Thursday, January 31, 2008

Pity The Poor Starbucks!


It seems as though Starbucks' profits only rose by 2% last year.

And now the poor little dears are having to cut back on their menu.


It wasn't too long ago when Starbucks so jauntily raised the prices on their already over-priced assortment of coffees.

We here in the Wonk household had to cut Starbucks from our menu some time ago because our profits teaching salary hasn't gone up in over five years.

Matter of fact, we've been cutting-back on a lot of stuff as prices of just about everything continue to skyrocket while our salaries stay the same.

Message to Starbucks: Reality Bites; get used to it.

Note to the N.E.A.: Endorse This!

Is the "stamp of approval" by the National Education Association actually The Kiss of Death for presidential candidates?

Unlike the succession process used to install the NEA's unelected (and therefore unaccountable) "president," you get to be the decider.

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In Our Morning Mailboxes

The anonoymous administrator has struck again, placing a plain white piece of paper bearing this quote in each teacher's mailbox:

"Before everything else, getting ready is the secret of success."

Good words, but we didn't quite know what to make of them....

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The EduWanker Of The Day

I do believe that this New Jersey guy certainly qualifies:
MILLVILLE -- Police arrested a high school teacher on drug charges the day he was convicted of a similar charge in Hamilton Township.

Christian McCarthy, 37, of the 2200 block of East Main Street was charged with possession of cocaine and drug paraphernalia when detectives stopped his car at Main and Beech streets in Millville on Jan. 18, according to police.

McCarthy is the son of Millville solicitor Richard McCarthy.

Two passengers in his car, Linwood Newman, 18, of the 300 block of West Powell Street, and a 17-year-old city man were also charged with possession of cocaine and drug paraphernalia. Another passenger, Debra Antos, 47, of Egg Harbor Township was charged with possession of cocaine.

McCarthy has been employed full time by the Board of Education since September 2001. He currently works at the senior high school as a special education/social studies teacher.

Hamilton Township police records indicate McCarthy was pulled over July 4 on Harding Highway for a vehicle light violation. He was subsequently arrested on cocaine and drug paraphernalia charges.

McCarthy pleaded guilty to the Hamilton Township charges Nov. 2, according to Madelaine Vitale, a spokeswoman with the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office.

Vitale said McCarthy was convicted of the Hamilton Township charges Jan. 18, the same day Millville police arrested him on new drug charges.

Millville schools Superintendent Shelly Schneider and Assistant Superintendent Steve Burke were unaware of the arrest until notified by The Daily Journal Tuesday morning. Police made an official notification of the arrest to school authorities later Tuesday.

Schneider said the school board attorney would have to be consulted before any action is taken.

Burke said the district would launch an investigation into the allegations.

"Depending on the nature of the charge, disciplinary action could be recommended to the full board," Burke said. "That action could include termination."

When asked why school officials were not notified of the incident for 12 days, acting Chief Tom Riley said "they were supposed to" and referred questions to Sgt. Jody Farabella, the supervisor of the Narcotics Unit.

Farabella blamed the delay on work schedules and incomplete reports. He said Detective Carl Heger, one of the officers involved in the arrest, left the department the following day to take a job with the Cumberland County Prosecutor's Office.

"My people are doing a good job," Farabella said. "They're making a lot of arrests."

He indicated that detectives are not required to complete reports at the end of their shift and could be off for several days before completing paperwork.

"We're trying to save some overtime," he said.

City Commissioner David Vanaman, director of public safety, was not notified of the arrest until contacted by The Daily Journal.

"Unfortunately the school superintendent was not immediately notified and that will be corrected in the future," Vanaman said. "I have also directed the acting chief to submit a full report within 24 hours outlining the events of this arrest and all parties involved and why the arrest was not placed in the press book."

Farabella said McCarthy's Jan. 18 arrest unfolded as follows:

Heger and Detective Harold Duffield were conducting surveillance in a known drug area on 4th Street between Pine and Oak streets when they allegedly saw McCarthy circle the area three times, then pick up Newman. A police report indicates the detectives became suspicious because the two suspects have previous arrests.

Farabella would not comment when asked about any prior arrests involving McCarthy.

The detectives followed McCarthy's car into Bridgeton, where it stopped on South Pine Street. Newman and the juvenile went into two separate houses for a short time and returned to McCarthy's car.

