Thursday, December 13, 2007

Hillary's Weird Laugh

It's not the full HA! HA! HA! that greeted Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday, but it sure made an appearance at the debate today. You hear this laugh and it's run screaming from the room like Baby in Dirty Dancing time.

Albany County's Version Of Mike Nifong

The David Soares Investigative Sleep Mask

Albany County District Attorney David Soares is wearing his investigative sleep mask more than previously believed. In addition to the Dirty Tricks scandal, it's strapped on as he "investigates" illegal Internet steroid sales. Today, he was asked if he cared about catching Major League Baseball players. He said:

“That’s not an interest of mine. It never has been. I’m more concerned with the teenager right now who is on the JV squad and wants to be on the senior squad and will go out and get steroids."

What? It never has been?

What an unbelievable statement. I wonder if District Attorney Soares a) knows that since 1991 possession of steroids without a valid prescription is a crime, and b) these players have made a joke of hallowed Major League Baseball records and must be punished.

Soares is willfully ignoring the law, and the people of Albany County should take that fact into consideration when he's up for re-election.

Never Mind The Bollocks, Here's Sir Michael

Sir Michael Barber

Rick Karlin of Capitol Confidential reports:

". . . the state Board of Regents is hiring a former advisor to former British Prime Minister Tony Blair to help whip the state Education Department into shape . . . Sir Michael Barber, who has written a book on improving public sector performance will play a role with McKinsey & Co. in its efforts to 'strengthen the Department as a state-of-the-art school improvement and service organization'. . . Barber’s work is part of a $6.2 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates and Wallace foundations to help SED improve what it does."

Let me see if I have this straight. In the 13th year of Commissioner Richard Mills's tenure a private citizen billionaire, who lives in Washington state, provides a grant to the state Education Department. A foreign citizen and author who worked as a senior education official in his country's government is subsequently hired to help transform New York's public school system. This is what it takes to break the failure-is-an-option mentality of the Education Department?

It's not as desperate as it sounds (I think). Last August Sir Michael told The New York Times:

"How do I get these children a good education as fast as possible? Once you have the answer to that question, you just do it. If it’s close the school, you close it and move the children into a better one. If there are no better schools nearby, close it and replace it with another on the same site. But you do whatever it takes.”

Do whatever it takes to close failing schools? Have children move to a better school? The vetting process at the state Department of Education must have had a Bernard Kerik-style breakdown. Someone there is going to get the ax.

Sir Michael could be a true reformer. And he should have a brilliant time encountering the sclerotic state education bureaucracy and it's excuse-a-minute defenders.

Point Of Personal Privilege, Mr. Chairman

Roger Clemens reporting to spring training, 1998-2007.

N.Y. Times: As Baseball Braces for Report, Pettitte and Clemens Cited

I wish I started this blog two years ago since I've been trashing Roger Clemens*** as the steroids-using pitching equivalent to Barry Bonds*** for at least that long. What an I-told-you-so to Yankee fan buddies (and you guys know who you are, and I will, of course rub it in be a perfect gentleman about it).

The Sexist Critics Of A $45,650 Raise

This is Eric Dinallo. Mr. Dinallo is the Superintendent of the New York State Insurance Department. His wife is Priscilla Almodovar, the CEO and president of the State of New York Mortgage Agency.

Yesterday, the New York Post reported Superintendent Dinallo's wife is set to receive a $45,650-a-year pay raise from $204,350 to $250,000. After the story broke the Associated Press reported the Superintendent's reaction to critics of his wife's large raise. He charged it was "bordering, if not on the wrong side of, sexism."

Today, the Post's follow-up to its exclusive reports Mr. Dinallo also said, "I do believe that there is a sexist overlay to the idea that a woman who is as accomplished as Priscilla is in her own right is somehow diminished."

The guy deserves a break because it's fairly easy for husbands and wives to lose perspective when their spouses are publicly criticized. While understandable since it's a family matter, it's also a typically bankrupt leftist response.

Leftists revel in their attempts to silence criticism or dissent when they can no longer argue the merits. Oppose affirmative action? You're a racist. Oppose gay marriage? You're a homophobe. Conclude a $45,650 raise is excessive for a female state official? You must be a sexist.

The left has perfected this language. They even do it to themselves in competitive Democratic primaries in New York City (which is hilarious to watch since they're so used to hurling gratuitous epithets mostly at Republicans).

What Superintendent Dinallo should ponder is why his wife has been criticized. Someone is to blame. His boss.

Governor Spitzer claims to be the embodiment of ethical and political purity. He can't help but let you know he's morally superior. When that's the standard, a raise for a member of his administration larger than the yearly salary earned by tens of thousands of New Yorkers is fair game for critics.

Day 347, Nothing Changes

Gannett's Jay Gallagher reports:

"The state's workforce has swelled to its highest level in more than 12 years, putting more pressure on the state budget, according to a report issued Wednesday by a conservative think tank.

"The state had 235,014 full-time equivalent workers on the payroll at the end of September, 3,158 more than last year. That's the most of any year since 1994, according to the report from the Empire Center of the Manhattan Institute."

The report can be read here.

Chichester Edits Statements For Accuracy

Governor Spitzer performed a 180 in The Daily News today after telling the Buffalo News the transcript testimony from a possible appearance before the Public Integrity Commission doesn't have to be released publicly.

"My view is I'm always happy to release all my testimony and my comments (My view is I was burned by the public reaction to The Buffalo News story and I need to sound like a total phony now). I've answered every question (I've answered no questions under oath and my lawyers are going to make sure it stays that way), and I'm happy to do it (I'm going to destroy anyone who compels me to do it, which is what my role model Richard Nixon would do)."