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Monthly Archives: September 2009

Money Money Money

September 25th, 2009 - 8:08 am

“Hey, if inflation is going to be such a problem, why aren’t we seeing it reflected in the long-term bond market yet?”

Because we can’t sell any. Read:

Robertson said while he doesn’t think the Chinese will stop buying US bonds, the Japanese may eventually be forced to sell some of their long-term bonds.

“That’s much worse than not buying,” he said. “The other thing is, they’re buying almost exclusively short-term debt. And that’s what we are offering, because we can’t sell the long-term debt. And you know, the history has been that people who borrow short term really get burned.”

I’ve been saying for years that we couldn’t export dollars endlessly, that eventually we’d saturate that market. Well, we did — or close enough, anyway. Now that Treasury is running the printing presses 24/7, and the Fed “can’t” raise interest rates, things will get worse.

As if all that weren’t enough, just wait (not too long now) until we have to start refinancing all our existing short-term debt. Ever paid off a low-interest credit card by putting the balance on a higher-interest credit card? No? Good, you’re smarter than our government.

Wish I’d Said That

September 24th, 2009 - 4:21 pm

Will Collier has the Line of the Day: “[David] Broder is Hubris’s herald.”

Heh.

Don’t ANSWER That

September 24th, 2009 - 10:50 am

So here’s the guy the White House demands be reinstated as El Jefe-for-Life in Honduras:

t’s been 89 days since Manuel Zelaya was booted from power. He’s sleeping on chairs, and he claims his throat is sore from toxic gases and “Israeli mercenaries” are torturing him with high-frequency radiation.

“We are being threatened with death,” he said in an interview with The Miami Herald, adding that mercenaries were likely to storm the embassy where he has been holed up since Monday and assassinate him.

I remember when we used to topple nutjobs like him. Now we subsidize them. And what happens when you subsidize things?

I Had a Dream

September 24th, 2009 - 9:39 am

On today’s Trifecta, Scott Ott prods Bill Whittle and me into dreaming the American dream. Or something like that. Sorry, but I’ve had too little coffee and too much work to be very clever this morning.

I’ll blog again after the second cup.

Licking the Boot that Kicks You

September 23rd, 2009 - 6:33 pm

On the first of this week’s Trifecta segments, I’m sitting in the host’s chair, and Bill Whittle and Scott Ott take questions on what could possibly be wrong with hack artists taking your money to support someone else’s political agenda.

“We won,” right?

The ACORN Doesn’t Fall Far From the Tree

September 23rd, 2009 - 3:39 pm

Chutzpah” now has a legal definition. Read:

ACORN filed suit today in Maryland against conservative filmmakers James O’Keefe, Hannah Giles and conservative Web site Breitbart.com for secretly taping the organization’s employees at its Baltimore office.

In the complaint, ACORN alleges that the filmmakers entered into the organization’s offices in July with a “hidden camera and microphone” and taped employees Tonja Thompson and Shera Williams. Both employees are listed as plaintiffs on the complaint, filed in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City.

ACORN is seeking $500,000 for each employee and $1 million for the organization in damages.

Come to think of it, chutzpah is another word for “audacity.”

UPDATE: Ed’s got a bunch of links.

The Cost of Money is Going Up

September 23rd, 2009 - 11:33 am

Latest Treasury auction: Yields up, prices down.

You’re Not Wearing That Are You?

September 23rd, 2009 - 10:34 am

The only example we have in this country of single-payer anything is in military procurement. And get this: the Army spent several years and five billion dollars on new camouflage uniforms — and bought an urban pattern.

The Army, although no one should need any reminding, is fighting wars in the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan.

Now let’s us keep in mind that this is the best military we ever fielded — and procurement is still such a mess-up that it takes years to spend too much money buying the wrong effing shirts. The Pentagon isn’t evil or stupid; it’s just government.

So — think your insurance company is bad? Wait until it has all the same incentives as the Pentagon.

Don’t Sneeze Me, Bro

September 23rd, 2009 - 9:52 am

Love thy neighbor — but no touching!

Dude, Where’s My Radar?

September 23rd, 2009 - 8:57 am

It’s a dreary day. Cold, wet — and snowing for the third time in as many days. Still, I’m feeling pretty chipper after reading a little something sent my way by Will Collier. Read and enjoy:

Iran’s sole Simorgh AWACS aircraft was lost during a military parade Sept. 22, one of two Iranian military aircraft that crashed in Tehran while participating in a display to mark the anniversary of the start of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War.

The Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force operated a single Simorgh, a former Iraqi Air Force Adnan. The Adnan AWACS was in turn a modification of a Soviet-built Ilyushin Il-76 transport.

