Wednesday morning, 3 AM

| March 18, 2009

And the ride wont even be that much fun

And the ride won't even be this much fun

Does the phrase “going to Hell in a handbasket” mean anything to you?

I’m starting this post on Tuesday evening, with “American Idol” on the background. I can hardly keep up with the gaffes, mendacity, and sheer idiocy coming from the Obama Administration and the Democratic Congress on a daily basis. And trust me when I tell you that it’s not (just) my partisan point of view (after all, I was a registered Democrat for 37 years until last fall).

ITEM: ACORN, a criminal enterprise (voter fraud) in many states, is going to be involved in the 2010 US Census (more information at Gateway Pundit). Can you imagine if the (hypothetical) McCain Adminstration had proposed using, say, the Blackwater Corporation for the 2010 Census?

ITEM: Another “can you imagine if Bush/McCain did this?” item: the White House may be using the Situation Room for politicial strategizing.

ITEM: Obama’s proposed health care reform may cost $1.5 trillion over the next decade. Cha-ching!

ITEM: And while we’re at it, Obama’s proposed climate change plan may cost $2 trillion over the next eight years. Cha-cha-ching!

ITEM: The White House claims that they didn’t know about the AIG bonuses until this month. However, Glenn Greenwald claims that (contra my post yesterday) it was actually Tim Geithner and Larry Summers who insisted that the bailout bill not affect existing payouts but only future payouts, and that Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) fought against it.  He also claims that it was the White House that leaked the idea that Dodd (a big AIG recipient) put this clause in on his own. (Hat tip to Instapundit for that item.) Meanwhile, the Associated Press (!) calls bull$#!+ on both sides. Oh, and guess who else got lots of money from AIG? (Hint: his initials are BHO.)

ITEM: The White House and Congressional chest-beating outrage over AIG is scaring away private investors from taking a stake in other financial institutions that the US is bailing out. After all, if the White House and Congress can seek to reverse valid contracts and payment agreements after the fact, then what guarantees do investors have? It also appears that this outrage is scaring away the people the government needs to run these firms.  In the meantime, Larry Kudrow sees this all as evidence why the government shouldn’t run anything, and it’s hard to argue with him, while the Economist — no right-wing, free market publication, that — views the Obama outrage as ineffective (if politically necessary) grandstanding.

ITEM: Obama appears to be losing Atrios, who asks the question, “Which senator will be the first to ask Timmeh [i.e., Tim Geithner] to resign?” Plus, when Atrios and Steve Forbes agree on something, you know there’s a profound problem. Finally, here’s a sign that Geithner is in real trouble: “White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said President Barack Obama had confidence in Geithner and the Treasury Department’s oversight.” When they bring out the C-word, you know your days are numbered.

ITEM: Obama is losing Maureen Dowd: “Barack Obama even needs a teleprompter to get mad.” Ouch, ouch, and ouch. That’s gotta leave a mark. And speaking of leaving a mark — these comments by Andrew Malcolm over at the excellent “Top of the Ticket” political blog about Obama skipping out on the Gridiron Club roast probably raised a welt or two, particularly since they are about Obama’s thin skin.

ITEM: Meanwhile, speaking of Obama’s ubiquitous teleprompter:  “Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen was just a few paragraphs into an address at a St. Patrick’s Day celebration at the White House when he realized something sounded way too familiar. Turns out, he was repeating the speech President Barack Obama had just given.” Heh.

ITEM: It was amateur hour again at the State Department, this time in advance of Obama’s meeting with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva this weekend (hat tip to Drew at Ace of Spades):

. . . the White House made several moves interpreted as snubs by the Brazilian media.

Silva aides said the trip was pushed forward from Tuesday because of the St. Patrick’s Day holiday — making Latin America once again look like an afterthought. Then, the White House announcement misspelled his name as “Luis Ignacio” and put “Lula” — a nickname that decades ago became a legal part of the Brazilian leader’s name — in quotes.

ITEM: It’s also amateur hour at the White House with regards to provocations from China:

. . . we have emboldened our adversaries. The Obama administration has filed a protest over the Impeccable incident, but the Chinese know the United States is not serious. If we were, we would have canceled the meeting with Yang Jiechi or even sent the Chinese ambassador in Washington packing, putting him on the first flight from Dulles to Beijing.

ITEM: I lived through (and entered the workforce during) the Carter Administration.  The parallels between Carter and Obama are not at all comforting.

