Saturday, March 17, 2012

Last Call

And Barack Obama, of the Moneygall, Ireland Obamas, nipped off to the pub this afternoon for a pint o' Guinness.

President Obama made a brief St Patrick's Day pilgrimage to a Washington D.C. Irish bar, The Dubliner, on Saturday, where he quaffed a pint of Guinness and enjoyed cheers from a rowdy crowd of green-clad partiers, some of whom had staked out their spots as early as 10 am. He was accompanied by Henry Healy, described by a White House staffer as the president's ancestral cousin from Moneygall, Ireland, as well as Ollie Hayes, the owner of the Publican bar that the president went to on Moneygall.

I love this guy.  I really do.

The president got more raucous cheers as he walked in (if he paid the $10 cover, it was out of your pooler's field of vision). At the bar in the Dubliner's front room, the president enjoyed a Guinness, taking a couple of respectable sips with what your pooler read as an expression of contentedness. The resulting Guinness mustache was, pooler and others agreed, "much more 'David Niven,' and much less (AP White House ace) Jim Kuhnhenn." On two occasions, the hundreds of partiers sent up cries of "Four more years!" and there was a raucous "U.S.A! U.S.A.!" call at one point.

Erin go Bragh, folks.  Hope you had a good St. Pat's, from one bi-racial kid with Irish ancestry to another.

Dancing Up A Storm On St. Paddy's Day

Now if this doesn't bring a tear to Zandarmom's Irish eyes, then nothing will.

For those feeling down about the United States and its place in the world, meet Drew Lovejoy, a 17-year-old from rural Ohio. His background could not be more American. His father is black and Baptist from Georgia and his mother is white and Jewish from Iowa. But his fame is international after winning the all-Ireland dancing championship in Dublin for a third straight year.

Drew is the first to admit that this is a lot to take in, so he sometimes hides part of his biography for the sake of convenience. As in 2010, when he became the first person of color to win the world championship for Irish dancing — the highest honor in that small and close-knit world — and a group of male dancers in their 70s, all of them Irish, offered their congratulations. 

“They said, ‘We never thought it would happen, but we’re thrilled that it did,’ ” said Drew’s mother, Andee Goldberg. She added, “They don’t even know he’s Jewish. That hasn’t been broached. I think it would be too overwhelming.” 

On a recent Wednesday, Drew, dressed in an orange polo shirt and jeans, was eating grapes and holding a tiny, shaking dog named Belle while his mother talked about his accomplishments. Ribbons and trophies adorned his sea green bedroom, the rewards of dozens of competitions since he started dancing at the age of 6. 

Neither mother nor son can remember a time Drew wasn’t dancing, or the reason that he started. Drew thought it might have had to do with his mother getting tired of Disney movies and playing Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly videos for him. She also took him to musicals and theater performances. 

But when he went to a friend’s Irish dance competition in Indianapolis, and saw the girls and boys leaping and skipping, dancing that was part tap, part ballet set to very happy music, he was hooked. 

“I was like, ‘Yeah, right,’ ” his mother said, shaking her head. “You’re biracial and you’re a Jew. We thought you had to be Irish and Catholic.” 

He said, “I was like, ‘I want a medal.’ ” 

Drew's something of a local legend around here in Southwest Ohio.  He performs with the world-class McGing Irish Dancers here in Cincy and his third All-Ireland championship is finally getting him noticed.  Good on him.  And yeah, I'm partial to stories about bi-racial kids kicking ass.  Go figure.

You'll be hearing his name more in the future, I'm betting.

Dear America:

"Who you calling stupid, Obama? I mean damn that Obama boy is stupid, stupid, stupid himself.  I mean you liberals thought Bush was stupid, but Obama is dumber than an empty septic tank.  He may be the dumbest President we've ever had.  Rutherford B. Hayes never said ''It's a great invention, but who would ever want to use one' about the telephone! This proves my central point of how stupid and dumb and stupid Obama is.  What do you say to that, libtards?"

--Mark Steyn, National Review

Bonus Verbatim Stupid:

So let's see. The president sneers at the ignorance of 15th century Spaniards when, in fact, he is the one entirely ignorant of them. A man who has enjoyed a million dollars of elite education yet has never created a dime of wealth in his life sneers at a crippled farm boy with an eighth-grade schooling who establishes a successful business and introduces electrical distribution across Michigan all the way up to Sault Ste Marie. A man sneers at one of the pioneering women in broadcasting, a lady who brought the voices of T.S. Eliot, G.K. Chesterton and others into the farthest-flung classrooms and would surely have rejected Obama's own dismal speech as being too obviously reliant on "Half-A-Dozen Surefire Cheap Cracks For Lazy Public Speakers." A man whose own budget officials predict the collapse of the entire U.S. economy by 2027 sneers at a solvent predecessor for being insufficiently "forward-looking."

A great nation needs successful self-made businessmen like George Peck, and purveyors of scholarly excellence like Mary Somerville. It's not clear why it needs a smug over-credentialed President Solyndra to recycle "Crowd-Pleasing For Dummies" as a keynote address.

They all laughed at Christopher Columbus, they all laughed at Edison... How does that song continue? "They laughed at me..."

At Prince George's Community College they didn't. But history will, and they will laugh at us for ever taking him seriously.

Yes, history will surely destroy the mentally deficient Obama for that Hayes quote.  Meanwhile, wake me up when the President does does something worse than attributing a quote wrongly to Rutherford B. Hayes and instead says stupid garbage like this.

