Friday’s follies

| March 13, 2009
Num num num

Nom nom nom

First cut for a Friday (the 13th! again!) morning . . .

Be sure to keep up to date with the North Korean missile launch via Henderson’s posts.

Obama went to Germany during the election, and they return the love:  “Obama Fingers“.

Wait!  I thought the idea was to nationalize health care, not throw veterans under the bus.

China “worried about US Treasury holdings.” They’re not the only ones (hat tip to Transterrestrial Musings):

Deficits as far as the eye can see

Deficits as far as the eye can see

Another day, another disappointed Obama backer:

Obama’s proposed budget shows all the vision, restraint and grace of a grasping committee chairman, using the cover of a still-unresolved banking crisis to push through a broad liberal wish list before anyone notices its costs and complications. The pledge of “responsibility” has become the massive expansion of debt, the constant allocation of blame to others and the childish cultivation of controversy with conservative media figures to favorably polarize the electorate. The pledge of “honesty” and “sacrifice” has become the deceptive guarantee of apparently limitless public benefits at the expense of a very few. The pledge of “bipartisan” cooperation has become an attempt to shove Republicans until their backs reach some wall of outrage and humiliation

Apparently, this disappointment more and more applies to the public at large as well.

Peggy Noonan should really get out of New York more often; she’s caught in an echo chamber of her own making:

I asked a friend, a perceptive writer, if he is seeing what I’m seeing. Yes, he said, there is “a pervasive sense of anxiety, as though everyone feels they’re on thin ice.” He wonders if it’s “maybe a sense that we’ve had it too easy in the years since 9/11 and that the bad guys are about to appear on the horizon.” An attorney in a Park Avenue firm said, “Things look like they have changed and may not come back.” He contrasted the feeling now on the streets with 2001. “Things are subdued. . . . Nine-eleven was brutal and graphic. Yet because there was real death and loss of life folks could grieve and then move on.” But today, “the dread is chronic. . . . Tom Wolfe’s Masters of the Universe were supposed to be invincible. The pillars of media were supposed to be there forever. The lawyers were supposed to feed through thick and thin. Not anymore.” He quoted Ecclesiastes:  “The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.” We are worried, he said, “about a way of life, about the loss of upward trajectory.”

From the daily “What if Pres. Bush had done this” department:

While publicly identifying with the nation’s have-nots, the Obama administration has been cultivating the Beltway social elite behind the scenes.

Earlier this year, the Obama administration invited top editors of three of Washington’s local luxury lifestyle magazines — Capitol File, DC magazine and Washington Life — to a meeting where they discussed, among other things, how President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama can embrace Washington’s glittery social scene.

The White House is “identifying taste makers in order to help create grass-roots interest in some of the programs they are working on,” said Washington Life’s Michael Clements, who attended the meeting. “They wanted to introduce themselves. It was certainly a departure from previous administrations.”

From the ‘chief watchdog’ of the ‘stimulus package’:

“I’m afraid that there may be a naive impression that given the amount of transparency and accountability called for by this act, no or little fraud will occur. My 38 years of federal enforcement experience tells me that some level of waste and fraud is unfortunately inevitable,” Mr. Devaney told state officials charged with coordinating the spending.

You mean like this? “GAO cites fraud in Medicare in-home services billings“:

Fraud and abuse helped boost Medicare spending on home health services 44% over five years as some providers exaggerated patients’ medical conditions and others billed for unnecessary services or care they did not provide, a Government Accountability Office report out Friday says.

The only way to cut down on fraud in government spending is to cut down on government spending. But that assumes that Congress actually cares about fraud, corruption and accountability.

Back during the primaries and the general election, I had nice things to say about Barack Obama, but I also felt he lacked the experience (particularly executive/leadership experience) to be President of the United States and, as such, leader of the Free World.  Unfortunately, the six weeks or so since his inauguration have shown how very much unprepared he was (and is), and the resulting damage will be with us for years.

Let’s remember this statement by President Obama just a little over a month ago:

President Barack Obama warned Thursday that the nation is facing a recession so deep that, without action, it could turn into one that “we may not be able to reverse.” The threat of an irreversible recession that could “linger for years” is very real, Obama said, urging Congress to pass his economic recovery act.

