Was at the post office today to quickly pick up stamps since I had a bill or two to pay. I noticed that the stamp machine was down. Fortunately there was no line so I was able to get my stamps quickly.

While there I asked how long the machine was down, the clerk told me that it was down permanently. The order came from on high to shut it.

This didn’t make any sense to me since it would make the normally long lines even longer. It didn’t make much sense to her either but that was the order.

On my way home I stopped at Romano’s Mkt and told the story to Mike. Since the guy who used to maintain those machines lived upstairs of the market he had interesting details to tell.

Apparently my local post office wanted to add another clerk to shorten the lines. As money is tight they needed to move someone to the clerk line. The fellow who maintains the machines was elected.

I asked why he couldn’t just fill the machines in the spare time? Well under the union contract the maintenance of the machine is classified as a full time position, the clerks can’t touch them. This had been a sweet deal for the fellow since it didn’t take 40 hours a week to maintain the machines so he was on easy street.

So the post office had two bad options to choose from: Continuing to give full time pay for part time work, or make him a clerk but eliminate the stamp machines. They choose the later likely figuring at least he would have to work for his pay.

Thus a foolish union rule made a government agency less responsive to the public while appearing as a positive on the accounting books.

As the public sector grows under this president expect to see a lot more of this efficiency all across the board.

I’ve been getting more and more cynical over the years but this story really is a sad one:

“They told me it was not breast cancer, because breast cancer does not happen to children,” said Carrie Auslam, Hannah’s mother.

In mid-April, test results came back with a shocking diagnosis – Hannah has Stage IIA Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, an adult form of breast cancer. The rest of the tumor, which had grown around blood vessels in Hannah’s breast, would have to be removed.

Her uncle’s blog chronicling her fight is here. You can donate to give the family a hand here.

Update: Welcome if you are coming from the our little sweetpea blog. Feel free to take a look around. May I suggest that if you are looking for two charities that are also worth your time check out Marriage Encounter which help people strengthen their marriages:

The First Mate has a great suggestion: try taking a walk through a local cemetery. Read the inscriptions on the markers or headstones. You won’t find any that say: “Drove a really cool car.” “She visited the French Riviera.” “His suits were all tailor-made.” “Got broadband Internet connections before everyone else on his block.” You’re going to see what people will really remember you for: “Beloved husband.” “Devoted wife.” “Loving father and mother.”

It’s all about building families, and that starts with the marriage.

My second suggested charity is called Soldiers Angels. It helps and supports troops deployed overseas in a number of different ways. You can send care packages, adopt a solder or through their project Valor IT help pay for a voice operated laptop for a disabled soldier.

I haven’t even finished today’s Impromptus column and it is necessary to link to it and quote two bits of it.

First on Sen Specter:

Beware the politician who needs the office.

Second on Perez of Israel:

I want to examine something that appeared in an Associated Press report, here. We read, “Peres, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, is a world-renowned Mideast peacemaker, while Netanyahu has a hawkish reputation.”

1) Peres is a renowned peacemaker, is he? Okay: What peace has he made? Ms. AP Reporter, please tell me what peace he has made. People in the Middle East will be curious to know, too.

2) Sometimes the hawks are in the best position to make peace — see Menachem Begin.

3) Peres and Rabin shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Yasser Arafat — lest one has forgotten.

Okay, I think three’s enough points for now.

Awesome, simply awesome. You want principled conservatism and straightforward truth? Here it is.

Does anyone remember the movie Mr. Smith Goes to Washington?

When Jeff Smith started his filibuster (this was in the days before the 60 vote rule) all the information getting to his town was from the Taylor machine. This meant that the average people only heard about a young upstart making charges against the well respected “Silver Knight” Joe Paine.

Eventually however when Smith’s boy rangers support him in their newspaper Boys life, the reality of the Taylor machine comes out in the violence against the children to suppress the paper. It caused people to realize something was wrong.

