2011 - The Year We Take Back Congress and Make Obama's Life Hell!

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Time to Make a Choice

This will be cross-posted to the Red November 2008 blog.

With the Florida primary out of the way, and the wannabes falling by the wayside, the Republicans are looking at a dwindling number of choices.

Some of us saw the future in the likes of Fred, Rudy and Duncan Hunter.

Fred, the most Reagan-like, started too slow and couldn't gain any traction. By the time he got his stride, the parade had passed him.

Rudy spoke too frequently on his past and not enough on the future. Reading between the lines, one could arguably say Rudy only wanted the nomination to face Shrillary head-on and, if successful, wreak a personal vengeance on al-Qaeda 9/11.

Duncan,..well, the media chose to pay more attention on the bigger voices and his ideas were ignored.

And so we are left with these:

Mike Huckabee:
We live in a country that paradoxically was founded upon Judeo-Christian principles, but is Constitutionally prevented from forming a theocracy. Many times, Huckabee's ideas sound more like they are coming from Huckabee-the-Baptist-minister and less like Huckabee-the-governor. As a strict Constitutionalist, I can't abide with that kind of thinking.

John McCain:
He's old. Yes, get used to hearing that from the Clinton war machine ad nauseum if he gets the nod. It wasn't an issue with Reagan, but this is the Clintons we're talking about, so the rules are out the door.
I also have serious issue with some of his allegiances. Whether is was the McCain-Feingold Bill, which stifled free speech, or his Gang of Fourteen venture, McCain has repeatedly worked counter to the Republican Party.
McCain would have us keep our Southern border open to every illegal and grant them amnesty when they arrive. He does this all in the name of the economy, yet McCain freely admits he is weak on driving the economy.
Make no mistake, John McCain is a war hero who endured a nightmare no one should ever experience, and for that I'll support him for the rest of his life, but a vote for McCain now is another vote for Hillary.

That leaves,...

Mitt Romney!

I've chosen to support Mitt for several reasons.

First, for the past thirty-plus years, America has indicated a tendency to vote for governors, rather than legislators. Whether is was Carter, Reagan, Clinton, or Bush 43, America seems, for better or worse, best served by chief executives, rather than those who make self-serving legislation.
Second, Romney is a businessman, and a successful one. America needs to continue to be run more as a business (a service economy to the nth degree) than a benevolent master (the Clintonian socialist Utopia of her "Village). Goods and services are created only to meet the need of the the target market (America) and done within the limits of expenditure and affordability.
Finally, Mitt was executive director of the USOC during the Salt Lake Games of 2002. Getting the world to come to the United States is hard enough, but getting them here in the shadow of 9/11 and then persuading a supposedly non-partisan body to tastefully honor the departed of 9/11 was a massive undertaking of diplomatic legerdemain. And, the games finished under budget and on time, despite a local scandal.

As the last major campaign push, Super Tuesday, draws closer, consider Mitt Romney. For now, for the future, and for our security.


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Monday, January 28, 2008

Bitch, Slapped (SC Donnybrook)

In the wake of her 20-point drubbing in South Carolina, it looks like the rats are jumping off the USS Shrill One in droves:

Ted Kennedy to Endorse Obama

Sunday, January 27, 2008 4:27 PM

Democratic Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts will endorse Senate colleague Barack Obama for president, party officials confirmed Sunday.

The endorsement will be announced Monday in Washington, said the officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak for the record. An official close to the senator said the announcement will be made during an Obama campaign rally at American University, where he will be joined by Sen. Kennedy and his niece, Caroline Kennedy, who also has endorsed Obama.

Caroline Kennedy Endorses Obama

Sunday, January 27, 2008 12:03 PM

The daughter of President John F. Kennedy endorsed Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, saying he could inspire Americans in the same way her father once did.

"I have never had a president who inspired me the way people tell me that my father inspired them," Caroline Kennedy wrote in an op-ed posted Saturday on the Web site of The New York Times. "But for the first time, I believe I have found the man who could be that president — not just for me, but for a new generation of Americans."

Kennedy, who was four days shy of her 6th birthday when her father was assassinated, wrote that Obama "has a special ability to get us to believe in ourselves, to tie that belief to our highest ideals and imagine that together we can do great things."

And she appealed to other parents to pick a candidate who she said could invigorate a younger generation that is too often "hopeless, defeated and disengaged."

Kennedy wrote that she wants a president "who appeals to the hopes of those who still believe in the American Dream, and those around the world who still believe in the American ideal; and who can lift our spirits, and make us believe again that our country needs every one of us to get involved."

Could it be because Slick Willy not only can't keep his pants on by habit, but can't shut his mouth, either:

By GEOFF EARLE, Post Correspondent

January 28, 2008 -- WASHINGTON - Shoot-from-the-lip Bill Clinton has struck again.

A day after Barack Obama's overwhelming victory over Hillary Rodham Clinton in South Carolina, the spotlight was back on the former president - this time for dismissive comments he made comparing the Illinois senator's campaign to the failed presidential candidacies of the Rev. Jesse Jackson.

While his wife campaigned in Tennessee and Obama stumped in Georgia, the media focus was once again on Bill Clinton, who said on Saturday: "Jesse Jackson won South Carolina in '84 and '88. Jackson ran a good campaign. And Obama ran a good campaign here."

The message: that Obama might peel off a few Southern states with sizeable black populations, as Jackson did, but can't forge a successful nationwide candidacy.

POLL: Is Bill Too Active in Hill's Campaign?

Sen. Clinton attributed her husband's comments to emotion.

"Well, I think it's human nature. I think that the spouses of all three of us have, you know, been passionate and vigorous defenders of each of us and, you know, maybe got a little carried away," she said on CBS's "Face the Nation."

She chalked it up to "sleep deprivation" on the campaign trail.

Liberal bloggers were outraged by Bill Clinton's comparison of Obama to Jackson.

Mickey Kaus, writing on the Web magazine Slate, called the comment an "attempted ghettoization" of Obama's candidacy.

Obama responded on ABC's "This Week" yesterday that Clinton was dwelling in the past.

"I think that that's his frame of reference - the Jesse Jackson races," Obama said.

"That's when, you know, he was active and involved and watching what was going to take place in South Carolina.

"I think that a lot of South Carolinians [last week] looked at it through a different lens."

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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Tom & Jerry,...

Folks, make no mistake,....as funny as this is, Jerry O'Connell really is taking his career in his own hands. Hollyweird is under the threat of Scientology every day. Just watch a few sit-coms or dramas. They make fun of Catholic values, WASP ethics, Jewish foibles,...but NEVER do you see someone poke fun at Scientology. Why?

For the record, the Trekmedic reiterates his opinion of Scientology: it is a cult that specifically targets actors and performers of Catholic backgrounds (Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Jenna Elfman, and Penelope Cruz were all raised in the Catholic faith) and keeps Hollywood from getting an injection of moral values in favor of some sci-fi fantasy from the 50s.

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Friday, January 25, 2008

Bitch, Slapped (Gotcha!)

From the Drudge Report:

Does this pic look familiar?

It's the Shrill One posing with one Tony Rezko!

The same Tony Rezko she turned to mud and slung at Barack Obama-bin-Laden during the last debate!

Quoth her Shrillness:

"Clinton injected the indicted developer's name this week in debate with Obama: 'I was fighting against those ideas when you were practicing law and representing your contributor, Rezko, in his slum landlord business in inner city Chicago.'"


Addendum from Stop Her Now!

If history has taught us anything, it is that being a Clinton means it is never your fault. Not surprisingly, Hillary’s presidential campaign continues the Clinton tradition of blaming others for your problems.

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Another Local Cutie Makes Good!

Proving the TrekMedic's theory that Philadelphia is becoming the center of the universe:

TV stuff

WMMR's Pierre Robert will do pledge breaks for tonight's world premiere of The Clash Live: Revolution Rock, a documentary; it's at 9 p.m. on WHYY TV12.

