Daily Archives: December 27, 2009

Well this is sad

No, not Percy Sutton’s death – he lived a full, long life, but the picture accompanying the Times’ story on his life:

Mr. Sutton’s signature achievement might have been reviving the Apollo, which his company bought for $225,000 at a bankruptcy sale in 1981, and then spent $20 million restoring. On Sunday, the Apollo’s marquee carried a message for him: “We are forever grateful.”

Not grateful enough to spring for light bulbs, though.

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(11:04) J’ints being eliminated as Cowboys whup Redskins

After the Giant’s pathetic display against the Panthers, the only team more deserving of elimination is the Jets – their turn comes next week. I like the Patriots but am switching my allegiance to the Vikings for so long as Greenwich’s John Sullivan’s at center.

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Georgie Lindemann the Horse Stalker is back!

A reader sent this link via email (which I take awhile to get to): George Junior’s put his Florida house up for sale for $29 million.

Oh, Monica, it's not funny! If he moves back home, where can I put the pets where they'll be safe?

SELLER: George Lindemann Jr.
LOCATION: Sunset Island, Miami Beach, FL
PRICE: $29,900,750
SIZE: 11,388 square feet, 7 bedrooms, 7.5 bathrooms
DESCRIPTION: This historically significant waterfront property designed by Maurice Fatio encompasses 70,886 SF of land on which rests approx 11,388 SF breathtaking, Neoclassic home w/ a contemporary feel. The home sits on a tip lot on Sunset Island. From there, sweeping bay views & color-soaked sunsets provide a dazzling backdrop to this crown jewel, aptly named, La Tranquilla. AnOlympic-sized pool blends effortlessly into the verdant & well-manicured surroundings of this tropical haven spanning 1.63 acres.

George Lindemann, Sr., one of the United States’ wealthier citizens, made tens of millions developing the first permanent-wear soft contact lens and later made well over a billion bucks selling a nascent cellular technology concern to the Bell Atlantic Corporation. Currently, Mister Lindemann is chairman of the board, president and CEO of the Southern Union Company, the largest natural gas pipeline company in the United States. Mister Lindemann is said to own as much as 10% of that company and, additionally, a significant stake in Verizon and a whole mess of Spanish language radio stations too. The Lindemanns, George Senior and his wife Dr. Frayda Lindemann, are major philanthropists, patrons of the arts and regulars on the upper crust party and charity circuit in New York, Palm Beach and beyond. Together they have three adult children: Adam, Sloan and George Jr.

Now that we know who the primary players are in our little game of real estate what’s what, we’re going to present an admittedly incomplete run down of the very fancy residential real estate holdings and transactions of the Lindemann family because, let’s be honest, it’s always fun and exciting to whittle away an hour or two looking at and marveling over how wildly, filthy, stinking rich people live.

George Senior and Dr. Frayda, who happen to be besties with fallen financier Walter Noel and his well kept wife Monica, famously sold their ocean front mansion on Blossom Way in Palm Beach in June of 2008 for a heart stopping $68,500,000. The buyer is widely reported to be Venezuelan big living banker and polo pasha Victor Vargas. The elder Lindemanns, who are based in Greenwich, CT, decamped to a smaller but still huge ocean front mansion father north in Palm Beach, which they bought in September of 2008 for $23,500,000 and hired high class architect Peter Marino to work over.

Anyhoo, since at least mid 1980s, according to property records, theLindemann family seat has been a 9+ acre water front estate on Indian Field Road in Greenwich, CT. In addition a waterside swimming pool, tennis court, private beach, guest house and acres of lush landscaping, there is, according to property records, a very dignified 12,639 square foot, 12 bedroom Tudor-style mansion that would make a robber baron weep. As best as we can tell from peeping and poking around property records, the stately estate is now in the name of Sloan Lindemann, however we’re pretty sure it’s still occupied by the elder Lindemanns. Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

