Thursday, September 17, 2009

Now that the Economy is Fixed, Give Pakistan Some Credit

Dana Milbank
Gail Collins
Robert Scheer
Richard Goldstone

"Last year, it seemed as though the whole world was a derivative. This year, no matter what the subject, there’s a death panel lurking behind every bush." - Gail Collins

Spring forward, and Fall behind...
Now that our summer of discontent is over and the rowdy boys are back in Congress, settling down, sharpening their pencils, and chewing up paper for spitballs, its time to turn our attention to gazing out the window and dreaming of places far, far away. Now that the media will spend the next few months writing about the end of Obama's first term, grading the results on a personal bias curve, the white House also will be assessing its policies and the direction it will be taking during the next few years.

Because the problems that the previous administration handed off were so serious, this past year really hasn't been much of a change, just an extension of Bush's policies. Thank God something worked, otherwise we'd all be speaking Chinese right now. Then all of those right wingers would be spot on proclaiming that the government was shaded towards a Communistic Red... According to Ben Bernanke, the recession is now over, feel the difference? Got that new job? His justifications are:

1. The stock market is acting more like a bull than a bear.

2. New claims for unemployment peaked on March 28 when they hit 674,000. Now, they are down to 550,000.

3. Many manufacturing sectors are finally turning up.

4. Gasoline deliveries have risen for the past three months, after declining for over a year and a half.

5. Demand for freight transportation is rising.

The next focus of GOP attacks will be on foreign policy. Yesterday the President announced that he was scrapping the Bush administration's approach to a missile defense shield in Eastern Europe: "Mr. Obama decided not to deploy a sophisticated radar system in the Czech Republic or 10 ground-based interceptors in Poland, as Mr. Bush had planned. Instead, the new system his administration is developing would deploy smaller SM-3 missiles, at first aboard ships and later on land somewhere in Europe, possibly even in Poland or the Czech Republic.

“President Bush was right that Iran’s ballistic missile program poses a significant threat,” Mr. Obama told reporters at the White House. But he said new assessments of the nature of the Iranian threat required a different system that would use existing technology and different locations. “This new approach will provide capabilities sooner, build on proven systems and offer greater defenses against the threat of missile attack than the 2007 European missile defense program.”

Already the old school style cold war hawks are saying how dangerous this move is and what a gift it is to Russia. These are the same people who whined when Robert Gates got rid of a jet fighter that crashed more than it flew successfully and tried to bully him into continuing the program, made in their home states... Of course, Poland and Czechoslovakia are pissed because they were hoping for a missile base or two to boost their economy and raise the standard of living of their prostitutes and mafias. But, aren't we abandoning our allies? No, we're just going to use different and newer technology.

Changes in latitudes...
One place where attitudes have changed a lot is in Pakistan: "We in Pakistan constantly hear that our country is a hopeless mess, an ungovernable shamble of a state whose military and intelligence services are more or less on the side of global terrorists and local insurgents. But few observers seem to have noticed that, over the last five months or so, Pakistan has made an astonishing turnaround. In fact, it's time for cautious optimism about my country's fate."

Since it has gotten serious about fighting the different Talibans, it has been able to repatriate 1.65 million people back into their homelands, and large parts of the country are no longer considered a haven for al Qaeda. Most people don't really like living under the rule of extremists and fanatics, except here in Colorado Springs. But if the government is perceived as being more dishonest and murderous, then groups like the Taliban become the lesser of two evils. It is hoped that the wars will end sometime soon, say, within the next 20 years, and the dawning of the Age of Aquarius will spread peace and prosperity throughout the land. How many languages can we translate the phrase "would you like fries with that shake?"

late night jokes:

"This Kanye West/Taylor Swift thing will not go away. Even former President Bush spoke out about it today. He said, 'Kanye West doesn't care about white people.'" --Jay Leno

"Yesterday in New York City, President Obama gave a tough speech to the Wall Street Executives. See, Wall Street is considered a safe place for Obama. You see, on Wall Street, if someone yells out 'you lie,' you could be talking to anybody." --Jay Leno

"And folks, they are doing it again. It's being reported that Goldman Sachs gave out $11 billion in bonuses. But they told their executives to be discreet with their money. What do you mean their money? It's our money!" --Jay Leno

"According to some reports coming out of Washington today, President Obama said Kanye West is a 'jackass.' Not since 'yes, we can' has Obama found a slogan so many Americans can get behind." --Conan O'Brien

"He's going to get healthcare passed on that slogan alone. 'I'll vote for it. He is a jackass!'" --Conan O'Brien

"Yesterday in New York, President Obama had lunch with former President Clinton. Afterwards, Clinton told Obama, 'Remember, if Hillary asks, we had lunch and dinner, then I slept over at your place.'" --Conan O'Brien

"You know, President Obama is pushing so hard for healthcare, he's going to appear on an unprecedented five shows this Sunday. What's strange is, two of them are 'Entourage' and 'Family Guy.'" --Conan O'Brien

"A new book that's coming out about former President George W. Bush said that Bush once called Barack Obama 'a cat' with 'no clue.' Of course that was back when Bush's speeches were written by jazz legend Wynton Marsalis." --Conan O'Brien

"A group of musicians that includes Khalil Fong, the Scorpions, and Youssou N'Dour are recording a song in an effort to raise awareness of global warming. First, they have to raise awareness about who those musicians are." --Conan O'Brien

"Even the President is talking about Kanye West. Did you hear about this? In an off the record remark recorded by ABC, Obama said that Kanye West was a quote, unquote, 'jackass.' In even bigger news, ABC doesn't understand the meaning of the phrase 'quote, unquote, off the record.'" --Jimmy Fallon

"Kanye was pretty hurt when he heard the President called him a 'jackass.' But then Joe Biden said, 'Ah, you get used to it.'" --Jimmy Fallon

"President Obama is on a media campaign for his healthcare program. He'll appear this Sunday on 'This Week,' 'Meet the Press,' 'Face the Nation,' CNN's 'State of the Union,' and 'Univision.' Meanwhile, Vice President Biden will find out if he's the father on 'Maury Povich.'" --Jimmy Fallon

"The President says he's also going to appear on 'David Letterman' next Monday night. That's great for David. The best we could get was the guy from the free credit report commercial." --Jimmy Fallon

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