Today’s Phrase for Latin Lovers

Rem ipsam dic, mitte male loqui.

Translation:
Speak out the whole truth boldly, but use no bad language. -- John Adams, 1775

------------------

Visit Prudy's Latin Lovers Store for textbooks, readers and fun Latin miscellany!

Support this site. Buy a book.*

@PruPaine Tweets

Ancient History

|Campaign 2012 | Political Prudence

Obama: The Most Arrogant Man in the World

RightChange (and their aptly named website DontBeADonkey.com) has created a fabulous parody of the Dos Equis beer “Most Interesting Man in the World” commercials.

In it, they present “Obama: The Most Arrogant Man in the World”:

(h/t Frank Fleming)

Go to RightChange.com to view more of their videos, and follow them on Twitter.

|Media | Prudence Potpourri

JawDropper: The Elite Media on Why Obama Won't Endorse Gay Marriage

UPDATE:
Ok, so Barack Obama has finally come out and told the world what we knew he has been hiding all along: he supports gay marriage. Guess his team did some flash polling and focus grouping over the past couple days to find he can apparently live without the homophobic black vote in November—or they will have no where else to go.

But according to an MSNBC contributor, you’re racist if you think blacks are homophobic. See her rant here.

On NBC political director Chuck Todd’s show, The Daily Rundown, his panel briefly discussed the oddity of having Joe Biden come out over the weekend in favor of gay marriage and then having the White House scramble to make it clear that is Biden’s opinion, not Obama’s position. (Todd and his panel didn’t mention the coming out of Obama’s Secretary of Education Arne Duncan this morning, thus setting up the Obama campaign strategy of surrounding himself with pro-gay marriage personnel while he can claim to be sympathetic to the issue but yet “still evolving.” What a coward!)

Todd asks his panelists (Celinda Lake, Democratic pollster; Michael Steele, former GOP Party Chairman; and Dan Balz, Washington Post liberal) why Obama won’t just come out in favor of gay marriage. The unified panel opinion may surprise you—or at least seem racist to you, even though they don’t blink an eye in saying it:

While these same people and their peers frequently deem anyone who opposes gay marriage to be “homophobic,” they apparently have absolutely no problem accepting the widespread opposition to gay marriage in the black community.

To not even elaborate on the reason why the black community is the primary cause for Obama’s phony posturing smacks of…paternalism. While they bash religious communities and redneck regions for disapproving of gay marriage, they give the black community a complete pass. It’s as if they think the black community is simply not ready to be held to the same standards as whites. Do they think the black community just doesn’t know any better, is incapable of meeting their elite requirements, so it’s okay to appease them? Better to pat them on the head and get their vote than to offend their homophobic sensitivities?

Why the double standard? Seems fairly racist to me.

|eCOnoMICS | Prudence Potpourri

Rep. Marcy Kaptur Flunks Math 101, Attacks CNBC Hosts When They Call Her On It

Last week, CNBC’s Squawk Box had Reps. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) and Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) on to discuss President Obama’s laughable budget submission. I found it amazing how this long-term congresswoman who sits on the budget committee has such a paltry understanding in economics, math and other reality-based sciences. Instead she relied on Democrat talking points that sound all pleasant to brain-dead Democrat voters, but have no substance or credibility as true economic policies.

The exchange starts out pleasant enough. Yet it becomes obvious that Kaptur is woefully ill-versed in the economic problems of the country, let alone how to resolve them. Her (and Obama’s) plan: simply pour more stimulus money into crony coffers to “create jobs,” which will magically save Social Security and Medicare without having to do anything at all to stop them from bankrupting us and destroying our children’s future. When the financially knowledgeable hosts have put up with enough of her pie-in-the-sky economic pattycake and expect her to address the illogic in her plan, she pouts and lashes out, telling the CNBC anchors that they just don’t care about jobs.

If you don’t want to watch the whole thing, at least move towards the end and hear Michelle Caruso-Cabrera’s sharp reply to her insult. (Things start to heat up around 8:30. Caruso-Cabrera’s stony glare around 11:15 says it all.)

It’s interesting that Kaptur and Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) have been redistricted to have to run against one another for the same seat. I know little to nothing about Ohio state politics, but I would bet the Ohio Democratic Party had a hand in creating that matchup to push her out of office if they have to lose a seat there.

→ Continue reading “Rep. Marcy Kaptur Flunks Math 101, Attacks CNBC Hosts When They Call Her On It

|Campaign 2012 | Political Prudence

Does This Obama Ad Now Make His Kids Fair Game?

On the Washington Post’s website, there’s an ad headlining its pages:

Obama Children Used as Political Props in the Obama 2012 Online Ads

The ad reads:

Obama-Biden. Help the Obamas stand up for working Americans. Join our campaign. Paid for by Obama for America.

We know that Michelle Obama is meddling in government affairs to try to force Americans to eat as she dictates and subject school children to weight monitoring and ridicule. But what we did not know is that Malia and Sasha are now actively working in our government.

This ad goes beyond the typical family shots of playing football or walking on a beach or through the woods together. You know, the silent little snapshots meant to say “Look at what a wonderful family man this candidate is. Look at how lovely his non-scary, humanizing family is.”

I don’t have a problem with candidates’ families participating in their campaigns, especially if the kids are now adults. Some adult children of candidates go on the campaign trail to stump for their parent. That somewhat opens them up to public scrutiny, but unless they are setting policy and injecting themselves into government, they deserve a modest zone of privacy.

Even with the little ones, having them cutely mug for the camera or perform for the audience is no big deal—as long as it is infrequently done. Otherwise, depending upon on them to soften up the candidate’s image is exploitative to them, and annoying to us. The candidate becomes like the coworker that won’t put the pictures of her grandkids away.

