Saturday, January 30, 2010

Chickens Home to Roost – the TRIAL!

Oh the chickens DO come home to roost. Just weeks ago, NYC Mayor Bloomberg and other New York elitists thought bringing the “9/11 Five” from Guantanamo to the Big Apple for the show trial of a hundred years was a magnificent idea – only a few blocks from where the WTC stood. Most everyone else, except President Obama and Attorney General Holder, of course, who dreamed up this nonsense, thought the decision to be about as loony-tunes as it gets. Their approach: plain common sense, something this administration has never experienced.

Now, it appears, these geniuses are trying to discover another location within the confines of the USA to hold this trial. They’ve been put on notice that the area in which the trial(s) would be held would have to become an armed camp with lawmen and lawwomen stationed everywhere from the ladies toilets to every door/parking-garage to sniper positions on rooftops for blocks. There would be enough ammo in the mix to start a small war. The fat-cat bankers would have to flash IDs just to get to the men’s room, and that fact may have been the main factor in the change since these guys seem to have a strong stake in this administration.

Well...Obama’s from Chicago, so perhaps he’ll campaign for moving the trials there, like he campaigned in Copenhagen for the Olympic Games to be held in the windy city. After all, the USA’s highest-profile Muslim, the Rev. Dr. Honorable Imam Louis “Calypso Louie” Farrakhan holds forth there. Don’t bet the farm. Imagine the corruption alone in just setting up security, not to mention a host of Muslim lawyers double-parking all over the place and looking for outstretched palms in behalf of an “innocent” ruling. What about Holder’s city of birth? Oh no! He was born in New York City but was about to bring down this monstrosity on his own hometown.

Of course, the folks in Chicago could complain for all the same reasons that caused Mayor Bloomberg to see the light...actually another way of saying no city in the USA would want to put up with this invitation to disaster. Every nutcase Muslim suicide/homicide bomber worth his salt everywhere from Indonesia to Nigeria to Saudi Arabia and back again would head for the trial-city, panting like a wildcat after a possum for the 72 virgins via a few miles of blown intestines, theirs and others’.

So...the next best thing would be an army base – maybe. Lots of families live on those army bases, however, and they don’t need to be put in harm’s way. The media would be banging on every gate and its practitioners don’t need to see anything that might be classified. Maybe the “news” helicopters could be kept away, but then the news solons would cry “foul” and scream about the First Amendment. Water-protected Alcatraz might have been okay but it’s been out of commission for decades and is now part of a national park. Besides, holding the trials there only a mile-and-a-half from San Francisco would invite protest parades everyday calling for the assassins’ acquittals account being the victims of hate crimes. Perpetrators and victims are all the same there in Speaker Pelosi’s district.

Of course, there IS a military base that is just perfect for these trials – yep – Guantanamo, and the suckers wouldn’t even have to be moved. In any American city, a mosque, complete with the whining of the muezzins five times a day, would have to be built. After all, even terrorists in USA hands must be treated according to the First Amendment privileges accruing to religion. They’re already allowed to have Korans on Gitmo and face east and pray every day. They can also scream in any trial there, as well, but their propaganda would be behind closed doors, where it belongs.

There aren’t many civilians at Gitmo and the place is already as well-guarded as possible not by policemen but by armed and well-trained soldiers. It’s a part of the USA by the rental agreement, so it’s actually on U.S. soil, where the legal eagles, whether civilian or military, can enforce the law. If Fidel doesn’t like it, he can place his whole army on the other side of the fence and dare any Arabic-looking wanderer to even think about treading Cuban soil.

The media folks wouldn’t like this, although the beaches could be enjoyed; however, old Broadway it’s not. The prexy has said Gitmo would be closed by now, but it’s actually the only reasonable place to put these butchers on trial. Khalid has already pleaded guilty, though upon finding out about the Big Apple as a new home, had a change of mind. Wouldn’t it be easier to just pronounce and carry out the sentence? In the meantime, one can hope that the administration will have an attack of plain common sense.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Friday, January 29, 2010

Osama, Mahmoud & the Mullah

It’s late afternoon in a well-appointed guesthouse owned by a rich Pakistani merchant in the Swat Valley. Seated around a large hookah are al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar, and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, hereinafter referenced as O, M, and A, respectively, if not respectfully.

**O: So, Mahmoud...praise Allah for this hookah with poppies...are you still throwing people in jail and cutting off a few heads...oh...hoo, hah...mobs in the streets...all that gore...

**A: Not funny, Osama...Allah be disgusted with this ridicule...I can keep order in Tehran. The last time I visited, you and that nutcase al Zawahiri...Allah pronounce a divine fatwa on that Sunni pig...were in a cave with the latrine flowing under your prayer-rug and bats flying through your...

**M (reaching for an AK-47): Not funny yourself, you Shiite camels’ derriere...Allah deny him the virgins when I...

**O: Put it down, Omar, there’s been enough fighting between us Sunnis and Mahmoud’s Shiites...Allah be grieved at our bloodthirsty piety...we need to do something about this new American president and those new troops he’s sending to bedevil us...

**M: Oh...hoo, hah...the new president of one year...they call him so busy separating the progressives from the democrats from the republicans from the Tea Party gang...Allah grant them all a plague of rabid bats from the clouds...that he forgot he said he would end this war and the one in Iraq and...

**A: Bah! He’s been meddling in Iran, too, inciting those crazy college kids high on McDonalds quarter-pound hamburgers and spouting some such foolish thing as freedom of assembly that...Allah curse the U.S. Constitution for its evil influence...that I may be forced to close the big Mc and make them eat lamb chops.

**M: Did you say hamburger, Mahmoud? Allah be not blasphemed...eating ham?

**A: Of course not. I would cut off a hand – maybe both hands – without a trial if they were doing such a thing...Allah, give them guidance. The cursed hamburgers are actually made of beef, but they eat them to throw their ridicule at the religion, the young fools, knowing that Ayatollah Khomeini and I are not going to give them what they deserve.

**M: But some of them go to jail and just disappear...right, Mahmoud?

**A: They don’t just disappear, Mullah Omar...they simply aren’t seen again...Allah be avenged for their blasphemy against the state!

**O: Back to the subject...Allah give us help in getting the Americans out!

**M: I should say so, Osama. It’s bad enough that you got us into this mess...Allah forgive his foolishness. Sending those planes into those buildings might have sounded great then but I leave here tonight to head back to the caves in the South, so high up in the mountains that my nose bleeds...and my wives nag me constantly! And every time I step out into daylight one of those accursed drones takes my picture and drops a bomb. Do you remember my fine house in Kandahar, with a room for each wife so they don’t fight all the time?

**O: But we killed 3,000 infidels, Omar...that should count for something. Besides, we’ve even had bombers on two planes, one just last Christmas...hoo, hah, their holy day.

**A: Bah, Osama! Two nutcases that couldn’t even set off what’s little more than a large firecracker...Allah forgive their stupidity. They’re both in jail now, probably singing like birds. Imagine...not even smart enough to blow up his own skivvies...a college graduate at that! No Shiite would be that dumb...a Nigerian Muslim...bah!

**O: Not so fast, Mahmoud. The Obamessiah has decreed that water-boarding is out, as well as no singing, and that idiot will get the best lawyer money can buy and the best judge money can buy and the best prosecutor money can buy. His old man owns a bank. In America, buying an official is always the way to go. Look at the health-care bill the Congress has just...oh...hoo, hah, buying the votes in their own party! Allah be doubly amused!

