Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!



I know, I know; I used the same picture last year. But it's just so...perfect.

Thanks to all my readers and commenters who drop by, either regularly or just from time to time. I am grateful to all those who help to spread the doctrine of paquismo.

BTW, many bloggers are doing ten best, ten most, ten worst, etc., or providing a review of 2009. Paco Enterprises is going to go them all one better and give you some of next year’s top headlines…today.

Sen. Baucus’ health care speech interrupted by sudden attack of dry heaves

Transfer of all federal agency headquarters to Omaha “has nothing to do with my support of health care”, says Sen. Ben Nelson

Unexpected renewable energy benefit: wind turbines cause Rhode Island and parts of Massachusetts to detach from continent, fly off over the Atlantic

Department of Justice accepts plea bargain; Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to plead guilty to reckless endangerment, vandalism

Senate Republicans condemn President Obama’s plan to establish federal drug cartel

Ironic "double whammy": Al Gore's frozen remains found partially devoured by polar bears

But, hey; some of you people have crystal balls. Er, that is to say...well, you know what I mean. Look into the future and see if you can find some interesting headlines.

Tee'd Off

Early morning in the Oval Office at the White House. President Obama is taking a few practice swings with his favorite driver. There is a knock on the door. Obama’s personal secretary appears

Secretary: Mr. President, Ms. Napolitano is here for the eight o’clock meeting.

Obama (completing a mighty swing): Whoa, momma! That one went 200 yards, easy! Er…heh…Yes, thanks, Ms. Jenkins. Please send her in.

Janet Napolitano: Good morning, Mr. President.

Obama: Good morning, Janet. Please, sit down (they take their seats on opposite sides of the presidential desk). I thought that we might want to discuss this business about the Nigerian bomber. It’s having a negative impact on the public perception of my national security savvy.

A knock on the door. The secretary enters.

Secretary: I’m sorry to interrupt your meeting, sir, but this package just arrived, and I knew you were expecting one.

Obama: Ah! That must be my new custom-made golf shoes. Yes, thank you, Ms. Jenkins. I’ll take it. Now, where were we Janet? Oh, yeah. We were talking about national security.

Napolitano: Well, Mr. President, it’s true that the system doesn’t work perfectly, but we’re instituting new procedures that should improve things considerably.

Hssssssssss

Obama: Mm-hm. For example?

Hsssssssss

Napolitano: One thing we’re thinking of doing is handcuffing airplane passengers to the arms of their seats during flight.

Hssssssss

Obama: Say, what’s that sizzling noise?

Napolitano: I don’t know, but it seems to be coming from that box.

Obama opens the box and removes the contents, which he places on his desk.



Obama: Hey, that’s not a pair of golf shoes! What do you suppose it is?

Napolitano: Beats me. Anyhow, as I was saying, we’d like to do a better job connecting the intelligence dots, but the Suspicious-Looking Persons Anti-Defamation League has been complaining about profiling, so we’re kind of stymied, there.

Hssssssss

The president’s gentleman’s personal gentleman - Gustave Napoleon Toussaint D’Orleans, late of Haiti - enters with a vase of fresh flowers. Spotting the bomb, he immediately throws the water from the vase at the burning fuse, dousing it - and the President – thoroughly.

Obama (spluttering and removing carnations from his hair): Gus! What do you think you’re doing?

Gus: My apologies, Monsieur le President, but I thought it my duty to put out ze bum.

Obama: Bum? What bum? This is Janet Napolitano, the Secretary of Homeland Security! Anyway, if you wanted to put her out, why did you throw water on me?

Gus: I am sorry, Monsieur le President; I fear zat I express myself badly. I am referring to ze exploseeve device on your desk.

Napolitano: Y-y-you mean, that was a bomb?

Gus: Oui, Madame. A bum. I had much experience wit’ bums when I was in ze employ of President-for-Life Baby Doc Duvalier, back in ze old country. La! But ze peeples were always sending to him ze bums! Zat is why I was able to recognize eet immediately.

The president’s secretary knocks on the door again.

Secretary: Pardon me, Mr. President, but Deputy Secretary Jane Lute from Homeland Security is here to see you.

Napolitano (eyeing the president suspiciously): What? Why is Jane Lute here?

Obama: Well…heh…you see how it is, Janet. Er, this screw-up with the Nigerian bomber has…um…forced me to make some tough decisions, and…er…actually, I was thinking of putting her in your slot and shifting you to another job. A very, very important job, I hasten to add.

Napolitano: What is this “other job”?

Obama: Janet, I want you to head up a special task force I’m putting together that will monitor U-boat activity in the Chesapeake Bay.

Napolitano: U-boat activity?!? But there aren’t any U-boats in the Chesapeake Bay.

Obama: That’s the point. I thought maybe you might be better suited to guarding against risks that aren’t out there than for risks that are.

Napolitano: You’re dumping me? For another woman?

Obama: I’m sorry, Janet, but what else can I do? The focus groups have spoken.

Napolitano (grabs the golf club from the president’s desk): Well, buster, what you’d better focus on is getting hold of the telephone number for Tiger Woods’ plastic surgeon!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

From the Shelves of the Paco Library


This week I’m highlighting two very good, but very different, novels about the Second World War.

The Good Shepherd, by C.S. Forrester, is a tribute to the courage of those men who escorted the supply convoys across the North Atlantic in the early years of WWII. The author takes us immediately to the bridge of the Keeling, an American destroyer under the leadership of Commander Krause, and within the first ten pages we are given a close-up view of the enormous responsibility borne by an escort commander, who faced not only the ever-present threat of German U-boat activity, but the timeless dangers associated with traversing the North Atlantic during winter gales. The story deals, on one level, with the running battle that the escort wages against a U-boat pack in the final days before the arrival of its convoy in England, and on a more subtle level, with the internal struggles that every man faces when charged with extraordinary responsibilities that test his physical, mental and moral capacities to the uttermost. It is a compelling story of men striving to do their duty in circumstances that most of us can only imagine; however, Forrester does a magnificent job in assisting our imaginations with his watch-by-watch account of this nautical dance of death.

In Nevil Shute’s Pied Piper, we see quite another side of the war: the quiet determination and pluck of septuagenarian John Sidney Howard, who has had the misfortune of taking his holiday in France as the Germans begin their blitzkrieg. As the Germans invade Belgium and then Holland, Howard decides to return home. A chance acquaintance - a rather foolish, but brave, optimist who is employed by the League of Nations and has decided to remain on the Continent with his wife to carry on his work - asks Howard to take his children back to England. Howard is not at all convinced that he is suited to the job, but, moved by the man’s desperation, he agrees. Thus begins a remarkable journey, as Howard makes for the coast, against the backdrop of the increasing German menace, and then, finally, the shock of the sudden fall of France. Along the way, he winds up being saddled with several more children, but he struggles manfully – and, one suspects, joyfully, having found a purpose in life after being rejected back home in England for any kind of war-related employment whatsoever. Eventually he reaches the coast, and makes a deal with a local fisherman to carry him and his charges to England, when his luck seems to run out after being brought in for questioning by a German officer. There is no longer any question of his hiding the fact that he is now an enemy non-combatant, and he seems destined for an internment camp – when his good fortune strikes one final time, in the unlikely form of a Gestapo officer who wants Howard to do him a very great, but very secret, personal favor. This is a marvelous escape yarn, but also much more than that; it is a generational tale showing the sometimes comical relationship between the old and the young, and above all, it is the noble story of a man unhesitatingly and almost instinctively performing a moral duty, heedless of the risks to himself. Pied Piper is an excellent showcase for the narrative talent of a wonderful Australian author.

