Tuesday, March 31, 2009

O'Daily Sells Cars

Local, Local, Local

New York congressional race may have national implications - CNN.com: "Election Day is arriving once again for voters in New York's 20th Congressional District.

Democrat Scott Murphy is trying to win the special election in New York's 20th Congressional District.

Regardless of who wins Tuesday's special election, the Democrats will continue to hold a large majority in the House of Representatives. But what usually would be a local contest with little national interest has turned in part into an early referendum on President Obama, his polices to jump-start the economy and the reputations of the Democratic and Republican parties..."

Before everyone gets stroke on this, remember that wise political comment from the past (Tip O'Neil) if I remember correctly: "All politics is local."

The Daily Uh-Oh

Home Prices in 20 U.S. Cities Fell by a Record 19% (Update2) - Bloomberg.com
"March 31 (Bloomberg) -- Home prices in 20 U.S. cities fell 19 percent in January from a year earlier, the fastest drop on record, as demand plummeted and foreclosures rose.

The S&P/Case-Shiller index’s decrease was more than forecast and compares with an 18.6 percent decrease in December. The gauge has fallen every month since January 2007, and year- over-year records began in 2001..."

Monday, March 30, 2009

O'Supporter Irked

Obama Tough On Detroit, Easy On Wall Street, Part 2 - TalkLeft: The Politics Of Crime: "...I missed President Obama's speech demanding 'painful concessions' from Wall Street. I missed President Obama's condition for Wall Street bailouts that 'creditors [must] recognize that they cannot hold out for the prospect of endless government bailouts.' Why is President Obama being so easy on Wall Street?"

Never fear. It' s just basic union busting-- you know, the kind the GOP is famous for. I voted for a Democrat. Many people voted for Obama. If McCain were in office, would he be tougher on the auto industry or on the banks? Hmmm. Which group contributed the most to whose campaign? Sounds like payback to me.

World Cup Time

Sports of The Times - Kissinger’s New Mission - Help Bring World Cup to the U.S. - NYTimes.com

Hope I'm here to see it.

Burning Questions

Monday: Who appointed the financial wizards as Gods anyway? « The Confluence: "...What I can’t understand is how they managed to appoint themselves Gods in the first place. And was there a plan to first convince us to fork over our cash and then defraud us of the profits or did it just “happen”? The rise in the financial genius class happened right about the time Reagan took office. Reagan who preached “rugged individualism”, “voodoo economics” and the Laffer Curve. What we have 30 years later is a stratified society, a true class system, where the finance giants justify their existence in life as creating wealth, mostly for themselves. What is their purpose in life really? Who would be harmed if we got rid of the whole lot of them?..."

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Real Spy Ware

Cyber-Spy Network Is Uncovered - WSJ.com: "Security researchers said they have discovered software capable of stealing information installed on computers in 103 countries, an apparently coordinated cyberattack that targeted the office of the Dalai Lama and government agencies around the world.

The software infected more than 1,200 computers in all, almost 30% of which are considered high-value targets, according to a report published Sunday by Information Warfare Monitor, a Toronto-based organization. Among the affected computers were those in embassies belonging to Germany, India, Romania, and Thailand, and in the ministries of foreign affairs for Barbados, Iran and Latvia..."

Gee, I wonder who could be behind this? Think false-flag before hopping over that conclusion.

Pakistan Accounting?

VOA News - Obama: America Expects Accountability From Pakistan.

Oh. Really. We should expect some accounting from Pakistan when we can get it from our own financial institutions? I think the Pakistanis could rightfully reply, "When we see perp walks over there, you'll see them over here."

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Thomas Paine Redux

"We The People Stimulus Package"-- a tip of the Mad Hat to Logistics Monster for posting on Paine II; you can also find his second video there and a post concerning our speaker being called to the White House.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Torture Time

RANGER AGAINST WAR: "...Nothing piques Ranger more than listening to a non-combatant sissy like Dick Cheney say that torture was necessary to preserve America's safety in the Phony War on Terror (PWOT ©).

He's right, of course. We should torture people like Cheney, Bush, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perl, et. al. -- all the patriotic proponents of the feel-good elective wars. Heck, the CEO's of Halliburton, KBR, Blackwater and A.I.G. could even take their turn in the barrel. Their bitchassness has earned them entre to a healthy dose of enforced reality therapy to enlighten their syphilitic brains..."

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Missing The GOPers

Simply Left Behind: The Non-Rapturist's Guide To The Galaxy:'Special Delivery'-- "Did you know that there is not one Republican in any House of Representatives seat east of western New York State?

This is a grand testament to the failures of Republican policies in our region, as well as the marvelous job the leadership of the Democratic party has performed. It's sad to think that such former Republican bastions like Connecticut and New Hampshire and Vermont could switch.

But that was a different Republican party, one that was willing to sit down and negotiate and compromise and listen to the people it represented. A Republican party that, frankly, I miss..."

