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Friday, February 17, 2006

I'll Have One Without So Much Rat in It

"Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, said Republicans cannot
betray their core belief of keeping taxes low. Referring to the Coca-Cola
Corporation, Norquist said the brand name would be destroyed if people found a
rat head in their Coca-Cola. 'Republicans who vote for tax increases are rat
heads in the Coke bottle,' Norquist warned" -- reported by

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Support Free Speech

Worst Idea Ever for a TV Show

We think we've seen the worst that TV has to offer, then they surpass themselves. All Headline News - Buttafuoco And Fisher TV Reunion - February 13, 2006:
New York, New York (AHN) - After more than a decade since 16-year-old Amy Fisher had a sexual relationship with the much-older Joey Buttafuco and then shot his wife, Mary Jo, in the face, the three have agreed to appear together in a televised reunion. The three have signed on for the appearance, which has yet to be sold to a network, television producer David Krieff told the New York Post.

Fisher, now 31, and who spent seven years in prison, says, "We played this all out in a public eye. It'd be interesting to let the public see the healing process at the end. They saw everything else, why not let them see the final product?"Joey Buttafuoco, who was jailed for statutory rape following the 1992 shooting, says he plans to ask Fisher to explain her actions. The Buttafuocos moved to California and divorced in 2003. Mary Jo, who remains partially paralyzed from the shooting, is engaged.
We lived in the New York metro area when this hit the fan in 1992. Fisher, who's kind of like Monica Lewinsky without the intelligence and class, was dubbed The Long Island Lolita, and the story was played out endlessly on New York TV and in the papers. We got enough of the story then to last for 10 lifetimes.

Joey B, who looked and talked like something that slithered out from under a rock, seemed to revel in the notoriety his statutory rape of a 16 yr old created. There were hints of a mob connection, but perhaps he was just cultivating that to enhance his persona. Joey wants to ask Amy to explain her actions? I agree: Why didn't she shoot him?

Mary Jo was determined to Stand By Her Man, despite the fact that his philandering led a teenage girl to try to kill her to "win" him (What a prize!). After Mary Jo recovered she was often seen on camera defending the Love of Her Life, her speech permanently slurred and facial features distorted. The big question here, as far as we are concerned, has always been: Why in the world did Mary Jo love Joey before she had a bullet in her brain?

You may take some hope and comfort from the fact that the show has not yet been sold to a network. Don't kid yourself; it's only a matter of time. What's next? How about a Tawana Brawley/Al Sharpton Reunion Show, complete with all the people they slandered to cover up her runaway weekend with a boyfriend?

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Sunday, February 12, 2006

Hostages of Israel

Iranian Presidential Figurehead for the Mullahcracy Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is the gift that just keeps on giving:
Iran: U.S., Europe 'hostages' of Israel: TEHRAN, Iran - Iran's hard-line president on Saturday accused the United States and Europe of being "hostages of Zionism" and said they should pay a heavy price for the publication of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed that have triggered worldwide protests.
Well, if there's one thing Ahmadinejad and his puppetmasters know about, it's hostages. Thanks for the reminder.

Kyle Wins Award

Sen. Nelson's remarks quoted in our previous post were made at a local Democratic Party event. The same Journal Star article also states near the end, "Gubernatorial candidate David Hahn presented the Outstanding Young Democrat award to Kyle Michaelis."

Kyle blogs, quite prolificly, at New Nebraska Network, from a viewpoint far to the Left of ours. As just one example of where Kyle's views differ from ours, note Kyle's deep and abiding love for Sen. Ted Kennedy, as expressed in this comment at Ryne's blog.

At any rate, congratulations to Kyle on his award.

Tom Coburn for President

Our favorite freshman Senator is at it again. He's stil got "budget earmarks" in his jaws, and he won't let go, much to the chagrin of his colleagues on both sides of the aisle. For those who haven't been paying close attention, "earmarks" are specific spending provisions inserted into the budget for projects in individual congressional districts. In the Congress today earmarks are the main method for our elected representatives to grab "their share" at the trough so that they can buy votes back home.

When Coburn stood up last year to challenge ridiculous earmarks, like the Alaskan Bridge to Nowhere, Washington was scandalized. Unfortunately, the anger was not directed at the spenders and the spending, but at Coburn for having the temerity to challenge business as usual.

However, as George Will says, Coburn is "the most dangerous creature that can come to the Senate, someone simply uninterested in being popular." He's not afraid to standup to his own Congressional leadership, bless his heart. Now teamed up with John "I can't always be wrong" McCain, Coburn is again turning up the heat on earmarking, and other Congressional pigs are squealing. He writes this week in OpinionJournal:
I am convinced that forcing hundreds or, if necessary, thousands of votes to strike individual earmarks is the only way to produce meaningful results for American taxpayers. Bringing the Senate to a standstill for as long as it takes would be a small price to pay for shutting down what Jack Abramoff described as Congress's "earmark favor factory." The battle against pork is crucial. Pork is the root cause of the unholy relationship between some members of Congress, lobbyists and donors. Inside Congress, the pork process is effectively a black market economy: Thousands of instances exist where appropriations are leveraged for fundraising dollars or political capital. It is delusional to claim Congress can redeem its relationship with K Street without eliminating earmarks. The problem is not lobbyists. The problem is us.

Those who argue that fighting pork distracts members from the more costly challenge of entitlement reform don't understand human nature. Earmarks are a gateway drug on the road to the spending addiction. One day an otherwise frugal member votes for pork, the next day he or she votes for a bloated spending bill or entitlement expansion: A "no" vote might cut off their access to earmarks.
The spending machine will not give up without a fight, though:
Speaker Hastert, for his part, has said pork is "what members do" and that members are best positioned to know where to put a "red light in their district." This vision of an imperial Congress, where urban planners in state and local governments can be usurped by individual congressman and their 20-something staffers, is unsettling. And every hour members spend on parochial obsessions is an hour they can't devote to oversight, balancing the budget or serious national security issues.
That was quite the Freudian slip by Speaker Hastert, considering the entire Congress has become a Red Light District, with Jack Abramoff just the latest pimp to get busted.

Unfortunately, Nebraska Senator Ben Neslon is among those defending earmarks. He's quoted in
"The purpose is to support projects with merit," he said. "Why would they prefer to have faceless, nameless bureaucrats in Washington decide rather than elected officials?" Without earmarks, Nebraska would be pitted against large-population states in competing for federal assistance, Nelson said. "The money would still be expended," he said, "and it would go somewhere else."
Clearly our favorite Democratic Senator has gotten hooked on earmarks himself. The fact is that spending is much higher with earmarks than it would be without them. The "somewhere else" that the money would go is back into the capital markets due to reduced federal borrowing and/or lower taxes. Drawing the comparison between spending decisions by Congress vs. the federal bureaucracy is also a false dichotomy. The proper question is, "Why are elected officials in Washington in a better position than state and local elected officials to decide if a project is really needed." We certainly don't need or want Congress micromanaging spending of 25% of GDP (or more) on a national basis.

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