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Monthly Archives: October 2008

TV Guide

October 31st, 2008 - 4:36 pm

On today’s PJTV Blogger Whip, it’s Scott Ott, Eric Scheie, and myself. Of course, Scott pretty much steals the show.

On the other hand, I brought cheesecake.

Many Obamans Died to Bring Us This Information

October 31st, 2008 - 3:27 pm

Scott Ott somehow got his hands on an early draft of Obama’s concession speech.

Tax Limbo

October 31st, 2008 - 12:21 pm

How low can you go? Bill Richardson says $120,000 is the new rich.

Show Me the Money

October 31st, 2008 - 11:28 am

Tesla Motors: Defrauding depositors for its mostly-vaporware electric sports car?

Is Perot Back In?

October 31st, 2008 - 8:04 am

Montana goes from Leans Republican to Toss-Up.

Beg for Forgiveness

October 31st, 2008 - 7:24 am

Before Drudge deletes the page, as he always does:

PURGE: SKEPTICAL REPORTERS TOSSED OFF OBAMA PLANE
Fri Oct 31 2008 08:39:55 ET

NY POST, DALLAS MORNING NEWS, WASHINGTON TIMES TOLD TO GET OUT… ALL 3 ENDORSED MCCAIN

**Exclusive**

The Obama campaign has decided to heave out three newspapers from its plane for the final days of its blitz across battleground states — and all three endorsed Sen. John McCain for president!

The NY POST, WASHINGTON TIMES and DALLAS MORNING NEWS have all been told to move out by Sunday to make room for network bigwigs — and possibly for the inclusion of reporters from two black magazines, ESSENCE and JET, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.

Despite pleas from top editors of the three newspapers that have covered the campaign for months at extraordinary cost, the Obama campaign says their reporters — and possibly others — will have to vacate their coveted seats so more power players can document the final days of Sen. Barack Obama’s historic campaign to become the first black American president.

MORE

Some told the DRUDGE REPORT that the reporters are being ousted to bring on documentary film-makers to record the final days; others expect to see on board more sympathetic members of the media, including the NY TIMES’ Maureen Dowd, who once complained that she was barred from McCain’s Straight Talk Express airplane.

After a week of quiet but desperate behind-the-scenes negotiations, the reporters of the three papers heard last night that they were definitely off for the final swing. They are already planning how to cover the final days by flying commercial or driving from event to event.

Developing…

Now then, would President Obama be more likely or less to engage in this kind of behavior than Candidate Obama?

Coming Soon

October 30th, 2008 - 4:31 pm

At (or aroundish) 3:55PM Pacific, it’s today’s PJTV Blogger Whip with Ron Coleman, and Patrick Bell, and myself.

Live on Tape — This Time for Real!

October 30th, 2008 - 9:04 am

Ted Kennedy in drag, just in time for Halloween and only on PJTV.

Does McCain Still Have a Shot at Colorado?

October 30th, 2008 - 8:43 am

My latest PJ Media column attempts to answer the question.

Japan, Inc. — American Style

October 30th, 2008 - 6:23 am

Here’s the problem:

Ratcheting its key rate from the current 1 percent all the way down to zero can’t be ruled out. But there are risks in taking such an unprecedented step: namely, that it wouldn’t work in turning around the economy and breaking through a stubborn credit clog.

Eventually, a zero percent rate — virtually “free” loans for banks — could trigger a speculative investment frenzy that could feed a bubble that pops, wreaking havoc on the economy. Former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan — now partly blamed for the current problems — has called today’s crisis a “once-in-a-century credit tsunami.”

Back when Paul Krugman was still an economist with original and daring thoughts to share, he came up with a novel solution to Japan’s deflationary recession of the 1990s. Namely: Run the presses! Let people know that inflation was coming, so they’d better spend yen today or find them worth less tomorrow.

Seriously, it was a radically simple idea; if deflation is the problem, inflate your way out of it.

But now? I dunno. We’re in a period of asset deflation, but the government has been running the printing presses at full speed (with concurrent reductions in the prime) for ages now. And we’ve been through a period of commodity inflation (think oil and metals) for a while. So money supply is going up while commodity prices fluctuate pretty wildly and demand is depressed.

Oh, and currencies are all over the place.

What’s going to happen? Hell, I can’t even figure out what’s already happened.

