Noonan (President Reagan's famous speech writer) thinks the President's lackadaisical response to the oil leak disaster - where is the help for the State of Louisiana? - is a devastating blow to his presidency.
HOWEVER - Ms. Noonan has been wrong before - in 1994 she had a front page feature in Forbes magazine entitled "Looks Like President Clinton is a One-Termer".
Nevertheless, lots of good points in this column, which has been widely circulated and commented on. Noonan is politically conservative, but was smitten for awhile over Obama. She got over being smitten a few months ago. ... Excerpts below; as always hit the link for the full column.
I don't see how the president's position and popularity can survive the oil spill. This is his third political disaster in his first 18 months in office. And they were all, as they say, unforced errors, meaning they were shaped by the president's political judgment and instincts.
There was the tearing and unnecessary war over his health-care proposal and its cost. There was his day-to-day indifference to the views and hopes of the majority of voters regarding illegal immigration. And now the past almost 40 days of dodging and dithering in the face of an environmental calamity. I don't see how you politically survive this.
The president, in my view, continues to govern in a way that suggests he is chronically detached from the central and immediate concerns of his countrymen.
... even though the federal government in our time has continually taken on new missions and responsibilities, the more it took on, the less it seemed capable of performing even its most essential jobs. Conservatives got this point—they know it without being told—but liberals and progressives did not. They thought Katrina was the result only of George W. Bush's incompetence and conservatives' failure to "believe in government." But Mr. Obama was supposed to be competent.
... Republicans should beware, and even mute their mischief. We're in the middle of an actual disaster. When they win back the presidency, they'll probably get the big California earthquake. And they'll probably blow it. Because, ironically enough, of a hard core of truth within their own philosophy: When you ask a government far away in Washington to handle everything, it will handle nothing well.
By Roy Halladay of the Phillies, probably the best pitcher in baseball.
Wow. That's the 20th in major league baseball history, but the second this month. Twenty in baseball history, but two in one month. What's the likilihood of that?
And also see this Baseball: Perfect games are becoming relatively more common, no-hitters less so from earlier this month.
Here's the story on Halladay's perfection.
Halladay faced three Marlins pinch-hitters in the ninth. Mike Lamb led off with a long fly ball, but Shane Victorino had plenty of time to backtrack in the super-spacious outfield at Sun Life Stadium and squeeze it for the first out.
Another pinch-hitter, Wes Helms, struck out, and the crowd filled with Phillies fans simply began to roar.
From there, it was all up to Paulino, who fouled the first pitch into the seats along the first-base side, took ball one, swung and missed for strike two, and then stabbed at Halladay's 115th and final offering. Castro ranged to his left to get it and threw across to first baseman Ryan Howard, who caught the ball and jumped in the air.
He struck out a total of eleven Marlins.
Watch the reaction! The story here
Here's the Secretary of State last week -
Here is reality - excerpted from James Taranto's column on opinionjournal.com on May 28th. Note the wealth distribution in the last two bullets; which is "fairer"?
• GDP per capita: Brazil $10,200, U.S. $46,400
• GDP per capita, rank: Brazil 105th, U.S. 11th
• Unemployment rate: Brazil 7.4%, U.S. 9.3%
• Population below poverty line: Brazil 26% (2008), U.S. 12% (2004)
• Share of nationwide household income or consumption, lowest 10%: Brazil 1.1%, U.S. 2%
• Share of nationwide household income or consumption, highest 10%: Brazil 43%, U.S. 30%
The U.S. does better on all these measures except 2009 unemployment--and a year earlier, the U.S. rate (5.8%) was considerably better than Brazil's (7.9%). The average American is more than 4.5 times as productive as the average Brazilian, and a Brazilian is more than twice as likely to be impoverished by Brazilian standards than an American is to be impoverished by U.S. standards.
Brazil's GDP actually shrank last year, by 0.2%, though it grew 5.1% in 2008 and 6.1% in 2007. For America, the figures were a 2.4% decline in 2009, 0.4% growth in 2008 and 2.1% growth in 2007. But developed countries seldom grow at 5% or 6% a year; developing ones experience such growth because their economies are smaller to begin with. Even if Brazil is "growing like crazy," for America to emulate it would be nuts.
You have to go here and then start mousing around.
Don't know quite what to call it, but very cool. it may take a minute to load.
Paranoia? Or reality?
