Monthly Archives: February 2009

No Such Thing As A Real Terrorist?

We’ve commented before on the fetish that many reporters and editors have for the word “alleged.” I’m starting to think, though, that when it comes to terrorists, our newspapers now reserve judgment on the very reality of the concept. Thus this headline from the Associated Press: Alleged terrorist in Ohio gets 20 years in prison. A person can’t be sentenced to 20 years in prison until he’s been convicted of »

Soak the Rich!

Barack Obama ran for President on a “spread the wealth around” platform, and we’re now seeing that this was no empty campaign promise. The Obama administration proposes to expand the wealth and power of the federal government beyond anything heretofore imagined. When he asked how he will finance his grandiose plans, Obama’s only non-magical answer is that he will increase taxes on “the rich.” This is a common Democratic Party »

Obama’s Budget: The Beginning of the End?

The Obama administration unveiled its first budget today. Obama expects a deficit for the current year of $1.75 trillion. By way of context, that is around three times the largest deficit the country has ever experienced with a Republican Congress. Obama says it is a budget that reflects “hard choices,” but of course that is silly. The administration has made no hard choices at all; it has simply opened the »

barack’s magical mystery tour, Part Three

I have not yet commented on the most dangerous aspect of President Obama’s wishful, magical thinking — his penchant for converting partisan projections into existing reality. It’s one thing to assert: “I will not allow terrorists to plot against the American people from safe havens half a world away.” Eveyone understands that this is a promise. But what are we to make of this statement: “We have made college affordable »

Dating a Banker Anonymous…exposed!

On January 25, the New York Times reported on the women of Dating a Banker Anonymous. The Times reported: The economic crisis came home to 27-year-old Megan Petrus early last year when her boyfriend of eight months, a derivatives trader for a major bank, proved to be more concerned about helping a laid-off colleague than comforting Ms. Petrus after her father had a heart attack. For Christine Cameron, the recession »

Robert Gibbs explains

David Freddoso quotes White House spokesman Robert Gibbs explaining President Obama’s projected $2 trillion in savings over the next ten years. Part of the “savings” results from tax increases, part from withdrawal from Iraq. Where do the Iraq-related “savings” come from? The White House projects that we would otherwise have been spending the same amount in Iraq through 2019. When we withdraw in advance of that date, we denominate the »

Dogbert Shoots…He Scores!

I’ve never been a fan of corporate jets, basically because they’re too small. I like flying on airplanes the size of a football field. These days, of course, the airlines’ fleets increasingly resemble private planes; I spent four hours today jammed into commuter jets that would have handled a board of directors nicely but were way too crowded with 50 to 75 business travelers, most of whom were suffering from »

Barack’s magical mystery tour, Part Two

In one of her most cogent campaign attacks on Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton ridiculed his faith in words. This, you may recall, led Obama to respond “I have a dream,” just words, etc. After it turned out that Obama had “borrowed” these particular words from Deval Patrick, Clinton uttered perhaps her best line of the campaign — “change you can xerox.” Last night, Obama demonstrated how spot-on Clinton’s original attack »

He is my shepherd

I shall not want. He comforts the afflicted. He is a miracle worker. He promises to provide for Americans from cradle to grave, while lightening the load of government on the backs of ordinary Americans. He promises not to increase their taxes “one penny.” He promises to reduce their taxes. He must be quite sure that the ordinary American owns no stock and thus will be untouched by the expiration »

Barack’s magical mystery tour

President Obama announced tonight that “our day of reckoning has arrived.” How will our new president respond to this epoch-making challenge? If tonight’s speech is any indication, he will respond with wishful, and indeed magical, thinking. Thus, Vice President Biden will ensure that the Democrats’ porkfest results in no wasted money because “nobody messes with Joe.” Solar energy and other “renewables” will solve our energy and environmental problems. The goal »

How Did He Do?

I thought President Obama was surprisingly ineffective tonight. He started as I expected he would, with optimistic, Rooseveltian assurances. But that theme was forgotten long before the speech ended. Assuming it did finally end–Obama went on far too long, and television sets were turning off all across America, well before it was over. I didn’t make it to the end. I’m sure millions of others didn’t, either. The longer he »

SF Chronicle May Fold

The collapse of the newspaper industry continues apace; now it’s the San Francisco Chronicle that is likely to be sold or even closed down in a matter of months. This follows Sunday’s bankruptcy filing by the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News, just two and a half years after investors paid more than $500 million for the company. We’ve known for a while that the newspaper industry is in »

The State of the Union and of Obama

The mainstream media have been trumpeting poll data purporting to show that the American people are behind President Obama. Well, sure–no one who voted for him in November is going to give up on him after 30 days. But his approval rating, which continues to hover around 60 percent–lower in some polls–is nothing special for a new President. Moreover, the poll data are troubling, from Obama’s perspective, if you look »

Bananas, part 2

In Woody Allen’s “Bananas,” Fielding Mellish condemns his prosecution for treason as a “travesty of a mockery of a sham of a mockery of a travesty of two mockeries of a sham.” Mellish’s condemnation applies with scientific precision to this Dartmouth College announcement: Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies Michael Dorsey was recently awarded $300,000 from the Ford Foundation to launch the Climate Justice Research Project. The project is dedicated to »

Anyone for tennis in Malmo?

The AP reports that spectators will be barred from the Sweden-Israel Davis Cup match next month in Malmo. There appears to be a vague concern about controlling Swedish youth in Malmo: The Davis Cup matches between Sweden and Israel will be played without spectators in Malmo next month. Attempts to move the venue to Stockholm fell through. Officials have cited security concerns for the World Group series, which will be »

A perfect jerk

SF Gate’s City Insider reports: This week, the City Insider spotted an almost empty case of bottled water in the back of Mayor Gavin Newsom’s hybrid sport utility vehicle as it was parked in front of City Hall. At least one full bottle of Crystal Geyser Alpine Spring Water remained under the plastic covering. This from the mayor who in June 2007 issued an executive order directing city government to »

September 11? What September 11?

Senator Jon Kyl has invited Geert Wilders to screen his film Fitna at the Capitol onThursday. Here is how the Associated Press begins its coverage of the event: Republican Sen. Jon Kyl is hosting a film screening at the Capitol building on Thursday for a far-right Dutch lawmaker who claims that Islam inspires terrorism. How far-right can you get? I think we can safely say that, at least as far »