Friday, November 30, 2007

An Idiot Grows at Harold Washington College

Harold Washington College (HWC) is a commuter college located in downtown Chicago and they apparently have a professor named Paul Buchheit who wrote an incredibly inane letter to the editor that appeared in this morning's Chicago Tribune. In the letter the professor wrote glowingly of Venezuelan nearly-dictator-for-life Hugo Chavez. Mr. Buccheit is a computer information teacher over at HWC and the man seems a wee bit lost outside of Fortran, Basic and Cobal.

The professor clearly has no clue concerning economics or the societies that reside outside of campus computer centers. The letter sounds many of the same paranoid and delusional rantings that we have heard from the slavers of communism for decades. The response to this kind of nonsense is simple, where in the world have the ideas of Karl Marx helped poor people achieve anything beyond poverty? That is your weekend assignment professor, have at it.

Hugo Chavez is harming the oil sector that he has stolen by getting rid of people who actually know how to operate oil companies and the systems within those companies. Mr. Chavez is also looting the "nation's" oil revenues, which of course further helps to impoverish the poor of Venezuela. The professor also seems to appreciate the Cuban dictatorship of Fidel Castro, the man whom Chavez is emulating. Another weekend project for the professor: if Cuba is such a wonderful success why is the newest car on the island a 1958 Chevy?

The American embargo is not an answer due to the rather obvious reason that they could buy automobiles from other parts of the world. The Cubans could buy: Audis, BMWs, Mercedes', Porsches, Maybachs, Skodas, Volkswagens, Land Rovers, Range Rovers, Aston Martins, Fiats, Ladas, Ferraris, Rolls Royces, Bentleys, Toyotas, Lexus', Hondas, Mitsubishis, Nissans, Masserattis, Bugattis... They could buy new cars and they could buy used cars. No, an island nation of car guys who can keep fifty-year-old Buicks on the road simply cannot even afford a used Yugo, the simple reason for that is socialism. Socialism does not create wealth because it gives no incentive to anybody in society to succeed except the thugs who run the place. The ideas of Marx have given free rein to the sadists who are regime thugs throughout the communist world.

Ironically the places where the ideas of Marx have taken hold outside of the thug world of sadistic communist nations is the strange world of academics. These poor saps believe that they should be in charge of others despite the fact that for many of these people the biggest move that they have made is to off campus housing. The professor's delusions are especially distressing due to the fact that the student population at HWC is no doubt taking out loans to secure themselves a better future. I also attended college using student loans and know how difficult it can be to repay those loans while attempting to start a career. I also payed for college by programming computer systems, mostly accounting and inventory systems. To those students I have one thing to say, watch out for any professor who is friendly towards the ideas of Marx; sure you can brown-nose those fools in class and on tests but the minute you walk out those doors toss those idiot's ideas in the trash where they belong.

In 1865 America concluded a hot war (the cold war went on for years and in some areas is still going on) that cemented the idea that individuals cannot own other individuals. People like Castro, Chavez and Buchheit believe that they can collectively own individuals. They are disgraces.

So here is the challenge Professor Buchheit, where in the world have the ideas of Marx helped people? As a warning, I've been doing this little exercise for decades.

Update: the title of this post was inspired by the Betty Smith novel A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. The book was later made into a musical after Hollywood made a movie out if it that was directed by Elia Kazan. The late Mr. Kazan was a living, breathing Boogie Man to generations of American communists and their fellow travelers.

Update2: I have amended two sentences that a reader found offensive. The amended sentences were accurate but needless.

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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Ellen Outraged over Republican Loo-Tube Debate!

Okay, Ellen of Ellen's Tenth... has nothing to say about the Democratic Party's planted questions that appeared during the Clinton News Network (CNN) Loo-Tube Debate last night. Actually she has some inane piece about a Senior Citizen with heart problems (Ageism, Healthism), a Woman of Color (Sexism, Racism) and an Asian man (Regionalism). A sense of humor would help over there but not even the washed-up Aaron Freeman could help that crew, despite some sort of crash course in improv that he gave the local Dems last month. The intersection of humor and intellect is several miles away from Ellen and her acolytes. Here is one of Mr. Freeman's alleged pieces of humor "(a)sked what his best Bush joke is, Aaron answered, 'Bush in '08. It's the scariest too,' he quipped." Freeman was once funny, twenty years ago with the help of others. That, ahem, joke is pathetic.

More to the point, the Democratic supporters of Sen Barak Obama (D-Rezko) were recently outraged by the fact that his opponent Sen. Clinton (D-China) had planted questions during their last debate. Well, well, Michelle Malkin has a great rundown of the wide variety of Democratic presidential candidate supporters who made the show with their own planted questions. Yes, there was a Obama supporter who was a plant.

Many of my Democratic friends scoff at the idea of media-bias (to howls of laughter from those of us who stay informed!), my serious reply is that if many members of the media are not biased they are simply dumb. That is, of course a direct and often unnoticed insult to the Democrat speaker. There really is no way around it, either the people who work at CNN are complete imbeciles or they are extremely biased towards the Democratic Party. As an aside I have been on CNN and the camera man was sharper than the CNN on-air personality who interviewed me. Although possibly the most dense media person who I have ever spoken to was a producer on a CNBC afternoon finance show. The host Erin Burnett is pretty hot and she struck me as sharp, her producer however was one of the dumber people who I had professional contact with last year.

Biased or Stupid, you decide!

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Why Can't Kucinich Be This Good?

Wizbang has the bottom Mike Gravel You-Tube video (Power to the People vs. Give Peace a Chance) on their site today and it reminded me of the strange video on on the top of this post (Rock) that came out last spring. Sure Dennis Kucinich was nearly abducted by aliens but he didn't nearly do it on television, he just talked about it on television. The former Alaskan Governor Gravel made presidential debate history by bragging that he had once stiffed some banks for over $85,000 of credit card debt. During the 2004 primaries Dennis stuck it out like a trooper, actually it was more like Opie to Kerry's Andy (my apologies to Ron Howard and Andy Griffith) but Kucinich will really have to step up his game to be the goofiest and most memorable candidate this time around. Ron Paul isn't even in the running for that prize.

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Monday, November 26, 2007

"73rd Virgin" Captured in Baghdad!

Said by some to be an earthly apparition of the often rumored "73rd Virgin" this, ahem, "virgin" was arrested in Baghdad today.