I miss the old Republican party, too. I also really miss the real Democratic party.

Model Mind Blowing (Not Political)

Miniatur Wunderland Hamburg *** official corporate video *** largest model railway in the world

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Brazile Goes Psycho

Donna Brazile: Femme Fatal : NO QUARTER

Quoting Brazile:

"“While I was on the platform watching Barack Obama take the oath of office, for the first time in my life I visualized a woman there,” Brazile tells us.

“I want to help chart that course.”

– From Parade magazine, a Sunday magazine that comes with newspapers across the country..."

The comments at NQ pretty well say it all.

Put Options For Dummies

...and other fancy-smancy financial terms (all, methinks, designed to pick your pockets.)
Cannonfire-'An Attempt At Definition'

Military Death Angel

AF Nurse Charged in 3 Patients' Deaths: "SAN ANTONIO - An Air Force nurse has been charged with murder for allegedly giving lethal amounts of medication to three terminally ill patients in his care over one month last summer, military officials said Tuesday..."

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Last Voyage of Galactica

Like Billy Pilgrim, I have been contemplating the final end of Battlestar Galactica. I thought the finale was the best episode since season one, which confirms my status as a BG non-believer. I never thought, never will think, that BG was the "best science fiction show ever," "soaring to unbelievable imaginative heights," "setting the bar so high, no show will ever approach it," blah, blah, blah. BG overall was okay, but it was no Babylon 5, whose middle seasons were about the best sc-fi I've seen. Unfortunately, BG had to resort to budget and drama cheapo gimmicks like "the Cylons look just like us." The Body Snatchers was old sci-fi when the Body Snatchers was new. And then it turned into Space Above and Beyond, i.e. Space 9Oh21, with all those attendant who is sleeping with whom complications, meanwhile losing the evocative sense-of-wonder that marked the first season of the old BG. Billy linked to a good post covering a more reverential treatment of the show:IGN: Battlestar Galactica: The End.

Yes, BG is like Obama.

No Medical Insurance For Vets

Obama Drops Vet Insurance Plan: "...Obama explained that insurance companies collect premiums for veterans' coverage but get a break when veterans use VA for service-related conditions. He then asked VSO leaders for their views, and got an earful.

'Everybody was opposed to the idea for a lot of reasons,' said Gorman. 'The fundamental one was that the foreign policy of the United States sent us war. These are the disabilities we've incurred. It's the federal government's moral and legal obligation to take care of them, not Blue Cross and Blue Shield.'

Obama indicated he wouldn't go forward without VSO support. But when he and VA Secretary Eric Shinseki left to visit with employees at VA headquarters, Obama's chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, asked the VSOs to go back and consider ways to reduce VA costs enough to fill a $540 million hole that would be left in the budget if the president pulled his proposal.

The VSO met two days later with Emanuel and told him that they all agreed it was not their job to find savings for the VA..."

The Daily Uh-Oh

The Associated Press: Kurdish rebels: We won't stop fighting in Iraq: "BAGHDAD (AP) — A Kurdish rebel group on Tuesday rejected calls by Iraq's president to stop fighting against Turkey and leave Iraqi territory...."

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Best Car

COMMON CENTS BLOG: "Buick. For the first time in 14 years Lexus has been dethroned as the highest quality car line. The latest J.D. Powers quality survey is back and after interviewing 46,000 car owners the number one automotive manufacture is Buick..."

Where We've Been, Where We're Going

Monday: Why doctors of thinkology don’t get it. « The Confluence: "...If a marketer can’t figure out a way to protect his own job, he should find a new career. And the MBAs sit in their offices and move the chess pieces around and try to figure out which production units to cut in order to increase their bottom line. We are all expendable.

So, now Tim Geithner and Barack Obama are working on a plan to stick hard working, soon to be out of work taxpayers with the bill for the investors who are going to take on the massive bad assets that the bankers cooked up to make money for themselves. We should not expect these bankers and shareholders to take a haircut because that would be “crude populism” and class warfare. Why is it any surprise to you that Obama would go this route, Paul? As long as those of you in the media say it’s OK to treat us like the wretched refuse of our teaming shores, why shouldn’t Tim, Larry and Barry do whatever the hell they want with our money?

In order to get the economy back on track, we workers have to reclaim our dignity and demand accountability. So, Paul, if you can’t say anything nice about us “crude populists” out here, please, say nothing at all."

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Deja Vu All Over Again

The Associated Press: Sen. Gregg says Obama budget will bankrupt US: "WASHINGTON (AP) — The top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee says the Obama administration is on the right course to save the nation's financial system.

But Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire also says President Barack Obama's massive budget proposal will bankrupt the country..."

Oh, Bill, can you swing us another trillion dollar surplus? Please?

Comment Of The Day

Cannonfire--'A Piece of Tape': "I don't know about the rest of the country, but in NY, these loans are still happening. As a paralegal doing real estate work, I am still seeing the inflated prices, seller concessions, grants for first time home buyers and mortgage brokers who would sell their mother to get a loan through.