**M: What’s this I hear about Sheik Khalid getting ready for the big trial in...Allah give him a sermon...what they call the Big Apple?

**O: Khalid is learning the speeches he will make in the courtroom, Omar. He was educated in North Carolina, as you know...Allah bring fire down on the he is able to put the whole U. S of A. on trial.

**A: But he’s already confessed to what they call 9/11, Osama. Why should they try him at all?

**O: As much time as you’ve spent making speeches at the UN, Mahmoud, and you don’t know the American system? As soon as he found that he would go to New York, he un-confessed...hoo, hah...only in America could that happen. We would have beheaded him by sundown for such a crime, but the Americans need at least 15 years to do a death penalty. Khalid eats well, sleeps well, and will quote the Constitution every day...he has it memorized. He will make fools of them all, besides bankrupting the city just in police overtime alone. The appeals will go on for...

**A: Until I bring in the glorious Twelfth Imam to rule forever...after starting the big war the Christians call Armageddon...I’m having the Grand Mosque finished as we speak...a-a-a-n-n-d-d-d...(falls asleep)

**M: Is Mahmoud having another vision like the one he had in that UN speech? Allah help him!

**O: Of course not, Mullah Omar! It’s the poppies...I myself feel a l-i-i-t-t-l-l-e-z-z-z...

**M: Oh well, my strict Islamic faith keeps me about the A-a-a-m-m-e-e-r-r-i-z-z-z-z...(deep snores all around)

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Sad State of the Union

Trying to write a critique of the POTUS state-of-the-union speech is not easy, since it lasted for an hour and ten minutes, thus inducing mind-numbing boredom and consequent mind-wandering. Maybe he mistakenly believed that everyone could take a lengthy sermon such as is heard in black churches every Sunday, but such is the case with only the most spell-binding of preachers, which Obama is not. To assault the sensitivities for listeners that long is to destroy one’s message. The applause didn’t materially shorten it and the president had the good sense to talk through it somewhat, at that.

He spent a good deal of time stating the obvious, i.e., that times are bad and mentioned some of the ways. About the only people not hurting, however, are the Wall Street operators, who have profited greatly during his year in office, making his references to somehow making life good for the middle class ring hollow. In fact, most politicians spend a great deal of time and energy explaining how they intend to make the middle class into a better class, as if the upper class and the lower class don’t exist. Actually, they attempt to manipulate the middle class the way the democrats manipulate the African-American-class – anything promised to get the vote.

It would be too harsh to pronounce the effort as an “emperor has no clothes” moment, not least because the president did admit to mistakes, but the effort to launch anything new by way of correcting things was feeble, to say the least. Actually, he would have done well as the actual CEO to give the stockholders (all the citizens) a financial report concerning GM, which is owned by the people now, though they have little power to make their wishes known, something apparently only the automobile czar can do. Or, he might have done the same for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, also government-owned...or the segments of the financial community the government now owns or controls. He did weigh in on those Wall Street “Fat Cats,” but will Congress get caught up in that mess, considering the lobbyists and all those campaign funds?

With the justices sitting before him, Obama took a cheap shot at them, a way of either calling them stupid or in collusion with the corporate “robber barons.” Perhaps he was reminding them that in another life he was something called a “constitutional law professor” and thus qualified, without being any part of an actual case or hearing a single argument, to set them straight. Justice Alito just shook his head and MSNBC’s chief democrat apologist Chris Matthews, wherever he was, must have had an acute attack of ecstatic tingling-leg-syndrome. In any case, he said he forgot Obama was black during the speech, so maybe he also had a tingling blackout.

Never have a group of men glared more venomously than the admirals and generals, who sat right up front, when Obama indicated that he would see to it that homosexuals will openly serve in the military. Never having been in the military, as was the case of Clinton before him, who tried the same game, Obama can’t know that morale is bad when men are forced to knowingly share toilets, living quarters, showers and just about everything else with people whose behavior is unnatural, unsanitary, and repulsive.

There were the usual promises costing mega-billions of dollars the country doesn’t have and which everyone knows will not be kept. Billions of dollars for a fast-train rail operation between Tampa and Disney-World, as announced for a trip to – yep – Florida the day after the SOTUA!? Egad...but this is an election year! This is the mother of all earmarks.

The prexy vented his spleen on the Congress, be fair to all. Hadn’t he told the solons precisely what to do? Of course! Had they done it? Of course not! Do democrats have an overwhelming majority? Of course! Then, shouldn’t he have been mad? The citizenry doesn’t want the government to take over health care. About 20 years after its inception, Medicare administration was turned over to private health-insurance companies. The government couldn’t even handle that, much less a universal Medicare, which is what Obama wants.

He vented on the Senate over cap-and-trade. With a super-filibuster-proof-majority of 60 senators, why hadn’t they enacted this melange of taxes-to-the-sky? Two reasons: (1) There’s no such thing as manmade climate-change/warming, and (2) taxes-to-the-sky, forcing businesses into bankruptcy and people out of jobs, unemployment already standing at about 17% now, counting those who have quit looking. The frequent tosses of the head with the clipped, sharp words bespoke an arrogance that probably set the senators’ teeth on edge. The military honchos looked daggers.

The last five minutes of the speech resembled how a basketball coach at halftime during a losing game might approach his players. It was supposed to invoke inspiration. He stated the obvious, to wit, that people don’t trust the government anymore. Actually, they never have to any great extent but now much less so, not least because of what they’ve seen in the last year – wealthy Wall Streeters, government parasites wheeling and dealing with citizens’ lives in their hands, a president who has made about 480 public appearances in the last year (100 full-fledged speeches) mostly amounting to sound and fury, but signifying virtually nothing. Community-organizing has not prepared POTUS for leadership.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

DNC Memorandum #9

From the office of Governor Tim Kaine, convener, 27 January 2010

***Just getting in under the wire with this first memo of the New Year! Much has happened since the last memo, not least among which is the charge by conservative dinosaurs that Rahm Emanuel is responsible for the accelerator problem that causes Toyota vehicles to run people into other people, trucks, ponds, houses, fire hydrants (like Tiger Woods), etc. The wag who put up the poster on my door with FORD and T*O#Y~O^T+A printed on it and the phrase “One Down & One To Go” will be severely disciplined. POTUS absolutely has NOT targeted either company for bankruptcy and Emanuel has sworn in an affidavit to the effect that he never heard of either company and that not even the dead voters in Chicago would be caught dead driving a Camry or one of those cop-cars.

***Please be advised that POTUS, during his recent interview with Diane Sawyer, did not blame Congress for his problems but merely indicated that it was loony-tunes at times (especially since last January), something that is universally known to be true. The official line in the party remains that Bush, Cheney and Halliburton are responsible for the downturn and that Attorney General Holder is looking into the matter, the IRS is investigating all three, and Michael Moore is planning a movie tentatively entitled The Three Racketeers, hopefully starring Alec Baldwin as a conscientious clergyman enduring the sacrifice of expatriation to escape this corrupt nation. POTUS pressperson Robert Glibs (okay, Gibbs – little joke there) will make a cameo appearance and will answer two questions, accounting for two-thirds of the length of the movie.

