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Monthly Archives: May 2009

Short & Brutal Movie Review

May 21st, 2009 - 9:29 pm

“Taken” starring Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen, and that Mason creep from “24.” Directed by Pierre Morel.

It’s like waiting for your child’s test results from Dr. Mengele — it fills you with dread. And then it goes to work on you. It’s as an effective and affecting a thriller as I’ve ever seen.

No? Then How About an Ass?

May 21st, 2009 - 2:52 pm

Democrats are idiots:

Rep. Alan Grayson was standing in the middle of Disney World when it hit him: What Americans really need is a week of paid vacation.

So on Thursday, the Florida Democrat will introduce the Paid Vacation Act — legislation that would be the first to make paid vacation time a requirement under federal law.

The bill would require companies with more than 100 employees to offer a week of paid vacation for both full-time and part-time employees after they’ve put in a year on the job. Three years after the effective date of the law, those same companies would be required to provide two weeks of paid vacation, and companies with 50 or more employees would have to provide one week.

Yes, by all means, when unemployment is approaching double digits, do please make it more expensive to hire people. You NSFWing moron.

But, wait — wishful thinking will make the law pay for itself! Read on:

The idea: More vacation will stimulate the economy through fewer sick days, better productivity and happier employees.

You know what else would stimulate the economy? If we gave everyone a pony.

Put My Bar on His Tab

May 21st, 2009 - 11:08 am

Matt Yglesias should leave the drinking to the pros.

Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad

May 21st, 2009 - 10:36 am

Throw in a little gratuitous sex, and you’ll probably live for darn near ever.

No Where Near Bottom

May 21st, 2009 - 9:16 am

Get ready to pine for the days of four dollar gas and thousand dollar gold:

The U.S. dollar’s day of reckoning may be inching closer as its status as a safe-haven currency fades with every uptick in stocks and commodities and its potential risks – debt and inflation – are brought under a harsher spotlight.

Ashraf Laidi, chief market strategist at CMC Markets, said Wednesday a “serious case of dollar damage” was underway.

“We long warned about the day of reckoning for the dollar emerging at the next economic recovery,” Mr. Laidi said in a note.

I’ve been betting against the dollar for years (and oftentimes losing), figuring you can only export so much of something before the market gets flooded. Our import-based consumer economy could sustain itself only so long before the Chinese got tired of stuffing greenbacks under the Middle Kingdom State Mattress Foundry #217.

Little did I figure that the whole thing would get a last gasp — via huge run-ups in public debt, the Treasury running its presses 24/7, and even the Fed conjuring up a trillion here and a trillion there. Pretty soon, to twist a phrase, you’re talking Monopoly money.

The difference, of course, is that Parker Bros. makes a profit selling their worthless denominations.

You Can Pick Your Friends

May 21st, 2009 - 9:07 am

When President Obama picked Joe Biden as his running mate, the right laughed and the left pretended he was a great pick. Turns out we were all wrong — because if Biden’s a joke (and he is), he’s not a very funny one:

Billy BeerPresident Obama is so “distracted by his vice president’s indiscipline” that he has been forced to rebuke privately Vice President Joe Biden, according to a new book by Newsweek journalist Richard Wolffe, who interviewed Obama a dozen times.

“He can’t keep his mouth shut,” Wolffe quotes a “senior Obama aide” as saying of the gaffe-prone Biden in “Renegade: The Making of a President,” set for release June 2.

As evidence, Wolffe reports that during the presidential transition period, Biden insulted Valerie Jarrett, one of Obama’s closest friends and confidantes. Jarrett had been considered Obama’s top choice to fill his vacated Senate seat in Illinois, but took herself out of the running just hours after Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich allegedly told a wiretapped conference call he would not heed any Obama recommendation without a payoff.

“Soon after Jarrett pulled out of consideration for the Senate seat, the senior transition team met to discuss cabinet picks,” Wolffe writes. “Biden tried to compliment Jarrett after one contribution. ‘You should be in the Senate,’ he quipped. After the meeting, as everyone returned to their offices, Obama stopped Biden to warn him not to say anything like that again. ‘It’s not funny,’ he told him.”

