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Monthly Archives: April 2010

Danger Is His Middle Name

April 30th, 2010 - 3:07 pm

Scott “Danger” Ott talks live with two evil secessionist militants — and lives to tell the tale!

I Hate to Say I Told You So…

April 30th, 2010 - 8:34 am

Good news: Economy grows 3.2%, a healthy, sustainable rate.

Bad news: A good chunk of that is illusory, borrowed from our kids, as the “stimulus” sucks the future dry to make today feel a little better.

Worse news: Unemployment remains unacceptably high (and underemployment is even worse), as businesses continue to sock money under the mattress, rather than hire new workers. Because there’s no way to tell what taxes, fees, regulations, requirements, benefits, etc., Washington is going to stick them with tomorrow. And next week could be even worse.

So, “take this job and shove it” remains the order of the day.

Mars Attacks!

April 30th, 2010 - 8:23 am

Today’s Trifecta: Stephen Hawking warns us not to talk to strangers with ray guns.

Bill Whittle, Scott Ott and I pretty much concur. And by “concur,” I mean, “duck and cover.”

Who Says Bloggers Aren’t Reporters

April 29th, 2010 - 3:03 pm

Today’s Trifecta: Meet the Idaho militia leader Bill Clinton quoted last week, for encouraging a Second American Civil War — Billy Beck. Except that Beck is in Upstate New York, isn’t in any militia, and never said any such thing.

Otherwise, Clinton was right on the money.

Scott Ott does the original reporting, Bill Whittle and I provide the snark.

Must-See TV

April 28th, 2010 - 5:17 pm

On assignment for PJTV: Bill Whittle. And if his latest report doesn’t put a tear in your eye and a thump in your chest, then you might want to call the undertaker.

Caveat Emptor

April 28th, 2010 - 2:30 pm

HP is buying Palm for $1.2 billion. Forget the price — the question is, Why?

I suspect I’ll have to haul out my old definition of “synergy.” Read:

Synergy |ˈsinərjē| (also synergism |-ˌjizəm|)
noun
word used to explain why one company purchased or merged with another company, when there is no rational justification for the move: AOL and Time-Warner combined will generate synergy (as opposed to profits).

I’ve been using that one for years — feel free to steal it.

That’s what Judge Andrew Napolitano says, and he’s too smart — and libertarian, but I repeat myself — to ignore.

There’s nothing wrong with the occasional vegetarian meal, provided you know how to do it right.

And by “right,” of course, I mean, “with lots and lots of butter.”

Tax THIS!

April 28th, 2010 - 12:51 pm

Under the Obama Plan, 95% of American families will receive a net tax cut — unless a roomful of guys tells him otherwise.

He’s Not Blegging You

April 28th, 2010 - 12:39 pm

Go wish Jimmie Bise (and the Sundries Shack!) a very happy birthday — the way that really counts.

Wow, Republicans love to lose. Just love love love it. There’s no other explanation for Charlie Crist’s decision to run as an Independent for the Senate.

That giant sucking sound you hear is the vast majority of his donors putting their checkbooks away.

Oh, and while Marco Rubio will probably win even in a three-way race, the Republicans’ expected eight-seat Senate gain just got tougher to achieve.

Because Republicans love to lose. Just ask Charlie Crist.

Unscrewing the Inscrutable

April 28th, 2010 - 9:44 am

Let’s face it, 23 years of Microsoft PowerPoint have done more damage to America’s national security than 50 years of Soviet espionage.

Making Even Double Standards Wince

April 28th, 2010 - 9:22 am

Let me see if I’ve got this right.

If Arizona decides to mirror existing Federal law and require immigrants to show ID, then it’s incipient apartheid at worst and undermines “basic notions of fairness” at best.

But flying Hellfire-missile capable Predator drones along the Texas border is hunky-dory.

I’ve got that right, yes?

If a President Camps in the Woods…

April 28th, 2010 - 9:01 am

And the Trifectas just keep coming! Today’s segment: President Obama’s American Vacation. There’s no WallyWorld, no Family Truckster, no weird in-laws, and sadly, no half-naked Beverly D’Angelo jumping into a swimming pool.

