Greinke split the 2012 season between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Los Angeles Angels going a combined 15-5 with a 3.48 ERA with 200 strikeouts. His best season came in 2009 when he won the AL Cy Young Award while with the Kansas City Royals.
The 29-year old righthander joins a rotation which includes 2011 NL Cy Young winner Clay Kershaw, Josh Beckett, Chris Capuano and Chad Billingsley.
Given his history of anxiety, Greinke wouldn’t normally be a good match with such a high profile team but with the likes of Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez and Matt Kemp, Greinke won’t be the center of attention. He is entering the prime of his career and should have several productive seasons in Dodger Blue.
Today, Hamas commemorated its 25th anniversary in Gaza City featuring a speech by its leader Khaled Meshal who was making his first appearance in Gaza.
All of which makes me wonder what would be the most appropriate gift to give to a terrorist organization celebrating its silver anniversary.
Well, if something with a boom is too messy then a silver bullet with Meshal’s name on it would be more than suitable.
Although originally drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays, Young has spent his entire big league career in a Rangers uniform. He made his big league debut with the Rangers late in the 2000 season. Young has a lifetime .301 batting average, has collected 200 or more hits six times, is a seven time AL All Star and won the AL batting title in 2005. He is the Rangers all time leader in games, at bats, hits, runs, doubles and triples.
However, with a year left on his contract, the Rangers were planning to diminish Young’s playing time. So Young consented to the trade.
The concern I have is that the entire Phillies infield is over 33 with Young being the eldest at 36.
On the other hand, the Phillies did acquire 24-year old fleet flooted, centerfielder Ben Revere from the Twins during the Winter Meetings.
Then again, I still think Young has something left in the tank and could feast on NL pitching in 2013.
On Sunday, at 1:05 PM Mountain Time (3:05 PM Eastern), my guest on The Ross Kaminsky Show will be former Senator Alan Simpson (WY), recently of Simpson-Bowles Commission fame.
In recent days, Senator Simpson has seen a YouTube video of his current project, The Can Kicks Back, go viral. It’s rather amusing:
Our conversation should be informative and entertaining. I hope you’ll try to listen in. If you’re not in range of the radio waves, you can listen online at http://850koa.com
Getting a lot of mileage out of a Heritage conference about which I already have written here, now this is my last installment.
One particularly scary passage:
Heritage has produced a proposed budget/policy design that reaches a balanced budget and that “fully funds defense at 4 percent of GDP” (rather than heading well below 3 percent, as we are in the process of doing). The U.S. has served as the world’s “safety net” - not its policeman, but its ultimate guarantor of geopolitical stability - but “if we take the safety net off the table… that’s not okay…. It would mean that World War III is coming.”
This afternoon/evening, I’ll be a guest on The Jerry Doyle Show. For those of you who haven’t heard Jerry, I offer him my strongest recommendation among nationally-syndicated talk shows. It’s no surprise to me that Jerry’s popularity and show rankings are skyrocketing, with him recently taking over (on many stations) the time slot vacated by Michael Savage. What a huge upgrade that was!
I’ve been a frequent guest of Jerry’s, talking about politics, news of the day, and even sports, and I imagine we’ll get to all of that today as well when I visit with Jerry at 6:30 PM Eastern Time (4:30 PM here in the Rocky Mountains.)
I hope you’ll have a chance to listen. You can find a list of stations which carry the show here, though I’m not sure if it’s fully up to date after taking over the Savage slots.
Major Quake strikes off Japan, setting off small Rsunami (CNN News)
Egypt’s Morsi, looking to Army for support, pushes charter that enshrines Military’s Oower (Washington Post)
Horrific Fire revealed a Gap in Safety for Global Brands (NY Times)
The GOP’s Tax Triumph (National Review)
Solemn Ceremony at Pearl Harbor, 71 Years later (CBS News)
Administration weighs legal Action against States that legalized Marijuana Use (NY Times)
Palestinian Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal visits Gaza (BBC News)
Barack Obama, Mitt Romney both topped $1 billion in 2012 (Politico)
Ken Fisher, Billionaire Forbes Writer, attempts to argue that the U.S. needs fewer Jobs (Huffington Post)
Drummer Ed Cassidy passed away today at the age of 89.
