Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Amazing Adventures of O-Man and Sarko!

Tonight's Episode: "The Devil's Priorities"...

"Look, O-Man! Up in the sky! It's the Threat to Peace Signal!"

"Egads, Sarko! Bibi the Occupier must have filed building permits for another set of apartments in a Jewish neighborhood of East Jerusalem!"

"No, O-Man! It means the Twelfth Imam has skulked another step closer to his apocalyptic goal of nuclear annihilation!"

"Oh, Sarko! I already told you how I convinced the Twelfth Imam he had to reconsider his previous arch-refusal or face the Super Sanctions of our mighty League of Justifiers!"

"But, O-Man --"

"No, Sarko! The Twelfth Imam won't be troubling us any longer! Especially not after the way I forever contained the Wocket Man in the Half-Peninsula of Solitude!"

"But, O-Man! Seriously! I really think the Middle East is sending up this signal because of the Twelfth Imam!"

"Ha! Ha! And that's why you're the sidekick, Sarko, and I'm the Superhero!"

"I thought we were equal partners, O-Man!"

"And O-Man is First Among Equals! Now, to the Council Cave of Consensual Security!"

"Agreed, O-Man... For now..."

To Be Continued...

(H/T: Weasel Zippers)

"Archie Bunker on Democrats"

Off the Hook Republican Outreach at Club Voyeur

[As Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele continues to spin the damage resulting from $1,946 of RNC funds spent on “meals” at the bondage-themed Club Voyeur in West Hollywood, an anonymous source known only as "True Dom" has revealed to In My Copious Free Time that the reimbursement in question was actually for a new, “off the hook” outreach campaign targeting young, alternative voters. "True Dom" has also provided a copy of the actual paid political advertisement that would have aired during this now-aborted campaign...]

DISEMBODIED VOICE: Silence, voter! Attention will be paid!


MISTRESS ONE: I am Mistress Moral Hazard.

MISTRESS TWO: And I'm Meghan McCain.


MISTRESS TWO: Silence! *thwack!*

MISTRESS ONE: Are you tired of politicians who think “safe word” is another name for “speech code”?

MISTRESS TWO: Do you secretly yearn for your own “enhanced" interrogation?

MISTRESS ONE: Are you sick of Nancy Pelosi telling you to sit down and shut up without ever once having asked if this was the scene you really wanted to play?

MISTRESS TWO: Are you tired of Washington treating you like its own... personal... gimp?


MISTRESS TWO: Silence! *thwack!* *thwack!*

MISTRESS ONE: Did the fact Laura Bush was a librarian give you a hidden thrill that you could never admit to your oh-so-hip friends?

MISTRESS TWO: Are you tired of Washington only giving you “bad” pain?

MISTRESS ONE: Do you have secret fantasies involving Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachman’s lap and a hairbrush?

MISTRESS TWO: Are you sick of being ignored by a political culture that thinks BDSM stands for Biden, Dingell, Stupak, and Pelosi?


MISTRESS TWO: Silence! *thwack!* *thwack!* *thwack!*

MISTRESS ONE: Do you prefer your three-pointed patriot's hat be made of leather?

MISTRESS TWO: Is the Tea Party just too vanilla for you?

MISTRESS ONE: Are you looking for the After Party that follows the Tea Party?

MISTRESS TWO: Then we order you to come join the Play Party instead!

MISTRESS ONE: The Republican Party.

MISTRESS TWO: The Play Party.

BOTH MISTRESSES: Inescapably shackled together, until Washington finally listens to our collective safe word.

This message paid for the Republican National Committee. All models were at least 18 years old and registered voters as required by 18 U.S.C. 2257 and the Motor Voter Act. RNC Chairman Michael Steele was not on-set at any time during filming. Really. We swear.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sign (after Sign) of the Times

While walking the dog earlier today, I suddenly realized that I was staring at sign after sign of the times. In fact, I counted no less than five storefronts and windows announcing "For Rent" or "For Lease" on a single block of my small town.

Usually, I might notice one, or even two, on any given day. These signs and empty storefronts have become just another part of the landscape, something you barely even register because they never really change. I honestly don't know why they struck me so hard today.

I thought of snapping a picture for each and every one, and then posting them all here. Then I thought better of it. Besides, at least two of these storefronts have been empty since last November.

That particular window doesn't look quite so festive now. Or as hopeful.

Let's see how it looks this November.

Celebrating "Earth Hour 2010"

Robert Gibbs Receives Still Another "Threatening" Phone Call

"So what kind of fear-mongering Teabagger tirade is this phone call, Robert?"

"She says --"

"Is it some crazed Christo-facist leaving coffins on lawns and waving around racist prayer-vigil candles as code-props for burning crosses?"

