Archive for October, 2008

October 29, 2008

MAKING HER PAJAMAS TV DEBUT, the Insta-Wife talked about “going John Galt” — and Bill Whittle decided that I’m a “himbo,” which caused her to break down in peals of laughter. Video is free to everybody.

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October 29, 2008

MICKEY KAUS:

Shocked, Shocked for Barack! The cheapest out if your’e a previously McCain-friendly pundit who wants to endorse Obama is to say you like McCain but can’t vote for him because you’re revolted by his campaign. It’s an out elaborately developed by Joe Klein at Time, and it’s an out Anne Applebaum takes in Tuesday’s WaPo. . . . The problem with the “I’m repulsed” argument is that while it’s eminently respectable it’s unserious.

Especially when McCain’s campaign is compared with Obama’s campaign.

October 29, 2008

PATRICK RUFFINI: What It Will Take to Build a Rightroots Movement.

UPDATE: Some thoughts from MarkTapscott. “The RightRoots must make a top priority of equiping vastly more of our sites with the reportorial and investigative skills required to dig up and present credible exposes, fact-based analyses and concrete news stories. In short, we’ve complained about liberal media bias for decades, but now that the mainstream media is steadily being displaced by online media, many of us need to become ….. journalists, or capable of doing the online analogy of traditional journalism, particularly in its investigative phase.”

October 29, 2008

RICHARD FERNANDEZ: “Europe and America will meet such fates as they choose. However long they’ve lived in liberty; however ancient their constitutional guarantees, they can choose unfreedom in a moment.”

October 29, 2008

BILL QUICK: “I cannot, in my lifetime, recall a time when the polls were as all over the place, and as contradictory.”

October 29, 2008

ROGER KIMBALL FINDS a reason to support cloning.

Plus, who the next Republican President should hire as Press Secretary.

October 29, 2008

ANN ALTHOUSE: How weird would it be if McCain won? How would people go about absorbing it?

October 29, 2008

WELL, COOL: Psystar Mac Clones To Feature Blu-Ray Drives.

October 29, 2008

MCCAIN’S keys to the Keystone State. I’d say one of ‘em’s named John Murtha . . . .

October 29, 2008

POLITICO: Conservatives plan secret post-election strategy session. Well, not that secret, apparently. But it makes sense for them to meet, regardless of who gets elected. After all, given McCain’s tendency to reach across the aisle, they’ll have to keep the pressure on even if he wins.

October 29, 2008

UH OH: “Output from the world’s oilfields is declining faster than previously thought, the first authoritative public study of the biggest fields shows.”

October 29, 2008

DOG BITES MAN: Howard Dean changes his mind on the virtues of divided government.

October 29, 2008

THE ACORN DIDN’T FALL FAR FROM THE TREE:

A former staffer for an affiliate of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now testified today that the organization was provided a “donor list” from the presidential campaign of Barack Obama in late 2007 for fundraising efforts.

Anita Moncrief, a former Washington, D.C. staffer for Project Vote, which she described as a sister organization of ACORN, said her supervisor told her the list of campaign contributors came from the Obama campaign. Moncrief said she has a copy of a “development plan” that outlines how Obama contributors who had “maxed out” under federal contribution limits would be targeted to give to Project Vote, and that it was her job to identify such contributors.

Moncrief testified that ACORN and Project Vote were virtually identical.

Some enterprising reporter should ask Obama about this at his next press conference. Oh, wait . . . .

October 29, 2008

JEFFREY GOLDBERG: What is the L.A. Times hiding?

October 29, 2008

WELL, THEY’RE BATTING .500, ANYWAY: The World’s Strongest (and spendiest) Beer.

October 29, 2008

SCOTT JOHNSON ON OBAMA’S CREDIT CARD PROBLEMS:

October 29, 2008

GAFFE-TASTIC: The Obama Campaign is hidin’ Biden.