In an e-mail sent to Zev Chafets, author of the new book "Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One," Limbaugh admitted, "I know I am a target and I know I will be destroyed eventually. I fear that all I have accomplished and all the wealth I have accumulated will be taken from me, to the cheers of the crowd. I know I am hated and despised by the American Left."
The commercials for this movie are/were all over cable TV.
Bring back Douglas Fairbanks!
For the most part this is perfectly painless mush. The movie is irrepressibly silly — what were you expecting? — but a few hours of Mr. Gyllenhaal jumping around in leather and fluttering his long lashes has its dumb-fun appeal
As the woman says in the interview, "I'd be creeped out."
A short video, which comes on after the commercial -
ABC News tries to talk to author Joe McGinniss, who is renting the house next door to Sarah Palin in Wasilla, Alaska. When the reporter knocks on his door, he is told by McGinniss that he's trespassing and threatens to call the police.
A good posting from mercatornet. And some interesting comments.
...even some respected bioethicists also interpreted Venter’s ambitious vision as a “God is dead” moment. Julian Savulescu, of Oxford University, declared breathlessly that Venter was becoming “a god: creating artificial life that could never have existed naturally, creating life from the ground up using basic building blocks.” And the best-known bioethicist in the US, Arthur Caplan, ranked it with Darwin and Copernicus. “Venter’s achievement would seem to extinguish the argument that life requires a special force or power to exist,” he said. “In my view, this makes it one of the most important scientific achievements in the history of mankind.”
A survey of the media gives the impression that more non-scientists than scientists have been popping champagne corks. The closer to the lab bench, the more sceptical the comments. Although Venter is an accomplished scientist who shared line honours for the first human genome sequence, his colleagues describe him as a shrewd self-publicist and brilliant entrepreneur who likes to frame solid achievements as historic breakthroughs. This time, one of his stunts for the media was to insert “watermarks” into the genome, with the names of team members, favourite quotations and a URL coded in the DNA.
So it was a major technological feat, but not an epochal scientific advance, according to many biologists. Harvard’s George Church told Nature that “The semi-synthetic mycobacterium is not changed from the wild state in any fundamental sense. Printing out a copy of an ancient text isn’t the same as understanding the language.” And Martin Fussenegger, of ETH Zurich, in Switzerland, said that “Since appearing on the planet, mankind has rarely created something new. Instead, people help themselves to materials that are already present, and produce increasingly complex devices. This latest technology will simply increase the speed with which new organisms can be generated.”
An Irish geneticist, David McConnell, of Trinity College Dublin was scathing. Venter’s methods were complex, but not very interesting. “It is a scientific folly. There are no new ethical issues… In scientific terms we have learned nothing new.”
What about those ethical issues? Venter knew that his ambitious plans would be controversial and he has been preparing a soft landing for his high-flying projects for years. A report -- which he supported -- came last year from The Hastings Center, in New York. It envisaged two types of potential harms emerging from synthetic biology.
First are the physical harms of bioerror and bioterror. Environmentalists are worried that new bugs might escape from laboratories and destroy ecologies. Security experts fear that terrorists could create microbes to spread lethal diseases. But in a sense these risks are easily handled because there is abundant experience of how to fireproof and regulate dangerous technologies.
Hit the link for the wole feature plus coments.
From humor consultant Ellen -
A Sunday school teacher asked, 'Johnny, do you think Noah did a lot of fishing when he was on the Ark ? ''No,' replied Johnny. 'How could he, with just two worms.'
Another Mia Farrow op ed in the WSJ. It's short - worth reading the whole thing.
"Ms. Farrow has visited Darfur and eastern Chad 13 times since 2004."
When Barack Obama was elected president of the United States, hope abounded, even in Darfur's bleak refugee camps. Darfuris believed this son of Africa could understand their suffering, end the violence that has taken so much from them, and bring Mr. Bashir to justice. The refugees hoped that "Yes we can" was meant for them too. They believed President Obama would bring peace and protection to Darfur and would settle for nothing less than true justice.
I have held new babies named Obama and watched as Darfuris began to dream again. Fatima Haroun, a 24-year-old widow and mother, told me the day was surely near when the refugees could leave the filth and hunger of the camps and safely return to the ashes of their villages. First, she said, they would honor their lost loved ones; they would search the ashes for bones, wrap them in best cloths, and bury them with respect. They would gather wood and tall grasses to rebuild their homes, they would sing new songs and prepare their fields for planting. Hunger and terror would go away. Omar al-Bashir would rot in jail.
