(1) Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania is switching political parties as he announced he is running for re-election in the 2010 Democratic primary. Translation: He thinks he would lose to Republican Pat Toomey in the GOP primary who damned near beat him last time out.
"I now find my political philosophy more in line with Democrats than Republicans," Specter said, adding that the "change in party affiliation does not mean that I will be a party-line voter any more for the Democrats that I have been for the Republicans." Translation: He thinks he can beat Toomey as a Democrat because state voters are leaning Democrat.
This self-serving politician issued a statement last month saying there is no way he would switch parties. "To eliminate any doubt, I am a Republican, and I am running for reelection in 2010 as a Republican on the Republican ticket," he said at the time.
If Specter thinks he found Jesus in the Democratic Party, good riddance, most GOP analysts would agree. He would be the 60th Democrat in the Senate once Al Franken of Minnesota is seated. Knowing Specter's track record his votes to kill filibusters will be interesting to watch. His game plan seems to become a moderate power broker.
2) The liberal blogs and television news show hosts ganged up to bash Republican Sen. Susan Collins for cutting millions of dollars out of the stimulus package that would have funded additional research and supplies for pandemic emergencies.
That was a cheap shot. Collins has always supported public health care funding. She believes it was unnecessary in a stimulus but should be placed in an appropriations bill. The White House agrees and said there is ample funding in reserve to fight the spread of Swine flu. The Senate intends to add more funds, just in case.
A pox on those who politicize a possible pandemic.
3) President Obama said Tuesday the photo shoot of an Air Force One plane and F-16 fighter jet flying low over Manhattan and creating panic was a mistake and improperly handled.
What boggles the mind is that director of the White House military office, Louis Caldera, who fessed up and took the blame, notified the proper authorities but insisted on secrecy in which the public and media were not warned in advance.
Even New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was not clued in by his events coordinator who was reprimanded and given a nasty note in his personnel file.
Caldera should be reassigned, demoted or fired. An easy way Obama can show he doesn't tolerate such nonsense and insists on accountability, something his predecessor seldom could face until it was too late. Say what you want about New Yorkers. They don't deserve an updated memory of 9/11.
4) The U.S. Supreme Court issued six separate opinions totalling 68 pages on a few words you can't say on live television. The 5-4 vote upheld a Federal Communications policy that could fine broadcasters for even one utterance of a "fleeting expletive."
The court kicked back to an appellate court whether the FCC policy violates the Constitution.
Justice Antonin Scalia said the FCC policy, adopted in 2004, is “neither arbitrary nor capricious.”
The FCC changed its long-standing policy after it concluded that a one-free-expletive rule did not make sense in the context of keeping the air waves free of indecency when children are likely to be watching television. The precipitating events were live broadcasts of awards shows in which celebrities let slip or perhaps purposely said variations of the F-word and S-word.
Here we have the brightest legal minds in the nation, supposedly, sweating out the utterances of a few bad words that would corrupt our children. I propose several remedies. Since award shows usually are not broadcast live until 9 p.m., shouldn't those vulnerable children be in bed? Asleep.
And, how in the world do sports networks avoid the foul-mouth antics of athletes during a World Series or Super Bowl celebration? It happens rarely but no cases have reached the Supreme Court. During Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction" how many children suffered permanent damage by seeing a woman's nipple during halftime of a Super Bowl game?
Get over it, people.
5) The cook aboard the hijacked Maersk Line Limited and Waterman Steamship Corp., is suing the company for knowingly putting the crew in danger. Richard E. Hicks alleges in the suit that the owners ignored requests to improve safety measures for vessels sailing along the Somali coast.
Hicks asked that the two companies improve safety for ships by providing armed security or allowing crew members to carry weapons, sending ships through safer routes, and placing such safety measures on ships as barbed wire that would prevent pirates from being able to board vessels.
Because of pirates marauding merchant ships off the eastern African coast for three centuries or more, why does it take a galley cook to ask the right questions? The answer: It wasn't cost expedient for the owners.
No problem. Owners Dorothy and Lavern Utley credit a pet psychic for guiding them Monday to a wooded area nearly a mile from where the 8-month-old dog had been last seen. The pooch was dirty and hungry but otherwise OK.
We nominate the psychic for David Letterman's Stupid Dog segment.