On the other hand, you do get Bill Whittle, Scott Ott and myself all wearing very nice ties and getting all snarky about politics. That’s gotta be worth at least half a topless Beverly D’Angelo, right?

No? Well, I tried.

When Whirleds Collide

April 28th, 2010 - 5:22 am

Shooting Trifecta this week was a comedy of errors. Ambitious goals, technical issues, late scripts, and — this was the kicker — we somehow ended up with an extra script. So, t’heck with it, we shot all four. And despite everything, this was as solid a set of shows as we’ve ever done. How cool is that?

Anyway, first one up explores what happens when ObamaCare meets… Anti-ObamaCare. Fireworks, to say the least.

Must-See Radio

April 27th, 2010 - 5:35 pm

At 8PM Eastern/5PM Pacific, I’ll be on The Rick Moran Show, along with Jazz Shaw and Larrey Anderson. Tonight’s topics: Arizona’s illegals crackdown, Wall Street reform, and maybe a little on that Bennett race in Utah. The other three guys are all way better informed than I am, but only your friendly neighborhood VodkaPundit can be counted on to make the political dick jokes.

Live stream here.

The Birthers will march on Washington, as they have every right to do.

And we have the right — nay, the duty! — to point and laugh.

Handicapping the Handicapped

April 27th, 2010 - 1:30 pm

Mary Katharine Ham just nails the problem with President Obama’s new “rally the coalition” video:

In this video, he is Barack Obama. He is the man whose problems are still inherited. He is the man who fights the health insurance companies… whose product he’s requiring that every American buy, battles the big banks… who bankrolled his campaign, and stifles special interests… with whom he meets behind closed doors to hash out deals on legislation. And, he posits, all of this should inspire those who voted for the first time in 2008 to vote again on behalf of all the uninspiring Corzines, Deedses, and Coakleys who will in some unspecified way guarantee the uplifting change at sometime in the unspecifed future that Obama himself has not delivered. Fired up and ready to go!

I finally watched the thing, to see if MK was right — and she was. And Obama’s problem here is twofold. First, the point Ham raised in the graf above: charisma is poor currency. You can’t just stuff it into someone else’s pocket. And there are lots more Corzines, Deedses and Coakleys in need of an infusion before November 2. At least 93 of them, according to the latest RCP poll averages for the House and Senate races. Add another handful if you want to include gubernatorial races.

That’s a whole lot of campaigning between now and 11/02/2010, and time and again Obama has proven that the only person he campaigns for effectively is himself.

Now watch his new video, or at least some of it.

What was that I said about charisma being a poor currency? Even so, Obama appears not to have much of it left. For a “rally the troops” pitch, it doesn’t have a whole lotta hoo-ah. Instead, he comes off as cold and uninspired.

The polls models for off-year elections always included depressed turnout among the young, the poor, and minorities — three groups the Democrats need desperately. But, two things are different this time. 2010 is the first midterm since Obama’s community organizing skills increased the registered voter rolls by 30% — almost entirely youth, poor, and minorities. And since they’re first-time voters, we just don’t know how they’ll turn out in their second election. Worse than the typical Y/P/M voter? Better? Can’t say.

And then there’s the 30% of the electorate who voted in 2004, but not in 2008.* People who had just become disgusted with the choices offered us two Novembers ago, people who had just gotten sick of Washington in general and both parties in particular. A lot of them have become Tea Party people — energized and ready to vote, early and often. But others might still be too disgusted to bother.

The reason I expect the Democrats to get spanked like The Gimp this fall is: The Tea Party is spontaneous and energetic, while the Democrats can’t even make an inspiring YouTube clip to stimulate their base. That’s a hell of a handicap to have in a year when the energy and motivation is all on the other side.

(more…)

Can You Hear Me Now?

April 27th, 2010 - 10:45 am

First iPhone, now Google’s Nexus One — you can’t get either one to work on Verizon.

