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Monthly Archives: August 2007

The $12 Million Bitch

August 29th, 2007 - 6:39 pm

I didn’t know the plural for shrimp is shrimps in British English.

Doodles of Doom!

August 29th, 2007 - 10:23 am

No, really. And there’s a fabulous prize involved, so check it out.

Required Reading

August 26th, 2007 - 3:46 pm

Robert Kaplan on modern wars, commandos, and liberal democracies. The best article you’ll read this summer.

James Webb Space Telescope

August 22nd, 2007 - 10:54 pm

Brits at their Best has a post about a space telescope due for launch in 2013. It will be called the James Webb Space Telescope, a joint effort from NASA and the European Space Agency.

Webb’s main camera will be able to see back 14 billion years, much farther than Hubble can see. (We see space, and time is in it. Or was in it. Or something.)

Deadweight

August 19th, 2007 - 9:44 pm

Consider me not impressed with the amateurish efforts at BlogsforFredThompson.com. One of their editors, “Brkcmo,” lifted and posted my entire drunkblog — word for word, reader comments and all. Brkcmo didn’t claim my work as his own, but he sure demonstrated bucketsful of ignorance in how blogging works.

If Thompson wants to be President, it’s about damn time he stuck it all the way in and announced his candidacy, and hired maybe just one real blogger with maybe some tiny bit of savvy.

I’ve emailed the “editor” to complain, but haven’t gotten a reply yet. Whatever happens, you can color me unimpressed with Thompson’s non-campaign.

Almost Forgot

August 19th, 2007 - 8:34 pm

Edward Christie has been a regular in the comments section here since the VodkaPundit blog was but a wee pup, still trying to wet on Andrew Sullivan’s floor. The post below is pretty good proof of why it felt like a good idea to bring Ed on board.

Welcome aboard, buddy. Hope you have as much fun around here as Will Collier and I do.

Fine and Mellow

August 19th, 2007 - 7:07 pm

What’s better than watching politicians stand and pose on a beautiful Sunday morning? Almost anything.

What’s better than watching Miss Billie Holiday sit and sing on a beautiful Sunday evening? Almost nothing.

Oh Please

August 19th, 2007 - 6:23 pm

Oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please let it be true.

Debate Drunkblogging — The Wrap

August 19th, 2007 - 10:28 am

I think this was Hillary Clinton’s best performance. Most everything she said struck me as wrong or stupid or both. On the other hand, she finally came across as a tolerable human being. That’s no small feat, since her personality is her Achilles Heel. Joe Biden made the most sense, but he looked and sounded tired, tired all the way down to his soul.

Everybody else came out worse than they went in. And that’s saying something, given that they all must’ve gotten out of bed at 4am to prepare. I’d look for John Edwards to slip even further in the polls, even in Iowa. His angry voice/Farrah Fawcett smile is the most off-putting combination I’ve seen since a failed bartending experiment involving scotch and tonic.

Barrack Obama: Would make a nice high school history teacher. You know, the one who always wrote his test questions wrong.

Dennis Kucinich: Makes Kim Jong Il look tall. And also like a supply-sider.

Mike Gravel: Crazy enough to run, too crazy to quit.

Chris Dodd: What’s with the green tie? Pair it with a like-colored shirt and he could be running for host of Who Wants to be a Millionaire?

Bill Richardson: Now defines the term “surrender monkey.” I think he’s been a great governor, but electing him President would prove the Peter Principle optimistic.

Weak field. And while this isn’t a prediction, I think the Republicans could (and just might) do worse than a Clinton-Biden ticket.

Debate Drunkblogging — Live on Tape!

August 19th, 2007 - 9:01 am

8:31am (All times Mountain) I’m ready to blog this thing. I’ve had a banana for nourishment, and I have a tall Bloody Mary for, uh, further nourishment.

8:34am ABC News promised me a debate at 8:30, but my local station is running local sports and weather. If I’d have known they were running late, I’d have gotten out of this old bathrobe and into a shower. Yes, I really am pajama blogging.

8:40am With all this extra time, I’ve at least had the chance to get into another Bloody Mary. So this morning doesn’t entirely suck.

