Chris Christie’s radio ad running in Illinois,
Out of 34 countries assessed, U.S. ranked 14th in reading, 17th in science, 25th in math, but this ought to make us #1 in idiocy:
Warner Todd Hudson writes about the Crystal Lake’s Prairie Ridge High School lesson on female anatomy,
As a teaching tool Levin used “The Vagina Dance,” a song replete with dance steps and arm movements, and required her entire co-ed class to participate in it – all to the tune of The Hokey Pokey, no less.
No word on whether a penis dance was added for a full Hokey Pokey effect.
Kimberley Strassel writes about the great divide:
Wisconsin 1, Illinois 0
With Springfield raising taxes amidst its fiscal disaster, the new Republican governor of the Badger State is telling Illinoisans, “Escape to Wisconsin.” (h/t Betsy)
On one side are wide swathes of the country that this past midterm elected reformers intent on slashing spending and reviving growth. On the other are the holdout pockets—Illinois, California, Massachusetts, Connecticut—drifting further into the abyss of tax and spend. The chasm has huge implications, not just for local and regional politics but for Washington.
For instance (quoting from the article),
- Wisconsin is working to enact the total elimination of corporate income taxes for two years for firms that migrate
- In Ohio, John Kasich’s Republican legislature has already introduced legislation to kill the state death tax
- Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s first order of business will be to end the 22% surcharge on his state’s job-killing business tax
- Nevada’s Brian Sandoval has vowed to kill the tax hikes passed by Democrats in 2009
- In Iowa, South Carolina, Florida, you name it, new Republican governors have made top priorities of cutting or eliminating state corporate income taxes
This is good. However, all these governors must bear in mind that the problem is spending, not just deficits, a point lost on this WaPo headline,
Tax pledge hinders Obama’s plans to overhaul tax code, reduce deficit. No mention in the article of how Obama and the Democrat Congress have increased the deficit into stratospheric numbers.
Meanwhile, on the front page of today’s Wall Street Journal,
New Hit to Strapped States
Borrowing Costs Up as Bond Flops; Refinancing Crunch Nears.
As Strassel points out,
No state has taxed and spent itself to prosperity.
No country has, either.
ShrinkWrapped on the Stupidification of America
My friend Rick Moran meets The Finger of God
While Mr. Obama has acknowledged that he would miss the Jan. 22 deadline for closing the prison that he set shortly after taking office, the administration appeared to take a major step forward last week when he directed subordinates to move “as expeditiously as possible” to acquire the Thomson Correctional Center, a nearly vacant maximum-security Illinois prison, and to retrofit it to receive Guantánamo detainees.
But in interviews this week, officials estimated that it could take 8 to 10 months to install new fencing, towers, cameras and other security upgrades before any transfers take place. Such construction cannot begin until the federal government buys the prison from the State of Illinois.
The federal Bureau of Prisons does not have enough money to pay Illinois for the center, which would cost about $150 million. Several weeks ago, the White House approached the House Appropriations Committee and floated the idea of adding about $200 million for the project to the military spending bill for the 2010 fiscal year, according to administration and Congressional officials.
The Dems don’t want it:
But Democratic leaders refused to include the politically charged measure in the legislation. When lawmakers approved the bill on Dec. 19, it contained no financing for Thomson.
However, the issue is national security. In his post, We Interrupt this Socialization of Medicine to Bring You an Abdication of Our National Defense . . . Andy McCarthy explains that twelve detainees were released from Gitmo to – astonishing to believe, but true – Yemen:
Yemen, an al-Qaeda hotbed whose government makes common cause with jihadists (and has a history of allowing them to escape — or of releasing them outright); Afghanistan, which is so ungovernable and rife with jihadism that we’re surging thousands of troops there (troops the jihadists are targeting); and Somaliland, which is not even a country, and which offers an easy entree into Somalia, a failed state and al-Qaeda safe-haven. At least one of the released terrorists, a Somali named Abdullahi Sudi Arale (aka Ismail Mahmoud Muhammad), was released notwithstanding the military’s designation of him as a “high-value detainee” (a label that has been applied only to top-tier terrorist prisoners — and one that fits in this case given Arale’s status as a point of contact between al-Qaeda’s satellites in East Africa and Pakistan).
As if that’s not bad enough,
the Justice Department has taken the lead role in making release determinations — the military command at Gitmo has “zero input” and “zero influence,” in its own words. DOJ is rife with attorneys who represented and advocated for the detainees, and, in particular, Attorney General Holder’s firm, represented numerous Yemeni enemy combatants.
Maybe Holder expects the released detainees to take a job with al-Jazeera.
Illinois senate has reached a unanimous conviction to remove governor Rod Blagojevich.
The next vote will decide whether he’s barred permanently from running for office.
Post updated as news break.
Update 5:55PM Blago now disqualified from holding any future office in Illinois. Apparently he’ll be speaking to the press tonight.
WaPo: Illinois Senate Votes to Oust Gov. Rod Blagojevich
With that vote, Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn (D), a former running mate who hasn’t spoken with the increasingly isolated Blagojevich in 17 months, became Illinois’ 41st governor.
By a matching 59 to 0 vote, the Senate also voted to bar Blagojevich for life from holding Illinois political office.
It should come as no surprise to Gov. Rod Blagojevich that authorities are reportedly moving to freeze his campaign fund – and not just because the same thing happened to George Ryan. According to the criminal complaint filed against Blagojevich, the governor and three of his aides contemplated that prosecutors might do just such a thing – and discussed ways to secure the millions of dollars in the fund by moving the money elsewhere.
And how were they going to do that? By the ages-old “prepay the lawyer, & have him refund you” trick:
“Also on December 5, 2008,” the complaint says, “Rod Blagojevich and three others discussed whether to move money out of the Friends of Blagojevich campaign fund to avoid having the money frozen and also considered the possibility of prepaying money to Rod Blagojevich’s criminal defense attorney with an understanding that the attorney would donate the money back at a later time if it was not needed. They also discussed opening a new fund raising account named Citizens for Blagojevich with new contributions received.”
The discussion appears to have been prompted by the Tribune’s story that day that an ally of the governor’s was cooperating in the federal probe.
Nothing like a stoolie to bring out the creativity, isn’t it?
Anyway, Ed explains,
“Prepaying” an attorney? That’s money laundering. The attorney would hold the cash until the feds went away, then suddenly “refund” the unused balance to Blagojevich. Setting up a legal defense fund would have been perfectly acceptable, though, and will probably happen now that the state has refused to pay Blagojevich’s legal bills.
And not to worry, there’s plenty of Blagos to come. His brother Robert’s also involved.
For now at least, Blago’s not resigning.