Two Beers in the Desert

ESPN has an interesting piece on the military in Iraq and the following of the Super Bowl...along with the news that they will get 2 beers a piece during the game.

Good news for them...I wish I could have had a few during my 6 months in Afghanistan.


Quarterly Exxon Obscene Profit Reality Check

People! Pay attention! We have covered this topic before....

Yes...Exxon made a profit of $45 billion. Feign shock/disgust/outrage at the "obscene" profits if you want. But know this...your rage is aimed in the wrong direction.

While Exxon was earning a $45 billion profit out of $477 billion of revenue...governments around the world were squeezing a profit of $116 billion out of that same revenue.

Yes, that is right. According to the numbers, Exxon paid $116 billion is total taxes in 2008. That is a profit 2.5x the one that Exxon is supposedly guilty of earning.

So if you think we need a 'Windfall Profit Tax" when it comes to oil profits, perhaps we should levy it on government, because no one made a bigger windfall than them.....



Yes, it is the festival of Pork-a-palooza here in Barack-a-topia....

Congrats America...like I've said before...we get what we vote for....


Nice Political Minority You Got There....

...I would hate for anything (worse) to happen to it.

Jennifer Rubin in today's WSJ has a great look at the general lack of graciousness on the part of the new President. Strange given that he was supposed to levitate above partisan rancor and bring healing to the land.
At a White House meeting he throws an elbow (”I won“) and chides them for supposedly following the dictates of radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh. (The Beltway Republicans are not above the latter, by the way, but their objections to the “stimulus” plan are on sound policy grounds.) Anyone who gets in his way is just opposed to “change.”
Now why this surprises anyone is news to me. Remember, when Democrats stress that they are trying to accomplish something in a bi-partisan fashion, it really means that they want Republicans to support whatever the Democrats propose. You know as opposed to the concept of compromise....

And this is exactly what President Obama is trying to do.... strong arming the GOP into getting on board the O-train, if they know what is good for them. A direct reality check for the GOP as to whom is in charge. "If you want to get along and be part of the bi-partisan utopia, you should listen to me, not that Limbaugh fellow. Or else you could find the next few years pretty lonely, and you wouldn't want that would you?"

The big irony here is that for as long as I can remember, Rush Limbaugh has been pleading with Republicans in Washington to stop trying to get the Democrats and Press to like them, because it will never happen. And he was imploring this (unsuccessfully) in years when the GOP controlled the political apparatus.

Unfortunately, he may need to double his efforts with that message, as it looks like peer pressure to be popular on the Congressional playground is being ratcheted up by the new cool kid who just moved into town...


Obama Gets 'Radical' with Press

Much has been made about yesterday's 'interaction' between President Obama, and a reporter from Politico.com.

What I found interesting is that how Obama quickly got into the reporter's face to argue with him.

This is straight out of Saul Alinsky's socialist playbook 'Rules for Radicals'...and rings back to Obama from the campaign, who applied those rules he certainty learned during his primary resumé tenure as a 'community organizer'.

In a campaign appearance, Obama once said, "I want you argue with them and get in their face..."

That's a pretty hands on application, I would say....

UPDATE: Rush points out another Alinsky rule being utilized by the President.....

Meet the New War....

...same as the Old War?

Instapundit links to President Obama's new orders to
our forces in the war on terror:
HOPE AND CHANGE! ABC NEWS: Obama to CIA: Bombs Away! No Let Up in US Drone Attacks.
A simple translation...keep 'Air Raiding Villages & Killing Civilians' guys....

So much for that Hope & Change®...


The Words of Inauguration

Below is the word cloud of today's Inauguration speech, with greater prominence for more frequent words.

Fairly innocuous, given that he was addressing all Americans, and probably wanted to insult none of them. All the 'safe' words are prominent..."Nation", "America", "people". Boilerplate.

But what the heck? I was promised Hope and Change! 'Change' only once? 'Hope' only three times?? This is highly disappointing.....

Left Turn

CNN brings us some shocking news about President Obama
"I'm a lefty. Get used to it..."
NOW he tells us!



We Get What We Vote For - Part V

America, if you want to see what you have voted for, go here:


Help them parse out the pork and largesse that is going to be shoved down your throat...

UPDATE: A quick experiment...I ran the text of the 'Stimulus' through 'Wordle', and this was the output of the most used words in the proposed bill....


The Next Right

If you haven't started reading it already, I heartily recommend a regular reading of the blog, 'The Next Right'. Some vigirous to-and-fro on how to rebuild the right of center structure, especially within the GOP, from some young and very bright conservatives.

Today's thought: The Coming Opportunity for the Right?
The point: Republicans are moving into a veritable golden age of "look what they're doing to you!" material, like we haven't seen since the Carter era stagflation. There are going to be so many outrages in the coming years that we can use to illustrate the costs of government and the case for more limited government.

