Keane observations about life, politics and sports.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

2010 Mid-Term Senate Race - Connecticut

Over the next year or so I'll do updates on the 2010 mid-term elections. Most of the updates will be of senate races though a few key or surprising house races may get some attention.

The first, surprisingly concerns a long time incumbent - Senator Chris Dodd of Connecticut. Normally, senate incumbent are safe particularly in states that consistently vote for the incumbent's political party. Such is the case with Sen. Dodd. Next year he will be finishing his fifth full term in the senate representing a state that has fairly reliably voted Democrat. However, Sen. Dodd has been under a major ethical cloud over the past year and now appears particularly vulnerable.

Exacerbating Dodd's problems is that his perceived ethical lapses are easily connected to our current economic troubles. As the mortgage industry was falling apart creating a headache for the entire credit market, it was revealed that Dodd received a special, below market rate, mortgage from Countrywide Financial. Even if one was inclined to give Dodd the benefit of doubt (which I'm not) it is hard to imagine the powerful Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee receiving a special loan as anything but a serious conflict of interest if not tantamount to a bribe. That is just the tip of the iceberg of troubles for Dodd. Last week he looked and acted guilty in the back and forth over who modified the "Stimulus" bill to ensure the AIG executives received bonuses. That was quickly used in commercials harping on the fact that Dodd and President Obama were the largest recipients of AIG campaign donations. Here is a link to an article detailing some of his other scandals including a shady deal for a mansion in Ireland.

Current projection: 70% chance for Republican pick up unless Dodd doesn't run for reelection. If Dodd decides not to run again then I'd rate this a safe Dem retention.

Trivia: The last time a "Republican" won a U.S. Senate seat from Connecticut it was after Dodd's father chose not to run for reelection after his own ethical lapses. Hmmm, what's that they say about apples not falling far from trees?

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Sunday, March 29, 2009

What if Bush had . . . . . . ? #3

Tonight we hear that the Obama administration has demanded that Rick Wagner, CEO of General Motors resign. I don't know if Wagner's actions have helped or hurt the company. I do know that the decision to name or replace a CEO rests with a corporation's board of directors not the government. I do believe the Bush administration would have been roundly (and correctly) criticized for exceeding the authority of government influence in a private company.

What if Bush had . . . . . . ? #2

While this series is intended to highlight the difference in how the media will cover President Obama as compared to former President Bush, this one notes a verbal gaffe by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Mexico City, Mexico, Mar 27, 2009 / 04:59 pm (CNA).- During her recent visit to Mexico, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made an unexpected stop at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe and left a bouquet of white flowers “on behalf of the American people,” after asking who painted the famous image.

The image of Our Lady of Guadalupe was miraculously imprinted by Mary on the tilma, or cloak, of St. Juan Diego in 1531. The image has numerous unexplainable phenomena, such as the appearance on Mary’s eyes of those present in the room when the tilma was opened and the image’s lack of decay.

Mrs. Clinton was received on Thursday at 8:15 a.m. by the rector of the Basilica, Msgr. Diego Monroy. Msgr. Monroy took Mrs. Clinton to the famous image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which had been previously lowered from its usual altar for the occasion. After observing it for a while, Mrs. Clinton asked “who painted it?” to which Msgr. Monroy responded “God!”
I don't expect her to know everything, but I do expect her staff to brief her. How much would we have heard about that question if President Bush had made a similar gaffe?

Monday, March 23, 2009

What if Bush had . . . . . . ? #1

A new feature I'll be posting are entries titled "What if Bush had . . .?" For the most part I had decided not to jump on each mistake President Obama has made. There are a couple reasons for taking that position. First, I understand that as president you are going to misspeak and verbal flubs are usually insignificant. Also, I didn't want to act as immature as how the left behaved during the last administration. Beyond those reasons, there are time constraints. No one has the time to document all of Obama's mistakes at the rate he is making them (well, maybe Don Surber can). However, it becoming very apparent that the "in-the-bag" media is disinclined to cover Obama honestly. So, I'm starting a series titled: "What if Bush had . . .?" to highlight the media negligence in covering the president they elected.

Here is the first item: President Obama sent a letter to the President of France but he addressed it to Jacques Chirac who left office a couple years ago. The French media are all over the story. Our domestic media? They're not interested in this story. Hmmm, wonder why?


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Dan Rooney Receives his Thirty Pieces of Silver

The owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Dan Rooney was a lifelong Republican and appeared to be a pro-life devout Catholic. Then last year impressed with some inane speeches he decided to endorse and actively campaign for the the most pro-abortion presidential candidate ever, Barack Obama. Today, Rooney got his compensation. Obama appointed Rooney as Ambassador to Ireland.

