MORE KENNEDY COOING [Tim Graham]
Who knew? Yesterday apparently would have been the 50th wedding anniversary of John F. and Jacqueline Kennedy, and NBC's "Today" brought on Kennedy social secretary Letitia Baldridge for yet another nostalgic look at old home movies of Jack and Jackie. "It's so fun to look at that," cooed Katie Couric. "Why was the country so captivated? I mean this was a huge deal. This was as big as Ben and J-Lo!" Baldridge corrected: "Oh please! Do not compare them." Couric: "Sorry." They're America's royal family, remember?
Posted at 10:48 AM
HE IS BIG; IT'S THE PROTESTS THAT GOT SMALL [Rod Dreher]
Man oh man, Shelby Steele nails Jesse Jackson's hide to the barn door in this devastating column, in which he reflects on the fact that poor ol' Jesse has been reduced to calling Yale University, where he got arrested protesting this week, a new Selma. Dr. Steele says Jesse, in his delusional desperation to remain relevant, reminds him of Norma Desmond, the creepy, faded silent film star of "Sunset Boulevard."
Posted at 10:09 AM
QUIZ [Rick Brookhiser]
But which one was cuter vacuuming in underwear in Working Girl?
Posted at 10:06 AM
WE ARE AS ONE [Peter Robinson]
As usual, Jonah, it takes only a couple of exchanges before we...converge. Griping about Grasso is just fine with me--if, in particular, his huge comp package resulted from some sort of backroom deal that was kept from ordinary members of the exchange, the wheelings-and-dealings should be brought to light and howled about--as long as it's clearly understood the Feds ought to keep their hands off. (As for being snippy, I never noticed. I guess that means I hadn't had my coffee yet myself.)
I'd better post this, right now, before I start blubbering about how much I love you.
Posted at 09:51 AM
Friday, September 12, 2003
QUIZ ANSWER [Jonah Goldberg]
It was the Dalai Lama.
Posted at 07:01 PM
GOOD NEWS FOR MANKIND, BAD NEWS FOR NARAL [Jonah Goldberg ]
Posted at 06:52 PM
MCCLINTOCK GAINS [Rich Lowry]
Things that caught my eye from the LATimes poll, which I'm looking at in The Hotline: McClintock is gaining on Arnold. It's Arnold 25%, Tom 18%. There's obviously growth potential for McClintock since at the moment he's splitting the conservative vote with Arnold-38% Arnold, 39% McClintock. Interesting that McClintock is beating Arnold among independents 28% to 14%. Also, asked to agree or disagree with the statement, "McClintock is straightforward and says what he believes even if it is unpopular," 54% agree, 6% disagree. That may be the quality voters value most in politicians...
Posted at 06:17 PM
RECALL RECALLED? [Jim Boulet]
The latest polls have California's Governor Grey Davis staring at possible defeat in the October 7th recall election. Meanwhile "the poll found troubles emerging for [Lt. Gov.] Bustamante as voters learn more about him. His unfavorable rating surged from 29% in the August poll to 50% in the new one."
Despondent CA Democrats may yet be able to count on help from an unexpected quarter.
On September 11th, a three judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals heard the ACLU's complaint that the use of punch card voting in the recall election would discriminate against residents of Los Angeles and other localities.
According to the Los Angeles Times: "[Deputy Attorney General Douglas J. Woods] appeared sufficiently concerned about the prospect that the appeals court would halt the election that he asked the judges to give him sufficient time to appeal such a ruling to the Supreme Court" (emphasis added).
Woods proved he could listen ("Comments by the judges had lawyers for a coalition of minority groups wondering after the argument whether it could have possibly gone any better," says The Recorder. He also proved he could count. Kausefiles noted last week (scroll down to September 5th) :
Hold on to your chad: The ACLU appears to have won the Ninth Circuit lottery in its bid to have the federal appellate court postpone the scheduled October 7 California recall election. The 3-judge panel on the case--Harry Pregerson, Richard Paez, and Sidney Thomas--seems both a) liberal and b) willing to make trouble . Here's an excerpt from a highly informative piece by Jason Hoppin in The Recorder:
And the best part of this case for California Democrats? According to The Recorder "If the panel calls off the recall, Attorney General Bill Lockyer's office isn't required to appeal on the secretary of state's behalf."
Posted at 04:45 PM
CATCHING UP... [Rich Lowry]
...meant to note the other day that Bush's proposal for adding to the Patriot Act is politically brilliant. It's a direct challenge to the anti-Patriot Act Democrats on ground very favorable to Bush, since most of the public doesn't buy the ACLU critique. That said, I'm not sure about the merits, particularly the administrative subpoena...
Posted at 03:51 PM
QUIZ: MELANIE GRIFFITH OR DALAI LAMA? [Jonah Goldberg]
One of them on 9/11:
"Big, unthinkable tragedies happen. Now, instead of keeping that and developing hatred or sense of revenge, instead of that, think long-term. The negative event, try to transform into a source of inner strength."
Posted at 03:18 PM
GOIN' BACK TO BURLI, BURLI... [Jonah Goldberg]
Heading to Burlington, Vermont on Sunday to do some research. Nominations for places to see, things to do etc. welcome.
Posted at 02:37 PM
GRASSO [Jonah Goldberg]
Peter - I hear you and I'm sorry if I was snippy before -- I hadn't had my coffee. That said, do we really want to create a situation where conservatives seem like apologists for anything the private sector does for fear the government might be enticed into doing something stupid? I make the case all of the time that something can be constitutional and still be wrong. Why I can't we say something is shady and a bad business practice without saying it warrants more regulations?
I was talking with a friend of mine today who works in a related industry and he made the point that the issue with Grasso is simple hypocrisy. The NYSE has been "super preachy" about governance, transparency, conflicts of interest etc. And now it turns out Grasso's got to get his own house in order.
Meanwhile, Gregg Easterbrook says the issue isn't hypocrisy, it's corruption .
Posted at 02:06 PM
9/11 REMEMBERED [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
No comment needed.
Posted at 01:55 PM
THE SACRIFICES PEOPLE ARE WILLING TO MAKE FOR THEIR NR DIGITAL [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
And while I'm here I may as well let you know your campaign of incessant blegging worked on me and I subscribed to NRD this morning. I'm on a tight budget at the moment so I had to forego my annual fantasy football news service to pick it up, but I trust I won't be disappointed.
Posted at 12:56 PM
RE: ANNA LINDH [Rod Dreher]
Andrew, quoting the Guardian:
Something remarkable emerged in Sweden's euro debate, the crystallisation of a new set of political dividing lines, in which right-wing and left-wing activists find themselves in alliance against powerful, cross-border, private-public bureaucracies. On one side, the small, the local, the personal, the individual, the accessible, the familiar, the inherited; on the other, the big, the transnational, the impersonal, the mass, the remote, the alien, the acquired.
Hmm. What's Swedish for "crunchy conservatism"?
Posted at 12:50 PM
WHOSE BUSINESS? [Peter Robinson]
Jonah, here’s the distinction I should have made: Of course it’s fine for all of us to squawk and moan about Grasso’s compensation, just as you—and the author of the email you posted—suggest. But the “whose business is it?” argument is still valid and important. How come? Because about two seconds into our squawking and complaining, some politician somewhere is bound to use the public’s irritation as an excuse for getting Big Mama—the feds—into the picture, holding hearings, threatening regulation, and all the rest. Whose business is it? Not the government’s.
As for the point offered by your learned correspondent that the NYSE receives government protections, true enough. At this late stage in the game, however, what commerical entity of any size doesn’t receive at least implicit protection of some kind from our all-knowing, all-seeing, and omnipresent federal government? Pharmaceutical companies? The FDA. Media companies? The FCC. Automobile manufacturers? The Departments of Commerce and Transportation.
I’m all in favor of whacking away at the federal regulatory regime—for that matter, I’m all in favor of exposing the Big Board to full and unbridled competition. But if government oversight and protection make a CEO’s salary a matter for public intervention, then there’s not a board in the country that’s free to compensate its CEO on its own terms. Grasso’s compensation, I still contend, is between Grasso and the New York Stock Exchange.
Posted at 12:46 PM
RE: LOWRY TODAY [Tim Graham]
I'm glad Rich (and Jim Geraghty) turned our attention back to the Dem-nominee race, because Rich and reporter Ceci Connolly of the Washington Post are on entirely different planets of analysis. Coming out of the Fox-aired debate on Tuesday night, Connolly told Greta Van Susteren the most interesting part was Ed Gordon's yes-or-no question on whether the candidates would support Bush's $87 billion Iraq package: "He only got a one word answer out of Kucinich, which was no. The rest of them all kind of mumbled around and had a lot of caveats, and I think that’s one of the problems that you really see in this Democratic party and this Democratic field right now, is that they know that there is a lot of unease with the situation in Iraq, but they have not yet been able to boil it down to a sentence or two, what exactly they would do or change. So they’re still kind of at that carping phase rather than the vision phase."
On the one hand, that can be read the Republican way -- the Dems are struggling for an answer, and they don't have one, they just carp. But watching this unfold live, Connolly gave me the impression she was saying only Kucinich is in the "vision phase" by dropping the "mumbling caveats" and saying to hell with Iraq, pull out. Lowry sees a lurch left. Connolly sees too much moderation as the problem. Right after the debate, her first take on the Bush-bashing fiesta was "snoozy." She was only impressed with Kucinich's no and Bob Graham saying the president was an intentional liar.
Posted at 12:42 PM
RE: JOHNNY CASH [Rod Dreher]
Megadittoes to Tim's "This is country music?" commentary about Johnny Cash. He had such artistic and personal integrity.
Side note: you gotta love Fox News. They introduced a report a few minutes ago about the man's death by saying, "Johnny Cash has made his way to heaven." That's not journalism, but it's good, and it's why so many of us in red America like Fox.
Posted at 12:18 PM
LAMAR! ON THE OATH [John J. Miller]
As Jim Boulet noted yesterday, those were excellent remarks from Sen. Lamar Alexander yesterday opposing the proposed changes to the Oath of Allegiance. Makes me want to put an exclamation mark behind his first name: "I don’t know whether it will happen or not, but I’ve read the new oath that the BCIS may make public next week, and I prefer the traditional one. The Oath of Allegiance is a fundamental statement on the commitment of becoming a United States citizen. It should not be altered by a government agency, no matter how well intentioned. And I don’t doubt that the government employees involved in this process do, indeed, have the best of intentions. But any change should be subject to the approval of this body – it must be enshrined in law. ... I have no objection to others proposing modifications to the Oath of Allegiance that we use today. I like the present Oath. It has strength and clarity. I have seen in the eyes of new Americans what it means to them. But perhaps ways can be found to make it even stronger. Still, let’s make sure any changes have the support of the people as represented by Congress. The Oath of Allegiance is a statement of the commitments required of new citizens. Current citizens, through their elected representatives, ought to have a say as to what those commitments are. That’s a lesson in democracy. A legally binding statement on American citizenship ought to reflect American values, including democracy."
Posted at 12:02 PM
HERE'S MY TWO CENTS [Rich Lowry]
In the New York Times story on the ACLU's new anti-Bush ads: "As far as the celebrities go, they obviously have a right to speak their minds and a right to be morons, and they usually exercise both," said Rich Lowry, the editor of National Review, a conservative journal. "This is typical uninformed hysteria from the two places you expect most to get it: the A.C.L.U. and celebrities."
Posted at 12:01 PM
WHEN COSMO'S AWAY... [Jonah Goldberg ]
Posted at 11:27 AM
MORE NRD [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
Posted at 11:21 AM
THE ARAB WORLD: INTERESTING EMAIL [Jonah Goldberg]
I'm getting a lot of these sorts of things in response to yesterday's G-File:
Posted at 10:50 AM
MORE: WHOSE BUSINESS [Jonah Goldberg]
I was going to mention this angle, but frankly I don't know enough on the subject. This emailer clarifies:
In repsonse to Peter Robinson's question 2 - since NYSE is private, whose business is it what Grasso gets paid, a half-hearted answer: NYSE is not exactly and totally private. It is a corporation that is not publicly traded, but it has been granted extreme protections by the US government, to govern itself, and to attract and keep stocks listed (including the well-known "roach motel" listing clauses that almost completely prevent voluntary DE-listing by a company on the big board). It exists, and is protected by the SEC, to make markets in stocks, to the benefit of companies and stockholders. We may argue about the efficacy of the SEC, and whether we could have efficient markets without government intervening to "make" them, but at least in the moment, Grasso is a quasi-public official, and the way our markets are structured, he's not just a purely private actor, like the CEO of a privately-held company. His large salary for doing arguably nothing (ARGUABLY - Peter does have a point re: saving the Big Board) is evidence of rent-taking by NYSE's near-monopoly status granted by the Feds. We ought to be concerned, for two reasons - one, maybe it's a sign we should end the monopoly - if they are capable of extracting such large rents, maybe it's not efficient. Two, maybe we can't come up with a better way to "make" the markets we want to have, so we ned to squawk about stuff like this to ensure that the folks we've entrusted with making markets know they are being watched and thus can't extract monopoly rents. NYSE's extraction of ANY rent is in some sense a deadweight loss - a theoretically perfect market would have no transaction costs. Of course, we can't get to "theoretically perfect" but Grasso's salary indicates that we could get more efficient than NYSE - or they wouldn't have the cash to drown him in. And stockholders should care. I own companies traded on the Big Board, and my trades are going to line his pockets, instead of my own. Naturally, my views are not necessarily the views of my employer.
Posted at 10:44 AM
WHOSE BUSINESS? [Jonah Goldberg]
Peter -- On point number one, I think you make some fine points, though I am unconvinced that Grasso deserved an extra $5 million for doing what he was already paid -- what? -- 25 million to do.
But on point number two I say "Booooooo!" No offense, but I'm not a big fan of the "whose business?" rejoinder. Many colleges, museums, newspapers, rock bands, magazines, think tanks, baseball teams are "private institutions." If that is a bar to public comment or criticism I'd better go back to my dream of writing comic books and sci fi novels because I don't want to write about politics for the rest of my life if culture is off limits. I am not proposing -- I don't think -- that the Feds should arrest or regulate anybody or anything in the Grasso matter. But does that mean I can't comment on it? It seems to me that if conservatives are going to be for limited government we should be for more unlimited criticism. After all we are the ones who say that society and culture can be self-regulating through the application of norms, shame etc. Well, that only works if we are allowed to actually comment negatively on those things we believe the state should not tamper with. I think this is a major fault line between two brands of conservatism -- those who are anti-left and anti-State, or at least that's what I've been arguing for a while.
Posted at 10:36 AM
THE BIG GUY AT THE BIG BOARD [Peter Robinson ]
Steve and Jonah, may I offer a word or two in defense of Richard Grasso?
1. A decade ago, it was an open question whether the New York Stock Exchange would--or could--remain of any importance in the emerging economy. NASDAQ was running ads touting itself as the exchange "for the next hundred years," and plenty of people, even those who worked at the Big Board itself, believed the future did indeed belong to NASDAQ and other electronic exchanges. Grasso instituted reforms and placed the Big Board on the offensive--and today it remains the world's preeminent exchange, a rigorous, self-policing institution that everyday engages in the rapid and efficient allocation of staggering amounts of capital.
A poor little writer like yours truly may gag when he contemplates the amounts of money that folks on Wall Street pull down every year. But given the vast sums paid to top executives at Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Travellers, and other major financial institutions, are you really prepared to argue that Grasso's compensation is somehow out of line?
2. The New York Stock Exchange is a private institution. Whose business is it whatever it decides to pay Richard Grasso?
Posted at 10:11 AM
GRASSO THE GIVER [Tim Graham]
A quick glance at opensecrets.org finds a Richard Grasso of the NYSE giving two grand to John McCain. (A Lorraine Grasso at the same Zip also gave a grand to McCain.) Plus a grand for local GOP Rep. Vito Fossella.
Posted at 10:07 AM
A REMARKABLE FINE STUDENT [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Congratulations! You have convinced a poor college student (although a non-traditional one) to subscribe. I used to have NRODT, but had let it expire. I have always felt a little guilty about reading NRO and not having to pay for it...I mean, how could something so great be FREE????....but perhaps this is a little way I can contribute. Your website is my favorite, and I have let my friends and family know that. Keep up the great work!If he can do it....just do it.
Posted at 10:04 AM
SALARIES/SMOKING GRASSO [Steve Hayward]
Jonah: You are right that Hollywood salaries are (mostly) connected to market performance, whereas Grasso appears to be a winner of pure crony capitalism. However, the leftist argument against high corporate salaries is usually based on some egalitarian-inspired notion of "fairness" or "intrinsic merit." This is bosh, of course (see: Hayek), but we should not pass up the opportunity to demand that the left apply the same standards to their friends in Hollywood. This might be one way of shutting them up. For five seconds anyway. But as I said in my forst point, I largely agree with you that the Grasso payout really smells. (I wonder if he is a Democrat, by the way. Something tells me he probably is.)
Posted at 09:47 AM
AMERICAN MORNING [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
I confess, I usually have Fox and Friends on in the background, but Jonah's on AM on Fridays. I'm so loyal.
