In The Principality, where the wild things are
Skunks, squirrels, deer, rabbits, chipmunks, wild turkey, geese and a dozen or so different birds visit The Principality every day, and some are aggressive. Last year a deer burst through a window of The Place To Bead, upsetting the beads and the beaders.
Now we have even more exotic fauna: Neighbors on my street have been visited by at least one fox. Last month, parents picking up children at one of the local day camps were advised that the kids had been instructed on what to do when approached by a bear (the bear had made the newspapers).
Yesterday’s paper headline: Mountain lion’s sightings spread to Princeton border: Reports are unconfirmed by authorities; paw print examined. Was it a mountain lion? Or is it The Principality’s version of Big Foot?
I’ll start worrying when The Crocodile Hunter shows up. The Husband, however, is philosophical about it: “If the mountain lion eats deer, I’m all for it”.
. . . .
In other NJ news, Roberto‘s noticed that State bond ratings cut over 3rd year of borrowing. Money quote (ehem):
With the latest borrowing, New Jersey’s bond debt will equal 7 percent of the income of all its residents, Raphael said.
“It’s always been above average, but now it’s getting to the high area,” Raphael said, noting the average among states is 3 percent
Welcome Instapundit readers!
Many thanks to Mr. Reynolds for the link. And a special thank you to all visitors, new and old, to The Bad Hair Blog. Please visit often.
Three buried stories, following up on story #1
From the Wall Street Journal, All the President’s Memos: Let’s all see what Sandy Berger was trying to hide,
the precision with which the former National Security Adviser zeroed in on one specific document in the National Archives suggests focus, not absentmindedness.
. . . At the least, releasing the Clarke after-action report now would provide better context for weighing such ongoing political accusations as the charge that the Bush Administration’s concern about Iraq was simply a fantasy of a “neoconservative” cabal.
Toward that end we can’t help but note page 134 of the Commission report, which documents a proposal early in 1999 to send a U-2 mission over Afghanistan to gather intelligence on where bin Laden was hiding out. Mr. Clarke objected on the grounds that Pakistani intelligence would tip bin Laden off that the U.S. was planning a bombing mission. “Armed with this knowledge,” the Commission quotes Mr. Clarke as saying, “old wily Usama will likely boogie to Baghdad.” Is that the same secular Baghdad that we are told would never cooperate with Islamist al Qaeda?
The entire justification for the highly contentious exercise known as the 9/11 Commission has been to provide Americans with a full accounting of that terrible day, let the chips fall where they may. Now we learn that Mr. Berger wanted to keep some of those chips hidden. Whatever Mr. Berger’s legal liabilities, the largest interest here is less what he did than why a sophisticated ex-National Security Adviser would do it. And for that we need to see what he was hiding
And please, no “sloppy” excuses.
The road to budget hell is paved with good intentions
Roberto‘s posting on how the NJ Supreme Court ruled that, while McGreevy’s plan to borrow more than $2 billion dollars to fund his budget is unconstitutional, they’re going to allow it because “they believed the legislature and the governor acted in good faith, “relying on an honest, albeit erroneous, belief that the budget properly was balanced under existing constitutional standards.”
Only a NJ judge would come up with that. Meanwhile, a judge in Wisconsin has noticed the obvious: Tax Code “Incomprehensible” Without Assistance of Tax Expert, and judge Learned Hand (I kid you not!) agrees.
When French presidents invoke “the national interest,” often as not it means they’ve cut a deal they’d really rather not explain. But when Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan came courting President Jacques Chirac in Paris last week, hoping the ever-reluctant French would back Turkey’s bid to join the European Union, the cash-and-carry policymaking was right out front.
As one senior Turkish official told NEWSWEEK, the intention was to “spread a package of economic benefits” before Chirac that “France could not reject.” Sure enough, Turkish Airlines announced it would purchase 36 Airbus planes worth more than $1.5 billion. Erdogan also hinted he might be in the market for France’s big-ticket nuclear technology. And just as surely, after years of implicit opposition and fence-straddling, Chirac suddenly decided that support for Turkey’s candidacy suits “the national interests” of France.
Of course Jacques would never get a cut from the deal . . .
Photo op? Updated
Colonoscopy hose jokes not welcome.
Update: Live long and prosper!