PA Attorney General Kane gets taken to the wood shed

woodshedThe story of Pennsylvania’s Attorney General Kathleen Kane and the political corruption case she punted for reasons, which – if nothing else – have not as yet been explained to the satisfaction of anyone, just gets juicier and juicier.

Bad enough Kathleen Kane is being subjected to much second-guessing, her decision a head-scratching confusion; now she’s taking fire from a much disgusted fellow Democrat in Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Willliams.  In an opinion piece published in Sunday’s Philadelphia Inquirer, Williams comes out swinging in defense of those who now work for him.

It’s a telling piece that throws even more doubt on the decision and Kane’s behavior in reaction to what should have been predictable and anticipated criticism.

Among Williams points revealed in Sunday’s op-ed (my editorials):

  • Williams confirms that the corruption case’s lead investigator, an African-American (such a distinction should not be necessary in almost any other situation) confirmed to Williams that racial targeting was never a direction of the sting operation.
  • Kane’s office was not in possession of the case files when she took office.  (Appearances suggest that Kane specifically demanded return of the files from the FBI before summarily acting to destroy the investigation and trove of case work.)
  • Kane’s reasoning for dumping the case due to the questionable deal given to undercover informant, Tyrone B. Ali, suggests the State AG has little appreciation for how such cases have been prosecuted successfully over-and-over again.  (How can that be the case for someone who acted as Assistant D.A. in Lackawanna County for 12 years?!?  Hmmmm … Maybe only if you never actually prosecuted anything?)
  • Williams is incredulous that Kane would hire personal lawyers that would keep her from answering any questions the public is rightfully entitled to hear.  (Why the veil of protection if a public servant is confident and – most of all – honest about her motivations and judgement?  Not to mention the fact that Kane … is …. a … LAWYER!  This among all the other mysteries connected with this fiasco reeks to high heaven in my humble opinion.)
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Philadelphia D.A. Seth Williams

Perhaps Williams’ most damaging observation is that Kane has now sullied a tried and true technique used time and again by prosecutors ferreting out political corruption in the public arena.  She has stated for all the world to hear that turning a criminal into an informant, where some quid pro quo to the operative is normally a condition of their cooperation, renders any subsequent testimony suspect.

This is not at all an unusual view on the suspect motivations for a criminal turned informant and expected to testify against those further targeted.  Normally this would be a strategy for Defense Attorneys to attack at trial, not denounced in general as an investigative tool by those that prosecute.  

As a defendant’s strategy it should be analyzed; weighed; and judged by criminal magistrates and juries of one’s peers.  To have a State’s lead criminal prosecutor admit to such as a precursor to pressing any current or subsequent cases based on the same sort of ugly but sometimes necessary dirty work is simply incomprehensible!

Then to top off Kathy’s Day of Reckoning: Part 1 Frank Fina, the former State Prosecutor now working for Williams in the Philly D.A.’s office, challenges Kane to sit with him and The Inquirer to answer any and all questions posed in an effort to put this ridiculous episode to rest.

Fina fortifies his challenge by stating, “I have been a lawyer for 22 years, and a public servant for almost all of that time. I have not retained an attorney to advise me to speak, or to remain silent. I am an attorney.”

The question of course is exactly how large will Kathleen Kane’s legal entourage be … assuming she has the professional integrity to even show up?
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Part 2 of Ms. Kane’s reckoning should rightfully occur when next she runs for re-election.  She has already lost this vote from her first campaign!
 
 
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Wrong about Kathleen Kane

Staring down racism no one else sees

Staring down racism no one else sees

True confession: I have always been of the mind that having a Attorney General and Auditor from the minority party is not a bad thing in a two-party system. I always felt it kept balance in the equation by keeping the Majority honest.

That’s why – even as a Republican – I thought Kathleen Kane was a good choice for Pennsylvania’s Attorney General.  I may have even voted for her, although that would have been based further on her track record as an Assistant DA in Lackawanna County.

Seems I was terribly wrong about her.  She has turned out to be both weak and way beyond partisan!

Last week she dumped a years-long investigation into political corruption and reporting requirements that has all the telltale signs of partisan political protectionism veiled by insidious implications of racism that are not holding up to even the barest of scrutiny from the media.  Not one individual cited as a source for such an egregious accusation will stand up and corroborate the charge.

Why was it “racist”?  Well, because all of those ensnared were Democrats from Philadelphia … duh!

And if that wasn’t bad enough, Kane resorted to labeling anyone who criticized her decision as “sexist”!