October 29, 2008

FIRST THEY CAME FOR THE PEOPLE WHO MADE $250,000 A YEAR, then they came for the people who made $150,000 a year, and then, well, you can guess the rest of the story . . . .

October 29, 2008

THE GOAL: “Increas[e] Student and Faculty Diversity” While “Not Admit[ting] Students Who Are Intolerant.”

October 29, 2008

IT’S NOT JOE THE PLUMBER THIS TIME, but here’s more improper use of public records:

Delaware State Police stopped Alvina Vansickle from purchasing a .22-caliber pistol for self-defense because she was too old and a woman, said Superintendent Col. Thomas MacLeish.

The outrage that followed led to the revelation that Delaware State Police had been keeping lists of gun buyers for years; state law requires them to destroy these records after 60 days.

Will anyone go to jail for this? Will anyone lose their job?

October 29, 2008

JOHN TIERNEY: A beautiful math.

October 29, 2008

WHY MORE COLLEGES want Jewish students.

October 29, 2008

HERITAGE FOUNDATION: Obama Continues Airing False Ad.

October 29, 2008

OBAMA FLUNKS A POP-CULTURE TEST, but the bigger gaffe, as a reader notes, is this: “Didn’t Obama realize Fred Sanford & George Jefferson are both Small Business Owners?”

October 29, 2008

THE POPULAR MECHANICS EDITORS announce their ten favorite cars.

October 29, 2008

L.A. TIMES REVEALS CONTENTS of explosive political tape.

October 29, 2008

UPS IS TESTING hydraulic hybrid delivery vehicles. Cool.

October 29, 2008

BOB KRUMM notices something funny about the polls.

October 29, 2008

DEAN KAMEN IS WORKING ON an extended-range electric vehicle with a Stirling Cycle engine.

October 29, 2008

IN THE MAIL: From Elizabeth Moon, The Serrano Connection. Is it just me, or has space opera come back in a big way?

UPDATE: Several readers note that this is a reissue of two previously-published novels. I couldn’t tell that from the cover. People should take a lesson from Baen and make that plain.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Mark Reardon emails: “Much as I love Baen, Serrano connection is one of theirs.” D’oh!

October 29, 2008

RAND SIMBERG: Prove Me Wrong, L.A. Times. Heh.

October 29, 2008

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Knoxville, Tennessee. The Medical Arts Building, downtown.

October 29, 2008

RYAN SAGER: Have libertarians been driven out of the GOP? I have to say that this prediction of mine seems to have been borne out. So, alas, was this.

UPDATE: Reader Stan Brown writes:

If the libertarians are disgusted with the GOP and conservatives are disgusted with the GOP (see e.g. Mark Tapscott and others who have floated the idea of a new party), is there a theory which would explain both trends? Yes. I think you can blame the MSM. Seriously.

GOP politicians are still politicians and they learn early not to fight with those who buy ink by the barrel. Conservatives who expect that the GOP is going to step in front of the MSM-driven train to defend principle are destined for a letdown. Few are going to commit political suicide and those
who do aren’t around next term to do it again. Conservatives don’t need a new party. They need a new news media.

I think the libertarian discontent with the GOP is also driven by the MSM. Let’s face it, libertarians who voted for Reagan are not leaving the GOP over gay marriage. Can anyone summarize all the legislation and regulation that the GOP has enacted which has alienated libertarians? There’s nothing much there. What there has been is a constant drumbeat from the MSM and Hollywood to demonize conservatives. The standard cultural portrayal is a cartoon. But over time, it seeps into the subconscious and becomes perceived fact. I really think the disenchantment is due more to the cartoon than reality.

Well, we certainly need a new and improved news media setup.

October 29, 2008

A REPORT ON Armadillo Aerospace at the Lunar X Prize.

October 29, 2008

PAINFUL CUTBACKS AT THE NEW YORK TIMES: Bill Keller is flying coach. I told you things were grim.

