HA HA HA [Andrew Stuttaford]
Cheering news (for once) from Harvard’s usually half-witted School of Public Health. According to this report from MSNBC:
“One of the most popular campaigns to curb alcohol use on campus hasn’t reduced student drinking and may actually have increased it, according to a new report from the Harvard School of Public Health’s College Alcohol Study.”
More depressing, however, to read that:
“First-year students at the University of Virginia reduced their alcohol intake from three drinks a week to one.”
Live a little, guys. I know that old Poe was one of your alumni, but there really is no need to be too worried that you will end up the same way as he did.
Posted at 04:52 PM
PROF DEATH [Rick Brookhiser]
Don't you love the story of the Penn State professor who turns out to have murdered three Venezuelan fishermen? No wonder he kept his record off his resume. Can you imagine the scenes in class?
"Wull, no Professor, I didn't finish my paper...So what're ya going to do, shoot me?"
"Wull, yeah, Professor, so I cheated on your exam. But I didn' waste three spic fishermen."
Posted at 10:02 AM
ESQUIRE HIRES JAYSON BLAIR [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
to review the movie version of Stephen Glass's book. There's is nothing non-repulsive about any elements of that.
Posted at 09:31 AM
REMARKABLE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
The Michigan GOP would be for this, I assume?
NFL Fines Lions $200K Over Coach Search 23 minutes ago By MIKE HOUSEHOLDER, Associated Press Writer DETROIT - Detroit Lions president Matt Millen was fined $200,000 by the NFL on Friday for not interviewing any minority candidates before hiring coach Steve Mariucci.
Posted at 09:12 AM
THE SAUDIS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Rich's latest column is on the "cover-up."
Posted at 08:57 AM
WE DON'T GET TO READ THE ACCUSATIONS & EVIDENCE... [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
...but we have to listen to Bandar shoot 'em down!
Prince Bandar dismissed the report's assertions about Saudi involvement in the hijackings.
Posted at 08:53 AM
RE: ADMISSION [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Terry, I recently Amtraked to Toledo, Ohio. It is slow and goes a completely roudabout route--up to Buffalo first--but does have some gorgeous views, especially when in the Hudson Valley.
Posted at 08:44 AM
GRUDGING ADMISSION [Terry Teachout]
I'm an Amtrak fan--at least when it comes to trains running between New York and Washington--and not just because flying makes me squirmy. I love trains for their own sake. I love looking out the window and letting my mind wander and being able to get up and walk around. A friend just told me that she and her boyfriend are going to take a transcontinental train trip in a couple of weeks, and I turned green on the spot (from envy, not nausea).
Please don't remind me of all the compelling arguments against Amtrak--I know they're right. Still and all, it would make me terribly sad if I couldn't take the train to Washington anymore.
Posted at 08:37 AM
LIBERTARIAN PARADISE? [Andrew Stuttaford]
The entire Norwegian government is on vacation.
Posted at 08:37 AM
DENVER LYRICS [Tim Graham]
Some of us have been corrected in referring to Dan Rather using lyrics from the John Denver song "Take Me Home, Country Roads." It is correct to call them "John Denver song lyrics," since it's his hit, but drop the "song" and you're wrong. It was written by Bill Danoff, better known by the old people as one-fourth of the Starland Vocal Band, whose one hit was "Afternoon Delight," a song Dan Rather has not yet found occasion to read on the air, not even during the release of the Starr report.
Posted at 08:35 AM
ATHLETICALLY CORRECT [Tim Graham]
One of the rules of politics ought to be not to use ignorant sports analogies. In the New York Times, the odious California Democratic Party hack Bob Mulholland boasts from the Gray Davis camp, "We are at the beginning of spring training, and we already have our team, and we know what the issues will be...While the Republicans are starting spring training, and they don't have a quarterback."
“Spring training” is a baseball term, not a football term, and it’s never held in July. “Training camp” is the term the Democrat is fumbling for. To demonstrate which party’s operatives have a better grasp of being athletically correct, GOP spokesman Rob Stutzman comes back with the analogy, no doubt responding to the reporter’s suggestions, and nails the baseball analogy: "They may be in spring training, but there are going to be all kind of clubhouse brawls."
Posted at 08:35 AM
ONE LAST THING RE JONAH AND YAF [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Right after I was told about the VD comment, it was explained to me why the schedule was about 25 minutes behind: Someone had asked Jonah to talk about conservatives and LIBERTOIDS! (A plant?)
Posted at 08:24 AM
AP SILLINESS [Tim Graham]
Conservatives may want to put aside the very worthy procedural debates over recall or no recall to notice that the media will be carrying Gray Davis's water yet again. One factor in the rapid recall signing process was a tripling of the car tax by Davis. But AP seems to think a state official called "the deficit" signs tax increases into law:
"The budget deficit has already caused the state's car tax to triple, and Davis' approval rating to sink into the low 20s in many polls."
Posted at 08:17 AM
BACON & ERDOS NUMBERS [John Derbyshire]
Several readers note that Stephen Hawking has been in movies & therefore presumably has a finite Bacon number, as well as almost certainly an Erdös number. Also this: "Derb-- Tim Hsu and David Grabiner have observed that since Dan Kleitman actually appears (briefly) in and is a mathematical consultant for the movie Good Will Hunting, Bacon has a combined Erdös/Bacon number of 3, since Kleitman has Bacon number 2 (via Minnie Driver, who was in Sleepers with Kevin Bacon) and Erdös number 1. Bruce Reznick is in a similar position, with an Erdös number of 1 and a Bacon number (by virture of being an extra in Pretty Maids All in a Row with Roddy McDowall) of 2. In fact, Paul Erdös himself has an official Bacon number of 4, by virtue of the N is a Number (a documentary about him), and lots of other mathematicians have finite Bacon number through this film."
Posted at 08:13 AM
SPEAKING OF TEXAS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
I was on a panel with Jim Graham of Texas Right to Life. What a guy! He's a hugely untapped resource, in my opinion. The Anthony Robbins of the conservative movement, if you ask me. A graduate of the Young America's Foundation, he funds teens to go to the summer conference every year to go through the boot camp. (In telling students why he does what he does, I am certain he could have inspired the most apathetic kid on campus.) He's been a pro-life activist for ten years and seems every bit as dedicated--although perhaps even moreso--than the day he started. So many of the folks you meet get cyncial, jaded, depressed. He's a fighter, along with his wife, Elizabeth, and is glad to do it all because he has his ultimate, eternal goal in mind all the while. People are doing great things in the states all the time who just do not get the credit they deserve. Thank God for them.
Posted at 08:12 AM
I'M SO DISAPPOINTED [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
that I did not get to break the VD news to you. As soon as I walked into the George Washington University ballroom where the Young America's Foundation confab was happening, I was told about Jonah's explanation for Rich's absence. It sounded like it was once of the most memorable lines of the week. If it makes them buy the book, Jonah, Rich might owe you royalties.
Posted at 07:55 AM
VIVA BROOKS [Rick Brookhiser]
A thousand congratulations to David. With former NRODT-ite Paul Gigot at the Journal, and former NRODT-ite David at the Times, all we need to give Eric Alterman nightmares is a minion at the Washington Post. Volunteers?
Posted at 07:30 AM
DITTO [Steve Hayward]
I wish to ditto Peter Robinson's objections to Rick's aversion to Republican attempts to attract the Hispanic vote. If you re-run every California election going back to 1960 with today's demographic and vote split, Republicans lose them all--both Governor Reagan's two elections and all the presidential elections that Republicans won through 1988.
Reagan's pollster Richard Wirthlin has gone further and suggested that what has happened in California is going to happen nationally unless Republicans compete better for the Hispanic vote. It is not a matter of obsession; it is a matter of necessity.
Posted at 07:30 AM
THOSE NUTTY CUBANS [Susan Konig]
You are right to point that out, Nick. Sure, it's a wild photo and all that -- but how desperate do you have to be to make a boat out of a car? I don't think those guys were trying to come here because they want their MTV.
Did you read the other day about Celia Cruz? She recently visited Guantanamo and put her hand under the fence saying, that's as close as I'll get to Cuban soil until Castro is out of there.
Posted at 07:21 AM
KRISTOL, MCCARTHY, LIBERALS—AND COULTER [Steve Hayward]
I have been wondering whether anyone on The Corner might take up the thread of Ann Coulter’s over-the-top argument in her latest book (especially after David Horowitz, or all people, disavowed her on his site—see) and Jonah finally did, however obliquely, in his comment on the Kuznet-Kristol-Gephardt business.
Coulter’s attempt to rehabilitate Joe McCarthy wholesale is likely to give McCarthyism a bad name. Her style is not suited to it. While we await M. Stanton Evans’ major book on McCarthy, we would do well to recall a passage contemporaneous with Kristol the Elder on McCarthy that gets the problem with McCarthy just right from a conservative perspective. It is from one of Whittaker Chambers’ letters to Bill Buckley, collected in Odyssey of a Friend (must reading if you’ve never seen it—you understand Witness and Chambers a lot better from these remarkable letters).
In February 1954—just a few months before McCarthy’s Waterloo in the Army hearings, Chambers wrote this to WFB:
“It is no exaggeration to say that we live in terror that Senator McCarthy will one day make some irreparable blunder which will play directly into the hands of our common enemy and discredit the whole anti-Communist effort for a long time to come.”
This pretty much has it right on. Even before I ever saw The Manchurian Candidate, it occurred to me that a clever KGB disinformation officer would dream up someone like McCarthy in order to sully anti-Communism.
Chambers returned to the problem of McCarthy in an April 1954 letter that gilds this point:
“Senator McCarthy was almost made to order. He is a man, fighting almost wholly by instinct and intuition, against forces for the most part coldly conscious of their ways, means, and ends. In other words, he scarcely knows what he is doing. He simply knows that somebody threw a tomato and the general direction from which it came. His general tactic might be epitomized in Samson’s bright thought of setting fire to the foxes’ tails and sending them helter-skelter against the enemy. A tactic not altogether ruled out in a minor skirmish in a guerrilla war—but it is not a strategy; and repetition dooms it, not only to defeat, but to boredom.”
Come to think of it, this critique may apply to Coulter’s technique as well.
Posted at 07:19 AM
Friday, July 25, 2003
PINE TAR [Rich Lowry]
This week marked the 20 anniversary of the infamous pine-tar incident, one of the great baseball imbroglios of all time. Like all Yankee fans, I still haven't forgiven MLB. The whole dispute is very much like the 2000 Florida election controversy, with the Royals in the role of the Gore legal team (the rules shouldn't apply to us), the Yankees in the role of the Bush team (sorry, the rules are the rules). Last night, I saw the footage of the actual home run by George Brett, which I haven't seen a long time since what is always re-played is the footage of him running out of the dugout like a maniac. It was high heat, up and inside, and I can't believe the way Brett turned on it. What a marvelous hitter, probably the best I've ever seen in person (I've never watched a Barry Bonds game).
Posted at 04:56 PM
OUT-OF-STATERS [Rich Lowry]
E-mail: "I'm a fairly regular reader of NRO and the Corner, and as a Texan (a Texas Aggie, at that) I must say I'm very proud that you think we `always eat up rip-roarin' right-wing talks...' I hope Texans always appear that way to out-of-staters, and I hope any "Texan" who doesn't appear that way becomes an out-of-stater (e.g. the cowardly Democrats in the legislature)."
Posted at 04:55 PM
TO MY BENEFIT... [Jonah Goldberg]
I subbed-in for Rich. Great crowd, nice folks, good times. I did mention to the audience that I was worried that Rich's eye infection might have something to do with the fact he's been researching a book on Bill Clinton for over a year. "I hope it's not venereal," I might have said.
Posted at 04:50 PM
TO MY REGRET [Rich Lowry]
I had to cancel on YAF. I have an eye infection that has appalled friends, colleagues, and my doctor, and makes me look like Rocky after about 9 rounds (“Cut me Mick!”). YAF provides the best of all audiences for a conservative speech, with the possible exception of any group based in Texas. In my experience, Texas audiences--even if it’s the Ladies’ Home and Garden Club-- always eat up rip-roarin’ right-wing talks...
Posted at 04:08 PM
MORE JUDICIAL NOMINATIONS [Jonathan H. Adler]
It's official. The President today nominated Brett Kavanaugh of the White House Counsel's office and Justice Janice Rogers Brown of the California Supreme Court to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
Posted at 03:44 PM
GILLESPIE ON BUSH AND THE DEMS [Kevin Cherry]
AP reporter Ron Fournier details Ed Gillespie's speech to the RNC. Gillespie is, I think, right to point out that the Dems are flailing, trying to attach any scandal or charge that they find to Bush. That doesn't mean that they won't find something to stick in the next year or so. He's got a job cut out for himself, especially if he tries to keep up with Terry MacAuliffe.
It's also odd that Gillespie borrows almost verbatim from the Convention Speech in 2000: "The once-proud party of Franklin Roosevelt, who famously told us we have nothing to fear but fear itself, now seems to have nothing to offer but fear itself."
The article makes Gillespie sound as though he did nothing but go negative, which leads to Fournier's conclusion that "Gillespie clearly has been cast as Bush's attack dog, the quick-with-a-quote operative who can heatedly denounce Democrats while the president tries to appear above the fray." I wonder what the full text will show . . . [Link via Drudge]
Posted at 03:30 PM
PROMISES, PROMISES [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
If you think The Corner is slow today, check in tomorrow. Seriously--you can check The Corner from your home computer--it works, it really does. It will be hopping and happening. And, for all you Amtrak bashers, I just got into D.C. with a minute to spare. John Miller's office, by the way, is frighteningly neat. I think I am moving in.
Posted at 03:28 PM
NOT SO COMICAL? [Andrew Stuttaford]
Comical Ali being investigated for involvement in a 1980s murder in Sweden.
Posted at 03:25 PM
RECALL REVULSION [Tim Graham]
Who wrote this on Darrell Issa? "Davis may have found the perfect demon in Issa, whom he can portray as anti-abortion, anti-immigration, and a fringe right-wing opportunist on a power grab.” Get the latest summation of the early recall bias here.
Posted at 03:24 PM
CALIFORNIA VS. COLORADO [John J. Miller]
Peter: I'd be curious to see those California figures when you have them. In the meantime, consider that Colorado has a constitutional provision limiting the growth of government to inflation + population growth. It was passed in 1992. Almost the entire political establishment, including Republicans, howled in opposition. One of the few to support it (as a state rep) was Bill Owens, Colorado's current governor. So it can be done--and those who do it can experience great political success. It was a year ago that NR put Owens on its cover and called him "America's Best Governor."
Posted at 03:21 PM
DEBATING HOWARD DEAN [Ramesh Ponnuru]
New Republic writers square off.
Posted at 02:22 PM
I'M OFF... [Jonah Goldberg]
To go speak to the Young Americans Foundation fest.
Posted at 01:11 PM
ONE MORE [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
I'm a graduate student studying social cognition at a major research university. I'm a Howard Dean liberal, and probably to the left of the Berkeley people who published that study of conservatism. And, I agree with you that the Berkeley study is shameless BS. I recognize that reasonable people can disagree about any political issue, and I would never try to subvert debate by *defining* those who disagree with me as unreasonable.
In the hands of an honest person, meta-analysis can be a tool to iron out the biases inherent to specific studies. One good example is self-esteem. Despite a general bias in our field toward thinking that self-esteem is important, meta-analysis has suggested that self-esteem is not so important (there's a small correlation between happiness and self-esteem, and little else).
The reason that self-esteem is a good candidate for meta-analysis, and conservatism is a bad candidate, is that self-esteem is well-defined and conservatism is (as you discussed in your article) poorly defined *especially when studying 'conservatism' across nations*. In the minds of Jost, Glasser, etc., a conservative is a conservative is a conservative. This fallacy is natural enough. Social psychology speaks of an outgroup homogeneity effect, whereby people think that the members of their own group (the 'ingroup') are different from each other but that people in an outgroup are similar. E.g., 'there is variability among us gentiles, but jews are all the same.' Or, (to salvage some of my liberal pride) Ann Coulter thinking liberals are all the same. The Berekeley researchers certainly understand outgroup homogeneity, but they obviously couldn't transcend it.
Posted at 01:10 PM
INCREDIBLE WASTE OF TIME [Jonah Goldberg]
If you just can't work today but you can't leave the office either. Maybe I am this site is for you.
Posted at 12:08 PM
ME RIGHT: STUDY BAD [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
Posted at 11:56 AM
FALSE CHOICES [Nick Schulz]
E.J. Dionne is a marvelous guy who writes excellent books, but his newspaper columns often fall short. His column on school vouchers is a case in point. In the Washington Post he writes:
The debate over school vouchers usually brings out the worst in both of our political parties.
This is a long-running theme of Dionnes. In Why Americans Hate Politics Dionne argued, often convincingly, that both major parties offered mostly false choices to voters. A pox on both their houses.
But in his column, Dionne offers his own false choices.
Republicans refuse to face the core problem these children confront. The quality of teachers and curriculums is much higher in wealthy suburban public schools than it is in poor, inner-city public schools. In a country where the overwhelming majority of children attend public schools, vouchers do nothing to rectify this injustice
This is a false choice. As the Wall Street Journals Bill McGurn has demonstrated in his superb columns on choice, the correlation between dollars and educational quality simply doesnt exist. Its not to say money cant be important. Of course it can be. But money is only one part of what matters to a childs education. Either way, most conservatives would gladly advocate a spike even a significant spike -- in state funding for education provided the funds were immediately turned over to parents to decide what they want to do with it.
Posted at 11:51 AM
KRISTOL & COMMUNISTS [Jonathan H. Adler]
It is important to remember the context of Irving Kristol's remarks. At the time, Commentary was still a liberal magazine, and Kristol still saw himself as a man of the left. Kristol's primary aim was to critique American liberalism from inside the liberal tent. He was concerned that it was insufficiently anti-communist -- and with cause. These concerns would lead Kristol to join up with the anti-communist Congress of Cultural Freedom and launch the journal Encounter, with Stephen Spender, as a forum for intellectuals on the anti-communist left. Neoconservatism -- as an identifiable political or intellectual movement -- had yet to be born. Indeed, Michael Harrington would not label Kristol and others "neoconservatives" until the late 1960s.
Posted at 11:27 AM
EPA HELD IN CONTEMPT [Jonathan H. Adler]
It seems a federal judge did not take too kindly to the convenient destruction of records relating to the EPA's regulatory activities. Here's the story, and the opinion.
Posted at 11:14 AM
CUTE, MAYBE TOO CUTE [Jonah Goldberg]
Posted at 10:45 AM
KUSNET V. KRISTOL II [Jonah Goldberg]
But what I find simply galling is Kusnet's assertion that Irving Kristol's comments about liberals being too soft on communism was "farfetched." Although, not to sound too Clintonian, but since Kusnet says Bill's comments about Gephardt are "just as far farfetched" as his father's comments about 1950s liberals maybe this all depends on the meaning of "farfetched." If Kusnet merely means "fair and reasonable" then maybe this isn't a big deal. But, I assume he's saying that Irving Kristol was wrong to suggest liberals were insufficiently anti-Communist. And if that's the case, Kusnet's higher than a moonbat. Of course, there were good and patriotic liberal anti-Communists in the 1950s (contrary to what some on the Right are saying today), but to suggest Kristol wasn't on to something is simply historical revisionism for the sake of a few cheap partisan points and a few cheap shots about nepotism.
Posted at 10:24 AM
KRISTOL V. KUSNET I [Jonah Goldberg]
As I mentioned yesterday , Bill Kristol's column in the Washington Post contained an allusion to his father's most famous quote. In response, David Kusnet offers a particularly snide attack on Kristol at the American Prospect's site. He criticizes Kristol for attacking Gephardt and for using his "daddy's" formulation. He writes:
...[T]he younger Kristol's hint that Gephardt is soft on terrorists and rogue states is as farfetched as his father's claim that earlier generations of liberals were soft on communism. After all, Gephardt helped draft the bipartisan congressional resolution authorizing military action in Iraq; he also supported the administration's actions against the Taliban and al-Qaeda. Gephardt has paid dearly for this, losing many potential supporters who might have been drawn to his progressive policies on economics, trade and health care but see him as too bound to George W. Bush, not too soft on Saddam Hussein.
I don't mind Kusnet defending Gephardt. Kusnet's a labor guy and what else would you expect from him in the American Prospect? But then again, I do remember that Harold Meyerson -- the Prospect's Editor-at-Large -- offered a slightly different take on Gephardt's allegedly heroic and principled support of the war. Meyerson wrote in the Washington Post just this week that Gephardt's reasons for supporting the war had less to do with principle than Kusnet would have us believe. Meyerson wrote :
If anyone has personified the failure of the Democratic establishment to provide the party with a distinct profile during the Bush presidency, it's Gephardt. As House Democratic leader, Gephardt clung to Bush's Iraq policy until it all but unraveled over the past month. Gephardt's endorsement last fall of the administration's war resolution effectively derailed a bipartisan effort in the Senate to require the White House to win more international backing.
Hmmmm. It seems to me that Kusnet's Golden Boy -- according to Meyerson, not me -- was at least in part willing to send American boys and girls into harm's way in order to advance a narrow political agenda. Perhaps Gephardt is indeed a bit more fickle on issues of war and security than Kusnet would have us believe.
Posted at 10:23 AM
CUBAN INGENUITY [Nick Schulz]
You gotta love the heart of those Cubans trying to flee Castro's thug regime. From the Miami Herald:
Over the past four decades, Cubans desperate to reach the United States have crossed the perilous Florida Straits in just about anything that floats: Surfboards. Inner tubes. Homemade rafts.
Whats a little less lovely is the U.S. governments response.
Ingenuity, however, didn't translate to success. The U.S. Coast Guard took the dozen Cubans aboard the truck back to the island last weekend.
Posted at 09:53 AM
not that NOW.
Posted at 09:04 AM
STATUE OF BRUCE LEE TO GO UP IN BOSNIA [John Derbyshire]
No word on whether any of his co-actors are to be named on the plinth. (And BTW, is not "plinth" one of the loveliest words in our language?)
