Saturday, December 30, 2006

This Is A Post To Distract You From More Important News

Apparently engaging your brain before you write a letter to the editors of the Des Moines Register isn't a prerequisite:
"It seems likely that the Dec. 12 federal raids at the Swift packing plants in Marshalltown and elsewhere were timed to distract the U.S. media’s attention from a British scandal in which Prime Minister Tony Blair is involved.

Blair’s collaboration with the Bush administration in its futile effort to subjugate Mesopotamia, indicates that President Bush has reasons to protect Blair from bad publicity."

-Gerald Baker
Are you kidding me? The identity theft and illegal immigration raids were nothing more than a smoke screen to cover up the scandal Blair was embroiled in on December 14th? What is must be like to view the world through a liberal's eyes.

Just to recap: the Swift raids where similar to the Nazis rounding up the Jews, cruel because it was before Christmas, heartless because they separated children from parents, and finally an elaborate cover-up to help protect the American's image of Tony Blair.

In related news, it is being speculated that the execution of Saddam Hussein was just a ruse to shift attention away from John Edward's announcement that he is running for the Presidency.

Friday, December 29, 2006

A Thank You Letter

Dear People Of Iraq,

I am humbled by your thoughtful birthday gift for me, but you really shouldn't have. The execution of Saddam Hussein for crimes against humanity was one of the best presents this staunch supporter of the Iraq war could have asked for, but I question whether my birthday was deserving of such an honor? Of course I am celebrating with you for having the courage to finally rid yourself once and for all of a homicidal dictator, but I have to be honest, a card would have sufficed.

You realize though that you have now spoiled me for future birthdays. Nintendo Wiis and Xbox 360s will no longer appease me, I am going to need the blood of deranged world leader to be spilled every year now.

In case you are looking for a few birthday gift ideas for next year and want to get a head start on the shopping, I could go for Kim Jong Il's head on a platter or maybe Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stuffed and mounted from my living room wall. I realize those are rather expensive, so if you are on a limited budget I would settle for a videotape of Hugo Chavez dying before a firing squad...I mean after all it's thought that counts.

Thank you again.

Your friend,

Jeremie Jordan

Thursday, December 28, 2006

An Early Birthday Present

Although my birthday isn't until tomorrow, I got a welcomed surprise today. A few months ago before starting CBB I wrote a post on my original blog, In A Word, whining about a short story I had lost through the years of moving around, packing and unpacking. Well this morning the fates shined on me for a few fleeting moments and I found my old writing portfolio.

To say I am excited is an understatement. As I start to rework my story I will offer it up for criticism here on CBB.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The Red Herring Pt. II

[Note: This is the second part in what will be a three part post. You can read part I here]

Worried that I might become what I dislike, this post is a long time coming. Anyone can bitch, but to provide solutions takes courage and the heart to stand up to criticism. I have written many posts explaining why I oppose raising the minimum wage, however today I will loosely outline a better solution for those people making minimum wage than a meaningless $2 an hour raise.

Politicians are always campaigning. Even when they are governing, they are campaigning. The minimum wage issue as become so contorted, so twisted that the press would have you believe that if you didn't support raising the minimum wage then you must be cruel and soulless. I contend it's those that proclaim a false hope that mere two dollar raise is going to have on someone's life are the heartless ones. Minimum wage by definition is applied to those employees that are unskilled and of an entry level type position. Raising the pay floor doesn't make this indisputable fact disappear. Raising the minimum wage will also not increase the buying power of the minimum wage earner's paycheck, as the cost of all goods and service will go up. Of this I can assure you, as raising the minimum wage is not free money that politicians found laying on the floor.

So what's the solution? Well to start with you don't help someone by raising the minimum wage, you help them by getting them out of a minimum wage job. Training and teaching them job skills. And I am not talking about college either, because not everyone is cut out for higher education. Having spent 13 years working around people making minimum wage, I have learned that those same employees tend to fail at each job they hold for the same reasons. They doom their chances of success by making the same mistakes over and over again, thus forcing them to take another job making the same low pay and cycle repeats itself. Too many times I have seen the dangled hope of a college education as some sort of cure-all to better a life, only to see them enroll just to drop out. It's not to say these people are stupid or lack abilities, it's just that their abilities lie outside the pages of a book or sitting through a lecture. The key is to unlock those abilities and find a vocation where they can use them.

