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Commentary, sarcasm and snide remarks from a Florida resident of over thirty years. Being a glutton for punishment is a requirement for residency here. Who am I? I've been called a moonbat by Michelle Malkin, a Right Wing Nut by Daily Kos, and middle of the road by Florida blog State of Sunshine. Tell me what you think.

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Trenton Duckett news

The search for the missing two-year-old Florida boy continues.

The disappearance of 2-year-old Trenton Duckett continues to remain a mystery. The toddler disappeared August 27th, almost four months ago.

Trenton's father Josh Duckett says despite the lack of progress in the case, he and his family continue to hold out hope, and as a sign of faith will celebrate Christmas as though his son were there with them.

His family has put presents for Trenton under the tree, and decorated the house just like every other year. Josh is asking anyone who knows where his Trenton is to return him home safely.

"we just want him back," Josh said. "No questions asked. You can drop him off at a fire department, hospital, anywhere. No questions asked."

Josh hopes by next Christmas, Trenton will be home to open his gifts.
I hope Josh gets his wish but after four months it is easy to be pessimistic. Continue to pray for this boy and his family.

There is also news regarding the lawsuit filed against CNN and Nancy Grace.

TAVARES - A wrongful death lawsuit filed against CNN's Nancy Grace, claiming she pushed the mother of a missing toddler to suicide through aggressive questioning on her talk show, has been moved to federal court.

The case was moved from Circuit Court in the Lake County seat of Tavares to U.S. District Court in Ocala, according to a notice of removal filed Dec. 20.

Lawyers for Grace and Atlanta-based CNN asked that the case be transferred to federal court, a move allowed when opposing parties in a lawsuit reside or are headquartered in different states. The provision ensures a state court will not be biased in favor of a party from its own state.

The lawsuit stems from a contentious interview on Sept. 7 in which Grace questioned Melinda Duckett about the reported disappearance of her 2-year-old son. Duckett committed suicide at her grandparents' home the day after the interview.

Filed by relatives of Melinda Duckett, the lawsuit seeks unspecified punitive damages as well as a court order preventing the show on which Duckett appeared from being re-aired.
If I had to guess, it will be some years before any trial starts. An out of court settlement is also a possibility but that's a long way off too.

I still don't think much of a lawsuit. The Eubanks lost a child, so have I. I understand the pain. Grace's behavior was reprehensible, but Melinda Duckett is ultimately responsible for what she did. She made the choice to take her life.

Linked to- Basil's Blog, Bright & Early,

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Crystall Ball Time

Like last year, I'll make some predictions for the coming year.

1- There will be fewer US troops in Iraq at the end of 2007 than there were at the end of 2006.
2- The US suffers its first major air disaster since 2001
3- The Miami Dolphins have a losing season
4- The Florida Marlins have a winning season
5- Tiger Woods wins at least one major on the way to being Player of the Year again.
6- Ernie Els returns to form.
7- Se Ri Pak completes the women's Grand Slam by taking the Kraft Nabisco
8- I break at least three glasses.
9- TFM will give out over 400 Knucklehead awards. None of them for someone having sex with a horse or goat or for shooting a rocket of one's buttocks.
10- Immigration reform goes nowhere
11- Talks with North Korea do the same.
12- The House Democrats vote to seat Christine Jennings as the person to represent the Florida 16th Congressional District.
13- Fidel Castro dies
14- Bobby Bowden retires.
15- Roger Clemens retires but this time for good.
16- A media media organization exposes some clandestine program that is being used in the War on Terror.
17- The Palm Beach Post earns at least five Knucklehead awards.
18- Charges are totally dropped in the Duke Lacrosse case.
19- Gas prices slip slightly from their price at the end of 2006.
20- The Stock Market ends the year over 13,000
21- The last original member of George W. Bush's cabinet, Elaine Chao, steps down from being Secretary of Labor.
22- Tim Johnson is not able to continue serving in the US Senate. Note- I wish the Senator well and hope this prediction is wrong.
23- Nick Saban leaves the Miami Dolphins to be the head coach at Alabama.
24- The Miami Heat and Florida Panthers both miss the 06-07 season playoffs.
25- Another major Palm Beach County politician is forced to resign due to corruption charges.
26- Chicago defeats New England in the Super Bowl.
27- More than half the above predictions are wrong.

We'll check back in a year and see how I did. Any other bloggers with year end predictions, feel free to link to me and I'll return the favor.

Linked to- Basil's Blog, Adam's Blog, Jo's Cafe, Third World County, Woman Honor Thyself,

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Give them hell Harry

From the Tampa Tribune-

SUN CITY CENTER - Harry Moeller's wife died of cancer in February 2001. In the emotional aftermath, he wanted to get away - no plans, just anywhere.

He applied for a U.S. passport that July. The government denied it.

Now, in the twilight of his life, Moeller is fighting to prove he is an American citizen.

The 78-year-old retired printer from Queens - a World War II veteran and regular voter - has lived on U.S. soil nearly all his life. He was 6 months old in his mother's arms when he came through New York's Ellis Island from Germany in 1928.

"I don't want to be walking like this waiting to be a citizen," Moeller said, motioning as if holding a cane. "There are people walking across the border. I don't know what's going on here."

The State Department is not recognizing that he is a citizen because he doesn't have naturalization papers. Without proof of citizenship, Moeller can't obtain a passport.

Harry Moeller served this country at wartime and was honorably discharged from the Navy. Anyone think he shouldn't be given citizenship now rather than Harry prove the case to ICE?

Moeller is still getting better treatment than people in cases here and here. You tell me what is just about veterans who fought for this country or their surviving relatives getting screwed over by this country. None of these people broke the law, but are getting treated like they did by a bureaucracy that doesn't know how to apply either the law or show just plain common decency to people who this country owes much to. I wonder if this blogger thinks Harry should pay $800 to get his citizenship.

Go read the Tampa Tribune article in its entirety. Happy New Year Harry.

Linked to- Basil's Blog, Pursuing Holiness, Cao's Blog,

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Leave the poor sheep alone

There are some researchers in Oregon with too much time on their hands.

SCIENTISTS are conducting experiments to change the sexuality of “gay” sheep in a programme that critics fear could pave the way for breeding out homosexuality in humans.

The technique being developed by American researchers adjusts the hormonal balance in the brains of homosexual rams so that they are more inclined to mate with ewes.



It raises the prospect that pregnant women could one day be offered a treatment to reduce or eliminate the chance that their offspring will be homosexual. Experts say that, in theory, the “straightening” procedure on humans could be as simple as a hormone supplement for mothers-to-be, worn on the skin like an anti-smoking nicotine patch.

The research, at Oregon State University in the city of Corvallis and at the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, has caused an outcry. Martina Navratilova, the lesbian tennis player who won Wimbledon nine times, and scientists and gay rights campaigners in Britain have called for the project to be abandoned.

Navratilova defended the “right” of sheep to be gay. She said: “How can it be that in the year 2006 a major university would host such homophobic and cruel experiments?” She said gay men and lesbians would be “deeply offended” by the social implications of the tests.

James Joyner asked if sheep have rights and if so, what are the implications for house pets and livestock that are castrated?

Bullwinkle isn't kind to Ms. Navratilova's opinion. He calls her a twit.

But the researchers argue that the work is valid, shedding light on the “broad question” of what determines sexual orientation. They insist the work is not aimed at “curing” homosexuality. Approximately one ram in 10 prefers to mount other rams rather than mate with ewes, reducing its value to a farmer. Initially, the publicly funded project aimed to improve the productivity of herds.

