Archive for February 15th, 2009

February 15, 2009

How to Get a Million Hits on Your Blog in Less Than a Year

Having promised an appropriate celebration of passing the 1-million-visitors Site Meter threshold Friday, I will do so by sharing the secret of my success. It’s the Underpants Gnome Theory of Blogging:

  • Phase 1: Get a Blogspot account.
  • Phase 2: ?
  • Phase 3: One million visitors!

Obviously, the key here is Phase 2, which has been exceptionally disorganized. Some guys work smart. Some guys work hard. Some guys are just incredibly lucky.

The perceptive blog consumer will notice that posts here don’t have all those little thingies (Digg, etc.) the way some other blogs do. This is not because I disdain such methods of traffic enhancement, but because I’m such a primitive Unfrozen Caveman Blogger I can’t figure that stuff out. It’s the same reason I’m still on a Blogspot platform, rather than switching to a custom-designed WordPress format. Blogspot is so simple that even I can figure it out, and if they’d just offer a few more templates — hey, guys, how about a template with variable-width sidebars on both sides? — I might be able to fake that custom-designed elegance, too. I understand basic HTML, but Javascript no can do, and I’m too cheap to shell out the bucks for geek services.

Lacking advanced, sophisticated technological gee-whizzery, I have been forced to employ astonishingly crude Web 0.1 methods of traffic-enhancement, namely:

  • Write stuff people might want to read; and
  • Compulsively e-mail my posts to bloggers who might possibly consider linking me.

Astonishingly crude, but also surprisingly effective. And so we come to Rule 1, the Prime Directive so to speak:

  • 1. Shameless Blogwhoring.

I’m amazed that Instapundit, Michelle Malkin, Ace of Spades and the Hot Air crew haven’t declared a fatwa against me for the way I relentlessly fill their inboxes with blogwhoring e-mails like Arnold Horshack trying to get Mr. Kotter’s attention: “Ooh! Ooh! Ooh!”

However, the smart newcomer to the ‘sphere doesn’t just suck up to big-traffic bloggers who can throw him major traffic (although he does that with a single-minded fanaticism), he also sucks up sideways and downward, to bloggers who might not be able to throw 10,000 hits a day, but who are nonetheless valued contributors to the blogging community.

Little Miss Attila is my favorite example of the “valued contributors” category. Her best recent month was 24K visits in October, but she’s been around the ‘sphere a long time, is much beloved, and it is bad kharma not to link her. Every so often, while on the hunt for good stuff to blog about, I’ll go over to LMA, find something good she’s blogging about and link it. Why? Because, among various non-kharmic reasons, she has done the same for me, which brings me to Rule 2:

  • 2. The Full Metal Jacket Reach-Around

Maybe you’re not a fan of Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket, and I’m not saying you should be. But the psychotic drill sergeant gives a notorious rant in which he colorfully expresses an important life principle: When someone does you a favor, find an opportunity to return the kindness.

Reciprocal linkage is the essential lubricant that makes the blogosphere purr with contentment. If somebody’s throwing you traffic, you should either (a) give them a link-back update, or at a minimum (b) keep them in mind for future linkage. Because you don’t want to end up on the wrong end of a kharmic unbalance in the ‘sphere, where you’re always taking and never giving.

Every beginning blogger confronts the Zero Hour. You’ve been blogging steadily for a week or two, sending around e-mails, trackbacking where you can, trying to develop some kind of regular traffic. And then, late one night, you think you might have finally composed your first Instalanche-worthy post and you e-mail it to Glenn Reynolds. You go to bed like a 7-year-old kid on Christmas Eve, then wake up at 4 a.m. and check your Site Meter to discover that your latest hourly traffic is . . . ZERO.

At which point, you want to swallow a handful of sedatives, wash it down with a quart of bleach, slit your wrists and stick your head in the oven. You are a complete and utter failure.