About seven years ago I became the area district manager for the corporate owned Domino's Pizza stores in Des Moines [a few years before I decided I was making too money and that I should open my own business]. Coming into the new position I felt the greatest hurdle facing our stores was the lack of employees as we were grossly understaffed. The only store remotely close to having the proper staffing leveling was the one I just left to accept the promotion. Unfortunately [or fortunately, depending on your point of view] the unemployment rate in Des Moines has always been fairly low so the employee pool was/is extremely shallow. I started thinking that if I couldn't get the perspective employees to walk into the stores and apply, I would simply go out and bring the application to them. I teamed with a fellow Domino's employee named Mark Watkins, who worked at the Domino's world headquarters in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Mark was in a division called "Urban Initiatives," a branch of Domino's specifically created to targeting and help inner cities around the nation. This department was designed as a corporate outreach to assist people, not to sell them pizzas.

I sat down with Mark and explained I needed more employees. To be blunt, I said I know where a large concentration of unemployed people are...the inner city. However, we both realized that time and time again when you pull prospective employees for those areas they tend to not work out, so we started to brainstorm why. Over the course of about six months we bounced around simple ideas or quick fixes, if you will, but eventually we agreed to try something bigger. Bigger than just staffing a Domino's Pizza store. We took the employment model pioneered by Strive and decided to create our own.

Our program was designed to help eliminate obstacles preventing those people either unemployed or stuck in a minimum wage job from bettering their lives. What we found was that those people making minimum wage or who were habitually unemployed tended to believe that they were owed a job, but expected to give nothing in return. We took to dispelling this belief and crafted a three day, in-your-face approach to training these people how to get a job and how to keep it.

We partnered with Creative Visions an inner city center designed to provide help those in need. We taught four hour classes over the course of the three. Day one dealt with removing the notion that someone "owes" you something. What employers are looking for in an employee. That work is work and it will suck sometimes, but other times it will be rewarding. How to present yourself or sell yourself and your skills. And finally, having the right attitude.

By day two we would go from starting class sizes of 30+ down to about 10 or 15. The dropout rate was high and expected, but it left us with those people really intent on changing their lives. Day two was always the hardest as it dealt with the interview process. At first we would let them fail without any guidance. We placed them in the middle of the rest of the class; surrounded and alone with eyes of everyone else on them. Then after meticulously tearing down their conduct, attitude, choice of words, eye contact, and appearance we would start reconstructing them. Easily the most gratifying day of three we would teach. You started to understand that these people were failing in their jobs before they were even hired. They were setting impressions that they would have to fight everyday they worked whether true or not.

The final day of classes dealt with keeping a job once they were hired. We called them workforce issues. Ethics, sexual harassment, discrimination, diversity and teamwork. The idea wasn't just get them a job, but to set them up to succeed rather than fail. Arm them with some knowledge of what type of situations to expect in the workplace. Help them understand what is appropriate and what is not. Keep in mind this originally started as a hiring tool for Domino's, however by the end we removed that goal. We would welcome interviews, but made it clear they weren't automatically hired.

So what was the outcome of the program? I wish I could say we helped hundreds of people, but sadly this was not the case. You must realize [and I am looking directly at the dreamy eyed liberals] that you can't save everyone. No amount of money or government assistance can replace the need for them to want a better life. The government can't do it and you and I can't do for them either. You start by helping those that want help and rest will follow eventually. We hired many of the students we taught and by the time I left the Des Moines stores they were still working for the company. What that program showed me was the promise and the desire to succeed that dwells inside of every person. There is great wisdom in the proverb: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

Politicians would have you believe that raising the minimum wage will provide a new life for these people. Don't believe it. Mark my words, raising the minimum wage won't help anyone better their lives. At least not without further job skill training. However two and fours years from now the Democratic leadership will claim a certain level of success. More hallow words, that truly show how much politics is about getting power and keeping power instead of truly helping people.

I support welfare and government assistance when helps provide a bridge to a better economic station in life. Reallocate resources from within the current welfare system and provide organizations like Strive with the resources to expand their programs. Provide incentives to businesses like Domino's for attempting to think outside the box. The government must learn to work in partnership with private businesses, instead of against them. Businesses, despite the beliefs of smiley-glad-hand-pick-pocket politicians, are not an endless well of money that can be dipped into every time they need to keep a campaign promise or a new government program.

