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Monthly Archives: January 2010

Must-See Radio

January 31st, 2010 - 11:37 pm

It’s Raiders of the Inglourious Basterds!

Or… something. Whatever it is, it’s another big, big episode of PJM Political. I’m the host, Ed Driscoll is the producer who makes it all happen — plus a cast of thousands.

I’m Blegging You

January 30th, 2010 - 1:58 pm

A little research showed that the reason you can’t get the original 1966 TV-Batman on DVD, is that one studio owns the series rights, but another studio owns the character rights, and the lawyers make more money negotiating than they do settling.

That bites.

The Week in Blogs — The Links!

January 30th, 2010 - 11:18 am

You’ve seen the video, now click the links. This week:

Johnny Sunshine.

Canary.

Divorce song.

Help me, Mary.

Little digger.

Explain it to me.

Take a look.

Stratford-on-guy.

Never said.

Dance of the seven veils.

And this week, I didn’t forget.

The Lord of the Phonies

January 29th, 2010 - 10:57 am

Why read Jules Crittenden? Because of minirants like this:

One of my minor rants about high school reading lists is the inclusion of “Catcher” and “Lord of the Flies.” It just seems off target to enshrine the more ridiculous and baser aspects of adolescence by making them the subject of “literature” that’s institutionally enshrined for decades in the only reading list that most Americans have in common. I like “Romeo and Juliet,” with its message of “Adolescent excess gets you dead. Grow up already” and “Go to First Aid class and learn to take a pulse.”

If I were the kind of guy who could get away with saying, “You go, girl,” then I would.

Well, and also if Jules was a girl.

Seriously, though, the only reason people still read Salinger is so the government can track the whereabouts of its secret brainwashed assassins. Unless you’ve got a better theory?

Throw’em All Out, Like Clockwork

January 29th, 2010 - 8:22 am

Peggy Noonan reports from SOTU:

As the TV cameras panned the chamber, I saw a friendly acquaintance of the president, a Republican who bears him no animus. Why, I asked him later, did the president not move decisively to the political center?

Because he is more “intellectually honest” than that, he said. “I don’t think he can do a Bill Clinton pivot, because he’s not a pragmatist, he’s an ideologue. He’s a community organizer. He mixes the discrimination he felt as a young man with the hardship so many feel in this country, and he wants to change it and the way to change that is government programs and not opportunity.”

The great issue, this friendly critic added, is debt. The public knows this; Congress and the White House do not. “To me the Republicans are as rotten as the Democrats” in terms of spending. “Almost.”

“I hope we have big changes in 2010,” the friend said. Only significant loss will force the president to focus on spending. “To heal our country we need to get the arrogance out of the White House and the elitists out of the Congress. We need tough love. We need a real adult in the White House because we don’t have adults in the Congress.”

Over the last ten years, I’ve become convinced that term limits are absolutely vital to the health of the Republic. They aren’t the only step, but they are a necessary step.

Pelosi Must Go

January 29th, 2010 - 7:56 am

I was ready — reluctantly so, but still — to write off the big, expensive Congressional delegation to Copenhagen as “just another junket.”

But Dan Collins reports that part of the $100,000 in-flight bar-tab was for Nancy Pelosi’s… Corona.

Pricy junkets are one thing. Spending that kind of coin on bad booze is unforgivable.

Tech Bleg

January 29th, 2010 - 12:00 am

So I’m very nearly done with the Big Project of ripping al of our TV and movie DVDs to hard drives for inclusion in our iTunes library. That’s almost a thousand movies and 1,500 TV episodes ranging from Ultraman to Buffy to Californication.

Having all our video accessible on any iPod, iPhone, laptop, desktop or TV in the house at the press of a button… well, it pretty much rocks.

There’s just one problem. Right now, that’s three-plus terabytes of data spread out over four daisy-chained external Firewire drive — with no backup. Yep. Three terabytes of hand-ripped DVDs with no backup. Yep. I’m one hard drive failure away from having to redo weeks and weeks worth of work.

It’s pretty obvious we need to go to some kind of RAID enclosure. It’s cheaper to buy into a standard RAID bay, but when you need to upgrade one drive, you need to upgrade all the drives. At once. And I don’t even know where the backup space would come for that kind of chore.

Then there’s Drobo. The buy-in is more expensive up front, but you can mix-and-match drive capacities, making upgrades a lot simpler (and very probably) cheaper, too. Then again, I’ve heard Drobo units have reliability problems.

Anyone have experience with standard RAID and Drobo units? I don’t mind paying a little extra up front, if it will save money and headaches later. But if Drobo isn’t reliable, then what’s the point?

Anyone have any answers? And, please, I’m blegging you, keep the comments on topic.

Separated at Birth

January 28th, 2010 - 6:46 pm

Joe Biden and… ?

Obama to NYC: Drop Dead. Slowly

January 28th, 2010 - 3:54 pm

The President has finally found a health bill he won’t spend money on — 9/11 victims. No joshin’. Read:

The Obama administration stunned New York’s delegation Thursday, dropping the bombshell news that it does not support funding the 9/11 health bill.