Such hopes did not last long.
As the highest valued technology company in the world (based on market capitalization - the value of all it's stock shares outstanding). In fact it is now second only to Exxon in terms of all American companies.
But they all better be looking over their shoulders at Google.
As of Wednesday, Wall Street valued Apple at $222.12 billion and Microsoft at $219.18 billion. The only American company valued higher is Exxon Mobil, with a market capitalization of $278.64 billion.
While Apple is at the top of its game, it faces a new and powerful rival in Google, which is battling Apple in mobile devices with its Android operating system, and mobile advertising.
Google, with a market cap of $151.43 billion, also appeared to leap ahead of Apple in a new potentially important area, Internet-connected televisions. And Google is steering consumers toward yet a new model of computing in which Internet applications, rather than iPhone or desktop applications, rule.
Between the Bulls of South Africa and Canterbury Crusaders of New Zealand. Played in South Africa.
Pretty good -
A man walks into a bar and takes out a little box. A 12 inch man climbs out, along with a minature grand piano. The little man plays beautifully.
The bartender inquires where the patron found it.
The patron who brought him in said a genie granted a wish for him. That he found a lamp that only'gives one wish per person. And if the bartenderad wanted, he would let him have a wish.
The patron hands over the lamp and the bartender makes a wish. A million ducks appear in the bar.
Wait the bartender says, I wished for a million bucks.
The patron nods and replies, do you think I wished for a 12 inch pianist?
What I got out of this is the Dalai's position that the religious impulse leads to Compassion, which of course is one of the Bedrocks of Buddhism.
A main point in my discussion with Merton was how central compassion was to the message of both Christianity and Buddhism. In my readings of the New Testament, I find myself inspired by Jesus’ acts of compassion. His miracle of the loaves and fishes, his healing and his teaching are all motivated by the desire to relieve suffering.
OK, granted. But you just can't "split the difference" and say it's all the same. Plenty of Christian beliefs are irreconciliable with Buddhism.
But the common ground of Compassion works for me.
The Dalai Lama is a signatory of the Seamless Garment Statement which says among other things "We are committed to the protection of life, which is threatened in today's world by war, abortion, poverty, racism, capital punishment and euthanasia. We believe that these issues are linked under a 'consistent ethic of life'.
I can remember as a kid watching him - his interviews with children were pretty funny. "He is the only person to have five network television shows running in prime time simultaneously" (Wikipedia). 97 years old. He led a fascinating and at times tragic life.
I thought he'd died years ago.
This is fascinating, even if you're not up on your cell biology.
So what is new and unique about what we did? The process of synthesizing a cell began at a computer. We started with the more than one million letters of genetic instructions for Mycoplasma mycoides, and then made slight modifications to its DNA sequence. First, we deleted 4,000 letters, which removed the function of two genes. We then replaced 10 genes with four "watermark" sequences. These watermark sequences are each over 1,000 letters in length and can be decoded to reveal the names of people, famous quotations and a website address. The entire sequence of DNA letters was then partitioned into 1,100 pieces, and each was synthesized using four different bottles of chemicals that make up DNA.
The potential problem: what happens when less benign properties - like a new disease- are put into a genome, instesd of some "watermark?" You end up with a superweapon ...
On March 26, the synthetic genome was "booted up," and self-replicating Mycoplasma mycoides JCVI-syn1.0 cells were produced.
We refer to the cell we have created as being a "synthetic" cell because it is controlled only by a synthetic genome assembled from chemically synthesized pieces of DNA. Even though the cytoplasm of the recipient cell is not synthetic, following transplantation and replication on a plate to form a colony, resulting cells will not contain any molecules that were present in the original recipient cell. The DNA software builds its own hardware so that the properties of the cells controlled by the synthetic genome are expected to be the same as if the whole cell had been produced synthetically.
A marvelous achievement requiring 15 years of work and $40 million.
As the Conservative (now Prime Minister) David Cameron apes the former (Labor Party) Prime Minister Tony Blair. Worth remembering that Cameron's campaign hired a number of Obama's political operatives. As did the opposition Labor Party on behalf of their candidate, Gordon Brown.