Our Deepest Condolences

Richard McEnroe's mother has passed away. God bless her soul, and comfort her family.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Baucus Would Be Better Off At Least Claiming He Was Drunk

Baucus' press flack released a statement on the senator's behalf:
"When his friend of 30 years Ted Kennedy, with whom he had fought so hard to provide health care to children, was being used as a cheap foil to oppose health care reform, Senator Baucus gave a passionate defense. Unfortunately, those who want to kill any meaningful reform, turned it into an unfounded, untrue personal smear internet rumor. This is beyond the pale and this type of gutter politics has no place in the public sphere. It is this type of slander that makes Montanans, and Americans, disgusted with the politics as usual in Washington. And what is even more sad is that such a personal attack would be given any validity at all, let alone being elevated to the status of 'news'."

So, let me get this straight. Baucus gave a slurred, rambling, at times incoherent speech because he was defending Ted Kennedy?

Well, as they say, "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" (H/T: AllahPundit).

As usual, Are We Lumberjacks? has the photographic evidence.

Aussies Hard to Please

According to a survey, Australians received 20 million useless presents this Christmas.
Examples of unwanted gifts ranged from underwear, socks, bath products and inappropriately sexual items to a tandoori spice rub for chicken given to a vegetarian and a dog bowl for a dogless recipient, a brick and cellulite cream, an eBay statement said.
Hmm. Disappointing. Paco Enterprises’s Australian subsidiary was hoping for big sales of that cellulite cream. I guess the problem was that folks thought it was supposed to get rid of cellulite, whereas the purpose is actually to give the user a dimpled butt resembling saddle bags made out of ostrich leather. I was told by our guy on the ground that this was all the rage.

Calls the office of Pacific Antipodal Cellulite Ornamentation, Ltd.

“Hello, Jack? Paco. Is Mark L still in charge of new product development in Australia? Mm-hm. Well, have him call me. Immediately.

Explaining Obama

Hey, people, it’s science.

Bark: It’s What’s for Dinner

An Agriculture Department economic-impact study of the climate bill has predicted that farmers would benefit by turning farm land into forests; however, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has figured out that those future farm profits would be the “result of the legislation's incentives to plant more forests and thus reduce the amount of land devoted to food-producing agriculture.”

Gee, sounds like higher consumer prices for foodstuffs, to me. At least we'll be able to starve in the shade of an oak or maple tree.

The Perils of Early Release

Marc Thiessen has an article scheduled for publication in USA Today that highlights some of the current administration's clueless notions about fighting terrorism.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Highly...er...Targeted Job Stimulus?

The Department of Homeland Security has placed an order for 200 million rounds of pistol ammunition (.40 caliber, hollow-point) over the next five years for use by its Immigration, Customs and Enforcement division.

Let's see now, ICE has approximately 15,000 employees. Not all of them are licensed to carry firearms, but just to keep the math simple, we'll divide the whole shebang into 200 million. That works out to a little over 13,000 rounds per employee over five years, or approximately 2,600 per employee per year.

Now, in case the entire population of Mexico tries to cross the border over the next five years, this would be enough to shoot everybody twice; however, this event seems unlikely, and would represent a pretty harsh response, anyway.

So, what's it all about, Janet?

Update: Winchester confirms. This news has been out there for a while, incidentally, but I'm just finding out about it.

Update II: Thanks to Instapundit and Dan Riehl for the links. Also, thanks to the commenters for their insightful feedback; ya'll really seem to know your stuff.

Brilliant Damage Control, There, Eric!


What, youse ain't never hoid of de long arm of coincidence? De boss jus' figured dat dis guy was woikin' too hard, so we took him for a little ride, give'm de air, so to speak. Nuttin' poissonal. Now, go back about yer bizness, see? We got our hands full wit' real justice stuff, here.

This is what happens when you put a marketing guy in charge

Not that there's anything wrong with marketing, but "all sizzle and no steak" is a completely inadequate approach to governing, as opposed to running an election campaign. Obama seems to think his job is to issue a steady stream of press releases on this year's policy models, be it health care, job creation or terrorism, leaving the design, engineering and finance details to somebody - or, just as frequently, to everybody - else. What you get is the proverbial horse designed by committee (i.e., a camel).

But I guess even marketing can be an exhausting job. Surf's up, Mr. President!




"Yes, Mr. President. Enjoy an environment in which 'hang ten' means something quite different than it does here in Tehran!"

Photos gratefully swiped from Gateway Pundit.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

More Non-Euclidian Deficit-fighting from the White House

In an attempt to provide a payoff to unions, Obama intends to force contractors to boost the number of unionized workers on federal projects through the use of "project labor agreements".

The inevitable result will be higher costs for government-funded construction and a drag on employment gains. Whether this bone is sufficient to make up for the failure to deliver on Card Check remains to be seen. It probably isn't, but it at least represents a down-payment on Obama's obligations to organized labor.

Legislating While Intoxicated?

Max Baucus appears to be LWI in this speech.



Of course, alcohol may not have been involved. Possibly Baucus was just so traumatized by the lack of "courage" and "bi-partisanship" on the other side of the aisle that he wash lef' speeshless (hic!) with indig..indigashun...anger.

H/T: Ace of Spades

The Department of Homeland Insecurity


Janet Napolitano: "The system worked."

Stacy McCain suggests that we are are taking the "'bring your own Dutchman' approach to airline safety."

Update: Hey, let's send a bunch of those Gitmo prisoners back to Yemen.

So, is Kerry still going to Iran?

It was a bad idea when it was first floated, and would be an even worse idea now. A new round of violent protests has broken out in Tehran, resulting in the death of, among others, the nephew of opposition leader Mousavi. There was also a dramatic attempt to free two men condemned to hang ( Gateway Pundit has a series of must-read reports).

Obama’s sniffish disdain for pro-Democracy movements is a recipe for the consolidation of tyrannical regimes abroad and we can only hope that he wakes up one day soon and smells the smoke billowing out of his smoldering foreign policy.

Update: Much more from the brilliant Charles Krauthammer.

Prayers Requested

Richard McEnroe's mother is seriously ill. May God speed her to a quick recovery.

Sunday Funny

epic fail pictures
see more Epic Fails

Friday, December 25, 2009

Cocaine's bad for you...

...unless, maybe, you're a wormy 'possum.

Rule 5 Saturday

The fetching Lane Truesdale sings the popular ‘40s novelty song, “Who’s Yehudi?” in today's rule 5 entry.

Detective Paco Comix!

Number One Son - the eminent Richmond tattooist - created this Detective Paco comic-book-style picture as my Christmas present (the skirt, incidentally, looks suspiciously like his girl friend). Might make a nice t-shirt!

Click to enlarge.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas from Paco Enterprises!


Best wishes to my many readers for a happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year. And best wishes to the troops, whether on land, in the air or on the sea, with prayers for their safekeeping and victory.

Oh, and please remember to be extremely careful when you burn your Christmas goat.

Happy Feet Friday

Martha Davis pounds out a finger-busting boogie-woogie on this video clip from the late 1940s.

Brittany Murphy, RIP

The actress, Brittany Murphy, has died at the age of 32. I knew absolutely nothing about her work, and noted her passing with little more than the brief pang of regret that I feel for anyone who dies so young. Robert Avrech, however, at Seraphic Secret, worked with her once, and has a touching tribute to this woman who starred in a Holocaust film, The Devil's Arithmetic. Well worth reading.

Reid's Conscience Ignites Momentarily, Fizzles

Harry Reid accidentally voted against his own health care bill. Freudian slip or just punch drunk?

The title of this post is, of course, purely sarcastic. If there's any conscience at all behind that grinning mug - which looks, incidentally, like a four-year old's first attempt at making something vaguely anthropomorphic out of Play-Doh - I'd be astonished. The Democrats' health care bill is unconscionable right down to the ground, and Priority One for...I started to say "Republicans", but perhaps it's better to say "the opposition"...should be to torpedo this monstrosity and to dismantle the ideological infrastructure that gave rise to it and to to all the other schemes of the Hydra-headed federal government.