Posted at 09:38 AM
RED, BLUE, COUNTRY [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Tim, maybe it's a blue-state thing, or age, but I didn't even realize the Tex Ritter relation to John Ritter until this morning. Evidently Tex Ritter had June and Johhny on his show when they were starting out. One of those minor coincidences of history. (Everything I know I learned on American Morning this morning, while working. Like: John Ritter was also the voice of Clifford, the Big Red Dog.)
Posted at 09:35 AM
MAN IN BLACK [Tim Graham]
Rest in peace, Johnny Cash. For many red-staters, this resonates deep. Growing up in a Wisconsin cow town, I generally avoided country music, since if always seemed to be related to dumb jokes on Hee Haw and Porter Wagoner in foot-high hair and a rhinestone suit. But not Johnny Cash. I remember hearing "Ring of Fire" with its mariachi trumpets and thinking "this is country music?" Cash was cool. I had a friend down the street whose dad had the prison-concert records. Which oddly made singing in prison cool.
The TV obits today talk about "I Walk the Line" and "Folsom Prison Blues." But I'd start with songs I liked most as a kid, like "Dirty Old Egg-Sucking Dog." And you cannot beat Johnny Cash singing "Were You There?"
Posted at 09:33 AM
KID UNFRIENDLY DAYCARE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Posted at 08:04 AM
JOHNNY CASH, RIP, TOO [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
FNC reporting he has died.
Posted at 06:01 AM
SWEDEN [Andrew Stuttaford]
Most Swedes are still in shock from the hideous murder of their country's foreign minister, Anna Lindh, but the government has said, quite rightly, that the Euro referendum will still take place on Sunday. The no camp was well ahead before the attack on Ms. Lindh (who was the most popular advocate of the single European currency in Sweden), but the likely result now is far less clear, although the best guess is still that the Euro will – as it should – be rejected.
Meanwhile, the Guardian has an interesting and subtly written piece today on the situation in Sweden. This extract, in particular, is worth pondering:
“Something remarkable emerged in Sweden's euro debate, the crystallisation of a new set of political dividing lines, in which right-wing and left-wing activists find themselves in alliance against powerful, cross-border, private-public bureaucracies. On one side, the small, the local, the personal, the individual, the accessible, the familiar, the inherited; on the other, the big, the transnational, the impersonal, the mass, the remote, the alien, the acquired.”
Posted at 06:01 AM
JOHN RITTER, RIP [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Died of a heart problem at 54. A funny guy, IMHO, who made phonics hip for a certain age group.
Posted at 05:33 AM
Thursday, September 11, 2003
SALARIES [Jonah Goldberg]
Steve - I have to respectfully disagree with you on this one. I take a back seat to no one when it comes to contempt for Hollywood. But Hollywood salaries make so much more sense to me than this Grasso thing. That Adam Sandler makes so much money is almost a pure market function. He is a meat prop. If millions of people wanted to look at a lamp or a dog the owner of said lamp or dog could charge huge sums of money to Hollywood studies to put these objects on display on the big screen. Sandler's talent or lack thereof is meaningless (though I have liked a couple Sandler movies), the market supports what he makes. Sure it's unfair that Sandler makes so much money, but it's not unfair that investors have the opportunity to place their bets on him.
What market mechanism justifies Grasso's bonus? It strikes me this was simply a case of buddies and cronies rewarding somebody with little to no justification. If Grasso were making $300K a year I could see getting a huge bonus. But he was already making $500K a week.
Posted at 10:12 PM
READER TIP [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
I'm all about the e-mails today. A reader writes (and based on the few minutes I saw of it tonight, this sounds right):
TLC is running a wonderful 2 hour program on the President's view of 9/11: "9/11: The President's Story." V. well done and balanced, but (and?) comes off as way pro-Bush (as it must). The show repeats tonight at 11 eastern. Watch it!
Posted at 09:59 PM
NO, DAVIS GOES [Steve Hayward]
Rich: If McClintock drops out, I strongly suspect that conservatives will still turn out to turn out Davis; they will skip Part B on the ballot, and not vote for any replacement. Taking Davis out will still be a deeply satisfying thing, even if Bustamante (Sacramento show host Tom Sullivan calls him "Cruz Boostyourtaxes") replaces Davis. The message will get through to Arnold and the GOP establishment that they can't take conservatives' votes for granted.
Posted at 09:52 PM
I LOVE THIS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
This is so COOL! My husband and I are sitting in our favorite reading chairs, each with our laptop, reading the new National Review. We get to discuss as we go along now, instead of waiting until we are both done with the magazine. “Did you read Derb’s dictionary?” “Yeah, did you read the one for self esteem?” “I was LMAO!” “Read Jay’s article on Bush, it’s good.” “Did you read the Long View—it’s great!” On and on it goes. I am so lucky to be married to a conservative intellectual….and that he started reading NRO in the days when Jonah would answer his every e mail.That sounds like fun, don't it? Get Digital here.
Posted at 09:50 PM
SMOKING GRASSO [Steve Hayward]
Jonah: I am somewhat inclined to agree with you. It seems to me that the NYSE board was smoking something when they approved a payout for a job that is close to a layup. On the other hand, I saw in the tabs the other day that Adam Sandler was paid close to $50 million for his film roles last year. Is he really $45 million funnier than Dennis Miller? If we are going to apply even a whiff of populism to corporate salaries, we should also apply them to Hollywood (starting with Steven Spielberg).
Posted at 09:33 PM
ENOUGH'S ENOUGH [Jonah Goldberg]
Look: I'm willing to defend income inequality, sweat shops, child labor, tax cuts and the like, if the merits are there. I'd privatize everything but the army and maybe four other things if I had my way. In other words, I'm no softy on these issues. But am I the only one in the corner offended by Dick Grasso's 9/11 bonus? I mean at a time when everyone was talking about sacrifice and loss, when we were touting the resumption of our normal lives as a patriotic counter-strike to the terrorist menace, Dick Grasso get's a five million dollar bonus on top of his enormous salary because the stock market re-opened? I despise financial populism of any kind, but this just strikes me as galling.
Posted at 06:19 PM
EU INSANITY PROCEEDS [Rod Dreher]
Now the European Union is trying to force the Greek Orthodox monks on Mount Athos to change their 1,000-year-old tradition to fit the EU's secular ideals. These socialists have to be stopped.
Posted at 06:16 PM
WTC, ATTACK ONE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Rich Miniter brought this point up to me during the course of our Q&A-ing: “The news media usually puts the death toll of the first World Trade Center attack as six dead. Yet, Monica Smith was seven months pregnant with a baby boy. That’s why the trial documents for the bombers put the death toll at seven….the New York Times and others still say only six people died.”
Posted at 06:09 PM
IF MCCLINTOCK GOES, DOES DAVIS STAY? [Rich Lowry]
Interesting thought from a California hand: If McClintock drops out, the conservative heart of his support may just not show up to vote on the recall, and those non-voters may give Davis the margin to survive...
Posted at 06:03 PM
ANDREW STUTTAFORD [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Posted at 06:02 PM
MORE FROM 2 YEARS AGO TODAY [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Posted at 06:01 PM
BREAKING NEWS [Dave Kopel]
Over-riding a governor's veto, the Missouri Senate has voted to make Missouri a "shall issue" state for licenses for permits to carry handguns for lawful protection. The Senate vote was 23-10, meaning that there were no votes to spare on the over-ride. Yesterday, the Missouri House voted to over-ride the veto, by a six-vote margin. Thus, the concealed handgun licensing law will go into effect in 30 days. Two states--Vermont and Alaska--do not require a permit to carry a concealed handgun in most cases. Thirty-six states, now including Missouri, issue licenses according to objective criteria, and licenses are not denied merely because a police chief or sheriff does not want people to have guns. Of the 36 "shall issue" states, Missouri's law is among the very most restrictive, and substantially more restrictive than a "shall issue" referendum which voters narrowly rejected in 1999. (Technically, Alabama, Connecticut, and Iowa are "may issue" states, but in practice, licenses are usually issued fairly and without unreasonable denials.)
Of the remaining states, about half--such as New York and California--are "may issue" states, in which sheriffs and police chiefs have nearly unlimited discretion in issuing permits. The other half, including Kansas and Ohio, have no procedure for issue concealed handgun permits.
Missouri joins Colorado, Minnesota, and New Mexico in enacting "shall issue" legislation this year. Such legislation is thought to have a reasonable chance of passing soon in Ohio and Wisconsin.
The Missouri legislature also voted to over-ride Governor Holden's veto of a bill outlawing the St. Louis government's junk lawsuit against firearms manufacturers. As with the "shall issue" law, the Missouri legislature's action brings Missouri law in line with a large majority of other states.
While debate continues about whether concealed handgun legislation reduces crime by a statistically significant degree, the overwhelming evidence from states with "shall issue" laws is that permit-holders tend to be extremely law-abiding with their guns, and that gun prohibitionists' fears of constant "wild west" shoot-outs do not materialize.
Posted at 05:48 PM
FOREST FLEXIBILITY - A READER WRITES [Jonathan H. Adler]
A California reader writes to confirm my contentions about TAPped's sloppy characterizations of forest service history:
Just a few weeks ago I started volunteering at the National Archives and Records Administration's regional location in Laguna Niguel, California. My task has been to work on archiving records from the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, which straddles the New Mexico and Arizona border (Laguna Niguel houses the documents for the western region forests). The records I've seen for this particular forest date back to at least 1916 and without a doubt the overwhelming nature of the documents relate to the working use of the lands in the forest. I've seen box upon box of grazing permits for thousands of head of cattle, horses, sheep, and goats. Special use permits for homesteads, road building, and facilities for outdoor sportsmen. Right-of-ways for power lines and other energy facilities. Our forests have been leveraged in a myriad of ways for at least a century.
Posted at 05:42 PM
PARTY UNITY [Ramesh Ponnuru]
If the party is unity-minded, it seems to me that the two leading candidates it can't nominate are Dean and Lieberman, both of whom would split the party. The first two states to vote are Dean's strongest states in the country. If Dean wins Iowa and New Hampshire, presumably that both creates pressure for the non-Deaners to unite around somebody else--and takes out Gephardt and Kerry as the potential somebody else. Which leaves, what, Edwards?
Posted at 05:30 PM
FEELING MY PAIN [Jonah Goldberg]
I've gotten a few nice notes from readers about the Democratic Undergound nonsense I linked to. It's very kind of you but, really, you learn to tune such folks out. Just remember though, these are Howard Dean's people. Anyway, here's one nice note:
The link that you posted to the Nazi-Bush comparisons was amusing for about 2 seconds. I read all of the postings and I have to admit that I ran a progression of emotions from amused to angry to terrified.
Posted at 05:27 PM
DEAN AND HIS ENEMIES [Ramesh Ponnuru]
I was talking to a Democrat with ties to one of Howard Dean's rivals and he was saying that all of Dean's flip-flops were going to hurt him in time. But which of Dean's rivals is well positioned to make the case for him as a flip-flopper? Joe Lieberman, who's flipped on Social Security and affirmative action? Dick Gephardt, who's had more political personae than Hillary Clinton's had hairstyles? Dennis Kucinich, who discovered he was for Roe after thirty years in politics? John Kerry, that paragon of consistency? This is a flip-flop-rich field, at least compared to the Republican field in 1988, 1996, or 2000, or the Democratic field in 1988 or 1992. (Although the Democrats' 1988 field included a bunch of abortion flippers.)
This Democrat went on to complain about Dean's "adulatory press." He also said that the question of Dean's electability was being temporarily "blunted": "Conservative columnists are now pumping him up, pretending to be afraid of him for I think less than honorable reasons."
Posted at 05:25 PM
DUDE! [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Whatcha doing with that last one? NO ONE will subscribe now. Especially after my incessant blegging!!! (Not the ONLY reason, I am quick to add.) ACCK. Of course, if they have signed up for Digital, they know the blegging is for a good cause.
Posted at 05:24 PM
BETTER NRD THREATS [Tim Graham]
K-Lo, you could create a whole list of threats to subscribe to NR Digital or else:
Or else Rich Lowry will blind you by wearing a white dress shirt on TV instead of those earth tones.
Or else Jonah Goldberg will write dry, earnest pieces without an ounce of humor or free association.
Or else Cosmo will declare a detente with squirrels.
Or else Ramesh Ponnuru will see eye to eye with Reason magazine.
Or else Rod Dreher will give up granola and espouse the virtues of processed whey products.
Maybe even: Or else Kathryn Jean Lopez will take long naps and horrendously long lunches...and ignore the Corner.
Posted at 05:21 PM
PEGGY NOONAN'S BOOK [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Peggy Noonan's "9/11 collection" is well worth reading, even if you read all her columns as they appeared. Here's a review of her A Heart, a Cross, and a Flag (warning: was written with a Catholic weekly newspaper audience in mind).
Posted at 05:13 PM
OATH ON THE ROCKS? [John J. Miller]
We're hearing that the White House has put a "hold" on the new Oath of Allegiance--it hadn't been aware of the problems, which NRO readers knew about nearly a week ago. No telling how long this "hold" will last or what it means, but it seems we're making inroads.
Posted at 05:05 PM
JEFF ROSEN ON THE CULTURE WARS [Ramesh Ponnuru]
He wrote a piece in the Times Magazine on Sunday that I had meant to comment on. His thesis is that the Supreme Court, by issuing the ruling it did in Texas v. Lawrence (the sodomy case), was reigniting the culture wars. I think that this is true, although to the extent it is a bad thing it is a vice secondary to the constitutional nuttiness of the Court's opinion.
But one comment of Rosen's really stuck in my craw. He wrote, "In the Reagan and both Bush administrations, lower court and Supreme Court nominees were selected largely because of their perceived opposition to Roe, which was used as a litmus test of judicial virtue. The result is a polarizing gap between the moderate views of the country as a whole on abortion and the radical opposition it continues to inspire among conservative legal elites."
Never mind that Clinton had a publicly announced litmus test for Roe, as do many of the current Democratic candidates for president. Reagan and Bush I didn't, and any unannounced litmus test they had was rather less effective than the Democratic one, as witness O'Connor, Kennedy, and Souter on the one hand and Breyer and Ginsburg on the other.
There is no "radical opposition" to abortion among conservative legal elites. There is opposition to Roe--which is entirely defensible, as Rosen himself concedes that it is "constitutionally questionable." That opposition is rather less implacable than I wish it were--Kenneth Starr and Michael McConnell both seem to have made their peace with Roe. Finally, what about the polarizing gap between the public's moderate views and the substance of Roe?
Posted at 05:05 PM
MEMO FROM A READER [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
I just took a look at my first issue of NRD. THIS IS SO COOL!!!!! The September 29th issue on September 11th. I considered myself lucky if I got my NRODT by October 11th. You gotta sign up for this. It's got everything. Even the Guru-guy-on-the-mountain cartoon. What a great idea. Thanks K-Lo and all the guys.
Posted at 05:01 PM
SWEET DEAL? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Wow. This Digital thing has people excited. Here's another email:
I've just added NORAD to my NRoDT. Searching NR for keywords is too good to pass up. Also, regarding honey vs vinegar, I'd be glad to provide a bit of honey to entice subscribers. I'll provide a nice dinner to any subscribers to NORAD, provided they meet a few, understandable qualifications.  Maybe you can harness reader power to enlarge your base.
Posted at 04:48 PM
OMNIPRESENT HILLARY [Tim Graham]
Watching Sen. Clinton on CNN right now. She was on CNN this morning, as well as ABC, CBS, and NBC. Fawned over everywhere. (She did not appear on "Fox and Friends.") At no time, does anyone ask: "Do you wish your husband could have done more to stop Osama bin Laden?" Instead, it's softballs about how much she's done for NY and reporters trying to hype her EPA/9-11 scandal. People forget this is why many conservatives seemed well, mildly frustrated in the last decade. Scrutiny has not been her celebrated middle name.
Posted at 04:40 PM
HONEY AND VINEGAR [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
A mother suggests:
Maybe instead of threats like, "If you don't sign up for NR Digital, Derb will come after you. (He doesn't know it, but he will. And assign you many, many hard math problems. Or some other torture.)," a bribe like, "Derb will provide emergency homework bailout help for mathematically incompetent parents whose children need assistance, if you sign up for NR Digital," might work better. I know I'd sign up immediately.Derb, you in?
Posted at 04:18 PM
LAMAR & CITIZENSHIP OATH [Jim Boulet]
Lamar Alexander (R-TN) is on the Senate floor right now (quoting NRO no less) saying he will put in legislation to make the current citizenship oath text the law of the land.
Posted at 04:04 PM
GREAT, GREAT EDWARDS TAKEDOWN IN WASHINGTON POST [Rich Lowry]
Posted at 03:46 PM
A GIFT TO YOURSELF [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
You got me. I can justify the purchase of a NROVDT subscription as a birthday present for myself (9-13-76). All the whining made me cave a couple of days early! Please let all the uptight, backwards thinking publishers that I will continue to maintain my NRODT subscription as well because it's a little difficult to throw an electronic copy of NR on liberal co-workers desk in order to get that sweet sweet look of horror.
Posted at 03:41 PM
DEMOCRATICUNDERAROCK [Jonah Goldberg]
Infuriating nonsense. Or nonsensical fury.
Posted at 03:30 PM
TED OLSON ON PREVAILING [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
REMARKS ON THE SECOND ANNIVERSARY OF SEPTEMBER 11, 2003
WE GATHER TODAY TO REMEMBER AND PAY TRIBUTE WITH OUR HEARTS AND OUR TEARS TO THE LOVED ONES, FRIENDS, COLLEAGUES AND FELLOW AMERICANS WHO WERE SAVAGELY MURDERED ON THIS DATE TWO YEARS AGO.
