CUBA'S CRACKING DOWN ON THE INTERNET [KJL]
Posted at 09:46 PM
PREDICTING TUESDAY [KJL]
David Limbaugh's not so sure about the trial lawyer. David e-mails: "I agree with your Corner assessment that Kerry will win handily in NH, but I don't think Edwards is going to get that much traction. If he does, it will make for a better horse race, but Dean appears to have bottomed out at the moment."
Posted at 09:44 PM
EARLY PREDICTION [KJL]
There's still Sunday and Monday, but watching the Dems at a NH dinner tonight, I can't help but think that New Hampshire will be a repeat of Iowa. Kerry riles up the crowds with "bring it on," etc. and Edwards does seem to have that certain young, Camelot like something--and he's got that have and haves not populism down real well. Should make Feb. 3's primaries very interesting. 2004 is turning out to be a political junkie's dream.
Posted at 09:24 PM
Reminder we're at war?
Posted at 09:20 PM
THE WASHINGTON POST [KJL]
defends Dan Quayle--well kinda.
Posted at 07:49 PM
THE MIND OF A GENERAL [Peter Robinson ]
And while I’m talking about old interviews on Uncommon Knowledge—this is a weekend, after all, so K-Lo permits us to be a little more, shall we say, discursive—here’s another, this one from a show I taped with Wesley Clark just a few months before 9/11. Our topic was Clark’s book about the conflict in Kosovo, Waging Modern War.
A couple of points emerged that remain relevant today.
The first? Clark had a real problem with his colleagues and superiors back at the Pentagon—just take a look at the way he describes the incident concerning Apache helicopters. What was going on? A simple clash of personalities? Or something deeper? Clark never answered this question. He still hasn’t.
The second point: Clark throve on his dealings with our NATO allies, and after reading this interview you can see why he keeps arguing on the campaign trail today that, by contrast with Bush, he knows how to get along with the Europeans. Yet whereas in Kosovo we were helping the Europeans solve their own problem—neither the French nor the Germans wanted tens of thousands of Albanian Muslims fleeing north—in Iraq we’re dealing with a threat that the Europeans believe is aimed principally at us. The Europeans proved cooperative in Kosovo, in other words, because it was their bacon that we were pulling out of the fire. How Clark can remain blind to this I cannot imagine. But blind he remains.
Below, an excerpt from the interview, which was taped in June 2001. (For the entire interview, click here.)
Robinson: There are passages in your book in which you just seethe, just seethe, and the people you're angry at are your own colleagues back in Washington—the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Secretary of Defense. And you argue that they repeatedly obstructed your efforts to prosecute this war….Give us one example, the trouble you had getting the Apache helicopters. Describe that incident.
Posted at 07:22 PM
HANUKKAH SONG [Mark Krikorian]
Captain Kangaroo's death reminded me of Adam Sandler. No, really.
At Christmas time, Sandler sings his tongue-in-cheek "Hannukah Song," identifying famous people no one knew were Jewish. This is a trait of small ethnic groups -- any Parsee will tell you that Queen singer Freddy Mercury was one of them, and Albanians proudly (?) claim the late comedian John Belushi.
The reason I thought of this today is that Armenians have always claimed Bob Keeshan, the actor behind Captain Kangaroo, as one of ours, since the name sounds like an Americanization of "Keshishian," a common Armenian name. I believed it too, since there are plenty of famous people who really are Armenian -- Cher (half, Cherylin Sarkissian), Mike Connors (Krikor Ohanian) of Mannix fame, billionaire Kerk Kerkorian, the late Alex Manoogian (inventor of the Delta faucet), singer Charles Aznavour, chess master Gary Kasparov (half), tennis star Andre Agassi (half), children's singer Raffi, even Principal Skinner from the Simpsons, whose real identity is Armen Tamzarian. I could go on and on and on, but I won't.
Imagine my surprise when I read in today's New York Times at Keeshan was actually Irish on both sides. Oh well, I'll have to settle for the Colombosian family, that started Colombo Yoghurt, and David Hedison of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.
Posted at 07:13 PM
RANDOM THOUGHT [John J. Miller]
There isn't enough hockey on television.
Posted at 06:45 PM
ANOTHER NYT MISTAKE [John J. Miller]
As I understand it, the "public editor" of the New York Times is supposed to be the internal-affairs cop of the Grey Lady--the professional scold who catches reporters doing sloppy or biased work and exposes them for all to see. But guess what: Daniel Okrent is now admitting to doing sloppy work himself. Enjoy reading his confession here.
Posted at 06:39 PM
KERRY WOULD BE A REAL FIGHT [KJL]
a Newsweek poll suggests.
Posted at 06:32 PM
VIETNAM REDUX? [Peter Robinson]
From a reader:
"Watching Kerry respond to the throwing of medals question turned my stomach. I know there are ten times the number of Vietnam War vets who wholly disagree with him. I believe that if he is nominated the country will, and should, 're-fight' the Vietnam War. This time, however, the left has not a monopoly on the media, and the outcome will be different, as well as truthful."
This hadn't occurred to me before, but of course the reader is absolutely right. This Corner, Rush, Fox News--we'll all be around this time to argue a) that our undertaking in Vietnam was born of a noble impulse, not some sort of twisted imperialist dream, b) that we lost only because of a failure of national will that John Kerry, among others, helped to precipitate, and, c) that despite its ultimate failure the war repesented a holding action that helped to make possible the rise of the "Asian tigers," including Thailand and Taiwan, whose example even Vietnam itself is now attempting to follow.
The debate will be different, all right.
Posted at 06:14 PM
DEAN DROPS [KJL]
A New Hampshire resident writes:
Apparently Deaniacs are still going door to door, even in my small town about 1 hour from Manchester. I arrived home from shopping today to find a large yellow manila envelope in my mailbox. Sealed with a giant Dean campaign sticker, the envelope contained:
Posted at 06:10 PM
WHAT WAS HE SMOKING? [Andrew Stuttaford]
Under the new leadership of Michael Howard, Britain’s reliably hopeless Tories have actually been making some progress. They are even ahead in the polls, although by less than they should be at this stage in the British political cycle. Nevertheless, it’s difficult to see that Howard’s stance on cannabis legalization is anything other than a mistake. Tony Blair’s Labour government is currently in the process of downgrading pot from a class B drug (very bad) to class C (just bad), an inadequate and somewhat confusing step, but progress nonetheless. Howard has now announced that, if elected, the Conservatives will reverse this change. That’s dumb policy (Howard, an intelligent man, ought to have realized by now that marijuana prohibition is a miserable failure, both morally and practically), and dumber politics. The Conservative Party has noticeably failed to recruit many younger voters (by which I mean anyone under the age of 105), and this move will only make that bad situation worse.
Posted at 06:04 PM
MONKEYS AND MUCK [Andrew Stuttaford]
One of the more entertaining spectacles of the modern era is the way in which our ruling class so successfully combines barbarism and priggishness. Here are two examples via blogger Scott Burgess. The first, for barbarism, concerns something called the Sonning Prize, which is supposedly awarded for an “outstanding contribution to the advancement of European civilization.” Previous winners have included Winston Churchill, Albert Schweitzer, Niels Bohr, Bertrand Russell and Vaclav Havel. Now they will be joined by Mona Hatoum, a Palestinian artist living in London.
Mr. Burgess has been checking out her oeuvre. Who could not be impressed by efforts such as Roadworks? Burgess quotes one commentator : "By tying a pair of military-type Doc Martens boots to her bare ankles and dragging them behind her in the street, Hatoum created a metaphor for the frustration and helplessness characteristic of the times."
Roll over Raphael.
And then there’s the priggishness, also via the good Mr. Burgess:
A art gallery owned by a local authority in the North of England has removed a 19th century painting because some people might find it "demeaning to animals" and "offensive." The Monkey's Music Lesson depicts a monkey wearing a fez and reading from a musical score. According to the Daily Mail (link not available):
"... the eight gallery trustees decided it and the other [simliar] paintings should be taken down while 'research' is conducted into their origin.Gallery manager Graham Riding said: 'Opinions on such works may have changed and some people now find them demeaning to animals and possibly offensive'."
Burgess notes that the article makes no mention of whether any monkeys have complained as of yet.
But if the simians, a lazy and complacent crew (with seven million years of pathetically slow evolutionary progress behind them, I’m not expecting much) don’t get a move on, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals almost certainly will – so long, that is, as they are not too busy defending the rights of maggots, roaches and ants.
Posted at 06:00 PM
POLITICAL BRIEFING [Tim Graham]
Robert Novak reports that Maxine Waters was the rudest congressional State of the Union watcher on Tuesday, even refusing to applaud Bush as he entered the chamber. Also: Former Rep. Tom Coburn, a staunch social conservative, is thinking of getting into the Oklahoma Senate race left open by the too-early retirement of Don Nickles.
Posted at 05:52 PM
A MARTYR IN THE CAUCASUS? [Andrew Stuttaford]
Tears of myrrh? I doubt it, but here’s a fascinating story from Russia.
Posted at 05:50 PM
KERRY IS NOT VERY... [Tim Graham]
David Brooks shows today how John Kerry is sometimes described inaccurately as a "moderate" despite the fact he has a lifetime ACU rating of 6.
Posted at 05:26 PM
IS HOWARD DEAN EVIL? [Andrew Stuttaford]
Check this photo and judge for yourself. Oh the horror...
Posted at 04:34 PM
KERRY BOOST FROM SC [KJL]
Posted at 04:27 PM
BIRZER ON JRRT [John J. Miller]
Brad Birzer is one of the smartest Tolkien commentators around. He's just written a three-part essay on the movie trilogy; the first is now posted on the Intercollegiate Studies Institute website here.
Posted at 02:46 PM
THE JUNIOR SENATOR [John J. Miller]
The New York Times describes how Democrats are ganging up on John Kerry. This is a good paragraph: "at the end of the cold war, Mr. Kerry advocated scaling back the Central Intelligence Agency, but after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, he complained about a lack of intelligence capability. In the 1980's, he opposed the death penalty for terrorists who killed Americans abroad, but he now supports the death penalty for terrorist acts. In the 1990's, he joined with Republican colleagues to sponsor proposals to end tenure for public school teachers and allow direct grants to religion-based charities, measures that many Democratic groups opposed. In 1997, he voted to require elderly people with higher incomes to pay a larger share of Medicare premiums."
Posted at 02:38 PM
A MILITARY VIEW ON CLARK, GENERALS ETC [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
Good morning, Mr. Goldberg. My name is [Name withheld] and I've enjoyed your columns for about a year now (also managed to catch your spot on The Daily Show. Keep up the good work). Anyway, just wanted to give a perspective on Wesley Clark from the active-duty side of things. I'm currently a major in the U.S. Air Force (flying special ops helicopters in [withheld], if you're curious) and nothing that Clark has said or done has surprised me in the least. Why? Because he acts just like the vast majority of general officers that it has been my displeasure to deal with during my 16 years in the U.S. military. Generals are, for the most part, a gigantic pain in the ass and we usually accomplish our military objectives despite their chaos-inducing presence. There are a few good generals here and there but most of them are an embarrassment. Here's a couple of reasons why that is so: - Generals are ambitious in the same way that wolverines are aggressive. It's their defining trait. A few years ago, the Army Command and Staff College ask during an informal survey "Would your division's commanding general throw his own mother under a bus if it would get him promoted?" 60% of the majors and colonels replied "Not only yes, hell yes!" I know that running for President pretty much demands a nauseating degree of ambition but this kind of hyper-careerism can't be healthy, in my opinion. - Generals are dull. I don't mean this in the cant-tell-a-good-joke kind of way. I mean the anti-intellectual, zero-curiousity, hasn't-read-a-real-book-in-years kind of dull. Wesley Clark obviously had (and still probably has) no freakin' idea who Michael Moore is or what he stands for. All he knows is that Moore is famous and other Democrats like him. Hell, Clark doesn't even know anything about CAPPS II, the system he was supposedly advocating as a board member! I could go and on on this theme. Take it from me, most generals are as sharp as a bowling ball and Clark is no exception. - Generals are arrogant. Generals truly believe that they are completely right 100% of the time and woe to those underlings who demonstrate that this isn't so. This trait is what makes generals so dangerous. They will ignore sound advice and do the stupidest things imaginable, all because "Well, I'm a general, dammit, I know what I'm doing and. . . ugh, what was the question again?" Generals can be damn near unreasonable when they get their minds made up and it's almost impossible to get them to see an alternative way of doing things. Scary stuff to see in the flesh. Hopefully I'll never have to experience the Wes Clark brand of hubris. - Generals are dishonest. This is a tricky charge to throw out, but it's the sad truth. I've seen more out-and-out lies from general officers than any other people in the military. In a weird way, they are just like professional politicians in this regard. They act like the main character from "Memento", they can't remember a @#$% thing they said or wrote older than 15 minutes ago. If it wasn't so frustrating, it might be funny. Once again, just compare anything Clark says now to anything that came out of his mouth one year ago. Weird, huh? That's all for me. Pet Cosmo for me, take care of yourself and keep up the good fight. The troops are behind you guys at NRO all the way!
Posted at 12:06 PM
MCNAMARA, KERRY, AND GHOSTS [Peter Robinson]
The Fog of War, a movie based on several long interviews with former secretary of defense Robert McNamara, is now in theaters around the country, and it occurred to me that readers of this Corner might be interested in looking over the episode of Uncommon Knowledge that I taped with McNamara a couple of years ago. The former secretary and I talked about McNamara’s new book, Wilson’s Ghost, in which he argues that Americans should embrace a version of Woodrow Wilson’s internationalist vision.
I came away from the taping with two impressions. The first? That I’d just talked to one of the most vigorous octagenarians I’d ever encountered. I did a pretty good job of pushing McNamara around in that interview, I thought—yet he pushed right back, forceful, articulate, intellectually nimble. Four decades earlier he had proven one of the dominant figures in Washington—and after our interview, I could see how.
The second? That the central fact in McNamara’s life was a sense of guilt. He wanted the United States to forswear unilateral action, to reduce its nuclear arsenal quickly and sharply, and to delay or cancel any plans for missile defenses. In effect, he wanted us to behave before the rest of the world like penitents, ripping our garments and daubing our forehead with ashes—to atone for his sins.
Which of course raises the question of John Forbes Kerry. Woe be unto us if we elect a president for whom the central intellectual and emotional fact is a war that we lost three decades ago.
If you’d like to take a look at a transcript of my interview with McNamara, click here.
Posted at 08:43 AM
A TALE OF TWO ADDRESSES [Peter Robinson]
Jonah’s column about the widening gap between conservatives and George W. Bush reminded me something that had struck me when I looked over the State of the Union Address—not the address George W. Bush delivered on Tuesday, but the address Ronald Reagan delivered 20 years ago.
Whereas in his own State of the Union Address last week Bush merely promised a budget that would hold increases in discretionary spending to four percent—and said not a word about vetoing supplemental appropriations, which could easily double that percentage—in 1984 Reagan said this:
“The problems we’re overcoming are…the tendency of government to grow, for practices and programs to become the nearest thing to eternal life we’ll ever see on this earth. And there’s always that little well-intentioned chorus of voices saying, ‘With a little more power and a little more money, we could do so much for the people.’ For a time we forgot the American dream isn’t one of making government bigger. It’s keeping faith with the mighty spirit of a free people under God….
"We must bring federal deficits down. We can begin by limiting the size and scope of government.”
I’ll take a compassionate conservative if there’s no other kind on offer. But wouldn’t it be sweet if by some miracle President Bush decided to campaign this year as a conservative conservative?
Posted at 08:33 AM
Friday, January 23, 2004
MOORE'S KOSOVO [Jonah Goldberg]
From an email a friend of mine -- who served over there -- sent to Michael Moore:
Dear Mike: In 1999 I was in Bosnia , an American with the UN mission. I got to dig up some bodies of people whom I didn't know. Guess What? You could tell the farmers bodies because their rubber boots don't rot away like the rest of their clothing. The metal wire and 7.62mm shell casings also last. Sometimes the skull is shattered or missing, generally because something big hit it. Ever spend an afternoon in a garbage dump looking for victims of atrocities? You brainless bag of [redacted]. I know hundreds of human beings who are only alive because the US went to war in a faraway place for the simple reason that the American people believe genocide is evil. Now go have yourself a milkshake, [redacted].
Posted at 06:55 PM
2 OUT OF 3 AIN'T BAD [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
My former law partner was a big burly Irishman who was adopted out of a New York City orphange by a Jewish family from South Carolina when he was 10 years old. Other than getting the end of his penis snipped, he thought it a pretty good experience.
Posted at 06:51 PM
DEAN SCREAM: A BUNCH OF REMIXES [KJL]
Posted at 06:09 PM
LET ME SAY THIS ABOUT THAT [John Derbyshire]
Just a word on behalf of my man the Rev'm Al. I thought he handled the question about the Fed as well as it could be done, given that he had no clue what the Fed is or does. To begin with he did a "First, just let me clear up..." on some utterly unrelated point. That (a) killed 20 seconds or so of his minute, (b) gave him time to think, (c) made his next move more plausible. His next move was to substitute the IMF for the Fed. (Now, a lot of people are supposing that Rev'm Al thinks the IMF **is** the Fed. I don't think he's THAT dumb, though I'll agree this is entirely a matter of opinion.) Plainly he knows at least this much about the IMF: that it imposes conditions on poor (read: black) countries, and he's against that. That doesn't give him much of a foundation for 40 seconds of waffle, but at least it's better than the Fed, about which he knows total diddly. AND there was a fighting chance the moderator would let him get away with the IMF-for-Fed substitution. In the event, the moderator didn't let him get away with it, and he had to do some utterly-contentless waffling about the Fed. But he didn't have to do a full minute's worth, and he'd had more time to think. Damage control, see? This guy can think on his feet. YOU try talking for 60 seconds on a topic about which you know absolutely nothing. You would not do as well as Rev'm Al. Onward and upward, Rev'm.
Posted at 06:02 PM
THE PAPUA GUINEANS DID IT [Jonah Goldberg]
I like this one:
Posted at 05:47 PM
BY THE WAY [KJL]
The new issue of NR Digital is up. Browse on over to the homepage and read--or subscribe, if you haven't already.
Posted at 05:24 PM
STOSSEL AND DDT [KJL]
I'm told John Stossel will be covering Malaria and DDT myths tonight at 10-11 EST on ABC ("Lies, Myths and Downright Stupidity with John Stossel.") , a topic long of interest to NR types.
Stossel, as any NRO reader knows, is author of a new book.
Posted at 05:22 PM
WITH EDWARDS – PASS THE BARF BAG [Rich Lowry]
I rushed to Concord, New Hampshire a little while ago to see John Edwards talk to workers at a leather-goods company. I was ready to experience the Edwards magic firsthand, since I hadn’t seen him yet this campaign season. It was terrible. Partly because of the setup. The two-dozen or so company employees were outnumbered by the army of reporters and cameramen surrounding them to get their shots of the candidate. This was basically a glorified photo op. The army of journalists squabbled among itself, as often happens. “You’re going to ruin our shot,” a cameraman complained to some print journalists who were standing too close to where the Senator would soon stand. “Come on – this is our photo op. You are just scribblers. Give me a f------ break.” So, everyone knew what was up at the event, but Edwards still told the employees he was only there because he wanted to hear what they had to say. This before he launched into a 20-minute stump speech almost solely for the cameras.
At this event – and maybe it was somehow an exception – Edwards combined the synthetic sincerity of Bill Clinton and the condescension of Al Gore. Edwards is a populist, but a trial lawyer-style populist. Anything that companies do to make a profit is basically a crime, and Edwards is going to go after them for the people, so drugs, insurance policies, and everything else will be marginally cheaper in a kind of nation-wide class-action settlement. The word he uses most is “you.” This is certainly better than the chief word being “I,” as it was for Phil Gramm in 1996. Edwards keeps the focus on his listeners but in a way that is almost insulting since his premise is that they are all helpless and can’t take care of themselves. It is a deeply infantilizing attitude.
Edwards regularly lets loose with mind-numbing platitudes like “I believe we shouldn’t look down on anyone.” Then he proceeds to do exactly that implicitly to his listeners as his exquisite empathy slips into a concerned condescension. In discussing the balanced budget, he asks, “All of you have to decide what you can afford, donchya?” On social security, he tells a woman worried about getting all her benefits, “You’re entitled to that money, aren’t you?” She duly agrees. Edwards says “I agree with you.” He tells someone else worried about social security, “You probably need that money, don’t you?” This listener agrees as well. “Yeah, yeah,” Edwards says, “bless your heart.” In discussing health insurance premiums, he asks someone, “You have trouble paying that, don’t you? You want to pay less, don’t you?” I believe in cross-examinations, but this is called leading the witnesses. The only leading question Edwards leaves unasked is “You can’t see through my schtick, can you?”
Posted at 05:20 PM
WHO PICKS WHITE HOUSE FELLOWS? [KJL ]
On Crossfire earlier, Ted Danson noted that his wife, Mary Steenbergen, had gotten to know Wesley Clark when Clark and Steenbergen were both on the commission to select White House fellows. I’m not entirely sure why an actress would be selecting WH fellows—though I gather she was a Clinton pal and is from Arkansas. But, so were a lot of other people.
Anyhow, the current commission looks pretty cool (including our bodacious bud Bill McGurn and Myrna Blyth, author of the upcoming book Spin Sisters, who I think is an absolute rock star).
Deadline, btw, for the next fellowship class is Feb. 1. Just in case that was your next question.
Posted at 05:16 PM
ELECTION FATIGUE, ALREADY? [KJL]
A reader from Peterborough, N.H. writes:
One Corner reader noted Dean signs gone missing in NH-- But today there was a Dean "people-powered" bus in Milford/Amherst NH, with bundled-up Dean supporters and abundant signage crowding each corner of the central intersection.
Posted at 05:03 PM
AMNESTY MAGNET [Mark Krikorian]
A story in today's San Diego Union-Tribune (which does some of the country's best reporting on immigration) makes clear that the president's amnesty talk is indeed luring more people to sneak into the United States -- at least the Mexicans understand it's an amnesty. Even Jack Kemp, whose column last week said illegals need to be given green cards, acknowledged that amnesty talk can create a "race to the border by those who wish to get into the United States to ensure they qualify for this new program." His solution, though, was to pass the amnesty as quickly as possible before any more illegals get here!
Posted at 04:57 PM
BURNS NIGHT [John Derbyshire]
Dinnae forget the noo: Sunday night is Burns Night In regard to which, note that a firm in Chicago may soon be producing haggis for the home market. I was thrilled about this until I read down to: "The company plans on selling about 300,000 tins of the stuff." Tins? Tinned haggis? Puir Robbie is turning in his grave. For the real thing, it may not be too late to call Camerons of New Jersey: (201) 991-2985. You will, of course, be needing a bottle or two of the Talisker, Deanston's, or Glenmorangie to wash it down with. Scots wha hae!
