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Monthly Archives: December 2009

This Is It

December 31st, 2009 - 10:06 am

On the last Trifecta for 2009… What if Al Gore had won in 2000?

Don’t wet yourself. Just watch.

…And Waiting

December 30th, 2009 - 8:43 pm

President Obama’s TSA is subpoenaing bloggers.

I’m waiting for the outrage from the left in three… two… one…

Hello? Is this thing on?

A New Mile High Tea Partyer?

December 30th, 2009 - 10:54 am

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Colorado is weird. We like our Democrats to be mavericks and our Republicans conservative. Oh, we we really dug Ross Perot back in ’92. Go figure. So it’s easy to make a mistake if you think something that happens here has any national ramifications. But then there is this little item from Denver:

State Rep. Kathleen Curry has changed her voter registration from Democrat to unaffiliated, a move that will require the Gunnison lawmaker to relinquish her positions as speaker pro tem and chairwoman of the House Agriculture Committee.

Curry said she made the change Monday after talking to House Speaker Terrance Carroll, who had appointed Curry to the plum pro tem position.

Curry, a rancher and water expert, said her decision was not based on any single bill, action or person.

“It’s just a matter of where I fit,” she said Tuesday. “But I’m not changing my personality overnight just because I filled out a form. I’m still going to vote my conscience, which the majority of time is with the Democrats.”

Curry said her biggest disagreement with her party came during budget discussions this year. She also voted against a Democratic measure to lift spending limits.

“The Democrats do have a big tent and have always been respectful, but I do feel in leadership you should march in line more than I have,” she said.

I, for one, question the timing.

Back to the Future

December 30th, 2009 - 7:45 am

Today’s Trifecta: How did you get your news in 1999?

You Say You Want a Revolution

December 29th, 2009 - 3:09 pm

This is no way to spend a day of vacation, but I can’t stop watching these protest videos from Iran. Murder videos, really.

It’s hard to believe these protests have been going on for six months already. Years ago, when this blog was young and fresh, and the students of Iran began to riot… well, I think we all got our hopes up. And it’s always been the same old story — government does something grossly stupid, people revolt, revolt gets suppressed, people go back to work.

But this time has been different. You just have to wonder if the results will be any different.

The World Wonders

December 29th, 2009 - 10:28 am

Just who is Trifecta’s Man of the Decade? I’ll never tell…

Tax THIS!

December 29th, 2009 - 9:10 am

Under the Obama Plan, 95% of American families will see a net tax cut — except for middle class folks with nice insurance policies. That’s what Bob Herbert found in the HarryCare bill:

The bill that passed the Senate with such fanfare on Christmas Eve would impose a confiscatory 40 percent excise tax on so-called Cadillac health plans, which are popularly viewed as over-the-top plans held only by the very wealthy. In fact, it’s a tax that in a few years will hammer millions of middle-class policyholders, forcing them to scale back their access to medical care.

Which is exactly what the tax is designed to do. [Shhhhh -- it's not a tax. -ed.]

More taxes, less care. Where do I sign up?

Mini Review: The New Apple Remote

December 29th, 2009 - 6:53 am

Apple RemoteThe old Apple remote control was a thing of beauty. A little sliver of a thing, it had two round buttons and one four-function ring. You never needed to look at it. The raised ring told you exactly where your thumb was at all times, and one of the buttons was inside the ring, the other just below it. Those absurdly simple controls were all you needed to operate an Apple TV, a Mac running Front Row, or your docked iPod.

New Apple RemoteThe new remote is, at best, a step sideways. The aluminum body is a pleasure to see and even nicer to touch — and it’s a match for most of your more recent MacBooks or iPods. But it’s also quite a bit bigger, which might be an improvement for folks with bigger fingers. The ring is now flush with the body, so it’s more difficult to intuit where your thumb is. And without explanation, the buttons have been moved. They now lay side-by-side under the ring — the Menu button on the left, Play/Pause on the right.

Sony RemoteThe manufacturing is, as expected, a delight. The reveals (where parts meet) have been reduced to a bare minimum and as seamless as can be. It’s not often you can get a brushed nugget of aircraft-grade aluminum for under twenty bucks. You just want to fondle this thing. Compare that to some plastic hunk of overly-buttoned bulk from Sony or Logitech.

But then there’s this: The center of the ring, although unlabeled, works as a second Play/Pause button.

Huh? The world’s only minimalist remote now has an unnecessary, duplicated button? WTF, over?

This thing must have slipped under the radar back when Steve Jobs was recovering from his liver transplant, because there’s no way El Jobso would have approved it.

An Open Letter

December 28th, 2009 - 8:20 pm

Dear Democrats,

Please, please, please, please, please take this guy’s advice.

