Sunday, July 31, 2011

Juxtaposition XXVI

Darth Vader
John Boehner

According to Nancy Pelosi ... see: Pelosi Snaps

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

High Noon

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists used to (and may still) have a doomsday clock that was always precariously close to midnight (or just as appropriately, high-noon).  One gets the feeling that we could apply this analogy to the current debt-ceiling situation.  The cable TV channels are wall-to-wall with speculation as to when and how this "crisis" is going to be resolved.  The Barry is Gary Cooper waiting in the dusty western street for high noon and the inevitable shoot-out with that dastardly Republican, John Boehner.

The American public has pulled their window curtains and are peeking out to see who survives this quick-draw duel. And just as Gary Cooper evinced that air of vincibility in that famous movie, so The Barry has recently been showing cracks in his bravado facade.  His recent speech, hoping to rally the American public around his cause, was full of tired cliches and fell pretty flat.  I don't know if this real-life drama is going to ape the movie and have The Barry prevail, but I do strongly suspect that if Obama doesn't win this gun-battle, he will not only be lying in the proverbial dust ... but his presidency will effectively be over.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Food Deserts

Michelle Obama now has control over $345 million of government two-year funding so that she can encourage (read "coerce") grocery chains to open stores that stock fresh produce in ghetto areas ... which are now conveniently called "food deserts." (See: Michelle's Markets and  Slush Funds) The idea here is that the FLOTUS has been educating the poor families in this country about better nutrition .. yet many of these disadvantaged people have to travel great distances to purchase such nutritional products, since there are no nearby retail purveyors.  Or, if there are such close-by grocery stores, their prices are often much higher than similar stores in upscale neighborhoods.

Now, this sounds to me like another rat hole down which our current paternalistic government plans to pour oodles of taxpayer funds.  And, much like our government's catastrophic meddling in the sub-prime mortgage market, this otherwise noble endeavor is surely going to end up badly.  (Good intentions, gone sour?)  We are supposed to be a free-market economy which means that, if there was an attractive economic opportunity to pursue such business, then it would have been already achieved.  If this hasn't happened, there must be one or more reasons for this reluctance.  Will these reasons disappear because Ms. Obama wishes them away?  I doubt it.  And I also doubt that this initiative will continue much after the current government largess disappears.

And like the sub-prime mortgage fiasco was propagated by our misguided feel-good government hacks, I fully expect that there will be a number of corporations that rise to this juicy bait and make a quick buck off of the backs of the U.S. taxpayer  (like Countrywide Finance did back then with no-documentation mortgages) ... until they no longer can.  Let's just hope that these companies will not be then "too big to fail."

The road to hell ... apparently goes through the food desert.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Naive Nuts

A couple in South Carolina has discovered an image of Jesus Christ on a receipt from Walmart's don't yah know.  (See: above image and Walmart Miracle)  Now, as much as I admire this couple faith, I still classify them as naive nuts.  I believe that, if Jesus wanted to send a message to his flock, I suspect it wouldn't be on a Walmart receipt ... perhaps in 5,000-point bold Times New Roman type in the clouds on top of a giant rainbow? 

Now, there are a number of other naive nuts that often surround such an event, viz:
- the crowd of acolytes who will pilgrimage to South Carolina to catch a glimpse of this receipt (probably for a hefty fee)
- the cable-news reporters who will, in hushed terms, probe and promote this "miracle"
- the guy who will spend $10,000 to buy this image on EBay
- the evangelist preachers who will point to this "sign" as a warning about our decaying society

Mad Rachel Maddow

MSNBC has been smartly taking advantage of the popularity of its successful Morning Joe program to promote its low-rated evening shows like Hardball with Chris Matthews and the Rachel Maddow Show.  While Morning Joe tends toward the middle of the road politically, both these evening shows are unapologetically hard left.  Two of these promos featuring Rachel Maddow are quite curious to my mind:

One has her standing in front of a wind-turbine farm extolling green energy.  However, if one looks closely, it appears that only a few wind-turbines in the foreground are running.  Most of the background wind-turbines are motionless ... which is a major drawback to this clean-energy initiative insofar as the overhead maintenance of these behemoths is quite expensive and so their up-time is often limited.  (If it weren't for government subsidies, I doubt if these uneconomic greenies would exist.)

The second promo has Ms. Maddow fronting the Hoover Dam extolling the virtues of our forebearers in how they planned and built for our future generations.  The problems here is that I seriously doubt if the environmentalists (with Rachel Maddow, an assumed champion) would tolerate any such new river-damming project like the Hoover Dam ever to be considered as a future source of electric power.  (It's the snail darters' home don't you know?)

Monday, July 18, 2011


I've recently concocted a natural taxonomy for classifying famous people.  Here are the first five priorities that I believe each of these celebrities uses to govern his/her activities and ambitions:

The Donald -- O, J, L, N, G
Hillary Clinton -- B, H, O, A, N
Dave Letterman -- O, L, H, J, G
Jay Leno -- L. J, G, H, O
The Barry -- O, A, D, H, N
Oprah -- J, B, D, L, G
Bush 43 -- G, C, N, H, A
Mitt Romney -- G, L, C, H, N
Charlie Sheen -- O, O, O, O, L
Al Gore -- O, O, J, L, H
Bill Clinton -- O, H, A, G, N
Sarah Palin -- O, N, H, G, I

And here are what these letters mean:

A - The World
B - One's Gender
C - One's Religion
D - Ones Race
E - One's Ethnicity
F - The Environment
G - One's Nation
H - One's Political Party
I - One's Region
J - One's Company
K - One's Home City/Town
L - One's Profession
M - One's Relatives
N - One's Family
O - One's Self

Have some fun and disagree with my rankings or develop your own priority profiles for other famous people.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Plouffer Nutter

David Plouffe
The person who supposedly got The Barry elected in 2008, David Plouffe, went whistling past the graveyard last week when he said that a high unemployment rate won't sink Obama's chances in next year's election (see: Plouffe Prediction).  Now, since Plouffe is again The Barry's chief campaign strategist and manager, his words carry some import.  Even the conservative columnist, Charles Krauthammer, believes that it will not be the absolute level of unemployment that makes the difference in the upcoming election.  It will be the trend that is important.  If things seem to be getting better, then The Barry might win once again.

