2 BRITS IN GITMO GO TO U.S. COURT [KJL]
Posted at 02:49 PM
IRAQI-AMERICAN SOLIDARITY [Cliff May]
Yes, there are millions of Iraqis who want to be free, to enjoy human rights, to choose their own leaders and to defeat terrorism and the ideologies that drive terrorism – in particular Ba’athism and Radical Islamism. Read all about ‘em at www.untoldiraq.org, the website of the new Iraq-America Freedom Alliance (IAFA). IAFA will provide Americans a fuller picture of Iraq and give voice to some of the many Iraqis grateful for their newfound freedom.
Posted at 02:41 PM
SAVAGES [Andrew Stuttaford]
It does no harm to keep reminding ourselves of the nature of the Islamism that now seeks to destroy the West.
”The Anglo-Spanish Brains nursery and primary school looked an unlikely al-Qa'eda target yesterday, yet Spanish police said it had been marked for destruction by the terrorist cell responsible for the Madrid commuter train atrocity.”
Targeting a nursery school? Holy warriors indeed.
Posted at 02:36 PM
COMMUNION & PRO-ABORTION CATHOLICS [KJL]
Cardinal Ratzinger vs. the U.S. bishops' conference.
Posted at 02:22 PM
FIREWORKS [Andrew Stuttaford]
Every now and again there’s a story in the press that's a reminder that the heart of this country is still in the right place:
"PLATTSMOUTH, Neb. -- Some Americans this Fourth of July plan to get a bang out of blowing Osama bin Laden's head off. The bin Laden Noggin, a cone-shaped pyrotechnic device with a cartoon of bin Laden's face, has been a hot seller at some fireworks stores around the country. When lit, the bin Laden cone erupts in blood-red flames and screeches for 60 seconds. Two shots blow his head off..."
Of course, there’s always a catch, and in this case it comes in the form of one Lisa Myer, who was reported as having had the following to say (yes, yes, we all know what’s coming next..., wait for it, wait for it):
"What are we trying to teach our children?"
Ah, the children. Of course.
Well, Ms. Myer, it teaches them that Americans are inclined to wish for the death of those who would destroy them – and that they will celebrate those moments when they occur.
Got a problem with that, Lisa?
Posted at 02:14 PM
YOUR OWN MACY'S-LIKE 4TH [KJL]
Posted at 01:57 PM
A GREAT CUISINE ACKNOWLEDGED [Andrew Stuttaford]
Posted at 01:56 PM
NARVA [Andrew Stuttaford]
The status of Estonia’s Russian minority continues to cause problems within the now liberated Baltic state. Here the Independent takes a look at the case of an ethnic-Russian schoolteacher dismissed for his inadequate grasp of Estonian. Language rights in Estonia are a complex controversy, but these remarks from Tass should not be allowed to pass without further comment:
“The Russian news agency Itar-Tass said this was the first time that a Russian-speaking teacher had been sacked for having poor skills in the Estonian language, and poured scorn on the move. Russia's Foreign Ministry is also likely to wade in. Ethnic Russians make up almost a third of tiny Estonia's population of 1.5 million, and the agency said that Narva was an overwhelmingly Russian-speaking town. "The population of Estonia's third largest town [Narva] is 96 per cent Russian," it said. "It's extremely rare to hear Estonian spoken there."
Well, there’s a reason that Narva (a bleak, still heavily sovietized place when I visited in the mid-90s) is “96% Russian”. In 1944 Stalin’s forces flattened the place, pulverizing a city that had been one of the jewels of Baltic Europe. That wasn’t enough, of course. They then supervised the murder and deportation of a large number of the city’s surviving inhabitants, banned others from returning, repopulated the place with Russians, and transferred some of its surrounding territory to Russia, where it still remains today.
Perhaps that is something that Tass would like to mention next time they take up this story.
Posted at 01:47 PM
DEATH COMES TO LOS ANGELES [Andrew Stuttaford]
Or, at least, his souvenirs. Earlier, they were in London.
Posted at 01:17 PM
THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE'S KOBIYASHI MARU [Jonah Goldberg]
I don't know why Townhall didn't run this yesterday (or today) but here's my syndicated column on the Jack Ryan privacy stuff.
Posted at 01:10 PM
DISSUASION [Andrew Stuttaford]
Jack Ryan, the GOP candidate hounded out off the Illinois senatorial race for, well, nothing, has been making the media rounds to discuss the disaster that befell his campaign. Regardless of the unfairness of his treatment at the hands of both the Chicago Tribune and the Republican Party, there’s another important point to be made. Interviewed on ABC by the always excellent John Stossel, Ryan had this to say about the degree of intrusion into his private life with which he has had to contend:
"I can't tell you how many calls I got in the last two weeks from people who said, 'I always thought about maybe going into public service. But not now, not, not after I've seen what's happened to you.' And so this cannot be the right standard now for entering into American politics…"
Ryan’s right to raise this. I suspect that this country loses the benefit of countless excellent candidates who don’t relish the prospect of a prurient press or priggish rivals rooting through their lives for some sexual peccadillo, or, heaven forbid, some slip into sin, which would somehow be used to discredit their campaign. In the absence of illegality or truly grotesque hypocrisy (a little hypocrisy, remember, is no bad thing: it helps the world go round), the sex lives of politicians should remain the concern of them and their families. It’s nobody else’s business, and, yes, the return of privacy might even help the rest of us out.
After all, who wants to be governed by an eternity of Jimmy Carters?
Posted at 01:08 PM
JIMMY NEUTRON READS "PRIME OBSESSION" [John Derbyshire]
Sitting in the study with the door open while Danny watches his favorite cartoon -- Jimmy Neutron (whose middle name, I have learned, is Isaac -- get it?)
In this morning's show, Jimmy mentioned the Riemann Hypothesis.
(But he mis-pronounced "Riemann." It's "REE-man.")
Posted at 01:07 PM
PRO-ABORTION ACTIVISTS INVOKE THE VIRGIN MARY [ KJL]
I think it's a safe bet she's not a fan of abortion.
Posted at 01:02 PM
DOESN'T HELP QADDAFI'S IMAGE [KJL]
His daughter has joined the Saddam defense team.
Posted at 11:42 AM
GOOD WEATHER [KJL]
is not good for The Corner, is it?!
Posted at 11:38 AM
POLES FIND WMDS? [John Hood]
I haven't seen this story break out on the wires yet. The Poles appear to have thrwarted an attempt by terrorists in Iraq to purchase leftover chemical munitions from Saddam's arsenal to stage attacks. How many different propositions could this story, if true, support?
Posted at 11:13 AM
Friday, July 02, 2004
AMERICANS LEAVE BAHRAIN UNDER THREAT OF TERRORISM [KJL]
Posted at 11:12 PM
JULY 9 & SOLIDARITY WITH FREEDOM FIGHTERS IN IRAN [KJL]
Iranian freedom activist--God bless them--need your help. Read here. Be sure and read the schedule of demonstrations on July 9, too--some may be in your backyard.
Posted at 11:10 PM
YET ANOTHER [KJL]
A few people have asked for a link to Bremer's farewell address to Iraqis. I can only find his letter. Can anyone find the speech?
Posted at 11:05 PM
ANOTHER GOOD QUESTION I'VE JUST BEEN ASKED [KJL]
"If those pacifists in Yemen send all those people to monitor the peace in Iraq, does that mean they won't have any monitors left over to oversee the U.S. elections in November? If yes, has Kofi made contingency plans? What's Cuba doing that day?"
Posted at 10:58 PM
I'm getting excellent questions, such as: "How do I donate my entire salary to NR?" and "How do I donate my wife's entire salary to NR?"
Posted at 10:35 PM
WHY "WORKING MOTHERHOOD" DOESN'T WORK [Jack Fowler]
Dear, sweet Mary Walsh, an old friend and neighbor from Fredericksburg, VA, has written a jazzy little article for Human Events calling the spade a spade regarding the alleged joys of working motherhood. I heartily recommend it (the article -- not dumping the kids in day care at 5AM).
Posted at 10:24 PM
D'SOUZA'S MORAL DEFENSE OF FREEDOM [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Dinesh D'Souza argues that since coerced virtue is not virtue at all, people can be virtuous in America in a way they cannot in countries that have tried to become republics of virtue. It is a tempting line of argument, especially for people who are both broadly libertarian in their political views and conservative in their moral and social ones. I think of it as the Frank Meyer fallacy. I identify it with Meyer because the argument was central to his fusionism (although it has had previous distinguished exponents, whose names I forget at the moment); I call it a fallacy because I think it's wrong (although I am a fusionist). I explain my reasons for so thinking here (see the third and fourth paragraphs). I also think that D'Souza is just about 180 degrees wrong in his view of the utility of this kind of argument for contemporary Western liberalism for winning over the Muslim world--but he has an awful lot of company in that view.
Posted at 05:36 PM
YEMEN [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
says they could send troops to Iraq, too.
Posted at 03:46 PM
I've been wanting for awhile to do a collective "frequently asked questions" feature, on the model of some of Jonah's FAQ GFiles from long ago. There are really obvious ones, What is a bleg? What is NRODT? Etc. But now's your time to file yours. Send them to email@example.com with the subject line "FAQ." Thanks.
Posted at 03:39 PM
"CONSERVATISM'S MENSCH" [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
David Klinghoffer on WFB.
Posted at 03:30 PM
ROGER SIMON ON BRANDO [KJL]
Posted at 03:29 PM
AN IRAQI PAUL BREMER APPRECIATION [KJL]
Here. And, I'm slow, here's IraqtheModel on Monday's transfer.
Posted at 03:26 PM
RE: BRAWLING ON THE BEACH [KJL]
Tim, younger kids would enjoy having an NR Treasury read to them. Adults, especially if they have loud children around, might especially appreciate having Florence King nearby.
Posted at 03:17 PM
BEACH BRAWL BOOK BREAK [Tim Graham]
I'm off with the family to the Bogue Banks of North Carolina for a week starting tomorrow, but I wanted to pitch my two pennies into the beach blanket reading party.
K-Lo, surely a la Legacy, you understand my need to begin the short list with Brent Bozell's Weapons of Mass Distortion: The Coming Meltdown of the Liberal Media. (It hits the stores on Tuesday.) How can you spend time at the beach cursing at Dan Rather? Hey, please, sometimes the bias is so over the top, it's more amusing than upsetting. You want to bug your liberal friends who love Alterman, Franken, and Conason on the so-called liberal media? Get one of these. To use the martial terms Brent so favors, this is the arsenal of media democracy, people.
I'm really looking forward to a few fleeting moments between kiddie fights (wow, you mean you're fighting over a STRAW?) with G.K. Chesterton's The Everlasting Man, which was apparently very influential in converting the masterful C.S. Lewis.
Posted at 03:11 PM
SADDAM HUSSEIN'S KIND [KJL]
Arnold Beichman e-mails:
What a sense of justice and maybe even satisfcation it must give Saddam's Iraqi victims--especially for those with missing ears, hands and/or fingers--to see Saddam Hussein in the dock just like any other felon, to see him being tried by Iraqis not by a panel of Nuremberg judges. This is the first time we have seen a longtime dictator in a courtroom to face criminal charges. The history of other recent tyrants looks like:
Posted at 02:53 PM
FROM AP TO MSNBC [Tim Graham]
MSNBC obviously borrowed from last night's AP dispatch in its interview with Jesse Jackson a bit ago. The screen graphic read that Cosby had a "tirade against the black community."
Posted at 02:37 PM
"WE APOLOGIZE TO YOU IN ADVANCE IF YOU ARE AMONG THOSE KILLED" [KJL]
Al Qaeda truce with Europe ends in two weeks?
Posted at 02:05 PM
NEWSDAY VS. NY POST [KJL]
Saddam is "defiant" vs. Saddam is "nuts."
Posted at 02:02 PM
RE: NUMBER THEORY MEETS THE APOCALYPSE [John Derbyshire]
One we missed, sent in by a reader:
Fahrenheit 666 -- Movie of (by?) the Beast.
Posted at 01:53 PM
TEACHOUT ON BRANDO [KJL]
Posted at 01:51 PM
THE DERB FACTOR [John Derbyshire]
Alas, Kathryn, there is one insurmountable drawback to this scheme, as noted in one of my my "Straggler" columns.
"As badly as I fare in front of still cameras, I am simply terrible on TV. When you do a TV show nowadays the studio gives you a videotape of your appearance. I made the mistake of watching one of these once. At first I wondered if they had got my clip mixed up with some other fellow's - some mumbling, shifty-eyed creep with gray teeth, a swindler finally cornered by the network's best investigative team after a career of bilking widows out of their savings via fraudulent home-improvement schemes. Then I recognized the tie, which I had spent some minutes picking out as being the one least likely to distract viewers from the enchantment of my address. I consulted a neighbor who I knew had watched the show. How had I done? There was an ominous pause. 'Well, John,' he said at last, 'you *are* allowed to look into the camera, you know...' I have now made eight or nine TV appearances, but I cannot help noticing that I have never been invited back for a second appearance on any show."----NRODT, 12/8/03
Now, I might be willing to spring for cosmetic surgery and acting lessons, given the right incentive. A co-host deal with Linda Vester, perhaps?....
Posted at 01:14 PM
SADDAM'S AN ALLEGED TYRANT, I SUPPOSE [KJL]
From AP (emphasis is mine): "I felt as if Baghdad had fallen again and that the regime was once again toppled," said Khaled, 40, who lives in a region where the deposed leader reportedly authorized the killing of thousands. "In his day, Saddam killed thousands of Iraqi youths. Today, I am happy because I saw the day when Saddam was being judged by a young judge."
Posted at 01:01 PM
READERS WHAT A "DERB FACTOR" ON FNC [KJL]
John should know his public is calling...is Roger Ailes listening?
Posted at 12:47 PM
THE LIGHTS ARE GOING OUT [John Derbyshire]
A Pentecostalist pastor in Sweden has been sentenced to one month in jail for criticizing homosexuality in a sermon. Story here.
Sweden today, the USA tomorrow. I see from the current HUMAN EVENTS that a "hate crime" amendment was slipped into the Defense Authorization Bill (S. 2400) to add homosexuals to the list of protected classes of citizens under U.S. civil rights law. This follows relentless lobbying from groups with innocuous, deliberately deceptive names like "Human Rights Campaign." Naturally the amendment passed the Senate by a landslide: "Eighteen Republicans and all Democrats present voted in favor."
Crimes are crimes--these “hate crimes” laws are aimed at censoring speech, protecting people from feeling offended--something quite subjective. We are losing our ancient liberties, ladies and gentleman, and the political classes, regardless of party, are perfectly OK with it.
Posted at 12:25 PM
US & ELECTION OBSERVERS [KJL]
It is time for everyone to reread Peter Kirsanow on "The Florida Myth."
Posted at 12:25 PM
U.S CONGRESSMEN ASK FOR U.N ELECTION OBSERVERS FOR U.S. ELECTIONS [KJL]
Spearheaded by Texas Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson.
Posted at 12:17 PM
STIRRING UP CONTROVERSY [Andrew Stuttaford]
So here's the "definitive" best of Brando: The Wild One, Last Tango in Paris, The Godfather, and Apocalypse Now. On The Waterfront? Not a contender...
Posted at 12:03 PM
IBD ON WFB [KJL]
Posted at 12:02 PM
MARLON BRANDO HAS DIED [KJL]
Posted at 11:30 AM
THE LIGHTER SIDE OF SADDAM [Jonah Goldberg ]
Posted at 11:22 AM
NIXON, COLSON AND KISSINGER ON KERRY [Jonah Goldberg ]
Posted at 11:18 AM
RE: NUMBER THEORY MEETS THE APOCALYPSE [John Derbyshire]
A reader wants to know if the number of the Beast has any connection with my recent book about the Riemann Hypothesis. Well...
Zeta(number of the Beast) = 1.00000000000000000000 0000000000000000000000000000000000000000 0000000000000000000000000000000000000000 0000000000000000000000000000000000000000 0000000000000000000000000000000000000000 0000000000000000000032660504415756509300 3614709845352296923221457321053240190834 4936952910946779749897530894118049300517 4039193902154553795244932984455296252614 8208075387990350642521027259612044434592 084310190771726142....
(This is of course a rational multiple of pi^666, but believe me, you don't want to see the rational multiplier.)
The nontrivial zeta zero (counting north from the real axis) with the number of the Beast: 1020.917475017...
Number of the nontrivial zeta zero (counting the same way) whose imaginary part is closest to the number of the Beast: 390 (the imaginary part of the 390th nontrivial zero is 666.515147704...)
The (number of the Beast)-th prime: 4,973
The ((number of the Beast)-th prime)-th prime: 48,337
The (((number of the Beast)-th prime)-th prime)-th prime: 589,783
The ((((number of the Beast)-th prime)-th prime)-th prime)-th prime: 8,796,451
The (((((number of the Beast)-th prime)-th prime)-th prime)-th prime)-th prime: 156,637,829
...and that's quite enough of that.
Incidentally, did you know -- I didn't until Prof. Lerer clued me in -- that the number of the line in Book 2 of Paradise Lost at which Death appears is... guess what?
(Adam bites the apple in line 999 of Book 9... but that one I already knew.)
Posted at 10:36 AM
MARTINI HENRY [John Derbyshire]
"When 'arf of your bullets fly wide in the ditch,
Don't call your Martini a cross-eyed old b****...."
(Kipling) Here are some for sale
Posted at 10:31 AM
YOUR SUMMER BARBECUE [KJL]
You'll be the talk of the town with W. Ketchup (see ad lineup on the right of this page and homepage).
Posted at 10:22 AM
HUSSEIN COUNTED ON U.N. [Rich Lowry]
From the New York Times: “One official said that Mr. Hussein had implied that ambiguity over whether his government possessed illegal weapons ‘would keep the neighbors at bay, while the U.S. would be hung up in interminable debate at the U.N.’"
Posted at 10:21 AM
MORE HEROES [Rich Lowry]
Great column on 'the death of heroism.' What goes unmentioned in your column, but which is surely an important factor, is the role that a man like John Kerry plays in this whole dynamic. Here is a man so embarrassed by his own service that he felt compelled to elevate his opposition to the war to a level of 'heroism' on a par with, or even above that of his participation in the war itself. To the extent that Kerry and his myriad acolytes in the press and televised media express gratitude or admiration for those who serve in the military, it is manifestly for their sacrifice in having served, not their success in so doing. They want to say 'Thank you for having suffered' or 'Pity be upon you for having had to follow the orders of a misguided commander' but never 'Thank you for having done well at the job of killing the enemy, and protecting our country.'"
