THE OTHER SHOE DROPS: Updates To Previous Posts
† Chicago On The Potomac: Washington Times editor emeritus Wes Pruden has this to say about President Barack Obama’s “on-again, off-again, maybe-he-will and maybe-he-won't decision to punish someone who loosened tongues of Islamist terrorists at Guantánamo”:
We're on unfamiliar ground now. No president before has sought to punish his predecessor for policy decisions, no matter how wrong or wrong-headed. ...
Exacting revenge for unpopular policies is ... more in the tradition of gangland Chicago than in Washington, where we count on cooler heads to prevail when raw emotion threatens to overwhelm sobriety and the undisciplined senses. We recall perceived national mistakes with the sadness of regret and even gratitude for lessons learned, not the frenzied catharsis of a St. Valentine's Day Massacre.
† Living In These Mad, Mad, Madoff Times: The Los Angeles Times reports that “people squeezed by the recession are making a few extra bucks by selling old gold caps, bridgework and other bits of what is known in the trade as "dental scrap." Depending on weight and other factors, a gold tooth can go for $50”:
"We're seeing a lot more people from all walks of life looking to liquidate, whether it's a wedding ring or an old crown that was removed by a dentist," said Dan Buerk, a Lippincott vice president.
Buerk estimated his company makes $880,000 annually from dental gold.
When it's still clinging to a tooth, jewelers either hammer out the gold or set the piece in cola overnight to loosen the bond. Then it's refined, melted into ingots and sold back into the commodities market.
† One Man’s Meat Is Another Man’s Poison (second item): Though Greek fabulist Aesop counseled that “it is thrifty to prepare today for the wants of tomorrow,” The Washington Times reports that “Americans are fixing up, making do and reusing so much to cope with the recession that the drop in throwaways means less fill for landfills” – which has led to layoffs and increases is disposal fees:
"You can look at waste and see what the economy is doing," said Tom Houck, manager at the Defiance County Landfill in northwest Ohio. He's watched the amount of trash arriving at the landfill plunge by 30 percent in the past year.
With consumers cutting back on new purchases, there is less packaging to throw away. The downturn in new housing means less waste from construction materials such as insulation and from discarded drywall and lumber. Restaurant waste is down because people are eating out less.
"We're seeing this all over the country," said Bruce J. Parker, president and CEO of the National Solid Wastes Management Association.
It goes without saying that the environazis are happy: “That will mean the landfills will last longer. That is good for the public because nobody likes to live next to a landfill,” Ed Hopkins, director of the Environmental Quality program for the Sierra Club tells The Times. Um, isn’t a compost heap sorta like a landfill, but on a smaller scale?
† The Right To Bear Arms Belongs To Us All: Part II: Thanks to good luck and being quick on the draw, a 26-year-old man avoided being the victim of armed carjackers, reports the Arizona Daily Star. While he was waiting at the drive-through window at a Walgreens pharmacy in Tucson two women approached his car. One of them pulled out a gun and tried to shoot him, but for some reason the weapon did not fire, giving the would-be jackee time to whip out his pistol, shoot her twice and disarm her. The suspect’s injuries are not fatal, and she will be charged as soon as she is released from the hospital. The police found the other woman nearby but do not plan to charge her.
† Updates To Previous Posts (third item, Never Mind Marxism. Will An Obama Administration Be Totalitarian?): Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano met with American Legion commander David K. Rehbein and again apologized for her department sliming returning vets as potential domestic terrorists, reports The Washington Times:
"We connected meaningfully about the important issues that have emerged over recent days, and I offered him my sincere apologies for any offense to our veterans caused by this report," Ms. Napolitano said. "I pledge that the department has fixed the internal process that allowed this document to be released before it was ready." ...
"Commander Rehbein and I agreed that the Department of Homeland Security and the veterans of this great country are both dedicated to the same goal: ensuring the safety and prosperity of the American people," Ms. Napolitano said.
This is less a problem with “process” than with “personnel” - that is, why there are people working for DHS who have such contempt for the men and women who put their lives on the line to protect this country on the front lines of the War on Terror. That’s the problem Napolitano needs to address and correct.
Editorial Note: DHS might want to look into whether this violent anti-capitalism riot in Washington, D.C. was staged by potential or actual domestic terrorists (as far as The Stiletto can tell, no retired or active duty military personnel - or “rightwingers,” for that matter – were involved).
