"Ah, the dirty little secret is out. That $700 billion TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) bill was in part simply a variation on congressional pork - except this time the recipients were banks with friends in high places.
One of those powerful friends was Rep. Barney Frank (D-Newton), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. And one of the recipients of a $12 million infusion of federal cash was the troubled OneUnited Bank in Boston - a bank that had already been accused of “unsafe and unsound banking practices.” Its CEO, Kevin Cohee had also been criticized by regulators for “excessive” pay that included a Porsche."
Saturday, January 24, 2009
"Sorry, my mind wandered for a minute. Where was I?
Ah, yes. Government. Kind of boring, isn’t it? Who’s the defense secretary? Yawn. Who cares as long as it isn’t Bush’s guy? What’s that? It is Bush’s guy? Obama’s kept him on?
Heigh-ho. Doesn’t matter. Doesn’t matter that the new CIA honcho is open-minded on the virtues of waterboarding. Doesn’t matter that the new treasury secretary who’s gonna stick it to those greedy fat cats who don’t pay their fair share of taxes is a greedy fat cat who didn’t pay his fair share of taxes. If one night in Bangkok makes a hard man humble, one night in D.C. makes a cool man boring. But it doesn’t matter, because Obama’s so cool even his boringness is hot."
"...the real significance of Israel, Salman Rushdie and Geert Wilders is not that we ought be fans of that country, that author or that Dutch politician. To tell you the truth I don’t want to live in Israel, have never read Salman Rushdie, never met Geert Wilders. But they are the first cries from the periphery, the first signal from the outermost circle of the herd that the wolves are upon us. We who are still in the middle of the flock make think ourselves safe. Maybe we are, maybe it will take the wolves too long to chew their way to us, but I wouldn’t bet on it."
Seems like that process is accelerating at the moment . . . .
Friday, January 23, 2009
"Inevitably some will kill again, maybe in a neighborhood next to yours."
This is definitely a worthwhile read. The history of GITMO being GITMO actually goes back to the Clinton administration; and, of course, the devil is in the details. I predicted months ago that Obama would never really close the detention center. Now that he has signed the order to close it within a year, I am sticking, more or less, to my guns because closing the base while just shuffling the detainees to other centers or countries doesn't really count in my book.
It would not surprise me, however, if the heads-in-the-sand human rights "activists" whom I seem to be surrounded by are perfectly content with this type of solution. Out of sight, out of mind is their motto..... and as long as the NY Times lets them off the hook, they will sleep easier.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
"Who cares about dead Africans if you can’t connect it to Global Warming or George W. Bush?
This creates a species of “invisible men”; people whose lives and deaths go unnoticed because they aren’t the topic of conversations in the chic places of the world. Maybe that’s the way it should be. Maybe we should be marching in indignation over the death of some Hamas operative and who gives a rat’s ass anyway about a bunch of guys in the jungle? But Richard Landes’ idea of getting the quantitative weights back into the picture are worth thinking about.
If Israel killed only .3 percent of all Muslims who have died in conflicts, then who killed the other 99.7%? Maybe the reason we don’t want to ask the question is we don’t want to hear the answer."
"The point of all this? Excuse me, but as a cynic I confess the politics of the left are now about power, ego, status, and the notion of control, rather than genuine concern for the planet, or the creed of egalitarianism or for freedoms of the people. The conservative grandee at least lives by his unapologetic creed, one that we sometimes abhor, but accept is consistent with the natural law of the jungle in that the stronger and more capable claim that that they deserve a greater material reward for their greater accomplishments or, barring that, even unabashedly for their greater luck in being born lucky.
But for the leftist. the desire for wealth, status, exceptional treatment, all this earns the additional wages of hypocrisy. We all know the conservative failing—that a Larry Craig or Mark Foley who preaches constraint and traditional values are themselves slaves to nefarious and destructive appetites. But ignored are their liberal counterparts in hypocrisy—that men and women of the people no more wish to live as the people than the rich they so loudly despise. If some conservatives adopt the patina of a Cato’s stern agrarian conservatism to mask their own weakness for drink, or drug, or sex, then at least grant such psychological states exist for many liberals who demand global parity as a sort of psychological get o"
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Some of you must still believe that politicians are meant to serve rather than be worshiped. And there must be someone out there who considers partisanship a healthy, organic reflection of our differences rather than something to be surrendered in the name of so- called unity — which is, after all, untenable, subjective and utterly counterproductive.
How about those who praised dissent for the past eight years?
