DEMOCRATIC DEFICIT (3) [Andrew Stuttaford]
From today’s Financial Times:
The EU’s constitutional convention is “an unparalleled exercise in European democracy”.
From today’s Daily Telegraph:
“There was no vote. M Giscard, famed for his autocratic style during 16 months of stormy debates, simply discerned consensus among the MPs, MEPs, and national envoys. Few were willing to spoil the party by crying foul.”
Posted at 09:40 PM
DEMOCRATIC DEFICIT (2) [Andrew Stuttaford]
The same article contains these statistics:
“Many Europeans know so little about the EU that the convention's debates would mean nothing to them. A poll taken for Britain's Foreign Office in 2001 discovered that a quarter of Britons did not know that their country was actually a member of the European Union, and 7% thought that the United States was in it. In Germany, a founder member of the Union whose serious papers devote acres of space to EU affairs, another recent poll found that 31% of the public had never heard of the European Commission, the EU's most important institution.”
Ha ha ha.
Posted at 09:35 PM
DEMOCRATIC DEFICIT (1) [Andrew Stuttaford]
One of the constant complaints about the EU is its ‘democratic deficit’, a polite way of saying that it is a bureaucratic monster running way out of control. The underlying reason for this is simple – the lack of a genuine European political consciousness amongst voters. This should be no surprise. Outside the mandarin class, there is little notion of an authentic ‘European’ identity (in the EU sense) other than in some fairly superficial matters. We are English, Danes or Flemish (‘Belgian’ is a more questionable conceit) before we are Europeans.
As a writer in this week’s Economist (link requires subscription) points out, Giscard’s efforts to allocate more power to the European ‘parliament’ could actually make the EU even less legitimately democratic than before.
“If voters simply made a cold analysis of a politician's views and then voted accordingly, Europe's democratic deficit could be made good quite easily through institutional changes. In fact, all national democracies in Europe rely on a sense of community, a shared culture and, almost always, a common language. This allows voters to act as much more than desiccated policy-analysis machines. They respond to politicians by asking “Do I like this person?” or “Do I trust him?” As soon as a British, Italian or French politician opens his mouth, his compatriots will know many things about him: his social class, region, personal style, and so on. Such cues, so important in making personal and political judgments, barely operate across Europe's linguistic and cultural barriers.”
Well, lets hope that they do this time. Diamond Giscard’s crooked constitution should be voted down.
Posted at 09:34 PM
GARETH JONES [Andrew Stuttaford]
Here’s the tale of a man who did what Duranty didn’t do – he told the truth about the Ukrainian famine.
Posted at 09:33 PM
GM FOOD IN AFRICA [Andrew Stuttaford]
A reader writes with the following:
“Biotech, with its potential to insert genes that target specific problems, such as pest resistance and drought tolerance, holds enormous potential for Africa. USAID estimates that… a 1 percent increase in crop productivity will bring 6 million people out of poverty there. But for a variety of complex reasons, including the substantial influence of "environmental" groups and the EU, they have yet to benefit from biotech (which the exception of South Africa, who does not depend on Europe for trade and consequently has developed and planted several biotech varieties).
One specific case discussed [at recent hearings held by the House Committee on Science] was …telling of the green/EU stance: Uganda has developed a "Bt" variety of banana that is resistant to the Black Sigatoka virus, which is currently ravaging banana harvests with 60-70 percent yield reductions. But [the Ugandans] will not even plant field trials of the new variety because of EU threats to stop importing… bananas [from that country]…Insect-resistant Bt cotton, which has caught on very rapidly in China in the last 3 years [was also discussed]. Greenpeace claims the cotton is destructive to the environment, when in actuality it has reduced pesticide applications by 70-80 percent…To their credit…several of the Democrats that spoke at the hearing admonished…green groups for their efforts in stalling biotech acceptance in Africa.”
Posted at 09:32 PM
TROUBLE AND STRIFE [Andrew Stuttaford]
John, you know what cavaliers are like – wrong but romantic…
More seriously, I don’t see how allowing homosexuals some form of civil union has anything to do with the institution of heterosexual marriage, either conceptually or, for that matter, mathematically. I don’t know what percentage of the population is homosexual (the sometimes quoted 10 percent is junk statistics), but it’s probably no more than two or three percent. Given that only a minority within that minority will want one of these civil unions, I can’t see how it will have any meaningful effect on an institution (monogamous heterosexual marriage) that has endured for millennia.
On the ‘presumed standard point’, you misunderstood me (and I may have misunderstood you). What I was referring to was the notion that homosexuals are necessarily more promiscuous than heterosexuals. That may have been true in certain times and places, such as the San Francisco of the 1970s and 1980s described so well in And The Band Played On (Randy Shilts’ fascinating history of the early AIDS years), but I have no idea how much can be extrapolated from that.
As to changes in the law surrounding marriage, well, as a British conservative, would you have supported the abolition of the requirement that marriages could only be solemnized in church?
Posted at 09:31 PM
IBRAHIM LINCOLN? [Andrew Stuttaford]
Here’s a fascinating article from today’s New York Times about resistance to the Muslim fundamentalist effort to define American Islam on its terms
Posted at 09:29 PM
THEY CAPTURED ONE! [Jonah Goldberg]
Posted at 04:25 PM
RE: GAY MARRIAGE [John Derbyshire]
Andrew: I think, if you don't mind my saying so, that that is a very cavalier attitude towards a core institution of our society. The social sanctioning of homosexual unions is a tremendous step into the unknown. No society that I know of has ever done it. As a conservative, I am inclined to think that there is probably some good reason for that, and that we should not make such a great change in our social arrangements unless there are strong arguments for doing so, and the probability of damage slight. Inequities in the estate tax do not strike me as a suffiently strong argument; and the further trivialization of marriage seems to me a very damaging probable consequence, one that we can ill afford. I can quite see that a lot of people would disagree with my point of view; but why would a conservative disagree with it? So far as "some presumed heterosexual standard" is concerned: why, yes, there is such a standard, and there is nothing "presumed" about it. You will find it in the Book of Common Prayer under the heading: "The Form of Solemnization of Matrimony." It is true that large numbers of us fail to attain that standard. I just think that that is a bad thing, and that measures likely to increase those numbers ought to be resisted.
Posted at 01:55 PM
TROUBLE IN TEHERAN? [Andrew Stuttaford]
Interesting news from Teheran with the theocrats revealed - yet again - for the thugs that they are.
“Pro-regime militiamen armed with Kalashnikov rifles moved last night to crush student protests against Iran's ruling clergy, beating reformist demonstrators with iron bars and clubs on the fourth night of unrest in Teheran.”
The students, who are, observers in the West should note, behaving with astonishing bravery, have finally come to the conclusion that there can be no compromise with clerical rule. They are right.
Posted at 01:06 PM
ASTRONOMY DOMINE [Andrew Stuttaford]
As we peer deeper into the universe, astronomers are finding more and more that they need to name. Here’s a delightful piece (also from the Spectator) on the problems that they face.
Posted at 12:46 PM
BUSH ON FLAG DAY [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Posted at 12:44 PM
GOLDEN RICE [Andrew Stuttaford]
‘Golden rice’ is rice genetically-engineered to include carotenoid. Carotenoid is a precursor of Vitamin A, which (as Matt Ridley explains in the second part of this article in the London Spectator) is “a crucial ingredient of vision. The genes for making carotenoids are lacking in human beings, which is why we must eat vitamin A or go blind. The gene is also lacking in rice grains, so a person who subsists largely on rice may go blind. Approximately 500,000 children in the developing world suffer this exact fate every year, and determined efforts by aid agencies to get vitamin supplements or green vegetables to these people have so far failed.
Along comes Ingo Potrykus of Switzerland with a simple solution. Why not genetically engineer a rice plant so that it has the genes to make carotenoids in its grains? So he took the necessary genes from a daffodil and put them into rice. In effect, he added the word ‘carotenoid’ to the rice plant’s book. He soon had a form of rice that was identical in every respect, except that eating just 200 grams of it a day gave you a daily sufficiency of vitamin A. (Further refinements, including the addition of vitamin E’s precursor, have since made the rice even more health-giving.) "
The reaction of the Greens? They are successfully opposing the introduction of this frightening 'GM' rice, a rice that can save sight.
Posted at 12:43 PM
JOY? [Andrew Stuttaford]
Reactions are coming in to Diamond Giscard’s proposed EU Constitution, launched yesterday amid taxpayer-funded fanfare and plenty of predictable enthusiasm from predictable people. In particular, French foreign minister de Villepin announced that it would enable Europe to play a “full role on the world stage.”
We know what that means.
Connoisseurs of (shall we say) not entirely democratic constitutions will note that the festivities were marked by a performance of the EU’s theme song, poor old Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, a tune also used by Ian Smith’s Rhodesia as the music for its national anthem.
Posted at 12:38 PM
GAY MARRIAGE [Andrew Stuttaford]
Stanley, John, I hate to wade into this controversy, but surely comparing the ‘stability’ of homosexual relationships against some presumed heterosexual standard (is there such a thing?) is impossible in the absence of a legally recognized form of gay ‘marriage’. And that’s just the point that some of its supporters (quite reasonably) are making. As to the effects of such unions on the institution of marriage, I would think that they would be minimal. After the initial flurry of publicity, I’d be astonished if heterosexuals would pay much attention.
The real issue here is that the current state of the law makes it far less likely that gays will be able to establish and enjoy the advantages of long-term relationships, long-term relationships that would be good for the individual and, for those who see such matters in utilitarian terms, society. Worse still, it has to be recognized that the failure of the law to recognize such unions can lead to injustice in some rather more prosaic areas, such as the absence of the death tax exemption rightly enjoyed by all surviving spouses unless (ahem) they are foreigners married to Americans. I can’t see how such ending such inequities could be a threat to anyone – other, of course, than the IRS.
And who cares about them?
Posted at 11:36 AM
A CHEER FOR MUSLIM LEAGUE IN ITALY [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
An national Egyptian imam in Rome praises sucide bombers and the Italian Muslim League suspends him. Of course, later a League spokesman refers to the imams rhetoric as a "sin of youth," which makes you wonder if they really get it.
Posted at 11:27 AM
IS ISLAM A WESTERN RELIGION? [John Derbyshire]
Jonah: Well, in the first place, Judaism, Islam and Christianity spring from common roots, so I think it is fair to group them together when discussing doctrinal issues like this. From a literary and doctrinal point of view--even, up to a point, from a cultural point of view--the three big monotheist faiths have far more in common with each other than any of them has with Buddhism (an atheist religion) or Hinduism (a polytheist one). They even share a common racial/linguistic stock: the first Muslims, like the first Jews and the first Christians, were speakers of Semitic languages. Islam and Christianity are really just Judaic heresies. It does not follow that Islam can properly be called "Western," though, so I think you have a point. In the European mental universe, the East begins with Anatolia and the Levant--Muslim territory, for the most part. Islam therefore belongs to the East, though nothing like as definitively as Buddhism and Hinduism.
Check out Book 3 of Paradise Regained, where the Tempter takes the Savior up to the top of a high mountain and shows him all the lands of "the East"--what we would nowadays call Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan. ("Assyria and her empire's ancient bounds, / Araxes and the Caspian lake, thence on / As far as Indus east, Euphrates west, / And oft beyond; to south the Persian bay, / And inaccessible the Arabian drouth..." To my mind, these and the following are among the loveliest lines in all of English literature.) The Tempter asks the Saviour how, supposing He could get control of Palestine, his rule could survive "Between two such enclosing enemies, / Roman and Parthian? Therefore one of these / Thou must make sure thy own..." Look at the world-view there. In the center, Jerusalem; to the west, Rome; to the east, what is now the Islamic heartland. That agrees with your point; and yet, the implication is of civilizational unity at a deep level. All sprang from the soil of the Fertile Crescent; no European--certainly not Milton--would have spoken of China, or India, or sub-Saharan Africa in those terms.
Posted at 11:04 AM
GAY MARRIAGE [John Derbyshire]
Stanley: Speaking personally, a necessary, though not sufficient, condition for me to support "gay marriage" would be a sure knowledge, based on reliable statistics, that homosexual unions are not much less stable than marriages currently are. If homosexual unions are much less stable than marriages, then I can't see how it can be denied that including such unions within the scope of socially-recognized marriage would weaken marriage. Are there actually any reliable statistics here? Given the difficulty of defining "union," and the agendas of everyone involved, it is possible that there aren't. If there are, though, I'd very much like to know what they tell us.
Posted at 10:56 AM
THE MARKETING OF A PRESIDENT'S WIFE [Jonah Goldberg]
Here's another glimpse into the PR strategy of the Hillary book rollout. The Washington Post story on the political arguments in Hillary's book is quite interesting. Apparently Senator Clinton believes the Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court is a raving zealot and hack. But we haven't heard about that in all of the interviewsk, and now we kind of know why. According to the Post, Mrs. Clinton "declined to be interviewed about the political content of her book."
That's different than saying she declined to be interviewed. Rather, if the Post wanted to ask her about Monica Lewinsky or her "zone of privacy" mumbo-jumbo, Hillary would have said yes.
Isn't it odd that a feminist standard-bearer and US Senator refuses to discuss the political content of her new book? Maybe that's because she only wants to discuss her private life and her alleged victimhood. And the reason for that is this whole thing is political theater. One wonders what ground rules she set for other interviews.
