Obama-Care to Put America on the Carbon-Neutral Train to Squaresville

Your Mandatory Saturday Afternoon Fun in 2010

If you're a politically-correct American who lives in a carbon-neutral home, rides a bike with matching spandex to work, gets plenty of time in at the gym, and only eats organic shit from Whole Foods, then these new policies aren't going to affect you much. But for the rest of us who aren't total fucking dorks and enjoy having a beer or six once in awhile, the creeping nanny-statism in Obama's health care plan should make libertarians out of all of you.

Many of the same autocratic creeps who brought you anti-smoking campaigns in the 90s to tax the bejeezus out of the nation's working class are back with similar plans for soda, alcohol, and anything else they deem morally unfit. I guess they still haven't learn how to mind their own damn business. From Politico:
Any health care reform plan that Obama signs is almost certain to call for nutrition counseling, obesity screenings and wellness programs at workplaces and community centers. He wants more time in the school day for physical fitness, more nutritious school lunches and more bike paths, walking paths and grocery stores in underserved areas.

The president is filling top posts at Health and Human Services with officials who, in their previous jobs, outlawed trans fats, banned public smoking or required restaurants to provide a calorie count with that slice of banana cream pie.

Even Congress is getting into the act, giving serious consideration to taxing sugary drinks and alcohol to help pay for the overhaul.
The problem has never been that it's wrong to exercise, eat healthy foods, etc. The problem is that it's not supposed to be the job of federal government to regulate the conduct of every citizen's life. Do the people proposing these regulations really think they are so morally superior as to micromanage everyone's affairs? Them and the Religious Right should get a goddamn room.


Obama to Save Economy by Employing Teens to Keep Them Off Your Lawn

Because Children are the Future

You're doing a heckuva job, Obama. Recent unemployment figures show that we are turning into a nation of hobos, and the reasons behind the economic collapse are, I admit, not all the fault of President O. But we could at least demand that he stop blowing smoke up our asses with hokey numbers from his spendulus plan.

Innocent Bystanders has some analysis on how the figures originally predicted by the administration were way too optimistic. See graph below to further your anxiety:
Now, to silence any criticism that maybe this monstrous $787B program was a lousy idea, Obama says that 600,000 jobs are going to be created this summer. Unfortunately, that number factors in teenage gigs working at the DQ and goofing off behind the cash register at the local Goodwill. CNS explains:
The biggest of the youth jobs program is in Cleveland, where 7,000 teens will be employed to work summer jobs through a $6.4 million program funded by stimulus money. About $3 million went to support 2,500 summer teen jobs in Riverside County, Calif., according to the report. Another 200 California teens will get summer jobs as a result of a $465,000 stimulus grant to Yuba County.
The Desert Sun out of Palm Springs has some more specifics on what kind of jobs the stimulus money created: minimum-wage jobs at state-run buildings so teenagers aren't making trouble during their summer break. Not that teenage employment is a bad thing, but using it to factor into the narrative about economic recovery for the American middle class is a bit sheisty.


Obama Names Bill Gates Head of the DoD

Much to the shock of the entire country, Obama has replaced SECDEF Robert Gates with former CEO of Microsoft Bill Gates. Thanks to JammieWearingFool for breaking the video of the speech of this shocking news.

In case you didn't know, William Gates III is the lovable nerd who survived numerous pantsings in high school to drop out of Harvard and start Microsoft. He became one of the most charitable people on the planet as well as one of the richest. Now he will be supervising all the US Armed Forces, the conduct of two counter-insurgency operations, and a controversial budget battle. Of course, Bill Gates would probably do a better job than Robert Gates' predecessor.


Obama Administration Continues to Brow-beat the Media Into Submission

Baghdad Bob and Bob Gibbs, Separated at Birth?

How hard a concept is it to grasp that public officials have a responsibility to answer questions from the media and not manipulate it to their own ends like some Ba'athist mouthpiece? The US Military understands this, most law enforcement institutions understand this, and dare I say congress might even understand this. But the Obama administration, ever in permanent campaign mode, seems obsessed with getting the media to heap praise upon them and not dare criticize The One's decisions. It's not like the White House press corps has been very critical in the first 100 days, but the President is unsatisfied that every front page article doesn't read like a press release.

