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Monday, April 28, 2008

Why The City's Elected Officials Suck

Below is an editorial from the Philadelphia Inquirer today about the demise of a non-profit beloved by the last mayor, John Street. The group probably got more than $200 million from the city in the last 8 years but see the money quote I bolded below: THE INQUIRER SAYS the non-profit "was always known as STREET'S PLAYGROUND". In other words, the city money went to the non-profit and Street's puppets there dished the loot as they saw fit. There is no other way to say this- the Inquirer editorial staff has been a bunch of pussies. They kissed Street's ass while he was in office and now almost five months after he is gone, they finally find the guts to kick him. Don't get me wrong, Street was scum just like most of the other city pols.

Safe and Sound - Over and out
Neither the city's at-risk children nor its taxpayers should miss Philadelphia Safe and Sound when the agency closes its doors. The directors of the nonprofit voted last week to cease operations by June 30. Their action comes while the agency is under continued scrutiny by the city and state into how Safe and Sound spent tens of millions of dollars on after-school and anti-violence programs.

A preliminary report by the state Department of Public Welfare found that Safe and Sound was doing a poor job with taxpayers' money. Among the findings were weak accountability, soaring administrative costs, and spending on programs that did not appear to benefit the most at-risk children. The demise of Safe and Sound culminates Mayor Nutter's mini-crusade against irresponsible spending decisions by his predecessor.

As mayor, John Street pushed through a $21 million increase for the agency, to $75 million, shortly before he left office. Safe and Sound was created in 1998 by then-Mayor Ed Rendell, but it was always known as Street's playground. His wife, Naomi Post Street, ran the agency until 2002.

It received no-bid contracts to coordinate and funnel money to hundreds of youth programs serving 27,000 children. But it's still not clear what value the city got from an outfit that essentially passed through money to other vendors who did the real work. Nutter decided to seek bids for this work, which is what the city should have done years ago.

Soon after Nutter's decision, Safe and Sound officials decided to fold. Chairman Ernest E. Jones said the agency had lost staffers and had no commitment for any funding. If they were so committed to the work they were doing, why not submit a competitive bid for the job? With Safe and Sound closing its doors, Nutter's team must ensure continuity of needed youth programs. The quarrel was never with beneficial programs; it was with rising administrative costs and a lack of accountability.
There isn't much time to evaluate bids and get a new coordinating team up and running. Nutter was correct to raise questions about Safe and Sound, but now he needs to do everything within his power to keep delivering worthwhile services beyond June 30. Neither should Safe and Sound's decision to go out of business stop a full accounting of its past expenditures. The Department of Public Welfare report raised questions about the effectiveness of some youth programs, finding there was a "significant risk" that they were not serving the children most in need of help. The city needs to ensure not only that its money is being spent carefully, but also that the children who are most at-risk receive services that will do them good.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Treemendous Treehouse

How about this treehouse being built on Atwick Street in Baltimore. Look closely - it has one of those "rope bridges" to the house on the left!
We saw the Dad hard at work up there but no sign of the kids who will be using it. What is up with that? Maybe it is gonna be Dad's hangout?

Omar Gets The Keys To His New Home From My Nephew

Habitat For Humanity Home by Loyola College

I attended a ceremony yesterday where Loyola College students had built a home for a Baltimore family. My nephew was the student coordinator for the project and it was the first time a home had been completed in a single school year. I am very proud of him and his schoolmates.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

How about these hair styles?

Who cares about another weird Texas cult- that ain't news. But how about these hairdos - a new fashion trend perhaps?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Worst Political Ad Ever

Click on the post title to listen to possibly the worst Philadelphia accent of all time. John Dougherty, union bigwig, was running for state office and this is his ad.

Dougherty's nasally voice had to frigging cost him votes. When I heard this ad on my TV, I was tempted to kick it in. Interestingly, Dougherty sounds a bit like New Yorker sports talk radio host, Jody McDonald.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

John Marzano - Rest In Peace

This is a great pic from the Inquirer today of Philly boy, John Marzano. In the picture, Marzano, then playing catcher for the Mariners, is manhandling Paul O'Neill of the Yankees.
Johnny Marz was a popular radio/ TV personality and great baseball analyst for WIP610, Comcast Sportsnet, and others. He died suddenly yesterday, was only 45 years old. He will be missed.
Marzano played at Central High and Temple University and played about ten years or so in the big leagues mostly as a backup catcher.

The Old Horse Finished 3rd At Delaware Park.

