HEY, BOSTON [KJL]
A near army of NR writers will be on the ground in Boston all week for the DNC. But I know we have a good-size Beantown reader contingent--confirmed by the number of RSVPS we're getting to our Tuesday night bar night there. Since you all know the town so well, and are clearly brace souls, you should all consider yourself unofficial roving correspondents. And, I might add, any advice you have for NR correspondents will be appreciated.
Just let me know if you want your name used in The Corner or not when you e-mail. Thanks!
Posted at 11:59 AM
FOX=PRAVDA? [Tim Graham]
As part of their campaign against Fox, MoveOn is buying newspaper ads comparing Fox to Pravda for the Republican Party. One of the most annoying insults in their agitprop film "Outfoxed" is the repeated comparing of Fox News to the Soviet Union, even using the adjective "Stalinist" to describe how it doesn't like employees assisting Michael Moore types. If you wonder if the film might be reasonable, it begins with hard-lefty Bob McChesney comparing the U.S. media system to "Godfather II," in which the mob decides how to carve up Batista's Cuba with a cake shaped like the island. That doesn't even make the liberal media look good. They're all capitalist running dogs, too, I guess, to MoveOn.
Posted at 10:55 AM
SORTING OUT THE BALDWINS [Tim Graham]
On Fox this morning, actor Stephen Baldwin, the youngest of the Baldwin brothers, discussed his new campaign of Christian evangelism through Teen Mania Ministries and said he's going to "vote for the man with the most faith." When they asked how that's going to go over with his liberal brothers, he smiled and said "I'm going to vote for the man with the most faith."
Posted at 10:52 AM
Friday, July 23, 2004
DAVIS [Mark R. Levin]
I just debated Lanny Davis on Sean Hannity's show. He denies being the source of the Berger story and said he is disappointed I didn't call him and ask him first -- as if he wouldn't have laughed me on the phone. What I said on the Corner, in relevant part, was: "Lanny Davis's tactics of leaking bad information in order to control the media spin is clearly in play, if not by him, by others. But he is now a prominent voice pointing a finger at purported Bush motives. The Berger story first appeared in the Associated Press, and was written by John Solomon, whom Davis reveals in his book as his favorite reporter. In addition to Davis, the usual Clinton propagandists are involved as well -- Lanny Breuer and Joe Lockhart."
I thought this was understood as speculation, but no matter. Lanny was all over TV and radio accusing Republicans of nefarious motives without evidence and the Democrats' chorus about the leak's "suspicious timing" -- with John Kerry's campaign pointing the finger directly at the White House -- must have been spontaneous. So, I have to conclude that George Bush leaked it.
Posted at 06:40 PM
E-MAIL [Rich Lowry]
"Subject: Fair and Balanced panel--check out the pics."
Posted at 06:37 PM
GUB'MENT 'N MARRIAGE CONT'D [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
Posted at 06:33 PM
BUSTING GREENPEACE [Jonathan H. Adler]
Greenpeace complains when others violate environmental laws, so what about when Greenpeace itself gets caught in the act?
Posted at 06:04 PM
TEN FILIBUSTERS IT IS [Jonathan H. Adler]
Senate Democrats successfully defeated cloture votes on three more judicial nominees yesterday, bringing the filibuster total to ten. The three judicial nominees, all for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, were Henry W. Saad, Richard A. Griffin and David W. McKeague.
Posted at 06:03 PM
FOX [Rich Lowry]
Fyi, scheduled to be “On the Record” tonight, probably around 10:50 p.m.
Posted at 05:07 PM
FOR VDH FANS [Jonah Goldberg ]
Posted at 04:51 PM
WOLFOWITZ--STRIKE BIN LADEN HARD [Rich Lowry]
Richard Clarke has gone after Paul Wolfowitz very aggressively as Mr. Iraq who had no interest in bin Laden. But check out page 214, describing a pre-9/11 debate over the Predator. Wolfowitz wanted a robust military option:
"The Defense Department favored strong action. Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz questioned the United States’ ability to deliver Bin Ladin and bring him to justice. He favored going after Bin Ladin as part of a larger air strike, similar to what had been done in the 1986 U.S. strike against Libya. General Myers emphasized the Predator’s value for surveillance, perhaps enabling broader air strikes that would go beyond Bin Ladin to attack al Qaeda’s training infrastructure."
Posted at 04:19 PM
RE: GUV'MENT & MARRIAGE [Jonah Goldberg]
Shame on you Jonah!
Posted at 04:15 PM
AN EVEN MORE SOLID 51%? [Rich Lowry]
E-mailers point out that 51% approved of Bush’s job strongly or somewhat in LA Times a month ago. Also, Rasmussen has Bush job at 51% too. Onto to 52%!
Posted at 04:05 PM
ANOTHER TALKING POINT EVAPORATES [Jonah Goldberg]
CNN is reporting that Bush's allegedly destroyed military records have been recovered. It was just a mistake. Sorry tinfoil heads and other wishful-thinkers.
Posted at 04:02 PM
COMING HOME [John J. Miller]
The U.S.S. Reagan arrives in San Diego.
Posted at 03:58 PM
ALMOST THERE [John J. Miller]
America's first modern ABM has been loaded into a silo in Alaska. We've almost got a missile defense, folks.
Posted at 03:55 PM
QUESTIONS BEST LEFT UNANSWERED [John Derbyshire]
A reader: "Is what you guys do more properly called 'blogging' or 'bloggery'?"
Posted at 03:54 PM
PELAGIUS [John Derbyshire]
Lovely review of Arthur, Andrew. The last word on Pelagius is in Colin McEvedy's PENGUIN ATLAS OF MEDIEVAL HISTORY, p.26:
"Pelagianism, the native British development [i.e. of the Monophysite heresy], rather lost its point when the legions left and the heathen Saxon became the antagonist, but in its concern with this life rather than the next it seems temporarily to have tapped a deep stream in the insular character."
Posted at 03:51 PM
JOB APPROVAL [Rich Lowry]
The new LA Times poll has Bush's job approval at 51 percent. That's the first time I have seen him above 50 in a major media poll in a long, long time. Progress. Then again, its only 51...
Posted at 03:41 PM
QUEEN ZIXI IS HERE—AND SHE’S FREE! [Jack Fowler]
Yes, our latest NR children’s book has arrived from the printer, and it really is a beautiful book. Hot on the success of his first “Oz” oeuvre, L. Frank Baum wrote “Queen Zixi of Ix, or The Story of the Magic Cloak” in 1904-05 as a serialized novel for the great St. Nicholas Magazine. He considered it his best book, and rightly so--it’s a terrific story, made all the better by Frederick Richardson’s delightful pictures (91 to be precise). We’d like you to have a FREE copy of Queen Zixi of Ix--find out how here.
Posted at 03:36 PM
“BOOGIE TO BAGHDAD” [Rich Lowry]
Clarke was worried that bin Laden might flee to Baghdad. Hmmm. Curious. Page 134:
"In February 1999,Allen proposed flying a U-2 mission over Afghanistan to build a baseline of intelligence outside the areas where the tribals had coverage. Clarke was nervous about such a mission because he continued to fear that Bin Ladin might leave for someplace less accessible. He wrote Deputy National Security Advisor Donald Kerrick that one reliable source reported Bin Ladin’s having met with Iraqi officials, who 'may have offered him asylum.' Other intelligence sources said that some Taliban leaders, though not Mullah Omar, had urged Bin Ladin to go to Iraq. If Bin Ladin actually moved to Iraq, wrote Clarke, his network would be at Saddam Hussein’s service, and it would be 'virtually impossible” to find him. Better to get Bin Ladin in Afghanistan, Clarke declared.' Berger suggested sending one U-2 flight,but Clarke opposed even this. It would require Pakistani approval, he wrote; and 'Pak[istan’s] intel[ligence service] is in bed with' Bin Ladin and would warn him that the United States was getting ready for a bombing campaign: 'Armed with that knowledge, old wily Usama will likely boogie to Baghdad.' Though told also by Bruce Riedel of the NSC staff that Saddam Hussein wanted Bin Ladin in Baghdad,Berger conditionally authorized a single U-2 flight.Allen meanwhile had found other ways of getting the information he wanted. So the U-2 flight never occurred.
Posted at 03:23 PM
ODD OMISSION--CORRECTION [Rich Lowry]
After the narrative on the al-Shifa bombing, the report does note Clarke's concerns about the Iraqi connection (sorry, working my way through this thing). Page 128:
"Though intelligence gave no clear indication of what might be afoot, some intelligence reports mentioned chemical weapons, pointing toward work at a camp in southern Afghanistan called Derunta.On November 4, 1998, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York unsealed its indictment of Bin Ladin, charging him with conspiracy to attack U.S. defense installations. The indictment also charged that al Qaeda had allied itself with Sudan, Iran, and Hezbollah.The original sealed indictment had added that al Qaeda had 'reached an understanding with the government of Iraq that al Qaeda would not work against that government and that on particular projects, specifically including weapons development, al Qaeda would work cooperatively with the Government of Iraq.' This passage led Clarke, who for years had read intelligence reports on Iraqi-Sudanese cooperation on chemical weapons, to speculate to Berger that a large Iraqi presence at chemical facilities in Khartoum was 'probably a direct result of the Iraq–Al Qida agreement.' Clarke added that VX precursor traces found near al Shifa were the 'exact formula used by Iraq.' This language about al Qaeda’s “understanding” with Iraq had been dropped, however, when a superseding indictment was filed in November 1998.
Posted at 03:20 PM
NON DENIAL DENIAL [Jonah Goldberg ]
Lanny Davis was asked on Linda Chavez's radio show if he was the leaker on the Berger story and he didn't answer the question. James Taranto has the details. (Second item).
Posted at 03:02 PM
ANOTHER ODD OMISSION [Rich Lowry]
The 9/11 commission deals at some length with the 1998 strike against the al Shifa “chemical weapons plant” in Sudan--without mentioning (as far as I can see) that it was a possible Iraqi connection to the plant that helped convince Clinton officials that it was a legitimate target.
Posted at 02:31 PM
GUV'MENT & MARRIAGE...GUV'MENT & MARRIAGE.... [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader re today's column:
Posted at 01:56 PM
KEep your eyes on Drudge
Posted at 12:55 PM
THE MISSING MAN [Rich Lowry]
Is it just me or does the Commission report not mention Abdul Rahman Yasin, who was involved in the first World Trade Center bombing and then got santuary in Iraq? If I'm wrong I'd be happy to note it here, but in my searches of the report his name doesn't come up.
Posted at 12:28 PM
G-FILE [Jonah Goldberg ]
My response to Wade Horn's letter is up -- in the form of today's column. today's column.
Posted at 11:00 AM
WIFI ON THE ROAD [Jonah Goldberg]
I've gotten about thirty emails on the subject. I haven't read them all yet, but I think I've gotten all the tips I need. Thanks.
Posted at 10:52 AM
NOTE TO SELF [Jonah Goldberg]
...must dissuade R. Ponnuru from reviewing my book when it comes out...his evisceration of Right Nation in new National Review shows it's not worth the risk. Maybe get him to blurb book, thus disqualifying him from reviewing it...must consider options.
Posted at 10:42 AM
MY AGENDA [Jonah Goldberg]
Okay, here’s my agenda. On Sunday I go to the Democratic Convention. By the time I get back the wife, baby and dog will be moved out of our house. Sounds like a country music song I know, but in reality we’re evacuating our house because it’s going to be renovated. The frustrating part is we don’t know where we’re going to live -- for up to a year. When I return from the convention, I will pick up the family and we all drive cross-country for the month of August and into September. Cosmo and I will stay in the pacific northwest – with another sister-in-law – while the Fair Jessica and Lucy go to Alaska for a while. I will remain behind to panic about finishing the book. Then at the end of August, I fly back to DC for a conference, then to NYC for the GOP convention, then back to the San Juan Islands. Collect dog, baby, wife and drive back to the East Coast where I will hide in an undisclosed location to finish book before deadline while Jessica looks for a place for us to stay. All the while, I will be trying to meet my quota of G-Files, syndicated columns, London Times columns, CNN appearances and so on.
Some requests and points:
Posted at 10:11 AM
DAVID NIVEN [Andy McCarthy]
Regarding the Chait Debate, I am, naturally, taking some jibing from pals over the generous Corner reader's David Niven comparison -- including some unseemly suggestions that I anonymously submitted it myself. As I told one correspondent this morning: How could you say such a thing? Compare this description from an on-line Niven bio: "Charming, dapper and with a dash of light-hearted sexual roguishness." I thought people understood that this is exactly how we were reared in The Bronx!
Posted at 08:11 AM
Frequenter Barbara Comstock will be on Fox at 10:30 this morning
Posted at 08:02 AM
THOSE TUBE BOOBS [Tim Graham]
If you're interested in organizing your mind around how the media will twist the conventions for liberal gain (or just organizing convention coverage drinking games), see how Rich Noyes has summarized the TV tendencies of the last few conventions here.
Posted at 06:59 AM
RE: FREE BOOB JOBS FOR GIS [Jonah Goldberg ]
This reader puts the story in a bit more perspective:
Posted at 06:45 AM
"FAT ACTRESS" [KJL]
Wheeen will the reality-TV moment eeeeend?
Posted at 05:31 AM
HARD TO READ [KJL]
the Commission's piecing together of Flight 93 facts. We all should.
Posted at 12:26 AM
"THE PRE-EMPTION COMMISSION" [KJL]
That's the WSJ's coinage.
Posted at 12:21 AM
Thursday, July 22, 2004
BULLYING THE COURT [Jonathan H. Adler]
FDR bullied the Supreme Court twice. The first, and most famous, was the Court-packing plan that would have created a new seat on the Court for every Justice above a set age. If enacted, it would have given FDR-appointees an intsant majority. There is some academic debate as to whether this plan successfully induced any Justices to change their position on the constitutionality of the New Deal, but there is no doubt it was a naked attempt to force the Court to get in line with FDR's program The second involved the (in)famous Nazi saboteur case, Ex parte Quirin. FDR's administration made clear to the Court that the saboteurs convicted before the military tribunal would be executed irrespective of the Court's decision on the case, so it would be in the Court's interest support the administration -- and it did.
Posted at 11:24 PM
KERRY'S LATEST ABORTION COMMENTS [Ramesh Ponnuru]
I understand the impulse to refer to them as "gobbledygook," as Geraghty does, but I think that's not quite right. If I understand him correctly, he is suggesting that from conception until some future stage of development that he does not specify, there is a human being there who does not count as a person. If you accept a distinction between "human beings" and "persons," which I find monstrous but many people apparently do not, that could make a kind of sense. (I think the distinction would also generate logical consequences Kerry does not wish to embrace.)
I'm also not sure how to square the comment with his earlier statements that he opposes abortion "personally"--why does he oppose it, if it's not personicide?--and that he shares the "Catholic belief" about abortion. Those statements, made earlier this month, were already incoherent: The "Catholic belief" about abortion is that it is unjust, as is its legality, and so he clearly does not share it. I'm left unsure what exactly he thinks is the specifically Catholic view that the law cannot impose: that it's wrong to kill human beings even when others don't consider them to be persons? that they're human beings in the first place? So I'll give Geraghty a verdict of gobbledygook for the candidate's comments as a whole.
There are certainly a lot of follow-up questions worth asking: for example, when does Kerry think personhood emerges?
Posted at 11:23 PM
LATE BREAKING NEWS IN THE N.C. GOVERNOR'S RACE [John Hood]
Two updates to my Wednesday report for NRO on the results of Southern primary elections on Tuesday. First, a real political shocker happened today in North Carolina. Two Republicans, Richard Vinroot and Patrick Ballantine, had qualified Tuesday for a runoff scheduled August 17 to pick a nominee to face incumbent Democratic Gov. Mike Easley. Vinroot, the 2000 gubernatorial nominee, was slightly the leading vote-getter on election night and immediately came out swinging against Ballantine, the former minority leader of the state senate, questioning his conservative credentials for having support some state spending increases and corporate-incentive bills.
The day after the primary, however, it became evident that there was an undercount of votes in New Hanover County, the coastal community that Ballantine had represented in the legislature for a dozen years (what it is about Southern beach counties and vote-count irregularities?) Seems Ballantine won a few thousand more votes there than originally reported, putting him 1,500 votes in the lead statewide. It was statistically insignificant, but perhaps not psychologically so. On Thursday Vinroot called a press conference and stunned everyone by dropping out of the race and endorsing Ballantine. He said he didn't want to divide the party and weaken its chances of tossing out Easley, a three-time tax-raiser. Other factors were probably in play, too.
I also wanted to give NRO readers a better sense of just how bad the pro-protectionist advertising was in some of North Carolina's congressional primaries in the textile and furniture belt. One mailer showed a picture of China with chopsticks poking out and the ominous headline: "They are chopping your jobs." The candidate, the best-financed in a field of four, got beat soundly in his primary.
Posted at 11:11 PM
9/11 REPORT CYA [John Podhoretz]
Remember the kerfuffle over Jamie Gorelick, the 9/11 commission member who became a part of the story when John Ashcroft revealed she had written the 1995 memo insisting that the wall between intelligence and law enforcement be even higher and harder to breach than the law required? Here's how the 9/11 report covers Gorelick's backside, on page 79:
"In July 1995, Attorney General Reno issued formal procedures aimed at managing information sharing between Justice Department prosecutors and the FBI. They were developed in a working group led by the Justice Department's Executive Office of National Security, overseen by Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick. These procedures--whiel requiring the sharing of intelligence information with prosecutors--regulated the manner in which such information could be shared from the intelligence side of the house to the criminal side.