8:40.75am ABC’s “Good Morning Colorado Weekend Edition” is so bad, I just topped off my Bloody — with nothing but pure vodka. We’re not even to the debate yet, and already I’ve given up on life itself. Sobriety, anyway.

8:48am Just got off the phone with my PJ Media handler/editor guy. No more network access at his hotel, so I’m moving the drunkblog home to VodkaPundit.

9:01am I’ve been following politics for more than a quarter century now. Which means I can remember when the girls all thought that Stephanopoulos was “a total hottie.” If you think that makes me feel old, wait’ll you see George.

9:02am I’m not sure how fair it is to the other candidates for George to start things off by announcing to everybody that John Edwards has personally purchased Iowa already.

9:03am Hillary cracked a joke about the early hour, and it was actually kind of funny. And she cracked a smile, and it was actually kind of genuine.

9:04 We’ve started off giving Hillary (and Dodd, and maybe others?) a chance to talk about weeks-old gaffes by Barrack Obama. Wonder who George likes best?

9:06am Dodd’s wearing the green tie again. It’s early enough on a Sunday morning that I wonder if he thinks he’s still in Chicago from the last debate.

9:07am Joe Biden, “I think I stand by the statement.” You think?

9:08am “To prepare for this debate, I rode in the bumper cars at the State Fair,” said Obama. Great line, but after the grinder he’s gone through lately, I’m pretty sure it was pre-scripted. Well delivered, however.

9:09am “Aggressive, personal diplomacy… will ultimately make us safer,” said Obama. He really is all charm.

9:11am George just nailed Hillary, with videotape, for taking nukes “off the table” her own self last year. Hillary deflected, talking about “the Bush-Cheney administration.” Did she really just use the evil “Bush-Cheney” codephrase? Does she think she’s running in the last election? She certainly sounds like it, when she needs to rally the nutroots.

9:13am “Hope and optimism, where did it go?” asked the Breck Girl. Uh, dude — have you heard your paranoid self on the campaign trail the last two years? I’d say Edwards chucked hope and optimism overboard on the November night in ’04 that he discovered his smile wasn’t enough to win him higher office.

9:15am Edwards is also going to eliminate nukes. Meanwhile, Mike Gravel said we’ve expanded our nuclear capabilities over the last 25 years. Has he not heard of the START treaties? Did he not sign off on them? He also accuses us of “destabilizing” “democracy” in Iran. The man is clearly insane.

9:17am George just used a Karl Rove interview to ask Obama, basically, “Is Hillary electable?” That is the real question, isn’t it? Obama’s answer: “Boy, the last six years sure sucked, huh?”

9:19am Obama is now rambling about how much the tone in Washington also sucks. And he’s going to change that by being Obama, I think. There’s an old song, it goes, “Didn’t he ramble… didn’t he ra-a-a-amble.”

9:21am Edwards said that lobbyists are blocking the “change America needs.” Except, by definition, aren’t half of lobbying efforts in favor of change that the other guys are against?

9:22am Hillary is running against “the Republican attack machine.” I was sick of hearing about that long before Bill was finished with Monica. She’s running like it’s 1999!

9:23am Also, Hillary just claimed that class-action reform is just “putting money in the pockets of big business.” And no reform is just putting money in the pockets of John Edwards and the ABA.

9:25am Edwards is scary angry, talking about “taking” and “beating” and “not negotiating” with… guys in suits. If only he were so firm with guys wearing suicide bomb vests.

9:27am Dodd has a real skill when he’s speaking, for making me think, “Why is he here?”

9:28am Somebody needs to take Dennis Kucinich aside and tell him to stop doing that to his hair. Even Cal Thomas finally let a little gray show through the road tar holding his in place.

9:29am Democratic voters want to know, “When are we getting out of Iraq?” according to George S. Biden has a new ad, saying that we’ve got to get out “in a way that doesn’t require sending their grandsons back” there in 30 years. Meanwhile, Richardson is arguing for a “full” retreat of every single soldier. “All of the troops out, no residual forces.” Now that is what I call a surrender strategy.

9:30am Biden is now answering the Iraq question, and he’s the only person in the room — audience included — who sounds like a grown-up.