The scientists have been able to pinpoint the mechanisms influencing the desires of “male-oriented” rams by studying their brains. The animals’ skulls are cut open and electronic sensors are attached to their brains. By varying the hormone levels, mainly by injecting hormones into the brain, they have had “considerable success” in altering the rams’ sexuality, with some previously gay animals becoming attracted to ewes.

Professor Charles Roselli, the Health and Science University biologist leading the research, defended the project. He said: “In general, sexuality has been under-studied because of political concerns. People don’t want science looking into what determines sexuality. “It’s a touchy issue. In fact, several studies have shown that people who believe homosexuality is biologically based are less homophobic than people who think that this orientation is acquired.”

The research is being peer-reviewed by a panel of scientists in America, demonstrating that it is being taken seriously by the academic community.

Potentially, the techniques could one day be adapted for human use, with doctors perhaps being able to offer parents pre-natal tests to determine the likely sexuality of offspring or a hormonal treatment to change the orientation of a child. Roselli has said he would be “uncomfortable” about parents choosing sexuality, but argues that it is up to policy makers to legislate on questions of ethics.

Michael Bailey, a neurology professor at Northwestern University near Chicago, said: “Allowing parents to select their children’s sexual orientation would further a parent’s freedom to raise the sort of children they want to raise.”

What I ask, is if mankind should be interfering with either the sheep's or human behavior? If biology made them this way, I don't think we should be interfering. The cure can be something worse. Take for instance this movie. An English Lord thinks he is Jesus Christ, then his family cures him. The Lord then becomes like Jack the Ripper. The character becoming vengeful, like God often is in The Old testament. Who is to tell what the cured sheep will become.

What do you think?

Linked to- Pursuing Holiness, Madman Returns,

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The Knucklehead of the Day award

Today's winner is The Wisconsin Department of Revenue. They get the award for the following.

MILWAUKEE - Wisconsin's revenue agency said Friday that it sent as many as 170,000 forms to taxpayers with mailing labels mistakenly printed with their Social Security numbers.

The state Department of Revenue was scrambling to alert taxpayers to be on the lookout for the mailings.

"We want to prevent any chance identity theft might occur," department spokeswoman Meredith Helgerson said. An agency news release included an apology to taxpayers and a statement that steps were being taken "to make sure that this will never happen again."

The misprinted labels, blamed on a computer error while they were being prepared, went to taxpayers who have used the basic Form 1, a long paper form for individuals, according to the department.

Those who filed their taxes with other forms, had a professional service prepare their taxes or filed electronically were not affected, she said.

Helgerson said the erroneously labeled mailings were sent to post offices, although some that went to the Madison and Portage post offices had not gone out, allowing the state to prevent them from being mailed.
Brilliant! The department wastes taxpayer money and exposes the citizens of Wisconsin to identity theft. Why don't the department just take out an advertisement in the Milwaukee Sentinel listing all the numbers? (Cue the sarcastic laughter)

The Wisconsin Department of Revenue is the last Knucklehead of the Day for 2006. Happy New Year!

Linked to- Adam's Blog, Amboy Times, Bright & Early, Cao's Blog, Dumb Ox, Hill Chronicles, Jo's Cafe, Is it just me, Point Five, Right Wing Nation, Samantha Burns, Third World County, Pirate's Cove, Woman Honor Thyself, Right Wing Guy, Wakeup America, Uncooperative Blogger,

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Florida the rules are different here Chapter LXXIV

Sarasota's clown statues are back in the news.

SARASOTA - The Coast Guard has determined that two crewmen from its St. Petersburg sector stole one of downtown Sarasota's clown statues.

The Coast Guard has paid $3,500 for a replacement clown to TideWell Hospice and Palliative Care, which organized the exhibit as a fundraiser.

The crewmen nabbed the 6-foot statue from Gulf Stream Avenue and Main Street and took it aboard the cutter Vise, which docked overnight in Sarasota about three weeks ago.

One of them apparently told investigators he anonymously tipped off the Sarasota Police Department that the sculpture had been left somewhere downtown.

Police have had no luck locating the clown, "Ra Ra Shish Boom Ba," spokesman Jay Frank said.

The artist who created "Ra Ra" will make a replica to be auctioned in April.

"I'm going to try to match it," said Wende Wilkerson, who spent about 50 hours painting the original statue. "I almost took it as a compliment. It means someone liked it enough to steal it. Either that or it's going to be target practice."
Here is an old post of mine on the statues. TFM is well aware that Sarasota was the winter home to Ringling Brothers circus for years.

Much ado about clown statues. Is this a metaphor for life in Florida? Don't you just love this state?

Linked to- Bright & Early, Bullwinkle Blog, Samantha Burns,

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Weekly Dolphins prediction

Miami(6-9) plays at Indianapolis(11-4) this afternoon. A season of much hope for Miami, including some predicting the team going to The Super Bowl, could end in ignominy of a 6-10 season.

I don't have much to say about today's game. Indianapolis still has the possibility of a bye week to play for. Miami will be giving Cleo Lemon his first career start. Indy's run defense is terrible and Ronnie Brown could have a field day today. That said, I don't see Miami wining. My prediction- Colts 27, Dolphins 17.

Linked to- Adam's Blog, Bright & Early,

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The Knucklehead of the Year award

The time has arrived to name the Grand Knucklehead of 2006. Has a whole passed since we named last year's winner?

It has. We gather today the honor the dumbest People, Corporations, Universities and Agencies around the world. We'll get started. First the Knuckleheads have arrived.



Our Master of Ceremonies is also here.


I think Drew has two excellent qualifications for being MC of the Knucklehead of the Year award. What do you think?

The Judging Panel

Greta from Hooah Wife and Friends
Don Surber
The Professor from Right Wing Nation
Doyle from A Cool Change
Jim from Bright & Early
James Joyner from Outside the Beltway
Dr. Steven Taylor from Poliblog
Jo from Jo's Cafe
Mr C from Peer Review FL
John in Carolina

Right in Florida
Rick from Stuck on the Palmetto
Bullwinkle
Ed from Captain's Quarters
Don Singleton
and Yours Truly. A big thank you to all the bloggers who helped out.

Our Eight Nominees-

Mike Nifong- Law Enforcement and The Legal system
Princeton University- Academia, Education, Sciences & Religion
Mel Gibson- Sports & Entertainment
Jimmy Carter- Politics
Florida Department of Children and Families- Bureaucratic
Hilton Hotels- Organizations, Corporations & Associations
Andrew Tilley- General or Generic
New York Times- MSM

Comments from our judges-

Don Surber-

"No. 8 Andrew Tilly for putting a firecracker in his buttocks and having it lit. He might be a Darwin candidate, depending on how deep the injuries went.

No. 7. Mel Gibson for delivering an anti-Semitic rant while being arrested for DUI. He just proved critics of “The Passion” correct.

No. 6. Princeton for not admitting qualified Asians because of its racial quota. Can we just rid ourselves of quotas once and for all?

No. 5 Florida’s Department of Children and Families for not removing Michelle Fontanez, 13, from her home on Feb. 17. Six days later, her stepfather raped and murdered her.

No. 4 Hilton Hotels for closing Fran Obrien’s Steakhouse in D.C. Obrien’s for over two years has been hosting dinners for returning Iraqi veterans who were wounded and being cared for at Bethesda Naval Hospital or Walter Reed Army Hospital. For free.

No. 3 Mike Nifong for pursuing a baseless case against 3 Duke lacrosse players. I’d write more but I try not to write angry.

No. 2 The NY Times for exposing the perfectly legal, though clandestine, Swift banking program that allowed us to follow the money on terrorists.

No. 1 Jimmy Carter for becoming not only the worst president in the 20th century, but the worst ex-president. Not only does he embrace every anti-American dictator, senility now makes it more difficult for him to mask his anti-Semitism.