"These procedures were almost immediately MISUNDERSTOOD and MISAPPLIED. As a reuslt, there was far less information sharing and coordination...."
Posted at 09:06 PM
DOYLE'S NIGHT OUT [KJL]
Here's a reader endorsement: "I want to drink beer with Jonah!!!! yeeeeeee hawwwwwwwww....."
Posted at 08:01 PM
BIG DAY AT NRO [KJL]
P.S. The Kerry Spot hit its 1,000th post today. You should not try to survive this election season without it. Go. Stay. Read. Bookmark.
Posted at 07:32 PM
KERRY NONSENSE [KJL]
John Kerry on abortion, again--Jim Geraghty has the details.
Posted at 07:25 PM
THE COURT-STRIPPING VOTE [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Kathryn: I'm for the general proposition that our political culture should legitimize the idea that statutes passed by Congress and signed by the president can restrict the courts' jurisdiction. (I've argued this at length in NR over the years.)
I would not have picked this particular issue to begin that legitimation. It doesn't stop the judicial imposition of same-sex marriage in any important respect: State courts can still impose it as in Massachusetts, and federal courts can still use the Fourteenth Amendment in various ways to impose it nationally. Also, I have always thought that it would be much better to begin to make court-stripping less controversial by attaching it to an issue with overwhelming popularity--like the Pledge of Allegiance.
I know House Republicans want to take up court-stripping with regard to the Pledge, too. But giving people the idea that court-stripping is going to be used routinely also doesn't strike me as a smart way to start the campaign for the idea either.
That said, I suppose that if the House were going to take up the issue, I'm glad that it passed, because it may add some momentum to the general cause of court-stripping.
Posted at 06:07 PM
MOORE GETS A PRESIDENTIAL THUMBS UP [Tim Graham]
As president, Bill Clinton was so exquisitely sensitive to journalistic criticism that he whined to Rolling Stone in a 1994 interview that he had "not gotten one damn bit of credit from the knee-jerk liberal press, and I am sick and tired of it, and you can put that in the damn article." Ten years later, Clinton is interviewed in Rolling Stone again, and now, his standard of how fiercely presidents should be criticized has shifted. Now, apparently, films that suggest President Bush has had a collaborative relationship with Osama bin Laden are perhaps an itty bit over the top:
Rolling Stone: Have you seen "Fahrenheit 9/11"?
Posted at 05:57 PM
POSTED WITHOUT COMMENT [Jonah Goldberg ]
Bigger Breasts for Free: Join the Army
Posted at 05:04 PM
LIGHTS IN IRAQ [KJL]
Chaldean bishop lauds Iraqi progress, chides Western media:
The Western press has been unjust towards Iraq. It has focused only on the dark side, on terrorism, killings, car bombs, the cruel images of decapitation. Some went as far as saying violence was justified because it was aimed at the occupiers. Unfortunately, ordinary people are the ones who paid a high price, Muslims and Christians working for the Americans or finding themselves at the wrong place at the wrong time when some car explodes. The so-called “resistance” hardly ever kills Americans. No! Opposition should mean defending the rights of the people, not killing them. If you strike and kill fellow countrymen and women, you are not a resistance fighter, you are but a destroyer, a bearer of death.
Posted at 05:00 PM
Morton Kondracke's wife, Milly, has died. She had a terrible case of Parkinson's Disease. He wrote a heartbreaking and inspiring book about their suffering, Saving Milly. IHe is a terrific reporter/pundit, and I can only imagine, a great person--father and husband--one who has seen a lot of love and intense pain.
Posted at 04:33 PM
HOUSE: STRIP FED COURTS OF MARRIAGE JURISDICTION [KJL]
Ramesh--what to think?
Posted at 04:19 PM
I FORGOT TO SAY: [KJL]
DERB RADIO! HEAR YOUR DERB RADIO.
Posted at 04:04 PM
FDR & CHAIT [Jonah Goldberg]
Oh, sorry, I forgot to finish my point. The notion that FDR didn't "bully" the Supreme Court is nonsense. I don't have the citation with me (all my books are packed for the move), but I'm fairly certain it's settled history that the Court was scared stiff by Roosevelt, even if it won the court-packing battle. Moreover, the Court never again asserted its proper role in overturning unconstitutional economic schemes because of FDR's bullying. I know Chait likes those schemes so he may not be troubled by any of that, but if his complaint is how Bush subverts the rules he might at least nod to the fact that no president, save perhaps Wilson, more proudly and permanently subverted the rules than FDR did.
Posted at 03:59 PM
ALL THAT MATTERS BETWEEN NOW AND ELECTION DAY CONT'D [Peter Robinson]
From a reader's lips to Karl Rove's ears: "Shouldn't the President address the nation tonight? He could thank the Commission and say his top priority is making sure this doesn't happen again...he should be a hard*** on this issue, but instead he meekly takes the report and says it is "solid"...that's it? Doesn't he understand this is THE issue? Why isn't he talking about the Patriot Act, Airline Safety, Intelligence, and Border security EVERY DAY until election day...."
Posted at 03:53 PM
DINNER WITH THE BIGS [Kate O'Beirne]
Along with about 7,000 others, I listened to the remarks last evening that reportedly represented the President's new and improved stump speech. I thought, and have since learned many others agree, that it needs more improvement--and editing. It was unfocused and so drifted down every policy by-way imaginable. It sounded like a State of the Union address intended to buck up the bureaucrats by mentioning every conceivable initiative. There were some good zingers for those few still paying attention. Paraphrased from sketchy notes on the back of my program: You can't be pro-business and pro-trial lawyer at the same time. You have to choose and my opponent made a choice and put him on the ticket. Another line about "junk lawsuits" got plenty of applause as did a pledge to stand up for marriage and the family. "There is nothing complicated about supporting our troops in combat," received a standing ovation. Hopefully, people didn't just take the opportunity for a seventh inning stretch to relieve the tedium.
Although the speech had been hyped as an opportunity to talk about the President's second term agenda, there was only an oblique reference to ushering in a new era of ownership. The President noted that John Edwards won a mention as one of our "sexiest politician," and said that one of his goals for the second term was to get Dick Cheney on that list. It was the only concrete agenda item of the night.
Posted at 03:51 PM
RE: CHAIT'S PIECE [Jonah Goldberg]
I'm going to read the Opinion Duel this afternoon. But there's one thing Chait's TNR piece (you can get the link through Opinion Duel) that I thought was inadvertantly hilarious was this:
Unlike Nixon, FDR enjoyed unified control of Congress, yet his fellow Democrats were fractious enough to stop him from bullying the Supreme Court. Had those presidents, like Bush, enjoyed the benefits of a subservient Congress and a staff that never spoke out against their excesses, they might have done a lot of damage.
Now Chait's as close we get to a New Deal liberal these days so I'm sure he's being sincere -- even bipartisan. But I love the cavalier implication that Nixon and FDR were prevented from doing a "lot of damage" because their "excesses" were criticized and therefore curtailed. I mean, some of us think that FDR and Nixon did do a lot of damage that we're still dealing with today.
Posted at 03:46 PM
NYT--JUST AN OBSERVATION [KJL]
Another e-mailer: " Please note that neither Sunday's offering nor today's ever mention the word 'adoption.'"
Posted at 03:33 PM
WHAT ARE THEY THINKING? [KJL]
An excellent point, from a loyal and treasured reader: "Once again, the Dems pull out their common sense blinders. They are going to have Ben Affleck speak at the convention? After inflicting Daredevil, Gili, Paycheck, and Jersey Girl on American audiences, and then traveling around the world spending exorbitant amounts of money in poker tournaments, do they really think he'll resonate with the average voter (who they claim is angry and looking for a job)?"
Posted at 03:28 PM
WHERE'S THE LOVE? [KJL]
I am remiss. From an e-mailer:
I am shocked and appalled at the silence in the Corner about Opinion Duel. Tell people to go read it!
Posted at 03:23 PM
ALL THAT MATTERS BETWEEN NOW AND ELECTION DAY [Peter Robinson]
was summed up in a single sentence uttered this morning by Thomas Kean, chairman of the 9/11 Commission:
“Every expert with whom we spoke told us an attack of even greater magnitude is now possible, and even probable.”
Posted at 03:06 PM
"COWBOY LAW PROFESSORS" [Jonathan H. Adler]
Point of Law's James Copland adds his thoughts on the Sosa decision (which I discuss here). I totally agree that many "cowboy law professors" see the decision as a green light to use federal courts to go after multinational corporations and foreign governments for their alleged overseas misdeeds. But I remain somewhat skeptical that Sosa should be read thus. Justice Breyer concurred to note his concern that such suits could interfere with foreign policy, and I suspect that in the appropriate case another Justice could be convinced that federal courts are not the proper fora for such disputes until Congress determines otherwise. (And I hope this isn't just wishful thinking on my part.)
Posted at 02:56 PM
"LAST OF THE LUNCHPAIL DEMOCRATS" [Jonathan H. Adler]
Bob Novak on the growing rift between Democrats and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino. Among other tidbits, California Democratic Party Chairman Art Torres will walk out when Menino speaks to the convention.
Posted at 02:51 PM
JOINTNESS [Jed Babbin]
The 9-11 Commission's principal recommendation for intelligence reform is to do for the intel community what the Goldwater-Nichols began for the Defense Department: institutional reform to require "jointness" in operational strategy and tactics. ( See pages 407-411) This is the approach I recommended back in February.
Our armed services work together now in what we call "network-centric" warfare. Every service is integrated from top to bottom with the others, using every asset together to its best advantage. Jointness for intelligence requires not only the sharing of information; it requires cooperation at every level to use the assets of each agency to the best combined advantage. In order for this to happen -- whether it's done by replacing the Director of Central Intelligence with a new National Intelligence Director or by some other mechanism -- the new leader of our intelligence community has to be someone who is steeped in the Defense Department approach and can shake the intel trees to make this happen. That means neither a Congressman nor an old DoD hand is the right person to do it. Sources tell me that John Lehman isn't on the short list for the DCI job.
Goldwater-Nichols was enacted more than a decade ago, and really only took effect operationally in the 1991 Gulf War. Whoever is put in the DCI or "NID" job needs to be someone who is a true believer in "jointness". To achieve it, they will need to be given much more and different statutory authority than any of the intel agencies' heads now have. And while this needs to be done, and report after report comes in, Congress is headed off to vacation. Isn't this urgent enough for them to hang around a while?
Posted at 02:46 PM
REYNOLDS SHAMED [Andrew Stuttaford]
The Instapundit has now waded into the murky red swamp that is the great W vs. Heinz ketchup debate. This could have been interesting and it could have been enlightening, but he chose to make a mockery of the proceedings by adding the sauce to, ugh, McDonald's French Fries. As anyone with a taste bud will know, these fries have been shadows of their former selves ever since it was decided no longer to use beef tallow, Heaven's ingredient, in their preparation. McDonald's fries are an insult to the potato, a sad, drab, inedible parody of a food, as dull as a Kerry speech and as tasteless as deep-fried paper, worthy companions, perhaps, for a Filet-o-'fish', but not a suitable medium for such an important survey. Next time, professor, try something else.
Posted at 02:36 PM
WHO YOU CALLING A TRUTH-TELLER? [KJL]
J.D. Hayworth and others want the Nation to take back their "truth-telling" award they gave Joe Wilson.
Posted at 02:01 PM
GRIFFITH A GONER? [Jonathan H. Adler]
According to this news report (LvHB), Senator Hatch's favored judicial nominee for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, THomas Griffith, could be in trouble because his ABA review is not yet complete and Democrats oppose confirming any judges after their convention. Griffith will face an additional hurdle, though, due to controversy over his practicing law without a license after his bar memberships lapsed.
Posted at 01:53 PM
FREE TO CHOOSE [John J. Miller]
The Washington Post today says that left-wingers dominate the business of documentaries--a claim I won't even begin to challenge (except to note that most documentaries are probably non-political and are watched on the Discovery Channel and its cousins). But the piece probably should have mentioned one of the most important documentaries of all time -- Free to Choose, the 10-part television series hosted by Milton Friedman. At the end of the Carter years and the start of the Reagan era, it promoted the concept of free market economics to a huge audience. The medium has in fact worked for the Right.
Posted at 01:52 PM
THE REPORT [Michael Ledeen]
Rich is getting too happy about this thing...as usual, much too long, but better written than the intel committee report.
The point about Congressional responsability is NOT that Congress dumped the work onto outside commissions, but that Congress created the restrictions that made it impossible for the intelligence community to operate effectively. So far, at least, there is not one syllable about the terrible roadmarks along the way: the Church madness, the Pike lunacy, the Levi misguidelines, the Clinton/Torricelli mumbo jumbo...
That is where Congress is enormously, even criminally culpable. They got the intelligence community they wanted. Well, okay, the one they got was even worse than the one they wanted, but you get my drift...
Posted at 01:49 PM
LOCKOUT ON THE WAY? [Jonathan H. Adler]
This is not good news (at least for me and John Miller).
Posted at 01:46 PM
FROM SEVEN TO TEN [Jonathan H. Adler]
The Hill reports there should be three more cloture votes on judicial nominations this week. Assuming all three fail -- a reasonable expectation -- the number of filibustered judges will be ten. Among the nominees up this week is Michigan judge Henry Saad, the first Arab-American nominee to an appeallte court in the nation's history.
Posted at 01:46 PM
SPEAKING OF GREAT BARS [Jonah Goldberg]
I am crestfallen over the fact that Cannon's my favorite bar since long before the age when it was legal or parentally permitted for me to have favorite bars is closing this week forever. It's been around since the 1930s -- on 108th and Broadway -- and I will miss it terribly. Last week the New York Times dubbed it the "the last of the area's scrappy watering holes" -- which barely does it justice. It was one of the classic bars which never got so seedy to be a full-blown dive but never got so pretentious to lose its mix of souses, blue-collar working guys and college and (in my day) high school kids playing quarters. Farewell.
Posted at 01:38 PM
SEN. FLIP FLOP DENIES REALITY [Tim Graham]
Dan Rather gathers a smidgen of toughness for his John Kerry interview, and check out how Kerry categorically denies ever flip-flopping, not once! Rather: “But at the core of a attack against you is that you are, quote, 'Senator Flip Flop.’ Does or does not the record indicate that you have indeed been on several sides of most issues, or at least a lot of issues, over the years?”
Kerry: “Not a one. Ask me.”
Rather: “Voted for the war but didn't vote for the money--”
Kerry: “That's not a flip flop....I voted to hold Saddam Hussein accountable in order to make sure he disarmed, and I voted to do it with the stipulations of the President who said he would build an international coalition, go to war as a last resort after exhausting the remedies of the UN. He did none of the above...”
Rather: “You don't think it's a flip flop?”
Kerry: “It is not in the least. I think we have to be in Iraq. What have I flipped on? I just think we ought to do it right.”
Posted at 01:35 PM
I GUESS DOYLE'S IS THE PLACE [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
Posted at 01:30 PM
FIRST OUT OF THE GATES [KJL]
Be sure to read Andy McCarthy's guide to reading the 9/11 report here.
Posted at 01:27 PM
PARTY WITH NR [Jack Fowler]
Kathryn, that will be a great evening for NRO fans. At Doyles, the food is hearty, the beers are cold (by the way--Kathryn forgot to mention: you’re buying!), and the atmosphere is always festive, and will all the more so with NR’s Brain Trust present! Join NR at Doyle's Tuesday night– at the very least this will be a great opportunity to force Rich Lowry to wear a Red Sox hat!
Posted at 01:02 PM
BOSTON BLOWOUT: PARTY WITH NR IN BOSTON [KJL]
Stuck in Beantown for the Democratic convention? I’ve got some relief for you: We’re having a shin-dig--a little conservative oasis in the Boston desert of Kerry and co. NRO fans should mark down this Tuesday--July 27--from 5 P.M. to 8 P.M. That’s when some of your NR & NRO favorites will be hanging out at the famous Doyle’s Bar in Jamaica Plains (3484 Washington Street, to be exact--a short walk from the Forest Hills train station on the Orange Line; phone is 617-524-2345). Plan to be there. You'll thank me (I expect the e-mails that night...or, ok, the next morning.)
There you’ll meet Jonah, Rich, Kate, Ramesh, Jay, Byron, Mr. Kerry Spot Jim Geraghty, and maybe a few added surprises. Basically, NRers will be there at 5, with or without you, but I know it will be with you. It’s a casual and relaxed atmosphere, but so we have an idea of when to roll The Couch out, RSVP to email@example.com with Doyle’s in the subject line. It’s a night you’ll be glad you stayed in Boston for—and set you in the right mood for primetime Democrats, night two.
Posted at 01:00 PM
MORE MOORE [Rich Lowry]
Pages 329-330 devastate his Saudi post-9/11 flight conspiracy-mongering. A sample: “We found no evidence that anyone at the WH above the level of Richard Clarke participated in a decision on the departure of Saudi nationals.”
Posted at 12:42 PM
JORDAN [Rich Lowry]
“What was the deal in Jordan during that time?”
ME: If I read the report correctly, it was the Jordanians foiling the plot there that sent us to “battle stations,” not the other way around.
