Archive for January, 2009

January 29, 2009

HEH: Republican Strategy: Just Have Nancy Pelosi Continue to Explain the Stimulus.

January 29, 2009

THIS IS WHY THEY’RE IN SUCH A HURRY: Public Support for Economic Recovery Plan Slips to 42%. The marks are starting to wise up.

January 29, 2009

PJTV: Washington’s Culture of Spending. It’s free.

UPDATE: Rob “N.Z. Bear” Neppel emails: “Glenn: Maybe you might want to clarify that by ‘free’, you mean the PJTV segment? ‘Cause the culture of spending definitely has a large pricetag…” Uh, yeah. The culture of spending will bankrupt the country. “Will bankrupt?” I mean “is bankrupting.”

January 29, 2009

SMART ROBOT capable of hunting for its own “food.”

January 29, 2009

ROSANNA PULIDO, running to replace Rahm Emanuel. Bill Quick likes her.

January 29, 2009

NOBODY TELL ANDREW SULLIVAN: Obama Administration Attorneys Defend John Yoo.

UPDATE: “But what will Glenn Greenwald do?”

January 29, 2009

EXPERIENCE “Life as a Refugee in Davos.”

January 29, 2009

AND YET THEY’RE SUPPOSED TO BE ANTI-POLLUTION: First it Killed the Electric Car; Now CARB Goes After Plug-in Hybrids. “Last week, the East Bay Express published an article regarding the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) plans for aftermarket, plug-in hybrid conversions. Proving once again that CARB is a political machine with something more than ‘clean air’ in its agenda, the board is set to deal a punishing, bureaucratic body-blow to startup companies like 3 Prong Power and A123 Systems.”

January 29, 2009

SNOW TUBING in Gatlinburg.

January 29, 2009

OOPS: California gas stations choose to close instead of buying vapor-reducing pumps. The new pumps are too expensive, apparently.

January 29, 2009

A ROUNDUP OF Robot Toys.

January 29, 2009

CHRIS DODD’S STRATEGY: “Stall, and hope they forget.”

It’s been over seven months since it was revealed that Senate Banking Committee chairman Christopher Dodd (D., Conn.) got a sweetheart deal on his Washington, D.C., townhouse directly from Angelo Mozilo, the CEO of troubled subprime-mortgage lender Countrywide Financial. Participating in the “Friends of Angelo” program saved Dodd about $75,000 on his mortgage, and raised more than a few eyebrows about whether Dodd should be accepting such hefty gifts from entities he’s tasked with overseeing and regulating.

Since the scandal broke last June, no action has been taken by the Senate to formally ascertain if Dodd engaged in any wrongdoing. Nor has Dodd tried to clear his name in any way. What’s troubling about Dodd’s scandal isn’t so much that it remains unresolved but that it’s a textbook example of how scandals in Washington are swept under the rug.

It has now been 189 days since Dodd promised to release his mortgage documents, but he still hasn’t done so.

And don’t forget Kent Conrad: “Senator Conrad’s role in the scandal has gone straight down the memory hole.”

January 29, 2009

WHEN SCIENCE screams.

January 29, 2009

A STIMULUS REMINDER: “Note to Obey: Hoover massively expanded government spending and signed into law a horrible protectionist piece of legislation known as Smoot-Hawley. At the same time, he used the bully pulpit to hector businesses into keeping wages and prices high which only made it harder for a puffed-up economy to go through a painful but transitory adjustment. Given what you just passed and all the anti-China rhetoric coming from the White House, what exactly are you guys planning on doing differently?”

January 29, 2009

NOW THIS IS A RECESSION: Arizona State Faculty Face 12% Pay Cut by June 30.

January 29, 2009

BEWARE OF THE antiseptic mommies.

January 29, 2009

WHERE DO laid-off journalists go?

January 29, 2009

RENAMING KNOXVILLE “Glennville.” I’m flattered, but really . . ..

