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Monthly Archives: November 2009

Apparently He Can Say That on Television

November 30th, 2009 - 4:33 pm

How much fun can you have in just six minutes? When the targets are as ripe as the Sunday morning chat shows, the answer is: Way lots. So click on over to PJTV for the new “Hair of the Dog.” On this week’s show:

Does Bernie Sanders (FILTHY COMMIE, VT) even need a reason to raise taxes?

Professor Carl “Wagstaff” Levin and his amazing time machine.

Uh-oh — we put a valley girl in the Oval Office.

Plus, is Evan Bayh getting ready to put on his own production of the Scottish play? Tune in to PJTV and find out.

ACORN is out to prove its effectiveness and relevance… by getting speedbumps installed.

No, really.

Kinda makes you forget the teen prostitution thing, and the money laundering.

It’s an Unfair Cop

November 29th, 2009 - 11:34 pm

Be afraid. Be very afraid. Because here’s what’s in the Senate version of the health care bill:

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius would be awarded unprecedented new powers under the proposal, including the authority to decide what medical care should be covered by insurers as well as the terms and conditions of coverage and who should receive it.

And set aside the partisan BS for a moment, because it doesn’t matter who is in charge of HHS, or what party they belong to. It could be Kathleen Sebelius, Adolf Hitler, or Mother Effing Teresa — but no single human being should ever wield that kind of power.

No one.

Ever.

Democrat, Republican, or robot overlords.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. The money part of health care “reform” is bad enough. But 99% of the evil involved — yes, evil — is the power-grab. Washington couldn’t give a good goddamn about the money; because like Lay’s potato chips, they can always make more. But right now Washington sees a once-in-a-lifetime chance to grab the power over your life. And they’ll take it, sure as hell.

“It” being the power, and your life.

It’s a Fair Cop

November 29th, 2009 - 2:23 pm

I haven’t seen the numbers to back this up, but it’s interesting nonetheless. Glenn Reynolds reports that “Windows 7 has already outpaced Mac OS in adoptions.” That’s pretty impressive, considering that OS X 10.6 costs far less than any version of Win7, at a measly $29.

But it’s less impressive, if you pretend that everybody hated 10.5, and that 10.4 had been released way back in 2002. Let’s face it, after all this time, Windows users have got to be hungry for something new and unsucky.

The Last Word in Sandwich Technology

November 28th, 2009 - 3:00 pm

Sometimes, it’s really cool to be upstaged.

The Ultimate Turkey Sandwich

November 28th, 2009 - 10:02 am

You’ll need:

Two slices whole wheat bread.
Crapload of turkey meat, white or dark your choice.
Four slices thick-cut pepper bacon.
Three slices fresh tomato, seeds removed.
Couple nice big pieces of Romaine lettuce.
Mayo (the real stuff).
Gulden’s mustard (nothing else will do here).
Kosher salt & pepper.

The order is important — you don’t want the sammich getting soggy. So, mayo on one slice of bread, mustard on the other. Put the lettuce on the side with the mayo. Put the tomatoes on top of the lettuce, add some salt & pepper to the tomatoes, then finish with the turkey, then the bacon. And the mustard slice of bread on top. Squish down and bite in.

Yeah, that’s been breakfast, lunch, and dinner for almost two days now.

UPDATE: I’m giving serious thought to attempting a layer of rare roast beef on top of the bacon. Science says it can’t be done, so wish me luck.

The Week in Blogs — The Links!

November 28th, 2009 - 9:56 am

Give me four minutes, and I’ll give you the blogosphere — yes, the whole thing.* On the new “Week on Blogs” on PJTV:

Play in the sunshine.

Sign o’ the times.

Slow love.

Forever in my life.

Adore.

The cross.

Housequake.

Starfish and coffee.

Strange relationship.

If I was your girlfriend.

What’s it all mean? Find out on PJTV.

*Not really.

UPDATE: Oops. Had forgotten the link to the video. All fixed now.

Happy Thanksgiving

November 26th, 2009 - 6:54 am

This year I’m thankful for an internet that continues to be just as freaky-ass as ever.