But this Obama ad is treading new ground, injecting his minor children into the political arena. Now the whole family is being sold as a package: The Obamas. We don’t get one. We get all of them.

  • Think Barack Obama has destroyed the American economy? No fear. The Obamas are much more benign!
  • Need new ideas for government child-rearing? Let Sasha and Malia craft a policy for you!
  • Your mean old boss wants to open a non-union factory? The Obamas children will lay down in front of scab trucks for you!

Ugh. I find this ad distasteful. I don’t want my President’s tweens anywhere near my public policy.

Plus, if the Obamas are gonna exploit their kids in such a cheap and tawdry way, why did they have to be so cheap about it? Mr. Millionaire-Wanting-To-Pay-More-Taxes can’t afford a new family portrait? He has to crop their White House Christmas portrait photo?

By the way, who paid for that Christmas card? Was that a government expense or a campaign one? Because if it were paid by the White House, this ad is also a campaign violation for misappropriating government property, and improper use of White House resources for a political campaign.

The UK’s Daily Mail says:

This year’s portrait was shot by the official White House photographer Pete Souza, and perhaps it was his level of comfort with the family that helped create the relaxed vibe.

Seems the Obama campaign owes the taxpayers some money…and an apology to Malia and Sasha for such an off-putting use of their images.

 

|Prudence Potpourri | The Left

White House Gives Dignity and Decorum a Swift Kick in the Rump

The White House—that illustrious, stately, venerable seat of the executive branch of the most powerful government in the world—has taken to tweeting the equivalent of giving someone a loogie or a swirlie or a wedgie. They have Rickroll’d* a constituent.

During a Twitter event, named #WHchat, in which the White House was fielding questions from the general public, one guy tweeted a little poke:

@wiggsd (David Wiggs) wrote: “This WH correspondence briefing isn’t nearly as entertaining as yesterday’s. #TCOT #WHchat

to which the White House flippantly replied:

@whitehouse wrote to @wiggsd: “Sorry to hear that. Fiscal policy is important, but can be dry sometimes. Here’s something more fun: tinyurl.com/y8ufsnp #WHChat”

That tinyurl.com link goes to a clip of Rick Astley’s music video of his hit song “Never Gonna Give You Up.”

* Rickrolling is a passe internet fad. It’s a trite way of tricking someone into clicking a video link that purports to be something of interest to someone, but instead serves them up this Astley video. Rickrolling was all the rage back in 2007, until it quickly became highly annoying. The world was grateful when the fad went away. Now like flu, the White House is trying to bring it back?

I actually think the tweet was kinda of funny, because it is so incredibly juvenile. I mean, who other than 6-year-olds Rickroll anyone anymore? So it’s unexpected.

But this is an account that is supposed to represent all American citizens to the world. This is the dignity of the United States at hand. For some reason, this administration seems to think that the persons behind the official Twitter accounts of prestigious and official government departments and officials can take their pants off, pop open a beer and try their hand at amateur standup comedy on Twitter’s 24/7 open mic night. (Recall PJ Crowley, spokesman for the State Department, using his Twitter account to tweak foreign leaders with insults until he finally resigned?)

Do we really want a government that runs around sticking “Kick Me” signs on everyone’s back? Is this what we have devolved to? It’s a slippery slope toward putting a whoopie cushion on the guest of honor’s chair at a state dinner or using a joy buzzer when shaking hands with the Queen. Yes, it would be hilarious, because it would be so inappropriate. But we need a White House that we don’t have to worry is gonna get caught mooning tourists or playing ding-dong-ditch down embassy row.

Yeah, yeah, call me a humorless ol’ stick-in-the-mud, but given the supposed seriousness of the issue of the day—the debt ceiling, which what was being discussed in the #WHchat—and President Obama’s proclivity for lecturing Republicans about the need to be adult, this is a far cry from behaving properly.

I’m not exactly the only one thinking this. David Wiggs, the recipient of the Rickroll tweet—and a Republican I would assume, as he tweeted a happy birthday greeting to George Bush earlier in the month, to which he added the hashtag #wemissyou—took it all in good humor, but many of those that tweeted to him about it were not so laissez-faire:

@HavanasBananas tweeted to @wiggsd: “lame that @whitehouse retweeted this during #whchat when so many Americans had way more significant things to say. thumbs down”

@wiggsd replied to @HavanasBananas: “I thought it was funny…but good point.”

@SiriusFarm tweeted: “sure seems like the #WH would have more important things to do than #rickrolling @wiggsd – I see where their priorities are”

And @DWGen1 tweeted: “Hrm, The White House Rick Rolled someone.. Wonder How Much was appropriated for this, are they paying royalties?”

That last tweet has a point…although they probably weren’t being serious. Would the White House have an obligation to pay royalties for using someone’s copyrighted material in the course of their business? (If Astley could collect royalties from all the Rickrolling, he would be one of the wealthiest men in the world.) Don’t forget, this is an official account. They say so in their Twitter bio:

It is so official that they felt it necessary to warn people that tweet interactions with them are subject to privacy laws and may be archived as official White House communication. Do we really want this White House Rickrolling to live on in infamy, for future generations to tut-tut at the immaturity of this White House?

The people in the White House need to grow up and conduct themselves in a manner befitting the privilege of working for the People in one of the most renown buildings in the world. The world is already concerned we can’t manage our checkbook. We don’t need the toddlers running around giggling wildly and pulling the People’s pigtails while the elected officials attempt to demonstrate maturity and responsibility.