Posted at 10:11 AM
HEROES [Rich Lowry]
"Subject: TODAY'S COLUMN
Please don't say there were no heroes in Vietnam. There were and I am here because of one."
ME: Please, don't misunderstand me on this. I meant no heroes that were properly recognized as such by our culture.
Posted at 10:08 AM
FOR THOSE HAVE SENT E-MAILS WONDERING… [Rich Lowry]
…no, I didn’t leave early. That was the best regular season game I’ve ever seen. I’ve never seen fans point at a field in pure astonishment so many times: at the Yanks' faux triple play with no outs and the bases loaded in the 11th (it seemed like one at first from the stands), at Jeter’s catch and dive into the stands, at the Red Sox’s five-infielder defense that had players swapping gloves on the field like little leaguers. I always want the Yankees to win, and win big, but this is a game I just didn’t want to end. Heck, I was even kind of rooting against the Yankees getting a base-loaded walk to win in the 12th—would have been the wrong way for it to end. Amazing stuff…
Posted at 10:02 AM
POST V POST [Jonah Goldberg]
My friend Eric Johnson has a good piece in the NY Post about the Washington Post's coverage of Iraq.
Posted at 09:54 AM
ABU GHRAIB & FLANNERY O'CONNOR [KJL]
Posted at 09:25 AM
SUDAN REFUGEE CAMP WAS [KJL]
emptied out in time for a scheduled Kofi Annan visit.
Posted at 09:18 AM
MYRNA BLYTH ALERT [Tim Graham]
Mrs. Graham received her latest Ladies' Home Journal in the mail, with the Bushes and the Kerrys each interviewed by editor Diane Salvatore. I'm sure the Bush camp is pleased with their interview, in which Bush sounds very domestically moderate (he looooves Medicare, for example, and touts the new prescription drug subsidies). The questions aren't hostile. But Salvatore never brings John Kerry up, and neither do the Bushes.
Then comes the Kerry pair. Salvatore asks several please-bash-Bush questions. “Senator, do you believe that President Bush is a false patriot?” (No, but can I tell you about Max Cleland again?) And: "There’s been a lot of discussion about the fact that President Bush has been one of the most vocal Presidents in terms of his faith. Do you find the President’s discussion of his faith as part of his decisionmaking process inappropriate?" Kerry: "I think it crosses a line, and it sort of squeezes out the diversity that the presidency is supposed to embrace." (When Bush is asked about his faith, among his first few words are "Jewish...Muslim...Christian.")
Salvatore also asked Kerry blatant questions from the left. "How apt, Senator, do you feel is the comparison between the Iraqi war and the Vietnam war?” (Kerry goes through his usual multilaterlist clucking, and adds how much it would help us fight terror by having more "thoughtful" positions on "North Korea, global warming, AIDS.") She also asked: “Every major civil rights movement in this country has eventually prevailed. Looking through the prism of history, do you feel that same-sex marriage is inevitable in America as a legal right?” He starts to talk, and then, he has to answer his cell phone! He comes back around to searching for a way of "respecting both" tradition and, well, the utter rejection of tradition.
Salvatore wrote up front that she conducted both interviews as "another effort at keeping the playing field level." But her liberal bias came shining through, at least during her time with Team Kerry.
Posted at 09:13 AM
DEADLY PREFERENCES? [Roger Clegg]
The Chicago Sun-Times reports today that some Chicago firefighters are saying that affirmative action and political cronyism led to incompetent leadership and mistakes that caused six people to die in a fire last year.
Posted at 09:11 AM
DEPENDS WHERE YOU'RE COMING FROM, I GUESS [KJL]
Chirac is Islamophobic.
Posted at 09:01 AM
MORE PRAISE FOR WFB [Jack Fowler]
Our former leader engages in a delightful Q&A with Newsweek’s Peg Tyre. There is this glowing editorial from the Dallas Morning News (subscription required) which ends: “We wish him well in his retirement and sincerely regret that one of his most praiseworthy qualities – the grace and civility with which he treated his ideological opponents and the craft of opinion journalism – seems likely to pass from the scene with him. Bill Buckley is perhaps the last gentleman in American political life.” And finally, a touching editorial from the Manchester Union Leader.
Posted at 08:44 AM
DECENT JOB NEWS IN [KJL]
112,000 new jobs in June; unemployment at 5.6 percent. Not great. No one in the White House is celebrating, I'm sure.
Posted at 08:36 AM
INTERESTING LOOK [KJL]
here about the Washington Post's Baghdad chief.
Posted at 08:28 AM
ANOTHER TRIBUTE [KJL]
Another nice one, from Maggie Gallagher (who worked at NR for a time.)
Posted at 08:26 AM
GREAT WSJ TRIBUTE TO WFB & NR [Jack Fowler]
The top editorial – “America’s Bill of Right” – in the “Weekend” section of today’s Wall Street Journal is a beautifully written tribute to Bill Buckley and the impact he and NR have had since the magazine’s 1955 founding.
Posted at 08:24 AM
"I AM THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSON IN THE WORLD TO THE GOP" [KJL]
That's Bill Clinton at Jesse Jackson's confab. Nah. Sorry. Not you.
Posted at 08:17 AM
BILL RICHARDSON DOESN'T WANT TO BE CONSIDERED [KJL]
Unless he's playing hard to get. But it's not like Bush's Spanish is that good.
Posted at 08:14 AM
Serves me right for trying to be cheeky at odd hours. An e-mailer: "That link was to Star Wars not Star Trek, but I'm sure this is "progress" for you anyway. :-)"
Posted at 08:11 AM
REALLY THE LAST ONE [Mark R. Levin]
As I go back and review the ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Hamdi, it held, in part, that Hamdi “was indisputably seized in an active combat zone abroad” and that it had no authority to consider his case because it might "obstruct[ ] [the] war efforts authorized by Congress and undertaken by the executive branch.” The judiciary must “assume a deferential posture” in reviewing a commander in chief's actions during war. So, while Thomas (and I) are in a minority here, our views are consistent with the most conservative circuit.
Posted at 12:15 AM
THAT NUTTY COSBY GUY [KJL]
Isn't this a little editorializing on the AP's part in that Cosby story I linked to earlier? "Bill Cosby went off on another tirade against the black community." The wire services did report at some point, right? Can we just make them all honest services and call them opinion journalists once and for all?
Posted at 12:13 AM
HEY, LOOK WHAT I'M LINKING TOO [KJL]
Even she who bans nods.
Posted at 12:11 AM
Maybe I'm tired: Krugman isn't saying American democracy is a crisis is he? "Someday, when the crisis of American democracy is over, I'll probably find myself berating Mr. Moore, who supported Ralph Nader in 2000, for his simplistic antiglobalization views."
Posted at 12:08 AM
JORDAN IS WILLING TO SEND TROOPS TO IRAQ [KJL]
on Lou Dobs's show tonight, Fouad Ajami said he doesn't see it happening, however.
Posted at 12:05 AM
Thursday, July 01, 2004
JUST ONCE MORE [Mark R. Levin]
Not a word about presidential power, Andy? You argue for exapnded judicial review in the context of war, which is fine, yet little attention is paid to the role of the commander-in-chief's authority. Habeas is not technically or literally a due process proceeding, except for the fact of the writ itself. There's nothing in the Constitution that supports a contrary position. In fact, the due process clause, certainly when ratified in 1791, would have been, in many ways, otherwise repetitive. But if one believes that habeas, beyond the right to know why one is detained, is a substantive due process proceeding, then in the context of this case, I'd like to know what that would look like. O'Connor outlines what she'd like, but leaves much latitude for interpretation by the lower courts. Is it a mini-trial, with witnesses, cross-examination, etc.? If not, why not?
Thomas defends the principle of executive authority over matters of war, which makes the argument re invasion irrelevant, i.e., it assumes the country is at war, invasion or no invasion. Hence, his lengthly defense of the president's war powers. If Congress had acted to suspend habeas, and Hamdi challenged Congress's action on some basis, I have no doubt Thomas would have spent as much time on suspension as Scalia, who seemed to believe that if Congress doesn't act in this regard, the president has no constitutional recourse. But Congress didn't act, and suspension is irrelevant in this case. That's why it deserved short attention by Thomas. The fact that Congress hadn't acted in no way restricts the president from exercising his constitutional authority, and the extent of that authority was the subject of the challenge. The president has specific constitutional power that is broad relative to war and Congress's power wasn't at issue. And, without some compelling constitutional basis for judicial intervention, which I don't see here, the judiciary ought not trump the executive here. The underlying assumption that these 9 justices, and their lower court colleagues, are better qualified to balance individual liberties against national security interests, is unwarranted. And the president's actions as to Hamdi are not excessive in any event. I think we can agree that in the companion case, Rasul, this same court demonstrated that it is not better qualified than the president.
Posted at 11:56 PM
IS BUSH THE REAL CRIMINAL? [KJL]
It's a serious debate? In Rhode Island, apparently.
Posted at 11:40 PM
KERRY RUNNING TO BUSH'S RIGHT ON LANGUAGE AND IMMIGRATION? [Jim Boulet Jr.]
John Kerry bravely told the Spanish-language network Telemundo that he opposes state laws which give driver's licenses to illegal aliens: "I think that driver's licenses are part of the legality of being here."
Kerry's stance is remarkable, given that President Bush's own brother, Florida Governor Jeb Bush strongly favored giving illegal aliens driver's licenses because "once they're here, what do you do? Do you say that they're lepers to society? That they don't exist? It seems that a policy that ignores them is a policy of denial."
The politics of this issue strongly favor Kerry's view, not Jeb Bush's. Former California Governor Gray Davis lost his office in part because of his endorsement of driver's licenses for illegal aliens.
Is Kerry planning to run to the right of President Bush on issues like language and illegal immigration? Perhaps, especially if Kerry chooses Iowa's Governor Tom Vilsack as his running mate.
Vilsack signed an official English bill two years ago after getting a $1.4 million increase in spending for English as a Second Language programs. Vilsack may have been a reluctant signer, but his signature is on the legislation.
Posted at 11:04 PM
ORIGAMI BOULDER [Jonah Goldberg ]
Yes, yes, yes: It's un-PC, but it's funny. OrigamiBoulder.com.
Posted at 09:45 PM
BILL COSBY GETS FRANK AGAIN [KJL]
(07-01) 16:25 PDT CHICAGO (AP) --
Posted at 09:04 PM
APPEALS COURT LOCKS TERRI SCHIAVO'S PARENTS OUT OF LEGAL PROCEEDINGS [KJL]
This case is such a prolonged, maddening outrage.
Posted at 08:38 PM
Dick Morris on O'Reilly just now: "I would not sell life insurance to anyone who has Hillary Clinton as his running mate."
Prediction: When O'Reilly retires, that hour will become the Derb Factor or somesuch.
Posted at 08:23 PM
PLAYING "TERRORIST" [KJL]
See how they learn...
Posted at 08:19 PM
THOSE PATRIOTIC NETWORK EXECS [Tim Graham]
I know, I know, I can't believe someone's going to argue for Al Gore speaking on prime-time TV. But it really burns me, just as a citizen, that the network suits are again talking up the idea of just skipping coverage of the first two nights of the party conventions for another rerun of "CSI: Miami." (Reason: we make more money with the rerun.) I understand that the junkies have lots of places to watch the convention. But shouldn't we teach the non-junkies that they ought to care?
The parties are said to be lobbying the networks with proposals to be more entertaining. Perhaps these proposals are on the table:
1. Al Gore will discuss who really killed JonBenet Ramsey.
2. Arnold Schwarzenegger will discuss his pickup techniques in graphic detail.
3. Rudolph Giuliani discusses whether Princess Diana and John F. Kennedy Jr. would have been a "love match."
4. To add floor drama, party delegates vote to see which Vice Presidential nominee gets voted off the island.
5. Five words: Hillary Clinton eats pig intestine!
Posted at 08:15 PM
HAVE WE ALREADY NOTED [KJL]
that the author of the forthcoming assassinate Bush book is the author of Vox, Monica's gift to our former president?
Posted at 07:58 PM
SMACKING THE TV SET [John Derbyshire]
A reader writes: "Dear Mr. Derbyshire---You say: '...At last, if all else fails, you give the TV set a good smack.' A man I once worked for, Paul Horowitz (if you don't know who he is check out this) has a name for this approach: percussive maintenance."
Posted at 07:54 PM
NUMBER THEORY MEETS THE APOCALYPSE [John Derbyshire]
I couldn't resist this -- sent in by a reader. He is referring to the number of the Beast in Rev. 13:18.
OK, we all know that 666 is the number of the Beast, but did you know that...
670 - Approximate number of the Beast
DCLXVI - Roman numeral of the Beast
666.0000000 - Number of the High Precision Beast
665.9999954 - Number of the Pentium Beast
0.666 - Number of the Millibeast
/666 - Beast Common Denominator
666 x sq. rt (-1) - Imaginary number of the Beast
1010011010 - Binary of the Beast
1-666 - Area code of the Beast
00666 - Zip code of the Beast
1-900-666-0666 - Live Beasts! One-on-one pacts! Call Now! Only $6.66/minute. Over 18 only please.
$665.95 - Retail price of the Beast
$699.25 - Price of the Beast plus 5% state sales tax
$769.95 - Price of the Beast with all accessories and replacement soul
$606.66 - Wal-Mart price of the Beast
$566.66 - Costco/Price Club price of the Beast
$0,00 - Home Depot price of the Beast, that aisle is closed at the moment
Phillips 666 - Gasoline of the Beast
Route 666 - Way of the Beast
666 F - Oven temperature for roast Beast
666k - Retirement plan of the Beast
666 mg - Recommended Minimum Daily Requirement of Beast
6.66 % - 5 year CD interest rate at First Beast of Hell National Bank, $666 -minimum deposit.
Lotus 6-6-6 - Spreadsheet of the Beast
Word 6.66 - Word Processor of the Beast
i66686 - CPU of the Beast
666i - BMW of the Beast
DSM-666 (revised) - Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the Beast
668 - Next-door neighbor of the Beast
- Number of the Blonde Beast
uh... what was that number again?
Posted at 07:24 PM
BOZELL ON MICHAEL MOORE [Tim Graham]
Let's never hear another word about negative Republican commercials ever again...
Posted at 07:19 PM
RE: THOMAS & SCALIA [Andy McCarthy]
Bear with me, this one is long.
I much appreciate the responses from Mark Levin, Jon Adler, and Randy Barnett, which gave me a lot of insight I did not have before. I agree with Jon that Baude’s statement about Justice Thomas seeing himself as a staunch defender of the founders’ classically liberal vision is defensible--in fact, I think it’s not only defensible but correct. My only quibble was that it was inconsistent with Baude’s earlier assertion that Thomas is wedded to the text to the exclusion of historical context. In hindsight, I think my critique of Baude is nit-picky--his fine article explains what he means by his introductory comments, and, as both Mark and Jon point out (and as Randy amplifies), all originalists start (and, if they can, end) with the text. Petty or not, though, I am selfishly glad I nit-picked since it has sparked an interesting discussion.
Mark is of course right that Hamdi featured competing constitutional issues, as many of the high Court’s cases do. But I respectfully disagree that it is unlikely Thomas would have objected to a congressional suspension of habeas corpus.
Regarding rebellion or invasion, which is the constitutional predicate for such a suspension, Thomas writes (in his Hamdi dissent at p. 16): “[T]his condition might not obtain here [i.e., in Hamdi’s case] or during many other emergencies during which detention authority might be necessary.” Thomas’s earlier reliance on Justice Jackson doesn’t sway me either, because Jackson was talking about the primacy of executive and legislative power in the areas of foreign affairs and national security, not habeas corpus. That makes sense: If a national security crisis could empower the president unilaterally to suspend habeas corpus, the Suspension Clause (and of course habeas) would be a nullity. This would be contra-textual--something I would think Thomas in particular would deem unacceptable (for the reasons elaborated on by Randy). Besides, habeas corpus is a judicial writ, so the judiciary cannot be expected to step aside with respect to it as they should generally on matters of foreign affairs and national security.
Since Thomas thus cannot ignore the Suspension Clause, he instead construes it as having no (or at best dubious) application on the facts of this case--a construction accomplished by an overly stingy construction of the word “invasion” (i.e., he suggests that the 9/11 attacks cannot at this stage be considered an “invasion,” so there is no need to consider whether Congress could have suspended the writ). If Thomas is right, that would necessarily mean the framers thought it was important to make express contingencies regarding liberty for only some conceivable national emergencies (invasion and rebellion) but not all of them. This seems unreasonable to me. In my book (as evidently in Justice Scalia’s), 9/11 remains an invasion; that it happened 3 years ago rather than 3 days ago is immaterial--what matters is that we are still directly imperiled by it.
Also, I can’t agree that because the government conceded that Hamdi had access to the court, habeas was not at issue in the case. Habeas is not just a procedural right of access to court; it is, in addition, a substantive right to be at liberty if one’s detention violates the Constitution. If I am right about that, Scalia’s vision is both more democratic and more faithful to the Constitution than Thomas’s. That is, Thomas says in a time of crisis the executive branch may detain anyone it wishes to, and the court cannot review. Scalia, on the other hand, says the executive can detain anyone it wishes to as long as the people’s representatives have approved by suspending habeas corpus, but if they have not, the detention is not legal and the detainee must either be freed or prosecuted in the criminal justice system. As I said in yesterday’s article, I think Scalia’s argument may be unassailable if the only question were what is constitutionally more sound. But I don’t think Scalia’s argument is practical politically, and in a national security context that is a fatal flaw.
In most instances where constitutional fidelity would cause practical political difficulty (e.g., where a faithful reading of the 14th Amendment would require politicians to oppose affirmative action programs, or a faithful reading of the First Amendment would cause presidents to veto unconstitutional campaign finance reform schemes), I say to hell with practical politics--the oath government officials take is to the Constitution, not to expedience. Yet, I find myself unable to side with Scalia in Hamdi, even though I think he’s probably right, because I'm convinced that under his result our troops would be placed in mortal peril (i.e., if the politcal branches decline to act, Scalia’s view would either free terrorists or cause terror trials that educate terrorist organizations).