Posted at 04:55 PM
CLARK VERSUS MOORE [ Jonah Goldberg ]
Wes Clark didn't have the decency, the wits or the guts (take your pick) to disagree with Michael Moore about calling Bush a deserter. Maybe Clark will disagree with Moore about the war in Kosovo
Here's some of what Moore thought about Clark's proudest moment:
So, questions for Michael Moore fans: Is Wes Clark a war criminal toady of that "disgusting" Bill Clinton? Or, is Michael Moore a craven opportunist willing to endorse the architect of a "slaughter" of women and children?
Questions for Wes Clark fans: What does it say about Clark that he's willing to boast, as he did last night, that he has "the support of a man like Michael Moore." Or, has Clark simply not "looked into the facts" surrounding Kosovo enough to decide whether Moore is right or not?
Posted at 04:43 PM
BLAMING CHRISTIANS [Jonah Goldberg]
A reader writes:
Jonah, isn't it as absurd for Jews to hold Christians collectively responsible for the murderous actions of medieval Christians - regardless of their reasoning - as it would be for Christians to hold Jews collectively responsible for killing Jesus?
Me: I think that's all perfectly legitimate. I would only say two things. First, I don't think I'm "blaming" any Christians today of anything, at least not in the context of this discussion. Second, I think intergenerational guilt is a terrible and sinful concept and I don't believe in it (nor does Judaism, by the way, contrary to what I may have implied earlier). But institutions live longer than people and therefor institutions need to account for their behavior in previous eras. I think the Catholic Church has largely done that. But I do think it had the responsibility to do so, even if Catholics living today are individually blameless for anything Catholics did a thousand years ago.
Posted at 04:08 PM
JUDGING THE NEW JUDGES - CORRECTED [Jonathan H. Adler]
This new People for the American Way report about how Bush judicial nominees confirmed to the federal bench are allegedly "threatening the right of ordinary Americans" is a real hoot. Set aside the usual distortions and exaggerations. My favorite is the report's condemnation of "Bush nominee Judge Barrington Parker" for his vote in the Padilla case. Yes, the very same Judge Parker who was originally nominated to the Second Circuit by President Clinton, and renominated by President Bush only as a sign of goodwill to Senate Democrats in May 2001. Indeed, when Parker was first nominated, PFAW head Ralph Neas readily acknowledged his moderate credentials. UPDATE -- OOPS! My bad. I read that portion of the PFAW report too quickly. PFAW notes Parker voted in accordance with PFAW's opinion in the Padilla case, and that another Bush appointee voted the other way.
Posted at 04:00 PM
DAMNED IF THEY DO... [Jonah Goldberg]
I love this Clark blames Brit thing. It dovetails nicely with a discussion I heard on NPR this afternoon while driving downtown. Diane Riehm and her callers were deeply vexed that God permits Fox News to exist.
It all reminds me of an essay John Podhoretz wrote a long time ago in which he recounted a story about applying for job at Time magazine. The editor quizzed John about whether, as a conservative, he could keep his ideology in check writing for a journalistic enterprise like Time. If I remember correctly, John replied of course, but have you ever asked liberal journalists if they could check their ideology in the same way? She hadn't.
There is this amazing congnitive dissonance among liberals which says that liberals can be honest brokers but conservatives cannot. Time, Newsweek, ABC, CBS, etc etc etc etc etc etc, are rife with writers and editors who've worked for prominent Democratic politicians or for expressly liberal magazines like Mother Jones, the New Republic, Washington Monthly etc. And yet to suggest that their biases might influence their coverage is considered a right-wing bugaboo. But when conservatives commit journalism it's supposed to be obvious that they are incapable of playing it straight.
Posted at 03:52 PM
Bet that'll cost a pretty penny bottled.
Posted at 03:50 PM
CLARK LOST THE DEBATE [KJL]
so now he is blaming Fox.
Posted at 03:41 PM
BERNARD OF CLAIRVAUX [Jonah Goldberg]
From a Marine chaplain:
Famous Christian hymn, by Bernard of Clairvaux (12th century), set to its modern harmony by Bach - O Sacred Head, Now Wounded - has always informed my understanding of collective guilt in regards to Jesus' crucifixion, especially the 2nd verse:
Posted at 03:35 PM
MORE ON THE ANTI-SEMITISM [Jonah Goldberg]
From a pastor in the United Presbyterian Church:
Posted at 03:32 PM
MINELLI & GEST: WAX STATUES OR REAL? [Jonah Goldberg ]
Posted at 03:25 PM
AHA: HE'S A SURRENDER-FOOD-EATER [Jonah Goldberg ]
General Clark's lunch: An eclair and a croissant.
Posted at 03:23 PM
WITH DEAN – A CREEPING WISTFULNESS? [Rich Lowry]
There was a valedictory tone to the Dean event today. Dean’s introducer praised him, but sort of in the past tense – for opposing the war, for standing up for President Bush, and “for setting the agenda in this presidential race.” Setting the agenda is important, but it is usually an accomplishment claimed by candidates who don’t make it. Steve Forbes “set the agenda.” Even Dean himself sounds this wistful note: “I commend all the rest of the candidates for at least saying the things that need to be said now.”
Posted at 02:45 PM
YOUR HANDY MEDIA BIAS KIT [Tim Graham]
If you have parents, children, friends, or enemies who need to ponder a set of examples of liberal media bias on a range of issues -- social, economic, foreign, electoral -- I humbly recommendMRC's new in-depth summary of liberal bias, month by month, in 2003.
Posted at 02:36 PM
KATIE FEELS HOWARD'S PAIN [Tim Graham]
Exchange on this morning's Today show: Katie Couric: You probably know the late night comedians have been having a ball at Howard Dean's expense for his raucous caucus night speech on Monday. Well, last night, Dean went on Letterman to poke a little fun at himself but it didn't stop Jay Leno from having some more fun.....Ouch. Anyway, let's hope all the jokes are going to soon be over for Howard Dean.
Al Roker: Hopefully, today.
Lester Holt: The scream heard around the world, huh?
Posted at 02:34 PM
WITH DEAN – I’M GOING TO TALK VERY, VERY SOFTLY [Rich Lowry]
It was the new, more subdued Dean who was on display this morning. His cold may have been a factor, but he also seems to have consciously adopted a soft-spoken-ness to make up for his Monday night screaming. It makes for a very weird impression. Dean says all the same harsh, over-the-top anti-Bush lines he has spouted for a year, he just says them very softly. So instead of “GEORGE W. BUSH IS WRECKING THE COUNTRY AND WE MUST GIVE HIM A ONE-WAY TICKET TO CRAWFORD, TEXAS!!!” it is now “George W. Bush is wrecking the country and we must give him a one-way ticket to Crawford, Texas.” It’s as if Huey Long’s political spirit had been transplanted into Mr. Rogers’ persona. In his newly-gentle tones, Dean delivered such stunners as: “I don’t think this president respects veterans, I don’t think he respects the troops”; “This president smiles while he’s got a knife in your back cutting off your benefits”; “Bush is one of the weakest presidents we’ve had on defense in a long time”; “The President of the United States has a substance abuse problem, it’s called O-I-L”; “Because of George Bush, the terrorists have already won”; “What the President is doing is undermining our democracy”; “Bush believes corporations are his constituents, not ordinary people”; and, finally, “This President has forgotten that we are human beings” (you know, I knew there was always something that bothered me about George W. Bush). Dean could whisper this stuff and it would still be outrageous.
Posted at 02:15 PM
WITH DEAN – FASHION POLICING [Rich Lowry]
I saw Dean this morning at a town-hall meeting in Londonderry, New Hampshire. I now realize I had never seen him without a podium. He was standing on a small catwalk in front of the crowd, making his suit pants visible to all. They were unbelievably rumpled. And, believe me, I know rumpled. Dean famously travels with just one suit, but it’s worse than that. Every night it looks like he must take that suit, crumple it up into a small ball, and throw it into the corner of his hotel room. When Dean was on the rise, this kind of stuff seemed charming. Now, like so much else with Howard Dean, it just seems inappropriate in a presidential candidate.
Posted at 02:08 PM
KERRY VS. TAXES [KJL]
Richard L. Novak of Des Moines (and son of Michael) has a contrarian view of the Club for Growth ad that ran in Iowa and an interesting take on why Kerry won there:
I saw this in the Washington Times [yesterday]--shows the Republicans don't get it either. I have seen this and a number of other commercials--I was not particularly impressed with this commercial (I doubt many independent and democratic Iowans were either)--it is just one big stereotype rant. The commercial, I think that did Dean in (as if he needed much help) was one that Kerry ran showing a widow who speaks to the camera about raising several children alone (after her husband died of cancer) on income of $28K per year. The tag is that I support Kerry because he does not believe that raising taxes on the middle class is the answer.
Posted at 02:03 PM
GIBSON-VATICAN INTRIGUE DEEPENS [Rod Dreher]
As I wrote in yesterday's Dallas Morning News, I believe the Vatican could be hanging Mel Gibson's people out to dry on this papal quote story. The NYTimes story today quotes my column in today's account of the mystery surrounding who-said-what-and-when, and they refer to an e-mail from papal spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls to "The Passion of the Christ" producer Steve McEveety, a copy of which I was leaked by someone close to the film company, Icon Productions (the company would not cooperate with me). Here's the entire e-mail, exactly as I believe Mr. McEveety received it:
From: Joaquin Navarro-Valls [e-mail address deleted]I wrote to Mr. Navarro-Valls at the e-mail address on the letter, and received a prompt reply from him denying the authenticity of that e-mail. In his column today, John Allen, the respected Vatican correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter, quotes this same e-mail in its entirety.
Is someone lying to cover his tracks? Peggy Noonan reported yesterday that prior to her initial column reporting the Pope's view of the film, she checked the quote with Mr. Navarro-Valls, who verified it via e-mail. Now comes a report in today's Los Angeles Times--and I can't link to the story because you have to be a paid subscriber to access this story on the website -- that:
Asked Dec. 19 whether the quote was reliable, Vatican press secretary Joaquin Navarro-Valls told The Times, "I think you can consider that quote as accurate."
Why is this important? Because it further establishes that the source for the controversial papal statement seems to not have been the imagination of Mel Gibson and his production team, but the official Vatican spokesman. Mr. Gibson is now being trashed by his enemies in the Church and in the media--see the archliberal Fr. Richard McBrien in Wednesday's LATimes, accusing Mr. Gibson of trying to pull a fast one for the sake of money--for what they take as his deliberate deception. But Mr. Gibson--and journalists like Ms. Noonan, Mr. Allen, and the LATimes reporter who checked the quote out before printing it-- only did what the Vatican's official spokesman told them they could do. Their sin was believing Joaquin Navarro-Valls--and, if you believe the e-mail leak I got is valid, Team Gibson used the papal quote heavily in its promotion of the film because the pope's own spokesman told them to.
(By the way, I'll be on O'Reilly tonight discussing this mess.)
Posted at 01:52 PM
CAPTAIN KANGAROO DIES [KJL]
Posted at 12:50 PM
GET THE BOOK THAT THOMAS SOWELL CALLS "BY FAR THE BEST COLLEGE GUIDE IN AMERICA" [Jack Fowler]
We're getting a flood of orders forChoosing the Right College, and no doubt the reason is the season: now if the time when high school juniors (and their parents!) start the grinding process of selecting colleges. How they could even think of doing that without our new, 950-plus page monster -- it provides super-informed, mega-detailed analyses of over 120 top public and private U.S. colleges and universities -- is a mystery. If you have a child or grandchild, a niece or nephew or neighbor, about to embark on the college search, make sure they do it with the aid of this all-important book. The 2004 NR edition of Choosing the Right College: The Whole Truth about America's Top Schools costs only $29.95 (that includes shipping and handling). It makes a great gift for the special kid or even the local school or your alma mater (donate one to the guidance office or library -- we'll even include a nice gift card that says it's from you!). Order here.
Posted at 12:04 PM
I'M SPLITTING... [Jonah Goldberg]
For a lunch. So I won't subject you to any more theological stuff for a while.
Posted at 11:09 AM
JOHN CHRYSOSTOM [Jonah Goldberg]
Posted at 11:08 AM
JEWS: GOTTA LOVE 'EM [Jonah Goldberg]
Posted at 11:06 AM
FIGURES [ Jonah Goldberg ]
Suha Arafat is French now.
Posted at 10:54 AM
ABC ON FMA [Ramesh Ponnuru]
ABC has supposedly found that while a majority of Americans reject gay marriage, they also reject a constitutional amendment to ban it. Now it would not surprise me if the public were to reject an amendment as a radical step. I was surprised when the New York Times, last month, found 55 percent support for an amendment. But ABC's polling is seriously misleading.
They find 58 percent opposition to the amendment, and 38 percent support, when the alternative of letting each state decide is presented. That's a noteworthy result. It tells us, for one thing, which argument opponents of an amendment are likely to find most effective. But to frame the alternatives in this way is not to ask a neutral question. It is to take sides in the debate. FMA proponents, for the most part, say that the whole reason an amendment is required is that a state-by-state approach is not a real-world alternative. Presumably the answer would come out differently if the alternative to FMA was the national imposition of gay marriage by the federal and state judiciaries. According to FMA proponents, that's what the alternative is.
ABC says that the results depend on the wording of the question and presents some other polling organization's wording and results. But it makes it sound as though its question is superior--since it has given information about the alternatives, unlike the Times--and doesn't even hint at the existence of the problem I just described. ABC also cites a Pew Center poll, just as misleading, that frames the alternatives as an amendment and a non-constitutional prohibition on gay marriage. On the stated argument of the FMAers, mere statutes will not survive a campaign of judicial activism--and that's why their preferred constitutional amendment is needed.
Posted at 10:53 AM
MAYBE SHARPTON CONVINCED HIM? [ Jonah Goldberg ]
Howard Dean promises to replace Alan Greenspan.
Posted at 10:51 AM
BUH-BYE PINKY [Jonah Goldberg]
From the AP:
Democratic Candidates Reveal Childhood Nicknames
Posted at 10:49 AM
BLAME/THANK THE JEWS [Jonah Goldberg]
If the Jews are blamed for Christ's crucifixion, shouldn't they also deserve our prayer for being the instrument of God's will for our salvation? Without the crucifixion, the Lamb wouldn't have been sacrificed and the gates of heaven would remain closed. Seems to me, the ultimate sin of deicide had to occur--it had been foretold and foreshadowed hundreds of years before in Isaiah and the Psalms. In all fairness, the thought of a Jew claiming that the awesome God of the Theophany on Mt. Sinai and other OT scenes could possibly be contained in a human form, when the non-Levite, & unpurified Uzzah had been struck dead merely for touching the Ark of the Covenant as he tried to prevent its fall was gut-wrenchingly blasphemous in the extreme, as was the eating of His Flesh and drinking of His Blood. Jesus allowed most of His disciples to walk away when they couldn't accept that teaching, and even asked Peter and the Apostles if they were going to leave also. How many Christians now find it hard to believe that He meant what He said in John 6 because it tests the limits of human understanding, or that He meant what He said about divorce, or that life begins at conception? (The command against abortion is found in the Didache, which is an ancient document containing the teachings of the Apostles themselves.) Secondly, if some Jews, the Sanhedrin in particular, deserve the blame for plotting Christ's death, they also deserve our abundant gratitude as well. Christ, the apostles, St. Paul, and the original converts to Christianity in Jerusalem were all Jews, and spread the Gospel at the cost of many, if not most of their lives. As for intergenerational culpability, we Christians committed our own atrocities against the Jews through the ages. It seems to me that every recitation of the Lord's Prayer should make us eager to forgive and forget them, just as we need and desire God's forgiveness! Christians are the heirs of the Jews, grafted onto the vine of which we are now also the branches--the vine which is God and whose branches are God's Chosen people.
Posted at 10:45 AM
WE ALL DID IT [Jonah Goldberg]
Lots of email like this one:
As an evangelical Christian, it is my understanding that what made Christ's death on the cross necessary was the sin of mankind. He died as the ultimate atonement for EVERYONE's sin, and through his sacrifice it is possible for humans to have a restored relationship with God. That God used the Roman government and the complicity of the Jewish leaders to accomplish Jesus' death does not make these two groups any more culpable than anyone else. For any Christian leader, past or present, to promote the view that Christ's death was the "fault" of the Jews is to miss the point. We're all culpable, individually and corporately. He died to save us all.
Posted at 10:44 AM
THE PASSION [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
The purpose of the Passion is most definitely to reignite the notion of collective guilt. However, the collective group responsible is a lot bigger than the Jews or the Romans. It is all of us. John 3:16 says that God loved the world enough to give His Son for it. Romans 5:6 says that just at the right time while all of us were completely powerless to save ourselves Christ died for the ungodly. If the Passion assists in reigniting the notion that each and every one of us individually and collectively was sufficient cause and reason for the suffering and death of Christ, then it has done its job.
Posted at 10:43 AM
MATTHEW 27:25 [ Jonah Goldberg]
Well, I guess I should have anticipated this. Yes, Matthew 27:25 has the infamous passage in which the Jewish crowd declares "His blood be upon us." I did know that. What I didn't know is that the entire argument hinges on this one passage. Or at least that's what people are telling me. Again, surely not every Jew was in that crowd, right? Anyway, here's an interesting essay a reader tipped me off to. And here's an email from a friend of mine:
Hey, Jonah. I'm sure you're getting a million emails answering this, but the reason the stigma of having killed Jesus is thought to carry onto Jews of every generation is the point in Matthew (I think it's like 27:25) where the Jews apparently called out "Let his [Jesus's] blood be upon us and on our children." This quatation is also largely behind the medieval blood libel (that Jews drank the blood of young Christian children) and the accusation that Jews desecrated the Host, and is a large part of why so many anti-semitic incidents in Europe (pogroms in the East, massacres and forced conversions of Jews in small towns in the West) took place around Easter.
Posted at 10:41 AM
BY THE WAY [KJL]
You can scroll down for debate commentary if you weren't in The Corner last night.
Posted at 10:40 AM
JUDY DEAN: I DO THINK THERE'S SOMETHING TO THIS [KJL]
An e-mailer: "Her lack of interest in her husband's campaign should probably have been a sign to the rest of us that this was a vanity exercise on her husband's part and no one should have taken it very seriously. She knows her husband, and probably realized he would crash and burn sooner or later. "
Posted at 10:32 AM
ANTI-SEMITIC CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY [ Jonah Goldberg]
So I'm reading about the whole Mel Gibson Vs. "The Jews" thing again. I stopped for a while because, without seeing the movie, and having heard all sides, it just didn't seem worth it to follow which version of the film was being screened where.
But here's the thing which I still don't get. Let's say "The Jews" were responsible for the crucifixion to some significant extent. Obviously, even if you want to blame "The Jews" you can't blame them 100% since it was the Romans who gustily did the actual torturing and killing. But let's say "The Jews" do in fact deserve a fair share of the blame.
(I'm posing this all as a hypothetical, by the way, precisely because I don't want to get into the weeds on the debate on what the Gospels say or don't say about who should get the blame. It's interesting, but irrelevant to my confusion.)
So let's just say "The Jews" of 2,000 years ago were indicted co-conspirators in the death of Jesus.
So what? I'm not being disrespectful. I'm actually curious: Where in Christian theology does it say that guilt should be carried on for dozens of generations? It seems to me that inheriting the sins of your forefathers runs quite contrary to my understanding of Christianity. Under Jewish theology, on the other hand, I can see where such tribal notions could endure. But where does the doctrine of intergenerational guilt come from in Christianity?
Please note: I don't mean to say that Christians today believe in intergenerational guilt. But some clearly did in the past, right? And some in all likelihood do today. I mean that's why so many Jewish groups are concerned about "The Passion" in the first place -- because they fear it will reignite notions of collective guilt.
And if, say, my daughter can be held responsible for Jesus' plight, why can't Italians? I suppose it's because Italians are now Christians. But the point remains.
Anyway, I'm actually just curious to know on what grounds Christian theologians in the past justified blaming people who were born a thousand or more years after the Crucifixion for the crimes of their forefathers, especially when even in the Dark Ages it should have been clear that not every single Jewish contemporary of Jesus supported the Crucifixion or had even heard of Jesus. So presumably blaming their descendents would be a bit unfair.
Because I suspect that this post will elicit a lot of email, I'd really like to ask that only people with some significant expertise on the subject send me email. It's very hard for me to handle the flow on these sorts of discussions (remember the whole brouhaha on the alleged power of group prayer?), but I would hate to stop doing these things simply to avoid the on-rush of email.
Posted at 10:10 AM
NUTS FOR MARS [KJL]
I cannot reveal the name for legal reasons (evidently escaped from state-mandated psychiatric treatment facility ), but one of NRO's writers has just e-mailed this note to me: "Been watching the Mars stuff? I'm not surprised by the problems.It's the Martians. You see they have been living underground since Mars Warming, but they are mighty ticked off by all these bits of metal crawling across their front door --------------yeeeeeeeeeeeeeah"
Posted at 10:08 AM
CREEPY CLARK [John Derbyshire]
Great minds think alike, Jonah. From your note on Wes Clark this morning: "It's just a creepy vibe he gives off."
Making notes last night, my attention wandered, and I ended up trying to figure out the vocal _fach_ of each candidate. My notes read:
Lieberman---tenor trying hard to sound baritone;
Posted at 10:04 AM
DEANIACS RETIRE? [KJL]
A reader from Hudson, New Hampshire reports:
For a couple weeks at least now on my ride to work on NH rt 128 in Windham there has been a huge Dean for America sign. At least 4 feet tall and 8 feet wide. That sign was gone this morning.
Posted at 10:02 AM
TANTAE MOLIS ERAT [John Derbyshire]
Kathryn: That was a nice piece about Latin in The Economist. A very good book setting out the case for teaching classics is Climbing Parnassus, by occasional NR contributor Tracy Lee Simmons. Brining back the classics is uphill work in the current educational climate, though. Tracy told me that when he visits high schools where Latin is being taught, he often finds that students are still struggling with basic declensions and conjugations well into their second year. Why is their progress so slow? I asked him, and what are they doing in class all that time? Tracy: "Toga parties."
The Economist author also missed one of my favorite specimens of Papal Latin. Pope John XXIII was the first ever to ride in a helicopter. Approaching the thing, it was plain that he wasn't too happy about the adventure. He stopped before climbing in, made the sign of the cross, and improvised: "Sancte hoc helicopterum."
Posted at 09:36 AM
HERE YOU GO, DERB [KJL]
Mr. Derbyshire thinks it'd be cool to work Riemann's name into the NRO motto. Having read his book, I think it'd be better to add another term from it: "The Critical Line." You know, "This is NRO, The Critical Line." Get J.E. Jones to use his Darth Vader voice a-la CNN. The problem is, that the zeros of zeta of s are on the critical line, and I can see some wag saying the same about the NRO staff.
Posted at 08:44 AM
DON'T ASK ME [John Derbyshire]
Watched the debate in repeat late last nite from the bottom of a deep happy well, having spent the previous 3 hrs scarfing down a Chinese New Year banquet with lots of that clear Chinese liquor you can use for cleaning out grease traps.
Let's see: Edwards knows squat about Islam, Clark is agnostic about whether my President is a "deserter," Sharpton doesn't know what the Federal Reserve Board is, Kucinich wants to pay my kids' college fees (you know, from out of that big brass-bound chest in the White House basement, the one labeled GOVERNMENT MONEY), Dean has a cold, Kerry served in Vietnam, Lieberman mnghhh.
