Keane observations about life, politics and sports.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Okay, Okay I believe in the Saints now.

The New Orleans Saints and the Indianapolis Colts have gone on 11 wins and no losses streaks to start the NFL season. The Colts have the track record winning 10 or more games each year except one since Peyton Manning's second season a decade ago. The Saints' early success was less believable having failed to qualify for the playoff the last two seasons and racking up wins mostly against losing teams.

Tonight Drew Brees threw for 5 touchdowns and close to 400 yards against the Patriots. Equally impressive was the relentless pressure the Saints defense brought all night holding the high-octane Patriots offense to 17 points while intercepting Tom Brady twice and harassing him all night.

While I am a Browns fan and they have been awful this year, this has still been a fun NFL season to watch. It seems each game I watch I start considering a different player for MVP. Tonight I jumped on the Brees bandwagon, but previously a dozen different players seemed to merit consideration. Heck, just yesterday I was arguing for Vince Young. The Titans started with six losses then switched quarterbacks to Young and have now responded with five straight victories. Not just wins, but most were very dramatic come from behind wins. Then you look closer and Young may not even be MVP of his own team. Running back Chris Johnson seems to make history every time he touches the ball and leads the league in rushing yards. Lots of players merit consideration for that award. Unfortunately, none of them wear the Browns uniform..

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Line of the Weekend

When we got to church safely this weekend, my son said "Dad, I bet that's the first time you out drove Tiger Woods."

Labels: ,

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Huckabee Done

The primary concern at a time like this is to keep the fallen Washington police officers and their families and friends in our prayers. However, when the killer is someone previously sentenced to a lengthy prison sentence for violent crimes and then released after his sentence was commuted, then the murders, right or wrong, will be laid at the feet of the executive who commuted the sentence.
The Other McCain and Michelle Malkin have more info.

In the interest of full disclosure, I have not been a Mike Huckabee fan. He is probably a decent guy, but he is too liberal for my tastes. Far too much of a nanny state government kind of guy for me. None of us know what influenced Huckabee to commute this killers previous sentence. All we know is he did let him go and now four police officers are dead.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

BREAKING NEWS: Tiger Woods Seriously Injured in Car Crash

Very little details at this point, but professional golfer Tiger Woods was seriously injured when his car hit a fire hydrant and then a tree near his home early on Friday morning.

Keep him in your thoughts and prayers.

: Good news! Appears the initial report was less than accurate and he only sustained minor injuries. Florida Highway Patrol indicates alcohol was not involved, but just the same being out and about at 2:30 AM is never a good idea.


Friday, November 20, 2009

Suddenly Google has a Conscience?

Google has apologized after a racist caricature of Michelle Obama became the top result for users searching for pictures of the US First Lady.

Pretty odd that now all of a sudden Google is concerned about poor taste in their image searches. Don't get me wrong, people with political disagreements with the president should find a way to express their disagreement without slipping into the ugliness of racism or beyond that even attacking his wife for her appearance. She does not look that much like Chewbacca. Back to Google, I don't remember them apologizing for the very racist cartoons of Condoleeza Rice that have popped up when GIS is done on her. Out of the realm of politics do a GIS for almost any female celebrity and you get images of their head photoshopped onto a nude body. Google either needs to clean up all their searches or do a blanket apology to everyone while admitting they have no control over their system.

Labels: ,

Impeachable Conduct? You Decide

Impeachment proceedings should not be undertaken lightly. Whenever we down the path of presidential misconduct it is the cover up which really undermines an administration more than the initial misbehavior. That is true again in a matter involving President Obama and his crooked friend Kevin Johnson. Here are the basic alleged facts:
* Former NBA player and current Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson was investigated by the AmeriCorps inspector general, Gerald Walpin after people reported misuse of funds by Johnson when he was head of a private school funded by Americorps.
* Johnson is a friend and ally of Obama.
* Obama fired Walpin in June amid allegations of senility.
* Walpin filed suit in federal court in Washington in July alleging that he was fired improperly while investigating whether Johnson had misused federal grant funds.
* U.S. attorney ruled in favor of Walpin that he was removed improperly.
* Johnson's fiance, Michelle Rhee, who is now DC schools chief, handled the "damage control" after the sexual misconduct charges arose against Johnson.
* Walpin has not been reinstated.

