Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Morning Blog

What a mess:

Western leaders acknowledged, though, that there was no endgame beyond the immediate United Nations authorization to protect Libyan civilians, and it was uncertain that even military strikes would force Colonel Qaddafi from power.

In case you're curious, the 112 cruise missiles we fired yesterday work out to a mere $63,728,000. That does not include any of the costs involved in running the warships from which they were fired. That's just the cash we threw away on exploding things.

Oh my. Just to be a jerk, Qaddafi inadvertently threw out some red meat for the Birthers:

Colonel Qaddafi addressed Mr. Obama as “my son” in a letter that was jarring for its familiarity. “I have said to you before that even if Libya and the United States enter into war, God forbid, you will always remain my son, and I have all the love for you as a son, and I do not want your image to change with me,” he wrote. “We are confronting Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, nothing more. What would you do if you found them controlling American cities with the power of weapons? Tell me how would you behave, so that I could follow your example?”

Sigh. Conspiracy theorists, begin drooling now.

By the way, the Arab League wants to be clear that they stand with us until they don't.

Odyssey Dawn. Sadly, not a porn star.

Taking war personally. As the piece notes, we may very well be looking at an extended grind. With that in mind, let's recall that Obama has promised that our involvement will be "days not weeks". The timer started yesterday.

As you're probably aware, Obama is in Brazil with the family. On a practical level, I don't think it really makes that much of a difference where the President is. He is after all, most assuredly available by cell phone. That said, does it look good for him to be in Rio during the launch of his first war? I'd say 'no'. However, he did have this timely message concerning Brazil's deepwater oil reserves:

“At a time when we’ve been reminded how easily instability in other parts of the world can affect the price of oil,” Mr. Obama said, “the United States could not be happier with the potential for a new, stable source of energy.”

Ya think?

But hey: good news! And great news!

And Haiti keeps it interesting. These sort of things never happen when George Clooney is around!

Goddamn palefaces!

Kacee Bait: A new book looks to the Beatles as business gurus. I think I'll skip it. I am however, looking forward to Slayer releasing a gardening guide.

More Kacee Bait: More reading material. Sounds like Tiger Beat for the felonious set.

In useless gadgetry news, the good people at Hewlett-Packard are hard at work creating wristwatches that are connected to the internet, finally filling demands for functions that are quite capably handled by cell phones nowadays. I wait with baited breath for their typewriter that can IM.

Damn. Oh well. It's another excuse for me to not care about basketball at all.

Sorry Israel.

Theresa Bait: Sooner or later, you're going to be done watching "The Tudors". Here's a replacement. Sort of mind-boggling to me actually: Turkey seems to have regulations against exposing "the privacy of a historical person"? That's so strange to me. How do they handle biographies?

For quite some time, retailers have been complaining that there haven't been enough laws on the books to level the playing field and make it possible for them to compete with the big boys. Competing firms come in and offer low, low prices that force other companies out of business when they can't match them. Ironically, that's essentially the complaint Walmart is now making.

Unintended Consequences: There's been quite a bit of talk about the FDA banning menthol cigarettes. The stock price of the largest maker of menthol tobacco has soared.

Views from the booze-fueled endurance test that is SxSW.

And by God, while we're on the subject of SxSW, let's end things with some Emmylou Harris!

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