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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.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Just place a 'kick me' around your neck

Broward County Florida can't send out absentee ballots without controversy.

The office of the Broward County Supervisor of Elections sent out more than 60,000 absentee ballots last week with return envelopes that identify voters' party affiliations.

The system invites fraud, critics say, because mailed ballots go through many handlers who are not certified as poll watchers.
How many hands touch the ballots at the elections office?

Registered Democrats who vote by absentee ballot in the county are identified on the return envelopes with "Dem." Republicans are "Rep," and independents are "NPA," for "no party affiliation."

The ballots for the November 4 general election are the same, so there is no need to distinguish between Democratic and Republican ballots.

Mary Cooney, a spokesperson for Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes, said that the party references on the envelopes were merely a matter of computer-programmed information.

"That's just the way it was programmed," Cooney said. "The affiliation is not pertinent to the election."
Blame it on the computer. Why then was this only done in Broward County? Chuck Lichtman, who is a lawyer for the Florida Democratic party is quoted saying "I've never heard of that happening in Florida or anywhere else," he said. "This offends me."

Neither Palm Beach County nor Miami-Dade County includes party affiliations on return envelopes.

Cooney acknowledged that there "have been issues" in the past with the delivery of absentee ballots. She added, though, that the missing ballots in 2004 were outgoing ballots.
Memo to Cooney- This is a outgoing ballot issue also. Your cockermamie office sent out return envelopes a person's party affiliation on the outside.

Oh and the ballot screwup of 2004 involved 58,000 ballots that disappeared. I guess the office is 'improving', this year they made a mess of all absentee ballots.

Before that, the Broward County Elections Supervisor had to be removed from office in 2003 by then Governor Jeb Bush for 'grave neglect and incompetence.'

Broward County Republican chairman Chip LaMarca said that he had "a slight concern" about openly identifying voters' party affiliations.

"I'm going to err on the side of having faith in the postal employees," he said.
Neither Republicans or Democrats are too happy with what has happened. The only difference, being one Republican official saying-

"This is a shame that we cannot trust the postal people," said Colleen Stolberg, the absentee ballot chairwoman for the Broward Republican Party. "These people are stealing votes from us."
Which is dumb. No one at this point besides Stollberg is claiming ballots are being stolen, discarded, etc. Postal workers are now asking for an apology, and the local GOP is escalating by asking the US Justice Department to monitor the Postal Service. Does anyone with a brain realistically expect every post office and all its employees to watched? What does realism have to do with elections in Florida?

A commenter at The Daily Pulp wrote-
Our absentee ballots had our party affiliation written on the mailing envelope. Isn't this an invitation to electoral fraud?
Bob Norman's simple answer was "Yes". I have to agree.

Bob, who is one of the small handful of bloggers I've had the pleasure of meeting face to face, asks a very good question with the title of his blog post

Why Brenda Snipes, Why?

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Florida the rules are different here Chapter CLXVI

A squirrel gets electrocuted and this causes delays at a polling place. Will disenfranchised voter's sue the rodent's estate? Was he a Obama or McCain supporter? Was the squirrel looking for ACORN and got knocked off? WKMG in Orlando calls the squirrel 'suicidal'. Was there a note left behind or is this a coverup?*

I'll leave the mystery to others. Don't you just love The Sunshine State?

A suicidal squirrel caused delays for early voters when it knocked out power for about 800 customers, including the Indian River County Library and Courthouse.

Elections officials say early voting was slowed - but not stopped - at the library on Thursday. Voters were still able to cast their ballots by flashlight.

Officials say a squirrel leaped from a tree onto a power line, causing a fire that tripped an electrical switch, knocking out a power line feeding a section of Vero Beach.

The dead squirrel was found lying on the ground.

Early voting continued as usual after power was restored. It was out for about an hour and a half.

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Obama the miracle worker

One Floridian thinks the Democratic nominee will pay her mortgage and put gas in her car.

Hat tip- Doug at Below the Beltway who writes- "The sad thing is that I think she really believes it." I get that impression too.

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Will someone at Associated Press please pick up the black courtesy phone

The wire service employs clueless people to cover golf not just in the United States but South Korea also.

Fellow South Korean Chae Young Yoon is one shot back in third, and eight others were in a pack at 2-under, including Christina Kim and Mi Hyun Kim.

Who is AP neglecting to mention at 2-under? How about Ji Yai Shin, the defending British Open champ. Also at 2-under are former major winners Jeong Jang and Karen Stupples. I think they all rate a mention over Christina.

Is Doug Ferguson in the ROK right now or has his sloppy golf reporting spread to other writers at Associated Press?

Katherine Hull leads after the first round. Hound Dog and The Constructivist are both commenting.

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Size matters in Vietnam

Well actually almost.

HANOI, Vietnam – Faced with mounting public criticism, Vietnam's Health Ministry suspended a widely ridiculed plan to ban short, thin and small-chested drivers.

The ministry had recommended that people whose chests measure less than 28 inches be prohibited from driving motorbikes — as well as those who are too short (less than 4 -foot-8) or too thin (less than 88 pounds).

When the media revealed the plan this week, it prompted disbelief and scorn among members of the public, who envisioned the police pulling over female drivers to measure their breasts.

