Saturday, January 10, 2009

Reason #55 for the death penalty

The 4-year-old boy's explanation was even more startling than the sight of him, barefoot and clad in pajamas, standing alone in the lobby of a highway rest stop.

Judith and Michael McConnell and her husband, Michael, had pulled into the rest stop on Interstate 70 about 50 miles outside of Dayton just after 9 p.m. on Jan. 2.

The boy was by himself, staring out a window. Judith McConnell waved at him as they walked in. What he said next was chilling: "A man came into my house without knocking and shot my mommy."

The men then left him alone at the rest stop, the boy said.

The couple, driving home to Maryland after Christmas in Colorado, took the boy into their car to warm up and called police.

"He's been abandoned here by a man with a gun," Michael McConnell told police. "He's quite disturbed."

As they waited for deputies to arrive, the boy recited the information his mother had drilled into him - his address, his parents' names, two phone numbers.

When Montgomery County sheriff's deputies arrived at his family's small white bungalow in Dayton later that night, they found the body of his 29-year-old mother, shot to death.

The woman died after struggling with her attacker, said Sheriff Phil Plummer. The killer also sexually assaulted the boy before taking him to the rest stop and abandoning him, police said.


The latest from the party of corruption

At this pace, there will be fewer democrats not indicted than those actually facing charges...

Baltimore Mayor Sheila A. Dixon was charged today with 12 counts of felony theft, perjury, fraud and misconduct in office, becoming the city's first sitting mayor to be criminally indicted.

The case stems in part from at least $15,348 in gifts Dixon allegedly received from her former boyfriend, prominent city developer Ronald H. Lipscomb, while she was City Council president. She also is accused of using as much as $3,400 in gift cards, some donated to her office for distribution to "needy families," to purchase Best Buy electronics and other items for herself and her staff.

Lipscomb was not indicted in the Dixon case, but he and City Councilwoman Helen L. Holton were charged this week in a separate $12,500 bribery scheme. Both cases grew out of a nearly three-year probe by the state prosecutor into City Hall corruption.

The investigation has hung over Dixon, a Democrat, even as she became the city's first female mayor and oversaw a significant decrease in the city's homicide rate, reducing killings to a 20-year low. Viewed as an energetic and charismatic leader, she has earned praise from residents for implementing an easy-to-use recycling program and displaying a willingness to tackle the city's systemic racial and economic disparities.


The Coldest Weather Possible In Nearly 15 Years

Well, BO hasn't even taken the oath yet and he's already fixed global warming...

Bitterly cold air bottled up over the depths of the Arctic will plunge southward next week, gripping the eastern two-thirds of the nation. The frigid air will likely arrive in two waves.

The first shot will blast the Midwest and Northeast early next week. The second, which will prove to be the harshest, will encompass virtually all places east of the Rockies by next weekend.

Blustery winds will usher in the arctic air, resulting in even colder and potentially dangerous temperatures.

The air Friday over a portion of Alaska was colder than the air anywhere else in the northern hemisphere. That is the source region for the air coming into the northern Plains next week.



Jungle Jane

An Australian man broke into three adult shops, had sex with blow up dolls named "Jungle Jane" and then dumped his plastic conquests in a nearby alley, local media reported Wednesday.

"It's totally bizarre. It's a real concern that someone like that is out on the street," said one of the owners of the adult sex shops in Cairns in northern Queensland state.

"He has been taking the dolls out the back and blowing them up and using the dolls and leaving them in the alley," the owner, who gave the name of Vogue, told the Cairns Post newspaper.
Police told the Cairns Post that scientific officers had taken DNA samples, fingerprints and pictures of the crime scene.

Sea Kittens

The activist animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has asked school officials to change the name of Spearfish High School to "Sea Kitten High School." The new name would "reflect the gentle nature of its current marine namesake," the organization said in a letter to Steve Morford, Spearfish High School principal.

PETA said the letter is part of a new Sea Kitten campaign aimed at children.

If children were taught to refer to fish as "sea kittens," reflecting that fish, like cats and dogs, are "individuals" that "do have friendships," fewer fish might be killed for food or sport, said Pulin Modi, a PETA spokesman.

"We want people to realize that more fish are killed each year than all animals combined," he said. "They don't have the sympathy of more popular animals like cats and dogs."

Morford said he did not want to share his feelings about PETA. "Obviously, it's nothing we're taking seriously," he said.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Education reform

Reader & Friend Tim turned me on to a book by Malcolm Gladwell called Outliers. The book focuses on factors that determine success. It's actually a good read.

In the New Yorker, Gladwell has a piece where he relates education achievement to evaluating college football talent.

