So which stories / topics / issues capture your attention this weekend?
Delaware state senators unanimously passed legislation sponsored by Democratic legislative leaders and Governor Markell ratifying the judgment from Attorney General Beau Biden's office: The Cash Management Policy Board - not state Treasurer Chip Flowers - has sole jurisdiction over the state's 2-Billion-dollar taxpayer portfolio.
Flowers was strangely conciliatory afterwards, insisting "democracy is about compromise'. Flowers said he had won a promise from state Senate Democrats to introduce greater transparency for members of the Cash Management Policy Board.
But House Speaker Peter Schwartzkopf (D-Rehoboth Beach) was saying the very same thing to me BEFORE Flowers delivered his blistering tirade against the governor and lawmakers this week. So did Flowers REALLY win a concession, or is this just an attempt to save face?
State Senate President Pro-Tem Patricia Blevins (D-Elsmere) - who insisted on the Senate floor that the bill "does not remove any power from the state treasurer", but "simply clarifies" the law - hugged Flowers afterwards. Of course, if you read the above quotation carefully, Blevins conceded nothing. If Flowers didn't have the power in the first place overseeing the taxpayer portfolio, then he had no power to lose. The reality: The Delaware state treasurer hasn't had such power since an earlier generation of lawmakers stripped it from then Republican Treasurer Janet Rzewnicki a generation ago. Even when Flowers was first running for Treasurer, some of us thought he was running for an office that didn't exist; consequently, that he was on an inevitable collision course with his fellow Democrats.
And whatever the merits of his arguments for greater transparency, Flowers' extravagant trips and bluster undercut his effectiveness.
One more point: Flowers keeps saying "the UNELECTED Cash Management Policy Board" to the point of making it sound abhorrent. Yet, many good government types would argue the more narrowly technical the position, the greater case for making that office appointive. States with elected judges don't necessarily see a better judiciary. The opposite may be true. It might make sense to remove both state Treasurer and state Insurance Commissioner from the ballot.
In what might have been an anti-climax - considering the outcome of the Newark mayoral election -- the City of Newark decides to approve construction of that 248-megawatt power plant. DNREC still would have to issue an air permit. Difficult to fight a coalition of high-powered interests, business AND organized labor.
The Chair of the New Jersey Assembly Select Committee on Investigations - John Wisniewski (D-Middlesex) - slapped twenty more subpoenas in the George Washington Bridge scandal.
Various headlines in New Jersey newspapers reflect the status of "Bridgegate" at the end of the week:
"Randy Mastro, Chris Christie's high-profile lawyer, likened to a legal 'alligator'" (Asbury Park Press)
"Christie in Stafford: 'I won't be distracted from Sandy recovery effort'" (Asbury Park Press)
The U.S. Surgeon General's famous condemnation of tobacco smoking came half a century ago, and the current acting Surgeon General, Dr. Boris D. Lushniak, has greatly expanded the list of illnesses scientifically linked to cigarette smoking: Diabetes, colorectal and liver cancers, erectile dysfunction and ectopic pregnancy. If the message gets out, one wonders if the erectile dysfunction warning will prove to be a lot scarier to young men than hearing about the traditional diseases linked to tobacco -- lung cancer & heart disease. I recognize the socio-economic factors, but I am constantly amazed at the numbers of younger adults still purchasing tobacco products at Wawa's and other convenience stores. And when crossing the state line into Cecil County, Maryland, the proportion of tobacco customers becomes a torrent. And of course, the hypocrisy of pharmacies selling tobacco products (not to mention junk food, etc.).
The persecution of gay people intensifies in much of Africa. Earlier this month, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan signed a legislative ban on same-sex marriage, gay groups, and any displays of same-sex public affection. Now, a Nigerian man received 20 lashes after an Islamic court in northern Nigeria convicted the man of homosexual offenses. Mubarak Ibrahim was immediately whipped. But Ibrahim told the BBC he was "relieved" the judge had been "lenient", and had not sentenced him to death.
More NSA revelations: According to Britain's GUARDIAN and Britain's Channel 4 News, the National Security Agency of the United States collects nearly two hundred million text-messages from cellphones around the world -- each & every day. NSA runs a program code-named "Dishfire", which accumulates data on the location, contact networks, and credit-card details of mobile users. Scary?
Under increasing Congressional pressure, the Obama Administration released to lawmakers the nine-page text of global powers' latest nuclear deal with Iran.
From The PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: PITTSBURGH SYMPHONY EXPLORING POSSIBILITY of RETURNING to IRAN
"Officials from the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and the American Middle-East Institute are in discussions to arrange a potentially groundbreaking concert tour to Iran this September.
The symphony was the last American orchestra to perform in Iran, in 1964. Relations between the two countries have been marked by several political stand-offs since then, most recently over Iran's nuclear aspirations.
The negotiations with Iran about the concert tour, which have occurred with the knowledge of State Department officials, have only recently turned serious..."
Pope Francis offered encouragement to mothers during an annual event at the Sistine Chapel: Breastfeed your babies "without thinking twice". It's not the first time the pope has spoken about this subject. During an interview in December, the pope said mothers should be comfortable breast-feeding during the ceremonies.
After President Obama steps down from the Oval Office, is it possible he and Reverend Jeremiah Wright would ever reconcile?
Consider this account from The CHICAGO SUN-TIMES:
KING HAD a DREAM, OBAMA HAS A DRONE, Rev. WRIGHT SAYS
"If the Rev. Jeremiah Wright believes - as he's claimed in the past - that he and President Obama will be buddies again when he's out of office, the firebrand preacher didn't do himself any favors Wednesday.
Speaking at a breakfast co-hosted by the Chicago Teachers Union to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday, Wright said that while the civil rights leader proclaimed, 'I have a dream,' Obama says, 'I have a drone."
Wright, Obama's former pastor, called for King's 'revolution of values' and a rejection of the 'three-headed demon' of 'racism, militarism and capitalism' -- the foundations of Western society, he said.
