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    • And They Made A Desert: 80 to 90% Drop In Nutrients In Food
      Stumbled across this lovely chart the other day. The core fact most people, including the folks in the “best every world” Panglossian movement (like Pinker) don’t seem to understand, is that even if they were right (questionable), the prosperity we have is based on burning down our house. “Sure is hot! Hottest it’s every been!” […]
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Funny Thanksgiving Stories Open Thread

Well, I saw a wild turkey in Central Park today.

What the?

What the?

And you?

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Bush and Obama: Perfect Together

Hooray! We’ve finally gotten our Unity Pony, guys and gals. Only problem is, it’s Obama who is unifying with Bush – and the dynamic duo wants a lot more of your…CHANGE.

The Unity Pony Takes Your Change

The Unity Pony Takes Your Change

The federal government has decided to spend $800 billion more on purchasing mortgage assets and securitizing the frozen credit markets. Yes, that brings the total up to $1.5 trillion, officially. Golly gee, can I be a greedy bank, insurance company, financial institution, mortgage lender or credit card company too? All I have to do is get “too big to fail,” and voila! I can steal from the Treasury with both hands and laugh all the way to the bank, as my employees who put their 401(k)’s in my company lose their jobs and their financial futures. Wow, screwing millions of people to the wall is FUN!!!

But I digress. Barack Obama keeps saying there is only “one President at a time,” but in reality, he and Bush are acting as a team.  How sweet!

WASHINGTON — America has never seen anything quite like this: The president and president-elect acting like co-presidents, consulting and cooperating on the day’s biggest crises.

“It’s pretty unusual,” said George Edwards, a presidential expert at Texas A&M University, in College Station.

What Princeton University professor Julian Zelizer calls “the split-screen presidency” is the result of several historic forces converging this fall:

  • The 24-7 nature of the global economy, which demands timely reaction.  
  • Incoming and outgoing presidents who have personal and political reasons to show that they can manage a crisis.  
  • A president-elect, Barack Obama, who “believes in strong government and wants to get things under way immediately,” said William Leuchtenburg, a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill professor who’s written extensively about the presidency.  
  • A lame-duck president, George W. Bush, who’s leaving office voluntarily. “Bush was not defeated. That makes for an easier relationship,” Leutchtenburg said.

Well, thank Gawd we didn’t elect McSame because, um…

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Wednesday: Whoa! I didn’t see *that* coming.

Wishful thinking...

Wishful thinking...

William Greider opens his column in The Nation entitled Past and Future with this realization:

A year ago, when Barack Obama said it was time to turn the page, his campaign declaration seemed to promise a fresh start for Washington. I, for one, failed to foresee Obama would turn the page backward. The president-elect’s lineup for key governing positions has opted for continuity, not change. Virtually all of his leading appointments are restoring the Clinton presidency, only without Mr. Bill. In some important ways, Obama’s selections seem designed to sustain the failing policies of George W. Bush

This is not the last word and things are changing rapidly. But Obama’s choices have begun to define him. His victory, it appears, was a triumph for the cautious center-right politics that has described the Democratic party for several decades. Those of us who expected more were duped, not so much by Obama but by our own wishful thinking.

HELLO?!? The $600,000,000 campaign fund didn’t smack you hard enough?  Mr. Greider goes on to lament that appointing Tim Greithner as Treasury Secretary may not be sending a strong enough message to Wall Street as Greithner has been a weak regulator of the firms in the past.

{{sigh}}

What did these people see in Obama?  I swear they never looked past his skin color.  That was the magic bullet.  Everything was going to Change! because this smooth, polished Harvard educated lawyer was going to secretly govern like Jesse Jackson?

When I saw all of the presidential candidates in August 2007, with the exception of Biden, the one I was least impressed with was Obama.  He sat on the stage during the forum and looked positively bored.  He didn’t say anything novel or interesting or inspiring.  He wasn’t controversial or witty.  He was like matter: he had mass and took up space and that was just about it.  How so many people took that flavorless tofu of a man and constructed a light filled being empowered by magical beans to turn the country into a land of liberal warm fuzzies is testament to the creativity that brought America to the edge of financial collapse.  If it is possible to turn Barack Obama into a wunder pres, just think how quickly we will be able to solve the energy crisis!  Global warming?  Imagine it away.

Mr. Greider should remember how the Bush era began.  It was by outright thievery.  The election was stolen from Al Gore by the brotherly love of the Governor of Florida, Brooks Brothers Riot and the media Haka that prepared the public for Gore’s eventual defeat at the hands of a politicized Supreme Court.  It should come as no surprise that the Bush era is ending with thievery on a scale that Atilla the Hun would envy.  And this year, we have another politician who made deals with the power elite to jump ahead of the queue.  But in this case, the feat was accomplished by not just screwing over half of his base.  That wasn’t enough.  No, this time, the party itself decided to give us a teachable moment on race relations.  Obama was shoved down our throats for our own good.  THEY knew better than US.   Expect Obama’s style of governing to be remarkably similar.  When the recession finally hits and tough choices have to be made, do not expect that you will be spared, Mr. Greider.  Obama knows what’s best for you, even if you have to suffer.  It will build your character.  It has been decided for you.  Your vote and opinion will not be needed now, just like it wasn’t needed in the primary.  And it is all entirely predictable.

Nothing good ever comes of a bad seed.

Handicapping 2012

Will I get a pony?

Will I get a pony?

Barack Obama has been the presumptive President-elect for three weeks now (he won’t actually be President-elect until the Electoral College votes in December) so I figured it was time to make my predictions for the 2012 campaign.  I want to get on record early so no one claims I plagiarized their ideas and I can claim to be the first to accurately predict events.  On the other hand, if my predictions turn out to be inaccurate, it will be the fault of my “Magic 8-ball”

On the Democratic side the predicting is easy.  It’s 99% certain that Obama will be the nominee.  No one (Hillary) will be allowed by the party establishment to even consider challenging him in the primaries.  if anyone does, it will be someone like Mike Gravel who will not be considered a serious candidate by the media or the voters. 

It would require more than just low poll ratings for a challenge to be permitted, such as a juicy scandal that was almost but not enough to justify impeachment.  And the challenger would have to begin raising money and seeking endorsements in early 2011 (right after the mid-term elections) hoping that Obama’s poll numbers didn’t recover.  I doubt anyone will dare challenge him because of the consequences to their political career.  Ted Kennedy’s political career survived his 1980 challenge of Jimmy Carter because Carter was unpopular AND an outsider to the party establishment (and Teddy is a Kennedy.)

The GOP side is far less certain.  The first factor will be how Obama is doing around the 2010 midterm elections.  If he is struggling in the polls and the economy doesn’t look to recover before 2012 then the GOP will mount a serious challenge to his reelection and you can expect the GOP establishment to unify behind one candidate before any votes are cast, as they did in 1999-2000.  They won’t want a real competition for the nomination at the ballot box. 

If Obama looks unbeatable in 2010-2011, expect the GOP establishment to run someone like Bob Dole or John McCain as a token candidate, but don’t expect any big names with real ambitions to agree to be the sacrificial lamb.  But if the party bosses don’t commit to a “heavy-weight contender” that means that a long-shot candidate could take the nomination just like Clinton did in 1992.  In 1990 George H. W. Bush was very popular so the Democratic frontrunners like Mario Cuomo decided to skip 1992 and wait for 1996, which allowed the Big Dawg to get the nomination and win when Poppy’s popularity went bye-bye.  If Obama’s poll numbers tank in 2012 (this scenario assumes they were relatively high through 2011) then we could see an unexpected 45th President.

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