I’m starting to think Obama is actually worse than Carter. After all, Carter was stuck with his brother Billy through no fault of his own.

Can’t Stop the Signal

May 20th, 2009 - 4:58 pm

The rebellion goes viral at Not One Red Cent.

Must-See PJTV

May 20th, 2009 - 3:48 pm

In just a few minutes, Joe Hicks will wrangle Rick Moran and I as we discuss — live! — the future, if any, of the GOP.

And if you miss the live broadcast, I’ll have a direct link to the taped version sometime after the show.

UPDATE: Here’s that link.

Put My Appendectomy On His Tab

May 20th, 2009 - 9:20 am

Rasmussen reports that, “Fifty percent (50%) of Americans favor increasing taxes on beer, wine and other alcoholic beverages to help provide health insurance for every one in the country.”

The other 50% won’t be buying them any drinks.

Watch Out for that… Whale?

May 20th, 2009 - 9:17 am

The Navy is shaking down its first high-speed, high-tech, small-crew Littoral Combat Ship — and has run into (ahem) an interesting problem:

Another potential problem is the high speed of the LCS, which is the fastest seagoing ship to ever serve with the U.S. fleet. The USS Freedom has gone as fast as 85 kilometers an hour, and it’s believed that the power plant can be tweaked to get that a little higher. At such high speeds, it’s easier to run into whales. This occasionally happens, especially at night. For larger ships, the result is usually a dead, or badly injured whale, and little damage to the ship. But the smaller LCS, hitting a large whale, while travelling at high speed, could leave the ship damaged (the whale would definitely be dead.) So far, the sailors on the bridge are to keep a sharp lookout for whales when the ship is travelling at high speed.

It might not be an exaggeration to say that we’re one tragic accident away from a lawsuit that could scuttle the entire LCS project.

Going Quietly Into the Night

May 20th, 2009 - 9:05 am

Jules Crittenden on the descent of a once-great state:

Americans have gone from bang to whimper. We have representative government now, anyway, we deserve what we get. Massachusetts voted in one-party government. And Massachusetts just missed a chance to fire a cannon shot across the Legislature’s bow in November when the electorate voted 70-30 against Question One to eliminate the 5 percent income tax. Too “irresponsible.” The Massachusetts Legislature got the message. The descendants and heirs of Minutemen don’t care. They’ll take it quietly.

I’d like some heroin with my coffee, please.

Shorter Newsweek

May 19th, 2009 - 4:54 pm

Much Shorter

If there were a market for an opinion journal that could sell in excess of a million copies, it would have revealed itself before this.” That’s John Podhoretz, writing in Commentary. I’d tell you to read the whole thing and all that, but what more really needs to be said?

Must-See Radio

May 19th, 2009 - 4:46 pm

I’ll be on the Rick Moran Show tonight at 8PM Eastern, along with Robert Stacy McCain and Jimmie B. Rick has used this crew before, and Jimmie’s probably right when he calls us, “Frat party radio with brains.”

Well… maybe half-right.

Car Baby, Tar Baby

May 19th, 2009 - 1:54 pm

For a guy who supposedly “can’t wait” to stop being an auto tycoon, President Obama is getting even deeper into GM:

General Motors Corp’s (GM.N) plan for a bankruptcy filing involves a quick sale of the company’s healthy assets to a new company initially owned by the U.S. government, a source familiar with the situation said on Tuesday.

The source, who would not be named because he was not cleared to speak with the media, did not specify a purchase price. The new company is expected to honor the claims of secured lenders, possibly in full, according to the source.

The remaining assets of GM would stay in bankruptcy protection to satisfy other outstanding claims.

GM has about $6 billion in secured debt, including a secured revolving credit and bank debt.

