This is Week 5 of Season 3 in my new 13 Weeks of Wild Man Writing and Radical Reading Series. Every week day I try to blog about compelling writers, their ideas, and the news cycle’s most interesting headlines.
Previously in this series on my favorite writers I named Ed Driscoll as the first in my trinity of blogging influences. The sophisticated humor, enlightening political-intellectual juxtapositions, clever visuals, and encyclopedic pop culture knowledge Ed brings to the web are innovations that I’ve sought to commandeer for my own new-media troublemaking.
Complementing Ed as the other editor-columnist on the breaking news beat is the Vodkapundit Stephen Green, PJM’s Denver editor. Stephen is another blogosphere veteran who really knows what he’s doing. Here are four weapons you can borrow from his armory:
1. Less is more.
So the guy who couldn’t get past Romney’s veep vetting in ’12 is the guy Romney says can save GOP in ’16? Did I miss something?
— Stephen Green (@VodkaPundit) November 3, 2013
Stephen excels at the short-form style of blogging, frequently doing posts that are only a few paragraphs or less in length. He does a great job of getting to the point and highlighting the most vital facts. It’s no surprise that he’s also one of PJM’s most effective Tweeters.
2. Cut deeper by stabbing with a smile!
In all fairness, Rob Ford did pledge to get crack off the streets of Toronto.
— Stephen Green (@VodkaPundit) November 5, 2013
One of the lessons that I’m always reminded of when reading Stephen’s posts is that one can get away with harsher critiques and stronger positions when they’re offset by some jokes and style.
3. Balance the blog — politics, cultural, personal, video, images, longer articles, and shorter blog posts
Of all the PJ columnists Stephen probably has the best all-around balance across subjects. I’m still largely sympathetic — even nostalgic — for the style of personal-political-cultural blogging that arose from 2000-2005. Stephen largely still operates in this mode of a blogger keeping a regular online diary with entries featuring both commentary on current events and discussions of hobbies.
4. Live-Blogging No, Drunk-Blogging Yes!
“Live-blogging” is the process of doing short blog posts about an ongoing event. Stephen takes this to the next level with the injection of well-prepared alcoholic beverages. I concur. Bloody Mary is my drink of choice:
Proposed New Media Rule: You’re not really a blogger until you’ve blogged drunk. (Obvious exceptions granted for Mormons and other religious teetotalers.)
PJ Media Story Round Up
PJM Stories on Tuesday
Bridget Johnson: Administration Plans to Placate Millions Who Have Lost Health Insurance with Outreach Program
Jen Kuznicki: Obamacare, Baseball, and the Public Trust
Let’s assume the Washington Post is correct in its estimation that the website cost around $174 million, and could reach as high as $300 million. (Excuse me for snickering at the thought that there is some sort of spending cap on this monument to hole-digging.) In that case, the Obama administration paid out, presumably in the last three years, more than the entire career earnings of Mariano Rivera. Don’t like baseball? Shaquille O’Neal’s estimated career earnings are a little over $292 million. Wayne Gretzky, Brendan Shanahan, and Steve Yzerman would have to pool all their earnings from their entire careers to fund this website that doesn’t work. (Why Brendan Shanahan? Because I like Brendan Shanahan.)
I’m not even talking net worth. I’m talking about all the money they have earned in their careers. If you consider how much money you’ve made in your lifetime, and then look at the stuff you have, you might get a little depressed. But the government doesn’t have such emotions, as unearned money is no object. They’ll just fill in the hole and start digging a new one.
Victor Davis Hanson: The Double-Dealing Middle East Is Double-Dealt
In sum, the American people think the Middle East is, well, the Middle East: support democracy and we are derided as cultural chauvinists, Western interventionists, and clueless about the nuances of Arab culture. Support the existing status quo, and we care only about oil, not the masses, and geopolitics rather than democratic reform. Stay out entirely and we have abdicated moral responsibility. Intervene and we are “nation-building” in the old colonial fashion.
It is hard for Americans to keep us with all this, much less take Middle East intellectuals seriously, given their lockstep and boring anti-Americanism. No wonder the American people seem to have become tired of this wink-and-nod con. Their exhaustion has proved a godsend to Obama, who can be naturally both weak and indecisive, and not necessarily in the short-term unpopular at home for such laxity. Again, for a variety of other reasons, he wanted to vacate the region and forget about violence against sympathetic Christians, Iraqi reformers, Afghan women, and anyone else who hoped for something better. Conniving Arab leaders and whiny intellectuals helped to give him his opening.
