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Monthly Archives: November 2009

The Week in Blogs — The Links!

November 13th, 2009 - 12:24 pm

As seen on PJTV, here are this week’s picks:

Stomach churning reactions.

Good question.

Cheap, even for a Congressman.

Signed, Let Down on the Left.

They don’t call’em czars for nothin’.

Uh

There is a doctor in the house senate.

Not if it’s a prank call.

Uh…” again, times infinity.

Find out what it all means on PJTV.

Improving It Worse

November 12th, 2009 - 10:08 pm

Why does she look at me when she says, “Star Wars sex meme?”

Seriously, Melissa Clouthier’s complaints about the recent “improvements” to Twitter are spot-on. Let me be my own filter, mkay?

It Could Be Worse; It Could Be Snowing

November 12th, 2009 - 6:27 pm

So the forceful decision in our War of Necessity is… Afghanistanization. Or something. Anyway, policy reviews going on since, supposedly, February, have resulted in this:

President Barack Obama does not plan to accept any of the Afghanistan war options presented by his national security team, pushing instead for revisions to clarify how and when U.S. troops would turn over responsibility to the Afghan government, a senior administration official said Wednesday.

Obama still is close to announcing his revamped war strategy, most likely shortly after he returns from a trip to Asia that ends on Nov. 19.

The president raised questions at a war council meeting on Wednesday, however, that could alter the dynamic of both how many additional troops are sent to Afghanistan and what the timeline would be for their presence in the war zone, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss Obama’s thinking.

Throwing out all the Pentagon recommendations doesn’t bother me, to be quite frank. President Bush did exactly that in September, 2001. Bush’s JCS presented him with what the Pentagon typically comes up with — a big, slow build-up, followed by a great big invasion. The whole thing would have taken six-12 months, by my reckoning — and that’s under ideal circumstances. Instead, Bush told them all to try again.

The JCS responded with a new, “small footprint” plan, that ended Taliban rule in just six weeks. A good leader knows when to tell his subordinates that they’re effing clueless. So don’t fret too much if Obama doesn’t necessarily like the taste of whatever swill the Pentagon is dishing out. The Pentagon has acres of no-good plans, and when the stuff hits the fan, you can guess which plans get pulled off the shelf first.

Then again — Bush did all this in a few days. Obama’s been at it since August. Well, March, actually. And he decided on a new direction back in 2008. Or maybe ’07. As Jules Crittenden describes the process towards developing a system for reaching a decision to give the matter some considered consideration:

In fairness, even if the president did declare back in 2008 this war was a vital national security interest, and he did signal last spring he was on board with counterinsurgency, and even if he did appoint Gen. Stanley McChrystal to get the job done in May, the general’s recommendations only arrived in August, and the president didn’t look at them until, what, late September, and he’s been really busy this whole time letting Congress bollix his health-care initiative, throwing Eastern Europe under the bus and flying to Copenhagen, that kind of thing, so he’s only been able to squeeze in seven high-level national security meetings, or is it eight? Is it so unreasonable to ask for new options on top of the new options that he asked for on top of the new options that McChrystal gave him? Meanwhile, China’s ass wants kissing and then we’re into the holidays…

Now, I was told back in 2008 by a very smart retired Army guy — who went to work at a pretty high level for the Obama campaign — that four combat brigades were exactly what we needed in Afghanistan, and that that’s exactly what his candidate was promising to send over there. OK, great — mission accomplished. Except that maybe they aren’t enough. Or maybe they’re too much. It all depends on what the definition of “mission” is.

Which, after 18 months of campaigning on the issue and nine months of being the damn CINC, you’d think Obama would know what he wants to do over there. Honestly, the only thing that he ought to still be thinking about is how best to achieve his goals — if we were still living back in March.

But already it’s half past November. And it’s looking more and more like this time we’re really going to see that harsh Afghan winter.

Three of Three

November 12th, 2009 - 9:29 am

Third and final Trifecta segment for this week. It’s Bill Whittle’s turn to sit in the Paul Lynde Memorial Square — and he has Scott Ott and me look at two American presidents, and how they treat (and are treated by) the soldiers under their command.

A Man Can Dream

November 11th, 2009 - 11:35 pm

While I haven’t actually watched the Lou Dobbs resignation video, I’m pretty sure he begins by saying, “Why, if it hadn’t been for those darn kids…”

Here’s to hoping that Pat Buchanan takes the cue and does likewise. Maybe the two of them could get a nice little cottage together on Key West.