Cassidy began drumming as a teenager and over the years drummed with big band, jazz and country/western bands. Over the years, Cassidy played with the likes of Gerry Mulligan, Roland Kirk and Taj Mahal.
But Cassidy was best known for his stint with the psychadelic band Spirit. Cassidy stood out in the 60s because he had a shaved head, wore all black and was in his 40s. In fact, he was the stepfather of Spirit’s lead guitarist Randy California. Needless to say, he kind of stood out when Spirit would appear on TV to perform their big hit “I Got a Line on You”.
Cassidy often did drum solos barehanded which would influence Led Zeppelin’s John Bonham. Led Zeppelin opened up for Spirit during a 1969 tour.
Cassidy was affectionately known as “Mr. Skin” and I leave you with that song.
Today the Senate passed a landmark update to US law on Russia:
The U.S. Senate on Thursday repealed a trade sanction imposed 38 years ago to force the Soviet Union to allow Jews and other religious minorities to emigrate, replacing it with a modern-day punishment for human rights abuse that has enraged Russian officials.
The old law, one of the last vestiges of the Cold War, was called the Jackson-Vanik Amendment, named after a U.S. senator and a representative. The new law, passed 92 to 4, grants Russia and Moldova permanent normal trade relations, but it is coupled with the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act, which honors a dead Russian. The law blacklists Russians connected to the death of Magnitsky in police custody and to other gross human rights violations, prohibiting entrance to the United States and use of its banking system.
This was the end of a long battle that the White House lost. With Russia’s admission to the World Trade Organization this year, American exporters began to be punished for the trade restrictions ostensibly required by Jackson-Vanik, even though the restrictions had in practice been routinely waived since the fall of the Soviet Union. The Obama administration sought a clean repeal of Jackson-Vanik uncoupled from the Magnitsky Act, but a bipartisan alliance in Congress rightly objected to the symbolism of normalizing trade relations with Russia without any acknowledgement of Moscow’s current authoritarian orientation. With its direct sanctions on human rights violators, the Magnitsky Act is a welcome move toward raising the cost of that authoritarianism.
Here’s how the State Department responded to the bill’s passage:
The United States welcomes the passage by the Senate today of H.R. 6156, which terminates the application of the Jackson-Vanik Amendment to Russia and Moldova and authorizes the President to extend Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) to both countries. The passage of this bill will allow American businesses to reap the same economic opportunities in Russia’s markets that other World Trade Organization members receive, resulting in greater access for American workers, companies, farmers, ranchers, and service providers and the creation of more American jobs.
We share Congress’ goals of promoting respect for human rights in Russia, and consider democracy, human rights, and civil society to be important components of our relationship with the Russian government and the Russian people. We also support Moldova’s ongoing reform efforts and its aspirations for further integration into European institutions.
The emphasis is hard to miss. Foggy Bottom hails the benefits of Jackson-Vanik repeal, and refers only vaguely to the equally-important sanctions on Putin’s thugs. The administration may claim to “share Congress’ goal of promoting respect for human rights in Russia,” but they can’t bring themselves to endorse Congress’ policy apporach to that goal, or even mention the word “Magnitsky” in their press release.
Recalling Obama’s vow to Dmitry Medvedev that he’d have more “flexibility” on missile defense negotiations after re-election, it’s hard not to worry that the administration’s obsequious posture toward Russia may soon manifest itself beyond press releases.
Check out this item on my local Fox affiliate on how some dog trainers in New Zealand are training dogs to drive cars. That’s right, motoring mutts. Gives a whole new dimension to motor voter laws, doesn’t it? (Pole worker: “Do you have a photo ID with you, Shep? And what is your last name?”) If the practice reaches our shores, will Obama soon be forcing insurance companies to provide free dog treats?
At least Monty won’t be talking on a cell phone while driving. And surely he will be less of a risk on the road than Lindsay Lohan, though with apologies to Monty, that’s setting the bar pretty low. We’re probably all right until a cat or rabbit runs across the road in front of him.
There’s no mention of why these folks, who clearly love dogs and have their best interests in mind, would want dogs behind the wheel of a car instead of hanging their heads out one of the car’s windows lapping air, as God intended. Perhaps people in New Zealand just have more time on their hands than folks elsewhere.