"She's asking --"

"Is it some civic Neanderthal so consumed by rage he's able to hurl a rock through a Congressman's 30th-story office window?"

"She wants --"

"Is it some irresponsible politician inciting violence in Philadelphia by saying 'If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun,' because 'folks in Philly like a good brawl'?"

"She's asking if our tender sensibilities are actually time travellers who skipped the entire Bush administration."

"Skip the entire Bush administration? That's brilliant! Go tell Rahm to fire up the hot tub..."

Monday, March 29, 2010

A Brief Office Update

Finally, The Smell is gone.

The carpet has been restored. The furniture has been moved back in place, and then nicely rearranged. And I'm no longer editing scientific papers and college textbooks on the floor.

Oh, big and comfy leather office chair, how I've missed you!

TNT Proudly Presents Season 9 of 24

TNT proudly announces it has acquired the rights to Season 9 of the recently cancelled, ground-breaking series 24. As a basic-cable channel lacking the resources of a major broadcast network, we acknowledge the many necessary changes may cause long-time viewers some initial discomfort. TNT remains certain, however, that Season 9 will deliver the same level of thrills, plot twists, and edge-of-your-seat action that true 24 fans demand...

Previously on 24...

MITT: Domestic right-wing tea-partying extremists have kidnapped Professor Savior and plan to use his enlightened, ethical mind to -- I’m sorry, Professor Savior? Isn’t that a bit obvious?

PRODUCER: It’s symbolic.

MITT: I get that. I just think it’s a little over the top, don’t you? And look at my name. Mitt McPalin?

PRODUCER: You’re a composite. Like that President of the Islamic Republic of Not-Iran in Season 8.

MITT: He wasn’t a composite. He was Ahmadinejad.

PRODUCER: And people loved him. A brave reformer following his convictions to make a comprehensive peace with the West while simultaneously saving his daughter from the nuclear-armed religious terrorism that we, as Americans, brought on ourselves by picking on Not-Iran in the first place? And that hair! What's not to love?

MITT: You were busting stereotypes.

PRODUCER: Exactly!

MITT: So my character will bust the stereotype of all Republicans being hate-filled, racist homophobes?

PRODUCER: Right up until Episode 4, when we reveal you’re actually behind the whole thing.




HATE-CRAZED DOMESTIC EXTREMIST: Y’all don’ scare me! I’m clingin’ to my God and my gun!


HATE-CRAZED DOMESTIC EXTREMIST: I ain’t thinkin’ nuthin’!

NOT JON VOIGHT: Congress, the White House, and both political parties have betrayed this country. They’ve betrayed the American people. Spending money we don’t have, and saddling our unborn grandchildren with the ever-increasing debt. Ramming through badly written, unread, and unwanted bills in the dead of night. Taking ownership of a major corporation while simultaneously regulating its competitors. Treating our allies like our enemies, and our enemies like new friends. Nationalizing the entire student loan -- Guys? Hey, I’m sorry, but I’m supposed to be the villain here, right?

RENEE: I’m crazy, Jack! Do you hear me?! I’m crazy! And mean! I'm one crazy, mean FBI agent!

BAUER: I know what you’re going through, Renee. I can help get you past this.

RENEE: Got an informant?! I’ll cut his hand off! Got a lead?! I’ll stab him in the eye!

BAUER: Does this mean you’re finally ready to do what it takes to defend this country, and go undercover as a pole dancer?

RENEE: I’m crazy, Jack! Do you hear me?! And I’m mean! Just wait till you see what I do with that pole! Now give me your car keys! I want to go and [line deleted due to threatened legal action].

JACKIE BROYLES: Has Professor Savior finished that formula to turn all the biscotti in Berkeley into pretzels?

DUNLAP: All the biscotti into pretzels! Choke on that, America haters! You choke on those freedom pretzels and die!

JACKIE BROYLES: They all laughed their condescending liberal media elite laughs when George Dubya choked on a pretzel!

DUNLAP: They did, Jackie! But we'll see who's laughing now when the Culture Wars end today!

SAVIOR: I can’t allow my naturally selected, evolution-given abilities to be used for such evil. If I can only [tech] the [tech] and then [tech] the [tech] [tech] [tech], I should be able to --

PRODUCER: Cut! Sorry, Levi. Someone must have given you Bakula’s script by mistake.

SAVIOR: Hey, don’t take that away. I can sell these lines.

PRODUCER: No, Levi, you can’t.

SAVIOR: But you promised I’d have a chance to show America my real talent!

PRODUCER: Isn’t that what you did in Playgirl? *snicker*

SAVIOR: I thought you Hollywood people really liked me.

PRODUCER: You’re useful to us, Levi. Don’t confuse the two.

JACKIE BROYLES: So tell me, Levi, what was that fine American Sarah Palin really like?

