Archive | December 2010

Baseball Slugger Killebrew Has Cancer

Hall of Famer and Twins legend Harmon Killebrew has been diagnosed with esophageal cancer.

Killebrew, 74, revealed the news in a statement on Thursday morning. He said that he was recently diagnosed and is being treated by a team of medical professionals at the Mayo Clinic.

While acknowledging that his condition is very serious, Killebrew said that he has confidence in his doctors and medical staff.

“I anticipate a full recovery,” Killebrew said in the statement.

The legendary slugger, who ranks 11th on the all-time home run list with 573, called the journey he now faces “perhaps the most difficult battle of my life.”

My prayers are with Mr. Killebrew and his family.


Juxtaposition Time!

Taking a page out of Ed Driscoll‘s book, let’s juxtapose some news stories, past and present. Ed has posted on a couple of these, but not a couple more, so I’ll take it upon myself to do it.

On the one hand, we have this headline from 2000: Snowfalls Are Now Just A Thing Of The Past.

Sledges, snowmen, snowballs and the excitement of waking to find that the stuff has settled outside are all a rapidly diminishing part of Britain’s culture, as warmer winters – which scientists are attributing to global climate change – produce not only fewer white Christmases, but fewer white Januaries and Februaries.

And then, there’s the recent lefty letter to Santa Claus, warning him that he might have to move:

Dear Santa Claus,

I am writing out of concern, because you may have to move from the North Pole due to the dramatic melting of Arctic sea ice. The Navy’s chief oceanographer says that by the summer of 2020 the North Pole may not have summer ice and other scientists project that an ice-free Arctic is possible as soon as 2012!

Scientists overwhelmingly agree that polar ice is melting because of greenhouse gas pollution and I am working hard to reduce these emissions. But there is probably nothing we can do in time to save the North Pole. I am worried about your safety and your ability to deliver billions of Christmas gifts if the ice cap on the North Pole no longer stays frozen all year. What will happen to your house, your workshop, the elves’ houses and your reindeer barns?

On the other hand, we have Atlanta’s first snowfall since 1882 (that’s over 100 years ago, for the math-challenged), and Columbia, SC having their first snowfall since at least 1887, which is when they started keeping records.

The white Christmas in the South was one for the record books. Columbia,S.C., had its first significant Christmas snow since weather records were first kept in 1887. Atlanta had just over an inch of snow—the first measurable accumulation on Christmas Day since the 1880s.

Snowfalls a thing of the past? Oh, really?

Iraqi Christians Return to Massacred Church to Celebrate Christmas


BAGHDAD — Hundreds of Christians packed Baghdad’s Our Lady of Salvation church for Christmas on Saturday, defying threats of attacks less than two months after militants massacred worshippers and priests there.

Security was extremely tight, with forces armed with pistols and assault rifles guarding the area and a 10-foot high (three-metre) concrete wall topped with gleaming razor wire surrounding the church.

All cars entering the area were searched, and worshippers were patted down twice before being allowed into the church.

The mood was sombre after an October 31 attack claimed by Al-Qaeda affiliate the Islamic State of Iraq in which gunmen stormed the church, leaving two priests, 44 worshippers and seven security personnel dead.

The church, which was filled with more than 300 worshippers, still bears signs of the attack, its walls pockmarked from bullets and the destroyed wooden pews replaced with plastic and metal chairs.

Not much to say about this, except, God bless them, every one.

Merry Christmas!

We Win.


Democrats controlling the Senate have abandoned a 1,924-page catchall spending measure that’s laced with homestate pet projects known as earmarks and that would have provided another $158 billion for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Nevada Democrat Harry Reid gave up on the nearly $1.3 trillion bill after several Republicans who had been thinking of voting for the bill pulled back their support.

GOP leader Mitch McConnell threw his weight against the bill in recent days, saying it was in his words “unbelievable” that Democrats would try to muscle through in just a few days legislation that usually takes months to debate.

Reid said he would work with McConnell to produce a short-term funding bill to keep the government running into early next year.

Once in a while, the good guys win one.

A Good Question From Two Democrats

Before I post a link to the article, and excerpts, allow me to introduce the two authors, just to get it right out front that these are really two Democrats, not straw men:

Attorneys Jay Eisenhofer and Richard Schiffrin are both active Democrats. Eisenhofer is a member of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Majority Trust, and Schiffrin was Hillary Rodham Clinton’s Pennsylvania finance chairman.

Now that we have that out of the way, here’s Jay and Richard’s article on AOL Opinions (sheesh, I remember when AOL was QuantumLink, a service for Commodore computers).

With President Barack Obama facing an outpouring of criticism from his party base following the tax-and-spending deal cut with congressional Republicans, it is time for the base to face reality: The Democrats’ message on the economy is not working.

At this point, you may be forgiven for thinking, “oh, another ‘the policies are right, it’s just the way we sell them that’s wrong’ message.” However, that’s not what these two loyal Democrats have in mind:

Voters are not misguided or confused or too angry and upset to think clearly. And if Democrats persist in telling themselves that this is the message of 2010, their long-term viability will suffer no matter what happens in 2012.

Instead, the electorate has shown that it will listen to a party that presents a vision for growth, greatness and fairness. An agenda that is limited to fairness is doomed to failure.

This represents a radical shift from “the voters are stupid,” which is a message that lots of Democrats, from former Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry to Barack Obama himself, even to bigmouth Al Sharpton.

This leads to their good question:

But where is the [Democratic Party’s] vision for future growth and prosperity? So far there has been none.

No, the only message we’re seeing from the current Democratic Party is “spend, regulate, take over industries, repeat as long as possible.”

The electorate knows the difference between policies that promote public investment — rebuilding bridges, highways, ports and water systems, modernizing the electricity grid, expanding educational access — versus policies that are simply transfers via tax payments to favored constituencies.

