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Week in review

Washington, D.C. – Republican firefighters responded to a series of blazes that swept through the financial districts of the nation’s major cities this past week and continue to rage from coast to coast.

The cause of the fires is not known, but some Democratic analysts are suggesting that the fires may have started in the electrical systems of the buildings, which were stripped of insulation as a result of the Free Industry and Real Estate to Unleash Power (FIRE UP) Act of 2002.

Republican fire marshals dismissed the suggestion, accusing Democrats of “playing politics” with the fires, and called for bipartisan solutions to the crisis.  “If anything caused these fires, and we’re not convinced of that to begin with,” said House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH), “it was excessive regulation.  Red tape is notoriously combustible, and these buildings were shrouded in it.  Sarbanes-Oxley has a lot to answer for.”

Democratic electricians were surprised by Boehner’s remarks, pointing out that exposed wires carry electrical “current” and are widely considered a fire hazard.  “This isn’t rocket science,” said electrical analyst Paul Krugman.  “It’s really EE 101.  It’s very basic stuff.”

Speaking on CNBC’s “Kudlow & Company,” however, Nobel Prize nominee Ben Stein argued that “conductivity” was just a theory, and that more research was necessary before it would be possible to determine whether in fact electricity “flows” in such a way as to be associated with the outbreak of fires.  “Wires and fires are completely different things,” said Stein.  “The one thing we do know is that rubber is extremely dangerous.”

“We don’t need the Democrat party to tell us about impedance,” added Pete Sessions (R-TX), chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee.  “Impedance we understand perhaps a little bit more because of the Taliban.”

The Obama Administration has announced that it will offer a two-part response to the crisis, consisting of a “fire brigade” armed with high-pressure water hoses and a sweeping plan to re-insulate the buildings’ electrical systems.  Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), however, promised to filibuster any bill that consisted of “simply throwing water at the problem.” “This is not a firefighting plan,” McConnell charged, “it’s a water plan.” Noting that Obama’s re-insulation initiative would be costly and that its effects would not be felt for years, McConnell proposed instead that Republican firefighters respond to the blazes with flamethrowers and oil-soaked rags.

Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House of Representatives, added that the historical record indicates that Democratic policies could lead to disaster.  “Just look at FDR,” said Gingrich, an avid student of history.  “Roosevelt’s creation of the Federal Deposit and Insulation Corporation led to the Great Chicago Fire that killed hundreds and destroyed four square miles of that city.  If you want to see America gutted and smoldering, just follow Democrat advice.”

From across the political spectrum, commentators David Broder and David Brooks indicated that the threat of a filibuster would likely bring down the Obama presidency.  “We need to take the best ideas of both parties,” Broder told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell.  “If Obama can’t find grounds for compromise—some water and insulation, yes, but also some flamethrowers and oil-soaked rags—he will have betrayed the promise of his presidency, which was, after all, to transcend partisan politics in Washington.” Brooks agreed, adding ominously that “Obama’s credibility is at stake, and so far he’s not passing the test.”

Congressional Democrats have indicated that they are willing to consider oil-soaked rags and flamethrowers in the final bill.  In a gesture to moderate Republicans, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced that Democrats would also add oxygen, polyester, and small explosive devices to the compromise.  But thirty-six GOP senators stood firm, declaring in a press conference that they would not accept any bill that contained water.  “Water will simply be neutralized by my superabsorbent undergarments,” said David Vitter (R-LA).  “And it’s socialist,” added John McCain (R-AZ), who pointed to the widespread use of water among Swedish firefighters.

President Obama, speaking in Ohio, said he would “continue to reach across the aisle for oil-soaked rags.”

The emerging Washington consensus appears to be that Republican firefighters and political leaders have won this round of the debate.  “Obama’s popularity has taken a hit,” wrote Karl Rove in the Wall Street Journal.  “Last week he had a 68 percent approval rating, but this week fully one-quarter of the American people disapprove of him.  These are alarming figures that suggest the Obama honeymoon is finally over.” Fox News firefighting analyst Neil Cavuto agreed, noting that “Obama has been going around telling people that ‘doing nothing is not an option,’ but that’s patently misleading.  No one is suggesting that we do nothing.  On the contrary, Republicans are insisting that we fight fire with fire.  And that’s a winning formula if ever there was one.”