This brings my best wishes to Monty and his furry colleagues. But perhaps dog trainers in New Zealand need to take a time-out and reassess their goals.
Earlier today, it was widely reported that President Obama is meeting with a “middle-class” family to use them as a prop for his push to raise taxes on the wealthy. That family has now been identified on the White House blog:
Last week, President Obama called on Americans to speak out about what a $2,000 tax hike next year would mean for them and their families – and thousands of people from around the country are doing just that.
We’ve heard from more than 370,000 people in all 50 states, and many say that paying $2,000 more in taxes would force families to make some tough choices about their household budgets. For some, it might mean deciding whether to buy groceries or fill a prescription. For others, it would be the difference in making rent or paying tuition.
Tiffany, who lives in Northern Virginia with her husband, seven-year old son, and parents, is one of the many people who wrote in. The “picture of the 21st middle class,” her family decided on their multi-generation blended living situation to save money and spend more time together.
But with two sets of working adults – a teacher and an auto industry worker, and a child-care provider and postal worker –Tiffany said that her household would be doubly affected by a tax hike. And as a family of budding entrepreneurs, they would have less money to get their new businesses off the ground.
Today, President Obama will meet Tiffany and her family in their home, to talk more about how why it’s so important for Congress to pass the middle-class tax cuts before the end of the year, both for families like hers and our economy.
Before he arrives, get to know Tiffany and her family, and hear her talk in her own words about what a $2,000 tax hike would mean to them.
Now, of course, props are common for politicians. President Bush traveled with his mother to talk about Social Security reform. Former Rep. John Shadegg (R-AZ) brought a baby, Maggie, to the House floor during a one-minute speech. And there is the famous “kissing babies” all politicians must do.
However, visiting Tiffany’s family seems like a stretch for the President. First, Tiffany’s family lives in the suburbs around Washington, D.C. We are not told what their income is as a family, but we are informed they are a middle-class family. As a former native of New Hampshire, I know a family lives modestly well on a middle-class income. Given that the D.C. Metro area is the wealthiest region in America, and has held that position for multiple years thanks to an increase in the number of federal employees, lobbyists, and other people sucking off the teat of the taxpayer in the last couple of years, it strikes me that some of the financial difficulties Tiffany’s family faces is at least partially a direct result of President Obama’s policies.
Speaking of the Obama policies, how about that economy? The jobs report isn’t likely to be all that hot, again thanks to the President’s policies.
Third, the $2,000 tax hike the President is referring to — the one that will devastate Tiffany’s family — is nothing compared to the $142,000 debt each person in her family has to face, thanks in part to President Obama’s massive expansion of spending and the continuously poor economy.
Lastly, as I noted last night at Hot Air, the President has pretty poor priorities. He’s willing to hold 98% of taxpayers hostage for an increase in taxes that will cover less than 2% of projected spending over the next decade, and do nothing for the $61 trillion in long-term debts, liabilities, and obligations Tiffany’s son’s generaiton will face as it ages. Never mind that Republicans have already offered at least two plans — including a budget, a rarity in Democratic Party circles these days — that would keep tax rates constant for the middle-class. The GOP’s plans are woefully inadequate, especially the latest one, but they are plans that prevent Tiffany’s family from seeing a $2,000 tax hike. I guess the President’s care for the middle-class ends when political gain is around the corner.
Now, this emotional tug at the heart strings of Americans may garner more support for the President’s tax hike proposal. It may not. But in the end, nothing replaces good policy for the fiscal future of America — even if it doesn’t sell as well as a multi-generational middle-class family.
That didn’t take long.
Our friends at Human Events have this from Howard Dean.
“…the truth is everybody needs to pay more taxes, not just the rich.”
So there you have it. It isn’t just the rich. As conservatives have long predicted, the Democrats are coming for the middle class.
They are coming for “everybody.”
Clarity at last.
Bless you, Governor Dean.
And a Merry Christmas to you too!
I have the report at CFIF.
Short version: An extension of a ridiculous bailout for big banks and rich people who don’t need it. Taxpayers should not be on the hook for deposits so big. It just further supports the bad idea of “too big to fail.”
