The Jake Files

May 10, 2006

Local News Roundup for Wed May 10

Raises to Bring Workers' Pay Up to Standards – Edythe Jensen, AZCentral.com

Just a thought: How enthusiastic were the councilmembers to increase pay PRIOR TO the Pentz forced resignation?  I know this has been a study in the works for a while, but it was the first thing I cynically thought of when I saw the headline.

GOP Spins Democrats' Signs – Paul Giblin, East Valley Trib

Haven't paid much attention to Pederson yet, as I think he's going to get pasted in the election.  The whole slogan "No one's senator but ours" is, I think, a loser, as it turns on the electorate feeling like Senator Kyl's in someone's back pocket, a la Duke Cunningham. 

Workers Welcomed as Long as They're Legal – Sarah N. Lynch, East Valley Trib

Huge Intel Layoffs 'Unlikely' – Mike Burkett, Chandler Independent

Notice how they say "Huge" layoffs, and don't say "NO layoffs?"

Budget Reflects Changing Focus – Mike Burkett, Chandler Independent

Anger to Draw More to Polls? – Mike Burkett, Chandler Independent

Downtown's Future to Rely on Past – Mike Burkett, Chandler Independent

KTAR Gains AM-FM Simulcast – Diane Arthur, The Business Journal

It will be interesting to see how this impacts the talk radio market in Phoenix.  We already had Stern on FM prior to his defection to satellite, and now they're advertising Tom Leykis for the afternoons.  Will the KTAR simulcast prompt KFYI and/or KKNT The Patriot to do the same?  Personally, I hope so.  KFYI has a great signal, but KKNT960 could really use the additional audience that FM would provide. 

New Poll: Napolitano, Kyl Maintain Leads in Re-election Bids – Mike Sunnucks, The Business Journal

AOL to Layoff 300 in Tucson Call Center – The Business Journal

Residents Begin Recall of Sepulveda, Orlando – Laurie Fagen, San Tan Sun News

Council Runoff Election Q&A – Laurie Fagen, San Tan Sun News

Enjoy!

April 18, 2006

Iran to Ensure Nuclear Disarmament for Everyone Else

Is this a joke?  Where's the hidden camera?

 Jerusalem (CNSNews.com) – Under threat of United Nations Security Council sanctions for its own nuclear program, Iran has been elected to a vice-chair position on the U.N. Disarmament Commission, whose mission includes deliberations on preventing the spread of nuclear weapons.
(snip)

On Monday, former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said that his country would continue to enrich uranium, and dismissed the idea that the U.S. might attack nuclear facilities in Iran.

"We are certain that Americans will not attack Iran because the consequences would be too dangerous," Rafasanjani was quoted as telling the Kuwaiti parliament.

Dr. Dore Gold, former Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. said that electing Iran to a leadership position on the UN Disarmament Commission was like asking the "cat to guard the milk."

"Clearly the Iranians have an interest in establishing disarmament rules that protect their clandestine nuclear weapons program," said Gold, author of Tower of Babble: How the United Nations Has Fueled Global Chaos.
(hat tip Infinite Monkeys)

Is this some strange dream sequence that we'll wake up from at the end of the season?  What is going on here?

If there was EVER a thought that the United Nations was not a corruption-ridden, toothless organization that props up thugs and dictators everywhere, this must surely be the sign that will convince America that we should cease cooperation with this useless body.  I expect non-stop coverage on CNN, MSNBC, 60 Minutes, Jon Stewart, and Oprah.  Right after the Tom Cruise Eats Katie's Placenta story or the new suspect in the Natalie Holloway disappearance story. 

Come to think of it, I'm probably expecting too much.

April 11, 2006

Roundup on the City Manager Controversy

UPDATE:  11:40am

AZCentral.com has an updated story by Edythe Jensen here:

At 2 a.m. Tuesday, and after it became obvious there were four votes to fire Pentz, the city council accepted a separation agreement from the manager's attorney. It gives Pentz more than double the payouts required in his contract but gets rid of him without threats of lawsuits.

The agreement has Pentz working until May 1. He then will go on paid administrative leave for three months and would resign effective Aug. 1.
The move, which is expected to cost taxpayers more than $250,000, came after a crowd of city employees, residents and business leaders showed up to support the manager. Of about 150 who packed the council chambers when the meeting started at 3:30 p.m., nearly 50 stayed until the 2 a.m. conclusion.  (snip)

The agreement, drawn up by Cohen, has Pentz receiving a 4 percent increase in base salary retroactive to Jan. 19, 2006. On July 31, the city will pay him 12 months of base salary and 12 months of car allowance. On Aug. 1, Pentz will receive $3,000 for expenses associated with a job search.