This makes the real president’s tasks more difficult."

Rick wrote- "With all due respect to your final selection, Bill, George W. Bush will always be my one and only Knucklehead of the Year."

The Professor wrote-

"1. I have to give the NYT the top award for this because of
the number of lives they put in danger solely to try to
damage the Bush Administration. Idiots.

2. Gibson -- more the ADL, actually -- gets second place
because of the potential danger to freedom posed by
"hate crime" laws. Morons.

3. Florida DCF As much as I would like to have given these mouthbreathers
first place, they are a government bureaucracy, and what
do we expect? But when that union "it's not in my job
description" mentality results in the death of an innocent
child, it goes from merely stupid to evil.

4. Since you posted this, of course, the case has unraveled,
and it looks like Nifong may be disbarred. He ruined lives
for nothing but political gain with the liberals. He's
an unethical, immoral, idiot.

5. "Andrew Tilley." There aren't many things to outdo this in terms of sheer
stupidity.

6. Jimmy Carter. Like Nifong, Carter has done a great deal more damage since
you posted this. Again, an unethical, immoral idiot who cares
more about his own political reputation internationally than
his own nation.

7. Hilton Hotels. This was obnoxious -- highly so -- but Hilton is a private
business, and they can do what they like -- even if it is
a stupid, obnoxious business decision.

8. Princeton University. Again, Princeton is private, so they can theoretically do
what they want. They're also ultimately screwing themselves more than they are the student. But they -- and Hilton -- are morons."

James Joyner wrote- "I Don't really care about Florida DCF and it's the lawsuit culture, not Hilton, that is the knucklehead in that case."

Greta wrote- "1. Jimmy " I hate Israel & the Joos as much as Mel" Carter
2. Hilton hotels - having been there on a Friday night, seeing all the soldiers and their families enjoy a good meal, they should be ashamed of themselves!
3. FL DEPT of C&F - protect children from ANYONE BAD. HELLO - wake up!!!"

John had the following comments-

"1) Former President Jimmy Carter - In and out of office he’s always hurt America except when he was swinging a hammer and driving some nails.

2) New York Times – So arrogant it doesn’t give a damn about those who protects it – America military.

3) Princeton University – It practices racism in the name of what ?

8) Mike Nifong – Nifong would have been up there with Carter and the NY Times but he’s so indictable and jailable why not just leave him at the bottom of the list.

Is Nifong America’s worst DA? Let’s hope so. I’d hate to start the New Year thinking there was a worse one somewhere else."

Ed wrote- "Such a plethora of knuckleheads! I'm going to have to go with Mr. Peanut, however, thanks to his new book It's All The Fault Of The Jooooos. Maybe you should consider a Lifetime Achievement Award for Jimmah instead."

Donna and Right in Florida thank me for the opportunity to be a judge. You are both most welcome and I thank you for helping me out.

Bullwinkle wrote- "Jimmy Carter - Worst president ever and sorriest item ever to wear skin.
New York Times - Would give away every National Security secret to anyone who could use it to harm America.
Mike Nifong - Needs to be given 3x the maximum sentence any of the Duke Lacrosse boys could have gotten, if he had asked for the death sentence in their cases he'd be guilty of three counts of attempted murder.
Florida DCF - Even if their department lacks the authority to do anything because the step-father doesn't fall under their jurisdiction they had the duty to report the crime to the police. They are guilty of criminal neglect.
The other 4 are tied, they did stupid things that they all paid for in their own way, none were acting with malice, they were just idiots. As far as I can see nobody else suffered due to their stupidity. The first four on my list have already caused people to suffer and people will continue to suffer for years. None has given any indication that they will do things differently in the future."

Jo wrote-
"
#1 - Jimmy Carter. This man should know better. He is an ex-president, albeit the worst in history, attacking the United States - the country he led and supposedly loves, it beyond the pale. He should stick with peanut farming and Habitat for Humanity.
#2 - New York Times - The reason for the nomination says it all. The out and out hatred for this country, the foundation it was built on and the current administration leaves one to wonder just how they would fair in the socialist, islamo terrorist administration they'd love to see in power?
#3 - Mike Nifong - For throwing the rule of law, investigative procedures and these boy's lives to the wind. I spent too many years in the support system of law enforcement to not know this man was and is wrong, wrong, wrong. His baseless attack on these boys was simply to garner the black vote to retain his position and power. (Doesn't say much about the intelligence of the people that supported him and voted back in either does it?)"

Is the suspense killing you? The time to announce the winner is here. The Grand Knucklehead of 2006 is................

Former President Jimmy Carter!

Carter wasn't a good President and of late his penchant for antisemitism has become very embarrassing. As seen in the interview that earned him his Knucklehead nomination.

SPIEGEL: You also mentioned the hatred for the United States throughout the Arab world which has ensued as a result of the invasion of Iraq. Given this circumstance, does it come as any surprise that Washington's call for democracy in the Middle East has been discredited?

Carter: No, as a matter of fact, the concerns I exposed have gotten even worse now with the United States supporting and encouraging Israel in its unjustified attack on Lebanon.

SPIEGEL: But wasn't Israel the first to get attacked?

Carter: I don't think that Israel has any legal or moral justification for their massive bombing of the entire nation of Lebanon. What happened is that Israel is holding almost 10,000 prisoners, so when the militants in Lebanon or in Gaza take one or two soldiers, Israel looks upon this as a justification for an attack on the civilian population of Lebanon and Gaza. I do not think that's justified, no.
Israel had no legal justification to defend itself. Who but a Knucklehead would think that?

Former President Carter is now in the Knucklehead of the Year Hall of Fame along with the 2005 winner. They were the five US Supreme Court Justices that made the majority in the infamous Kelo Decision.

Knucklehead of the year runnerups.

1st runnerup- The New York Times 2nd- Mike Nifong

It has been a fun year, and God willing TFM will be back next year to give out the Knucklehead of 2007. Thank you again to all the judges and also to my readers. Please come back and visit my blog. God bless all of you and Happy New Year.

Parting shot- Thanks Drew. Now please put a bra on. Ok?

Linked to- Adam's Blog, Amboy Times, Bright & Early, Cao's Blog, Dumb Ox, Hill Chronicles, Is it just me, Point Five, Right Wing Nation, Samantha Burns, Third World County, Pirate's Cove, Woman Honor Thyself, Right Wing Guy, Wakeup America, Uncooperative Blogger,

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Saturday, December 30, 2006

Tenten ?-2006


Beloved cat to the TFM household for ten years, he died this afternoon around 4 p.m.

Tenten? His nickname came from my wife. Her nickname is NetNet. Turn it around? You get Tenten. Tenten was a stray cat near our home in 1996 and the wife decided to adopt him. We didn't know Tenten's real age, a vet estimated he was 3-4 years old in 1996. For the last ten years Tenten lived the life of an indoor cat.

We have many memories of Tenten. First he never met a woman's lap he didn't like! Yes he was what you call a fourteen lb. lapcat. Friend to Filipinas and Polish Priests. There was no person who didn't like this cat. Tenten always wanted to be someone's best friend.

Talking about laps, Tenten used to go to a groomer to have his nails clipped. The employee there would clip his nails with Tenten in her lap. Tenten would never bite, rather lick the woman. Like he was saying, "Please stop. I like you."

We'll miss our four legged friend. RIP Tiger.

Linked to- Right Wing Guy, Basil's Blog, Is it Just me?, Jo's Cafe, Right Wing Nation, Outside the Beltway, Bullwinkle,

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Looking back

With 2006 nearly over and 2007 almost here, I thought it would be fun to check my 50 predictions for 2006. Let's see how I did.

