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Monthly Archives: June 2010

New General, Old War

June 30th, 2010 - 8:58 am

Trifecta: McChrystal is out, but is Petraeus walking into a trap?

Just One More Tiny Little Spanking

June 29th, 2010 - 5:25 pm

Trifecta: Dave Weigel, the Washington Post and the future of news.

Here’s a hint — it ain’t gonna be on TV or on a newsstand.

Because You’re Worth It

June 28th, 2010 - 6:38 pm

Again, I’ve watched the Sunday chat shows, so you don’t have to — and woke up to a Libertarian nightmare on First Street.

Breaking

June 27th, 2010 - 1:24 pm

Senator Robert Byrd is hospitalized and “seriously ill.”

I should have posted this on Friday, but real life intervened. Anyway, there was a Friday Recipe a long while back for Emergency Flank Steak, and we go through so many of them during the warm months that I’ve finally measured and perfected the marinade. Here it is.

Emergency Flank Steak

First, you’ll need some flank steak. Duh. We buy four or six at a time — but sometimes only one –so the marinade is measured to scale up, easily.

You’ll need, per steak:

2/3rds cup vegetable oil.
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard.
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (Lea & Perrins, only).
1 clove garlic. OK, maybe two.
The juice of 1/2 lemon.
About five twists of the pepper mill, coarse.

In a blender, pour about a tablespoon or so of vegetable oil, and however many garlic cloves you’re using. Mix until finely chopped. Dump in everything else except for the oil. With the lid on, turn the blender on to a medium setting. Remove the little top part of the lid, and slowly pour in the remaining veggie oil. Blend until a nice emulsion forms.

Put each steak into its own Ziploc bag, along with about 1 cup of the marinade. Squeeze out any air (those new sous vide bags are pretty great for this), work the marinade around the whole steak, then stack them all up flat in the freezer. This is why we do them in bunches — so that we always have enough on hand for any flank steak emergencies.

A few hours before you grill, take out a steak and let it thaw. When at room temp, remove the steak, scrape off any excess marinade, then grill (over charcoal, only, please) to rare-to-medium-rare. Over a very hot fire (the kind you’ll never, ever get with gas, so shut up already), I like about three minutes on each side over direct heat, uncovered. And then three more minutes with indirect heat, covered.

Let rest for five-to-eight minutes, then slice thin.

Serve it up with fries, a bright, citrusy salad and a spicy Zinfandel.

We go through about one of these a week. A typical flank steak is just enough for two, with a single sandwich-worth of leftovers.

While I endure the contractually-mandated drudgery of watching the Sunday shows, you should keep yourself informed and entertained with this week’s PJM Political.

I even learned something from the show: Vuvuzela isn’t a body part.

Ten Items Items or Less

June 26th, 2010 - 11:01 am

Meet Tea Party Barbie and soccer takes a swift kick, on another exciting episode of… The Week in Blogs!

Coming This Fall to NBC

June 25th, 2010 - 1:25 pm

Or more like, “Coming this afternoon to PJTV.”

It’s the debut of VodkaPundit’s Coast-to-Coast Tea Party. My first guest is North Carolina Second District congressional candidate Renee Ellmers. You might know Renee as the only person brave enough to take on Bob “The Manhandler” Etheridge.

After talking to Renee, all I could think was, “More like her, please.”

Dave Weigel has resigned from his job at the Washington Post, which seems a bit much — but that’s Weigel’s call to make, and his editors at WaPo apparently agreed.

I’d read Weigel starting with his stint at Reason about three years back. He was always caustic, often funny, and typically cranky — an angry left-libertarian. Now, left-libertarian isn’t the most tenable position, but it isn’t exactly unusual, either. And at a time when the GOP is in charge, a voice like Dave’s wasn’t just good for Reason, it was downright necessary.

Man, was I fooled.

From the moment Weigel started at the Post, it became pretty obvious that he wasn’t a libertarian of any sort, left or otherwise. And if you followed his Twitter feed, his “progressive” tilt, and open hostility towards most anyone to the right of, say, Dave Weigel, weren’t even debatable.