Here’s my suggestion: Keep official government department and official accounts sacrosanct. Don’t screw around with them or tell “yo momma” jokes with them. Preserve what shreds of dignity we have left. This administration has fairly stripped us bare.

The persons behind these talent-show tweets should establish a separate, personal account, where they can tweet their prepubescent hilarity to their hearts’ delight.

If we don’t stand up against these Stooge-ish antics, the next thing you know, the White House will be dredging up footage of the angry Hitler scene in the movie Downfall, and replacing the real English subtitles with phony dialogue about the debt ceiling. Yeah, that will be a real fresh and unique gag. NOT, as they used to gratingly say back when it was still cool.

Stop the insanity. Don’t make us have to get a nanny to discipline the nanny state.

 

|eCOnoMICS | Prudence Potpourri

Gas vs. Hot Air

Recent news is filled with stories on gas prices and the Obama administration’s laughable claims to be trying to prevent the rise instead of causing it.

The Business and Media Institute finds that:

The average price for a gallon of unleaded gasoline hit $3.86 on April 25, more than $1-a-gallon higher than a year earlier and less than 25 cents away from the record high price of gasoline set in July 2008. In fact, per gallon prices are more than $2 higher than when Obama took office Jan. 20, 2009. [emphasis mine]

Yet, despite this doubling of the hit on the American pocketbook, the Business and Media Institute also finds that:

…out of the 280 oil price stories the network evening shows have aired since the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, only 1 percent (3 stories) mentioned Obama’s drilling ban or other anti-oil actions in connection with gasoline prices.

Such devoted protection permits Obama to maintain a straight face as he devotes his weekly YouTube address to his administrations war on high gas prices, during which he said:

On Thursday, my Attorney General also launched a task force with just one job: rooting out cases of fraud or manipulation in the oil markets that might affect gas prices, including any illegal activity by traders and speculators. We’re going to make sure that no one is taking advantage of the American people for their own short-term gain. And another step we need to take is to finally end the $4 billion in taxpayer subsidies we give to the oil and gas companies each year. That’s $4 billion of your money going to these companies when they’re making record profits and you’re paying near record prices at the pump. It has to stop.

While we’re at it, Mr. President, let’s also end all subsidies to ethanol and pie-in-the-sky technologies. The title of Obama’s address was “Instead of Subsidizing Yesterday’s Energy Sources, We Need to Invest in Tomorrow’s,” in which he chastises us, saying we need to move away from that nasty old ancient oil energy and into “clean, renewable energy.” We’ve heard it all before, yammer yammer yammer, but what, pray tell, is a renewable energy source that would power a car? If someone’s got an idea, let them develop it. Quit throwing away taxpayer dollars in an effort to fulfill the left’s ill-formed, economy-crushing fantasies.

The bold text in the partial speech transcript above is my emphasis. The very fact that he dared to use that language at all is clear evidence of his gob-stopping hubris and firm confidence in the suckerhood of the American people. If anyone is trying to manipulate the gas price crisis for short-term gain, it is Mr. Obama himself. He’ll apparently say anything (but do nothing effective) to secure his short-term goal of reelection—especially since a new Washington Post-ABC News poll showed that:

…60 percent of independents who say they’ve been hit hard by surging gas prices also say they definitely won’t support Obama in his bid for reelection.

In a hypothetical matchup with former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, the top GOP performer in the Post-ABC poll, Romney wins by 24 points among the independents who have taken a severe financial hit because of gas prices, and the president is up 7 percentage points among other independents.

Jennifer Rubin at the Washington Post hit the nail on the head when she compared Obama to O.J. Simpson, a man obviously guilty of the crime he committed, but pledging to forever spend his days searching for the cocaine cartel killers that are behind what he pretends is the inexplicable rise of gas prices:

The president’s search for the bad guys reminds me of O.J. Simpson’s search for his ex-wife’s “real killer.” In fact, there is no bogeyman in the oil industry; to the extent there is market distortion it is of the administration’s own making.

In his American Thinker essay “Gasoline Prices and Speculators: They Think You Are Stupid,” Joseph Svetlic explains the sleight of hand that Obama and Holder are using to obfuscate the identity of the true perpetrators of the crime while claiming to hunt for the spy-novelesque ones:

This spendthrift, loose (and reckless) policy [of running up $4 trillion in deficits and monetizing our debt] is also reflected in the price of gold and silver, which are historical safe harbors from inflation because (as precious metals) they store value and are never worthless. Gold as of this writing was over $1,500/oz, silver over $46/oz. Gold at the beginning of the Obama Administration was just over $850/oz, silver at under $11.50/oz. Just this month, the price of silver skyrocketed from $40/oz to $45/oz in only 12 days. The loss of confidence in the dollar has been striking.

So, they are hoping that you don’t pay attention to their fiscal and monetary policy. They want you to blame nameless, faceless “speculators” for the rise in the price of gas, even though everything else has risen, thanks to their loose monetary policy and spendthrift fiscal policy. They want you to ignore the rise in commodity prices and the drastic hike in gold and silver. They think you’ll go after the nameless, faceless “speculators” because they think you are stupid.

Put another way, our dollar “Federal Reserve notes [have] collapsed to less than a 1,500th of an ounce of gold.”

The Gateway Pundit points to another factor in “As Gas Prices Reach $4 Per Gallon, the Obama EPA Forces Shell to Abandon Arctic Drilling”:

In December the Obama Administration issued a massive new ban on offshore oil drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico or off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. Now Shell Oil has announced that due to Obama’s radical EPA, they will be forced to stop drilling off the coast of Alaska. A village of 250 people 70 miles away may be harmed by emissions.