Improvements in education cannot mean only increased payments to teachers. Physical improvements and sound educational policies cannot take a back seat to increases in public-sector salaries and pensions. Our corporate tax rate is among the highest in the world. Tax reductions should promote competitiveness and corporate investment.

Actually, there’s a better way to work education, that’s with vouchers… but as far as these two Democrats go, they’re right… they just haven’t taken that last step yet.

Democrats must fight for these policies so that they don’t become a party only of people dependent on the government. That’s not healthy for the party, and it’s not healthy for the country.

Indeed. However, with their insistence on adding more people to the government benefit rolls, most recently with ObamaCare (which the authors laud earlier in the article), it seems that the modern Democratic party is headed away from these two gentlemen.

It is time for Democrats to present a pro-growth story that speaks to the hopes and aspirations of the country. Currently, voters perceive the Democratic message as pain in the name of building a fairer society. That is not going to sell and it is not going to build a great nation for the 21st century.

Also very true.

As I mentioned before, they are still loyal Democrats, and they laud many big-government projects, including ObamaCare… but they are also right that the current set of policies don’t bode well for the Democratic Party. Perhaps someday we’ll see these two joining no less a conservative than Ronald Reagan in saying, “I didn’t leave the Democratic Party. The party left me.”

Republicans At The Pork Trough Again

Forgive the mixed metaphor in the headline, but I’m too incensed to think up a cuter one.

The new omnibus spending bill has been introduced in the Senate, and guess which party the top two earmarkers belong to?

It ain’t the Party of Obama, more’s the shame to the Party of Reagan.

Here’s the list of earmarks by Senator, in descending order of the number of earmarks, courtesy Jamie Dupree:

Cochran (R-MS) 230
Wicker (R-MS) 199
Murray (D-WA) 172
Harkin (D-IA) 152
Reid (D-NV) 129
Menendez (D-NJ) 123
Feinstein (D-CA) 121
Lautenberg (D-NJ) 120
Lincoln (D-AR) 114
Inouye (D-HI) 113
Schumer (D-NY) 106
Johnson (D-SD) 105
Landrieu (D-LA) 104
Specter (D-PA) 103
Pryor (D-AR) 96
Levin (D-MI) 93
Stabenow (D-MI) 91
Boxer (D-CA) 90
Brown (D-OH) 87
Grassley (R-IA) 86
Bingaman (D-NM) 86
Durbin (D-IL) 86
Akaka (D-HI) 83
Wyden (D-OR) 83
Cardin (D-MD) 79
Merkley (D-OR) 79
Gillibrand (D-NY) 79
Bond (R-MO) 78
Bennett (R-UT) 76
Casey (D-PA) 76
Udall (D-NM) 73
Reed (D-RI) 70
Kerry (D-MA) 69
Cantwell (D-WA) 69
Hagan (D-NC) 69
Voinovich (R-OH) 68
Klobuchar (D-MN) 68
Rockefeller (D-WV) 67
Dodd (D-CT) 66
Mikulski (D-MD) 65
Tester (D-MT) 65
Lieberman (ID-CT) 64
Hutchison (R-TX) 63
Baucus (D-MT) 62
Dorgan (D-ND) 60
Warner (D-VA) 60
Webb (D-VA) 58
Franken (D-MN) 58
Collins (R-ME) 57
Leahy (D-VT) 56
Murkowski (R-AK) 55
Whitehouse (D-RI) 55
Kohl (D-WI) 54
Conrad (D-ND) 52
Vitter (R-LA) 48
Cornyn (R-TX) 45
Snowe (R-ME) 44
Nelson (D-FL) 43
Chambliss (R-GA) 42
Crapo (R-ID) 41
Risch (R-ID) 41
Bennet (D-CO) 40
Brownback (R-KS) 39
Carper (D-DE) 39
Burr (R-NC) 38
Begich (D-AK) 37
McConnell (R-KY) 35
Roberts (R-KS) 35
Sanders (I-VT) 33
Shelby (R-AL) 32
Inhofe (R-OK) 32
Shaheen (D-NH) 32
Alexander (R-TN) 30
Udall (D-CO) 30
Lugar (R-IN) 29
Graham (R-SC) 27
Thune (R-SD) 26
Isakson (R-GA) 24
Nelson (D-NE) 23
Sessions (R-AL) 21
Bunning (R-KY) 21
Ensign (R-NV) 20
Gregg (R-NH) 13
Barrasso (R-WY) 4
Enzi (R-WY) 3
Hatch (R-UT) 1
Bayh (D-IN) 1
Corker (R-TN) 1
Brown (R-MA) 1
McCain (R-AZ) 0
Feingold (D-WI) 0
Kyl (R-AZ) 0
DeMint (R-SC) 0
Coburn (R-OK) 0
McCaskill (D-MO) 0
Johanns (R-NE) 0
LeMieux (R-FL) 0
Manchin (D-WV) 0
Coons (D-DE) 0
Kirk (R-IL) 0

Yes, you read that right. There’s lots and lots of Republican earmarks in this bill. At least McCain has the smarts to keep his hands off earmarks this time, but there’s lots of stupid Republicans who are ignoring the mounting debt in order to get some moolah from the taxpayers and send it to their pet projects.

Did these nitwits completely miss the results of the election just over a month ago? The American people resoundingly said, “stop spending us and our children into debt!” and these politicians just ignore it and go on with business as usual.

Enough is too much. Every single Republican with an earmark in this bill–even if this bill is never passed–needs to be soundly defeated the next time they stand for re-election. PERIOD. I’ve had it with coddling big spenders because they do what people consider “good things.” This country is in danger of going the way of Greece, and these people are adding to the problem.

Time to defeat a lot more incumbents, it seems.

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