My only question is - who is buying these bad mortgages now?"

A most excellent question.

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Daily Flashback

Governor Palin's Address To The 2009 Special Olympics In Boise, Idaho

Patching The Special Fence

Charlotte Front and Center: Shriver: Hire One of Our Athletes to Work in White House: "Seems Timothy Shriver has a great idea for Obama : 'Hire one of our athletes.' CNN quotes Shriver saying “In so doing, he could help end misperceptions about the talents and abilities of people with intellectual disabilities, and demonstrate their dignity and value to the world,' Timothy Shriver, the chairman of the Special Olympics, said in a statement released Friday morning.

With all the misconceptions and prejudices against people with intellectual challenges, we don't need comments such as the cute, but hurtful remarks Obama made on Jay Leno. Shriver understands Obama's apology was sincere, but the damage has been done ...more or less..."

French Revolution Coming To US?

Friday: Be very afraid? « The Confluence
"... So, why didn’t we storm the castle and toss the inhabitants into the moat? I think it was because of fear. Many of us were scared out of our wits, a situation that was exaccerbated by the introduction of the terrorism alert system. We lived in a state of code red for years. And every time the fear level subsided a little and voters started to ask questions, the director of Homeland Security would up the red end of the spectrum. A little jolt of fear does wonders for keeping the populace in line..."

Thursday, March 19, 2009

O'Poor Me

Obama asks patience, guarantees better days ahead: "LOS ANGELES – Buoyed by adoring crowds far from Washington's political wars, President Barack Obama guaranteed Americans on Thursday that the nation's economy will recover, though he asked them for patience.

Obama looked every bit the campaigner as he sometimes mocked his GOP critics, and sometimes asked people to forgive his shortcomings. In general, his demeanor and message were more upbeat than in recent days when public fury over executive bonuses dominated Congress.

'We will come out on the other side stronger and a more prosperous nation,' he said, acknowledging the nation's economic crisis. 'That I can guarantee you. I can't tell you how long it will take, what obstacles we'll face along the way, but I promise you this: There will be brighter days ahead...'"

Dude. When much is promised. Much is expected. Quit whining.

Politico Catches Up With Pumasphere

five myths about obama : NO QUARTER

A Father's Nightmare

Via Jon Swift (thanks). Don't read this if you can't stand heartbreak: Chuck for ...: So Long, My Boy

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Another Take On The Stewart Kerfluffle

Howling Latina--"Jon Stewart's Calculated Cheap Shot"

"...Jon Stewart really needs to get over himself. For gawdsake, it's not as if he were an actual scribe in the Edward R. Murrow tradition. Remember, he's not an actual journalist; he's only a comic -- as he likes to plea whenever held to account. But try telling that to poor Tucker Carlton. Ever since Stewart took Tucker Carlton down "in one fell swoop" a few years ago, Tucker has been relegated to blogging and spot appearances on television. In the meantime, Stewart's gotten more and more affected and enamored with his buzz and power.

Of course, there's a nasty little rumor that it wasn't until Cramer started blaspheming against The Chosen One that Stewart went into uncontrollable convulsions and started vomiting bile on the airwaves. All in jest for fun.

Here's a little truth to power. How about we pull a "Crossfire" on Stewart and ask him to waive his "shield of comedy" to answer the plaint that he's a partisan hack for Obama..."

Mexico Strikes At US

Mexico’s punitive tariffs raise stakes on US trucking dispute | csmonitor.com: "MEXICO CITY – By slapping punitive tariffs on 90 products from the US, Mexico has followed up on threats to retaliate after the termination of a cross-border shipping program.

In doing so, Mexico is simultaneously raising the stakes in the decade-long dispute and creating a diplomatic stumbling block for President Obama’s new administration..."

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Daily Uh-Oh

BBC NEWS | Europe | Russia announces rearmament plan: "Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has said Moscow will begin a comprehensive military rearmament from 2011.

Mr Medvedev said the primary task would be to 'increase the combat readiness of [Russia's] forces, first of all our strategic nuclear forces'.

Explaining the move, he cited concerns over Nato expansion near Russia's borders and regional conflicts..."

Young McCain Flogs Idiots

Charlotte Front and Center: Meghan McCain Strikes Back: "kiss my fat ass"
"Meghan McCain has a point in her blasting attack against Laura Ingraham. Laura referred to young McCain as a Valley Girl gone awry” and a “plus-sized model.”

McCain was not in the mood for non-sense and had some very sensible words to reply back with as she visited The View on Monday: “What do young women think when I speak my mind about politics and I want to have a political discussion about the ideological future of the Republican Party, and the answer is, ‘She’s fat, she shouldn’t have an opinion.’ What kind of message are we sending young women?” she asked..."