Watch the whole thing - it gets funnier as it goes along
Some good signs here
A survey in February by the BBC found that only 26 percent of Britons believed that “climate change is happening and is now established as largely manmade,” down from 41 percent in November 2009. A poll conducted for the German magazine Der Spiegel found that 42 percent of Germans feared global warming, down from 62 percent four years earlier.
And London’s Science Museum recently announced that a permanent exhibit scheduled to open later this year would be called the Climate Science Gallery — not the Climate Change Gallery as had previously been planned.
“Before, I thought, ‘Oh my God, this climate change problem is just dreadful,’ ” said Jillian Leddra, 50, a musician who was shopping in London on a recent lunch hour. “But now I have my doubts, and I’m wondering if it’s been overhyped.”
Perhaps sensing that climate is now a political nonstarter, David Cameron, Britain’s new Conservative prime minister, was “strangely muted” on the issue in a recent pre-election debate, as The Daily Telegraph put it, though it had previously been one of his passions.
And a poll in January of the personal priorities of 141 Conservative Party candidates deemed capable of victory in the recent election found that “reducing Britain’s carbon footprint” was the least important of the 19 issues presented to them.
Actually it turned up in my basement a few days ago. My friend Damian, who had a big birthday yesterday, gave me this talking doll thing of Ronald Reagan several years ago. I never opened it, and now, as Hope and Change becomes Hype and Who Knows, people are pining for the good ol' days.
Here's what the little bubble says -
The likeness of the doll is not so hot, and I don't know what it says, but in an unopened box, it's probably worth something to collectors. Thanks Damian!
UPDATE: Rats! I checked ebay. Not worth so much. Will have to hold onto him for the grandchildren.
From humor consultant Ellen.
Michael Flatley of "Riverdance" would be pleased ...
Or: Free Enterprise vs. Government Control
... no matter how the issue is posed, not more than 30 percent of Americans say they believe we would fare better without free markets at the core of our system. When it comes to support for free enterprise, we are essentially a 70-30 nation.
So here's a puzzle: If we love free enterprise so much, why are the 30 percent who want to change that culture in charge?
It's not simply because of the election of Obama. As much as Republicans may dislike hearing it, statism had effectively taken hold in Washington long before that.
The whole essay is interesting, and worth a read.
On my theory you always subtract seven years; 53 again.
Here he is, summer of 2007, having returned from his sugar plantation in Barbados.
Giving tips to the local weightlifter
Easter, 2009, at an undisclosed location.
Same Easter, with the main squeeze, quieting the natives
Easter 2010, as always HAM & LAMB.
"Tom, you are so boring"
Yes I am.
The creation - The new synthetic cell . And a very real danger - the production of a bioweapon. The possibilities for a synthetic call creating a new illness or poison are limited only by the imagination. A potential horrendous weapon of mass destruction on a par with nuclear weapons.
... as Dr Venter himself acknowledges, the technology “could also be used for negative purposes” such as creating germs for bioterrorism. “So-called dual-use technologies need to be carefully discussed and reviewed both in the US and globally,” he says.
Some pressure groups, such as Human Genetics Alert in London, say the risks are great enough to call for a moratorium on synthetic biology research “until there is an effective global system of regulation to deal with it”. David King, HGA director, says: “What is really dangerous is these scientists’ ambitions for total and unrestrained control over nature, which many people describe as ‘playing God’.”
The Catholic Church, with reservations, is OK with the research.
"If it is used toward the good, to treat pathologies, we can only be positive" in our assessment, Monsignor Rino Fisichella, the Vatican's top bioethics official, told state-run TV. "If it turns out not to be ... useful to respect the dignity of the person, then our judgment would change."
A top Italian cardinal, Angelo Bagnasco, said the invention is "further sign of intelligence, God's gift to understand creation and be able to better govern it," according to Apcom and ANSA news agencies.
"On the other hand, intelligence can never be without responsibility," said Bagnasco, the head of the Italian bishops' conference. "Any form of intelligence and any scientific acquisition ... must always be measured against the ethical dimension, which has at its heart the true dignity of every person."
Another official with the Italian bishops' conference, Bishop Domenico Mogavero, expressed concern that scientists might be tempted to play God.
"Pretending to be God and parroting his power of creation is an enormous risk that can plunge men into a barbarity," Mogavero told newspaper La Stampa in an interview. Scientists "should never forget that there is only one creator: God."
Very sad, and bad. On Friday the U.S. State Department issued a warning about travel; they had an inkling to what might happen.
