Monday, June 29, 2009

"That is 'Mr. Shrek' to You!"

We all have those moments in our life that we wish we could get back.

Monica Conyers may be having one of those moments today, a woman that has experienced very few of these in her public career. Not that she should not have, mind you, just that she has not.

She did not seem remorseful after her well documented hotel bar fight just prior to taking office. Why should she be sorry? She has a great right cross, did not get the black eye, scored a few drinks, and was able to beat any charges.

She did not seem too remorseful after screaming her head off in a Denver hotel at the Democratic National Convention. Why should she be remorseful? Her drop of the hat temper got her a room upgrade and some serious respect.

She did not seem remorseful either after baiting an elementary school student into a debate on character that was clearly won by the student. Why should she be remorseful over that little incident? Most of the debate went right over her head.

And, while she was certainly not remorseful at the time of repeatedly calling Detroit City Council President Ken Cockrell "Shrek", now that she could use a little sympathy from the lovable fairy tale character (after admitting to bribery charges on Monday) perhaps remorse is beginning to set in.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Your Ship Has Come In

McQ over at QandO has a great post on some of the political payback unions workers may receive for voting monolithically for their democrat keepers.

Special interest democracy – political payback – so blatant now that you don’t even have to wonder if it is being done. Democrats are shameless in their pursuit of it. If you’re in a favored group, your ship has come in.
The post highlights the proposal to exempt union negotiated health care benefits from taxation while sticking it to non-union workers that often times receive similar health care insurance benefits.

Such proposals have two specific goals, one to stick it to the rich (regardless of how errant that sticking actually becomes) and secondly to incentivize to workers the value of joining a union--an organization that can be expected to vote democrat in future elections.

Of course this congress and this president have taken great pains to reward one of their largest constituencies in only their first few months in office.

The ramrodded bankruptcies of GM and Chrysler placed union beneficiaries far ahead of secured creditors, regular stockholders, taxpayers and consumers. Cash for clunkers is essentially a program designed to taxpayer subsidize new life into our union dominated domestic auto companies that cannot compete on a level playing field with their non-union competitors. The Department of Education is hinting at sinking more and more money into our failing public school systems in order to reward the NEA and other large teachers unions. Along what party lines do you believe that Card Check voting will fall?

Alexis De Tocqueville penned that American democracy would fail when voters discovered that they could vote themselves money out of the national coffers. Sadly, the great American unions appear to have made a great American discovery.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

For the Love of Sludge

How fitting is it that Monica Conyers, one of the dirtiest politicians in Detroit's long history of dirty politicians, would be taken down by a deal over sludge? The irony is as delicious as it is bitter for a city that deserves every drop of the crap it has been wading around in over the past few years for voting in one well fertilized crop of corrupt politicians after another.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Belated Recognition of a Belated Apology

While on the road this past week I was lucky enough to be able to see David Letterman's sincere apology to the Palin family for his poor joke aimed at one of the Palin daughters. I am referring to the real apology and not the one he had made a few days earlier that was little more than an arrogant dismissal of well placed disgust.

What Letterman did, belatedly, was admit that he poorly delivered a poor joke that was easily interpreted wrongly. He clarified the joke (which was still poor) but took ownership of it and apologized.

I think his apology deserves a mention.

Redefining Innocence

Another month and another sex scandal. Another family stands in the shadow of marital ruins because another generic self centered politician hyped up on testosterone and immortality did not have the self restraint to keep another penis from taking a walk.

I was comforted to find out after listening to his public statement that Governor Sanford's indiscretions began innocently, as if brakes can never be applied once an accelerator has been stepped on in good faith. We might as well blame this whole mess on inertia.

Enjoy your fame Mr. Sanford. You deserve it, though your family does not.

Good posts at Protein Wisdom and Power Line.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Slowly Coming Back

I have been home now for a couple of days and am starting to settle back into the routine of getting a full six to seven hours of sleep a night and not having to rub the car seat shaped seams stamped into my back side.

My trip's success cannot be judged in the short term because my main goal was to get plugged back into the network of professionals I once worked with. It is my hope that they remember me for what I was good at and are completely able to forget the other 90 per cent of my performance. I will keep you posted on that.

I was heartened shortly after my travels began to discover that bureaucrats are similar regardless of location. For instance I was exposed to this delicious quote in the June 12th edition of the Quad-City Times.

