Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Somebody Feels Misled

My Life Suddenly Seems Less Complicated

From The Independent of London:
AN EMBITTERED stepmother who hired a circus clown named Banjo to murder her
stepson and his wife, and dispose of the bodies, was jailed for nine years

No matter how bad my day was or the prospects for tomorrow are I have never seen this sentence about my family or acquaintances:
Her accomplice in the plot - a millionaire property developer who introduced her
to the supposed "hitman" - was also jailed for nine years.

Do you feel better about yourself now, too? I know that family can be embarrassing.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Those Pesky Exceptions

The menu at Hondo's On Main in Fredericksburg TX says that it's open 7 days a week except Monday and Tuesday.

That's kind of the way the whole world works, isn't it?

The worst of it is that I don't know of any other place to go to get a sweaty-cold Shiner Bock and play Connect Four at the same time.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Mardi Gras Ends- Election Season Begins In Earnest

From the County Clerks website at 6 AM Wednesday:

Richard T. Woulfe 229
Tris Lahti 158
Jeff Herbers 226
Kathi Swanson 130
Gary Rehfeldt 140
Melissa Hammann 234
Write-in 4

It looks as if it is time to thank Kathi and Gary for all that they brought to the discussion of the issues in Evansville and begin looking forward to April.

What question would you ask the candidates if you had the chance?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

It's Too Late To Vote Early

But it's not too late to vote. I got there at 7 Sharp and was #4. I doubt they'll keep up that pace.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Dorothy Was Right

There's no place like home.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

"It Was Immoral Then And It Would Be Immoral Now To Engage In The Same Delusion. "

Congressman Patrick Murphy's Remarks, AS DELIVERED in the House:

Thank you Mr. Speaker and thank you Mr. Chairman, I appreciate it.

I take the floor today not as a Democrat or Republican, but as an Iraq war veteran who was a Captain with the 82nd Airborne Division in Baghdad.

I speak with a heavy heart for my fellow paratrooper Specialist Chad Keith, Specialist James Lambert and 17 other brave men who I served with who never made it home.

I rise to give voice to hundreds of thousands of patriotic Pennsylvanians and veterans across the globe who are deeply troubled by the President's call to escalate the number of American troops in Iraq.

I served in Baghdad from June of 2003 to January of 2004. Walking in my own combat boots, I saw first hand this Administration's failed policy in Iraq.

I led convoys up and down "Ambush Alley" in a Humvee without doors - convoys that Americans still run today because too many Iraqis are still sitting on the sidelines.

I served in al-Rashid, Baghdad which, like Philadelphia, is home to 1.5 million people. While there are 7,000 Philadelphia police officers serving like my father in Philadelphia, protecting its citizens, there were only 3,500 of us in al-Rashid, Baghdad.

Mr. Speaker, the time for more troops was four years ago. But this President ignored military experts like General Shinseki & General Zinni, who in 2003, called for several hundred thousand troops to secure Iraq.

Now Mr. Speaker, our President again is ignoring military leaders. Patriots like General Colin Powell, like General Abizaid, and members of the bi-partisan Iraq Study Group who oppose this escalation

But most importantly, Mr. Speaker, Congresses in the past did not stand up to the President and his policies. But today I stand with my other military veterans some who were just elected - like Sergeant Major Tim Walz, Admiral Joe Sestak, and Commander Chris Carney. We stand together to tell this Administration that we are against this escalation and that Congress will no longer give the President a blank check.

Mr. Speaker, close to my heart is a small park on the corner of 24th and Aspen Streets in Philadelphia. This is the Patrick Ward Memorial Park.

Patrick Ward was a door gunner in the U.S. Army during Vietnam. He was killed serving the country that he loved. He was the type of guy that neighborhoods devote street corners to and parents name their children after - including my parents, Marge and Jack Murphy.
Mr. Speaker, I ask you - how many more street-corner memorials are we going to have for this war?