October 29, 2008

THE DANGERS OF MULTITASKING:

But despite what many of us think, you cannot simultaneously e-mail and talk on the phone. I think we’re all familiar with what Dr. Hallowell calls “e-mail voice,” when someone you’re talking to on the phone suddenly sounds, well, disengaged.

“You cannot divide your attention like that,” he said. “It’s a big illusion. You can shift back and forth.” . . .

A 2005 study, “No Task Left Behind? Examining the Nature of Fragmented Work,” found that people were interrupted and moved from one project to another about every 11 minutes. And each time, it took about 25 minutes to circle back to that same project.

Interestingly, a study published last April, “The Cost of Interrupted Work: More Speed and Stress,” found that “people actually worked faster in conditions where they were interrupted, but they produced less,” said Gloria Mark, a professor of informatics at the University of California at Irvine and a co-author of both studies. And she also found that people were as likely to self-interrupt as to be interrupted by someone else.

I actually do my intense writing — books, law reviews, etc. — in a different room and on a different computer, with the email turned off. It helps. Some. On the other hand, blogging and column-writing seem to thrive on an environment where there’s more going on, like coffee shops or bars. Not sure why.

October 29, 2008

WASHINGTON POST: “Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential campaign is allowing donors to use largely untraceable prepaid credit cards that could potentially be used to evade limits on how much an individual is legally allowed to give or to mask a contributor’s identity, campaign officials confirmed. Faced with a huge influx of donations over the Internet, the campaign has also chosen not to use basic security measures to prevent potentially illegal or anonymous contributions from flowing into its accounts, aides acknowledged. Instead, the campaign is scrutinizing its books for improper donations after the money has been deposited.”

October 29, 2008

MORE ON THOSE SUSPICIOUS JOE THE PLUMBER BACKGROUND CHECKS IN OHIO: “She claims that sudden public notoriety is enough to generate an investigation of someone’s status. I can’t wait to hear what the ACLU makes of that explanation.” Neither can I . . . .

October 29, 2008

POLITICO: Obama donors get access to top advisers. Change you can believe in!

October 29, 2008

JENNIFER RUBIN: None Of The (Really Bad) News Is Fit To Print. Have you noticed how journalistic “ethics” seems mostly to involve not telling the customers what they need to know?

October 29, 2008

IT’S ENRON FANNIE MAE ACCOUNTING FOR THE ELECTORAL SYSTEM: “Mississippi’s voter situation is hard to believe. Places like Madison County have over 123% more registered voters than people over the age of 18.” We’re seeing a lot of that, and I’m worried that we’ll wind up with a crisis in confidence in the electoral system that will be worse than the financial crisis. In both cases, inside players have an incentive not to address the problem, but the consequences are likely to be dire for the rest of us. Really, 2000 should have been the wake-up call.

Of course, some of us have been sounding the warning for a while. Not to mention John Fund’s warning. Much good it’s done. . . .

October 29, 2008

ACCORDING TO DRUDGE, Gallup now has Obama at only +2, and Rasmussen at +3. Could the polls be wrong? I have no idea. They’ve certainly seemed unusually volatile this cycle, and it’s an election that’s kind of sui generis. Certainly nobody on either side should slack off based on good, or bad, polls at this point.

October 29, 2008

NEW YORK: A preview of things to come. And the Dems want to extend this approach to governance nationwide . . . .

October 29, 2008

FAIR WARNING: “Is Joe Biden the foot-in-mouth candidate – or is he the Obama campaign’s designated teller of inconvenient truths?”

October 29, 2008

CAN LORNE MICHAELS MOVE POLL NUMBERS?

October 29, 2008

THOUGHTS ON WINDOWS AZURE: “Do we really want a complete service model where everything is developed, downloaded, purchased and tracked through the same process?”