Still and all, I kept on reading him. Why? Because Weigel was caustic, often funny, and typically cranky. Time was, these were traits we looked for in a good journalist — or at least traits we expected to find. Weigel had a great nose for hypocrisy, and took cruel delight in pointing it out wherever he found it.

Well, provided that he found it at a Tea Party. Or in the Republican Caucus. Or at a Ron Paul event. By Weigel’s lights, “conservatism” was little more than a nice word for racist, moronic, bullying, violent, angry liarheads. For everyone left of center, however, Weigel took a decidedly Sergeant Schultz approach to what’s news: “I know nothink! I see nothink!”

But that was OK, because covering the Right was his beat. You don’t expect a sports writer to cover a county commissioners meeting, and you don’t expect Dave Weigel to look for the ugliness on the Left.

You do, however, expect a reporter to feel something more than disdain (or at least something in addition to) for the people he covers. If you hate hockey — and football and baseball and basketball and soccer — maybe you shouldn’t take the sports beat. And judging by Dave’s Journ-O!-List™ rants, “hate” might be too weak a word. “Ratfucker” was one of his favorite adjectives for righties, and he seems to have dropped the R-bomb as about as often as I drop a martini down my gullet.

Now by all accounts, Weigel’s a personable, likable guy. I’d probably enjoy sharing a few cocktails with him. Well, right up until the part where I casually let it slip that there are some things I respect about Ron Paul. At which point Weigel would let me know that the bar might be a much nicer place if I were on the outside of it. And set myself on fire.

At Reason, Weigel always did a fair job of keeping the magazine honest, covering conservatives. At the Washington Post, Weigel was just another sneering lefty — and WaPo already has plenty of those.

And apparently, Weigel’s editors agree.

Plugging Your Friends

June 24th, 2010 - 12:30 pm

Ed Driscoll snagged the Hulu video of Traci Skene and Brian McKim on Last Comic Standing.

A Film by Ken Russell

June 24th, 2010 - 12:01 pm

The weekly Presidential Video Address is getting weirder all the time…

Today, the Trifecta team takes on racist city councilmen, racist greeting cards, and racist astronomical bodies.

I wish I were kidding.

You Have Questions, We Have Answers

June 23rd, 2010 - 3:35 pm

Last week, Scott Ott, Bill Whittle and I asked PJTV Members to send some questions our way, and we’d devote a member-exclusive Trifecta to answering them. And, boy, did you send us questions. So many, that our producers — about whom I said many bad words during Monday’s conference call — picked out ten of them for us to answer. Ten each.

Now maybe that wouldn’t have been so bad. But yesterday was one of those Worst Days Ever, and I went under the TV lights fresh off a three-hour screaming-at-the-computer session. Which meant I had no time to look at the questions I’d have to answer. Didn’t even have time to glance at the questions I’d be asking Bill and Scott — but I do a pretty decent cold read.

Well, it was maybe a little rough. But the three of us had a blast. So much so, that my Worst Day Ever turned into a Pretty Darn Good Day Except For That One Thing I’ve Almost Forgotten About Already And Gosh Doesn’t This Martini Help With That?

Anyway, thanks for tuning in and thanks for helping out. And finally, here’a the link to a funny, rowdy, lengthy (and very special) Trifecta

Down the Memory Hole

June 23rd, 2010 - 12:45 pm

Now that General Petraeus is on Team Obama, MoveOn.org has wiped that “General Betray-Us” ad from their site.

MoveOn has always been at war with Eastasia.

On yesterday’s Trifecta I ran a clip of former Shell Oil chief John Hofmeister on Meet the Press, wondering why BP and the White House weren’t using some imaginative, effective, and not-too-far-fetched clean-up systems.

Turns out, The Anchoress was all over this weeks ago.

And Yours… And Yours… And Yours…

June 23rd, 2010 - 6:48 am

Trifecta: My daddy lives in a big, white house on Pennsylvania Avenue.

So does yours.