This scandal and the administration cover up have received scant reporting in the lamestream media. Does anyone doubt it would lead the evening news every night if a Republican president fired an inspector general who was investigating his buddy?

Does impeding an investigation of misuse (fancy word for theft) of government funds rise to the level of impeachable behavior? When you get down to it Nixon was hounded out of office for impeding an investigation into misbehavior by his underlings. Funny thing is based on his naive foreign policy mentality, we have considered Obama to be serving Jimmy Carter's second term and it turns out he is looking more and more like Nixon without the competence (or press scrutiny).

Labels: , , , , , ,

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Another Reason to Stay Out of Pennsylvania

In addition to opining about sports, politics and general culture, this blog will now include a new feature "Reasons to Stay Out of Crappy Places" usually that will mean Pennsylvania. However, Michigan will likely also be a frequent choice. Here is the initial contribution:
If you’re frustrated by poor service at a restaurant, think twice before you decide to not tip. You may be in for a bit more than just a dirty look from the waiter.

"Nobody, nobody wants to be forced to pay a tip or be arrested for terrible service," Leslie Pope said when her happy hour ended in handcuffs.

Pope and John Wagner were hauled away by police and charged with theft for not paying the mandatory 18 percent gratuity totaling $16 after eating at the Lehigh Pub in Bethlehem, Pa. with six friends.

Pope claimed that they had to wait nearly an hour for their order and that she had to get napkins and silverware for the table herself.
What the ? I understand it is customary to tip between 15 and 20%. I also understand that some places will include a minimum tip especially with larger parties. However, when a customer complains about poor service it is a better idea to remove the tip from the bill than to have them arrested. That restaurant has not just lost these customers forever, but likely lost the business of most anyone who heard this story.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

According to Jesse Jackson a Black Politician Who Votes Against Health Care is No Longer Black

Why does anyone take a clown like Jesse Jackson seriously anymore?
The Rev. Jesse Jackson on Wednesday night criticized Rep. Artur Davis (D-Ala.) for voting against the Democrats’ signature healthcare bill.

“We even have blacks voting against the healthcare bill,” Jackson said at a reception Wednesday night. “You can’t vote against healthcare and call yourself a black man.”
He probably doesn't even have a clue how racist he is. What a moroon!

Labels: ,

Monday, November 16, 2009

Weekend Sports Roundup

Because the Indians and Browns have been awful, I have not commented on the sports world all that much in recent months. However, a lot of interesting things happened in sports this weekend. Here are a few things that jumped out at me:
How far have the Michigan Wolverines fallen? I actually read an article with a headline posing this question: Iowa triumph felt like Michigan for Big Ten champ Buckeyes -- can OSU get up for struggling Wolverines?" Garbage! The Buckeyes should be able to get up for the Michigan game regardless of either teams record!

Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts beat New England Patriots last night with a touchdown as time was running out on the game. However, all the news today is about how the Patriots lost. Getting most of the attention is Bill Belichick's decision to go for it on 4th down late in the game on the Patriots side of the field. They were up by 6 points and the standard decision is to punt the ball away and make your opponent go the length of the field. That decision is getting dissected this morning because it didn't work. If it had worked it would be a footnote to a good game. However, since it led to another Manning comeback it is the big story of a great game. Nearly every TV talking head has questioned Belichick's decision, one even called it idiotic. Only Chris Carter on ESPN defended the call. He pointed out that New England has had a good track record of going for it on 4th down against Indianapolis and that the way Manning scored easily on the Colts last drive, Belichick was right to try for the first down so they could end the game without putting the ball in Manning's hand again. Two problems with that notion. First, you never give your opponent a short field late when you're ahead by less than seven points. Secondly, going for it on 4th down like that sent a message to his defense that he didn't trust them to stop Manning. Joe Posnanski has a more in depth look at the call and the guy who made the call.

