June 3rd, 2010

#2098: Oil and water don't mix.

"Can't they vacuum up that oil?" asks Elizabeth Scalia, the Anchoress.

Considering that the petroleum spill in the Gulf of Mexico is hardly an unprecedented event--we have spilled huge quantities of oil many times before, and will spill even more before we find a better energy source--and that the petroleum is being spilled into water, and that oil floats on water, why the hell can't they vacuum the stuff up?

Okay: oil spills happen seldom enough that it simply does not pay to have a dedicated cleanup vessel. Granting that, why the hell aren't we asking other nations, "Hey, can you spare a supertanker?" Someone should be able to rent a ship to us.

It's not like BP spilled a million gallons of Kool-Aid or Hi-C. Jesus.

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What the hell is this shit?
...[M]ajor changes to the copyright law, including government licensing provisions; government pilot programs to investigate potential new media business models, antitrust changes to allow media companies to unite on imposing online pay walls, establish a journalism division of AmeriCorps with government underwriting the training of young journalists, tax incentives per news employee, increased funding of public broadcasting, a 5% tax on consumer electronics and/or assessments on users of public airwaves.
Sure, let government get its greedy mitts on the press. You didn't actually want "freedom of the press" anyway, did you?

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Well, it took some searching, but I've finally identified the weird cocoons attached to the evergreen out front: evergreen bagworm, Thyridopteryx ephemeraeformis. That picture could be of one of the dozen or so cocoons festooning the branches of the bush.

Apparently they're not-good for the plants. *sigh* Something else I have to deal with....

But they're still dormant. I've been watching them all spring and nothing has happened. I wonder if they're dead? The site doesn't say how long they remain pupate.

Oh well.

#2099: Carter 2.0? Or worse?

Alan Caruba fires off a scathing indictment of Obama's first sixteen months in office.

A lot of us warned that Obama had no experience running anything, that he was an empty suit, and that he was not actually a great orator to boot. These warnings fell on deaf ears and the press was completely uninterested in finding any flaws in their chosen candidate.

Now we're stuck with him for three more years. Unless, of course, the "pay for play" stuff hits the White House and Obama is removed from office. Then we get Biden.

(...and inner-city riots which would make the post MLK assassination riots look like birthday parties.)

A "great orator" would not be helpless without a teleprompter.

Obama's political career consisted of acquiring one office and then running for another. As President there's nowhere else to go but down; he's stuck with actually having to govern and he's demonstrating that at best he's ill-suited for the job. Perhaps if Obama had remained a Senator for a decade or two he might have garnered enough experience at something to qualify him for President; but less than a year's worth of time in the Senate--as his only federal government experience--is ill preparation for the most powerful executive office in the land.

He's demonstrated that he loves the perks and the benefits, and he does his best to avoid all the duties which those perks are meant to make less onerous. (Such as, I don't know, laying a wreath in Arlington on the national holiday set aside to honor military service?)

I have to wonder how much of the criticism actually reaches the jug ears of our President. Are his advisors and staffers afraid to let him hear a dissenting word, lest he lose his temper? Does he blow up at someone if asked, "Mr. President, would you reconsider your plans to spend Memorial Day weekend in Chicago? We think it won't poll well...?"

There's no courage in that office. Obama ran on some pretty specific policies, none of which has been actually implemented: withdrawal from Iraq, the ending of Rendition, the closing of Gitmo, the end of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", and others...and none of these things has been done.

Don't get me wrong--I'm just as happy he's flip-flopped on these things--but the flopping itself demonstrates that the man has no spine. It's easy to talk about making unpopular decisions, but when push comes to shove if you don't make the unpopular decisions you promised to make, people will cease to trust you. A real leader would have made the changes he thought were necessary (and/or right) but Obama has not made any changes to these things, nor does he even acknowledge that his critics may have a point. Instead he ignores critics, even the ones from his own side.

Obama has a spine when it's easy to have a spine, such as when he's treating Israel badly. That's not leadership; that's bullying.

Sure, he's managed to cajole Congress into doing the things he wants done, but many of those were things the Democrat party has wanted for decades anyway. (ObamaCare, for one.) High taxes, huge deficits, these things are always welcome ideas to Democrats (no matter what they may say) and they only worry about deficit spending when they can use it as a bludgeon against Republicans. Obama's not interested in reining in federal spending any more than he's interested in lowering taxes. He's got to pretend to care, at least a little, in order to keep his poll numbers from cratering, but in fact the last thing he's worried about is reducing the federal budget. He's got to hide his socialist tendencies lest the people reject him out of hand--but his inability to hear criticism means he's unaware that the people know him now.

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More from the Anchoress on vacuuming up the oil spill. Yeah. Oil and water still don't mix; film at 11.