If Not Me, Who? If Not for Christmas, When?

November 25th, 2009 - 2:17 pm

They have not made enough booze for me to drunkblog The Very Special Oprah-Obama Christmas Special.

But I will, anyway.

Two of Three

November 25th, 2009 - 1:38 pm

Yes, it’s the last pre-Thanksgiving Trifecta [CUE MOANS AND GROANS AND SIGHS]. Scott Ott hosts, and has Bill Whittle and me take on Robert Heinlein’s theories about… political partisanship, and why Heinlein thinks it’s a good idea to be a party animal.

You might be shocked to learn that we largely agree with the old master — but with some important caveats.

It’s Just a Jump to the Left

November 25th, 2009 - 10:08 am

As you know, I don’t waste a whole lot of electrons talking about polls on this blog. But sometimes you get hit over the head with a whole bunch of numbers all at once, and you’ve got to stop and say “Ouch!.”

So why do President Obama’s poll numbers keep sliding? Sure, unemployment isn’t helping. But it also turns out that the American people think the President is bat-shit crazy slightly out-of-step with their concerns:

On a series of fronts, Obama is moving against headwinds:

• By more than 2-1, Americans say the United States shouldn’t close the terrorist prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, as Obama has promised.

• By 49%-44%, they oppose passing a health care bill in Congress this year, which he calls critical.

• A majority are against holding the trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in New York, and nearly six in 10 say the self-proclaimed 9/11 mastermind should be tried in a military rather than a civilian court. That’s at odds with the decision announced this month by Attorney General Eric Holder.

And from the same USA Today story is this item:

Nearly half of those surveyed endorse deploying thousands of additional U.S. troops, while four in 10 say it’s time to begin withdrawing forces.

When things get sticky at home, Presidents often embark on a little foreign adventuring to boost their appeal. But opinion is already so divided on Afghanistan — and increasingly bitterly so, it would seem — that nothing short of a sudden and total (and impossible) victory will turn those numbers around.

So I guess what I’m trying to say, Mr. President, is that it sucks to be you.

One of Three

November 24th, 2009 - 7:18 pm

Party of No, Party of One

It’s the first of this week’s Trifecta shows — yep, we make’em even during Thanksgiving — and I play the host. Bill Whittle and Scott Ott and I take on the systemic corruption in Washington, and even provide a solution or three.

An Open Letter

November 24th, 2009 - 7:52 am

Dear Mr. President,

You can’t create any jobs. And talking constantly about jobs you can’t create makes you look ineffective — so let’s cut that out before we even get started, OK?

But the private sector, the real economy, can and will create jobs. All you have to do is… sit there. Stop taxing, stop regulating, and stop imposing. Just get out of the way, and, to put it in language you’ll understand, you’ll see a thousand flowers bloom.

Then I suppose you can get back to screwing everything up.

Yours,

-Steve.

Hey, You’ve Got to Inflate That Debt Away

November 24th, 2009 - 6:06 am

A couple-three weeks ago, Megan McArdle made the very smart point — as she is wont to do — that it doesn’t make much sense for Washington to try and inflate away our debt. After all, much of our obligations consist of Social Security and Medicare payments, which are inflation-indexed. In other words, inflation might be a nice way to effectively repudiate the twelve trillion we already owe, but would do little to alleviate the 50-plus trillion dollars (in today’s value) already legislated into to future Federal spending.

But like a lot of smart points, Megan’s point isn’t quite smart enough.*

Those twelve trillion dollars we’ve already borrowed… well, that debt is out there. We owe it. We’ve got to pay it back. And we will pay it back — with solid greenbacks, or maybe with the Weimar varietal.

But the “structural” debt? Why, Congress could repudiate that tomorrow, with or without inflation. We haven’t borrowed that money… yet. And while I doubt this Congress has the fiscal balls (“fiscal balls,” really? -ed.) to tackle our out-of-control entitlements in a responsible way, there is a cowardly out Congress could take.