Gateway’s post quotes a Fox News story that says “Shell has spent five years and nearly $4 billion dollars on plans to explore for oil in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. The leases alone cost $2.2 billion.” The story concludes:

The EPA’s appeals board ruled that Shell had not taken into consideration emissions from an ice-breaking vessel when calculating overall greenhouse gas emissions from the project. Environmental groups were thrilled by the ruling.

America will lose all that oil production because of the greenhouse gas emissions from an ice-breaking vessel? Oh my. How masochistic and self-loathing we are acting.

But Victor Davis Hanson, in a must-read round-up of the spectacularly abysmal failures of the first two years of the Obama administration, points out the real person to blame for our gas prices:

If one were to collate Obama’s campaign rhetoric (bad coal companies would be “bankrupt” under his envisioned cap and trade plans, energy prices would “sky-rocket”) with that of Secretary Chu’s (“somehow” American gas prices should climb to European levels; we should be worried about our abundant fossil fuel resources that can “cook” us), then the present climb to near $5 a gallon gas is what the president and his energy secretary once thought would be salutary — a sort of Europe U.S.A. After all, we Americans in our ridiculous pick-ups and SUVs (remember the president’s advice to the questioner concerned about fuel prices to trade in his gas-guzzler, or perhaps his earlier advice to inflate our tires in lieu of off-shore drilling) sort of got what we deserved.

Well, we got what we deserved by daring to think we could maintain our current standard of living (and our current beloved vehicles) and vote for Barack Obama for president.

Who Profits More From a Gallon of Gas? Source: Obama and Energy Secretary Stephen Cho

We only have to turn to the Obama administration itself, the U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA), to learn that, actually, it’s not evil Big Oil that makes the most profit off of a gallon of gasoline. Their sliver of profit can’t compare to the pure profit, no-risk, straight-off-the-top profit that the federal and state governments take.

According to the EIA, in February 2011, “Federal excise taxes were 18.4 cents per gallon and State excise taxes averaged 22.44 cents per gallon.”

To obtain that hefty share, the governments don’t have hunt for oil or drill, and they they don’t have to transport it or market it or operate the gas stations or withstand the abuse that President Obama himself heaps on Big Oil for simply bringing a much-demanded product to market.

No, government simply has to stick its hand out. Voila! Profits skimmed. The companies get to risk everything, work hard, pay employees and suppliers and the IRS to earn their 7% share of a gallon of gas—before any of their expenses are deducted to arrive at these “massive, unfair” greedy profits the Left bellyaches about. The government gets to waltz in and barely lift a finger to sweep 12% off the table. Exactly how did they determine that this is their “fair share”?

This government-produced fact annoys the Left. Even the “non-partisan” (wink, wink) Annenberg FactCheck.org tries to beat back the exoneration of Big Oil, but at best, in response to their own question “Does the government really make more in taxes from the sale of a gallon of gasoline than the oil companies do?” they could only say “Possibly.” And even that is a biased waffle.

Annenberg’s fact check scours the resources to find damning evidence against Big Oil. The most they can come up with is to quibble over semantics:

A publication from the American Petroleum Institute, the industry’s principal lobbying arm, displays a graphic stating that “taxes” made up 15 percent of the price of gasoline at the pump in 2007 (that figure comes from EIA) and showing a figure for “earnings” (a measurement API prefers to straight “profit”) of 8.3 percent. This figure is the average earnings for the industry per dollar of sales. [emphasis mine.]

Notice how Annenberg prefers the greed-laden liberal code word “profit” over the more neutral, unbiased term “earnings.” And then they climb out further on a rotten limb:

On closer examination, however, that 8.3 percent earnings figure turns out to be after-tax income. The pre-tax profit margin would be considerably higher.

Source: TaxFoundation.org and Congressional Research Service

Clearly this “fact check” wasn’t written or edited or approved by anyone with any business experience. Why would they insinuate that the oil companies are hiding profit by trying to use the actual profit amount, which includes the portion that they can actually put in their shareholders’ pockets (including many union pension plans and liberal IRAs)? Who would say they have to use the profit margin before the government forcibly removes part of the profit? Why not say they should use gross profit? If we are trying to make oil companies look bad, who cares that they have to pay expenses. They made money to pay those expenses, or so the Annenberg argument goes. That is the argument of an accounting illiterate.

They do, however, concede that the government take is even larger than the infographic makes out:

And even these figures don’t account for income taxes that the companies pay on their profits. Those taxes would drive the tax total higher yet, but we know of no authoritative source that has attempted to break down how much income tax should be allocated to each gallon of gasoline.

And more bad news when assessing just who is more evil, Big Oil or Big Government:

State and federal excise taxes are generally fixed at a certain number of pennies per gallon, so as the price of gasoline rises, the percentage paid in excise taxes goes down. As shown in this breakdown, state and federal excise taxes made up 32 percent of what motorists paid at the pump in January 2000, when the average price for regular was only $1.29.

Despite the Obama administration’s best efforts to appear to be combating rather than producing high gas prices, the Washington Post–ABC News’ latest poll (referenced earlier) finds that Americans are not buying it:

About six in 10 respondents said they had cut back on driving because of rising fuel prices, and seven in 10 said that high pump prices are causing financial hardship.

Obama, like previous presidents in times of high oil prices, is taking a hit. Only 39 percent of those who call gas prices a “serious financial hardship” approve of the way he is doing his job, and 33 percent of them say he’s doing a good job on the economy.

