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Archive for December, 2008

YOU CAN’T DO THAT, MR. BUSH

Posted by Andrew Roman on December 31, 2008

See what happens when you behave like a lefty?

Believe it or not, there are some GOPers who hate it when that happens – and they’re determined to do all that is necessary to make their disdain official.

When the Republican National Committee has their monthly get-together in January, President George W. Bush could be on the hook – along with some less than principled Congressional elephants – for embracing socialism.

Harsh words, indeed.

Ralph Z. Hallow at the Washington Times writes:

rnc-logoRepublican Party officials say they will try next month to pass a resolution accusing President Bush and congressional Republican leaders of embracing “socialism,” underscoring deep dissension within the party at the end of Mr. Bush’s administration.

They said the RNC must take the dramatic step of wading into policy debates, which traditionally have been left to lawmakers.

“We can’t be a party of small government, free markets and low taxes while supporting bailouts and nationalizing industries, which lead to big government, socialism and high taxes at the expense of individual liberty and freedoms,” said Solomon Yue, an Oregon member and co-sponsor of a resolution that criticizes the U.S. government bailouts of the financial and auto industries. Republican National Committee Vice Chairman James Bopp Jr. wrote the resolution and asked the rest of the 168 voting members to sign it.

See what happens when you decide that government bailouts of free-market industries make for sound policy?

See what happens when you make comments like, “I’ve abandoned free-market principles to save the free market system”?  (Yes, President Bush said that).

Hallow continues:

If enacted, the resolution would put the party on record opposing the $700 billion bailout of the financial sector, which passed Congress with Republican support and was signed by Mr. Bush, and opposing the bailout of the auto industry. The auto bailout bill was blocked by Senate Republicans, but Mr. Bush then reversed course and announced that he would use financial bailout money to aid the auto manufacturers.

Some of the comments from bloggers at the Washington Times website in support of the proposed resolution:

– It’s about time, but it could be too little too late. Bush HAS governed more like a socialist, and it’s high time we get rid of the Bush-moderate-lib-socialist-demokissa$$ types. I guarantee you both Reagan and Goldwater would be VERY disgusted with Bush right now.

– no kidding! i am shocked, shocked! william kristol of the hated NYT had it right a week or so ago. the present republican party is the party of big government. what a shame. can we drop back, regroup and come up with a new contract for america?

– Thank God I’m not the only one living in mortal Terror of the impeding socialist regime. No more Bailouts, stop the political parties from saying whatever will get them elected and then doing everything other once in office.

Some, however, aren’t particularly thrilled with the idea:

– I am a republican but I do not agree with the rnc on this bull-calling Bush a socialist is the dumbest idea I have heard from this party-If the Rnc had gotten off it’s butt and fought harder and given us someone to work with other than McCain, things might be different. Palin was his savior. I’m from Pa and never even got a chance to choose a candidate because of the damn way the RNC chooses it’s candidate. The party supported a rino, now they want to blame Bush.

– You guys are a joke. I don’t know who is conservative enough to meet your needs. Some of you tout Ronald Reagan, but I guess you are in denial that he signed that amnesty back in 1986. President Bush has done a fine job. The RNC and GOP pinheads want to pin the blame on him because the party is dying the death of a sad old man. Why did McCain lose? Because he was the best the GOP had to offer and it sure didn’t persuade the majority in this country.

The resolution, in part, reads as follows:

“WHEREAS, the Bank Bailout Bill effectively nationalized the Nation’s banking system, giving the United States non-voting warrants from participating financial institutions, and moving our free market based economy another dangerous step closer toward socialism; and WHEREAS, what was needed, and is still needed, to fix the banking industry is not a bailout, but rather a commitment to fiscal responsibility.”

If I may … Duh.

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IF AT FIRST YOU DON’T FAIL, TRY TRY AGAIN

Posted by Andrew Roman on December 31, 2008

This time, I suppose, it’s probably a good idea.

After all, nothing brings a recession to its knees like offering more bad loans to borrowers who can’t afford them, right?

Just when you thought the vaults had been depleted of its stupidity reserve, here comes the latest bird-brained financier – GMAC – to tackle the cancer with a shot of typhoid.

From Yahoo News:

gmac-logo1A $5 billion government bailout aimed at reviving General Motors Corp.’s ability to make car and truck loans has dealers hopeful that cash-strapped consumers will return to their showrooms.

GMAC Financial Services, the automaker’s troubled financing arm, on Tuesday loosened its tight lending standards, which in recent months have made it more difficult for would-be car buyers to get loans. GMAC’s move marks the first time that a financial institution has said it will use money from the $700 billion bank bailout to offer more affordable credit to consumers.

This bailout money sure is getting around, isn’t it?

In short, we the taxpayers will be financing car loans for people who cannot, under normal circumstances, afford them.

Can I get a “yippee?”

The government funds, on the heels of the $17.4 billion automaker bailout approved by the Bush administration earlier this month, could provide relief to auto dealers. They have blamed the industry’s steep drop in sales partially on a lack of affordable credit.

You caught that, I’m sure.

Auto dealers.

The economic recovery will not happen as long as bonehead moves like this continue to add fuel to the recession fire.

Pouring taxpayer dollars into corporations that should rightly be dead is repugnant. 

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KRAUTHAMMER IS WRONG – HERE’S WHY

Posted by Andrew Roman on December 30, 2008

Charles Krauthammer

Charles Krauthammer

Three times in the last five years Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Charles Krauthammer has lauded the idea of raising the tax on gasoline as a way of suppressing consumption, thus – according to the theory – lowering global gas prices and reducing dependency on foreign oil. His latest construct of an idea he is obviously smitten with, published this past weekend in The Weekly Standard, calls for this new gas tax hike to be “offset” with a cut in the FICA tax, creating a “net-zero” effect.

So goes the hypothesis.

He breaks down the numbers this way …

The average American purchases 14 gallons of gas a week. Krauthammer proposes a $1 a gallon tax increase to consumers while giving taxpayers a $14 FICA tax cut. The Feds therefore will not be taking in any additional revenue, according to the plan – and to Krauthammer, that’s the key. It must be revenue-neutral to work.

The idea, as he explains it, is that “cash can be spent on anything.”

He writes:

You can blow it all on gas by driving your usual number of miles, or you can drive a bit less and actually have money in your pocket for something else. There’s no particular reason why the individual consumer would want to plow it all back into a commodity that is now … more expensive. When something becomes more expensive, less of it is bought.

Krauthammer is a world-class thinker, no question. To this day, I admire him greatly.

But respectfully, I wonder if he has thought this position all the way through.

The idea is, first and foremost, predicated on the idea that the “extra” $14 a week “in your pocket” could be used elsewhere instead of at the gas pump. In fact, for the Krauthammer plan to succeed, it would have to be, otherwise why bother?

But is this a realistic expectation?

Millions of Americans, for example, use their credit cards to buy gasoline. For millions more, debit cards have largely replaced cash for everyday purchases. Budget-conscious folks are increasingly concerning themselves with how much money is available “on their card,” rather than how much cash is in their pocket. Personally, my wife and I use our debit cards at the gas pump. Our paychecks are direct-deposited on a bi-weekly basis without the money ever finding “our pockets” until we swipe the cards or hit an ATM machine. An extra $1 at the pump per gallon will mean virtually nothing to me – and many other debit card users – knowing that an extra $14 has been deposited into the bank thanks to the FICA cut. I suspect there will be many, in fact, who will be standing there at the pump, feeding their cars, thinking, “I just got a few extra bucks in my paycheck. I can fill her up.”

Indeed, while I agree with Krauthammer that there does come a point when the price of gasoline gets so high that it directly affects the amount of driving Americans do – as we saw this year – is that point really fourteen dollars a week? Especially since we’ve seen such dramatic drops in the price of oil in recent times?

For Krauthammer’s idea to work, in short, everyone who receives that $14 FICA cut would have to be sure to use 14 less gallons a week – on average. How many people would actually make the deliberate effort to cut back on their consumption in this way? Rest assured, I’m not giving the preverbal middle finger to $14. (That’ll score me a couple of orders of small fries in Manhattan, won’t it?) I’ll take the extra money anytime. But I just don’t see many gas pumpers trimming their fuel expenditures like that – certainly not as many as it would take for this plan to be functional and effective.

Second, the entire “net-zero” concept only works if gas taxes remain untouched. By a show of hands, who believes for even a fraction of a second that politicians – on either side of the aisle – have the ability to keep their meat hooks out of the gasoline pump?

I don’t see many.

And if gasoline taxes were raised (bet a limb on it), a corresponding cut in the FICA tax would then have to be implemented. Is there anyone alive who believes this is possible while Democrats exist?

I invite you to stand on your head if you do.

Oil PricesThird, as a resident of the nation’s largest city, there are mass transit options available to me that are not available to people who live in less populated areas of the country. In Manhattan, for example, there are tens of thousands of people who simply have no need for a car on a daily basis. This is not the case, however, for the overwhelming vast majority of Americans.

Even smaller cities that do have a bus system – like Fort Wayne, Indiana, for example (a place I lived for a few years) – cannot possibly provide adequate public transpotation to its people, primarily because they no longer have centralized populations. Only the largest metropolitan areas of the United States can begin entertaining the concept of cutting down on automobile use in favor of mass transit – and good luck making that happen.

My wife, for instance,  is originally from rural Northwest Ohio – a place I also had the pleasure of living for several years. (This Brooklyn boy has been around). Out there, the “blocks” are a mile wide and a mile long, with names like “County Road J” and “6.” Living out in “walk to the mailbox naked” country, vehicles are lifelines. Krauthammer’s proposal would disproportionately affect residents of communities that do not have mass transit alternatives – which is a sizeable chunk of the American population.

This would, in effect, mean that suburban and small-town America – far more reliant on their cars – are helping, to some extent, to subsidize urban America.

It is also important to remember that all across “fly-over” country, bigger and heavier vehicles are the norm because of the need to be able to commute in treacherous wintry conditions. These vehicles consume more gasoline.

Fourth, no matter where one lives in the United States, the goods that we purchase are made available to us because they are shipped to our local markets and stores via trucks – everything from clothing to food to electronics to gasoline itself. Higher gas prices for those who deliver the goods means higher prices for those who purchase and consume the goods.

I’m somehow missing the benefit of this.

As one poster at the great Free Republic.com website pointed out:

NO ONE is reporting that, in this past year, over 1,000 trucking companies have folded, including some of the top 100; A year ago, the industry was short about 8,000 drivers – now, there are tens of thousands out of work. This is directly linked to the price of fuel.

The idea apparently, as Krauthammer proposes it, is to tax ourselves into energy independence. As he laments, the United States keeps letting these golden opportunities to raise gasoline taxes slip by.

In 2004, he wrote:

By the mid-’80s, rational consumer reaction to high prices — home insulation, fuel-efficient appliances and lighter cars — had actually solved the energy crisis. We had OPEC on the run. In July 1986 oil plunged to $7 a barrel. It is now $41 a barrel. We had a golden moment, and we let it pass.

In 2005, he wrote:

We have a unique but fleeting opportunity to permanently depress demand by locking in higher gasoline prices. Put a floor at $3. Every penny that the price goes under $3 should be recaptured in a federal gas tax so that Americans pay $3 at the pump no matter how low the world price goes. Why is this a good idea? It is the simplest way to induce conservation.

And just this past weekend, he called his “net-zero gas tax” proposal a “once in a generation chance.”

In June, when the price of oil was over $130 a barrel, Steven Mufson and David Cho of the Washington Post explained:

Economists fear that the steadily rising price of gasoline is eating into the money consumers have to spend on other items and that fuel prices could be a drag on an economy already weighed down with concerns about housing prices and the stability of financial institutions.

“It saps people’s purchasing power,” Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Economy.com said, “If they have to spend more to fill their gas tanks and heat their homes, everything suffers.” He added that he worries that “the surge in energy prices overwhelms the economy if we stay here for very long.”

Zandi said energy costs — including electricity, gasoline and heating — now account for about 6.5 percent of the average household budget. For the poorer half of the nation’s households, energy costs are gobbling up close to 10 percent of family budgets.

Precisely.

These are the among the barrel-o-concerns I have when reading proposals like Krauthammer’s that call for tax increases.

offshore_rig_mmsAnd now, with the economy sick in bed for the foreseeable future, and gas prices plummeting, is raising the gasoline tax really the right move to make now? Smack dab in the middle of a recession?

Krauthammer’s desire to slash American dependency on foreign oil is one I wholeheartedly share. And if I actually thought there was even an iota of likelihood that something like this could work to achieve that end, I might actually consider it – might. But even after three readings of his piece, I just cannot get on board. Admittedly, I am predisposed to loathe supporting federal tax increases as a means of fixing anything – but his proposition, well-written as it is, does not click for me.

Perhaps I have a bit of an antiquated view of things – something I am fully prepared to admit. Maybe I even exude a smidgen of naivety – something I am happy to entertain with the more learned around me.  But I’m wondering if it at all makes sense to formulate some sort of proposal that is inclusive of something other than raising the gas tax, like … oh, I don’t know, some tasty tax cuts (thus keeping more money in the hands of those who make it … and spend it) … leaving the price of gasoline alone (no government intervention, if you please) … and more domestic and offshore drilling? (more windmills, Mr. Kennedy!)

At least as a start?

Or something like that?

Just a thought.

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SPELL CHECK? (PICTURE OF THE DAY)

Posted by Andrew Roman on December 29, 2008

20081229nydeathjuice

Freedom of speech, of course, means freedom to protest the existence of “Zionist Juice.”

In Manhattan on Sunday.

This picture is courtesy of the great Green Little Footballs website.

 

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BLUE STATE BAILOUT

Posted by Andrew Roman on December 29, 2008

no, but we really need it

no, but we really need it

Senator Charles Schumer from New York – the state where the Governor is proposing a “fat tax” on sugary non-diet drinks, and where the daughter of an ex-President who has never been elected to anything wants to be Senator – says that his state (my state) could get up to $18 billion dollars of federal stimulus package money (there’s that phrase again) during the first two years of an Obama administration.

Did you catch that? Eighteen billion bucks to New York.

And for what?

The $800 billion economic package is expected to include $5 billion for New York as part of $80 billion to $100 billion in additional Medicaid payments to the states, Schumer said. That’s meant to ensure Medicaid remains strong, and that states can avoid tax hikes and spending cuts that would counteract the federal stimulus, he said.

What was that? Medicaid in New York? Siphoned from wallets in Nevada and Louisiana?

How exactly does this latest step of the “save us from ruin” stimulus package shuffle affect the proposal by the National Retail Federation last week to create sales tax-exempt shopping days at the state level, only to have the federal government make up for any lost tax revenues by siphoning wallets in Nebraska and Missouri?

If the Feds actually made available to the public the seeds to those money trees they’re obviously hoarding, they could eliminate the national debt quicker than Obama can say, “Anyone have a light?

This would all be very funny if it weren’t so nauseating.

Said the Senator from New York:

“President-elect Obama understands we have to push money into the economy or it will get worse. If the federal government is putting money in while the state governments are taking it out … the government is giving with one hand and taking away with another.”

He thinks that is convoluted?

Think about what is being proposed here.

