Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Michigan Democrats wooing a worrisome core constituency

Convicted Criminals.

Yep, the current push by the Democrats in Michigan to get lots of prisoners released early is to get them to the polls.

Read the excellent article at Right Michigan: Promising early release to win criminal votes... Does it get much smarmier than this?

Kwame is looking for a few good cops

As long as they're the right color, of course.

In the midst of the text messaging scandal and the possibility that Wayne County prosecutor Kim Worthy might actually prosecute him, Kwame went in front of Detroit's City Council and indicated he wasn't worried.

Instead he discussed city business and the city needs 500 more police officers.

Yhere's a little problem: He's having trouble finding the "right" kind:
Kilpatrick said the city needs about 500 more cops, but is having a hard time getting the right types of cadets --whom he described as black or Detroiters -- into the academy. He said the city has 300 openings for police officers and only 40 cadets in the police academy.

He then indicated that he's having trouble with recruiting this right kind o' cop because:
Too many potential candidates were failing the urine test that screens for marijuana, he said.
The rest were failed for having felony records but hey, that's Detroit.

Nice of Kwame to come right out and say he's directing the police to hire using discriminatory criteria. Normally racists and bigots just use code words.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Michigan's Economic Development Law in need of Reform

Right now, it has business shop outside Michigan before they can get a tax break to expand here.

Not very smart:
MEDC: Incentives today drive site searches out of Michigan by Nathan Bomey
Michigan Economic Development Corp. officials hope to change a state statute dictating that local companies must consider relocating in another state before getting tax credits to expand. The policy, often referred to as the "but for
clause," has been widely criticized - although generally behind the scenes,
given the sensitivity companies face in the tax credit approval process. The
state statute could only be changed by legislative action.
MEDC President and CEO James Epolito told Business Review that the idea
behind the policy is reasonable. But he said the statute itself doesn't make
"To be honest with you," Epolito said, "I think we're going to remove that in
future legislation."
The statute effectively requires companies seeking tax credits to expand to
prove that they have considered completing the expansion in a different state.
"Under the current process we're essentially encouraging businesses to
proactively look for incentives in another state, which can be
counterproductive," said Bridget Beckman, MEDC spokeswoman.

Indeed. While such a search is designed to have companies say "give us a tax credit or we'll move our expansion elsewhere", now, when we need every job and bit of expansion we can get, here in the state with the highest unemployment in the nation, such a policy is dangerously outmoded.

We should give tax credits for businesses that create more jobs here. Better yet, instead of credits we need to reshape and change the tax and regulatory (read governmental) environment to make Michigan much more business and expansion friendly to try and turn around this State recession.

While Michigan wants to be first in the nation, being first in unemployment and foreclosures is nothing to be proud of, and we need positive change to end that dismal ranking.

Bush recognizes an independent Kosovo

Can't say that I'm thrilled by this latest Bush foreign policy faux-pas.

Given that the Kossovars are ethnic Muslim Albanians, and that Serbia, the country they just seceded from views Kosovo as a fundamental, if not sacred place for Serbs.

Whether such recognition is in America's interest is an open question. Given the likelihood of bloodshed over the unilateral declaration, recognition was probably not the best thing to do. (On the other hand, such recognition may prevent war from breaking out given any move to stop it would likely be opposed by the US and the UN). Indeed, recognizing a new Muslim state which has ethnically cleansed lots of Serbs from the territory it now proclaims as independent, and the resultant alienation of Serbian Orthodox Christians, and their patron Russia, was probably not the best move to make.

Monday, February 11, 2008

A Current Assesment of the 2008 Presidential Candidates

I was asked by a Canadian Relative who I'd be voting for in this Presidential race, and these were my thoughts that I sent on.

First thing for Canadians to understand is that unlike you with 3 parties and a provincial party, we have two dominant political parties that matter here. The Stupid Party (Republican) and the Evil Party (Democrat). On occasion these two parties come together and do something both stupid and evil. This is called bipartisanship.

That being said here’s my thoughts on the candidates:

On the Democrat side-

This election is certainly the Democrat’s to lose but they might succeed in losing in spite of their present advantages.

First look for a major brouhaha over counting delegates from Michigan and Florida . Both went for Hillary and both are important core states for the Democrats. Expect Hillary to push for counting them as it will be important to count every vote. If Obama objects he’ll be accused of disenfranchising significant black democrat supporters – not good. Already there have been serious calls for a do-over primary in Michigan. This could get exciting so have some popcorn ready.