`This moved us from theoretical discussions to endorsing concepts.`
Thus spake Joe Slavens in support of a suggestion that the Quad-City Development Group allow the area chambers of commerce to oversee the bringing of jobs to the area. Slavens leads the new group. His comment should be trademarked and marketed as the perfect answer to any question posed to a government official.

During my trip I crossed the Mississippi several times, visited two states where I had never been before, saw the Flint Hills of Kansas, accidentally found the both majestic and haunting old Joliet Prison, relearned the heat index blanketing Oklahoma, petted a wild turkey, and pushed my odometer nearly 3,500 miles in nine short days. Air conditioning is a good thing.

I will be slowly getting back to this blogging thing. That is, as soon as I can get some concepts endorsed.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

It Is Time

I have come to think of Michigan as the best place on Earth in which to struggle to survive. Hey, if you have to have it tough, why not suffer all your trials and indignation in a state that simply explodes with spring flowers?

There are few places that can rival Michigan's beautiful forests, lakes and streams to a person having a difficult time living on credit cards. Where else in these United States can an unemployed person gaze upon so much beautiful coastline? Truly, Michigan offers four seasons of splendor to people unable to meet the basic needs of their children.

I think you know where this is heading.

This afternoon I will be heading out on a long journey to scout out other states for job opportunities. I leave both hopeful that I will find something and apprehensive that I just might. I was born here and raised here. My parents, 89 and 86, are both alive and enjoy twelve months a year of living in a state that they were never forced to leave. My brother and sisters as well as nearly all of my nieces and nephews still call Michigan home.

Leaving is not an easy thing to contemplate.

I will be on the road for two weeks (give or take) and hopefully will arrive back in town with some solid leads for future employment. Posting will be very light.

Wish me luck.

David Letterman: Making Sex Jokes About Children

There was a time when I thought David Letterman was funny, at least on occasion. I stopped watching him about a dozen years ago when he decided his best shot at getting a few laughs was making goofy faces at the camera. Most people outgrow that by the age of five, but with Dave it never has gotten old.

Now he is working on a new shtick...making sex jokes about the fourteen year old children of people with whom he and his network are politically unaligned.

John Hinderaker asks a very good question:

Malia Obama will turn fourteen during her father's term in office. What do you think the chances are that Letterman (or anyone else) will make obscene jokes about her on network television?
Letterman has been a sexist pig for years but now it seems as if he has turning out to be an asshole on top of it all. (In these trying times I suppose a guy has to keep working on his resume.)

Would CBS allow these jokes to air unchallenged if they were of Malia? Let us see what happens in the next day or so. I long to be pleasantly surprised.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Kilpatrick Lands On His Feet

It was a hard fall from the pinnacle. Elected into office as the youngest mayor ever of a large American city, Kwame Kilpatrick assumed the office with big dreams that would never die but with a fleeting humility that did not survive his inauguration speech.

I stand before you as a son of the city of Detroit and all that it represents. I was born here in the city of Detroit, I was raised here in the city of Detroit, I went to these Detroit Public Schools. I understand this city. ... This position is personal to me. It's much more than just politics.
And that it was. Politics cannot describe fully the ineptitude and rottenness that pervaded the Kilpatrick administration, his scandals so numerous and well documented that I will not even bother to repeat them.

It will be years, if ever, before Detroit can recover from the damage and embarrassment he bequeathed to the city where he was so proud to have been born, raised, and educated.

Kilpatrick left Detroit several months ago after being released from jail, a felon and badly in debt to the city that he also left badly in debt.
Kilpatrick is appealing a judge’s order that he pay $6,000 a month to the City of Detroit, saying he has only $6 remaining after expenses such as rent and a $900 a month lease on a new Cadillac Escalade. As part of his sentence in the text message scandal, Kilpatrick was ordered to repay $1 million to the city.
One million bucks does not come close to repaying the city for the scandalous whistle blower lawsuits he settled on the sly, let alone paying back the tens of millions of dollars his bumbling administration lost for screwing up deals, missing deadlines, driving business from the city, and simply living too large.

Only $6 left after necessary expenses does sound a lot like abject squalor to me. Poor Kwame must be hunting in the folds of his couch for spare change and maybe pushing a shopping cart in an around the clock quest for deposit bottles and scrap. One Hot-N-Ready pizza and the whole budget is shot. $6 wont even get you a decent lap dance. Poverty can make a man do things!

So, how does a guy living in poverty and too poor to pay back the city he has devastated manage to move into a 5,866 square foot million dollar mansion in a gated community in Southlake, Texas?