'Every Tuesday morning, there's a kill list that the President decides who they're going to kill this week,' Wright said..."
Looks like we're going to get much colder by Tuesday. Meanwhile, Santa Ana winds transformed a campfire into a wildfire in the San Gabriel mountains of southern California. Winter has delivered no relief to an incredibly dry region.
A deadly heat wave continues to grip much of Australia, sparking more than one hundred brush fires. By far the hottest major city: Adelaide, capital of the state of South Australia.
From The NEW YORK POST: "Eliot Spitzer threw himself a drunken divorce party hours before he and long-suffering wife Silda Wall filed paperwork in Manhattan to end their 26-year marriage. Spitzer, with his new girlfriend, former Bill de Blasio flack Lis Smith, and six other friends were seen knocking back bourbon and a tower of beer at Brother Jimmy's BBQ on Eighth Avenue late Monday, after attending the Knicks game...."
Posted at 8:16am on January 17, 2014 by Allan Loudell
The Rt 13/40 corridor next to the Del Mem Bridge gets tons of NJ/PA/NY traffic coming to buy cigarettes. Interestingly, most people I see smoking these days are young women, not guys [they might be smoking something else that's still illegal in Delaware at home, but in the car out in public, women far outnumber guys smoking from what I've observed, same with cell handheld phone-use].
Maybe the U.S. can put some pressure via any aid we give, etc., to Nigeria to get them to stop their persecution of gay/lesbians.
So Big Brother or is that "Big Brotha" aka Obama's NSA are spying via people's computers even if they're not on the internet, etc., etc. The U.S. has become Big Brother. We have met the enemy and he is us [U.S.]. Granted, all nations spy, but this is so over the top.
In fairness to Obama, Bush Jr. probably set these wheels in motion during his time, but who'd have thought Obama would go along and make it bigger and even more intrusive than Little Bush/
As Dave Ross mentioned yesterday on his CBS Radio commentary, the even-more-scary thought is eventually other nations and corporations will have this sort of technology, so we've truly entered the world of Big Brother. George Orwell's "1984" has arrived. There is no privacy anymore. The government, businesses, and whomever has the cash to buy such hi-tech stuff can know your thoughts even if you don't go online, and who doesn't go online these days?
How long before we're all drinking "Victory Gin"?,' Maybe the news we hear and see via all the radio/TV networks, including Fox, is already programming us via the government "Thought police" to lead us bleating sheep down a path of their choosing. Ignorance is Strength. Hope I got all the references correct as it's been many years since I read the book or watch the two movie versions.
Fri, Jan 17, 2014 9:40am
"In fairness to Obama, Bush Jr. probably set these wheels in motion during his time, but who'd have thought Obama would go along and make it bigger and even more intrusive than Little Bush?"
In fairness, Obama campaigned against Dubya's security tactics and promised to do away with them. It's curious that Loudell says Obama was "transformed" by the Oval House. I guess it's too much to expect him to acknowledge that politicians lie the way most people says "bless you" or "gesundheit" when somebody sneezes, and that he is being played and used by them in his McInterviews.
"The persecution of gay people intensifies in much of Africa...."
Pizza sometimes tells people who disagree with him to move to Africa. Sounds more like the kind of place he'd like.
The PC crowd doesn't want to hear it, but clearly Africa is not capable of honest and enlightened government.
Things were a lot better under the former European colonial empires (and things weren't all that good back then). I am reminded of an old Paul Harveyism: "Self-government won't work without self-discipline."
Fri, Jan 17, 2014 9:47am
On a happier note, Yuengling (my favorite beer) is going back into the ice cream business. They started making ice cream during Prohibition and stopped back in the 80s. Starting in February, they are going back. Acme will carry it. Beer and ice cream; that's two of the basic food groups.
Once Delaware Governor Russ Peterson led us into the age of cabinet government, a new era began. The state had been run by good-old-boy network commissions. Some expertise perhaps, but running the state was based on who you knew, not what you knew.
Having some officials elected has worth. You need an individual not appointed by the governor to oversee the writing of checks. You need an auditor likewise with separate loyalties to audit the expenditures. Now that the state is in the insurance sales business, you need an elected insurance commissioner. To keep reminding voters that the investment committee is not elected is pointless. Voters elected a president with zero executive experience. They elected a mayor in Wilmington who had no idea how large the city budget was. Being elected state treasurer does not mean you know investment strategy. He needs to just do his job and be quiet.
On another news story: Does anyone find it disturbing that the pope makes a big point of telling women they can show their breasts to him?
Fri, Jan 17, 2014 12:33pm
"Does anyone find it disturbing that the pope makes a big point of telling women they can show their breasts to him?"
For what it's worth, they can show them to me, too. At least he hasn't got his attention on altar boys.
And for the record, what he actually said was he did not object to women publicly breastfeeding in his presence. Sounds like you've got some sort of hangup, Dude.
Fri, Jan 17, 2014 12:38pm
Once a bully, always a bully. Even at the U of D.
A Brief History of Chris Christie Punishing His Enemies
In the wake of the Fort Lee bridge scandal, we've seen a wave of stories showing the New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's history of rewarding friends and punishing people who crossed him — going all the way back to high school. It's pretty hard to reconcile Christie saying he didn't know former Port Authority figure David Wildstein with the fact that he told the Port Authority to create a position for Wildstein, as CNN reports. Wildstein's job didn't exist before he filled it.
Of course, Wildstein eventually resigned over the Fort Lee fiasco. Emails show he helped make the traffic jam happen because Christie's aides thought Fort Lee's mayor needed to be punished for not endorsing their boss.
We see a similar pattern in stories from Christie's past. Some start off funny — Mitt Romney supporters are certainly amused by Christie's troubles — but the collective picture they paint can't be great for Christie's presidential aspirations. Here's a guide to how Chris Christie treats his friends and foes: ...
The City of Newark approves construction of that 248-megawatt power plant. Given the outcome of the special Newark mayoral election, perhaps an anti-climax. Difficult to fight a coalition of powerful interests, business AND organized labor.
