White House Press Corps Gets Snow'd Under

From the “just in” department, Fox News commentator, talk show host, and former speech writer for George H.W. Bush, Tony Snow, has accepted the position of White House Spokesman left vacant by Scott McClellan.

I’m part happy, part disappointed. Tony Snow’s a talented commentator and skillful debater, but spending the next couple of years fielding awkwardly bouncing grounders from the belfry bats of sound bite crazed boobs may not be the most effective way to spend his energies. This is kind of like Pavarotti accepting a full-time gig singing for shut-ins: you realize it’s charitable, but you nevertheless can’t fathom why he’d take the job.

That said, I wish Tony only the best as he begins parsing Butterfingers with Candy Crowley.

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White House Press Corps Gets Snow’d Under

From the “just in” department, Fox News commentator, talk show host, and former speech writer for George H.W. Bush, Tony Snow, has accepted the position of White House Spokesman left vacant by Scott McClellan.

I’m part happy, part disappointed. Tony Snow’s a talented commentator and skillful debater, but spending the next couple of years fielding awkwardly bouncing grounders from the belfry bats of sound bite crazed boobs may not be the most effective way to spend his energies. This is kind of like Pavarotti accepting a full-time gig singing for shut-ins: you realize it’s charitable, but you nevertheless can’t fathom why he’d take the job.

That said, I wish Tony only the best as he begins parsing Butterfingers with Candy Crowley.

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The Windfall Prophets: Government Greases Itself With Oil

Yeah, gas prices are high. Sure, Lee Raymond got a $400 million retirement package. Everybody’s in an uproar. Bush is ordering a probe into gas price cheating.

The funny part? The probe will be conducted by the biggest gas price cheats of all: The government.

I don’t like putting $50 into my car a couple of times a week any more than the next guy, but, put into perspective, it’s still far down on the list of things to bitch about, if we’ve got to bitch about something.

There are people at the gas pumps screaming bloody murder as they fill up their tanks, and hardly anybody says a word when Uncle Sam takes over 40% of their incomes.

Don’t fall for the government B.S. Geniuses like Arlen Specter, who makes “watching paint dry” seem like it should be a sport in the X-Games, are calling for a windfall profits tax on the oil companies, which of course will be passed on to you. Duh. How about a “windfall pinhead tax”, Senator Specter?

And who’s really making the money and profiting on gasoline? Here in Michigan, the government, and I’m talking just the state of Michigan, takes about 30 cents per gallon. (Here’s a PDF of how much your state takes). The local, state and federal national average for total gas taxes is 45.9 cents per gallon. Evil oil companies make in the neighborhood of 9 cents per gallon. Make sure to point the real crooks, folks.

Is the government talking about waiving their huge take until the “crisis” is over? Nope. Not only that, but check this out, they have a petition on the State website for citizens to sign to get gasoline prices lowered. After that, go to JohnDillinger.com and sign the petition to get Bonnie and Clyde to stop robbing banks. 

How does that help you? It doesn’t. Who cares. They don’t. They’ll be able to blame the even higher prices of gas on greedy oil companies, because so many of us refuse to see the forest through the trees.

Yes, the United States government, in particular the Senate, is questioning gas prices, and oil company profits.

Rest easy, America– pillars of integrity, many of whom somehow managed to become millionaires from a lifetime of “public service”, are handling these crooked oil companies.

Weren’t we just talking about this? In November of 2005, the U.S. Senate grilled oil company execs over “obcene profits”.

A political body, headed up in part by the Massachusetts duet of Kennedy and Kerry– philandering gravy-boat captain whose family made their fortune running rum during prohibition, and a gigolo, sit in judgment of what constitutes “profiteering”.

California Sen. Barbara Boxer was so up in arms that you’d have though those oil execs were trying to talk somebody out of a late-term abortion. Robert Byrd was shocked because he hasn’t been in the same room with such greedy white men since the time he was in arrears on his Klan dues.

Hillary Clinton, who turned a couple of Chuck E. Cheese game tokens into over a hundred grand trading cattle futures, also sits in judgment of these money grubbing petrol peddlers.

So, if you’re tired of paying so much for gas and are waiting for time-honored “government intervention” to make the prices drop, you may first want to sit down and hope that the sun rises in the west (your Senator can see to it, if you’ll just give him enough money).

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College Costs Keeping Pace With Gas, Will Give You Same

Those of us with young kids may find this article in Money Magazine of interest.