† Updates To Previous Posts (fifth item, Your Butt Will Look Good In These Jeans): A good editor not only edits for style, clarity and conciseness, but also reconciles logical flaws and inconsistencies in an article. Somehow, this whopper got past the crackerjack editors at The New York Times (emphasis throughout, The Stiletto):
Vogue magazine, the fashion world’s chronicler of first ladies, bedecked Hillary Rodham Clinton in black velvet and Laura Bush in blue silk. But not Michelle Obama. She insisted on choosing her own dress (a sleeveless, magenta silk number) and using her own hair and makeup stylists for the glossy photograph splashed across Vogue’s March cover [contextual link added by The Stiletto; see last item on page].
This was nothing new for Mrs. Obama, who has pointedly controlled her look on the covers of People, Essence, More and O, Oprah Winfrey’s magazine. …
“We were like, ‘Excuse me, we tell you what to wear,’ ” said Lesley Jane Seymour, the editor-in-chief of More, who said Mrs. Obama refused to wear anything other than her own clothes for their October cover. “She wanted none of that. She was creating the cover. She was creating the image. There’s definitely a will of steel there.” …
Only 10 months ago, Mrs. Obama was described as an angry black woman by some conservatives and as a liability to her husband.
So, basically, what has changed other than MO’s been coached on how to put on a game face that projects warmth and approachability when she’s out in public?
† Updates To Previous Posts (What Al Gore Hath Wrought): Repub James Tedisco threw in the towel and Dem Scott Murphy will now represent NY’s the 20th Congressional District, succeeding Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand in the House of Representatives, reports The New York Times:
Tedisco’s lawyers told him that victory was out of reach, aides said. As of late Friday, Mr. Murphy was ahead in, 80,420 to 80,021 — a margin of 399 votes, with several hundred paper ballots still in dispute. …
Mr. Murphy’s victory delivered a modest but much-needed lift to New York’s embattled governor, David A. Paterson, who created the vacancy by appointing Ms. Gillibrand to the Senate over the objections of some ranking Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who had poured resources into helping Ms. Gillibrand capture the historically conservative district in 2006. …
Mr. Tedisco thanked voters for their patience. “This was a closely contested election that perhaps lasted a little longer than anyone may have expected or wanted,” he said. “But it was important for our electoral process and for the hard-working people of upstate New York that it be resolved fairly and decisively.”
† Updates To Previous Posts (fourth item, We Fight Them Over There So We Don’t Have To Fight Them Over Here?): Somalis in MN are receiving federal grand jury subpoenas as part of an investigation to determine whether young Somali-American men were radicalized in the U.S. and recruited by terrorist groups to fight in their homeland, reports The Associated Press:
Federal authorities won't confirm the grand jury investigation but the subpoenas - as well as questions by FBI agents and customs officials - have unnerved some in the community. Local Somalis have felt vulnerable since officials began looking into why these young men left, and why one carried out a suicide bombing in Somalia last fall. …
Several local Somalis say they've been questioned by the FBI, customs officials, or subpoenaed since a handful of young men left for Somalia on Nov. 4, possibly to fight for terror groups. … Authorities say one Minneapolis man, Shirwa Ahmed, carried out a suicide bombing Oct. 29 as part of a series of coordinated attacks that targeted a U.N. compound, the Ethiopian consulate and the presidential palace in Hargeisa, capital of the Somaliland region.
FBI Director Robert Mueller said in February that the bomber had probably been "radicalized" in the Twin Cities. And U.S. counterterrorism officials have raised concerns that an extremist group called al-Shabab is recruiting young men in Minnesota and elsewhere.
† Updates To Previous Posts (last item, 10 Reasons Michelle Obama Should Be Proud – Really Proud – Of America): This latest installment in The Stiletto Blog’s ongoing series meant to help instill the necessary pride of country in Michelle Obama’s consciousness to enable her to serve as an unofficial ambassador focuses on a cleaning lady who found two rings left on a bathroom sink in Andiamo's restaurant in Sterling Heights, MI. Nadine Ventimiglia, didn’t realize that she had forgotten to put her jewelry back on until the next day, and found out from the restaurant that an employee of its janitorial services provider had turned the rings in. The owner of Nobile Cleaning Services, Linda Preka, has rewarded the honest employee. MI is amongst the hardest-hit states in the economic downturn yet this cleaning lady resisted the temptation to take advantage of someone else’s loss.