Technically, it was a dodge, not an affirmation, as the City of Newark simply asserted the project didn't violate the zoning.
Fri, Jan 17, 2014 2:06pm
So let me see if I got this Flowers thing down pat. The Treasurer wanted to expand his powers and the Senate said no, we'll keep things as they are at this time. Ok, move on. Nothing to see here.
This is exactly why the American press has no respect. I'm guessing by Allan's age as well as some of those here, that they are familiar with the National Enquirer, sold in check-out lines, sensationalizing alien births and such.
We have an administrative maneuver and the press, here and particularly Delaware Liberal, suddenly creates a giant battle of epic dimensions, reporting every blow as if it were a battle of two ancient Greek titians or Stephan Spielberg's Transformers....
In the end, as Allan's description sums it up well, it was all about nothing... nothing at all....
Yet nowhere across the same press, is there mention that the state's Education Achievement Award, usually designated to boost inner-city schools' morales for jobs well done, is being shunted to the most elitist school in the state: Wilmington Charter School!!!!!!
That is corruption and cronyism at it's best... and yet that story is not even making the ink blotter...(old newspaper speak... ) Instead we are still getting fiction masquerading in the form of a news story, over what amounts to an administrative maneuver....
Something is wrong in River City.
Fri, Jan 17, 2014 2:19pm
Allan commented difficult to fight a coalition of powerful interests, business AND organized labor.
I'd have to say, no. No it isn't. In fact, it is rather easy. Instead, what is hard is to overcome, is the apathy of people today, to expend the energy to rise against it...
In any situation such as this, the people proposing a project are getting paid. They work their work-week to get this done. Those activists who are against things like this, are doing it on their own time. They have families, jobs, and other obligations still needing met, while they organize against the destruction of their neighborhoods. The proponents sow the seeds of destruction, then go home and drink cocktails and play golf.
For that reason special interests tend to win, unless the populace gets riled up and angry... Most of Newark's citizens do not want the power plant, but couldn't bring themselves to do anything about it.
Activists are what defines our lives, from either side...
Fri, Jan 17, 2014 2:57pm
I think we actually agree, and one analysis doesn't discount the other.
Mike from Delaware
Fri, Jan 17, 2014 3:23pm
Thanks Bill for the virtual sunrise in China. One picture's worth a thousand words. That photo said it all.
How sad those folks never get to see a sunrise or a sunset for that matter, not because of cloudy rainy days [think Seattle], but because of the smog, caused by their government's lack of regulations to keep the robber barrons [corporations] from polluting with impunity. The people walk around with masks on their faces to help filter out the pollutants. Yep, that sure makes me want to vote for them TEA party fellas, by gum by golly.
Fri, Jan 17, 2014 4:46pm
MFD: I remember those pictures of Tokyo ("Land of the Rising Sun") with people wearing surgical-type masks as filters. Other cities like Pittsburgh and London have gone through it, too. It seems people have to wait until it gets really, really bad before there's the political will to do anything.
Seattle actually gets less annual rainfall than we do around here. On rainy days, the rain comes in the form of drizzle (and drizzle instead of snow in the winter). I've spent a good deal of time in Seattle. When the sun comes out, it's incredibly beautiful. Same for Portland and Vancouver. I guess there's a reason why your pal Dave Ross stays there.
Fri, Jan 17, 2014 6:06pm
The more things change, the more they get smaller and cheaper...
The Smartphone Has Effectively Replaced All The Technology Offered In This 1991 Radio Shack Ad
Should a time traveler visiting from 1991 show up here in 2014 at Radio Shack clutching this ad showcasing calculators, devices to play music, and other electronic gizmos and gadgets, we’re sure they’d be pretty pleased to find they could get all that technology for the price of one smartphone.
Another big anniversary (especially for those who watch TV on demand and don't smoke... I didn't know it was illegal but I stopped watching live TV in 1981. I also stopped missing shows I wanted to see because I (1) Fell asleep, (2) Had to work or go out, (3) Got interrupted and felt obliged to be polite.
On This Day In 1984, The Supreme Court Saved The VCR From Certain Death
Does the thought of missing your favorite show make you want to sit firmly planted in front of the television all day every day? What if you didn’t have the option of using a DVR or (gasp!) tape recorder? You almost didn’t, except for an important ruling made 30 years ago.
Fri, Jan 17, 2014 10:07pm
MFD: I don't oppose having some regulations, but we now have overregulation, or regulation run amuck. The problem is that regulatory agencies have too much power and do not answer to Congress as the constitution demands. This is why we need to elect a TEA party majority so we can stop the abuses by regulatory agencies against American citizens.
Fri, Jan 17, 2014 10:14pm
While I agree with Nigeria's ban on same-sex marriage and public displays of same-sex kissing, they go way overboard on the punishment. Some jail time and then recovery at a mandatory rehab facility should be sufficient in most cases. I do give them credit for at least taking a stand against the behavior.
Now, would Bill Smith like to write half a page about what a bigot I am? Well, you know Clint Eastwood's most famous quote, right?
Fri, Jan 17, 2014 10:44pm
I must say, the Republicans could sure use some hell-raisers similar to Chip Flowers to take on Harry Reid-Hitler and Castr-Obama. Christine "Dorothy" O'Donnell just isn't convincing enough.
Fri, Jan 17, 2014 10:46pm
I would agree with Bill about the pope's hangup. I think the pope should hang-up on such gibberish.
Sat, Jan 18, 2014 2:10am
"The less secure a man is, the more likely he is to have extreme prejudice."
Sat, Jan 18, 2014 4:02am
Go ahead. MAKE MY DAY!
Sat, Jan 18, 2014 6:57am
"I'm not an actor. I'm a movie star." Clint Eastwood never said it. It just applies to him, and to Ronnie. A real actor said it, Peter O'Toole.
Movie stars are Republicans. Actors are Democrats.