Two of Three

November 11th, 2009 - 2:07 pm

It’s Scott Ott’s turn to host Trifecta today. He, Bill Whittle and I take an unflinching look at the MSM’s excuse-mongering for Ft Hood killer Nidal Malik Hasan.

It’ll make your blood boil. It did ours when we taped it.

To-Do List 11/11/09

November 11th, 2009 - 9:29 am

• Find a Vet.

• Shake their hand.

• Tell’em “thanks.”

My Lesbian Man-Crush

November 10th, 2009 - 8:37 pm

Camille Paglia on Nancy Pelosi:

Whether or not her bill survives in the Senate is immaterial: Pelosi’s hard-won, trench-warfare win sets a new standard for U.S. women politicians and is certainly well beyond anything the posturing but ineffectual Hillary Clinton has ever achieved.

As for the actual content of the House healthcare bill, horrors! Where to begin?

And that’s coming from a fairly left-leaning liberal who basically agrees that there ought to be a lot more government interference with health care. Meanwhile, here’s what that other august intellect, Bill Clinton, had to say on the matter:

“The point I want to make is: Just pass the bill, even if it’s not exactly what you want,” Clinton told Democrats. “When you try and fail, the other guys write history.”

Go on and betray your conscience. Go on and pass bad legislation. Go on and do potentially irreparable harm to the country. Because if you don’t, somewhere, a Republican might look good.

Oh, horrors, indeed.

There are statesmen, there are politicians, and then there are cheap whores who would sell out their country for a vote.

And here I always thought Clinton was just a politician.

One of Three

November 10th, 2009 - 5:44 pm

This week’s first Trifecta segment is up. Scott Ott, Bill Whittle and I take on the mysterious dearth of celebrations on the 20th Anniversary of the West’s victory in the Cold War.

Actually, it’s not so mysterious. By and large, the Left wants a retroactive surrender — and it looks like they’ve gotten one.

By the way, the shoot today was exhausting. We did the usual three segments, leading off with mine on the Wall and the Cold War. Then Scott and Bill took turns hosting different angles of last week’s Ft. Hood massacre… and by the time it was done, we all needed drinks.

That’s One Weak-Ass Endorsement

November 9th, 2009 - 9:34 pm

It looks like a decision has been made on Afghanistan:

The president still has more meetings scheduled on Afghanistan, but informed sources tell CBS News he intends to give Gen. Stanley McChrystal most, if not all, the additional troops he is asking for.

McChrystal wanted 40,000 and the president has tentatively decided to send four combat brigades plus thousands more support troops. A senior officer says “that’s close to what [McChrystal] asked for.” All the president’s military advisers have recommended sending more troops.

I’m still not convinced we have a realistic endgame in mind for Afghanistan, and four additional combat brigades* seems too small a force to win outright. But it’s too large a commitment — not just in blood and treasure, but in prestige — for any result we’re likely to achieve.

However, the President is the commander-in-chief, and gets the benefit of the doubt. For now.

(more…)

Wake the Kids, Phone the Neighbors

November 9th, 2009 - 6:13 pm

How do you get over the drab, weaselly awfulness of the Sunday morning chat shows? You let me watch them for you, then sit back and enjoy the merciless picking-on I’ve conned PJTV into paying me to perform. On this week’s Hair of the Dog:

We set the snark aside for a sec for a tale of heroism from Ft. Hood.

The 3,425 things the health bill requires you to do, including detailing Pelosi’s Prius.

Introducing the Weasel Alert!

Plus, Rachel Maddow’s secret role model. You’ll think he’s… cool.

Getting it Right

November 9th, 2009 - 12:00 am

Happy liberty anniversary, Eastern Europe. I don’t know what you call it over there in eastern Germany or Poland or Hungary or anywhere else, but here we keep referring to it as “the fall of the Wall.”

And that’s not right.

History is made up mostly of accidents. So we ought to take special care to remember the things that happened on purpose.

The Berlin Wall didn’t just fall down. It was torn down. It was torn down by the very people it was built to cage.

Tear Down This WallThey’re heroes for doing it, too.