Now then, let’s get to the man of the hour, George Lindemann Jr., whose unfortunate claim to fame is that in the late 1990s he did some time in the pokey after he was convicted of insurance fraud related to hiring some thug to electrocute one of his show horses in order to collect a quarter of a million clams in insurance money. After being sprung from the big house, Mister Lindemann re-created himself from a horseman into a philanthropist and voracious contemporary art collector based in Miami, FL. Thanks to Mimi MiamiBeach we’ve learned that the former felon has put his historic, art-filled Miami Beach mansion on the market with a toe curling $29,900,750 asking price. If that number doesn’t cause the children to bust out in a case of hives, maybe the bank account draining $210,269 in annual taxes and $15,000 per year homeowner association fees will.

Public property records on George Junior’s Sunset Island estate are a wee bit confusing and convoluted, as they often can be when dealing with billionaire families who have co-mingling financial interests in family businesses and trusts. According to one of our interwebsources, George Junior purchased the property through a trust in June of 2000 for $8,425,000. In 2004, the property was transferred from the trust directly to George Jr. and his mother Dr. Frayda. At some point between 2004 and 2008, George Senior and sister Sloan were added on the records and in early 2008 the property was again transferred from that group of Lindemanns directly to an eponymous trust controlled by George Junior.

Listing information shows the simply but meticulously manicured 1.63 acre lot claims 453 feet of water front and hosts a 1936 Neoclassical beauty designed by famed high society architect MauriceFatio. According to listing information, the sprawling single story concrete block stucco residence, called La Tranquilla, measures 11,388 square feet with 7 bedrooms and 7.5 poopers. At the front, an electronic gate opens to a large circular drive. The driveway leads around one side of the house to a small motor court and 3-car garage and on the other side, a path from the driveway leads around the house to the water where there is private dockage. A vast, piazza like patio stretches between the two wings at the back of the house and a rectangular, Olympic length swimming pool and spa extends from the back of the house towards the water.

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Not for friends of Obama, it won’t

Bloomberg: Rate of homeownership will fall as owners see equity wiped out.

That’s true if you’re a middle class taxpayer, no doubt, but the Boyz are bringing back no-money-down loans for those they deem worthy. You probably needn’t apply.

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C’ Hmong home

Good headline, but sad story. These people were our allies and we’ve already brought 150,000 of them here (see Grand Torino). 4,000 stuck in a refugee camp that Thailand won’t provide the US with access to. I realize we don’t have much clout left in the world, but can’t we even push Thailand around a little and save these folks?

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No, not Nancy Pelosi, some doctor

From the Norwich Millionaire:

Vishwamitra the Hermit, with guest

Medical insurance fraud fugitive found in tent on Mont Blanc.

On 21 September 2004, Michelle Weinberger woke up on the 79ft powerboat that she and her husband, Mark, owned as it rocked gently in the waters of a marina on the Greek island of Mykonos.

“I put my hand on his side of the bed, and I remember feeling it empty,” she later told the US television channel NBC. Weinberger leapt from bed in alarm to find that her husband had vanished, taking with him his passport and money he had stashed secretly on board.

It was the beginning of a five-year flight from justice that ended this week even more strangely than it began, almost 6,000 feet up in the Italian Alps. Two officers of the paramilitary Carabinieri, led by a mountain guide, trudged up to the southern slopes of Mont Blanc to find one of America’s most wanted fugitives living in a tent. He was surviving in temperatures as low as -18C on dried and tinned food and snow he melted on a portable stove.

Brought up in a prosperous New York suburb, Weinberger was educated at the University of Pennsylvania and the UCLA medical school. He later worked with one of Chicago’s most renowned plastic surgeons before opening his own practice, the Weinberger Sinus Clinic, in Merrillville, Indiana.

The “nose doctor”, as he came to be known, met his future wife, 12 years his junior, in 2000. “He just swept me off my feet,” she said. “He was the kindest, most gentle man I had ever met.”