The federal government will take money from taxpayers in Colorado, Utah and Mississippi, throw it all into a big hat in Washington, D.C., then redistribute it back to the states in ways they determine.

Isn’t it amazing how the first instinct of Schumer, et al – the first resort – is to take away from its citizenry so that it can be redistributed to its citizenry?

Clearly, the situation is a complicated one – but just once I’d like to hear one of these bubble-headed “do-something” cocktail party jockeys mix in a “comprehensive income tax cut” or a “significant tax incentive for business owners” or something where more of one’s own money being kept by the taxpayer is at the core of a recovery plan.

According to Schumer’s office, Congress and the transition team are working to have the stimulus measure signed in to law by the end of January, with a second package to follow the next year. That would mean $10 billion in direct additional health care aid to New York over the two years, though Schumer noted, “If the economy starts moving ahead, the second year may not come to pass.”

You cannot make this stuff up.

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to  Blue State Bailout ’09.

Just curious … How many red states are asking for their own chunk of stimulus cake?

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SEASON OVER

Posted by Andrew Roman on December 29, 2008

manginiThe New York Jets are not going to the playoffs, and as of a little while ago, Eric Mangini has been axed.

If anyone is surprised by this move, please come forward.

I’m glad he’s gone.

What else can be said?

Over the last five games of the 2008 season, The Jets went 1-4 – and if not for a miracle play against the Buffalo Bills, they would have been 0-5. There were more questionable calls on the part of Mangini during the home stretch run of the season than there were fainting women at Barack Obama campaign stops during the summer.

To say the Jets played horribly over the last five-game stretch would be a disservice to the word “horrible.” To say they choked over the last five games would be unfair to those gagging for air.

The New York Jets were, in a word, disastrous.

The Jets did not deserve, even in make-believe land, to go to the playoffs.

And the funny thing is … five weeks ago, the Jets were being mentioned among the elite teams in the AFC. There was actually talk of the Jets possibly becoming the number two seed for the post-season.

Five weeks ago, they had an 8-3 record with a relatively easy schedule ahead of them with almost no injuries.

What the hell happened?

As recently as two weeks ago they still had their own destiny in their hands.

Two measley little wins and they would have won the division outright.

Instead, the Jets will be sitting at home watching their former quarterback Chad Pennington (MVP possibly?) lead the dreaded, evil Miami Dolphins into the first round of the playoffs against Baltimore.

How delightful.

How embarrassing.

Yesterday, the Miami Dolphins came into the Jets’ house and did what they had to to win the AFC East.

I’m sorry … the Dolphins are not even in the same building talent-wise as the Jets … but, of course, that just sounds like whiny sour grapes on my part.

It is, I admit it.

Bottom line … the Freaking Dolphins have more football to play.

So do eleven other NFL teams.

The New York Jets finished 2008 in pathetic fashion.

There is never any need for deep analysis when it comes to assessing the New York Jets. No one needs to spend inordinate amounts of time monday-morning quaterbacking this team to figure out what the problems are. It’s a waste of energy reviewing and picking apart this team. The answer is always a simple one, and it never varies. In three words, “They’re the Jets.”

Period.

Whether or not Brett Favre returns is another issue. Let’s see how many Number “4” Jet jerseys we see in New York now.

And who will Mangini’s replacement be?

I have a better question …

How many days until pitchers and catchers report?

 

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MORAL COWARDICE – TIS THE LEFT

Posted by Andrew Roman on December 29, 2008

terrorist257eb98fft3This is why leftists cannot be trusted with national security.

That liberals – like Ezra Klein at the American Prospect – are condemning Israel’s actions against the terrorist organization Hamas is no bombshell.

That liberals like Klein castigate Israel because of her “disproportionate” response to the daily barrage of rocket and mortar attacks coming from the Gaza Strip is downright frightening.

As I wrote yesterday, you don’t provoke a lion with constant harassment and then express outrage at the volume of his roar when he’s had enough.

Leftists cannot be trusted to respond to evil because they spend their time attempting to balance the scales of moral equivalence as a response to dastardly acts while the enemy exploits.

Leftists cannot be trusted to respond to evil because they refuse to label it.

And if by chance they do, leftists cannot be trusted to respond to evil because they wonder what it is we have done to incite it.

Mr. Klein writes:

No deaths and few injuries. “Deeply disturbing.” Hamas lacks the technology to aim its rockets. They’re taking potshots. In response, the Israeli government launched air strikes that have now killed more than 280 Palestinians, injured hundreds beyond that, and further radicalized thousands in the Occupied Territories and millions in the region.

The entire “proportionate response” argument is a further example of why liberals cannot be taken at all seriously in real world situations and why matters of national security need to be left to the adults.

What does Klein and his ilk actually mean?

The fact that Hamas does not fire their rockets at specific military targets – or any explicit targets for that matter – means that the proper Israeli response should be what? An equivelant number of indiscriminate, misguided rocket launches into civilian pockets of the Gaza Strip that, too, cause “no deaths and a few injuries?”

Should this be overseen by the Minister of Equality?

The Secretary of Tally?

Or maybe Israel should do nothing at all and figure out how much more they need to relinquish to the terrorists to “keep the peace.”

(Yes, this is how the modern liberal thinks).

That Hamas hasn’t the technology to kill as many Israelis as they would like to with their daily attacks means what? That Israel should calm down, relax and stop being so unreasonable?

And if Hamas were not firing rockets into Israel in the first place, would this be an issue at all? What exactly does Mr. Klein believe the intent of Hamas is with these launches into Israel?

Of course, it is worth noting that Israel has been targeting military positions and outposts in Gaza. The vast majority of those killed by the strikes were Hamas types – not civilians.

Plus, it is imperative to point out that according to an Associated Press story:

Militants often operate against Israel from civilian areas. Late Saturday, thousands of Gazans received Arabic-language cell-phone messages from the Israeli military, urging them to leave homes where militants might have stashed weapons.

A warning? Really?

I wonder how many cell phone messages were sent out by Hamas prior to the rocket launches from Gaza into Israel. Certainly their technology is advanced enough to be able to work the “send” button, no?

Klein writes:

The rocket attacks were undoubtedly “deeply disturbing” to Israelis. But so too are the checkpoints, the road closures, the restricted movement, the terrible joblessness, the unflinching oppression, the daily humiliations, the illegal settlement — I’m sorry, “outpost” — construction, “deeply disturbing” to the Palestinians, and far more injurious. And the 300 dead Palestinians should be disturbing to us all.

Disturbing is the failure to acknowledge that all of this so-called “unflinching oppression” is a rejoinder to terrorist activity perpetrated by Hamas and other murderous groups who wish to see Israel wiped from existence by any means possible.

Some points are meant to be made over and over again.

As I wrote on Saturday:

Talk show host Dennis Prager often poses two questions in regard to the never-ending unrest between Israel and the nations that want her destroyed.

-What would happen if Israel laid down her arms?

-What would happen if Hamas and Hezbollah laid down their arms?

As Prager correctly points out, one scenario would result in the destruction of a nation. The other would result in peace.

With all due respect, you are a moral coward, Ezra Klein.

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CAIR CONDEMNS ISRAEL? AND AMERICA? REALLY?

Posted by Andrew Roman on December 28, 2008

logoFor a second straight day, Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip took a much-needed pounding from Israeli forces. The terrorist organization’s main security compound was among the marks that took a heavy beating from Israeli war planes.

The campaign by Israel is retaliatory – a more-than-appropriate response to daily rocket and mortar attacks launched by Palestinian “militants” after a truce between the two sides expired last week.

To no one’s great surprise, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) condemned the Israeli operation.

Their statement, in part, read:

“Despite the public ‘green light’ given to the Israeli military by the Bush administration, American Muslims join our fellow citizens who respect international law and the sanctity of human life in repudiating this massacre carried out using U.S. taxpayer-funded weapons.

“It must be clear by now that the only future offered to the Palestinian people by the outgoing administration was one of perpetual subjugation and humiliation at the hands of the Israeli occupiers. Unfortunately, our nation’s timid response to this tragic episode will only serve to fuel anti-American sentiments in the Muslim world.

“We therefore call on President-elect Obama to demonstrate his commitment to change our nation’s current one-sided Mideast policy by speaking out now in favor of peace and justice for all parties to this decades-long conflict.

“We also call on world leaders to take direct action to end Israel’s counterproductive and wildly disproportionate attacks and to end the humanitarian siege of Gaza, which led to the recent breakdown of the ceasefire.”

First, the ‘green light’ was lit by Hamas with their daily barrage of rockets into Israel.

Second, the phrase “disproportionate attacks” is a laugher. You don’t provoke a lion with constant harassment and then express outrage at the volume of his roar when he’s had enough.

Third, as far as “international law” and the “sanctity of human life” is concerned … there is a general guideline for Americans to follow here.

If the rest of the world supports something or takes a certain position, go with the opposite.

It’s a good rule of thumb.

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2008 – THE BEGINNING OF THE END OF THE MYTH?

Posted by Andrew Roman on December 28, 2008

Let’s see … there’s that famous photograph of the sailor kissing that gal on VJ Day in Times Square … and the one of astronaut Buzz Aldrin standing on the surface of the moon … and the one of the Marines raising the flag on Iwo Jima on February 23. 1945 …

three-picsc

And, of course, how can we forget one of several different history-making shots featuring a lone, clinging-to-dear-life polar bear stuck on a rapidly disappearing block of ice somewhere in the steadily warming Arctic Zone?

polar

These are the indelible images that serve as bookmarks to history – unforgettable moments forever captured in time. These are, in fact, the days of our lives. (Cue the hourglass).

Or maybe not …

The question of the hour, a mere four days before the launch of a new year … Will 2008 be forever remembered as the year man-made global warming was “disproved?” Will those pictures of cute little polar bears floating away on chunks of disconnected glacier ice fade away into the ash heap of desktop wallpaper history?

It’s a shame.

Those polar-pics had a certain urgency and power to them – like a migraine or bad gas.

According to Christopher Booker of the UK Telegraph.com website, the beginning of the end of the myth is at hand.

Easily one of the most important stories of 2008 has been all the evidence suggesting that this may be looked back on as the year when there was a turning point in the great worldwide panic over man-made global warming. Just when politicians in Europe and America have been adopting the most costly and damaging measures politicians have ever proposed, to combat this supposed menace, the tide has turned in three significant respects.

First, all over the world, temperatures have been dropping in a way wholly unpredicted by all those computer models which have been used as the main drivers of the scare.

Secondly, 2008 was the year when any pretence that there was a “scientific consensus” in favour of man-made global warming collapsed. At long last, as in the Manhattan Declaration last March, hundreds of proper scientists, including many of the world’s most eminent climate experts, have been rallying to pour scorn on that “consensus” which was only a politically engineered artifact, based on ever more blatantly manipulated data and computer models programmed to produce no more than convenient fictions.

Thirdly, as banks collapsed and the global economy plunged into its worst recession for decades … panicking politicians are waking up to the fact that the world can no longer afford all those quixotic schemes for “combating climate change” with which they were so happy to indulge themselves in more comfortable times.

Let’s hear it for the “debate is over” detachment of humanity – which, incidentally, includes out next President.

A question I have asked for a long time – and one worth asking again: If it were proven unequivocally – beyond a shadow of a doubt – that rising global temperatures are in no way connected or related  to human activity, would leftists even care anymore?

*ahem*

You know the answer.

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OPERATION SOLID LEAD

Posted by Andrew Roman on December 27, 2008

gaza1Israel is doing the right thing.

With the news of that country unleashing retaliatory strikes against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip  – in which at least 228 were killed – as a response to the daily rocket and mortar attacks by Palestinian terrorists, the White House made a critical point that terrorist sympathizers still refuse to consider.

Said White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe, “If Hamas stops firing rockets into Israel, then Israel would not have a need for strikes in Gaza. What we’ve got to see is Hamas stop firing rockets into Israel.”

Bingo.

This is all on Hamas.

Talk show host Dennis Prager often poses two questions in regard to the never-ending unrest between Israel and the nations that want her destroyed.

-What would happen if Israel laid down her arms?

-What would happen if Hamas and Hezbollah laid down their arms?

As Prager correctly points out, one scenario would result in the destruction of a nation. The other would result in peace.

Any bets as to which action would yield which result?

As Johndroe said, “The United States holds Hamas responsible for breaking the ceasefire; we want the ceasefire restored.”

The Egypt-brokered six-month truce between Israel and Hamas officially ended on December 19th.

Israel said the daily rocket and mortar attacks, which have intensified since the truce came to an end, were “intolerable.”

Naturally, as a response to a response to something they initiated, the good folks over at Hamas vowed revenge – which, according to them, would include suicide bomb attacks in the “cafes and streets” of Israel. Meanwhile, Israel said the attacks against Hamas would go on as long as necessary. The possibility of using land forces was not ruled out as Israeli forces reinforced the border between Israel and Gaza.

Good for you, Israel.

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GUNS, MONEY, THE GOOD GUYS AND VIAGRA

Posted by Andrew Roman on December 27, 2008

21st centuey weaponry

21st centuey weaponry

Call it breaking down stiff resistance.

It could also be called a successful tactic in the War Against Islamo-Fascist Terror… that is, maybe until now.

With a veritable smorgasbord of potential rim-shots waiting to be thwacked at the idea of using Viagra as a means of getting an upper hand in the war, the more serious matter of exposing a successful gambit while the battle is still ongoing becomes the front-burner issue.

The Washington Post is reporting that the “little blue pill” has proven to be an effective tool (no pun intended) in helping to gain information from otherwise tough-to-crack Afghani warlords and bigwigs.

From FoxNews.com:

In an effort to win over fickle warlords and chieftains in Afghanistan and get information from them, CIA officials are handing out Viagra pills in exchange for their cooperation, the Washington Post reports.

“Whatever it takes to make friends and influence people – whether it’s building a school or handing out Viagra,” an agency operative, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told the Post.

The growing Taliban insurgency has forced the agency to get creative in how they obtain certain information from Afghan warlords and tribal leaders, including Taliban movements and supply routes.

There is something slightly more clandestine about the below-the-waistline benefits of the famous “blue pill” than there is in, say, building a school. Members of the Taliban can actually see a school – but the point is well-taken.

This story is, understandably, a hard one to resist, but the real question is why is it seeing the light of day at all? This is a covert operation in an ongoing war. Why is it necessary to expose it? (So to speak).

And how exactly does it help the war effort to know that the CIA is dispensing little portions of blue manhood to unsatisfied Afghani war dogs?

(Rhetorical knob switched to “off“).

It doesn’t.

What it does illustrate, however, is the ongoing fascination – nay, a hard-wired compulsion – by the mainstream media to expose any and all war strategies conceived and implemented during the administration of George W. Bush as questionable, unusual or downright dumb (not to mention unethical) – something almost certain not to carry over into the Messianic Age that begins on January 20, 2009.

This is especially true of the New York Times – the staggering and stammering broken down Old Lady in desparate need of cash – that in December, 2005 reported:

Months after the Sept. 11 attacks, President Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States to search for evidence of terrorist activity without the court-approved warrants ordinarily required for domestic spying, according to government officials.

Remember that story?

What purpose, other than to insinuate illegal activity from the President, would there be in publishing such a story?

