Friday, June 27, 2003

Carcieri takes firm stand on changes to spending plan says todays ProJo. He's going to stand tough folks. Also, the Separation of Powers Bill may be finally moving again and the Legislature would like it on the Governor's desk befofe July 4 to sign. Cross your fingers, the moment when Li'l Rhody finally enters the 20th century politically is almost at hand. (Yeah, I know, it's the 21st century now...do you get the point?)

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I shouldn't do this, because it's too easy, but Howie Kurtz in his Reliable Source Column today has a blurb about the latest from our very own Patrick Kennedy. To quote Kurtz:

"As sometimes happens with Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.), he let his mouth race ahead of his brain Wednesday night at a gathering of Young Democrats at the Washington nightspot Acropolis. After presidential candidate Howard Dean spoke, Kennedy delivered an impassioned peroration against President Bush's tax cut. We hear that Kennedy told the crowd: 'I don't need Bush's tax cut. I have never worked a [bleeping] day in my life.' With that he got the audience's attention -- the dropping-jaws kind. 'He droned on and on, frequently mentioning how much better the candidates would sound the more we drank,' a witness told us. 'Finally, he had to be stopped by a DNC volunteer.' Kennedy's spokesman, Ernesto Anguilla, told us yesterday: 'He was talking to the crowd; it was a rally-the-troops kind of speech about the tax cut. He was energizing the crowd and got caught up in it and used an unfortunate word, which he regrets using. . . . And no one pulled him off the stage.' "

That's our senior Representative folks, proud do not have worked a day in his life. Good thing he's so in touch with the common man, huh?

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The Celtics drafted 3 players last night, highlighted by Point Guard Marcus Banks from UNLV. For more, go here.

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Finally, vacation time is here. Blogging may be non-existant or light. See you in a week!

Thursday, June 26, 2003

Looks like Governor Carcieri has hit a nerve as the Rhode Island House leaders chafe at the governor's criticism that they are unduly influenced by labor unions. Truth hurts, huh? Carcieri has positioned himself as the "People's Lobbyist" and has taken to wearing the red badge of a lobbyist that all wear on Smith Hill. Clever. Here's an example of the tired pandering that Carcieri is facing (from todays ProJo):

"You know who really has the undue influence in this budget? It's the schoolteacher that's in a Providence classroom that's dealing with a classroom where 65 percent of that classroom is not speaking English. It's the firemen that have to go and save somebody from a burning building. That is the influence on our community," said House Deputy Finance Chairman Steven M. Costantino, D-Providence.

Mr. Costantino, spare us. Or, let's let the Guv have his say (again from the ProJo):

As he has argued before, Carcieri said compensation packages for state and municipal employees, including teachers, "bear no relation to what's happening in the real world today."

"This kind of pension benefit and other benefit costs is what brought Cranston to the brink of bankruptcy, it's threatening right now to bring Providence to the brink," he said. "And by the way, if we don't start doing something now, it's going to take the state to the brink."

The biggest check this Governor wants to send to the Legislature is the Reality Check.

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On the Iraq front, It may not be the smoking gun, but it sure looks like it's getting hot! Maybe it's not the weapons, but plans and other findings, both official and unofficial, seem to be coming up, finally.

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The Supreme Court has a few final decisions today and many are waiting with anticipation. Will one retire? Two? We shall see.

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I confess: I'll be checking in on Spike TV to see how it is. I am in the target demographic, after all.

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Finally, it looks like the "new" Blogger is being implemented as we speak. Error windows pop up and I can't seem to use the "Blog This!" feature. Oh well, a few growing pains I guess.

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

The Governor takes it to the people and some of us are listening. As the governor says in the article:

"I think what happens -- and what these people don't realize," Carcieri said of the state's overwhelmingly Democratic lawmakers, "and I realized shortly after I got here, is that what happens within the four walls of this building often bears little relationship with how people feel or what people care about outside this building.

"I don't know whether it is in the air or what it is. But what happens is they are only busy talking to each other -- or the lobbyists," he said of the army of suits and ties camped out across the marble divide.

Who are these people that have access? Again, from the ProJo:

They included teachers' union lobbyists, casino lobbyists, the father and son who represent local business interests, and the tie-less former senator who represents the insurer with a monopoly on the state employee health contract: Blue Cross.