***Please note that POTUS was not reduced to even a tear, much less actual weeping, during the above mentioned interview, despite Sawyer’s mournful look and obvious attempt to make him cry. He has been coached by Weather Underground guru Bill Ayers, who once threw a stick of dynamite at his grandmother, on the art of being stone-faced even if asked about the soldiers he’s sending to Afghanistan. Letters have been sent to Sawyer, Katie Couric, Barbara Walters and Oprah to let them know that their efforts to make him appear more “understanding,” thus satisfying NOW and the Girl Scouts, will be useless. However, the rumor that his teleprompters cue him as to when to laugh, look serious, smirk, compare republicans to macacas, and wait for applause is untrue.

***The nasty rumor around the the bottled-water keg and non-trans-fat, non-hamburger (eating grease okay if Senator Biden does), non-hotdog, non-dairy-product-of-any-kind, non-chocolate, non-smoking (smoking okay if Obama lights up), veggie-fortified, yogurt-enhanced snack-bar and body-mass-chart, carbon-cap-graph, endangered-species-obituary-wall-chart, blue/red-state-map, and Bush-dart-board that POTUS hexed the unbeaten University of Kentucky basketball team on the 26th by phoning the team in South Carolina (had won only two of five conference games) to congratulate it on raising a million bucks for Haiti via telethon will not go unpunished when the perpetrator is found. The UK loss occurred simply because of lack of sufficient points to win. The president’s help on two occasions in Copenhagen and one each in Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts did not lead to defeats, only rear-guard actions to keep the margins fairly close. Without his help, Massachusetts would have given the seat to an orangutan, for instance.

***The fact that POTUS announced his support for the New Orleans Saints in the Super Bowl had nothing to do with the recent suicides of two well-known odds-makers in Las Vegas and the rumor that there are prayer meetings and voodoo exercises and Bible-Studies and chicken-beheadings every night throughout Louisiana. Also, the staffer who put that silly rendition of When the Saints Go Marching OUT on the PA system has already been sent to Venezuela, on the recommendation of Czar Holdren (huge Chavez fan), to observe the next election without even a machete.

***The fact that special envoys to Pakistan and the Middle East Richard Holbrooke and George Mitchell, respectively, have not been seen or heard from lately doesn’t mean they’re not on the job. Holbrooke has been busy counting his money between sessions with Pakistani officials and Mitchell has been reopening his “Baseball Steroids” investigation in light of the recent admission by Mark McGuire that he did use drugs but felt the need to confess, especially since the Cards wanted to hire him as hitting coach. The bats he uses will be reinforced with steel rods but the players will use traditional bats and be taught how to use their Redman output to good advantage before stepping into the batter’s box, although squirting a stream in the ump’s eyes will be an automatic heave-ho.

***Recognizing that some students recently graduated from colleges and universities and now on staff have never heard of either Haiti or FEMA, please be advised that Haiti is not a state and that FEMA applies only to this country. This is not to say that all available help should not be given to Haiti, only that such comes under the rubric of the State Department and is called Foreign Aid. Also, a staffer was heard to use the term “terrorism” the other day. This is a no-no, as Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano has explained. The proper term is man-caused disaster. Terrorism is so...well, gauche-sounding...the same as using break-in instead of the more refined and acceptable home-invasion. Secretary Napolitano is also examining other terms for adjustment. An example would be that someone who is murdered would simply be breath-challenged by a man-caused disaster. This may sound like chauvinism in reverse, but, after all, this administration is effecting CHANGE!

***Finally, teleprompter technicians are needed. POTUS has made so many speeches since 2006, especially during 2009 and even while reading to first-graders, that his word-machines are in considerable need of revamping. In a recent school-session, his knees kept obscuring his teleprompter-view as he sat in one of those little chairs and he had the three little pigs blowing away Humpty Dumpty. He even said “Pea Hittle Thrigs” once, and that upset the children. Applications can be made to Robert Gibbs.

***Please be advised that VPOTUS was not dozing during the POTUS state-of-the-union speech and that Speaker Pelosi did not break either her face or any vertebra in all the jumping up and down. VPOTUS has explained that he was resting his eyes after a hard day’s work watching the Geithner hearing in the House and the Speaker has explained that she often has a lopsided grin when experiencing a rhapsody. Also, the NBC building did not experience earthquake tremors during the speech. The shaking was due to inordinate leg-tingling by prominent democratic propagandist Chris Matthews, who also said he forgot that POTUS was black during the speech, but claims he was not asleep, just bathing in an aura of ecstasy.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


The president has acknowledged publicly that the election of republican Scott Brown to the Senate has thrown a monkey-wrench into the “greater society” plans he and his partners in crime in the Congress have formulated for the country, although “formulated” is hardly the right term to describe what they’ve done since they’ve all ridden off in all directions at once, meaning that they are going nowhere together, i.e., no “formulation,” only chaos.

The president is indeed a slow-learner. After the Senate joined the House in coming under control of the republicans in 1995, President Clinton was smart enough to say to the citizens, “We hear you,” or words to that effect, and then he began paying attention to plain, common sense in government. Contrarily, President Obama has indicated that he needs to explain things better to the citizens, i.e., he needs to speak more loudly and more often, as if either is actually possible. A rundown of his mega-number of speeches, town-hall meetings, interviews (rarely with Fox News, of course), Sunday-morning talk-fests, etc. is stupendous. That’s not even to mention his apparatchiks’ multitudinous appearances at every opportunity on ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, CNN, or the ramblings of the coastal print-rags spouting the Obama line.

This is scary. The president has taken a “school-marm” approach to the public. Obviously an elitist, he’s condescending to the hoi-polloi, deigning to make the average John Doe listen-up or else. He traveled out to Ohio after that disastrous setback and went back into campaign mode before a friendly crowd, though, actually, he’s been in nothing but campaign mode ever since 2006. He still suffers under the illusion that he can charm his way to his objectives, though in his recent forays into everywhere from Copenhagen to Virginia, New Jersey, and, of course, Massachusetts, he’s been thoroughly repudiated by a public tired of being “talked-down-to.”

Photo-ops and TV appearances (those people who form various types of paparazzi) are used, actually manipulated, so he can either try to make a point or take everyone’s mind off whatever thorny issue he can’t handle. He took on Wall Street (again) after that Massachusetts election – always good for getting the dummies out in the boondocks fired-up, not to mention forgetting un-pleasances like Scott Brown – to let them know he was coming after them. Despite all of his bluster for months, the bankers and other fat cats have kept right on paying their huge bonuses and are now turning in huge profits, thanks to the bailout that arguably never should have happened (blame Bush, too).

The fat cats, aided by nutcase demands by Congress, such as encouraging people to buy houses they couldn’t afford while putting the arm on financial institutions to make it possible, are smarter in a minute than Obama is in a year. Or...could he just be in collusion? After all, he had no problem with appointing tax-cheats to high offices. Paying citizens $4,000 to buy cars they didn’t need and destroying the trade-ins that others actually DID need is another example of voodoo economics, not to mention all the “green” evils (manmade climate wreckage) that destroying the cars did not affect at all because this wreckage simply doesn’t exist.

In the face of well-documented proof that manmade global warming is a hoax, notwithstanding the intrepid Al Gore’s weird and discounted claims, Obama went to Copenhagen to beat a dead horse and came away with nothing except some high-flown rhetoric claiming that next year something absolutely will be done about this evil that doesn’t exist. Add that to his apologies all around for the very existence of this mean old country and it’s easy to see why people have had it up to here.