That's doe-eyed Cherry Hill native Cristin Milioti in a TV commercial for the Ford Edge, the one in which a carload of young people park the SUV outside a restaurant while she remains inside, mesmerized. Milioti, 22 and a Cherry Hill East grad, is emoting in The Devil's Disciple at the Irish Rep in New York. She was on The Sopranos as Johnny Sack's daughter.

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Bill Blows His Top Again!

HT to Wyatt at Support Your Local Gunfighter for this gem (not that he needs the praise, folks; the little prick has the attention of "A-List bloggers," now!):

Apparently, Slick Willie doesn't like it when you pick up some of his bulls**t and throw it back in his face, as was the case here in a tongue lashing to CeeNoNews' Jessica Yellin.

Y'know,...these kinds of shenanigans ALMOST make you want Shrillary to win in Novemeber!

Note to self: Cut back on the Jagermeister!

BTW - Just yanking your chain, Wyatt! Best of luck, you're getting everything you deserve!

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A Guaranteed Oscar-Winner!

TheFed strikes again:

(Sniff!)(Sniff!),..He's my quarterback! (Sniff!)(Sniff!)

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How Typically Liberal,...

New Jersey's Governor, Jon Corzine, is following the traditional path of liberalism:
  • First, tax and spend
  • Second, be more Clintonian in you liberalism and quash dissent
To wit:

Be advised that protesting proposed toll hikes in public is now against the law in South Jersey.

Gov. Corzine held a town-hall meeting in Cape May County on Saturday, promoting his plan to raise tolls to pay off state debt. The event was held at a local high school; the governor's office beseeched the public to attend.

One of those who showed up was Steve Lonegan, former mayor of Bogota, N.J., and a former Republican candidate for governor. Lonegan, an outspoken opponent of Corzine's plan, heads a conservative advocacy group.

He and about 10 compatriots were standing outside the high school, holding small signs and handing out leaflets. They were not disrupting the event. But when local police asked them to move across a road away from the school, Lonegan refused. So they handcuffed him, frisked him and took him away.

"It took six or seven cops," Lonegan said. "I'm worse than John Dillinger."

The charge? Defiant trespass.

Arresting Lonegan was an absurd over-reaction. Lonegan has rubbed plenty of people the wrong way over the years, but Corzine invited people to this town-hall meeting to express their views - good, bad or obnoxious. How can a citizen trespass at a public school at a public event hosted by the governor?

The governor's office insists it had nothing to do with the arrest, although Lonegan said the officer told him, "The governor doesn't want you to put out fliers."

However this tempest got started, it's time to set it right. Local school and municipal officials said yesterday that they wanted the charges dropped. That's exactly what should happen.


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Hey There, Delilah! Cute and Currently Local!

Muse shares story behind ‘Hey There Delilah’
Woman who inspired hit song clears up truth about Plain White T’s tune

By Mike Celizic
TODAYShow.com contributor
updated 10:02 a.m. ET, Wed., Jan. 23, 2008

As a nationally ranked runner and an Olympic hopeful, Delilah DiCrescenzo is used to being chased — but by other athletes, not by pop singers from Chicago. But, she said on Wednesday, she doesn’t mind the attention the chase has brought her.

“What I really hope through all of this is that it spotlights track and field, and it gives the sport a face, which is really important to us athletes in an Olympic year,” the woman who inspired Song of the Year nominee “Hey There Delilah” told TODAY co-hosts Meredith Vieira and Matt Lauer on Wednesday.

It’s been a long chase both for her and for Tom Higgenson, lead singer for the Plain White T’s, who wrote the song five years ago after being introduced to DiCrescenzo by a friend. Higgenson was smitten and even though she had a boyfriend, he told her he was going to write a song about her.

“I thought he was just being flirtatious and leading me along,” the 24-year-old athlete told Lauer and Vieira. “I had a boyfriend at the time, so I really didn’t believe him.”

Higgenson and his band played the song for years at club dates and concerts, and it became a favorite with their fans. But it wasn’t until last summer that it broke out into the mainstream and began climbing the charts until it was the nation’s top single. That was when Higgenson performed the song on TODAY and told Ann Curry the story of unrequited love that had inspired it.

DiCrescenzo, meanwhile, remained all but anonymous. A graduate of Columbia University, she had returned to her native Chicago to work. A good but not great runner in high school and college, she gave the 3,000-meter steeplechase a try in 2006 and found that she was good enough in the grueling race to think about trying to make the Olympic team this year. To pursue that dream, she moved to Conshohocken, Pa., where she trains full-time while working as an assistant track and cross-country coach at Bryn Mawr.

She kept casually in touch with Higgenson, mostly through e-mails and instant messages. When the song was nominated for a Grammy as Song of the Year, he called and invited her to come to the Feb. 11 ceremony with him. With her boyfriend’s blessing, she accepted and found herself in the spotlight.

She said it’s something of a relief to go public with her identity and to clear up any confusion about her role in a love song whose lyrics seem unequivocal:

Hey there Delilah, I’ve got so much left to say

If every simple song I wrote to you

Would take your breath away, I’d write it all

Even more in love with me you’d fall, we’d have it all.

“I knew it was fictionalized, and I’m glad that I finally get the opportunity to say I do have a boyfriend and it is romanticized,” she said. “The song means so much to so many different people. I’m just happy that it’s had so much success, and I don’t mind playing along with it.”

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People Who Need the Stupid Slapped Out of Them

or,..Why the TrekMedic eats at Wendy's and/or Arby's:

Now, if McDonalds ran THIS AD more often, the TrekMedic might be more inclined to eat there for lunch!


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Fred! Gone!

Farewell to one of true conservatives in the 2008 horse race:

Thompson Drops Out of Presidential Race
by FOXNews.com
Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Fred Thompson dropped his presidential bid Tuesday, after the former Tennessee senator and actor finished third in the South Carolina primary and was unable to score a victory in any of the early primaries or caucuses.

“Today I have withdrawn my candidacy for President of the United States. I hope that my country and my party have benefited from our having made this effort. Jeri and I will always be grateful for the encouragement and friendship of so many wonderful people,” Thompson said in a statement.

Prior to his public statement, the GOP candidate had begun calling friends, family members and supporters to tell them he was ending his campaign, four months after he formally announced his White House bid, a run that was greeted much more enthusiastically before he actually got into the race.

Thompson left Nashville Tuesday afternoon for McLean, Va., where he was expected to make a formal announcement as early as Tuesday night.

Aides said Thompson sent an e-mail Monday telling them he was still undecided about whether to stay in the race. But with no plans to campaign in Florida, which holds its primary Jan. 29, or to participate in a Republican debate Thursday, his staffers expected him to withdraw.

The attorney and actor seemed on the verge of bowing out Saturday during his post-election address in Columbia, S.C., after it became evident he would not finish better than third in South Carolina.

Telling his supporters to “stand strong,” he said, “We will always be bound by a close bond, because we have traveled a very special road together for a very special purpose. You know, it’s never been about me. It’s never even been about you. It’s been about our country and the future of our country … And because of your efforts and because of our working together, our party is being required to look itself in the mirror, decide where it’s going, decide who it is.”

Thompson prided himself as a consistent conservative in Ronald Reagan’s image, and stepped up that assertion in the days preceding the vote in South Carolina, where he said he drew “a line in the sand” for his campaign.

Along the way he fielded criticism that he appeared lazy and generally disinterested in becoming president, Thompson did earn positive reviews for a series of debate performances last fall and earned an endorsement by the National Right to Life Committee.

But the momentum behind his delayed entrance into the race — and several missed cues on issues from the right-to-life for Terri Schiavo to Usama bin Laden — steadily diminished as his GOP rivals racked up victories in early test states. Poll averages showed the Thompson went from second place nationally in early September to fifth this week.

Thompson came to Washington as a 30-year-old attorney appointed to be minority counsel for his mentor, former Sen. Howard Baker of Tennessee, who was the top Republican on the Senate Watergate Committee.

He earned fame when he asked a question of which he already knew the answer — whether deputy assistant Alexander Butterfield knew that his boss, President Nixon, had been secretly taping White House conversations.