The Simorgh collided with one of the Air Force’s Northrop F-5E Tiger II fighters over the area of the Imam Khomeyni Shrine, southern Tehran. According to eyewitnesses, the crash occurred immediately after the parade. Apparently, no mayday call was issued.

But wait! There’s more!

Eye witnesses reported that the flaming planes landed on the mausoleum burial site of the Islamic revolution’s founder Ruhollah Khomeini, a national shrine. According to Western observers, no distress signals came from either cockpit indicating that the collision and explosions were sudden and fast.

OK, that last bit comes from DEBKA, so who knows if it’s true. But the idea of Iran losing its only AWACS in an accident that defiled the tomb of the Ayatollah Khomeini? That’s just so… nifty. Makes you wonder if the Joooooooos! were behind it.

An Honest Inquiry

September 22nd, 2009 - 6:58 pm

Is there anything Tom DeLay doesn’t make worse?

ABC’s decision to invite disgraced former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay to participate in “Dancing with the Stars” may have backfired.

Monday’s much ballyhooed ninth-edition debut of the ballroom dance competition attracted an average audience of 17.5 million viewers, according to early Nielsen stats.

That’s the show’s smallest opening audience since its very first year on the air, when viewers were still getting to know the imported BBC-produced reality series.

Mmmmmmmmnope.

It’s a Cock & Bull Story

September 22nd, 2009 - 5:53 pm

If you outlaw roosters, only outlaws will have roosters.

Hello, [INSERT NAME HERE]

September 22nd, 2009 - 5:23 pm

It’s the latest thing from Great Britain:

An advertising campaign in the UK began using automated number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras to identify passing vehicles and create personalized advertisements. The motor oil giant Castrol UK Limited yesterday activated a set of five electronic billboards in London that flash an image of the exact type of Castrol-brand motor oil appropriate for the nearest vehicle.

I can’t be the only one creeped out by this. It was cute/creepy in “Minority Report” when the advertisements tailored themselves to passersby, based on retinal scans. But in real life? Not so cute.

Mo’ Bama Mo’ Bama Mo’ Bama

September 21st, 2009 - 5:55 pm

Is it possible for one soused pundit to survive watching every single second of President Obama on the Sunday morning news shows? That’s the question I try and answer on this week’s Hair of the Dog. On the big show:

Bob Schieffer breaks the fourth estate’s fourth wall.

President Obama just hates it when his critics see the truth.

Lindsay Graham cracks a joke and it’s nearly funny.

Plus, I totally lose whatever cool I ever had. Check it out.

UPDATE: I need to start paying more attention, but I just noticed that PJTV has comments open for each show. How long has that been going on? Uh…

Deconstructing Dave

September 20th, 2009 - 7:19 pm

The first time I watched David Letterman was summer vacation of 1982. My initial impression was, “Who is this gap-toothed weasel and what did he do with Tom Snyder?” I was not a normal 13-year-old.

By the end of the week, Dave was my new favorite way to stay up too late, excepting of course for pacing back and forth in front of my brand-new phone, trying to work up the nerve to call a girl. Any girl.

Letterman came on after Johnny Carson — who I started watching seven or eight years earlier, any time I could manage it — but was nothing like him. Carson was the master — urbane, smartly-dressed. Los Angeles via Iowa.

Dave was… not those things.

Letterman was awkward — crude, wore sneakers and sweaters. New York via Indiana.

Carson’s guests were people my grandparents knew and watched. Dave had on any and everybody — from stars barely older than I was, to the world’s (then) oldest usher. Carson put on a black wig and did a passable Reagan. Letterman barely acknowledged politics existed. Carson did skits featuring chesty spokesmodels. Dave climbed up to the top of a five-story tower and dropped off two water balloons filled with guacamole.

Carson inspired me. Dave cracked me up. Carson was who I wanted to be. Dave was who I wanted to watch.

I stopped watching Dave a few years back. Not for any particular reason — I’d just kind of outgrown watching latenight TV. If anything, Dave was probably knocked off by my DVD library. Hardly his fault.

But everything I’ve read about him the last couple years makes me glad he hasn’t been a visitor to my living room of late. This item seals the deal:

Mr. Obama’s visit, to be followed on Tuesday night by another guest of note, former President Bill Clinton, happens to dovetail with a larger strategy for “The Late Show With David Letterman.” The comedian has been reshaping his program around a longer, more ambitious, more politically pointed monologue — the kind viewers associate more with that long-running late-night show on NBC.

“When he began in television, Letterman was virtually apolitical,” said Robert Thompson, professor of television and popular culture at Syracuse. “Now he’s moved to the point where he could be called a political comedian.”

Way Back WhenLetterman’s genius was what one writer at Liberty magazine called “post-ironic humor.” Essentially, Letterman found humor in the badness of television itself. The unspoken premise of his old Late Night show on NBC, and again at CBS, was, “If you think TV is bad, wait’ll you see the crap we get away with.”