Michelle Wie won her first LPGA tournament and the word used by everyone to describe her victory is "finally." Is that fair? Sure, it seems like she has been on the tour forever. However, she is just 20 years old. How old was Tiger Woods when he won his first pro tournament? Twenty. Something else jumped out from the article about her victory:
Solheim Cup teammates Morgan Pressel and Creamer showered Wie on the 18th green after the winning putt.

"Just seeing them come out and pour beer all over me, it was a great feeling," Wie said. "I've always seen it on TV and I've always wanted people to pour beer on me. It was as great as I thought it was."
Huh? I'm not a big follower of women's golf and didn't realize they had a tradition of pouring beer on each other. If she thinks wearing beer is great wait until she is old enough to taste it. Silly isn't it? This young lady has been a professional for several years but because of our weird laws she is not legally able to purchase a beer. Anyways, congrats Michelle.

The Cincinnati Bengals went to Pittsburgh and beat the Steelers rather handily. With that win, the Bengals may have basically sown up the division. You still have to play the games, but they're up two games in the division when you consider tie breakers and they actually have a very easy schedule going forward. Five of their last seven games are against teams with losing records. Four of them have two or less wins. Eleven or twelve wins is not out of the question.

Late in the Titans victory over the Bills, Titans owner Bud Adams was caught on film flipping the bird towards the Bills several times. Mr. Adams, you're 86 years old and acting like a teenager? Stupid and immature. If you're 86 years old and getting called immature then somethings wrong.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Josh Cribbs is a Class Act

Too often we hear a lot more about the personal failings of professional athletes than the good things they do in their communities. Here is a couple weeks old story of a player doing something nice.
The Pro Bowler traveled to Berea, OH to walk onto the field on senior night with the son of one of his former college coaches. Michael Drake, a senior receiver at Stow High School, lost his father, Mike, in 2005 to lymphoma. He had assumed he'd be accompanied by his mother and sister for senior night introductions and was stunned when he saw Cribbs arrive minutes before the game.

''I looked, then looked away, then said, 'Why are you here?''' Michael recalled. ''I was shocked.''

A receiver, cornerback and holder for extra points, Michael said Cribbs offered advice before his final game.

''He said, 'Play your heart out. This is it. Give it your all. Don't ever stop on any play. Keep pushing,''' Michael said. ''I almost felt worried. I didn't want to look bad for him.''

Michael's late father recruited Cribbs to play at Kent State and served as a father figure to the Washington, D.C. native during his time at Kent.
Why is the story a couple weeks old? Because the player didn't publicize it and feed the story to the media through his agent. Cribbs had the good sense to keep in mind that the night was about the high school player not him.
When Michael Drake crossed the field Oct. 30 during Stow High School's Senior Night, the announcer introduced the trio accompanying him as ''mother Patty, sister Abby and brother Josh.''

That the voice didn't boom, ''mother Patty, sister Abby and Browns Pro Bowler Josh Cribbs'' said much about Cribbs' intentions to keep the night about a teenager who might have been playing his last football game.

Labels: , , ,

Friday, November 13, 2009

President Bows Again

The President of the United States is not supposed to bow to foreign potentates. Earlier this year the supporters of our ill prepared naive president defended him when he bowed to the Saudi king and claimed he wasn't really bowing. Well, yesterday he bowed again this time to Japanese Emperor Akihito.

We need a president who understands that the United States does not bow to other countries. When the president bows it is as if our nation is bowing. There is a reason our Navy has a standing order that we do not dip our flag first when passing the ship of another nation. We will dip the flag in response, but never initiate to a foreign flagged ship and we don't even return the dip if from a nation we don't formally recognize.

These acts are just further evidence that Obama's lack of understanding of United States history and culture play a key role in his failures to properly represent our interests.