Please don't make me write about the debate Kathryn.
Posted at 08:42 AM
WE'LL SEE [John J. Miller]
"Under mounting pressure from conservatives angered by surging federal spending, White House officials said yesterday that President Bush's 2005 budget will hold the growth of spending outside of defense and homeland security below 1 percent." Here's a Washington Post story. Conservatives should treat this as a very important promise and let it be known that they will regard anything less as a Bush administration failure.
Posted at 08:14 AM
NO KUDOS [KJL]
No, no, Tim! No praise! That Post Metro piece says: "Roe v. Wade decision, which prevented states from restricting abortion in the first trimester of pregnancy." This, of course, is not true--as we've both noted more than once (see here and here, and from Doug Johnson at the National Right to Life Committee here).
Incidentally, the Post made the same mistake last year and it was later corrected. Perhaps the same will happen this year. Guess it would be too much to ask that they learn from it for next year.
Posted at 07:56 AM
POST KUDOS [Tim Graham]
Kudos to the Washington Post today for saving a couple inches on the bottom of the front page for a photo showing the depth and breadth of the March for Life. The story in Metro by Manny Fernandez is also nice -- objective, and balanced with some comment from abortion advocates.
It's much better than last year, when the Post front page carried pictures of abortion protesters -— from Planned Parenthood's mid-day rally, with a crowd estimated by Reuters at 150. The tens of thousands of pro-lifers were represented on the front page of the Metro section with an angry protester testily pointing a mitten as he told off two college students in front of the Supreme Court building.
Posted at 07:50 AM
OFF TO CNN [Jonah Goldberg]
Will be on around 8:30ish AM EST.
Posted at 07:27 AM
MY DISLIKE-O-METER [Jonah Goldberg]
For the longest time I disliked Kerry most among the candidates, with Dean second and Clark a distant third. But that's changing, partly because Kerry's a much better candidate than he was even a few weeks ago. Increasingly, I find Clark to be the most offensive, albeit in an ill-defined way. He exudes a hunger for power unconstrained by reason. Whether his answers work on paper or not -- quite often not -- he leaves the impression that he is not only a conspiratorialist but that anything he says can be justified if it gets him closer to power. It's just a creepy vibe he gives off. All candidates have this to some extent, but most have spent years or decades in electoral politics and so they've learned to channel such passions in relatively productive ways. When you watch Clark it all seems so close to the surface.
Posted at 07:26 AM
"HINTS"? [Jonah Goldberg]
Here's the AP headline: "Poll Hints Support for Iraq Policy Strong"
Here's the first paragraph:
"WASHINGTON -- Public support for the war in Iraq remains strong, with almost two-thirds of the American public saying that going to war was the right decision, a poll out Thursday found."
That's a pretty strong hint isn't it?
(nod to lucianne.com)
Posted at 07:18 AM
JENNINGS V SHARPTON [Jonah Goldberg]
Who didn't enjoy watching Al Sharpton get the flop-sweats when Jennings asked him about the Federal Reserve? Good for Jennings. But the best such moment was years ago on the old Brinkley show when George Will asked Jesse Jackson (quoting from memory) "So Reverend Sharpton, am I to assume you agree with the G-7s stance coming out of the Louvre Accords?" Jesse Jackson's response, "What's that?"
Posted at 07:14 AM
DEAN ON LETTERMAN [KJL]
Here's his top ten list.
Posted at 07:12 AM
CONNECTING CASTRO AND SADDAM [KJL]
Posted at 06:57 AM
INSERT YEARBOOK CRACK-LINE HERE [KJL]
Posted at 05:48 AM
MUST READ [KJL]
Meghan Gurdon on Martha Stewart's real crimes:
"In this Ziploc bag, Ladies and Gentlemen, are veal bones. They have been roasted for two hours at a low heat, cracked with a mallet and simmered for another hour in a tender jus of thyme, shallot, butter, white wine, water, with just a touch of sea salt. These bones, and the fragrant liquid they yielded, are, I need hardly spell out, an affront to every American woman who has ever peeled a small, hard stock cube out of its silver wrapping and thrown it into the risotto hoping that somehow it will give the dish an Italianate flavor.And stayed tuned today to find out from Meghan what Phoebe did this week, and why Proust doesn't approve.
Posted at 05:24 AM
LONG LIVE LATIN [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Posted at 04:25 AM
DEAN IN THIRD, HEADING TOWARD FOURTH [Rich Lowry]
Latest ARG track: Kerry 31, Clark 20, Dean 18, Edwards 11.
The analysis: "Howard Dean’s favorable is now at 31%, his unfavorable is 42%, and 27% are aware of Dean but undecided. Yesterday, Dean’s favorable was 33%, his unfavorable was 30%, and 37% were undecided. Of the 31% with a favorable opinion of Dean, 28% say they will vote for Dean and 32% say they will vote for John Kerry.
Kerry’s favorable is 77%, his unfavorable is 14%, and 9% are undecided. Wesley Clark’s favorable is 49%, his unfavorable is 19%, and 32% are undecided. John Edward’s favorable is 56%, his unfavorable is 14%, and 30% are undecided. Joe Lieberman’s favorable is 49%, his unfavorable is 30%, and 21% are undecided."
Posted at 02:03 AM
Thursday, January 22, 2004
PRESIDENT BUSH'S CALL TO THE MARCH [KJL]
Posted at 10:58 PM
MEANWHILE ON ABC [Jonah Goldberg]
I've got to say that Mrs. Dean comes across as a perfectly nice woman who doesn't care about politics. I'm sure there's more backstory -- good or bad -- than what we're seeing tonight. But, Judy Dean is a hell of lot more authentic than Hillary Clinton was in 1992 (or now). Hillary Clinton was, even then, an obviously political spouse. Judy Dean may or may not have her faults, but she strikes me as completely authentic. In a way, the biggest loser in this interview is Hillary because it underlines how fraudulent she really was.
Posted at 10:14 PM
K-LO DISCUSSES J-LO [Chip Griffin]
I suddenly feel better about the quality of my posts to the Corner over the past few days.
Posted at 10:13 PM
SO ODD [KJL]
"Judy Dean" didn't see the yelp until yesterday, on tape.
Of course, if she were my doctor, I'd be grateful to know she was probably asleep by then.
Posted at 10:11 PM
RE: OVER ON CSPAN [KJL]
Kate Michelman is giving what is essentially her farewell to her days as NARAL head. Listening to her talk about her family is so depressing, when you realize what she has devoted so much of her life to and why (see this piece I did a few months ago).
Posted at 09:55 PM
HILLARY'S SECOND [Tim Graham]
Hillary was followed at the NARAL dinner by a taped message from Bill -- yet more proof that they can't stand to be seen in the same room together.
Posted at 09:53 PM
MEANWHILE ON CSPAN [Tim Graham]
Hillary just spoke at the NARAL Pro-Death America dinner. She's letting loose a harangue about how we're "one Supreme Court Justice away" from "turning the clock back" to treating the unborn with dignity.
Posted at 09:52 PM
KERRY & JENNINGS [Jonah Goldberg]
I've written some very harsh things about Kerry throughout the primaries. But I've got to say he's doing an excellent job tonight. I still don't like the guy, but he's a much better candidate than he was 6 months ago. Plus, I've got to say that this is the least I've disliked Peter Jennings in a decade. I think he's done a very good job tonight.
Posted at 09:44 PM
"SOCIAL JUSTICE" AND "FISCAL CONSERVATIVE" [KJL]
Dean is doing himself some good, I suspect. Not much, but he seems sane, which was probably his mission for the night, between this and the Sawyer interview.
Posted at 09:39 PM
"I AM A DEMOCRAT" [Chip Griffin]
Gen. Clark’s clear declaration must come as a relief to the organizers of the debate – what with it being a Democrat candidate debate and all. But his entire performance tonight has demonstrated that while he may now be a “big D” Democrat, he’s a “small b” bush league candidate.
Posted at 09:37 PM
OTOH [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Doug Henwood, also in the Nation, is defending Martha Stewart, for a few of the right reasons and some bad ones too.
Posted at 09:32 PM
PUBLIC POLICY POINT [Jonah Goldberg]
These guys talk about buying cheaper prescription drugs from Canada as if it is a permanent option no matter what policy the United States takes. This is like saying the corner grocer sells a can of frank and beans for $2 a can but every Federally-run cafeteria in the country pays $2.50 a can, therefor the US govt. should spend $400 million a month on F&Bs from the corner grocery.
The moment the federal government allows all Americans to buy their prescription drugs from Canada is the moment that option will disappear.
Posted at 09:30 PM
AMAZING [Ramesh Ponnuru]
So you can beat up a Jewish guy in France because you don't like Israeli policies, and that's--while certainly not something to be praised or emulated--not anti-Semitic. At least according to Brian Klug, writing in The Nation.
Posted at 09:29 PM
"WHEN YOU FIRST NOTICED YOU WERE A DEMOCRAT" [KJL]
Brit Hume says to Clark. Brit just rocks.
Posted at 09:27 PM
IRONY [Chip Griffin]
According to Edwards, Washington lobbyists have too much influence and candidates shouldn’t be able to receive campaign contributions from them. In fact, he says he doesn’t take their money.
What about trial lawyers? Will he make the same pledge? Or is protecting multi-million dollar verdicts over spilled coffee in the public interest?
Posted at 09:25 PM
is so disingenuous on CAPPS II.
Posted at 09:23 PM
Why the heck waste a question like that on Sharpton?!
Posted at 09:20 PM
DEBATE MOMENT OF SANITY [KJL]
Lieberman: "We are safer with Saddam Hussein in prison than in power."
Posted at 09:16 PM
JENNINGS ON MOORE [Tim Graham]
K-Lo, I must agree strongly: Peter really earns a star for asking Wesley Clark about Michael Moore, and in a way that suggests that calling the president a "deserter" is not factual. Clark's answer -- Moore can say what he wants, and it has nothing to do with me -- is the most clueless thing I've heard out of him yet. Is it just me, or do these candidates appear under-briefed in general tonight? The word "dwarfs" come to mind.
Posted at 09:08 PM
"I WON'T START A WAR BECAUSE I WANT TO" [Chip Griffin]
Perhaps Kerry should consider some other pledges:
“I won’t increase your taxes because I want to, just because I can’t say no to spending.”
“I won’t let Iran develop a nuclear weapon because I want to, only because I don’t have the guts to stand up to the Ayatollahs.”
“I won’t block the FBI from effectively investigating terrorists because I want to, only because the ACLU told me terrorists have rights too.”
Posted at 08:58 PM
PATRIOT ACT!! [KJL]
That New Hampshire reporter might as well had said, okay, General, spout out your anti-Ashcroft hatred NOW!
Posted at 08:57 PM
PETER ROBINSON [KJL]
, by the way, has a great SOTU scorecard in the WSJ today--sub. only on the web though.
Posted at 08:55 PM
PONTIFICATION TIME [Chip Griffin]
Instead of bothering to ask Sharpton a question, they might as well just say, “Reverend, it’s your turn to spout off for the next 30 seconds.” He doesn’t seem to care what the question is anyway – he just says what he wants.
Posted at 08:52 PM
INQUIRING MINDS WANT TO KNOW [KJL]
the Dems take on the Bennifer breakup (again).
Posted at 08:50 PM
could use some marriage talking points.
Posted at 08:47 PM
DESERTER? [Chip Griffin]
Gen. Clark doesn’t know if Bush was a deserter? Can we expect him to echo Dean’s 9/11 conspiracy theories, too? Give Jennings credit for the question – it shows how weak a candidate Clark is that he didn’t distance himself from such a bizarre claim.
Posted at 08:44 PM
SO ODD [KJL]
to hear Edwards be so federalist (leaving marriage up to the states).
Posted at 08:43 PM
I KINDA LIKE [KJL]
that Peter Jennings called Clark for standing with radical Michael Moore and saying nothing about his Bush as deserter line.
Posted at 08:42 PM
HOWARD'S PASSION [KJL]
We hate him because he has heart.
Posted at 08:40 PM
SHARPTON, COURT JESTER [Tim Graham]
Peter Jennings just made Al Sharpton look like the under-prepared fraud that he is. He asked what the Reverend would do in nominating someone to the Federal Reserve Board. Whoo, what an embarrassingly clueless answer. ALL Sharpton is good for is comic relief. He has less than zero moral authority, and not much more policy heft.
Posted at 08:35 PM
PAY PER VIEW [Chip Griffin]
Instead of buying the next fight on PPV, perhaps we should all contribute to the Sharpton campaign to ensure he’ll have enough funding to be around for another few debates. Otherwise we’ll just have to listen to the other blowhards desperately trying to not make a mistake.
Posted at 08:34 PM
DEAN'S PRESCRIPTION [Chip Griffin]
Is it just me or does it seem like it’s all still bubbling just below the surface for Howard Dean? The drugs Dr. Judy gave her hubby seem to be just barely restraining the former Vermont governor from busting out and pulling another nutty. I half expect them to pan the camera to him between questions and see him muttering to himself, “I must stay calm. I must stay calm.”
Posted at 08:33 PM
NICE SHARPTON DIS [KJL]
of Howard Dean: Paraphrase: I don't blame you for hooting and hollering the other night. If I spent the money you did and only came in third, I would have been hooting and hollering too.
Posted at 08:31 PM
"MY WORDS ARE NOT ALWAYS PRECISE" [KJL]
but my meaning is very clear. --Howard Dean just now. One of those things GWB couldn't get away with.
Posted at 08:23 PM
SOLVING THE PROBLEMS ON EARTH BEFORE GOING TO MARS... [KJL]
It will be a shame, I'm embarrassed to say, when Al Sharpton's no longer in these debates...
Posted at 08:16 PM
READ THIS AND WEEP [Andrew Stuttaford]
Here's UPI's Martin Hutchinson on the president and his deficit. As Hutchinson notes, the failure to offer any credible plan to re-establish control over federal spending was, uh, 'notable,' particularly, I might add, in the context of a speech that had time for such patronizing trivia as that new nonsense over steroids and the old rubbish on drug testing. To be fair, much of the increase in (non-defense/security related) government spending over the last few years can be justified as a sensible response to what looked like a very nasty slowdown. The administration's current stance, however, is quite remarkable. It suggests that this president is as careless with this country's finances as (his proposed immigration 'reform' has shown) he is with its borders.
Posted at 08:09 PM
THE DEBATE [KJL]
Is it me or does the name "Ken Lay" not resonate with Americans the way a Howard Dean hopes it will?
Posted at 08:05 PM
PAPAL POST-IT NOTES [Rod Dreher]
This parody from a pseudonymous genius over at the Catholic World News blogsite, is exquisite.
Posted at 08:01 PM
TUNE IN TONIGHT [Rod Dreher]
I'll be on ABC World News Tonight this evening talking about the latest Mel Gibson/Vatican flap.
Posted at 07:47 PM
WHO SHOWS? [Chip Griffin]
Attending tonight’s debate will be: John “Abe” Kerry attempting to look presidential; Howard “Al” Dean looking much like the highly sedated nearly catatonic former VP did in the second Bush-Gore debate; John “Buddy” Edwards trying to be everyone’s best friend; Joe “Pepper” Lieberman who will lob minor attacks at the others like one of those small, annoying, yappy dogs; Wes “Headlights” Clark who will no doubt have that same dazed, deer-like look he always has when he is asked a question; Dennis “Alan” Kucinich who serves as the Alan Keyes of the Democrat primary; and Al “Light ‘em up” Sharpton who will provide the evening’s entertainment.
Posted at 07:03 PM
COMPLETELY UNINTENDED/SUBCONCIOUS RIP OFF [Jonah Goldberg]
It seems that Mark Steyn beat me to the Hulk-Dean comparison by more than a month. While I was in Mexico last month the Great One wrote in the WSJ:
Howard Dean catapulted himself from Vermont obscurity to national fame very ingeniously. His campaign was tonally brilliant. He was an angry peacenik, an aggressive defeatist, he got in-your-face about getting out of Iraq. The problem with pacifism as a political position is that it's too easy to seem wimpy, wussy, nancy-boyish, pantywaisty, milksopping, etc. In that sense, his fellow Democrat, Dennis Kucinich, has a pacifist mien: I'm not saying he's a pantywaist or milksop, but he comes over as a goofy nebbish, as the Zionist neocons would say. The main impact he's made on the Granite State electorate seems to be his lack of a girlfriend, which has prompted a New Hampshire Web site to try and find a date for him. Somehow one is not surprised to hear this. By contrast, when Howard Dean, shortish and stocky, comes out in his rolled-up shirtsleeves, he looks like Bruce Banner just before he turns into the Incredible Hulk, as if his head's about to explode out of his shirt collar. Republicans are from Mars, Democrats are from Venus, but Dr. Dean is Venusian in a very Martian way. He's full of anger.
I was completely unaware that I was ripping him off when I first wrote that. My apologies.
Posted at 04:51 PM
MORAL DOWNLIFT [Jonah Goldberg]
Kathryn - Have you seen the "I'm Not Sorry" website?
Posted at 04:42 PM
GREEN-CARD CHRISTIANS? [Mark Krikorian ]
In China in the old days people used to deride "rice Christians," who supposedly came to church services only for the handout of food afterwards. That's what occurred to me when I read today about a court in Germany that recently granted asylum to a illegal alien from Iran who converted from Islam to Christianity and feared persecution if he returned. I have no reason to doubt that he is a genuine Christian, and Lord knows I am all for Muslims embracing Christ, but if we started to get serious about enforcing our immigration laws, would we start seeing an uptick in such conversions? The Justice Department doesn't keep statistics on the grounds for asylum claims, so there's no easy way to find out if it's already been happening, but it seems pretty likely.
Posted at 04:23 PM
FEMINISTS FOR LIFE [KJL]
is one of my favorite pro-life groups--smart and sassy. They just redid their website, which is worth spending time on. (And I'm not just saying that because they werenice to me .) And their t-shirts are quite different than the "I'm Not Sorry" crowd's (they even have pro-life suffragette mugs, which I confess I have been meaning to buy). Maybe they're not real...
Posted at 04:10 PM
WITH KERRY – ON A ROLL [Rich Lowry]
People nodding their heads? Exclaiming “Yeah”? Pumping their fists at a Kerry rally? Yes, indeed. Turns out that everything the media has been reporting about Kerry’s improvement on the stump over the last four weeks or so is true. He had a pumped-up crowd of three or four hundred people at the Elk Lodge this afternoon in Laconia. He inspired them, connected with questioners, and altogether made a very strong case for his candidacy.
I’m not sure why anyone considering voting for Dean or Clark wouldn’t go with Kerry instead. Kerry has picked up a lot of Dean’s message and presentation. He’s funny, passionate, and lathers on the anti-Bush vitriol. But in a more attractive political package and without the seeming nuttiness you get from Dean. Kerry’s line that Democratic voters should “not just send Washington a message, but send it a president” has real resonance. As for Clark, Kerry has all his major advantages – the heroism and military service without the Clark weirdness. Clark’s candidacy was always premised on a Kerry meltdown, and that premise is now dated. Kerry has also picked up the compelling part of John Edwards’ message, railing about special interests and lobbyists. Amazingly, Kerry is now running as something of an outside-Washington reformer. Kerry has even picked up a little Lieberman. Lieberman talks of bridging the nation’s partisan divisions, and forming a kind of unity government. Kerry doesn’t go that far, but says he will acknowledge the country’s divisions in a way Bush hasn’t.
Some of the energy at the Kerry rallies is obviously simply momentum. As they say in baseball, you are never as bad as you seem when you’re losing, or as good as you seem when you’re winning. Kerry is winning at the moment. The hard lesson Howard Dean has learned over the last few weeks is that in politics your opponents, if they are shrewd, adjust to take away your strength. Kerry has adjusted, and now has an excellent shot at the nomination.
Posted at 04:03 PM
RE: NRO MOTTO [John Derbyshire]
No definite ideas on this, Kathryn, except... it would be WAY cool if we could work the name "Georg Friedrich Bernhard Riemann" in somehow.
Posted at 04:00 PM
I'm told from people on the ground that the March for Life is packed. CNN actually just showed an image of nearly all women marching. I don't expect that in the Washington Post tomorrow morning--they might have NOW protesters--but it was a pleasant surprise.
Posted at 03:31 PM
FYI [Rich Lowry]
I'm scheduled to be on the Hannity show around 4:30.
Posted at 03:18 PM
JONAH'S OPTIONS [KJL]
Sure, "clean-shaven, sober, and fully clothed" is a nice motto for Jonah, but I'd bet money the "stubbled, half lit, and dressed in clothing from the frat house lost and found" Jonah would be way more fun at a party.
Posted at 02:35 PM
RE: "THE HILL" & NRO [KJL]
Is there any way we can re-open the contest for an NRO motto? At the very least, the title of that Hill piece on Jonah really should become a permanent subtitle on the Goldberg File:
Posted at 02:16 PM
BIN LADEN [KJL]
has NOT been captured, contrary to German newspaper reports. Reuters throws in that 9/11 is "blamed" on Osama. So does UPI (all goes to pot once JOS leaves?!)
Posted at 02:06 PM
SPEAKING GIG [Jonah Goldberg]
By the way: I'll be speaking at Valpo on Feb 18, 2004. Bring popcorn. Details to come.
Posted at 02:04 PM
E-VOTING, CTD. [Andrew Stuttaford]
Today's New York Times has details of the latest controversy over e-voting. According to the newspaper, computer security experts asked to review a new system designed to allow soldiers and other Americans overseas to vote via the Internet is "inherently insecure and should be abandoned." Doubtless that's at least debatable, but the response from Meg McLaughlin, the president of Accenture edemocracy Services (the main contractor on the project), is astonishing in its insouciance. She's quoted as describing the whole project as a "small controlled exercise," a strange way to describe a system that may be used by as many as 100,000 voters this year. Yes, that's right, 100,000 voters. That's small? As a reminder, George W. Bush won in Florida by, what was it, 537 votes...
Posted at 01:56 PM
RE" "REAL VOICES" [Jonah Goldberg]
Kathryn -- Maybe they're just ventriloquists?
Posted at 01:46 PM
"I'M NOT SORRY DAY"? [KJL]
Jennifer Baumgardner has a piece in The Nation about "the real voices of women who have had abortions." Women who regret their abortions evidently are imposters.
Posted at 01:43 PM
CALVIN COOLIDGE: HOSS [Jonah Goldberg]
He may have a flinty voice but he says all the right things.
Posted at 01:42 PM
VDH ON RORKE'S DRIFT [Randy Barnett]
Victor Davis Hanson provides a riveting and analytically powerful account of the battle at Rorke's Drift in his book, Carnage and Culture. I have recommended this book highly before, and welcome another opportunity to urge Corner readers to buy and read it. His new book, Ripples of Battle, a sequel of sorts to Carnage and Culture, is excellent and moving as well, though somewhat less intellectually ambitious.