The beauty of Thomas’s position, is that even if the politicians lack spine to suspend the writ, the terrorists are still detained and there are no trials. But the problem with it is: Has he effectively repealed the Suspension Clause and set a dangerous precedent that is more likely than Scalia’s theory to result in innocent people being detained without trial.
In the plurality’s vision, which carried the day in Hamdi, we get less national security than Thomas would allow and less liberty than Scalia would allow. If I had to vote on which of the three possibilities (plurality, Thomas or Scalia) is the best thing for the country right this minute, I would vote, like Mark, for Thomas’s view. BUT, I would do so knowing I’d have a very hard time answering this question: Haven’t I just voted to repeal the Suspension Clause? That is why I have sympathy for the plurality’s balancing act, even though I acknowledge Mark is completely correct that Thomas’s position makes our country much safer.
One final thing ought in fairness to be conceded given my criticism of Baude: I am probably guilty of a more important inconsistency. I previously reported on combatants a couple of times (here and here. In neither of these articles did I mention, let alone deal with, the Suspension Clause, which I now am portraying as a big problem.
In my defense, my purpose in those pieces was primarily to report on what had happened, first in the Padilla case and then when the Supreme Court heard argument on all these combatatnts cases; the Suspension Clause did not figure prominently in any of those proceedings. Why? Because I think we all assumed that Ex Parte Quirin, the WWII era case in which the Supremes had upheld detention without trial of an American citizen, would have made any argument based on the Supremacy Clause futile. I don’t think the lower federal courts can be faulted for this (although I certainly wish I had thought to address it somewhere along the way), because they were required to follow Quirin. As the Hamdi opinions demonstrate, however, the Supreme Court is always free to revisit its own precedents, which I think made the Suspension Clause a much more live issue for the justices than it had been for the lower courts.
Posted at 07:11 PM
OUT TO BADMINTON [KJL]
The Today Show makes a big mistake: playing while Saddam courtroom feed was coming in.
Posted at 07:07 PM
JAMES CARVILLE WINCES [Tim Graham]
Kudos to ABC for augmenting the fawning coverage of Clinton's mammoth book with some of the Clinton women tonight. (You'd almost expect the promos to say: "Get an update on the Trash for Cash ladies!") Paula Jones told Primetime's Cynthia McFadden about the VRWC: "I agree that I was a small little entity in this big vast whatever-you-want-to-call-it that got erected." That seems to capture the real Paula Jones in one sentence. She wasn't interested in a VRWC. She wanted to let Clinton know that his abuse of power to get sex "just because he could" should have consequences. Paula will also talk about whether she "feels sorry" for Hillary. Nope.
But if the web story is any indication, expect some Clinton spin to be resurrected alongside these women. "Clinton denies sexually harassing Jones. The suit was dismissed. Jones appealed, and in November 1998, Clinton paid her $850,000 to settle the suit." On Gennifer Flowers, the best we get is "Clinton later admitted her allegations were at least partially true."
Posted at 07:05 PM
I'M SHOCKED [KJL]
that Joe Trippi didn't send me an inscribed copy of his book.
Posted at 07:01 PM
KERRY BLOWS IT AGAIN [ Mike Potemra ]
A few weeks ago, Bill Buckley wrote a column about John Kerry’s proposed campaign theme, “Let America Be America Again.” He warned Kerry that the author of those words—poet Langston Hughes—had praised Stalin, and would thus not be helpful to the Democrats’ campaign. Well, I just got an e-mail from the publicist at Random House—and guess who has just written a preface to a new book of Langston Hughes’s poems? Our friend John Kerry! It seems the left-wing cachet of Langston Hughes among Kerry’s supporters outweighs, for candidate Kerry, the losses he will sustain among moderate and conservative voters. The conventional wisdom—which I unapologetically endorse—is that Democrats can only win nationwide if they convince voters they won’t go back to their pre-New Democrat big-taxing socialist reflexes. This development—along with Hillary’s recent comment about taxes needing to be raised for the public good—indicates to me that leading Democrats are rejecting that conventional wisdom, and bearing left. Just a couple more steps in this direction, and they will find themselves on the wrong side of a Goldwater/McGovern-level blowout.
Posted at 06:31 PM
WFB & PEANUT BUTTER [KJL]
While we're on the topic of WFB and food: don't miss his peanut-butter column. (We're in "looking back" and looking forward this week.)
Posted at 06:30 PM
WILLIAM F. BUCKLEY JR.'S FUDGE [KJL]
Apparently this link hasn't worked all day. I am very sorry and give it to you now, here.
Posted at 06:28 PM
SADDAM TODAY [KJL]
He's clearly reading the blogosphere.
Posted at 06:07 PM
LAUREATE SHMAUREATE [Jonathan H. Adler]
Would you trust the average Congressmanto understand, let alone analyze, quantum mechanics or astrophysics? Would you trust heart surgery to an electrician? Sensitive dental work to an electrician? Then why, David Douglass asks, should we care what Nobel Laureate scientists think about the presidential candidates?
Posted at 06:07 PM
WATCHING BUSHGREENWATCH [Jonathan H. Adler]
The folks at BushGreenwatch have taken a break from bashing the President to promote an update of the Limits to Growth. Honest. (I couldn't make this stuff up.) All the Malthusian predictions of the past may have been wrong, but this time -- really this time -- they'll be correct. (Better computer models or something.) I have further comment at The Commons.
Posted at 05:56 PM
DEMOCRATIC INFIGHTING [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Posted at 05:52 PM
EVEN MORE GOOD NEWS [KJL]
We have our first "dating service" of sorts ad, see top, right. (Click on all our ads when you can--it helps NRO and you might get something out of it--besides more NRO.)
Posted at 05:49 PM
MORE GOOD NEWS [Rich Lowry]
Going to see the Yanks v. Red Sox in the Bronx tonight. Pedro v. Halsey is not that match-up I would have picked, but the way this series--and this season at the moment--is going, you never know...
Posted at 05:30 PM
GOOD NEWS [Rich Lowry]
I've just figured out how to type a zero on my Blackberry, after 3 weeks. So there should be less inapproriate O's substituting for 0's in my posts. It's the little things....
Posted at 05:28 PM
MORE ON COMICS [Jonah Goldberg ]
From Justin Katz.
Posted at 05:28 PM
WARNING [Rich Lowry]
My column tomorrow is heavily borrowed from Kate O'Beirne's piece about how our contemporary military heroes tend to be ignored by the media and our broader culture. Thanks Kate!
Posted at 05:25 PM
IMPLOSION WORLD! [Jonah Goldberg ]
That's right, Implosion World!
Posted at 05:10 PM
NOVEMBER HEAVEN [KJL]
Wow. There's someone for everyone on that cruise, Jack. And, I can't help but notice that the price is a bargain: It's a vacation--with the Middle East expert, the classical historian, the head of the RNC, the editor of NR, an ex- friend of Bill Clinton, and all those other stars yet, how can you not go?
Posted at 03:46 PM
THIS JUST IN: MORRIS AND TOOMEY JOIN NR ‘POST-ELECTION’ CRUISE! [Jack Fowler]
Homey smokes!--great news! Conservative stalwart Congressman Pat Toomey and political guru and author Dick Morris (also a sometime NR & NRO contributor) will be joining our already primo panel of speakers on the National Review 2004 Post-Election Cruise, more info about which can be found here.
Have we got a grand-slamming line-up: Morris and Toomey join the likes of Islam expert Bernard Lewis, NRO all stars Victor Davis Hanson and John Derbyshire, Republican National Committee chairman Ed Gillespie, Club for Growth boss Steve Moore, columnist supreme Michelle Malkin, thinking-big-thoughts author Dinesh D’Souza, military and security expert John Hillen, The National Interest editor John O’Sullivan, as well as NR editors Rich Lowry, Jay Nordlinger, and last but no-way-in-Hades least Ramesh Ponnuru.
You’ve got to be there. Never mind the wonderful cruise that awaits you; the panel sessions alone (where current events, the elections, their fallout, and so much more will be discussed) are worth the price of admission.
And as cruises go, that price is oh-so-low: faress for luxurious cabins on Holland America’s glorious Zuiderdam starting as low as $1,549 a person (just $1,899 for a luxurious “single”).
How can you not join us?! Sign up now, while there are still cabins available!
Posted at 03:37 PM
NOW THAT MAKES SENSE! [Jonah Goldberg ]
F9/11 first foreign "documentary" allowed by Red Chinese. (Via Drudge)
Posted at 03:31 PM
MORE ON MOORE-ONS [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader (who's right about Lars):
...a local conservative radio talk show host, Lars Larson (larslarson.com). It was to a couple of thousand MM like minded people who were in his Portland audience. Entire audience heard Lars' recorded cell phone greeting give out his home phone number - he and his wife then started getting death threats at home. Nice crowd. Doesn't excuse what Dobson did but MM better not bitch....
Posted at 03:28 PM
SUPER NERDS! [Jonah Goldberg]
Or so I'm told, I can't play the movie on my laptop.
Posted at 03:25 PM
GOOD POINT [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
Posted at 03:21 PM
BAD MOVE [Jonah Goldberg]
James Dobson's Focus on the Family has apparently sent
But, I should add, Michael Moore has zero-point-zero grounds to complain. After all, he did set up a webcam aimed at my parents' bedroom during the Clinton troubles and promoted it in on television, in an effort to show the whole world where my mom lived and invade her privacy. (My mom turned things around and sold ad space in the window to the National Inquirer) If I recall correctly I appeared on some show with him in which he proceeded to make an idiot out of himself on some nonsensical constitutional point. Also, if I recall correctly, any number of liberals and journalists thought Moore's stunt was hilarious. So let's not hear too much piousness about Dobson & Co. from that quarter either.
Still, I think it's just wrong to divulge home addresses for the puprose of harassing public figures.
Posted at 03:12 PM
RE CANADA DAY [Jonah Goldberg]
Back into your cage Canada-boy! Back I say!
Posted at 02:46 PM
HAPPY CANADA DAY [Aaron P. Bailey]
to our neighbours to the north.
Posted at 02:27 PM
SO NOW I'M WONDERING [Ramesh Ponnuru]
is there a guy under age 40 in the Corner who wasn't a comic-book fan? Me, I read Marvel and D.C.--mostly D.C. though, my brothers having bought up the Marvels.
Posted at 02:11 PM
WITNESSES FOR SADDAM [KJL]
Do you think Michael Moore will testify? Ted Kennedy?
Posted at 01:48 PM
MANDELA & REIGN [KJL]
A number of readers have pointed out that Nelson Mandela used "Let freedom reign," in his inaugural speech. Wonder if Mo-Do made fun of him, too.
Posted at 01:41 PM
SPIDERMAN & RR [Steven Hayward]
Let is recall that Spiderman was Ronald Reagan's favorite comic; it was the first thing he reached for in the morning paper. Take that, Pod-Person!
Posted at 01:38 PM
THE HULK IS SILLY. KIDS SHOULD READ JEKYLL & HYDE [Jim Geraghty]
John Pod, today: Instead of comic books, society should revere the classics which don't include such silly, unrealistic, stupid central conceits. For example, kids and adults alike should read Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Dracula, the Scarlet Pimpernel, the Invisible Man, Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, the early greek epics about Hercules, the Norse mythology of Thor, Beowulf etc.
Gulliver's Travels is clearly much more realistic, than say, Batman. Vigilantes? Ha! Next you'll claim that it's realistic for some nefarious bearded egomaniacal supervillain to be plotting to destroy New York City from a cave headquarters halfway across the world!
Posted at 01:22 PM
OH HECK, WHERE DID I PUT THOSE AGAIN? [KJL]
Kevin Cherry notices this item on The Note today: “Yesterday morning, top political aides to at least several candidates who are thought to be leading contenders were contacted by a member of Jim Johnson's vice presidential search team and asked to provide detailed contact information for their principles, as well as their schedules over the next 10 days.”
Democrats need contact information for their principles? I guess they do.
Posted at 01:12 PM
ANOTHER SCALIA/THOMAS POINT [Mark R. Levin]
I do not believe Thomas is a textualist, as opposed to an originalist who looks first at the text, precisely because of his frequent references to the Declaration of Independence and the Federalist Papers, as well as the influences of Harry Jaffa and natural law theory. Clearly, this is not a purely textual approach.
Posted at 01:03 PM
PRYOR ON BORK [Jonathan H. Adler]
Judge William Pryor's review of Robert Bork's Coercing Virtue is available at Southern Appeal.
Posted at 12:58 PM
ACADEMIC ARCHIPELAGO MEETS BOB DYLAN [John Derbyshire]
Professor Harvey Shulman up there in the tundra came up with the following birthday ode to Bobbie Dylan back in 2001. It combines two of the points from my June Diary, posted yesterday.
WITH APOLOGIES TO BOB DYLAN ON HIS 60TH
Posted at 12:57 PM
TIMEWASTER [Jonah Goldberg ]
Posted at 12:57 PM
Despite Saddam's defiance today, John Burns makes the point that He sounded very much like a broken man. (From memory, he's delivering an oral report right now in Baghdad.
Posted at 12:56 PM
POD & SPIDEY [Jonathan H. Adler]
I'm tempted to moount a full-bore defense of comic books after reading John Podhoretz's review of Spiderman 2, but I'll leave that to Jonah. Let me simply say that one need not view comics as a high-art form to find them enjoyable and worthwhile. One need not think Kurt Cobain rivals Ludwig von Beethoven to enjoy listening to Nirvana. By the same token, one need not mistake Steve Kirby for Renoir or Stan Lee for Shakespeare to appreciate and enjoy their creations. Spiderman 2 may well be the best comic book movie ever made, and for some of us that really is saying something.
Posted at 12:51 PM
SENTELLE SETS THE RECORD STRAIGHT [Jonathan H. Adler]
Judge David Sentelle of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has taken the unusual step of issuing a press release responding to a factual error in Bill Clinton's memoir. The text is posted by How Appealing here. If I recall correctly, prior books attacking the "vast right0wing conspiracy" made the same mistake. Full disclosure: I clerked for Judge Sentelle for the court's 2000-01 term.
Posted at 12:47 PM
MICHAEL MOORE HATES AMERICA [Jonathan H. Adler]
The mockumentary response to Michael Moore's crockumentaries is nearing completion, and Instapundit has other anti-Moore news.
Posted at 12:46 PM
MORE THOMAS AND SCALIA [KJL]
Randy Barnett e-mails:
When it comes to constitutional interpretation, Thomas is concerned almost exclusively with the original meaning of the text at the time of the founding (and sometimes the original intentions of the founders as well) or the original meaning of an amendment; Scalia is more willing to reshape this meaning in light of what our "tradition" which means how the Constitution came to be viewed from then until now. For Scalia, tradition after ratification plays a much more important role, in operation sometimes appearing to trump his concern for original meaning. I think this is because he is trying to find more definite content than he thinks is in the text, and root this content somehow in history rather than in what he views as judicial fiat. Thomas (like Lincoln) is more inclined to read the original meaning of the Constitution in light of the prior Declaration of Independence than subsequent tradition, perhaps because of his sensitivity about slavery.
Posted at 12:45 PM
IN DEFENSE OF COMIC BOOK MOVIES [Jonah Goldberg ]
Take that anti-comic book man! It's clobberin' time!
Posted at 12:39 PM
RE: THOMAS & SCALIA [Mark R. Levin]
Andy, both Scalia and Thomas are originalists, but originalists begin with the text and, if they need more, consider the historical context. But this isn't a rote exercise. Obviously, any two people, looking at the same set of facts, and applying the same analytical standards, don't necessarily come up with the same result. This isn't mathematics.
Moveover, there are competing constitutional issues here, as in most cases. In the detainment cases, they involved habeas, due process, presidential powers, judicial review and separation of powers. I do not believe Thomas would have objected to Congress suspending habeas as a legitimate exercise of its constitutional power. In fact, in Hamdi he specifically quotes Justice Jackson for the proposition that Congress (and the president) have virtually sole authority in this area. But he also recognizes that whether or not Congress acts, the Executive has powers too. And that includes primacy in the conduct of war. In this there can be no doubt.
I take it that you consider yourself an originalist, yet I believe we disagree on Hamdi, as do Scalia and Thomas. (See my short article posted this morning.) Moreover, as I have pointed out, and you did in your piece yesterday, the issue in Hamdi wasn't whether he had access to the courts. The government conceded he did. The question was the extent to which he could rebutt proof presented to the court in a habeas hearing. So, to me, habeas was not the issue. Now, having concluded that Hamdi had a hearing at which the government informed the court of the reasons for his detention, the constitutional requirement had been met. There's nothing in the Constitution that specifically justifies the Court's decision to apply some kind of due process analysis (confusing at that) on top of the habeas hearing in this case. Yet, the Constitution is quite clear about presidential supremacy in matters of war which, in my view, deserves deference.
Posted at 12:31 PM
RE: THOMAS & SCALIA [Jonathan H. Adler]
I generally concur with Andrew, with a few caveats or clarifications. I generally see both Thomas and Scalia as textualists first, and then proponents of original meaning (as opposed to original intent) second. Thomas is certainly less wedded to precedent than Scalia, and is more willing to apply abstract principles where a clear, easy-to-apply rule of decision is absent. Thus, for example, Thomas is likely to be more open to arguments seeking to revive the protection of economic liberty or non-delegation doctrine than Scalia. For Thomas, this could be required by the text. For Scalia, this is simply an opportunity for judicial mischief. (Think Judge Bork's dismissal of the Ninth Amendment as an "inkblot.")
I also think Baude's statement that “Thomas . . . sees himself as a staunch defender of the classically liberal vision of the country's founders” is defensible. Thomas is much more willing than Scalia to appeal to the principles of the Declaration of Independence, particularly on quetions of race. As I understand it, Thomas was heavily influenced by Harry Jaffa and others who see the Reconstruction Amendments as the perfection of the Constitutional project insofar as they realized the founding principles that all men are created equal and endowed with natural rights. This is not simply an abstract proposition to Thomas, but a constitutional principle that can be applied in proper cases. For more, see Thomas' speech to the Claremont Institute's 1999 Lincoln Day dinner.
Posted at 12:31 PM
GUYS GONE WILD [Jonathan H. Adler]
I suppose some would view this as a landmark for women's liberation, but I doubt K-lo is rushing out to buy it.
Posted at 12:24 PM
O'REILLY'S MESS [Jonah Goldberg ]
I'm agnostic about whether or not Cole's version of events is 100% accurate, but I think O'Reilly invited this mess upon himself. Update: link fixed.
