31 December 2008

2008: Strange Story Of The Year

Like every other year on this spinning sphere (or more accurately, "spinning oblate spheroid"), there was a lot of weird stuff that happened in 2008. There were the hunters who bagged Bigfoot, the pregnant dude, the man on mars and countless other freaky events. But of all the strange stories this year, which was the strangest? Now, my first fancy for Strange Story of the Year is to go easy street with the pregnant daddy, but since Thomas Beatie isn't really a man and has recently diminished the novelty by getting knocked up again, I just gotta turn elsewhere.

So, as a fan of "the sweet science" (though not as dedicated a fan as I once was) my vote for strangest story of 2008 goes to WBC Heavyweight Boxing Champion Vitali Klitschko and his treatment for post-fight swollen fists.

"Baby wee is good because it's pure, doesn't contain toxins and doesn't smell," Klitshcko said. "I wrap nappies filled with my 3 year-old son Max's wee around my fists. The nappies hold the liquid and the swelling stays down."

So he wraps urine drenched diapers around his hands on purpose to cure swollen fist. Seriously, he couldn't come up with a better remedy? No wonder his country was on the losing side of the cold war. Of course, I've always said that professional athletes are pampered.

So what is your choice for 2008 Strange Story of the Year?

30 December 2008

Fidal Castro: The Bloody Hero To . . . Who? (Or is that "whom"?)

Jimmy Carter, who has never met an anti-American dictator that he didn't tongue, praised the "generosity" of Fidel Castro's Cuba during a speech on Cuban television in which he also took time to commiserate with his Marxists chums about America's human rights violations and racist legal system. Michael Moore, who never met a roast beef sandwich that he didn't tongue, used is overtly obvious knowledge of good health to produce a film anointing Cuba a medical mecca, apparently unaware that aspirin and Pepto-Bismol are about as common as free speech and Asian cheerleaders on the Island.

Fidel Castro has become a bit of a hero to some on the left. To them he is the super cool killer with a heart of gold. He is the underdog who spreads a special tyranny within sight of Old Glory. And perhaps most endearing to some, he really hates America.

Well, in my book it's past time to remember who Fidel Castro really is. Let's move beyond twisted Spicolian PR support and examine the butcher's record. There's a reason America has sanctions against Cuba. And there's a reason those sanctions should be kept in place until the Castro brothers' reign of terror has finally been brought to an end (even if they do produce cigars that are worth lung disease).

Gary Baumgarten has posted an English translation of great piece that was originally published in El Nuevo Herald on December 19, 2008. It is worth the read.

Bloody Tally Of A 50-Year-Long Dictatorship

29 December 2008

Israel Delivers Gaza Strip Beatdown

After months of suffering rocket attacks in its southern towns, Israel delivered a powerful message to Hamas: If you want to attack us there will be a heavy price to pay.

Israel closed the areas around the Gaza Strip, declaring it a military zone, then launched the deadliest attacks the strip has seen in years.

Ehud Barak explained:

"We have stretched our hand in peace many times to the Palestinian people. We have nothing against the people of Gaza. But this is an all-out war against Hamas and its branches. The restraint that we have demonstrated is the source of our strength when it is time to fight."

For three days Israel's air force has pounded Hamas targets. Oy. And it ain't over yet. For the Jewish nation this isn't about Star of David bumper stickers, it's about survival . . . and they take that pretty seriously.

Naturally, the current White House came down on the right side of the issue with National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe's enunciation of the obvious:
"In order for the violence to stop, Hamas must stop firing rockets into Israel and agree to respect a sustainable and durable ceasefire."

Now, if you want a tight take on the story, head over to Great Satan's Girlfriend and check out what Courtney has to say: STRIP BLITZ.

28 December 2008

Another Vacation For Obama?

Do you remember how Michael Moore spouted complaints from his blow hole that Dubya was always on vacation during times of trouble? How about the media kidney cramps we had to endure every time Bush took a trip to his ranch? Why, if I didn't know any better I'd think the left actually hated vacations because they admire hard work, but that's about as likely as Rosie O'Donnell admiring an empty plate. No, the party of walking welfare and dependency simply wanted to take any opportunity to attack a Republican president.