This was originally part of TARP. Ugh. It stinks. Please do read my report at CFIF.
Yes, I’m worried about the fiscal cliff, Obamacare, and all the other irreversible abominations which will result from President Obama’s November victory. But the thing that keeps me up at night and really makes me shudder is an unexpected Supreme Court opening.
By Asher Embry
To Antonin, Anthony, Clarence and Sam
And also to John (though still fuming I am);
I pray every night you stay chipper and stout
At least ‘til O’s term ends and he’s finally out.
Ms. Kagan can gorge all she wants, I don’t care.
And Breyer and Ginsburg and Sotomayor.
The others: good diets and early to bed —
We can’t risk the Justice O’d put in their stead.
I’m sorry this verse is so morbid and curt;
O tipping the Court we must simply avert.
(You can read more of Asher Embry’s Political Verse at www.politicalverse.com.)
The always studious Ann Coulter has an amazing column out this morning on the nation’s immigration issue.
Found here in Human Events, Ann has spent some time poring through the fine print of the election returns.
Her findings, made in studying the stats from Pew Research, startle. They must become part of the immigration debate to come with Republicans.
Did you know, for example, that Romney carried the youth vote? With 54% of the vote? To Obama’s 41%?
Did you know that in fact Romney also carried, by a small margin, what Ann calls the “Lena Dunham demographic” -– women under 30?
Here’s the problem. That 54% of the under-30 vote that Romney got? White as a polar bear.
In fact, it was Obama who won the youth vote — and it wasn’t because he was “offering free tuition and contraception.” It’s because the under-thirty vote is “the knife’s edge of a demographic shift” to young immigrants who are turned into government dependents.
In Ann’s words: “The youth vote is a snapshot of elections to come if nothing is done to reverse the deluge of unskilled immigrants pouring into the country as a result of Ted Kennedy’s 1965 immigration act. Eighty-five percent of legal immigrants since 1968 have come from the Third World. A majority of them are in need of government assistance.”
It’s a stunning, must read column — and prefigures the immigration debate that looms ahead.
Senator Jim DeMint, a stalwart champion of the Tea Party and principles of liberty, is resigning from the United States Senate to become the new President of the Heritage Foundation, replacing Heritage founder Ed Feulner.
Hillary Clinton, Russian Counterpart Sergey Lavrov to meet for Syria Crisis Talks (CBS News)
Obama changes Tune on Budget (Washington Times)
GOP Senator backs Tax Rate Hike on Wealthy (CNN News)
In Egypt, Protests turn violent as political Crisis intensifies (Washington Post)
Obamacare: The Resistance Endures (National Review)
Gay Wash. Couples get Marriage Licenses (ABC News)
Philippine Typhoon Bopha Death Toll passes 300 (BBC News)
Legalizing Marijuana: Washington Law goes into Effect, allowing Recreational Use of Drug (Huffington Post)
Trail to a Hedge Fund, from a Cluster of Cases (NY Times)
Police: Suspect arrested in deadly New York Subway push (MSNBC)
Jazz legend Dave Brubeck passed away today of heart failure one day shy of his 92nd birthday.
Brubeck is best known for the landmark 1959 album Time Out which showcased his experimentation with time signatures. Time Out features songs like “Blue Rondo a la Turk”, “Three to Get Ready” and, most famously of all, the Paul Desmond penned “Take Five”.
In June 2010, I had the good fortune of seeing Brubeck in concert with Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops at Symphony Hall. By this point, Brubeck’s health had become frail and he had to be assisted to the piano. But once he started playing his timeless music, the years just fell away.
UPDATE: In a 2005 interview with the AP, Brubeck likened jazz to democracy:
Jazz is about freedom within discipline. Usually a dictatorship like in Russia and Germany will prevent jazz from being played because it just seemed to represent freedom, democracy and the United States.
Many people don’t understand how disciplined you have to be to play jazz….And that is really the idea of democracy - freedom within the Constitution or discipline. You don’t just get out there and do anything you want.
Words of wisdom. Now it is up to us to ensure this wisdom doesn’t die with Dave Brubeck.
How calmly he sticks the knife in…
Not just because we both write for these pages, I generally enjoy Ben Stein’s work. It’s personable, obviously sincere, and conveys actual human emotion extraordinarily well.