Seriously. Moderation is for total dummies. Voters want more overspending, overtaxing, overregulating, overreaching. Lots more.

Seriously.

So, g’on. Do it. You know you want to.

Your friend,

(Seriously)

-Steve.

P.S. You should drink in public more and say more stupid stuff, too. Lots more. Seriously.

Epic Want

December 28th, 2009 - 7:15 pm

If, after nearly eight years of blogging, I finally put up a PayPal tip jar, would somebody please stick one of these in it?

Detention at 30,000 Feet

December 28th, 2009 - 10:58 am

I won’t fly anymore. Not unless work absolutely demands it. No thanks, I’ll drive.

It’s not that I’m afraid of being blown up — not only are the odds against it, but as I’ve said since about 9/12/2001, the days of hijackings/bombings are over. We passengers aren’t cattle. We won’t just sit there. We fight back.

Then again, look at the TSA’s new “safety” regulations:

1. Passengers must remain in seats beginning 1 hour prior to arrival at destination.

2. Passenger access to carry-on baggage is prohibited beginning 1 hour prior to arrival at destination.

3. Disable aircraft-integrated passenger communications systems and services (phone, internet access services, live television programming, global positioning systems) prior to boarding and during all phases of flight.

4. While over U.S. airspace, flight crew may not make any announcement to passengers concerning flight path or position over cities or landmarks.

5. Passengers may not have any blankets, pillows, or personal belongings on the lap beginning 1 hour prior to arrival at destination.

Janet “The System Worked” Napolitano does, in fact, think we’re cattle. One hour prior to landing, we are to sit there, doing nothing. You may not get a Kleenex out of your bag. You may not hold a book or magazine in your lap. You may not get up to pee.

For an hour.

Because her agency failed to stop a terrorist, but passengers like you and me succeeded. She failed. You pay. Typical.

Sit quietly. Don’t fidget. Stare directly ahead.

I won’t do it. I’m not cattle. I won’t just sit there. But I can’t fight back. So I’ll drive, instead.

You should, too.

All Your Base Are Belong to Us

December 28th, 2009 - 10:20 am

It’s official — we’ve entered the Age of Newspeak. Check out the headline from a WaPo editorial by Jonathan Gruber:

‘Cadillac’ tax isn’t a tax — it’s a plan to finance real health reform

OK, so maybe a headline writer got carried away. But, no, here are the man’s own words:

But this argument misses an important point: The assessment proposed in the Senate is not a new tax; it is the elimination of an existing tax break that is provided to exactly these firms.

See! It’s not a tax! It’s the “elimination of a tax break.”

To put it more honestly: Everything you earn is the government’s by default, except what it deigns to let you keep.

Must-See Radio

December 28th, 2009 - 9:27 am

That was the year that was, on the new PJM Political.

Must-See PJTV

December 28th, 2009 - 8:56 am

On today’s Trifecta: Tiger Woods and the Year of Squander.

Bus — Wait For It — Ted

December 27th, 2009 - 10:56 pm

Senator Max Baucus (LUSH, MT) asks, “Where’sh th’ courage?

As an expert in these matters, I’d guess it’s hidden in a bottom drawer of his desk in Hart Senate Office Building.

Sherlock Holmes: A Movie Review in Five Words

December 27th, 2009 - 10:16 am

I want Jeremy Brett back.

UPDATE: Many of you have given ringing endorsements to Basil Rathbone, and I’d be the last person to belittle the first, best Holmes. But while Rathbone played a great Holmes, Brett was Holmes.

Case closed.

The Week in Blogs — The Links!

December 26th, 2009 - 10:29 am

You’ve watched the video, now click the links:

Say it ain’t so, Joe.

You can probably think up a couple other words for him.

No bikini girls, but will this do?

You can’t handle the truth.

Wonder what that’s for?

Game over, man. Game over.

There’s nothing he won’t nail.

I was told there would be no math.

There are no words for just how stupid this one is.

Losers.

Find out what it all means on the new Week in Blogs.

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

December 23rd, 2009 - 3:23 pm

The Smoking Gun has selected the best mug shots of 2009. It’ll cause you to lose more sleep than a nighttime cappuccino and more lunch than a Lydia.

As American as Flipping the Bird

December 23rd, 2009 - 9:47 am

On today’s Trifecta, meet the humble steward of America’s decline.

Then, give him the finger.

Surprise!

December 22nd, 2009 - 12:56 pm

The Senate health care bill bends the cost curve — higher. That’s according to an analysis done by the government’s own Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Oh, and Senator Mary Landrieu is lying about it on C-SPAN.

And So It Begins

December 22nd, 2009 - 10:58 am

Will Collier has the blogscoop:

I’m hearing this morning that Parker Griffith (D-AL) will announce that he’s switching parties as soon as this afternoon. That north Alabama seat has been Democratic since time immemorial.