Posted at 10:54 AM
BTW/FTR [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
I did not post in response to Jonah's echo check. :-)
Posted at 10:34 AM
GOOD STUFF [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Watch Peter Robinson's Uncommon Knowledge on PBS (produced by Hoover) in the old Firing Line slot. Good guests, great interviewer, constructive debate. On their site right now there is streaming video and transcript from Peter's interview with our Victor Davis Hanson here. And read my interview with VDH from earlier in the week, if you missed it, too--and buy the book, worth reading. As if he wasn't a leader on international issues, domestic too--and the most contentious, too!)
Posted at 10:24 AM
ECHO! [Jonah Goldberg]
Posted at 10:01 AM
HELLLLLLLLOOOOO! [Jonah Goldberg]
Posted at 09:59 AM
Friday, June 13, 2003
FOR THE RECORD [Jonah Goldberg]
I wasn't really trying to offend or even tweak Derb with the whole Islam-West thing. Rather, I just thought it would be a fun thing to debate, that's all. It didn't even occur to me that it might seem otherwise until I read a few emails from readers surprised that I would "go after" Derb that way.
Posted at 06:09 PM
MORE ON CALDWELL [Ramesh Ponnuru]
I agree with Clyde Wayne Crews Jr. that private-sector approaches to combatting spam should be thoroughly tried before we even talk about federal regulation. But my biggest objection to Caldwell’s piece is his discussion of Internet taxes. Caldwell writes that “it is. . . a social necessity that the principle of taxing the Internet be established soon. This will mean retiring the (in retrospect) absurdly named Internet Tax Freedom Act of 1998, which placed a moratorium on certain Internet taxes, and was extended in 2001 until November of this year.”
He continues, “It was always unfair not to tax business on the Internet, of course. There is no reason that Amazon.com should enjoy a pricing advantage (a de facto government subsidy) over a corner bookstore. But the most damaging part of the moratorium turns out to have been the most innocent-looking: that it banned charges for Internet access. Something like e-mail "postage" will be required if we are going to change the economic incentives that have invited pornographers, snake-oil salesmen, and other social predators into Americans' living rooms. . .”
The clear implication is that the Internet tax moratorium bars taxes on online sales. It does not. Chris Cox, a Republican congressman from California and a leading sponsor of the moratorium, emphasized this point in a conference call today on his efforts to make the moratorium permanent. (He also expressed some annoyance with Caldwell’s failure to contact him before writing the piece.) The moratorium touches online sales taxes only insofar as it bars “multiple and discriminatory” taxes on online sales. There has to be an offline analogue to any sales tax levied on Internet purchases. (The moratorium also let existing taxes that violate the bill’s principles stand.)
The real issue on Internet taxes has always been whether Congress should authorize the states to work together to tax one another’s citizens. That’s what Walmart (which is the real lobbying muscle behind that “corner bookstore”) wants: An Internet sales-tax cartel of the states, in which Amazon would have to help every state in the union collect sales taxes and in which a Maryland resident could no longer avoid Maryland’s sales-tax rates by shopping somewhere else.
Cox confesses that he cannot makes heads or tails of Caldwell’s tax-against-spam proposal. Nothing in his moratorium would seem to bar an Internet service provider from imposing such a levy if it thought customers would find the trade-off acceptable.
Cox thinks that there is a 90 percent chance that the Internet tax moratorium will be made permanent this year. Limited though the moratorium is, that’s a good thing.
Posted at 04:33 PM
CANADA & GAY MARRIAGE [Stanley Kurtz]
In response to my piece on Canadian gay marriage, Andrew Sullivan argues that the Canadian public actually favors same-sex marriage. I’ve seen different reports on this, some of which describe a slight majority in favor of gay marriage, and some of which say that the Canadian public is evenly split. But the larger point is that judges do not have a right to legislate by poll. The democratic process is the place for that. Were there a chance for a real democratic debate on the gay marriage issue, folks like myself would have a chance to make their case to the public that there are real and legitimate public policy concerns that tell in favor of retaining the current definition of marriage. That’s what democratic debate is all about. But with the media and the courts controlled by those who do not want such a debate to take place, a real decision by the public is rendered impossible. Fortunately, the Federal Marriage Amendment campaign in the United States will give us a chance for a genuine policy debate on this issue, however much the courts attempt to legislate behind the backs of the public.
Posted at 02:17 PM
COMMENCEMENT ADDRESSES [Jonah Goldberg]
Thanks for all the kind words about my Hillsdale address -- and for all the advice about how to give one. Several people have sent me this address by Conan O'Brien. If you never read it, it's really great.
Posted at 02:16 PM
WOW. [Jonah Goldberg]
Having seen Ramesh Ponnuru on scotch -- once or twice, during his bachelor days -- he looks a lot different than I would have expected on drugs.
Posted at 01:49 PM
THIS IS RAMESH PONNURU ON DRUGS [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Posted at 01:33 PM
ANDREW SULLIVAN [Ramesh Ponnuru]
clarifies the evolution of his views on Europe.
Posted at 01:30 PM
CLARIFICATION PLEASE [Jonah Goldberg]
I'm reading Derb's review of The Man Who Would Be Queen: The Science of Gender-Bending and Transsexualism in the lasted NRODT and he writes:
Religion, to which most non-Randian conservatives are at least well disposed, adds another complicating factor, since the sacred texts of all three major Western monotheistic faiths proscribe homosexuality in unambiguous terms.
I assume that Derb means Judaism, Christianity and Islam. So here's my question: Is Islam a religion of the West? Seriously, I'm just curious. We've always referred to the core of the Islamic world as "the Middle East." Whenever we talk about the "West and the rest" or the Clash of Civilizations etc, we separate the Islamic world and the Western world. Obviously, there are plenty of Muslims living in the West, but that's a relatively new development. And simply because they're in the West now, does that make them "Western" in orientation? We've got plenty of Budhists here now too and they ain't "Western."
Posted at 01:11 PM
HELP STILL WANTED [Jonah Goldberg]
A number of readers (particularly desperate college kids) are asking if I've filled the position of researcher that I mentioned a while ago. The short answer is I haven't and if you're interested you should send info to GFileCorrections@aol.com. The reason I haven't filled the position is that I'm looking to get an office somewhere, preferably at a think tank. Between the baby and working wife (and dog) at home and my need for a disciplined regime to write this book amidst all my other committements, I really want some place I can go to do it (that doesn't charge me rent). So, if I find a place that has room for me, I may need to arrange whatever research assistance I get through that insititution. If I end up working out of the house, then the whole dynamic changes -- in terms of how much (or how little I can pay) and whether the person even needs to be in DC. In case you're wondering, I'm writing this here so I don't have to write it 100 times to different emailers.
Posted at 12:57 PM
NO G-FILE TODAY [Jonah Goldberg]
Technical issues having to do with Monkey Pox. There will be two items from me on Monday. Indeed, Monday should be a pretty exciting day around "here." Quotations marks are required because this place does not in fact exist in space and time.
Posted at 12:43 PM
PRO-LIFE DRUDGE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Matt Drudge talking with Camille Paglia in Radar magazine:
Oh, yeah. I'm a prolife conservative who doesn't want the government to tax me. There are issues that I'm so frightened of—1.2 million abortions a year scares the hell out of me. Oftentimes when I see these superstorms forming, you know, sometimes—I wouldn't be honest if I didn't think it was retribution. I also am opposed to big government. Now, you would argue: Well, how could you support a government interfering with the rights of a woman over her own body? But I would argue: No. That all life is sacred. Abortion is the issue that really motivates me.
Posted at 12:14 PM
FATHER’S DAY [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
We have two pieces from funny guys, Dave Konig and Bruce Stockler. (And we’re all in the family this week, with Susan Konig on racy chick mags yesterday.)
Posted at 11:16 AM
ACT NOW--WIN A FREE BROOKHISER BOOK! [NRO Staff]
Simon & Schuster is holding a contest: Win a copy of Rick Brookhiser's new book, Gentleman Revolutionary: Gouverneur Morris, the Rake Who Wrote the Constitution.
Go here to answer some questions (there is a LITTLE work involved) that could get you a step closer to a free Brookhiser book! Act quickly--supplies are limited.
Posted at 10:55 AM
THE MUCH-TALKED-ABOUT CHRIS CALDWELL SPAM REBUTTAL IS HERE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Posted at 10:44 AM
RE: 666 [Jonah Goldberg]
I don't know, and frankly, don't care much about the issue. Let federalism reign! Even when it comes to diabolical road names. But I do like John's attempt to give a news peg by linking this to Gregory Peck in the Omen. So, let's make with the reproductive cloning posts since Peck also starred in The Boys From Brazil. And surely Roger Clegg can find a link to "To Kill a Mocking Bird." Adler -- something about the fisheries pegged to Moby Dick. I don't know what, but I have sense Derbyshire could do something with Old Gringo. Brookhiser: Night People. For the drug legalization crowd, there's 12 O'Clock High. Michael Ledeen surely has something to say about Roman Holiday (Ledeen's an Italian scholar). There's even something for Cosmo: Pork Chop Hill.
Posted at 10:30 AM
NOBODY REALLY BELIEVES THIS STUFF [Roger Clegg]
Interesting article in the Wall Street Journal today about how even the supporters of affirmative action don’t think much of the “diversity” rationale (a point that has been made on NRO, too. The diversity argument is described by them as “’a Johnny-come-lately afterthought,’” “’offensive to students of color,’” and “suffer[ing] from flawed analysis and weak social-science research.” Even Professor Patricia Gurin—who did the social-science survey on which the University of Michigan (in the cases now pending before the Supreme Court) relied for the proposition that diversity improves educational outcomes—is cited in the article as sounding lukewarm about the rationale. Yet, to justify racial discrimination, the law is that an argument must be not only plausible but “compelling”!
Posted at 10:23 AM
GAY MARRIAGE AND PROMISCUITY [Stanley Kurtz]
Gay-marriage advocates often argue that marriage will reduce the gay male tendency toward promiscuous sex. I have often suggested that a different and more disturbing effect is more likely. Since many of even the most committed and stable gay relationships are sexually open, there is a danger that gay marriage will help to break the now taken-for-granted connection between marriage and monogamy. For an interesting foreshadowing of this effect, consider the recent piece in Salon by Michael Alvear. Alvear’s take on the Clinton scandal is that straights need to lighten up about marital infidelity and model their marriages on the sexually open relationships so familiar to gays. This is exactly the sort of thing I have suggested we will be seeing plenty of after gay marriage is legalized. But after legalization, instead of someone like Alvear saying that straight marriages ought to follow the example of gay relationships, he’ll be able to say that straight marriages ought to become more like gay marriages. That’s going to make it very tough to communicate the meaning of marital fidelity to a new generation. For details on Alvear’s piece, see the critique by blogger Tom Sylvester.
Posted at 10:11 AM
666 [John J. Miller]
Andrew: I'm an agnostic, so to speak, on changing the name of Rte. 666. Agree that it might be a nifty place to visit--if only to say you've had the experience of driving on the devil's highway. Not sure I'd want to live there, though, and have some sympathy for locals who find it uncomfortable. Imagine if your name was Damien. (Bonus news hook: Gregory Peck, may he RIP, starred in The Omen.)
Posted at 10:08 AM
THE BELGIES [Jonah Goldberg]
I'm totally behind Rummy's swat at the Belgians yesterday. But, it seems to me, we could solve this whole Belgian court problem quite easily. The Belgians claim their courts have jurisdiction over our government officials and military officers. Fine. We should simply declare that we do not recognize this law and that any attempt to detain, abduct or arrest an American official -- current or former -- will be seen as an act of piracy and kidnapping and hence tantamount to an act of war. Who cares what laws they pass? If Iran said it has a law that justifies jailing Dick Cheney would we say "Oh, we didn't know that. Can we send him care packages?" No, we'd unload the Arsenal of Democracy on 'em. I don't think we need to declare war on Belgium or anything. But there's no harm in making it clear that if they lay a finger on one of our guys it will spell bad news for the Belgies. Period.
Posted at 09:55 AM
ROUTE 666 [Andrew Stuttaford]
John, not only is that superstitious nonsense, but it's a shame. Route 666 (at least the New Mexico portion of it) is a splendidly bleak drive and the thought that it is the 'Devil's Highway' only adds to the charm. Start in Gallup after a good night at the weird and wonderful El Rancho Hotel (Ronald Reagan stayed there too!) and then drive north past the eerie rock formation that gives Shiprock, NM its name.
But wait, it's Friday 13th today - I must go and take some precautions.
Posted at 09:09 AM
CHE! [Andrew Stuttaford]
Che Guevara was a good-looking guy with a crackpot - and malevolent -ideology, a mass murderer who became a cult hero.
Here’s a much-needed antidote from the New York Observer.
Posted at 06:45 AM
EU-CONOMICS [Andrew Stuttaford]
In Euroland, it’s even worse. The lunacy of a one size fits all currency has played no small part in Germany’s gathering economic crisis. Here’s a fascinating (but lengthy – be warned!) piece by Adam Posen that argues that Germany may be going the same way as Japan. It’s a thought-provoking read. Some of the conclusions are a little zany – the notion, for example, that the EU bureaucracy could still be the force for economic liberalization that it once (sort of) was is no longer realistic. The mandarins of Brussels may dislike the nation state, but they are still irredeemably statist.
Here's an extract:
“Until 1999 Germany monetary policy was quite flexible and helped stabilize the real economy, while German fiscal policy was well within G-7 norms for counter-cylicality. Since European monetary unification at the start of 1999, however, German monetary policy has been set by the European Central Bank, and German fiscal policy has been constrained by the eurozone’s Stability and Growth Pact. With the ECB replacing the Bundesbank, Germany has suffered from a centrally set monetary policy aimed at the eurozone in general, rather than set to its own needs. While the German inflation rate has averaged 1.5 percent annually since January 1, 1999 and averaged just below zero percent over the last six months of 2002, the ECB has been reluctant to cut interest rates, referring to harmonized inflation rates above the 2 percent target.”