Chutzpah, that's how (or maybe a lot of Dr. Pepper bottles.)
At 5,866 square feet, Kilpatrick’s new digs, which he is leasing in tony Southlake, Texas, are nearly 50 % larger than the city-owned mansion he used to occupy as Detroit mayor, before the text message scandal cost him his job and his freedom. The Detroit mansion, now vacant, is just 4,000 square feet.

Kilpatrick’s new home is in a gated community, and is listed on Web sites for sale at $1.1 million. Built in 1998, it has five bedrooms, 5½ baths, a game room, a study, a formal dining room and an in-ground pool in the back hugged by a stone patio and pathway.
It does not look like his time behind bars accomplished much, at least if rehabilitation was even an infinitesimal consideration for his incarceration. Someone in Detroit, maybe once again a whole city, got snookered with the Kilpatrick deal that left him released after such a short amount of time in jail and with such a minuscule monetary punishment. The good Lord knows his ego suffered little.

So, how do you like that? Even after exiting Detroit and starting his new life in a far away land, Kwame Kilpatrick has managed once again to embarrass the city and state of his birth.

Sometimes, I guess, you just gotta stick with what you are good at.

A Crime of Hate

This should serve as an adequate example of what will ultimately occur when hate crime legislation is adopted and enforced.

The goal is not to stamp out hate but rather to shut down debate through the threat of legal action.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Crunchberry Lament

Wait a minute!

Crunchberries are not a real fruit? Someone should sue!

Oh, they already have.


Thursday, June 04, 2009

GM Putty Being Formed Into Early Political Model

One of the fiercest arguments against the automaker bailout was that the corporate motivation for profit (and therefore viability) may very well take a backseat to political maneuvers.

Now, $50 billion and a mere week after filing bankruptcy, government owned GM is already bowing to the meddling of powerful socialist democrats in a bid to toss home districts an unwarranted lifeline at the expense of other apparently less deserving districts and the corporation's overall success.

Rep Barney Frank (D-Mass.) won a stay of execution on Thursday for a General Motors plant in his district that the automaker had announced it would close.

No other lawmaker has managed to halt the GM ax. As chairman of the House Financial Services Committee Frank oversees the government's bailout program, known as TARP. Frank's staff said the lawmaker spokes with GM CEO Fritz Henderson on Wednesday and convinced him to keep the Norton, Mass. plant open for at least 14 months.

GM announced Monday in its bankruptcy and restructuring plans it would close of nine of its plants and idle three others. The automaker said it would also shutter three service and parts operations by the end of the year — one of which is in Frank's district.

"I greatly appreciate General Motors' willingness to take into consideration the wider needs of the company and especially the community," Frank said in a statement. "Keeping the facility open for this extra time gives workers a chance to look at other opportunities, while at the same time continuing to provide for their families."
It appears as if the early fears of naysayers might be coming true even more quickly than the naysayers thought possible.

I hate the intervention of any politician into these sorts of decisions, particularly when GM is essentially being held over a barrel by politician-owners of the company. No one knows how much pressure is being applied to lackey automobile executives at this point behind closed doors.

It should be noted that the most effective politician at bludgeoning the soft putty automobile industry into a desired shape post intervention has been Barney Frank, a man who is as personally responsible for the financial meltdown as any other politician in Washington. No bad deed goes unrewarded in Washington. The hapless Michigan delegation, home to a vast majority of the plants slated to close, can do nothing but sit impotently by.

Fortunately it seems as if unemployed Michiganders have no need to "look at other opportunities, while at the same time continuing to provide for their families." It just ain't in the political cards.

h/t Protein Wisdom

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Ron Gettelfinger’s Innocence

It is nice to see that Ron Gettelfinger has survived our current domestic automobile catastrophe with a clear conscience, stout heart, and a bullet proof self esteem with nary a chink in the armor. He was right and the results prove it. Just ask him.

Gettelfinger now sits atop a union with a fraction of the number of members it once had, clinging to the sphincter of a largely failed American industry like a tick on the backside of an anemic dog. Detroit, Flint, Lansing, and Saginaw, once bastions thick with his unionized followers, are now but shadows of themselves. Countless factories across our state, both union and non-union, urban and rural, sit shuttered or operating at a mere fraction of capacity. Michigan’s unemployment rate sits at a watermark neighboring 13 percent, perhaps six to eight points beneath the level where it will likely crest.