Labels: ,

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Another Factor in the High Cost of Health Care

There are dozens of reasons why health care costs have increased over the last few decades chief amongst these is that the end user in many cases is not footing the bill and thus more likely to seek treatment for minor ailment and less likely to question costs. However, another factor is demonstrated in this article:
'Three parent babies' take a step closer to reality. Researchers used eggs from young donors to repair damaged eggs of older women in order to increase their chances of fertilisation.

They have not yet used the eggs to produce babies, but they have injected them with sperm to produce an early stage embryo in the laboratory.
I feel sympathetic for couples who desire to have children but for some reason or another are medically incapable. However, their desire to have children is no justification for the vast amounts spent on finding new ways to have babies. We somehow were able to build the world population up to more than six billion people the old fashioned way. Do we really need to spend billions of dollars to create more people in a laboratory???

That doesn't even touch on the obvious ethical concerns inherent in scientists attempting to play God in their labs.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Hope for the Browns?

Except for one playoff appearance, the Cleveland Browns have been awful since returning to the NFL in 1999. This year has been particularly painful for Browns fans. The team is 1 and 7 and has been incredibly inept on offense. By point of reference, the Saints defense has scored a couple more touchdowns than the Browns offense. Maybe I'm a hopelessly optimistic fan, but I get some minor measure of hope from this interview of Coach Mangini. A lot of the interview could be dismissed as coach talk. However, one item jumped out from the interview. Over the last few years Browns fans have bemoaned the lack of discipline and excessive penalties.
Mangini: It's been frustrating, and what's frustrating is the amount of self-inflicted wounds. Now where we've been great is penalties. We're number one in the NFL in penalties, but we hired Dick McKenzie, who once was the head of officials. He not only does our challenges at the games, but he coaches our officials every day. So we have a coach for our officials who officiate practice, and they've been great.

We track every penalty every day, and we went from 32nd in the NFL last year to first this year. And that's a sign of discipline. That's a sign of growth.
Football success is predicated on discipline. Yes, you need talent, but talented teams without discipline lose. This team started 1 and 7 and I'll go out on a limb and predict a 5 and 11 final record.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Supreme Court Ignorance

Stupid comment of the day goes to three Supreme Court Justices who don't know the meaning of the words they use.
Supreme Court justices John Paul Stevens, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor objected to the court's haste in declining Muhammad's case Monday, saying it "highlights once again the perversity of executing inmates before their appeals process has been fully concluded."
Haste? Really, haste? Haste would be carrying out the execution before the trial concluded. This is a case of a mass murderer who was convicted of killing 10 people in 2002. If you can not finish the appeals process in seven years (heck, two weeks) then you're incompetent and should find another line of work. Further highlighting the stupidity of the justice's complaint is Justice Stevens' comment that "he did not disagree with the court's ultimate decision that Muhammad's petition did not warrant the court's consideration." Huh? The prevailing mindset of justices like these is reason the appeals process takes so long.

Only thing dumber than the comments of Stevens, Ginsburg and Sotomayor, is the statement of the killer's lawyer:
"In its effort to race John Allen Muhammad to his death before his appeals could be pursued, the state of Virginia will execute a severely mentally ill man who also suffered from Gulf War Syndrome the day before Veterans Day," he said.
This liar (or lawyer or whatever) is trying to push all the buttons, isn't he? My client is crazy. Wait a second, I meant he's got a disease. How about "he's a veteran let's honor his service before we execute him." Hey, guess what? Being a veteran is not a get out of jail free card. Benedict Arnold was a veteran. So was Lee Harvey Oswald. Heck, Ted Kennedy joined the Army for a couple years after getting kicked out of Harvard for cheating. Here is an idea. You could have argued that nonsense at his trial. I'm almost surprised the lawyer didn't argue that his client shouldn't be executed for these ten murders because he hasn't gotten his day in court for the other ten murders he and his accomplice are suspected of but were never charged with committing.

