Saturday, November 22, 2008

Obama to Reboot WPA

Barack Obama is looking towards our collective future while borrowing from our past, apparently. The last time this country was in such a financial downward spiral, a visionary named Franklin - the to-that-point far lesser known fifth cousin of an older and bolder dude named Teddy - became president and rammed through quasi-Socialist legislation to turn this country into a pseudo-Socialist regime. Or so some like to Monday Morning Quarterback still, seventy years later. So, fittingly, pinko-Communist President-Elect Obama is reaching into the past and taking a page directly from FDR's "get us the hell out of this not-so-Great Depression" playbook. Obama announced his economic plan... and I feel like I've heard it before:

President-elect Barack Obama promoted an economic plan Saturday he said would create 2.5 million jobs by rebuilding roads and bridges and modernizing schools while developing alternative energy sources and more efficient cars.

Building roads? Building bridges? Modernization projects? Flying cars? Sounds to me like the Works Progress Administration, Version 2.008 (never heard of it? Educate thyself here).

Well, sounds well and good, Barack. But let's not forget that the Great War, not the WPA, was ultimately responsible for finally kicking the dust off of American industry and throttling the Great Depression. Not that the WPA (and its other be-acronym'd cousins) didn't build some great roads, bridges and dams. And if I get my flying car technology, then it's a raging success. But it does beg the question:

So, President-Elect-Comrade Obama... if we're really reliving the Great Depression, who are we going to attack to get out of it?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Gobble Gobble Also

Upon witnessing the carnage of turkey mass genocide in Wasilla this morning, Schindler Palin clucks "I could have done more. I should have done more."

"And cut. Hmmmm, still don't think we have the shot, Governor. I got to have more turkey slaughter in the background. Chip, can we have him grind more turkeys this time? Super. From the top: Scene 2, Sarah Palin presser at turkey concentration camp. Action!"

This woman deserves writing credit for the Daily Show.

SPECIAL POTATOE UPDATE: We're all gonna die!!!

A new report released by the intelligence community and summarized here (and in full here) predicts the state of the world in 2025. And let's just say that things don't sound good...

"The world of the near future will be subject to an increased likelihood of conflict over resources, including food and water, and will be haunted by the persistence of rogue states and terrorist groups with greater access to nuclear weapons," said the report by the National Intelligence Council.

Okay, so fights over food, water and the threat of nuclear terrorism, especially, the report predictably claims, in the Middle East. Sounds like the new (crappy) Bond movie, only without any hot chicks. The report also says that not only is global warming real, but that the smart investor would start putting their money in dollars as a result... CANADIAN dollars, that is...

The report, a year in the making, said that global warming will aggravate the scarcity of water, food and energy resources. Citing a British study, it said that climate change could force up to 200 million people to migrate to more temperate zones. "Widening gaps in birth rates and wealth-to-poverty ratios, and the impact of climate change, could further exacerbate tensions," it said. The report says the warming earth will extend Russia and Canada's growing season and ease their access to northern oil fields, strengthening their economies.

The bottom line of the report was that for those of us who have grown up in a world where the United States was the ultimate power in the universe, there are a few new Death Stars on the rise:

Although the United States is likely to remain the single most powerful actor, the United States' relative strength -- even in the military realm -- will decline and US leverage will become more strained.

Predictably, countries like India, China and Russia were forecast to start making like the Tampa Bay Rays - the butt of jokes no longer, and younger, faster and more dynamic than those old stalwarts, the bellwether Yanks. (see how it has two meanings!) Bottom line: all things remaining the same and equal, America is slip-sliding from its untouchable perch. And the intelligence community just confirmed it in writing.

Is there any good news? Well, actually, yes - there is:

The intelligence community expects that terrorism would survive until 2025, but in slightly different form, suggesting that Al Qaeda's "terrorist wave" might be breaking up. "Al Qaeda's inability to attract broad-based support might cause it to decay sooner than people think," it said. ...[Also o]n a positive note it added that an alternative to oil might be in place by 2025.

The alternative to oil, apparently, will be the energy generated by the mushroom clouds all over the Middle East, but you've got to look at the bright side.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

She's Business Class

Here, have another one, on the house.

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Obese people have the right to two seats for the price of one on flights within Canada, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled on Thursday.

The high court declined to hear an appeal by Canadian airlines of a decision by the Canadian Transportation Agency that people who are "functionally disabled by obesity" deserve to have two seats for one fare.

No word on whether the high court will also consider the companion action seeking two complimentary meals with those seats.

Joe The Plumber Finally Gets His Book Deal

Of course he did. I'd rather read binary code during a simultaneous root canal/rectal exam.

Working title: "An American Floater: The Story of One's Citizen Refusal to be Flushed Away into the Sewer of Identity Politics." Cover photo to the left. Foreword to be penned by Ashley "Backwards B" Todd. Hannity has already committed a jacket blurb sight unseen: "This is the greatest book God has established in the history of the world."

The Potatoe has been granted an exclusive first look at the opening sentences of Chapter 1, nonsensically titled: "If he looks like a Muslim, has a name like a Muslim, hates Israel like a Muslim, then he sure ain't a duck":

Behold! On the stump like a snow hill. It is Barack Obama. Mmmm. I like dark meat.

I furtively moved forward through his adoring mob of apostles, trying not to arouse suspicion, reflecting sunshine into the inquisitive eyes of this enemy hoard with my gleaming bald noggin, tactically buffed to a shimmer, a trick I picked up snaking drains outside Cambodia in '68.