Victory in the Cold War wasn’t an accident, some freak gravity surge that made a wall fall down when no one was looking. Victory came on purpose, because one man — Ronald Reagan — stood in front of that Wall and demanded, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”

Mikhail Gorbachev refused, of course. But the people of eastern Europe heard Reagan’s call, and they responded. Did I mention they’re heroes?

We forget that sometimes. We shouldn’t.

A Groin to the Knee

November 8th, 2009 - 11:16 am

Jules Crittenden takes a look at President Obama’s laparoscopic war strategizing.

Bought Off So Cheaply

November 8th, 2009 - 9:16 am

A profile in courage:

Once the tally board lit up 218-213, however, Cao was free to put his congressional voting card in electronic key slot and cast an “aye” vote for the bill his party has dubbed “Pelosi’s healthcare bill.”

[snip]

As soon as the House started the final vote for the day, Cao voted and dashed out the side of the chamber, plugging his ears in jest when reporters approached to find out what happened.

According to a written statement released later that night, Cao explained that Obama had promised to help out the lawmaker’s district still devastated from Hurricane Katrina.

Or, you know, not so much courage.

This Is Not the America I Knew

November 7th, 2009 - 10:58 pm

How do you cure high unemployment and sluggish growth?

Proven methods include reducing regulation and lowering taxes.

So it comes as no surprise that the House has just approved one of (if not the) biggest increases in taxes and regulation after virtually zero debate and in the middle of a weekend night when almost no one is paying attention.

They’re cowards. Shrewd cowards, but cowards still.

JUST A THOUGHT: If no one has done the math on this one, I wish they would. Which is the greater number: Pages in the bill the House just passed, or the minutes spent debating it?

Just the Beginning?

November 7th, 2009 - 6:43 pm

The results are in from Lehigh County and… well, shoot.

But as I said on Trifecta a few days back, I hope this isn’t the end of Scott Ott’s career in elective politics.

Must-See Radio

November 7th, 2009 - 12:52 pm

Another week, another edition of PJM Political. On the big show:

Five Questions For James Lileks — including questions about the midterms and The Big Episode of Mad Men last week.

Joe Hicks of PJTV.com on the GOP’s Epic NY-23 Fail during Tuesday’s elections.

PJM producer Ed Driscoll interviews author/historian Jennifer Burns about her new book, Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right.

Glenn Reynolds reports from the recently concluded 17th annual State Policy Network meeting in Ashville, NC.

From PJTV’s Poliwood, Pajamas CEO Roger L. Simon and fellow Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Lionel Chetwynd debate the controversial statements from Rocco Landesman, National Endowment for the Arts chairman conflating the writings of President Obama with…Julius Caesar?!

Plus, a special audio edition of Trifecta, with Dana Loesch, Scott Ott, and yours truly.

The Dukes of Moral Hazard

November 7th, 2009 - 9:23 am

Fannie Mae needs another $15 billion to cover losses due to loaning money to people who couldn’t afford to pay it back — and that’s just from this last quarter.

It ain’t over yet.

The Week in Blogs — The Links!

November 7th, 2009 - 9:00 am

It’s like TV, but in handy electronic print form. We call it “the web.” Anyway, here are the links to this week’s picks.

Damn dirty icy hippies.

If the shoe fits.

Much ado about everything.

Who‘d a thunk it?

Connect the dots.

Not for the squeamish.

They like us, right now they really like us!

Next time, they’ll nuke the handicapped.

The freedom of blogging isn’t for everybody.

Is that a trick question?

Now click over to PJTV and The Week in Blogs to find out what it all means.

You Asked for It

November 6th, 2009 - 5:59 pm

If the price of freedom is eternal vigilance, then the cost of voting Democrat is whatever they decide to charge you for a $15,000 insurance policy. Or five years in jail. Decisions, decisions.

Honestly, for being stupid enough to vote for that crowd, you’re getting off cheap. Then again, I didn’t vote for any of these jokers — so get the hell out of my way.

Third of Three

November 6th, 2009 - 2:50 pm

Today’s Trifecta — The Obama… Legacy?

Really?

Already?

You can thank the folks at ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos for the topic — they started it. But Dana Loesch, Scott Ott and I finished it.

More Often Than You Think

November 6th, 2009 - 12:28 pm

I hate it when that happens.