Good Lord, thank you Ms.McCain. If she is fat, I'd hate to think what fat really is. And, as a fatty, I can tell you that we are all tired of the on-going and endless crap about our heft. No one wants to be overweight, but it is damn hard to control your appetite when it is constantly stimulated on every side. I've had any number of people tell me "Why don't you just quit eating?" To which I now reply, "Why don't you just quit breathing?" Unless you're are walking a mile in a fat man's shoes, or a smoker's shoes, or a heroin addict's shoes, don't offer unsolicited and usually stupid advice. Physical appearance has nothing to do with mental acuity. Addiction of all sorts is not an issue easily solved by "don't do that."

And. Laura Ingraham? Please.

Backing A Bonus Plan

New bill would tax AIG bonuses at 100 percent -- newsday.com
"The $165 million in bonuses set to go to American International Group executives would be taxed at 100 percent under a new bill introduced Tuesday in the House..."

Monday, March 16, 2009


Obama outraged over AIG bonuses | U.S. | Reuters: "NEW YORK (Reuters) - President Barack Obama said on Monday that American International Group Inc's payment of $165 million in bonuses is an 'outrage' and ordered the treasury secretary to take all legal measures to block them..."

Like dying, outrage is easy; like comedy, action is hard. Do something-- don't just talk about doing something. Executive order memo pad, please.

Lest We Forget

World War II MIAs Recovered in Germany: "HENRI-CHAPELLE, Belgium - A line in the Airman's creed states, 'I will never leave an Airman behind.'

For the McMurray Crew 801 with the 492nd Bombardment Group, that promise was fulfilled, albeit 60-plus years after their B-24 bomber went down during World War II.

An international crowd gathered Feb. 20 at the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery and Memorial in Belgium to honor the McMurray Crew's nine members who were listed as missing in action. Their remains were recovered in a field southwest of Berlin in 2002..."

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Silver Dies

Actor Ron Silver dies after two-year battle with cancer
"Actor and political activist Ron Silver died Sunday after a two-year battle with cancer, according to a spokesman for the Creative Coalition, the public policy organization he co-founded..."

He played some great villains, eh? In addition to his other more traditional roles, I should add, hastily.

Kettles, Pots, and Letters Updated

Commenter Billy Pilgrim enticed a tale from me concerning the inevitable consequences of blaming everything on your predecessor:
...There is an ancient story in academia about a new Dean being left two letters by his predecessor; letter one to be be opened when the new Dean encounters his first crisis. The first letter says "Blame everything on your predecessor." Letter two is opened when the new Dean encounters his second crisis. It says "Prepare two letters."

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Kettle 'n Pot

Obama Sharpens His Reminders That He Inherited Fiscal 'Mess' From Bush - washingtonpost.com: "In his inaugural address, President Obama proclaimed 'an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas that for far too long have strangled our politics.'

It hasn't taken long for the recriminations to return -- or for the Obama administration to begin talking about the unwelcome 'inheritance' of its predecessor...""

Pot 'n Kettle

The Republicans' Own 'Diversionary Tactics' - washingtonpost.com

"Regarding House Minority Leader John Boehner's March 5 op-ed column, "Democrats' Diversionary Tactics":

Mr. Boehner is upset because, he says, the Obama administration is "seeking to divert attention toward radio host Rush Limbaugh, and away from a debate about our alternative solutions on the economy." Of course, Mr. Limbaugh ignited the controversy himself with his comments that he wanted to see President Obama "fail," a comment that even Pat Robertson denounced..."

The Daily Uh-Oh

Pakistan Arrests Protesters; Army Prepares to Deploy (Update1) - Bloomberg.com: "Bloomberg) -- Pakistan police arrested demonstrators and blocked highways, as the army prepared to deploy troops if needed to break up a planned protest tomorrow in the capital, Islamabad..."

Blind-Eye Tiger

Saturday: Jon Stewart, heal thyself « The Confluence-- "Jon Stewart took on Jim Cramer of Mad Money a couple of nights ago and raked him over the coals about the uncritical journalism of the press that failed to uncover the chicanery of the financial giants..."

riverdaughter, in good, long post, goes on to rake Jon Stewart over the coals. She expresses my sentiment about the Comedy Central offerings these days since I also quit watching them during the primaries. Like Jay Leno and David Letterman and the rest of the comedic gang, they all left their nuts on the Obama HopeyChangey Doormat. For a long a while, I actually tracked the number of jokes Leno did about various politicians and it wasn't until this past February that Leno told his first joke where Obama was the actual butt of the joke. I don't think has, though, told one since then. So, Comedy Central, grow a pair and you may get some viewers back-- picking on the banks, and the media, is rather like a war novel and using the Nazis as villains.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Info Czar? Who Knew?

Trisha Redwine at Charlotte Front and Center: Obama Info Czar and the FBI Investigation always seems to catch those stealth stories :

"Can you imagine taking a job and one week later you go on leave of absence? That's what a White House official told CNN that Vivek Kundra is taking a leave of absence from his position at the Office of Budget Management until a search of his former office is completed by the FBI..."