The result? Germany's rates are too high and the country may be looking at raising taxes and cutting spending at exactly the moment that it tips over into deflation.
Via blogger Brad DeLong.
Posted at 06:42 AM
TRIPLE SIX [John J. Miller]
The federal government recently changed the name of Route 666, in Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah, to Route 640. The governors of those states petitioned Washington for the change, claiming that the small towns along the "triple six," as some of the locals call it, suffered economically because too many people were creeped out by "the number of the beast" appearing on roadsigns. Can an ACLU lawsuit be far behind? In a travel artice today, the New York Times describes the road. It also includes this interesting paragraph: "South Korea added seven soldiers to its original Iraq contingent to bring the total to a noncontroversial 673. Moscow's bus route 666 became 616 in 1999. Even the United States government, which has a policy against switching Social Security numbers for religious reasons, agreed in 1996 to issue a new one for a 1-year-old girl in Orange County, Calif., whose parents refused to list her 666 on their income taxes."
Posted at 05:43 AM
Thursday, June 12, 2003
GOP BIG SPENDERS? [Andrew Stuttaford]
Is Bush spending too much money? Possibly. It may be heresy to say so (at least around here), but there is one area where the Feds may not be spending enough, and that’s in helping the states through their current fiscal crises. There’s no doubt that the states went on an irresponsible spending binge in the 1990s, and there’s no doubt that repeated federal bail-outs of the states run the risk of creating a significant moral hazard, but government is about facing matters as they are – not as they should be. There must be a significant danger that any chance of a sustained recovery will be choked off by a forced contraction in the states’ spending and/or tax increases at the local level as the states confront their budgetary shambles. Raising taxes and cutting spending at this stage in the economic cycle makes very little sense and may well offset the stimulative effect of tax cuts at the federal level. The administration, however, doesn't seem too concerned.
It should be.
Posted at 11:53 PM
HILLARY'S BOOK SALES [Rick Brookhiser]
Without disputing any general points about publisher's hype, it is possible to track daily book sales now. Disclosure: My publisher, The Free Press, is part of Simon & Schuster. Further disclosure: For some reason, the sales of Gentleman Revolutionary are lagging a bit behind Mrs. Clinton, but with a little help from Cornerites, I'm sure we can catch her.
Posted at 11:29 PM
OBITUARIES [Andrew Stuttaford]
Obituaries, sports pages for the morbid among us, are one of life’s pleasures – someone else outlived!
This event must have been to die for.
Posted at 11:27 PM
LOITERING? [Andrew Stuttaford]
The Nurse’s terror continues.
Posted at 11:23 PM
JOHN PAUL JONES [Rick Brookhiser]
Gouverneur Morris attended a dinner in Paris where Jones met the son of the laird of a Scottish castle that he had raided during the Revolutionary War. When Jones realized that his men had taken the family silver, he sent it back. At the Paris dinner years later, the young nobleman thanked him for his "polite attention." Sure sounds like Hamas to me.
Posted at 10:28 PM
HILLARY'S BOOK CONT'D [Jonah Goldberg]
Posted at 05:26 PM
WELCOME ABOARD [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Andrew Sullivan has a nice article in the New Republic on the threat that a united Europe poses to American interests. He believes that it is wishful thinking to expect new members to make the EU and looser and more liberal federation. But there are, he thinks, a few steps the United States can take. “Above all, the United States can let its most reliable European ally, Britain, know that it prizes the relationship, that it does not necessarily believe British adoption of the euro is a good or necessary thing, and that it values Britain’s independent military capacity immensely. Keeping Britain both in the USE and outside of it militarily, diplomatically, and monetarily should become a prime U.S. objective in foreign policy. Without it, the United States could lose its most valuable military and diplomatic ally.”
This is a bit of change from 1996, when Sullivan was recommending in the same magazine that Britain pursue “the project of a liberal, federal Europe” and bashing the “romantic isolationism” that led Margaret Thatcher to say, well, the sort of things that Sullivan is saying now. He wrote then: “The truth. . . is that the United States has no interest any longer in a particularly ‘special’ relationship with Britain; and certainly not in a relationship ‘special’ enough to prefer to a bond with a core group of European states, headed by Germany, or with the growing markets of China and Asia. . . . [T]he most natural and challenging role for Britain in the future is staring it in the face: the economic and political liberalization—the Americanization, if you will—of European institutions. . . . [T]here is no reason not to join a common currency.” It appears that 9/11 and all that has followed it has awoken Sullivan, as it has many others.
Posted at 05:04 PM
OUTSIDE NRDC [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
The Roll Call photo.
Posted at 04:35 PM
TAUNTING E-MAILS [Rich Lowry]
Have been getting--understandably--taunting e-mails like this one: "Dear Yankee, We tried to find a pitcher you could hit but unfortunately the game ended too quickly (you know, what with you only having 28 outs and all)..." In my funk last night, I tried to guess today's NYPost headline. Here were my candidates:
Say it ain’t NO!
The Post went with "OH, NO-NO!"
Posted at 04:22 PM
THANKS... [Rich Lowry]
...so much for all the "military chic" e-mails. Bottom-line: it's a long-running trend that has probably been accelerated a bit by the war. E-mail:
"It inevitably goes in waves. Every few seasons designers (such as Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors, etc.) seem to revive military chic in some format - epaulets on jackets, more severe-style tailoring, fabric choices (wool in navy, olive, nylon), etc. You could argue that your trend spotting is derived from the late-80s revival (which did lots of military-style garb courtesy of Reagan vs. Russians era) now in vogue, though Azzedine Alaia dresses are more what is being pushed in that regard. Could argue that it is the ultimate evolution of Prada's black nylon bags that started gaining in popularity in the late 1990s and are now virtually iconic to fashionistas, but which also have pushed the desirability of utilitarian style (which will always promote a military aesthetic) into the general consciousness, or simply a consequence of the widespread wearing of khakis, a fabric that inherently lends itself to military-related design. Or, yeah, the fact that there's a war on."
Posted at 04:17 PM
DO-IT-TO-'EM-DEPORTATION [Jonah Goldberg]
We disagree on some immigration stuff. But I think it's an interesting point. But it seems to me that it's easy to deport illegal Arabs and Muslims during a war on terrorism. The politics change completely when you start talking about deporting illegal Mexicans. I'm not saying that illegal Pakistanis are more or less "deserving" of deportation than illegal Mexicans or El Salvadorans. But as a political matter they're just very different things.
Posted at 04:14 PM
DO-IT-YOURSELF DEPORTATION [Rich Lowry]
I've been reading a lot about the welfare and crime in the 1990s, and the essential point about them is that almost no social trend is inevitable. If society cares enough to send a different signal it can change decades long, seemingly intractable trends, such as rising welfare dependency and crime. It just may be that the same is true of large-scale illegal immigration, which we all accept as inevitable. An amazing story over the last two years is that if you deport a few Pakistani illegals--OK, maybe a few thousand--huge numbers of other Pakistani illegals will leave voluntarily because they get the hint. This theory should be tried in California and Arizona--I'm guessing if 1,000 illegals from Mexico and Latin America were deported tomorrow in a high-profile action it would have a huge effect on the in-flow of more illegals. As I wrote in my column earlier this week (look mom, no bleg!), it is understandable that our enforcement focus is now on Muslims and Arabs, but over the long-term immigration laws must, as a matter of fundamental fairness, apply to everyone.
Posted at 04:04 PM
BUCKLEY ON TV [Julie Crane]
WFB will discuss WMD with Chris Matthews on "Hardball" tonight.
Posted at 03:46 PM
HOW MANY BOOKS DID SHE SELL? [John Derbyshire]
Jonah: The first time I published a book I asked my agent: "How do I know how many copies I've sold? How do I know if the publisher's figures are true?" He: "Well, you could stand out on the loading dock back of the print shop for a few months, counting them out and counting the returns in..."
Posted at 03:22 PM
THE MAN WHO WOULD BE LATE [John Derbyshire]
Yes, it's true: NRODT really did assign me to review Michael Bailey's book about effeminate men. I urge you to do one, or better yet both, of the following: (a) get a subscription to NRODT so you can read my review, or (b) buy Michael's book. As well as the obvious reasons to buy it (it's a good book, full of fascinating observations and, so far as I could discern, agenda-free), there is also the fact that Michael, the nicest guy you could ever wish to meet, and a very conscientious researcher, is being vilified by militant trans-gender extremists. Here is an anecdote about the book. It happens that Michael and I share the same publisher. We had adjoining tables at Book Expo America in Los Angeles the other day. The drill is, you get half an hour at a table in a huge hall, where people line up in front of the tables to get a free book (this is a trade show) signed by the author. It's all timed very precisely by the organizers, as they have a LOT of authors to get through. Well, I was waiting in the green room with my publisher's publicity lady, to do my signing at 12:30. Michael was scheduled to sign at the same time, but he was late. It got to be 12:15, 12:20, and the publicity lady was getting worried. Derb: "I sure hope he gets here on time. A long line of angry transsexuals doesn't bear thinking about..." Fortunately Michael showed up with a minute to spare.
Posted at 03:21 PM
THEY'RE LYING [Jonah Goldberg]
I'm really trying to avoid getting too mired in the Hillary book drek, but I have to say I think Simon and Schuster is lying. I've talked to a couple people in publishing and I know a little about the trade myself and too much sounds fishy. For example:
The "leak" to the Associated Press was bogus and almost certainly came from Simon and Schuster. It helped book sales, generated buzz and was timed perfectly. The idea that they were angry didn't pass the laugh test.
Simon and Schuster claims they printed 1 million copies. People I've talked to say this is probably a lie.
Simon and Schuster claimed yesterday that they sold 20 percent or 200,000 copies of the book on its first day. Not only do I think this is impossible, given purely anecdotal information, I'm confident it is impossible that Simon and Schuster could actually know if they sold that many books. Such numbers are notoriously difficult to collect months after the fact. The idea that S&S got same-day data strikes me as bizarre. How come we've never gotten same day info like this before? Will we ever get it again? I don't think so.
If they really printed 1 million copies, why does S&S need to order another 300,000 copies? Why is it saying that they're making another reprint order next week on top of that? Surely, they don't think the 800,000 books remaining on the shelves constitutes a low supply?
I think this is all a very well-orchestrated campaign to create the impression of a much greater groundswell than actually exists. Hillary's motive for this is obvious. She needs to appear extremely popular. Simon and Schuster had to do it this way because -- other than the three or four leaked (dishonest) paragraphs about her finding out about Monica from Bill -- there is actually zero interesting, controversial or salacious material in the book. If you can't sell the book because of the content, you've got to sell the event. I think it's a con and I would love to see one of the breathless reporters covering Hillary actually do some truth-squad work on this.
Posted at 02:49 PM
MORE BOOKS! MORE SIGNINGS! [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
TechCentralStation Editor & Honorary Cornerite Nick Schulz knows how to make Washington work. He ims:
Count me among those who are extremely grateful Hillary wrote her book. Her book tour means she's not on Capitol Hill making this train wreck of a piece of legislation on Medicare and prescription drugs any worse than it's shaping up to be. Now if only Republicans would write books and get off Capitol Hill, too, so they don't make this piece of garbage worse.
Posted at 02:35 PM
MORE FROM THE HILLARY FANS [Meghan Keane]
Our D.C. intern, James Justin Wilson, was downstairs, too, and asked some fun questions, too:
Do you trust Hillary? "I don't trust any politicians. Well, I guess I have to trust my boss (an unnamed US Senator), but that is about it."
Posted at 02:21 PM
WHAT I HEARD AT THE BOOK SIGNING [Meghan Keane]
Despite the chants of "Bush is a liar!" wafting up to our window, no one seemed to mind White House lies between 1992 and 2000. What follows is a smattering of our favorite quotes from conversations this morning:
Does it matter that Bill cheated? "Oral sex is not a sin."
Posted at 01:56 PM
DOWN WITH THE VILLAGERS [ Meghan Keane]
Kathryn, I just got back from talking to some of the crowd outside Trover's downstairs. Hundreds of people stood in the blistering sun to meet the pastel-suited former First Lady for ten seconds. They are definitely not NR readers, but most of them will talk to you anyway, even after you ID yourself. Though, after your conversation, if my experience is any indication, they'll probably mistake it for The New Republic.
Posted at 01:55 PM
GREGORY PECK... [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
...has died. He was 87
Posted at 01:42 PM
TIME FOR A CUPPA? [Andrew Stuttaford]
Here's a story about an important new website.
Posted at 01:37 PM
TIME FOR THE WARSAW PACT [Andrew Stuttaford]
Reuters is reporting that the US will block further spending on NATO's new headquarters in Brussels because of a Belgian law that gives Belgian courts the power to try foreigners for 'human rights crimes' regardless of whether those crimes have any connection with Belgium. Donald Rumsfeld is quoted as saying that "It would obviously not be easy for US officials...to come to Belgium for meetings. Therefore our position is that it would not make much sense to build a new headquarters if they can't come here for meetings".
Quite right. Warsaw, I'm sure, would be more than pleased to fill the gap.
