Archive for April 2009
I came inside for some cold water to drink and a comfy chair to rest my back in, and FOX News is reporting that Chrysler has filed for bankruptcy. In retaliation, the White House has issued a statement saying this in “not in the best interests of the country.”
Translation: How dare you interfere with my plans to nationalize automakers and rescue the labor unions from the predictable consequences of their greed?!!
UPDATE: His Oneness is now making a formal statement on Chrysler, and blaming a “small group of speculators”, some hedge funds, to be more precise, for refusing to take the haircut that everybody but the labor unions are taking on GM. Of course, nobody is mentioning that the GM takeover would leave stockholders with only 1% of company ownership, or that he’ll be placing labor union picks on the corporate board, which means GM will probably cease to exist within two years, no matter how much additional taxpayer money Obama pours in.
Now, the backstory is that senior administration officials speaking on condition of anonymity said the government would provide up to $8 billion more to carry the company through bankruptcy, and will help appoint a new board of directors.
Now we know that the relaxation of the reporting rules for the labor unions wasn’t merely a sop against the possible failure of the card check bill.
This is what a lot of people think about the first 100 days of the Obama reign. Jules Crittenden has a ton of links, here. Brent Bozell of Media Research Center thumps the press for its continuing abandonment of its role as the peoples’ watchdog. Michelle Malkin zeros in on our photo-op president.
Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch label His Oneness as “an effective salesman of exhausted ideas”, and include plenty of links to prove their point. James Carafano has an overview of the new security strategy, and the gaps it has created, which should not make you sleep soundly. Newt Gingrich gives Obama high marks for effectiveness, then shows why the successes are so damaging. The staff at the Military Times views this new presidency as a decidedly mixed bag.
Amity Shlaes has a knockout piece on the president’s Rooseveltian march, and the predictable pitfalls ahead if he continues on this path. Armstrong Williams delivers a scathing look at beliefs versus convictions, and hits both Obama and AG Eric Holder.
As for the prime time press conference, the Washington Times puts it perfectly: His no-news conference doesn’t impress us. Me neither — typical liberal questions from his liberal favorites. Nothing about nationalizing the banks, zilch about bailing out labor unions at automakers, nothing about his bragging about saving $100 million, when his government is spending ONE BILLION DOLLARS an hour.
There was a single good question by Mark Knoller of CBS Radio on whether harsh interrogation techniques had saved lives. Obama’s answer was that he wasn’t sure that some other methods wouldn’t have worked. That contradicts what we already know, which is that waterboarding was employed because nothing else HAD worked. Of course, calling this a press conference was accurate, because it certainly was not a news conference.
Vox Day thinks this period has been our first chance to see “if there is any substance beneath the marketing hype.” Fred Barnes didn’t have very high expectations to begin with. John Perry has a more sinister take.
As for me, the airplane scare in New York proved Obama and his people, while skilled politicos, are absolutely tone-deaf and without a shred of common sense. Who with a brain would send a 747 low over New York with a pair of F-16ts alongside? Apparently, the White House, seeking new photos of Air Force One. And Obama will be furious and outraged, but had nothing to do with it himself.
Wes Pruden has a go at reminding us that SARS was supposed to kill us all, along with bird flu, dangerous produce and rising oceans.
The SEIU labor union has launched an online petition against the GOP for delaying the confirmation of Kathleen Sebelius as Health and Human Services secretary in the face of a swine flu outbreak.
Larry Klayman of FreedomWatch, formerly the energizer bunny of Judicial Watch who so annoyed Bill and Hillary! , wonders if this is a biological terrorism attack. It could be, but wouldn’t a terrorist group would want something far more deadly?
Andrea Shea King is more inclined to see the swine flu as a useful diversion for the Obama team and Congressional Democrats as they work to arrange final approval of the $3.5 trillion FY 2010 budget bill, with no Republican input, by Wednesday, Obama’s 100th day. We certainly haven’t heard much about the $1.2 trillion dollar health care budget contained within the overall package since the flu took center state, have we?
The EU has issued a warning on travel to the US, and Russia is not only checking all planes from the Americas for swine flu, but has also banned importation of American meat. It doesn’t appear that either Hillary!’s reset button or the foreign charm offensive of His Oneness did much for us, does it?
My view is that, if the Obama Administration can bring itself to follow the path laid down by the Bush Administration, the systems are already in place to deal with an epidemic, and likely a pandemic as well. They will, of course, take all the credit, and blame any shortfalls on Bush. I just heard HHS Sec. Napolitano say that flu vaccine was being shipped out today, and that all states would have a supply by May 3rd. Either she isn’t following the original guidelines which called for same-day shipping from the nearest supply, or she doesn’t know about FedEx.
I’m not worried for myself, because I haven’t caught a cold or the flu in 40 years. I suspect my rampant allergies keep my system in such overdrive that no bug can survive the instant onslaught I seem to generate. I have nursed family and friends through rotovirus and all sorts of related unpleasantness, and never caught any of it.
The CDC says 5 to 20% of Americans have flu each year, which averages to 12.5% or about 37.5 million people. Napolitano said we could expect about 30,000 deaths from the flu, in normal years about 40,000 die from flu and its complications. That’s a mortality rate of a little over 1/10 of 1%, and a tiny number compared to the 650,00 who die from heart disease and the 550,000 who die from cancer annually.
According to a Stanford University summary of the great flu pandemic of 1918, that mortality rate was about 2.5% — almost 25 times the rate of a normal flu year. If this outbreak rose to that level, nearly 1 million could die. But so far, the variant in America seems to be mild.
Be prudent, but don’t get hysterical.
This less than 2-minute video explains all you need to know about Obama’s much-publicized plans to have his Cabinet find $100 million in savings over the next 3 months.
Sen. Arlen Specter, Pennsylvania RINO, has now officially become a Democrat. It appears that, despite his attacks on Republican primary opponent Pat Toomey, Specter was losing ground. So he switched parties. Remember that Toomey nearly beat him the last time around.
Specter’s statement is interesting only in the staggering depth of his self-serving hypocrisy, and his failure to mention that his switch puts Democrats within 1 seat of a filibuster-proof majority. Oh, did I mention that barely a month ago he absolutely denied he would switch parties?