I would strenuously suggest that you read this in its entirety - as much as I would like to post the entire thing, I know that it just makes things too long. Let me just remind those of you who have been using the 1960's analogies for the past eight years (Vietnam, civil disobedience, Vietnam, oppression, Vietnam, and well, you know the rest) - yesterday was Woodstock all over again. Millions will claim to have been there; and that it was a turning point in our cultural heritage, a "New Beginning" for peace and love in the universe...... Please remember that Altamont followed by just a couple of months....
"The celebrity decadence during the “oppressive” Bush years was world class. The clubs raged. The boutique hotels rocked. The private jet industry at Van Nuys airport flourished. The party never stopped. And only a precious few (Thank you, dearly!!!) stepped up to support the American troops who have been valiantly fighting for Hollywood’s right to do lines off of each others’ buttocks at $10 million Hollywood Hills mansions.
They never spoke up against the movies that demonized our military.
They never made movies to counter the libel.
They took the easy route. And blamed Bush for everything."
Read it all!
Kathryn, Jonah, that Tom Brokaw comparison between Obama's inauguration and the Czech revolution is, of course, deeply insulting to millions of people around the world who know what it's like to live under a tyrannous regime and aren't so parochial and narcissistic as to confuse it with sitting around over a decaf latte and lo-fat granola bar complaining that Bush is shredding the Constitution because some radio station in Texas hasn't put the Dixie Chicks' 'Rock Against Libby' CD into high rotation."
"Up to a hundred Palestinians in Gaza who have defied house arrest orders have been tortured in children’s hospitals and schools converted into interrogation centers. People have been shot in the legs or had their hands broken. The campaign has been described as a “new massacre”. One victim had his eyes put out. No one was safe from the torturers, not even those attending funerals. When is will the UN act to put a stop to this horror? Won’t President Obama intervene to stop these barbaric acts? Aren’t international human rights monitors going to put a stop to this? When will War Crimes charges be preferred against the perpetrators?
CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: Despite voting for Obama, “I want to say why I still do not wish that Al Gore had beaten George W. Bush in 2000 or that John Kerry had emerged the victor in 2004. . . . It’s just that there’s an element of hubris in all this current hope-mongering and that I am beginning to be a little bit afraid to think of what Wednesday morning will feel like.”
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
"Appearing on Oprah Winfrey’s show this afternoon, Jill Biden, wife of Vice-President elect Joe Biden, made a verbal gaffe that could land the Obama Administration in some hot water. Mrs. Biden let slip that her husband Joe was offered a choice of either the Secretary of State’s position or the Vice-Presidency."
The biggest group of donors were none other than the recently bailed-out Wall Street executives and employees.
"The finance sector is well represented, despite its recent troubles," Ritsch said. "Those who worked in finance still managed to pull together nearly $7 million for the inauguration."
The donors will get some of the best seats in the house for the inauguration, as well as admittance to some of the best balls and other events.
Monday, January 19, 2009
Note now that the buff Obama is taking office, stories gushing about Obama's daily workouts flood the channels. Oh, yes, and the same people who belittled Bush for sending troops to war even though he only served in the National Guard somehow do not seem to notice Obama's utter lack of military experience …
There was little upside in supporting Bush, even if you had supported his agenda [Yes YOU, Northeast Corridor Conservatives].
In the course of a New Republic article analogizing George W. Bush to Herbert Hoover, historian Alan Brinkley perpetuates the long-discredited myth that Hoover failed to stop the Great Depression because he pursued laissez-faire policies....
Sunday, January 18, 2009
The metastasization of FEMA teaches several lessons – the first and most obvious being that any new government program, agency or entitlement will always outgrow whatever narrow purpose it was created for. Which is why we small-government types are wary of creating any new ones in the first place. Thus, an itsy-bitsy bit of inconsequential government tinkering on the periphery of the mortgage market expanded to the point where federally mandated home loans to the uncreditworthy came close to collapsing not just the U.S. property market but the global financial system.
If you'd suggested in the Seventies a new federal agency to cope with municipal snow removal in Connecticut, you'd have been laughed out the room. But, with government, mission creep isn't a bug but the defining feature. In mid-September, the 'bailout' was a once-in-a-lifetime emergency measure to save the planet. A mere four months later, it's the new baseline. If your congressman's lousy boondoggle has got six zeroes on the end, it's an earmark: Boooooooooo! If it's got 12 zeroes, it's a 'stimulus': Hurrah!