Archive for July, 2008

Really old jokes…

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

First we had the 2,000 year old man,

Now, we got really old jokes: via OTB, World’s oldest joke traced back to 1900 BC

The oldest British joke dates back to the 10th Century and reveals the bawdy face of the Anglo-Saxons — “What hangs at a man’s thigh and wants to poke the hole that it’s often poked before? Answer: A key.”

The Thing Remade, Starring G.I. Joe Action Figures:

Al Gore Places Infant Son In Rocket To Escape Dying Planet

… and some great opera singing

Lakme Bell Song Battle Royale


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Another day, another scare tactic for your dollar?

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

Obama race
by dollarsandsense123

Obama says Republicans trying to scare voters

“Nobody thinks that Bush and McCain have a real answer to the challenges we face. So what they’re going to try to do is make you scared of me,” Obama said. “You know, he’s not patriotic enough, he’s got a funny name, you know, he doesn’t look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills.”

Last time I looked George Washington was the only president on the dollar bills, but with Obama, that’s likely to change. Or so he hopes.

Drudge’s Obama dollar


Er, all those other presidents? Isn’t there just one President on the dollar bill?

Obama was injecting race into the race, again, as you can see in the above video. But An Obama spokesman denied that the line about “dollar bills” was related to the Democrat’s race.

Well, if it isn’t about his race, is it about his ego? “Other presidents”, as if he was already President?

Or is it about socialism?

The Anchoress links to Obama’s stealth socialism and “economic justice”. Obamanomics Is a Recipe for Recession, an obvious form of Marxism with all the essential ingredients of Communism. It is inconceivable to me that the USA would embrace this kind of already-proven failed economic policy when countries like Brazil are lifting themselves out of poverty by doing exactly the opposite of what Obama proposes. The “hope” and “change” he proposes are the road to ruin.

As Siggy puts it,

Promises of hope and change do not deal with problems and disparities- they camouflage them.

Dean’s World looks at Empty Rhetoric, The Race Card, And The Audacity of Shameless Lying in that speech:

It’s astonishing how readily socialism can be repackaged as populism just by using some loftily vacuous rhetoric. Every time there’s an economic hiccup, we hear some new narrative explaining how we need higher taxes and more government intervention. Make no mistake: fear is exactly what Barack Obama is selling here. If you aren’t afraid, you might listen to economists, who will drone on about boring, unhopeful, nonaudacious concepts like private market efficiency, cumulative productivity gains, and long-term growth through the creative destruction of inefficient competitors.

Hope, change, and more government intervention.

You can bet your Obama dollar on it.

Obama buttons?

By golly, it has the ring of Genesis.

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New time at NowLive, Baldilocks saves the Obama school, and other morning items

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

Today’s 15 Minutes on Latin America at NowLive: The Colombia Free Trade Agreement. Please note the new time: 2PM Eastern.

Save the neglected Obama school in Kenya! Juliette Ochieng has decided to save the Obama Kogelo Secondary School, which has been neglected by the annointed – who, as Neoneocon‘s commenter puts it, is following Clinton’s example of

On all issues, he tried to present an image of a man taking positive action. That he actually took little or no action was of no consequence.

Juliette, who takes action, is starting a non-profit. Go to her blog and scroll down, and contribute.

Since his inflated ego has gotten him so far, Obama’s now saying that inflating your tires will save as much gasoline as “all the oil that they’re talking about getting off drilling.” Hear for yourselves:

John Hinderaker of Power Line (h/t Larwyn) sat down and did the numbers:

Just for fun, I did the math. Properly inflating your tires can improve gas mileage by 3%. Of course, many people already keep their tires properly inflated, and many more are at least close to being properly inflated. Let’s be generous and assume that one-half of the total possible savings would be realized if we all inflated our tires properly; that’s a net gain of 1.5% fuel efficiency.

Americans drive approximately 2,880 billion miles per year. If we average 24 mpg, we use around 120 billion gallons of gasoline in our vehicles. If, through perfect tire inflation, we improved our collective fuel efficiency by 1.5%, that would be 1.8 billion gallons. A barrel of oil produces around 20 gallons of gasoline, so the total savings available through tire inflation is approximately 90,000,000 barrels of oil annually.

How does this stack up against “all the oil that they’re talking about getting off drilling?”

ANWR: 10 billion barrels
Outer Continental Shelf: 18 billion barrels (estimated; the actual total is undoubtedly much higher, since exploration has been banned)
Oil shale: 1 trillion barrels

So, on the above assumptions, it would take only 11,308 years of proper tire inflation to equal “all the oil that they’re talking about getting off drilling.”