I was a hero then too; our boys never felt the cringe of humiliation seeing toilet water cresting over the top of the bowl after releasing an ungodly monster sh*t in the latrine. Not on Joe's watch.

So I had been here before, called to doody (i.e., a pun right there) by the demands of my country. Time to play the hero again, Joe, against another communist foe.

Was I afraid? In the words of our 2012 President, Sarah Palin, "you betcha." But the training keeps you steady - once you've swam through a 50-foot cesspool of sh*t-smelling foulness the likes of which you cannot begin to imagine as a civilian, fear takes on the redolence of roses. I eat pieces of sh*t like Barack Sadam Hussein Obama Bin-Laden for breakfast. Let's do this thing!

The fetid stench of Marxism and my poopy-smelling t-shirt, moist and stank from morning appointments, hung heavy over the crowd. But I, undaunted. Ready to take on a Kenyan-born would-be dictator. Oh no. Not on Joe's watch. I f**king love Israel . . .

From what we've read so far, An American Floater is a well-received, poignant Bildungsroman novelette snatched from the still-beating heart of German Enlightenment, as its protagonist, citizen Joe, a pulpy denizen of the real realm, an uber-slob sentinel of the proletariat, the deserving scion of the rustic, vulgar Romanticism within Emile Zola's Germinal, sprouts, blossoms and embodies the American polemic, given martyrdom by liberal schadenfreude, as he bends, but never breaks, becoming the Zeitgeist of his moment.

Or, it's a piece of sh*t.

Economic Hot Potatoe

Too soon, Chevy Volt. Too soon.

During campaigns no one likes to play the blame game. On the Hill, however, it's everyone's fault except the public servant in the mirror:

For now, however, with the federal emergency loan plan stalled in the Senate, lawmakers in both parties are engaged in a high-stakes game of chicken, positioning themselves to blame each other for the failure.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., scrapped plans Wednesday for a vote on a bill to carve $25 billion in new auto industry loans out of the $700 billion Wall Street rescue fund.
It's really up to Bush's team to act, he said.

"I don't believe we need the legislation," Reid said. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson can tap the financial industry bailout money to help auto companies, Reid said, but "he just doesn't want to do it."

Not our responsibility, countered the White House.

"If Congress leaves for a two-month vacation without having addressed this important issue ... then the Congress will bear responsibility for anything that happens in the next couple of months during their long vacation," said Dana Perino, the White House press secretary.

You think the American people will be fair and discriminating with the truckloads (Japanese manufactured trucks, 50 miles to the gallon) of blame at their disposal when Detroit goes belly up and the sky falls? Keep telling yourself that, Dana.

And not giving a red government cent to the Big Idiot 3 (i.e., America's Lenny Smalls to Japan's George Miltons: Honda, Toyota, Nissan) might be the most thoughtful and prudent action within this economic sh*tstorm. But if the proverbial "do-nothing" Congress wants to now, in fact, do nothing, then own the damn thing. Don't leave a flaming bag of auto industry poo on the White House's front step, play "ring and run," then fly your lobbyist-paid-for private jet down to Barbados for two months (for that matter, who the f**k takes two-month paid vacations besides new mothers on maternity leave?!?! Henry Waxman, you better show me one hideous-looking troll-baby before you're excused from the legislation table. Christ, even the retarded Texan only spends a month at a time clearing brush at the Crawford Ranch).

"A high stakes game of chicken?" When did our elected officials go all Rebel Without A Cause on us? Take off the leather jacket, Barney Frank. You are not cool!

Oh my God! I think I just became a pure fiscal conservative. Let's make the Bush tax cuts permanent. I don't want these feckless Beltway dolts taking another dollar of taxpayer money to spend frivolously on a bailout for eHarmony or Arby's.

You are no longer sound stewards of our money. No taxation without representation. Not one of you represents me.

They're Coming To Your Town!

America? Now the "rainbow city upon a hill" because you capitulated to gay militants and their potentate, Tim Gunn. Holla at your boy, Tony Perkins!

A new instructional DVD released by the American Family Association teaches yokels how to prevent gay activists from taking over their town's council and promulgating Cher's birthday as a local holiday. Here's the plot line (use the link for the trailer as well):

Residents of the small Arkansas town of Eureka Springs noticed the homosexual community was growing. But they felt no threat. They went about their business as usual. Then, one day, they woke up to discover that their beloved Eureka Springs, a community which was known far and wide as a center for Christian entertainment--had changed. The City Council had been taken over by a small group of homosexual activists.

The Eureka Springs they knew is gone. It is now a national hub for homosexuals. Eureka Springs is becoming the San Francisco of Arkansas. The story of how this happened is told in the new AFA DVD “They’re Coming To Your Town.”

Now, Eureka Springs suffers the fate of its sister springs, Palm Springs, and writhes in eternal damnation as the gay spring break mecca for leather-chap clad legions east of the Mississippi. "It's been awful. One day I'm serving Coors Light cans. The next I'm elbows deep in my recipes book looking for something weird called a 'Cosmo'. I'm at my breaking point. How many times can one man hear the phrase 'hot mess' during a shift," carped Jimmy Bob Billy-Bob, local and barkeep at the popular Eureka Springs watering hole "Harvey Firestein's" (recently changing its name from "Straight Shooters" under new ownership).

American Family Association? Family Research Council? Why does bigotry always come under the guise of the family? Don't gay people have families too or are they generated in laboratories? Godless liberal scientists!