WE ARE STILL STUNNED AND BEWILDERED BY THE DEPRAVED FANATICISM THAT PLANNED AND EXECUTED THE SLAUGHTER THAT DAY OF THOUSANDS OF HELPLESS, UNSUSPECTING INNOCENT LIVES, AND THE INFLICTION OF EXCRUCIATINGLY PAINFUL AND UNHEALABLE DAMAGE ON THOUSANDS MORE. THE AUDACITY OF THE ATTACK, THE BREATHTAKING SCOPE OF THE DAMAGE INFLICTED, AND THE DEPTH AND INTENSITY OF THE INHUMAN RAGE THAT PROPELLED THE ATTACKERS IS SIMPLY INCOMPREHENSIBLE TO US. EACH OF US THAT DAY WAS IN SOME WAY A VICTIM OF A LEVEL AND QUALITY OF VIOLENCE THAT MOST OF US HAD NEVER EVEN IMAGINED IN OUR LIVES. AND WE EACH SUFFER TODAY IN DIFFERENT WAYS FROM THOSE SEPTEMBER 11 MOMENTS WHEN THE GROUND BENEATH US TREMBLED AND OUR LIVES FOREVER CHANGED.
ON THAT DAY WE AMERICANS WERE FORCED TO RECOGNIZE THAT WE ARE INSEPARABLY BONDED TO OTHERS IN ISRAEL, INDIA, AFRICA, INDONESIA AND OTHER COUNTRIES WHO HAVE REAPED THE SAME BITTER HARVEST OF ANGUISH, EMPTINESS AND GRIEF SOWED BY TWISTED MINDS THAT KNOW NO EMOTION BUT HATE, NO MOTIVE BUT MALEVOLENCE, AND NO GOAL BUT DESTRUCTION. NEARLY EVERY DAY NOW, WE READ STORIES AND SEE PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE DEVASTATION AND CRUELTY INFLICTED BY TERRORISTS WHO ATTACK RESTAURANTS, HOSPITALS, OFFICE BUILDINGS, WEDDINGS AND SCHOOL BUSES. MINDLESS, SENSELESS, CRUELTY AND HATE, AND IRREPARABLE PAIN AND LOSS.
REMEMBERING AND HONORING THE VICTIMS OF SEPTEMBER 11 IS THEREFORE NOT REMOTELY SUFFICIENT. WE MUST ENGRAVE THEIR FACES AND TRAGICALLY-SHORTENED HISTORIES ON OUR HEARTS AND IN OUR SOULS. WE MUST COMMIT OURSELVES TO THE ONLY GOAL THAT IS WORTHY OF THEIR MEMORIES: TO ERADICATE THE DISEASE THAT KILLED THEM, WHEREVER IT IS AND HOWEVER LONG IS TAKES. THEIR SUFFERING AND DEATHS MUST FUEL OUR DEDICATION TO STAMP OUT THIS CANCER, AND, IN DOING SO, SAVE THOSE WE LOVE, AND THOSE WHO COME AFTER US, FROM FUTURE SEPTEMBER ELEVENS AND THE PAIN, LONELINESS AND HELPLESSNESS WE EXPERIENCED ON THAT DAY TWO YEARS AGO AND HAVE LIVED WITH EVERY DAY SINCE THEN.
WE CAN NEVER FORGET, BUT WE CAN NEVER EVEN REST UNTIL THAT DEBT IS PAID, AND SEPTEMBER 11 CAN BE REMEMBERED NOT AS A BEGINNING OF A SLIDE INTO CHAOS, BUT AS THE BEGINNING OF THE END OF BLIND, RUTHLESS, RANDOM BRUTALITY, AND THE TEARS OF ORPHANED CHILDREN, THE SCREAMS OF HIDEOUSLY BURNED BODIES, AND THE NUMBING GRIEF THAT TERRORISM DELIVERS.
WE CANNOT GIVE UP UNTIL THAT GOAL IS ATTAINED, WHETHER IT COMES IN OUR LIFETIME OR NOT. IF WE DO NOT PERSEVERE, WE WILL BE HAUNTED FOR ETERNITY BY THE MEMORIES OF THOSE WHO WERE TAKEN FROM US ON SEPTEMBER 11. WE CANNOT FORGET THEM OR LET THEM DOWN.
WE DO NOT HAVE TO BE A PRESIDENT, SOLIDER, ATTORNEY GENERAL, PROSECUTOR OR INTELLIGENCE AGENT TO WAGE THIS BATTLE AND WIN THIS WAR. EVERYONE OF US, IN LITTLE WAYS, IN THOUGHTS AND WORDS AND SPIRIT, CAN PULL AN OAR, HOWEVER SMALL OR SEEMINGLY SLIGHT. EACH OF US CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE. BUT IT WILL TAKE ALL OF US, IN OUR OWN INDIVIDUAL LIVES, TO LEAD OR SOMEHOW, IN SOME WAY, SUPPORT THE ACHIEVEMENT OF THIS GOAL. IF WE DO NOT, WE WILL PAY A TRAGIC PRICE IN OUR NEIGHBORHOODS, OUR SCHOOLS, AND OUR HOMES. NONE OF US, NO MATTER WHERE WE LIVE, NO MATTER HOW CAREFULLY WE LIVE OUR LIVES, IS IMMUNE FROM TERRORISM. WE WILL EITHER ROOT IT OUT AND EXTINGUISH IT WHEREVER IT MAY HIDE, OR IT WILL FIND US AND STRIP US OF OUR SAFETY, HAPPINESS AND EVERYTHING WE CHERISH.
BUT WE CAN SUCCEED IF WE HAVE THE STRENGTH, RESOLUTION AND THE WILLINGNESS TO PERSEVERE.
IN THE WORDS OF WILLIAM FAULKNER, "MAN WILL NOT MERELY ENDURE: HE WILL PREVAIL. HE IS IMMORTAL, NOT BECAUSE HE ALONE AMONG CREATURES HAS AN INEXHAUSTIBLE VOICE, BUT BECAUSE HE HAS A SOUL, A SPIRIT CAPABLE OF COMPASSION AND SACRIFICE AND ENDURANCE."
WE SHALL DECLINE TO ACCEPT TERRORISM IN OUR LIVES OR IN THE LIVES OF OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN OTHER COUNTRIES ON OTHER CONTINENTS. WE SHALL FIGHT THIS TERRIBLE, CONTAGIOUS, BORDERLESS, BOUNDLESS DISEASE.
AND WE SHALL PREVAIL.
Posted at 03:06 PM
LEVY ON OATH [John J. Miller]
I should also note that Jacob Levy writes on the new Oath of Allegiance here and here.
Posted at 02:27 PM
MORE OPPENHEIMER [Rick Brookhiser]
The NYTimes ran a much longer Edward Teller obit today, but still couldn't address the question of whether Oppenheimer was a Communist. Those wacky hunkies, lashing out at people for no reason at all...
Posted at 02:22 PM
MORE SMOKE [Rich Lowry]
More from Isikoff on Saudi-terror connections. This bit is encouraging: "In addition, NEWSWEEK has learned, a Senate resolution threatening Saudi Arabia with economic sanctions is rapidly gaining support and may be introduced in the next few days. The resolution would call on the Treasury Department to impose sanctions on the Saudis unless the president annually certifies the country is taking demonstrable steps to curb the financing of terror groups.
A spokesman for the Saudi Embassy did not respond to a request for comment."
Posted at 02:18 PM
FOREST "FLEXIBILITY" (CONTINUED) [Jonathan H. Adler]
An anonymous correspondent sought to defend TAPped against my critical post by e-mailing several articles on the history of forest stewardship in the United States. Yet the articles in question only reinforce my point: TAPped was either smoking crack or writing about an alternate universe when it claims the Bush Administration's reform "amounts to a reversal of 100 years of government policy regarding forest stewardship" (emphasis added). For instance, one of the articles noted Gifford Pinchot's utilitarian view that "forests and rivers should be used to fill practical needs, like supplying timber and power." Another quoted Teddy Roosevelt calling for "more rapid development of the national forests." A third noted some of the substantial swings in land management policy during the first part of the last century. Claiming the Bush Administration is "reversing" 100 years of policy may make for a nice soundbite, it still has nothing to do with the truth.
Posted at 02:17 PM
BORING FOR AMERICA [John Derbyshire]
At the risk of making something interesting out of this, I should like you, as a credentialed expert on these things, to pronounce on the following: Who was our most boring president?
Qualifying criteria should be:
---Utter absence of any original or imaginative thinking, on the evidence of his public speeches and writings.
---Ditto of any intersting personal quirks or idiosyncracies.
---Ditto of any evidence of esthetic or literary sensibility.
---Ditto of achievement in any field outside the political.
In the event of a tie, I think extra points could go for having a particularly boring family--no black sheep, I mean.
Posted at 02:16 PM
MEESE ON OATH [John J. Miller]
Yesterday, former Attorney General Ed Meese sent a letter to Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge raising concerns about the new Oath of Allegiance, which apparently will become official next week. Writes Meese: "Having read a draft of the new oath, I am concerned that the effort to simplify the words will weaken the powerful language and change the substantive meaning of this most important citizenship pledge." He makes several compelling observations, including this one: "I note that the proposed language only asks new citizens to renounce their allegiance to a 'foreign state.' In an era of international but non-state specific terrorism, this singular reference is not sufficient. At the very least, an additional reference to 'sovereignty' or other appropriate term should be maintained." When will the Bush administation realize that it shouldn't edit the oath on the fly and in near-total secrecy? Welcoming comments like these from Meese will only give us a better oath--and yet there's this bizarre rush to implement something ASAP, apparently because Tom Ridge has an urgent desire to give a we're-nice-to-immigrants speech.
Posted at 02:13 PM
ARNOLD ON O'REILLY [Rich Lowry]
I thought he was laughably bad last night-literally. He seemed faintly ridiculous, very uptight and very committed to his platitudes. When he implausibly said-twice-that his feelings were hurt by being dis-invited to that Hispanic event, I couldn't help snickering. His answer about running his Hummer on hydrogen-or whatever he was trying to say-was inadvertently funny. And his "I still have to study border control" answer to the question about militarizing the border may have worked a couple of weeks ago, but he really needs to have answers to important policy questions. Maybe my judgment's off because I'm a jaded pundit, but he doesn't seem to have advanced any from the level of his "Tonight Show" performance, and may be getting worse...
Posted at 01:54 PM
BOREDOM SWEEPSTAKES [Rick Brookhiser]
Dear John: But I can recite, without cue cards, who every losing presidential candidate was. Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Charles Coatesworth Pinckney... For the pi-minded, there is an interesting repetition in the list. Winfield Scott (Whig, 1852), Winfield Scott Hancock (Democrat, 1880).
Posted at 01:46 PM
IRAQIS EXPECT [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
they'll be better off five years from now.
Posted at 01:39 PM
NOTHING NUANCED ABOUT THIS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
The Jerusalem Post wants Arafat dead: "The world will not help us; we must help ourselves. We must kill as many of the Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders as possible, as quickly possible, while minimizing collateral damage, but not letting that damage stop us. And we must kill Yasser Arafat, because the world leaves us no alternative." Here's their whole editorial.
Posted at 01:31 PM
THAT WAS THE JOKE, FOLKS [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
Regarding your last two posts: At this moment you are a bore, boring.
Posted at 01:31 PM
WHO'S BLOWING IT? [Jonah Goldberg]
Posted at 01:29 PM
BREAKING [Jonah Goldberg]
AP News Alert
Posted at 01:28 PM
MY APOLOGIES [Jonah Goldberg]
Re-reading that bore post, I seem to be saying Derb isn't an American. He is now, of course, and we're glad to have him. We'll not all of us, but everyone around here is.
Posted at 01:13 PM
BORE CONTEST [Jonah Goldberg]
Hmmmmm... I see you are using the British-ified connotation of bore. To be a "frightful bore" about this and that. I don't think Americans really use the word the same way anymore. Either something is, or is not, boring. But you folks tend to use bore as a stand-in for droning on and on and on about something. To be tedious and repetitive. To say the same thing over and over again. I'm not sure if Americans use the phrase the same way anymore. But I could be wrong.
Posted at 01:05 PM
WOULD THE SUITS RECONSIDER THE NAME? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
I like the sound of this, from a recent Digital subsciber:
Been thinking about NRODT subscription, then you finally came up with NRD.
Posted at 12:54 PM
SHUT ME UP ALREADY, PLEASE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Another happy NR Digital Guy: "I subscribed yesterday. I let my NRODT lapse because the government teat sucking workers at the post office would not deliver your enemy propaganda on time. I'm looking forward to my first issue. I urge all Corner readers to sign up. If for no other reason than to keep our beloved Corner from turning into a PBS-like pledge drive."
Posted at 12:46 PM
RE: ZZZZZ [John Derbyshire]
Jonah: English authoress Jilly Cooper once famously boasted that her husband was so boring, he could bore for England. I don't think I could bore for the U.S.A.--judging from that debate the other night, the competition is pretty darn stiff--but I bet I could bore for NR. Have you ever heard my theory about what happened to the Etruscans? Did you know that I can sing ALL THE VERSES of "O bury me not on the lone prairie"?
Posted at 12:41 PM
DO CHECK OUT THE HOMEPAGE, IF YOU HAVEN'T [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
VDH, Cliff May, Ledeen, Derb, Robbins, Frum, Taheri, Owens, Miniter, Mylroie, Bowman, Sen. Kyl, Gleaves Whitney, and more!
Posted at 12:41 PM
I COULDN'T HAVE [Jonah Goldberg]
After looking at my 9/11/01 G-File a reader suggests that I might have been the first to make the you're either with us or against us declaration. President Bush apparently didn't say it until Nov. 6, 2001. . It'd be cool, no doubt, if I was the first. But my guess is that this was all in the air back then and claiming credit for that sentiment would be like claiming credit for being the first to yell, "Bastards!" on 9/11.
Posted at 12:38 PM
HISTORY CHANNEL & 9/11 [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
A History Channel Watching Guy e-mails:
On the way to work, I was listening to the radio and caught an “On This Day in History” segment sponsored by The History Channel. It talked about how the twin towers and the Pentagon were attacked by “International Hijackers”.
Posted at 12:38 PM
BENNIFER CLARIFICATION/CORRECTION [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
The news is actually that the wedding is off, where people had thought it was merely postponed. That doesn't mean they're no longer an item, i.e. dating. That's the right story. Seriously.
Posted at 12:34 PM
DERB.... [Jonah Goldberg]
Normally I think it would be a profoundly interesting and educational experience to sit next to you on a plane or be stuck in an elevator with you. But when you say stuff like that I am forced to re-think such views.
Posted at 12:27 PM
A THING YOU REALLY, REALLY DIDN'T NEED TO KNOW [John Derbyshire]
The eight digits of today's date, in standard U.S. form--that is, 09112003--don't show up in the decimal expansion of pi until the 9,530,360th place.
Posted at 12:23 PM
"I DID IT" [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
A happy NR Digital subscriber e-mails: "Now I can read NRO guilt free. I just signed up for the DIgital. "
Posted at 12:18 PM
KOCH COMES DOWN ON DEAN [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
CNN watcher just overheard ed koch talking about Dean: "Howard Dean is Mcgovern II... THE WORST." Emphasis on THE WORST, I am told.
Posted at 12:14 PM
RE: BENNIFER [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Jonah, don't demean our scoop with your sudden maturity.
Posted at 12:12 PM
RE: BENNIFER [Jonah Goldberg]
Rarely in the annals of the world have more people been more excited about an issue that mattered so little.
Posted at 12:06 PM
VIGILANCE IS "DEMAGOGUERY" [Tim Graham]
K-Lo, you're right on the NYT and its lingering distaste for "narrow" patriotism, also known as love of this country and its original ideals, and vigilance in fighting for them. Times Watch notes they can't even review country singers without contempt. Ben Ratliff reviewed Toby Keith: “Echoing the maxim that “There’s a sucker born every minute...[Keith] has grasped that an entertainer seldom goes broke by playing Captain America." They really can't stand the average American wanting to respond to 9-11 with songs about taking on terrorists who attack us. How uncivilized when we could defeat the terrorists with resolutions at the UN.
Posted at 12:02 PM
SCOOP: BENNIFER [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
The Ben Affleck-J-Lo wedding is off--for good. NRO has well-sourced information: Tthey're an item no more. Seriously. You read it hear first.
Posted at 11:59 AM
ANOTHER TAKE ON CHAIRS AND BENCHES [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Many of our friends and loved ones were sitting at their desk or a conference table when McVeigh's bomb went off. They were doing what Americans do best, working when they were suddenly removed from this life.
Posted at 11:57 AM
LEDEEN BE WORRIED [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Today he writes: "I have a strong premonition of new attacks against us, at home and abroad. The Osamas and the Mughniyahs feel vindicated, and smell blood. They will now go all-out to press what they see as their advantage." Read it all here.
Posted at 11:56 AM
NOW I KNOW WHAT THE F STANDS FOR [Jonah Goldberg]
From a very strong editorial in the Washington Post. Here's the bit on John "F" Kerry:
Tuesday night Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry -- who at least has the good grace to acknowledge his vote in favor of the Patriot Act -- noted, as he surveyed the debate audience, that there were "people from every background, every creed, every color, every belief, every religion. This is, indeed, John Ashcroft's worst nightmare here."
