Tuesday, November 12, 2013

ObamaHut -- A Future History of Housing in America


As the pace of fundamental transformation accelerates with every "let me be clear" from our philosopher king, any histories to be written of this period should probably be written now, while the lights are still on and the power button on your computer isn't just a cruel joke. This "quick before it freezes" philosophy extends especially to things that haven't happened yet, since by the time they do occur many of us will be too busy quarrying limestone in Northern Minnesota to worry about much of anything else.

Accordingly, for your consideration, a telegram from the not-so-distant future about government doing to your housing what they did to your health care.




In the aftermath of the rollout and implementation of the wildly successful Affordable Healthcare Act, and as a prelude to immigration reform (unaccountably stalled in the Senate over the question of how much to compensate "undocumented students/visitors/guests" for indignities visited upon them by "law-happy zealots") it was felt that the next economic sector that could benefit from the Obama Midas touch was housing.

Accordingly the Affordable Sustainable Housing Act (or "ObamaHut" as it came to be known) was born.

The bill, whose preamble asserted the right of every citizen to an energy efficient home at no cost (memorialized on "Green For No Green" bumper-stickers everywhere) won wide bipartisan support when Republican consultants reminded their employers of the importance of the green vote, to say nothing of the growing constituency of individuals not inclined to pay their bills or honor their debts.

Among the many provisions contained in its twenty thousand pages (condensed to this size through the judicious use of six-point type and shorthand) some of the salient points that would so arouse the watchdog media -- some of them in as little as five years -- included:

  • A mandate on all new houses to be 25% solar/wind powered with a sliding scale up to 75% in 2025A provision that grandfathered existing houses until they were sold or had "substantial" repairs, additions or renovation
  • An annual penalty for non-compliance equal to 5% of the appraised value of the home
  • A provision that no potential home buyer could be refused a mortgage irrespective of income or credit history
  • A provision that all associated costs of home purchasing, mortgage, insurance and tax escrow payments would be eligible for government subsidies based on income level and "other circumstances"

As this new law worked its way through the legislative process President Obama, in a breathtaking departure from precedent, went on the road to sell it with a flurry of speeches and town halls. Against a backdrop of poor people, indigents and an array of doe-eyed children, the President solemnly asserted that if you liked your home you could continue to live in it. The American people, with no reason to doubt him, took him at his word.


Saturday, November 9, 2013

Stop the Penance -- How Republicans Should Answer the Cruz Question




Rick Santorum is only the latest Republican finger-wagger to be hauled in front of the Sunday talk shows to offer sage after-the-fact counsel on Ted Cruz' misdeeds and pronounce solemnly on the incalculable damage done to the GOP cause. Given the fact that the Republican party currently resembles not only a nest of vipers but a completely aimless, leaderless nest of vipers, it's anyone's guess what cause Rick or any of the boys is talking about, but I digress.

It's even money at this point whether certain GOP apologists actually don't understand what Cruz, Lee et al were on about, or understand too well and correctly perceive the threat to the carefully crafted political theater that keeps them all employed and in power. Whichever it is, no-one seems to be responding to the "Does Ted Cruz still eat babies alive?" type questions particularly well. I have to believe somebody is reading the internal polls and concluding that -- no matter which side you're on, clueless or dark -- demonizing an increasingly popular and effective group of elected representatives in your own party might not be the happy path to victory in 2014.  

So, in the interests of helping those who clearly can't help themselves. Let me offer an alternative. The next time Bob-or-David-or-Whoever brings up the subject of the Ted Cruz apocalypse and its aftermath, Rick (totally made up name) might try this:

RICK: Let me stop you right there, Bob-or-David-or-Whoever, do you watch football?
BOB-OR-DAVID-OR-WHOEVER: Why, yes I do.
RICK: So you understand an onside kick, right?
BOB-OR-DAVID-OR-WHOEVER: Yes, but I fail to see --
RICK: Excellent. Let me summarize for those who don't follow football. Towards the end of a game, a team scores but is still behind and needs the ball back. If they kickoff normally the other team will run out the clock and win the game. So, as a last ditch measure, they may elect an onside kick, which is a short kick designed to be recovered by the kicking team. Bob-or-David-or-Whoever, do you know how they expect to recover that ball?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Joe Scarborough Vigorously Defends Victor Davis Hanson Against Smears - Nah Just Kidding



Ron Radosh has written an excellent piece at Pajamas Media about a blatant, but drearily familiar, smear of Victor Davis Hanson by Jeffrey Sachs -- and Joe Scarborough's underwhelming response to same. Anyone still planning to run out and get his No Labels membership card (75% off all David Frum books -- act now) should watch the clip below then reconsider the wisdom of having Fifi the poodle guard the house.

