UPDATE: The photo is a fake.
The Independent of London proclaims that the United States is in a depression. As evidence it offers two items.
The first is this picture of “disadvantaged Americans” queuing for aid in New York.
Compare that picture with this one of a real Depression.
Notice the differences? In the first picture I see what appears to be an Ipod or a cellphone in the possession of at least two people in line. I don’t seen any of those in the second. Also notice that in the second picture every single man in the queue is dressed like he’s actually applying for a job instead of having just rolled out of bed.
The second item that the Independent offers as proof of a new “depression” is that food stamp payments are up by a whopping 5.6% over last year. However the paper dismisses this item:
The increase – from 26.5 [food stamp recipients] million in 2007 – is due partly to recent efforts to increase public awareness of the programme and also a switch from paper coupons to electronic debit cards.
I was reminded by this article that I encountered a food stamp recipient at a grocery store last week. The visiting lady attempting to pay for her groceries had the misfortune of checking out with a clerk who didn’t know what to do with the new food stamp debit card. He had to call a manager for help. That’s no surprise, I suppose, since the cards are a new part of the food stamp program. What was surprising was that I was at a grocery store in Breckenridge! If you’re vacationing in Breckenridge you probably don’t need food stamps.
Also embedded within the Independent’s grossly exaggerated expose of “poverty” in America was this gem:
For Hubert Liepnieks, the card is a lifeline he could never afford to lose. Just out of prison, he sleeps in overnight shelters in Manhattan and uses the card at a Morgan Williams supermarket on East 23rd Street. Yesterday, he and his fiancée, Christine Schultz, who is in a wheelchair, shared one banana and a cup of coffee bought with the 82 cents left on it.
Sad. Truly sad. But wait:
“They should be refilling it in the next three or four days,” Liepnieks says. At times, he admits, he and friends bargain with owners of the smaller grocery shops to trade the value of their cards for cash, although it is illegal. “It can be done. I get $7 back on $10.”
Any guesses as to what Hubert was buying with his 70 cents of every taxpayer dollar he receives–supposedly for food? Sadly, I’d be less disgusted if he was using the money to buy lift tickets instead of what he probably spent it on.
Drudge has this headline on his site right now:
FLASH: 59% of U.S. doctors support universal health care… Developing…
An industry group wants more government funding for itself? Why is this a surprise?
And how is this naked grab for greater tax dollars any different than this one by the music industry?
Here’s the article.
I’m not sure if that’s a national trend, but there is at least one company that is delaying payments to its employee health plan:
Among the debts reported this month by Hillary Rodham Clinton’s struggling presidential campaign, the $292,000 in unpaid health insurance premiums for her campaign staff stands out.
Really, you can’t make this stuff up.
Don Surber, Sundries Shack, Megan McArdle
A South Carolina blog claims to have seen the five names on John McCain’s short list for Vice President: Joe Lieberman, Charlie Crist, Tim Pawlenty, Haley Barbour, and Marsha Blackburn.
Blackburn would certainly be a good choice to help consolidate some of the Talk Radio Conservative who claim that they’re going to sit out the election rather than vote for John McCain. The Tennessee Republican congressman is fiscally conservative, strong on illegal immigration, and a supporter of victory in Iraq. She is also a scrappy fighter who came to prominence as a Tennessee State Senator who spearheaded the successful fight to stop a state income tax proposed by a Republican governor, and then emerged successfully from a heated primary over two better-funded candidates to win her first term in Congress in 2002. Blackburn is also a darling of Talk Radio Conservatives and frequent guest on their shows.
The blog claims that the McCain campaign is also considering a “secure the center” strategy which would allegedly put 27 states, instead of the usual 12 to 14, into play for Republicans in November. The leaked memo claims that
. . . the inevitable outcry such a centrist strategy would bring from conservative talking heads like Ann Coulter or Rush Limbaugh, noting at one point that their “vocal indignation” would actually help attract the more moderate voters McCain is targeting.
Rush Limbaugh agrees, saying just last week that his criticism of McCain helps his strategy of peeling votes away from Democrats disenchanted by the bitter fight on their side:
McCain wants criticism from me. He’s going after Democrats and independents, not conservatives. And if he wants those votes, the best thing that could happen is for me to criticize.
It’s a good strategy–particularly against Barack Obama, who is so far left of center that his nomination would leave America’s political middle completely vulnerable to Republican conquest. But if that is his strategy it probably means that Blackburn won’t be McCain’s veep choice.