A daunting task, to be sure, but not impossible for people who are bound and determined to live, once again, in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Christmas Dinner

Some people eat turkey, some eat ham, others go for the traditional goose. Stacy McCain is having David Brooks flambé.

Obama's Report Card Appears to Have Been...Altered

Nile Gardiner at the Telegraph believes that the real grade is an 'F'.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

From the Shelves of the Paco Library



Following on the heels of my “shelves” post two weeks ago about James Elmore’s western stories, I’ve got a couple of non-fiction gems this week that deal with the old west.

In The Apaches, Eagles of the Southwest, Donald E. Worcester has done a magnificent job in tying together the complex history of this amazing group of tribes, focusing on their tumultuous relations with other Indians, Spaniards and Anglos. An Athapascan people related to the Navajos, the Apaches were a pretty libertarian outfit, even compared to other native-American tribes, as indicated in this passage.
Apaches had no tribal government, nor did they assemble as a tribe for any ceremony such as the Sun Dance of the Plains Indians. They were divided into bands, each with its own hunting and gathering territory and, in some cases, its own farming lands. What simple government they had was in the local group and its chief, though he lacked authority to punish his people. All chiefs of local groups were theoretically equal, although some, because of their character, “powers”, or skill at war, had a wider influence than others.
Interestingly, the Apaches had a unique solution to the age-old mother-in-law “problem”.
When a young Apache married he and his wife lived in her family’s camp. Thereafter he served her parents, though he did not neglect his own. Because of the mother-in-law taboo, he and his wife lived in their own separate dwelling, and he never spoke to his wife’s mother. [unfortunately, the book is silent as to whether the mother-in-law had the right to talk to her daughter’s husband – Paco]
Worcester has put together a very comprehensive history, and you will find within the pages of this book much on the fascinating culture and day-to-day life of the Apaches, as well as their wars and skirmishes under famous chiefs such as Cochise, Geronimo and Mangas Coloradas, and the U.S. Army’s long struggle to subdue them (as well as the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ erratic policies of managing them). Adding to the value of the book are the dozens of old photographs of chiefs, warriors, scouts and camp settings.

The late Paul Horgan was one of our finest authors on western themes, winning a Pulitzer Prize for his epic history, Great River: The Rio Grande in North American History. In Great River, Horgan describes, in lyrical prose, the four civilizations that arose along the Rio Grande: the Native-American, the Spanish, the Mexican, and the Anglo-American. From the ancient people who mysteriously abandoned their cliff-dwellings in the 12th and 13th centuries, to the struggle for Texas’ independence, and on through the American Civil War and the great ranchers, outlaws and peace officers of the late 19th century, this is a sweeping and enthralling narrative that is a classic of regional American history, extraordinarily well-researched and well-written, and drawing keen insights from even the very distant past – for example, this passage which highlights one of the signal failures of the ancient Pueblo civilization ( a lesson, incidentally, that is particularly relevant today):
So the Pueblo people agreed without exception in their worship, their work, their designs for making things in the largest to the smallest forms, their views of prosperity, the education of their children, the healing of their sick, and their view of death.

A clear and simple and within its limits a satisfactory plan of living together was understood by everybody, and complied with. But tragically it lacked the seed of fullest humanity. Mankind’s greatest gift was not encouraged to burgeon in Pueblo society. Individuality, the release of the separate personality, the growth of the single soul in sudden, inexplicable flowering of talent or leadership or genius, were absent. In harmony with all nature but individual human nature, the people retained together a powerful and enduring form of life at the expense of a higher consciousness – that of the individual free to unlock in himself all the imprisoned secrets of his own history and that of his whole kind, and by individual acts of discovery, growth and ability to open opportunities that would follow upon his knowledge for all who might partake of them. It was costly, that loss of the individual to the group. The essential genius of humanity, with all its risks, and yet with its dazzling fulfillments, was buried deep in the sleeping souls of the Indians of the Rio Grande.

I Question the Timing

Jimmy Carter - once the undisputed worst President in U.S. history - has offered an apology to Jews.

Coincidentally (I'm sure), his grandson Jason Carter recently announced that he would be running for a seat in the Georgia state Senate from a district with a "vocal Jewish population".

So, you're sorry are you, Jimmy? Well, ok...


"Apology accepted."

Update: Ace is on the story, too.

Shocking, Counter-Intuitive Phenomenon!

As gun sales have skyrocketed, violent crime has declined (H/T: Ed Driscoll).

But, but, but...I thought an armed citizenry - all those angry gun-clingers - were supposed to represent a threat of increased violence? You mean the president of these United States was...wrong? Why, it's enough to give me the vapors! I'd better go lie down for a while with an ice pack on my head.

Reid's Gambit

The attempt by Senate Democrats to lock in certain provisions within the health care legislation (i.e., make them unrepealable) looks like a non-starter. The superbly-named Arts & Ammo has the details.

Blair, There and Everywhere

Time for another roundup of posts from the far-flung Tim Blair commonwealth.

1) Starting with our blogfather, himself. Tim opens this post with the following hilarious preamble: “If there were such a thing as a speech-capable squirrel, and if you could imprint every known Marxist text upon that squirrel’s brain, and then if you set the squirrel on fire, it might sound something like Guy Rundle.” Then we get a quote from one of Rundle’s inscrutable Marxist cogitations, of which this is just a taste: “Since the act of self-describing is rhetorical anyway, its only criteria of judgment is whether it gets some sort of effect – or whether it instead rushes to get a dividend from a process of getting people to think otherwise what, at this stage, needs to be more concrete and particular, albeit not fragmented and ungrounded in postmodern fashion.”

It’s like the proverbial experiment featuring a monkey and a typewriter (first draft).

2) The Empiricist summarizes the response of the Cli-Fi true believers to the email scandal, which pretty much boils down to the “I’m rubber and you’re glue” defense.

3) Andrea Harris rips Time magazine into teeny tiny pieces.

4) El Campeador points out one of the more obnoxious – and unconstitutional (I hope) – provisions of the Senate health care bill.

5) Kae discovers someone who thinks that Santa Claus sets a bad example.

6) I’ve never heard of anybody dying from global warming, but Boy on a Bike has the lowdown on people dying from the deep freeze.

7) TimT works on Christmas logistics.

8) Miss Red discovers a noteworthy web site.

9) Richard McEnroe brings us Achmed the dead terrorist, and a slight twist on a Christmas classic.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Good luck to, er, "Jim Treacher"

At the end of this post (which is a fine post in its own right), Stacy McCain indicates that Jim Treacher is joining the ranks of the bow-tied, going to work for Tucker Carlson's new web site.

What I find most intriguing about all of this is that Jim would have us believe his real name is Sean Medlock. I'm not sure I buy that, but I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. In any event, best wishes to Jim Sean one of the funniest guys on the internet in his new assignment.

Sold!

How were those hold-out votes secured in the Senate? Why, quid pro quo, of course! Behold, your representative government in action...

Monday, December 21, 2009

Feed a Puppy...

... kill a polar bear.

Admiral Ben Nelson at Trafalgar

Lookout in the crow’s nest of the admiral’s flagship: Deck, there! Enemy sail sighted!

First Lieutenant: The French fleet, sir! Shall I sound the beat to quarters?

Nelson: Oh, I don’t know. The fellow could be wrong. Maybe it’s just a convoy of merchant ships. Or some dolphins.

Lookout: Ahoy the deck! French fleet running out their guns!

First Lieutenant: See, sir? It’s definitely the French fleet. Shall we prepare to engage them?

Nelson: W-e-l-l…the sun’s in my eyes. Why don’t we wait until after dinner?

Second lieutenant (running up and saluting): Lord Nelson! The other ships are signaling, waiting for your orders.

