Not Helpful

What a buffoon, how pathetic was this? The markets sure didn’t like it.

In Debt Downgrade Aftermath, Obama Serves Up a Silly Speech

First, do no harm. That is a useful injunction for doctors, lawyers, and, it turns out, U.S. presidents.

But President Obama’s useless speech Monday about the basic soundness of the American economy managed to reinforce all the concerns Americans on the left and right have about his stewardship of the country.

The speech did at least temporary harm. As soon as he finished speaking, the already jittery financial markets plunged.

. . .

His calm, passionless, “voice of reason” message, without a single new proposal except his pledge to make specific proposals in the future and work with the Congressionally designated super-committee to address the deficit and debt crises – “leading from behind again” – actually panicked the markets. And no wonder. Americans were looking for a leader, and what we got was the professor again.

See also:
Dow plunges as Obama says US A-OK
Presidential Failure
Matt Gurney: Obama’s speech writers should have their salaries downgraded
Obama’s jobs-message problem
Obama’s Jobs Message Isn’t Catching On
The Washington-Wall Street Disconnect Grows Even Wider
The most powerful man on Earth?
World’s Most Powerful Man Seems … Powerless
Republicans pan Obama’s speech
Democratic logic downgraded

If Obama can’t lead the economy out of the wilderness, he needs to at least call off his regulatory zealots and generally get out of the way. I’m guessing his resignation would be too much to expect from someone so obsessed with himself.

/Obama wouldn’t know sound economic policy if you tattooed it on his forehead backward, so he could read it in the mirror


It Came From Central Asia

How it got here or why it’s suddenly all over the news this week, well, your guess is as good as mine. But apparently, whatever you do, if you see one, don’t touch it and run for your lives!

Giant Weed Can Cause Blisters, Even Blindness

Call it the import that nobody wants.

Experts are urging residents of several states to beware of the “giant hogweed,” a tall plant native to Central Asia with umbrella-size flowers containing toxic sap that can cause burns, blisters and, in some cases, even blindness.

“Avoid it at all cost,” Jodi Holt, a professor of plant physiology at University of California, Riverside, told ABC News.

“The sap causes something called phytophotodermatitis when it touches humans,” causing scars and potentially blindness if it comes into contact with the eyes, Holt said. Some cases of blindness occurred after children used the hollow stalks as telescopes.

Heracleum Mantegazzianum, as hogweed is botanically known, is already a concern in the Northeast and spreading fast. Patches of giant hogweed have also been sighted in the Pacific Northwest.

See also:
Summer Plant from Hell: Giant Hogweed Can Burn, Scar and Blind You
Look out for Giant Hogweed
Giant worries over hogweed
Avoid Giant Hogweed: Noxious plant can cause blindness
Blistering, blinding weed creeps toward a city near you
Beware giant hogweed and its burning, blinding sap
Hogweed poses serious threat to New York citizens
Giant Hogweed Invades NY! This Weed Can Burn You, But Probably Won’t Eat You
What’s going on here? DEC to address hogweed problem in Springwater
Giant hogweed gone wild along Thames
Giant hogweed: 8 facts you must know about the toxic plant

I must confess, up until this week’s out of nowhere media blitz, despite years of extensive Boy Scout training, I’d never even heard of this marauding botanical menace.

/except as an early Genesis song