I’ve never forgotten the Zero Hour, and if I’ve become slightly less conscientious about reciprocal linkage since then, God forgive me, but I do try. In the midst of a traffic upswing, not all linkage is noticeable on Site Meter, so I check Technorati, which shows linkage regardless of traffic level. And thank you Dad29, thank you Joe Kristan, thank you, Andrea Shea King, thank you Jimmie Bise, thank you William Teach. Damn my lazy thoughtlessness, but please don’t doubt my gratitude.

Now that we’ve scratched the surface of technique, let’s address the tricky little subject of content with Rule 3:

  • 3. Memeorandum

Did somebody say “lazy thoughtlessness”? The easiest place to find blog fodder is Memeorandum, which has an algorithmic formula that automatically updates to tell you what the hot topics are in the ‘sphere.

I especially like their “Featured Posts,” sort of a random grab-bag of stuff that will occasionally feature some lefty shooting off his mouth in pure idiotic moonbat mode. Grab that sucker by the neck and give him the Mother Of All Fiskings, with enough vitriolic ad hominem to make sure he never forgets it. Because buddy, the lefties will turn right around and do it to you if you ever rate “Featured Post” status, and there’s nothing like a vicious flame war to earn your spurs in the ‘sphere. Which brings me to Rule 4:

  • 4. Make Some Enemies

We’ll have none of your “bipartian civility” around here, you sissy weaklings. This here is the Intertoobs, and we’re As Nasty As We Wanna Be. The fact that The Moderate Voice has turned into a reliable vessel for DNC talking points should tell you all you need to know about the fate of bipartisanship in the blogosphere.

At the same time, however, don’t confuse cyber-venom with real-world hate. Maybe Ace of Spades really would like to go upside Andrew Sullivan’s head with a baseball bat, I don’t know. But at some point you understand it’s just blogging about politics, and you start wondering if maybe it shares a certain spectator-friendly quality with pro wrestling. For all we know, Ace is spending weekends at Sully’s beach shack in Provincetown. (Next on Blogging Heads TV: Can “Bears” and Ewoks Be “Just Friends”?)

Some readers might remember when I first kicked Conor Friedersdorf in the knee for “insufficient cynicism.” Conor is, in real life, a nice guy. But he’s also (a) young, and (b) as earnest as John Boy Walton. So I got into a habit, when he was at Culture11, of kicking him in the knee with some regularity. It’s the Fraternity Initiation Principle: Pledges must be abused by their elders, and learn to be properly respectful, or else one day the ambitious little monsters will strangle us in our sleep. (Cf., my suggestion that George Freaking Will should be air-dropped on Jalalabad from a C-130.)

A couple days ago, hunting around for a reason to link my friend Russ Smith’s SpliceToday, I happened upon a column by Russ’s young minion, Andrew Sargus Klein, offering a particularly insipid argument for federal arts funding. Now, having been born and raised a Democrat, and arguably having never outgrown my obnoxious youthful arrogance, I can actually relate to Klein’s insipid argument. Stupid is as stupid does, and when I was 25, I might well have written something equally stupid. But the boy will never outgrow his stupidity unless he gets whomped on the head some.

Easy as it would have been to ignore Klein, I hit upon the delightfully fun idea of laying into him in Arkansas knife-fight mode: If you’re going to cut a man, eviscerate him. So I quickly composed a hyperbolic ad hominem rant, with the thoughtfully civil title, “Andrew Sargus Klein is an arrogant elitist douchebag.” I forward-dated the post for Friday morning, and sent Russ an e-mail to the effect of, “Hey, hope you don’t mind me abusing your office help a little bit. Nothing like a flame-war to build traffic. Don’t let on to Klein that I’m just funnin’ around with him.”

I’d hoped to bait Klein himself into a response. However, before that could happen — as if intent on illustrating how to make a fool out of yourself by taking this stuff too seriously — one of Klein’s friends offered up a comment:

Andrew Klein may be arrogant and elitist but he could craft logical arguments around your bumbling hypocrisy all day and night.