Paul Hsieh: Obamacare and the Wages of Spin
Before: “Death Panels” are just right-wing crazy talk.
Now: “Death Panels” are good!
In Slate, Adam Goldenberg declares, “Canada Has Death Panels — And that’s a good thing.”
Basically, when we all have to pay for one another’s health care, then patients should not be allowed to impose unlimited health costs on other taxpayers. Hence, the government has to decide who does — or does not — receive medical services. He explicitly argues that the government should “play God” with citizens’ lives. For the good of society, of course.
Stephen Kruiser: What They’ll Tell You the VA and NJ Elections Mean
Bryan Preston: Is the Obamacare Grinch About to Steal Christmas?
Bryan Preston: VIDEO — Obama’s Lying About His Lies Now
PJM Stories on Monday
Rich Baehr: Governors’ Races: One Contest and One No Contest
Stephen Green: The Week the Wheels Came off Obamacare
The pols and pundits can argue and fingerpoint until they’re blue in the — finger? — but Obamacare’s numbers paint a bleak picture of broken promises and outright lies. After a full month, nearly 40,000 people have successfully signed up for health insurance at HealthCare.gov, out of an administration goal of over seven million by the end of March. At that rate, the administration will have met its goal sometime in the autumn — of 2028.
Mind you, the goal of Obamacare was to provide coverage for some 47,000,000 uninsured Americans. So take those 15 years and multiply them by about seven. You’re gonna need a bigger calculator.
Ignored in those dreary statistics is the fact that people are being dumped out of their current coverage and onto the nonfunctional exchanges faster than the exchanges can handle them. An estimated 1,500,000 have lost their coverage, up against those newly insured 40,000. The best guess is that seven or eight million more face the same fate.
Jean Kaufman: The Obamacare Prediction of the Week
Ed Driscoll: Interview: Virginia Postrel on The Power of Glamour
PJM Stories from Weekend
David P. Goldman: National Security and Economic Growth: A New Plan
Charlie Martin: Obamacare vs. Arithmetic
Rodrigo Sermeno: Cato Argues for Reducing U.S. Nuclear Capability to Subs Only
Roger Kimball: ‘Racism, Inc.’ Comes to Football
Rick Moran: Can Cuccinelli Pull Off the Upset?
Andrew Klavan: Barack Obama’s Narrative Illusions
But in this left-wing country of the blind, even a one-eyed man can see: Obama’s political achievements, like Hillary Clinton’s political achievements, like Ben Kingsley’s role in freeing India from British rule, are all of a piece — a narrative illusion fostered on us by those who do not believe there is any truth to tell.
Klavan is really a extraordinary writer.
PJ Lifestyle Stories on the Home Page from Monday
Robert Spencer: ‘Stone Cold’ Yousef al-Khattab and His Children
PJ Lifestyle Stories on the Home Page from the Weekend
Becky Graebner: 4 Ways Being a Sorority Girl Prepared Me for the Real World
Andrew C. McCarthy: ‘The Great Achievements of Liberalism’ AKA ‘The Ponzi Scheme’ – A Response to Ron Radosh
A very compelling response from Andy, loaded with arguments.
Walter Hudson: Were Video Stores Better than Internet Streaming?
At some point I’m going to have to write something about the rise and fall of Blockbuster. I remember with such fondness how first videotape then video game then DVD rental stores used to be such a central part of my childhood and adolescence.
And now I can’t even remember how many years it’s been since I last used my Blockbuster card. (It might not even be in my wallet anymore!) But I do have a bit of schadenfreude — for as much as I adore Blockbuster for providing access to the cinematic world, I also hated it. On two separate occasions when I applied for jobs — once in high school and once after college — I was turned down. That was probably for the better I now realize.
Spyridon Mitsotakis: The UK Should Ignore the Mediocrities and Listen to the Pretty Lady
New at PJ Lifestyle
Helen Smith: Can Yoga Cure Anxiety?
Stephen Green: Omigosh Nikon What Have You Done?
