Jan 17, 2009

Wisc. Mayor arrested for child-sex felonies

Prosecutors charged Gary Becker (pictured) the Democratic Mayor of Racine, Wisconsin with child-sex felonies.

Authorities said he had gone to a mall to meet a 14-year-old girl he thought he had met during an online chat. However, a state agent had posed as the girl, and the 51-year-old mayor was arrested at the mall in suburban Milwaukee.

The charges include attempted second-degree sexual assault of a child under 16, possession of child pornography, child enticement, use of a computer to facilitate a child sex crime, attempt to expose a child to harmful material and misconduct in office.

Investigators found records of 1,800 sexually explicit chats on Becker's computer.

It all started after city workers, who helped Becker fix a problem with his personal computer, found pornography files on it and alerted Racine police who passed the case on to state investigators to avoid a conflict of interest.

Becker was elected mayor in 2003 and ran unopposed for re-election in 2007. The Democrat had previously served two terms as a city alderman.

Racine is Wisconsin's fifth-largest city, with about 80,000 residents. It sits on Lake Michigan about 30 miles south of Milwaukee.


Barack Hussein Obama is no Abraham Lincoln

President-elect Barack Hussein Obama is obsessed with likening himself to Abraham Lincoln:

1. Obama will travel by rail to Washington D.C. as Lincoln did in 1861, with a train trip that will include stops, speeches and crowds along the way.

2. Obama will be sworn in with the same Bible used when President Lincoln was inaugurated.

3. Obama will eat like Lincoln. Some of Abraham Lincoln’s favorite foods will be served. The first course will be served on replicas of the china picked out by then-first lady Mary Todd Lincoln at the beginning of her husband's term in office.

4. Obama will hold a rally at the Lincoln Memorial on the Sunday before his swearing-in.

Why all this Lincoln-y stuff?

It lacks original thought or vision but it does show a somewhat desperate attempt to give a common, irrelevant politician from Chicago some much-needed credibility.

Until Barack Hussein Obama proves worthy of the office of the presidency of the United States, he isn’t worthy of the Abraham Lincoln comparison.

The report at the link below states:

Abraham Lincoln stepped up to the plate and took a stand. He did not say that it was above his pay grade. And this is what makes Abraham Lincoln very different from Barack Obama.


Cold stalls biodiesel school busses in Minnesota

The state of Minnesota has mandated that diesel fuel sold in the state must contain 2 percent biodiesel.

The requirement was adopted after a tough fight at the Legislature, with soybean farmers pushing for the mandate and trucking and other transportation industry groups in opposition, citing concerns about costs and performance of biodiesel.

The state has mandated the biodiesel blend increase to 5 percent starting this spring.

Minnesota is one of three states, besides Oregon and Washington, that have biodiesel mandates.

In extreme cold weather some school districts keep the busses running all night or keep them in heated garages.

Not a good way to conserve resources.

Is the fuel problem brought on by adding biofuel to the diesel? Regular diesel can gel in cold weather. Are the school districts using the proper fuel additives and fuel filters?

Keeping the busses running when not in use must use about as much fuel as driving them for four hours or so in the daytime.


Obama going green for stimulus

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Jan 16, 2009

Another reason to check e-mail often…

Go east young man! Did Horace Greeley have it wrong?

Go west, young man” was the advice of Indiana newspaper writer John Soule in 1851, popularized by Horace Greeley.

Now, it may be “Go east, young man, as many Californians look for an exit.

Mike Reilly spent his lifetime chasing the California dream. This year he's going to look for it in Colorado.

With a house purchase near Denver in the works, the 38-year-old engineering contractor plans to move his family 1,200 miles away from his home state's lemon groves, sunshine and beaches.

For him, years of rising taxes, dead-end schools, unchecked illegal immigration and clogged traffic have robbed the Golden State of its allure.

Since the days of the Gold Rush, California has represented the Promised Land. But is there anything left of the California dream?

For many California families last year, tomorrow started somewhere else.

The number of people leaving California for another state outstripped the number moving in from another state during the year ending on July 1, 2008.

California lost a net total of 144,000 people during that period — more than any other state, according to census estimates. That is about equal to the population of Syracuse, N.Y.

In spite of those moving out, the state's population continues to increase overall because of births and immigration, legal and illegal. However, it is the fourth consecutive year that more residents moved from California to other states than arrived in California from within the U.S.


