Roundup: Nothing Egypt Related

Because there’s enough talk about Egypt without my two cents.

(1) There is reasonably broad support for the thought that Republicans should consider Tea Party ideas, even among those Americans who are not themselves Tea Party “supporters”.

(2) It looks like a recent Chinese propaganda video ripped a scene from Top Gun.

(3) Interested in a funeral pyre to send your loved one into the great beyond? Head to Colorado.

(4) Your Chris Christie love of the day.

(5) Apparently the band Nirvana is old enough that people can rip them off without seeming like a “me too” wannabe grunge band. Here’s my take on Warpaint’s “Undertow”.


January 31, 2011 at 1:28 pm Comments (0)

Montco: Hoeffel OUT of Race!

Not much in the story from the Times-Herald, as this is relatively fresh & breaking.

Montgomery County Commissioners Vice Chairman Joe Hoeffel has announced that he will not seek re-election.

State Rep. Josh Shapiro, D-153 Dist., has entered into the race with Leslie Richards, a current Whitemarsh Township supervisor.

I cannot imagine that perpetual candidate for offices Joe Hoeffel will just fade away into the darkness.

You may remember he got an appointment from Ed Rendell in return for dropping out of the Lt Gov race in 2006. He has no such patron in the state government anymore… maybe he’s headed for a federal appointment of some kind.

The Montco Dems, Hoeffel included, were early Hillary supporters in 2008, so perhaps not.

January 31, 2011 at 11:55 am Comments (2)

Mondays with Mossie on Live and Local with Barry Papiernik WFYL 1180 AM

On today’s show, Barry and I discuss my recent interview with Ambassador John Bolton, cover some Montgomery County business and make a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT. Tune in from 10 AM to 11 AM today.

Live streaming here.

January 31, 2011 at 7:38 am Comments (0)

PAWatercooler talks to Ambassador John Bolton, part 2

On Thursday, January 27, I had the great privilege of interviewing Ambassador John R. Bolton on the occasion of the Philadelphia Freedom Center honoring him with the Patrick Henry Award. (For part 1 of the interview, please click here). As events in Egypt continue to unfold, PAWatercooler was fortuitous in obtaining firsthand the Ambassador’s insights on precarious situation.

No doubt that the unrest in Egypt has the potential to leave the Middle East, and possibly the world, forever altered. And while it is tempting to view the unrest with optimism considering that it has been inspired by desires for liberty and democracy, Bolton cautions us that it is important to consider that the people protesting in the streets are not necessarily capable of creating or establishing the type of Jeffersonian democracy with which we in the United States are most familiar. Indeed, with the entre of the Muslim Brotherhood into the mix on Friday, all bets are off on what the future holds for Egypt.

With that in mind, I asked Ambassador Bolton about a recent fatwa issued by Imad Mustafa at Egypt’s al-Azhar University. As NR’s Andrew C. McCarthy reports the fatwa has expressly endorsed a doctrine of “offensive jihad” that is acceptable in the following circumstances:

o (a) “to secure Islam’s border”;
o (b) “to extend God’s religion to people in cases where the governments do not allow it”; and
o (c) “to remove every religion but Islam from the Arabian peninsula.”

McCarthy concludes that the second prong of the fatwa “would also approve campaigns of aggression against countries that bar any aspect of Islamic belief or practice that Muslim scholars deem “necessary” to the full implementation of Islamic law.” Ambassador Bolton believes that the ramifications from this pronouncement have yet to be revealed, but we in the West should be cognizant of the fact that most Middle Eastern universities are radicalized.

Looking towards Israel and the Palestinians, I asked Ambassador Bolton about the story of Al-Jazeera’s version of “wiki-leaks.” Starting last week, Al-Jazeera has been releasing documents covering a decade of Mideast talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The Arab television station alleges that the documents show that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his aides, specifically one Saeb Erekat, have been making concessions to Israel and coordinating closely with Israel’s military. Erekat claims that Al-Jazeera is engaging in a smear campaign, that some of the documents are faked and that the TV station has taken many of the quotes out of context in an effort to convict him in the public square. Ambassador Bolton’s sense of this story is that the documents are probably legitimate. This could have positive ramifications for Hamas, the party opposing the Abbas leadership.