In Culture and Carnage VDH explains how the West has prospered in large part because of its capacity for efficiently killing great numbers of its enemies, and he credits the individualistic culture of the West not only for its superior technology but also for its superior tactics. The thesis of Ripples of Battle is that the three battles discussed there--Okinawa, Shiloh & Delium--"still determine how we fight, how we live, and how we think." I must say that his vivid account in Ripples of Okinawa, where his namesake uncle Victor Hanson was killed, was amazing. I was surprised how little I knew of that battle given that, as a baby boomer, I was raised on WWII documentaries.
Posted at 01:35 PM
A WHOLE CELLAR OF SALT [Terry Teachout]
As usual, Gore Vidal was wrong--Teddy Roosevelt did not have a high, squeaky voice. Go here and you can hear for yourself what he sounded like.
Posted at 01:31 PM
WHEN RABBIS MEET THE POPE [ Jonah Goldberg]
Posted at 01:22 PM
ZELL MILLER MARCHES TO LIFE [KJL ]
"The most poignant sight for me at this year's annual pro-life march and demonstration in Washington, D.C. was the large number of women holding signs saying they regretted their abortions." From his book, A National Party No More More on Zell and abortion here.
Posted at 01:20 PM
NOW THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN A STORY! [ Jonah Goldberg]
If Dean had been wearing one of these when he gave his scream.
Posted at 01:07 PM
WHO CARES? [Jonah Goldberg]
I've seen a couple stories on the news and in print now about how former NY Mayor David Dinkins is endorsing Wes Clark. I'm not going to bother linking to them. But why on earth does anyone think A) this is news of any kind or B) that this will have any affect whatsoever in New Hampshire or anywhere else? I mean Al Gore's endorsement only mattered in a bad way, it seems. But Dinkens? I mean good or bad that's like smacking a tank with a nerf bat.
Posted at 01:00 PM
EVERYONE HAS AN OPINION [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
Posted at 12:52 PM
RORKE'S DRIFT ANNIVERSARY [Jack Fowler]
Today marks the 125th anniversary of the Battle of Rorke's Drift, made famous by the wonderful movie Zulu. In that battle (which lasted through the night and into the morning of the 23rd) less than 200 British soldiers at an obscure outpost held off relentless and repeated attacks by some 4,000 Zulu warriors, earning 11 Brits (survivors only) the Victoria Cross. Just thought you'd want to know.
Posted at 12:44 PM
AHA! [ Jonah Goldberg]
Here's one result I got:
"George W. Bush had Michael Jackson arrested so that The Jews, Ann Coulter, and SUV owners could oppress welfare recipients."
(Note: please refrain from sending me your own results. Thanks).
Posted at 12:42 PM
CPAC [Jonah Goldberg]
Readers keep asking if I'll be there or (after having researched the issue) why I won't be there. The reason is simple: I wasn't invited. But the Fair Jessica will be there briefly tonight to discuss her book and field absolutely no questions about Cosmo!
Posted at 12:28 PM
SQUEAKING IN TO VICTORY [John Derbyshire]
A reader: "According to accounts, Lincoln had a very high pitched, squeaky voice, made 'worse' by a deep Kentucky twang. But that was an advantage in pre-microphone days. Facing a field filled with people and debating Douglas, Lincoln's voice carried better. And, contrary to popular belief, he technically *won* that race."
Kentucky, though? I would have thought Indiana had more influence.
Posted at 12:21 PM
DEAN'S APOLOGY [Rich Lowry]
This column in the Boston Globe suggests that New Hampshire has a habit of forgiving politicians who apologize for their shortcomings. What might such a Dean apology look like? "I'm sorry I pretended for a year straight to be an outrageous left-wing populist just because that seemed to be the best way to gain on the rest of the Democratic field. Please forgive me. I'm sorry that I have routinely said stupid things, and resorted to the worst sort of demagogery in attacking President Bush and my Democratic rivals. Can't we let bygones be bygones? I’m sorry I said the U.S. wasn't safer after we captured Saddam, sorry for calling for steep middle-class tax increases, and sorry for flip-flopping on Medicare, NAFTA, and sundry other issues. We all make mistakes. I mis-spoke when I said ‘YAAAAAARRRRRRGGGHHH.’ That came out wrong. What I really meant was `Congratulations, Sen. Kerry.’ Sorry about that. In considering whether to accept my apology or not, please consider on the positive side of the ledger that I am genuinely arrogant and intemperate--I would never mislead the American people about that.”
Posted at 12:06 PM
"A DIFFERENT TIME..." [Jonah Goldberg]
Yes it was a different time, but it's also Gore Vidal saying it so an extra grain of salt is required.
Posted at 12:01 PM
RE: UNFAIRNESS OF POLITICS [John Derbyshire]
Jonah: Yes, politics is terribly unfair. I have long nursed the private suspicion, for instance, that it is hard for a guy to get elected to anything much if he has a high-pitched voice. Newt Gingrich I guess is a counterexample, but (considering his career as a whole) not much of one. I have not yet seen the Democratic candidates ranked on their vocal range --- perhaps there are some insights to be gained there. Jay Nordlinger has the best ear in the house --- perhaps he could give us an analysis? No need to get down to the full German level of categorization by fach, Jay (the Germans put voices into 30-odd categories, with names like zwischenfachsaengerin) --- just bass, baritone, tenor will do.
(Oh, I have just thought of another counterexample -- Teddy Roosevelt, who, according to Gore Vidal, had a squeaky high voice. But that was in a different time.)
Posted at 11:56 AM
DOWN WITH PHOTO EDITORS [Jonah Goldberg]
This wife-adoring reader writes:
Posted at 11:45 AM
WHY DIDN'T BUSH THINK OF THAT? [ Jonah Goldberg]
The Saudi government wants private companies to simply hire 5% more employees every year.
Posted at 11:43 AM
REPORT FROM MCI CENTER PRO-LIFE MASS [KJL]
An e-mailer: "Thanks for posting a link to the events for today. After getting into the office today I took a look at them and decided to drop in on the youth Mass at the MCI Center. To be honest, I did not expect it to be too crowded, but to my pleasant surprise it was full. I had to sit in the last row, upstairs, opposite the altar. I don't remember ever seeing such a large enthusiastic crowd of young people such as this before."
Posted at 11:42 AM
SAUDIS KIDNAP "REFORMIST PRINCE"? [< href="mailto:email@example.com">KJL]
Posted at 11:41 AM
IS KERRY REALLY THE MOST ELECTABLE [ Jonah Goldberg]
The New Republic's Michael Grunwald has a good piece on how Republicans might run against Kerry. Here's the opener:
Massachusetts Senator John Kerry likes to say that, if he's the Democratic nominee and President Bush wants to make the election a referendum on national security, he has just three words to say: "Bring It On!" But what if Kerry becomes the nominee and Bush wants to make the election more than a referendum on national security? What would the Republicans bring on then?
Posted at 11:36 AM
DEAN SLIP-SLIDING AWAY [Rick Brookhiser]
Is the Scream the killer moment for Dr. Dean?
YES--One thinks of other killer moments: Muskie weeping as he railed in the snow against the Manchester Union Leader (maybe it was melted snow on his face, not tears, but since the world believed he was weeping, he was toast); George H.W. Bush sitting awkwardly as Ronald Reagan told the crowd that he had paid for the microphone in their Union Leader debate. NO--One also thinks of the killer moment that did not kill: the Gennifer Flowers story bursting on our Bill.
I suspect the Scream is a killer that kills. Dean, Muskie and Bush, showed something about who they were (crazed, intemperate, un-adept respectively). Clinton seemed to have been caught in something he did, allowing him and his wife to tell the world that he didn't do that any more, and that he did other things (e.g., love her). Looking back, we see that Gennifer did show who he was (weak and self-indulgent, Kathryn insert Legacy plug here). But we didn't know that in 1992, hence Clinton survived.
When Dr. Dean retires from the race very soon, he may need some therapy; I suggest drumming, or primal scream.
Posted at 11:35 AM
ANTI-DEAN BACKLASH [Jonah Goldberg]
At some point very soon the media is going to realize that it's going "too far" with the Dean primal scream thing. In one sense I do think this hype is unfair. If you looked at it in a vacuum, I think most people would think it's not really that big a deal. I'm sure he's given that yell dozens of times before to his troops.
But, politics is all about context. Dan Quayle isn't an idiot and he wasn't immature, but he chose the wrong couple moments to seem too young and to get tongue-tied. I doubt that Al Gore was the most pompous liar in the history of politics, but in 2000 he didn't make enough of an effort to avoid that image, so that's the image that stuck. Sure, it's unfair, but who said politics is fair? Look, if John Edwards had a horse-face, he'd still be a lawyer in North Carolina, and probably not nearly as successful as he has been thanks to his mug. Once the media -- never mind the public -- buys into a storyline about a particular candidate, that candidate is in real trouble. Dean surely knew that he was cultivating the image of an angry, bull-headed brawler. At precisely the moment he should have countered that image, he reinforced it.
Posted at 11:24 AM
MORE MEL GIBSON [Rick Brookhiser]
An intelligent and very conservative Catholic tells me that Mel Gibson is a sede vacantist--in other words, he believed that he was screening The Passion not for the Pope, but for the Polish guy who's been squatting in the Vatican for twenty five years. Is my source right?
Protestants following The Passion controversy obviously don't care much one way or the other. Catholics could conclude that even though Gibson is a schismatic he is--or isn't--doing the Lord's work. I pursue the question out of journalistic curiosity, and impatience with my profession. It doesn't seem like a difficult question to answer, yet not one story I have read has definitely addressed it.
Posted at 11:08 AM
NYC SOTU CRITIQUE [Meghan Keane]
Looks like they found a pretty neutral audience: "Before the speech, guests were encouraged to use personal electronic devices at each place setting to punch in answers to various questions. Almost 77% said they will support a Democrat for President this year, and 72% reported that they attend 'zero' religious services. "
Posted at 10:57 AM
PITY GARY LARSON RETIRED [John Derbyshire]
Several readers know what happened to my missing chopsticks. They report seeing them lounging on a beach with odd socks.
Posted at 10:55 AM
ANTI-SUB WARFARE [John Derbyshire]
Numerous Navy readers, including some who plainly Know Stuff, have told me that my thumbnail analysis of the current efficacy of anti-submarine technology painted way too rosy a picture. Sample: "Derb---The consensus is that the sub gets through the carrier screen every time. Of course, the 'Red' sub is crewed by our highly trained people, rather than a bunch of conscripts commanded by three officers. See the recent sinking of a Chinese sub for a lesson in the perils of poor training in submarines.
"On the other hand, most third world countries deploy KILO class submarines that transit on their diesel engine, and manuever or lurk on battery power. A KILO on battery power lying on the bottom in shallow water is almost impossible to hear using passive sensors because it makes almost no noise. Contrary to the movies, you do not use active sonar (ping) when searching because it tells the bad guy you are looking for him and broadcasts your position. The USN has ways of dealing with KILOs. I can't tell you what they are, but they don't include risking carriers in the Persian Gulf."
Well, thank goodness for that, at least.
Posted at 10:49 AM
BELATED SOTU REAX [Randy Barnett]
I am sure I was not alone in thinking that President Bush was acting entirely inappropriately in devoting time in the State of the Union to whether 3rd graders advance to the 4th grade and whether athletes use steroids. None of these matters should be within his auspices or that of the federal government. Even if we have become inured over the years to the nanny state, during wartime this is a completely unwarranted distraction from the President's primary responsibilities as Commander-in-Chief. Now I know that many Democrats do not accept the notion that we are at war, and I appreciate that position. But the President believes we are at war--as he told us in the first part of his address--so he should know better than to distract from that vital issue of which he has sole responsibility (in collaboration with Congress) with matters that are the concerns either of civil society or of state and local government officials. Everything that is important is not within the jurisdiction of the federal government. Indeed, most important things are not. I chose to become a Cook County States Attorney after law school, and never wanted to be a federal prosecutor, precisely because I wanted to prosecute the most serious (and real) crimes of murder, rape, armed robbery, etc.--an employment preference that mystified my Harvard Law School classmates at the time. Now if we can entrust the apprehension, prosecution, and punishment of murderers and rapists to local officials, we can surely entrust the responsibility of steroids and student promotions to the civil society.
Posted at 10:44 AM
DEAN SLIP-SLIDING AWAY? [Rich Lowry]
Dean slips toward third in latest ARG N.H. track: Kerry 27, Dean 22, Clark 19. The analysis:
"Is Howard Dean heading to third place in New Hampshire?
As the results for January 21 indicate, Howard Dean continues to lose support. This trend may continue as Dean's favorable continued to drop on January 21. In the 3-day sample ending January 19, 57% of likely Democratic primary voters had a favorable opinion of Dean, 19% had an unfavorable opinion of Dean, and 24% were aware of Dean but undecided. In the January 20 sample, 39% had a favorable opinion of Dean, 30% had an unfavorable opinion of Dean, and 31% were undecided. In the January 21 sample, 33% had a favorable opinion of Dean, 30% had an unfavorable opinion of Dean, and 37% were undecided. The movement from favorable to undecided signals a continuing drop in ballot preference for Dean.
In 1992, Bill Clinton dropped from 37% to 25% in 5 days, giving up the lead to Paul Tsongas. By the eighth day of his drop, however, Clinton was able to begin to regain support (by appearing on "60 Minutes" and holding a televised town meeting in New Hampshire, among other things). The Dean campaign does not have the luxury of time because the Clinton model would have Dean just beginning to regain support on primary day. Also, Clinton's campaign responded immediately to Clinton's drop."
Posted at 10:43 AM
UPDATE [Jonah Goldberg]
Apparently the picture they used of me in the print version didn't make me look like a Rigellian, at least according to one reader.
Posted at 10:20 AM
RE: BANG CHUNG [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
Jonah -- My husband was a prisoner of war in Vietnam. Every year at Tet they would get bang chung for a treat. They were starved all year, and they really appreciated the yearly bang chung. So the first year we were dating he took me to a Vietnamese restaurant at Tet and ordered bang chung for dessert, thinking he was giving me a nice oriental delicacy. It was the most repulsive thing I'd ever eaten. It's glutinous rice, rolled around starchy bean paste, with some pig fat in the middle. The whole thing is boiled, probably for days. I don't know why it's called a dessert, because it's not sweet. It's almost tasteless, with a gluey consistency.
Posted at 10:16 AM
FYI [ Jonah Goldberg]
The Hill did a short profile of yours truly. Somehow they managed to take a picture of me which makes me look not only very, very large -- only the best photographers can really avoid doing that anyway -- but it also makes me look like I'm losing my hair, or that my forehead reveals my formidable telekinetic powers. Anyway, it's a nice piece, but whenever these things come out, you think of the things you said they didn't print.
Posted at 10:08 AM
TET TIME [Jonah Goldberg]
I was listening on NPR this morning that the Vietnamese lunar New Year holiday of Tet is here. I learned that one Tet tradition -- other than violating truces with sneak attacks -- is to hand out a sweet called "bang chung" (SP?). Which got me wondering, do people at Vietnamese New Year party's say, "Everybody have fun tonight! Everybody have Bang Chung tonight!"?
Posted at 09:56 AM
OUTDOES HERESELF AGAIN [KJL]
Maureen Dowd makes Howard Dean look sane and subdued. Monotone even. "Can you believe President Bush is still pushing the cockamamie claim that we went to war in Iraq with a real coalition rather than a gaggle of poodles and lackeys?"...but there's so much to quote.
Posted at 09:56 AM
YET MORE ON THE GIBSON-VATICAN CONTROVERSY [KJL]
Posted at 09:46 AM
WRITING SENATORS [Stanley Kurtz]
The e-mail link to New Hampshire Senator Judd Gregg’s office seems to be having some trouble. But please do read my blog on HR 3077 and consider writing your own Senators and/or Senator Gregg. You can also call Senator Gregg’s office (Again, at (202) 224-3324. This link should take you to e-mail contacts for your own Senators and for Senator Gregg. Thanks again to Corner readers for your invaluable help with HR 3077.
Posted at 09:41 AM
WHERE ARE THE BEAN-COUNTERS NOW? [Roger Clegg]
There’s an article in the sports section of the Washington Post today about how the recent pressure on the National Football League to interview more African Americans for head coaching jobs has led to an “’unprecedented amount of progress.’” Indeed, now “five of the NFL’s 32 head coaches are black.” But wait, my calculator says that means over 15.6 percent are black, and, according to the U.S. Census, only 12.9 percent of the total population say they are “African-American or African-American in combination with two or more races.” That means that blacks are now overrepresented among head coaches by a whopping 21 percent! Time to demand that the owners interview more nonblacks.
Posted at 09:38 AM
3077 [Stanley Kurtz]
Corner readers have been absolutely fantastic about supporting HR 3077, the bill that would reform the system of government subsidies to Middle East Studies (i.e. “Title VI” reform). Thanks in great part to your support, we’ve gotten a good bill safely through the House. But as I predicted, the higher education lobby is now putting tremendous pressure on the Senate to gut the bill. For more on how they plan to do it, see the latest posting by Martin Kramer at his blog, Sandstorm. If you want to help, here’s what you can do. If you haven’t already written your Senators calling on them to support HR 3077 without dilution, please do so. But you can also help by writing Senator Judd Gregg. Senator Gregg heads the Senate Education committee and will be in charge of HR 3077. Gregg’s been great on higher education issues–even holding hearings on the problem of bias in the academy. But there’s no doubt that he is coming–and will continue to come–under enormous pressure from the higher education lobby to gut this bill. It’s important that Senator Gregg understand that there are many who want to see this bill pass, who are watching its progress closely, and who want him to hold firm. So please do consider writing to Senator Gregg and urging him to hold fast on HR 3077. Tell him not to let this bill be gutted. Here is an e-mail link to Gregg’s office. They say they will only respond to e-mails with a New Hampshire address, but e-mails from elsewhere may at least get through. If your e-mail bounces back, try calling Gregg’s office at (202) 224-3324. Actually calls can be even more effective than e-mail. But both are great. And again, you can contact your own Senators if you’d prefer not to contact Gregg. If you want a refresher on the issue, read my “Studying Title VI.” Understand, this bill is the very first time we have ever had an opportunity to actually do something about bias on campus. If we lose this fight, after our prospects of winning seemed good, we will probably never be able to defeat the higher education lobby again.
Posted at 09:15 AM
FLYING MAD [KJL]
The contempt for women and for medicine that underlies the Christian right's attack on choice is as shocking as it is invisible. The right has been absolutely brilliant in cloaking an indifference to women's health in language that seems to affirm life.Please tell me how the Women Deserve Better movement show contempt for women.
The partial-birth abortion ban strips away this right and returns us to the antique notion of woman as womb. If a woman is defined basically as her reproductive organs, her right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is secondary to the rights of her foetus. It is this principle that the partial birth abortion ban seeks to establish.Partial-birth abortion? That's this she is talking about.
Posted at 08:31 AM
ELECTION 2004, IN SHORT [KJL]
I love this, from our Rick:
Your safety also depends, to a lesser degree, on what happens in Washington, and therefore, on Iowa and New Hampshire. On the eve of the Iowa caucuses, Paul Krugman wrote that Howard Dean and Wesley Clark were the great Democratic hopes because they alone understand how rotten and lying the Bush administration is, and dare to say so forcefully. That is such a clear analysis that it needs only a little adjustment to make it perfect. The United States, the Muslim world, and indeed the world are involved in a war that will last decades. George W. Bush, for all his limitations, senses the stakes. Messrs. Dean, Clark and Krugman would rather think about Enron. Take your choice.Read the whole thing here.
Posted at 08:23 AM
"WE ARE ALL AMERICANS" [John J. Miller]
...said Le Monde in its famous headline. Beneath, however, the French were already blaming 9-11 on the United States: "the reality is perhaps also that of an America whose own cynicism has caught up with it." Here's a link to an English-language version of the whole editorial--and many thanks to those who found it with such dispatch. You folks who read The Corner are an intelligent and resourceful bunch.
Posted at 08:19 AM
GOVT ON STEROIDS [John J. Miller]
An anonymous GOP Senate aide makes a good point in a news story today: President Bush called for a ban on athletes using steroids--couldn't he have called for a ban on congressional appropriators using them as well?
Posted at 08:04 AM
IT'S CHRISTIAN TERRORIST DAY [Tim Graham]
Bring up ABCNews.com today and you see the graphic "Called to Violence" and the headline "In God's Name." The summary of the story: "An anti-abortion activist is following the example of violent Islamic fundamentalists, telling those who share his views to become 'Christian terrorists.'" There's also a story headlined "Global Abortion War," which rails against the "Mexico City policy" banning U.S. funds for international abortion promotion. Some objective Web site.
Posted at 07:41 AM
FAVORED PROTESTERS [Tim Graham]
As the networks prepare to ignore the thousands coming to Washington today for the March for Life, ABC's Terry Moran last night publicized a group of about 300 Bush-hating protesters in Toledo. He made a point of how the President never sees them. This is not an approach they took during the Clinton years. People like Patricia Mendoza, who told Clinton "you suck" to his face eight years ago, had the Secret Service take them into custody, and reporters never fussed at the White House for its callous regard for dissent.
Posted at 07:19 AM
HELP ME! [John J. Miller]
Remember that famous headline on 9-12-01 in the French newspaper Le Monde: "We Are All Americans"? Apparently the text below wasn't as pro-American as you might think. (See this article by Fouad Ajami, for instance.) I've been searching without success for a full translation of that front-page editorial, written by Le Monde publisher Jean-Marie Colombani. A few snippets seem to be available, but nothing more. If anybody knows where I might read an English-language version of the whole piece, please email me here.
Posted at 06:26 AM
PEGGY ON THE CONTINUING PASSION MYSTERIES [KJL]
And here's Rod's piece on the same.
Posted at 05:55 AM
NO SIGN OF MARTIANS YET [John J. Miller]
Cool Mars picture here.
Posted at 05:38 AM
Wednesday, January 21, 2004
KERRY IS MOVING ON UP [KJL]
Poll shows 10 point surge in NH.
Posted at 07:49 PM
CLARK TO THE ADVOCATE [KJL]
The interview is here. Some highlights:
know your son was married recently. If your son had been born gay, would you want him to have the same rights that he enjoys today?
Posted at 06:26 PM
FOR THE RECORD [Kate O'Beirne]
Before the dynamics of the Iowa caucuses recede into the distant pass, an important point should be made. We were repeatedly told that "Vietnam veterans and firefighters" provided the successful ground troops for Kerry's big win. Some did. I have one of each in my house and both of them would crawl on their stomachs through enemy fire to vote against John Kerry. There, now I feel better.
Posted at 06:13 PM
EVENTS CALENDAR CON'T [KJL]
This is an event I'd love to go to if I were in D.C. Friday (and if I happen to be, I will be), at my alma mater:
Pro-Life Movement Leaders to Discuss Women, Abortion and the Law
Posted at 06:08 PM
MARCH FOR LIFE [KJL]
Family Research Council is having an open house—and has some info on other events here.
The Catholic bishops' conference has a good schedule of the official Mass for Life (TONIGHT) and other events.
Silent No More is having a Supreme Court rally with Jennifer O’Neill and Melba Moore tomorrow at 5 pm.
