Friday, March 14, 2008

All from this morning's paper

No longer shocking story #1:

Petraeus: Iraqi Leaders Not Making 'Sufficient Progress'

BAGHDAD, March 13 -- Iraqi leaders have failed to take advantage of a reduction in violence to make adequate progress toward resolving their political differences, Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, said Thursday.

Petraeus, who is preparing to testify to Congress next month on the Iraq war, said in an interview that "no one" in the U.S. and Iraqi governments "feels that there has been sufficient progress by any means in the area of national reconciliation," or in the provision of basic public services.

No longer shocking story #2:

NRCC Says Ex-Treasurer Diverted Up to $1 Million
By Paul Kane
Washington Post Staff Writer

The former treasurer for the National Republican Congressional Committee diverted hundreds of thousands of dollars -- and possibly as much as $1 million -- of the organization's funds into his personal accounts,GOP officials said yesterday, describing an alleged scheme that could become one of the largest political frauds in recent history.

For at least four years, Christopher J. Ward, who is under investigation by the FBI, allegedly used wire transfers to funnel money out of NRCC coffers and into other political committee accounts he controlled as treasurer, NRCC leaders and lawyers said in their first public statement since they turned the matter over to the FBI six weeks ago.

"The evidence we have today indicated we have been deceived and betrayed for a number of years by a highly respected and trusted individual," said Rep. Tom Cole R-Okla.), the NRCC chairman.

And no longer shocking story #3:

Ozone Rules Weakened at Bush's Behest
EPA Scrambles To Justify Action

By Juliet Eilperin
Washington Post Staff Writer

The Environmental Protection Agency weakened one part of its new limits on smog-forming ozone after an unusual last-minute intervention by President Bush, according to documents released by the EPA.

EPA officials initially tried to set a lower seasonal limit on ozone to protect wildlife, parks and farmland, as required under the law. While their proposal was less restrictive than what the EPA's scientific advisers had proposed, Bush overruled EPA officials and on Tuesday ordered the agency to increase the limit, according to the documents.

"It is unprecedented and an unlawful act of political interference for the president personally to override a decision that the Clean Air Act leaves exclusively to EPA's expert scientific judgment," said John Walke, clean-air director for the Natural Resources Defense Council.

The president's order prompted a scramble by administration officials to rewrite the regulations to avoid a conflict with past EPA statements on the harm caused by ozone.

Solicitor General Paul D. Clement warned administration officials late Tuesday night that the rules contradicted the EPA's past submissions to the Supreme Court, according to sources familiar with the conversation. As a consequence, administration lawyers hustled to craft new legal justifications for the weakened standard.

And that's just ONE day, folks.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Oh Madam Senator..

For all of the drama of Ohio and Texas, Obama has made up any gains HRC might have gotten out of last Tuesday.

It is almost a statistical impossibility for her to win the available electoral delegates. I know the "superdelegates" have a role to play, and I believe in playing by the rules, but in this year, with record voter turnouts, I think there will be hell to pay if these party operatives thwart the voter's will.

So exactly what is HRC up to? Why is she praising McCain at Obama's expense? What is this endgame?

On Elliot Spitzer

I know, it's all been done. He's an idiot. Why does his wife stand on the podium? Even questioning the nature of the investigation, wiretaps? On prostitution? Even a prostitution "ring?" All that said, it comes back to--he's an idiot.

Maybe I'll stop going to work

This morning, gas spiked again (originally to $3.50/gallon) to $3.40 a gallon - it was $3.15 yesterday. I drive 50 miles each way to work in a car that averages 30 mpg, and my monthly gas costs are roughly 100*the cost per gallon. In the not quite 4 years I've had this job, gas has gone up roughly $1.50/gallon. Somewhere around 40+% of the raises I've received in that time have gone entirely to paying for the increase in gas prices. Whee!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Maybe I'll stop going out to lunch

Last week, when I went out to lunch, gas was $3.05. When I came back, it was $3.25.

While there was a store brand that was cheaper, in my local Jewel, the Dean's milk was $4.01 a gallon.

Groceries, fuel, the necessities of life are becoming too expensive while jobs are evaporating around us. Welcome to Potterville.

I try not to spread email spam

But this joke made me laugh:

The Pope and Hillary Clinton were on the same stage in front of a huge crowd. However, both of them have been in front of crowds before, so, to make this time more interesting, Hillary said to the Pope, 'Did you know that with just one little wave of my hand I can make every Democrat in the crowd go wild?'

He said, 'O. K., show me.' She waved. Sure enough, every Democrat in the crowd cheered wildly. The cheering then subsided as quickly as it started.

The Pope, not to be outdone by such arrogance, thought about what he could do to answer her stunt. 'That was impressive,' the Pope said, 'but did you know that with just one little wave of my hand I can make every person in this crowd go crazy with joy? What's more, this joy will not be a momentary display like that of your people, but will go deep into the hearts of this crowd. They will forever speak of this day, and they will rejoice.'

The senator doubted this, of course, and said with a smirk, 'One little wave of your hand and all people will rejoice forever? Show me.'

So the Pope slapped her.