Thursday, March 21, 2013

Obama's 2013 Bracket

ESPN reports that Barack Obama has filled out his brackets for the NCAA tournament, picking Louisville to go all the way.

It's that time of year.

It's also that time of year when the President submits a budget request to Congress. And while he hasn't submitted it to Congress yet, Obama has devised a method to not only help focus his decisions, but also to organize the process in a way that is familiar to him. Here is where he has ended up:

Obama's 2013 Bracket

Clicking the image will take you to the Flickr page for the photo - clicking here will take you directly to the 1024x968 size of the image, probably best for viewing in detail.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

What The Sequester Hath Wrought

Sequester!

Obama warned us the dire consequences of the Sequester! would be, um, dire. And so far about all we have is White House tours being cancelled to show for it. And now that everyone is laughing at him and not with him for his Chicken Littleism (as opposed to his Barackadoodledoo of 2008), where do we find ourselves?

Using TreasuryDirect.gov, and their "Debt to the Dime" application let's take a look at the total U.S. Debt compared to previous years, and see what effect the Sequester! might have had on it this year.

Where did the total U.S. debt stand at the first week day of March (when the Sequester! took effect this year) compared to the sixth week day of March?

2009
March 2: $10,942,165,294,650.80
March 9: $10,952,663,030,603.40
Added to debt: $10,497,735,952.60
Debt increased 0.096%

2010
March 1: 12,507,536,462,861.oo
March 8: 12,546,372,001,879.70
Added to debt: $38,835,539,018.70
Debt increased 0.31%

2011
March 1: $14,172,957,589,856.60
March 8: $14,193,176,753,471.60
Added to debt: $20,219,163,615.00
Debt increased: 0.143%

2012
March 1: $15,501,014,716,143.70
March 8: $15,517,794,642,311.20
Added to debt: $16,779,926,167.50
Debt increased: 0.108%

So, there's a baseline. How does 2013 fare in comparison, now that we are under the scourge of the cut-spending-to-the-bone Sequester!?

2013
March 1: $16,640,135,316,625.30
March 8: $16,701,846,937,879.70
Added to debt: $61,711,621,254.40
Debt increased: 0.371%

Well that's some real belt-tightening, not to mention eye-popping, austerity right there.

Or something.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Wacko Birds

It certainly wasn't an original idea -- see this article at Reason -- but once McCain called Rand Paul and those who supported his filibuster "wacko birds," me doing this was inevitable:

Wacko Birds

But forget the photoshop. If I could just get a programmer to develop an app for Wacko Birds...........

Bottom Story of the Day: Look Out Below! Can a Blog Get James Taranto to Fall for a Stunt by Writing a Headline with a Question Nobody Is Asking, Like "Hey, Kids! What Time Is It?" and in Doing So Provide an Example of the Lonely Lives of Columnists? Now That Would Be News - You Can Use

On Wednesday, I was quoted in James Taranto's Best of the Web Today feature at the Wall Street Journal based on an old 2008 post. If you are not familiar with Taranto's work, the title of this post could be a little bit confusing.

In his lead topic, Taranto was discussing how impotent Obama has become as highlighted by his "I am not a dictator" quote earlier in the week. Taranto was tackling an article by Ryan Lizza at the New Yorker who was arguing it's not Obama's fault. Here's the quote:

Contrary to Lizza's account, Obama seemed to understand this before his election. In September 2008, as blogger Jeff Dobbs noted, CBS's Steve Kroft asked the junior U.S. senator from Illinois why he thought he would be a good president. Obama answered: "I'm a practical person. One of the things I'm good at is getting people in a room with a bunch of different ideas who sometimes violently disagree with each other and finding common ground and a sense of common direction."

Of course, read the whole thing. Taranto has long been one of my favorites, and his daily article is must reading. I used to fire stuff off to him all the time and get counted among the people credited at the end of the piece. But notably, this marks the second time my name has been used in the article itself, the last occuring in 2007 when I had a John Edwards joke that struck his fancy.

Interesting, that. In 2007, a John Edwards joke on my blog was picked up by the late Dean Barnett for my first ever mention at the Weekly Standard. Dean became a good friend and helped me in my blogging considerably. The interesting thing tying these events together is that the post Taranto quoted on Wednesday was also quoted in 2008 by Dean at the Weekly Standard, in a post he called The Post Partisan Easter Bunny. The email conversation around that post between Dean and me was the last we had before Dean passed away. That post was made on October 1, 2008. On October 2 Dean made his last post at the Weekly Standard before his death.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Obama The Friendly Host

Obama hosted several Senate Republicans this week for a very nice dinner. The dinner coincided with a 13 hour filibuster from Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, in which he was objecting to the nomination of John Brennan for director of CIA over the lack of an answer from Obama and his administration over the use of drones domestically.

Some of those in attendance at the dinner with Obama made their way to the Senate floor in support of Paul after the dinner was over. Others, notably John McCain of Arizona and Linsdey Graham of South Carolina did not. In fact, not only did they not support Paul's filibuster, they have been attacking him ever since.

Obama's twitter feed showed that he really enjoyed the dinner with the Republicans.

Obama tweets about his dinner with Senate Republicans

After the dinner, reports came out that Obama picked up the tab. But apparently the Sequester, which has already caused Obama and the administration to cancel tours of the White House, also affected Obama's ability to tip his servers.

Obama went to dinner with Senate Republicans