That’s An Easy One

October 30th, 2008 - 5:03 am

Prediction: Should Obama win, Biden will be the least visible Vice President since John Nance Garner.

Or at least Obama will wish he would be.

Don’t Answer the Phone

October 29th, 2008 - 5:59 pm

Here’s the question everyone is asking:

Could the polls be wrong?

And here’s the hope behind the question:

Sen. John McCain and his allies say that they are. The country, they say, could be headed to a 2008 version of the famous 1948 upset election, with McCain in the role of Harry S. Truman and Sen. Barack Obama as Thomas E. Dewey, lulled into overconfidence by inaccurate polls.

Problem is, back in 1948 Gallup was about the only national pollster around. And he didn’t even bother to poll in the last week of the election. Today, we’ve got tons of polls — and (you’d hope) much improved methodology coming from the added 60 years of experience.

Compassionate Liberalism

October 29th, 2008 - 5:12 pm

Didn’t Reverend Wright ever teach his star parishioner that charity begins at home?

Live on Tape

October 29th, 2008 - 5:08 pm

If you missed it on XM or iTunes, this week’s PJM Political is online for downloading or streaming.

It’s a Date!

October 29th, 2008 - 3:30 pm

It’s the Great Libertarian Purge of 2008. Fortunately, there is no GULAG or kangaroo courts involved.

Although I keep hearing that the reeducation camps will be opening sometime around noon on January 20.

Calendar Girls

October 29th, 2008 - 2:48 pm

I’d like to think that everybody is pretty in mink.

Required Viewing

October 29th, 2008 - 2:25 pm

Conservatives are such haters.

NOTE: This was originally supposed to go up two weeks ago, but got lost in the deep, twisted ugly forest known as WordPress. I found it, unpublished, while doing a little housekeeping.

Always In Motion Is the Future

October 29th, 2008 - 2:20 pm

Kaus wonders if the Bradley Effect is still, uh, in effect:

If you’re looking for evidence of a “Bradley”-like effect–in which preelection polls can be wildly off–one place to look is the polling on Ward Connerly’s Civil Rights Initiative in Michigan. According to Connerly (in answer to an email query)

Some polls had us losing by 10 points the weekend before the election. We won by 16.

Results here. … It seems clear, in that case at least, voters told pollsters the respectable PC answer they thought pollsters wanted to hear. … Barack Obama was one of those campaigning (in radio spots) for the respectable PC side that lost.

Of course, that was before Obama had become the Anointed One. We shall see which way the, ah, righteous wind blows.

Deal With It

October 29th, 2008 - 1:07 pm

That’s the sound of freedom, people.

Age, Guile, Etc.

October 29th, 2008 - 12:14 pm

It ain’t over till it’s over:

Analysts have predicted that new voters, young voters and Hispanic voters will turn out in record numbers in this election. But as Nevadans continue to flock to the polls, turnout among those three groups is lagging, at least in the early going.

While turnout statewide was nearly 25 percent through Sunday, it was just 20 percent among Hispanic voters, 14 percent among voters under 30 and 15 percent among those who didn’t vote in the last three elections, according to an analysis of state early voting records through Sunday prepared by America Votes, an organization that works to mobilize voters.

It might be time to stop using Gallup’s new math for “enthused” and “youth” voters and go back to the original formula.

Too Little Too Late

October 29th, 2008 - 11:38 am

GM is delaying nearly all of its new products by three months to a year — to save just six weeks worth of its current cash burn.

A year buys them six weeks? That’s a losing formula.

All Too Easy

October 29th, 2008 - 10:12 am

Will Colorado properly count its absentee ballots? Very possibly not, says Colorado early voter Bruce F Webster:

the voter is supposed to sign in a specific location on the back of the ballot envelope (an Affidavit of Voter). Again, this is pointed out in the separate instruction sheet — and, frankly, on the front of the envelope, too. However, the instruction sheet shows the area to sign as being right under the text of the “Affidavit of Voter”. It’s not — it’s above and to the right of the “Affidavit of Voter”, and underneath the envelope flap. That appears to be deliberate, since there is a portion of the envelope flap that can be pulled off to expose the signature. But it means that if the voter seals the envelope without seeing that location under the flap, s/he may well not realize that s/he has to sign the envelope — and the ballot won’t count.

Bruce notes other problems as well.