January 29, 2009

RANGEL UPDATE: TARP Inspector General Asked to Investigate Citigroup-Funded Caribbean Junket by Members of Congress .

January 29, 2009

SKEPTICISM GROWS over viability of “green” projects.

January 29, 2009

NEW YORKERS ARE SUDDENLY APPRECIATING those Wall Street “leeches.” Now that they’re not spending all that money in New York . . . .

January 29, 2009

ROGER KIMBALL: Maybe you should listen to Rush Limbaugh after all.

January 29, 2009

DROPPING OUT OF FIRST PLACE: Knoxville displaced as nation’s ‘asthma capital’. I can live with that.

January 29, 2009

IN THE MAIL: Garner on Language and Writing.

January 29, 2009

CHRIS DODD, meet Eddie Perez. If I worked in the Public Integrity section at Justice, though, I’d be disappointed that people think Dodd’s safe from prosecution just because there’s a Democratic President.

January 29, 2009

Knoxville, Tennessee. In the era of hope and change!

January 29, 2009

AZIZ POONAWALLA: Obama’s Intelligence Director Dennis Blair and East Timor genocide. “If Obama, who has lived in Indonesia (a fact he trumpets), is unaware of the history of the genocide in East Timor, then that’s quite an embarrassment, but it can be fixed, starting with replacing Blair as nominee for top spy. If he knows and nominated Blair anyway, then there’s a deeper problem that isn’t so easily fixed.”

Here’s an earlier post from Gary Farber.

January 29, 2009

LAWRENCE LINDSEY: How About a Payroll Tax Stimulus? “For a similar amount of money, we could give workers $1,500.”

January 29, 2009

FABIUS MAXIMUS: All bow down to our Versailles-on-the-Potomac!

January 29, 2009

GRILLING FUN: “Inside was a cast-iron grill topper that lets fans sear their favorite college team’s logo right onto their grilled meat.” If only I could get one with the InstaPundit logo . . . .

January 29, 2009

“STIMULUS,” DEBT, and inflation.

January 29, 2009

IT’S A VIDEO GLENN AND HELEN SHOW, and we talk to Tennessee Gubernatorial candidate Bill Haslam about budgets, pensions, TennCare, and why Republicans are doing so much better in Tennessee than elsewhere. Plus we ask him some SayUncle-inspired questions about gun rights.

Go straight to the Flash version by clicking here.

UPDATE: Reader James Walker writes:

Thank you for doing the podcasts / interviews with political candidates. There is a real need for this type of journalism. Instead of being fed what the MSM edits from interviews ( a la the edited Palin interviews) we can get the whole, real, thing.

Well, that’s the idea. If you like it, please consider subscribing to PJTV. There are no ads, so PJTV depends on subscriptions to keep going.

January 29, 2009

BOB KRUMM: It’s all a Ponzi scheme. But we’re not all “awash in debt,” at least not debt of our own making. At our house, we’ve lived within our means and saved instead of borrowed. The likely result? We’re suckers who’ll be taxed to bail out people who borrowed instead of saved.

January 29, 2009

SARAH PALIN in the eye of the beholder.

January 29, 2009

LEGISLATING A NEW “RANGEL RULE:”

All U.S. taxpayers would enjoy the same immunity from IRS penalties and interest as House Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel (D-NY) and Obama Administration Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, if a bill introduced today by Congressman John Carter (R-TX) becomes law.

Carter, a former longtime Texas judge, today introduced the Rangel Rule Act of 2009, HR 735, which would prohibit the Internal Revenue Service from charging penalties and interest on back taxes against U.S. citizens. Under the proposed law, any taxpayer who wrote “Rangel Rule” on their return when paying back taxes would be immune from penalties and interest.

Heh. Sign me up!