Posted at 08:34 AM
Posted at 08:33 AM
CHECK OUT [KJL]
Jonah on CNN NOW
Posted at 07:32 AM
TONKIN: HE WAS THERE [Jed Babbin]
My piece about the Vietnam playbook drew a comment from Philip Colter, one of the Navy pilots flying the defense/strike mission in support of USS Maddox and USS Turner Joy on night two of the Tonkin Gulf incident. His first-hand account shows that there was a second attack mounted by the North Vietnamese, despite what the McGoverniks have said ever since. Here's part of Colter's e-mail:
I was one of the pilots launched on the night of August 3, 1964 from the USS Ticonderoga (CVA-14) for air support to the USS Maddox and USS Turner Joy... We reported upon debriefing that we saw no torpedo boats, but there was a very good reason for that. We had been launched without flares and had no way to provide light on the water.What Colter says is both reasonable and logical. This points out the flaw in the McGoverniks arguments about both Tonkin Gulf and "Uraniumgate". What the pilots reported in August 1964, and what the President said in the State of the Union were both perfectly accurate. What political conclusions Congress draws from them -- in 1964 or in 2002 -- will always be subject to debate. For almost thirty years, the debate about Tonkin Gulf has been a dishonest one, as dishonest as today's criticism of the President's statement.
Posted at 07:10 AM
WHEEE! [John Derbyshire]
A mathematician with an Erdös number of 5 or 6 (he's not sure) has just e-mailed in offering to co-author a paper with me. I would then have BOTH a (finite) Erdös number AND a Bacon number! Would I be the only person with this distinction? John Nash? But he wasn't actually in the movie, was he?
Posted at 07:00 AM
ALSO IN THE JOURNAL... [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
John J. Miller on "America's birth certificate."
Posted at 06:32 AM
BELIEVERSNEED NOT APPLY? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Kay Daly in the Wall Street Journal:
What seems to have escaped the skittish senators is that, regardless of what these nominees believe personally, as constitutionalists and strict constructionists they recognize that their role as federal judges is to apply the Constitution and the law as they find it--no matter how contrary it may be to their personal belief system. It is judicial activism, whether on the left or the right, that is cause for concern, and the nominees under suspicion are opposed to it.
Posted at 06:31 AM
DAVID BROOKS [Jonah Goldberg]
Will be a columnist for the New York Times! That's just great news. I am a big fan of David's. It is great, great news and I am very happy for him and the conservative movement that he's on board at the Times. May he prosper and do good and -- dear God -- may he not "grow" too much in that rarefied soil!
Posted at 06:13 AM
JUST THE FACTS, MA'AM [Peter Robinson]
Driving from San Francisco to Palo Alto Thursday afternoon, I turned on the car radio--and within a quarter of an hour heard half a dozen wildy differing claims about Gray Davis and the holy budget mess we Californians are in. Since early next week I'll be shooting an episode of Uncommon Knowledge on the recall initiative, I really do need to get the facts straight. Can Corner readers help? (And when you email me, please place "Recall Facts" in the subject heading.)
a) How much has the state budget increased since Gray Davis took office?
b) During the same period, how much has the state's population increased?
c) If the budget had increased at the same rate as the population, how big a deficit would we now face?
d) Am I leaving anything out?
Posted at 05:29 AM
MELVILLE CALLING [Peter Robinson]
May I beg a note of clarification from Brother Brookhiser?
Rick, why do you refer to "W's foolish pursuit of the Great Brown Whale, the Hispanic vote?" Because you believe W. is pursuing the Hispanic vote incompetently? Or because you believe he shouldn't be pursuing it at all? And if the latter, why? Bcause he has no business addressing himself to Hispanics as Hispanics, that is, in encouraging them to form themselves up into yet another self-conscious minority? Or because he has no realistic hope of winning the Hispanic vote?
Bear in mind that I compose these words in a state that has absorbed something like eight million Hispanics in the last dozen years. Ronald Reagan's California was demographically and culturally of a piece with the Midwest, a kind of Iowa-on-the-Pacific, remaining, as late as 1970, ninety percent white. But the Golden State today? Either the GOP learns how to attract about 40 percent of the Hispanic vote (or, if you prefer, of Hispanic voters) or it will never, ever win another statewide race.
So what's the right way to think about this problem?
Posted at 05:12 AM
A VERY LATE NOTE TO SHE WHO NEVER SLEEPS [Peter Robinson]
Spent the morning unpacking after our vacation back East (I don't want sympathy, exactly, K-Lo, but have you ever unpacked for five children?), then devoted the afternoon and evening to digging through bills, junk mail, and other assorted detria that had piled up while we were away, with the result that I only just now read your request for advice on what you might say to the students you'll be addressing tomorrow (or, as it has already become in your time zone, today). I'd tell them to draw a very sharp line between their activities inside and outside the classroom. My model? Jeff Hart.
On the faculty when I was at Dartmouth, Jeff was flamboyantly conservative, a man who delighted in outraging liberal sensibilities. The faculty senate might pass one resolution after another calling for cuts in the budget of the athletic department, but Jeff would attend every home football game with relish, wearing a racoon coat and celebrating touchdowns by passing around a silver hip flask. Each year he'd give a lecture entitled, "A Valentine for the British Empire, or Uganda was Better Off When the English were Running the Place." On the rare occasion when he attended a faculty meeting, he'd take with him a wooden mechanical device that was shaped like a human hand--Lord knows where he got the thing-- set it on a desk, and then demonstrate his boredom by turning a crank that drummed the fingers. One day stickers appeared on the light switches in Sanborn House, home of the English Department, urging students to conserve energy by turning out lights; the next day notes appeared on the stickers, in Jeff's handwriting, that read, "Conserve energy? Produce fuel!" And while other members of the faculty drove Volvos and Fiats, Jeff tooled around Hanover, New Hampshire in a second-hand limousine that Bill Buckley had given him, merrily getting all of about eight miles to the gallon.
But all that took place outside the classroom. Inside the classroom, by contrast, Jeff never so much as mentioned politics, instead giving himself entirely to Shakespeare, Dr. Johnson, Boswell, DaFoe, Pope, Dryden, Hemingway, Fitzgerald. The text--the text was everything. "Engage in a close reading of John Donne or Andrew Marvell," he'd remark, "and you'll find that it's difficult to work in a mention of the Vietnam War or the Equal Rights Amendment." He was the best teacher I ever had.
Outside the classroom, politics, the more outrageous the better--why waste youth?--but inside the classroom, the life of the mind.
Posted at 03:22 AM
OPERA [Terry Teachout]
It's way cool. Likewise ballet. Anybody wanna make something of it? I'll meet you out back. Warning: I pack a shiv.
Posted at 01:06 AM
Thursday, July 24, 2003
RE: WILL ON BUSH [Tim Graham]
I think Will (and certainly Derb) is too harsh about Bush and his conservatism. It is certainly true that recent Supreme Court decisions and the darkening picture of hemorraging federal spending should leave the conservative forces a bit glum. We do not “dominate” Washington the way Joe Conason and David Brock would have people believe. Republican control of Congress is a slender reed, not a mighty sword. And everything the Bush team does is guided by a keen sense of how it will be played through the prisms and funhouse mirrors of the national media.
On the question of geopolitical conservatism, Bush may not be an isolationist in the Old Right tradition, but there is very little of a visible or audible conservative opposition to Middle East military action. Bush does not expect to lose thousands of votes on the right by making war on potential terrorist havens and hideouts.
There is more potential defection from Bush in the area of fiscal conservatism, where the early promises of limiting discretionary spending to four percent growth sound as old as ragtime music by now. The media’s steady devotion to complete misrepresentation of any spending cuts or “government shutdowns” during the last presidency have taught the current team to be as strategically timid in the budget battles as they are strategically bold on the other side of the world. Their plan to favor tax cuts and concede to dramatic spending growth on potential Democratic traction areas (education, Medicare) do threaten to make them look like deficit-builders and could demoralize the econo-cons who hoped for more ambitious reforms.
As for constitutionalists and social conservatives, the only bones they’ve been thrown are a set of judicial nominations that have yet to yield a single obvious nomination disappointment. Confirmation is a bigger trouble. But the Bush presidency has been largely a rhetorical vacuum on abortion, and downright bound and gagged on gay politics. (Nod to liberal media hot buttons here once again).Will is right that a Supreme Court nomination would be a test he cannot finesse. His stated admiration for strict constructionists like Scalia and Thomas will require a nominee of their distinction and philosophy. Anything less begins the echo of Poppy, who lasted one term with the Inaugural idea that “we didn’t come here to bicker.” We’re here to bicker, and badger, and persuade. We need our leader to show confidence in the popularity of conservatism when it matters most.
Posted at 10:37 PM
...OR NOT [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
...looks like it will be another time. But, suffice it to say, GOP staff is promising the next week, before recess, will be judge time.
Posted at 10:18 PM
WATCH CSPAN2 [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Rumor has it floor debate on Pryor might start tonight. Bob Graham is rambling about intel right now though, so stay with must-see TV.
Posted at 08:35 PM
CLARIFICATION TO JONAH'S POST [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
"Fearless leader" in this case is our man Rich Lowry. I left my inbox for a bit and came back to people asking why I cancelled. It's the Lowry man who can't make YA...you know the place, not me. Jonah and I are on schedule for tomorrow. (Though goodness knows anyone after Jonah is a letdown. Have you heard the man? Especially with the college crowd? I REALLY should go first!)
Posted at 08:33 PM
CAMPUS WARS: FIGHT EVERY BATTLE, OR NO? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Two interesting e-mails that say very different things:
It may be important for you to say not to neglect your studies! The lefties act like classes come second. There is the danger of overstating the global significance of little fights that rarely make the papers, when you could be sharpening your saw for truly important battles if you make it to NRO and other outfits so vital on the national scene ...Emailer 2:
I saw your bleg on the corner, and a relatively obscure (at least in the minds of many current college students) but very important victory came out of Michigan in the early 1990's. Michigan's speech code was one of the most restrictive in the country. Students could be punished for almost any non-PC speech (of course, PC was in its infancy with DeSouza's book just hitting the racks). The one example I recall was that a student who laughed at a joke about a fellow classmate who stuttered was a "harasser."The two emails, obviously aren't diametrically opposed or anything, but lean in different directions, surely. And it's Thursday night, and I'm trying to keep awake...
Posted at 05:16 PM
GOIGN [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Speaking of...The Corner could sure use a spellchecker.
Posted at 05:02 PM
IT WAS THE CORNER, JONAH [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Young America's whatever got too many protest calls, is what it is. A conference without Jonah is no conference. But, darn, now I can't steal your jokes. I was goign to work in something about a spellchecker at an M&M factory. so, thanks a ton Cosmo, or whomever is behind this.
Posted at 04:59 PM
YOUNG AMERICANS FOR FOUNDATIONS OF FREEDOM OR WHATEVER [Jonah Goldberg]
Turns out I will be speaking to them after all. Our fearless leader had to cancel at the last minute and so I'm filling-in. Not sure of the time. Have no idea what I'll say. Still, I wonder if Cosmo is responsible somehow for this turn of events.
Posted at 04:51 PM
WHAT TO TELL COLLEGE KIDS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
One reader pulls up this WFB quote in response to my bleg:
WFB has some great stuff in his address to the American Society of Newspaper Editors on April 19, 1968: "The sea is the creature which, at the margin, can drown the sailor. But however tempestuous, however arbitrary, however sullen the sea can be- however much like an editor [or America-hating professor]- the sea maintains its basic integrity; and if the sailor observes the rules, if he maintains his guard, if he propitiates the elements, he is permitted to survive and the experience is sublime."
Posted at 04:26 PM
DERB'S ERDOS NUMBER [Jonah Goldberg]
I was cc'd on this letter to Derb who may be too humble to post it himself:
Jonah is indeed correct about the meaning of "Bacon number." I think the Bacon number has to have been derived from the concept of "Erdos number" (http://www.oakland.edu/~grossman/erdoshp.html), which is decades old and quantifies one's collaboration with Prof. Paul Erdos. However exciting your movie career is (and it is, very), some of us are more interested in your Erdos Number.
Posted at 03:51 PM
RE: JONAH'S OPERA CAREER [John Derbyshire]
I am sorry you didn't "get" opera, Jonah, having been given such a wonderful opportunity so young. Don't sweat it, though--the NRO readership includes a huge corps of opera-haters. Every time I mention opera I get 120 e-mails asking me angrily if I am some kind of pansy. Me! I should add (braving that storm of e-mails) that you were in what has been called (where? in the operatic glossary at the end of Fire from the Sun , that's where) "one of the happiest of all operas," and a very pure example of the _bel canto_ style. L'elisir d'amore was written, words and music both, in two weeks from a standing start. They didn't have e-mail to cope with in the 1830s. Donizetti was a genius, and a great master of his art. (And P.S.: Except for the first word, and proper names, the words in an Italian title don't get an initial capital letter.)
Posted at 03:44 PM
FROM BEHIND ENEMY LINES [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
Posted at 03:39 PM
HURRICANE TAEQUEL [John Derbyshire]
From a reader. Will someone please tell me if this is for real? Not that anything surprises me any more in this particular zone. "From TheHill.com: The 2003 hurricane season is here, and that means a whole new list of names such as Larry, Sam and Wanda ready to make tropical-storm history. Although Spanish and French names are included in this year's lineup, among them Juan and Claudette, which struck Texas last week, popular African American names, like Keisha, Jamal and Deshawn, are nowhere to be found. Some black lawmakers don't seem to mind, but Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) does. "All racial groups should be represented," said Lee. Hurricane names have been too lily white for Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas). She says all ethnic groups should be represented. The World Meteorological Organization began naming tropical storms after women in 1953. That made sense to scientists at the time who thought women and storms were both unpredictable. After feminist groups protested, men's names were added in 1979. The National Weather Service says hurricane names are derived from languages spoken in areas that border the Atlantic Ocean, where such storms occur. Yet that doesn't explain why Gaston, Ernesto and Cindy were chosen and Antwon, Destiny and Latonya were passed over. Lee said she hoped in the future the weather establishment 'would try to be inclusive of African American names.' That could take a while. The current roster of hurricane names isn't due to be updated until 2007." Pshaw. We snooker fans are still waiting for a storm to be named after the immortal Hurricane Higgins.
Posted at 03:26 PM
DERB... [Kathryn JEan Lopez]
I think The Corner is well-rounded enough for youngster to make their lives. Ok, I'll stop the shamless flacking now.
Posted at 03:09 PM
TYLER COWEN ON PAUL KRUGMAN [Jonathan H. Adler]
A "libertarian economist" at the Volokh Conspiracy weighs in on the NYT columnist.
Posted at 03:07 PM
CONSERVATIVES VS. RPI [John J. Miller]
Here's the conservative case against Connerly's Racial Privacy Initiative, written by Tom Wood, co-author of the California Civil Rights Initiative (Prop. 209), which Connerly championed seven years ago.
Posted at 03:07 PM
MORE RECALL [Jonah Goldberg]
Another thoughtful reader response on the recall:
Posted at 03:04 PM
THE NEWEST METS? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Posted at 03:02 PM
HMMMMM.... [Jonah Goldberg]
I've heard stories from numerous campuses about how college conservatives are trying to get the same treatment as any other identity politics group. They apply for money from "diversity" and "multicultural" programs and insist that they be represented along with the usual members of the Coalition of the Oppressed. I'm of two minds about this. On the one hand it seems to feed the self-ghettoization conservatives are sometimes so good at. On the other hand, it is good old-fashioned guerilla campus fighting and you've got to respect it. So, without endorsing this idea or condemning it, I just put it out there for your consideration: The Berkeley study I ridicule in today's column which purports to identify semi-hardwired psychological tendencies for conservatives could be a gold mine for conservative activists. If some of us are just "born conservative" as it were and can't help it, why shouldn't conservatives be afforded the same room and consideration as gays or blacks or anyone else. I leave it to you guys to do with that what you will.
Posted at 02:56 PM
RE: RECALL BLUES [John Derbyshire]
A thoughtful California conservative: "I must admit I feel the force of the arguments against the recall: we (well, they) elected the guy fair and square, and he should be left to finish out his term; we shouldn't be like the Democrats, wanting a "do over" because we didn't like it that Davis won; a successful recall sets a bad precedent, etc., etc. However, when push comes to shove, I'll be in there voting the guy out, just because Davis is such an arrogant, incompetent putz. ... [And also because] a successful recall would absolutely kill any presidential ambitions Davis might have. He would officially be Seriously Damaged Goods in the Democratic Party. ... And, in the end, that's just too good an opportunity to pass up, for me at least."--Richard Zuelch, BAMUMNIYLIDGAS (by all means use my name if you like, I don't care a bit).
Posted at 02:54 PM
BACON NUMBER--A READER EXPLAINS [John Derbyshire]
A reader explains: "Your Bacon number is the Hollywood equivalent to your Erdös number in mathematics." Ah, got it. Unfortunately, my personal Erdös number is transfinite... but I had better say no more; this is the kind of post that gets me suspended from The Corner for a week.
Posted at 02:53 PM
OPERA [Jonah Goldberg]
Yes, Derb it's true. When my brother and I were little kids we got jobs as (non-singing) extras (in opera and dentistry they call them supernumeraries) at the Metropolitan Opera. It was great stuff. We got paid cash, ran around the place, exploring the costume rooms, etc. For the record I don't like opera very much (my dad loves it). The performance I was in with Pavarotti was the 1978 production of L'Elisir d'amore (I believe it was his New York debut). I was also in Peter Grimes, Faust and a couple others. It was a great experience for the fun, but I got less culture out of it than you might think.
Posted at 02:42 PM
RE: JUST 15, AND POLITICS IS HER LIFE [John Derbyshire]
Kathryn: That last one was flippant. (Sorry, I forgot to click on the "flippant" tag.) I think there is an interesting issue here, though, that we might debate some time. Viz.: Just how interested in politics would you want your 15-yr-old to be? I am not sure about this. I would certainly want a 15-yr-old to know stuff about politics. Indeed, the kids (8, 10) at the Derb family dinner table are already encouraged to take in some of the political talk and express opinions about it. On the other hand, "politics is her life"? No, I don't want either of my kids, at age 15, to think that politics is their life. Nor at any other age, come to think of it. There is a great deal more to life than politics--or there should be. Politics is, after all, in Jay Leno's wonderful phrase, only "show business for ugly people."
Posted at 02:32 PM
RE RECALL [Jonah Goldberg]
I'm against it. I understand the arguments for it, but elections must mean something. If you want to impeach him, that's cool. But a recall means that you want a do-over and I think that's a bad idea. If he's so terrible, the state legislatures should work around him. As I said in my syndicated column , the people of California voted for Gray Davis and now they must be punished.
Posted at 02:31 PM
GRAND MARSHALS & LIFE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Yeah, I was pretty straight (no pun intended) on that, Derb. Would you tell a college kid who was a too into NR/NRO to get out and live a little? Is there such a thing as too much NR? I mean, I tend to encourage kids to "make NRO/NRODT their lives"
Posted at 02:22 PM
INITIATIVES [John J. Miller]
Steve: I've always been skeptical of the initiative process, in California and everywhere else, for the reasons you mention. Having said that, it's pretty obvious conservatives have done well by it over the years. Almost makes me want to shout, "Power to the people!" Even so, I remain leery--and worry the Left will figure out how to use it for mandated health care, wage hikes, etc. Also, the recall vote gives a big boost to Ward Connerly's Racial Privacy Initiative. There's going to be an interesting debate surrounding RPI, because not all conservatives are going to support it. Yet RPI now gets a big boost with the new voting day, because the March electorate will be disproportionately liberal due to the presidential primaries.
Posted at 02:21 PM
RE: 15 [John Derbyshire]
Kathryn: Discourage what? Being Grand Marshal in a gay pride parade? Definitely!
Posted at 02:19 PM
DAVIS RECALL [John J. Miller]
Nick: Yes, Davis lied last year about the budget mess--and everybody who cared to look at the California budget knew he was lying. I'm not sure there's anything we know about the guy post-election that we didn't know pre-election. So while I'm not shedding any tears for Davis, who is probably America's worst governor, I'm also not exactly weepy for an electorate that chose to give him another four years less than nine months ago.
Posted at 02:15 PM
SEMTEX CHIC [John Derbyshire]
Andrew: I fear that browsers of the Sinn Féin website will have their eye stopped by "Tiocfaidh Ar La." The pronunciation is "chocky ar la." Since Sinn Féin leaders like G. Adams started dressing up smart to show the world how moderate and respectable they are, wags in Norn Iron have been muttering "chocky ar mani." Under their breaths, of course.
Posted at 02:11 PM
RE: JONAH IN THE OPERA [John Derbyshire]
If operas don't count, Jonah, they certainly SHOULD. But which opera was it? You weren't the tot in Il pirata that the heroine sings that wonderful "Col sorriso d'innocenza" to, were you?
Posted at 02:10 PM
RE: JUST 15, AND POLITICS IS HER LIFE [John Derbyshire]
Thanks, Jonah. Now I can't get any work done--that phrase "the Oracle of Bacon" is occupying all my thoughts.
The Oracle of Bacon
Has rarely been mistaken.
When approached by an actor
It computes his "ham" factor.
Posted at 02:09 PM
POLITICS IS MY LIFE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
So, Derb, I should definitely discourage that among the young conservatives of America?
Posted at 02:05 PM
JUNE 15, AND POLITICS IS HER LIFE [John Derbyshire]
Read this and weep, or possibly barf. Then read this, passed to me by my Frisco Lady, who adds: "Link isn’t up yet on the San Francisco Examiner website (local throwaway rag, not to be confused with the 'real' newspaper of yesteryear) so forgive any typos." The Old Switcheroo
Who would guess the ABC Family Channel would air a show that inclues a lesbian household? Well, today, it is. "Switched!" features 15-year-old Marina Gatto, who was the youngest grand marshal ever in S.F.’s Pride parade. It airs at 4:30 p.m. Marina traded places for five days with a teenager from Concord, Mass. Emily Manual’s parents were surprised to learn their daughter would be in the Burlingame home of Marina’s two lesbian mothers, Ramona and Arzu Gatto. "ABC was so funny," says Ramona. "They told me it was going to be on the network on Thursday – but also said they were worried about it. After all, they run Pat Robertson’s '700 Club' in the morning. A backlash is expected." Emily’s father is a Harvard professor, who admonished Marina in the Manual home with, "We don’t talk politics at the breakfast table." Politics is young Marina’s life. On the other hand, Ramona reports, "Emily wanted to talk about dates and cars – and she’s 18." Most teenagers do talk about dates and cars – but Marina is no ordinary teen. "We took Emily to meet Mark Leno, Marina’s hero. She said, with a bit of wonder, 'I've never met a gay person before. And I think there’s one black person in Concord.'" But, in the end, Emily told Ramona and her partner, Arzu, "every preconceived notion I had about gays has been shattered." And, in Mass., the land of Puritans and a legislative testing ground for gay marriages, Emily’s mother cried as she kissed Marina goodbye. Maybe ABC Family wandered into new territory when it comes to what really makes a family.