1- Justice John Paul Stevens retires from the US Supreme Court. President Bush nominates Janice Rogers Brown to replace him.
2- Elliot Spitzer is elected Governor of New York.
3- John Kerry says he will not run for President in 2008.
4- The Miami Dolphins have a losing season in 2006.
5- The Florida Marlins lose 95 games or more.
6- My cat Tenten goes to heaven and still finds laps to sit in.
7- TFM gives out over 300 Knucklehead awards for the year but not one for having sex with a horse.
8- Charlie Crist is elected Governor of Florida.
9- Bill Nelson is re-elected as one of Florida's two US Senators.
10- The Palm Beach Post editorial board wins at least 5 Knucklehead awards for the year.
11- My wife says I spend too much time blogging or playing chess.
12- Brokeback Mountain wins Best film, Reese Witherspoon Best Actress, Michelle Yeoh Best Supporting Actress.
13- A cast member of Gilligan's Island or Hogan's Heroes passes away.
14- Florida Congressman Robert Wexler wins another Knucklehead award. He has two so far.
15- The NY Times editorializes that the NSA leak investigation is politically motivated.
16- Tampa Bay stuns Indianapolis in the Super Bowl.
17- Michelle Wie wins her first professional golf tourament.(Women's not Men)
18- Se Ri Pak returns to form.
19- Tiger Woods is PGA Player of the year and wins the 2006 US Open at Winged Foot.
20- Joe Paterno announces his retirement.
21- Jack Abramoff/Congressional scandal widens to at least another half dozen Congressman or Senators.
22- ER announces the 06-07 season will be its last.(Long overdue)
23- At least two hurricanes strike Florida but Southeastern Florida is spared.
24- I break at least three glasses.
25- Maureen Dowd falls in love. With a man not herself.
26- The stock market reaches 11,500 before year's end.
27- Gas prices stay about the same as they were at the end of 2005.
28- AOL still fails miserably in trying to block pop-ups.
29- Blogspot goes haywire/has a major outage at least 3 times during the year causing me to lose at least two posts.
30- Another MSM story hoax on the scale of Baby 81 but this time the public finds out the truth. Outrage follows.
31- Judith Miller has a book come out on her part in the Valerie Plame affair. The book draws a lot of media attention but isn't a best seller.
32- US Troop levels in Iraq fall below 100,000.
33- Jeb Bush announces he will not run for President in 2008.
34- VP Dick Cheney is hospitalized for chest pains at least one time. Resignation and sucessor rumors swirl again. Condoleeezza Rice's name figuring most prominently.
35- Japan moves closer to allowing women to suceed to the Chrysantheumun Throne.
36- Nuclear Talks with North Korea continue to go no where.
37- The first major aviation disaster in the US since 2001 happens killing over 100 people.
38- My wife tells me at least once in every week to clean my desk.
39- I reach the 1,000 Correspondence Game lifetime barrier. That's easy, I have 946 at the moment and 60 games on order.
40- Someone in the MSM comes out and accuses the US military of murder.
41- Another DC politician compares our troops to Nazis, Khemer Rogue etc.
42- Terrell Owens signs with the Oakland Raiders.
43- I have at least one friend pass away from Malignant Melanoma.
44- The New York Yankees win the World Series.
45- Another scandal strikes the administration of Philippine President Arroyo. A coup attempt happens shortly afterwards but fails.
46- More Muslim rioting occurs in France or another major European country.
47- My sister-in-law Leonette becomes engaged if not marries before the end of 2006.
48- A bill gets sent to the President with a clause ending automatic birthright citizenship. Bush signs the bill and a legal battle ensues over this clause. It won't be resolved in 2006.
49- Denny Hastert steps down as Speaker of the House.

50- At least half of these predictions are wrong.
I got 20 right. Is that good or bad?

Tomorrow I'll come out with my predictions for 2007.

Linked to- Basil's Blog, Bullwinkle Blog, Cao's Blog, Jo's Cafe, Woman Honor Thyself,

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Family

From the Sun-Sentinel-

A South Florida lawsuit that seeks to temporarily block deportations of immigrants with children who are U.S. citizens was given a chance to go forward Friday.

The lawsuit argues that U.S.-born children are deprived of their civil rights when authorities send their undocumented parents to their home countries. The Pew Hispanic Center estimates there are 3.1 million children in that situation nationally.

Although U.S. District Judge Paul Huck dismissed the original complaint, he gave lawyers until Jan. 16 to fine-tune their case and resubmit it.

Initially filed in Miami federal court in October, the case is supported by local immigrant advocates.

*****

Since Sandigo filed the suit in October, more than 100 families from across the United States have added their names to the roster of potential plaintiffs.

The court case, seen by some experts as a long shot, coincides with growing frustration over illegal immigration in the United States and with renewed efforts to pass an immigration overhaul in Congress. The case pins its chances for success on the possibility legislators will revive a Senate plan to grant legal status to 8 million undocumented immigrants.
The parents broke the law, for which the US government has every right to punish them. Children born in the US of illegal aliens, and what I'll say is unpopular, are innocents in this story. This country has always considered itself just and compassionate. Separating families doesn't match that image.

However the anti-illegal immigrants crowd see nothing wrong with breaking up families. Funny most of the same bloggers don't believe in abortion and supported Terry Schiavo. It all depends on their definition of 'family'. Truthfully taking a child from their parents leaves a bad taste in my mouth and I bet it does for most people. A comment like that is sure to draw fire from the Conservative blogosphere, but I'm not alone in espousing a sane or family friendly immigration policy for the US. James Joyner at OTB, Steven Taylor at Poliblog and The Professor at Right Wing Nation do also.

I guess we can let the children stay and put them up for adoption. State Children Services do such wonderful work. Rather what needs to be done is accept the fact we can't deport all the illegals here presently. The country doesn't have the backbone for it or the manpower. No sensible politician is advocating it either, for the attempt will be ugly. Where are you going to put t hem before deportation? How about the fact that no country can be made to take people back if they don't wish?

TFM sees the deportation of all illegals in this country as unrealistic. Enforce our borders, yes but legalize who we have here. Yes they're lawbreakers, but tell me who out there isn't? Do everyone of you report every cent of income you make? That office football pool you won is considered gambling income by the IRS. Do you never speed? Let he who is without sin.....

None of what I said above is going to convince the zealots out there but ask yourself this. Is the breaking up of families what America stands for?

Linked to- Basil's Blog, Uncooperative Blogger,

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Baby(Golf) News

Tiger Woods announced in a message on his website that he and his wife Elin are expecting a child.

ANAHEIM, Calif. - Tiger Woods celebrated his 31st birthday Saturday by sharing some of his biggest news of the year — his wife is expecting their first child this summer.

"Obviously, we couldn't be happier and our families are thrilled," Woods said on his Web site. "I have always wanted to be a dad. I just wish my father could be around to share the experience."



Woods and Elin Nordegren of Sweden married in October 2004, and Woods has said that he wanted children sooner instead of later. He did not say when in the summer the baby is due, although it likely would be between the U.S. Open and British Open.

*****

"I'm going to stick close to home for the next few weeks," he said. Woods will start his '07 season in the Buick Invitational at the end of January, "which will allow Elin and I to spend more time with our families during this very special time in our lives."


Tiger will need more time after the baby is born. Unless fatherhood has gone to his head, I don't think Tiger's skipping the Mercedes-Benz is due to Elin's pregnancy. Stuart Appleby won this same tournament in 2004 or 2005 and immediately flew home to Australia. His wife giving birth like three days after Stuart's win. There isn't much for a father to do this early on, plus the fact that Tiger was long rumored to be skipping this tournament.