In the month that Martin Luther King’s name is constantly before the public, especially as connoting equal OPPORTUNITY for everyone, which translates to just the opposite of slavery, President Obama is attempting to put the whole country back on the plantation, with the massa (government) as either “big daddy who knows best” or “Simon Legree, who threatens with every tax imaginable”...and this stinks. His solution so far is to kick a campaign guru back into action to try to make the “spin” take hold. He’s blowing in the wind. Campaign-time is over.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Blame Game - KAPUT!

In an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos the day after Scott Brown’s Senate victory in Massachusetts, President Obama jumped on his theme right at the beginning by claiming that people are angry and frustrated over what’s happened over the last eight years. Translated: It’s all George Bush’s fault.

The last eight years covers 2002 until now, but Bush was reelected in 2004 (two wars on and just six years ago) over Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, whose election Ted Kennedy thought was in the bag and coerced the Massachusetts legislature to change the election laws so Governor Romney, a republican, couldn’t appoint a republican to Kerry’s seat when he took over the White House. Kennedy had the laws changed again last year so an election could be held almost immediately (keep 60 democrat senators) so another democrat would take his seat upon his demise, but Brown ruined all that anyway.

Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac, two totally corrupt quasi-government lending agencies, were largely responsible for the financial meltdown last year but Bush and his administration were clearly on the record at least as far back as 2004 in warning that these agencies were out of control. Government regulators appeared in Congressional hearings but were shouted down by shrill voices such as democrats Maxine Waters and Barney Frank. The head honchos at the two agencies were raking in multi-millions for themselves. The Congress was taken over by the democrats in the 2006 vote, and democrat Obama was elected in 2008. The rest is history.

The democrats have been attempting to run the country for three years, with Obama complicit for one year, and in that span the nation has spiraled into deep recession, the unemployment rate has skyrocketed to double-digits, the government has taken over the financial structure and instituted unbelievable pork-barrel spending (stimulus). The government drove two auto companies into bankruptcy last year, taking over one of them, GM, and holding a substantial interest in Chrysler. Millions of citizens have lost their homes because of government actions coercing lending agencies to finance home-buying that the buyers couldn’t afford.

Perhaps the worst attribute of Obama and his administration is that they’re slow-learners or maybe no-learners. In 1993 within days of taking office, Bill Clinton assigned health-care legislation to Hillary Clinton – a non-official not even subject to Senate-approval – and she concocted behind closed doors a plan so cockamamie, costly and loaded with red tape that it was never seriously considered.

Within days of taking office, Obama assigned health-care to Congress (okay, mostly to Speaker Pelosi, with republicans totally out of the picture, but Senate democrats as a side-show), and Pelosi and Senator Baucus, also behind closed doors, presided over contrivances so corrupt or off-the-wall that only one-third of the citizenry, from what little it knows about them, approves of them. It’s a fair bet that at least 75% of all the lawmakers have never read the respective bills and the ones who have don’t understand what they mandate. Slow-learner!

Within days of taking office, Obama began appointing “czars” to run the government, one of them even being responsible for seeing that the other czars “did their jobs,” never mind that cabinet secretaries usually run the government. These folks evaded the approval process, and some, like Van Jones, were just plain weird – a self-proclaimed communist. The czar appointed to run the auto business knew absolutely nothing about – yep – the auto business. Another thinks animals should have lawyers. This was simply cockeyed, but Obama, apparently too caught up in himself to see what was happening, never realized how foolish the citizens considered his actions to be. Slow-learner!

For her part and under Obama’s pressure, Speaker Pelosi managed to get the House to pass a disastrous cap/trade bill that not one Congressman who voted for it had read. It turns out that manmade global-warming is a monstrous hoax, that the “scientists” most responsible for the hoax simply “cooked the books” (along with Al Gore) to perpetrate it, and that China is laughing itself silly. Yet, Obama put his prestige on the line in going to Copenhagen to front for this hoax and got absolutely nothing out of it. Slow-learner!

Obama pushed the “stimulus bill” – $787 billion in pork-barrel spending going down the drain – and it was passed in Congress without anyone who voted for it having read it. The House passed its health-care bill, though not unanimously, and it now flounders before a Senate bill that was literally bought and sold, with the pusillanimous “deals” aired in the media. In Economics 101, a student learns that cutting taxes on corporations and capital gains and individuals is the way to jump-start an economy, but the program by Obama and gang leads inexorably in the opposite direction. Slow-learner!

Is it any wonder that the “Kennedy seat,” characterized by Brown as the “people’s seat,” was taken over by a republican? Obama has not realized that the citizens are better educated than he thought. They see him as leading the country into socialism (with help from the republicans, to be fair) and they don’t intend to go there. It will be interesting to see if he continues to be a slow-learner!

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Kennedy-Era Over!

When Scott Brown won the Senate seat formerly held by Ted Kennedy on 19 January he provided the substance for a last laugh at Kennedy, who orchestrated the 2004 succession law revision in Massachusetts that required a special election, for a very partisan reason. John Kerry, the other Senator from the state, was running for President in 2004 (apparently thought by Kennedy to be a shoo-in?), and Kennedy wanted the law changed so the Republican Governor at the time, Mitt Romney, could not name Mr. Kerry's replacement. The law was changed to satisfy Kennedy, but Kerry didn’t win anyway, so it didn’t matter.

The 2004 revision of the law mandated that a special election be held at least 145 days after the seat becomes available, if vacated by death or whatever. Kennedy was concerned last year that such a delay could leave his fellow Democrats in the Senate one vote short of a filibuster-proof majority for months while a special election takes place. So, the Massachusetts Legislature changed the law last year to satisfy Kennedy again. Result: The Health-Care bill, Kennedy’s baby, is probably headed for oblivion, at least for a long time. Political chicanery sometimes reaps its just rewards.

The Kennedy grip on politics has been slipping for some time and perhaps now the coup de grace has been administered, at least In Massachusetts, leaving gadfly Kerry to carry whatever torch there is left, at least when he isn’t falling off his skis in Switzerland. It could be that part of the reason for Brown’s victory simply lay in the fact that even in Massachusetts folks were getting tired of the “Kennedy Legacy.”

Kennedy was capable of mean-spirited and spiteful conduct, not unusual in hordes of politicians but particularly pronounced in his case. One remembers the number he did on Bush’s nomination back in 2007 regarding the post of surgeon-general. Kennedy was the new chairman (Congress lost to democrats in 2006) of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, on which also sat Senators Clinton, Dodd, and Obama, all three running hard for the presidency.

In his opening remarks, Kennedy tore into the nominee, Dr. James Holsinger, like a wild man and stopped just short of announcing to the world that Holsinger was a liar and a bigot. In the process, he made it clear that the only thing that mattered in Holsinger's job was homosexuality – not surprising from the senator from a state where men could marry each other. Obama and Holsinger had already issued statements pronouncing judgment on the nominee before the hearing was even held. The supreme irony lay in the fact that both Kennedy and Dodd were Roman Catholics, in which denomination homosexuality is considered not only unacceptable but immoral as well.

Dr. Holsinger, a prominent cardiologist, was a member of the faculty at the Lexington, Ky., University of Kentucky Medical School, a seminary graduate, a member of the United Methodist Judicial Council since 2000 and its president since 2004 at the time. He had also served as secretary of the Commonwealth of Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services for two years and had taught at several medical schools and spent more than three decades in the Army Reserve, retiring in 1993 as a major general. In other words, his qualifications were numerous and his conduct impeccable.

