The Jake Files

April 9, 2006

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. 

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March 8, 2006

Chandler AZ Council Race – Direct Mail Week of March 6th

In this last full week of the race, the mail is coming fast and furious.  Actually, before I get into this week’s mail, I neglected to post one piece I received a week ago last Saturday.  I got a door hanger from Phill Westbrooks that was targeted directly at my neighborhood.  It mentioned under no uncertain terms:

I will not ever support Wal-Mart on Arizona Ave. and Riggs Rd.  Vice Mayor Phill Westbrooks

It also takes a shot at the Mayor:

Mayor Dunn has failed to manage Chandler’s growth – our streets, parks, and police services are lagging far behind in Southeast Chandler.

So, back to this week.

Chris Stage sent two pieces.  One focused on Ms. Stage’s “commitment to Chandler’s public safety.”  The second highlighted endorsements from Matt Orlando, Patti Bruno, and Martin Sepulveda. (more…)

Party Affiliation in Chandler Mayoral and Council Race

The last Chandler City Council meeting before Tuesday’s election was a showcase of political sniping.

It started when Councilman Martin Sepulveda questioned Mayor Boyd Dunn’s public appearances with Republican congressmen and called for an elected officials’ “code of conduct.”

Sepulveda, who is backing Dunn challenger Phill Westbrooks, said, “It’s not my intent to browbeat,” but challenged Dunn’s Feb. 20 appearance with U.S. Sen. John McCain on the city’s cable channel and mailing, at city expense, invitations to a public session with U.S. Rep. Jeff Flake in November.

Today’s story in the Arizona Republic by Edythe Jensen highlights the tension on the current council. 

It also helps answer a question that I, and several people looking for information on this site, have been trying to find out:

Search term:  “Westbrooks what political party is he” – 7 hits

Search term:  “Boyd Dunn Chandler, AZ Republican” – 13 hits (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 12, 2006

Sheehan Withdraws from CA Senate Race (sigh)

Filed under: Cindy Sheehan,Democratic Party,Moonbats,Politics — Amazing Jake @ 8:15 am

I posted on January 30th on Cindy Sheehan’s flirt with a Senate run, and apparently there were not enough people that clicked the link to support Cindy’s run.

So it turns out that Cindy decided not to run:

“I, as an American and as the mother of a hero, pledge to do what I can as a citizen to end the occupation of Iraq,” Sheehan told reporters. “I am not running against Senator Feinstein, but I will continue to be a thorn in her side and a thorn in the side of any representative who is not stridently working for peace.”

I’m deeply disappointed.  On the other hand, if Cindy isn’t tied up campaigning in California, she can spend more time spreading her insanity all over the country.  And beyond!

Decision 2008 – Hillary Clinton

Filed under: Democratic Party,Hillary Clinton,Politics — Amazing Jake @ 7:55 am

I was speaking with a friend on Friday about Hillary Clinton’s chances in 2008.  I said that I couldn’t wait for the Democrats to nominate her, citing last week’s Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll.  That poll gave a list of candidates and asked, among other things, which candidate would the respondent “definitely” vote for, and also asked which candidate would they “under no conditions” vote for.  Hillary led the pack in both categories.  It also helps that she loses in every head to head matchup against named Republicans.

When my friend asked why I was so against Hillary, I hesitated for a minute because it seemed so obvious.  I talked about her avoidance of taking stands so she could appeal to the middle, while taking money from the hard left causes.  I also talked about how polarizing she is, as evidenced by the aforementioned poll.

Now come this article in today’s Times Online:

HILLARY CLINTON would make an excellent president, according to Meg Hirschberg, whose husband runs a hugely successful organic yoghurt company in New Hampshire: “She’s amazing and brilliant and smart and lovely.”

So that’s a vote for Clinton in 2008, then? Not at all. Hirschberg is thinking of backing Mark Warner, the former governor of Virginia, a likable, low-key, moderate Democrat who won a traditionally Republican state and, by all accounts, ran it competently. At this stage, it is enough of a recommendation.

 

“I don’t know a thing about him and I don’t care,” Hirschberg said last week as Warner listened to her husband explaining the finer points of organic farming. “I just want somebody with decent values who can win. It’s nothing to do with Hillary personally. It’s irrational and unfair, but she is polarising.”

If Democrats recognize this fact, it will make a very interesting primary season.  Ultimately, they won’t be able to help themselves from nominating Hillary, but the primaries will ensure that Hillary takes firm positions that put her squarely in the leftist camp, and will ensure that she turns off middle-of-the-road Democratic voters. 

February 10, 2006

Are You Kidding Me?

Filed under: Democratic Party,Politics — Amazing Jake @ 6:56 am

Senator Harry Reid has insisted that the Jack Abramoff affair is a Republican scandal, and has angrily disputed suggestions that he was in any way involved.

Then comes this story in the Washington Post:

Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid wrote at least four letters helpful to Indian tribes represented by Jack Abramoff, and Reid’s staff had frequent contact with the disgraced lobbyist’s team about legislation.

The activities — detailed in previously unreported billing records and correspondence — occurred over three years as Reid (D-Nev.) collected nearly $68,000 in political donations from Abramoff’s firm, lobbying partners and clients.

Reid’s office yesterday acknowledged having “routine contacts” with Abramoff’s lobbying partners. Reid intervened on government matters in ways that Abramoff’s tribal clients might have deemed helpful, once opposing legislation on the Senate floor and four times sending letters pressing the Bush administration on tribal issues. Reid collected donations around the time of each action.

Abramoff’s firm also hired one of Reid’s top legislative aides as a lobbyist. The aide later helped throw a fundraiser for Reid at Abramoff’s firm that raised money from several of Abramoff’s lobbying partners.

A Reid spokesman said none of the senator’s actions were affected by donations or done for Abramoff. “All the actions that Senator Reid took were consistent with his long-held beliefs, such as not letting tribal casinos expand beyond reservations, and were taken to defend the interests of Nevada constituents,” spokesman Jim Manley said.

Who does Reid think he’s kidding?  His office has made statements saying that the actions he took reflected his long-standing positions on issues.  That may be true, or it may not – I’m not an expert on Senator Reid’s views.  But in any case, the prevailing view of the Democratic left is that any hint of controversy, any possibility of an iota of a possibility of scandal, is enought to hang the whole mess on a Republican.  So, where is Senator Reid’s outrage about the unfair treatment of Republicans who may have had contact with Abramoff’s clients.  I expect we’ll hear nothing but crickets chirping from the Senator’s office.

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