DUNLAP: Want a pretzel, kid?

COLE: I don’t know about this undercover op, Jack. My intel from the MSNBC says that these extremists --

BAUER: MSNBC is not a government intelligence agency, Cole.

COLE: You’ve been out of the loop a long time, Jack. Since the bailouts, everything’s a government agency. The White House is just keeping it quiet for now to avoid a panic.


COLE: No, but I’m sure we don’t have time for you to tell me.


COLE: I swear to you, Jack, this op makes no sense! I’m the young Hispanic, and you’re the angry middle-aged white guy who lost everything protecting an ungrateful government that tried to put you in jail for saving thousands upon thousands of lives! YOU SHOULD BE WEARING THE DAMNED THREE-POINTED HAT, JACK!!!

BAUER: Fine. Now give me that fife and drum, too. If I'm going to defend this country, I'm going to defend it all the way...

BLONDE WHITE CHICK: You are all decadent products of a decadent culture! A culture of non-celebrity celebrity reality television zombies! PWAH! I spit on you, reality TV zombies! PWAH! And when I detonate this suicide vest -- Ooooo! These blocks of C4 really lift and separate! I look great!

BAUER: You were my best friend, Tony. I watched you die in Season 5, then come back to life in Season 7 as a bad guy, and then a good guy, and then a bad guy, and then a guy who didn’t care about good or bad and just wanted revenge for the death of your wife, your unborn son, and President David Palmer. Now, you want to tell me why you’re involved in this terrorist conspiracy, too?

TONY: I hate hipsters, Jack.


TONY: Don’t you see, Jack?! Can’t you understand?! We’re making a better world! Even as we speak, Chinese hackers are commandeering every satellite currently streaming signal into the United States! And they’re going to rebroadcast Super Bowl XLIII on every channel!


TONY: That’s right, Jack! The last thing every self-styled, enlightened “progressive” is going to see as they choke to death on their own pretzel-laden self-righteousness and greener-than-thou bile will be a violent patriarchal microcosm of the imperialistic American expansion against the peaceful indigenous peoples of the New World!


TONY: Of course I don't, Jack! I’m just killing time until the writers make me a good guy again so I can tell you how to stop it! And then I’ll say --

RENEE: I’m a mean, crazy FBI agent!


Renee stabs Tony through the chest with the stripper pole.


TONY: ...i’m sorry, jack...*cough*...but you can’t stop the rebirth of an idealized conservative america that never was...


TONY: haven’t been the hero...*gurgle*...of conservative america since you went all soft and kind of nuanced in season 7, jack...


TONY: ...maybe once...*ack*...but not now...*orp* least not since she got all weepy halfway through season 8...


RENEE: Is he dead yet? Give me your car keys, Jack. I want to go and [line deleted due to threatened legal action].

CHLOE: Par-tay in the server room! Par-tay -- Ow! My effin’ foot just got caught in a bear trap! And there’s a hungry cougar in the server room! A mole must have smuggled a hungry cougar and a bear trap into CTU and then put them in the server room while I tried to open a new protocol in my socket! Save me, Jack!

COUGAR: *squeak*


(Full cast list here.)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Yea and Nay Votes on Major Social Legislation

Presented without comment:

(Graphic from Political Math.)

The Cast of 24: Season 9

[This post has been backdated to appear below the 24 post in question.]

For those who have asked, here's the cast list for 24: Season 9:

Alan Thicke as President Mitt McPalin

Scott Bakula (who I think actually could pull off this role) as Jack Bauer

William Shatner as That Blackwater Guy

Lindsay Lohan as Renee Walker

Travis Harmon and Jonathan Shockley (two of the funniest guys on YouTube) as Jackie Broyles and Dunlap (as themselves)

Levi Johnston as Professor Savior

Mario Lopez as Cole Ortiz

Kate Gosselin as The Obligatory Hot Blonde White Chick Who Always Turns Out To Be A Radical Islamist Terrorist

Slade Smiley as Tony Almeida

Snooki (Jersey Shore) as Chloe O'Brien

A Conversation at Starbucks

"Is it just me, or did that guy's bike pants make the hairs on his bare legs look like they stuck straight out from his skin even more?"

"I wasn't looking at his legs."

Saturday, March 27, 2010

A Short Time Ago, In A Fiscal Quarter Not So Far Away...

All fines related to the individual health insurance mandate will now be collected by Boba Fett...

(H/T: Eye of Polyphemus)

Your March 2010 Stimulus Update

(Graphic from Innocent Bystanders.)

Robert Gibbs Receives Yet Another "Threatening" Phone Call

"So what kind of faux-outraged Teabagging incitement to political violence is this phone call, Robert?"