To counter this we have:

In interviews earlier in the day, House Finance Chairman Paul V. Sherlock, D-Warwick, and Deputy Finance Chairman Steven M. Costantino, D-Providence, denounced the increase in pension contributions as a "tax on one segment of the Rhode Island work force . . . [the] people who take care of people in our hospitals, the people who teach our children in schools . . . all the people who are meeting the needs of the state."

Guess what Mr. Sherlock and Mr. Costantino? We, the taxpayers of Rhode Island, pay them, not some magical pot of gold! Right now we don't think we're getting enough bang for the buck AND we think they should kick in a little more for their own benefits, just like the rest of us. Spare me the sob story of poor hospital workers and teachers, the fact of the matter is, in tough times, we all have to cinch the belt, and that includes government workers. They have no more "right" to guaranteed increases in pay and benefits then we do. It is the height of arrogance to believe that those of us who are forced to subsidize more and more of our own pensions, health care, etc. should also be forced to pay for obscene increases in those very same benefits for those who work FOR us in the public sector. Hopefully, with the leadership of Governor Carcieri, those days will be behind us soon. Finally, I leave it to the Governor to wrap it up:

He (the Governor) also served notice that "come the next election cycle, I intend to point out who was with me and who was against me . . . We want a floor fight . . . I want people to know who's voting how."

We'll remember.
So now, the ACC is going after Miami and VIRGINIA TECH! A VaTech spokesman said he had no idea about such a plan. Hope not as his school is one of the plaintiffs in the case filed in Connecticut. I wonder how Boston College feels about now. Left at the altar, perhaps?
Baghdad Bob has been caught!

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Major Issues Before the Supreme Court is an understatement. More on tap throughout the week. So far, they've already said that the ends justify the means in allowing a fundamentally discriminatory policy to stand at the University of Michigan Law School. Just because the outcome is desirable, doesn't make the way that outcome was achieved Constitutional. Apparently, the Equal Protection Clause isn't as important as making sure the right amount of the "right kind of people" graduate from school. It's not fair and it's an example of pandering and coddling.
Meanwhile, in Patriot Nation...Cloud will have to serve four-game suspension then start playing for the Pats. A local kid who may or may not deserve the benefit of the doubt, thought there was no prior indication of him being of shaky character. Just another in the mix in the Pats backfield.
Edward Achorn has it right in today's ProJo. When it comes to the now Harwood-less General Assembly, it still appears as if the new bosses are the same as the old.

Monday, June 23, 2003

I have to kiddies of my own and to think that I'd keep them out until midnight to buy a freakin' BOOK (which will be there in the morning, they shipped millions, folks) is lunacy. Another case of people across the world pathetically seeking to be "part of the story" or of the "big event". Why? So they can say that they stood in line until midnight or maybe so they can proclaim "aren't we cool parents?!" Nope, you're losers!

In a related event, apparently the Satanic Bible is a pretty hot seller.

Finally, a check of the calendar does indeed reveal that it's June. We all know what that means, right Sox fans? It's time for the swoon!

Friday, June 20, 2003

In a quick update on an earlier story, the Jane Roe appeal has been dismissed.
A little bit of reconfiguration today. There are plenty of blogs that emphasize current events and politics, so I think I'll start commenting on my true passion: L'Histoire. (At least that's my latest whimsical idea. It'll probably change.) I'll still offer my 2 cents on anything I want, but the Link section ----> has been modified to lead with History and Learning rather than my past emphasis on current events-related links. I also updated the "My Works" section with a couple more items. That's about it for now, have a nice weekend!

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

We'll see how far this attempt to overturn Roe v. Wade goes. It's interesting because the plaintiff is none other than the original Jane Roe, Norma McCorvey. She has been anti-abortion for 10 years and claims she was basically hoodwinked into the whole thing. We'll see...

Monday, June 16, 2003

The Big East/ACC imbroglio goes on, but Andy Katz at ESPN gives an update on possible moves in the making and headlines it all with the fact that Louisville is an option for Big East. Gee, ya think that Rick Pitino could be a factor?
Just a pure sports fantasy fluff piece, but hell, I enjoyed it...<Splendid outing for cagey Brady

Friday, June 13, 2003

Today's must reads:
Hoaxes, Hype and Humiliation by Krauthammer

USATODAY.com - Short conflict, less ammo kept war cost down...cool!

Golf, US Open led by Quigley...yeah, it's only the first round of the Open, but it's still nice when a local is in the lead.