Whoa … Something just clicked!

Did Kane get help with her statement from The White House?!?

Found on the Democrats' playlist

Found on the Democrats’ playlist

Think about it … Nothing they get wrong is ever their fault.  Not the unpopularity of the poorly sold Affordable Care Act, not the Three Stooges rollout of healthcare.gov, not failed red lines in Syria, and certainly not the Crimea!

Either it’s President George W. Bush’s fault or it’s blamed on every social disorder known to man … racism, bullying (Republicans), income inequality, global warming/cooling/wetting/drying … (OK, make it Climate Change!) … etc., etc.

Sexism?  Guess we’ll have to wait for Hillary “What difference – at this point – does it make?!?” Clinton.  But that excuse will be close at hand, believe me!

Well, at least Kathleen Kane didn’t blame it on Putin!

For my part, I’m sorry I got this one wrong.  I only wish I had someone else to blame …

Presidential wabbit hunting season

Felmer Dudd

Elmer the wabbit stalker

The running of the wabbits is off to an early start this presidential election cycle … or so it seems.

The signs are unmistakable.  Hunters crashing through forests of subpoenaed documents and confiscated e-mails.  Their media blasts are shotgun wild; blowing up chunks of soil and biting off chunks of helpless tree bark.

The wabbits scurry off to chuckle at the Hunters’ futility.

The Hunters are so anxious to bag any front-running, though undeclared Republican presidential hopeful they cannot shoot straight.

They are the Elmer Fudds of wabbit hunting.  All noise, no results.  You can almost hear the Fudds screaming “I’ll get you, you wascally wabbit!”

But the wabbits – so far – are having all the laughs.

Certainly all the constant media attention is having some effect.  New Jersey Governor Chris Christie‘s favorable ratings have taken a hit; but at 49% after all this, he ain’t exactly bleeding to death over staff-initiated lane closures that few people outside northern New Jersey and NYC care about.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker – on the other hand – is fighting off unproven accusations that are three years old, involving staffers illegally performing campaign work on government time, when Walker was still a little known County Executive.  People, who worked for Walker, went to jail; but a Democrat prosecutor found no evidence of Walker’s knowledge or acquiescence.  Still the hunt for Walker’s presidential future continues.

Despite Democrat attempts to tie the Christie and Walker controversies together as an indictment of general Republican malfeasance, the only thing that’s common between the two is their potential aspirations for The Oval Office.

Hence all the hunting and drama …

For voters – still two years away from having to declare their preference for a Republican presidential candidate – the Democrats’ strategy should be disturbing. For the Democrats are not interested in uncovering official misbehavior; their only objective is clearing the field for Hillary Clinton.

Bugs+Bunny+4Shhhhhhhhh … We’re hunting wabbits!

But the wabbits aren’t cooperating.  So far the Democrat hunters have only proven two things.  One is that the wabbits are much, much smarter than the Fudds.  The second is surely an unintended consequence that should come back to bite the Fudds right on their Clintons!

These same hunters of Republicans hopefuls will tell you looking into Hillary’s own history with a husband who cheated on her from the Oval Office; and who – more recently – failed to protect embassy personnel in a largely lawless country, would be an unproductive undertaking.

Needless to say anyone, who take their decisions on Chief Executive qualifications, should disagree.

Even Daffy can figure out why!

Clinton’s experiences in her White House tour as First Lady carry both weight and significance in assessing her suitability for the Highest Office in the Land.  I scratch my head over assertions that what happened in the Clinton White House 20 years ago is somehow not pertinent to Hillary’s foregone run in 2016.

First off, for all those touting her as an ideal candidate to be the first female President, how does one reconcile her enabling behavior in regards to her husband’s predatory behavior towards other women.

This has long been a pet peeve of mine when it comes to Clinton 42.  As a federal employee, I could well have been promptly and righteously removed from my job for using even the appearance of supervisory authority and it’s perceived power to press an inappropriate advantage towards a female employee, even if she were a consenting participant.

How could a Chief Executive behave so brazenly; performing exactly the kind of behavior over which those working for him could easily lose their jobs?

As a much touted example for women, it should be equally appalling that Hillary throughout the Clinton history, enabled Bill’s behavior through her repeated acquiescence.  It didn’t happen only with Monica in the West Wing with the cigar, dear Fudds!  It was a pattern of behavior that first caught the attention of the press and government watchdogs when Bill was still the Governor of Arkansas.

