LINTON WATCH: Look, I believe the guy has had a face-lift. I mean, I suspect it. Can we have some before-and-after photos, please? Do we detect that he has had work done? Im looking, now, at a picture of him at the AIDS conference in Barcelona.
HRC, of course his wife had work done. Shortly afterward, I wrote that her face looked like an elegant dinner plate, or Bob Doles whatever (as the Kansan would say). Perhaps WJC has followed suit.
Just a thought. You cant say that this column doesnt dare to be superficial!
(Want more gossip? Okay: Camilla Parker-Bowles, so impressed with Hillarys makeover face, clothes, hair, everything traveled to New York to consult with Mrs. C.s makeover team.) (Look out, Cindy Adams and Liz Smith hearing footsteps?)
You will notice that liberals, displeased with our displeasure at the 9th Circuit ruling re the Pledge, have taken to arguing whether under God is a good idea. A perfect example is Arthur Schlesinger Jr.s dodgy op-ed in the New York Times. He tut-tuts that only an insecure, boobish nation would utter the words under God. He makes a great point of saying that Teddy Roosevelt wouldnt have wanted it (notice how liberals, who love McCain, are loving TR more and more?).
What Schlesinger doesnt say and what liberals cant say, unless they harbor a Wilentz-level stupidity is that the U.S. Constitution forbids the practice of reciting the Pledge in public schools. What the First Amendment forbids is the establishment, by Congress, of a religion in the United States.
So, when youre arguing with your liberal friends (do you have any?), you might neaten things up by saying: If you dislike the wording of the Pledge, fine we can have that discussion. But what the 9th Circuit said is that, sorry, whether the wording is good or not, the Constitution makes impermissible its recital. Lets dispose of that first, shall we?
About a year ago, I guess, I declared that I was already sick of John Kerrys candidacy for the presidency in 2004. And, of course, hes still a long way from announcing.
The July 6 National Journal has a lengthy article on Kerry that the senators campaign will xerox and distribute thousands of times over. It details his use of his war record, basically. And although the article is just short of campaign literature, there is more than enough info. to sicken you, once more, about Kerry.
As Ive written before, hes anti-war, when it suits him, and the great veteran, when that suits him. Often, hes both at the same time.
The man has a bad case of megalomania even in a profession where that malady is rife, even encouraged. May I cite just one, seemingly innocuous thing? After his initial political defeat in 1972, he said, John Kerry will be here and he will continue the same battle tomorrow that he fought throughout this race. That line alone that unself-aware third-personery should disqualify him. (Bob Doles, in my view, was rather maladroit and awkward; Kerrys, also in my view, springs from sheer personal grandiosity.) (Longtime Dole-watchers will have noted that I got the in my view from Dole. That was his big line, for In my opinion or As I see it or As far as Im concerned or whatever in my view, a locutional signature.)
How left-wing is John Kerry? Running against a liberal Democratic congressman named James Shannon a protégé of Tip ONeills Kerry made a great issue of his opponents previous support of the MX missile a position of which Shannon had repented. Kerry, of course, won.
The senator played his veterans card against William Weld in the tough-fought race of 1996. Now listen, he said in a debate, that [some government program] happens to involve a lot of veterans, Governor [Welds position at the time], and also involves people that arent veterans. You didnt go to that war. Subtle, huh?
Kerry uses his war record to shut the mouths of his critics. (Remind you of someone else? A blowhard senator from a desert state?) Recently Kerry went after GOP leaders DeLay and Lott for not having gone to Vietnam . . . as if that effectively answered their arguments.
And do you recall Kerry blasting Bill Clinton, not only for dodging the draft, but for lying, blatantly, about his dodging of the draft?
This year, Kerry is running for reelection to the Senate unopposed by any Republican a scandal, I believe, and one that the Massachusetts GOP should be whipped for. If you dont stand up for your party and its views if you dont at least offer the public an alternative perhaps you dont deserve to win election to any office. Races are especially futile if you dont contest them.
And there is talk of a Kerry-McCain ticket in 04. Wouldnt that be perfect? Birds of a feather. I doubt theres a single issue on which they seriously disagree, at this point. Surely the Arizonan has abandoned that pro-life malarkey and the rest by now.
Oh, deliver us from John Kerry (to choose just one of the Johns). Give me President Gephardt, President Gore, President (Hillary) Clinton, President Waters, President Jackson Lee (two great Confederate names, come to think of it) anybody but Kerry.
In that same issue of National Journal, there is an eye-opening interview with Dan Crippen, the outgoing head of the Congressional Budget Office. Crippen, about to get free, is especially unbuttoned its always good to secure an interview with someone an exit interview whos on his way out the door.
Asked about Social Security which, in the words of the interviewer, starts doing a turn-around on cash flow in 2017 Crippen says, What happens then is the Treasury will have to raise taxes, cut other spending, or borrow from the public.