Nelson: You can’t rush these things, Lieutenant. I need to mull the situation over, see if there isn’t a way out of this confrontation that doesn’t involve blood all over the deck, damage to the ship’s new paint job, and, above all, the embarrassment of being held personally responsible for standing in the way of history.

Lookout: On deck, there! A skiff has been launched from the French fleet’s flagship. It’s heading directly for us.

Fifteen minutes later, a French officer clambers over the deck rail.

French officer: Greetings from Admiral Henri Reid, your Lordship. He weeshes to honor you with theez gift, wheech I present wit’ heez compliments.

Nelson (opening the package): Ah, truffles! Yum!

French officer: Admiral Reid further weeshes to inform your Lordship that he is weeling to supply you an’ your family wit’ a permanent supply.

Nelson: Well, Admiral Reid can’t speak fairer than that! You may give him my assurances that I will not sink his fleet. Lieutenant, turn tail for England.

First Lieutenant: You mean “set sail”, don’t you sir?

Nelson: Er, yes. Heh. Yes, that’s what I meant. Set sail for England!

The "Cornhusker Kickback"

Sen. Ben Nelson got a whole lot more than just a few windy promises from Harry Reid on abortion-funding. Betsy lays out the details on the bribes to Nelson and others, and asks a very interesting question: "[P]erhaps some lawyer who understands how these things work can explain how exempting Michigan and Nebraska in perpetuity from an excise tax is Constitutional under Article One, Section 8, Clause 1 which states, 'Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States.'"

Looks like our representative form of government has been reduced to little more than the squabbling among pirates over the division of a chestful of Spanish doubloons.

Love Unrequited

Dear Mr. President:

They don't care that you're a liberal Democrat; they still hate the USA and whoever its president happens to be, so do yourself a favor and stop canoodling with Latin American despots.

P.S. The hard-core commie thugs are still on the career fast-track in Cuba.

Sincerely,

Paco

Digging Out

The snow is still piled up about a foot and a half in my neck of the woods, but I've been able to at least clear the driveway. The problem was, when I got to the end of the driveway, I saw that I was going to have to dig another twelve feet through the drifts to make a path to the center of the street where a few daring souls in 4WD vehicles had managed to pack the snow down a bit and make the street more or less drivable.

A commenter at Tim Blair's asked to see a picture of Mabel, the official dog of Paco Enterprises, frolicking in the snow. Here she is - not frolicking, exactly, but surveying her domain.



BTW, Tim Blair has evidence that the global warming protests have now reached the zenith of asininity.

Associated Press: Editors Wanted

Unless they intended to imply that there's something spiritually redemptive about natural gas, I believe they meant "cavalry".

Update: Apparently that editor position has been filled; the word in the title, which originally read "calvary", has been corrected.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Enough and more than enough

Stacy McCain brings news of the vile slander committed by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse against Republicans (and, by extension, everyone who opposes the Senate’s power grab-masquerading-as-health-care-reform). Here’s a sample of Whitehouse’s inflammatory speech:
History cautions us of the excesses to which these malignant, vindictive passions can ultimately lead. Tumbrils have rolled through taunting crowds, broken glass has sparkled in darkened streets. Strange fruit has hung from Southern trees. Even this great institution of government that we share has cowered before a tail-gunner waving secret lists…
There can be no compromise, no negotiation, no comity, no assumption of good faith by Republicans in their future dealings with the Democratic Party’s left wing (and considering how the so-called blue dogs were bought off with lucre and sweetheart deals for their constituents, any contrast between the left wing of the party and its “center” represents a distinction without a difference).

Our strategy should be to unite behind candidates who pledge to repeal this monstrous legislation and to break the power of the federal octopus that is within reach of delivering us into the clutches of a socialist bureaucracy. This is not the America that the voters wanted, the foolhardy vote for Obama and Democratic “moderates” by many citizens notwithstanding. This is the America of hardline statists for whom any actual improvement in health care quality and coverage is a matter of indifference. The whole point of “health care reform” is about enlarging the power of the state at the expense of the freedom of the individual. It is Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi making decisions for us because they have decided that we cannot be trusted to make the “correct” decisions ourselves. And it will not stop with health care.

Who will be content to live in the dystopia created by these grave-diggers of liberty? Once the precedent has been established that the federal government has the right to do absolutely anything, whose property – and life, for that matter – is truly safe? We are currently involved in an ideological civil war – what Ed Driscoll and others have referred to as a “cold civil war” – and the sooner we admit it, the sooner we can dispense with the notion that what we are seeing is business as usual, and that we can blithely go about our lives ignoring the ramifications of the decisions being made in Washington by a combination of hard-core leftists acting in concert with centrist quislings.

The votes we cast in 2010 and 2012 are likely to be the most important we will cast in our lifetimes.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Sunday Funny



H/T: Are We Lumberjacks?

Update: Also saw this at Moonbattery.

Alan Grayson Apparently Lights His Bong with Copies of the First Amendment

Rep. Alan Grayson, last seen hooting and hurling his feces at Dick Cheney and Rush Limbaugh, has written a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder in which he seeks the prosecution of one of his critics, Republican Angie Langley.

Her big crime? Running a website called My Congressman is Nuts, which is raising money for the purpose of defeating Grayson the next time he's up for election (the title of Langley's website, incidentally, is a humorous take on the congressman's own site, the modestly named "Congressman with Guts"; sorry, Congressman Pithecanthropus, no link for you!).

Grayson, who looks like a senior union goon straight out of central casting, has comported himself as a loudmouthed buffoon ever since he was elected, and is one member of congress whose constituents, I pray, will ultimately advise not to stand upon the order of his going.

Copenhagen a Smashing Success!

No sooner does the climate change conference in Copenhagen close than global warming is mercilessly crushed in Fairfax, Virginia. We've got a foot of snow now, and the major precipitation is still to come (there are blizzard warnings until 6:00 pm today).

Click to enlarge and enjoy the full, frigid wrath of Gaia!





Thanks for Nothing, Ben

At the end of the day, the Senate's most conservative Democrat turned out to be just another Democrat after all. Ben Nelson has decided that there's one abortion he can definitely support: the Senate's health care bill. I wonder, though, if he really believes that this legislation will significantly restrict abortion funding. My guess is that, no, deep down, he knows that Harry Reid's blandishments on the issue are false, and that this is only cover to protect him from the wrath of his constituents.

Even without single-payer, even without the public option, even with restrictions on abortion funding, this is still likely to be a terrible bill. We'll know for sure after everyone's had an opportunity to read it - which, of course, won't happen until after it's passed.

2010 and 2012: these are truly going to be years of critical importance.

Update: More from Stacy McCain and Smitty, Carol's Closet, Jennifer Rubin, and the Weekly Standard.

Update II: Heh. One of the Jawa bloggers writes Nelson a short letter.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Rule 5 Saturday

The gorgeous Nan Wynn ain’t misbehavin’ (too bad!) This is from a Soundie made during WWII, and includes a “sing-along” for the troops in the second part. Of interest, Nan dubbed several of Rita Hayworth’s songs.



Rule 5 citation.

Update: Bob Belvedere has two nice photos of Nan Wynn.

Hawaii to Empty Melting Pot Into Sieve

And now for something really stupid. Congress is attempting to transfer public property to a native Hawaiian “government”, which would represent a “newly affiliated tribe”. This would ultimately mean that “natives” would be exempt from state taxes and regulations, and have their own police force.
Proponents say the plan would duplicate the legal scenario set up for Native Americans, but the Akaka bill carves out new territory. Unlike Indian tribes made up of tightly knit populations that have lived together continuously, participation in the new group would be available to nearly anyone able to trace their roots back to a Native Hawaiian ancestor, no matter where they now reside. U.S. Civil Rights Commission member Gail Heriot told Congress in June that, "If ethnic Hawaiians can be accorded tribal status, why not Chicanos in the Southwest? Or Cajuns in Louisiana?"
Why not indeed? The Democrats are going to have us all living on some kind of reservation one of these days, even if only a metaphorical one, with group rights and privileges clearly defined. In anticipation of which, I hereby declare myself to be Paco Ten Hats, tribal chief of all the native-born inhabitants of the lands between the Pee Dee River and Dutch Buffalo Creek. Pay up, Great Black Father!