As Academic Elephant observes:

I hate to go all Grinchy the day after Christmas, but can anyone tell me why is it okay for Barack Obama to spend Christmas during the worst economic downturn in decades in the course of which thousands of Americans face losing their homes in Hawaii in a 9 million dollar house body surfing and playing golf when it is not okay for the leader of the free world who has been presiding over two wars for several years to clear brush at the rather modest ranch he owns in Texas during hurricane season?

Good question. Since I doubt that the media is embarrassed by our current president's modesty, I suspect it has something to do with . . . oh . . . the "(R)".

H/T: Tigerhawk

27 December 2008

How Do We Kick Minnesota Out Of The Union?

I'm not saying that we have to do anything yet, but if they actually elect Al Franken to the U.S. Senate, something has to be done to keep these half wits from further damaging our country.

A few years ago they elected a boa wearing professional wrestler to run their state (a buffoon who actually believes that the U.S. was behind 9/11). Fine. I accept that everybody gets liquored up every once in a while before casting an important vote. So they picked a psycho Governor. But then they went and elected Senator Amy Klobuchar, who has the intellectual horse power of an idiot savant sans the savant.

Now they may just give us Senator Al Franken? Are you friggin' kidding me?

Something has to be done to stop these people. State impeachment, a lutefisk ban, Paul Bunyan is sent to fill those lakes back in . . . something has to be done. I can hardly believe that Franken could be competitive in a race, any race, much less win a U.S. Senate seat. If he does, there has to be something we saner states can do to protect ourselves from the land of a thousand flakes.

26 December 2008

Snooper Who Snipered Joe The Plumber Resigns

Oh, how the Democrats hated him. He became "everyman" to the country, which meant the left needed to treat him as they tend to treat every man by attempting to crush any apparent adherence to self-reliance. Lordy how they hate folk who don't need them.

Joe the Plumber became public enemy number 3 (even this brash baldy couldn't pass Dubya and American Values atop the liberal hit list). Joe Biden ridiculed him, the media investigated him and SNL attempted to become funny again through incongruous "Joe the Plumber is invisible" jokes. The left would stop at nothing to discredit the man who cleverly tricked Obama into revealing his distribution of wealth ideology . . . cleverly tricked him asking the chosen one a straight question for which he hadn't scripted an answer yet. So they would "stop at nothing," and that included the illegal procurement of Joe's records.

Ah, but no foul deed goes unpunished and the heat applied by bloggers and a very, (very) few in the main stream media did result in some fallout from the attacks. According to Michelle Malkin:

Lead Ohio government snooper Helen Jones-Kelley resigned from her job and two of her cohorts were canned as a result of their plundering through Joe the Plumber’s records.
So, we have the resignation. Dare we hope for incarceration?

Catwoman Dies

One of the iterations of the rogue/heroine Catwoman has passed away . . . the Batman legend tells us that she's one of nine (oh wait, my geek is showing).

Eartha Kitt died of Colon Cancer at age 81.

I knew her best as Julie Newmar's replacement as Catwoman on that old Batman TV series, but it should especially be noted during this holiday season that she was a talented singer who, in 1954, recorded the Christmas classic "Santa Baby."

Rest with God, Eartha

25 December 2008

Happy Christmas To All

Since many of you are not on Khaki's naughty list (and thus forced to receive snail mail from me containing an obligatory card, picture of my kids and whatever else might be found in the envelope) I've decided to post a portion of what I sent out to family and friends here.

Last year it was a Christmas letter.

This year it is a Christmas Poem.

So, Happy Holidays to all y'all out in the blogosphere

A Christmas Poem
From The Khaki Elephant

'T was the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, thanks to delouse
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care
Each with a name so we don't have to share

The children were nestled all snug in their beds
After teaspoons of Benadryl knocked them out dead
Mama in her kerchief and I in my cap
(Quite an embarrassing sight as we nap)

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter
I loaded my 12 gauge to settle the matter
Away to the window I lurched like Babe Ruth
Slipped on a Lego and busted a tooth

The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow
Lit up my unshoveled driveway down below
When what to my wondering eye should appear
But a toy laden sleigh (oh those poor, poor reindeer)

A swaying thick driver, red-nosed I could see
It was either St. Nick or Ted Kennedy
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came
I love the word "coursers" but he called them by name

"Now, Dasher! Now, Dancer! Now Prancer and Vixen!"
(Who named these Reindeer? Sarah Palin while blitzen'd?)
"To the top of the porch! To the top of the walls!
Be careful, we don't have insurance for falls."

