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Monthly Archives: February 2010

Must-See Radio

February 27th, 2010 - 3:46 pm

St. Louis talk radio sensation Dana Loesch pretty much hijacked this week’s PJM Political. But I don’t hear anyone complaining. On our Loeschtastic show:

Richard Pollack, PJTV‘s Washington Bureau Chief interviews Senator Jim Inhofe, Republican from Oklahoma, and why he’s calling for an investigation of former Vice President Al Gore, in the wake of Climategate.

A look back at last week’s CPAC conference, the annual Conservative Political Action Conference held in Washington DC, starting with Dana Loesch of PJTV.com and her St. Louis-based talk radio show (and note that St. Louis is celebrating the one year anniversary of its first Tea Party today, as Dana notes on her blog). Dana has interviews recorded live at CPAC with a few names whom you may have heard of:

•Newt Gingrich
•Andrew Breitbart
•Ann Coulter

Then Glenn Reynolds turns the tables, and the microphones on Dana.

And we wrap up with our own Ed Driscoll and Contention’s Jennifer Rubin on Thursday’s health care summit.

The Week in Blogs — The Links!

February 27th, 2010 - 10:54 am

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

Press darlings.

Crackpot history and the right to lie.

Friend or foe.

Don’t be square (be there).

Try this for sighs.

Jolly Roger.

Desperate but not serious.

Room at the top.

Feed me to the lions.

Here comes the grump.

That’s it for this week. Tune in to PJTV next Saturday for the another exciting installment of… The Week in Blogs!

Nailed It

February 26th, 2010 - 6:05 pm

Jonah Goldberg:

I think one of the great explanations for the mess the Obama administration is in — the whole cowbell dynamic — is that he, his advisers, and many of his fans in the press cannot fully grasp or appreciate the fact that he is not as charming to everyone else as he is to them (or himself). Hence, they think that the more he talks, the more persuasive he will be. Every president faces a similar problem which is why, until Obama, every White House tried to economize the deployment of the president’s political capital. The Obama White House strategy is almost the rhetorical version of its Keynesianism, the more you spend, the bigger the payoff.

I got nothin’ to add. Just bow in the presence of the master.

Give That Diabetic a Candy Bar – STAT!

February 26th, 2010 - 12:52 pm

Oh, this’ll help:

The Obama administration may expand efforts to ease the housing crisis by banning all foreclosures on home loans unless they have been screened and rejected by the government’s Home Affordable Modification Program.

The proposal, reviewed by lenders last week on a White House conference call, “prohibits referral to foreclosure until borrower is evaluated and found ineligible for HAMP or reasonable contact efforts have failed,” according to a Treasury Department document outlining the plan.

Banks are already too frightened to lend money. And if this thing gets approved — and I suspect it will — then loan officers will have to think a third time before approving a mortgage. First, they need to figure out if you’re a good risk. Then, they’ll have to guess if they’ll get in trouble for not lending money to someone with connections/victim status/etc. And after all that, banks will have to take into consideration whether you’ll use HAMP to screw them out of their money somewhere down the line.

That giant sucking sound you hear is… well, it’s this goddamn Administration. From a little something I wrote last year called, appropriately enough, The Grand Unification Theory of Sucking:

Next headline, sans link: NYT MONDAY: TENSIONS GRIP OBAMA ECONOMIC TEAM… DEVELOPING…

Well, duh.

Let’s pretend for a moment that, god forbid, you break your arm. And somehow you end up with a team of doctors all trained at Obama University. As you lie there on the table in the ER, one doctor treats your arm by banging on the unbroken one with a ball-peen hammer. The second doctor takes the unusual course of setting your hair on fire. And the third one uses leeches.

Undeterred by your arm’s stubborn refusal to set, soon the doctors start blaming one another. And even though all of them are doing nothing but compounding your injury, none will take any blame. In fact, the louder you scream, the harder they go to work on you.

That, apparently, is what’s going on in the West Wing these days. Our economy is being managed by Dr. Howard, Dr. Fine, and Dr. Howard.