Of course I never bother “craft[ing] logical arguments,” sweetheart. It’s a freaking blog. If you want logic, subscribe to a magazine or buy a book. Pardon my double-entendre, Lola Wakefield, but people come here for the cheesecake. Logical arguments are a dime a dozen on the Internet, but sexy hotness . . . well, that reminds me of Rule 5:

  • 5. Christina Hendricks

Or Anne Hathaway or Natalie Portman or Sarah Palin bikini pics. Rule 5 actually combines four separate principles of blogospheric success:

  • A. Everybody loves a pretty girl — It’s not just guys who enjoy staring at pictures of hotties. If you’ve ever picked up Cosmo or Glamour, you realize that chicks enjoy looking at pretty girls, too. (NTTAWWT.) Maybe it’s the vicious catty she-thinks-she’s-all-that factor, or the schadenfreude of watching a human trainwreck like Britney Spears, but no one can argue that celebrity babes generate traffic. Over at Conservative Grapevine, the most popular links are always the bikini pictures. And try as I might to make “logical arguments” for tax cuts, wouldn’t you rather watch Michelle Lee Muccio make those arguments?
  • B. Mind the MEGO factor — All politics all the time gets boring after a while. Observant readers will notice that the headlines at Hot Air often feature silly celebrity tabloid stuff and News Of The Weird. Even a stone political junkie cannot subsist on a 24/7 diet of politics. The occasional joke, the occasional hot babe, the occasional joke about a hot babe — it’s a safety valve to make sure we don’t become humorless right-wing clones of those Democratic Underground moonbats.
  • C. Sex sells — Back when I was blogging to promote Donkey Cons (BUY TWO!), I accidentally discovered something via SiteMeter: Because the subtitle of the book is “Sex, Crime, and Corruption in the Democratic Party,” we were getting traffic from people Googling “donkey+sex.” You’d be surprised at the keyword combinations that bring traffic to a political blogger who understands this. Human nature being what it is, the lowest common denominator is always there, even if it’s sublimated or reverse-projected as puritanical indignation, which brings us to . . .
  • D. Feminism sucks — You can never go wrong in the blogosphere by having a laugh at the expense of feminists. All sane people hate feminism, and no one hates feminism more than smart, successful, independent women who’ve made it on their own without all that idiotic “Sisterhood Is Powerful” groupthink crap. And if you are one of those fanatical weirdos who takes that Women’s Studies stuff so seriously that you’re offended by Stephen Green’s sexist objectification of Christina Hendricks and her mighty bosom — well, sweetheart, to paraphrase Rhett Butler: “You should be offended, and often, and by someone who knows how.”

So, there you have it: Five Rules For Getting a Million Hits On Your Blog. There are probably another two dozen rules, but I’m too lazy to think of what they are right now. And to be honest, if it weren’t for that old picture of me in a Speedo, I’d probably still be 20,000 hits shy of the million mark. Some of us are just . . . blessed with exceptional modesty. And some guys get the steak knives.

UPDATE: Probably special mention should be made of Kathy “Five Feet of Fury” Shaidle, who never heard of a fair fight. She’s one of those people you don’t want angry at you. A ninja blackbelt in Rule 4, when she goes at an antagonist, it’s a knee in your groin and an elbow in your eye. However, she also keeps the customers satisfied with some naughty pinup hotness. (Rule 5!) That rare creature: A Canadian we like.

UPDATE II: Linked at Conservative Grapevine.

February 15, 2009

Actually a little bit funny

Dan Ackroyd’s John Boehner impression is good — he’s got the gravelly pack-and-a-half-a-day voice down cold — and while the political content is obviously distorted, it’s serviceable as parody:

Of course, the sketch is grossly unfair to Eric Cantor — a very smart politician — but unfairness in humor is part of the game at “SNL.”

February 15, 2009

The fiscal trap of Hope

The Washington Post reports on the fiscal bind into which we have been led by the neo-Keynesian “stimulus” approach to the recession:

The nation can’t sustain trillion-dollar deficits without driving up the debt owed to private investors to dangerous levels that could undermine the nation’s global economic dominance. That debt now stands at nearly $6 trillion.

A tax hike to pay for all this “stimulus” would certainly make matters much worse, yet the bond market — a subject I referenced this morning — must calculate the likelihood of repayment, and it’s not just “global economic dominance” that is at stake, but rather the fundamental integrity of the federal government’s “good faith and credit.”

