Monday, July 23, 2012

Subversive Talk

Who dares suggest that Amur'ka is "in decline?"

Well, not Australian foreign minister Bob Carr, that's for certain.  Nor, to be sure, Mr. Willard "Call Me Mitt" Romney.  Nor any healthy, well-adjusted, right-thinking person anywhere, it would seem:
Australia’s foreign minister says he wasn’t criticizing America when he spoke of a nation “in decline” during a private conversation with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

Foreign Minister Bob Carr and other Australian officials said Monday that Carr was praising American economic strengths during Sunday’s meeting. The meeting was kept secret until Romney shared Carr’s comments with donors later in the day.

“He said America is just one budget deal away from ending all talk of America being in decline,” Romney said, while addressing roughly 250 donors at San Francisco’s Fairmont hotel. “I said, ‘Can I quote you on that?’ and he said, ‘Yes.’”

[ ... ]

Australian officials released a statement Monday clarifying Carr’s comments, which were made during the first meeting between a senior Australian official and Romney since he became the GOP’s presumptive presidential nominee.

“The foreign minister’s remarks represent a considered assessment of the U.S. economy and an antidote to talk of U.S. declinism,” said Kim Beazley, Australia’s ambassador to the United States.
Yes, but someone must be talking about American decline.  Some traitorous swine must be spreading defeatism.  Not Mr. Carr, and not Ambassador Beazley ... but they report that there is such talk.  So, who's the bad-mouther?  Where did they hear such talk?

Ummmmm, yes, OK.  You're right -- I'm guessing they (Mssrs. Beazley and Carr) are readers of this blog.  The very Chestnut Tree Cafe itself.  Never knew I had so influential, so connected, so highly-placed a readership.

Far out.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Them's Some 'Spensive Jobs!

The best argument imaginable against American-style "health care" is shambling about, golem-like, advocating for the poor, unappreciated defense contractors who actually rule us.  (Isn't Dick Cheney on, like, his third or fourth heart by now?)

Former Vice President Dick Cheney took Lockheed Martin Corp.'s side Tuesday in a private meeting with Senate Republicans saying that the projected defense cuts totaling $500 billion could be "devastating" to military modernization and planning, Bloomberg reported.

Lockheed Martin's chief predicts he may have to fire 10,000 workers under across-the-board federal spending cuts. The defense industry and its Republican allies in Congress are increasing their volume this week in a concerted push to avert the defense cuts.

Wait a minute ... $500 billion in spending cuts ... let's see, that's $5.0E+11 ... and that loses 10,000 Lock-Mart jobs ... that's 1.0E+4 jobs ... divide 5.0E+11 by 1.0E+4 ... okay, that's 5.0E+7 dollars per job.  Fifty million freaking dollars per job?  Yes, O yes, that'll devastate the economy all to death, of course.  Good thing we're all innumerate; otherwise, we might catch on.  Can't have that.

("Hey, who's gonna win American Idol this time?")

Here's some more arithmetic.  There are about 314 million people in the US, as of today.  More to the point, the Census Bureau says there are about 114 million households.  $500 billion is $4400 per household.  (It would be an even larger amount per taxpaying household, but ... never mind.)  Can you, yourself, think of a better way to spend your $4400 than putting smiles above the blood-dripping multiple chins of Dick Cheney and the CEO of Lock-Mart?  I'm pretty sure I can think of many ... including making a small pile of hundred-dollar bills out on the back porch and setting fire to it.

Friday, July 13, 2012

The National Human Resources Manager

Never doubt that your prexy, Mr. Barack Obama, is always thinking about how he can serve you. He knows that you -- the voter (unlike me) -- will exercise a critical and momentous choice this fall. You'll be able to choose between a cautiously-beige guardian of corporate interests and established war criminal, Mr. Barack Obama, and a cautiously-somewhat-Mormon guardian of corporate interests and aspiring war criminal, Mr. Mitt Romney. And, since this is the usual safely-scripted choice between Tweedledum and Tweedledee, he knows you'll need to scrape the muck deeply to find any distinguishing criterion by which to make this crucial "choice." So Mr. Barack Obama's here to talk qualifications:
Rose asked Mr. Obama, "Do you believe his presidency would be a disaster, because this is a man who's been a successful businessperson. Does that disqualify him or make him appropriately a candidate for a political office? How do you take the measure of his business experience?"

Mr. Obama said, "I do not think at all it disqualifies him. But I also think it's important if that's his main calling card, if his basic premise is that 'I'm Mr. Fix-It on the economy, because I made a lot of money.'"

Rose said, "But that's not what he's saying."

"Well, no, that is to - to some degree," Mr. Obama said. "What he says is he understands the economy and the private sector."

Rose said, "And they built businesses and they bought businesses and made them better."

"Well, they invested - they invested," said Mr. Obama said. "So that's his premise. I think it is entirely appropriate to look at that record and see whether, in fact, his focus was creating jobs and he successfully did that. And when you look at the record, there are questions there that have to be asked."

Mr. Obama suggested that the Romney campaign still has work to do in explaining what the presumptive GOP nominee's "theory is about how to grow the economy."

"This is the nature of running for president," added Mr. Obama.

Now, you know me -- I certainly have no dog in this staged, scripted, sham fight. Mittens or the O-bomber? I can't tell the difference anyway, because there isn't one. Still, there's something very comical about Our Glorious Current Leader, he of the truly microscopic resume, sniffing judiciously at pretty nearly anyone else's curriculum vitae. A good laugh is something we all need these days ... so thanks, Barack!

Three Cheers for the Scapegoat

We're informed that America's Most Famous Formerly Successful and Then Senile and Not So Successful Any More College Football Coach Who Finally Died As the Scandal Became Public was also a longtime enabler and coverup artist for his associate coach's boy-rape hobby. And, as a nation, we certainly seem tickled to hear it.

Why do we Amur'kins lap up stories like this one so hungrily? I would suggest that folk like Mr. Paterno, and the young mother whose name I can't recall who drowned her kids in the back seat of a car sent into a lake, are actually meeting a real need: our need to feel morally superior to someone. Here am I, Mr. Everyone. No matter what my flaws and weaknesses might be, I can still think: "At least I'm not Sandusky! At least I'm not McQuery! At least I'm not Paterno!"

"At least," indeed. That's getting to be a pretty low "least," don'tcha think?