The problem? A drug lord. The emergency is restricted to two parishes (like a county) in Kingston.
When I lived in Jamaica in the late 70's there was gang violence - but it related to politics. People in one slum belonging to one Party (JLP) would be killing people in the next slum over, who were in the other Party (PNP), and vice versa.
No violence now in the resorty, touristy, areas, but terrible publicity.
The government declared a state of emergency as sporadic gunshots rang out in gritty West Kingston, stronghold of Christopher "Dudus" Coke, a Jamaican "don" charged in the U.S. with drug and arms trafficking. His defiant supporters turned his Tivoli Gardens neighborhood and other areas into a virtual fortress with trashed cars and barbed wire.
In a gritty section of the capital of an island known more for reggae and all-inclusive resorts, the violence erupted after nearly a week of rising tensions over the possible extradition of Coke to the United States.
Prime Minister Bruce Golding had stalled the extradition request for nine months with claims the U.S. indictment relied on illegal wiretap evidence. After Golding reversed himself amid growing public discontent over his opposition, Coke's supporters began barricading streets and preparing for battle.
Coke is described as one of the world's most dangerous drug lords by the U.S. Justice Department. He has ties to the governing Jamaica Labour Party and holds significant sway over the West Kingston area represented in Parliament by Golding.
Jamaica's political history is intertwined with the street gangs that the two main parties helped organize - and some say armed - in Kingston's poor neighborhoods in the 1970s and '80s. The gangs controlled the streets and intimidated voters at election time. In recent years political violence has waned, and many of the killings in Kingston now are blamed on the active drug and extortion trade.
Will have to call a few people in Jamaica tomorrow (Monday).
Never mind Brigid. How about St. Denice?
Must have been stealing a look at the mapquest directions. ...
We eagerly await Part 2
It's been suggested that Elena Kagan, the Prez's nominee forthe Supreme Court, has an animus toward the military. She's opposed to "Don't ask, Don't tell" and refused to allow military recruiters at Harvard Law school when she was Dean.
Here's the experience of a marine who served in Iraq (Fallujah!)
In 2005, I went from fighting in the streets of Fallujah to studying in the hallowed halls of Harvard Law School in a span of seven months. I arrived as an active-duty Marine Corps captain and transitioned from the infantry to the judge advocate general's corps. To the best of my knowledge, I am the only active-duty service member to have received a JD from Harvard during the deanship of Elena Kagan.
A short, interesting, op ed well worth reading. here's the conclusion -
If Elena Kagan is "anti-military," she certainly didn't show it. She treated the veterans at Harvard like VIPs, and she was a fervent advocate of our veterans association. She was decidedly against "don't ask, don't tell," but that never affected her treatment of those who had served. I am confident she is looking forward to the upcoming confirmation hearings as an opportunity to engage in some intellectual sparring with members of Congress over her Supreme Court nomination. I would respectfully warn them to do their homework, as she has a reputation for annihilating the unprepared.
There's no way I'd let my 13 year old (Tim) do this! Or my 16 year old (Joe). Or my wife.
BEIJING -- A 13-year-old American boy became the youngest climber to reach the top of Mount Everest on Saturday, breaking the former record as part of his quest to climb the highest peaks on all seven continents.
The teenager with long curly hair - who climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa when he was 10 years old - has said he was inspired by a painting in his school hallway of the seven continents' highest summits.
"Every step I take is finally toward the biggest goal of my life, to stand on top of the world," Romero said in an earlier post on his blog.
The record for the youngest climber to scale Everest had been held by Temba Tsheri of Nepal, who reached the peak at age 16.
Romero, from Big Bear, Calif., was climbing Everest with his father, his father's girlfriend and three Sherpa guides.
From the UK Telegraph.
Scientists examined the relationship between body mass index and death among 11,326 adults in Canada over a 12-year period.
They discovered that underweight people were 70 per cent more likely than people of normal weight to die, and extremely obese people were 36 per cent more likely to die.
However, modestly overweight individuals were 17 per cent less likely to die, the study showed.
The relative risk for obese people was nearly the same as for people of normal weight, the report concluded.
The researchers conclude:
... the researchers also warned people of normal weight not to try to put on extra pounds in the hope of improving their health.
"I would not interpret our results as suggesting that if you are normal you should gain weight and get into the overweight category," Mr Feeny said.
Fellow researcher Mark Kaplan, professor of Community Health at Portland State University, added: "
So if you are a little bit overweight, just feel smug ...