--Bruce Bellingham, SF Examiner Thursday July 24, 2003 This is one of those pieces that contains so many idiocies one just doesn't know where to start deconstructing it. Perhaps a good place would be the notion that Massachusetts is a place full of starched-collar puritans. Massachusetts!
Posted at 02:03 PM
RECALL WRINKLE [Steve Hayward]
Under a provision of California election law, any initiative that has qualified for the ballot must be voted on at the next statewide election, even a special election. (This happened to Prop. 174, the school choice initiative that went down in flames in 1993.) Ward Connerly's Racial Privacy Initiative (which would prohibit the state of California from collecting data on race) has qualified for the ballot, and was thought to be headed for a vote in the primary next March. But now it will be voted on in the recall election on October 7. So far this has received little discussion in the media or in political circles, but could emerge as a major factor in the recall.
Posted at 01:50 PM
MORE RE: RECALL [Steve Hayward]
Nick Shultz and John Miller are quite right to say that the Davis recall is not grounded on any particularly conservative principle. Quite the opposite: The recall, and the California initiative process generally, are outgrowths of the Progressive Era in California, and are intended to make government more "populist" or "democratic." The irony of course is that the initiative proces has mostly served conservative policy goals over the last generation in California, starting with Prop 13 and running through Prop 209 (ending racial preferences), term limits (though this is a dubious idea at best), a state version of the Defense of Marriage Act, etc. But conservatives' fondness for these Progressive devices in California have caused them to abandon or forget deeper principles about how republican government ought to operate.
My own views on this are quite mixed: No one so richly deserves the boot more than Davis. I have an old friend from high school who was, and remains, very liberal (he even lives in Marin County) and is now quite senior with one of the electric utilities (which have always been corporate socialist entities in California, which is why my old friend fits in just fine). He was in the room with Davis on many occasions during the peak of the electricity crisis, and was appalled and astounded at how weak, indecisive, and irresponsible Davis is. It was almost enough to make a Republican out of him.
If successful, the recall is likely to lead to the de facto transformation of California into something like a parliamentary democracy. In the future, whenever a governor's popularity swoons (Pete Wilson's polls were very bad in 1992 and 1993), the liberal special interest groups are likely to try the recall route themselves; they have more money and organization than the right in California. Having done it once, Californians might get used to doing it over and over again--a populist/Progressive form of a "no-confidence" vote, and the elevation of a new prime minister. In a state that is likely to remain dominated by Democrats, the recall may come back to haunt Republicans for years to come.
Posted at 01:44 PM
SERIOUS HILLARY QUESTIONS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
One reader suggestions: "Can you name two pitchers in the Yankees' starting rotation?"
Posted at 01:39 PM
TWO-FACED? [Andrew Stuttaford]
If Sinn Fein wants its claims that it is part of the 'peace process' to be taken seriously it might want to change the t-shirts it has for sale on its website. 'Sniper at Work' is a real charmer.
Posted at 01:22 PM
MCCAIN ON DEAN INSANITY [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
From today's Hotline, citing McCain on Hardball last night:
MSNBC's Matthews, to Sen. John McCain (R-AZ): "When asked about the killing of Saddam Hussein's sons the other day, Howard Dean, the candidate for president said, quote: 'It's a victory for the Iraqi people but it doesn't have any effect on whether we should or shouldn't have had a war. I think, in general, the ends do not justify the means.' Your thoughts, Senator?"
Posted at 01:21 PM
MY BACON NUMBER [Jonah Goldberg]
I was in an opera (yes, an opera) with Luciano Pavarotti when I was a kid, and since his Bacon Number is 2, I believe that mine is three -- if operas count.
Posted at 01:01 PM
CONSERVATIVES ARE NUTS [Jonah Goldberg ]
The G-File is up. My apologies for the length and tardiness. I was in rant mode and I had to edit it back to its still unforgiveable length.
Posted at 12:43 PM
PRYOR, ASHCROFT… [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Jonah, I’m glad you brought up Ashcroft because on this Pryor fight (as with judges Owens, Kuhl, and Holmes); I think it is important to see this as a pro-life religious test. That they are Catholic makes for great “Catholics Need Not Apply” ads—which I think are great (and, just to clarify, I do not think are the least disingenuous). But I also think that it is important for Catholics and non-Catholics alike to know that this is not just about Rome. The papal factor just makes it all the easier, as we are seeing with Pryor. But this could be a pro-life evangelical who cites the Bible a little too much and who opposes abortion because it is an abomination against the beliefs that make him who he is. And, yes, Ashcroft certainly knows how that kind of thing goes.
Posted at 12:41 PM
BACON NUMBER [Jonah Goldberg]
Derb -- Maybe this will save you 8 trillion emails, though I doubt it. A Bacon number -- I'm fairly certain -- is the number of degrees it takes to link you to a Kevin Bacon movie. I'm too busy to do it myself, but my guess is someone out there will figure it out for you.
Posted at 12:38 PM
DERB'S BACON NUMBER [John Derbyshire]
A fan has somehow got me listed on a database of movie actors: Though genuinely thrilled, and very grateful, I have no clue how he did this. Nor do I have any clue what the following means: "In a couple of weeks the Oracle of Bacon at U Virginia will download the latest records from IMDb and you'll be able to compute your Bacon Number. I have a hunch that you'll have a Bacon Number of 3, 'cause Chuck Norris has a Bacon Number of 2 and you're one step away from him. You'll also be able to play the Star Links game, at the same site, to see if you're closer, graphically speaking, to Alex Baldwin or Arnold Schwarzenegger... hopefully, it's the latter."
Posted at 12:13 PM
TRIUMPH OF WILLS [Rick Brookhiser]
Yes, Jonah, Will nails it. All he omits is W.'s foolish pursuit of the Great Brown Whale, the Hispanic vote.
War is the health of the state. Unlike Randolph Bourne, who said that, I believe certain wars need to be fought. But the era of big government being over is over.
BTW, NRODT (which is what you at NR Fleeting Pixels insist on callking NR) said this two weeks ago.
Posted at 12:12 PM
RELIGIOUS BIGOTRY [Jonah Goldberg]
That reminds me, I wrote a syndicated column the other day defending John Ashcroft and expressing sincere bewilderment at the intensity of anti-Ashcroft views. I encouraged readers to send me concrete examples of what he's done wrong as AG. I was astounded by how many people listed his in-office prayer meetings as an example. I'm open to the idea that prayer meetings in government offices might be a bad idea, though I personally don't see anything wrong with it so long as they're handled properly. But even if they're terrible things, what's the linkage to peoples' lives? How does it affect anything? After all, when Bill Clinton was defiling an intern -- and vice versa -- the standard mantra from the left was "Who does it hurt?" Well, if you think consensual sex between an intern and the President doesn't hurt anybody I need to know why you think consensual prayer hurts people.
Posted at 12:08 PM
RE: PRYOR AND THE FUNDRAISING FLAP [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Sessions said: "He did nothing wrong. The investigation proved he did nothing wrong. But the members of the committee haven’t had the grace to admit that." Also confirmed on the call, which The Corner reported last week, on two occasions in recent weeks, Pryor was made available to staff to ask him questions about the fundraising. Republican staff did. Democrats refused to participate. Nothing like making your intentions clear.
Posted at 12:05 PM
SESSIONS ON PRYOR, ETC. [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
On a conference call with reporters a few minutes ago, Sen. Jeff Sessions highlighted religion as “the single greatest issue” behind opposition to Senators Pryor, Holmes, and Owens. Sessions said that "We cannot have a circumstance in the senate where people who have views which are consistent with mainstream faiths are disqualified for the bench."
Posted at 12:02 PM
RE: YAF V. YAF [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
"Reminds me of the People's Front of Judea and their hatred of being confused with the Judean People's Front."
Posted at 11:27 AM
LINES OF THE FATHERS [Jonah Goldberg]
I wonder how many people noticed Kristol's presumably deliberate allusion to his dad in his op-ed piece. Kristol writes:
"There are plenty of legitimate grounds to criticize the Bush administration's foreign policy. But the American people, whatever their doubts about aspects of Bush's foreign policy, know that Bush is serious about fighting terrorists and terrorist states that mean America harm. About Bush's Democratic critics, they know no such thing.
This tracks perhaps the most controversial thing his father ever wrote -- given the time he wrote it. As a junior editor of Commentary in 1952, Irving Kristol wrote an article for that magazine, "Civil Liberties' 1952: A Study in Confusion." Pere Kristol made this observation -- which has new relevance these days by the way -- about the reigning anti-McCarthy hysteria:
"Perhaps it is a calamitous error to believe that because a vulgar demagogue lashes out at both communism and liberalism as identical, it is necessary to protect communism in order to defend liberalism. This way of putting the matter will surely shock liberals, who are convinced it is only they who truly understand communism and who thoughtfully oppose it. They are nonetheless mistaken, and it is a mistake on which McCarthyism waxes fat. For there is one thing that the American people know about Sen. McCarthy: he, like them, is unequivocally anti-Communist. About the spokesmen for American liberalism, they feel they know no such thing. And with some justification."
Posted at 11:20 AM
RE: GEORGE WILL [John Derbyshire]
Agree with Jonah. George Will nails it. This administration is going to kill conservatism stone dead. If it can.
But I called it, all of it, back in December 2000.
Posted at 11:06 AM
CONSERVATIVES IN UNLIKELY PLACES [John Derbyshire]
I got an e-mail praising something I wrote, from SWEDEN of all places. I replied with the following:
"Thank you, ------. May I say, on behalf of all American conservatives, how disappointed I am at the failure of Sweden to implode under the burden of her welfare-state spending... as we have been predicting for 40 years.... Very best wishes, JD."
My correspondent (who, to make things even more staggering, is a journalist over there) responded as follows:
"Well Derb, Keep 'hoping.' I know that in some twisted way I do. The shock of implosion is perhaps the only way that the nannied (is that a word?) people of Sweden could wake up from their reliance on the welfare state. You have no idea how difficult it can be to be a conservative in this country..."
Well, I have some idea. But how refreshing to know that little green shoots of conservatism are pushing up through the asphalt even in Uppsala and Göteborg.
Posted at 10:57 AM
OFF TO OLD EUROPE [Randy Barnett]
This afternoon, I am off to teach students from both old and new Europe at a "Europe and Liberty" summer seminar being held at the THEODOR-HEUSS-AKADEMIE in Gummersbach, Germany by the Paris-based Institute for Economic Studies. For the next week, I expect to be posting from there. I am most curious about the reactions of these liberal (in the European sense) students from throughout Europe to recent international events. We usually have as many students from eastern as from western Europe, though it varies a lot. Drinking sessions at the pub should be even more interesting than usual this year.
Posted at 10:55 AM
WILLFUL DISREGARD [Nick Schulz]
Jonah, all in all Will’s piece is quite good, except for one distortion. He writes:
Today a conservative administration is close to asserting that whatever the facts turn out to be regarding Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, the enforcement of U.N. resolutions was a sufficient reason for war. If so, war was waged to strengthen the United Nations as author and enforcer of international norms of behavior.This isn’t exactly true. He intimates there were two reasons for going to war: threat of WMDs and/or enforcement of U.N. resolutions. But Will knows that there were several compelling reasons “war was waged.” If weapons are not found, the war was not just an exercise in strengthening the U.N. as author and enforcer of international norms. The Bush team is quite obviously attempting to reshape the Middle East. Will could argue this is not a conservative thing to do, and he’d be able to make a good argument. But this suggestion that the war was either for weapons or for the U.N. isn’t right, and Will surely knows that.
Posted at 10:54 AM
MORE ON GROUP MARRIAGE [Stanley Kurtz]
Yesterday I linked to an amazing new article by Judith Levine in The Village Voice. Levine’s piece argues for legal group marriage, and more. Now Tom Sylvester has posted a detailed critique of the Levine article.
Posted at 10:53 AM
NPR [Tim Graham]
Nina Totenberg had a snippy Pryor piece this morning with a typically liberal tilt, although it gave Hatch and Sessions some time to speak. It underlined the "quiet rage" of Leahy and Durbin as Catholics who are offended by Boyden Gray's ad campaign suggesting the Senate Dems want faithful pro-life Catholics off the bench. Durbin, in particular, didn't want Jeff Sessions the Methodist lecturing him on Catholic teaching. As if he lives by it.
BTW, I found no sign of Clinton's CNN remarks on the morning shows yesterday.
Posted at 10:51 AM
THE PHOTOS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Are out (according to cNN). Released by the Coalition Provisional Authority, not the Pentagon. CNN seems very upset that they are "graphic."
Posted at 10:38 AM
GEORGE WILL [Jonah Goldberg]
He manages to cram a lot of stuff into a small space, so there's room to quibble at the omissions. But all and all I think he nails it. Republicans are doing great, conservatives are taking a terrible beating. I'd be curious to now what some of the other Cornerites think.
Posted at 10:37 AM
RE: TOTAL RECALL [Nick Schulz]
John, I used to have misgivings about the recall Davis effort. After all, a recall effort isn’t prompted by any particularly conservative impulse. But in talking to more Californians about it, the extent to which Davis lied (there is no other word) in the run up to the last election is astonishing. Even for cynical California voters, his distortions about the budget were so clearly premeditated and calculated, so brazen and insulting to voters, that the recall effort begins to make sense.
Besides, the longer this recall fight goes on, the more we’ll be treated to asinine quotes from Davis like this:
“I wasn't thrilled about serving my country in Vietnam in '68 and '69 but I did it, it was my duty and I am proud I did. I am not thrilled about this (recall), it is not a lot of fun but I do not shirk from the fight.”
Posted at 10:13 AM
I SCREAM [Andrew Stuttaford]
Kevin, relax. That report comes from the Center for Science in the Public Interest and can thus be ignored. The Center is not centrist, it's not about science and it works against the public interest. Apart from that, their name is entirely accurate.
Posted at 10:12 AM
YAF V. YAF [Jonah Goldberg]
Ribbing aside, I am a fan of both organizations, particularly the Foundation folks. But when folks at the Young Americans Foundation get peeved at being called YAF, I really have no sympathy. The two groups have similar missions, similar philosophies, similar fans etc. I know there are plenty of inside baseball differences between the two groups which are very significant to people close to them. But if you were inclined to be upset at being mis-identified as YAF why in the world would you choose the same initials for your group? It's like someone starting a communications company called American Telephone and Text and being furious whenever someone calls it AT&T. Just my two cents.
Posted at 10:12 AM
DEAD OR ALIVE (CONT) [John Derbyshire]
I see a little debate starting up among the nitpicking contingents about whether or not it wouldn't have been better to take the Hussein boys alive. Here's my two cents' worth: we did absolutely the right thing.
There were just too many downsides to having them alive--not least the nonzero probability of their escaping and thereby making us (a) start over with them, and (b) look like moon-booted doofuses (doofi?).
Even from the intelligence point of view, it might have been better to off them quickly, before they had the chance to destroy or hand away important stuff.
Worst of all though, the problem with keeping them alive is: WHAT DO YOU DO WITH THEM? Given modern sensibilities, they're going to end up with comfy cells, celebrity lawyers, and megabuck book deals. No, no, no, no, no.
(There might, of course, be the prospect of Nuremberg-type trials, in Iraq itself. This "victors' justice" always smells bad to me, though. It would smell bad to a lot of Iraqis, too, given that the _actual_ victor in the recent war was the US of A, and any Iraqis conducting or participating in such trials would be doing so on the backs of our war effort. There's a lot to be said for summary execution. I would have applied it to Goering, Tojo & Co., too.)
Posted at 10:10 AM
RE: KRISTOL [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
All I'll say Tim, is you said it, not me.
Posted at 10:08 AM
"YAF" [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Just a minor clarification. We're talking about the Young America's Foundation, which is not, technically "YAF," Young Americans for Freedom is YAF. But, come up with a better way to abbreviate Young America's Foundation and I'll oblige.
Posted at 10:04 AM
COSMO IS NOT A SPY [Jonah Goldberg]
Kathryn - I am shocked you would take part in the slanderous anti-Cosmo campaign being orchestrated from some dark and gloomy feline HQ. There seems to be an effort to make my dog into the canine Yoko Ono or something. Cosmo is all dog, almost all man (we don't like to discuss that) and definitely no leftwinger. And, for the record, this photo is not of Cosmo. Any attempt to say otherwise is to take part in a campaign to smear his integrity.
Posted at 10:02 AM
DISASSOCIATED [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Crazyman, I tell you, Charlie Rangel wrote it after looking for hands to shake at Celia Cruz's funeral.
Posted at 10:01 AM
PRYOR COVERAGE [Jonathan H. Adler]
I've posted links to the news coverage of yesterday's tumultuous confirmation hearing here, and Howard Bashman has more here.
Posted at 09:56 AM
KRISTOL ECHOES CORNER [Tim Graham]
K-Lo, in that piece, Bill Kristol touches on both Gephardt's strange Dean-cloning act and Clinton's words on Larry King, not to mention Jonah's questioning yesterday of the are-you-safer-now campaign shtick.
Posted at 09:55 AM
RUSH ON CLINTON [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
El Rushbo knows what it is all about.
Posted at 09:41 AM
UH, TRY NONE [Rich Lowry]
Clinton said the other night on "Larry King Live" that in 1998's Operation Desert Fox he may have destroyed all of Saddam's WMD: "We might have gotten it all; we might have gotten half of it; we might have gotten none of it." None is probably close to the right answer. Kenneth Pollack writes in The Threatening Storm of those 1998 attacks: "the fact was that only 11 of the ninety-seven targets attacked were WMD facilities because the administration generally did not know where Iraq was concealing its WMD programs."
Posted at 09:39 AM
RE: YAF & JONAH [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
It's because he is a secret agent. Ron Robinson there has the intel, or so I have been told. The rumors are he is working for the Saudis, though the dog chatter is confusing--it could just be The Nation. The real shock would be if it comes out he is working for North Korea though. That would be the perfect cover.
Posted at 09:34 AM
DISASSOCIATED PRESS [Jonah Goldberg]
Am I crazy or does this article read like an editorial? The AP seems almost disappointed that Uday and Qusay weren't arrested.
Posted at 09:33 AM
RE YAF PANEL [Jonah Goldberg]
Kathryn -- You could ask why I wasn't invited to speak at the DC-YAF thing for the first time in years. Their cover story that they like to mix up the agenda every now and then just doesn't scan. I suspect it has something to do with Cosmo. I just don't what, exactly.
Posted at 09:29 AM
OH NO, THE GERMANS [Jonah Goldberg]
Kathryn - One in three also think David Hasselhoff is a rock star. Take it with a grain of salt.
Posted at 09:28 AM
THE GERMANS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
One in three of them under 30, according to a poll, think the U.S. might have been behind 9/11.
Posted at 09:26 AM
REUTERS RECOGNIZES SADDAM'S SONS [KJL]
don't see a link yet, but Army has evidently shown photos to Reuters and R is reporting they're id-able.
Posted at 09:18 AM
ICE CREAM MORE FATTENING THAN WE THOUGHT [Kevin Cherry]
Okay, it's not really more fattening than I thought. Yet this article still makes me want to get out and run off the two scoops I had at Krisch's Ice Cream last night. I hope someone is able to debunk this study; till then I am off to run out of guilt. Shame on me for straying from Atkins . . .
Posted at 09:12 AM
THE GHOUL CAN'T HELP IT [John Derbyshire]
Come on, let's see the pictures. I wanna gloat.
Posted at 09:01 AM
LIBERMAN LEADS... [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
...but Senator Rodham Clinton would race to the front if she entered. So says a new Quinnipiac poll.
Posted at 08:40 AM
SAUDI ARABIA [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Richard Shelby just said on the Today Show that he believes most of what has been kept secret in the 9/11 report, mostly about Saudi Arabia, could be released publicly without compromising national security. It might be embarrassing, but not dangerous, to release. So, why exactly is it not being released? Senators afraid of not being invited to Prince Bandar's parties?
Posted at 07:17 AM
WOLFOWITZ [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Here's the transcript of Paul Wolfowitz's progress report on Iraq. A taste:
There's been a lot of talk that there was no plan. There was a plan, but as any military officer can tell you, no plan survives first contact with reality. Inevitably, some of our assumptions turned out to be wrong. Fortunately, many things turned out to be much better than our assumptions, in no small measure, I think, because of a brilliant military plan that achieved extraordinary surprise.
Posted at 06:56 AM
BIBLE THUMPING [John J. Miller]
If you've ever wanted to read a Gutenberg Bible, now you can--online.
Posted at 06:48 AM
WWTCD: A BLEG OF SORTS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
WWTCD: That's What Would The Corner Do. Tomorrow I'm on a panel at the Young America's Foundation's 25th anniversary student conference in D.C. The topic, so very broadly, is "25 Years of Campus Battles and Successes." Here's the thing: It's a panel, it's one of the last things they hear, at the end of their week. So one needs to be at her shortest, snappiest, and wisest. (So easy at 4 on a late July afternoon!) What brilliant things would you say? What brilliant things would you want to hear? As I get older (stop laughing. one of you is. i hear it) , I confess, I wish I had spent more time on my Aristotle and Thomas (I was no slacker, mind you, but I had my distractions) rather than trying to change the world (campus) while I was in school. That said, I'm glad I fought some of those higher-ed battles I did when I was an undergrad, I do think there was a point to it all still. So, anyway, her's what I have in mind for you: If you were going to pep talk college kids about battling on campus, what would you say? And more theoretically, what is the point of campus activism--of the conservative variety? (WWRKS--What Would Russell Kirk Say? I'm sure I would be wise to quote from GAMAY!) I'm curious to hear what you'all have to say. And, natch, I'll share later.