October 29, 2008

MORE MEDIA RETRENCHMENT: Gannett will cut 10%. Time, Inc, announces job cuts and major restructuring. And Newsweek is hemorrhaging revenue: “Newsweek net income results for the first half of the year went from $133.2 million in 2007 to $36.5 million, which isn’t so much a ‘moderately weakened’ business, so much as a ‘holy sh*t, time to fire everyone’ business.” Reader Michael Albrecht emails: “Wow! It’s like people don’t want the product anymore. Or, more likely, people are not buying what they are selling.”

Yeah, I really think this is why they’ve been so willing to squander their remaining credibility in support of Obama. They figure they won’t be around to swing an election in four years, so it’s now or never. Of course, by doing so they accelerate the trend.

October 29, 2008

MORE SHADY SNOOPING NEWS FROM OHIO: “Toledo Police have confirmed that a TPD records clerk is accused of performing an illegal search of information related to ‘Joe the Plumber.’ Julie McConnell, has been charged with Gross Misconduct for allegedly making an improper inquiry into a state database in search of information pertaining to Samuel Wurzelbacher on Oct. 16.” Apparently she was doing a favor for a reporter. Joe may sue. I hope he does.

October 29, 2008

THE AMERICAN ELECTION, VIEWED FROM INDIA:

McCain is one of the few American politicians in either party with the courage and conviction to stand up to protectionist populism. By contrast, Obama embodies protectionism.

Look at the accompanying chart. It shows that McCain has voted 88% of the time against bills creating trade barriers, and 90% of the time against export subsidies for US producers. Few other senators have such a splendid record.

Obama has served a much shorter time in the Senate, and avoided voting on many key issues. He has voted against trade barriers only 36% of the time. He supported export subsidies on the two occasions on which he voted, a 100% protectionist record in this regard.

Read the whole thing. (Via Greg Mankiw).

October 29, 2008

VIDEO: MEGYN KELLY GOES NUCLEAR.

October 29, 2008

HMM: Right-Wing Group Distributing Hundreds Of Thousands Of DVDs Attacking Obama In Swing-State Newspapers. I’d be surprised if one in a hundred actually gets watched, but maybe I’m wrong.

October 29, 2008

RON BAILEY ON THE FOLLY OF “THE FOLLY OF GROWTH.” “Capitalist economic growth is what has paid for both the technological progress and the compliance with regulations that have made environmental improvements possible.”

Meanwhile, the alternative approach is one in which “scientists set the rules.” Because scientists can never be corrupted!

October 29, 2008

HEY, WAIT, I THOUGHT IT WAS JUST AMERICAN “COWBOY CAPITALISM” THAT LED TO THESE PROBLEMS:

Volkswagen briefly became the world’s largest company by market capitalisation on Tuesday after an extraordinary surge in its share price driven by a near-panic by hedge funds and other traders to stem losses on positions betting on a fall in the stock.

The extent of the surge, which has led to sharp criticism of German capital markets, triggered intense market speculation that it could force the collapse of hedge funds and heavy losses for investment banks.

Then again, I haven’t heard those statements in a couple of weeks . . . .

October 29, 2008

A MAJOR SCANDAL IN Louisiana’s Criminal Courts?

October 29, 2008

AT VETS FOR FREEDOM, a petition demanding an apology from John Murtha. You can sign, if you like. Meanwhile, here’s the guy running against him, who’s now getting support from Mike Huckabee, Fred Thompson, etc. I think the GOP has decided that Murtha can be beat. And as I’ve mentioned, even if Obama wins a Murtha defeat would probably induce circumspection among a lot of Democratic House members. (Bumped).

October 28, 2008

THOUGHTS ON THE MEDIA AND embarrassment, from Jules Crittenden.

October 28, 2008

WHAT I SAW, AND HOW I LIED: Shockingly, it’s not a journalistic memoir . . . .

October 28, 2008

BOOK PROMOTION LESSONS FROM BEN BERNANKE: “I wonder how the economy would be doing if the Fed chairman were author of Dow 36,000.” Heh.

October 28, 2008

DEFINING “RICH” down.

