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Monthly Archives: October 2008

Oh, That Liberal Media

October 28th, 2008 - 1:26 pm

55 (of 57 responding) Slate magazine employees plan to vote for Obama.

I might not agree, but I respect the hell out of their decision to go public.

Sign Me Up

October 28th, 2008 - 10:15 am

A fully-featured iPhone for $99? That wouldn’t suck.

Maybe President Obama Will Heal Them

October 28th, 2008 - 9:37 am

This item is a little shocking:

The overall cost of drugs for type 2 diabetes almost doubled between 2001 and 2007, yet whether these newer drugs improve care and outcomes isn’t known, a new study finds.

In that time period, total spending went from $6.7 billion to $12.5 billion, say researchers from the University of Chicago and Stanford University.

In 2002, diabetes accounted for more than 10 percent of U.S. health-care expenditures, and that number is expected to increase as the number of people with type 2 diabetes grows, the researchers noted.

I’m glad I gave up drinking all those Cokes.

Required Viewing

October 28th, 2008 - 8:39 am

Live, from the Ministry of Truth — it’s Ed Driscoll!

Second Rater

October 28th, 2008 - 7:16 am

An event 35 years (or more) in the making:

CNBC’s Phil LeBeau reports that Toyota’s three U.S. brands could outsell GM’s eight brands in October. “This week is not only the last one of the month. It’s also the week that could determine if GM holds on to the top spot in monthly auto sales in the U.S. Initial reports of October retail auto sales show Toyota outpacing GM and Ford. If that trend holds for the full month, we could be looking at the day many in Detroit have feared for years.”

If GM needs someone to blame, I have a mirror they can look into.

The Blame Game

October 28th, 2008 - 6:10 am

It’s got to be hard for McCain-Palin supporters to keep their chins up when there are stories like this one going around:

There is no question that there is a rift between Sarah Palin’s camp and that of John McCain inside the Republican campaign, sources tell ABC News.

And you are seeing people within the McCain campaign starting to look to the future.

Not only Palin, but many of the McCain staffers, as well, are circulating their resumes and pointing the finger.

Rats. Sinking ship. All that.

Each election, I have a wistful moment — several times each day, at least — when I pine to see the campaigns’ internal poll numbers. I’m afraid that if this story is correct, then I just did.

Well, here’s a… it’s… ahh…

Well. Er.

I’m speechless. And strangely aroused.

The Mean Season

October 27th, 2008 - 5:20 pm

Shoulda seen this one coming:

A Halloween decoration showing a mannequin dressed as vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin hanging by a noose from the roof of a West Hollywood home is drawing giggles from some passers-by and gasps of outrage from others.

The mannequin is dressed in brunet wig, glasses and a red business suit. Another mannequin dressed as John McCain emerges from a flaming chimney.

Can you imagine any other female candidate getting this kind of treatment without howls from one end of the country to the other?

I won’t even ask where the effigy of Obama is — not least because I don’t want to give some idiot the wrong idea.

Well, Good

October 27th, 2008 - 5:17 pm

Ted Stevens: Convicted.

RIP

October 27th, 2008 - 3:56 pm

Dean Barnett succumbed to cystic fibrosis earlier today. Thoughts and prayers for his family and friends.

He was one of the good guys and will be missed.

UPDATE: I’d forgotten reading this piece of Dean’s from a couple years back, but it might prove to be one of his most lasting legacies.

Required Reading

October 27th, 2008 - 11:40 am

The war is over.”

And — oh yeah — we seem to have won.

Ask the French

October 27th, 2008 - 10:20 am

Howard Fineman reports from Obama HQ:

It’s nearly as silent as a study hall, which is appropriate, since most of the 20- or 30-somethings in it wear jeans and T shirts. They could be working on their Ph.D.s or at a high-tech startup.

Yet, as unassuming as it seems, this is the engine room of a novel grass-roots machine that may soon have another purpose: to help Obama govern the country. If he wins, it also could cause him headaches: if you live by viral marketing, you can die by it, too. “His supporters have sky-high expectations and expect to be involved,” says Will Marshall, who studied the Obama organization for the Democratic Leadership Council. “They are loyal but not easy to control.”