The Post article goes on to cite the unfunded liabilities of Medicare and Social Security, and Jennifer Rubin comments:

The president and his spinners declared this all to be a “long term” problem that had to take a back seat to the short term “solution” for the recession. But little they have done in the short term will improve the economy, which by their own calculations would have begun to bounce back on its own by the end of 2009.
The “long term” problem is now. The first act comes with the next major auction of Treasury debt. Are we going to start printing dollars ourselves to buy up Treasury paper? Raise the interest rate on bonds to keep Chinese and other investors in the game?

Rubin hits the nail on the head. The fiscal fantasies of Hope are about to slam head-on into the economic realities of the bond market. Economic reality is an unmovable object, and liberals are about to discover that Hope is not an irresistible force.

Or, in fewer words: It Won’t Work.

(Cross-posted at AmSpecBlog.)

February 15, 2009

SPLC vs. Ann Coulter

Note how Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center lays on the modifiers:

Rabid far-right commentator Ann Coulter is known across America for sliming everyone and everything she disagrees with. . . .
Coulter has generally avoided bolstering white supremacist hate groups. Until now, that is.
In her latest foaming-mouth tome — Guilty: Liberal “Victims” and Their Assault on America, released on Jan. 6 — Coulter spends the better part of three pages defending a group called the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), which The New York Times had described as a “thinly veiled white supremacist organization.” Coulter begs to differ. The CCC, Coulter opines, is “a conservative group” that has unfairly been branded as racist “because some of the directors of the CCC had, decades earlier, been leaders of a segregationist group.”

“Rabid far-right” — in what sense can that term be applied to Ann Coulter but not to, say, Rush Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham, Mark Steyn, Michelle Malkin or Mark Levin? And “her latest foaming-mouth tome” — her sixth bestseller, which you can buy right now and see for yourself whether it merits that description.

Beyond Potok’s frothy prose, what is worth examining here is the application of what a friend of mine who’s been smeared by the SPLC (we are legion) has called their “ransom note method” of quotation: A phrase here, half a sentence there — the words are cut and pasted together like a kidnapper assembling a ransom note from cut-up magazines, with the SPLC’s own interpretative comments helpfully interlarded to tell their readers exactly what to think about the target.

The fundamental premise of Potok’s piece — that Coulter was “bolstering” or “defending” the CCC — is false. For that matter, her putative “defense” of the CCC doesn’t occupy “the better part of three pages,” but actually less than two, beginning on the middle of page 24 and ending at the top of page 26.

What Coulter is actually doing in this passage — is Mark Potok dishonest or merely dense? — is contrasting the differing treatment that the media gave to (a) Barack Obama’s 20-year membership in the Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s Trinity United Church of Christ, and (b) the CCC associations of Republicans Trent Lott and Bob Barr.

It’s quite an interesting argument and perhaps the reason Potok couldn’t bring himself to quote so much as two consecutive complete sentences of what Coulter wrote is that he’s worried about copyright infringement. Or maybe he’s dishonest, an interpretation supported by the way he quotes Coulter here:

“There is no evidence on its Web page that the modern incarnation of the CCC supports segregation,” she says. “Apart from some aggressive reporting on black-on-white crimes — the very crimes that are aggressively hidden by the establishment media — there is little on the CCC website suggesting” that the group is racist. [Emphasis added.]

Contrast that to what Coulter actually wrote:

There is no evidence on its Web page that the modern incarnation of the CCC supports segregation, though its “Statement of Principles” offers that the organization opposes “forced integration” and “efforts to mix the races of mankind.” But mostly the principles refer to subjects such as a strong national defense, the right to keep and bear arms, the traditional family, and an “America First” trade policy.
Apart from some aggressive reporting on black-on-white crimes — the very crimes that are aggressively hidden by the establishment media — there is little on the CCC website suggesting that the group is a “thinly veiled white supremacist” organization, as the New York Times called it in one of its more charitable descriptions. At least the crimes reported on the CCC’s Web site actually happened, as opposed to the Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s claim that the U.S. government invented AIDS to kill black people. [Emphasis added]

Compare the two italicized passages. Notice that, when Potok quotes Coulter, the direct quote ends with “suggesting,” and then follows with Potok’s own characterization, “that the group is racist”; whereas Coulter’s actual sentence ends with a specific description from the New York Times calling the CCC a “thinly veiled white supremacist” organization. One can be “racist” without being “white supremacist” (ask Reverend Wright!), and as to the matter of the thinness of veils — well, as a liberal might say, “Who are we to judge?”

