They told me if I didn’t vote for Obama, then anti-torture protesters would be silenced – and they were right!
Some solid advice from Stacy McCain: “Always do the opposite of whatever David Brooks says, and you can’t go too far wrong.”
My faith that the American people are generally more sensible than our leaders remains strong:
Sixty-two percent (62%) of U.S. voters say Iran should be required to stop developing its nuclear weapons capabilities before a meeting is allowed between the Iranian president and the president of the United States, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.
This finding is up six points – from 56% – in late January just after President Obama signaled a willingness to talk to his Iranian counterpart without preconditions. A year ago, 59% agreed with the Bush administration position that Iran must stop its nuclear weapons program before direct talks were possible.
Just 23% of voters now say a meeting between the two presidents should go ahead without any preconditions, and 15% are not sure.
Really, this is where Obama lost me last year. The first time Obama promised to meet with Iran, Cuba, etc., “without preconditions” was in a debate with Hillary Clinton and the other candidates, and it was obvious that he misspoke. But rather than backtrack or issue a “restatement” or any of the other many things politicians do to admit they’re wrong without admitting they were wrong, Obama solidified his position.
And that’s when it became all-too-clear that this guy had a lot more ego than sense. Let’s hope now that the election is behind him, the President can back off from his silly, stubborn mistake.
Bye-bye manned space flight? From Slashdot:
“Other recommendations contained in the bill include a $77million reduction in NASA’s proposed space operations budget, which includes the space shuttle and international space station; a $6 million reduction in science; and a $332 million shift in funds from the Cross Agency Support account to a new budget line-item included in the subcommittee’s mark. Dubbed Construction and Environmental Compliance, the new account would be funded at $441 million. Congressional aides said the new line item and accompanying funds are aimed at consolidating NASA’s various construction efforts into a single pot of money.”
I’m a small government guy, but NASA is one place I’d hesitate to make cuts – especially in an age when government is learning to make do with more, more, more. Why? Because space flight is one area where we get something unique for our tax dollars — a sense of wonder, unaccompanied by dread or disgust.
(Hat tip, Glenn.)
Bush and Cheney are long gone, but the Unitary Executive lives on:
The Obama Administration argued Monday that no court, including the Supreme Court, has the authority to hear a challenge by Indiana benefit plans to the role the U.S. Treasury played in the Chrysler rescue, including the use of “bailout” (TARP) funds. The Indiana debt holders, U.S. Solicitor General Elena Kagan wrote, simply have no right to raise that issue, thus putting it out of the reach of the courts.
“Don’t like the way we run things?” asks the Obama Administration. “Then we’ll see you in court — not!”
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled moments ago that Chrysler cannot yet sell most of its assets to Fiat, a move that has been opposed by three Indiana state pension and construction funds.
The ruling grants a stay in the sale as the court gathers more data and schedules a hearing on the matter.
It temporarily blocks the way for Chrysler to complete its merger with the Italian automaker and begin its new, post-bankruptcy life.
The U.S. favors the Chrysler-Fiat merger and wants to remove the Indiana road block.
“I’m delighted it appears we will be getting our day in court,” Indiana state treasurer Richard Mourdock said in an interview on CNBC.
Finally, someone is applying a brake (albeit a very small one) to our headlong rush into Obamanomics, aka “Industrial Policy.” Which, as you know, worked such wonders for Japan in the ’90s and has lifted millions of hepatitis-suffering, inebriated Russians into [sic] poverty.
The new iPhone 3GS (the S is for “speed”) just debuted and hits the shelves on June 19th. Video camera and editing, voice controls, compass, now accepts hardware accessories. Oh, and 16GB and 32GB models at the old 8GB and 16GB prices, respectively. (No 64GB iPod Touch, however, which I would have found tempting as all Elle.)
Very nice, but nothing game changing, I don’t think. I’ll wait until my second year of AppleCare coverage runs out in October before I buy a 3GS.
But starting today, you can get the “old” 8GB 3G model for just $99. Now that might just be a game-changer.
It’s an all-new Meet the Blogs with Bill Whittle, Rick Moran, and your friendly neighborhood VodkaPundit. On this week’s show:
Walking like an Egyptian.
Receiving a presidential parsing.
The unbearable lightness of being unemployed.
Plus, the excitement of being the second-tallest building in Tulsa.
And if you enjoy the show, don’t forget to give it a nice star rating.
There’s an all-new PJM Political for your downloading pleasure. On this week’s show:
Five questions for James Lileks.
Ed Morrissey of Hot Air.com, on watching his site smeared by master-of-the-Internet Bill O’Reilly last Wednesday, then its boss attacked (along with nine other conservative women) by a writer in search of a “hate-f***” at Playboy.com.
From PJTV.com, Roger L. Simon and Lionel Chetwynd ponder why politics no longer stops at the sports arena’s edge.
Plus, Ed Driscoll and I talk about the suckitude which is the New Newsweek, Silicon Valley’s death wish, and Arlen Specter’s filthy mind.
The media critic’s job is to provide context, so here we go. Let’s start from the bottom and work our way up.
First headline – Big government spending programs — having opposite desired effect… :
The Federal Reserve announced a $1.2 trillion plan three months ago designed to push down mortgage rates and breathe life into the housing market.
But this and other big government spending programs are turning out to have the opposite effect. Rates for mortgages and U.S. Treasury debt are now marching higher as nervous bond investors fret about a resurgence of inflation.
Well, duh. Some of us have been warning you about this since before Obama was even sworn in. Look, stimulus spending can’t work, because of one of three things happens:
1. That extra spending means extra taxes which means the whole thing is a wash. (Government spending having some “multiplier” effect unknown to consumer or business spending is a big, fat lie.)
