Saturday, October 05, 2002

Smurf's Up! (for election)
CNN has the picture - Senate candidate blue -- literally:
GREAT FALLS, Montana (AP) -- Montana's Libertarian candidate for Senate has turned blue from drinking a silver solution that he believed would protect him from disease.

Stan Jones,a 63-year-old business consultant and part-time college instructor, said he started taking colloidal silver in 1999 for fear that Y2K disruptions might lead to a shortage of antibiotics.

He made his own concoction by electrically charging a couple of silver wires in a glass of water.

His skin began turning blue-gray a year ago.

"People ask me if it's permanent and if I'm dead," he said. "I tell them I'm practicing for Halloween."

He does not take the supplement any longer, but the skin condition, called argyria, is permanent. The condition is generally not serious.
Kids, don't try this at home!
Uh Oh! Viagra for Women!
The Observer titillates with Nasal spray for women who are sniffy about sex:
It is the seducer's ultimate dream: a potion that will turn a woman's cold indifference into warm sexual interest. Sound improbable? Not any more. Scientists last week revealed they had successfully tested a nasal spray, PT-141, that sent 'healthy, normal women' into states of high sexual arousal.

'The crucial point about PT-141 is that it directly targets the brain's arousal centre,' said Dr Carl Spana, president of Palatin Technologies, of New Jersey. Originally uncovered through tests on rats, the drug aroused female rodents 'so quickly they started mounting males', added Spana.
Maybe I should have titled this 'Orgy Alert!'?

Friday, October 04, 2002

No, It's Not About South Florida!
New Mexicans to decide if 'idiots,' 'insane' have right to vote:
With less than five weeks until the general election, many New Mexicans may be surprised to learn that among the candidates, bond issues and constitutional amendments on this year's unusually long ballot, they will also be deciding whether to allow "idiots" and "insane persons" the right to vote.

That's right. Idiots currently can not vote in New Mexico under Constitutional Amendment 7, Section 1.

Proposed Amendment 2 on the November 5th ballot would change that. The amendment would alter the current wording on voter qualifications, which now reads, "except idiots, insane persons and persons convicted of a felonious or infamous crime."

If approved, the amendment would scratch out references to "idiots" and "insane persons," which may have been considered reasonable when the state's constitution was written in 1912, but is considered offensive and meaningless by many people today.

Some argue the terms are overly general and very much up to a person's own opinion. In fact, it's probably safe to say several of New Mexico's own politicians have been called "idiots" at various times, yet they've always enjoyed their right to vote.
The dead are voting, so what's the beef?
One More Torch Story
Jeff Brewer writes Where the Streets Are Paved With Gold: The legacy of Robert Torricelli:
Public servants used to go to Washington to serve the public interest-not their own. It was well understood that for many people, getting elected to public office was not the path to getting rich. It was presumed that some noble or higher call, rather than the desire to amass personal wealth, motivated people to serve.

Evidently, Robert Torricelli didn't subscribe to this concept. Rather, he did the improbable; he's become a rich man on a congressional salary. Indeed, since first winning public office in 1982, Torricelli has accumulated wealth and extravagance beyond any reasonable level. Unfortunately for him, much of it was garnered through unethical, if not illegal means. As the record shows, Torricelli repeatedly benefited from favorable loans and the occasional quid pro quo.

Consider that in 2001, Torricelli sold his home for $905,000, even though the 2,415 square foot home appraised for only $328,400. In turn, Torricelli bought his favorite estate in Rosemont, NJ - an expansive, $1.2 million dollar farm.

While Torricelli shopped for a million dollar home, he was also looking at yachts. He even found one to his liking - for $405,000. According to his spokeswoman, the Senator would use the proceeds from the sale of his home in Englewood, NJ to buy the boat. Of course, since Torricelli had agreed to put the money gained from his home's sale towards the Rosemont property, the spokeswoman?s comments were false.

So where did Torricelli plan on getting the money to buy a luxury yacht and the million-dollar estate in Rosemont? He has been a public servant for the last twenty years. When he first took office in 1982 as a representative, congressional salaries were $69,000 annually. Considering that Torricelli maintained two homes - one in Washington, D.C. and the other in New Jersey - it's difficult to craft a scenario that would allow him to acquire additional luxuries unless, of course, someone supplemented him along the way.
Er ... maybe he got investment advice from Hillary Clinton and Terry McAuliffe?

Or maybe they should all be in the big house.
Homegrown Terrorist Alert!
After today's amateur terrorist bust, Mayor (and Police Commissioner) Vera Katz of Portland, Oregon went into hyper butt covering mode because Terror suspect worked at Mayor Katz's office. You may remember Vera - her previous two minutes of fame were when she kept the Portland Police Department from assisting the FBI in questioning Middle Eastern aliens after 9/11. More interesting than Vera are the real heroes - Skamania couple sounded alarm on suspicious activity.
More Hanky Panky Alert!
Seems to be a bumper crop today - Former Democratic official arrested in San Diego:
Former Mecklenburg County Democratic chairman Andrew Reyes, who vanished more than a year ago, was being held on federal bank fraud charges after his arrest at the Mexican border, authorities said Friday.
According to the indictment, Reyes had signature authority over a client's checking account at First Union National Bank and he used that power to funnel large sums of money into his own accounts.

