Monday, December 29, 2008

Oprah's Gullibility

Ann Althouse has comments on the story of the Holocaust survivors who invented their story of meeting in Buchenwald and then marrying after. Apparently they've been on Oprah a couple of times and she was taken in by their story much in the same way she was taken in by James Frey.

I'm willing to cut Oprah a little slack here. These folks had a publishing deal and Oprah would have a reasonable expectation that the people with a financial and credibility stake in the story would have done the necessary legwork to verify it.

Worst Article Of 2008

One Peter Coy has an article of the worst predictions of 2008. Some are spot-on, but there are others that miss the mark by a wide margin. To wit:

"I think this is a case where Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are fundamentally sound. They're not in danger of going under I think they are in good shape going forward." -- Barney Frank (D-Mass.), House Financial Services Committee chairman, July 14, 2008

Two months later, the government forced the mortgage giants into conservatorships and pledged to invest up to $100 billion in each.

Exactly right, and surprising to see Frank finally being held accountable in the media.

"The market is in the process of correcting itself." -- President George W. Bush, in a Mar. 14, 2008 speech

For the rest of the year, the market kept correcting and correcting and correcting. Bush was right?

"I think you'll see (oil prices at) $150 a barrel by the end of the year" -- T. Boone Pickens, June 20, 2008

Oil was then around $135 a barrel. By late December it was below $40.

Not mentioned is that crude oil prices did nearly reach $150/barrel, but much quicker than Pickens suggested, only to fall off quickly thereafter.

A Bound Man: Why We Are Excited About Obama and Why He Can't Win, the title of a book by conservative commentator Shelby Steele, published on Dec. 4, 2007.

Mr. Steele, meet President-elect Barack Obama.

Of course, Steele's book concerns more than just Obama's ability to get elected. It, in large part, deals with the difficulties Obama faces in carrying out his agenda. I wouldn't argue whether Steele is right or wrong, although some of those difficulties are already showing through before Obama has even taken office. If Coy had done anything more than read the title, he would know that.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Christmas Gift For The One

Will Obama's stimulus work fast enough?

That was the headline that greeted me this morning. First we should ask, of course, if Obama's stimulus will work at all. In the objective news media.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

In Case Anyone Forgot

Happy Festivus. Now go see if you can pin your old man...

Monday, December 22, 2008

Sanitary Greetings

Is anyone else tiring of the increasingly bland seasonal wishes being shared?

"Happy holidays, if you in fact recognize any sort of holiday at this time. May you enjoy this time, if you choose to do so, and perform whatever activity it is you plan (or lack of activity) with the person or persons, if any at all, with whom you choose to associate. May this all bring you your desired degree of emotional satisfaction. This is our sincere wish for you."

Uh, what happened to "Merry Christmas?"

Also, the pre-printed photo cards with absolutely nothing personal or hand-written on them. The point is...? I literally received equally thoughtful and personal holiday greetings from my Walgreen's Pharmacy staff as I did from actual relatives.

Just a Little Long

OK, yes I set the record for lengthy posts below, but at least I vented.

I'm tempted to post the crazy -- uh, "woman's" -- license and home address info all over the place since I of course have it (was that really wise of the police officer to give those to me?), but that would just be wrong.

Holiday Cheer

Ah, winter in Chicago.... the air is crisp, the scenery gently sugar-coated, and people around the city are losing their minds.

This weekend I saw a guy stuck in a parking space spinning his wheels at easily 40-50 mph. Smoke coming out, the whole deal. I offered to help push, but he cheerfully declined because he felt he had "got it!" OK. Harmless, though.

Couple of blocks later, I see two young couples fighting over a parking space. Men and women, joining together in the Spirit of the Season, to square off over a place to leave their vehicles. Never mind that there were three empty spots maybe a quarter of a block away. It was all about that one.

But one lovely lady tops them all. Heading north on Damen after exiting the Kennedy is always an exercise in patience, due to the extremely awkward triangle of intersections between Damen, Fullerton, and Elston. They seriously should have just made that a 6-way intersection instead of the tightly-grouped trio of crossings that exist today. But they didn't, so what happens today is that you cross Fullerton, then have room for 1-2 cars before the NEXT traffic light to cross Elston.

