RBO’s most recent set of subjects reminds me of the game I used to play as a kid, called How Many Things Can You Find Wrong With This Picture?
RBO News & Views — The Carnival of the Absurd Edition
January 27, 2009 by Procrustes
Where are all the winners? A.J. Dunn at American Thinker notes today “the left are not acting like winners.”
- People basking in a long-sought victory — a victory that they can bank on — behave in a certain way. There’s a sense of exhilaration, of smugness, of tolerant condescension for the losers. But there’s none of that in any of the hardcore left-wing comments [at Democratic Underground and Daily Kos]. No arrogance, no lofty amusement, but something else entirely, something that can only be characterized as a sense of near-hysteria crossed with frustration. It’s an impression of deep insecurity, of people afraid that their triumph is ephemeral and is going to be snatched away from them. In their moment of victory, the American left is no less than desperate. Today, Thomas Lifson at American Thinker writes that “Promises of ‘transparency’ by Obama increasingly looks like a Big Lie strategy. The latest example was noted by Mary Katherine Ham at the Weekly Standard”:
- It’s been four days since Press Secretary Robert Gibbs’ first (and widely panned) appearance before the White House press corps, but no transcript, summary, or video of the event has shown up on WhiteHouse.gov. The delay could be forgiven in a less tech-savvy bunch, but given the Obama team’s considerable online skill, the omission of the the transcript is clearly intentional.
What have they got to be worried about? They’ve got a president with a solid, if not resounding victory. With a popularity rating of nearly 70%. A man with control of both houses of Congress, and the world effectively at his feet. A man confident enough to insult the opposition party to their faces while demanding their cooperation. What can possibility taint the victory of Barack Obama?
As Dunn points out, for starters, it’s the inauguration — including the oath, the purple ticket fiasco, seating assignments, The Unpresident MIA at the Salute to Heroes Inaugural Ball, “Obama’s making a point of saluting atheists in the line, ‘We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, and nonbelievers’,” and last, but not least, the stock market’s “spectacular kamikaze dive right in the middle of the celebration.”
And this is only PSBHO’s second week in the White House.
Transparency? What transparency? CBS News reported January 21st, Day Two for the PSBHO administration, that The Unpresident had called for a “new era of openness” in government. Fast forward.
In contrast, the Bush White House provided a transcript of every daily briefing, searchable and accessible in its own section on their web site. The archive, available via the Wayback Machine but not on the new WhiteHouse.gov, started Jan. 24, 2001. The Clinton White House also provided transcripts of the briefing, according to archives, at least as early as 1999.Lifson concludes: “It is fairly easy to predict that this sort of treatment will alienate some members of the press, but not others, who will remain loyal. This could actually get quite interesting if internecine warfare breaks out among a group formerly a pillar of Obama’s power.”
$4.19 Billion for ACORN? Only in O-Bizzarro-World would someone — anyone — NOT be able to see the absurdity of giving billions in “stimulus” money — borrowed money to be repaid through taxpayer dollars, we might add — to ACORN.
- House Republican Leader John Boehner issued a statement over the weekend noting that the stimulus bill wending its way through Congress provides $4.19 billion for “neighborhood stabilization activities.” He said the money was previously limited to state and local governments, but that Democrats now want part of it to be available to non-profit entities. That means groups like ACORN would be eligible for a portion of the funds.
(BTW – Boehner wants Republicans to oppose the stimulus bill.)
You do remember ACORN, don’t you?
* ACORN, that community organizer group that encouraged voters to Vote Often, Vote Obama.
* ACORN, that community organizer group that helped launch The Unpresident’s career at ProjectVote!
Yes. THAT ACORN. Can you say nice payback, thank you very much?
Rory Cooper at The Heritage Foundation has dubbed the whole package the The Pelosi-Reid-Obama Debt Plan.
James Pethokoukis at U.S. News & World Report gives us 10 Reasons to Whack Obama’s Stimulus Plan (or, as Hot Air calls it, “Obama’s Crap Sandwich.”)