Posted at 06:38 AM
HILLARY QUESTIONS [Jonah Goldberg]
I think there are plenty to ask, but here's one that's of recent vintage. "During your blowout book tour you spoke many times about your "zone of privacy" and how terrible it was to have that invaded by the prying eyes of the state and the media. You also indicated that you wish to be taken as your own woman, a dedicated and serious politician. And yet, when the Washington Post tried to interview you about the "political aspects" of your book you refused to be interviewed, indicating that you'd be willing to discuss the other, more salacious, aspects of your book. Why is that? If you don't want to be seen as a female victim or an extension of your husband, why would the leader of the policy committee of the Senate Democrats, the Senator who replaced Patrick Moynihan of all people, and a feminist hero be so reluctant to talk about the substance of her book with the political paper of record but still willing to discuss her martyr role and the invasions of her "zone of privacy"?
Posted at 06:30 AM
FORGERY? [John J. Miller]
Israeli police have arrested the man who revealed the James ossuary box to the world last year. The charge is forgery, according to this account.
Posted at 06:27 AM
MORE ON D.C. CHOICE [John J. Miller]
Bill McGurn has a good op-ed on it in today's Wall Street Journal. After reading it, I'm convined that my question for Hillary should be posed by none other than Noree'na Jazzmine Dowtin. One more thing: Here's a valuable reference site, sponsored by the Center for Education Reform, on exactly what's happening in D.C.
Posted at 06:18 AM
THE OTHER 16 WORDS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Bill Kristol gets at the state of the Dems:
Dick Gephardt's 16 words, by contrast, change everything. They reflect the considered judgment of a centrist Democratic presidential candidate, one who voted to authorize the war, that his party must stand in fundamental opposition to the Bush foreign policy. They indicate the capture of the Democratic Party by the pace-setter in the presidential race, former Vermont governor Howard Dean.
Posted at 06:09 AM
TOTAL RECALL [John J. Miller]
I have misgivings about the attempt to recall Gray Davis, which now looks like a sure thing. He's a lousy governor, of course, but Californians essentially had a chance to recall him last year, when he was up for re-election. Also, I wonder what benefit conservatives will derive from a recall vote whose result may simply be replacing an unpopular Democrat with one who will be able to blame problems on his predecessor and face voters in 2006 as a kind of un-Davis Dem. Having said all that, the recall is an important story and an interesting one. Whenever I'm following California politics, I turn to this website: Rough & Tumble.
Posted at 06:03 AM
WHAT CNN ISN'T TELLING ABOUT THE MULLAHS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
This makes you wonder.
Posted at 05:58 AM
HILLARY QUESTION [John J. Miller]
Derb: One of your correspondents suggests asking Hillary what she thinks about D.C. school choice. I'd make the question much more pointed, such as: "Sen. Clinton, when you moved to Washington, D.C., at the start of your husband's first term in 1993, did you ever consider sending your daughter to a public school in D.C.? You wound up sending her to one of the most exclusive private academies in the region. Why shouldn't poor parents in D.C. be allowed to use some portion of the public money allotted to their children's education for educating their kids in private schools? D.C.'s Democratic mayor supports this--why don't you?"
Posted at 05:49 AM
D.C. SCHOOL CHOICE [John J. Miller]
D.C.'s Democratic Mayor Anthony Williams continues his courageous push for school choice. He is joined by another Democrat, city councilman Kevin P. Chavous. "The fact is, for the future of our city, if we're not going to have on an ongoing basis a city of haves and have-nots, well-educated and not-so-well-educated, we've got to start doing something different," Williams said. "We can't continue to operate the way we've been operating for the last 150 years." Good for him. Keep it up, Mr. Mayor.
Posted at 05:43 AM
UDAY AND QUSAY [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
The Telegraph obits. Here's Uday Hussein:
Uday Hussein, Saddam Hussein's eldest son who has died aged 39, was probably the most hated and feared man in Iraq after the president himself.His brother henchman is here.
Posted at 12:03 AM
Wednesday, July 23, 2003
R U READY FOR SOME RECALL? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Posted at 11:57 PM
OOPS [Rich Lowry]
Just to be precise, I should have said "suspected" payments in that earlier TVC post.
Posted at 07:09 PM
HILLARY ON FOX? [Tim Graham]
Derb, that is a fun game, particularly since it's such a fantasy. The number and range of questions she's never been held accountable for is too voluminous, so it's not a matter of what, but which. If I were Hannity or O'Reilly, I'd probably start at the 2000 campaign, and focus on terror. (Just yesterday she was pounding on more "first responder" money for local governments on the Senate floor).
Sen. Clinton, your husband pardoned members of a Puerto Rican terrorist group that killed New York policemen. How do you explain to New York policemen your failure to convince your husband that was a bad idea? And did September 11 make you feel any differently about it?
Posted at 07:05 PM
INTERVIEW QUESTIONS FOR HILLARY [John Derbyshire]
Why do I let myself in for these things? VAST right-wing e-mail bag on this. Samples:
----"You've expressed your reservations with Attorney General Ashcroft and the USA Patriot Act. Under the terms of the new Act, would it be legal for President Bush to get possession of the confidential FBI files of his political enemies, or is that just as illegal now as it was before?"
----"Why did the Rose Law Firm's billing records show up in your private area of the White House 2 years after they were subpoenaed?"
----"As a lawyer, how important do you think it is for person's appearing before a court to honor their oath to tell the truth?"
----"Do you think your husband did any permanent damage to our judicial system by lying under oath?"
----"Why did you vote against the Senate Medicare Prescription Drug benefit compromise?"
----Ask her to list her qualifications as an executive, not a legislature but a buck-stops-here executive.
----"Why did you choose to run for Senator in New York State instead of either your home state of Illinois or your adopted state of Arkansas?" [She's probably been asked and answered that question, and deflected it somehow with some sort of fluff, but a real interviewer would probably come back with a good hard follow-up like, "Isn't it really because you didn't have a prayer of winning in either state, and New York is famous for electing non-resident liberals like yourself?"]
----"Senator Clinton, some say you showed a remarkable degree of credulity regarding the President's early denials in his highest profile scandals. The account in your book seemed to reinforce rather than dispel this perception. Can you reassure us that you aren't especially prone to being misled in other situations?"
----"Do you think that federal law should legally recognize the notion of race?"
----The problem with Hilary isn't the initial question, it's the failure to follow up. Q. "You claimed that the story about sex with an intern came from the 'vast right-wing conspiracy.' Would you like to retract that?" HRC: "It was a very difficult time for all of us." [Or some such evasion.] Q. (moves on) Q. [should say]. "Yes, it was difficult. But do you wish to retract that claim, or is it still your opinion?"
----"What do you think of school vouchers for DC?"
----"One of the pivotal moments early in your husband’s presidency was the vote on the proposed BTU tax. Would you support a measure to introduce that tax now? If so, why? If not, why would it have been appropriate then and not now?"
----"When you were running Arkansas education, why was it so bad?"
And then there were some less-serious suggestions:
----"Have you read 'Living History' yet?"
----"When - WHEN - can we expect you and your husband go away and leave us ALONE?"
Finally, one reader would like to recycle P.J. O'Rourke's finely-phrased question used in a mock-interview situation he composed regarding the Savings and Loan crisis a few years back: "What the ****, huh? I mean, just what the ****ing ****?"
Posted at 06:47 PM
MIKE BLOOMBERG'S UNARMED BODYGUARDS? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
At a press conference right now about the shooting at city hall today, a reporter asked why James Davis, the city councilman killed, was armed (it is not clear that he ever used his gun, though--he was fired on first). NYC mayor Mike Bloomberg responded: "I don't know why people carry guns. Guns kill people." Does the mayor ask his security detail why they carry guns? All the folks over at One Police Plaza, a stones' throw away.
Posted at 05:35 PM
DANIEL PIPES VOTE POSTPONED [KJL]
Posted at 05:16 PM
RE: HILLARY '04 [John Derbyshire]
There have been some recent NRO posts about the whiffle-ball interviews Hillary Clinton gets on TV. You know, the ones that concentrate on questions about how on earth she came to be so brave, wonderful, chic, etc. That got me to thinking: just suppose--sure, her "people" would never let it happen, but just suppose--Mrs. Clinton did submit to a live interview with (say) Sean Hannity, or (say) Gordon Liddy, or (say) Ollie North, or (say) Bill O'Reilly. What would they ask her? I tried to fantasize about this, and I couldn't. I couldn't think of a single thing they could ask her. I mean, she has such polished, well-rehearsed responses to everything, I'm not sure that anyone could land a punch on her. I could think of things I might say to her ("How old were you when your conviction of your own utter moral superiority over the rest of humanity finally took over your entire personality?") but they wouldn't make for much of an interview. Can anyone offer me some starter questions for a Hillary interview?
Posted at 04:23 PM
YEAH, WHAT RANGEL SAID [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Is it my mistake, or is this supposed to be a newswire report?
Posted at 04:20 PM
GLOBAL WHATEVER [Nick Schulz]
Global warming means global warming -- even when it’s cooling. According to Reuters:
With the world sweltering through one of the hottest years on record, some icy bastions have been getting frostier in defiance of global warming.Common sense suggests that we should have a better handle on what’s happening with the climate -- including man’s influence over it -- before taking drastic and costly steps to curb warming (er, cooling), steps that may prove futile.
Tomorrow Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham and Commerce Secretary Don Evans will release the Climate Change Science Program's (CCSP) strategic plan. The plan will outline “research activities to be undertaken by 13 agencies and departments of the federal government to determine the causes and effects of natural and human-induced global climate change.” So until their plan bears fruit to help us understand what’s happening, what’s the best explanation for the cool spots? “We are disrupting the entire climate system," Rajendra Pachauri, the head of the U.N.'s main panel on climate change told Reuters. "It's not as though there is going to be a uniform warming of the entire planet." Got that? Warming, cooling, whatever.
Posted at 04:17 PM
NYC: CONFIRMATION [KJL]
James Davis, the aforementioned councilman, is dead. 2 police officers wounded.
Posted at 04:03 PM
SPECULATION [Kevin Cherry]
One member of the City Council, interviewed on 880 AM, said that he believes that he saw the gunman with James Davis before the shooting. The member said that Davis introduced him to a man who was going to run against him but now was supporting him. The alleged gunman had a firm handshake and a strange look.
Posted at 04:01 PM
HOUSE BLOCKS SOME OF NEW FCC RULES [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Posted at 03:53 PM
NYC UPDATE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
One of the injured, it is being reported, is NY City Councilman James Davis. And the mayor has confirmed that the gunman is still being looked for. A few blocks from Ground Zero, an amazing security lapse, it does seem.
Posted at 03:13 PM
HOWARD-POWERED SPRINGER [Tim Graham]
Fresh from the barber, Rich Noyes discovers something spooky: "[Jerry] Springer's celebrity and personal wealth have enabled him to assemble an impressive campaign team that includes the same Internet gurus who helped presidential hopeful Howard Dean stun his rivals by collecting $7.5 million in the last quarter, much of it via the Internet."
Posted at 03:00 PM
OPEN MIC TELLS ALL [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Posted at 03:00 PM
FLEE WILLY? [Nick Schulz]
Alert Disney: apparently being “returned to wild" ain’t what it’s cracked up to be.
The star of the “Free Willy,” movies and one-time main attraction at the Oregon Coast Aquarium was returned to the wild years ago. The goal was to reintegrate the orca with a pod of wild killer whales.
A marine biologist would certainly know why Willy has no interest in taking up again with his old confreres after experiencing the horrors of “captivity” (maybe he isn’t thrilled by the prospect of hanging with a “pod of killer whales” – sounds sensible to me). There must be some lessons here for our overly romantic views of nature. I consider myself an environmentalist (maybe not of the Crunchy Con variety) and like to spend a lot of time outdoors. Part of which makes me feel qualified to say that a lot of “nature” just plain sucks. But at what point did we humans forget that most of the natural world is wretched? This is something that even Willy seems to understand, even if we no longer do.
Posted at 02:46 PM
NRO ASSIGNMENT DESK [Rich Lowry]
If you missed Ramesh’s excellent reporting last week on the drug industry’s payments to the Traditional Values Coalition, the Washington Post didn’t. Jim VandeHei and Juliet Eilperin duplicate his reporting today in the Post. They credit Ramesh’s work--in the penultimate paragraph.
Posted at 02:41 PM
SECURITY LAPSE IN NYC CITY HALL [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Man fires dozen shots in city council chambers. One person may be dead.
Posted at 02:40 PM
RAMESH ON TVC [Steve Hayward ]
Kudos to Ramesh for his continued great reporting about the Traditional Values Coalition. Out here in California the Rev. Lou Sheldon has long been regarded by other religious right organizations as a self-seeking opportunist, and most religious right groups have long refused to trust him or work with him. It should be kept in mind that the Rev. Sheldon got most of his national fame from being invited repeatedly onto Larry King and other talk shows as a "representative" of the religious right, when of course what Larry King and others in the media wanted was an outrageous patsy who would play to type.
And then there's this: In 1976, the Rev. Sheldon said this: "God has his hand on Jimmy Carter to run for President. Of course, he's wise enough not to be presumptuous with the will of God. But he's moving in the will of God." So much for his judgment.
Posted at 02:37 PM
WELCOME STEVEN HAYWARD [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Steven Hayward, author of The Age of Reagan, 1964-1980: The Fall of the Old Liberal Order is another one of our summer Corner guests. He’s a consortium of think thanks unto himself: a fellow at Claremont, Pacific Research, AEI, and Ashbrook. Some of Steven’s work can be found here, here, and from NRO here and here and here and here and here and here (remember those days?!). Steve's also got a great wife, Allison, who is no stranger to NRO readers, either (see here, here and here.) Needless to say, we're delighted to have him.
Posted at 02:29 PM
BUSH ON POPULATION CONTROL [Susan Konig]
Bush may not support coercive methods of population control here but he's going for quality, not quantity, as in yesterday's decrease in the world population by 2 in Mosul.
Posted at 02:19 PM
CORPORATIONS - BLEG [Jonah Goldberg]
Roger - This is an ongoing gripe of mine as many readers know. I am at a loss to understand why or how it is that corporations are consistently called "right wing." They are 100% useless in the culture war, they only favor free trade when it benefits them otherwise they are perfectly happy to advocate protectionism, subsidies whatever. They fund their enemies -- GreenPeace, NAACP, etc -- and often sell-out their friends. And yet, partly because of the hangover of Marxism which demands that corporations be agents of the Right and reaction, we're supposed to believe that corporations are steadfastly rightwing.
Anyway, I want to write a big piece for the mag some day on this and it also will be a major chapter of my book. So, I'm asking readers to help me with my ongoing file. If you know of any articles, papers, studies, anecdotes, statistics etc which might fit into a discussion of the myth of the rightwing corporation please send them to Gfilecorrections@aol.com.
And for the record, JonahNRO@aol.com is still my main email address but I use the other one because it's much easier organizationally and my JonahNRO account keeps overflowing.
Posted at 02:12 PM
BATTERED CORPORATE WIFE SYNDROME [Roger Clegg]
Front-page story in the Washington Times yesterday about how Corporate America loves to give big bucks to the NAACP, which goes nicely with the NAACP’s announcement that it has judged yet another sector of business – this time it’s automakers -- and found it wanting in terms of the organization’s racialist agenda (all automakers got a “C” or worse, with the industry overall receiving a “D”). I have very mixed feelings about the NAACP’s mau-mauing. On the one hand, it irresponsible and stupid racial demagoguery; on the other hand, Big Business is so shameless and unprincipled in its efforts to be politically correct on race, that this serves it right. We need to figure out some way to give companies an incentive to tell Kweisi Mfume, Jesse Jackson, and their ilk to get lost.
Posted at 01:52 PM
TRIUMPHALISM [Terry Teachout]
Today, I'm for it, as is the indispensable James Lileks.
But we should all keep in mind the scene in "Bull Durham" in whch Tim Robbins pitches a stupendous inning and returns to the dugout, where Kevin Costner proceeds to ream him for innumerable tiny imperfections. Robbins complains that he's just savoring the moment, to which Costner replies, "The moment's over."
Posted at 01:40 PM
MULLAHTALK [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Iran claims to have al Qaeda leaders in custody.
Posted at 01:29 PM
HOT-AIR BLAIR? [Kevin Chery]
One of my favorite magazines is National Journal, which features writers like Stuart Taylor and Jon Rauch. Agree or disagree with them, they're smart. The current issue has a column by Clive Crook, who asserts that Tony Blair is, to borrow Joe Klein's phrase, a "helium-filled dilettante." Crook argues that Blair is a pragmatist, interested chiefly in obtaining and maintaining power: "Ideological pragmatism in the service of political ambition has been the abiding theme of his career." In Crook's telling of the tale, Blair stands by us not because he believes we were right--indeed, Crook says, Blair's pre-PM days would indicate he believes we are wrong--but because British politicians must "pick fights over big questions and win."
Thus, "the appearance of deeply held convictions and a seeming willingness to make sacrifices in pursuit of them are both helpful. Actually having deeply held convictions and a willingness to make sacrifices in pursuit of them" are not. His ideology is "bold and new and uncompromising, but with no actual content." This is the essence of the Third Way.
Crook concludes by contending that the Third Way obscures necessary debates and, moreover, keeps former leftists from having to "admit that nearly everything they used to say was wrong."
Posted at 01:26 PM
HAVEL [Kevin Cherry]
As Jay notes in today's "Impromptus," Havel is a more than deserving recipient of the Medal of Freedom. I've been thinking about Havel in light of the situation in Iraq. News reports have indicated that we are having a difficult time interrogating Iraqi captives because they are so accustomed to lying; there are undoubtedly those in Iraq who don't believe us when we say we killed Saddam's sons. Like all other tyrannies, Iraq was rooted in what Havel called "living the lie," and many more people than one would like to think were involved with that. (I believe the quote is from his essay, The Power of the Powerless.")
Posted at 01:24 PM
IF TIME WEIGHS HEAVY ON YOUR HANDS [John Derbyshire]
Here is a website to browse: the National Pygmy Goat Association.
Posted at 01:17 PM
GROUP MARRIAGE [Stanley Kurtz]
Over at The Village Voice the call to follow gay marriage with legalized group marriage has already begun.
Posted at 01:08 PM
RE: LOSERS [John Derbyshire]
Andrew: I recall that some years ago there was an Apathy Society in England. It wasn't a big success--they had trouble getting members to show up for their meetings.
Posted at 12:42 PM
IF YOU CAME HERE BECAUSE RUSH LIMBAUGH SENT YOU [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
this is the piece, by Mark Levin, you're looking for.
Posted at 12:41 PM
THE DANIEL PIPES VOTE [John Derbyshire]
Today the Senate committee on health, education, etc. votes on GWB's nomination of Daniel Pipes to the board of the US Institute for Peace . If Pipes is voted down, this will be a great milestone: the first important political victory for the forces of organized Islam in the USA. Extremist-Islamic organizations like CAIR have been lobbying like crazy. They have Ted Kennedy in the bag, and probably Mrs. Clinton. Watch this vote.
Posted at 12:08 PM
NOT AFRAID OF THE L-WORD [Andrew Stuttaford]
Here's a bunch of people with nothing to lose. Wait a minute, let me rephrase that
Posted at 12:04 PM
PRYOR UPDATE [Byron York]
The Senate judiciary committee has just approved the Pryor nomination on a stright part-line vote: 10-9
Posted at 11:58 AM
WHY IT IS SO IMPORTANT THOSE 2 HUSSEINS ARE GONE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
"The level of suspicion and paranoia is unbelievable," Paul Wolfowitz reporting on his trip to Baghdad, just now. (I'll grab link to his full speech in a bit. It's worth reading.)
Posted at 11:34 AM
PRYOR BATTLE [Jonathan H. Adler]
Coverage of the Senate Judiciary Committee proceedings over at Southern Appeal, where Quin Hillyer and I are guest blogging.
Posted at 11:29 AM
RATHER-DENVER VIDEO ONLINE [Tim Graham]
See for yourself; Dan welling up as he recites John Denver lyrics. I didn't notice in the first viewing yesterday how he really gets goopy when the lyric reciting is done. Can someone get Gramps a tissue?
PS: But don't forget that the night before Rather was highlighting an "exclusive" by reporter David Hawkins with the American soldier-killers. Hawkins claimed: "In an exclusive interview with CBS News, three men who claim to have participated in several recent and deadly attacks on U.S. soldiers say they're not doing it for love of Saddam -- but instead for God and their country."
Posted at 11:26 AM
BILL CLINTON JOINS BUSH/CHENEY '04? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
A reader writes:
Don't you think this exchange may as well have been an announcement: My wife is running for president in 2008?
Posted at 11:25 AM
RE: DANG [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Jonah, when was the last time anything remained a secret? It's not possible, simply not possible. Enjoy the blogosphere.
Posted at 11:10 AM
DANG.... [Jonah Goldberg]
Jon - I was hoping to keep that secret until I could write about it in tomorrow's G-File.
Posted at 11:00 AM
ARE CONSERVATIVES CRAZY? [Jonathan H. Adler]
That's what some researchers at Berkeley seem to suggest.
Posted at 10:39 AM
CALIF. RECALL ON TRACK FOR FALL [Tim Graham]
Posted at 10:33 AM
THE PSYCHOPATH AND THE FEARED HEIR [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
My Q&A with Con Couglin, author of Saddam: King of Terror, on the Saddam Hussein sons, is here.
Posted at 10:30 AM
A TRUE HEROINE [Andrew Stuttaford]
Jessica Lynch's family defy food police. The first meal they served their daughter was KFC fried chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy and biscuits. No broccoli.
Posted at 10:23 AM
PRES. BUSH ON UDAY AND QUSAY [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
In the Rose Garden right now, President Bush says that because Saddam's "chief henchmen" are dead, the Iraqi people can be confident now more than ever that "the former regime is gone and will not be coming back."
Posted at 10:19 AM
RE: BILL SPILLS ON CNN [Tim Graham]
If it wasn't for you, K-Lo, I'd have no idea this morning that our last president basically suggested that the media-DNC complex lay off on the Uranium Sentence. Move on, in other words. I hardly think if Gerry Ford came on Larry King and said Dubya made a grave mistake, it would escape the attention of liberal pundits and producers. Fascinating.
Posted at 10:14 AM
NBC'S INTRO TO TODAY [Tim Graham]
Katie Couric's opening today acknowledged that Uday and Qusay were worm food, but quickly moved on to two more American soldiers killed. Are these events really equivalent in news value? Today has been pounding hard for days on the latest casualties and the latest hyped reporting on hyped intelligence, while ABC and CBS look like Regis and Kelly by comparison. Is there something in Russert's water?
