Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Picture Day in NY

Strange story:

“A plane used as a backup for Air Force One and a fighter-jet escort swooped low in the sky over New York on Monday as part of a government photo op, panicking workers, forcing evacuations and prompting an outcry from lawmakers.” Aerial Photo Op Recalls 9/11 for Some

Apparently this was simply a photo op; the President was not onboard. Now I know the cynics among us might wonder how this flight – with its potentially devastating impact on global warming – was even authorized. Alternatively, some of us may wonder why the Administration didn’t schedule several more of these flights then cancel them as part of a widely-heralded cost cutting move. The White House explains:

“But White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, when questioned about the matter at his daily afternoon briefing, said…”

…that the White House was still working on how to blame the Bush Administration for the incident.

Nah – just kidding – he said “he was unaware of the photo mission.”

What was wrong with the old photo?

“The photo, featuring the Statue of Liberty, is to replace one of the aircraft flying near Mount Rushmore, the person said.”

I’m guessing they think those old photos will soon be obsolete with the imminent addition of the Barack Obama profile.

Side Note: "The sight of the planes outside their windows sent some workers out of their buildings. "People started moving down on their own," said an executive who works at a large financial services firm near Ground Zero and who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized by his company to speak publicly. "Particularly for people like myself who were here on September 11, it was kind of an uncool thing. Someone should have made a public announcement."

This would seem a strange topic to have to get company permission to talk about but even stranger…the Washington Post couldn’t find one other person in all of Manhattan willing to go on record about public reaction?

Monday, April 20, 2009


The Politically Correct Way To Lose Money

The previous CEO at GM was more or less fired by President Obama so you can imagine that current management is working hard to stay in the Feds good graces. Towards that then was today’s announcement that GM Plans Layoffs of 1,600 Over Next Few Days.

GM is making the move, in part, because it “is under immense pressure to cut operational costs.”

Well, kind of:

“GM said it planned to spare jobs considered critical to its future, such as many associated with the Chevrolet Volt, a plug-in electric car.”

Huh? From March 30, 2009:

“GM is at least one generation behind Toyota on advanced, “green” powertrain development. In an attempt to leapfrog Toyota, GM has devoted significant resources to the Chevy Volt. While the Volt holds promise, it is currently projected to be much more expensive than its gasoline-fueled peers and will likely need substantial reductions in manufacturing cost in order to become commercially viable” White House Task Force Viability Summary

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Cameron Kerry

Perusing the Post on line, this caught my attention:

Kerry Will Not Vote On Brother's Nomination - Federal Eye

Senator Kerry’s brother Cameron is up for General Counsel at the Commerce Department. I would have no problem with the Senator voting for his brother; it’s not as if John Kerry has any legacy as a normally tough vote for any nominee of a Democratic president. But I get the symbolic importance of the non-vote.

What really captured my attention though was this bit of sloppy reporting:

Cameron Kerry is a Boston-area lawyer who served as a political consultant to his brother's failed presidential campaign and to the Obama campaign. He is also an active Jewish Democratic activist, ever since the Kerry family learned of its Jewish roots during the 2004 campaign.”

That makes Cameron seem like a buffoon. In fact, he had converted to Judaism in the early 80’s after marrying a Jewish woman. And while I think all “active [fill-in-the-blank] Democratic activist[s]” are at best misguided, he was certainly well known in such Jewish-dominated circles up north well before his brother was playing his own Jewish roots card in 2004.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


3 Less Carbon-Footprints to Worry About.

'3 Rounds, 3 Dead Bodies'

The skill set displayed by our SEALS in taking the pirates down deserves all the accolades it has inspired. And I think we all support the President’s decision to let the bullets fly if and when the on-scene commander deemed it necessary.

Well, most of us, anyway:

“In Somalia, in the pirate haven of Harardhere, where locals have benefited from millions of dollars in pirate ransom, the military operation seemed like a bewildering display of force against four errant young men. "It was wrong to kill those pirates," said Aisha Gurey, an Arabic teacher. "The international community is wrong, and the pirates are wrong. But in this case, the strong one has killed the weak one."

This being a Scott Wilson-bylined story, I’m kind of surprised he didn’t find someone complaining about ours being a disproportionate response.

Friday, April 03, 2009


Standing with Poland

Earlier this week, the Senate found the time to pass a Resolution commemorating the postives of U.S.-Polish relations:

S. RES. 9
Commemorating 90 years of U.S.-Polish diplomatic relations, during which Poland has proven to be an exceptionally strong partner to the United States in advancing freedom around the world.