Over the last few months several things have happened that might be an indication that several sleeping giants might be coming together.

Item: The White House Attacks on Rush Limbaugh bring attention to him to the point cumulative in his speech at CPAC. The speech is televised not only on Fox, but on CNN exposing him to an audience that only knew his as a caricature of what he actually is. His audience has not only increased but he finds himself in other public panels where people actually have to deal with what he says rather than what other people say he does.

Item: Rick Santelli gives this rant online:

The Whitehouse and the media go after this guy, but his suggestion of Tea parties lead to hundreds of thousands of locally organized people in hundreds of cities all over the country protesting the government, notably without violence or property destruction. The media dismissed or insulted them with oral sex jokes. The Boston Globe didn’t even cover Boston’s. And yesterday the president who pretended he didn’t know about them attacked as hundreds protested in St. Louis where he was speaking.

There are now 500+ cities preparing to host teaparties on July 4th.

Item: The Culmination of Doug Kemic’s and friends attempts to shoehorn president Obama positions into Catholic acceptability comes as Notre Dame Invites him to not only give the commencement speech but to receive an honorary degree. The somehow unexpected scandal results in 350,000 people signing the petition protesting this. It becomes a cause celeb among believing Catholics, dozens of Bishops publicly come out against Fr. Jenkins’ position and his twisted logic on why the ultimate pro abortion president is an acceptable speaker at the most famous catholic institution in the nation. Finally Mary Ann Glendon, one of the most respected lay people in the American Church declines the Laetare Medal and attendance at the ceremony highlighting the moral choice for Catholics by example as the president finds the abortion question is still above his pay grade.

Item: Beauty pageants are kinda passe but A gay celebrity blogger chooses to inject politics into a question at the Miss USA pageant.

Miss Carrie Prejean echos the president’s position and loses. Hilton attacks her both on his blog and calls her a Cu** on MSNBC live (Norah O’Donnell notably not objecting). Miss Prejean stands by her opinions and offers pity and prayers for him. The media dives into the story. Suddenly Miss. Prejean’s is the face of traditional marriage and Perez Hilton is the face of Gay Marriage. Prejean comes out the winner and Miss USA becomes the 1919 Cincinnati Reds?

Item: A nice sunny day in New York is suddenly shaken by a low flying jet circling near NY buildings. People stream out paniced only to find out later that day that it was all a White House photo opt. Millions of New Yorkers who voted for president Obama are suddenly reminded of one of the worst day of their lives and even Olberman gets it.

I wrote on each of these events over the last few months, individually they are mistakes and oddities, combined in the first 100 days of an administration with a declining economy and now 60 votes it becomes a galvanizing and uniting force.

If the democrats are not worried they should be.

I’m listening to Rush Limbaugh today and I’m hearing the same general idea that now is the time to strike. If that’s not an endorsement of an idea I’d like to know what is.

Update 2: Noticed I forgot to bold some items corrected. And it just hit me it will be very interesting when the president visits the Pope in July post ND. Particularly since he is still without a Vatican ambassador.

Update 3: Bill Whittle figured this out on November 6th:

So consider this, my fellows in arms:

On Tuesday, the Left – armed with the most attractive, eloquent, young, hip and charismatic candidate I have seen with my adult eyes, a candidate shielded by a media so overtly that it can never be such a shield again, who appeared after eight years of an historically unpopular President, in the midst of two undefended wars and at the time of the worst financial crisis since the Depression and whose praises were sung by every movie, television and musical icon without pause or challenge for 20 months… who ran against the oldest nominee in the country’s history, against a campaign rent with internal disarray and determined not to attack in the one area where attack could have succeeded, and who was out-spent no less than seven-to-one in a cycle where not a single debate question was unfavorable to his opponent – that historic victory, that perfect storm of opportunity…

Yielded a result of 53%

Folks, we are going to lick these people out of their boots.