After inching forward through 3 light changes to get to the front, I saw that though my light was still green to cross Fullerton, the light at Elston some 30 feet ahead had changed to red, and I had zero chance of clearing the intersection (you know... as required by law before choosing to enter it). So I stopped. Everyone behind me stopped, and honked their horns in celebratory manner. The light changed to yellow, then red, within seconds.
Yes, aggravating, but I have a serious pet peeve about these morons who feel that they are entitled to park in the intersection simply because they saw the green light at some point that day. "Screw cross traffic!"
Well, everyone but the woman directly behind me either realized that the extra 10 feet of progress wouldn't really get them anywhere and would actually screw everyone east-west bound, or just gave up. All horns quieted except hers, and then a few seconds later she decided to DELIBERATELY RAM MY CAR. Yes, my 6-month-old somewhat expensive car.
Exercising control that seriously surprised me, I calmly put my car in park and exited the vehicle to go inquire as to her intent. She wanted to know if I realized how long she had been waiting to get through that light. I explained very politely that I did, since I had been directly in front of her the whole time, and had therefore waited just as long. I explained the law about intersections, and the reason for it. I saw she had kids in the car (!!!) and didn't want to scare them, so I maintained an even tone.
Ironic twist here: As we were having our little debate at the red light, an ambulance needed to cross through that exact intersection. AHEM.
I went on to explain that all she did was delay herself further, since I now needed her insurance information. She went into hysterics, and began screaming goodness-knows-what. Her kids start screaming and crying, and she tells me she's not giving me any info. I ask her once more, still politely, and tell her it's illegal for her to leave. She rants on, and starts to try to maneuver around my car.

So, yes... I took a camera phone photo of her license plate, and called 911. The 911 tapes actually have some lovely audio of her following me (after the light changed), and screaming through my window while I was on the hands-free with 911 that she "didn't do anything" before she took off, running a red light in the process. I went to the nearest police station and filled out a report. She will apparently receive a contact from her local law enforcement official and a court date.

...And to all, a good night.


How do I know the end of days is upon us? Rioting "youths" in European city streets? War and pestilence? Disease and famine? Locusts? NO!

Cedric Benson, 38 rushes for 171 yards.

El Gordo

No, that's not what I plan on renaming myself after multiple holiday feasts. That's the name of the annual Christmas lottery in Spain. I'm guessing the chances of ever having a lottery in the US named "The Fat One" are pretty slim (pun intended); too politically incorrect.

In other exciting news, the temperature has gone up to -1.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Nice juxtaposition

I didn't read either story, but I'm betting there is a correlation between these two headlines:

N.Y. governor proposes tax on soda, gas and downloaded music

Poll: Americans grow more worried about the country's direction

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Infecting The Host

Obama names Chicago school chief to Education Dept.

Yes, because nothing says "success" like the Chicago Public School system.

Monday, December 15, 2008

On The Other Foot

Doubtless, you've heard about this by now, and probably seen the video, too.
The hurling of shoes at U.S. President George W. Bush on his farewell visit to Iraq strikes many in the Middle East as a fittingly furious comment on what they see as his calamitous legacy in the region.

Arab and Iranian TV stations have gleefully replayed the clip, sometimes in slow motion, of an Iraqi reporter calling Bush a "dog" and throwing his shoes at him -- the Middle East's tastiest insults -- at a Baghdad news conference on Sunday.
First of all, whatever it may mean in the Middle East, here in the US it's just... you know... throwing shoes. As for calling him a "dog," I think some kids these days actually see that as a compliment. If you're really looking for a 'zinger,' find one that at least translates.

Secondly, POTUS has got some moves. He's the only one who reacted (ahem -- Secret Service, we're sort of wondering about you here. The guy had time to reload and throw another one!), and deftly dodged the missile. He handled the whole thing with composure and calm, and even managed to joke about it ("I don't know what the guy said, but I saw his sole").

Thirdly, I'd like to point out that 8 years ago, this guy would have been taken out back and shot...if he was lucky. Probably his whole family or neighborhood, too. I'm not saying things are rosy over there, but the fact remains that any time people are given new freedoms, you're bound to have those who can't wait for the opportunity to throw them back in your face. Whatever was meant by this guy's actions, the fact that he was able and even dared to carry them out speaks volumes.