Well, well, it seems that that some sort of "wedding party" in Baghdad was really a terrorist convoy and the, ahem, "bride" was a wanted terrorist, who frankly bears a striking resemblance to these "virgins" who Flying Debris speculated met Mr. Zarqawi when he left this earth.

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Sunday, November 25, 2007

Sunday Porsche Blogging: Some Summer GT3 Photos

Copyright: Flying Debris
This fantastic new 997 based Porsche GT3 was at the
Autobahn Country Club during the Bobby Rahal Historic Races last August. The car is parked on the club go-cart track.

Copyright: Flying Debris
The same 997 based GT3 seen from the rear.

Copyright: Flying Debris
This is a 996 based Porsche GT3 seen up at Road America during the American Le Mans Series races last summer.

Copyright: Flying Debris
This is the front of the same fantastic 996 based Porsche GT3 seen here parked in the Porsche Club area at Road America last summer.

Just a few GT3 photos from my iPhone that happen to be on my Mac.

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New 10th District Democratic Candidate?

Copyright: Flying Debris
I recently saw this sticker on a post box near De Paul.

Here in Chicago we are used to the dead voting, up in the north suburban 10th Congressional District the Chairman of the local Democrats has turned in a nominating petition containing the "signatures" of dead "voters", and in last year's Democratic Primary the voters here in Cook County elected a County Board President who had suffered a stroke weeks before the ballot and has not been seen since; his incompetent son Todd Stroger was appointed to the ballot position and is now the County Board President.

No, as far as I know Elect the Dead is not the latest Democratic vote scheme nor does Elect the Dead have anything to do with the seminal jam band the Grateful Dead, known to their fans simply as the Dead. Rather Elect the Dead is the latest album from the former frontman for the alt metal band System of a Down, Serj Tankian.

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Saturday, November 24, 2007

Iran Dips their Toes into the Iowa Caucus

The world constantly changes and while the management here at Flying Debris constantly struggles to keep up with those changes (Paris and her friends aside) sometimes those changes stick out so much that there is a sore thumb somewhere here in Chicago. Usually that is when one of my sharper buddies will call me up (say, on the morning after Thanksgiving) to ask a level headed "what the ...?"

Yesterday morning one of my buddies asked about the following (relatively dull) part of a USDA weekly grain sales and shipment report from the week of Nov. 9-15 that was released Friday: (the following paragraph contains some of grain trading's minutiae and the necessary part is noted below, but if you must read the paragraph, remember, you've been warned! By "Increases" the report means increases in net yearly sales, thus the amount contracted for sale that week and MT stands for Metric Tons.)

Corn: Net sales of 1,845,500 MT were 35 percent above the previous week and 46 percent over the prior 4-week average. Increases reported for Egypt (416,100 MT), Japan (332,400 MT), South Korea (252,300 MT, including 58,000 MT switched from unknown destinations), Taiwan (112,800 MT), Cuba (100,000 MT), Colombia (78,700 MT), unknown destinations (75,400 MT), and Iran (74,300 MT, including 71,000 MT switched from unknown destinations), were partially offset by decreases for Lebanon (24,000 MT). Exports of 1,376,600 MT were 9 percent below the previous week and 1 percent under the prior 4-week average. The primary destinations were Japan (268,400 MT), South Korea (262,000 MT), Mexico (130,300 MT), Colombia (90,800 MT), Taiwan (81,900 MT), Iran (74,300 MT), and Egypt (56,100 MT).

My friend's question was not a grain market question, his was a political question that involved the corn export sales report of "Iran (74,300 MT, including 71,000 MT switched from unknown destinations)" and the export shipments report of "Iran (74,300 MT) ". As you can see from this USDA marketing year report (ended Aug 31) for corn, Iran, which would be in the "Other Asia and Oceania" section, does not show up as a buyer of any American corn during the 2006/2007 marketing year, or in any sales carried over (contracted for in a previous year but not shipped until the noted marketing year) from before Aug. 31, 2006. Folks who deal with these issues are pretty jaded and we have long understood that America is shipping grain to countries like Iran, however Iran does not show up on our books either because the sales were listed as destination "unknown" or the grain was sold through a surrogate nation. In the case of Iran that surrogate nation was most often Egypt. Notice that the 2006/2007 marketing year report includes nearly 180,000 metric tons of corn that was sold to destinations "unknown."

Spurred on by my friend's inquiry I crossed the trading floor to ask a few of the guys who trade corn for exporters about the Iranian business and the general consensus was an extremely noncommittal, "well I guess that that the Iranians want to make a statement of some sort." That strikes me as a likely scenario. So something changed last week but as of today it doesn't seem perfectly clear what changed beyond the fact that Iran wants to be publicly known as a buyer of American agriculture products. Iran stated that they had bought food from the "Great Satan".

One reason that Iran decided to show up on the USDA corn export books could possibly involve some heretofore unknown negotiations in which the Iranians are making positive gestures towards the United States. Or it could involve the Iranians making positive gestures before the administration's upcoming Annapolis conference. However, I have a strong suspicion that the Iranian move towards more open agricultural transactions may be rooted in a move towards mimicking some of the Hugo Chavez political tactics that Venezuela uses in America.

Venezuela was a founding member of OPEC and thus far in fiscal 2007 they have sold an average of 1.1 million barrels of crude oil and about 250,000 barrels of refined petroleum per day to the 50 United States (likely limited to the lower 48). During the past few years Venezuelan nearly-dictator-for-life Hugo Chavez has been using Venezuelan oil as a political weapon against the Bush Administration here in the United States. Chavez once famously offered deeply discounted heating oil to homeowners in Philadelphia and even offered to sell subsidized oil to the Chicago Transit Authority, see this excellent Dennis Byrne column from last year. Just last week Mr. Chavez threatened to double the price of oil if the United States dares to take on the Iranian nuclear program.

Chavez has oil as a tool to make trouble in US political circles, and although Iran does export crude oil they are less able to afford to give it away and they do not have the refining capacity to even market petroleum products. However, Iran does import corn and although there is more than corn in Iowa, corn is the most important economic driver in the state. Any decent discussion of the politics of ethanol will hit on the fact that Iowa has both the first Presidential Caucus and more corn than they once knew what to do with. It seems likely that Iran is trying to soften their image by making a very simple switch in how their U.S. corn imports are purchased and accounted for. This switch was made less than forty days before the nation's first Presidential Caucus, in Iowa. I doubt that the timing is a coincidence.