Posted at 01:37 PM
BOO HOO [Andrew Stuttaford]
Diamond Giscard's crooked attempt to slip in a last minute clause (draft Article 24) to the draft constitution that would effectively give ministers (rather than national parliaments) the right to abolish national vetoes in various key areas continues to embarrass Britain's Labour Government. Peter Hain, Downing Street's envoy to the constitutional 'convention' (he's the man notorious for describing the proposed constitution as a 'tidying-up' operation) is reiterating his opposition to Article 24, but the atmosphere at the convention has obviously turned nasty. Fanatics don't like being thwarted.
The Daily Telegraph notes that, "as tempers frayed at the final session of 105-strong forum, Mr Hain was booed for pledging defiantly that the Government would never agree to give up the veto on foreign policy or taxation." Charming.
The British government has the power to veto this whole wretched constitution. It should now do so.
Posted at 01:36 PM
HELLO, HELLO? CALLING THE D.C. OFFICE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
So Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton is right now signing books in the same building as the NR D.C. office. No one has mentioned it. Are you all down there?!
Posted at 12:38 PM
GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS [Roger Clegg]
The good news is that, in Maryland, Lt. Gov. Michael Steele is urging the state to move away from race-based contracting preferences. “I do not believe in the segregation of the work forces,” said Steele, an African American, to the Baltimore Business Journal. “We don’t want to stigmatize a business before it gets out of the starting block. We want fair and equal opportunity and access to bid on and receive the benefits for a state contract.”
The bad news is that common scold Martha Burk has succeeded in persuading a group of Democratic lawmakers to introduce federal legislation that would make it illegal to take income-tax deductions for expenses at private clubs that exclude women. Whatever you think of male-only clubs, clearly the federal government has no business trying to coerce them into changing their policies.
Posted at 12:06 PM
THE CALDWELL BACKLASH [Jonah Goldberg]
I'm told our spam piece will be up tomorrow. Here TechCentralStation weighs in.
Posted at 11:58 AM
THEY CHANGED IT [ Jonah Goldberg ]
Maybe all this stuff about the power of blogs and the influence of NRO is for real. The excerpt I posted below is now gone from the obit that's up there. Good thing I saved a copy of the original or I'd have no proof.
Posted at 11:34 AM
A NEW EUPHEMISM FOR LIBERAL [Jonah Goldberg]
At the end of the ABCNews.com obit for David Brinkley it says:
Sandwiched between conservative George Will and outspoken Sam Donaldson, Brinkley was the objective moderator. But he revealed a bit of himself at the end of each show in a short commentary. "
So conservative over here, "outspoken" over there, objective in the middle. What else could "outspoken" mean? Of course, I kind of like the implication. No ideas, no ideology: just a lot of loud talking.
Posted at 11:20 AM
SUMMER READING LIST [John J. Miller]
Summertime is here and so, as usual, I’m hoping to read a bunch of novels, many of them light. I finished North of Nowhere by Steve Hamilton a couple of weeks ago; it’s his latest paperback and his best book since his debut. Falls in the private-eye genre. What I like most is the setting, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula on the shores of Lake Superior. Started reading Lord of the Flies by William Golding the other day and should knock it off soon; haven’t read it in 15 years and am enjoying once again. The difference now is that I have my own children, which makes the story more poignant. Teachers often assign Lord of the Flies in school because they think kids will relate to the characters, but it’s really a book for grown-ups. Next year is the 50th anniversary of its publication. I’d like to get to a pair of other Golding novels, The Inheritors and The Spire. Also on my list is Mystic River by Dennis Lehane. If I like it, I may go for his new one, Shutter Island, which is winning rave reviews. I plan to be one of the first people to read the next novel by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, Still Life with Crows. I’ve made reading Preston-Child books a summer-vacation ritual, as I explained last year on NRO. Finally, I hope to read a book Derb once recommended as a great war novel: The Cruel Sea, by Nicholas Monsarrat. I picked up a secondhand copy a while back and the thing glares at me daily from the shelf.
Posted at 10:56 AM
I'M WITH MARK [Jonah Goldberg]
Bush spends too much money. Period. This is one of the downsides of so-called compassionate conservatism, because inherent to the very concept is that the governmemt should do something to prove its "compassion." Combine this wih the Rovian desire to expand the Republican base to constituencies who want more -- rather than less -- from government and you have recipe for vast expansions in government spending. I think Bush is a good president and I think he's a conservative president. But he is also a big government president in many respects. There's less of a contradiction there than some think, by the way, but that's a conversation for another day.
Posted at 10:42 AM
ADELANTE CON ESTRADA [John J. Miller]
Here's a link to the poll of Hispanics on Estrada. Key points: 87 percent believe he should be confirmed, and 88 percent believe he deserves a vote. "Clearly, those who oppose Estrada are far out of the mainstream of Hispanic sentiment," says Raul Damas, the man behind the poll.
Posted at 10:33 AM
GEORGE W. BUSH, DEMAND-SIDER [Mark R. Levin]
It appears that President Bush is not only a supply-sider who supports tax cuts, but he's a demand-sider who supports massive new government spending.
President Bush opposed, and then supported, expanding federal spending for agriculture subsidies. He opposed, and then supported, repeated extentions of unemployment insurance. He joined with Ted Kennedy in massively increasing federal spending for education. He opposed, and then supported, federalizing tens of thousands of airport security personnel. He supported billions in subsidies to the airline industry. He opposed, and then supported, the establishment of a huge and cumbersome new bureaucracy to oversee homeland security. He's pressuring Republican House leaders to support a $10 billion gift to non-taxpayers in the form of child-tax-credit increases. He opposed, and now supports, an expensive expansion of the soon-to-be bankrupt Medicare program to include prescription drug subsidies to all seniors, regardless of ability to pay. Meanwhile, Social Security continues to pile up tens of billions in obligations, and the president has yet to submit to Congress a long-promised privatization program--once a domestic priority.
Boy, this "compassionate conservatism" is getting mighty expensive.
Posted at 10:27 AM
FLUSH TOILETS A DISASTER [ Jonah Goldberg ]
That's the topic for the Dry Toilet 2003 conference in Tampere, Finland.
Posted at 10:11 AM
JOHN PAUL JONES, TERRORIST?! [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
One of our interns in the NYC world headquarters of National Review, Carlos Ramos-Mrosovsky, has caught a winner. Here's what he writes:
In her review of Evan Thomas’s new biography on John Paul Jones, the New York Times’s Janet Maslin makes a shocking comment about America’s first naval hero: “Thus galvanized to commit feats of what now look like terrorism, he [John Paul Jones] challenged Britain's complacency about its naval power.”
Posted at 10:10 AM
DAVID BRINKLEY, DEAD AT 82 [Jonah Goldberg]
A real class act.
Posted at 10:03 AM
CORRECTION [Dave Kopel]
The American Propect weblog points out a serious error I made in my latest NRO article, which criticizes New York Times coverage of the gun issue. In that article, I wrote that the Francis X. Clines' Jan. 17, 2002, coverage of a shooting at the Appalachian School of Law failed to mention the fact that the law students who stopped the killer used their own handguns to do so. In fact, the article clearly explained that one of the students, a former police officer, " ran to his car for his bulletproof vest and service pistol before tackling the suspect." Accordingly, the Times on this story produce a more complete report than did many other publications, which omitted the fact of the gun. My error was sloppy and indefensible, a result of reading the Clines story too hurriedly. I apologize to Mr. Clines and the Times, and thank TAP for providing the correct facts.
Posted at 09:48 AM
SWEET MOTHER OF PEARL! [ Jonah Goldberg]
How does Erica Jong breathe up there? From the NY Observer:
"The woman [HRC] is stronger than Queen Elizabeth I of England, a greater strategist than Catherine the Great of Russia, braver than Boadicea or the Amazons of old. And yet the demands of fame in America are such that she has to grovel to the appalling level of reality TV to get our undivided attention. The fault, dear readers, is not in Hillary, but in our ghastly mass media, which only applauds brainy women when we are reduced to tears." -- Eric Jong (link via Andrew Sullivan)
Posted at 09:33 AM
HISPANICS BACK ESTRADA [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Posted at 08:16 AM
MORE ON BATTLESHIPS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Further corrections; a reader e-mails (actually, I have many emails along these lines overnight):
Sorry to correct even further, but ALL the battelships have been decommissioned. Wisconsin could possibly be re-commissioned, but Iowa, New Jersey and Missouri have been either damaged (Iowa, 1987 explosion) or demilitarized for museum display to an extent that they would be really, really hard to reactivate. Damn it.Here’s the Navy’s battleship-status list.
Posted at 07:41 AM
ROGER THAT! [John J. Miller]
A great column by Roger Kimball on the myth of Iraqi antiquity destruction, in today's Wall Street Journal. Read it here.
Posted at 07:34 AM
D.C. IMMIGRANTS [John J. Miller]
A minor reason why immigration reform may be so difficult to achieve: Immigrants in the D.C. area are the most successful foreign-born people in America, in terms of their English-speaking ability and poverty rates, according to a new study. Is it possible that many lawmakers (and others) in Washington receive a distorted view of the situation? I'm actually a supporter of generous immigration levels, but this made me wonder about causes and effects.
Posted at 07:02 AM
WHO KNEW? LARRY KING, PROBING JOURNALIST! [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Hillary Clinton’s answers were terrible, but Larry King wasn’t throwing her softballs. Here’s a sampling of his questions (and here is the transcript, in case you want to bother with her answers):
KING: Clear up something for us. You've written this details of how he told you, the morning he told you, the grand jury. Others are saying you had to know before. There's a book out that said David Kendall told you before. Now no one knows it better than you.
Posted at 06:35 AM
JUST MAKING SURE... [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
..you all read the Victor Davis Hanson Q&A.
Posted at 06:29 AM
AIN'T AFRAID OF NO SCHUMER [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
More Pryor highlights:
When Schumer asked Pryor whether he stands by an earlier comment calling the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion the "worst abomination in the history of constitutional law," Pryor said he still believes that.
Posted at 05:35 AM
PRYOR PILE-ON [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
From what I saw in some replays last night, Bill Pryor did a remarkable job yesterday in front of the rabidly hostile Senate Judiciary Committee. (Byron will have a piece later this morning.) Here’s a sense of what he was dealing with:
Schumer: "I am disappointed to say that [Judge Pryor] resembles the nine nominees I have voted against. In many ways he is an amalgamation of [Bush's recent nominees]. He looks like Sutton on states rights issues. And he looks like Kuhl and Owen on women's rights. He is a stitching together of the worst judges I have opposed."
Posted at 05:31 AM
PERLE ON THE IRANIAN MULLAHCRACY [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
"I think we should be encouraging its failure."
Posted at 05:12 AM
Wednesday, June 11, 2003
MONITORING FOREIGN SEAPORTS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
I think I kinda assumed we were doing this already.
Posted at 11:24 PM
I SPOKE TOO SOON [Jonah Goldberg]
The answer to Punkvoter.com: GOPunk.com
Posted at 11:19 PM
THIRD, THIRD AND A HALF, FOURTH INTERNATIONAL [Rick Brookhiser]
"When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things."
Posted at 11:19 PM
MY OTHER EMAIL [Jonah Goldberg]
There was an episode of Cheers where the gang goes bowling. Norm ducks into the bowling alley bar and the regulars there all shout "Norm!" When Norm returns to the Cheers gang, they ask what was up with that. He says, "I do have a life you know" -- or something like that. Well, I have another "life" as a syndicated columnist. I get very different email over there, because my syndicated column appears in newspapers around the country and hence is read by more liberals and the like than NRO (NRO has lots of liberal readers, but most of them tend to be people genuinely interested in reading the other side's point of view).
Anyway, my column on the DNC layoffs appeared in today's Philadelphia Inquirer. Here's a typical response:
Dear Right Wing Propaganda Tool,
Posted at 11:16 PM
THE NAME SAYS IT ALL [Jonah Goldberg ]
Posted at 11:03 PM
BATTLESHIP MEA CULPA [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
A reader corrects me:
First, let me say that I am a huge fan and faithful reader of all things NR. So it pains me to have to send this correction: There are no "battleships" currently deployed to the Persian Gulf, or anywhere else. A "battleship" is a specific type of warship, of which the U.S. Navy has only three that are currently commissioned (four, if you count the U.S.S. Missouri). All are essentially on display somewhere, and are not ready for active duty. Whenever I hear this, it sets my teeth to grinding at a furious rate. John Scott on FNC used this term so much, I had to go see the dentist. I have the same reaction to the term "fighter jets". It sounds like a fourth-grader talking. My teeth and I would be grateful (sorry) if you would pass this tidbit on to everyone else.
Posted at 10:31 PM
CARLOS MANUEL IN AMERICA [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
One of Cuba's most popular singers defects (and I heard it from CNN!).
Posted at 07:53 PM
LVHB? [Jonathan H. Adler]
That stands for "Link via Howard Bashman," as in How Appealing, the web's ultimate legal blog.
Posted at 05:58 PM
TITLE IX SURVIVES [Jonathan H. Adler]
The U.S. District Court for D.C. dismissed the lawsuit brought by male athletes and coaches against Title IX. The entire 100+ page opinion is available here. (LvHB)
Posted at 05:56 PM
PONNURU ON CALDWELL [Jonah Goldberg]
I like the idea that one can read something and end up knowing less about the subject matter afterwards. It reminds me of the "Trouble with Tribbles" episode of Star Trek where the animals starved to death by eating vast amounts of the poisoned quadrotriticale. Anyway, I agree there are big problems with the piece. I was really just trying to keep my powder dry until I wrote about it -- and be cordial to Caldwell. But I do think the piece is worth reading and I do think it's interesting. It's interesting because it further bolsters the complaint -- fair or unfair -- against the Standard as a champion of statist conservatism. It's worth reading because it reveals how one would go about fixing the problem (and I do think spam is a problem) once you decide that Uncle Sam is the right handyman.