9:32am Hillary just admitted that, in her role on the Armed Forces Committee, she’s been leaning on the Pentagon to start planning her big Iraq Retreat. That’s what the enemy needs to hear.

9:33am Except now she’s saying that “Joe [Biden] is right.” Well — which is it?

9:34am “This is American imperialism we’re hearing up here,” says Gravel about Hillary and Biden. If that’s imperialism, then my three Bloody Marys are examples of sobriety.

9:35am Edwards is still angry. Given the time of day, I suggest he switch to decaf. I can’t hear him over the anger, but I can barely see him past the glare of his smile. It’s a distracting, not to say nearly impossible, combination.

9:37am Now Richardson says that we need stability in Iraq, and oil revenue sharing, and maybe partition. And with no troops there after this December, how are we supposed to get those things, Bill? If Obama came off as the lightweight last month, I’d say Richardson has slipped comfortably into the part this morning.

9:38am “Residual troops.” That phrase just sounds gross.

9:40am It’s fun watching all of these guys, Obama included, trying to reposition themselves in front of the Petraeus Report due next month. Instead of “the surge,” it’s more like the “lunge — to the right.”

9:42am Obama is, as a friend said, a nincompoop. He wants an “orderly, phased withdrawal… so that diplomacy can begin.” How does he think diplomacy works?

9:43am It’s funny hearing Kucinich use the word “maturity” when he’s shorter than my 19-month-old son.

9:44am Hillary claims she’s relied on prayer through her life. Her usual one goes, “Dear Lord, please don’t let Bill screw this up for me.”

9:45am Mike Gravel believes in love. Picture, if you will, a warm, loving Mike Gravel. You’re locked in his embrace… then he starts shouting in your ear and biting your shoulder like a mad dog.

9:47am It’s also weird watching Democrats talk about personal religion. It didn’t use to be that way, but I guess after Jimmy Carter, they needed to lay off for 25 years or so.

9:48am What’s Obama’s take on prayer? Build better levees for New Orleans. I swear he said that.

9:50am “I’ll bring strong spiritual values into the White House,” promised Kucinich. You think President Hillary Clinton will give him a day pass?

9:51am I’ve had 2.5 Bloodys. [Correction: That's 3.5, at about 3oz vodka per. Woo.] Is it asking too much for a commercial break?

9:53am Hillary wants to be a “smart, pro-American trader.” So much for the best part of Bill’s legacy. Sigh.

9:54am Twenty seconds to commercial break. Whew!

10:00am We’re back, and just in time for a cup of decaf from my bride.

10:01am ABC News managed to find the one homemade video question that makes the worst of YouTube look like the best of Indiana Jones. Mumbling guy in black t-shirt standing up against the wall, looking like he’s getting ready for his mugshot. Scary.

10:03am I got so distracted by Scary Video Man, that I have no idea what his question was, or why the candidates are saying what they’re saying. Which puts me only 50% more behind than usual.

10:06am Everybody on this stage is running against George W. Bush. I’ve asked it before and I’ll ask it again: Where were these people in 2004? Was Bush so scary that they couldn’t run against him then, or so unpopular now that he’s an easy mark? Either way, how do these candidates’ actions then and now reflect on their ability to wage an anti-terror war? Or even to stand up to lobbyist bogeymen?

10:08am “Should more effective teachers be paid less than less effective ones?” I think the questioner got that a little mixed up, but it’ll be fun watching the candidates toe the teacher’s union line. For instance, Dodd wants to give everybody more money, no matter how much they might suck.

10:10am No Child Left Behind is so unpopular on this stage, you’d swear Obama & Co. were running against co-author Ted Kennedy. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

10:12am Richardson just proposed the minimum wage for teachers. Which, in some cases that sounds like it might be too much. (Actually, he proposed a minimum wage for teachers, of $40k. But it still sounded funny.)

10:14am Gravel just dropped the teacher’s unions from his loving embrace, and called for competitive pay. Unfortunately, he got so fighting mad that he couldn’t complete any of his many sentences. Also, I saw a bunch of people in the front row hold up raincoats and plastic sheets with each sputter.

10:15am Kucinich just promised a lot more homework for kids. He might want to consider raising the voting age up to at least 22.