David P. Goldman: Reports of Russia’s Death Are Exaggerated
Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa’s Disinformation has fired up my interest in learning much more about Russia’s past, present, and future.
Becky Graebner: 3 Reasons Why Dating is Especially Hard in Washington, D.C.
Andrew Klavan: Peddling Trashy Books to Teens
Paula Bolyard: Dare You Not to Cry: Autistic Football Player ‘Big Mike’ Runs for a 31-Yard Touchdown
Robert Spencer: ‘Stone Cold’ Yousef al-Khattab and His Children
Bonnie Ramthun: Battered Voter Syndrome
P. David Hornik: The Ten Worst Purveyors of Antisemitism Worldwide, # 5: The Guardian
Walter Hudson: Of Thugs and Men
Susan L.M. Goldberg: Can’t Touch This: American Feminism’s Racial Ignorance
Rhonda Robinson: Don We Now Our
Gay Apparel Ugly Sweaters
Sarah Hoyt: Selling Your Writing To The Public
I remain astounded by Megan’s new-media activism raising the alarm on an Illinois library’s sexually charged atmosphere.
Charlie Martin: 13 Weeks: The Hard Boiled Egg Theory
Jon Bishop: We Should All Be The Dude
New at PJ Tatler
Raymond Ibrahim: How Historic Revisionism Justifies Islamic Terrorism
Ron Radosh: The Tea Party and Alger Hiss
Rick Moran: Worrisome Security Breach at Healthcare.gov
Rick Moran: Remembering the Hungarian Uprising of 1956
J. Christian Adams: The Washington Post’s Crusade Against the Washington Redskins
Raymond Ibrahim: The Kidnapping and Plundering of Christian Copts
I don’t think there’s going to be any kind of magical fix for the website in the coming months. This is an administration totally lost at sea, without a hope.
From PJM’s Breaking News Columnists
Monday and Tuesday
Get to Know Everyone on the #ReadEverythingTheyWrite List!
18 of My Favorite Writers And Most Important Intellectual Influences:
6 On Foreign Policy:
- Monday, August 5: ‘War, and Preparation for War, Are the Normal Conditions of Mankind, While Peace Is Extremely Rare.’ – Michael Ledeen
- Tuesday, August 6 on Andrew C. McCarthy: Muslim Brotherhood Operatives Have Infiltrated America’s Political and Cultural Institutions to Conquer Us from Within
- Wednesday, August 7 on Barry Rubin: First We Define Anti-Americanism, Then We Crush It Again Even Harder
- Thursday, August 8 on Claudia Rosett: The United Nations is a Corrupt Failure That Does Not Unite Nations
- Friday, August 9 on David P. Goldman: No to Corporate Neoconservatism, No to Paleo-Libertarian Anarchism, Yes to Augustinian Realism
- Tuesday, August 13 on Victor Davis Hanson: The Price We Pay for Our Ignorance of Military History Is Dead Americans
4 On Culture:
- Wednesday, August 14: 3 Weapons to Win the Culture War Courtesy of Roger Kimball
- Monday, August 19: How to End the Fake Fight Between Social Conservatives and Libertarians With Andrew Klavan’s Wonderful Writing
- Wednesday, August 21: Michael Walsh Names the Founder of the Criminal Organization Destroying America for Two Centuries…
- Sunday, August 24: The Most Valuable Writing Advice Roger L. Simon Gave Me…
5 On History:
- Tuesday, August 27: Ron Radosh: The Most Valuable Historian Exposing Marxism’s Long War Against America
- Thursday, September 5 on Ion Mihai Pacepa: How the Soviets Seeded Antisemitism Around the World and the Price We Pay with Syria Today
- Wednesday, September 11 on James C. Bennett and Michael J. Lotus and their essential book America 3.0: On 9/11 and Benghazi’s Anniversary, We End Conservative Pessimism and Right-Wing Apocalypticism
- Tuesday, October 9 on Robert Spencer’s Vital Role in Creating Conservatism 3.0
2 On New Media:
- Wednesday, October 16 on Prager University: ‘There’s Nothing Just About Nature. Nature Is Only About Survival.’
- Tuesday, October 22: Ed Driscoll: New Media Master and Cultural Conquistador
1 On Talk Radio (beginning a ranking of the best hosts working today)
- Wednesday, October 30 on Dennis Prager: The 21 Most Evil News Stories from October