Eric Hanushek, an economist at Stanford, estimates that the students of a very bad teacher will learn, on average, half a year’s worth of material in one school year. The students in the class of a very good teacher will learn a year and a half’s worth of material. That difference amounts to a year’s worth of learning in a single year. Teacher effects dwarf school effects: your child is actually better off in a “bad” school with an excellent teacher than in an excellent school with a bad teacher. Teacher effects are also much stronger than class-size effects. You’d have to cut the average class almost in half to get the same boost that you’d get if you switched from an average teacher to a teacher in the eighty-fifth percentile. And remember that a good teacher costs as much as an average one, whereas halving class size would require that you build twice as many classrooms and hire twice as many teachers.

Hanushek recently did a back-of-the-envelope calculation about what even a rudimentary focus on teacher quality could mean for the United States. If you rank the countries of the world in terms of the academic performance of their schoolchildren, the U.S. is just below average, half a standard deviation below a clump of relatively high-performing countries like Canada and Belgium. According to Hanushek, the U.S. could close that gap simply by replacing the bottom six per cent to ten per cent of public-school teachers with teachers of average quality. After years of worrying about issues like school funding levels, class size, and curriculum design, many reformers have come to the conclusion that nothing matters more than finding people with the potential to be great teachers. But there’s a hitch: no one knows what a person with the potential to be a great teacher looks like. The school system has a quarterback problem.


Utah #1

College football season is over so I assume that the Utes will be number # in the final AP rankings.

If you want to scoff at that just look at the numbers. Utah was undefeated against a Division 1-A schedule.

They put an ass kicking on Alabama, who many argued should have been in the title game.

For those, like Lee Corso, who would say "play somebody", they scheduled Michigan, are they somebody? It's not their fault that Michigan's football is as bad as their economy. Do you think the PAC-10 will invite the Utes into their conference so they'll get to "play somebody"? I doubt it given that they beat the second best team in the PAC -10, Oregon State.

Look, the BCS is a college football cartel where the haves keep the spoils from the have nots.

But without the have nots, the BCS schools couldn't pad their records against the likes of bad MAC and Conference USA schools. Let's face it without the Non BCS schools, Florida would have to play the likes of Texas A&M, Indiana, Washington, USC or others home and home. Now that 13-1 will look more like 9-4. But so will all the other football factories. Now come up with a BCS scenario.

So if I'm a voter in the polls, I vote Utah. Only until the BCS is brought down as the fraud it is will we actually get a champion on the field.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Who did he vote for? #199

In a news story not covered by anyone, Oakland has been the scene of some terrorism over the past couple of days.

The mob smashed the windows at Creative African Braids on 14th Street, and a woman walked out of the shop holding a baby in her arms.

"This is our business," shouted Leemu Topka, the black owner of the salon she started four years ago. "This is our shop. This is what you call a protest?"

Wednesday night's vandalism victims had nothing to do with the shooting death by a BART police officer of Oscar Grant on New Year's Day - but that did little to sway the mob.

"I feel like the night is going great," said Nia Sykes, 24, of San Francisco, one of the demonstrators. "I feel like Oakland should make some noise. This is how we need to fight back. It's for the murder of a black male."

Sykes, who is black, had little sympathy for the owner of Creative African Braids.

"She should be glad she just lost her business and not her life," Sykes said. She added that she did have one worry for the night: "I just hope nobody gets shot or killed."

Now Ms. Sykes seems to be a person of 1) common sense and 2) compassion for his fellow citizen.

So how do you think Ms. Sykes voted in this last election? What's it like to share the values of someone like Ms. Sykes?


Obama to look at Ponzi schemes

Pointing with concern to "red ink as far as the eye can see," President-elect Barack Obama pledged Wednesday to tackle out-of-control Social Security and Medicare spending.....

Hey it's not out of control. Just ask Bernie Madoff.


Life in "Progress" City

So exactly how good is life where "Progressives" rule.

Excellent. I mean when you use the public school bathrooms they don't use that crappy macho wipe toilet paper. They use the stuff you would use at home. Why? Because you have to bring it.....
A Detroit elementary school is asking for donations of toilet paper and light bulbs to keep their school functioning.The principal of the Academy of Americas sent a letter to staff, parents and partners asking for donations of items "that are of the utmost importance for proper school functioning and most importantly for student health and safety."In the letter, Principal Naomi Khalil cited budget constraints within the district as the reason why the school could no longer stock the items.

Aaaaaahhh, the sweet smell of success.


Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Mike Leonard RIP

Last week, maybe the biggest sports fan in the country passed away.

Mike Leonard, a Willie's regular and huuuuge UC and Buckeye fan, died in Miami attending UC's Orange Bowl appearance.

The Enquirer a great obituary here.
Mike Leonard was a devotee of Cincinnati sports teams – so much so that in 1969, Enquirer sports columnist Jim Schottelkotte dubbed him “Super Fan.”

