Bad Money After Worse

Talk about throwing good money after bad. The International Herald Tribune reports that Team Obama plans to send $900 million to Gaza:

In an early sign of how the administration plans to deal with Hamas, the militant Islamist group that controls Gaza, an official said that the aid would not go to Hamas but would be funneled through nongovernmental organizations.

Being unreasonably optimistic, let’s presume all of this money goes to “the citizens” and not a dime lines the pockets of Hamas leaders and “security forces.” Would that in any way address the underlying issue that Hamas still enjoys broad support throughout Palestine? We know that civilians are used as shields, willingly or no, and that the line between who’s a soldier and who’s not often depends on whether Western cameras are around. Will the lives of Palestinians be improved by our tax dollars?

Doubt it. Best case scenario, the millions we send to Gaza will go where they are needed… and Hamas will be free to go about their business of tunneling, smuggling, and rocket attacks, little inconvenienced over the suffering they’ve caused their fellow citizens. Palestinians will go right on hating Israel and her allies, and President Obama will be another billion dollars away from this balanced budget we’re going to be taxed out the wazoo for.

This makes me wonder what I’d have to do for a few million bucks. If I trashed my house, terrorized my neighbors, and whined non-stop about how cruelly victimized I am, think that’d do it? Maybe I should start an unsustainable business, or make lots of awful investment decisions. Yes indeed, things are looking up here in the land of opportunity! Until someone has to pay for it…

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Cultural Enrichment #….?

I have no idea how many cultural enrichment posts we’ve done, and honestly don’t want to look to find out, so we’ll leave it at just “Cultural Enrichment.”

I have never been big into the Academy Awards, and have remained apathetic this year.  I have only ever watched the award show once, and found that it was just as boring as I had expected it to be.  If I want to hear about the winners, I will look them up on the interwebs the next day.  This year there seemed to be more interest in the Academy Awards than I remember previously (interest that is not mine, but that of the people I’ve had discussions with about films).  I haven’t been able to figure out why this is the case, but my reigning theory is that the Heath Ledger saga has increased the “typical” movie-goer’s interest in the awards.

I am glad to see that the aforementioned Mr. Ledger did win the “Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role” Oscar.  It is completely unfathomable to me how someone could get that wrapped up in an acting role, and for this he most definitely deserved the award.  Past that, it would seem that “Slumdog Millionaire” won a bunch.  Feel free to correct me if you have the need, but I will most likely never watch that movie because it looks boring and bad – two things that I have found to impact films negatively, especially when combined into one movie.

For those of you who are interested, imdb.com has a very good and very complete list of award winners this year.  This is not only a list of the Academy Awards, but seemingly all of the award shows (the ones I’ve heard of at least).  You can find this comprehensive list here:  Road to the 2009 Oscars.

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Wow. Just… wow.

Yesterday the NAACP jumped on board the Sharpton Express – a mode of transportation they use far too often – and called for the firing of the NY Post cartoonist who drew this:

post_chimp_cartoon

The cartoon mocked the “stimulus” bill written by Congress and signed by President Obama while referencing the police shooting of a crazed pet chimpanzee last week in Connecticut. Seems perfectly clear and simple to me, if not all that funny. Fatal error: the use of a chimpanzee.

“This is tastelessness taken to the extreme,” he said. “For the publication to suggest the only people who object to it are constant critics of the New York Post is beyond ridiculous.

“This was an invitation to assassination of the president of the United States and anyone who was not offended by it doesn’t have any sensibilities.”

Wait… what??? Maybe the fatal error was depiction of a shooting? Maybe those Connecticut cops should be locked away for their hate-motivated murder of a species racists often compare to black people? That Al Sharpton is still paid attention by any sensible person is outrageous. That an allegedly respectable national organization sees a dumb cartoon about a chimp and declares it a call for assassination of the president is… I’m not even sure what.

Who cares that President Obama didn’t write the stimulus bill; Al Sharpton has bigger things than “facts” to worry about. Like, for instance, being one of the premier racists in the country and finding things to decry as offensive. If Barack Obama is the post-racial politician he has claimed to be, this seems like a great opportunity to criticize the NAACP for a childish display. On the count of three, let’s all hold our breath…

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Let ‘im Have it, Joe!

Joe Biden, Vice President and Ever’day Guy, is still fired up about that awful President Bush and everything he wrecked. Don’t worry, there’s a new sheriff in town, and his assistant is helping with PR in what’s shaping up to be a neverending campaign:

Mr. Obama also ordered the closing of the secret overseas detention program for Al Qaeda that the C.I.A. created after the 2001 terrorist attacks.

Mr. Biden said the new president’s actions “reverse the policies that in my view and the view of many in this agency caused America to fall short of its founding principles and which gave Al Qaeda a powerful recruiting tool.”

How long can Obama and Biden fiddle this tune? The economy is bad because that Dubya, he deregulated things. Arabs hate us because, didn’t you know, President Bush had Marines knocking random doors throughout the Middle East and hauling off whoever answered! Why, before the United States started imprisoning foreign terror suspects, Al Qaeda had nothing but the Muslim Brotherhood, Saudi funding of Wahhabist extremism, wrecked economies, uneducated populations, jealousy of the West, and a generally hopeless Middle East to ease recruiting!