Perhaps more than the actions themselves.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Check out this presser from today. You can skip to about 15:00 into the video for the good stuff.

Some highlights:

Obama fielding the question from CBS Mike Flannery - What is wrong with IL politics? This is amusing because he has to answer this while pretending that he isn't a product of this most corrupt system. Bonus: He appears amused with the idea of our Governors being in prison. This seems typical of anyone familiar with IL politics - it isn't outrageous that our politicians are dirty, but it is amusing when they get caught.

Skipping to about 16:55, where Obama describes how, "in Illinois, as is true in American politics", there are two views of politics: Public service vs. "what’s in it for me"? The kicker is right around 18:00 when he complains that IL politics is a culture of “self-aggrandizement”. Can we get a definition check here, Bob?


self·-aggrandizement (-ə gran′diz mənt)

the act of making oneself more powerful, wealthy, etc., esp. in a ruthless way

I wonder if that includes having all of your opponents kicked off the ballot? That was pretty ruthless. At 19:30, Obama piles on this gem: "You can get elected by playing it straight. You can get elected by doing the right thing." The right thing being, apparently, whatever it takes to win.

Question: Does Obama really think that he was above ANY of these things while he was serving the great state of Illinois?

Follow-up: Blago seems like he is off his rocker, and has been for some time now. Shouldn't he be on suicide-watch or something? Not really joking...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Here I was, all set to write about my Fantasy Football victory, and then this little piece of news happens:

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich taken into federal custody

Gov. Blagojevich and his chief of staff John Harris were arrested at their homes this morning in a probe involving the governor’s quest to fill Sen. Barack Obama’s open Senate seat and focusing on wire fraud and bribery charges blah blah blah...
Let's highlight the good stuff, like the Blagos' potty-mouth:

Rod Blagojevich said that the consultants are telling him that he has to "suck it up" for two years and do nothing and give this "motherf***er [Obama] his senator. F*** him. For nothing? F*** him." Rod Blagojevich states that he will put "[Senate Candidate 4]" in the Senate "before I just give F***ing [Senate Candidate 1] a F***ing Senate seat and I don't get anything."
Whoa, Blaggy - easy tiger! Do you kiss your wife with that mouth? Apparently he does:
During the call, Rod Blagojevich's wife can be heard in the background telling Rod Blagojevich to tell Deputy Governor A "to hold up that f***ing Cubs s***. . . f*** them."
Stay classy, Illinois.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Right On

I don't get it.
With a long list of tasks ahead of him, Obama needs liberals to stand by him as he deals with a faltering economy, home foreclosures, an auto bailout and two wars, [Obama deputy campaign manager Steve] Hildebrand wrote Sunday on Huffington Post.

"The problems I mentioned above and the many I didn't, suggest that our president surround himself with the most qualified people to address these challenges.
Isn't that a tacit admission that liberal policies are unwise during troubled times? And if those policies won't get you to better times, why on earth would you want to implement them once times do get better?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Finally - the mystery of the Grant Park Milk Puddles is solved

Chris Matthews might want to print this off and take it with him to his next doctor visit.

And For Good Reason, Too

61% of Americans Oppose Auto Bailout
"A full 70% of respondents indicated that a bailout is unfair to taxpayers."

That's because it is. These are not the principles upon which this economy is built. Applying socialist policies to a supposedly free market enterprise is doomed to fail. I'm all for a robust automobile industry in the US, as well as the jobs that would go along with it. But it has to be real - meaning competitive in quality, features, and price.

The best thing for America is not to "Buy American" simply because something was made here... the best thing for America is to have America build the best products. Then everyone will be buying American (except the Japanese, of course).

Similarly, the best thing for the American auto industry is not to throw (other people's) money at it and artificially make it look successful. The auto makers need to compete better, with more efficient labor, higher quality, competitive performance and pricing, and less annoying advertisements.

Sticky Pendulum

Not just another great band name... apparently a very real problem in Minnesota, too.
Senate recount: Pendulum swings to Franken
Sure sounds like a definite change in the race, doesn't it?
Franken unexpectedly picked up 37 votes...
Hmm... 37... so now he's in the lead?
By the end of Tuesday, with 93 percent of the total vote recounted, the Republican's [EDITOR'S NOTE: Franken is NOT the Republican] lead stood at 303 votes...
I see. So it's a moral victory? Not exactly what the headline implied...