I think back to why I was once a Democrat and I recall the reasons admired Presidents like FDR and JFK. They supported public programs designed to help people, but at the same required a certain level of commitment back to the government. Civilian Conservation Corps, Public Work Administration and the Works Progress Administration were all forms of welfare, but each one required actual work on the part of the individual receiving the help. Modern day Democrats have perverted President Kennedy's famous quote imploring Americans to become more active citizens into a more selfish version: "ask not what you can do for your country, ask what your country can do for you."

It's time to return to the core values and belief that you must earn what you receive in life, rather than believing you are owed everything you receive.

[Tomorrow I will end this long winded 3 part post with a few final thoughts and shots]

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Apples To Oranges

I am not exactly sure why this is news, but the mainstream press would like you to know that US troop deaths in Iraq have exceeded the deaths of those on 9/11. Apparently this statistic somehow further explains why the Iraq war is/was wrong. One is a military operation and one was a terrorist attack, so if you add the two causality numbers together I guess it equals "Bush lied." Although to be honest, the whole new math thing has me baffled so the actual algebraic solution might be off.

Irrelevant news stories like this just anger me. Don't get me wrong, reporting the troop deaths is not "irrelevant" just the pairing of two independent statistics. It doesn't bring our troops home any faster. It doesn't ease the pain for the families grieving the loss of a son or daughter that has died in Iraq. It doesn't stop the twin towers from falling. It doesn't do anything but link two things that should not be linked.

In other news it was reported that on December 26th, John Kerry made his 57,690th stupid, Anti-American comment which incidentally is same as the number of US troops killed in the Vietnam War.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Immigration Nazi

In keeping with the latest trend of comparing everything to the 1930s Nazi Germany:

US Hispanic groups and activists on Thursday called for a moratorium on workplace raids to round up illegal immigrants, saying they were reminiscent of Nazi crackdowns on Jews in the 1930s.

"This unfortunately reminds me of when Hitler began rounding up the Jews for no reason and locking them up," Democratic Party activist Carla Vela said. "Now they're coming for the Latinos, who will they come for next?"

Oh yes, the parallels are striking...

On the bright side, Steven Spielberg is said to be working on the script for "Swift-lers's List." And with any luck the world leaders will have studied past mistakes in history and won't create a Hispanic state in the Middle East.

Other commenting: State29

I Didn't Realize Global Warming Only Took One Year

Apparently retailers are having a hard time selling winter coats this year because on average various parts of the north and northeast are about 15 degrees above the normal temperature for December. Thanks to the media and people like Al Gore, the hysteria over racks of unsold coats has New York retailers calling this the first "global warming" Christmas.

Forget the fact that last December was the "coldest in a decade for New York."

All that matters is now, right now. And right now it's warm, in fact to find another December this warm you have to go all the way back to 2001.

Friday, December 22, 2006

The Red Herring

You either believe capitalism works or you don't. If you do, you are a Republican. If you don't, you are a Democrat. Period. I have railed about this belief for a over a year now on this and other don't solve the problems of the world with greater government involvement. Take, for instance, the proposed minimum wage increase.

The issue of a minimum wage increase is a very personal one for me. I own a small business where 75% of employees make minimum wage [before you start thinking I don't pay my people well, understand after you factor in those employee's additional compensation they make over $15 an hour]. All raising the minimum wage does is drive the cost of goods up. There's a negative economic word for that and it's called "inflation." In my case, I have worked for about six years with no raise and for less than I was working before I started my small business. The carrot-at-the-end-of-the-proverbial-stick for me was that day I was to be debt free and owe no money to bank. Well that day was suppose to be 12 months from now. And now I am bitter and mad that politicians are putting their hands in my pocket and taking my money. I feel like I just working 6 days a week for 50+ hours for nothing. That money is mine. I endured the risk that goes with starting a small business and I am sorry but I believe the reward should also be mine to reap.

Democrats like to throw around statistics like: if you factor inflation, the current minimum wage is lower than it was in the 1930s or inflation has lowered the buying power of minimum wage or that the 9 years since the last minimum wage increase is the longest such span since the minimum wage was created. To those points, I say so what? Does any of that help those workers making minimum wage? Hell I'll go one further, does giving a two dollar raise help those making minimum wage?