Posted at 11:51 AM
IT’S IN THE BLOOD [Roger Clegg]
One of the many problems with racial and ethnic preferences in a society with high rates of intermarriage is that sooner or later it requires someone to define and police who can claim to be a favored minority. Two items of interest in this regard that I’ve just stumbled onto this week on the web: First, the Hispanic Scholarship Fund has decided that, to be of “Hispanic heritage”—and, thus, be eligible for one of its scholarships—one must have “one parent fully Hispanic or each parent half Hispanic.” So, we’re looking not just at the student, but his or her parents, and his or her grandparents. Second, the Michigan Minority Business Development Council states, “For purposes of this program, an individual who is at least ¼ or 25% minimum (documentation to support claim of 25% would be required from applicant) of the following,” and then lists and defines various groups, broken down into great detail, by region and country. I wonder what sort of “documentation” is required? Anyway, if you like all this, you’ll hate Ward Connerly’s Proposition 54, the “Racial Privacy Initiative,” designed to get rid of the “silly little boxes.”
Posted at 11:47 AM
JOHN MILLER [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
wants all college students on NR Digital. Get to it!
Posted at 11:34 AM
THE ATTACK ON THE CROSS [Rod Dreher]
Gary Bauer has a reflection on the American Atheists' attempt to have the iron cross removed from Ground Zero. What hateful, petty people these atheists are. That cross was one of several discovered on the site in the immediate aftermath of the collapse. Hardhats, firefighters, cops and relief workers laboring under unimaginable conditions began to consider the site where those I-beams fell to resemble Christian crosses as a place of prayer, healing and reflection. Fr. Brian Jordan, a Franciscan priest who ministered a great deal down on the site, testified that even non-Christians he pastored told him they embraced the cross, if not the religion it symbolized. The cross became a symbol of order amidst the chaos, a symbol of hope for those who needed it to continue their necessary work in hell. It is obviously a religious symbol, but more importantly, it is a monument of historical significance.
The way to handle this is invite all religions to place a memorial at the rebuilt site. Invite the atheists too. Let them put up a mayonnaise jar full of nothing, or a bowl of fresh lemons to suck.
Posted at 11:32 AM
SABOTAGING SCHOOL CHOICE [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Ernie Fletcher, a Republican congressman from Kentucky who's running for governor, agreed to vote for school choice for D.C. only on the condition that the program be restricted to low-income students from failing schools. He wants "failing schools" to be defined as schools judged to be failing under the standards of the No Child Left Behind Act--which would reduce the number of schools involved from more than 100 to less than 20. (Which tells you something, by the way, about how much "accountability" NCLB brought to the public schools. This is D.C. we're talking about.)
It's hard to imagine that the voters of Kentucky would punish Fletcher for giving kids in the District a chance. He's worried about the NEA attacking him. But getting a robust school-choice program for D.C. ought to be a higher priority for conservatives than a Fletcher win in the Kentucky governor's race.
Posted at 11:25 AM
NO SEX PLEASE, WE'RE BRITISH [Jonathan H. Adler]
Committee concludes Blair government did not deliberately "sex up" the Iraq dossier. While the report is critical of some government officials, it is largely a win for Tony Blair on Iraq.
Posted at 10:48 AM
THAT'S ONE WAY TO PUT IT [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
"The suits" understand that the marketing bogeyman of "cannibalism" is flawed, and usually the result of the preexisting unit/division reacting defensively to a new idea. A multichannel strategy ultimately increases overall revenue to the firm...the key metric is revenue per individual. For example, several retail chains with a catalogue and physical store channels who added an internet option have seen increased revenue for all three. People tend to buy more when there are more "interfaces" from which to buy.
And other way to put it is, subscribe or the suits will twist my little rigoletto -- as Oscar Madison might say.
Posted at 10:47 AM
MY 9/11 COPY [Jonah Goldberg]
Personally, I find it hard not to go back and read what I've written on previous September 11ths. With all modesty, I think they hold up pretty well. In fact, I guess I'm kind of proud of them. Here's last year's G-File and here's the one I wrote from Pendleton, Oregon on that dark day.
Update: These links were kerflunky before. I fixed them.
Posted at 10:39 AM
ARCHITECT GUY ON MEMORIALS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
An architect from Pennsylvania emails:
I appreciate your brief commentary on the Pentagon 9/11 Memorial. Light Benches? They look like diving boards or playground equipment. As an architect, I am stunned by two things. First, that my colleagues' best efforts to memorialize the tragic death of their fellow citizens boils down to one notion: empty furniture. It's insulting, not only to the victims and their families, but to everyone of the thousands of people who will visit the memorial. Second, like the Oklahoma City memorial, I am aghast at the selection committees that refuse to grasp the civic beauty inherent in a well executed memorial. It's a shame. Not that I'm looking for far out symbolism or abstraction, but some more rooted in tradition...some thing more inspiring than benches.
Posted at 10:21 AM
THOUSANDS HAVE NOT SIGNED UP [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
If you don't sign up for NR Digital, Derb will come after you. (He doesn't know it, but he will. And assign you many, many hard math problems. Or some other torture.)
Posted at 10:13 AM
REMEMBERING [Tim Graham]
Memories really hit me this morning when I merged on to the Washington Beltway, which is where I was two years ago today when I saw a sickening plume of smoke rising from (I guessed) Arlington. Since I was a reporter then and not a media analyst, I drove straight to the Pentagon and arrived in the parking lot 15 minutes after the plane hit. The biggest memory is the skyline of Crystal City to the south framed in black. The dominant emotion: raw anger that someone who would attack this symbol of the defense of liberty.
Posted at 10:11 AM
"THE FIRST BATTLE" [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Review I did of the Flight 93 books a few months ago.
Posted at 10:10 AM
MOVE OVER CHETWYND [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
FNC just did a clip montage that statrted with WTC and ended with Saddam's statue down in Baghdad and W. flying onto the Lincoln. A little creepy how pcture-perfect happy-endingish they can make it all look. Rumsfeld, on the other hand,m just gave a typically classy speech. Will post in a bit.
Posted at 09:59 AM
DEPT. OF KISS MY RED, WHITE AND BLUE [CENSORED] [Rod Dreher]
The Times reports today that "Foreign Views of U.S. Darken Since Sept. 11." That sound you hear is the world's smallest violin playing "La Marseillaise."
Posted at 09:53 AM
THE HOLE IN THE SKY [Rod Dreher]
I just ran across this essay of mine, which ran in NRO a year ago. Living now in Dallas, I can no longer look at the hole in the sky when I open my front door in the morning. But everything I said here feels to me as true today is it did a year ago. And as necessary.
Posted at 09:51 AM
I DON'T THINK THE NEW YORK TIMES [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
is happy today is called Patriots' Day.
Posted at 09:45 AM
IRAQI AGENTS BEHIND 9/11? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Speaking of raising some questions, Laurie Mylroie has some pretty scary ones in her book Bush vs. the Beltway. Like, do we even actually know who the 9/11 hijackers are? Who planned the attacks? KSM may not even be who we think he is. She's not as Saudi-obssessed as many of us, but has lots on Iraq. It's a book worth reading--and should be getting some serious attention. Here's my Q&A with her, to give you an idea.
Posted at 09:39 AM
CALIFORNIA DREAMING [John Derbyshire]
Interesting couple of hours on Fox News last night. First, O'Reilly had Arnold Schwarzenegger on; then, Hannity & Colmes had Tom McClintock. The contrast was almost embarrassing. Schwarzenegger trotted out some rehearsed, content-free platitudes about the need to audit state finances, the blessings of immigration, and so on. He did not look at ease, and did not make it clear--not to me, anyway--that he understands the fundamental problems. McClintock was fluent, relaxed, funny, and totally in control of his material. How to get state finances back on track? Schwarzenegger was going to "cut waste"--as if (I am borrowing from another pundit here) there is a line in the state budget that says WASTE. McClintock ticked the items off expertly: workmen's comp, state/municipal duplication,... It made me cry. McClintock is 100 times a better candidate than Schwarzenegger and would be a far better governor. Is there any way we can talk Schwarzenegger into... terminating his campaign? I guess not. Anyway, it's McClintock for me. And if California doesn't want him, will he please come and run in New York?
Posted at 09:34 AM
TAPIS! [Jonah Goldberg]
Posted at 09:29 AM
YOU KNOW [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
it is almost 9:30 and I haven't whined about how you should subscribe to NR Digital yet. If 1,000 people don't sign up in the next ten minutes, though, I will never shut up.
Posted at 09:28 AM
STOP FIGHTING! WE'RE WINNING [Jonah Goldberg]
You know our favorite refrain from the New York Times? The one about how crime rates keep falling even though prisons keep filling? Well there's a similar version to that argument for the war on terrorism. Gwynne Dyer of the Toronto Star seems to think were fighting terrorism too much because terrorism is going down.
Posted at 09:27 AM
MICHELLE MALKIN, ON TWO-YEAR MARK [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
If you haven't read it, you should.
Posted at 09:19 AM
THE THIRD PIECE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
we posted after the attacks was by Ledeen. Some of the questions he asked then have still not been answered.
Posted at 09:17 AM
THE SECOND 9/11/01, POST-ATTACK PIECE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
was by the Derb.
Posted at 09:10 AM
THE FIRST POST-ATTACK [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
piece we posted two years ago today was by Rich. See here.
Posted at 09:06 AM
DEAN-CLARK '04? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Posted at 08:55 AM
RALPH PETERS ON 9/11/03 [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
On this second anniversary of 9/11, we should set aside our partisan bickering, our personal resentments and prejudices, and recognize that our government has done a remarkable job since that tragic day. We have been kept safe, despite the fury of the terrorists at the damage we have, repeatedly, inflicted upon them.
Posted at 08:53 AM
NOT TODAY [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Rick says we already lived through the second anniversary of 9/11.
Posted at 08:08 AM
PENTAGON MEMORIAL [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
This sounds very Oklahoma City-chair-like.
Posted at 07:58 AM
HILLARY SETS THE AGENDA [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
The Today Show has had on Bloomberg, Giuliani, Hillary. Most time spent this morning on: Her war against the Bush administration on the air at Ground Zero.
Posted at 07:35 AM
DEAN CLARK [John J. Miller]
For years I've thought some presidential candidate is going to pick his running mate before the primaries, in an effort to differentiate himself from a crowded field. Not something a clear front runner would do, but perhaps the strategy of a guy who thinks he needs an extra boost and is willing to take a risk. Today, the Washington Post reports that Howard Dean is trying to lure Wesley Clark onto his ticket. Quick thought: Neither one of them has a ton of political experience--Vermont has about as many people as Milwaukee, which makes Dean sort of a glorified ex-mayor; Clark, of course, has never held political office. Still, if these two men come to terms, it could be quite a coup for Dean.
Posted at 05:41 AM
Wednesday, September 10, 2003
BURRY VISION [John J. Miller]
Ramesh: Thanks for posting the Hall of Shame, school choice edition. I'm especially disappointed to see Richard Burr of North Carolina on it. He's going to be the GOP nominee for Senate next year. He may succeed John Edwards, but in doing so he won't help an important cause for conservatives. What a letdown.
Posted at 10:07 PM
TRUE STORY ABOUT LIES I TELL OTHER PEOPLE'S CHILDREN [Susan Konig]
Jonah, you animal lover:
This morning, I ran into a friend of mine standing by the side of the road in my little Westchester village. She was holding a garbage bag and looking distressed. It seems there was a nearly dead pigeon lying at curbside. Her daughter had spotted it on the way to school and begged her mom to call the local animal rehabilitation group to come save it. The call was made -- pigeons don't rate. The cops were called. They don't do any West Nile type investigation until the bird is dead.
My friend tried to pick up the bird with the garbage bag but got freaked out and couldn't do it. I offered to try. I picked it up using the garbage bag as rubber glove and gently placed it in a paper bag. I said I would put it in my back yard to see if it just needed a rest. At least its final hours would be better than lying in the sun on the street. And we'd tell her daughter it got all better and flew away.
Once Operation Transfer Bird was complete, I stood there and told my friend that my book would soon be published.
Really, she said, what's it called?
I looked at the paper bag in my hand and couldn't believe the significance. It was like reality charades.
Posted at 06:12 PM
A GOOD DEBATE [Ramesh Ponnuru]
on the Patriot Act and related matters, over at Reason. I hope it continues.
Posted at 06:12 PM
JIM PINKERTON [Ramesh Ponnuru]
defends Don Rumsfeld.
Posted at 06:06 PM
HALL OF SHAME [Ramesh Ponnuru]
The House Republicans who voted against school choice for D.C.: Judy Biggert, Sherry Boehlert, Richard Burr, Phil English, Tim Johnson, Jim Leach, Frank LoBiondo, John McHugh, Bob Ney, Tom Osborne, Ron Paul, Todd Platts, Jim Ramstad, Jim Saxton, and Rob Simmons. The normal excuse for Republican sell-outs on school choice--the fear it inspires among their suburban constituents--don't apply here, since this is a project limited to the District. A few of these guys have sincere objections to vouchers, misguided though I think they are: Rep. Paul fits in ths category. Most of them are just afraid of the teachers' unions.
Posted at 05:51 PM
DO THE MATH [John J. Miller]
President Bush wants $87 billion for Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. We only want $19.95 for NRD. Get it now!
Posted at 05:16 PM
PETER PRINCIPLE [John J. Miller]
Peter: I sympathize with your plight about how to vote in California. You want to behave as a principled conservative but you also want your vote to count, so you're torn between McClintock and Arnold S. If only McClintock shows that he's a viable candidate, you say you'll be for him. But how is McClintock supposed to "make tracks" in the next two weeks if people like you don't get behind him right now? Did you vote for Bill Simon last year in the governor's election because you considered him the most viable rightward candidate? McClintock, in his race for comptroller, earned more total votes than Simon did--he came closer to victory, losing to his better-financed opponent by a fraction of a percent. He was a viable candidate last year and remains one today--perhaps even more viable than AS in a one-on-one race against Bustamante. It's time to lead, my friend, not follow the polls! If you want McClintock to "make tracks," then lend him your running shoes.
Posted at 05:06 PM
MICHAEL LEDEEN, VINDICATED AT LAST? [Jim Robbins]
In Iran, a parliamentary group known as The Participation Front, led by Dr. Mohammad Reza Khatami, deputy speaker of the parliament and brother of President Mohammad Khatami, submitted a bill banning all forms of collaboration with terrorist organizations, mainly al-Qa'ida. The bill will also allow the Iranian Government to join the international agreement on fighting terrorism. Hell, meanwhile, froze over, and flocks of winged hogs were sighted over Teheran.
Posted at 05:00 PM
IN YOUR HEART YOU KNOW IT'S RIGHT [Ramesh Ponnuru]
to subscribe to NR Digital.
Posted at 04:51 PM
NOT AGAIN [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Timothy Noah is writing about conservatives again--this time on the alleged split between supply-siders and neoconservatives over the war in Iraq, the cost of which is said to endanger past and future tax-cutting. To give you some sense of Noah's grasp of these matters, consider his description of David Frum as "a paleoconservative-turned-neocon camp." That Frum was once a paleo will surely come as news both to him and to actual paleos. As for Noah's larger thesis, I'll believe it when such supply-side tax-cutters as former congressmen Vin Weber and Donald Rumsfeld turn against the Iraq war.
Posted at 04:49 PM
WELL... [Jonah Goldberg]
Susan, if that's the title of your book, I feel I should call your attention to this . Normally I wouldn't dream of posting it because it's so grim. But I think you should be prepared if your kids start yelling "Mom! Stop the car! They're giving away a kitty!"
Posted at 04:10 PM
SORRY, I WAS AT MY WHIST LESSON [Susan Konig]
Just want everyone to know that my book, Why Animals Sleep So Close to the Road and other lies I tell my children, will be published next year by St. Martin's press. Thanks to all Corner readers who have patiently Amazoned and Googled to no avail. I will soon be Amazonable and Googleable.
Posted at 04:06 PM
THAT'S WHAT I LIKE TO HEAR [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
OK, you money-grubbing capitalist bastards, you can have my $20.
Posted at 03:47 PM
A FRENCHMAN WRITES [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
"Since I can't buy a copy of NR anywhere in Paris, your new NRO Digital is absolutely brilliant! For me the Top Ten reason is: I won't have to charter a Concorde every fortnight anymore to buy a copy of NR at JFK."
Posted at 03:39 PM
RE: SWEDEN [Andrew Stuttaford]
Kathryn, yes, the poor woman was attacked in one of Stockholm's main department stores. It's a credit to Sweden that, up to this terrible event at least - and despite the murder of PM Olof Palme back in 1986, a senior politician can feel confident enough to go shopping in a downtown store without a security entourage. Knowing the stoicism of the Swedes, this is unlikely to change.
I quite understand why Swedish political editor guy is in favor, however mistakenly, of the Euro. To many center or center-right Swedes, fed up with high taxes and the other destructive paraphernalia of their country's welfare state, the EU (and thus the Euro) are seen as instruments of economic liberalization. To an extent, many British Conservatives felt the same way in the 1970s, and, to an extent, they were right. Unfortunately, the EU has changed since those days. If it's to work - and to endure - reform in Sweden needs to come from Stockholm, not Brussels.