Detectives stopped the car around 6 p.m. when it returned to Millville.
Farabella said cocaine and a crack pipe were found on the rear floor of the car and cocaine was also in plain view on the center console. McCarthy allegedly had another crack pipe in his pocket, according to Farabella.

McCarthy could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
Cocaine again.

Some people just can't seem to leave the blow alone.

And what on Earth could McCarthy have been thinking to have been running amok driving around with minor children in his car?

Aside from being today's Wanker, maybe McCarthy should also be considered for
The Darwin Award In Education.

Update: (01/31) Maybe this school principal should also be considered for recognition as W.O.D.


Bleak Future?

After the results of yesterday's voting down in Florida, it appears more-and-more likely that the 2008 election will be between John McCain and Hillary "The Countess of Chappaqua" Rodham-Clinton.

Barring another terrorist attack on the homeland, I would say that The Countess will probably be the next President.

I well-remember the mess that the Clintons made of things the first time around.

From Hillary's
Futures Trading Scandal to Travelgate, to the selling of nights in the Lincoln bedroom to foreign political contributers, to the hawking of presidential pardons to felons fleeing from justice, to the turning of the White House into a Cat House.

And let's not forget Bill Clinton's impeachment, trial, and subsequent disbarment.

It was, and will be, one scandal-after-another.

And, like before, at the center of it all we'll find that evil genious attack-dog who calls himself James Carville.

The American People deserve better than we're going to get from Rodham-Clinton and Her Minions.

Update: (01/31/08) The bulldog edition of the New York Times has the latest example of the type of shenanigans that we can expect from a Billary Presidency. Slick Willie is as Slick Willie does....

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Simply Carnivalistic!

The 156th edition of The Carnival of Education (hosted this week by Creating Lifelong Learners.) has opened-up its turnstiles!

And don't forget to round out your educational experience by seeing what the homies are up to over at this week's edition of The Carnival of Homeschooling.


Where's On Earth Is Margaret San Diego?

Our globe-trotting and usually publicity-hungry U.S. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings hasn't been seen since her last out of town trip back on January 18th when she graced the City of San Diego with her presence.

One Washington Insider
has intimated that The Queen of All (Teacher) Accountability might be laying low in some Caribbean hideaway order to avoid the righteous anger of some very disappointed pro-choice, pro-public charter school backers.

And who would've thunk that?

But then again, it is an election year, when like baseball's spring training, all things seem possible.


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Get Your Carnival Entries Submitted!

Entries for the 156th edition of The Carnival Of Education (Hosted this week by Creating Lifelong Learners.) are due. Please email them to: mrneedleman [at] gmail [dot] com . (Or, easier yet, use this handy submission form.) Submissions should be received no later than 8:00 PM (Eastern) 5:00 PM (Pacific) Today. Contributions should include your site's name, the title of the post, and the post's URL if possible.

Visit last week's midway, hosted by The Median Sib, right here.

Barring unforeseen circumstances, the midway should open Wednesday.

The Watcher's Council Has Spoken!

Each and every week, Watcher of Weasels sponsors a contest among posts from the Conservative side of the 'Sphere. The winning entries are determined by a jury of 12 writers (and The Watcher) known as "The Watchers Council."

The Council has met and cast their ballots for last week's submitted posts.

Council Member Entries: Done With Mirrors garnered the most Council votes with Liberal Fascism.

Non-Council Entries: Iowahawk took first place with Bylines of Brutality.
See our latest EduPosts.


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Let's Carnival!

The 155th edition of The Carnival of Education (hosted this week by The Median Sib) has opened up its midway!

Round out your educational experience by seeing what the homies are up to over at this week's edition of The Carnival of Homeschooling.
See our latest entries.


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Our Out Of Control Borders: Who's Accountable?

As a people, we are all paying the price for our federal government's refusal to secure our wide-open and out of control southern border. And some Americans are paying the ultimate price:
GRAYS WELLS — A Yuma Sector Border Patrol agent was killed Saturday morning when he was allegedly struck by a suspected drug smuggler’s vehicle.

The incident occurred at 9 a.m. Saturday about 40 miles east of El Centro.

