Feel-good story of the week: “Secret Santa” hands out cash to needy

December 2, 2011

Just when you think the world is full of nothing but crappy, selfish people, someone just has to go and prove you wrong:

A businessman who identified himself only as “Secret Santa” brought Christmas cheer to Reading, Pa., one $100 bill at a time.

Reading has the highest poverty rate of cities across the nation with more than 65,000 residents, according to figures from the U.S. Census Bureau. An estimated 90,000 people call Reading home.

The unnamed Good Samaritan Santa had read about the plight of Reading’s residents, and he spent Tuesday traversing the city and handing out cash to those he thought could use it, the Reading Eagle newspaper reported.

(…)

The secret Santa explained that helping others helped him.

“I get more out of it than they do,” he said. “I’ve had people say, you know, ‘You saved my life. I was going to commit suicide.’ I’ve had people say, ‘I couldn’t pay my heat. … I hadn’t eaten in days,’” he said.

And I’ll bet this guy is part of the one-percent the Occupy movement is trying to “save” us from. But the truth is, and you can bet on it, he’s done more good handing out his money and giving help to those who really need it on this one day than all the self-absorbed Occupiers have ever done with all their drum circles and up-and-down twinkles and rape-free zones over the last three months. Or ever will.

Go, Secret Santa!

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


The White House’s “over the cliff” moment

July 31, 2011

Salena Zito of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review recently talked with Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) and five Pennsylvania congressmen. To a man, they all said the same thing: with the economy do lousy, the public wants them to focus on jobs, good jobs. Instead the White House (and the Democratic congress, when that party controlled both houses) focused on anything but, and that’s now reflected in the president’s lousy poll numbers and poor consumer confidence. Zito argues that the current bad news about GDP growth and manufacturing orders and their reflection in polls may mark the moment that shows how poorly the President understands the people he supposedly leads:

In June, the nation’s unemployment rate rose for a third straight month, as employers added only 18,000 workers and corporate earnings languished.

Anyone buying basic groceries can feel the pinch of consumer prices rising to offset higher commodity costs, so buying little beyond what you absolutely need has become the norm.

President Barack Obama’s support has eroded among the very independent voters who helped him sweep into office. That drop-off is based on his inability to lead on numerous issues, but most importantly on the economy.

The latest Pew Research poll confirms just that: Only 8 percent of those polled say the national economy is in excellent or good shape, and only 38 percent rate their personal finances positively.

Such attitudes place Obama in an even worse position than President George H.W. Bush was in during his failed 1991-92 re-election campaign, because today’s unemployment rate is much higher and overall satisfaction with the state of the nation is much lower than it was back then.

Polls are no substitute for understanding basic human judgment. Yet they can mark that point in time when an administration fell off the cliff of understanding its own people.

To quote a wise man: “It’s the economy, stupid!”


But I thought liberals couldn’t be racist?

June 24, 2010

I guess Paul Kanjorski (D-PA) didn’t get the memo. Check out this statement made during a committee hearing on Capitol Hill:

We’re giving relief to people that I deal with in my office every day now unfortunately.  But because of the longevity of this recession, these are people — and they’re not minorities and they’re not defective and they’re not all the things you’d like to insinuate that these programs are about — these are average, good American people.

At best, when taken in the context of the full video clip*, he’s assailing whomever he’s talking to for assuming that all welfare recipients are minorities and defectives, but even that comes out looking bad for him. After all, it’s not hard to draw the conclusion that he does not include said minorities and defectives in the ranks of “good American people.”

We may well have a prime example of a Kinsley Gaffe, here.

Representative Kanjorski’s opponent in the November election is Republican Lou Barletta, the Mayor of Hazleton, PA. I know little about him, but maybe he has a broader understanding of what (and who) constitutes a good American. If so, then perhaps it’s time for the people of Pennsylvania’s 11th district to give him the job in Washington.

*(Hey, WordPress! How about letting us link Eyeblast videos the same way we can link YouTube?)

(via Ed Morrissey)

LINKS: More from Hot Air.


It won’t die… IT WON’T DIE!!!

May 28, 2010

The Obama White House must be going nuts trying to get past the story of whether it offered a bribe to Congressman Joe Sestak a bribe to cede the Pennsylvania Democratic primary to Senator Arlen Specter. It just won’t go away. After months of saying nothing untoward occurred and that no offer was made, while Sestak insisted one had been made, the administration finally got its lies straight admitted that, yes, there was some discussion of a job – an unpaid advisory position. The kicker? The intermediary was former President Bill Clinton:

President Obama’s chief of staff used former President Bill Clinton as an intermediary to see if Representative Joe Sestak would drop out of Pennsylvania’s Democratic Senate primary if given a prominent, but unpaid, advisory position, the White House said on Friday.