Return of the Nixon PennyAll our honorable elected officials need to do is to under-calculate the Consumer Price Index (i.e., predicted future inflation) for the first time ever. And –presto!– problem solved.

At the stroke of a pen, our future, not-yet-borrowed debts would still be tied to inflation — but slightly less so. Social Security and Medicare payments would still increase, making everybody feel all warm and fuzzy, if only temporarily. But the key is, the trick is, that so long as scheduled payments increase less quickly than inflation does, then the structural debt still would magically inflate away.

Typically, Congress has used a CPI calculated in such a way that transfer payments increase faster than inflation. That way, Congress gets to pretend that payments are tied to inflation, while welfare recipients see their real-world benefits increase — all without Congress having to put themselves on the record as having increased payments. In other words, Congress gets to buy votes without having to appear to be buying votes.

To put it more simply, for decades now, Congress has used imaginary CPI numbers to screw tax payers in favor of tax receivers.

Now then. Do you think that a Congress cowardly enough to engage in that sort of behavior, is somehow brave enough to use equally-imaginary CPI numbers to screw us all over, rather than admit that they’ve bankrupted us all?

(more…)

The Snark and the Fury

November 23rd, 2009 - 7:27 pm

It’s a very special Thanksgiving edition of “Hair of the Dog” — the only TV show anywhere that plays Monday morning quarterback to the Sunday morning chat shows. This week:

Arlen Specter very personally contributes to global warming.

George Stephanopoulos looks at the guest list and comes up… short.

And the Democrats would rather play The Blame Game than talk about what’s actually in their own Senate health care bill.

Plus, I know we usually keep things light & breezy on HOTD, but I went slightly nuclear on Bob Schieffer, Chuck Schumer, Mary Landrieu, and the entire Government-Media Complex. And that‘s what I hope you’ll be thankful for this week.

Say It Ain’t “No,” Joe

November 23rd, 2009 - 6:48 pm

Well, that’s what approximately 59 Senate Democrats must be wishing right about now. Here’s the WSJ report on Lieberman’s objection to any kind of public option whatsoever:

Probe for a catch or caveat in that opposition, and none is visible. Can he support a public option if states could opt out of the plan, as the current bill provides? “The answer is no,” he says in an interview from his Senate office. “I feel very strongly about this.” How about a trigger, a mechanism for including a public option along with a provision saying it won’t be used unless private insurance plans aren’t spreading coverage far and fast enough? No again.

Is Lieberman taking a stand on principle? Or is he a wholly-owned subsidiary of Connecticut’s insurance industry?

Honestly — who cares!

The Truth Hurts Is Just Plain Mean

November 23rd, 2009 - 8:33 am

How well do you understand climate science? Take this simple quiz and find out!

Must-See PJTV

November 23rd, 2009 - 8:13 am

The first of Bill Whittle’s Guantanamo Bay Diaries is up on PJTV. I got to talk to Bill about Gitmo during our weekly Trifecta conference call when he first got back from Cuba, and I’m excited to finally start watching these things.

I Can Hear Something Now

November 22nd, 2009 - 2:32 pm

Motorola’s Droid — the latest in a long line of “iPhone killers” — is now available for almost half off from Dell. This, just weeks after it was introduced.

Is Motorola desperate for market share, or to move units, or both?

Required Reading

November 22nd, 2009 - 11:42 am

Spend some time talking health care reform with David Broder, that conduit of conventional wisdom:

Here, for example, is what Robert Bixby, the executive director of the Concord Coalition, a bipartisan group of budget watchdogs, told me: “The Senate bill is better than the House version, but there’s not much reform in this bill. As of now, it’s basically a big entitlement expansion, plus tax increases.”

Here’s another expert, Maya MacGuineas, the president of the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget: “While this bill does a better job than the House version at reducing the deficit and controlling costs, it still doesn’t do enough. Given the political system’s aversion to tax increases and spending cuts, I worry about what the final bill will look like.”