In a fair-and-balanced “we report, you decide” manner, Coulter quotes the CCC’s statements about “forced integration” and race-mixing and leaves it to the reader to judge how “thinly veiled” these principles are, and whether they are “white supremacist” — a judgment that the New York Times apparently doesn’t trust its readers to make for themselves. It is neither here nor there what the reader’s judgment is, since Coulter’s purpose is not to “defend” or “bolster” the CCC, but rather to expose the media double standard involved.

Reverend Wright can stand in his pulpit denouncing Israel, shouting “God damn America!” and saying that the 9/11 attacks were “America’s chickens coming home to roost,” and the media dismisses as insignificant the fact that Obama spent 20 years in Wright’s congregation. Yet Bob Barr gave exactly one speech at a CCC meeting and this speech (which had nothing to do with race) is treated as major political news by the New York Times. Perhaps if Barr had spoken to a meeting of Weather Underground terrorists . . .

Never mind. Coulter describes the consequences of the media attack on Barr:

After the initial flurry of articles, editorials, and news stories in the Times excitedly reporting that Barr had spoken to the CCC, Democratic representative Bob Wexler introduced a resolution in Congress for the sole purpose of denouncing the Council of Conservative Citizens. Other than the 9/11 terrorists, the CCC may be the only group ever singled out for denunciation in a congressional resolution. How about a resolution from Obama pom-pom girl Wexler on Obama’s Trinity United Church of Christ?
When Barr later gave a speech on the House floor favorably citing President John F. Kennedy, Senator Ted Kennedy’s son, Representative Patrick Kennedy, got in Barr’s face, shouting, “How dare you! Anybody who has been in a racist group has no right invoking my uncle’s memory!” Liberals are now reserving the right to tell us which former presidents we can mention by name.
Barr had given a speech to a group that, even assuming everything the Southern Poverty Law Center says about it is true, does not hold a candle to the racism of Obama’s Trinity United Church of Christ. Obama was married by the Reverend Wright, his daughters were baptized by the Reverend Wright, Obama gave his second autobiography the title of one of the Reverend Wright’s sermons. And yet after decades of majoring in Guilt By Association, liberals were indignant when an ad on cable television linked Obama and the Reverend Jeremiah Wright Jr. The Times produced a blistering editorial decrying the “hate mongering” and calling the ads “the product of a radical fringe that has little regard for rational debate.”

“Compare and contrast” — the kind of exercise every college freshman is asked to do on essay-question exams — and yet, when Coulter does it, her choice of the CCC as an analog to Wright’s church is cited by the SPLC as evidence that she is a sympathizer of a “thinly veiled white supremacist” organization.

What Potok and the SPLC count on is that their gullible liberal readership will not bother to examine what Coulter actually wrote, nor question whether the SPLC’s bawdlerization of Coulter’s work is fair or accurate. Potok understands that Coulter occupies a special place in the liberal demonology, and that liberals are prepared to believe the worst about her. So he distorts her argument — which, I repeat, is about media double standards — into an accusation that she is “defending” and “bolstering” the CCC, and expects no one to contradict him.

Why? Because Potok suspects conservatives of cowardice. If you defend Ann Coulter, you’ll be accused of sharing her “thinly veiled” sympathies, and there goes your book deal, there goes your think-tank fellowship, there goes your chance at a staff job in the next Republican administration. Potok believes that your ambition, your cowardly craving to be considered “respectable,” will prevent you from defending the “rabid far-right” Coulter, and you will remain silent while she’s dishonestly smeared by the SPLC.