Fox News recently got shut out of a Q&A session with the White House because they didn't broadcast the damn thing. Robert Gibbs started heckling NBC today when a straight-forward question from Chuck Todd was asked about Obama's sorry attempt at fiscal restraint. And now, Obama is just going straight to the reporters to tell them how to phrase his monstrous budget. From CBS:
In his remarks today, the president sought to change that tenor of that coverage. He mocked the notion that smaller savings are considered "trivial" in Washington and stressed that "these savings, large and small, add up."

And he told journalists directly that they should stress the fact that the cuts are "significant" – a surprisingly direct appeal to reporters concerning which angle they should take in their coverage.

"It is important, though, for all of you, as you're writing up these stories, to recognize that $17 billion taken out of our discretionary, non-defense budget, as well as portions of our defense budget, are significant," he said. "They mean something." (Here's the White House report on the cuts.)
And you thought the term "Banana Republic" was just some right-wing meme, mwahaha.

Penny-Pinching Obama Offers Up a 0.5% Savings To Monstrous Federal Budget

The Prez held a press conference today outlining cutting federal spending on wasteful programs to a tune of $17 Billion. Sure that sounds like a lot of cash, but it ain't much when you're dealing with $3.5T budget. As an analogy, it'd be like if you were $150,000 in the hole to angry Chinese mobsters, living on $1000/week, and decided it was time to cut back on your Saturday morning bagel with cream cheese and lox. From Political Punch:
The president laid out a number of examples of the more than 100 programs that will face cuts or termination, saying that many of them were outdated or ineffective.

The $17 billion in cuts add up to roughly one half of one percent of the $3.55 trillion budget. Still, the president said the savings are significant.

"These savings, large and small, add up. The 121 budget cuts we are announcing today will save taxpayers nearly $17 billion next year alone. That’s a lot of money, even by Washington standards," he said.
The real problem with the budget is that entitlement spending (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid) is out of control, rife with fraud, and will only get worse as the boomers approach geezerdom. In Obama's defense, it's difficult to have the political capital to take on these leviathans, because no politician has the mojo. If Jesus himself came down to become Messiah-in-Chief of America, he probably wouldn't be able to cut back on Social Security without fear of an AARP smear campaign.

When America is reduced to ashes being crushed by its exorbitant debt, remember that Democracy has it's own pitfalls as people tend to vote "What's in it For Me?" instead of any long-term viable strategy for the republic.


Why Do New Yorkers Hate America?

This may be the low-hanging blog-fruit of the day, but with the exception of putting a bunch of barrels on the subway marked "Swine Flu", can you think of anything that would spook New Yorkers more than low flying planes? The White House is suffering some serious embarrassment today after a botched "Highway to the Danger Zone" photo-op involving one of the Air Force Ones in lower Manhattan. From WSJ:
On Monday morning, one of the 747s used to ferry around the president of the U.S. was dispatched to the Statue of Liberty, escorted by fighter jets. Assignment: Get some fresh glamour shots of the plane.

The Air Force said the flight needed to remain confidential. So while New York police knew about it, as did at least one person in the mayor's office, regular New Yorkers remained in the dark.

As a result, to onlookers Monday all across downtown Manhattan -- where the World Trade Center once stood -- the photo shoot looked like a terrorist attack. People watched in horror as a massive aircraft, trailed closely by F-16 fighters, banked and roared low over the city, in a frightening echo of the events of Sept. 11, 2001.

Fearing the worst, thousands of people streamed out of the skyscrapers and into the streets. Some buildings ordered evacuations.
The notification process seemed to have been completely lost in the black hole of bureaucracy, and the Mayor didn't even know about it (let alone your average New Yorker). Hot Air has some video footage of the chaos that ensued.

The President was forced to issue a hasty apology, and because of this numbskullery, the planned Obama as Jesus artwork set to go up in Union Square would probably be best delayed.


My Banana Republic Tis of Thee...

Lousy Presidential candidate/decent guy, Sen. John McCain, said going on a "witch hunt" for people involved in the notorious legal memos regarding enhanced interrogation would turn us into a screwy Banana Republic. From Politico:
“Look, I didn't agree, as you said, with the techniques — and I'd be glad to continue that debate with people. But to criminalize their legal counsel, unless you can prove that they intentionally violated existing laws or ethics, then this is going to turn into a witch hunt,” he said.