Posted by on 02/15 at 01:10 PM
  1. This is one a them “metaphors,” ain’t it?

    Posted by  on  02/15  at  02:35 PM
  2. Chicago economist Milton F. Wannabe, reached at his burning home in Jekyll Park, opined:

    “By throwing water at the fire, the radical left is simply creating a moral hazard, in addition to the fire one. Let’em burn, and the building owners will be guided towards using insulation by the invisible hand of the free market.”

    Posted by  on  02/15  at  03:05 PM
  3. Sven:  It’s not a metaphor, it’s a song.

    And hi, Christian!  In a related development, Republicans in the California Senate decide to start brush fires in an attempt to “burn our way out of the flames.”

    Posted by Michael  on  02/15  at  03:33 PM
  4. You know, in Australia, people get prosucuted for that sort of thing.

    captcha:  industry

    Posted by The Constructivist  on  02/15  at  06:09 PM
  5. Right, largely because of Australia’s long history of flirtation with socialism.

    Posted by Michael  on  02/15  at  06:33 PM
  6. Presumptive Republican party 2012 presidential nominee Sarah Palin suggested that ex-60s radical and domestic terrorist Bill Ayers, ex-Obama minister of anti-American hatred Jeremiah Wright, ex-Obama friend and Chicago contract killer Tony Rezko, and ex-Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich were “all involved in this somehow. I’ll get back to ya on the details, just as soon as I finish work on the birth certificate and Whitey tape angles. I was a journalism major, you know.” She also suggested that “the little black kid in that Talking Heads video kinda looks like Obama, doesn’t he?”

    Posted by John Protevi  on  02/15  at  06:40 PM
  7. Since the stimulus vote died with only 60 “aye” votes in the Senate, victorious Republicans are, of course, still all over the cable TV air waves. Through one of them I just learned that the stimulus bill, which failed with only 60 votes in the Senate and only 246 in the House, has gone from $787 bill to $1 trillion.

    That’s a heckuva lot of water.

    Posted by Bulworth  on  02/15  at  06:48 PM
  8. “This isn’t rocket science,” said electrical analyst Paul Krugman.  “It’s really EE 101.  It’s very basic stuff.”

    Oh, that Krugman guy again. Why bring him into it? Just because he’s always right he thinks people ought to listen to what he says. This is America, dammit, we don’t ever have to listen to the people who are right about stuff.

    Posted by  on  02/15  at  07:33 PM
  9. Meanwhile, libertarians complain that the “theft” of water from our more saturated individuals is nothing more than liquid redistribution. Bruce Bartlett concludes from previous fires that such plans are always too little, too late, and merely indicate that the fires are already out and the ash is on its way to becoming flammable mass once again on its own.

    (Bleedin’ excellent, BTW.)

    Posted by  on  02/15  at  08:29 PM
  10. Hi Michael! Good to have you back, totally wrong politics and all wink.

    By the way, of course Krugman likes fire engines - they’re as shrill as he is. (Trust me on that, as usual I manage to live around the corner from a firehouse and across the street from UCLA Medical Center—now named after that old slash-and-burn man Ronald Reagan for some reason...)

    Captacha: “real” as in “Can those CA Repubs get the fuck real for once?”

    Posted by  on  02/15  at  09:17 PM
  11. I was reading somewhere--in the nets, or perhaps the tubes, but not the analog socialist ones or those that are trying to be neutralized by commies--that Nobel laureate Stein also suggested that since water flowed down, and fire went up, the theory of gravity was also out as well. 

    Wait, when did christian move to UCLA????  Oh we so need a party to catch up with what all those in the party are doing these days.

    Posted by  on  02/15  at  09:53 PM
  12. It’s not a metaphor, it’s a song.

