Friday, July 31, 2009

Healthcare for Clunkers

It was in the stimulus package. Buy a new car and get a rebate (up to $4,500.00) for trading in your inefficient old "clunker". The clunker, (if it passed the government clunker-test) would be taken off the road and scrapped, the government-run auto industry stimulated, you'd get a brand-new, new-car-smelling new car and the planet would be saved, all in one fell swoop. Scheduled to kick-in on the 1st of July, many dealers and buyers made their deals over the first two weeks of the month, based on the government's promises and published clunker criteria, only to find the feds holding-up the start of the rebate payments until the middle of the month. When the funds were finally released after the 15th they came with a brand-new, updated and more restrictive set of clunker criteria, non retro-active, thus gumming up a myriad of good-faith trade-ins already made on the basis of the pre-published clunker criteria. Tough break that, for the chumps who will now get no rebate and must pay the full price for the new car. No worries, though, the program was still drawing buyers by the droves to the new car showrooms over the last couple of weeks of the month.

Today, the program was canceled for lack of proper planning. As I recall, Congress didn't have of lot of opportunity to read the stimulus bill before they passed it, and neither did the President, before he signed it, so that's understandable. But they'll read the Healthcare bill, right?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Fixed Gaze Jihadi

A sad story of jihadi tourism.
The unnamed "foreign fighter" whose corpse was put on display by the alleged government of Somalia has been identified on a jihadi forum as former Minneapolis, Minnesota resident Jamal Bana. He had previously been identified by his mother, who found a picture of his dead body on a Somali news site. HT: Internet Haganah.
Like at least one other of the missing Minnesota Somalis, Jamal Bana "al-Amriki" was presumably executed when he quavered at performing his designated jihadist duties. These are the guys whose bodies Congressman Keith Ellison (MN-5) wants the federal government to buy back to Minneapolis for burial.

Quote of the Day

In response to Massachusetts Senator John Kerry's quoted opening remarks to his Senate Foreign Relations Committee and this apocalyptic intro from a recent Political Intelligence Column at
Massive crop devastation, melting glaciers, water shortages, millions of displaced people -- all of these will drag the US military into conflict if global climate change goes unchecked, a Senate panel was warned today.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, convened by Senator John F. Kerry of Massachusetts, focused on what so far has received only modest attention in the climate change debate: the effect it is bound to have on national defense.

An intrepid observer opines:

"Well Bush might have been misunderestimated but he did manage to keep two of America's biggest morons out of the White House so kudos to him for that"
-Comment #168, posted by Lynn at 10:15 a.m. from the recent Political Intelligence Column at on the subject of Sen. John Kerry's fear-mongering "climate change" hearing.

When the government starts buying science, you know it won't stop until it gets what it wants.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Creepy Warrior

It used to be asked when shown a picture of President Richard (Tricky Dick) Nixon: "Would you buy a used car from this man?". The question more or less had its answer embedded in the combination of the questioner and question. The very fact that the question was asked made it merely rhetorical. We all knew the answer was no, without saying a thing. Nixon's adversary back then was progressive Minnesota Senator Hubert Humphrey, who was known as the "Happy Warrior" in his day for his upbeat and indefatigable efforts in the cause of civil rights. Barack Obama is the Creepy Warrior. Humphrey and Nixon have changed rhetorical places and the question has changed, too. "Would you dare to try to buy your health insurance from anyone other than this man?" Progressivism's new coercive inspiration.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Undoing the Bush Legacy

From the war in Iraq, to missile defense for Eastern Europe, from increasing domestic oil and gas production to embryonic stem cell research, the Obama administration has been hellbent on reversing virtually everything set in place by the previous administration. Where we have seen backpedaling on the part of the Obama stampede to undo everything Bush it has been because of inconvenient intervening facts, as in the case of jihadi recidivism and the related Gitmo closure problems. Here's another bit of the Bush legacy recently undone as reported by the Wall Street Journal:
The Bureau of Labor Statistics preliminary estimate for job losses for June is 467,000, which means 7.2 million people have lost their jobs since the start of the recession. The cumulative job losses over the last six months have been greater than for any other half year period since World War II, including the military demobilization after the war. The job losses are also now equal to the net job gains over the previous nine years, making this the only recession since the Great Depression to wipe out all job growth from the previous expansion.
The past six months are Obama's work. Impressive.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Obama's Lifestyle Cops at Work

In a recent column, Hertitage Foundation contributor Ronald D. Utt cuts to the chase in his acerbic disquisition on some Obama administration policy:
"Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood remarked in May that his livability initiative "is a way to coerce people out of their cars." When asked if this was government intrusion into people's lives, LaHood responded that "about everything we do around here is government intrusion in people's lives," a sentiment that would have certainly surprised the authors of the United States Constitution, a document whose major purpose was to restrain government."
Mr. Utt points out how the new policy appears to be directed at re-creating a nineteenth century transportation lifestyle on the backs of twenty-first century taxpayers. Bear in mind, of course, there were no income or corporate taxes in the nineteenth century. If we're to have free health care (for the healthy), its hard to see how we're going to be able to afford much $5.00 gasoline, right?

One wonders just how a young family of six will be able to exist in our brave new world. Clearly transportation will be an increasingly problematic issue as government pressure mounts to limit the size of new vehicles. There's just so much carbon guilt already that driving down the size of families is just one more way to alleviate it and limiting their transportation options is one way to do it.

Read his article here.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

An Ummah of Ants

From the BBC Earth News comes this:

Argentine ants (Linepithema humile) were once native to South America. But people have unintentionally introduced the ants to all continents except Antarctica.

These introduced Argentine ants are renowned for forming large colonies, and for becoming a significant pest, attacking native animals and crops.

Remarkable behaviour. See the article "Ant mega-colony takes over world".