Forgive me for not shaking hands

Sure, maybe Dana Perino can look at this video and spin it in a way to suggest that it was President Bush's choice not to shake hands with all the world leaders at the G-20 summit Saturday, but somehow that's not how I read it.

Maybe in his final weeks as POTUS Bush is trying to bring back George Washington and John Adams's practice...

Never Say "Bachmann" Five Times Into A Mirror

Like any good movie baddie, Michelle Bachmann is back. You thought she was dead, but she is not. Sure, the villagers may have burned down her castle with torches, but Bachmann cannot be killed by any contrivance of man. Every time I see her, the creepy piano score from Halloween clicks on inside my head.

You see, Michelle Bachmann is an urban legend. She is Keyser Söze. She does not exist. Or, should I say, the words that come out of her mouth and are captured on film do not exist. You might recall that a while back, Michelle called for the media to do an expose on members of Congress and "find out if they are pro-America or anti-America," in addition to saying that she was “very concerned” that Barack Obama “may have anti-American views.” If you've been reading this blog - and judging by the attendance figures, you haven't - you might recall Sidecar and Warm Apple Pie's raging hard-on of hatred for Michelle, expressed here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and, finally, here.

Well, as it turns out, that was all a figment of their imagination - and ours. You see, Michelle never said those things. As Politico reports here for the benefit of us simpletons who didn't pick up the phone for days after seeing The Ring, Bachmann never said any of that. Those comments are, in her words, spoken - naturally - on Fox News, an "urban legend." Let Bloody Mary herself tell you:

Asked about the comment Tuesday night on Fox’s “Hannity & Colmes,” Bachmann said, “That’s not what I said at all.” “You've said you were concerned during the campaign that Obama had anti-American views. You said the news media should do a penetrating expose and take a look at the views of the people in Congress and find out if they're pro or anti America,” host Alan Colmes said. “It's an urban legend that was created,” she responded. “That isn't what I said at all.”

Absolutely, positively not what she said. Totally not what almost cost her a congressional seat. Without question not the reason the GOP pulled its funding for her campaign. And, further and finally, absolutely not what she said in the following clip:

Please. Next the Liberal Media is going to be telling us that drinking Coke and eating Pop Rocks makes your stomach explode.

We'll Do It Live (The Club Remix)

This song is huge in Germany in 1938. And even The Potatoe is not immune to Hitler analogies.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Say It Ain't So, Mark!

Get ready to dance again, Mark.

I've always respected Mark Cuban, and will continue to do so until the government carries its burden of proof:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks professional basketball team, was charged with insider trading in shares of Inc, an Internet search engine firm, the Securities and Exchange Commission said on Monday.

Cuban, one of the five finalists to buy the Chicago Cubs pro baseball team, faces civil charges by acting on nonpublic information and selling shares of to avoid more than $750,000 in losses, the SEC alleged.

Sorry, Cubs fans. Looks like Mr. Cuban might be a bit too busy this coming year to own your 100 years of misery.

***UPDATE***: From Mark Cuban's blog: "I wish I could say more, but I will have to leave it to this, and let the judicial process do its job."

Also on the blog, Cuban's defense counsel, Stephen A. Best, from Dewey & LeBoeuf, responds to the SEC charges with an excerpt of his interview with the former CEO of Inc., stating Cuban made no verbal response to the offer of confidential information.

Hitler Was Nut(s)?

No shock here. You need two to complete the conquest of Europe (except for France, where a vagina will suffice).

Talking Points Memo: The Day In 100 Seconds

Nothing gives me more comfort when the Dow dips below the 8000 mark than seeing Gene Simmons on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, pumping up the Kiss Army, drolly predicting that, yes, Kiss condoms will get the economy "comin' and goin' again."

Barack, how about a cabinet post for Gene? We'll use his tongue to lick our wounds during the coming "recession" (if the word "recession" actually mean "depression").

Dirty Gene and the rest of today's ridiculousness in brief courtesy of TPM.

Moose Knuckled Under

ESPN reports that Yankees pitcher Mike Mussina will retire. He gets his 20-win season and calls it quits, no doubt whining about something when making his decision.

Is he a HOFer? No Cy Young Awards. No ERA titles. Never the best pitcher in the league in any given year. Only one 20-win season, despite playing on good teams for most of his career.

Verdict: Stewed.

Hahahaha - sank you, I be here all da veek.

Down Goes Stevens! Down Goes Stevens!

Look, Ted, piece of advice. On your first day in the joint, find the biggest guy in the lunch hall and blast his teeth in. But after that, pick him up off the ground and share your cornbread with him. See, the inmates will fear you, but respect you. They'll know you're a man not to be trifled with, but you live by a code. Other than that, don't drop the soap:

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Sen. Ted Stevens, the longest serving Republican in Senate history, narrowly lost his re-election bid Tuesday, marking the downfall of a Washington political power and Alaska icon who couldn't survive a conviction on federal corruption charges. His defeat by Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich moves Senate Democrats within two seats of a filibuster-proof 60-vote majority . . .

Tuesday's tally of just over 24,000 absentee and other ballots gave Begich 150,728, or 47.76 percent, to 147,004, or 46.58 percent, for Stevens. There are about 2,500 overseas ballots yet to be counted.

In a related story, Sarah Palin announced she will fill the senatorial vacancy created by former senator Ted Stevens's departure to prison. When told that Mark Begich won and there was no void to fill, Palin responded, "But it has to be about job creation also, daggonit."