Thursday's state-run Tuoi Tre newspaper quoted ministry official Nguyen Huy Quang as saying the proposal would be suspended.
I'm surprised that Vietnamese officials felt pressure from the public and media. It is hardly a democratic country.

Do vehicles there have airbags? It is known those devices can kill children and small sized women.

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

The LPGA in South Korea or where in the world is Carolyn Bivens?

For their once a year tour stop, The Hana Bank Kolon Championship. It will be played October 31-November 2nd at The Sky 72 Golf Club, Ocean Course in Incheon. The tournament dates back to 2001, when the inaugeral event was canceled after 9-11 occured.

This is a limited field event, with just 69 players. 12 of whom are KLPGA players, including this year's British Open champ and Rolex#8 player in the world, Ji-Yai Shin. While Lorena Ochoa, Annika Sorenstam, and Yani Tseng aren't playing, the field is still pretty strong. Defending champ Suzann Pettersen, Paula Creamer, and likely 2008 Comeback Player of the Year Helen Alfredsson are in the field.

Suzann Pettersen won last year's event by one shot over Eun-Hi-Ji. The tournament was called after 36 holes due to bad weather.

Last year's event was notable for a few things.

1- Pettersen was the first non-Korean winner of the tournament. Past winners include LPGA major champs Se Ri Pak and Grace Park, plus first time winners Shi Hyun 'Cinderella' Ahn, Jee Young 'Jelly' Lee, and Jin Jong Hong. Ahn, Lee, and Hong were all non-LPGA players at the time, and their wins earned them LPGA Tour cards. Could a KLPGA player do the same in 2008? Here's one name to look out for, Sun Ju Ahn.

2- After the Sunday final round was canceled, some golf fans got upset. In a season ending post on the good, bad, and just bizarre for 2007 on the LPGA tour, I gave these protesters my 'Pitchforks and Torches' award. Who says LPGA golf fans aren't enthusiastic.

A picture of Se Ri Pak(center) and company. Many of the golfers behind Se Ri publicly state that they took up the sport after seeing the Hall of Famer excel at the LPGA Tour starting in 1998.

It has been an excellent year for the South Korean ladies after the off 2007 where only four of them won on tour, and none took home a major Championship. After a ten month victory drought, Seon Hwa Lee, Eun Hi Ji, In-Bee Park, Ji Young Oh, Ji Yai Shin, and In-Kyung Kim all took home titles. Lee actually winning two times. Seven tournament wins, including two major championships. Shin at the British Open, and In-bee Park at the US Open. Three players from South Korea rank in the top 10 money winners, eight in the top 20*.

This tournament is important for players wanting to make the tour ending ADT Championship. The ADT has a one million dollar purse for the golfer who wins it. At present, Eight South Korean players have qualified for the field. At least Another five would qualify if the current points standing holds.

As of yet, no Carolyn Bivens sighting this week . Would she show her face in South Korea after the 'English language policy' debacle of two months ago?

There is no North America television coverage of the tournament. The LPGA is off the air for 3 weeks as the tour travels through Asia.(China last week, Japan next week)

LPGA bloggers Hound Dog and The Constructivist have their own previews up.

*- 2007 LPGA Rookie of the Year Angela Park was born in Brazil, but has lived in the United States since age 8. She recently became a naturalized US citizen and has two brothers at present serving in the American armed forces. Some members of the media can't keep it straight that Angela isn't from South Korea. She's never lived in the country. Park is currently #3 in points in order to qualify for the ADT Championship.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Florida the rules are different here Chapter CLXV

Our baseball teams gets kicked out of their hotel during a World Series. No they didn't end up at a Days Inn. Isn't this a great state or what?

PHILADELPHIA - The Tampa Bay Rays had to scramble for hotel rooms when Game 5 of the World Series was suspended because of bad weather.

The Rays had booked rooms at the Westin Hotel in downtown Philadelphia only through Monday, believing they would be heading back to St. Petersburg on Tuesday.

When Monday night's game was suspended because of rain, the Rays found that the rooms they had rented at the Westin were already booked.

After some calls, the team found a hotel that had enough rooms for all the players - the posh Hotel du Pont in downtown Wilmington, Del., about 25 miles south of Citizens Bank Park.

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And now for your consolation prize

Former Knucklehead winner Erika Nieves-Abrigo aka Nancy Cantu is back in the news-

The Lady's Island woman investigators say faked a quintuple pregnancy to trick people out of more than $1,000 in cash and gifts was taken into federal custody Monday morning and likely faces deportation.

Nancy Cantu, whose real name is Erika Nieves-Abrigo, pleaded guilty Oct. 23 to one count of obtaining goods under false pretenses and was released on time served into the custody of federal Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agents, according to Beaufort County court records.

"She had a hold on her from immigration, so once her charges in Beaufort County were satisfied, we called them and they came down and picked her up," said Phil Foot, director of the Beaufort County Detention Center.

Foot said Cantu was taken to an ICE facility in Charleston, where she will be held for the remainder of her immigration proceedings, which could end in her deportation to Mexico.

Cantu and Juan Salvador Solis, who claimed to have fathered the children, said they were pregnant with quintuplets in December and received gifts and donations as their story spread, in part with stories about the couple in The Beaufort Gazette and The (Hilton Head) Island Packet.

An ultrasound taken by Cantu in January at the behest of Beaufort County Sheriff's Office investigators revealed the pregnancy to be a hoax.