Posted at 05:44 PM
RE: CALDWELL ON SPAM [Ramesh Ponnuru]
I'm generally a fan of Christopher Caldwell, but I cannot agree with Jonah's assessment that the article is worth reading even if you disagree with it. I think that by the time you finish it you know less about the subject, in important ways, than when you began. But I think NRO has a rebuttal in the works.
Posted at 05:32 PM
TYPO--APOLOGIES [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
In Byron's response to Larry Klayman in the letters section, Sen. Hatch is identified as a Democrat. That's completely my fault, and will be fixed in the morning (for complicated reasons, we can't until then). Meanwhile, apologies to the senator and to Byron. (No comments from the peanut gallery, please, on Freudian slips.)
Posted at 05:24 PM
ALLEGED QAEDA LEADER NABBED [Jonah Goldberg]
A German of Polish descent who converted to Islam nabbed by the French for a bombing in Tunisia. It's like Hell's version of a busy day at the Epcot Center.
Posted at 05:18 PM
MILITARY CHIC [Rich Lowry]
Couple of people have sent this: "From the Bill Murray movie "Stripes": `Pretty sweet. Free Clothing. Look at this. Chicks in New York pay top dollar for this stuff.'"
Posted at 05:02 PM
NON-DRIVING [Jonah Goldberg]
My dad hasn't had a license for 40 years. I didn't get mine until college. Just one more of many, many reasons NYC isn't like the rest of America.
Posted at 05:00 PM
THE REV & ME [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
WebLord Aaron Bailey is ribbing me, so full disclosure: I don't drive either. Can't legally. And just plain can't. But I am a native NYCer, just like The Rev, so perhaps I will cut him slack on the no-driving point.
Posted at 04:58 PM
RE: HILLARY [Jonah Goldberg]
Rick - All true. But the good news is she's already slipped to #3 on Amazon. Expect her book to disappear once the word of mouth gets out that it's as dull as she is.
Posted at 04:58 PM
HILLARY'S BOOK [Rick Brookhiser]
After a whirl of book promo, including several signings in DC area stores, I have seen many stacks of Mrs. Clinton's latest. A friend of mine in publishing told me he thought it was supremely dull. Note it well. Dull was how she became Senator from New York--plodding through upstate, saying wonkish earnest things. Dullness makes conservative critics look rabid (it helps that many of us are), and soothes the inattentive middle. Be very afraid. The former First Lady knows what she is doing, and does it very well.
Posted at 04:53 PM
CALDWELL ON SPAM [Jonah Goldberg]
Chris Caldwell has a very interesting cover story on email spam in the current Weekly Standard. I'm thinking about doing a G-File about web stuff, so I'll leave my quibbles for another time. But I do think it is worth reading even if I don't agree with all of it.
Posted at 04:35 PM
BETTER OFF? [Jonah Goldberg]
I just listened to CNN's Bill Schneider report on their latest polls on the Clintons. One item struck me as particularly silly. Schneider noted that 49% of Americans said that we are better off under George Bush than we were under Bill Clinton. Forty-six percent said we were better off under Clinton. Schneider seemed to be saying that this "tie" revealed a "wave of Clinton nostalgia" in part due to the Hillary book-blitz. Come on. It's certainly plausible for lots of folks to say that we were better off without a war on a terror and with a booming economy under Clinton than we are today. That hardly means people are nostalgic for Clinton. They might be nostalgic for the peace and prosperity (hollow though they might have been) of the 1990s. Meanwhile, hypothetical match-ups between Bush and Clinton have Bush winning by a mile.
Posted at 04:16 PM
GOOGLISM [Jonah Goldberg ]
You should also see what Google thinks about National Review Online.
Posted at 02:41 PM
GOOGLISMS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
This is amusing: VDH, Derb, Lowry…
Posted at 02:20 PM
SCAR OF RACE [John J. Miller]
Roger: The most interesting poll I've ever seen on race preferences came out about ten years ago and was published in a book called The Scar of Race. In it, whites were asked whether they agreed with certain black stereotypes, including negative ones, such as "blacks are lazy" and so forth. When these questions were posed, a certain percentage--in the 15 to 20 percent range, as I recall--agreed with the negative characterizations. At the same time, a different group of respondents was asked the same set of questions--right after they'd been bombarded with a bunch of questions about affirmative action and racial preferences. The result: The number of people agreeing with anti-black stereotypes shot way up. The conclusion: The existence of racial preferences encourages racism among whites, even among those who aren't predisposed to harboring it. That's just one more reason to hope the Supreme Court does the right thing with these two Michigan cases. The decisions are due by the end of this month.
Posted at 01:50 PM
MORE ABOUT ARNOLD [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
California pundit-type ims: "was at schwarzeneggar event last night. no doubt he's a candidate….he was pretty impressive…humorous, and tapped into his great rags to riches story with no false sense of humility….and the speech was stump-like."
Posted at 01:04 PM
HELP--MILITARY CHIC [Rich Lowry]
I noticed a pop-up ad the other day selling the Desert Hats our guys wear in Iraq. In the NYPost today there's a picture of Sex & the City star Kim Cattrall wearing one of those hats. The clothes shop across the street from me that features the latest women's urban-wear (and that hitherto hasn't been associated with patriotic themes) is selling camouflage U.S. Army T-shirts. I've walked by stores in the city with camouflage jeans and belts in their windows. My keen fashion sense tells me: This must be a trend. If you've noticed similar things, or if--more importantly--you know anyone who follows fashion who I could talk to about this, I'd love to hear from you.
Posted at 12:53 PM
HOW MANY PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES CAN'T DRIVE? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
The Rev don't drive. (scroll to seventh item)
Posted at 12:10 PM
HEARD THIS ONE BEFORE? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
A Palestinian suicide bomber attacks, kills, and injures innocents on a bus in Jerusalem. Israel retaliates by aiming at Hamas leaders in Gaza. Wonder who will get the brunt of the condemnation....
Posted at 11:51 AM
MORE PFAW [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
I, um, probably should have tried this myself so I would have only had to post once about it. Another e-mailer suggests you, um, change the subject line:
Subj: Please Support the Nomination of William Pryor Date: 6/10/2003 11:53:56 PM Central Daylight Time From: @aol.com To: @aol.com Sent from the Internet (Details)
Posted at 10:59 AM
DURANTY [Jonah Goldberg]
Posted at 10:58 AM
THE CHINESE MILITARY [Jonah Goldberg]
From military guy:
"...the Chinese are looking at a cut that is more people than we have on active duty in the Army right now. Yet it's only a 20% cut.
Posted at 10:51 AM
THE PROBLEM WITH BEING CLEVER [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
A few emailers warn re: PFAW editing:
I just did the PFAW edit change, and had them send me a copy, as I was curious if there was a way they would get around it. Although the writing of my e-mail remained in support of the nomination, the subject line in the e-mail remained PLEASE OPPOSE THE NOMINATION, which I gather is as far as my senator's handlers will read.
Posted at 10:48 AM
RE: BOMBING [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
At least 30 casualties, is what is being reported on the news channels. Seems to me with every one of these, the Bush investment, going over for the Sharm summit, looks more and more unwise, politically.
Posted at 10:47 AM
BUS BOMBING IN ISRAEL [Jonah Goldberg]
Posted at 10:37 AM
HAMAS [Jonah Goldberg]
I'm generally in favor of the Middle East roadmap even though I'm deeply pessimistic about its success. But I've got to say I've got serious sympathy for Israel in this Hamas attack thing. If killing admitted leaders of a terrorist organization fully committed to the destruction of your nation can be denounced as terrorism then, well, Israel is doomed. I understand that Abu Mazen is supposed to be taking care of Hamas. And as a tactical matter I can understand the argument that Israel's attack was counter-productive. But spare me the notion that going after a leader of Hamas is the same as blowing up a pizza parlor. Imagine how'd we take such denunciations for attacking a leader of al Qaeda.
Posted at 10:24 AM
ARNOLD MEETS THE CLUB FOR GROWTH [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Posted at 10:14 AM
THE MUSEUM & WMD [Jonah Goldberg]
Now that much of the anti-war crowd believes the war was only about WMD -- and hence would be justified by its discovery --- I am particularly delighted by this museum story. Remember how the ransacking of the Baghdad Museum was the single and central criticism of the war? Well, now that's it's clear that story was bogus, where will the left run if and when the WMD are found? See Howie Kurtz today for a good take down .
Posted at 10:08 AM
LATEST POLL ON RACE PREFERENCES [Roger Clegg]
This week yet another poll has been released showing that racial preferences in college admissions are very unpopular with all Americans, regardless of race. The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion polled 1,003 U.S. adults across the country from January 27 to 31, asking them, “Do you ‘definitely favor,’ ‘favor,’ ‘oppose’ or ‘definitively oppose’ using a student’s race as a factor when schools decide which students to admit to a college or a university?”
Only 3 percent and 17 percent, respectively, “definitely favored” or “favored” such preferences. Preferences were “opposed” by 55 percent of the respondents, and “definitely opposed” by 25 percent. That is, 80 percent of all Americans were against them.
It is especially noteworthy that preferences were opposed by all three ethnic groups identified in the study. Thus, not only 83 percent of whites but also 78 percent of Latinos and 60 percent of African Americans either “opposed” or “definitely opposed” preferences.
Respondents were also asked whether various other factors should be considered in admissions, including grades, test scores, teacher recommendations, and so forth. No surprises here.
It is, on the other hand, interesting that whites were more likely to “oppose” or “definitely oppose” preferences to those whose parents or grandparents went to the school (although such preferences were unpopular with all groups). Even more surprising were the answers regarding preferences on the basis of a student’s parents being “rich or famous.” High-income white Republican college graduates were more likely to be against such preferences than lower-income black Democrat non–college graduates (although, again, the majority of all groups was against them). One explanation: Perhaps some individuals that favored using these considerations as a factor wanted them used as a NEGATIVE factor.
Posted at 09:59 AM
ENOUGH WITH THE HILLARY HOOPLAH [Jonah Goldberg]
My first -- and last -- take on the Hillary hype.
Posted at 09:42 AM
GOOGLE TIPS! [KJL]
Posted at 07:17 AM
GREEN GOES [Andrew Stuttaford]
The Green Party’s environment spokesman in the Irish parliament has quit following some rather entertaining revelations about his stock portfolio.
Blogger William Sjostrom has more.
Posted at 07:14 AM
FATUOUS TAX [Andrew Stuttaford]
Something called the Toronto City Summit Alliance is, understandably enough, concerned about the hit to Toronto tourism that has followed the SARS outbreak. Its solution? More advertising paid for, er, by increased taxes on hotel rooms.
Posted at 07:11 AM
FAT TAX (2) [Andrew Stuttaford]
A reader in Ireland writes to say that he heard a doctor on the BBC attempting to justify the proposed fat tax. The best line, apparently:
The tax would “give the poor freedom to choose healthy food”
Somewhere George Orwell is laughing.
Meanwhile, I have been deluged with requests (well, one person asked) for guidance as to how to make a pork pie. Naturally, I have no idea, but good advice is available here. On a completely unrelated - and considerably more unpleasant- topic, a well-known blogger (if the e-mail address is not a fake) sent pictures of food that had been cooked in Dr Pepper - the results looked a little like some of the dinner treats portrayed in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and as this is a family-oriented web site they cannot be reproduced here, but this, on the other hand, can.
Scotch Eggs - wholesome food for wholesome people.
Posted at 07:10 AM
YIKES [Andrew Stuttaford]
Jonah, “uniform standards” for blogging? Perish the thought...
Posted at 07:09 AM
ICC WATCH [Andrew Stuttaford]
The EU is at it again, this time renewing its efforts to extend the jurisdiction of the International Criminal ‘Court’, primarily as a result of pressure from (you guessed it) France and Germany.
When it comes to legal jurisdiction over his own, uh, dealings, however, Jacques Chirac takes a very different tack.
What a hypocrite, what a crook (oh, sorry, “alleged” crook), what a crock.
Posted at 07:08 AM
PINTER, AGAIN [Andrew Stuttaford]
Elsewhere on Cuba, of course, there's a regime that knows a thing or two about concentration camps, political prisoners, mass murder and torture. And what does Pinter have to say about this? Well, not a lot. He is, however, an “active delegate” of the Cuba Solidarity Campaign, a British support group for Cuba’s dictatorship.
Harold Pinter: ‘Active Delegate’, active hypocrite and, as we are reminded yet again, vicious bastard.
Posted at 07:07 AM
BREMER TELLS IRAN TO STAY OUT [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Posted at 07:05 AM
GOING OUT WITH A BANG [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Blix blasts U.S. "bastards."
Posted at 07:03 AM
BRITISH REPORTER: IRAQ HAD SCUDS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Posted at 06:35 AM
A DEPLOYED MARINE GIVES BIRTH IN PERSIAN GULF [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
I can see it now: Calls for affordable child-care on the battlefield. Fly women off deployed battleships for maternity leave.
Posted at 05:25 AM
NO VACANCY?! [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
All the Supremes could stay put, afterall.