Pizza is so stupid (How stupid is he?) that he thinks movie stars write the lines they are given to read.
Sat, Jan 18, 2014 9:01am
Is the Obama marriage on the rocks? Astonishing claims emerge of ugly fights over that selfie, and even a Presidential affair
* Michelle Obama alleged to have discovered her husband has been unfaithful
* Reports claim they will separate at the end of his presidency in 2016
* Follows claims in two books that couple neared divorce in early 2000's
"For the moment, they are allegedly sleeping in separate bedrooms after Mr Obama’s attempt to ‘mend fences’ backfired so badly on a recent Christmas getaway to Hawaii that he returned to Washington with their two daughters, leaving his wife behind."
And they said she stayed in Hawaii as an "early birthday present," which we paid for, of course.
The article doesn't make clear whether Barry had his extra-marital fling with a man or a woman. His history includes both.
Sat, Jan 18, 2014 9:10am
How come the media aren't investigating how much the AARP paid Michelle to promote them?
Michelle Obama proudly shows off her new AARP card on her birthday and proclaims that she's '50 and fabulous'
Pastor, 53, arrested at the airport after 'stabbing his wife to death was heading to Europe to marry his boyfriend'
* Richard Shahan was arrested at Tennessee airport in January although he was required to stay in the country as police investigated his wife's death
* Claimed he had been with his son at the time of her death last July and that he was leaving the country for a three-year mission
* But police said inconsistencies led them to suspect him
* Prosecutors said 3,000 emails revealed 'he was hoping to leave U.S. and eventually settle in the U.K., where he was going to marry his boyfriend'
Mrpizza: Here is the latest example of why we need government regulations. This is a TV news clip from a South Carolina TV station telling of radioactive water leakage in their state.
Mike from Delaware
Sat, Jan 18, 2014 10:23am
Billsmith posted: "I'm not an actor. I'm a movie star." Clint Eastwood never said it. It just applies to him, and to Ronnie. A real actor said it, Peter O'Toole.
That reminds me of the Tim Allen movie "Galaxy Quest" his spoof on Star Trek, showing so well that hey, we're just folks reading lines someone else wrote for us. We don't know jack about warp drive, space travel, activating the energizers or is that energizing the activators.
Shatner and the gang did their jobs well. They were convincing in their roles [actor comes from the Greek word that means hypocrite, being something you're not].
It always amazes me when Congress will have some Hollywood celebrity testify about some issue, like they're an expert. Why not call in doctors or scientists, etc, who've actually studied the particular issue?
As Bill said earlier, Reagan was an actor, he played the Gipper, but was not the Gipper, and yes it did seem like he was doing the "Mr. Smith Goes To Washington" thing too while sitting in the White House. The one thing Reagan did well was give good feel good speeches, but then again, that was what his training taught him to do, speak effectively.
Sadly, especially in his 2nd term, the real power might have been from Nancy and her Astrology stuff.
So if that news article Bill shared is at all correct, it may mean that things are a tad big "frigid" in the Oval Bedroom. Mrs. Obama seems to be sprucing herself up to land herself a new hubby after 2016, when she just might clean Barry's clock for those selfies he made with that "Danish Pastry" at Mendella's funeral, and possibly other "JFK and Clinton" things implied in that article.
Ole Barack forgot that one truism that really isn't, but probably should have been put in the Bible: Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Even worse when the whole world knows about it. Possibly another politician who started to believe his own rantings and figured he could do ANY thing he wanted.
It does beg the question as to what did Hillary do to Bill? What pound of flesh did she get from him that the media didn't find out about? I'm sure he didn't get off "scotfree". Hillary doesn't strike me as a "turn the other cheek" kind of person. I wonder if she had him castrated and managed to somehow keep that out of the press? Think about it, there's been no other stuff on ole Bubba since he's left the White House.
Anyhow, sounds like ole Barry's going to get the "treatment" via Family Court in a few years [he's still got dependent kids - oh the child support Michelle will collect from him - tax free].
Sat, Jan 18, 2014 10:45am
MFD: I'm not arguing against the need for regulation. I'm against the use of it as a political agenda for the communists on the left. We need to elect a TEA majority to ensure that regulation does not ultimately result in tyranny.
Sat, Jan 18, 2014 10:48am
"Pastor, 53, arrested at the airport after 'stabbing his wife to death was heading to Europe to marry his boyfriend."
After all this, do you still want to be FOR gay marriage?
Sat, Jan 18, 2014 10:54am
"Pizza delivery man arrested after being caught on hidden camera having sex with family dog."
Disclaimer: It most certainly was not THIS pizza delivery man!
But what do you expect? Now that gay marriage is legal, this is the next logical frontier once NAMBLA knocks down all the obstacles to sex with children.
Sat, Jan 18, 2014 11:24am
MFD: A lot of people say it was Shakespeare but it was actually William Congreve: "Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned."
The same play ("The Mourning Bride") also includes "Music has charms to soothe a savage breast."
I suspect that Hillary planned for some time to run for office and have her own political career. A messy divorce would not have helped. And Slick Willy was still an asset - the greatest Democratic campaigner and political fund-raiser in our lifetime.
It has now come out that Jackie was stepping out on Jack and there are some indications Hillary had "other interests," too. Here is another double-standard at work. Society is quick to assume the guy is the philanderer and the woman is dutiful and innocent. Despite both Jackie and Hillary's eagerness to play the victim card, there's some suggestion than an "open arrangement" was part of the deal. The elite are different from us and marriage was/is often more of a business or political arrangement, or a matter of convenience. In their world, love and mistress are what go together like a horse and carriage. The French are much more upfront about that than we. So was British nobility until about a century ago.
And let's not forget Frank Sinatra's rendezvous with Nancy upstairs in the White House while Ronnie was out of town. And Ronnie is known to have played around, too.
And re Mr Smith. When Jack Warner, Ronnie's old boss, heard Ronnie was running for governor of California, he famously said, "No, no. Jimmy Stewart for governor. Ronald Reagan for best friend."