"Using that authority, he illegally diverted more than $3.6 million from accounts of his client to accounts he controlled," said Conrad, the federal prosecutor for the western district of North Carolina.

"On 15 separate occasions between March 1998 and March 2000, he transferred amounts in the six-figure range," Conrad said. Each of the 15 counts carries a maximum of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine, he said.
Reyes had been bankrupt in 1989 but less than a decade later he was a major donor to Democratic candidates, mingling with Hollywood celebrities and President Bill Clinton. In 1999, Gov. Jim Hunt named Reyes to his Advisory Council on Hispanic/Latino Affairs.
What! No Asian bagmen?
'Do Over" Alert!
Oklahoma Republicans try to head them off at the pass - Republican Chairman Asks Walters to Stay in the Race:
OKLAHOMA CITY - Oklahoma Republican Party Chairman Chad Alexander today asked Democrat Party Chairman, Jay Parmley, and candidate David Walters to assure the voters of Oklahoma that the Democrat Party will not seek to replace Walters as their party's nominee for United State Senate.

"Given the fact that David Walters is 24 points down in the polls, has an ethically and legally challenged past and tries to drag his opponent down to his level with attacks and lies, I want to make sure he continues his candidacy," Alexander said. "I would hate to see something happen in Oklahoma like what just took place in Bob Torricelli's senate race in New Jersey. Up there, Torricelli found himself 14 points down in the polls and had a past similar to David Walters'. He dropped out of the race and created a problem in the state's court system so the Democrats could replace him with a viable candidate. I wouldn't want that for Oklahoma.
If they thought they could get away with it, they would do it.
Voters' Choice Alert!
The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that DeKalb voters file suit to throw out results of McKinney-Majette primary:
Five DeKalb County voters today filed a federal lawsuit seeking to throw out the results in the Aug. 20 Democratic primary that handed Denise Majette a victory over incumbent Cynthia McKinney in the 4th Congressional District.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Atlanta, says "malicious crossover" voting by Republicans in the primary violated the Voting Rights Act. The suit was filed against Secretary of State Cathy Cox, the DeKalb and Gwinnett county elections supervisors, Majette, the DeKalb Republican Party and the state Democratic and Republican parties.

Georgia does not require voters to register by party, and it allows them to vote in the primary of their choice. Before the election, some Republicans called on their fellow party members to vote in the Democratic primary to help ensure the controversial McKinney's defeat. Since the vote, she has repeatedly blamed them for her downfall, as well as state Democratic Party officials, whom she says aided Majette. ...

The suit asks that the crossover votes be declared unconstitutional and invalid and McKinney be declared the winner of the Democratic primary.
Hey, I thought the Democrat party was all for voters' choice?

Actually, of course, they are for anything that helps them grab power.
It Must Be Friday!
The AP says Women's Group Wants Billboard Removed:
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- A women's group is blasting a California company's billboard as offensive.

The billboard uses photos of three women to illustrate payment options for software. A prostitute represents hourly, a girlfriend represents term and a bride represents perpetual.
Then in Providence, RI: State Rep. Accused Of Assaulting Repo Man. Yes, he was a Democrat.

And an obligatory Toricelli cartoon.
Fond Memories of Da Torch
R. Emmett Tyrrell reminisces in the American Prowler about A Fat Little Butter Ball:
Senator Torricelli is a political bully who uses political power to do what he is physically impotent to do. As the months have passed since he was severely reprimanded by the Senate Ethics Committee for taking gifts from a former campaign contributor the evidence of his coarseness mounts, for instance, there is the tape showing Torricelli accompanied by a shadowy thug hounding the aforementioned campaign contributor. Doubtless there was more evidence to come before he cut and ran.

I have had my own experiences with his bully-boy tactics. After The American Spectator published a well-substantiated report in 1998 that the New Jersey senator had received $136,000 in hard money from the Mujahedin-e Khalq, a group involved in the murder of American servicemen in Iran and in the subsequent takeover of our embassy in Tehran, he threatened us with a libel suit through his agile lawyer Abbe Lowell. I ignored his threat.

When empty threats of libel did not work Torricelli led in ginning up a year-long government investigation of the magazine complete with a grand jury to look into our revelations of the misbehavior of his friend Bill Clinton, another of Lowell's unsuccessful clients. It all began on a gray Sunday morning in Washington on ABC's "This Week With Sam & Cokie." There Torricelli denounced the Spectator, accusing us of money laundering, which is a felony. Then he wrote Attorney General Janet Reno and demanded an investigation. The charges they settled on were witness tampering and threatening murder, the last, perhaps, provoked by our deadly prose. Of course, unlike the Senator and his friends in the Clinton Administration we cooperated fully with the authorities and were completely vindicated. Thus here I am today, a free and happy man, while Torricelli shuffles off into ignominy.
Stick a fork in him, he's done!
Understated Elegance
Being an "activist" must pay well.