Brian Johnson, a senior tax advisor at the American Petroleum Institute (API), says that the oil and gas industry makes only about 5.7 cents for every dollar of sales, whereas all U.S. manufacturing earns a higher average of 8.5 cents. In this era of Obama claiming to be singularly focused on “jobs, jobs, jobs” while doing his best to slash them in every industry, Johnson sums up the critical contributions the oil and gas industry makes to our economy and our livelihoods thusly:

U.S. oil and natural gas operations are intricate and complex, but the facts are simple: America’s oil and natural gas industry supports 9.2 million jobs throughout the economy and 7.5 percent of our GDP. Its companies provide higher-than-average wages — approximately $98,000 a year for an upstream job — and help ensure our nation’s energy security. In the process, they generate tax revenues from operations and sales of products that contribute billions every year to federal, state and local governments.

And yet, Johnson notes that the price the oil and gas industry pays to make these contributions to American jobs, energy and security is grossly underreported:

Further, U.S. oil and natural gas companies pay considerably more in taxes than the average manufacturing company. According to data found in the Standard & Poor’s Compustat North American Database, the industry’s 2009 net income tax expenses — essentially their effective marginal income tax rate — averaged 41 percent, compared to 26 percent for the S&P Industrial companies. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) concludes that, as an additional part of their tax obligation, the major energy-producing companies paid or incurred over $280 billion of income tax expenses between 2006 and 2008.

The U.S. oil and natural gas industry also pays the federal government significant rents, royalties and lease payments for production access — totaling more than $100 billion since 2000. In fact, U.S. oil and natural gas companies pay more than $86 million to the federal government in both income taxes and production fees every single day. In addition, since 2000, the industry has invested almost $1.7 trillion in U.S. capital projects to advance all forms of energy, including alternatives, while reducing the industry’s environmental footprint.

I’m not one to promote lobbyist information, but as American consumers are unlikely to hear much of the oil and gas industry’s perspective in the mainstream media, see their EnergyTomorrow.com website.

So, I say, enough already, Mr. President. Quit attacking Big Oil. End the moratoriums on drilling. Make it easy for America to exploit its vast resources, including oil. Don’t let Cuba and Brazil go and suck up our oil. Get out of the way of American self-reliance. Quit killing jobs and raising prices.

In the meantime, until President Obama wakes up (not likely in our lifetime) or we get a change in administrations, Americans can do their duty by refusing to let lefty tactics intimidate them into driving Flintstone-era vehicles.

Iowahawk shows one way to celebrate the proper burning of fossil fuels and production of CO2 with photos from his annual Earth Day Cruise-In. Check it out for some cherry rides rumbling across the heartland. [Hey, David: I celebrated by getting new spark plugs, wires and ignition coils so I can guzzle that much more refined petroleum in my big V-8. No more of that sputtering conservation for me! (Don't worry, lefties. I also had my tires properly inflated.)]

Best of all, Greg Hedgepath at YourDaddy.net has come up with a brilliant conservative guerrilla Gas Economics Awareness campaign: what he likes to call the The Gas Pump Hope and Change Sticky Note Campaign. No red-blooded American vehicle should be without a sticky-note pad and bold marker at the ready.

Atten-hut, troops. Forward, drive!

UPDATE: A link I’d meant to work in from Sweetness and LIght from last year: “Cuba to Drill for Oil Off of Key West, Florida”

|Best Rebuttal | Prudence Prize | Watch and Learn

Best Rebuttal: Cato's State of the Union Reality Check

Numerous people got a chance to rebut the claims and promises that President Obama included in his “Win the Future” State of the Union speech last night.

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) exceeded expectations with his well-stated, well-delivered official GOP response.

Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) was in a lose-lose situation. No matter how well she did, she was going to be mercilessly derided in the media and left-wing blogosphere, and criticized by the right for stealing some of Ryan’s thunder. Despite having a solid speech that was quite complementary to Ryan’s, she delivered her speech to the Tea Party Express website camera instead of the news pool camera that was broadcast on TV, meaning she appeared to be staring just past the camera throughout her message, distracting the viewer from hearing her message.

With virtually no publicity, Sen. Rand Paul (R-TN) issued his own short, soft-spoken rebuttal via YouTube.

John Stossel even hosted a whole libertarian response show, with guests such as Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) and Cato’s David Bose, during which he gave his own State of the Union speech of what he would do if he were President.

Then all the pundits and professional propagandists all chimed in with their points of view. Most of it all was rather ho-hum.

Until…this Cato Institute appeared in my Twitter feed. Unimpressed with most of the post-SOTU analysis, I pressed “play” with low expectations—and was blown away within the first 30 seconds.

Nine experts from the Cato Institute methodically poke holes through the fallacies of Obama’s rhetoric. Take a look:

Simply masterful. Therefore, for this shining example of cool logic and sharp dissection, I award the Cato Institute with this week’s Prudence Prize for Best Rebuttal.

|Pop Culture | Prudence Potpourri | Updated

Meet Anonymous... Updated

With speculation running wild through the media on the true identity of the anonymous man (or woman) behind the forthcoming book, O: A Presidential Novel, I had to get in on the game. With a little math and some deductive reasoning, I think I have solved the mystery.

UPDATE (1/25/11)

The “anonymously” penned book has been released today to the clamorous public. (Well, the publisher hopes we will all be clamoring. Or at least willing to pick up a discounted copy at Costco.)

Simon and Schuster, the publisher, has created an internet publicity campaign for the fictional story by using a fictional Obama to speak about the book.

Take a look:

Notice anything missing from the scene? That’s right. No TOTUS. So who is feeding the TOTUS-dependent Obama his words? No one. He’s having to wing it, and clearly making mistakes.

Do you think it’s really a coincidence that TOTUS isn’t around to assist him anymore? If someone told all your secrets, would you want to keep them in the room?