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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Sometimes an Assurance of Reliability is Disconcerting

President Obama today said investors should have "absolute confidence" in money placed with the United States. Glenn Reynolds posted that item and asked:
UH OH: Obama: Have ‘Absolute Confidence’ in T-Bills. Did previous administrations find it necessary to issue such attention-getting assurances?
The answer is yes, with an ugly reaction. In 1893, Grover Cleveland's Treasury Secretary John Carlisle made the following statement attempting to reassure the public about the federal financial stability, Carlisle said "Treasury would meet demands for payment in gold so long as it has gold lawfully available for that purpose." That reassurance (as you may well guess) did nothing to calm the public or the markets as people read extra meaning into the bolded portion. It will be interesting to follow the action in T-Bills on Monday.

And distressed investors continue to wonder if Obama is shorting the market.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Plain Dealer in Danger of Going Away? Say it Ain't So!

Fellow Ohio blogger, Brain Shavings brought to our attention this article from YAHOO News which predicts 10 newspapers that won't survive another year. Hereis the paragraph regarding the PD:
10. The Cleveland Plain Dealer is in one of the economically weakest markets in the country. Its parent, Advance Publications, has already threatened to close its paper in Newark. Employees gave up enough in terms of concessions to keep the paper open. Advance, owned by the Newhouse family, is carrying the burden of its paper plus Conde Nast, its magazine group which is losing advertising revenue. The Plain Dealer will be shut or go digital by the end of next year.
Unlike my conservative brethren I'm not happy at the prospect of seeing the PD go away. Part of that is sentimental reason. As a kid all my spending money came from delivering the Plain Dealer. I come from a large family and every one of us had routes for several years. A kid learns a good work ethic when he has to get up at 5 AM and go to work regardless of the weather. My non-sentimental reason to want the PD to survive is Cleveland is my hometown and it would be a shame to see them go from a major city with two daily papers (The Cleveland Press closed shop some years back) to a no paper city.

I understand why conservatives are smiling at the thought of the PD and others suffering hard times. I'll admit many have gone hard to the left and have given up any pretense of objectivity. I can't visit the Cleveland area and read the local paper without my blood pressure going up. Doesn't matter. If Cleveland is going to remain a major city it must have a daily newspaper. I'll grant that more and more people are getting their news fix digitally. That doesn't completely replace a need for a hard copy paper. It does mean newspaper management needs to make changes to remain viable. Will the current management make those changes? Time will tell.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Like Telling Someone on the Third Hole at Augusta to Take up Golf

Somebody hasn't been paying much attention:
Chavez Tells Obama He Should Follow Venezuela’s Socialist Path
Next Chavez is going to recommend swimming to Michael Phelps.

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Thursday, March 5, 2009

A Shame Upon Britian

It has been said that an honor is only as prestigious as the least to receive the honor. In recent years we have seen the Nobel Peace Prize become a complete joke as it has been conferred on people of ill repute (Yasser Arafat and Jimmy Carter for advancing anti-Semitism, Al Gore for creating a new religion, etc). Well, the British are going down the road to de-legitimize the honorific of Knighthood by conferring that title on Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA). Truly a sad day for the British empire. This is almost as bad as the shame that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts bears for continually reelecting this derelict.

Some in England are outraged over this Knighthood because of Kennedy's long pandering to IRA terrorists in an attempt to appeal to Irish-American voters. Those of us in the U.S. know of many other reasons no one should honor that man.

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Monday, March 2, 2009

Obama's U.S. Trade Rep. Nominee Pays His Back Taxes

Stop me if you've heard this one before . . . A prominent Democrat gets nominated to serve in the Obama administration and suddenly realizes he hasn't been paying all his taxes.
Ron Kirk, nominated as U.S. Trade Representative in the Obama administration, owes an estimated $10,000 in back taxes.
Amazing! If former President Bush had this much trouble filling appointed positions the media wing of the Democrat party would be braying non-stop about how it was proof of incompetence.

Is there any chance that this is just a clever ruse? Maybe he isn't really president. Could it be it's just a cover story to get Dems to pay their taxes? You know, just like when police put out that wanted criminals won tickets to the Super Bowl to get them to turn themselves in thinking they are picking up tickets. No? That's not it? Oh well, makes more sense than thinking he actually won the election.

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Sunday, March 1, 2009

Paul Harvey -Rest in Peace

The great Paul Harvey has died. Click the link for "The Rest of the Story."


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