I contend that if I wasn't competitive with my wages, I would have no employees. That whole "capitalism" thing again. My market dictates I pay a certain wage to get people to work for me. That wage [aside from the tipped employees] is no less than $8.00 per hour. If someone is making $5.15 an hour for 40 hours a week, then that someone is a fool. You can't drive down the street without seeing a fast food place hiring a fry cook for less than $7.50 an hour. It isn't the government's job to give the American worker a raise, it's the American worker's responsibility to get their own raise. Don't believe that, then you my friend are a socialist. How does it feel comrade?

Back to my personal situation, I have not taken a raise in an attempt to have a more money left to pay my staff more. I believe low turnover leads to higher sales. My belief is supported by the fact that my business will have its' third straight year of record sales. I have a staff full of employees that have worked for me over a year and most cases they have worked for since I opened the business four years ago. In my small business' industry what I just described to you would be a statistical anomaly. I also pay my assistant managers and non-tipped staff about $2 more an hour than they would make doing the same job elsewhere.

I don't hold a gun to my employee's heads and they can leave whenever they wish. An unfortunately side effect to starting a new business is that money is lean. I don't have the resources to pay my people what I want to pay them. I have had too many great employees leave for better paying jobs, but I can't afford to keep them. Someday I will, but with a minimum wage increase that someday will be further into the future. Wish to ask me about those record sales I spoke of? Believe me, the government has found away to take a large chunk of it and the rising costs of doing business each year has taken the rest. Not exactly a good feeling knowing you must achieve record sales just to spin your wheels and remain in the same place.

It isn't just the wage increase that will hurt, but the payroll taxes I must pay on those wages will also rise accordingly. You starting to see the political angles now? Don't forget that only 6% of the workforce makes minimum wage and of that six percent over 50% of them are teenagers living at home. Makes you question why minimum wage is even an issue?

Next week I will finally offer my solution to the question of minimum wage. I have mentioned I would propose an answer previously, but the issue is so raw for me that staying calm and focused is sometimes an issue. Hench the delay. However, now is the time to make my beliefs known. Will change anything? No, but at least when raising the minimum wage occurs and the economy stalls and those making minimum wage are still at the same station in life that they were before the increase I can say I told you so.

And really, isn't that what having a blog is all about anyway?

Monday, December 18, 2006

Man Sues McDonald's For Un-Happy Meal

Ames [CBB] - After having a less than joyous dinning experience at his local McDonald's, Johnathan Reed has filed a 2.4 million dollar lawsuit against the world's largest fast food chain claiming "the 'Happy Meal' didn't live up to its' name."

"I took my five year old son to out to lunch and he ordered a 4 pcs. Chicken Mc Nugget Happy Meal," Reed explained, "but after Timmy finished and I asked how his lunch was all I got was a 'fine.' Hardly what I would call 'happy'.'"

"The damn fries weren't 'fluffed,' the barbecue sauce was bland, and to top it all off they were out of the current iZ[TM] toys so my son a got cheap, Chinese piece of crap from last year's Disney flop 'Chicken Little.' Huh...Happy Meal, my ass"

Mr. Reed's lawsuit alleges "gross negligence" and "price gouging."

"I paid $3.49 for my son's Happy Meal. Considering what I got, would say the monetary worth of the food was about $2.28...$2.29...tops," Reed said.

When the Corn Beltway Boys questioned McDonald's Corp. over the pending lawsuit, we were told that it's "company policy not to discuss ongoing litigation" however they did provide us with this statement:

"While McDonald's certainly regrets any service or product issues Mr. Reed had during his last visit, we feel that he paid a fair market price for a kid's meal considering it was made by a pimp faced 14 year old with no job skills. McDonald's also questions the motives of Mr. Reed and others like him that hope to litigate themselves to wealth. Please bare in mind that our marketing department spends hundreds of millions of dollars to advertise to your kids just how great we are. Kids love us and no amount of frivolous lawsuits is going to change that. McDonald's wonders why any parent would risk potential group therapy when their child turns 25 just so they can find out their child hates them and harbors resentment over not buying them a crappy 67 cent hamburger with a cheap ass toy when they were 5 years old. McDonald's would like to think Mr. Reed would value his son's love and affection more than he does a few million dollars."

