Wednesday with the snark

| April 1, 2009

Remind you of Washington?

Remind you of Washington?

MORNING LINKS –first two are bumped from overnight links

Item: (April Fool’s joke): The 2010 All New Omobile!

ITEM (ah, if only it weren’t a joke): Obama forces GM chief out, puts Reid, Pelosi on leave

ITEM (not a joke, but wouldn’t it be ironic?): Penn State researchers have discovered how to use microbes to make natural gas from . . . (wait for it) . . . CO2! (Hat tip to Tim Taylor; many thanks for the link!) Key graf:

The team learned that the Archaea microbe, using about the same electrical input, could use the current to convert carbon dioxide and water to methane without any organic material, bacteria or hydrogen usually found in microbial electrolysis cells. . . . The result – Logan puts it plainly, “We have a microbe that is self perpetuating that can accept electrons directly, and use them to create methane.” It’s almost unnerving in its simplicity.

As far as I can tell, not an April Fool’s joke; follow the links here and here.

ITEM (the man may be funny, but he’s not joking): Meanwhile, P. J. O’Rourke explains how all this stimulus is going to work:

The good news is that, according to the Obama administration, the rich will pay for everything. The bad news is that, according to the Obama administration, you’re rich.

You may be surprised to discover you’re rich, especially if you’re broke. How do you know you are a member of the penurious plutocracy? Take this simple test: See if you pay double for everything.

The financial bailout, for example. Pay for it once with your IRA and 401(k) plan investments. Now pay for it again with your tax dollars.

Ditto with the economic stimulus. Write checks to cover your mortgage payment, utilities, insurance premiums, car loan, basic cable, high-speed Internet access, Visa, MasterCard, and American Express bills, and turn your teens loose in the Old Navy store. Think you’re done stimulating the economy? I think not. You’ve also lent President Obama a godzillion dollars to go on an economically stimulational shopping spree of his own. For collateral the Bank of Obama is using a mortgage on that home of yours called America and a lien on all the future earnings of your children.

As they say, read the whole thing.

ITEM (Santayana wasn’t joking): There was a key moment in the Carter Administration when Pres. Jimmy, who had been doing his best to make nice with the Soviet Bear, was shocked — shocked! — to find that that the USSR wasn’t interested in making nice with him, his first clue being the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. Carter’s stern and bold response was . . . to keep the US Olympic Team home from the 1980 Moscow Olympics. That, as history records, was such a powerful rebuke that the USSR pulled out of Afghanistan some nine years later.

That, of course, was 30 years ago. So why do I get a feeling that history may be about to repeat itself?

The Obama administration has given Russia small assurances in order to move forward with U.S. interests. Washington has assured Moscow that it will return to the table on START, has allowed Russia to mediate U.S. use of Central Asia for military transport and has appeared to abandon its plans for NATO expansion into Ukraine and Georgia. In return, Moscow has allowed a small shipment of NATO military supplies to pass through Russia and Central Asia, and it is trying to demonstrate some wavering in its support for Iran (though Russia’s position on Iran typically has been characterized by ambiguity).

Going into the Obama-Medvedev meeting, it seems clear that Russia plans to push the United States until the rest of its demands are met: abandon plans for BMD in Poland, cease assistance for the Polish military and essentially stop providing security for the Baltic states — though they are NATO members.

[OK, for those wondering about the Santayana reference: “Progress, far from consisting in change, depends upon retentiveness. . . . Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it.” — George Santayana, The Life of Reason, 1906.]

ITEM (the taxpayers weren’t joking, either): “Hundreds of Iowans thrown out of public hearing”. Those Iowans were taxpayers and voters unhappy that the Iowa State Legislature was voting to raise taxes. They’ll be back.

ITEM (does holding hands and singing “Kumbaya” count as a joke?): “Obama tries to rally world to cope with downturn”

ITEM (is the Justice Department becoming a joke?): To channel Glenn Reynolds here, they said if we voted for McCain, we’d end up with a Justice Department where politically inconvenient legal opinions would be suppressed and overturned. And they were right!