"He says --"

"Is it some toadying lackey of Big Insurance, peddling myths that health reform doesn't actually protect children with pre-existing conditions from being denied insurance this year, like I kept saying all along that it did?"

"Mr. President --"

"Is it another spineless lickspittle of the corporate special interests, spreading lies about health reform already costing AK Steel $31 million, 3M $90 million, Caterpillar $100 million, John Deere & Co. $150 million, and AT&T a whopping $1 billion in writedowns?"

"Uh, Mr. President --"

"Is it some astroturfed sniveller from Big Pharma, proclaiming that we messed up the tax treatment of the Medicare Part D retiree prescription-drug subsidy, so hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of senior citizens will most likely have to move from their former employer's coverage to the more expensive government plan, and we somehow never had the CBO score the budgetary and deficit implications of this, because our already-gimmicked numbers might not have looked so good?"

"Mr. President... ah... all of those are actually true."

"What have I told you about sticking with the narrative, Robert?"

A Badly Needed Break After a Long Week of Politics

Friday, March 26, 2010

Pop Quiz: "Smart" Diplomacy Edition

Which of the following diplomatic triumphs best exemplifies America's new "smart" diplomacy that will check the ambitions of rogue nations and dictatorships around the world and repair our tattered relations with long-time allies?

A) President Obama meets Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao:

B) President Obama meets Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez:

C) President Obama meets Libyan strongman Col. Moammar Khadafi:

D) President Obama meets Saudi Arabian King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Bin Abdulrahman Bin Faisal Bin Turki Bin Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud:

E) President Obama meets Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu:

For a head of government to visit the White House and not pose for photographers is rare. For a key ally to be left to his own devices while the President withdraws to have dinner in private was, until this week, unheard of. Yet that is how Binyamin Netanyahu was treated by President Obama on Tuesday night, according to Israeli reports on a trip viewed in Jerusalem as a humiliation.
(Hint: Well, in fairness, the Chinese are financing -- at least for now, anyway -- a big chunk of that deficit spending President Obama needs so he can transform America into a Western European-style social democracy. And Hugo Chavez did give President Obama a book, even if it probably didn't cost quite as much as those DVDs that President Obama gave to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. And President Obama may actually have been looking over Col. Khadafi's shoulder at the Libyan strongman's small army of Amazon-babe bodyguards, or just have been thoroughly amazed that someone can still be called a "strongman" while wearing that get-up. Or have bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia just to see if Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was up to the task of convincing everyone that a bow was not really a bow. (Gibbs wasn't.) But presenting the Prime Minister of Israel with "a list of 13 demands" and then leaving a allied head of state "to stew" and "consider the error of his ways" takes us back to the far-worse-than-Bush days when it was better to oppose America than to be its friend, because you got a better deal that way. And a more polite reception.

A year ago, I would have chalked this up to a new administration and an inexperienced President who hadn't yet found his footing. But today? This, apparently, is his footing.

If only President Obama would be equally as tough, and in such public fashion, with the Palestinian Authority. And Hamas.)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

In the Fantasyland of the Democratic Congress...

In the fantasyland of the Democratic Congress, a health reform bill is passed that puts the Internal Revenue Service in charge of monitoring compliance with the individual health insurance mandate, and then a Democratic Congressman goes on television and says the IRS will have nothing to do with enforcing collection of those fines for noncompliance, then gets pouty when asked who will be enforcing collection of those fines, because when you get fined for littering no one actually picks up your trash, so stop spreading lies about health reform!

Seriously. I kid you not.

Like Stephen Spruiell says, "Maybe the tax fairies will take it out of your wallet at night."

Robert Gibbs Receives Another "Threatening" Phone Call

"So what kind of threatening Teabagger phone call is this one, Robert?"

"She says --"

"Is it an overwrought Christian fundamentalist throwing around baby-killing Hitler metaphors?"

"She wants --"

"Is it a gun-clinging xenophobic accountant who doesn't understand that counting a single dollar only once in the federal budget is racist?"

"She's saying --"

"Is it a Fox News viewer?"

"She's asking how we can complain about overheated rhetoric when we let Harry Reid get away with comparing opponents of the Senate health reform bill to people who supported slavery, wanted to deny women the vote, and stood against civil rights legislation."

"Is that Sarah Palin? Let me talk to her..."

Andrew Klavan: "We Report, You Obey: The MSM's Dirty Tea Party Fetish"

Robert Gibbs Receives a "Threatening" Phone Call

"So what kind of threatening Teabagger phone call is it this time, Robert?"

"He says --"

"Is it a right-wing-extremist militia-type threatening to kill you and your children in the most brutal and hateful of ways?"

"He wants --"

"Is it a bitter racist redneck hurling vile and demeaning racial and ethnic stereotypes and epithets?"

