Yesterday the hits just kept coming:
"Real Man of Genius" #3: Sen. Dick Durbin.
Remember those debit card transaction regulations that Dick Durbin and friends made a part of the so-called Financial Reform a couple of years ago? The first round of unintended consequences were stalled by some compromise measures put in place by the Fed. However, a federal judge has recently ruled that the compromise violates the plain wording of the law and not only must fees be drastically reduced even further, the banks must pony up for expensive programming changes to the system overall. You can read all about it here.
Either the judge will be overruled on appeal, Congress legislatively fixes what Durbin completely fucked up, or debit card users will be hit with additional fees from every bank that issues them. Forget about competition, no bank is going to provide debit cards solely at the transaction rates the court has ordered, and apparently the law demands. It's just a matter of the other fees they'll charge.
"Real Man of Genius" #2: Tom Friedman.
It astonishes me the many ways that our pundit class contorts themselves to avoid or ignore the primary impediment to peace between Israel and the Palestinians. That is, the Israelis want a peace agreement, the Palestinians want Israel destroyed. Until the latter changes, fostering negotiations about settlements or anything else is not "Daring to Fail" on the part of John Kerry and the US State Department, it's completely pointless and stupid.
If the Palestinians really want to immediately freeze Israeli settlements on the West Bank and immediately bring enormous international pressure on Israel to remove the most objectionable, all they have to do is concede Israel's right to exist. Not as far as any particular border arrangement or anything, just the simple right to exist.
They won't. They can't, because their hatred of Jews and Israel is greater than their love for their children and their future. The rest is all just pointless theatre.
One special bit of assholery from Friedman at that link is this bit:
Let’s start with a small item in Britain’s Independent newspaper on July 24, which began: “He once sang, ‘You Gotta Get Outta This Place,’ but now Eric Burdon is not even turning up at all having deciding to withdraw from a planned concert in Israel. ... The Animals frontman, whose hits include ‘House of the Rising Sun,’ and ‘San Franciscan Nights,’ had been due to perform alongside local Israeli bands in Binyamina. ... However, in a statement, Mr. Burdon’s management, said: ‘We’ve been receiving mounting pressure, including numerous threatening e-mails, daily. ...’” Burdon was just the latest of a rising number of artists and intellectuals who have started boycotting Israel over the occupation issue.
When I read that this morning, that last line ended with quote marks, attributing it to The Independent article. It has since been corrected to show that those were Friedman's words instead.
Giving Friedman the benefit of the doubt that it was simply a misplaced quote mark initially, what kind of a mental midget would take threats and intimidation, enough to make the artist's managers want to cancel out of fear for his life, as a sign that he's joined some boycott? Instead of covering for them, Friedman should have come down on the side of decency and condemned the thugs.
For the record and to his credit, Burdon went to Israel anyway and rocked the house. Meanwhile, Tom Friedman is still rocking the outhouse that The New York Times has become.
Real Man of Genius #1: Barack Obama.
Can you imagine the endless airtime and ink this would have received had George W. Bush said it when he was the POTUS?
"If we don't deepen our ports all along the Gulf — places like Charleston, South Carolina, or Savannah, Georgia, or Jacksonville, Florida — if we don't do that, those ships are going to go someplace else."
Curious how so many in the media who love to play "gotcha" with Republicans are silent now.
Even dumber is Obama's fixation about "supertankers." With Leno he said "The Panama Canal is being widened so that these big supertankers can come in." He also mentioned supertankers two weeks ago in Jacksonville. The thing is, the American ports Obama mentioned need to be deepened because bigger container ships will now be able to transit the Panama Canal. The East Coast ports in question are all being deepened to 50' or so, still allowing far less draft than tankers in the coastal class or smaller.
But hey, crude oil or TV sets, what difference – at this point, what difference does it make?