Pentz, 55, was hired in 2004 and is paid $167,280 annually. A former city manager for Rockville, Md., Pentz is Chandler's third chief executive in six years. He succeeded Donna Dreska who was on the job a year when she resigned under fire in 2003 after the council agreed to pay her about $100,000 in severance concessions.

So let me get this straight.  The City Council paid $100 grand 3 years ago to get rid of city Manager Donna Dreska.  Now they're going to pay more than $250 grand to get rid of Mark Pentz?  When the city economy is booming and local business leaders voice support for him?  Are they nuts?  This is fiscally irresponsible.  I wish Mr. Pentz well.  He deserves respect, and he deserves to walk away with what he received.
 

Yesterday's East Valley Tribune has some background on the issue, but no new story reporting on what happened last night. 

The Republic has info here, and background here, and here.  Interesting about the number of people that initially attended (c. 150).  Watching the proceedings after midnight last night, it looked like a handful were still there.  The story was filed at midnight, with no resolution reported.

The Chandler Independent has nothing (as of 9:15am).

The San Tan Sun Times won't publish again until this weekend, but they'll probably have a good blow-by-blow description.

The Wrangler News independent paper, the Chandler Connection, the Phoenix Business Journal, the Chandler Chamber of Commerce, and the City of Chandler website all have nothing.

Geo's Precinct 134 linked to our post from last night (thanks!), but no new information.

Reader A.M. left the following comment that leads me to believe the council accepted the terms of the proposed severance agreement:

What did I tell you? It made me want to puke. Pentz got a lot of money, but they won’t be able to be sued. I wonder if in the executive session the City Attorney politely told Orlando et al what dumbasses they are and that they better take the deal, because they were definitely going to get sued otherwise. Can’t wait for the recalls to start. Our city needs to be free of those two incompetents. Thank God for term limits, too (Westbrooks and Wallace).
Good luck finding a job, BTW. I hear there’s a city manager position open here in Chandler. No one in their right mind would take it, however. . .

Comment by A.M. — April 11, 2006 @ 2:43 am

So what is one to do if they want the full story?  I guess I'll have to watch the rest of the meeting that I Tivo'd.  But, as A.M. reminds me, I am still looking for a new job, so council-watching and additional blogging will have to wait until tonight. 

And, thanks for the suggestion A.M., but based on the way this council has treated their current City Manager, I don't think I care to dip my toe into that shark tank.  Hard to imagine who would.

April 9, 2006

Mainstream Media Hysteria on Iranian Nuclear Contingency Planning

From the UK's Telegraph:

The Bush administration is planning to use nuclear weapons against Iran, to prevent it acquiring its own atomic warheads, claims an investigative writer with high-level Pentagon and intelligence contacts.

President George W Bush is said to be so alarmed by the threat of Iran's hard-line leader, Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, that privately he refers to him as "the new Hitler", says Seymour Hersh, who broke the story of the Abu Ghraib Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal.

Some US military chiefs have unsuccessfully urged the White House to drop the nuclear option from its war plans, Hersh writes in The New Yorker magazine. The conviction that Mr Ahmedinejad would attack Israel or US forces in the Middle East, if Iran obtains atomic weapons, is what drives American planning for the destruction of Teheran's nuclear programme.

Hersh claims that one of the plans, presented to the White House by the Pentagon, entails the use of a bunker-buster tactical nuclear weapon, such as the B61-11, against underground nuclear sites. One alleged target is Iran's main centrifuge plant, at Natanz, 200 miles south of Teheran.

This has been all over the Sunday morning news shows.  Seymour Hersch is on Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer right now talking about it.

Can I just ask a simple question here?  Does anyone seriously think that we do not have a detailed plan to invade, bomb, or strike with nukes, every single nation on earth?  That's what our military planners do – they make plans for any contingency. 

It would be grossly negligent if we DID NOT have plans to nuke, bomb conventionally, or invade by land, Iran or any other country.  Anyone who fails to realize that, or ignores the fact in favor of a good hysteria story, demonstrates just how little they understand national security issues.

Culture of Corruption

I found this article in the NYT (hat tip Instapundit):

As lawmakers have increasingly slipped pet projects into federal spending bills over the past decade, one lawmaker has used his powerful perch on the House Appropriations Committee to funnel $250 million into five nonprofit organizations that he set up.

Those actions have prompted a complaint to federal prosecutors that questions whether any of that taxpayer money helped fuel a parallel growth in his personal fortune.

The most ambitious effort by the congressman, Alan B. Mollohan, is a glistening glass-and-steel structure with a swimming pool, sauna and spa rising in a former cow pasture in Fairmont, W.Va., thanks to $103 million of taxpayer money he garnered through special spending allocations known as earmarks.

