There has been a lot written on this subject of the scandal in Chicago and what the president elect may or may not know:

Kate Granju says Axelrod or Obama is lying.

Gateway Pundit goes to town on Obama , Blagojevich, Emanuel and Jessie Jackson Jr. I think he is enjoying himself too much.

Drudge is , well Drudge above the fold and red.

HotAir has much on the hot air coming out, but also gives credit where credit is due.

The Corner is on it just keep scrolling and Byron York is as always just the facts. (Is there a better straight reporter in the media? I think not.)

Michelle Malkin devotes her column to the Democrat culture of corruption and doesn’t leave out Mrs. Patty Blagojevich from her mind.

Meet Patty Blagojevich, hardball political thug

Lady Macbeth anyone?

Newsbusters notes double standards (of course) but gives Morning Joe props:

Here’s the deal. If Karl Rove had said George Bush has never talked to ‘x’ then — or George Bush talked to ‘x’ and denies it, people would be screaming and yelling from the top of this building and other every media building in the nation. It’s the same thing with Rahm Emanuel, chief of staff, saying Barack Obama ran Rod Blagojevich’s campaign along with him in 2002. Then come back and deny it.

I saw Morning Joe today. This morning Mika Brzezinski cited the Iraq war when trying to deny that President Bush would be treated by the media differently than the president elect. Lucky for me I wasn’t drinking when she said it.

Joe also gave kudos to Jake Tapper at ABC’s Political punch blog for playing it straight. He’s right.

Protein Wisdom makes fun of this Slate headline and rightly so.

All I have to say is that Illini are pretty damn ‘incurious,’ considering “that Blagojevich is the fifth Illinois governor to be charged with criminal conduct over the last 50 years.”

He must be right since Chicago Boyz doesn’t say much on it. He just thinks it happened sooner than he thought.

I think most people familiar with Illinois politics expected that eventually some kind of Chicago landmine was going to go off under President-elect Barack Obama – it’s just that few people expected it might happen before the 20th of January.

And Glenn stresses Roger Kimball take on what the primary media message is.

BARACK OBAMA HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH IT

For me my first thoughts of course turn to the Arthur vs Carter watch. Well Arthur was a member of a machine so some would say the news today might be a vote for Arthur but once in Washington Arthur turned away from corruption, some might say that is also a vote for Arthur, but we don’t know how it will turn out and remember Arthur is the POSITIVE vote in this watch, so for now I’ll withhold the vote.

As for my take on this scandal its the same as the election. This is Chicago what do you expect? As for the president elect? The American people as always got the candidate we deserved.

There are simply too many things I want to talk about today but i don’t want to put up 15 posts like that today. So I’m going to steal the format of my 2nd favorite writer and start with something and then go where my mind takes me.

Am I actually reading Dee Dee Myers the press secretary to Bill Clinton go after Obama Mr. Favreau’s photo with a cutout? She is right of course but a tad late in the outrage department. There are some days when I think some people forget there are such things as youtube and videotape.

Captain Ed gives her a Captain Louis Renault award and rightly so, but I think Don Surber puts it best:

Groping a cardboard cutout is worse than cheating on your wife for 30+ years.

All I know is I have a job interview next week and if a picture like that of me came out before it it would be a real short one.

I’ve had time to watch some of my DVD’s since being laid off. I’ve been particularly watching the 50’s British show The Adventures of Robin Hood starring Richard Greene. It was my favorite show as a kid and when it was on at 6 a.m. on WMUR I always woke up on time. The quality of the writing holds up very well particularly against the new series which is a waste of space.

Since blacklisted writers including Ring Lardner Jr. were involved the quality isn’t a surprise. The irony is that watched 50 years it seems very politically incorrect, the Crusades as a noble endeavor and defensive war, and particularly the respect for the Catholic Church. I think that would make people like Lardner spin in their graves, and it couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of guys.

You know people keep forgetting the Communism was the greatest killer of humanity of the 20th century, not Fascism, not Racism but Communism. It still kills today but people for some reason don’t want to admit it.

On that same subject it is the 75th anniversary of Stalin’s Terror Famine. Cathy Young writes about it here. the Volokh Conspiracy talks about it here.

Walter Duranty of the New York times wrote about it too back when it happened. He denied it in the pages of the New York Times winning a Pulitzer for it while acknowledging it privately. Some things never change.