Mr. Leonard was especially fond of UC, OSU and Indian Hill High School football, the Bengals and Reds. He once watched Ohio State play Purdue in Columbus, then drove to St. Louis where he caught a few winks before proceeding to Kansas City to see the Bengals battle the Chiefs the following day.

He also once stopped off to watch the Bearcats play Tulsa wearing a tuxedo. He was on his way to Madeira where he was to be in a wedding.

May he rest in peace. He'll be missed.

Notice from Governor Ted

As part of Ohio's continued efforts to kill off business here in the "Heart of it All", Governor Ted is pleased to announce the annual hike in the state's minimum wage to $7.30/hr. effective 1/1/09.

If you are a business struggling to make a buck, please make sure that you update your payroll records before going bankrupt.

The state's press release can be seen here.

The Honeymoon is over

Remember how an Obama presidency was going to change the world's opinion of the United States.

You know, they'd quit hating on us since George Bush would no longer be the president.

Well, I guess hanging a picture of Obama in effigy is the muslim's world way of saying "We Love You O".

From Yahoo News...

Muslim protesters wearing masks of, from left, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and U.S. President-elect Barack Obama, take part in a rally against Israeli air strikes on Gaza, in Jakarta, Indonesia, Sunday, Jan. 4,

Profiles in Courage - Obama Style

Obama on Gaza.....

"I’m very concerned with the conflict taking place there," Obama said. "I’m monitoring the situation on a day to day basis.

"The loss of civilian life in Gaza and in Israel is a source of deep concern to me, and after January 20th I’ll have plenty to say about the issue."

Whoa, that's really stepping out there O.

But you know, Obama is The Messiah so I guess I need to listen to these profound statements like a parable.


Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Ha, Ha, Ha this is the best satire

Those guys at The Onion get funnier all the time.

Read this one....
Democrats, attempting to defuse the politically nettlesome issue of earmarks, pledged to cut federal spending on the pet projects while making the process for doling out the funds more understandable to the public.

House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey and Senate counterpart Daniel Inouye said in a joint statement today they will cut funding for most types of earmarks in half from 2006 levels. The cuts would be smaller, about 12 percent according to committee earmark estimates, compared with the most recent levels.

That is hilarious. Get it? Democrats will cut earmarks? Make it "understandable"? Oh man, I just spit my diet dew all over the screen.

What? you mean this wasn't from The Onion but Bloomberg News?

Is that a different satire site, like Mad or Cracked?

Dear President Elect

Dear Mr. President Elect;

I am a hard working taxpayer. Last spring, after a good tax season, I had some additional funds and decided to purchase a few shares of stock.

Given how beaten up I thought GE stock was, I bought 200 shares a $28/share.

In addition, thinking these stocks couldn't get any lower, I bought Fifth Third at $18/share and National City at $5/share.

My wife and I would like to help out the economy by finishing off our basement and adding an addition to the back of home. Unfortunately, the money I was going to use to do these things took a pounding from my stock losses above.

So I'll make you a deal. How about a Gekko bailout to the tune of 20 gigabillion dollars on the promise that I'll reinvest it in the economy by finishing our remodeling. I promise to do it just like the $350 billion the banks have used to reinvest in the economy.

The fact is, my investment decisions were a hell of lot better than buying billions of dollars in mortgages people wouldn't pay back. C'mon O, are you kidding me?

Look, the Gekko's can continue to operate without this stimulus. I'm only thinking about those poor Warren county contractors who need work. If we don't get this bailout, there will be many workers in the Warren County area without access to a job, cigarettes, lottery tickets, and Old Milwaukee.

Therefore, it's really only prudent that you help out the local economy with this bailout.

In addition O, I know how this works politically, so let me say up front, I don't own a corporate jet. So we're good there. I also understand that congress will want some accountability with this bailout. So you better make it for a few terrabillion more so we can make sure we comply by making our project green.

Thanks President elect Obama.

The Gekko Family.

PS I think I know someone who can take care of your Blago problem.... if you know what I mean?

The Big MAC surrenders

A surrender flag as seen outside of the Big Ten headquarters in Chicago.

Jim Delaney offered a surrender against all other BCS opponents until they can count their members.

Three is a Magic Number

On this date: January 6, 1973
The animated Saturday morning TV series of shorts called Schoolhouse Rock premieres on ABC this day in 1973 with "Multiplication Rock." The short musical cartoons featured lessons in math, history, science, grammar, and more, with classics like "Conjunction Junction," "Interjections," and "The Preamble to the Constitution."

It's still Bush's fault

A once-popular bumper sticker says simply, "When Bush took office, gas was $1.46." It was meant to be a slam, but as the end of his eight years approaches, President Bush is seeing gas prices that, adjusted for inflation, are lower than when he was inaugurated.