***UPDATE***: Convicted felon Ted Stevens concedes the election in a prepared statement. In another prepared statement, Big Bubba Muldoon, Stevens's future cellmate, welcomed the Former Senator to the care and custody of the Alaska Department of Corrections: "I'm gonna turn out that punk b*tch. Betta watch your old ass, fresh fish!"

Al-Qaeda translator to Obama: We Know Bad Words!!

So, the #2 man in Al-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri, today announced that President-Elect Obama, along with other notable black people such as secretaries of state Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, are "house Negroes."

That's not the story though. See the story isn't that HE said that. HE actually did NOT say that. Actually, what he said, according to Fox News, translates literally from Arabic to "house slaves." But the translator over at Al-Qaeda - who graciously provided the English subtitles - wanted to make sure we understood that this was a RACIAL epithet and not simply a garden-variety insult, and added the subtitle "house Negroes" rather than "house slaves."

Good to know they are doing their market research about how best to make statements as degrading and insulting as possible. We don't want to lose anything in translation, guys.

Intelligent Conservatism Seeks A Bailout

By way of Wonkette, Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor of National Review Online, strapped for cash, goes all AIG on us, putting out a suntanned hand, begging for chump change:

Re: Cruising [Kathryn Jean Lopez]

I’m getting a number of e-mails from people who complain that we have some nerve asking for money after spending on a cruise last week. I totally understand how that looks bad. But here’s what you need to know: The reason we do these cruises is they bring in money. It’s another fundraiser. And rather than tanning in the Bahamas, we do work — panels, interviews, dinner, lunch, and other discussions. I tell you that not to whine — its a nice thing to work with a little sun in the cabin window vs. the usual Lexington Avenue noise. But we don’t do these as staff vacation perks. The time spent is an investment in the conservative future — because it supports NR and because real conversations happen, with policymakers, with young people, with supporters.

And like I said in my pitch today, National Review in all its forms has always and I suspect will always, rely on readers. Thank you again.

According to its pledge drive page, a donation of $2500 or more gets you the following:

A) “Thank You” letter and token of appreciation
B) Quarterly Publisher update
C) Listing in Annual Report
D) Monthly e-mail from NR editor/writer
E) Quarterly donor newsletter
F) Early access to cruise reservations
G) Quarterly conference call with NR writer/editor
H) Invitation to exclusive event during NR cruises
I) Lock of Sarah Palin's hair
J) Trig Palin

I'm joshing around on some of these: cruise reservations are made only on a first-come-first-served basis. Oh, and (J) is redundant: Trig is the mysterious "token of appreciation" in gift (A).

The Automobile Bailout: Saved by Zero (expectation of it getting done)

Democrats in Congress today told the auto industry to temper their expectations for a bailout, based on not having enough votes and President Bush saying "don't call us, we'll call nobody." Don't worry guys, our expectations for any of you guys getting anything productive done is


No, seriously. Get a clue, guys. Did someone say Clue? Was it Dana Petrino in the White House Press Room with no comment? No, it was Chris Dodd on the Hill with no progress. Or possibly Rosie the Riveter in the factory with no job. Nope... it was General Motors... in the courtroom... in Chapter Eleven.

Saved by zero.

How Do You Measure Yourself Against Other Presidents? By Height.

Hugh Hewitt records the surface data of the American economy on this past election day to begin his assault on the President-Elect:

When Barack Obama was elected:

The inflation rate was 3.7%
Unemployment was 6.5%
The prime was at 4%
The Dow closed at 9,625
The NASDAQ closed at 1,780
The S&P closed at 1,005
Oil was $60 a barrel.
U.S. monthly domestic oil production: appx 155 million barrels
U.S. proven oil reserves: 21.3 billion barrels
U.S. offshore proven reserves: 3.9 billion barrels

Hewitt proclaims these are the proper numbers to measure Obama's success. Of course, Hugh Hewitt is wrong, but at least he's dumb.

For starters, assuming there is an accurate, universally accepted empiric to measure the success of a President's policies as applied to the economy, wouldn't you begin your assessment period when the individual actually takes office on January 20 and can actually put these policies in place? Of course not. Why would you? The numbers could be worse on that day and make it much easier for Obama to improve on Hewitt's statistical window-dressing.

How about the stock market? It has always been more skittish than Howard Hughes sitting first row at a Gallagher show during the watermelon smash (non sequitur - how can you possibly live with yourself after paying money to go to a Gallagher show? Suicide isn't selfish, despite what people tell you.). The stock market clumsily measures overall investor confidence, not necessarily the fundamentals of the economy (which "are strong" as John McCain assuaged us during the campaign). But I'll play along. Here's a number: 10,609 - the Dow's closing average on the day George W. Bush took office. We'll check back on January 19, 2009 using Hugh's metric.

And the oil numbers? More right-wing obfuscation of the real problem with the current Republican administration's (lest we forget Bush still reigns) energy policy and the cavalier attitude of the American consumer. It's the numerical representation of the woefully dim GOP mantra "drill, baby, drill," despite endorsement by our nation's foremost energy expert, Sarah Palin.