Then get back to me, Steyn, on whom history will judge more harshly.

A Special Kind Of Stupid

Check out this video, where a man jumped through the window of a Burger King, bumps the cashier aside and tries to make off with the register money.

Me, I particularly like the way they drag him down, slam the window shut and drag him out of camera view. You can hear the "Aaaaahhhhhhh" fade out as they drag him out of sight.

The original video was taken down, so here is the raw footage via YouTube:


Very Well, AT&T

You have made me take time out of my busy day to tell you the obvious.  It seems, though you are a mighty corporation who has surely has brilliant people on staff, that you are incapable of understanding the most basic customer service principle ever:

Stop being bullying assholes.  It is not doing you any favors.

NEW YORK (AP) -- AT&T is offering to discuss a settlement to an iPhone user who won a small-claims case that alleged the company was slowing down his "unlimited" data service.

In a letter dated Friday, a law firm retained by AT&T Inc. is threatening to shut off Matthew Spaccarelli's phone service if he doesn't sit down to talk.

The phone company doesn't say if the settlement would involve money beyond the $850 award the Simi Valley, Calif., resident won from the company in small claims court on Feb. 24.

In its letter, AT&T asked Spaccarelli to be quiet about the settlement talks, including the fact that it offered to start them, another common stipulation. Spaccarelli said he was not interested in settling, and forwarded the letter to The Associated Press.

Whether AT&T is right or not, they have handled this about as ass backwards as possible.  A flaw has been exposed, and without apology or any demonstration of giving a damn, they made it worse.  Trying to shut the guy up and threaten to cancel his service based on whether he did what they wanted only makes them look nastier.

They have done what I now call "pulling a Komen" where they issue a bland, corporately scrubbed and non-incriminating apology and don't even try to learn the lesson.

The Kroog Versus Drill Baby Drill (Again)

Krugthulhu rises from the Keynesian depths to devour the soul of Drill Baby Drill.

The irony here is that these claims come just as events are confirming what everyone who did the math already knew, namely, that U.S. energy policy has very little effect either on oil prices or on overall U.S. employment. For the truth is that we’re already having a hydrocarbon boom, with U.S. oil and gas production rising and U.S. fuel imports dropping. If there were any truth to drill-here-drill-now, this boom should have yielded substantially lower gasoline prices and lots of new jobs. Predictably, however, it has done neither.
Why the hydrocarbon boom? It’s all about the fracking. The combination of horizontal drilling with hydraulic fracturing of shale and other low-permeability rocks has opened up large reserves of oil and natural gas to production. As a result, U.S. oil production has risen significantly over the past three years, reversing a decline over decades, while natural gas production has exploded.
Given this expansion, it’s hard to claim that excessive regulation has crippled energy production. Indeed, reporting in The Times makes it clear that U.S. policy has been seriously negligent — that the environmental costs of fracking have been underplayed and ignored. But, in a way, that’s the point. The reality is that far from being hobbled by eco-freaks, the energy industry has been given a largely free hand to expand domestic oil and gas production, never mind the environment.
Strange to say, however, while natural gas prices have dropped, rising oil production and a sharp fall in import dependence haven’t stopped gasoline prices from rising toward $4 a gallon. Nor has the oil and gas boom given a noticeable boost to an economic recovery that, despite better news lately, has been very disappointing on the jobs front.
As I said, this was totally predictable.

Imagine that.  We're producing more oil and gas under President Obama.  We're drilling, baby, drilling...and fracking for that matter.  But gasoline prices are nearing the $4 mark in friggin' March.  Once again the evidence is abundantly clear that gas prices don't seem to have anything to do with supply and demand, at least as far as supply is up and demand is down, prices are skyrocketing.

Sabre rattling with Iran, commodities speculation, refinery issues, and good ol' corporate greed on the other hand...

Wages Of Failure

Easiest way to stump a GOP candidate running for office?  Ask them what the federal minimum wage is.

Three Missouri Republicans running to take on Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) in November were asked during a radio debate on KMOX what the federal minimum wage is and whether they would vote to increase it. None of the three knew what the minimum wage it, but all knew that they would vote against increasing it, regardless.

Host Charlie Brennan asked the three candidates — businessman John Brunner, former State Treasurer Sarah Steelman, and Rep. Todd Akin — “What is the federal minimum wage? Would you vote to increase it?” Here are their responses to the first question:
BRENNAN: Okay, do you know what the minimum wage is?
BRUNNER: No sir.
BRENNAN: How about you Sarah Steelman?
STEELMAN: Uh…$7.50 an hour.
BRENNAN: Do you know what the minimum wage is?

AKIN: My guess is its somewhere in the 6 or 7, but I don’t know the exact number right now.

But hey, all three of them are against raising it, whatever it is.  Clearly $15k a year is just too much money to compete with Chinese sweatshops.  Especially when all three GOP candidates are filthy rich.

Perhaps explaining their ignorance of the current minimum wage is the fact that none of the three candidates personally live anywhere near it. Akin owns two homes and receives an annual congressional salary of $174,000. Steelman has donated upwards of $400,000 to her own Senate campaign. Brunner tops them all, sporting a net worth of approximately $100 million.

Minimum wages?  Those only affect business owners, the only class in America worth giving a damn about if you're a Republican.  But remember, Claire McCaskill is the elitist.

StupidiNews, Weekend Edition!

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