Hardly. I’d say that’s just another brick in our wall of proof that TOTUS is Anonymous.

|Nostalgia

The 2010 Sooper Awards Ceremony

As the internet rolls over into the New Year, I have joined with a highly entertaining guest blogger to present the 2010 Sooper Awards Ceremony. Please give a hand of applause to my friend and partner in political roasting, SooperMexican. We hope to make this an annual event, as we impart awards to political events of the past year through the rosy-colored lens of the year previous! Confused yet? Hang in there and it will become clear. (We hope.)

Let’s roll!

First up….

THE BEND-OVER BARACK AWARD

Last year, we saw a slew of Obama bending over backwards, forwards, and all over the place in order to placate our international detractors. He bowed to the Japanese Emperor, deeply bent for the Saudi King, and even made obeisance to the Tampa mayor. Fortunately for our weak stomachs, his prostrations before the unions and tort lawyers went un-photographed.

This year, the Bend-Over Barack Award goes to…

[opens the envelope]

the Mid-Term Election of 2010!

[surprised applause]

Yes, that’s right. The “Election of Recovery,” as they like to call it over at  SooperMexican Central, was a deep repudiation of all the slings and arrows that our fair president has flung at us, the common rabble, from atop his ill-gotten, gilded throne on Pennsylvania Avenue.

The unwashed, bitter-clinging masses have grown tired of his budget-obliterating spending, his vindictive, arrogant attitude, and his flaccid, inept execution of his elected obligations.

While his unapologetic bending over for foreign potentates and domestic opportunists took mere seconds, we hope and pray that this latter bending will continue well into the 2012 election!

NEXT!

THE STIMULATE AMERICA AWARD

The Obama administration got off to an aggressive start, manhandling the public assets in the most egregious way in the Great Stimulus Boondoggle of 2009. Joe Biden is still working on counting all the waste, fraud and abuse that was shipped from the public coffers to FOOs (Friends of Obama) around the world. Yes, world—-as in funding, say, a $832,200 genital-washing study in South Africa to stimulate the US economy.

This year, the Stimulate America Award goes to…

[opens the envelope]

the Transportation Safety Administration!

[applause, while removing shoes and belts]

Yes, the TSA has gone far beyond the call of duty—-and the 4th Amendment—-for getting up close and personal in their efforts to stimulate the public’s peace of mind by groping all their bits and pieces. f keeping the list of all the terrorists she catches with explosives in their pants. Of course she won’t catch any, because terrorists have myriad ways to go through all TSA procedures without having their bomb materials detected.

At least she’s done an excellent job keeping up the pretense that government-mandated sexual assault of the American public will keep us safe, while giving perverts and Gloria Allred a thrill. Just what a Secretary of Homeland Security is supposed to do.

OTRO MAS POR FAVOR!


THE PIMPIN’ AIN’T EASY AWARD

In 2009, we saw the beginning of the end for our favorite anti-American, government-subsidized community organization organizing the community for social injustice: ACORN, aka the Atheist Commie Organization for the Redistribution of NeoSocialism. The unlikely and surprising architects of its demise were the spunky and gaudily dressed James O’Keefe and his saucy accomplice, Hannah Giles. You all know the story by now, so let’s fast forward to the awardee for this year….

and the Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy Award goes to…

[opens the envelope]

the Death of the DREAM Act!

[sleepy applause]

In one of the most obvious and detestable shows of political pandering in recent memory, Harry Reid and the congressional Democrats concocted a bit of political theater for the birds – mashing up the freshly plucked wormy legislation we call the DREAM Act in their mealy mouths and force-feeding their gluttonous, self-serving constituents, the Hispanic supporters that kept a few of them in office.

Luckily for our stalwart Republic, this hastily written bill was only half-heartedly pushed by our Leftist friends, just enough to secure another election cycle’s worth of pigmented votes without actually effecting any change for the downtrodden serfs to whom they give only lip service.

Harry Reid out-pimped James O’Keefe by whoring out the Latin vote, taking it for all it’s worth, and spanking it on its bottom as he kicked ’er to the curb! Good job, Harry!

ORALE!

THE TWO-FACED JANUS AWARD

In ancient Greece, some citizens adorned the top of their doorways with the image of Janus, the double-faced god, symbolizing that every entry is also an exit. In 2009, it would have been appropriate to decorate the entrance of the Senate with the gnarled, wrinkly, grotesque image of Ben Nelson, leader of the Blue Dog Democrats, who promised to uphold their moral objection to the federal financing of abortions by refusing to vote for ObamaCare. Pro-life supporters wasted much effort calling to urge them to stick to their guns, but they chose to stick out their hands instead, accepting sleazy payoffs once Barack named the right price to purchase their principles.

For 2010, the only comparable competitor for the Two-Faced Janus Award is….

[opens the envelope]

The lame duck GOPers!

[applause as feather confetti flutters down]

After scoring an unprecedented victory in the 2010 elections, seizing the House of Reps and evening up the Senate, the Republicans decided to act as if they had been struck with amnesia, teleported themselves back to November 4th 2008, and eagerly re-assumed the role of defeated losers.

Once again, the GOP filled the Christmas season with the essence of lame. The American public gave them a mandate to reject the socialist, budget-busting, impotent policies of the Democrats, but the Republicans behaved like a cheap date, hardly even bothering to feign resistance while granting Obama another nearly trillion dollar stimulus bill, as described by Chuck Krauthammer.

At least good ol’ Nelson teased us a little before screwing us, but the GOPers made all the right noises, and gave it up to Barack only weeks later. Then to add insult to injury, they let him pass his ridiculous START treaty, allowing his sycophantic press to reenact the leg-tingly adoration and unearned esteem they lavished upon him two years ago.