What good could have come of it?

Bush, at the time – on one of the rare occassions where he actually rose to defend his administration, the handling of the war, and the relentless attacks against him – was absolutely correct when he said, “The unauthorized disclosure of this effort damages our national security and puts our citizens at risk. Revealing classified information is illegal, alerts our enemies, and endangers our country.”

Spot on.

rm12090loose-lips-sink-ships-postersRecall six months later, in June, 2006, when the Times “uncovered” an international financial surveillance program run by the Bush Administration and plastered it all over its fishwrap.

I suppose that was also “hard news.” And important for the general public to know, why?

The New York Times apparently decided that being informed was more important than being secure.

As long as the suggestion was perpetuated by “legitimate sources” that President George W. Bush was quite possibly a war criminal – or at the very least, pervasively unethical – the unveiling of covert war operations (and all the illegalities supposedly associated with them) could “pass” for news.

Seeing as Barack Obama will almost certainly have to follow much of the same path of President Bush in prosecuting the war – at least for a while – it is a very safe bet that not one story will emerge from the mainstream media unearthing anything remotely covert during the next four (possibly eight) years.

Not one.

Granted, the Viagra story is not quite the national security issue that the two New York Times’ stories were – some would say treasonous – but it is indicative of a trend, and may mark the end of the Viagra program’s effectiveness.

Afghan veterans told the Post that the usual bribes of choice – cash and weapons – aren’t always the best options because they can garner unwanted attention and fall into the wrong hands.

“If you give an asset $1,000, he’ll go out and buy the shiniest junk he can find, and it will be apparent that he has suddenly come into a lot of money from someone,” Jamie Smith, a veteran of CIA covert operations in Afghanistan, told the Post.

The “benefit” of a Viagra payoff isn’t quite as conspicuous as, say, some new “shinky junk.”

The program is covert in all senses of the word – that is, until now.

All it would take is some loose-lipped chatter from one of the warlord’s wives or mistresses about her man’s “blue pill” experience to sink his ship. Once it got back to the bad guys – the Taliban – that there are now other means of compensation to American sympathizers outside of guns and money, it would make things far more difficult for our side.

Nice job, Washington Post.

Don’t worry. With a bit more practice, and a few more tasty top-shelf national security secrets exposed, you’ll be up there with the Times.

But make it quick. You only have twenty-four days of Bush.

After that, all bets are off.

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YOUR STRING OF CHRISTMAS LIGHTS IS KILLING US

Posted by Andrew Roman on December 27, 2008

xmasBeing good for the sake of goodness alone – without all of that God nonsense mixed in – may indeed be one of the more industrious advertising campaigns implemented by atheists this holiday season, but fear not … environmentalists aren’t too happy with Christmas either. In fact, according to scientists at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) of Australia, Christmas may be ruining the planet.

If you happen to be one of those self-involved, less-than-conscientious observers of Christmas who bothers to decorate his or her home with holiday lights, without as much as a stitch of consideration for what you are doing to the environment, you are dead-red guilty of contributing to the demise of the Earth.

In other words, your string of Christmas lights is killing us.

From the Courier Mail in Australia:

Scientists have warned that Christmas lights are bad for the planet due to huge electricity waste and urged people to get energy efficient festive bulbs.

CSIRO researchers said householders should know that each bulb turned on in the name of Christmas will increase emissions of greenhouse gases.

Dr Glenn Platt, who leads research on energy demand, said Australia got 80 per cent of its electricity by burning coal which pumps harmful emissions into the atmosphere.

The culprit here is electricity – or rather, “centralized carbon intensive, coal-based power stations” that produce the electricity needed to power these little flickering balls of grim death.

“Energy efficient bulbs, such as LEDs, and putting your Christmas lights on a timer are two very easy ways to minimize the amount of electricity you use to power your lights.”

Dr Platt added: “For a zero-emission Christmas light show, you may consider using solar powered lights …”

That sounds so remarkably festive, doesn’t it? A “zero-emission Christmas light show.” Someone ought to compose a song.

While the increase of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere has not – repeat not – been proven to cause a rise in surface temperatures (as the Al Gore Green-o-crats would have you believe), I’m willing to pretend for a moment it does.

My question then would be … can we possibly get more cars on the road? More smoke stacks a-pumping? More incandescent light bulbs a-burning?

If growing carbon dioxide levels do lead to rising temperatures, we need more of it here in the United States.

I assure you, I did my part. I even had Christmas lights burning inside the damn mailbox.

And to all of you across the nation who experienced some of the worst ice storms in decades, please accept my most sincere apologies. I strung up as many lights as I possibly could.

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STIMULATE, BABY, STIMULATE

Posted by Andrew Roman on December 26, 2008

300_216229Okay, Christmas is over. Now it’s time for some real giving.

Reality, anyone?

The “gimmee gimmee” train continues its steady roll along the rails. This time, a group representing America’s retailers is pleading its case for their share of the stimulus pie in the form of sales tax-exempt shopping days.

On the surface, this doesn’t sound like a half bad approach. After all, similar ideas from economists, pundits and serious thinkers who believe in the power of the free market have been batted around in abundance – that is, giving working Americans some form of substantial tax breaks to help stimulate spending (as opposed to taking from the big money makers and spreading their wealth around).

However (and here’s the kicker), according to the proposal from the National Retail Federation, tax revenues lost to the various states during these tax exempt shopping days would be reimbursed by the federal government.

No, seriously.

In other words, the feds would foot the bill for tax breaks at the state level, which would be paid for by the people through federal taxes, which would be collected and then paid back to the states to make up for those tax breaks.

Or something like that. (Oh yeah, and at least someone would be doing something.)

Slipshod, vulgarly expensive and laden with unnecessary extra steps.

Can anyone say Federal Government?

Ann Zimmerman at the Wall Street Journal writes:

The country’s largest retail trade association asked President-elect Barack Obama Tuesday to add a series of sales tax-exempt shopping days to a coming economic stimulus package in an effort to revive consumer confidence and spur spending.

The National Retail Federation called for three periods of sales tax-free shopping that would last 10 days each in March, July and October 2009. The trade group estimates that it would save consumers about $20 billion, or $175 per family.

Under the industry group’s proposal, which would exclude alcohol and tobacco sales, the federal government would reimburse states for the lost tax revenue. State sales tax rates range from 2.9% to 7.25%, the group said. The five states without a sales tax — Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon — would also receive monies.

In a letter signed by the chief executives of retail chains, including J.C. Penney Co., Saks Inc. and Petsmart Inc., the NRF warned the situation was “critical,” with consumer confidence in October falling to the lowest level in the 41 years data has been collected.

“Without swift, additional Congressional measures, the current economic weakness could worsen, creating a more rapid downward spiral — beyond what economists are predicting for 2009 — in the years ahead,” the NRF said.

The group said it supports Mr. Obama’s efforts to create a long-term stimulus plan to generate jobs by rebuilding the country’s infrastructure and investing in public schools and alternative energy. However, the NRF said short-term incentives are also needed to encourage consumer spending, which accounts for 70% of the U.S. economy.

States without a sales tax would also receive money?

Is that the same line of thinking that proposed giving tax “cuts” to people who paid no federal income taxes?

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NOEL

Posted by Andrew Roman on December 24, 2008

belkls

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Posted by Andrew Roman on December 24, 2008

free-merry-christmas-screensaver

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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PICK YOUR PECKS

Posted by Andrew Roman on December 24, 2008

If you haven’t seen this yet, and if gauging pectorals for form and size is your sort of thing, you may want to take a gander at the Drudge Report. A battle of shirtless world leaders (or soon-to-be world leaders) is underway in the form of a poll.

The Prez-El, Barack Obama versus Mr. “The KGB ain’t dead as long as I’m still sucking Borscht,” Vladimir Putin.

With over 116,000 votes in as of 3:35AM EST, December 24, 2008, Putin has almost twice as many votes as The One.

You judge.

May the best set of man nipples win.

pb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s no contest, really.

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OUT OF MANY, MANY?

Posted by Andrew Roman on December 24, 2008

From the “Buried on Page Eighty-Five of the Newspaper” file …

Mark Krikorian at National Review.com has posted a link to a story that has probably gotten as much attention as the Oil For Food scandal, or any American victories in the War Against Islamo-fascists.

It’s one of those “no no” articles that go beyond shopworn political incorrectness and actually begins to probe the dark recesses of genuine xenophobia.

At least, that’s how the Left will see it.

It’s not often in this day of obnoxious multiculturalism and moral equivalence that a story about the need – yes, need – to “Americanize” immigrants comes to light (faint as it may be), but Krikorian found it.

From the Cox News Service, Published in the Salt Lake Tribune, Eunice Coscoso writes:

The United States must embark on an aggressive effort to integrate immigrants, including teaching them English and U.S. history, a federal task force recommended Thursday.

If this “Americanization” fails, the nation could see major problems in 20 or 30 years, with foreign-born populations detached from the larger society and engaging in anti-social behavior, said Alfonso Aguilar, who heads the U.S. Office of Citizenship.

Aguilar compared the potential strife to what is occurring in some Western European countries where foreign-born populations do not feel part of the larger society and are not accepted by many as full citizens.

“We should not be naive and assume that the assimilation process is going to happen automatically,” Aguilar said at a news conference.

The Task Force on New Americans recommends that the federal government take a leadership role in an “Americanization movement,” but also says that states, local governments, nonprofit groups and the private sector should play a key part.

In a city like New York, for example, where thirty-six percent of residents are foreign-born, and government signs appear in more languages than there are bridges crossing into Manhattan, the concept of “Americanization” is seen by Leftists as a machete to the gut of what they believe is America’s greatest attribute – its diversity (a buzz words that could use a little machete love of its own).

I admit to a fair degree of confusion by those who claim America’s greatest virtue is its diversity. I don’t understand the thinking.

The words of my dear departed grandmother still resonate with me from one of the last conversations we ever had. She said that America’s greatness is measured in the fact that so many people from diverse origins come here to share in a singular value set – the American ideal.

That so many have, through the generations, willfully chosen to disown the only way of life they have ever known, often with nothing more than scant savings in hand and visions of a place rich in liberty and opportunity waiting for them, eager to start anew in a strange country, speaks to the inestimable glory of the land they are coming to – not in the one left behind.

You got it, Grandma.

Out of many, one … indeed.

(Ask a hundred college students what E Pluribus Unum means. What’s the over/under on that one?)

Coscoso continues:

The report strongly emphasizes that immigrants must learn English in order to fully integrate into American society.

Aguilar said immigrants currently want to learn English but many cannot find classes.

He said the report is not recommending “an ugly, English-only approach,” but “a friendly, pro-active literary effort.”

I’m not sure what an “ugly, English-only approach” means exactly. (I picture jackbooted phonics specialists shoving flash cards into the faces of tied-up third grade students screaming, “I before E, dammit!”)

Can an English-only approach exist without being “ugly?”

I don’t know.

I do know, however, that “assimilation” is a dirty word to multiculturalists. Images of dazed and confused, disconnected non-english speaking immigrants wandering the streets in search of breadcrumbs, warm socks and twice-smoked cigarette butts, with nowhere to go, willing to lay their heads down on rat-nibbled Twinkie wrappers plague the minds of Leftocrats.

But assimilation – or integration, as Coscoso calls it – is quite literally one of the agents by which a given society is perpetuated. (The other is procreation – something Europeans are not doing)

That success in the United States is directly tied to the ability of its citizenry to speak English in undeniable, and needs to be explicitly conveyed to immigrants as the foundation of any “integration” plan.

But it doesn’t stop with the common language.

It also calls for more U.S. history and civic instruction at all levels of schooling and urges American businesses to provide English-language instruction for their employees.

Aguilar said the widespread integration effort is needed because of the unique nature of current immigrants who are mostly from Latin America, Asia and Caribbean nations and are coming in large numbers. By 2025, about 14 percent of the nation will be foreign-born, he said.

That the United States of America has – and should have – a distinct national identity seems to trouble leftists.

That the United States of America could very well decline into a nation of disparate tribes scattered across the map with little or no common thread tying its citizens together troubles me.

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SMALLEY’S SMALL LEAD

Posted by Andrew Roman on December 23, 2008

As if a total world financial meltdown predicted by leading economists isn’t enough … as if record-breaking sub-zero global warming-induced frigid wind chills didn’t take the cake … as if angry gays storming churches and knocking crosses out of the hands of little old ladies wasn’t a deal breaker …. there’s always this..

Al Franken leads Norm Coleman by 48 votes in the Minnesota Senate Race.

Just to say that and realize that this isn’t a bad Brad-Hall era SNL sketch or a rejected article from The Onion has to make one take pause for a moment and wonder, “What the hell is going on in my country? What planet am I living on?”

From the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star-Tribune:

stuart1At the end of last week, he was up by 251, the first time since the Nov. 4 election that he had an advantage.

In addition, disputes over absentee ballots, claims that other votes were counted twice and a number of still-unresolved ballot challenges could change the margin yet again in an election that shows no sign of being settled soon.

Another unknown is the impact of as many as 1,500 to 1,600 absentee ballots that may have been mistakenly rejected. The Supreme Court last week ordered the candidates and county elections officials to agree on a procedure for identifying and counting such ballots.

In a recount where the candidates seldom agree on anything, that might not be easy.

I’m starting to get that “I can just hear Chris Matthews now” feeling in the pit of my gut.  

Anyone care to post an over/under of how many days it’ll be before Senator Franken loses patience with a reporter and hurls something at him?

(Did I just type “Senator Franken?”)

Honestly, now … is there anyone who doesn’t believe that Al Franken will be the next Senator from Minnesota?

Just hold me.

 

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US WIND CHILL MAP – MONDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2008

Posted by Andrew Roman on December 22, 2008

uschill5

 As best as can be determined, the world is now warmer than it has been at any point in the last two millennia, and, if current trends continue, by the end of the century it will likely be hotter than at any point in the last two million years.

Elizabeth Kolbert, Environmentalist, Climate Reporter, New Yorker Magazine

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HAPPY CHANUKKAH

Posted by Andrew Roman on December 21, 2008

65228227

 

 

Tonight is the first candle. For those celebrating, I wish you a wonderful holiday.

Good Yom Tov!

 

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US WIND CHILL MAP – SUNDAY, DECEMBER 21, 2008

Posted by Andrew Roman on December 21, 2008

uschill

 

 

That’s a whole hell of a lot of below-zero wind chills, isn’t it?

Any map that cold ought to have a damn space heater or two attached to it, don’t you think?

 

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TOO COLD TO BE ANYTHING BUT GLOBAL WARMING

Posted by Andrew Roman on December 21, 2008

global_warming_or_global_coolingAdmittedly, the ornery side of me wonders if every now and again, from the privacy of his organically constructed eco-friendly multimedia room, Al Gore lets loose with a “Dammit!” or two (or maybe something with a little more octane) when he hears about the debilitating ice storms plaguing entire sections of the country.

You’d think Gore would be grinding the enamel off his teeth when stories about snowstorms in Las Vegas and New Orleans cross the wire. I could even see him pouting like a baby aboard his private jet (the one that whisks him from disaster seminar to disaster seminar) after reading about record-breaking low temperatures being reported across the globe.