Posted at 12:23 PM
COMICS ON THE DECLINE [Jonah Goldberg]
I'm getting lots of email like this:
I feel exactly the same way about my experience with comics growing up. I count at THE reason I am such an avid reader today. My concern is that I may not want to pass that experience on to my son (or daughter, but who are we kidding?). Have you checked out the standard Marvel titles today? The are chock full of the worst kind of relativism, political correctness, and left-wing values. There was always a strain of this when I was reading, especially in titles like X-Men and The New Mutants, but it is worse than anything I've seen. Moreover, they are coming close to porn these days. Characters in bed together, sex being a regular topic, etc. I guess I will start collecting the classic editions.
Posted at 12:14 PM
JONAH'S QUESTION & RC STUFF [KJL]
I believe the way the deal works—going on my memory of Canon Law 101 at Catholic U (which I am still paying for)—is the bishop gets the suit and can choose to do nothing with it. In that case after 40 days it goes to the Roman Curia (bureaucracy) at the Vatican to act on, or sit on. I forget what all the rules are when Rome has it, but we’ll definitely cover this deeper after the weekend, if not before.
My guess is Archbishop O'Malley in Boston will not do anything about the suit but, possibly, deny Kerry communion. The presence of the suit could possibly make Kerry stop making Catholic Mass a photo-op for him, but if it doesn't, his bishop really has little excuse to not make his status clear. And that's not to effect the election--I frankly don't know that any of this can help Bush, and it might even hurt him--but because it is the right thing to do: for the faithful individually and generally. That includes the Democratic candidate and a good number of the Republican convention's prime-time lineup (Pataki, Rudy, Arhnuld...).
Posted at 12:14 PM
RE: LET FREEDOM REIGN [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
Posted at 12:07 PM
LIBERAL MEDIA [Jonah Goldberg]
I'm not looking to start another big argument about Clinton haters versus Bush haters or even to get on a big jag about the press. But I do think one thing is indisputable in the wake of the Moore film. Bush hatred is simply more socially acceptable in elite circles than Clinton hatred ever was. Of course, there were Clinton haters in the elite liberal press, but their views were considered eccentricities. Among the elite media today it is considered perfectly rational or normal or even honorable to despise Bush.
Posted at 12:04 PM
REIGN, REIGN GO AWAY [Andy McCarthy]
Dowd is just reigning on Bush's parade. The Times has become so stunningly small-minded and petty it really is a marvel. Just as it's said you should judge a person by the small rather than the grand gestures, Dowd taking that juvenile a shot at Bush really tells you everything you need to know about the Times's Iraq coverage: no achievement ever acknowledged; no nit ever unmentioned or uninflated.
Posted at 11:55 AM
RE: LET FREEDOM REIGN [Jonah Goldberg]
Ramesh - I think you and others miss the more salient reason Dowd's being a jerk (again). If Bush wrote "Let freedom ring" she would have ridiculed it as an obvious, premeditated, public relations ploy, as would have most Democrats. But when Bush writes "let freedom reign!" he gets grief for mangling the quote. In other words, no matter what he wrote ("okey dokey," "cool!," "viva liberty!" whatever) it would have been ridiculed. If he put the note in his pocket he would have been ridiculed. If he hugged Tony Blair he would have been ridiculed. If he did anything short of grab his chest and fall face first into the table, the Dowds of the world would have mocked him because they no longer care about the substance of what Bush does, they only care about new material.
Posted at 11:48 AM
COMIC BOOKS [Jonah Goldberg]
My friend John Podhoretz opens his review of Spider-Man II thus:
Calling the new Spider-Man film the best comic-book movie ever made — and it is, without a doubt, the best comic-book movie ever made — is a little like calling a Chicken McNugget the best processed fast-food poultry product ever produced. It's praise, but how substantial can the praise really be, given the source?
Me: Now at first, I was mad. Hulk mad. Me smash puny movie man! mad. But then I did recall that the Hulk movie sucked so bad it nearly turned itself inside out from the sucking. And I calmed down to merely Doc Samson mad.
Still, John's gaze is way too sweeping (like, say, Cyclops without his ruby quartz visor). To say that Spider-Man II is the cinematic equivalent to a Chicken McNugget (his slandering of the super-tastey McNugget will have to wait for now) and that comic-book generated movies are the worst genre in filmed entertainment -- which presumably includes TV -- makes it sound as if there are never good comic book-based movies or TV shows—which I think is unfair. I certainly agree that there have been many, many disappointments in the comic-to-screen genre. But A) the genre is improving rapidly as Hollywood realizes that comics aren’t kiddy-fare and B) if we are going to measure genres by their worst examples, then all genres stink. Also, everyone knows that the worst genre in filmed entertainment is the after-school-special (Helen Hunt’s leap from her high school window in “Angel Dusted” notwithstanding). But, still,on reflection I can see that John has a point.
But then he writes:
Comic books developed a bad reputation because of the violence they depicted, which was and is a silly reason to dislike them. Here's a better reason: They're a cultural embarrassment. They weren't when they were the province of powerless boys, but they have become a cultural embarrassment because the common culture has unthinkingly and stupidly accepted them as an art form. This was a natural outcome of the youth-worship that took over American culture in the 1960s, because if you're going to immature and illiterate energy in all its guises, why not go all the way into the most immature and illiterate of cultural forms?
Hulk-levels of madness returning….
Clearly Podhoretz has taken too many crazy pills. I know he’s heard this from plenty of others, but comic books can be, and often are, wondrous, amazing things. I don’t think they are high literature, but they are certainly far more elevating and cerebral than much of the sitcom prattle John and I both wasted so much time on in our respective childhoods. Any kid who turns off the TV to read a good comic book is doing himself a favor, in my view. In fact, I am eternally grateful for having been allowed to indulge my comic book habit as a child. In many respects it was comic books which made me a reader. Comics created my interests in all sorts of subjects. It strikes me as pointless to tell an “anti-comic-book snob” like John things he’s heard a million times before, especially when I’ve got other stuff to do (and John as a new dad probably does too). But I think he’s simply flat-out wrong (unless he’s only talking about readers of DC comics and then, well, I take it all back).
Posted at 11:37 AM
THE REIGN OF FREEDOM [Ramesh Ponnuru]
What's so terrible about saying "let freedom reign" rather than "let freedom ring"? It may very well be that Bush was half-remembering the latter phrase when he said the former. But what he said is perfectly defensible, and rather nicely captures the paradox at the heart of the liberal conception of power. And hey, R.E.M. said it too.
Posted at 11:07 AM
TERESA'S HUMOR [Jonah Goldberg]
From the Boston Globe: "Addressing the suggestion that her fortune, estimated at as much as $1 billion, makes her out of touch with the voters who will decide whether to elect her husband, she said: 'It's so ludicrous that it makes you laugh.'"
I dunno, I'm no class warrior, but is there any other person in the world who thinks the idea that a billionaire heiress might be "out of touch" with voters is so crazy-kookey-wacky that they'd actually laugh? Seriously, is there a single person who'd even chuckle at the suggestion? One? Anybody?
Posted at 10:49 AM
MEA CULPA [KJL]
On Monday, when "handover" happened in Iraq, I received many, many, many e-mails from readers predicting that someone prominent on the Left would soon be critizing President Bush's handwritting on that note passed to him by Condi Rice, where he wrote "Let freedom reign." "'Bush can't even get that right,' they will say," our readers said. I thought our readers needed to take their anti-cynicism pills. But I was wrong. Here is Maureen Dowd this morning:
Let freedom reign.
Posted at 10:45 AM
CHURCH LAWSUITS [Jonah Goldberg]
Hey Kathrryn -- Could you or some other Cornerite of the Catholic persuasion explain how Church lawsuits work? I am very intrigued and want more details. What are the limits or boundaries for suits?
Posted at 10:22 AM
ZARKAWI, WOMEN IN THE MILITARY & A SHREWD OBSERVATION [KJL]
Zarkawi is reportedly targetting U.S. military women in Iraq.
A correspondent makes a sharp observation: " If you can get past how despicable they are, it really is interesting how terrorists have a brute bluntness that really forces us to confront all of our fashionable pieties -- like intolerance about any discussion re profiling or torture, whether Islam can really assimilate in America w/o one or the other radically changing, etc. Here is yet another one: women in combat. If the kidnap and brutalization of FEMALE service members will make Americans particularly queasy and cause them particularly to question the wisdom of a military operation, that doesn't mean the operation is unwise; it means the female service members are a liability and should not be assigned to the said operation, no? You gotta hand it to Zarqawi, tho -- he's shrewd enough to know that there are few politicians in America who want to have a future and would say such a thing out loud."
Posted at 10:14 AM
HIGHLARIOUS [Jonah Goldberg ]
Actually, the Kerry team appears to have gone beyond a mere passive hide-the-candidate strategy and taken it to the next level, pursuing a pro-active make-the-voters-forget-the-candidate strategy. In the latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, "just 57 percent of the respondents say they know a lot or a fair amount about Kerry," reports NBC's Mark Murray. That's "a real drop from 68 percent in the NBC/Journal March survey." The voters actually know less about Kerry the more the campaign progresses. It's working! At this impressive rate of memory loss, most of the electorate won't even recognize Kerry's name on the Nov. 2 ballot. ... 11:38 P.M.
Posted at 10:11 AM
HERETIC KERRY? [KJL]
A heresy suit has been filed in Boston against John Kerry. One source who has a canonical kitchen cabinet (I need one of those!) tells me "the thing cannot be disregarded as easily as Chuck Wilson contends (at the end of the piece). The bishop has an obligation to respond and if he does not do so in 40 days the lawsuit is automatically accepted....He must either investigate the charges or punt it to Rome, but he cannot simply ignore it. Never has there been a class action Church lawsuit like this and certainly none that seeks reparations. "
Posted at 10:06 AM
THOMAS & SCALIA [Andy McCarthy]
I’d be especially interested in Jonathan Adler and Mark Levin’s take on this.
Jonathan was so right yesterday about Will Baude’s TNR piece debunking the myth that Justice Thomas is a Justice Scalia puppet. I do think, though, that Baude stumbles a bit in trying to describe Thomas’s jurisprudence – which is understandable since it may be more sophisticated than a thematic sentence or two can accurately capture.
It cannot be true, as Baude argues, both that (a) Thomas, as an advocate of “textualism,” believes that the words of laws and the Constitution must be “taken at face value rather than interpreted in historical context”; and that (b) “Thomas . . . sees himself as a staunch defender of the classically liberal vision of the country's founders.” The “classically liberal vision of the country’s founders” is a “historical context” – specifically, the historical context that is Thomas’s prism for “interpret[ing]” legal text. I think that makes him, like Scalia, more of an “originalist” than a “textualist” – although both of them clearly look at text first and resort to interpretation only if the textual meaning is not clear on its face.
It does seem to be true, as Baude argues, that the breadth of what Thomas sees as appropriate interpretive context is often narrower than what Scalia would permit. As Baude points out, in the Hamdi combatants case the two originalists reached opposite conclusions in part because Thomas relied on the Federalist Papers while Scalia went back to Blackstone – i.e., Thomas’s originalism was rooted in what the Framers said they were thinking, while Scalia was willing to delve into the then-established principles that informed the Framers at the time they said what they said.
It was also interesting to see how the two actually handled the text of the Constitution. Scalia rejected the Bush administration’s position because he saw detaining an American citizen without trial at a time when Congress had not suspended the writ of habeas corpus as a violation of the Suspension Clause. While acknowledging the Suspension Clause, Thomas, to the contrary, suggested that Congress probably could not have suspended the writ in Hamdi’s case because the text of the Clause says suspension is proper only if public safety is threatened by “Rebellion or Invasion[.]”
Evidently, Thomas does not see the 9/11 attacks as an “Invasion” that would permit Congress to suspend the writ – at least such that the writ would remain suspended three years later. I think he would have a point if we were not still in an active state of war in direct response to 9/11. Given that we are, I at least am much more comfortable with Scalia’s view that 9/11 was surely an "invasion" that would empower Congress to suspend the writ – which Congress absolutely should do with respect to enemy combatants, whether Americans or aliens, who are apprehended while the war ensues. If Congress had done this, we would not have travesties like Rasul, the Guantanamo combatants case in which the Court – over the dissents of Scalia and Thomas – vested alien enemy combatants with a right to file habeas petitions in U.S. courts.
Posted at 09:49 AM
YOUR HEALTH INSURANCE DOLLARS AT WORK [John Derbyshire]
Front page story in Long Island Newsday this morning: a 24-year-old illegal immigrant from Guatemala is paralyzed after falling from a roof and breaking his back. He is currently in the hospital at Huntington (my home town). Cost of treatment so far: $260,000 -- "not counting fees for the services of more than a dozen physician specialists" and "with no end in sight."
You have to feel sorry for this young man as a fellow human being. On the other hand, he's darn lucky he fell off a roof in the U.S.A., rather than one in Guatemala. As soon as he can be moved, he should be sent back to the care of his relatives in that country. And the contractor who employed him should be sued into oblivion, then jailed for 25 years, pour encourager les autres.
Posted at 09:45 AM
DUTCH DEBATE [Stanley Kurtz]
Earlier this week, in “Dutch Decline,” http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/livestro200406290924.asp Dutch columnist Joshua Livestro argued that same-sex marriage has helped to weaken marriage in The Netherlands. Now come the usual attempts to dismiss the data without confronting the arguments at hand. This blogger, http://amptoons.poliblog.com/blog/000915.html for example, suggests that the declining rate of Dutch marriage might be an effect of aging population. That explanation doesn’t work. The declining rate of Dutch marriage is the converse of what demographers agree is a rapidly rising rate of Dutch parental cohabitation. If it were just a question of there being too few available Dutch couples, then we wouldn’t be seeing more parental cohabitation. Clearly, Dutch parents who could have gotten married have decided to cohabit instead. That’s why the marriage rate is falling and the out-of-wedlock birthrate is rising. Our blogger says “it boggles the mind” that any of this could be connected to gay marriage. Yet I’ve shown in “Going Dutch?” that the Dutch themselves connect gay marriage to increased acceptance of parental cohabitation. And here we get the same old refusal as with other critics to meet my original points about Scandinavian marriage rates and cohabitation rates. Notice also that this blogger had nothing to say about Livestro’s striking stats on the low number of same-sex couples actually marrying. So it’s more of the same. Critics of the argument that gay marriage has undermined marriage in Scandinavia and Western Europe don’t really answer the points at hand.
Posted at 09:43 AM
REALITY CHECK [Jonah Goldberg ]
The best proof that all of the election year punditry has for the most part been a pregame show comes in the New York Times/CBS News poll which shows that 36 percent of those surveyed have no opinion on Kerry whatsoever. Most people aren't paying attention. Moreover, Kerry is cloaked in a shroud of forgetfulness. People hear him and then forget what he said almost immediately. As Howie Kurtz notes, this means the Bushies can still "identify" Kerry in the minds of the voters. So can, Kerry of course. But Kerry's been trying very hard at that for a long time and it hasn't worked too well.
Posted at 09:27 AM
INTERNATIONAL MIRANDA [Jonah Goldberg]
I'm listening to a member of Saddam's defense team on CNN. He says their chief argument on Saddam's behalf will be that the invasion was illegal and therefore the court cannot try him. I love this despite its perniciousness. In effect the lawyers are arguing that without some sort of "warrant" from the "international community" tyrants can never receive justice.
Posted at 09:16 AM
SADDAM IN THE DOCK [Jonah Goldberg]
Obviously I think it's great Saddam's in the dock. I'm sure I will have opportunities to debate and write about this at length later. But for the record, I think he should get a long, fair, trial and then a swift execution (spare me the blather about how I am "pre-judging him"). The idea that Saddam should be kept alive in some sort of concrete Elba strikes me as absurd.
Posted at 09:13 AM
FOUR CHAPLAINS [Jonah Goldberg ]
At the suggestion of my dad, I've been skimming through No Greater Glory: The Four Immortal Chaplains and the Sinking of the Dorchester in World War II. (Full disclosure: It's written by his old friend Dan Kurzman). The book's about the famed four immortal chaplains (hence the title) who gave up their life vests when the Dorchester went down. It's a pretty gripping tale from WWII. As Rod noted a while back our military chaplaincy is a very special thing. I didn't realize how special.
Posted at 09:05 AM
A VEEP UPDATE [John Hood]
Cameron Kerry, a Boston lawyer and close advisor to his brother John, was in North Carolina yesterday to size up efforts to make the state competitive for the Democratic presidential ticket. He also got an earful of advice and/or pleas to pick outgoing Sen. John Edwards as the vice-presidential nominee. The Kerry brother said he was “certainly encouraged” by what he heard, and added that, “A lot of people feel it [North Carolina] could be in play whether or not John Edwards is on the ticket, and will certainly be in play if he is on the ticket.” If that truly reflects what his brother is thinking, it’s significant.
Another argument for the Edwards pick is making the rounds in Washington, I’m told: his pick would be the only one among the possibilities usually discussed that is likely to help Democrats in their quest to take back the U.S. Senate. Former Clinton aide Erskine Bowles is again going to be the Democratic nominee here and will run against Winston-Salem Congressman Richard Burr, who’s undeniably a talent but not the political force of nature that Elizabeth Dole was. Bowles currently has a lead of between seven and nine points, though most expect the race to tighten in the next few weeks as Burr’s advertising buys start to hit the airwaves. The thinking is that Edwards on the ticket will help to boost Democratic turnout in the Tar Heel State, thus helping Bowles as well as the incumbent Democratic governor, Mike Easley. North Carolina is also the biggest prize in the gubernatorial races being targeted for pick-ups by the GOP this year.
The latest rumor is that Kerry will announce his VP selection early next week. Who knows?
Posted at 08:54 AM
CAN'T PLEASE EVERYBODY [Jonah Goldberg ]
Posted at 08:39 AM
WFB HOSANNAHS [Jack Fowler]
Two thoughtful reflections on Bill Buckley’s career. Jeff Jacoby’s column published in today’s Boston Globe is a must read, as is this piece in the Pasadena Star-News by editor Larry Wilson.