Allahpundit at Hot Air reports House GOP swoons over Obama after stimulus meeting:
- This would be the same meeting at which The One told them to get bent if they think he’s going to add any more tax cuts to the bill, inviting them to “whack me over the head” about it if it makes them feel better. Instead, this. Don’t worry, they’re still voting no on the stimulus. I think.
Also see Gateway Pundit’s Surprise!… Dem’s “Stimulus Package” Looks Like Billion $$$ ACORN Bonanza and It’s Nuts! GOP Objects to Stimulus Million$$$ to ACORN.
A “nuclear Iran” unacceptable or not? Michael Goldfarb, commenting on The Unpresident’s address directly to the “Muslim World” last night on Al-Arabiya, commented:
- Wouldn’t a simple ‘no, a nuclear Iran is unacceptable to the United States and our allies’ have sufficed? Instead Obama says that Iran’s pursuit of a nuclear weapon is “unhelpful,” that it’s “not conducive to peace.” When Obama was in Israel, he said that “a nuclear Iran would pose a grave threat and the world must prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.” He added that he would “take no options off the table in dealing with this potential Iranian threat.” In the first debate of the general election, Obama reiterated that the United States “cannot tolerate a nuclear Iran.” But when Obama has the chance to speak directly to the Muslim world, he can only muster retread rhetoric from his inaugural address about clenched fists and open hands.
Jennifer Rubin at Commentary Magazine adds:
- “What” was his answer on Iran? As best I can make it out: Maybe, or I’m not saying. Or I haven’t figured it out. What it “wasn’t” was a concise and definitive statement that it would be unacceptable for Iran to develop its nuclear capability. I’m sure the mullahs in Iran are delighted that they can now string along the negotiators — as they have done for years — and go merrily along their way in developing their nuclear program. The message to Israel: don’t expect much from the U.S. on this front. And the Iraq answer was, well, the equivalent of “Let him eat his waffle.”All of this suggests there is no one in the administration empowered to tell the President just how counterproductive this sort of meandering, touchy-feely routine is to establishing his “bona fides” on the world stage. After hearing this, is Iran more or less likely to be deterred from pursuing its nuclear program? Certainly he’s not suggesting there is a line in the sand — or any penalty to be paid when Iran ignores the entreaties of his envoys to halt its nuclear program.
HopeyChangey Lobbyist Update: Justin Rood and Emma Schwartz at ABC News’s The Blotter report today that Mark Patterson, a registered lobbyist for investment banking giant Goldman Sachs until April 11, 2008, is “in line to serve as chief of staff to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.”
- Patterson first began lobbying for Goldman Sachs in 2005, after working as policy director for then-Senate majority leader Tom Daschle. According to publicly filed lobbying disclosure records, he worked on issues related to the banking committee, climate change and carbon trading and immigration reform, among others. [...] Patterson is one of over a dozen recent lobbyists in line for important posts in the Obama administration, despite a presidential order severely restricting the role of lobbyists in his administration, the magazine reported.
Jonathan Stein at MoJoBlog writes today:
- Give me a break. Last week, we heard that Obama’s revolving door restrictions (which I applauded) would be bypassed for the new No. 2 man in the DOD, who as recently as 2008 had been chief lobbyist for Raytheon, a massive defense contractor. Now we’re hearing that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is making a recent lobbyist for Goldman Sachs named Mark Patterson his chief of staff. Less than a year ago, Patterson was going to Congress and the Treasury to pimp Goldman’s interests. Now he’ll play a pivotal role in handing out TARP funds to Goldman and others. How is this “not” an obviously impermissible conflict?What makes this so bizarre is that Geithner “just” banned the use of TARP funds for lobbying purposes. (He literally did this earlier this morning.) He understands the… unhelpful role that lobbying can play when trying to make solid, untainted policy that is in the best interest of the public. And yet, somehow, he’s decided to make Patterson his chief of staff. And somehow, Obama is letting him.
How many waivers until the revolving door rules become meaningless? And why issue rules in the first place if the administration has the right to disobey them whenever it deems necessary?