The problem: We're entering a new era with the Old Guard. Republicans are thoroughly unprepared to do the kind of information organization, distribution and activism they would need to do to capitalize on this important opportunity, and - despite the fact that it's comparatively inexpensive - I'm not really sure they are yet willing to build the kind of modern infrastructure they need to do it.
Go and peruse their entire blog.....



Goodbye my friend.

Godspeed on your trip to the Rainbow Bridge.

Thank you for your years of companionship and unconditional love....

Gold Dust Twin Makes Good

Missed this the other day, but a hearty congratulations to one of my boyhood favorites....Jim Rice.


The Coming Obama Bubble

Is it just me or does anyone else think that if someone is currently invested in Obama Inc, they might want to sell their shares prior to Jan 20?

In my view, we are looking at the heights of an Obama market bubble, or fad if you will. Like Tulips, Dot-coms, leveraged Real Estate, Atkins Diets, and grunge band plaid, I believe it will either burst, or at least fade quickly from view.

One sign of this impending downturn is the fact that *everybody* has to get in on the game.

In the current cool craze at hand, along with your Obama commemorative plates, bobble head dolls, and action figures (soon to be found on eBay no doubt), you could also own a mint condition copy of 'The American Dog Magazine'.

Rush out and buy yours now, as it is sure to be a treasured keepsake in the decades to come.

C'mon...American Dog? Really? Also, having worked in dog rescue, I might have admired Obama's selection of a three-legged canine friend if he had done *before* he was running for President. Not in the middle of his campaign to show us how noble and caring he is.

Now this publication is just a sure sign to me that The One's bubble will pop/recede and all his parphenalia will soon be readily found in many discount bins at the dollar stores. The Inauguration Rapture will fade, and reality will set in. This whole giant group salivation over Obama reminds me of when a fad sweeps through a high school, and the peer pressure takes over. Or the herd mentality, when people are influenced by their peers to adopt certain behaviors, follow trends, and/or purchase items. Soon the fad or fashion will be will move onto the next cool thing. Especially when the the herd discovers that they hadn't gotten everything they were expecting out of the current craze.

So don't end up feeling like Randolph and Mortimer Duke. Sell high! Sell, Sell, Sell!

(Hat Tip: Jonah Goldberg)


Patriotic Stimulus

New reporting on the proposed "Stimulus" package shows it has some hurdles.
“The forecast Wednesday of a jaw-dropping $1.2 trillion one-year federal budget deficit will make it harder for President-elect Barack Obama to win broad support for a massive stimulus package that would add even more to the red ink.”
Instapundit says: "This stuff is polling pretty badly and is likely to poll worse as time goes on. Sooner or later, even Congress will notice."

My Take: Wanna Bet?

In case you haven't noticed, supporting this package is the patriotic thing to do.
Jonathan Martin of Politico reports that Joe Biden declared "we're at war," when talking about the current economic crisis with a group of congressional leaders yesterday. Biden's spokeswoman said that the vice president-elect was making the case that passing the stimulus bill will require members of Congress to join in the same spirit of cooperation that reigned just after the 9/11 attacks.
So it appears to me that anyone who is thinking of opposing the "Stimulus" had better be up for having their patriotism questioned.

Welcome to Barack-a-topia!


Barack To the Future

Suitably Flip has an extremely timely parody posted, and Team Obama hasn't even taken residence yet....
Barack To the Future

"I've decided to appoint Sanjay Gupta as my Surgeon General."

"Sanjay Gupta! The TV doctor?!"
Read on for more hilarity and some grave copyright infringements of a 1980s movie classic...

Taking Chance

I actually remember reading this moving 2004 post at Blackfive:
Taking Chance

The following is Marine Lieutenant Colonel Strobl's account of escorting the remains of Lance Corporal Chance Phelps. It's a long and beautifully written and it deserves to be read in it's entirety. It's about Valor, Honor and Respect....
On Feb 21, HBO will premier its new film "Taking Chance", starring Kevin Bacon as LtCol Strobl.

It is also an "Official Selection" for the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.
Given this, and the record of Hollywood films on portraying anything to do with the war in Iraq, I was at first wary. However, a viewing of the trailer for this film would seem to show a production that is true to the intent of Strobl's original writing. In the words of the Sundance Festival programmer, "...its potency comes not from melodramatic or political statements but simply from its reality and execution." Let us hope this is true.

Echoing Blackfive's words from 2004, the USMC and the Army, who have taken the brunt of the pain over the last several years, need this film to be all about "
Valor, Honor and Respect", and not the usual melodramatic political staement that Sundance is used to.

Happy New(clear) Year

You know, you really haven't rung in the New Year properly until you have received your copy of the '2009 Nuclear Emergency Planning Information Calendar' for your local nuc-ul-ar power plant.

Luckily, I got mine a couple of days ago.

This calendar is filled with all sorts of great things, especially the 12 peaceful nature shots that adorn each and every month.