At the end of Obama's first term, I will measure success by the proportion of domestic production/consumption of renewable, clean energy sources versus fossil fuels and petro-products. By the end of his second term, Obama's legacy will be measured by whether we can see our society free and clear of Middle Eastern oil and within two years of total energy independence (or pretty damn close). I will hold our new President to his Kennedy-esque pronouncement of realizing energy independence within 10 years. Jack's vision got us to the moon. Barack's vision should get us to the moon again using a spaceship powered by solar sails and a hydrogen fuel cell.

Hugh, let's cut away the rhetorical excess, shall we, and get down to brass tacks. One number - the Unemployment Rate - for the whole shebang. The Potatoe will record it on January 20, 2009 and wager . . . wait for it . . . wait for it . . . ONE EURO . . . that the number will be lower at the inception of Obama's second term, January 20, 2013.

Look, I know the stakes aren't that high, but we're in a rough patch here just like the rest of you. Hugh, be thankful it wasn't one dollar.

Blessed For You; Nead Urgint Reply; Relative, Hot Apple Pie, Deceased

If you don't know who's the sucker at the table after giving away $400,000 to a Nigerian email scam, then you . . . HOLY CRAP! YOU BLEW $400,000 ON A NIGERIAN EMAIL SCAM!:

SWEET HOME, Ore. — An Oregon woman who is out $400,000 after falling for a well-known Internet scam says she wasn't a sucker or an easy mark.

Janella Spears of Sweet Home says she simply became curious when she received an e-mail promising her $20.5 million if she would only help out a long-lost relative identified as J.B. Spears with a little money up front.

Spears told KATU-TV about the scammers' ability to identify her relative by name was persuasive.

"That's what got me to believe it," She said. "So, why wouldn't you send over $100?"
Spears, who is a nursing administrator and CPR teacher, said she mortgaged the house and took a lien out on the family car, and ran through her husband's retirement account.

"The retirement he was dreaming of — cruising and going around and seeing America — is pretty much gone for him right now," she said.

She estimates it will take two years to clear the debt that accumulated in the more than two years she spent sending money to con artists.

And Janella Spears no less, considered the brightest of the Spears sisters triumvirate. Britney was unavailable for comment. Jamie-Lynn is in seclusion and probably pregnant again, so The Potatoe didn't pursue an interview, but she is on the record stating Nigeria is her favorite state in the country of Africa.

On Hovercars

Mitt Romney's Op-Ed in the New York Times just about nails my sentiment on the proposed auto bailout. In my opinion, the most difficult aspect of the Romney plan will be dealing with the unions, who have become extremely short-sighted. But life is never as easy as "here are your choices: (1) everybody loses their jobs or (2) some people get to keep their jobs, but with less pay." Are there any other real choices?

Maybe. They can start by cutting the $20,000 per flight private jets out of the budget. Unreal. Can these corporate fat cats really be trusted to get the auto industry out of this mess?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Soreness of Losing

The non-issue of Obama's confirmed American birth, evidenced by the official short-form birth certificate produced months ago, is back in the tabloids and in the courts. Everything-baiter Alan Keyes isn't satisfied and reputable (put McCain dick fingers around the adjective) Christian news outlets like World Net Daily happily hand him the conch:

The California Secretary of State should refuse to allow the state's 55 Electoral College votes to be cast in the 2008 presidential election until President-elect Barack Obama verifies his eligibility to hold the office, alleges a California court petition filed on behalf of former presidential candidate Alan Keyes and others.

The legal action today is just the latest is a series of challenges, some of which have gone as high as the U.S. Supreme Court, over the issue of Obama's status as a "natural-born citizen," a requirement set by the U.S. Constitution.

WND senior reporter Jerome Corsi even traveled to Kenya and Hawaii prior to the election to investigate issues surrounding Obama's birth. But his research and discoveries only raised more questions.

Yes, some of these challenges have gone as high as the U.S. Supreme Court - just high enough for the Supreme Court to say we wouldn't touch these spurious claims with Pinocchio's ten-foot nose.

You remember good ol' Alan Keyes, the "former presidential candidate," don't you? The GOP sacrificial lamb put up to slaughter in the 2004 Illinois senatorial election, where Obama gave him an absolute 70%-27% drubbing? Well, here are a few past blurts from that hole on Keyes's face to serve as a reminder:

On not congratulating Obama on his 2004 victory: I'm supposed to make a call that represents the congratulations toward the triumph of that which I believe ultimately stands for ... a culture evil enough to destroy the very soul and heart of my country? I cannot do this. And I will not make a false gesture.

On God's preferred candidate in the 2004 election: "Jesus wouldn't vote for Obama."

On homosexuality (and Dick Cheney's daughter's lifestyle): "Selfish hedonism."

By the way, I'm announcing my candidacy for President of the United States in 2012. However, I now withdraw my candidacy for President of the United States in 2012.


Warm Apple Pie
Former Presidential Candidate

***UPDATE***: My past post on Phil Berg's shoddy lawsuit seeking the same relief as Keyes - dismissed by the 3rd Circuit in October. However, Berg continues to fight the opposite-of-good fight with this advertisement gathering pennies for his trifling cause, courtesy of our misguided friends at The Kansas Citian.

Now in fairness, the publisher of our blog-nemesis concedes his personal belief that Obama is a naturally born citizen of the United States. However, he gives a sounding board to the insane rantings of fringe-dwellers like Keyes or Berg because questions persist and apparently questions, lunatic or otherwise, are enough.

18,000 Gay Marriages . . . Now Imagine They Are Straight

Before Matthew McConaughey traded serious acting for seriously bad romantic comedies with Kate Hudson, he stepped away from the bong long enough to deliver one hell of a cinematic soliloquy at the end of A Time To Kill.