But with increasing frequency, Ben’s bombast regarding Republicans and tax policy is driving me up a wall. And since I have the privilege of being able to post my thoughts about this in a separate blog note where it might be seen by more people than a comment to Ben’s note would be, I’m going to use that privilege.
In particular, I’d like to respond to these thoughts of Ben’s from his American Spectator article today. I quote his tax-related paragraphs in full, to prevent any question of my taking his words out of context:
How did we ever get into the position of fighting like madmen to keep taxes low on billionaires? How can we possibly win if our position is to sacrifice the welfare of poor and lower middle class people to make sure we keep the taxes of very wealthy people low? Let’s see: Obama is for keeping almost all entitlements and raising taxes on the rich (his definition of rich is insane but that’s another story). Our GOP position is low taxes on the rich and cut entitlements and medical care for the poor. Hmmm, which is a winning position?
My old boss, Mr. Nixon, used to say, “Honesty may not be the best policy but it’s worth trying once in a while.”
So, Let’s be honest: the ultra-rich do not need ultra-low taxes. The poor have a moral claim on the generosity of the nation if they are genuinely in need. Might we just try to align ourselves with the morally right position for fiscal policy?
Yes, government spends insanely too much. Yes, government is criminally wasteful. But the nation is racing towards bankruptcy. Do we right the course by taking from the very rich — while searching like Sherlock Holmes for waste to cut? Why not? I’d like to see the party win the next election and being the party of the billionaires does not help us.
Wow, I was really enjoying the article until I got to this leftist muddle.
What part of “the taxes of the rich are not low” does Ben not get?
What part of “the top 1% pay nearly 40% of all federal income taxes” does Ben not get?
What part of “the top 1% pay more than the bottom 90%” does Ben not get?
What part of “need for ultra-low taxes” being not just the wrong standard, but a horrifyingly dangerous one, does Ben not get?
What part of “we have a spending problem, not a revenue problem” does Ben not get?
What part of “from the inception of the War on Poverty, increased government spending has never substantially decreased poverty because welfare encourages the disease it purports to treat” does Ben not get?
I do have to thank Ben for distilling his deep errors down to one fundamental claim, that “the poor have a moral claim on the generosity of the nation…”
But “the nation” is not and cannot be generous since “the nation” does not have its own resources. It only has what it takes from its citizens. This means, therefore, that Ben believes the poor have a moral claim on the earnings of every non-poor individual in this country. Such an argument is morally false, but it’s more than that. It is also the basis on which many regimes have not only failed to improve their citizens’ well-being but have resorted to the worst atrocities imaginable to further their goals. It is a stance which gives moral sanction to almost any government action which claims to redistribute wealth.
Ben, you may be trying to cover the true nature of your views on taxation by harping on billionaires, for whom few have economic sympathy, and by repeating in capital letters that you are NOT RICH. But your statements about tax policy, about who “needs” low taxes, and about a “moral claim to generosity” are not just drivel; they are evil.
A must-read as we go into a critical phase of budget negotiations between John Boehner and the White House:
My friend Andrew Moylan of the R Street Institute has an excellent short paper out that summarizes five dos and five don’ts of the fiscal cliff negotiations. The don’ts are all common sense stuff, to which I would only add “Don’t give up hostages to fortune” — in other words, don’t say anything now in the hope of appearing “reasonable” that could come back to haunt you.
I would, however, like to highlight two of the dos in particular. The first — “Do raise the credit union member business lending cap” — is about securing important access to credit for smaller businesses. Failing to do so will give large banks a competitive advantage over smaller financial institutions and impede job creation. One of Ronald Reagan’s signature achievements was securing a real place for credit unions in the financial system, and it would be a step back to forget this now.
Another important do is to pass the Renewable Fuel Standard Flexibility Act, which has bipartisan support. Currently the renewable fuel standard — i.e. burning food as fuel, even in a drought year — is helping drive up the price of food and costing restaurants billions, thereby putting a lot of young people out of work. The EPA has stacked the decks against people petitioning for relief from this standard, so a legislative solution is necessary.