And in his heyday, that was a premise that worked.

Larry "Bud" MelmanDave hyped dweeby Paul Schaffer‘s little group as “the world’s most dangerous band.” He read little lists of ten not-quite-funny items with pomp and seriousness. He gave the best lines on his show to his crewmembers, and to strange anti-stars like the fictional Larry “Bud” Melman. He got serious laughs out of lame-ass catchphrases like, “They pelted us with rocks and garbage.”

It worked because Dave was poking fun at the conventions and cliches of television — and at himself for playing along with them, albeit subversively. The joke was, he was in on the joke.

Irony is when your actions result in the opposite of your intentions. Post-irony is when you go ahead and take the stupid action — with perfect knowledge beforehand of what the screwed-up result will be. Dave was the post-ironic master of making great bad television, on purpose, five nights a week. Letterman was television’s funniest screw-up, goofing his way to the top.

That was his shtick. And, man, it did work.

But politics and Dave mix like Carson and Arsenio. These days, Letterman is an institution. After 30 years of television, his subversions are the conventions. But instead of continually seeking to subvert and undermine, now he’s aiming lower — at his audience. Instead of taking us for a joyride through the often-idiotic world of TV, he’s telling us we’re the idiots, because we’re not all New York hipsters with properly conventional politics. Letterman, it seems, has finally forgotten his Indiana roots.

Well, maybe I am dumb, but I can tell the difference between good-bad TV and bad-bad TV. And Dave’s TV is just bad.

I Hate Illinois Nazis

September 20th, 2009 - 5:36 pm

This is nearly a week late, but I just read that Henry Gibson died. Most will remember him from… pretty much everything, it seemed.

Somewhere Someone Likes Us Better

September 20th, 2009 - 12:40 pm

Man-caused disasterist no longer oppressed!

Rule Five Sunday — The Ann-Margret Edition

September 20th, 2009 - 6:24 am

Another tribute to the women I grew up lusting after.

Smokin'

(more…)

Must-See Radio

September 19th, 2009 - 5:17 pm

Once again, producer Ed Driscoll has pirated the PJM Political signal off the Sirius/XM satellite, and made it available on the web. On this week’s show:

PJTV guest interviewer, National Review.com’s Mark Hemingway surveys the surprisingly diverse crowd at the Washington, DC Tea Party.

From the Quincy, Illinois Tea Party, Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit.com interviews Andrew Breitbart about his new site, Big Government.com, and its spectacular launch, built around the undercover ACORN videos that have rocked Washington and the legacy media.

Also from the Quincy, IL Tea Party, Glenn interviews St. Louis talk radio host Dana Loesch.

Back in the studio, it’s Five Questions For James Lileks, including one on President Obama’s commando attack in Somalia this week.

Glenn Reynolds interviews fellow Tennessean, Sen. Bob Corker.

Plus, I share a Tale of Two Presidents — and unload on both of them.

The Third Third

September 19th, 2009 - 10:31 am

I thought maybe the tapes had gone missing, but here’s this week’s final Trifecta segment.

Scott Ott was host, and… well, it’s pretty much just Scott, Bill Whittle and me, cracking each other up while totally completely answering any questions you might have had about the holy pure cleanness of The One.

And all in just six minutes!

The Week in Blogs — The Links!

September 19th, 2009 - 9:22 am

Here are all the links for this week’s picks.

News by the numbers?

They’re real, and they’re spectacular.

Scroll all the way down.

Uh… It was my understanding there would be no math.

Making it up on volume.

Kruiser questions the meme.

Backyard fun.

You don’t say.

Wish I’d said that.

Finally, a whole lotta change.

Find out what it all means on this week’s VodkaPundit’s Week in Blogs on PJTV.

Terror in the Rockies?

September 19th, 2009 - 9:11 am

Seems that way. Here’s the news from Denver:

ZaziAn Aurora man embroiled in a multi-state terror investigation has admitted to having ties to al-Qaeda and is negotiating a plea agreement with federal officials, multiple news organizations reported this afternoon.

The Denver Post has been unable to independently confirm the reports and one source, speaking on background, termed them “premature.”

Afghan-born Najibullah Zazi, 24, has repeatedly proclaimed his innocence and denied having terrorist ties.

The New York Daily News, ABC news, FOX news, CBS News, NBC News and CNN, all citing anonymous sources, reported this afternoon that Afghani-born Zazi confessed to having al-Qaeda ties during three days of interviews with federal officials in Denver.

Interesting to note — Zazi drove an airport shuttle, making him a familiar face to airport security. Also, and of no particular importance I imagine, the locals here often refer to Aurora as “Saudi Aurora.” Before it became a popular ‘burb, it was a whole lot of nothing.