Posted at 12:34 PM
A WELL-EARNED REBUKE FOR CONGRESS [Rich Lowry]
From the report, page 107 (talking about terrorism being a second or third priority for Congressional committees with this jurisdiction):
“In fact, Congress had a distinct tendency to push questions of emerging national security threats off its own plate, leaving them for others to consider. Congress asked outside commissions to do the work that arguably was at the heart of its own oversight responsibilities. Beginning in 1999, the reports of these commissions made scores of recommendations to address terrorism and homeland security but drew little attention from Congress. Most of their impact came after 9/11.”
Posted at 12:29 PM
MORE CLARKE [Rich Lowry]
The report vindicates his contention that “going to battle stations” improved communication within the government, especially with regards to the FBI. So why didn't anyone take on the systemic problem? Instead, we immediately went back to the operating under the old rdiculous rules. Page 180:
“But during the millennium alert, with its direct links into the United States from Hijazi, Deek, and Ressam, FBI officials were briefing in person about ongoing investigations, not relying on the dissemination of written reports. Berger told us that it was hard for FBI officials to hold back information in front of a cabinet-rank group. After the alert, according to Berger and members of the NSC staff, the FBI returned to its normal practice of withholding written reports and saying little about investigations or witness interviews, taking the position that any information related to pending investigations might be presented to a grand jury and hence could not be disclosed under then-prevailing federal law.”
Posted at 12:26 PM
MICHAEL MOORE'S PIPELINE [Rich Lowry]
Remember his conspiracy theory about the pipeline and the Afghan war? It was a Clinton-era diplomatic initiative. Page 111, picking up the story in 1998:
“In Afghanistan, the State Department tried to end the civil war that had continued since the Soviets’ withdrawal. The South Asia bureau believed it might have a carrot for Afghanistan’s warring factions in a project by the Union Oil Company of California (UNOCAL) to build a pipeline across the country. While there was probably never much chance of the pipeline actually being built, the Afghan desk hoped that the prospect of shared pipeline profits might lure faction leaders to a conference table. U.S. diplomats did not favor the Taliban over the rival factions. Despite growing concerns, U.S. diplomats were willing at the time, as one official said, to ‘give the Taliban a chance.’”
Posted at 12:16 PM
"AN EMERGENCY SECURITY SUMMIT" [Jonah Goldberg]
Kerry says that if he's elected he will convene an ESS to hash out the reforms necessary. I feel safer already.
Posted at 12:10 PM
FOILING THE MILLENNIUM PLOT [Rich Lowry]
Page 179: "Later, when asked what made her decide to ask [millenniun plotter Ahmed] Ressam to step out of his vehicle, Diana Dean, a Customs inspector who referred Ressam to secondary inspectors, testified that it was her 'training and experience.' It appears that the heightened sense of alert at the national level played no role in Ressam's detention."
Posted at 12:08 PM
RE: "EXTRAUTERINE EHRENREICH" [Tim Graham]
K-Lo, we should thank Barbara Ehrenreich for laying out the compassionate "reduction" philosophy that dominates the Democratic base as they gather in Boston. New York Times readers should have known they were going to get some wild columns from the woman who felt Jesus sounded a lot like the Communist Manifesto, and other beauts.
Posted at 11:57 AM
EVOLUTION PROVED... [Andrew Stuttaford]
...once and for all.
Posted at 11:55 AM
MORE ON THAT CLARKE TID-BIT [Rich Lowry]
We apparently identified bin Laden at a camp, but held off an attack partly because of worries that a member of the UAE royal family was there too. But we hoped bin Laden might return to the camp and we would be able to target him then. Enter Richard Clarke and here is the commission's narrative:
“Even after bin Laden’s departure from the area, CIA officers hoped he might return, seeing the camp as a magnet that could draw him for as long as it was still set up. The military maintained readiness for another strike opportunity. On March 7, 1999, Clarke called a UAE official to express his concerns about possible associations between Emirati officials and bin Laden. Clarke later wrote in a memorandum of this conversation that the call had been approved at an interagency meeting and cleared with the CIA. When the former bin Laden unit chief found out about Clarke’s call, he questioned CIA officials, who denied having given such clearance. Imagery confirmed that less than a week after Clarke’s phone call the camp was hurriedly dismantled, and the site was deserted. CIA officers, including Deputy Director for Operations Pavitt, were irate. ‘Mike’ thought the dismantling of the camp erased a possible site for targeting bin Laden.”
Posted at 11:52 AM
CLARKE TID-BIT NOT TO MISS [Rich Lowry]
Check out pages 137-139, the section "The Desert Camp, Feb. 1999." I'm told it details Clarke's very unique contribution to U.S. counter-terrorism during that incident--namely, an extremely damaging leak.
Posted at 11:36 AM
THE REPORT [KJL]
Posted at 11:32 AM
GRAND OLD FLAG AMENDMENT [John Fonte]
Why all the opposition to the Flag Amendment? In 1988 during the administration of Ronald Reagan 49 states and the Federal government had laws prohibiting flag desecration (not free speech, but physical action.) What the Flag Amendment does is restore legislative power that existed with the states and the Congress from 1789 to 1989 (until the 5-4 Supreme Court decision in 1989), If outlawing physical flag desecration limits free speech, than free speech was very limited, indeed, in Ronald Reagan's America. Ramesh is right tactically, they way to restrain judicial activism is vigorous use by the Congress of Article 3, Section 2 (removing the Court's jurisdiction). My extended view here.
Posted at 11:25 AM
TRIVIALIZING [Jonah Goldberg]
Longtime Military Guy, The Donovan, writes:
Trivializing the Presidential Medal of Freedom? Bad taste, dude. This coming from a 3-dog family.
Me: Lighten-up Dono. It was a joke.
Posted at 11:22 AM
SULLIVAN, THE DUTCH & MORE [Stanley Kurtz]
Andrew Sullivan quotes a letter from a Dutch reader today in criticism of my piece from yesterday on Dutch marriage. The reader claims that the real reason for the rising Dutch out-of-wedlock birthrate is the ease with which Dutch parents can cohabit and get all the legal benefits of marriage. The problem with this explanation is that the Dutch effectively equalized marriage and cohabitation in the 1980's. Yet out-of-wedlock birthrates only shot up in the mid-nineties, just as registered partnerships were approved. Notice that this letter writer likes cohabiting parenthood just fine. This is the second time Sullivan has tried to rebut me by quoting bad arguments from a European letter writer who also defends unmarried parenthood. Whatever happened to the conservative case for gay marriage? Meanwhile, have a look at blogger Tom Sylvester on gay marriage here and here.
Posted at 11:19 AM
BERGER, 9/11 [Mark R. Levin]
Well, the 9/11 report doesn't trash Bush, so the idea that the Berger information was leaked to draw attention away from the supposed anti-Bush report has no legs. Moreover, the Bush administration had this report days ago for vetting purposes. It knew the report didn't trash Bush. So, the charge that the administration was motivated to leak this information seems way off the mark. In addition, the news reports this morning suggest, to me, that Berger has much to fear and that he will eventually be charged. Apart from stuffing classified information in his pockets, or wherever, he engaged in deceptive conduct over many hours, during separate visits to the Archives, which will be very difficult for DOJ's Public Integrity Section to overlook. The argument that this was inadvertent is laughable, yet that's what his defenders continue to throw against the wall.
Keep in mind, these documents would have special covers on them, usually in red, with bold lettering stating that they are, in this case, top-secret/code-word classified. Each page would be stamped with bold warnings. As a former National Security Advisor, Berger has handled hundreds if not thousands of documents of this kind. Even on a messy desk at home, these documents would be difficult to lose.
Lanny Davis's tactics of leaking bad information in order to control the media spin is clearly in play, if not by him, by others. But he is now a prominent voice pointing a finger at purported Bush motives. The Berger story first appeared in the Associated Press, and was written by John Solomon, whom Davis reveals in his book as his favorite reporter. In addition to Davis, the usual Clinton propagandists are involved as well -- Lanny Breuer and Joe Lockhart.
It's a crime to mishandle classified documents in this manner whether or not Berger had some nefarious intent. Intent would go to the level of law-breaking, not the fact of it. But some have asked what would motivate Berger to do this. My guess is that Berger may well have thought that the various drafts of the after-action Millennium report, and their different iterations, were the only copies, that they were devastating, and that he knew the final Millennium report was a watered down version. After all, he had originally ordered the preparation of the report, tasking the job to Richard Clarke. But even if Berger knew other copies of the drafts existed, the information would be useful in advising John Kerry on security issues to emphasize during his campaign, and in advising Bill Clinton on how defend his administration's conduct in the days leading up to 9/11. This would also explain why he took notes.
Whatever the motive, this is a major national security breach. Some of these documents have received the nation's highest security protection -- code word. The release to the public of as much of this information as possible -- the drafts, the final report and Berger's notes -- would go a long way in explaining exactly what Berger was up to. I wonder if the Kerry campaign and the Clintonoids would support this?
Posted at 11:16 AM
THE ADMINISTRATION READS THE CORNER [Jonah Goldberg ]
If you haven't seen it yet, Wade Horn of HHS responds on the site today to a Corner post from a little while ago. I'm going to try to pen a response for tomorrow. No matter who you agree with, you've got admit it's nice to know that the administration pays attention to the Corner -- and blogs generally.
Unfortunately, it doesn't pay enough attention. If it did, Cosmo would have received his Presidential Medal of Freedom by now.
Posted at 11:09 AM
Snopes.com credits us for the Syrian Wayne Newton piece and links to it but calls us the "National Observer" not "National Review Online." I'm momentarily regretting Cathy Seipp's great Snopes piece yesterday. I've e-mailed them. May justice prevail.
Posted at 10:59 AM
A GOOD RUN ANYWAY [Meghan Keane]
Rep. Dennis Kucinich plans to endorse John Kerry for president today, ending his long-shot bid for the nation's highest office only days before the start of the Democratic National Convention.
Well, until today I thought that Bush had a shot at reelection. But there's no stopping Kerry now.
Posted at 10:54 AM
A PRECOCIOUS TEEN DISSENTS [Jonah Goldberg ]
Youth conservative movement good says he.
Posted at 10:31 AM
TOP 10 REASONS TO COME ON NR “POST-ELECTION” CRUISE [Jack Fowler]
Number 8: DICK MORRIS.
So I say to myself “You’re too happy today. You need to be taken down a peg. Why not ask Dick Morris to be a guest speaker on the ‘post-election’ cruise – so you can hear him say ‘no.’” So I did – I sent the columnist/analyst/strategist/triangulator/knower-of-all-things Rodham/Clinton an invitation, and expected the brush-off.
But did you know that in addition to fools and drunks, God also protects cruise organizers (they might fall under the “fools” category)?! For indeed, Dick Morris – super-insightful on all things political – has not said “no.” Indeed, he has heartily agreed to join us on National Review 2004 Post-Election Caribbean Cruise.
What a coup! And what a time we will have this fall sailing on the balmy Caribbean, as our galaxial cast of Dick Morris, the witty, shrewd, calls-’em-like-I-sees-’em pundit, and our other confirmed speakers – Pat Toomey, Michelle Malkin, Victor Davis Hanson, Bernard Lewis, Ed Gillespie, Stephen Moore, Dinesh D'Souza, John Hillen, John Derbyshire, John O’Sullivan, Rich Lowry, Ramesh Ponnuru, and Jay Nordlinger – sort out the election results, prognosticate as to their effects short- and long-term, and elucidate on so much more.
“You know, I’ve always wanted to go on one of your cruises …” – if I had a nickel for every time I heard that, I could buy the darn ship! Well, the National Review 2004 Post-Election Caribbean Cruise is the perfect opportunity for you to stop day-dreaming and to actually experience the grand events that are the hallmark of every NR cruise (by the way, the typical NR cruise “alumnus” has been on three or four of our voyages – they don’t keep coming back again and again because they aren’t having a wonderful time!).
During our week (November 13-20) on the high seas, you’ll experience a luxury cruise (on Holland America Line’s glorious Zuiderdam). On top of that comes all the exclusive NR extras: numerous seminars of sharp/witty discussions of politics and policy, three revelrous pool-side cocktail parties, two late-night “smokers” (featuring H. Upmann cigars and complimentary cognac!), and intimate dining (on at least two nights) with our speakers. So stop dreaming about going on an NR sojourn and sign up for what is sure to be the Mother of All NR Cruises. Just visit www.nationalreviewcruise-carib.com – you’ll find complete information about our trip, the ship, and a secure reservation form can all be found there). And don’t forget: we’ve made it super affordable (our ultra-low prices start at just $1,549 a person!).
Posted at 10:05 AM
EHRENREICH [Jonah Goldberg]
This is what drives me nuts:
It would be unfair, though, to pick on the women who are in denial about aborting "defective" fetuses. At least 30 million American women have had abortions since the procedure was legalized, mostly for the kind of reasons that anti-abortion people dismiss as "convenience" - a number that amounts to about 40 percent of American women. Yet in a 2003 survey conducted by a pro-choice group, only 30 percent of women were unambivalently pro-choice, suggesting that there may be an appalling number of women who are willing to deny others the right that they once freely exercised themselves.
As readers around here know, this is an old theme of mine. Still, what Ehrenreich is saying is that women who've had abortions have no right to regret their abortions. Or, rather, they have no right to translate that regret into public policy into "ambiguous" policy preferences. In other words, once you've had an abortion you must remain "consistent" or un-hypocritical by endorsing abortion for others even if you think it was a mistake on your part.
This is monumentally dishonest and more than a bit daft. Where else does Ehrenreich enforce this standard? Should racists stay racist? White people used to have the right to shout the n-word in the faces of black people. Does Ehrenreich -- who I assume supports hate crimes laws -- denounce former racists who would "deny others the right that they once freely exercised themselves"? Does a sexual harasser need to oppose sexual harassment laws lest he be counted as appalling in Ehrenreich's eyes? Since OJ Simpson got away with two free murders, should he believe that everyone should?
Ehrenreich's position is less of an argument than it is an attempt to bully women she deems disloyal.
Posted at 10:01 AM
RE: MATH [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Kathryn: I wrote a piece for Human Life Review a few years ago in which I looked over the available (sketchy) data and concluded that the proportion of American women who have had abortions was about one-third. I suspect that Ehrenreich is overstating her case on this point--but, alas, not by too much.
Posted at 09:10 AM
MATH POINT [KJL]
A number of readers send similar e-mails to this one: "Ehrenreich claims that 30 million equals 40% of American women, implying that there are 75 million women in America. She must be using some particular age range such as child bearing age since there are approximately 150 millions females of all ages in America. Perhaps that 75 million figure is roughly accurate at the moment, but those 30 million abortions have been spread out over 31 years, in which time period far more than 75 million women have been of child bearing age at some point. The 30 million figure thus does not equate to 40% of American women having at least one abortion or anywhere near it. The true number is probably closer to 20%-25%.
So already her mathematical quandary has disappeared, but even if it were still in place, her conclusion makes no sense. Let’s say that 40% of American adults admitted to having engaged in bullying and taunting other kids in junior high, yet over 90% of adults expressed disapproval of bullying. Is this hypocrisy, or just maturity? A large number of “women” who have abortions are minors, some even pre-teens. Just because a young girl with a child’s shaky grasp on biology has an abortion at 14 because her older boyfriend doesn’t want to be caught out doesn’t mean she can’t come to feel differently about abortion when she’s 30 and she has seen ultrasounds and learned about fetal development, etc."
Posted at 08:50 AM
"CHOICE CAN BE EASY" [KJL]
The New York Times is having some week. First Amy Richards. Now Barbara Ehrenreich. Today, Ehrenreich takes pride in her two abortions. This is a remarkable piece. I suspect if you are reading this and have had an abortion during your life and regret it, you will most especially be pained and angered by the sentiments expressed. Here's some of it:
But what makes it morally more congenial to kill a particular "defective" fetus than to kill whatever fetus happens to come along, on an equal opportunity basis? Medically informed "terminations" are already catching heat from disability rights groups, and, indeed, some of the conditions for which people are currently choosing abortion, like deafness or dwarfism, seem a little sketchy to me. I'll still defend the right to choose abortion in these cases, even if it isn't the choice I'd make for myself.Read the whole thing here.
Posted at 08:04 AM
YOUR BERGER MEDIA-BIAS UPDATE [Tim Graham]
Posted at 07:48 AM
CASING THE JOINT [KJL]
Audrey Hudson has a piece in the Washington Times on suspicious activity on airlines. Knowing what I now know, thanks to Clint Taylor, about the NW flight and the Syrian musicians, though, I'm a little more sober and less freaked. Though, as Clint points out in his NRO piece where he IDs the musicians (MUST CREDIT NRO and all that!), the behavior of the air marshals on the flight doesn't inspire much confidence.
Posted at 07:07 AM
AND THEN THERE WILL BE THE BOOK TOUR [KJL]
Posted at 07:03 AM
Is the 9/11 report available in bookstores today or online today, in bookstores tomorrow? (Nevermind: Answer is: in bookstores today.)
Posted at 06:27 AM
TRYING TO E-MAIL ME (YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE) [KJL]
Use firstname.lastname@example.org, having some issues on the NR one. thanks.
Posted at 06:07 AM
If this report is true, it sound like, if he were not former national-security adviser, his weird behavior should have gotten him kicked out. (Seems weird to me he would even be able to make phone calls from such a room--with classified docs in the room.)