They owned a house in a wealthy lakeside neighbourhood of Chicago. Mark Weinberger travelled to and from his surgery in a chauffeur-driven limousine. He employed maids, cooks, a personal trainer and a skipper for his boat. Every month, his wife recalled, he would take 10 days off to enjoy his seemingly abundant income, often jetting off to Europe to indulge a passion for idling in the Mediterranean.

The first hint of trouble emerged in October 2002 when a lawyer acting for the estate of a woman who had died of throat cancer filed a complaint with the Indiana department of insurance. The complaint claimed Weinberger failed to diagnose her cancer and instead carried out an unnecessary operation on her sinuses that was paid for by her insurance company.

The lawyer said he was subsequently contacted by dozens of the doctor’s former patients who alleged that they too had had surgery they suspected was unnecessary. A similar complaint was filed by a second attorney on behalf of 25 former patients.

As the malpractice suits piled up, Weinberger arranged what he said would be a very special 30th birthday party for his wife. He flew her, her mother and three friends out to the Greek islands and promised her a present that would be “something that only the movie stars have”. Before disappearing, he bought her two expensive diamonds.

It was small recompense, though, for what she was about to discover. The unpaid berthing fees on Mykonos alone came to $40,000. Their boat was seized by the Greek authorities. Weinberger’s practice owed $5.7m and was eventually auctioned to meet his debts.

But the oddest discovery, and one that perhaps holds the key to his life on the run, was that the doctor had a room at his clinic which his employees dubbed “the scary room”. It was crammed with survival gear. And the equipment, including even a water filtration system, had been shipped to Europe before he left.

The fugitive surgeon was sought by the FBI. He featured more than once on the Fox television show America’s Most Wanted, and was supposedly sighted as far away as China. His wife continued to defend him after he vanished.

“I hope he’s safe, and I still love him,” she told the Chicago Tribune in October 2004, adding: “We can relocate. We can live on an island in a hut.” The Carabinieri who lifted the flap of Weinberger’s tent on Tuesday morning had been alerted to his presence by a mountain guide, an Italian police official said. They did not immediately reveal that they suspected his identity. They said they had used an excuse to convince him to accompany them to Courmayeur and that Weinberger tried to persuade them he just “wanted to live a life in the wild”.

After it became clear that they knew who he was, the runaway doctor asked to go to the lavatory. There, he whipped out a tiny knife he had secreted in his underwear and plunged it into his throat. But despite being an expert surgeon, he missed the artery he appeared to be aiming for, and the Carabinieri hustled him away for first aid.

Dr. Weinberger and Michelle, wearing her reverse skunk wig

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Yemeni prisoners – shoot them now, or later?

Thinking of you

Senator Liberman spoke out today on the mess we’re facing in Yemen and warned against releasing the 90 Yemeni prisoners currently held at Guantanamo and scheduled, maybe, for release.

This was the Bush adminstration’s worry last year.

Last January, the NYT was reporting on Yemenis who, sent home, rejoined the their fellow terrorists and went back to war.

And of course our latest shoe bomber says he trained there.

Yemen seems to be going to hell and is already a hotbed of Al Qaeda terrorists. Is there any point in releasing our Gitmo visitors just to have to hunt them down with predator drones later? Maybe we could put them on a flight home with Richard Reid (hell, Harry too, if we can persuade him) and see how things go.

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Probably not a good week to fly wearing a dishrag on your head

But I have a visa, blast you!

Arabs arouse suspicion on airplane by speaking in foreign tongue and watching suicide video.

Transportation Security Administration officials said passengers aboard U.S. Airways Flight 192 from Orlando, Fla., on Saturday night reported that two men, described as Middle Eastern, were acting strangely and talking loudly to each other in a foreign language.

A nearby passenger also observed one of men watching what appeared to be footage of a suicide bombing, but was actually a scene from the 2007 movie “The Kingdom.” The man also got up from his seat while the seat belt warning sign was still lit, FBI spokesman Manuel Johnson said.”The totality of those three occurrences led this passenger to believe this was suspicious,” he said.