"He claims --"

"Is it a domestic biological terrorist trying to hock a germ-filled loogie of mass political destruction at you through the phone?"

"He's asking why we didn't have this same kind of outrage when those pro-ObamaCare SEIU union thugs beat up Ken Gladney and called him the 'n'-word outside that town hall meeting last summer."

"I'm sorry. Ken who?"

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Pop Quiz: How a Bill Becomes a Law Edition

In the American system of government, how does a bill become a law?

A) Schoolhouse Rock version:

B) Schoolhouse Rap version:

(Hint: If you really need a hint, you just haven't been paying attention.)

Breakfast Meat At My Feet

I don't know about you, but few things are as appetizing to me as glancing down in the supermarket and seeing a giant advertisement for "Tastyville" breakfast links:

As Homer Simpson would say, "Ooooooo! Floor sausage!"

Exclusive Video: A Meeting of the U.S. Federal Preventive Care and Healthful Wellness Interagency Coordination Task Force Review Board

Another look at our brave new health care future:

Thank you again, Democrats. Thank you so much...

(Clip from the brilliant Australian satire The Hollowmen.)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Conversation While Walking the Dog

"I haven't seen you in church lately. You should be ashamed of yourself."

"I am ashamed of myself."

"Oh. Well. I was just kidding."

"So was I."

"You should be ashamed of yourself for that."

Monday, March 22, 2010

Exclusive Video: A Meeting of the U.S. Federal Prescription Drug Benefit Insurance Mandate Task Force

A brief glimpse at our brave new future in which Congress and politicians now determine which new benefits health insurance companies are required to provide:

Thank you, Democrats. Thank you so much...

(Clip from the brilliant Australian satire The Hollowmen.)

The House Passes Health Reform Quote Post

Megan McArdle:

Regardless of what you think about health care, tomorrow we wake up in a different political world.
Victor Davis Hanson:
Do Democrats realize that we really have crossed the Rubicon? In the future when the Republicans gain majorities (and they will), the liberal modus operandi will be the model—bare 51% majorities, reconciliation, the nuclear option, talk of deem and pass, not a single Democrat vote—all ends justifying the means in order to radically restructure vast swaths of American economic and social life.
Megan McArdle:
If you don't find that terrifying, let me suggest that you are a Democrat who has not yet contemplated what Republicans might do under similar circumstances.
Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL):

Mark Steyn:
If Barack Obama does nothing else in his term in office, this will make him one of the most consequential presidents in history. It's a huge transformative event in Americans' view of themselves and of the role of government. You can say, oh, well, the polls show most people opposed to it, but, if that mattered, the Dems wouldn't be doing what they're doing.
David Hogberg:
You’re a single guy without children? Tough, your policy must cover pediatric services. You’re a woman who can’t have children? Tough, your policy must cover maternity services. You’re a teetotaler? Tough, your policy must cover substance abuse treatment. (Add your own violation of personal freedom here.) (Section 1302).
Washington Examiner:
Never before in American history has a measure of such importance been imposed on the country by the majority party over the unanimous opposition of the minority. Democrats have continually sought to create a halo effect for Obamacare by associating it with Social Security and Medicare. But the reality is that both of those landmark programs were approved with strong bipartisan support in both the Senate and House. The Senate vote on Social Security in 1935 was 77-6, with 64 Democrats being joined by 14 Republicans. In the House, the 373 votes for Social Security included 77 Republicans. When Medicare passed in 1965, the 68-21 Senate vote included 13 Republicans, while 65 Republicans were among the 313 affirmative House votes. Such bipartisan consensus was what the Founders sought with the Constitution. But Democrats made a mockery of bipartisanship by shoving Obamacare down the throats of Republican lawmakers and snubbing the popular majority that opposed it. The Democrats have undercut the credibility of the law they created.
Wall Street Journal:
This week's votes don't end our health-care debates. By making medical care a subsidiary of Washington, they guarantee such debates will never end. And by ramming the vote through Congress on a narrow partisan majority, and against so much popular opposition, Democrats have taken responsibility for what comes next—to insurance premiums, government spending, doctor shortages and the quality of care. They are now the rulers of American medicine.
Kathryn Jean Lopez:
Congratulations, Democrats. Beginning now, you own the health-care system in America. Every hiccup. Every complaint. Every long line. All yours.
David Hogberg:
You are an employer and you would like to offer coverage that doesn’t allow your employers’ slacker children to stay on the policy until age 26? Tough. (Section 2714).
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA):