I asked Ambassador Bolton about the many threats facing our nation from a dangerous world. But first and foremost, Bolton believes that a nuclear Iran is the threat with cause for most concern. He believes that the U.S. policy towards Iran of sanctions and talks have been largely ineffective and it is a critical mistake for the U.S. to think that it can contain a nuclear Iran in much the same way as, say a nuclear U.S.S.R. was contained.

There are also more stealthy threats facing our nations. These are more accurately defined as threats to our sovereignty in the form of the imposition of global policies on the U.S. We have seen such threats in the form of global warming, gun control and abortion. These threats are made more pressing by President Obama, whom Bolton defines as our first “post-American President,” in that Obama sees himself as transcending American interests and demonstrates a distaste for speaking up for American ideals
interests and American ideals.

In contrast, it’s worth restating why the Philadelphia Freedom Center honored Ambassador Bolton last week:

As U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton made sure that the “Kick Me” sign was taken off the back of the American Presence there. He argued passionately not only for U.S. interests but for the aspiring democracies across the world. He did so with tact and eloquence, but also with a sense of purpose so seldom present in that morally ambiguous organization. During the Bolton years at the UN, America drew a clear line in the sand as Patrick Henry did in his famous “Give me liberty or give me death” speech. It is only fitting, therefore, that John Bolton should be the first recipient of the Philadelphia Freedom Center Patrick Henry Award.

January 31, 2011 at 7:36 am Comments (0)

2012 Contenders

Let me be one of the first commentators here on PAwatercooler to make some comments regarding the 2012 Republican Presidential contenders.   My comments can be summarized as follows:

“Really, is this the best we’ve got? No seriously, that’s it?”

2012 Live has a good run down of who all the supposed candidates are at this point – including some who are just potentials.

Now let me clarify, there are a few folks that I think would be excellent candidates and some who I think would actually do a good job too.  Those are few and far between, and unfortunately the few that exist would probably never run because they don’t want to ruin their life.

Here’s my list of people that I like and could actually be happy voting for in no particular order:

– Paul Ryan – The guy has ideas, plain and simple.  The one of the few GOP Members of Congress that has ideas and can speak coherently on them, doesn’t sound like a fringe candidate and has been moving his way up through the ranks slowly but surely – a good trait because it shows persistance.

– Chris Christie – maybe a bit too soon.  He hasn’t been in office as Gov. of NJ for very long, but so far he seems to be pretty good.  He sticks to fiscal issues.

– Mitch Daniels – The Gov. of Indiana is a fiscal guy as well.  He’s got a good deal of experience as various levels of government and knows how to get things done.  BTW, I love the fact that he was willing to admit that he skipped watching the State of the Union and instead read the text.  I’ve never found any State of the Union to be that enjoyable – they usually tick me off with the ever growing list of government programs that supposedly need to be added to save civilization from itself.  I haven’t watched it for a several years now.

– John Kasich – The Gov. of Ohio.  He’s a fiscal guy in an important swing state.  He’s got a good depth of experience.  He’s also an idea guy.

– Donald Trump.  This may be a surprise for some of you that I like him.  I do.  Will he run – who knows.  He’s got plenty of money that’s for sure.  I can already hear the criticism about him though.  The thing about Trump though is he’s got vision, leadership abilities, sticks to fiscal matters, tells it like it is (honesty), actually understands international matters since he’s been doing business internationally for a long time.  At first when I heard that he was considering running, I brushed it off.  Then I heard him speak about our relationship internationally and he made alot of sense.

The commonality for my ideal candidate is someone who has experience enough to fix the mess we’re in – not just play around with theories, who sticks to fiscal issues and away from social issues, and is someone who has leadership abilities.  Republicans need to get away, far away from candidates who are personalities and nothing else.  We have a great deal of candidates who draw support not because of what they stand for, but because of who they are.  McCain was one of these candidates – that worked out well didn’t it?  I, for one, am sick of the “cult of personality” candidates that has infected the GOP for some time now.  Unfortunately, I think the GOP will probably make the same mistake given who the current crop of committed candidates are.  I don’t believe that it bodes well for the country to have the “cult of personality” candidates as what we consider the norm in candidates from now on.

