Welcome to the most intense nightly read anywhere on the ‘sphere…The BitsBlog Nightly Ramble
This is the “Happy Hump Day” Edition” The picture to your right is a railroad hump. It’s how cars are sorted in many rail yards around the country. You push the rail cars up the hill, and disconnect them and let them coast down the other side in a controlled manner into their spots in the yard below. This pic was apparently taken sometime in the 80’s, at Conrail’s old Frontier yard, at Buffalo.(You can drill it twice to get the full shot, if you like) You’re standing on Harlem Road, in Buffalo, on a bridge over the yard’s east end, looking west. That’s Broadway, to your left. Yes, the same Broadway that the Goo-Goo Dolls sang about. Those trees are all gone, today. That’s the hump job front and center and extending to the north west(right of the shot). CSX took over operations at Frontier years ago, now, so it’s rare indeed you’ll see Conrail blue here, anymore. And starting just recently, you won’t see humping going on here anymore, either, since CSX has elected to close up major operations, here, after running a major yard here for most of 100 years. Somehow, “Broadway’s Dark Tonight” seems an appropriate tune. Anyway, I thought I’d name today’s Ramble to mark the occasion. What were you thinking I was talking about?
- Speaking of railroads: I haven’t spoken here much of the Red Line crash down in DC. I did get into it at Joyner’s place, though . Ah, the wonders of government mass transit.
- Don’t cry for me, Argentina: OK, I’ve just been watching the Sanford presser while putting the framework of tonight’s Ramble together. I must say, I’m impressed by his sincerity. Give the man credit, he did the right thing.
- Why now? A number of bloggers have commented on the number of Republicans caught in one kind of sex scandal or another in the last several months, all of them having presidential asperations. Someone inclined to have extra marital affairs, is not going to do so because it’s suddenly the fashion among your political group inside the last six months. Yet, since January, we have the sudden surge of activity since January. So, what’s going on? Hmmmm.
- Krugman and the housing Bubble is one point I mentioned on the 17th of this month … last Wednesday. Today, Reason follows up on that topic.  Well, last night, actually. Anyway:
And what about his strawman protests that he didn’t cause the housing bubble, much less the Enron scandal or Kennedy’s assassination? The man is willfully missing the point. What is damning about these quotes is not that he necessarily caused anything. What is devastating about them is that they expose the intellectual bankruptcy of his economic principles. Those who look up to him like the second coming of Adam Smith should realize that the neo-Keynesian principles that lead him to advocate aggressive interest-rate cuts and mammoth public spending now, are the very same principles that led him to advocate inducing a housing bubble then
And to the tech bubble before that, frankly. This has been exactly my complaint about the man for years, now. Meanwhile, Krugman and his Amen Chorus go gleefully on.
- The presser: Yeah, I saw what they’re calling a press conference, yesterday. I noticed for example, the obviously stacked deck with the Huff and Puff. But I also noticed something else… the press is apparently tiring of carrying Obama’s water for him. Someone at The Politico and later this morning at Fox, noticed that there were a number of words and references completely missing from the presser. Words like “Korea,” “Pakistan,” “soldiers,” “surge” “war”. Boortz adds that nobody used the words Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine, either. The chances of such a lack not having been planned,particularly for a White House that choreographs every bathroom visit, much less anything more public in nature, seems vanishingly small.
- Government healthcare on the rocks, please: Of course, one of the big things the presser was about was Obamacare, which is going down like GM stock. Obama, of course is trying to sell us on the idea that he’s not about removing private companies from the healthcare insurance field. From yesterday’s dog and pony show at the White House:
Q: Wouldn’t that drive private insurance out of business?OBAMA: Why would it drive private insurance out of business? If â€” if private â€” if private insurers say that the marketplace provides the best quality health care, if they tell us that they’re offering a good deal, then why is it that the government, which they say can’t run anything, suddenly is going to drive them out of business? That’s not logical.