I can’t think of the New York Times without thinking of my favorite writer Glenn Reynolds. Of course he is not a professional writer but a law professor who blogs for at Instapundit I am one of his many blog children. I never forget that when I started reading him in 2001 he used to have a quote on the top of his page saying “The New York Times of Bloggers.” I remember when he removed from his site thinking its absence enhanced his reputation.

The day the New York Times can call itself the Instapundit of Newspapers is the day its stock will not be tanking, its building will not need to be mortgaged and will be worth reading again.

BTW the link to the story above about the Times Stock Tanking is from 5 months ago, since that time when it “tanked” it has lost a further half of its value.

If you are a Doctor Who fan Rich’s Comix Blog should be your first stop on the next every day. His 10 doctors is on its 162th page as of this writing. The only problem with it is that i have to wait for more of his ancient Roman strip FVLMINATA.

If you are a Doctor Who or a Bugs Bunny fan you will love this, if you aren’t a doctor who fan you will likely not get it.

Since we are on British TV again one more thought about The Robin Hood Series. There are only a few episodes where the political message is blatant, but their politics are there. With older eyes you can see subtleties that are missed as a child. When you know what you are looking for it is easier to see.

It reminds me of something Bill James said about Joe Morgan in his first baseball abstract concerning base stealing and pitchouts. Apparently it never worked on Morgan because he would always notice something that gave it away, and when you noticed one thing you would notice others.

Oh and if you are baseball fan David Pinto’s blog Baseball musings should be a daily visit, particularly during the dark days of winter.

Speaking of baseball these are golden times for us Red Sox fans. Two world series and a contender every year. For us who remember the decades of disappointment we should be very grateful. But our children will never understand it.

Along those same lines. My mother was born in 1924 and is 84. My teenage sons were often babysat by her and have had first hand experience in depression era values. This has given them an advantage that their peers lack its one more debt to her I can never repay.

And finally when talking about debts that can’t be repaid; that 2nd favorite writer Jay Nordlinger whose Impromptus column is required reading at any time but his hour long interview with President Bush is incredible. An excerpt:

A word about popularity: You can be popular, but “at what price”? “You can get short-term popularity in the Middle East if you want, by blaming all problems on Israel. That’ll make you popular. You can be popular in certain salons of Europe if you say, ‘Okay, we’ll join the International Criminal Court.’ I could have been popular if I’d said, ‘Oh, Kyoto is the way to deal with the environmental problem.’ That would have made me liked. It would have made me wrong, however. And, ultimately, you earn people’s respect by articulating a set of principles and standing by them.

“You know, popularity comes and goes. It just does. It comes and goes for an individual or a nation [sing it, brother]. But principles are enduring.”

The president has been wrong on some big things (cough: bailouts cough:) but on a day when the big story is the attempted sale of the president elect vacant senate seat that message is important. It will be decades before we appreciate what we had.

Camile Paglia gets it:

The tragic fate of so many innocent victims in Mumbai deserves our pity. But what should live in special infamy was the ruthless execution of the Lubavitcher rabbi, Gavriel Hertzberg, and his lovely wife, Rivka, who was 5 months pregnant. These were two idealistic young people of obvious warmth and humanity, who sought only to serve. The rescue by their Indian nanny of their orphaned 2-year-old son, Moshe, crying and smeared with his parents’ blood, is already legendary. Was this zeroing in on the Chabad Jewish Center in Mumbai about Israel, or was it simply a gruesome eruption of the medieval tradition of anti-Semitism? Why have Muslim organizations, very quick to protest insulting cartoons, been mostly silent about the atrocities in Mumbai?

The slaughter of the Hertzbergs and other Jews at Chabad House should be a wake-up call to Western liberals who believe that jihadism can be defeated through reason and happy talk. Only other Muslims can launch the stringent internal reform necessary to stomp this barbaric extremism out. But the events in Mumbai confirmed my opinion about the looming problem of a nuclear Iran: While I oppose all American military operations and bases in the Mideast, I continue to believe that Israel, whose security is directly threatened, has every right to take preemptive military action against Iran.

Plus you’ve gotta love someone in the same column when she says this, quotes Invader Zim approvingly.

The AP reports that Mass cities and towns should expect aid cuts:

House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi pushed Monday for legislation that would allow cities and towns to join the Massachusetts’ insurance plan despite objections by local unions, saying the move could save municipalities millions as they brace for possible cuts in state aid of up to 10 percent next year.