Rahm Emanuel, the chief of staff, asked Mr. Clinton last summer to explore “options of service” on a presidential or senior government advisory board with Mr. Sestak, the White House said in a statement. Mr. Sestak said no and went on to win last week’s primary against Senator Arlen Specter.

The White House disputed Republican claims that the conversations might be illegal or improper. “There was no such impropriety,” Robert F. Bauer, the White House counsel, said in a memo released to reporters. “The Democratic Party leadership had a legitimate interest in averting a divisive primary fight and a similarly legitimate concern about the congressman vacating his seat in the House.”

Mr. Bauer went on to say that such horse-trading has been commonplace through history. “There have been numerous, reported instances in the past when prior administrations – both Democratic and Republican, and motivated by the same goals – discussed alternative paths to service for qualified individuals also considering campaigns for public office,” he wrote. “Such discussions are fully consistent with the relevant law and ethical requirements.”

You know what? I agree with Bauer. This kind of thing has gone on as long as the Republic itself and, as I understand the law, talking over options and considering an unremunerated position doesn’t cross the legal red line.

If that’s what happened, and that’s a big “if.”

Consider: the day before this news comes out, Obama and Clinton had lunch together. On that same day, Sestak’s brother, who’s also his campaign manager, talked with White House officials about the bubbling controversy. It could be all on the up and up, in fact it probably (barely) is. But, toss in the pot an administration steeped in the Chicago Way of politics, an ex-President with a flexible sense of ethics, and a candidate who’s sorry he ever opened his mouth and really wants help winning his race, stir all that together, and you get…  Something that smells.

After all, if the truth was so anodyne, why’d it take so long to come with this stupid lie explanation? Experienced politicos aren’t buying it:

“I don’t believe that.  That may be what they’re concocting as a cover story.  But the idea that…Sestak is an Admiral in the Navy.  This is a smart, competent professional.  The idea that he misunderstood a free, unpaid job for the offer of Secretary of the Navy.  I mean, don’t you find that sort of boggles your mind?”

Not that Newt Gingrich would be biased or anything ( Rolling on the floor ), but I think he has a point.

And, just as Team Obama hopes this will all go away, Bill tosses red meat in front of reporters and bloggers by refusing to comment about the official explanation.

It may be that the Obama and Sestak camps are now telling the truth. It could be that White House Counsel Bauer is right that there’s smoke, but no fire. Yet something still smells here.

And I bet we’ll find out what before election day.

POSTSCRIPT: Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) has been bulldogging this issue admirably since it first came up, but now he’s crossing the line into Dumb Land by bringing up the “I-word:” impeachment. Darrell, dude. Sit down and relax. Breathe deeply. Calm down. Remember the last time the Republicans went for impeachment? It took years to recover from that self-inflicted embarrassment, even though Bill really was guilty on at least one charge. To go for it again would be to take a shotgun to the party’s one remaining foot. The public is worried about jobs, the economy, crazed jihadis, and oil slicks, and won’t have any patience with us trying to force Obama from office before 2012. We’re trying to prove we’re responsible enough to be trusted with government and not a bunch of frothing putschists, remember? If it gets bad, he’ll just throw Rahm under the bus and that will be the end of it.

Besides, you do recall who’s next in line, don’t you??

RELATED: A Colorado candidate for a Senate seat says he got a job offer, too.

LINKS: At Ace’s, SorenKay votes for the coordinated lies theory. Sister Toldjah asks for a show of hands from anyone who believes this story.


And if you believe that one…

May 25, 2010

It’s the maybe-scandal that just won’t die. With Congressman and Democrat Senate nominee Joe Sestak still insisting that someone in the Obama administration offered him a bribe job to quit the primary race, now even the White House marketing department New York Times is getting sick of the stonewalling:

For three months, the White House has refused to say whether it offered a job to Representative Joe Sestak to get him to drop his challenge to Senator Arlen Specter in a Pennsylvania Democratic primary, as Mr. Sestak has asserted.

But the White House wants everyone who suspects that something untoward, or even illegal, might have happened to rest easy: though it still will not reveal what happened, the White House is reassuring skeptics that it has examined its own actions and decided it did nothing wrong. Whatever it was that it did.

The administration goes on to clear itself of any wrongdoing:

“Lawyers in the White House and others have looked into conversations that were had with Congressman Sestak,” Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, said Sunday on “Face the Nation” on CBS. “And nothing inappropriate happened.”

“Improper or not, did you offer him a job in the administration?” asked the host, Bob Schieffer.