Posted at 10:13 AM
REAGAN + KENNEDY = DEM STRATEGY [Jonah Goldberg]
Both Gephardt and Kerry have started using the same strategy. They both keep saying in various ways that voters should ask if they feel safer today than they did four years ago. In many respects this is a very unserious question. If you asked voters if they felt safer after Pearl Harbor they'd say no. That hardly means FDR was to blame (though I know some do. I'm talking politics here). Similarly, President Bush can claim credit for discarding the phoney peace of the Clinton years in order to assure long term safety even at the cost of short term instability.
Regardless, this line may sound Reaganesque, but it's actually from the Kennedy playbook. Gephardt and Kerry are trying to sound tougher than Bush in much the same way Kennedy decried the fake "missile gap."
There are some important differences and those differences illuminate why the strategy will fail. First of all, as I mentioned above, there's the bogus nature of the argument itself. Second, Bush is no Eisenhower. He's far more like Kennedy in terms of his muscular liberal internationalism (for want of a better term) than anybody the Democrats have. Third, this strategy is weighted down by cynicism. Kerry and Gephardt both voted to support Bush pretty much every time they had the opportunity. But they never, ever, claimed they were more hawkish than Bush and never attempted to be more assertive than him.
Indeed, if you go by Harold Meyerson's telling in today's Washington Post Gephardt agreed to support the war for narrow partisan reasons. If that's true -- and Meyerson should know -- one might ask why Bush is denounced by folks like Begala, Krugman and McAuliffe as a Hitler-like aggressor who went to war to distract from domestic problems while Gephardt gets a free pass for endorsing a war (and giving it all the bipartisan cover it needed) simply so he could focus on domestic issues.
Posted at 10:10 AM
THE UNTOLERANT PARTY [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Mark Shields on Democratic-party (lack of) openmindedness to pro-life Democrats:
Seventeen Democratic House members wrote to party chairman Terry McAuliffe asking him only "to add a link to the Democrats for Life of America on the Democratic National Committee website."Here's the full Shields column (warning: just bear with him past the opening graph).
Posted at 09:46 AM
BRILLIANT [Jonah Goldberg]
Estonia held it's annual wife-carrying championships this week. You have to carry your wife across a 250 yard obstacle course. The brilliant part is the prize: Your wife's weight in beer. In other words, if someone has an unfair adavantage due to marrying a tiny woman, you get less beer.
Posted at 09:44 AM
SAID & TERROR MONEY [Stanley Kurtz]
Is funding of academic “area studies” giving foreign countries undue influence over our college campuses? A little while ago, I reported that Saudi Prince Alwaleed–the man whose ten million dollar gift was returned by Rudy Giuliani for blaming 9/11 on America’s Israel policy–had started funding colleges and universities. Martin Kramer reports that the upcoming conference of the Middle East Studies Association has 25 scheduled papers on the Palestinians, yet not a single paper on Saudi Arabia. American scholars understand that writing about Wahhabism and terror would scuttle any hope of Saudi funding. Now the New York Sun reports that the newly established “Edward Said Chair” in Middle East studies at Columbia University may have been funded, directly and indirectly, by Palestinian and Saudi money. The Sun also reveals that Rashid Khalidi, the new and first occupant of that chair, has advocated Palestinian violence. Foreign countries are free to donate money, and Americans are free to speak their minds. But in fields of area studies that front directly on American security interests, universities ought to reveal foreign sources of funding. And centers of Middle East studies that are funded by American sources ought to receive priority for federal grants under Title VI.
Posted at 09:37 AM
GUN CORNER [John Derbyshire]
TOTALLY the last word on .38 and .357 rounds and guns (from a reader in Natchez): "Derb: Your friend of firearms expertise is only 'almost' correct. True there are essentially no modern .38 specials that will admit a .357 mag case. This is because the cylinder is not bored through to the same dimension in both, the .357 case being just a tad (1/10 in. I think) longer than the .38 special, this being incorporated into the cartridge design back in the days when it may have been a critical issue. Thus, a .357 round can almost never be fully seated into the chamber of a revolver designed for the .38 special. However some of the earlier S&W and Colt copies (mostly made in Spain) in .38 special, had the cylinder bored clear through in the same diameter (diminishing accuracy, of course, as the lead missile would expand to fill the front of the cylinder, only to have to be squeezed down immediately in the forcing cone at the beginning of the barrel). This was of little consequence at usual pistol ranges back then. However there was no restriction on the length of the cartridge case other than the cylinder length, and a .357 can be loaded into these revolvers, and fired, if you wish to tempt the devil. While you shouldn't try this at home, I once inherited one of these old Spanish counterfeits, and did my best to blow it up (experimentally, of course, in the interest of science, and my inquisitive young mind), by progressively increasing the powder charges of Hercules Unique power in increments, in reloaded .38 special cases. I would tie it to a small oak tree on the edge of a gravel pit, tie a string to the trigger, hide behind another tree and touch it off. I had no success with almost double charges of that powder. I could have accomplished my objective by using a faster burning powder such as 'Bullseye,' but I had already seen that done by accident in a more modern revolver and so there was no incentive to try it. The old revolver survived the 'proof testing' to my amazement, and I still have it in my gun safe, cleaned and oiled though never fired again. I figured it deserved retirement."
Posted at 09:32 AM
OBITUARY OF THE MONTH [John Derbyshire]
Norman Lewis, the travel writer (A Dragon Apparent has died at a great age. His obituary is a better read than the average modern novel. Sample: "He eventually set up a chain of camera shops, having by this stage met his first wife while driving a Bugatti whose previous owner, a Hindu, had converted it to resemble a yacht, complete with decking, portholes and an image of the elephant god, Ganesh. Lewis's bride, Ernestina Corvaja, was no less exotic. She was the daughter of a Mafia lawyer exiled from Sicily to Bloomsbury with his volatile wife, an owl and a brood of rickets-stricken chickens; he passed the time by reproducing the paintings of the Sistine Chapel on his ceiling. Lewis's relationship with his parents-in-law survived a moment of paralysing embarrassment when, on the Corvajas' first visit to Enfield, his father [Lewis's parents were spiritualists] slipped into a trance during Sunday lunch and began to communicate with the spirit of Ernestina's dead sister. The effort of will needed to absorb calmly such experiences was perhaps the wellspring of Lewis's cool, detached prose."
Posted at 09:31 AM
UDAY & QUSAY: THE SIGNIFICANCE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Ralph Peters says: "The deaths of Saddam's sons is a more important step in the liberation of Iraq than the fall of Baghdad."
Posted at 09:05 AM
JUST IN [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
#11 of Iraqi Most Wanted nabbed. (Here's a status check, pre-11 announcement from CENTCOM.)
Posted at 08:41 AM
MORE SONGS FOR RATHER [Tim Graham]
Another e-mailer nominates Toby Keith and Willie Nelson in the Uday-Qusay song category. This sounds like a Texas governor would talk, if not a Texas transplant weirding out Manhattan:
Justice is the one thing you should always find You got to saddle up your boys You got to draw a hard line When the gun smoke settles we'll sing a victory tune We'll all meet back at the local saloon We'll raise up our glasses against evil forces Singing whiskey for my men, beer for my horses
Posted at 08:38 AM
DEAD OR ALIVE [John Derbyshire]
O'Reilly wondered last night if there might have been a case for taking U & Q alive, to get intelligence out of them. Col. David Hunt said no, we're better off with them dead. I agree. I'd kill Saddam Hussein on sight, too, and Osama bin Laden. Nuts to the intelligence: there is a great point to be made--not least to the people of Iraq--by offing these vermin. Plus, the thought of them sitting in cells while celebrity lawyers fight for the chance to represent them, is just too much.
Posted at 08:35 AM
LIEBESTOD [Rick Brookhiser]
My song nomination for the passing of Uday and Qusay is an old blues, "Duncan and Brady," as sung by Dave Van Ronk. Brady is a corrupt bullying cop harassing Duncan, a saloon keeper.
Brady said to Duncan, 'You are under arrest,'
Posted at 08:34 AM
WHIPLASH [John Derbyshire]
New York Post, p.22: "[Paul] Lister [one of the organizers for the civic welcome to returning POW Jessica Lynch], who spent '42 years, six months and three days' in the Army, has five grown sons and one grown daughter. 'All six are in the service. Army, Marines, and Air Force,' he said. '...If you don't serve the country, don't stay in it.'"
New York Post, p.27: "Kobe Bryant is set to be paid more than $14.6 million by the Lakers next season, and it's estimated he also earns at least $10 million a year in endorsement deals."
Posted at 08:28 AM
SURE, THERE'S HILLARY... [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
...but, man, if only Bill could run in '04!
Posted at 08:10 AM
CHARLIE RANGEL, ON THE OTHER HAND... [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Back to the crazy-talk Dems. Here's an excerpt from Rep. Rangel on Hannity and Colmes last night:
RANGEL: I really think that these are two of the rottenest bums that have ever been described to me, but do you know something? We have a law on the books that United States should not be assassinating anybody.
Posted at 08:08 AM
MORE CLINTON [Kathryn Jean Lopez ]
KING: What do you do, Mr. President, with what's put in front of you?
Posted at 08:00 AM
BILL CLINTON IS MAKING SENSE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
As his party self-destructs, playing elder statesman on Larry King, Bill Clinton says the right thing:
KING: President, maybe I can get an area where you may disagree. Do you join, President Clinton, your fellow Democrats, in complaining about the portion of the State of the Union address that dealt with nuclear weaponry in Africa?
Posted at 07:59 AM
INVESTIGATING THE PRYOR SMEAR [Jonathan H. Adler]
Four Senators have asked Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch to investigate potential "criminal activities in support of a campaign to smear" judicial nominee Bill Pryor. The Senators believe several Democrats on the committee sought (unsuccessfully) to set a perjury trap for Pryor at his campaign hearing. Worse, there is evidence suggesting an individual provided committee Democrats with purloined documents for the purpose of undermining Pryor's nomination in retaliation for Peyor's prosecution of her friend. See the Senators' letter over at How Appealing.
Meanwhile, Quin Hillyer has posted extensive excerpts from Bill Pryor's written follow-up questions over at Southern Appeal (where I'm guest blogging this week). As Quin's post shows, when it comes to the alleged ethical charges against Pryor, there's no there there.
Posted at 12:44 AM
Tuesday, July 22, 2003
TOCQUEVILLIAN ORGY, CTD. [Ramesh Ponnuru]
An e-mail: "Tocquevillian orgy only returns ONE google search result. This is called a googlewhack. If you've never heard of this, it's at googlewhack.com. The only problem is that it couldn't find Tocquevillian in the dictionary, so it's not a TRUE googlewhack, but still."
Posted at 07:58 PM
TRYING TO OUTDO DEAN [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Richard Gephardt, crazy, in San Fran today:
...I'm running for president because I believe George Bush has left us less safe and less secure than we were four years ago. I'm calling for new national leadership because the Bush-Cheney bravado has left us isolated in the world — fracturing 50 years of alliances, calling into question our credibility, squandering the global goodwill that was showered on us after 9/11.Here's the whole speech--it's s trip.
Posted at 06:54 PM
A CORNER READER SUGGESTS [Susan Konig]
If you're thinking of songs appropriate for the loss of the Hussein brothers, what about AC/DC's Highway to Hell?
Posted at 06:32 PM
DEAN ON THE HUSSEIN BOY'S CAPTURE [Jonah Goldberg]
He doesn't miss a beat. The AP reports that Howard Dean "shrugged off" the news saying, "the ends do not justify the means."
Posted at 05:46 PM
BAD WEEK FOR PSYCHOS [John Derbyshire]
If Idi Amin turns in his lunch pail as expected, and those two stiffs really are U and Q, this has been a really bad week for psychotic megalomaniacs. If I were Kim Jong Il, I'd be staying home with the doors closed.
Posted at 05:30 PM
BACK FROM NEW YORK (OR WAS IT CONNECTICUT?) [Terry Teachout]
I rode the Dragon Coaster this morning, and I have a witness to prove it. Did I have fun? Not precisely, but it didn't kill me, either, nor do I feel the need for immediate institutionalization.
Next stop, hang gliding.
Posted at 05:08 PM
THE PRESIDENT IS "GLOATING" [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
It didn't take too long for Paul Begala to disregard the Hussein sons elimination. He's on the usual talking points. But he just said the president is gloating about the killings. I've had CNN on since it was announced: I have not heard a word from the president. That's gloating?
Posted at 04:59 PM
HEAVY-METAL SALUTE [Tim Graham]
An enthusiastic friend e-mails:
I know if I were in Dan Rather's shoes, I'd take the occasion of Q and U's death to pay some homage to MOTORHEAD!!!!
Posted at 04:38 PM
TODAY IN HISTORY [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
July 22 is not the best day for public enemies.
Posted at 04:26 PM
I JUST HEARD [Susan Konig]
"Burning Down the House" by the Talking Heads on the radio. That seemed appropriately celebratory...
Posted at 04:07 PM
STOP CUBAN JAMMING [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
A strong statement from Stephen Johnson at the Heritage Foundaiton.
Posted at 04:06 PM
NOT JUST SONS, WEAPONS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
From Time magazine, June 2, re: Uday:
A chef at Baghdad's exclusive Hunting Club recalls a wedding party that Uday crashed in the late 1990s. After Uday left the hall, the bride, a beautiful woman from a prominent family, went missing. "The bodyguards closed all the doors, didn't let anybody out," the chef remembers. "Women were yelling and crying, 'What happened to her?'" The groom knew. "He took a pistol and shot himself," says the chef, placing his forefinger under his chin.
Posted at 03:55 PM
NO DAN SONG FOR DEAD ACES [Tim Graham]
Rather ended the dead "Aces" press briefing without quoting any song lyrics. Can't we be sappy here? Anyone have any nominations for appropriate lyrics for Dan? "As the rock band Queen once sang,
And another one gone And another one gone Another one bites the dust...
Posted at 03:48 PM
WELL, DUH [Kevin Cherry]
According to this Reuters story on CNN.com, Kansas is actually flatter than a pancake. A study, published in the Annals of Improbable Research, confirms it.
Posted at 03:45 PM
DO YOU FEEL IT? [Susan Konig]
Did a palpable bit of evil just get sucked out of the universe in a strong downward motion? The world feels that much better now.
Posted at 03:44 PM
GUEST BLOGGING [Jonathan H. Adler]
As guest blogging seems to be the thing to do these days, I'll be guest blogging a wee bit over at Southern Appeal for the rest of the week. Come on over and give us a visit.
Posted at 03:38 PM
CENTCOM: HUSSEIN SONS ARE DEAD [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
They're dead. Uday and Qusay have been killed by Coalition forces--a CENTCOM official is confirming now in a press conference.
Posted at 03:35 PM
RE: TV VILLIANS [John Derbyshire]
Marcy-- "Do you have any batteries?" [ Peggy nods sadly ]
Posted at 03:01 PM
CELEBRATORY GUNFIRE .... [Jonah Goldberg]
apparently going off in Baghdad. So either the Hussein kids are really dead or the interim government finally started playing re-runs of "Alice" on Iraqi TV.
If you see any clips of Shiites singing "There's a new girl in town, and she's looking good!" then we know that we haven't caught Uday and Qusay yet.
Posted at 03:00 PM
DAN RATHER QUOTES...JOHN DENVER? [Tim Graham]
Dan Rather, never one to pass up maudlin sign-offs, ended CBS's Jessica coverage just now by reading lyrics from the John Denver song, "Take Me Home, Country Roads." You know, the one that begins "Almost heaven, West Virginia..." The only thing missing was Dan singing and strumming a guitar. Reading those lyrics with anchorman seriousness just makes it too weird.
Posted at 02:59 PM
PENTAGON SHAME [Kate O'Beirne]
There should be some embarassed blushing in the senior ranks who watched Pvt. Jessica Lynch's short remarks. Do they really believe that our defense should rest on the shoulders of this little girl? You can't begrudge her family and neighbors the joyful homecoming by Army helicopter, but it does contrast with the recent Washington Post story about a young male soldier, now an amputee, waiting for his cab, upon being released from Walter Reed, for his solitary trip to the airport.
Posted at 02:58 PM
SID'S MAG [Jonah Goldberg]
Sidney Blumenthal might be starting a magazine. I assume there'd be a weekly centerfold featuring a picture of Sid and some world leader fortunate enought to benefit from his genius.
Posted at 02:43 PM
THE VICE [Andrew Stuttaford]
Kathryn, to reply to your question this morning, yes, Miami Vice, certainly (first couple of seasons anyway): one of TV's greatest shows...
Posted at 02:27 PM
GOOD EOUGH FOR ME [Jonah Goldberg]
If Kate's sensors didn't go off during the movie, that's good enough for me.
Posted at 02:26 PM
POST BORROWS DELAY DISH [Tim Graham]
The front page of today's Post carries a story by reporter Juliet Eilperin titled "Fundraising Focus Earns DeLay Wealth of Influence." The Post investigation of DeLay's PACs is completely borrowed from "a public interest group -- Washington-based Democracy 21." The Post story did not include the usual description of Democracy 21 as a "group that favors changes in the campaign finance laws," in other words, a "group that thinks all of DeLay's fundraising tactics should be illegal."
Not to be made illegal: Democracy 21's donations from liberal foundations like The Pew Charitable Trusts, Carnegie Corporation of New York, The Joyce Foundation and the Open Society Institute.
Posted at 02:21 PM
HOW MANY TIMES CAN YOU SAY "CLINTON HATER"? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
This is a news story?
Posted at 01:59 PM
MY FRIEND MEL'S PASSION [Kate O'Beirne]
Along with about 50 others, I did spend some quality time with Mel Gibson yesterday before and after a screening of his The Passion. We all signed confidentially agreements, but with Lloyd Grove apparently invited to roam around the Motion Picture Association’s plush downtown theater, the fact that the screening took place shouldn’t get me on the wrong side of a lawsuit with my new friend Mel. He is, by the way, sincere, friendly and, well. . . rather short (this eyewitness report particularly pleased the tall men in my house, although they are huge Gibson fans all). No, I didn’t get a picture or autograph, but others who were unable to pull off my studied nonchalance at being with one of Hollywood’s mega-stars enjoyed Gibson’s good-natured willingness to please. He was genuinely interested in the reactions of the audience. The movie is intense and riveting, and the time quickly passes as you are completely drawn into the events in biblical Jerusalem. Although Gibson hasn’t yet begun negotiating with distributors, it is intended for general, nationwide distribution. One can’t imagine grabbing a bucket of popcorn with a super-sized diet coke before settling down to witness this graphic depiction of Christ’s passion and crucifixion. My understanding of Christ’s ordeal will be forever shaped by this remarkable movie. Some will unfairly use Gibson’s labor of love to create a controversy, which is wholly unjustified in the case of this masterful film, but hopefully Gibson realizes that this too shall pass.
Posted at 01:56 PM
I DIDN'T DO IT [Jonah Goldberg]
The top of the Eiffel Tower is on fire.
Posted at 01:56 PM
ASSESSING ACOSTA [Jonathan H. Adler]
The Legal Times has an article on the debate surrounding Alex Acosta's nomination to be assistant attorney general for civil rights. The article notes Acosta is getting attacked from both the left and the right. While Jim Boulet may not be a fan (as NRO regulars are already aware), Roger Clegg says Acosta is "a good choice to head the division, and he ought to be confirmed."
Posted at 01:35 PM
DR. SMITH [Jonah Goldberg]
From "Lost in Space" must be added to any list of greatest TV villains.
Posted at 01:34 PM
UDAY AND THE OTHER ONE [Jonah Goldberg]
It'd be great if we finally offed the Hussein boys. And I don't mind at all that they're dead, though watching them do the perp walk would be fun. But it will be a shame if their bodies are so badly burned we can't show the corpses on Iraqi TV (which sounds like a possibility). One of the reasons it's so important we catch or kill the Husseins is to prove that they're not coming back. If their bodies are so badly burned so as to be unrecognizable, people will just have to take America's word. That's certainly good enough for me, but I don't know if it'd be good enough for the conspiracy-obsessed and America-distrusting people of the Middle East.
Posted at 12:50 PM
NOW YER TALKN' [Jonah Goldberg]
Posted at 12:03 PM
RE: FLATTERY [Rod Dreher]
It's worse than that, Kathryn. I'm also lobbying to get my paper to run Jonah's syndicated column. Look what NRO has spawned!
Posted at 12:01 PM
COLLEGE-TUITION HIKES [Kevin Cherry]
The Washington Post has a good summary of the changing financial situations of state schools today.
Posted at 11:39 AM
SOAK THE RICH STUDENTS [Kevin Cherry]
According to this report in yesterday's Washington Times, California's university system is considering charging students from wealthier families higher tuitions. The surcharge would apply to more than one-third of the students at the state schools. The report assesses the impact of the hikes on students from families making more than $90,000 as well as those making more than $150,000. The initial suggstion was to raise the cost by $1,000, but the university's vice president for the budget has suggested an increase of $3,000. The report noted that "Any income cutoff is arbitrary," and at least one Regent called the proposal "offensive," pointing out that wealthier residents already "pay more into the system in terms of taxes."
This discussion comes on the heels of a 25 percent tuition hike last week and a 10 percent increase back in December. Of course, the university, according to the Times, "hadn't raised fees in seven years." Seven fat years . . .
Posted at 11:38 AM
RE: TV VILLIANS [John Derbyshire]
Well, I don't watch that much TV, but that woman with the scrawny legs on 60 Minutes always scared the bejasus out of me.
Posted at 11:35 AM
FLATTERY [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
An emailer reports on the Dallas Morning News blog:
Mr. Dreher – in his unilateral quest for hegemony and empire – is currently Cornerizing the nascent Dallas Morning News blog. Here is his first entry from this morning (emphasis mine):
Posted at 11:31 AM
RE: VILLIANS [Kevin Cherry]
Sideshow Bob has always been the creepiest villain on The Simpsons. And I would like to submit Michael Des Barres's Murdoc from MacGyver as one of the best.
Posted at 11:24 AM
NEWMAN FANS [Jonah Goldberg]
Yes, Newman from Seinfeld was a great villain. But I was adding to Andrew's list not trying to displace it.
Posted at 11:20 AM
RE: THE PASSION [Kevin Cherry]
Michael Medved, who has also seen The Passion, has a very smart column about it in USA Today.