Sat, Jan 18, 2014 12:34pm
Sat, Jan 18, 2014 1:50pm
Pizza, weren't you the one who said Ronnie was the only president we'd ever had? And now, when you hear his wife cheated on him you say "who cares?'
No wonder the Tea Party is such a joke today. Kind of like Ross Perot's Reform Party in 1996.
Sat, Jan 18, 2014 3:17pm
"No wonder the Tea Party is such a joke today. Kind of like Ross Perot's Reform Party in 1996."
Ross made it to the top of his field. Unlike Ronnie, a failed B movie actor who ended up a corporate shill. He was successful and good at what he did. He stood by his people and got them out of Tehran.
Pizza should remember Ronnie's most famous "quote:" Where's the rest of me?
And when he appeared in an A-list picture, he was the hero's "best friend" and never got the girl.
Mike from Delaware
Sat, Jan 18, 2014 4:11pm
Billsmith, you're a wealth of info.
Now I know where that quote came from, thanks.
I didn't know that ole Blue Eyes had a tryst with Nancy Reagan.
This might be a stretch, but didn't Bonzo in "Bedtime for Bonzo" get top billing? So it could be said that Ronnie play second to a chimp - heh heh.
Sat, Jan 18, 2014 4:52pm
MFD: Bonzo was in the title but I looked up the DVD/VCR covers online and Ronnie is only billed actor on some versions (of course, this may be after he achieved notoriety in his "other" career) and billed with Diana Lynn in others.
The movie was directed by Frederick DeCordova, who later achieved greater notoriety himself as producer/executive producer of "The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show," "The Jack Benny Program" and "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson."
Sat, Jan 18, 2014 5:53pm
"That reminds me of the Tim Allen movie "Galaxy Quest" his spoof on Star Trek, showing so well that hey, we're just folks reading lines someone else wrote for us. We don't know jack about warp drive, space travel, activating the energizers or is that energizing the activators.
Shatner and the gang did their jobs well. They were convincing in their roles [actor comes from the Greek word that means hypocrite, being something you're not]."
MFD: Now that you mention it, it also reminds me of those dweebs who read news scripts written by others and present themselves as experts on everything.
Mike from Delaware
Sat, Jan 18, 2014 7:13pm
I was speaking tongue in cheek on the Bonzo thing. I remember getting some Reagan supporters upset a few times using that line back when " the pretend Gipper" was running the first time for Prez.
Sat, Jan 18, 2014 8:47pm
"The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, "I'm from the government and I'm here to help."~Ronald Reagan
Sat, Jan 18, 2014 9:06pm
Hey Bill: If you're the one that said it, then why should I care? Don't you know how irrelevant I consider you to be?
Mike from Delaware
Sat, Jan 18, 2014 11:22pm
Earl grey: that was one of my favorite Reagan quotes. It is true sometimes, other times it is not & the government\'s help is needed & gladly received. Balance.
Sun, Jan 19, 2014 5:01am
"The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'"
The line was written by one of his corporate stooge speech writers. Like his movie lines, Ronnie just read it. He read it about the time the stock market took a huge dip and the country went into a recession. People were hearing "I'm from HR and we're going to have to let you go," which they probably found a lot more terrifying.
As long as the corporate elite employ shills like Ronnie to get you to hate the government and ignore what they are doing, they can get away with anything.
MFD: Back to balance? Is it really important to balance the desire of the one-percenters to get even richer with people's need for health, safety and the chance to have a job? Go back and re-read what Jesus had to say about rich people.
Meanwhile, here's what you corporate friends have been up to. J&J has been putting formaldehyde in their Baby Shampoo. Remember, "the no more tears formula?" Formaldehyde which is used in embalming dead bodies and in various manufacturing applications. It came out and now Johnson and Johnson is trying to score PR points by promising they won't do it again - before the government "helps" them clean up the product. All those pesky regulations and something like this still slips through.
Sun, Jan 19, 2014 8:09am
Nuns fighting requirement for birth control coverage in their employees' health insurance plans. (Once again, Christian bullies trying to force their dogmas on others.)
Nun gives birth after being rushed to hospital with stomach pains… and she says she had no idea she was pregnant
* 31-year-old woman was rushed to hospital in the central Italian city of Rieti
* The woman is originally from El Salvador and lives at the convent
* She has named her child Francesco (Francis) after the current Pope
Nine missed periods (with an entire convent in sync). Morning sickness. Food cravings. Belly bump. Baby kicks. And she didn't have a clue?
Mike from Delaware
Sun, Jan 19, 2014 8:12am
Clearly a case where more government reg / oversight is needed. Sadly the Robber Barron class is their own worse enemy. If they'd simply follow the Golden Rule, common sense,etc, government wouldn't have to have all those pesky regs. So since the Robber Barron class won't act in a balanced way the government can't, so in these situations Reagan is wrong. The scary word comment should be in the cases : Hi we're some selfish corporation & we don't give a rip if people actually benefit from using our products, we just want their money.
Sun, Jan 19, 2014 9:12am
And now more Christie Bullying comes to light....
Mayor: Christie aides tied Sandy funds to project
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — The Christie administration withheld millions of dollars in Superstorm Sandy recovery grants from a New Jersey city because its mayor refused to sign off on a politically connected commercial development, the mayor said Saturday.
Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer alleged that Gov. Chris Christie's lieutenant governor and a top community development official told her recovery funds would flow to her city if she allowed the project to move forward.
Zimmer said Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno pulled her aside at an event in May and told her Sandy aid was tied to the project — a proposal from the New York City-based Rockefeller Group aimed at prime real estate in the densely populated city across the river from New York City.
The Democratic mayor said the Republican administration officials wanted Rockefeller's plans for the property approved, while Zimmer said she preferred to go through normal channels and hear from all stakeholders, including the public and owners of adjacent property. Rockefeller Group owns about three blocks of the 19-block area.
"I was directly told the by the lieutenant governor — she made it very clear — that the Rockefeller project needed to move forward or they wouldn't be able to help me," Zimmer told The Associated Press.