Operation Chaos II

June 22nd, 2010 - 10:05 pm

Just a thought. If a pollster calls and asks you if you think Hillary should run in 2012, tell them Hell, Yes!

Peter Principle Proven Pollyannish

June 22nd, 2010 - 9:51 pm

Forgive the lengthy excerpt, but this bit from Jackson Diehl is important:

Rolling Stone portrays McChrystal as being sharply at odds with Vice President Biden, State Department Afghanistan envoy Richard Holbrooke and U.S. ambassador Karl Eikenberry. Most of its incendiary quotes come not from the general, but his aides — one of whom resigned Tuesday. McChrystal himself apologized for the article; he was reported to be returning to Washington for a White House meeting on Afghanistan Wednesday.

McChrystal’s enemies were quick to portray him as out of line and likely to be scolded, if not fired, by Obama. My colleague Jonathan Capehart said McChrystal should be ready to resign. But the tensions McChrystal disclosed were not news to anyone who has been following the Afghanistan mission in recent months; I first wrote about them more than a month ago.

Nor is McChrystal the only participant in the feuding who has gone public with his argument. A scathing memo by Eikenberry describing Karzai as an unreliable partner was leaked to the press last fall. At a White House press briefing during Karzai’s visit to Washington last month, the ambassador pointedly refused to endorse the Afghan leader he must work with.

It’s almost as if President Obama has been voting “Present” on his very own war strategy.

Sorry, Barry, but no matter how unforgivingly indiscreet and disrespectful your top general might have been, the buck still stops with you.

Exploring Every Avenue of Failure

June 22nd, 2010 - 4:37 pm

Trifecta: The Gulf Spill Cleanup — is there a method behind the incompetence?

TANSTAAFL

June 21st, 2010 - 9:44 pm

Robert Anson Heinlein’s complete archives are available in digital formats, online — for a fee. And I’ve no problem with paying for such a tasty, tasty meal. If there’s a tip jar, I might hit that, too.

My only problem is, the website seems to have been designed and published on an old Amiga 500. So I’m wondering if I’ll need to scare up a copy of PageStream to view my purchases.

Wait For It…

June 21st, 2010 - 7:41 pm

Take a little nip of Hair of the Dog — now streaming for your pleasure, on PJTV.

You’ll have to wait to find out who won the Destroying Jobs Contest. There were some great, late entries, so the judges are still hard at work sorting through them.

Synchronize Your DVRs

June 21st, 2010 - 2:52 pm

Two of my favorite comics — Traci Skene and Brian McKim — will appear tonight on Last Comic Standing. They’re married, of course, which should make tonight’s show even more fun than usual.

Also, if you ever get a chance to go barhopping with them in Vegas, I highly recommend it.

The Day After

June 21st, 2010 - 9:38 am

So I treated myself this Father’s Day by not visiting Fatherhood.gov. But having done so just now, I have two observations:

1. “Fatherhood.gov” is inherently creepy.

2. Mr. President, you cannot raise strong healthy children by feeding them pablum.

Just sayin’.

How Not to Do It

June 20th, 2010 - 11:04 am

George Will recounts a letter from an NCO serving in Afghanistan:

Receiving mortar fire during an overnight mission, his unit called for a 155mm howitzer illumination round to be fired to reveal the enemy’s location. The request was rejected “on the grounds that it may cause collateral damage.” The NCO says that the only thing that comes down from an illumination round is a canister, and the likelihood of it hitting someone or something was akin to that of being struck by lightning.

Returning from a mission, his unit took casualties from an improvised explosive device that the unit knew had been placed no more than an hour earlier. “There were villagers laughing at the U.S. casualties” and “two suspicious individuals were seen fleeing the scene and entering a home.” U.S. forces “are no longer allowed to search homes without Afghan National Security Forces personnel present.” But when his unit asked Afghan police to search the house, the police refused on the grounds that the people in the house “are good people.”

