Saturday, November 20, 2010

Quickies: the "junk" edition

A round up of news items, columns and blog posts that caught our attention this past week.

Once again, the Taiwanese, of all people, provide a summation of the American cultural zeitgeist:

Charles Krauthammer on the new TSA screening procedures? Not a big fan:

Don't touch my junk is the anthem of the modern man, the Tea Party patriot, the late-life libertarian, the midterm election voter. Don't touch my junk, Obamacare - get out of my doctor's examining room, I'm wearing a paper-thin gown slit down the back. Don't touch my junk, Google - Street View is cool, but get off my street. Don't touch my junk, you airport security goon - my package belongs to no one but me, and do you really think I'm a Nigerian nut job preparing for my 72-virgin orgy by blowing my johnson to kingdom come?

And David Harsanyi on the General Motors IPO? Yeah, not a big fan either.

Oh, good, the Obama administration has another imaginary victory for taxpayers to celebrate.

As you've probably heard, there's quite a bit of hubbub surrounding the news that the administration's car company is going public.

President Barack Obama tells us that General Motors' IPO is proof that one of the toughest tales of recession "took another step to becoming a success story." Not "survival," but success. Taxpayers are going to make a profit, even!

Now, admittedly, success is a malleable concept. If by success we mean that General Motors still owes the government $43 billion — not including that piddling $15 billion it borrowed to fund its financial arm — with many analysts uncertain that it can ever flourish, we're home free.

Success will mean temporarily setting aside the fact that the Treasury actually lost billions on the IPO as it "bought" GM stock at inflated prices. To break even on the freshly printed money taxpayers are "getting back" will probably mean GM needs to double in value over the next year to make us whole.

$9 billion to be exact.

So, Team O strong-arms secured creditors and bond holders, shoving them behind the unions at the bankruptcy buffet, they lie about how they are paying off the TARP loan, lose billions on the IPO and their "star" attraction is an expensive, yet heavily-subsidized lemon that no one wants. Yep, highly successful all around.

Iowahawk pens some new lyrics to a classic standard:

And you know who else hates the new TSA rules? TSA screeners, naturally.

"It is not comfortable to come to work knowing full well that my hands will be feeling another man’s private parts, their butt, their inner thigh. Even worse is having to try and feel inside the flab rolls of obese passengers and we seem to get a lot of obese passengers!"

Not doing much for morale.

"Molester, pervert, disgusting, an embarrassment, creep. These are all words I have heard today at work describing me, said in my presence as I patted passengers down. These comments are painful and demoralizing, one day is bad enough, but I have to come back tomorrow, the next day and the day after that to keep hearing these comments. If something doesn’t change in the next two weeks I don’t know how much longer I can withstand this taunting. I go home and I cry. I am serving my country, I should not have to go home and cry after a day of honorably serving my country."

We've said it before but without exception, TSA screeners have been the epitome of professionalism and efficiency in our travels around the country since 9-11. Homeland Security leadership would do well to rethink the current screening policies as they are accomplishing nothing but pissing off the public and providing a disincentive to any effective screening that is performed.

Is Chris Christie a "true conservative"? Shane Atwell does yeoman's work in breaking down an otherwise assertion made by Conservative New Jersey, here.

Thin slicing: Him cheezing off the right people should count for something, right?

And finally, B-Daddy on the Republicans' unity with respect to earmarks:
Now this is in fact a small, but symbolic victory. I have always felt that earmarks were "the gateway drug" to Congressional wasteful spending. This is only a rule that governs Senate Republicans, but it gives them a moral advantage over the Democrats in the Senate. Further, it shows that the Republican establishment can be made to listen. Until Monday, McConnell had been opposed to ending earmarks, but he realized that in these times, it was important to listen to the voters.



steve said...

Your feeling about earmarks is just that, a feeling. You should read up on earmarks and how they work. Cutting them does not reduce spending. I would suggest this Collender piece.

Earmarks are a great way to make the base think you are doing something, when you are not. We will know that Republicans are serious about cutting spending when they repeal Medicare Part D, which is as far as I can ascertain, the largest unfunded spending bill ever. They passed it, they should repeal it.


Dean said...

Uh, Steve - that's precisely why the term "symbolic" was used.

Alas, earmarks are not merely just "symbolic" but "electoral" as well. Ask the non-base indies who turned against the Republicans in both '06 and '08 because of, in part, the abuses of earmarks.

As for Medicare Part D... I forgot whether it was that or the steel tariff where I realized that Bush was not the fiscal conservative I thought he was. Sure, let's repeal it.

Harrison said...

This company in Taiwan makes a lot of funny conservative videos. They did a great one about bed bugs eating Fox News' Red Eye hosts:

Road Dawg said...

Very good link on the earmarks.
At the end of the article is a comment where a case can be made for appropriattion being created because of earmarks or that the appropriation is increased to pay for the earmarks.

The other case was made whereby votes are purchased for an appropriation that otherwise might not have been passed.

Although earmarks may not make much of a fiscal impact, they smack of corruption, and the impropriety is blatant.

Very similar was the corhusker kickback. Ben Nelson's votes were purchased whereby he knowingly voted angainst his fellow American. He should have been tarred, feathered and rode out on a rail.