Poor Tipper.

I pray she isn’t left to take the brunt of his frustrations as the frosty repercussions of a planet on the brink of Global Warming calamity continue to mount.

“Can I get you anything, Al, honey?

“Dammit, bring me my maps, Tipper!

The fact is … Global Warming is producing one hell of a wintry weekend from sea to shining sea.

Damn you, Global Warming! Why do you smite us?

Of course, I am way out-of-step.

I’m still stuck in the moth-eaten age of “Global Warming.” We’ve now evolved into a new heterogeneous era of “Global Climate Change,” where every conceivable computer model predicts every conceivable meteorological scenario to be the result of man’s inhumanity to the environment – even if it isn’t warming, and even if it isn’t global.

That way, human beings can feel guilty about themselves no matter what they do.

The reality is … the hysterical left (along with a few in the McCain/Schwarzenegger wing of the Republican Party) doesn’t bother with the observable to draw conclusions. They know that the debate is over. The Messiah himself has said so. Climate change is real, and there’s nothing we can do to stop it, even though it’s in our best interest to act quickly before it’s too late, regardless of the fact that we’re helpless to save ourselves, unless we start thinking green right now.

How exactly will the warming affect us on Sunday?

Through Sunday, 3 to 6 inches is forecast in Minnesota and lower Michigan and up to a couple of inches in northern Illinois, with cold winds gusting to 40 mph creating areas of blowing and drifting snow that will reduce visibility and create hazardous winter driving conditions.

The storm will intensify on Sunday as it moves to the East Coast, producing heavy snow across the Northeast interior. As much as a foot of snow will fall from northeast New York into northern New England and Canada’s Maritime Provinces.

Boston will get another blast of heavy snow, with 3 to 6 inches forecast in the city, before a change to rain at the height of the storm.

The New York City metropolitan area will likely get a mix of snow, ice and rain, while Philadelphia will deal with an icy mix changing to rain in the morning. After getting mostly rain on Friday, Pittsburgh will be hit with up to a few inches of snow Sunday.

Parts of the Upper Midwest are expected to experience wind chills in the -40 degree range. Even Chicago is expected to feel like it’s below zero.

Is there anyone out there, by a show of hands, who wouldn’t like a little bit of genuine global warming right about now?

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QUOTE OF THE WEEK – PRESIDENT BUSH

Posted by Andrew Roman on December 21, 2008

president-bush2

“I’ve abandoned free-market principles to save the free market system”

-President George W. Bush, December 16, 2008

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WHAT?

Posted by Andrew Roman on December 21, 2008

From the “You’ve got to be f***ing kidding me” file …

The Congress of the United States of America, which (if you weren’t aware) is controlled by Democrats, did precisely what any responsibly conscientious legislative body should do in the midst of a sweeping economic crisis … they gave themselves a pay raise.

Jordy Yager from The Hill writes:

congressA crumbling economy, more than 2 million constituents who have lost their jobs this year, and congressional demands of CEOs to work for free did not convince lawmakers to freeze their own pay.

Instead, they will get a $4,700 pay increase, amounting to an additional $2.5 million that taxpayers will spend on congressional salaries, and watchdog groups are not happy about it.

“As lawmakers make a big show of forcing auto executives to accept just $1 a year in salary, they are quietly raiding the vault for their own personal gain,” said Daniel O’Connell, chairman of The Senior Citizens League (TSCL), a non-partisan group. “This money would be much better spent helping the millions of seniors who are living below the poverty line and struggling to keep their heat on this winter.”

But don’t feel too angry.

If you knew how much your lawmakers were sacrificing here, you’d think twice before hurling your poison arrows at them.

The raise is only 2.8%.

Are you aware that this pay increase is only half as big as the Social Security cost of living adjustment for next year?

So back off.

Steve Ellis, vice president of the budget watchdog Taxpayers for Common Sense, said Congress should have taken the rare step of freezing its pay, as lawmakers did in 2000.

“Look at the way the economy is and how most people aren’t counting on a holiday bonus or a pay raise — they’re just happy to have gainful employment,” said Ellis. “But you have the lawmakers who are set up and ready to get their next installment of a pay raise and go happily along their way.”

The answer is “no.”

There is no shame on Capital Hill.

In other news, liberals are pretty much always wrong.

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I DON’T HATE GAYS, OKAY? (LAST PART) – ANSWERING RICHARD

Posted by Andrew Roman on December 19, 2008

Same Sex Marriage Rings

It has proven to be a most interesting stretch of time for me in the blogosphere. Apparently, as I’ve come to discover, all one needs to do to attract venomous e-mail and comments is to, one, say that banning peanuts from public schools is wrong, and, two, say that even though you defend the traditional definition of marriage, you do not hate homosexuals.

Even throwing stones at President Messiah doesn’t bring on the heat like this.

Two days ago, I posted an article called “I Don’t Hate Gays, Okay?

Yesterday, thanks to a thoughtful response from a blogger by the name of Alan, I posted a follow up called “I Don’t Hate Gays, Okay? Part Two – Fielding Hate Mail.”

Today, I still don’t hate gays. 

That is for certain, despite the many who have corrected me and told me that I actually do.

Another certainty is that this will definitely be the final “installment” of what was only intended to be a one-time article on why I defend the traditional definition of marriage, and why doing so does not mean I hate anyone.

This time, I am responding to a blog comment from Richard.

Richard, thank you sincerely for your post.

Richard wrote:

I am a gay man, a great parent, and the widow of a wonderful but undocumented marriage.

Richard, I have no reason to doubt that you are a great parent, and I am sincerely sorry for the loss of your “undocumented spouse.”

Richard wrote:

You do not hate me but you think a man-woman household would have been better for my daughter than my parenting.

I don’t know you, Richard. We happen to disagree on the issue of same-sex marriage.

Thus, my question to you would be … knowing we conflict on this matter, why is your reflex presumption that I hate you?

If we disagreed, for instance, on which President of the United States did more good for his country – Ronald Reagan or Bill Clinton – would your inclination be to assume I hate you? If we disagreed on which pizzeria makes the best calzones in town, would you say, “Anyone who likes DaVincis calzones over Rocco’s is a hater”?

If so, it genuinely pains me, Richard.

Disagreement is not hate.

As far as I know you are a wonderful man.

But it is irrelevant to my argument. I have no idea how you parent. My argument is not an indictment on your parenting skills, nor a judgment on how much love you have for your girl. You may very well be “Daddy of the Year,” and I certainly hope you are.

It is important for you to understand that I argue my position, not because I am demanding agreement, but because I am looking for clarity.

same sex marriageRemember, there isn’t a civilization, a religion, a school of thought, a leader or even a fortune cookie in all of recorded human existence that has ever endorsed or promoted the idea of same-sex marriage. It is not unreasonable to suggest that there are valid reasons for this – even in societies that were more accepting of homosexuality in general – like the Ancient Greeks, for instance.

And what about the multitude of gays who don’t want the institution redefined? Are they haters, too? What exactly do they hate? And whom?

I’m not saying gay people cannot make good parents. Don’t misunderstand. I have never said that. My point is there are very real differences between the sexes … and those differences play an immeasurably critical role in the raising of children.

And please don’t fall into the trap of those who argue the point by asking the questions, “If traditional marriage is so great, why is there so much divorce? What about the children who wind up in orphanages?”

It sounds like good expostulation, but it really isn’t. In fact, it is deeply flawed.

For example, there are white people who are members of the KKK. Does that fact somehow make the case that all Caucasians are evil?

There are black gangs in South Central Los Angeles who commit crimes. Does that fact somehow make the case for the criminality of all blacks?

That divorce exists does not argue against marriage.

Richard wrote:

You do not hate me, but you think any man-woman marriage is more worthy of respect and dignity than my 10+ year marriage with my now deceased husband.

I’m not sure I understand what this point has to do with the discussion of whether or not marriage should be redefined.

And what on earth does this have to do with personal respect, Richard?

You and your deceased partner are worthy of respect if you’ve earned it – the same way anyone is worthy of respect if they’ve earned it. Your “undocumented marriage” doesn’t automatically procure respect due to its mere existence any more than someone’s traditional marriage does.

It is the institution of marriage, however, that merits my respect.

And how does any definition of marriage affect your dignity?

Richard, these are non sequiturs.

The fact is, there are heterosexuals I have little or no respect for, and homosexuals I have immense respect for.

Again, the point you make is irrelevant to the discussion.

Please understand, that with every fiber of my being, I am so terribly sorry for the loss of your loved one. I mean that. You can choose to believe it or not. But I don’t shy away from the fact that I admit to having the utmost respect and regard for the institution of marriage as it has always stood.

That is the entire point.

Understand that respecting the institution is not the same as respecting the people who may or may not participate in it.

For instance, let’s say there is a married couple living next door to me. And Let’s say I happen to know that they are terrible parents for whatever reason. Add to that the fact that they regularly cheat on each other (and everyone knows it) and continually fight like cats and dogs out in the middle of the street for the entire neighborhood to enjoy. I would have no respect for them as individuals, nor would I respect their marriage (as they obviously don’t).

That doesn’t, however, affect the reverence I still hold for the institution of marriage.

The grounds on which same-sex unions go unrecognized by the state – as do all unions, save for that of one man and one woman – are not difficult to understand. They are, in fact, quite logical.

A blogger at the great Free Republic.com forum by the name of JayHamilton, made some excellent points on this subject. I’ll paraphrase and borrow from him to complement my position.

The reason the federal government has any vested interest in marriage at all is because traditional marriage can create offspring. Marriage is not a contractual agreement (contrary to leftist opinion) in the same sense a business partnership between two entities is. Rather, it is an institution that exists to support the procreation of the human race and the vehicle by which children are best reared. Thus, because traditional marriages can create the children that will quite literally make up the population of the next generation, the state – understandably – takes an interest in it.

This is the primary reason – and arguably the only reason – that government should even involve itself at all in marriage. And despite what homosexuals may think, feel or want, their same-sex relationships are of no interest to the state.

It is best that government remain neutral on the same-sex relationship.

gay_rightsThe fact is, there is nothing – absolutely nothing – preventing gays from doing what they want behind closed doors. However, the sexual behavior of a small percentage of American citizens is not sufficient enough to demand the redefinition of marriage. Government has no reason to endorse or support same-sex marriage. In short, “from (a) legal perspective, the state’s interest – and their justification for claiming an interest – only begins and ends with offspring.”

Indeed, there are liberal churches that conduct and recognize same-sex marriages. Gays are free to pursue those avenues. However, there is nothing that a same-sex relationship can produce that the state would be remotely interested in.

As JayHamilton writes: “…its not hateful, its reality. Legislatures make laws. Their laws on this matter are not discriminatory to anyone. Any man can marry any woman, and vice versa. To claim discrimination is hogwash and intellectually dishonest.”

Society benefits from the endorsement of traditional marriage.

Putting aside wants and desires, how exactly does society benefit from the recognition of same-sex marriage by the state? And what purpose would it serve?

Richard wrote:

You do not hate me, but you believe that any straight family is better than my family.

Again, you are personalizing this … and to be fair, I do understand why. This is an important issue. But this is not a matter of who is individually “better.”

How can it be? I am not prepared to say that I am a better Dad than you are, and I would hope you would feel the same.

However, I do believe that the institution of traditional marriage is the best way for children to be raised. I have the entirety of human history on my side to support my claim.

But as far as your family goes, I never asserted, suggested or claimed that any straight family is better than your family. That does not even make sense. I don’t know your family. How can I draw such a conclusion? I only wish the very best for you and your daughter.

These points, too, are irrelevant to the discussion, Richard.

The question is (once again) … Why should marriage be redefined?

That marriage has always been defined as one man and one woman certainly didn’t affect the love you had for your partner, did it? That marriage has always been understood to mean the union of one person from each sex in no way detracted from the closeness you and your husband shared, did it? Or from the affection and respect you held for him? Or he for you? The state’s lack of endorsement of same-sex marriage should in no way affect your happiness, your family nor the way you interact with them.

Ricahrd wrote:

Sorry, I do not buy it. Me, my parenting, my family is just as good as any straight family. Me, my parenting, my family is just as valuable to society as any straight family. No better, but as good as any you want to compare me with.

Your actions (words, votes, arguments, writings) speak loudly of your hatred and homophobia. If you do NOT wish to be a hateful homophobe, then change your heart. Understand that I am as good as you and deserve equality at law. Including the right to document my marriage with the State of California with a marriage license. Why? Because you are NOT better than me. You simply aren’t.

It is so very sad that your argument has come to this kind of rationale. It really distresses me.

I do not dispute your worth as an individual, Richard. Assuming you are not committing evil acts against your fellow human beings, you are as valuable to this society as anyone else – and certainly in the eyes of God. You may also very well be better at certain things than me, just as I may be better at others than you.

But none of this is related in any way to why the redefinition of marriage is appropriate.

Richard, you are far too mature to resort to this “you’re not better than me” childishness. I would never assert that I am a better human being than you. How can I? When did I? I don’t know you. I know not of your deeds, how you behave with others, or anything relevant to make that sort of determination. I have no desire to “compare” you with anyone to ascertain the value of your parenting skills. This is not a personal issue.

No matter how often you say it, or from which mountaintops you shout it, there is no right to marry whomever you choose. Like all facets of society, there are limits. There are regulations. Traditional marriage is not in the least bit anti-gay, just as it isn’t anti-cat, anti-soy sauce or antifreeze.

It is, instead, advocating for the union of one man and one woman as the only definition of marriage.

And no matter how many times you write it on a blog, and no matter how much better it may make you feel to be able explain away in your head that the reason for opposition to same-sex marriage is hatred and homophobia, it simply is not true.

To disagree is not to be hateful, Richard.

It really isn’t.

By the way … notice not one religious argument was proffered. (Something told me you’d appreciate that, Richard).

God bless you and your daughter, and may you live a long and happy life.

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MERRY CHRISTMAS BIG THREE

Posted by Andrew Roman on December 19, 2008

you did it, didn't you?

you did it, didn't you?

He’s going to do it.

I would have wagered a kidney.

With his time in the White House dwindling away, and the Messiah waiting in the wings to fire up his own trillion dollar stimulus package, President George W. Bush has decided to dip into his bag of inexplicable tricks and live up to the “lame” half of lame duck. He is tapping the $700 billion bailout bag – the three-quarters of a trillion dollar taxpayer bailout bag-o-loot originally intended to save the banking industry – and try to make things all better for the failing American automobile industry.

I’d like to say that I can’t believe it, but I do.

I knew this was coming. So did you.

From Fox News:

The federal government will enable Detroit’s ailing automakers to survive a little longer by providing $17.4 billion in short-term financing, President Bush said Friday.

“Allowing the auto companies to collapse is not a responsible course of action,” he said, adding that a bankruptcy was unlikely to work for the auto industry at this time and would deal “an unacceptably painful blow to hardworking Americans” across the economy.

The low-interest loans will be drawn from the $700 billion Wall Street rescue fund, Bush said.

Of the $17.4 billion, $13.4 billion will be doled out in the next two months with another $4 billion to be added later, he said. The loans will be called back if the companies are not viable by March 31.