Having personality is important, given the visual age we are in.  But also having real ideas, vision, leadership abilities, goals and a plan to reach them, among other traits is vital too.  I want my president to be the best of the best, is that too much to ask for?

January 31, 2011 at 6:26 am Comments (0)

The Abortuary Business

Weekly Standard

Pennsylvania may not be a third-world country, but its abortion mills—like those in most other states—really are reminiscent of one: free and independent entities, uniquely exempt from supervision and regulation, carved out from the rest of medicine. Every other kind of doctor is weighed down by record-keeping and inspection requirements. Abortionists alone are free. “Pennsylvania’s Department of Health has deliberately chosen not to enforce laws that should afford patients at abortion clinics the same safeguards and assurances of quality health care as patients of other medical service providers,” the Gosnell grand jury explained. “Even nail salons in Pennsylvania are monitored more closely for client safety.”

The reason, of course, is what such medical practices involve. Ever since the Supreme Court issued its Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, ending states’ power to outlaw abortion and making it instead an individual right, abortion has distorted American law and snarled American politics. Why should it be any surprise that it has soiled American medicine as well? People like Dr. Gosnell are allowed to exist by the pro-abortion lobbying groups that insist ordinary medical supervision will lead to a curtailing of access to abortion in this country.

As it happens, they’re right. Partly that’s because laws concerning medical licensing genuinely do offer a chance for pro-life state legislatures to hurt the abortion business by burdening its practitioners with extensive paperwork and expensive equipment. The activists at NARAL and Planned Parenthood are not exactly wrong to worry about what they call TRAP laws (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers). And yet, there’s a more serious reason that medical supervision threatens the abortion license in this country. It’s what ordinary medical regulation and supervision would reveal: the fact that the abortion business is the gutter of American medicine.

Read it all.

January 30, 2011 at 2:09 am Comments (0)

Black Panther Intimidation Interim Report

Friday afternoon is a good time to drop bad news.

The evidence shows that a racial double standard prevails in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. It dismissed the voter intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party because of hostility to the idea of enforcing the Voting Rights Act against black defendants. Moreover, the Justice Department broke the law by stonewalling the Civil Rights Commission’s investigation, defying lawfully issued subpoenas and a federal statute outlining its obligation to cooperate with Commission investigations, as well as claiming non-existent privileges to justify its refusal to release relevant (and probably embarrassing) documents and communications. As Commissioner and Corner contributor Peter Kirsanow stated in the report, the Justice Department engaged “in a degree of stonewalling and obstruction inexplicable for an agency professing clean hands.”

January 28, 2011 at 5:59 pm Comments (0)

Philly Housing Authority a Disgrace

The best kind of money to spend?

Someone elses.

In Philadelphia, under the leadership of former executive director Carl Greene, the local housing authority spent $17,000 for a 2006 event, including $1,200 for a troupe of belly dancers. Photos of the event, obtained by ABC News, show Greene dancing with the exotically dressed women. A Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) spokeswoman said the event, which also included yodelers and karaoke, was a part of the housing authority’s “diversity awareness” training.

The same month, a 12-year-old girl living in the city’s federally-subsidized housing suffered a near-fatal asthma attack after, her mother says, poorly trained housing inspectors failed to properly check her home for dangerous black mold.

“I’m telling them over and over again that these problems are going on and nobody’s fixing anything. It’s like they ignored everything I said,” said Angelique McKinney, the girl’s mother.

Yodeling, karaoke AND belly dancing? Drugs were obviously not involved.

(tip to Joe Collins)

January 28, 2011 at 1:23 pm Comments (0)

Philly’s LED Traffic Lights Unusable in the Snow

The greens will kill us all.

The City of Philadelphia has been replacing those high-wattage incandescent bulbs in traffic signals on thousands of street corners with energy-saving LEDs in red, yellow, and green, saving the city hundreds of thousands of dollars per year in electricity charges.

But the LED lights operate much cooler than the old bulbs, creating a danger when they become encrusted with snow.
City Councilman Frank Rizzo says Wednesday night’s big snowstorm left many traffic signals in the city snow covered — and the snow didn’t melt, he says, because the city is switching to the LED signals.

Rizzo says that Thursday morning, driving on Broad Street, he saw drivers unable to tell if the lights at intersections were red or green because the snow on them hadn’t melted. And he thinks that’s because the city installed LED lights in place of incandescent bulbs.

“I saw that occurring, where the snow covered over the red, yellow, and green lights. And it made it very dangerous for people,” he told KYW Newsradio.

The city is saving a million bucks a year on the lower power lights.

I’m pretty sure they’re just replacing the bulbs, not the whole unit. But I can’t imagine that some manufacturer doesn’t make a temperature activated heat traced traffic light that melts the snow/ice when the temperature drops below a certain level. It’s simple.

January 28, 2011 at 12:21 pm Comments (0)

PAWatercooler talks to Ambassador John R. Bolton

PAWatercooler had the great honor of speaking with Ambassador John R. Bolton on the occasion of his being awarded the Patrick Henry Award from the Philadelphia Freedom Center.

The Philadelphia Freedom Center was established two years ago to expose local ties to international extremism and terrorism, and defend America’s Free Society through educating the public to preserve traditional constitutional values of individual freedom, rule of law, private property and limited government. The Center has traditionally hosted acclaimed individuals, sponsored prestigious events in and around the Philadelphia area since last fall. The Center’s director is Craig Snider.

The Philadelphia Freedom Center bestowed its inaugural Patrick Henry Award on Ambassador John Bolton for his dedication to defend and protect individual liberties. Like Patrick Henry, Bolton refuses to remain silent as socialist ideals and oppressive policies are imposed on the American people.

Ambassador Bolton is remarkably refreshing in his candor. Unapologetic in his defense of American interests, his clear-eyed analysis of foreign affairs looks unflinchingly at the people and situations with which the United States has to work, not the people and situations we only wish were at our disposal. He strongly believes that the Obama Administration has little or no interest in foreign policy, a policy that has made the world more dangerous.

In this first part of the interview, I asked Ambassador Bolton about the events unfolding in Egypt and if, as Anwar Ibrahim wrote in the Wall Street Journal earlier this week, Tunisia was the “first domino” of countries in the Middle East.

Ambassador Bolton believes that while the inspiration for the demonstrations may be Tunisia, the underlying causes of the unrest in Tunisia, Yemen and Egypt are different. Today (Friday) is particularly critical as it is anticipated that many protesters will take to the streets after Friday religious services. Up until today, the participants in the protests have largely been young people, mostly secular. The concern is that the Muslim Brotherhood will now get involved.

Bolton remarks that is important to remember that while many of the “twitter revolutions” begin with young people wanting greater freedoms from their oppressive regimes, the reality is that there is no guaranty that the high minded ideals driving the unrest will translate into what we in the West recognize as democracy and liberty.

I asked Ambassador Bolton about the Obama Administration’s response to the uprising in Egypt.

“They have been caught by surprise by this,” Bolton said. But then so has the rest of the world. It is hard for the Administration to comment or insert the U.S. into this situation because there is no clear certainty about what will eventually happen. “It’s not clear that they would listen to us anyway,” Bolton said. “The French are far more involved in Tunisian affairs than the U.S. is involved with Egypt,” and they had virtually no input into the events that transpired there earlier this month.

Has the U.S. missed an opportunity on the occurrence of the unrest in the Arab world?

Ambassador Bolton does not believe so, in the cases of the events in Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen, simply because of the great uncertainty surrounding these areas.

What about Iran’s Green Revolution? Did the U.S. miss an opportunity there?

“Absolutely,” Bolton believes. Bolton has made no secret of his belief that regime change in Iran should be U.S. policy. A nuclear Iran is a grave threat to the whole world and is the beginning of nuclear proliferation throughout the Middle East.

Check back later for more on PAWatercooler’s conversation with John Bolton.

January 28, 2011 at 7:38 am Comments (0)

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