The state’s two senators and 14 House members met with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius just hours before President Obama implored in his speech to the nation for Congress to come together and deliver a government that delivers on its promises to the American people.

So the legislators were floored to learn the Democratic administration does not want to deliver for the tens of thousands of people who sacrificed after 9/11, and the untold numbers now getting sick.

“I was stunned — and very disappointed,” said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who like most of the other legislators had expected more of a discussion on how to more forward.

“To say the least, I was flabbergasted,” said Staten Island Rep. Mike McMahon.

This is about a tone-deaf a maneuver as I’ve seen since… well, maybe since last night’s SOTU. Admittedly, that’s not going back very far. But for a guy who’s been hailed as the next “great communicator,” he is about as close to a Man from Mars as we’re likely to see in the White House.

At least let’s hope so.

Must-See TV

January 28th, 2010 - 3:29 pm

Scott, Bill and I did a special bonus fourth Trifecta this afternoon, performing live vivisection on the State of the Union address. It’s like drunkblogging, only louder. And this time, I didn’t call anyone a rat-f[BLEEEEEP].

iLust? No, But iLike iPad

January 28th, 2010 - 3:26 pm

What the hell are you supposed to do with something that’s too big to put in your pocket and too small to replace your laptop? That’s what I’ve wondered for months now, caught up in the swirl of rumors over Apple’s mysterious God Tablet. Well, I’ve seen the thing, and I think I’ve figured it out.

iPad 20100128The iPad is for making stuff funner.

Almost all of what I do on my battered white plastic MacBook is email, blog, surf, and listen to music — things the iPad would seem to do better, or at least make funner. The laptop’s aging (and non-LED backlit) screen is too dim for looking at pictures — or for reading comfortably. Even with my reading glasses on, I find myself hitting COMMAND+ to jack up the text size on most websites.

Sure, I could buy a bigger, brighter, newer MacBook Pro — but I don’t want a bigger laptop. I don’t want to trade in a five or six pound computer for an even bigger one. I don’t want to curl up on the sofa (or in bed) with something bigger and heftier than necessary. What I want is, something funner for doing fun stuff.

iPad seems to fit the bill. The screen is bright, and even at 9.7 inches, has nearly the resolution of the 13-inch MacBook screen (and higher resolution than most any 11-inch netbook or even many 13-15 inch Windows machines). And it’s LED-backlit, so it should be easier on my aging eyes. Also, DPI is vital to your eye comfort and fatigue. Higher pixel density is in most ways more important than screen size — and iPad’s got it.

Battery life will get you through the day, the iWork apps look usable (and way funner), you can get no-contract 3G if you want it, and it’s hands-down the best thing I’ve seen for portable video or showing off pictures.

And for most of what we do on computers now, the ancient window & desktop metaphor is just tired and old. What I’ve seen of the iPad GUI… well, to be honest I really want to lick it. (That’s not a typo.)

Is the iPad the God Tablet, the game changer, the device You Must Own Now? Well, no. But it’s an affordable way to make some fun stuff funner. And for the bottom-end $500 model, that’s a pretty good deal. Keep it for a couple years, and you’re talking about spending five bucks a week to take some drudgery out of a bunch of everyday tasks, and add some sparkle, too. And I suspect I’ll get an extra year or two out of my MacBook, which damn near pays for the iPad entirely. Buy it the day it comes out? Nah — it’s not that exciting. But it’s good enough not to wait for V2.0 next year.

So I like pretty much everything about the iPad.

Well, pretty much everything but the name.

ONE MORE THING: There’s no Flash in the web browser? And people are complaining? That’s like getting upset when you’re told that your new car won’t come equipped with a toothless vagrant who sits in the backseat, screaming at you.

Post-SOTU Post

January 28th, 2010 - 10:04 am

Spoke with Jennifer Harper of the Washington Times about last night’s antics, and you can read the results in today’s Inside the Beltway column.

It Ain’t Over Til It’s Over

January 27th, 2010 - 9:49 pm

We’ve got so many bonus Trifecta shows lined up, we’re running two a day. On the Extra Special Bonus Wednesday Segment: Can Obama Save Congress?

Extraness Specialty Bonuses: Gratuitous Jon Lovitz and Sonny & Cher references.

Click (Clink?)

January 27th, 2010 - 7:41 pm

And so the drunkblogging begins.

A Drunkblogging Confessional

January 27th, 2010 - 4:07 pm

Thanks for the links to all the fun State of the Union drinking games, and I even found one you haven’t seen. Thanks, but… I won’t be playing.

I invented (or think I invented) drunkblogging six or seven years ago in protest against political drinking games. Here’s how it happened.

Way back when I still read Andrew Sullivan for something more than point-and-laugh material for VodkaPundit’s Week in Blogs, he was passing around an email he’d found with the original rules for drinking to the State of the Union.

I read them. I chuckled. I realized I’d been watching these damn things since 1980. And that the time for games was over. And that the only way I was going to get through another one, sanity intact, was to start drinking early and keep drinking often. It took a few tries for drunkblogging to evolve into its current, completely unrefined, form — but it works.

