Friday, October 9, 2009

Hey! He's on a streak!

Wow! What next!

maybe he'll walk over and get it

I was just thinking, maybe Obama will take this opportunity to combine his green initiatives with his true nature and walk over to Europe to pick up his prize.

Friday, October 2, 2009

His entire job

I've often wondered at the near God-like devotion Obama's supporters have for him. We've all seen the "Mmm...mmm...mmm..." videos and it just has be scratching my head. I know there's a lot to charisma and well, the guy does give a heck of a good speech, but there's this feeling that people seem to have that he personifies them. It's almost like they see themselves in him, they feel he defines who they are. They feel that he's some sort of savior, a mystic figure who transcends culture or something. I don't get it.

I never felt that way about either George Bush and I certainly didn't feel that way about John McCain. I maybe had a touch of it for Reagan, but I was a kid then and, really, I never saw Reagan as a hero, I saw him as someone who was standing up for what I believed.

But the truth of it is that no matter who the Secret Service is guarding, no matter what party they belong to, no matter what they say or don't say about whatever the heck it is they're talking about, the fact remains that at the bottom of it all, the man (or woman) is a politician.
A politician, which means that his entire job is not unlike the man being told to dance as an outlaw bandit shoots at his feet.

Somebody get this man a prozac

Wow - so the big O lost his bid for the Olympics in Chicago. Now personally it didn't really bother me that he flew to Denmark to lobby for it, I'm sure he only wanted to help his wife in her time of great personal sacrifice, and who wouldn't want to do that? But from the looks of this presser (that I come to via the great Hotair) Mr. O is a suffering either from some hard-core jet lag or a wee-wee bit of depression that his personal magnetism and his wife's stunning personal fashion sense (to say nothing of the tragic and heroic story of her father) didn't suddenly convince the international Olympic sycophants to apply a little chapstick and pucker up for the backside of the good ol' US of A.

Subtitle this: The sound of a cheap suit folding:

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Canadian health care - shining example

According to the LA Times this past Sunday (and you could have knocked me over with a feather when I saw this on the front page) the so called Canadian system, bright and shining example to afficianados of public options everywhere is moving toward a private option.

More than 70 private health providers in British Columbia now schedule simple surgeries and tests such as MRIs with waits as short as a week or two, compared with the months it takes for a public surgical suite to become available for nonessential operations.

"What we have in Canada is access to a government, state-mandated wait list," said Brian Day, a former Canadian Medical Assn. director who runs a private surgical center in Vancouver. "You cannot force a citizen in a free and democratic society to simply wait for healthcare, and outlaw their ability to extricate themselves from a wait list."

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wagging the Dog?

Alright, allow me to indulge in some wild conspiracy-type conjecture for a moment. There's been a bit of a "why now?" feeling to the whole Roman Polanski thing. Why would the Swiss, suddenly after 30 years, deviate so wildly from making chocolate and hiding Nazi war booty and decide to arrest a guy who owns some pretty swell digs in their country?


Well there are two things here that pop into my tinfoil-clad head right off the bat.

Point One: The US Government is going after the Swiss Banking industry (primarily UBS - a case which has been largely settled) to open it's books in order to apprehend tax evaders (no doubt including several members of the current political establishment) but as this piece in the Wall Street Journal from one short month ago suggests, the proceedings are plugging along beyond the original confines of the case and seem to be enveloping other people of the Swiss persuasion.

Point Two: The Obama Administration is fighting a continually losing battle on the healthcare front (or so those of us with a libertarian tilt hope). A battle that's churning the blogosphere (both left and right) into a mighty froth, inviting the slings and arrows of outrageous tea parties and even causing fits of pique among those leaning long to the left.

How convenient it would be to get those pundits and purveyors of political opinion off topic for a moment. If only we had something else that would drive the conservatives crazy and get the Hollywood types shooting off their mouths and further driving middle America nuts. If only there were some hot button topic - something to do with, say, sex. And if ONLY we had someone who was willing to help, someone, or some country, whose whole entire system of banking we were trying to decimate. Someone like that who could help in some small way.

If only...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Roman Polanski - Sign the Petition

Most of the whirling dialogue about Roman Polanki's arrest in Switzerland swirls around a few columnists displaying the staggering scope of their ignorance about the case and yet misses this little gem, the "Petition for Roman Polanski" which, Variety reports, has been signed by 100 filmmakers including: Martin Scorsese, Michael Mann, Darren Aronofsky, Wes Anderson, Woody Allen (the comedy writes itself on that one) David Lynch, Jonathan Demme, Pedro Almodovar, Wim Wenders, Tilda Swinton and Tom Tykwer. (this list is among the reasons I began to have favorite films and NOT favorite filmmakers some years ago.)

But the actual text of the petition is almost comical. I quote:

His arrest follows an American arrest warrant dating from 1978 against the filmmaker, in a case of morals.
Uh - yeah, morals.

Roman Polanski is a French citizen, a renown and international artist now facing extradition. This extradition, if it takes place, will be heavy in consequences and will take away his freedom.
Am I missing something or isn't that the whole point? Whole thing here.

Update: I'm just thinking out loud here, but this would be a GREAT episode for the ripped-from-the-headlines types at "Law and Order."

Friday, September 25, 2009

Hey, what's this "upload" button mean???

So according to this here little piece right here in the Washington Examiner, good old Mr. Baucus claims it's too difficult to upload the proposed legislation to a website.