Posted at 05:52 PM
OVERLOOKED: DEAN BUYS OFF CAROL [Tim Graham]
This story from Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times was news to me, but look at how Dean greased the endorsement of Carol Moseley Braun:
"We are going to help her with the debt," [Dean adviser Jon] Haber told me. The debt tab could be in the neighborhood of some $300,000 and Dean's camp will help Braun raise the money to pay it off. Braun will campaign for Dean three days of the week, with the Dean campaign picking up her travel expenses. Braun will become a Dean campaign consultant and will be paid about $20,000. Up to three of Braun's staffers, including [Patricia] Ireland, will be hired by the Dean campaign.
Posted at 05:30 PM
LATE-AFTERNOON NOTE [KJL]
We added some afternoon pieces today, including the lead editorial, just to bed, from the freshest NRODT, on Iowa and the Democratic field. Never let your day end without check in and making sure you didn't miss anything on NRO.
And, of course, remember that NRODT will be available for online reading--the entire magazine--this Friday. NR Digital can be purchased alone, or is included in every print subscription.
Posted at 05:24 PM
WHEW [Meghan Keane]
A Dean aide told reporters that Dean plans to propose lowering max. individual contribution from $2K to $250 1/22 (Last Call! reporting).
Posted at 04:44 PM
RE: BYRON [Tim Graham]
Byron (on NRO) is right that Bill Richardson's official DNC response in Spanish was ignored, but whether it's an election year or because they came across poorly, Pelosi and Daschle soundbites were nowhere to be found on ABC, CBS, or NBC this morning. Only "Fox and Friends" took them up.
Posted at 04:37 PM
RE: CHOPSTICKS [John Derbyshire]
Reader Brian Simboli laments: "Ah, I have yet, qua family dishwasher, to find a really efficient way to wash chopsticks."
Well, here's my technique.
(A) Grasp bunch of chopsticks by thick ends.
(B) Scrub thin ends with dishwash brush, simultaneously moving the holding hand so that different sides of the chopsticks are contunually being presented to the brush. (This needs some practice. It's a kind of kneading motion.)
(C) Now place bunch of chopsticks between palms.
(D) Rub palms back and forth vigorously and parallel to each other, so that chopsticks are subjected to mutual frication. This makes a characteristic and not at all unpleasant noise, somewhat like the rattle of ma-jong tiles.
(E) Repeat step (B) under running faucet, to remove last traces of food residue.
I do not myself scrub the holding (thick) ends of the chopsticks, as this seems to me over-fastidious. There are different schools of thought on this point, though....
Posted at 04:25 PM
STARBUCKS [Jonah Goldberg]
The fair Jessica and I have recently come to the conclusion that Starbucks coffee doesn't taste good anymore. But I was in NYC this morning and had some (I needed to use the wireless connection) and it tasted great. So maybe it's just the DC coffee which tastes like burnt newspaper.
Posted at 04:02 PM
GOING THROUGH THE EMAIL [Jonah Goldberg]
In response to today's G-File. So far I've learned that "preservative" or some derivation thereof means "condom" in Portugese, French and Polish. For what that's worth.
Posted at 03:56 PM
RE "PRESERVATISM" G-FILE [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
Posted at 03:52 PM
DOING THE DISHES FOR A WIFE WHO COOKS CHINESE FOOD [John Derbyshire]
How come I always seem to have an ODD number of chopsticks?
Posted at 03:19 PM
NEWT'S BEEN ROBBED [Kate O'Beirne]
The Democrats' cupboard must be totally bare for Tom Daschle to have raided Newt's pantry for his "Opportunity Society" rejoinder last evening.
Posted at 03:14 PM
GOP GALLO [Meghan Keane]
I’m not quite sure how to feel about this celebrity endorsement--director and star of the infamously panned Brown Bunny and critically acclaimed Buffalo 66, artist, agent provocateur and generally angry man - Vince Gallo is a Republican, according to the NY Observer.
Posted at 03:04 PM
DEAN'S INTRODUCTION [Rich Lowry]
The Hotline makes a good point today: Apparently Dean didn't realize that his Monday night performance would be the absolute first time many voters around the country saw him on the stump.
Posted at 02:31 PM
MELLOW ON THE MELTDOWN [Tim Graham]
Rich, if the growling was the turning point for Dean, please note, election watchers, that two networks were quite soft on the blooming fiasco yesterday morning. ABC’s Claire Shipman just called it "aggressively upbeat," and Charles Gibson merely said "he's still feisty, says he fights on." (In his interview, Gibson didn’t even ask Dean a question about his meltdown.) CBS’s Cynthia Bowers described it simply as "brusque." The toughest words CBS host Hannah Storm presented to Dean was that some found it "decidedly unpresidential." Only NBC recognized it as a wound. Katie Couric asked: "You were quite fired up, quite passionate, but some people feared you might implode."
Posted at 02:23 PM
MEAN-SPIRITED INTEREST [John Derbyshire]
Possibly inspired by my "One Cheer for Rev'm Al" column of Dec.5 last, The Onion is currently running the following headline: "African-American Neighborhood Terrorized By Ask Murderer."
Posted at 02:20 PM
OK, MAYBE DEAN'S CANDIDACY IS NOT DEAD, BUT DYING [Rich Lowry]
Dick Bennett from American Research Group, Inc. just sent out this e-mail:
"It is becoming clear that Dean's speech in Iowa is a very effective self-inflicted easy argument for likely Democratic primary voters not to vote for Dean both in New Hampshire and elsewhere.
In reviewing the tracking from last night, Dean's favorable rating is down dramatically (39% favorable, 30% unfavorable, 31% undecided last night compared to 57% favorable, 19% unfavorable, 24% undecided for the 3 nights ending Jan 19), which is the first step that voters take in moving away from a candidate. And as I have completed on-air drive-time interviews this morning on radio stations in South Carolina, Florida, Ohio, Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona, and California, every radio station has played, some more creatively than others, parts of Dean's speech in Iowa either while I was waiting to go on the air or during the interview.
Voter interest in tomorrow's debate is high enough for Dean to bounce back with a great performance, but this is beginning to look like a major problem for Dean in New Hampshire."
Posted at 01:41 PM
COLD [Rich Lowry]
The first thing I've learned about cold today is that it doesn't exist -- it is just the absence of heat. Also, it has to do with kinetic energy and the velocity of molecules, or as Derb might put it, "Kinetic energy = .5(mass)(velocity)^2." Thanks for all the emails. Here is a quick sampling:
Posted at 01:27 PM
WHAT MAKES IT COLD [Chip Griffin]
The colder something is, the less molecular movement there is. Way back in high school science you probably heard about 0 Kelvin (“absolute zero”). That’s only a theoretical temperature because at that point there would be absolutely no molecular movement at all. (For a fascinating discussion of temperature see here -- and don’t cry when you read it was designed for middle school teaching.)
To put it in NH terms, Lieberman registers 0 Kelvin in today’s ARG tracking poll – no movement. The Dean and Clark campaigns represent high temperatures – moving all around randomly with no idea where they’re going. And Kerry and Edwards are cooler molecules moving more slowly and deliberately
Posted at 01:15 PM
KINDER, GENTLER CARDINAL [Mike Potemra]
Cardinal Gustaaf Joos of Belgium made a comment to a weekly magazine that will probably get an intense negative reaction: "Of all those who call themselves lesbian or gay, a maximum of five to 10 percent are effectively lesbian or gay . . . All the rest are just sexual perverts." The use of the harsh word "perverts" will offend people who have no moral objection to homosexuality, and also those who might have a moral objection to it but believe it should nonetheless be considered normalized by society. But there are couple of other things about Cardinal Joos's comment that deserve attention. First, it is effectively a softening of the Catholic doctrine on homosexuality, because it implies a moral distinction between "authentically" gay people and libertine dabblers; not all, evidently, are equally "disordered." (Whether it's a good idea to define people by their sexual preferences, "authentic" or not, is another question; I personally believe this is harmful, a symptom of the oversexualization of our society.) Second, Joos went on to say some important things that will be predictably be ignored by activists and journalists: "If [gays] make a mistake they will be forgiven. We have to help these people and not judge them. . . . The Church . . . rejects homosexuality, not the homosexual." How literally the Biblical prohibition against homosexual behavior is to be taken remains a debated question; but Joos's comments underline the broader Christian mandate--for forgiveness, charity, and nonjudgmentalism. These values may not always be politically correct, but they are undeniably Biblical.
Posted at 01:13 PM
PLEASE NO MORE COLD EMAILS! [Rich Lowry]
Posted at 12:56 PM
VETO THREAT [Jonathan H. Adler]
I took the President's veto threat a bit differently than some of you guys. Some Democrats are seeking to repeal the various delayed competition elements of the medivare drug package. Indeed, I think legislation has already been introduced to that effect (and one of the more pernicious aspects of delaying the competition-introducing elements of the bill is that it makes them more vulnerable because they don't have a constituency of enrollees yet). So, when I heard the President's line, I took it as a statement to Sens. Kennedy at all that he'll veto any efforts to make the medicare drug package any worse than it already is. It may not be much, but it's something.
Posted at 12:41 PM
FOX [Rich Lowry]
FYI: I’m scheduled to be on around 3:15 today.
Posted at 12:39 PM
"THAT CAN'T BE GOOD" [Ramesh Ponnuru]
I was just talking to an anti-Dean Democrat who said: "The real open question is whether his Iowa caucus night speech will be a fatally defining moment. The secondary buzz that thing got is really kind of astonishing. . . . His negatives were already going up everywhere before Iowa. Let me put it this way. He has one week to save his campaign and he has to spend a day, a precious day in New Hampshire showing that he's not crazy. That can't be good."
Posted at 12:30 PM
A STUPID QUESTION [Rich Lowry]
I have been wondering the last couple of weeks: what exactly is cold? I mean what happens to the air to make it cold – are the molecules farther apart or what? I know I must have learned something about this during my illustrious high school science career, but would love to get an intelligent, funny answer to this. I’ll post the first good one I get…
Posted at 12:14 PM
DEMS AND TAX CUTS [Rich Lowry]
I was on Fox with a Democrat named Rich Masters yesterday, and he said a turning point for Kerry in Iowa was when he re-tooled his stump speech to put greater emphasis on his tax message and its contrast to Dean’s call for a total repeal of the Bush tax cut. I hadn’t heard that before. The Wall Street Journal today also points out that Kerry hit Dean very hard on this issue in mailings. Turns out that tax cuts have some appeal even among liberal voters in Iowa.
Posted at 12:10 PM
IS DEAN DEAD? [Rich Lowry]
Dick Morris today says the former Vermont governor has been “consigned to history.” Maybe. But I think a lot of the Dean-is-dead commentary is premature. We need to see how far he falls during the Kerry bounce. It’s quite possible he will stabilize within striking range. As for his Monday night scream that is getting so much negative attention, it strikes me as a disaster, but you never know quite how such incidents are going to reverberate and play ultimately among party loyalists. So, for now, count him wounded but not necessarily out.
Posted at 12:05 PM
THAT VETO THREAT [Ramesh Ponnuru]
John, I had exactly the same reaction to Bush's sham veto threat. He may as well have promised a veto if Congress passed a bill to burn down all of America's schools.
Posted at 12:04 PM
LATEST N.H. TRACKING POLL: KERRY LEADS BY 5 [Rich Lowry]
In the one-day sample of the American Research Group tracking poll Kerry now – not surprisingly – is ahead. Dean still has a slim lead in the three-day sample. Here is the analysis:
“While Howard Dean has a 2 percentage-point lead over John Kerry in the 3-day average, Kerry has a 1 percentage-point lead in the 2-day average (sample size of 508 likely Democratic primary voters) and Kerry has a 5 percentage-point lead in the one-day sample on January 20 (the sample size of 302 likely Democratic voters, theoretical margin of error ± 6 percentage points). Also, from January 19 to January 20, Wesley Clark is up 1 percentage point and John Edwards is up 3 percentage points. There is no change for Joe Lieberman.”
Posted at 12:02 PM
EX-CONS [Mark Krikorian ]
Something that struck me in the SOTU speech was the contrast between the president's goal of importing more cheap foreign labor and his call in the speech for a "Prisoner Re-Entry Initiative," which no one seems to have remarked on. With so many people in jail, especially young black men, helping ex-convicts build constructive lives is an extremely important goal, and the president is to be commended for having highlighted it. But what did he propose? Another government program to spend $75 million a year for four years to expand job training, mentoring, blah, blah, blah. How about putting $75 million a year extra into immigration enforcement at worksites, so as to tighten the low-wage labor market? This way, the free market would respond and make these ex-cons a lot more appealing, prompting business to do what the president is suggesting bureaucrats and do-gooders try to do. The Wall Street Journal did a story on this in April 2000, when the tight labor market (which would have been tighter sooner for longer without immigration, but was tight nonetheless) created new opportunities for former prisoners. As one consultant who recruits ex-cons for employers said, "This economy has given offenders a chance to show they are not all Jeffrey Dahmer." On the other hand, if we flood the low-skill labor market with even more "temporary" foreign workers, another quote from the article will be more apt: "The biggest problem is ex-offenders don't make a living wage. So they go out and rob again."
Posted at 10:57 AM
VETO, ANYONE? [John J. Miller]
I'm on board with the SOTU consensus: The foreign-policy stuff up front was pretty good, the domestic stuff later on less so. I didn't bristle his the comments on steroids, though I'm not sure what the president can do about the problem. What did grab my attention was this pledge: "Any attempt to limit the choices of our seniors, or to take away their prescription drug coverage under Medicare, will meet my veto." Excuse me, but exactly which politicians are campaigning on the idea of taking away prescription-drug coverage? I wish Bush had issued his veto threat against the real problem of runaway spending rather than phantom enemies.
Posted at 10:45 AM
STEROIDS [Tim Graham]
Shouldn't there be some code that anyone who picks on why Bush was discussing steroids -- to get on ESPN, silly, even on "Cold Pizza" on ESPN2 this morning -- has to recall the smallness of the topics Bill Clinton would raise in his SOTUs, like school uniforms?
Posted at 10:23 AM
MARCH FOR LIFE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Tomorrow's the Roe anniversary and the annual march in Washington . I know there are events and receptions around town, but I've not done any legwork--if anyone has a handy guide to them, or good info links, let me know and we'll post some.
Posted at 10:16 AM
THE WAR & THE DEMS [Stanley Kurtz]
Has the war disappeared as a political issue? If so, it’s huge news, and a tremendous boon to the president. If not, then the Democrats are still in a quandary that is only being temporarily disguised by the Iowa results. The new conventional wisdom (see especially E. J. Dionne today) seems to be that the war has lost salience as a political issue. Democrats care more about being anti-Bush than about being anti-war per se. That’s why so many anti-war Democrats went for Kerry and Edwards. But while Iowa liberals went for Kerry and Edwards, Deans voters called themselves “very liberal.” The hard left still cares passionately about the war, and the question is, what will they do when Dean’s candidacy ends? When Kerry or Edwards finally win, they’re going to have to actually say something about the war. At that point, they will be jousting directly with president Bush, and under scrutiny by all the voters. It is still going to be difficult for Kerry or Edwards to be anti-Bush without being anti-war, or anti-war without seeming weak. Everything they say is going to be scrutinized by the disappointed Deaniacs, who will not be happy about having to support a me-too hawk. We saw how much of the State of the Union address was taken up with the war. The Democrats still face a real minefield in dealing with that question. Whatever a Kerry or an Edwards as nominee might say, they are liable to alienate either moderate Democrats or the hard left. In other words, appearances to the contrary, the war issue cannot go away, because the war itself is not going away–and neither are the hard leftists who hate it.
Let’s get concrete about how the war issue will play out during the campaign. Both Kerry and Edwards voted against money for the occupation. That’s a badge of honor for them in the primaries. But during the election campaign, they’ll be savaged for it by the Republicans. Will Kerry and Edwards defend themselves by attacking the occupation? If so, the war is back as an issue. If not, they will look silly for their vote, and the president’s conduct of the war and the occupation will have effectively been ratified. What about the multilateralism question? We saw the president’s devastating attack on that last night. Will criticism of president Bush’s unilateralism be a major theme for Kerry or Edwards? If so, I think the voters will go with the president. But if Kerry and Edwards drop the multilateralism theme, the disappointed Deaniacs are going to get angry and alienated. So as I see it, the supposed disappearance of the war as a major issue can’t help but be a temporary phenomenon. Sooner or later, no matter who they nominate, the Democrats are going to be right back in their trap–caught between their moderate middle and the hard anti-war left.
Posted at 09:45 AM
SAVE THIS CHILD [John Derbyshire]
Don't say I didn't warn you.
Posted at 09:26 AM
SPEECH THINGY [Jonah Goldberg]
I think it went okay. No rotten produce hurled. We laughed, we cried, we hugged. I had two major problems. First, whenever I write a speech out in any detail beforehand, I lose some of the extemporaneous whackiness. So about half way through I departed from the prepared text, which is the way I prefer it. My second problem was there was no open bar!
Posted at 09:09 AM
HEADLINE [Jonah Goldberg]
From my Times of London column (behind an impenetrable firewall):
"Sanity breaks out among Democrats: Mad How disease is contained in Iowa"
Posted at 09:04 AM
HEY, JONAH [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
How was your speech thingy? How did it rate in comparison with W. SOTU #3?
Posted at 08:48 AM
FARM PROTECTION RACKET [Jonathan H. Adler]
Yesterday's print WSJ had a distrubing editorial about the American Farm Bureau Federation's apparent flirtation with protectionism. The shift is apparently the result of internal lobbying by the highly subsidized, and "protected," sugar industry, among others. At last week's annual meeting, the Farm Bureau adopted a resolution endorsing trade agreements that "prevent economic damage to import-sensitive commodities." As the Journal noted, this means "opening export markets for U.S. beef and grain are
Posted at 08:30 AM
PATRIOT POLITICS [Jonathan H. Adler]
I think Podhoretz is basically right on the politics of the PATRIOT Act. While it faced some opposition in the House, especially on the Right, it passed the Senate 99-1, and the various amendments proposed by Senator Feingold (the lone opponent) all failed by similar margins. So, if Kerry or Edwards is on the ticket, they'll be criticizing a law they voted for -- and opposed amending. My one caveat is that I am not sure how an uncritical defense of the PATRIOT Act plays with the base. While the anti-PATRIOT howlings are generally overblown, it's not a perfect law.
Posted at 08:12 AM
CRANKY IN THE MORNING [Tim Graham]
In the WashPost, Tom Shales thinks Bush was "short on lofty."
Especially when he's busy "turning civil rights to mush."
What speech did he watch? Hey Tom, there was plenty of lofty thoughts about the worldwide march to freedom, about the creation of democracy in the Middle East, and so on, and so on.
Posted at 07:49 AM
HOW BUSH DID [John O'Sullivan]
For what they're worth, a few quick reactions to the speech: First, the foreign-affairs section of the speech was by far the best. It sounded strong and lured the Democrats into some unwise reactions, notably where he responded by listing the nations engaged in the Coalition effort. But there is a problem. Though he struck a firm unapologetic note on Iraq, it was less than a perfect fit with his administration's attempt to enlist U.N. help in its troubles with Sistani. And his pro-democracy rhetoric does not quite square with the CPA's proposal for a handover to the unelected council. These things will have to be reconciled in due course. For the moment, however, a quite effective presentation of the foreign-policy case. He sounds like a patriotic American, anxious to defeat his country's enemies, while his opponents mostly come off seeming to calculate their advantage in everything.
His domestic passages were less impressive. At times, one was reminded of Clinton's SOTU lists of new minor government programs on everything or "lots and lots of little government." Pretty soon you're talking serious money, as Ramesh rightly complained last night. The exception was tax policy which, again, was bold and rhetorically effective, and likely to arouse his base. That will probably be enough to win in November, especially if the economy continues to perform well. But Bush's latest poll figures do not encourage complacency. It would be prudent of him to shape more conservative policies (and rhetoric) on spending in order to firm up his libertarian and economist support. And it can't hurt as policy.
Two specific policy passages struck me as significant. I agree with Madame K and disagree with Rod on the federal marriage amendment. It struck me as a qualified commitment but a strong one--and one furthermore that was rightly attached to a warning against cheap anti-gay sneers. I think the tone of it will have gone down well with Middle America which is important. If opposition to gay marriage morphs into general hostility to gays, it will lose. Bush took steps to avert that and perhaps to nullify any crudities that do get expressed. As to the future, if the courts go further in imposing radical change, the President will either have to redeem his pledge or lose significant support from traditionalists for his betrayal. As the election approaches, that will concentrate his mind wonderfully.
Incidentally, he might want to consider making a more general case against judicial imperialism--his rhetorical attack on it tonight went down well. I thought his passage on the immigration-reform package confirmed Derb's prediction that the administration would back away from it. It was the absolute minimum he could say in its defense. It made the rhetorical concession, meaningless as policy but a sign of weakness on the issue, of opposing the "amnesty" that is the reality of his policy. And he chanced no noble rhetoric in commending it. Fortunately so, since the passage received perhaps the coolest reception of the entire speech. My suspicion is that the White House realizes what a public-relations disaster the immigration package has been not only with the conservative base but also with Middle America. It may well explain the dip in Bush's popularity in recent polls. And they will probably let it slip beneath the radar for a time--maybe until after the election when it can be reintroduced without electoral risk. That means we should keep hammering at it in the hope of getting an actual retraction before November.
All in all, I would award the president something between a Beta Plus Plus and an Alpha Minus Minus for rhetoric. As to policy, I prefer to think of it as a work in progress rather than to give a final mark now.
Posted at 07:00 AM
DICK MORRIS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
What happened to Howard Dean? He was assassinated by Bill and Hillary with the assistance of Chris Lehane, the political hit man who first worked for Kerry and now backs Clark.
Posted at 05:56 AM
THE ELECTION AND THE PATRIOT ACT [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
John Podhoretz focuses on Bush's Patriot Act remarks.
This was an unexpected and fascinating bit of political theater. Democrats have talked themselves into believing that the president will be on the defensive to some degree this year because the situation in Iraq is not yet stable and the weapons of mass destruction have not been discovered.
Posted at 05:53 AM
BACK TO THE DEMS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
E.J. DIONNE on the state of play:
The Iowa result was the worst possible outcome for retired Gen. Wesley K. Clark, who has been rising in the polls here for next week's primary. As Clark happily worked the phones at his Manchester headquarters on Monday night, Eli Segal, Clark's campaign manager, spoke to reporters just minutes before the Iowa results were known. Segal said he was looking forward to a two-person New Hampshire face-off between Clark and Dean -- the contest Segal longed for because he knew Clark could win it. Now Clark competes with Kerry for the Cincinnatus role and the patriotic progressive vote, and with Edwards for voters drawn to a new Southern face.
Posted at 05:29 AM
Tuesday, January 20, 2004
PEGGY NOONAN ON HOWARD DEAN [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
I paraphrase from memory: There's an old joke that Goerge Bush 41 reminds women of their first husband. Howard Dean last night reminds women of their first husband against whom they had to take out a restraining order.
In the spirit of FMA and all, I'd just change it to ex-boyfriend.