These are nonpartisan sources, but Republican budget experts such as former CBO director Douglas Holtz-Eakin amplify the point with specific examples and biting language. Holtz-Eakin cites a long list of Democratic-sponsored “budget gimmicks” that made it possible for the CBO to estimate that Reid’s bill would reduce federal deficits by $130 billion by 2019.

Perhaps the biggest of those maneuvers was Reid’s decision to postpone the start of subsidies to help the uninsured buy policies from mid-2013 to January 2014 — long after taxes and fees levied by the bill would have begun.

Even with that change, there is plenty in the CBO report to suggest that the promised budget savings may not materialize. If you read deep enough, you will find that under the Senate bill, “federal outlays for health care would increase during the 2010-2019 period” — not decline. The gross increase would be almost $1 trillion — $848 billion, to be exact, mainly to subsidize the uninsured. The net increase would be $160 billion.

But this depends on two big gambles. Will future Congresses actually impose the assumed $420 billion in cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and other federal health programs? They never have.

When you’ve lost Broder, you’ve lost Washington.

VodkaPundit Regrets the Error

November 21st, 2009 - 9:07 pm

As it turns out, as cheap whores go, Mary Landrieu is three times more expensive than first thought. But I’d still put on at least two condoms before getting into a voting booth with her name in it.

Read this classic line:

“I will correct something. It’s not $100 million, it’s $300 million, and I’m proud of it and will keep fighting for it,” Landrieu told reporters after her floor speech.

That’s our political class in action — their votes are for sale and they’re goddamn proud of it.

Hang your head in shame, America.

Must-See Radio

November 21st, 2009 - 12:50 pm

Is it possible for a lone blogger to host a radio show with his lungs and head stuffed full of what appears to be pimento loaf? Yes! On this week’s big, big PJM Political:

Bill Whittle interviews Charles Stimson, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of defense for Detainee Affairs, now with the Heritage Foundation. They’ll be discussing Attorney General Eric Holder’s decision to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other 9/11 suspects in New York City.

Roger L. Simon and fellow Motion Picture Academy member Lionel Chetwynd make sense of the byzantine process of how a film gets nominated for an Academy Award.

Dr. Helen Smith interviews Jessica Custer of the Network of Enlightened Women, on their efforts to bring increased intellectual diversity to America’s universities.
Glenn Reynolds interviews the members of the Smart Set, on how the Internet is changing how music is distributed and opening new opportunities for entrepreneurial musicians.

Produced by Ed Driscoll, who, as always, has pirated the Sirius/XM Radio signal and made it available for your downloading or streaming pleasure.

The Week in Blogs — The Links!

November 21st, 2009 - 10:25 am

It’s time once again to look back at The Week in Blogs on PJTV, and here are the matching links:

Wild, wild life.

Road to nowhere.

Walk it down.

Memories can’t wait.

Found a job.

Pulled up.

This must be the place.

Life during wartime.

And she was.

Don’t worry about the government.

Plus, a special mystery theme!

The Next War

November 21st, 2009 - 10:00 am

Michael Totten takes into account Hezbollah’s new longer-range rockets:

If Israel’s nuclear power plant comes under fire, if Tel Aviv skyscrapers explode from missile attacks, if Hezbollah manages to turn all of Israel into a kill zone where there is no place to run, Israelis will panic like they haven’t since the 1973 Yom Kippur War when it briefly appeared the Egyptian army might overrun the whole country. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere in Lebanon while Israelis are actively fending off that kind of assault. No country can afford to be restrained while fighting for its survival.

Being saturated with missiles isn’t quite the same thing as being overrun by tanks — but would be on less disastrous for the Israeli economy, and perhaps almost as effective at getting Jews to simply quit living in Israel.

Global Warmening Update

November 20th, 2009 - 1:50 pm

Now I’m the first to admit to not having a clue what’s going on. Our eight-year drought seems to have ended a couple years back, we’re enjoying mild summers, October was freezing… and November is warm. Go figure.