Cantu and Solis were arrested for obtaining goods under false pretenses and were jailed at the Beaufort County Detention Center on $25,000 bonds.
The case against Solis is still being sorted out. There is question whether he is an adult or a minor. He and Cantu gave so many stories, not just about being pregnant with quintuplets, that they have caused confusion for prosecutors and law enforcement.

If Cantu isn't a US citizen, she deserves deportation. The same goes for her 'husband'. No tears should be shed for them. I still won't give a free pass to the newspapers who helped these con artists fool people. There were enough red flags to raise suspicion, and just a tiny bit of internet research would have told The Beaufort Gazette that this had to be a hoax. Lazy ass reporting caused some people to be taken advantage of. Too bad the newspaper could not be charged as an accessory. If stupidity was a crime, everyone would be in jail.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Robert Shaw RIP

A great actor died 30 years ago today. Robert Shaw dropped dead of heart attack at age 51 in Ireland. Shaw's acting career spanned 27 years. From a bit role in the classic British comedy, The Lavender Hill Mob, to the positively awful Avalanche Express. Shaw died while the later was still being filmed. Another actor's voice had to be dubbed for Shaw's role in the movie.

I'm betting a some of my readers remember Shaw. What was your favorite movie of his? Was it

The Sting
Black Sunday
A Man for All Seasons

or a movie not listed above. Shaw was great in all those I listed. Two movies of Shaw's that I'm particularly fond of were The Luck of Ginger Coffey and Swashbuckler. Swashbuckler was a campy pirate movie, but its lots of fun. Ginger Coffey may have been Shaw's most unappreciated work. An Irish dreamer living in Canada who can't seem to take his responsibilities seriously. I loved this movie when I first saw it about 25 years ago. Even taped it on VHS, but the cassette is now gone and Ginger Coffey is rarely shown on television.

Few people know Shaw was a talented author and playwright. He acted to provide for his family, he fathered ten children. Four of them with actress Mary Ure, who played his wife in The Luck of Ginger Coffey. I posted a video tribute to Shaw that I found at You Tube. Thank you for all the great movies Robert and RIP.


Just no cents

*- My wife is a Filipina and for some time we've gotten Philippine television via Directv. For the last month or so, the Philippine version of Deal or No Deal shows at noon time. Which coincidentally is the same time for Leonita to be home for lunch.

So Leonita watches the show now every weekday while she is having lunch. It's hard not to watch the show. I do 'appreciate' Philippine women and a television show with 27 of them, some with names of Apple and Precious and Olive, well you know why I watch.

At the bottom of this post there's a video which includes a rehearsal and a interview of two of the suitcase girls. The video isn't the greatest. s

Deal or No Deal, whether in the USA or The Philippines is about greed. Yesterday's show had to have the biggest idiot I've seen on television in some time. After turning down many generous offers, he has two possibilities left, 400 pesos or 75. The current exchange rate is 49 pesos to the dollar. The banker offers this guy 399 pesos or 1 less than what at most he can win. One peso or two cents don't buy anything these days. He says- No deal! Do I need explain what was found in the suitcase he had left?

*- Dear wife was all excited yesterday and today for the return of her mother and sister. They are coming back from the Philippines. Leonita went to Fort Lauderdale airport, 45 miles from my house, to pick them up this morning. Guess what? They are arriving tomorrow.

Suitcases. My life is full of them.

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Monday, October 27, 2008

Freak shot

Not all South Koreans play golf like Se Ri Pak or KJ Choi.

A South Korean golfer has paid a heavy price for an embarrassing shot that landed his caddy in hospital.

The golfer, identified by the country's Supreme Court only as "Jung," was fined 2 million won (911 pounds) for the incident, which occurred at a club in Gunsan Province more than two years ago.

Media reports said Jung had wound up a huge swing at the third hole but when his left foot slipped, the ball rocketed off in the wrong direction and struck his caddy -- standing eight metres behind him -- in the stomach.

The caddy needed seven weeks of hospital treatment.

The Supreme Court recognized lower courts' ruling that Jung had violated the duty of due care to prevent injury to others while playing a sport.

"In events such as boxing or judo, injury to the opponent is to be expected so there is that mitigating circumstance," the court said.

"But in golf, it is unreasonable to expect a caddy should anticipate injury to him or herself."{Reuters}
If the caddy is behind the player, the answer is no.

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The Knucklehead of the Day award

Today's winner is Tatsuhiko Kawata. He gets the award for the following.

TOKYO (Reuters) – A Japanese man set fire to the hotel where he was due to get married at the weekend, rather than go through with the ceremony later the same day, newspaper reports said Monday.

Tatsuhiko Kawata, 39, had gone along with wedding plans despite already having a wife, the Yomiuri newspaper said.

"I thought if I set a fire I wouldn't have to go through with the wedding," the Yomiuri quoted him as telling police.

Guests at the hotel were evacuated and no one was injured when he set the fire in the early hours of Sunday morning at the resort hotel in Yamanashi Prefecture, west of Tokyo.

Kawata and his fiancee had been set to get married before 80 guests. He was arrested after suddenly cancelling the event and behaving suspiciously, the Yomiuri said.
Tatsuhiko Kawata did avoid getting married, but he won't avoid jail time or being named today's Knucklehead of the Day.