Posted at 05:27 AM
Wednesday, July 21, 2004
WE HAVE A WINNER! [Peter Robinson]
From a reader, duly breathless with victory: “OK, I think I've got the record for the NRO Corner. I just stuffed 110 pages of paper relating to a proposal I worked on, replete with staples, in my socks (white, half-calf terry cloth) and did my nightly walk of about a mile. They didn't fall out, and my only suffering was to have a slightly tired right foot at the end of the evening. And, I did count the pages one-by-one. Beat that!”
Posted at 11:44 PM
A MARTY PERETZ TO READ [KJL]
On Wilson & Berger.
Posted at 11:32 PM
I LOVE THIS EMAIL [Jonah Goldberg]
Mind you, I have no idea which article he's referring to:
Posted at 11:25 PM
MORE DISAPPEARING DOCS [KJL]
Jim Geraghty relays some possibly suspicious activity on the Kerry website here.
Posted at 11:09 PM
RE: FASHION DISASTERS, CTD. [Peter Robinson]
Yes, Andrew, sandals. But rest easy. I never wear them with white socks.
Posted at 08:27 PM
CORROBORATION [Peter Robinson]
From another reader: "[T]o outdo your other reader, I just made a trip to the men's room in my office and back with an 8 page memo (the longest I could find) stuffed in my tennis sock that barely come over my ankles. I'm wearing blue jeans today, too. Piece of cake."
Posted at 07:43 PM
FOX TONIGHT [Rich Lowry]
FYI: Supposed to be on “On the Record” tonight, probably around 10:50.
Posted at 07:41 PM
FASHION DISASTERS, CTD [Andrew Stuttaford]
Sandals, Peter, sandals?
Posted at 07:39 PM
THE SYRIAN WAYNE NEWTON [KJL]
The mystery of the Syrian musicians in the sky sounds like it have been solved--by Clint Taylor on NRO, just posted, here.
Posted at 07:32 PM
MORE TERRY [Mark R. Levin]
The irony with McAuliffe's FOIA request is that one of the most recent federal court decisions upholding the White House exemption from document production under FOIA -- which he now seeks -- was a lawsuit brought by Juanita Broaddrick against Bill Clinton in Broaddrick v. Exec. Office of the President, 139 F. Supp. 2d 55, 58 (D.D.C., 2001). Surely McAuliffe and his DNC lawyers are aware of this, which is why this is a PR stunt and nothing more. ... Ok, don't worry ... I'm moving on ...
Posted at 07:30 PM
NEW TAPE SHOWS 9/11 HIJACKERS GOING THROUGH DULLES SECURITY [KJL]
Posted at 07:18 PM
TOM DAVIS ON CONGRESS INVESTIGATING BERGER [KJL]
Washington, DC - House Government Reform Committee Chairman Tom Davis (R-VA) announced today that the Committee intends to investigate allegations that former National Security Advisor Sandy Berger, in preparation for 9-11 Commission hearings, took highly sensitive terrorism documents from a secure reading room at the National Archives.
Posted at 06:54 PM
BERGER'S GETTING A CONGRESSIONAL INVESTIGATION [KJL]
Speaker Hastert on Congressional Investigation Regarding National Security and Sandy Berger
Posted at 06:26 PM
CORROBORATION [Peter Robinson]
From a reader:"I just fit a 17-page document in an over-the-calf dress sock and walked around the office comfortably…..nobody noticed….and I laughed at myself when I returned to my desk."
Posted at 06:04 PM
HELP--WIVES TAKING HUSBANDS' NAME [Rich Lowry]
Thinking of doing a column on the trend toward wives taking their husbands' name upon marriage. This is something I haven't thought a lot about, but it caught my eye the other day and I'm curious to hear from people about why this might be an important cultural indicator (or not). Thanks as always...
Posted at 06:00 PM
ORDER OF THE GARTER [Peter Robinson]
I have little enough opportunity to wear sock suspenders, or garters, out here in California—as I type, I am happy to report, I’m wearing sandals with no socks at all—but under your inspiration, John, I just a moment ago closed my eyes and pictured myself wearing garters and a suit, as I did every day of the working week back when I lived in Washington. The result of this mental experiment? A smallish document—say, ten or twelve pages—would, I decided, conform very nicely to the shape of one’s calf, fitting snugly inside an ankle-length dress sock, the additional weight proving no problem for a proper garter.
Tube socks would indeed have posed a problem. But if Berger was wearing dress socks and garters, he could have pulled the caper off.
Posted at 05:18 PM
RE: LANNY [Mark R. Levin]
Rich and company may have a point. Check out this link: Notice Lanny Davis's (and therefore the Clintonoids') favorite go-to reporter is AP's John Solomon. The reporter who broke the Sandy Berger/pants/documents story is Solomon. And as the linked story shows, Davis brags in his book about leaking damaging information to control the spin. And that's exactly what's occurring here and now with John Kerry accusing the White House of leaking the Berger story, and trying to take the focus off Berger and place it on the president.
Posted at 05:17 PM
MORE CLARIFICATION [Mark R. Levin]
The Executive Office of the President entities exempt from the provisions of the FOIA are:
White House Office
Office of the Vice President
Council of Economic Advisers
National Security Council
Office of Policy Development
Domestic Policy Council
Office of National AIDS Policy
National Economic Council
President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board
Posted at 04:59 PM
WILSON [Rich Lowry]
The Wilson story has, of course, had a catastrophic effect on Bush. One thing I've been wondering: how, with most of the facts on its side, did the Bush White House manage to lose the battle over Wilson a year ago? Byron York takes that up in the current issue...
Posted at 04:39 PM
LANNY [Rich Lowry]
Jonah, good post about Lanny Davis earlier. I like Lanny. He is the definition of a happy warrior, and is definitely not a hater. But IF--who knows what really happened--this leak came from Berger's camp it would be a classic operation acording to Davis rules. As Lanny wrote in his book, it is not the leak to be feared--since information will always come out--but timing that is not on your own terms. Here is how he wrote about the Clinton re-election fundraising scandal in his book:
"The trumping argument used by McCurry and me for doing these document dumps was directly out of the rules: that the hot documents were going to be leaked anyway, or worse, they would not be leaked, but would be released for the first time during nationally televised Senate and House campaign-finance hearings. Better that we put the story out ourselves, with plenty of opportunity to answer questions and to characterize the documents favorably, or at least accurately."
Posted at 04:35 PM
RE: IT'S THE SOCKS, STUPID [John Derbyshire]
Jonah: Isn't it about time we did another face-slapper?
Posted at 04:32 PM
RE: WHO IS JOE WILSON? [Tim Graham]
I sympathize deeply with people who don't want to have to master the minutiae of the Joe Wilson-Valerie Plame game. Discussing it on radio, I wonder if I'm endangering people on the highway. But I think the media count on that. "Oh, we don't have to rehash that Wilson thing now. Bush ratings are down. Wilson has his fame and made his book money. Only right-wing cranks will complain if we steer right around it."
The everyday Cornerite should just think about the big picture. Bush wanted to wage war on state sponsors of terror. Iraq was one. It had defied UN inspection of its WMDs for years. Debate over. Take Saddam out. You're not allowed to say "well, removing Saddam was a great idea," and then pour rhetorical gas all over the reconstruction. You're either for leaving Saddam, or for taking him out.
Jonah is right that Wilson and 16 Words-gate was an important wind beneath the wings of the Bush Lied Us Into War argument. You can skip right over Wilson if you'd like and tell your friends that Bush's critics have been exposed as "lying liars," but it helps to know the boring particulars.
Posted at 04:30 PM
RE: IT'S THE SOCKS, STUPID [John Derbyshire]
Good grief: "Derb---I don't even know what sock suspenders are, but I do know that back in my undergraduate days, I was able to fit a full 12 ounce can of beer into each sock and nonchalantly walk into my alma mater's football stadium, which does not serve alcoholic beverages. Airplane bottles of liquor were even easier to sneak in, although making the switch to hard liquor after a morning's worth of beer at the tailgate often leads to unintended consequences. If I could wait in line and slip through the pat down from security with two full, ice-cold beers, I would have to imagine that Berger could make it out of the archives with a few papers in there."
Posted at 04:28 PM
DAVID FRUM ALERT [Tim Graham]
On the July 20 "Hardball," Chris Matthews apparently forgot about all that "Axis of Evil" talk about Iraq, Iran, and North Korea. Matthews asked Bob Graham about Team Bush: "Did they, did someone keep that information about the Iranian role secret so that they could focus all the ire of the American people on Iraq? Was that it? Was this sort of a blocking effort here?"
He then underlined the amnesia: Matthews: "Let me ask Senator Lott, the President of the United States made a real effort in the months before, before the war with Iraq to educate the American people as to the danger of Iraq, of Saddam Hussein particularly. Why didn't he tell us about Iran?"
Posted at 04:24 PM
WFB's new memoir, Miles Gone By, debuts on the NYT's bestseller list this weekend at 23.
Posted at 04:22 PM
RE: TERRY'S LETTER [Mark R. Levin]
We're receiving some vile emails claiming that since McAuliffe is requesting Justice-White House communications, that information would not be covered by the FOIA exemption related to law-enforcement information. Here's the answer: 1. When information sought under FOIA involves communications with the White House, the White House determines whether the information is to be released. The White House is not covered by FOIA (it is exempt under the statute, which was unsuccessfully challenged many times in federal court during the Clinton administration adn rarely releases such information; 2. The information is exempt from release, meaning even if the White House were to release such documents (if such communications exist), the information would be redacted from any communications released to the public. So, the best McAuliffe could determine, if it got this far (which it wouldn't) is the fact of the communications, not the content.
Posted at 04:17 PM
NOT A BAD POINT [Jonah Goldberg]
From a military guy with experiene dealing with classified docs:
There is a worse interpretation than the current one that Sandy Berger took the memos, notes and documents consciously, whether to avoid embarrassment or for whatever reason. What if he is telling the truth? What if he did take the material "inadvertently"? Think about this for a minute. For that to be true, concealing documents and classified notes on his person to take them home must have been a routine, ordinary action. People do not commit felonies "inadvertently" unless they are above the rules (in their minds) and habituated to doing so. For all of his defenders to be agreeing with this defense is truly worrisome since it means they have the same view of how to handle classified material. (Those harsh rules are just because security types are obsessive-compulsives.) Which introduces the next question. What else has been lost and/or compromised over the years of the Clinton administration if this type of information handling was common or at least accepted?
Posted at 04:17 PM
RE: IT'S THE SOCKS, STUPID [Jonah Goldberg ]
Derb - I'm not trying to pick a fight, honest. But A) CNN is bolstering the sock story and B) keep in mind that he might have hidden the notes in his socks "knowingly" while he was swiping a hundred or so pages of classified memos "inadvertantly" in his leather portfolio. In your experiment, did you stuff 8 1/2 X 11 pieces of paper in your socks? Or did you try smaller sheets from a small note pad?
Also, can someone find the brand of portfolio Berger uses and see how easy it is to accidentally hide a hundred or so pages of paper in one? I'm all in favor of such experiments, but let's stick as close to the scientific method as possible!
Posted at 04:13 PM
"TIMING OF THE LEAK IN BERGER PROBE QUESTIONED" [Rich Lowry]
That's the headline of the Boston Globe piece today. 1) Should that really be the headline on the main Berger story in the paper? 2) That kind of play would have been predictable to any smart spinners around Berger.
Posted at 04:07 PM
JUST OFF THE MAG DEADLINE [Rich Lowry]
WFB fans are going to love the next issue...
Posted at 04:05 PM
RE: I/D CREEP [John Derbyshire]
It has been some years -- all right, some decades -- since I was carded while buying potables.
I seem nowadays, in fact, to be bumping up against the other end of the issue. Yesterday a guy came to give me an estimate for putting a liner in my chimney.
He offered me a senior citizen discount.
(Although he hastened to add, I hasten to add, that: "I offer this to everyone.")
Posted at 04:00 PM
RE: WHO IS JOE WILSON? [Jonah Goldberg]
Derb - Wow do I think you and your correspondent are wrong. Sure, it's always possible the Corner or NRO has spent too much time on this or that topic (a very common problem in the Corner, hence the anti-Star Trek ban on Madame Lopez). But, A) the Joe Wilson thing is very important because he is -- perhaps second to Howard Dean -- the man most responsible for the "Bush lied about the war" meme. Countless other arguments and half-truths gained credibility by standing on Wilson's shoulders. You may not have the patience to follow the fine print on the Wilson stuff, but that doesn't mean it's not important. Just as I couldn't follow every consonant rich detail of Yugoslavia's implosion, but that didn't mean it wasn't important.
B) If your correspondent's father is an editorial muckety-muck at a "major" daily newspaper and he simply hasn't been following the Joe Wilson flap, I hope his newspaper didn't editorialize about the "16 words" and whatnot last year. Because if he thought that stuff was important when Bush was being called a liar but suddenly has lost interest when the chief accuser has been exposed as a fraud, then shame on that editor.
C) Lastly, since when is the merit of what we discuss around here measured by whether or not "voters" care about it?
Posted at 03:51 PM
RE: IT'S THE SOCKS, STUPID [John Derbyshire]
Yes, Andrew, white socks.
What color socks do YOU wear with your seersucker suit, white bucks, and straw boater?
Posted at 03:48 PM
FASHION FAUX PAS [Andrew Stuttaford]
White socks, John, white socks?
Posted at 03:41 PM
ARCHIVE MISHAPS [Fr. George W. Rutler]
On a recent visit to the library of Trinity College, Dublin, about seventy pages of the Book of Kells inadvertently fell into my underwear. To my surprise, I later found several major illuminated pages in my socks. If the library wants these pages back, I'll see what I can find, although my desk is always a mess, as everyone knows. I assumed the library had photocopies of the whole Book. So it is no big deal. In fact, when I mentioned this to my friends at the Vatican Library, they all had a good laugh. I do not understand all the fuss. I must say that I find the timing suspicious. Everyone knows that in the late eighth century the Vikings tried to grab these pages, and where were the investigative reporters then? Fortunately, I have entrusted these items to an antiquarian friend in Chappaqua.
PS Silly me: My dry cleaner tells me that the original Donation of Constantine somehow found its way into the lining of one of my jackets. I have always been neglectful of my dress.
Posted at 03:34 PM
I/D CREEP [Andrew Stuttaford]
My Corner post over the weekend about I/D creep has produced a remarkable response. All over the country, it seems, Methuselahs, geezers, greybeards, crones and miscellaneous other ancients are being carded before they are allowed anywhere near the demon drink. The winner so far? Tom from Wisconsin, the father of a friend of mine. He was carded last year while trying to buy brandy at a Walgreen's in Tucson (who knew such wonders were possible?). Tom is 82.
Still, it could have been worse. The previous day this veteran of the Pacific war was "nearly strip searched" by airport security when his artificial knee set off the metal detector.
Posted at 03:32 PM
HOT SUITS [Andrew Stuttaford]
Jonathan, I don't expect much these days from elected officials, but I read about that global warming lawsuit with amazement. It's worth taking a a look at some of the characters who are pushing it:
The liar (NYC Attorney General, Elliot Spitzer) : "There is no dispute that global warming is upon us and that these defendants' carbon dioxide pollution is a major contributor."
The friend of 'the children' (Iowa Attorney General, Tom Miller): We must act now to protect the beautiful and bountiful Iowa we know today, for our children and grandchildren, and generations to come."
The fool (Nurse Bloomberg, via NYC's lawyer): "The City of New York has joined this action out of concern for the impacts that global warming will have on the City and its residents and as part of the Bloomberg Administration's commitment to maintaining a clean and sustainable New York."
The Munchausen (Vermont Attorney General, William Sorrell): "This suit against the five top producers of CO2 gasses in the United States is an important step toward confronting this major environmental challenge."
The Chicken Little (Wisconsin Attorney General, Peg Lautenschlager) : "The overwhelming scientific evidence now concludes that unabated, the aggravation of global warming by continued carbon dioxide pollution threatens Wisconsin with increased ozone and respiratory illness, more heat-related deaths and ailments, debilitated winter sports and tourist economy, reduced natural fishery stocks, decimated forests, lowered water levels in our Great Lakes that threaten our shipping-dependent industries and intensified catastrophic droughts, storms and floods..."
Posted at 03:30 PM
RE: IT'S THE SOCKS, STUPID [John Derbyshire]
A good rule with news stories is to try out for yourself what has been alleged, just to see if it's possible. It only takes a minute, and it's surprising how many stories about things that are supposed to have happened suddenly develop a high implausibility quotient.
I just tried stuffing papers into my socks and walking around nonchalantly thus cumbered. I couldnt do it. These were newish white tube socks, with a good length above the ankle and decent elasticity.
It occurred to me that the thing might work better if I wore sock suspenders... but I can't find mine, not having worn them for 10 yrs or so. If anybody has a pair of sock suspenders handy and would like to try the Berger thing, I'd be interested to hear a report.
Posted at 03:26 PM
IT'S THE SOCKS, STUPID [Peter Robinson]
Could somebody help me out here?
Yesterday, our very own skandalmeister, Jonah, linked to an item on the Fox News website reporting that Sandy Berger now admitted that he had purloined classified documents by stuffing them into his pants and socks. Today, Berger’s pants and socks seem to have…dropped out of the story. “[C]ount us more interested in learning what’s in the documents themselves,” the Wall Street Journal’s lead editorial intones, “than in where on his person Sandy Berger may have put them….”
But where on his person Berger put those documents is critical. If he did indeed stuff them into his pants and socks, then Berger is on the face of it a) a felon, and b) guilty of lying to the press and the public when in his first statement on the matter he argued that he had engaged in nothing worse than “sloppiness.”