October 28, 2008

RON COLEMAN ON BARACK OBAMA: Socialist? Not Quite. “Harry Truman — now there was a socialist. He tried to nationalize the entire steel industry. But what would conservatives give today for a world full of Democrats like Truman?” Read the whole thing.

October 28, 2008

DUDE, HERE’S YOUR RECESSION: At least if you believe these graphs, it’s started over the last couple of months. We’ll see, of course, but they certainly aren’t cheery. (Via TigerHawk).

October 28, 2008

MARC AMBINDER: Is Europe worried about an Obama presidency?

October 28, 2008

AN ARMY OF SARAH PALINS. Will they all be Brainiacs?

UPDATE: Related item here. “I saw the Republican Party today, standing in line to see Palin at Shippensburg University. The line stretched for more than half a mile — people waiting outside for hours on a windy 40-degree day — and though the doors opened more than two hours before the event, security still wasn’t able to get everyone through the metal detectors by the time the rally began. Let’s see Buckley or Kathleen Parker or Ken Adelman draw a crowd like that. If somehow John McCain pulls off a miracle Nov. 4, it will be in no small measure due to the excitement that Palin has brought to the ticket. Let the cynics attend a Palin event and try to imagine those crowds turning out for, inter alia, Tim Pawlenty. “

October 28, 2008

THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR drops the daily paper edition and goes online. It won’t be the last newspaper to make this transition.

October 28, 2008

THE LAUNCH TRAILER for Gears of War 2 is out.

October 28, 2008

ADVICE TO REPUBLICANS from Ross Douthat. “Whatever direction you think conservatism should be going in from here on out, the absolute worst thing the members of a losing political movement can do – if they ever want to win again, at least – is attempt to pre-emptively close off debate about the movement’s future. Conservatives need to have arguments, not promise excommunications, or else pretty soon there won’t be very much worth arguing over.”

October 28, 2008

GOOD GRIEF: Dow Jones rallies 889 points. No, I have no idea what this means.

October 28, 2008

HERITAGE CALLS ON OBAMA TO pull ads claiming endorsement of his tax plan.

Surely there can be no doubt within your campaign as to how Heritage truly views your tax plan. When one of your economic advisors, Jeffrey Liebman, made this same misrepresentation in a September 4, 2008 letter to The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Hederman promptly sent a corrective and very public letter. It appeared in the September 16 issue of The Wall Street Journal under the title: “A Bad Plan That Is Less Bad Is Still Not A Very Good Plan.” In it, Mr. Hederman strenuously decried Mr. Liebman’s blatant misrepresentation and set the record straight.

More at the link.

October 28, 2008

STANDING UP FOR Greg Mankiw.

October 28, 2008

AIRSHIPS ARE COOL: “For less than $500, you can take a flight on the the first zeppelin to touch down on American soil in more than seven decades. Housed in an enormous hangar at NASA Ames in Mountain View, California, the 246-foot airship is the longest in the country, and one of just three existing zeppelins in the world.” I’d do it.

October 28, 2008

ADVICE: If a deadly flu pandemic breaks out make sure you have plenty of face masks and hand cleansers to cut your risks.

October 28, 2008

IMAGINING White House 2.0. Hmm.

October 28, 2008

GM APPARENTLY THINKS THAT THE CURRENT OIL-PRICE DROP WON’T LAST: Tahoe, Yukon and Escalade not being replaced.

October 28, 2008

REVIEWING THE REVIEWERS: A roundup of book reviews from all over.

October 28, 2008

SILICON GRAFFITI: Live from the Ministry of Truth!

October 28, 2008

FEDERAL CHARGES FOR changing grades on a university computer.

October 28, 2008

POLIO IS SPREADING: “Polio infections are increasing and spreading to new countries, according to case counts recently released by the World Health Organization.”

October 28, 2008

PLUG-IN HYBRIDS OFFER opportunities and challenges for utility companies.