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Tromping The Middle Ground, Sorta

Always one to prick the hypocrisy ballon, even when it lampoons someone whose mama I like, Jon Swift asks a good (if naturally satiric) question:

Jon Swift: 'Why Bristol Palin Is Different'--- "...Although some Palin supporters have expressed disappointment with such views, many conservatives seem to be reluctant to write about this subject at all. Why aren't more conservatives standing up and defending Bristol Palin? Why can't we unequivocally state there should be different standards for liberals and conservatives? One of the problems with liberalism is that they believe everyone is the same and that all morality is relative. But if there is anything that conservatives reject it is the idea of moral equivalency. When America tortures a terrorist suspect that is not the same as when a terrorist tortures someone. Killing civilians in a war or accidentally executing the innocent is not the same as abortion. Denying gays the right to marry is not the same as outlawing miscegenation. Giving corporations tax cuts is not the same as welfare. David Vitter and Larry Craig are not the same as Bill Clinton. Liberals are always trying to confuse us by making false analogies but conservative ideology is based on rejecting false equivalencies and making important distinctions. So we shouldn't be reluctant to say that indeed it is different when a conservative teenager has a child out of wedlock and an inner-city liberal teenager does. We should have the courage of our convictions and not play the liberal game of moral equivalency. Instead of trying to explain away Bristol's pregnancy we should be defending it, holding her up as an example of the difference between liberal teenage unwed mothers and conservative teenage unwed mothers. Because just as it is true that, as Richard Nixon once said, "When the President does it, that means it is not illegal." when a good Christian conservative has a child out of wedlock, that means it's not immoral."

Promises, Promises

USNews.com: Political Bulletin: Thursday, March 12, 2009: "Hours after calling for reforms to the earmark process, President Obama yesterday signed a spending bill that contains some 9,000 earmarked projects -- described by critics as pork-barrel spending. The move sparked criticism from Republicans and some Democrats, and generated starkly negative media reviews -- including reports in all three networks that suggested that the President's action ran contrary to his own campaign rhetoric. ABC World News, for example, reported that "away from cameras," Obama "signed a massive spending bill containing roughly 9,000 earmarks, despite his past campaign rhetoric." NBC Nightly News noted "critics said the President should have put up more of a fight when it came to those pet projects." The CBS Evening News similarly reported there was "no photo-op for this signing...""

And he broke another campaign promise by issuing "signing statements."

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Comment Of The Day

can he walk and chew gum? : NO QUARTER

" Comment by Ani | 2009-03-11 02:19:45

Fabulous post, AGII.

And how interesting to read the George Bush quote above — whatever else, I appreciate that he gave Hillary credit for her grit and preparedness. I was not aware that he said that. Amazing that George Bush of all people was willing to give her more credit than Obama ever would throughout the campaign.

Then after the election he goes and appoints her SoS, proving that every diminishing, denigrating thing he said about her and her record was a lie — either that or he would have to admit he had very poor judgment. Can’t have it both ways.

Yes, Hillary did try to warn him (and us) and I believe she sincerely meant it well — and of course, the warning advantaged her because she does have incredible stamina and focus. She made him look tired during the campaign — he was lost at sea trying to keep up with her. It is so unfortunate that he did not have the foresight to realize what would be expected of him in this grueling job — or what the American people would require.

Truly, not to be disparaging, but I think there is a fundamental difference in their natures. Hillary really enjoys rolling up her sleeves and digging in. She got stronger as the campaign wore on whereas he (as some journalists were actually honest enough to note) was limping toward the finish line. Whatever his other flaws, he may not possess the stamina — or love of the process that she does. And, of course, both are crucial to getting the job done.

Ed Rendell likewise tried to warn him that the real business of day to day governing has absolutely nothing to do with speeches."

Democracy And Prosperity

Wednesday: Life, the Universe and Change! « The Confluence: "...What Darwin really said was that organisms that had the ability to adapt to their environments would survive. Right now, our country is failing to adapt. In part this is due to the Randian business culture that sees globalization and the race to the bottom in wage compensation as an inevitable thing. But the problem with that philosophy is that what allowed wealth and prosperity to flourish in the United States was the rule of law and democracy that gave average Americans the opportunity to succeed, protected from the most of the outrages of corruption that plague less prosperous countries. That is not to say that the industrialists didn’t have their way before The Great Depression. But the years following World War II saw one of the greatest expansions of wealth and equality that the world has ever known. And part of that was due to the fact that Americans who had good ideas were not confined to the lower stratums of society where birth determined their futures..."

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Flying Speakers

COMMON CENTS BLOG: "Judicial Watch has exposed a major story detailing how House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has had repeated requests for Military Aircraft. The report says that Pelosi has treated the Air Force as her 'personal airline'. It seems to us that Speaker Pelosi could at least fly First Class and save the taxpayers untold thousands of dollars each trip..."

Hiding The Issue

Re: Buried language in the Stimulus Stimulation Monster Bill that relaxes restrictions associated with Cuba.