Biil and MonicaImagine how strong Hillary would have appeared had she nipped her runaway Lethario in the bud!  At face value one could conclude this was at best a psychologically abusive relationship; and isn’t that something women are encouraged to end or leave?

If the definition of insanity is expecting different results from doing the same thing over and over again, the question should be what was Hillary’s mindset when she repeatedly forgave Bill?  And what does that say about her judgement and decision making at a time of crisis?

Then again, she probably wouldn’t be where she is today hadn’t forgiven Bill’s wanderings over and over again.

One might surmise that Hillary traded a Proximity to Power for those oft-repeated acts of forgiveness.  Did she trade the potential for future incidents for a bright political future of her own?  Is it hard to imagine Hillary conditioning her forgiveness on Bill’s backing of her own political future when it became her turn?  Does anything other than a marriage that evolved into one of political convenience explain her behavior?

How is it that some think this fundamental character flaw is not worthy of intense scrutiny for one positioning herself to become President?

Character is developed over an extended period of life and living.  Leadership is forged from making the tough decisions and difficult choices.  Strong women do these things every day.  Does Hillary get to skate on the choices she made or didn’t make and how they affected other women – Bill’s future conquests – down the line?

gty_benghazi_dm_130425_wblogBenghazi is another matter unto itself which I will not got into here.  Suffice it to say that it’s beyond indecent that a few lane closures on a local bridge – even for New York City – has garnered more media coverage than the legitimate interests of finding someone responsible for the breach of physical security that ended the lives of four Americans including an Ambassador!

It’s one thing for President Obama to declare that he is “ultimately responsible” for embassy security; but that’s simply a catchall.  Someone was more directly ultimately responsible, and that person would be in the State Department.  So when no one is held officially responsible with whom does the problem lie?

Where’s a good hunter when you need one, Elmer?

Hillary should certainly be subject to her own time in the crucible, if the mainstream media reciprocates their bottomless fascination with lane closures and three-year-old cold cases (How likely though is that?); but at least “What difference – at this point, does it make?” is going to make one cutting campaign commercial!

Chris Christie’s very good, hush-hush Day

e93e3153ee628c054b0f6a7067002518Chris Christie went to Chicago, a city of Democrats if ever there was one,on Tuesday to speak to the Economic Club of Chicago.  His appearance was viewed favorably by those who heard it.  He was intelligent, engaging, and as critical as always of really, really bad ideas.

Did you hear?

Probably not, since its coverage – what little there is – is tough to find among the clutter of bridge lane closures, helicopter rides, and glee from both ends of political spectrum.

You would think – maybe – it was a Top Secret national security brief for the dearth of media coverage.  So allow me to educate.

Among the topics Christie touched on was the difference between income equality vs. income opportunity.

(Pardon the link to the  “Morning Joe” segment, but it was the only site I could find the segment I wanted. Besides the exchange between Nicolle Wallace, a former George W. Bush staffer and Chuck Todd is pretty entertaining.) 

It was an intelligent discussion with which I was impressed.  Of course the member of the Economic Club liked what Christie said, being they know a bit about what’s good for an economy.

The other interesting segment from Christie’s hush-hush day was this little riff on former President George W. Bush.  He recognized Bush’s superior political skills compared to recent GOP presidential candidates.  It was right up my alley!

But of course, Christie just keep getting hammered over a few lane closures on a bridge no one outside New Jersey/New York cares about.  Fortunately, the Governor continues to simply go about his job; managing the Republican Governors Association; and testing the waters for a run in 2016.

Perhaps Mr. Christie realizes that any good President must demonstrate the ability to push through the political BS in order to get things done.  It’s a lesson the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue could have used before he was handed the keys.

Allyson Schwartz a distant 2nd to State Dems

Watch out Rob McCord!

Watch out Rob McCord Democrats!
Allyson wields a Big Stick!

In news sure to warm the hearts of those who constantly wonder, “Where is Allyson Schwartz? What has she done for us lately?”, Pennsylvania Democrats not only failed to agree on an official endorsement for the April Pennsylvania gubernatorial primary, they dealt a significant blow to Schwartz’s expectations for wide-spread Party support.

In a showdown in Hershey on Saturday, Schwartz finished a 2-1 underdog to Treasurer Rob McCord (154-77) after two rounds of balloting.

In fact, Schwartz barely beat out York County businessman Tom Wolf, who garnered 59 votes!

Bummer …

Certainly, Allyson has been distracted lately, working hard and long into the night to get her 13th Congressional District constituents plugged back into the power grid, right?  I mean you have all seen and heard of her efforts, haven’t you?