Wall Street Journal:
As recently as Friday, Caterpillar Inc. announced that ObamaCare will increase its health-care costs by $100 million in the first year alone, due to a stray provision about the tax treatment of retiree benefits. This will not be the only such unhappy surprise.
Kimberley A. Strassel:
California Rep. Jim Costa bragged publicly that during his meeting in the Oval Office, he'd demanded the administration increase water to his Central Valley district. On Tuesday, Interior pushed up its announcement, giving the Central Valley farmers 25% of water supplies, rather than the expected 5% allocation. Mr. Costa, who denies there was a quid pro quo, on Saturday said he'd flip to a yes.
Wall Street Journal:
Then there are the self-styled "deficit hawks" like Jim Cooper of Tennessee. These alleged scourges of government debt faced the most important fiscal vote of their careers and chose to endorse a new multitrillion-dollar entitlement. They did so knowing that the White House has already promised to restore some $250 billion in reimbursement cuts for doctors that were included in yesterday's bill to make the deficit numbers look good. Watch for these Democrats to pivot immediately and again demand "tough choices" on spending—and especially tax increases—but this vote has squandered whatever credibility they had left.
David Hogberg:
If you are a physician and you don’t want the government looking over your shoulder? Tough. The Secretary of Health and Human Services is authorized to use your claims data to issue you reports that measure the resources you use, provide information on the quality of care you provide, and compare the resources you use to those used by other physicians. Of course, this will all be just for informational purposes. It’s not like the government will ever use it to intervene in your practice and patients’ care. Of course not. (Section 3003 (i))
Historical Examples of Erroneous Health Care Cost Estimates (click to enlarge):

Kimberley A. Strassel:
All the while Mrs. Pelosi was desperately working to provide cover with a Congressional Budget Office score that would claim the bill "saved" money. To do it, Democrats threw in a further $66 billion in Medicare cuts and another $50 billion in taxes. Huzzah! In the day following the CBO score, about a half-dozen Democrats who had spent the past months complaining the bill already had too many taxes and Medicare cuts now said they were voting to reduce the deficit.
Douglas Holtz-Eakin:
Removing the unrealistic annual Medicare savings ($463 billion) and the stolen annual revenues from Social Security and long-term care insurance ($123 billion), and adding in the annual spending that so far is not accounted for ($114 billion) quickly generates additional deficits of $562 billion in the first 10 years. And the nation would be on the hook for two more entitlement programs rapidly expanding as far as the eye can see.
President Barack Obama:
This is what change looks like.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

And On the Night of the Health Reform Vote...

Now that the House of Representative has passed the Senate health reform bill and their reconciliation package, this is what I'm telling myself:

The sun will still come up tomorrow.

My wife, who loves me, will still be beside me tomorrow morning when I wake up.

The dog will still want to play ball and go walking more times in one day than I have time for.

The downstairs neighbors will still wake me up 37 minutes before my alarm goes off, like they always do.

Life is still a gift, and I am, for some reason, blessed beyond all reason or deserving.

And the real fight is just beginning.

John Boehner Speaks Real Truth to Power

White House Phone Logs: President Obama Calls Bart Stupak

"Hello? Is this Congressman Bart Stupak?... It is?... Excellent! Bart, this is President Barack Obama. I wanted to make sure you received the text of my executive order banning federal funds for abortion services... You did? Wonderful! So we have your vote for the Senate health reform bill and all those pesky little fixes?... We do?... Excellent! I'll just get Speaker Pelosi on the line and -- I'm sorry, what?... Yes, Bart. I promise the bill with all the fixes actually will get through the Senate, and we won't be left with the Senate bill everyone hates as the health reform law of this land... Because you have my word, Bart, and the word of President Barack Obama is as solid as a CBO cost and deficit-reduction estimate... Bart?... Stop laughing, Bart... Really, Bart, I don't see how -- I'm sorry, what?... Of course a presidential executive order trumps a law passed by Congress. Who told you otherwise?... Bart, listen, I used to be a professor of Constitutional law. I know what I'm talking about here, okay?... Well, yes, I suppose an executive order can be lifted at any time and for any reason... Well, yes, I suppose you could describe it as able to be lifted 'at a whim,' though I don't really see why... Because you have my word, Bart, and the word of President Barack Obama is as solid as a promise to close Guantanamo Bay in one year, as dependable as a vow never to raise taxes by a single dime on those making less than $250,000 annually, as sturdy as a pledge to go through the federal budget line by line and achieve a net spending cut... Bart?... Stop laughing, Bart... Bart!... All right, you have my full attention. Now, just tell me what else you want... A job in my administration after you get tossed out of office this November? Sure, I can do that... No, really. I can do it. We still have one or two slots left that your soon-to-be-former colleagues haven't called dibs on yet... I'm serious. You'll have a guaranteed place with us through 2016, and then with the Biden administration for eight years after that... Bart?... Bart!... Are you crying, Bart?... Rahm, do we seriously need this guy's vote to make history?"