Last headline, again no link yet: OBAMA PLANS FOR NEW BANKING REGULATIONS… DEVELOPING..

So now in walks a fourth doctor. This one has some Percocet and a splint, and when you see him you think, “Oh, at last, someone who knows what they’re doing!” At which point, Hospital Administrator Obama shoots the fourth doctor in the face with a pistol. And wait until you see the hospital bill – they’ll charge you for everything, including the bullet.

Are the banks too scared to move? Then threaten them with an all-new regulatory environment, one which might leave them as screwed as a GM bondholder!

Just how damn right do I have to be when it comes to the ugly, the bad and the stupid? It’s truly dispiriting sometimes. Cassandra, I think, got off easy — didn’t she get run out of town? I’m kinda stuck here.

This Administration has gone well past beating the dead horse of the Regulatory State. Soon they’ll have us feeding off the ruined carcass.

You Wouldn’t Like Me When I’m Angry

February 25th, 2010 - 2:36 pm

Paul Ryan Stood His Ground

(Click to embiggen — if you dare!)

The President said he wanted an open and honest debate. And when Rep Paul Ryan gave him one, this is how the President reacted. (Screencap from about 11:56AM Pacific, while Ryan was speaking.)

UPDATE: If you didn’t know, I’m liveblogging it here.

I Need Another Cup of Coffee — Irish

February 25th, 2010 - 12:09 pm

The Health Care Summit is taking a recess, but the news rolls on. Here’s Politico, reporting on what happens next:

After a brief period of consultation following the White House health reform summit, congressional Democrats plan to begin making the case next week for a massive, Democrats-only health care plan, party strategists told POLITICO.

A Democratic official said the six-hour summit was expected to “give a face to gridlock, in the form of House and Senate Republicans.”

This bill is supported by a mere 25% of Americans. Making the Republicans the face of gridlock is the dumbest possible move out of dozens of possible dumb moves.

UPDATE: For a deeper — funnier — look at how insane the Democrats in general and Obama in particular have become, watch Wednesday’s Trifecta on PJTV.

So Timely, It’s… Really Very Quite Timely

February 25th, 2010 - 10:48 am

On today’s Trifecta: What’s really inside the President’s health care bill.

Plus, the hidden connection between Apple and health insurance.

It’s a Marathon of Masochism

February 25th, 2010 - 9:46 am

Yep, I’m liveblogging the health care hearings in Washington. All. Day. Long.

The Brutal Truth About Californians

February 24th, 2010 - 3:56 pm

Blogged earlier today about California’s budget woes, and Evil Red Scandi commented with a tale that’ll make your stomach sink down to your shoes:

California is screwed. I came to this conclusion yesterday. And that sucks, because I live here.

Here’s the story:

I was at a luncheon the other day with the State Controller of California (the guy who cuts the checks) speaking. He actually seemed to be a pretty stand-up guy. He was careful not to say anything too politically damaging, but he was completely up-front about that issues facing the state.

Here’s the really scary thing: he asked the group how many people would be willing to cut spending in the following areas: Education, Health Care assistance, and Prisons? These areas comprise 92% of California’s budget, so any meaningful cuts would have to touch them. I was the ONLY person in the room that raised their hand for all three. And without naming names, this was one of the most conservative groups of people you could get into a room (at least in Cali).

If people don’t even have the guts to raise their hands in a room full of as like-minded a bunch as you’re going to find, how on earth do they expect their politicians to do anything?

I suspect California’s not the only place like this

I’m trying to picture a scenario where the State of California doesn’t end up before a bankruptcy judge. If you think that’s bad, remember that if that happens, you’ll have an unelected judge making California’s budget decisions.

And if you think that’s bad… the California electorate’s taste for endless government got the state into this mess — and who elected them?

Coming Soon to The Gap

February 24th, 2010 - 3:31 pm

You Will Buy Them

Heh. Hat tip, Fake Steve.