The House also passed a similar Resolution.

In related news, the President was chagrined to learn that he could not veto these legislative expressions and he remains worried about their potential impact on his diplomatic efforts with Russia.

Thursday, April 02, 2009


Obama Speaks in Economic Tongues

David Ignatius is onboard with the Obama platform. I get that much out of his open fan-like letter of a column today: Barack Obama's 'Post-Globalization' Vision and the G-20

He concludes:

“The G-20 summiteers should find Obama and his vision of a new foundation reassuring. This president is in the repair business. He's smart, solid, practical -- to the point of occasionally being boring. He understands that America made a mess, and he's trying his best to clean it up.”

This “new foundation” is a tripod of “energy, health care and education”.

You know, energy - like solar power: BP Solar Cuts 140 Jobs in Frederick...(April 1,2009)

…and Health Care – like stem cell therapy:

“…Osiris Therapeutics, a Columbia firm specializing in stem cell therapy, said it was eliminating 80 jobs as it completes the sale of one of its product lines to a company that will move manufacturing elsewhere.” ...Other Area Firms Make Trims (April 1, 2009)

…and, of course, education: Grade inflation gone wild: "Most college kids spend more time drinking than studying. And they still get mostly A's."

Yeah, I know it’s easy to cherry-pick but if our economy is in the tank because we don’t have enough windmills dotting the landscape then what’s up with Europe where alt-energy is as much religion as it is policy? Does anyone really believe that more government involvement will enhance our medical care AND make it more efficient? And after watching all the Ivy-educated young Masters of the Universe run rough shod through Wall Street, do we truly think our economy is suffering because not enough people delay joining the workforce in favor of Thursday evening drinkfests?

Mr. Ignatius perfectly sums up much of the mindset of the President's sycophants in the pundit class with this\:

“This White House is speaking an economic language that Europe and Asia understand -- more regulation, more government intervention, a more generous safety net -- without abandoning America's commitment to free markets.”

Of course, it would be far better for all if, instead, Europe and Asia would start speaking an economic language that we understand. After all, we didn't become the number one economy in the world by emulating their economic policies. So, without resorting to name-calling, let me just observe, then, that someone cannot have even a passing familiarity with economics if that person doesn't immediately recognize that, in this instance, the President’s programs for even more regulation and even more government intervention are all about America further abandoning its commitment to free markets.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009


Democratic spokesperson Lori Montgomery reports...

Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) today issued an alternative to the budget plan offered by the President. Democratic response was swift as key party leaders claimed, among other things, that the plan would “cut taxes for business and the wealthy, freeze most government spending for five years, halt spending approved in the economic stimulus package and slash federal health programs for the poor and elderly.”

Ooops, my bad – that wasn’t the Democrats reacting – that was from Washington Post writer Lori Montgomery’s opening paragraph in her online news article on the plan. What really caught my attention was her calm description of how the GOP plan would “slash federal health programs for the poor and elderly.”

Now we’ve all learned that when a Washingtonian says a program has been slashed, it usually just means the increases aren’t as much as (a) requested, (b) previously budgeted or (c) what the punditry thought should be allocated. So I looked elsewhere for my news.

The AP (really!) gave it a different slant: U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan Presents Republican Budget To House

They describe the tax cuts for the wealthy thusly:

The GOP plan would offer a dramatically simplified tax code in which couples would have the option of a 10 percent rate on the first $100,000 of income, with a 25 percent rate thereafter, with the first $25,000 of income exempt from taxation. Single could get a $12,500 exemption and a 10 percent rate on income up to $50,000…Taxpayers could also opt to remain in the current system.”

As a way of contrast, under current rules, Singles get a $5,450 exemption and a 10% tax rate through the first $8,025 of income. So if your single, don’t itemize and your gross income is, say, $21,000 – congratulations, Lori Montgomery thinks your wealthy.

As to the so-called cuts in Medicare, the AP reported that “Democrats warned that the GOP plan would force draconian cuts to the program.”

So perhaps if the AP wants to revise its story, it can report that “Democrats – including Washington Post reporter Lori Montgomery - warned that the GOP plan would force draconian cuts to the program.”

Here’s the link to the House Republican Budget Alternative. It explicitly notes that Medicare remains unchanged for those 55 and over. In fact, the biggest change would probably be felt only by “high-income seniors (those with household incomes exceeding the President’s benchmark level of $170,000)”.

This is all academic, of course, since this proposal will never see even a committee vote but I'm sure President Obama and other key Democrats are glad to see that Ms. Montgomery has their back.

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