There is much to do. That a man with such overt Marxist ideas and such a history of association with virulent anti-Americans can be elected President should make it crystal clear to each of us just how far we have let fall the moral tone of this Republic. The great lesson from Ronald Reagan was simply that we can and must gently educate as well as campaign, and explain our ideas with smiles on our faces and real joy in our hearts. For unlike the far-left radical who gained the Presidency on Tuesday, we start with 150 million of the most free and intelligent and hard-working people in the history of the Earth at our backs, with a philosophy that — unlike theirs, which has resulted in 100 million dead in unmarked graves — has liberated and enriched more people and created more joy than any nation or combination of nations in our history.

How can we lose this greater fight, my friends? How can we lose, unless we give up?(emphasis mine)

Update 4: This would have been item 6 if I had not been in bed when it happened. In fairness it is only an item because of the timing but it happening within 90 days of item 1-5 makes it more significant.

In praise of Obama and Specter today.

6:40 a.m. In favor of lack of convictions?

6:45 a.m. Palin was a two week freak show?

7:07 a.m. “Perhaps we should have reasoned with these people.”

7:08 a.m. How come Schultz is so normal on this show?

7:26 a.m. Stay away of Planes Trains and Automobiles; gotta love that Biden

7:35 a.m. I guess Sestak is running for that seat?

7:53 a.m. I’ve never cared for the Scowcroft Brzezinski school of realpolitik

8:20 a.m. Steele is hitting it out of the park, what a difference a month or two makes.

8:27 a.m. Signed copy of the book for Steele, somehow Levin’s book managed to get to 1,000,000 in print without ever being talked about on Morning Joe.

8:33 a.m. Their little bankruptcy?

At the American Papist a poll went up concerning the best solution to the Notre Dame situation. I left the following comment:

The actual best solution would be for the Whitehouse to find a reason why they can’t attend and pull ND’s fat out of the fire.

Imagine my surprise to see Kathleen Parker echo me:

Obama might consider following Glendon’s lead. Although he supports choice, the president also recognizes the moral complexity of those decisions. Out of respect for pro-life Catholics and their beloved institution, he should politely bow out.

This of course assumes a respect for something beyond his own self importance. Parker seems to be very taken by Glendon’s act:

Here on planet “What About Me,” principled people are so rare as to be oddities. Thus, it was a head-swiveling moment Monday when Mary Ann Glendon, the former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, quietly declined Notre Dame’s Laetare Medal.

Kathleen Parker hasn’t been very right lately, but she recognizes an act of principle when she sees one.

Politically the president must be thanking his lucky stars for Sen Specter, the 100 days to distract public attention from Mary Ann Glendon. There is nothing like the shock of reality (planes over NY) to make people see things for what they are, and reality is the biggest danger to the political future of the current administration.

…because this column is one of the best things I’ve read on the role of government in a while:

“…To keep the pace of the game (to maintain “flow” and allow the market to regulate itself)” – This one is important. A hockey referee keeps the pace of the game not only by enforcing the rules, but more importantly by KEEPING HIS WHISTLE IN HIS POCKET. See, that’s key. The referee is not supposed to hover, or have the whistle permanently clenched between his lips in an attempt to intimidate the players. As a matter of fact, the referee isn’t even supposed to call any minor penalties that don’t pertain to direct action around the puck. In hockey, if it’s an “incidental” penalty (ie: a victimless crime or bad personal choice) then it’s of no concern to the referee. This is of course why I picked hockey for my analogy and not a sissified sport like baseball. How a “man” can be a baseball fan, I’ll never know.

If our government were to put its “whistle in its pocket” (or in our case, just stop blowing it for one second), the market would be able to find its groove and eventually establish a quick pace and efficient flow.

Well the baseball line is full of it but other than that, read the whole thing.

…is the inability of Democrats to use his as a sign of “bi-partisan” support for the president’s positions.

Over and over when Specter voted for things the media referred to it as a sign that a measure was “bi-partisan”. Granted it’s not as if the media is going to become any more honest but it does remove that fig leaf.