Posted at 08:13 AM
DID BUSH REALLY "WITHDRAW" FROM KYOTO? [Jonathan H. Adler]
That's the claim regularly made by the media and the administration's environmental critics. Yet CEI's Chris Horner begs to differ:
If the U.S. withdrew from Kyoto, what were all of those (28) State Department, EPA and other officials doing at the just-completed 16-25 June, "Subsidiary Body" negotiation in Bonn, in preparation for December's "COP-10" in Buenos Aires? In truth, the Bush Administration has withdrawn from neither the climate talks, nor the treaty. President Bush has instead merely continued the Clinton policy of refusing to send the signed Kyoto to the Senate for a vote. Formal rejection by the executive is achieved by renouncing the signature, as President Bush did in fact do regarding the International Criminal Court (Rome Statute). No such communication to the United Nations has issued regarding Kyoto, as is readily confirmed by the State Department's website. Until then, we're in.Read the whole thing over at The Commons.
Posted at 08:12 AM
IS MARK GERAGOS DEFENDING HIM, TOO? [Jim Geraghty]
Hey, I'm watching cable news but not paying attention - is Saddam Hussein on trial for killing Laci Peterson or for attacking a woman in an Aspen hotel room?
Posted at 08:09 AM
"REAL CRIMINAL IS BUSH" [KJL]
Saddam says he's still president of Iraq, appeared in court (it's over now) defiant.
Posted at 07:46 AM
CASSINI IS IN ORBIT AROUND SATURN [John Derbyshire]
The Cassini spacecraft made its closest approach to Saturn at 12 minutes after midnight this morning. A retro-rocket was fired to slow it down, and a fly-by mission was thereby converted into a permanent orbit around the planet. All went successfully, and we should be getting some great pictures this morning.
This is a tremendous engineering achievement. We have never been in orbit around such a remote body. (The Voyager missions of the 1980s were fly-bys.) Congratulations to the mission team! Let's look forward to some great science from Cassini-Huygens.
Mission news (including live TV from mission control) can be got here. For pictures as they come in, this site is slightly better.
Posted at 06:31 AM
Saddam Hussein is currently in an Iraqi courtroom, about to be told his rights--to have a lawyer to defend him. 11 of his henchmen will follow. Tell me this isn't a better day for Iraq than any day under Saddam Hussein.
Posted at 06:26 AM
Wednesday, June 30, 2004
CLINTON CHRONICLES V F9/11 [Jonah Goldberg ]
Posted at 06:03 PM
IRAN WANTED BRITS IN THEIR WATERS? [KJL]
hmmm..what did Michael Ledeen say about this again?
Posted at 05:15 PM
ME V. JUDIS [Rich Lowry]
I'm up with a response to John Judis on Clinton. His piece yesterday convinced me even more that there is very little to be said in favor of Clinton's presidency.
Posted at 04:08 PM
KERRY-SPOTTING [Rich Lowry]
If you haven't checked out Geraghty over on the Kerry Spot yet today, do it--it's crackling with good stuff.
Posted at 04:06 PM
KERRY AND RACE [Roger Clegg]
There have been a lot of articles lately about how Kerry needs to do a better job of mobilizing black voters. Apparently he has taken that to heart, and so he gave a civil-rightsy speech to the Rainbow/PUSH conference yesterday. Most of it is very predictable—no Sister Souljah moments for him—with praise for the Civil Rights Act, Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, and … Jesse Jackson, his host. There’s the obligatory quotation of Langston Hughes, equally obligatory attack on the Bush administration, and then a shift to education policy, with a call for “an education revolution, a GI Bill for the new century, and the next economy.”
What’s interesting, though—and even heartening—is that, while Kerry tries to make the ensuing program proposals sound very minority-specific, they’re not. He wants more federal aid for tuition, but the proposal doesn’t seem to be limited to minorities. He wants continuing education programs, but that’s open to all adults. His ideas to improve high-school curricula and to address the “college completion crisis” likewise are aimed at “underprivileged students”—an economic, not a racial, category. And his program for “building the math, science and technology workforce of the future,” while calling for more minorities and women, includes sex-exclusive (“all-girls math/science schools”) but not race-exclusive initiatives.
Now, I hasten to add that these proposals are likely defective in other ways, and would no doubt be implemented by Kerry-appointed bureaucrats in a discriminatory fashion, and are certainly served up with plenty of victimization blather and identity politics--but it is still noteworthy that even the Democratic nominee-apparent, and even in a speech in Jesse Jackson’s house, is willing to promise only programs that are means-tested, not melanin-tested.
Posted at 04:00 PM
MORE SCALIA & THOMAS [Jonathan H. Adler]
Will Baude has an excellent column in TNR Online debunking the "Thomas just follows Scalia" canard.
Posted at 04:00 PM
WFB ON "COMMON GOOD" [Jim Boulet Jr.]
In his 1959 book, Up From Liberalism, William F. Buckley Jr., not only anticipated Hillary Clinton's confession, "We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good," he also explained why she can feel so righteous about forcing the rest of us to finance her utopian fantasies: "The liberal sees no moral problem whatever in divesting the people of that portion of their property necessary to finance the projects certified by ideology as beneficial to the Whole."
Posted at 03:57 PM
BARS IN BOSTON [KJL]
Some of us were thinking of getting a group of Boston conservatives together during the Democratic convention--an oasis during the onslaught. So bleg time: Any of you own a bar and want to host a Corner night? Any ideas welcome.
Posted at 03:41 PM
A POLITICAN WITH GOOD LITERARY TASTE?!?!!?? [John Derbyshire]
A reader up there in the tundra beyond Buffalo e-mails in: "Derb---My sorrow at yet another Liberal victory here in Canada was tempered by a 'likes and dislikes' piece on Paul Martin in today's National Post. His favourite book? Flashman and the Dragon. I have to think that anyone who can enjoy a Flashman novel has to have some reservations about our country's multiculti mindset."
It's heartening on a first read. However, I am deeply suspicious of these stated literary/poetic/musical prefences of politicians. I always think the answers have been tailored by some handler after running a few focus groups, and have nothing whatever to do with the actual candidate's actual tastes. If I were given the chance to interview Mr. Martin, I would quiz him closely on the book, and not be the least bit surprised to find that he had never read it.
Posted at 03:39 PM
SIR JOHN THOMAS [John Derbyshire]
Touched by my bafflement, kind readers have been e-mailing in to explain what is going on in the "Sir John Thomas" parody. To which, all I can say is: Eeeiuuuwww!
Posted at 03:34 PM
VOUCHSAFE THIS! [John Derbyshire]
To be quoted is nice. To find oneself quoted in a dictionary calls for a drink. Cheers!
Posted at 03:34 PM
FRENCH WHINE [Tim Graham]
Today's journalism-school discussion: Is it considered "news" when the French oppose the United States?
Posted at 03:32 PM
STIRRING THE POT [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
Posted at 03:23 PM
HUMMUS WITH YOUR HATE [Tim Graham]
The New York Times reports on "Fahrenheit 911" parties held by the far-left MoveOn.org. (You can always tell when a group is on the left-wing fringes. The Times is comfortable identifying them as "liberals.") I wonder: would they have been so sanguine if we'd held parties celebrating the "RATS" ad? Isn't it funny that liberals can be so outraged at fairly innocuous Republican ads as the daily "new low" in politics, but get out the chips and dip for this movie full of cheap and sleazy character assassinations?
Posted at 03:16 PM
ONE WAY TO LOOK AT IT [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
I have made it a habit to ask people that are out actively demonstrating against Bush or for Kerry one question - Name three things that would Kerry do better than Bush? The first two are almost always raise taxes on the rich and work with the United Nations. Most do not have a third item. So the way I understand a Kerry supporter is all they need to know about their candidate is that he will raise taxes and bend over for the French. I can not believe this will attract enough voters to win the election but I have been wrong before.
Posted at 03:12 PM
DEMS FOR NOT BUSH [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader in LA:
It's true. A canvasser for Kerry came to my door last night. I opened the door and before I could even say hello, he said, 'So are you on board to boot Bush out of office?' I talked to him for a few minutes, and even though he had a large Kerry sticker on his shirt, he never once mentioned the man's name.
Posted at 03:05 PM
WHO SUPPORTS FREE SPEECH? [Jonathan H. Adler]
Eugene Volokh has tentatively updated his ranking of Supreme Court justices' support for free speech. According to Eugene, the most pro-speech jurist on the Court is Justice Kennedy, with a 39 rating, followed by Justices Souter and Thomas, who are essentially tied at 32. The least speech-protective on the Court is Justice Breyer at 20.5, but the Chief Justice and Justice O'Connor are not far ahead of him at 21.17 and 21.5 respectively.
Interestingly enough, the average score of Republican appointees to the Court (28.64) is significantly higher than the average score of Democratic appointees (24.5). When the Justices are divided in their traditional right-left camps, the scores are a virtual dead heat: 27.76 for the five "conservatives," 27.67 for the four liberals. Remove perennial swing vote Justice O'Connor, however, and the "conservative" bloc's score is a higher 29.33. So much for conservatives and Republican judges being so much less protective of speech and expression.
Posted at 03:03 PM
THE REALLY BIG NEWS [Jonathan H. Adler]
Forget the transfer of power in Iraq, recent Supreme Court decisions, or Shaquille O'Neal's trade demands: Spiderman 2 is out. I saw it last night at a midnight showing here in Bozeman. I must say, it absolutely rocks. It's not a perfect film -- I have minor quibbles (that I won't share so as not to spoil any parts of the movie) -- but it is quite an amazing sequel. Even better: It's a movie without Michael Moore.
Posted at 03:01 PM
IT'S ALL ABOUT BUSH [Jonah Goldberg]
I just had lunch in my old neighborhood, Adams Morgan, with my intellectual manservant Lyle and a sharp guy from MEMRI. Anyway, there were some kids from DNC clipboard brigade on 18th street looking for signatures or something. There opening line "Hey! How would you guys like to get rid of George Bush?" Nice to know the DNC is campaigning on such a positive, issue-oriented agenda.
Posted at 02:47 PM
RE: CHENEY BOOED [KJL]
I'm getting a number of these:
As someone who was at the game last night, it's interesting to notice that the article fails to mention that the Vice President didn't get booed until after most of the fans cheered for him. As a frequent attendee at Yankee games, being a season ticket holder, I can speak from experience when I say that it's far easier to project more sound booing than clapping and cheering, not sure what the acoustical reasons are for this. Needless to say, the majority of the crowd was cheering first.
Posted at 12:36 PM
LET HIM DRINK NESTEA! [KJL]
The blind sheik threatens us with M&Ms.
Posted at 12:35 PM
BLAME IT ON THE BLEACHERS [KJL]
Cheney got booed at Yankee stadium.
Posted at 12:15 PM
SUDAN [Andy McCarthy]
I agree with almost everything Nina wrote today, and what Rich said a few days ago. My only quarrel: Before we go pinning blue ribbons on the State Department, remember it was only six weeks ago -- in the middle of the genocide, amid lots of reporting about organized gang rapes, etc. -- that State took Sudan OFF the list of nations that support terrorism. (See here.)
I first met the heroic Nina Shea six years ago at a Georgetown event to look at terrorism in Sudan. The speakers mostly talked about the genocide then rampant in the south. My talk was about how Sudan was the missing link in U.S. terrorism policy. I had just tried a case in which the Sudanese Mission to the United Nations in NYC had helped the Blind Sheik's jihad organization in NYC plot to bomb the UN complex on the East Side--a plot that prominently featured five Sudanese members of the Sheik's group, that was foiled only because the FBI infiltrated an informant into the mix, and that resulted in diplomats at the Sudanese UN Mission being expelled from the U.S. as persona non grata in 1995. I don't see that much has changed. Bin Laden doesn't live in Sudan anymore (at least we don't think so), and the regime hasn't tried to pull anything inside the U.S. in a while (that we know of), but it has simply made a practice of cleaning up its despicable international act to take the world's (and the U.S.'s) eyes off what has throughout been its unspeakable domestic practice of killing, torturing, raping and/or enslaving groups that were not Sunni Muslims of the militant stripe.
There have been two modern Sunni militant Islamic states, Sudan and Taliban, and one Shiite militant Islamic state, Iran. Nice track record. In any event, State should stop the pie-in-the-sky hopefulness that Sudan will change after all this time just because we remove its name from a list. It conveys a terrible signal about our seriousness. If Sudan is not on the terror list, such a list is not worth having. They should go back on, pronto.
I don't see
Posted at 12:07 PM
PEOPLE ARE BORED AGAIN [KJL]
The Kerry-Hillary buzz is back.
Posted at 11:42 AM
BED AND BREAKFAST [John Derbyshire]
If you'd like to get away from the modern world and all its oppressive, litigious "tolerance" for a few days, consider a trip to the non-P.C. Scottish Highlands. This may be just the place.
Posted at 10:01 AM
RUSH ON WFB [KJL]
Posted at 09:09 AM
DUNPHY CONFIDENTIAL [Jonah Goldberg]
From the LA Times piece:
"I started writing the column after an e-mail exchange with [National Review writer and editor] Jonah Goldberg before the 2000 Democratic Convention," said Dunphy, who spoke to the paper on the understanding that his identity would remain confidential. "He invited me to record my thoughts for posting on their website. He told me I should keep it to about 1,000 words, but when I was done I had over 3,000. I sent it all and told them to use what they liked. They split it in two and ran the whole thing over two days -- and Jack Dunphy was born."
Me: I must say this leaves out a lot of cloak and dagger. The meetings in dank Chinese run opium dens. The dead drops. The beatings I had to take from rogue cops because I wouldn't give up Dunphy's i.d. But we'll just save all that for my memoirs.
Posted at 08:26 AM
KERRY'S DIVORCE PAPERS [Andrew Stuttaford]
I see from Drudge that Kerry is ruling out releasing records of his 1988 divorce, saying that it was "ancient, ancient history" and "none of anybody's business". Kerry is absolutely right. It's his business, not ours, and it should stay that way. The same, however, could also be said about Jack Ryan, recently deposed as the GOP's senatorial candidate in Illinois following 'revelations' mined from his (previously sealed) divorce papers by the Chicago Tribune. The Tribune claimed to believe that it was somehow in the 'public interest' that such personal matters (which turned out to reveal nothing that was either illegal or abusive) should be disclosed. The Tribune's argument was as self-important as it was overbearing, but once the newspaper has made it in the case of one candidate whose election would affect its readers, it is difficult to see how it can avoid repeating it in the case of Kerry without seeming like hypocrites, so how about it, boys?
And if the paper does do that, Kerry should resist them, all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary. It would make a point and show some courage, something that, by abandoning Ryan, the GOP has absolutely failed to do.
Posted at 08:06 AM
KUDOS FOR JACK DUNPHY [KJL]
In the LA Times today:
For the past four years, some of the most interesting and artful writing about the LAPD and American policing in general has been done by an LAPD officer who employs the pseudonym "Jack Dunphy" in a regular column for the online edition of the National Review, the country's oldest and most influential journal of conservative opinion.and
Former Police Chief Bernard C. Parks, now a city councilman and mayoral candidate, was a frequent target of Dunphy's criticism and reportedly was not a fan. At one point, a number of aides unsuccessfully sought the writer's identity. Current Police Chief Bratton, by contrast, likes what he's read of Dunphy's work.The whole article is here, but annoyingly password protected many times over, it seems.
Posted at 07:13 AM
SADDAM HAS BEEN HANDED OVER TO IRAQ [KJL]
Posted at 06:48 AM
AN NR NIGHT [KJL]
Last night’s NR handover of sorts was a warm tribute to a man whose impact on American political and cultural discourse cannot be overestimated. With love and admiration, Ed Capano, Dusty Rhodes, Rich Lowry, Priscilla Buckley, and Dan Oliver thanked WFB for the gift of himself and of NR, past, present, and future. One was reminded what a delight and honor it is to be part of such a rich tradition and enterprise—even here in this Corner, we do our part to stand athwart history, 24/7 as we say; we do it--and continue to--thanks to WFB and his enduring contribution to us all.
Posted at 05:26 AM
RE: KRUGMAN [KJL]
An e-mail: "I was in Iraq in the spring and summer of 2003. I worked for the CPA in Kirkuk. I can tell you that until June when they sacked Garner and brought in Bremmer nothing was getting done. What saved Iraq from being much worse than it was, was the fact that the CPA and the military were smart enough to give responsible people money and send them out to start rebuilding and hire Iraqis and not worry about having some huge bureacratic grant and auditing system. People didn't steal and followed the rules and did some amazing things. I was one of those people like Ms. Leeden running around with leterally thousands of dollars in some cases spending it on rebuildig projects. Now, to have Krugman come back and accuse us all of being flacks for Haliburton and for loosing the war, is really a kick in the teeth."
Posted at 05:24 AM
TYPICAL [Cosmo ]
Squirrel undermines the morale on the homefront. This is what I've been talking about people!
Posted at 12:19 AM
KRUGMAN COMMITTEE [Steve Hayward]
On this day of handing over sovereignty of National Review from WFB to a new generation, I recall that WFB once proposed "The Committee to Horsewhip Drew Pearson." Methinks it is time to revive this committee for Paul Krugman.
Posted at 12:13 AM
FIRST POSTS FOR WEDNESDAY [Jonah Goldberg]
I got 'em. Nyah, nyah.
Posted at 12:13 AM
STRAUSS, HAYEK & BENDA BLEG [Jonah Goldberg ]
Anybody have any idea if Leo Strauss or Friedrich Hayek wrote about Julien Benda's The Treason of the Intellectuals (Yes, yes I know it was originally La trahison des clercs but if I suggested I was reading a French book I'd get so much grief).
Posted at 12:10 AM
ALLAWI: AL QAEDA CONNECTED TO SADDAM [Jonah Goldberg ]
Will this be the real reason the American press turns on the new Iraqi leader?
Posted at 12:07 AM
POPE APOLOGIZES [Jonah Goldberg ]
For the sacking of Constantinople. I leave it to others around here to opine as to whether this was a good move.
Posted at 12:05 AM
THE KIDNAPPED MARINE [Jonah Goldberg ]
BAGHDAD, Iraq, June 29 — The American marine who is being threatened by his kidnappers with beheading had deserted the military because he was emotionally traumatized, and was abducted by his captors while trying to make his way home to his native Lebanon, a Marine officer said Tuesday.
Posted at 12:03 AM
Tuesday, June 29, 2004
SLOUCHING TOWARD BLOGDOM [Jonah Goldberg]
Just a small observation. Increasingly, readers refer to posts in the Corner as "articles," "pieces," and "stories." If I had to guess I would say this tendency is slightly more common among liberal readers, but I think it only seems that way because strangers or non-regulars seem to do it more than our core audience. And occasional visitors tend to be liberals in my experience.