Well I have a Plan B to make up for my lost job. When I went to pay my water bill today I see the assessors office has a plan B too:
santa-ticket1

Multiply that by thousands of roofs and they may have a winner, but I think my plan is better

Well I have an interview lined up for next week and the first unemployment check in processing. It should be enough to keep me afloat but things being how they are it is time for plan B.

Thus I now have eBay listings for a virus cleaning here and a system tune-up here.

I’m already getting ready to license the software (runs a bit over a grand a year about $110 a month) for remote connection. Lets see if I can earn a living on my own.

I’m figuring if I use eBay I have a national reach, and if I can manage even a tiny volume it should be enough to keep me going, and if I find a job I can always do it on the side. Paypal gives me the ability to take credit cards and we used the LogMeIn software so I know it pretty well.

I’ll be adding services each day. I don’t expect many bites right now but you never know and you have to start somewhere. Plus its something to add to the Resume even if I get only one or two sales. True if I don’t make enough it will just deduct from my unemployment but I can’t say home all day watching Hogan’s Heroes and feeling sorry for myself.

UPDATE: Just added a setup service as well.

Here is a story you likely haven’t seen on the national news:

On Sept. 5, Robinson dropped his wife and two children off at the Burger King restaurant at 41st Street and Memorial Drive and was pulling into an auto dealership across the street for an oil change when his cell phone rang.

“My spouse told me there was a man inside with a gun, saying he was going to kill everybody,” said Robinson, an 11-year veteran of the highway patrol who is assigned to the Creek and Muskogee turnpikes.

The off duty officer managed to get in and subdue the armed man, a pretty piece of work but hardly national news right? I mean it wasn’t as if it was an attempted terror attack or something. Oh wait:

“It was one of those deals of being in the right place at the right time,” Robinson said. “I believe he would have loaded up that gun and gone to town because he was praying for Allah to help him carry out his mission.”

Gee, a person with a weapon praying to Allah getting ready to slaughter people in middle America. Must be those pesky Zoroastrians again.

“But tech guy” you say, “It was just a single guy in the midwest named Jerome that’s not an attempted Islamic attack. It’s not national news” Well lets see, a Muslim guy with a gun praying to Allah before preparing to complete his “mission”. I’d say it passes the walks like a duck test.

And believe me if it was a Catholic praying the Rosary or even Better a mormon with a Yes on Prop 8 sign it would have been at least the 3rd story on the news.

Via Gateway Pundit who notices stuff like this and knows a duck when he sees one.

This has been a tighter than usual year. Circumstances from the 20th anniversary Cruise to other stuff had eaten up a good chunk of the money I normally set aside for Christmas gifts.

When the job left that clinched it. I generally buy the gifts all during the year for friends and family but for some reason the nieces and the brothers and sisters got covered early but the nephews and friends didn’t. Usually it is much easier for me to shop for the guys and the boys but items jumped out at me early for the other crowd this year. So Violet has something but Jack is out of luck.

As far as the immediate family this is where cheap has really paid off. All year I’ve been paying for everything with my Amazon.com gift card, then writing a check the following month to the card company. All the electric bills, all the oil bills, the 20th anniversary trip, Catholic School tuition, groceries et-al. The kids put their wish lists on Amazon and I had a stack of $25 coupons to use for them.

Additionally instead of ordering everything together I made each order separately. That way I was able to check the daily deals and jump on a thing or two while qualifying for the free super shipping.

My final order is being placed today. This will complete my Christmas shopping except for the the 12 guys who are out of luck unless I find something in the next two weeks. It will still be a thin Christmas but this really paid off this year.

It occurs to me that with the combination of cell phones and facebook that this kind of thing likely happens a lot more than we think:

At the exact moment Jon Favreau is receiving high praise in pre-inaugural media puff pieces, the 27-year-old chief speechwriter for President-elect Barack Obama (not Jon Favreau, the Hollywood actor/ director) finds himself in a minor mess over a photo from a recent private party showing him groping the breast of a cardboard cutout of Hillary Rodham Clinton as an unnamed pal wearing an “Obama staff” T-shirt kisses and feeds her beer.

Instead of the liberal world where the press will protect an important Obama fellow from this stuff. (I’ll leave that argument for Violet and friends who won’t be surprised) today lets look at it in the real world.