On another mission, some Afghan adults ran off with their children immediately before the NCO’s unit came under heavy small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), and the unit asked for artillery fire on the enemy position. The response was a question: Where is the nearest civilian structure? “Judging distances,” the NCO writes dryly, “can be difficult when bullets and RPGs are flying over your head.” When the artillery support was denied because of fear of collateral damage, the unit asked for a “smoke mission” — like an illumination round; only the canister falls to earth — “to conceal our movement as we planned to flank and destroy the enemy.” This request was granted — but because of fear of collateral damage, the round was deliberately fired one kilometer off the requested site, making “the smoke mission useless and leaving us to fend for ourselves.”

I’ve said all along that I don’t think the President’s “surge” in Afghanistan is likely to achieve successes commensurate with its risks and costs — in treasure and blood. I’ve also said all along that I still wish Obama — and the military, and the country — success. Winning a war is far more important than any partisan advantage, even though that but of wisdom is too often lost on the Left.

All that aside, I no longer think that upping the Afghan ante is unlikely to work. Right I’m damn sure it’s doomed.

Please, Mr. President, if you’re going to commit, then commit. Lives are on the line.

It’s an All-Star Pajama Party

June 20th, 2010 - 8:36 am

The new PJM Political is off the Sirius/XM satellite and available for your podcasting pleasure. On the big show, we’ve got:

Mickey Kaus and Glenn Reynolds, on Mickey’s primary race against Barbara Boxer.

The B-Cast‘s Scott Baker sits down with our own Ed Driscoll.

Pretty much everybody from PJTV visits Pepperdine for a conference to figure out, “Is the real news dead?” (I was invited, but had to decline. Got to stay at home in 45 degree rain instead of sunning in Malibu. Sigh.)

Then Roger L. Simon, Michael Ledeen, and Avi Davis of the American Freedom Alliance figure out What It All Means.

That’s some quality radio.

OK Drudge — lighten up. Nobody should get all worked up about President Obama playing golf this weekend. Or at least not too much. He’s in a lose-lose situation here.

If Obama plays golf, he gets ridiculed for not taking the BP Leak seriously enough. If he hunkers down in the White House, he’ll get compared to President Carter during the Iran Hostage Crisis.

The President made enough genuine mistakes already. So let him enjoy some golf. It might be the only real executive experience Obama has.

Charlie Crist: Too Hot for TV!

June 19th, 2010 - 1:27 pm

The Week in Blogs: Now with 30% more (less?) thong!

Tech Bleg/Epic Fail/WordPress Still Sucks

June 17th, 2010 - 9:43 pm

Does anyone have firsthand experience using the WordPress iPad app? It seemed to work for me just fine — until I tried to publish a post. Then I learned that it strips out every single quote mark, double quote mark, lesser-than/greater-than mark — and pretty much every other symbol HTML might use, even when it’s being used for simple punctuation.

In other words, WordPress for iPad is a perfectly fine text editor, unless what you want to do is edit text for a blog. And last I heard, WordPress is, ostensibly, software for blogging.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: WordPress was designed by people too untalented and tasteless to work for Microsoft, and too cruel to work for Dick Cheney’s CIA.

A Frozen Moment of a Nightmare

June 17th, 2010 - 9:25 pm

This one’s too stupid for The Twilight Zone — it could only be from Night Gallery. The Coast Guard has shut down one of Louisianas oil cleaning operations, and youll never guess the reason. Read, jaw dropped:

The Coast Guard came and shut them down, Jindal said. You got men on the barges in the oil, and they have been told by the Coast Guard, Cease and desist. Stop sucking up that oil.

A Coast Guard representative told ABC News today that it shares the same goal as the governor.

We are all in this together. The enemy is the oil, said Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Dan Lauer.

But the Coast Guard ordered the stoppage because of reasons that Jindal found frustrating. The Coast Guard needed to confirm that there were fire extinguishers and life vests on board, and then it had trouble contacting the people who built the barges.

“Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!” has been replaced with “Safety first, last and only!” and in the middle (?) of our worst-ever environmental disaster.

Heads should roll — but likely won’t.

Posted Without Comment

June 17th, 2010 - 12:43 pm