Several years later while practicing law in Tennessee, Thompson represented Marie Ragghianti, the head of the Tennessee Parole Board who was fired after exposing a pardon-selling scheme involving aides for then-Gov. Ray Blanton. Thompson played himself in the 1985 movie “Marie” based on the episode and got generally positive reviews.

The film launched Thompson’s acting career. Among his many characters, he played President Ulysses S. Grant in this year’s made-for-TV movie “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee,” and the fictional President Charles Ross in the 2005 film “Last Best Chance.”

His departure only nominally thins the field in the GOP race, where no breakaway front-runner has emerged. John McCain, Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney have each won at least one major early state contest, and Rudy Giuliani has dug deep into Florida, fighting hard to prosper in that state’s primary.

Thompson did not endorse anybody in his statement Tuesday.

As for Thompson’s future, speculation is rampant that he could be angling for vice president. Such a move would follow the lead of another former Tennessee senator, Al Gore, whom Thompson replaced in the Senate in 1994 after Gore became vice president.
Thompson senior adviser Rich Galen told FOX News Radio Monday, “It may well be that Thompson is a vice presidential candidate, carrying the message to fill whatever hole there may be in the conservative credentials of whoever the nominee is.”

FOX News’ Carl Cameron and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Friday, January 18, 2008

Hello, 9-1-1? Our EMS is Dying!!

Gentle readers, it isn't the murder rate in Philadelphia that will pre-occupy the thoughts of newly-elected mayor, Michael Nutter. It is the city's ability (or lack thereof) to provide a vital service to the community that needs fixing, first and foremost.

Captain America, quoting the "paper that shall not be named here," started the blogging earlier this week:

Once again Philly Fire is in the news and the EMS situation is on the front page. As usual the news isn't good. Today's article in the XXXXX XXXX is about the city's failure to use private ambulances. As usual the Main Stream Media is way off base and their ignorance of the subject invalidates their coverage.

Lets start of with an overview: In Philadelphia, the Fire Department is the Marine Corps of the city's operating departments. Whenever something goes wrong, you can call 911 and you will get a firetruck to help resolve the situation. We respond to an estimated 280,000 calls a year and that number keeps going up.

Many years ago the Fire Department began operating the city's ambulances kind of by default. What began as an after thought evolved over time into a landslide. Today between 220,000 & 240,000 of our calls are for emergency medical service. Over the years 911 has degenerated from an emergency lifeline to the first choice of any citizen who needs a ride to the local emergency room. This was never the intent of 911. Remember the slogan "To stop a crime or save a life" call 911? Those days are long gone. Now the system is completely overloaded and unable to function properly under the crushing workload of everyday operations.


Now the chickens have come to roost. People are dying because the system is melting down. Too many calls and not nearly enough ambulances. There are some tough decisions that will have to be made and soon. The talk in this article about private companies is a red herring. The Fire Department can't depend on outside resources to accomplish it's primary mission. That's why private companies aren't used. Also private companies are only far too willing to work in areas where there are plenty of paying customers with lots of insurance. They don't want to venture into the badlands to pick up the shootings and stabbings. The PFD makes no distinction as to where a call comes from we respond to everything, all the time.

The most recent death made national news (yet another black eye for the City):

Deborah Payne, Rotan Lee, Ricky Badway and Danny Rumph all have something in common. They're dead. And they died after waiting anywhere from 19 minutes to more than an hour for an ambulance in Philadelphia.

The latest incident occurred just a few weeks ago, in the early morning hours on New Year's Day. According to a Philadelphia Fire Department timeline, Payne dialed 911 at 2:30 a.m.

And so Payne and the firefighters waited. And waited. According to the fire department timeline, an emergency vehicle finally reached Payne about an hour after her first call, only to break down. Payne died while waiting for a second EMS vehicle to arrive.

It's a story Candy Owens said sounded sickeningly familiar. On Mother's Day in 2005, Rumph, Owens' 21-year-old son, was playing a game of pickup basketball at the Mallery Recreation Center in Philadelphia when he collapsed at 10:30 p.m. His friends dialed 911. They also called Owens.

"It was horrible. I watched my son die. It was the worst experience of my life," Owens said. According to Owens, it took an EMS crew 41 minutes to arrive, traveling halfway across the city.

The national standard for response time by emergency vehicles is eight minutes and 59 seconds or less. But according to a city controller's report released last month, one-third of Philadelphia's ambulances took 10 minutes or longer to respond in 2006. And there are just 28 ambulances in full-time service for a city with a population of 1.5 million.

Demand Up, but Supply Scarce

Philadelphia City Controller Alan Butkovitz said he ordered the study of the EMS system because of some troubling information.

"We know that since 1999, demand for ambulance services has almost doubled," he said. "We had been hearing about problems from paramedics for years now."

Butkovitz said his report showed that although the recommended average number of runs for an emergency unit is 2,500 to 3,500 a year, several vehicles in Philadelphia have handled more than 8,000 runs a year. And those vehicles are subject to break down more often because they are in use almost constantly. The report also found that "poor morale among many paramedics is fueling discontent and increasing turnover." In fact, the paramedic turnover ratio is now more than 50 percent.

"Here's the deal. People wait a long time every day. Pretty much every day somebody is having a delayed response. Somebody is waiting a long time. And somebody is getting a fire truck and going without an ambulance every day," said Dave Kearney, a 20-year EMS veteran who is now a firefighter and secretary of the Philadelphia Fire Fighters Union.

Kearney said the members of a typical Philadelphia EMS crew get their first call as they walk through the door at 7:30 a.m. and they might get back to the station "once that day."

Private Services Out of the Loop

Unlike fire departments in many other major cities, the Philadelphia Fire Department has no agreement to call on private ambulance companies when its ambulances are already tied up and delayed answering new calls.

The fact that a system the size of Philadelphia's doesn't have such a back-up program — known as mutual aid — surprises Jim McPartlon, president of the American Ambulance Association.

"In any progressive and quality EMS system, response times should be adhered to and if that can't be adhered to they should have mutual aid." he said.

In Payne's situation, a private ambulance company was just blocks away.

"What if a 9/11 happened here? Would they seriously not put out a call to private companies and just try to do it all themselves?" said Butkovitz, the city controller.

In the 1990s, a growing number of large ambulance companies, such as American Medical Response, started competing with fire departments for the often lucrative emergency response and patient transport market. Fire departments had traditionally handled all 911 calls, and after treating and stabilizing a patient, they left the transport up to an ambulance service.

The "ambulance wars" heated up when fire departments in some communities started fighting back, taking over the entire paramedic business from private companies.

Fire officials insist they are best situated to provide the most effective and professional response.

"If somebody is breaking into your house, do you want the security guard from Wal-Mart showing up to help or the police? Do you see what I'm saying? Do you want to take your chances with some fly-by-night ambulance company?" Kearney said. (TM - That's a cheap shot, Kearney! More on that below!)

But that's not the way Owens sees it. She said she would have taken the chance on anybody if they could have saved her son.

As for a mutual aid system, Ayers said that "nothing is off the table" but added that there are "legal issues and union issues" that have to be worked out.

The TrekMedic (a 28-year veteran of the EMS) continues (and seethes):

OK,..first, you'll notice that Captain America makes the statement about the chickens coming home to roost.

With all deference to C/A and the PFD, here's why that is happening:

In 1991, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania enacted ACT 45, the ambulance service licensing law. The Commonwealth was divided into more than a dozen administrative regions, acting under the authority of the PA Department of Health.

Philadelphia became its own region, due to its overwhelming size and population. Who became the agency authorized to carry out ACT 45? That's right, the Philadelphia Fire Department. The PFD only recognizes itself as the sole provider of 9-1-1 based pre-hospital care in the City. It treated private ambulance services, and the 12 or so community volunteer ambulances that existed in Philadelphia, some pre-dating the PFD's EMS program. I should know; I got my start at the now-defunct Wynne-Brook Community Ambulance, which served Overbrook and Wynnefield for 3 decades!

What transpired over the next 17 years? Private ambulance services operated in Philadelphia much like any business. The Philadelphia Regional Office of Emergency Medical Services became another government-run boondoggle, not unlike the recently-scandalous Licenses & Inspections Office.

