Thursday, August 04, 2011

Quick Hits: Volume XXXIV

-Anyone placing odds on how long before Senator Amy Klobuchar exploits this tragedy?

The recipe for a toddler's tragic and fatal fall from a St. Paul high-rise window Tuesday was all too common: Several kids playing on a bed pushed up near a window.

The scenario created a dangerous "launching pad," one safety expert said, for 11-month-old Ilhaan Hassan, who fell nine stories from the Skyline Tower apartments about 7:20 p.m. She was taken to Regions Hospital, where she later died.

The window in Unit 901 had a screen, but it's unclear if the screen was ripped from its frame before or after the girl fell through it, police said. Skyline Tower spokeswoman Deb Lande said the screen was intact when maintenance staff were in the unit July 14 for an unrelated matter.

A secure screen may not be enough to protect kids, said Julie Philbrook, a trauma prevention specialist at Hennepin County Medical Center.

"The screens are meant to keep the bugs out, not the kids in," Philbrook said. "If the kids are pushing on it, the screen's not going to be strong enough to keep the kids in."

Many children are catapulted out of screen windows while playing on nearby beds or couches, she said. They bounce off furniture or other children.


So what do ya say? Sen. Klobuchar will introduce legislation to demand manufacturers build more durable screens? Make inspections of said screens more stringent? Make furniture less "springy?" Pass a law requiring beds to be a minimum ten feet away from a window?

I imagine many of you might think I'm being too jocular in light of this tragic incident. What's scary is I couldn't be more serious when attempting to gauge the reaction of Senator Ambulance Chaser.


-While listening to Hugh Hewitt's program this evening, I happened to catch a segment where Hugh was playing audio footage from the 1984 GOP convention. Specifically, Hugh focused on the talk given by former US Ambassador to the U.N. Jeanne Kirkpatrick, and how our country, which seemed on the brink of irrelevancy in the late 70s into 1980, was revitalized thanks to the resurrection of the American Spirit in We the People. As such, the electorate saw fit to elect the embodiment of said spirit in the person of Ronald Wilson Reagan.

Ever the optimist, Hugh feels we will have a similar moment at the 2016 GOP convention.

I am confident that five years from now, in the summer of 2016, the next Jeanne Kirkpatrick will be reminding the GOP convention of that day about how grave the times seemed under Barack Obama in the summer of 2011, and how the San Francisco Democrats had returned to power as they had under Jimmy Carter, doubted American exceptionalism as they had under Jimmy Carter, and predicted inevitable American decline as they had under Jimmy Carter.

Every bit of economic foolishness embraced by Jimmy Carter has been replayed by Barack Obama with the same results, but the turnaround will be all the greater for it, just as 1981 through 1989 proved to be the American renaissance of power and influence. Of course we cannot today be sure if it will be President Pawlenty, President Perry or President Romney who will lead the way anymore than in 1979 we were sure that it would be President Reagan who reinvigorated the American experiment, but the ability of the nation to spring back re-energized when recommitted to economic and political freedom should never be underestimated, even on days of market plunges.


Hugh also mentioned that Breitbart's website will post audio of Kirkpatrick's speech in the coming days. It was audio that took Hewitt show producer Duane Patterson two solid days to track down, as the likes of You Tube, C-Span and PBS did not have it in its entirety, if at all. Finally an old friend of Duane's at the RNC was able to track it down in the basement archives. I for one am certainly glad that persistence paid off.


-In a somewhat surprising move (that is, until we learned of the reason for said move), the Minnesota Vikings released nine-year veteran offensive lineman Bryant McKinnie Tuesday after he showed up to training camp woefully out of shape. Listed at 335 lbs. for most of his career, McKinnie arrived in Mankato tipping the scales at close to 400!

In the 2-1/2 years I've been on Twitter, I followed McKinnie's "tweets" and I often remarked how he talked little about football and a lot about life in South Beach. While he had out-of-this-world talent when drafted number seven overall in 2002 (he never allowed a quarterback sack in four years at the University of Miami), his work ethic always seemed to be in question. Never was that more apparent than his "tweets" discussing late night parties from wherever he was living his life. I guess his dalliances with the likes of Venus Williams, Lil' Kim and Pepa didn't lend itself to leading a healthy lifestyle.

I'd be surprised if McKinnie ever plays another down in the NFL again.

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