Color me sceptical ... both in the validity of these theories and in the outlook for our economy improving.  And the reasons I am chary about The Barry's re-election chances (other than the fact that I think he has been a horrid hack as a President) are as follows:

- The almost trillion dollar stimulus that the Democrats passed shortly after Obama was inaugurated did little other than to insure the retention of state government workers who would have otherwise been laid off (apparently the "saved jobs" that were so cleverly touted).  As The Barry himself has admitted the real intent of that stimulus was a dud, "The shovel-ready jobs weren't as shovel-ready as we thought."  Now the wave of financial crises in many states is causing them to axe many of those same state workers who should have gone packing two years ago.

- The only bright employment sector of the U.S. economy has been federal workers.  Housing prices in and around Washington, DC have been strong ... reflecting continued profligate hiring and hefty pay raises for these pampered federal employees.  If the Republicans get their way with meaningful government spending cuts in exchange for their votes to raise the government debt ceiling, then this rosy federal employment picture should dim considerably. This may be the chief reason Democrats are digging in their heels on this issue ... and would rather raise income taxes instead.  They must be saying to themselves, "These are our voters who will be in the bread lines."

- Worldwide economic malaise, particularly in the European Economic Community is not going to disappear overnight.  When Greece defaults on its debts sometime in the next twelve months (as it most probably will), the repercussions will be felt around the world ... maybe even with cascading defaults in Portugal, Ireland, Spain, and even Italy.  This clearly will not boost economic or employment prospects here in the United States.

And I don't think it is an accident that so many top Obama economic advisers are abandoning him ... maybe even to include little Timmy Geithner.  I think that they see the obit writing on the wall ... just as I think I do.

Friday, July 08, 2011

What is Success?

Woody Allen is often attributed with saying "90% of life is just showing up".  I remember it as an older movie star ... perhaps George Burns ... adding that you had to show up on time to be successful.  I, personally, have an obsession of being on time to appointments ... to the point of most often being annoyingly early.  Anyway, The Barry was scheduled to talk to the nation today at 10:35 about the precipitous drop in new employment in June (see Jobs Growth).  But our nation was again hanging on cable-TV tether hooks watching an empty podium in front of the White House.  The Barry eventually showed up at 11:05 -- a half-hour late (as is his wont).  I couldn't watch all what he said about this jobs malaise, but I'm pretty sure he blamed George Bush.

Thursday, July 07, 2011


This country appears to be having an apoplectic fit over the acquittal of Casey Anthony in the apparent homicide of her daughter, Caylee. Now, I'm not going to wade here into the swamp of controversy over this case ... other than to cringe at the miasma being emitted on talk radio and cable TV. Is Casey guilty? Most probably ... certainly of aggravated manslaughter. But that is not my point. My issue arises from a statement made by one of the jurors. She said that Casey Anthony clearly was not guilty beyond "a shadow of a doubt." Now, this is not the standard that was supposed to be applied in such a case. Our legal system should not allow some kooky possibility to be used to explain away felonious behavior.  The pet dog seldom if ever eats the homework.

Surely, the rule of reasonableness must be applied. And I don't think it was in this case. Just like it clearly wasn't in the O.J. Simpson trial. I found it more than curious that Alan Dershowitz (an O.J. dream-team lawyer) named his book about the O.J. trial, Reasonable Doubt. So, I make the following suggestion --before any serious future headline trial, I would hope that the prosecution would make inquiry of all prospective jurors and ask them to define "reasonable doubt." And any who suggest that "any doubt" applies should be rudely excused from jury duty. The problem that then will apply is ... will any jurors ever be seated?

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Friday, July 01, 2011

The Emperor's New Clothes

Hans Christian Andersen tried to teach us about the pomposity of high political office thusly:
The emperor walked beneath the beautiful canopy in the procession, and all the people in the street and in their windows said, "Goodness, the emperor's new clothes are incomparable! What a beautiful train on his jacket. What a perfect fit!" No one wanted it to be noticed that he could see nothing, for then it would be said that he was unfit for his position or that he was stupid. None of the emperor's clothes had ever before received such praise.

"But he doesn't have anything on!" said a small child.

"Good Lord, let us hear the voice of an innocent child!" said the father, and whispered to another what the child had said.

"A small child said that he doesn't have anything on!"

Finally everyone was saying, "He doesn't have anything on!"
In my blog yesterday I mentioned how Mark Halperin had noted that The Barry had acted like "a dick" in his press conference the previous day.  After he had blurted this out, there was universal but short-lived mirth on the set of the Morning Joe show on MSNBC.  Mark Halperin effectively was Andersen's small child calling out our Emperor President for his haughtiness and hubris ... which few others have been willing to notice.  Quickly, however everyone was running around like their hair was on fire ... trying to bury this truism like a cat in a litter box.  Even Mr. Halperin ate a large piece of humble pie when he fully realized what was about to happen to him (and, of course, it did as he was subsequently indefinitely suspended.)  He repeatedly apologized.  Mika Brzezinski apologized.  Joe Scarborough apologized.  The show's producer apologized.  The make-up lady apologized.  The grip and best-boy apologized.

However, the truth will always shine through.  The Barry really is a dick ... even regaled in his new finery.