The flight crew called for law enforcement and TSA officers to meet them when the plane landed at Phoenix’s Sky Harbor International Airport at about 8 p.m. Authorities said the two men were met by Phoenix police and TSA officials at the flight’s airport gate and later interviewed by FBI agents.

Nothing dangerous was found during a search of the plane and passengers’ luggage, police said. The men were released after questioning and allowed to continue on to California, Phoenix Johnson said.

Nervous times.

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Cops worried where to put teens now that they aren’t treated as adults

Juvenile holding pen, Greenwich Police Headquarters

A change in Connecticut law that mandates 16 and 17 -year-olds to be tried as juveniles has policemen scrambling to find space to accommodate them. In the good old days (today) the cops could grab the kids and toss ’em in with adult prisoners – soften ’em up a little, don’t you know. Under the new law they can’t do that and the cops, despite two years notice of the impending change, don’t know what to do.

My own suggestion is to stop arresting so many kids. Back in the day, a stern word or even a kick in the seat of the pants seemed to stop most miscreants (okay, I was an exception, but …). Reviewing the police blotter these days I’m amazed to see what minor kid infractions trigger an arrest. It’s like our boys in blue have a chip on their shoulder, or something.

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Shouldn’t it be news when the Chairman of the Finance Committee appears drunk in the Senate

Who took my drink?

We’re all flawed human beings, but when the idiot Senator from Montana is all over the Internet via UTube slurring his words and acting stewed out of his gourd, I’d think it merited some mention from the mainstream media. So far as I can tell, it has not. The press’s compassion for this man would, I suspect, be smaller had Dick Cheney stood in a similar condition to address the Senate. That’s what I suspect, but maybe it’s just Christmas.

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Breaking news from 1888

I think I can I think I can

Forecasters warn of continued blizzards on plains.

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Stupid pet tricks

Reader  X  [I’m protecting anonymity – happy to give credit, though]  sends this along: had the idiot perpetrator been a Nigerian on the no fly list, he’d have been home free.

Rajmatee Kapadia of Florida argued in court for more than a year with a Sioux Falls insurance company that her husband, Vij Misir, really had died after eating bad oysters during a family vacation in Malaysia in 2003.

Eventually, Kapadia settled the case for $2 million, backed up by official documents from Malaysia, as well as her claims she had seen him cremated and spread his ashes.

But some still weren’t buying the story.

“The truth is, I never believed he was dead,” said Jay Blumenkopf, the lawyer who represented Sioux Falls-based Midland National Life in the lawsuit. “Sometimes you settle cases for business reasons, but I never believed he was dead.”

That’s the reason he wasn’t surprised when FBI agents called him last December and told him Misir had walked into the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, and asked to renew his passport.

Today, Misir, 45, sits in the Minnehaha County Jail after FBI agents found and arrested him in Guam in November, and both he and his wife face federal charges in the faked death.

Richard Ivers, the Coral Springs, Fla., lawyer who represented Kapadia, said he hadn’t spoken with her since the settlement and was surprised to hear that his former client and the husband he thought was dead had been indicted for fraud.

“I don’t know anything to say about that,” Ivers said. “I’m sort of taken aback. It’s gonna take me a little while to digest.

“She claimed that he ate some bad oysters and died in a taxi,” he said.

Kapadia, who lives with the couple’s children in League City, Texas, sued Midland National Life and West Coast Life Insurance of San Francisco in 2004 after their investigators questioned the claim that her husband had died in Malaysia during the vacation in October 2003.

Misir had taken out two separate $2 million life insurance policies from Midland and another $3 million from West Coast Life between July 2001 and August 2002, according to court documents. The policies listed Kapadia as the sole beneficiary.

A death certificate was issued for Misir in 2005 when Blumenkopf and lawyers for West Coast Life settled Kapadia’s claim.