In other words, what little sanity I might ever have had, remains intact.

Anyway, I’ll be back here about 15 minutes before showtime tonight, already well into my second martini.

Cheers.

Click here for the live drunkblogging.

Not for Sale at Any Price

January 27th, 2010 - 12:04 pm

I don’t know what amazingly great product Steve Jobs is about to announce — but the Apple Store is still up and running, so I doubt it’ll be available even for pre-order any time soon.

Then again, it’s running slowly, so it seems there’s plenty of interest in the God Tablet or whatever.

UPDATE: It’s called iPad.

I Didn’t Mean to Turn You… Out?

January 26th, 2010 - 7:00 pm

Today’s Trifecta: Dig that sexy global warming data.

It’s our hottest show yet.

Conversations With a Four Year Old

January 26th, 2010 - 6:44 pm

Wife: Are you done with your bath?

Son: Yeah. But — wait! — I’m not done dropping toys in the bubbles.

Your Cure for the Sunday Morning Blahs

January 25th, 2010 - 8:00 pm

This week’s Hair of the Dog is ready for you viewing pleasure. On the big show:

Jobs! Jobs! Jobs! (We Don’t Have None)

It’s the message and the messenger.

Fed Fail!

Plus, I go shopping at Home Depot for Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts.

CPAC 2010 Blogger of the Year?

January 25th, 2010 - 3:34 pm

It’s an honor just to be nominated as they say — but those other guys are good.

Admiral Ozzel Is As Clumsy As He Is Stupid

January 24th, 2010 - 7:06 pm

Republicans smell blood in the water and are moving strongly on President Obama’s old Senate seat. Losing that would be… embarrassing,

And So It Continues

January 24th, 2010 - 5:33 pm

Retirement Fever has hit Arkansas:

Arkansas Rep. Marion Berry is expected to announce his retirement tomorrow morning, according to three sources briefed on the decision.

Berry will become the sixth Democrat in a competitive seat to leave in the last two months but the first to announce his retirement since the party’s special election loss in Massachusetts last Tuesday.

Plus this, also from WaPo’s The Fix:

The next two weeks could well serve as a tipping point in the battle for House control. Today there appear to be too few open Democratic seats for Republican to win the 40 seats they need to take control. But, another handful of retirements in swing districts could imperil Democrats hold on the chamber.

From the Dirty Tricks Department, I wouldn’t be surprised if soon Obama’s EPA puts Blue Dogs on the endangered species list.

Haitian Relief

January 24th, 2010 - 12:35 pm

The view from onboard the USNS Comfort. Read the whole thing, please, but pay special attention to this graf:

We understand that a lot of the media is bad mouthing the Navy. They always seem to take the half empty glass frame of mind. They ask how is it that China has people on the ground operating and the Comfort still isn’t there. Well, the US military could easily put a surgical team on a C-17 to come to Haiti and perform simple surgeries like the Chinese did. In fact the Army 82nd Airborne field hospital is operational. The media doesn’t say that the Chinese and Russians and Cubans are all holding their serious patients THEY CAN’T HANDLE for the Comfort to arrive. The Comfort will have the capability to take in 1100 Haitians at any time. That takes a staff of 1300 blue suit Navy professionals with all the medical supplies… and food and water for all those people.

No good deed goes unpunished.

Get Used to It

January 23rd, 2010 - 10:13 pm

Apparently, we have a President embarrassed by victory.

No wonder he keeps losing.

Stories from Real Life in Two Short Sentences

January 23rd, 2010 - 7:18 pm

Headline: “Golden couple Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie sign contract to split £205m fortune.”

My bride: “Who gets custody of the football team?”

Be Very Afraid

January 22nd, 2010 - 4:31 pm

Not the line of the week:

“Let me tell you, so long as I have the privilege of serving as your president, I’ll never stop fighting for you,” Obama said at the beginning of a town hall meeting with voters Friday.

That’s what I’m afraid of.

Line of the Week

January 22nd, 2010 - 3:39 pm

You would think lefties could discern a proletarian vanguard when they see one.”

-Charles Krauthammer.

A Modest Proposal

January 22nd, 2010 - 1:50 pm

Anyone talking or writing about iPad/iTablet/iSlate/iWhatever between now and Apple’s big event next Wednesday shall be beaten about the hands and face with a 1983-era DOS manual.

And don’t tempt me to make this rule retroactive.

The Fall Guy

January 22nd, 2010 - 12:49 pm

It’s Ben Bernanke:

California Democrat Barbara Boxer has become the latest senator to oppose the nomination of Ben Bernanke to a second term as Chairman of the Federal Reserve.

Boxer’s opposition, which she announced in an exclusive statement to the Huffington Post, is a blow to Bernanke. Boxer is no firebreather on economic issues, but considered a more mainstream Democrat from a state that was considered comfortably blue — until Tuesday’s special election in Massachusetts, that is.

On Twitter, Politico’s Martin Kady said the the anti-Bernanke sentiment is “starting to snowball.” That’s all well and good — but changing people isn’t going to save the Democrats. Changing policies, however, just might.

Until then, enjoy watching the circular firing squad.