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Monthly Archives: November 2008

Required Listening II

November 30th, 2008 - 7:01 pm

You know, I was thinking that when I linked to this week’s PJM Political earlier, it might have worked better had I included the actual link.

There ya go.

VodkaPundit apologizes for the error.

Back Door Imam

November 30th, 2008 - 10:47 am

The owners of the Taj Mahal Hotel had a heads up, but:

“It’s ironic that we did have such a warning, and we did have some measures,” Tata said, without elaborating on the warning or when security measures were enacted. “People couldn’t park their cars in the portico, where you had to go through a metal detector.”

However, Tata said the attackers did not enter through the entrance that has a metal detector. Instead, they came in a back entrance, he said.

Imagine that.

Required Listening

November 30th, 2008 - 6:56 am

This week’s PJM Political is on the air web. The new show is all about Hollywood and the recent post-election National Review Cruise. As Cruise-goer (and PJM producer) Ed Driscoll tells it, he’s never met such a happy bunch of depressed people.


Godwin’s Law Never Saw This Coming

November 29th, 2008 - 10:08 pm

This is what happens when you start Googling while watching South Park.

Required Reading

November 29th, 2008 - 7:56 pm

Ron Coleman:

it’s not surprising that Western police and security forces haven’t thought of every possible tactical approach that these Davids — and, really, terrorism is all about being a David; all about using focused and conceptually distinct force to knock out a Goliath who could never be overcome by brute force — will cook up. Frankly they’re more motivated toward originality, and they’re, well, more wicked.

They’ll always have one up on us if we, Goliath-like, think we have to guess everything they might do in advance. The only way to turn this formula on its head (not to say that more and better security, training and planning isn’t called for) is to better manage the way we allow terrorism to affect policy — to make these “stunning victories,” if not less stunning, less victorious.

Read the rest here.

The Occasional Misanthropy II

November 29th, 2008 - 3:27 pm

Latest sign that even spammers are getting dumber: Message subject found in my spam folder reads, “All the benefits of red wine without the alcohol!”

The Occasional Misanthropy

November 28th, 2008 - 5:16 pm

Most recent sign that people are getting dumber: Manufacturers now feel the need to print “OPEN HERE” on flap of individual-slice wrapper around American cheese.

Black Friday Shopping Report

November 28th, 2008 - 5:07 pm

Usually my Black Friday routine is eat turkey club sandwiches and spend the rest of the time vigorously not shaving. Oh, and to stay in my bathrobe and off the streets. That was the plan this year, too. Except the dishwasher died this morning, halfway through the second of a projected five post-Turkey Day loads.

Melissa, whose plan was identical to mine only replace “not shaving” with “pruning in the tub,” wasn’t happy to have her bath interrupted with, “Honey, we have a problem.”

I shaved. Melissa exited the tub. We packed the boy up in his car seat and made our way to… the mall. I hadn’t been to a shopping mall during the Christmas season since Amazon came along. And I hadn’t been there on Black Friday maybe ever. We snuck in to Chapel Hills the back way, so we wouldn’t get caught at that awful left turn signal coming in from the Academy side. Only had one near-accident (ass clown in a 300C with super-tinted windows and a faux-Bentley grill making a left-hand turn without looking), found a parking spot quickly (if not close), and made our way into Sears.

Traffic? I’d seen worse. Foot traffic? Sears was pretty much SRO, asses and elbows everywhere. Asked our salesman how business was — “pretty good” in his case, especially given that he’d just sold us a Kenmore Elite. He didn’t know about the rest of the store, but it’s hard to believe all those people were there just to look around. Inside the mall itself… what, do you think we were crazy enough to go in there when all we needed was a dishwasher?

Took Highway 83 back home, since I-25 was packed pretty solid. Again, it’s hard to believe all those people were out and not spending money. But commencement weekend at the Air Force Academy usually results in bigger traffic jams. So our only real headache was having to spend all that money to replace what we thought was a perfectly good appliance.

What’s that mean? Probably that more people are doing more online shopping — which is exactly what I was doing when I decided to file this report.

