Keane observations about life, politics and sports.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Funniest Thing on the Internet Today

I know there is a lot of funny stuff on the internet, but this tops all. Click the link to watch a video Alo Konson of BrainShavings posted of a corrupt but funny two-bit Cuyahoga County politician explaining that it is all a Karl Rove led Republican conspiracy to have the Feds go after corrupt Democrats throughout the Great Lakes region. What a moroon!

Hey, Jimmy. Guess what, I know quite a few folks in law enforcement, and believe it or not some of them are actually Democrats. If any administration attempted to push prosecutions specifically aimed at the opposition party the newspapers would quickly find out. The most an administration could do is change priorities which happens all the time. The emphasis shifts from white collar crime to the "drug war" to kiddie porn to fighting terrorism and so on. In a case like local corruption the most likely catalyst for the investigation is a complaint from a concerned citizen or a political opponent (which in Cuyahoga County means a fellow Democrat). Jimmy Dimora may think he is a major player, but I highly doubt Karl Rove ever heard of him.

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Monday, June 29, 2009

What is Cap and Trade?

There has been a lot of internet chatter over this weekend about Cap and Trade. Friday night the House of Representatives voted 219-212 in favor of Cap and Trade legislation. What is Cap and Trade? What did they vote to do? Why was there such a rush to pass this legislation that they could not even wait for it to be read and understood before voting? What's next?

Well, starting with the legislation, the only accurate description of the bill I've found comes from our congressman, Rep. John Boehner (R-OH-18): "Hey, people deserve to know what's in this pile of s--t." Okay, Boehner assessment may be accurate, but I'll admit it is not a very informative description.

So, what is Cap and Trade supposed to be? The general idea is some naive people have bought into the ridiculous idea of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) and think we need to take drastic action to save the planet. With that in mind, proponents of the theory of AGW want to Cap greenhouse emissions and then there will be trading of allowances to exceed the Cap. In other words, companies that generate emissions (that is any company that creates stuff) will be charged a fee. Call the fee whatever you want, but bottom line is it is a massive tax on productivity. The obvious impact will be felt by consumers of the power companies. Basically, since the cost of these fees will be passed on to consumers, this is a massive tax on every American. Amazingly, there are people who actually believed the snake oil salesman from Chicago when he said no one making less than $250,000 will see a tax increase. Fools!

The question concerning the rush to pass this legislation is the easiest to answer. Whenever Congress says they need to rush something through without debate and without even reading the legislation then you know congressional "leadership" realize the proposed legislation would not survive full examination. Consider the pork laden "stimulus" bill from a few months ago.

What's next? The bill goes to the senate for consideration and if it passes the senate then to the president for signature or veto. There is no doubt that the current president is a an adherent of the religion of global warming so he will sign the bill if it makes it to his desk. So, if we are concerned about our countries future we need to attempt to influence enough senators to vote against Cap and Trade. Also, since even if this bill dies in the senate we will see more attempts to push this in the future we should continue to pressure members of the House of Representatives. I know my congressman (Boehner) isn't an idiot. How about your congressman? Give your congressman a call. Their staffs keep track of public sentiment on contentious issues and fear of losing votes can influence their position.

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Breaking News: Bernie Madoff Sentenced to 150 Years in Prison

Financial investing scam artist (thief) Bernie Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison for his massive Ponzi scheme. His crime was running the second largest Ponzi scheme ever run (only trailing Social Security). Wall Street cheered the sentence and the stock market is up slightly today, but this conviction and sentence really has no bearing on the future of the economy. Companies that increase their profits will grow in value those that don't won't. However, having said that, this sentence will help to restore some faith in the markets. People will, wrongly or not, see this sentence as a strong deterrent against future fraudsters. Confidence in the integrity of the financial markets is paramount to keeping people willing to participate.


Breaking News: Supreme Court Overrules Sotomayor in Ricci Case

This should make Judge Sotomayor's confirmation hearings more interesting:
The Supreme Court ruled Monday that white firefighters in New Haven, Conn., were unfairly denied promotions because of their race, reversing a decision that high court nominee Sonia Sotomayor endorsed as an appeals court judge.
By itself, this is not necessarily disqualifying. I'm fairly certain that most Supreme Court nominees have had prior cases overturned. However, what makes this more problematic for Judge Sotomayor is her incorrect ruling in this case plays into the growing image of her as a judge who allows identity politics to sway her rulings rather than solely considering the legal precedents and merits of the case at hand. Baring a major smoking gun, I doubt her nomination is in any real trouble. This just gives senators on the judiciary committee something to stir up.

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Farrah Fawcett - RIP

Farrah Fawcett pin-up star of the 1970's TV show Charlie's Angels has died at 62. Rest in peace.