Some heartening news on Reid & Pelosi’s dirty tricks, from Fox:

Sen. Kent Conrad, D-ND, the chairman of the Budget Committee, just confirmed what Sen. Judd Gregg, R-NH, his top committee Republican, told me yesterday about healthcare and the use of reconciliation: the House MUST pass the Senate’s $871 billion healthcare reform bill before anyone can deal with reconciliation to make changes to that bill.

BIG problem for the House Dems — many don’t support the Senate bill as is. Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-CA, has said on a number of occasions that her members have insisted that the Senate first pass a reconciliation bill that “fixes” the Senate bill to their liking —– else, no dice.

It might be a long time before the public trusts the Democrats with this much power. Unfortunately, that means the Republicans win by default — which makes the Tea Party movement the single most vital political force in the country. No other group even has their slim chance at keeping the Democrats down and the Republicans honest.

So don’t blow it.

The Three (Slap) Happy Warriors

February 24th, 2010 - 11:55 am

Today’s Trifecta: Welcome to the politics of self-destruction, as the Democrats “double down on stupid” with the health takeover bill.

It was my turn to host, and I pretty much lost all control of the show about halfway in.

You Can’t Make This Stuff Up

February 24th, 2010 - 11:51 am

California Assemblywoman Diane Harkey says her state is “literally bankrupt,” and compared the “state’s situation to a family with a mortgaged house, maxed out credit cards and zero savings,” according to SFGate.com. Not so fast, says state treasury spokesman Tom Dresslar:

“You might score some political points by saying the state is bankrupt, but you’re hurting taxpayers when you do that. We are not basically bankrupt,” Dresslar said. “When you have that kind of talk out there and it makes it into the papers, it poisons the market when you go to sell bonds.”

You got that? State Treasurer Bill Lockyer is worried California might have trouble borrowing its way out of its spending crisis.

There’s a lot of that going around.

Must-See Radio

February 24th, 2010 - 11:20 am

Last night, Jimmie Bise was nice enough to have me on for the full hour of The Delivery, talking politics, CPAC, books and tech. Jimmy always makes good radio, so give it a listen.

An Open Letter

February 24th, 2010 - 11:17 am

Dear Washington,

Quit helping. Please. Look at this:

U.S. mortgage applications fell for a third straight week, with demand for home purchase loans sinking to the lowest level in 13 years as inclement weather weighed, data from an industry group showed on Wednesday.

A continued drop in demand for purchase loans, a tentative early indicator of home sales, would not bode well for the hard-hit U.S. housing market, which remains highly vulnerable to setbacks and heavily reliant on government intervention.

Do you know why home sales keep cratering? Because you, dear government, are doing most everything in your power to prop up prices. When people are generally poorer, does that really seem like such a smart move? Let the market find a bottom, then — get this — more people will be able to afford houses. And the economy will grow again. And people will find work again.

To be honest, falling home prices could really put a crimp in my retirement plans, 25-30 years down the road. But if I lose my job, I might have to sell this house next month, instead of in the year 2040. And I’d take a great big loss in this market, and my retirement would take an even bigger hit.

So knock it off already. We can’t afford any more of your help.

Suck eggs,

-Steve.

Programing Note

February 23rd, 2010 - 10:05 am

We had so much fun last week, we’re doing it again. Today’s Trifecta will be live, and we’re taking “audience” questions via Twitter. Just use the #PJTV hash tag, and our crack team will pick the best and hit Bill Whittle, Scott Ott, and me with them.

Today’s topic: the CPAC 2010 convention in DC this last weekend, and just how different it was from last year’s dreary little event.

Tune in to PJTV at 4PM Eastern/1PM Pacific.

He Went There

February 22nd, 2010 - 6:36 pm

You can’t recover from the weekend without a little Hair of the Dog. On this week’s show:

We refuse to get snarky with General David Petraeus.

The First Rule of Holes gets redefined.

Mara Liasson realizes that no nukes is good nukes.

Plus, a whole new charity — just for me!

Olympic Fever — I’ve Caught It!

February 22nd, 2010 - 5:46 am

The only possible way for this to be cooler is if it had Laserium.