This is what the President's proposal does - it sends more of our best and bravest to die refereeing a civil war.

Just a month ago Sgt. Jae Moon from my district in Levittown, Bucks County was killed in Iraq.
You know, a few blocks away from this great chamber, when you walk in the snow, is the Vietnam Memorial, where half of the soldiers listed on that wall died after America's leaders knew our strategy would not work.

It was immoral then and it would be immoral now to engage in the same delusion.

That's why Mr. Speaker, sending more troops into civil war is the wrong strategy. We need to win the War on Terror and reasonable people may disagree on what to do, but most will agree that it is immoral to send young Americans to fight and die in a conflict without a real strategy for success.

The President's current course is not resolute, it is reckless.

That is why I will vote to send a message to our President that staying the course is no longer an option.

Mr. Speaker, its time for a new direction in Iraq. From my time serving with the 82d Airborne Division in Iraq, it became clear that in order to succeed there, we must tell the Iraqis that we will not be there forever. Yet, three years now since I have been home, it's still Americans leading convoys up and down Ambush Alley and securing Iraqi street corners.

We must make Iraqis stand up for Iraq - and set a timeline to start bringing our heroes home.
That's why I am proud to be an original cosponsor - with Senator Barack Obama and fellow paratrooper, Congressman Mike Thompson - of the Iraq De-Escalation Act - a moderate and responsible plan to start brining our troops home, mandating a surge in diplomacy, and refocusing our efforts on the War on Terror in Afghanistan.

Mr. Speaker, our country needs a real plan to get our troops out of Iraq, to protect our homeland and secure and refocus our efforts on capturing and killing Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda.

There are over 130,000 American servicemen and women serving bravely in Iraq. Unfortunately, thousands more are on the way.

Mr. Speaker, an open-ended strategy that ends in more faceless road-side bombs in Baghdad and more street-corner memorials in America, is not one that I will support.

I yield back the remainder of my time.

Don't Forget

I know it's hard to think about in this cold and wet weather but Tuesday is an Election Day.

In the Evansville School Board race you will be asked to select two candidates from the six to narrow the field to 4 for the General in April.

There is also a race for the State Supreme Court.

Get out and vote. You can make a difference.

Monday, February 12, 2007

I Believe I Can Explain The Weather

The Blue Devils lose 4 straight and fall out of the Top 25.

The Salukis rank Number 16.

Beelzebub himself must be freezing.

We'll Mis Ye

Dennis York has given it up. The anonymous blogger who has given us all so much pleasure is joing the working world and is giving up the blog fight.

He's going to work for WPRI now. You all remember that organization. The where Jess Bucher cleans the filter on the think-tank.

A Modest Proposal

The war drums are beating once again for the elimination of the so-called Frankenstein Veto. This little gem has been with us since the days that Tommy T first bowdlerized a budget bill to twist it to his will and has now reached the absurd heights of the Veto-Matic.

It's clear to most everyone at some level that the individual-item veto is going to have to go but no one seems to have the stomach for eliminating it whilst their own is in the Statehouse. I offer my own solution.

Kill the blasted thing now to take effect with the next governor.

Yes. I know that is two years too long for some of my friends on the right but it has grated on both sides for so long that two more years is of minor consequence. Governor Doyle has said that he's done after this term and no one can accurately predict the candidates at this point, much less the winner. Let's get a new system in place now and stop the madness at some point rather than letting it go on forever because of a lack of legislative huevos.

Maybe we could get Paul Ryan to show some leadership at the state level and get him to tell us all why the line-item veto is such a mistake. ;)

Friday, February 09, 2007

How Badly Do You Need To See A Problem?

May we please move past the Speaker's Airplane Quandry, please? It's becoming clear that Nancy Pelosi did not request any plane, much less a 757.

The Sergeant-at-Arms of the House has said that the decision to give her a plane at all as well as to give her one with a non-stop range was his. Even Tony Snow defended the Speaker yesterday.
"This is a silly story and I think it's been unfair to the speaker," White
House spokesman Tony Snow said.