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Sunday, October 26, 2008


A former heavyweight fighter is suing ESPN.

Here's the deal. Boxer Joe Frazier's last opponent is suing ESPN Classic, claiming the broadcast of his fight has basically ruined his life.

Floyd "Jumbo" Cummings filed suit in Randolph County, Illinois, claiming by broadcasting the fight without his consent, ESPN Classic sought to "annihilate and destroy the seclusion of my private life ..."

In the suit, Cummings says prior to the broadcast, he "Lived a quiet and private life, free from the prying curiosity which accompanies either fame or notoriety, withdrawn from the public gaze, free from the insatiable interest of the great mass of people ..."
Cummings claim of ESPN ruining his life is interesting particularly in light of the fact that he is serving a life sentence in a Illinois prison for armed robbery.

I guess Cummings is just another fighter who took too many punches to the head.

Hat tip- Don Surber

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Getting carried away

Helen Alfredsson won the Grand China Air LPGA by 3 shots. From the BBC-

Helen Alfredsson won the Grand China Air title in Haikou with a magnificent seven-under-par 65 in the final round.

The Swede finished three strokes clear of Taiwan's Yani Tseng in the first LPGA Tour event to be staged in China.

Alfredsson, 43, carded eight birdies and could afford a bogey at the last following a poor chip as she took her career earnings past the $5m mark.

England's Karen Stupples led by five at the start of the round but a 75 left her five off the pace in fourth place.

Alfredsson began her charge with threes at the first two holes and covered the front nine in just 31 shots before another three at the 10th took her to the top of the leaderboard.

Playing three groups ahead of the overnight leaders, she also picked up shots at 14 and 17 before a five at the 18th provided the only blemish on her card.

"I was four up and didn't have great pressure on me for the chip, but it was not a great shot," she admitted.

Despite the error, the final groups were unable to challenge her 12-under-par total of 204, but Tseng, who won the LPGA Championship as a 19-year-old earlier this year, returned a 68 to pip Laura Diaz (72) for the runner-up's cheque.

"Since I almost caught up with the leader, I am very happy with the position I finished. It was a three-day event - you never know what would happen if it was a four-day tournament," said Tseng.
This was Tseng's fifth runner-up finish of the year. I have to imagine Tseng has the Rookie of the Year title sown up. If would have my vote.

Were the mainland Chinese golf fans pulling for Tseng who is from Taiwan? It is hard to tell, because there is no television coverage of the tournament outside of Asia.

Helen Alredsson would get my vote for comeback player of the year. Since finishing 2nd at the US Open, she's had a incredible run. Four weeks to the ADT Championship and the million dollar winner.

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Get real

Authorities are unsure if the following woman is married in real life. I would say probably not.

TOKYO – A 43-year-old Japanese woman whose sudden divorce in a virtual game world made her so angry that she killed her online husband's digital persona has been arrested on suspicion of hacking, police said Thursday.

The woman, who is jailed on suspicion of illegally accessing a computer and manipulating electronic data, used his identification and password to log onto popular interactive game "Maple Story" to carry out the virtual murder in mid-May, a police official in northern Sapporo said on condition of anonymity, citing department policy.

"I was suddenly divorced, without a word of warning. That made me so angry," the official quoted her as telling investigators and admitting the allegations.

The woman had not plotted any revenge in the real world, the official said.{Associated Press}

If she murdered her 'virtual husband' in real-life, she wouldn't have been punished with a virtual hanging. Some people need a life.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Goalie Craig Anderson- Why not play him more?

The cats keep alternating wins and losses so far in the 2008-09 NHL season. From AP-

OTTAWA – Rostislav Olesz and Nathan Horton scored goals 48 seconds apart early in the first period and the Florida Panthers beat the Ottawa Senators 3-1 on Wednesday night.

Cory Stillman assisted on Horton's goal that made it 2-0 in the first, then scored his third of the season midway through the second to restore Florida's two-goal lead.

Craig Anderson made 41 saves in his first start of the season. The backup goalie dove to his left to make a glove save on Antoine Vermette's shot as Ottawa enjoyed a power-play for the final 3:05 of the third after David Booth was assessed a double minor for high-sticking.

Florida, coming off a 3-1 loss in Montreal on Monday night, has alternated losses and wins in getting off to a 3-3 start.
Anderson had a great night against a team that scores plenty of goals. He was 8-2 in his last 10 starts of last season, including back to back shutouts. Yes I've said this before but it bears repeating.

Why do Florida coaches have so little confidence in Anderson? Two years ago then coach Jacques Martin started 41-year-old Eddie Belfour over 20 games straight rather than give Anderson even one game in net. Anderson spent large amounts of last season on the bench also. Tomas Vokoun is a great goalie, but he needs rest from time to time. Florida should use Anderson more often or shop him around. Based on his play since last year, some NHL may want the Chicago native. Ottawa could do worse, right now they have journeymen Martin Gerber and former Panther Alex Auld splitting goalie duties.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The latest person to endorse Barack Obama

Would you believe disgraced former Congressman Mark Foley.

What they both said was how great Foley looked, and he was particularly excited about Colin Powell's endorsement that morning of Obama. Foley said he also favors Obama.
I agree with James Joyner at OTB who writes- "Let’s just say I don’t believe Team Obama will be touting this one as loudly as the Powell endorsement." Who's next to come out for Obama? Senator Larry Craig?