Ron Gettelfinger appears oblivious to his own role in the demise of the domestic automobile industry. Admittedly, Gettelfinger was not the first head of the UAW to blackmail once great companies, but he did nothing during his tenure to soften the eventual crash of Michigan’s economy. Gettelfinger may not like the fact that the industry crashed with him at the helm of its biggest adversary, but those are the breaks.

In an editorial today in the Detroit News, Gettelfinger touts his many accomplishments of late despite the "perilous times for America's auto industry."

The whole article is a writing exercise in willful ignorance and out of sympathy I will only quote one thing from it, for it makes obvious that consumers and taxpayers are still within the cross hairs of Gettelfinger`s socialist rifle.

Can Chrysler, Ford and GM succeed once the economy recovers and consumers start buying cars again?

Not if we settle for the status quo.

A long-term commitment to U.S. manufacturing requires action to address America's failed health care system, which adds cost to every vehicle made here. We must also address our unbalanced trade policies, which deliver hidden subsidies to every car or truck imported from overseas.

Changing these policies won't be easy, but nothing we've confronted in recent months has been easy.
Thank you Ron for your ceaseless dedication to the destruction of a state and an industry. Please forgive me for not wishing you luck in your next endeavor.

It's The Context Stupid!

Barack Obama made some comments on his last European apology tour that raised some eyebrows. In Turkey, a secular Muslim democracy where the killing of priests and the tormenting of Christians is not a rarity, Obama said

[we Americans] “do not consider ourselves a Christian nation, or a Muslim nation, but rather, a nation of citizens who are, uh, bound by a set of values.”
It was a typical comment of pure Obama malleability meaning many things at once and therefore meaningless in any context. It was a comment designed for the Muslim stage, a seemingly innocent way for The Obama to pander to an important Muslim ally by plausibly denying an obvious Christian association.

Now Obama is once again headed back to foreign soil. While speaking to a French reporter just before his departure he decided to spin it a different way.
“And one of the points I want to make is, is that if you actually took the number of Muslim Americans, we’d be one of the largest Muslim countries in the world,” Mr. Obama said. “And so there’s got to be a better dialogue and a better understanding between the two peoples.”
So here we have it. Our president has vocally determined in one interview that America is not a Christian nation but in another interview has also determined that America could be considered one of the largest Muslim nations on Earth.

In the proper context, to this president, anything is possible.

h/t Power Line

Monday, June 01, 2009

Hey NHL and NBC...Where Is The Puck?

What would be a great way for the NHL to make their game even less attractive to the millions of viewers out there that do not appreciate the sport? (I mean, other than having so many playoff games on the rather obscure Versus channel, a channel by and large only available on premium cable/satellite packages where the announcers stop giving a shit about the same time that the last east coast team is eliminated.)

Well, I think having NBC handle the broadcast coverage is an astute part of the NHL's strategy of suicide through obscurity.

During last night's game on NBC the telecast was so poor that at various times during the game these things were not visible; the puck, the blue lines, center ice, the face off circles, player's numbers on the light color sweaters, and even the heads of players wearing white helmets. All white objects burned into the background of a glaring white ice surface the likes of which has not been seen since the last blast on Bikini Island.

I love hockey and it was pure torture to watch. I watch every game I can during the regular season and playoffs. Most of this is done on Fox Sports Detroit where there is never this problem.

Hats off to NBC, Versus and the NHL. It works so much better when three guys are holding their own pistol.

I Speak For Myself: Murder is Murder

Carin bespeaks of her own irony. She is not alone.

In the comments I wrote:

No less ironic is the fact that it is the pro-late-term abortion crowd that is celebrating this event. Finally they have their evidence that the pro-life movement is filled with not only those who would gleefully outlaw freedom of choice, but it is the pro-lifers, symbolized by this one unbalanced maniac, that are the real murderers. They have always had their cause, and now they have their martyr.

I'm not buying any of that horseshit.

No one is better off with Tiller dead except, of course, the babies that will not have their heads pierced with a scissors at his hand. The rest of us pro-lifers will now have to deal with the din of excitable Andy and others pointing fingers and screaming "I told you so!"

Both sides of this debate have its share of crazies. A crazy of one just now took out a crazy of the other.

God is the ultimate judge here. Until I am promoted to deity I'll simply advocate that pro-lifers operate within the bounds of the law and that the murderer of Tiller should be subjected to the punishment allowed by Caesar.

It does not matter how many pro-life organizations come out and condemn this horrible act of violence, the murderer now speaks for the rest of us.

Now, how ironic is that?