February was a very cold month. By the end of it Venezuela's president Mr. Hugo Chávez had won an anti-term limits referendum, which he claimed as a victory "for socialism and revolution." President Barack Obama had his victories also: a $787 billion stimulus bill pass, a $75 billion homeowner bailout bill, and a $3.9 trillion 2010 budget that he presented to Congress, concluding puckishly on February 24 that "I am not" for big government. By month's end the Dow Jones Industrial Average had dropped 25 percent in the new year, the steepest fall for any incoming president in American history. Notwithstanding the Prophet Obama's disavowal of big government, his budget will metastasize from the historic average of around 20 percent of GDP to 27.7 percent of GDP, an unprecedented peacetime tumor.
The Continuing Crisis
January witnessed the inauguration of the 44th president of the United States, and the first of African-American origins, though Miss Toni Morrison claimed President Bill Clinton was America's "First Black President" and in the 1920s there were rumors about President Warren Harding that were not meant as compliments. President Barack H. Obama’s African-American roots are, and on a frigid day in Washington he intoned a somber speech on the steps of the Capitol, fully cognizant of the economic gloom facing the country but apparently utterly unaware that Global Warming is passé. Mr. Obama offered change and hope, and a new tone in Washington -- though the weekend before he spoke, as many as 100 private jets had landed at Dulles International, closing the runway but assuring that Washington’s new tone would be very tony indeed. By the end of the inaugural revels twice as many private jets had flown into the capital as had flown in for President George W. Bush's 2004 ceremonies -- new tone, indeed.
December, viewed from beginning to end and with the advantage of hindsight, demonstrates incontrovertibly that President-elect Barack H. Obama is indeed a hind. On the other hand, by the end of December he was at least vindicated in the claim repeated so stentorianly on the campaign trail that Washington’s political system is “broken.” By then, as most of his appointments had been named, leaked, or under threat of indictment, it became clear that the Washington system was, for a certitude, broken. How else does one explain a system that, having rejected the candidacy of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton in the Democratic primaries, nonetheless finds itself saddled by year’s end with a third Clinton administration?
OCTOBER GAVE WAY TO NOVEMBER and the presidential polls were right! So was Mr. John Radima, the West Kenyan witchdoctor who on November 1 scattered the prescribed number of bones, shells, and stones at his shoeless feet and pronounced Senator Barack H. Obama the likely winner of the 2008 presidential race in faraway America. Senator Obama’s election three days later was almost anticlimactic, at least in West Kenya and certainly in the newsrooms of America’s mainstream moron media. In Kogelo, Kenya, home of Senator Obama’s father, the victory set off a vast slaughter of bulls, chickens, and goats. Said Mr. Abongo Malik Obama, the president-elect’s oldest half-brother, “We are Africans, so our plan is to slaughter a bull….” In Hollywood and Manhattan, the celebrations were more restrained, though MSNBC’s Mr. Chris Matthews presumably spent the immediate post-election hours under the thumbs, fingers, and feet of his chiropractor in hopes of ameliorating Mr. Matthews’s famously tingling leg. On The Charlie Rose Show, the mesmerized likes of Messrs.
September proved to be a month of frightful economic turbulence, rudely distracting the electorate from the delightful amusement provided by Senator Joseph Biden and the Prophet Obama. Early in the month Senator John McCain appeared to be pulling ahead of the Obama-Biden slapstick. The clever Republican presidential candidate plucked from the Alaskan countryside a lady governor who is both easy on the eyes and an NRA-certified huntress. Then the country’s year-long credit tightening suffered a veritable seizure! The Bush administration rushed forward with a $700 billion tax payer rescue, but many Americanos objected. In Ukraine, taxpayers were nonplussed in the city of Golaya Pristan, after city leaders marked the town’s 299th anniversary by unveiling a huge cement frog of indistinct national origin. It certainly did not look like a Ukrainian. “What on earth has a frog got to do with our town?” exclaimed Mrs. Natalia Slivka, a local sage who went on: “And why have they put up a massive statue using taxpayers’ money to mark the town’s 299th anniversary?” Well, the city leaders could have unveiled a cement ukulele or a pollywog.
August witnessed the Democratic National Convention transform itself from the usual extended session of group therapy to a religious awakening. And one other thing—those ritualistic liberals who at the end of the Cold War asseverated that Russia had been a paper tiger all along were again exposed as boobies. On August 8, Russia invaded Georgia with a massive military strike. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin insisted that the assault was in truth a peacekeeping measure to save scenic South Ossetia from the Georgian brutes, but students of geopolitics speculate that the action was really meant to pressure former Soviet Bloc countries to remain in the Russian orbit. How persuasive this Russian aggression will be remains uncertain. Already there are signs that recent Russian belligerence has triggered vigorous countermeasures from liberal-minded internationalists in the region. Throughout the Balkans, statues of American pop figures are being put up as “good luck charms against war,” according to Bloomberg News. In 2005 progressives in the Bosnian city of Mostar endeavored to ward off violence by erecting a bronze statue of the kung fu movie star Bruce Lee.