Dr. Holsinger had prepared a paper entitled "Pathophysiology of Male Homosexuality” for a Methodist group in 1991. Even though plain common sense dictates that the jamming of an instrument – most any instrument – into the rectum can be extremely harmful, not just in the destruction of tissue but in the spreading of various diseases in a very sensitive area, Dr. Holsinger outlined the makeup of bodily orifices from the biological and physiological standpoint, as well as the ease/violence with which they are violated physically, and also outlined how male and female reproductive organs complement each other, while male organs do just the opposite. The paper was a scholarly approach to the matter.

That was too much for Kennedy and his committee, desperate for the gay/lesbian/transgender vote. In the hearing, Senator Mikulski (who may hate all men) appeared as a large frog about to clomp on a poor, defenseless Junebug, this one being Holsinger, whom she let it be known from the outset was deaf and dumb with respect to sexual harassment (are these democrat women-senators obsessed with sex and deviancy?). Senator Murray seemed to want Holsinger to approve fornication in the high schools (that condom/abstinence/hormone-uprising thing), but he disappointed her and said he would mention (gasp) condoms.

In any case, the nomination was never brought to the Senate floor, and the position was still vacant when Bush left office in 2009. Just part of the “Kennedy Legacy!”

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Friday, January 15, 2010

Haiti as Seen via New Orleans

The earthquake disaster in Haiti, while owning tragic dimensions far worse that those of Katrina in 2005, nevertheless provides some insight as to the performance of FEMA in 2005, although it has been demonstrated in Congressional hearings, etc., that FEMA got a bad rap. ABC’s Dianne Sawyer stood on the tarmac of the airport at Port Au Prince on 15 January and bewailed the fact that supplies were on-scene but weren’t being delivered. She all but stamped her foot. Perhaps she had forgotten New Orleans.

Supplies were not being distributed primarily because there is no governmental infrastructure in Haiti equipped to do much of anything such as clear roads, set up distribution points, set up communications, appoint personnel, set up morgues, put emergency plans for hospitals in place, etc. Add to that the fact that the UN is probably supposed to take the lead – a disaster in itself – and it’s easy to see how lack of planning, red tape and every other bureaucratic nightmare imaginable is extant. The U.S. Air Force finally got the airport functioning and has an aircraft carrier and boatloads of helicopters available but...who’s in charge?

It’s perfectly obvious that the Southern Command of the United States ought to be in charge. A couple thousand U.S. GIs are on-scene but they probably will act more in keeping the peace than anything else. After all, the Port Au Prince prison was shattered during the earthquake, meaning that about 4,000 convicts are roaming the area. Whatever police force may be in existence cannot be expected to cope if for no other reason the fact that many of its personnel are intimately affected by the quake and tied up in family matters of life and death.

How about Katrina? The following or similar material was the subject of talk radio in 2005 and came from one of the highest-profile bloggers in the nation, Ann Althouse, a law professor in Madison, Wisconsin: “Behind the scenes, a power struggle emerged, as federal officials tried to wrest authority from Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco (D). Shortly before midnight Friday [Aug. 26], the Bush administration sent her a proposed legal memorandum asking her to request a federal takeover of the evacuation of New Orleans, a source within the state’s emergency operations center said Saturday.

The administration sought unified control over all local police and state National Guard units reporting to the governor. Louisiana officials rejected the request after talks throughout the night, concerned that such a move would be comparable to a federal declaration of martial law. Some officials in the state suspected a political motive behind the request. ‘Quite frankly, if they’d been able to pull off taking it away from the locals, they then could have blamed everything on the locals,’ said the source, who does not have the authority to speak publicly.” Incredible! A political decision concerning human lives, with a horrible hurricane about to hit.

President Bush was in contact with New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, an African American, well in advance of the storm’s onslaught on the morning of Aug. 29, urging him to evacuate the city. It apparently had been reported that 68-foot waves were churning through the Gulf as Katrina approached. The mayor had at his disposal hundreds of school-buses, as well as city buses and other forms of transportation. He did little more than finally (if memory serves, sometime Sunday, the 28th) tell everyone to get out, but did not move one bus to get anyone out, even though thousands had no means of transportation.

Nagin did direct people to the Superdome, where he had provided no food, no water, no toilet facilities – nothing, in short. Citizens also went to the Convention Center, where there were no food, water, toilets – in short, no provisions for some 70,000 people altogether. Thousands more were simply trapped in their homes. Some one-third of the city’s policemen disappeared, and anarchy overtook the city. But for the intransigence of local and state officials, the looting, shooting, sniping, and other atrocities might have been avoided, because the Army and the National Guard could have been on the scene. Also, National Hurricane Center Director Max Mayfield in Miami called Nagin at home and told him: Get people out of New Orleans.

Sawyer and other reporters were plainly dismayed but had absolutely no understanding of the problems confronting rescuers, most of whom had never seen Haiti and didn’t know anything about the place. This reminds of Fox News reporters Shephard Smith and Geraldo in New Orleans days after the fact in 2005 caterwauling about governmental dereliction but apparently having no comprehension of what had actually happened. At the time, the Coast Guard was rescuing hundreds of people.

Local officials, not FEMA and not George Bush, played the major role in causing the tragedies in New Orleans in 2005. The same is true of officials in Haiti, although, of course, on a much larger scale. As for the reporters who expect miracles overnight, they need to get a life. Just as no one could have foreseen the terrible tragedies in Haiti, no one could have imagined New Orleans in 2005. It was/is virtually criminal to push agendas in the midst of such tragedies.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Time to Disband the Human Rights Commission?

Another local government commission/board/whatever that has spent itself into bankruptcy or larceny or both is the Lexington Human Rights Commission, joining the boards (sometime thieves) of Bluegrass Airport, the city-league, county-cabal and local library. One wonders where, if, or when this mismanagement/embezzlement/whatever will be stopped. As in all the other cases, the people responsible for the HRC don’t have a clue as to how all the funds disappeared, even those involving personnel insurance payments to the city government.

Anyone who believes that is invited to buy the Centrepointe land for 99 cents. Or...even worse, that may actually be the truth, i.e, that the folks who are supposed to run things either can’t or won’t. The HRC director who was just fired can’t even draw his last check, but the public is led to believe that he doesn’t know why he can’t draw that check. Where did the money go? If he doesn’t know, who does? If he doesn’t know, who in city government should know? After all, much of the HRC operating-cash is paid by Lexington taxpayers, whose representatives should have a working knowledge of the agencies they supposedly govern. This is ridiculous.

One has only to remember the “Ron Berry Affair” of the late 90s to understand how city government can be totally a lost ball in the tall weeds. This guy was engaging in lewd acts with minors for years but nobody in government knew anything about it, or at least did not own up to knowing anything about it. The boards of the other agencies mentioned above just didn’t know what was going on...their members said...while the head apparatchiks they were supposed to be watching/governing were stealing the taxpayers blind. This is disgusting.

One supposes that State Auditor Luallen will be called upon to send her people in to decide who did what, when, where and why, though when compared to the other rip-offs the HRC mess is chickenfeed, only a $50,000 deficit presently, with nothing to make payroll and debts totaling more than $71,000.