Private ambulances learned the byzantine workings of PROEMS and found ways to circumnavigate the Commonwealth's rules and regulations in favor of higher profits.

In that respect, Mr. Kearney is justified in his remarks.

The solution to the problem? Its been brushed off by that "union issue" remark. Of course! Philadelphia is a union-dominated city and the IAFF Local 22 isn't going to allow non-union labor to operate in their playground, no matter how many dead bodies they push out of there way to make their point!

Here's the TrekMedic solution:
  1. Get PROEMS out of the hands of the PFD and into the hands of the City's Department of Health! Pre-hospital care is a HEALTH issue, not a fire prevention issue. Let those brave men and women do their jobs - putting out and preventing fires and saving lives!
  2. Get EMS out of the hands of the PFD, which has treated the service like a bastard step-child from Day 1 and also bring it over to the Department of Health. See #1 for the rationale.
  3. Make private ambulance services adhere to the same rules as the City's EMS service and reward those who do with mutual aid contracts. Those who don't should be blacklisted by the City. And keep a close scrutiny over who owns the private services (trust me when I say the Russian mob has a great deal to do with this in NE Philly!)
Relations like this work in places like New York City (where my parent company's operations cover approximately 25-33% of the FDNY-EMS calls) and Phoenix (a comparable-sized city) where the largest private service, Southwest Ambulance, is held under the same exacting standards as the Phoenix FD's units.

Stop the madness and start saving lives!!!

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Science Gone Mad?

Scientists say they have produced embryos that are clones of two men, a potential step toward developing scientifically valuable stem cells.

It's the first documented demonstration that ordinary cells from an adult human can be used to make cloned embryos mature enough to produce stem cells, the researchers said. But because they haven't produced those stem cells yet, experts reacted coolly.

Since other scientists had previously made a cloned human embryo, "I found it difficult to determine what was substantially new," said Doug Melton of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute.

He said the "next big advance will be to create a human embryonic stem cell line" from cloned embryos. "This has yet to be achieved," Melton said.

Korean scientist Hwang Woo-suk claimed a few years ago that he'd created such cell lines, but that turned out to be a fraud.

Dr. Samuel Wood, a co-author of the new paper and chief executive of Stemagen Corp. of La Jolla, California, said he and his colleagues are now attempting to produce stem cell lines from the embryos.

The work was published online Thursday by the journal Stem Cells.

Scientists say stem cells from cloned embryos could provide a valuable tool for studying diseases, screening drugs and, perhaps someday, creating transplant material to treat conditions like diabetes and Parkinson's disease.

But critics raise objections. Some say the procedure amounts to creating a human life in a lab and then destroying it to harvest the stem cells. Others raise concerns about health risks and exploitation if large numbers of women are asked to provide eggs for widespread cloning.

Those objections are one reason that an alternative route to stem cells made headlines last November. Scientists reported a relatively simple way to turn skin cells directly into stem cells. This direct reprogramming carries a theoretical risk of cancer for the recipients of tissue from these cells, however, and many scientists have urged that work continue on the cloning technique as well.

The cloning approach involves inserting DNA from a person into an egg, and then growing the egg into an embryo about five days old before extracting the stem cells. At that stage, the embryo is a sphere of about 150 cells.

In the new work, researchers took skin cells from Wood and another volunteer and produced three embryos with DNA matching the men's. Further DNA testing on one of these embryos strengthened the case that it was a clone, researchers said.


Liberals Open New Home Front on War on Terror

is a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute

Walk down Broad Street and you pass by a brown mansion, squeezed in between a music store and a Banana Republic. With its statues of proud soldiers in front, the Union League stands as a symbol of the sacrifices necessary to win the Civil War.

After being sued by convicted terrorist Jose Padilla, I wonder whether our nation today has the same unity and tenacity to defeat the great security challenge of our day, the rise of fundamentalist Islamic terrorism. Even as our brave young soldiers fight in Afghanistan and Iraq, and our intelligence agents succeed in disrupting follow-ups to the 9/11 attacks, terrorists are using our own legal system as a weapon against us.

They use cases such as Padilla's to harass the men and women in our government, force the revelation of valuable intelligence and press novel theories that have failed at the ballot box and before the president and Congress.

"Lawfare" has become another dimension of warfare.

Padilla is no innocent. Last summer a Miami jury convicted him of participating in an al-Qaeda support cell in the United States. Prosecutors now are asking the court to sentence Padilla to life in prison. The conviction did not even address his detention in 2002 at Chicago's O'Hare Airport on allegations that he had returned from Afghanistan to carry out a "dirty" bomb attack on a major U.S. city. According to the Bush administration at the time, Padilla had received the green light from Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the planner of the 9/11 attacks.

At the time, I was an official in the Bush administration Justice Department working on the response to the 9/11 attacks. Our lives had taken very different paths. Padilla had turned to drugs and crime in Chicago and was convicted of murder as a juvenile. He became a radical follower of fundamentalist Islam, left for Egypt in 1998 and journeyed in 2000 to Afghanistan, where he trained to become a terrorist at al-Qaeda and Taliban camps.

I had the good fortune to grow up in the Philadelphia area, attend the Episcopal Academy for high school, and go off to Harvard for college and Yale for law school. I studied and eventually taught war powers, a subject that always interested me because of Philadelphia's rich history with the Revolutionary and Civil Wars and my family's origins in South Korea, the scene of one of America's more recent conflicts.

I worked on the legality of the decision to place Padilla in the hands of military authorities in June 2002. The 9/11 attacks on our nation's capital and financial center, and the loss of 3,000 American lives, placed the United States at war with al-Qaeda, a fact that Padilla's lawyers do not accept. They have always asserted that Padilla could be considered only a criminal defendant and must enjoy the benefits of the civilian criminal-justice system.

They are wrong. Both the president and Congress have agreed that the United States is at war, and Congress passed an authorization for using force against any groups, nations or people responsible for the 9/11 attacks. Capturing prisoners has been a permanent feature of war throughout human history; hundreds of thousands were detained during World War II alone. Sometimes, unfortunately, the enemy has included U.S. citizens - in the Civil War, every Confederate soldier was a citizen, and in World War II some Americans fought in the Axis armed forces. They never had a right to sue the soldiers who caught them.

We are in a difficult war against an unprecedented enemy. Its members deliberately disguise themselves as civilians and carry out surprise attacks on innocent civilian targets. They do not have a territory, city or population. They are trained to claim abuse when captured and to appeal to the legal system to tie up democracies in knots.

It is a difficult job for our government and armed forces to adapt the rules for war to such an unconventional, non-state opponent.

But Padilla and his Yale Law School attorneys think that these decisions are better second-guessed by plaintiffs' lawyers and judges rather than our elected leaders. They challenged Padilla's detention and lost in the federal Court of Appeals in South Carolina, before the government sent him to Miami for prosecution.

Think about what it would mean if Padilla were to win. Government officials and military personnel have to devise better ways to protect the country from more deadly surprise attacks. Padilla and his lawyers want them, from the president down to lowest private, to worry about being sued when they make their decisions. Officials will worry about all of the attorneys' fees they will rack up to defend themselves from groundless lawsuits.

My situation is better than most, since I am a lawyer with many lawyer friends (that is not the oxymoron it seems). I can fend for myself; fine attorneys have volunteered to represent me, and the government may defend me. But what about the soldiers, agents and officers who have to respond to the next 9/11 or foreign threat? They will have to worry about personal liability, hiring lawyers.

Would we have wanted President Abraham Lincoln to worry about his personal liability for issuing the Emancipation Proclamation freeing the slaves (done on his sole authority as commander-in-chief)?

If so, then we will have a government that will avoid any and all risks, shun making any move that is not an exact repetition of locked-in procedure of 20th-century vintage, and keep plodding along the same path regardless of contemporary circumstances. These are exactly the conditions that make a nation susceptible to a surprise attack, whether a Pearl Harbor or a 9/11.

John Yoo, a former Bush administration Justice Department official, is the author of "War by Other Means."