As to when the baby is due, AP is guessing with their between the British and US Open statement. The Woods could have the child any time next summer from June to August. Without specifics, the reporter is just guessing. The golf media probably knows as much about pregnancy as they do about fact checking.

Hee Won Han, one of the top 10 LPGA players, is also expecting a child next summer. (2007 is the year of the Pig in Korea and that is supposed to be a good time for having a baby. Can the recently wed Gloria Park be far behind?) Congrats to Hee Won and her husband Sonny who I once met, plus Tiger and Elin.

Linked to- Basil's Blog, Bright & Early,

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Another Madrid Bombing

From CNN-

MADRID, Spain (CNN) -- Spain has blamed a powerful bomb explosion at the country's busiest airport Saturday on Basque separatist group ETA, declaring it a violation of a nine-month cease-fire.

Several people suffered minor injuries when a stolen van exploded in a parking lot near terminal four at Madrid's Barajas International Airport, which had been evacuated after police received a warning.

One man is reported missing after the explosion. If found dead, he would be the first fatality caused by ETA in three years.

Spanish Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba said the government condemned the attack, "which breaks nine months without violence on the part of ETA, which breaks the permanent ceasefire."

But the head of Batasuna, a political party banned for links with ETA said the peace process would continue.

"The peace process...is not only not over, but now it is more necessary than ever," Arnaldo Batasuna told a news conference in the Basque city of San Sebastian, Reuters reported.

In terrorist speak that means- "Concede all our demands or we keep up the violence." Terrorists are fanatics and rarely seek compromises.

Fortunately casualties were light today. Spain may not be as lucky next time.

Dr. Taylor is also blogging on the bombing.

I will note, that after the Madrid commuter train bombing it struck me (here, also) that ETA would have a very hard time using bombings as an effective tool in their fight for Basque independence. Along those line, bombing an airport (or even just a parking lot) strikes me as a potential PR nightmare for the organization.
Yes I'd think an airport bombing makes little sense from a PR point of view. Then fanatics aren't necessarily logical in their actions.

Hat tip- James Joyner at OTB.
Linked to- Third World County, Wakeup America, Uncooperative Blogger,

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Worthy of a Lifetime movie of the week

From Reuters-

BERLIN (Dec. 29) - A 21-year-old German tourist who wanted to visit his girlfriend in the Australian metropolis Sydney landed 13,000 kilometres away near Sidney, Montana, after mistyping his destination on a flight booking Web site.

Dressed for the Australian summer in t-shirt and shorts, Tobi Gutt left Germany Saturday for a four-week holiday.

Instead of arriving "down under," Gutt found himself on a different continent and bound for the chilly state of Montana.

"I did wonder but I didn't want to say anything," Gutt told the Bild newspaper. "I thought to myself, you can fly to Australia via the United States."

Gutt's airline ticket routed him via the U.S. city of Portland, Oregon, to Billings, Montana. Only as he was about to board a commuter flight to Sidney -- an oil town of about 5,000 people -- did he realize his mistake.


LOL. Don Surber wonders about security and how Mr. Gutt got into the US. Did he have a Visa?

Mr. Gutt's adventure wasn't too bad. At least he didn't have to fight his way out of a Chinese brothel.

Linked to- Adam's Blog, Pirate's Cove,

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The Knucklehead of the Year award- Law Enforcement and Legal System

Time to give out our eighth Knucklehead of the Year award. This time it is the Law Enforcement and Legal system category. Sometimes those enforcing the law have little respect for the law themselves.

Click here, here, here, here, here, here, and here to see our other year end award winners for 2006.

Our Judging Panel remains the same. They are-

Greta from Hooah Wife and Friends
Don Surber
The Professor from Right Wing Nation
Doyle from A Cool Change
Jim from Bright & Early
James Joyner from Outside the Beltway
Dr. Steven Taylor from Poliblog
Jo from Jo's Cafe
Mr C from Peer Review FL
John in Carolina

Right in Florida
Rick from Stuck on the Palmetto
Bullwinkle
and Yours Truly. A big thank you to all the bloggers who helped out.

The nominees are-

Atlanta Police Department
Vermont Judge Edward Cashman
Nebraska Judge Kristine Cecava
Florida Supreme Court
Kemal Kerincsiz
Mike Nifong

Comments from the judges

James Joyner voted Mike Nifong first second and third.

Mr C wrote-

"1 Mike Nifong, the DA who doesn’t need testimony

2 Judge Kristine Cecava gives child abuser nothing

3 Judge Edward Cashman gives child rapist 60 days"

Greta wrote-

"1. Vermont's new slogan "we don't believe in sex offender punishment"
2. Short people are deprived prison - call the ACLU
3. Granny got a gun"

The Professor wrote- "Nifong, I think, is manipulating the situation for his
own political advantage, or was; I don't think he's stupid, necessarily, just evil."

Note- The Professor voted early. TFM doesn't know if he holds the same view on Nifong after the latest news out of North Carolina but I respect his opinion.

Don Surber wrote on the Florida Supreme Court. "Didn't they retire this award a few years ago? Don also said. "Pretty bad year when the guy who railroads college
kids on fake rape charges finishes 3rd."

And the winner is...........

Mike Nifong!

Nifong joins Princeton University, Mel Gibson, Jimmy Carter, Florida Department of Children and Families, Hilton Hotels, The New York Times and Andrew Tilley as 2006 Knucklehead of the year finalists. Please come back tomorrow to see who the Grand Knucklehead of 2006 will be. We're even going to have a special master of ceremonies. Have a great weekend and a Happy New Year.

Linked to- Adam's Blog, Amboy Times, Bright & Early, Cao's Blog, Dumb Ox, Hill Chronicles, Jo's Cafe, Right Wing Nation, Third World County, Outside the Beltway, Pirate's Cove, Woman Honor Thyself, Right Wing Guy, Wakeup America, Uncooperative Blogger,

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You're a winner loser

Some news from Tennessee. I'm surprised law enforcement doesn't use such ruses more often to smoke out criminals. Would some judge consider it entrapment?

Linked to- Dumb Ox, Hill Chronicles, Jo's Cafe,

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Knoxville Fire Department investigators used a ruse of their own to nab a man suspected of making a series of bogus emergency calls on his cell phone.

After receiving a false report of a gas leak on Dec. 14, firefighters compared notes.

They confirmed 15 fake 911 calls over a two-month period, including four house fires, six car crashes and various other medical emergencies. All came from the same cell phone.

So they called the number and left a message saying the phone's owner had won a gift card from a major retailer, Fire Capt. Brent Seymour said.

Within an hour, Seymour received a call back from a man identifying himself as the phone's owner. "He willingly gave his name and address," Seymour said. "I told him I would be sending that gift card."

But that wasn't quick enough to suit the man. He wanted the gift card in time for Christmas. So the investigators set up a meeting for that evening.

Seymour said he waited only a few minutes in a business parking lot before suspect Jason Mark Harms arrived on foot, identified himself as the gift card recipient and was arrested.

Seymour said Harms' first words were, "You can't prove it."

But General Sessions Judge Charles Cerny found the evidence strong enough Wednesday to send 15 felony counts of making false reports against Harms to a Knox County grand jury.

Harms, 29, told authorities he thought he was doing taxpayers a favor by drawing otherwise lazy firefighters out of their cozy fire halls, according to court papers.

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The Continuing saga

Known as the Florida 13th congressional race. Nearly two months after election day, the result is being fought in court.

A Leon County judge on Friday nearly derailed Christine Jennings' long-shot bid for Congress, ruling that the Southwest Florida Democrat has no right to inspect the secret software used in electronic voting machines in Sarasota County.