Yeah, didn’t think so.

Maybe it was her vote in Washington, D.C. to cut food stamp subsidies by an average of $65/month per recipient that did her in.  Heck, even Senator Bob Casey saw the light after initially supporting the bill that included farm subsidies!

Needless to say, there are a lot of Pennsylvania Democrats now on Allyson’s Naughty List.  Just ask Nate Kleinman how much fun that’s gonna be!

Drivers, start your Engines!

PA 13th Congressional District

PA 13th Congressional District

Tomorrow night I hope to attend the campaign announcement of yet another candidate for Pennsylvania Congressional Representative Allyson Schwartz‘s (PA 13th Congressional District) vacated seat this November.

Her name is Beverly Plosa-Bowser.  If I told you I knew of her before receiving a mailed invite to her campaign announcement just this morning, I would be lying.

(UPDATE:  This head cold is probably going to prevent me from attending tonight.  Pretty sure I’m not going to feel up to it by the time I get out of work.)

The 13th District seat has been an impossible nut for Republicans to crack, having held the seat for all of 4 years since 1993.  Normally, one would surmise that Schwartz’s absence (and with it her substantial war chest and her take-no-prisoners politics) would make this row a bit easier to hoe.  But with a huge chunk of the district residing in ultra-liberal Philadelphia and plain old liberal eastern Montgomery County, I wouldn’t be caught counting any chickens.

Plosa-Bowser will surely have a great deal of company on the Republican side in challenging whoever the Democrats put up from their own crowded field of candidates.  Besides former 13th District Rep Marjorie Margolies (D), state Rep. Brendan Boyle of Northeast Philly; state Sen. Daylin Leach of Montgomery County; and Dr. Valerie Arkoosh, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have a lll thrown their headgear into the ring.

On the Republican side, joining Plosa-Bowser, is Dee Adcock who lost to Schwartz handily (like a lot of Republicans have) in 2010.  Personally, I am hoping Joe Rooney is willing to take another run at the 13th, but I have not found any indication that he is running in 2014.

Plosa-Bowers’ bio shows her to be a local product.  Her father was an assistant principle at Hatboro-Horsham High School; her mother a nurse.

She was one of the first women admitted to the Air Force Academy.  She served for over 30 years in the U.S. Air Force and USAF Reserve, rising to the rank of Colonel.  Plosa-Bowser served in Iraq, building a Security Cooperation relationship with Iraqi officials.

She retired from the Air Force in 2010 after being awarded the Bronze Star for her efforts in Iraq.

As always I am hoping for sanity to return to the 13th Congressional District in the form of sound Republican guidance in public sector economics, the national economy, and matters of National Security.  But in any case, the race is on and it oughta be a darn good one!

How Snowden turned U.S. intel into a healthcare.gov Tech-Apocalypse

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The Federalist‘s Ben Domenech wrote a great analysis of how Eric Snowden‘s revelations hurt the U.S. when he released information on U.S. international intelligence operations that really had no relation to the protection of American privacy.  It only hurt U.S. intelligence efforts around the world.

And if you really think the U.S. shouldn’t be doing this at all, as if no other countries do whatever they can to figure out what the U.S. is up to or what our interests might be internationally, you are quite the naive one!

The other interesting development from President Obama’s speech yesterday was the decision (See second paragraph.) to allow his subordinates to determine and design a system for allowing access to U.S. phone records when needed for reasons of national security.

The president said he no longer wants the National Security Agency to maintain a database of such records. But he left the creation of a new system to subordinates and lawmakers, many of whom are divided on the need for reform.

Wait a second …

Isn’t this the same creative team with the same management and executive leadership that came up with the healthcare.gov website?!?

So how well will all of you be sleeping NOW with that little nugget of info???

No man is an Island … unless an Island he is

zombie-hands

Now I know what a Zombie Apocalypse
might look like …

I stand alone.  It’s official.

At some point this week, my last hope that good parenting, a quality standard of living, and the example – so often set here – that a grounded political philosophy can hold up to any intellectual challenge was smothered in the simple act of renewing a Pennsylvania driver’s license.

My youngest son changed his voter registration to Democrat.  And he is the smart one!

Was the smart one …

How did he express his change of affiliation when asked?  “I changed my mind.”

He made it sound like he was changing his socks.

Maybe it’s a statement on my Leadership.  Maybe I didn’t politically proselytize enough when the boys were so impressionable the correct politic would have been permanently ingrained, like their Philly accents.  Maybe I made one too many mistakes as a parent.