Thursday, October 03, 2002

Party of the People Alert!
KOAT in Albuquerque, NM titillates with Report: Chavez Using PAC Money For Personal Expenses:
Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez is using money from a political action committee to defray his family's expenses -- including travel and phone bills, according to a report in Thursday's Albuquerque Journal.

The newspaper reported that the PAC money has been donated by high-ranking city employees, real estate developers, attorneys, bankers and other supporters.

Chavez said it is an appropriate arrangement that saves taxpayers' money.
Somehow I doubt that. But wait...
He also said it allows his family to stay together when he travels as mayor.
I don't think he means when he travels from the north side to the south side of town. Must be those pesky mayoral working visits to vacation spots for "conferences".

Oh yeah, Marty is a Democrat.
Another Do Over Candidate!
I 've been mentioning the trials and tribulations of Carl McCall, Democrat gubernatorial candidate in NY State. Well, yesterday he released 58 more official letters he had written trying to scare up jobs for pals. As a result, Desperate Dems Circle the Wagons:
Top Democrats yesterday were using words like "disaster," "very serious" and "near fatal" to describe the damage to Carl McCall's campaign.

And many privately expressed the fear that McCall would be unable to recover from the stunning revelation of a raft of job-seeking letters he wrote on official state comptroller's stationery.

"Carl's money is now frozen, there's no message to speak of and the troops are clearly demoralized," said a senior state Democrat.

"The question is, can he pick himself up and get going again?"
Forget that boring stuff. Who's his tag team partner?
Do Over Alert!
And over in New Jersey, The Great Election Heist:
Frank Hague would have loved it.

Somewhere, the ghost of the longtime Jersey City Democratic boss - who famously declared, "I am the law!" - is looking down (or, more likely, up) with a huge grin at the goings on in his state's U.S. Senate race.

Hague's notoriously corrupt fiefdom may have been dismantled decades ago, but the political wisdom that ran it was on display yesterday before the New Jersey Supreme Court.

Lawyers for the Democratic Party argued that the plain language of the state's election law setting a 51-day deadline for removing a candidate from the ballot doesn't really say what it seems to say.

More important, they claimed, the need for voters to enjoy a clear choice in the voting booth outweighs any "arbitrary" deadline.

It's one of the oldest clichés around, but this line or argument is a textbook case of the guy who murders his parents begging for sympathy on the grounds that he's an orphan.

The vacancy, after all, wasn't created by some extraordinary circumstance, like the death of the candidate.

Bob Torricelli is very much alive, although the same can't be said of his political career.

Torricelli simply up and quit because the polls suddenly showed his campaign in free-fall - sort of the political equivalent of Roberto Duran jumping out of the ring after whining "No mas" because he was getting whipped by Sugar Ray Leonard.

Only Duran didn't demand the right to have a younger, fresher fighter step in and immediately take his place.
Turns out it was a tag team match and we didn't know it!
More Overseas Notes
Poll on US ties rocks Iran
Media heads face prosecution in Iran over a ground-breaking opinion poll on mending relations with the United States. It showed a large majority of the population in favour of dialogue with the "Great Satan" and nearly half showing sympathy with US policy on Iran.
Hey! They're friendlier than Europe!

How to bomb thy neighbor: Hamas offers online 'Academy':
The Hamas organization has launched an Internet course in the production and assembly of explosives.
With a few little changes in the text we could lose a nice crop of fanatics.

Where's Jesse?
Jesse Jackson once again displayed the unerring homing instinct of a fly for a meadow muffin by turning up in Brazil to boost the communist front runner Luiz Inacio "Lula" da Silva in Sunday's presidential election.
Comparing Brazil's presidential front-runner to Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela, U.S. Rev. Jesse Jackson made it clear Sunday that if he were a Brazilian, he would vote for the candidate of the leftist Workers Party.

"I was with Martin Luther King...and with Nelson Mandela...and they were inspired by a special spirit," Jackson told a congregation of 400 gathered at the First Baptist Church in Santo Andre, an industrial suburb on the outskirts of Sao Paulo. "And the same special inspiring Lula," he said of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

Standing next to the former metalworker, Jackson said Lula has been "touched by God."
It seems that "Lula" has credibility problems amongst Brazil's Protestants and brought in the Rev. No word on the illegitimate children voting bloc.
I'm Miffed!
I'd been hyping the Goron's economic policy speech yesterday, because I expected him to make a fool out of himself this week, just like last. Instead it turned out to be a typical yawner, but the "big" news was that
Al Gore came to blast President Bush's handling of the economy but in the end got caught up in The Wedding Ring controversy. Asked why he wasn't wearing his wedding band, the former vice president was forced to make an embarrassing confession to the Brookings Institution crowd: "Because I've gained so much weight."
Most of it between his ears.