Here are some pics of Sky Heat which ran at Delaware Park today and finished 3rd in the 2nd race. Her jockey was Jeremy Rose, who had some fame as the rider of Afleet Alex named after the little girl who founded Alex's Lemonade Stand. Enjoy.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Prediction For Pennsylvania Primary

I am here with boots on the ground in Pennsylvania covering all the latest news on the upcoming Pennsylvania primary just four days away (not really doing that; I actually live here).

I predict Clinton will win by fifteen points something like 57 - 42. Yes I know all the media and young voters have literally swooned for Obama but my primary meter predicts Clinton by almost a landslide.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Where is my damn ice cream?

It drives me frigging nuts that the grocery store bags your groceries into as many bags as it can. Don't get me wrong. it's not a green thing- I really don'tgive a damn about the environment. No, it seems if I buy 12 items, they use like 6-8 bags !!!

So tonight I go the freezer to get the ice cream I bought two days ago- and it ain't there. I look on my store receipt and it is there- I paid for it but the stunod policy of these frigging stores must be "Don't overload the bags cause a frigging customer may sue us" and so when I left I must of grabbed just 7 of the 8 bags and left my god-damn ice cream at the store. I may have to kill somebody.

Economic Stimulus Refund _ IRS Scam Alert _ Stimulus Relief _Scam Email

I got this email today asking me to go to a website that will expedite my Economic Stimulus rebate check. The sender was and was very official looking. Don't follow the instructions but you may want to click on the link to see what they ask for - they are bold and brazen articles as my 2nd grade nun would have said. Below is the email "word for word" and the logo above was on the email! Sophisticated scam IMHO:


"Over 130 million Americans will receive refunds aspart of President Bush program to jumpstart the economy.Our records indicate that you are qualified to receive the2008 Economic Stimulus Refund.The fastest and easiest way to receive your refund is bydirect deposit to your checking/savings account.Please click on the link and fill out the form and submitbefore April 16th, 2008 to ensure that your refund will beprocessed as soon as possible.Submitting your form on April 16th, 2008 or later means thatyour refund will be delayed due to the volume of requests weanticipate for the Economic Stimulus Refund.To access Economic Stimulus Refund, please
click here.

© Copyright 2008, Internal Revenue Service U.S.A. All rights reserved."

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Flowers in my yard

Don't know what these are - planted by the former owner. Really tiny buds. I want to cut out a big round spot in the middle of my yard and plant something that will come back every year. Any suggestions; FYI - I don't have a green thumb.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Mr. Irrelevant

This is a new regular feature entitled Mr. Irrelevant in honor of Chris Satullo, former bigshot liberal at the Philadelphia Inquirer. Satullo was promoted up to a gig as a Tuesday and Saturday columnist at the Inky. Those of course are not the "platform" days columnists fight for- no they are the days no one even reads the paper.

Satullo apparently won't take his marbles and go home or take a job with a liberal think tank or NGO like Jane Eisner, his predecessor, did. So on occasion I will post his columns- today he is touting another guvmint program. Note I put his column in the "smallest font" I could find because even I barely glanced through his far left predictable trash. Satullo's column generally start off with "blah, blah, blah".

I believe Satullo's next work of irrelevance will involve the secret plot between Fox News, talk radio and evil Republicans who will try unfairly to show Senator Obama is a just another America-despising far left liberal.