The government’s plans include giving stakes in the new company to GM’s union and bondholders, although the ownership structure of the company is still being negotiated, said the source who is familiar with the company’s plans.

In addition, the government would extend a credit line to the new company and forgive the bulk of the $15.4 billion in emergency loans that the U.S. has already provided to GM, the source said.

The good news: Unlike the Chrysler bankruptcy fiasco, it seems like GM’s bondholders will get their money back.

The bad news: We, the taxpayers, are on the hook for about $20 billion dollars. More will follow, as surely as day follows night, especially since Uncle Sam will own a maker of autos people won’t buy. If you think GM’s market share is bad now — down from over 50% in the ’60s to maybe 20% today — wait until they’ve chopped off four of their eight brands, axed another thousand dealers, consumers get pissed off about the endless bailouts, and their cars are designed by Washington and bolted together by a Federally-enhanced UAW.

The question nobody is asking: When it comes time for Obama to wave bye-bye to that car company he really, truly, 100% never wanted to run — what if there’s no one willing to buy?


May 19th, 2009 - 9:40 am

The Truth About Cars reviews the new Honda Insight hybrid.

Hybrids are cool and all — but my next purchase will probably be a diesel.

UPDATE: Wrong link. Fixed now.

Must-See PJTV

May 19th, 2009 - 8:54 am

On an all new Hair of the Dog, it’s… Pelosipalooza!

Hop to It, Orbitally

May 19th, 2009 - 8:51 am

Space nuts, rejoice:

Just a few days ago the Hubble had a single major scientific instrument, a 16-year-old camera. It also had an aiming device that freelanced a little bit of science in its spare time. Everything else was kaput. The most advanced camera had been dead for two years, and the spectrograph dead for nearly five.

Now the Hubble has four new or rejuvenated scientific instruments. Plus new batteries. New gyros. A new computer. The upgraded telescope has vision so keen it can peer back through time to when the very first, ungainly galaxies were pulling themselves together. It will study the atmospheres of planets orbiting other stars. It will look for tendrils of dark matter wriggling through the intergalactic void.

“We have a brand-new observatory with full capability that will be more productive than ever in its scientific lifetime,” said Jon Morse, head of astrophysics for NASA.

Start taking pictures already, dammit!

Do Not Touch

May 18th, 2009 - 1:09 pm

Pelosigate is getting weirder:

House Minority Leader John Boehner told FOX News on Monday that “the ball is in the speaker’s court.” If she is accusing the CIA of lying, she “needs to come forward, either present evidence or do an apology, and let’s get this behind us.”

Considering all that CIA did to the Bush administration over the years, you’d think Republicans would be taking a Pox On Both Their Houses position. Then again, maybe they learned not to mess with Langley.

That’ll Wake You Up on a Monday

May 18th, 2009 - 8:50 am

Are there some Pakistani nuclear sites already in the hands of the Taliban?

Must-See PJTV

May 17th, 2009 - 4:58 pm

I totally forgot to link to yesterday’s Meet the Blogs. Bill Whittle, Jennifer Rubin and myself go where the Sunday morning talk shows fear to tread!

Must-See Radio

May 16th, 2009 - 12:40 pm

It’s another big, big edition of PJM Political. Check this out:

Ed Driscoll interviews Columnist To The World Mark Steyn about his new book, Lights Out, the follow-up to his best-selling America Alone.

Glenn Reynolds interviews Nick Gillespie, the editor-in-chief at Reason magazine and Reason.TV.

Pajamas CEO Roger L. Simon decides to reexamine his faith after coming face to face with Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at last Month’s UN conference in Geneva.

Plus, Ed and I talk about the week’s events in gratuitous detail — although I can’t for the life of me remember if there were any bikinis.

Must-See PJTV

May 15th, 2009 - 4:35 pm

On the new Week in Blogs:

President Obama’s first Ttrip-Flop.

Venn Diagram madness.

Sully said what?

Plus, gratuitous bikinis!

The MSM Takes Econ 101

May 15th, 2009 - 10:53 am

Can’t sell enough widgets? Have you tried doubling the price?

Required Reading

May 15th, 2009 - 6:27 am

It’s President Obama’s “Caracas on the Potomac.”

Suck It

May 14th, 2009 - 7:33 pm

Here it comes:

President Barack Obama, calling current deficit spending “unsustainable,” warned of skyrocketing interest rates for consumers if the U.S. continues to finance government by borrowing from other countries.

“We can’t keep on just borrowing from China,” Obama said at a town-hall meeting in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, outside Albuquerque. “We have to pay interest on that debt, and that means we are mortgaging our children’s future with more and more debt.”

Holders of U.S. debt will eventually “get tired” of buying it, causing interest rates on everything from auto loans to home mortgages to increase, Obama said. “It will have a dampening effect on our economy.”

Translation: There are massive tax increases coming, on top of the ones already threatened on energy, sodas, Gatorade, cigarets, booze, beer, chips. And also on top of the taxes promised on “the rich,” corporations, etc.

Shorter translation: “I’m going to tax you bastards back to the Stone Age.”

Addendum: “You’re all bastards, every single one of you.”

New New Math

May 14th, 2009 - 8:18 am

Mary was the receptionist and office manager at Southwest Steel Supply, way back when. There was nothing Mary liked better — at work, anyway — than saving the company money. And I was an eager helper.

“Mary,” I’d tell her. “I know how to save the company $500.” She’d perk right up, and I’d wave the latest flyer from Max Depot Staples at her and ask, “These new 386 PC-clones are 15% off — buy me one?” And then Mary would give me her curt little “No” smile and go back to work.

Of course spending $2,500 isn’t the same as saving $500 — but it sure was fun teasing Mary. And there was always the (very) outside chance that I’d wrangle a super-speedy (for 1986) computer out of the deal.

In nationalizing health care, President Obama promises to save us $500. And he’s going to do it magically, by spending $2,500. But the question isn’t answered: Where will the $2,500 come from?

Going Boldly — Very Effing Boldly

May 14th, 2009 - 7:58 am

Star Trek was right — a man can parachute from space.

Required Reading

May 13th, 2009 - 6:47 pm

Melissa Clouthier on beauty, truth and modern feminism’s ugly legacy.

Why did President Obama reverse himself on releasing torture photos? According to Andrew Sullivan, it’s all Bush’s fault:

Obama inherits this legacy. He has two options: pull the lid right off it, and fuel more anger and anti-Americanism; or hunker down, acquiesce to the military and become an active accomplice to the cover-up. He’s trying to straddle the divide but now realizes he cannot prosecute Bush’s wars with Bush’s military while exposing Bush’s war crimes. Hence the cover-up.

I’m sure the former President is also to blame for Obama’s reversal on gay civil unions, Obama’s reversal on ending Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell, Obama’s reversal on enacting a “net spending cut,” Obama’s reversal on going “line by line” through the budget, Obama’s reversal on tax increases for 95% of Americans, Obama’s soon-to-be a reversal on closing Gitmo, Obama’s…

Oh, hell — you get the idea.

Besides, its pointless to parody Sullivan when he already does the job so well himself.

You’ll Pay for Your Sins II

May 13th, 2009 - 8:51 am

David Harsanyi has more on sin taxes:

We already have set a precedent with cigarettes. The argument most often employed by sin tax proponents revolves around economic externalities — or the idea that everyone shouldn’t have to pay for the destructive habits of the few. (Though there is evidence that the societal cost of obesity is largely inflated, as it were.) I have sympathy for this argument. So perhaps all citizens can begin taking fiscal and moral responsible for their own behavior . . .

. . . I’m just kidding. That’s crazy talk.

But once we start rationing health care, externalities will only become more of an issue. If we collectively pay for health insurance, then what is to stop the majority of us from dictating to the minority what it can eat or drink?

Or as John Galt famously declared, “Get the hell out of my way — I’m going to Burger King!”