Justice Department lawyers concluded in an unpublished opinion earlier this year that the historic D.C. voting rights bill pending in Congress is unconstitutional, according to sources briefed on the issue. But Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., who supports the measure, ordered up a second opinion from other lawyers in his department and determined that the legislation would pass muster.

OVERNIGHT LINKS — yeah, I took Tuesday off. Wanna make something of it?

ITEM (not a joke, sadly): Creeping socialism/fascism alert: Rep. Barney Frank (D-FM) wants to set all salaries for firms receiving gov’t bailout funds. Remember the camel’s nose in the tent? Patterico points out the close tie between freedom and capitalism.

ITEM (not a joke, except maybe in an unintentional way): Yet another major Obama nominee has tax troubles.

ITEM: (sort of a joke; I know how he feels):  “Obama Depressed, Distant Since ‘Battlestar Galactica’ Series Finale”:

“The president seems to be someplace else lately,” said one high-level official, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Yesterday we were all being briefed on the encroachment of Iranian drone planes into Iraq, when he just looked up from the table and blurted out, ‘What am I supposed to watch on Fridays at 10 p.m. now? Numb3rs?'”

ITEM (actually true, but still quite funny): The White House occupants and staff prefer non-American cars.

ITEM (no joke, except the threat itself):  Henderson debunks the “China carrier killer” story.

ITEM (allowing the US to be part of a pathetic joke): “U.S. to Join U.N. Human Rights Council, Reversing Bush Policy”

ITEM (either really funny or really scary; I was living in DC on 9/11, so I tend to take this seriously): “Taliban threatens attack in D.C.”

ITEM (oh, how I wish this were a joke): Parents practicing “consensual living” with their kids. This reads like an Onion article.

ITEM (no joke: Richard Cohen and I agree on something): GM and Crysler are bankrupt, kaput, fini. David Brooks, in the meantime, thinks Obama may have rushed in where wise men never go.

ITEM (and I wish these were all jokes): James Hudnall calls into serious question Obama’s alleged brilliance.

ITEM (I also wish this were a joke instead of a nightmare in the making): House Democrats unveil sweeping plan to reshape energy in America. [link corrected — thanks, trtaylor!]

ITEM (all too often, the Left’s idea of rational argument is a joke): The Left’s principal answer to criticism: “Shut up.” (Hat tip to Glenn Reynolds.)

ITEM (the joke is on the neo-Nazis in Lebanon): I may disagree with Christopher Hitchens about certain things, but as far as I’m concerned, he gets a permanent pass and an irrevocable attaboy for having the cojones to do this in downtown Beirut:

Well, call me old-fashioned if you will, but I have always taken the view that swastika symbols exist for one purpose only—to be defaced. Telling my two companions to hold on for a second, I flourish my trusty felt-tip and begin to write some offensive words on the offending poster. I say “begin” because I have barely gotten to the letter k in a well-known transitive verb when I am grabbed by my shirt collar by a venomous little thug, his face glittering with hysterical malice. With his other hand, he is speed-dialing for backup on his cell phone. As always with episodes of violence, things seem to slow down and quicken up at the same time: the eruption of mayhem in broad daylight happening with the speed of lightning yet somehow held in freeze-frame. It becomes evident, as the backup arrives, that this gang wants to take me away.

I’ve been to Beirut and know enough to know that men have died for less.

That’s it for now, unless something great pops up.  ..bruce w..

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Category: 2010 Election, Business, China, Climate Change, Credit Backlash, Creeping socialism, Economics, Engineering, Environment, Family, Geopolitics, Humor, Kids, Links roundup, Main, Military, Obama Administration, Science, Stimulus, US Politics

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. trtaylor57 says:

    Correct link for House Democrats sweeping plan for energy?