Disclosure- While never meeting Congressman Foley, my wife Leonita and I met his parents. They were parishoners at the church we attend, where Leonita also works and got to know the Foleys who were Eucharistic Ministers like herself.

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Monday, October 20, 2008

Morgan Pressel wins again

It was her second career victory on tour.

KAPALUA, Hawaii (AP) — Morgan Pressel served as a gracious host but didn't want to extend Kapalua's welcome by going into overtime.

Pressel birdied the final hole Sunday in the inaugural Kapalua LPGA Classic for her first victory of the season.

Kapalua's tour pro closed with a 3-under 69 to edge Suzann Pettersen (69) by a stroke. Pressel finished at 8-under 280 and earned $225,000 for her second career win.

The 20-year-old Pressel birdied two of her final three holes and made a clutch 15-foot putt from the fringe near the front of the green to secure the victory.
Both of Morgan's victories have come at Pettersen's expense. Unlike the 2007 Kraft Nabisco, Morgan wasn't helped by last round collapses by her closest challengers.

Randall Mell of the Sun-Sentinel wrote Sunday about the swing changes Morgan Pressel had been undergoing the last few months. The biggest flaw in Pressel's game is her shortness off the tee. So far as I see it, Morgan is still below average in driving distance.

The LPGA now leaves the US for its Asia swing. Leading off with its first ever event in China, followed by tournaments in South Korea and Japan. After that comes Lorena Ochoa's invitational in Mexico and then the year ending tour championship. Only five weeks of pro golf for 2008 remain. I'd suggest you enjoy it while you can, but US golf fans have little chance of watching the Asia swing. Those tournaments are not broadcast on North American television.

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Are you ready for 2012?

One GOP hopeful has plans to visit Iowa less than three weeks after the 2008 election.

Bobby Jindal, the Louisiana governor widely seen as a Republican rising star, will keynote a high-profile Christian conservative fundraising dinner next month in Iowa, his office confirms.

Jindal will speak at the Iowa Family Policy Center's "Celebrating the Family" banquet in suburban Des Moines on November 22nd, according to his spokeswoman, Melissa Sellers. While in the state, he also may to go to Cedar Rapids to see some of those areas impacted by the summer floods. Jindal, of course, has led his state's recovery from Katrina since being elected in 2007.

It will be Jindal's first visit to Iowa, Sellers said.
More proof of the never ending campaign. What does a politican expect to accomplish over three years before a vote will be cast?

Hat tip- Doug at Below the Beltway who writes- "Somehow, I don't think he's going there to look at farm land, if you catch my meaning." I got it.

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Maybe he should use a crock pot in the future

At least one part of this story sounds like an urban legend.

Odum Chaloeurn went to jail on an empty stomach.

The apparently very agile 48-year-old Lowell man chased and caught a squirrel by its tail Wednesday, cops said. And that's only half the tale.
Who the heck successfully runs down a squirrel? Speedy Gonzalez?

Chaloeurn pulled a "Survivor" on the squirrel, whipping it against a tree to kill it. Then, the resourceful wildlife gourmand placed the carcass into a makeshift backyard oven and began delicately roasting the little tree rat with a blowtorch.
One of Ann Althouse's commenters wrote-

I wonder what the charge would be if he had sauteed the squirrel in butter and garlic, then slowly simmered it the rest of the afternoon in mushrooms and Chianti and served it at dusk with polenta while Vivaldi played on the digital radio and his girlfriend slipped into something comfortable?
You could also put it on shish kabobs and cook via a George Foreman grill.

When police arrived about 3:30 p.m. they found Chaloeurn still cooking the mouth-watering squirrel over an open flame.

Police arrested Chaloeurn and charged him with animal cruelty, despite his insistence that the rodent's leaping days were over before he applied the torch.
Will a necropsy be done to validate Chaloeurn's claim? Maybe it should be done in public like the whale necropsy done in Florida a few years ago. Someone can sell tickets.

BTW Is hunting squirrel illegal?

For most of the state, it's open season on squirrels. A person may hunt the arboreal rodents as long as they have a hunting license. In Wildlife Management Zone 10, however, which includes Lowell, squirrel season starts tomorrow. It is unclear whether wildlife officers intend to cite Chaloeurn.
Of course Chaloeurn will be cited. I think he should fry. What do you think?

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I'd ask for a refund

Columnist Mark Steyn announces a new policy for his columns-

By the way, like the nightly news shows, this column now has an exclusive lavishly funded Fact Check Unit set up at great expense (a colorful graphic with the words "FACT CHECK ALERT!") in a lame attempt to pass off our transparent political bias as some sort of scientific exercise. Our accredited credentialed licensed expert Fact Checkers from the University of Factology in the Czech Republic are standing by to rigorously Fact Check the candidate's claims. We check facts so you don't have to. All you have to do is sign up to our Fact-Check-Me-Now! Service, and we'll send you a daily Fact Check on your Facts Machine, which costs only $79.95 from Radio Shack (sorry, no checks).
How did the fact check service do? Steyn writes-

Evidently the O-Mighty One was not happy after his encounter with Joe. He's still willing to talk to Ahmadinejad without preconditions. But never again will he talk to Joe the Plumber without preconditions. Outraged at the way the right-wing whackos were talking up Joe the Plumber as if he were an authentic regular Joe, like Joe Biden, the O-Bots of the media swung into action. Vast regiments of investigate reporters were redeployed from the Wasilla Holiday Inn back to the Lower 48.
There is no Holiday Inn in Wasilla. There is a Best Western. A google search for Wasilla hotels brought it up for me in less than a minute.