"There is no way I could ethically do what the governor, through the lieutenant governor, is asking me to do," she said.
Christie's office denied Zimmer's claims, calling her statements politically motivated. Spokesman Colin Reed said the administration has been helping Hoboken secure assistance since Sandy struck." Christie himself was raising money Saturday for fellow Republicans in Florida. The fundraisers were closed to reporters.
Hoboken is hiring a planner to rehabilitate the area, and Rockefeller will have an opportunity to offer input along with others who have an interest in development of the property, said Juan Melli, a spokesman for Zimmer.
A state website that tracks the distribution of Sandy aid shows that Hoboken received a $200,000 post-storm planning grant in October out of a $1.8 billion pot of money controlled by the state. Hoboken also received a $142,000 state energy resilience grant.
Besides state money, Hoboken has received $70 million in recovery funds distributed by the federal government, according to the Christie administration. Zimmer said she has applied for $100 million to implement a comprehensive plan to help insulate her city from future floods.
Christie already is embroiled in another scandal involving traffic jams apparently manufactured to settle a political score. At a recent news conference to discuss the lane closures on the approach to the George Washington Bridge, Christie brushed aside questions about his aggressive governing style. "I am who I am," said Christie, "I am not a bully."
But Zimmer said Guadagno and Community Affairs Commissioner Richard Constable, a member of Christie's cabinet, both delivered messages about Sandy aid in no uncertain terms.
Zimmer, who first spoke with MSNBC on Saturday, told the cable network that at another event in May, Constable said "the money would start flowing to you" if she backed the project.
The Rockefeller Group did not immediately return a phone message left by The Associated Press. In a statement to MSNBC, a spokesman said it had no knowledge of any information related to Zimmer's claims.
Zimmer said she is willing to take a lie detector test or testify under oath about the conversations.
Christie's office called Zimmer's claims a political move.
"Gov. Christie and his entire administration have been helping Hoboken get the help they need after Sandy," Reed said. "It's very clear partisan politics are at play here as Democratic mayors with a political axe to grind come out of the woodwork and try to get their faces on television."
The Sandy aid matter is the second time in recent weeks Christie's administration has been accused of exacting retribution for political reasons.
Christie's chief of staff, chief counsel, chief political strategist and two-time campaign manager have all been subpoenaed for documents related to the September closing of approach lanes near the George Washington Bridge, which led to traffic chaos in the town of Fort Lee across the river from New York City.
The agency that runs the bridge, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, is chaired by David Samson, whose law firm, Wolff & Samson, represented the developer in the Hoboken matter, according to Zimmer. A phone message left at the firm's office was not returned Saturday.
Christie's former community affairs commissioner, Lori Grifa, was a lobbyist promoting the Rockefeller Group's plans for the Hoboken project, according to MSNBC. The network quoted emails from Grifa that appear to confirm her work on behalf of the developer.
Twenty new subpoenas issued in the bridge closure matter on Friday reach deep into the Christie administration, the port authority, and his re-election campaign, but spare the governor himself.
The U.S. Attorney's Office is reviewing the lane closings and a legislative panel is investigating who authorized the apparent plot and why.
Zimmer said she is telling her story in hopes that Hoboken gets much-needed assistance in the second wave of relief funding yet to be approved by the federal government for distribution by the state. That money, total of $1.4 billion to be distributed through the state Community Development Block Grant program, is awaiting federal approval. The focus will be on improving infrastructure, Community Affairs spokeswoman Lisa Ryan said.
Interviewed by the Associated Press last month, Zimmer voiced concerns about the lack of storm aid to her town, but expressed hope that the administration would come through in the next round. She did not mention the real estate development in the interview with the AP.
Sun, Jan 19, 2014 9:20am
MFD: In all fairness, people play by the rules they are given. Any system has it's own set of rewards and punishments and people play to maximize their own advantage. In the case of corporation, corporate officials are required by law to act in the interests of shareholders and to maximize shareholders' advantage and return on investment. That's it; nothing else. When stock price goes up, corporate officers are rewarded. When dividends go up, they are rewarded. When quarterly numbers go up, they are rewarded. Nothing else matters. Not workers, not consumers, not health, safety and the environment. If you want to change the way corporate elites behave, you have to change the rules and the set of rewards. But since they have lobbyists and spend millions buying politicians, that won't happen.
"Hello, government person. I'm from the business sector and I'm here to buy ads for your next campaign and to pay for a fact-finding junket in Tahiti and to pay you a quarter million to make a speech."
Sun, Jan 19, 2014 12:49pm
Bill outlines it pretty well. Just like people once had the "tax revolt" in California which spread and whittled away at taxes over the next two decades, we need another people's revolt, this time one of paying off some of our bills by taxing the 1% more.
The numbers are in our favor. 99 on our side; one on theirs. They can spend money, true, but the people rule in the end simply by overwhelming them with numbers.
The problem is whether people can get mad enough to respond. I think they can once their complacence to the wealthy is pegged at costing themselves $10,000 each year of lost revenue.
Sun, Jan 19, 2014 1:36pm
Kavips: Thanks. Unfortunately, as we see too often (including here), people can be manipulated by hate, anger and fear to oppose their own self-interest. The way police state dictators keep control is neither effective nor efficient.
Sun, Jan 19, 2014 3:43pm
The typical U.S. household headed by a person age 65 or older has a net worth 47 times greater than a household headed by someone under 35, according to an analysis of census data released Monday. If all of us “old folks” have all of the money, then let us try to elect someone who might be near honest and not be after feathering their own nests.
They like to refer to us as senior citizens, old fogies, geezers, and in some cases dinosaurs. Some of us are "Baby Boomers" getting ready to retire. Others have been retired for some time. We walk a little slower these days and our eyes and hearing are not what they once were. We have worked hard, raised our children, worshiped our God and grown old together. Yes, we are the ones some refer to as being over the hill, and that is probably true. But before writing us off completely, there are a few things that need to be taken into consideration.