Posted at 05:21 AM
Tuesday, June 10, 2003
OUR READERS EDIT PFAW [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Here's one email from a Corner reader:
Southern Appeal's discovery of PFAW's little slip-up is wonderful! I just edited the form letter and Presto!, PFAW's canned vitiol became a warm endorsement of Pryor. PFAW's web site has a whole dirty laundry list of form letters advocating a variety of knee-jerk liberal positions: "Stop Priscilla Owen", "Call for Rick Santorum's Resignation", "Fair Play for Uday" (I'm kidding about the last one - I think). I don't know for sure, but maybe they can all be edited to get the right message out. And shouldn't the group's name be "People in America's Way"?
Posted at 07:48 PM
FYI [Jonah Goldberg]
Midnight Express is on AMC tonight.
Posted at 07:04 PM
PFAW E-MAILS FOR PRYOR [Jonathan H. Adler]
The People for the American Way has set up a form e-mail and letter generator on their website to generate opposition to Bill Pryor's nomination. Yet, as Southern Appeal points out, visitors to the site can edit the subject heading and text so as to generate e-mails in support of Pryor. Those so inclined can do so here.
Posted at 06:47 PM
IN PRYOR'S DEFENSE [Jonathan H. Adler]
The Committee for Justice has just released a report supporting the confirmation of Bill Pryor to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. The hearing is tomorrow.
Posted at 06:44 PM
BLOGGERS UNION [Jonah Goldberg]
Rightwing News has a chart ranking blogs based upon their Alexa.com ranking. As longtime readers know, I think the Alexa.com rankings are deeply flawed -- especially when certain sites gear themselves to goosing their Alexa ratings. Still, this list looks pretty representative. But that's not what I want to talk about.
The fact that so many folks use Alexa.com got me thinking: Why not commission a real study by an independent group without a commercial interest (like Alexa). And then I started wondering, "Who would commission that study?" Not the suits. Maybe the Columbia Journalism Review or someone like that. But while pondering that, I thought: Why not start a blogger/internet trade association?
2. There could be an open bar.
3. More important, bloggers could set uniform standards the way the ABA, the AMA and other groups do.
4. It could defend itself against incursions from government and Big Media.
5. It could offer advice to start-up bloggers.
6. Did I mention: Open bar?
7. Eventually, maybe it could be like the Writer's Guild it could offer help with health insurance and the like.
8. It could commission studies on traffic and the life.
9. Unlike other "cyber" interest groups, this one would most closely track their print equivalents in the print and television media. First amendment issues, fair use doctrine and the like would be its chief concerns.
The economics -- right now -- are daunting. Few bloggers could afford to contribute enough money to get much going. Then again: Maybe a foundation would give a BU some start-up money if someone like Glenn Reynolds were the president.
Cultural problems: Bloggers by nature are individualists. The whole point of being a blogger is being something of a lone wolf. Joining together to form some sort of stodgey group which pretends to police its members would be a nightmare.
The open membership vs. closed membership debate could be a terror. Who gets to join? Can any tinfoil head start a blog and join?
I think a minimum traffic standard might solve a lot of these objections. The more traffic a blogger gets, the more likely he will be to take his repsonsibilities seriously. Even a threshhold of a few thousand readers would sift out the cranks. A very -- very -- loose editorial standards guideline could be upheld by all members (No clear-cut plagiarism or fraud. Also: strictures against racism and the like would certainly generate a lot of fun debate). Moreover, the BU could sell advertising in bundles. Members of the BU get the same ad banner feed which might boost revenue for everyone.
I know such an idea from a longtime -- though recovering -- blogger skeptic and contributor to a magazine's blog will be greeted with some negativity. But, if blogging is the future, if it's as big a threat to the establishment as Andrew Sullivan and Glenn Reynolds and others suggest, then surely marshalling some strength in numbers isn't a crazy notion. I haven't thought it all through, but I think there's potential. In fact, in some respects if the trends continue it may be inevitable. And remember: Open Bar (and maybe even free shrimp).
Posted at 06:00 PM
WELL, AT LEAST TOOMEY WOULD BE IN THE SENATE THEN... [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Schumer pushes Specter for Supreme Court.
Posted at 05:58 PM
IRANIANS PROTEST MULLAHS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Posted at 05:55 PM
2 CANADIAN MEN GET "MARRIED" IN CANADA [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Here's an instant (would have been more instant had I been quicker jumping into The Corner with it) e-mail analysis from William Duncan of the Marriage Law Project:
The Ontario Court of Appeals has just ruled that the longstanding definition of marriage in Canada (the union of one man and one woman), violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and must be replaced by "the voluntary union for life of two persons to the exclusion of all others." The difference between this case and previous Canadian decisions on same-sex marriage is that it is mean to have immediate effect and news reports say the city of Toronto is issuing licenses already. There does seem to be some hesitance at the Provincial level though. The court frames its opinion in the context of Canada's concern for "the recognition and protection of human dignity and equality." The court's understanding of marriage is extremely interesting. They characterize it as "one of the most significant forms of personal relationships" and characterize the state interest in marriage as the recognition of "expressions of love and commitment between individuals, granting them respect and legitimacy as a couple." Thus, according to the court: "This public recognition and sanction of marital relationships reflects society's approbation of the personal hopes, desires and aspirations that underlie loving, committed conjugal relationships. This can only enhance an individual's sense of self-worth and dignity."
Posted at 05:48 PM
IF YOU ARE AFRICAN AND HAVE A FAMOUS LAST NAME [Jonah Goldberg]
I apologize for deleting your email without opening it. But I get so much spam from alleged descendents, stooges or wives of every African dictator, human rights activist and the like I don't even open them any more.
Posted at 04:36 PM
ACTUALLY... [Jonah Goldberg]
I always thought that what incites religious hatred in this regard is the willingness of so many self-proclaimed Muslims to murder -- or condone the murder of -- women and children in the name of their faith. Maybe if these Muslim groups spent more time trying to ostracize and punish Muslims who condone such behavior, they'd be on better footing when it comes to condemning such plausible portrayals.
Posted at 02:56 PM
CENSORSHIP WATCH [Andrew Stuttaford]
Some British Muslims have been complaining about a recent episode of a BBC spy drama which featured a Muslim leader training a young suicide bomber. Inayat Bunglawala, a spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain, is quoted by the Daily Telegraph as saying that "The images the viewer was left with was of a young boy strapping himself with explosives and walking into a yard full of children; students shouting 'death to America' and 'death to infidels'; and a sinister imam." Bunglawala claimed to "be very worried about the consequences" about what is, tragically, a far from implausible plot line. Ludicrously, Bunglawala claimed to believe that the episode was "inciting religious hatred."
That's nonsense, of course. What does incite religious hatred is the sort of intolerance that Bunglawala has just displayed.
Posted at 02:28 PM
RE: PRISON RAPE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
As has NRO (here and here)! Ahem.
Posted at 02:26 PM
HUMOR POLICE [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
My response: Sigh. Yes, yes prison rape is a real problem. Yes, yes, I think more should be done about it. Yes, Rich has written and published several articles on the subject. And, yes, yes, I am saying lighten up. I won't get into a big argument about this, but I will note that jokes about how terrible a place prison is -- even for poor harmless drug dealers -- has some social utility which hardly detracts from the case for making prisons more humane.
Posted at 02:22 PM
RE: THE GUARDIAN & THE MUSEUM [Andrew Stuttaford]
Do make sure you read the conclusions in that Aaronovitch piece:
The first is the credulousness of many western academics and others who cannot conceive that a plausible and intelligent fellow-professional might have been an apparatchiks of a fascist regime and a propagandist for his own past. The second is that - these days - you cannot say anything too bad about the Yanks and not be believed.
Posted at 02:15 PM
IN FOR A PENNY [Andrew Stuttaford]
Anatole Kaletsky takes a look at Gordon Brown's 'case' for the Euro in Today's London Times: "Yesterday’s most important revelation was much simpler and more astonishing than any of these. In a section of his preamble which seemed to attract as little attention from the Treasury as it did yesterday in Parliament, Mr Brown revealed the maximum economic benefit that Britain could expect from joining the euro, even if his ideal economic conditions were satisfied: “Our assessment is that inside the euro UK national income could rise over 30 years by between 5 and 9 per cent, boosting, subject to convergence, potential output by up to one quarter percentage point a year, worth up to £3 billion a year.” Think about that — £3 billion may sound like a lot of money, but divide it among the 60 million Britons who would be joining the euro and it comes to just £50 a year. Or think about it another way — £3 billion is less than half the increase in National Insurance taxes Mr Brown imposed on the country just this year. It hardly even counts as small change in relation to a £1,000 billion economy. " Read the whole thing. `
Posted at 02:06 PM
CHEERING FOR THE EURO [Andrew Stuttaford]
Peter Mandelson was one of the most important architects of Tony Blair's 'new' Labour. Lately, his career has taken some pretty remarkable turns (it's a long, long story) but one of his principal roles these days is as a cheerleader for the EU's single currency. His new piece in today's Independent is a classic of the genre, in particular for this astonishing claim:
"Germany's problems are nothing to do with the euro."
What is it about the deflationary impact of the Growth and Stability Pact (the agreement that was a precondition to the introduction of the Euro) on Schroeder's collapsing economy that Mandelson doesn't understand?
Posted at 02:04 PM
CA RECALL [Ramesh Ponnuru]
I like Howard Kaloogian, who's one of the leaders of the recall-Davis campaign. But I don't agree with a recall. The political fallout is, I think, secondary to the question of propriety. The time to make the case against and to unseat Davis was last year. As for the recall as a conservative strategy: Obviously it isn't one by itself. Just throwing the dice and hoping that Davis is replaced by someone better is irresponsible and may backfire. If the strategy is to try to elect a conservative with 22 percent of the vote, I don't think that makes sense either--and you'd have a stronger case, in some ways, for recalling such a minority governor. Either way, the state would edge closer to banana republic territory.
Rather than look for gimmicks or celebrity saviors, the California GOP ought to be recruiting a strong challenger to Barbara Boxer. She should be beatable next year, as she will presumably not have the strong top-of-the-ticket help she got from Clinton in 1992 and Davis in 1998. Opposition to her is one of the great unifying forces in the state's fractious Republican party, and beating her would be the first step to rebuilding.
Posted at 01:11 PM
FADING GRAY [Jonah Goldberg]
So far, I think the recall effort described in the Washington Post in California is great stuff. But I'd be curious to know whether Ramesh -- or other NR/NRO luminaries -- think it's really as bad news for Bush or the GOP as some in the article suggest.
Posted at 12:43 PM
LOST FROM BAGHDAD MUSEUM: THE TRUTH [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
From the Guardian!
Posted at 12:18 PM
MARTHA STEWART [Ramesh Ponnuru]
I'm not a fan of the prosecution so far, but I think some of her defenders on the Right are coming close to echoing the "cover up without a crime" defense that Clinton apologists used in 1998. Whether the law about lying to investigators should be changed is worth discussing. But if the allegation that she lied to investigators proves true—and the conduct of the media prosecution thus far does not give me confidence that it will—she should pay the legal consequences commensurate with her offense. I hope that she will suffer no additional punishments designed to settle cultural scores or to soothe prosecutorial egos.
Posted at 12:08 PM
BLASTING PRYOR [Jonathan H. Adler]
The Mobile Register reports on twin attacks on 11th Circuit judicial nominee Bill Pryor by People for the American Way and Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. PFAW's Ralph Neas says Pryor is "one of the most dangerous judicial nominees." Birmingham lawyer Larry Childs blasts back: "It is curious, and even laughable, that these liberal extremist groups are criticizing Bill Pryor as being outside the mainstream of American law for cases in which the Supreme Court ruled in his favor."
Posted at 12:07 PM
SHEEN VS. ME [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
Outstanding speech...I doubt they'll forget that one. Our commencement at Loyola University New Orleans featured Martin Freakin Sheen. Talk about a greasy slide into misery. He spent the whole time talking about some cop-killer on death row in Louisiana. Got a standing ovation from the the Sociology Dept. I tried to paper cut myself to death with the program. His prison jokes sucked, too.
Posted at 12:05 PM
DONALD REGAN, RIP [KJL]
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Former Treasury Secretary Donald Regan has died, according to a Merrill Lynch spokesman.
Posted at 11:44 AM
SOCCER TEAM TERRORISTS [Jonah Goldberg]
Just one more reason the road map is going to be hard.
Posted at 11:44 AM
PUBLIC POLICY, HOT AND FRESH [Jonah Goldberg]
This morning, at around 7:00 AM, Cosmo started barking. But it wasn't his usual "squirts in the wire!" (Trans: "Squirrels inside the perimeter") bark. I went to the door to see what the rumpus was. A fresh copy -- hot off the presses -- of the Public Interest was at my door. The PI has long been one of my favorite publications (I used to hang out with the editors when I was at AEI). Anyway, I just thought it was kind of funny to have a quarterly public policy journal delivered to my house like it was a bag of fresh bread from the bakery. Thank goodness it got here today!
By the way, it does look like a great issue, including a lead piece by James Ceaser on "The Genealogy of Anti-Americanism" and a tease of Charles Murray's new book, which some of us have been waiting for for a very long time.
Posted at 10:49 AM
ANOTHER FILIBUSTER? [Jonathan H. Adler]
Tomorrow morning the Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on William H. Pryor, Jr., Attorney General for the State of Alabama, and nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. Pryor's conservative record has the usual suspects in a tizzy. People for the American Way just released a 43-page report condemning Pryor for, among other things, successfully advancing federalism before the Supreme Court -- a state AG advancing federalism, imagine that! -- and daring to speak "approvingly" of 5-4 decisions upholding federalist principles (Gasp!). Additional attacks are sure to follow in the next twenty-four hours, as liberal interest groups hope to lay the gruondwork for a strict party line vote on the Senate Judiciary Committee.