January 29, 2009

THE SWING STATE PROJECT SAYS THAT the Connecticut Senate race is one to watch: “Chris Dodd’s favorability ratings in his home state have suffered ever since his very unsuccessful presidential run, an undertaking he was never quite able to explain to his constituents – or Iowa caucus-goers, for that matter. Allegations that he got favorable “VIP” loan terms from lender Countrywide haven’t helped. What makes this a Race to Watch is the fact that three reasonably strong Republicans could all potentially give it a gander: Gov. Jodi Rell and former Congressmen Rob Simmons and Chris Shays. But Dodd is a powerful fundraiser in a blue state, and no one has stepped up to the plate yet.”

January 29, 2009

THAT PAPER criticizing Sunstein.

January 29, 2009

INDEED:

One thing that’s clear from the recent Gaza conflict is that to many leftists, “violations of international law” is simply shorthand for “a country is engaging in military action that I don’t approve of.”

Well, they finally wore out “fascist” in that role . . . .

January 29, 2009

THIRTY YEARS AGO, Chevy Chase could have had fun with this. But he wouldn’t have.

January 28, 2009

IN CITY JOURNAL, a review of Roger Simon’s Blacklisting Myself.

January 28, 2009

A LOOK AT Who will be paying for the stimulus.

January 28, 2009

TOBY HARNDEN ON THE LOOTING “STIMULUS” BILL: “The Democratic leadership on Capitol Hill badly miscalculated by treating the bill as a victor’s charter.”

January 28, 2009

OBAMA TO WASHINGTON, D.C.: You’re a bunch of wimps! “When it comes to the weather, folks in Washington don’t seem to be able to handle things.” Having lived there myself, I have to say he has a point . . . .

January 28, 2009

“NO PROBLEM, LADY.”

January 28, 2009

CORMAC MCCARTHY’S CHILDHOOD HOME BURNS: “James Agee’s house in Fort Sanders was torn down years ago, so the childhood homes of both of Knoxville’s Pulitzer Prize winners are gone.”

January 28, 2009

A REASON NOT TO OVERPAY: Tax Refunds Now on Hold in California.

UPDATE: Reader Randy Tomer writes: “I overpaid, but am not concerned about a refund. I will apply my refund toward my 2009 taxes, and reduce my CA tax payments (can be withholding or quarterly payments) by that amount. I keep the cash now, CA gets its own IOU as a tax payment.”

January 28, 2009

THE WAY RUSH LIMBAUGH HAS BEEN BATTED AROUND LATELY, my high-school friend Joel sends this graphic.

On the other hand, Limbaugh’s influence doesn’t seem to be waning. “The Republicans are so bereft of elected leadership that the leader of the loyal opposition is an unelected talk show host on AM radio.” Ouch.

January 28, 2009

BOB OWENS: Bill Ayers Hits the Road Post-Election, Whitewashing His Past.

January 28, 2009

BUT STAMPS WON’T BE CHEAPER: “The U.S. Postal Service may be forced to eliminate a day of mail service because the economic downturn has led to plummeting volume and revenue, the postmaster general said Wednesday.” Read the story, though, and you’ll see that retiree health costs seem to be a big issue, too. It’s like GM delivering the mail, or something . . . .

January 28, 2009

ANN ALTHOUSE BETS THAT Obama won’t close Guantanamo in a year.

January 28, 2009

MMM. Bacon Pie.

January 28, 2009

WOULDN’T YOU REALLY RATHER have a Buick? “And you thought the Pontiac ‘screaming chicken’ Trans Am hood image was huge.. ha! These graphics covered the whole car.”

January 28, 2009

BUSINESS AT “BREASTAURANTS” hasn’t sagged with the recession.

January 28, 2009

JACOB SULLUM: “Even as President Obama promises that the federal government will spend the $1 trillion or so contemplated in the stimulus legislation in a utterly open, totally transparent, and absolutely accountable way, he demands that members of Congress vote for the 647-page monstrosity before they can possibly have time to read and digest it.”