(Yelling at the President now)

With all due respect, Mr. President, the car companies themselves allowed this situation to manifest. It is they who have failed, sir. They have been unable remain competitive under their current models in the free market. The creative destruction of capitalism has served its purpose.

Why, then, are you not allowing the free market to be free?

It was their cacophony of failing ideas, union concessions, poor product and miserable planning that lead to this. It is not – nor should it ever be – up to the taxpayers of the United States of America to save an industry that is deserving of death by siphoning their money from them so that these failures are given new life to do it all over again.

How exactly does that responsibility lie with us, Mr. President?

And what if the Big Three do not become “viable,” by whatever definition you choose to implement? How do they pay back the loan? Do you offer them another portion of the $700 billion to pay back the first?

How then do we deny the next failing industry their share of the bailout pie?

If I may amend your words … Allowing government to interfere in the private sector in this way is not a responsible course of action.

(No longer yelling at the President)

The Big Three automakers said anew on Thursday that bankruptcy wasn’t the answer, as did an official of the United Auto Workers who called the idea unworkable and even dangerous. For unions, bankruptcy could mean voided labor contracts and renegotiation of benefits. The car companies argue that no one would buy a vehicle from a bankrupt company for fear that the company might not be around to honor warranties or maintain a supply of spare parts.

The National Automobile Dealers Association also spoke out against bankruptcy “in any way shape or form, orderly or disorderly, prepackaged or unpackaged, managed or unmanaged,” said spokesman Bailey Wood.

This has always been about the unions and nothing else.

Indeed, I hold a great deal of respect for this President – particularly his resolve in fighting the war against Islamo-fascist terrorists. He is a good man. But this is a colossal mistake.

There you go, unions.

Enjoy.

Merry Christmas from all of us out here.

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NOT FOR SALE

Posted by Andrew Roman on December 18, 2008

Relax.

I know there are many who wouldn’t have minded seeing it happen, but it isn’t so.

Fox 5 in New York City is reporting that the New York Mets are not for sale.

mr-met-jpegThe New York Mets say the money lost by their ownership group in Bernard Madoff’s alleged Ponzi scam will not affect team operations.

Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon says some individual partners lost money. He said Wednesday the case does not affect the new Citi Field stadium and that the Mets are not for sale.

Sterling Equities, the real estate company of Mets owner Fred Wilpon, has said it was among Madoff’s victims.

My thoughts on all of this are relatively simple …

If David Wright can figure out a way to get his (expletive) bat on the (expletive) ball and get a (expletive) runner home from third with no one out in the ninth inning in a (triple expletive) critical game in the heat of a (expletive) pennat race, I don’t give a damn who owns the team.

Indeed, I’m a simple man.

Also, J.J. Putz  – latest addition to the “anybody has got to be better than what he had last year” bullpen – officially met the press as a New York Met today.

Here is a video of the presser, direct from Metsblog.com.

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CLASSY REDFORD

Posted by Andrew Roman on December 18, 2008

LEISURE SUNDANCEWhen entertainers speak of morality, it’s like listening to fat person laud the benefits of one-calorie soda.

These are the overlords of hypocrisy who fling poison darts at President Bush  – by now, a matter of involuntary reflex – for keeping the United States safe from terror attacks since September 11, 2001. At the same time, these are the same intellectual lightweights who are out to lunch on human rights abuses in Iran, China and Saudi Arabia. They tediously condemn the liberation of Iraq, despite our impending victory there, as a play for oil and a show of American imperialism but fail to wrinkle a nose hair at modern day slavery in Africa, genocide in Rawanda and the forced “castration” of females in Islamic world (clitorectomies).

Enter one of the more vapid heroes of the American Leftocracy, Robert Redford.

Yesterday, after Barack Obama named Ken Salazar to be the next Secretary of the Interior, Redford, who was speaking via satellite at the National Press Club on behalf of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, applauded the decision.

No big deal there.

But, of course, being the anti-Bush reactionary automoton he is, he just couldn’t resist the impulse to inappropriately throw in an ill-timed dig (or three) about President Bush and Vice President Cheney – a move entirely extraneous and classless.

Redford called the President “sneaky,” “devious” and “morally criminal.”

How elegant. How dignified.

“Bush may be a lame duck, but he knows how to quack,” said Redford. He warned: “We should not leave one more debt” of the Bush administration for Obama to fix.

“These lands are part of our legacy … not Cheney’s and Bush’s,” he continued. “[They’ve] been trashing the environment since they came in, like it was their prerogative.”

But he was just getting warmed up: On top of Redford’s criticisms of the Bush administration’s environmental policies, he called Bush “morally criminal” on three separate occasions and said he “was shocked about how devious and sneaky” Bush has been while in office.

No accountability necessary, naturally. Redford is, after all, a man who cares.

Recall, this is a man who was said to have gone scuba diving at one time with Fidel Castro –  a murderous totalitarian dictator.

And yet, it is President Bush who is a moral criminal.

Wouldn’t it have been nice to hear one person at the National Press Club – just one – ask him:

“Exactly how, Mr. Redford, have the President and Vice President trashed the environment? By all accounts, their record has been very pro-environment. Can you elaborate, sir?”

I also want taxes to go down in New York and wouldn’t mind peace on Earth (with provisions).

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DEATH MAP

Posted by Andrew Roman on December 18, 2008

I thought it was some sort of joke, but it isn’t. There actually is such a thing as a “death map,” and it has nothing to do with comic books, motion pictures or the Electoral College results of the 2008 Presidential Election.

It was created by a team of researchers at the University of South Carolina hoping “to dispel some myths about what the biggest threats to life and limb are.”

Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor with Reuters, writes:

1_21_natural_death_mapHeat is more likely to kill an American than an earthquake, and thunderstorms kill more people than hurricanes do, according to a U.S. “death map” published on Tuesday.

Researchers who compiled the county-by-county look at what natural disasters kill Americans said they hope their study will help emergency preparedness officials plan better.

Heat and drought caused 19.6 percent of total deaths from natural hazards, with summer thunderstorms causing 18.8 percent and winter weather causing 18.1 percent, the team at the University of South Carolina found.

Earthquakes, wildfires and hurricanes combined were responsible for fewer than 5 percent of all hazard deaths.

According to the findings, published in BioMed Central’s International Journal of Health Geographics, much of the South and the Great Plains are among the most dangerous areas to live in the United States. The South is not only a heat risk but is a hurricane risk. The Great Plains are hotbeds of turbulent weather, like tornados.

The South Central United States also gets a dangerous nod.

California, by contrast, is pretty safe.

“What is noteworthy here is that over time, highly destructive, highly publicized, often-catastrophic singular events such as hurricanes and earthquakes are responsible for relatively few deaths when compared to the more frequent, less catastrophic such as heat waves and severe weather,” they wrote.

… or anything involving Dan Abrams.

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ANY SURPRSIES?

Posted by Andrew Roman on December 17, 2008

Time Magazine has named Barack Obama their Man of the Year for 2008.

I’m sorry … Person of the Year.

obama_main_1216

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In other news, the blood blister on my pinky toe looks to be getting smaller. I was fortunate enough not to get an infection.

And the ear-hair trimmer I’ve been waiting on finally arrived.

It’s smaller than I thought ….

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$4200 WILL COVER IT ALL

Posted by Andrew Roman on December 16, 2008

j-54kgThe free market is a wonderful thing.

It never lies.

For instance, would you have guessed that beating up someone is worth less than half of what cutting off someone’s private parts is worth?

It’s interesting to know.

In Delaware, a freakish plan hatched by a man that involved the removal of his ex-son-in-law’s “nether regions” has resulted in his arrest.

According to CBS 3 in Philadelphia:

Wilbur Eichman has been charged with one count of criminal solicitation after he paid a man cash to beat up his ex-son-in-law.

Police say Eichman paid 34-year-old Charles Pernot $1,200 to beat up the victim and even offered up a bonus if Pernot cut off the victim’s genitals.

“He offered or suggested he use a high power rifle and he said that if you castrate him, there will be a bonus in that for you, an additional $3,000,” Corporal Trinidad Navarro said.

Investigators said Eichman even wanted his ex-son-in-law’s genitals brought to him.

Is this like bringing home for the conquering king the head of his enemy?

What exactly does one do with the detached genitals of an ex-son-in-law?

Would Pernot have gotten partial credit if he couldn’t bring back the “set” in its entirety? Or is it worthless unless complete?

I would think at least 50% of the $3000 fee would have to be in the packaging and handling of the goodies, no?

 

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OBAMAVICH

Posted by Andrew Roman on December 16, 2008

ask not what your hairspray can do for you ....

ask not what your hairspray can do for you ....

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COMPETENCE OVER CORRUPTION?

Posted by Andrew Roman on December 16, 2008

Is the President-to-be involved in any way, shape or form in the Rod Blagojevich “Senate-seat-to-the-highest-bidder” scandal in Illinois? How about any of Obama’s aides? Are there direct connections? According to a Rasmussen Poll, a little less than half of Americans think it’s a possibility.

the good old days

the good old days

Forty five percent (45%) of U.S. voters say it is likely President-elect Obama or one of his top campaign aides was involved in the unfolding Blagojevich scandal in Illinois, including 23% who say it is Very Likely.

Just 11% say it is not at all likely, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey taken Thursday and Friday nights.

Voters nationally are more skeptical than those in Illinois. Thirty-two percent (32%) of Illinois voters said in a survey late last week that there is no way Obama was involved in the Blagojevich case, while only 13% said it is Very Likely that the president-elect was involved, with another 13% saying it is Somewhat Likely.

There’s nothing to convince me (just yet) that Bam was directly involved in any of Blago’s schemes – although I could easily see Rahm Emanuel somehow dipping his beak to some degree into the corruption pool.

However, much more noteworthy is the miserable way Obama has handled this scandal publicly. If this is any indication of how the Prez-El will handle the formidable challenges of being the most powerful man on Earth, then the outlook is as frightening as it is bleak.

A deep voice and a pack of Kools does not a leader of the free world make.

Yesterday, on his radio show, Michael Medved commented:

It’s a shame … The fact that Barack Obama has waited so long to reveal what contacts his various aides had with Governor Bagojevich in talking about the Senate Seat, why should it take days? Why should we simply allow the (future) President of the United States a free pass on this one?

It is very clear, it’s been reported by everyone – and not denied by the Obama campaign – that either Rahm Emanuel himself, or close aides to Rahm Emanuel, spoke directly to Governor Blagojevich and got their voices captured on tape. If this is known by the press, it surely is known by the Obama campaign.

Why not come clean?

What does this show about (Obama’s) competence?

It’s not a question of corruption right now, it’s a question of competence.

Why not get out in front of it?

I am well aware that Big Bam yesterday declared his team blameless in the entire Blago affair. (Good for him). It certainly took long enough. Of course, we’ll have to wait until next week to be able to view “their findings.”

Well done.

The mind boggles at the cavalcade of “uh” “uh”s in store for any of the murderous leaders Obama has agreed to unconditionally sit down with during his Presidency.

They can save their shoes.

The laughter generated by Obama’s lack of “skills” will be insulting enough.

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DOOM IS ALREADY HERE

Posted by Andrew Roman on December 15, 2008

melting20glaciersJust between you and me … I love doomsday movies. It’s a weakness.

The more inane and more incredible the premise, the more I enjoy it. I’m not sure what that says about me, but as long as buildings are being destroyed by monsters somewhere, continents are being threatened by hurtling meteors, and cities are being sucked into the ocean by Richter-scale shattering earthquakes, I’m happy. (I’m talking in the movies).

This is probably why I have such an affinity for global warming stories that forecast disaster for the Earth.

Unfortunately, so much absurdity has been injected into the discussion these days that to parody them is nearly impossible anymore. A disaster film about the effects a billion simultaneously melting glaciers, for instance, would more likely be seen as an instructional video rather than silly entertainment.

A few years ago while working on a project with the Young Republican Club of New York City, the idea came up that we could create a skit (for a TV presentation that never came to fruition) where a hard-nosed news anchor reported the threat of global warming being so serious that global cooling would break out. It sounded so ridiculous  – and potentially funny – at the time.

Today, it passes for just another disastrous by-product of the human race out of control.

Take, for instance, this paragraph from one of the better doomsday stories I’ve read in a while, composed by Seth Borenstein of the Associated Press, published yesterday:

Ironically, 2008 is on pace to be a slightly cooler year in a steadily rising temperature trend line. Experts say it’s thanks to a La Nina weather variation. While skeptics are already using it as evidence of some kind of cooling trend, it actually illustrates how fast the world is warming.

There it is.

That temperatures are actually falling now illustrates how fast the world is warming.

Indeed, the article is worth a read, if only for the use of the phrase “ticking time bomb” in the first paragraph and the equally endearing “time is running out” in the second. 

Who says objectivity is dead?

And for those who believe that the doom has already settled in, you may be right. Borenstein writes:

The amount of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere has already pushed past what some scientists say is the safe level.

Damn. That can’t be good.

The overall gist of the article is that new President will have very little time to get something done to save this planet.

Obama is stacking his Cabinet and inner circle with advocates who have pushed for deep mandatory cuts in greenhouse gas pollution and even with government officials who have achieved results at the local level.

Translation: Obama has put into place a team of radical leftist enivironmental freak jobs who will look to demonize business and industry by implementing “green” standards that will hurt the country.

Period.

Remember … Obama is a centrist.

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I’LL TAKE IT … BUT IT WASN’T NICE

Posted by Andrew Roman on December 15, 2008

ellis, on his way to the winning score

ellis, on his way to the winning score

Okay, I’ll take it.

They came this close to dropping their third straight game and falling out of first place in the AFC East. They didn’t look particularly good. They certainly didn’t look like a playoff team by any means.

In the early going, it looked like they would roll over the stumbling Buffalo Bills, but it didn’t quite turn out that way. The Jets defense took another sabbatical.

Yet, they managed their own sort-of mini-miracle at the Meadowlands with 1:54 left on the clock, down by a score of 27-24.

With Buffalo in possession of the ball on their own 27 yard line, with a 2nd down and 5, Bills quarterback J.P. Losman was dropped for a nine yard loss. Before he hit the ground, he fumbled the ball. After a few wacky bounces, Shaun Ellis grabbed it and rumbled into the end zone for the go-ahead touchdown.

The Jets went on top by a score of 31-27 and won the game.

A hell of a way to win.

The lead changed hands five times, I think it was – and Buffalo, prior to this game, had been held to mere field goals in their previous two games.

But an ugly win is always better than a gorgeous loss.

The Jets record improves to 9-5. They remain in a first-place tie with the Patriots and the Dolphins.

I’m sorry. They should have lost this game. Why on earth the Buffalo Bills thought they needed to throw the ball on that 2nd and 5 with less than two minutes to play when their running game was destroying the Jets’ defense – Marshawn Lynch ran for 127 yards – I haven’t the faintest idea. It was a gift.

Plus I don’t get that warm, fuzzy feeling hearing Brett Favre say, “Maybe I don’t have the arm I used to have” after the game.

Gee, thanks for that.

He was very mediocre, throwing for 207 yards, tossing two interceptions and often looking like he was out of synch.

I’m glad they won, but I’m not happy.

Seattle is next.

Good luck, Green.

You’ll need it.

