Saturday, April 22, 2006

Top Ten Cars

For automobile lovers Forbes has a Top Ten Best Designed Cars feature which begins here. One interesting aspect of the story is that number one on the list costs about $18,000, and number ten will set you back $600,000. You might have to take on a part-time job if you want one.

Highs and Lows

It's passing strange that Democrats still complain about a weak economy with unemployment so low and the Dow so high:

Blue chips gained Thursday, pushing the Dow industrials to their highest close since January 2000, amid solid earnings from GM and a retreat from record oil prices.

The Dow Jones industrial average (up 64.12 to 11,342.89, Charts) rose 0.6 percent, closing at its highest point since Jan. 20, 2000, when the blue-chip indicator finished at 11,351.30. It's also within sight of its all time high of 11,722.98, reached on Jan. 14, 2000.

Maybe the Dems are just hoping that nobody's paying attention. They might be right. The Dow is approaching its highest level ever while Bush's approval ratings are sinking to among the lowest ever. We have a booming economy under the aegis, according to Sean Wilentz at Rolling Stone, of the worst president ever. Go figure.

Republicans Are the Luckiest People

The Republican party doesn't deserve to be this lucky:

(Reuters) - Former Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry said on Thursday he was seriously thinking about another White House bid in 2008 and will decide before the year is out.

"I will make that decision toward the end of the year, but I'm thinking about it hard," Kerry said in response to a question at the Latin Economic Forum at the United Nations.

The Republicans have been incredibly fortunate in the last two presidential elections, largely because of the quality of the Democratic candidates who have been trotted out to oppose them. Another John Kerry candidacy would make it three in a row. They must be thinking that it really is too much to hope for.

On the other hand, aside from the politically skillful Bill Clinton, when in the last forty five years have the Democrats offered the nation a really good candidate for president?

Somebody Has to Do it.

Here's a great idea. If the feds are going to drag their heels on securing the borders, shame them into taking the problem seriously. This is a story worth following:

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -- If the government doesn't build security fencing along the Mexico border, Minuteman border watch leader Chris Simcox says he and his supporters will. Simcox, whose civilian watch group opposes illegal immigration, said Wednesday he was sending an ultimatum to President Bush to deploy military reserves to the Arizona border by May 25 or his supporters will break ground for their own building project.

"We're going to show the federal government how easy it is to build these security fences, how inexpensively they can be built when built by private people and free enterprise," Simcox said.

George Bush's approval ratings are down among Republicans to 66%. Pundits say its because of the war, but we doubt that. In our view it's because he's done nothing to curb spending and even less to secure our southern border. If he won't do it, Americans will do it for him. Unfortunately, the fence can only be built on private land, and a lot of the border is public land under government control. Even so, the Minutemen have the right idea, and maybe their example will have a salutary effect on the thinking of our congressmen and president. We'll see.

Free Speech

Wang Wenyi is being given a lesson about the 1st Amendment to the US Constitution and I suspect she's somewhat confused. Perhaps the America she heard about is not the America that exists today. It seems she has been charged with the misdemeanor of willfully intimidating, coercing, threatening and harassing a foreign official.

That's rich. Read the details here.

Meanwhile, we have this item that might help to explain Ms Wenyi's outspokenness.

Back in February I posted this Potpourri Rant that mentioned how in exchange for the opportunity to do business with China, CISCO was cooperating with the Chinese government to enable the Chinese to track dissidents through the Internet, some of whom are executed and their organs harvested for sale.

It looks like the Chinese (our favorite nation trade status partner) have decided to save on the cost of the bullet. Now it looks like they simply perform the surgery on living individuals and allow nature to takes its course.

Ya gotta hand it to those Chinese. There's a certain economic efficiency and elegance to it don't you think?