Both of these steps would provide significant regulatory relief for the economy. At a time when most people are talking about taxes and revenues, the importance of growth through liberating the economy by deregulation is often forgotten. I’m glad that Andrew has brought it up so eloquently.
Michael Medved: Tax Rate Nostalgia (Townhall)
Hillary Clinton tops 2016 Poll (ABC)
Five Film Composers on Creating a World (LA Times)
Rubio, Ryan look to Inclusivity, Growing Middle Class in joint Speeches (WaPo)
Confrontation between Rival Protestors looms in Egypt (Reuters)
Court Upholds F.C.C. Order to Telecom Corps to Open their Networks to Competitors (NYT)
Sandy Victims hit by Fallen Tree and Citation for Failure to Maintain Property (CBS)
The Boston Red Sox have signed two free agents over the past 24 hours at MLB’s Winter Meetings in Nashville.
Yesterday, the Sox snatched ex-Ranger Mike Napoli for $39 million over three years. Napoli, who has spent most of his career behind the plate, will become the Sox everyday first baseman.
Today, Shane Victorino signed with the Red Sox also for $39 million over three seasons. Victorino has spent the bulk of his career with the Phillies but was traded mid-season in 2012 to the Dodgers.
I like both these of signings. Both Napoli and Victorino are gritty, hard-nosed players who will be a good presence in the clubhouse. The same can be said of former A’s outfielder Jonny Gomes who signed with the Sox last month.
I don’t think the Sox will be in the post-season in 2013 but these additions encourage me that they will be much improved. Perhaps in 2014, Napoli, Victorino and Gomes could become the 10th anniversary edition of the “Idiots” who were instrumental in winning the 2004 World Series.
We are totally screwing up the messaging. My proposal herein may not have all the numbers add up exactly on each of the two parts of it, and frankly, I don’t care. That wasn’t the point — and it is silly to get hung up on exact numbers anyway. The important thing is to make our side look and sound like something the public should like.
Here’s a key idea in the first:
[F]iscal conservatives should highlight specific cuts not begrudgingly, but as if the cuts themselves are gifts to their constituents.
Tactically, here’s an example of the sort of thing I describe:
The House, for instance, could pass two bills to ward off the (poorly named) fiscal cliff. The first would extend the Bush-era upper-income tax cuts along with perhaps the expanded per-child tax credit also at risk of expiring – but coupled with the closing of a some upper-income loopholes and deductions and with the easiest, most popular of spending cuts to make it revenue-neutral.
This is important. We always lose when we try to do too much at once.
Meanwhile, I agree with Ali and Patrick Ruffini, etcetera, about the long-term needs for tech geeks and all sorts of other improvements. But in the short run, we need to learn how to tie better legislative packaging with better PR packaging — so that BOTH sorts of packaging work together and give us strategic and tactical negotiating edges.
15 Cops Injured in Northern Ireland over British Flag Protest (NBC)
Syrian Capital Besieged (NYT)
London Mayor pressures Cameron for referendum on E.U. Membership (Reuters)
FBI to abandon J. Edgar Hoover Building? (WaPo)
The Case for the Filibuster (NRO)
One Holder Aide Falls to Fast and Furious Investigation (Politico)
An Heir Apparently (BBC)
Several pro-Tea Party Congressmen have found themselves purged from committee assignments by the GOP leadership.
On Monday, Arizona Republican David Schweikert was removed from the House Financial Services Committee while Kansas Republican Tim Huelskamp and Michigan Republican Justin Amash were removed from the House Budget Committee.
This certainly doesn’t inspire confidence. If Boehner and Cantor see fit to exile pro-Tea Party Congressmen then is it any wonder why the Obama Administration feels emboldened enough to demand complete and unconditional surrender from the House GOP?
Last night, during halftime of the Philadelphia Eagles-Dallas Cowboys game on NBC’s Sunday Night Football, Bob Costas called for increased gun control in the wake of the murder-suicide involving Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher.
On Saturday, Belcher shot and killed his girlfriend. He then drove to the Chiefs’ practice facility where he shot and killed himself in the presence of Chiefs’ personnel including head coach Romeo Crennel.
Costas, quoting a column by sportswriter Jason Whitlock, said, “If Jovan Belcher didn’t possess a gun, he and Kassandra Perkins would both be alive today.”