Congrats, GOP. You sold out the country, but you won a coveted Janus award. Keep it up, and in two years, you’ll find out how easily an entrance can also be an exit.

Wait, There’s MORE!

THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN ACTION FIGURE AWARD

In 2009, Barack Obama chin-jutted his way through the dense jungle of prescient criticisms of his inexperience, arrogance, and unpreparedness. Still, he held out the dim candle of historic hope, and like voting moths to a flame, the American public flitted and followed him towards the radiance he claimed was the light at the end of the tunnel.

And still the gaudacity of hope sustained the hope-springs in the heart of man—earnest-sounding promises were made and swallowed, and everywhere a cult of Obama sprung up, selling icons of our savior borne of mystery.

As we all know, a prophet is always derided in his own hometown, and so this year, this Revelatory Icon Award goes to….

[opens envelope]

Alvin Greene!

[applause and fist bumps]

South Carolina’s leading Democrats howled when the unknown, unemployed man became their nominee to the US Senate seat, and they vigorously decried the legitimacy of his nomination. He beat the establishment democratic nominee without any campaigning, without any yard signs, prompting some to doubt whether he honestly won the nomination.

While running for a senate seat in the greatest country in the world since its inception 6,000 years ago, Alvin was also fending off prosecution for a felony obscenity charge, wherein he is accused of showing pornographic images to a unwilling 18-year-old woman. In interviews, he was as disjointed as Crispin Glover on the David Letterman show, and at his lowest (highest?) point, he actually said that his answer to solving his state’s budget woes was to sell action figures of himself.

What better exemplar of the fall from glory that Barack Obama has experienced than that of a man who actually thinks he can save the government budget by producing little action figures of himself? This is the delusion that the American voter was sold unawares, and now is waking up to.

2009 began with a praised political figure pretending to fulfill the image of an action figure. 2010 ended with a failed political figure sticking to a ridiculous hope that his image as an action figure might save him from his ineptitude and political inexperience. Oh, also there was Alvin Greene….

…AND Finally!

The Meghan McCain BOOBY PRIZE

Last year, Meghan McCain gifted the world with a booby prize in the form of a Twitter avatar filled with boobage and, appropriately, a biography of Mr. “15 Minutes of Fame,” Andy Warhol. She protested the avi-inspired guffawing heard around teh internets by claiming she hadn’t meant to be sexy at all—-she always looked busty and bimbo-ish. When that induced ROFL hilarity, she huffily threatened to delete her account, then apologized and promo’d her new column.

Without further ado, the MeggieMac Booby Prize passes on to the 2010 winner…

[opens envelope, upside down]

Keith “MeggyBigMac” Olbermann!

[stunned silence...uproarious applause]

Yes, the Vegas bookmakers all had Georgia representative Hank Johnson as the odds-on favorite for his concern that adding more military to the US territory of Guam would cause the island to tip over.

But no, in a late year rush to snag the award, Olbermann has gone out of his way to become a master loco tweeter: Melting down, blowing up, quitting his account in a bluster and, like his award’s namesake, returning to the glory of public abuse and mockery.

To seal his emergency bid for the award, Olby’s ratings went to the bottom of the tank and inspired a series of wild twitrants against his nemesis and ratings powerhouse, Fox News. Thusly, he clinched the award for 2010‘s Booby of the Year and shall henceforth be known as OlberBoob.

…se acabo!

Thank you all for joining us on this whirlwind tour of some of the more embarrassing and brain aneurysm-causing events of this last year through the eyes of 2009′s events! Once again, I’d like to thank my brilliant guest blogger, SooperMexican! Visit his site, buy his cartoon t-shirts, and follow him on Twitter! You won’t regret it because he mostly just uses my ideas!

Have a great New Year! (and forgive the Sooper-excessive use of exclamation marks found in this post…)

– Prudence

|The Left

If POTUS Calls, Would You Answer?

Yesterday, President Obama met at the White House with far-left bloggers in an effort to assuage their disappointment in his first two years in office and rally them to gin up liberal voting enthusiasm. (Oliver Willis was one of the invited guests and has a transcript of the event at his blog.)

Reflecting upon the historic occasion of having a few pixel-stained wretches admitted into the elite White House–sanctioned club of certified opinion shapers, Ed Morrissey, of the crisp, right-wing Hot Air and The Ed Morrissey Show, posed a question on Twitter:

Morrissey Posits the POTUS Question

In response, many (if not most, including Ed) said, of course they should. Mainly due to simply being respectful to the nation’s leader. I said:

Prudence Replies

Perhaps I violated the “kidding aside” rule, but my answer was only in half jest. I’m just not experienced enough with Twitter articulation to cram all the rationales and angles into 140 characters.

The first half of my response (“no, it would be a ploy to round them up”) is not a joke. The second half (“and ship them to unclosed Gitmo”) is merely hyperbole.

Let me explain, because it affects all “enemy” relations with the White House during the next two years.

When Obama summons a few of the leading griping but still fawning grunts of his Transformational Revolutionary Army to the White House, it’s all upside for them.

  • They’ve been elevated to major player status.
  • They get a photo souvenir that will hang proudly on their wall for their remaining lifetime.
  • They get to nip at the President’s ankles, and he’ll tolerate them briefly because they’re on his team and he knows his fixer will be coming to take them out for a walk in a few minutes.
  • Their ink-stained brethren now have to quote them instead of vice versa.