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The GOP Hits Back With Dems' Own Weapons

Last spring, as Tom Manion grieved the loss of his son in Iraq, he felt the warm embrace of the people of Bucks County.

Manion now hopes county voters will embrace him once again, this time as a Republican running for Congress.

The pharmaceutical executive yesterday announced his bid to oust U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, the freshman Democrat who served in Iraq, then built a winning campaign around getting the troops out.

Manion said he was inspired to run by the sacrifice of his son, Marine First Lt. Travis Manion, killed by a sniper April 29 near Fallujah.

"He believed in something bigger than himself, and he had a life's passion for making a difference in this world," Manion, 53, told a crush of family, friends and reporters in the kitchen of his Doylestown Township home. "Travis has given me a wake-up call that my service to this country is not over."

A race between Manion and Murphy could well be seen as a referendum on Iraq, although Manion yesterday did not cast it as such. Manion supports the current strategy in Iraq, including the surge in troops and the need to stay until Iraqis can peacefully assume control of their country. But Manion said he was frustrated with partisan gridlock over a host of issues, from health care and immigration to alternative energy and global warming.

"And, yes, I want to end the war in Iraq as soon as possible," he added. "No one is more committed to that goal than I - because I want no other parents to go through what Jannett [his wife] and I have. But in doing this, we must confront the threats to our nation's safety for this and future generations."

The death of Travis Manion, 26, a former three-sport standout at La Salle College High School, resonated in Bucks County as few losses have. Already, a local street has been named for him.

The community's reaction was heightened, in part, by the death four days later of another Doylestown son, Army First Lt. Colby Umbrell, 26.

Part of the reaction was due to the Manions' uncommon openness in sharing their loss with the public - even inviting the media to the arrival of their son's remains at Willow Grove Naval Air Station, an event that is normally cloistered. Throughout, Thomas Manion maintained an outspoken belief that his son had died for a worthy cause.

Trim and telegenic, the retired Marine Reserve colonel said he had conferred with Bucks County GOP chair Harry Fawkes and with former U.S. Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick - whom Murphy narrowly defeated - and was confident of the party's endorsement.

Fitzpatrick helped clear the way by announcing Monday that he would not try to reclaim the seat and would back Manion instead.

Still, the challenger's road will not be easy.

Murphy enjoys the advantage of incumbency in a congressional district where a once-pronounced Republican voter-registration advantage has eroded steadily since 1996. And Manion supports an unpopular stay-the-course strategy in Iraq that has helped push President Bush's approval ratings nationally to an all-time low.

Murphy, like Manion, remains identified with Iraq by many. But he, too, seeks to connect with voters on a wider range of issues.

"There will be plenty of time to talk about politics later on," Murphy's press secretary, Adam Abrams, said yesterday. "Right now we are focused on bringing people together for bipartisan solutions to problems such as flooding along the Delaware, veterans' benefits, and the state of our economy."

Murphy has yet to claim a mandate from voters in the Eighth Congressional District; he became the district's first Democratic congressman in 14 years by only about 1,500 votes. Fitzpatrick narrowly won in Bucks County, but Murphy prevailed in the Northeast Philadelphia and eastern Montgomery County portions of the district.

Manion, a vice president for information technology at Johnson & Johnson, is a Philadelphia native, one of 10 children born to a salesman and a homemaker. He graduated from Widener University, served 11 years of active duty in the Marines, and earned a master's degree from the Naval Postgraduate School.

He moved to Bucks County with his wife and two children in 1990, when he joined Johnson & Johnson.

In response to reporters' questions, he pronounced himself "pro-life" on abortion, but in favor of stem-cell research. Illegal immigrants, he said, should be deported until they can apply for citizenship or a work visa program.

A political novice, Manion said he wanted to change "the partisan culture" of Washington that he said had stymied the country.

"Even with the Iraqi situation, we need to work together," he said. "What I want to bring to the table is an ability to work with others toward solutions that are desperately needed by our country."

Delaware County Republicans last night nominated a former assistant U.S. attorney to challenge U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak this fall.

Wendell Craig Williams, 43, said a number of issues set him apart from Sestak. "Our positions on Iraq are very different," he said, adding that U.S. troops should stay until the job is done. Williams said that on illegal immigration, he is "far more stern and aggressive" than Sestak.

Referring to key party issues of winning the Iraq war, illegal immigration, and the mortgage crisis, Williams told those gathered at the Paxon Hollow Country Club: "We in the [Delaware County] Republican Party have lost our voice in Congress."

Andrew Reilly, former County Council chairman, said of Williams: "He has a pretty impressive resume."

While in the U.S. Attorney's Office, Williams prosecuted cases including child abuse, drugs, street crime and fraud. He resigned this week from the prosecutor's office to run for Sestak's seat, said Thomas J. Judge Sr., chairman of the county Republican Party.

Williams, a former Marine, was a decorated combat veteran in the Gulf War, flying 56 combat missions in an F-18, and graduated from Columbia Law School, according to Reilly. He and his wife, Jennifer Abittier Williams, and three children, two from her previous marriage, live in Glen Mills.

Democrat Sestak, a former Navy vice admiral, won the Seventh Congressional District seat in 2006 from longtime incumbent Republican Curt Weldon.

The district encompasses a majority of Delaware County, and smaller pieces of Chester and Montgomery Counties.

About 54 percent of the registered voters in the county are Republican. But the county recently has voted for Democrats in national elections.

Reilly said that Sestak has only put in "the appearance of working hard; there is nothing solid that he has accomplished."

"It is a competitive district," Reilly said, noting the district still leans Republican on voter registration. "It is not a walk for any candidate."

Sestak spokesman Clarence Tong said, "The election isn't for another 10 months, so Congressman Sestak is focused on changing Washington by ending the war in Iraq and helping more children in Pennsylvania get the health care they need."

About 70 percent of the municipal Republican leaders in Delaware County met for 10 minutes last night to make the selection. The vote for Williams was unanimous.

Michael Puppio, Springfield Township Republican leader, said Williams "will work extremely hard to bring his message of economic restraint and limited government to residents of the Seventh Congressional District."

A number of names of those interested in the race have surfaced over the last few months, including Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood; real estate developer Tom Pulte; and Stephen Elliott, a lawyer with the U.S. State Department.

As of last night, only one other candidate was still in contention, however.

Joe Breslin, a Haverford Township Republican committeeman who ran for the County Council last year, said he would seek the nomination independently from the county's Republican Party.

Breslin said the county Republicans have lost the faith of the voters. "I will be running as a Republican against the Republicans."

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Monday, January 14, 2008

There's No Crying in Football!

WTF? "America's Team" gets spanked on national TV and this is the response of one of its stars? Or did he OD on another bottle of pills?

Jeez,...has he been watching Shrillary too much?

Maybe that's why they think they're "America's Team?"

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Sunday, January 13, 2008

The TrekMedic is a Blogger of the World!

A big HT and huge thanks to Jenn for thinking of the TrekMedic:

Trekmedic251's Is this Life? is a hometown blogger I love to read. Whether it's politics, the Phila teams, (go Flyers), the idiot mayor, or about stupid liberals at their best. I relate to his blog so much because the locals he writes about also affect me and mine. (even though we are a bridge apart) He blogs about anything and everything is totally enjoyable to read.

That said,..I'd like to award Wyatt and Captain America - both are Philadelphia civil servants (police and fire, respectively) and blog about the byzantine workings of the city government from an insider's perspective. And Wyatt's blogging has gotten him national attention, although he's too modest to talk about it!

I also award BobG at Sweet Spirits of Ammonia- Bob blogs from Arizona, along the frontlines of our immigration problem.

And I can't forget Tony Phyrillas - Tony is a rare bird - a conservative journalist in Pennsylvania! Tony blogs about a wide variety of subjects and has the pulse of the rest of the Commonwealth!

Finally, I want to award all of the contributing bloggers at Red November 2008 blog. We're small in number and we don't have the financial backing of the likes of George Soros, but we ARE making a difference!

Feel free to pass the award along to a few deserving souls!