10:17am The question is, Should the Fed reduce the discount rate for everybody? It’d a yes-no question, said George, but it’s still fun watching Democrats go after any chance to promise people free money.

10:18am Except for Obama, who’s promising more regulations instead.

10:19am And except for Kucinich, who I swear just promised “more government control” of the economy.

10:20am Kucinich also just promised to “lift everyone up.” He looks like he couldn’t curl jogging weights.

10:22am Remember back in 1992, when Ross Perot compared the deficit to the “crazy aunt in the basement.” Mike Gravel is the crazy uncle in the liquor cabinet.

10:25am OK, it’s over. I’ll have a brief wrap-up, briefly.

Please Stand By

August 19th, 2007 - 8:42 am

My editor at PJ Media just called to tell me the wireless at his hotel died a few minutes ago. Normally, I’d just call off the drunkblogging. But I’ve already made up this pitcher of Bloodys, and I’d hate to see all that effort go to waste.

So if anybody is watching the damn thing, I’ll drunkblog this debate right here at VodkaPundit.

UPDATE: Almost forgot. The drunkblogging will start at 9am Mountain.

Here We Go Again

August 19th, 2007 - 7:56 am

Debate drunkblogging is set to begin, just as soon as my local ABC affiliate decides to grace me with the presence of George Stephanopoulos. And I’ll bet that’s the first time anybody ever used that phrase, including Mrs. Stephanopoulos.

PJ Media will carry the drunkcast in realtime.

You Make the Call

August 18th, 2007 - 10:24 am

Has Time’s Joe Klein lost his marbles? He writes:

Romney now has to be considered a strong favorite for the Republican nomination. Giuliani may give him a tussle

He Does It for the Love*

August 18th, 2007 - 7:46 am

Haul out your Bloody Mary fixings — the Democrats are debating again tomorrow morning, and I’ll be tape-delay drunkblogging the big mess. Our local ABC affiliate will run the show at 8:30am Mountain, so I’ll have my Bloodys and my laptop ready at go at 8:15.

Catch the fun at PJ Media.

*Love of money, and cocktails.

Radicalization in the West

August 16th, 2007 - 5:45 am

This interesting article in today’s NY Daily News contains a link to a new NYPD report, titled “Radicalization in the West: The Homegrown Threat”.

Fightin’ Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) says the NYPD report is “a breakthrough in our efforts to defend our homeland in the global war with Islamist terrorism” so you know it’s good.

Hold Your Horses (And Your Torque, Too)

August 15th, 2007 - 10:15 am

Don’t get too excited about the all-electric Tesla roadster. Tesla’s CEO just took a demotion, explaining:

We are still planning to start production of the Roadster by the end of next month and deliver the first cars to customers this fall. We have a good chance of meeting this goal, but to be fully transparent, I want you to know that while it is within our reach, it is not yet fully within our grasp.

TTAC has all the details.

Astronomy Picture of the Day

August 14th, 2007 - 7:11 pm

This will be old news for some, but today I had the opportunity to introduce someone to the NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day site. The link points to an archive containing 12 years of amazing photographs from the Hubble Space Telescope, land-based telescopes, and entries submitted by amateur photographers and astronomers. Check it out daily, if you aren’t already.

Who knew stars came from a star factory? I didn’t!

The New Guy

August 13th, 2007 - 3:40 pm

Yo, Steve, it’s Monday!

Thank you for allowing me to become a contributor to your inestimable Web site, which has become an archive of wisdom, humor, and fearless opinion steeped in the best traditions of generations of American tipplers. I look forward to contributing to the fun.

But hey, can I have a week’s probation to learn all these new buttons and things?

Cheers, everybody. A picture of my credentials is (hopefully) attached.

(more…)

The Cutting Truth

August 12th, 2007 - 9:17 am

Glenn Reynolds wants to know about knives. I was more than happy to share what I’ve learned, and sent Glenn this email:

Two words: Go Global.

I bought nothing but forged German knives for years — just like the more-expensive Wusthof stuff you’re considering. (Don’t even think about the cheaper stuff. It’s made from stamped steel and can’t hold an edge.) I bought a Japanese Global chef’s knife about 18 months ago to round out the collection, and now it’s the only knife I use.