Up against a vengeful all-white jury, eager to execute Samuel L. Jackson for his vigilante murder of two white youths, retribution for their brutal rape of Jackson's teenage daughter, Matt must deliver his closing argument with the deck stacked against his client. It is beyond dispute that Jackson committed the crime. He even erupts during his testimony to gallery outrage, "YES I'M GLAD THEY'RE DEAD AND I HOPE THEY BURN IN HELL!"

Um, objection? Why? Because it is very damaging to my client's case!

Out of options, McConaughey (oddly wearing a shirt for the occasion) decides to appeal to the jurors' better instincts, and recounts the harrowing tale of Jackson's daughter's rape, tugging at the heartstrings for a "not guilty" verdict for his unequivocally guilty defendant ("jury nullification" in legal parlance). He asks the members of the jury to close their eyes, to envision the narrative as he relays it. It's disgustingly vivid in detail and the members become visually shaken, some breaking down in tears.

Then, in a brilliant flip-the-script moment at the story's climax, Matt holds the mirror up to the bigotry of the white jurors before they decide Jackson's fate. Not the fate of a black man, but the fate of a reasonable father protecting his child:

Can you see her? Her raped, beaten, broken body soaked in their urine, soaked in their semen, soaked in her blood, left to die. Can you see her? I want you to picture that little girl . . . Now imagine she's white.

A powerful twist. Jackson found not guilty. And justice prevails.

Now let me tell you a story. Close your eyes:

It's June of this year. An absolutely glorious summer day. A congregation gathers on a beautiful beach to witness the marriage of a gay couple, two men, before a crystal blue ocean, shimmering with sunshine. They've been together for 15 years - high school sweethearts. They've loved each other with fidelity and with passion for 15 years. In attendance today, their friends and family, glowing with pride, decked out in today's haute couture, white and brilliant. They exchange vows. Parents tear up. Crazy aunts sob with joy. A real kiss received with thunderous applause. They triumphantly march down the makeshift aisle, hand-in-hand, passing the congregration as they are pelted with rice, everyone now drenched in crimson of the setting sun.

Then comes the reception within a glass-encased ballroom, a large snow globe of humanity, besides the water at a seaside hotel. The mirth of the cocktail hour begins. Handshakes and hugs. Finger foods-a-plenty. The newlyweds mingle and drift through the crowd with regal grace, exchanging warm sentiments and regards, posing for pictures. The reception room opens, revealing its elegance and taste. However, despite the sophistication of the decor, this is no stuffy affair. After the couple's first dance (Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes"), frenzied Chicken-dancing ensues. The jolly crowd is boisterous. A maudlin uncle grabs the microphone and leads the band in a cacophonous rendition of Sinatra's "Strangers in the Night."

Dinner comes: chicken or beef. Young children parade around the dance floor, no longer wearing shoes, doing silly jigs. The cake is cut and the two lovebirds have an intimate food fight for the photographers. More dancing. A conga line forms to "Feelin' Hot." Ties unknotted, now headbands for drunken, flushed faces. The last Whiskey Sour served by the open bar. The band well-wishes the happy couple and bids the revelers good night to chants of "one more song . . . one more song." The band obliges them with a final performance. Satisfaction. All bellies full. All minds sufficiently impaired with booze. Everyone goes home happy.

The line forms for the coat check. The newlyweds look on with approval, exchange another genuine kiss and gather the moment. They feel the gravity of the occasion. They see flashes from the future - family, careers, tragedies, joy, growing old together. They realize for the thousandth time: We deeply love each other. They silently utter the vows again their minds: "I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love and honor you all the days of my life." This is a dream come true.

Can you see them? A just married couple, committed, eager, ready for what's to come, in good times and in bad. Can you see them? I want you to picture this beautiful, radiant couple, surrounded by kith and kin, in a genuine celebration of love. Can you see them?

Now imagine they're a man and a woman.

Since May 17, 2008, when the California Supreme Court ruled that homosexuals have a fundamental right to marry, 18,000 gay marriages have been promulgated before the state. More importantly, 18,000 gay couples have celebrated their love using the ceremony we take for granted. Now a bigoted proposition sullying the state constitution casts these marriages into doubt.

Are we really saying as a society that the most devoted of these 18,000 marriages is morally inferior to the worst of our millions of heterosexulal marriages - marriages marred with infidelity, abuse, disappointment, neglect and ultimately divorce?

Very disappointing.

Why would you "choose" homosexuality when straight society makes it practically unbearable to be gay?

***UPDATE*** Socialism Not on March; Paulson's Hubris, Conversely, Is

I didn't want to update my previous Socialism post because, like Socialism, it produced long lines and red tape and I didn't want to make it any longer and less efficient. So this is an update, but in a new post. If you want to know about Socialism from my old post, look here.

But for those of you wondering about the bank bailout and the government taking shares in troubled banking institutions, fear not:

As reported by that bastion of Marxism, Fox News, in this article, Treasury Secretary Paulson is up on the Hill with Ben Bernanke, his own personal Friedrich Engels, explaining the newfangled direction of the bailout to the folks. Hank and Ben went up the Hill to fetch a pail of money.

According to Hammerin' Hank, the banks receiving bailout money, even in the form of share purchase, will have the ability to use the money pretty much however they please. Sure, most of them will try to unfreeze credit lines for homes and small businesses and students and loans like those. Sure, some of them will try to build up a reserve to avoid running out of money - a Socialist "war chest" if you will.

