Friday, January 30, 2009

More On The PorkFat Package

Over in The Corner, Ramesh Ponnuru wonders why liberals are so appalled at the lack of support from Republicans for the stimulus package:

"I'm not quite sure why so many liberals are spluttering with rage over the Republicans' failure to go along with their stimulus ideas. It's not as though Republicans kept it from passing the House, or can keep it from passing the Senate. And if opposition is as politically suicidal as a lot of liberals are also saying—see the Toles cartoon today—it seems like it's a win-win situation for liberals."

I think, on the one hand, he's right. If this bloated spending effort is such a good idea, they should be ecstatic that Republicans are on the "wrong" side of the debate. They certainly don't need Republican votes, so anything Republicans do to distance themselves from successful fiscal policy should benefit Democrats greatly. One would think.

So the outrage from Dems seems to belie their confidence in this spending package. As I said earlier, they should be eager to own the bill but they still want Republicans holding their hand as they jump off the cliff. Maybe they've been reading the public opinion polls of late.

Rahm Caught With His Pants Down

"These guys will roll over, they're afraid of being called the party of No. Believe me, I know them. They'll be easy."

That was Rahm Emanuel just before Republicans voted 100% NO on the PorkFat(tm) Bill.

You know, it's OK to be the Party Of No sometimes. Just depends on the question.

I think Rahm and Barry's biggest problem is that they lived too long in a political climate where they had no opposition and no one said "No" to them occasionally. I hope they find it a chastening experience.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

More Caviar Anyone?

"Obama Scolds Wall Street Executives Over Bonuses"

I wonder if he did it over a frugal dinner of wagyu beef and cocktails?

Blago Rambles

Today, Governor (For Now) Blagojevich gave a rambling speech in defense of whatever shenanigans he was trying to pull to fill the vacant Illinois senate seat. As entertaining as that must have been, I was struck by the apocryphal heartstring-tugger he told about the Mexican immigrant woman who gets up at 5am every morning on the south side to get to her job at O'Hare. Uphill both ways, no doubt.

What struck me is how silly this is. Why not just move closer to O'Hare? It's not financially daunting--there are plenty of places within striking distance of O'Hare that would be comparable to where that woman lives now.

Secondly, what's the big damn deal about getting up at 5am? I get up around 6am to come to work. And a lot of those times I'm really hung over. Buck up, lady!

They Actually Got it Partly Right This Time

NY Times Headline: "Components of Stimulus Vary in Speed and Efficiency"

They somehow left off "... and Effectiveness."

Welcome to the United Welfare States of America, where the New Government ("Now Bigger Than Ever!℠") believes that the best way to create jobs is to make itself larger, and give more handouts to the least productive at the expense of the most productive.

Bipartisanship, Redefined

In attempting to get Republican signoff on the bloated "stimulus" bill, the news media have been continually touting Obama's attempt at "bipartisan support."

Katie Couric noted how "the President went up to the Hill to personally appeal to Republicans already," so, she pleaded, "what more can he do?"

Well, his appeal has to be more than an effort to get those idealogically opposed to him to simply agree. As it was throughout his campaign, Obama's definition (and, therefore, the news media definition) of "bipartisan" consists of others dropping their own agenda and signing onto his. In this case, bipartisan efforts should not be confused with compromise.

I said before the election when it became clear that Obama would win and the Democrats would achieve their bulletproof majority that the Dems would have to truly own their decisions over the next few years. So far they seem wary of doing so, despite their public confidence in their policies. I can only assume that they believe, like many conservatives, that their strategies won't work. That redirecting money to long-term public works projects won't jump-start the economy. That many of their "stimulus" plans are simply welfare projects disguised as something else. There is no reason for Republicans to sign on to these ill-fated plans.

I just hope in four years that voters remember whose ideas these are and that the effort is in no way "bipartisan."

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Obama's Past Steeped In Islam Now Officially White House Approved

Apropos of Max's earlier post:

I seem to recall during the election campaign that no one was allowed to discuss that Obama's middle name is Hussein, or that he attended a Muslim school in Indonesia as a child. Lefties were frothing over any mention of these facts.

Oh, how times have changed.

Now it's being touted as a diplomatic advantage!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Eight Is Enough

"Woman gives birth to octuplets in SoCal hospital." Imagine such a thing happening in California.

The mother is reportedly doing well.

Nancy Pelosi is beside herself.

Bad News is Good News Headline: "Unemployment Sweeps Nation"

Doesn't that make it sound like work being done?

Raise Your Hand When You Hear the Tone

I read the NY Times article today, "Obama Signals New Tone in Relations with Islamic World." They explain that "President Barack Obama struck a conciliatory tone toward the Islamic world, saying he wanted to persuade Muslims that 'the Americans are not your enemy.'"

They're right. That sounds completely different from the tone of the last president, who said things like:
All Americans must realize that the face of terror is not the true face of Islam. Islam is a faith that brings comfort to a billion people around the world. It is a faith that has made brothers and sisters of every race. It is a faith based upon love not hate.
Bigotry is not a part of our soul it is not going to be part of our future.
In our war against terror we must never lose sight of the values that made our country so strong values of respect and tolerance, the value that we believe that everybody ought to worship the almighty however they so choose.

Children: The Burden of Tomorrow?