When he summons his “enemies” to the White House, it’s not going to be so pleasant. There’s not much benefit:

  • They’ve been elevated to major player played status. (Just ask the GOP congressmen that attended his economic summit. What a useless exercise. Obama’s ears were plugged throughout. The only thing that gave the Republicans any dignity was having cameras in the room to show Rep. Paul Ryan’s great beat back of Obama’s talking points—although boredom had lulled most viewers to sleep by then.) There won’t be any video of this jeer summit, so they’re on their own there.
  • They get a photo souvenir that will hang proudly on their wall for their remaining lifetime fade and turn yellow—but is the only thing the White House is interested in getting out of the afternoon: Photographic evidence of the Great One’s bipartisan efforts to be pointed to repeatedly until 2012 when it won’t matter anymore, one way or another.
  • They get to nip at the President’s ankles, and he’ll tolerate them briefly because they’re on his team and he knows his fixer will be coming to take them out for a walk in a few minutes he’s good at running out the limited clock with long-winded, heard-it-all-before-and-refuted-it-six-different-ways talking points.
  • Their ink-stained brethren now have to quote them instead of vice versa—except there’s not many right-reporting brethren to write about it, so most of the mainstream media will be quoting from the White House talking points anyway, not quoting these fringe-extremist-kook bloggers that got brought in like circus animals.

He would get the chance to look magnanimous for deigning to be in the presence of people whom he holds in utter contempt. He is a man that has shown a propensity for holding grudges. He wouldn’t be looking for a Kumbaya moment; he’d be looking for revenge. Do you think he’s forgotten that these bloggers helped repeatedly motivate citizens from around the land to show up in huge numbers for opposition rally after opposition rally—often on short notice, sometimes on weekdays—which he claims to have not even noticed? Do you think he has forgiven these bloggers for being the people that helped inform the populace and drove the impassioned citizenry to town hall meetings across the country last summer to shout “Stop!” to their deaf representatives and put a few dents in the Great One’s legacy plans?

It would be delusional to think any right-wing words would get through to him any more than bullets could get past Wonder Woman’s cuffs. His whole goal would be to fix a target, paralyze it, eliminate it. A respectful exchange requires respect on both sides. You can’t walk in the door trying to be gracious and honoring his position while he’s looking for any opportunity to strip you of your dignity and squash you like a fly landing on his welcoming arm.

Remember, this is a President that has, unprecedentedly, taken to regularly attacking private citizens, media outlets and companies from the bully pulpit—issuing veiled and actual threats to bring the full weight of the US government down on them if they don’t behave the way he wants.

Attempting to destroy one small blogger at a time, however, would be hard to spin positively in the press. The public has not been too worried about attacks on Rush Limbaugh—unfortunately, because it’s an abuse of power that any free citizen should recoil at—because they think he can take care of himself. Michelle Malkin is a different story. She may be well-known to active, right-wing newshounds and Fox News watchers, but for all her best-selling books and television appearances, few beyond her (large) niche audience would know who she is. If the White House couldn’t successfully demonize John Boehner, the House minority leader, how would they look going after some attractive, well-spoken unknown lady? And AceOfSpadesHQ? That’s getting pretty deep into the right-wing blogosphere. If the White House were to take him on alone, the resounding question around the country would be: “Who?” (Sorry, Ace.)

If like-minded bloggers are invited as a representative group, however, then you have a better attack target. One blogger’s quotes can now be applied to the whole group of them. One blogger’s “extreme” position gets slathered across all of them. So the call goes out to round up a representative group, put them in a barrel and start shooting.

It doesn’t really matter what form the shooting takes, be it slanders in the media, net neutrality legislation, IRS audits or shipping the lot of them to Gitmo. The objective would be to silence these voices, or at least neuter them, through denigration, disrespect and disregard if they can’t be co-opted with charm and coercion.

And the GOPers in Congress are going to be in the same position: should they dutifully go to the White House whenever Obama wants to have a little PR fun? They won’t get much better treatment than any right-wing blogger would. The benefits of the exercise will be entirely one-sided.

I’m hoping they will find a spine and some principles, but I have little faith that they will. It is going to take strong principled opposition to begin rolling back the first half of Obama I, and prevent Obama II.

And the same goes for the various captains of industry and their representative groups. It’s been endlessly dismaying to watch them get sucker-punched again and again. If you go to a meeting with the Three Stooges, you know there’s going to be eye-poking, head-slapping and general inanity. Quit expecting a negotiation with anti-capitalists to be a dignified interaction on a level playing field. You are going to come out of there looking like a fool, and having forfeited something precious and essential to your existence.

For instance, how’d that BP meeting with the White House go? They loyally answered the President’s call, thinking they could get some good (or at least less damaging) PR out of it and get the President to quit daily clubbing them for his own polling purposes. In the end, they got unconstitutionally strong-armed in “voluntarily” tossing $20 billion out of a helicopter hovering over the Gulf Coast—and the President continued to club them on all fronts till the media grew tired of the story and had a different shiny object catch their eye. It was comparable to this classic TV PR disaster:

If I called you over to my house to smack you, would you come? You wouldn’t? Yes, he’s the President of the United States and I’m not, but as he views half of the U.S. as “enemies” and takes his citizens to court when they oppose him, he’s only serving as the President of the Radical Left-Wing. Perhaps the GOP takeover of Congress will cause him to wake up and suddenly have empathy for the right-wing and become post-partisan. But I think I have better odds of winning both Powerball and MegaMillions than seeing that happen.

Until it does, I’d be polite in my RSVP, and like when Obama bailed on a “$7,500 dinner with the President” in Rhode Island recently, I’d tell him I’ve got to go home and pet the cat and scoop the poop instead.

Then I’d blog about it, using my 15 minutes of fame to get all the benefits the far-left bloggers got, except for the lousy photo I don’t want anyway.