“I’m not going to get further into what the conversations were,” Mr. Gibbs replied. “People that have looked into them assure me that they weren’t inappropriate in any way.”

Via Jennifer Rubin, who observes:

It is a measure of how frustrated the press has become with the perpetual stonewalling and outright contempt this president has shown the media that the Times and other outlets are now aligned with a conservative Republican (nominee Pat Toomey -PF) in demanding that one of the most liberal Democrats on the ballot come clean.

The Los Angeles Times’ Andrew Malcolm, whose “Top of the Ticket” column is must reading, has too much fun in his headline regarding Team Obama’s self-absolution:

Obama White House probe of Obama White House finds no Obama White House impropriety on Sestak

It’s getting to be a habit with these guys.

Meanwhile, upping the ante in the “No, he’s the liar” department, the White House trotted out chief political adviser David Axelrod to say that there’s no evidence to support Sestak’s allegations:

Senior adviser to the president David Axelrod said Monday evening that there is “no evidence” that White House officials tried to keep a Democratic congressman from entering the Pennsylvania Senate race by offering him a high-ranking government job.

“When the allegations were made, they were looked into. And there was no evidence of such a thing,” Axelrod said on CNN’s “John King USA.”

So now we have Sestak insisting he’s telling the truth but refusing to name names, while the Democratic White House says the Democratic nominee for the US Senate is a liar. They can’t both be telling the truth….

Finally, in the “If it had been George W. Bush’s White House” category, we have Archy Cary at Big Journalism wondering why the media has been so slow to demand a special prosecutor?

Um, it’s just a guess, but… Maybe it’s because the Democrats won the election and the media is a bunch of hypocrites?

Nah.   Oh go on


So, who’s being dishonest?

May 22, 2010

A few months ago, Congressman Joe Sestak, the Democratic nominee for the (now open) Senate seat in Pennsylvania, stated quite clearly that the Obama administration offered him a federal job if he would quit his primary challenge to (soon to be former) Senator Arlen Spector.

If true, that’s a federal crime.

California Congressman Darrell Issa (R) has been pursuing this, but hasn’t had much luck getting past the administration’s stonewalling and deflections. Now he’s put together a video compiling, on the one hand, Sestak’s assertions that the offer was made and, on the other, White House Press Secretary’s Robert Gibb’s repeated evasions:

Either one of them is lying, or the other is covering up the truth to protect his boss from scandal.

Which is it?

(via Gabriel Malor)

UPDATE: The sections of the federal code that may have been broken with the initial offer.

UPDATE II: This is getting circular. A link in the previous update leads here.


Barone: Top 5 lessons from yesterday’s elections

May 19, 2010

Several primary and special elections were held yesterday, and almost all of them were looked at as potential omens for the November midterms. At the Washington Examiner, Michael Barone looks at these races and offers five lessons. Here’s one, be sure to click through to read the rest:

Three. The unambiguous 53%-44% victory of Democrat Mark Critz over Republican Tim Burns in the Pennsylvania 12 special election should be a caution to Republicans.

Lesson: anti-Obama sentiment will not automatically be transformed into votes for Republican candidates. Critz carried by solid margins the district’s portions of Fayette and Greene Counties, steel-and-coal areas ancestrally Democratic areas that voted (narrowly) for John McCain in November 2008. Ditto Cambria County, Critz’s home base and that of the late 36-year incumbent John Murtha for whom Critz was a staffer, which gave Obama a very narrow margin.

Critz was helped by his conservative stands on health care, guns and cap-and-trade, he was helped by the refusal of 2008 Republican nominee and primary contender Bill Russell’s refusal to endorse Burns, and he was helped by the fact that there was a serious statewide contest in the Democratic primary but not in the Republican primary. But in November 2008 a lot of registered Democrats here voted Republican. In May 2010 a smaller proportion of registered Democrats did so. It’s true that Republicans don’t need Pennsylvania 12 for a House majority; it’s about number 60 on their list and they need 40 seats. But Republican strategists shouldn’t believe their election night spin. This was a loss.

Personally, the fact that PA-12 kept reelecting a disgusting corruptionist such as Murtha and then elected his toady to take his place tells me there’s something deeply wrong in that district, whatever the weaknesses of Mr. Burns. If they were to consider secession, I might not object.

Barone’s right, however, that this was a loss. However, I think several things mitigate it a bit: aside from the intensity among Democrats generated by the Specter-Sestak primary (and thank you, Joe, for sending Benedict Arlen home) and the fact that Critz “ran to the Right” in a culturally conservative region, the Democrats have a 2-1 ratio in registration. That Critz won by only 9 points (large, but not 2-1 in the vote tally) shows some inroads were made into Democratic territory. So, a loss, but not without hope for November.