Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Quick Hits

I believe a certain Carnival season is keeping Pat from the computer (and likely most of our New Orleans readership with him). In his absence, I'm going to take a moment to put together a quick list of important happenings:

1. Bayh just wants out. He's done. He's just tired of Washington. He can either comfortably retire or make a fat paycheck lobbying at this point. If he feels he's in a grind where he's at now, why not take those other options? There's a lot of talk that this will hurt Democrats in the Senate, but as long as they put a strong candidate out there, they'll be fine. The only real disadvantage is that the Republicans can point out that the Democratic candidate was anointed by the Party instead of chosen by the people. With a good candidate, that won't matter.

Warning! We're going to slant right for a moment...

2. I was talking to a liberal friend of mine the other day about why you don't hear anything about Iraq anymore in the news. The simple answer is that things are working so there's nothing of shock value to report. But beyond that, the two troop surges worked. Dick Cheney thinks Obama owes Bush a thank you for things working out. And that's sorta fair in my book. This is yet another moment where Dick Cheney shows us why I love him so much. He doesn't give a @#*$ what you think. He's going to say and do what he thinks is right.

3. Q:
A: A little.

...We now return you to your original political orientation. Please place your seats back in their upright position.

4. Are we getting a little too fancy for our own good? Some whack-a-doo magic throttle gizmo is failing on Toyotas left and right. I'm wondering as a society if we're not making things more complicated than they need to be. Is there any reason we really need a throttle by wire? What happens when it's steering by wire that goes awry? Toyota is in a world of trouble here. The best thing that can happen is a class action lawsuit at this point. They really don't want to spend years and tons of money on legal fees battling each and every case they'll be up against.

5. You ever notice that Wal-Mart just doesn't have as much stuff as it used to? Well, it's going to get worse. Why are we still shopping there? They don't have everything anymore. (Almost a month ago I tried to find a coat for my daughter there and they didn't have any because coats were "out of season.") They're prices aren't particularly competitive. I still have to wait FOREVER to check out. Given their prevalence I'd prefer they just turn into a store with a decent shopping experience, but I'd sure not cry myself to sleep if they fell of the face of the earth, and I don't even care about all that evil corporation globalization evil evil evil stuff.


Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

Thanks for getting a post up.

Based on costumes and parade themes I saw yesterday, today is also the official end of football season - the longest season I've ever experienced, clocking in around seven months. Exhausted does not begin to describe my state of mind and body.

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

As for your quick hits:

1. Yup. If you got passed over for a VP position in favor of John Edwards and Joe Biden, you too would feel underappreciated.

2. Strange. I hear about Iraq plenty, but it is the wonky Foreign Policy magazine stuff that I was reading about Iraq before the war. They still need a political solution to keep things from collapsing when we leave.

Before we get to the "Thank you's" to Ol' Dubya, let us remember that we invaded Afganistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003 (though I maintain that the Iraq war actually began in 1991).

Which means W, with the most advanced and well trained military in the world, failed to defeat two third rate powers for a combined 14 years. Then he left the wars to be completed by his successor. That's not the model of success the United States is used to.

In other words, thank God George W. Bush wasn't President in 1861 or 1941.

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

Which brings us to...

3. Not even a little.

President Obama, as head of the executive branch of government, does a great many things that do not get the media attention of the legislature.

He has professionalized the bureaucracy - especially key positions - in a way we have forgotten to appreciate. Instead, the narrative complains about the czar positions created by Bush for patronage positions.

Let us never forget "Heckuva job, Brownie," a FEMA chief whose previous experience was Arabian horses.

Bush's White House played politics with everything. I guarantee that if the kickass US Attorney for Eastern Louisiana had been a competent Democratic appointee going after corrupt politicans in a bipartisan way, the Bush DOJ would have had him removed and replaced with a hack.

But be my guest, and put those billboards up all over the nation. Nothing could help Obama's reelection campaign more.

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

4. Yup. The pop culture mentality has swung away from the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" to "leave the broke stuff alone and tinker with the things that work." If we had a real "free market," a lot of well paid people would be fired right now, and lose future credibility.

5. Nope. I haven't noticed. I generally stopped shopping at Wally World years ago. I may stop by now and again to pick up bulk items for events, or for a throwaway coffee pot, but those events don't happen often.

I prefer to take my business to places where it is appreciated.

Dante said...

Re: 3. Pat, that's like saying a kindergartner is doing a good job because although he doesn't know his letters or numbers, he's doing a heck of a job tying his shoes. The bureaucracy doesn't matter. The results do. Which ties in here...

"But be my guest, and put those billboards up all over the nation. Nothing could help Obama's reelection campaign more."

Maybe. Right now the things-Obama-has-accomplished column is dragging his poll numbers down, not up. The more specific his "change" gets, the less people are interested. I'm-not-Bush is all he has left. At least Obama has 3 more years to right that ship. Congress won't be so fortunate.

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

You know, I used to think that, too. Until 8 years of George W. Bush and his brain trust taught me not to take the little things for granted.

I made mention of this during the 2008 campaign (pre-Palin) to anyone who would listen: that either Obama or McCain would be a significant improvement because they'd engage in necessary executive duties W had ignored or messed up.