Obama – opinion - really not good. Aside from saying he’s for change and hope he doesn’t talk about his policy platform. Reading it looks like old hard left Chicago democrat machine politics which it is. He doesn’t have much of a record to run on, and he’s not up to the job.

More worrisome is his ties to the Nation of Islam, including having them in positions in high levels his campaign including policy and treasury. His membership in a black separatist church is similarly worrisome. Additionally his ties to now indicted Syrian businessman Tony Rezko is highly worrisome, with ties that go to other shady Arab business interest in London and Iraq. Obama received more than $150,000 in contributions donated or raised by Mr. Rezko during his political career. The senator also purchased property from Rezko’s wife at way below market. While federal prosecutors in Chicago are mainly focused on Mr. Rezko's ties to the governor of Illinois, they claim in court papers that Mr. Rezko illegally reimbursed another donor for a $10,000 contribution to Mr. Obama's 2004 Senate campaign, and that’s the tip of the iceberg.

Hillary – Hard to say. On principle this is bad as the history of the presidency will read Bush-Clinton-Clinton-Bush-Bush-Clinton-Clinton, which means expect to see Jeb Bush running for president in 2016 and Chelsea Clinton running in 2024. Dynasties aren’t a good feature and think of the poor history students in the future trying to memorize American presidents. Someone must think of the children.

On the upside she’ll likely be tough on foreign policy. Downside foreign policy wise, she’ll continue the Bush I-Clinton I policy of pressure on and betrayal of Israel and continually demanding Israel make concession in the face of terrorism without simultaneous real pressure on the Palis et al. Bush II started to get away from this but went right back to this failed approach after James Baker came on board and the Saudis told him what to do. Thankfully Hillary is less beholden to the Saudis than Bush is, but she loses points for giving Suha Arafat a serious kiss and nodding and not contradicting Suha when she accused the Israelis of using poison gas on Palestinians.

Another Downside, she’s got a Hsu problem, i.e. an illegal foreign donor scandal of impressive proportions from the Chinese, which means Taiwan is likely to be toast after the Olympic games. Further downside, we get Bill Clinton back in the White House or even appointed a Supreme Court Justice – think of the man in black robes with Supreme Court interns. In addition her domestic policy is only marginally better than Obama’s and publicly announcing she’s going “to take things away from you on behalf of the common good” is somewhat worrisome. On the upside, she’s a natural born triangulator and wants to stay in power over ideology so we can expect some pragmatism from her in office. This will beat Obama’s change mantra by far. Downside, if the Dems keep the House and Senate and get the Presidency, all bets are off.

On the Republican Side:

McCain – that’s it, nobody else left.

On the downside he’s a populist and the media’s choice for a Republican candidate and far closer to a Democrat than to a Republican so Democrats won’t need to worry too much about his policies, indeed, he’s often accused of being Democrat-Lite. He’s consistently worked with Democrats to get matters passed ie McCain-Feingold, McCain-Kennedy, Gang of 14, etc and will likely go along to get along. Typically is very much tracking Democrat domestic policy but will be more restrained on spending than Bush, or either Democrat candidate and would be tougher foreign policy wise, and has been pretty consistently pro-Israel without being beholden to the Saudis as Bush is. Downside is he may go along so far with the Democrats that no one will put the brakes on if a Republican President promotes the House and Senate Democrat policies - expect lots of bipartisanship starting with amnesty under another name.

Benefit, as the Democrats will likely keep the House and Senate, a McCain presidency will offer divided government which tends to work best for America, as long as he acts like a Republican and holds the line on spending, if not and his populist tendencies get the best of him he may be the best thing for Democrat policy promotion and we’ll see a leftward shift far beyond what we might get with Hillary or Obama as nobody will be trying to put the brakes on it.

In short, not sure who I’m voting for yet, but it is turning into an interesting race on the Democrat side and I’m waiting to see who McCain picks for his Vice President running mate to see where he’s shifting.

Mind you after viewing their relative positions at, McCain looks a lot better and far less scary than either Obama or Hillary. This may a situation where a lesser of the evils vote is called for, especially if the House, Senate and Executive branch are likely to belong to one party alone. Time, further debates and Vice Presidential picks will tell.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Winter Cleaning - Refrigerator Coil Dust from hell

What else to do on a freezing cold, mid-winter Sunday but a manly clean up?