Posted at 11:36 PM
DEAN'S SECOND RESPONSE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Now that the president has delivered the speech, Dean doesn't actually respond to it:
Statement by Governor Howard Dean on President Bush's State of the Union Address
Posted at 11:12 PM
RE: MARRIAGE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Rod, I disagree. I was glad he said what he said as he said it. In recent days, there were some rumors he might come out and support a Federal Marriage Amendment. But considering that conservatives who are for an amendment aren’t even together about what they want, I don’t blame him for not endorsing anything. Plus, I like the message the courts vs. the people. (It’s a situation we find ourselves in re other moral issues, of course.) He said this must be solved. Period. And that marriage is between a man and woman. Period. And that he’ll support an amendment if it is the only alternative—which he probably thinks it is, shortly. Seems like the right message—I don’t want him being too enthused about adding to the Constitution. (And its not like he would have had vast unified troops behind him if he had--yet.) So, anyway, I don’t think “Why'd he bother? “ is fair. I think what he said is worth applauding and now getting to work on.
Posted at 11:11 PM
SAYING NOTHING [Rod Dreher]
I didn't get to hear the whole SOTU because I was at a rubber-chicken dinner, but I did catch the president's statement on gay marriage when I walked out to the bar. Why'd he bother? He said that if activist judges try to impose gay marriage, then we'll have to think about a constitutional amendment to stop them. Excuse me, but what does the president think has already happened in Massachusetts? Look, I know Mr. Bush doesn't want to deal with this issue. I understand that. But there's no middle ground here, and the longer he delays taking a hard stand on it, the less social conservatives will trust him to hold the line.
I'd love to know what the Corner thinks the likelihood of Bush ultimately coming out behind the Federal Marriage Amendment is. If I had to lay money on it, I'd bet he's not going to support the thing.
Posted at 11:06 PM
THE DEMOCRATIC RESPONSE...AND RESPONSE...AND RESPONSE [Tim Graham]
ABC and NBC are turning this into another candidate forum. NBC hosts Kerry and now Wesley Clark. ABC hosted Kerry, where he talked for 90-120 seconds, and when Jennings started to talk, he then apologized: "Finish, please." We wouldn't want to stop the commercial. Peter then read an idiotic column from the [U. of] Iowa Daily, suggesting Kerry voted for everything Bush wanted, so why vote for Kerry?
Posted at 11:00 PM
MY TWO CENTS [Ramesh Ponnuru]
I didn't like the speech very much. It was too long, and too expensive. It wasn't as well written as his previous SOTUs. An example of clunky writing: "But let us be candid about the consequences of leaving Saddam Hussein in power. We are seeking all the facts. Already the Kay report identified dozens of weapons of mass destruction-related program activities and significant amounts of equipment that Iraq concealed from the United Nations." I liked the legal-papers and permission-slip lines, though. In general, the foreign policy section was a lot better than the domestic section. (There's no forward strategy of freedom for America.)
As for the Democrats: I refuse to believe that the people of South Dakota are as whiny and selfish as Tom Daschle makes them out to be.
Posted at 10:50 PM
KERRY AND CLARK [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
"He's not making America safer," said Kerry." "Hardworking Americans will see through this president's effort to wrap his radical agenda with a compassionate ribbon," said former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, the third-place finisher in Iowa. "It's all smoke and mirrors designed to hide the stark fact that he has no real plan for our future," said retired Gen. Wesley Clark.
Posted at 10:33 PM
HERE'S THE SPEECH [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
plus SOTU trivia (really) and things here.
Posted at 10:31 PM
BUSH HAD TO STOP FOR APPLAUSE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
69 times, according to CNN
Posted at 10:30 PM
SHE REALLY SAID THIS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
"America must be a light to the world, not just a missile."
Posted at 10:26 PM
SHE'S GOT GORE DISEASE [Jonah Goldberg]
Remember his Convention speech? His capped teeth made a whistling sound? She's got the same thing going on.
Posted at 10:21 PM
MORE PELOSI [Jonah Goldberg]
Now she's condemning American insistence on "dominance in Iraq." Again, the issue isn't "internationalizing" Iraq. The Democrats just don't like the idea of America running the show. Why?
Posted at 10:20 PM
GOOD SPEECH [Jonah Goldberg]
Not too long. Better for an election year SOTU than I expected. Right now I'm listening to Nancy Pelosi explain how the war starved education spending in America (even though it's gone up 60% under Bush).
Posted at 10:18 PM
"THE PRESIDENT HAS PURSUED A GO IT ALONE FOREIGN POLICY THAT LEAVES US ISOLATED ABROAD" [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
That's from Pelosi in the Dem response. HUH? See she needed the whole list to be read to her.
Posted at 10:17 PM
STD TALK [Tim Graham]
K-Lo, should he have said "venereal" instead? That part of the speech favoring more money for abstinence programs is a serious sweetener for the religious right, and a real fingernail down the libertine left's blackboard. The marriage segment was fine, too. He could have said more about his achievement on partial-birth abortion.
Posted at 10:15 PM
CALLING PETER ROBINSON [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
I hate when people use the word "Reaganesque," but didn't that Ashley Pearson letter have to remind you of him?
Posted at 10:06 PM
BUZZLINE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
"BUSH TELLS TROOPS "ASHLEY PEARSON BELIEVES IN YOU." Next time, take one extra second before you load that line...(you know, like I should have taken a few times today...at least one, recently).
Posted at 10:04 PM
THE PRESIDENT ON MARRIAGE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
A strong America must also value the institution of marriage. I believe we should respect individuals as we take a principled stand for one of the most fundamental, enduring institutions of our civilization. Congress has already taken a stand on this issue by passing the Defense of Marriage Act, signed in 1996 by President Clinton. That statute protects marriage under Federal law as the union of a man and a woman, and declares that one state may not redefine marriage for other states. Activist judges, however, have begun redefining marriage by court order, without regard for the will of the people and their elected representatives. On an issue of such great consequence, the people's voice must be heard. If judges insist on forcing their arbitrary will upon the people, the only alternative left to the people would be the constitutional process. Our Nation must defend the sanctity of marriage.
Posted at 09:58 PM
AM I A PRUDE? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
(Okay. Duh. Don't answer.) But I don't like the president having to use the word "sexually." There are kids listening. (The same kids who don't know who Tom Brady is and having playing cards with Iraqi Governing Council Members?)
Definitely time for Jonah or someone to come back in here...
Posted at 09:57 PM
AT LEAST HE SAID IT, EVEN IF HIS POLICY DOESN'T REFLECT IT [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
"I oppose amnesty, because it would encourage further illegal immigration, and unfairly reward those who break our laws. "
Posted at 09:52 PM
TOO BAD HE DIDN'T MAKE THE ANTI-WARRIORS LISTEN TO EM ALL [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
"...Britain, Australia, Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Thailand, Italy, Spain, Poland, Denmark, Hungary, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Romania, the Netherlands, Norway, El Salvador, and the 17 other countries..."
Posted at 09:40 PM
WHAT I LIKE SO FAR.... [Jonah Goldberg]
The call for the reauthorization for the Patriot Act and the laundry list of nations working with us. This exposed the silliness of the charge that we need to "internationalize" Iraq. What that charge really means is that the US shouldn't be in charge. As for the Patriot Act, it's about time the President said something in its defense.
Posted at 09:39 PM
HILLARY [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Inbox is filling with emails about how unhappy she looked during Saddam-is-in-a-cage-type lines. I know we had the same conversation last year. She just ain't happy gonna be happy until....no, not when Wes Clark is president.
Posted at 09:37 PM
JUSTIFY ME [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Some in this chamber, and in our country, did not support the liberation of Iraq. Objections to war often come from principled motives. But let us be candid about the consequences of leaving Saddam Hussein in power. We are seeking all the facts ? already the Kay Report identified dozens of weapons of mass destruction-related program activities and significant amounts of equipment that Iraq concealed from the United Nations. Had we failed to act, the dictator's weapons of mass destruction programs would continue to this day. Had we failed to act, Security Council resolutions on Iraq would have been revealed as empty threats, weakening the United Nations and encouraging defiance by dictators around the world. Iraq's torture chambers would still be filled with victims ? terrified and innocent. The killing fields of Iraq ? where hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children vanished into the sands ? would still be known only to the killers. For all who love freedom and peace, the world without Saddam Hussein's regime is a better and safer place.
Posted at 09:30 PM
GOTTA LOVE THIS LINE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
There is a difference, however, between leading a coalition of many nations, and submitting to the objections of a few. America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our people.
Posted at 09:29 PM
KJ FROM THE BLOCK SAYZ [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Chip has been officially sent to the CORNfields.
Posted at 09:27 PM
WSD [Chip Griffin]
I wonder what Dean’s position is on Weapons of Self Destruction?
Posted at 09:26 PM
HOW DID WE NOT MENTION [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
the SOTU drinking game?
Posted at 09:25 PM
ON IRAQ [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
The work of building a new Iraq is hard, and it is right. And America has always been willing to do what it takes for what is right. Last January, Iraq's only law was the whim of one brutal man. Today our coalition is working with the Iraqi Governing Council to draft a basic law, with a bill of rights. We are working with Iraqis and the United Nations to prepare for a transition to full Iraqi sovereignty by the end of June. As democracy takes hold in Iraq, the enemies of freedom will do all in their power to spread violence and fear. They are trying to shake the will of our country and our friends--but the United States of America will never be intimidated by thugs and assassins. The killers will fail, and the Iraqi people will live in freedom.
Posted at 09:25 PM
GROUP WITH TERROR TIES PLANS DC FUNDRAISER FOR IRANIAN EARTHQUAKE VICTIMS IN DC [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Posted at 09:22 PM
GUTSY [Jonathan H. Adler]
Given some discomfort with the PATRIOT Act on both the left and right, opening with a call for reauthorizing the PATRIOT Act is a gutsy and suprising move. I would have thought the international aspets of the war on terror would have come first, as they are more universally popular.
Posted at 09:21 PM
A PATRIOTIC STAND [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Inside the United States, where the war began, we must continue to give homeland security and law enforcement personnel every tool they need to defend us. And one of those essential tools is the PATRIOT Act, which allows Federal law enforcement to better share information, to track terrorists, to disrupt their cells, and to seize their assets. For years, we have used similar provisions to catch embezzlers and drug traffickers. If these methods are good for hunting criminals, they are even more important for hunting terrorists. Key provisions of the PATRIOT Act are set to expire next year. The terrorist threat will not expire on that schedule. Our law enforcement needs this vital legislation to protect our citizens ? you need to renew the PATRIOT Act.
Posted at 09:18 PM
THE OTHER BIG LOSER [Chip Griffin]
The other big loser coming in to New Hampshire is Gen. Clark. Though he has been largely overlooked in the media coverage on the day after Iowa, Dean’s implosion and the Kerry-Edwards rise could spell real trouble for the military man. He had hoped to be the “Dean Alternative” in the Granite State, but the two senators have clearly established that they are the men to beat. There may not be enough room for 3 alternative candidates, unless Dean really craters and finishes 4th.
Posted at 09:12 PM
MORE NUTS [Rick Brookhiser]
Bring on Teresa Heinz!
Posted at 09:11 PM
JOE TRIPPI'S NEW STRATEGY? [Chip Griffin]
The Dean campaign might consider running a “No Voter Left Behind” campaign up here in NH to try to avoid finishing in the cellar.
Posted at 09:10 PM
PATRIOTS [Chip Griffin]
You may recall, K-LO, that Clark wears a Patriots sweatshirt frequently in New Hampshire, so don’t start dissing Tom Brady. We take our sports seriously up here. (Otherwise we’d have nothing to do but worry about hypothermia all winter.)
Posted at 09:10 PM
READER WINS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Posted at 09:07 PM
TOP TEN EXCUSES HEARD FROM IOWA DEAN SUPPORTERS [Chip Griffin]
10. “I didn’t get out of my body-piercing appointment on time.”
9. “I couldn’t pull myself away from the Incredible Hulk marathon.”
8. “I had a serious case of the munchies.”
7. “The Dean web server crashed and I didn’t know what to do.”
6. “’Caucus’ sounds too war-like to me.”
5. “I was invited to Plains, Georgia.”
4. “Judith Steinberg is my new role model, so I stayed away.”
3. “I had flashbacks to the 70’s and thought Howard might be related to John Dean.”
2. “I heard the term “viable” would be used and figured it must be a pro-life event.”
1. “You mean I can’t just blog my vote?!”
Posted at 09:02 PM
A GIRL/GUY THING? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Or I'm just dense. I get excited about Iraqi governing council peeps sitting with Mrs. Bush. Drudge gets excited about a Patriot quarterback.
Posted at 08:54 PM
IF RAMESH IS RIGHT [Chip Griffin]
If Ramesh is right and the odds of a brokered convention have skyrocketed all the way to 5 percent, should we expect the truth-challenged Dean to claim he deserves the nomination since he founded brokerage Dean Witter? (Or will K-LO ban me from the corner for such corniness? – Just remember, K-LO, I knew you when you were merely Kathryn from New York.)
Posted at 08:37 PM
SPANISH RESPONSE TO SOTU [Jim Boulet]
For the first time, tonight's State of the Union message will be followed by a Democratic response in Spanish via Univision.
If our political leaders in Washington bothered to read anything about Hispanic voters besides press releases from the National Council of La Raza they would learn that "[m]ore than 75 percent of all U.S. Hispanics either speak English exclusively or are bilingual and speak English well or very well." A good number of these folks loath politicians who presume that Hispanic Americans cannot understand English.
Posted at 08:24 PM
SPECIAL GUESTS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
At the SOTU, sitting with Laura Bush, tonight will be: Adnan Pachachi (President, Iraqi Governing Council), Hoshyar Zebari (Iraqi Interim Foreign Minister), and Ahmed Chalabi (Iraqi Governing Council Member--and once and future bane of the State Dept.).
Posted at 08:22 PM
CLINTON SOTUS [Tim Graham]
This is a little antidote for any "16 Words" references tonight.
Posted at 07:32 PM
IS GERAGOS AVAILABLE? [Chip Griffin]
In the wake of last night’s speech, perhaps Terry McAuliffe should look into hiring Mark Geragos and his team to evaluate whether Dean is competent to stand for office?
Posted at 06:55 PM
DEAN AND THE ANTHEM [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Howard Dean disarmed a heckler earlier today with the Star Spangled Banner. I confess it didn't strike me as too odd, given what he did last night though. (And I do disagree with Dave--the man really did not seem to be handling things well. Reminded one of the anxiety attacks, as Byron writes in his piece today.)
Posted at 06:51 PM
DEAN A LITTLE QUICK ON THE BUTTON [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
He's already responded to the State of the Union, in anticipation. This, from a press release that just went out:
Governor Dean on the State of the Union CONCORD--Democratic presidential candidate Governor Howard Dean, M.D., issued the following statement on President Bush’s State of the Union address tonight:
Posted at 06:38 PM
ONE MORE EXCERPT FOR THE ROAD [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
We are living in a time of great change--Yet some things endure-- courage and compassion, reverence and integrity, respect for differences of faith and race. The values we try to live by never change. And they are instilled in us by fundamental institutions, such as families, and schools, and religious congregations. These institutions --the unseen pillars of civilization ? must remain strong in America?"
Posted at 06:31 PM
EXCERPT II [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Our greatest responsibility is the active defense of the American people. Twenty-eight months have passed since September 11, 2001--over two years without an attack on American soil--and it is tempting to believe that the danger is behind us. That hope is understandable, comforting--and false.
Posted at 05:50 PM
COMMITTMENT: EXCERPT FROM SOTU [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
America this evening is a Nation called to great responsibilities. And we are rising to meet them==
Posted at 05:46 PM
REPORT FROM CHEVY CHASE [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
That sound you hear is the crunching noise made by the "Dean for America" signs being pulled out of the frozen front yards of the non-crazy left here in Chevy Chase. I have seen 3 disappear since yesterday in my 'hood.
Posted at 05:12 PM
I'M IN NYC [Jonah Goldberg]
Sorry I haven't been around. Scribbled out a barnburner of a speech on the train. Plan for later: Raiding the 'rents liquor cabinet and going through my high school yearbook calling people out of the blue.
Posted at 05:08 PM
NUTS? [Dave Kopel]
The media is certainly capable of artificially inflating a trivial error into a disaster that can wreck a political career--as the media did when Dan Quayle used a spelling of "potato" that was proper in the mid-twentieth century, but which had become archaic by the 1990s. Howard Dean's speech to his supporters in Iowa last night strikes me as even less important, substantively, than "potato(e)." Dean struck a tone that's more typical of a college football coach than of a typical presidential candidate--but the speech hardly showed that Dean was going crazy, or having a breakdown, or any other mental problem. John Kerry's use of the "f-word" was likewise more appropriate for a locker room than for a Presidential interview--but I don't think that Kerry's error in tone proves that he is unfit to be President. If I lived in New Hampshire, I would vote for Lieberman, but if I were inclined to vote for Dean, the Iowa speech would not make me waver in the slightest.
Posted at 05:03 PM
THE DEAN REMIX [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Posted at 05:02 PM
INEXCUSABLE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
napping (at last).
Posted at 04:34 PM
THE DOLE-CLARK EXCHANGE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Here's the CNN transcript:
KING: Bob, do you have a question for the General?
Posted at 03:25 PM
THE COLONEL DISSES KERRY [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Clark, who didn't compete in Iowa, told campaign workers in Manchester, N.H., that Kerry, a decorated former Navy officer, had a military background "but nobody in this race has got the kind of background I've got."If he were on with a biting Bob Dole like he was last night, Dole might demote him even further (the former Kansas senator took him down to colonel last night).
Posted at 03:11 PM
NRODT CAPTURES KERRY [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Kathryn,Here's the cover, in case you missed it (here's the link to ensure that never happens again):
Posted at 02:54 PM
WHAT LIBERAL MEDIA BIAS? [Michael Graham]
ABCnews.com's coverage of the president's approval rating begins with 10 paragraphs of gloom and doom. He faces a "conundrum," a "riddle," the Democrats are polling better in three of ten areas, he's losing support, etc.
Then, in paragraph 11, comes this trivial, insignificant fact:
"Even if Bush's overall approval rating is narrowly based, and thus potentially vulnerable, it's still darn good. Looking back nearly a half century, only one previous president has had a higher approval rating in January of a re-election year — Dwight Eisenhower in 1956."
The highest approval rating since Ike, and ABC presents it as BAD news? More bad news like this and it could be 1984 all over again.
Posted at 02:43 PM
NACHMAN, RIP [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Former New York Post editor in chief Jerry Nachman has died of cancer.
Posted at 02:40 PM
ONE OF THOSE THINGS . . . [Mike Potemra]
. . . that make New York such a wonderful place to live. This story in yesterday’s NY Times describes the visit of seven—seven!---Catholic Cardinals to Upper Manhattan’s Yeshiva University to witness Talmudic debates. (Some of the Cardinals—including Schonborn of Vienna--are taken seriously as possible successors to Pope John Paul II.) On a very literalistic plane, this should be hailed as a significant event in interreligious dialogue. But what impresses me is the sheer imagery of a whole squad of red-capped papal princes joining our neighborhood’s yeshiva-bochers. New York: the city where magical-realist fiction becomes the prosaic text of the daily paper.
Posted at 02:32 PM
GEPHARDT IS DONE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
making it official now. Calls it "final" campaign.
Posted at 02:06 PM
DEAN'S NOT DONE [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Some premature obituaries are being written, says Jonathan Chait. I do think, however, that the likelihood of a brokered convention just shot up--from, say, 1 percent to 5 percent.
Posted at 01:25 PM
MORE EDWARDS [John J. Miller]
I should add that Bush was probably a more conservative candidate in 2000 than he would have been in the absence of McCain's challenge. Having the president believe he must fight for conservative support is a good thing for conservatives.
Posted at 12:18 PM
GO EDWARDS? [John J. Miller]
If Dean continues his Iowa fade, Bush may have to think more about his base. The GOP's preference for a Dean nomination comes from the fact that Dean could very well get beat the way McGovern did. In a Bush-Dean race, the president can make stabs for the political center with new spending, amnesty deals, etc. and hope for an election landslide that gives him a broad mandate. (But to do what?) Against a figure like Edwards, he'll need to gin up conservative support and make sure his base turns out for him--he might be forced to run a more conservative campaign than otherwise, and this would set a better tone for his second term. So for conservatives, an Edwards nomination may be high risk/high reward.
Posted at 12:16 PM
"IT WAS ONLY A TOWER" [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
From the Cairo Times (courtesy of MEMRI):
"[Popular] singer Sha'ban Abd Al-Rahim is making headlines again with his announcement that he has put the final touches on his latest album Mahibish Al Karasi (I Don't Like the Chairs) - possibly referring to political positions as opposed to furniture. The new album includes a new ditty about the U.S., Israel, and the road map.
Posted at 11:24 AM
SOTU PREDICTIONS [John Derbyshire]
Well, Kathryn, I'll offer two:
(1) Some damage control on the illegal-immigration proposal. The White House heard loud and clear from the conservative base -- including, of course, us -- on that one. Somebody there must have crunched the numbers. (I.e. votes to be gained by POTUS shining Vicente Fox's shoes on the White House lawn vs. votes to be lost by abolishing the borders of the U.S.A.) From what we know of GWB, I doubt anything substantive in the proposal will change, but look for lots of sugar coating. Phrase to listen for: "nation of immigrants."
(2) Signs that we might get some relief from the gross fiscal irresponsibility of the past 3 years. (There is a fine editorial in today's Wall Street Journal on this -- you need a subscription, though.) In the first place, the President has enough items in inventory to give him bragging rights therough the campaign season -- education bill, Medicare bill, etc. And second, we must surely be at the point by now that, if things go on like this, White House economic advisers will be hurling themselves from the observation deck of the Washington Monument, a thing the administration would probably like to avoid. Phrase to listen for: "budgetary constraints."
Posted at 11:21 AM
IN THE MEANTIME: DEAN JUMPS THE SHARK [Jonah Goldberg]
I had to write my syndicated column and my London Times column late last night and early this morning. G-File coming tomorrow by the way. But here's a snippet from the (as yet unedited) synidcated column:
So how did Dean jump the shark? Well, I think the moment was when he greeted his supporters in Iowa after it was clear he came in a meager third place behind John Kerry and John Edwards.
Posted at 11:18 AM
TONIGHT [ Jonah Goldberg ]
I have to leave in a little while for the train station. I'm speaking tonight at the NY Conservative Party . For some reason they scheduled, and I agreed, to do this on the same night as the State of the Union. But it should be a lot of fun and you should swing by if you can. Anyway, I'll be checking in from the road as I can.
Posted at 11:05 AM
DEAN & THE MUSIC MAN [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
A reader e-mails:
Howard Dean should have listened to Meredith Willson’s Music Man more as a child. At least his “Iowa Stubborn” song.