Exposing Spaces

February 21st, 2010 - 4:30 pm

Talking about workflow the other day got me to thinking just how overpopulated my computer desktop had become. Blogging, writing, scripting, radio recording, telepromptering (that’s a word, right?), plus my iTunes and Handbrake obsessions. But Mac’s Exposé feature seemed all right — press a button or gesture on the multitouch mouse, and all your open windows splay out. Click the one you need and you’re ready to rock and roll.

But that’s not the way we work, is it? You’re still doing an awful lot of hunting, and the more windows you have open (I can have tons and tons of browser windows open at any one time, and, yes, I use tabs), the smaller and less readable those Exposé thumbnails become. So I figured I’d try this Spaces thing and see how it works.

If you don’t know, Spaces (and I assume Windows already has something similar, and if not MS will copy it soon enough) lets you maintain multiple virtual desktops — up to 16 at one time. And it’s a surprisingly deep program in that Apple way. The ways the Mac team has developed for you to maintain and navigate all that information is a joy to use and a constant “ooh, pretty!” to discover.

But it’s not finished yet. I’ve got the full 16 desktops going, and I use them all, each one dedicated to a particular app or activity. When you’ve got all that to manage, you need some better cues as to what’s where.

So, Apple, please — let us give each desktop a name. The name only needs to show up when we do the Spaces click, but we do need the ability. And we should be able to give each desktop its own wallpaper. Something photo-y for my Aperture desktop, something graph-y for my spreadsheet space, etc. Again, that would go a long way toward helping me think less about how to do my job, and spend more time actually doing my job.

Or… more time playing Hearts of Iron III. Whatever. Get off my case. I’m getting work done, I swear.

Never Give Up, Never Surrender

February 21st, 2010 - 11:47 am

Our nation’s capital — where bad ideas go to get out on permanent life support and you get the bill. Read the latest on Cap & Screw:

“We will present senators with a number of options when they get back from recess,” said one Senate aide knowledgeable of the compromise legislation that is being developed. The goal is to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that scientists say threaten Earth.

Of course, this is the same legislation which languished in the Senate before the AGW Debacle of the last three months. And before the Democrats lost their veto-proof majority. And before the health care reform bill scared enough Americans into paying attention to the shenanigans on Capitol Hill.

So don’t be too nervous that this thing will pass. But do be scared out of you mind by the stubbornly statist stupidity of the Congressional leadership.

Click at Your Own Risk

February 21st, 2010 - 11:42 am

Hot on the heels of last week’s “comedy” routine comparing the US military to Michael Vick’s dogs, now Bill Maher explains why the Tea Party is a cult.

The Gang That Couldn’t Talk Straight

February 20th, 2010 - 5:49 pm

Harry Reid, on shoving the health care bill through on reconciliation:

“We’ll do a relatively small bill to take care of what we’ve already done,” Reid said, affirming that Democrats would use the reconciliation process. “We’re going to have that done in the next 60 days.”

And over on the House side, here’s Nancy Pelosi:

“We’ll look and see respectfully … what the president, having listened to all sides on this, puts on the internet, we’ll see it together probably on Monday. And we will take it up with our caucus and I cannot ever say until I hear from our members how we will deal with it, until I hear from my members as to their comfort level,” Pelosi told several reporters following a roundtable with military veterans.

OK, so Reid is “trying to move forward on this.” Pelosi, not so much. You’d think they could at least coordinate their public messages.

PJM Political returns to Sirius/XM this week — but it’s still right here on the innerwebs, too. It’s a big show, with MIchael Baron, Paul Mazursky, and much more.

In case you don’t know, the innerwebs are like a series of tubes. Filled with voices.

Required Reading

February 20th, 2010 - 3:12 pm

Our own Michael Ledeen on his first day at work for the late Secretary of State Al Haig:

Back in my cubbyhole I asked my keeper what “do something!” meant, and she said it usually meant writing a memo to him laying out the something I proposed to do. Then he approved it–or not–and then I did it.

Right. So I wrote a memo, she put it in the proper format, and sent it back down the hall. A few hours later his secretary called to say a) I had better get down there pronto, and b) he was really angry. A little heads-up.