Bob Menendez Holds His Ground. Harry Reid Is One Vote Short. : NO QUARTER: "...No doubt, that Reid at some point will wrangle that last vote and everyone on the hill will have their pork and eat it too. He will even find a way to pacify Menendez. Yet, this little incident is just another reminder of why our government is broken to begin with. The Cuban issue is important enough to deserve its own debate on the floor. In typical congressional fashion, it was tacked on to a bill that had nothing to do with the issue. Whoever, added it to the omnibus spending bill was probably figuring that Menendez and his staff would not actually read the whole thing until it was too late..."

Speaking To The Unspeakable

Charlotte Front and Center: Obama: Smooth Talking the Taliban?: "No one can say Obama doesn't take bold action or America wouldn't even be considering talking to the 'Taliban'. The thought of engaging these thugs is enough to make the bravest cringe in reaction. This past weekend Obama told 'The New York Times' America might outreach to moderate elements of the Taliban. What really is an element? Where is there a moderate group of Taliban? Obama bases this thought process on the fact that we were able to communicate with Sunni enemies in western Iraq with great success-but let's thank the U.S. Marines for this, and their outreach was first backed up by military might..."

Not the sort of bold action I'm interested in. Just as all the negotiated truces in the Gaza have given Hamas and others a chance to rearm, redeploy, and recruit, so will this action. The Taliban want only one thing -- the end of US. Negotiation is just another tactic.

Monday, March 09, 2009

MSM Hate Explained

Balloon Juice » Blog Archive » How Is This Possible?: "...On a serious note, the last few years have been really eye opening for me. I was never one of the Republicans who thought the media was liberally biased. I always felt they were just lazy and superficial (and MoDo is a fine example) and on issues outside their safety zone (faith and religion, for example), and they just were not equipped to discuss them. However, it becomes more and more clear every day that the media is not biased towards liberal or conservatives, but rather, it is simply in the business of defending the status quo for the wealthier members of society. The reason social conservatives and progressives both hate the media is because they really don’t care about either group or their issues. This is about protecting the amassed wealth of the few..."

(My bold, btw). He's right. And who did the MSM support last time around?

Sunday, March 08, 2009

About Those Tax Rates

Just in case you are complaining about paying too much tax (as I am since my measly teacher salary is taxed at the same rate as someone making a gazillion dollars a year)--Cannonfire: "Reagan, you commie...!"

Excuses For Brit Diss

Barack Obama 'too tired' to give proper welcome to Gordon Brown - Telegraph: "Barack Obama's offhand approach to Gordon Brown's Washington visit last week came about because the president was facing exhaustion over America's economic crisis and is unable to focus on foreign affairs, the Sunday Telegraph has been told..."

I have a suggestion for that fatigue: workout three times a week instead of seven. You might also try eating something other than rabbit food. Unable to focus on foreign affairs? Hmmm. I wonder if FDR was saying that during the real Depression? Maybe that explains Pearl Harbor. Nah. Don't think so. Besides isn't the President the master of multitasking? Or is that multitalking?

Update: Logistics Monster has a napalm quality take on the diss.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Little O Sez We're Losing

Obama Ponders Outreach to Elements of the Taliban - NYTimes.com: "WASHINGTON — President Obama declared in an interview that the United States was not winning the war in Afghanistan and opened the door to a reconciliation process in which the American military would reach out to moderate elements of the Taliban, much as it did with Sunni militias in Iraq..."

Friday, March 06, 2009

More Pay Raises For Congress

Charlotte Front and Center: "With unemployment reaching an all-time high,and Americans tightening their own financial belts, Congress is trying to sneak through an 11% pay raise. Even when times are good, most American workers receive 3-5% increases on their annual raises. If that isn't enough, there is also cost-of-living pay raises for congressional staffers and expense accounts up to $40,000 for some lawmakers..."

Spending Comparisons

Why I miss Bill Clinton -- chicagotribune.com: "...Obama's fiscal blueprint builds on profligate habits established by George W. Bush. Under Clinton, federal spending fell to 18.4 percent of gross domestic product—the lowest level since 1966. By 2007, it was up to 20 percent. By 2019, according to the administration, it would rise to 22.6 percent.."

Two Deceptions Equal Truth?

Media Matters - Media figures advance false claim that Obama is breaking campaign promise of no earmarks: "Summary: Media figures have advanced the false claim that President Obama promised during his campaign to stop earmark spending and is breaking that promise by signing the omnibus spending bill currently being considered in the Senate. In fact, Obama promised to reform the earmark process and cut wasteful spending..."

By reform did Obama mean changing the color of the paper the earmark was typed on? That's not the way I remember it. So, "in fact," is the deception actually the claim of deception?

Bad Numbers

U.S. Unemployment Rate Jumps to 8.1 Percent - washingtonpost.com: "The nation's unemployment climbed above 8 percent last month and the economy shed 651,000 jobs, according to government data released this morning, further evidence of the deepening recession that has devastated the stock market and home prices and triggered the largest government recovery effort since the Great Depression..."