Try again Mark. Just don't rehire the person who verified Florida as being part of the Caribbean. OK?


Barack Obama is eligible to be President of the United States

Lets put this silly hoax to rest. It flared up again recently because of a video.

What does Ed Morissey one of the leading conservative bloggers think of this? Ed writes-

I really thought we'd put this conspiracy theory to rest over the summer, but it has arisen like a zombie yet again to suck the credibility out of the conservative blogosphere.

How was this put to rest? Here are exhibits A and B.


and this from a 1961 Honolulu Advertiser newspaper


Ed writes the following about the 1961 newspaper entry

Wouldn't it be nice if we had a contemporaneous corroboration of Obama's Hawaii birth? As it happens, we do -- provided by another PUMA who wanted to find ways to disqualify Obama. Lori Starfelt found this in the archives of the Honolulu Advertiser in a print copy from August

Unless people want to start claiming that the conspiracy to have Barack Obama infiltrate the political system started at the moment of his birth, that's pretty conclusive evidence that Obama was born in the US and is a natural-born citizen.
Other conservatives who think this 'issue' is idiotic includes James Joyner of OTB, Allah Pundit of Hotair, and Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs.

Note- AJ Strata wrote extensively here that the above birth certificate is not a forgery.

The conservative blogosphere self inflicts another wound on its credibility when it continues to beat this and other outlandish notions. The Nancy Pelosi head scarf brouhaha and Rachael Ray's Dunkin Donuts commercial being two that come to mind. The Obama video isn't going to convince moderates or undecideds of anything except that conservatives are becoming increasingly unhinged. That's a good way to get them to vote for McCain next month. NOT!

Update- Jay here at Wizbang wrote the following less than two months ago-

When I first started thinking about this, I found myself reminded of how the Obama campaign handled the whole "Obama's birth certificate" kerfuffle. When rumors first started circulating that there might be something about Obama's birth that would, somehow, disqualify him for the presidency or otherwise damage him, the Obama camp did exactly nothing. They could have ended the whole thing by simply releasing the actual certificate, but rather chose to ignore the whole thing for weeks.

I thought the whole thing was bullshit from the outset, and ignored it too. But as the heat grew and grew, I read one theory that explained perfectly what was going on, and it's one that I think is pretty close to true:

The Obama camp knew, immediately, that the whole birth certificate issue was bogus. It was a valid document, showing that Obama was born in the United States and a citizen thereof, and had nothing like a different name or declaration of religion or anything else. But someone in the Obama camp heeded Napoleon's legendary counsel to "never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake," and let the nuts run with the story for weeks, knowing that all the energy poured into this red herring would be energy that would not be funneled into other, more potentially fruitful, alleys.

Of course, this gives the Obama camp credit for more brains than they've exhibited in other areas, but I'm willing to extend them that much credit.
Obama's failure to respond can be summed up from some internet advice I was given ago. Don't feed the trolls. The same can be said for dealing with nuts both on the right and left.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Bye Bye Tim Mahoney

It was reported two days ago that a South Florida congressman had an affair, and then paid the woman off. Now there is more to the story.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Hours after a married congressman addressed a report that he had an affair with a former aide and paid her to keep quiet about, details of a purported tryst with a second woman surfaced.

Though Democratic U.S. Rep. Tim Mahoney did not directly mention allegations first reported by ABC News, that he had been involved with the former aide, he issued a statement apologizing to his family but denying he'd done anything illegal.

Later Tuesday, a person close to his campaign told The Associated Press that Mahoney also was having an affair with a second woman around the same time.
Let you familiarize you with the Congressional seat Mahoney holds. It is the Florida 16th, which was represented for 12 years by the disgraced Mark Foley. The district leans Republican, but is fairly competitive.

Two affairs at the same time is a perversion to me, I think most voters will agree. Mahoney may have survived one affair but not two. He should resign, but I don't expect that to happen. Mahoney has already shown himself to have a big ego. One that is certain to get cut down to size on election day next month.

The Hill was reporting Democrat Operatives were cutting Mahoney loose, but the article has disappeared. I do think the Democratic party could be writing off the Florida 16th in November.

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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Just pop them out

A South Florida woman has something unexpected happen during a shoe shopping trip.

Coral Springs firefighters made a special delivery inside an elevator at Coral Springs Medical Center on Saturday afternoon.

A pregnant woman's water broke as she shopped for shoes at the Coral Square Mall about 2 p.m., and the firefighters said they could tell she was about to give birth. Four of the firefighters rushed the woman into the hospital and then into an elevator, headed for the delivery unit on the second floor.

But as soon as the doors shut, the baby started coming out. By the time the elevator reached the second floor and the doors opened, the baby was almost fully out, and the firefighters finished the delivery in the hospital hallway, said Mike Matonak, one of the firefighters.

Mother and child were doing fine.