Perhaps this would be a good time to do away with the HRC altogether, thus saving a barrel of money and getting rid of an agency no one will watch anyway. The Civil Rights legislation, in the main, was passed some 45 years ago, complete with entitlements, quotas and all the rest. Surely, complaints can be made directly to the Lexington-Fayette government, with perhaps one – and only one – employee designated to look after and resolve any problems. That would be a lot cheaper and maybe – just maybe – there would be a level of accountability...though one shouldn’t bet the farm on that.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Monday, January 11, 2010

Light-brown, Articulate, Clean!

Considering the “friends” President Obama has, he certainly has no need of enemies. During his campaign for the presidency, Jesse Jackson was caught on a live microphone expressing a desire to castrate Obama, not exactly the wish of a bosom buddy, but...hey, cut Jackson some slack. At least, he wasn’t making a racist remark, only a biological one, so what could be wrong with that? Besides, Jackson apologized all over the place, so hugs and warm fuzzies were enjoyed all around.

But along comes Senate Majority Leader Reid and remarks that Obama is sort of...well, John Lewis-lite or Al Sharpton-lite. In other words, Obama could be examined for the presidency because – unlike Lewis and Sharpton – he not only was light-skinned (light-brown like the hair of Stephen Foster’s dream about Jeanie) but was multi-lingual, having become articulate in both English and ebonics. As Foster would have it, Obama could be seen as borne, like a vapor, on the summer air, tripping where the bright streams play, and happy as the daisies that dance on his way. At least, Reid didn’t accuse him of waltzing on the Potomac, but Obama no doubt sees flowers withering, not dancing, with Reid as a hovering toxic vapor – worse than CO2.

Or...take Reid via Foster’s words in the last verse and compare them with Obama now: his light form straying far from the fond hearts round his native glade, where smiles have vanished and his sweet songs flown, flitting like the dreams that have cheered but are gone. Obama has strayed far from his base (far lefties like Bill Ayers), not even closing Gitmo yet, with no certain date for same, and leaving the Hollywood crowd with their tongues hanging out but at least making them unable to scream any longer about Iraq/Afghanistan, thus turning their dreams into nightmares. His sweet songs of socializing the country are falling on deaf ears outside San Francisco and Massachusetts...vanishing.

Limbaugh played a clip on 11 January of Hillary Clinton attempting ebonics in a black church somewhere during her campaign...hilarious...absolutely no style, not even close. And then there was that alleged remark about Obama by Bill Clinton to Ted Kennedy during the campaign, to wit, "A few years ago, this guy would have been getting us coffee." But...cut old Bill some slack. After all, he was the first black president (maybe sort of pale-Caucasian) and made it known that he felt everyone’s pain.

And then there’s that other friend, one so close that Obama picked him to ride shotgun and live in that veep mansion for at least four years. Joe Biden waxing eloquent about Obama during the 2008 campaign: "I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that's a storybook, man." So...Jackson, Sharpton and (gasp) Martin Luther King, Jr., were never mainstream, even though the two former actually ran for the presidency and the latter actually changed history.

Okay...Biden also said “jobs” is a three-letter word and that bankruptcy could be erased by spending and that people should avoid riding subways in order to dodge swine flu, so why should one be surprised at anything he says? Cut him some slack? No! Biden holds the second-slot office in the land and implied that most African Americans are unable to speak coherently and are dull, dirty and ugly. That’s racism, but Biden can get away with it because he belongs to the party of sophistication, the same party to which Obama belongs but, for reasons known only to himself, relieved the Senate of this racist and placed him where he could do even more significant damage if anything happened to the president.

The democrat menagerie plays the racist card all the time. It has a “plantation” mentality with regard to African Americans. It promises them the moon, but it was actually the republicans who gave them the moon back in the 60s, not the democrats, who were obstructionists extraordinaire. The rightness or wrongness of some of the entitlements can be argued, but much of the civil rights stuff has eventuated in the near-total destruction of the black family, an unintended consequence of good intentions. The fact that the blacks march in lockstep with the ilk of Reid and Biden and the Clintons is puzzling to the point of incomprehension.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Friday, January 08, 2010

Obama & Terrorism

The president said all the right things in his exercise of 07 January with regard to the “skivvies-bomber” affair of Christmas-day. Complete with teleprompters in place lest he slip up somehow, he summarized the reports he had received and, though the appearance fitted the milieu of a press conference during which he should answer questions, proceeded not to do that, leaving that thorny piece of business to top apparatchiks Napolitano and Brennan. He took total blame for the mess but “total” was not enough to require that he allow himself to be held accountable in explaining how and why he took total blame, or why that should be the case in light of his insistence that there was a “systemic failure,” i.e., that the total blame was not his.

One of the encouraging things he seems to understand is that this country is now “at war,” at least with al Qaeda. At first blush, this seems a dramatic departure from what the administration has seemed to be avoiding, i.e., the mention of “war” with any entity. Whoa! In a March 2009 interview with Spiegel, Homeland Security head honcho Janet Napolitano said this: “I presume there is always a threat from terrorism. In my speech, although I did not use the word ‘terrorism,’ I referred to ‘man-caused’ disasters. That is perhaps only a nuance, but it demonstrates that we want to move away from the politics of fear toward a policy of being prepared for all risks that can occur.” In other words, Napolitano is a lost ball in the tall weeds – “man-caused disasters,” indeed! Man-caused disasters are car-wrecks and such like. And...there’s certainly nothing wrong with “fear,” a great motivator for self-preservation.

Therein may lie the main difference between Obama and George Bush. This is what Bush said to a joint session of Congress on 20 September 2001, just days after the carnage of 9/11: “Our war on terror begins with al Qaeda, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped, and defeated.” So...the question has to do with where and how Obama’s “war” is to be waged. Is it to be fought only against what he conceives of as al Qaeda, or is it to be fought against terrorism in all of its ugly forms everywhere?

George Bush has been maligned for the invasion of Iraq and, admittedly, there can be arguments about that; however, the most sadistic and notorious terrorist in the world in the 1980s and ’90s was Saddam Hussein, who managed to annihilate 400,000 of his own people and in the process wage chemical warfare against the Kurds in the North and the Shiites in the South, not to mention his use of chemicals against the Iranians in his bloody conflict with them in the 1980s. Saddam was not an al Qaeda hack. He was an accomplished and bloodthirsty terrorist, who, but for the actions of George H.W. Bush, would own practically all the Middle East oil today, after having butchered tens of thousands on the Arabian Peninsula alone. Bush stopped his attempted terrorism on a grand scale (invasion of Kuwait) in 1991, just as he was poised to invade and quickly conquer Saudi Arabia.

His allusion to “war” also brings up the obvious contradiction Obama faces with his bringing of the Gitmo detainees to the states to be tried in criminal courts. Prisoners of War are not tried in criminal courts, but in military courts, which has been the way prisoners captured elsewhere have been handled. Zacarias Moussaoui, though not a citizen, was arrested in Minnesota in August 2001 account of his connection to 9/11 and was granted a criminal trial (life sentence), but he was arrested while living on U.S. soil. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, both born in New York, were executed in 1953 as spies. The judge even blamed them for the deaths accruing to the Korean War. Moussaoui got off easy.