In school we studied English, history, math, and science which enabled us to lead America into the technological age. Most of us remember what outhouses were, many of us with firsthand experience.
We remember the days of telephone party-lines, 25-cent gasoline, and milk and ice being delivered to our homes. For those of you who don't know what an icebox is, today they are electric and referred to as refrigerators. A few even remember when cars were started with a crank. Yes, we lived those days.
We are probably considered old fashioned and out-dated by many. But there are a few things you need to remember before completely writing us off. We won World War II, fought in Korea and Viet Nam. We can quote The Pledge of Allegiance, and know
where to place our hand while doing so. We wore the uniform of our country with pride and lost many friends on the battlefield. We didn't fight for the Socialist States of America ; we fought for the "Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave." We wore
different uniforms but carried the same flag. We know the words to the Star Spangled Banner, America , and America the Beautiful by heart, and you may even see some tears running down our cheeks as we sing. We have lived what many of you have only read in history books and we feel no obligation to apologize to anyone for America.
Yes, we are old and slow these days but rest assured, we have at least one good fight left in us. We have loved this country, fought for it, and died for it, and now we are going to save it. It is our country and nobody is going to take it away from us. We took oaths to defend America against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and that is an oath we plan to keep. There are those who want to destroy this land we love but, like our founders, there is no way we are going to remain silent.
It was mostly the young people of this nation who elected Obama and the Democratic Congress. You fell for the "Hope and Change" which in reality was nothing but "Hype and Lies."
You have tasted socialism and seen evil face to face, and have found you don't like it after all. You make a lot of noise, but most are all too interested in their careers or "Climbing the Social Ladder" to be involved in such mundane things as patriotism and voting. Many of those who fell for the "Great Lie" in 2008 are now having buyer's remorse. With all the education we gave you, you didn't have sense enough to see through the lies and instead drank the 'Kool-Aid.' Now you're paying the price
and complaining about it. No jobs, lost mortgages, higher taxes, and less freedom.
This is what you voted for and this is what you got. We entrusted you with the Torch of Liberty and you traded it for a paycheck and a fancy house.
Well, don't worry youngsters, the Grey-Haired Brigade is here, and in 2014 we are going to take back our nation. We may drive a little slower than you would like but we get where we're going, and in 2014 we're going to the polls by the millions.
This land does not belong to the man in the White House nor to the likes of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. It belongs to "We the People" and "We the People" plan to reclaim our land and our freedom. We hope this time you will do a better job of
preserving it and passing it along to our grandchildren. So the next time you have the chance to say the Pledge of Allegiance, Stand up, put your hand over your heart, honor our country, and thank God for the old geezers of the "Grey-Haired Brigade."
This is spot on. I am another Gray-Haired Geezer signing on. I will circulate this to other Gray-Haired Geezers all over this once great county.
Can you feel the ground shaking???
It's not an earthquake, it is a STAMPEDE.
Sun, Jan 19, 2014 3:48pm
And just to be clear, this stampede is brought to you by the TEA party aka "We The People".
Sun, Jan 19, 2014 4:40pm
Gee, Pizza. That's literate. Bull shit but literate bull shit. And you want everybody to believe YOU wrote it? No way. Come on. Whom did you steal it from?
Sun, Jan 19, 2014 5:49pm
I never said I wrote it. But you can be sure of one thing: I AGREE with it!
"We The People" are mad as hell, and we ain't gonna take it anymore!
Mike from Delaware
Sun, Jan 19, 2014 6:44pm
What Mrpizza's article is longing for is a return to yesterday. The yesterday most of us here grew up in (1940's, 50's, 60's, & early 70's). The New Deal World that FDR gave us.
The Greatest Generation first benefitted by the New Deal as veteran's coming home from fighting WWII & getting the GI Bill that made it possible for most of them to go get a college education thus giving them the opportunity to get really good paying jobs as engineers , scientists, etc. Without that helping hand of the government program most of those veterans would have ended up being factory workers, which many did become who didn't want a college education. Thanks to unions formed in the 1930's those factory jobs provided good pay & benefits for the blue collar folks. So all benefitted & our society prospered.
The Babyboomers also benefitted by the New Deal mentality of our society so that even more middle class folks could go to college & factory jobs were still paying great wages/ benefits thanks to what the unions had done years before.
During this time the US was king of the mountain where we had little to no real competition from the rest of the world. Sadly that changed. The other nations we rebuilt after WWII were now offering real competition. The New Deal was then being spun as a bad thing by Barry Goldwater, later Reagan, etc.
Those two things changed causing our system to fall apart. Now businesses as Bill mentioned earlier doing what business does realized they could make even more profit by moving factory jobs overseas. They paid lobbyists to get Congress to pass laws like NAFTA ( Ross Perot was against) which just made it even easier for jobs to flee overseas, that big sucking sound Perot referred to).
So Mrpizza & those folks want a return to those days gone by, problem is the world has changed, we now have global competition. The other thing Mrpizza forgets is what helped make America work so well was those very government programs that his TEA party masters hate & want to do away with.
This is greatly simplified, but you get the basic idea. There are some things that have benefitted this nation that came about, because of government programs. Does that mean all government programs are good & useful? Of course not, but the TEA folks want to gut the government back to the way it was PRIOR to 1932 when FDR & a Dem controlled Congress gave us the New Deal that also included Social Security.
Rather than eliminate or modify programs that aren't as effective as they could be they just want to cut them out completely. Some programs probably should be eliminated, but the TEA folks are a bit too eager to slash & burn any & all government programs, especially one's the Dems gave us. They may want to return to the good ole days of the 40's, 50's, 60's& early 70's, but there using the wrong road map .
Sun, Jan 19, 2014 7:46pm
So Mike, tell me. Who built America from 1776 to 1907 (the year the income tax was passed in the middle of the night under cover of darkness)? Who made it possible for Woody Wilson and all his communist chums to pass that unconstitutional tax?