"Academy Award Winning Movie Trailer"

And On the Day of the Health Reform Vote...

Bonus insight from Jennifer Rubin:

The Democrats are convinced the dim voters will learn to love ObamaCare. But they didn’t learn to love the stimulus. And the argument that they should love such a flawed piece of legislation soon became the object of derision and further fuel for populist anger. The reasons to hate ObamaCare are many and will resonate with a broad cross-section of voters. If the Democrats jam it through today, the 2010 campaign begins. And the anti-ObamaCare campaign will end only when it is repealed and when its supporters are bounced from office.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Sure, part of me watches the trailer below and says, "Man, what a piece of utter crap!" But the part of me that knows first-hand just how hard it is to make even a "bad" micro-budget piece of film (okay, digital video) like Birdemic watches this trailer and says, "Man, good for them!"

Sure, Birdemic might not be as much fun as The Lost Skeleton of Cadavera, but I sense a really cool "bad movie night" coming up with many friends...

Friday, March 19, 2010

The President Obama Fox News Interview: The Lost Footage

FOX: Mr. President, thank you for joining us tonight with this exclusive interview during what may be the most critical week of your presidency.

OBAMA: Thank you, Glenn. It's a pleasure to be here.

FOX: I'm Bret.

OBAMA: Excuse me?

FOX: I'm Bret Baier, Mr. President, not Glenn Beck.

OBAMA: (annoyed look) Are you sure?

FOX: I'm positive.

OBAMA: Well, you do work for Fox News, so I had to wonder.

FOX: Which brings up my first question. For most of the past year, Mr. President, your administration has vilified Fox News as not being a "real" news organization. So why this exclusive interview with Fox, and why now?

OBAMA: Well, Sean, here are the facts. Previously, I didn't need the votes or the support of those who watch Fox News. Now I do.

FOX: Mr. President, thank you for that stunningly straight answer.

OBAMA: Enjoy it, Chris. It's the only one you're going to get.

FOX: I understand. Now, about health reform, you originally spoke out and condemned the special deals and pay-offs in the Senate bill. Things like the Cornhusker Kickback and the Louisiana Purchase. But over the weekend, you backed off and suggested that some, or even many, of these vote-buying ploys might stay. Can you tell us which of these remain in the current bill?

OBAMA: Well, Brit, I don't exactly know which of these bordering-on-criminal-briberies remain in the bill. But all will become clear when the the final bill is posted online.

FOX: So with the vote literally only days away, no one actually knows what's in the health reform bill?

OBAMA: (annoyed look) Everyone knows what's in the bill, Shep. We've had a completely transparent debate for the past year.

FOX: Mr. President, with all due respect, you just said that no one -- including yourself -- knows which special deals remain in the bill and which are being removed.

OBAMA: No, I didn't.

FOX: Yes, you did.

OBAMA: (annoyed look) Here's what you need to know, Bill --

FOX: It's Bret.

OBAMA: (really annoyed look) Here's what you need to know, Geraldo. The fact of the matter is, it's both.

FOX: Mr. President, again, with all due respect, people can't know everything that's in the bill while also not knowing what's in the bill.

OBAMA: Why not?

FOX: Because it doesn't make sense.

OBAMA: You see, Greg, you just provided a classic example of the failed politics of division that prompted the American people to vote me into office. I will never stop trying to change the tone in Washington, or fighting the special interests so that people can have quality health care, choice of health providers, more benefits, lower taxes, and smaller deficits.

FOX: Moving on then --

OBAMA: Got you bad on that one, didn't I?

FOX: Let's talk about the reform bill's double counting of the Medicare cuts --

OBAMA: Savings, Jane.

FOX: Mr. President, that's not even the same sex.

OBAMA: I believe you mean gender, Martha.

FOX: Getting back to my question, how can you justify the claimed deficit reductions of your health care bill when the Medicare cuts/savings are being double counted?

OBAMA: (annoyed look) I can't say I'm following you here, Megyn.

FOX: You're squeezing $500 billion out of Medicare.

OBAMA: That's right.

FOX: And you're spending that same $500 billion on a new entitlement.

OBAMA: I'm with you.

FOX: But then you're also counting that same $500 billion as savings in the Medicare Trust Fund as a way to extend the life of the Trust Fund.

OBAMA: So what's the problem?

FOX: Mr. President, if you're spending the $500 billion somewhere else, you can't also spend it on Medicare.

OBAMA: (annoyed look) Why not?

FOX: Because it's double counting.

OBAMA: You say that like it's supposed to mean something, E.D.

FOX: Mr. President, E.D. Hill doesn't even work for Fox News these days.

OBAMA: (annoyed look) Stop playing the same old Washington game, Jamie.