“We had a smuggling vehicle that we were trying to stop with a spike strip, and the vehicle swerved toward our agent that was deploying that and intentionally ran into him,” Yuma Sector spokesman Eric Anderson said.

The name of the agent killed has not yet been released pending family notification.

Anderson said an “unknown” number of occupants were inside the suspected smuggler’s vehicle, which reportedly was driven directly into the victim as he attempted to place the spike strip.

“This happened in plain view of families and everybody out there having a good time in the dunes,” Anderson said. “The vehicle made it back to Mexico before we could stop it.”

As the agent’s family begins to mourn, Anderson said the death rings as a reminder to fellow agents that their job is indeed dangerous.

“Every agent’s going to be thinking very hard in their head of their job and they’re going to be safe out there,” Anderson said. “I mean, why did they swerve toward one of our agents to try to hit him?

“We’ve got to be out there and be vigilant at all times,” he said. “It’s just a tragedy that this agent lost his life to someone smuggling drugs who has no regard for human life.”
The border officer who was murdered by the drug smugglers was Senior Patrol Agent Luis Aguilar. He left behind a wife and kids:
The U.S. Border Patrol agent who was killed in the line of duty near Andrade on Saturday was a father of two small children and husband, officials said Sunday.

Senior Patrol Agent Luis Aguilar was 32 and was assigned to the Yuma Border Patrol Station since graduating from the Border Patrol Academy on July 21, 2002, officials said. He also leaves behind a brother, a Border Patrol agent assigned to the Nogales Border Patrol Station. He was from El Paso, Texas.

The news of Aguilar’s death affected local agents assigned to the El Centro sector.

“It’s another reminder of the risks that the Border Patrol faces every day to secure our nation’s borders. This despicable act is something to remind our agents we have to be alert and vigilant at all times because things like this can happen at any time,” said El Centro Sector Senior Patrol Agent Enrique Lozano. He and other agents in the field were wearing mourning bands across their shields Monday.

Aguilar died when a fleeing suspected narcotics smuggler driving a brown Hummer ran over him as the six-year veteran attempted to deploy a tire deflation device at the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area near Andrade at about 9:30 a.m., Border Patrol officials said.

Officials are looking for the vehicle and a red Ford F-250 pickup that fled into Mexico in connection to the death.

Aguilar is the first Border Patrol agent to be killed in the line of duty in 2008.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner W. Ralph Basham said Aguilar’s death will only inspire the agency to continue to secure the nation’s borders.

“We are already working today with support from many federal, state and local law enforcement agencies and the full cooperation of Mexican law enforcement and military authorities to find Agent Aguilar’s killers and bring them to justice,” Basham said in a press release late Saturday.
In spite of all the rhetoric and other pronouncements from the Central Government in Washington, the number of illegal aliens who continue to cross our southern border remains unchecked.

I know this for a fact as our family lives only ten miles north of the border and, for us, the consequences of our government's refusal to secure this broken down border isn't an abstraction, but an everyday fact of life as our schools, maternity wards, and hospital emergency rooms are overflowing with illegals aliens who are demanding (and getting) social services at taxpayers' expense.

Meanwhile, our federal government continues to do little to effectively remedy this chronic problem.

How many more of our law-enforcement officials and other citizens will be injured or killed in by these criminals (such as the vicious animal that calls himself Santana Aceves) because our government can't find the political balls wherewithal to build an effective barrier in order to help keep out unwanted and dangerous intruders?

It can be done.

If only someone in Washington can find the political will to do so.


Carnival Entries Are Due!

Entries for the 155th edition of The Carnival Of Education (Hosted this week by The Median Sib.) are due. Please email them to: mc849 [at] aol [dot] com . (Or, easier yet, use this handy submission form.) Submissions should be received no later than 7:00 PM (Eastern) 4:00 PM (Pacific) Today. Contributions should include your site's name, the title of the post, and the post's URL if possible.

Visit last week's midway, hosted by the mysterious Eduwonkette, right here.

Barring unforeseen circumstances, the midway should open Wednesday.
See our latest EduPosts.

The Watcher's Council Has Spoken!

Each and every week, Watcher of Weasels sponsors a contest among posts from the Conservative side of the 'Sphere. The winning entries are determined by a jury of 12 writers (and The Watcher) known as "The Watchers Council."

