Saturday, December 24, 2011

Last Call

Make sure you're tracking Big Red tonight at NORAD.

Have a Merry one if you celebrate it, Happy Holidays for everyone else, and to all our readers...thanks for another year!

Ark Of The Covered Up

As Joe Sonka points out over at Fat Lip this week, the Yabba Dabba D'oh is running into some serious financial trouble and hasn'teven broken ground yet.  And it may not any time soon.

As we mentioned a month ago, there’s quite a bit of speculation about why Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis haven’t even begun the groundbreaking for their giant boat with dinosaurs on it (otherwise know as Ark Encounter) in Grant County. Even though they have successfully lobbied their way into tax incentives from the Beshear administration and Grant County officials, they appear to have hit a snag of late.

Their groundbreaking was pushed back from spring, to summer, to fall, and the most recent media report was to next spring. Meanwhile, their fundraising goal of $24.5 million appears to have ground to a halt at just over $4 million, where it has been for quite a while. They had reached the $3 million mark all the way back in May.

Nobody seems to know nothin' publicly.  Privately however...

On Oct. 27, Todd Cassidy, the executive director of the tourism department’s office of financial incentives, sent an email to [company Senior VP Mike] Zovath with AiG asking for the status of Ark Encounter.

“It has been a while since we last spoke,” wrote Cassidy. “May I ask the status of the fund raising and any proposed ground breaking?”

Zovath’s reply the next day revealed not only problems delaying their groundbreaking, but also difficulties raising enough funds to build the giant dinosaur boat in question.

“Todd, we actually considered an official ground breaking earlier this month but too many complexities got in the way so we ended up putting it on hold until everything is worked out,” wrote Zovath. “Funding is progressing, a little slower due to the very slow economy.”

It looks like somebody's figured out the scam:  why does a multi-million dollar theme park, that charges ticket prices and everything need donations in the first place?

Ark Encounter's smelled like a scam since Day One, and Gov. Dinosaur Steve has backed Answers In Genesis and this entire idiotic project for years now.  At this rate it will never get off the ground, never be built, never sell a single ticket, and most importantly, never create a single job in Grant County.

And it's the people donating to the park who are clearly getting ripped off here, as well as the people of Grant County and other Kentucky taxpayers like myself.  If this keeps up, there's going to be a hell of a lawsuit for these idiots to deal with.

Merry Christmas, Bluegrass State.

Bah, Humbug, Troy!

Sorry, residents of Troy, Michigan:  Teabag Claus is coming to town, and his little Helper Elves are in full Grinch mode.

In what could be a new high water mark of anti-Washington sentiment, the city of Troy, Mich., is rejecting a long-planned transportation center whose construction would have been fully financed with federal stimulus money.

The terminal, which would help Troy become a transportation node on an upgraded Detroit-to-Chicago Amtrak line, was hailed by supporters as a way to create jobs and to spur economic development. But federal money is federal money, so with the urging of the new mayor, who helped found the local Tea Party chapter, the City Council cast a 4-to-3 vote this week against granting a crucial contract, sending the project into limbo.

There’s nothing free about government money,” Mayor Janice Daniels said in an interview. “It’s never free, and it’s crippling our way of life.” 

It's not the money they object to.  It's the federal government itself.  It's headed by a black Democrat, and therefore it's illegitimate, tainted, and evil.

It really is that simple.  Does anyone think these idiots would be complaining if President Bush or -- FSM help us, President Romney -- were handing Troy, Michigan a fully paid for transportation hub that required zero local tax dollars to build?  No, they'd be taking the Troy Chamber of Commerce's position.

Taking Tea Party reasoning to the local level has outraged supporters of the transit center, which has been in the works for a decade. Michele Hodges, the president of the Troy Chamber of Commerce, which supports the transit project, said that her organization “will be a pit bull for what’s best for this community.” 

Hell, even Gov. Rick Snyder is pissed off at this.  But the Tea Party wing doesn't care.  Whatever it takes to get rid of "him" in the White House.  And if it means Grinching constituents, local business owners and "job creators" out of business, it's acceptable collateral damage.  If Troy's Tea Party was reduced to a squabbling enclave inside an armed city-state, that's fine with them.

It's what they wanted in the first place.

Seeking A Christmas Miracle

US police have issued an appeal to help a top music academy student recover a $170,000 (£108,000) violin she left on a bus in the city of Philadelphia.

Muchen Hsieh said she only realised afterwards she had left the 176-year-old instrument in an overhead compartment  when the journey ended.

The 18-year-old boarded the Megabus coach in Boston with the Naples-made violin on Tuesday, police said.

A cultural foundation in her native Taiwan had loaned her the instrument.

"I'm a violin major, so I really hope that the person that took it can give it back to me so I can continue my studies because right now I can't do anything," Ms Hsieh told a local television station.

The New England Conservatory student said the bus company told her the instrument had not been found.

The police have said anyone who wants to return the violin can do so "with no questions asked" but it's hard to know if knowing the real value of the violin will encourage an honest person to speak up, or a criminal to start shopping for a buyer.

I hate to see a violin like that lost, so we'll hope for the former.