So what’s going on? Do we now know that Berger stuffed documents into his pants and socks? Or was yesterday’s story unsubstantiated?
Posted at 03:15 PM
TERRY'S LETTER [Mark R. Levin]
Byron, Mr. Global Crossing has a little problem. There's an investigative exemption to the provision of information which would likely cover this information -- 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(7). In any event, it would take literally months to resolve any dispute over whether the exemption applies to certain of the documents or not. This is nothing but a PR move.
Posted at 03:10 PM
RE: DERB TRIES TO PAY ATTENTION [John Derbyshire]
Wow, I struck a chord with "Who is Joe Wilson?" Masses of readers care even less than I do.
"Dear Mr. Derb---'Who is Joe Wilson?' perfectly describes my reaction, too. I love reading NRO every day, but my eyes glaze over whenever the topic of that windbag comes up. My dad is the deputy editorial director of a major newspaper, so I asked him yesterday in an effort to remain informed, 'What's the deal with this Wilson guy? What did he do? Can you bring me up to speed? Why should I give a flying c**p?' Turns out Dad hasn't been following it either, and he gets paid to do such things. We're both pretty obsessed with politics, so I figure if we don't care about Joe Wilson, there's no way most voters do, either. I don't know whether that's good or bad. Anyway, I thought it was funny that you had the same reaction."
So come on, colleagues, let's drop the Joe Wilson chatter and get some more stimulating threads going. Heck, there is so much to talk about: zeta functions, Anna Faris, lucite, pumpkins, presidential birth order, dead poets slumbering in their glory, the heat death of the universe...
Posted at 03:10 PM
THE STORY OF THE MAGIC CLOAK [KJL]
I was just handed a copy of Queen Zixi of IX: The Story of the Magic Cloak. It's National Review's new book, a 100th anniversary edition of an L. Frank Baum book. It is beautiful. A great summer-reading gift for any child in your life. Ordering details are here.
Posted at 03:07 PM
TIMING IS EVERYTHING [Kate O'Beirne]
Who demonstrably benefits from the timing of the news that Sandy Berger is under investigation for sneaking highly classified documents from the National Archives? Berger and his defenders. So, it is far more likely that the leak came from his side. It would eventually become known that he was under investigation. Would the Democrats' convention week be a better time? How about an October Surprise for the informal Kerry adviser? Republican convention week would be no good because the GOP couldn't be fingered for it given that they have no reason to create a distraction from their own big show. The news this week provides his defenders with the only "defense" they have - suspicious timing! It's worked like a charm--Dan Rather headlined the alleged well-orchestrated leak to coincide with the 9/11 Commission report before the underlying charges were even mentioned. And, the timing provides the Democrats with a two-fer: dastardly Republicans are smearing Berger to distract attention from the pending criticism of President Bush who ignored warnings about 9/11, which is not the conclusion of the Commission but who the heck is actually going to read the report?
Had someone friendly to the Administration wanted to distract attention from uncomfortable coverage of the White House by disclosing the Berger investigation they sure missed plenty of better opportunities than on the eve of the 9/11 Commission report. How about when Berger's successor Condi Rice was being pilloried for refusing to testify in public? It would have been a helpful distraction during Richard Clarke's media blitz. When Berger himself testified about how the Clinton Administration did everything humanly possible to get OBL and thwart attacks questions about what he was up to in the National Archives would have been pertinent.
Anyone who doesn't appreciate how the Berger bunch has used the fortuitous timing to their advantage must have slept through the Clinton years. The defense is classic. First, the mean Republicans, then the meaningless personal testimonials--"if you knew Sandy Berger like I know Sandy Berger (or Betty Currie). . .," then the irrelevant--he is an extremely hardworking guy who was only trying to help the Commission (we're working, working, working here at the White House), and finally (the political use of FBI files, the lost billing records) the removal of the classified documents was "inadvertent."
Posted at 02:17 PM
NYC IN AUGUST [KJL]
Memo to NY Host Committee: NRO is more than willing to accept gifts way beyond bagels and shoe shines.
Posted at 01:10 PM
CHANGING THE SUBJECT [Byron York]
This press release and letter just in from Terry McAuliffe and the Democratic National Committee:
Washington, D.C. -- In response to the questionable timing of the public release of information regarding the investigation of former National Security Advisor Sandy Berger, Democratic National Committee Chair Terry McAuliffe officially filed a Freedom of Information Act request today for the release of correspondence between the Department of Justice and the White House regarding this investigation.
Posted at 12:54 PM
THE MOST ABSURD CAMPAIGN PROMISE YET [Ramesh Ponnuru]
"The next four years will be peaceful years." What was the candidate thinking?
Posted at 12:49 PM
HOT SUITS [Jonathan H. Adler]
Connecticut AG Dick Blumenthal on the new state nuisance suits agsint utilities over global warming: "Think tobacco, without the money." Yep, that nails it.
Posted at 12:28 PM
"OUTFOXED" IS OUT TO LUNCH [Tim Graham]
Uh-oh. Liberals, watch out. Brent Bozell has the goods on the new Move0n DVD campaign against Fox. And yeah, he is the guy with that new book, Weapons of Mass Distortion: the Coming Meltdown of the Liberal News Media.
Posted at 12:25 PM
FORESTS - CATO RESPONDS [Jonathan H. Adler]
My friends Jerry Taylor and Peter Van Doren respond to my critique of their NRO article on the President's new forest policy:
The central point we tried to make was that it is impossible to efficiently allocate scarce resources among competing claimants without recourse to market information. Your argument (if we understand it correctly) that, once resources HAVE been allocated among competing claimants, state governments are more efficient managers of those allocation programs than are federal agents may well be correct. It is nonetheless irrelevant to our main argument. We disagree with you, however, about whether state management of national forests ensures that those "who bear the costs and reap the benefits" of policy decisions are the ones primarily making the decisions. We have two objections. First, people outside of a state's political boundary often have as big stake in decisions about how natural resources are managed as do people who reside within that state. Non-state residents, for instance, might visit those forests to hunt, camp, fish, hike, or, alternatively, might be willing to pay a great deal to ensure that those resources are left relatively unspoiled by man (witness, for instance, all the environmentalists who never have and likely never will visit the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge who nonetheless contribute large sums of money to environmental organizations to protect that area from development). Accordingly, leaving decisions about how to manage resources with great cross border appeal entirely to locals would not necessarily ensure that those "who bear the costs and reap the benefits" are fairly represented at all. Second, political decision-making at the local level strikes us as no more likely to produce sound ecological or economic management of the forests than political decision-making at the federal level. That's because well-organized special interest groups dictate political decisions in all jurisdictions and giving them what they want does not necessarily imply giving the unorganized general public what they want regardless of what level of government we're talking about. I take it that we all agree that privatization in some form would be the best resolution of the dispute regarding how to manage the national forests. We disagree, apparently, on whether the Bush proposal is a useful "second-best" policy. Our sense is that it might well be IF you think that well-organized special interests at the local level have agendas that better reflect what market preferences for forest resources might be if freely given reign than well-organized special interests at the national level. Because we cannot say with any confidence what market preferences might be with regards to forest resources in general or in particular, and because organized special interest groups will vary in strength from state to state (more Green in California, less so in Alaska), we don't think there's any reason to prefer Bush's reform over the status quo.My Rejoinder:My claim is that the empirical evidence is that states have proven more effective both at addressing and reconciling the competing claims of various claimants and at managing lands more efficiently. State lands tend to produce timber more efficiently and in a more environmentally sensitive manner than equivalent federal lands. In other words, they have done more to satisfy the preferences of both environmentalists and economic interests. Non-state residents may have an interest in how state lands are managed, and states are very sensitive to the impacts of policy decisions on tourism, immigration, and the like. Outsiders are also free to support those in-state interests who share their preferences. At the state level, however, the costs and benefits of catering to outside interests are more clearly manifest than at the federal level. Closing off state trust lands to timber means less revenue for schools, but may mean offsetting revenue from tourism. This feedback is far less attenuated when similar decisions are made at the national level for the country as a whole. The Bush policy may not be a "second-best" policy, but it I do believe it is a step in the right direction. In my view, decentralizing forest management will foster innovation and experimentation just as it has in other environmental areas, creating more opportunities for property-based management. The "Charter Forest" proposal floated by the Administration in 2001 may have been a better idea, but IMHO this is a good start.
Posted at 12:08 PM
AFTER-ACTION REPORTS [Jonah Goldberg]
I still haven't gotten a single email from someone who regularly deals with classified info who isn't scandalized by this. Meanwhile I get a half-dozen of these every hour or so:
Posted at 10:30 AM
15-30 PAGES [Jonah Goldberg ]
Byron York has an excellent piece on Berger. He says that the documents Berger took were said to be 15-30 pages. So, if the Post is right, Berger took somewhere between a minimum of 75 and a maximum of 180 pages worth of the same document, in five to six drafts, over two separate occasions...inadvertantly. That is, he took them from a secure room, in a leather portfolio, all the while sneaking notes out "knowingly."
Posted at 10:22 AM
IF THE NUKE STORY WERE TRUE.... [Jonah Goldberg]
A little known codicil in the National Security Act of 1947 would permit Dick Cheney to give Howard Dean, Joe Wilson and up seven other designees a wedgie on the emergency response system created by the FCC and broadcast on all television licensees during prime time.
Posted at 10:14 AM
THE MYERS VOTE [Jonathan H. Adler]
The roll call for the vote on Wiliam Myers' nomination is quite interesting. Two Democrats voted in favor of cloture, Nelson and Biden(!). Neither Senators Edwards or KEnnedy was present for the vote (surprise!), nor was Zell Miller.
Posted at 10:07 AM
JUDICIAL NEWS [Jonathan H. Adler]
There's lots of news about judicial nominations at How Appealing. The Senate Judiciary Committee approved two Michigan nominees for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit on a party-line vote. Senate Democrats complain that Republicans are not observing the "Thurmond Rule" against bringing up judicial nominations in election years after July 1. (Of course, it's also traditional not to obstruct, let alone filibuster, lower court nominees during the first two years of a President's term.) Finally, it seems that Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist will back a rule change that could effectively end the filibuster for judicial nominations.
Posted at 10:04 AM
FLAG AMENDMENT COMMENTS [Jonathan H. Adler]
It seems NRO readers are not too fond of a flag-burning amendment either. Here is a representative reader comment:
I oppose an amendment to prohibit desecration to our Banner, for the simple reason that I don't wish to elevate the status of those who desecrate it. Many who do would welcome arrest, so as to validate their martyrdom (as they would undoubtedly proclaim it). I say, let them do their foul performance, that all may see and judge their character. Such will suffice.And another that is even less favorable:
It is a repulsive idea. My complaint is that the Congress seems to have been completely taken over by politics. It's mostly the Republicans now as they control both chambers, but Democrats do it too, i.e.. filibustering judges. There seems to be precious little desire to actually legislate. No budgets, no energy bill, fake Medicare bill to provide prescription coverage. If I could, I'd throw the whole bunch out and fill it by national lottery. You're picked, you serve.
Posted at 10:01 AM
NUKE STORY UNRAVELS [Jonah Goldberg ]
Posted at 09:50 AM
QUESTION [Jonah Goldberg]
The Washington Post reports: "A government official with knowledge of the probe said Berger removed from archives files all five or six drafts of a critique of the government's response to the millennium terrorism threat, which he said was classified "codeword," the government's highest level of document security."
Does anybody know how big these drafts were/are? I mean physically. How many pages do such after-action reports run? Are they bound? Anything longer than a couple pages and I can't believe that you could swipe five or six of them in your leather portfolio unknowlingly -- particular for a lawyer, NSA guy, etc.
Posted at 09:47 AM
IF THE NUKE STORY WINDS UP BEING TRUE [KJL]
Tomorrow's headline: "Timing Of Nuke Missile Finding in Iraq Is Questionable."
Posted at 09:42 AM
NEW HOT SUITS [Jonathan H. Adler]
Today, eight state attorneys general will announce a lawsuit against five of the nation's largest utilities charging that they are creating a "public nuisance" due to their emisisons of carbon dioxide. This is yet another suit seeking to bypass the legislative process and force the regulation of greenhouse gases through litigation. (I wrote about the prior suits here.) If the draft press release circulating around is accurate, this suit is particualrly outrageous. It seeks a court order to require the relevant utilities to reduce their emissions under the federal common law of public nuisance -- an ambitious claim, to say the least. Unless the state AGs have come up with a particularly ingeneous legal theory, this suit is nothing more than a publicity stunt. Even if the AGs could win, and manged to shut down the targetted utilities completely, this would not abate the alleged nuisance, as atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and predicted climate change would scarcely be affected at all.
Posted at 09:39 AM
THE BERGER LEAK [Jonathan H. Adler]
Kevin Drum, a generally sensible left-leaning blogger, thinks the likely leaker was a Democrat, too, not someone in the Bush Administration. As he explains, "Frankly, if I were a Republican, I would have waited until around the last week of October or so. My guess is that some sharp Democratic operative figured out that this wasn't going to stay a secret forever and decided (correctly) that it was better to get it into the open now rather than later." Meanwhile, Matthew Yglesias notes that the primary beneficiary of the story is not Bush, but Richard Holbrooke, whose stock as a potential Kerry Administration Secretary of State just increased.
Posted at 09:34 AM
GOTTA LOVE THE NYT--PART 324,891 [Andy McCarthy]
I know it's ho-hum by now, but the New York Times, which finally got around to covering the Sandy Berger fich-fest today, waited until PARAGRAPH 16 of its story to mention the post-Millennium after action review -- the document Berger has been reported to have somehow "inadvertently" snatched on multiple occasions. This minor detail -- i.e., the apparent inadvertent target of Berger's apparent inadvertent exertions -- is the subject of a dead-on lead Wall Street Journal editorial this morning, and rated this near the top (paragraph 3) of today's Washington Post story: "A government official with knowledge of the probe said Berger removed from archives files all five or six drafts of a critique of the government's response to the millennium terrorism threat, which he said was classified 'codeword,' the government's highest level of document security." I'm starting to have trouble even remembering the good old days when the Times at least pretended at objectivity.
Posted at 09:33 AM
TAKE YOUR MARBLES AND GO HOME [Jonah Goldberg ]
Jack Ryan won't get off the ballot because it's too hard.
Posted at 09:30 AM
IT AIN’T SO, JOE! [Cliff May]
I had the same thought as Tim when I read Joe Wilson’s latest op-ed. Certainly, I never called him a traitor. In fact, some NRO readers thought I was too easy on him because I said I didn’t believe he was evil – just an angry partisan and an opportunist.
But this has become a talking point among a certain breed of Democrats. On CNN’s American Morning earlier today, my sparring partner, the lovely and charming Victor Kamber, went on about the administration questioning the “patriotism” of its critics. Who has done that? What a cleverly deceptive tactic to claim your opponents are making charges against you that they have not made. I suppose it’s in the “When did you stop beating your wife?” mold.
Posted at 09:27 AM
SHARPER THAN A SERPENT'S TOOTH... [Jonah Goldberg ]
...is a thankless tree:
Posted at 09:27 AM
PLAID BLOGGING [Rick Brookhiser]
A blogger had some fun with one of my sport coats. I told her it goes with the '77 Camarro.
Posted at 09:23 AM
"THIS LAND WILL VOTE FOR ME" [Jonathan H. Adler]
Bush v. Kerry, with apologies to Mr. Guthrie.
Posted at 09:21 AM
DERB TRIES TO PAY ATTENTION [John Derbyshire]
Er, who is Joe Wilson?
Posted at 09:19 AM
WHAT!?!?! [Jonah Goldberg ]
Baghdad, Iraq, Jul. 21 (UPI) -- Iraqi security reportedly discovered three missiles carrying nuclear heads concealed in a concrete trench northwest of Baghdad, official sources said Wednesday.
Posted at 09:15 AM
WSJ [Jonah Goldberg ]
Journal has an excellent editorial on the Berger stuff. They flesh out the point I made here yesterday about John Ashcroft's testimony and the particular memos in question:
Written by Richard Clarke for the NSC, the key document was called the Millennium After-Action Review because it dealt with al Qaeda attacks timed for the eve of the Millennium celebrations. In his own 9/11 testimony, Mr. Berger described these al Qaeda plans as "the most serious threat spike of our time in government." He went on to say that they provoked "sustained attention and rigorous actions" from the Administration that ended up saving lives.
Posted at 09:07 AM
OH, C'MON JOE! [Tim Graham]
Joe Wilson's borrowing a page from Richard Clarke's drama-queen routine. Who called him a "traitor"? I suppose someone in the blogosphere did, but it doesn't have the whoomp of the Los Angeles Times or New York Times, where he hangs his columns out. I never called him a "traitor." I don't think the Wall Street Journal called him a "traitor." It's amazing how he clings to his old talking points about "right-wing smears," but doesn't that sound empty now that he's exposed as a liar? Naah, he thinks. Still works for Hillary.
Posted at 08:26 AM
there is an NRO drinking game.
Posted at 08:16 AM
TOP 10 REASONS TO COME ON NR’S “POST-ELECTION” CRUISE [Jack Fowler]
Number 9: PAT TOOMEY.
Oh, soooooo close. So very very close. You could smell the sweet victory; you could taste it: a long-shot stalwart conservative besting liberal GOP borker Arlen Specter. Against all odds, closing fast down the stretch, the incumbent panicking, a photo finish . . . alas, it was not meant to be. But as a campaigner – and more so as a Congressman – Pat Toomey has proven himself to be terrifically inspiring. What a fighter! And a true believer too!