Now, it’s “Never mind.”

Confronting misgivings, even in his own party, President Barack Obama mounted a stout defense of his blueprint to overhaul the economy Thursday, declaring the national crisis is “not as bad as we think” and his plans will speed recovery.

But wait! There’s more! (Hat tip to Instapundit):

Lawrence H. Summers, the White House economic adviser, calls it “the paradox at the heart of the financial crisis. “

“In the past few years, we’ve seen too much greed and too little fear; too much spending and not enough saving; too much borrowing and not enough worrying,” Summers said Friday in a speech to the Brookings Institution. “Today, however, our problem is exactly the opposite.” In remarks to a private dinner at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, Summers was even blunter, according to an attendee: “Before, we had too much greed and too little fear. Now, we have too much fear and too little greed.”

Also, It turns out the Europeans aren’t as willing to plunge into trillion-dollar deficits as Obama and Congress are.

Someone needs to start a blog listing all the failed/withdrawn nominees of the Obama administration. It really is getting hard to keep track, though here’s a start. Of course, this approach might solve some of the Administration’s problems.

Frank J (of IMAO) weighs in on what may really be the core problem of the Obama Administration.

Hey, the New York Times is actually out in front with a story about a corrupt Democrat, and they even identified her — Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) — as a Democrat! Hope and change indeed. Now if they’ll just start covering all the others. . . .

Michael Hirsh hasn’t yet jumped off the Obama bandwagon, though even he acknowledges things have not gone well.

Woman on fire: Megan McArdle has front and center in expressing her opinions about the current financial crisis and the various (bungled) efforts by Congress and Administration to deal with it. I find her a lot more credible than the Obama apologists.

And if Obama is getting criticized by Sen. Lincoln Chaffee (U-RI, ret.), you know he’s struggling.

Of course, Obama lost Sen. Judd Gregg some weeks ago, and Gregg, in hearings with Treasure Sec’y Geithner, explains why: ““The argument that [the Obama budget plan] cuts the debt in half in four years is, ahh, is truly spurious.”” And it gets better from there. (Hat tip to Gateway Pundit.)

One of the few bright spots in the Obama Administration so far.

I thought the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists was actually written by, well, atomic scientists.

Proof there is some justice in the world.

And speaking of justice:  here’s Bernie Madoff’s court statement. To his credit, he does not equivocate or excuse himself. Of course, that’s small consolation to all those who collectively lost billions of dollars.

I’m not at all a fan of legalizing drugs, but I’m beginning to wonder if it’s the best of a bad set of options.

Oh noes! Global warmingz Climate change has struck again! Global hurricane energy reaches a new high a new low!

Where have all the cyclones gone, long time passing...

Where have all the cyclones gone, long time passing...

YouTube won’t let me embed this video, but it does give some perspective on life today.

How to look like a million bucks for under $200 (for men only).

It was 30 years ago today (well, not really, but it sounds nice): Bob Metcalfe reminisces about the origins of Ethernet.

This for the dog lovers out there (hat tip to The Daily Brief).

Weird link o’ the day: Christopher Columbus was a Scotsman (historian claims).

And if you’ve scrolled down this far…Glenn Beck one-ups Stephen Colbert:

“Killer bees. Killer bees, Glenn, killer bees are back.”

Have a great weekend.  ..bruce w..

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Category: 2008 Election, Climate Change, Dogs, Economics, Environment, Links roundup, Main, Obama Administration, Recession Watch, Science, Stimulus, Television, US Politics, Video

About the Author ()

Webster is Principal and Founder at Bruce F. Webster & Associates, as well as an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at Brigham Young University. He works with organizations to help them with troubled or failed information technology (IT) projects. He has also worked in several dozen legal cases as a consultant and as a testifying expert, both in the United States and Japan. He can be reached at, or you can follow him on Twitter as @bfwebster.

Comments (1)

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  1. Bruce Henderson says:

    Brilliant stuff, first off – seems Matt Drudge has caught wind that Japan may want to take a shot at the Nork launch. Second, if it’s Nae Scottish – it’s crrraap!. Lastly, I want my Obama fingers.