A Christmas Miracle

A young man was in a coma ever since an accident in October. His brain injuries were so extensive that the family had waited as long as they felt was reasonable and were considering organ donation so their beloved Sam would live on.

And then he woke up.

While confused about what actually helped him come back, the timing couldn't have been better. Sam had about seven days before his organs were harvested and given to patients on the wait list. Instead, when prompted he was able to hold up two fingers when asked, and is now walking around with the help of a walker. His speech is slow, but his ability to comprehend seems to be back at nearly full capacity. The best news of all, he is expected to make a full or nearly full recovery.

His neurosurgeon said there was no sign of the usual suspects for eternal coma, but given the extent of his injuries there was plenty of reason to believe Sam wasn't going to pull through. He had undergone surgery for an aneurysm that was deadly in itself, but was spared the strokes and specific injuries that erase all doubt. His doctor decided to give the family as much time as possible to see if he could beat the odds, and it's a great thing.

Sam's mother is grateful beyond words. "Nobody could ever give me a better Christmas present than this -- ever, ever, ever," she said to the reporter.

A young man is getting a second chance, a grieving mother is given what she asked for above everything else, and for one family Christmas is going to be pretty darn special.

May all of you have a good Christmas, and safe travels.

No Virginia, There Is No GOP Santa

Jolly Ol' St. Nick won't deliver the needed signatures for most of the GOP Clown Car cavalcade to meet Virginia's strict requirements for getting on the primary ballot, and as BooMan explains, it shows a great deal about how completely inept and unprepared the current crop of morons are.

[Friday] was the last day that you could submit signatures to appear on the ballot in the Virginia primaries. It's not an easy process. You need to collect 10,000 valid signatures, including at least 400 from each of Virginia's eleven congressional districts. Rick Perry tried, but failed, to get 10,000. Newt Gingrich submitted over 11,000, but must now pray that enough of them are from actual voters to get him over the hump. Ron Paul and Mitt Romney had no trouble and were certified. Jon Huntsman, Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, and whoever else is pretending to run for president, didn't even submit any signatures. In other words, in one of the swingiest of swing-states, we could see a ballot featuring only Romney and Paul. In any case, it will have no more than three candidates to choose from

Precisely zero of the also-rans could be half-assed to compete in Virginia. How can you expect them to handle complex foreign policy in the real world if they can't handle this?  Bottom line, the President has to GOVERN, unlike Congress.  Romney seems to at least be aware of what than entails, and Paul has a strong ground game, but the rest, including actual current sitting Texas Gov. Perry, can't be arsed enough to care.

We have a crazy electoral system. But you have to be able to master it to have any hope of mastering the federal government. Consider the fact that the Clintons screwed up their campaign by not understanding how delegates were allocated until it was too late. And they ran the government for eight years and basically created the process set up by their DNC. It's not a simple thing to run a presidential campaign. It takes a lot of brain power. You've got Rick Perry failing to qualify for the ballot in Virginia and Mitt Romney operating with one office and three staffers in all of South Carolina. These people are amateurs, and they've going to get their heads handed to them. 

When the Obama For America juggernaut gets rolling in 2012, it will crush these idiots.  They will have nobody to blame but themselves.  And believe me when I say OFA is getting ready well ahead of time in all 50 states.

He Fought The Law And The Law Lost

Next week Bon and I are going to do our Year's Bests and Worsts for 2011, but I'll let you know right now that the biggest political story of the year continues to be the Republican efforts to disenfranchise minority voters in red states with voter ID laws.  Today, Eric Holder and the Justice Department slapped down South Carolina's voter ID law as a blatant effort to reduce minority voter turnout and eligibility in the state.

The Justice Department on Friday rejected South Carolina's law requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls, saying it makes it harder for minorities to cast ballots. It was the first voter ID law to be refused by the federal agency in nearly 20 years.

The Obama administration said South Carolina's law didn't meet the burden under the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which outlawed discriminatory practices preventing blacks from voting. Tens of thousands of minorities in South Carolina might not be able to cast ballots under South Carolina's law because they don't have the right photo ID, Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez said.

South Carolina's law was passed by a Republican-controlled Legislature and signed by GOP Gov. Nikki Haley. The state's attorney general vowed to fight the federal agency in court.

And that's what Republicans are counting on: another terrible Citizens United-style decision that will allow Republicans at the state level to put up as many obstacles to voting as necessary in order to maintain permanent control over the demographically shifting South and Midwest.

But the reality is that voter impersonation, which is what all these voter ID laws are trying to stop, simply doesn't exist.  The "unintended consequences" of "protecting our sacred vote" is to exclude thousands (and in the case of South Carolina, around a quarter million voters) from being able to vote at all.  That's the real point, and the Civil Rights Act still gives the Justice Department the power to stop idiocy like that...for now.

After SCOTUS gets this, who knows.  By the way, Supreme Court Justices?  Appointed by Presidents.

Chris Savage at Eclectablog has more on this decision and how it may apply to Michigan's Emergency Manager laws, too.

StupidiNews, Christmas Weekend Edition!

Related Posts with Thumbnails