For updates of all-things-Pryor, check out Southern Appeal; past SA posts on Pryor are listed here. Also worth reading is Douglas Kmiec's defense of Pryor in the WSJ, and Michael Greve's NRO article from last week (see the section "Let Pryor Be Pryor").
Posted at 10:37 AM
HAIL HILLSDALE [Jonah Goldberg]
My commencement address/G-File is up.
Posted at 10:34 AM
"FASTER, PLEASE" [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Al Qaeda in Iran. A Gertz report.
Posted at 10:32 AM
JUST A THOUGHT ABOUT MARTHA [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
The case has been made that Martha Stewart is being unfairly pursued and prosecuted (see, for instance, Alan Reynolds). But one of the complaints made is that it is because she is a woman. (Reynolds does not make this case, but assorted pundits throw it out on the taking-heads shows.) How about: The media, at least (I would not play with this theory as being the prosecution's motivation), are no fans, because she’s making money off a conglomerate that, face it, is largely used by women, to do things that women traditionally, and largely, do. Sure, guys might use the magazine for this or that, and there are exceptions and all, but still, the generalization, I think, is still a reality. And, it might have something to do with the fact that not too many of Martha Stewart’s fellow elite Democrats are crying tears for her. (Some, actually, are downright hostile to their successful sister.) Anyway, I toyed with this idea a little last year here.)
Posted at 10:31 AM
LET’S SAY HILLARY IS TELLING THE TRUTH [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
From an e-mailer:
Over the past several days, print and TV pundits from the left and the right have been squaring off over HRC's account of the Lewinsky scandal. The focus has invariably been on whether Hillary is telling the truth when she says that she didn't know/believe that Bill had had "relations" with Monica until he sat her down and told her. But one thing has gone unmentioned. What if she IS telling the truth?
Posted at 10:27 AM
VRWC: BACK@THE SCENE OF THE CRIME [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
In the Katie interview the Today Show is rolling out this week in installments, when asked if she stands by her Vast-Right-Wing Conspiracy, HILLARY said, “I might have used a more artful term….” It’s not really a conspiracy, because they’re (we’re) not hidden, but there is a there there on the right.
Posted at 10:26 AM
TIMES CHANGE [Dave Kopel]
My new media analysis column examines the resignations at the New York Times and how the Times needs to change. Plus Maureen Dowd's non-correction correction, coverage of Microsoft, and trans fats.
Posted at 09:42 AM
RE: LIVINGSTON, I PRESUME [Jonah Goldberg]
John - Of course you're right and I should have mentioned that aspect of things too. Then again, I did say cynicism is always required for everything the Clintons do.
Posted at 09:17 AM
LIVINGSTON, I PRESUME [John J. Miller]
Jonah: You may be right about Clinton's motivations regarding the Livingston resignation, but I think something else may have been at work as well: Livingston would have been damaged goods as Speaker of the House. This is also the reason why James Carville and other Dem hacks, in the latter days of the Lott controversy, suggested that he ought to keep his job. They understood that Majority Leader Lott was better for them than Majority Leader Frist.
Posted at 08:23 AM
DEVIL OF A TIME [John J. Miller]
Congrats to the New Jersey Devils for their Stanley Cup victory over the Anaheim Mighty Ducks last night. Must admit I was pulling for the Ducks, partly out of Western Conference loyalties (odd as it may seem to non-hockey fans, anything to the left of Pittsburgh on a map of North America is in the NHL's "west"--it's like the University of Michigan fight song: "Champions of the West!"). I was also drawn to Anaheim's Cinderella story, which was probably even more of a surprise than the Anaheim Angels winning the World Series last fall. Most important, though, is that we were treated to some fine hockey--including the spectacle of a seventh game in the finals. The Devils prevailed, amid some great stories, including the remarkable playoff performance of Ducks goalie J.S. Giguere and the Devils' game-winning goal from unlikely hero Mike Rupp, a guy who hadn't suited up for most of the playoffs. As usual, the Washington Post's Jason La Canfora has an excellent summary of how the Devils made it happen.
Posted at 08:22 AM
AS I SUSPECTED [Jonah Goldberg]
The Times confirms that Hillary's book is boring twaddle.
Posted at 08:17 AM
CLINTON AND RAINES [Jonah Goldberg]
CLINTON KNEW: One thing the former president understands is power, and he knew full well that the resignation of Howell Raines at the NYT could hurt Democrats. The news might not be spun as ruthlessly as in the past; the campaign against the Bush administration under the guise of news coverage might not be as relentless; and so, apparently, Clinton intervened. This story, Clinton reminds us, wasn't just about journalism. At a deeper level it was also about politics; and Clinton wanted to protect a huge victory that the left had won with Raines' advancement. He lost. Journalism won.
I applaud Andrew's cynicism. After all, cynicism is always warranted when discussing the Clintons. And, I think Sullivan's probably right. But I can't shake another angle. Clinton does not believe in personal responsibility in the conventional sense. He believes character is a "journey not a destination." He claimed to run the most ethical administration in history (stop laughing) but he never punished anyone who acted unethically. With the exception of the forced Lewinsky apologies, when he's sorry it's never because he did anything really wrong. His mistakes are always the product of his virtues: he "cared too much" to compromise is one of his preferred refrains. Or, his apologies are the product of the other side's venality. "I underestimated how determined the Right was to turn back the clock and deprive Americans of their rights and health care. I'm deeply sorry." (These aren't direct quotes, but if you watched any of his post presidency interviews they're pretty much what he says).
Also, Bill Clinton is deeply invested in the idea that personal responsibility is something you verbally "take" in order to seem decent but not something that involves actually doing anything. Remember how opposed he was to Bob Livingston actually relinquishing power when he got caught doing less than what Clinton did?
So, perhaps Bill Clinton believes that Howell Raines shouldn't face any real consequences because that simply runs against the grain of everything Bill Clinton stands for?
Posted at 08:14 AM
Monday, June 09, 2003
PORK PIES [Andrew Stuttaford]
The reliably arrogant British Medical Association is now suggesting that a 'fat tax' be levied on fine foods such as "sausages, pies and pastries". As usual in such cases, this piece of presumption is justified on the grounds that it will save the taxpayer-funded National Health Service money and as usual in such cases it appears to take no account of the fact that, in dying prematurely, the obese are rather generously saving the state the expense of paying years of retirement benefit. For those, such as the busybodies at the BMA, who choose to stress the economic argument, the model citizen ought surely to be someone who works, pays taxes and then drops dead on his or her retirement day. An overweight individual is more likely to manage this splendidly patriotic feat than some lunatic in running shoes.
More than that, however, this piece of bossiness is a reminder that, when it comes to the doctor-patient relationship, the BMA (like the equally repellent AMA) has lost its way. Hippocrates had nothing to say about the imposition of penal taxation on his patients' mealtime choices, and nor should his 21st Century successors. The role of a doctor is to give advice, not orders. The BMA should just go and take a hike.
Or better still relax on the sofa in front of the telly with a nice pork pie and some chicken-flavored crisps.
Posted at 09:02 PM
HOOTIE JOHNSON HIGH? [Andrew Stuttaford]
Here's another story about high school students who wanted their own, segregated, private prom. Mercifully, unlike the recent occasion in Georgia, this was not on racial grounds, and it's possible to make a respectable case that this was an utterly benign event. Nevertheless the tone of the piece is striking. Would the New York Times have been quite so enthusiastic if these high schoolers had been devout young Christians rather than devout young Muslims?
Posted at 08:32 PM
PORK AND INGRATITUDE [Andrew Stuttaford]
If this account is accurate, Senator Craig should be ashamed of himself.
Posted at 08:30 PM
AMTRAK SPINS GEORGE WILL [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Our hero claims that "a nationwide poll shows 71 percent public support for subsidizing Amtrak at current or increased levels." He does not identify the poll, but it appears to be a summer 2002 Washington Post poll. Here's what I wrote about this poll back then.
Posted at 05:52 PM
WEYRICH ON SPECTER VS. TOOMEY [Ramesh Ponnuru]
A very interesting take, with some thoughtful comments on the controversy surrounding American Conservative Union chairman David Keene's endorsement of Specter.
Posted at 05:38 PM
POOR HILLARY [Ramesh Ponnuru]
According to Anna Quindlen, the reason "the right wing and the media" are so hard on her is that "she couldn’t hide the fact that she was smarter and more ambitious than most people." Funny, I don't remember "the right wing" holding that against Margaret Thatcher. Quindlen continues, "In distress Hillary has soldiered on, damned if she does and damned if she doesn’t, like most powerful women. . . . If she’d failed to write about l’affaire Lewinsky, she would have been accused of shortchanging the reader and the publisher. Because she did address the matter in her memoir, it is considered unseemly or political." I don't think the major criticism of Clinton's treatment of the Lewinsky scandal is that it is "unseemly or political"; it's that it is untrue.
David Brock made the same point on Friday on MSNBC: Sen. Clinton is criticized when she is "guarded," but also criticized when she opens up about these painful personal matters. What an awful double standard: She's criticized when she stonewalls and when she lies. Excellent point, Anna and David!
Posted at 05:37 PM
NO SALE [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Matt Bai, writing in the New York Times Magazine, says that Bush’s just-enacted tax cut “won’t end up being a tax cut at all; it’s really just a tax shift”—at least for “a lot of Americans.”
Here’s his argument: “The tax cut will choke off revenue to the federal government . . . This means Congress can't increase financing for the mandates it's been heaping onto the states for 40 years. For instance, Congress shares with states the cost of Medicaid, the health care program for the poor, which gobbles up huge chunks of state budgets. Since Washington hasn't seen fit to provide elderly patients with a prescription drug plan, that, too, falls to the states.” Congress gave some money to the states as it cut taxes, but the aid is inadequate to the states’ fiscal hole.
Bai continues: “If Bush and Congress cut taxes, and your governor doesn't raise them, then the buck ultimately stops with your mayor, who has to find ways to pay the police and firefighters, paint schools and pave roads. That'll mean higher property taxes or fees on services like garbage collection, or maybe the town will decide it's time to reassess the value of your house. Either way, you're likely to be paying someone else the money you no longer send to Washington.”
First of all, the explosion in Medicaid spending has not been the result of federal “mandates.” (A recent AEI report notes that “two-thirds of Medicaid spending is now devoted to constituencies and services that the states may, but need not, cover as a condition of receiving federal Medicaid reimbursements”—emphasis in original).
Second, how are we supposed to figure out how substantial the Bai effect will be? Are we to assume that if taxes were not cut, every dollar in tax cuts would have been spent on prescription drugs, etc.? (Didn’t we just read, earlier in the same issue of the magazine, that Bush’s tax cuts were bad because they would increase the deficit? Yes we did. The truer that claim is, the smaller the Bai effect.) If the feds increased spending, would each dollar of spending result in a dollar less in state tax burdens? How much would the states be raising taxes even without the federal tax cut? If the answer is that 80 percent of their tax hikes would be happening anyway, isn’t it possible that the federal tax cut is reducing the hit to taxpayers?
Bai never goes into any of these questions. And while he quotes conservatives to illustrate his points, he never allows the possibility of competing analyses of the state budget crunch to get in his way. Even if I were predisposed to accept Bai’s conclusion, I don’t think his article would be at all persuasive.
Posted at 05:17 PM
SORRY [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
We are a tad slow today. Will make up for it tomorrow. (There is lots to read on the NRO homepage, though. Go, now!)
Posted at 05:06 PM
RE: V [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
No, Jonah, the less Sid on TV the better. V news cool though. It was a Friday night treat after a hard week of grade school. Someone quickly post though to say they don't know what V is, so we look cooler than we're looking right now.
Posted at 05:04 PM
V IS COMING BACK! [Jonah Goldberg]
The sci-fi series was due for a remake. Maybe they can get Sid Blumenthal for a cameo so he can eat a rat raw.
Posted at 04:54 PM
WHEW! [Jonathan H. Adler]
I guess I can continue posting after all.
Posted at 04:32 PM
PREDICTION [Jonah Goldberg]
Hillary's book will be dropping on the best-seller list within 2 weeks and be off entirely in less than a month, if not sooner. Once the media boomlet is over, no one will feel the need to read the thing and there will be no "it's a great read" word-of-mouth.
Posted at 04:17 PM
ASHCROFT HATERS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Ok. So maybe I am obsessed with the Clintons. I'll consider the possibility. But what about news editors who stick Ashcroft looking evil pictures wherever they can? Will they admit they are obsessed? And, remember, they are objective, which opinion journalist types never pretended to be.
Posted at 03:55 PM
NRO WRITER GETS ANOTHER CHANCE AT TENURE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
James D. Miller of Smith College, who was denied tenure for writing for NRO, reports he's getting another chance (to move left?): He e-mails:
I have actually had some good news since the student article came out. Smith's five person Grievance Committee unanimously found that 2 members of my department violated my academic freedom during my tenure review. As a result, Smith's President decided that I will come up again for tenure this fall.
Posted at 03:47 PM
A QUALIFICATION [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Everyone this afternoon in The Corner, except for Andrew Stuttaford, is putting me to sleep. He is the only person keeping me awake.
Posted at 03:41 PM
MARK HIS WORDS [Andrew Stuttaford]
Here's more advice on whether the UK should join the Euro, this time from a former director of the Bundesbank (Germany's old central bank). This, as Andrew Sullivan would say (I noticed this link on his site) is the 'money quote' (in this case quite literally so):
"The present euro zone structure is devastating for Germany...Our economy is bleeding. And I am convinced the UK would be crazy to join - you should stay out for as long as I can foresee."