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

South Carolina Governor Out of Running for 2012 Nomination

Mark Sanford the governor of South Carolina was frequently mentioned as a potential 2012 Republican candidate for president. Well, it was reported yesterday that he was missing or out of touch with his office. The first story was with the legislature out of session he was secluded writing. Then we were told he was hiking. Either of those explanations were fine. Most of us could understand a politician getting burned out and needed to get away for a few days to recharge his batteries. However, it turns out the first few explanations were lies to cover up an affair. He just held a news conference to admit he has been in Argentina spending time with a woman with whom he's having an affair.

There is more to how this story came out. State Sen. Jake Knotts (R-West Columbia), a political rival, pushed the question of Sanford's whereabouts the last couple days. Knotts would not have raised the issue if he didn't have reason to believe there was more to the story than a simple hiking trip. Someone benefits from Sanford's fall. Whether it is someone aspiring to be the next governor or someone clearing the field for 2012 Republican nomination is unknown.

Personally, Sanford was dishonest and unfaithful to his wife and family in having an affair. Politically, Sanford was an idiot to believe he could have an affair and keep it quiet. He isn't exactly an unknown traveling salesman. Add it all up and you have a picture of someone who is dishonest, unfaithful and stupid - not exactly traits I look for in a candidate.

As a Republican, I'm just glad this came out now instead of in the summer of 2012.

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Do We Need County Government

Bob of Bob's Brainstorms has an interesting post today suggesting we replace the current model of county government with regional administrative positions appointed by the state government. The amount of corruption found in county government (particularly in Cuyahoga County lately) is obviously the impetus for his suggestion. However, Bob also addresses the redundancy of functions between the different levels of government which may be a better reason to effect permanent change.

Before we address his suggestion, we need to figure out what county government does that isn't/can't be done at a higher or lower level. Ask most people about county government and all we think of is the county sheriffs and the auditors who put stickers on gas pumps. The weights and measures certification programs that fall under the county auditors would seem like a function that could easily be shifted to a regional administrative oversight. Okay, then what about the sheriffs? What laws are enforced by county sheriffs instead of by city police or state troopers? What else does county government do and how much of it is specific to that particular county? My guess is very little only applies to one county.

It sounds like an interesting idea that should be fully considered. However, all change is difficult. To enact change one must understand who will be opposed to the change and why. In this case it is obvious that there would be redundant positions in the 88 counties that would be merged or eliminated. Those are called jobs. Also, politicians of all stripes derive power through the current system. Power is never relinquished willingly. Is the ongoing corruption in Cuyahoga County enough of a catalyst to overcome the opposition? I don't think so. This may be an idea to advance in the "eating an elephant" manner. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. In that mindset, the way to advance this idea is to identify the functions that would most obviously benefit from a regional structure and work through the legislative process to remove those tasks from the county.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Corrupt, Racist Politician Caught With Hands in Cookie Jar

A little news from the couldn't happen to a nicer person department we get news that Detroit Councilwoman Monica Conyers (wife of disgusting Congressman John Conyers) has finally been caught and is facing charges in a bribery case.
Prosecutors who offered Conyers a chance to plead guilty to a five-year bribery-related felony charge in return for expected leniency wanted an answer by the end of Tuesday, persons familiar with the investigation said, though it was not clear that represented a firm deadline.

Conyers, who had not answered by the end of the business day, does not want to go to jail and is resisting pleading to an offense more serious than a misdemeanor, sources said.

If you're are unfamiliar with the various stunts this character has pulled over the years, visit theblogprof. BlogProf posted links and videos of Councilwoman Conyers' various acts of misbehavior from over the years. How do people like her (and her husband) keep getting reelected?

While the article makes it sound like the Feds have this crook nailed, I'll believe it when she pleads guilty. She has shown in the past that she is slippery enough to get out of some tight jams. So, for the moment I'll resist saying good riddance to bad rubbish.

For laughs and to see what a clown this woman is, watch this video.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Justice Denied

Not to be overly vindictive, but this is a ridiculously lenient sentence:
Cleveland Browns wide receiver Donte' Stallworth today received a 30-day jail sentence after pleading guilty to DUI manslaughter in a Miami courtroom.

Stallworth was charged in the death of Mario Reyes, a pedestrian who was struck and killed by Stallworth's Bentley on March 14 in Miami Beach.
I don't care what the mitigating circumstances were, if you kill someone while driving drunk you should spend more than 30 days in prison. There is no doubt in my mind that this is another case of justice be perverted by the money in the defendant's deep pockets.


Monday, June 15, 2009

How Class Responds to Classless

Here is how class responds to classless:
Dick Cheney released a statement responded to CIA Director Leon Panetta's suggestion that the former vice president's criticism of Obama administration policies means Cheney is wishing for another attack.

"I hope my old friend Leon was misquoted. The important thing is whether the Obama administration will continue the policies that have kept us safe for the last eight years."


Thursday, June 11, 2009

RIP - Woodie Held

Former Indians shortstop Woodie Held passed away today at 77 years of age after a battle with brain cancer. Sadly, his wife is fighting the same disease. While Held played before my time, I felt like I knew him as stories of his playful antics were regular fodder for filling the radio air time during rain delays of Indians broadcasts.

Rest in Peace, Woodie.