Correction: I received a second Global (an “Asian chef’s” knife) as a Christmas gift. Now they’re the only two blades I use. Correction: They’re the only two blades my wife uses, either.

Whatever the alloy it is that Global uses, it’s tough. It’s easy to put on an edge, and hard to take off. I sharpen them far less often than I ever did my 20-knife collection of Wusthof and Henckels, but the Globals get sharper and stay sharper. How much would you pay for all that? Pretty much exactly the same as you would for Wusthof or Henckels.

I don’t buy Japanese cars, but from now on I’ll buy nothing but Japanese knives.

One more thing I forgot to mention. We also bought some Global steak knives. Are they good? They’re like scalpels, baby. Using them feels like performing brain surgery on steak. Heh.

A Worthy Cause

August 11th, 2007 - 3:39 pm

Now here’s an effort I could get behind.

Podcast Madness

August 10th, 2007 - 3:01 pm

I was on the Michael Koolidge Show (Newstalk 1060 AM) earlier this week, talking shop with Mike. The podcast is available here.

Is It Five Yet?

August 7th, 2007 - 4:38 pm

debateprep.jpg

No, not quite officially cocktail hour here. So I jumped the gun on tonight’s first Democratic Debate Drunkblog Martini. We’ll call it “debate prep.” Remember to tune into PJ Media at 7pm Eastern for all the drunkbloggy fun.

UPDATE: Direct link here.

Don’t Answer That

August 7th, 2007 - 3:01 pm

31706453.jpg

Maybe I’m being unfair. But I can’t help wondering if these guys would be waving signs of support if Obama had threatened to invade Israel.

Cocktails Will Be Served at Five

August 7th, 2007 - 2:54 pm

That’s at 5pm Mountain, thanks to the good folks at PJ Media. That’s where you can catch tonight’s Democratic Debate Drunkblogging.

Times Deselected

August 7th, 2007 - 9:23 am

The question is, after two years, will anyone want to read Maureen Dowd even for free?

Birds of a Feather

August 7th, 2007 - 8:12 am

I think I love these guys.

And Then There Were Seven

August 7th, 2007 - 7:47 am

Would you believe the Democrats are holding another “debate” tonight? Would you believe “candidate” Mike Gravel was apparently not invited?

I’ll drunkblog starting around 7pm Eastern, either here or at PJ Media. More info for you once I have some.

Good Question

August 6th, 2007 - 4:56 pm

How many more weeks like the last one can Barrack Obama afford?

Debate Drunkblogging – Mostly Dead!

August 5th, 2007 - 10:06 am

Catch all the vodka-fueled fun at PJ Media.

Notice/Sunday Brunch Recipe

August 5th, 2007 - 6:53 am

I’ll be liveblogging this morning’s Republican presidential debate for PJ Media. Semi-live-drunk-blogging, that is. The show here is on tape delay, airing in southern Colorado at 11am Eastern instead of 10am.

Which leaves me with plenty of time to make and enjoy my famous Bloody Marys. You can play along at home.

You’ll need:

A very tall glass.
A large handful of ice.
2 ounces of Absolut Peppar vodka.
If you can’t find the Peppar on such short notice, then just use plain vodka. But don’t forget to add 10 or 12 twists of fresh-cracked pepper.
You could make that three ounces.
Four ounces might be pushing it.
6 to 8 ounces of V-8 vegetable juice.
A stalk of celery.
A dash of celery seed, whole.
A dash or three of Worcestershire sauce.
The juice of half a lime.
Some fresh grated horseradish.
A bare minimum of five drops of Tabasco.

Combine all the ingredients (except the celery stalk and the very tall glass) in a cocktail shaker. Shake thoroughly for 15 seconds, then pour into the very tall glass. Throw out the celery stalk. I mean, having one is traditional, but who wants that thing poking you in the eye with every sip?

Lather, rinse, repeat.

UPDATE: Yes, I’m semi-live, semi-drunk blogging — to a text file. The good folks at PJ Media aren’t yet ready to go live, but they do own this liveblog. So you’ll just have to wait until they’re good to go. Meanwhile, I’m going to take a big gulp of Bloody and get back to the debate.