Oh well …

So now I am surrounded.  But that’s OK.  I can take solace in the following.

    • Neither one of them votes to my knowledge; and unfortunately, getting an Absentee Ballot is about to get a lot harder for one Temple Owl!
    • Mr. Hoot is also going to love taking the Broad St Subway back to school in the company of so many of his Democrat buds!
    • The two lost offspring who still list our home as primary residence do not as yet have to buy their own healthcare on those sterling examples of Government efficacy and Democrat “know how”, those Obamacare exchanges.  (I just want to be in the room when they find out how much they will be paying!)

doctor-obamacare

    • Neither have they had to worry about supporting themselves entirely on their own, and by doing so discover just how hard it is to stay ahead of the curve all the while supporting so many who simply don’t bother trying.
    • Nor do they possess the baseline from which they can gauge all that marvelous Hope and Change to which they are obviously drawn.
    • I still hold very limited influence over my Better Half. Carol votes Republican – I think – but has little interest in changing party affiliation for some reason.

In the end, I will continue to stand as the Lion at the Gate.  Politely accepting the political materials dropped off at the house by my Democrat opposition during elections cycles and quietly sorting the mail.   Not sure why those materials never seem to arrive with their intended receivers.

I guess all’s fair in Love and Poltics!

Of course I told the house’s latest Democrat that he will always be welcomed back into the real Party of Progress … once he regains his senses!

But for now, I am the lone Grand Old Party stalwart beating back the political zombies seeking to weaken the ramparts, while keeping the inmates calm and reassuring them that they can have their political say the second Tuesday of every November!

Welfare reform through Transitional Living Funds

U.S. REP Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18)

U.S. REP Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18)

OK, OK … I know a lot of people are having a really hard time digesting U.S. Representative Sheila Jackson Lee‘s suggestion that the benefits many of the poor accumulate under “Welfare” should be re-branded to as “Transitional Living Funds“.

Now, putting aside the fact that few people – other than Liberals – would be tricked by simply renaming a Government give-away to some other seemingly innocuous term, I think Representative Lee is actually onto something!

The key to my intrigue is that very first word.

Of the three primary definitions of the word TRANSITION in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, let’s look at the most commonly used.  (The third deals with “musical modulation”.)

TRANSITION: 1. a : passage from one state, stage, subject, or place to another :  change;  b :  a movement, development, or evolution from one form, stage, or style to another … 2. an abrupt change in energy state or level (as of an atomic nucleus or a molecule) usually accompanied by loss or gain of a single quantum of energy … TRANSITION

I think she’s on to something!

Transitional Living Fund would suddenly become exactly what they were intended to be for most healthy individuals not strapped with insurmountable life problems … a means for surviving extremely difficult times in life, where one stares into the bleak abyss of abject poverty through no fault of their own.

Those individuals by definition could now be expected – under this new definition of welfare – to change, to seek ways to improve their lot in life, and maybe – EGADS! – be held to a minimal level of Personal Responsibility!

They might be asked to do what any reasonable person would be expected to do when faced with severe life challenges.  They would be given a LIMITED period of time – Let’s say a year. – to TRANSITION themselves towards a better way of life; a plan for their future and their families future success; a job.

After that Transitional Period they would be expected to pass onto a more stringent period of Personal Progress.  Maybe they could still receive some of all of their TLF benefits PROVIDED that they continue to follow a program intended to find them a suitable job and their TLF benefits would be offset by whatever wages they are able to earn.

Think about it … Personal Improvement, a way out of the morass of poverty and helplessness.  Heck, it even sounds like Progressiveness!  And what Liberal doesn’t embrace that term?!?

Nah … It’ll never happen!

But a big “Thank You!” to REP Sheila Jackson Lee for trying!

BREAKING NEWS: NJ George Washington Bridge controversy

Chris ChristieCML News, an affiliate of Cranky Man’s Lawn, is working on a story certain to shatter Governor Chris Christie‘s George Washington Bridge vendetta controversy.

Confidential sources indicate that not only did officials in Christie administration order the closing of bridge lanes to punish Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich for his non-support of Christie’s gubernatorial bid, they directed the use of pallets of Velveeta Cheese to accomplish their dastardly deed!velveetaTheir wanton bid for political retribution not only inconvenienced scores of commuters, it has created a severe Velveeta Cheese shortage just in time for New Jersey’s first Superbowl!

Rumors that the 85 pallets of Velveeta came directly from Christie’s personal stash appear to be unfounded however.