Wednesday, October 02, 2002

Another "Substitution"!
From Free Republic:
Angels withdraw from playoffs! 1986 Red Sox to play Yankees

NEW YORK – Inexplicably citing a long list of accomplishments by this year’s Angels team, a teary Mike Sciosia announced today that his team was pulling out of their division series with the Yankees after dropping the opening game.

“We had a good run. Ninety-nine wins is something to be very proud of. But we ain’t gonna win this series. Everybody knows it. You guys in the media, all you want to talk about is Giambi and Jeter. Soriano and Clemens. Doesn’t anybody want to talk about Weber and Levine? Schields and Donnelly?”

The sudden withdrawal of the Angels left the American League scrambling for a replacement team. After being turned down by many of this year’s clubs, most of whom cited fishing and golfing commitments, the league finally secured the services of the 1986 Red Sox.
More by following the link.
Media Notes
NRO's Salon, Plagiarism, Paul Krugman, and an Unsubstantiated Smear asks "What will Paul Krugman do?"

They clearly don't understand that being a leftist means never having to say you're sorry.

Speaking of which, how about the Gruner + Jahr lawsuit against wide load O'Donnell:
7. All of this changed drastically beginning in July 2002, when O'Donnell, having recently terminated her daytime television talk show, began to transform her public persona from the warm, fun-loving "Queen of Nice" to a self-proclaimed "uber bitch," and to behave erratically and in defiance of her contractual commitments to G+J. O'Donnell's bizarre and ofttimes mean-spirited behavior soon had the effect of making it difficult, and ultimately impossible, for G+J to continue publishing the Magazine.
You mean someone actually fell for the Queen of Nice facade?
An Honest Caption!
(Via Tim Blair) TAANIS TOOHEY/STAR FILE PHOTO OFFENSIVE TO VIEWERS: Michael Moore's writing and filmmaking is largely ignored by American media.
Blast from the Past
Ever wonder what happened to Denise Rich? No, neither have I - once it became clear she wasn't going to be indicted in Bubba's last minute pardons scandal. Well she's made the gossip columns again in 'MOTHER' OF INSULTS:
The Montreal mogul embroiled in a multimillion-dollar lawsuit with Denise Rich says he'd never have sex with the money-squandering socialite - because she reminds him too much of his mother.
Hmmmm ... interesting family!
"I never, ever had sex with that woman," said metal trader and art collector Herbie Black, paraphrasing Bill Clinton - who is still under investigation for pardoning Denise's ex-hubby, fugitive billionaire Marc Rich, on tax-evasion charges.
In the latest he-said-she-said court bust-up, Rich filed court papers this week accusing Black of promising a "future together" if she let him manage her finances. That was after Black filed suit against Rich last August, claiming that she broke her promise to pay him once he spurned her sexual advances.

"I've never made a pass at her," Black said. "There was no breakup because she was never my lover.

"Denise reminds me of my mother, and I've told her so on many occasions."

Besides, Black said, the whole time he was chastely jet-setting around the world with Rich, he was shacked up with Larissa Abrahamyan, a 31-year-old part-time Hermes sales clerk.

"I've been living with a 5-foot-10, gorgeous, divine individual for the last 21/2 to three years, and Denise is fully aware of that fact. Larissa is half Trinidadian and half Armenian. She's a raving beauty," Black said.

"Puh-lease, I mean honestly. Why would Herbie go out with a 59-year-old grandmother? Is that my style? If she was some sexy, hot chick, I'd consider, but it's utter nonsense."
Film at 11? And don't you love people that refer to themselves in the 3rd person?
Black said Rich signed a contract that gave him permission to manage her $200 million fortune, which has since dropped to $125 million.

Black's lawsuit, filed in Manhattan Federal Court, accuses Rich and her company, Denise Joy Inc., of breach of contract.

In the contract, Black says Rich agreed to give him four months to find a buyer for her music business and to manage her personal fortune, which is shrinking dramatically due to what he calls her "ridiculous" spending.
More blather by following the link. Sounds like they all could use a good dose of Raid. But we already knew that, didn't we?
So Many Demo Scandals, So Little Time
I haven't had time for an update since last Friday on the antics of NY State Comptroller and Democrat candidate for governor, Carl McCall. It seems that Now It's His Wife:
State Comptroller Carl McCall - above with wife Joyce Brown - sent her résumé to a Chicago real-estate executive who was investing millions of dollars on behalf of the state's pension fund, The Post has learned.

It was at least the third time that McCall wrote a letter on official stationery in which he mixed state business with his family.


The latest revelation comes after The Post reported last week that McCall sent a letter to a telecommunications executive in 1997 in which he noted that the pension fund was a major shareholder - and that he also was sending the résumé of his daughter, Marci.