January 28, 2009

STIMULUS PASSES HOUSE: All Republicans and 11 Democrats vote no. Among the Dems voting against were Tennessee’s Jim Cooper and North Carolina’s Heath Shuler.

UPDATE: Reader Mark Cates writes: “You might mention that it would be worthwhile to send these guys a Thank You for their vote. They probably need as much encouragement as they can get. I sent one to Shuler.”

Good suggestion.

January 28, 2009

THE CASE AGAINST impeaching Rod Blagojevich. So, does anybody think the law and evidence in this case matter to the outcome?

Will Blagojevich’s impeachment be fair?
Yes. Due Process will be meticulously observed.
In Illinois? Are you kidding?
I’m voting present on this one.
  
pollcode.com free polls

January 28, 2009

SOME EMBARRASSMENT FOR THE CIA? This bears watching.

January 28, 2009

PASSWORD SECURITY myths and realities.

January 28, 2009

SOME PARTS OF THE ECONOMY ARE DOING JUST FINE: 1 Million New Netflix Subscribers Forecasted for ’09 Due to Xbox 360.

January 28, 2009

A VIDEO TOUR of the International Space Station.

January 28, 2009

CALLING FOR A taxpayer march on Washington.

UPDATE: Rand Simberg:

The problem is that people who pay taxes are too busy working to earn the money on which to pay taxes to have time to go to Washington. Massive marches on Washington are reserved for those with no jobs, or nothing to do, or because they are on the dole of some kind, sometimes aided by federal subsidization of “community organizers” like ACORN.

That’s one of the reasons that big-government programs are a positive-feedback ratchet that are almost impossible to reverse. The programs have their own built-in constituencies, that are funded by the programs to allow them to agitate for more, while the ever-shrinking rest of us who are trying to actually earn a living get stuck with the bill. It can’t go on forever, of course, but it can go on long enough to ruin a nation.

Indeed.

January 28, 2009

OBAMA’S HONEYMOON has been downgraded from “Get a Room” to “Holding Hands.”

January 28, 2009

THE “STIMULUS” BILL: “A 40-year wish list.”

UPDATE: “Not a moment to spare.” Because given enough time, people might wise up . . . .?

January 28, 2009

FED IN UNCHARTED WATERS. So is frenzied activity when you don’t know what you’re doing better than doing nothing? I guess we’ll find out . . . .

January 28, 2009

AND YET, ALL THE STIMULUS MONEY PROBABLY WON’T FIX THE PROBLEMS: State of a Nation: The Latest Report on America’s Infrastructure.

January 28, 2009

AMAZON GETTING READY TO UNVEIL a second-generation Kindle. Of course, the biggest problem with the first-generation Kindle is that they’re having trouble keeping up with demand.

January 28, 2009

THE U.S. POPULATION: No happier, but more equal.

January 28, 2009

RANDY NEAL: “You may have heard that TVA is asking, by way of Rep. Wamp and Rep. Davis, for ‘stimulus’ money to clean up the Kingston Swan Pond ash spill. That’s not what ‘stimulus’ money is for and this is a ridiculous request.”

The “stimulus” — it’s anything you want it to be!

January 28, 2009

SENTENCING AIDS VICTIMS to die?

January 28, 2009

“FRIENDS OF ANGELO” UPDATE: A reader emails: “I realize that Dodd is your hobby horse, but could you take moment and mention that Kent Conrad (D-North Dakota) was also a ‘Friend of Angelo.’ Conrad may be feeling unappreciated. Thanks!” Happy to oblige!

January 28, 2009

REBRANDING! A roundup on the The Pelosi-Obama-Reid Trillion Dollar Debt Plan.

January 28, 2009

ARNOLD KLING: “Many economists think that an economic recovery requires the renewal of lending by banks. Instead, I think that we need to step over the corpses in the financial sector. A revival of business investment will come from profits, not from lending.”