If things don’t turn around in Afghanistan, I’m sure it will be because President Bush cooked up those concerns about Saddam, who everybody knew was no big deal. If Iraq’s young democracy fails, it will be because President Bush was too stupid to let the Ba’athists have their playground. If Iran nukes Israel, look no further than President Bush and his childish snubbing of the annual March Madness with Mahmoud tournament pool and cocktail mixer.

So remember, any time you’re wondering, “Why is ____ such a mess?” the answer is, “Because George W. Bush ruined ____.” Lest you forget, President Obama will be providing reminders in every press conference and public address for the next 8 years. No need to dwell on the mistakes of Congressional Democrats or overgrown bureaucracy when the solution to every problem is to spend more money and speak more eloquently than your predecessor!

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Valentine Weekend Magic

Nancy Pelosi has a finger on the pulse of the proletariat and, as always, knows how the little people feel:

She said that the House version makes up the vast majority of the compromise, that it is a “major accomplishment” for both Congress and Obama, and that Americans are “excited” about the bill.

According to CNN she is – right. In a story from Tuesday:

While the president puts on a full-court press, the debate over the $800 billion-plus bill — which includes increased government spending and tax cuts — appears to have split the public. A slight majority, 54 percent, favors the bill; 45 percent are opposed.

76% of the (whopping 806) people questioned over this past weekend approve of President Obama’s job performance. It doesn’t matter, I guess, that the President immediately began appointing tax cheats to numerous Cabinet positions upon taking office. It doesn’t matter that the man who campaigned on change and moderation proceeded to back the farthest extremes of his own party on the first big legislation of his tenure. If “We are the Change we’ve been waiting for,” we are nitwits.

But back to these magical feelings a slight majority of Americans feel about the largest spending bill in our nation’s history. If we’re going to pretend 95% of us are holding hands as we gaze leftward into the new progressive dawn, why not go whole-hog? This is, after all, the Winter of Pork. Forget “excited.” When it comes to this stimulus billl, I am downright twitterpated.

No, I’m kidding… for a second there I’d forgotten my Pelosese. Remember, in the dialect of Pelosi when something is necessary “for the children,” it’s for the benefit of ACORN, big labor, environuts, and the abortion lobby. When a native speaker of Pelosese refers to “Americans,” she’s talking about ACORN, big labor, environuts, and the abortion lobby. When government must start “creating jobs,” it’s… well, 45% of us get the picture. That she’s correct in this case is less a product of Nancy Pelosi having any clue what goes on outside California and D.C., and more a product of the Obama honeymoon stretching longer than it oughta.

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Change, Indeed

A week into February and already we can lay to rest any hopes that there was truth in President Obama’s rhetoric about bipartisanship and moderation:

Obama poured scorn on Republican critics who said the stimulus bill lacked enough tax cutting measures and pointed his finger at the polices of his Republican predecessor George W. Bush for dragging the country into recession.

“We can’t expect relief from the tired old theories that, in eight short years, doubled the national debt, threw our economy into a tailspin, and led us into this mess in the first place,” Obama said.

“We can’t rely on a losing formula that offers only tax cuts as the answer to all our problems while ignoring our fundamental economic challenges.”

The MoveOn.org tone is unbecoming. How long will we have to listen to this fairytale where President Bush harmed the country by being insufficiently progressive? More spending! More regulation! More taxes! We have a lot of making up to do after 8 years under that deregulation-crazed, tax-cutting cowboy!

This whole situation has been a perfect opportunity for Obama the Centrist, if only he existed. Every bill Nancy Pelosi supports and every statement she makes provides new nonsense he could position himself to the right of. Why not encourage the idea of spending an assload of money on liberal pet projects while paying lip service to trimming the most ridiculous features and letting Americans keep more of their money? Because Obama is Pelosi with a better speaking voice.

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Grim Outlook

We are well and truly screwed. Sayeth President Obama:

The time for talk is over. The time for action is now.

Why didn’t someone tell the voting public this before we elected a President whose only proven skill is talking? Meanwhile John McCain, doggone him, tried an alternative stimulus bill that reminds us why, despite his shortcomings, he was the far better choice:

It carried a price tag of $421 billion, less than half the White House-backed measure. The majority of that was in the form of a one-year cut in the payroll tax and reductions in the two lowest income tax brackets.

Sad to consider that a $421,000,000,000 bill is light and refreshing compared to whatever leviathan the Democrats will end up passing. Alas, Harry Reid knows that history’s largest bundle of pork is worth sticking to regardless of what the miserable Republicans think:

If they think they’re going to rewrite this bill and Barack Obama is going to walk away from what he is trying to do for the American people, they’ve got another thought coming.

A massive pile of new spending from House Democrats is growing ever more massive in the Senate, which sits fine with Harry Reid. Instead of doing what he said he’d do and fighting the Democratic leadership as they use desperate times to employ the same old liberal measures, Obama will do what he’s always done: talk about centrism and act from the left.

I see two ways of looking at this.

  1. We elected liberals to the White House and both houses of the legislature so they could grow government and reduce freedom at great cost to taxpayers. America is screwed.
  2. We elected liberals to the White House and both houses of the legislature unaware that they would grow government and reduce freedom at great cost to taxpayers. America is screwed.

If you’re looking to feel really depressed, read Senator Coburn’s statement from yesterday. To quote Mark Steyn, from an October 26th Orange County Register article I wish more voters would have read,

The spirit of the age is: Ask not what your country can do for you, demand it. Why can’t the government sort out my health care? Why can’t they pick up my mortgage?

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