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FIVE AND OUT

Posted by Andrew Roman on December 14, 2008

global stupidity

global stupidity

Someone really ought to inform Santa.

Expect a flood of refugee elves to inundate cold climate cities across the globe.

It would behoove Snow Miser to start pricing condos in Antarctica.

There are less than two-thousand days left in the life of the Northern Polar Ice Cap. According to internet-creator and carbon-credit-crunch-immune climate guru Al Gore, the Arctic ice cap will be gone in five years. For those who have been planning any sort of getaway to the great top-of-the-world ice sheets, you best make those arrangements now. There isn’t time to waste.

Gore was across the pond in Germany, at a natural history museum, in front of an audience of excited doomsdayers and model dinosaurs, all of whom were eager to hear about the world’s imminent destruction from the man himself.

They weren’t disappointed.

Humans will apparently undo in five years what Gore says nature hasn’t been able to do in three million – rid the planet of North Pole ice.

(It’s difficult to hear, but you can see the short clip here. There’s a German translator speaking over Gore. He never sounded so good.)

I don’t know this for sure, but I’m guessing Gore flew to Germany in a private jet and was delivered to the doomsday seminar via stretch limo. Of course, that’s just me being my cynical, holocaust-denying, uncaring, right-wing, long-live-greenhouse-gasses self.

I really do need to pay better attention to these things and get my death-calendar in order …

I was under the impression that the ice-caps were supposed to be gone by 2006. I goofed. I mistakenly dated the complete submergence of the North American Atlantic Coast under water, inland to about one hundred miles or so, as occurring by 2011. I also said polar bears would be roaming the streets of Des Moines, looking for ice chips by 2014.

I’m all mixed up here.

Meanwhile, I’m still trying to square away all of the other models of leftist hysteria that I’ve been confused about.

When did we run out of natural resources and precious metals? Wasn’t that going to happen in 1990 or thereabouts?

I missed the heterosexual AIDS epidemic that was to sweep across America. Wasn’t that supposed to wipe out tens of thousands of straight folks by 1988?

When was it that we ran out of land to accommodate the over-populating human race? I thought there would be no more room left to put anyone by the year 2000.

My recollection was that food supplies were going to dwindle to nothing by the year 1997.

Maybe I misunderstood.

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QUITE A FEET

Posted by Andrew Roman on December 14, 2008

bushPresident Bush is in Iraq – his final visit there as Commander-In-Chief.

While shaking hands with the Iraqi Prime-Minister in Baghdad today, an Iraqi reporter apparently threw two shoes toward the President, without hitting him, this according to an AFP journalist.

I will go out on a limb here and say that the reporter was obviously no fan of President Bush – which is why this makes no sense to me.

Assuming the shoes were his (and the reporter was a man), why would he risk losing a pair of shoes over someone he had such disdain for? I certainly wouldn’t take off my shoes and hurl them at someone like Michael Moore or Sean Penn, if given the opportunity. My shoes cost money, dammit. They’d probably be confiscated by the authorities anyway, and then what? I’d have to walk home in my socks? No lefty is worth my shoes.

Besides, Big rocks, half-eaten tomatos and poop-filled baby diapers are cheaper.

Maybe the reporter brought an extra pair of old, beat-up shoes in a carry bag or something.

These things fascinate me.

There’s video of the incident that has just been released.

View it here directly from Fox News, or from here at Borough Voter.com.

Quipped the President, “All I can report is that it was a size 10.”

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HOW ABOUT YET ANOTHER TRILLION? (RICKY’S RICE)

Posted by Andrew Roman on December 14, 2008

money_treeNow they’re using the word “trillion” … again. Only this time in a new place.

Sure, they can write “beefier” and “meatier” – because that makes it sound so substantive, so industrious. 

Michelle Malkin uses the words “crappier” and “boondoggle.” 

Throw in a “pathetic” and a “just wait, they’re not finished yet” from me, along with any number of expletives and synonyms for “monumental waste” you can come up with and you’ve got the latest stuffer for the deficit stocking – the Stimulus Package!

As Malkin points out, the size of it has grown “from $300 billion to $500 billion to $600 billion to $1 trillion in less than a month.”

If there’s any indication that it will stop metastasizing, I’m not seeing it.

Besides, what difference does it really make at this point when the word “trillion” has been raped of its enormity? Too many Americans are numb to it all by now.

“Economic Downturn” this.

“Recession” that.

People are at the point of saying, “Just take care of the damn thing already. One trillion, ten trillion, who cares anymore? Just fix it.”

I’ve heard it. More than a few times.

According to the Wall Street Journal:

With the unemployment rate now expected to hit 9% without aggressive intervention, Obama aides and advisers have set $600 billion over two years as “a very low-end estimate,” one person familiar with the matter said. The final number is expected to be significantly higher, possibly between $700 billion and $1 trillion over two years.

Transition spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter denied any decisions have been made on the scope of the plan. “Any speculation on size or scope is premature at this time,” she said.

Anyone who believes that, stand on your head.

Actually, to be fair, there is probably some truth in what Cutter is saying. It’s a safe bet that the team is simply not sure at this time exactly how many trillions they may be looking to use to “stimulate” the economy.

The general sense among economists being canvassed by the Obama team is that “every day there’s a new bad number,” one of the people familiar with the matter said. “And people’s sense of what the appropriate stimulus is rises” with the news.

Recall the extraordinary success of President Bush’s big stimulus package back in February. $168 billion were spent in the form of stimulus checks sent out to taxpayers.

What a collosal waste.

Yet, the growth of this latest stimulus package has been very quick … and something to behold.

Recall Obama’s campaign trail rhetoric when he talked of a $175 billion rescue plan.

Last month, a gang of executive bigwigs – from Time Warner, Wachovia and Goldman Sachs – told Big Bam that the package needed to be more than $300 billion to be effective. That number more than doubled the figure being proposed by congressional Democrats at the time.

Only a few days later, talk of a stimulus package in the $500 billion neighborhood ensued. ABC commentator George Stephanopoulos said he had spoken to New York Senator Chuck Schumer who thought the package needed to be in the $500-$700 billion range.

Wow, where did that come from?

Then, only a couple of days ago, U.S. News and World Report had a story titled: Barack Obama: How He Will Spend $600 Billion on Stimulus.

ricky

ricky, defeated by rice

Yet another jump.

It reminds me of a very famous episode of I Love Lucy – the one where Lucy gets a job in a candy factory. (It was one of those “men and women switching roles” storylines so prevelant in those days). In it, Ricky tries to cook four pounds of rice on the stove to feed four people. Four pounds! 

In a matter of minutes, madcap hijynx is breaking out in the Ricardo kitchen as the room begins filling up with rice overflowing relentlessly from the pot. It just keeps coming … and coming … and coming … pouring over onto the floor in exponential quantities, endlessly …

This is the image conjured up in my mind as the Obamacrats continue to toss around a trillion here, a trillion there. It just keeps coming. The pile of falling rice keeps growing.

In fact, I think I’m going to refer to this stimulus package as “Ricky’s Rice” from now on.

And now – just like with all the bailout plans, in all of their various incarnations and configurations – the “t” word has officially been attached the so-called stimulus pacakge.

Hello, ceiling?

This is a game that is as dangerous as it is moronic.

I just don’t understand why the concept of letting Americans keep more of their own money just doesn’t sink in as a viable option? No Obamalicious redistribution would be necessary. No crushing multi-generational tax burdens would have to be created.

Why not create a genuine “new deal” and devise a massive tax cut program as an incentive to stimulate the economy? Allow a one-time aggressive tax holiday of some kind to allow people the opportunity to pay off some debt, infuse their own money into the economy, or even put some into the bank?

Use that as a stepping stone.

A plan involving public works and infrastructure programs is not the way the economy will be brought around, despite O’s wish to revamp FDR’s America.

“A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have.”

Yup.

Anyway you slice this, it is astonishing. This is a trillion dollars in stimulus package money we’re talking about here.

A trillion.

Unreal.

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THANKS, LARRY

Posted by Andrew Roman on December 13, 2008

the sage from south central

the sage from south central

Yesterday, Larry Elder’s radio show completed its fifteen year run on KABC in Los Angeles. It’s hard to believe, but the “Larry Elder Show” is done. His departure from the airwaves – announced only the day before to the shock and disappointment of his legion of fans (“El Dorados”) – puts a serious hurt on the talk radio genre.

I don’t think I can overstate it.

I adore Larry Elder, and I will miss him.

He was as unique as he was entertaining – a libertarian (with a small “l”) who broke ranks with big “L” crowd on foreign policy. He dubbed himself a Republitarian – calling for the abolishment of the IRS in favor of a “fair tax,” advocating the removal of government from education, arguing that the federal government could (and should) be reduced by as much as 80%, and having no tolerance for the “world is out to get me” crowd – the Victicrats.

He was a fixture in KABC’s afternoon drive-time slot (3-7 PM on the West Coast), but he often filled my Brooklyn kitchen with his hard-hitting, infinitely informative daily fare, via the internet, while I was preparing supper. (Yes, I do the cooking in my house).

On one hand, Larry had a no-nonsense style, as steadfast as anyone I have ever heard when it came the principles of limited government. He didn’t waver and argued as articulately and intelligently as anyone on talk radio. He was brassy, passionate, and had some of the best exchanges with the opposition I have ever heard.

On the other hand, he was amazingly affable, warm, and approachable. He was as accommodating as any host on radio. On his final show yesterday, one caller had nothing but praise for Elder:

I met you about six weeks ago in the KABC parking lot .. As I walking, you were kind of passing to my left, and I very gently said, “Larry Elder.” And you turned a 180 and came walking right up to me, middle of the parking lot, no one could see us.

You walked up, stuck your hand out and said, “Hey, what’s your name?” And you were just the nicest guy I’ve ever met.

You’re this big personality, and you took that two minutes to stop walking to your car to turn right back around to come over to me and say, “hi.” That was really sweet … No one’s looking, you showed your true character.

Elder was clearly moved by the call – as he was by all of the accolades he received during his final two on-air shows.

He never spoke down to his callers and handled some of the most wicked attacks on him with strength and grace – although he wasn’t averse to letting loose on a caller when necessary. He was never vicious, never had need to resort to name-calling, but could slice and dice opposing arguments with the efficiency of a great trial lawyer.

By the way, he is a lawyer.

Elder was relentless on what he saw as the “victricrat” mentality that was damaging much of the black community. He was fearless on the matter. His book “Stupid Black Men” caused quite a stir among liberal black leaders (redundant). Predictably, Elder drew more than his fair share of “house nigger” and “Uncle Tom” attacks during his fifteen years on KABC.

For years, him Mom was a fixture on the show. She was as beloved to the “El Dorados” as he was, with a regular segment every Friday. She was vivacious and a lot of fun to listen to. Larry knew how popular she had become with listeners and would take her along on personal appearances. When the two would be seated at a table, for instance, it was not uncommon to see the lines waiting to meet “Mom” longer than the lines waiting for “Larry.” She was colorful, playful, enigmatic and served as a dispenser of wisdom to Larry’s audience. He called her “Chief Justice” and “Toots.”

She passed away in 2006.

His Dad is still alive.

Elder, too, is obviously still kicking. My instinct was to try and avoid making this piece sound like an obituary, because it isn’t. It is meant as a tribute to one of my favorite radio programs which is now off-the-air, although I fear I may have sprinkled some eulogozing into it.

God willing, Larry has many years ahead of him.

I do, however, offer a heartfelt goodbye to a daily “get together” with someone I consider an old friend – someone who gratified as much as he educated.

Indeed, Elder promises to keep fighting the good fight and to stay public.

Good.

Our side needs him.

I don’t always agree with everything he stands for – but I’m not looking for someone to agree with all the time. (I have that already. I call him “me.”)

He will always be “The Sage from South Central.” No matter what he’s doing, he will always “get her teed up.”

After all, he has “a country to save.”

Thanks, Larry. You’re a good man. I can hardly wait to see what you’ve got cooking next.

A blogger at the great Free Republic.com website called AmericaninTokyo summed it up like this:

Larry Elder is a learned man and a great citizen of this great experiment.

Amen.

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WAIT YOUR TURN, BAM

Posted by Andrew Roman on December 13, 2008

best western maybe?

a best western maybe?

The Obama children start classes at their new school on January 5th. Hence, the request from the President-to-be to the President-that-is to move his family into Blair House, the historic home located across from the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue, a little earlier than usual.

The Obama girls, ages 10 and 7, will be attending the Sidwell Friends School.

(A full year’s tuition at Sidwell is almost $30,000 per student, by the way).

Unfortunately for the Obama crew, their request for  an early Blair House stay was denied.

Philip Elliott of the Associated Press explains:

Obama aides say the White House told them that the request cannot be met because the current administration still has plans for the historic government home across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House.

An Obama aide said the family was told that there were previously scheduled events at the Blair House and guests could not be displaced. The aide, who was not authorized to speak about Obama family matters, spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Sally McDonough, first lady Laura Bush’s press secretary, declined to comment on the transition conversations, but said the Blair House would be available on January 15, the traditional date it becomes available for new presidents and their families.

Don’t worry, O … my wife and I will be out by 11:59 PM on the 14th.

It’s all yours after that.

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A POLL?

Posted by Andrew Roman on December 12, 2008

back when blago was loved

back when blago was loved

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich now has an approval rating of 8% in his state.

As talk-show host Dennis Prager commented on his progran today, there are more people in the State of Illinois who believe Elvis Presley is still alive than approve of Blago right now.

Okay, it’s too easy (and predictable) to ask who these 8% are. The man obviously has a ton of in-laws.

The more relevant and interesting question has to be: Why did this poll need to be conducted in the first place?

Don’t things like this cost moolah? Why would someone with even a remedial appreciation of money pony up the dough for this poll?

Blagojevich would lose out to a urinary tract infection in a populartity contest right now.

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STOP ALL THE SHOUTING, SAYS C-POW

Posted by Andrew Roman on December 12, 2008

stop all the shouting, guys

stop all the shouting, guys

Were you aware that Republicans have been shouting at the world? Former Secretary of State Colin Powell says so. According to him, the GOP needs to just calm itself down, quit the ideological screeching, ditch listening to Rush Limbaugh and start paying attention to the concerns of minority groups. Powell says the Republicans have failed at the polarization game – fuelled by the likes of Limbaugh – and needs to take a “hard look at itself.”

The pro-Obama “Republican” – *ahem* – will appear this Sunday on CNN’s “GPS” program.

Said Powell:

“There is nothing wrong with being conservative. There is nothing wrong with having socially conservative views — I don’t object to that. But if the party wants to have a future in this country, it has to face some realities. In another 20 years, the majority in this country will be the minority.”

Meaning what exactly?

That whites corner the market in “socially conservative” values? That “minorities” do not posses these same values? Was it not the overwhelming majority of blacks who voted for Proposition 8 in California? Whites, by contrast, were almost split on the issue, if I recall.

Powell, who crossed party lines and endorsed President-elect Barack Obama just weeks before the election, said the GOP must see what is in the “hearts and minds” of African-American, Hispanic and Asian voters “and not just try to influence them by… the principles and dogma.”

Principles and dogma?

Oh, Lord.  A nice choice of words, sir.