Posted at 11:04 AM
"SOTU" CELEBRATION! -- GET THE BOOK OF BUSH'S BEST SPEECHES DIRECT FROM NR [Jack Fowler]
With the President set to give the State of the Union tonight, it's worth remembering that he has given numerous important speeches in his three-plus years as Commander in Chief. The best of these have been collected and published by National Review in We Will Prevail: President George W. Bush on War, Terrorism, and Freedom -- it features over 90 of the most vital speeches, proclamations, and statements given by "W" since the 9/11 attacks (it has a wonderful Foreword by Peggy Noonan and a brilliant Introduction by Jay Nordlinger!). We Will Prevail is a must for every family library. Get it here.
Posted at 10:55 AM
WEB-O-LUTIONARIES [Jonah Goldberg]
Several readers think "weblutionaries" needs an "o." I think they're right.
Posted at 10:53 AM
RE: EASY THERE [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
Hey Jonah: Having looked at some of the web sites of the candidates, I have to say this: All the STUFF makes trolling through rather time-consuming and painful. I have a wireless network at home, so I can lay on the couch and surf in between naps, but really. The content is so similar looking, so dense and advertisment-ridden, that I'd rather get my info on CNN, FOX and the radio. The internet really is nothing more than a dense glossy magazine with pages you can't bend much. It may make it easier to contribute or buy stuff, but it's harder to cover your face with it while you're napping. I think you're right about the web.
Posted at 10:52 AM
THE UNDISCLOSED LOCATION? [Andrew Stuttaford]
"Am I the evil genius in the corner that nobody ever sees come out of his hole?" he asks. "It's a nice way to operate, actually."
Dick Cheney, January 2004.
Posted at 10:51 AM
EASY THERE [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
ME: Oh I don't think Dean is dead. I know he's got a lot of money and a lot of die-hard supporters. But that's because he's got a lot of money and a lot of die-hard supporters, not because we've entered some grand internet age. Of course the internet is changing things, but not all changes amount to a "revolution."
The Dean camp did some smart things on the web, obviously, but here's Goldberg's Rule of the Internet and Everything Else: Quality Matters. If Margaret Cho ran for president with Dean's internet organization, she'd go nowhere.
Posted at 10:28 AM
THAT CONCESSION SPEECH [Rick Brookhiser]
Time to change the meds, Dr. Dean.
Posted at 09:59 AM
HEY BLOGOSPHERE! [ Jonah Goldberg]
Please take note of two things. First, young people once again proved fairly useless. Every four years some candidate, usually a Democrat, claims that he's bringing in new, energized young people who are ready to change this country, remake the party etc. ERRRRRRR. Wrong. It's really never happened, at least not in a way the politicians could take credit for. Why? Because being young is not like being black or gay or Asian or Catholic or Jewish or any other identity group. Being young is like, well, being young. There are young conservatives and young liberals. Young Catholics and young gays. And within these groups young people and old people will differ with each other just as young people will differ with young people. Anyone who believes Rock the Vote is something other than MTV marketing nonsense deserves to be described as a Rock the Vote voter, i.e. a buffoon.
Second, the internet didn't deliver squat for Howard Dean. The Deaniac webloggers, the meet-uppers, the flash mobbers should all shut up because your vaunted "internet revolution" is fizzling out like a Mexican TV in the rain. You know what makes for a great internet strategy? A great candidate. In 2000, everyone said John McCain had a brilliant internet strategy. He didn't. He had a webpage and some email. But he was a popular candidate and so he had a popular website. Dean was a good candidate for angry anti-war young people, so those people flash-mobbed themselves senseless. Bully for you, but a phone would have worked just as well. Sure, it helps to have good email lists and a good website, but it also helps to have good snail mail lists and a good commercial. If Dean is Thomas Paine because he's got a half million email addresses (picking a number from memory) what does that make George Bush since he's got over 6 million? Is he a revolutionary? Or are "weblutionaries" (my word, I think) only liberals?
The internet is a wonderful thing, but it ain't no Brave New World for electoral politics -- yet. And it probably won't be until we have online voting. And if we do get that, it will be a revolution all right. And like most revolutions the result will be
Posted at 09:56 AM
D.C. DEAN [John J. Miller]
Wouldn't it be strange if the primaries ended with Dean winning only a single one--the non-binding one in Washington, D.C.? He defeated Sharpton, Braun, and Kucinich. (The other Dems didn't participate.) I suppose he'll carry Vermont, too. I assume he's going to be written off if he doesn't come out on top in New Hampshire.
Posted at 09:55 AM
DEAN'S "DEAD ZONE" MOMENT [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
Posted at 09:28 AM
HOWARD DEAN REMIX [ Jonah Goldberg ]
Howard Stern apparently set Dean's weird rant last night to AC/DC. Readers tell me it sounds good. Meanwhile, there's this. Expect more of this mocking of the Vermont Governor's "Mad How" disease in the coming days. I predict an SNL skit with Dean going into a beserker rage.
Posted at 09:13 AM
TODAY'S PREDICTIONS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
So what do my Corner partners in crime think we'll be hearing tonight during the SOTU?
Posted at 09:05 AM
THE IOWA WAY [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Dean got pasted in Iowa. Why? Because this was IOWA, for heaven’s sake. It’s the Midwest. We can tell when someone is getting carried away with himself, and we know what to do: shun him, kindly. It wasn’t so much the substance of Dean’s recent comments; it was the persona behind him. I can imagine a nice Iowa lady of a certain age, sitting in a coffee shop, enjoying her pie, watching the TV crew pack up after Doctor Dean had blown in and out of Bev’s Chatterbox Cafe. “Well, he certainly does think well of himself,” she might have thought. Translation: she wouldn’t spit on his face if his nose was on fire.
Posted at 08:59 AM
SENATOR EDWARDS [John J. Miller]
The old rap against John Edwards used to be that he was the perfect candidate for the 1990s--and that 9-11 rendered him suddenly irrelevant. He was too green, too slick, too much of a trial lawyer. Maybe it's all remains true. But let's remember that as much as trial lawyers are demons in the conservative imagination, they're also the heroes of popular TV shows and best-selling books. This guy could catch on. And don't forget that Democrats like fresh faces. He's the freshest in the field right now.
Posted at 08:58 AM
FRUM'S COLUMN [Jonah Goldberg]
It's good, but I find it odd that he considers Edwards and Kerry more sensible than Gephardt. David's clearly become a foreign policy voter these days, so Gephardt's economic policies should be given a much lower priority to, say, a candidate's ability to "end evil." I'm not saying Gephardt's good on Iraq, but he's been better than the emanations from the mirrored funhouse that we call John Kerry's brain.
Posted at 08:54 AM
SCROLL DOWN [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
if you missed last night's Corner fun.
Posted at 08:53 AM
MICHIGAN PREFERENCES [John J. Miller]
Michigan voters are eager to ban racial preferences, according to this new poll.
Posted at 08:39 AM
RANDOM REMARK [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
I've never understood the White House tradition of releasing photos of a president practicing his State of the Union. Give people the impression that it is an important speech, important to him and to them, I suppose. But I've always thought it makes the whole thing look a little too packaged.
I'm just occassionally blabbing until more people join me in here. There's coffee to help after long nights, guys.
Posted at 08:31 AM
SHY ON "LIBERAL" LABELS [Tim Graham]
Tim Russert this morning noted a headline that Dean was seen as "too angry, too liberal." But the L word was almost never mentioned last night in the shows I saw. By contrast, four years ago, George W. Bush was routinely described as seeking out the right, even the "hard right," and Steve Forbes was blasted for being out of the American mainstream. If you need more detail, there's always room at the House of Bias at mrc.org.
Posted at 08:23 AM
TOO GINGERLY ON THE SCREAMING [Tim Graham]
Morning shows noted that Dean's speech "had people talking," but were too gingerly on what it looked like to most: an implosion.
Today began by describing it as "fiery and aggressive." CBS suggested to Dean it was seen by some as "definitely unpresidential." Matt Lauer gently suggested it was not exactly a boon. On Fox this morning, in a red hat that made him look like Mort In The Hood, Mort Kondracke got it right, saying he was probably choking on rage and remorse.
Posted at 08:06 AM
IOWA, BY THE NUMBERS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Posted at 07:00 AM
"HAVE THE DEMOCRATS GONE SANE?" [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
David Frum has lots of post-Iowa reax here.
Posted at 06:25 AM
LAWYER AGAINST THE LAWYER [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
One e-mailer's read on Edwards's shot
Posted at 05:50 AM
THE SOUNDS OF MADNESS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Our friend Drudge has audio of Dean last night up in case you want to relive it or somehow slept through it. Here's the video on Fox.
Posted at 05:27 AM
SEE YOU'ALL [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
in a few hours with Iowa recap and New Hampshire forward looking from Mike Graham, John Hood, Stanley Kurtz & more. Plus: State of the Union previews. AND Kate O'Beirne, John Derbyshire AND MORE. Keep coming back.
Posted at 12:30 AM
THE BREAKDOWN [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
In case you are like him and don't have cable TV: here and here and here and here and here and...I can't take it anymore.
Posted at 12:01 AM
Monday, January 19, 2004
KERRY IS STILL TALKING [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
I quote a wise bird in my ear again: "and while Kerry drones on.....Edwards is probably already on the plane half way to New Hampshire and will be doing more events tomorrow where he can actually speak.....what a loser! Teresa Heinz is probably wondering how much more of her money she has to sink into this vanity exercise!"
Observation made as KErry takes another sip of water as his voice goes...
Posted at 11:27 PM
HOW CAN KERRY [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
say that Bush has the most reckless foreign policy in recent history? Has he not read Legacy? (Plugs for tonight are now over.)
Posted at 11:25 PM
I FIGURED IT OUT [Jonah Goldberg]
Dean reminds me of the Hulk in that interim stage just before Bruce Banner turns green and starts to rip his clothes.
Posted at 11:21 PM
DANCING ON KERRY'S VICTORY [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Aforementioned GOPer notes the Kerry vs Edwards speech contrast tongiht: "Kerry is being tedious and boring again and proving why he's a loser. Edwards was so much more crisp and upbeat."
Posted at 11:21 PM
RE: EDWARDS [Rod Dreher]
I don't see the appeal of Edwards, who seems really green to me, but something Jeff Greenfield said on CNN tonight made me wonder if what's best about Edwards doesn't really come through on TV news. Greenfield talked about how great Edwards is on the stump, which is why (says Greenfield) he's done so well in Iowa, despite having poor organization there. Said Greenfield, "This guy makes a speech that's a coherent argument, not a collection of sound bites." He added that there's a reason Edwards, who has spent most of his career convincing juries to vote for his clients, got rich at that.
Posted at 11:18 PM
THE LUNATIC'S WIFE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
One of my political advisers just commented on Howard Dean's outburst--probably a right-on analysis: "maybe [Judy Dean] stayed away because she knew the truth and has a bad poker face -- just was letting him have his little fun knowing he would blow himself up before he hurt anyone!"
Posted at 11:18 PM
JUST IN CASE YOU'RE INTERESTED [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
You can click here to a) thank Rich Lowry for driving Dean to breakdown b) donate to the SOTU/New Hampshire primary Corner bar supply.
Posted at 11:15 PM
KERRY [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
calls himself "the Comeback Kerry." Thank you, headline writer.
Posted at 11:11 PM
GEPHARDT [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
A reader brings me back to reality: "Nice as he is Gephardt is an example of why the democrat party has driven off so many people. He was Pro-life until he got national aspirations. He traded the lives of the unborn in his quest to be President. I see nothing noble or "nice" about that." (And let's not talk about cloning.)
Posted at 11:07 PM
RE: DEAN JUST ROARED [Rod Dreher]
Oh, you're not kidding. He looked and sounded like a berserker. I think that's going to get played a lot on TV the next few days, and people in NH and elsewhere are going to think, "Jeez, what a nutcase." My political advisor just said to me, "You know, honey, he's pretty much the John McCain of the Democrats on the anger thing, except his is all right there on the surface."
Posted at 11:05 PM
TOTALLY... [Jonah Goldberg]
Edwards is the "comeback kid" coming out of this. Clinton didn't win New Hampshire after all. Then again, what do I know (unlike most of the people I'm watching on TV, it seems to actually bother me I was so wrong).
Posted at 11:04 PM
WATCH EDWARDS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
A senior Republican operative tells me: "Is the new "it girl" -- not Kerry -- he IS the one to watch and to be wary of...... "
Posted at 10:55 PM
DICK AND JANE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
"Gephardt is different." Nice piece from Fred Barnes at that other magazine's website. Gephardt's being true to it right now.
Posted at 10:53 PM
I FEEL A LITTLE BETTER [ Jonah Goldberg]
Even the markets had it wrong.
Posted at 10:52 PM
DEAN JUST ROARED (LITERALLY) [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Edwards wasn't done and Dean started stripping and screaming, like he was at a prowrestling event. Slamdown in New Hampshire? I don't think he handles defeat well. Staffers should be on guard for anxiety attacks.
Posted at 10:40 PM
GRACE VS. DIAPERS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Edwards was very gracious just now--about Kerry, about Dean and the rest. ESPECIALLY about Gephardt. The Kerry congrats was a nice contrast to Kerry's "diapers" slur the other day.
Posted at 10:38 PM
EDWARDS IS PUMPED [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Talking about "sweeping" the nation with his "uplifting" message. He wants to keep poor kids warm.
With South Carolina coming, he could be more a story than Kerry. I suspect Michael Graham will have more to say about that.
Posted at 10:35 PM
THE FEINGOLD EFFECT [Tim Graham]
John Edwards, the also-ran who surges to the front, reminds me of the Wisconsin Senate race in 1992. Rep. Jim Moody and Joe Checota beat each other black and blue, while Feingold steered clear and stayed positive with funny commercials, and stunned them both.
Posted at 10:22 PM
WHAT DEAN IS REALLY THINKING [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Posted at 10:20 PM
is a Gephardt annoucement. mayb just be a preview of tomorrow's drop out
Posted at 10:15 PM
SHE REALLY IS ALWAYS RIGHT [Jonah Goldberg]
My wife -- who has some experience in presidential campaigns -- has said from the get-go and all along that John Edwards would do a lot better than people think. She was right. I was wrong.
Posted at 10:12 PM
"MAN OF CONVICTION" [kathryn Jean Lopez]
Here's the Union Leader endorsement.
Posted at 10:07 PM
WHAT SHARPTON'S WATCHING INSTEAD? [Tim Graham]
PBS is celebrating MLK Day with what must be the 37th MLK documentary on PBS -- "Citizen King," hyped today by Cursor.org and other lefties as providing that missing late MLK, the one that opposed Vietnam with all the ferocity of a Howard Dean.
Posted at 10:07 PM
GEPHARDT IS DROPPING OUT [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Several sources confirming.
Posted at 10:04 PM
DEMOCRATIC PARTY WE HARDLY KNEW YE [Jonah Goldberg]
For all of the talk of the "Old Democratic Party" versus the "New Democratic Party" the real lesson here is that neither Democratic Party did well. The Gephardt wing of manufacturing union types and, to a lesser extent, farmers crashed and burned. Gephardt's getting out of the race. The "new" Democratic Party of latte-drinking, internet savvy, Bush-hating, war-opposing, young people turned out to the polls but it didn't vote for their annointed representative either. Three-quarters of Caucus-goers were opposed to the war, but they overhwelmingly voted for 2 candidates who voted for it (though they outrageously voted against the $87 billion nation-building bill). There will be a great deal of spin about how Kerry and Edwards represent the centrist interests of a party looking to win instead of hate. Some of that spin is probably true. But the fact that the candidates who had the support of youngsters and union members did so poorly is also a sign that the traditional levers of the Democratic Party don't pull the machinery anymore.
Posted at 10:03 PM
LIEBERMAN [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
gets endorsed by the Manchester Union LEader in the ayem paper.
Posted at 09:49 PM
SOUNDS LIKE GEPHARDT'S DROPPING OUT [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
CNN reports he's on his way to Missouri, not New Hampshire tongiht.
Posted at 09:46 PM
STILL BITTER [Tim Graham]
Howard Dean on CNBC: I became the front runner and then "all you in the media had some fun at my expense." He also said "I was the only one opposing George Bush for an awfully long time." What a whiner. I noticed this on MSNBC, too. The notion that they've been bashing me for three weeks now, of course I'm at 18 percent. Earth to Howard: if you can't stand three weeks of heat from your friends, how can you beat Bush?
Posted at 09:45 PM
RE: DOLE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Although reader are telling me he just clobbered Clark. If only he had done that to Clinton back in the day....("you just went from general to colonel.")
Posted at 09:44 PM
COULDN'T [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Larry King get a better color commentator tonight than Bob Dole?
Posted at 09:41 PM
BLAMING RICH [Chip Griffin]
Come to think of it, maybe NR should endorse the Dem nominee to ensure a Bush victory?
Posted at 09:39 PM
RE: VILLAGE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Chip, I don't think so. Jeff Greenfield said earlier--piggybacking on some of the entrance polling--that he thought that national-security was the thing. People wanted someone who can stand up to Bush at a time of war--and crazy anti-war Ted Kennedy stumping for Kerry could not have hurt with the milder Deaniacs. And that Vietnam reunion over the weekend was such a vivid reminder that Kerry had credentials.
Posted at 09:37 PM
IT TAKES A VILLAGE [Chip Griffin]
Do the Iowa results show that it takes a village to run for president? (Or at least a husband and wife?)
Posted at 09:33 PM
BITTER! [Tim Graham]
Howard Dean saying to Chris Matthews (convincingly, but c'mon): "I've enjoyed the two years I spent in Iowa..." Yeah, it worked out so well for you.
Posted at 09:32 PM
JIMMY AND DEAN [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Howard Dean just said Jimmy Carter "endorsed" him. Someone's bound to clarify that.
Posted at 09:31 PM
DEAN IS ON MSNBC RIGHT NOW [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
His spin: “The top three is a ticket out.” Blaming hits” he’s taken for his third place showing. He did just say “We came in third in Iowa,” which should mean it’s bedtime.
Posted at 09:29 PM
IS THIS RICH LOWRY'S FAULT [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Thinking of our "Please Nominate This Man" cover re: Dean. What were we thinking? Could we have killed Dean?
Posted at 09:26 PM
EARTHQUAKE [Chip Griffin]
Who says only the West Coast has earthquakes? Looks like a big one just hit in the heartland tonight.
Posted at 09:22 PM
57% [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Dean-538-- 18 %
Posted at 09:18 PM
THE LESS-THAN-POLITICAL FAMILY [Tim Graham]
I can tell you with great confidence that the new episode of SpongeBob was a hoot, and the awful auditions of American Idol are getting a bit tired...
Posted at 09:16 PM
POST-IOWA AND THE WOMEN [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Now that Dean isn't the frontrunner, can we focus on complaining about John Kerry's wife instead of Dean's?
Posted at 09:15 PM
RE: SORRY [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Just handle the spirits while you ponder.
Posted at 09:10 PM
32--EXTENDED [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
The actualk #s:
645 of 1,993 precincts reporting - 32 percent
Posted at 09:09 PM
SORRY KATHRYN [Jonah Goldberg]
I left you all alone in here. Not sure I have much to add yet. But I'll have some thoughts soon.
Posted at 09:05 PM
32 % OF THE PRECINCTS IN [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Kerry's in the lead with 37, Edwards not far off with 33. Dean not happy. And K-Lo is not going to make a prediction next week for New Hampshire.
Posted at 08:54 PM
WINE AND CAUCUSES [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
In Adair, they're about to open wine. I think Rich forgot to order The Corner's alcohol.
Posted at 08:51 PM
PASSION FOLLOW-UP [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Here’s a statement released tonight from a p.r. rep on behalf of Gibson’s production team.
Based on all previous correspondence and conversations held directly between representatives of the film and the official spokesperson for the Pope, Dr. Joaquin Navarro-Walls, there is no reason to believe that the Pope's support of the film 'isn't as it was'." Alan Nierob Executive Vice-President Rogers & Cowan Los Angeles, Calif.
Posted at 08:26 PM
ENTRANCE POLLS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Still tight. FNC has it Kerry 29; Edwards 23; Dean 21; Gephardt 16. David Yepsen reprts high turnout statewide.
Posted at 08:17 PM
OH, THAT SHARPTON [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
The lady coordinating the caucus in Adair , Iowa just looked for Al Sharpton supporters. (There was no one.) She said, smiling, "I really enjoyed everything he said."
Kerry seems to be the man in Adair, by the way (watching it on CSPAN--who needs to be on the scene anymore), and Edwards looks to have a fighting chance there, still. And all of the young voters Dean attracted? I don't see them. In the last count he had 10 votes there.
No one at the Adair site seems to be able to count. Guess there are no Girl Scouts in the room ("be prepared").
Posted at 07:55 PM
I DUNNO [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
The caucuses are about to start and talking heads are talking down Dean. Evidently Dean's internal polling numbers are bad. Makes me more stubbornly convinced he pulls it out.
I just wrote that so you'all know we're still around.
Posted at 07:39 PM
TAKING IT BACK? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
So now, after Frank Rich got a little venomous over the weekend, a papal secretary has said that the pope did not comment on Mel Gibson’s Passion. (When did the Vatican start reacting at near-Drudge Report speed!?!) I’m not entirely sure what to make of the whole thing. There are a few theories I’ve considered or heard, but getting to the bottom of it may never happen—or happen on Vatican time. What I do know, though, is what I’ve previously said: It’s an amazing movie. We’ll be hearing more and more people saying that as they see the thing in coming weeks. On CNN, actually, one of their regular movie-reviewer types praised The Passion yesterday and explained a little of the background behind the production—why Mel Gibson did it. As nice as a papal endorsement is/was/would be, I suspect, people might be more curious about the movie as they hear secular/Jewish/non-Christian-clergy types loving it. In the end, what I really want to know is what the normal people have to say once it hits the theaters next month.
But I'll hush up about it for now
Posted at 06:04 PM
EDWARDS? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
An e-mailer makes some informed guesses
Posted at 05:56 PM
BLEG - THE KLAN [ Jonah Goldberg]
I just got this email. Anybody out there know where I can read up more on this. Sounds interesting, even plausible in certain aspects. But my guess is there's a lot more to the story, and ANARCHY magazine doesn't sound peer-reviewed.
Posted at 05:43 PM
SPEAKING OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS COMMISSION [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Evidently the chair, Mary Francis Berry, has endorsed Clark.
Posted at 04:23 PM
WHAT A REPUBLICAN CAN DO [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Dan from Bettendorf, Iowa writes:
Hello from an Iowan and active NRO reader. With as much media buzz as there is today regarding the demos, most republicans don't know that there will be a REPUBLICAN caucus tonight also. Bush is already the winner, which takes the fun out of reporting on it. I am actually looking forward to pledging my support to Bush with all the bashing he has been taking by the demos.
Posted at 04:21 PM
IOWA [Peter Robinson ]
Just emerged from the studio, where am shooting three TV shows today (the guests include, among others, Garry Wills and David Frum), to find K-Lo's challenge for Iowa predictions. I may be missing something (and I may find myself wearing egg when the results come in), but isn't this pretty easy? In the Iowa caucuses, organization counts and polls don't.
It'll be Dean.