Minneapolis Star Tribune files for bankruptcy

A newspaper, with an editorial staff that is probably as blatantly liberal as the New York Times, has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The bankruptcy filing will not break the hearts of political conservatives who have complained that the “Strib” has been editorially bankrupt for decades.

The filing, which was made with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the southern district of New York, had been expected for months.

It follows several missed payments to the paper's lenders.

The “Strib” is one of many newspapers in serious financial trouble mainly caused by a sharp drop in print advertising.


Obama gives the 3AM phone to Hillary

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Foreign contributions to Bill hurting Hillary

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Biden’s farewell speech on the Senate Floor

A report at the link below tells of the farewell speech on the Senate floor by Joe “motor-mouth” Biden (pictured).

He's been speaking, pontificating, sermonizing, lecturing, orating, hectoring, admonishing, and evangelizing from the Senate floor since 1973, but today Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., bid adieu to his colleagues in the Greatest Deliberative Body in the World to become the vice president.

According to the transcript, the anecdote-filled speech was interrupted 18 times by laughter. He used the word "literally" nine times. It was 5,659 words long.


We’ll spare you the tedious details. There is more at the link below in case you’d like to suffer through it.


Jan 15, 2009

Seattle newspaper to write its own obituary

Will the P-I stop rotating on the Post-Intelligencer sign in Seattle? Maybe.

Ever wanted to know what a death sentence feels like? You can get a pretty good idea over at the Seattle Post Intelligencer.

On Jan. 9, Steve Swartz, an executive from Hearst, announced in the newsroom that the company was putting the money-losing newspaper, known locally as the P-I, up for sale for 60 days.

Everyone knows that the chance of a sale is ‘slim to none.’

Given that such metropolitan papers as the Rocky Mountain News, the San Diego Union Tribune and the Austin American Statesman have not exactly been fending off eager buyers since being put up for sale last year, and given that the P-I lost $14 million last year, it looks unlikely it will last past March, at least as a fully-fledged newspaper.

The lower photo shows two workmen performing maintenance on the P-I globe atop the P-I building in Seattle.

After 60 days, the Post-Intelligencer may write its own obituary.

Even if P-I remains as a web paper appearing on the Internet only, the staff will cut drastically.

Comedians will be telling us to subscribe to out-of-town papers to make sure we have material to line bird cages and wrap fish.


Wagering on Obama - place your bets

An interesting report at the link below is titled, The world wagers on Obama.

What would you bet on? Inauguration snow? First-term impeachment? White House puppy named Joe The Plumber? Step right up and place your bets.

BetUS Sportsbook is taking bets on a multitude of things pertaining to the Obama inauguration as well as what will happen after he takes office.

Betting on American presidential politics - and Obama in particular - has spurred an avalanche of online wagers. Since such gambling is illegal in the U.S., offshore operations handle all the political parlays

How many times will Obama reference God during his inaugural address? (For the record, George Bush mentioned God three times in his last inauguration address; Bill Clinton invoked God once.)

A safe bet would be that Obama does not say God at all. No mention if they will take bets on how often Obama mentions Allah or refer to, “my Muslim faith” as he has in the past.

Other chances to bet on the inauguration:

Will precipitation dampen the inauguration? Odds of snow are listed at 5-4.

Soon you will also be able to wager on the color of Obama's inauguration tie, how many sips of water he takes, and how many times he mentions the word "change,"

Some bets are quite controversial. Just after Obama won the election, Paddy Power (Ireland's biggest bookmaker) posted 12-1 odds that the president-elect would not finish his first term due to impeachment or resignation.

No mention if they are they taking bets on assassination.


Suzuki Xbox dashboard for gamer’s on the go

This is a tricked out Suzuki automobile - Xbox style. Strange but unique.


5,000 port-o-potties not enough for inauguration

The masses heading to the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama could spend a lot of time in line for a port-a-potty.

What’s more, Professor John Banzhaf, the so-called "Father of Potty Parity" says 5,000 johns is not enough.

He says women, who take longer in the restroom, could be forced to wait in longer lines than men, and that amounts to discrimination.

Banzhaf says waiting in long lines is not just an inconvenience. It can trigger medical problems. He's asking the Presidential Inaugural Committee to make the toilets gender-neutral so that women do not have to wait longer than men.

So there ya have it - the rows and rows of Obama’s johns won’t be enough.

The main thing is to have enough so Obama can have one to hide behind to sneak a cigarette.


Jan 14, 2009

Steve Jobs takes medical leave at Apple

Apple chief executive Steve Jobs (pictured) announced he would take a 6-month medical leave.