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly
When FEMA then handles their business so sly
So up to the housetop the courser they flew
(I used the word "coursers" again just for you)

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
No doubt costly damage from each tiny hoof
As I drew in my head and was turning around
There stood Ol' Santa, for now safe and sound

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his boot,
(Either that was some fake fur or Santa can shoot!)
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And I wondered if batteries where too in that sack.

His eyes, how they twinkled! His dimples, how merry!
But his elves looked a little bit creepy and scary.
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And his beard was filled with brown cookies and snow.

The stump of his pipe he held tight in his teeth,
(Great example, dear Santa, got a cigarette wreath?)
He had a broad face and a little round belly
A sign he's been hitting the doughnuts with jelly

He was chubby and plump and jolly, no strife
So I set down my shotgun and gave him his life
He gave to know I had nothing to dread
"Til Obama is Prez and we're all seeing red.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And just for a moment I thought, "What a jerk."
But laying his finger aside of his nose
I knew it was "giving" not "taking" he chose

He sprang up to his sleigh, to his team gave a shout
And I felt I would miss him till next year no doubt
But he gave one last gift as he called taking flight
"Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night!"

24 December 2008

This Christmas, Give The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Smoke it one year and hack it up for the next 30. And now that there's another smoker heading for the White House . . . Happy Holidays!

Rick Warren Demonized . . . Huh?

Am I the only one who finds it astoundingly amusing (and by "astoundingly amusing" I mean "dangerously disturbing") that the left is attacking Rick Warren, who they perceive as a conservative cleric, because Obama chose him to spend a few minutes saying an inaugural prayer . . .

But those same liberals defended the 20 years Barack Obama spent under . . . 20 years of spiritual mentorship, marital support, influence and baptism of his children communing with . . . 20 years of hate mongering, racism, anti-American rhetoric through . . . 20 . . . 20 . . . 20 years with this guy?

14 December 2008

A Barack Obama Nativity Scene . . . Including Michelle?

Try to keep the yikity yak from coming back after this one.

An Italian store is selling international political figurines to add to your nativity scene. The top sellers? Barack and Michelle Obama.

Apparently the new Messiah may be the reason for the season after all.

H/T: Common Cents

13 December 2008

Congressman Joe Knollenberg Says Goodbye

For 16 years he served the state of Michigan with honor and honesty. Today Congressman Joe Knollenberg said goodbye to a gathering of supporters as he prepares for life after Washington.

Joe's voice of reason will be missed in the D.C. halls where his work for Michigan and the rest of the country have always been a welcome respite from typical Congressional cop outs.

Thanks for everything, Joe.

May the best in life come to you.

And as my farewell gift to you, please accept this majestic image of Kimba the White Lion leading his faithful followers as you led the way for us all those years (and we can just ignore the creepy fact that Kimba used to sleep on his dead father's skin . . . a detail that always gave me the willies, even as a kid).

12 December 2008

Senate Republican Tells Detroit, DROP DEAD

I'm a Republican. I struggle to be right handed, sleep in little elephant jammies, and say "Bully" when the mood strikes me. But right now I've just got to be honest and admit that I'd love to stick a tusk up Tennessee Republican Bob Corker's grandstanding ass. Corker (who's state benefits greatly from foreign auto manufacturing so has nothing parochially to gain from a successful GM) claimed that the UAW's failure to take pay cuts was the sole reason the bridge loan failed. He then . . . this guy who allowed billions of unfettered dollars to be doled to incompetent banks . . . said that America could not afford to give additional money to the auto companies without his bullet points of restriction.

Well first of all, Bob, the UAW did not fail to take pay cuts. In fact, they agreed to set up a process for wage regulation that included federal representation; they just didn't want the specifics determined before the process began. Beyond that, Bob, this is not a "bailout" but a bridge loan. Finally, Bob, the money is not a slop bucket of new funds for the industry, but providing liquidity for support from funds that were already intended for transportation technology.

I don't mind somebody standing up for the integrity of their beliefs even when I disagree with them. But I hate when somebody I usually agree with takes a stand by twisting the truth for integrity's appearance. I never fear the attacks of an opponent, but I do fear the ignorance of a friend.

Of course, I will give Corker this much, his daughter knows how to party.