H/T: Jeff G. at Protein Wisdom.

Assortment

1) William Yeatman calls the climate change conference in Copenhagen “a green Woodstock”.

2) More fascinating Hollywood history from Seraphic Secret (the post is an old one, but timeless).

3) Another fabulous Charles Johnson adventure from Bite Me! Comics.

4) Dan Collins has a modest proposal. Also, don’t miss Dan’s retelling of a Christmas classic.

5) Democrats are starting to turn on each other like gerbils in an overpopulated terrarium. Stacy McCain has yet another example.

6) Just a Grunt over at Jammie Wearing Fool shows that even the business anchors at MSNBC are spittle-flecked lib-tards.

7) Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) salutes Nancy Pelosi’s contribution to global warming.



Rep. Gohmert also has a few words to say about the manipulation of climate data (“As a former judge, I sentenced people for defrauding people out of money…”)



H/T: Washington News Observer

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Inspirational Dog Story of the Day

A dog born with two legs copes magnificently.

Happy Feet Friday

Here's some western swing from the 1940s, featuring Spade Cooley and his band, with Tex Williams doing the vocal, performing "Miss Molly" (watch closely, and you'll see some familiar faces toward the end).

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

From the Shelves of...Hey, what the...?!?

Sorry, folks, no book recommendation this week. I've been swamped at the office, mostly due to the absolutely useless special projects cooked up by our new Obamanoid management. And guess what? You can't polish a lab-quality hope 'n change turd any more than you can the standard garden variety. Trying to convince the main bozo - the head guy's "project coordinator" - that management's new "strategic plan" is - and I mean this in the kindliest possible way - perfectly idiotic is like talking to a dog. He looks at you and blinks and turns his head to one side - hell, I half expect him to break off in the middle of the conversation and cock a leg at my desk.

And on top of that, my poor bride is still confined to her wheel chair, so I have to spend a considerable amount of time doing chores, including dinner preparation (by the way, have any of you ever stuck a fork into a serving of mashed potatoes and had the whole thing lift off the plate? No? Then, I guess I'm doin' it wrong...)

Anyhow, I shall return with the book reviews next week, come hell or burnt biscuits. And that's a solid gold Paco Enterprises guarantee.

Protection Racket, Updated


Hey, Senator Nelson, ya know dat Air Force base youse people got down dere in Nebraska? Well, we’re t’inkin’ it might make a nice park or homeless shelter or maybe even a detention center for dem ragheads we want to move outta Geronimo, Cuba.

‘Less, dat is, youse can see yer way clear to playin’ ball on de senate healt’ care bill – know what I mean? Why don’t yez mull dat over while I stan' here an’ smoke a cigarette?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I Want to Hear Bill Shatner Do It

Al Gore reads his poem to Harry Smith. Says Smith, "I'm happy to hear it in your voice." (H/T: Ed Driscoll).

Probably unlikely, but I prefer to imagine Smith thinking to himself, "Yep, that sounds just as dopey as I thought it would. I can't believe I actually got this idiot to read it out loud."

Hey, Let’s Redefine George Monbiot, Instead

Real Clear Politics has a link to the latest gust of ill-wind from George Monbiot, in which the noted climate change activist bleats that we are engaged in a battle to “redefine humanity.”
This is the moment at which we turn and face ourselves. Here, in the plastic corridors and crowded stalls, among impenetrable texts and withering procedures, humankind decides what it is and what it will become. It chooses whether to continue living as it has done, until it must make a wasteland of its home, or to stop and redefine itself.
That first sentence puts me in mind of an amusing prank pulled by one of my professors in college on the first day of his class. The students were seated in an auditorium, and he invited each of us to stand, turn around, and introduce ourselves to the person directly behind us. Of course, since everyone turned around simultaneously, we all wound up looking at the backs of the people behind us, who had turned around to greet the people behind them.

In essence, Monbiot is asking us to do the same thing; however, he isn’t joking. Let’s turn around and face backwards, Monbiot exhorts us; let’s turn our backs on the idea of personal freedom, on “unrestrained” capitalism, on the quality of life that our ingenuity and liberty have provided for us, and embrace the limitations that our forward-looking intelligentsia have divined through empirical, scientific inquiry – untainted by a larger ideological agenda, of course.
The meeting at Copenhagen confronts us with our primal tragedy. We are the universal ape, equipped with the ingenuity and aggression to bring down prey much larger than itself, break into new lands, roar its defiance of natural constraints. Now we find ourselves hedged in by the consequences of our nature, living meekly on this crowded planet for fear of provoking or damaging others. We have the hearts of lions and live the lives of clerks.

The summit's premise is that the age of heroism is over. We have entered the age of accommodation. No longer may we live without restraint. No longer may we swing our fists regardless of whose nose might be in the way. In everything we do we must now be mindful of the lives of others, cautious, constrained, meticulous. We may no longer live in the moment, as if there were no tomorrow.
Ah, we are “the universal ape.” I suppose that would include certain climate change scientists, who, presumably, will now argue that those alarming emails weren’t a sign of a conscious conspiracy, but merely the result of the natural sloppiness that comes from typing with one’s feet.

But what to make of this extraordinarily purple prose? It is the kind of thing that, say, a high school student engages in when writing a paper at the last minute, desperately attempting to cover up his factual ignorance with high-flying rhetoric: “We have the hearts of lions and live the lives of clerks… The summit's premise is that the age of heroism is over… No longer may we swing our fists regardless of whose nose might be in the way…” It’s like…I dunno…a really cheesy go at epic free verse.

And no surprise! “I lead a mostly peaceful life, but my dreams are haunted by giant aurochs… So here we are, in the land of Beowulf’s heroics…” Little Georgie, with his plastic sword, fighting the imaginary, human-headed dragon of climate change.

I’m sure I wasn’t supposed to respond this way, but I practically cheered when I read this part:
A new movement, most visible in North America and Australia, but now apparent everywhere, demands to trample on the lives of others as if this were a human right. It will not be constrained by taxes, gun laws, regulations, health and safety, especially by environmental restraints.
Damned straight, buddy! You’ll get my incandescent light bulb when you pry it out of my cold, dead fingers (although, since I’m one of the people “unconstrained” by gun laws, that eventuality may prove to be…problematic).

Perceptive observers have known for a long time that green is the new red, and that the kind of environmental extremism being peddled by Monbiot, Gore et al is nothing but a totalitarian horse of a different color. In “redefining” humanity, the statists want to be the officially-sanctioned epistemologists, etymologists and lexicographers.

The one indisputably true thing in Monbiot’s article is the opening sentence in the title: “This is bigger than climate change.” Yes. Yes, it is.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Shoe, Other Foot

Republicans are mean spirited; Democrats, on the other hand, are just telling it like it is.

Obama Maintains B+ Average in Freshman Year; Also Made Captain of Football Team and Treasurer of Beta Club

Since he handed out the grade himself, I was surprised, at first, that he didn't get an 'A', but he's just so goldarned humble, I guess, he couldn't bring himself to do it.

Ace is having a ball with this.

Today is Bill of Rights Day

I didn’t know that, until I read about it in this article by Professor Kevin R.C. Gutzman. Possibly the day nearly escaped my notice because, with the metastasis of Big Government, the occasion is in danger of becoming about as relevant as St. Vitus’ Day or the naming of the Pumpkin Queen in Circleville, Ohio.