And speaking of beliefs, believe this my friends: bigger and better things await this man. And the first of them is his participation in the National Review 2004 Post-Election Caribbean Cruise.
I am truly looking forward to the Keystone State solon talking to our seafaring contingent (over 200 have already signed up!) about his primary slugfest, yes, but more so about the state of the GOP on Capitol Hill (truth be told, I’m afraid I’ll be crying after I hear the down-and-dirty about the behind-the-scenes). Friends, Pat Toomey is the real thing, and someone you must meet and listen too and speak with. And I know you will, because I’m confident you’re going to sign up for our bon voyage (which, by the way, is super affordable – our ultra-low prices start at just $1,549 a person!).
And why wouldn’t you want to spend a week (November 13-20 to be precise) on the high seas, on a luxury cruise (on Holland America Line’s glorious Zuiderdam), enjoying sharp/witty discussions of politics and policy, and revelrous socializing (pool-side cocktail parties and “smokers,” and intimate dining with our speakers) with the Honorable Mr. Toomey – and with Dick Morris, Michelle Malkin, Victor Davis Hanson, Bernard Lewis, Ed Gillespie, Stephen Moore, Dinesh D'Souza, John Hillen, John Derbyshire, Rich Lowry, Ramesh Ponnuru, and Jay Nordlinger? Face it: you’ve got but one choice, and that is to reserve your sumptuous cabin (even the smallest ones are huge compared to those on other cruise lines). Do it now at www.nationalreviewcruise-carib.com (complete information about our trip, the ship, and a secure reservation form can all be found there).
Posted at 08:14 AM
ONE WONDERS [KJL]
how to take this sort of e-mail:
Admittedly, I write this after 5 Scotches on a Tuesday night. BUTI'm pretty sure you can enjoy NRO while sober too. Though I'm sure there are some cool drinking games that could be based on NRO reading. (5 shots everytime someone mentions Star Trek. 2 everytime Andrew mentions McDonald's. 3 everytime he mentions Diet Dr. Pepper....)
Posted at 07:58 AM
THERE GOES THAT OBJECTIVE WIRE SERVICE AGAIN [KJL]
Opening of a Reuters story yesterday:
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (Reuters) - After launching two wars, President Bush said on Tuesday he wanted to be a "peace president" and took swipes at his Democratic rivals for being lawyers and weak on defense.
Posted at 07:51 AM
ONE THEORY [KJL]
An e-mailer: "My vote is for Joe Wilson outing Berger. Gets attention off Joe and the crumbling claims of "Bush Lied!!!" That helps the whole Dem party; leaking Berger's mistake (hah!) is a small price to pay."
Posted at 07:47 AM
JOE WILSON TAKES AIM AT US [KJL]
Says the right wing is smearing him in a LA Times piece today.
Posted at 07:32 AM
INTERESTING PERSPECTIVE [Jonah Goldberg]
We have lots of military and defense industry workers as readers (and we like having them!), so it should be no surprise that I'm hearing from so many people who've dealt with classified materials in the past or currently. What's interesting is that these readers are -- to a person -- more furious about the Berger story than almost any other reader. It seems that the more you know about how these things work, the less plausible Berger's explanations are. Something to keep in mind throughout the day's coverage.
Posted at 07:28 AM
WAS IT LANNY DAVIS? [Jonah Goldberg ]
Yesterday I chastised Josh Marshall for suggesting the only possible explanation for the leak was Republican skullduggery. I also suggested that this had a bit of the stench of a Clintonian "pre-emptive" leak. After all, the Clintonites have much of the spin machine back together (Lanny Davis runs a media crisis practice these days so it would be nice to know who's on retainer and who's not). They all have the same talking points and canned outrage about the same things, etc. Anyway, here's another tidbit as to why it's not absurd to think this was a Lanny Davis special. The fellow who broke the Berger story was John Solomon. And According to Davis, Solomon was "the most fair" reporter he knew because Solomon was willing to take so many items from Davis. For example, from an April 12, 1999 article by Howard Kurtz:
In "Truth to Tell," out next month, Davis argues for "good," factually based spin over "bad," deceptive spin -- but concedes that some of his spin was "so transparent that it is amazing that we thought we could get away with it."....
Posted at 07:20 AM
ISAKSON TAKES SENATE RACE FOR THE GOP [KJL]
You'll be hearing from Herman Cain again, I have no doubt.
Posted at 07:20 AM
SHE'S BACK [KJL]
Cynthia McKinney wins primary.
Posted at 07:15 AM
THE FIVE COUNTRIES THAT VOTED FOR ISRAEL AT THE U.N. AND AGAINST TERORRISM [KJL]
The Marshall Islands
Posted at 07:14 AM
LISTEN TO THE SECURITY MOMS [KJL]
Michelle Malkin in USA TODAY today.
Posted at 06:45 AM
WILSON ON NEWSHOUR [KJL]
A blogger has the details here, including Kit Bond giving him grief (at last!).
Posted at 06:37 AM
16 WORDS REVISITED [KJL]
You can feel the editorial writer's pain while reading the Washington Post's Joe Wilson editorial today.
Posted at 05:51 AM
"WE WERE ALL LAUGHING ABOUT IT" [KJL]
That, Clinton's response to the crimnal investigation of Sandy Berger.
Posted at 05:36 AM
That "SSS" post was from Rod, but mistakenly was credited to me (fixed now). I've forwarded any emails you sent me about it to him. He's email@example.com.
Posted at 05:33 AM
Tuesday, July 20, 2004
BERGER'S LAW, BERGER'S CRIME [Jonah Goldberg]
Instapundit has the relevant statute covering Berger's behavior.
But let me also add that I do doubt this will all come to a major scandal. I'm not positive of that, but that's my gut feeling. I do think it's a pretty hilarious story as pure Washington mayhem goes, which probably explains my enthusiastic blogging on it today.
My guess is that this will all boil down -- ironically for a Clinton scandal -- to Berger's pants. I just listened to David Gergen on CNN say that all Berger did was fold some notes up and put them in his pockets. Case closed. No harm, no foul. Now, of course, Gergen has nothing to base that on except for what his friend Sandy Berger and Berger's PR team tell him. He wasn't at the national archives, he isn't privy to the investigation etc. But if Gergen's version -- which may be the correct one -- wins, this story will go away, and pretty quickly.
However, if it turns out to be the case that Berger did in fact stuff items down his pants -- or in his sock/pant-leg -- then no amount of spinning will make Berger's actions seem trivial. Yes, I understand his argument. He says he "inadvertantly" stole the important things while he "knowingly" snuck out the unimportant things. But this sounds a bit like a cop saying he illegally took notes on evidence pertaining to another case in the property room and while he was stuffing those notes in his pants he accidentally stole a bag of cocaine. The story may be true, but it's just too plain fishy.
Again, I doubt Berger would go to jail or anything like that, but if that's what he did (and some reports have it that played fast and loose with the rules more than once) then he will deserve much of the grief he gets.
Posted at 10:31 PM
U.N. JUST ADOPTED RESOLUTION DEMANDING ISRAEL END FENCE [KJL]
150-8, 10 abstentions
Posted at 07:38 PM
SSSS [Rod Dreher]
The mystery deepens. I just got this from a reader who identifies himself as a ticket agent. He asked that his name, airline and city not be publicized:
Have you ever checked in at the airport and ever got the dread SSSS on your boarding pass? That of course will direct you to secondary screening. Now for most people that's a "random" thing.
I have checked many of the rich and famous and of course many of the poor and obscure. I have seen a retired astronaut as well as Sir Richard Branson get the SSSS on the boarding pass I handed to them. They were the "randoms".
However there is one other condition that will guarantee SSSS on the boarding pass. That is that the traveler presents identification from a state sponsor of terrorism. Syria and Iran among others appear on that FAA list. There is an entry I can make that will guarantee the SSSS. For passengers that have state sponsor of terrorism identification I am required to make this entry.
Needless to say to Syrian passports are very,very rare but I have seen them along with the others on the list. So anybody presenting a Syrian passport checking in with **** Airlines would have to get SSSS on their boarding pass and get the secondary screening. This is an FAA requirement and failure to do so is considered a security violation.
So everyone of those "Syrians" if that is indeed what they were should have had secondary and there is no PC way or not for that to have not occurred. Even if they did not check in with same agent they would still wind up in secondary all 14 of them. A group of "musicians" with a lot bags and equipment would have to see an agent. What do you guys make of this?
Posted at 07:35 PM
RE: TERROR IN THE SKIES [John Derbyshire]
The astonishing thing about this story is the laziness and incompetence of this country's journalistic establishment. Annie Jacobsen's story has been out there a week now. By this time we should know all sorts of things: the name of this Syrian band, the place where they played their gig (or certainty that there was no such place), interviews with other passengers who were on Annie's flight, and so on. The NY Times, the nation's other broadsheet newspapers, and the big Network and cable TV outlets all have highly-paid staffs of reporters who should be digging these things out. So... where are they? The piece in today's Times is pathetic, telling us nothing we didn't know. Any London tabloid could do better investigative work than this. Perhaps the National Inquirer will come up with something?
Posted at 07:33 PM
MARSHALL, BERGER, LANNY [Jonah Goldberg ]
I see (Via Andrew Sullivan) that Josh Marshall really has the Dem's talking points. He writes:
The most obvious, and probably the only, explanation of this leak is that it is intended to distract attention from the release of the 9/11 report due later this week. That would be yet another example of this administration's common practice of using the levers of executive power (law enforcement, declassification, etc.) for partisan purposes.
Now, it's certainly defensible to say that this is the "most obvious" explanation. But it is flatly ludicrous to say that this is probably the "only" explanation. Berger is a Clinton alum. So are his chief spinners, including Lockhart and Lanny Davis. Davis's rule -- he even wrote a book on this -- is to dump damaging info at the best moment possible. I know several Republicans who think this Berger leak is a classic Lanny Davis move. Berger's in trouble. The news is going to come out eventually, perhaps during a much worse moment during the presidential campaign. Why not leak it now and say that the Republicans leaked it in order to distract from the 9/11 report? The Clintonites were brilliant at this sort of pre-emptive spinning.
Now, I don't think this is the most probable explanation either. But Marshall has a remarkably annoying habit of thinking that the only explanations for anything are rooted in the evilness of Republicans. What's annoying isn't that instinct, mind you, it's the way he makes it seem like he's not being partisan so much as high-minded and sophisticated.
Also, can we please get a little less haughtiness about the White House using its powers for partisan advantage from defenders of the Clinton administration -- which filed criminal charges against the travel office and routed immigrants straight off the boats and into the voting booths?
Posted at 06:50 PM
DID THE NEW REPUBLIC... [Jonah Goldberg ]
Deliberately misquote Joe Wilson or is Joe Wilson simply lying again? Tom Maguire wants to know.
Posted at 06:21 PM
SECURITY STUFF [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
Posted at 06:16 PM
FLAG BURNING [Ramesh Ponnuru]
I'm not a fan of the amendment, although I don't think it's "repulsive." My general take on how opponents of the Supreme Court's flag-burning ruling (or of the Ninth Circuit pledge ruling) should have responded to it can be found here.
Posted at 05:43 PM
AMBER ALERT FOR SYRIAN MUSICIANS [Rod Dreher]
The NYTimes got around to looking at the Annie Jacobsen story today (FYI, here at the Dallas Morning News, we published an edited version of the original on our op-ed page this morning). Michelle Malkin links to it, and publishes a fascinating letter to the Times cc'd to her by its author. The letter, from a former PBS producer active in the world music scene, finds the Feds' story that the 14 Syrians were musicians to be rather improbable. I'm still waiting for somebody, somewhere, to find the casino where the Feds say these guys played a gig. Michelle's reader says that when musicians from foreign countries (e.g., Cuba) get hassled in any way coming into the US, the activist community complains about it. We've heard nothing like that about these detained Syrians. For that matter, he says he knows a lot about Arab musical groups, and he can't think of who these guys might have been.
Posted at 05:42 PM
Michael Steele of Md. has been added (lt. gov), too, among others. He is a conservative rock star. Everyone should know him. I predict everyone will.
Posted at 05:28 PM
RNC IS LISTENING TO KATE [KJL]
Evidently, they may know what's good for them, however sloooowly. They've added Santorum and Brownback to the convention lineup (see here). I'm not sure if they are prime-time or not (My take: no props to the RNC if they are not prime-time). Will let you know when we know.
Posted at 05:22 PM
BERGER SCOOP [KJL]
The Kerry campaign only learned of the investigation yesterday, i.e. about the time the rest of us did. If so: Straight-shooter, that Sandy.
Posted at 05:17 PM
BERGER IS OUT OF KERRY CAMP [KJL]
Just read on The Kerry Spot.
Posted at 05:00 PM
BARBECUING THE BANNER [Andrew Stuttaford]
It's not my flag, so I write this with some diffidence, but I'm with Jonathan on this. Not only would a flag burning amendment run against American traditions of free speech, but it seems to me that trying to monkey around with the constitution in this way is not only a waste of time, but also a devaluation of the entire amendment process. The American constitution is a wonderful document, why fill it with trivia?
As to the symbolism, so far as I am concerned, the sort of people often pictured burning the flag are frequently, and ironically, a good advertisement for America. Anything those types hate that much must be a good thing.
Posted at 04:57 PM
BERGER [Michael Ledeen]
Hasn't Sandy Berger now outperformed Fawn Hall? He's done the shirt, the socks, yes, and the pants. I don't think Fawn ever did that.
I think this is probably a huge story (anyway I love it just as a story, it's wonderful, it's one of those "nobody could have invented this" events), because one must try hard to imagine Berger's state of mind.
What could have driven him to do something so utterly outrageous, in a way that actually called attention to his improper behavior? It must be something pretty important, one would think. And what could that something-pretty-important be?
Thus far we're told that he was filching drafts of Richard Clarke's memos on al Qaeda, drafts that were rejected. If that's true, there are things in those drafts that the White House didn't want circulated, even in the tight circles of counter intelligence.
But wait. Under Clinton, as I recall, Clarke wasn't the counterterrorism czar; that happened under Bush. So was Berger stealing things from the Bush years? Was he even entitled to look at that stuff? (I don't know the answers). Or was he taking things that would embarrass him and his president?
The country cries out for answers. They might well prove crucial to understanding our current situation and what we must do, quickly, to avoid another 9/11...
Experience suggests that the early answers will be wrong, or at best incomplete.
Want to guess? My guess is that Berger was removing things that showed that Clinton had real chances to get bin Laden, and declined, for various reasons.
As against this theory, is Berger's statement that he thought he was reading copies, not originals. I wonder. He was in the National Archives, after all. And the whole point of the National Archives is to preserve the originals. Isn't it?
Posted at 04:48 PM
SOCKS--BLAME THE GOP [KJL]
Robert Reich dismisses the Berger story, blaming the GOP for leaking it in time for the convention. Amazing to me Berger didn't have to resign this morning. Ok, maybe it's not amazing...
Posted at 04:45 PM
"FAIR AND BALANCED IS A FRAUD" [KJL]
Anyone ever sue the New York Times for "All the News that's Fit to Print"?
Posted at 04:43 PM
IF THE SOCKS DO NOT FIT... [Jonah Goldberg ]
I was afraid the sock part was too good to be true. The Berger team is denying it, which doesn't mean it's not true of course. From CNN:
In a statement issued late Monday, Berger said the removal of those papers was unintentional. But law enforcement sources told CNN that some of the papers he is said to have taken from the National Archives were stuffed into his socks as well as other parts of his clothing.
Of course, being cleared of the sock-stuffing is not exactly getting cleared.
Posted at 04:33 PM
RE: SOCK-STUFFING [Jonah Goldberg ]
John - Au contraire . Haven't you heard about Sandy's new endorsement deal? Unsightly sock bulges are a thing of the bast with the Sand Burglar 2000.
Posted at 04:25 PM
SOMETHING LIKE THIS? [Jonah Goldberg]
I'm thinking of how I would try to debate Lanny Davis on TV about the Sandy Berger deal. Maybe it would go something like this?
LD: "...he's a man of impeccable integrity..."
Posted at 04:23 PM
SOCK STUFFING [John J. Miller]
At the age of five or six, I went with my parents to a hardware store, where I proceeded to demand that they buy me some cheap wooden curio. My parents said no. So when they weren't looking, I stuffed the thing in my sock. Back home, my parents spotted the bulge. I was nabbed--and ashamed. My father drove me back to the hardware store and made me put back what I had taken. It was my one and only personal experience with shoplifting. I learned two important lessons: 1) Don't shoplift. It's wrong. 2. If you must shoplift, for goodness sake don't put the darn thing in your sock!
Posted at 04:20 PM
HITLER PLOT ANNIVERSARY [Jack Fowler]
Today marks the 60th Anniversary of the failed attempt by Colonel Claus Graf Schenk von Stauffenberg and others to assassinate Adolph Hitler. Stauffenberg and his cohorts – being honored in Germany – were apprehended, tortured, and executed (R.I.P.) by the Gestapo. Of course, if this was happening today, and if Stauffenberg was an American agent, his plot would be in violation of U.S. law.
Posted at 04:12 PM
THANKS, RUSH [KJL]
He read Rich's Bush Can't Win column today on air. We so do love when he does that. Sean Hannity is a similar angel of the radio. Bless you both!