January 28, 2009

WARNING: ZOMBIES AHEAD. Well, they told us the zombie epidemic was inevitable.

January 28, 2009

HONDA CUTS PRODUCTION by 50,000 units.

January 28, 2009

MAKING DIGITAL CAMERAS GO CLICK: A law to be supervised by the Ministry of Annoying Sounds, I suppose. From the comments: “It says something bad about us as a nation in that such trivialities are considered the province of law.”

January 28, 2009

WHEN JUDGES GO BAD. Background here.

January 28, 2009

HEH: “President Barack Obama has signed an executive order officially banning torture in the United States. You know what that means? ABC may be forced to cancel ‘The View’.”

January 28, 2009

NANOTECHNOLOGY UPDATE: EPA encourages input to develop risk management practices for nanotechnology.

January 28, 2009

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Alcohol makes men BETTER in the bedroom, scientists claim. You can’t argue with science!

January 28, 2009

IN THE MAIL: From Suzanne Bates, Motivate Like a CEO: Communicate Your Strategic Vision and Inspire People to Act!

January 28, 2009

CHARLES RANGEL UPDATE: Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), the new ethics committee chairwoman, wants to maintain continuity in the investigation of several allegations against Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.). Lofgren wants the same members who launched the Rangel investigation to review the charges against him — even though they were term-limited on the panel and are no longer members of it, according to a Democratic aide.”

Meanwhile, it’s now been 187 days since Chris Dodd promised to release his mortgage documents.

January 28, 2009

SILICON GRAFFITI: PICTURE KILL.

January 28, 2009

TIGERHAWK: “Having been a target of commercial opportunity during its entire sentient existence, the Baby Boomer generation’s lasting legacy may well be to have been the first American generation to have consumed more, or at least as much, as it has produced. . . . If generations actually had their own moral legacy, we Boomers would be the dependent loser — the one kid who could never hold a job and never save a nickel and was always asking for a ‘loan’ — of the American family. If we had a generational sense of duty (which we do not, obviously), we would realize that we need to surrender the long-tail entitlement benefits that bear down on the American economy. My thoughts on that subject are here.”

January 28, 2009

LORD, GIVE ME FISCAL DISCIPLINE — but not yet! “President Barack Obama’s budget director has reached out to a trio of House committee chairmen, reminding them to remain fiscally disciplined — after they spend $825 billion to bolster the flailing economy, that is.”

January 28, 2009

PERRY DE HAVILLAND: “A large number of people, certainly the majority of the political looter class, think the best way to deal with the rapidly deepening economic crisis is via ‘stimulus packages’ with money plucked off the magic money tree… which is to say, by trying to re-inflate the credit bubble that actually caused the crisis. This is a bit like treating alcoholics by urging them to buy more whiskey.” Well, a nip or two might ease the DTs . . . .

January 28, 2009

HAS OBAMA DERANGEMENT SYNDROME arrived?

At the moment, I’d say the derangement is mostly present among those who think Obama is too perfect to be mocked.

January 28, 2009

MICKEY KAUS: “Why did Honda have to design its new hybrid to look exactly like the Toyota Prius? I like the Prius’ appearance, but a lot of people don’t. This seems like a missed opportunity to create a new trademark design. Timid. … Meanwhile, Mercedes’ styling isn’t timid, it’s vegetative. The new E-class looks exactly like you worried it would look, only drearier.” That’ll help ‘em sell cars in a tough market!

January 28, 2009

WHAT HAPPENED TO OUR LAST BIG “INFRASTRUCTURE” BILL?

These days, we are repeatedly told that we have to pass a massive new infrastructure spending bill in order to fix our “crumbling” roads and bridges. Everyone seems to have forgotten that just three years ago, in August 2005, Congress enacted the biggest federal public works program in American history, spending a massive $286.4 billion on the 2005 highway bill. At that time, President Bush and congressional leaders from both parties told us that the new highway bill was needed to fix our infrastructure problems.