Sachs I'm assured is "internationally known" – presumably by virtue of teaching at Columbia and being head of an organization with the name "Earth" in it. Hopefully he doesn't teach ethics or logic, because his remarks on the recent Morning Joe episode provided no evidence of even a tenuous grasp of either. In response to a question about President Obama’s recent policy about-faces -- in which an article of Hanson’s was quoted -- Sachs’ immediate and visceral reaction was, in effect, "never mind the facts, Hanson is a wild eyed extremist responsible for getting us into Iraq and Afghanistan."

This seems to have been enough to dazzle Joe Scarborough, who responded to Sachs’ repeated and baseless slanders with a few feeble attempts to change the subject, one lame joke, and that final redoubt of intellectual and moral courage, agreement with the slanderer to "put Victor Davis Hanson to the side."

Evidently the more sensible option of putting Jeffrey Sachs to the side didn't occur to him.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

WaPo's Richard Cohen Calls For Sacking of Marine Commandant Over DADT -- Now Seriously, Which Of These Two Guys Can We Most Easily Live Without?



One of the drearier tasks in any Conservative blogger’s life is perusing the Left’s house organs (and that last term is pregnant with meaning) in search of grist for articles and posts. The musings of these strange, sad and palpably small people reliably evokes certain reactions – trending towards amused contempt and incredulity – but only rarely does one actually feel the urge to deliver a Moe Howard upside someone’s head.

With his execrable article in today’s Washington Post -- Marine Corps commandant has to go -- Richard Cohen has achieved this rarified status.

Cohen, whose knowledge of the military appears limited to being “a fan of the old World War II movies,” has decided that Gen. James Amos, the Marine Corps Commandant, “must go” for having had the temerity to express misgivings over the repeal of DADT.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

David Frum Co-Founds "No Labels" Then Labels Some Politicians and Pundits As "Reckless"



Anyone who thinks the recent re-enactment of the Little Big Horn – more popularly known as the mid-term elections – was a clarion call to the Republicans to lower their voices, surrender hard-won territory in the name of civility, and generally return to fighting the Left with Nerf guns and balled-up Kleenex, will find no greater friend and exponent than David Frum. In the wake of one of the most dramatic political victories in US history, won through the sweat-equity of people he openly contemns, and in which he himself played no discernible role, Frum has decided that the front-and-center issue now is finding some other way to surrender to Obama, and he for one is going to do something about it.

For those of you unfamiliar with Frum's Steward of Gondor "abandon-your-posts-we're-all-going-to-die" shtick, here's a quick refresher from his negative attention seeking tour after HCR:

Friday, December 3, 2010

4 Groups Whose Hatred of Sarah Palin Should Be On Her Resume



Whenever people catalog the perceived shortcomings of Sarah Palin one of the most commonly used words is "divisive", which is just another way of saying some people like her and some people don't. It never seems to occur to those who apply such labels that not only is this a perfectly normal state of affairs but the absence of it usually means the person in question is either a cult-leader or has nothing to say.

Indeed, in order to figure out who a person really is, it is often instructive to examine the enemies he or she has cultivated – and Sarah has cultivated some of the best. Anyone beaming down from the planet Twilo, knowing nothing about Palin or her politics, could reasonably survey the Mos Eisley Cantina collection of characters who stand in opposition to her and conclude she was worth a second look.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Joe Scarborough's Shocking Revelation: Sarah Palin Sat Out WWII!



Joe Scarborough, former Congressman, current TV personality and more or less perpetual blowhard, has a slight piece in yesterday’s Politico in which he exhorts the GOP to man up and confront Sarah Palin.

Lord knows if anyone can show these pantywaists how to grow a pair it's Morning Joe. This is a man after all flying in the face of danger, defying the well-documented love fest between Palin and the media, and giving her "what-fer" in a snotty, condescending hit piece. Those of us with wives and families can only shake our heads at such courage and count our manhood cheap.
Republicans have a problem. The most-talked-about figure in the GOP is a reality show star who cannot be elected. And yet the same leaders who fret that Sarah Palin could devastate their party in 2012 are too scared to say in public what they all complain about in private.

Enough. It’s time for the GOP to man up.
This is bold new territory for Politico, who haven’t explored the "Palin Bacillus Infects GOP " theme for ... days now and never before from someone who, like Palin, knows what it's like to resign from public office, albeit for different reasons and a with slightly different body count.