This is an obscene twisting of the already out-of-control practice of earmarking funds that, if it's as bad as it sounds, should land this guy in jail.  But it won't, because we'll never hear much more of this in the mainstream media.  Mollohan, is by the way, a Democrat.  Which would make the whole Democratic "culture of corruption" screed against the Republicans an inconvenient inconsistency. 

April 4, 2006

Mainstream Media Attention for the JakeFiles

Filed under: Arizona,Chandler,General,Main Stream Media — Amazing Jake @ 10:54 am

I received a request for an interview a little over a week ago from an Independent newspaper in Chandler:

March 26, 006

Hello! My name is (name withheld) — I am the News Editor for the (organization withheld) newspaper.
I'm working on a story about Chandler residents who do blogs. I was wondering
if I could interview you about this?
Please feel free to contact me if you're interested.

Name and organization withheld, at MY discretion (more…)

February 19, 2006

Environmental Outrage

So, I haven’t posted anything in over a week, and it’s not from a lack of wanting, it’s been a lack of time as well as a lack of anything to say.  The whole Cheney hunting accident issue has been blogged to death.  My only real thoughts about that are that I would be a lot happier with David Gregory’s interrogation techniques in the White House press room if the questions he were asking were about, say for example, Iran’s restarting nuclear fuel enrichment.

But alas, he, and others, are more interested in manufacturing scandal than in real news.

This morning I found this story linked on Drudge:

In his new book about Mr. Bush, “Rebel in Chief: Inside the Bold and Controversial Presidency of George W. Bush,” Fred Barnes recalls a visit to the White House last year by Michael Crichton, whose 2004 best-selling novel, “State of Fear,” suggests that global warming is an unproven theory and an overstated threat.

Mr. Barnes, who describes Mr. Bush as “a dissenter on the theory of global warming,” writes that the president “avidly read” the novel and met the author after Karl Rove, his chief political adviser, arranged it. He says Mr. Bush and his guest “talked for an hour and were in near-total agreement.”

“The visit was not made public for fear of outraging environmentalists all the more,” he adds.

And so it has, fueling a common perception among environmental groups that Mr. Crichton’s dismissal of global warming, coupled with his popularity as a novelist and screenwriter, has undermined efforts to pass legislation intended to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, a gas that leading scientists say causes climate change.

Mr. Crichton, whose views in “State of Fear” helped him win the American Association of Petroleum Geologists’ annual journalism award this month, has been a leading doubter of global warming and last September appeared before a Senate committee to argue that the supporting science was mixed, at best.

“This shows the president is more interested in science fiction than science,” Frank O’Donnell, president of Clean Air Watch, said after learning of the White House meeting. Mr. O’Donnell’s group monitors environmental policy.

“This administration has put no limit on global warming pollution and has consistently rebuffed any suggestion to do so,” he said.

I haven’t read State of Fear, but I am a fan of Crichton’s in general, and his environmental views specifically.  I read a transcript of a LOOOONG speech he made not too long ago where he cited lots of contradictory evidence on global warming.  Admittedly, I’m easy to convince on this matter, but it was a compelling and persuasive argument that global warming is nothing more than hysteria.

For me, it comes down to this: 

  1. We have only been measuring temperatures for a hundred years or so.
  2. The average temperature has only risen a degree or so over that time.
  3. No one has been living longer than that time period to give credence to the thought that, “Gee, it sure is hotter these days.”
  4. We know there have been ice ages in the past, and subsequent melting of those ice ages.
  5. There is no fossil evidence of automotive technology or widespread consumption of oil by ice age man that would account for the sudden and catastrophic melting of glaciers, and allowing (*gasp*) the transition to an agrarian, rather than nomadic, society.

It’s also worth noting that not too long ago scientists announced that Mars had gone through a period of global warming.  Not too sure how they know that, and I don’t remember where I read it, but I do remember my reaction:  obviously that failure to ratify the Kyoto Protocols is to blame for Martian global warming.

February 8, 2006

Who Do you Work For?

Filed under: Main Stream Media,Politics — Amazing Jake @ 12:17 am

Congratulations to Paul Mirengoff of Powerline for his thorough discombobulating of both Ted Kennedy and Dick Durbin.  I heard audio of some of the exchange on Hugh Hewitt’s show this afternoon.  Paul writes about the exchange here, and Pajamas Media has video of a portion of the exchange here

It’s somewhat disconcerting when Democratic senators preface their answers by asking questions that imply “I’ll be calling your editor/publisher for this.”  But, as Paul replied, Dan Rather knows something about Powerline. 

Bravo, Paul.

 

 

February 7, 2006

Can’t Wait for the CNN/MoveOn/Air America Spin on This

Filed under: Main Stream Media,Politics,War on Terror — Amazing Jake @ 10:14 pm

The CIA removed the head of its Counterterrorism Center, Robert Grenier, according to the Washington Post

Grenier, 51, is said by associates to be a polished and smooth-talking man with museum-quality mementos of his service overseas. His boss at the clandestine service, the nation’s senior human intelligence officer, was said to regard him as insufficiently forceful in the battle with al Qaeda.