The Gitmo gang, as well as the “skivvies-bomber” of 25 December, were aliens operating outside the U.S., never mind that the latter was arrested on U.S. soil. His attempted murder/suicide was an act of terrorism imported from elsewhere, so by his own definition Obama should have insisted that he be treated as a POW, i.e., turned over to the military for interrogation as well as judgment. Indeed, Guantanamo, as much as folks want to close it, is the ideal detention center for the war on terrorism and should never be closed as long as operatives from outside the U.S. attempt terrorism. A good water-boarding – which neither injures nor kills – would have been made to order for finding out a great deal of information, especially since Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab had been indoctrinated in Yemen, the current hotbed of terroristic activity. Those who feel like shedding some tears for him are invited to imagine nearly 300 passengers and no telling how many Detroiters smashed to bits on Christmas.

President Obama and Attorney General Holder need to re-think a lot of things, but nothing more important than the terrorism question and just how to handle its butchers.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Thursday, January 07, 2010

OPERATION WIN! - at all costs?

The news-flash was of such inordinate proportions that soap operas lacked sufficient preference to escape being done-in by the press conference at the University of Kentucky on 06 January in which was announced the hiring of a new FOOTBALL COACH, Joker Phillips. Whoa...stop the presses or HD-TV or talk-radio...or NEWS! The fact that Phillips had been designated for the job since 2008 didn’t matter...this was NEWS!

Embarrassingly, Phillips will make only $1.7 million per year in the job (but only $400,000 from the university, not even as much as the UK president but just as much as Obama), putting him in tenth place among the 12 Southeastern Conference football coaches, but...hey, these are hard times right now. The hardship is tempered a bit by the fact that Phillips will get a free membership in a country club (at UK expense) – an absolute must; two late-model cars for both personal and official use (no word on who buys the gas!) and a bunch of free game-tickets to give away.

There’s more. Winning four SEC games will pocket him another $100,000, with eight wins worth $750,000 (okay, the latter an absolute impossibility with the former strictly iffy); another $100,000 for just winning the SEC East (six teams) in addition to the above; and beaucoup megabucks if he should get anywhere near a BCS bowl appearance. He even gets a cool $15,000 if two-thirds of his players graduate, an indication of just what’s important – WINNING!

Phillips hasn’t done all that bad in his years at UK in one coaching spot or another but he only made $150,000 – a mere pittance – in 2006, so he was raised by 61% to $241,245 in 2007. Odds are that he was well over the quarter-million mark by now. When looking at all the numbers involved, one can see how desperate/demanding a coach has to be in order to make the big bucks...all of them off the backs of 83 scholarship players, who get free education but take a lot of thumps in both practices and games in the process. Is it any wonder that the Texas Tech coach recently got banished before his own bowl game because of his alleged mistreatment of a player, mostly just not believing the guy actually had suffered a concussion in practice?

The hope is that Phillips will be eminently successful, but the point is unmistakable that money talks, with winning about the only consideration. Bonuses based on the backs of young men predispose toward pushing the envelope physically and mentally. This is not to say that winning should not always be the objective, only that the development of the players, nearly all of whom will never play professionally, should come first, especially academically and health-wise. In other words, there should be no bonuses based on the number of wins or other entities such as championships or bowl games. To award them is to denigrate the players to little more than chattel, driven like cattle, not to mention that bonuses imply that the coach will do his best ONLY for the money.

Phillips has come up with the theme for his tenure – OPERATION WIN. It will be interesting to see how this plays out, especially for the players.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Lexington's "Downtown Dilemma"

In the Lexington Herald-Leader of 06 January was the recurring theme that Lexington is simply losing too many of its brightest and best because it’s...well, too back-woodsy or something like that. The columnist, Tom Eblen (onetime managing editor but now apparently commentator-at-large [remember Bill Bishop, who railed against cul-de-sacs back in the 90s]), used the term “creative class” and remarked a session he had recently enjoyed with a 20s-30s gang of architects, educators, and entrepreneurs in the arts and technologies. Some had even gone to Harvard, Princeton and MIT. But, after all, Eblen wrote: “It makes sense that an economy based on innovation and technology needs young, creative, well-educated innovators.”

Almost as if on cue on 01 January, a column by UK professor Ernie Yanarella appeared and ran along the same lines. Yanarella: “This community's leaders have had problems moving from vision to implementation.” The professor outlined a six-part solution for the problems plaguing the city, running the usual gamut from “vision/dream” to “addressing ... issues.” Another UK sage (grad student, I believe) complained the other day because there were not enough outlets for the raucous stuff called music these days by the “enlightened” ones such as he, of course. For Yanarella (and the H-L), Centrepointe was the beef, as always, but he made no mention of the efforts that have been and are being made such as the Distillery thing, new hospitals, new downtown housing, etc.

However, Yanarella has a point regarding the local government. One remembers the time a few years ago when the urban-county government actually voted once to completely close Vine Street at Broadway (suggestion from – yep – academia) and commuters were told to find their way to work by traversing neighborhood streets, which were actually residential parking lots allowing for virtually no clearance as two-way boulevards. A whole gang of citizens got up in arms over that crazy idea and the immediate backpedaling took place. Now, the big deal for the elitists is to rid downtown of one-way streets, the better to snarl traffic on streets not built way back when for two-way luxury vis-a-vis today’s traffic volume.

Politicians and academicians do studies, make charts, draw pictures...DREAM! Downtown here, as the case almost everywhere else, is a utilitarian location – financial institutions, courthouses, office buildings, law firms, restaurants, specialty shops – not very amenable to parks, promenades, etc. Maybe if it were located on a river (like Louisville & Cincinnati), such would not be the case, but it’s landlocked all of the time and grid-locked much of the time. Imagine (another idea from academia) a promenade in the middle of Vine Street. That has actually been proposed for the widest and therefore most easily traveled street downtown. Egad!

How does one entice folks to “come downtown?” Is it by plowing up the best streets and planting trees and flowers? Folks might come downtown, where parking either street-wise or garage-wise is a pain if not an impossibility much of the time if the Webbs put a Kroger Store on the Centrepointe block, with plenty of parking, of course. Or...maybe Walmart would be interested in a downtown location. In either case, people could combine what other pursuits they have in mind with also doing the family grocery-shopping and other types of shopping on a 24/7 basis.

Build a Kroger or Sam’s (especially with gas pumps) in that block and then the lounges would multiply as the “enlightened” combined everyday shopping with entertainment, ballgames or just plain getting drunk. that’s a nightmare for the sophisticates, but it would be a DREAM/VISION to others. It would come nearer to revitalizing downtown than anything else. keeping with making downtown a “green paradise,” as some want to do, why not encourage the Webbs to install a park (with a couple hundred trees for starters and a state-of-the-art playground) in the Centrepointe lot? Or...apply to the millionaires in the athletic department at UK and buy the land and turn it into an arboretum free from any vehicular traffic and fast-food joints. It would also be the best possible layout for the layabouts who frequent the park across the street now, so, of course, that might make it a bit iffy with regard to safety.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Rahm, Max, Nancy & Joe

It’s just after midnight and White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel sets up a conference-call with Senator Max Baucus, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Vice President Joe Biden, hereinafter referenced, respectively, as R, M, N, and J.

*J: This better be good, Rahm, I’m already in bed and eating my popcorn and watching old wrestling films on TV.

*M: Yeah, R-R-R-Rahmy old boy...I’m into my p-p-p-artisan...n-n-no..make that n-n-n-non-partisan speesh for tomorrow and I...

