July 27th, 2009 - 5:47 am
On Twitter this weekend, I ran across Nick Kristof, intrepid New York Times columnist. Only I thought it was a parody Kristof, with tweets like these:
Pakistan can be so scary, yet is so hospitable. You never know if you’re to be beheaded or served tea. (3 cups, of course!)
Thanks to the Senate for blocking the F22 fighter. In Af-Pak, schools improve security more than war planes.
So impressed by @anncurry and her NBC crew with me in Pakistan. Great to see a network focus on humanity, not fluff.
Always amazes me how Dubai can turn a desert into an international airport hub. Checking emails in transit here. [Actually, I thought this was Parody Tom Friedman posted by mistake.]
But then I noticed in the corner where his Twitter page says, “Verified Account.” So either some prankster has convinced Twitter’s powers-that-be that he’s really Nick Kristof, or Nick Kristof does a wickedly funny Nick Kristof.
July 26th, 2009 - 10:51 am
Famously, Mark Steyn claimed that China would be the first country to “get old before it gets rich,” thanks to its one-child policy. I scoffed at that for two reasons.
1. Beijing almost certainly didn’t enjoy enough control outside the cities.
2. You can’t trust any statistics, but especially the ones coming out of (officially) communist countries.
Well, it looks like I was wrong and Steyn was right. Read:
For the first time in 30 years, officials in the country’s economic capital have urged eligible parents to plan for a second child. The move was prompted by the growing demographic imbalance in the city and fears that the younger generation will not be able to support the ageing population. The one-child system, where all pregnancies are monitored and sometimes terminated by order, was enforced to control a population that is the largest in the world at more than 1.3 billion.
“We advocate eligible couples to have two kids because it can help to reduce the proportion of the ageing people and alleviate a workforce shortage in the future,” said Xie Linli, the director of the Shanghai Population and Family Planning Commission.
That’s only a partial reversal, but still quite stunning.
July 26th, 2009 - 9:13 am
Just how anti-free market is our inexperienced young President? He’s getting pushback from his own antitrust chief:
President Obama’s top antitrust official and some senior Democratic lawmakers are preparing to rein in a host of major industries, including airline and railroad giants, moving so aggressively that they are finding some resistance from officials within the administration.
Democrats have spent years trying to gain the support of businesses, and the policy changes under way may have long-term political implications for their party. Some companies would like to see more aggressive antitrust enforcement against their rivals, while others could be hurt by it.
In some cases, though, the new approach is being opposed by administration officials. Some fear that the crackdown is coming at a bad time, as corporate America reels from the recession. Other officials embrace the Bush administration’s view that larger companies and industry alliances can provide consumer benefits by making their businesses more efficient.
Obama can run the auto industry, the banking industry, replace our entire health system in a fortnight, and fine-tune economic growth through the proper application of stimulus money over a two-year period.
So why shouldn’t he command whatever else little remains of competition in this country?
ALSO: Interesting to note that this was the top story in this morning’s head’s-up email from The New York Times.
July 26th, 2009 - 8:15 am
And here’s what happens when a white lobbyist fools around with the White House door in the middle of the night:
In a significant change, the Obama administration will now allow lobbyists to meet and have telephonic discussions with government officials regarding economic recovery projects.
The lifting of the ban comes after K Street has cried foul for months and has challenged the White House on its restrictions.
In March, President Obama announced that government officials would not be allowed to consider the views of lobbyists regarding specific stimulus projects unless the requests are put in writing. The materials also had to be posted on an agency’s website within three business days of receipt. Lobbyists have said that the policy was one more example of the administration’s disdain for their industry.
Now, the just-revised rules will allow government personnel to accept meetings and calls from federally registered lobbyists on the implementation of stimulus projects.
They told me if I didn’t vote for Barack Obama, we’d get four more years of K Street lobbyists running in and out of the Oval Office — and they were right!
July 26th, 2009 - 6:48 am
Nikon steps in it, bigtime.
July 25th, 2009 - 3:38 pm
This week’s edition of PJM Political has been pirated from Sirius/XM Radio and made available for your downloading or streaming enjoyment. Mmm, a hot cup of fresh radio. On this week’s big, big show:
We play an especially rousing game of Five Question for James Lileks, starring James Lileks.
From this week’s three hour special on PJTV.com, PJTV co-hosts Bill Whittle, Joe Hicks, and Sonia Schmidt discuss President Obama’s health care reform initiatives.
Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit.com interviews Republican Whip Eric Cantor, and Congressman (and MD) Tom Price on health care reform.
PJ Media CEO Roger L. Simon interviews Rep. Roy Blunt on health care reform.
Novelist, screenwriter and Pajamas Express blogger Andrew Klavan calls for greater tolerance for gay rights — or as he satirically titled his video at PJTV, “Eek! Gay People!”
Plus, Ed Driscoll and I talk about the F-22, the secret Arab-Israeli alliance, and the President’s lame excuse for a press conference.
You can also subscribe to the iTunes podcast here.
July 25th, 2009 - 1:38 pm
At last, a sensible solution to the problem:
Professor Henry Louis Gates said Saturday he was willing to have a peace-making beer with Obama and Cambridge, Massachusetts, police Sgt. James Crowley.
My only fear is that someday we’ll tell our grandchildren the horrible stories of the Tastes Great/Less Filling Riots of 2009.
July 25th, 2009 - 10:15 am
July 25th, 2009 - 9:31 am
It’s a simple series of steps to perform:
1. Listen for the gurgle of the coffee maker finishing up.
2. Get off of sofa and walk to kitchen.
3. Get clean coffee mug from cabinet, set down on counter next to fridge.
4. Remove half & half from fridge, pour tiny amount in mug, put back in fridge.
5. Bring mug to coffee maker.
6. Remove thermal carafe from coffee maker and twist open the top.
7. Pour… hot water?… into mug. What the hell?
8. Notice coffee grinder is still full of freshly-ground beans.
The problem with making coffee is, you have to do it before you’ve had any coffee.
July 25th, 2009 - 6:32 am
Thinking of trading in your old car on the “Cash for Clunkers” program? Well, you just might get less for your clunker under the program, than you would if you traded it in without.
Our government can’t properly incentivize a simple transaction like a car trade-in, and all that involves is paying you more than a chiseling auto dealership would. How effing stupid is Congress, anyway? And they’re going to fix our health care system in the space of a fortnight?
July 24th, 2009 - 3:29 pm
July 24th, 2009 - 1:49 pm
Disarray — the Republicans perfected it, but the Democrats seem determined to catch up. Read:
House healthcare negotiations dissolved in acrimony on Friday, with Blue Dog Democrats saying they were “lied” to by their Democratic leaders.
The seven Blue Dogs on the Energy and Commerce Committee stormed out of a Friday meeting with their committee chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), saying Waxman had been negotiating in bad faith over a number of provisions Blue Dogs demanded be changed in the stalled healthcare bill.
“I’ve been lied to,” Blue Dog Coalition co-chairman Charlie Melancon (D-La.) said on Friday. “We have not had legitimate negotiations.”
The takeaway line comes a little later in the story: “We are trying to save this bill and trying to save this party,” said Arkansas Democrat Mike Ross.
Some might say this is the moment for a third party to arise. But to have a real third party, don’t we need two real ones already?
July 24th, 2009 - 10:50 am
Presenting: The Eight-Track Walkman.
July 24th, 2009 - 10:30 am
Is the long-awaited Mac Tablet finally on its way? Maybe.
It’s rumored to be kind of a ten-inch version of the iPod Touch, with 3G and no physical keyboard.
Personally, I like my tiny iPhone and 13″ MacBook, and can’t imagine what I’d do with a “tween” device.
July 24th, 2009 - 10:15 am
Via Twitter (which, apparently, Senators are still allowed to use) comes news that Orrin Hatch won’t be voting to confirm Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. Here’s the press release, just seconds old:
WASHINGTON – Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah), a longtime member and former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today issued the following statement on the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to replace Supreme Court Justice David Souter:
“I entered into the confirmation process of Judge Sotomayor with the strong desire to vote in favor of her nomination. Her credentials and experience are very impressive and her personal demeanor is pleasantly cordial and friendly. I found that the great respect I have for Judge Sotomayor’s heritage and history added even more to my desire to carefully review her record and opinions in hopes of finding them truly grounded in the rule of law and acceptable to earn the support and trust of the American people and myself.
July 24th, 2009 - 9:36 am
During the election, President Obama’s people (and ostensibly the candidate himself) practically lived on Twitter. Those days are over:
When asked if he Twittered personally, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said that he does not because he cannot access the microblogging site at work.
“For some reason Twitter is blocked on White House computers,” Gibbs told C-SPAN’s Washington Journal on Friday morning.
“I have to say I’m on camera enough that I think people have a decent sense of what I’m doing minus Twittering,” he added.
It’s the New Openness.
July 24th, 2009 - 5:23 am
If you’ve missed it, I’ve hosted quite the little raging debate, over the merits and need of the F-22 Raptor. And there’s a lot of confusion — even amongst smart blogger-type people — over just what it is the Raptor is supposed to do.
The F-22 is built around three things: Radar (with implied computing power), supercruise engines, and stealthiness. This much we know for sure. Its weapons (and certain other capabilities) remain secret.
Other things we can figure out through conjecture, and not even much of that. But here’s the street fighter version of what the Raptor can do: You stick your thumbs in the other guy’s eyes before you kick him in the balls. And did I mention the part where your thumbs and legs are about a hundred miles long?
Let me explain…
July 23rd, 2009 - 4:45 pm
Last night the President held a pre-prime-time press conference to rally support for his health care reform proposals, as (loosely) interpreted by Nancy Pelosi, Charlie Rangel and the rest. Which is a bit like holding high tea to show support for your high school football team. Anyway.
What’s everyone talking about today? Obama’s premature dressing down of that Cambridge cop.
You know, even after a bunch of softball questions, it was remarkably easy to get the President off-message and to squander whatever momentum he had left on the whole health care thing. Even the press knows the issue is quickly turning boring, and is turning away from it. Now, even the President is turning away. And that could be fatal.
So I have to ask: Did we just witness a physician-assisted suicide?
UPDATE: See? Not even Stacy McCain is talking about health care reform, and he hates that pinko commie stuff. On the other hand, he does have some wicked Joan Baez parody going for him. Which is nice.
July 23rd, 2009 - 3:33 pm
The F-35 isn’t capable of fulfilling the same role as the F-22, even if it weren’t two years behind schedule.
Funny how this came out after President Obama succeeding in killing off the ’22.
July 23rd, 2009 - 1:44 pm
From Strategy Page:
There’s continued talk of an Israeli air raid on Iranian nuclear weapons facilities, but no action. Israel does appear to have formed an informal alliance with several Arab states (Egypt, Saudi Arabia, etc.) against Iran. The Arabs cannot officially admit to an alliance with Israel, because of decades of state sponsored anti-Israel (and anti-Semitic) propaganda. Some of this propaganda is being shut down, quietly. Something is going on here.
Ed Driscoll and I will be talking much more about this on Saturday’s PJM Political.
July 23rd, 2009 - 12:47 pm
I hate for this blog to be All Obama All the Time, but I’ve lost my DVD of “The Incredible Shrinking Man,” so this will have to do.
Remember when CBO chief Doug Elmendorf testified last week that ObamaCare would significantly add to the deficit? Well, now he’s getting a taste of the Commander-in-Chief’s wrath.
Let’s hope Elmendorf has a tough hide. Although at this point, getting whipped by this President might inflict all the pain of a wet noodle.
Then again, back in 1994 Bill Clinton was struggling to prove he was still “relevant,” and he made one hell of a comeback in the next year.
July 23rd, 2009 - 12:29 pm
President Obama turned in such a stunning, well-received (and very nearly viewed!) press conference last night, that both Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi have given up on trying to pass health care before the August recess.
When it comes to bad legislation, every delay is a victory.
July 23rd, 2009 - 11:35 am
The President gives a lame press conference, which probably did little to shore up weakening Democratic support for
Nancy Pelosi’s his own health care takeover plan.
The next day, the Dow shoots up over 9,000.
Coincidence? I wonder…
July 23rd, 2009 - 11:33 am
Under the Obama Plan, 95% of Americans will get a tax cut, unless they’re in the middle class.
July 23rd, 2009 - 10:46 am
On today’s Trifecta, Bill Whittle hosts — and he and Scott Ott and I solve all the problems in the world. And in just seven minutes.
Because, damnit, we’re really that good.
July 22nd, 2009 - 5:56 pm
As promised, in five… four… three…
UPDATE: Here’s my final take — “In high school, I once spent an entire weekend trying to get this girl to unsnap the button fly on my 501s. That was less frustrating than tonight’s press conference.”
Read the rest on the liveblog link above.
July 22nd, 2009 - 10:13 am
Yes, I’ll drunkblog the President’s press conference tonight.
Link to follow…