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Greenwich real estate vs. the Dow – any winners?

Investing in the stock market kept you even with inflation, according to this WSJ article – not a horrible thing, despite the paper’s headline, and as the report itself acknowledges (lesson: beware of headline writers).

Many investors realize that stocks have been among the worst investments of the past decade. But they may not realize quite how bad the decade was, because most people forget about the effects of inflation.

Despite its 2009 rebound, the Dow Jones Industrial Average today stands at just 10520.10, no higher than in 1999. And that is without counting consumer-price inflation. In 1999 dollars, the Dow is only at 8140.38 and would have to rise another 29% to return to 1999 levels. Using today’s dollars and starting at 10520.10, the Dow would have to surpass 13595.49 to get back to its 1999 level in real, inflation-adjusted terms.

Controlling for inflation takes extra work and makes stock gains look punier, so it is easy to see why stock analysts almost never do it. The media almost never do it either.

But other things do get measured in real dollars. When economists report whether the economy is growing, they account for inflation. When analysts judge long-term gains in commodities such as gold or oil, they often adjust for inflation, noting that gold hit a record this month in nominal terms but remains far from its 1980 record in real terms. Because analysts almost never do the same with stocks, it leaves investors with an exaggerated view of their portfolios’ performance over time.

“Looking at returns on a nominal basis can be very misleading,” says Richard Bernstein, a former chief investment strategist at Merrill Lynch who is launching a New York money-management firm called Richard Bernstein Capital Management. He checks inflation-adjusted performance to monitor investments’ real value.

A few analysts trying to get a better perspective on investments’ performance have taken to measuring the Dow in a variety of unconventional ways. Gold bugs look at the Dow based on gold prices, which makes its performance look much worse over the past decade. Europeans and others with international investments sometimes measure the Dow’s return in euros. That makes the Dow look worse since 2006, a time when the euro has been rising. The dollar’s recent rebound has helped make the Dow look a little better against the euro and gold, however.

Mr. Bernstein says some investors saving for education expenses compare returns to tuition inflation. If the portfolio doesn’t rise as fast as education expenses, these investors reason, they will need to boost contributions. The same is true for someone saving for retirement expenses or for future medical costs.

Garrett Thornburg, founder of Thornburg Investment Management in Santa Fe, N.M., calculates what he calls “real-real” returns, adjusting stock performance not only for inflation but also for real-world drags such as taxes and fees.

Nominally, a dollar invested in the stocks of the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index at the end of 1978 had blossomed to $22.88 at the end of 2008, including dividends, a sweet gain even after the 2008 meltdown. But once estimates of inflation, taxes and costs are removed, he figures, the investment was worth only $3.76.

All of this might be enough to put investors off stocks entirely, until they consider the long-term alternatives. Measured over the 1978-2008 period, rather than over just one decade, stock performance in real-real terms actually is better than that of just about any other major investment class, Mr. Thornburg found: 4.5% a year. Stocks’ ability to keep up with inflation over the very long haul may be their best selling point.

In real-real terms, stocks did better over that period than municipal bonds (2.5% a year), long-term government bonds (2% a year) and corporate bonds (0.2% a year). Real-real home prices were unchanged over those 30 years. Both short-term government bonds and commodities suffered losses. (Mr. Thornburg has experience investing in all these areas, although his mortgage affiliate went bust in last year’s housing collapse.)

Shore & Country’s statistics show an increase in median price of a single family home from $861,000 in 1999 to $1.950 million this year. Adjusted solely for inflation, we have $1.118, and thus a clear winner over the Dow. But you paid Greenwich property taxes on that home for those ten years, plus maintenance, plus, probably, additions and improvements, less the cost of rent, etc. – it’s beyond my ken, so you’re on your own here. My rough guess is that if your investments can stay even with inflation and you buy and stay in a house you like, you can count your blessings: others have done worse.

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Mark Steyn speaks on healthcare

I’d suggest reading the whole thing for the experience of a beneficiary of Canadian and English healthcare, but here’s a sampling.