Watch for Democratic rhetoric concerning the Bush Administration's "saber rattling and belligerence" toward Iran to increase in the coming weeks and if Iran starts to show up weekly on the export sales reports I would expect that fact to become more publicly known. Ironically this will matter more to urban Iowans than to farmers because the farmers know that they are already selling corn to Iran.

Hat Tip: Matt

Disclaimer: This post in no way advocates that any trading positions be taken in the corn markets. The writer currently holds no long or short position in the corn cash, futures or option markets.

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Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thank you Norman Rockwell for the wonderful if somewhat unrealistic image.

Drop It! Or I swear I'll Blow This Goat's Head All Over This Town!

This funny AP story from Wisconsin reminds me of the scene in Blazing Saddles in which Bart (Cleavon Little) finds himself in a jam as the only black man in an old western saloon, he drew his gun, held it to his head and while playing two characters in different vocal registers he announced "Hold it! Next man makes a move, the nigger gets it!" Only this time it wasn't a talented African-American actor playing a role in a Mel Brooks movie but rather a drunken 48 year old (undoubtedly white) Wisconsin guy who had likely been out hunting and drinking on the opening morning of deer season.

Yep, that's right, Peter W. Mischler (if he had killed a human we would know what the "W" stands for) of Waupaca came home from hunting Saturday and told his wife to bring home some beer. Ms. Mischler, having seen that movie before, refused. Well old Peter was not going to take that affront laying down, he told his wife that if she didn't bring home a six-pack that he would shoot one of the goats residing in their front yard. She came home empty handed and he went out and shot a goat.

Well, Mr. Mischler is out on $1000 bail and he likely sobered up in time to "think about his actions" at church Sunday morning. Additionally Ms. Mischler may be walking a fine legal line; in Wisconsin spousal refusal to "bring home beer" may be grounds for divorce.

Hat Tip: Wizbang

Update: Hmm, I wonder if the producers at My Name is Earl have seen this story?

Alice's Restaurant to Play at 11:00 AM

That's right, Chicago radio station WXRT will play the Arlo Guthrie classic "Alice's Restaurant Massacree", better known as "Alice's Restaurant" at 11:00 this morning. This will be the thirtieth year in a row that XRT has played the 18 minute twenty second long Thanksgiving Day/Hippy classic from 1967. The song recounts a true story from 1965 about a real restaurant and real people.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

It's the '90s in Chicago Again This Week

Two great Chicago bands from the '90s are back and playing in town this week. The fantastic Poi Dog Pondering never really left (I do recall them "breaking up" but the leader Frank Orrall was back in business with a new lineup within a few months) but the Freddy Jones Band was definitely gone, as their Wikipedia entry states. Both are fun bands with Poi Dog being the musical outlet for Orrall's world beat sensibilities and Freddy Jones fitting in somewhere on the poppish end of the jam band side of the rock world.

Both bands will be back in what for those bands are prototypical venues. Poi Dog will perform with Abra Moore at the Metro (Clark St. just north of Wrigley Field) Wednesday and Friday nights. Freddy Jones will play Martyrs' (Lincoln Ave. due west of Wrigley Field) Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights. The Freddy Jones shows are sold out but this is Chicago; meaning if you want to go and you can throw the dough, you are in. The Metro is a fantastic little theater (capacity of about 1000 including a few hundred seats upstairs) that Poi Dog played quite often including notable New Year's Eve shows from the late '80s through the mid '90s. Martyrs' is a small bar venue with good sight lines that probably holds less than 200 people. Freddy Jones surely played Martyrs' back in the day but I remember seeing them upstairs at the now defunct Wrigleyside on Clark St. just south of Wrigley. One of the numerous attractions of the Wrigleyside was that Cindy Crawford occasionally hung out there when she visited friends in the neighborhood, she also claimed it as a college bar from her days at Northwestern, seven miles north. The guys from Freddy Jones lived in Wrigleyville at the time and are all pretty good guys as is Frank Orvall. For what it's worth Poi Dog, Freddy Jones and Abra Moore are all on my iPod.

I do not know if Poi Dog still performing with the House-O-Matic dance group shown in this video:

Here is some recent video of Daydream by Freddy Jones:

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Monday, November 19, 2007

Dems Diss Ellen's Pet Bill!

Last Wednesday, Ellen over at Ellen's Tenth... blamed the continuation of the Democratic 1969 jealousy inspired tax law known as the Alternative Minimum Tax, the AMT (see a great run down on the tax here) on Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL) who was in the fifth grade when this nonsense was implemented. Ellen has not informed her readers and it is unlikely that she will inform her readers that some Democrats played hard-ball politics in the House with the AMT bill. That bill's failure is a failure that Ellen blamed on Mark Kirk. Well the Wall Street Journal has this interesting story concerning the ability to sue the Salvation Army. You read that right, the ability to sue the Salvation Army. Steny Hoyer had this to say during the House floor dust-up, "How dare you destroy this party? This will be the worst loss in 10 years."

See Flying Debris' take on the opinions on this issue over at Ellen's Tenth here, here and here.

Hat Tip (on the WSJ article): Instapundit

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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Sunday Porsche Blogging: Porsche RS Spyder at Road America

Photo Copyright: Flying Debris
Here is the giant killer Porsche RS Spyder of Penske Motorsports making it's way through turn 3, Corvette Corner at Road America last summer.

Photo Copyright: Flying Debris
The Team Dyson Porsche RS Spyder.

Photo Copyright: Flying Debris
The Penske Motorsports Porsche RS Spyder on the straight between turn 2 and turn 3, a downhill run that looks more and more like a toboggan run the faster you go.
Photo Copyright: Flying Debris
Penske Motorsports pits.

Road America is the fantastic four mile road race course outside of the picturesque town of Elkhart Lake, Wi. The American Le Mans Series has been racing there for several years and as the longest road course in the nation and at half the length of the Circuit de la Sarthe the series and the circuit are a wonderful fit.

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Sell the Picasso!

Click to Enlarge.
Photograph Copyright is held by: Flying Debris

In January of 2005 the City of Chicago sold the Chicago Skyway in order to raise funds, last week the City Council voted to raise a variety of taxes and fees in order to raise funds and Friday's papers had stories about the city selling Midway Airport in order to raise funds. What's next? The suggestion of selling the famous Picasso sculpture in front of City Hall was only in jest, but one must really ask, what is next?