FOX: Mr. President --

OBAMA: (extremely annoyed look) Geez, Juliet, you're like a dog with a smoked pig ear on this thing! What kind of an interview is this?

FOX: The kind you should have gotten during the campaign and your first year as President but somehow never did. Now, about that double-counting --

OBAMA: All right, Patti Anne. The health reform bill extends the life of the Medicare Trust Fund because we'll be spending less on Medicare.

FOX: But you're also reducing the amount of money available in the Medicare Trust Fund by the same amount that you're lowering Medicare spending.

OBAMA: (annoyed look) And?

FOX: That means it's a wash, Mr. President. And that it doesn't extend the life of the Medicare Trust Fund by a single day.

OBAMA: Hey, Ms. Smarty-Pants, I inherited this mess from George Bush.

FOX: Mr. President, again, with all due --

OBAMA: And stop defending the status quo.

FOX: Which brings me to my final question.

OBAMA: (annoyed look) Thank Alinsky!

FOX: What was that?

OBAMA: Nothing, Shannon. Let's get this over with.

FOX: Mr. President, you have repeatedly claimed, just like you did here a moment ago, that opposition to or a vote against your health reform bill, or even really just questioning the specifics of the bill, means that you support the status quo.

OBAMA: Damn straight.

FOX: But at your health care summit a few weeks ago, you admitted that the Republican opposition also disagrees with the status quo, and that they just have different ideas for how to fix it.

OBAMA: (annoyed look) No, I didn't.

FOX: Yes, Mr. President. You did.

OBAMA: Are you sure?

FOX: I can run the tape for you now, if you like.

OBAMA: Well, you do work for Fox News, so I had to wonder.

FOX: So getting back to my question --

OBAMA: Cross-talk.

FOX: I beg your pardon?

OBAMA: I said cross-talk.

FOX: Why are you saying cross-talk?

OBAMA: So that when the transcript of this interview goes up on the Web, it will say cross-talk, and everyone reading will think that I was giving this really awesome answer, but you just spoke over me to keep the American people in the dark, and you'll look like a jerk.

FOX: Let's move to the "deem-and-pass" tactic. Do you support "deeming" the Senate bill to have passed the House without an actual vote on the Senate bill?

OBAMA: (annoyed look) As President of the United States, do you think I can be bothered with such tiny details of process? All anyone should really care about is the end result, which is passage of the health reform bill, the details of which will all become clear at some future point in time.

FOX: But Mr. President, the entire foundation for the American system of government is the idea of good and proper process.

OBAMA: I'm above the process. See? This is my "above the process" look.

FOX: But Mr. President --

OBAMA: ("above the process" look) Is your camera getting this?

FOX: Mr. President, good and proper process it what sets us apart from a banana republic. As a former professor of Constitutional law, I would have thought you understood that.

OBAMA: (annoyed look) Cross-talk.

FOX: *sigh*

Feminine Curb

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Say Hello To My New "Office"

You may have noticed the distinct lack of regular blogging on my part this year. I can cite many, many reasons for this:

* Being deathly ill for the first half of January.

* Three weeks of serving on a jury pool, and then on a jury.

* Having my identity stolen, and the continuing saga of dealing with that mess, including the hassle of setting up extended fraud alerts with all three credit reporting agencies that keep wanting me to resubmit all the documentation.

* The leaks in my office roof that begin in mid-December, spread to the master bedroom last month, and finally appear to have been fixed last week, after the roofers made their sixth set of so-called "repairs."

And last but not least:

* The Smell

How did The Smell come about? Because at one point, water not only came through my office ceiling but also flowed down inside the wall and got into the padding underneath the carpet. This resulted in the carpet being torn up and a large fan blasting away to dry everything out.

That was several weeks ago. Or should I say, several weeks of promises by the landlord and the roofing company of steam cleaning the carpet after it had finally dried out. And those weeks allowed The Smell to come into our lives.

The Smell was (and, unfortunately, still is) a musty, moldy, mildewy thing. And it steadily increased as time went on, and the promises kept being made, until it finally reached the point that spending any length of time in that room led to burning, watery eyes, not to mention headaches and a primal need to get the hell out of that room. All of which has produced to my current, new "office":

Sleek and modern, isn't it? The desk is now a small table that used to hold candles, flowers, and various other sightly decorations. The shelves that hold my various reference books are now clear spaces on the floor. And the chair, well, this "office" has no chair. (The dog appreciates me spending more time on the floor, at least.)

Hopefully, this "office" will be temporary. Because the past weekend included a rather large explosion by me upon our landlord. So the padding has finally been removed, which at least lessened The Smell, and the steam cleaning has again been promised for this week.

And if that promise fails to be kept as well, I promise an even larger explosion. Because this "office" barely even deserves the name in scare quotes.