Government can’t just annex “one-sixth of the U.S. economy” (i.e., the equivalent of annexing the entire British or French economy, or annexing the entire Indian economy twice over) and then just say: “Okay, what’s next? On to cap-and-trade . . . ” Nations that governmentalize health care soon find themselves talking about little else.

We were told we had to do it because of the however many millions of uninsured, yet this bill will leave some 25 million Americans uninsured. On the other hand, millions of young fit healthy Americans in their first jobs who currently take the entirely reasonable view that they do not require health insurance at this stage in their lives will be forced to pay for coverage they neither want nor need. On the other other hand, those Americans who’ve done the boring responsible grown-up thing and have health plans Harry Reid determines to be excessively “generous” will be subject to punitive taxes up to 40 percent. On the other other other hand, if you’re the member of a union which enjoys privileged relations with Commissar Reid you’ll be exempt from that 40 percent shakedown. On the other other other other hand, if you’re already enjoying government health care, well, you’re 83 years old and, let’s face it, it’s hardly worth us giving you that surgery for the minimal contribution you make to society, so in the cause of extending government health care to millions of people who don’t currently get it we’re going to ration it for those currently entitled to it.
Looking at the millions of Americans it leaves uninsured, and the millions it leaves with worse treatment and reduced access, and the millions it makes pay significantly more for their current health care, one can only marvel at Harry Reid’s genius: government health care turns out to be all government and no health care. Adding up the zillions of new taxes and bureaucracies and regulations it imposes on the citizenry, one might almost think that was the only point of the exercise.

That’s why I believe America’s belated embrace of government health care is going to be far more expensive and disastrous than the Euro-Canadian models. Whatever one’s philosophical objection to the Canadian health system, it is, broadly, fair: Unless you’re a cabinet minister or a bigtime hockey player, you’ll enjoy the same equality of crappiness and universal lack of access that everybody else does. But, even before it’s up-and-running, Pelosi-Reid-Obamacare is an impenetrable thicket of contradictory boondoggles, shameless payoffs, and arbitrary shakedowns.

That’s why Nebraska’s grotesque zombie senator Ben Nelson is the perfect poster boy for the new arrangements, and not just another so-called Blue Dog Democrat spayed into compliance by a massive cash injection. There is no reason on earth why Nebraska should be the only state in this Union to have every dime of its increased Medicare tab picked up by the 49 others. So either that privilege will be extended to all, or to favored others, or its asymmetry will be balanced by other precisely targeted lollipops hither and yon. Whatever happens, it’s a dagger at the heart of American federalism, just as the bill’s magisterial proclamation that the Independent Medicare Advisory Board can only be abolished by a two-thirds vote of the Senate strikes at one of the most basic principles of a free society — that no parliament can bind its successors.

These details are obnoxious not merely in and of themselves but because they tell us the truth about where we’re headed: Think of the way almost every Big Government project bursts its bodice and winds up bigger and more bloated than its creators allegedly foresaw. In this instance, the stays come pre-loosened, and studded with loopholes. Because the Democrat operators — the Nancy Pelosis and Barney Franks — know that what matters is to get something, anything across the river, and then burn the bridge behind you.

My Republican friends often seem to miss the point in this debate: The so-called “public option” is not Page 3,079, Section (f), Clause VII. The entire bill is a public option — because that’s where it leads, remorselessly. The so-called “death panel” is not Page 2,721, Paragraph 19, Sub-section (d), but again the entire bill — because it inserts the power of the state between you and your doctor, and in effect assumes jurisdiction over your body. As the savvier Dems have always known, once you’ve crossed the Rubicon, you can endlessly re-reform your health reform until the end of time, and all the stuff you didn’t get this go-round will fall into place, and very quickly.