Fine. You have the right to remain silent. And who will defend you when the SPLC comes smearing you?

But the age of chivalry is gone. That of sophisters, economists, and calculators, has succeeded and the glory of Europe is extinguished forever. Never, never more, shall we behold that generous loyalty to rank and sex, that proud submission, that dignified obedience, that subordination of the heart, which kept alive, even in servitude itself, the spirit of an exalted
freedom. The unbought grace of life, the cheap defense of nations, the nurse of manly sentiment and heroic enterprise is gone!
Edmund Burke

UPDATE: Linked by Kathy Shaidle, who’s been trying for years to get Canada to deport her to the United States, where that pesky First Amendment keeps hobbling the annihilationist impulses of liberalism.

UPDATE II: Linked by Mark Steyn, likewise seeking deportation. Canadian refugee fever inspires some awesome political incorrectness.

UPDATE III: Linked by Ed Driscoll, who probably wants to be deported from California.

UPDATE IV: Somebody at LGF sides with the SPLC.

UPDATE V: Getting very interesting now. Raphael Alexander says that Charles (by whom I suppose he means Charles Johnson of LGF) says of what I’ve written: “That article is ludicrous and deceptive. He claims Coulter is being quoted out of context — I have the book, and she is NOT being quoted out of context. The charge, by the way, is not that Coulter herself is a white supremacist. It’s that she is defending a blatantly, openly white supremacist group — and that charge is TRUE.”

I couldn’t find that quote at LGF, which is now at the 1,000+ mark in comments, but assuming that Alexander’s quote is accurate, I’m kind of stumped. The extensive quotes from Coulter’s book make clear that her argument was basically: If Trent Lott and Bob Barr are beyond the pale for their associations with the CCC, why isn’t Obama beyond the pale for his association with Trinity? It’s not about being “out of context,” but rather that Potok misread (or misrepresented) the whole purpose of that two-page passage.

Is Coulter “defending” Jeremiah Wright? Is the analogy inexact? Surely she will clarify and is capable of defending her own arguments without any help from me, but I saw this passage as essentially a critique of the media double standard.

In every previous Coulter controversy (which, by now, is a long list), she has emerged undamaged. She has Sean Hannity on speed-dial, and if this SPLC thing gets her more TV time, she’ll cry all the way to the bank.

What’s weird is that Coulter appeared on “The View” a month ago and I don’t recall that this CCC thing ever came up. Is Whoopi Goldberg OK with the CCC? Certainly Coulter would agree to return to “The View” to discuss the subject. She would also probably be willing to discuss the subject on “Today,” “Larry King Live,” “60 Minutes,” Leno, Letterman, “Saturday Night Live,” “American Idol” . . . if any other TV producers want to book Ann, I can give you her publicist’s e-mail address.

UPDATE VI: Linked at Conservative Grapevine.

February 15, 2009

Popularity vs. reality

Ben Smith in the Politico:

Obama’s approval rating remains well above 60 percent in tracking polls. A range of state pollsters said they’d seen no diminution in the president’s sky-high approval ratings, and no improvement in congressional Republicans’ dismal numbers. And that’s before the stimulus creates billions of dollars in spending on popular programs, which could, at least temporarily, further boost Obama’s popularity.
“It’s eerie — I read the news from the Beltway, and there’s this disconnect with the polls from the Midwest that I see all around me,” said Ann Seltzer, the authoritative Iowa pollster who works throughout the Midwest.

Prompting Jonathan Singer to exult:

Perhaps more than ever, there is a real divide between what the chattering class inside the Beltway is saying and what the people of this country are saying. . . . [T]he establishment media focuses on the less meaningful back and forth while at the same time overlooking the larger picture being grasped by the public — that is that President Obama is succeeding, in terms of both moving forward his policy agenda and bringing two-thirds of the country along with him in his effort.

Idiots. Economics is not public relations. Don’t you people understand that it doesn’t matter how “popular” you and your policies are, if what you are doing is the wrong thing to do? And that it doesn’t matter how clever and persuasive your arguments are, if your policies bring disaster?