Here’s the scenario: Dick and Shari Schwartz are 55 and 52 respectively. They have an 18-year-old son, Jake, who recently graduated high school and now the college acceptances are rolling in. The bottom line?:

Here are the stark financial facts. Together, Dick, 55, and Shari, 52, earn $110,000 a year. So far they’ve saved less than $10,000 for Jake’s education ($4,000 in mutual funds in the parents’ names and $5,500 in a 529 account). Total annual expenses at his first choice, the University of Oregon at Eugene, will top $25,000. The shortfall over four years is an eye-popping $90,500.

Jake, the best I can do here is quote Judge Smails from Caddyshack, “Well, the world needs ditch diggers too.”

And this article leaves out a bunch of stuff. You’ve got book money, beer money, date money, movie money, possible bail money after a panty-raid gone bad. There are endless added expenses that easily drag any full time education at a four-year college into the six figure area.

Couple the expense of college with the devalued nature of the educations provided at certain Universities, and you start to wonder if you’re not better off taking that hundred grand and giving it to your kid in the form of a car, clothes, and a huge pre-paid gas card. Half up front, and the other half upon delivery of a job. (if you’ve raised Junior properly, common sense does win out, even today) 

Which would be better? You, A) give your son or daughter $100,000 to put toward a reliable car, new duds and gas money to go on interviews with plenty left over, or, B) Spend $100,000 on their B.A. in Liberal Arts with a minor in Latvian Anthropology, and now you’re all broke and suddenly one of you is interning on Ted Kennedy’s re-election campaign while living in your basement and chastising you for mowing the lawn on Earth Day.

You make the call.

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New column Monday, reader email, and other et ceteras

A couple of quickies before another busy Monday gets underway. There are a few reader emails posted at The American Spectator regarding my Friday column, “Al Gore’s Hot Flick“. That first one gets an “A” for effort, doesn’t it? Nicely done.

Secondly, I have a new column up at WorldNetDaily today. It’s called “Category-5 Exploitation“, and it’s about the Democrats’ plan to use the New Orleans hurricane as a major campaign theme in ’06 and ’08. Katrina now has a pimp.

Third and finally for this morning, when fuel prices are skyrocketing, nobody wins except Arabs and the retiring Chairmen or oil companies, right? Wrong. Pawnshops are starting to make a killing. For now, it’s washing machines, guitars, televisions and rings. If it keeps getting worse, however, I predict we’ll begin to see small pawnshops up for sale in larger pawnshops. And the craziness continues…

Have a great week, all!

Katrina and the Knaves: Dems Meet In New Orleans

When tragedy strikes, heroes and leaders emerge, but wet ground invariably brings some worms to the surface.

Democrats, led by Howard Dean, met in New Orleans this week to figure out how to use a natural disaster for political gain. Then they stopped discussing the Dukakis and Kerry presidential campaigns, conceding there was no political gain to be found there, and turned their attention toward Hurricane Katrina. Democrats plan to make the hurricane a major campaign theme.

DNC Chair Howard Dean even helped clean up while in New Orleans. I’ll make Dean a deal. If he can teach my kids how to get into this much dirt and grime and yet keep their shirts so incredibly white, I’ll vote for anybody he wants.

The attempt to capitalize, either financially or politically, from misery is a time-honored tradition among power seekers, money grubbers, demagogues and the just plain uninformed parroters of lies.

The media is reporting the Dems meeting in New Orleans as if it’s the first time the DNC has considered using Katrina as an election theme for ’06 and ’08. Think again.

One of the leadoff hitters in this area, as it concerned Katrina, was Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Whenever disaster strikes, you can be assured that there will be a Kennedy there to say something insane, not to mention completely inappropriate and inaccurate.

As bodies floated in the water and people were still trapped on roofs and in attics, Kennedy Jr. placed part of the blame for Hurricane Katrina on Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour for the part he played in “derailing the Kyoto Protocol.” This is pathetic, even by Kennedy standards.

Besides, does a Kennedy really want to start pointing a finger of blame when drownings are involved? Do your Uncle a favor and change the subject, Bobby.

Exploiting tragedy is nothing new. The only thing that’s changed is the focus of the blame. For example, in 1900, a big hurricane struck Galveston, Texas, killing at least 6,000 people. What caused that hurricane? The prudent Democrat of the day would have perhaps pointed the finger at then Texas Gov. Joseph Sayers for his unwillingness to create a “Holstein Treaty” to globally regulate cow flatulence.