It's still not the Great Depression when unemployment was in the 25% range and bank failures were in the tens of thousands.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Another Told You So

Obama's safety net: the TelePrompter - Carol E. Lee - POLITICO.com: "President Barack Obama doesn’t go anywhere without his TelePrompter.

The textbook-sized panes of glass holding the president’s prepared remarks follow him wherever he speaks.

Resting on top of a tall, narrow pole, they flank his podium during speeches in the White House’s stately parlors. They stood next to him on the floor of a manufacturing plant in Indiana as he pitched his economic stimulus plan. They traveled to the Department of Transportation this week and were in the Capitol Rotunda last month when he paid tribute to Abraham Lincoln in six-minute prepared remarks.

Obama’s reliance on the teleprompter is unusual — not only because he is famous for his oratory, but because no other president has used one so consistently and at so many events, large and small..."

If you cannot speak without a teleprompter, then you can't think without one. If you can't think without support, then maybe you're George Bush and shouldn't be operating heavy machinery or the White House.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

To Puma, Or Not

Liberal Rapture: 'Sexing PUMAs'

"...PUMA is also a Democratic primary reform and feminist movement.

Donna, you lost me after '(1)'. I am a PUMA. I am not a battered woman. I presume you are, and if you need to 'commiserate' and 'vent about the abusers', vent to your heart's content, but don't call that PUMA. The millions of adherents claimed by PUMA are not all battered women stuck in recursive victim-mode. PUMA is public domain. PUMA is all of us. PUMA is me.

I'll repeat now what I told Murphy's coven: You must choose. You can either be a battered women's support group, solipsistic and marginalized, or you can be a broad-based political organization participating in the reclamation of our political landscape. You cannot be both.

Your definition of a PUMA applies to but a tiny fraction of the true PUMAs, so stop calling yourselves that. You're giving the rest of us a bad name.

(c) 2009, by 'tamerlane', all rights reserved."

I am not a battered woman, but I certainly sympathize, and I also think tamerlane has a valid point. If the middle can retake the country, then many of these marginalizing, gender and race based problems will see solutions being offered instead of cliches and rants. We need Pumas to help foster a political system based on mutual respect and rational thought, not the current horrid demonization that happens anytime anyone takes a contrary view.

Loving The Self

via Charlotte Front and Center:

"...Dr.Schmuel Vaknin has written extensively on "narcissism". Here is an excerpt from his website regarding his book Malignant Self-Love:
"I must confess I was impressed by Sen.Barack Obama from the first time I saw him. At first I was excited to see a black candidate. He looked youthful, spoke well, appeared to be confident - a wholesome presidential package. I was put off soon, not just because of his shallowness but also because there was an air of haughtiness in his demeanor that was unsettling. His posture and his body language were louder than his empty words. Obama's speeches are unlike any political speech we have heard in American history. Never a politician in this land had such quasi "religious" impact on so many people. The fact that Obama is a total incognito with zero accomplishment, makes this inexplicable infatuation alarming. Obama is not an ordinary man. He is not a genius. In fact he is quite ignorant on most important subjects..."

Multicultural Rethink

If you are interested in true equality for women, you ought to read the entire post. This snippet gives you a bit of a clue.

The New Feminism: Breaking the Multicultural Relativism Taboo : NO QUARTER

"...Multiculturalism was intended as an antidote to racism and imperialism. Its relativism accepts all cultures as equal—especially if they have ever been colonized, and its people are people of color. Sounds good on first hearing. But here’s the catch. Subscribers to MCR enforce their orthodoxy by attacking as “racist” anyone who criticizes men of color or their male-dominated cultures.

MCR has two fatal flaws. It eschews standards for truth and ethical judgment—something we see reflected every day in the mainstream media, most of whom have abdicated the search for truth and holding public figures accountable to those standards. Edward R. Murrow would roll over in his grave at this abdication, and by the pretensions of one its most flagrant violators to co-opt his sign-off line.

The second fatal flaw is that it blocks women and their male allies from challenging the women-harming practices of non-Western, patriarchal cultures, including the shame-honor system that organizes gender relations in Islamic and some other societies. Toeing the MCR line not only means that race and ethnicity always trump gender, but also stifles feminists’ speaking out vigorously and unequivocally on behalf of women.

The new feminism must not unwittingly align with the politically correct thinking fostered and enforced by the Left, including Leftist feminists. Sweeping honor killings into generalized VAW falls right into that trap.

To stay out of the trap, we cannot be intimidated and silenced by the fear of being called “racist” or “anti-Islamic.” Being pro-women is not anti-anything-else. We must break multicultural relativism’s silencing taboo or it will break us..."

Hope For The Blind

BBC NEWS | Health | Bionic eye gives blind man sight: "A man who lost his sight 30 years ago says he can now see flashes of light after being fitted with a bionic eye.