*R: Good grief! You in your cups again, Max? I thought you only did that on the Senate floor...hoo-hah...even old McConnell was embarrassed when you...

*N: I’m not amused, Rahm, at this hour. I was helping my husband count our money...damn that minimum-wage’s...

*M: You mean t-t-the one w-w-where you tried to get your old m-m-man’s fruit-pickers off and...

*R: Okay...enough already! You guys can cast aspersions on your own time. This is the White House time.

*J: Just hold it there, Rahm. If anything happens to POTUS, I’m in the catbird’s seat, so I outrank you, meaning you’re on my time...a perfectly good three-letter word – TIME...that’s T-I-M-E!!

*N: Good grief, Joe. Your last three-letter word was “jobs,” and Rush Limbaugh is still laughing about that on his radio slaughterhouse every day.

*M: Hoo-hah, J-J-Joe, thash even better than sp-sp-sp-spending our way out of bankruptcy...or was it b-b-borrowing or was it...

*N: Shut up, you drunk, so Rahm can get on with it. I lost my place listening to you and now I have to start back with the thousand-dollar bills. What’s up, Rahm...has POTUS declared war on Pakistan like he said he would if...

*R: If you’re trying to be funny...oh, never mind, Nancy. Listen up, everybody. I just got word from our chief propagandist that...

*J: I guess you mean Chris Matthews, Rahm, and I’m telling you that anybody whose leg tingles when the president speaks is my kind of...

*R:’s Olbermann this month, Joe...they take it by turns. Olbermann used to gnash his teeth when Bush spoke, which automatically qualifies him for unique responsibilities now. He called me this afternoon and said Napolitano is in deep do-do over that dumb kid trying to blow himself out of his skivvies on that airplane and into paradise. We need a plan to keep her safe until this thing blows over.

*M: Did you shay shomething about somebody’s skivvies blowing off...oh ha, ha...w-w-watsch out, Melodee, dear, don’t spill that...

*R: Either sober up for a minute or get off the line, Max. We gotta problem here. You’ve been the point-man on health-care so maybe you can prove that health-care is dead if Napolitano gets the horse’s head in her bed by the republicans, meaning that she loses Homeland Security and the old codgers who refuse to die just keep on getting Medicare.

*M: Who’s thish Napolitano, Rahmy? I b-b-bet he’s not Irish-h-h. Is he in the M-M-Mafia, maybe? We could use some of those...but h-h-hey...this-sh-sh-ish is not Chicago...right, Rahm? Hoo-hah!

*R: Not funny, Max! Janet Napolitano...that’s Janet...a she, not a he, and she’s Homeland Security czar.

*J: Watch it there, Rahm. As you know, POTUS has put out the word that “czar” is not to be used anymore...that can be a disastrous three-letter word...czar...reminds everyone of the Soviets. Besides, the Patriot Act is still in force and this phone may be bugged. When’s POTUS gonna get rid of that? The ACLU sends me 500 e-mails every damn day about that.

*N: Sheesh! You guys threaten sanity. It’s even worse than when the CIA lied to me and the whole Congress back in 2002 or sometime back then.

*J: Fluffernutter, Nancy...fluffernutter! In case you don’t remember, that’s the word I invented back in 2008 to describe everything John Edwards said while he was chasing that skirt. Maybe you just didn’t understand...

*N: Stuff it, Joe. I’m like John Kerry. I don’t make mistakes. I don’t fall off my skis...oh no, the dog chewed up a CD and three T-bills while I was wasting my time...

*R: Back on the subject, you people! How can we keep Napolitano in her job? POTUS has already thrown enough people under the bus. If he gives her the treatment, his approval ratings will go down among all Italian-Americans. He lost enough folk in Chicago alone to hurt us when he distanced himself from the Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright, and we lost a lot of ACORN nutcases when he said he hardly knew Bill Ayers.

*M: Bill Ayers, R-R-Rahmy? Oh y-y-yeah...he’s the guy t-t-that was-sh under the ground in b-b-bad w-w-weather back when he was in...where was-sh that...the P-P-Penta...

*R: That does it. Get off the line, Max. [click] Okay, Nancy, Joe. We gotta problem here. Stop counting, Nancy! Try to remember the difference between three and four, Joe. Come up with something.

*N: Easy, Rahm. Janet’s a female Italiano ethnic. Tell Olbermann to stop gnashing his teeth and biting the microphone long enough to make a big deal out of that. Nobody using sound judgment would give the axe to an Italian-American-woman. Also tell him to stop frothing at the mouth when he’s on the air. That scares small much stuff about vampires these days!

*J: What about McConnell and the republicans, Nancy? They mean to hurt us on this.

*N: Does it occur to you that there are some Italian-American republicans, too? there aren’t many, but throwing any ethnic under the bus, except white Anglo-Saxon-Protestant-males, is so politically incorrect these days that not even republicans will take the chance to criticize.

*R: I think you’re on to something, Nancy.

*J: Yeah (crunch, crunch). Get ’im, Hulk.

[click, click, click]

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Sunday, January 03, 2010

The "Tax-Loophole" Game

The Kentucky Legislature is about to attack the state again, something that happens every year now, though the off-year ones such as the one in 2009 are small potatoes compared to the biggies that occur in election years, with the biennial budget being the main order of business. Perhaps a good point of reference concerning the money could be found in the Lexington Herald-Leader of 03 January, in which the tax loopholes designed by lobbyists and their legislative hacks were featured – a distinct public service.

As a good “for instance,” consider the H-L’s remarking of the fact that some $500 million dollars worth of thoroughbreds were bought in 2009, with no taxes being paid on the purchases. At six percent, the sales-tax amount the average citizen pays on purchases, the buyers would have enriched the state by $30 million but got off without contributing a dime. So...when a Saudi prince or other wealthy financer of jihad terrorists buys a Kentucky horse, he is allowed to keep millions to fund the deaths of Americans. Disgusting!

Also disgusting is the fact that these “horsy” folks claim their little horse-racing racket will dry up and blow away if they aren’t allowed to install one-arm bandits at the racetracks in order not to have to get their enterprise in order on their own, as other businesspeople are forced to do or go bankrupt. Actually, there’s a way to do this constitutionally – referendum – but these folks are in a hurry and have no concern about the legalities.

House Speaker Stumbo has roared his wisdom that no such constitutional amendment is necessary, but then he’s been for this windfall for a long time. Even the State Senate would probably go along with the referendum route, and the vote could come as early as November, but the horse lobby has the money to try to get its way, notwithstanding all the talk about the racing industry going broke. The matter will soon be determined in the backrooms of the capital, where things are bought and sold.

Tax breaks are not all bad. To the extent that they enhance public services and increase the possibility of jobs, they can serve a good purpose. Toyota of Georgetown is a good example. It’s obvious, however, that some of the moneyed interests, such as coal and electricity, get breaks that can’t be fully justified though they are eminently more justified than the tax breaks on the horse purchases. Subsidizing millionaire horse-owners and Middle East billionaires is a bit much.

Nothing is likely to change. According to the H-L, some $890 million is needed to keep things at the current level in spending, though the governor thinks another $600 million will be needed for “new expenses.” That nearly $1.5 billion could be offset by at least a portion of the private-sector responsibility of the “$2.4 billion the state will forego in sales-tax breaks for horses, coal and dozens of other items.” It won’t happen.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark