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Monthly Archives: November 2008

LIVE — On Tape from Hollywood!

November 21st, 2008 - 3:53 pm

Today’s PJTV Whip features Fausta (of Fausta’s Blog fame), Scott Ott and yours truly. After, I’ll stay on for a new segment called… “Blog Week in Review” or something like that. Hopefully we’ll come up with a cooler title, but the segment promises to be fast & fun & only a little bit furious.

The fun starts at 7PM Pacific.

UPDATE: The producers tell me that we won’t be going live to tape, but… live. I’d better pour that first weekend martini a little early.

Gray Lady on the Kind Of Blonde Lady

November 21st, 2008 - 2:30 pm

The New York Times says Clinton will indeed head up the State Department.

The Life of a Blogger

November 21st, 2008 - 2:27 pm

David Corn on the Obama transition team:

And then there’s—you know, just in terms of looking at how this bunch may be different than the Bush bunch, which isn’t hard to do, Sarah Sewall is leading the transition’s national security team. She works at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government. And one of her specialties is the ethics of fighting terrorism. Just think about that for a moment. The ethics of fighting terrorism? That’s probably nothing that got a lot of attention in, say, Dick Cheney’s office.

Heck, it hadn’t gotten a whole lot of attention in my office, either. So I put on my thinking cap and compiled a list of ethical-type concerns when fighting terrorists. Here’s what I came up with.

1. Kill the other fella before he kills you.

2. And then I pretty much ran out of stuff.

3. Also, a good list needs at least three items.

Satisfied with my work, I took a quick nap.

Hope! Change! With Yet Another Unliked Old Guy

November 20th, 2008 - 1:23 pm

Remember that haughty, French-looking dude voters rejected in 2004 largely because of his foreign policy?

Yeah, John Kerry is set to chair the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Happy Birthday

November 20th, 2008 - 12:00 pm

Amazon’s Kindle is one year old today. But I still don’t want one.

Winning New Respect Overseas II

November 20th, 2008 - 10:32 am

Over at Counterterrorism Blog — hey, remember terrorists? — Dr. Walid Phares posts his analysis of the latest al-Zawahiri tape.

CAUTION: SPOILER ALERT.

They still don’t seem to like us.

Winning New Respect Overseas

November 20th, 2008 - 9:11 am

Just like Herr Hasselhoff, we’re big in Germany!

Or maybe not so much.

Get With the Program

November 20th, 2008 - 8:18 am

From the desk of Al Gore:

No, really — you can’t make this stuff up. Because apparently when primitive societies ruled by authoritarian patriarchies or whatever chop down all their trees and go bye-bye, it’s just the same as when declining sunspot activity changes the weather.

I mean, it’s all the same in that we need to turn power over to an (Algore-approved) authoritarian patriarchy to appease the Sun Gods.

Must-See PJTV

November 19th, 2008 - 2:22 pm

Starting at 7PM Pacific, PJTV will host various roundtable discussions on the future of conservatism. I’ll be on one of those panels, I’m just not sure which. Stayed tuned.

CORRECTION: 7PM Eastern. Oops.

“I Will Pop You In the Face Eventually”

November 19th, 2008 - 12:21 pm

Liberty Girl has a little list, they never will be missed…

How Do You Solve a Problem Like Hillary?

November 19th, 2008 - 10:57 am

My PJ Media column this week attempts to answer the question.

This Is What I Mean…

November 19th, 2008 - 9:55 am

…when I say that Obama is my President: “You can go to hell, too, buddy. That’s the US President-elect you’re talking about.”

Doing My Part…

November 19th, 2008 - 8:32 am

…to spread the latest virus.

Welcome Home

November 19th, 2008 - 7:18 am

After more than a year in Iraq, 1/6th Cavalry has come home to Ft. Carson in Colorado Springs.

Thanks, guys.

The More Things “Change”

November 19th, 2008 - 6:01 am

Hope! Change! Possibly corrupt Clintonites! Again! Really:

A Democratic source said a conditional offer for the post of attorney general had been made to former Clinton administration official Eric Holder, making him the automatic front-runner for the nation’s top law enforcement position.

Look, it’s SOP for the incoming administration to raid the kitchen cabinet of the previous administration of the same party. But I’m less certain that Obama supporters knew they were voting for the SOP.

Arachnids in Space!

November 19th, 2008 - 5:03 am

In space, no one can see you weave:

“The web was more or less three-dimensional and it looked like it was all over the inside of the spider hab,” said NASA astronaut Sandra Magnus, the space station’s science officer. “We took some pictures of it, so hopefully they will turn out.”

“So it was more of a tangled, disorganized-looking web rather than the standard, like ‘Charlotte’s Web,’ kind of web?” asked Mission Control.

After all, the fictional spider Charlotte from the children’s book “Charlotte’s Web” by E.B. White was an orb weaver spider, too.

“There was no symmetry that was noticeable in it,” Magnus replied.

Apparently, microgravity isn’t enough to let spiders know which way is up. Also, if there’s an astronaut on board named Peter Parker, I’m going to totally freak out.

Nah Nah Nah Nah Nah Nah Nah Nah

November 18th, 2008 - 9:10 pm

Hey Hey Hey, Goodbye.

Now, if Al Franken loses, too, then I think we can all agree that the Senate has had a not-too-shabby election year. Well, you know, as far as these things go.

Another Good Question

November 18th, 2008 - 1:22 pm

China’s social compact may be breaking down:

Exports constitute nearly 40 percent of China’s GDP–far too high a figure. (By comparison, in the U.S., exports account for about 10 percent of GDP most years.) And the global financial slowdown is already taking a terrible toll. Some 10,000 factories in southern China’s Pearl River Delta area had closed by the summer of 2008. Gordon Chang, a leading China analyst, estimates that 20,000 more will shutter by the end of this year. In the third quarter of 2008, Beijing also reported its fifth consecutive quarterly drop in growth, and several private research firms expect a sharper slowdown next year. Additionally, unemployment is skyrocketing; in Wenzhou, one of the main exporting cities, about 20 percent of workers have lost their jobs.

It’s a dangerous game Beijing has been playing — trading constant growth for political stability (ie, continued authoritarian rule). For starters, growth by definition isn’t stable. And then there’s that pesky global downturn.

So I guess the question is: Is Beijing the next United States, or the next Brazil? Do they make the leap or just miss it, again and again?

Baby, Bathwater, They All Get to Stay

November 18th, 2008 - 1:02 pm

Joe Lieberman will keep his caucus and his chairman’s seat.

It’s a rare case of the Democrats not indulging in a circular firing squad — and a welcome one, too.

Required Reading

November 18th, 2008 - 8:38 am

Ron Coleman has another take on the President-elect and his BlackBerry.

Good Question

November 18th, 2008 - 5:07 am

After chopping his company’s stock value in more than half, and rejecting a buy-out offer from Microsoft for way more than that… well:

Yahoo co-founder and CEO Jerry Yang will step down as CEO as soon as a successor is found, the embattled Internet company just announced. The release (quoted in full after the jump) came shortly after the blog Boomtown broke the news.

Question is, when will GM’s Rick Wagoner man up and step down?

Think Outside the Bubble

November 17th, 2008 - 10:01 am

President Obama will have to give up his CrackBerry:

For years, like legions of other professionals, Mr. Obama has been all but addicted to his BlackBerry. The device has rarely been far from his side — on most days, it was fastened to his belt — to provide a singular conduit to the outside world as the bubble around him grew tighter and tighter throughout his campaign.

“How about that?” Mr. Obama replied to a friend’s congratulatory e-mail message on the night of his victory.

But before he arrives at the White House, he will probably be forced to sign off.

Here we finally have a technology giving presidents the power to peer outside their protective bubble. And what do we do? We take it away amidst worries about security and lawsuits.

There’s got to be a better way.

Let’s Go

November 17th, 2008 - 8:25 am

Cool:

In recent years, constantly improving computer processing and better imaging technology have allowed scientists to at last confirm what many have long fantasized — there’s a wealth of planets outside our solar system.

Pretty pictures at the link.

Style! Substance! Or Maybe Just Pick One!

November 17th, 2008 - 7:36 am

The goings-on at the G20 summit were not quite so happening:

While the group put on a strong united front during its summit meeting here Saturday in the face of a global crisis, members delayed any top-level decisions, including far-reaching but hotly debated proposals on overhauling financial regulation, until the 101st day of the incoming Obama administration.

That’s your global leadership hard at work, kicking the can down the road.

More seriously, I’m not sure what was supposed to be accomplished by the G20, or even why the G20 exists. Well, apart from the food.

Hey, Al — don’t count your fake votes before they’re, uh, counted.

P2P Personal Loans

November 17th, 2008 - 5:04 am

An army of… lenders? Read:

Schilling discovered Lending Club.com, an Internet- based firm that works much like a community bank where investors lend money to people who need it.

The business is one of a handful of online groups known as “peer-to-peer” lenders — P2P in industry jargon — where individuals decide to whom they will make personal loans, most of them unsecured. The growing sector last year accounted for $647 million in loans, and some analysts predict it will approach $5.8 billion by 2010.

“I didn’t know what it was, with people collaborating on loan money,” Schilling said. “It was pretty incredible.”

More important, his note was affordable: $5,000 for three years at 10.78 percent. The interest was determined on factors such as his credit score and work history.

I’m mostly cashed out of the stock market, and not ready to buy back in (although Apple shares are looking might tasty right now). And there’s a credit crunch going on you might have heard a thing or two about on the news.

Peer-to-peer lending might be a fairly safe way for investors to get a decent return. It also looks like one way for consumers to bypass traditional lenders — who are too spooked these days to move on anything less than a 740 credit score.

(Hat tip, Ed Lambert.)

Red Tag Line Sale

November 16th, 2008 - 12:32 pm

Are banks already treating the domestic automakers as though they have leprosy?

It Always Comes Down to Logistics

November 16th, 2008 - 12:06 pm

Considering a “surge” for Afghanistan, Glenn Reynolds asks, “How many troops can we support, logistically, in Afghanistan?”

Good question.

The Soviets had this same problem when they invaded back in 1979. And the Soviet Union bordered Afghanistan; they had rail lines going from their industrial centers right to the border, or nearly so. We have to fly most everything in we need. On the other hand, the Soviets spent their time destroying Afghanistan’s infrastructure, while we’ve spent our time building it up.

Best guess? It’s a wash. I’d be surprised if we could support more than 100,000 troops in-country, same as the Soviets. It would help, of course, if some thousands of those troops (German, French, etc.) would actually, you know, shoot back at the bad guys. Almost every non-English speaking NATO soldier adds to the logistical problem while adding nothing to our combat power. (Although to be fair, soldiers who don’t shoot their guns require slightly less logistical support than those who require a constant supply of fresh ammo.)

We may come to learn that, like Roman attempts to pacify Scotland, the terrain won’t support enough troops to get the job done. Rome’s response was to build Hadrian’s Wall and seal of the north of Great Britain. What would we do with Afghanistan?

A Good Start

November 16th, 2008 - 11:33 am

The next meeting of the South Carolina senatorial caucus is liable to be a bit chilly, given Lindsay Graham’s status as John McCain’s own personal Mini-Me, but fellow SC Senator Jim DeMint is dead on here regarding McCain’s unpalatability to his own party:

“McCain, who is proponent of campaign finance reform that weakened party organizations and basically put George Soros in the driver’s seat,” DeMint said. “His proposal for amnesty for illegals. His support of global warming, cap-and-trade programs that will put another burden on our economy. And of course, his embrace of the bailout right before the election was probably the nail in our coffin this last election. And he has been an opponent of drilling in ANWR, at a time when energy is so important. It really didn’t fit the label, but he was our package.”

Of course, identifying a problem is only the first step. DeMint makes a pretty good start at how the GOP might turn things around:

DeMint said he would introduce a Senate resolution next week to boot [Ted] Stevens out of the Republican caucus, and “force votes” on Senate seniority rules that have allowed certain members to hold onto power. However, DeMint twice confused Ted Stevens with Ted Kennedy, drawing chuckles from the audience of Republicans, who hold neither senator in particularly high regard.

“One of our principles is that power corrupts, and you need to disperse it,” DeMint said. “And if our own party allows ourselves to be destroyed by this idea, and are not willing to stand up, then we have to change everyone at the top.”

Good stuff. If DeMint’s party had taken that attitude over the past several years, they wouldn’t be in the mess they’re in right now.

Required Viewing

November 16th, 2008 - 10:28 am

We’ve seen First World War color photography from the Entente side. Now see Western Front photos taken by German shooters.