The tersely worded decision by Circuit Judge William Gary is a major blow because Jennings contends in a lawsuit that the ATM-styled machines used in Sarasota malfunctioned and cost her the votes that would have propelled her to victory in November.

ES&S, the company that makes the voting machines as well as ones used in Broward and Miami-Dade counties, says the machines did not malfunction and that the software is a trade secret.

''It's shocking that there is more concern for protecting a company's profits rather than protecting our right to vote,'' said Jennings, who said she would appeal the ruling. ``The secrecy and question marks surrounding electronic voting is creating a real crisis in confidence among America's voters, and the only way to resolve this is by conducting a thorough review by outside experts.''

Friday's ruling came hours after House Democratic leaders in Washington announced that they would allow Republican Vern Buchanan, who beat Jennings by 369 votes, to be seated when Congress reconvenes next week. Despite what happens in the courts, Congress has the ultimate power to decide who can be seated.

A spokesman for incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said seating Buchanan, while officially recognizing the election is contested, is 'the best way to assure continuous representation for the district while Jennings' appropriate challenges are running their course.'' Spokesman Drew Hammill said Pelosi and the Democratic caucus wouldn't back a move to refuse to seat Buchanan, as Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean had suggested. Instead, there will be a ''formal inquiry'' into what went wrong in the race, leaving open the possibility that Congress still could order a new election.

At least Pelosi has the good sense to seat someone in the meantime. What is a judge to do in a case like this? There are no legal precedents for ordering a new election. The Democrats are hoping they'll find a judge who'll give them the result they want, not necessarily the outcome of the election. Who is to say what the real outcome would have been in November? No one of either party can turn back the clocks.

Bottom line- The result as it is, no matter how flawed, should stand. Judges shouldn't be deciding elections. That goes for either party.

Linked to- Bright & Early, Cao's Blog, Third World County,

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The Knucklehead of the Day award

Today's winner is CNN. They get the award for the following.



The video in question shows a US soldier in Iraq getting killed by a sniper.

CNN- We show snuff videos. It is rated for Family viewing! Just when you thought the MSM couldn't go any lower, they do. CNN is today's Knucklehead of the Day.

Note- I won't be watching any video of Saddam's execution either.

Hat tip- Return of the Conservatives via Michelle Malkin
Linked to- Adam's Blog, Amboy Times, Bright & Early, Cao's Blog, Dumb Ox, Hill Chronicles, Jo's Cafe, Right Wing Nation, Third World County, Outside the Beltway, Pirate's Cove, Woman Honor Thyself, Right Wing Guy, Wakeup America, Uncooperative Blogger,

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Friday, December 29, 2006

Hot Dog

Some news from Iowa. I doubt Mr. Clay relishes his time in jail.

Linked to- Adam's Blog, The World According to Carl, Hill Chronicles,

DES MOINES, Iowa - As crimes go, this one was for the dogs.

According to police, James Clay had the munchies early Friday morning so he headed for the hotdogs at a local convenience store. Although his craving appeared satisfied, there was a little problem — he decided to overstuff his bun.

When he went to the counter to pay, the clerk noticed Clay had jammed two hotdogs into his bun, camouflaging his snack under a pile of condiments.

It apparently wasn't the first time Clay had tried to double-dog his bun, so the employee called police.

Hunger was the least of Clay's worries when officers arrived. He was wanted on a warrant for failing to pay child support.

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Hardly breaking news

From AP-

SEOUL, South Korea - South Korea's Defense Ministry said North Korea is believed to have about 110 pounds of plutonium, enough to produce up to seven nuclear weapons.

In its biennial defense report, released Friday, the ministry also said the North is believed to be capable of producing biological weapons, including anthrax weapons, and possesses up to 5,000 tons of toxic agents.

The report described North Korea "as a serious threat, considering the serious nature of its nuclear test and threat of weapons of mass destruction," the ministry said in a statement.

*****

The report said North Korea has the capability to launch a surprise attack on South Korea without repositioning its troops because it deploys about 70 percent of its ground forces south of the capital, Pyongyang.

North Korea "is consistently preparing for war for a long period and is likely to keep this military policy in the future," the report said.
Someone in the Defense Ministry needed a report on this? Half of what AP is reporting above is old news. Either the reporter doesn't get out much or AP is very unimaginative. It wouldn't surprise me if it is the later.

I think there is something seriously wrong with AP's reporting out of the Korean peninsula. If you want further evidence, read this. A country where food and electricity are scarce is going digital.

Yes and I'm going to be #1 in the blogosphere next year. You can take it to the bank.

Note- I've been wrong on AP reporting before. Click here, the scientists had cloned a dog in the past. TFM will delete admit his mistakes.

Linked to- Cao's Blog, Right Wing Nation, Right Wing Guy,

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Florida the rules are different here Chapter LXXIII

Key West will celebrate the new year with Sushi. It isn't raw fish.

For New Year's Eve revelers on this island city, sushi doesn't mean raw fish. Instead, it refers to a drag queen who plans to bring in 2007 by being lowered inside an 8-foot-long red high heel shoe and spraying champagne.

This will be 10th consecutive year that Sushi, the alter ego of Key West resident Gary Marion, has presided over festivities in front of the Bourbon St. Pub on Duval Street, the city's main party strip.

Seconds before midnight, the shoe bearing a lavishly gowned and coifed Marion, 39, is to be lowered from the bar's second-story balcony toward revelers below. As midnight strikes, Marion should land and gleefully pop the cork on a ceremonial bottle of champagne.

"In Times Square, they drop the ball," Marion said. "In Key West, they drop the red shoe with Sushi in it."

The wackiness is the vision of former pub manager Jimmy Gilleran. He and a partner designed the shoe at a boatyard that constructs fiberglass vessels.

"It's only in Key West could we do something like this," Gilleran said.

I'd say Key West or Florida myself. Whatever rocks people's boats down in Keys is fine with me. Isn't this a great state or what?

Linked to- Bullwinkle Blog, Jo's Cafe, Basil's Blog,

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The Knucklehead of the Year award- Academia, Education, Sciences & Religion

Time to give out our seventh Knucklehead of the Year award. This time it is the Academia, Education, Sciences & Religion category. This can be also called how so called smart people can be very stupid.

Click here, here, here, here, here and here to see our other year end award winners for 2006.

Our Judging Panel remains the same. They are-

Greta from Hooah Wife and Friends
Don Surber
The Professor from Right Wing Nation
Doyle from A Cool Change
Jim from Bright & Early
James Joyner from Outside the Beltway
Dr. Steven Taylor from Poliblog
Jo from Jo's Cafe
Mr C from Peer Review FL
John in Carolina

Right in Florida
Rick from Stuck on the Palmetto
Bullwinkle
and Yours Truly. A big thank you to all the bloggers who helped out.

The six nominees are-

Harvard University
Hwang Woo-suk
Methodist Hospital Indianapolis Indiana
Princeton University
University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey
Catholic Bishop Daniel Walsh

Comments from our judges-

Mr C wrote-

"1 Princeton not diverse enough

2 Harvard PC’ers lose big money

3 Daniel Walsh the accomplice"

Greta wrote-

"1. Bishop in Baja
2. Princeton's new motto - We have higher standards than perfect SAT scores
3. Heparin baby killers - take responsibility for your mistake"

And the winner is...........

Princeton University!

Princeton joins Mel Gibson, Jimmy Carter, Florida Department of Children and Families, Hilton Hotels, The New York Times and Andrew Tilley as 2006 Knucklehead of the year finalists. Please come back tomorrow to see who the eighth and last of our eight finalists is. On Decmeber 31st the Grand Knucklehead of 2006 will be announced. Have a great weekend and a Happy New Year.