Think back to late 2002/early 2003, when Bush was soaring in popularity and even Democrats like Hillary Clinton were publicly insisting that military action against Iraq was an urgent national necessity. As even David Frum now admits, however popular Bush and his policy were, it was still a bad policy. And the result of bad policy . . . well, here we are, eh?

Idiots. And here’s another one — Daniel Gross playing armchair economic psychologist:

Psychology plays a big role in all sorts of economic decisions. And at times like these, when people are gripped with fear, it plays an even larger role.

Gross seems to assume that the public’s economic mood is so divorced from economic reality that all we need is an injection of economic self-esteem and — no matter what the underlying reality — this “all must have prizes” approach will assure recovery.

Well, I’m sorry, sir: It Won’t Work. Economics doesn’t operate that way. People can’t spend money they don’t have — unless they can borrow it, and they can’t borrow it when they’re already overleveraged and the financial industry is collapsing.

So, you say, “We’ll rescue the financial industry with TARP.” Fine. What’s the price-tag and where will you get that money? Oh, you’ll borrow that, too. Fine. Go talk to some people who know a bit about the bond market, and see how they think the global investor class — U.S. debt is a commodity traded globally — will react to the prospect of still more deficit spending piled on top of all the deficit spending for the $152 billion “stimulus” in May, $350 billion for TARP I, and now $789 billion for more “stimulus.” Another $350 billion for TARP II? Oh, they’re going to love that.

If the world’s investor class believes that your Keynesian pump-priming will work, they’ll be happy to buy up all those Treasury notes, just like they’ll be happy to buy stock in U.S.-based corporations. Do you think those people are stupid, sir?

Hell, no. They’ll be putting in more “sell” orders on Monday, and at least one analyst expects the Dow Jones Industrial Average to sink to 6,000 soon. As bad as the stock market is, God help us if the bond market goes wobbly. (And they’re starting to sound a bit skittish to me.) And never mind that, at some point, the debt holders will expect repayment. Seriously, we could be on the brink of Weimar America.

What none of you “progressives” seem able to get through your thick skulls is that this recession — the massive losses in the Dow, the massive losses of home values in the collapse of the “bubble” — represents a loss of capital. The American economy doesn’t need psychological confidence, or a few dribs and drabs of pork-barrel programs and tiny “tax credits” to favored constituencies. It needs fat chunks of cash — investment capital. And the disastrous policies being enacted will only serve to drive capital out of the U.S. economy.

If you start walking in the wrong direction, every step you take leads you farther from where you’re supposed to be. U.S. economic policy has been going in the wrong direction, and every additional step in this direction only compounds the damage. Poll numbers and public relations cannot trump the forces of the market. The law of supply and demand cannot be repealed.

You idiots can talk about poll numbers until you’re blue in the face and try to blame Bush for everything bad that happens, but like it or not, you own this one, and it’s going to be a millstone around your necks.

UPDATE: The fiscal trap of Hope.

February 15, 2009

Best Conservative Movies?

National Review has a list. I like James Bowman’s pick, Blast From the Past, which comes in only at No. 9 on the NR list but I’d rank it above Groundhog Day (Jonah Goldberg’s pick at No. 6) and Metropolitan (No. 3 by Mark Henrie).

Blast From the Past is a personal favorite because (a) Brendan Fraser’s character is home-schooled, and (b) Christopher Walken as the father hates commies the way commies should be hated. As for Metropolitan, I dig Whit Stillman but prefer The Last Days of Disco.

A couple of films I’d add to the list: The original Terminator — a powerful pro-life message, since the whole point is that John Connor must be born — and Fatal Attraction, which has got to be the best argument against adultery ever filmed.

February 15, 2009

Sorry, Professor

If I didn’t want to watch Katie Couric’s colonoscopy, what makes you think I’d want to see Stephen Colbert’s colonoscopy? At some point, this obsession with health becomes . . . unhealthy.

February 15, 2009

Nationalization + Socialism = ?

Ed Driscoll wonders what could possibly go wrong with this formula, proposed separately by two major “liberal” media institutions.