In fact he was purple, pacing around with a cigarette in one hand (remember he’d just had a quadruple or quintuple bypass) and my memo in the other.

“WHAT” he snarled, “THE FOWL FILTH IS THIS?”

I confessed that it was my memo, sir.

“Number one,” he was now tearing it up, “DON’T WRITE MEMOS!!!.” The little pieces were now in the burn bag. “I didn’t bring you here to have you WRITE FOWLISH FILTHY MEMOS!”

Roger that.

And then probably the greatest orders anyone ever received: “When I tell you to do something, just go do it. If I don’t like it, you’ll hear from me. And if you don’t hear from me, keep doing it.”

Best boss I ever had.

Earlier (lost the link, sorry) Patrick Ruffini twittered a link to the text of Haig’s 1988 presidential primary run campaign literature. It’s solid stuff. Change a few names and places, and he’d be a credible candidate today.

Haig should have been a credible candidate in 1988, but his candidacy was really a non-starter. Why? Well, fairly or not, because of that mangled “I’m in charge here” on the day of the attempted assassination of President Reagan. That one line “set the narrative” on Haig — that he was prone to violent outbursts, unaware of the order of succession, power-mad, etc. None of those things were true, of course. Which mattered not one whit.

Many have run for President. 43 men have actually won the title. With odds like that, yes, one mangled public statement can eliminate a good person, even from consideration for the Oval Office.

But a President Haig, elected in 1988, might very well have served two terms. And American history might have been quite a bit different. Maybe even a tiny bit better.

Anyway, go read the rest of Ledeen’s article. It’s a good one.

By the Numbers

February 20th, 2010 - 2:26 pm

Really? Dude, you’re barely a four.

The Week in Blogs — The Links!

February 20th, 2010 - 11:38 am

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

Wise up.

Deathly.

Nothing is good enough.

Humpty Dumpty.

How am I different?

Real bad news.

Just like anyone.

This is how it goes.

Invisible ink.

Save me.

That’s it for this week. Tune back in to PJTV next Saturday for the next exciting installment of… The Week in Blogs!

I Have No Comment

February 20th, 2010 - 6:17 am

Because Emo Girls Don't Just Cut Themselves

I do, however, have a Netflix queue.

Baen Bleg

February 19th, 2010 - 2:56 pm

Whenever I write about ebooks, folks leave comments praising Baen Books and their new-media publishing savvy. That’s definitely a company I wouldn’t mind supporting with my reading dollars. However…

Except for my five-year cycle of re-reading all of Robert Heinlein’s juvies and most of his grown-up stuff*, I don’t read much science fiction. And I don’t read fantasy at all. So how about some recommendations, folks? Which beloved dog-earred paperback would you loan to a guy who enjoys Heinlein, some Arthur C. Clarke, and the occasional hit of John Scalzi?

(more…)

Back Door Lama

February 19th, 2010 - 2:02 pm

Just Taking Out the Garbage, Mr. President

You stay classy, Mr. President!

The New World Order Ain’t What It Used to Be

February 19th, 2010 - 1:52 pm

Mark Steyn on the strategic meaning of Iran’s way-advanced nuclear program:

Even without launching a single missile, Iran will at a stroke have transformed much of the map – and not just in the Middle East, where the Sunni dictatorships face a choice between an unsought nuclear arms race or a future as Iranian client states. In Eastern Europe, a nuclear Iran will vastly advance Russia’s plans for a de facto reconstitution of its old empire: In an unstable world, Putin will offer himself as the protection racket you can rely on. And you’d be surprised how far west “Eastern” Europe extends: Moscow’s strategic view is of a continent not only energy-dependent on Russia but also security-dependent. And, when every European city is within range of Tehran and other psycho states, there’ll be plenty of takers for that when the alternative is an effete and feckless Washington.

Ahmadinejad can see it. Putin can see it. A cultural critic living in a New Hampshire hamlet can see it. Europe can see it, but is too palsied to do anything about it. And yet almost our entire political class cannot or will not see it. So we will lose a city, or perhaps a planet, to their willful ignorance and adolescent abdication of their responsibilities.