    I thought it was a clip from a film (or technically what happens right after the clip from a film). A few White Castles on Wall Street could have saved everything.

    Posted by  on  02/15  at  10:14 PM
  13. The fire only chases you if you run.

    Posted by  on  02/16  at  12:43 AM
  14. Or if it smells fear on you.

    Posted by  on  02/16  at  12:46 AM
  15. I dont care. Nobody gets my water. Go make your own.

    Posted by Hattie  on  02/16  at  01:09 AM
  16. In other news, twice-divorced Governor Charlie Crist was made honorary chairperson of the Tampa Bay Area Log Cabin Group (TBALCG).  Governor Crist indicated he was please with the group’s support for traditional, Republican, marriage.  He was at the group’s Spring Fling fundraiser, serving quiche and strawberries to the pumped up crowd.  “I’m particularly excited with the group’s use of brunches and tea dances as a way to meet other singles,” he said.  “It’s a whole lot better than dark, sweaty, anonymous, bathhouses.  Besides, Mike’s Baked Alaska makes me want to marry his yummy self so it’s obviously effective as a tool for forming, wholesome, Republican relationships.  I said tool.  Heh.”

    Posted by  on  02/16  at  02:36 AM
  17. Frankly, this sounds like a job for the WAAGNFN Party. Nothing like a Giant Nuclear Fireball to put a few flames in perspective.

    captcha (I kid you not): fire

    as in Johnny Cash sang about a burning ring of . . .

    Posted by Bill Benzon  on  02/16  at  07:06 AM
  18. "You try to gimme your money
    you better save it, babe
    Save it for your rainy day

    I have only one burning desire
    Let me stand next to your fire”

    - Fire by Jimi Hendrix

    Posted by  on  02/16  at  12:18 PM
  19. Yow!

    (crank the mf UP)

    Posted by  on  02/16  at  12:57 PM
  20. And hi, Christian!

    Hang on… math.ucla.edu?  So Bill Ayers finally achieved his goal of forcing you out, eh, Professor h.?  And can you set me up a meeting with Danica McKellar?

    Meanwhile, though the above metaphor seems obvious, my father actually just called me at work to let me know that the stimulus package was a big expensive boondoggle that includes “that Pelosi item to study mice.” So I really do hope that he’s becoming less and less representative of the electorate.  Because putting the flamethrower brigade in charge of the firehouse in 2010 will leave us all with third degree burns.

    Posted by  on  02/16  at  02:26 PM
  21. mds, your father isn’t by any chance the old guy in this ad, is he?

    Posted by Michael  on  02/16  at  02:45 PM
  22. “Water will simply be neutralized by my superabsorbent undergarments,” said David Vitter (R-LA).

    That right there is comedy gold!

    Posted by  on  02/16  at  03:03 PM
  23. Okay, Professor:

    (1) The laughter, it hurts.

    (2) As you know, my father just had a stent put in (Chicka-Wow Chicka-Wow Wow!), so the artery-clogging bit was in extremely poor taste.  As was my own “Chicka-Wow Chicka-Wow Wow” bit.

    (3) My father rarely listens to the O’Reilly Factor or Rush Limbaugh; he merely fails to realize that these are the “sources” for both regular Fox “News” and “Christian” television “reporting.”

    (3a) In addition to making numbered lists, I enjoy putting things in “quotation marks.”

    (4) My father can’t believe that Muslim guy is President.  If the President were Alan Keyes, he’d be okay with a black guy.

    (But now that you mention it, he does wear his old robe backwards, and to those who don’t have to be related to him, he can be as hilarious as a Snuggie parody.  Coincidence?)

    Posted by  on  02/16  at  03:07 PM
  24. Oh we so need a party to catch up with what all those in the party are doing these days.

    Frankly, this sounds like a job for the WAAGNFN Party. Nothing like a Giant Nuclear Fireball to put a few flames in perspective.

    So that’s why my ears have been ringing!

    Posted by  on  02/16  at  03:38 PM
  25. Oaktown Girl!  You’re back!  You and Christian in the same thread!  OK, now I know what this blog needs to do.  It needs to have a lot more fire.