My theory explaining why the iPhone works only with AT&T is pretty simple: Steve Jobs eliminates SKUs whenever he can. (That’s why I was so surprised when Jobs revealed six different iPad SKUs.) Look at Apple’s entire product lineup: two basic iMacs to configure, exactly one Mac Pro model to upgrade, etc. Sure, there are five different Mac laptops available, but only three screens between them. And while I’m thankful Apple hasn’t stopped making iPod Classics, I’d wager they’re only a year or two from extinction. Once Apple can sell Touch models with 128GB for $250, the Classic will go bye-bye. Because Steve hates SKUs.

iPhones? You have three to choose from, one of which is a discounted model from last year. The other two are differentiated only by how much memory they have on board. And that’s it. It’s not quite “any color you like so long as it’s black,” but close. Last I heard, Apple made an iPhone with a white back, but I’ve never seen one loose in the wild. And to get the iPhone on Verizon would mean a completely new model, because the cellular chipsets behind Verizon’s and AT&T’s networks aren’t at all compatible. Jobs would rather sell fewer phones with fatter margins. Steve hates SKUs.

Take a look at Apple’s power adapters, and all of them, regardless of size, use the exact same slip-on wall plug. Why? So that Jobs needs to make only one set of international adapters, to power everything from iPads to 17″ MacBook Pros. Steve hates SKUs.

There’s a method to Apple’s madness. That wall plug is the nicest one I’ve ever seen, and I’m sure Apple spent more money designing that one tiny part than Dell had in its entire R&D budget for 1997. (I exaggerate, but not by much.) But the longer view is, Apple designed that plug once, years ago, and may never have to update it. And their international adapter kit hasn’t changed in the half decade since I got mine — maybe longer. Amortized costs: Damn near nothin’.

Steve hates SKUs, and passes the savings along to… OK, he just stuffs the savings under Apple’s 42 billion-dollar mattress. Not only does Apple make incredible profits, it does so selling remarkably few products. Steve hates SKUs, but he loves money.

But Google produces exactly –one– physical product for consumers. And a great way to differentiate the Nexus One from the iPhone would be to let Verizon sell it. Everybody loves Verizon, and nobody is fond of AT&T.

So what’s the deal? Well, Nexus One has been a total flop. Google, it must be said, just isn’t a consumer-electronics company. On the other hand, Google’s Android mobile OS has been a huge hit. This morning, AdMob’s tracking revealed that Android users on the web overtook iPhone users for the first time last month.

Best guess: Google isn’t going on Verizon because Google’s getting out of the handheld business, and Verizon doesn’t want to be left holding the bag — a bag full of unsold inventory. Nexus One was an experiment, and not a very happy one. But it looks more and more like Android is becoming the Windows 95 of the Twenty-Tens. And as one of the guys who lined up to buy Win95 at midnight 15 years ago, I see that as a good thing. But if Google becomes the next Microsoft, then maybe that’s not such a good thing.

Meanwhile, I suspect Steve Jobs will continue to eliminate SKUs and generate profits.

Say It With Me: Jatduhquis.

April 26th, 2010 - 6:04 pm

Hot off of Final Cut Pro, it’s another big, big episode of Hair of the Dog. This week:

Meet your new government banking regulator, Joe Isuzu.

Austin Goolsbee groans.

And what the hell did Richard Shelby do to his hair?

Plus, what the Forever Everlasting Permanent Never-Ending Bailout Bill is really about.

” …and everybody hates the Jews.”

April 26th, 2010 - 9:47 am

It’s National Brotherhood Week at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Yid with Lid has the details and analysis for you, but I have a little something of my own to add.

In the 1973 Yum Kippur War, there was only reason Israel managed to beat back the combined Egyptian-Syrian surprise offensive. The reason was because President Nixon resupplied the Jewish State with all the bullets and material it needed to continue the fight, and broke all the rules to get it all there as quickly as possible. But even then, Israel suffered horrific casualties.

I don’t doubt Israel’s ability to fight, or endurance to go on despite losses. But if you doubt this Administration’s resolve to help our only trustworthy Middle East ally to defend itself… then you’re absolutely on the right track.

UPDATE: Stacy McCain wins this week’s award for Best Use of Oy Vey By a Gentile.

