An Australian fire, a Dutch MP, Barney Frank and Maxine Waters.
On the surface the stories are just old and new.
But if signal flares count for anything, they are going off now at a rate that rivals the Fourth of July fireworks over the Washington Monument.
First (but of course), America’s Barney Frank.
The story dates from 2007. Various news outlets (CNN, Washington Examiner) report that Congressman Barney Frank has been to Brussels and, as well, London. On the trip with him is his House Financial Services buddy, Rep. Maxine Waters. How did they get there? After all, this is the crew (along with another HFS Committee member, California’s Brad Sherman) who would soon be hauling carmakers and bankers in front of their committee to complain about the use of private jets from those who accept taxpayer dollars.
Well, they flew, of course. Specifically on a Boeing 737 Executive Jet operated by 201st Airlift Squadron of the D.C. Air Reserve Guard. Which is to say, a jet paid for by the taxpayers. You. Were they cramped in their seats? No. We learn that the Barnster and Maxie were in “plush first class seats.” They had 34 to chose from. Plus, according to CNN, a conference area with table and full length couch, retractable movie screens that pop out of ceiling to see the latest movie, and a galley for full meals, snacks, and appetizers. This leaves out the Air Force stewards at their beck and call, not to mention the usual staff, both civilian and military.
Cost to hike Mr. Frank and Ms. Waters and their entourage across the pond to a couple European capitals and back? $10,000 an hour. Cost for that part of the adventure? $160,000.
Let’s move Down Under.
As we speak, stunned Australians are in the process of recovering from a vicious fire that has killed at least 200 people.
Let’s have a victim speak for himself. The account is from the theage.com.au (caution, a profanity ahead.):
ANGRY residents last night accused local authorities of contributing to the bushfire toll by failing to let residents chop down trees and clear up bushland that posed a fire risk.
During question time at a packed community meeting in Arthurs Creek on Melbourne’s northern fringe, Warwick Spooner — whose mother Marilyn and brother Damien perished along with their home in the Strathewen blaze — criticised the Nillumbik council for the limitations it placed on residents wanting the council’s help or permission to clean up around their properties in preparation for the bushfire season. “We’ve lost two people in my family because you dickheads won’t cut trees down,” he said.
“We wanted trees cut down on the side of the road … and you can’t even cut the grass for God’s sake.”
Later, the meeting was cut short when Mr Spooner’s father, Dennis, collapsed in his chair and an ambulance had to be called. Despite losing his wife and son and everything he owned, a friend later said he had not stopped or slept since the weekend.
Another resident said she had asked the council four times to tend to out-of-control growth on public land near her home, but her pleas had been ignored.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?