Regardless, I think it's interesting though I'm not sure exactly why. I fear that it's a sign that blog-readers increasingly don't read whole articles so they call blog posts articles. Maybe not. But it's definitely becoming a lot more common. Last week, for example, a reader sent a snarky email about how we'd run something like 60 "anti-Clinton articles" in a few days. I wrote back to ask whether he meant posts in the Corner and he said "Yeah, I don't read the articles." (By the way most of those "anti-Clinton articles" were simply posted reader emails).
I don't know if this is all that troubling, but I don't think it's a good sign.
Posted at 11:38 PM
SPAM [Jonah Goldberg]
This is the first time I've gotten one of these from someone claiming to be an American:
Posted at 08:28 PM
FOR THE COMMON GOOD [Jonah Goldberg]
Everyone's having so much fun with Hillary's statement: "Many of you are well enough off that ... the tax cuts may have helped you," Sen. Clinton said. "We're saying that for America to get back on track, we're probably going to cut that short and not give it to you. We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good."
Isn't this a classic example of the Washington gaffe, where someone accidentally tells the truth? I mean if Hillary Clinton's honest, what else is she going to say? Liberals believe as a matter of pride and principle that rich people should give more of their money "for the common good." That's the nature of the economic debate between liberals and conservatives -- how much of our money they're going to take for what they describe as the common good. I am offended by her formulation that the money is the government's "to give" and a bit baffled by what she could mean by "back on track." But Hillary was simply being honest about what she sees as the proper role of government. I wish more liberals were willing to say the obvious truth.
Posted at 06:03 PM
KRUGMAN & SIMONE LEDEEN [KJL]
Roger Simon has an excellent post. I happen to know and adore the Ledeen family, every member of which has sacrificed and served the cause of freedom in some way--knowing that makes that Krugman column all the more infuriating. This whole episode, I think, goes to show--like Biden lecturing John Ashcroft, father of a military man serving in the Middle East--that for conservatives it does not matter if you or members of your family serve; they'll call you a chicken hawk or they'll accuse you, perversely, of calling in favors, whatver works. They'll never give a young woman credit for putting her life on hold and in danger for the cause of freedom and stability in the Middle East. They'll simply use whatever they can to justify their anger against you. I'm not prone to be a paranoid--the Left is out to get us, and that is that--type, but with the likes of Mr. Krugman today, one does wonder.
Posted at 06:00 PM
THERE MAY BE SOMETHING TO THIS [Ramesh Ponnuru]
but I can see at least one problem with the analysis: the assumption that if abortion had been illegal during the last 31 years, we would now have 40 million more Americans. The availability of abortion seems to have increased the conception rate, so the assumption is wrong.
Posted at 05:57 PM
LINCOLN & HOLLAND TUNNELS [Andy McCarthy]
Best evidence in Blind Sheik trial, 1995: videotape taken by the Sudanese leader of the so-called "Day of Terror" plot as he and a companion -- thankfully, a government informant -- cruised through the Lincoln Tunnel to Jersey and back to NYC by the Holland Tunnel. Videotape was to conduct surveillance of the tunnels, study the optimal location for placing car bombs (so the tunnels would "break like straws" while they were "full of infidels" -- I believe that was the phrasing), and figure out how much time it would take to abandon a bomb-laden car and get out of the tunnels in an escape car, so as not to set the bombs to detonate while the bombers were still inside the tunnels. (My defendants talked a good game but were decided more the live-to-fight-another-day type than the let's-get-those-virgins-going-insha-Allah variety, as homicidal maniacs go.) Most eerie moment: there was a sign on the Jersey side instructing certain motorists transporting "hazardous materials" to pull over for inspection; the defendant read it and laughed. . . . Jury found it less funny.
Posted at 05:34 PM
SCALIA & THOMAS [Jonathan H. Adler]
Justices Thomas and Scalia vote together more than any other two justices on the Supreme Court, right? Not exactly. The folks at SCOTUSBlog have tabluated the statistics for the most recent Supreme Court term, usefully summarized here by Eugene Volokh, and the two justices most likely to agree in any given case were . . . (drum roll please) . . . Souter and Ginsburg. The second most common pairing was O'Connor and the Chief Justice. The pairing of Scalia and Thomas ranked seventh.
Posted at 05:32 PM
ALVAREZ-MACHAIN & ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY [Jonathan H. Adler]
Bishop Grewell adds his thoughts on Alvarez-Machain over at The Commons.
Posted at 05:31 PM
CATCHING UP [Ramesh Ponnuru]
I think it is terrific that the New York Times, after weeks and weeks of op-eds by pro-life Catholics, made space this weekend for Garry Wills to give the other side of the story. Wills's piece on the abortion-communion controversy is also refreshing since he's not wasting time disputing the church's ability to act on the basis of its teachings; he thinks that the teaching against abortion is wrong and should be changed, and he explains his reasons for thinking that way.
While I believe that politicians who vote to expose young human beings to violence should not receive communion, for reasons that I've provided here and elsewhere, I have had one worry about the campaign to deny them communion: that it overstates the specifically Catholic dimension of opposition to abortion. Wills very cleverly exploits this weakness, noting correctly that the bishops have no special expertise in embryology.
But his argument is awfully weak at key places. "If natural law teaching were clear on the matter, a consensus would have been formed by those with natural reason." Here Wills seems to be suggesting that the existence of disagreement about the morality of abortion invalidates the claim that reason can arrive at the pro-life position. If that's what he's saying, it's a non sequitur. Sloppy expositions of natural-law theory have sometimes suggested that all people at some level understand what is right and wrong in all particulars; but that's bad natural-law theory, which should be rejected by those with natural reason.
Wills argues that the commandment not to kill "does not cover all human life": "My hair and fingernails, while growing, are alive with my own human life. Semen and ova have human life even before their juncture." Surely Wills can do better than this. His skin cells are alive and human; but they are not human lives. Wills wants to use his point about skin cells to establish the existence of a category of human organisms who are not persons and can thus licitly be destroyed. But the analogy can't do the work he wants it to do.
At the end of the day, Wills has not refuted the two key claims that those of us who think that politicians who vote for legal abortion should not receive communion have to make: that natural reason can establish the injustice of allowing the unborn to be killed with impunity, and that the bishops have a special responsibility to keep the flock from promoting injustice.
Posted at 05:27 PM
WORTH READING [Jonah Goldberg ]
From the Iraqi blogger Omar at Iraq the Model: (Via Andrew Sullivan):
The hall was busy and everyone was chatting and laughing loud. They had Al-Jazeera on (something I never managed to convince them to stop doing). Then suddenly Mr. Bremer appeared on TV reading his last speech before he left Iraq. I approached the TV to listen carefully to the speech, as I expected it to be difficult in the midst of all that noise. To my surprise everyone stopped what they were doing and started watching as attentively as I was.
Posted at 05:06 PM
TWO GOOD AND TROUBLING POSTS [Ramesh Ponnuru]
over at Volokh: here and here.
Posted at 03:32 PM
ED CAPANO [Rich Lowry]
One major oversight in that New York Times piece today was NR publisher Ed Capano, who will now be our publisher and CEO. He wasn't mentioned, but is absolutely indispensable to our operations as the head “suit.” Ed lives and breathes NR and while he always watches the bottom line like a hawk, he is willing to try anything to see if it works. That was why he was willing to give the new souped-up NRO a go several years ago when--literally--it was just jottings and a rough design on Jonah's laptap. So Ed, thanks for everything...
Posted at 03:21 PM
THE NEW YORK TIMES [Jonah Goldberg]
Mickey Kaus has a laugh-out-loud summary of the latest Times-v-truth trainwreck.
Posted at 03:18 PM
THAT GORE CALL WAS ILLEGAL [Jonah Goldberg]
That recorded phone call was illegal, according to my anonymous FCC expert guy:
Even though political calls are exempt, they are not exempt to cell phones if the call is pre-recorded (not a live person). See paragraph 165 We affirm that under the TCPA, it is unlawful to make any call using an automatic telephone dialing system or an artificial or prerecorded message to any wireless telephone number.
Posted at 03:10 PM
I'm glad I didn't know that while waiting for a friend caught inside the Lincoln tunnel with an SUV ablaze Friday night.
Posted at 02:35 PM
AH YES.... [Jonah Goldberg]
The Lincoln Tunnel is particularly lovely this time of year.
Iranians kicked out of the US for filming the Lincoln and Holland tunnels -- again! They claim they were simply visiting American tourist sites.
Posted at 02:23 PM
BUSH FROM ISTANBUL, EARLIER TODAY [KJL]
Ladies and gentlemen, in their need for hope, in their desire for peace, in their right to freedom, the peoples of the Middle East are exactly like you and me. Their birthright of freedom has been denied for too long. And we will do all in our power to help them find the blessings of liberty.The whole speech is here; worthy reading.
Posted at 02:06 PM
GREAT CAMPAIGN COMMERCIAL: DEMS WILL RAISE TAXES [KJL]
Hillary Clinton promises Democrats will raise taxes; from AP: “Headlining an appearance with other Democratic women senators on behalf of Sen. Barbara Boxer, who is up for re-election this year, Hillary Clinton told several hundred supporters -- some of whom had ponied up as much as $10,000 to attend -- to expect to lose some of the tax cuts passed by President Bush if Democrats win the White House and control of Congress. ‘Many of you are well enough off that ... the tax cuts may have helped you,’ Sen. Clinton said. ‘We're saying that for America to get back on track, we're probably going to cut that short and not give it to you. We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good.’”
Posted at 01:46 PM
TOM GROSS ON RICHARD BEN CRAMER [KJL]
Another Pulitzer Prize winner turns out to be less than worthy of our readership.
Posted at 01:30 PM
SINCE NO ONE ELSE IS SAYING IT.... [Jonah Goldberg]
I take a backseat to no one in my respect and reverence for William F. Buckley. There are very few men of letters who emerged at the end of the 20th century who can make the claim that they A) largely succeeded in what they set out to do and B) that the world is better for it. Indeed, the public record in many ways makes such testimonials superfluous.
But many readers keep asking what I make of this nugget from the New York Times:
"With the benefit of minute hindsight, Saddam Hussein wasn't the kind of extra-territorial menace that was assumed by the administration one year ago," Mr. Buckley said. "If I knew then what I know now about what kind of situation we would be in, I would have opposed the war."
So here's what I think: I agree and I disagree. It is more than fair to say that if you thought the main reason to depose Saddam was to eliminate the threat of his Weapons of Mass Destruction to then say it wasn't worth it now that we believe with the benefit of hindsight that they weren't there. I think that is what Mr. Buckley is saying.
But this is also like saying, "If I knew then what I know now, I would have not ordered the fish." In other words, it seemed like the right decision at the time. Some think that, given new developments, this appearance was wrong and others do not. I still think the war was the right decision. Though, obviously, if we knew Saddam didn't have a major nuclear program the debate would have looked very different and the tactics available for toppling him would have been very, very different. But, ultimately, the "if I knew then what I know now" point is an academic one.
And once you concede that point we are back to the fundamental debate(s) about the war and reconstruction. Should post-9/11 America give tyrants like Saddam the benefit of the doubt in a climate of uncertainty? Was the WMD threat the only reason toppling Saddam was in our interest? Should opposition to the war justify obstruction of the reconstruction? Etc? Etc?
Posted at 12:50 PM
FOX [Rich Lowry]
I'll be on Linda Vester today around 1:30...
Posted at 12:34 PM
RE: KRUGMAN [Michael Ledeen]
It's a new low even for him. He never bothered to ask what Simone's qualifications were (she has an MBA), or even what she did (which included driving around the country, sometimes with vehicles filled with cash so that Iraqi security people could get paid).
Then, does he think that Barbara and I lobbied in order to put our daughter's life in danger? Doesn't he have children? In fact we didn't know she had volunteered until she was ready for her shots...
Just for extras, he quoted me out of context, thereby totally distorting what I said.
Does "reckless disregard for the truth" have any meaning in this country?
Posted at 12:02 PM
SUBBING FOR KERRY [Jonathan H. Adler]
Seantor Kerry cancels a scheduled speech to the annual meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors so as not to cross the Boston police union picket line. According to the NYT, Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney happily took his place. Boston Mayor Thomas Menino was not to happy with Kerry's call: ""Some of the mayors here are disappointed, frustrated, angered by Kerry not showing up. It's all about respect of the mayors, and there was no respect of the mayors."
Posted at 11:25 AM
HAIL TO THE CHIEF [KJL]
Here is the real scoop on the WFB/NR news today, from an NR press release:
Posted at 10:59 AM
TODAY'S COURT NEWS [Jonathan H. Adler]
The Supreme Court issued two opinions this morning. In Ashcroft v. ACLU, in an opinion by Justice Kennedy, the Court affirmed an injunction against the Child Online Protection Act, yet another attempt to shield children from internet porn. While the decision is certainly a setback for COPA, it is not fatal to the law. In the other case, Alvarez-Machain, it appears the Court rejected the Ninth Circuits's holding that foreign nationals can sue multinational corporations in U.S. courts under the Alien Tort Claims Act. This case may sound terribly obscure, but it's actually terribly important -- and it appears the Supremes may have gotten it right. (On the COPA case, of course, I expect most Cornerites and I will disagree.)
Posted at 10:57 AM
DO NOT CALL REGISTRY [Jonah Goldberg]
Several readers have clarified. For example:
Calls from political organizations are not covered by the law. It's nice that politicians exclude themselves from the restrictions they put on "evil" businesses.
ME: Of course, as a matter of principle it would in fact be worse if the government could block political speech because it's inconvenient.
Posted at 10:28 AM
PAUL KRUGMAN HAS NO SHAME [KJL]
He goes after Simone Ledeen and Michael Fleischer, daughter of Michael and brother of Ari, respectively, today for having served in what sound (from his use of them) like cushy Coalition Provisional Authority jobs in Baghdad. Sure--putting your life on the line, sleeping in a trailer, to help build a democracy for seven months is very cushy. A political favor is a tony, comfortable job at the Commerce Department--not a war-zone deployment. He accuses the former CPA “occupiers” of being “oblivious to reality.” Sounds like an accurate description of Mr. Krugman.
Posted at 10:24 AM
JOHN KERRY PRESIDENT [Jonah Goldberg]
Have you noticed how John Kerry's official logo, tagline, whatever is simply "John Kerry President"? It's not John Kerry for President. But "John Kerry President." Isn't this putting the cart before the horse a tad? If saying it made it so, why not declare himself "John Kerry Victor of the 2004 Presidential Race"? Or, "John Kerry Real Sex Machine"?
Posted at 10:21 AM
DOUG BRINKLEY [KJL]
You see him everywhere. You'll want to read John J. Miller's piece on him. It's in the latest issue of NRODT, as you can see here. You can read it, and everything else in this issue and in upcoming issues, if you subscribe to NRODT or NR Digital today. Quick recap: you subscribe to the paper version and you get the magazine in the mail and access to the digital version. You can also subscribe to the Digital version alone, cheaper, paperless. NR Digital, I might add, is a great late graduation gift--you don't have to worry about changing addresses every semester.
Posted at 10:10 AM
THIS WOULD MAKE ME ANGRY [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
Any hubbub about receiving political phone calls on a cell phone that is listed on the national do not call registry?
Posted at 10:05 AM
ANTHONY BUCKERIDGE, R.I.P. [John Derbyshire]
"Jennings was a boy of high spirits, as innocent of malice as he was of forethought. Always well-intentioned, his impetuous eagerness invariably landed him and his bespectacled acolyte Darbishire in trouble with their Maths master, Mr Wilkins, a man of very little patience."
Full obituary here
Posted at 10:01 AM
DERB ON THE WIRELESS [John Derbyshire]
I shall be talking to Pat Reuter on the syndicated radio show Media Tracks this morning, 10:30-10:50 EST, about math. I think this is aired live in the Chicago area.
Posted at 09:36 AM
MOORE'S ELITISM [Jonah Goldberg ]
Considering how many Moore-lovers accused me of "elitism" for my column yesterday, I found David Brooks' column particularly enjoyable. An excerpt:
Like Ernest Hemingway, Moore does his boldest thinking while abroad. For example, it was during an interview with the British paper The Mirror that Moore unfurled what is perhaps the central insight of his oeuvre, that Americans are kind of crappy.
Posted at 09:28 AM
9/11 & FT. BRAGG [John Hood]
Michael Moore’s propaganda film may be a grotesque distortion of reality, but that doesn’t make it ineffective as propaganda. Apparently, the film really did “sell out” the art-house theater in Fayetteville, home to Ft. Bragg and Pope Air Force Base, and what’s worse is that local media reports claim that military family members and some soldiers comprised the largest share of the audience, with the usual sandal-wearers (yes, even in Fayetteville) a boisterous and no doubt giddy minority. One Army wife said leaving the theater that she was “disgusted,” but not by Michael Moore. She said her mind was changed about the war, which she now attributes to oil and corporate interests.
Not representative of her community, of course, but these are the kinds of stories that anti-war politicians and media will pick up and run with. What’s called for is an aggressive effort to communicate the case for and relative success of the war. Much of the opening that Moore is trying to exploit with his screed stems from the perception that we aren’t winning, not from newly pacifist or leftist sentiment. This is the dynamic that has weakened support for the war in pro-military states such as North Carolina (where Bush’s margin over Kerry in the latest polls is pitifully small).
Posted at 08:53 AM
our friend Barbara Comstock will be on Fox.
Posted at 08:31 AM
WALLY ISAACSON ON CLINTON [Jonah Goldberg]
Walter Isaacson's review of the Clinton book is the first moderately positive one which I think is also reasonable.
Posted at 07:58 AM
ISRAELI BOY KILLED ON THE WAY TO SCHOOL [KJL]
Posted at 07:09 AM
IRAQ GETS SADDAM HUSSEIN TOMORROW [KJL]
Posted at 06:45 AM
HELLO, TALK RADIO [Tim Graham]
Knopf (publishers of the Clinton memoirs) plan to publish novelist Nicholson Baker's latest work: "Checkpoint," in which the main character really wants to assassinate President Bush. A Knopf flack says "It is not the first time a novelist has chosen fiction to express their point of view about American society or politics." Apparently, his point of view is Bush deserves to die.
Posted at 06:43 AM
Monday, June 28, 2004
SCALIA, MARK AND I AGREE [Jonathan H. Adler]
It is important to recognize that Justice Scalia's Hamdi opinion is also strongly critical of the Court's plurality opinion (written by Justice O'Connor) -- and on grounds that I suspect Mark would embrace.