Posted at 11:10 AM
UDAY AND QUSAY CAPTURED? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
So MSNBC is reporting they have been killed or captured by Coalition forces. Suggesting it was a raid in northern Iraq, in Mosul.
Posted at 11:06 AM
A NON-DRIVER COULD GET LONELY IN HERE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
If I were a tyrant (no comments, fellas), I'd just ban car discussions.
Posted at 11:03 AM
TV VILLAINS [Jonah Goldberg]
Andrew - That is an excellent list. Here are some additions/quibbles. First of all, Gary from Gary's Old Town Tavern was the greatest villain on Cheers (though early Harry Anderson was outstanding as well). The Mayor from Buffy the Vampire Slayer may have been the most clever TV villain of the 1990s. The one-eyebrowed-baby from the Simpsons and of course Mr. Burns must be considered. Mel Profit (played by Kevin Spacey) from "Wiseguy" was outstanding. I must also confess that the Sleestack from "Land of the Lost" kind of scared me. And Col. Klink from Hogan's Heroes definitely deserves an honorable mention.
Posted at 10:57 AM
MY GOLDEN CAR [Ed Capano]
My first car was a 1957 Chevy, one of the all-time-great muscle cars. I bought it in 1964-the year of the first great election. It was decorated with a number of "Goldwater for President" and AUH2O bumper stickers. One evening around 3 AM as I was heading home and going a tad over the speed limit on one of Staten Island's broader boulevards, I noticed in my rear view mirror flashing lights that were rapidly gaining on me. As I slowed down and waited for the inevitable "pull over," it never came. The patrol car pulled up next to me and as I rolled down my window the officer shouted: "Anyone with those bumper stickers can't get a ticket." It was with a sense of gratitude that I pulled the lever for Barry that November.
Posted at 10:45 AM
RE: THERE'S A NEW ONE [Jonah Goldberg]
Ramesh - Tocquevillean orgy doesn't ring a bell, but I know I've used several of the following phrases at one point or another:
Posted at 10:37 AM
EVEN MORE HILLARY [Tim Graham]
In the Costas category was NPR's Juan Williams last month on "Morning Edition." He began by warmly describing her as she "sipped hot tea to sooth her overworked vocal cords." She began by reading the first few sentences from her first chapter.
Williams added: "In fact, on the back of the book, there are some wonderful pictures of you, pictures of you from being the infant Hillary to being a young woman with huge glasses and funny hair, and of course, to the very coiffed and put-together you now. In a sense, you represent the feminine ideal for a generation of white American women." Hillary could only demur: "I don't know that I would say ideal."
Posted at 10:36 AM
MORE HILLARY IN '04 [Tim Graham]
Don't forget that Hillary's Army is well-equipped with an advance brigade of rose-petal-throwers in the media. Last week's edition of HBO's On the Record with Bob Costas, the sportscaster sprinkled the former First Enabler with pixie dust.
"How, from where you sit, have you maintained your dignity and how can you be so controlled under circumstances that would be trying for the best of us?" Although Bill Clinton won with 49 percent of the vote in 1996, Costas insisted: "Your husband won landslide re-election in 1996."
The sappiest exchange:
Costas: "What are your best and worst qualities as a politician?" Clinton: "Probably my worst quality is that I get very passionate about what I think is right..."Perhaps Bob can leave the serious interviews to someone more serious. Carson Daly, anyone?
Posted at 10:35 AM
LIBERATION DAY IN NYC [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
The Iraqi mission gets new occupants.
Posted at 10:34 AM
RICK'S CAMARO [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Our coolness quotient just went up exponentially.
Posted at 10:27 AM
A MAN WITH NO MINIVAN ISSUES [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
One Mr. Dave Konig.
Posted at 10:23 AM
EVEN GUYS WHO DRIVE MINIVANS [Susan Konig]
can join the state guard and support the National Guard. Jonah and Rod, there are state guards in Virginia and Texas as well as New York. Check out the item "GI Joe" on Inside the Beltway today.
Posted at 10:21 AM
'77 CAMARO [Rick Brookhiser]
I do indeed drive a '77 Camaro. It is the only car my wife and I own. We keep it in Ulster County to get to and from green acres. I find I get Strange New Respect at gas stations and at stoplights when I am next to male 20somethings. The car belonged to my mother-in-law who bought it new and serviced it twice a year. It had 80,000 miles on it when she gave it to us three years ago; now it's up to 102,000.
The mechanic who services it for us (himself a Camarophile) said, when he first saw it, "It's not just the things it has--it's the things it doesn't have." Mainly I think he meant the roll-up windows.
AC is another thing it doesn't have (it's on the fritz), so to cool off we use a standard 265. Two windows rolled down, going 65 mph.
I really am not the proper owner of this vehicle. When I told my trainer about it, his eyes widened, but when I admitted that I'd never taken it over 80, he lost interest.
Posted at 10:17 AM
EVILDOERS [Andrew Stuttaford]
Jonah, Cigarette-smoking man, certainly. I'd also include the Borg (a collective, but you know what I mean), Leland Palmer from Twin Peaks , Sheriff Lucas Buck (American Gothic), JR Ewing, Newman and, most sinister of all, John Hill, the owner of Melville's (upstairs from Cheers). I also hated Al from Happy Days, but I guess he wasn't really evil as such.
Posted at 09:45 AM
THERE'S A NEW ONE [Ramesh Ponnuru]
"As for the dangerous situation in [Iraq]: who can be surprised? Did people really believe it would be one Tocquevillean orgy as soon as the Baathists were deposed?"--Andrew Sullivan. I am pretty confident that I have never seen the words "Tocquevillean" and "orgy" in close conjunction before--can my Corner colleagues think of any other examples?
Posted at 09:40 AM
NOT EVEN SUPERMAN CAN SAVE US [Nick Schulz]
Apparently when you extract plutonium for making nuclear bombs, as the North Koreans appear to be doing, you also get krypton:
On Sunday, reports quoted US government officials as saying that elevated levels of krypton-85 had been discovered in the air above the North Korean border. This is a gas with a half-life of 10.7 years that is created along with plutonium by the fission of uranium fuel in a reactor. The fuel is reprocessed to separate out the plutonium by dissolving it in acid, but this also releases the krypton-85.This would seem to suggest that Dear Leader might be more powerful that Superman since Dear Leader can take that krypton, smash it, and make kryptonite. Which is why the Green Lantern is the most powerful superhero of all time [furious debate among comic nerds may now begin].
Posted at 09:33 AM
TRUE CONFESSIONS [John Derbyshire]
Just to pre-empt people asking: The Derbs drive (a) a '93 Mercury Topaz, and (b) a '97 Chevy Malibu. Neither is a very good car, or ever has been. The first was a showroom model with some miles on it and we got a good deal. The second we bought because we'd accumulated discount $$$ on a GM credit card. We paid cash down for both, no financing. For the car of my heart, see here.
Posted at 09:29 AM
RE: OFF I GO [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
And I'll be taking the train to D.C. Thursday, thank you very much.
Posted at 09:29 AM
OFF I GO [Terry Teachout]
Hasn't started raining yet, so I'm off to bite the roller-coaster bullet. This place is in New York, right?
Posted at 09:28 AM
NR IN THE NORTHEAST [Jack Fowler]
Following up Rick Brookhiser’s recounting his meeting with an NR biker fan on the Mass Pike, allow me to share my public encounter with an NR hater, the Shrew of Metro North (the commuter train line from Connecticut into NYC). On a recent Sunday, my son James and I were heading into the City via the train to catch the Yankees playing the Red Sox. As the train pulled into Grand Central Station, we got up and walked to the door, next to which was an aging hippie and Cruella Deville look-alike who gasped upon seeing my “NATIONAL REVIEW” shirt and hat. She conniptioned: “How could anyone have the nerve except Buckley to wear that,” etc. “Gee mam,” I respond, hoping to give her a greater reason to hate me, “I not only wear the clothes, I work there too.” “You’re intolerant” she hisses intolerantly. I smiled, tipped my cap, and said: “Have a wonderful weekend.” The doors open before she could light up her molotov cocktail. Any regrets? Just one: I should have shown her my National Review underpants. By the way, the Yankees won, and I caught a Derek Jeter foul ball! What a day!
Posted at 09:27 AM
MY CAR [Jonah Goldberg]
Just for the record, we have two. A 2001 VW Passat and a 1990 two door caddy with 8 hundred gazillion miles on it and Alaska tags. If you ever see one in DC with a white dog in it, it's probably Cosmo.
Posted at 09:08 AM
FAVORITES [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
It's the British accent, Jonah. You might call Madonna for some pointers on acquiring one.
Posted at 09:07 AM
BROOKHISER'S CAR [Jonah Goldberg]
People are intrigued.
Posted at 09:05 AM
THE PASSION [Jonah Goldberg]
By the way, the Washington Post reports this morning that two NRniks saw a screened rough cut of Mel Gibson's The Passion last night: Kate O'Beirne and Michael Novak. Details?
Posted at 09:02 AM
KATHRYN... [Susan Konig]
Thanks, now I'm going to have that song, "Heartbeat" stuck in my head all day. I think I have a David Soul album somewhere...
Posted at 09:01 AM
INTRIGUING VILLAINS [Jonah Goldberg]
Andrew - You have the infinite advantage of being one of K-Lo's favorites -- and hence you get preview DVDs of hot new shows. Meanwhile all she ever sends me are old sneakers she finds on the side of the Cross-Bronx Expressway. Another related advantage you have is that you've actually seen "Nip and Tuck" and I haven't. But it seemed to me like the lead character isn't really a villain so much as a protagonist villain like Mel Gibson in "Payback" or, more relevant, Adrian Pasdar in the short-lived Fox series "Profit." This was a brilliant show in which the "hero" was something of a souless sociopath who'd been raised in a large cardboard box with only an eye-hole for the television set. He schemed and plotted against his enemies in corporate America. Unfortunately, only four episodes aired in the US and only a total of eight were ever made (all of which aired in Europe). Anyway, I thought this might aslo open up the discussion to the topic of best TV villains. Surely, you will say the cigarette guy from the X-Files. Any other nominations?
Posted at 09:00 AM
MORE HILLARY '04 [John Derbyshire]
From another reader: "Dear Derb, While it is true that nobody can mobilize the far left like Hillary, nobody can mobilize the right like Hillary. She barely won in NY (probably the second or third most liberal state) with a rookie opponent and the entire party and white house behind her, plus the sympathy factor. As a presidential candidate, despite what all the wise minds say, she is raw meat for the dogs of war. In the words of our glorious leader... 'bring it on'."
Posted at 09:00 AM
RE: HILLARY '04 [John Derbyshire]
From a reader: "She cannot let any other Democrat win in 2004. It's not merely a wait until she's about 65. It would be much harder for her to get the nomination then. Right now the Clintons control the national party, but that might well change if another guy from the same party was president for 8 years (filling appointments, helping with fundraising, etc. etc.). Also, the Clinton magic would be gone. If the Dems lose bad next year, by 2008 Clinton will be the only Democrat to have won presidency in over three decades (and the only Democrat elected twice since FDR). And there of course will be a stark contrast between his own performance in 1992 and the loser in 2004 - given that both ran against Bush-Victorious-In-Iraq-Yet-Economically-Incompetent. So by 2008 he'll be a legendary figure and will be called upon to save the party - this time by proxy (with a humble role of First Gentleman and Intern Chaser for himself). But in 2012 the party may actually try to put the Clintons behind them - if another two-term presidency emboldens them and especially if the new president happens to be more willing to adhere to left-wing principles than Clinton was (in the worst - for him - case Clinton may even come to be viewed not as a legend but as a sell-out, also blamed for the brief Republican interlude in 2001-2005). And of course, our First Feminist ... is nothing without her husband. Or at least she has no chance to win the nomination strictly on her own merits."
Posted at 08:59 AM
HEARTBEAT, FOR REAL [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
In the confession, I directed you to Rick's Hamilton book instead of Don Johnson's musical masterpiece (joking--unlike Andrew's endorsement of Miami Vice). Rick on Hamilton is a much better purchase, I assure you, but here is the Johnson link.
Posted at 08:57 AM
RE: LOOK [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Yeah, Jonah. Gotta hand it to you. Fruitful bleg. Rick's post is just priceless.
Posted at 08:53 AM
LOOK WHAT I STARTED! [Jonah Goldberg]
All I wanted was some guidance on a good car to buy and look where it's brought us. I'm so very proud.
Posted at 08:49 AM
RE: MV [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Confession: I own Don Johnson's Heartbeat. (I assume I still own it--honestly haven't listened to it for years.)
Posted at 08:26 AM
ANDREW... [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
...Miami Vice? Seriously?
Posted at 08:23 AM
AND FIENSTEIN DEFENDS VOUCHERS! [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Posted at 07:40 AM
A DEFENSE OF CHRISTO?! [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Posted at 07:37 AM
RE: HILLARY '04 [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Derb, I wouldn't bet too much money on it, but I agree there's still a chance HRC will run this time. I haven't heard her grandstanding on the 16 words stuff. A little strategy to move in come the winter or early spring as an experienced (having been in a White House) savior for her party?
Posted at 07:37 AM
NIP/TUCK [Andrew Stuttaford]
There’s a new show starting on FX on tongiht. Thanks to the power of K-Lo I’ve seen a preview DVD and although – after one episode – this plastic surgery drama (yes, really) does not appear to be the greatest TV series ever filmed in Miami, Nip/Tuck is worth a quick look. The best thing about it? A potentially intriguing villain in the shape of ‘Dr. Christian Troy.’ The worst? Hints of mush and a conscience. What else? Good gore, fine soundtrack, trashy plot, bad language, decently indecent sex and a corpse that comes to a most unpleasant end. I’ll be watching episode 2.
Posted at 07:05 AM
CARS [Rick Brookhiser]
Okay, Cornerites, my car is a 1977 Camarro. A trunk like a glove compartment, not good on corners, useless in snow, but give it a long, long hill, and watch the bullying truckers fade.
I also have an ideological point in boasting. I was gassing up on the Mass Pike last week, when a biker on a Harley stopped alongside. "I love your--" he began. "Car," I was sure would follow. "--column in the New York Observer," he actually said. "I also liked your Hamilton book." "Well," I said, recovering, "I have a new one on Gouverneur Morris." "Yes," he replied, "I read the review in NR," and he rode off into the sunset.
Posted at 06:59 AM
RE: MINIVANS [Rod Dreher]
Susan, listen to your male reader who tells you that for guys, minivans are dorkwad machines. When Julie and I moved out of NYC down to Dallas a few months ago, we had to acquire two cars, one of which had to be a family vehicle. I pretty much figured that if we had to get a minivan, no matter how practical, I'd have to buy something racy and masculine to compensate. Nothing says "domesticated and emasculated" like a minivan. Happily, Julie wasn't keen on one either. We got an SUV that we like very much, which enabled me to buy a sensible 10-year-old sedan for myself with manly confidence.
Posted at 06:57 AM
DON'T KNOW MUCH ABOUT HISTORY [Andrew Stuttaford]
Check out these pompous responses from a number of academics to the success of history programs on British TV if you want to see examples of the attitude that has wrecked the teaching of history.
Posted at 06:49 AM
THE EU 'CONSTITUTION' [Andrew Stuttaford]
Here’s an interesting piece from the Financial Times (of all places) on the EU’s draft ‘constitution:’
“The members of the convention perhaps believed that by including a charter of fundamental rights they would guarantee individual freedoms. What they have overlooked is that the economic freedom of the individual is as powerful a barrier as any against undue political interference. The draft constitution fails to mention private property, freedom of contract, free enterprise, workable competition or free trade in its opening definition of the EU's objectives. Although these guarantees are variously mentioned in different parts of the text (even Mr Giscard d'Estaing understands that they bring prosperity), they are not given their rightful place as essential elements of individual liberty.
Instead, the text sets out the EU's central objectives as, among other things, "a Europe of sustainable development based on balanced economic growth; a social market economy, highly competitive and aiming at full employment and social progress; and with a high level of protection and improvement of the quality of the environment". This is politically correct to a fault. Fashionable concepts, contradictory aims and pious hopes cannot hide a misunderstanding of what full economic freedom can do for society.”
Read the whole thing.
Posted at 06:48 AM
AMIN [Andrew Stuttaford]
As Idi Amin lies dying surrounded only by his family, Saudi medical personnel and discarded cans of Dr Pepper (OK, I made that last one up), here’s a question prompted by a reader’s comment. Did the Belgians ever try to prosecute Amin for his crimes?
Posted at 06:41 AM
MOVE OVER MISUSED LIPSTICK [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Here's what a female reader says is the equivalent of a man with a minivan: "commuting to work wearing sneakers and socks with your suit and pantyhose. Yes, it's sometimes necessary to save excruciating pain caused by heels, but it is the epitome of uber-dorkiness."
Posted at 06:30 AM
COLD FEET: AN UPDATE [Kathryn Jean Lopex]
Cosmonaut does not get married by proxy.
Posted at 05:08 AM
TERRORISTS NABBED [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
It's always a shock when terrorists are found to be in Saudi Arabia.
Posted at 05:03 AM
Monday, July 21, 2003
HILLARY IN '04 [John Derbyshire]
Just saw Dick Morris on O'Reilly. He says Hilary must be watching GWB's poll numbers very, very closely. If the President continues to sink, the possibility arises that some Democrat will win in 04. She cannot (says Morris) let that happen--it would put her out of business until 2012. She cannot be to 2004 what Mario Cuomo was to 1992. She would prefer to be to 2004 what Bill Clinton was to 1992... Very plausible.
Posted at 10:51 PM
RE: CONSUMER CORNER [John Derbyshire]
Anyone interested in joining a class action against Tyco, get in touch with Jordan Gehrke: jgehrke@Eberle1.com
Posted at 10:25 PM
CITY GIRLS DON'T LAUGH AT CARS [Susan Konig]
Maybe that's it, Andrew. In the city, cars are not that important so if a guy has one or not, that's okay. We don't even know about cool makes and models...which is why I drive a minivan!
Posted at 10:21 PM
FOR BERLUSCONI FANS [Tim Graham]
See Time's ten questions. Silvio plugs "the idea that anti-Americanism and anti-globalization are not progressive politics but are pure ideological trash."
Posted at 10:20 PM
ANTI-SEMITISM [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Carney writes that “opposition to the Iraq war or support of trade tariffs shouldn’t precipitate excommunication from the Right.” Fine. I know of nobody who argues otherwise. Carney has characterized David Frum’s recent NR article as an attack on “conservatives who have not adequately displayed their enthusiasm for the direction our nation’s foreign policy is going.” This is too insipid to deserve a response. Carney also says that it is sad that “a handful of conservative writers. . . have called those who criticize the neocons anti-semitic.” This is rather worse than insipid.
Let’s return for a moment to Robert Novak’s charge that David Frum may have joined the White House to serve Israeli interests. Never mind that he went there as an economic speechwriter. Nobody would ever make that charge about Mike Gerson, even though he has been responsible for more of Bush’s rhetoric regarding the Middle East than Frum. The difference is that Gerson is an evangelical rather than a Jew. Carney has written delicately that “the unfortunate charge of dual-loyalty implicit or explicit in some of Novak’s and Buchanan’s writings” is “poisonous to debate.” Yes it is, and in some cases that poison has a name.
Posted at 05:14 PM
NEOCONS, AGAIN [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Timothy Carney, who works for Robert Novak, has written an article arguing that neoconservatives do indeed continue to exist as a distinct political faction. He offers three examples of neocons. William Kristol is more tolerant of big government than most conservatives. Max Boot is less opposed to cloning, abortion, and the welfare state than most conservatives. Charles Krauthammer doesn’t look all that fondly on Barry Goldwater’s 1964 campaign. Carney concludes that “to argue that this collection of men—who subscribe to principles and policies mostly foreign to the right—are not a distinct sect of conservatism with a clearly different philosophy is hocus-pocus.”
But Carney hasn’t even identified a movement of three. On abortion and cloning, for example, this trio has three positions. Boot is untroubled by either (although he almost never writes on the subjects), Krauthammer wants to restrict cloning but not abortion, and Kristol is for outlawing both. Where’s the distinct philosophy?
If Carney wants to use the term “neoconservative” to refer to people who share Kristol’s view of “national greatness”—assuming someone can figure out what that view is—I suppose that’s his right. But then he’s referring to about five people.
Posted at 05:10 PM
ON THE WAGON [Andrew Stuttaford]
That was part of the trouble, Susan. When women I had asked out saw what I was driving, they started crying too - with laughter.
Posted at 05:06 PM
TRY THIS [Andrew Stuttaford]
How about one of these, Jonah? The chauffeur looks strangely familiar.
Posted at 04:54 PM
KATHRYN... [Susan Konig]
...maybe Klingon women?
Posted at 04:53 PM
MAKES ME WEEPY [Susan Konig]
Your car, Andrew, reminds me of our Country Squire when we were kids. Our parents would give us a blanket and we'd sleep in the back cargo space blissfully unaware of the need for seatbelts. How did we survive?
Posted at 04:50 PM
LIPSTICK AND EYESHADOW [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
I'm not exactly Vogue editor here, but, Susan, who does that?
Posted at 04:50 PM
LIPSTICK FOR EYESHADOW [Susan Konig]
Dear Mrs. Konig,
Posted at 04:48 PM
BESIDES... [Jonah Goldberg]
SUVs look more like the cooler shuttles in Star Trek Next Generation while minivans look like the clunky shuttles from the original Trek.
Posted at 04:41 PM
WHAT DOES JAMES BROLIN DRIVE? [Susan Konig]
Posted at 04:38 PM
TOUCHY, OR IS IT TOUCHE? [Susan Konig]
Okay, Jonah. No fluffy pink bunnies for you.
My first car was a 7-seater minivan because, the first time I needed a car, I was a city transplant in the 'burbs with three kids. Cool was never an option.
Rock on, man.
Posted at 04:37 PM
JOINING IN [Andrew Stuttaford]
Jonah, Susan, I know nothing about cars. However, I do know that when I used to visit Nashville back in the late 1980s I used to drive one of these. Pretty glamorous, eh?
Posted at 04:37 PM
WOW [Jonah Goldberg]
I've hit a nerve with the Minivan men and the women who love them. So far, the argument from readers -- and Tim & Susan -- seems to be that men who knock minivans are implicitly knocking marriage. This seems to be as silly as saying that women who knock minivans are in reality slighting motherhood. After all, moms who drive minivans usually do so to drop of their kids at soccer practice etc.