First of all drunken idiots have been doing things since mead (which tastes awful in my opinion but these guys would disagree) was first created. It’s one of the reasons besides the fact that I’m cheap; I avoid drinking in public places. When you are drunk or stoned you are going to act like an idiot, when I act like an idiot I want to know I’m doing it.

Second of all in the age of the Cell phone and Facebook and e-mail a picture of you being a drunken idiot can not only be spread around the world in moments but might be on youtube forever (just do a search for star wars kid if you don’t believe me). The data may sit but it will be there.

Now imagine you are a HR person, if a candidate passes the first round of interviews I suspect a strong online search will take place. In this age of mandatory “sensitivity” and “sexual harassment” training, growing unemployment and lawsuits on demand are you going to risk a callback to the fellow in that drunken picture mooning the camera or that lady in that web video showing off her thong no matter how good their interview was? I think not.

And PLEASE don’t tell me it doesn’t matter. The 14 year old daughter of one of my oldest friends was talking to me a few days ago. She works in a local supermarket and the discussion of “Merry Christmas vs Happy Holidays” came up. She was told if she said “Merry Christmas” and someone complained, she would be fired. She also said that if she said “Happy Holidays” and someone complained, she would be fired. It was the complaint that mattered and with 100+ teens waiting to take her job she will wisely keep her mouth shut. If she can lose her job for that what do you think a nasty chat log or e-mailed photo will do?

And what if you ever are on the verge of fame of greatness? People will be looking for those photos and blogs will be looking for the hits, just ask Ace.

In the end the internet is like a tattoo it can be expensive and unavailing to try to get off once you are on. This guy has the right idea:

The only real solution, argues a hacker and security researcher who calls himself “Dead Addict,” is to not reveal your personal information in the first place.

That whole article is worth a read but remember this. Unless you were there you will likely never see your grandparents drunk, wild and idiotic even if they were party animals, but your grandchildren’s grandchildren will be able to watch you play “pull my finger” in a continuous loop forever.

Tight times or no da wife decided to give take me to see Mannheim Steamroller in Lowell Mass. My impressions follow:

The Memorial auditorium in Lowell is a great place to watch a concert, we had the “nosebleed” seats literally with our backs to the back wall and they were great for the concert its like watching a game at Fenway without breaking the bank.

Before the concert began the guy in charge of the place plugged gift cards for the place, and then very foolishly wished everyone a “happy holiday” (arbor day perhaps?) Considering the group and the concert and the demographics of the audience I can’t think of anything he could have said that would retard sales to this crowd more.

For some unknown reason the air conditioning was on in the place during the first act. It was freezing so we kept our winter coats , muffs, hats and scarfs on. Somebody took care of it at halftime.

They had a list of war dead in the auditorium, the amount of Civil war deaths from a city the size of Lowell was staggering to see as was the long list of Lowell men who apparently died on the USS Maine in 1898.

The list of 8 medal of honor winners was kinda large too.

I never thought I would see a bust of Gen Ben Butler in a place of high honor, he’s not a guy in history that you think of that way.

In the packed auditorium I noticed something right away:

There was nobody with a visible Tattoo.

There was nobody with a visible piercing.

There was nobody with any kind of shirt with a loud slogan

I didn’t see a single man with an earring

Nobody had hair dyed odd colors or with weird cuts

It has been decades since i saw a crowd composed of totally normal and average people. I suspect that the fact that Steamroller’s music gets a lot of it publicity from the Rush Limbaugh show had something to do with it. It was so striking I kept my eye’s open to see if I could find anyone odd during intermission and when we left. Other than a pair of really odd looking silver boots on a lady not a thing.

If you have heard cd’s and I have several it can’t compare to the visuals of the lights and film used in the performance. It is really something to see. The wife thought the cd’s were ok but decided the performance made her appreciate the Cd’s much more. She thought it was awesome.

It is a shame that the founder Davis is laid up, the idea of dividing the group into two, adding members and splitting them into east and west coast tours is great for the audience to expand the number of people who can see it, but I think I would have liked to see the original group at least once.

The videos and film were really classy. Apparently in larger stadiums they have live dancers and performers either instead of and in addition to the film. I find myself wanting to see it in that setting as well.

It never struck me but when they talked about medieval music and how many carols came from it their music does sound like it comes straight out of the 12-14th century sometimes.

I would really like to be able to buy tickets for an event for the actual face value of the tickets.

I never get sick of Christmas music, if the PC crowd manages to chase the word Christmas out of every other venue the music will keep it alive.