Marci McCall was hired by Verizon in 1998, but left her job last year after she was accused of improperly using a company credit card.

The Post also reported that McCall sent a letter to a Coca-Cola executive in which he noted he's an "investor" - and attached his cousin's résumé.

The letters were found in files in the state's archives - but removed after The Post reported about them last week. McCall said that they will be returned to the state library later this week.
Ah! A man who looks after his family.

Tuesday, October 01, 2002

Wooden Politician Alert!
Don't forget that Prince Albert is delivering a "major economic policy speech" tomorrow at the Brookings Institution in DC at 10AM Eastern Time. Those easily bored can just chalk up any and all problems to the malefactors of great wealth and skip the shindig. Ordinary taxpayers should merely keep a firm grip on their wallets in Al's vicinity. Al, of course, should watch out for hungry beavers.
You Can't Make This Stuff Up
Homeless Vibrators: The Center for Sex and Culture searches for a permanent home. Yep, it's San Francisco. But before anyone gets too excited, check the staff photo.
It's the Latest Fad
Via ScrappleFace, Democrat Candidates Drop Out of Races Nationwide:
(2002-10-01) -- Following the example of Sen. Robert Torricelli, D-NJ, who halted his re-election campaign yesterday because he knew he couldn't win, dozens of fellow Democrats nationwide announced the end of their bids for office.


The DNC is still scrambling to fill all the empty ballots with replacement candidates who have name recognition, a relatively clear criminal record and scant knowledge of the U.S.Constitution.
I'm sure they've considered it.
More Demo Hijinks?
The Honolulu Advertiser shocks with Playing politics with Mink
It's a delicate subject, to say the least. But the ones handling it most indelicately are the ones who are crying foul the loudest.

Hawai'i Democratic party leaders have reacted with shock and indignation at questions that suggest political maneuvering played a part in the timing of the announcement of Patsy Mink's death.

There has been ample material for conspiracy theorists to piece together a plausible plot, starting with the almost total blackout of information on Mink's condition from the day she was admitted to the hospital. This kind of secrecy surrounding the ability of a member of the U.S. Congress to do her job is extraordinary, especially when our country's leaders are talking about going to war and particularly when there's an election at hand.

Voters went to the polls on primary election day not knowing if Mink was able to continue to serve. Her family said nothing. The hospital said nothing. But colleague U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie, speaking more as a Democrat concerned about the election than a representative for the family, assured Hawai'i that Mink was on the road to recovery.

When the somber news finally came that Mink's prospects for recovery were poor, it came not from her family or even her staff. It came from the director of the Democratic Party Coordinated Campaign, the organization that is overseeing all the Democrats' political campaigns in Hawai'i.
The uncharitable are saying that the party bosses made the family keep Rep. Mink on life support until the deadline for taking her name off the ballot had passed. They're now asking voters to vote for Mink as a "tribute" with the knowledge that if she wins, there will be a special election to fill her seat.

Nobody could be so callous, could they? Ooops, I forgot! We're talking the Democrat party here. They have a lot of dead voters too.
Patsy Mink was, by all accounts, a person of principle who had little tolerance for game-playing within her party. Patsy Mink was a straight-shooter. She was an independent thinker. It's hard to imagine that she would approve of the Democrats' handling and mishandling of information about her ability to serve in the hopes of controlling an election. Instead of worrying so much about holding on to Patsy Mink's seat in Congress, Democrats should try harder to hold on to Patsy Mink's values.
Rest in Peace
A Novel Idea: Ask the NJ Voters
John Curran of the AP actually did - Voters: Dems stuck with Torricelli despite withdrawal:

GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) -- You made your bed, now lie in it.

That was the overwhelming sentiment of voters who commented on the sudden withdrawal of Robert Torricelli from the U.S. Senate race, and Democrats' efforts to field a new candidate before the Nov. 5 election.
Follow the link for the first hand quotes. You really have to wonder about the brainiacs in the Democrat party that thought this was a clever plan.

NJ Democrat Hijinks Update
For a while this afternoon it looked like US Representative Frank Pallone was going to be the designated idiot in the Torricelli scam. Now PoliticsNJ is reporting that
Lautenberg now the leading candidate as Pallone changes his mind

Former Sen. Frank Lautenberg will likely be the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, Democratic sources said shortly after 5 PM.. The 78-year-old Lautenberg could become the third candidate in less than 24 hours after a bizarre and startling turn of events.