Sorry, I don't buy it. I love my family and I'm happy to be married. But, yes I think minivans are uncool. They might not be emasculating in the sense that being a good father and husband is the best definition of being a man, but I'm sorry I just don't want a minivan for the same reason I wouldn't want to paint my car pink with fluffy bunnies on it -- even if that would make my daughter happy. This isn't to say I will never, ever, own a minivan but the needle on the uncoolness to necessity ratio-meter is still pointing deep into uncool territory. And frankly, I think those who are trying to shame me into a minivan are playing the masculinity-questioning game in reverse. And I'm not falling for it.
Posted at 04:33 PM
TV GIPPER [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
James Brolin, Ms. Streisand's husband, is playing Ronald Reagan in an upcoming TV movie. After Mr. Sterling all Brolins might be best banned from political roles.
Posted at 04:31 PM
WE ARE LEGION! [Jonah Goldberg]
Posted at 04:17 PM
YIKES [Susan Konig]
You mean there's more of you?!?
Posted at 04:11 PM
NEEDLEPOINT & STAR TREK [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Goodness. The war of the sexes is about to break out in The Corner over cars.
Posted at 04:10 PM
RELEASE THE HOUNDS! [Jonah Goldberg]
Oh Susan, Susan, Susan.... I will leave you to the e-backlash from the Trek-loving dog-men among our readership.
Posted at 04:06 PM
RE: FAREWELL, THEN, IDI AMIN [John Derbyshire]
Apologies to fans of the Big Man. I mis-remembered the words of his signature song. Should have been: "Idi! Idi! Idi Amin! Moost amazin mon de world ebber seen!" Some discussion of his illness at this morning's NR editorial meeting. The general opinion was that it must have been someone he ate...
Posted at 04:05 PM
RE: JEWELS & MINIVANS [Tim Graham]
Ouch. Methinks clever remarks about family jewels and minivans usually come from single guys -- the same kind who crack endlessly about "the ball and chain" -- not fathers of children. Sticking to one or two offspring, are we, to avoid apparently less manly forms of transportation?
PS: Of course, I have two kids...and also a nice red 2002 Dodge Caravan in the driveway. (At least the wife drives it.) But I want to see Jonah pack up the spouse, Lucy, Cosmo, and maybe K-Lo avoiding a plane trip in a macho car. Perhaps an El Camino with Astroturf?
Posted at 04:04 PM
I DON'T FOLLOW [Susan Konig]
Is there a need for a car to project one's masculinity? Because as a man who stays home and talks to his dog and watches Star Trek marathons, I thought you were cool with all that.
Posted at 04:03 PM
SAVING MONEY ON A MINIVAN [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
When I broached the possibility of buying a minivan, my 15-year-old son exclaimed, "What?!? A minivan??!! Why don't we all just have "dork" tattooed on our foreheads and save $25,000"?
Posted at 03:59 PM
AN ALTERNATIVE FOR TERRY [Susan Konig]
Terry, I don't really see the connection between roller coasters and airplanes. And Andrew's point about carnival maintenance folk is a good one.
Coincidentally, we happen to be having our church festival this week and it has a tiny roller coaster that looks like a green dragon. It's small but it goes around 14 times and kind of whips your neck at every turn. That might do the trick.
We also have a regulation-size ferris wheel that I think is more effective for height and flying fears. Especially when the operator leaves you up there while your kids try to see what's in back of the seat and they get it swinging precariously.
I used to love this stuff but I think something chemical kicks in midway through life (particularly for parents) where common sense and an intimate knowledge of gravity trump fun and adventure.
Posted at 03:48 PM
WHO KNEW? [Andrew Stuttaford]
Posted at 03:40 PM
THE MINIVAN [Jonah Goldberg]
Yes, yes, yes. They are wonderful, safe, economical cars. They have ample legroom, many drink holders and safety belts. I even here that many of then come with a special compartment in the dash for storing the family jewels -- which must be removed before purchase.
Posted at 03:37 PM
GEE, THANKS, GUYS [Terry Teachout]
I think I want to thank everybody who wrote with advice regarding my fear-of-flying problem, especially those who (A) warned me not to ride this particular roller coaster and (B) those who warned me not to ride any roller coaster, ever. All this helpful input will doubtless ease my mind no end come tomorrow morning....
Incidentally, fear of flying often (as in my case) has nothing to do with flying per se, and thus is completely inaccessible to lectures about how flying-is-safer-than-driving, etc. I love helicopters, for example, but am severely rattled by airliners. Like I said, this is not rational. I do, however, plan to try out the flight simulator at the National Air and Space Museum the first chance I get. I hear it has a panic button.
My anxiety level has now ascended to 5, thanks in part to the fellow who sent me the URL of a Web site containing photos of the Rye Playland roller coaster, shot from inside a car. In the immortal words of Daffy Duck, thanks for the sour persimmons, buster. (Just kidding--I actually found it kind of reassuring, sort of.)
Posted at 03:21 PM
CAUGHT [Terry Teachout]
Rats--there goes my excuse for getting lost en route. Now I've got to go through with it. Anxiety level: 6.
Posted at 03:21 PM
AHEM [Susan Konig]
And what exactly is the problem with a minivan, Jonah? The Konigs travel in a very stylish Ford Winstar. It has an excellent crash test rating. And, as a mom friend who drove a Volvo station wagon pointed out, "With a minivan, you don't have to have your rear end hanging out in the rain while you are buckling the car seat." You can get in, stand up and move around.
Food for thought.
Posted at 03:20 PM
CONSUMER CORNER [John Derbyshire]
As part of our broad-based service to readers, here is a notice for consumers. One of my son's birthday presents was a radio-controlled truck made by Tyco R/C, which is apparently a large toy company--at any rate, I have seen their products all over. Not until opening the box did we learn that this $40 toy need a special Tyco battery pack before it can be used. After 3 unsuccessful expeditions, we finally tracked down one of these battery packs at a local Toys-R-Us. It comes packaged with its own recharger, and the whole thing costs $22. It is a unique battery; nothing else fits in the toy. Later I found out how lucky we had been to find this battery. Tyco has discontinued them! If you go to Tyco's battery page, the 6.0V battery pack--the only one this toy will work with--is no longer listed. Yet they are still marketing the toys! Hunting around the internet, I found seething rage about these disgraceful practices--see here for example. Tyco are selling toys--in the stores right now, I checked over the weekend--for which only their own peculiar battery pack will work, and they have discontinued the battery! I hope someone has a big fat lawsuit against Tyco. In any case, I urge Corner readers NOT TO BUY TYCO TOYS.
Posted at 03:06 PM
BLEG RESPONSE [Jonah Goldberg]
Thanks so much for the guidance. I'm still wading through it all. But some results/conclusions are emerging. First, many people have very strong opinions about Fords -- pro and con. Second, I was very smart to ask you folks for advice on cars. Third, the Honda Pilot and Subaru Forrester are emerging as favorites given my criteria. I will keep you informed.
Posted at 03:04 PM
TOO KIND TO RON KIND [Tim Graham]
Tom Johnson, my long-time friend and former colleague, e-mailed me to note that in their last item Saturday, two political gossips at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported "U.S. Rep. Ron Kind, the golden boy of moderate Wisconsin Democrats, may be in for his first real political challenge in years," an apparently solid GOP state legislator. (Kind won in 1996 when Steve Gunderson came out of the closet and quit politics.)
This is good news for conservatives in my home area of western Wisconsin, but since when is Ron Kind a "moderate"? A quick glance at acuratings.com shows that Kind has a lifetime ACU rating of 13, and had an 8 in 2002. Last year, Kind also flip-flopped and voted against a partial-birth abortion ban. Votes like these don't exactly define you as a moderate.
You wonder if the young guns following all these races in the local press for the NRCC or state GOPs just roll their eyes at all the labeling misinformation.
Posted at 02:31 PM
BYRON YORK ON THE LATEST JUDGE NEWS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Posted at 02:11 PM
BREAKING NEWS [Dave Kopel]
Brooklyn federal judge Jack Weinstein has dismissed the NAACP's lawsuit against the firearms industry. The 175 page opinion found that NAACP had not proven that it had a right to sue for public nuisance, because the NAACP failed "to show that its harm was different in kind from that suffered by other persons in New York." Judge Weinstein did find that the firearms companies had created a public nuisance by, in his view, failing to take sufficient steps to prevent guns from being used by criminals.
Posted at 01:38 PM
PRYOR'S REVENGE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Ah, but he's young. (And, as one reader points out, "Alabama's current governor is looking more like a tax and spend Democrat than a fiscally conservative Republican, so Pryor may have a spot in state politics if the federal bench falls through.") Regardless though, he belongs on the federal bench, so back to focusing on that!
Posted at 01:31 PM
SENATOR PRYOR? [Tim Graham]
A nice thought...but they already have Sen. Richard Shelby (R), and Sen. Jeff Sessions (R), as well as Gov. Bob Riley (R). He has nowhere to go in state politics right now if Schumer gets him cooked.
Posted at 01:29 PM
RYE PLAYLAND [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
is in NY. Many, many people pointing out. But this e-mailer realized Terry said it on purpose!:
Um, unless it's moved, Rye Playland remains squarely in New York, specifically, Rye, NY (hence the name). Then again, perhaps he has it planned all along - "I could've sworn it was Connecticut. Ah well, maybe we'll find it tomorrow".
Posted at 01:28 PM
TAKING GRAVITY SERIOUSLY [Andrew Stuttaford]
Terry, You are about to make a huge mistake. The only thing more frightening than being on a roller coaster is thinking about the people 'responsible' for its maintenance. As someone who hates flying, I can tell you that the solution is sedation, alcohol and the illusion of safety that you get from always travelling (as I do) with an a href="http://www.pilotshop-usa.com/store/item.asp?ITEM_ID=198&DEPARTMENT_ID=">EVAC-U8. A bad idea is to go and see (as I did) this play.
Posted at 01:13 PM
WE'RE BLOGGING AT THE DMN [Rod Dreher]
Yesterday the Dallas Morning News editorial board launched its own blog on the paper's website. We believe we're one of the first editorial boards to try something like this. I invite Corner readers in the D/FW area to check us out. For that matter, we welcome readers from all over. It may be interesting to media mavens to see how an editorial board of a major newspaper grapples with issues in the news, and particularly interesting to Dallasites to get a better idea of how and why the DMN arrives at its editorial positions. I'm still going to contribute to the Corner, but I'm going to be doing most of my conservative troublemaking over the DMN blog henceforth, so if you want to see what I've got to say about stuff in the news, come visit us
Posted at 01:08 PM
A PRYOR THOUGHT [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
If he, unjustly, looses this nomination battle--and I am not willing to concede he will and I certainly hope the White House and GOP in the Senate are nowhere in throwing in the towel--I suspect, he'll make one heck of a senator.
Posted at 01:00 PM
RE: PRYOR [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Jon, It really is incredible. They can't get around he has been completely forthright with the committee. He could have backtracked on so many of his previous public statements re abortion, among other things, but didn't. When it comes down to it, the Democrats oppose him because he is a believing practicing Catholic, who views abortion and an abomination, and doesn't see prenumbras and emanations in the Constitution. As much as they will fish for other excuses, that's what it comes down to.
Posted at 12:57 PM
GUN-CONTROL & AMIN [Dave Kopel]
As the world prepares for Idi Amin's imminent death, let us remember that his genocide was made possible by gun-control laws which Amin's government inherited from the British colonial government. Historically, genocide almost never occurs without the prior imposition of gun laws which disarm the victim population.
Posted at 12:32 PM
PRO-LIFE DEMOCRATS RULE? [Tim Graham]
Today's Washington Post carries a perfectly serviceable Monday morning thumb-sucker by Dan Balz about the state of the Democratic presidential race. Two things stick out:
1. Except for one mention of Howard Dean's support "on the left," the Dem field apparently has no ideology whatsoever. Do they fine reporters for every use of "liberal" in a story on Democrats?
2. Balz makes a rather large boo-boo in describing the Abortion Party's key interest groups: "So far, no candidate has become the favorite among elected officials or key interest groups, including environmental and antiabortion activists."
Posted at 12:27 PM
I CAN SNICKER [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Terry, I'm completely irrationally afraid of flying, too. But I won't break it. Instead of riding roller coasters, I can report in from Amtrak stations in the middle of nowhere and Greyhound terminals no woman should ever go near at the oddest hours possible. Taking the slowest possible method of transportation can be a huge pain--especially when you're giving speeches and have weddings and things--but it gives you some stories more colorful than having your shoes checked at LaGuardia.
Posted at 12:22 PM
YOU MAY SNICKER, BUT DON'T LAUGH [Terry Teachout]
Here's a change of pace from crucifixion: I have to ride a roller coaster.
This is something I haven't done since I was eight years old. So why, you may well ask, have I decided to do it now that I have settled into a sedate middle age? Because I am one of those unfortunate creatures who without warning developed a completely irrational midlife fear of flying, and the behavior therapist who is helping me fix this problem recently decreed that riding a roller coaster is the Next Step Toward Desensitization. After considerable on-line research, we have settled on Rye Playland in Connecticut as the scene of the crime--they have an old-fashioned wooden roller coaster of modest size--and I'm planning to bite the bullet some time tomorrow, weather and my schedule permitting.
You can expect regular updates between now and then, climaxing in a posting of triumph. (Or possibly a short note from my executor.)
At present, my anxiety level, on a scale of one to 10, with 10 being the highest, is four.
Posted at 12:19 PM
HEATING UP IN LIBERIA [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Includingthe U.S. embassy, which is under fire.
Posted at 12:02 PM
BLEG [Jonah Goldberg]
A few things on the consumer front. The missus and I are thinking about buying a new car, probably an SUV or conceivably a station wagon. Minivans
Second, as of August 1, AOL is discontinuing its "Mobile Communicator" -- what it calls it's fairly dinky blackberry. So I need to get a new blackberry type device, but I understand that AOL only really works with T-Mobile Sidekick which I also hear isn't very good. Any suggestions on this front, other than "get rid of AOL" -- would be welcome as well.
Please send suggestions to -- and only to -- GFilecorrections@aol.com (there's no room at my normal address). Thanks.
Posted at 12:00 PM
MORE RE JONAH & PASSION [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
This reader gets it:
Much of the discussion of “historical accuracy” misses the point. As Mel Gibson has pointed out in numerous interviews, he believes (rightly in my opinion) that no Hollywood treatment of the crucifixion has have come close to accurately portraying how brutal it was.
Posted at 11:46 AM
PRYOR UPDATE [Jonathan H. Adler]
Unwilling to attack 11th Circuit nominee Bill Pryor on the merits, Senate Democrats are seeking to question Pryor's character, according to this report (LvHB). This is absurd. If there is one ground upon which Bill Pryor is unassailable, it is his integrity. No judicial nominee of in decades has been anywhere near as forthcoming as Pryor at a confirmation hearing. And perhaps that is the problem. Senate Democrats are afraid to attack Pryor for his record and his views, so they (once again) resort to trumped up allegations of ethical improprieties to stop the nominee. (In other words, for all of Senator Schumer's professed desire to get beyond "gotcha" politics in judicial nominations, he and the gang are back at it.) Meanwhile, the Washington Times reports that the anti-Pryor campaign is getting help from an non-disinterested source.
Posted at 11:14 AM
ECONOMIC URANIUM [NRO Financial Editors]
Liberal columnist Paul Krugman is back from vacation, and so is the Kurgman Truth Squad. In his latest column for the New York Times, Krugman put an economics twist on the "Bush lied" theme: Not only did our president supposedly mislead us on African uranium, he also lied about tax cuts and the budget. Krugman, as KTS readers know, has a bit of a truth problem of his own when it comes to economics and he had to roll out a barrel of new lies to make his latest case against Bush. For all the details, read Don Luskin's latest KTS.
Posted at 10:48 AM
EQUAL TIME [Jonah Goldberg]
Lest people think I'm stacking the deck in favor of Ms. Fredriksen, here are three emails from readers (and the very last I will be posting on this subject for a while at least. I'm on a deadline for an NRODT article. Other Cornerites are free to do what they wish):
Dear Jonah: You surely have better Bible scholars than I in your readership, but here's an unoffended, reasonably well-informed, middle-of-the-road Christian take on the excerpts from Fredriksen's article.
The Gospels as history: having read a lot about this, I must warn you that everybody brings their biases to the table on this one. Frederiksen seems more open about her disbelief than many. Some of the key ways to tell which side someone is on:
First; dating: her dates are the ones traditional liberal scholars use; 70-100 C.E. (I suppose "C.E." as opposed to the traditional "A.D." is actually the first clue). Beyond that, the 70-100 dates may have been the early twentieth century academic consensus view. Since then, however, more traditionally minded theologians and even some liberal theologians (T.A. Robinson, for one) have put forward strong arguments for dating the synoptics (Matthew, Mark and Luke) before Paul's probable execution in Rome, about 56 "C.E." (Otherwise, "Acts," a continuation of Luke, would have finished with a description of the results of Paul's trial in Rome, instead of ending with his house arrest.) There are lots of other arguments, but suffice it to say, while this dating ultimately doesn't prove anything, it seems to be a hot button to any reliability debate.
Second, "inconsistencies." Either they are there or they aren't, depending on what you want to prove. Briefly, may I note that none of the inconsistencies cut to decisive issues of faith. In addition most of the inconsistencies arise out of an omission rather than a commission--one account mentions two women, for example, while another mentions only one--but who's to say whether someone else was not also present, etc. Frederiksen reads John to say that Christ was arrested before the Seder meal, not after. Actually, she infers that from John but I don't think he is explicit about this. Such inconsistencies are replete in other historical records, but we seem to bring a different standard to the Gospels. Wonder why? Interpretation of the Gospels is riddled with these sorts of academic games. It can be very frustrating if you insist on a definitive answer. What bugs me are the people like Frederiksen who purport to have reliable answers when the record is JUST TOO THIN for sound conclusions.
One area where Frederiksen clearly steps over the line is on crucifixion. The consensus view is that the Jewish ruling council met with Christ after he was arrested (you might or might not call it a trial) and they sent him to Pilate because they wanted him executed. Again, there is a consensus that while the Jewish council had some punitive authority, only the Romans had the power to execute a person. If you read Josephus (and you must, if you want an objective account of these times in Palestine) Pilate had a tiger by the tail in trying to govern this territory. It is very plausible that he decided on a public execution as a message to the local, very rebellious population. Her notions about "Rome" are ridiculous and should only be offered up, at best, as speculation. There is nothing to support her idea that I am aware of, and it makes her bias abundantly clear. She is your typical academic, and the irony is that she has devoted her life to debunking the work she studies. Sounds like many academic scholars, actually.
Posted at 10:12 AM
DOGS: ON THE SAME PAGE [Jonah Goldberg]
The Washington Post has a great piece on how dogs have highly evolved abilities to communicate with humans non-verbally ("Duh," quoth Cosmo.) I've seen stuff on this before, but it's a nice update to the growing body of literature that demonstrates dogs are our wingmen on this mortal coil. As for the non-verbal communication, I find this particularly interesting because I've been experimenting with this and Cosmo for a while. Since we've had the baby, we do a lot of walking around the neighborhood with the stroller. This has required me to give Coz a lot more commands in terms of crossing streets, avoiding other dogs, where not to leave his calling cards etc. What's interesting is that I've found that I can use hand signals and snaps often more effectively than voice commands. Part of this obviously has to do with the fact that Cosmo is a frick'n genius. We've never really spent any time teaching him anything because he always picks it up so quickly. He stops at every crosswalk and won't even chase his tennis balls across the street without approval. But part of it has to do with the fact that dogs are genetically attuned to travelling alongside humans.
Anyway, as you know, I can talk a lot more and with more confidence about dogs than I can about the New Testament. But I'll stop for now.
Posted at 09:58 AM
BARKLEY ON BRYANT [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
"He can run for president now. That's what it means."
Posted at 09:48 AM
TV RIP-OFFS [Jonah Goldberg]
Howard Kurtz has a great piece following up on the bizarre denials from ABC's David Westin that television news doesn't rip-off print news. Having worked in a variety of capacities in the television and print worlds, all I can say is this denial is a joke. Seriously, the idea that television producers "independently" fact-check stuff they see in newspapers and come up with story ideas solely on their own is laughable. Of course, it does happen from time to time. But Westin makes it sound like this is industry practice rather than the exception which proves the rule. At best, television news producers are like bloggers without websites. They scoop up what they find elsewhere in the media and work with it. Sure, some do some bloggers do independent reporting, but you'd hardly say that's the rule.
Posted at 09:46 AM
I REPORT, YOU DECIDE [Jonah Goldberg]
Just for the record, I did say I am a neophyte and "ignorant" to these debates over the Gospels. All I ask is if you're profoundly offended take it up with Ms. Fredriksen and the New Republic. I can already tell from a handful of emails I've gotten before 7:00 AM, that some folks really want to pick a fight on this one. That's fine, but I'm not the opponent. At best, I'm just the fight promoter. Perhaps someone else has strong feelings on this one and can take over the discussion in the Corner.
Posted at 07:31 AM
I SHOULD HAVE FIGURED.... [Jonah Goldberg]
I've gotten several emails like this:
Shame on you Jonah. As someone who is well-aquainted with the maleability of facts, especially in the hands of liberal authors, you ought not to be uncritically repeating claims like those of Ms Fredriksen. The differences in the gospels have been the subject of debate for millenia, and there have been few conservative Chrisian scholars who felt the differences are irreconcilable. Just because Ms Fredriksen doesn't give the other side of the story doesn't mean there isn't another side. I'll leave it to your more knowledgeable readers to acquaint you with the other side (as I'm sure they will, in great detail), but I want to point out that you should have immediately seen something strange in her claim about Rome wanting Jesus dead. Crucifiction was used as the common form of execution in the Roman empire, not only for rebels, but also for deserters, murderers, escaped slaves, and thieves. The claim that the crucification indicated an interest from the imperial capital is laughable. This was the first century you know, the fastest form of communication was the trireme, which is just a really big rowboat with a pathetically inadequate sail. Governers in outlying regions couldn't pop off a quick email to Rome to get their opinion on every paltry execution.