The upside is that those institutions will surely be better managed and they won't be saddled with political hiring, poorly negotiated union contracts, contracted supplies from some politico's cousin... Hey, maybe they could privatize Streets and Sanitation.

The above photo was taken from the Chicago Temple Building during the August 1967 unveiling of the Picasso sculpture in Chicago's Civic Center Plaza. The photo was taken by my father at a critical moment of the unveiling, the cloak had hung up on the sculpture and Mayor Daley (the First) was seen ordering the assembled aldermanic dignitaries to free the snagged fabric. The photo was snapped as the Aldermen raced to free the snagged cloak.

Thanks to the wonderful Dr. Sanity for inclusion in her Carnival of Insanities again this week. Go read her blog and support her "lavish blogging lifestyle"!

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If You Have to Steal a Vehicle - Avoid Anything With a Trailer - UPDATE

I was just walking through Chicago's West Lincoln Park a few minutes ago when I came across this scene, a guy stole a truck with a trailer on it, got in to a Police chase and ran in to a Toyota at the intersection of Ashland and Wrightwood. From the number of cops on the scene I'm going to figure that this may not work out so well for the car thief.

Correction: the red car is a Dodge Avenger

Copyright for the photos: Flying Debris

UPDATE: Well the story was stranger than I thought, a guy was trying to steal a Bobcat from a construction site north of Wrightwood, that is why he had a trailer, I also just missed him attmpting to drag people out of cars, plus I missed helping the cops pin the guy down. Check out this Sun Times story:

As an officer got the man out of the Bobcat, the man shoved the officer, jumped into his pickup truck and tried to speed off down an alley in the 2800 block of North Ashland Avenue. A squad car blocked the south entrance of the alley so the man sped north, plowing into the front end of another squad car, the lieutenant said.

The squad car sustained “extensive damage” when it was rammed out onto West Wolfram Street about 100 feet.

After ramming the squad car, the truck took off south down Ashland Avenue.

Two officers were “shaken up” and were taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center.

One officer was able to get out of the squad car and pursue the truck on foot. Another squad car saw the officer, picked him up and continued the pursuit, the lieutenant said.

The truck was slowed down by increasing traffic with the squad car about two blocks behind, so the man tried to go through a red light at Ashland and Wrightwood avenues, but he T-boned one car and slammed head-on into another car. The first car sustained extensive damage.

The man then got out of the truck and tried to pull someone out of a car to steal it, but the person fought back and the man moved onto another car. A second person resisted the man’s efforts, and the squad car was able to catch up to the man.

The man aggressively tried to stop the two officers from handcuffing him, but with the help of four civilians, the officers took the man down to the ground and handcuff him, according to the lieutenant.

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Lou Dobbs for President?

Sure, he already has the bumper stickers he got as a gag gift at last years Holiday Party.


Friday, November 16, 2007

Lake County Dem Uses Dead "Voters"

The excellent new blog Team America's Tenth District Blog has been covering politics in Lake County Illinois and the northern part of Cook County. The proprietor, TA has helped to discover and has written about the Chairman of the Lake County Democratic Party and his use of deceased voters on his latest nominating petitions. Terry Link is an Illinois State Senator and the Chairman of the Democrats up in Lake County.

As a life-long resident of Cook County, a long-time resident of the city of Chicago and an observer of Chicago politics since about the age of five when my father was a Democratic Precinct Captain on the city's West Side, I must say that this is nothing new for the local Democratic parties. Many local Democrats bragged about their abilities to cheat and steal elections until about 4:00 AM of the day following the 2000 election. I guess that it appeared unseemly to brag about stealing elections while they were trying to steal an election. It has been at least six years, a week and a few days since I have heard a local Democrat brag about "stealing" the 1960 Presidential election for John F. Kennedy.

This election dishonesty could be a much larger problem. Professor Reynolds at Instapundit linked to this very interesting paper by U. of Tennessee Law School Associate Professor Jennifer Hendricks on the subject of and likely legality of the National Popular Vote (NPV) legislation that is in front of a number of state legislatures, it has passed in Illinois. The NPV legislation would bind the Electoral College votes of signature states to the candidate who wins the national popular vote, state voters be damned. The biggest problem with this electoral scheme is people like Mr. Link. Imagine how many votes that Democrats could steal in the most populated cities if it guaranteed them the White House. If some Democrats will use the deceased on petitions that are so likely to be inspected what would people like that do during the confusion of an election day?

I have long been a supporter of the Electoral College and over the years I have found that some people are vociferously against the Electoral College, the subject makes some of the the anti-Electoral College group downright angry. I have also found that when those anti-Electoral College folks discuss the subject they describe those of us who are pro-Electoral College as being from a political party other than their own. Before the 2000 election I was accused of being a member of the Democratic Party by Republicans and since 2000 I have been described as a member of the Republican Party by Democrats. Go figure.

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Sid Viscous Working For Hilary Again!

Sid "Viscous" Blumenthal is back working for the Clintons. Mr. Blumenthal, a former Chicagoan is known as a very dishonest man. Mr. Blumenthal was even taken to task for lying to the Grand Jury investigating the Monica Lewinski case. Check this out:

And keep in mind he said all of this after he told the Grand Jury that Monica Lewinsky was a stalker. He said this after he had come out of the Grand Jury room and lied about what they asked him. The lies were good and convenient for columnists like Anthony Lewis and Frank Rich to solidify the case that Starr is an extra-constitutional monster or some other gobbledygook. But they were lies and even the Grand Jury foreperson said so to his face.

Back on June 25, 1998 Mr. Blumenthal appeared before the Lewinski Grand Jury for a third time when the Grand Jury Forewoman said the following:

“We’re very concerned about the fact that during your last visit that an inaccurate representation of the events that happened was retold on the steps of the courthouse.”

The fact that Hilary Clinton has hired a man who the entire world knows (those of us who remember anyways) is a contemptible liar is no real surprise, her name is Hilary Clinton after all.

Update: Let's not forget that Blumenthal was accused of perjury by his former friend Christopher Hitchens. Let's also not forget that Hilary has also hired the despicable Sandy Berger. Happy Days Are Here Again...

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Don't Like the AMT? Then Call Ted Kennedy!