But for all you "better dead than Red"ers out there, the time to panic has passed. You see, the banks will be able to use the money at their own discretion. They won't be nationalized. If they were, how could they use the money for things "such as buying other banks or paying dividends to investors."

Wait, what?? We're giving them money so they can purchase other failing banks, or pay shareholder dividends??? Um, no. Mr. Secretary, that's not Socialism. That's lunacy. Let me make sure I have this right:

My tax dollars. They go to Washington. They go to you, Hank. You give them to (fill in name of failing bank). They give them to (fill in name of shareholder of bank).

Well, at least that quells those war drums trumpeting the end of Capitalism. Perhaps we should be banging on the gong of "this is a really really really bad idea and we don't need to label it anything other than a really bad idea. The idea itself should scare you without a need for a label."

Monday, November 17, 2008

When Doves Cry

Really, Prince? Really.

Prince comes out - no, not out of the closet - but against gay marriage. I did not see this one coming.

Andrew Sullivan has had it with the "dandy, feminized midget."

Man, it really is Sodom and Gomorrah again for these bible-thumpers. Amazing how they parse the text and take what they need.

Is Socialism Upon Us? Um, no.

Last week, several of our faithful contributors and I took on our friend James over at The Kansas Citian, having a spirited chat about his claim that "Democratic Socialism" has come now to America. I will not spend too much time recapping the debate, but if you wish to see its genesis, you may find it on his blog, to which you may link at left and you should read anyhow because it's just a good read generally.

James' specious claim is not unique - it's a foul being cried by conservatives throughout the land. The cries rang out when President-Elect Obama campaigned (as others did and had before him) on a platform that included a need to provide health insurance and access to medical services for the approximately 45 million Americans that do not have it currently. The cries turned hysterical when Secretary Paulson reached out his hand and asked for $700 billion. And, frankly, the cries have reached a pitch that only dogs can hear now that Congress has unveiled a plan - which is likely to fail, at least in the short term - to bail out the American automobile industry as well.

The battle cry of these outraged folks is simple: America is marching towards Socialism, and nobody seems to care or be as outraged as we are.

Well, the Potatoe has sat on this subject and just chuckled for long enough, but Bob Rumson is getting just a little too much airtime and it's time for us to chime in and point out the great big huge flaw in your theory.

There are many reasons why none of these things are Socialism of any stripe. I say "any stripe" because one of James' main points was that this isn't necessarily "Socialism" per se but rather "Democratic Socialism" - a more moderate offshoot of the ideology and one that isn't necessarily incompatible with a generally Capitalistic society (a theory that is somewhat head-scratching in itself, but that's for another day). However, this isn't Democratic Socialism either. But James does get extra points for not just screaming "SOCIALISM!" at the top of his lungs like many conservatives have but by trying to make a reasoned showing that these actions are akin to a move towards a Socialist society, or at least a Democratic Socialist one. We here at the Potatoe think these reasons are bullcrap on a chef salad, and I'm going to explain the one big stinking reason why in a minute...

Listen, there are many reasons we are not moving towards Socialism. Many. Do the research yourself - you don't have to take my word for it. As one small example, take the History News Network and Professor Andrew M. Schocket's word. Who? Well, see, the HNN, in their own words, are "an informal syndicate of professional historians who seek to improve the public's understanding of current events by setting these events in their historical contexts." They took it upon themselves to write a nice little article detailing the history of government involvement in banks in this country, and that in no way should this bailout be considered a step towards Socialism. But let's see what HNN's conclusions are:

One thing remains the same: regardless of how much money the government invests, the bailout plan still allows bankers to be in charge of bank policies, for better or, as we have seen recently, for worse. It's not socialism that we're getting or socialism that we have to fear, but unregulated capitalism. Capitalism got us into this mess, and we are counting on government-backed capitalism to get us out of it.

Sounds like they don't think we're headed towards a jackbooted Cheka operative stomping on your Christmas tree and declaring your house confiscated for the good of the Collective. But there's one big fat reason why none of this is Socialism of any kind. Frankly, I'm surprised it doesn't get more play in the mainstream media, but it might just be too simple. But before I reveal the reason, I want to pose the following hypothetical:

A man breaks into my house. In the course of attempting to kill me, I wrest a gun from him and it accidentally goes off, killing him. In shock and terrified, I run from my house and call the police straightaway. They arrive, survey the scene and arrest me and charge me with murder in the first degree. Should I be convicted of murder at trial?

That sounds pretty dumb, doesn't it? Sounds like I should be exonerated in this scenario, does it not? Of course it does. And why?

Well, any fan of Law & Order could tell you - I lacked motive. I acted in self-defense. Not all homicides are murder, as we all know - only premeditated ones. Ones with intent. With what is called mens rea. The mental commitment to the idea of killing. The example offered above contains no intent. I am not guilty of murder. (note: this is a simple example to make a point. Do not bring your bar exam review materials to the computer and quote the Model Penal Code to me or I will show you an example of premeditated murder. Put it away, nerds.)

And this is why we are not becoming a Socialist country - in any way. Socialism is a political idea and requires motive and commitment. You cannot blunder into Socialism. Socialism is not a reaction to an emergency. Socialism is not temporary or a stop-gap measure. It is a political ideology. You cannot accidentally be Socialist just as you couldn't accidentally be Christian. It requires adherence to a system of beliefs, not just some temporary actions that might have overlap. You can't be temporarily Socialist just as you couldn't be temporarily Christian. "Oh, I found this dude on this cross here and decided to worship him for a sec - you guys have a whole name for this?" No. That's not how these things work.