Earlier this afternoon, Rep. Frank Pallone told Gov. James E. McGreevey that he would accept the Democratic nomination, but an hour later, he backed out of the race. Sources say that changed his mind at the urging -- or insistence -- of his wife, Sarah.
I guess we know who has the brains in the Pallone family.
Lautenberg is en route to Trenton now, with an announcement by McGreevey expected soon.
McGreedy better find the jumper cables to get that old hack going. The next thing you know, we'll hear that Bubba has moved to New Jersey and is tossing his hat in the ring.
High Bogon Flux Alert!
World Net Daily reports that Babs isn't alone in falling for bogus quotes. Check out the latest cartoon from prize winning whiner Paul Conrad.
It's Babs Again!
Babs shares a Truth Alert:
THE IRONIC FURTHER TRUTH.. Hidden in this example of diverted news priorities is the fact that Barbra Streisand is a former spelling bee champion, meticulous in her written communications!
Snort. The champ then peddled an internet hoax at her fund raiser for the party of appeasement.
Dog Bites Man!
In its sadly predictable way, the NY Times editorial board simpers that substituting a new candidate for the Da Torch at this late, illegal date is necessary to "give New Jersey's voters the choice they deserve". Orrin Judge does the honors.

Monday, September 30, 2002

Da Torch Forfeits ... But He Doesn't Know It Yet
New Jersey Senator Robert Torricelli ("the best Senator money can buy") just finished a long whiney public rant whose point apparently was the ole bait and switch. Here's a synopsis.
I'm really an incredibly swell guy.

I'm way behind in the polls.

Everybody thinks I'm a crook (they're so unforgiving!).

I can't talk about my issues.

And because I am so screwed, the Democrat party might lose control of the Senate.

My pals in the party, including Bubba Clinton, tell me I have to go.

Therefore, I'm going to stand aside. The Democrat party has already petitioned the NJ State Supreme Court to ignore the law that says it's too late to substitute somebody else's name for mine on the November election ballot.

I don't know whose name that is because we haven't found anybody yet who's stupid enough to volunteer to replace me in the election.
Aside from various court wranglings where the "bait and switch" will be debated, the next act of this farce will likely be played out inside of 30 days before the election, when Da Torch can resign his seat (undoubtedly blaming the Republicans) and the Democrat Governor of New Jersey can appoint a temporary replacement until a new election can be held in 2003 or 2004.

It's really hard to differentiate all the disgusting vermin in this soap opera, but they are all members of the Democrat party.
Goron Alert!
The AP is flacking Prince Albert's next pronouncement, scheduled for Wednesday:
Al Gore plans to offer his views on the U.S. economy Wednesday in a major policy speech on the topic at a time the political debate has turned increasingly toward Iraq and the possibilities of war.

The former vice president helped stir up that debate over Iraq with a speech a week ago in San Francisco criticizing the Bush administration for its policies on Iraq.


Gore plans to give his speech Wednesday morning at the Brookings Institution in Washington, said Gore aide Jano Cabrera. The speech comes the same week that people are getting statements on their 401(k) retirement accounts and unemployment figures are being released.

The 2000 Democratic presidential nominee is talking with a number of economic experts while preparing for his speech, he said.
I'm sure rocket boy will unburden himself of a heavy load. It's his way of separating himself from the pack, doncha know.
Pond Scum
From the Washington Times:
Rep. Jim McDermott, Washington Democrat, said in Baghdad yesterday that he believes President Bush would lie to the nation to win support for a war against Saddam Hussein.

"I think the president would mislead the American people," Mr. McDermott said on ABC's "This Week" about the president's campaign for support for a military campaign against Iraq.

In interviews on political talk shows yesterday, Mr. McDermott and Rep. David E. Bonior, Michigan Democrat, who also was in Baghdad, denounced the Bush administration while saying nothing negative about Saddam.


On ABC yesterday, interviewer George Stephanopoulos pointedly asked the two Democratic congressmen why "should we take the Iraqis at their word they have a decade-long record of denying inspectors access and deceiving U.N. inspectors."

Mr. Bonior responded: "We could go back and play the blame game here until the moon comes out. But that's not going to do us any good."
These boys are well known for never having met an anti-American thug they didn't like. But do they have to swap spit with them on national TV?
Yee Haw!
Word from the American Prowler on the new Presidential Palace:
Sen. John Edwards likes to call himself "The People's Senator" when he's down-home in North Carolina. And he likes to play the part, hiring traditional bluegrass bands to entertain at parties, and really hamming it up with his corn pone accent when speaking to the crowds.

Well, darn if the Sen. Edwards done bought hisself a big ol' house for his kin and extended kin to visit when they come to the big city.

Edwards has just signed a contract to purchase a $3.8 million Georgetown home. Apparently the house he and his family had been living in, a $2.2 million four-story red-brick mansion that backed up to the home of Clinton golfing buddy Vernon Jordan, lacked something. But the Edwards's new 8-bedroom, 6,672-square- foot abode is said to come with a see-ment pond nearby for the children. So next time you find yourself without a place to put your feet up, come on by now, ya hear?
Only in America - a poor country boy works his way to financial bounty as a personal injury lawyer. I wonder if he jumps up at the sound of an ambulance?
Maybe It's the Religion of Love?
American Taliban John Walker Lindh enjoyed secret gay sex romps with his Muslim mentors, a new report claims.