Posted at 03:28 PM
RE: ATHEISTS AT GROUND ZERO [Rod Dreher]
Got bumped off Fox for Donald Rumsfeld. Just who does that fella think he is, anyway?!
Posted at 03:26 PM
WSJ BLASTS ANCHORS [Tim Graham]
The Wall Street Journal marks the 20th anniversary of Peter Jennings and Tom Brokaw on their TV thrones with a Brent Bozell retrospective in Leisure and Arts today.
Posted at 03:06 PM
I MEAN COME ON! [Jonah Goldberg]
Al Qaeda has claimed responsibility for the 9/11 attacks. Why couldn't Reuters say that?
Posted at 03:05 PM
"WHICH WERE WIDELY BLAMED ON AL QAEDA" [Jonah Goldberg]
Here's the full Reuters report:
Jazeera Airs Bin Laden Tape, 2 Years After Attacks Wed September 10, 2003 02:22 PM ET
Posted at 03:01 PM
ZETA ZEROS [John Derbyshire]
Nah, too easy to cheat
Posted at 02:47 PM
NEWS FROM SWEDEN [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
"Swedish political editor guy" from Sweden e-mails:
Our foreign minister Anna Lindh has been stabbed repeatedly by an unknown assailant this afternoon. Her condition is critical and she is now underoping surgery. At the time she didn't have any bodyguards. The attack comes at a critical time as we're going to have a referendum on the euro currency this sunday and Anna Lindh was one of the main figures in the yes-campaign. For now the campaign is on hold.
Posted at 02:44 PM
I'M SCARED [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Reader Jason Woodward writes: "Unless you are a subscriber to NR Digital, NRO will be restricted to those who have computed a non-trivial zero of the Zeta function, by hand.
Derb will have to verify each submission.
Posted at 02:34 PM
"FLEXIBILITY" [Jonathan H. Adler]
TAPped complains that conservatives have been too successful in controlling the use of language in political debate. As an example, TAPped cites this AP story on the Bush Administration's forest management reforms titled, "Bush pushing plan for logging flexibility." TAPped rightly notes that one purpose of the plan is to facilitate and logging and clearing on national forest lands, but throws in the whooping claim that the Bush plan "amounts to a reversal of 100 years of government policy regarding forest stewardship." 100 years? In case the folks at TAPped forgot (or were unaware) the national forests were originally created to provide timber to the U.S. economy. That's why the forest service is in the Department of Agriculture, and not in the Department of the Interior. Management of national forests for recreation and wilderness is a far more recent innovation. Were that not bad enough, the rules in question amend procedures under a law passed in 1976 (as the article TAPped cites duly notes), not even 30 years ago, let alone 100. The real flexibility here is TAPped's outlandish use of fact.
Posted at 02:26 PM
TO SIMI VALLEY [Peter Robinson]
I'll be talking about How Ronald Reagan Changed My Life at the Reagan Library this afternoon. Book-signing at 4.30, talk at 6.00, dinner at 6.45. If any Corner readers are able to make the event, I'd be delighted if you'd march right up and introduce yourselves. (And so would K-Lo. She just loves hearing about the extent of her empire.)
Posted at 02:24 PM
OBIT ASYMMETRY [Rick Brookhiser]
The New York Times obit of Leni Reifenstahl covered her Nazism exhaustively and fairly. The obit of Edward Teller covered his criticism of Robert Oppenehimer, but did not address the question of whether Oppenheimer actually was a Communist.
Posted at 02:21 PM
ANOTHER MARRIAGE SAVED [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
Posted at 02:16 PM
OH, ONE MORE THING [Jonah Goldberg]
I should have added to my screed below: if people subscribed to the magazine -- namely through NR digital-- they might not make such mistakes.
Posted at 02:09 PM
IN THE MONEY [Andrew Stuttaford]
Here's an entertaining (and maybe even meaningful) statistic for those irritated by European jibes about America's money politics. Propagandists for a 'yes' vote in Sweden's referendum on the Euro this Sunday (rosta nej!) have reportedly spent roughly twice as much per capita as did the George W. Bush presidential campaign.
Posted at 01:49 PM
BLOOMBERG TO CHENEY: STAY HOME [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Posted at 01:35 PM
CELLA'S RESPONSE [Jonah Goldberg]
I've traded a couple emails with Paul Cella since yesterday. He seems a decent and sincere and smart guy. Still, I'm not sure it's worth spending much more time on the subject. But, I've gotten a lot of interesting email about all of this. So -- with his permission -- I thought it might be worthwhile to post his initial email to me and offer a public response.
Dear Mr. Goldberg:
My response: (And this really is my response and nobody else's): I simply don't get the sense that NR is complacent or otherwise pleased with the state of Western Civilization. I also don't think one could give my own writing a fair reading and say that I'm convinced of the West's health either.
More important, Cella makes an increasingly common mistake: conflating NR and NRO. Because of it's daily nature, NRO is simply more freewheeling than NR, which -- while often fun and funny -- is also of necessity more deliberate.
Cella's critique of National Review's allegedly "ho-hum" position on gay marriage is a case in point. I hear this all of the time and, frankly, I don't know where people get this idea. NR has run quite a high numer of editorials and cover stories on gay marriage, including a cover story demanding a constitutional marriage amendment. Who are these ho hum NR writers and editors? What have they written? I have come out in favor of civil unions of some kind but not gay marriage and I'm certainly not representative of the rest of NR. The only other author identified by name -- David Frum -- is passionately opposed to gay marriage and civil unions. As for NRO, gay marriage has been discussed a lot in the Corner and elsewhere on the site and pretty much everyone has treated the subject very seriously and come out against same-sex marriage.
Moreover, I don't write or contribute to any editorials around here (I can't get into the meetings because of the no shirt, no shoes rule). My biggest problem with Cella's lament -- and of many other conservative NR critics -- is that it's largely atmospheric, impressionistic and often based on myth rather than fact. I can give dozens of examples of NR's non-ho-hum stance to gay marriage. Where are the examples going the other way?
In short, I think too many people read NRO or the Corner and assume every single thing on it represents "official" NR policy, which is nuts (worse: some just parrot the echo chamber of cranky right-wing blogdom -- e.g. the whole NR has gone neocon nonsense). In Cella's case this is particularly unfair because he goes on at such great length about the print magazine when often he's simply plucking convenient -- and unrevealed -- examples from NRO. If people want every item on NRO to be vetted for a party line, that can be arranged. But that would contradict part of what I've always considered to be NRO's mission which is to offer a glimpse of the intellectual diversity of the right as compared to the caricature -- a caricature unfotunately too often fed by conservatives themselves.
Posted at 01:24 PM
IF MY IN-BOX COULD SPEAK [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Reading NRO does not take an entire work day, thus forcing many of us to open inferior conservative websites. NR Digital would greatly extend the amount of time one could ignore work, yet feel as though they are accomplishing something worthwhile.
Posted at 01:18 PM
TELLING [John J. Miller]
The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has a good material on Edward Teller here.
Posted at 12:18 PM
DECISION TIME IN THE GOLDEN STATE [Peter Robinson]
My absentee ballot just arrived. But after mulling over the Tom-or-Arnold question for days now, I've decided the only reasonable thing to do is to fall back on the criterion WFB announced when asked, years ago, which Republican presidential candidate he intended to support. His reply? "The rightward-most viable candidate."
McClintock is the rightward-most candidate, obviously. And I'm willing to give the man another couple of weeks to prove he's viable. Maybe he won't--indeed, if I had to put money on it, I suppose I'd bet that he won't. But something sure seems to be going on out here, as witness that whereas until a week ago my emails were running about three-to-one in favor of Arnold, now they're running about two-to-one in favor of McClintock.
You've got two weeks, Tom. Make tracks.
Posted at 12:07 PM
THE NEW OATH [John J. Miller]
Gregg Easterbrook writes on the new Oath of Allegiance. Would have been nice if he had cited my own piece breaking the news on NRO last week, but it's perhaps even better having him raise some of the same concerns.
Posted at 12:02 PM
THE MAGIC THAT IS THE DERB [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
I just signed up. Not sure why. I think it was the gaze of the Derb, imploring me to just do it. And then I went into a trance...
Posted at 11:25 AM
FIGHT! FIGHT! [Jonah Goldberg]
Posted at 11:23 AM
NERDS UNITE! [John J. Miller]
If I write for NRD, does that make me a NeRD? If you read NRD, does that make you a NeRD?
Posted at 11:14 AM
TOP 10 [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
We're putting together a list of top ten reasons you should subcribe to NR Digital. Must start with Jonah's "So the world won't go blind, of course. Send your contributions--preferably funny and deadly serious--to email@example.com. Must say TOP TEN on subject line. (Thanks!) And tell us if you want credit if yours is used. Now go and subscribe already!
Posted at 11:14 AM
RE: TREES [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
YOU haven't signed up for NR Digital yet. WASSUP WITH THAT???? Do it now. Get Digital.
Posted at 11:06 AM
SERIOUSLY [Jonah Goldberg]
Look: Many of you folks have been badgering me for years about offering a digital version of NR. The initial response was good, but if we don't hit a critical mass of subscribers to this thing then a whole terrible cascade of events will transpire. First, we'll have a hard time making this thing work. Second, the suits will blame me. In turn, I will blame you. Soon, the suits will stop listening to my requests (i.e. "please take your foot off my throat.") which is fine, I suppose, because I will be much more reluctant to convey your requests. Needless to say this will lead to a vicious cycle of violence which will leave the whole world blind. All you Washington and New York bigwigs who read NRO every day -- yes, I'm talking to you -- why don't you have your suits pony up some shmundo for this thing. Do I have to write the memo for you. "...if we don't have fast access to National Review, we will spontaneously burst into flames and our wives will leave us for Brazillian troubadors with exciting hair ..." etc. Get on it people.
Posted at 11:05 AM
ATHEISTS AT GROUND ZERO [Rod Dreher]
It's hard for me to believe that we're even arguing about this, but it's true. Three crosses made of I-beams that happened to fall a certain way in the collapse of the north tower were discovered at Ground Zero days after 9/11. Construction workers, firefighters, cops and relief workers on the site began to revere them. One was saved during the clean-up, and placed on a platform down there. Now comes the American Atheists to say that the cross has no place on the site. I'll be on Fox News Channel at or around 1:30 Eastern today to debate the question with the president of the atheist organization.
Posted at 11:05 AM
SUBSCRIBE TO NR DIGITAL [Jonah Goldberg]
The tree you save could be your own.
Posted at 11:04 AM
REDEMPTION: I LIKE THE WAY YOU THINK [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Another e-mail: "I'll have u know that I not only purch an NROVDT subscription for myself, but added one for my daughter @ college. I had let me NRODT subscription lapse after 15 yrs (due to negligence) and thought that this would be an excellent way to get back in the game."
Posted at 10:56 AM
THE DEMS DEBATE [John Derbyshire]
What a miserable performance. They didn't even MENTION illegal immigration, which is having a devastating effect on wages down at the low end of the job market, as documented in this UCLA study. Unless I missed it, I don't think anyone mentioned 9/11, either. It certainly wasn't a prominent topic. "Universal health care." Uh-huh. The most left-wing U.S. administration in living memory, securely in power for 8 years, with all the revenues of the post-Cold War "peace dividend" and the internet boom to spend, couldn't give us universal health care. How are you going to do it, bucko? "Internationalize Iraq." Ah, yes, let those wonderfully capable and willing French, Chinese, Pakistanis and Irish take over the task of hunting down America's enemies. We'll be safe all right then! What a crock. Why on earth would anyone vote for any of these creeps?
Posted at 10:29 AM
THE ROCK-CRITIC PRIMARY [Tim Graham]
In the Fox-Black Caucus debate, Farai Chideya ended her questioning by asking for a favorite song. Most were typically pandering choices with a rousing fight theme. But Howard Dean won the rock critic primary by suggesting the song "Jaspora" by Wyclef Jean.
It's off Wyclef's 1997 solo debut (complete with Parental Advisory sticker). It is apparently a Creole-lyric song I found described on the web as both a "Bible-allegory reggae song" and as "beach party skank." It could be a clever pander to a sub-sub-category of Haitian voters, but at least it wasn't as pat as Gephardt picking Bruce's "Born in the USA" after Kerry already picked Springsteen. Lame.
Posted at 10:28 AM
MORE HAPPY NR READING FAMILIES [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
I can go one better on hiding the newest NR from my husband. I have to hide it from my almost 12 year old son!Don’t fight over the family copy of NR: Get it online today!
Posted at 10:27 AM
THEY'RE BACK! [Jonah Goldberg]
Bloom County is back! I always thought it was better than Calvin and Hobbes -- but I don't want to start anything.
Posted at 09:33 AM
AHH-NOLD [John J. Miller]
“You shouldn’t be governor unless you can pronounce the name of the state.” If a Republican had made this wisecrack, you can be sure the California media wouldn’t have wasted any time chasing him out of the state as an immigrant-hating bigot, to say nothing of Democrats. But Democratic Gov. Gray Davis uttered it, in an obvious reference to the GOP’s Ahh-nold Schwartzenegger, and so it attracts only a little notice and hardly any censure. Shouldn’t Hispanic advocacy groups be up in arms? The double standard is maddening, but Republicans who support the actor perhaps may take heart from new research on language and communication: “People speaking English as a second language find each other just as intelligible as they do native English speakers, US linguists have found. ... A foreign accent hinders a native but helps a fellow non-native.” What’s more, it doesn’t matter if speaker and listener have different first languages--the way an Austrian says California may sound perfectly intelligible to a Mexican, even if the pronunciation grates at Gray Davis.
Posted at 09:06 AM
RE: PRETTY IN PINK [John Derbyshire]
Peter: Sorry, can't deal with this right now. I'm in the middle of a REALLY tricky bit of crochet work.
Posted at 09:05 AM
THE AS-IF-THAT-WEREN'T ENOUGH DEPARTMENT [Peter Robinson]
From a reader: In addition to Mr. Podhoretz's excellent suggestions, do not forget that any NRO merriment would be lacking without a rousing rendition of the "Riemann Hypothesis Song," as sung by John Derbyshire.
Posted at 09:03 AM
FAREWELL, 20TH CENTURY: [Rod Dreher]
Two iconic personalities of the 20th century have died: As John mentioned, Edward Teller, father of the H-bomb, and German filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl. The accomplishments both were best known for -- the hydrogen bomb for Teller, the Nazi propaganda film "Triumph of the Will" for Riefenstahl -- provoke deep philosophical and political controversy, even today. Teller's invention arguably saved the West from communist takeover, or at least prevented a world war; but that device also placed into mankind's hands the ability to incinerate the entire human race. Riefenstahl's film of the 1934 Nazi party congress at Nuremberg is one of the most formally beautiful and visually moving films ever made -- yet it was beauty given over to the service of absolute evil. Two souls whose life's work contain extreme moral paradoxes, paradoxes that helped define man's bloodiest century.
Posted at 08:56 AM
FAMOUS LAST WORDS [John J. Miller]
I'd be remiss not to mention that Edward Teller's Memoirs, written with the help of Shoolery, is a very good book--and, according to Amazom.com, it's the #1 best-seller in Los Alamos! If you're at all interested in the man, be sure to get a copy and read it.
Posted at 06:51 AM
MORE TELLER [John J. Miller]
Last night, Teller's longtime assistant Judy Shoolery sent around an email that included this reflection: "As I was driving over to his house this noon, I remembered his telling me years ago that Carl Friedrich von Weizsacker (his close friend in college and graduate school) and he decided to try to write a new 10 commandments. Edward could remember only one of his: 'Live your life in such a way, that when death comes, you are ready to die.'" At the age of 95, Teller was certainly ready for what came yesterday. Judy adds that he "passed away peacefully, looking remarkable well and content."
Posted at 06:47 AM
EDWARD TELLER, RIP [John J. Miller]
K Lo says she'll soon post my NR article on Edward Teller, who died yesterday. In the meantime, here's the Washington Post obituary, which is better than the one in the New York Times because it at least mentions Teller's role in developing missile defense.
Posted at 06:44 AM
Tuesday, September 09, 2003
GRETA TONIGHT [Rich Lowry]
I'll be on talking about the Democrat debate, late-really late. 11:30-ish...
Posted at 06:22 PM
PRETTY IN PINK: THE FINALE [Peter Robinson]
Unmoved by Rick Brookhiser's threats to take action if he should ever diss us again, unembarrassed by John Derbyshire's pointing out that one carries rather than wears a parasol, and unmoved by my efforts to bring him to his senses with proof after proof that even manly men like poetry, John Podhoretz replies to us all:
"My suggestion, to you and all your panty-waist troops there, is that you immediately a) take up whist, b) have parties where you spend hours forming tableaux, c) and conduct endless debates over the moral propriety landscaping of your country estate. Oh, and of course, d) have a quote-Horace-in-Latin contest. Just think of that poor boy in Yeats, taken away by the faeries, because the world's more full of weeping than you can ever understand....Is that really what you all want to be? A sodden, whist-playing, tableaux-forming bunch of Anglophilic backward-in-the-mirror lookers?"
John and Rick, I like suggestion a), don't you? But since we'll need a fourth hand to play whist, could one of you prevail on Rich or Jonah?