That’s the problem with revolutions — too often they throw the baby out with the bathwater. And it’s the reason I expect this election is either going to be a nailbiter, or a total blow-out. Which one? Uh… ask again a week from Wednesday.

Wow, Obama really is going after the youth vote.

Required Viewing

October 27th, 2008 - 8:37 am

Not that many defenders of the Constitution had much interest in voting for Obama anyway…

But What Does It Do?

October 26th, 2008 - 1:28 pm

This little device turns your iPhone into a mini laptop. Just in case you thought it was too small to fit in your pocket, I guess.

(Hat tip, Jose M Guardia.)

Good Question

October 26th, 2008 - 1:12 pm

Jimmy asks: Could the Obama Campaign survive a Sarbanes-Oxley review?

Funny how Congress didn’t cover political campaigns in their clumsy ethics laws.

Going Down?

October 24th, 2008 - 1:09 pm

Finally, a sensible plan to save General Motors from itself — and it uses less government involvement than we’re likely to get.

Just a Tiny Little Question

October 24th, 2008 - 5:04 am

Let me get this straight. Obama has 150 million bucks, he’s asking for more, he’s outspending McCain on TV by three or four to one, the mood of the country is that Republicans suck, McCain is waging a campaign of almost Dukakis-level lameness, we’re less than two weeks out from the election…

…and Obama still hasn’t sealed the deal?

How do you think the Iranians, Russians, and North Koreans are gauging him right about now?

Despite the fresh snow on the ground here, it’s feeling like August again:

Georgia says Russia has deployed 2,000 additional troops in the pro-Russian breakaway region of South Ossetia, a move Russia denies.

If the Georgian claim is true, the build-up would violate a cease-fire deal that ended a five-day military conflict in August.

The Georgian Interior Ministry voiced fear over the alleged buildup and said Thursday Russia appears to be “preparing provocations” in South Ossetia. A spokesman, Shota Utiashvili, says there are now seven-thousand Russian troops in South Ossetia alone.

Georgia. In NATO. Now.

With big hints that Ukraine is to follow.

Seeing Red at the Gray Lady

October 23rd, 2008 - 9:38 am

How do you spell schadenfreude? I spell it like this:

Life not getting any easier over at our hometown newspaper. For the first time, CEO Janet Robinson acknowledged that the industry is in permanent secular decline. She also raised the possibility that the company could default on its debt.

The NYT in default? It couldn’t happen to a nicer paper.

Coming Soon to an Administration Near You

October 23rd, 2008 - 9:05 am

Well:

Having hauled in a record $208,333 every hour of every day last month — $150 million in all — plus a few more unreported millions so far this month, Barack Obama is worried that he might come up short in the political money war with the John McCain-Sarah Palin ticket.

Just to relieve himself of that $150 million before the polls open, Obama will have to spend $12.5 million a day.

But he needs some more.

Do you get the feeling this is a preview of his real tax policy?

The Gore Effect Blows Through the Northeast

October 23rd, 2008 - 7:28 am

Screenshot from Drudge:

Mikey Likes It — Not

October 23rd, 2008 - 5:05 am

Mayor Mike hit a small roadblock on the road to permanent preeminence:

Saying they valued both sides of the debate over Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s bid to change the term limits law to allow him to run again, three City Council members said on Wednesday that they would introduce a measure requiring that any revisions be achieved through a public referendum, not legislation.

If the measure is successful, it would essentially nullify the bill supported by the mayor, which requires only Council approval for the term-limit changes to take effect.

A potential deal-killer? I bet the over-governed people of New York City hope so.

This Will Not Cheer You Up Even One Tiny Bit

October 22nd, 2008 - 4:18 pm

Radley Balko:

While I’m not thrilled at the prospect of an Obama administration (especially with a friendly Congress), the Republicans still need to get their clocks cleaned in two weeks, for a couple of reasons.