Now I have no problem with Costas expressing his opinion as he did this past summer when he criticized the IOC for not having a moment of silence for the Israeli athletes murdered at the 1972 Munich Games during the opening ceremonies of the London Olympics.
But in this instance Costas (and indeed Whitlock) are simply wrong.
Let’s suppose Belcher didn’t possess a gun. There are any number of ways one person can kill another be it with a knife, a blunt instrument or by poisoning. Neither Costas nor Whitlock can guarantee that Belcher would not have committed such a heinous act in the absence of a gun.
Let’s also suppose that our gun laws become stricter. All that means is that there is a more lucrative black market for guns and what would have prevented Belcher from procuring one from that source? Absolutely nothing except money.
I understand what Belcher did what absolutely bewildering. No doubt the people who saw him take his own life will be forever scarred by it. Under such circumstances, it is tempting to look for easy answers. However, easy answers are usually the wrong answers. Costas and Whitlock ought to know better than to succumb to that temptation.
There are a lot of well-known oxymorons, such as “jumbo shrimp” and the left’s favorite “military intelligence.”
Funny redunancies are less common, and I can’t claim with great certainty that today’s example is actually funny, but I can claim that it truly is the mother of all redundancies, the redundancy which all future redundancies strive to be as redundant as, the most glaringly obvious redundancy of all time.
It comes from today’s news about developments in Syria, where “intensified violence” rumors of the Assad regime moving chemical weapons has even Hillary Clinton thinking that perhaps Assad is not a reformer.
And here it is, in all it’s redundant glory:
If there is any part of the story that is actually funny, it’s this: “Up to 25 of about 100 foreign staff could leave this week…” Seriously, somebody thinks 75 percent of the United Nations personnel in Syria are essential? As what, human shields?
New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez will have surgery on his left hip in January. A-Rod is expected to be out of action 4 to 6 months.
A-Rod, who will turn 38 next July, struggled mightily at the plate during the 2012 post-season. So much so that Yankees skipper opted to pinch hit for A-Rod in the late innings or sat him out of the lineup altogether.
Rodriguez, who has 647 career homeruns, had arthroscopic surgery on his right hip prior to the 2009 season.
While I think A-Rod will play again, his best days are behind him and no PED can bring him back.
A few hours after criticizing Israel for proposed new settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Israelis lacked generosity and empathy towards the Palestinians.
Speaking at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy on Friday (which is sponsored by the Brookings Institution), Hillary said:
I’m not making excuses for the missed opportunities of the Israelis, or their lack of generosity, the lack of empathy that I think goes hand in hand with suspicion. So, yes, there is more that the Israelis need to do to demonstrate that they do understand the pain of an oppressed people in their minds.
Oh, I see. If only Israelis had generosity and empathy towards the Palestinians they wouldn’t be naming streets, schools and soccer fields after suicide bombers.
There are plenty of Israelis who are not only generous and emphatic towards the Palestinians but are downright sympathetic. The same cannot be said of the Palestinians. If a Palestinian is perceived as having generosity or empathy towards Israel, he is viewed as a “collaborator” and is executed.
I also seem to remember that Israel offered the Palestinians the West Bank and East Jerusalem at Camp David only to have Yasser Arafat walk away. That happened under Bill Clinton’s watch by the way. I guess Hillary was too busy campaigning for the Jewish vote in New York to notice.
Homeless Man Hides Boots to Protect his Life. (NPR)
Will Sandy Relief fall of Fiscal Cliff? (WaPo)
Owner and Wealthy Squatter Fight over Apartment. Fallout from LA Foreclosures. (LA Times)
Kim Kardashian causes Islamic Protest in Bahrain (NY Daily)
AAA and Renewable Fuel Advocates Do Battle (Politico)
…US Shale Oil Corps Struggle to Expand Overseas (WSJ)
Weaver Ants Shield Flower from Undesirable Bee (NewScientist)
Britain has summoned Israeli Ambassador Daniel Taub to London to dress him down over plans to expand settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. The Brits called Israel’s plans “deplorable”.
I wish Britain had shown this kind of indignation and outrage when Hamas was launching rockets into Israel last month. Surely firing rockets is more deplorable than building houses.
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.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?