Posted at 05:00 PM
RE: KIM JONG IL [John Derbyshire]
My personal opinion, for what it's worth, is that Kim Jong Il is not playing with a full deck. By which I mean to say, his smoke does not go all the way up the chimney. His elevator does not go up to the penthouse. He is, in other words, not too tightly wrapped, not quite sixteen annas to the rupee. He has bats in the belfry and a bee in his bonnet. To put it another way, he is one sandwich short of a picnic, one brick short of a load, one coupon short of a toaster, one fairy short of a Christmas tree.
In short, I think he's nuts.
Posted at 04:10 PM
MORE DAVID BROOKS [Rick Brookhiser]
Jonah is absolutely right on new Timesman, old NRman David Brooks. David has turned increasingly to journalistic sociology. I think of him as Trollope without plots--which, considering the feebleness of Trollope's plots (squrie meets girl, varied with the occasional demoniac Jew) is the best way to take him.
Posted at 04:09 PM
HEY... [Jonah Goldberg]
I went to high school with the dwarf king of Mordor. He was a good dude.
Posted at 03:18 PM
WELL, NOW I FEEL BETTER! [Rich Lowry]
"Dear Mr. Lowry, While I too suffer from "White American Male Supremacy" syndrome (WAMSS), I am also the father of two Korean children, and therefore have politically correct license to describe Kim Jong Il in any form I deem suitable. This privilege is transferable and over-rides the opinions of State Department hacks. I hereby authorize you to describe Kim Jong Il as a "lunatic," "fever addled madman," "megalomaniacal vampire," and "Dwarf King of Mordor." Let me know if you need additional adjectives."
Posted at 03:13 PM
THE KEY TO A HAPPY MARRIAGE [Kathryn Jean Lopez ]
OK, Kathryn, here’s your female audience!
Posted at 02:53 PM
RE: CELLA'S CRITIQUE [Jonah Goldberg]
I'm on deadline for my syndicated column which I've barely started, so I can't spend too much time on this. But I'm curious to know what exactly Ramesh makes of Cella's argument other than the fact that it is "thoughtful." I agree that it is thoughtful too. And Cella makes some interesting observations. But, I have to say that his essay strikes me as the indulgence of nostalgia as a substitute for detailed criticism.
It seems to me that one of the reasons National Review was so exciting in those days -- and seems all the more so now, in retrospect -- is that the times were so different. Standing athwart history yelling Stop, makes for bracing reading (albeit for a highly literate audience) when one truly believes we are on the road to serfdom. Then, to seek "relevance" in an age when the West appeared to be on the losing side of the twilight struggle amounted to, in effect, a moral and ideological surrender of the first order. Cella seems to bemoan the fact that the times no longer necessitate men and women to continually write the eulogies and last testaments for Western Civilization becauuse it makes for less interesting journalism. This is like regretting the end of a war because there will no longer be a need for Saint Crispin's Day speeches.
Of course, we have our own struggle today in the war on terrorism. And, on that score, I should say that the writing of Victor Davis Hanson, Rich Lowry, John O'Sullivan and others is in line with the tradition of National Review.
Oh, and let me raise one minor issue in my own defense. Cella refers to my "columns" of "semantic fastidiousness" -- whatever that means. I should note that A) I do not write columns for the magazine at all B) Nothing I have written for the magazine has concerned itself with semantics of any kind, fastidiously or otherwise C) I'd be curious to know what columns I've written for NRO fall into that category D) William F. Buckley has carved out quite an important following in part due to his devotion to what could rightly be called semantic fastidiousness. And I do seem to recall he had something to do with the National Review Cella pines for.
Posted at 02:51 PM
JON ALTER'S "NEWS" STORY [Tim Graham]
In one of the lapses that might make the naive say "I thought it was called NEWS-week," this week's magazine includes an essay by Jonathan Alter on "Packaging Patriotism," with no disclaimer or indication it's commentary. Alter constructs a straw man of patriotism, defined as "blind loyalty." You could also question the "newsy" quality of Alter's piece, which recycles months-old complaints about the electoral loss of Sen. Max Cleland to whining about the lack of congressional investigations designed to embarrass the president. Alter even mourns that our "Age of Incuriosity" is marked by our failure to live up to the acidulous example of Britain, where Tony Blair's own party has boiled over with post-war vitriol. Why can't we repeat that spectacle here?
But the piece gets really silly when it seeks to redefine patriotism at the end: Maybe all that liberal talk about involving the United Nations wasn’t so squishy and unpatriotic after all, if one believes it’s now a good idea to lose less in blood and treasure in Iraq. Maybe the true patriotism—the best nationalism—is enlightened internationalism, just as presidents from both parties have believed since World War II.
That's not what Ronald Reagan believed, and the Alter and Friends savaged him for it, as if the U.N. would have ended the Cold War with a victory. Was detente -- "enlightened internationalism," to be sure -- the right policy, or a deadly delay in the end of Soviet history?
Posted at 02:48 PM
THIS IS VERY MILD AS FAR AS CRITICAL MAIL GOES... [Rich Lowry]
...but it is kind of stunning nonetheless.
E-mail: "Mr. Lowry: Regarding your Sept 9, 2003 New York Post Opinion `The Right Answer to North Korea': Regarding President Kim Jong Il, it is un-professional, and un-productive to refer to the head of a country as a "lunatic". It is also another sad example of White American Male Supremacy. Please don't become part of the problem with such name-calling." [NAME WITHHELD]Former U.S. Department of State Foreign Service 1985-88; 1999-2001 contracted US Mission UN Protocol under Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke
Posted at 01:35 PM
U OUT [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Peter Ueberroth dropping out of Calif. recall race
Posted at 01:31 PM
MORRIS ON HILL [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Here's what Dick Morris is saying about the road to the White House:
But Hillary would be most unhappy to see Gore get the nod. Since Al would be a good bet to win, her nightmare scenario of a Bush defeat and no open field in 2008 would be coming to pass. So should Gore begin to make a move, Hillary will likely get into the race to pre-empt him.
Posted at 01:24 PM
GOD, TAXES & MAN IN ALABAMA [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Quin Hillyer of the Mobile Register writes in response to today's Doug Bandow piece:
Bandow is way off base here, as are so many other national conservatives who have NO CLUE what's going on here on the ground in Alabama. But the really annoying thing is Bandow and others jumping all over Riley for the one line about "Christian ethics," as if that is the sum total of Riley's argument. Fact is, it was a sidelight argument, mainly IN RESPONSE to the state Christian Coalition (financed by one of the plan's big-money opponents) spreading a lot of hooey about it being our Christian duty to OPPOSE the tax reform plan. The Bible isn't a tax manual. Riley, unlike the state Christian Coalition, never said it was. (The National Christian Coalition, on the other hand, said the state group was way off base, and did endorse the Riley plan.) Why it's wrong for Riley to respond to the rent-a-Coalition on the state level, but not wrong for the state group to make the Bible-based claims in the first place, is quite a logical conundrum.
Posted at 12:43 PM
A CASE FOR MCCLINTOCK [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Some people have been saying that McClintock should drop out to help Arnold Schwarzenegger. But maybe McClintock would be a stronger candidate. Seriously. It looks as though a large fraction of McClintock's voters aren't going to Schwarzenegger. How many of Schwarzenegger's voters would be unwilling to go to McClintock if Schwarzenegger dropped out? Sure, McClintock is pro-life and some California voters get nervous about that. But Bill Simon got more than 40 percent of the vote with the same position. If McClintock were the leading Republican in the race, all of the people who say it's important to back the winner would presumably be with him. . . . To the extent the case for Schwarzenegger ever made sense to me, it was as a candidate in an election, such as the one in 2006, where you'd need 51 percent of the vote. You'd think one of the advantages of a plurality race is that you don't need to compromise as much.
Posted at 12:40 PM
CELLA ON NR [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Paul Cella has written a thoughtful criticism of the magazine from the right. I think Cella's characterizations of Jonah Goldberg and David Frum are wrong, but the essay is worth reading.
Posted at 12:34 PM
CUT THE GUY SOME SLACK [Jonah Goldberg]
David Brooks has written the sum total of 1 column for the New York Times and, judging from email and this harsh discussion over at Lucianne.com it sounds like many conservatives on the web aren't willing to give the guy the benefit of the doubt. I like David Brooks very much and while I think he could use more red meat in his fare from time to time, I think he's certainly A) conservative B) intellectually honest C) extremely talented.
When it was announced that Brooks was going to the New York Times, many conservatives cheered, and rightly so (It is a huge triumph to have anyone right-of-center at the New York Times. We don't need another conservative columnist at the Washington Times or Townhall (two great outlets, don't get me wrong). But we desperately need as many conservative voices as possible in places like the NYT.)
But conservatives also voiced, off the record, a fear that Brooks might "grow" at the Times. Taking nothing away from Brooks and his integrity, I do think that is a legitimate fear. The Times must be a daunting podium to pronounce from since the people controlling the mic and the audience are so overwhelingly liberal in all of their fundamental understandings of the universe. Nevertheless, not only would it be unfair and untrue to dismiss Brooks as a liberal fellow traveller, it would be inadvisable as well. If he gets nothing but undeserved grief from the Right from the get-go, he will feel even less beholden to listen to that consituency.
But more to the point, it's just way, way, way too soon to draw any hard conclusions about the job he's doing over there. Give him a break.
Posted at 12:22 PM
PATRIOT DUD [Jonah Goldberg]
Gallup has a new poll which shows that only 21% of Americans think Bush has "gone too far" on civil liberties and 19% think he hasn't "gone far enough." Most people think Bush has done "about right." I don't normally care much about polls, but this does illuminate a few issues in an entertaining way. All of the bleating, whining, screeching and righteous bloviating from Democratic politicians, civil libertarians, pundits etc has done almost nothing to convince anybody that the Patriot Act is the great threat to human liberty they say it is. In fact, since 21% of Americans would probably say that Bush has "gone too far" on civil liberties if the Patriot Act was never even written, you could say that opponents have been wasting everyone's time.
Posted at 11:42 AM
REHM QUOTE [Jonah Goldberg]
A reader reminds me the CDF/Rehm line isn't even original. Moreover, it in a sense it puts us in the terrorist role.
Jonah, isn't Diane Rehm's quote a take-off on what Golda Mier said about the Palestinians? She said something to the effect of "we will continue to war with the Palestinians until they love their children more than they hate us."
Posted at 11:39 AM
RE: DIANE [Tim Graham]
Jonah, just remember that Diane Rehm's fawning over liberals is heard on 80 National Public Radio stations every day.
Posted at 11:38 AM
GIRLS JUST WANNA NR DIGITAL [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
I can't let that last one go without a followup. NR Digital is definitely not a men's only club. Gals, sign up and let us know why ya did. Thanks!
Posted at 11:38 AM
IT'S A GUY THING [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Jeremy Yoder writes:
I have 4 kids (all 4 and under), 2 cats, 1 dog, a hermit crab and a fish. The last thing I or my wife need is more stuff that we have to pick up and put away. However, I enjoy reading the print edition in places one wouldn't normally bring a computer. Oh, joy of all joys, I just installed a wireless network at home and have just subscribed to NRO Digital. Now I can avoid the clutter of a magazine, yet still enjoy NR on my portable computer in the only place one can find peace in such a busy household: the john.
Posted at 11:35 AM
MOST ANNOYING PABULUM [Jonah Goldberg]
My new nominee for most aggressively stupid comment during the war on terror. Yesterday I heard NPR's Diane Rehm fawningly quote a friend of hers at the Children's Defense Fund. She said: In America, "We hate our enemies more than we love our children."
Rehm sounded as if the wisdom of this insight was beyond debate.
Posted at 11:25 AM
REASON, AGAIN [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Tim Cavanaugh writes that charges of anti-Catholicism are overblown: "The brouhaha over the Bill Pryor nomination was certainly the hokiest of recent efforts to put anti-Catholicism back on the American agenda. National Review Online's Ramesh Ponnuru set a rare example for candor in his recent Bull on the matter, which more or less urged Republicans to employ better sophistry and more zealous demagoguery than the Democrats. The argument: If Democrats use Pryor's anti-abortion views to disqualify him from serving on a federal appeals court, they are employing a de facto religious test on any Catholic candidate who follows the church's 'teachings.' Republicans can thus profitably condemn the Democrats as bigots. (Ponnuru doesn't specifically mention the reign of King Charles II, but others have.) The charge need not be true; and a Test Act need not even be a necessarily bad thing. The attraction here is the issue's power to put Democrats on the defensive.
"Like most good party-politics stratagems, this one's policy underpinnings are pure hogwash. That a strict and (more importantly) open adherence to Pope Paul VI's anti-contraception encyclical Humanae Vitae would make it unlikely for Pryor to get the support of Democratic opponents is true enough. It's also irrelevant. The last time a political figure's Catholicism became a nationally publicized issue was during the 1960 election; at that time, candidate Kennedy defused the issue not by reconciling voters to his faith but by effectively promising to suppress his religious beliefs should they ever interfere with his duties."
Speaking of bull, Cavanaugh's full of it. My article was certainly not a candid argument for "better sophistry and more zealous demagoguery." Rather, I was saying that Republicans were making an argument that was mostly correct and should refine it so that it was fully correct. Republicans were suggesting that the Democrats were trying to exclude Catholics from the federal judiciary. I said that it would be more precise to say that the Democrats had established a litmus test that would have the effect of excluding Catholics who were faithful to their church's teachings. (I'm not sure why Cavanaugh puts that word in quotes.) I also said that it was entirely fair to ask Democrats to defend that exclusion openly. Perhaps these arguments are "pure hogwash" and "irrelevant," but it would take more than Cavanaugh's assertion to prive that case--especially since he hasn't even characterized the arguments accurately.
Posted at 11:19 AM
BUT KLEIN LOVED CLINTON [Tim Graham]
Time's Joe Klein starts hacking up Howard Dean this week for flip-flopping and thinking he can get away with it because he's smart. Isn't that how Klein fell for Bill Clinton, the big lug?
Klein writes: "Dean turns out to be a flagrantly political anti-politician. As his campaign gains altitude, he seems to change a position a week. In the debate, he changed two — first on American troops in Iraq, then on American labor standards on trade. Before that, he trimmed his honorable position on raising the age of eligibility for Social Security and his support for lifting the embargo on Cuba. Dean still proudly struts his pro-gun stance in the anti-gun Democratic Party, but as often as not he points out the political efficacy of that position in the red states. The question is: How many of Dean's positions are negotiable? As victory becomes a possibility, how much integrity will he compromise to win? Another question: How long before Dean's tough talk — the apparent candor that propelled his charge — begins to seem arrogant, uninformed, unpresidential?"
KIein quotes "a prominent Democrat who wants Dean to succeed" as saying "I think Dean confuses being smart with knowing a lot. I'm not sure he knows a lot."
Posted at 11:08 AM
CONFESSIONAL: YOU CAN TELL ALL [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Why did you sign up for NR Digital? Email me with your testimony--be a witness for NR Digital. Two things though: Let me know if we can share your name in The Corner and provide evidence that you susbcribed. Thanks!
Posted at 11:05 AM
SAUDIS BAN "JEWISH" BARBIES [Rich Lowry]
Saudi Govt Bans "Jewish" Barbie Dolls
Posted at 10:32 AM
HITCH ON STOICISM [Rod Dreher]
When Christopher Hitchens is on, he's untouchable. In this dispatch, he explains why we don't need to commemorate 9/11, that wallowing in grief and emotionalism is at best useless and at worse distracting. He writes: What is required is a steady, unostentatious stoicism, made up out of absolute, cold hatred and contempt for the aggressors, and complete determination that their defeat will be utter and shameful. This doesn't require drum rolls or bagpipes or banners. The French had a saying during the period when the provinces of Alsace and Lorraine were lost to them: "Always think of it. Never speak of it."
Posted at 10:27 AM
AND, FROM THE LEFT… [Kathryn Jean Lopez ]
…reasons to sign up for NR Digital:
I just subscribed for your digital subscription. I let my print run expire because as a die-hard lefty, I couldn't justify the expense, just to read more about the tepid wonders of George Bush. But I salute NR's digital initiative. Hey, it saves trees, and you know we lefties love trees, so you roped me back in...
Posted at 10:07 AM
NR DIGITAL IS COOL FOR COOL PEOPLE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Rob Long tells you why you should sign up here. Now sign up, here, please!
Posted at 09:24 AM
SCUTTLEBUTT--FIELD POLL [Rich Lowry]
I can't vouch for these numbers, but have been passed along:
YES on Recall 55%
NO on Recall 40%
Others in single digit
The Field poll then asked the ballot without McClintock
Posted at 08:13 AM
RE: RESPECTABLE CONSERVATIVES [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
A D.C. reader writes: "They'll be glad to know that at Cato, Heritage, Free Congress, and Grover Norquist's." [None of which were having Bork lectures or the equivalent, so far as I know, last night at 5:30.]
"I never make them cuz the wife is all "when are you coming home?"...not a bad place for a respectable conservative to be either!" [Always the best place, indeed.]
Posted at 07:52 AM
WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Subscribe to NR Digital.
Posted at 06:39 AM
WHERE I WAS YESTERDAY [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Posted at 06:11 AM
BOBO IN PARADISE [John J. Miller]
David Brooks debuts as a NYT op-ed columnist today.