Doesn’t seem so funny this morning.

There’s an App for That

September 18th, 2009 - 11:08 am

It’s true — the White House has a Facebook application to help sell Nancy Pelosi’s Max Baucus’s the President’s health care overhaul. Sleuths working for PJ Media in secret have uncovered the original draft:

Do you have insurance? YES / WILLING TO BE BROUGHT INTO COMPLIANCE

Do you mind paying taxes? NO / NO NO NO / SOCK IT TO ME

Do you have children? NO / YES, AND THEY LOVE DEBT

Do you have a long-term condition or disability? NO / STILL WAITING FOR THAT MRI

Do you work for a small business? NO / USED TO BEFORE PUT UNDER BY TAXES

Are you a veteran? YES / NO BUT I HEAR WONDERFUL THINGS ABOUT THE V.A.

Are you considering changing employers at some point in the future? NO / YES, I’D LIKE TO FIND WORK

Are you in this country illegally? NO / POR FAVOR?

Are you male or female? MALE / FEMALE / RESENT CATEGORIZATION

What is your age range? 25 & UNDER / 26-59 / READY TO DIE

Submit. Submit Submit Submit.

[Rim Shot]

September 18th, 2009 - 9:42 am

It’s a very modern lawsuit for our very modern age:

Former employees of the beleaguered community activist group ACORN are planning to file a criiminal complaint in Baltimore against the creators of the series of videos that have spurred outrage against the organization, knowledgable sources have told Investigative Voice.

The filing could come as soon as Friday afternoon, sources said.

The criminal complaint will allege that recordings of the group’s employees giving advice on how to evade taxes and house underage South American sex workers to journalists posing as a pimp and prostitute were obtained illegally.

You’d think there’d be a whistle-blower law to protect these folks, but apparently those don’t cover the kind of blowing ACORN was willing to sell,

My Photoshop-Fu Beats Your Lightsaber-Fu

September 18th, 2009 - 9:23 am

Your powers are weak, old man…

Thank You Sir May I Have Another?

September 17th, 2009 - 9:06 am

Lovely:

President Barack Obama on Thursday abandoned plans for a large missile defense shield in eastern Europe, promising instead a stronger, swifter defense system to protect U.S. allies against any threat from Iran.

In a brief announcement, Obama said he was dropping a plan to base interceptor missiles in Poland and build a radar system in the Czech Republic — a move that could ease tensions with Russia but fan regional fears of resurgent Kremlin influence.

Poland and Czech Republic took a big risk for us, annoying the Kremlin by agreeing to host those anti-missile bases. And keep in mind that those anti-missile missiles couldn’t do much to stop Russian missiles. First, there would have been too few of them. Second, most of Russia’s missiles would head north, over the pole and towards the US — safely out of range of the interceptors.

So what do you think will happen next time we need to ask something of Warsaw or Prague?

And there’s really nothing quite like a preemptive surrender, to Moscow and Tehran, on the eve of misguided talks with the Iranian government.

Miserable Fat Belgian Bastards

September 17th, 2009 - 8:57 am

I won’t even try to explain the headline — that would take ages, and then, leave even most Monty Python fans scratching their heads. That aside, it’s all I could think of when I got this link from Stacy McCain. It might just be the last word on the RSM/CJ controversy from last weekend.

And I’ve closed the comments on this post, because I don’t want it turning into yet another Charles/Stacy slamfest.

Comments Off bullet bullet

Must-See Radio

September 16th, 2009 - 5:55 pm

I’ll be on Martha Zoller‘s show Thursday morning at 11:20AM Eastern on WDUN. North Georgia radio? Oh, yeah, we’ll be talking about Jimmy Carter.

You can find the streaming version on WDUN‘s main page.

Wait for It…

September 16th, 2009 - 2:48 pm

This is not the ACORN I knew.”

OK, so the President hasn’t said that. I don’t think. But here’s the official White House statement, delivered by Robert Gibbs and blogged by ABC’s Jake Tapper:

“Obviously the conduct you see on those tapes is completely unacceptable,” Gibbs said, raising the issue of videotapes posted online by BigGovernment.com and aired frequently by Fox News Channel that seem to show ACORN employees advising a faux prostitute and faux pimp on how to skirt housing and tax laws. “The administration takes accountability extremely seriously.”

Gibbs said the Census Bureau decided that ACORN could not assist the group in meeting “the bureau’s goal of achieving a fair and accurate count in 2010″ and that some other agencies are evaluating their relationship with the group. “We constantly evaluate to ensure that any grantee is living up to what has to happen in order to fulfill that grant application.”

He pointed out that “previous administrations” had awarded grants to ACORN either through the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Keep Scrolling

September 16th, 2009 - 2:37 pm

Click for the pictures of the chesty Boob Czar, stay for the haiku.