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Saturday, January 12, 2008

When Reality Comes A-Knockin',....

Most liberals go into a state of denial:

Case in point:

This week, the United States Navy was challenged by boats of Iranian origin in the Strait of Hormuz.

US naval ships were threatened over the radio with "I am coming to you. ... You will explode after ... minutes."

Most right-minded people see this as yet another act of aggression from the I-am-a-Mad-Jihad regime in Tehran.

Others view it as a staged confrontation to enable the Bush administration to commit acts of war and invasion against the peaceful and benign Islamic Republic of Iran.

Case in point:

From the Pennsylvania Progressive:

Iranian fast Boat Attack: More Bushco Lies

It seems George W. Bush will stop at nothing to start a war. This time he wants to go into Iran but no one will go along (except for the usual neocons). Suddenly we hear about a serious provocation (as the Prez put it) in the Straight of Hormuz with a threat made against American warships. Then the Pentagon releases a tape mishmashed together (the first hard clue something was amiss) of fast boats swirling around the ships.

My first reaction was that the video could have been taken anywhere, anytime and provided no evidence of a distinct attack. Where were those white boxes said to have been dumped in the way? Now The Pentagon has said the threat made on the tape wasn't from Iran.

"It could have been a threat aimed at some other nation or a myriad of other things," said Rear Adm. Frank Thorp IV, a spokesman for the Navy.

They followed with this disclaimer:

"No one in the military has said that the transmission emanated from those boats."

How then, do they jive that with what the President said and what they allowed all the media to say after mixing these tapes together to try and justify war? No, the intent was clear: to give Bush justification for his war. This is the same thing the extremist idiots working for Doug Feith did in the run up to Iraq.

Obviously, the blogmaster at the Pennsylvania Progressive (progressive being the 21st Century catchphrase for "socialist") has never heard of the USS Cole. (second link here)

Those who forget the past (or try to change the reality of history) are doomed to repeat it!!

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

The 9th Circuit Court is About to Destroy a Family!

Passing this along from Ambulance Driver:

I'd originally intended to write a very different post, but circumstances have changed.

... I can't begin to tell you how hard this is for me to write...

We've been blindsided, and we need help.

We need to raise $30,000 in the next two to four weeks, or our children could be taken away from us by a foreign court, hostile to Americans, and hostile to gun owners.

As you may know, we've been in the middle of a very long, and very nasty custody battle with only two possible outcomes: full custody for us, or full custody for my ex-husband. We have attempted to be reasonable and accommodating at all turns, but he is doing everything he can to obstruct and harass us.

So far we've won, and he has lost; every court case, every motion, every mediation. Every request he has made of the court has been denied. Every claim he has made has been disproved. Every action they have moved for has been denied or dismissed.

We have won, over and over again. We WILL win this case, as long as we can stay afloat.

We can't stay afloat much longer.

We've racked up $38,000 in legal bills over the last two years, fighting for the kids; against my ex-husband, who despite his low chances of succeeding is still intent on using loopholes in the legal system to try and steal custody of the kids.

It's not as if he really wants the kids either. If he was really concerned with the best interests of the kids, he would not have reneged on the original negotiations, or he would have settled with us.

Instead he's accused me of violating an international treaty and kidnapping the kids. He's already lost the case in the AZ District Court, where the judge essentially threw him out on his ass. He narrowly missed defaulting twice in fact, because he refused to respond to a US court; while in the mean time, he was filing Canadian motions, without serving us with notice of them. He then tried to use those motions as a basis for his claims in US court.

They threw him out on his ass. He had clearly acted in bad faith. In fact, he was caught lying on the stand, and forced to admit it, not just once, but twice.

At this point, he has no legal or factual basis to continue; but he has one other tactic. He can try and bankrupt us by filing useless motions.

That's what he's decided to do. After his last defeat, he appealed to the 9th Circuit.

Our reply to his 175 page appeal brief (which was simply a restatement of all the arguments that the other courts had previously rejected) cost us $10,000 ALONE, and we're still paying it off.

Remember, that's just the paperwork.

That's not the problem though.

The appeal and reply breifs were filed in September. We were scheduled for standard track; and normally it takes the 9th Circuit 18 months to 2 years or so to review a case and schedule oral arguments.

Well, two weeks ago, they revised our case to fast track; and scheduled a supervised mediation session between both lawyers.

Yesterday the lawyers and mediator held a teleconference, and all attempts at mediation failed. My ex husband absolutely refused any negotiation, and insisted on moving ahead with oral arguments.

From the point mediation fails, the oral arguments are scheduled for 2-4 weeks from the date of mediation.

2-4 WEEKS, maybe less. As soon as the end of this month, and almost definitely before the end of February the oral arguments will be held.

In order to present our case to the 3 judge panel and take his place in the oral arguments, our lawyer has to fly to San Francisco and spend (most likely) 3 days in court. His flight, lodging, meals, and most importantly TIME are all our responsibility, as is the week or more of full-time work preparing his arguments and catching up on all precedent which may help or hinder us.

The estimate for all of this? $20,000.

We were expecting this kind of cost. We were keeping up with out bills, paying down about $2000 a month, plus our initial retainer and deposit.

Unfortunately my ex forced a flurry of paperwork and meetings in November and December, which put us behind about $10,000. We've paid out another $2000... but now there's this $20,000 balloon.

We would have been alright, because we expected to have 2 years or so to save up and pay for it. As of right now though, we don't have a shot in hell of paying for it, especially on top of the $8,000 we still owe.

If we don't send our lawyer to San Francisco to plead our case, there's a real possibility that he will win the appeal by default.

We've requested that the case be heard on the filed briefs alone (there's really nothing to say in the oral arguments that isn't in the briefs); but my ex is refusing anything but the most expensive possible course of action. He knows that he has no legal ground to stand on; his only hope is to bankrupt us and make us lose by default, or give up.

If he wins his appeal, the jurisdiction for this case will most likely be moved up to Canada, which is ultimately what my ex-husband wants.

You see, his central argument for being granted custody absolutely depends on receiving favorable treatment from a Canadian court.


Well, the ONLY reason he's EVER given for why the kids are better off with him, is because we have an "unsafe" home environment.

The reason he claims our household is unsafe?

Well, because we have guns of course. He's tried to convince that court that the mere presence of firearms in the house is a danger to the children.

No questions about safe storage. No questions about how we've educated the kids (who know what to do if they see a gun NOT in the possession of an adult). Just hysteria over the presence of firearms in our house.

In fact, he tried to claim he felt threatened by the fact that I personally own and carry a gun. He tried to equate gun ownership with child abuse, and drug use.

Obviously this approach has not worked here in Arizona, or federally. Both the county, and district court judges literally told their lawyer to stop making the argument, because it carried no water with them.

... But if the case is sent to Canada, even if we could afford to hire new lawyers and travel back and forth, we would still be screwed. Every bit of our involvement with firearms and 2nd Amendment rights would be hauled out in front of the judge; and they would most likely listen to his tripe about firearms in the home being the equivalent of child abuse.

Unfortunately between current attitudes in major Canadian cities concerning private ownership of firearms, decades of left-wingers appointing judges, and the blatant anti-Americanism of the Canadian courts, we'd most likely be screwed. IF we could even afford to fight.

Even the district court judge noted that he believed the Canadian court would be unfairly prejudiced against us based on this argument.

My ex-husband knows this. He knows that we can't afford for this fight to go to Canada.

So, in order to prevent us from fighting he and his mother have been using the insurance money from her HOUSE BURNING DOWN WITH HER HUSBAND IN IT.

No, that's no joke. His mother recieved a $250,000 insurance settlement when her house burned down with her husband in it. Rather than buy a new house, they've been using the money to draw us into ultimately fruitless, and malicious legal battles. They are intentionally bleeding us dry financially, so we can't fight them in court.

Up 'til now, this tactic hasn't worked; but we're out of money. Chris has gone through all of his savings and assets, and his family can't help. Neither can mine.

As of today, we can't come up with the additional $20,000 necessary; or the $8000 to cover the bills that have already accrued.