Hey, We Have a Pandemic

Today the World Health Organization declared a Level Six Pandemic due to the spread of the H1N1 (or swine) Flu. I'm not sure what triggered this decision as it has been over a month since the initial outbreak and it seemed as though the spread of the disease had slowed. This is the first declared pandemic since 1968.

Eh, whatever. Go wash your hands!

Palin Responds to Letterman's Invite

I was out of town for a couple days and didn't blog about the despicable "joke" CBS' David Letterman told a few days ago alleging that Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez knocked up Sarah Palin's 14 year old daughter, Willow, during the 7th inning stretch of a game Palin and her daughter attended as guests of Rudy Giuliani. Other blogs had adequately smacked down Letterman. However, yesterday as part of a lame non-apology statement, which basically said I wasn't talking about that daughter being raped I meant the older daughter Bristol, Letterman included an invitation for Governor Palin to appear on his show. Today, Palin appropriately told him what he could do with that invitation:
"The Palins have no intention of providing a ratings boost for David Letterman by appearing on his show.
Cut through the BS and you'll find that the ratings are the main issue here. Letterman trailed Leno for years and with Conan O'Brien taking over the Tonight Show, Letterman obviously thought being edgier would lead to better TV ratings. Both Leno and Letterman let their liberal leanings affect their comedy. However, difference was Leno was light hearted about it and Letterman has gotten more and more mean spirited. Most Americans prefer the friendly comedian to the ugly one. Palin would be well served to go on the Tonight Show and give O'Brien the ratings boost that Letterman was hoping for with this ugly stunt.

It is interesting how little (if any) outcry there is from the various feminist organizations regarding this "joke."

Separately, let me make it clear that I understand that when someone becomes a public figure they become fair game to a certain extant. I don't know exactly where the line is drawn, but joking about someone's daughter getting knocked up should be clearly beyond the line of acceptable comedy. In a just world Letterman would at least be nursing a broken nose provided by an angry father.

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Friday, June 5, 2009

Dick Jacobs - RIP

This morning's paper announced that the former owner of the Cleveland Indians Dick Jacobs has died. He was 84 years old.

Jacobs was primarily a real estate investor, but he is best remembered for buying the very troubled Indians baseball franchise and leading a major turnaround in the teams fortunes both on the field and off. The team he bought in 1986 was a perennial second division resident and always financially strapped. Jacobs changed things by hiring a sound baseball management team headed by Hank Peters. Within a decade he had a beautiful new ballpark which regularly sold out and a team that regularly won their division and twice reached the World Series.

Rest in Peace Mr. Jacobs and thanks for all you did for the city of Cleveland.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Rep. McHugh Nominated as Secretary of the Army

In the fifth month of his administration, President Obama got around to nominating an Army Secretary. The nominee is Rep. John McHugh a Republican congressman from upstate New York. Before people jump to the conclusion that this move is partly motivated to open up a congressional seat I'll declare that had nothing to do with it. McHugh's district is a fairly conservative part of New York which should stay in Republican hands. More likely, Obama got tired of looking for a Democrat without tax cheating issues.

I don't know much about McHugh other than that he has served on the House Armed Services Committee for years. I wish him well in this important post. This president needs sound, sober advice and I hope McHugh is able to do so on defense related matters.

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Monday, June 1, 2009

This is What Ought to "Shock and Outrage" President Obama

Earlier I posted about President Obama expressing shock and outrage over the brutal murder of a despicable abortionist and wondered why killing bothered Obama more than all the other murders that happen around our country. This afternoon, we have a killing that actually is shocking and outrageous.
A gunman opened fire Monday at an army recruitment center in Little Rock, Ark., killing one army recruiter and seriously wounding another, reported.
I'll be waiting to hear if President Obama will express any concern about the shooting of two people who were honorably serving in our military.

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Obama 'Shocked and Outraged'

There have been hundreds of murders in this country since President Obama was inaugurated. Heck, in Obama's adopted hometown of Chicago there were seven murders this weekend alone. However, all of a sudden Obama thought it necessary to express his outrage about one recent murder.
Mr Obama said in a statement: "I am shocked and outraged by the murder of Dr George Tiller. . .
Tiller should not have been murdered. However, his murder is no more shocking or outrageous than any of the other murders that occur daily. Honorable hard working people are killed during robberies and no expression of shock or outrage is issued by the White House. Yet, a reprehensible character like Tiller is murdered and a statement is issued right away. Says a lot about his priorities.

Tiller's murderer should be fully prosecuted and spend the rest of his days behind bars, but don't expect me to shed any tears over Tiller himself. He lived a long life and had ample opportunity to repent. My biggest concern going forward is how the Obama administration will use this crime to advance their political agenda. Keep in mind, every high profile shooting is used to attack the Second Amendment. Additionally, a favorite tactic of the left is the marginalize their opponents through ridicule. So, you can expect this to be used to paint Pro-Lifers as crazy fanatics. Problem with that argument is Tiller was not killed by a Pro-Lifer.

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