January 06, 2011

Quick Takes, January 6, 2011

Welcome to the first edition of Quick Takes for 2011. Let's get right to the lunacy:

ITEM: Katie Couric thinks what America needs is a Muslim version of the Cosby Show. Presumably, this would teach all the gun and God clingers a thing or two about tolerance. What Ms. Couric, and those like her, cannot tolerate is that religious tolerance is written into the DNA of Americans. We tolerate those professing any religion so long as they are Americans first, for if they are Americans first, they’ll be tolerant. The problem is and always will be that there are too many Muslims who are Muslims first, last and always, and who will actively try to impose Islam on and/or kill those who aren’t. How do you add a laugh track to that?

ITEM: DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano made a surprise visit to Afghanistan to meet with Afghan President Hamid Karzai. The topic: How to better police the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Well of course! She’s doing such a magnificent job of border enforcement, such as posting signs warning Americans that entire sections of Arizona are so infested with drug gangs and illegals that they’re not safe. It’s now official: So far has Napolitano sunk into self-parody, trying to parody anything she says or does is a lost cause.

ITEM: Chief White House economic advisor Austan Goolsbee has warned Congress that if they don’t raise the current 14.3 trillion dollar debt ceiling--we’re now at 13.9 trillion--an unprecedented economic crisis will occur and has further warned Congress not to “toy” with the issue. Let me see if I have this right: Goolsbee and his pals are largely responsible for the kind of economic theory that supports an absolutely unprecedented spending spree and are getting petulant when it appears that we won’t let them spend even more and raise the debt ceiling to hide their failure of intellect? And this is going to fix things? We’ve hired a group of particularly feckless foxes to guard our national chicken coop.

ITEM: Using his recess appointment powers, President Obama has appointed James Cole to the number two position at the Department of Justice. Cole was hung up in the Congress because of his blatantly public stance on the war on terror: Like Eric Holder and President Obama, he sees it as a law enforcement matter. In an 2002 op-ed, he compared 9-11 to rape, murder and child abuse. Some of our representatives inexplicably think that terrorists who have declared war on America should be handled like, well, terrorists who have declared war on America. While all presidents occasionally use the recess appointment power, some use it more wisely than others, President Bush’s appointment of John Bolton as Ambassador to the UN, for example. During his tenure, Bolton never failed to properly and forcefully work for American interests. Cole will arguably work against them. Heck of a job, Jimmy!

ITEM: In 2010, President Obama flew on Air Force One 172 times. That’s one flight every 2.1 days. The Air Force estimate of flight hours costs: $181,757. So for a trip with a flight time of eight hours, the cost would be $1,454,056. Mr. Obama also made 196 helicopter trips which also tend to be a bit pricey. Americans will be glad to know that Mr. Obama has recently announced that he plans to spend a great deal more time outside Washington, actually mixing and mingling with the great unwashed. He thinks his failure to do this during the last two years is the source of his difficulties. He also thinks we are involved in overseas contingency operations that there are 57 states and that Americans universally respect Joe Biden.

ITEM: Uh-oh. Looks like Mr. Goolsbee will have closure sooner than we thought. As of the last day of 2010, the national debt...wait for officially over 14 trillion dollars! It’s the first time in world history a national debt has been so high! A new record! We’re number one! We’re number one! But it’s even better! It took Mr. Obama and the Congressional Dems a mere seven months to achieve that kind of greatness. And they want to raise the debt ceiling so they can go for a new record! Considering the current rate of increase, we’ll likely hit the current ceiling in, oh, 23 seconds? Nope. Twenty at best. Another new record! Yet another amazing accomplishment from the administration whose greatest accomplishment--according to VP Joe “The Sheriff” Biden--is winning the Iraq war. I mean, other than the fact that almost everyone in the administration has consistently opposed it...

SUB-ITEM: Galaxy-Class Hypocrisy Department: “The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. … Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here. Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.” Barack Obama in 2006--when Republicans were in charge--prior to voting against raising the debt ceiling. According to Robert Gibbs, Obama only said that because he knew no one would listen to him. Ah.

ITEM: According to The Weekly Standard, the Obama Administration, through HHS, is spending taxpayer money to direct Google searches to the Government’s website praising Obamacare as the slickest thing since sliced bread. So I googled “obamacare,” and a variety of variations and sure enough, the official government cheerleading site always come up first. Ben Smith of Polltico was able to get HHS to confirm the ad buy. Imagine the hue and cry if the Bush administration did that in support of any of its policies. Hope. Change. Transparency. Deception. Economic catastrophe.

ITEM: DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, during a recent trip to Israel, told Fox News that the Israeli system of screening air travelers--arguably the most effective in the world--was impossible in America because the Israeli system is “a very different model,” and because Israel is smaller and has less air traffic. The Israelis rely on well trained officers to actually look for the types of people and behaviors that are potentially dangerous rather than spending billions on poorly performing technological marvels and on body searching grandmothers and infants. Amazingly, many of those the Israelis watch most closely are young Islamic males from countries known to produce terrorists! But Secretary Napolitano is correct. The Israeli system could never work in America. It isn’t wasteful, requires intelligent, capable administrators whose primary concern is citizen safety rather than political correctness, focuses on the people most likely to be dangerous rather than “making statements about who we are,” recognizes that Israel is at war and clearly identifies the enemy and actually works. Can’t have that. We might be accused of failing to reach out to those who want to cut our heads off with dull knives on You Tube.

ITEM: has an article by Alana Goodman that is both fascinating and frightening. It seems that Brown University Alumni Matthew Reichel and Nick Young were worried about “one-sided” media coverage of North Korea, so they established a student visit program that has expanded to a semester-long study abroad excursion to the worker’s paradise. Now that I think of it, there is a surprising lack of media coverage of all the good North Korea is doing in the world. Of course, there's a surprising lack of media coverage of all the good Satan is doing in the world too, but...

Reichel says: “The US and North Korea don’t have established relations, and talks are indirect at best. And what we believe is that there is a need for a grassroots level of engagement that we haven’t seen yet between citizens. We feel that education is the best ice-breaker.”

Well of course. As most North Koreans outside of Pyongyang actually eat grass and tree bark daily in the often vain hope of prolonging their miserable, severely malnourished, growth-stunted lives, “grassroots” engagement is entirely appropriate. The good intentions of Leftists, combined with what they know about reality, combined with a dollar, will purchase a hamburger in any McDonalds--except in North Korea. Read the entire article (here) for the full version of leftist adventures in Wonderland.

ITEM: Presidential Press Secretary Robert Gibbs whose smug condescension and easy way with spin so blatant it has, upon occasion, nearly thrown the planet off its axis, will be stepping down immediately after the President’s upcoming State of the Union speech. However, for those who enjoy being looked down upon, having their intelligence insulted, lectured at, denigrated and lied to, Gibbs will continue to be in the public eye as he works to reelect Mr. Obama in 2012.

ITEM: It’s a pleasure to end this week’s Quick Takes with the news of Kathryn Gray, 10, of Canada, an amateur astronomer who recently discovered a previously unknown supernova. By painstaking work, she found the supernova in the galaxy UGC 3378. The galaxy is in the constellation of Camelopardalis, about 240 million light years away. Kathryn is reported to be “really excited” by her discovery. Well, yeah! Those darned kids these days, discovering supernovas and such... Congratulations Kathryn!

And congratulations to all of our readers who do their best in their busy lives to keep themselves informed, thereby helping to make a difference for us all.

Posted by MikeM at January 6, 2011 01:23 PM