Andrew Ian Dodge, Jennifer Rubin (her again!) and Ye Olde VodkaPundit all on tonight’s PJTV Blogger Roundtable. Later on tonight’s PJTV, Bill Whittle and I will look back in anger at the year we like to call “2008.”
I realize that the Israel/Palestine situation is a recent development and like totally the fault of George McHitlerburten, but is CNN really quite certain everybody over there won’t start instantly behaving when Obama takes the oath of office?
The first advance reviews of Microsoft (MSFT) Windows 7 Beta are starting to circulate, and here’s what we know so far: It looks and feels a lot like Vista, but adds a handful of minor performance and UI improvements.
If I’m reading this right, it’s a little prettier but still won’t work with your printer.
This week’s PJM Political is available for your streaming or downloading pleasure. It’s a big, big year-end wrap show, featuring:
Michael Knox Beran, the author of Forge of Empires: Three Revolutionary Statesmen and the W`orld They Made, 1861-1871 describes “How Lincoln Saved The World.”
Amity Shlaes, the author of the New York Times best-seller The Forgotten Man on the 1932 and 1936 presidential elections.
James Piereson, the author of Camelot and the Cultural Revolution on JFK and the election of 1960.
Craig Shirley, the author of the Reagan’s Revolution and the forthcoming Rendezvous With Destiny on the 1976 and 1980 elections and the fall and rise of Ronald Reagan.
And, as always, producer extraordinaire Ed Driscoll and myself talking about the big, big stories.
Matt Labash once again stakes his claim as the best damn writer in journalism with this stunning requiem for Detroit. I’d like to break Matt’s fingers for being this good, but he’d probably just start dictating these stories out loud, and he’d still be better than anybody else in the business. A brief sample:
We tear through the ravaged east side–not to be confused with the ravaged west side. When he was growing up, Charlie’s mom had a flower shop down here, but there are almost no signs of commerce now. In my line of work, I’ve seen plenty of inner cities, but I’ve never seen anything in a non-Third World country like the east side of Detroit. Maybe the 9th Ward of New Orleans after Katrina. But New Orleans had the storm as an excuse. Here, the storm has been raging for 50 years, starting with the closing of the hulking Albert Kahn-designed Packard Plant in 1956, which a half century later, still stands like a disgraced monument to lost grandeur.
There is block after block of boarded windows and missing doors, structures tilting like the town drunk after a vicious bender. Some houses have buckled roofs, some have blue tarps, some have no roof at all. Which is not to say nobody lives in them. A mail carrier I see on the street says desperate squatters will frequently take up residence, even switching house numbers as it suits them. Not all fires are started maliciously. With no utilities, they’ll often make warming fires on the floor. At one point, we stop the car just to count how many burned-out houses we can see without moving. We count six, all from different fires.
We enter the firehouse of Squad 3/Engine 23, or the “Brothers on the Boulevard,” as they are nicknamed. It looks like a very orderly frathouse. There is Dalmatian statuary, in lieu of a real dog, a mounted swordfish, a photo of [recently killed in the line of duty fireman] Walt [Harris] holding a giant sub on the bulletin board. It is ordinarily a place filled with mirthful gregariousness, a place where new recruits might get dropped to their knees with buckets of water, or where middle-aged men play air guitar to Thin Lizzy solos coming from radio speakers.
But today, nobody’s in the mood to smile. In a 90 percent black city, a firehouse is one of the only truly integrated places. The photo that ran with Charlie’s April story contained white Sgt. Mike Nevin, smoking one of his ever-lit Swisher Sweets, clapping black Walt on the shoulder. They looked like ebony and ivory, living together in perfect harmony. They faced death together every day. When they call each other “brother” around here, they mean it.
Several wear shirts memorializing their fallen brother. A black wreath commemorates him on one wall. Charlie and I hang out for the better part of a day, and the stories come fast and furious. Firemen tell me that the safest time to be here now is Devil’s Night, the infamous night before Halloween for which Detroit earned its title as the arson capital of the world. With Angel’s Night counterprogramming, which sees more cops and neighborhood patrols on the street, they’ve managed to whittle the over 800 fires they suffered in 1984 down to 65 fires this October 30. Only in Detroit could 65 arsons in one night be considered a success.
New Mexico’s Gov. Bill Richardson, who is the newly named Secretary of Commerce in Obama’s about-to-be Cabinet, is also being investigated by a federal grand jury in his home state for possibly steering state bond business from the New Mexico Financial Authority toward David Rubin, a significant campaign contributor, according to an NBC News report, among others.
Lousy actions for a governor to take, but isn’t this pretty much what a Commerce Secretary is supposed to do? Sounds like Ron Brown redux to me. Embarrassing, but effective!
So when an unqualified heiress wants to be anointed US Senator, this is what stands in her way:
This decade, other than a $1,000 donation to City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, the Camelot heiress has not financially supported any Democrat seeking city or state office in New York, records reveal.
Some say Kennedy, who is worth at least $100 million, missed an opportunity to curry favor among Democratic pols to establish herself as a serious political player as she lobbies Gov. Paterson for Hillary Clinton’s Senate seat.
I guess you’ve got to be a little more friendly with the cash if you want to play in New York.
40-plus hours without internet doesn’t exactly help with the holiday spirit, but we’re up and running again. Christmas updates just as soon as I’ve got the last of the swear words out of my system.
‘Cause let me tell you, I had a lot of them stored up, even though they were flowing pretty freely there.
UPDATE: You, on the other hand, should have no complaints, as I doubt anybody really minded having Miss Christina Hendricks at the top of the page for two days.
ANOTHER UPDATE: On a happy holiday note, there’s been some good stuff, too. After going through I-can’t-remember-how-many drywall guys, our basement is finally, mostly drywalled — and they started work yesterday, the Monday before Christmas. Bless’em. Our old basement, formerly known as Dodge’em Alley, will be rechristened The Lower Level in a week or two.
Since PJTV debuted back in September, my “studio” has been an unfinished room with exactly one outlet. To power the TV lights, I’ve had to run a 100-foot extension cord to an outdoor outlet, in order not to trip the breaker and crash everything every time I went on the air. Those days are almost over — no more letting all the hot out and all the cold in (what science calls “the Reverse McBLT Effect”) just in order to talk very loudly at an HD camcorder.
I’m not getting paid for this plug (probably because I’m not very bright about these things), but if you need any drywall work done in the Colorado Springs area, give Drywall Masterz a call. They do good work, and they’re willing to work their butts off right up until lunchtime on Christmas Eve Day. What’s not to love?
Stacy McCain tells me this story provides an excuse to run another Christina Hendricks picture — and since he did, I guess I should, too. Really, it’s all in honor of my dear close personal lady friend Miss Christina Hendricks, and her eye-popping efforts to spare women across the world their own personal agonies.
Plus, it’s Christmastime, and everybody enjoys a little something to unwrap.
IT SHOULD BE TOLD: That I need something else to look at while the boy watches “Go, Diego, Go” on the only television in a public room in our house. And I let him read over my shoulder only a little bit.
PJ Media CEO Roger L. Simon debates Frost/Nixon with fellow Oscar-nominated screenwriter/producer Lionel Chetwynd.
Glenn Reynolds and Michelle Malkin talk with Former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, now looking to helm the Republican National Committee, followed by their conversation with the surprise celebrity from the last month of the presidential election, Joe Wurzelbacher, aka…Joe The Plumber.
And, of course, producer Ed Driscoll and I talk about the week’s big events.
I’m finished hectoring you to give a little to Soldiers’ Angels this year, but I really do hope you sent a little something their way. They do great work. I even know some of the people who do it. And how can you not admire people dedicating their time to caring for soldiers deployed overseas. Soldiers’ Angels is all about the troops, and not about fancy fundraising parties or any of that socialite BS. So you if haven’t already — or even if you have — please send a little something their way.
Time is running short to get Christmas packages delivered to our troops, and they really would like to feel a little love right about now. OK?
ANOTHER THING: By popular request, for my fellow (and a couple of enticingly sister) pervs, I’ve added a Christina Hendricks category. Click for all the juicy goodness.
The White House has given Detroit an early Christmas present. Friday, President Bush announced the Federal government will provide immediate financial assistance to General Motors and Chrysler, which warned that, without aid, they might go out of business by the end of the month.
“In the midst of a financial crisis and a recession, allowing the U.S. auto industry to collapse is not a responsible course of action,” Bush said.
The money comes out of the TARP funds. How the hell did a couple of auto manufacturers qualify?
There do seem to be some strings attached, but GM and Chrysler will not be forced to undertake the kind of structural reforms a bankruptcy court would force them to do. So Bush just gave big mugs of Gatorade to a couple of drowning men.