Now the Minnesota "Independent" tells us that Franken is claiming the actual lead. You know, like mathematically this time.

Does that mean the pendulum broke?


How will you be celebrating B.O.D.?

MARION, Ala. (AP) — A small central Alabama county whose mainly black residents gave Barack Obama more than 70 percent of the vote on Election Day has created an annual holiday in honor of the president-elect.

The Perry County Commission voted 4 to 1 to observe the second Monday in November as "The Barack Obama Day." County offices will close and its roughly 40 workers will get a paid holiday.

The sponsoring commissioner, Albert Turner Jr., said the holiday is meant to highlight the Democratic president-elect's victory as a way to give people faith that difficult goals can be achieved.
And the "Look what I did, Dad!" moment comes a few paragraphs down:
Turner said copies of the resolution, adopted at a Nov. 25 meeting, have been mailed to Obama and his transition team.
I think someone deserves a pat on the head!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I Could See This Backfiring

Chicago Leases Parking Meters
Chicago on Tuesday said it agreed to lease its parking meter system to a fund managed by Morgan Stanley in a 75-year, $1.16 billion deal...

Proceeds from parking tickets will still go into city coffers.

So you've got one party collecting the meter fees, but with no incentive to write tickets for expired meters. The other party now has more incentive than ever to write tickets... so a likely scenario coule be... we're going to need hordes of Voracious Meter Maids* trolling the streets looking for one-minute-past-due meters.

We may even end up offsetting any savings by having to hire more unionized, neon-yellow-clad fitness buffs to walk around scowling and sticking permanent adhesive on windshields, side mirrors, and windows.

*Note to Stoj: Apologies for infringing on the name of your high school punk band.

Chicks Dig 'Em

Big push lately to socialize the US auto industry, and I, for one, am for it.

Is it because I cherish the thought of my tax dollars being handed over to wealthy people with a proven track record of mismanaging such funds? No...

I just can't wait for a whole new line of sexy, high-quality automobiles. A possible preview of the 2010 Auto Show:

"Why, yes... that does come in faded drab."

Monday, December 1, 2008

Good News/Bad News

Panel says U.S. has been in a recession since Dec. 2007

Sorry, that was the good news. Good because it means we're already a year into this thing. That means we'll be coming out of it all the sooner, right?

Probably not. See, the "panel" in question, the National Bureau Of Economic Research, has their own definition of recession, and it flies in the face of any traditional definition of the word (except for Paul Krugman, whose sky is falling weekly when there is a Republican president).

See, according to the NBER, a recession begins when we reached an economic peak. That means that, although things were seemingly chugging along nicely around Christmas last year, we were actually in recession because of the downturn that occurred after. I know, it makes no sense to me either because it requires Nostradamus-like foresight to have any predictive capability. How does one know when we've reached a productivity peak except in hindsight?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Sounds Good

We shall see.

But why go after the "Millionaire Farmers" (you're welcome, Iowa!)? How about attacking entitlements and socialist programs?

Someone nudge me if/when a Democrat President and Congress ever eliminate anything wasteful or reduce the governmental footprint. I'll want to check how long I've been asleep.

“Who really cares about it being unconstitutional?

It's the rallying cry of the Obama Era!

Todd Stroger: "Read my lips - no new taxes"

Of course, that is because there's no way in hell anyone would let him raise taxes again this year. So what is a profligate spender to do? Ah yes - the county must continue to live beyond its means, which means borrowing almost a billion dollars this year. Maybe we can borrow a billion dollars every year. What could possibly go wrong?

Here's the comedy goldmine:

Critics said they couldn't fully evaluate Stroger's proposal because the budget he released was riddled with errors.

"Every year, President Stroger issues his budget, and it's a mess," said Commissioner Forrest Claypool (D-Chicago). "It's full of errors. It's incomplete.

"They don't even know what their own financial picture is, and I think the strongest evidence of that is that they are suggesting they have to borrow hundreds of millions of dollars even though they've got $300 to $400 million of new tax revenue coming in the door."