Must-See Radio

April 25th, 2010 - 5:47 pm

Ed Driscoll’s done it again, cramming more content into an hour of PJM Political than most radio shows give you in… well, some very much longer timespan. Weeks, maybe. In just one episode, we’ve got Glenn Reynolds with Ed on the OKC Bombing/Tea Party tie-in, the fleet-footed Tucker Carlson, Tony Blankley & Terry Jones on the GOP/Tea Party non-tie in, Roger L. Simon & Lionel Chetwynd of James Cameron’s faux-environmentalism, and I’ve got Five Questions for James Lileks.

Print out this scorecard so you can keep track.

Increasing the Danger in a Dangerous World

April 25th, 2010 - 12:53 pm

Chuck Schumer on the President’s Middle East policy:

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), a longtime supporter of Israel, said on a radio show last week that the administration’s stance on the issue — and “terrible” treatment of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — has been “counterproductive.”

The senator added on the Nachum Segal Show that there is an internal “battle” going on in the White House over the issue.

“One side agrees with us, one side doesn’t, and we’re pushing hard to make sure the right side wins – and if not, we’ll have to take it to the next step,” he said.

On this issue, don’t doubt Schumer’s sincerity. And if his description of what’s going on inside the White House is accurate, then it’s harder to believe that Obama is engaging in some kind of maskirova with Israel, to make it appear as if we have great differences — so that if Israel attacks Iran, we would stay out of Iran’s crosshairs.*

And you have to wonder if that “internal battle” is real, or a merely a ploy to buy time from pro-Israel Democrats like Schumer.

(more…)

They’re Not Gonna See This Coming

April 25th, 2010 - 11:08 am

Stephen Hawking on the alien menace:

He suggests that aliens might simply raid Earth for its resources and then move on: “We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn’t want to meet. I imagine they might exist in massive ships, having used up all the resources from their home planet. Such advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads, looking to conquer and colonise whatever planets they can reach.”

I never thought I’d live long enough to see Hawking channel Roland Emmerich.

It Could Have Happened to a Nicer Guy

April 24th, 2010 - 2:01 pm

Convicted: George Soros.

A Kick to the Danglies

April 24th, 2010 - 2:01 pm

Rupert Murdoch is using his new “New York edition” of the WSJ to force the New York Times to slash its ad rates.

We’re From Google and We’re Here to Help

April 24th, 2010 - 11:58 am

Sorry, unhappy Nexus One owners:

Looking back through our archives, you’ll find plenty of user dissatisfaction with the 3G reception on Google’s Nexus One. Blamed alternately on T-Mobile’s inferior 3G coverage and on software bugs, the problem was expected to be banished with an over-the-air update in early February. The update came, but the trouble also stayed. It might now be time to finally lay those last lingering hopes for rectification to rest, as Google has directly responded to calls for a bigger and better OTA patch by explaining that it’s no longer working on “further engineering improvements.”

If you don’t like your reception, try stepping outside.

Tea Party crashers, Ringo Starr, and gratuitous Ashley Dupré, all on another hair-raising episode of… The Week in Blogs!

The Irrational Rationalization

April 24th, 2010 - 9:06 am

Peter Beinart might just have the world’s worst-ever case of Obama Delusion. Read the lead from his latest Daily Beast column:

Yes, the Democrats are going to get throttled this fall. But Obama has had so much success that he can afford spending a little time playing defense.

Did you throw up a little? Read a little more:

It’s a strange moment in Washington. With the stimulus bill and health-care reform now law, and serious financial regulation gaining momentum, Democrats are witnessing the greatest run of policy success of my lifetime. The victories have been so large that I suspect some liberal wonks are actually having trouble adjusting.

The non-stimulating stimulus, which has left us no better off and a trillion dollars more in debt. A health-care package that drastically increases entitlements while doing nothing to contain costs — except for “future” cuts to Medicare payments for seniors, which of course will never happen. A crony-capitalist financial reform bill which opens the Federal spigots for the big Wall Street players and effectively shuts the little guys out of competing.

And — oh, yeah — trillion-dollar deficits as far as the eye can see. Before the costs of putting ever-increasing chunks of population on Medicaid and paying off bankers and brokers to act ever-more recklessly.

That’s success?

Peter Beinart, call your shrink. But pay his bill your own damn self.

ManBearPig vs PantherSnowMonster

April 23rd, 2010 - 2:33 pm

The problem with snow days, of course, is finding things for the kids to do.