We have no family who can help, we can't take out a mortgage because we don't own the house, we have no collateral to secure a personal loan...

...we're screwed.

Why spend all of this money to draw us into legal battles? Well it's obviously not to give the kids a happy, secure life.

All of this money spent on stupid, pointless, and malicious legal wrangling should have been spent on the kids. They should have used the insurance money to buy a new house and prove that they have a stable home environment for the kids. We should have been able to use our money to buy the house we're in, and do things like take the kids to Disneyland.

But the kids aren't the point. It's not about the kids at all to them.

It's about me.

They want to punish me for leaving. For escaping an abusive situation and taking the kids with me. They want to destroy my new, happy life.

Over 3 years of being dragged into court have taught me that all they want is to WIN. If they wanted anything less than my total destruction, this all would have been over years ago.

Instead they've been waiting for Chris to get fed up with the situation and leave, or for us to run out of money. Obviously Chris hasn't left and will never leave, but we have run out of money to fight this battle.

I hate broadcasting all of this personal information, but I don't have a choice. These are my KIDS he may be stealing from us.

They're everything to me.

I CAN NOT let my ex-husband take them, because he will most likely do everything in his power to make it so I can never see them again. He has said exactly that; vowing that if they ever return to Canada we will never see them again.

If we don't come up with the money I can't keep fighting for what's right for the kids.

So please, please help us. We've run out of options, and we desperately need cash or ideas for raising money to keep us going, as we enter this last, and most expensive portion of the battle. Anything you can give, any IDEAS you can give, are greatly appreciated.

Thank you,



Tuesday, January 08, 2008


HT to Tony Phyrillas for this:

It's official.

Montgomery County Commissioner Jim Matthews, a registered Republican, voted shortly after 2 p.m. today to share power with liberal Democrat Joe Hoeffel when the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners held its annual reorganization meeting.

The odd-man out is Montgomery County Commissioner Bruce L. Castor Jr., the Republican who led all vote-getters in the Nov. 6, 2007, election for three open seats on the Board of Commissioners.

"The era of one-party domination in Montgomery County is over," Joe Hoeffel announced during the commissioners' swearing-in ceremony Monday morning.

The vote to make Matthews board chairman was 3-0, with Matthews, Castor and Hoeffel voting yes.

The vote to make Hoeffel vice chairman was 2-1, with Matthews and Hoeffel voting yes.

Castor attempted to nominate himself for the vice chairman spot, but neither Matthews or Hoeffel would second the nomination.

It's going to be a long four years for Montgomery County government (and the residents of Montgomery County).

By turning his back on the voters, Matthews sealed his political future. His chances of winning another race are slim and none, and none just moved out of Montgomery County.

The long-term damage done to the Montgomery County Republican Party are incalculable. Short-term, Joe Hoeffel will emerge as the most power politician in Montgomery County in four years and probably take majority control of the board. For that, we have Jim Matthews to thank.

As for Castor, I predict he will have a lot of fun over the next few years exposing the back-room deals and political shenanigans that Matthews and Hoeffel will be involved in. And all the publicity in recent months about how Castor tried to save the Montgomery County GOP will go a long way to helping Castor win statewide office.

Castor has the moral high-ground in this political tiff.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Castor reminded everyone at the swearing-in ceremony what happened the last time Hoffel had power in Montgomery County (when he made a similar power-sharing deal with another "Republican" commissioner in the early 1990s.)

By rejecting the Hoeffel-Damsker ticket in November, Castor noted that Montgomery County voters said they don't want a return to "expanded government," the "hiring of cronies" and the driving up of county debt.

That is the legacy of Hoeffel's first term as a county commissioner.

Matthews, one of the most politically-inept men in politics, may have shot himself in the foot as he worked to stab Montgomery County Republicans in the back.

And the silence from Montgomery County Republican Chairman Ken Davis is deafening. Why no condemnation of Matthews for his treasonous actions? And where is Bob Asher, the Republican National Committeeman who funded Matthews campaign? How can anyone trust Asher when he helped deliver his home county to the Democrats?

It's time to force Davis and Asher to walk the plank.

Reading the full story of the Matthews-Hoeffel alliance in Tuesday's edition of The Mercury.


Monday, January 07, 2008

There's No Crying in Politics!!

Then again, when you're the MSM-anointed savior of the United Nations,..I mean, States, and you're getting your ass handed to you by someone who's inexperience comes by age and not by turning your head every time your husband dropped his drawers in the proximity of a young intern, you'd cry, too!

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — One-time presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton scoffed at suggestions that she had an “Ed Muskie moment” on the campaign trail Monday, when she was driven to the verge of tears at a campaign event during the final hours before New Hampshire voters go to the polls Tuesday.

Muskie buried his 1972 Democratic presidential race when he broke down after the Manchester Union Leader hurled insults at his wife in an article. He later claimed he was wiping snowflakes from his face, but the damage to his campaign was done.

“This is so ridiculous,” Clinton told FOX News. “People who followed me during the course of my life know that I’m a passionate person and I care deeply about what happens to people. You know, here I am sitting in an intimate setting, although granted there are a million cameras around, talking to people about what they care about and what’s on their minds and how deeply concerned they are about our country.”

The pressure of a surge by Barack Obama may have been overwhelming for Clinton as she choked up Monday unexpectedly when answering a question about how she keeps up the pace on the campaign trail.

“I have so many opportunities and don’t want us to fall backwards,” she said. “I see what’s happening, people. … Some of us are ready some of us are not. When we look at the array of problems and potential for it to spin out of control, this is one of the most important elections. As tired as I am … I believe so strongly (in) who we are as a nation so I’ll do everything I can to make my case and voters get to decide.”

Click here to watch the report on Clinton getting emotional.

Click here to see photos of Clinton’s emotional moment.

Afterward, Clinton wouldn’t call it a double standard that she was being judged for her emotional composure, but indicated her passion for her beliefs should not be treated differently because she is a female.

“We have gone through years of male political figures who have done everything from cry to scream, who have been our presidents. We have all kinds of pictures and stories and you know, I am who I am. I think people who have followed me and watched me they know I am cool under fire, they know that I am tough, they know that I can make decisions.

“But (I) also want them to know I’m a real person, I have feelings, I care about what I do, I don’t do this because I want to live in the White House again. I do this because I’m worried about our country and what is going to happen in the next generation. And if I get emotional about that or if I’m passionate about defending myself, well than I’ll (let) people draw their own conclusion,” she said.

Clinton’s show of emotion came on the same day she was turning up the heat on the battle with Obama, comparing her arch-rival for the Democratic presidential nomination to the nemesis of liberal Democrats — President Bush.

Speaking to FOX News, Clinton said that many people really liked Bush’s personality when he was running for office, but he didn’t turn out to be a good leader. This could be a lesson for those supporting the amiable Illinois senator.

“In 2000 a lot of voters sort of had a leap of faith with George W. Bush, you know, he was going to be a uniter not a divider, and he was a guy you wanted to have a beer with,” she said. “Well, I think that this election has really focused people’s attention on the importance of who’s in that Oval Office and the decisions that have to be made. So I just want voters to have the most available information to make that decision.”

Obama trounced Clinton and the other Democratic presidential candidates with an insurgent candidacy in Iowa. A FOX News-Opinion Dynamics poll taken Jan. 4-6 of 500 likely Democratic voters shows Obama with 32 percent of the vote, Clinton at 28 percent and John Edwards at 18 percent. Richardson has 6 percent. The difference between Obama and Clinton is within the 4-point margin of error.

The latest poll numbers are the best Clinton has received in the last 48 hours. A RealClearPolitics average of Democratic polls in New Hampshire shows Obama leading with 37.3 percent compared to Clinton with 29.4 percent and Edwards at 19.1 percent. Richardson is polling at 5.7 percent in the average.

Turnout at an event for Clinton Monday morning did not have the large crowds that have been showing up at Obama events. Clinton spoke at Cafe Espresso with 25 undecided voters handpicked by her campaign.

Still, the campaign was expecting others to show up voluntarily. One voter noted that more reporters were present than average people, not a good sign the day before the primary.