Bizarre. For a man who embraces non-violence?
He's currently giving lectures at Radio City Music Hall in NYC.
"(Marxism has) moral ethics, whereas capitalism is only how to make profits," the Dalai Lama, 74, said.
However, he credited China's embrace of market economics for breaking communism's grip over the world's most populous country and forcing the ruling Communist Party to "represent all sorts of classes".
"(Capitalism) brought a lot of positive to China. Millions of people's living standards improved," he said.
The good news is that my state - New York - doesn't have a problem. The bad news is that most other states pensions plans are in real trouble.
Five states would never run out, including New York and Florida, and 17 other states have a horizon of 2030 or beyond.
Robert Megna, New York’s budget director, said his state had had to make “tough choices” to keep funding its pensions despite budget shortfalls over the past few years. On March 31, the state made a nearly $1bn payment for the last fiscal year.
Note the 8% return assumption.
Won by Leinster 16-6.
First vid is the only try of the match - a beautiful set piece move, just like Bill Connolly would diagram
Second one is an interesting decision on a high tackle near the goal line as the scrum-half drops a prop (!) like a bag of potatoes.
Haha. From Brigid's neice June in Australia -
The story and video here - Meet the sloths
The Wall Street Journal had the first, and best, article on this, but it's only available to subscribers. This is also pretty good -
"Synthia," as Dr. Craig Venter and his research team at the J. Craig Venter Institute have dubbed it, is actually a stripped-down bacterium that's been outfitted with a man-made genome. The creation cost around $30 million.
Still, there are kinks to work out. Right now, the synthetic bacterium is able to reproduce, but several of its genes don't yet work properly.
And others in the field aren't so sure that Venter is using the best approach.
"He has not created life, only mimicked it," Dr. David Baltimore, a Caltech geneticist, told The New York Times.
While the genome was artificial, the bacterium wasn't -- making it a ready host to turn on the genome, grow and reproduce like a natural cell. Although the genome's synthetic nature is new, transferring a genome into a host cell has been possible for more than 20 years.
I love wine from the Bordeaux region of France. Because of the cost, we rarely drink it
Bordeaux, I suppose, used to be the benchmark for other red wine.
...for a significant segment of the wine-drinking population in the United States, the raves heard around the world were not enough to elicit a response beyond, perhaps, a yawn. For these people, Bordeaux, once the world’s most hallowed region and the standard-bearer for all fine wines, is now largely irrelevant.
What happened? Plenty of Bordeaux is still consumed in the United States. In 2009, 1.29 million cases of Bordeaux wine were imported, accounting for 0.46 percent of all still wines, domestic and foreign, distributed in the country. While this percentage rises and falls year to year, it is still a far cry from its highs in the mid-1980s. Bordeaux shipments accounted for 1.69 percent of all still wines distributed in the United States in 1985, for example.
While the drop stems from far more competition in the lower-priced market, it also reflects a shift in the demographic of Bordeaux aficionados. For young Americans in particular, Bordeaux has become downright unfashionable.
Not so long ago, young wine-loving Americans were practically weaned on Bordeaux, just as would-be connoisseurs had been for generations. It was the gateway to all that is wonderful about wine. Now that excitement has gone elsewhere, to Burgundy and the Loire, to Italy and Spain. Bordeaux, some young wine enthusiasts say, is stodgy and unattractive. They see it as an expensive wine for wealthy collectors, investors and point-chasers, people who seek critically approved wines for the luxury and status they convey rather than for excitement in a glass.
Ha! I was speaking to a good friend of mine who is in the Herricks School District - no name to avoid recriminations. After almost 40 years as a voter he finally voted re: a school board and budget.
He was lobbied to vote by a woman opposed to the budget.
He and the relative he dragged along (also voting for the first time for a school budget) voted "no."
Here are the results -
Herricks Budget - $97,373,015 Increase of 3.80%. Fail; 1,728 yes, 1,729 no.
The budget failed by one vote! My buddy and his relative were the difference - how often does that happen?
There are 134 school districts on Long Island, and this was one of only ten to not approve the budget, which called for a 3.8% increase in spending.
I told him not to be surprised if they suddenly find a few more "yes" votes.
A tough commentary by multi-billionaire (Democrat) Mortimer Zuckerman. He's certainly become disillusioned with the President, who he supported in the election. Have a look here Never Get on the Wrong Side of a Billionaire and here Another major Obama supporter dismayed: "He's Done Everything Wrong" .