If one who wishes to lead  – whether it be an indivudual, or a political party – is not there in large measure to influence and inspire, then why bother at all?

How successful was the dubious, squishy-in-the-middle campaign of John McCain? How did his “trying to appeal to the median” approach work?  He was anything but the staunch, cacophonous conservative Mr. Powell is castigating here. McCain, in fact, did everything he could to tap into the “hearts and minds” of the entire electorate  – everyone, that is, except the traditional “core” of the Republican Party … and where did it get him?

I agree wholeheartedly that Republicans need to spend much more time in minority neighborhoods reaching out to people. It is critical, not just strategically, but from a public relations standpoint. Republicans have to make the effort.

However, to do so for the purpose of “seeing” what lurks in the “hearts of minds” of those citizens sounds too much like a “wet your finger and test the wind” approach. Republicans need to go into minority areas, unafraid, unabashed, ready to take the arrows that will inevitable come, and prove that Republican values are their values. No one has quite done that yet.

limbaugh

limbaugh

“I think the party has to stop shouting at the world and at the country,” Powell said. “I think that the party has to take a hard look at itself, and I’ve talked to a number of leaders in recent weeks and they understand that.” Powell, who says he still considers himself a Republican, said his party should also stop listening to conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh.

“Can we continue to listen to Rush Limbaugh?” Powell asked. “Is this really the kind of party that we want to be when these kinds of spokespersons seem to appeal to our lesser instincts rather than our better instincts?”

This is remarkable. The Republican Party is listening to Rush Limbaugh? As in taking their cues from him?

Rush himself would beg to differ.

As Mr. Powell is surely aware, the Republican Party fell short in the last presidential election. It made all the papers, in fact. Rush Limbaugh and John McCain were not exactly kissing cousins during the campaign season. I’m guessing they aren’t exchanging Christmas cards this year either. (I like it out here on the limb). That McCain differed with Rush on so many different levels makes Powell’s assertions sound silly. Many on our side would even argue that if the Republicans had been listening to Limbaugh, America might not be facing a stroll into history with Big Bam the Chicago Man.

And who says Rush Limbaugh is a spokesman for the Republican Party anyway? He certainly doesn’t. He bills himself as a conservative, not a Republican.

Oh yeah, and what leaders has Powell been yakking it up with? Arnold Schwarzenegger? Michael Bloomberg? Oprah Winfrey?

And who exactly is shouting at whom?

It’s more than a little amusing that Powell attacks Republicans for shouting at everyone when Democrats all but have a patent out on it.

Allow me to assist the former Secretary of State.

From the “Shouting at the World from the Left” file ….

better instincts?

better instincts?

Mr. Powell … meet Keith Olbermann – loudmouthed liar extraordinaire; lip-pursing snot-nosed arrogant liberal hack; more abrasive than an army of angry brillo pads; host of a primetime news magazine on MSNBC. Shouts often.

Mr. Powell … meet Howard Dean – Chairman of the Democratic National Committee; screeching ideologue; has his foot in his mouth so often he needs his tongue fitted for a pair of Jordans; says Republican values include having children going to bed hungry at night. Shouts often.

Mr. Powell … meet Al Gore – invented the internet; was the inspiration behind the movie “Love Story;” used to be the next President of the United States; Global Warming zealot; environmental whack-job; Unaffected by the carbon credit crunch. Shouts a whole hell of alot.

Mr. Powell … meet Michael Moore – successful filmmaker of negligibly accurate fake-umentaries; would have Fidel Castro’s love child if possible (or would eat it); Democratic National Convention buddy with former President Jimmy Carter; does nothing but attack America. Shouts often.

Mr. Powel … meet Jimmy Carter – former President of the United States; disgraceful human being; terrorist-lover; anti-semite; bashes other US presidents on foreign soil. Makes me shout often.

And of course, Mr. Powell … I’d like you to meet the next President of the United States, Barack Obama – former state senator from Illinois; associate of a known terrorist; a two-decade patron of an anti-American church led by a hateful racist preacher who thinks America dropped A-Bombs on Japan on December 7, 1941; proponent of redistribution of wealth; advocate of sitting down unconditionally to talk with despotic leaders; supporter of late-term abortions; a man who asked people to “get in the face” of opponents during the campaign; a man who criticized middle-Americans for clinging to God and guns.

He, too, can shout.

Perhaps the real question is … Can we continue to listen to Democrats? Is this really the kind of party that we want when these kinds of spokespersons seem to appeal to our lesser instincts rather than our better instincts?

Just asking.

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GREEN BALLS

Posted by Andrew Roman on December 12, 2008

If you had to guess who would be courageous enough, brave enough, creative enough, caring enough to host an Inaugural Ball that was environmentally friendly, what name would pop into your head?

Yep.

Him.

From the Washington Times:

Former Vice President Al Gore will host a “green” inaugural ball the night before President-elect Barack Obama takes the oath of office.

“The Green Ball: Inauguration of a New Green Economy” will be held Jan. 19 at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington.

I swear, I could read these things for hours.

gore_big_mouthA draft version of the invitation, obtained by The Washington Times, urges people to join Mr. Gore to “bring together a diverse coalition of environmentally-forward organizations, entrepreneurs, scientists and advocates, celebrating a commitment to growing the New Green Economy.”

More than two dozen environmental organizations are listed on the invitation.

It also features a green-shaded image of Mr. Obama, along with a quote from the Democrat’s interview with Time Magazine from the fall.

“There is no better potential driver that pervades all aspects of our economy than a new energy economy. … That’s going to be my No. 1 priority when I get into office.”

Wait. It gets better:

Meanwhile, a second group is planning a “green inaugural ball,” calling it the first “eco-friendly” inaugural celebration. It is planned for Jan. 17 at the Andrew W. Mellon auditorium in Washington.

A press release issued Wednesday notes the catering will be “100 percent organic” and that the bars will feature both local and organic beverages. The food waste and floral arrangements will be composted and the lighting scheme will be energy efficient. The group will also pay for wind power offsets and carbon credits to make the event carbon neutral.

It urges guests to sport green or black ties.

What isn’t widely known is that there will be valet bicycle and tricycle service available at both events.

The bathroom facilities will be green as well.

Instead of toilet tissue, there will be nine tiny little windmills attached the toilet tanks, powered by bigger windmills outside, that will blow patrons clean.

Reusable water will be used for hand washing. Each sink basin will be allotted two-and-half quarts of water which will be poured into mini sink dispensers. The “used water” will drain into organic potato bags below the sink. When the dispenser runs dry, the potato bag water will be poured back into the dispenser to be used again for the next set of filthy hands.

In the spirit of conservation, only one song will be played all night long, over and over – 99 Luft Balloons by Nena.

nena

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Admit it. For a second, you believed the last half of this article.

_______________________________________________________________________________

Update – 12 December 2008 –

A blogger by the name of OKSooner at the great Free Republic website left this comment to this article:

Remember that National Lampoon issue way back when that had the crestfallen young writer standing before the desk of the hard-assed old editor, who said to him “Sorry kid, it’s just not good enough for The Best of the National Lampoon?”

Please have the mods add “SATIRE” to your title.

LOL! Ouch!

It’s always fun to be “graded.”

In any event, my spelling wasn’t terribly embarrassing.

However, I did end the piece with the following sentence: “Admit it. For a second, you believed the last half of this article.”

Too subtle?

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GLOBAL WARMING WARNING NO. 2345

Posted by Andrew Roman on December 11, 2008

Snow fell earlier today in Southeastern Louisiana and Southern Mississippi.

From NEWS ONE:

Parts of Louisiana were expected to get up to four inches of snow. Snow also covered a broad swath of Mississippi, including the Jackson area, and closed schools in more than a dozen districts. The National Weather Service in Jackson said up to 8 inches was possible in the southern and eastern parts of the state.

Office workers stepped out of high-rises to catch a snowflake, snap pictures with cell-phone cameras and swap snow stories.

winter20weather20adef792b-5fcf-4961-8c53-cf72fd63307e_tnIn Louisiana, nearly 7,000 power outages were reported in south-central parishes as falling tree limbs snapped under the weight of ice and snow.

Forecasters said the mix of sleet and snow was expected to diminish later in the day as the weather system moved east.

The wintry weather is rare in south Louisiana, though the state‘s northern parishes see it about once a year. New Orleans‘ last snowfall, in 2004, was a dusting that came nine months before Hurricane Katrina struck. The record snowfall for the city is about 5 inches, recorded Dec. 30, 1963.

Of course, the phrase “Global Warming” has been rendered outmoded in favor of the more inclusive “Global Climate Change,” thus everything that happens meteorologically, no matter what it is, fits every conceivable model of destruction.

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MEMO TO BAILOUT … JUST DIE

Posted by Andrew Roman on December 11, 2008

vlcsnap-8226181I rarely pray to God to ask specific things of him. I generally don’t think of God as some sort of celestial radio DJ taking requests.

Today, however, I did.

I prayed that this ludicrous government bailout of the automotive industry falls flat on its face with a cataclysmic, window-shattering, earth-rumbling  boom – the kind that make tooth fillings crack.

In short, I want it to fail – completely.

It passed the House last night, and the Senate is on the horizon.

Indications are that the fight in the Senate is shaping up to be a tough one – which is good to hear. But I don’t want a less offending bill, or one with more concessions to come out of this.

I don’t want one, period.

Bottom line … If any of the big three auto makers cannot survive the economic downturn because of their ass-clown debilitating union ties and horrible decisions, then they need to die the death of the defeated. There is nothing – repeat nothing – good that can come from having a so-called Car Czar in charge of decisions normally left to the the free market.

Isn’t it clear what is happening?

The free market is trying to work here, but the federal government won’t allow it to.

If this bailout somehow becomes a reality, the American automotive industry, in effect, becomes nationalized. Make no mistake about it.

This eventuality should have each and every American sick to their stomachs, with red hot streams of molten lava oozing from their ears, lamenting the insertion of the first coffin nail of free enterprise.

A Car Czar?

What?

And pray tell, who watches the Czar?

This isn’t just a matter of oversight. This amounts to the federal government – a Democrat controlled government – having direct involvement in decision making for the automotive industry.

And how on earth is it that the current President of the United States – a Republican – can possibly support such a thing? He has a little more than a month left in office. There’s no re-election bid. He is the lamest of ducks right now. What the hell is he doing?

Imagine a host of ridiculous agenda-driven government-created dictates – including earth-saving “green” standards – slapped onto unwanted cars produced by inefficient, union-choked companies with absolutely no incentive to revamp what they do so that they may be genuinely competitive with the likes of Toyota and Subaru.

Plus, what’s preventing them from crawling back to Congress in March, begging for more bailout bread?

Senate Republicans better do the right thing – in both senses of the word.

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“DAY WITHOUT A GAY” DAY

Posted by Andrew Roman on December 11, 2008

day20without20a20gayHow was your “Day Without a Gay” day?

Did you “call in gay” yesterday?

Were you afforded the opportunity to “Fight H8 with love” on Wednesday?

Yesterday America was slated to feel the pain and hurt of a day where homosexuals were taken out of the societal equation. Gays across the map were encouraged to stay home on Wednesday – to “call in gay,” as it were – as a form of nonviolent protest against an American society still mired in antiquated anti-gay sentiment (or something close to that) – not unlike the wildly successful “Day without an Immigrant” day, you might remember, back on May 1st (International Workers Day).

Ironic it is that the image of a raised clenched fist, adorned in rainbow colors, is the symbol of what gays call a genuine, bona-fide civil rights movement – obnoxiously comparing their “struggles” with those of American blacks. Of course, I am still waiting to get an answer to my question – Which color of the all-inclusive rainbow represents those who wish to defend the millennia-old definition of marriage?

Tolerance anyone?

Remember … as I’ve written on many occasions – liberal bigotry fosters unity.

Sean Hetherington, the organizer of the “Day Without a Gay” campaign, made the rounds on some conservative talk shows – appearing on Mike Gallagher’s show on Tuesday and Michael Medved’s on Wednesday – to explain the protest. As expected, however, discussions primarily focused on the broader issues of “gay rights” and the aftermath of the passage of Proposition 8 in California.

On Gallagher’s show Tuesday morning, Hetherington, in classic liberal form, not only incorrectly characterized defenders of traditional marriage with the standard (and predictable) text-book Hitlerian reference, but he did what leftists do so well – that is, project the very bigotry onto his opponents that he accuses conservatives of having.

Said Hetherington:

“What we’re asking is to be treated fairly, and to be treated equally. And I understand that there is this question about what’s okay in the bible in terms of marriage. I get it. I get that we won’t ever be able to change the hearts and minds of those people who are on the far right. Just as we couldn’t change Hitler’s mind about how he felt about Jews.”

mike gallagher

mike gallagher

I didn’t realize that everyone who voted in favor of Proposition 8 in California – fifty-two percent – were on the “far right.”

The natural instinct of those who are embarrassingly void of a reasoned argument against maintaining the traditional definition of marriage, other than “This is what I want…and I want it now because I want it!” is to throw in the obligatory reference to Adolf Hitler. After all, if one is in favor of keeping the definition of marriage as it is – and always has been – he must be a of the same mind as a murderous practitioner of genocide. To the Sean Hetheringtons of the world, one cannot possibly be against same-sex marriage without hating gays.

If Hethereington’s point was to simply measure the inflexibility of those opposed to same-sex marriage, he easily could have said something like, “I get that we won’t ever be able to change the hearts and minds of those people who are against what we want. Just as we can’t change Al Gore’s mind on Global Warming.”

But the point was not to illustrate indomitability. It was to demonize traditional values. Using the name “Hitler,” as leftists know, is an effective way of doing so (at least until it is prostituted so much as to have very little meaning).

On Medved’s show, on Wednesday, the discussion turned to a story that came out of Philadelphia, where as many twenty-five city school teachers said they would be taking the day off from the Independence Charter School to  discuss ways of introducing gay issues to their students.

Scott Craig, a teacher at Independence Charter, said this morning: “We are not an isolated group of people but taking part in a national campaign and that is Day Without Gay.”

The irony here is that in playing the “Hitler” card, as Hetherington did on both radio appearances, he actually promotes a totalitarian type of response on the part of gays, as demonstrated by this exchange on Wednesday’s Michael Medved show:

Medved: The issue here with school children in public schools, which tax payers pay for, sir, is whether it is legitimate for someone to teach his own children or her own children that homosexuality is a sin. Is that a permissible – in your mind – point of view for someone to hold?

Hetherington: Well, homosexuality is not a sin. In fact, the word homosexual was not even added to the bible until the 40s. So –

Medved: Wait, I understand that you believe it’s not a sin. What I’m saying is – Is it okay if someone disagrees with you?

Hetherington: Not on that point. No, it’s not. This is a civil rights issue. It’s like using the “N” word for black people to say that homosexuality is a sin. You know, Hitler was trying to convince people that Jews were sinners, too. So, this is a very old school thought that will be outdated long before we know it…

Medved: You happen to think that homosexuality is a beautiful thing, and it’s a wonderful thing. Fine. You’re entitled to your opinion. I have no desire to shut you up. I have no desire to put you in jail. I have no desire to repress you. However, you have a desire to repress someone who disagrees with you, right?

