Framing the Dialogue

News Briefs Volume XIII

News briefs are a collection of interesting news stories…

Brief 1:  This one should be under the title of “how cool is this.”  Kellogg Company has opened a store dedicated to their ever popular Pop-Tart (my favorite is iced brown sugar with cinnamon).  Pop-Tart World opened today in Times Square in New York City where you can design your own tart or have Pop-Tart sushi.  One can only imagine what they must have to charge per Pop-Tart to afford the rent in Times Square.  I wonder how long it will take Mayor Bloomberg to impose a sugar tax on the popular breakfast treat?

Brief 2:   Perhaps King Samir Shabazz is feeling the heat from a Republican lawmaker’s demand for an inquiry into Obama’s Justice Department dismissal of a case of voter intimidation by his New Black Panthers.  Perhaps the only people Shabazz hates more than whites are Jewish people; “You call me a white hating bigot? Let me tell you who King Samir really is.”  He described himself an activist and hip hop artist who spends most of his time caring for his children and then the mask came off when he added, “That’s what you don’t hear from Fox Jews, I mean Fox News.”  He is just soooo sly with that little dig at both Fox News and Jewish people.  I generally have very little respect for people who use the terms “whitey,” or “cracker” or brandish night sticks at voting booths or refer to themselves in the third person.  That is three strikes for Shabazz.  No comment from Eric Holder.

Brief 3:  A local community college is in the process of constructing a $21 million science center.  I have no idea where their money was obtained, but it is unlikely that some of that money isn’t tax dollars.  The Allegheny County Community College has a provision that a minimum of 90 percent of the work must be done by union workers.  Typically these government jobs require prevailing wages generally set by unions which gives us thousand dollar hammers, but that isn’t enough this time.  The requirement shuts out any non-union company for $21 million worth of work.  That is a significant amount of money in ANY economy.  The good news is that a group of non-union tradesmen and contractors has sued the college to be allowed to bid on the work.  I have nothing against unions and I am all for competition…fair competition…especially when public dollars are being spent, but protectionist policies hurt everyone.

Brief 4:  Lance Armstrong has again come under fire and investigation around whether he violated rules by using performance enhancing drugs to win bicycle races.  His attorneys have claimed that the United States Anti-Doping Agency has offered “sweetheart” deals to any of Armstrong’s teammates that testify that he cheated.  The constant attempts to crucify Armstrong places the cycling “sport” into the same category as professional wrestling in my mind.  Lance has been able to take care of himself.  My beef is really about the fact that we have a federally funded agency (it is a “non-government” agency that receives substantial funding from the federal government) looking into sports.  Why?  If the sports communities want to police themselves let them pay for it.  They can afford it.

Brief 5:  What does the term “JournoList” mean to you?  Most folks would return a blank stare if you asked them, but JournoList is a real group of liberal journalists (it hurts me to call them that) who participated in “an e-mail list…set up by the Washington Post’s Ezra Klein. It had over 400 members, including reporters at top publications like the Post, the New York Times, Newsweek, Politico, PBS, Time, etc.”  The open exchange of liberal ideas included tirades against Bush, Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, etc.  The funny thing is that light has been shed on thier little cabal which is an actual Left-Wing Conspiracy.

Brief 6:  2010 is a good year to die if you are super wealthy or more accurately the heirs of a super wealthy individual.  A weird headline caught my eye when New York Yankee owner George Steinbrenner passed away; “Death’s timing saves Steinbrenner family millions.”  I don’t think even Steinbrenner himself would expect many tears at his passing, but this was perhaps over the top.  Maybe this was from the business section.  The sadder part, however, is that it is true.  With the expiration of the “death tax” likely at the end of the year, Steinbrenner’s death in 2010 rather than 2011 is estimated to have saved his heirs up to $500 million in tax payments.  Yes the EVIL death tax is coming back.  That excessive robbery where the federal government takes the money that you already paid taxes on and takes so more before your heirs get anything.  This includes the family farm if that is willed.  The Death Tax is the quintessential evil tax.

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