McCain compared the potential prosecutions with the actions of “banana republics” that “prosecute people for actions they didn't agree with under previous administrations.”
I tend to take the Shep Smith position on the torture issue personally, but, like when maintenance gets "magically completed" between the hours of 0000-0200 on a Navy ship, sometimes it's best to not know how the CIA conducts business. What would the public have to gain by demanding the release of classified documentation during a time of war? MoveOn.Org's latest ad provides some insight into that question. Prosecuting Darth Cheney of course!

This along with the Obama's administration half-assed attempt at bank nationalization by not allowing TARP recipients to pay back the money, sending law enforcement after political enemies and veterans, and our skyrocketing debt certainly might put us in the running for Banana Republic status.

But we're not even a cool Banana Republic. There's no marching around the jungle with a machete in a tropical climate as part of Generalissimo's hit squad. There's no kickbacks from shady fat dudes in Hawaiian shirts laundering drug money. And there's no gaudy uniforms with big ass hats and made-up medals. All we get is lousy Oboner tributes from the sycophantic media about Obama's "house of rock" and shitty artwork of the El Presidente. This Banana Republic sucks.


Levin: Expect painful defense cuts

To go along with all of my other warnings of cuts in Defense spending (here, here, here and here), TSO sends the latest;

It happens every time the Democrats get control of Congress and the White House. They take money from defense and put it into social patronage programs. They win elections without the military vote, so what can it hurt them? Then when a Republican gets into office and tries to fix defense, they (and the media) scream to High Heaven about their spending. Reagan had to fix Carter's neglect of the military, Bush had to repair the damage done by the Clinton years. Think there were shortages during the Bush years, you just watch - the difference now is that our troops are under fire (despite their best attempts to change the language so it doesn't seem so). What happens when there's no ammunition for training now? What happens when there are no more cruise missiles this time?

And you have to ask yourself why Levin isn't being specific about the cuts. More than likely it's because there'll be some major cuts in personnel expenses. Things like pay, bonuses, recruiting, retention and training. That will place a drag on manpower needs. Lucky for Obama, Jimmy Carter brought back draft registration after Nixon ended it. Then watch the cuts to veterans' benefits. BOFO.


Online Town Hall with Obama Chocked Full of Obama Supporters

To further the cause of transparency, the online Obama town hall isn't necessarily a bad idea, but stocking the room full of Obama supporters has little to do with accountability in Washington and everything to do with the permanent campaign mentality. The Washington Post did some diggin' and has an explanation of why the "randomly selected" 5 asked hardball questions like "Thank you, Mr. President. My name is Sergio Salmeron. I want to find out about health care." From WaPo:
But while the online question portion of the White House town hall was open to any member of the public with an Internet connection, the five fully identified questioners called on randomly by the president in the East Room were anything but a diverse lot. They included: a member of the pro-Obama Service Employees International Union, a member of the Democratic National Committee who campaigned for Obama among Hispanics during the primary; a former Democratic candidate for Virginia state delegate who endorsed Obama last fall in an op-ed in the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star; and a Virginia businessman who was a donor to Obama's campaign in 2008.
This was the same online Town Hall where Obama blew off a question about marijuana legalization. Guess there were no talking points available on that one. It's no wonder that lefties like Bill Maher, Andrew Sullivan, and Paul Krugman are dropping the sycophantic nonsense and beginning to publicly criticize the President. 'Bout time they woke up and smelled the coffee.


Scary Zombie Training Video Released by Obamamaniacs

Following up on the "pledge" that Obama's never-dismantled campaign apparatus was going to be knocking on doors to talk about Toxic Avenger Geithner doing a heckuva job, they've released a training video. Ed Morrissey simply calls it "very, very creepy" as it furthers the bizarre cult-of-personality that Americans seem to have been swindled into. Evidence can be found at the Organizing for America website:
Today it was raining like crazy but several of us still went out and managed to get 212 pledges signed - not bad considering the weather. I was heartened by the strong support President Obama still enjoys locally. We got tee shirts made up for the occasion that have the Obama emblem and "President Obama - We Pledge Our Support" on them.

... Our President told us we have to stay involved if we expect the changes we voted for to happen. The special interests will be active - we have to be twice as active as they are!
Recall the scene in Jesus Camp where religious types blessed a cardboard cutout of former President Bush (in tongues!). At least those weirdos weren't sporting Obama-stickered clipboards and bugging me at the local grocery store to get behind the stimulus package.