Oh, yeah: It's a girl!
A happy ending. In related news, doctors in California say Asian women married to white men are more likely to have a riskier pregnancy-

Pregnant women who are part of an Asian-white couple face an increased risk of gestational diabetes as compared with couples in which both partners are white, according to a new study from Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital and the Stanford University School of Medicine.

The researchers also found that Asian women whose partners are white are more likely than white women with Asian or white partners to have a caesarean delivery, as part of a broad analysis of perinatal outcomes among Asian, white and Asian-white couples.

The study will be published in the October issue of American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. The findings, the authors say, could benefit clinicians working with an increasingly diverse patient population.
I'm married to a Asian woman and Leonita had our son Daniel by c-section. What's the cause for the increased rate of c-sections for these interracial couples? I'll give you a clue, it involves the size of a word that begins with a p.

More specifically, the researchers found that white mother/Asian father couples had the lowest rate (23 percent) of caesarean delivery, while Asian mother/white father couples had the highest rate (33.2 percent). Because birth weights between these two groups were similar, the researchers say the findings suggest that the average Asian woman's pelvis may be smaller than the average white woman's and less able to accommodate babies of a certain size.
Fooled you! I make a bet you were thinking another word rather than pelvis that starts with a P.

Hat tip- Marmot's hole

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Monday, October 06, 2008

Just sacrilege I say

A Sarah Palin sports broadcast from 1988.It's the video from a Spring Training game played in Port St. Lucie Florida(About 50 miles from my house) between the New York Mets and LA Dodgers that got my attention.

Let me quote the future GOP Vice-Presidential nominee- "This wave is kind of weak, but they're only in spring training remember."

Making fun of Floridian New York Fans, which includes yours truly. There goes my vote. (Cue the sarcastic laughter)

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Sunday, October 05, 2008

Just smashing

A 1951 movie comes to mind when reading this news.

STARGAZERS have had a dramatic glimpse of what happens when planets smash into each other, the first time the results of such an event have been seen.

Two planets about 300 light years from Earth have slammed into each other recently, US astronomers say, the first time evidence of such a catastrophic collision has been seen by scientists.

Astronomers from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and the California Institute of Technology (CALTECH) said the crash involved two planets orbiting a star in the Aries constellation.

The collision was uncovered while astronomers were attempting to measure the star's age, and found an unusually large amount of dust orbiting the star.

"It's as if Earth and Venus collided with each other," said Benjamin Zuckerman, UCLA professor of physics and astronomy.

"Astronomers have never seen anything like this before. Apparently, major catastrophic collisions can take place in a fully mature planetary system."
Galactic events like this could justify those who support man exploring space. As A.E. Brain notes- "We need to hedge our bets. Not be stuck on a rock that, while a nice place to live, has no collision insurance."


Saturday, October 04, 2008

F in Democratic Presidential Campaign history

Blogger Hugh Hewitt writes the following-

America is a great and good nation, and it will not turn itself over to a party in the grip of its hardest left cadres, its most corrupt machine and its least experienced nominee ever.

Wrong. There were at least two Democratic nominees for President since The Civil War who never held political office.

Alton Parker the 1904 nominee and George McClellan the 1864 nominee. Parker was an elected Appeals Court Judge in New York, McClellan a Civil War General. Then you had Horace Greeley, the 1872 nominee. A newspaper editor, whose experience in political office consisted of serving just three months in Congress.

Hugh uses the word experience. You could grant Parker and McClellan points based on their non-political work experience, but that then leaves Greeley. Greeley's lack of time in office before getting the nomination, is well known to those who have studied American history. Hugh should have known it, he went to Harvard. I got a 4 on the American AP exam and spent 20 years telling people to 'Take a deep breath and hold it."

Note- McClellan was Governor of New Jersey for one term, but after he ran for President.

You can also make an argument William Jennings Bryan, who was only a two-term Congressman, had even less experience than Obama before being nominated not once, not twice, but three times by the Democratic Party.

Memo to Hugh- Take out an Encyclopedia or at least check Wikipedia.

Hugh is also drinking large doess of Koolaid in the days before the November election.

… despite the rapture of college students and the registration of the homeless in Ohio, the common sense of Americans will override curiosity about Barack Obama and infatuation with his celebrity, and trust John McCain to pilot the country for the next four years.


The hard left’s seven year rage against George Bush has disfigured the politics of the country, but it hasn’t infected the large center or demoralized the principled right.
There are plenty of Conservatives, Professor Bainbridge who I tip for this post, just being one. Bush's failure to take on Congress over spending, immigration, or for failures in Iraq, has had many faithful unhappy. Look at Bush's abysmal poll numbers too.

There are plenty of conservatives predicting defeat in November. Conservative Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer being one of the latest examples.

As Professor Bainbridge wrote "I guess Hewiit needs to feed his radio/blog audience this sort of nonsense to keep his ratings up, but it makes it hard to take him seriously." That seems a very plausible explanation to me.

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Thursday, October 02, 2008

The Knucklehead of the Day award

Today's winner is Akira Hino. He gets the award for the following-

TOKYO (AFP) — Tokyo police said Tuesday they had arrested a man with a passion for women's underwear who used a fishing rod to reel them in.

Akira Hino, 51, was arrested last week for stealing a pair of knickers from a laundry pole on a second-floor balcony, a police spokesman said.