Posted at 05:42 AM
HILLARITY [John J. Miller]
Bill Clinton, in a NYT story today about his wife's political ambitions: "We might have another candidate or two jumping into the race."
Posted at 05:32 AM
THE TRUTH ABOUT JONAH [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
When he says he is headed over to AEI to hear a lecture, he is telling the truth. I just happened to run into him there last night. When in D.C., it's apparently the only place for a respectable conservative to be.
Posted at 05:31 AM
Monday, September 08, 2003
WTO CENTRAL [Jonathan H. Adler]
TechCentralStation has created a site for regular commentary on the World Trade Organization ministerial in Cancun, Mexico.
Posted at 11:25 PM
EASTERBLOG [Jonathan H. Adler]
Gregg Easterbrook has a blog now, but it needs a name.
Posted at 10:55 PM
LORD STANLEY'S CUP'S SUMMER [Jonathan H. Adler]
As NHL rookie/prospect camps open, it's not too early to think about the Stanley Cup playoffs. Speaking of the Cup, as reported here (scroll down), Lord Stanley's hardward has had an interesting summer -- spending time at the bottom of Mario Lemeiux's pool and along a fire line in British Columbia. Go Flyers!
Posted at 10:52 PM
BUSH & WMD: [Rich Lowry]
(Sarcastic) E-mail: "Of all the NRO editorials I have read, this one the most insightful, especially the first paragraph: 'Bush's speech last night heralded a shift away from WMD in making the case for the war on Iraq to the three P's: politics, prestige, and preemption.' It's a brief paragraph, but it captures the essence of standard NRO analysis perfectly: an observation is made, but as dictated by ideology, its obvious implications are avoided when drawing a conclusion. You are correct, Bush has shifted away from Iraqi WMD. Is this basic fact of no significance at the NRO?"
I didn't mean to imply in my piece that Bush has abandoned the WMD argument entirely. It was one of the reasons for invading Iraq, and rightly so. It was Saddam's obligation to demonstrate that he didn't a WMD capability--he didn't do that. In fact, to my mind, there was no way to guarantee that Saddam didn't have a WMD capability short of denying him the apparatus of a modern state--which we have now done. Meanwhile, there were plenty of other reasons for going into Iraq, which have now begun to get emphasized.
Posted at 04:55 PM
I AM OUTTA HERE [Jonah Goldberg]
I'm heading over to AEI to hear Judge Bork talk about his new book, Coercing Virtue."
Posted at 04:51 PM
MORE DAVID GALE [Jonah Goldberg]
In that wretched film I learned that 78% of serial killers vote Republican and that Judas' "real" crime might have been that he kissed Jesus.
Posted at 04:37 PM
MORE NR GOODNESS [Ramesh Ponnuru]
As all of us have said ad infinitum, there's a lot of good stuff in NR that doesn't get on NRO. But from now on it's going to be available in digital form. Just sign up for our reduced-rate digital subscription, and you'll get every issue as soon as we've finished writing it. If you don't subscribe to the print edition, think about getting NR Digital. You'll get more content, and you'll be supporting NR and NRO. Plus, you'll be rewarding the suits for listening to Jonah, Kate, and me, which is always a good thing.
Posted at 04:35 PM
YOUR KIDS WILL THANK YOU [NRO Staff]
Get a treasure chest.
Posted at 04:35 PM
NRD: MARITAL AID [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
Posted at 04:22 PM
MEMO TO JONAH [John J. Miller]
Hi Jonah, just got your voice mail. No, I will not help you organize NR staffers to spell out "NRD" in the nude.
Posted at 04:04 PM
GILLESPIE RESPONDS [Jonah Goldberg]
To Ramesh and has nothing serious to say in his own defense. Though his Mork and Mindy link is not only interesting, it's relevant to a line from my latest column.
Also, I must say the comments section is interesting in that it seems most readers agree that Gillespie lost the battle. They also have some snarky things to say about NRO, but that's to be expected. Oh, and please, this is not an invitation to inundate me with requests to set up our own reader forum doohickey. I know some people want one, it's been discussed ad nauseum at NRO and some day we'll work out the kinks. But having just won the battle for NR-Digital, my biggest concern is NRD's success.
Posted at 03:40 PM
THAT SHOWS 'EM [Jonah Goldberg]
Protestors spell out "no to the WTO" in the nude. That will definitely slow down international capital flows and global trade.
Posted at 02:50 PM
YOU MIGHT NOT HAVE NOTICED... [Jonah Goldberg]
But we haven't lost an American serviceman in Iraq for 7 days. I don't want to jinx anything, but it's worth noting how buried this fact has been when the "One American life per day" storyline was constant not too long ago.
Posted at 02:48 PM
THE 1,718,496,782,103RD INSTALLMENT OF... [Jonah Goldberg]
"Let's see a cat do anything like this."
Posted at 02:43 PM
HMMM [Jonah Goldberg]
Stan - "NRDGT" -- There's an extra "G" in there, right? So it can't mean National Review on Digital Tree. So, I'm thinking "National Review's Digitally Great Time." Or maybe a phonetic NR-Dig It! A reader suggests NRCRT -- National Review Cathode Ray Tube. How about NROVDT -- National Review On Virtually Dead Tree?
Posted at 02:30 PM
THE SPECTER OF ARLEN [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Tim Carney on our unfavorite Pennsylvania senator.
Posted at 02:06 PM
NRODGT [Stanley Kurtz]
It's not about the money. I know a tree hugger when I see one. I’m thinking Sierra Club award here, Jonah. Shall we call it NRODGT? But for those of you still into enlightened self-interest, rest assured that your money will do a great deal more than simply save a few trees. I’m a faithful follower of NRO, but I cannot do without my NRODT. It actually saves me money. I’m too busy just now to buy VDH’s Mexifornia. Reading NR’s Mexifornia cover allowed me to cheat Professor Hanson of a few precious dollars. And NR teaches me. I’m a latecomer, and don’t know much about the twists and turns of modern conservative thought. Ramesh’s NR pieces enlighten me about my own heritage. I also found John Fonte’s recent NR cover on the place of patriotism in the various currents of conservatism tremendously clarifying. Kate O’Beirne’s cover on women in the military was wonderful, as is Roger Scruton’s current cover on love, sex, and marriage. Like NRO, NR contains multitudes. After the war, there were great counterposed pieces--one lauding our military success and one criticizing the war plans. That juxtaposition taught me something. The same is true of the range of pieces on the prospects for democracy in post-war Iraq. (Loved Derb’s recent take on imperialism.) Against expectations for the print medium, I think you’ll find that most NR pieces are at least as short as pieces in NRO. In fact, I’ll take a chance and say that NR pieces are actually shorter on average than NRO pieces. So even busy people will be able to scarf down conservatism in bite sized bits. I guess between tree hugging and catering to people with an MTV level attention span, we may not be so conservative after all. So save a tree! --Subscribe to NRODGT.
Posted at 02:04 PM
ON THE OTHER HAND [Jonah Goldberg]
A reader warns that we shouldn't be too hard on Bush lest we face the alternative:
Posted at 01:43 PM
IS THIS TRUE!? [Jonah Goldberg]
Doing a little catching up on my non-progressing article on Vermont. I found this disturbing email about Vermont's alcohol policies:
You cannot have more than one drink in front of you, and you cannot order more than one at a time. For example, if you went to the bar to order a drink for you and your wife-as she was sitting at a table, or standing talking with some friends away from the bar-sorry, only one drink per person. Alternatively, if you were sitting at a table, receiving waiter service, your next round of drinks couldn't be put down unless you had finished the prior round, or the prior round would have to be picked up before the new drinks could be set on your table....
Posted at 01:00 PM
ENGAGING THE ENEMY [John J. Miller]
This is probably my favorite line from the president's address last night: "For America, there will be no going back to the era before September the 11th, 2001 -- to false comfort in a dangerous world. We have learned that terrorist attacks are not caused by the use of strength; they are invited by the perception of weakness. And the surest way to avoid attacks on our own people is to engage the enemy where he lives and plans. We are fighting that enemy in Iraq and Afghanistan today so that we do not meet him again on our own streets, in our own cities." It reminded me of something Kate O'Beirne used to say, when we were debating whether there should be a new Department of Homeland Security: "I already have a Secretary of Homeland Security. His name is Don Rumsfeld."
Posted at 12:48 PM
HEY MEXICANS: TEAR DOWN THIS SPRAWL [Jonah Goldberg]
A study suggests that immigration leads to sprawl. I'm a bit skeptical about how much immigration contributes to the problem ("problem"?) of sprawl. But I haven't looked at the study myself and, besides, it does make the issue a bit more interesting, politically speaking.
Posted at 12:34 PM
PRETTY IN PINK? BUT HARK! [Peter Robinson]
John Podhoretz certainly started something this morning (see the posting “Pretty in Pink,” below), and I report, gloatingly, that every one of the emails I’ve received today sticks up for John Derbyshire, Rick Brookhiser, and yours truly.
From one reader, this lovely little ad-hominem riposte:
I think Mr. Podhoretz should be careful. I distinctly remember a piece he wrote about his youthful excitement over the annual Academy Awards broadcast, and his memorization of all Oscar nominees and winners. In my neighborhood, this might not exactly qualify as a totally macho hobby.From another:
"But Hark! The cry is ‘Astur!’By the very manly MacCaulay, the Lays of Ancient Rome.
The clincher? This, from NR’s own Mike Potemra:
I wasn’t aware that there was a stereotype that conservatives were effete and womanish. The stereotype I have always heard is the exact opposite, i.e., that conservatives are crude, brutish, loutish, bullying yahoos. I think the stuff you, John Derbyshire, and Rick Brookhiser have been posting recently is a welcome and intelligent rebuke to that stereotype.So there.
Posted at 11:22 AM
WHAT IF THERE WERE NO WMDS? [Jonah Goldberg]
More reports that we may never find WMDs. I know this is hardly news, but it is worth noting that these reports -- while an embarrassment for the intelligence community -- do not undermine the case for war. It appears that if the intelligence communities of the Western world -- including our anti-war allies -- were duped, it was thanks to a very sophisticated effort by Saddam. If that's the case, Saddam certainly got what he deserved. If I pull out an unloaded gun on a cop, the cop has every right -- and perhaps obligation -- to shoot me. Liberal indignation after the fact doesn't change that.
Posted at 11:22 AM
ABBAS, ESTRADA & MORE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Check out today's Impromptus.
Posted at 11:21 AM
I SHOULD SHUT UP [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Because I don't have a driver's license, but: Though I appreciate Adam Schaeffer's point about the silliness (and expense) of mandatory full-service gas stations, I actually, as the back-seat driver who often does the directions and pumping, prefer the full-service one. Not because I am lazy or handicapped, but not that coordinated and more nervous about these things than Woody Allen at his most neurotic. Always half expect to do something ridiculously wrong with a gas pump in hand. But perhaps this attitude comes from being a tri-state girl from birth: If you were in a car growing up, you were always leaving the city (and living not too far from the Lincoln tunnel, never took too long), and, headed to N.J. for some tax-free clothes shopping or some other wonder of the Garden State.
Posted at 11:20 AM
HOWARD DEAN: WHY NOT? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Vermonter John McClaughry:
Many Americans are asking what kind of a president Howard Dean would make. Based on his 11 years as governor of Vermont, a reasonable person could fairly conclude that he would not make a very good one. This verdict is not based on his views on particular issues. It is based on a review of his autocratic style, his lack of ability to deal with bureaucratic management and his overwhelming commitment to his own political ambitions rather than to any recognizable principle.Read more.
Posted at 11:19 AM
DEADWARDS [John J. Miller]
John Edwards' decision to pull out of next year's NC Senate race is no surprise--it's been known for weeks he would do this. What is surprising is how quickly this Dem wonder boy has sunk in the party establishment's estimation. This was the guy who was going to duplicate the Clinton trick of running for the White House as moderate southern Dem. But he's gone nowhere (except in the fundraising category, where he has posted some impressive numbers). A lot of candidates could run for president and Senate at the same time--they're popular enough to pull it off. But Edwards can't. Is he already a has-been?
Posted at 11:09 AM
RUSSERT NAILS KRUGMAN PLUGS SQUAD [NRO Financial Editors]
Tim Russert hosted New York Times columnist Paul Krugman on his hour-long CNBC show Saturday night. Here's Don Luskin's description in today's edition of the Krugman Truth Squad: "The nervous, stammering, shifty-eyed, twitching, ill-tailored, gray homunculus slumping across the table from Tim Russert Saturday night was simply not recognizable as the titan who strikes fear in the hearts of conservatives everywhere each Tuesday and Friday morning." Russert did his homework for the interview, referencing the Truth Squad more than once. Krugman unravelled. Read all about it.
Posted at 10:59 AM
NOT GOING AWAY [Jonah Goldberg]
Posted at 10:47 AM
I'M NOT ALONE [Jonah Goldberg]
Getting lots of sympathetic email on my concerns about Bush. For example:
Jonah, I couldn't agree more with you about the unease you are feeling regarding the president. I too have become jaded by the domestic side of the ledger since the beginning of his term. I find myself questioning the point of having a republican president that governs as a democrat. Carl Rove and Ed Gillespie better realize pretty damn quick that their base is becoming antsy. Does this mean I may vote for DeanKerryLiebermanEdwardsKucinichGrahamClintonClarkSharptonGephardtBraun? Of course not, but there's always that libertarian on my ballot. Bush needs to come back from his vacation recharged and do something powerful to prove his conservative principles. A good start would be a veto threat of that God-awful Mediscam bill making its way through committee. The domestic agenda is a disaster for small government and he risks losing the base in a big way.
Posted at 10:43 AM
FULL DISCLOSURE [Jonah Goldberg]
Posted at 10:38 AM
PONNURU 2, GILLESPIE 0 [Jonah Goldberg]
Ramesh smacks Reason editor Nick Gillespie this morning on NRO. It's a bit highly technical in parts. But, it needs to be in order to demonstrate the yawning disconnect between Nick's almost invariably condescending tone and the substance, or lack thereof, of his arguments. It's quite fun.
Posted at 10:29 AM
BUSH'S "ADMISSION" [Jonah Goldberg]
Email from Dallas:
Posted at 10:18 AM
"WHAT THEY SAID" [Jonah Goldberg]
If you haven't seen it, Momma G's website has a fun feature called "what they said"
Posted at 10:12 AM
NRD: VIENNA IN THE HIZZY [Jonah Goldberg]
And they thought sliced bread was the greatest invention of all time???
Posted at 10:03 AM
BIGGEST WASTE OF TIME EVER [Jonah Goldberg]
I watched "The Life of David Gale" last night on pay-per-view. Why? I blame bad clams, or at least that's my story and I'm sticking to it. Anyway, if you haven't seen it, don't. It's plodding, predictable and well even more plodding and predictable. I'd read that it was actually an interesting murder-mystery type movie. I was wrong. The fair Jessica and I had figured it out about 20 minutes into the movie and stuck around solely in the hope of being proven wrong. I'm sure the makers of the film thought it was brilliant idea for a movie -- anti-death penalty activist on deathrow, blah blah blah -- but oh my stars and garters, this thing was awful. I just don't know if I should spoil the "surprise" ending or not for people so off-their-meds that they actually might want to see it. But if it turns out that if an anti-death penalty cornerite wants to defend this root-canal of a movie, I will be forced to do so.
Posted at 09:57 AM
I LOVE THE FUNGI STORY BUT... [Jonah Goldberg]
I'm now convinced that global warming us caused by the decline in cigarette smoking. Why? Because it would just be so cool if true. And besides, people have started to quite just as temperatures have allegedly started to rise.
Posted at 09:47 AM
DIG IT, AL OR DIG IT ALL, DIG IT ANY WAY YOU CAN [Jonah Goldberg]
That's right baby! We're going digital! (Which I like to pronounce dig-it-all, because, well, it seemed clever at the time. Sign up or die a slow lingering death. It's reall that simple.
Posted at 09:43 AM
EXCUSES, EXCUSES [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
I'm in D.C. at a meeting and otherwise offline for a good part of today, so will be quiet and won't be prodding. That gives you lots of time to SUBSCRIBE TO NR DIGITAL. Will see you when I see you, later.
Posted at 09:29 AM
P.S. [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
That was the huge surprise I promised you last night. So go and--sign up already. Thanks!
Posted at 09:25 AM
TODAY'S A BIG DAY IN THE HISTORY OF PUBLISHING [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
As you see on our homepage, today begins our launch and big subscription drive for -- NR Digital -- exactly what so many of you have been asking for years. For one low price, you get the whole NRODT (you know, that magazine William F. Buckley Jr. founded in 1955) ONLINE. Print the whole thing out, read it on screen as a pdf or html page, whatever you prefer. Get it FIRST -- no more waiting for the mailman to FINALLY deliver it. It's convenient, quick, and inexpensive. It's the thing to do. So just do it. You'll have your first magazine ONLINE next Monday.
Posted at 09:03 AM
IT'S THE FUNGI, STUPID! [John J. Miller]
Today's oddest--but also important--news story: Previously unknown forms of microscopic fungi living beneath the snow in Siberia and elsewhere may have a lot more to do with climate change than all of world's SUVs combined.
Posted at 06:45 AM
MORE MCCLINTOCK [John J. Miller]
A good profile of Tom McClintock, from the Sacramento Bee.