Baucus’ excuse - that it would take his committee staff two weeks to post the bill online

So if I have this straight, and I believe I do, what their saying is, hey, this uploading a PDF to that World Wide Web thingy is a tad too tricky for us simple folk here on the hill, but don't worry because we'll sure be on top of things when we take over 15% of the economy.

I'm calling B.S.

This video posted by Drudge is making the rounds with a lot of people claiming it's either faked or staged. There is some talk that it might actually depict a police arrest with PA cops in camo, which of course begs the question of why PA cops would be running around PIttsburgh - a CITY - wearing green camo? Also, I'm a little skeptical of the "police procedure" used during this takedown. Now I could be wrong and in the interest of full disclosure I should admit that I have not attended a police academy, but I'm pretty sure they don't teach you to apprehend perps by dragging them by their backpack.

And, it could just be my big-time, scary talent as a Hollywood director, but those by-standers could use a little more energy in their chants of "F.U."

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Comedy is not pretty

Proving once again that there's nothing more satisfying than being patronized to by millionaires, Will Ferrell and crew take to the web to distribute this: Unfortunately, like most of the "Exclusives" posted on FOD, this is filled with Will's buddies and not in the least funny - not to mention factually wrong. 80%???

Monday, September 21, 2009

Tea Party Los Angeles

I've been meaning to post this for a few days. Great little video, nicely edited and actually watchable.
I was there and this really captures the mood of the thing.

Badges, we don't need no stinkin' badges

Hey Luke, what's your dirt doing in the bosses hole?

More movie quotes on this? There's got to something from Dr. Zhivago, Alec Guinesses character must say SOMETHING like this - oooh but we have to be quiet about that. People won't think we're rational if we call Obama a "people's republic" type.

So it's not a tax, but it is a tax, but it's not a tax...

It's amazing. I got busy and got distracted but I can't keep my mouth shut any more. This is making me crazy. And my wife getting tired of me screaming at the television set.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

California Descending #2

It's good to see, in this time of financial crisis that our legislators are hard at it, noses to the grindstone, back to the wheel, canary in a coalmine... oh wait...

The Assembly has passed a bill to set minimum standards for food in licensed child-care centers, requiring a vegetable to be part of lunch and supper and forbidding whole milk for children 2 or older

Apparently those draconian budget cuts they're all talking about don't include paper because they're still cranking it out.

More here.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

California Descending

Having sat through my share of school board meetings in my little (very little) California community, I shudder at the thought of what awaits us from Sacramento. I'm a pretty small government libertarian oriented conservative and I feel that education should be handled at the local level. In my community, small and tiny as it is, we're about half-way there. Our school board does a good job, but it, like all schools in California, is dependent on the state for funding and the Feds for guidance (handcuffs). Since that's most likely not going to change, ever in my lifetime, it's something we have to deal with.

But how - more money? California already throws huge amounts of money at our schools and we're left with craptacular results. My little school district is going to be without art, music, physical education, a librarian and quite a few teachers. Class sizes for kindergarten are going to be 30. That's 30 5-year-olds and one tired teacher. Sounds like a great plan to me.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I think I'll apply for a little stimulus myself

There's an online petition going around. Here's the text:

One Percent for the Arts Campaign

Congress will soon pass a stimulus package aimed at creating jobs and stimulating the economy. We ask that 1% of the stimulus support the arts. In the 1930s the Work Progress Administration created by Roosevelt created 3 million jobs. They built roads, streets, highways, bridges, parks, and public buildings. They also worked in the arts.

Our generation deserves no less.

The WPA employed 40,000 artists, writers, musicians, theater workers, and performers. Public support made it possible for people of modest means to dedicate themselves to their work. The WPA supported Jackson Pollock, Arshile Gorky, Saul Bellow, Zora Neal Hurston, John Steinbeck, Sterling Brown, Orson Welles, John Houseman, Burt Lancaster, and many other great talents, known and unknown. The WPA arts projects reached wide audiences and made the theater, music, and the arts accessible to low-income people.

An arts stimulus package could increase fellowship and scholarship money, create workplace arts and reading programs, foster cultural exchange programs, support artist-in-residency programs in schools and libraries, and more.

We are also calling for a cabinet level position for a Secretary of the Arts.

At first I thought this was ridiculous. But then I thought - hey - why not some film financing - it fits the profile - an expensive, short-term project that will benefit relatively few people. Besides, I've always wanted to adapt a real Horatio Alger story and this just seems like the perfect opportunity.

The Vig

Via Reason

The only problem is, it's the rest of us who are going to wind up with the broken legs if this isn't paid off.

Honorable Paul Ryan
Ranking Member
Committee on the Budget
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Congressman:

As you requested, the Congressional Budget Office has estimated the costs
of additional debt service that would result from enacting H.R. 1, the
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Such costs are not
included in CBO’s cost estimates for individual pieces of legislation and
are not counted for Congressional scorekeeping purposes for such

Under CBO’s current economic assumptions and assuming that none of the
direct budgetary effects of H.R. 1 are offset by future legislation, CBO
estimates that the government’s interest costs would increase by
$0.7 billion in fiscal year 2009 and by a total of $347 billion over the 2009-
2019 period (see enclosed table).

If you would like any additional information, we would be happy to
provide it. The CBO staff contact is Eric Schatten, who can be reached at

Douglas W. Elmendorf