Married Pakistani businessman Khizer Hayat told Time magazine he was 21-year-old Lindh's lover.

An imam from the Lindh's madrasah - an Islamic religious school - also hinted that he enjoyed carnal capers with the young zealot.

"He was liking me very much. All the time, he wants to be with me," Hayat told Time. "I was loving him. Because love begets love, you know."
Whatever happened to all that wall toppling stuff?

Sunday, September 29, 2002

Tip of the Iceberg
The Sierra Vista Herald reports Unrecouped costs for emergency health care given to illegal immigrants at $200 million in 2000 and that's just on the border.
Hospitals along the U.S.-Mexico border provide $200 million in uncompensated emergency health care to illegal immigrants, and local government officials say the federal government should help with the expense.

Cochise County hospitals spent more than $1.7 million providing health care service to illegal immigrants in 2000, according to the report.

Officials at Sierra Vista Regional Health Center said they spent nearly $250,000 during that period. Rep. Jim Kolbe, R-Ariz., said the Copper Queen Community Hospital spent nearly $200,000.

According to the report by the U.S.-Mexico Border Counties Coalition, illegal immigrants accounted for roughly 23 percent of all uncompensated health care provided by hospitals in 17 of 24 counties bordering Mexico. Uncompensated care includes charity care and uncollectable debts.

Seven counties do not have hospitals that provide emergency medical care.


The effects of the additional costs are debilitating for some hospitals, said Enrique Serna, deputy county administrator in Pima County, which absorbed nearly $25 million in costs.

"We have a real crisis in that the loss of dollars through uncompensated care really impacts our ability to deliver services to our legal residents, so it impacts the elderly, it impacts our youth, it impacts our emergency rooms dramatically," he said.

He said that to stay in business, some hospitals are being forced to limit the range of services they can provide. Last year, one Pima County hospital eliminated its obstetrics division, while another is doing away with its program this year.

Cochise County Supervisor Paul Newman said the Copper Queen hospital in Bisbee had to close its long-term care facility, in part because of the costs of caring for undocumented immigrants.

To ease the burden on border hospitals, as well as other hospitals that have high rates of immigrant care, several senators from border states are backing legislation to reimburse states and providers up to $200 million.

Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., sponsor of the bill, said the figures underscore the serious need for federal assistance, adding that other hospitals in interior counties bear similar burdens but were not included in the study.

"You've got 24 counties, most of which are pretty poor and yet they're bearing the brunt of these expenses," he said. The senator said he is hopeful that at least part of the $200 million would be approved this year.
To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail. To a Senator ... well, you get the idea.
Letter from Iran
An interesting travel journal from Geoffrey Wawro of the Naval War College. A small excerpt:
In Frankfurt airport, I witnessed an unexpected phenomenon. The Iran Air flight that will carry me to Tehran is disgorging its Frankfurt-bound load of passengers, Iranians all. As they disembark, the women stop in the departure lounge to remove their hejabs - chador, rouposh, and head scarf - and brazenly comb out their hair before applying makeup to face and nails. Already I begin to doubt the severity of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Backsliding like this in the early days of the revolution would have been punished by black-shirted "morals police." When my outbound flight is called, dozens of homeward-bound women irritably unpack their hejabs and put them on.


Back in Shiraz, I successfully penetrated the Madraseh-ye Khan, a serene seventeenth-century theological college. In my diary I afterward wrote, "I have wondered where all the hard-liners are, and here they are." The madrasehs are where the mullahs train; most of the novices are seventeen to twenty-one years old. If not exactly the shock troops - most are too dim for that - these are the foot soldiers of the Islamic Republic; they will become the men who intersperse Friday prayers all over Iran with anti-Western, anti-Enlightenment injunctions or flesh out the lower ranks of the civil service. As I strolled around the courtyard, admiring the architecture and mosaics, I felt eyes boring into me. The boys live five or six to a room along the second story of the stone-walled school. They were peering curiously down at me, my interpreter, and two young Frenchmen who had joined us in the bazaar. "Where are you from?" an English-speaker called. "America and France." Shock! "We don't let Americans into Iran, how did you get in? Have they reopened the embassy?" There was a burble of excited conversation. The youngsters seemed half-scared and half-interested. Gradually they descended from their rooms to crowd around, many sniffling and coughing despite the summer heat. I was shocked by their appearance; all were dirty and rank, their palms sweaty when they shook hands - and this was the Harvard or Yale of Iranian madrasehs. I was reminded of Nasir-ed Din-Shah, one of the westernizing Qajar kings of the nineteenth century, who deplored "the vermin-infested priests who lurk in the corners of the madrasehs." They did seem rather lousy, and I was scratching afterward
Much more by following the link.
Useful Idiots
The St. Paul Pioneer Press shocks with Castro meeting sparks vision:
HAVANA - Gov. Jesse Ventura and Cuban President Fidel Castro had a warm, personal chat Friday that was decidedly nonpolitical and left Minnesota's outgoing governor with a new idea for his public future.