Rest assured, this picture was not included:

What was included were the less-than-comforting sections titled "Personal Action Plan", Your Emergency Plan", "Disaster Supply Kit", and "Evacuation Assembly Centers".

I guess that this is a reminder that I need to invest some time in reading all those disaster preparedness links that Instapundit is always posting.

George Bush's Racist America

They told me that if George W. Bush was elected President, racist politicians would feel free to deny a black man access to political office. And they were right!


Of course Fox's anchor babe is going off right now on how this is all Patrick Fitzgerald's fault since he has not brought an indictment against Blago yet. And the Illinois Secretary of State won't certify Burris because of the accusations againt Blago.

So if it is Fitzgerald's fault, it must by association be Bush's fault.

See, they were right....

Perhaps Harry Reid should be less concerned with imagined civil wars in Iraq and Israel, and more concerned with one in his own chamber....


Harry Reid, Clearly Insane

I am seriously wondering if Sen. Harry Reid might have guzzled a carton of expired Eggnog over the holidays. Or perhaps some flesh eating bacteria from the deserts of Nevada is eating away at his brain.

You see, according to Dingy Harry, the military surge in Iraq is *still* a failure, and there are civil wars in both Iraq *and* Israel.

Yes...Iraq where violence (both anti-coalition and sectarian) is at 6-year lows, and Israel, where a democratic plurality is directing its own military to dispense with an external aggressor.

Technically, 'Civil War' is defined as "a war between political factions or regions within the same country".

We may have some of that in Iraq, but by all accounts, far less than in previous months and years. And if there is ongoing sectarian warfare with members of Labor, Kadima and Likud shooting each other down in the streets of Jerusalem, I must have missed that headline.

Methinks it is time for Harry to get a new job that is more his speed...

Hat tip: Gateway Pundit

UPDATE: Gateway Pundit has even more on Dingy Harry's coniving plan to have history remember him as one of the father's of the *successful* surge in Iraq.


Chump Change Bailouts

Everyone seems so concerned over all these bailouts and their dizzying amounts. I am not sure what everyone is worried about....

Newspaper Bailout - $??....Meh...

Automaker Bailout - $20 billion....'tis but a scratch!

Bank Bailout - $700 billion....peanuts!

Bailout of 5 Democrat-run Statehouses - $1 Trillion....merely a flesh wound!

National Debt - $10-13 trillion....that's nothing!

But if you want to really worry about something, take all those figures, add them together, and then multiply by a factor of 7-8.

If the new Congress is up to it, for the tidy sum of $101 TRILLION, yes, with a T....they could bailout the current unfunded liabilities of Social Security and Medicare combined. Somehow this reminder of the Social Security Annual Report got lost in the bailout mania back in October.

If only we had gotten Al Gore's 'Lockbox', we wouldn't have this problem....


Meet the New School, Same as the Old School

A NYT article from earlier in December was linked to by Instapundit to show how an unruly mob was threatening a disabled vet by chasing him through the streets.

However, that article has so much more to offer than just that juicy tidbit.

1) Has anyone noticed how journalism has slipped over at the NYT? I haven't, since I tend not to read it. But based on its former reputation, and this offering, I can only imagine it has. I would challenge anyone reading this article to figure out exactly what these spoiled children (i.e. students) were protesting about. Beyond citing a "list of grievances", which included Bureaucracy and some vague references to administrators support for the launching of the Iraq War (Dude, that is so 6 years ago...MoveOn already!), it is not exactly clear.

The article is entirely focused on the details of the protest action, not the reasons behind it. It s almost as if these reporters were trying to re-stoke memories of earlier heady days of elite university protest. Almost as if they wanted them to return.

Well NYT readers didn't have to wait long. The very next day, the same primary reporter on the byline produced an entire article (over 500 words longer than the first) comparing this small protest with the one that occurred at Columbia University in 1968.
When students at the New School staged an occupation in an academic building Wednesday night in an effort to bend the administration’s ear and will, it was difficult not to look back to the famous sit-in carried out in 1968 by students at Columbia University.
It just seems to me that perhaps that is the environment that some want to re-establish in these *new* heady days of liberal ascendancy. And the NYT will be there (maybe) to stoke the fires. Ya gotta love agenda journalism....

2) Ya also gotta love how liberals define things. Like how they define 'bipartisan compromise' to mean 'Republicans supporting everything the Democrats want', but never the other way around.

In this article we get the following fantastic utterance:
“This is about starting a dialogue, and to do that you have to be seen as an equal,” he said. “People just don’t give equality, you have to take it.”
So lets see, according to this graduate Philosophy student, 'dialogue' is now defined as 'a conversation between equals, just so long as your equal is bound and gagged in a chair, and is forced to listen to your list of grievances'. Ahhhh....Liberal Fascism in full bloom. What a beautiful sight....and it is not even spring.