Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Radley Balko

Oddly, the Contract Went to KBR

The Pentagon spent $46,790 of your money–about the median household income in the U.S.–to commission a painted portrait of Donald Rumsfeld.

President-Elect Obama’s stimulus package calls for $3 billion in new Byrne Grants, and $1 billion in COPS grants–both are federal block grant programs for local police departments. For some reason, Democrats seem to love these grants. The Bush administration and Republicans in Congress, oddly enough, had begun phasing them out. As I explained in a…

So after looking at the videos several times, I have to dissent from the chorus calling for the head of Johannes Mehserle, the cop who shot and killed Oscar Grant at an Oakland BART station two weeks ago. Mehserle’s body language after he fires the shot to me indicates panic and confusion, not satisfaction at…

Quotable

“I certainly respect the Constitution, but we have some issues that are much bigger than the Constitution.” That’s the “worst mayor in America,” Jackson, Mississippi’s Frank Melton. Guess what issue he’s talking about, then click through to see if you were right.

The Drug War’s Collateral Damage

I have a longish piece up at Culture11 on the drug war’s collateral damage. It’s part of a drug war symposium they’re running today. I have to say, I took perverse pleasure writing a biting drug war critique for a website founded in part by William Bennett. I also did a Bloggingheads.tv debate on the…

Shoving a 71-year-old Walmart greeter to the ground and, when another customer came to assist, shoving that customer through a glass door? Nope, even though that particular officer has had several complaints filed against him, and was involved in another altercation a year earlier. How about three DWI incidents within a one-year span, including one…

Clearwater, Florida businessman Herb Quintero spent $500,000 renovating his bait and tackle shop and the property it’s on, including commissioning a fish mural on the side of the building. Though the mural contains no text, the city of Clearwater determined he needed a billboard permit, because the subject matter is related to his business. They…

Random Links

A few random items from my queue of blog fodder…. — The GOP’s “let’s see how long we can remain in the minority” stupid fest continues, this time with RNC chair candidate Ken Blackwell telling a radio host that you can “chose to restrain” the “compulsion” of homosexuality, adding, “I’ve never had to make the…

Washington’s Wealth Boom

America’s three richest counties are now in the Washington suburbs, as are nine of the richest 20. In my FoxNews.com column this week, I explain why it’s problematic when the wealthiest (and only growing wealthier) region of the country is one where the only major industry is government.

Default Daddyhood

Another wrongful-paternity case from hell: When Walter Sharpe received the certified letter on Feb. 6, 2001, he knew the complaint for child support was a mistake. Andre Sharpe had a different date of birth, a different Social Security number and different previous addresses. Andre Sharpe also had an 11-year-old daughter with a woman in Harrisburg,…