ITEM: The Obama Administration and the Democrats want to use the ‘nuclear option’ and eliminate the filibuster in the Senate. When the Republicans threaten to do this a few years back, due to Democratic blocking of judicial nominees, the Democrats screamed that it was unholy, unethical, and wrong. Now that the shoe’s on the other foot, there’s nothing wrong with doing this at all. Of course. In the meantime, and contrary to campaign promises, the Obama Administration is proving to be vastly more partisan than its predecessor.

ITEM: The Obama Administration has ended the program that allows pilots to carry guns on planes that they’re flying.  Oh, and they did so secretly. (Hat tip to Ace of Spades again.)

ITEM: The US National Debt just hit a record $11 trillion, and the Obama Adminstration and Congress have trillions in debt that they plan to add over the next several years.  Remember this diagram from last week? Each column shows how much the National Debt will grow from now until 2019 — and this is the official White House projection, which means that’s it’s probably optimistic.

Here a trillion, there a trillion...

Here a trillion, there a trillion...

ITEM: For those of you feeling truly masochistic, here’s a slide show that demonstrates in painful visual clarity just how the White House and Congress have wreaked havoc with the future US economy (hat tip to Red State):

ITEM: The Obama nominee for Sec’y of Commerce, Gary Locke, has represented (as a lawyer) several China-owned corporations and “was forced to refund several political donations that he received in the 1990s from key figures in a Chinese influence-buying investigation.”  As Commerce Secretary, Locke’s duties will include — wait for it — approving sensitive exports to China. Nope, no conflict there.

ITEM: Remember the collapse of CitigroupGuess where Citigroup’s Chief Economist ended up? Yep, the Obama Commerce Department.

ITEM: Obama’s idiotic proposal to force veterans to use their private insurance to pay for medical treatment for combant injuries made the front page of the Washington Post. I predict that this proposal will be scuttled by Friday. The strip “Day by Day” weighs in:

ITEM: Some (rare) good news for the Obama Administration as Vivek Kundra is reinstated at White House CIO.

ITEM: Some reasons for economic optimism. It’s good to remember that unemployment is under 10% and there aren’t people selling apples on the street. Oh, wait — there are, at least over in England (clever lad, that; note the Depression-era photo on his sign).

ITEM: Some more economic good news: lobbyists are prospering in Washington DC. Wait? Weren’t lobbyists supposed to magically go away under the Obama Administration?

ITEM: The Democratic Stimulus Bill will reverse a decade’s progress in welfare reform by encouraging states to increase their welfare rolls.

ITEM: Former President George W. Bush demonstrates (again) why he has more class than the White House and Congress put together. Also, he demonstrates that he understands the current geopolitical situation better than the White House and Congress put together. And I’ll bet he spoke without a teleprompter.

ITEM: Unfortunately, Michelle Obama demonstrates a distinct lack of class by implying that military families are just now being noticed by the White House.

ITEM: Republicans take a small lead on the generic Congressional ballot. Only 20 months until the next Congressional elections!

ITEM: A few Democratic governors up for re-election next year are having problems of their own.

ITEM: Yet more positive fallout from the Obama debacles: fervent Obama supporters are, well, a little less fervent.

ITEM: Unions are pledging to register as Republicans and help Sen. Arlen Spector (R[allegedly]-PA) win his primary fight next year in exchange for voting for the Throw-Out-Secret-Ballots Act. Fortunately, Spector seems disinclined to play along. For now.

ITEM: Here’s one of the reasons why unions are working desperately with Democrats to implement unfair and unreasonable advantages. Here’s another (which  I linked to yesterday).

And now for some non-political items:

What it’s like to (almost) freeze to death.

Needle-free vaccines — why didn’t they have this when I was a kid?

Yet again, some real science and correlation shows that it’s the Sun that drives Earth’s climate, not man’s minimal CO2 contribution:

What part of this graph dont you understand?

What part of this graph don't you understand?

In the meantime, some climate explorers trekking to the North Pole to measure how much the ice is melting have discovered, well, that it’s pretty cold up there.

Finally, to bright up your day (hat tip to the Borderline Sociopathic Blog for Boys):

That’s it for today; you’re on your own.  ..bruce w..

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Category: Blizzard, Business, China, Credit Backlash, Economics, Emergency Preparedness, Geopolitics, Health and Fitness, Humor, Journalism, Links roundup, Main, Media, Movies, Obama Administration, Recession Watch, Sports, Stimulus, 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.

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