Oh, and thanks to Paul W. Smith for the title idea.

11 December 2008

Cap Always Seems To Get It Right

UPDATE: Nick over at Right Michigan asked where the quote above comes from. It's actually not from a Captain America comic, but from Amazing Spider-Man #537, where Cap gives Spider-Man an explanation as to why he is standing against government regulation (really) of superheroes.

09 December 2008

SOLD! Illinois Senate Seat

I know how stunned we all were to learn that there was more government corruption in Illinois . . . which is to say, it was about as stunning as when George Michael was jerked out of the closet. They've got Tony Rezko, Christopher G. Kelly, a long and storied tradition of Democratic Lazarus voters, why this state makes "earn $1,000 a day from home" scams seem legit.

Now we find Governor Rod Blagojevich, who should have been locked up years ago for that cheesy smile, under arrest for trying to sell the Senate spot vacated by Barack Obama. Perhaps he thought fair is fair since Obama recently bought the White House.

According to Fox News:

U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald on Tuesday accused Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich of participating in a "political corruption crime spree" that was a blatant effort to sell the state's U.S. Senate seat in the latest "pay-to-play" scheme in Illinois politics.

"He has been arrested in the middle of what we can only describe as a political corruption crime spree," Fitzgerald said in a news conference to announce the charges against the governor and his chief of staff. "This is a sad day for government. It's a very sad day for Illinois government. Governor Blagojevich has taken us to a truly new low."
Usually Senators are the ones being bought, but never let it be said that an Illinois politician can't think outside of the box. So how much does a Senate seat go for these days?

The 76-page FBI affidavit alleges that Blagojevich was taped conspiring to sell or trade Obama's vacated U.S. Senate seat for financial and other personal benefits for himself and his wife, including an annual salary of $250,000-$300,000 at a nonprofit foundation or an organization affiliated with labor unions.
Ol' Abe Lincoln would be spinning in his grave, if he wasn't actually from Kentucky.

08 December 2008

Sarah Palin Snubs Oprah

Of course, as reported by CNN the Palin camp is denying that it is a "snub." According to Sarah Palin's communications director and press secretary, Bill McAllister, “The governor was invited to appear [on the Oprah Winfrey Show]. She was also invited to appear on Letterman, Leno, Stephanopoulos, The Daily Show. She passed on a vast majority of these requests." So it was nothing personal. Right?

Oprah response:

"I said I would be happy to talk to Sarah Palin when the election was over…" she said in an interview with the entertainment show Extra. "I went and tried to talk to Sarah Palin and instead she talked to Greta[Van Susteren]. She talked to Matt [Lauer]. She talked to Larry [King]. But she didn't talk to me.”

Sounds like the queen of daytime self-indulgence is a little bit snitty. Perhaps she thinks that Sarah Palin is ignoring her show because she refused to have Palin as a guest during the election cycle while supporting Barack Obama. Hmmmm. But why should one of the most popular women in America, a governor and newly found voice within the Republican party, decide to go on a show that has had declining ratings and a host who has become less popular all year . . . the same year that the host decided to raise oodles of cash for her presidential candidate? Hmmmm.

And why should we bother to watch a show where the host leverages her celebrity for political gain while wallowing in self-love?

Stick to your guns, Sarah! Um, I mean that figuratively in this case. You need Oprah like OJ Simpson needs another trial.

Pastor Beaten While Decorating The Church

A couple of thugs jumped Pastor Dennis Warman at his parish, the Church of the Valley in Highland, out in California (where reality often intersects unreality) and beat him nearly to death for . . . his wallet? ABC covered the story.

Looks like two more tickets punched for the hell express.

Gitmo Got Mo' Before Obama Shuts It Down

Looks like the cruel treatment that has Obama chewing on a plan to close the Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp has gotten a few more terrorists to spill their lentils, according to CNN.

Five detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, say they want to confess to conspiracy charges for planning the September 11, 2001, attacks, a Pentagon spokeswoman said Monday.

Oh, tell me more . . .

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed -- the confessed architect of the attacks, who was captured two years later in Pakistan -- and four other alleged co-conspirators asked a military judge if they could withdraw all pending motions and plead guilty, Maj. Gail Crawford said in an e-mail.

The defendants announced their decision in front of relatives of victims in the al Qaeda-orchestrated attacks, said Jennifer Daskal, senior counterterrorism counsel for Human Rights Watch. She attended Monday's hearing.

Quick, we'd better close that place down before more freedom hating terrorist confess too much about how and why they do what they do. We wouldn't want that kind of unfair advantage in the war against terror now would we?

07 December 2008

Been Slackin'

Never, I mean never crack a nut with your teeth if you don't have dental insurance. The initial pain isn't anything compared to the wallet wilt later. Ouch!

Anyway, been a rough couple of weeks to blog what with a cracked tooth, heavy workload, falling snow and preppin' to celebrate the birth of baby Jesus.

But I'm back at ya.

Bailouts: Why The Auto Industry Is Different

Sure, I'm hesitant to bite the hand that feeds me . . . and feeds my kids . . . and also pays for my Dr. Pepper habit, occasional cigars and Internet access, but there are legitimate reasons why even a fiscal "keep the government out of our business" conservative like me supports the idea of a government loan to the auto industry.

I was against the banking bailout since it did little more than feed a habitual harlot and her corrupt congressional pimps. And I'm also against an open door bailout policy where billionaire panhandlers show up in Washington looking for a tax-burdening handouts.

But the auto industry is different.

First of all, we are talking about millions of jobs. The latest estimates are between 1 - 5 million could be lost, depending on what happens to automotive suppliers who depend on the Big 3 for their livelihood (including hundreds of small businesses). When both sides of the aisle are talking about stimulus packages in hopes to produce a million or so new jobs, it would be self-destructive luncacy to allow the failure of job sustaining machines that already exist.

Secondly, though the Big Three have made their share of mistakes, much of their failure was outside of their control . . . and most of the blame can be laid at our government's feet. For example, government imposed CAFE standards consistently mandate fuel standards without regard to current technologies, forcing the Big 3 to invest and retool when there is no money to do so. In addition, unfair trade practices allow import vehicles to saturate the American market without reciprocal open policies for shipping U.S. cars to their countries. And the icing: labor costs are much higher for the Big 3 than most of their competitors. It's tough to compete when your own side ties your feet together.

Third -- I'm on point three, right? OK, thirdly, the congress has refused to "drill, baby, drill" which has put the American auto industry in the hands of foreign oil producers and their distribution whims. Yes, we all agree that alternative fuel sources are needed, but we're not there yet and we won't be for a few years. Without a solid energy policy the American auto industry and its future (regardless of fuel source) is in the hands of foreign oil-producing governments, many of whom would love to see America in economic chaos.

Fourth . . .ly, the automotive industry has long been a cog in our national defense. In times of war the auto plants have shifted production to develop military transportation and technology as needed. Jeep and Hummer have had your back.

Five golden rings.

Finally (and number 6), if we are to find alternative fuels in the near future we will need the technologies of a strong automotive industry to do so. The auto industry is a launching pad for innovation and a proving ground for ideas.

I agree that any loan from the government needs to come with a plan from the manufacturers; a plan that proves the money will not just be a short-term bandage for a gaping wound. But in light of the importance of this industry to our country's future, a plan deserves support.

01 December 2008

Meanwhile, In The Wayne County Jail

Kwame Kilpatrick sits.

While I spent another Sunday trying to wrap my arms around watching Brett Farve toss the ball to Jets players on purpose, the former mayor of Detroit was sitting in his cell in the Wayne County jail, probably having the same thoughts about Farve.

What a waste. Not Brett Farve going to the big apple (that seems to have worked out for him), but Kilpatrick's fall from promise to prison. When he first took office many of us were filled with optimism, thinking this bright, charismatic leader would bring Detroit into a new era where the city and the suburbs worked together to give America another bustling metropolis along the lines of Chicago. But instead Kilpatrick turned out to be just another power-hungry politician who would use race, position, friends and even a skank skulking pager to grab and maintain power. What a terrific waste.
The former mayor is now serving 120 days behind bars and now it appears that one of his partners in crime, Christine Beatty, is about to strike a plea of her own (one that does include the phrase "yes, I want you too"). According to the Detroit News, Beatty is considering a guilty plea to reduce potential jail time and help all of us to take another step away from this embarrassing episode in the history of a proud city.
Please, Christine, take whatever they offer. Trust me, you are not only one who wants to put this whole sordid affair behind you.