Thursday, June 12, 2003

This is ridiculous. Investment losses raise public costs of pensions is the headline, but it's about local taxpayers next year will be paying $60 million more for the pensions of Rhode Island state workers and teachers. Supposedly it's a result of the pension fund losses that have been incurred as a result of the recent stock market woes. Guess what? We've all felt the pain, and why should workers who rely on taxpayers for their wages also be any better off than us when it comes to their retirement. Let me get this straight, I have "lost" money as a result of the down market. So has Joe State Worker, but Joe State Worker will get bailed out by taxes paid by me. Where is my relief? Oh, just suck it up? Well, what's good for the goose...
Another old journalistic lion passes on. - Veteran Broadcaster David Brinkley Dies.

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

Today is decision day in the ACC/Big East fiasco. As usual, Kevin McNamara of the Providence Journal is all over the story.

Monday, June 09, 2003

This is a must read about Rape in a small town in Rhode Island. It's a tough, long article, but it details the unfortunate business that occurs in a place where everyone knows everyone else and the wagons are circled and a victim is made a pariah. Tough, but a necessary read.
Here are the links that have been axed. Sayonara!

World Net Daily

CNS News

NewsMax

The Weekly Standard

The Sports Guy on ESPN

FreshTabs Guitar Tablature

ESPN

GameSpot - PC Games

Ancestry Internet Genealogy

The Underdogs - "Abandoned" Games

Ain't It Cool News - Movie Gossip
OK, major site pruning will begin today. Time to do some belated spring cleaning. My philosophy is this: If I don't use the link myself too much anymore...it's gone! I suppose I'll make a not of all that I remove sometime soon, until then, get ready for some reduction in linkage over there to the right!
I urge all to read about the Right vs. Left on Satisfying Wants & Needs by Rush Limbaugh. It's simple, short and strait forward. Yes, Rush is a right-wing idealogue and all, but he does a pretty fair job of making both sides of the argument with relatively little haranguing.
Last week, I was heartened by the apparent progress in the peace process as exhibited by the meetings in Aqaba, Jordan (where I spent 3 lovely weeks back in my sailing days, incidentally). Yet, apparently progress to the degree I had believed has not been accomplished. First, a column by Max Abrahms on Mideast on National Review Online details the Roadmap for Peace while Charles Krauthammer, in a "Shades of Oslo" column certainly throws cold water on the whole week of meetings between the President and mideast leaders. Nonetheless, we must remember that we have a President who will stick with it and will not suffer dissemblers. If the Arab world thinks they can try to double-talk their way into the virtual elimination of Israel, I think THEY had better think again. Mr. Bush understands loyalty, honesty and strength and how to deal with those who don't abide by the same code. Just ask Saddam and the Taliban.

Friday, June 06, 2003

OK, one last indulgence before the weekend. Here is an awesome story on one of my fave's, Lisa Loeb, in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin Features page.

*NOTE: My obsession has been acknowledged and tacitly approved of by my significant other under the "devil-you-know is better than the one you don't" clause of the marriage contract. :)

Thursday, June 05, 2003

As usual, good stuff at OpinionJournal - Best of the Web Today, but this snippet had me chuckling:

"From the Highlander, the student newspaper at the University of California, Riverside, comes a hilarious example of how diversity is actually practiced in higher education. It's a report on a student senate meeting:

At the meeting, the senate also voted to approve a mural to be placed in the Commons. There was some concern voiced by the senate about the contents of the mural.

"I see some pilgrim invaders here," said Elisa Haro, academic affairs director. "It kind of reminds me of my colonization, and I don't like that."

The artist of the mural said that the pilgrim invaders were meant to be Shakespearean actors and that he would try to make that more clear.

Other concerns with the mural included the depiction of white cranes, which the senate demanded be changed to color cranes.

They were also concerned with the lack of a same sex couple depicted, which the artist agreed to add. The senate voted to approve the mural in light of the adjustments being made."

The funny thing is that it exhibits the normalcy that those on the inside would ascribe to this discussion. They fail to see the inanity of their PC attitude. Wait until they get into the real world.

Tuesday, June 03, 2003

WOW, I've been lax lately, huh? Busy with school/work/family. FYI, the Baseball Amateur draft is going on now and if your as sick as me, go to the Baseball America - 2003 MLB Draft site for an update on the Red Sox picks.