John McCain’s advantage in all this is that he doesn’t have to choose which route to take until after the Democratic nominating process has played itself out. If somehow Democrats do manage to make amends by the end of their August convention then McCain will likely choose a traditional “secure the base” strategy, in which case Blackburn is the perfect choice. If however, the bitterness and division still exists in the Democratic Party after a divisive convention, then McCain has a great opportunity for a landslide by capturing the middle. Joe Lieberman and Tim Pawlenty could be better choices under that scenario.
Read James Carville’s essay in the Washington Post today ending with this passage:
Because if loyalty is one virtue, another is straight talk. And if Democrats can’t handle that, they’re going to have a hard time handling a Republican nominee who is seeking the presidency with that as his slogan.
Tell me if you don’t come away with the feeling that Carville’s ”between the lines” message is that he is part of the 19 percent.
A WashPost advice guy tells a whiny Dem voter to stick it where the sun don’t shine.
It must be spring break or something, because this fella, a constitutional law professor at Yale, writes a whole piece on how Clinton and Obama could actually “share” the presidency, like some sort of 21st century version of the French directorate, which would be your average Democrat’s wet dream (on more than one level).
The funny thing is, I think the guy’s serious. Some people just belong in academia.
P.S. This is what you have to pay to get direct access to this level of genius.
(DISCLAIMER: I am not Bob Krumm. I am Roger Abramson, who will be sitting in for Bob for a little while. This is (yet again) an astonishing misjudgment by Bob, but you’ll need to take that up with him.)
So I’m reading this endorsement of Barack Fidel Castro Obama by Douglas Kmiec, and, well, I guess I’m missing something, because he really gives no real reason for his endorsement of the guy. I found this disappointing, because I was pretty interested in hearing (reading) a conservative apologia for Obama. Instead, we got a lot of fluff.
Here is my summary of the endorsement:
Paragraph One: I endorse Barack Obama. He seems like a pretty good chap.
Paragraph Two: The only reason you should even care about this endorsement is because I’m a conservative Republican.
Paragraph Three: Here are five major things I believe in.
Paragraph Four: Obama does not agree with me on any of those things.
Paragraph Five: Never mind all that! The current administration is a disaster.
Paragraph Six: The extremist Islamic threat is a top priority. Here’s hoping that Obama will focus more attention on it.
And…that’s it. Frankly, that’s pretty lame. Now, I’m not knocking his apostasy. Lord knows I’m the last person to do that. I just have a problem with his flimsy argument.
Kmiec is usually better than that. Which leads me to believe there’s something more going on here. One possible theory: this is less a pro-Obama position as it is an anti-McCain position. But maybe he doesn’t even realize that yet.
Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen’s plan outlined in the New York Times yesterday will only work if the primary of superdelegates gives Hillary Clinton enough of a margin to push her over the top. If Barack Obama still has the lead, this won’t be over. And you can expect it to get uglier.
Here’s another suggestion: whomever is the Democratic nominee, Phil Bredesen would be one of the best Vice Presidential choices in the entire Democratic Party. Especially for Hillary.
Howard Dean reportedly doesn’t like the idea. So? After the August riot I suspect that there won’t be a whole lot of people who like Howard Dean . . . except Republicans.
Tennessee Free thinks that Bredesen is angling for a spot on the ticket. I agree. I also agree that he would be a good choice for Tennessee Democrats–not because it would put Tennessee in play for the presidency, but because it just might help Jimmy Naifeh keep control of the House.
Others liken it to selecting the nominee in a smoke-filled room. But the truth is that with or without the smoke, it’s out of the hands of the people and their elected delegates already. Bredesen’s plan just formulates a way to deal with that reality.
Ann Althouse also deals with reality:
It sounds like a very sensible idea, which is why my sense is that this won’t happen.
The Carpetbagger says: why wait until June?
| Category: Iraq
| Posted at: Thursday, 20 March 2008
His “new” video just released yesterday on the fifth anniversary of the war in Iraq is a static picture of him and a voiceover that makes reference to no events more recent than 2006.
I’ve long suspected that Osama Bin Laden is already dead–even before 2006. After all, this is a man who almost always spoke to the camera when he produced his video releases. When was the last time we can categorically say that the video evidence shows him to be alive? Tora Bora?