2. That extra spending means extra debt, which drives up interest rates, which chokes off growth.
3. That extra spending means extra money being printed, which means inflation which means any growth is illusory.
Of course, there’s no rule saying you can pick only one result. Mix and match up to all three to suit yourself! If I had to bet, I’d say we will indeed get all three.
Next headline — Unemployment Rate Gallops Ahead of Expectations… :
The White House says America’s employment picture is worse than the Obama administration had anticipated just a few months ago. The somber admission follows the latest jobless report showing the highest unemployment rate the United States has seen in more than 25 years.
U.S. unemployment jumped a half percent in May, to 9.4 percent prompting this comment by Austan Goolsbee, a member of President Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisors:
“The economy clearly has gotten substantially worse from the initial predictions that were being made, not just by the White House, but by all of the private sector,” said Austan Goolsbee.
Here’s the missing context: The Obama people are the ones making it worse, those stupid idiot dumb-dumbs. What, with the printing of the money, the driving up of the interest rates, and the impending raising of the taxes.
Look. When you hire an employee, you’re betting on the future. You’re betting your own money that there will be enough new business to justify your new hire. And to put a human face on it, you’re making a commitment to another human being who will be counting on the power of your judgement to put food on his table.
Are you going to take that risk and make that commitment when the dumb-dumbs are in charge?
Next headline, sans link: NYT MONDAY: TENSIONS GRIP OBAMA ECONOMIC TEAM… DEVELOPING…
Let’s pretend for a moment that, god forbid, you break your arm. And somehow you end up with a team of doctors all trained at Obama University. As you lie there on the table in the ER, one doctor treats your arm by banging on the unbroken one with a ball-peen hammer. The second doctor takes the unusual course of setting your hair on fire. And the third one uses leeches.
Undeterred by your arm’s stubborn refusal to set, soon the doctors start blaming one another. And even though all of them are doing nothing but compounding your injury, none will take any blame. In fact, the louder you scream, the harder they go to work on you.
That, apparently, is what’s going on in the West Wing these days. Our economy is being managed by Dr. Howard, Dr. Fine, and Dr. Howard.
Last headline, again no link yet: OBAMA PLANS FOR NEW BANKING REGULATIONS… DEVELOPING..
So now in walks a fourth doctor. This one has some Percocet and a splint, and when you see him you think, “Oh, at last, someone who knows what they’re doing!” At which point, Hospital Administrator Obama shoots the fourth doctor in the face with a pistol. And wait until you see the hospital bill – they’ll charge you for everything, including the bullet.
Are the banks too scared to move? Then threaten them with an all-new regulatory environment, one which might leave them as screwed as a GM bondholder!
Add up all the headlines and here’s what you have: The certainty that the government will screw up the markets, and uncertainty as to what new rules the markets will work under. Everyone is too scared to move, and for good reason. So there will be no new jobs, there will be no growth.
Until Team Obama gets its collective head out of our asses, all we have to look forward to is bumbling incompetence and pointless arguments. Which might be entertaining if they didn’t result in taxes, stagflation, and the Francification of a once-great nation.
Get a taste of the new CAFE standards, when a new car that “isn’t much when it comes to stopping, going and turning” will be about the most exciting thing you’ll be able to buy.
By all accounts, the new Palm Pre is a really good smartphone. But is it good enough? Henry Blodget thinks not:
The smartphone game has become a waltz of elephants, and Palm is just a Jack Russell terrier. In the US, the smartphone war is between Apple, RIM, and, to a lesser extent, Google. Palm can yip a bit and run around nipping at the others’ feet, but it’s too late to become one of the big dogs.
He has other reasons to think so as well, but I hope he’s wrong. Competition has done some great thinks for the cell phone market the last couple of years, and I’d like to see the innovation accelerate.
UPDATE: Here‘s a contrary opinion.
Why did President Obama give his big speech in Cairo, capital of one of the Muslim world’s most-dysfunctional states? Why not Baghdad, home of the only (mostly) functioning democracy? Or Amman? Jordan isn’t just home to a bunch of Palestinians, but also its government is one of the nicer ones in the region.
Forget “netbooks.” Microsoft wants you to call them “low cost small notebook PCs.” If you find that tag too unwieldy, try this easy acronym: LCSNPC. It’s pronounced… uh… Licks-na-pick.
Say it out loud, right there at your desk.
Louder, please – I can’t hear you.
C’mon, like you mean it.
There. Now you sound as sensible as Steve Ballmer.
The bright folks in Silicon Valley might just come to regret helping to elect the most anti-business administration in recent memory:
Apple, Google, Yahoo! and Genentech are subjects of a fresh antitrust investigation surrounding hiring and recruiting practices among companies in the tech industry, according to Washington Post staff writer Cecilia Kang.
“By agreeing not to hire away top talent, the companies could be stifling competition and trying to maintain their market power unfairly,” antitrust experts said in the article. Hiring and recruiting can sometimes be a touchy affair, as Apple found out late last year when trying to hire Mark Papermaster. The investigation may suggest some kind of written agreement among large tech firms to not hire away each other’s top talent.
According to the New York Times, Justice has only requested documents for the ongoing investigation. Neither the Justice Department nor any of the companies mentioned in the story had any comment.
Stories like this just go to show there’s real room in this country for a real small-government party — fiscally conservative and socially liberal. And there’s plenty of money to support one.
Well, for now, anyway.
David Harsanyi has a few questions about Government Motors:
Will GM be run as profitably and efficiently as Amtrak? Will GM be paid not to produce like the agricultural sector? Will it feed into an economic bubble like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? Will it boast the negligible oversight and waste of the so-called stimulus package? Will it feature the fiscal irresponsibility of Social Security? Or will we see the runaway costs of Medicaid?
And the correct answer is — yes!