Disparate Impact Economy

Hey, George Will discovers that current down economy has had a "disparate impact" on men. More men have lost their jobs than women.

Where's the EEOC and Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission when you need them?

Will's column is really about the immaturity of the America male and Penn State's Gary Cross' new book, Men to Boys; The Making of Modern Immaturity.
"(T)he culture of the boy-men today is less a life stage than a lifestyle." If you wonder what has become of manliness, he says, note the differences between Cary Grant and Hugh Grant, the former, dapper and debonair, the latter, a perpetually befuddled boy

You Are Cleared For Take Off

Air Traffic Controller; a job so simple even a cavem... child can do it.

Her Healthcare Experience

Barbara Kiviat at TIME, no less, thinks price tags on healthcare would lower the cost.


And right.

Jim 4 Congress

Meet Jim Schneller, birther, truther, litigator, nice guy and candidate for Congress. My print column is up.

Good Woman, Bad Drugs

"The perfect mom, the perfect daughter the perfect everything" gets 15 years for home-invasion/armed robbery shootout.

It was the drugs fault.


Bonnie and Clyde and Frank

Movies re-write history and that was certainly true of Bonnie and Clyde, the 1967 hit that Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway stars, and catapaulted the couple to iconic status.

In real life, they were small, ugly and conscienceless killers, mostly of policemen.

Perhaps the greatest disservice the movie did was to the memory of Frank Hamer, the Texas lawman who pursued the couple during their grubby and lethal crime spree. Played by Denver Pyle, Hamer is portrayed as puritan and a bullier of women.
In fact, Hamer was almost a prototype of the kind of man the Boomer generation would be taught to distrust, both in life and in fiction. Almost insanely brave and almost unbelievably tough, he was Texas’s most famous man hunter. He wouldn’t sell his life story to the movies; he was too dignified, too suspicious of the alien (even then) West Coast culture and of “dramatic license.” But if he had, John Wayne would have played him, with all 50 of his shoot-outs accounted for, as well as his numerous wounds.
Stephen Hunter wrote about "Clyde and Bonnie" last year. It's worth reading the whole thing.

But if you won't, here's how it ends:
That movie (one about Hamer), however, certainly could not have been made in 1967 and it certainly can’t be made in 2009: Hamer is too straight, too commanding, too uncompromising for such a treatment. The irony is that Hamer is forgotten while Clyde and Bonnie live on. Hamer stood for something: the idea of right and the guts to make it stick. Clyde and Bonnie stood for nothing, except perhaps infantile nihilism, unformed, incoherent, vicious. If they were ambushed without warning, it’s because each had weapons at hand, and so they wouldn’t widow and orphan other police families. If they were shot to pieces, it’s because the old-time law enforcement guys knew you shot them, and then you shot them some more.

Hamer stands for your grandfather’s authority, annoyance at fools, and the willingness to kill in the belief that he was saving the weak by eliminating their predator. He was a righteous killer, a dinosaur whose time has passed. He’s what Barack Obama swears he’ll change about America.
Nevermind. After all, we'll always have Dirty Harry.

Jim Bunning Explained

The former Phillies pitcher and now retiring U.S. Senator from Kentucky held up a spending measure to the horror of his colleagues, both Republican and Democrat. In so doing, he revealed the phoniness of the President's Pay-As-You-Go system.

To fund extended unemployment benefits and other spending, Harry Reid asked for "unanimous consent" Jim Bunning said "I object." For a few days he stopped the government from spending another $10 billion it doesn't have.

Pay as you go is a fraud, thanks to politicians from both parties who are complicit in ignoring it, with the President's approval. Bunning, who is retiring this year, reminded the country of that before finally ending his objection.

The most interesting tid bit here is that the Senate Democrats could have easily overridden Bunning's objection by invoking cloture but didn't for political reasons. They hoped to make Bunning the poster boy for Republican obstructionism. We'll see how that works in the fall.

In the meantime, extending unemployment benefits sounds like the nice thing to do in a bad economy but all it really does is postpone most workers from hustling to find a job. That inconvenient truth won't get much play in Washington or on most editorial pages. It's not nice to point out.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Specter Surges

And here comes Arlen on the inside passing Sestak and Toomey... and the race has ONLY 8 months to go.

Roger Ailes' Uncommon Knowledge

Interesting interview with the founder of the FOX News Network. Early on he gets off an amusing zinger at the expense of FOX New hater Arianna Huffington. Look for it at about the 1 minute mark.

UPDATE: FOX New contributor Charles Krauthammer once commented on the cable network's conservative "niche" market.

"Fifty percent of the country is a pretty nice niche."

To Your Health, Mr. President

Mona Charen says the President's resting heartrate is none of our business.

Not A Shining Moment for NBC

NBC's abrupt ending of its Olympic coverage leaves a bad taste for some viewers and critics.

It does help to wrap things up. CBS Sports always ends the NCAA Basketball Championship with One Shining Moment. It works. Here's the one from last year. Check it out.