Yeah, you read that right. I've been stewing for a while now about President Obama's executive order releasing federal funds to be used for abortion counseling foreign citizens outside of the United States.

Someone explain to me why, in these times when we're being called upon by the new Administration to tighten our belts, we should be sending taxpayer dollars to make sure strangers in strange lands don't have (to put it politely) / kill (to put it more plainly) pre-born babies?

Wherever you fall in the pro-life/abortion debate, this makes zero sense to me. They're not Americans. What is the benefit to Americans of this... less competition???

Perhaps as an unintended realization of this, Democrats resurfaced the issue by trying to include public funding for birth prevention measures here in America in the next "stimulus" package. Why stop with foreigners? After all, if no one made it to birth, we wouldn't have this economic crisis, would we?

Nancy Pelosi weighed in to explain:
The family planning services reduce cost. One of the elements of this package is assistance to the states. The states are in terrible fiscal budget crises now and part of what we do for children's health, education and some of those elements are to help the states meet their financial needs … The contraception [initiative] will reduce costs to the states and to the federal government.

So, to summarize, she (and apparently the Democrats) see children as costs. Never mind what their potential, etc. -- they're economic burdens to be cut from the ledger as soon as possible.

Obama today agreed to pull that part of the bill, but to those keeping score, the record seems pretty clear. Congressional Democrats not only want to drive up spending astronomically and leave the payment to future generations, they want to make sure there are fewer members of those generations available to share the cost... in effect, a kind of Tax to the Future for those yet to come.

Monday, January 26, 2009

The New State-Run News Media

From MRC, the Washington Post featured a special classified ads section in which readers could author a message to the incoming President. One caveat:

"All ads must be congratulatory in nature. The Washington Post reserves the right to reject any notice."

For those of us paying attention for at least the past decade or so, this isn't surprising. But consider the Orwellian notion of an ostensibly bias-free press organ requiring its readers' messages to a politician to be positive or be rejected. One can understand why, on the occasion of his inauguration, the Post would not want to be in the business of selling off space for rants against the man but then the question becomes...why do it at all?

At this point, feel free to humor yourself by imagining the Post offering paid congratulatory messages to an incoming Republican.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Canadian Border Agents Have More Discriminating Taste Than Our New President

Bill "Free As A Bird" Ayers turned away at the Canadian border. Damn, I was hoping they'd take him in and keep him.

Curious statement:

Jeffrey Kugler, executive director of the Centre for Urban Schooling, is deeply disappointed in the turn of events. For him it's a question of academic freedom. "It's kind of ironic the day before Barack Obama is going to become president this is what the Canadian border security has done," said Kugler. "It seems ridiculous that one university can't have a professor from another university to come and give a lecture on an important educational topic."

That's a head-scratcher. What's ironic about it? I don't think he knows what the word means.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Coming Disaster

No, I'm not talking about Obama's presidency--the jury is going to be out a while on that one. I'm talking about the literal disaster declared in DC for the inauguration.

President Bush on Tuesday declared the District a federal emergency area, clearing the way for the city to receive federal money to help cover the overwhelming cost of providing security for official inauguration events.

Seriously? And where are the folks who were apoplectic over the cost of Bush's 2005 inauguration? Not to be found in the media, where they are actively campaigning for an expensive soiree. Unbelievable.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Unclear On The Concept

I don't think they understand the laws of supply and demand:

Facing an economic slowdown, possible deflation, declining readership and competition that gives away its product for free, the Los Angeles Times raises newsstand prices 50%.

Why don't they just sell the paper for $1 billion? That way, they only have to sell one and they're in the black!

Monday, January 12, 2009

You're welcome

Normally, the #622 train arrives at 7:41 and runs express to downtown after a quick stop at Dee Road, but today it arrived at 8:00. Not unusual, especially with all of the snow we've had lately, but it soon became apparent that we had an inexperienced crew as well. Here's what went out over the P.A.:

Conductor: "Ed - can you get on and give these people an update as to what's going on?" [click]
Ed: "...."
Conductor: "Ed - you on?" [click]
Ed: "Uh, ladies an gentlemen - the 622 is, uh, running approximately 19 minutes behind schedule today, and, uh, will be making additional stops at Jefferson Park and uh, Irving Park. We thank you for your, uh, inconvenience. Er..."

You're welcome, Ed. And yes, everyone on the train was laughing at you.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Get Carter

Jimmeh Carter: "I know from personal involvement that the devastating invasion of Gaza by Israel could easily have been avoided."

Yes, if those damn Jews would just die already.

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Day After Tomorrow Looking More Like Thirty Years Ago

Sea ice levels are now back to where they were in 1979. This may come as a shock to the Global Warming(TM) faddists and a bloated ex-vice-president but not to sane people across the globe. Ironically, I seem to recall around 1979 that folks in some circles were sounding the alarm for a new ice age. Maybe they were right after all!

Earlier this year, predictions were rife that the North Pole could melt entirely in 2008. Instead, the Arctic ice saw a substantial recovery. Bill Chapman, a researcher with the UIUC's Arctic Center, tells DailyTech this was due in part to colder temperatures in the region.

Whoa, slow down there, Egghead! So what you're saying is that water exposed to colder temperatures froze? Imagine! No doubt one of the warmening enthusiasts will stop by shortly to explain why colder temperatures and more ice is somehow the product of global warming. With a straight face, even.