In an email to employees released by the tech giant, Jobs said he would take the leave of absence "in order to take myself out of the limelight and focus on my health, and to allow everyone at Apple to focus on delivering extraordinary products."

Jobs, who disclosed on January 5 that he was being treated for a "hormone imbalance," said that since that time "I have learned that my health-related issues are more complex than I originally thought."

Chief operating officer Tim Cook to be responsible for Apple's day-to-day operations while Jobs is on leave.


Comcast lauches all-Obama channel

From now until the inauguration, it will be all Obama, all the time.

Do you need Obama coverage 24 hours a day? In several markets, Comcast cable is launching an all-Obama on demand channel

Leading up to Inauguration, the channel will offer a number of Obama-related programs, according to a release:

Barack Obama’s most famous speeches to date, from his keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in 2004 through his election night victory speech in Grant Park.

Barack Obama biography.

Michelle Obama’s 2008 Democratic National Convention speech.

Count me out -- I don’t have nearly enough barf bags to get me through all that!

Reading stories praising Obama in the print media and watching TV news reporters drooling over him for so long have many wondering if the overexposure well ever end!


Frosty ICEHOTEL wedding in Sweden

The photo below shows a bride entering the chapel of the ICEHOTEL in Jukkasjaervi, Sweden, for her wedding. Around 150 couples tie the knot at the chapel each winter.

As with all ice hotels, this structure will melt away in the spring.

Ice hotels are really just oversized, extravagant igloos.

The photo above is the entrance to the ICEHOTEL in Jukkasjaervi, Sweden. The photo below was taken inside ICEHOTEL.

Ice hotels take about five weeks to build and are made of solid blocks of ice. Inside, ice hotels glitter with elaborate ice furniture, ice bars and even ice saunas.

Colorful lighting make ice hotels look more like magical snow castles than frigid arctic dwellings.

Sweden's ICEHOTEL is built by a river in the village of Jukkasjarvi in Swedish Lapland, 125 miles north of the Arctic Circle.

Creating the ice hotel each winter takes 10,000 tons of river ice, plus 30,000 tons of snow. The ice hotel has an ice sauna, ice chapel, and a famous Absolut Ice bar that's different every year.

Guests sleep in special sleeping bags on beds made of snow and ice and covered with reindeer skins.

The season for Sweden's ICEHOTEL is early December to late April.

Blagojevich to swear in Senate that will decide his own fate

In an ironic twist, Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich (pictured), who was impeached last Friday, will swear in the Illinois Senate, the same body that will decide his political future.

The report at the link below also illustrates how relatives of Blagojevich seem to be interwoven into Illinois politics. Who knows, maybe in the final analysis, Blago won’t be voted out of office after all.

The final say, however, may come from Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley who, like his father Richard J. Daley, made most of the decisions within the Democratic Party concerning not only the city of Chicago but the entire state.


Servicemen carved in snow

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Jerry Roiger of Fargo, N.D., carves finishing touches into his sculpture in a snowbank Friday afternoon, Jan. 9, 2009 outside his home in Fargo, N.D.

The sculpture is a Mount Rushmore-style salute to the U.S. armed forces, from left, the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines.

Roiger is a wood carver by trade and took advantage of the recent accumulation of snow to create a tribute to the troops.

(Jay Pickthorn/The Forum/AP Photo)

Was 2008 the year global warming died?

The writer the report at the link below says when he began writing about global warming (which turned into climate change) public outcry was tremendous.

Amid a sea of media stories about the sins of our wasteful lifestyle, no one wanted to hear about contradictory research, conflicting data, or skeptical scientists.

Now, over two years later, a funny thing has happened. The roles have shifted. My stories are the staid and ordinary ones. It's the fellows predicting flood, famine, and disaster who are generating all the controversy.

The entire report called A funny thing happened on the way to the (climate) forum can be found here.

Jan 13, 2009

Former eBay CEO to run for California governor in 2010

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will leave office in January 2011 because of term limits.

In anticipation of running for Governor of California to replace Arnold Schwarzenegger, former eBay Chief Executive Meg Whitman (pictured), a Republican, has stepped down from the boards of eBay, Proctor & Gamble and Dreamworks Animation.

A Republican Party official in California said she will have a team assembled by the end of the month and is bringing on people from the campaign of Mitt Romney, former Massachusetts governor.

If she runs, Ms. Whitman, 52 years old, is likely to face a crowded field in the quest to succeed Arnold Schwarzenegger when his second and final term runs out in January 2011.

Other Republicans include Ms. Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard.