Posted at 04:20 PM
IOWA IN '84 & '00 [Tim Graham]
My colleague Rich Noyes offered me some comparisons to remember tonight showing how goofy the media spin can be:
"The media love Iowa because it is a publicity gimmick that gives the networks huge clout over the nomination process. In 1984, Mondale got 48.9 percent of the vote in the Iowa caucuses and Gary Hart just 16.5 percent -- a three to one margin -- but the networks awarded Hart with a huge free publicity bounce that was his key to beating Mondale in New Hampshire the following week. In 2000, Steve Forbes had a much stronger second place showing (30.5% to George W. Bush's 41%), but the media ignored Forbes and lavished their attentions on Iowa-skipping John McCain, who rode the networks to victory in New Hampshire. It's the media caucus. Iowans get to merely participate."
Posted at 03:41 PM
IOWA PREDICTION [Chip Griffin]
My first prediction about Iowa is that it won’t matter. Now perhaps being from New Hampshire biases me a bit, but let’s face it: any place where “Uncommitted” can win an election isn’t serious. In the Granite State, we still believe in one man, one vote and don’t have silly rules like your vote only counts if your local caucus musters 15% for your candidate.
With all that said, I predict that no matter what happens tonight, the media will spin it as a loss for Dean (because that makes the race more interesting and they’ve already started writing that script). Kerry will come out a winner, and Edwards will not live up to the higher expectations created by his recent poll numbers. Gephardt is a one-state wonder, so how he finishes is pretty much irrelevant.
But, hey, it’s Corn Country and they play by their own rules there, so anything can happen.
Posted at 03:19 PM
N.H. EYES AND EARS: WELCOME (BACK) CHIP GRIFFIN [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Chip Griffin is a political consultant from New Hampshire who has visited NRO and The Corner in the past and is back for the next week or so. You'll find his first 2004 piece here and watch for him in The Corner.
Posted at 03:07 PM
IOWANS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Do holler as the day rolls on. We'll post reader updates from time to time (and we'll be up late, don't worry)--just lemme know if you want your name and town used or not.
Posted at 02:58 PM
VOTE GEPHARDT [Kate O'Beirne]
Dick Gephardt and Joe Lieberman are the only Democrats who voted to authorize the war with Iraq and for the $87 billion military and reconstruction (sic) package. The votes have cost Gephardt in dovish Iowa so at least local GOPers can reward him for doing the right thing - this once. Democrats apparently don't appreciate that he's the most competitive in the general election, so loyal Republicans who support him now won't have played a role in setting up a tougher race for the President in November.
Posted at 02:51 PM
A REPUBLICAN IN IOWA [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
One reader writes in response to the GOPer who wrote in wondering if he should switch sides and vote tonight: "Those who cross party lines to support the Democrat 'that we know will lose in the general' need to remember that this practice backfired on Minnesota Republicans in 1990 and Paul Wellstone went on to serve two terms in the Senate."
But I love the number of emails I am getting that simply appeal to honesty: Tell him not to vote. It's just wrong, they say.
Posted at 02:39 PM
WHAT WOULD YOU DO? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
An Iowan writes:
I am looking for some guidance from the Corner. As an Iowa resident of the Republican persuasion, I am free to march into the local politburo meeting tonight, change my registration to Democrat, and pick a candidate. Of course, my preference is to vote for the candidate most likely to be beaten like a baby seal by George Bush. A number of my friends and fellow NRO readers are making similar plans, so I need your help. If I do not hear back from you, I will just go ahead and vote for Dean. In high school he was voted "the person most likely to have his head explode when he gets really angry", and that would look really cool in the first debate with GWB should he win the nomination.
Posted at 02:27 PM
LET THE 2008 GAMES BEGIN [Kate O'Beirne]
Governor Bill Owens, Senator Bill Frist, and former Mayor Rudy Giuliani are all in Iowa today. Is the absent Senator Chuck Hagel counting on being from next-door neighbor Nebraska?
Posted at 02:12 PM
BUSH CONSPIRACY THEORIES [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
It's never been easier to come up with them. Here's a generator.
Posted at 01:59 PM
KUCINICH GOES EDWARDS [Stanley Kurtz]
Fox News reports that Dennis Kucinich is telling his Iowa supporters to throw their support to Edwards if they make up less than the fifteen percent minimum of their caucus. I find this incredible. But that’s because I find the Kucinich candidacy incredible to begin with. I suppose Kucinich is telling his supporters to go to Edwards in hopes of preventing them from going to Dean, their natural second choice. This does make sense if Kucinich is trying to prevent Dean from winning, thus taking command of the left and effectively ending Kucinich’s candidacy. But the Kucinich candidacy doesn’t make sense in the first place. Since he has no chance, he can only be hoping to get through with a pure message in hopes of pulling the party left. But at this point, with Dean in trouble, doesn’t Kucinich realize that his own candidacy is draining votes from the best hope the anti-war left has of gaining a reasonably sympathetic nominee? True, Dean is a moderate in many respects compared to a purest like Kucinich. But since Kucinich doesn’t have a prayer, and Dean is clearly the most left-leaning of the serious candidates, it is madness at this point for leftists not to support Dean. This is the kind of silliness that spurred the Nader candidacy and lost Gore the election. If Kucinich had a lick of sense, he’d allow his supporters to move to Dean. In fact, if Kucinich had a lick of sense, he’d drop out and endorse Dean.
Posted at 01:44 PM
DEANESQUE SEMANTICS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
A number of reader have e-mailed predicting: "I can guarantee that if this story is pursued further, Dean will pull a Clinton and claim that he wasn't lying because Doocy used the word "panic", instead of "anxiety", when describing the attack. Although the two types of attacks are probably not technically the same, Dean is being very Clintonesque here, if that is the defense he uses."
Posted at 01:41 PM
VERY WEIRD [Tim Graham]
Kucinich spokesman Jeff Cohen just on Fox trying to explain how Dennis supporters will throw their support to John Edwards in precincts where the "Southern centrist" needs a boost..."just for tonight." But is this the only way Kucinich has an impact? Does he get to be President Edwards' "Secretary of Peace"?
Posted at 01:36 PM
V-MONOLOGUES HIT HIGH SCHOOL [Tim Graham]
Amherst, Massachusetts upholds leftish orthodoxy: "So far, however, this liberal college town — which once scuttled a performance of West Side Story at the same high school after some residents complained that its portrayal of Hispanics was insensitive — appears to be standing firm."
Posted at 01:27 PM
AN INTERESTING OBSERVATION RE EDWARDS [Michael Graham]
A reader writes:So, Dave, you're saying that having a reasonable, rational position on Iraq is supposed to ATTRACT Democratic votes? I'm not sure I buy that premise at this point.
Posted at 12:30 PM
PREDICTION [Michael Graham]
OK--putting it on the line here: Dean wins, narrowly. Edwards a surprisingly strong second. Gephardt disappointing third and a virtual tie with Kerry.
Posted at 12:30 PM
THE TALES OF HILLARY'S MINK [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Posted at 12:20 PM
A WOMAN'S REASONING [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Evidently last week's female suicide bomber in Israel believed she would become one of the 70 nymphs who would welcome her husband to paradise.
Posted at 12:06 PM
VISION-IMPAIRED [Kate O'Beirne]
Reports from Iowa repeatedly tell us that this year voters' decisions are driven by their calculations about the relative "electability" of the candidates, yet polls tell us that they are foolishly looking right past Dick Gephardt. A useful reminder that electability is in the eye of the beholder and once you like a candidate you assume most other people will too.
Posted at 12:03 PM
CIVIL RIGHTS COMMISSIONERS ON MLK JR. DAY [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Commissioners at the US Commission on Civil Rights celebrate Martin Luther King's life
Posted at 11:59 AM
IOWA PREDICTION--SORTA [Stanley Kurtz]
Kathryn, I predict Lieberman is going to lose, and lose badly. No doubt this has something to do with the fact that he's decided not to contest the state. All joking aside, the Lieberman situation is disturbing and revealing. He avoided the state to begin with because of the dovishness of Iowa Democrats. Now, with what looks to be several candidates marching out of Iowa with momentum, and with Clark having gained in New Hampshire in the meantime, it seems as though Lieberman is finished. This is not a surprise. True, just after Saddam's capture, it looked like Lieberman might get a boost, although even then most observers doubted any Lieberman uptick would hold. It didn't. Granted, Lieberman strikes many as too much of a nice guy-not tough enough to be presidential. But when the party's well regarded former vice-presidential nominee does this badly, it's meaningful. What Lieberman's failure reveals is just how dead the Scoop Jackson wing of the Democratic party is. Yes, Gephardt and Edwards are better than the rest of the field on defense. That's good for the country. But Lieberman's failure says something sad about how little traction a tough defense posture has with the Democratic party.
Posted at 11:54 AM
MERRY CHRISTMAS! [Mark Krikorian ]
Amid all the Iowa chatter, I just wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas on behalf of the Armenian Church in the Holy Land. Let me explain. As many people know, the Roman Church in the fourth century shifted the celebration of Christ's birth from January 6 to December 25, to co-opt the pagan feast of Saturnalia. The Greek and Russian churches also celebrate December 25, but since they still use the Julian calendar, which is now 13 days off, they end up marking the holiday on January 7.
The Armenian Church, on the other hand, kept the feast of Christ's birth (along with His revelation -- Nativity and Theophany) on January 6, which in the West is known as Epiphany. All parts of the Armenian Church now observe the new, Gregorian, calendar -- except for the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, which still uses the Julian calendar. Thus, Christmas on January 19. Enjoy!
Posted at 11:52 AM
YET ANOTHER CONSERVATIVE MOVIE... [Andrew Stuttaford]
In its own peculiar way, Tim Burton's latest effort, Big Fish, his finest effort since the incomparable Edward Scissorhands.
Posted at 11:44 AM
ROTK [Jonah Goldberg]
My wife hasn't seen it and I promised to take her to the movies today. So I will be missing for a while. But I'll be back in time for actual news to come out. Iowa guys should send time-sensitive updates to K-Lo. But keep sending me the interesting tidbits as well. I'm gonna need to write about this for tomorrow.
Posted at 11:06 AM
TALES FROM THE FRONT [Jonah Goldberg]
One of our "Iowa guys" writes:
Jay and Jonah:
Posted at 11:04 AM
PREDICTION [Jonah Goldberg]
If I had to guess, and I suppose I do, I'd say that Dean wins very narrowly, Gepahrdt and Kerry almost literally tie for second (I define a tie as anything within 1% of the vote (or, say, less than 1,200 votes) and Edwards makes a respectable 4th. The media will drop its 3 tickets out of Iowa mantra for two reasons. First, if Gephardt doesn't come in first he's probably going to have to drop out anyway, so why let the walking dead use-up one of those tickets? And, second, since the media -- including me -- got this whole race so wrong in the first place, it'll hardly be in a position to issue binding fatwas on such things. In fact, regardless of rankings, the big media spin will be A) Dean's Implosions B) the "photofinish" ending rendering it too close to call. You will hear the word photofinish a lot in the next 24 hours.
Note: my head wants me to say Gephardt will win -- history says organization is better than passion -- but my gut says Dean will squeak it out.
Posted at 10:03 AM
BRAVE MEN AND WOMEN OF THE CORNER [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Keep those predictions coming in. Nevermind that Ron Fournier says Iowa's "impossible to predict" this time.
Posted at 09:33 AM
UM...IT'S IOWA. [Tim Graham]
Dumbest moment of the morning came on NPR, when Juan Williams was asked if the around-zero cold would keep Iowans home from the caucuses. This is IOWA, people. They're USED to these temps in the winter. Twenty below zero, that's a factor. But they aren't holding the caucuses outside...
Posted at 09:30 AM
WILLIAM PIERCE, R.I.P [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Bill Pierce, a wonderful man and tireless advocate for children died this past week of cancer (see here and here). He was devoted to adoption work--reform and promotion--in the hopes of ensuring every child would have a loving family to raise him (whether the life was planned or unplanned).
Bill was an occasional contributor to NRO and I'm blessed to have known him. Conservatives have lost a treasure and we would do ensure his work continues. Our sympathies to his family.
Posted at 09:29 AM
IT'S HARD-LEFT HOWARD [Tim Graham]
I'd predict that Howard Dean wins by bringing a few extra newbies into the caucuses tonight. Will they make them show ID? Next question, as long as we're discussing ID -- I wonder how many illegals show up at these things, since there are a few in the big agribusinesses there.
Posted at 09:27 AM
THE TRUTH? WHATEVER [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Howard Dean this morning attacked Steve Doocy on Fox and friends for asking the former Vermont governor about a panic attack he supposedly had upon learning he was about to become governor of his state. Dean insisted no such thing had ever happened, that it was not discussed in the current People magazine interview with Dean and his wife, and that Doocy was downright irresponsible for saying such a thing--essentially making it up. It's right there, however, in the people magazine interview.
Q: It sounds as if you had a little bit of an anxiety attack when you got the word that you were now governor.Is he claiming People made up the panic-attack conversation? Or was he just betting on no one calling him on his apparent lying?
Posted at 09:10 AM
MY HUNCH FOR IOWA [John J. Miller]
Only one candidate will be an undisputed loser: Dick Gephardt. Dean may come in first, but he won't dominate and so he'll have to take some heat for not performing as well as expected. Both Kerry and Edwards will proclaim victory for the simple fact that they're still standing after being written off weeks ago. Dennis Kucinich will say he plans to announce his future plans after reading tomorrow's horoscope.
Posted at 08:43 AM
LOW-CARB CAUCUS COVERAGE [Tim Graham]
The morning shows were heavy on candidate interviews today. Mostly, the hosts asked about process and polls and will-you-survive horse-race blather. NBC did ask Dean about why he won't open his gubernatorial records. CBS mixed it up a bit by having on Mary Matalin to tout Bush-Cheney. She has a new (?) hairdo that looks Trekkish. ABC couldn't do the whole first half hour on politics, and they shifted to the latest Atkins diet controversy. You can see them moving to ditch the politics. Soccer...mom...reaching...for...remote...
Posted at 08:39 AM
PREDICTIONS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
So, Corner colleagues o mine: Care to predict who wins tonight? I still think Dean's organization proves to be a winner, despite the candidate. Kerry, just pr wise had the best weekend, with that emotional war reunion, but his fundraising is just so sad. Michael Graham has a piece on NRO today making the case that Edwards might do it because he's got lawyer types behind him. Certainly plausible. It's so tight, could go any of these ways, of course, or for Gephardt, but I'd put my money on Dean.
Posted at 08:04 AM
"THE MICHAEL GRAHAM EXPERIENCE" [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
NRO-er Michael Graham is moving from Richmond to D.C.--getting a new radio gig. Details here.
Posted at 02:05 AM
FINALLY, WE SAW MRS. MINIVER [Peter Robinson ]
Why did The Corner’s unofficial chaplain, Fr. George Rutler recommend Mrs. Miniver as the best conservative movie? Over the past few nights we settled the children down in the playroom to watch Mrs. Miniver together (bedtime for our youngest boy comes too early to have allowed us to see the movie in a single sitting) and I think I know:
The movie contains no bombast, ideology, or oratory (the sermon in the final scene represents the sole exception, but if you’re going to shoot a vicar in a pulpit, then he has to preach). Instead the movie portrays England through the eyes of a single family, sacrificing for each other, their neighbors, their village. Their values--liberty, decency, kindness--are, so to speak, incarnate. The Minivers concern themselves not with political abstractions but with the English way of life as it is actually lived--and lived, above all, in the family home.
Which gives me the opportunity to bring out my favorite quotation from Samuel Johnson once again: “To be happy at home is the ultimate end of all ambition.” I have no idea whether William Wyler, who directed Mrs. Miniver, Walter Pidgeon, who played Mr. Miniver, or Greer Garson, who played Mrs. Miniver herself, ever thought of themselves as conservatives. But they understood Dr. Johnson’s insight, all right.
How’d I do, Fr. Rutler?
Posted at 12:23 AM
Sunday, January 18, 2004
YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT [Mark Krikorian]
Few people have paid attention to the latest campaign by the post-Americans (and the Mexican government) to undermine American sovereignty. A New York Times story Friday reported on the case of one of several dozen Mexican murderers on death row whose lawyers are trying to use Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations to get them off. The article requires police in one member state who arrest the national of another member state to notify the arrested person that he can contact his country's consulate for assistance. This is a perfectly reasonable measure -- I call it the Midnight Express provision -- but in the case of mass Mexican immigration it subverts our sovereignty. It is being used by attorneys to create a kind of super-Miranda right for non-U.S. citizens (and perhaps dual citizens), so that statements and evidence gathered before the consular warning was given would be excluded. Given the huge disproportion in the number and characteristics of Mexicans in this country vs. Americans in Mexico, this lays the groundwork for Mexican government co-management of much of our criminal justice system. As it is, the Times story says that Oklahoma's attorney general asked his state's appeals court to stay the Mexican murderer's execution until the International Court of Justice in the Hague decides what to do. I'm open to suggestions on how to stop this, but I don't see one other than permanent reductions in immigration.
Posted at 07:25 PM
PLEASE EXPLAIN [Andrew Stuttaford]
OK, it’s from the Washington Post and, yes, job growth typically lags a recovery, but read this:
“The economy grew at a remarkable 8.3 percent annual rate in the third quarter of 2003, but by October, there were 2.8 unemployed people for every job opening, up from 2.51 a year earlier and 2.25 in 2001, according to the Economic Policy Institute. Unemployment rates for managers and professionals stayed steady last year, at just under 3 percent.
“But jobless rates have risen steadily for lower-paid service occupations, from 6.4 percent in 2001 to 6.6 percent in 2002 to 7 percent last year. Unemployment in production and transportation jobs finished the year at 7.2 percent.”
And then ask yourself why George W. Bush is planning to import yet more cheap labor. Any explanations, Mr. President?
Posted at 04:25 PM
007 WATCH [Andrew Stuttaford]
Here’s a weird story from the UK concerning a ‘whistleblower’ (I’d use a different word) at Britain’s secret communications center. She, poor lamb, seems to have been upset that American spies were, well, spying. Even stranger is the headline that refers to this intelligence work as American ‘corruption’. Eh?
Posted at 03:58 PM
THE SECRET WEAPON?! [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Dean's campaign sent out a notice a bit ago announcing Dean would have a special guest in Davenport today. Who, one thought? Clark already has Madonna and Moore, as we know. Maybe he's got Oprah. Nope--it's his wife.
Posted at 02:44 PM
IOWA ENVY [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
If I were there instead of NY area right now, I wouldn't be shoveling snow!
Posted at 02:31 PM
EXTENDED JUDICIAL TRIVIA [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
A reader points out: "Truman is tops in absolute number, but Kennedy wins hands down for recess appointments per time in office (8.8/year, compared to 5.0/year for Truman, who is second)."
Posted at 02:21 PM
WORLD'S BIGGEST A -- UM, JERK [Rod Dreher]
If there is a man alive today who is a bigger jerk than this New York doctor, I don't think I could stand to hear about it.
Posted at 01:30 PM
CLARK'S LATEST ENDORSEMENT [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
He's not Madonna or Michael Moore (who have both endorsed Wesley Clark), but today Clark adds George McGovern to his campaign-endorsement list.
Posted at 10:48 AM
HE'S NOT HITLER, HE'S KOREAN [Tim Graham]
Jonah, your correspondent's joke about Bush being described as Hitler with a better haircut reminds me of CNN on Tuesday, where "Crossfire" host Paul Begala declared after reading the quite possibly ersatz Bush boast-quote:
"The Bush White House, face it, it's kind of become a little like North Korea, where the addled son of the former leader suffers delusions of grandeur while sycophantic toadies tell him he's infallible and then viciously attack those who criticize him. George W. Bush is Kim Jong Il with better hair."
Posted at 10:17 AM
STEYN ON THE CAUCUSES [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Still, you can duck reality for a while. If Dean squeaks a win in Iowa tomorrow, he'll be "perceived" as having done less well than expected. If he loses Iowa and then narrowly wins New Hampshire, he'll be the comeback kid. That seems entirely possible. Unlike Iowans and the rest of the country, Granite State Democrats know Howard Dean well, and they're voting for the dull, centrist Vermont Governor they have known for a decade, not the crazy guy who has been on the loose the last year. I have to say I see no evidence in my part of the state of a Wesley Clark surge, though that might be because it's been 50 below for the past two weeks and no one wants to get frostbite taking the Dean sign down from their yard and putting up one for Clark. I'd still bet on Dean in New Hampshire, though it will be narrower than it would have been, and it will present Mad How with awkward problems as he moves on to South Carolina. What a difference a month makes for the supposedly inevitable candidate.The whole thing is here.
Posted at 10:07 AM
SADDAM RELATIVE PART OF FAILED ATTACK IN TIKRIT [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Posted at 10:01 AM
BACKLASH AGAINST BISHOP BURKE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
In a news story, of course.
Posted at 09:54 AM
THE CLINTON-LEGACY PROJECT CONTINUES [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
From Time magazine:
But Clinton's shadow may still overwhelm the present. It's hard to say what the party became under Clinton because he was the party, and he was so notoriously hard to define. Dismissive of his message but dazzled by his success, many Democrats just hummed to themselves and looked the other way because it was working, and he was winning. "You can't erase Bill Clinton if you never embraced him in the first place," says a former official who unlike many Clinton aides really was a New Democrat. "Clinton defined the direction of the country irrespective of the party," the aide says. Clinton knew he would be the youngest ex-President since Teddy Roosevelt, who left office at age 51 and proceeded to divide his party out of bitterness over the direction it had taken. That is not a path Clinton wants to follow. He too wants a legacy, and it may be defined not by what he did in the past but by how he manages those who will be the party's future.(All the more reason Dems should read Rich Lowry's Legacy, natch. You know I had to.)
Posted at 09:07 AM
NYPOST PREVIEW [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
A sidenote on that Rich piece: here's what I said at the time about it--the most interesting part was that the one non-professional, who did not go in with an ideological bias of some sort, praised it. I suspect we'll be seeing more of that than not come Ash Wednesday (when the movie is released): honest, open reactions to a new kind of movie with an eternal message.
Posted at 09:03 AM
"SPIRITUAL MCCARTHYISM" [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
What Frank Rich does when he doesn't get on a movie's preview list. In all his anti-Gibson & co. anger, he somehow manages to leave out details about organized campaigns against the movie, stolen scripts and such. Mel Gibson had an excellent reason to want to hear what a Michael Medved thought about the film (and, yes, the pope, too!)--remember that before selective screenings happened, there was just the anti-Passion/it's-anti-Semitic talk.
Posted at 08:45 AM
CLARK ON EBAY [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
You'll be able to bid on the famous sweater soon.
Posted at 08:35 AM
DEAN'S "SPUTTERING" CAMPAIGN [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
What you get when you stand Maureen Dowd up.
Posted at 08:32 AM
DEAN STAFF PUSHES FOR KERRY [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
A senior Dean person tells Ron Brownstein: if Dean can't win Iowa, best Kerry win.
Posted at 08:19 AM
RE: OLYMPICS [John Derbyshire]
Andrew: Totally with you on this. In a sane world, the bidding would be misere -- i.e. begging, bribing & lobbying NOT to have the friggin games.
(In whist & other "tricks" card games, a misere bid is a bid to win no tricks at all.)
Posted at 08:10 AM