N.J. family leave is the right thing

By Chris Satullo Inquirer Columnist
Imagine: A mother sits contentedly in her bedroom in Marlton, nursing her 3-month-old baby, making good use of extended paid leave from her job at a Cherry Hill bank.
This blissful moment is brought to you by . . . Don Imus?
Follow the bouncing ball from the craggy, crude radio talker to that sweet scene of nurture:
A year ago, Imus emitted his vile, unfunny insult against Rutgers University's women basketballers. Gov. Corzine, rushing to the parley he'd arranged between Imus and the athletes, got into a scary auto crash that left him hospitalized for weeks.
Fast-forward a year. This week, Corzine signed a law setting up paid family medical leave, making his the third state to take this far-sighted step - and only the second to actually fund the program.
In doing so, Corzine said his accident taught him a lesson that's long been vivid for families not insulated by Wall Street wealth:
With a slip, a swerve, or a somber sentence from a doctor, life can change in an instant, from smooth and settled to chaotic and stressed.
America's workplaces, by and large, aren't set up to help people cope with such moments.
The new family-leave law permits workers to get up to six weeks of leave to take care of newborns, newly adopted children, or ill family members, at two-thirds of their pay.
Advocates of the idea tend, as I did above, to zero in on cuddly images of infants. The greatest usage, however, may grow out of a different need: helping rising generations cope with the aging of their long-living boomer parents. The graying of the baby boom will drive most states to grapple soon with the strains of elder care. New Jersey will be glad it got there early.
Not that the state's employers see it this way. They're whining like 10-year-olds told to load their plates in the dishwasher.
One of the corporate sector's mouthpieces in the Legislature carped that the law would be "one of the final nails in the coffin" for the state's economy. Really? Brief leaves for less than 1 percent of the state's 4.1 million workers? That's a crushing burden?
Gee, given their grousing, you'd think employers were being asked to pay for this benefit. Not so. The paid leaves will be subsidized by a small, regular deduction from workers' paychecks, i.e. self-insurance.
All bosses have to do is manage the paperwork, and find ways to fill in during absences. Not nothing, but a small tariff to support family values in a real way, while likely boosting morale. Taking a couple of weeks off to set up an ailing parent with proper services saps a worker's output far less than having the office phone ring three times a day with distress signals from Dad.
The business sector's alarms remind me of Detroit automakers' apocalyptic cries about the costs of seat belts and airbags. Yet years later, they were running ads touting their cars' safety features.
Soon, New Jersey employers will be recruiting top talent by extolling their "family-friendly" workplaces. Make book on that.
I've covered government for 30-odd years, 19 in and around Philly. So I'd never deny that regulation can sometimes be overbearing, counterproductive or corrupt. The current Democratic primary also offers frequent displays of the liberal delusion that government tinkering can thwart global market trends.
But your local airport now features the outcome of an opposing, conservative fallacy: the assumption that whenever government oversight cuts into profits, whenever it forces capitalists to absorb costs of doing business that they'd prefer to foist on the public, it's government that's in the wrong.
For those with this knee-jerk attitude, which has run the nation for eight years, it doesn't matter how vital the societal good at stake might be.
Ask anyone waiting glumly at the airport today: Would you pay $5 more in fares to ensure that the plane you're about to board has been checked for cracks in the fuselage since, say, the first season of Lost? Hey, I know I'm in.
The job of government isn't to pretend it can outthink markets. But it is its job to smooth out capitalism's jagged edges, to protect societal goods from getting trampled in the pursuit of profit.
This leave bill does just that. Good for the Garden State. Shame on the law's critics.

Campaign Donations

Here is a picture of the first yard sign I ever owned. I bought three signs for $20 each and put two in my yard. I will offer the 3rd sign to my liberal friends and family one by one.
When I bought the signs on the internet, the process made it obvious that legally this is considered a campaign contribution to McCain. So that makes this the third political contribution I have made in my life.
To recap, I gave a big $25 to The Swift Boat Veterans For Truth (still have the receipt on my fridge, heh), $100 to Michael Steele when he ran for the Maryland seat in the US Senate, and now $60 to McCain for the 3 yards signs. That is a total of $185 lifetime.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Keep It In The Family?

So Congressman Rob Andrews, a DEM from New Jersey, has decided he will challenge fellow DEM Senator & ancient fossil, Frank Lautenberg, in the Dem primary. But who will take Andrews' seat in Congress? I have an idea- how about Mrs. Andrews? ..see the story below.

Rob Andrews’ wife set to enter race
By Cynthia Burton
Camille Andrews plans to run for the congressional seat held by her husband, U.S. Rep. Rob Andrews, who is running for Senate, according to campaign sources. Rob Andrews announced last week that he would enter the Democratic primary against U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D., N.J.). An attorney and associate dean at Rutgers University's law school in Camden, Camille Andrews is often at her husband's side at political events. The couple have two daughters and live in Haddon Heights. Camille Andrews has until 4 p.m. today to file nominating petitions for the race.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Clintons Can Now Afford A Home in The John Edwards Side of The Two Americas

The Yahoo headline says "Clintons made $20 MILLION in 2007". I am nitpicking but the really big story is they made $109 Million in the last 8 years!

So no matter what the Clintons say "THIS TRULY IS A GREAT COUNTRY!"

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Operation Chaos

Yesterday I got my new voter registration card in the mail! I am now legally a Democrat and can vote for the Hildebeast in the upcoming DEM primary in Pennsylvania. Based on poll trends, it appears she will need my vote.