Saturday, September 10, 2011

Last Call

Hey Floridians, do you finally believe that the Republican Party would rather see you be unemployed if they think it will turn you against President Obama?

Gov. Rick Scott and top Republicans are sending early signals they could reject the billions in federal aid that could flow to the state under President Barack Obama's jobs proposal.

Despite a 10.7 percent unemployment rate that is higher than the national average, Scott and GOP legislative leaders have criticized Obama's plan.

The governor and lawmakers have the power to block parts of the proposal if it's enacted by Congress.

A state-by-state breakdown of the president's plan shows that Florida could stand to receive more than $7.5 billion for schools, roads and other projects.

So no, they'd rather turn down the jobs bill money rather than put Floridians to work, all because we have a President who they despise more than life itself.  Do you think Florida Republicans would reject a dime if this was a Republican in the White House?

Vote Republican in 2012!  We'll keep millions of Americans out of a job in order to make one man lose his.  The next person who says there's no difference between the two parties?  Tell that to Florida's unemployed.

For The Love Of God, Don't Eat The Brownies

Special milk, indeed.

VAN ALSTYNE, Tex. (NBC) -- The owner of a Texas day care has been accused of putting antihistimines in children's food so they would fall asleep after lunch.

Kimberly Lane, the owner of the Luv N Learning day care, was arrested and charged with 16 counts of child endangerment after someone called authorities and said she was mixing an over-the-counter antihistimine with milk and then giving it to children.

Investigators are now trying to figure out how long Lane had been dolling out her concoction, known as "special milk."

Whaddya know, they apparently make idiots bigger in Texas, too.

This has to be terrifying for all the working parents out there. I can't even imagine how they must worry after reading stories like this.

Take The Money And Run

The Kinda Durkee story is turning into a serious problem for California Dems, in more ways than one.

Veteran California campaign treasurer Kinde Durkee "nearly wiped out" the $379,000 in Rep. Loretta Sanchez's campaign war chest, Politico's Jonathan Allen and John Bresnahan report.

"What we've learned this week is that unfortunately, the amount in our reelect account is substantially less than the amount we've raised this year, as well as the amount reflected in the records sent to us by Durkee & Associates," Sanchez chief of staff Adrienne Elrod told Politico. "In fact, our account has been nearly wiped out."

Durkee was arrested by the FBI on Friday on mail fraud charges. The feds said she used campaign funds for her own personal purposes, including paying her mortgage; her mother's nursing home costs; and credit card charges for cosmetics and ice cream.

A major player in the California campaign finance world, Durkee had an extensive list of clients in California, according to the Secretary of State's office. On the federal level, Federal Election Commission records show she was treasurer for 161 various committees over the course of her career.

In other words, the go-to treasury person for LA Dems was a crooked as the shadow coming from a spool of barbed wire and was playing fast and loose with thousands, if not millions over the years.  It's an ugly situation, but really I'm glad this happened now and not, say, this time next year.

We'll see how much total damage the embezzlement scheme causes, but there's going to be more than a few problems over the next couple months at least.

Bartz Blasts Yahoo

Let me go into this saying I don't know everything that went behind Bartz's release. It did seem to surprise many, and I have yet to see an analysis that shows it was a necessary move. In fact, vague suspicion has been the main conclusion for what I have read. Having said that, I have a new hero. Carol Bartz speaks her mind, and cuts through the crap to get to the root of a problem.  In her first interview, she cut right to the meat and said Yahoo "fucked her over."  I know, I had to read it several times myself.  What delightful honesty and lack of fear!

Bartz told the magazine that she called Yahoo Chairman Roy Bostock at 6:06 p.m. ET on Tuesday for a previously scheduled conversation. When they connected, Bartz said that Bostock read from what sounded like a legal document. In her typical blunt way, Bartz called Bostock out.
"Why don't you have the balls to tell me yourself?" Bartz recalls telling Bostock. At the end of his reading of the document, Bartz told her one-time board colleague, "I thought you were classier."

In the interview, Bartz lays bare the dilemma confounding Yahoo's board. The company is facing enormous pressure to boost revenue, particularly after having rejected Microsoft's $44.6 billion bid for the company in 2008, the year before she joined Yahoo.

"The board was so spooked by being cast as the worst board in the country," Bartz says. "Now they're trying to show that they're not the doofuses that they are."

My bad, I had it in my head that turning down Microsoft had been one of her first decisions. She came in afterwards but I also know that after that refusal, Yahoo picked up their level of customer service and their existing ones began to move smoother. Yahoo also showed more of an interest in their users, and that was all under Bartz's lead. It wasn't enough to win me back, but I love Yahoo much in the same way you remember your fist love. Fond memories, but okay with the separation.

I am in no place to measure her success, but I admire her balls. She is a woman who knows how to hold her own and refused to play the game. Because she has been so straightforward and Yahoo has been to tight-lipped, I have to assume she has some legitimate ground to stand on. Bravo for speaking plainly and cutitng through the BS.

The Most Important Idea Of The Day

As more families go without, kids at school are going hungry.  This may be a soft spot of mine because I was one of those kids growing up.  We always had food, but it may not have been what we liked and it may not have been enough.  I know how it is to sit and try to focus with a growling belly.  Not the "I need a snack" grumble but the "I haven't had enough in several days" hunger.  The reality is it's hard to get kids to want to learn, and this can make the difference in keeping their attention.  Even then I was a mini-geek, and despite my love of knowledge it was all I could do to tune in sometimes.

Nearly a year ago, the Springfield Public Schools' nutrition services department piloted a breakfast-in-the-classroom program at Williams.

"We had high hopes for this program and were literally blown away with the results," said Wanita Watts, director of nutrition services. "...Once you do breakfast in the classroom, they feel that's their family and it's a closer, quieter environment."

At Williams, the number of students eating breakfast immediately skyrocketed, jumping from 45 to nearly 90 percent.

Webb said offering a healthy breakfast to every child is also paying off with better attendance and discipline, more quality instructional time and fewer trips to the school nurse. Plus, it frees up the multipurpose room -- typically a combined gymnasium and cafeteria -- for physical education classes and other activities.

This is a win-win for all involved. Kids get at least one nutritious meal per day. Bonding means more respect among students as well as teachers. Kids who need that meal aren't forced to stand in line and feel like a beggar. They aren't rushed, and they get a chance to ease into their day. There is no downside here, or if there is I fail to see it.

Good call, guys. Keep up the good work.

Random Stupidity

A man died yesterday after being shot at a Greyhound station in Springfield, MO.  Neither shooter nor victim was a Springfield resident, but had stopped at the station while taking a break on the drive.  According to the primary witness, he was speaking with his friend and a man got in line behind them.  The next thing he knew his friend was on the ground, shot in the back by a 25-year-old passenger.  They did not know the shooter, the best police can tell this was an utterly random attack.

As pressure increases, we may see more of this as people on the edge lash out.  Of course this got my attention because I live so close to the place this happened.  But in the end, we all need to remember to be on top of our game when we mingle in a crowd.  You never know when the person behind or beside you decides that This Is It.

The gun jammed and the shooter was "subdued by the crowd."  Thank goodness the bystanders took action and thanks to a bank robber police were already in the area.  That station does a brisk and steady business, and it's possible that several people were at risk.  Also, thank goodness this didn't happen going down the road where it could have become even more dangerous.

A man died and nobody knows why.  That's unacceptable, and while I have no doubt the shooter will pay for his crime, there is no punishment that can bring back what has been lost.  Kudos to the people who took action and kept an already bad situation from going worse.

StupidiNews, Weekend Edition!

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