See, here's the thing: the federal government has zero interest in an ongoing ownership stake in banks or the automobile industry. None. Not one person has posited that this is something the government should operate or "nationalize." Should there be oversight? Perhaps. Should we bail them out so they don't collapse in this turbulent economic period? Possibly. But this is not Socialism. Socialism is the act of nationalizing these institutions because the government decides they should be owned and operated by the government for the good of the people. That is absolutely, positively not being proposed. Never has. Never will. Not Socialism of any stripe. The government does not want to own AIG or GM. You will find zero people advocating this as a permanent solution. That is the absolutely basic and completely rudimentary reason why this is not Socialism, and it is so simple that I can't understand why it's so hard for some people to grasp.

As far as healthcare is concerned, those who scream that providing some sort of government health care for the 45 million Americans who currently have none is Socialism just do not understand (and, for my dollar, are dicks, frankly). If they truly believe this, they obviously believe the United Kingdom, Canada and virtually every other "First World" country is Socialist, since these countries have far more nationalized health care systems than any candidate in United States history has ever proposed. The proposal for providing health care for all Americans is not the same as putting the health care system under national control or "nationalizing" it. It is far closer to the public school system - where every child is entitled to a public education, but is free to opt out and send their children to private school if they choose to and can so afford. So far, I haven't heard anyone spout off that our education system is inherently Socialist because we have public schools paid for by tax dollars. If someone would like to make that argument, bring it on.

Fact of the matter is that I'm getting really tired of listening to uninformed and hysterical mouth-breathers accuse people like Secretary Paulson of moving the country towards Socialism. Hank Paulson is one of the most devout Capitalists alive today. You do not work at Goldman Sachs if you are dabbling in Socialist tendencies. I don't necessarily agree with the actions of Secretary Paulson, Speaker Pelosi, President-Elect Obama or President Bush on the banking and auto crisis. But then again, I'm not sure that this isn't simply the solution with the least flies on it. I'm not qualified enough as an amateur economist to conclude one way or the other.

However, I am plenty qualified to pronounce this as being absolutely positively NOT Socialism. Unless your contention is that our government intends to take over ownership, operation and oversight of the banking and automobile industries on a permanent and complete basis, screaming Socialism is simply wasting valuable oxygen. Why so many other people have such a hard time getting there is beyond me.

I'm Just Sayin' . . .

Dennis Prager this morning speaking to a teacher-caller:

"Look, we admire teachers. However we do not admire the teacher's union."

Then some blather about "lefties" and "radicalism" and "fear."

Not worth mentioning, except it reminded me of the go-to response of the far right for anyone with the temerity to trash Bush's policies in Iraq: "Stop criticizing the troops."
"Look, we admire soldiers. However, we do not admire the Bush Administration."

Any hypocrisy there?

It's not a rhetorical question - I haven't finished my morning coffee and the thoughts are still sticking together.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Palin's Legs Pallin' Around With Hotness!

Exhausted after the gauntlet of a nine-minute, four question press conference this week at the RGA conference in Miami, Governor Palin hit the pool for some well-deserved rest and relaxation, taking a break from the 2012 election stump.

The Saracuda was not shy about showing off her stems. Yowsers! And true to her word, her beverage of choice is Diet Dr. Pepper.

When asked for comment about the photo spread, Dennis Miller removed the discipline out of his satchel and began excoriating the flesh of his back like the albino monk in The Da Vinci Code. On a sad note, Rich Lowry was unavailable for comment. His dead body was discovered this evening, sitting in a chair in front of his computer, strangely with no head and, even stranger, wearing no pants.

The police noted "starbursts" were found at the scene. "Massive, sudden head explosion" has been pronounced the official cause of death.

No More Gadgets!

President-Elect Obama's transition team interviewed Gilbert Lowell and Louis Skolnick this week for a new cabinet post: Secretary of Tools. Neeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrds!

Our first yuppie president will lose his toys on January 20:

For years, like legions of other on-the-move professionals, Obama has been a heavy user of his BlackBerry. The device, basically a phone and a hand-held computer, has rarely been far from his side.

"How about that?" Obama replied to a congratulatory e-mail message from a friend after his election victory.

But before he arrives at the White House, he will probably be forced to sign off. In addition to concerns about e-mail security, there is the Presidential Records Act, which puts his correspondence in the official record and ultimately up for public review, and the threat of subpoenas. A final decision has not been made on whether Obama could go against precedent and become the first e-mailing president, but aides said that was unlikely.

Despite the power afforded the U.S. president, the chief executive of the nation is essentially deprived of some of the tools that other chief executives depend on. Obama, however, appears to be poised to make technological history in other ways: Aides said he hopes to have a laptop on his desk in the Oval Office. He would be the first American president to do so.

And McCain was only becoming "computer literate" during the Summer months of the campaign. He never used emails. He never had a chance.

Plenty of free time for the Video Professor now. Perhaps you can learn to sell Governor Palin's stump wardrobe on eBay. Please . . . try his damn product already, you old codger!

***UPDATE***: Obama uses online videos to disseminate his weekly addresses and taps the unmatched reach of Youtube as his vehicle. A tech savvy President? How cool. But killjoy Allen Stern cries foul and mewls about "fair competition."