October 28, 2008

SHOULD WE TAKE BARNEY FRANK’S CALL FOR A 25% CUT IN DEFENSE SPENDING SERIOUSLY? No, that’s just a headline grabber. I’m sure he’d be willing to compromise on fifteen percent.

October 28, 2008

MATT WELCH ON Obama, libertarians, and wishful thinking.

October 28, 2008

THE END OF FAT? How long until there’s a drug that makes it easy for anyone to be thin?

October 28, 2008

THIS WEEK’S Grand Rounds is up!

October 28, 2008

RESEARCH ON love, sex, and infidelity.

October 28, 2008

IN THE MAIL: Ira Stoll’s Samuel Adams: A Life.

October 28, 2008

THE EXAMINER: Why Earmarks Matter a Great Deal. “Just as senators and representatives protect each other’s earmarks in an ingrained culture of mutual back-scratching, they also protect each other’s big ticket spending proposals as well. So the message is: ‘I’ll vote for your planetarium in return for you voting for my otherwise unneeded line of new submarines or another duplicative, wasteful welfare program’ or whatever.” Yes, earmarks matter out of proportion to their financial cost for the same reason that bribes do.

October 28, 2008

STEVE CALABRESI on redistribution and the courts.

Plus, related thoughts from Mickey Kaus.

October 28, 2008

KATIE GRANJU ON GAY MARRIAGE: Your Marriage Is No Threat To Mine. “The anti-gay-marriage argument that simply makes no sense to me is the one that says allowing gay folks to marry will mess up my marriage – my heterosexual marriage. I don’t follow the reasoning that gay married couples will undermine the ability of straight married couples to form and sustain marital partnerships.” Yeah, I don’t get that one either.

October 28, 2008

ROGER KIMBALL: “What I find depressing about this–as, indeed, about the whole Obama juggernaut–is the extent to which it represents a return of bad ideas that have already been tried time and again, have failed and made people poorer and less stalwart, and yet seem poised to make a sorry comeback once again. . . . Still, I do not despair.”

October 28, 2008

A MOVEMENT TO draft Fred Thompson for RNC chair?

October 28, 2008

THE NEXT FOUR YEARS? How about the next four million?

October 28, 2008

WHERE KWAME KILPATRICK will be residing for a while.

October 28, 2008

IP COLLOQUIUM is a series of podcasts on intellectual property.

October 28, 2008

PROTESTING SEXISM in Dallas.

October 28, 2008

DUMBEST QUOTE OF THE YEAR? Don Young in defense of Ted Stevens.

October 28, 2008

MORE SHADY RECORD-CHECKING IN OHIO: “Ohio’s inspector general is investigating why a state agency director approved checking the child-support computer system for information on ‘Joe the Plumber.’ Helen Jones-Kelley, director of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, confirmed yesterday that she OK’d the check on Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher after the Oct. 15 presidential debate, in which he was mentioned repeatedly by Republican Sen. John McCain.” But she says it wasn’t politically-motivated, so that’s okay . . . .

October 28, 2008

IRAQ UPDATE: “The war is over.” It appears we won. Strangely, nobody seems to care much. (Via Stephen Green).

UPDATE: See this report from J.D. Johannes, who’s there now.

October 28, 2008

HEH: Imagining the Sarah Palin scenario with the parties flipped.

October 28, 2008

YESTERDAY, I was sufficiently stunned that I didn’t have much to say about Dean Barnett’s death. I still don’t, really, except that he was a terrific guy and I’ll miss him. But I highly recommend his The Plucky Smart Kid With The Fatal Disease. It was touching when I read it last year; it would be more so now. Meanwhile, you can read this post of Dean’s.

October 28, 2008

MY COLLEAGUE BARB KAYE has a survey on people who use the Internet for political information online, and she’d appreciate your taking it if you have a few minutes.

October 28, 2008

CBS ON BARACK OBAMA’S FINANCING: