10-25-2005 Indict 'em all and let the voters sort 'em out

Thomas Jefferson once said, 'We should never judge a president by his age, only by his works.' And ever since he told me that, I stopped worrying.--Ronald Reagan

With Wilkes-Barre going WI-FI soon enough, I'll soon be looking into snagging either a laptop, or a kick-ass PDA. Won't that be something. I can relax in the middle of Public Square, call up my web locale and piss off a whole bunch of people. Cool.

Anywho, after reading the reporting of the city's WI-FI plans, I had as many questions as I had received answers. But no more. The city has posted a PDF document on it's web site for all to peruse. Iffin' you're interested, it does go into great detail. Just follow that link, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on WIRE FREE WILKES-BARRE. You're welcome.

Today just happens to be Ebon's 22nd birthday. Imagine that, my baby is old enough to have a few of her own. Where does the friggin' time go?

Anywhooey, I took 9 days off from work, and I've been itchin' to hit the streets on the Hummer. I don't mind riding in the rain. I don't mind riding when it's cold. But, quite frankly, riding in both the rain and the cold does not make for a rewarding workout. Being that I decided to buy some trinkets for the birthday girl in the downtown, I figured a brisk walkabout was better than no workout at all. So, I opened my oversized Ehrlich umbrella and set a course for my first stop, Musical Energi.

Around the time I was taking in the always amusing view across from the soup kitchen, the wind started swirling and the rain was coming down in much larger buckets all of a sudden. By the time I wandered into Energi, I was what you'd call soaked, plus very, very chilled. No problemo, or so I thought.

Before very long, my kidneys started to go rogue on me. I'm not gonna bust balls here, but I visited four downtown businesses and made purchases in all four, only to be denied the much-needed opportunity to take a freakin' leak. Now, I could have gone out of my way, headed due south and used the rest room in Boscov's basement, but why should I have to? The Wyoming Valley Mall provides shoppers with a place to relieve themselves without begging. So does Target. Ditto Sprawl-Mart. Is a rest room or two too much to ask, or should I publish a piece on the closest available alleys in downtown Wilkes-Barre? Hell, I could interview Charlie Weiss.

So, stay tuned on that public service piece: The Ten Best Places to Piss in Public in Downtown Wilkes-Barre.

It's the least I could do. You're welcome.

By the way, I found me a rest room at city hall.

I offer the following blurb from the Voice story Cheney helps raise $300,000 for Santorum not so much as proof of any media bias, but more like proof that the Voice reporters know very little about the inhabitants of Sutton Road.

Vehicles under $40,000 were in short supply on Sutton Road in Jackson Township on Friday. BMWs, big model Mercedes and even a Bentley were common sights in the upscale neighborhood that played host to a $1,000-a-plate fundraiser for U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum.


I was interested in Cheney's visit only because it was fascinating to monitor the broadcasts of the Pennsylvania State Police as they shut down the area's roadways well in advance of his convoy. If you didn't know any better and somehow happened to listen in, you'd swear I was eavesdropping on an ongoing military exercise.

Anyway, when I ran across a post on a local blog using that very same snippet from the Voice to wage a bit of class warfare, needless to say, I was mildly annoyed. The fact is, the folks that call Sutton Road home happen to own many a successful business and employ lots of folks right here in NEPA. And to suggest that only the very rich support Republican candidates for office is idiocy at it's best. Funny, but I didn't see George Soro's name on the list of invitees. He must be supporting someone else.

And believe it or not, I happen to have one of the official invites to the big political shindig. It reads like a veritable Who's Who of local people that risked much, busted their humps for years on end and now enjoy the multiple fruits of their tireless labors. You know, rich Republicans as you would paint them. All kidding aside, rich people don't usually get rich by accident. They tend to work more than we do, and they tend to risk more than we do. And when all of their efforts pay off, we hate 'em?

So lemme get this gibberish straight. To snag a national political office requires tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions of donated dollars, but only Republicans are rich? Really? C'mon there class warfare warriors, you know better than that. Who was it that rented out the Lincoln bedroom to well-heeled contributors?

I don't own a Mercedes, and I wouldn't recognize a Bentley if it jumped up and turned me into a hood ornament. But, I'm betting that plenty of Democrats would.

And, no, I'm not going to scan the invite and post it here. The way I'm thinking, you've got plenty of other good stuff to stick in the middle of your dartboard.

I own a Ford.

But more often than not, I ride a Hummer or a Rock Stomper.

And I'm perfectly fine with that.

Life is not a zero-sum game.

The government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.--Ronald Reagan

I love to read much like Robert Plant loves to (censored). Lately I've taken to reading a litany of YCOP blogs. YCOP stands for the Young Conservatives of Pennsylvania and has among it's membership some very bright people.

I snagged the following quote from the YCOP main page:

"Young Conservatives of Pennsylvania has a very important role to play in the political arena in our Commonwealth - to promote conservative policies and candidates among our next generation of civic leaders...I commend the founders of YCOP for their vision, and I look forward to supporting their effort."--Congressman Pat Toomey

Excuse me for being old, decrepit and borderline senile, but how does record deficit spending, record pork barrel spending and expanding government bureaucracy add up to being conservative? Somebody 'splain it to me as I am on my third beer. Is Dubya a true conservative? Is Rick Santorum a died-in-the-wool conservative? Fiscally speaking, no f>cking way are they conservative-minded.

Oh sure, they are men of deep faith, they say really, really, really reverant things on occasion, and claim to be compassionate conservatives, but I suspect that for them, all roads lead them back to Roe vs. Wade. Rather than even attempting to curb the rampant federal spending, they thump their bibles and keep all eyes focused on the most illusive prizes: 1) The reversal of Roe vs. Wade, 2) The reversal of same-sex tendencies, and 3) The reversal of the damage done by the frustrated commies at the A.C.L.U.

Sorry YCOP folks, but it's gonna take more than thumpin' on the bible to cure all that ails this country.

From Townhall.com

Mr. Smith Has Returned to Washington and His Name is Tom Coburn

Oct 22, 2005

by Mark Tapscott

Email to a friend Print this page Text size: A A That was quite a shock wave rocking the hallowed halls of the U.S. Senate Thursday when a freshman senator from Oklahoma stood on the floor of "the world's greatest deliberative body" and challenged his colleagues to end the charade.

The charade of endlessly mouthing the cliches of fiscal responsibility, that is, while carrying the shameful practice of log-rolling - "I'll vote for your pet spending project no matter how bad it is if you vote for my pet spending project, no matter how bad it is" Ė to record levels.

Members of Congress call it "congressional courtesy." Weary taxpayers don't.

Closely related to logrolling is the congressional maxim that "to get along, you have to go along," especially if you are a freshman or from a small state. Coburn is both a freshman and from a state with only a handful of electoral votes.

Senators and Representatives have been logrolling since the First Congress, of course, but never before with the intensity of the current GOP-led Congress. Appropriations bills now routinely gain approval with hundreds or thousands of "earmarks," which is Hill-talk for pork barrel projects inserted by individual members to benefit their district or state.

But then came Hurricane Katrina and Coburn, who previously served time during the Clinton administration in the U.S. House before taking a voluntary term-limit induced sabbatical before returning to win a close election to the Senate in 2004. Frankly, Coburn hadnít made much of a splash in the Senate until this week.

He stood on the Senate floor Thursday and committed the unpardonable sin of not going along to get along. He offered amendments requiring that previously approved earmarks favored by colleagues be cancelled and the tax dollars instead spent on hurricane recovery. There wasn't much money at stake in the particular projects targeted by Coburn, but it was the principle that mattered.

What Coburn got in response was pure bipartisan outrage. Sen. Patty Murray, the very liberal Washington Democrat, warned that any senator supporting the Coburn amendments would find projects in his or her own state getting the evil eye by annoyed colleagues who don't want to rock the log-rolling boat.

And Alaska's Ted Stevens, the Old Bull Republican moderate who has been one of the biggest obstacles in Congress to conservative reform since the Reagan administration, stood on the floor and thundered that he would leave the Senate if the Coburn proposal passed.

Stevens needn't have worried, at least for now. His colleagues, many of whom learned long ago not to cross him, marched in lockstep to soundly defeat Coburn's proposal. In fact, only 15 brave senators said aye when the roll was called. The only surprise was how many familiar conservative names were among the 82 senators opposing Coburn. This speaks volumes about why so little actual conservative reform has been achieved since 1994 despite all those GOP majorities. Too often, they have talked the talk without walking it.

So what's next? No matter what they think, the future doesn't depend on the Ted Stevens or Patty Murrays of the congressional world. Tom Coburn can be in the driverís seat.. He forced the Senate to decide Thursday which was more important - building a shelter for dogs and cats in RINO Republican Sen. Lincoln Chaffee's home state or helping the good people in Louisiana and Mississippi made homeless by Hurricane Katrina.

Ted Stevens' purple rage and Patty Murray's veiled threats represent the corrupt essence of Establishment Washington politics and Thursday we saw what that establishment truly cares about. It isn't people without roofs over their heads in Louisiana or Mississippi.

The question now is will Coburn remain steadfast? Senate rules still give individual senators significant leverage to force legislative showdowns. If Coburn stands his ground today, odds are the American people will take care of tomorrow just fine.

Coburn understands that, which is why he is just the man for the job. He isn't here to stay here; he came back to Washington to do what he can as long as he can to help change America for the better. That's why the shouting and blustering on the Senate floor only confirms for Coburn the rightness of his path.

The timing of all this must be divine; how else to explain a doctor with nothing to lose and a disaster of biblical proportions appearing at exactly the right place at the right time to make possible the right decisions?

Go get'em Tom!

FOR THE RECORD: The Yeas and Nays on the Coburn amendment

YEAs ---15 Allard (R-CO) Allen (R-VA) Bayh (D-IN) Burr (R-NC) Coburn (R-OK) Conrad (D-ND) DeMint (R-SC) DeWine (R-OH) Feingold (D-WI) Graham (R-SC) Kyl (R-AZ) Landrieu (D-LA) Sessions (R-AL) Sununu (R-NH) Vitter (R-LA)

NAYs ---82 Akaka (D-HI) Alexander (R-TN) Baucus (D-MT) Bennett (R-UT) Biden (D-DE) Bingaman (D-NM) Bond (R-MO) Boxer (D-CA) Brownback (R-KS) Bunning (R-KY) Burns (R-MT) Byrd (D-WV) Cantwell (D-WA) Carper (D-DE) Chafee (R-RI) Chambliss (R-GA) Clinton (D-NY) Cochran (R-MS) Coleman (R-MN) Collins (R-ME) Cornyn (R-TX) Craig (R-ID) Crapo (R-ID) Dayton (D-MN) Dodd (D-CT) Dole (R-NC) Domenici (R-NM) Dorgan (D-ND) Durbin (D-IL) Ensign (R-NV) Enzi (R-WY) Feinstein (D-CA) Frist (R-TN) Grassley (R-IA) Gregg (R-NH) Hagel (R-NE) Harkin (D-IA) Hatch (R-UT) Hutchison (R-TX) Inhofe (R-OK) Inouye (D-HI) Isakson (R-GA) Jeffords (I-VT) Johnson (D-SD) Kennedy (D-MA) Kerry (D-MA) Kohl (D-WI) Lautenberg (D-NJ) Leahy (D-VT) Levin (D-MI) Lieberman (D-CT) Lincoln (D-AR) Lott (R-MS) Lugar (R-IN) Martinez (R-FL) McConnell (R-KY) Mikulski (D-MD) Murkowski (R-AK) Murray (D-WA) Nelson (D-FL) Nelson (D-NE) Obama (D-IL) Pryor (D-AR) Reed (D-RI) Reid (D-NV) Roberts (R-KS) Rockefeller (D-WV) Salazar (D-CO) Santorum (R-PA) Sarbanes (D-MD) Shelby (R-AL) Smith (R-OR) Snowe (R-ME) Specter (R-PA) Stabenow (D-MI) Stevens (R-AK) Talent (R-MO) Thomas (R-WY) Thune (R-SD) Voinovich (R-OH) Warner (R-VA) Wyden (D-OR)

Mark Tapscott, a veteran newspaper journalist, is Director of the Center for Media and Public Policy at The Heritage Foundation, a Townhall.com Gold Partner.

Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.--Ronald Reagan

Sorry there YCOPers, but your favorite son, Rick Santorum, would be more aptly described as being a progressive conservative. He spends like a drunken liberal, while preaching all of his antiquated fire and brimstone rhetoric from his pompous pulpit.

To sit back hoping that someday, someway, someone will make things right is to go on feeding the crocodile, hoping he will eat you last--but eat you he will.--Ronald Reagan

It doesn't matter, though. Bob Casey Jr. is gonna kick his ass all the way back to CCD class.


Great timing, the latest e-mail alert from The Club for Growth:

From the e-mail inbox "Coburn the Barbarian"

That's the headline of an editorial from the Wall Street Journal last Friday, referring to freshman Senator Tom Coburn (elected last year in part with over $1 million in contributions from Club members). In the "go-along-to-get-along" Senate, you're considered a barbarian if you look out for the national interest instead of the pork in your home state.

Coburn forced his colleagues to vote on his amendment to defund the infamous "Bridge to Nowhere", a $223 million pork project that connects an island community of only 50 people in Alaska. The savings would then be directed towards the rebuilding of a bridge near New Orleans that was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.

The Journal editors wrote:

"On current trends, freshman Tom Coburn of Oklahoma is soon going to need a food taster to accompany him to the Senate dining room. Which is all the more reason for the rest of us to admire his political nerve.

"Mr. Coburn yesterday took to the floor not once, but twice, to force his colleagues to defend some of their more egregious "earmarks," or pork projects they plan to funnel to home states. The Republican dared to use the "p" word ("priorities") and suggested that taxpayers might be better served if hurricane relief was offset by deleting earmarks for a sculpture garden in Washington state, an art museum in Nebraska, and a Rhode Island animal shelter, among other national necessities."

Three cheers for Tom Coburn and kudos to all the Club members who supported him last year. Rome wasn't built in a day, and the Senate's traditions of pork won't be banished until and unless we make it politically impossible for them to continue. While his amendment was crushed, we take heart that Coburn had excellent support from other Senators elected with substantial Club member support: Jim DeMint (SC), John Sununu (NH), Wayne Allard (CO), Richard Burr (NC), and David Vitter (LA).

That's one key quality that we look for in candidates when recommending them to Club members: political nerve. We find it more often than any other group.

A Defining Moment for Republicans

Spending restraint was one of the hottest items in the press this week as well. Club for Growth president Pat Toomey had the opportunity to stand with fellow conservative leaders, including Ed Feulner of the Heritage Foundation and David Keene of the American Conservative Union, at a press conference on Thursday to urge Congress to get serious about fiscal restraint. Here's a little of what he said:

"This is a defining moment. The Republican Party came into power in 1995 by advocating limited government. But in the last 4-5 years, there has been no evidence that the Republican officials in the Federal government have any remaining commitment to this vital principal.

"Federal spending in virtually every area has grown at a record pace, the culmination of which has been a pork-infested transportation bill and an open-ended commitment to spend after hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

"If Republicans can't see the need to rein in Federal spending even now, they will have abandoned the one big idea that unites the Republican coalition. And if that happens, core elements of that coalition may in fact abandon the Republican Party before the 2006 elections. It is an unfortunate fact that achieving some modicum of fiscal discipline will have to be done by Republicans alone. Thus far, no Democrats have shown any interest in controlling spending - they want to make the problem worse. But it is Republicans who have majorities in Congress so they have the responsibility."

Now turn your Bibles to page...

Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events.--Sir Winston Churchill

This is from the Beacon, the student newspaper at Wilkes University:

Public Safety to move between Thanksgiving and winter breaks

By Rich Hannick

Published: Monday, October 24, 2005

Like the Jeffersons, Wilkes University Public Safety is "movin' on up."

The office's move to the Park and Lock on South Main Street will take place between the Thanksgiving break and Winter break. While the plan calls to move all public safety operations, including security, only two blocks, the change puts officials at the east edge of the campus.

Chris Bailey, Director of Campus Support Services, was unsure if the views of the students were taken into consideration when the move was planned.

Bailey noted one positive implication of this move was the fact that the University was looking to move east to west as opposed to north and south. In addition, the move seemed logical given that a significant percentage of students and faculty are likely to begin parking in the Park and Lock. "The new parking garage over there will be our single largest area of parking," Bailey said, "Co-locating public safety over there will provide additional coverage for those operations."

Given the growth of public safety personnel and equipment over the past few years, the existing offices in Bedford Hall, simply couldn't afford proper maneuvering room. "One of my managers has to share his office with the bike equipment," said Bailey. The new Main Street office area for Public Safety will be roughly 4,000 square feet. Bailey said, "This will provide us enough area to put in multiple offices, to have adequate storage for traffic control equipment, bike equipment, and safety equipment."

The fact that Public Safety is moving from its current central location on campus is Bailey's biggest concern. "Bedford Hall was a good central location...very visible...readily identifiable," said Bailey. With Public Safety offices on the periphery of campus, it may take away from some of the presence and security the South and River St. location afforded. But Bailey assures that it will be a rarity that students, faculty or staff will find an officer in the office because much of their work is done on patrol.

Another one of the concerns Bailey has as a result of the move to the parking garage is that the crossing path right in front of the parking garage has the potential to be unsafe for pedestrians. Bailey recognized that there have been talks to utilize the pedestrian bridge above Main St. but there are some drawbacks to that solution as well. "The problems with the bridge are: A) it takes you to the second floor of the garage, and B) it doesn't have an off street access yet," said Bailey.

Andrew Steinberg, a junior biology major and Student Government President, likes the fact that there will now be a presence on Main St., but is slightly concerned that there will not be a presence in the center of the university. Steinberg's' solution would be to see the resurrection of the satellite offices of Public Safety. Steinberg said locations such as "Stark, Breiseth maybe even in the [Henry] Student Center" could serve well as satellite bases.

Adam Hidmarsh, senior business administration major, thinks the move is a disadvantage because Public Safety will no longer be on campus. "They (students) will not feel as safe knowing that Public Safety is not right on campus," said Hindmarsh.

Hindmarsh said about his own safety, "I'd feel a little bit less safe."

The parking garage is an asset for Wilkes according to Steinberg because it gives Wilkes access to Main St. "It [the Park and Lock facility] will give us a larger security office," said Steinberg.

Perspective is needed in all of this says Bailey. "As part of the master plan University Towers is going to be our primary residence hall," Bailey said. In essence the Public Safety office is moving closer to where the University's main presence is going to be.

Bailey has confidence in his officers and feels they do not need any special equipment or additional training. "I feel very confident that they will be able to their job with what they have," said Bailey of his officers, and their training and equipment.

Bailey does not see the need for his officers to carry sidearm even though they are moving downtown. "You change the relationship between Public Safety officials and the campus if they go to a true police officer and become a swarm force. There are very few things that you need a sidearm for," Bailey said.

When all of the goals of the master plan are achieved, Public Safety will be centrally located again. Until that time Bailey has looked into opening some satellite bases closer to where the main presence is currently. Bailey said, "We're really considering re-opening that Stark desk."

The city's landscape continues to change.

Doe any of this Plamegate gibberish add up? Seriously, put the partisan crap aside and 'splain it to me.

1. Joseph Wilson is a partisan hack of dubious credibility, and was even called a liar by The Washington Post.

2. His wifey, Valerie Plame, was supposedly "outed" from her non-covert CIA status as a D.C. desk herder, but even after a two-year investigation, it can't be determined who "outed" her.

3. The New York Times' Judy Miller spent 85 days in jail rather than revealing her "source," despite the fact that her source was reported to have given her permission to name him. Then, when she's released from jail, she's no longer sure who her source was???

4. Upon her release from jail, her own employer, The New York Times, trashed her and her work on this entire brouhaha.

5. Her co-worker, Maureen Dowd, writes a hit piece on her and calls her a slut.

(Does Dowd need to get laid already, or what?)

6. The New York Times reported that the CIA leaked Plames name.

7. The Associate Press hints that Dick Cheney may have leaked her name.

8. "Scooter" Libby and Karl Rove might be indicted any day now, but not for outing anyone. Rather, they may face perjury, obstruction and, or conspiracy charges, despite a lack of evidence to support the original charges.

Is it just me, or is this the Martha Stewart witch-hunt all over again?

Basically, the '06 campaign season is in full swing, and it's obvious what the Democrats have to offer: Indictments, and very little else. It seems like the plan is to indict 'em all and let the voters sort 'em out. Yessiree, that's the plan. Delay, Frist, Libby, Cheney, Rove, Bush...blah, blah, blah...they're all evil-doing scoundrels and we need to elect those pure-as-the-wind-driven-culm Democrats to save the day.

Does a vaccuous agenda such as that have anyone feeling upbeat about our chances?

Want my astute political advice? No? Tough!

Give up voting and drink heavily.

A candlelight vigil to save a firehouse? You people are kidding me, right? Lame, man. Very f>cking lame. Give it up while you're behind.

Oh, yeah. I received word today that my request to do another police ride-along was approved by our police chief. Way cool!

Last time I rode along with the two-man assault unit looking for drug sales and associated whatnot. This time I'm hoping to ride with someone from the patrol division. You know, a night in the life of a patrolman.

A while back, I posted a bit titled "Police work is best left to the police," which was re-posted at that Doughnuts R Us site frequented mostly by mental incontinants. Anyway, somebody bothered to re-post my couple thousands words or so that sought to make the case that our police department is certainly up to the challenges presented before them. And then, they made their less than brilliant rebuttal at the tail end of my thoughts. It consisted of a whole two words: "Yeah, right."

Sorry cop-bashing malcontent hucksters, but y'all gonna have to do better than that. Ya reckon? Now, git yer dicks outa my cows!!!