If true, then — whoa.

UPDATE: I should have known the info was solid — Will has family in AL5.

Don’t Strangle the Cat Either

December 22nd, 2009 - 9:29 am

Poor Ben Nelson, just trying to settle for the right price do the right thing on health care:

“If you think it’s fun having both sides on an issue mad at you when you’re trying to do something in good faith, just think, it’s like going home and getting bit by the family dog,” Nelson said. “Who enjoys that?”

Then quit kicking the dog.

By the Numbers

December 22nd, 2009 - 8:32 am

The recession ain’t over, folks. We just made ourselves feel a little better in the 3Q by putting more on the credit card. Here are the numbers, tweeted by Phil Kerpen:

Final 2.2% 3Q GDP growth included 1.45 clunker-aided autos and 0.62 federal spending. 2.07 of 2.2.

Our “growth” last quarter was 94.1% borrowed from future growth, and three quarters of that was taken directly out of future auto sales — while reducing inventory of used cars for less-well off people.

The BEA has the raw data.

It’s What I Live For

December 21st, 2009 - 7:18 pm

It’s the final “Hair of the Dog” for 2009. On tonight’s show:

Senatorial transmogrification.

David Gregory sets a bear trap — for an eel.

That word does not mean what David Axelrod think it means.

Plus, gratuitous nudity from Gisele Bundchen.*
(more…)

Must-See Radio

December 20th, 2009 - 9:17 am

It’s here! A Very Special Week Before Christmas Edition Special of PJM Political. On the big show:

Legendary film director Paul Mazursky stops by for an interview with longtime writing partner Roger L. Simon and his co-host on their weekly “Poliwood” series on PJTV, Lionel Chetwynd.

Terry Teachout, drama critic with the Wall Street Journal and critic-at-large with Commentary magazine, discusses his new biography Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong, and The Skeptic, his classic 2002 biography of H.L. Mencken.

Jim Geraghty, proprietor of National Review Online’s “Campaign Spot” blog fleshes out his recent post on potential icebergs ahead for Newsweek in 2010.

Steven Greenhut, director of the Pacific Research Institute Journalism Center in Sacramento and longtime Orange County Register journalist discusses his new book, Plunder: How Public Employee Unions are Raiding Treasuries, Controlling Our Lives and Bankrupting the Nation.

I’m the host, Ed Driscoll produces, quality radio ensues.

The Week in Blogs — The Links!

December 19th, 2009 - 10:04 am

You’ve watched the video, now click the links. This week’s picks:

Just go away.

I know but I don’t know.

(I’m always touched by) your presence dear.

Fade away and radiate.

Picture this.

Atomic.

Rip her to shreds.

End to end.

Heart of glass.

Pretty baby.

Plus, bonus Khan!

Sign O’ the Times

December 19th, 2009 - 9:42 am

A pair of telling headlines from Drudge. The first one:

SOLD: Sen. Ben Nelson to vote for health care bill; Secured favors for his home state…

There’s your modern American democracy in action, as senators buy one another’s votes with other people’s money. However, a problem is revealed in the second header:

CHINA: ‘The world does not have Money to buy more US Treasuries’…

Yep. Not only did we spend all our money, we spent everybody else’s, too. Good luck with those “advantages” you bought for your fellow Nebraskans, Senator Nelson. They’re going to need them.

Speak to the Wrist – Obama is Pissed

December 18th, 2009 - 8:30 am

How to lose friends and infuriate people, Part XVIII:

A visibly angry Barack Obama threw down the gauntlet at China and other developing nations Friday, declaring that the time has come “not to talk but to act” on climate change.

Emerging from a multinational meeting boycotted by Chinese Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, Obama warned delegates that U.S. offers of funding for poor nations would remain on the table “if and only if” developing nations, including China, agreed to international monitoring of their greenhouse gas emissions.

And China’s thinking, “Obama’s going to come to us for the money he’s promised to give to Uganda or wherever in the first place.” (And isn’t it so typically liberal to pretend at virtue by giving away other people’s money?) So, yeah, threatening to cut off the borrowing isn’t likely to spur China into action.

Maybe if Obama tried holding his breath…

Three of Three

December 17th, 2009 - 9:12 am

On the final Trifecta for the week, Scott Ott is tired after a year of looking up the President’s nose.

Bill Whittle and I get strained necks.

Sending a Message

December 17th, 2009 - 8:18 am

George Will would like you to consider what just happened in Kentucky:

There a Republican candidate succeeded in nationalizing a state Senate race. Hugely outspent in a district in which Democrats have a lopsided registration advantage, the Republican won by 12 points a seat in Frankfort by running against Washington — against Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and their health care legislation.

As Will himself would say — dude.