The Council has met and cast their ballots for last week's submitted posts.

Council Member Entries: The Colossus of Rhodey took first place with Ed. Schools: They're Awful (for the most part).

Non-Council Entries: Ezra Levant garnered the most votes with Kangaroo Court.
See our latest EduPosts.


Wednesday, January 16, 2008


The 154th edition of The Carnival of Education (hosted this week by the mysterious Eduwonkette) is ready for your visit! Don't miss her unique take on "awards season."

Meanwhile, over at The Carnival of Homeschooling, they're commemorating Martin Luther King.
See our latest entries.


The ACLU: Senator Craig's Newest Pals

This is the sort of thing that makes me dislike the American Civil Liberties Union:
ST. PAUL, Minn. - In an effort to help Sen. Larry Craig, the American Civil Liberties Union is arguing that people who have sex in public bathrooms have an expectation of privacy.

Craig, of Idaho, is asking the Minnesota Court of Appeals to let him withdraw his guilty plea to disorderly conduct stemming from a bathroom sex sting at the Minneapolis airport.

The ACLU filed a brief Tuesday supporting Craig. It cited a Minnesota Supreme Court ruling 38 years ago that found that people who have sex in closed stalls in public restrooms "have a reasonable expectation of privacy."

That means the state cannot prove Craig was inviting an undercover officer to have sex in public, the ACLU wrote.

The Republican senator was arrested June 11 by an undercover officer who said Craig tapped his feet and swiped his hand under a stall divider in a way that signaled he wanted sex. Craig has denied that, saying his actions were misconstrued.

The ACLU argued that even if Craig was inviting the officer to have sex, his actions wouldn't be illegal.

"The government cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Senator Craig was inviting the undercover officer to engage in anything other than sexual intimacy that would not have called attention to itself in a closed stall in the public restroom," the ACLU wrote in its brief.

The ACLU also noted that Craig was originally charged with interference with privacy, which it said was an admission by the state that people in the bathroom stall expect privacy.

Craig at one point said he would resign but now says he will finish his term, which ends in January 2009.
The law in question isn't about suppressing what the ACLU sees as a "right" for people to have sex in a public restroom.

Laws against public indecency are about protecting our children.

As a parent, I don't want my child to have to see or hear this type of adult activity going on between two men or anyone else while my kid is using a public bathroom.

With so many of our genuine civil liberties under assault, it's too bad that the ACLU wastes its time with cases like this.

But then again, that's what makes the ACLU the ACLU.


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A Solution For The Pop-Tart's Problems

Sometime singer "entertainer" and full-time unfit mother Britney Spears has lost visitation rights to her children.

Maybe if this little trollop actually got a job and went to work (say at her local McDonalds or 7-Eleven) and became a contributing member of society, she could, in time, recover her lost offspring.

We find that when people work full time, they're generally too tired to get into much trouble


Carnival Contributions Are Due!

Entries for the 154th edition of The Carnival Of Education (Hosted this week by the enticing mysterious Eduwonkette.) are due. Please email them to: eduwonkette [at] gmail [dot] com . (Or, easier yet, use this handy submission form.) Submissions should be received no later than 7:00 PM (Eastern) 4:00 PM (Pacific) Today. Contributions should include your site's name, the title of the post, and the post's URL if possible.

Visit last week's midway, hosted by The C.E.A. Blog, right here.

Barring unforeseen circumstances, the midway should open Wednesday.
See our latest EduPosts.

The Watcher's Council Has Spoken!

Each and every week, Watcher of Weasels sponsors a contest among posts from the Conservative side of the 'Sphere. The winning entries are determined by a jury of 12 writers (and The Watcher) known as "The Watchers Council."

The Council has met and cast their ballots for last week's submitted posts.

Council Member Entries: Wolf Howling took first place with Britain's Prosecution of The Blogger Lionheart for Criticism of Islam.

Non-Council Entries: Obsidian Wings garnered the most votes with Andy Olmsted's last post.
See our latest EduPosts.


Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Crime of Incompetent Bus Drivers

There's no reason why this kind of thing can't be prevented:
VIDALIA, La. — A 20-year-old Newellton man has been booked with aggravated oral sexual battery of a child, said Concordia Parish sheriff's deputies.