What Timing

November 28th, 2008 - 10:22 am

The second load of dishes after Thanksgiving isn’t the most convenient time for the pump to die on the dishwasher.


November 26th, 2008 - 5:57 pm

Getting the boy dressed for school this morning, he wobbled walking across the dog’s bed and twisted his knee. Down he went. Got back up and went right back down.

Suddenly: worried, fawning parents.

Sick is one thing, an injury is quite another. Everybody gets sick. You take medicine and get better. But an injury? The child got damaged? And on my watch? I broke the baby!

Talked to the triage nurse on the phone, who seemed more concerned about our co-pay rather than my broken child. “Look,” I said, fed up, “My two year old who can’t walk is my primary concern, OK? Let’s schedule whatever is fastest.” Message delivered.

At noon my son got his first x-ray, which he found endlessly entertaining and fascinating — even when mommy had to hold him in a weird position for the lateral image. He smiled and waved at everyone and never complained, even when the doctor was prodding his hurt knee.

“Just a mild sprain or twist,” was the verdict. “He’ll be fine in a few days.” The doc also told us that toddlers are smart. If something hurts, they won’t use it, “unlike adults or teenagers who come in after walking on a sprained ankle for a week.”

“That’s because we’re stupid,” I offered. “Speaking for myself, anyway.”

So the boy had a nutritious dinner of Halloween chocolate and cold milk and reminded us of what we’re thankful for this year.


November 26th, 2008 - 3:47 pm

President Bush: Going out not with a bang, but a whimper.


November 26th, 2008 - 3:17 pm

Ed Driscoll noticed what I missed.


November 26th, 2008 - 3:14 pm

More labor unrest in China:

It started as a pay dispute at a southern Chinese toy factory. But it quickly turned into a riot as laid-off workers tapped into a network of friends and unemployed laborers who flipped over a police car, stormed into the plant and smashed office computers.

The latest violent protest to rock China’s export machine was still simmering Wednesday at the massive plant, which makes Nerf toys for the U.S. company Hasbro Inc. The volatility underscored the urgency of China’s efforts to keep stoking an economy weakened by the global financial crisis.

To protect jobs and social stability, the central government recently signed off on a multibillion-dollar stimulus plan. Officials have also been urging factories to avoid large layoffs and to try retraining employees to keep them off the streets.

Look for more of this kind of thing in the coming months. If you see too much of it, stop looking for deals on toys or consumer electronics or Home Depot power tools or much of anything else stamped “Made in China.”


November 26th, 2008 - 7:35 am

I rarely remember my dreams, and mention this one only because it involved one of my favorite bloggers.

Megan McArdle and I met for lunch at an English pub, and we couldn’t help but remarking on the sheer number of frogs on the ceiling and all their extra mandibles.

If that means anything, I’m pretty sure I don’t want to know what.

Domestic Bliss

November 26th, 2008 - 5:36 am

I show Drudge Report to my bride and ask, “Worst hairpiece ever?”

And Melissa, incredulous, asks, “That’s not a hat?”

Buying the White House

November 25th, 2008 - 11:03 am

According to AC Nielsen, the Obama campaign bought 55% more TV spots than McCain.

Pass It On

November 25th, 2008 - 10:28 am

Tracy Carol found a little something Xerox is doing for the holidays:

Want to thank a soldier? Go to this website, www.LetsSayThanks.com, and pick out a “thank you” card.

Xerox will print and send it to a soldier who is currently serving in Iraq. You can’t pick out who gets it, but it will go to a member of the armed services.


The Xerox site is a little slow — I hope because they’re getting slammed — but it’s worth the wait.


November 25th, 2008 - 8:28 am

Your federal bureaucracy hard at work:

Marine Cpl. James Dixon was wounded twice in Iraq — by a roadside bomb and a land mine. He suffered a traumatic brain injury, a concussion, a dislocated hip and hearing loss. He was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Army Sgt. Lori Meshell shattered a hip and crushed her back and knees while diving for cover during a mortar attack in Iraq. She has undergone a hip replacement and knee reconstruction and needs at least three more surgeries.

In each case, the Pentagon ruled that their disabilities were not combat-related.