Democrats expected to run include San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and Lt. Gov. John Garamendi.

Attorney General Jerry Brown will also seek the governorship. Brown is a former California governor who has also served as California Secretary of State and Mayor of Oakland.

Other potential contenders could include U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein.


Cuppaccino machines for Chicago public schools

The Chicago Sun-Times, in a ‘Waste of Money’ report, says that Chicago public school staffers skirted rules to buy 30 coffeemakers, changed athletes' grades and falsified addresses.

Chicago public school bureaucrats skirted competitive bidding rules to buy 30 cappuccino/espresso machines for $67,000, with most of the machines going unused because the schools they were ordered for had not asked for them.

That was just one example of questionable Chicago Public School actions.

This happened under the watch of Chicago Public Schools superintendent Arne Duncan who has been named to the cabinet of president-elect Barack Obama at the Secretary of Education.

Link here and here.

Global warming horror movie iced

Val Kilmer may have a long wait before The Thaw is released.

How embarrassing is it when you produce a horror movie based on global warming and when the time comes to release it, the planet is experiencing some of the coldest weather in decades?

Such is the case with The Thaw starring Val Kilmer. Filmed in Canada last summer, it should be ready for release by now but even though the trailer has been produced, no specific release date has been announced.

Perhaps the producers realize how much of a laughingstock this movie would become if a movie based on the premise of global warming were released when their potential audience is freezing.

More on the “iced” movie here.


Salmonella scare linked to peanut butter

A brand of peanut butter used primarily in schools, hospitals, long-term care facilities and restaurants is possibly connected to a nationwide outbreak of salmonella.

The product has been voluntarily recalled by its distributor, King Nut Companies of Solon, Ohio.

The peanut butter is not manufactured by King Nut but is made for the company by the Peanut Corporation of America in Lynchburg, Virginia.

Salmonella tainted food used in schools, hospitals and long-term care facilities subjects children, the ill and the elderly to a serious disease.


Obama takes big gamble with Panetta

Did Barack Obama really find a real-life James Bond in 70-year-old former congressman and Bill Clinton chief of staff Leon Panetta?

The choice is perplexing.

Former CIA guy Michael Scheuer, who headed the agency's bin Laden unit, put it succinctly: "I think they pulled his name out of a hat."

Besides his lack of experience, Panetta (pictured) opposes many of the CIA's anti-terror measures.

He's against any kind of coerced interrogation, wants the FISA overseas wiretap law repealed, and would completely disband the rendition program whereby the CIA sends captured terror suspects to be held and interrogated in other countries.

Without those tools, which former CIA Chief George Tenet and others say have been very effective in uncovering terror plots, the agency's ability to disrupt potential attacks would be gravely damaged. In fact, it was just last February when 68 senators, some of them Democrats, voted the FISA wiretap strategy into law. For the record, Obama declined to vote on the issue.

Needless to say, terrorists around the world have been vigorously applauding the Panetta choice.


The qualifications of Leon Panetta

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Will he expect to find a decoder ring in his desk when he takes office?

Jan 12, 2009

Reality forces a toned down Detroit Auto Show

Officially it’s called the North American International Auto Show but most people know it as simply the Detroit Auto Show.

This year the event is much more subdued. Less cash means less splash.

If attendees were looking for the distinctive Dodge Ram horns and Jeep waterfall -- which spelled the Jeep logo in water as it dropped to the floor - forget it. They aren’t there.

Don’t even expect to see all automakers displaying their wares.

Some companies, notably Nissan Motor Corp., have decided that 2009 will be such a bust that they are skipping the Detroit show altogether. Nissan won’t even have a dealer-supported presence at the show!

The splashy Detroit Big-3 appearance at the show turned into a no-frills affair after the recent grilling given their top management in Washington.

The first time they flew into Washington, looking for government handouts, they arrived in private jets. Humbled by the reception they received on Capitol Hill, they meekly arrived by car the next time.

General Motors Chairman and Chief Executive Rick Wagoner didn’t even use an SUV. He made the next trip to Washington in a diminutive Chevy Malibu hybrid automobile (see photo in posting below).

More on the Detroit Auto Show here.

GM CEO abandons jet for Chevy Malibu

General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner riding in the passenger seat of a Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid on the trip from Detroit to Washington to testify in a Congressional hearing on the auto industry bailout.

The AP photo was taken in Germantown, Md., Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2008.

Is Chrysler a dying company on its last breath?

Chrysler has been in various degrees of trouble for several years.