Deputies allege that Brandon Bass was engaging in a sexual encounter with a 13-year-old female on a Tensas Parish school bus as it was traveling through Concordia Parish on December 15th.

The incident was reportedly observed by several other students on the bus who told their parents, and authorities were notified.

Bond was been set at $40,000 for Bass.
What on Earth was the driver of that bus doing while this was going on?

Bus drivers, with whom we place the responsibility of getting our kids to and from school safely, are among the poorest paid and least trained employees in the typical American public school systems.

We'll put an end to this sort of thing when we make the recruitment and retention of well-trained and decently-paid bus drivers a priority.

How many more kids are going to get hurt before Edupolicy-makers understand that we have a major problem that needs to be addressed?

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Let's Carnival!

The 153rd edition of The Carnival of Education (hosted this week by The CEA Blog) has opened-up this week's midway!

Meanwhile, they've got rhythm over at The Carnival of Homeschooling.
See our latest entries.


The Watcher's Council Has Spoken!

Each and every week, Watcher of Weasels sponsors a contest among posts from the Conservative side of the 'Sphere. The winning entries are determined by a jury of 12 writers (and The Watcher) known as "The Watchers Council."

The Council has met and cast their ballots for last week's submitted posts.

Council Member Entries: Soccer Dad garnered the most votes with The Freddys Seven. Second place was taken by Bookroom Worm, while Big Lizards and Cheat-Seeking Missiles tied for third.

Non-Council Entries: Treppenwitz took first place with Exploding Myths. Second place honors went to Patterico's Pontifications while The Debatable Land came in third.
See our latest EduPosts.


Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Dixville Notch This!

Dixville Notch, New Hampshire is the little out-of-the-way hole-in-the-wall settlement that has made a cottage industry out of being the first folks to vote in that state's "God-given" first in the nation presidential primary election. This arrogant little hamlet is described thusly:(emphasis added)
Dixville Notch is an unincorporated small village in the Dixville township of Coos County, New Hampshire, USA. The town is known for being one of the first places to declare its results for the New Hampshire Presidential primary and U.S. Presidential elections.It is located in the far north of the state, approximately 20 miles (30 km) from Canada.

The village is named for the mountain pass (or "notch," in White Mountains terminology) about a hundred feet (30 m) uphill from it, that lies between Dixville Peak and Sanguinary Mountain, and separates the Connecticut River's watershed from that of the Androscoggin. Dixville Notch is also the location, in dramatic mountains about 1800 feet above sea level, of The Balsams Grand Resort Hotel; one of a handful of surviving New Hampshire grand hotels, it is situated on a 15,000 acre (61 km²) plot, accommodating golfing in the summer and skiing in the winter.

Dixville Notch is best known in connection with its longstanding middle-of-the-night vote in the U.S. presidential election, including during the New Hampshire primary (the first primary election in the U.S. presidential nomination process). Starting in the 1960 election, all the eligible voters in Dixville Notch gathered at midnight in the ballroom of The Balsams. The voters cast their ballots and the polls officially are closed one minute later. The result of the Dixville Notch vote in both the New Hampshire primary and the general election are traditionally broadcast around the country immediately afterwards.

(Ed's Note:) Here's the "official" tally for this year's primary election in Dorksville Dixville Notch:

Barack Obama received 7 votes. (the landslide winner)
John Edwards: 2 votes.
Bill Richardson: 1 vote.
Hillary "the Countess of Chappaqua" Rodham-Clinton: 0 votes.

John McCain: 4 votes.
Mitt Romney: 2 votes.

Rudy Giuliani: 1 vote.
Mike Huckabee: 0 votes.
Fred Thompson: 0 votes.
If those 17 votebots registered electors who inhabit that cold, God-forsaken, pig trail quaint little hamlet weren't the self-appointed "first voters in the nation," I think that it's safe to say that this hole-in-the-wall wouldn't even be on the map much less garner nationwide attention every four years.

But all sarcasm aside, isn't what they do in Dixville Notch also indicative of three certain small states' (Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina) inordinate amount of influence on the Presidential election process?

Within days of Iowa's caucuses and New Hampshire's primary, it has been customary for a number of candidates (most often all but one or two) to stop actively campaigning or drop-out of the race altogether.

