So much to talk about.
So little time.
So little energy, because it's been a long hot summer.....therefore it's time for my method of last resort, when I want a blurt out some stream of conscious ramblings....it's QUICK HITS!!!!!
(1). Deepwater Horizon Disaster- The leak has been plugged, we're being told much of the oil as been dispersed and cleaned up. But the effects will still be felt for years. The damage the wetlands have sustained might be irreversible. And many Gulf fisherman may never return to their old way of life; why go back and harvest tainted shrimp, oysters, and fish and sustain even bigger financial losses? And the latest from BP is they may resume drilling in the area near the leak because of the billions of dollars worth of oil under the ocean floor.
Did anybody ever see GROUNDHOG DAY?
(2). Katie Couric vs Sarah Palin; The anchor of the CBS Evening News, who famously asked then Vice Presidential candidate Palin tough, ambushy questions like "what newspapers and magazines do you read?", is being trashed by the usual suspects for allegedly "dissing" Palin's children. A video from the 2008 Republican Convention shows Couric asking, "Where the hell do they get these names?” when she saw the names of two of Palin's kids, Trig and Track.
Okay...let's bottomline it. Trig and Track might be two wonderful, sweet kids....but they have funny names. They probably have the weirdest names of any offspring of a public figure since Frank and Gail Zappa begat Dweezil, Moon Unit, Ahmet Emuukha Rodan, and Diva Thin Muffin Pigeen. Maybe "Trig" and "Track" were mistakes on the birth certificate.....that kind of stuff happens in Alaska. "Nome" became the name of the city when a mapmaker made a note "Name?" where the burg exists....it was misinterpreted as "Nome" and stuck.
Or....contrary to what she said publicly....maybe she does like certain herbs.
Yep....Trig and Track. Circumstantial evidence at best....but you might have to be really loaded to do that to your kids. It's amazing how this woman and her followers always seem to find a way to portray her as a victim.
There was an eighteen hour pause between items two and three. I told you, it's the Dawg Daze of August, and my mind and body are working on four cylinders...well, make that four and a half.
(3)The Prop 8 Decision- The decision rendered by US District Judge Vaughn Walker in ruling California's Proposition 8 was unconstitutional was, as former George W. Bush solicitor general Ted Olson said, not a liberal or conservative matter. When the preamble of the Declaration of Independence declares "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness", it means just that. All have the same rights, regardless of race, creed, religion, national origin.....or even sexual orientation. "Inalienable rights" are that which cannot be legislated away or altered by popular vote. Olson went on.....""We do not put the Bill of Rights to a vote."
In a totally predictable reaction, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council said on FACE THE NATION that Judge Walker should recused himself because he is gay; this has been rumored but never openly questioned.
"I think what you have is one judge who thinks he knows -- and a district level judge and an openly homosexual judge at that -- who says he knows better than not only 7 million voters in the state of California but voters in 30 states across the nation that have passed marriage amendments. "
Judge Walker was first appointed the federal bench by President Ronald Reagan. He was re-appointed by George H.W. Bush. His nomination was opposed by congressional Democrats at the time.
Using the logic of Tony Perkins, an African American judge should never be allowed to rule in a hate crime case, a female judge in the case of a battered wife, an Italian-American judge in a Mafia trial, or any Jewish judge in a case involving Neo-Nazis.
When does it stop?
(4). New Jersey, home rule, and property taxes- Today's print edition of The Home News Tribune (WOW! Reading an old fashioned NEWSPAPER on a Sunday morning) had a feature that should be required reading by all residents of New Jersey, and all those outsiders who think they know what's going on politically in The Garden State. Namely, all of those conservative types who have declared Governor Chris Christie the new Savior of The GOP, since he got it done in New Jersey, lowering spending by draconian slashing of the state's budget and of state aid. All he did was put a band-aid on a problem that's been ailing the state almost from it's colonial origins.
The Home News Tribune's writer and extraordinary columnist Rick Malwitz detailed what the biggest problem New Jersey has, and why it has the nation's highest property taxes.....and it is, in his words, a self inflicted wound. The people did it to themselves......
There are simply too many towns in a small state like New Jersey. Conservatives like to talk about "Big Government". In New Jersey we have many govern-ments....there now 566 municipalities in New Jersey, all with their own governments, mayors, council, some with school systems, police and fire, some with garbage collection, and many other bells and whistles. Many of these municipalities began by breaking away from an existing town or township. In Middlesex County, where I live, there were six towns in 1850. One hundred and sixty years later there are 25; most of the breakaways began over neighborhoods wanting more control over businesses, schools....and of course, taxes. So they set up their own home rule, had families move into them, and before you know it they needed cops, firefighters, and more and more teachers.....and up went the taxes.
We have 566 municipalities in New Jersey; California has four times the residents of New Jersey; they have 480 municipalities.
The cure for this, and a way lower taxes would be either to merge towns or consolidate services. The problem is New Jerseyans LOVE home rule. As Malwitz noted in his piece, former State Senator Fairleigh S. Dickinson once said "Home Rule is regarded as a political concept in other states. In New Jersey, its' a precept of theology".
The late Democratic State Senator Alan Karcher wrote a book about the problem more than a decade ago, and called for consolidation and merger. Governor Christie, instead of bullying tactics to put the Democrats in their place, would have been wiser to take the Democratic leadership aside and use Karcher's concepts as a blueprint for fixing the problem rather than going for this one shot quick fix, that only manged to insure a balanced budget for only this year...and get some shots of Christie on TV.
Chris Christie could have gone in the books as a statesman instead of one term conservative media darling.
And what about next fiscal year?
At this point there is another pause of about three hours to go to the Red Lobster on Route 18 and consume a more than reasonable amount of skewered shrimp and a portion of snow crab legs.....and enough Yuengling to put a smile on my face. Back to work!
(5) Copy cat clown bank robbers in Pennsylvania- across the I-78 bridge in Pennsylvania, Carolyn A. Williams, 43, was arraigned on charges robbery, theft, and receiving stolen property after she was arrested for stealing $7,000 from a bank in Bethlehem. Williams, dressed in a clown suit, told the teller she had a bomb on her after entering the bank on Friday. Minutes later, after trying to allude police, she was caught with her pants down. Literally.
Williams was changing out of her clown suit when the police caught up with her.
But....didn't something like this just happen before? Also in Pennsylvania?
Yes....Less than two weeks ago, across state in Swissvale, near Pittsburgh, Dennis Hawkins, 48, tried to rob a bank wearing clown pants, a wig, and fake breasts. His disguise didn't fool anyone....his goatee was showing. He tried to rob the bank with a BB gun....and he forgot to use a getaway car.
Oh yes...."The Tears of a Clown".
In Closing- it's the one year anniversary of my buddy Sue's blog, Hello Mr. President.....Are You Listening?. And I just want to congratulate her on that milestone. She does her homework, always has something interesting to say, and is passionate in what she does. Politics and political discussion are in her DNA, much moreso than me. So if political discussion...and an occasional food fight...is your thing, then give her a visit....even you conservatives out there. But be nice!