The wife had an urge to clean the heck outta the place and the safest thing to do in such situations is say "OK" and get cleaning.

This led me to decide on some properly manly cleaning and maintenance tasks - cleaning the basement work area, checking on the furnace and humidifier - easy basic surface cleaning and filter changes and working on the downstairs refrigerator.

The downstairs refrigerator cleaning came from watching Alton Brown's Good Eats - a manly cooking show if there ever was one. Where else is there a camera at the back of an oven and Alton explains how and why the food actually cooks on an atomic, chemical and biological level, complete with humorous depictions. And he cooks meat. Which is manly in and of itself.

Back to the refrigerator - on one show he mentioned that the refrigerator coils should be cleaned to ensure best possible functioning and efficiency. Indeed, the coils should be cleaned every 6-12 months. Doing so makes the fridges work more efficiently, prevent overheating the motor, etcetera, etcetera. Just a good maintenance chore to do every 6-12 months.

The fridge downstairs has not been cleaned the 5 years we've lived here, and after opening the kick plate it looks like it probably was not cleaned before then either.

Some fridges have dust bunnies, this fridge had an entire dust warren of bunnies in residence. The coils were barely visible under massive layers of dust that surrounded them and filled the spaces between them.

So cleaning I went. Mind you the website says turn the fridge off first - ha, real men leave the power on in times such as this.

Of course the hand vac we had was under powered and almost useless, indeed the dust laughed and began sucking dirt out of the vacuum, just to show it could. Dust Devil hand vac, my foot, it was more of a Dust pansy.

So I did it the hard way - damp paper towel and careful maneuvering by hand, then with a compressed air can that blew more dust out than the vac, in thick clouds that settled thickly enough to be seen and wiped up, and finally with a baby bottle brush that we don't use for bottles. The coils are now visible and much cleaner than before, even though some dust remains.

So task completed I went on and cleaned other stuff.

The upstairs fridge is a project for next week, and I'm not sure how many new cultures I'm going to meet when I open that kickplate.

Refrigerator coil cleaning - not for the faint of heart, but necessary and a properly manly cleaning task involving power tools, compressed air and danger of electric shock.

Kwame, You're just not a Blues Brother

In case you didn't know, the mayor of Detroit is embroiled in a scandal over perjury in court, the corrupt firing of some Detroit Police Officers and a text message scandal regarding an affair he had with his chief of staff. In all it cost the City of Detroit $84 Million topsettle the case with the fired officers, including keeping the text messages under cover, and they're out now.

So what does Kwame do when he's caught - again- with his fingers in the cookie jar or in this case, on the keyboard?

Why he goes to church and delivers an apology and political statement from there. And I thought it was only republicans that stand accused of mixing church and state.

And now to top it all off.

Kwame claims he's not resigning because he's "on an assignment from God". A little hubris there. Pretty amazing, get caught committing perjury, claim, from within a church that the scandal is about a private matter and state you won't resign because you're on a mission from god.

No, Kwame, it was the Blues Brothers on a Mission From God, not you Kwame. Let's face it, we've watched the Blues Brothers, we know theBlues Brothers, and you're not a Blues Brother, not even close.

Let's see if he slips free or if there are any actual consequences for perjury, and scandal, not to mention firing police officers to try and cover up the scandal in the City of Detroit.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

A Six Word Motto for America

Courtesy of Little Green Footballs, The New York Times is running a cute contest to have readers come up with a 6 word motto to sum up the USA.

A view of the entries reveals that, unsurprisingly, the New York Times readership seems mainly composed of America hating, self-loathing moonbats and assorted leftists. (and the NYT wonders why its subscriptions and stock prices keep dropping faster than a high-demand call girl's undies.)

So to answer such, here are my suggested mottoes, feel free to post some of your own here or even better at the New York Times' page, but do be polite.

    Freeing People From Tyrants Since 1776.

    Piss us off, we'll bomb you.

    Always Saving Europe From German Invasion.

    You send rhetoric, we send Marines.

    Keeping the world safe without thanks.

    Not perfect but beats the alternative.

    Carrying the load, while others bitch.

    While others dream, we get'r done.

    Not arrogant, just better than you.

    The Land Of Promise For All.

    Always Defeating Commies, Fascists and Thugs.

    The Country Where All Can Prosper.

    and one sure to get all the moonbats in a tizzy:

    The Last, Best Hope For Humanity.