Clinton has kept a tough front in the face of the Obama surge, saying she’s prepared to continue her campaign despite the outcome.

“Whatever happens tomorrow, we’re going on,” Clinton said Monday.

But the pressure on Clinton may be overwhelming the New York senator and former first lady. At an event in Portsmouth, N.H., Clinton was nearly in tears when she described how much she loves the country and her fears that the Bush administration has sent the country backward.

“I have so many opportunities and don’t want us to fall backwards,” she said, becoming emotional. ”I see what’s happening, people. … Some of us are ready some of us are not. When we look at the array of problems and potential for it to spin out of control, this is one of the most important elections. As tired as I am … I believe so strongly (in) who we are as a nation so I’ll do everything I can to make my case and voters get to decide.”

The veneer, however, had not cracked when Clinton spoke to FOX News for the first time earlier in the day. She repeated her claim that her experience trumps any argument about change.

“You know, Henry David Thoreau said something like ‘If you’re going to build castles in the air, then be sure you also start building the foundation under them.’ And I think this election is so important, I am passionately committed to making as clear as I can to voters what’s at stake and why I believe I bring the qualifications and experience and consistency, of a lifetime to this race, and that’s what I’m going to do over the next couple of days,” she said.

Thoreau also said that most men live lives of quiet desperation, and from the Obama campaign’s point of view, Clinton’s negative turn is just that.

Instead, Obama has been pushing a positive message for change, said Obama adviser, Rep. Paul Hodes, D-N.C.

“He reaches every demographic, every gender. He’s a multicultural candidate, an all-American story of a historic kind. And what he’s able to do is move past the politics of fear and division and the stale business as usual kind of personal attacks that politics are used to having, and really inspire people to come together. Because in this great country, it is the American people who want to take back their government and that’s why Barack Obama is having such extraordinary success with his win in Iowa, and what I think will be a dramatic win in New Hampshire.

On the trail, Obama said he is inspired to be in public office because of the certainty of his message.

“If you know who you are, if you know what you stand for, if you know who you’re fighting for and what principles can not be compromised, then you can reach out to people you don’t agree with, you can reach across the aisle,” he said.

Edwards, meanwhile, mounted an all-night bus tour of the state, with early morning stops planned for Berlin, Littleton and Claremont, with 10 more events throughout the day and evening. “While everyone else goes to bed tonight,” he told a Nashua audience, “I’m going to be out working.”

Later, Edwards criticized Clinton as ill-suited to bring about change. “The candidate — Democrat or Republican — who’s taken the most money from drug companies is not a Republican. It’s a Democrat and she in this race tomorrow morning,” he said.

FOX News’ Major Garrett and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Meanwhile, the MSM spin is 180-degrees opposite over at News-weak:

  • As the 16 undecided voters—14 of them women—nodded sympathetically, some with their own eyes watering, Clinton went on.

  • How will it play? No one will remember the hour of detailed policy talk that preceded Clinton's emotional moment. Even as she spoke, a local television reporter was broadcasting live that Clinton had started crying. Other reporters tried to correct him, even as he was still on the air. No, she didn't cry.

  • It shouldn't be Clinton's Muskie moment. Photographers argue to this day whether the moisture on Ed Muskie's cheek during a passionate interview on the eve of the 1972 Democratic primary came from tears or snowflakes. But whichever it was, the moment sealed his fate as a man too emotional to be president. Hillary's teary moment may very well work in the opposite direction: helping a candidate who is seen as aloof and too tightly scripted appear more vulnerable, more human and more appealing. And those qualities could be big assets as the campaign careers out of New Hampshire, especially as a contrast to the angry scenes of Clinton rebutting Obama and John Edwards in Saturday night's debate.

  • Hours before New Hampshire voters go to the polls, Clinton has finally showed "the real Hillary," the one advisers always insisted was there, the one the campaign tried to sell in a clunky road show in Iowa, where longtime friends were rolled out to tell endearing stories, the one I witnessed on numerous trips abroad during Clinton's years as First Lady: an engaging, warm and witty woman, a first-class road-trip companion who seemed to spring to life as soon as her plane left U.S. airspace.

The TrekMedic adds:

OK,..show of hands: how many right-minded people lost their dinners reading the News-weak piece?

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Saturday, January 05, 2008

Iowa Win Invigorates the Obama Girl!

HT to the Captain at First In! :


Blog List Oops!

You know,..you work on an end-of-the-year list for weeks. You litter your computer with Post-It notes. You massage it,...you edit it,...you revise it. Then you hit the "PUBLISH POST" button, sit back and enjoy the show.

Then you find an errant Post-It note under your desk!

So anyway, here's another item for the 2007 Blog List:

The TrekMedic's idea of a threesome:

Gina Inviere:

Admiral Helena Cain:

Lieutenant Kendra Shaw:

And despite what MedicMike may think about the unedited version, a strap-on was involved and many spines glowed red!

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Friday, January 04, 2008

Hucka-Berry Hound's Iowa Corn,...

The editors of the National Review weigh in on the results of the Iowa caucus here:

Republicans After Iowa

By the Editors

Mike Huckabee deserves congratulations this morning. We have been tough on him, and we retract not a word of our criticism. But he managed to score a big win with almost no money, no support from Republican bigwigs, and, until a few months ago, single-digit support in the polls. That he won is a testament to his sheer political talent: not only his much-discussed fluency as a speaker, but also his sense of the moment.

The fact remains that those talents would not have brought him a plurality if not for his religion and the way he has run on it. Huckabee cleaned up among evangelicals and lost, badly, among everyone else. Evangelicals will not be 60 percent of the electorate in most states. If the governor wants to win the nomination, as opposed to becoming an evangelical kingmaker, he needs to broaden his appeal to other types of conservatives.

John McCain is the other big winner from the Iowa caucuses, even though he got only 13 percent of the vote. New Hampshire is his make-or-break state. He has moved into the lead there, but Mitt Romney, who had it before, has been close behind him. Now Romney is badly hurt, and McCain’s path to winning New Hampshire is clearer. If he wins, then Romney will be further damaged. With Huckabee unacceptable to a lot of economic and national-security conservatives and Rudy Giuliani unacceptable to a lot of social conservatives, McCain could, amazingly enough, become the consensus conservative choice.

The challenge for McCain will be not to remind conservatives why they have so often found him so irritating. In 2000, it was not only his positions on issues that drove them away from him, but his self-righteousness when criticized. He has been starting to show the same trait, and relying too much, as he did back then, on the support of the media. McCain can win the nomination, but not if he throws it away—as he did in 2000, and almost did last year.

Conservatives are giving McCain a second look, and seeing a largely conservative record. Romney needs to make sure that they also continue to see his flaws, especially in New Hampshire. Criticizing McCain on taxes and immigration, as Romney has done, makes sense. But Romney’s critique of McCain on immigration has veered between sloganeering about amnesty and nitpicking about the details. His critique of McCain on taxes has been backward-looking, reprising the debates of 2001 and 2003. He needs to explain what he would do differently from McCain in both areas as president, and how it would affect ordinary voters.

Giuliani seems to be sitting on the sidelines for the next few contests, hoping that split results in them will keep the nomination in play until his strongest states hold their elections. He needs conservatives to regard him as better than McCain. That may require Giuliani to move farther right than he already has on guns and immigration. His message should be that, like McCain, he is a fighter who sometimes differs with conservatives: But he prefers fighting alongside conservatives to fighting against them.

Thompson is even more on the sidelines, without media attention, voter support, or much money. He has run an admirable race in many respects, but the odds are looking even steeper now. The strategic question for him is, sadly, whether to fold up shop. If he does, we hope other candidates will pick up his solid policy ideas in such areas as the defense budget, Social Security, and immigration.

With the Democratic race now up for grabs as well, Republican candidates will be less able to count on using rank-and-file Republicans’ hostility to Hillary Clinton as a source of cheap applause lines. They will have to spend more time outlining their disagreements with the ideas that all of the Democratic candidates have in common. That change of emphasis can only help whoever wins the Republican nomination in what will be an uphill fight this fall.