And this one:
Subject: There aren't any inconsistencies I know of in the New Testament
Posted at 07:24 AM
FAREWELL THEN, IDI AMIN [John Derbyshire]
Idi Amin, King of Scotland (that was actually one of his self-awarded titles--he liked the kilt) will be best remembered by many of us through British comedian John Bird's send-up of him on a 1970s record I can still sing the title number: "Idi! Idi! Idi Amin! Greatest mon de world ebber seen!"
Posted at 06:50 AM
IDI AMIN UPDATE [John J. Miller]
As Andrew mentioned yesterday, the former "president for life" of Uganda is evidently on his deathbed--he has fallen into a coma. I'm not sure I even knew the guy was alive. I do know that he's basically responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths. And where has he been living, lo these many years? First in Libya, and now in Saudi Arabia. Why am I not surprised?
Posted at 05:36 AM
JONAH & THE PASSION [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
This, I know, doesn’t speak to all of Jonah’s questions by any means, but here’s what Raymond Arroyo had to say about the whole thing after interviewing Gibson earlier this year. Seems to me that some of the “problems” Fredriksen brings up in the article you cite are not essential to the story being told. Historical accuracy, to the extent possible, with a focus on the suffering of Christ, appears to me is Gibson’s goal. Arroyo’s interview with Gibson can be viewed here (scroll to 15).
Posted at 05:33 AM
JETS FOR ICELAND [John J. Miller]
The good people of Iceland are upset by plans to withdraw the last four Air Force fighter jets from their soil, according to this story in the Washington Post. Maybe I'm a softie, but I read the piece and started hoping the Bush administration will cancel the pullout. Amid all the bad news coming out of Baghdad, it's nice to see that there's a country that wants us there.
Posted at 05:29 AM
IRAQ [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Paul Gigot's there. Amir Taheri just was.
Posted at 05:21 AM
QUESTION [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Jonah, dream on.
Posted at 05:06 AM
Sunday, July 20, 2003
QUESTION [Jonah Goldberg]
K-Lo - Does late night Corner posting absolve us of our Monday morning Corner obligations?
Posted at 10:41 PM
BY THE WAY... [Jonah Goldberg]
I mean no disrespect by posting all of this stuff. I truly have no idea if the inconsistencies mentioned below are a sore point, controversial or simply ho-hum among Christians of one denomination or another. I read the New Testament once in high school for a class on the bible and I've looked at specific passages from time to time for one reason or another -- especially when I produced a documentary on Notre Dame cathedral in Paris. But, generally speaking, my ignorance level is high and well-cultivated.
Posted at 10:40 PM
GOSPELS ACCORDING TO THE GOSPELS [Jonah Goldberg]
And here's an excerpt from her discussion on the problem of using the Gospels as a historical source:
We already knew that Gibson's efforts to be "as truthful as possible" (his own words in the Times) would be frustrated by the best sources that he had to draw on, namely, the Gospels themselves. Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John, whose texts were composed in Greek between 70 C.E. and 100 C.E., differ significantly on matters of fact. In Mark, Jesus's last meal is a Passover seder; in John, Jesus is dead before the seder begins. Mark and Matthew feature two night "trials" before a full Jewish court, and a dramatic charge of "blasphemy" from the high priest. Luke has only a single trial, early in the morning, and no high priest. John lacks this Jewish trial scene entirely. The release of Barabbas is a "Roman custom" in Mark, a "Jewish custom" in John. Between the four evangelists, Jesus speaks three different last lines from the cross. And the resurrection stories vary even more.
Posted at 10:33 PM
GREEK TO THEM [Jonah Goldberg]
Here's what Fredriksen says about the use of Latin at the time (I pulled it from Nexis):
And while Aramaic was indeed the daily language of ancient Jews in Galilee and Judea, Latin would scarcely have figured at all. When the Jewish high priest and the Roman prefect spoke to each other, they would have used Greek, which was the English of antiquity. And Pilate's troops, employees of Rome, were not "Romans." They were Greek-speaking local gentiles on the imperial payroll. Gibson's pious evocations of historicity rang more than a little hollow. How much homework had he actually done?
Posted at 10:28 PM
RE: THE PASSION [John Derbyshire]
Jonah: I'd like to hear more of the Latin, as spoken in the movie. In the trailer Rod posted last week, we see Pontius Pilate saying "Ecce homo!" which he pronounces as "ech-eh omo." My understanding is that in 1st-century Latin this would have been "ek-keh homo," with a stongly aspirated "h." Pontius Pilate sounds like an Italian.
Posted at 10:19 PM
BUSH ASSASINATION CARTOON [Jonah Goldberg]
Drudge is reporting about a controversy over the political cartoon linked to a little earlier in The Corner depicting the assasination of George W. Bush. The image is derived from the famous Eddie Adams photo of an execution during the Vietnam war. I think it's a stupid cartoon of dubious meaning, probably intended to show the "courage" of the cartoonist more than anything else. Getting all worked up about it would only encourage such buffoonery in the future.
But what really offends me is the continuing liberal faith in the original picture as a powerful moral statement. As I wrote about about a long time ago, Adams wishes he never took the picture because it distorted more than it revealed and the executioner was a decent man who was probably more in the right than the wrong.
Posted at 10:11 PM
THE PASSION [Jonah Goldberg]
I haven't followed much of the controversy or the hype about Mel Gibson's new film on the Passion. What I've seen has basically been on the Corner or over at Andrew Sullivan's site. But today I read a piece by Paula Fredriksen in the latest issue of the New Republic. It's not on the web (yet?). I found it to be an astounding -- if sometimes clunky -- read. Some of it I'm sure is old news to folks who know their New Testament well or to people who've followed the whole Jews-as-Christ-Killers "issue." But that ain't me.
I also didn't know that Gibson's father is a real hardcore guy who doesn't merely reject Vatican II (not that a big deal among many of the Catholics I know) but he thinks Vatican II was the result of a conspiracy between Jews and Freemasons. And -- oh yeah -- he thinks the Holocaust never happened.
While all of that is interesting it still amounts to guilt-by-association and there's no evidence that Mel shares his dad's views.
Still, the New Republic piece suggests Gibson does have a lot to answer for. He claims time and again that he's simply sticking to the "historical record." Frederiksen offers some interesting stuff I didn't know about how mixed the historical record really is. There are major -- and often irreconcilable -- differences among the various versions of Jesus' death in the Gospels. More important, Gibson relies on the writings of Sister Anne Catherine Emmerich as a "historical" source. But Emmerich, born in 1774, was one of several Nuns who claimed to see visions of the Passion. To use her visions -- not her "research" mind you, but her visions -- as a historical source isn't any more legitimate than using Elijah Muhammed's visions for a film about Mohammed's life.
Among the long list of apparent errors in Gibson's script -- according to Fredriksen -- is his much-hyped use of apparently authentic Latin, when Greek would have been the language of choice. She also has a fascinating discussion of how crucifixion was employed solely by the Romans and there is little reason to believe that if "the Jews" wanted Jesus dead that he would have been crucified.
For the record, Ms. Fredriksen was a member of a group of sholars who were shown a copy of the script. She's identified as "the Aurelio Professor of Scripture at Boston University and the author of Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews (Vintage), a historical study of the last twelve hours of Jesus's life." There's a lot of tick-tock about how she got the scrip and how Gibson's lawyers threatened sue and so on too. Anyway, if it's up on the web I'll let you know.
Posted at 09:59 PM
DERB WILL HENCEFORTH BE KNOWN AS "LEFTY" [John Derbyshire]
I am sorry to have alarmed readers by referring in a previous corner post to firing "357 magnum rounds in my S&W 38." The weapon in question is actually, to quote the precise spec, a "model no. 586 distinguished .357 magnum revolver"... which I have got accustomed to think of as a 38 because that's all I ever normally fire from it (.38 special rounds, I mean). However, the warnings from readers that I would blow my hand off firing 357 rounds in a 38 handgun may be a tad over-dramatic. A friend who knows much, much more about handguns than I do tells me: "I know of no 38-spec handgun into which you could even load a 357 round. Nobody's handgun is going to explode." I'm just telling you what he said. Something tells me this one will run and run.
Posted at 09:56 PM
FOOD FIGHT (2) [Andrew Stuttaford]
Here’s yet another piece on the food wars – this time from the New York Times. It’s not just Americans, apparently, who are fat. For example, according to the writer of the article, 70 percent of adult Greeks are overweight (doubtless someone somewhere will soon explain that McDonalds is to blame for all those podgy Pericles). The EU is planning on reacting with, you guessed it, more regulation, but, as is pointed out in the article, this presents food companies with a problem. “The message to consume less is hardly a capitalist notion. Food companies grow by selling to more people or convincing existing customers to eat more.” Really? Once again, we see the passive consumer of contemporary liberal mythology, docile, easily duped and quickly manipulated. The notion that the food companies might flourish by reacting to consumer demand does not seem to have occurred to the Times.
The proposed EU regulations are, as one would expect from anything that emanates from that corrupt and malevolent organization, both useless and hostile to the interests of the consumer. If Brussels wants to stop companies saying that foods high in salt, sugar and fat can also be good for you, that is, I suppose, vaguely understandable, if misleading. To go on to make it illegal to fortify such foods with vitamins and minerals is wrong, arrogant and destructive.
For arrogance, of course, the ‘World Health’ organization always takes some beating and, true to form, one Amalia Waxman, the project director of its ‘food initiative’ is claiming that self-regulation is less effective “than what she calls co-regulation, in which all stakeholders, including corporations, consumer groups [ notice the focus on consumer ‘groups’ rather than actual consumers] and governments, work together to ensure that minimum standards are met.”
’Stakeholders?’ The only person who has a stake in my plate (and, preferably a steak on my plate) is me.
Ms Waxman can take a hike – the exercise may do her some good.
Posted at 09:55 PM
MAN ON THE MOON [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Rand Simberg reminds : Man walked on the moon 34 years ago today.
Posted at 09:53 PM
QUEER EYE FOR EVERYBODY [Tim Graham]
Oh, K-Lo, tell me, why do women so love these swishy stereotypes of gay men? They know how to "zhoozh" hair, how to get an auto-tan, and how to "fix" men who seem to "get their clothes from Home Depot." And they're so bitchy. Carson Kressley, the lead "queer," if we may use their word, could not keep his hands off the "fashion victim" in the first episode.
Don't take it from me. Take it from my shameless plug for what Brent Bozell had to say.
Posted at 09:46 PM
WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE EDITORS AT THE LATIMES? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
This cartoon is indefensible.
Posted at 09:44 PM
WHEN IN ROME...I MEAN DC [Randy Barnett]
I have been traveling a lot which, together with indexing my book, has prevented me from posting much. Today, I am at the Hilton at Embassy Row in DC before my final lecture on contract law for LawPreview Monday at GW law school. (Say Hi to me tomorrow if you are an NRO reader.)
I spent most of the day lounging on the roof deck here by Dupont Circle listening to the hate-filled left-wing speeches wafting over from the park. Thankfully, I could not really hear most of what was said but, man, these guys are ticked at everything. We are really in a serious culture war that has not really changed at all from Vietnam, back to the communist movement of the 1930s-1950s, and beyond into the past. There is no end of history and we are condemned to repeat it.
Which brings to mind a wonderful piece I read today in the National Review magazine: "The Two Europes" by Michael Knox Beran, where he traces the modern cultural conflict between the French-Germans on the one hand the and the Anglo-Americans on the other to Roman empire and its European "barbarian" rivals. It is a real eye-opener. One of those analysis pieces that seems so right that you imagine you always thought this way, even though you know you didn't. I wish I could link to it, but the magazine is not on-line. All I can do is urge you get your hands on a copy of National Review. Here is the summary from elsewhere on this website:
In challenging the United States over Iraq, Chirac surely knew that he stood little chance of persuading President Bush to change course. Yet here was a means of demonstrating to the world that, whatever its faults as an engine of economic progress, the Romano-European state nevertheless embodies a higher type of civilization than that of the Anglo-Americans. It was an inspired exercise in salesmanship. Intellectuals of various stripes rallied to Chirac's standard and argued that Romano-Europe — the same civilization that gave the world absolutism, Bonapartism, socialism, National Socialism, fascism, and Francoism — is somehow morally superior to the coarser civilization of the "Anglosphere." As long as men like President Chirac can persuade the chattering classes that in defending Romano-European traditions they are resisting a shallow American materialism, they will find useful support in their effort to prevent would-be Mrs. Thatchers from rising up to take them down.A must read.
Posted at 09:42 PM
RED PEPPER [Andrew Stuttaford]
There’s always something a little disconcerting about a fanatic, but even by the loopy standards of the far left, Rutgers student Charlotte Kates takes some beating. According to a recent profile in the New York Times, her favorite book is by Lenin, a ‘writer’ so turgid that he could only be a Communist propagandist (oh, wait a moment, he was). Her dorm room décor includes a picture of a murderer (not Lenin, but, inevitably, Che Guevara) and publicity for the 'Heroic Red Women Fighters of Peru', an offshoot, I suspect, of that Peruvian death cult known as the Shining Path. Good for Rutgers for not objecting, however. Free expression is important and I just know the university would be just as relaxed about a display of Fascist propaganda or, say, a photo of Ernst Rohm.
So, how sinister is she? Read the following sentence and judge for yourself:
“She has a weakness for Dr. Pepper. "
And before you write - that is the Times’ spelling of the evil nectar. I know that there’s no period after the ‘Dr’.
Posted at 09:41 PM
ON THE WAY OUT [Andrew Stuttaford]
Idi Amin is, apparently, dying (contain your grief) in his final haven – that home of death cults, oppression and moral cretinism better known as ‘Saudi’ Arabia. It’s interesting to read that this mass murderer had previously found refuge in Libya and Iraq. Yes, Libya and Iraq. That the Saudis are in that company tells you all you need to know about their 'kingdom'.
Posted at 09:39 PM
TONY MARTIN [Andrew Stuttaford]
Tony Martin is not the poster child for householder rights that some people over in this country like to imagine. Nevertheless, his sentence (for killing a burglar) has gone on far too long. His parole was, incredibly, delayed on the grounds that (unlike the police) he might constitute a danger to burglars. Now it seems that the same ludicrous explanation is being used to deny the poor man a preparatory home visit prior to his release from jail.
Posted at 09:22 PM
CATS AND DOGS [Andrew Stuttaford]
Heard on NPR yesterday morning, a reference to man’s impact on the ‘animal community.’ Community? Whatever happened to nature, red in tooth and claw?
Posted at 09:15 PM
FORTUNE-TELLERS [Andrew Stuttaford]
In a moment of madness so inspired that only bureaucrats could dream it up, San Francisco is going to require fortune-tellers to pay a fee ($357), post a rate schedule, get fingerprinted and offer customers a receipt for their services.
The Supervisor responsible, Mr. Aaron Peskin, describes this measure as “consumer fraud protection.” Really? Is Peskin trying to claim that some fortune-tellers are not frauds?
One other aspect of this saga to savor – the manipulation of PC sensitivities by certain members of the “Romany community,” which, the writer of this piece somewhat primly notes, “some [the boors!] refer to as Gypsies.” One Gypsy has even gone so far as to say that passing the proposed legislation “will be just like what Hitler did to us.”
What a load of (crystal) balls.
Via blogger Amy Phillips.
Posted at 09:08 PM
DEMOCRACY ON CUE [Andrew Stuttaford]
More signs of hope in Iran? Snooker (pool, sort of) clubs are opening again in Iran. Needless to say, women are barred from joining most of the clubs or from playing at the same time as men. One of the players explains:
“The posture women take up in the game is deemed sexual, and thus are forbidden to play with us.”
Just another reminder that the mullahs are quite insane.
Posted at 08:58 PM
RE: QUEER EYE FOR THE STRAIGHT GUY [John Derbyshire]
Well, they're not getting their hands on me, Kathryn, I can assure you of that. At the risk of taking this stuff more seriously than it deserves, the program Queer Eye for the Straight Guy seems to be another attempt to mainstream the contempt and condescension that male homosexuals feel towards normal men. The subtext is that normal guys are clunky, clueless doofuses (doofi?) who need to be taken in hand (sorry, sorry) by the hipper, smarter, more knowledgable guys of the homosexualist fraternity. Kind of like what TV sitcoms have done in re the male-female wars. Well, fiddlesticks to that. I have got to this point of my life without knowing which end of a blow-drier is which, and I hope to make it clean through to the grave without finding out.
Posted at 08:05 PM
STOP THE PRESSES! [Susan Konig]
Apparently, small children want to be with their mothers! A new national study finds that kids do better in their early years when home with mom rather than in daycare. Here's a Texas kid who proves the point
Posted at 07:18 PM
FOOD FIGHT LATEST [Andrew Stuttaford]
The absurdities that surround the food wars grow ever more grotesque. It’s well known by now that one of the complaints of the calorie cops is that ‘single portion’ servings are too large. Now here are details of a different grumble. Cut through all the nonsense, and it boils down to two things – servings are, well, too small and consumers are too dumb to read.
This controversy is not going away any time soon, and nor is the fatal conceit at its core: people are stupid, and governments are smart.
Posted at 06:23 PM
IS THIS EVEN PC? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
The makeover show Queer Eye for the Straight Guy gets replayed on NBC after its success as a Bravo premiere.
Posted at 10:03 AM
TEACHERS AGAINST "UNDER GOD" [Tim Graham]
Posted at 10:01 AM
AMB. TRIPPLEHORN [Rod Dreher]
Remember Paul Kelly Tripplehorn, that indiscreet intern that Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison had to fire after his break-up e-mail to another intern was made public? [Moral: don't mess with Texas women.] Here's a hye-larious satire imagining the preppy mongoloid rebounding as an American diplomat.
Posted at 09:58 AM
BACK FROM BAYLOR [Rod Dreher]
I'm back in from Waco, where I attended a meeting Friday at which angry alumni of the historically Baptist Baylor University confronted the school's president, Dr. Robert Sloan, at a public forum. Very strange, this controversy. Sloan and his administration are trying something exciting and fairly novel in Protestant higher education: broadening and deepening Baylor's commitment to Christianity and classical Christian scholarship (which means they're starting to dig, in a sustained and intentional way, into the historical roots of Christian philosophy and theology). I thought Sloan and his team did an admirable job of rebutting their opponents, who have been reduced to slandering Sloan as a "fundamentalist" (which is what liberal Christians call everyone to their right) because he believes Baylor should be intentional about maintaining its Christian identity, and should become a beacon of Christian intellectual endeavor in American higher education. To this end, he's hired NRO contributor and former Boston College philosopher Dr. Thomas Hibbs as dean of the Honors College. I met several faculty members from the Great Texts program. After spending some time among the committed Baptists and small-o orthodox Christians from other faith traditions teaching in that program, I've no doubt that there are some pretty terrific things going on at Baylor these days. I hope Baylor gets the George W. Bush library, over which the school is competing with SMU; if Sloan succeeds in his visionary plans, Baylor is going to become an academic powerhouse within a generation.
Posted at 09:57 AM
FROM SOMEONE WHO KNOWS [Susan Konig]
A reader writes:
Susan, I just read your blog on the Corner and want to give you some perspective. I am a Director of a small rural HMO, not for profit, in the San Luis Valley of Colorado. We serve commercial insurance and Medicare members. Our 6 county service area is home to 47,000 people, 52% Hispanic, and includes 3 of the 4 poorest counties in Colorado. We have the highest rates of COPD [chronic obstructive pulmanary disease] and diabetes in the state. Centura Health Systems, (owned by CHI, Catholic Health Initiatives), despite their web site claims and mission values, will not even meet with us to contract with their hospitals. Centura says we are too small to contract with. We are the only insurance provider in the area. Our rates are consistently 10-15% below the out of area competition. So because they control much of the hospital access, they bill full charges and if our members go, we have to pay, while BC/BS who doesn't even cover our area gets a blanket 30% cut in charges in every Centura facility. If we had the BC/BS rates, we could lower premiums even further and cover additional people. Currently, we cover most of the working adults in the valley but they cannot afford the premiums for their spouse and children. We could do so much more, but Centura/CHI is more concerned with the cost of doing business with a "small player". This is probably the exception to their practice nationwide but is the antitheses of their stated values and mission. I certainly believe in a free market but deplore some getting a free ride in the press when, in my opinion, it is not deserved.He adds: I do appreciate many of the good things CHI has done and am obviously frustrated with their corporate decisions concering our health plan.
Posted at 09:54 AM
HILLARY THE "GODDESS" VS. THE LIAR [Tim Graham]
What a difference a month makes, I guess. In today’s Washington Post Magazine, staff humorist Gene Weingarten writes about Hillary Clinton in the most flattering terms: “I would say, in my personal judgment, that Hillary Clinton not only represents womanhood at its finest, but humanity at its pinnacle.” He’s joking, of course – the gag is he’s denouncing a man for putting a personal letter from HRC for sale on Ebay, even as he’s buttering her up so he can get one, too. But for readers who, well, see Hillary as a fierce competitor with her husband in the Bald-Faced Lying Olympics (like me), and worse, forced themselves to suffer through eleven years of sticky valentines to her because it’s their job (me again), it’s a little tedious.
About a month ago, in a much more obscure place – his weekly washingtonpost.com Internet chat on June 17 – Weingarten was quite upset with the Junior Ultraliberal from New York. He exposed her for lying in her hauteur-biography. In 1993, then-reporter Weingarten broke a very interesting front-page Post story – Bill Clinton has a second half-brother that his father, Bill Blythe, sired on the road as a traveling salesman. But in one of the numerable whoppers in Hillary’s Fairy Tales (Amazon called it “Living History,” right?), she claimed that she missed her last scheduled dinner with Vince Foster so that she could comfort Bill’s mother, Virginia Kelley, with the news. Weingarten notes with an understandable amount of pique that this story is a little implausible:
Virginia Kelley knew precisely what the story was going to say ten days before it was published. I know that because I told her. I reached her by phone and not only told her all the details of Bill Blythe's life and prior marriages, but in the story I QUOTED HER AT LENGTH REACTING TO THIS INFORMATION.Examples like this are the wellspring of “Clinton hatred.” Not simply the blatant lying, but the blatant getting away with it – that instead of the truth, our fearless media have always preferred to give the public plastic, action-figure Clintons, wonkish superheroes doing battle with those hateful hordes who care about whether their utterances match reality.
Weingarten is no Barbara Walters today, actively seeking to issue the latest tiring example of permanent-campaign propaganda, but the piece is saddening nonetheless.
Posted at 09:53 AM
THE CORNER... [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
.. a great place to hear your echo.
Posted at 04:35 AM