The usual reason that candidates quit is that following the primary, campaign funds tend to dry-up for those who did not win or at least place second.

The reason why funding is not forthcoming is because the winners of Iowa's caucuses and (especially) New Hampshire/South Carolina's
primaries are historically seen as having the "Big Mo" (Mo is for momentum, a term coined by George H.W. Bush.) and those who are willing to donate money to a candidate usually want to give their cash to a winner.

And money, it has been said, is the "mother's milk of politics."

If the pattern established in the past few election cycles holds true, (and even in an election cycle as interesting as this one, we see no reason why it should not) the nomination process will be finished in-all-but-name-only after South Carolina's primary is held on January 26th.(And yes, we know about Nevada's brand new Jan. 16th caucus; its influence remains to be seen.)

In all likelihood, the nominees will be known long before the primaries and caucuses that are scheduled for February's so-called Super Duper Tuesday, in which voters of at least 24 states will get to participate in what will be, in all probability, a worthless exercise that has historically served as a "coronation" for the one active candidate remaining.

Therefore, Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina have an inordinate amount of influence on the presidential election process while those of us who live in states with larger populations (such as Texas, New York, and California) have little or no say in determining who gets to be the standard-bearer for either of the Republicans or the Democrats.

When pressed, the residents of these three (especially Iowans and New Hampshirites) will say that they should always be first so that they can engage in "retail politics." In other words, they want to be first because the can meet the candidates "up close and personal."

They also never fail to assure us that they "take their responsibility very seriously" and that they are in the best position to "put the candidates through their paces." What's unsaid is that they feel that it is their "right" to eliminate less-desirable candidates from consideration so that the rest of us (who live in the other 47 states) won't make the mistake of choosing the "wrong" candidate.

I find the smugness of Iowans and New Hampshirites to be particularly galling.

The argument put forward by those who say that the position of the priviliged three must be preserved doesn't stand up to scrutiny as there are other states with small populations that could just as easily serve as fertile grounds for "retail politics."

How about a "first in the nation" primary in one of the other smaller-population states such as.... Montana, Mississippi, or even Delaware?

Just imagine the fun and pure excitement (not to mention entertainment value) of having a "first in the nation" primary in one of the "interesting" smaller-population states such as New Mexico, West Virginia, or (for real kicks) Louisiana?

If instead of spending two or more years pampering the already-spoiled populaces of Iowa and New Hampshire, (Who've come to not only expect but to demand this pampering by presidential aspirants, even to the point of extracting promises from the candidates to uphold the process if elected.) the candidates had to plan for caucuses/primaries held in any of the states listed above, they would have to prepare themselves to meet a whole new (and different) group of people which are concerned with some very different issues than those issues that concern folks in relatively rural (and relatively affluent) Iowa and New Hampshire.

But that's not going to happen as officials of the "perpetual three who decide" don't hesitate to get together and orchestrate their efforts to maintain their monopoly.

Of course, the inhabitants of these three otherwise insignificant states Iowa, (total population: 2.9 million) New Hampshire, (1.3 million) and South Carolina (4.3 million) couldn't do to us what they do without help. These relative few have the connivance of the leadership of both the Democrat and Republican parties,
who punish any state that has the audacity to challenge the "presidential selection monopoly" that has been (and is) enjoyed by the residents of Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina.

What will be done to democratize the process?

In all probability, nothing.

I'd be willing to bet that in four years, the states of Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina will still insist on picking our presidents for the rest of us while the two major parties, (who actually control the process) will do nothing to alter this demonstrably anti-democratic travesty.

We can only hope that the less than 9 million folks who live in these three little states pick two good nominees for the 291 million of us who don't get the opportunity to meaningfully participate in the nomination process.

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Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Our Wish List For 2008

Here are some of the things that we would like to see happen in 2008:

We would like to see the other 47 United States get together and administer a collective beating to the states of Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. Every four years, it's always the same: these three states take it upon themselves to decide for the rest of us who gets to be the nominee for both the Republican and Democrat parties. The perennial arrogance of these three states which always insist on caucusing/voting first in order to indulge their desire for "retail politics" (Ever notice how it's never another set of smaller so-called "retail" states such as Nebraska, Delaware, or even Mississippi?) at the expense of the rest of the American people is simply astonishing...