Victoria Victorious

Former prosecutor Victoria Toesing provides a history lesson on civilian trials for terrorists and why military tribunals are the way to go now.

A Modest Proposal From Iowahawk

Axis Automakers have declared war on America's drivers.
Unfortunately, some otherwise good Americans have already been duped into buying one of Hirohito's heaps -- maybe even you. If there's a Jap junker in your garage, don't panic! Because you can still do your part. Think carefully: does that car...

Suddenly accelerate?
Inexplicably crash while you're texting?
Fail to correctly steer itself on cruise control?
Repeatedly trigger false-positive breathalyzer tests?
If you answered "no" to all of the above, stomp the throttle and aim for the nearest telegraph pole. Report all these incidents at once to your local Civil Union Defense board. You'll get a handsome certificate of appreciation from President Obama, and a $2000 rebate check good for any new patriotic GM or Chrysler car!

Pitching Mitch

Would Mitch Daniels, the nation's best governor, be the GOP's best nominee for president in 2012?

Monday, March 1, 2010

Grandly Temple

I saw this movie after reading this interview. And here's the real deal.

Bravery beyond words.

If the story of Temple Grandin doesn't move you, you may be autistic.

LBJ Lost Cronkite, BHO loses Buffett

Obama has lost Warren Buffett on healthcare. He says "start over."
"I believe in insuring more people, but I don't believe in insuring more people until you address. . . the cost aspect of this."

Meet the Pro-Censorship Left

Left-wing documentarian Robert Greenwald is attempting to stop the filming of an unflattering portrayal of JFK. He is not content to criticize the film once it comes out. He wants the project strangled in its crib so that no one ever sees it.

Freedom of speech for me but not for thee.

The George Bush-hating Greenwald says this is nothing short of the smearing of an American president.

"It's not fair to demean (JFK) for a political agenda," says Greenwald, who would never ever, ever do anything like that.

Even CNN's Howard Kurtz seems to enjoy the irony.

It Doesn't Get Any Sadder Than This

A heart-wrenching story from one of our braver reporters.

Rose Quinn talks to the parents and siblings of the late Vanessa Dorwart.

An Inconvenient Scandal

Mired in a quagmire of climate change scandals, bad science, and politically driven outrages, Al Gore doubles down.

UPDATE: Six Meat Buffet beat us to the "doubles down" line. Meanwhile he does a nice job of fisking Al's alarmism.

Learning from Indiana

Health Savings Accounts appear to be pretty darn popular in Indiana and they save the state money too.

Why not here?

UPDATE: And there is also something to learn from Massachusetts.

Bravo Gets No Standing Ovation

My Sunday print column is up.

UPDATE: Bravo communications specialist Lisa Tripani sent an e-mail Sunday asking for the name of the 47-year-old woman mentioned in the lead of the column. I will forward the information to the company and report on any follow-up action soon.

E-Mail of the Week

Received this e-mail in response to my column about the Pa. Human Relations Commission and its campaign to encourage businesses to hire of minority ex-cons:
Dear Gil,

I read your column about the PHRC. This subject hits home with me. My son is an ex-con who is currently searching for a job. It is already difficult for him to find work but when the PHRC tries to add pressure to potential employers to hire minority ex-cons over someone like my son who is caucasian and did time for something non-violent. I am not suggesting that someone like my son be given a chance simply because he is *white* but on the other hand shouldn't be eliminated from consideration because he is.

In your opinion column you wrote that *there are plenty of business owners in this country willing to take a chance on giving an ex-con a *job. If you wouldn't mind would you please help and provide a list to my son and I of these business owners especially if any of them are around here. I know if you did provide a list it would be for informational purposes only and wouldn't imply whether you supported or didn't support the hiring of ex-cons.

Thanks, Pat
My response:


There is no such list. The way I know that there are plenty of business owners who are willing to hire ex-cons is that numerous ex-cons have found employment in the last 5, 10, 20, 50 years. Also when I wrote not too long ago about a guy who had a gun conviction on his record who needed a job, I heard from several people willing to give him a chance.

The PHRC doesn't argue white ex-cons should be eliminated from consideration for work, only that they have no course for legal action if they are.

It is a tough time to be looking for work for anyone, let alone if you have a criminal record. Being willing to hire ex-cons and actually having the jobs available are two distinctly different things.

Sorry I couldn't be of more help.


Specter: Sestak is Mean, Cheap

Specter accuses Sestak of underpaying his staff.
“This is a disgrace, especially for someone who calls himself a progressive Democrat,” said John Garrity, president of the International Federation of Professional Engineers Local 3 in Philadelphia, in the release. “Congressman Sestak talks a good story on minimum wage and livable wage and wants other companies to pay it but he won’t do it himself. With Joe Sestak you need to watch what he does, not what he says.”
Why should voters care what Sestak pays his staff. That's between him and them.

But you've got to admit Specter is turning into an excellent Democrat bringing up "issues" like this one. And he proves once again he'll leave stone unturned or unthrown in his bid to retain his office.

The Little Parish That Could

St. Joseph's has new life.