Alfonzo has a new video, The Vote Reaper, martial arts and Kentucky Fried analogies included:

Speaking of Kentucky Fried, Kentucky Fried Chicken has opened up in Fallujah. Chew on that one, Harry Reid.

Update on the blog move:
The blog move has gone very well, and there are only two minor kinks to be worked out: my favicon doesn’t show, and Memeorandum’s no longer picking up my posts. I appreciate your patience and all your support, and thank you for each time you visit, read, link to, blogroll, and tell your friends about this blog. Please also subscribe to the new feed,

Obama (finally!) Reaching Out to American Muslims through the Chicago political machine:

In contrast, Obama’s point person is Mazen Asbahi, a longtime Chicago lawyer with heavy involvement at the grassroots level of the Muslim community there.

(h/t the Baron)


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Photos from the train trip

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008
View from the train

View from the train

More in my Facebook album.

Liveblogging the bloggers’ call with Ambassador Charles Shapiro on the Colombia Free Trade agreement

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

Ambassador Charles Shapiro is leading the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs’ Task Force for the Free Trade Agreements with Peru, Colombia and Panama.

Ambassador Shapiro opened by saying that the question he always gets is, “why would anyone oppose the agreement?” This agreement is in the interest of Colombia, of the US, and in our national security interest, so he finds that question hard to explain.

The question and answer session:
Monica Showalter of IBD: “After this administration is over & there’s a new president, the pact will actually be dead. Is that true?”
Ambassador Shapiro: The agreement stands the way it is. Our lawyers believe that what will happen is that, since the agreement has been introduced in this section of Congress, but if it was reintroduced in the next Congress it would enter under the trade promotion authority and would be no time table and would be open to amendment.
The Panama agreement, if sent to Congress, the fast track rules would apply.

Red State: “What can practically be done in this session of Congress?”
AS: Senate Finance committee is trying to link the two: trade assistance and the trade agreement. In the House they want the trade adjustment assistance through.

Jim Hoft: “Nancy Pelosi said yesterday that if Colombia makes any progress, she would recommend opening the discussion. Any comment?”
AS: What she’s doing is not closing the door but is she saying that it’d be considered, then there’s no commitment there. Colombia’s made progress and continues to make progress. Day in and day out progress. To build on that, to help, passing the agreement would add to the progress.
He won’t criticize the 1st branch of government, but the indicators of violence in Colombia are down and what you really see in Colombia lately – and the hostage rescue – is an absolute change in the people’s sense of optimism and pride in Colombia. Colombians are moving back and businesses are coming in.

Kevin Sullivan, RCP: “The deal seems like a no-brainer on the surface. Is there any diversity in the American labor movement in this issue?”
AS: At the local level, people are afraid for their jobs because of globalization, and that’s a real issue that the executive & legal branches, and academia should address because we all live in the microeconomy. We need to figure out a way to talk about people and jobs and their future, and when you explain to people that Colombia has duty free access to the US but the US doesn’t have access to Colombia, a light goes on and people understand that.

My question: Are businesses canvassing Congress to make it understand that the tarriffs American businesses have to pay are punitive?
AS: Members of Congress have heard and will continue hearing from US businesses. With the failure of the DOHA round bilateral agreements will become more important – if you can’t reach global agreement that makes bilateral agreements more important. We’re not the only game in town and sometimes folks don’t understand that Canada has a trade agreement with Colombia, and process foods from Canada will enter with – 0 – duty while ours will come in with 20% duty, and our business will go to Canada. When I was stationed in Chile, Chile had an agreement with Canada and not with the US, and our market share dropped. I don’t want us to lose market share anywhere. And it’s certainly in our national security interest to see a democratic, open maket economy be successful in Colombia.

Monica/IBD: Pres. Uribe’s privatizing businesses and there’s little union labor, Does this freeing of the markets have any influence on the AFL-CIO’s opposition? Would free trade allow more energy production?
AS: The 2 big labor confederations are primarily public sector unions and are not directly affected by the trade agreement. They oppose this agreement because they oppose Alvaro Uribe. How does it help Colombian energy production? Coal comes duty free but Colombian ethanol will come in duty free (there’s a .54 duty on Brazilian ethanol).
How about the Caterpillar equipment they use?
The equipment will be less expensive. The coal will stay at current market prices.
The big game – oil comes in duty free. In Colombia, because of the improved security and the business climate foreign oil companies are much more willing to invest in Colombia and are doing so at a rapid pace.

UPDATE, Thursday 31 July
Gateway Pundit posted about the call, too.