Time Magazine's Person of the Year: Jeremie Jordan

I just wanted to give everyone a heads up that I might not be blogging much in the coming few months. You see I was chosen as Time magazine's "Person of the Year" and I can only guess I will be busy with guest appearances on the View and Oprah. As I reflected on what this award meant, I realized that 2006 was a pretty good year for me but I never expected to win.

I mean sure...I am deserving but I guess I never really believed Time would recognize all that I did this year. Let us recap the greatness that was the Life of Jordan 2006:
  • Took out the trash every Friday morning
  • Started Corn Beltway Boys...thus giving Jaques a purpose in life
  • Got kicked off of for being the best blogger
  • Made fun of IrishWalsh 247 times
  • Made fun of Schmidt playing with Transformers 15 times
  • Wrote hundreds of Pulitzers Prize winning caliber posts [just like this one]
  • Played 15 hours of the Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
As I look forward, I realize winning the Person of the Year award in back to back years will be difficult, but I think making fun of Walsh, Jaques and Schmidt a few more times coupled with playing more video games I just might make it.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Drake Beats Iowa


Steve Alford will be gone by the end the of season...mark my words.

These stats pretty much sum up Alford's fate:
  • Drake is off to its' best start in 22 years
  • Iowa is off to its' worst start in 32 years
  • Drake beat Iowa for the first time in 27 years
  • Drake is coached by the guy Iowa fired to hire Steve Alford
Congrats to Tom Davis and the Bulldogs. Suck it Hawkeyes...

Al Sadr Gift Ideas, Part II

I have made a huge oversight - I left out two of the biggest gifts of the year!

1) The Saddam Chia Beard. Can't grow your own, manly Islamic beard? Can you see the smirks under the veils at your patchy, back-hair looking facial growth? Then you need the Saddam Chia Beard! Get it for the facially challenged man in your life

2) The clapper detonation device. Still a favorite among the senior citizen terrorist. Guaranteed to make a huge impression!

These are also great gifts!

[this posted reprinted from The Corn Beltway Boys by Daren Jaques]

Friday, December 15, 2006

Cardboard Box Housing Market Continues To Soften

Des Moines [CBB] - For the second straight quarter cardboard box home sales fell, indicating a cooling of the corrugated housing marketing.

"I've had my old refrigerator box on the market for about 6 months now with no realistic offers," said homeless man Cletus Hooper, "I bought the box for a half a bottle of Scotch and a cigarette butt, however now I am worried if I can even get my initial investment back"

Hooper isn't alone according to David Wyss, chief economist at Standard & Poor's in New York, because as unemployment rates continue to plummet Wyss believes there will be a flood of cardboard box homes hitting the market.

"It's going to destitute buyers market for the next few years until the Democrats can enact enough policy decisions to slow the economy down and get unemployment rates rising again," Wyss projected, "in the short term we are appealing to the public to destroy their old washing machine and refrigerator boxes to help reduce supply."

In the meantime it's a waiting game for box owners like Cletus.

"I am trying to stay optimistic and proactive," Hooper explained, "I just signed up for HGTV's "Flip This Box" and I plan on installing a second mason jar bathroom in the back corner. The real key is not to get discouraged."

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Old School Gaming

This started over at Ace of Spades, but seeing the video made me get all nostalgic for the simple days of my youth playing Super Mario Bros. with Daren. We both ruled over the game, but Daren's skillz were a bit more mad than mine. Simply beating the game wasn't enough for us after awhile and soon we started creating our own challenges: beat the game without dying [warping OK] or high score and time. Oddly enough, beating SMB in lighting speed [about 5 minutes] has become a bit of internet lore. Since I know from personal experience and watching Daren do it too, it can be done with out the aid of computers.

However, the video appears to use a non-cheat/cheat explained here.

Anyway, I posted the video because I have a blog and time to kill. And in the blogging world that is reason enough...

Blind Ammunition

I normally don't condone any restriction on the ownership of firearms. The Constitution grants the right to bare arms and I will not dispute it...automatic, black power, or otherwise. Striping gun ownership rights only removes the guns from law abiding citizens, as criminals will still find access to them.

However, today I am making an amendment to my stanch opposition to wide ranging gun control. May I present a proposed bill from Texas that would grant the legally blind the right to hunt.
"This opens up the fun of hunting to additional people, and I think that's great," said Republican Rep. Edmund Kuempel

A bill filed for the 2007 legislative session would permit legally blind hunters to use laser sights, or lighted pointing instruments.
"I've seen this on TV before, when they're taking target practice," Kuempel said. "When they aim the gun, the guide tells them, aim two inches higher or two inches lower and you're on the target, and you're off and running."