We should all resolve to take the thing out of mothballs, dust it off, and read it today – perhaps focusing on the tenth amendment.

Barbara Boxer – Genius – Strikes Again

The stegosaurus – that well-known denizen of the Jurassic period – had a brain about the size of a walnut. The brain was so small, in fact, that the tank-sized herbivore had a bundle of nerves in its spine near the base of its tail that functioned as a sort of auxiliary brain.

Which brings me to Senator Boxer. I imagine that she has a similar ganglion placed in the general vicinity of where she would be adorned with ass antlers (if she had ass antlers, a possibility the confirmation of which I will leave to braver souls than I), and that this auxiliary brain starts the synaptic chain of events that ultimately causes her to lift her foot and place it in her mouth (her “regular” brain being otherwise occupied in assisting her to carry out more difficult tasks, such as breathing and blinking).

I’d say that ganglion has been working overtime lately. For example, read what she had to say on Climategate, how climate “skeptics” are attempting to “personalize” the email scandal.

I have dubbed Jim Moran as the dimmest bulb in the House of Representatives. In the Senate, when it comes to truly negligible intellectual caliber, is there anyone to match Boxer’s fencepost-mind?

Twelve Condoms Full of Illegal Campaign Cash Burst in Murtha’s Stomach; Congressman Rushed to Hospital

Of course, they’re saying it’s just a gallbladder attack, but why should I give Murtha the benefit of the doubt when he failed to do so with regard to the Haditha Marines, whom he so vilely slandered?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Stay Tuned

Andrew Breitbart has more "Big" sites on the way.

Totally unrelated, but kudos to Stephen King and his wife for making it possible for some Maine National Guard troops to get home for the holidays.

Not Me

More Paco items that have no connection to yours truly.

1) Paco Modo Geechee Wear.

2) Not MY music.

3) I guess I do deal, somewhat, in “coated abrasives”, but only in a metaphorical sense.

4) Meh. Actually, I’m more into the concept of a global trailer park.

5) Through a glass, darkly.

6) Yeah, I’m sure these will last a long time.

Common Sense Becoming Scarcer Than Gold

That's why I mean no disrespect - quite the opposite - to Thomas Sowell when I say he has a firm grasp on the obvious. In times like these, when the intelligentsia fully lives up to Malcolm Muggeridge's definition as a class of people whose goal is to destroy intelligence, Sowell's clear thinking is like a blast of fresh air. Mark Landsbaum of the OC Register summarizes some of Sowell's key insights about "intellectuals" (H/T: Real Clear Politics).

The New Lysenkoism

Dennis Miller takes a vigorous swipe at AGW fanatics. From the article:
You ever come across raccoons in the outdoor trash can at 11:30 or so at night? As soon as they're exposed by the beam of the flashlight (by the way, how much CO2 does the beam of a flashlight put into the atmosphere?), they turn on you with fangs and paws and let you know what follows will be a short conversation with very little talking involved.

Currently, climate scientists are raccoons hip-deep in statistical garbage and you should approach them with caution because they are unarmed (with facts) and dangerous.
Meanwhile, Al Gore – busy man that he is - couldn’t find time (again) to debate climate change.

The folks at Demand Debate have spared Al the effort by producing a video in which his assertions are juxtaposed with the responses of actual climate scientists.



The video of Al is from his movie, and I confess, it's the first time I've seen any of it. Kind of hilarious, really. Gore reveals himself to be a rube who's amazed by all the newfangled science these perfessers have come up with; "Gawrsh, Mickey, whut'll they think of next? Hyuck!" What is obviously lacking is the ability to weigh and discriminate - an ability not likely to be cultivated by a man who has already invested his prestige in a particular outcome, and who is profiting handsomely from the widespread acceptance of his views.

Al Gore's vision is just the latest reincarnation of Lysenkoism, and poses the same threat to freedom that politicized science in the service of statist ideologues always poses.

Update: Andrea Harris has a succinct description of the EPA's recent declaration of marshal law in the realm of carbon dioxide.

Update II: Oh, BTW; why has the EPA placed an order for forty Glock G-19's? (H/T: Dad 29)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Sunday Funny

From the blog, Your Logo Makes Me Barf, comes this important sub-set: Your High School Mascot Makes Me Barf.

Rule 5 Saturday

The Andrews sisters perform "Gimme Some Skin".



(Rule 5 link).

Friday, December 11, 2009

Assortment

1) One thing the federal government is definitely good at is generating legislation; in fact, it’s a kind of perpetual motion machine of laws and regulations, many of which are increasingly stupid and dangerous. While we’re keeping our eyes on health care and cap-and-trade, let’s not lose sight of Barney Frank’s latest offering in the area of financial “reform”.

2) Are the Tea-Parties, the increasing public opposition to mega-government power grabs like health care and cap-and-trade, and the millions of voices raised against the unconscionable level of federal spending all signs of the people rebelling against their elected government? Or is it, rather, that our elected officials are now in open rebellion against the wishes of the people?

I think it’s pretty obviously the latter, and I, for one, frankly admit that these are troubling and, indeed, frightening times. If the headlong rush by Democrats to expand and consolidate their power is not substantially halted in 2010 (and reversed in 2012), we are likely to see the ultimate creation of a “Nomenclatura”, a self-perpetuating, parasitic political class that acts like a monstrous tick on society, sucking out its lifeblood, and combining the power of the purse with a strategy of divisive political triangulation and ideological intimidation (increasingly enforced through executive fiat) to prevent the creation of a genuinely effective opposition – all in the name of “compassion”, of course.

Roger Scruton at the American Spectator takes a look at the “totalitarian sentimentality” of the Left.

3) Obama: flash point or flash in the pan? Will Smith opines, the Blog Prof chortles.

4) Stacy McCain’s beloved Crimson Tide is going for the gold, so I’m including a bonus musical feature this week: Noel Boggs playing “Alabamy Bound” (although the fact is, Alabama is Pasadena bound).



5) Harry Reid must think he’s Doctor Moreau, and that all his constituents are man-beasts who will continue to shrink from the lash. Why else would he take an unpopular bill and make it even more revolting?

Pssst! Harry! You might want to remember how that story ended.

The Difference Between a Nobel Peace Prize Earned and a Nobel Peace Prize Mulligan

Here’s what a Nobel Peace Prize winner should look like (from a Voice of America press release):
Washington, D.C., December 8, 2009 – Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi, during a Voice of America (VOA) interview, dedicated her newest award to the “Mourning Mothers in Iran,” a group whose children were targeted during government crackdowns on student protests.

“The young generation is looking for freedom of speech and free elections in Iran,” she told VOA’s Persian News Network (PNN) this week. “They need jobs and security and they continue to ask for their freedoms. The [Iranian] government cannot stop them.”

Ebadi, a former judge who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003, this week received the Award for Global Defense of Human Rights, presented by International Service, a British-based, government-funded development agency.

During her interview with VOA, Ebadi said she is giving her award to the “Mourning Mothers in Iran,” a group that initially met in late June for a rally in a Tehran park to commemorate those who have lost their lives or disappeared after participating in protests.

“They lost their children,” Ebadi said of the Mothers. “These mothers have been attacked and arrested by the Iranian government when they tried to tell officials, in a peaceful protest, that they are sad and angry about the death of their children.”
So, what you got, Barry? A few apology tours? Some kow-towing? Mel Zelaya wasting away in the Brazilian embassy in Honduras from the effects of Israeli ray guns?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Happy Feet Friday

Cab Calloway at his blues-wailing, zoot-suit'n best, singing "Geechy Joe" (dig that entrance, gates, and latch on to that righteous trumpet preamble).

By Yimminy, Dis Is Var!

Barack Obama disses Norway.