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McCain wears Ferragamos! Stop the presses!

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

I’m very glad to learn that Sen. McCain has good taste in footwear:
James Joyner (who also has good taste in shoes, at least on the occasions when we’ve met) posted John McCain Wears Nice Shoes

The flack department at HuffPo emails to tout Isabel Wilkinson’s post, “A Week In John McCain’s Shoes — His $520 Ferragamo Loafers, That Is.” It documents, in extensive detail, McCain’s wearing of a pair of black calfskin Salvatore Ferragamo ‘Pregiato’ Moccasins, which retail at Nieman Marcus for $520.

Here’s a photo:

Nice. Very nice.

Isabel’s in a lather that McCain’s wearing Italian shoes as opposed to American, as if this was earth-shattering news. But – as I’ve said before – in my experience, having someone find fault with you because your shoes are of too high a quality is a sure sign of envy on their part.

They way I see it, any individual has the right to purchase the kind of shoes he or she best feels like wearing (some of us believe that, if the shoe fits, buy it!), and in a capitalist society where we have the opportunity to purchase the best quality goods the world has to offer, Sen. McCain gets kuddos for his excellent taste.

I’m Fausta Wertz and I approve this message.

(If you may recall, liberals were criticizing Fred Thompson’s Gucci or were they Ferragamos, too? – size 13 – shoes last year. What’s the matter with this people?)

Forbes has the Connoisseur’s Guide to The Best Men’s Shoes.
Welcome, Atlas readers.

My friend Maggie points out that McCain’s shoes are well-used, and resoled.


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John Kerry, babe magnet

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

Via Memeorandum
One headline: Kerry’s office: Sen. wasn’t partying with women

A thousand words:

Another headline: Nantucket girls gone wild descend on John Kerry

It looks pretty innocent to me, but wonders never cease: John Kerry, babe magnet. Who’d had thunk it?

Allahpundit says there was a penis-shaped straw somewhere, but he wasn’t the one drinking.

Maybe Obama should go to Nantucket.


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In today’s 15 Minutes on Latin America: Paraguay

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

In today’s video podcast at 11AM Eastern I’ll be talking about Carlos Alberto Montaner’s article the The Independent, Paraguay: Ireland or Venezuela?

The task facing Lugo is therefore tremendous. He inherits a profoundly corrupt and poor country, governed for 60 years by a party with a totalitarian bent, during Stroessner’s long reign, where much of the national income has been brazenly pocketed by some unscrupulous businessmen and the political classes through a mercantilist economic model that is well known in Latin America: right-wing populism. Right-wing populism is a basically demagogic monster that is hard to excise because it rots the heart of society. It combines nationalism, protectionism, and patronage, as happened in Mexico during the PRI and still happens in Argentina, where Peronism, more than a political party, is a chronic addiction to a kind of moral-dulling narcotic.

Can Mr. Lugo improve the situation in Paraguay? It depends. He might also worsen it. The former bishop has frequently stated that he favors Liberation Theology. That is very dangerous. That sociophilosophical gibberish—born of a ménage à trois between Marx, Che, and a biased interpretation of the New Testament, first circulated in the 1970s by the Peruvian priest Gustavo Gutiérrez—is to blame for the fact that a sector of the Church stained its hands with blood and irresponsibly sent hundreds of people to their death. It is no good for governing, reducing poverty or creating a more just nation. Trying to improve the problems of society with that vision of reality is like trying to cure a cancer patient by roasting him on a slow-turning spit.

Carlos Alberto, whom I had the pleasure of meeting last December, is the author of Fidel Castro and the Cuban Revolution, Twisted Roots, and El manual del perfecto idiota latinoamericano. He won’t be in the podcast but I recommend his books, which are available through Amazon.

Prior posts on Paraguay here.


In other Latin American news, Brian Faughman lists One More Reason to Expand Domestic Drilling: PEMEX’s declining oil production.

The issue of Mexico’s declining oil production is not exaggerated, and voters have rejected President Calderon’s privatization (small and modest as it was) proposal to open portions of the state petroleum monopoly to private or foreign firms.

Will the US Congress wake up and allow us to use our own natural resources? Don’t count on it.


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Tuesday night tango

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

Ditch Stevens

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

Ted Stevens was indicted Tuesday on seven felony counts.

It’s high time the Republican party ditched him. Corrupt, king of pork; it’s time. And I agree with Patrick Rufinni

At a minimum, Stevens must abandon his re-election campaign if not resign.

Patrick als notes that “The rules are that the Alaska Republican Party can replace the nominee after he steps down after the primary. The primary is August 26th.” Can’t wait.


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