In A.D. 79, Mt. Vesuvius erupted, burying Pompeii and Herculaneum. At the time, there were people who blamed the natural disaster on Roman Emperor Titus for drawing divine punishment for the destruction of the Great Temple in Jerusalem nine years prior. There was also widespread looting.

It just goes to show, exploiting tragedy for fun and profit is the world’s third-oldest profession, right behind prostitution and politics – practitioners of the latter, by the way, often get busted for mingling with the other two.

To the list of vermin that have been set loose as a result of Katrina blowing open their weasel cages, we subsequently added former Clinton suckup Sidney Blumenthal, who wrote a Salon column titled, “No one can say they didn’t see it coming” – I believe this was, coincidentally, the same title Blumenthal used in a column about his former boss’s intern problems. Blumenthal’s bottom line is predictable: Bush’s fault.

So Democrats trying to figure out how to politically benefit from Katrina is nothing new, but first they need to figure out how to make pictures of Nagin’s unused and now waterlogged buses disappear.

I’ve never figured out why any politician who is for federalizing everything, up to and including your underwear, criticizes the government response as slow and dumb. Yes, they say it’s Bush’s fault, and if their guy was in the Oval Office, this wouldn’t have happened, but still…

Let the Dems visit to New Orleans and discussions on how to prostitute Katrina be a reminder. To paraphrase something I’ve often written, “a pro big government politician complaining about a slow and stupid bureaucracy is like the Menendez brothers whining about being orphans”.

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"Need Gas": The New "Will Work For Food"?

Earlier this afternoon, while exiting the freeway, I noticed a man standing at the base of the off-ramp holding a sign. I thought it was the usual “will work for food” or something similar, but as I got closer, I could see it read “need gas”.

Fighting the temptation to go to the grocery store and come back to give the guy a can of refried beans, I quickly rolled down the window and asked him where his car was. “Uh, up the road” he said, pointing in a direction that doesn’t exist on local road maps.

The man’s clever twist on an old occupation aside, something occurred to me: his sign was believable in this Bizarro-world we find ourselves in.

When I was younger and started driving in the early 80’s, most of my friends had enough money for gas, but not enough to buy a car.

Now, many of us have enough for a car, but not enough for the gas, and the sign guy on the corner has found a niche in this market. For a split second, it was a believable scenario.

I didn’t have a gas can in the car, or I would have given him a few of gallons of gas and made sure to stop by later to congratulate him on his “Gas for sale, only $2 a gallon!” sign.

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Note: If you’re seeing only this post, the entire blog can be accessed by clicking here.

“Need Gas”: The New “Will Work For Food”?

Earlier this afternoon, while exiting the freeway, I noticed a man standing at the base of the off-ramp holding a sign. I thought it was the usual “will work for food” or something similar, but as I got closer, I could see it read “need gas”.

Fighting the temptation to go to the grocery store and come back to give the guy a can of refried beans, I quickly rolled down the window and asked him where his car was. “Uh, up the road” he said, pointing in a direction that doesn’t exist on local road maps.

The man’s clever twist on an old occupation aside, something occurred to me: his sign was believable in this Bizarro-world we find ourselves in.

When I was younger and started driving in the early 80’s, most of my friends had enough money for gas, but not enough to buy a car.

Now, many of us have enough for a car, but not enough for the gas, and the sign guy on the corner has found a niche in this market. For a split second, it was a believable scenario.

I didn’t have a gas can in the car, or I would have given him a few of gallons of gas and made sure to stop by later to congratulate him on his “Gas for sale, only $2 a gallon!” sign.

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This Week's American Spectator Column: "Must be gonna apocalypse, muh corns hurtin'!"

Al Gore thinks we’re dooming our planet. Specifically, he thinks the United States is dooming our planet. Gore has a movie coming out next month, entitled “An Inconvenient Truth”. Gore has switched from politician to uber-weatherman, and we all know how accurate weathermen can be — especially ones who are politicians.

Check out “Al Gore’s Hot Flick: Coming to a sweaty multiplex near you” for more.

This Week’s American Spectator Column: “Must be gonna apocalypse, muh corns hurtin’!”

Al Gore thinks we’re dooming our planet. Specifically, he thinks the United States is dooming our planet. Gore has a movie coming out next month, entitled “An Inconvenient Truth”. Gore has switched from politician to uber-weatherman, and we all know how accurate weathermen can be — especially ones who are politicians.

Check out “Al Gore’s Hot Flick: Coming to a sweaty multiplex near you” for more.