But is anthropogenic global warming worse than junk science? Is it fraud science? 62 megabytes of hacked emails and other files would indicate…

From: Phil Jones
To: ray bradley ,mann@XXXX, mhughes@XXXX
Subject: Diagram for WMO Statement
Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 13:31:15 +0000
Cc: k.briffa@XXX.osborn@XXXX

Dear Ray, Mike and Malcolm,

Once Tim’s got a diagram here we’ll send that either later today or first thing tomorrow.

I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline. Mike’s series got the annual land and marine values while the other two got April-Sept for NH land N of 20N. The latter two are real for 1999, while the estimate for 1999 for NH combined is +0.44C wrt 61-90. The Global estimate for 1999 with data through Oct is +0.35C cf. 0.57 for 1998.

Thanks for the comments, Ray.

Cheers
Phil

Prof. Phil Jones
Climatic Research Unit Telephone XXXX
School of Environmental Sciences Fax XXXX
University of East Anglia
Norwich

And…

From: Kevin Trenberth
To: Michael Mann
Subject: Re: BBC U-turn on climate
Date: Mon, 12 Oct 2009 08:57:37 -0600
Cc: Stephen H Schneider , Myles Allen , peter stott , “Philip D. Jones” , Benjamin Santer , Tom Wigley , Thomas R Karl , Gavin Schmidt , James Hansen , Michael Oppenheimer

Hi all

Well I have my own article on where the heck is global warming ? We are asking that here in Boulder where we have broken records the past two days for the coldest days on record. We had 4 inches of snow. The high the last 2 days was below 30F and the normal is 69F, and it smashed the previous records for these days by 10F. The low was about 18F and also a record low, well below the previous record low.

This is January weather (see the Rockies baseball playoff game was canceled on saturday and then played last night in below freezing weather).
Trenberth, K. E., 2009: An imperative for climate change planning: tracking Earth’s global energy. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 1, 19-27, doi:10.1016/j.cosust.2009.06.001. [1][PDF] (A PDF of the published version can be obtained from the author.)
***

The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t. The CERES data published in the August BAMS 09 supplement on 2008 shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate.***

And…

From: Phil Jones
To: “Michael E. Mann”
Subject: IPCC & FOI
Date: Thu May 29 11:04:11 2008

Mike,

Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4?

Keith will do likewise. He’s not in at the moment – minor family crisis.

Can you also email Gene and get him to do the same? I don’t have his new email address.

We will be getting Caspar to do likewise.

I see that CA claim they discovered the 1945 problem in the Nature paper!!

Cheers

Phil

Prof. Phil Jones
Climatic Research Unit

Well this isn’t looking very good.

What makes me most skeptical, however, isn’t the emails — it’s the proposed solutions to the “crisis.”

Here’s what I mean.

The nature of the crisis changes as needed. It’s getting too hot, it’s getting too cold, free markets are for meanies, TV is too dirty, there are only so many radio stations, this one guy got more stuff than this other guy…

But the solution always remains the same: Give the government more power to tax and regulate and control.

No thanks. Get out. Take a flying leap at your own bottom.

If I don’t like the weather, I’ll adjust the damn thermostat, mmkay?

Trillion dollar payoffs, trillions more in debt, trillion-dollar deficits as far as the eye can see… and yet Mary Landrieu gets bought off for a lousy hundred mill?

That thing I said last week about political whores? They’re bad enough. But Landrieu’s a cheap one.

(Cough, Cough)

November 18th, 2009 - 6:57 pm

I was looking for the perfect metaphor for the President’s recent east Asia tour, but this was the best I could come up with.

It’s That Time Again

November 16th, 2009 - 8:07 pm

I’ve been taking a sick day — but I saturated my skull with enough steam (and Dayquil) to get through taping this week’s Hair of the Dog. On the big show:

Obama — will he or won’t he commit to Afghanistan?

KSM — will he or won’t he face a kangaroo court?

Giuliani — will he or won’t he run for governor?

Plus, deadly hover ninjas!

Yes, really.

Who’d a Thunk It?

November 15th, 2009 - 8:04 pm

GM lied, the stimulus died.

Must-See Radio

November 15th, 2009 - 3:32 pm

PJM Political is on the air — from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.