In a concert hall in Oslo, the Norwegian Naval Band was practicing for the upcoming Nobel Prize ceremonies, at which the most distinguished foreign guest was to be the President of the United States, scheduled to arrive later that day. The bearded bandmaster announced that they would now play the Star-Spangled Banner.

“An’ a vun, an’ a tew, an’…”

The band was off and running, performing the national anthem of the United States, and doing so beautifully. Off to one side, King Harald V – so anxious to achieve kingly perfection during the festivities that, even for the dry run, he had donned his 19th century, English fleet-admiral uniform (complete with plumed bicorn hat, worn fore-to-aft) – stood beaming upon, and shaking hands with, an imaginary President, happily contemplating the occasion of receiving the now-famous presidential bow.

Suddenly, the bandmaster was struck by an odd change in meter, a kind of syncopation that had crept into the music. He quickly isolated the unharmonious sound as the rapid clopping of a man running down the aisle.

The man – a small, bald bureaucrat from the foreign ministry, whose baggy coattails were snapping against his heels – began to shout.

“It’s all off! It’s all of!”

The bandmaster scowled, brought his hands together and brusquely extended his arms perpendicular to his body, instantly silencing the band (and, quite unknown to himself, giving a very creditable imitation of an umpire calling a base runner safe at first).He faced the little man who had stopped in front of the stage and soundly remonstrated with him.

“I know it’s yew, Olaf! Vat dew yew mean, runnin’ in here like a vun-man reindeer stampede, shoutin’ yer name like ve’re all s’posed tew yump vit’ yoy? ?”

The little man, clutching his chest and gulping for air, shook his head.

“No, no, I didn’t mean ‘It’s me, Olaf!’, I meant ‘it’s all off’ – de President’s visit tew several of de Nobel ceremonies. He even cancelled lunch vit his mayesty, over dere.”

King Harald, startled from his reverie, threw a cold glance at the emissary.

“Vat are yew sayin’? Hew says de President ain’t comin’?”

“I’m sorry, yer mayesty, but I yus’ got de vire from de Americans. De president says he’s tew busy, an’ he’s only goin’ tew be in Oslo fer less dan a day. Oh, by de vay; he vants tew know if he can buy cigarettes in de duty-free shop at de airport.”

King Harald’s complexion, which tended toward the florid, now resembled a pitcher full of cranberry juice. “By golly!” he thundered, “dis is an insult tew de honor of Norvay! Hew gib him dat dere Nobel prize in de first place, I esk yew? Ve coulda gib de dam’ t’ing tew de Dalai Lama or somebody hew actually done sump’n, but, no, dat fule Thorbjøm Jagland on de Prize Committee had tew pick Baruch Obama! Hew does he t’ink ve are, a buncha hog drovers from up aroun’ Hamar, trackin’ pig pewp tru our t’atched-roof cabins? Vell, I ain’t takin’ dis lyin’ down, no sirree! C’mon, fellers, I got me an idear!” With that, the king, his latent Viking instincts thoroughly roused, led the Naval Band out of the hall, like a berserker who’s discovered that the town he just sacked has short-changed him a couple of virgins and a keg of ale.

* * * *

Air Force One touched down at the Oslo airport. President Obama, David Axelrod and Rahm Emanuel stood and stretched as the plane slowed to a stop. Axelrod, who was looking out of the window facing the terminal, called the others over.

“What the hell is that?”

On the tarmac, a military band was standing at attention, the sun gleaming off of trombones and tubas and trumpets. An elderly gentleman, who appeared to be dressed for a Gilbert and Sullivan revival, stood in front of the band, holding a blank placard.

Emanuel shrugged. “F**k if I know.”

Obama yawned. “Has the terminal been secured, Dave?”

Axelrod nodded. “Yes, sir, we just got word from airport security. You’ve got a clear path to the duty-free store.”

The men walked to the exit door behind the cockpit, and as the door opened, they froze.

Walking toward them along the mobile disembarkation corridor, with a kind of regal sashay, was the veritable reincarnation of a Teutonic goddess. She was a good six-feet tall, and had long, silky blond hair that fell below her shoulders, the front cut in bangs under which eyes the color of a Norwegian fjord sparkled. Her low-cut blue woolen jacket revealed a generous portion of her ample, tanned bosom, and her breasts bobbled maddeningly with each step. A short, pleated blue skirt stopped well short of her knees, and her legs were swathed in net stockings tucked into low, fur-topped boots with three-inch heels. If she had been the mythic goddess Brünnhilde, she would have made Siegfried flap his arms and crow like a rooster.

The Americans, on the other hand, whose eyes had taken on the aspect of saucers, resembled a tree full of hoot owls, all of which had simultaneously spied a plump rabbit. The president fiddled with his tie, Emanuel popped a Tic-Tac in his mouth, and Axelrod quickly brushed his fingers across his mustache to remove any stray bread crumbs. The vision of Nordic pulchritude approached the men, and flashed a smile that looked like sunlight reflecting from an ice floe. Obama elbowed his way past the other two men.

The woman extended a hand. “Velcome tew Norvay, Meester President! I am Helga Nordstrum, from de Office of Protocol. It is an honor tew meet yew!”

Obama, barely suppressing an urge to say “hubba hubba!”, latched on to her slender fingers with both hands, and pumped them slowly, as if he were jacking up a car in order to change a flat tire. In spite of himself, he actually giggled; then, recollecting the need to uphold the dignity of his office, he cleared his throat and stammered.

“Heh-heh…It’s …it’s…er…it’s good to meet you, too, Ms. Nordstrum. I…uh…gulp!…”

Damn! he thought to himself. Where’s that teleprompter when I really need it?

Emanuel gawked over the president’s shoulder, winking at Helga and waving. Axelrod stood absolutely motionless, as if he’d been struck with apoplexy, breathing heavily and blowing little spit bubbles that quickly popped on the ends of his mustache hairs.

Obama finally collected himself. “Well, if you don’t mind, Ms. Nordstrum, let’s proceed to the tax-free duty shop. I’m dying for a smoke.”

Her smile vanishing, as if her face had just entered into the six months of arctic-winter darkness, Helga held up a hand. “Dere are, I’m afraid, a few formalities before ve can let yew step off de plane. By order of his mayesty, King Harald V, all visitors tew Norvay are now compelled tew present a certified copy of dere oriyinal birt’ certificates.”

“What?!?” Obama squeaked.

“An’ also a medical certificate showin’ dat dey have received de H1N1 flew vaccine.”

“But listen, honey,” Emanuel cooed, “we’re not in the high-risk group for H1N1.”

“Vell, I’m sorry bo-eez, but dem’s de rules. If yew ain’t got de papervork, yew’ll have tew yus’ refewl and be on yer vay. Ve mail yew yer medal, Meester President” The smile reappeared, and Helga turned and strode away, her perfectly-rounded hips oscillating tantalizingly beneath her short skirt. She looked back over her shoulder, winked provocatively (as if to say, “An eyeful is all dat yew fellers are ever goin’ to get!”) and disappeared around the corner of the corridor.

The President sighed. “Ok, let’s refuel and get out of here. If you guys will excuse me, I think I’m going to go throw a glass of ice water in my face.”

After the plane had been refueled, but before the pilot had fired up the engines, the military band struck up a vaguely marshal-sounding tune, presumably the Norwegian national anthem. Once the plane began pulling away from the terminal, the old geezer in the comic-opera uniform reversed his placard. Obama read the words and frowned. “Yankee Go Home!”

From the Shelves of the Paco Library

Elmore Leonard is best known today as a writer of crime and suspense novels, but he cut his teeth on westerns, publishing his first short story in 1951 (“The Trail of the Apache”). I recently purchased The Complete Western Stories of Elmore Leonard (Harper, 2007), planning to read them over time, between other books; however, the stories are so enthralling, it’s beginning to look like I’m going to wind up reading the whole thing straight through.