Sun, Jan 19, 2014 8:18pm
Pizza, you lie and steal. The only name on that piece of crap is yours, so that says you wrote it. What's the matter? Afraid to give proper credit.
The income tax is constitutional. One was passed during the civil war. The supreme court ruled it unconstitutional. So, they 16th amendment was passed, making it constitutional. By the way way, the 16th amendment was ratified February 3, 1913. Delaware put the amendment over the top. Whoever you are lifting stuff from can't even get the date right. Woodrow Wilson wasn't president in 1907 or in February, 1913. You can thank William Howard Taft for the amendment and the income tax. And, oh yes, he was a Republican.
Sun, Jan 19, 2014 8:20pm
So Mike, tell me. Who built America from 1776 to 1907 (the year the income tax was passed in the middle of the night under cover of darkness)? Who made it possible for Woody Wilson and all his communist chums to pass that unconstitutional tax?
Mike from Delaware
Sun, Jan 19, 2014 9:33pm
Mrpizza: I think Billsmith answered that with his reply, he said Taft not Wilson & the income tax is constitutional due the a constitutional amendment .
My post above was responding to that email thing you shared. I've seen it before on email.
Sun, Jan 19, 2014 10:56pm
MFD: So, it's a piece of political spam that people like Pizza forward to anybody whose email address they can get hold of. Figures.
Before the income tax, the federal government had two main sources of revenue: Tariffs (duties on imports) and taxes on alcohol. Prohibition took away the latter. Corporations decided "free trade" was more to their advantage than "protective tariffs". So, a new source of federal revenue was needed. Voila! The income tax.
Pizza: I'll bite. Who built America? Who made it possible to pass the income tax? Or do you need to wait for another email to find out?
Sun, Jan 19, 2014 11:25pm
Yes, there's a constitutional amendment for the income tax. However, it's never been ratified by the required 3/4 of the states. Today that number would be 38. Back then, that number would be less because we didn't have 50 states, so it would be 3/4 of how many states they had. In any case, it's never been ratified, therefore it's not even legal.
To answer your question Bill, America was built by WE THE PEOPLE. "We The People" created the wealth that the Democrats were then able to steal and use to create and expand the underclass therefore enabling them to buy votes with the use of public money for the past century.
We could still charge Tariffs today, especially to China. We buy enough of their products that there's no reason they couldn't afford it.
Sun, Jan 19, 2014 11:27pm
Mike: The double posting was accidental.
Mike from Delaware
Sun, Jan 19, 2014 11:43pm
Not a problem Mrpizza .
Mon, Jan 20, 2014 5:32am
Pizza: You don't know what the hell you're talking about - yet again. (1) Once an amendment is ratified, it's ratified. Subsequent states don't get a vote. (2) Only two states have joined the union since 1913. The requirement today is 38 states. (3) A total of forty-two states ratified the 16th amendment.
You are not the people, Pizza. You tea baggers are a lunatic fringe. And there have been a lot of them.
How much "wealth" have you created delivering pizza? Besides, whatever wealth you guys with plastic signs on your cars "created" goes to Bain Capital so Mitt can build an elevator for his cars.
And since the tea party showed up, the Chinese have taken over as the world's leading economy. Congratulations!
Your corporate masters, the people who fund and run the tea party, don't want tariffs. And they want the tax code filled with loopholes that allow them to avoid corporate taxes - even to not pay any taxes and still get refunds. Like GE, the company that invented Ronnie Reagan. And all they have to do is get you to hate the government and believe idiotic lies like those in that email you tried to claim as your own work. If your taxes are too high, it's because the corporate community has rigged the tax code in their favor. And by the way, to them YOU are the underclass. A few cheap and well-publicized programs for minorities so you hate the under-underclass and the government even more, and they get whatever they want.
Mon, Jan 20, 2014 8:43am
From the year-end AP Poll...
Between 2011 and 2013, respondents' opinions of the Tea Party became increasingly negative:
- Do you consider yourself a supporter of the Tea Party movement, or are you not a supporter of the Tea Party movement?
- 1/5-10/11: 31 percent Supporter; 61 percent Not a supporter
- 12/5-9/13: 20 percent Supporter; 76 percent Not a supporter
Congratulations. You are now "We, the 20 per cent." On your way to becoming "We, the 10 per cent." Maybe you'd have done better calling yourselves the "Big Gulp - Jumbo Size Soda Pop Party." Or more accurately, the "Corporate Kool-Aid Drinkers Party." Hardly anybody drinks tea.
Mon, Jan 20, 2014 10:19am
I'm not surprised. The communists on the left have done a stellar job of lying about who we are. Of course, you and Kavips would be a part of that group.
Mon, Jan 20, 2014 10:20am
...and yet Bill, the Tea Party is making a huge difference in today's political landscape...not bad for we 20%ers.
There is more support for the Tea Party of today than the Tea Party of the 1770's...and that small minority defeated The Empire ;)
Mon, Jan 20, 2014 12:49pm
A difference for the worse? That's why their approval numbers keep dropping.
What this country needs are literacy, intelligence and mental health tests to keep tea baggers from voting.
Mon, Jan 20, 2014 1:33pm
bill: I would love to have the voting tests you suggest...however, ill-informed people like yourself would be very surprised by the results. After-all, it's the "crazy" Tea Partiers who know the actual history of this country and that's why "we" are so fired up about the upcoming elections.
Mon, Jan 20, 2014 2:42pm
"After-all, it's the "crazy" Tea Partiers who know the actual history of this country."
"Who built America from 1776 to 1907 (the year the income tax was passed in the middle of the night under cover of darkness)? Who made it possible for Woody Wilson and all his communist chums to pass that unconstitutional tax?"
Mon, Jan 20, 2014 10:18pm
bill: I still say most Tea Party-types know more about American history vs the general public.
Tue, Jan 21, 2014 1:41am
Earl: Don't let facts get in the way. Oh, no. What tea baggers "know" is the Bizzaro World version of U.S. history, nothing real historians would recognize.
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