As I’ve been saying for over a year now, “health care” is the fast-track to a permanent left-of-center political culture. The unlovely Democrats on public display in the week before Christmas may seem like just a bunch of jelly-spined opportunists, grubby wardheelers and rapacious kleptocrats, but the smarter ones are showing great strategic clarity. Alas for the rest of us, Euro-style government on a Harry Reid/Chris Dodd/Ben Nelson scale will lead to ruin.

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I hadn’t thought about it because he’s so irrelevant, but has anyone seen Obama?

Seems that the Messiah has gone radio silent since the terrorist attack – issuing reports from spokesmen expressing his concern, but staying off TV. I couldn’t care less, but there are those who wonder why our most telegenic host/Prez is hiding. Maybe he’s embarrassed or something.

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Heck of a job, Brownie

I’m not the only one unimpressed by Janet Napolitino. Here’s a report from someone with the stomach to watch her on TV.

[The] White House is trying very hard to get out in front of the would-be Christmas bomber story. The head of the Department of Homeland Security isn’t helping. I watched her on three shows and each time she was more annoying, maddening and absurd than the previous appearance. It is her basic position that the “system worked” because the bureaucrats responded properly after the attack. That the attack was “foiled” by a bad detonator and some civilian passengers is proof, she claims, that her agency is doing everything right. That is just about the dumbest thing she could say, on the merits and politically.

As I said yesterday, the lady’s sexual orientation is irrelevant – the suspicion that she was appointed to her present position because of that orientation is not. Fire her now, would you, oh Great One? She’d do a heck of a job in New Orleans, if you want to reassign her.

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They report, you decide

WSJ: U.S. Government says no sign of wider conspiracy.

WSJ: Second man arrested in Detroit plane plot.

We’re in the best of hands

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How the hell would she know?

Janet Napolitino says terrorist bomber not part of a wider conspiracy. Speaking from an undisclosed vacation hideaway, our Homeland Security Expert reassures us. You bet, lady.

I like this part:

Ms. Napolitano was pressed on CNN as well as other Sunday news programs why Mr. Abdulmutallab, whose name was in the American intelligence community’s central repository of information on known or suspected international terrorists, had been allowed to board the trans-Atlantic flight in Amsterdam. Mr. Abdulmutallab, the son of a prominent Nigerian banker, was put in the database last month because his father had recently warned officials at the United States Embassy in Nigeria that he was concerned about his son’s increasingly extremist religious views.

“You have to understand that you need information that is specific and credible if you are going to actually bar someone from air travel,” Ms. Napolitano said on CNN. “He was on a general list, which over half a million people — everybody had access to it. But there was not the kind of credible information, in the sense derogatory information, that would move him up the list.”

If Miss Napolitino ever digs her nose out of whatever she’s snuffling out there in the desert, she might want to try something as simple as Googling “Mistaken Identity No fly list” or checking Wikipedia for the same term. She’ll learn that infants are on this list, as well as businessmen and politicians. Or she could accompany my mother and me on our next international flight and watch the scrutiny and manpower expended on searching wheelchair-bound ladies. We are ruled by ignorant morons.

UPDATE: Of course, we are in the present state of affairs at least in part because of the Democrat’s favorite tool, the ACLU, which has fought the “no-fly list” since its inception, and is proud of it. A a nation, we voted to have the ACLU run our national security, and we got it. Lucky us.

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Obama takes on global warming with a woody.

Warmer or colder? I can't remember.

Turns out that our global warmist President has fled Washington for the sunny clime of Hawaii because he’s given up basketball in favor of golf. Good on you, ‘Bama. Fore!

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Iranian protests continue – Obama expresses concern

The bravest people on earth today are squaring off against the tyrants ruling Iran, while our new President mulls sending John Kerry over to lick the boots of those same tyrants. Reminds me of the stories I heard as a kid, when Radio Free Europe was charged with feeding false hope to Hungarian freedom fighters in 1956. The New York Times still believes that line – I’ve come to believe that RFE was run by good people and the New York Times is not. 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is presently occupied by New York Times readers.

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