Posted at 06:30 AM
ARNOLD & PROP. 54 [John J. Miller]
Yesterday I named three things Arnold S. could to do to appeal to conservatives. I neglected to mention a fourth: Endorse Proposition 54, Ward Connerly's latest initiative, which would ban the state from collecting information about the race and ethnicity of its citizens. For a couple of weeks, AS has said he's studying Prop. 54 and would announce his decision before Election Day. Last night, however, Connerly emailed to say AS has come out against Prop. 54. The candidate also added this little flourish: "And if the right-wing crazies have a problem with that, so be it." It is becoming increasingly clear that there is no conservative case to be made for Schwartzenegger. The man has given us "right-wing crazies" almost nothing except the hope that he might win. Friends, this is the definition of a Pyrrhic victory.
Posted at 05:37 AM
GET ME MY SMELLING SALTS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Shocking news: Taking ecstacy during pregnancy might not be good for your baby.
Posted at 01:59 AM
AN ORTHODOX STATEMENT [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
on gay marriage.
Posted at 01:58 AM
MORE ON SEN. EDWARDS [Kathryn Jean Lopez ]
He’s not running for reelection, as we mentioned Sunday night. His poll numbers were down, so it might be pure practicality. Also, Erskine Bowles is looking at moving into that race.
Posted at 01:46 AM
DAVIS GETS STUPID [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Comments on Arnold's accent.
Posted at 01:15 AM
Sunday, September 07, 2003
MY LATE REACTIONS TO THE SPEECH [Ramesh Ponnuru]
1) To some degree, it wouldn't have been necessary if the media were giving us better perspective on events in Iraq. (I was on a show with a liberal pundit who said it would be "hard to imagine" how things could be worse there. Hard to imagine? How about if the child prisons were brought back? Would that be worse?) What has worried me even more than the real problems we face in Iraq is the danger that we were headed toward Tet II: a pessimistic perception at odds with the facts on the ground that ended up becoming more important than those facts. The president could have done more to talk about the challenges before us, but it was necessary to talk about the progress. [1a) One silver lining about the assumptions of today's media is you don't need to worry about losing Walter Cronkite any more--you know you've already lost him going in.] 2) Interesting that there wasn't anything about the WMD question. Doubtless this reflects an accurate political calculation that this question is less important to Americans than improving the security picture in Iraq. 3) It was a very good thing that Bush asked for a large, specific number--$87 billion. If it is part of an intelligent program to win in Iraq, it's worth every penny. 4) I think the president was quite right to call Iraq the most important front in the war on terrorism today, a point which is true regardless of the wisdom of our initial commitment there.
Posted at 11:24 PM
FYI [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Check in in the ayem for reax to the Bush address from Ledeen, Robbins, Babbin and more. And, check in for a huge surprise in the morning.
Posted at 10:44 PM
CHEERLEADING DELAY [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
From a DeLay press release:
House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) tonight responded to President Bush's address to the nation. "Tonight the president reaffirmed our resolve: if we are to protect American lives, retreat from Iraq is not an option," DeLay said. "Winning the peace in Iraq is essential to winning the war on terror. Since 9/11, we've been at war for the survival of our nation, and like Ronald Reagan and FDR before him, the president has told the world America's policy is nothing short of absolute victory."
Posted at 10:42 PM
"THE REAL QUESTION IS, WHY ARE WE THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE" [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Wes Clark on FNC right now.
Posted at 09:35 PM
PBS COVERAGE SPOTTY [Tim Graham]
On my local dial, the Bush speech was on WETA (the largest PBS station), but not on little WHUT at Howard U., and not on Maryland Public Television. This suggests to me that probably only a few major PBS affiliates carried the speech, while many stuck with regular Sunday night programming. That should be compared to the hundreds of PBS affiliates which carried the Democratic debate the other night from Albuquerque.
Posted at 09:31 PM
HERE'S THE SPEECH [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
direct from the White House site.
Posted at 09:30 PM
BROKAW'S BOILING OVER [Tim Graham]
Tom Brokaw definitely led the pack in raining on the speech tonight. He led into the address with the number of deaths, and suggested a lot of failure, including the ongoing success of "wily" Yasser Arafat. (?) He came out of the speech suggesting to Biden that given the "profound failure of intelligence, shouldn't someone be held accountable?" (I read: forced to resign?) He then asked the same question to Barry McCaffrey.
Posted at 09:14 PM
RE: MEDIA PATTERNS [Jonah Goldberg]
I noticed that MSNBC cut immediately to a documentary on al Qaeda. Okay on programming, but not exactly as sign of commitment to news.
Posted at 09:12 PM
MEDIA PATTERNS [Tim Graham]
I'm always interested in how long networks stick with the speech and analysis. CBS and Fox were off the air within two minutes of the President's conclusion. ABC followed a minute or two later. Since this minimizes the media bias, I suppose we should be happy. But how lame is it to cut back in for the last six minutes of "Without A Trace" as if anyone would find that entertaining?
Posted at 09:10 PM
ON A DIFFERENT NOTE [Jonah Goldberg]
I just opened this email in response to my Hitler/Bush column (I can't tell if this guy is serious):
Posted at 09:09 PM
MCCLINTOCK'S HOPE [Randy Barnett]
Peter Robinson observed: "I keep telling myself that, yet I find that somehow I'm unable to extinguish the last little flickering spark of hope that somehow, some way, McClintock might still pull it off." This reminded me of something I have been thinking about but have heard from no one else. If Arnold turns off the conservative Republican base--as reported--and is viewed by the public as a moderate liberal with an edge, why won't he end up splitting the Democrat votes (who are the majority party) with Bustamante? In other words, if both Bustamante and Arnold appeal in different ways to the same voters, why should not Bustamante be at least as concerned as McClintock about losing his swing voters? Only in Bustamante's case, Arnold may threaten even his base voters. This argues for conservatives to damn the torpedoes and sail at full speed ahead on the good ship McClintock.
Perhaps this scenario has been debunked elsewhere. If so, let me know. If not, perhaps others should start exploring it more seriously since it will give heart to Californian Republicans like Peter. Perhaps you heard it here first.
Posted at 09:08 PM
DELUSIONS ON LKL [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Colin Soloway, a Newsweek reporter, just said on Larry King that 1) the U.s. has changed its reasons for war from WMDs to Iraq was part of the war on terror (did people outside the media actually not get that Iraq was part of the war on terror? 2) that there was no terrorism in Iraq until the U.S. got there. One wonders how he would label Saddam Hussein--democratically elected leader? One wonders what he'd consider Salman Pak.
Posted at 09:06 PM
FULL TEXT [Jonah Goldberg]
Posted at 09:03 PM
BIDEN'S TALKING POINTS [Jonah Goldberg]
Biden has told NBC and CNN (and lord knows who else before the end of the night) that this speech signals that the president has "finally" broken with the neconservatives and sided with Colin Powell and the United Nations.
Posted at 09:00 PM
WARNING! [Jonah Goldberg]
Do not get in the way of Joe Biden and a camera tonight. The speech has been over for five minutes and he's already given interview to CNN and NBC.
Posted at 08:58 PM
AL-QAEDA ZAPPER [Jonah Goldberg]
The president didn't get into the details on the Washington Post's piece on the al-Qaeda effort to create an Iraq front. That's too bad. But it's clear after this speech that the Admistration considers Iraq to be the electric bug zapper of what -- according to Christopher Hitchens (see Andrew Stuttaford's post below) -- constitutes the scum of the earth. That's fine by me. Better we kill these fanatical murderers a couple thousand miles from us than in New York, Cleveland or Kansas City.
Posted at 08:56 PM
FRONTLINES OF FREEDOM [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Yeah, you're right, Jonah--memorable, right-on phrase. Think it was a good, concise speech. Good reminder that war is still on and the bad guys hate us for the good that we've done. Surprising he didn't talk about 9/11 Iraq connections, just as a reminder, during this week, especially. Doubt the speech was the stuff of changing minds, but he probably brough back in people who were getting war fatigue.
Posted at 08:51 PM
EIGHTY-SEVEN BILLION [Jonah Goldberg]
Personally, I don't mind the number. I would be far, far, far, far happier if it came with $587 billion in cuts. But, hey, that's cold-hearted me.
Posted at 08:50 PM
FROM "THE FRONTLINES OF FREEDOM" [Jonah Goldberg]
Great phrase from the president's speech. Be nice if it was coined a while ago. But still, I think it might stick.
Posted at 08:48 PM
THE SPEECH: I CONFESS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
I was half expecting a WMD surprise.
Posted at 08:46 PM
INTERESTING: DEMS FOR PRES [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
John Edwards is not running for reelection, for his Senate seat. So it's Democratic nomination or bust for him. Wonder if he knows things about Dean, Hillary, etc., we don't. Interesting.
Posted at 08:31 PM
ONE MORE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
"Members of the United Nations now have an opportunity, and the responsibility, to assume a broader role in assuring that Iraq becomes a free and democratic nation?" "Iraq is ready to take the next steps toward self-government. The Security Council resolution we introduce will encourage Iraq's Governing Council to submit a plan and a timetable for the drafting of a constitution, and for free elections. From the outset, I have expressed confidence in the ability of the Iraqi people to govern themselves. Now they must rise to the responsibilities of a free people, and secure the blessings of their own liberty."
Posted at 06:22 PM
BUSH PREVIEW, AGAIN [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
"The Middle East will either become a place of progress and peace, or it will be an exporter of violence and terror that takes more lives in America and in other free nations. The triumph of democracy and tolerance in Iraq, in Afghanistan, and beyond, would be a grave setback for international terrorism."
Posted at 06:19 PM
MORE BUSH PREVIEW [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
"There is more at work in these attacks than blind rage. The terrorists have a strategic goal. They want us to leave Iraq before our work is done. They want to shake the will of the civilized world."
Posted at 06:17 PM
TEARS [Rick Brookhiser]
I haven't followed this thread. Surely someone mentioned lacrimae rerum--the tears at the heart of things?
"Even so far away/ Great valor has due honor; they weep here/ For how the world goes, and our life that passes/ Touches their hearts." (Aeneid,Fitzgerald translation).
This is what Vergil attritbutes to the Trojans, tough old fellows, in the poem he wrote for Augustus, another tough old fellow.
Posted at 06:15 PM
PREVIEW OF PRESIDENTIAL SPEECH [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
"Two years ago, I told the Congress and the country that the war on terror would be a lengthy war, a different kind of war, fought on many fronts in many places. Iraq is now the central front. Enemies of freedom are making a desperate stand there--and there they must be defeated. This will take time, and require sacrifice. Yet we will do whatever is necessary, we will spend what is necessary, to achieve this essential victory in the war on terror, to promote freedom, and to make our Nation more secure."
"Our strategy in Iraq has three objectives: destroying the terrorists, enlisting the support of other nations for a free Iraq, and helping Iraqis assume responsibility for their own defense and their own future."
Posted at 06:14 PM
RE PRETTY IN PINK [Rick Brookhiser]
Is this the same John Podhoretz who once wrote that the creators of the Star Trek movies had drunk deep from the wells of neoconservative thought? That made me weep--with laughter. P.S. John P. is an old friend of mine. PPS. If he disses us again,, I'll cut him a new one.
Posted at 06:09 PM
PARASOL WARS [Peter Robinson]
John, I brandish my parasol too--especially at anyone who calls me effete.
But how does one insist that poetry remains, even at this late date, a fit topic for discussion, without seeming a trifle...sniffy?
Posted at 06:01 PM
RE BOOT [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
SORRY. I said subscription, I meant registration.
Posted at 05:58 PM
A CONFESSION ABOUT BUSH [Jonah Goldberg]
I have a big wait-and-see attitude toward the President's comments tonight. But I must say that if it weren't for the war on terrorism, I'd be a bit at a loss these days to say something nice about him given his performance of the last six months. Yes, yes, tax cuts: good. And a few other things: Good. But, I'm really fighting this feeling that when he said earlier this week that whenever someone's "hurting," the "government has to move", he essentially jumped the shark. Maybe I'm just in a down mood about politics generally, but every day it seems more and more like the President is moving the Republican Party to the kissy-huggy liberal center at the behest of Rovian imperatives. I'll tell you, if he goes all Souter when/if there's a Supreme Court vacancy, I don't what I'll do. Ramesh noted a while back that when the Democrats move left, so does the GOP because the Center gets abandoned. It seems to me that's exactly what's happening and it just bums me out.
Posted at 05:55 PM
RE: PRETTY IN PINK [John Derbyshire]
Peter: I'll try to come up with something suitable. In the meantime, how does one wear a parasol? I brandish mine.
Posted at 05:32 PM
ECSTASY [Andrew Stuttaford]
The suggestion that the drug Ecstasy could be associated with Parkinson’s disease was, understandably, one of the most of the convincing reasons for keeping it illegal. Now it turns out that the research was, to put it mildly, flawed:
As the Guardian reports, “the study [establishing the connection] was based on the fact that laboratory monkeys and baboons had a severe reaction to the drug when it was injected in small doses. But it emerged this weekend that the vials of liquid did not contain ecstasy. Instead, the animals received a dose of methamphetamine, or speed - a drug widely known to affect the body's dopamine system. The tubes had somehow been mislabelled by the supplier.”
Fair enough, mistakes can be made – and one negative finding is not enough to call a drug safe - but can we now expect the drug warriors to publicize the fact that this particular risk has been massively overstated – or would that be expecting too much?
Posted at 12:53 PM
IRAQ=VIETNAM [Kathryn Jean Lopez ]
Max Boot sees Iraq-Vietnam parallels, but not the ones you usually hear. [Subscription required, LA Times]
Posted at 12:09 PM
GET ME GETLER ON THE HORN [Tim Graham]
And they say the conservatives are hypersensitive about bias. See WashPost ombudsman Michael Getler's column today for this tidbit:
A Style story Aug. 8 by Ann Gerhart about Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Kennedys referred to the "grave disarray of the Democrat Party." A slew of readers sent incensed messages pointing out that the correct name is Democratic Party. The Post chose not to run a correction; a mistake, in my view, compounding the initial mistake. The construction used in the story is viewed by some as a pejorative used by some Republicans, and letting it stand gives ammunition to those who say they see bias in the paper.I've always felt this dispute is one of the silliest ever, and especially when conservatives have complained to me about using the "ic." Couldn't Democrats think of much more pejorative names to describe themselves than "Democrat"? (If not, we can help.) Something tells me these letter writers should have been more upset about the "grave disarray" part. This is no doubt where Deanie's Meanies started fussing. The party's not in grave disarray, we're lining up behind Prince Valiant of Vermont!
This really underlines that we Post-reading Washington area conservatives have got to join in the mailing campaign to Getler with more impressive examples of bias than this...
Posted at 11:56 AM
PRETTY IN PINK [Peter Robinson]
This just in from John Podhoretz:
"In re the crying poetry sweepstakes: Why don't you guys all put on dresses and skip around wearing parasols...? This whole thing is like a parody of right-wing elite effete-itude!"
John Derbyshire, Rick Brookhiser, how are we to answer this man?
Posted at 11:54 AM
ARNOLDCONS [John J. Miller]
Peter: I'm not a Californian, but I'm for McClintock. Having said that, Steve's advice to hang on to your absentee ballot for a few weeks is probably wise counsel. There are three things Schwartzenegger could do to make me more receptive to him: 1. Change his mind about school choice and at least come out in favor of a pilot program for Los Angeles; 2. Change his mind about swearing off taxes and sign Grover Norquist's anti-tax pledge; 3. Endorse a realistic plan to keep government from expanding faster than the cominbed rate of population growth and inflation, just as Colorado does. If Arnold does one of these things and we think he means it, he's probably worth a reassessment. If he does two of them, maybe he's worth a Faustian bargain. If he does all three, then I'll become an Arnoldcon (or a Conancon). In the meantime, let's all recognize that Arnold won't do any of these things if McClintock isn't in the race to make him fight for conservatives.
Posted at 05:40 AM
9/11 ON SHOWTIME [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Just saw a preview of the 9/11 movie academy-award nominee Lionel Chetwynd did, which debuts tonight. Critics are panning it as a campaign video, but it is nice to see a friendly view of the president out of Hollywood. It may not be the greatest moment in moviemaking, but its got a David Frum (even a passing mention of his wife Danielle); and guess who plays Norm Mineta?--Sulu. I knew I could get your attention. Seriously, I've been in The Corner too long. Mineta talking to the president looked way too like him talking to Kirk.
Posted at 01:02 AM
GETTING ON WITH BUSINESS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Report says U.S. is about to push the U.N. on Iran.
Posted at 12:13 AM
HILLARY VS. LEAVITT [Tim Graham]
NEW YORK (AP) -- Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton said Saturday she planned to block President Bush's nominee to head the Environmental Protection Agency over an internal report saying the EPA misled New Yorkers about health risks after the World Trade Center attack.
In a telephone interview, Clinton told The Associated Press she would place a hold on the nomination of Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt, a procedural move that would prevent the full Senate from voting on his confirmation, though it does not stop committee hearings.
Posted at 12:04 AM
(UNFAIRLY) BLAMING MCCAIN [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
I just realized one of the most impactful moments in the campaign against the Patriot Act and John Ashcroft could have been the Saturday Night Live episode replaying tonight.
Yes, I know that was just about as funny as the critics say SNL is these days.
Posted at 12:00 AM