Posted at 04:05 PM
BERGER'S FOOTNOTES [Jonah Goldberg ]
Some readers have written to say that maybe the news reports mean "pockets" when they say "pants." Maybe. But it's now being reported that Berger shoved the stuff in his socks.
So whatever explanations Berger might have, let's bury any notion that he did this accidentally. The man was in a secure, guarded room with the highest security protocols. He's a former National Security adviser and he's a lawyer himself. You don't put classified documents in your socks by accident.
Also, he says he "knowingly" took the notes but "inadvertantly" took the classified documents. That's certainly possible, but would you take that kind of parsing from your kid, let alone a former National Security adviser?
And again, whatever his state of mind was, he had documents in his socks.
Posted at 04:02 PM
CURRY IN A HURRY?!? [Rich Lowry]
I haven't been to that place in years. But it is good cheap Indian food, just a few blocks from NR's offices, if I remember correctly....
Posted at 03:57 PM
DISGUSTING [Jonah Goldberg]
Michael Jackson is going to have quadruplets. I'm refraining from the dirty jokes. But, I do not think he should be allowed to raise them without supervision at all times. Frankly I don't think he should be allowed to raise them at all. If you think it's unfair that I'm judging him guilty before he's been so proven in a court of law, tough.
Posted at 03:47 PM
FEDERALISM & FORESTS [Jonathan H. Adler]
J. Bishop Grewell has additional thoughts on federalism and forests over at The Commons and A Better Earth.
Posted at 03:42 PM
From a reader; too cute not to share: "What If WFB Had a Blog":
Went on a Fox News show called "Hannity and Colmes" to promote the new book.
Posted at 03:31 PM
NUMBER SEVEN - IT'S OFFICIAL [Jonathan H. Adler]
By a vote of 53-44, Senate Republicans failed to invoke cloture on debate over the nomination of William Myers to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, making him the seventh filibustered Bush judicial nominee. When it's available, Howard Bashman will post the roll call vote here.
Posted at 03:21 PM
BURN THIS AMENDMENT [Jonathan H. Adler]
With judicial nominations in limbo, the potential implosion of the federal sentencing guidelines, and other serious issues to address, why oh why is the Senate Judiciary Committee wasting its time on a constitutional amendment to prohibit flag-burning. (I think I know the answer, and even if it helps "my" guys, I think it is a repulsive idea.)
Posted at 03:19 PM
POINTOFLAW.COM [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Walter Olson and Michael Krauss are debating federal laws to protect gunmakers from baseless lawsuits. I was with Olson when I started reading the first entry, and with Krauss by the time I finished the second--but maybe Olson will get me back in the next round.
Posted at 03:14 PM
LENINISM THEN AND NOW [John Derbyshire]
Andrew: I never pick up my copy of the New York Post without wondering, for a millisecond or so, what happened to the bust of Lenin that Rupert Murdoch used to have on his desk when a student at Oxford.
Posted at 02:47 PM
LITIGATION WATCH [John Derbyshire]
A reader warns: "Derb---Lucite, like Plexiglas and Perspex, is a trademark for a particular brand of acrylic resin. Thus, to avoid attacks by pit lawyers (or solicitors in the case of Perspex), use the term 'clear acrylic'."
Posted at 02:46 PM
AIRLINE SECURITY BLEG [Rod Dreher]
Kathryn, I've heard that, too. I've been on the phone with various government agencies all morning, trying to find out if there's a government-imposed quota, formal or informal, that prevents airlines from doing additional pre-flight screening of passengers according to their ethnicity. The 9/11 Commissioner John Lehman believes there is, based on testimony from airline industry executives. But the Dept. of Transportation tells me today, on the record, that this is a "myth." Does anybody have any hard, credible information to the contrary? Let me know at rdreher - at - dallasnews.com.
Posted at 02:39 PM
TERROR IN THE SKIES QUESTIONS [KJL]
I'm pass this on: A source in federal law enforcement says that contrary to John Lehman's testimony (we posted a piece by Michael Smerconish on it back in April), the Department of Transportation and Secretary Mineta aren't in charge of the Transportation Security Agency--the Department of Homeland Security is. Admiral James Loy, who is now the Deputy Secretary at Homeland Security, headed TSA when it was formed at Transportation, and then through its transition to DHS. Admiral Loy addressed the 9/11 Commission, and denied the existence of any "two persons" or "three persons" rule during his tenure with TSA here.
Furthermore, the source says, DOT General Counsel Jeffrey Rosen recently told the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee that there never was any such DOT policy, here.
Posted at 02:37 PM
"FAIR & BALANCED" IS FRAUD? [Jonathan H. Adler]
MoveOn.org and the "historically nonpartisan" Common Cause have filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission alleging that the Fox News Channel is guilty of "consumer fraud" for using the slogan "fair and balanced." (Link via Southern Appeal) Outgoing FTC chairman Tim Muris is giving the complaint the treatment it deserves.
Posted at 02:25 PM
CLAUDE ALLEN IN TROUBLE [Jonathan H. Adler]
Congress Daily AM is reporting today that the nomination of Claude Allen to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit is in jeopardy. One of the problems is that the Senate Democrats primary (public) argument against Allen -- that President Bush should not appoint a Virginian to what has traditionally been a Maryland seat -- has found traction with some Republicans who are concerned that their states could likewise lose seats on federal appellate courts.
Posted at 02:24 PM
NPR & "ULTRACONSERVATIVES" [Tim Graham]
Is NPR liberal? On Monday's Morning Edition, reporter Kathy Lohr found Herman Cain and Rep. Mac Collins (lifetime ACU: 95) were "ultraconservatives." But on Sunday night's Weekend All Things Considered, NPR had no labels except "fiery" and "controversial" for hard-left former Rep. Cynthia McKinney (lifetime ACU: 7). See more here.
Posted at 01:57 PM
CATO, THE FOREST, & THE TREES [Jonathan H. Adler]
Jerry Taylor and Peter Van Doren makes some good points in their piece today on the President's forest policy, but I must take issue with their attack on devolution. Contrary to their suggestion, the empirical evidence does suggest that state forest management is more efficient than federal management. State forest trust lands out perform equivalent national forest units both economically and environmentally. This is no accident. While state management is not perfect, it is closer to the people who bear the costs and reap the benefits of management decisions. This makes the decisionmakers more accountable, and results in policy decisions that more accurately reflect local tastes and desires. It also promotes interjurisdicitonal competition to develop the best policies and allows interjurisdictional variation to reflect varying tastes. While I share Jerry and Peter's desire to move toward a free market approach to environmental policy, I disagree that devolving responsibility to states is not a meaningful step in that direction. To the contrary, as I've argued here, devolution is likely the most promising path to environmental reform.
Posted at 01:51 PM
MAGIC TREVOR OR KENYA LIVE? [Jonathan H. Adler]
I must admit I am underwhelmed by the Magic Trevor toon Jonah recommended. The badger folks have done much better -- as have their fans. The next time NRO runs a fundraising drive, perhaps K-Lo should try organizing something like this starring the most popular Cornerites.
Posted at 01:48 PM
JUDGING PRYOR'S APPOINTMENT [Jonathan H. Adler]
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit has asked the Justice Department to intervene to defend the constitutionality of Judge William Pryor's recess appointment to that court, AP reports. The Washington Legal Foundation has already filed a brief in defense of Judge Pryor. (LvHB)
Posted at 01:47 PM
THANKS, LOPEZ [Michael Ledeen]
It was a bit of surprise this morning when several small persons all dressed in white, and wearing ski masks, burst into my office yelling "we're from The Corner!!! Have you fainted yet?"
When I was released from Saint Elizabeth's and got back to the office I checked and found that, as usual, Lopez had unleashed some chaos...thanks a lot, Lopez, just what I needed...but the morphine was wonderful...
Now my question: If we find Osama in Tehran do I get to go on one of these cool NR luxury cruises?
Posted at 01:42 PM
LENIN'S LITTLE PROBLEM [Andrew Stuttaford]
Kathryn, that rather entertaining diagnosis has been around for quite a while now, and not the least of its ironies relates to the infamous mural for the Rockefeller Center commissioned by Nelson A. Rockefeller from the Mexican painter, Diego Rivera back in 1932. Rivera was always an odd choice for the job. The Center was supposedly dedicated to capitalist progress, and Rivera had been a communist (he was expelled from the Mexican party in 1929, probably over his support for Trotsky, but after several applications was later readmitted). Amongst the highlights of this mural were portraits of society ladies partying beneath TB, syphilis and gonorrhoea cells. Lenin was also shown, but, inaccurately, without syphilis cells. Instead the Soviet dictator was portrayed grasping the hands of some workers. Hopefully, they sprayed him with disinfectant first.
Posted at 01:05 PM
VIETNAM IN BOSTON [KJL]
Dems launch a new attack. Byron has the details.
Posted at 12:51 PM
WALMART VS. COSTCO [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Posted at 12:41 PM
IMBED THIS (IN LUCITE)! [John Derbyshire]
A few weeks ago I posted some remarks about getting books imbedded in lucite. Several readers e-mailed in saying they wanted stuff of their own imbedded in lucite, and asking for the name of the firm that had done this work for me.
I told them it was Doremus Advertising of New York City. Well, yesterday I went down to see Doremus to arrange to have a copy of Prime Obsession imbedded in lucite. They told me they no loger do this work, but they gave me the name of the firm that does (i.e. that bought out this part of Doremus's operations). This firm is also in New York City. I went over there. They were extremely friendly & helpful. If there is anything you'd like to have imbedded in lucite, at least on the east coast, these are the people to talk to. Full contact information here.
Posted at 12:27 PM
SANDY BABY [Jonah Goldberg]
Posted at 12:09 PM
MORE SANDY BURGLAR [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
Posted at 12:05 PM
WILSON ON CNN THIS AM [Jonah Goldberg ]
From the transcript:
Posted at 11:15 AM
MAGICAL TREVOR AND HIS COW [Jonah Goldberg ]
Very addictive stuff from the badger people.
Posted at 10:58 AM
RE: RE: SANDY BURGLER; I TAKE IT BACK [Jonah Goldberg]
You know, I re-read the AP story and I think Joe in Detroit has a point. Here's the AP:
I guess I skipped the lead too quickly before; "knowingly"!?! He did have criminal intent. Period. He's confessed to a crime. Can you imagine the scandal if Dick Cheney had done something like this? There's be immediate calls for impeachment. Jonathan Chait would get another 2,000 words on why Bush should be burned at the stake. Etc.
Posted at 10:51 AM
RE: SANDY BURGLER [Jonah Goldberg]
Jonah, People don't innocently or "inadvertantly" stuff secret, classified documents down their pants and walk out of secure environments and not have criminal intent. Joe Detroit
Posted at 10:44 AM
RAPE OF THE MASTERS [Jonah Goldberg ]
No, that's not what happens when you mix Viking raiders and America's most prestigious golf tournament. It's the title of Roger Kimball's new book. I've been leafing through it and plan on quoting it at length in my book. I see that John Miller has a Q&A with the man himself on NRO today. I just wanted to say it really is a great read so far. I also wanted to say that publishers who send me good books might expect to be rewarded with favorable mentions -- at minimum -- in the Corner. Publishers who send me paperback re-releases of Gynecologist to My Soul or How To Make Money with Lint will not get favorable mentions anywhere.
Posted at 10:37 AM
QUOTE OF THE DAY [Jonah Goldberg]
Following up on yesterday's column on youth politics, here is a passage I found by Michael Oakeshott on the subject:
Posted at 10:33 AM
"THIS LAND" [Jonah Goldberg]
Attention everybody. I have seen the JibJab.com "This Land" spoof. I posted it in the Corner over a week ago. And yet every day I get at least 10 emails from people with subject headers like "Urgent! Must See!" You know I like seeing the funny stuff, but this one I've seen. Thanks.
Posted at 10:33 AM
REUTERS, PRECIOUS REUTERS [KJL]
"[Lenin having died of syphilis] is more than a historical curiosity that sullies the image of the founder of the Soviet Union."
Because I had such a high opinion of the tyrant prior to this news.
Posted at 10:25 AM
SANDY BURGLER [Jonah Goldberg]
I will be very shocked if it turns out that Berger had criminal intent when he took those documents. But it is worth calling attention to the fact that the "after action" notes and memos were among the most controversial documents relating to the Clinton Administration's handling of the war on terrorism. The Clintonites insisted that skill and diligence foiled the millennium terror plot. Others have argued it was more like dumb luck. Moreover, the policy prescriptions coming out of that episode were not heeded, according to John Ashcroft. Here's what Ahscroft said about it in his prepared remarks before the 9/11 Commission:
Posted at 10:22 AM
FREE THE REVIEW [KJL]
Back in April, John Ashcroft asked for the public release of the Clinton NSC's Millennium After Action Review. Sandy Berger sticking papers down his pants suggests Ashcroft may have had a point. Mark Levin wrote on Ashcroft's request back in April, here.
Posted at 10:20 AM
LENIN DIED OF SYPHILIS [KJL]
Posted at 09:35 AM
TOP 10 REASONS TO COME ON NR “POST-ELECTION” CRUISE [Jack Fowler]
Number 10: MICHELLE MALKIN.
As far as I’m concerned, she’s also reason #1. Michelle is one of the most forceful, brazen, and intelligent conservative writers in America. She is the vigilant one, ever-warning us to be on guard, ever exposing the threats not only to our security but also to our cultural (her skewering of icons such as Madonna are unsurpassed). Her column is a must read. Ditto for website. Here’s the end of her take today on the Annie Jacobsen/Northwest Flight controversy:
I will be doing a lot of flying over the next few months, and I will act--without apology or shame--as the Jacobsens acted on their flight. As much as possible, I will be aware of what's going on in front and in back of the planes I ride. I will pay attention to detail. I will remember faces and gestures and odd objects. I will write things down. I will pester the flight attendants, discreetly, if I witness anything of concern. I won't hesitate to contact authorities if my gut tells me that danger is imminent. And I will be prepared to fight for my life.Damn straight! Let me be the first to say it: “Malkin in 2008.” Now, if you would like to spend a week (November 13-20 to be precise) on the high seas, on a luxury cruise (on Holland America Line’s glorious Zuiderdam), enjoying sharp/witty discussions of politics and policy, and revelrous socializing (pool-side cocktail parties and “smokers,” and intimate dining with our speakers) with this rising conservative star – and with Dick Morris, Pat Toomey, Victor Davis Hanson, Bernard Lewis, Ed Gillespie, Stephen Moore, Dinesh D'Souza, John Hillen, John Derbyshire, Rich Lowry, Ramesh Ponnuru, and Jay Nordlinger – then you must sign up, today of course. You can do it affordably (super-low prices start at just $1,549 a person!) at www.nationalreviewcruise-carib.com. Complete information about our trip, the ship, and a secure reservation form can all be found there.
Posted at 09:16 AM
WILSON'S BACK IN HIDING [Jonah Goldberg ]
He was supposed to be on PBS last night. He didn't make it.
Posted at 08:35 AM
TODAY'S DEFENSE [Tim Graham]
For their segment on "Sandy Berger Under Fire," the "Today" show brought on David Gergen, who suggested the timing of the leak of this story is suspicious. (Who better to know than perennial White House leaker Gergen?) Gergen also helpfully told Katie that Kerry is in no way associated with this, although his campaign is so well served by Berger's expertise. You can wipe the oil off your TV screen now.
Posted at 08:27 AM
RE: BERGER [Tim Graham]
K-Lo, if the news media were really conservative--or not liberal--they'd be pointing out that Berger's problems with sensitive documents are part of a pattern with the Clinton folks. Back then, the media didn't want to focus on lost State Department laptops under Madeleine Albright, that CIA Director John Deutch kept messing up with classified information at his residence, and consult your Cox Report for how sloppy they were at the nuclear labs.
Posted at 07:13 AM
BERGER KING [John J. Miller]
K Lo: How does someone "inadvertently" remove documents from the National Archives? Can shoplifters now use this excuse?
Posted at 06:52 AM
TALE OF FRONT PAGES [KJL]
Sandy Berger story is on page one of USA Today. New York Times? A-17, in a small box, on the bottom of the page--the last possible point for news in the paper. (The editorial pages begin on 18.) What does the paper than claims "All the News That's Fit to Print" have on the front page instead? A story on untucked shirts as a fashion statement.
Posted at 06:14 AM
THE OLD MAN AND HIS HOUSE [John J. Miller]
In a daily feature it called "Column One," the Los Angeles Times routinely pumps out some of America's most interesting journalism. Today's article is on the final home of Ernest Hemingway, in Idaho, where he wrote portions of three books and then killed himself. There's a controversy brewing over whether it should be opened to the public -- its owner (the Nature Conservancy) and Hemingway fans say yes, the locals say no.
Posted at 06:07 AM
BUSH & KERRY RELATED? [KJL]
I don't think I've seen this one before now, suggesting Bush and Kerry are distant cousins. Remind me if I'm wrong. I don't see snopes.com on it yet.
Posted at 05:57 AM
SOMEONE PLEASE CHECK ON MICHAEL LEDEEN [KJL]
He's liable to faint when he sees above the fold on page one of the New York Times: "President Says U.S. to Examine Iran-Qaeda Tie: Sept. 11 Terrorists May Have Been Given Aid." Examiners might appreciate his primer The War Against the Terror Masters: Why It Happened. Where We Are Now. How We'll Win, along with his NRO archive. Our government should know at least as much as you do about Iran. (Faster, indeed, would be nicer.)