Senator Ted Kennedy (D-Ma), pictured above with his ex-wife Joan, is shown wearing a collared head restraint during the summer of 1969 after driving his car off of a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island, Ma. and leaving a young, single woman to drown in his wrecked car.

The Democrats who are currently blaming George Bush and the Republican Party (Hello Ellen?) for the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), that Flying Debris discussed here and here, should consult the Senior Democratic Senator from Massachusetts for some instruction as to how this jealousy-inspired tax monstrosity came to be. The problem with that approach is that Senator Kennedy may not remember much from the summer of '69, and he can't blame Woodstock.

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

More Democratic Wackiness From 1969

Yesterday I discussed Democrat Ellen Beth Gill of Ellen's Tenth... and the fact that she blamed Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL) for the AMT tax law that was pushed by congressional Democrats in 1969, the year that Congressman Kirk was in the fifth grade. Also see this excellent rundown on the AMT from the Backyard Conservative. Well I was reading the Oct 15 issue of Autoweek when I ran across more Democratic wackiness from 1969. Autoweek has been doing a great series for their 50th anniversary, each week they have been dedicating two pages to one of those fifty years. Well on Oct. 15 they covered the year 1969 and what a year it was. Sure a Ford GT40 with 23,000 racing miles on it won the closest Le Mans 24 hour race in history over a Porsche 908 after numerous lead changes on the final lap but it was the year's politics that caught my eye. It turns out that Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson introduced a Senate bill to ban the internal combustion engine by 1978. Senator Nelson's wackiness had nothing on the Democrats from California, including Nicholas Petris who introduced a bill to ban diesel and gasoline engines in California by 1975. Not to be outdone prosecutors in Los Angeles attempted to prosecute the Big Three Auto makers for conspiring to defeat clean technology.

Gee, I wonder how that bit of childishness would have worked out?

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Ron Paul is the Worst of America

I have taken Ron Paul and his followers to task on this blog for being idiotic. My take on the Paul folks has been nothing compared to Andrew Walden's over at the American Thinker. In an interesting and well researched article Walden mauls Paul over his campaign's ties to American neo-nazis and other unsavory types. I have taken Ron Paul to task over the fact that he has been making common cause with those 9/11 truther idiots, those fools are part and parcel to the nazi clowns that Paul has been attracting. Walden takes Paul to task for not even attempting to rid his campaign of the stench of those bigots. Walden has a great exchange between the Lone Star Times and the Ron Paul National Communications Manager concerning a donation from a white supremest, at the time of writing the Paul idiots kept the dirty money.

This week was the first time that I have seen any outward support for Ron Paul here in Chicago, on Monday I saw a Jeep with a Ron Paul bumper sticker and also on Monday I saw some kid who is an exchange clerk who had a Ron Paul button on his jacket. Remember, Chicago is as "blue state" as any blue state city gets. I have been writing on this blog that Ron Paul is in the wrong party, little did I know that he could be in the Nazi Party.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Ellen's History for the Dumb

How else to describe the people who congregate over at Ellen's Tenth...blah,blah... Ellen, writing from some pathetic swamp is now blaming the AMT on Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL). Hey Pythagoras, he was in fifth grade when the Democratic Party decided that this piece of ignorant, jealousy-inspired, Democratic garbage should be enacted into law. I can attest that Mark Kirk was not in Congress voting with those idea-challenged Democrats of the late sixties. Just as a little hint to Ellen, Mark was also not in Congress during the Seventies, the Eighties or the Nineties. In 1969 Mark and I were doing multiplication tables in Mr. Monts' class you ditz!

The AMT, the Alternative Minimum Tax, was implemented by a Democratic Congress in 1969. The Democrats implemented this nonsense to force several tax payers who had somehow avoided paying taxes to pay a minimal amount of federal tax. In their utter ignorance the Democratic Party decided that the tax needn't be indexed for inflation and they have rhetorically fought against any such indexation in years past. They even regularly stated that they wanted the revenue.

So as a hint to Ellen, the people who you support gave us this ridiculous, jealousy-inspired tax law. Now that the tax is affecting some of Ellen's compatriots (though surely not Ellen herself) she is blaming Republicans for a Democratic law. Delusion, Thy Name is Ellen's Tenth.

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Vector Back to Sell Stock?

The Autoblog has the announcement that Vector Motors will be at the Los Angeles Auto Show with a new car, the Vector Avtech WX8. The Vector company is still run by Gerald Weigert, the man who brought us the original few Vector automobiles. I met Mr. Weigert years ago at the Chicago Auto Show as he was trying to sell the stock in an earlier iteration of Vector with an earlier auto as the bait. He was selling stock in the company through a penny stock firm that later went down in the flames of fraud. An acquaintance worked at that penny stock firm, I saw him at the Auto Show with Weigert and that is how I met Mr. Weigert. I never had the impression that Mr. Weigert was building an auto or an auto company, I thought that he was selling stock. Watch for that this week in Los Angeles. Gentleman, you've been warned.

Copyright for Speculative Photos is held by Jalopnik

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Michelle Obama - Folks Love the Shell Game

In this morning's coverage of Sen Barack Obama (D-IL), candidate for the Democratic Presidential nomination, the Chicago Sun Times' Lynn Sweet reported on the candidate's wife Michelle's taped MSNBC appearance. The interview was scheduled to run this morning so I guess that the Sweet piece was good PR. Check out this great piece by the Backyard Conservative about Sweet's fawning over a criminal that Flying Debris discussed here. The interview was done by Mika Brzezinski, the son of a famously ineffective US National Security Adviser, the Carter Administration's Zbigniew Brzezinski. Those Dems love to keep it in the family.

The interview sounds very strange, Ms. Sweet has reported that Ms. Obama said of African-Americans acceptance of her husband, that they will "wake up and get it." Ms. Obama also brought up an argument that many Obama supporters raise, she was quoted as saying that blacks have a "natural fear of the possibility", that there is "always that doubt in the minds of people of color". In other words it is not reasonable for black people to not want to vote for Barack Obama, rather those people must have some deep seated psychological-racial problem. That deep seated problem is something she called "that fear."