It should not be thought, however, that the plurality's evisceration of the Suspension [of Habeas Corpus] Clause augments, principlally, the power of Congress. As usual, the major effect of the constitutional improvisation is to inrease the power of the Court. Having found a congressional authorization where none clearly exists; and having discarded the categorical procedural protection of the Suspension Clause; the plurality then proceeds, under the guise of the Due Process Clause, to prescribe what procedural protections it thinks appropriate. . . . .
Posted at 10:42 PM
WHY IS HABEAS RELEVANT? [Jonathan H. Adler]
One underlying question in the debate over Hamdi is why Justice Scalia focuses on habeas. The reason is this: Since before this nation's founding, the principles of due process required that a detained individual be tried or released. The writ of habeas corpus was a means of forcing the release of an individual who was detained but not tried. In the Hamdi case, the government claimed that if a U.S. citizen is an enemy combatant, he can be detained for purposes of interrogation in the United States even if habeas is not suspended. This has no precedent in law or tradition. Congress' authorization of force after 9/11 does not cure the Constitutional problem because the resolution is not tantamount to a suspension of habeas.
Posted at 10:30 PM
TREASON VS. HABEAS SUSPENSION [Jonathan H. Adler]
Mark is absolutely correct that there may be good reasons not to try certain captured U.S. citizen combatants for treason. But the Constitution explicitly provides for this by allowing Congress to suspend habeas. Indeed, it is notable that the Constitution makes specific reference to the suspension of habeas in Article I. Indeed, under the Constitution, habeas is alive and well so long as the courts remain open, even in the case of invasion.
If the President believes it is necessary to detain U.S. citizen enemy combatants indefinitely to interrogate them, then the exeuctive should request a suspension of habeas for such purposes. There is nothing in the Constitution precluding Congress from so limiting the suspension, and it has done so in the past, so habeas could remain operable for other cases. Congress need not declare martial law to remove habeas protections for enemy combatants. The question upon which Mark and I disagree (and, incidentally, part of the grounds upon which Justices Scalia and Thomas differ) is whether the President may order such indefinite detention absent such Congressional approval. When it comes to U.S. citizens who are detained on U.S. soil, this is something Congress must approve. (Again, however, I would note that Mark and I agreee that the courts are without jurisdiction to hear such claims from those who are not within the sovereign territory of the U.S.)
Posted at 10:12 PM
BLEG [Jonah Goldberg ]
Hey military guys. Does anyone know where I can find a break down of Nato members by military capability? Who has forces available for deployment, what kind of forces, what's they're state of readiness etc. In other words, if France, Germany, Belgium etc wanted to send troops to Iraq, what could they actually send? I'm sure there are numerous studies, reports etc that should break this stuff down. Lemme know if you have idea where I should look. I've got some stuff, and I'll call some folks in the morning, but if you know of a good Pentagon or UN study, send it my way. Thanks.
Posted at 09:38 PM
NRO Contributor Andrew McCarthy will be a guest on Bill Bennett's nationally syndicated "Morning in America" radio show tomorrow (at 7:30 a.m.) to discuss the Supreme Court detention cases.....the show airs on 76 stations nation-wide from 6-9 a.m., M-F, and on the Internet at www.bennettmornings.com
Posted at 05:06 PM
CELEBRATING IRAQ, CELEBRATING THE U.S. [KJL]
From The Messopotamian:
Glory and honor to the U.S. and Allied men and women whose blood is irrigating the tree of freedom in this land; and their sacrifices, suffering, and toil is laying the foundation for a future renaissance of the Mesopotamian People. Hail soldiers of freedom and enlightenment. Do not be dismayed by the trouble and turbulence of the present, for the future generations will remember and appreciate.
Posted at 05:04 PM
MORE COURT [Mark R. Levin]
As for simply charging the U.S. enemy combatants with treason, that requires a trial. The entire point is not to reveal information that the Government believes must remain secret, or to thwart prematurely investigative techniques that may lead to securing important intelligence. A habeas hearing is far less revealing than a full blown trial. So, why would the Government choose a treason trial over a habeas hearing?
Posted at 04:57 PM
FIVE STARS FOR FATUOUS FAKERY! [Tim Graham]
Jonah, the problem with a conservative seeing this movie is sitting through the ridiculous claims -- deeply weird claims -- coming from the first few minutes, where Moore suggests Bush had accomplished nothing in his first eight months -- what, no tax cut? And "he couldn't get his judges appointed"? It's true that Democrats have obstructed a lot (especially on the circuit courts), but how would the moviegoer feel about Moore's take after looking at this?
Conservative critics could seriously write a 200-page book chronicling the second-by-second howlers in this film. But anyone who can't resist the urge to build the box-office receipts (sorry, work related) should hone in on the last two minutes or so, when Moore claims the Bushies went to war not to defeat terror, but to keep the poor in their place in this "hierarchical society." Oh, and see if you hear the words "Saddam Hussein" in the film. I don't think they're in there.
Posted at 04:52 PM
MOORE LOVERS [Jonah Goldberg]
I'm not going to pretend that all of the pro-Moore email is like this. But these two represent the pro-Moore email of a certain subset nicely:
Deep down, I know you know you're a dick. A small, impotent dick that never touches a decent looking woman unless you pay for it.That's why you are so insecure, and this insecurity is evident in your ridiculous political views. Have a nice day, Dr. [Name Withheld] P.S. Bush the lying, Iraqi child killing/mutilating, #1 world terrorist is gone in November. His small dicked supporters will be very sad.
Posted at 04:32 PM
CLASSIC [Jonah Goldberg ]
At the suggestion of a reader, I looked up to see if Moore was lying about the film even playing in Fayetteville, North Carolina, the home of Fort Bragg. So I went to Fandango and looked it up. It is playing there. In one theater -- the no doubt enormous Cameo Art House Theatre. Moreover, it has one showing at 7:30. Maybe it played round the clock all weekend. But either way, it doesn't really sound like the troops are being brainswashed in huge numbers.
Posted at 04:26 PM
GOOD POINT [Jonah Goldberg]
It's not like Moore was up against The Return of the King. From a reader:
I know Fahrenheit 9/11 was #1 in the box-office this weekend and for a "documentary" that's impressive. But will someone please bring up the fact that White Chicks gave this movie a run for it's money at the top spot. I've been telling all my friends who are so impressed by the success of this movie, that they should forget about #1 and the theater average for one second and realize that White Chicks was the second best movie in America for the weekend!!!
Posted at 04:10 PM
COURT DEBATE, CON'T [Mark R. Levin]
So, we agree on foreign enemy combatants, Jonathan. Now, to your comments re home-grown enemy combatants. I wasn't aware that these two individuals had been detained beyond about 2 years, which is not forever. Indeed, it's not even that long in the context of other wars. It's always dangerous when the Court gets into hypotheticals. It has enough difficulty ruling on actual cases.
But there seems to be some confusion about the facts. The Government agreed that Hamdi had recourse to the U.S. courts to have his habeas petition heard. The Government also agreed that it was obligated to place proof before the Court on the issue of whether Hamdi was an enemy combatant. The Government's dispute was on the issue of whether its presentation of the affidavit with hearsay evidence foreclosed further review. I don't see any silly putty being stretched here, except by Court. Dare I say, I disagree with Antonin Scalia, whose comments don't appear to be much on point. The Government's position was far more "liberal" than I believe was required. But the Court went quite far today, in going much beyond it. Indeed, for all intents and purposes, the Court determined that citizen and foreign enemy combatants will be treated alike in terms of access to civilian courts. This had been one of the few remaining areas in which the Court had previously given deference to the other branches. This is the beginning of the end of that.
Posted at 04:04 PM
MOORE'S IMPACT [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader in the Air Force:
Posted at 03:48 PM
NEW WOMB-SCAN TECHNOLOGY [KJL]
produces more remarkable windows into life at its earliest stages (see baby walk, yawn...).
Posted at 03:45 PM
HAMDI NOTE [Andy McCarthy]
Straying for a second from the great issue highlighted by the Mark Levin / Jonathan Adler exchange is the fact that when the Court divides into multiple, cross-cutting opinions like it has in Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, you cannot necessarily take at face value the issued opinions' description of who is concurring and who is dissenting -- which must be maddening to non-lawyers. Justice Thomas, for example, is said to dissent, but his vote is actually crucial to obtaining the 5-judge majorit for a key part of the court's ruling.
The government argued both that the president had inherent Article II power to detain even a U.S. citizen as an enemy combatant, and that even if he didn't have such power, he obtained suficient authority when Congress's passed a use of force resolution six days after the September 11 attacks. The Court determined that it did not need to address the president's inherent power because it agreed his authority under the Congressional resolution ion was sufficiently clear. This resolution, the government further argued, was also sufficient to overcome 18 U.S.C. 4001. Section 4001 -- a statute passed largely to prevent a repeat of the WWII internment of American citizens of Japanese descent -- forbids the detention of American citizens absent an act of Congress authorizing detention.
Justice O'Connor's opinion, announcing the judgment of the Court, asserted that the use of force resolution was such an act of Congress and thus satisfied Section 4001. But her opinion is a 4-justice plurality (garnering support only from Chief Justice Rehnquist and Justices Kennedy and Breyer). So where's the needed fifth vote for this proposition? The "concurring in part" opinion of Justice Souter (joined by Justice Ginsburg) rejects the contention that the use of force resolution was sufficient to satisfy Section 4001, as does the dissenting opinion of Justice Scalia (joined by Justice Stevens). The fifth vote, instead, comes from what is called the "dissenting" opinion of Justice Thomas -- the only one of the nine members of the Court who would have sustained the government's arguments in their entirety.
Posted at 03:28 PM
HUH!??! [Jonah Goldberg ]
Bill Clinton's blog? It seems seductively legit at first but it's not.
Posted at 03:23 PM
BUSH AHEAD OF KERRY IN NEVADA [KJL]
Posted at 03:07 PM
RE: NIGER YELLOWCAKE [Michael Ledeen]
Well, it's very important, actually, because it explains why the Brits kept on saying they believed Saddam was trying to get his hands on yellowcake from Niger, when the CIA--and their asset, Seymour Hersh--had loudly and piously blasted the president of the united states for saying it.
The CIA certainly knew that the Brits had both human and electronic evidence--no way that, at a minimum, wasn't shared with us--but they focused their assault on a forged document that came via Rome. But even there, the CIA certainly knew that the Italians hadn't taken the forged document seriously.
This is the story that led the White House to send former amb. Wilson to Niger to check it out, and he couldn't get anyone to confirm it for him. So Hersh came up with the novel idea that the hoax--that is, the forged document--had been perpetrated by "old boys" from CIA in order to gull the president and the likes of Cheney and Rumsfeld (and of course the legendarily gullible "neocons") so that they could then be discredited.
And then the CIA followed through, by calling for a criminal investigation of the White House--a rare and perhaps even unique event in our history--for a leak about the Wilson mission, which inter alia exposed his wife as a CIA undercover operative.
Maybe the White House is finally beginning to understand that the CIA doesn't want Bush reelected--I mean, how otherwise could "Anonymous" be publishing anti-Bush screeds?--and maybe even the president, famously loyal to Tenet, might be wondering how come the Agency was so happy to discredit the Niger yellowcake story when, if the Financial Times account is right, the Brits, the Italians, and even the French had good evidence (NOT the forgery) for the claim...
As I say, it's hard to navigate, but it's important.
Full disclosure: I'm told by various journalists that for the last several months, CIA folks have been trying to peddle the story that I was the forger, or somehow involved in the forgery. Very funny.
Posted at 03:04 PM
"LET FREEDOM REIGN" [KJL]
This is the note passed to the president this morning, and what he wrote on it.
Posted at 02:48 PM
"THE CLINTON CHRONICLES" [Jonah Goldberg]
Several liberal readers have thrown the "Clinton Chronicles" in my face as an example of conservatives embracing lies for political expediency and hence holding a double standard toward Moore. The uniformity of the claim suggests some blog has made the point.
And, it would be a fair point except I never embraced any of that stuff and neither did NR. A google search of NRO shows only one article mentioning that "documentary" -- and it was one by Byron York mentioning it negatively. A Nexis search of the print National Review also finds the same thing. The Weekly Standard mocked "The Clinton Chronicles" once or twice and even ran a piece by David Brock (!) denouncing it. They also ran a piece by Byron chronicling how the conspiracy theorists of the "Clinton Chronicles" variety couldn't accept the Starr Report. I haven't checked out every columnist from George Will and Charles Krauthammer to Bill Buckley but something tells me there's no paydirt there either. Now, there no doubt were conservatives who touted the Clinton Chronicles, but what becomes very clear is that the video's prominence owed itself in no small degree to the efforts by James Carville and others to paint all conservative opponents of Clinton as conspiratorial crazies. This storyline was bought whole by much of the mainstream press. Meanwhile Michael Moore gets favorable interviews on "60 Minutes" and is promoted on the nightly news.
Regardless, the analogy flops like a dead fish on the table since mainstream liberals are rushing to tout Fahrenheit 9/11 while few if any mainstream conservatives did the same with an equally careless piece of work. And, again, even if we had a double standard in this regard, citing a documentary you think was a bundle of lies to defend your own bundle of lies is pretty lame.
Posted at 02:41 PM
DEBATING THE COURT [Jonathan H. Adler]
I think Mark and I agree more than he thinks. On my initial read, the Gitmo decision (Rasul) is wholly unconvincing, and Scalia's dissent in that case is entirely correct. Under Johnson v. Eisenstrager, detainees outside of U.S. sovereign territory are beyond the reach of the existing habeas statute. If this results in some injustice -- as the Court's majority contends -- it is for Congress, not the courts to correct it.
As for the other cases, Of course the executive has greater power when acting as "commander-in-chief" than in other contexts, but this power is not unlimited, and is itself at its peak when Congress accedes to executive authority. (If we want to quote Justice Jackson, on this I would point to his concurrence in the Youngstown steel seizure case.) In the Hamdi and Padilla cases Congress has not authorized such actions. Instead, it punted. As Scalia argues, the executive's substantial authority over U.S. citizens does not include detention for an unlimited duration solely for the purposes of interrogation merely because the individuals are declared "enemy combatants" by the executive. If the government's case is so strong, why not simply charge them with treason? That's hardly an invitation for judicial review run amok.
One broader point: The framers of the Constitution were not unaware of the exigencies of war. To the contrary, they were well aware of the strains armed conflict or revolution could place on the established legal order and extensively debated the scope of executive authority over the armed forces. Further, they provided for the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, but only by Congress. I wholly agree that the courts have overstepped their bounds in many areas, that some lower courts regularly go off the rails on these sorts of issues, and that the Gitmo decision may suggest the outrageous conclusion that the Court's jurisdiction is whatever the Court thinks it is. Yet I also maintain that the Constitution's text and structure are paramount, and the important ends of fighting terrorism do not justify the means of stretching constitutional limiations like silly putty. In some cases that may limit executive authority, but that is what it means to have a government of laws, not of men.
Posted at 02:10 PM
MORE SCALIA [Jonathan H. Adler]
Justice Scalia closes his Hamdi dissent with the following:
Many think it not only inevitable but entirely proper that liberty give way to security in times of national crisis-—that, at the extremes of military exigency, inter arma silent leges. Whatever the general merits of the view that war silences law or modulates its voice, that view has no place in the interpretation and application of a Constitution designed precisely to confront war and, in a manner that accords with democratic principles, to accommodate it.On this broader point he is clearly correct. The importance of the war on terror no more justifies constitutional shortcuts than any of the worthy social causes that prompted the judicial activism of the Warren, Burger and (alas) Rehnquist courts.
Posted at 02:09 PM
SIMPLY AMAZING [Jonah Goldberg]
As I suspected, I'm getting lots of email from people outraged that I won't see the movie. As I said in the column, that's fine. I simply refer them to all the liberals who've seen the film and who say the film is a crock.
But I am really stunned by is the way that David Edelstein, Nick Confessore, William Raspberry and numerous other liberals admit that A) the film is chock full of lies and cheap shots and B) It's great and they hope everyone sees it and that it changes the public's mind about the war. Isn't this shameful? What am I missing?
Couldn't a David Duke with talent make a hateful, racist film full of distortions and half truths about blacks or Jews which was the nevertheless brilliant filmmaking? What conservative would survive with his career intact if he said "Sure, all that stuff of about genetic inferiority and a Zionist plot was unfair. But Duke does make excellent points about the unintended consequences of affirmative action and people should see the film."
It's by no means a perfect analogy, but I am simply amazed by the willingness of so many honest liberals to embrace what they recognize as dishonest merely for the sake of zinging the other guy.
Posted at 01:42 PM
FACTS V FEELINGS [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
Posted at 01:31 PM
SUPREME DEBATE [Mark R. Levin]
For the Corner - Let's get the debate going. Judicial review once again runs amok. The idea that foreign combatants have access to U.S. civilian courts because they're held at GITMO is nuts. I suppose the Pentagon will have to make sure future foreign detainees are held outside U.S. controlled terroritories, but back to the basics. As Clarence Thomas points out in Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, "Congress, to be sure, has a substantial and essential role in both foreign affairs and national security. But it is crucial to recognize that judicial interference in these domains destroys the purpose of vesting primary responsibility in a unitary Executive."
During war (yes, even this war Jonathan), the balance of power between the branches become less balanced. And this didn't start with the war on terrorism. The Executive Branch is best positioned to ensure the nation's security, the judiciary the least suited. No need to write the government's brief here, but again, I point to Thomas, who in turn points to Justice Jackson's comment Chicago v. Southern Air Lines (1948):
"The President, both as Commander-in-Chief and as the Nation's organ for foreign affairs, has available intelligence services whose reports are not and ought not to be published to the world. It would be intolerable that courts, without the relevant information, should review and perhaps nullify actions of the Executive Branch taken on information properly held secret. Nor can courts sit in camera in order to be taken into executive confidences. But even if courts could require full disclosure, they very nature of executive decisions as to foreign policy is political, not judicial. Such decisions are wholly confided by our Constitution to the political departments of the government, Executive and Legislative. They are delicate, complex, and involve large elements of prophecy. They are and should be undertaken only by those directly responsible to the people whose welfare they advance or imperil. They are decisions of a kind for which the Judiciary has neither aptitude, facilities nor responsibility and which has long been held to belong in the domain of political power not subject to judicial intrusion and inquiry."