Less Talk, More Rock

November 6th, 2009 - 10:11 am

Can this be right? Read:

As House Democratic leaders labored to resolve last-minute disputes in their party about abortion and immigration, the man who controls floor action suggested the debate could go into Sunday or next week.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said “delay tactics” could prevent the vote from occurring at the 6 p.m. Saturday scheduled time. But he also acknowledged that leaders do not yet have the 218 votes they need among House Democrats to pass the bill.

Golly. A couple working days, maybe three, seems like an awfully long time to debate the nationalization of one-sixth or so of the US economy.

Then We’ll Slam Our Fingers in a Car Door

November 6th, 2009 - 7:41 am

No link yet — I just got the flash from CNN on my iPhone (aren’t toys fun?), but unemployment inched up over 10%. That’s the highest since 1983.

So, yes, by all means let’s pass cap & tax right now.

UPDATE: Got a link for you.

Now Cluck Like a Chicken

November 6th, 2009 - 7:25 am

Kimberly Strassel knows what happened on Tuesday — and so does all of Washington:

The White House and the congressional leadership saw this coming, and it is why Speaker Nancy Pelosi is force-marching her health bill to a vote tomorrow. She’s not about to give her members time to absorb the ugly results, or to be further rattled by next week’s Veteran’s Day break, when they go home for a repeat of the August furies. If not now, she knows, maybe never.

But remember — Tuesday’s election results weren’t indicative of anything. Nope, nothing at all. Merely local contests with no national implications. You’re getting very sleepy… you’re totally relaxed… when I snap my fingers, you’ll wake up and be back in love with The One…

“Beware of the Leopard”

November 5th, 2009 - 8:15 pm

The new transparency… it’s… uh… it’s poopy.

Sorry, but metaphor fails me.

Two of Three

November 5th, 2009 - 2:50 pm

Things are a bit different again on today’s Trifecta. I’m playing host, guest star Dana Loesch co-hosts, and the two of us grill Scott Ott on the latest developments in his run for County Executive.

Hint: He still hasn’t conceded.

Spoileriffic

November 5th, 2009 - 1:19 pm

Finally got a chance last night to watch this week’s Mad Men. Season 3 has had a slow build, but it’s really starting to pay off in the last two episodes. Ed Driscoll has the rundown.

Confidentially, Ain’t She Sweet?

November 5th, 2009 - 12:21 pm

Related item to last night’s “Terminator” post. From the Wall Street Journal‘s John Fund:

That the bill would be a job killer isn’t the only concern. Democrats worry about a backlash from the one-fourth of seniors enrolled in Medicare Advantage — a program that faces steep cuts in both the likely Senate and House bills.

But Speaker Pelosi isn’t about to step back. In fact, she plans to force her troops to vote on health care just one day after Friday’s jobless numbers are due, which are likely to show unemployment still growing. “When I take this bill to the floor, it will win,” she proclaimed earlier this year.

One Democratic House moderate says the leadership has mislearned a lesson from the 1994 collapse of Hillary Clinton’s health care bill. “They believe they lost the elections that year because they failed to pass anything,” he says. “But they forget it might have been even worse if they’d passed the wrong bill.”

Fund’s story relies on a couple of Democrats who didn’t want their names used. We’ll know this thing has been killed — and that Pelosi ought to turn in her gavel — when sane Democrats start talking like this on the record.

CORRECTION: According to Speaker Pelosi, that gavel belongs to “the children.” PJ Media regrets the error. And laughs at the Speaker.

Required Reading

November 5th, 2009 - 11:39 am

Back to Iran, where the protests continue without support — or even comment — from the White House:

Not a few Western analysts remain skeptical about the staying power of the Greens and their ability to bring about a political transformation of the country.

They point to the lack of a distinctive opposition leader in the face of a robust security-intelligence apparatus. The realists in Washington note that neither street demonstrations nor increasing internal divisions within the regime have brought about a significant change in behavior.

But this is a superficial and impatient reading of the internal situation in Iran. Iran is less stable and secure than at any time in the past 30 years, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s government has been forced to fight on several fronts simultaneously.

It’s a good article, although a bit frustrating due to a bit of wishful thinking. Read:

[Tehran] is battling over the nuclear program with the international community, which is starting to coalesce on sanctions.

Wake me when Russia and China even look like they’re pretending to consider to possibly think about appearing to get on board with a tough sanctions regime.