Ron, 73, had the experimental surgery seven months ago at London's Moorfield's eye hospital.

He says he can now follow white lines on the road, and even sort socks, using the bionic eye, known as Argus II.

It uses a camera and video processor mounted on sunglasses to send captured images wirelessly to a tiny receiver on the outside of the eye..."

Overcooking The Liberal Stew

Newsflash-- liberals have jobs!

Douglas MacKinnon : Liberal Media Unemployment - Townhall.com: "...Should we feel pity? Should we coldly point out -- as my liberal editor friend does -- that these editors and reporters, because of their almost open hatred of all things conservative, are themselves responsible for their unemployment and pending financial problems? Leaving aside the growing list of “journalists” joining the Obama administration, as their less fortunate far-left colleagues hit the unemployment line in tough economic times, should we remind them that they were and are partially responsible for the economic crisis which is preventing them from finding a new job?..."

Of course, to hear this post tell it no conservative voice can be found anywhere in the media, so I have a question, was it the Liberal Media that was cheerleading us into the Iraq war or was it the Conservative Media? Or was it just the Media? The problem with newspapers is not one of politics, it is competence. What happened to any sort of real investigative journalism? Give us some of that and the newspapers may find new life. Why pay for blowhard opinions sprinkled with a few facts when you can get all that for free on any number of web sites? The people who will succeed in the news business will be those who tell us the truth about something of which we know little or nothing.

If This Were Bush...

...I'd be nervous. Since it's Obama, well, I'm still nervous.

"WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced a newly-formed affiliation with the United States Power Squadrons (U.S. Power Squadrons) to support Citizen Corps, FEMA’s grassroots effort to strengthen community preparedness through civic participation February 21. This partnership expands the Citizen Corps network of national organizations working in partnership for community preparedness; the U.S. Power Squadrons is the twenty-seventh Citizen Corps Affiliate..."

Read it all here: An Invitation Down The Rabbit Hole | Logistics Monster

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Return Of The Bore

Well, I'm back from another medical reaming, in all senses of the word, but I am giddy and feel anathesia crazed so I'm not sure anything sensible will happen here for a while. Meanwhile...apropos of a lot...

William Wordsworth: The World Is Too Much with Us

"The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon,
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers,
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not.--Great God! I'd rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn."

Sunday, March 01, 2009


If you like coincidences, you love this. Cannonfire: "Tim Geithner's dad, Barack Obama's mom and the CIA"

Warnings For The Creative Class

The Confluence: "...The truth is, it isn’t possible to know everything about everything. There are limits to how much time out of our very busy lives we can dedicate to learning someone else’s area of expertise. That has always been the danger of the 401K, IRA and pie-in-the-sky Grover Norquistesque wetdream of private Social Security accounts: We’re busy and we have to trust people to handle our money responbsibly. Needless to say, they’ve really let us down and now we are faced with the sometimes overwhelming task of learning the rules of this high-stakes financial risk game.

The past several months have left me feeling a bit like Neo in the Matrix after they pulled his headplug and the world is revealed as it truly is. I should have taken the blue pill. What I see is not pretty. I see a lot of shallow CEOs, oblivious to the fates of the people whose money they are entrusted with, determined to protect their lifestyles at any cost. I see traders, addicted to adrenaline, looking for fixes and laying our nest eggs on the line for the rush of a big payoff. I see corporations walking away from their future obligations because the people who work for them put their faith in them and deferred their compensation for promises that were never meant to be kept. I see a government that was bought and paid for by these people and who will sacrifice the working class to pay its debt to its backers. I see a Whole Foods Nation that doesn’t realize that it entered the ranks of the working class a couple decades ago in the era of Reagan’s “voodoo economics”..."

Paul Harvey Signs Off

ABC News: 'An Original': Ex-Colleagues Praise Paul Harvey: "...Paul Harvey was a constant 'companion' throughout my life. I listened to Paul Harvey since the late sixties, accidentally at first. By the time I was 22, his radio broadcasts were my first exposure to Radio-news/opinion. I'd watched years of TV 'meet the press' type shows since my Dad was heavy into politics. But Harvey was a different experience. I listened in my car as a young adult, years before the advent of Today's talk-radioHe could make me think about any news item with just an inflection of his voice. On occasion he would offer up his personal opinion. But he could do that without a harangue or vindictiveness that some associate with today's radio-biz.Paul Harvey was old enough and wise enough to have 'seen it all before'. There was something reassuring in that for me throughout the years as I listened to his perspective. When things seemed to get dire in the world{a never-ending story}, his steady balanced take recognized the dangers, but was always rooted in his natural optimism and belief in this country and its people.This loss is not that of a celebrity, but of my adopted Grandad. He was all-American, and more eloquent than a roomful of Limbaughs, Hannities, Frankens, or Schultzs. An American treasure and self-made institution. olverbcb 12:19 PM..."

What olverbcb said.