Copies of the budget were not released to the media by late Tuesday afternoon. Chief Financial Officer Donna Dunnings said inaccurate figures in the budget resulted from computer errors.

"We had a printer's issue," she said. "There are some numbers that need to be adjusted."
Lousy printer's issues - always changing numbers. Don't you hate it when you create a Word doc, then print it, and when you look at the printed page, the words and numbers are different than the actual file?

I would like to have a discussion with Stroger's high-school teachers. They obviously never made him show his work.

"The budget is chock-full of errors," he said. "It's the exact same thing that happened last year. It's like the Keystone Kops are in charge of the budget in Cook County. ... [Stroger's] running an inept government."

Stroger spokesman James Ramos acknowledged "there were a couple of errors," but added, "whether they were reprinted or not, I'm not sure."
Hey that's great.

Feel-good story of the day

Provided by Tim Blair.

I get the feeling that INS' screening process isn't quite up to snuff (pun intended!). I mean, better there than here, but I fear our government is headed to a pre-9/11 mindset.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Now Obama says he will delay rolling back the Bush tax cuts to the "wealthy."

His aides' comments suggest Obama may be wary of imposing any additional tax burden at a time of deep crisis, despite the outlook for record budget deficits and mounting national debt. He may also be seeking to bolster Republican support for his recovery measures.
So, O Great One, why is it good to have tax cuts when we are in a recession, but not when the economy is booming? Why is it important to have money in the hands of the middle class (which I agree is good) but not the people who pay the vast majority of the taxes?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Here comes FDR Lite

Obama economic plan aims for 2.5M new jobs by 2011

A great goal. Where are those jobs going to come from? Perhaps O will stimulate the market by slashing the capital gains tax!


President-elect Barack Obama promoted an economic plan Saturday he said would create 2.5 million jobs by rebuilding roads and bridges and modernizing schools while developing alternative energy sources and more efficient cars.

Yep, he's going to create a bunch of new government jobs. Not clear on who is going to pay for all that. Probably the rich people making...whatever they make. The number keeps dwindling in O camp.

"We'll put people back to work rebuilding our crumbling roads and bridges, modernizing schools that are failing our children, and building wind farms and solar panels," Obama said. He also made a commitment to fuel-efficient cars and alternative energy technologies "that can free us from our dependence on foreign oil and keep our economy competitive in the years ahead."

Wind farms and solar panels. Ok, that will take care of about .5% of the country's energy needs. How about drilling for oil on our own land? That would reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Nah, not on O's radar.

"We have acted boldly, bravely, and above all, together," Obama said. "That is the chance our new beginning now offers us, and that is the challenge we must rise to in the days to come. It is time to act. As the next president of the United States, I will."

Prediction: The unemployment rate will be edging near 10% by 2011.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I say we just declare him "Best. President. Ever."

The Evil Of Wal-Mart

Evil, I tells ya! Just look at them cruelly donate gobs of money and food! Don't they know that's the government's job? Don't they understand that only huge entitlement programs that cost taxpayers millions of dollars are appropriate charity? Evil!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Not sure they're taking this seriously

According to some anonymous transition staffers, there is now a policy of "If you leak, you're gone."

In other news....

Maxim Magazine has done all the legwork here in providing us with TV's 10 Hottest News Anchors.

Unfortunately, it is U.S. only.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Donovan McNabb shocked to learn that NFL games can end in a tie

The Eagles QB is pretty clueless about his profession.

The clincher:

I guess we're aware of that now," said McNabb, who was 28-of-58 for 339 yards. "In college, there are multiple overtimes, and in high school and Pop Warner. I never knew in the professional ranks it would end that way. I hate to see what would happen in the Super Bowl and the playoffs."
I doubt you're going to find out this year.

The $32 Million Dollar Man

It makes you wonder how much the crew had riding on San Diego last night.  Apparently unsatisfied that they threw 13 flags on Pittsburgh (and only one on SD), the refs mysteriously decided to take away their touchdown at the end of the game, which would have meant that Pittsburgh covered the spread.

“If the touchdown was properly upheld, Steelers bettors would have won about $32 million instead of losing big,” president R.J. Bell said. “This admittedly incorrect call resulted in a $64 million swing in favor of the bookies.”
What is Tim Donaghy up to these days anyway?