At this time Sen. Obama is pushing his plan to raise taxes on taxpayers who Barack has deemed wealthy and able to pay. As Flying Debris pointed out in Obama on Social Security: What The? the Obama plans to dramatically raise taxes on people who are either investing in future jobs in America or trying to get to the level where they can invest more in the future of America. Combining her support of raising the FICA taxes for Social Security and her somewhat demeaning insistence that blacks will "get it" Ms. Obama is stating that black people and all Americans should be happy to settle for a 1.23% return on their life's savings. For African-American males born after 1959 the return is negative. Ms. Obama is also stating that those people should not be able to pass the accumulated wealth of a life's work on to another generation. Ms. Obama and her husband, Senator Barack Obama believe that when you die that the accumulated wealth of your life's effort should be inherited and spent by the federal government.

Social Security does the following: the federal government taxes you through FICA "retirement deductions", that money is immediately spent on whatever congress can dream up, when you retire the federal government will tax someone else to pay you back. If the Obamas get their way the economy would be slower than it otherwise would be during your working life due to the fact that more money that was once invested in creating jobs will henceforth be taxed and spent on often economically frivolous congressional desires. The only way that the Social Security System can ultimately pay off, as it is currently set up, is for the US economy to grow enough through increased productivity to produce enough high paying jobs to pay off people currently paying into the system. That cannot be done by increasing the tax burden on those who provide the capital that produces jobs. If we cannot produce those jobs that allow the next generations to pay off the chits that we are taking out today then they will see us as having played the shell game that we are playing. They may very well point to an empty shell, shrug their shoulders and get off of the train.

Update: Bumped

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Doh! Homer Simpson and the Federal Courts

Homer Simpson has been quoted in a decision by Sixth Circuit Judge Boyce Martin, Professor Reynolds at the Instapundit notes that he knew the Judge, "back in the day" and that the use of the following Homer quote is very much in character:

Homer Simpson talking to God: “Here’s the deal: you freeze everything as it is, and I won’t ask for anything more. If that is OK, please give me absolutely no sign. [no response] OK, deal. In gratitude, I present you this offering of cookies and milk. If you want me to eat them for you, please give me no sign. [no response] Thy will be done.” The Simpsons: And Maggie Makes Three (Fox television broadcast, Jan. 22, 1995).

Hat Tip: Instapundit

CBS News Writers to Join Fictional Brethren?

According to the NY Post the news writers at CBS News will vote Thursday on whether or not to join their brethren the screenwriters on strike. Although it is pretty funny that CBS, notorious for anchor Dan Rather's use of fictional documents to sway the last presidential election, happens to be the first network whose news rooms will be hit by of all things a strike of "news writers". Another amusing aspect is the fact that the news rooms are unionized as a writers guild rather than a news guild. On the other hand, to some degree the two camps have the same issues with post-broadcast royalties. There is much more use of post-broadcast entertainment programming than there is news programming but the news content is out there. Documentaries often use news footage and certainly the broadcast news magazines sell their programming after the initial broadcast. So it makes sense that those "news writers" have an interest in the fight of their brethren the screenwriters.

Hat Tip: Drudge

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Sunday, November 11, 2007

Jens Jensen and Shaun's Homerun

What the heck does the great landscape designer Jens Jensen have to do with baseball? Good question. I was reminded of Mr. Jensen's link to America's Pastime while reading this great blog piece about Jensen's Garfield Park Conservatory by Beth Botts of the Chicago Tribune. For starters, the author notes that the Conservatory opened the same year the Chicago Cubs last won the World Series; by winning back to back World Series' in 1907 and 1908 the Cubs performed the "two-peat". The Tribune blog piece is fantastic largely due to the knowledge the author brings to the piece, she not only volunteers as a University of Illinois Master Gardener at the Conservatory, but she has taken the El past Garfield Park and the Conservatory for years. As a fellow long time El rider (different lines), I can appreciate her ability to take in the long-term changes that are taking place out there.

I can add my own baseball related Jens Jensen recollections, as a kid I played pick-up baseball games in a Jensen park. Mahoney Park is a Jensen garden (there is only a mention of the park near the end of this great link) that straddles Sheridan Road at Tenth Street, at the extreme south-east corner of Kenilworth, Il. Sheridan Road runs along the shore of Lake Michigan from the north side of Chicago to at least Fort Sheridan, the former Army fort it was built to serve. The Jensen park was built on some of the final Mahoney family land that was left undeveloped by Joseph Sears, the man who developed Kenilworth. Much, if not all of what is now east Kenilworth was a farm owned by the Mahoney family, thus the name Mahoney Park. The town school was named after Joseph Sears. Ironically, considering the neighborhood, there was a time when a portion of east Kenilworth, north of Mahoney Park was a golf course.

Mahoney Park consists of two fields, to the east of Sheridan Road is a park open to the street in the center with trees and bushes on the outskirts, the east side of the park sits on a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan. The eastern park is rung by a walking path and contains two fire pits with chimneys at the lake-side corners. On the west side of Sheridan Road the park is similar, it is open to Sheridan Road, it is rung by a walking path and contains two fire pits, although the fire pits are much larger and sit at the north corners, the pits contain no chimneys. The south end of the west side of the park contains a wooded area featuring a small water fall and a stream. By the late sixties Mahoney Park had become somewhat overgrown, and although it was kept up by the village and some volunteers, the park was being used. It was being used by families, it was being used by the Girl Scouts and it was being used as a baseball diamond by the neighborhood boys.

To the chagrin of garden lovers but no doubt to the joy of many mothers in my childhood neighborhood, there were enough boys around my age in the area to play full baseball games in Mahoney Park. Sure, we all played Little League but that wasn't enough, if we couldn't get eighteen kids together to play we had ground-rules for just about every contingency. We could play a half field game or even have one outfield as out of bounds, depending on how many played in a particular game. And there was usually somebody with a broken or sprained something or other who would umpire. The park's grass had long since given way to baseball by the time I arrived, showing the dirt patina of home plate, a flat pitcher's mound and the three bases. We played fast pitch hard ball, one much younger kid who was good enough to play with us later played in the Cubs minor league system, another later played in the NFL, becoming a member of the NFL Hall of Fame. It was good competitive fun among kids of a variety of ages with no adult supervision.