He would like to be U.S. ambassador to Cuba.
Mars might be a better choice for Jesse's wingnuttery. But the Castro apologists seem to be coming out of the woodwork with the refrain of "good business". Actually the "business" is outright charity to a thuggish dictator at the taxpayers expense.
Since last year, U.S. companies have been allowed to trade with Castro's government on a cash-and-carry basis; that is, Cuba must pay for American products, generally agricultural items, with cash only, but not with credit. But the new legislation will extend American export credit and export insurance to Castro's government --- both of which are funded by American taxpayers. Under the proposed policy, when Castro defaults on his purchases American taxpayers will have the burden of picking up his tab. And like the wretched farm bill that passed last spring, this legislation is good for the green triangle, but a raw deal for American taxpayers.

In a July 11 letter to the House Appropriations Committee, Secretary of State Colin Powell and Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill wrote: "Trade by other nations with Cuba has brought no change to Cuba's despotic practices, and it has frequently proved to be an unprofitable enterprise."

Unprofitable, indeed. France, Spain, Italy and Venezuela have suspended official credits to Cuba because Castro has failed to make payments on its debt, including debt incurred on agricultural purchases. In fact, according to Powell and O'Neill's letter, two foreign governments have approached the United States to complain that Cuba's payments of cash for U.S. agricultural products have meant that they are not getting paid at all.

In international capital markets, reputation is everything. So it was little surprise when Reuters reported on July 8 that, "Direct foreign investment in Cuba plummeted to $38.9 million in 2001 from $488 million the year before." And earlier in the year, despite Castro's tantrum, Russia closed its spy facility near Havana, which will cost the Cuban government $200 million per year in foregone rent payments.

Castro's current creditors are far from happy with these circumstances, as many have not received payment on interest of principal credit since 1986. Without even counting Castro's debt to Russia, which he will not pay because he declares his debt is to a country that "no longer exists," Havana owes billions of dollars to western banks and former socialist countries.

If this is not enough evidence, the cavalry lobbying for American credits and imminent subsidies should ask the Canadians for their advice. On Aug. 7, 2002, the Montreal Gazette reported that a 15,000 ton Cuban-owned ship has been held in the port of Conakry, the Guinean capital, for the past month "while an Ontario company, armed with legal judgments, pursues Cuba for more than $3 million U.S." Guinea's Court of Appeals upheld the ship's detention, pending the payment of more than $275,000 in debt to the Ontario company.

Imagine U.S. companies chasing down Cuban cargo ships in international waters to collect payment, while American taxpayers sit on the sidelines knowing that they will pick up the bill when the debtor doesn't pay. Castro pricks America's side again.
Why not just have the government buy the agricultural products and burn them? Cuts down on the middlemen and doesn't prop up a grotesque thug.
"The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers" - Shakespeare, Henry VI
It's a different Will in today's NY Post, CASINO 'JUSTICE' :
In the casino that tort law has become, wild wagers are becoming routine. A family sues the Weather Channel for not forecasting the storm during which a family member on a fishing trip drowned. A man sues six bars and liquor stores and the electricity company because of injuries he sustained when, while drunk, he climbed over a fence with a locked gate and scaled an electrical tower. And then there is Mississippi.
Our non-USA readers may be puzzled by the reference to the US state of Mississippi. Well they've come up with a new industry there, particularly Jefferson County.
Mississippi juries have awarded plaintiffs $1.8 billion since 1995. The Mississippi law that allows plaintiffs to combine their cases with others nationwide, along with a notoriously pro-plaintiff local judge, has made Jefferson County (population 9,695) the wonder of the legal world: Between 1995 and 2000, some 21,000 plaintiffs sued there.
Of course there are consequences:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce's recent warning that its members should avoid doing business there was not "big business" picking on the poor. Ninety-six percent of the chamber's member businesses have fewer than 100 employees and 75 percent have fewer than 10. And Mississippi needs business more than any other state. It ranks 50th among the states in per capita income ($21,750 - half of Connecticut's top-ranking $42,435). ...

A recent study found that the system costs Mississippi 7,500 jobs a year. ...

No wonder Mississippi's insurance commissioner says 71 insurance companies have stopped doing business in the state. ...

Most Mississippi cities with populations smaller than 20,000 no longer have obstetricians.
But it's not just Mississippi - it's a nationwide plague. Here's a hint as to why it continues.
Jeffrey Birnbaum of Fortune says lawyers' and law firms' political contributions in the last two years ($50 million) almost equal organized labor's. In the 1999-2000 election cycle, lawyers contributed more than labor. In this 2001-2002 cycle, the Association of Trial Lawyers of America is the largest single contributor to federal candidates, with most of its $2.3 million going to Democrats.
George suggests supporting tort reform candidates in the upcoming election. Me too.

They'll be right on most other things as well.