Hit the link below and read the whole piece.
It is galling for private sector workers to see so many public sector workers thriving because of the power their unions exercise. Take California. Investigative journalist Steve Malanga point out in the City Journal that California's schoolteachers are the nation's highest paid; its prison guards can make six-figure salaries; many state workers retire at 55 with pensions that are higher than the base pay they got most of their working lives. All this when California endures an unemployment rate steeper than the nation's. It will get worse. There's an exodus of firms that want to escape California's high taxes, stifling regulations, and recurring budget crises. When Cisco's CEO, John Chambers, says he will not build any more facilities in California, you know the state is in trouble.
The business community and a growing portion of the public now understand the dynamics that discriminate against the private sector. The public sector unions organize voting campaigns for politicians who, on election, repay their benefactors by approving salaries and benefits for the public sector, irrespective of whether they are sustainable. And what is happening with California is happening in slower motion in the rest of the country. It must be one of the reasons the Pew Research Center this year reported that support for labor unions generally has plummeted "amid growing public skepticism about unions' power and purpose."
And it's not just Democratic party politicians. Republican Governor George Pataki spent 12 years kowtowing to the public unions in NY State.
Unfortunately thre's been very little coverage about these men and their families.
This from the Washington Post -
I'm originally from Yonkers, outside the five boroughs, but I must be a combination of the Bronx and Manhattan. I found this link on Ann Althouse' weblog.
From the WSJ, by a practicing internist.
President Obama guaranteed Americans that after health reform became law they could keep their insurance plans and their doctors. It's clear that this promise cannot be kept. Insurers and physicians are already reshaping their businesses as a result of Mr. Obama's plan.
UPDATE: Here's the NYT article Candidate’s Words on Vietnam Service Differ From History . Multiple quotes suggesting or saying he served in Vietnam.
Richard Blumenthal, the current Attorney General in CT., and frontrunner for the Democratic nomination to run for Dodd's Senate seat. Hope this kills his campaign.
Here, he served in Vietnam -
And here, he didn't
Ahhh, a great question. Hopefully Ireland, but perhaps a bit of both?
And our current policies have certainly set us on a trajectory for fiscal woes ...
One of these is the issue of political infrastructure or, more specifically, whether a country has the decision-making machinery in place to cut debt. The second is a question that financiers rarely worried about before: namely, social cohesion, and whether a government is able to impose tough choices on a society without sparking political instability, social turmoil or worse.
Greece does not fare well on either of these counts, it would seem. As George Papandreou, Greek prime minister – who is, perhaps appropriately, a former academic sociologist – likes to explain, in recent years the country has been a “clientilist state”.
Corruption has been rife, the rule of law patchy and political infrastructure is fairly weak. Social cohesion between rich and poor, or between different political parties, is flimsy. This, after all, is a country with a long tradition of violent protest. It thus remains an open question whether the hapless Mr Papandreou can knit the country to pull together to share pain.
Ireland, however, feels very different. The previous, hated, British colonial rule has left the country with a well embedded legal and political infrastructure. The country’s small size makes it easier to manage. While Ireland has a history of bloody civil war, it appears to be facing the current woes with surprisingly high levels of social cohesion.
Will it last?
Ex-MA Gov. Mitt Romney (R) held a fundraiser in Manhattan last week and outperformed Pres. Obama's own cash grab a day later on behalf of the DCCC, another sign of trouble brewing for Dems this cycle in all corners of the country.
Romney headlined an event at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City on May 12 that raised $1.5M for his Free and Strong America PAC.
By contrast, Obama's appearance at the St. Regis Hotel on May 13 raked in a lesser $1.3 million for the DCCC.
Matt Riner, my college roommate's son, marries Kristen George, who also happens to be a Fairfield grad.
Here are two shots - more to follow after I finish putting up a larger posting of the Novotny wedding from five plus weeks ago.
Mike and Karen with Matt, and his sister Lauren
The bride and groom, plus parents
The Attorney General has certainly given plenty of ammunition to the pro AZ immigration law people by not reading the law. The Attorney General on the AZ immigration law
Here's the text of the Arizona immigration law and no, I haven't read it yet either - but I'm not the U.S. Attorney General who saw fit to criticize it without reading it.
Meanwhile, a commercial and petition -