Hetherington: I believe that you, in talking to you, even in the way you were able to get me on this show – I never heard your show before, but I was told by your producer that you were a moderate, and that you supported – 

michael medved

michael medved

Medved: The producer never said that, and I am not a moderate, and I have never been moderate.

Hetherington: Well, that’s good to know. I wish I would have known that before I came on your show because I didn’t realize I was going to be attacked for being a gay person –

Medved: Wait, wait. How have I attacked you for being a gay person?

Hetherington: Well, because what you’re suggesting is that activism is somehow wrong because it’s going to affect children –

Medved: I didn’t say that. I said that your kind of activism, as evidenced by this guy Craig in Philadelphia with the school system, is repressive. You are repressing anyone who disagrees with you.

Hetherington: What’s repression is when we send a message that gayness is a sin or that it’s wrong. There’s just no room for that in society anymore.

Medved: It seems to me that for someone in the United States of America to say there isn’t room for an opinion – that’s Hitlerian. I don’t want to repress your opinion. You want to repress mine … 

Notice that when directly confronted with the issue of repressing opposing opinions – the very thing that lefties always accuse conservatives of doing – Mr. Hetherington completely (and quite amateurishly) avoided the question and instead began attacking Medved’s producer for misleading him into appearing on what he thought was a “moderate” radio talk show.

I seriously doubt that the producer of the Michael Medved has ever had to deceive anyone into thinking the show was “moderate.”  And even if it were true, so what? Can’t the position be defended even against the most ardent and zealous opponent? 

Remember, Mr. Hetherington said, in no uncertain terms, that it was not okay to disagree with him on the issue of the sinfulness of homosexuality. It’s also important to note that directly after that exchange between Medved and Hetherington, the program hit a hard break (a scheduled commercial break). When it returned, Hetherington had already hung up, refusing to continue – even though he was slated to stay the entire hour.

Way to man up.

Back on November 15th, I posted an article called, “Do As You Want, But Do It My Way – The Radical Gay.” As much as I hate to be a cut-and-paste Johnny, these few lines from that piece are worth repeating:

In truth, this isn’t about rights. It never was. Marriage, quite honestly, is not a right.

And as far as “equality” is concerned – there is no one I can marry that a gay man cannot marry. That he chooses not to, or has no desire to, does not mean that I – or anyone else – hate him.

This is really about acceptance.

The irony was always so striking – that gays on one hand insist that the society at large stay out of their bedrooms, casting no aspersions nor passing judgments on the way they choose to live their lives … yet, demand acceptance and tolerance based on precisely what they do in their bedrooms.

Sorry to disappoint you.

I do not harbor any hatred for homosexuals. Anyone who knows me knows this is true. I frankly don’t care what goes on behind drawn curtains or locked doors. I do, however, care about my country – and this kind of intolerance from the Left cannot go unnoticed or unchallenged.

Incidentally, the early returns are showing that participation in Wednesday’s “Day Without a Gay” was, at best, patchy.

Lisa Leff of the Associated Press writes:

Participants … were asked to refrain from spending money or at least to patronize gay-friendly businesses for the day.

In San Francisco’s gay Castro district, several residents and merchants said they endorsed the cause but did not think a work stoppage or spending boycott was practical, given the poor economy and how quickly the strike was organized.

David Lang, 44, a San Francisco gymnastics coach who said he conceived of a similar idea right after the election, said he thinks a coordinated job action would have been more successful if organizers had enlisted support from sympathetic employers, labor groups and industries.

“If we are going to make a huge impact and not be laughed at, then we have to take the time and make the time to communicate with all the parties. We could have shut down a lot of the hotels,” Lang said. “In theory it’s a great idea, but it’s being done wrong and now that it’s been done wrong, I don’t think it will be done again.”

Imagine that.

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K-ROD … YES

Posted by Andrew Roman on December 10, 2008

Okay, it is official.

K-Rod is a Met.

From the e-mail sent out to the New York Mets mailing list earlier today:

save the mets - at least some

save the mets - at least some

Happy Holidays from Citi Field. This is always a magical time of the year.

Since the conclusion of our season, Ownership, Jerry Manuel, his coaches and our entire baseball operations staff have had laser focus in determining the best course of action to return to the postseason in 2009. Clearly upgrading our bullpen was at the top of our list and today we took a giant step forward in our off-season plan by acquiring righthanded relief pitcher Francisco Rodriguez. Read the official press release »

K-Rod set the single-season save record with 62 this past season with the Angels and over the last four years he had more saves (194) than any other closer in the majors. The three-time All-Star has led the American League in saves three times. K-Rod’s career 11.7 strikeouts per nine innings ratio is the third-best in major league history and he has a minuscule 1.07 career ERA in 50.1 innings of work vs. National League opponents.

We are far from done and our staff continues to work tirelessly to strengthen our entire roster. As you can imagine, every day we have and continue to talk with other clubs about potential trades and with free agents to make the first year at Citi Field something special. The off-season is still young and we have ambitious plans.

— Omar Minaya

Executive Vice President of Baseball

Operations & General Manager

Oh, yeah … and there was also something about the Yankees and C.C. Sabathia … some contract … something about a long term deal … lots of money … something … blah, blah, blah …

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THINKING CHICAGO – SOME RANDOM THOUGHTS

Posted by Andrew Roman on December 10, 2008

If Obama’s transition period is any indication of what we can expect from his Presidency, no one will ever get a moment’s rest. His press conference count, as CEO of the Office of President Elect, may already have eclipsed President Bush’s eight-year total. He’s had schools, streets, and a holiday named for him without even having taken the oath of office yet. His Cabinet appointments are angering much of the American Leftocracy. His promises to enact FOCA (Freedom of Choice Act) and his potential to stack the Supreme Court with “breathing Constitution” leftist judges are scaring the hell out of conservatives. He has two war fronts to contend with, a deepening recession, a need to find a place to have a cigarette in a smoke-free White House … and now a full blown Chicagoland scandal.

blagovich-obama460_1202459cThe One” is anything but boring.

True, indications are that Barack Obama is not involved in the Governor Blagojevich’s “Senate Seat to the Highest Bidder” disgrace, but one cannot help but wonder what on earth goes on in the town of Mrs. O ‘Leary’s cow that corruption subsists like hair on a 7-11 hot dog.

It is also not unreasonable to take a step back and marvel at the long list of associates, mentors and plain old “back-home” pals that Big Bam has on his “references” list. From the terrorist Bill Ayers … to his spiritual mentor, the America-hating, Jeremiah Wright … to the slime-ridden Senate-seat-auctioning Governor of Illinois – who, by the way, is back at work today, after being released on his own recognizance – the coincidences are something to behold.

After all, there’s nothing to suggest Obama’s long line of questionable affiliations isn’t anything but random consonance, right?

Still, my question … What is more astounding?

That the abundance of no-goodniks in Hogbutcher-of-the-World politics is so great, or that our next President was consistently oblivious to the goings-on surrounding any of these people that played varying roles in his life?

It doesn’t exactly instill a whole lot of confidence in President Obama’s “people skills.”

Either Obama is missing a few character-assessing chromosomes, or he is one of the squeakiest clean politician ever to come from Chicago.

But imagine for a moment Blago being a Republican from Texas, the home state of George W. Bush. (The possibilities are endless). Would any other story be allowed to find its way onto the air of any of the cable news outfits but this one? Christiane Amanpour would already have a five-part CNN documentary on the air.

If, indeed, there was an “R” after the name of the governor instead of a “D” – and yes, Blagojevich is a Democrat (Do you hear that, MSNBC?) – is there any doubt that this situation would warrant it’s own cable network of wall-to-wall GOP scandal coverage?

It could be named CTV (Corruption TV),  or SNN (Scandal News Network) or RAE TV (Republicans Are Evil).

Today, predictably, the Prez-El has called for the resignation of the Illinois Governor. Said Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs: “Under the current circumstances, it is difficult for the governor to effectively do his job and serve the people of Illinois.”

But as Liz Sidoti from the Associated Press writes:

Blagojevich Corruption ProbeThere were signs the continuing investigation could still involve Obama.

It appears that Obama friend Valerie Jarrett, an incoming senior White House adviser, is the person referred to repeatedly in court documents as “Candidate 1.” That individual is described as a woman who is “an adviser to the president-elect” and as the person Obama wanted appointed to the Senate seat. Court papers say that Candidate 1 eventually removed herself from consideration for the Senate seat.

Blagojevich talked at length about Candidate 1 in a Nov. 11 phone conversation with an aide.

One day later, Jarrett, a Chicago businesswoman who is one of three co-chairmen of Obama’s transition team and was a high-level adviser to his presidential campaign, made it known that she was not interested in the seat. On Nov. 15, Obama announced that Jarrett would be a senior White House adviser and assistant for intergovernmental relations.

Obama’s circle of major Illinois political allies and supporters is largely separate from Blagojevich’s, with two major exceptions. Both Obama and Blagojevich got extensive money and support from Chicago businessman Antoin “Tony” Rezko, who is awaiting sentencing after being convicted in June on charges of using clout with Blagojevich’s administration to help launch a $7 million kickback scheme. And Obama is close to Illinois Senate President Emil Jones, who has been the governor’s staunchest legislative ally.

Ah, yes … forgot about Rezko for a moment.

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GETTING WHAT THEY WANT

Posted by Andrew Roman on December 10, 2008

we don't care how ... just get us our vacation pay

we don't care how ... just get us our vacation pay

The great strategists of all-time – military commanders, entrepreneurs, inventors, kings, super bowl champion head coaches, campaign-season Obamacrats – whoever they happen to be, have nothing on a group of laid-off-workers-turned-protestors (nearing two hundred) who are refusing to vacate a factory that closed its doors on December 5th. Needless to say, the situation has ripened into yet another “Union versus the Evil Ones” cage match.

Ever since All Republic Windows and Doors in Chicago closed up shop five days ago, the band of disgruntled employees have decided to employ a “stay put and wait” strategy, resisting the shut down – a good old fashioned dye-in-the-wool, Age of Aquarius, flop-down-and-teach-’em-a-lesson sit-in.

And apparently, it may be working.

According to a story posted at CNN Money.com early Tuesday evening, Bank of America – who originally cut off the company’s financing three days before the place closed down – may be giving in to the protestors:

Bank of America said Tuesday it is prepared to extend credit to (the) Chicago window and door maker.

The factory closed after Bank of America canceled its financing. The workers said the company notified them three days before the impending shutdown. Federal law requires either 60 days notice or 60 days pay for the laid-off workers.

Bank of America (BAC, Fortune 500) spokeswoman Diane Wagner said Republic Windows & Doors LLC maxed out its financing, and the bank had been “working with Republic for quite some time.”

In a statement, the Charlotte, N.C.-based bank said it sent a letter to the manufacturer indicating that it may provide a limited amount of additional loans to Republic.

The employees are demanding severance and vacation pay owed to them – and to many, the ruckus has come to symbolize the state of the American economy. It is the latest “Us versus Them” apalogue that Democrats  – and thus, by default, unions – exist for. These are the new protagonists, the new “Joe the Plumbers” – the everyday folks looking to survive in a corrupt and selfish world of big money players and fat cat money hoarders – only this time, the workers jump at the behest of the union, unlike the real Joe the Plumber, who more suitably characterized the “free market never lies” credo.

To make the story all the more juicy, the workers – who occupy the factory in eight hour shifts, consisting of 50 or 60 people at a time – are effectively holding the materials in the plant hostage. The fired workers, as CBS 2 in Chicago reports, “say the remaining doors, windows, and machinery are the only collateral they have left in their fight to get what they feel they are owed.”

Before he was busted on corruption charges and arrested on Tuesday, Governor Rod Blagojevich, on Monday, practically called the sit-inners heroes, announcing that the State of Illinois would no longer conduct business with Bank of America.

Nice job, Blago.

The ever-less-than-relevant Jesse Jackson showed up on Sunday, bringing turkeys and, no doubt, abysmal rhymes about workers’ rights … or something equally inane.

Even the next President openly supported the actions of the occupiers, saying,” The workers who are asking for the benefits and payments that they have earned, I think they’re absolutely right and understand that what’s happening to them is reflective of what’s happening across this economy.”

Centrist, my buns.

jesse jackson, deliverer of turkeys

jesse jackson, deliverer of turkeys

And naturally, Bank of America is taking heat because even though their palms were greased with federal bailout money, they still cut off financing for the troubled window and door manufacturer – and thus, sparked the predictable screeching from those who want to know why it’s okay to bailout corporations, but not “little guy.”

More class warfare crap.

Actually, it isn’t okay to use taxpayer dollars to bailout any failing businesses, but that’s a topic for a different article.

It is distressing – and above all contemptible – to see this kind of appeasement given to a group of foot-stamping, breath-holding blackmailers.

Do these folks believe that the owners and operators of All Republic wanted the business to fail?

Do they think that there is really a stash of secret big-wig cash tucked away in someone’s meat freezer, waiting to fill the wallets of higher-ups once the peons leave the factory and go home?

Before Bank of America decided that it would bend over and grab the ankles for the unions (despite what they say to the contrary), where did these “gimmee gimmee” merchants believe the money was supposed to come from?

My Lord, people, this wasn’t a wage issue or a contractual stalemate. The damn company went belly-up.

It died.

There was no more money.

That was the point.

As much as some demand to have the rose garden they were never promised – and somehow feel entitled to – it just isn’t possible to trump real world laws of success and failure with a bunch of “ought to be” fantasy-land drivel.

One thing I will agree with … This is, indeed, an “Us versus Them” issue …

Obligation versus entitlement.

_

 

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K-ROD IS COMING TO TOWN?

Posted by Andrew Roman on December 9, 2008

queens bound

queens bound

After a miserable afternoon of malfunctioning equipment at work, aggravating traffic jams on the Belt Parkway, and the discovery that I did not have Italian-style breadcrumbs in the house (what the hell is chicken cutlet without them?), it was nice to finally sit down, log onto the net and find some good news waiting for me.

In my house, baseball season never ends. It only becomes less annoying to my wife.

Hot Stove news is big – and today, according to reports, the Mets made a big move.

They have themselves a closer.

Welcome to the Big Apple, K-Rod!

From Mets.com:

The Mets have agreed to terms with free-agent closer Francisco Rodriguez, according to published reports.

Terms of the deal are reported to be three years and $37 million. There is a vesting option for a fourth year at $14 million that would make the deal worth $51 million.

Apparently, all of this is not official yet.

Matt Cerone at Metsblog writes:

“…by the way, though it has not been reported, nor did minaya say so in his briefing, from what i can gather, the Mets team doctor is in Las Vegas, meaning rodriguez will have his phsyical today or tomorrow – after which the team is likely to make an official announcement…so, figure on something official later tonight, or tomorrow morning…

…the way i heard it, the Mets very much want to make real news in Las Vegas, on the big stage, so i expect some sort of announcement, at a podium, tomorrow…”

I like the move.

It definitely doesn’t stink to have a soon-to-be 27 year-old bullpen stud – who set the single-season save record last season with 62 – in his prime, closing for a team that blew twenty-two million late game leads last season. (Or thereabouts).

It’ll be great to have another big name there for the next choke job.

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