He stretched out a three-metre (10-foot) rod and caught the underwear on a hook, the Mainichi Shimbun reported.

Called to his house, police found more than 500 pairs of women's underwear inside. He reportedly told investigators he had got into the habit of stealing undergarments when he was 18.
The article went on to say it wasn't known how long Hino had been using a fishing pole for the thefts.

This award definitely falls under catch of the day, the Tokyo police for catching a pervert, and Akira Hino who cathces today's Knucklehead of the Day.

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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Marine war widow gets visa

That was a quick turnaround. From the Knoxville News Sentinel-

MARYVILLE - Hotaru Ferschke, the 24-year-old Japanese widow of a U.S. Marine sergeant killed in Iraq, has been granted a temporary visa to come to America and have her baby.ferschke.jpg

The granting of the visa was announced today by the Washington office of U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., which had been working closely with the family of Sgt. Michael Ferschke to get permission for Hotaru Ferschke to come back to the U.S. to have her baby, as the sergeant had wished.

The Ferschke saga has touched the residents of Blount and surrounding counties deeply ever since it was announced that he had been shot to death while on a door-to-door search in Iraq Aug. 10.

There was an outpouring of sympathy and grief when the death was announced and an avalanche of outrage when Hotaru's plight was revealed in published reports this week.

Robin Ferschke, mother of the dead Marine, says Hotaru is "sweet and shy" and will be treated "just like a daughter" when she comes to Maryville.
All that remains is for Hotaru's doctor to allow her to make the long flight to Tennessee. Hotaru has an appointment tomorrow.

The consulate should have never put the mother through what occured last month. Someone was ignorant of the law. How many legal immigrants didn't have the support Mrs. Ferschke had and as a result got screwed? We'll never know, but here are two instances of legal immigrants who ran afoul of the cockamamie US immigration system.

I sincerely hope the visa allows Hotaru to stay in America till her status is adjusted. Cherish those wonderful in-laws you have Hotaru Freschke. Welcome to the USA and may God bless you and little Mikey.

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What's it all about?

The latest outrage of the week Campaign 2008 has been over Gwen Ifill moderating tomorrow night's Vice-Presidential debate. James Joyner at OTB summed things up well-

But, surely, it's fair to ask whether Ifil is objective here. Presumably, Democrats would raise similar questions if a pro-McCain moderator had been chosen. Goodness, the Democrats canceled primary debates that were hosted by Fox News because they're viewed as pro-Republican even though there were not going to be any Republicans in the debates!


Indeed, any network anchor aside from Fox's Brit Hume would be presumed to be biased in favor of the Democrat -- and he'd be presumed to be based in favor of the Republican. Perhaps the answer is to get someone other than a network answer to do the job? Or, perhaps, get someone like C-SPAN's Brian Lamb who's scrupulously neutral?
BTW my wife, the registered republican, doesn't like Hume. The way he talks drives Leonita up the wall more than anyone on television with the possible exception of former CNN weather woman Valerie Voss.

Back to the topic, James is right. Finding a reporter who isn't a supporter of one of the two parties is just about impossible. It reminds me of when the local newspaper editorializes in favor of a non-partisan commission to do reapportionment. Where are those committee members supposed to come from, Mars?

BTW, Ifil being an author of a Obama book and a future moderator, was reported last July 23rd at the Washington Times-

"We have an awkward history about how to talk about race in the nation and in newsrooms," says Gwen Ifill, senior correspondent for PBS' "The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer" and author of "The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama," slated for publication early next year.
Howard Kurtz also writes that it was reported at the Washington Post last September 4th.

Also Sen. John McCain told Fox News today "Does this help if she has written a book that's favorable to Senator Obama? Probably not," McCain said. "But I have confidence Gwen Ifill will do a professional job."

I haven't shaked my head in befuddlement so much since the Rachael Ray brouhaha. What will be the next storm be on the conservative blogosphere? and the one after that? and the one after that? The second line of the song I refer to in the title of my post comes to mind when I think of these 'controversies'.

"Is it just for the moment we live?" If not this moment, this minute, or hour or day etc etc.

Update- Doug at Below the Beltway writes--

Frankly, I don't see what the big deal is here. I don't think that Ifill should be the moderator either, but that's based on the fact that she did a horrid job at the Cheney-Edwards debate four years ago and she just doesn't strike me as a very good reporter. But the CPD picked her, so my opinion on that point doesn't really matter. Moreover, even before news of the book was released, it was really quite apparent that Ifill is a reporter who lets her biases shine through her reporting. Now, personally, I don't have a problem with that, but if the McCain campaign did, then they shouldn't have agreed to have her as the moderator. And, finally, I'm not sure what the people complaining about this the day before the debate are looking for -- do they really think that they're going to find a network news anchor who isn't biased ? And wouldn't have Ifill been "in the tank" for Obama regardless of whether or not she wrote a book about him ?

Frankly, it seems to me that the McCain campaign partisans are raising this non-issue at the 11th hour so that there will be a ready-made excuse in case Palin does poorly tomorrow. If that happens, she'll have nobody to blame but herself.
Not necessarily a ready made excuse but for the whole McCain-Palin ticket after it loses in November. I'm voting for it, but am clear headed enough to see that only a major miracle is going prevent Obama from winning.

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