Last week's $1.59 - the average for a gallon of regular on Dec. 29, according to the Energy Information Administration - works out to $1.33 in 2001 dollars, or 9 percent less than it was the day Mr. Bush took office. The tumble in prices, from a high of more than $4.05 in early July, has meant incredible savings.

John B. Townsend II, spokesman for AAA Mid-Atlantic, said the inflation comparison doesn't mean much to consumers paying at the pump, but the drop in prices has put real money in consumers' pockets.


Monday, January 05, 2009

Timeline shows Bush, McCain warning Dems of financial mess

Plaxico Burress On Gun Safety

Who did they vote for # 188

A nice array of mugshots representing a distinct political force....

From reader Bartman....

Apparently, Obama had a big voting constituency with the penal system.

More at TSG

"Progressives" lie again

So let's see. "Progressives" told us when we started the Great Society that poverty would vanish in this country.

"Progressives" also told us that when we enacted Social Security it would end poverty for seniors.

History has proven time and again how liberals lie to weasel their way into our lives.

Need further proof? Check out The Huffington Post, not exactly the conservative standard bearer, on Global Baloney!

You are probably wondering whether President-elect Obama owes the world an apology for his actions regarding global warming. The answer is, not yet. There is one person, however, who does. You have probably guessed his name: Al Gore.

Mr. Gore has stated, regarding climate change, that "the science is in." Well, he is absolutely right about that, except for one tiny thing. It is the biggest whopper ever sold to the public in the history of humankind.


When will we get a statement from some liberal blogger out there saying, "yeah, we were wrong"?

The Law of Unintended Consequences

So politicians have been working for years to push lenders into doing home loans for minorities.

How did that worked out for those folks?

California Rep. Joe Baca has long pushed legislation he said would "open the doors to the American Dream" for first-time home buyers in his largely Hispanic district. For many of them, those doors have slammed shut, quickly and painfully.

Mortgage lenders flooded Mr. Baca's San Bernardino, Calif., district with loans that often didn't require down payments, solid credit ratings or documentation of employment. Now, many of the Hispanics who became homeowners find themselves mired in the national housing mess. Nearly 9,200 families in his district have lost their homes to foreclosure.

For years, immigrants to the U.S. have viewed buying a home as the ultimate benchmark of success. Between 2000 and 2007, as the Hispanic population increased, Hispanic homeownership grew even faster, increasing by 47%, to 6.1 million from 4.1 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Over that same period, homeownership nationally grew by 8%. In 2005 alone, mortgages to Hispanics jumped by 29%, with expensive nonprime mortgages soaring 169%, according to the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council.

An examination of that borrowing spree by The Wall Street Journal reveals that it wasn't simply the mortgage market at work. It was fueled by a campaign by low-income housing groups, Hispanic lawmakers, a congressional Hispanic housing initiative, mortgage lenders and brokers, who all were pushing to increase homeownership among Latinos.

Many pounds ago, I worked as a credit analyst for a bank. And there's a reason that bank's developed those crazy qualification standards like down payments, documentation of income, etc...

Because it works.

As soon as these jerk off politicians push to distort markets, this is what we have left. People living as renters with the added benefit of not being able to qualify for a mortgage in the future.

Some deal..... Do you think we can get a liberal some where to own this as their legacy to the mortgage crisis?


All Bush with a sprinkling of corruption

Man, The Messiah hasn't even been sworn in yet and he's already got ethics issues all over the place.

First, you had Rahm Emanuel and his dealing with Blago. Then, over the weekend, Bill Richardson decided his ethics violations were too much for scrutiny.

Now, The Billary, with her doo doo....
A developer in New York state donated $100,000 to former President Bill Clinton's foundation in November 2004, around the same time that Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton helped secure millions of dollars in federal assistance for the businessman's mall project.

Hillary Clinton helped enact legislation allowing the developer, Robert Congel, to use tax-exempt bonds to help finance the construction of the Destiny USA entertainment and shopping complex, an expansion of the Carousel Center in Syracuse.

She also helped secure a provision in a highway bill that set aside $5 million for Destiny USA roadway construction.

The bill with the tax-free bonds provision became law in October 2004, weeks before the donation, and the highway bill with the set-aside became law in August 2005, about nine months after the donation.

Congel and Philippe Reines, a spokesman for Hillary Clinton, both said there was no connection between his donation and her legislative work on his project's behalf. Reines said the senator had supported the expansion of Carousel mall "purely as part of her unwavering commitment to improving upstate New York's struggling economy, and nothing more."

Notice how all these issues surround former Clintonites. They're making Chicago style politics look lame.


By the way, Obama better get that alignment checked on the bus. Richardson was a big bump.