A round-up of news items, articles, columns and blog posts that caught our eye this past week.
Yes, definetely not very Christian of us but we cop to a strong American trait of distrust of dynasties, so Joseph Kennedy III, you may very well be a swell guy, but ...
Joseph P. Kennedy III, the son of former U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy, is launching an exploratory committee in preparation for a likely run for the seat recently vacated by U.S. Rep. Barney Frank.
... we're already sick of you.
With apologies to Jim Rome: MAP!
The greatest paper map of the United States you'll ever see?
You make the call but we're going with the National Geographic map of which we are the proud owner of a 4' x 3' beaut. The Nat Geo map is simply easier to read. Detailed looks at both maps at the link. Let us know your preference.
Awwww.... Occupy DC attracting a whole new demographic:
The dwindling number of residents who stayed behind zipped up their tents, swallowed vitamins and swaddled themselves in clothing to battle the elements. Medics in both camps said Wednesday that they were passing out vitamin C tablets and Theraflu but had no official cases of hypothermia — yet. Good Samaritans streamed by to drop off blankets, and a collection was started to raise money to buy propane for heaters.(italics, ours)
Meantime, there were increased sightings of rats nestling under pallets strewn with sleeping bags, and occupiers in McPherson Square voluntarily shuttered their kitchen for 48 hours for what they said was a monthly cleaning. Protesters were eating donated food brought in by supporters.
Awwww (Pt. II)... David Brooks gets a clue 3 years later:
“Yeah, I still like him — admire him personally,” Brooks said on Laura Ingraham's radio show this morning. “He’s certainly more liberal than I thought he was. And he’s more liberal than he thinks he is. He thinks he is just slightly center-left. But when you got down to his instincts, they’re pretty left. And his problem is he can’t really act on them because it would be political disaster. And so that means, I think he is doing very little — proposing very little.”
Was: David Brooks: Proving even someone as brilliant as a NY Times columnist can finally get up to speed with what we've know all along.
Is: Obama's behavior of late shatters any notions of a left/right or conservative/liberal thing. He's gone absolutely power-mad.
Yes. Re-election prospects are one reason but the overriding factor in his timidity is a complete lack of leadership and vision. If he does indeed win a second term, he will be positioned perfectly to address our most pressing domestic issue that is of far more importance than discretionary spending and that is entitlement reform and specifically that of the looming disasters that are Social Security and Medicare. Unfortunately, however, given this historic only-Nixon-could-go-to-China opportunity, he will squander it focusing instead on small-bore legacy-building legislation.
A grid-locked and hopelessly partisan Washington D.C. update:
Perhaps the President should be directing his We can't wait message to the obstructionist Harry Reid.
To get the economy moving again Democrats in the Senate need to act on House-passed jobs bills, Rep. Nan Hayworth (R-N.Y.) said in her party's weekly address.
"Right now, there are nearly 30 jobs bills passed by the House with support from both Republicans and Democrats that are awaiting action in the Democratic-run Senate," she said.
"One vote is all each of these jobs bills needs to get to the president’s desk, and it’s disappointing the Senate hasn’t acted."
Obviously, if the President chooses to run against Congress this year, the eventual Republican candidate would be wise to point this out.
Crony capitalism at the federal level of which we cover on a pretty consistent basis will give way to cronyism at the municipal level as practiced right here in America's finest city. Here's B-Daddy on Mayor Jerry Sander's latest manuever:
The temporary name change of Jack Murphy Qualcomm Stadium to Snapdragon, despite a memo from City Attorney Jan Goldsmith that the name change was not authorized unless approved by the City Council just disgusts me. The city loses money every year on the stadium, undermining public support for everything else that Mayor Sanders has proposed, including a new City Hall. Why would the mayor engage in such an egregious display of crony capitalism, in effect donating millions of dollars of free advertising revenue to Qualcomm? What is the value of exposure to the approximately 30 million viewers that watched the three games during the temporary name change? The mayor seems totally insensitive to taxpayer sentiment, his false claims of calamity in support of Prop D come to mind. Why elect Republicans if they are just going to gouge taxpayers on behalf of big business, as opposed to Democrats gouging the taxpayers on behalf of the employees unions.
Indeed. One's just as bad as the other.
A random thought that occurred to us while discussing the OWS movement and a friend of ours and supporter of OWS on the "failed" state of free market capitalism:
If the face of the income disparity debate and the "failed" state of market capitalism is a twenty-something that spent 6 years getting that sociology degree and who can't find a job now in order to earn a decent living and pay off that student loan can still afford to literally sit around and do
nothingtweets, updates and "mic-checks" on any number of social media platforms on any number of electronic devices provided by that same "failed" system... if that is the face of failed market capitalism then we would really hate to see the face of any alternative socio-economic system.
Ah, but we have: the twentieth century was nothing more than a study of the human misery brought about by any and all of the -isms under the broader collectivist tent. Pity the OWSers: we've all won and they don't even realize it.
Michael J. New on some more of that federal transparency we've been hearing so much about:
Late in 2011, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released abortion surveillance data for the year 2008. The figures indicate that the number of abortions declined very slightly from 2007. Or so we think. Federal reporting standards for abortion are notoriously weak and several states typically refuse to report data to the CDC. The 2008 figures are no exception. California, Florida, Maryland, and New Hampshire all failed to report complete data to the CDC. In fact, only 43 states have reported abortion data to the CDC every year between 1999 and 2008. Furthermore, even among states that report, there exist legitimate questions about both the consistency and reliability of this data.
We wouldn't think this should matter if you are pro-life or pro-abortion: If our tax dollars are going to fund abortions, should not those body counts be a matter of public record? What, pray tell, national security risk is there in reporting out on the un-born dead?
OK, gang. That's it for today. We'll see you all tomorrow.