Lee Iacocca became CEO of Chrysler in 1978 and brought the company back from the brink - for a while.

Ironically, in giving Chrysler new life, Iacocca gave us one of the worst cars of the 1980s’ - the K-Car. The Plymouth Reliant and Dodge Aries (shown above) sold well enough to give Chrysler some much needed financial stability at the expense of car buyers.

Chrysler was once again in serious trouble when Daimler bought the company in 1998. The Germans were supposed to strengthen the struggling carmaker. Instead, they spent billions making Chrysler worse.

Will the current government bailouts save Chrysler?

Some experts have said that the Jeep brand is strong enough to keep Chrysler going if the automaker dumps everything but Jeep and Dodge trucks. However,it appears that not all Jeeps are winners.

The Patriot and two other Jeep products - the Liberty and Wrangler are listed in the Top 11 worst cars by Consumer Reports as reported here.

More of the Chrysler story here.

Climate-change alarmism hits reality check

Reality stalls climate-change alarmism.

The new century has cooled the case for climate alarmism. Global warming has stalled — not accelerated as expected. Greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere have increased, but temperatures have been flat for the last eight years and have slightly fallen since 1998's El Nino-driven temperature spike.

Will reality cool the warming alarmists? Probably not - there is too much money to be made selling carbon credits.

Eventually, however, reality should prevail and the Al Gore scare movie will be classified as a comedy.


Jan 11, 2009

Broncos hire head coach - What? Who?

The Denver Broncos have a new head football coach.

Denver will name New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels (upper photo) as its new head coach, according to a report by ESPN on Sunday.

McDaniels, 32, will take over for Shanahan (lower photo), who was fired on December 30 after 14 seasons as the Broncos head coach despite leading the team to two Super Bowl victories.

Under the guidance of McDaniels, the Patriots racked up an NFL-record 589 points in posting a perfect 16-0 regular season in 2007.

And this season, despite the loss of two-time Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady, New England posted an 11-5 mark with Matt Cassel at quarterback.

At age 42, McDaniels will be the youngest head coach in the NFL.


Prince with hand picked nose

The Netherlands Crown Prince Willem-Alexander appears to pick his nose in boredom as Crown Princess Maxima watches the swimming events during the Beijing 2008 Olympics.

Baltimore mayor indicted on 12 counts

A Maryland grand jury indicted Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon (pictured) on 12 criminal counts, including theft and perjury, for alleged official misconduct beginning when she was a councilwoman.

Ms. Dixon became mayor in January 2007 when fellow Democrat Martin O'Malley vacated the office to become Maryland governor.

The indictment comes just as the city is witnessing a tenuous turnaround. Baltimore's murder rate fell 17% in 2008 from the year before.

Many credit Ms. Dixon, who brought in a new police commissioner and directed the force to shift focus to the most-violent repeat offenders and away from petty crimes.

The city recently registered a small population increase for the first time in four decades, and its middle schools reported improved test scores last year.

Dixon has made positive strides as mayor, however the end does not justify the means as she perpetuated the Democrat culture of corruption.


Sniff patrol in Stockholm Sweden

A police officer with a sniffer dog helps secure the auditorium where the Nobel Prize presentation ceremonies are held, in Stockholm, Sweden.

Weak politician outsmarts Obama and Reid

A report at the link below is titled An early drubbing for Obama and begins:

It was not lost on anyone that the president-elect of the United States, riding the crest of his popularity, and the Democratic leadership of the U.S. Senate were outsmarted last week by a state politician [Roland Burris] who won his last election almost 20 years ago.

Stock up on popcorn folks, the stumbling and bumbling promises to continue as Obama and Reid are outmaneuvered by impeached governor Rod Blagojevichusing Burris as a pawn.

When and if Roland Burris (pictured) claims the Senate seat from Illinois formerly occupied by Barack Obama, it will represent the greatest climb-down by an incoming president since Sam Nunn turned Bill Clinton around on the issue of gays in the military at the start of Clinton's first term.

Voters will hardly notice the missteps of Obama, however, if the media continues to report only positive stories about the president-elect. Bedsides, voters are more interested in the economy and how they will benefit from the stimulus and bailout’s promised by the president-elect.

JFK said. “ask not what the country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

With BHO, many Americans will be asking “what can the country do for me as they expect government help to pay their delinquent mortgages, their medical insurance, unpaid medical bills, etc.

Many voters will be too preoccupied with the economy to notice that a corrupt, impeached governor outsmarted their president-elect and the Democratic Senate leader.