First, they had their shot at holding power, and they failed. They’ve failed in staying true to their principles of limited government and free markets. They’ve failed in preventing elected leaders of their party from becoming corrupted by the trappings of power, and they’ve failed to hold those leaders accountable after the fact. Congressional Republicans failed to rein in the Bush administration’s naked bid to vastly expand the power of the presidency (a failure they’re going to come to regret should Obama take office in January). They failed to apply due scrutiny and skepticism to the administration’s claims before undertaking Congress’ most solemn task—sending the nation to war. I could go on.

There’s more. I don’t agree with all of it, but Radley makes a powerful case. Read it.

Oh Yes We Did

October 22nd, 2008 - 3:16 pm

We got Michael Barone on this week’s PJM Political. Plus Lileks, John Fund, Brian Anderson, Ed Driscoll, Bill Whittle, myself, and more. It’s a big show — the penultimate episode before election day — so don’t miss it.

Same Game, Slightly Different Players

October 22nd, 2008 - 11:49 am

Japan, Anglosphere member-in-waiting since the Meiji Restoration explicitly copied the British Empire, is forging stronger ties with the old Raj:

Japan on Wednesday offered a record 4.5 billion dollars in loans to India to build a major railway as the Asian powers agreed to step up both economic and military ties.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Japanese counterpart Taro Aso hastened to deny that the cooperation was aimed at countering China, where both leaders head Thursday for a summit of Asian and European leaders.

Under the agreement signed in Tokyo, Japan will provide an initial 450 billion yen (4.5 billion dollars) in low-interest loans to build the freight railway between New Delhi and Mumbai.

With China’s new Tibet railway giving them the ability to move and supply ever-larger numbers of soldiers on the Indian border, don’t believe for a second that Japan and India don’t have any aim of eventually countering Beijing.

Driving the Vote

October 22nd, 2008 - 10:30 am

You have got to be kidding me:

A cheeseburger and democracy to go? Not quite, but politically active Californians have been able to cast election ballots from the comfort of their cars at a one-off drive-thru voting booth.

The innovative drive-thru voting system was opened late Monday in Santa Ana, southeast of Los Angeles, as part of a push to encourage eligible voters to register and vote ahead of the November 4 presidential polls.

If this kind of ripe-for-fraud voting becomes the norm, no one will ever trust elections again. Which, I’m afraid, is exactly the point.

Can’t we just go back to paper ballots already?

Encouraging the Global Coolening

October 22nd, 2008 - 9:13 am

John Dvorak has some good news about lighting:

The current holy grail in the tech scene is the making of an LED that is cheaper, brighter, and better as a general lighting source than a fluorescent bulb. Well, researchers are now approaching this break-even point with not just LEDs but also the cheaper OLEDs. New technologies will achieve 120 lumens per watt. Fluorescents get 90 lumens per watt and incandescents get a mere 15. Many of these designs will produce light for decades.

We’ve spent a bunch of money the last couple years, converting over to CFL bulbs. The only places now that don’t have them are the super-ugly (but dimming) ceiling fan lights upstairs, and certain halogen bathroom fixtures. The fixtures are too expensive to replace, but those ceiling fans will get replaced by Energy Star models with efficient blades and fluorescent bulbs. Our energy savings each month has been noticeable, and has already (almost!) paid for all those CFLs.

If LED or OLED lights come down in price anywhere near CFLs, then we’ll happily start the process all over again.

A 110% Effort

October 22nd, 2008 - 8:19 am

Barack Obama has decided that in order to get an income tax break, maybe you ought to have an income.

With that kind of requirement, maybe instead of only 95% of Americans paying less taxes he can get that number up in the 102-103% range.

An Exact(ing) Science

October 22nd, 2008 - 7:39 am

Michael Barone: Reading the polls this year is more art than science.

And, man, is he right.

When doing the electoral college math, I rely mostly on Rasmussen, with a healthy dose of Real Clear Politics and its invaluable poll average page. They’ve proven their worth over the last few election cycles. But this year? Ugh.

You’ve got to take all the numbers, fudge an unknown Bradley Effect, recast for new-voter enthusiasm, remember that new-voter enthusiasm never lives up to the hype, then keep in mind that this year it might… then throw up your hands, shout “I just don’t know!” and pick winners as best you’re able.