Linked to- Amboy Times, Bright & Early, Cao's Blog, Dumb Ox, Hill Chronicles, Jo's Cafe, Right Wing Nation, Third World County, Outside the Beltway, Basil's Blog, Pirate's Cove, Woman Honor Thyself, Right Wing Guy, Wakeup America,

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Medical whistleblowers

The Miami Herald reports on a new law that will effect the health care industry beginning January 1st.

South Florida hospitals are gearing up to obey a new federal law that takes effect next week requiring that they give their employees lessons on detecting healthcare fraud -- and how to be whistle-blowers if they spot it.

The move, originated by Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, is intended to lower Medicare and Medicaid fraud, which federal officials estimate runs up to $1 billion a year in South Florida alone.

''We are in compliance,'' said Anne Streeter, spokeswoman for Baptist Health South Florida, which operates Baptist, South Miami, Doctors and Homestead hospitals. The system is sending out letters to employees and vendors and is revising its code of ethics brochure.

''We're in the midst of it right now,'' said Spencer Levine, chief ethics officer at the North Broward Hospital District.

All hospitals contacted by The Miami Herald, including the large HCA and Tenet chains, said they were working to obey the law.

Whistle-blowers, who discover fraud that costs taxpayers money, can get a percentage of the funds recovered. That amount can be substantial.

The four owners of a tiny Key West pharmacy have received at least $70 million for their revelations about how pharmaceutical companies cheated Medicaid, the state-federal healthcare program for the poor.

The whistle-blower law, officially called the False Claims Act, also has provisions that employers can't fire workers who report fraud.

Some national law firms, such as Goodwin Procter, warn that the new provisions will make more people aware of the potentially lucrative law and could result in a rash of new lawsuits.

''I don't fear scrutiny,'' said Levine at North Broward, a public entity that runs Broward General and other hospitals.

'You're dealing with taxpayers' money and the health of our citizenry, so yeah, there is a concern.''

Miami-Dade's public hospitals recently paid $14 million to settle claims they overcharged Medicare and Medicaid.


That's small potatoes compared to these two con artists.

Tenet Healthcare who settled with the federal govt for $900 Million because of Medicare Billing.

and

The University of Medicine and Denistry of New Jersey, the biggest medical school in the country, that had to accept a federal monitor or face shutdown because of Medicare and Medicaid Fraud.

Two giants of the healthcare industry caught overbilling the government. That and my own personal experiences tell me there is serious fraud in the medical system today. How many patients get cheated out of money by these hucksters?

Two more comments=

1= The $1 billion a year in savings due to the new legislation seems optimistic to me. It will take very brave people to report their employers and many won't for the financial hardships they'll face if they get fired for whistleblowing.

2- Of all the people the Miami Herald quoted, why Spencer Levine? Was Miami Herald Reporter John Dorschner totally ignorant of this story? I would think there is better South Florida healthcare exec to use for a quote than one that took over an agency losing 209 Million a year and wasn't willing to criticize past management. Levine is wishy washy at best when it comes to being an expert on the proper management of healtchare.

Linked to- Bullwinkle Blog, Stuck on Stupid, Pirate's Cove,

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The Clueless golf MSM

TFM has come up with two more fine examples of stupidity in golf writing. First we have Seth Soffian writing at the Fort Myers News-Press.

• Karrie Webb — Once stoically impassionate on the course, even in the heights of glory, Webb re-emerged a joyous, five-time winner this year. Her screaming leap into the arms of her caddie after holing out for an eagle on the 72nd hole of the Nabisco Championship is among the year's great moments.

• Ben Curtis — Already dismissed as a fluke after finishing outside the top 125 in money the past two years, the 2003 British Open champion rebounded with two titles this year to become the only American in his 20s with three career victories.

• Jay Haas and Loren Roberts — Despite playing well late in his 40s, Haas didn't break his 13-year winless drought until joining the Champions Tour this year. He and Roberts each won a major championship — a first for each — and three other regular events to vie for Player of the Year and the $1 million Charles Schwab Cup annuity. Haas narrowly edged Roberts, whose wins included The ACE Group Classic in February in North Naples.

• Nick Faldo — Not on the golf course; on television. Once a media pariah and relative recluse to his playing peers, clever Nick emerged as a television darling and possibly the future voice of golf, with no apologies to Johnny Miller.


Where the heck is Se Ri Pak on this list? The choice of Faldo is a joke, and the Haas-Roberts almost as bad. Seth Soffian absolute ignorance in regards to the comeback of the Korean golf Queen shows that this News-Press reporter is just the latest hack in the Golf media.

By the way Golf World magazine has struck again. A few weeks ago I wrote about their top 25 golf newsmakers of 2006. Here was their 25th selection.

No. 25 China's growing presence

Early in 2006 a Chinese professor claimed China invented golf more than 1,000 years ago. Had it proved true, it might have explained the following:


More European Tour events were held in China in 2006 than any other country

The final 36 holes of the Players Championship aired on Chinese television

Business students at Xiamen University were required to take golf

A national training camp opened in March

Efforts continued to bring a WGC event to the Chinese mainland

-- John Antonini
There used to be a photo with this selection. A letter to the magazine in this week's issue pointed out that GW's picture of China wasn't China at all. It was of Japan!

Golf World's editors could have done worse. Their secret homosexual crush on Phil Mickelson could have led them to put an illustration of Lefty dressed as a geisha with their 25th newsmaker pick.

The coverage of pro golf in America- Where some of the worst hack writers and editors find work.

Linked to- Bright & Early, Basil's Blog,

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The Knuckleheads of the Day award

Today's winner is WorkForce One(The Broward County labor agency) and its Vice President of Finance, Katie Ocken. They get the award for the following.

Alone in the office at night, she wrote check after check to herself from the Broward County labor agency, court records show.

Her superiors and colleagues were unaware that Brenda Felder, 41, was already a felon -- convicted of grand theft, one of the charges the former accounts payable clerk now faces as she is accused of stealing more than $2 million.

Workforce One's $24 million annual budget comes mainly from local and state government funding. But it wasn't the labor agency's accountants, financial department, outside auditors or even Felder's supervisors who uncovered the scheme, which went on for four years. It was an alert teller at a Davie credit union who finally noticed.

Judge Marc Gold wondered last month, when a subdued but visibly nervous Felder appeared before him in Circuit Court during a bond hearing:

``What business loses $2.4 million and doesn't catch it?''
A great question Judge Gold. My answer- A Knucklehead of the Day! WorkForce One's story of incompetence sounds eerily similar to this one from Palm Beach County.

It may have started almost 12 years ago, when Felder checked ''no'' in the box on her job application asking whether she had ever been convicted of a serious offense. In fact, three times a decade before, Felder, then known by her maiden name of Roundtree, pleaded guilty to felonies related to theft, according to Broward County court records from 1985 to 1987. Adjudication was withheld once. Twice, she was convicted.

In the last of those three cases, she pleaded guilty to a first-degree felony charge of grand theft of $100,000 or more. She was sentenced to two years of probation.

But when Felder applied for the job in 1994, the labor agency wasn't doing background checks on employees, so her convictions went undetected.

Within a year of her hiring, Felder became the accounts payable clerk, responsible for paying vendors and maintaining the books on such payments.

Convicted felons put in charge of taxpayer money. Don't you just love Florida?

In 2002, prosecutors allege, Felder wrote the first check to herself.

It continued for four years, they allege, with Felder routinely making out checks to herself from the labor agency, sometimes as often as three or four times a month. Usually the checks were for about $17,000, but they ranged from $12,000 to nearly $20,000. She deposited the checks into the same credit-union account where she received her paychecks, according to the court records.