Off and running? Truer words have never been spoken, because I can only guess there will be a lot of running and ducking if the blind become armed.Blogger beta: In A Word - Create Post

There are certain things in life that require ability of sight to enjoy and I would put hunting near the top of the list. Aside from the sound and recoil of the gun, exactly what experience is there for the blind? And let me state, for the record, I still believe the blind should have access to gun ownership just not hunting.
Hunters using sights under the proposed legislation would have to carry proof that they are legally blind.
I guess the cane and seeing eye dog wouldn't be enough of a clue...

Sen. Johnson in Critical Condition After Surgery

Obviously, we all wish him a speedy recovery. There are times for politics, but this is not one of them.

The press and political pundits have been covering South Dakota democratic Senator Johnson's health so closely due to the tight one vote majority in US Senate between the two political parties. The reason? Because if Johnson is unable to fulfill his duties a replacement will be appointed by the South Dakota's Governor, Mike Rounds, who happens to be a Republican.

While the political vultures circle around Johnson's health, let me state this clearly: if he is incapacitated and unable to serve in the Senate his replacement SHOULD be a Democrat. Period. Even as a Republican, I realize the American people have spoken during the last election. Americans want Democratic leadership for at least the next two years and the 2006 election outcome should be preserved.

If Republicans wish to lead again, they would be better served by returning to their roots of conservatism, then by starting a dead pool on Tim Johnson.

Do You Remember Where You Were When...?

Generations have defining moments. Grave instances of profound meaning that embed their images and consequences into your memory. My grandparents had Pearl Harbor. My parents had JFK's and Martin Luther King's assassinations and man walking on the moon. My generation had the Challenger shuttle disaster and 9/11.

You never know when these tragedies will happen or which ones will linger longer than others. One thing is certain though, you will always remember where you were and precise time when you heard the news.


Where were you on December 13th, 2006 @7:30PM: "The Day Immigration Officials Stole Christmas?"

I am not sure if Mexican illegal immigrants and their apologists take classes on how-to-properly-word-their statements-when-interviewed-by-the press, but it appears hysterics are a must.

Consider these two quotes:
“When 9/11 came along, everyone remembered it,” said Isis Diaz, 14, and a freshman. “I think everyone will remember this.”


"Why did they have to do this two weeks before Christmas?" asked Linae Brush, joining a crowd of about 100 employees and family members outside the plant to support her neighbors, who work for Swift. "I think they're sending a message, a nasty message."
Correlating a raid to detain people breaking the law and the terrorist attacks in NYC? What the fuck?

And law enforcement officials aren't suppose to up hold the law two weeks before Christmas? Give me a break.

Believe me, I will forget these raids as soon as there's another one [and there better be another one... no make that another ONE hundred more]. In fact, I doubt these raids were even a defining moment for those illegal immigrants arrested. So I am sorry Isis Diaz, but the raids of December 13th, 2006 are nothing compared to 9/11.

Call me an evil conservative if you will, but I hope INS sends a few more "nasty messages" before Christmas. I am heartless like that...

Also commenting: State 29

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Christmas Comes Early...

I mean really, can you have a Star Wars Christmas special without Bea Arthur and Jefferson Starship?

A Step In The Right Direction...Er...Left

Call me cautiously optimistic, but I think the Democrats are making some smart moves leading into the 2007 session of congress. Today it was announced that they are going to remove all "pet projects" from spending bills.
Democrats tidying up a cluster of unfinished spending bills dumped on them by departing Republican leaders in Congress will start by removing billions of dollars in lawmakers' pet projects next month.

The move, orchestrated by the incoming chairmen of the House and Senate Appropriations committees, could prove politically savvy even as it proves unpopular with other members of Congress, who as a group will lose thousands of so-called earmarks.

"There will be no congressional earmarks," Rep. David Obey, D-Wis., and Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., said Monday in a statement announcing their plans, which were quickly endorsed by incoming Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and soon-to-be Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D- Nev.
While I completely understand that not all of those allocations of tax money are pork, but I don't think starting over with a clean balance sheets is a bad idea either.