There's a mindset, which is on display even today as these cases came down, that the courts are more just and thoughtful and wise than the other branches of government. Even here, where foreign combatants have been removed from the battlefield and placed in military detention, the notion is that judges should have a prominent role, where the Constitution provides none. It is the job of the Executive to ensure national security, especially during war, and there must be some overriding basis for finding otherwise. Detaining 600 foreign combatants for 2 years does not, in my view, come close to such a justification. During Vietnam, World War II, and other wars, the U.S. detained POWs for much longer periods, and no one contends they had a right to judicial review in our civilian courts, do they?
The Majority believes the lower courts will use their new power in an appropriate manner. As I see it, it's the courts, not this president, who've abused their power. The examples are so numerous that to list them would require my taking a sabbatical from my job to write the brief. But, let the debate begin.
Posted at 01:19 PM
A VERY, VERY BAD MAN [Jonah Goldberg ]
Who, alas, was only shot in the hip:
ST. GEORGE, Utah (AP) — A man who took a baby hostage stabbed the infant during a standoff with police before officers shot and wounded the man in the hip.
Posted at 01:14 PM
RE: THE OMBUDSMAN SPEAKS [John Derbyshire]
Sorry: readers aren't getting the quiche gaspesienne reference. Here you go. (Do a find on "quiche.")
(I note sadly, BTW, that I mis-quoted the great Fats Domino in that interview, through relying on my own addled memory. What Fat Daddy actually said was: "Clean living keeps me in shape. Righteous thoughts are my secret, and new Orleans home cooking." He weighed three hundred pounds: but, says my source (Guy Peellaert and Nik Cohn's ROCK DREAMS): "Each night, in trial of strength and stamina, he would shove his grand piano clean across the stage, bumping it with his thigh.")
Posted at 01:12 PM
BUSH & BLAIR ON THE HANDOVER HERE [KJL]
Posted at 12:35 PM
OMBUDSMAN SPEAKS [John Derbyshire]
Jonah: Merriam-Webster has nothing to say, but the OED gives "lede" as meaning "nation, people, persons, subjects [of a king]," cognate with German leute and Old Slavonic ljudu, but obsolete in all meanings. It also lists it as an obsolete form of the verb (and derived substantive) "lead."
I'd be inclined to rule against your usage on the grounds that it opens a door into the weird world of typesetters' jargon, where nothing is pronounced the way you expect. (E.g. the spacing between lines is "leading," pronounced "ledding," and the typeface called "bourgeois" is pronounced "boor-joyce.") Life's too short, and anyway it's all of historical interest only now, since computerized typesetting took over.
A slice of quiche gaspesienne could change my mind, though....
Posted at 12:29 PM
BARNETT ON RAICH [Jonathan H. Adler]
Randy Barnett blogs on the Raich grant over at the Volokh Conspiracy. Randy argued the case before the Ninth Circuit and is one of the lead attorneys.
Posted at 12:27 PM
TWO TO GO [Jonathan H. Adler]
Tomorrow the Supremes will issue opinions in their final two cases: Alvarez-Machain concerning the existence (or lack thereof) of a private right of action under the Alien Tort Claims Act, and Ashcrotft v. ACLU, yet another internet porn case.
Posted at 12:25 PM
NRO IS "BRATTY INVECTIVE"? [KJL]
Posted at 12:23 PM
BIG LOSSES FOR THE FEDS [Jonathan H. Adler]
SCOTUSBlog's Marty Lederman thinks the opinions, in combination, represent a big loss for the Bush Administration's efforts in the war on terror. I don't always agree with Marty, but he's one of the most insightful Supreme Court watchers around, so his comments are worth a look.
Posted at 12:10 PM
SCALIA'S HAMDI DECISION [Jonathan H. Adler]
One of today's surprises is that the most pro-Hamdi (and anti-administration) opinion was authored by Justice Scalia and joined by Justice Stevens. In recent years when Justices Scalia and Thomas have disagreed, I've tended to agree with Justice Thomas. In this case, however, I think Scalia may be right: The government must either charge a U.S. citizen with treason or suspend habeus. There is no third way, war on terror notwithstanding.
Posted at 12:07 PM
HEY OMBUDSDUDE [Jonah Goldberg]
A reader asks: "I know (I think) what the word "lede" means as used by you this morning referring to a Reuters piece, but I was interested in the derivation of the word. I can't find it in any on-line dictionaries. Can you help?"
My understanding of the word is pretty simple. It means exactly what it sounds like, the opening line of an article. The reason many journalists spell it that way is that other, more accurate, spellings (i.e. lead) tend to be confusing when working out edits with editors. I've had some editors who hate this spelling, others who insist on it. That's all I know.
Posted at 11:56 AM
I need to go shopping for personal alarm/pepper-spray type products (pretty quickly), and figure this could be useful for others around here (this time of year, especially): Short of lethally arming young women in not-so-safe areas, what would the law-enforcement types in The Corner recommend for sending girls off to urban colleges (or new, unsafe-looking dorms and apartments in their upperclassman years) with (particualrly girls)? (Also, where would you go to buy?)
Posted at 11:48 AM
MIXED DECISIONS [Jonathan H. Adler]
The Supreme Court's decisions today are definitely a mixed bag for the administration. The government won 5-4 on Padilla, but lost 8-1 on Hamdi and 6-3 on the Gitmo case (Rasul). Of course, on the merits I am not convinced the government should have won all of these cases -- war on terror notwithstanding. More to follow once I've read the decisions (all 190 pages of 'em!).
Posted at 11:24 AM
STEYN ON CLINTON'S BOOK [Tim Graham]
He focuses on the old lie on page 870: Hillary was named for Edmund Hillary in 1947, when he climbed Mt. Everest in 1953.
Posted at 11:21 AM
SUPREME COURT RULINGS [KJL]
Here's the opinion page.
Posted at 11:20 AM
SUPREMES TO HEAR POT CASE [Jonathan H. Adler]
Among this morning's cert grants is Ashcroft v. Raich, 2-1 a 9th Circuit decision holding that the prohibition of marijuana possession or distribution for purely medical (and non-commercial) purposes is beyond the scope of the Commerce Clause. Although I have problems with the Ninth Circuit's opinion, at a fundmental level it is correct: the personal possession of a subsance is not "commerce among the several states" and should be beyond the scope of the the federal commerce power. Moreover, such possession is difficult to distinguish from simple gun possession in a school zone, which the Court held was beyond the scope of the commerce power in United States v. Lopez. Nonetheless, I fear this case may signal the end of the Court's commerce clause jurisprudence.
Posted at 11:14 AM
GOTTA LOVE REUTERS [Jonah Goldberg ]
Here's their lede:
"The Supreme Court ruled Monday that an American captured overseas in President Bush's war on terrorism cannot be held indefinitely in a U.S. military jail without a chance to contest the detention."
Presumably Reuters will now be using such phrases as "President Bush's booming economy" and "President Bush's sunny day."
Posted at 11:05 AM
DO I NEED A PORN GUY? [Jonah Goldberg]
I try to keep the favorable email to a minimum in the corner, but this guy really touches all the bases:
Posted at 11:00 AM
LOWRY VS. JUDIS [KJL]
A Clinton debate begins this morning here.
Posted at 10:54 AM
IRAQI YELLOWCAKE CONFIRMED [Jonah Goldberg ]
Not quite the smoking gun it sounds, but interesting.
Posted at 10:51 AM
SUPREMES, BREAKING [KJL]
Hamdi: Court sides with; has the right to challenge his status as enemy combatant
Gitmo: Detainees can make use of U.S. courts.
Padilla ruling evidently no coming down today.
Posted at 10:32 AM
ANOTHER REAGAN TAKE [KJL]
Michael Reagan came out last week against embryonic-stem-cell research, though he could have used a little Ramesh editing...
Posted at 10:29 AM
RE: NIGER AND URANIUM [Jonah Goldberg ]
Josh Marshall gets oddly -- very oddly -- cloak and dagger about the story. If anyone knows what all that is about please let us know.
Posted at 10:11 AM
DEBS PARTY [Tim Graham]
Milwaukee's own Journal Sentinel reports on the strangeness that was the Green Party convention:
"The daylong proceedings Saturday comprised many of the theatrics not seen in mainstream political parties, including outright denunciations of the United States, literature praising Communist dictator Fidel Castro and even a ballot cast for the late Socialist Eugene Debs.
"The convention hall stage didn't even have an actual American flag. Instead, in the usual place of honor for Old Glory, was displayed a flag with the picture of the Earth. On the other side was an altered American flag with a peace sign where the stars would be."
Posted at 10:11 AM
RE: ZARKAWI RUMOR [Michael Ledeen]
I see (from the KJL link below) that Kimmitt has now said that the rumor is false.
It's always best to reason from first principles...Osama's not in Pakistan, either. They are all eating caviar together, so to speak.
Posted at 10:10 AM
NIGER + URANIUM + WILSON [Jonah Goldberg]
The Belgravia Dispatch dissects the Financial Times story about Niger and uranium and makes Joe Wilson look bad.
Posted at 10:07 AM
“CIVIL-RIGHTS MAFIA” [Roger Clegg]
Good piece in the Washington Post’s “Outlook” section yesterday by Jonetta Rose Barras on the need for African Americans to continue the discussion started by Bill Cosby. Highlights include: “[T]he orthodoxy of an aging civil rights mafia exaggerates the role of racism” and “African Americans and their leaders may want to endorse [conservative Robert] Woodson’s proposal for a ‘one-year moratorium on whining about white folks.’ When groups gather, they should leave the excuses of ‘racism and white folks out of the room,’ says Woodson.”
Posted at 10:02 AM
ZARKAWI RUMOR [Michael Ledeen]
I guess nobody pays attention to NRO anymore, but it would be truly astonishing if Zarkawi turned up in Iraq, since he's living happily in Iran along with the other top bad guys.
Posted at 10:00 AM
MOORE [Jonah Goldberg ]
My G-File on Mikey is up. And, no, I haven't seen the movie. Update: bad link fixed.
Posted at 09:57 AM
FOX [Rich Lowry]
I'm scheduled to be on Linda Vester today around 1:20.
Posted at 09:51 AM
RICH'S CLINTON-BOOK REVIEW [KJL]
Subscribe to NR Digital now and read it...
Posted at 09:47 AM
THE PRESS IN BAGHDAD [Robert Alt]
As someone who was in the Press Room in Baghdad when the announcement was made to the Press via a phone call, I can tell you that there were flacks who visibly angry at being “duped.” This was but a small reaction, however, because most of the press had not come in yet, because nothing was formally on the schedule for today. And of course, this fails to take into account the super-egos, such as Brokaw, who were rumored to be in Baghdad already, just waiting to make their appearances.
Posted at 09:02 AM
BAD NEWS FOR KERRY [Rich Lowry]
“Tuition burden falls by a third; 80% jump in aid offsets price hikes”
From USA Today. What does this do to Kerry misery index?
Posted at 08:58 AM
THE HANDOVER [KJL]
Here's Alt from Baghdad. Here's former CPA official Michael Rubin.
Posted at 08:51 AM
RE: WOOPS [KJL]
You clearly did not hear the "breaking news" alarm that goes off in The Corner to wake us up when things happen off schedule....Hmmm...Corner alarm clocks...
Posted at 07:59 AM
RE: MEDIA [KJL]
CNN can't be too ticked, however. For what it was worth pre-dawn here, Anderson Cooper was live in Baghdad, Christiane Amanpour was in the room of the handover, were able to go live, even if in the dark until the moment it happened. Fox was weekend repeats when I first tuned in around 5.
Posted at 07:54 AM
ZARKAWI FALSE ALARM [KJL]
Posted at 07:52 AM
WOOPS [Jonah Goldberg]
I see Kathryn beat me to it. One thing I am absolutely sure about. The press is vexed, mightily vexed. They won't say it, they can't. But a zillion muckety-mucks have gone to Iraq to be there for the handover and they got scooped. Plans have been trashed, egos bruised. It will be interesting to see how or if this gets translated into coverage.
Posted at 07:25 AM
AMAZING [Jonah Goldberg ]
The Iraqis are in charge. Sovereignty has been transferred two days early. It's a nice surprise but I don't know if the excuse that they want to avoid terrorist attacks sends the right message. Still: Amazing.
Posted at 07:20 AM
NOT ON NRO'S SOUNDTRACK [KJL]
Barbra Striesand introduces a Kerry-version of "People":
THEY'RE LYING -
Posted at 06:54 AM
THE EARLY HANDOVER [KJL]
This is what Robert Alt sent me from Baghdad at 3:51 NY time: "In a surprise move, Ambassador Bremer handed over sovereignty to the Iraqi people this morning. I was in the press room when it occurred; the journalists present and the press desk itself were informed with a phone call. Here is a short Fox News blurb. Inevitably, this early transition was designed to short circuit any terrorist plans to disrupt the actual handover. It also steals much of the thunder for attacks in the next couple of days. (Remember that Zarqawi stated that the terrorist should use what he called the pretext of US occupation to justify the terror attacks, which should be increased prior to the handover.) All-in-all, a clever move by Bremer and the CPA."
Stay tuned to NRO for more today and in coming days...
Posted at 06:25 AM
SADDAM TO FACE JUDGE WITHIN DAYS [KJL]
Posted at 06:07 AM
IRAQI RADIO [KJL]
sources tell me,too, is reporting Zarkawi has been caught...
Posted at 05:57 AM
ZARQAWI CAUGHT? [KJL]
This, from Robert Alt, in Baghdad: "Unconfirmed reports suggest that Zarqawi may have been captured near Hilla. I just finished speaking with a Coalition spokesman. He could not confirm whether Zarqawi was in custody, but suggested it is believed that the operations in question were conducted by Iraqi Security forces. "
Posted at 05:53 AM
OVER TO IRAQ [KJL]
In a surprise move, Bremer has handed over authority of Iraq to the Iraqis today--already--rather than June 30 as planned.
Posted at 05:20 AM
Sunday, June 27, 2004
MORE "BROWNSHIRT" IRONY [Jonah Goldberg ]
A few days after Al Gore denounces cubicle-dwelling press flacks as "brownshirts" activists working in concert with the Democratic Party assault a man for not agreeing with them. Again, they ain't brownshirts, but there a heck of a lot closer than the emailing fiends Gore is so upset about.
Posted at 10:01 PM
NIGER + URANIUM [Jonah Goldberg ]
British intelligence still stands by the uranium story. Maybe this is why?
Posted at 09:39 PM
TERRORISTS IN IRAQ CLAIM TO HAVE U.S. MARINE [KJL]
Posted at 08:38 PM
NYT OMBUDSMAN [Andy McCarthy]
Even when the Times undertakes to review its own performance, it does so in a lamo-NYTimesy way. Check out Daniel Okrent's "The Report, the Review and a Grandstand Play." Okrent is what the Times calls its "public editor" -- i.e., its "readers' representative" who comments bi-monthly in the Week-in-Review section regarding the paper's coverage. As for "The Report," Okrent, to his credit, gives his paper a mild rebuke for its misleading and huge 4-column wide June 17 headline that the 9/11 Commission had found "No Qaeda/Iraq Tie[.]" But he then proceeds to suggest that the paper's reporting was fair and that the only trouble was that the issue was too complex for a succinct headline to capture it accurately. Right.
That gives you a hint about where Okrent is coming from, but if you need something more certain, just read on to his defense of "the Review," which relates to last Sunday's front-page publication of critic Michiklo Kakutani's scathing review of former President Clinton's My Life. Okrent defends the Times's decision to run this critique, correctly arguing that a review is an opinion piece (and, naturally, assuring his rebelious Upper West Siders that the favorable McMurtry review is on the way). He has trouble, however, with the editorial placement decision: namesly, putting the review on Page One rather than in a normal book review slot. Why? Because he's sees this as having breached "the sanctity of the front page as an opinion-free zone." Anyone who thinksthe NYTimes's front page is "an opinion-free zone" is not qualified to be reviewing the paper's performance. Okrent should have re-read what he wrote about "the Report" before opining on "the Review."
Posted at 07:36 PM
KERRY'S REVOLVING DOOR [Jonathan H. Adler]
Bob Novak reports (third item) about staff shuffling between the Kerry campaign and various anti-Bush 527 organizations. Under federal law, coordination between 527s and political campaigns is illegal.
Posted at 07:06 PM
ONLY SEVEN TO GO [Jonathan H. Adler]
The Supreme Court only has decisions in seven cases outstanding. For a rundown of the cases, see here. (LvHB)
Posted at 06:20 PM
MOVIE ADS OR POLITICAL ADS? [Jonathan H. Adler]
One TAPped contributor reports that ads for Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 have quite an anti-Bush impact, expecially when viewed in combination with Kerry ads. More fodder for those seeking to restrict ads for Moore's latest crockumentary under campaign finance laws.
Just in case there is any question about my views on the subject, I believe the restrictions on political advertising adopted as part of the McCain-Feingold law are an abomination, and arguably the most troublesome aspect of existing campaign-related restrictions on speech. Furthermore, I believe the Supreme Court's decision to uphold these provisions is utterly irreconcilable with the text and purpose of the First Amendment. Nonetheless, this is the law, and it should be enforced. With luck, the controversy over Moore's ads will demonstrate that the "no free speech for thee, only for me(dia)" principle embraced by Congress and the Court is untenable. Moore does have a First Amendment right to advertise his film and seek to prevent Bush's reelection. So, too, do all Americans that would seek to influence the outcome of an election through paid advertising and other media efforts. If only the Supreme Court had recognized the point.
Posted at 06:18 PM
MOORE SNARED BY MCCAIN-FEINGOLD? [Jonathan H. Adler]
The Hill reports that television advertisements for Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 may have to be pulled after July 30 under McCain-Feingold. According to a draft opinion of the Federal Election Commission's general counsel, the promotions would be treated as campaign ads because they mention a campaign for public office. Simultaneously, Citizens United has filed an FEC complaint against the film. Responds Moore, "It's a violation of my First Amendment rights that I cannot advertise my movie. It's a movie. I have not publicly endorsed John Kerry. I am an independent, I am not a member of the Democratic Party."
Posted at 06:07 PM
INTERESTING QUESTION [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
Posted at 01:24 PM
MAC PROBS [Jonah Goldberg]
Thanks to everyone who responded -- and there were lots of you. I've tried several of the suggested remedies and we'll see if they worked. Thanks again, particularly if I didn't respond to you directly.
Posted at 10:59 AM