The right-wing yappers need to see a plane problem. They are looking for something about which to be outraged. I'll offer them a plane problem which should be enough to put the undies in a bunch.

Who in their right mind would send 363 tons of $100 bills into a war zone? Go ahead. Discuss. I'll wait.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

What's The First Step?

Yeah, yeah. I know. JB van Hollen shot his mouth off a lot during his campaign. He said he'd have the DNA backlog at the State Crime Lab clear in three weeks. Now, he's a month into his term and all he can do is parrot GWB. "It's hard work. Gonna take time. Stay the course. Need more funding."

Been there. Heard that.

It's also been a month since AG Goodhair took office and we've not seen a single initiative to root out those terrorist cells training in Wisconsin. Van Hollen said he knew where they were because he had special double-secret information from the Feds. Now, it's not so imprtant to him.

But don't misunderestimate JBvH. He knows what to do as the only statewide elected official from his party. He watched John Gard bring on staff while declaring a hiring freeze for everyone else in the Assembly. JB showed us on MOnday that he knows how to reward them what does for him.

JB hired former Dane County Sherrif Gary Hamblin as administrator of the Justice Department's Division of Law Enforcement Services. Instead of hiring two of those actual technicians that everyone in the state can see is needed JB's first step is to spend $102,000 of our money to hire the man who threw Kathleen Falk under the Madison City bus.

What does Hamblin have to say about hitting the ground running and solving the backlog problem?
"I have a lot of learning to do, not only with DNA but the whole crime lab
process," he said. "The important thing is that we all work together as a team.
I don't come in here with any notions as to how to fix it."

There you have it. Without a notion. The WSJournal article continues.
Hamblin told reporters Monday that reducing the backlog will require hiring
more analysts and training officers about what evidence is most appropriate to
submit to the lab. He said he wasn't sure whether other steps are needed.

"If we can train officers to submit those things that do have important
relevance to the case, I think we can streamline the process a little bit,"
Hamblin said.

There is the crux of the biscuit. Maybe, after some training and growing and wheedling for money. Just maybe, eventually, JBvH's $102,000 solution will streamline the process a little bit. Time to start calling him JB van Hooey.

Friday, February 02, 2007

It Must Be Official, I Saw It In The Paper

Evansville forum features six candidates, controversial issues
(This is a sticky post. Scroll down for new posts)
(Published Thursday, February 1, 2007 10:53:54 AM CST)

By Gina Duwe
Gazette Staff

EVANSVILLE-Controversial issues that include half-day and 4-year-old kindergarten and projected overcrowding have lured six newcomers to run for two seats on the Evansville School Board.

A Feb. 20 primary will narrow the field to four candidates, and two Evansville residents are leading a grassroots effort to make sure voters are informed. Jim Brooks and Karen Aikman are organizing a 90-minute forum Saturday to allow each candidate time to present their vision for the district.

The forum will start at 10 a.m. in the media room at Evansville High School, 640 S. Fifth St.The public is encouraged to meet the candidates after the forum. Each candidate will respond to four questions provided in advance.

"This event is not intended to be a debate or to be confrontational," Aikman said. "We are striving to build a safe environment to start a discussion of the issues facing the district." Each of the six candidates has been invited to participate.

They are:--
Melissa Hammann, 250 Eager Court.--
Jeff Herbers, 411 S. Fifth St.--
Tris Lahti, 8702 N. Territorial Road.--
Gary Rehfeldt, 10678 W. Oak Ridge Road.--
Kathi Swanson, 4322 N. Cornfield Drive.--
Richard T. Woulfe, 255 E. Main St.

Incumbents John Willoughby and Dennis Knudson are not seeking re-election.

Voters will select two candidates April 3 to fill three-year terms

Now The World Can Go On Spinning

It must be true. I read it in the Biloxi Sun Herald.

Favre is coming back in 2007.