It would be good if the national leadership of the Democrat and Republican parties would get some backbone and stand up to Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina and allow the 95% of the American People who don't live within the confines of those three states to actually have some meaningful say in the determination of the national parties' standard-bearers for the presidential elections of 2012.

We should make the complete destruction of Al-Qaeda and the Taliban a priority. At a minimum, Osama Bin-Laden needs to be caught, (or killed) tried, and hanged for his crimes against humanity. (Preferably without the decades-long rounds of redundant appeals.)

Andy Rooney of 60 Minutes-fame should go into well-deserved retirement...

The TV show called Lost should do just that. It jumped the shark long ago...

Hillary Rodham-Clinton should take a few acting lessons. That fake laugh cackle of hers is so painfully obvious...

We would like to see a reporter (any reporter) at long-last actually call the Countess of Chappaqua Hillary Rodham-Clinton on that above-mentioned fake laugh cackle and the way she uses it whenever a reporter does ask her a difficult question.

Should she be successful in her presidential bid, Hillary Rodham-Clinton's office will mandate the use of that hyphenated "Rodham" within two weeks of the election, as was the case when her morally-bankrupt husband won was elected president back in '92. (We really don't want to see this, but if she wins becomes the president-elect, we think it's a "sure-thing." We've made a sure-fire bet that she'll add that politikally-korrekt hyphenated Rodham to her husband's consort's name faster than you can say "no-longer-closeted-feminista.") Should The Worst happen, at least we'll make some easy money out of the disaster...

If we must watch television commercials, then let them be of the same caliber as those that are used during broadcasts of the Super Bowl.

It would be good if Katie Couric were fired from her job sinecure over at the Tiffany Network's CBS evening news so that we could at long last see her wipe that perky smug little smirk off her over-paid and over-rated face once-and-for-all.

On a related note, we would like to see CBS take the millions of dollars that was saved by Couric's well-deserved dismissal and invest it by hiring some competent reporters and re-opening several overseas bureaus.

We think that it would be nice if our cable television bill didn't go up this year like it has for each of the last five years.

We think that it would be even nicer if our take-home pay actually kept up with inflation instead of being frozen at 2002 levels...

It would be nice if Nancy Pelosi and the rest of her congressional colleagues accomplices had to put in a five-day workweek like the rest of us.

It would be really nice if the Bush Twins did something for the war effort rather than simply running amok attending social events at venues around the world. We would like to see one or both of the First Daughters in uniform, but if that 's not possible, maybe these young ladies could put in a little volunteer time down at Walter Reed Hospital. Historically (and morally) speaking, it's the thing to do in "a time of war."

Come to think of it, Jenna Bush's fiance, former White House aide Henry Hager, is a fine, strapping young man of military age. Why isn't he in uniform? Might be a good idea if one is marrying a presidential daughter during wartime while so many of our nation's other fine, strapping young men and women of military age are spending time away from their loved ones over there in Iraq, Afghanistan, and A Hundred Other Countries. (The nation's future leaders preparing to lead by setting examples: sadly, this seems to be a novel concept nowadays..)

When it comes to major-league baseball, we're old-school purists. We would like to see the designated hitter consigned to the dugout of discredited ideas where he/she/it belongs. Come to think of it, we might as well go for the double-play and get rid of inter-league regular season play while we're at it. Inter-league play is what the Founding Fathers of Baseball created the World Series for.

As for college football, enough of bowl games that have the sponsor's name taking the place of the bowl's traditional name. I mean, really, the "Chick-Fil-A Bowl" in place of the Peach Bowl? Attention Chick-Fil-A executives: how 'bout if you change the Peach "Chick-Fil-A Bowl" to the "Gimme-A-Break Bowl" instead???

The Watcher's Council Has Spoken!

Each and every week, Watcher of Weasels sponsors a contest among posts from the Conservative side of the 'Sphere. The winning entries are determined by a jury of 12 writers (and The Watcher) known as "The Watchers Council."

The Council has met and cast their ballots for last week's submitted posts.

Council Member Entries: Bookworm Room garnered the most votes with Judeo-Christian Doctrine and Moral Freedom.

Non-Council Entries: Silver Bullets took first place with Fear.
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