Later, he says, . . . hopefully after the next presidential election, whoever the president is, things will be getting close enough with [the impending Baby Boom] retirement, and there will be enough impetus that there will be a leader there in the [White House] to confront the issue.
Ah, but there is such a leader now: George W. Bush. It was one of the best things about his candidacy. He had the cojones and honesty to confront the looming Social Security crisis and to propose reform even as the head of the Democratic National Committee gleefully promised to fry Bush on the fabled third rail.
As Im constantly saying, if the Democrats are going to accuse you of tossing old people in the snow anyway, you might as well get some reform out of it. What do you have to lose? And if theyre going to accuse you of hating black people anyway, you might as well stand up for equality of opportunity and against race preferences and for human dignity what have you got to lose?
Speaking of losing, the Republicans are fixin to blow the Senate race in Texas. Its going to be a tough one. The Democratic nominee is black, the attractive ex-Dallas mayor Ron Kirk; the Republican nominee, John Cornyn, is . . . not. If the president goes into his home state and campaigns full-bore, itll look . . . well, you know: not quite kosher.
There is always great pressure on an electorate to vote for a major-office black nominee. As I mentioned in a recent Impromptus, the people of Virginia were said to have been tested when Doug Wilder was the Democratic gubernatorial nominee. When Tom Bradley lost the governors race in California, a great many commentators said that the Golden State had proven its racial immaturity, if not worse.
Of course as I also said in that previous Impromptus all bets are off when the black nominee is a Republican. When Bill Lucas was the gubernatorial nominee in Michigan, it was all the more imperative to beat him, given his inauthenticity.
Well, I wont entirely redo that rant.
You had to love this line from the New York Times, 7/6/02. It came in an article by Emily Eakin about anti-French feeling in the U.S. She or an editor wrote of dissatisfaction with French foreign policy in the Middle East, deemed by some in the United States to be insufficiently pro-Israel.
Insufficiently pro-Israel! Do you love it? Thats the equivalent of writing, Jay Nordlingers views, as expressed in Impromptus, are insufficiently pro-Democratic. No, baby, Im a ridiculously partisan Republican. French foreign policy is anti-Israel and pro-Arafat. Check the record, as the politicians say.
In an airport on Saturday, I saw an amazing boner on the front page of USA Today. (No, there was no Clinton photo.)
The paper said, Return to Scotland: Nick Faldo hopes for a third British Open win next week. Faldo has won three British Opens, to go with his three Masters. (We golf writers use Masters to mean plural, too. Only the most pedantic resort to Masters victories I have, Im sorry to tell you.)
So, may I have a job at USA Today? I wouldve blocked that.
Inside, there were a couple of neat things from Faldo, language-related. Speaking of his 1987 triumph at Muirfield, he said, I wore my opponents out. I was nervous as hell with this incredible pea-soup fog. But I was in the cocoon, as we called the zone in those days.
The article also reminded me that, after another victory at Muirfield, in 1992, the famously press-wrangling Faldo quipped, I just want to thank the press from the heart of my bottom.
You want to hear about something kind? The Associated Press, referring to Gary Player, 66, said, [He] has won the British Open three times. I love that has won, instead of won as if there were a possibility of more. In other words, were not talking about an historical fact: that Player, in his career, won three British Opens. No, we mean that the South African has won three to this point!
Very kind, even touching.
(We interrupt this column to recall a particularly outrageous piece of PC idiocy. Years ago, Eastern Michigan University hired Gary Player an anti-apartheid South African to design its new golf course. But, under political pressure, they fired Player, on the grounds of his nationality.)
Regular readers have heard me gripe before about Tom Toles, the cartoonist. Let me have another little yelp.
You know, socialism and socialists are supposed to be dead were all good liberals now. But you should have heard some of the rhetoric at the 2000 Democratic convention! And you should see a Toles cartoon in the current New Republic. (Sorry, couldnt find it online.)
He is depicting American business through a CEO. The man is very fat a fat cat and is carrying a briefcase marked C.E.O., which has cash bulging out of it. Hes wearing a top hat a top hat! in 2002! and smoking a cigar!
Really, it looks almost Soviet. Herblock would blush (not really). (Remember when Block would mark missiles Missile?)
Look, yall, I realize that the purpose of political cartooning is caricature, but . . . Besides which, the modern CEO is more apt to be a gym-visiting, sushi-scarfing, non-smoking hardbody.
Okay, Ive got a lot more, but Ive gone on too long. Let me just say that an editorial in Al-Akhbar, the Egyptian government daily whose editor is appointed by Hosni Mubarak has referred to Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, and Condi Rice as: the axis of evil.
This is the government thats the number-two recipient of U.S. aid (behind Israel as stipulated by the Camp David accords).
Hang on, arent I supposed to end with something funny? Amnt I supposed to end with something funny?
Ah, yes, a language ending! If you wont say arent I, on the grounds that you dont say I are youre really a stick-in-the-mud.