Well, it is when you consider that government has the force of law behind it, and is already regulating the bejezus out of the healthcare industry. If there were real competition, private companies would out perform the government every time. But are we really talking about free market competition when one side of that competition has the force of law over the other? Of course, Obama’s NEVER going to dare mention that. Nor are the Democrats in Congress. Well, most of them won’t. Some of them are balking at passing this monster, however. I noticed Harry Reid making a statement yesterday about how the Republicans have become the party of ‘no’. Well, while I’d like to think Republicans had that much courage. I don’t. The bottom line is that it’s the Democrats that have a near supermajority in both houses of Congress and have the White House… and can do any damn thing they want. The real problem for them isn’t the Republicans. Rather, their problem in getting this monster passed is the number of Democrats who won’t vote for the Bill. In short, Dingy Harry’s blame shifting doesn’t stand up to even the slightest scrutiny. The fact is the American people rejected this nonsense when Hillary Clinton pushed it. They know it’s a turkey this time, too,a nd at least some Democrtas are actually daring to listen to their districts.
- Well, thank God for small favors: Word is John McCain won’t run in 2012. 
- Can we have yet another IG scandal? Moe Lane says “Yes, we can!” 
- Wow… Reality! What a concept! Jen Rubin notes what I’ve been predicting all along… Obama Rhetoric would end up giving way to Universal reality eventually, and the results are not pretty.
Reality is catching up to the president. He has lived in a world of media adulation and campaign spin ever since he announced his run for the White House. He has not had to face hard decisions and, instead, had the luxury of dismissing them as “false choices.” But now, both on foreign and domestic policy, the real world has intruded and it is not at all clear how â€” or if â€” the president will respond.
Well, I’ll take the unusual step of disagreeing, slightly, with Jennifer. What he’s going to offer is quite predictable. He’s going to offer government. In other words, he’s going to offer exactly the wrong solution. All of this is going exactly as predicted here and at Pajamas Media, last January . (Has it really only been 6 months, now? It seems much longer.)
- White House tries to take credit for the yearning for freedom in Iran: I ran into this BS argument at Joyner’s last week from one of the usual suspects. It hardly matters which one, they tend to be interchangeable. The claim is that the spark for the current rebellion in Iran was Obama’s Cairo speech. Are we really to believe that people in Iran is so isolated from the goings on in Iraq and Afghanistan? Are we really to believe that the people in Iran have not seen what’s been going on in those other two countries? Are we really to believe that their government’s attempts at isolating them from the remainder of the world has been so effective that they don’t understand that Hamas just got through being booted out of Lebanon?
I’m going to suggest to you that all of this started with the actions of Mr. Bush in Iraq and Afghanistan. Obama is trying to claim it was his overtures in Cairo because he’s got nothing else to prevent Bush from getting the credit here… and if there’s one thing his mantra cannot withstand, It’s George W Bush looking good… Obama’s implementing Bush policy in the region not withstanding. The freedom genie is out of the bottle now, and will not go back in willingly. And yet we have Mr. Obama essentially holding his silence, when the situation calls for a response backing the people of Iran against the thugs running the government there, and then trying to credit himself for that same rioting? It wouldn’t take a great deal of additional cynicism about Democrats in general and Obama in particular on my part to come to the conclusion that the reason that we’re going to see an entire generation of Iranian revolutionaries washed away by Islamist thugs with nary a word from the White House, because the Democrats still can’t get over their Bush derangement syndrome. After all, what would the legacy of Bush be particularly as regards foreign policy, if it increased degree of freedom takes hold in Iran Iraq and Afghanistan due to his efforts? and before anyone starts up, I’ll remind you that I’ve been downright brutal on George Bush occasionally, as the situation warranted it. As I have been saying since 2000, however, his actions in Iraq are not among those situations. It has been the transformational action he advertised. What we see now is Obama trying to get in front of the lynch mob claiming it’s a parade he’s leading. How Clintonesque of him.Now, I’ll grant he turned up the noise a little at yesterday’s presser… but frankly, it’s too little too late, and too timid. Apparently the only place Obama manages courage is in spending other people’s money. Past that….