I couldn't care less about congress not taking a pay raise or working five days a week, because frankly those moves are most likely just political posturing. However, I would actually find myself supporting a majority of the Democratic social services, if we could get the rest of the national spending in order.

Alright, alright...I might have overstated my last sentence, but you get where I am coming from.

Monday, December 11, 2006

When It Comes To Terrorism, Democrats Don't Know Shitte

Not that I am inferring that Democrats don't understand the severity of the war on terror...

Incoming House intelligence chief botches easy intel quiz
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Rep. Silvestre Reyes of Texas, who incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has tapped to head the Intelligence Committee when the Democrats take over in January, failed a quiz of basic questions about al Qaeda and Hezbollah, two of the key terrorist organizations the intelligence community has focused on since the September 11, 2001 attacks.

When asked by CQ National Security Editor Jeff Stein whether al Qaeda is one or the other of the two major branches of Islam -- Sunni or Shiite -- Reyes answered "they are probably both," then ventured "Predominantly -- probably Shiite."

That is wrong. Al Qaeda was founded by Osama bin Laden as a Sunni organization and views Shiites as heretics.

Reyes could also not answer questions put by Stein about Hezbollah, a Shiite group on the U.S. list of terrorist organizations that is based in Southern Lebanon.
Sounds like Majority Speaker Pelosi made a fine choice in appointing Reyes to head the Intelligence Committee. In fact Reyes ended the quiz by saying "that spreading of communism will not go unchecked!"

Republican Lawmakers Unionize

Lost in the chaos and blitz of the final few hours of the 2006 session of congress was the vote by Republican lawmakers to unionize. Fearing a hostile working environment under the incoming Democratic controlled congress, the Republican leaders formed the Pachyderm Lawmakers Union Of America Local 527.

"With the Democrats proposing a five day work week and no congressional pay raises in the foreseeable future, Republicans felt they needed an unified voice to bring both parties to the bargaining table," Pachyderm Union President Dennis Hastert announced during a press conference, "It comes down to whether or not we will be able to financially provide for our families, not to mention having the time to see them."

With congress already gridlocked to a near stand still with partisan politics, industry experts expressed deep concerns for yet another layer of bureaucracy.

"Hey, I am all for gridlock if it keeps the blood sucking politicians out of my back pocket, but I don't think forming an union was the right approach," well known and beloved Corn Beltway Boys blogger Jeremie Jordan said, "having to go through the procedural channels of labor negotiations just to discuss and debate the passage of bills seems excessive. Frankly, I thought that was what the House pages were for...well that and picking up their dry cleaning."

The Democratic response to the new Republican union was surprising negative.

"We spend the entire campaign cycle playing lip service to the unions while pandering for a few votes," new US House of Representatives majority leader Nancy Pelosi said after hearing of the union vote, "now I am expected to work with them? Screw that...ever heard of a lockout?"

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Her Parents Are So Proud

You know me, I'm the lazy man's blogger. If there's an easy joke, I don't pass it up. I live for the posts that write themselves. While I make fun of the cut and paste bloggers, I wish I had the attention span to do that all day, but I don't...oh, look at the bright shinny colors. However, yesterday the blogging world was grace with this little gem of a story:
If reports are true that Chelsea Clinton and her boyfriend Marc Mezvinsky are considering marriage, the father of the groom won't be able to attend the wedding until he is released from prison in November 2008.

Ed Mezvinsky, a former Democratic Congressman from Iowa, is serving a seven-year sentence for fraud after getting caught up in a series of Nigerian e-mail scams.
I do love how the story and the headline skirt around the the fact that Mezvinsky is a crook. "Former Congressman Duped by Nigerian Scams," unless you read the article you would almost think Mezvinsky was the victim. He was the "victim" up and until he decided to use the Nigerian e-mail scam on family and friends...then he became the leading Democratic candidate for President in '08.

Background similarities between these two families is undeniable. It really is no wonder Chelsea and Marc have fallen in love, the only thing I would be worried about is whether or not they might actually be distant cousins.

You can just imagine the holiday get together between the two families:

Bill: So Ed, good to see you again. Looks like prison treated you well.
Ed: Yeah it wasn't too bad, I actually ran into a couple of your friends. They say "hi."
Bill: I was talking with Chelsea and Marc, they seem to be ready to take over the family business. I figured I could teach them the shady land deals and...
Ed: ...and I can teach them internet scams.