That's reassuring!

Obama says he will do 'whatever it takes' on economy

A little light on specifics. My guess is he's going to spend his way out of the recession. Good night and good luck to all.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Yes, shocking

Unhappy People Watch Lots More TV

While happy people reported watching an average of 19 hours of television per week, unhappy people reported 25 hours a week. The results held even after taking into account education, income, age and marital status.
Well, happy people tend to have lots of friends and an active social life and, therefore, less time to sit around in front of the TV.
The researchers are not sure, though, whether unhappiness leads to more television-watching or more viewing leads to unhappiness.

In fact, people say they like watching television: Past research has shown that when people watch television they enjoy it. In these studies, participants reported that on a scale from 0 (dislike) to 10 (greatly enjoy), TV-watching was nearly an 8.

But perhaps the high from watching television doesn't last.
Oh come on. People with unfulfilling lives turn to TV for lack of better options. Whether they enjoy watching TV as an activity is irrelevant; the point is they have nothing else to do.

Look, there are a number of activities people participate in that fail to enrich their lives. They might take drugs, overeat, shop, or even, yes, watch a lot of television. But it is nonsensical to turn causality on its head.
The researchers say follow-up studies are needed to tease out the relationship between television and happiness.
No, really, they're not.

Clinton Carousel

Wasn't one of the reasons Hill lost the nomination that people didn't want another Clinton presidency?



Friday, November 14, 2008

That's A Hell Of A Secret

Obama holds secret meeting with Sen. Clinton in Chicago

Not terribly surprising, given the Obamamanians propensity for their sieve-like security.

There's been some talk this morning about Hill being the Secretary Of State. Given the range of possible choices, this doesn't bother me much. There is little on which I would agree with her policy-wise, but she's a bit of a hardass when it comes to dealing with our enemies. Much better than the European wannabe milquetoasts that typically grace the halls of the State Department.

Franken Blatantly Stealing Election In Minnesota

And the Minnesota press shrugs.

Norm Coleman has lost 519 votes before the recount has even started. Is it even statistically reasonable that a cursory check of ballots has all of the "corrections" going one way?

Then there's this knee-slapper:

Elias said that because Beltrami County had complied, the campaign had already learned of one woman, an 84-year-old stroke victim, whose absentee ballot was disqualified because her signature no longer matched that on her pre-stroke voter registration card.

"The state may not devise a regime where a woman, because she had a stroke, does not have the right to vote," Elias said at Franken headquarters Thursday morning.

But Beltrami County Auditor Kay Mack later questioned the campaign's account, saying her office hadn't rejected any ballots because of mismatched signatures. Mack said there was one instance of an 87-year-old woman in an assisted living center whose ballot was rejected because it bore no signature or mark. The law, Mack said, is "very clear" about not accepting such ballots.

After being contacted by the Star Tribune with Mack's account, Franken campaign spokesman Andy Barr said Thursday night that there may have been "some confusion about our earlier field report," adding that the campaign is "still digging into the facts." Barr said the issue does not affect the merits of their lawsuit.
Yeah, they're digging, but I don't think it's into facts.

See, This Worries Me Too...

Read this whole thing. Really good.

I find one of the more amusing although important questions is how will President-elect Barack Obama govern? As a moderate and centrist, or as an extremist, radical and liberal?

I can answer such questions with another question: When your whole career and resume shows you are a leftist, an extremist, a radical, a liberal, and a 96 percent pure party line Democrat, are you are likely to be just that no matter what you say in the campaign?


Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Chief Illiniwek to Dance Again

I hope they can find a way to bring the tradition back to athletic events. That being said, this is... odd:

"Chief Illiniwek is a big priority," said Martell, a 20-year-old junior. "It inspired me to be a complete man."

More change than you can shake a stick at

Obama pledges to lead the most open and transparent presidential transition in history, starting by pointing out how carefully worded all his promises regarding lobbyists were.
He said last November:

"I have done more to take on lobbyists than any other candidate in this race...I don't take a dime of their money, and when I am president, they won't find a job in my White House."
Currently on his website it states:
No political appointees in an Obama-Biden administration will be permitted to work on regulations or contracts directly and substantially related to their prior employer for two years.
And now we learn that :
President-elect Barack Obama, who said lobbyists would not run his White House, signaled Tuesday that lobbyists could serve in his transition so long as their activities do not involve areas of policy they have tried to influence in the past year.
Well, technically the transition isn't a permanent position, so he was kind of telling the truth.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Yeah, I Had That Thought, Too...