Happy February 2

This is that magical day when Andrew Bogut steps out onto his porch at sunup. If he sees his shadow it means we'll see 6 more weeks of bad basketball.

Why The Government Has To Step In Sometimes

Peter has his undies in a bunch because Racine requires pet licensing and restricts the number of pets in a household.

Here's an example of the people who ruin it for everyone.
When 57-year-old John Adams opened the door to his home, officers said, a
pit bull ran outside and started attacking the other two pit bulls.

Eventually, the officers were able to pry apart the dog's jaws and then
went inside the house.
Animal control officers said that the home's floors
had been rotting away from urine and feces, and urine was running down the
staircase from the second floor.

It appeared that Adams had tried to control the urine waterfall with a
dam of cocktail napkins, officers said

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Candidate Forum Info

(This is a sticky post. Scroll down for new posts)

I've been a little busy of late preparing for the School Board Candidates Forum for next Saturday. I hope that all three of my readers will be able to attend the event.

Karen Aikman and I have tried to design an event that will allow all of the candidates to put themselves forward to the voters as they wish to be seen. We have not set the event as a debate or a pop-quiz.

There will be time after the event for the voters to have face time with the candidates.

The candidates have all received the questions which will be asked. The questions are:
1) You have each chosen to take on the difficult and rewarding task of running for
the Evansville School Board. Please share with us the top two reasons you
wish to serve.

2) The School Board is asked to respond to the needs, wants and demands of many stakeholders in the district. Who is the primary “customer” of the school board and why?

3) We read each week of the competing demands placed on the school district and upon the board. Please focus on those which you consider to be the top two issues facing the board after the election and how you would balance those with the remaining issues.

4) There are six candidates to fill two seats. Why should the voters of the district hire you? What skills and experiences will you bring to the board making you the best candidate for the position?

We hope to see you at the High School Media Room Saturday at 10 AM.


Anthony Zurcher has a tribute to Molly Ivins at Creator's Syndicate that says it so much better than I could today.

Ivins poked the powerful, right or left, in ways that made us understand she was on our side. She wasn't willing to abide foolishness by either party or its practitioners. In a world where vitriol passes for punditry, where political discourse has been reduced to gainsaying or to taunts of evil, stupid or venal, Molly will be missed.


Goodbye, Molly I.

Molly Ivins is gone, and her words will never grace these pages again --
for this, we will mourn. But Molly wasn't the type of woman who would want us to
grieve. More likely, she'd say something like, "Hang in there, keep fightin' for
freedom, raise more hell, and don't forget to laugh, too."

If there was one thing Molly wanted us to understand, it's that the
world of politics is absurd. Since we can't cry, we might as well laugh. And in
case we ever forgot, Molly would remind us, several times a week, in her own
unique style.

Shortly after becoming editor of Molly Ivins' syndicated column, I
learned one of my most important jobs was to tell her newspaper clients that,
yes, Molly meant to write it that way. We called her linguistic peculiarities
"Molly-isms." Administration officials were "Bushies," government was in fact
spelled "guvment," business was "bidness." And if someone was "madder than a
peach orchard boar," well, he was quite mad indeed.

Of course, having grown up in Texas, all of this made sense to me. But
to newspaper editors in Seattle, Chicago, Detroit and beyond -- Yankee land, as
Molly would say -- her folksy language could be a mystery. "That's just Molly
being Molly," I would explain and leave it at that.



Robert Jenkins' Ear

USS Maddox and USS Turner Joy in the Gulf of Tonkin



Josh Marshall wonders what the administration will use as a justification for its insane attack on Iran.

Some key requirements occur to me.

1. Despite being fake, the incident must seem reasonably credible.

2. It must appear serious enough that discounting its importance or questioning its veracity appears the height of unseriousness.

3. It must place the majority of us in the odd and unexpected
position of granting to President Bush the unfettered discretion to launch a war
against Iran at the time and place of his choosing, despite our desire that he
start it right now.