    Speaking of which, why isn’t Backdraft among the National Review’s Top 25 Conservative Movies of All Time Since Red Dawn?

    mds, sorry about the artery-clogging line.  I’ll make sure those kids never say that again!

    And thepuppethead, it’s funny ‘cuz it’s true.  Which makes it stand out against the rest of the post, which is much more in the not-funny-’cuz-it’s-true vein.

    Posted by  on  02/16  at  04:25 PM
  26. mds, are you suggesting that Winnie Cooper knows more about math than that it doesn’t suck?? Perhaps she knows how to light a fire, as inquiring minds are sure to want to discover.

    Posted by  on  02/16  at  05:40 PM
  27. all portents point to…
    SHOW TRIAL!!!!

    Posted by  on  02/16  at  05:43 PM
  28. collecting dry wood
    bear scout alone in forest
    screw the flint and steel

    Posted by  on  02/16  at  06:24 PM
  29. “Can those CA Repubs get the fuck real for once?”

    Oooo...are we doing rhetorical questions today? This must be the rhetorical thread because in addition to that one, WAAGNFNP Chairman-for-Life just asked this one:

    why isn’t Backdraft among the National Review’s Top 25 Conservative Movies of All Time Since Red Dawn?

    Everybody knows Backdraft can’t be on the list because it featured one of the other Not-Alec Baldwin brothers instead of the Bat Shit Crazy one.

    Posted by  on  02/16  at  06:47 PM
  30. Tarabour asks us
    “Does a bear scout in the woods?”
    All signs point to Yes.

    mds, are you suggesting that Winnie Cooper knows more about math than that it doesn’t suck??

    Yup.

    Posted by  on  02/16  at  07:25 PM
  31. mds, yeah I got sick of Chicago terrorism, the regular attacks on our health via cold weather machines convinced me to get out.

    Oaktown Girl, yes, rhetorical question day. I think I somehow managed to move (captacha: “moving") to the only state more dysfunctional than Illinois.

    Posted by  on  02/16  at  08:19 PM
  32. Speaking of fireballs, have you see Obama’s Elf?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_B5UrI7nAI

    Posted by  on  02/16  at  08:21 PM
  33. Oaktown Girl, yes, rhetorical question day. I think I somehow managed to move (captacha: “moving") to the only state more dysfunctional than Illinois.

    Welcome home!

    Posted by  on  02/16  at  10:21 PM
  34. Am I the only one who thinks the Snuggie WTF blanket makes whoever wears it look like a Gregorian monk?

    Posted by Lance  on  02/17  at  12:36 AM
  35. Now, if somebody could lay down a 6º web of separation between Winnie Cooper and Michelle Wie, we could get TC to post a comment.  Then we might have the necessary reactor trigger to start this party.  For full meltdown potentiol, we need teh Clarke to lay his gianormous herdlike-creosote history upon us all to start the chain reaction (maybe also firing up the Show Trial!

    semi-rhetorical question: “Who of these are the more intellectually attractive?” These, or these.

    Posted by  on  02/17  at  01:54 AM
  36. Well okay, spyder, but my Erdős number is ℵ0. The chain reaction might take a while.

    Posted by Chris Clarke  on  02/17  at  02:10 AM
  37. Hey, hey, hey, spyder, I was up there misspelling “prosecuted” in #4!  (But I did become aware of the AU wildfires b/c of recent women’s golf events down under, for what that’s worth.)

    BTW, onechan is starting to tell stories--she even has a protagonist of her own, a new friend of Sparkychan and Gojochan’s!

    http://mlyhlss.blogspot.com/2009/02/hello-america.html

    Posted by The Constructivist  on  02/18  at  10:09 PM
  38. "Last week he had a 68 percent approval rating, but this week fully one-quarter of the American people disapprove of him”

    How full of shit do these people have to be? A 25% disapproval rating leaves room for a 75% approval rating, so for all we know, approval has gone up since then. Why do we listen to Karl Rove again?

    Posted by  on  02/22  at  07:55 PM

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