Posted at 03:24 PM
64-YEAR-OLD FRESHMAN [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Why Stephen Bryer can't wait until SOMEONE retires. I'm just posting this because The Corner is beginning to put me to sleep today.
Posted at 03:21 PM
THE EURO [Andrew Stuttaford]
In a surprise to absolutely no-one, Britain's finance minister, the gloomy and ambitious Gordon Brown, has now ruled that the UK is not yet ready to sign up for that suicide pact better known as the Euro - at least for now. At the same time, Brown is careful to burnish his federalist credentials by reiterating his view that joining the single currency could be a good idea - once certain tests have been met. The most important of these - that Gordon Brown replaces Tony Blair as Prime Minister - is left unstated, leaving Brown to resort to meaningless claims such as this:
"Our assessment makes clear that, with the advent of the single currency, trade within the euro area has already expanded and that, with Britain in the euro, British trade with the euro area could increase substantially - perhaps to the extent of 50 per cent over 30 years."
In response, Philippe Legrain, 'chief economist' of the pressure group, Britain in Europe, reportedly had this to say to Reuters:
"Joining the euro is clearly in Britain's economic interest. The Treasury has today confirmed that it would boost trade with the eurozone by up to 50 percent, raising income per person by 9.25 percent in the long term. That means joining the euro would make the average Briton 1,700 pounds richer. We cannot afford to pass up such a golden opportunity."
The notion that the Treasury can "confirm" economic growth is a revealing glimpse of the EU's mindset. Even more interesting (if he has been reported correctly) was Legrain's failure to mention that this much-vaunted 50 percent 'boost' in trade * may take up to thirty years to reach*. Stretched over that period of time - and taking account of the effects of compounding - that 50 percent total is, in fact, pretty feeble.
And that's something it has in common with the rest of the arguments for the Euro.
Posted at 03:00 PM
IT DEPENDS ON WHAT YOUR DEFINITON OF BANTERING IS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Sidney Blumenthal was just on FNC saying there is no discrepancy in his and her accounts. Sure, he has them bantering in the background, in his book, but what was really going on is whatever Hillary wants you to believe...or something like that.
Posted at 02:44 PM
SAT II FUN [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
A reader writes:
My son took the SAT II exam this weekend, and came back laughing about the English grammar portion. He was given an essay to correct for grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc. But the content of the essay was very amusing, something to the effect of "Why the Electoral College Should be Eliminated." According to the essay, the Electoral College is a vestige of when we had strong States' Rights and a weak Federal government. But now we have a "strong Federal government and weak States' rights" and have become (according to the essay) a "national village," so presidents should be elected on a popular vote.
Posted at 01:18 PM
RE: THE LINES FOR HILLARY'S BOOKSIGNING [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Jonathan Karl has been noting all morning that lots of people who got on line last night to get a signed book from Senator Clinton are planning on selling them on ebay. Although I am certainly willing to believe there are people who want a signed book and chance to meet Hillary, an emailer suggests other reasons some people might be at Barnes & Noble:
On my favorite TV show, Judi Dench/Geoffrey Palmer's AS TIME GOES BY, Palmer's character, an author, shows up for a book signing to find a long line in front of the bookstore, paid for by his publisher. Is it difficult to imagine that someone did the same for HRC?
Posted at 01:01 PM
YOU'VE READ THE Q&A, NOW WIN THE BOOK! [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Simon & Schuster is holding a contest: Win a copy of Rick Brookhiser's new book, Gentleman Revolutionary: Gouverneur Morris, the Rake Who Wrote the Constitution. Go here to answer some questions (there is a LITTLE work involved) that could get you a step closer to a free Brookhiser book! Act quickly--supplies are limited.
Posted at 12:18 PM
I HAVEN'T READ SHALES ON HILLARY [Jonah Goldberg]
How can I believe what he writes when I can't believe his hair?
Posted at 11:25 AM
HILLSDALE [Jonah Goldberg]
I was very, very impressed with Hillsdale College and Hillsdale Academy. I was a bit less wowed by Hillsdale, Michigan a town which -- truth be told -- could use a coat of paint and a few new businesses moving in. Still, it was very nice rural American town, from what I could tell. As for what those guys thought of me, it's hard to say. Several people said, "That's the first commencement address with inappropriate prison humor I've ever heard." Anyway, I'm going to tidy-up my hand-written notes etc and post the address since I doubt Imprimis -- their newsletter -- will want it.
Posted at 10:34 AM
LINK FIXED [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Apologies. The link to today's Nordlinger Impromtus was bad until a few seconds ago. You can read it here.
Posted at 09:52 AM
GRIST FOR STONE’S MILL [Roger Clegg]
Imagine the fun that Oliver Stone would have directing a movie in which big business, a cadre of ex-military officers, and the rest of the establishment conspired to perpetuate a system of racial and ethnic discrimination. Add to the mix the fact that, when challenged, a state university commissioned a study justifying the discrimination, and then suppressed evidence that was inconvenient to the report it wanted to present at a federal trial. Finally—the latest development—suppose it was revealed that on appeal the chief judge deliberately manipulated the assignment of the case to make sure that the brave plaintiffs and their public interest lawyers challenging the discrimination lost. Look no further, Oliver! The University of Michigan affirmative-action cases are there in the public domain for your next brilliant film.
Posted at 09:17 AM
FRUM (A LITTLE CRITTENDEN, TOO) ON HILLARY [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Posted at 09:06 AM
BARBARA WALTERS: SUPER FRAUD [Jonah Goldberg]
Once again, Walters proves she's incapable of living up to her reputation. I watched the interview and was sadly unsurprised when Walters once again refused to ask a single legitimately illuminating question. No testing or probing, no truth-squading of any kind. She simply asked Hillary for a book report and Hillary obliged. Wasn't there room -- in an hour-long conversation -- to ask Hillary if there was any contradiction between her view of Bill's acts as "private" and Hillary's longstanding feminism which said "the personal is political"? Does she still think Anita Hill was right about everything? Does she recant her view expressed on the Today Show that if the Lewinsky allegations were true that they would amount to a very serious transgression? What about the discrepencies between her account of how she learned and others? Wouldn't a real journalist ask a couple tough follow-up questions there?
Barbara Walters bristles whenever it is suggested that she's nothing more than a vaguely lispy transmission belt for whatever her interviewees have to say. But there's nothing wrong with being that if that's what you are. I just wish she'd admit it.
Posted at 08:04 AM
SERVICE-ACADEMY HELP [John J. Miller]
Dear NRO readers: I'm working on a story about the U.S. military service academies, and taking a particular interest in their faculties. Some people have told me that political correctness is a serious problem among the professors. If you have any information or even just an opinion on this, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'm especially interested to hear from folks who can recount personal experiences. For those who are still on active duty--or anybody else for that matter--I can safeguard your identity.
Posted at 06:30 AM
POLITICS 101? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Republicans take Spanish classes.
Posted at 05:36 AM
TOM SHALES ON "CHILLY" HILLARY [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
"And in spite of what Clinton said, it may very well have marked the beginning of her 2004 presidential campaign as well."
Posted at 05:34 AM
MIDNIGHT BOOK BUYING [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Harry Potter, I can understand, but Hillary?
Posted at 05:09 AM
Sunday, June 08, 2003
WALTERS'S HOMEWORK [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Before I forget, Barbara Walters might have had a little comeback on the Paula Jones suit. Dismissed for lack of evidence? Do we care at all that he perjured himself under oath in that one? Sorry...I obsess.
Posted at 09:14 PM
ANOTHER BIAS-FREE WIRE SERVICE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Posted at 08:03 PM
THE CLINTONS "JOURNEY" [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Is it me, or was this interview also Bill Clinton legacy redemption? He did great things, is a great man, with a great heart, constantly under attack, with a little weakness. But who can hate him for that, given all the pluses, and all America owes him?
Posted at 07:57 PM
NO APOLOGIES... [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
...and there is still the right-wing attack machine against the Clintons.
Posted at 07:48 PM
THE MORNING SHE LEARNED THE SHOCKING TRUTH ABOUT BILL & MONICA [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
“The worst moment that I can ever imagine anyone going through.” The worst moment…anyone?! She represents the state of New York and...the worst moment...anyone?! Have an imagination. Talk to some constituents.
Posted at 07:38 PM
HAILING HILL ON THE VIEW [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
MRC was watching Barbara the other day on her chick show.
Posted at 07:35 PM
TOP TEN SURPRISES IN THE HILLARY INTERVIEW [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Posted at 07:31 PM
HILLARY WITH MS. WALTERS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
You know, when she runs (I’m not sold it won’t be in 2004), they can use this Barbara Walters interview as the convention movie that introduces her.
Posted at 07:15 PM
STRANGE BUT TRUE [Andrew Stuttaford]
Spin City meets the West Wing. Check out the early minutes of The Arrival.
Posted at 05:18 PM
AMBROSIA? [Andrew Stuttaford]
Yesterday’s comment about Dr Pepper has generated the usual angry response from the carbonated prune juice crowd. Theologically speaking, this guy makes an interesting point, however:
“Let me get this straight- in Heaven, you are fed a pate made from tortured and diseased goose liver with brass instruments blaring in your ear, but in Hell you get to sip the sweet, sweet nectar created by an earnest young man and named for the father of the woman he loved?
In my “humble” opinion, you've got things backwards.”
These, by the way, are strangely good. I admit it. Thanks to the reader who sent them.
Posted at 05:17 PM
BLOOMBERG'S FOLLY (CTD) [Andrew Stuttaford]
Here’s a fine piece from the New York Times on one man’s response to Nurse Bloomberg’s economically destructive, scientifically illiterate and culturally philistine assault on smoking in bars.
It concludes as follows:
“On a recent Thursday night, I was at a nightclub near the Holland Tunnel for the opening-night party for a documentary film. A lone smoker lighted up the underground lounge with the strike of a single match. A group of strangers seated across from him broke into applause, soon followed by the flicker of lighters and the orange glow of burning cigarettes. By the end of the evening, the place was lit up like Christmas in May.”
The good news? Smoke-easies are springing up.
Posted at 05:15 PM
RAILWAY TO HEAVEN? [Andrew Stuttaford]
Foodies may hope for celestial pate de foie gras, but railfans/trainspotters will regret that London’s Brookwood Necropolis Railway is no longer available to take them to the pearly gates.
Posted at 05:04 PM
ECONOMIC SUICIDE WATCH [Andrew Stuttaford]
Preparations to scrap the pound seem set to advance further.
Posted at 04:55 PM
NOT KANSAS YET [Andrew Stuttaford]
And then there’s this review from J.R. Taylor in the New York Press.
“[The] Vulgaras also appear with their usual fine display of lesbian S&M and bloodletting, cleverly distracting the audience from their music. Still, they’ll just be a Genitotorturers knock-off as long as everyone on stage is still alive at the end of their shows. Where’s the vision nowadays?”
Posted at 04:52 PM
MOVE OVER VOGUE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Posted at 04:50 PM
WORST THAN WATERGATE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Actually, read Kagan after you read John Dean on WMDs.
Posted at 04:47 PM
ST PETERSBURG [Andrew Stuttaford]
Russia’s long conflict in Chechnya has always been marked by a high degree of disinformation on all sides, but it looks as if St Petersburg might have escaped a tragedy.
Posted at 04:47 PM
THE WMD CONSPIRACY [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Robert Kagan is worth reading:
There is something surreal about the charges flying that President Bush lied when he claimed Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Yesterday The Post continued the barrage, reporting that Defense Intelligence Agency analysts claimed last September merely that Iraq "probably" possessed "chemical agent in chemical munitions" and "probably" possessed "bulk chemical stockpiles, primarily containing precursors, but that also could consist of some mustard agent and VX," a deadly nerve agent.
Posted at 04:46 PM
LIBERIA [Andrew Stuttaford]
Charles Taylor, Liberia’s notorious warlord, may well be on his way out. Good riddance.
What will Jesse Jackson and Pat Robertson have to say about it, I wonder?
Posted at 04:45 PM
NRO CAN GET YOU FIRED? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
That may have been the case for James D. Miller. Be careful who you write for if you're not tenured, profs.
Posted at 04:10 PM
THEIRS! [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
The treasures of Nimrud, supposedly looted from the Iraqi National Museum, have been found in a Central Bank vault.
Posted at 08:09 AM
THE ANTIQUITY DEBATE [John J. Miller]
Speaking of "MINE!": Here's a story in the New York Times about archaeologists upset with a man who has salvaged an ancient Chinese shipwreck. He's now auctioning thousands of pieces of pottery, and will rake in millions doing it. Archaelogists are complaining: "These [artifacts] have to be conserved and that takes a lot of time and expense." There's an assumption that old relics would be in much better hands if only professional academics were allowed to control them. Not so. Check out article from the Toronto Star about how the University of Toronto recently threw out 280 boxes of Indian artifacts. Now they're in a Michigan landfill. Isn't it clear that sometimes the private antiquities market is sometimes the best option for artifacts?
Posted at 07:03 AM
MINE! [John J. Miller]
In England, excavators have found what may be the earliest example of English writing: the runic letters for N, E, I, and M scratched onto the back of a bronze brooch dated at 650 AD. "Whether it is a charm of some form, a person's initials or the first letters of a phrase is something only future research will be able to determine. It was obviously something treasured by its owner as it had been carefully repaired," says an archaeologist in this story. But isn't it obvious? NEIM is an anagram for what must be one of the most popular "first words" for every English speaker, as so many parents have come to learn: MINE!
Posted at 07:01 AM