C’mon. A trillion here for Wall Street, fifty billion there for Detroit… surely we can treat our vets better than this.

Buy Two for Twice the Price?

November 25th, 2008 - 8:06 am

Here’s the wildest rumor I’ve seen in weeks:

While Google’s market capitalization tanks and the company launches its first wave of cost-cutting, CEO Eric Schmidt is devoting much of his public-speaking time to pressing for green-energy stimulus plans and discussing the auto industry bailout. Technology, Media & Telecom Analyst speculates that this is because he is getting ready to take a position in the Obama Administration.

What would Schmidt do in the Obama Administration? His job at Google was to give investors the impression that a grown-up was running the place, but Obama already brought back in Robert Rubin.

Free Mike!

November 25th, 2008 - 7:56 am

Is President Bush set to unleash the power of the pardon? So far, he’s hardly used it. But:

that pattern could ease during the waning days of his term. People close to the process say lawyers with political connections increasingly have approached the White House directly to seek relief for their high-profile clients, including former junk-bond king Michael Milken, former U.S. Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham, R-Rancho Santa Fe (San Diego County), and John Walker Lindh, an American from Marin County who pleaded guilty to serving with the Taliban.

Milken I’d pardon in a heartbeat. The others? Not so much.

Above Her Pay Grade

November 24th, 2008 - 2:25 pm

Hillary Clinton might not be eligible to become Secretary of State?

With a Name Like That How Could It Fail?

November 24th, 2008 - 11:36 am

Is No Child Left Behind leaving behind a lot of children? Read:

[A] recent study found that Texas’ public school accountability system, the model for the national No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), directly contributes to lower graduation rates, especially for minorities. Teachers and administrators are essentially rewarded when minority students drop out, so retention efforts are now virtually non-existent. Why retain students that make it impossible to comply with NCLB, is the unspoken question with a no clear answer.

Read the whole thing.

(Hat tip, Jocelyn Armstrong.)

Five Years Late

November 24th, 2008 - 10:37 am

The recession is proving to be a boon for Army recruitment (this is always true), as the Army plans to complete its 2012 expansion two years early. There are other benefits:

The army also sees increased “dwell time” as a partial cure for combat fatigue, and a major boost for morale. Currently, because of last year’s surge campaign in Iraq (the addition of five more brigades in Iraq and extension of tours from 12 to 15 months), troops spend a bit less than a month at home for each month in combat. This year, the dwell time will return to one month at home for each one in combat. By 2009, it will be 1.5 at home for each one in combat. Eventually, the army wants to get dwell time up to three months for each one in combat. With the accelerated expansion of the force, that may be accomplished within five years.

Why President Bush or Congress didn’t push for increases in the active duty and reserve rosters back in 2001, I have no idea.

Loose Change

November 24th, 2008 - 9:55 am


The U.S. government is prepared to lend more than $7.4 trillion on behalf of American taxpayers, or half the value of everything produced in the nation last year, to rescue the financial system since the credit markets seized up 15 months ago.

I’m no mathematician or an economist, but that, uh, seems like a lot of money.

Lawfare Cuts Both Ways

November 24th, 2008 - 9:16 am

CAIR sued for racketeering, fraud and breach of fiduciary duties.

Couldn’t have happened to a nicer bunch of fellas.

Correcting the Professor

November 24th, 2008 - 8:49 am

Obviously, Glenn forgot about the tax on thingy:

On the Air

November 24th, 2008 - 8:26 am

This week’s PJM Political is available for you podcasting pleasure. Ed Driscoll has more interviews from the National Review Cruise, and tells me he’s never seen such a happy bunch of depressed people. Also, Roger Stone, Mike Huckabee, and my own self.

It Needed to Be Said

November 22nd, 2008 - 5:40 pm

New Republic editor to Netroots: You don’t matter.

Are conservatives sure they want to imitate Daily Kos?

How Come We Never Thought of That?

November 22nd, 2008 - 5:34 pm

So as it turns out, Zimbabwe has got one thing up on us.

“They Will Fluctuate”

November 21st, 2008 - 3:56 pm

Timothy Geithner named SecTreas, stocks rally.