Before passing a new and potentially even bigger infrastructure spending bill, I would just like to know what happened to all that money Congress appropriated for the same purpose back in 2005? If that act succeeded in its purpose, it’s not clear why we need another huge federal infrastructure bill now, less than four years later. If it failed, we need to know why. . . .

I’m not categorically opposed to all federal highway spending. But before we enact a massive new infrastructure bill, we need a clear explanation of why the 2005 highway bill wasn’t enough, and why if it wasn’t we should expect better results this time around. So far, these questions have hardly been asked, much less answered.

It “failed” because it didn’t generate enough graft to satisfy everyone. Future bills, however large, will suffer the same fate because some people are never satisfied . . . .

January 28, 2009

THE BRITISH CALLED: They want their guns back.

Better never to let them go.

January 28, 2009

IT WAS INEVITABLE: Sarah Palin starts SarahPac.

January 28, 2009

AS WELL THEY SHOULD: Republicans Object to Stimulus Dollars for ACORN. It’s like the whole thing is just about steering money to supporters and cronies.

But why “stimulate” a place that runs a sweatshop? “Pushed to meet daily quotas and bullied by bosses if they didn’t, Ohio ACORN workers faked voter registrations, signed up people more than once, and even paid off registrants to keep from being fired, its canvassers told The Post. ” I thought Democrats were against sweatshops?

January 28, 2009

POLITICO: The case for doing nothing. “Washington has a habit of passing legislation in a crisis and suffering from morning-after regrets — the Iraq war, the Patriot Act and last year’s original bank bailout plan come to mind. So we thought it would be wise to air the views of the naysayers toward Washington’s latest consensus approach.”

Thing is, when it’s prudence vs. pork, prudence usually comes in a poor second. Which is how we got into this mess to begin with . . . . Plus this: “Policymakers are saying: ‘Screw the future generations.’” Like I said.

January 28, 2009

SMALL-GOVERNMENT EGALITARIANISM: “Libertarian progressivism distrusts big increases in government spending because that spending is likely to favor the privileged.”

January 28, 2009

BLAGOJEVICH: The gun that didn’t smoke.

January 28, 2009

WEASELS VS. AIDS RELIEF:

Some of the personnel stumbles of the Obama administration — including the abortive nomination of Bill Richardson as commerce secretary — resulted from incompetent vetting. William Lynn’s reception as deputy secretary of defense has been complicated by hypocrisy — the administration’s attempt to gain political credit for a restrictive lobbying ban it swiftly violated to get a qualified appointee.

But one major personnel error was made from malice. And it calls into question the depth and duration of President Obama’s “new politics.” . . . It is difficult to imagine what vision of public service could cause any Obama official to celebrate a victory by sabotaging a good man and a good cause. And it is difficult to conceive what political gain Obama has achieved. This type of captivity to extreme interests is precisely what has discredited Democrats so often in the past. It is a kind of politics with all the “newness” of a purge, all the “freshness” of a mugging.

Read the whole thing.

January 28, 2009

MORE ON THE EXCLUSIONARY RULE, from Radley Balko.

January 28, 2009

BUT IT’S NOT A CONFLICT OF INTEREST FOR HILLARY! Bill Clinton made millions from foreign sources.

January 28, 2009

BACK TO THE FUTURE with the awful archconservative Roberts Court.

January 28, 2009

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: “If anyone wished to know what the baby-boomer generation would do when, in its full maturity, it hit its first self-created, big-time recession, I think we are seeing the hysterical results. After two decades of unprecedented economic growth, rampant consumer spending, and unimaginable borrowing to satisfy our insatiable appetites, we are suddenly going into even larger debt and printing trillions of dollars in paper money to ensure that someone else after we are gone pays the debt.” Fortitude has never been a Boomer virtue.

January 27, 2009

THE CARNIVAL OF SPACE is up.