One last point: If there are more openings on the court you can count on President Obama naming replacements like Stevens, Ginsberg, Sotomayor instead of ones who would read and uphold the Constitution faithfully.

Labels: , , , , ,

Monday, November 9, 2009

Fort Hood Terror Attack

Most of the dust has settled in Texas and some aspects of the terror attack are becoming clear. Immediately following the attack various incorrect information was flying back and forth in the news casts. At one point the report was there were three attackers. At another point we were told the lone gun man was killed only to be told several hours later that his condition improved from dead to critical. Now that a few days have passed there are things we know for sure and things we suspect. Here is how I see it:
Things we know:
* Thirteen people are dead. Sadly, few will remember them and many will remember the terrorist. Click this link to learn a little about the victims.
* The alleged shooter, Nidal Malik Hasan, is an active duty Major in the United States Army and was a medical officer specializing in psychiatry.
* Hasan was due to deploy in the near future.
* Hasan is a Muslim.
* Our immature president mistakenly elected last November is still not ready to lead.

Things we suspect/believe:
* Hasan's understanding of his Muslim faith played a part in his decision to commit this act. Hasan yelled "allahu akbar" before starting to kill people in cold blood.
* Hasan, like the 11 September terrorists, tasted some of the decadence they supposedly denounce in our culture. In his defense, the strippers did say he was a good tipper.
* Hasan acted alone. Not 100% certain, but pretty sure he acted alone.
* Hasan was influenced by a radical imam and worshiped at the same Mosque as two of the 11 September terrorists.
* Hasan was an opinionated officer who openly expressed anti-American views that should have been red flags to his peers and superiors.
* The Army is ill prepared (scared even?) to deal with radical Muslims in the ranks.
* Army Chief of Staff, General Casey needs to retire. Actually, this should probably be in the first section as something we know to be a fact.
"I think the speculation could potentially heighten backlash against some of our Muslim soldiers. And what happened at Fort Hood was a tragedy, but I believe it would be an even greater tragedy if our diversity becomes a casualty here," Casey said.

Things we don't quite suspect, but are wondering:
* Hasan may have contacted al-Qaeda. Apparently, he attempted to contact al-Qaeda, but we don't know if he was successful. Based on what I know, my guess is this nut was not part of a sleeper cell or anything like that.
* Is our military's commitment to the idea of diversity leaving our troops vulnerable? Evidence is mounting that our troops need to watch some folks who should be trusted comrades. Between this case and other cases where Muslims in the ranks tossed grenades into tents, you have to wonder about divided loyalty.
* Is this evidence that our intelligence agencies are still not communicating to other agencies despite that being one of the key take improvements that was supposed to come out of the 9/11 commission?
* Are some more interesting in CYA than in a full investigation? Time will tell. Initial impressions are not great. This morning Bill Bennett of National Review Online makes a great point along this line. Some idiot Navy pilots went to Las Vegas for the annual Tailhook conference and misbehaved while drunk and after a complaint we investigated every inch of the conference. That investigation wasted a year and destroyed many a career. I would hope this investigation is taken as seriously as some complaints of sexism by a few drunken sailors.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Health Care "Reform" Bill Passes House

The House of Representatives passed their version of Health Care "Reform" on Saturday night.

What does that really mean? Well, until the Senate passes a similar bill and it is signed into law it means nothing. However, that House vote does mean we are much closer to seeing something miserable done.

What is that something? Well, no one really knows. It is such a vast overhaul that no one has been able read the whole thing. ,

How did it pass? I'm glad you asked. It was thought that Speaker Pelosi was going to fall short of enough votes since the bill was going to fund abortion on demand. Well, Rep. Stupak of Michigan came up with an amendment that gave the nominally pro-life Democrats (and one naive Republican) cover. The Stupak/Pitts amendment forbids any plan offering abortion coverage in the new system from accepting even one subsidized customer. That's good right? Well, it would be if it were anything but a head fake. People of Pelosi's ilk would not allow an anti-abortion amendment into the legislation unless they were certain it would not be in the final version. Supak/Pitts won't be in the Senate version of Health Care "Reform" and all differences in the bill will be handled in conference behind closed doors. Those "Pro-life" politicians who voted for this legislation will be partially responsible for a huge increase in number of children killed. How's that? Since 1973 we have had close to 50 million children killed with the mother paying for the service. Does anyone think the number won't be much higher once it is "free?" Think I'm wrong about Stupak/Pitts not being in the final bill? Here is a little video to watch:

What will health care "reform" cost? Difficult to come up with an exact figure, but basically take the estimate from the CBO and then multiply it by infinity. While that estimate may be a little high, it is closer to the truth than the estimates they are tossing around. Anytime you make something free it increases the cost exponentially. Research the initial estimates of Medicare

What is the real end goal of the push to rush through this legislation? Some say it is to cover those folks who do not currently have coverage. I believe it is actually a step towards designed anarchy. To understand why some desire anarchy you need to understand CLOWARD-PIVEN STRATEGY (CPS).

Can this garbage be stopped? I don't know. Only thing individuals can do is to contact their representatives and let them know a vote for this legislation equals a vote against them when they run for reelection.

Labels: , , , ,

Health Care Monstrosity and Fort Hood Shooting

No, I'm not tying the two stories together. Just acknowledging not having blogged on either subject over the weekend. Computer wiped out a couple attempts. The Fort Hood shooting happened Thursday evening and the initial reports (as often happens) were a mix of correct, incorrect and incomplete information. Unlike a daily newspaper (NYT), I'd rather be late to commenting on a story than rush to be wrong quickly. I remember my first few reactions to 9/11 as a caution to wait for more information. First thing I heard was a guy saying a plane hit the World Trade Center. I didn't think terrorism, but rather assumed a small plane malfunctioned (remembering Paine Stewart's accident a couple years earlier). Then I heard about the second plane and saw the burning buildings and came to the, thankfully incorrect, conclusion that the death toll could reach tens of thousands of people, maybe as many as fifty thousand. Obviously, I was wrong on both initial assumptions. Anyways, this post is just to say a post will be be written shortly on both the House vote to destroy our health care system and economy as well as the Fort Hood shooting.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Land of Opportunity

Next time someone says the deck is stacked against them or they just can't succeed in this country tell them about Commander Hung Ba Le, U.S. Navy.
On the day his side lost the Vietnam War, Hung Ba Le fled his homeland at the age of 5 in a fishing trawler crammed with 400 refugees. Thirty-four years later, he made an unlikely homecoming — as the commander of a U.S. Navy destroyer.

Le piloted the USS Lassen on Saturday into Danang, home of China Beach, where U.S. troops frequently headed for R&R during the war, which ended on April 30, 1975, when the southern city of Saigon was taken by communist troops from North Vietnam.
Read the rest. Also, Commander Le is not the only example of American success in his family.
Le has few memories of his three-day journey on the fishing trawler, which ended just as they were running out of food, water and fuel.

But he has vivid memories of the example set by his father, Thong Ba Le, who is now 69 and has never returned to Vietnam. After the family settled in northern Virginia, he took a job in a supermarket, where he worked his way up from bag boy to manager.

"I always wanted to be like my dad," Le said. "He persevered and overcame many challenges."
Any father who has a son who wants to be like him is definitely a success.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Damn Yankees!

A great decade has just been ruined by a Yankees World Series victory. Damn.

Chase Utley had a great series. Philadelphia's problem was other than Cliff Lee their starting pitching just couldn't get it done.

For your mental health don't watch ESPN for a couple days.

UPDATE: On reflection I have to congratulate C.C. Sabathia on winning a World Series ring. Wish he had done it in Cleveland, but happy for him either way.

Labels: , , , , ,

2009 Election Post-Mortum

It is very easy to draw the wrong conclusion from these odd year elections. Reality is each cycle is different and the set of circumstances on the ground in those states may not be the same next year let alone three years out in 2012. Virginia and New Jersey will each be replacing a Democrat governor with a Republican one. However, that is where the similarities end. In Virginia it was an open race whereas in New Jersey an incumbent, Jon Corzine was running for reelection. Corzine was hampered by various scandals and a growing resentment of New Jersey's high taxes and unemployment rate. In Virginia, Deeds was a poor candidate who didn't appeal to voters. We do not know how much the mood in the country regarding the stimulus spending and the attempts to overhaul our health care system played into these races. There is no denying it played a role to some degree.

Democrats, particularly those up for reelection next November, have to weigh that public sentiment as they cast votes going forward. Do they vote faithfully with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid only to find themselves out of office? Do they buck their party leaders and then find campaign funds drying up and end up out of office anyways?

Republicans have to learn how to properly respond to the anti-stimulus, anti-incumbent, dissatisfied with government mood. For decades Republicans have said things like "I'm for smaller government" or "I'm for lower taxes." That may make sense to those of us who can make the connection between tax burden and the overall economy. However, we are approaching the point where half the population pays no income taxes and thus don't understand the problem. Republican leaders and spokesmen need to find a way to convey to the populace at large how higher taxes hurts everyone whether they are personally paying those taxes or not. Currently, a large segment of the voting population believes tax cuts only benefit the rich. Many don't believe the ever increasing national debt is a threat to them. Overcoming those misconceptions is the biggest job of the Republicans going forward. Additionally, they need to admit that they were wrong to overspend when in power last decade and have learned not to act like Democrats.

The media tries to play up social issues. However, as strongly as some of us may feel about hot button social issues they will not drive large number of voters from one side to the other. A percentage of the population may correctly believe abortion to be evil. A different percentage may believe killing a child is no big deal as long as the mother makes the choice. However, to most voters those issues have no direct impact on their life. Massive national debt that will inevitably lead to inflation affects everyone. The great majority of us will never be affected by whether boys marry other boys or girls marry other girls, but we will all be impacted by our share of the national debt. Each individual's share is currently over 38 thousand dollars and that isn't per taxpayer - no, that is per person. Republicans should stick to their principles on the social issues, but must also ensure voters understand the difference between the parties on fiscal issues which is of more immediate concern to most voters.

On the local issues, as I thought, all the Ohio statewide issued passed and the candidates I supported lost. Oh, well can't win them all. As Norma explains, we are going to regret issue number three most of all. Unfortunately, local candidate Chris Lyons lost. There was just not enough difference position wise to drive voters to back her over the incumbent. This was not her time, but I hope she tries again in the future.

Today is the first day of the 2010 race. Should be interesting. The Obama administration can claim that last night was not a reflection on the unpopularity of the president's policies. Next year that claim won't hold water.

Labels: , , , , ,

Creative Way to Pay Campaign Debts

Unions in general and the UAW in particular have backed Democrats forever and heavily backed President Obama in the 2008 election. Part of that debt is now re-paid. Unfortunately, the debt was paid off with money confiscated from citizens.
Former auto czar Steve Rattner warned recently that much of the government’s $50 billion investment in General Motors and Chrysler is gone.

A government watchdog now agrees.
In all fairness, not many people actually believed the talk that it was a loan. General Motors should have been put through the normal bankruptcy process in the first place. Now, tens of billions of dollars have been thrown down that drainand they are still looking at bankruptcy.

Labels: , , ,

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Polling Place Report

I just returned from doing my civic duty of voting. Polling place was predictably uncrowded. There was a lady in the parking lot advising people to vote against the three state-wide issues and a couple teenagers were holding signs for one of the trustee candidates. I was in an out in less that five minutes. On my way out one of the sign holders asked "did you vote for my dad?" Sorry, kid you need to influence people before they vote not after.

Oddly enough, I have a sense that candidates I voted for will lose and the issues I voted against will pass. Oh well, no matter what happens the results can not possibly be as bad as last November.


