Saturday, January 31, 2009

A Nod is as Good as a Wink….

Well, President “Hope and Change” has begun his tenure with a series of fiats designed to differentiate himself from the former president. Of course, there’s enough wiggle room left in his brand spanking new executive orders to rival that in a rapper’s pants, but let’s not split hairs.

On the international front, his inauguration was met with kind words from compañero fidel, who described him as a “noble and intelligent” man. Not long after, though, as noted here, the consequences of thawing relations must have made their way through sclerotic byways in the long, lonely hours of the night, because the President became a noble man who contributes to the “genocide” of the Palestinian people. Also thrown in was a demand for Guantanamo, one echoed by mini-me Chavez. How’s that for an olive branch?

Not to be outdone, the Iranians, yet to receive the new covenant that the President has reputedly been framing, chimed in characterizing the offer to talk with Iran as a sign of US failure. Considering that they have helped kill our servicemen in Iraq, how could they see our proferred hand as anything but? Ahmadinejad, in fact, is demanding an “apology” for our “crimes.” Read it here.

Memo to the left: these people dislike us not because we don’t play nice, but because it is not in their interest to do so. Whether they use the US as a bogeyman to distract their people from the failed state of their internal policies like Iran, or use their enmity as a rationale to cling to power, or both as in Cuba, they are not going to join hands with us and sing “Kum-ba-ya” because the Messiah is come. Rather, they have amply demonstrated that they see any overtures as a sign of weakness. They need to hate us. Guess the “hope” was that they would “change.”

Doublespeak: A New Lexicon (Ongoing)

The cartoon Ziva posted on Babalu, i.e. the proverbial "lipstick on the pig," inspires me to create a list of the new terminology of "hope and change." I have two already.

Stimulus- “Stimulus” comes from the verb stimulare, which is Latin for “transfer massive sums of money from what remains of the dynamic sector of the economy to the special interests of the Democratic party.” No, hang on, my mistake. Stimulare means “to goad.” And, on that front, the Democrats are doing an excellent job. They’ve managed to goad 58 percent of the American people into opposing the “stimulus” package. They’ve managed to goad all 177 Republicans in the House into unpacking their mothballed cojones and voting against the bill. And they’ve managed to goad the rest of the world into ending the Obama honeymoon in nothing flat. Headline from the London Daily Telegraph: “US-EU Trade War Looms As Barack Obama Bill Urges ‘Buy American.’
from Mark Steyn at NRO-

Stimulus Bill- a vehicle for foisting the forty year wish list Democrats were unable to pass on the American public-increased medical care for the children of the moderately well to do, increased cigarette and cigar taxes, increased funding for birth control, funding for a host of global warming initiatives, funding to computerize medical records, more funds for changing over television, etc...

Trojan Horse- see "stimulus bill."

Middle Class Task Force- a committee led by the Vice-President in charge of making the federal government as union friendly and employer antagonistic as possible.

I suspect this is only the beginning. If you run into any out there, let me know.

Friday, January 30, 2009

My Sentiments Exactly

There is a role for government in our current predicament. I even favor a stimulus, albeit via the tax code so as to stimulate the economy, not the government. But the prospect of borrowing money we don’t have to buy what we don’t need, in order to make America more like what I don’t want, makes me grateful that at least America’s conservative party has finally remembered how to say “no.”

-Jonah Goldberg at NRO online here.

Monday, January 26, 2009

What Have They Done: Part Two

Okay, so the intellectual giants with the sensibilities of a pachyderm running Wall Street have used Tarp money to redecorate offices, buy luxury planes, hand out bonuses.... Am I missing something?

On the political front, it's even worse. Over at Pumpkin Seeds, Mrs. Calabaza put it all together for us. To paraphrase, the guy running the IRS didn't pay his taxes; Barney Frank on whose watch Fannie and Freddie imploded all the while he was reassuring the public is still in charge; Dodd who was the recipient of a sweetheart deal himself overseeing mortgages. And let's not forget Charlie Rangel. Despite the peccadillo of the week, the man remains ensconced as Chair of the Ways and Means committee. What happened to accountability? Who votes for these people? Further, what does it bode when this cast of unseemly characters is in charge of crafting the bailout?

I'll tell you what happens. Amongst the choice morsels of the stimulus that I've heard:

6 billion for the arts. How many jobs are they going to create? Is is ethical to saddle my grandchildren with the cost of attending La Traviata in the park?

4.6 billion for housing organizations, read Acorn, perhaps?

Hundreds of millions for birth control, if Pelosi gets her way. It's cheaper, she says.

On the local level, one of the beneficiaries mentioned is a local science research center which employs about two people and is staffed by a host of volunteers. How many are they going to hire, I ask?

I've read that each one of the jobs created will cost about 235 thousand dollars. Heck, just mail 20 thousand dollars to ten people and multiply the effect by 10 and save administrative costs. Well, as Mr. Obama pointed out in all graciousness, "I won." He and this addle pated congress would do well to remember that almost half of the electorate did not vote for him. Two years is not that long. Ask Bill Clinton.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Slap Dash Sunday

Let's start with the inauguration/coronation. The inaugural poem by Elizabeth Alexander has come in for a drubbing. Not so at the Weekly Standard where Eli Lehrer praises it as a celebration of everyday life in this. He may have half a point. You can read the text here. As for me, the last time I paid attention was when I was sorely disappointed by the Maya Angelou opus. Question of the day: has poetry lost relevance to our lives, or have our lives lost their poetry?

Billed as holding lessons for the Obama administration, here are some easily accessible documents, part of the choreography of US/Cuba relationships over time. Not so coincidentally they are cited in an article in the February Cigar Aficionado, which fueled by altruism, nicotine, and the American way has a special report on Cuba. Macanudos, mulatas, and misery, anyone?

In a reverse Cinderella story, this former nurse, widow of a physician, finds herself destitute, having lost 7.3 million to financier/apparent con artist Bernie Madoff. Consequently, she finds herself selling off possessions and working as a companion. It's a sad story, but it boggles my mind that anyone would entrust all their resources to a single person/outfit.

In the science department, the earlier mentioned outbreak of the Reston variant of Ebola in Philippine pigs may have jumped species. According to this article, one worker tested positive for the virus. And earthquakes have hit Los Angeles, a small one, and Alaska, a larger one. Stay tuned.