Prosecutors believe that Felder, who has since been charged with three counts of grand theft, money laundering and fraud, wrote at least 119 checks to herself from the labor agency.

Alone in the office at night, she made out the checks, using the agency's automatic check signature machine to authenticate them, and the checks were coded into the agency's computer system under a phony vendor name, according to the court records.

The agency's vice president of finance, Katie Ocken, told police it went unnoticed because staff accountants did not look at the canceled checks when reconciling the bank statements.

And who is supposed to supervise the accountants Ms. Ocken. You're a incompetent bureaucrat who should be fired immediately. That may or may not happen but you're one of today's Knuckleheads of the Day. Put that on your resume when looking for your next job.

This story gets better.

In her most recent evaluation, she was given a score of 94.5.

''Brenda performs her duties with a high standard of quality,'' her supervisor, Steve Gordon, wrote in that evaluation last year.

Gordon wrote in 2002, the first year in which checks were cashed: ``Her work very rarely contains any mistakes or oversights. . . . She has demonstrated a willingness to work after scheduled hours to get her work completed.''

Felder certainly was productive in her after work hours.

Who did catch Ms. Felder's thievery? A Credit Union employee of course.

This fall, bank tellers in the area were on alert because of a rash of robberies by armed gangs at financial institutions throughout South Florida.

In September, BrightStar teller Laura Martell became suspicious of Felder's husband.

According to testimony taken by police, Brenda Felder would deposit large checks from the labor agency -- some for almost $20,000 each -- into a personal account at the credit union's Lauderhill branch. Her husband, Vincent Felder, would then withdraw money from BrightStar's Davie branch. He has not been charged in this investigation.

The most recent check was dated 15 days before Brenda Felder was arrested.

''It was like she was getting an annual salary monthly,'' one of the teller's supervisors, Julie Reinoso, told the Lauderhill Police Department, according to legal depositions.

Felder's salary last year was $31,725.

According to property records, Felder and her husband own a house in Plantation. They also own or lease several cars, including an Infiniti and a Ford Explorer, she said in court. The two also own Nu-Berry Property Management; Vincent Felder is president and Brenda Felder is vice president.

On Sept. 28, the suspicious teller's branch manager contacted Reinoso, the bank's compliance officer. Together, they looked online and saw that Felder was an accounts payable clerk.

''We knew right away it was fraudulent,'' Reinoso told the police. After she called Workforce One to determine the validity of the checks, the bank staff went online and found out about Felder's criminal past, Reinoso said.

Workforce One's CEO, Jackson, and the agency's board members were quickly informed, as were the Lauderhill police, who were soon gathering evidence at Workforce One headquarters in Lauderhill. That afternoon, Felder was nervous, pacing the hallways and asking co-workers why investigators were there, police records show.

Within hours, she was arrested.

Brilliant! It was the bank that discovered both the fraud of Ms. Felder and her criminal background.

I'd immediately give the Bank Manager Ms. Ocken's job and the bank teller the position held by Felder. TFM guesses that probably won't happen, but I'll do this. WorkForce One and its Vice President of Finance, Katie Ocken you are today's Knuckleheads of the Day.

Hat tip- Alex at SOTP
Linked to- Amboy Times, Bright & Early, Cao's Blog, Dumb Ox, Hill Chronicles, Jo's Cafe, Right Wing Nation, Third World County, Outside the Beltway,

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Thursday, December 28, 2006

Snapshot

From the Fort Myers News-Press-

A 29-year-old North Fort Myers man was arrested for burglary Thursday, a victim of circumstance and technology.

Jason Kraft of 19601 Davis Lane, is also charged with grand theft and dealing in stolen property, said Shelly Flynn, a spokeswoman for the Fort Myers police.

The arrest stems from a Dec. 22 burglary at the Edgewood Avenue home of former Fort Myers Councilman Bernie Alimenti.

Kraft managed to get past the 120-pound German shepherd that guards the house, ransack the premises, and make off with some expensive jewelry, Alimenti said.

A neighbor, Jonatan Tzoy, saw the burglar near the house and snapped his picture and a photo of his van's license plate with the camera in his cellular telephone.

Detective Bill Molloy followed up and tracked the van to a parking lot at Gulf Coast Hospital where he arrested Kraft, Flynn said.


I guess they'll have to re-write the lesson books for would be burglars. Beware men or women with cellphones.

Linked to- Bright& Early, Random Yak,

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Eye Checkup

I recently blogged about how I failed a eye exam when renewing my driver's license. Today I had an appointment with a local ophthalmologist.

The news- There is no sign of any eye disease. I do however need new lenses. So the news was good today.

The eye drops I was given for the eye exam, and the death of my beloved cat made this a tough day for blogging. Don't worry, I'll be finishing up the Knucklehead of the Year awards on time.

One thing did happen at the doctor's office- Among the papers I had to sign was a contract like form requiring me to pay $35 for refraction drops that were to be put in my eyes. The form said my insurance wouldn't cover it.

I don't trust medical providers who try shaking down patients. If you want to read an example of why, click here. Anyway I insisted on paying no more than my $15 co-pay. Two employees at the office tried to get the $35 from me but failed. The last person accepting why I wouldn't pay and saying they'd mail a bill if my insurer didn't cover it.

If my health insurance doesn't pay the $35, I will. If the insurance does pay the bill, I'm going to hand this doctor's office a Knucklehead award as just the latest example of fraud in the health care industry. I'll also be looking into filing complaints with the proper authorities, for I'm certain other people will have been ripped off too.

We'll just have to wait and see.

Linked to- Basil's Blog, Bright& Early, Is it Just me?, Jo's Cafe, Right Wing Nation, Third World County,

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The Knucklehead of the Year award- Sports and Entertainment

Time to give out our sixth Knucklehead of the Year award. This time it is the Sports & Entertainment category. Celebrities around the world have little trouble showing how shallow they are as people.

Click here, here, here, here, and here to see our other year end award winners for 2006.

Our Judging Panel remains the same. They are-

Greta from Hooah Wife and Friends
Don Surber
The Professor from Right Wing Nation
Doyle from A Cool Change
Jim from Bright & Early
James Joyner from Outside the Beltway
Dr. Steven Taylor from Poliblog
Jo from Jo's Cafe
Mr C from Peer Review FL
John in Carolina

Right in Florida
Rick from Stuck on the Palmetto
Bullwinkle
and Yours Truly. A big thank you to all the bloggers who helped out.

The six nominees are-

Drew Barrymore
Mel Gibson
Floyd Landis
Regan Books and Fox Television Network aka News Corp
Michael Richards
Annika Sorenstam

Comments from judging panel

James Joyner wrote- "Floyd Landis- Pretty bad but nobody ever heard of him before the Tour. News Corp- They eventually fixed their mess."

Mr. C wrote-

"1 Drew Barrymore’s Golden Globes (TFM LMAO!)

2 Floyd Landis tests negative for intelligence

3 Michael Richards chooses his words poorly"

Greta wrote-

"1. How I got away with murder & cashed in a little more with their blood
2. I really love Jews when I'm sober Mel
3. Racing roids
double honorary mention: Drew's twins"

This was a close race with five of the six nominees having considerable support. Our winner is.........

Mel Gibson!

Mel joins Jimmy Carter, Florida Department of Children and Families, Hilton Hotels, The New York Times and Andrew Tilley as 2006 Knucklehead of the year finalists. Please come back tomorrow to see who the next of our eight finalists is. On Decmeber 31st the Grand Knucklehead of 2006 will be announced. Have a great day.

Linked to- Basil's Blog, Bright& Early, Cao's Blog, Is it Just me?, Jo's Cafe, Random Yak, Right Wing Nation, Third World County, Outside the Beltway,

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