Monday, November 2, 2009

Browns Solve All Their Problems

The Cleveland Browns in the midst of an awful season (current record 1-7) solved all their problems yesterday by firing General Manager George Kokinis. Who? Exactly.

I'm not defending Kokinis or claiming he did a great job. I will say he was not the main reason this team has only won one game and looked worse than pathetic on offense. The job of a general manager is to hire the coaching staff, oversee the scouting department, and assemble the on field talent. How much of that has Kokinis been able to influence? Well, the head coach Eric Mangini was hired two weeks before Kokinis. So, we can't blame Kokinis for Mangini. The April draft was graded as above average. In hindsight, any draft can be nit-picked by pointing out players who were by-passed who did better than the player selected. Many have said they should have taken Rey Maulaluga in the second round instead of a receiver. Maualuga ended up going to divisional rival Cincinnati Bengals and is having a good rookie season. However, people forget why Maualuga fell to the second round - he was considered a character risk (never an issue for the Bengals) due to a couple of altercations in college and in pre-draft work he didn't impress scouts add that to a past knee injury and he was too big a risk for a first round investment.

Whatever Kokinis did or didn't do, his share of the blame pales in comparison to Mangini's. I'm not say Mangini should be fired just that it would have made a lot more sense than canning Kokinis. This move just makes ownership look foolish and reactionary. The only thing that could make this move seem reasonable is if Kokinis committed a firing offense that they are not disclosing or they already had a top level replacement lined up. There were no rumors of misbehavior on the part of Kokinis, which leaves the question who is the "great" GM they have line up as replacement? If they didn't have a replacement lined up then there was absolutely no reason to make this move now.

Bottom line: I currently have zero confidence in team owner Randy Lerner and his management team to run this team or even choose the right replacement for Kokinis

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, November 1, 2009

California Should Just Do Away With The Death Penalty

To me the death penalty is not about vengeance. It is a tool that some societies use to maintain order and protect the public. However, for the death penalty to do any good as a deterrent it needs to be carried out in a reasonable time frame. Throughout the United States the deterrent effect has been minimized by an overly abused appeals process that stretches out over decades and makes a mockery of the legal system. In California which falls under the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals the worst abuses have occurred. Here is a story of a murderer who has been on death row in California since 1982! His case is being appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court for the THIRD TIME! Some statistics from the article:
California has by far the largest death row in the nation, with 685 inmates. Yet only 13 condemned prisoners have been executed since capital punishment was restored in 1977, far fewer than the 38 death row inmates who have died of natural causes.

By contrast, Texas has carried out 441 executions during the same period, and has 358 inmates on death row. Virginia has executed 103 people during that time and has only 18 inmates serving death sentences. Among them is John Allen Muhammad, who is scheduled to die Nov. 10 for one of the deadly sniper attacks that terrorized the Washington area in the fall of 2002.
So, if as I said in the first paragraph, the death penalty is a tool for society then what we have in California is a state that keeps buying a tool it doesn't know how to use. What do I mean by saying they keep buying that tool (death penalty)? Well, each time the punishment is awarded the automatic appeals process costs millions of dollars.
Last year, the California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice called the state's death penalty system "broken" and "dysfunctional," and estimated it costs the state $137 million a year.
So as currently set up, the death penalty in California is just a busy work program to keep lawyers employed on the government dime (and it's a lot of dimes at that). 137 million dollars may not solve California's budget problems, but giving that money to defense lawyers to argue frivolous appeals isn't helping the bottom line either.

Labels: ,

Someone Needs to Ask Gingrich, Boehner Among Others About This News

Newt Gingrich and other Republicans who supported Scozzafava need to explain how the person they characterized as a loyal Republican did this:
It was obvious to many of us that if elected Scozzafava would have voted with Pelosi more often that not and likely would have pulled a Specter and switched to Democrat. This race is exhibit one for why you should never give to the RNC, NRSC or the NRCC. Pick and contribute candidates who will most closely match your political views individually.

Labels: , , , , ,


View My Stats