I’m no fan of making it so easy to cast mail-in ballots. Part of the election process is to see how a candidate holds up under the pressure of a full-bore presidential campaign. How they hold up in the last days might be even more important than what they promise in the early days. Voting a month early robs a voter of that knowledge. And besides, isn’t an election supposed to be a civic event, where we really do come together as one to perform one of our few real national duties? Marking off a few lines on your kitchen table and dropping something in the mail hardly counts, in my book.

Look, it’s not like I want to stand in longer lines in some stinky high school gym just to cast a ballot for some mostly-worthless politicians I’d never want to invite into my home — but that ought to be one of the small prices of democracy.

Help Me, Obama-Wan Kenobi

October 29th, 2008 - 9:46 am

Of course space opera has come back in a big way. Judging by what’s going on around us, it’s 1977 all over again.

The Door Did Miss My Ass on the Way Out

October 29th, 2008 - 9:01 am

Ryan Sager:

Two years ago, I wrote a book imploring the Republican Party not to follow its worst elements off a cliff—not to evolve, in short, into an insular party with little-to-no appeal outside of the rural, the southern, the Evangelical. As the McCain campaign flames out in a ball of Rovian disgrace, scorching the center in an attempt to fire up the base, it’s difficult to reach any other conclusion than that the battle for the soul of the Republican Party has been lost.

A party can ignore an important segment of swing voters for only so long — four-to-eight-years in the case of most right-leaning libertarians — before they finally become disaffected. Can the Republicans win us back?

I dunno. Can they stop taking us for granted?

Same Old Same Old

October 29th, 2008 - 8:47 am

Michael Barone on Obama’s New New Deal, which sounds a lot like a Rehashed Deal:

Obama seems determined to follow policies better suited to freezing the economy in place than to promoting economic growth. Higher taxes on high earners, for one. He told Charlie Gibson he would raise capital gains taxes even if that reduced revenue: less wealth to spread around, but at least the rich wouldn’t have it — reminiscent of the Puritan sumptuary laws that prohibited the wearing of silk. Moves toward protectionism like Hoover’s (Roosevelt had the good sense to promote free trade). National health insurance that threatens to lead to rationing and to stifle innovation. Promoting unionization by abolishing secret ballot union elections.

Funny he should use the word Puritans — I thought that applied to vicious right-wingers only. But let’s face it; there are buckled-shoe folks on both sides of the aisle.

Obama’s tax policies – not as bad as some say. But still plenty bad enough:

These tax increases are not as bad as some Obama statements during the Democratic primaries suggested they would be, and they fall well short of what some of his conservative critics claim. For example, Obama does not propose to tax dividends at 40 percent or to impose the full 12.4 percent Social Security tax on high earners.

His real proposals, however, would still be plenty damaging.

Read the rest here.

(With Apologies to Roger L. Simon)

October 29th, 2008 - 7:07 am

The Los Angeles Times asks: Are Hollywood conservatives abandoning McCain?

Answer: Maybe all three of them.

Publish or Perish or Not

October 29th, 2008 - 6:00 am

The Christian Science Monitor becomes the first major newspaper to abandon paper:

The paper is currently published Monday through Friday, and will move to online only in April, although it will also introduce a weekend magazine. John Yemma, The Monitor’s editor, said that moving to a Web focus will mean it can keep its eight foreign bureaus open.

“We have the luxury — the opportunity — of making a leap that most newspapers will have to make in the next five years,” Mr. Yemma said.

I’m left wondering if five years might be a little optimistic.

Tune In, Turn On, Drop Out

October 29th, 2008 - 5:08 am

On this week’s edition of PJM Political, we have a pre-post-mortem on the McCain campaign with myself, Ed Driscoll, Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey, and James Lileks. Plus more Lileks, Princeton’s Peter Wood, and CNBC’s Larry Kudlow. It’s our final pre-election extravaganza.

You can listen live on XM Satillite Radio’s POTUS 08 channel, subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, or download it at PJM later this afternoon.

Must See TV

October 28th, 2008 - 3:27 pm

My segment today on PJTV: Ted Kennedy in drag.

I’ll be on right after the Powerline crew, because everybody needs to let their brains relax a little after those guys are done.

Oops: I got bumped until tomorrow’s edition of PJTV Daily. I think this is what happens for giving our viewers images of Ted Kennedy wearing lipstick.

Wait — but it’s OK if Obama does it?