Obama, Candidate of Change, Looks to Old Hands From Clinton Era

Thank You!

Today is Veterans Day. An impossible-to-overstate thank you to all who serve our country and secure our freedom.

Hardly Anyone

Continuing the 53% = Overwhelming Majority theme just for fun for a minute. Logically deducing that 47% must then be an Underwhelming Minority, I thought I'd bring you some other barely-noteworthy fun facts from around the world:

  • 47% of homicides in San Francisco are gang-related. Hardly any!
  • Japan Airlines operating profit is down 47%. Shareholders rejoice! (Honorable mention to Big 5 Sporting Goods and Goldman, who had similarly robust results)
  • My favorite: the news in the elevator this morning that 47% of the public opposes pushing through a bailout/stimulus package for the auto industry. Hardly worth notice.

Deafening Silence

Much was made of the expense of Bush's 2004 inauguration, despite the fact that it was funded primarily from private donations. During these difficult economic times, I fully expect the media to call for Obama to hold a small luncheon with no fanfare.

Did She Really Say That?

Racist Maureen Dowd:

Now we have the delicious irony that a white president from a patrician family, whose administration was so negligent about America’s poor and black citizens, was so incompetent that he helped elect the first black president.
That's right...only an incompetent can force us to choose a black president!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Joe Scarborough: "Oooh fuuudge!"

Only he didn't say "Fudge." He said THE word, the big one, the queen-mother of dirty words, the "F-dash-dash-dash" word....

They told me...

....that an Obama victory would inspire people around the globe, instilling a powerful "Yes we can!" attitude in everyone, and they were right.

For example, prior to November 4th, who would have ever thought that an armless man could steal a 24" television?  

Not I.

Oh, and also...

To Max: This white type on the black background is an eye-killer.

Johnny Latecomer

I was fortunate enough to have been in Vegas for election week, so I missed many of the details. There wasn't really much mention of it there; some dealers and guests briefly spoke about the outcome but there was no real fanfare. The business of the casino (ie, to relieve me of my money) is rarely disturbed by such trifling events.

Naturally, I echo many of the comments made by Jeff: historic election, congrats to Obama, etc, but I can't claim to be as hopeful. At a time when we need to employ true conservatism in government--low taxes and less government interference--we've elected a president who promises to move us to perhaps unprecedented territory in the opposite direction. At the same time, we have a, to put it mildly, very compliant press and core of Obama supporters so feverish that their worship is completely out of proportion to any accomplishment the man has ever made. Or could possibly make, for that matter. Sprinkle in a core of Chicago Machine politicians and other corrupt administrators (Jamie Gorelick, really???) and you have a recipe for disaster.

But at least there will be no Obama Derangement Syndrome.


With the Mandate For Sweeping Change already being used as an excuse to increase the size and scope of government, and to make your decisions for you, the fact that more than 47% of people who bothered to vote (58,661,867 people) selected someone else seems to be conveniently overlooked.


Looks like we're in for a whirlwind. Taxpayer funding of abortions, harvesting fetuses, socialism spreading (beyond banks) to the automotive industry, and of course to healthcare, and a jumpstart to Federal Robin Hoodism all apparently on the agenda for early January.

Strap in tight. I wonder how far things will go before the "middle class" supposedly benefiting from radical policy shift will feel the whiplash?

Also, pay close attention over the next few weeks... You don't break every record there ever was for fund raising without the "donors" quickly coming back for reimbursement. Stay tuned for a record-breaking level of payoff requests, to match.

Friday, November 7, 2008

The More Things Change™...

I had to actually dig a little, to find an article that at least made an attempt to touch on both sides of the "day after" attacks on Governor Palin.

I don't know if I can remember a candidate for anything of this scale being so savagely attacked from day one, and I certainly don't recall a losing candidate being villified this severely after the election.