We played in that park through the summer after my seventh grade, during part of each summer we were forced to play ball elsewhere or do something else because the Girl Scouts ran a day camp in the park during the mornings. During the rest of the warm months we considered that park our baseball diamond. When we started to play baseball again during the spring of eighth grade we were joined by a new neighbor, Shaun. Shaun had lived in town but had moved out of town before moving back from suburban Detroit, and despite our recent growth spurts, Shaun was much bigger than all of us. One of our ground rules involved home runs and the ever changing list of limbs on certain trees that signified home run territory, frankly we probably had more of the inside the park variety.

On that first warm spring day we were playing a tight game when our friend Shaun came up to the plate and hit a shot that not only sailed over all of our carefully crafted sets of limb-based home run markers, it was not only over all of the trees in the park, but that ball sailed over Tenth Street into Wilmette and into the construction site for a bank before sailing straight through a plate glass window that was being installed in what is now a Harris Bank branch. We all heard the smash, and we all knew there was a construction site across the street, so we all ran through the wooded area at the south end of the park to peer through the bushes and a cyclone fence to see what was hit. The construction guys spotted us right off and told us not to run, we all figured that we were in big trouble, but the construction guys laughed about it and told us the glass was insured, then they gave us back our baseball. As I look back at that incident as an adult I can see a certain Norman Rockwellish view from those construction guys' perspective, what with nearly twenty kids peering out at them through those bushes and that fence.

Walking home that day my friend Dave and I both agreed that we had outgrown the park, we both continued to play a lot of baseball and softball after that day but neither of us ever played in Mahoney Park again, we moved on to bigger arenas, in baseball and otherwise. Some years ago I happened to walk past Mahoney Park and noticed that all traces of our baseball days at Mahoney had been overgrown, given up to smaller families and organized sports. Thankfully, the Jensen Park has not been overgrown, the village has worked with the local garden clubs and other volunteers to restore the park. Not only are there likely not enough kids in that neighborhood to support such a localized ball game, but people are reasonably reluctant to let their kids play baseball on a major road like Sheridan, on the other hand we did have a whole bunch of baseball bats, which came in handy on a few occasions.

I do feel like I may be stepping on toes of Publia from the fantastic Wilmette blog with this North Shore themed post, but reading the linked Tribune piece on the Garfield Park Conservatory reminded me of all the time I spent in a Jensen park. Besides Publia has a great piece on Veterans Day today.

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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Leftists Call Rahm A "Racist"?

Okay, if it takes a "member of the vast right-wing conspiracy" to defend Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) then things are not going all that swimmingly over on the other side of the pool. Yesterday, Markos Moulitsas of the Daily Kos asked whether Rahm Emanuel is a racist. A few weeks ago I read a comment stream on Ellen's Tenth... concerning Rahm and Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL) that was bizarre even for those folks. So what the heck is going on?

Methinks that some folks are trying to move any blame concerning the current congress away from the more outwardly liberal Pelosi and toward the more centrist Emanuel. Some commenters over at Ellen's place and on the regressive Daily Kos don't seem to understand what Rahm did last year. He recruited good centrist candidates in vulnerable districts around the nation and not only were those candidates successful but they gave the Democratic Party its current House majority. Amusingly one or more of the commenters thought that Rahm had attended high school with Mark Kirk, Rahm attended New Trier West at the same time that Mark attended New Trier East, so to answer one commenter, no Rahm did not beat up Mark in high school.

As I have noted a few times on this blog I have met and talked politics with Rahm on numerous occasions as we have mutual friends. In addition, as I wrote here, I have voted for Rahm, he is my congressman. This is in no way an endorsement of most of his policies but rather a statement that Rahm is generally reasonable, I certainly have taken him to task on this blog but I have also been supportive where need be.

More to the point, last year I talked to Rahm about the world of political blogging in general and the Daily Kos in particular, I wrote about that conversation here and here. The first time that I wrote about that conversation was before the 2006 election and I noted:

During our recent conversation we discussed the then upcoming Connecticut Senate primary and the involvement of certain blogs in the race. The conversation was private so I will not divulge anything past what one could reasonably discern from his public statements. Mr. Emanuel was animated at the mention of those blogs and he genuinely seemed to understand the possible problems that some of those bloggers and their readers could pose for the image of the Democratic Party. We were in a public place so those comments were made to me with a somewhat hushed voice; this district has a very large population of committed left wing moonbats.

A few days later I had a chance to speak to one of our mutual friends, a man who is one of the original Friends of Bill (Clinton), and we both agreed that although Mr. Emanuel uses the red meat rhetoric of the left wing, he was much more practical and down to earth than he often sounds. This gentleman (the FOB) said that he wasn’t surprised that Mr. Emanuel was leery of the left side of the blogosphere and that he was trying to blunt their effect on the party, Mr. Emanuel has always struck this Southern gentleman as more down to earth than the leftists who are in ascendancy in the Democratic Party.

After the election I wrote:

Last summer I had the chance to discuss politics with my Congressman, Rahm Emanuel; during that conversation (see this post) we discussed the problems that the unhinged left could cause for the Democrats. He clearly understood those problems and voiced serious concerns about them. As it is now after the election I feel less constrained to discuss our largely private conversation. He was very animated while discussing the folks over at the Daily Kos, saying that they had never won anything; on that point he sounded like a conservative blogger. Because Mr. Emanuel worked so closely with the Clintons I had no problem bringing up that issue with him, after all the triangulation strategy also relies on the center and the right. I believed then, as I believe today that the nation is better off without one of our two political parties going off of the deep end. He understood my concerns and as I said, he was as animated as one could be as an office holder in a public place in an area populated by very liberal people. At the end of our conversation I wished him well in his attempt to bring the party towards the center. Clearly Mr. Emanuel’s strategy was to find candidates who appeared to be centrist; they also seemed to lean towards former servicepersons. He certainly was successful.

Okay, so Rahm Emanuel is too centrist for Markos of the Daily Kos and the average leftists in the Democratic Party, that is a dog bites man story, or as President Clinton might say, that dog won't hunt. The interesting aspect is how this internecine warfare will affect the next election, which by the way is 51 weeks from next Tuesday. Rahm's concerns during the last election cycle centered around the tendency of some in the Democratic Party to undertake unproductive political projects and to be, for the lack of better phrasing, somewhat obnoxious. He also repeatedly pointed out that "they have never won anything."

Rahm left his post at the Democratic Congressional Committee and is currently the Chair of the Democratic Caucus, it is his actions in that office that currently have him in hot water with the Kos crowd. Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md) is currently in charge of the Democratic effort to keep control of the House so he may be the next one under the Kos gun.