“The word on Bob was that he was a good officer, but not the one for the job and not quite as aggressive as he might have been,” one official said.

Colleagues in the clandestine service, sources said, had been aware of the poor working relationship between the two men for some time and said Grenier’s predecessor had been trying to force him out for months. Grenier’s resignation was first reported on the Los Angeles Times Web site, which said he had sent an e-mail to colleagues acknowledging he had been asked to leave.

“The director of NCS,” one official said, “decided there was somebody better, perhaps to better match his management vision, so [Grenier] is moving on.”

The official said there was no specific operational problem. Another official said the failed attempt last month on the life of Ayman Zawahiri, al Qaeda’s number two leader, had not played a role in pushing Grenier out.

The armchair spooks will undoubtedly be on the talking head shows and Air America, spinning this as the reason that UBL escaped in Tora Bora, why we can’t find track terrorist messages between Al Qaeda and Al Jazeera, and anything else they can think of.  Can’t wait. 

January 9, 2006

Tom Delay Out as Majority Leader

Filed under: Arizona,Conservative,Main Stream Media,Politics,Republican Party — Amazing Jake @ 12:41 am

So, I saw this as breaking news on Fox as I left the house this morning and haven’t had much time to research the story.  One nugget I heard yesterday had to do with this, but I didn’t find the details until just now:

WASHINGTON – Arizona’s Rep. Jeff Flake on Friday was among Republican lawmakers leading efforts to permanently replace Rep. Tom DeLay as majority leader amid the growing corruption scandal tied to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Flake and Rep. Charles Bass, R-N.H., began circulating a petition to House colleagues calling for a special election when the House returns to Washington later this month to pick “permanent representatives for any vacant leadership position.”

“Congressman Flake is not pleased with the current direction of the Republican Party and he feels that a leadership election would spur some competing visions for reform,” Flake spokesman Matthew Specht said. “He believes that the party needs a course correction and that starts with an election for a permanent majority leader.”

Now, Representative Flake is my congressman.  I generally agree with most of what he stands for, although I frequently find myself wondering about his effectiveness in Congress.  He seems to be against things more than he is for things, which in a weird sort of way, reminds me of the democrats.  He is very conservative (which I like), especially on spending (which I really like), but he has a reputation for being hard to work with in Congress so I wonder how well he is representing my district.  Those 320-10 votes – he’s usually one of the 10, voting against a bill on principle because of a spending issue.  I LOVE the principle, but I think he goes about it the wrong way.

Which brings me back to circulating petitions to oust the majority leader.  Tom Delay has been, on balance, a good majority leader for the party.  He’s brought a hell of a lot of bad publicity, and the target on his back is largely of his own doing.  I love the fact that he smiled in his booking photo after being arrested to deny the MSM the opportunity to photoshop his picture for the next weekly news magazine, a la OJ Simpson.  But that kind of thing sends the lefty fringe over the edge, and that brings more attention.  Bottom line, Delay pushed the edge and surrounded himself with unethical people, but I doubt he broke any laws.  If he did he deserves whatever punishment he gets, but my sense is this whole sordid affair (regarding Delay’s involvement, not Abramoff) has been largely manufactured by the Dems and their MSM lackeys.

So, Delay showed bad judgment in getting caught in the appearance of impropriety.  Just the appearance, given the current political climate, should be enough to make him take one for the team and resign.  What he didn’t need to do is resign under pressure, with a knife in his back from my congressman.

Now that he has decided to resign, who will take his place?  Most media reports I’ve seen agree that current majority whip and acting leader Roy Blunt (MO) is the frontrunner, and John Boehner (OH) confirmed as challenging him. 

Yawn.

There’s something to be said for having someone in the leadership that has zero name recogntion.  Speaker Dennis Hastert hasn’t been villainized by the opposition because no one knows who he is, and he doesn’t do anything controversial (that I’ve heard of).  That’s one approach.

Another approach would be to go with one of the dark horse candidates, specifically Mike Pence of Indiana.  Representative Pence is known as the fiscal conservative who dared to suggest that Hurricane Katrina relief be paid for by offsetting cuts in earmarked appropriations (i.e. PORK) in other districts.  I could find the links on Instapundit, but this post is so long already I think I need to stop.

So what was the point of all this rambling?

  • Tom Delay out – not a bad outcome
  • Jeff Flake – love the positions, hate the methods
  • Mike Pence – more interesting than the favored candidates

Brevity is the soul of wit, and I shall endeavor to remember that for the next post.

 

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