In these times of swirling Change™, it seems like we're being encouraged to dwell on something that no longer matters. Or is it that certain people are envious, and others are flat-out terrified? What else could be continuing to stir up this pack of ferocious jackals?

I don't know if she's a future candidate or not, but I do know that the Democratic Party and it's powerful lobby known simply as "The Media" are exhibiting behavior that is quite frankly sickening here. Let the woman go home in peace, already... or at least give her the rest of the week off. She has 5 kids who don't need your barrage of poor sportsmanship and slander.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I have to agree

A lot of good things can and will come from this election.  Most importantly, the Obama victory has done a huge service to both parties. The pool of electable candidates has just increased because Obama has shown that a minority can win, and win big. By increasing the pool of possible candidates, our chances of getting the best person have now gone up a bit more. Having been limited to white guys has actually done our country a disservice, and Obama's victory has put an end to that. It is a historic victory, and something we are all better off for, whether we agree with his policies or not.

Now excuse me while I go work on my tax sheltering skills.

Dare to Dream

Talk about your teaser headline. Can we get that every day?

That About Sums It Up

Americans joyous, worried after Obama victory

I don't get all of the hand-wringing, though. This election was a great thing for America in a lot of ways. Those inclined to panic need to take a deep breath and refresh their perspective.

Life will go on... and the biggest cynics and pessimists should hope to be wrong. In the meantime, we can embrace the dream that maybe, finally, skin color is not an obstacle to opportunity in America. We can celebrate yet another exercise of our democratic process, and this time with relatively little legal wrangling or delayed concession (ahem -- Al Franken). Everything was essentially peaceful and orderly, Black Panther Party extracurriculars notwithstanding. There will always be anomalies, but things went well.

Maybe the result isn't ideal, but who knows. Either way, you can suck it up and weather the storm (and voice your opinion -- God Bless America), or you can celebrate and hope the promises to make everything sunny again are true, but stick around and you will see the pendulum continue to swing back and forth. With a little luck, everything will still be standing, transition after transition.

And if it's not, everyone will be there to blame everyone else.

Let the games begin

WASHINGTON -- President-elect Barack Obama chose Illinois lawmaker Rahm Emanual to be his White House chief of staff, his first selection for the new administration, Democratic officials said Wednesday.

That would be Rahm Emanual, who was elected after Daley sent out an army of city workers to help with his campaign, costing the taxpayers God knows how much money & resulting in at least 4 convictions. I think Kass was on this back then. The former Clintonite will obviously provide change-we-can-believe-in, and not be more-of-the-same. You can be sure that nobody will care or even bat an eye. Just like nobody will bat an eye that we now allow foreign comedians to donate to political campaigns. I'm looking at you, Eddie Izzard


Are we really on the cusp of a flood of restatements and adjustments to the promises of the campaign? It certainly smells like it. Is the new administration already apologizing for what they won't have done? Will people accept it?

The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even one term, but America - I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there

That, directly from the acceptance speech. Someone convince me that's not making excuses in advance.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Land of Opportunity

It's been said before, and better, but whatever one thinks of either candidate, it's really a fantastic achievement that a Black man has been elected POTUS... and an enormous burden on that man's shoulders. This is a completely different kind of presidential legacy about to be created.

How many people out there are now thinking, "Please don't screw this up?" Rightly or not, there is an "extra" onus on being the "first" of anything.

Now the big question: is he who he says he is, or who his record says he is?

Time to Backpedal?

As the mainstream media chortle joyously about Obama's lead in the polls, and today in the general election ("calling" states for him after as many as 0% of the votes are tallied - which I've always had a problem digesting), there have been a few quieter stories about the weight of expectations faced by the candidate, and how this might be a

In recent days the Obama team have admitted they are nervous that people will end up feeling disappointed by an Obama presidency because their expectations of what he can do may have been driven sky-high by his soaring rhetoric.

Are they really saying people shouldn't have believed them? Of course there will be disillusionment among the people who have been allowed to believe that they will no longer need to pay their bills or mortgages, and that all of their problems will be solved by eliminating the tax cuts of the last 10 years and reallocating them to those who earn the least.

Fear not, though. I doubt the media will be able to tear themselves away from frenzying around their new idol long enough to notice reality settling in.