Welcome Instapundit readers and thanks to Professor Reynolds for the link. After what I consider a less than successful audition at Second City Friday afternoon (sometimes improv doesn't work) it's nice to get an Instapundit link.

Hat Tip: Instapundit

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Friday, November 09, 2007

Hilary Opens New Liars Site

Sen Hilary Clinton (D-NY), a presidential candidate has opened up a new web site to spin her lies. The Fact Hub is her latest venture, apparently lying to peoples faces and through the media is simply not good enough for Hilary the cattle trading genius. I want that site to start writing about her trading scams and how they were always legit. Oops, sorry, that's "old news" for Hilary and her band of Merry Liars.

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Kristallnacht Anniversary

Today is the 69th anniversary of Kristallnacht. The date, which should live in infamy, should be a marker of remembrance for all of us. For some time I have looked at some of my fellow Chicagoans and known what was felt by some German Jews after Kristallnacht. The night has also been known as the "Night of Broken Glass" as it featured Nazis who smashed the windows of Jewish businesses in Nazi Germany. Sure it was a warning to get out of Germany but if you put yourself in the shoes of German Jews you will likely find plenty of reasons that they didn't leave, including the idea that their neighbors couldn't possibly be that evil.

The world's jihadists did not break windows as a warning, they went straight to killing Jews. I have made the comment comparing modern-day leftist America to post-Kristallnacht Berlin in order to attempt to understand the frustration of what was then a group of forward thinking German Jews who wanted to leave Germany to some of my liberal friends and the liberals simply do not understand the comparison. In all fairness, many liberals do not understand the world outside of their parochial lives, they do however spend a lot of time reading fantasy novels and the NY Times (is there a difference?). So they could be excused if they simply stayed silent on subjects that they do not understand, instead they insist that the world's murderous jihadis are a figment of some evil neo-con's imagination. These folks simply do not appreciate having reality "thrown in" their faces.

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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

You Mess With the High Life... and the High Life Messes With You!

This is hysterical, an al Qaeda terrorist in a Colorado Federal prison is suing his jailers to demand a Walkman (how Eighties), television, English newspapers and Arabic newspapers. No mention of the Playboy Channel, nor has he demanded his MTV. What can you say? Son, you messed with with Western Civilization, so Western Civilization is going to mess with you.

Mohamed Al-Owhali has complained that he only receives month-old, censored versions of USA Today. There really is no hometown news in that USA Today State by State section for Mr. Al-Owhali, so that's a shame too. We can also be relieved that Mr. Al-Owhali is not getting any twelve-packs of High Life in his cell.

Hat Tip: Drudge

The copyright of the photo of actor Windell Middlebrooks is held by Miller Brewing of Milwaukee, Wi.

Many Thanks to the wonderful Dr. Sanity for inclusion in her Carnival of Insanities again this week. May we all wish Dr. Sanity a speedy recovery. Go read her blog! If for nothing else, to support her "lavish blogging lifestyle."

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Saturday, November 03, 2007

Senate Dems Against Beerboarding!

Chicago Exchange members demonstrate a "Beerboarding" technique at the Billy Goat Tavern

Washington DC, Nov. 2 - Led by Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev) the Senate Democrats spoke out strongly against the newly revealed interrogation procedure known as "beerboarding". Notably absent from an early morning press conference was Senator Russ Feingold (D-Wi) whose office said that he was back in Wisconsin to attend a luncheon fundraiser at the Pabst Brewery and a Friday Night Fish Fry in Waldo. Senator Fiengold's office stated that the Senator would have to give more study to the issue before coming to a decision on an issue that is "so close to the hearts of many in the Badger State." Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) intoned that his Judiciary Committee would "sharply question Judge Mukasey on this newly emerged issue." Calling the controversy "another Bush outrage" Senator Leahy stated that he "expects more forthcoming answers from the Judge next week than we have received in the past."

The "beerboarding" scandal came to light earlier this week in classified materials that were leaked to the New York Times. The Bush administration has not publicly commented on the brewing scandal but some officials, speaking anonymously have told reporters that there was a time in the President's life when he may have even invited a "beerboarding" experience but that his fraternity days were long ago.
Warning: The Above Is Satire. Not all that far from the truth but satire none the less.
Photo copyright - Flying Debris
Many Thanks to the wonderful Dr. Sanity for inclusion in her Carnival of Insanities again this week. Go Read Her Blog!

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Friday, November 02, 2007

A Porsche for the Inconspicuous

Well, it's almost deer hunting season here in the Midwest and although your humble correspondent will not be freezing his ass off in a deer blind later this month he is always open to being gifted the odd deer sausage or venison dinner. All kidding aside, this Porsche 911 that I wrote about last year is still the stealthiest one that I have seen, which is probably why we won't even see that paint scheme on a NASCAR track, where it belongs.

Photo Copyright: here.

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Thursday, November 01, 2007

A Hint For Palast & IL 10th Dems

The other day I wrote about the pathetic Democrats of Chicago's North Shore who congregate on Ellen's 10th Congressional District Blog and their bazaar fascination with Greg Palast, a dippy BBC reporter who cannot figure out the obvious. Mr. Palast blamed the recent rise in oil prices on President Bush because he was once in the oil business. Well here is a story that did not make it on to the radar of the American press but it is overly relevant to the world oil situation, China Fuel Crisis Spreads. They are experiencing violence in relation to fuel shortages in China, I blame Dick Cheney!

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Dem Religionist Loses $11 Million

The disgusting Westboro Baptist Church and it's leader Fred Phelps lost an $11 million judgement to the family of Lance Cpl. Mathew Snyder. Lost in the story is the fact that Mr. Phelps still claims to be a Democrat, plus his church "helped" run Al Gore's 1988 Presidential primary campaign in Kansas and his son, Fred Jr. was a Gore delegate to the 1988 DNC. He supported Gore due to Gore's lack of support for a gay rights initiative. Mr. Phelps later turned against Gore and the Clintons for their support of gay rights. While reading the Wikipedia entry for Mr. Phelps I noticed that his church has been picketing presentations of the play the Laramie Project across the nation, he is a character in the play. As a personal note I have used an incredible monologue by Mathew Shepard's father Dennis that appears in the Laramie Project during my training at Second City. I would actually enjoy being picketed by those guys, let's just say that I get a lot better than those jamokes.

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