… because I’m mired in a writer’s slump.
♦ President Obama has signed a hold-us-over continuing resolution that does nothing more than kick the really difficult budget decisions (if you consider budget decisions limited to domestic discretionary spending – or just 12% – of the budget “difficult”) for yet another two weeks. It’s maddening enough that the dolts in Washington – on both sides of the aisle – stubbornly refuse to address significant budget cuts, while so many middle-class Americans make sacrifices in their own lives and after making no movement to force richer Americans to share the pain. Is it too much to ask that they if they persist in this charade at “budget cutting”, they at least stop playing us for fools?
For example, of the $4 billion “painfully” cut during this latest continuing resolution, which was passed by both the House and Senate prior to reaching The White House, $1.24 billion was for eight programs President Obama didn’t even propose funding in his 2011 budget proposal.
Geez … That must have been incredibly painful!
But one small sign of sanity could be gleaned from the story. The Senate actually approved a bill that prevents lawmakers in Congress and The President from being paid any salary during any subsequent Government shutdown. Of course this is subject to House concurrence. So I’m not feeling particularly confident about the bill’s future.
♦ On a semi-related matter, the U.S. Navy announced that it plans to stick with its intention to name its newest amphibious transport vessel the USS Murtha, after deceased Pennsylvania Congressman John P. Murtha.
I can completely understand the navy’s desire to recognize Murtha’s military service, compassionate efforts for wounded warriors, and – more forthrightly – his efforts to fund defense spending. But he also rushed to judgement in accusing eight Marines of cold-blooded civilian murder in Iraq of which all but one have been cleared of charges.
And with his penchant for pork barrel spending to the benefit of his Congressional district, perhaps the most poetic of justice in his case might be to assign the USS Murtha to serve duty on a lake or river somewhere in Murtha’s former Congressional district, where it would be of no use or benefit to 99.9% of American taxpayers.
♦ I was interested to see that both political parties in Bucks County, PA have nominated female candidates for an open seat on Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court. Interesting because it ensures that Commonwealth Court will return to a 5-4 female majority among the justices serving there. Interesting because it maintains a female majority on both of the state’s intermediate appellate courts. (Commonwealth Court handles legal disputes involving government entities, as opposed to Superior Court which deals in criminal appeals.) Superior Court is currently composed of nine female justices and six male.
Women in the Pennsylvania legal profession should be proud of these achievements. And as I have stated in an earlier post here, one of the most impressive candidates in this year’s slate of Republican candidates for Montgomery County line offices and judicial appointments is Maureen Coggin, who is running for one of the county’s judicial seats.
♦ al-Qaeda now has its own magazine. The periodical is published by al-Qaeda on the Arab Peninsula, or AQAP as referred to by international anti-terror authorities. The magazine – whose title will not sully the pages of this blog – is a deliberately westernized approach to direct recruitment of potential jihadists. It relies on typically American marketing and sales techniques, including reward programs and elements of pop culture to reach young audiences. It offers bomb-making tips, inspirational quotes, even what to expect from jihad!
It’s the brain-child former New Mexico native and American turncoat, Anwar al-Awlaki who heads AQAP. According to experts, the magazine employs a comic-book like quality to lower the barrier between violence in the virtual world and the horror of real world terrorism. The most current issue shows a UPS plane that was isolated and searched at Philadelphia International Airport recently in connection with the recent ink-cartridge bomb scare. The piece brags about the fact that it cost only $4200 for al-Qaeda to cause a massive disruption in the daily life of the Western world in al-Qaeda’s quest to bring down America through a death of a thousand cuts.
The lesson here being that these Islamic jihadists will stop at nothing; are more than adequately sophisticated in their approach; and are as dangerous today as they were in the 1990’s and on that day in September 2001. It also highlights the kind of serious threat that justifies President Obama’s inclusion of a traitorous former American (al-Awlaki) on a targeted assassination list.
♦ The City of Philadelphia is pushing to garner the wages of 622 city employees who owe about $1 million of an astronomical $1.5 BILLION in unpaid court fees, forfeited bail, and victim restitution.
What took them so long?!? Nevermind … We already know. Which is just one reason so many of us no longer live there.