The tales take us into the desert country of Arizona and New Mexico, and introduce us to cavalry officers, scouts, outlaws, lawmen and those unparalleled guerilla fighters, the Apaches. Leonard has an exceptional talent for being able to make the reader feel as if he’s practically in the midst of the action, with his descriptions of brassy skies and choking alkali dust and narrow trails clinging to the wooded sides of low mountains, alive with danger. And the men he describes are the weathered and wary denizens of a savage world dotted with the occasional town that represents something only approximating civilization.

This volume includes “3:10 to Yuma”, which has been adapted for the movies twice, and “The Captives”, which was also made into the dark and violent film, The Tall T, a superb Randolph Scott vehicle. For fans of the western genre, you’d be hard-pressed to find stories more gripping than these.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

52 Racial Card Pickup

Stacy McCain continues to battle against self-appointed race kommissars, who are strangely uninterested in the separate-but-equal attitudes of the New York Times and academe.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Max Baucus on the Make

Looks like Senator Baucus (Dionysian-Montana) has been chasing female employees around his desk for a long time (H/T: Instapundit).

Ham!

It's what's for Chanukah!

The Great Art Series


Danish artist Jens Gaischiot has been permitted to set up his sculpture, The Survival of the Fattest, not far from the famous statue of the Little Mermaid. This...er...work of art depicts a fat white woman borne on the shoulders of a black man, symbolizing, I suppose, Barack Obama's great debt to Helen Thomas, or perhaps Tiger Woods fulfilling a clause in his new prenuptial agreement that requires him to carry his mother-in-law around the mall.

Of course, what it's really supposed to symbolize is the wealthy white West living off the third-world poor. How cutting edge, Jens! Very up-to-date, indeed. Now, why don't you try something truly revolutionary, like a sculpture of Mugabe driving his Cadillac over a road paved with skulls, or Idi Amin gnawing on the leg of one of his political opponents.

Update - Friend and fellow blogger Boy on a Bike has another theory: "This is probably an unemployed auto-worker from Louisiana carrying a Goldman Sachs carbon credit derivatives trader."

Next time, take the train

Maybe this is the kind of thing that happens when you downgrade the conflict from the "War" to the "Dragnet" on Terror; people grow slack. The Transportation Security Agency accidentally posted its airport screening procedures online.

(H/T: Ed Morrissey at Hot Air)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Al Gore Now Shooting for Nobel Prize in Literature

From Dan Riehl comes the disturbing news that Al Gore has written a poem on climate change.

Click, read, puke. I don't do poetry, myself, but if you'd like to counter this effort, please feel free to let yourself go in the comments.

Harry Reid Soars to the Heights of Outrageousness on Gossamer Wings of Imbecility

Do you oppose the senate Democrats' health care plan? Then, obviously, you would have opposed the emancipation of the slaves, too.

Richard McEnroe reminds us just exactly which party has been on the wrong side of racial equality throughout much of our country's history.

Update: Stacy McCain makes an interesting point about Reid's charge: "So, a 53% majority of Nevada voters are haters. And their hate, as Harry Reid suspects, is related to race -- namely his 2010 re-election race."

E.J. Dionne and the Anti-Democratic Tendencies of "Progressives"

In a Washington Post editorial today, E.J. Dionne displays several of the maddening traits that continue to undermine the ability of liberals to gain permanent traction with the majority of voters in this country.

Perhaps first and foremost is the thinly-veiled hostility to democracy.
Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid has been struggling to light a fire under members of his party. He needs moderates to understand they are part of a majority and progressives to figure out what they want in exchange for concessions to moderates who oppose a public option.

Liberals are absolutely right in their frustration with the Senate. It's become an absurd institution, perhaps the least democratic legislative body in any country calling itself a democracy. It makes no sense that four or five votes can trump 54 or 55 votes [emphasis mine]. But the Senate is what it is. For now, liberals have to live with this.
Where to begin in straightening out this tangled spool of nonsense? Moderate Democrats are part of a majority and…so, what, exactly, they should fall on their swords and vote for this extremely unpopular “health care” bill, thereby facing the distinct possibility of blowing their reelection chances as a result of angering constituents who neither expected nor wanted this level of government interference? The fact, of course, is that the Democrats are divided, and the Party has not yet become a solid slab of impenetrable leftist ideology for which the penalty for non-compliance is expulsion (and perhaps a trip to the basement to receive a shot in the nape of the neck).

And it isn’t “four or five votes” that are trumping 54 or 55 votes, unless Dionne is fully discounting the validity of Republican votes - which, of course, he may be doing, since Republicans are the minority and apparently their votes don’t count in Dionne’s winner-take-all fantasy of democratic government.

But what would mere hostility to practical, work-a-day democracy be without the big lie to make it all palatable? – or rather, a series of big lies?
The core issues of this debate have been settled. The Congressional Budget Office has swept away the major arguments that opponents of reform have been trying to make. The bill before the Senate would cut the deficit, not increase it, and would stabilize or reduce health care premiums for most people, not raise them. The proposal contains serious cost-control measures that can be built on over time. Passing health care reform is thus not only morally necessary, but also fiscally responsible.
This is pure E.J. in Wonderland, every point in that paragraph having been debunked or shown to be based on garbage-in, garbage-out analysis.

Dionne is engaged in political double-talk – and it’s so infantile in its assumption of ignorance on the part of the voters that one may legitimately refer to it as baby-talk, too. He seems to be unaware that people have channels of information that are completely outside the control of the Washington Post and partisan hacks like Harry Reid. Ever heard of the internet, E.J.? Fox News? The Wall Street Journal? The rising tide of popular revulsion against your statist pals? Or are these all “absurd” institutions, too, mere potholes in the road to serfdom?

H/T: Real Clear Politics

Just One of Those Crazy Things

Mara Liasson, a political correspondent for NPR, has been appearing on Fox News for over a decade. Recently, executives at NPR asked her to reconsider. It's probably another one of those odd coincidences that seem to be occurring with baffling frequency under the Obama presidency.

At-Home Care

Mr. Bingley has documented the wonderful level of care that I am providing for Mrs. Paco.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Bullish on Piracy

Somali pirates have established a stock exchange.
Haradheere's "stock exchange" is open 24 hours a day and serves as a bustling focal point for the town. As well as investors, sobbing wives and mothers often turn up there seeking news of male relatives missing in action.

Every week, Mohammed said, gang members and equipment were lost to the sea. But he said the pirates were not deterred.

"Ransoms have even increased in recent months from between $2-3 million to $4 million because of the increased number of shareholders and the risks," he said.

"Let the anti-piracy navies continue their search for us. We have no worries because our motto for the job is 'do or die'."
How to defeat this latest development in the burgeoning piracy movement? Easy. Get them to elect Tim Geithner as president of their stock exchange; that'll put it out of business in no time.

Charles Johnson Pwn'd By...

... Charles Johnson (with a helpful assist from Weasel Zippers).

Desperate Times Call For Desperate Measures








Well, maybe that approach - if placed in competent hands - will work better than the President's jobs summit. (H/T on jobs summit article: Dad 29)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

More Better Smartness

As an employee of a federal agency, I've seen confusion, vagueness, and ignorance on a daily basis since Obama's political appointees took over (which failings, of course, have in no way undermined the supreme confidence they possess in their own infallibility). But it's a lot more dangerous when this kind of idiocy takes place in Afghanistan - when the genius in the White House apparently forgets the orders he actually gave to General McChrystal.

How ironic to have a commander-in-chief who doesn't understand the most basic elements of command; this is likely to hinder him in his larger goal of establishing an imperial presidency.

Maybe he considers the war a mere distraction from something more important.




"I sense a disturbance in the polls."