Posted at 05:29 AM
Monday, July 19, 2004
RONSTADT WITNESS [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
Mr. Goldberg --
Posted at 08:59 PM
RE: WORST EPISODE EVER [Jonah Goldberg]
(Best said in comic book guy voice of course)
Ramesh - Yeah, I know. I've only seen the last five minutes of that show. But countless Simpsons fans told me when it first appeared and again today that it was awful. I take their word for it.
Personally, I despise the Robert Altman homage, "22 Short Films About Springfield." But I know many Simpsons fans will disagree.
Posted at 08:28 PM
Sandy Berger is subject of a criminal investigation for mishandling files.
Posted at 08:22 PM
TONY BLAIR TURNS ON THE 60S [KJL]
I know you Brits in the room have different feelings, but some of us Yanks keep finding more reasons to love the guy.
Posted at 08:09 PM
WHAT IF BUSH DIDN’T LIE AND NEAR NO ONE TOOK NOTICE [KJL ]
A good Richard Benedetto piece:
Lost in the cheering over the John Edwards pick and the cacophony following President Bush's refusal to speak at the NAACP convention this past week were reports that Bush might have been right after all when he said that Iraq had sought uranium for nuclear weapons. Bush was forced to back off the assertion, made in his 2003 State of the Union speech, after Joseph Wilson, a former ambassador to the West African nation of Gabon, concluded that it was highly doubtful that any such Iraqi effort to buy uranium ever took place….
Posted at 08:05 PM
SHARON IS NOT WELCOME IN FRANCE [KJL]
I'm guessing that isn't breaking his heart.
Posted at 07:47 PM
SPEAKING OF THE SIMPSONS [Ramesh Ponnuru]
I was wondering, Jonah, what you would nominate as the worst episode ever. The question came to mind last night as I watched, for the second time, the one where the family is sent to a re-education camp for being unpatriotic. I've seen several episodes with politics I disliked, but never before one that was so unrelentingly unfunny. Any others come to mind?
Posted at 06:17 PM
SORRY [Jonah Goldberg]
Posted at 05:59 PM
RE: RONSTADT [Jonah Goldberg]
Excellent point, from a reader:
I still haven’t forgiven her for supporting Barney’s Plow King over Homer’s Mr. Plow……and the song was full of personal attacks:
Posted at 05:46 PM
SHE KNEW.... [Jonah Goldberg ]
Linda Ronstadt did the same thing at Wolf Trap earlier this month. I guess she thought annoying much of her audience was her civic duty.
The biggest excitement of the night, by a long shot, came when Ronstadt then dedicated her encore of "Desperado" to filmmaker Michael Moore, kick-starting a boo-cheer competition throughout the venue that drowned out her singing and left grown-ups in tuxes and evening gowns yelling at each other on their way to the parking lot.
Posted at 05:31 PM
MORE "CENSORSHIP" FROM THE MASSES [Jonah Goldberg ]
When will entertainers learn that significant numbers of people do not want to pay money to hear their opinions? As Laura Ingraham says, "Shut up, and sing." From the AP
LAS VEGAS - Singer Linda Ronstadt not only got booed, she got the boot after lauding filmmaker Michael Moore and his new movie "Fahrenheit 9/11" during a performance at the Aladdin hotel-casino.
Posted at 05:09 PM
GEORGE BUSH DROVE COURTNEY LOVE CRAZY [KJL]
I wonder: Is there anything Bush can't be blamed for?
Despite everything, Love believes her predicament is the result of a coordinated financial, legal and personal smear campaign. In a recent interview with London's Sunday Telegraph, she was asked if she bears any responsibility for her current problems.
Posted at 04:26 PM
I HATE IT WHEN THIS HAPPENS [Jonah Goldberg ]
Surgeon goes batty and gets dicey with a patient's john-thomas. Not for the squeamish.
Posted at 04:21 PM
MORE ON THE SYRIAN MUSICIANS: [Rod Dreher]
There's not much new in that new Annie Jacobsen piece K-Lo linked to, except that she reports having heard from "dozens" of pilots, flight attendants and airline industry types saying that stuff like this goes on all the time, and that they think the terrorists are "probing" us.
I spoke an hour or so ago with Dave Adams, the spokesman for the Federal Air Marshals Service. He confirmed to me, as he did on Friday to Michelle Malkin (who's been all over this story, as you know), that everything Annie Jacobsen quoted him as saying was accurate. He further told me that there were indeed air marshals on that flight, and that they had done their jobs well. He said that yes, these men were all Syrian musicians, and that they had been hired to play in a casino "just outside Los Angeles."
I wanted to know: what's the name of this band of musicians, and what's the name of the casino where they were supposed to have played? Adams wouldn't tell me, citing privacy concerns ("These guys didn't do anything wrong," he said). Surely some media outlet is calling L.A.-area casinos (how many of them could there be?). I later spoke to the publicist handling media calls for Women'sWallStreet.com, which first published Jacobsen's account. She told me that they've had all kinds of media interest in the past few days, and that to her knowledge, reporters for mainstream media outlets (I don't want to name any) are looking into this information. She said that Annie Jacobsen will be on MSNBC's "Scarborough Country" tonight, and on ABC's "Good Morning America" in the morning.
Posted at 04:00 PM
RE: MASS GRAVES [Jonah Goldberg ]
The Human Rights Watch Report seems pretty credible.
Posted at 03:38 PM
CONTINENTAL DIVIDE [Jonah Goldberg]
Canada Vs. America up North. By the way, the authors are very cool people. They're friends of my in-laws.
Posted at 03:24 PM
TERROR IN THE SKIES, PART II [KJL]
Annie Jacobsen has a follow-up piece on the Syrian musicians.
Posted at 02:47 PM
MASS GRAVES NOT SO MASSIVE [Jonah Goldberg ]
Kevin Drum points to story which says the mass graves in Iraq don't have nearly as many corpses as we've been told. I hope there's more to this story, but if there's not Drum really does have good reason to be complaining.
Posted at 02:35 PM
NUMBER SEVEN [Jonathan H. Adler]
Tomorrow the Senate is scheduled to vote on the nomination of William G. Myers to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Environmental groups (and others) are pulling out all the stops to block his confirmation, so expect Myers to be the seventh successfully filibustered judicial nominee during President Bush's term. Before President Bush entered office, no lower court judicial nominee had ever been successfullly filibustered in the nation's history.
Posted at 02:10 PM
MORE SUMMER READING [Jonathan H. Adler]
Here’s a book not to read this summer, and here's why.
Posted at 02:03 PM
SUMMER READING [Jonathan H. Adler]
I would certainly vote for A Farewell to Arms, as it is a fabulous book. The Grapes of Wrath is also worth reading for the reason John suggests (cultural literacy). I can't echo his vote for My Antonia however. That book just never did anything for me. Invisible Man's actually on my to-read list, so I can't comment on it beyond noting that I've certainly heard it's worth a read.
Posted at 02:01 PM
THE REAL RED V. BLUE QUIZ [Jonah Goldberg ]
This is pretty funny.
Posted at 01:50 PM
REYNOLDS CALLS OUT PELOSI [Jonah Goldberg]
Here's the whole item from Roll Call:
Reynolds Dares Pelosi to Bet Job Whoever Fails in ’04 Should Quit By Chris Cillizza Roll Call Staff July 19, 2004
Posted at 01:46 PM
YES... [Jonah Goldberg]
I know that Communists for Kerry is satire. Thanks.
Posted at 01:39 PM
YOUNG CONS VERSUS YOUNG REPUBLICANS [Jonah Goldberg]
This reader from Purdue makes a very good point:
Posted at 01:14 PM
GRAPEVINE [Jonah Goldberg]
From a friend who just saw the latest DNC ad:
I just watched the new DNC web ad called "safer," which says we're not safer. Anyway, the ad is amazingly dishonest. They quote Bush saying Bin Laden has been marginalized and that he doesn't worry about him too much. Then they say he's flip-flopped because they quote Ashcroft saying Al Qaeda is planning new attacks. Bush was saying he isn't that worried about Bin Laden specifically, that he's been personally marginalized, and that must be true to a great extent because if he were coordinating attacks, we'd be able to find him through sat phones etc. When has the admin ever said Al Qaeda wasn't a threat? Might be worth noting in the Corner...
Posted at 12:25 PM
EXCELLENT NEWS [ Jonah Goldberg]
Communists for Kerry has branded me an enemy of the people (Ann Coulter too).
Posted at 12:04 PM
JACOBSENS ON MSNBC [Rod Dreher]
I watched Annie Jacobsen and her husband Kevin on "Scarborough Country" tonight. They struck me as credible. I put myself in their position as they told what they saw on the plane, and I tell you, if I had been there when, after behaving strangely the entire flight, a group of these Arab men had stood in unison and walked to the bathroom after the fasten seatbelt sign came on as the plane started its descent over L.A., I would have lost it. It's only too bad that a group of men on that plane didn't jump up and beat the crap out of those "musicians." Can you imagine messing with people's minds like that nowadays? The Jacobsens said the flight attendants were too scared to tell them to sit down.
Anyway, I was not reassured by the Pete Williams report quoting FBI sources as saying this was much ado about nothing. Nobody in the government will say (yet) what the name of this Syrian band was, and where they played. I want to know that so I can stop thinking these Mayor of Amity in "Jaws" thoughts about the government. You know, don't scare the tourists, the beaches have to stay open.
Posted at 12:03 PM
AARP [Ramesh Ponnuru]
It has an ad where a guy tries to drum up funds to save Social Security by going up to rich people to ask them to donate money. The conclusion: If it were that easy, you wouldn't need AARP. It's a pretty good ad. But in the interests of accuracy, shouldn't the guy be mugging children?
Posted at 11:54 AM
ELTON JOHN, SIGH [ Jonah Goldberg ]
He's whining about censorship and the US government's "bullying tactics" but offers not one example of the government doing anything of the sort. In fact, if you read the piece, he's complaining that that the market doesn't support anti-war or anti-American products. Of course, that's not even true unless Michael Moore's much less successful than I keep hearing.
Posted at 11:53 AM
FAIR ENOUGH [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
Posted at 10:26 AM
G-FILE IS UP [Jonah Goldberg]
Youth-a-palooza. Note: Nothing I say in this column about the problems with young people should be seen as an argument against inviting me to speak on college campuses. I suppose it would be more in my interest to suck-up to the college market. But hey, I'm just keeping it real.
Posted at 09:52 AM
WILSON ROUND UP [Jonah Goldberg]
Instapundit has a round-up or at least a round-up of round-ups.
Posted at 09:36 AM
THE FUTURE IS NOW, BUT PAINFUL FOR SOME [Jonah Goldberg ]
Consider this major hand-wringing piece over the alleged blogger menace.
Posted at 09:22 AM
RE: THE FUTURE IS NOW [Jonah Goldberg]
Kathryn -- It's also worth pointing out that as good as OxBlog is -- and as good as Pantagruel may be (I've never seen it) -- the print NR is still vastly more influential than most blogs combined. That's true by a significant margin among college kids and true by a humungous margin in the society as a whole. I changed my mind about the importance of blogging a while ago, but people should keep in mind that in Washington and beyond there are still people who don't even know what blogging is. Also, it's hardly as if NR didn't play a prominent role in that article, for good and for ill. Why NRO got no mention, and why it gets so little respect from the Times, remains a mystery. As for the rest of my views on the Times article, people will just have to wait for this morning's G-File. In the meantime, Cosmo and I have to deal with some reportedly heavy squirrel infestation in sector sieben gruber -- er, I mean sector 7-G.
Posted at 08:12 AM
IRAQIS DIDN'T NEED A BUTLER REPORT [KJL]
From Omar at Iraq the Model:
The debate about Lord Butler’s report has taken a large space in both, the western and Arabic media. As most of you probably know, Iraqis care more about the results of operation Iraqi freedom rather the causes and whether these were legitimate or not.
Posted at 07:54 AM
WILSON'S LITERARY FLAIR [Jonah Goldberg ]
Matthew Continetti has a very nice, very thorough debunking of Wilson. Best one I've seen in print -- i.e. on paper -- so far.
Posted at 07:51 AM
11TH GRADE READING [John J. Miller]
I vote for My Antonia. My mother was a teacher and she always liked Willa Cather. I'd also lean toward Grapes of Wrath, as one of those books whose stories is good to know for reasons of cultural literacy, though I must say I've not read it myself. Farewell to Arms is not a bad choice either, because everybody should experience Hemingway at least once. Invisible Man is another worthy.
Posted at 07:46 AM
BEFORE THE DA VINCI CODE [John J. Miller]
After reading The Da Vinci Code earlier this year (and writing about it here), I decided to check out Angels and Demons, the first book starring Dan Brown's protagonist Robert Langdon. It's been on the best-seller lists because flocks of DVC readers have felt a similar impuluse, wanting to go back and enjoy Langdon's adventures before he discovered (in DVC) that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were husband and wife (which is nonsense, of course). There are a lot of similarities between the two books: breakneck storytelling, deep-seated anti-Catholicism, an obsession with the occult, European setting, the love interest is the daughter of a murdered man, etc. But Angels and Demons isn't nearly as inventive as it more popular sequel. Despite my objections to DVC, I sort of enjoyed the novel and found the experience of examining several of its chief claims edifying. Not so with A&D. I was glad to have finished it because it means I can move on to something else, which won't be another Dan Brown book.
Posted at 06:55 AM
SUMMER READING: DISCUSS [KJL]
A parent e-mailer asks:
Which two? For 11th grade reading:
Posted at 06:35 AM
STAKEHOLDERS [John J. Miller]
It's hard to know whether Baghdad is headed in the "right direction" or the "wrong direction," as an American pollster might ask. Relying on journalists for information is a rather imprecise science, to put it mildly. Is it possible to define a measurement or two that might give us a handle on things? How about housing prices? If we can agree that real-estate prices will rise when people believe in the future, then this story in today's LA Times is very good news.
Posted at 06:06 AM
RE: REDUCE [KJL]
I confess to having been a tad relieved--that's not really the right word here--when I saw that the New York Times mother who "reduced" was Amy Richards, a prominent "third wave" feminist activist. (She co-authored the book Manifesta.) Ironically, this is what her friend (and co-author on the book) Jennifer Baumgardner wrote in The Nation about Richards in a piece about the tragic "I'm Not Sorry" movement:
If abortion were connected to actual women--people like my friend Amy Richards, who had an abortion at 18 and a selective reduction last year when she found she was pregnant with triplets, or Nancy Flynn, who was a single mom finishing her BA at Cornell when she had an abortion and who told me she would "never have been able to have the rich life I've had and help my son as much as I have if I'd been the single mother of two children"--perhaps the mounting restrictions wouldn't pass so handily. To paraphrase the late poet Muriel Rukeyser: What if women told the truth about their abortions? Even if the world didn't split open, this paralyzing issue might.I don't know about you, but stories like those make me want more restrictions, not fewer--and I don't think you have to be a dyed-in-the-wool pro-lifer to have that reaction.
Posted at 05:51 AM
ARHNULD GETS POUNDED FOR "GIRLIE MEN" COMMENT [KJL]
Posted at 05:51 AM
"REDUCE" [John J. Miller]
That was gruesome story in the NYTimes Magazine yesterday. I remember a few years ago, when my wife was pregnant with one of our kids, I went with her to the sonogram. We got into a conversation with the technician, and my wife told him how her cousin's wife was pregnant with quads and how difficult the pregnancy was. A puzzled look appeared on the tech's face. "Why doesn't she reduce?" he asked. It took us a moment to understand what he was saying: Why doesn't she abort two or three of her unborn children? As it happens, the poor lady miscarried all four. But I've never forgotten that horrible euphemism. It seems that some people have amazing powers of rationalization, so long as they call a thing what it is not.
Posted at 05:42 AM
KRISTOF COMPARES EVANGELICALS TO JIHADISTS [KJL]
Posted at 05:37 AM
BUSH DIDN'T LIE [KJL]
William Safire on the "16 words":
The subsequent firestorm caused the White House to retreat prematurely with: "the sixteen words did not rise to the level of inclusion in the State of the Union address."
Posted at 05:26 AM
THE FUTURE IS NOW [KJL]
Andrew Sullivan writes: "I was also struck by how much of the debate is being fostered by websites and blogs. They're the National Reviews of the new millennium. The future really is here, isn't it?" One can't help but notice--well, I certainly can't--that National Review understood that possibility even before the blogosphere was cool--which is why we have NRO today.
That said, I don't think NRODT is going away. Even some of the most web-savvy young folks I know, with their blackberrys, etc., still want to curl up with a paper magazine. I don't have time to deal with the paper broadsheets, but many, many people make the time. Dead tree ain't dead yet. But for those who rather their opinion journalism come on a screen, here we are and here we're staying.
Posted at 12:20 AM
MORE ON IRAN [KJL]
The mullahs say they've dismantled al Qaeda there. Uh-huh. Excellent timing though. Michael Ledeen will have more for you in a few hours.
Posted at 12:20 AM
CALL OFF THE SEARCH PARTY [KJL]
Joe Wilson made a CNN appearance Sunday.
Posted at 12:00 AM
Sunday, July 18, 2004
MORE FOR THE "FASTER, PLEASE" FILES [KJL]
The 9/11 Commission evidently finds a--are you sitting?--. Iran-al Qaeda link
Posted at 11:52 PM
RE: THINNER GRUEL [Jonah Goldberg]
Sounds about right, from a reader:
Posted at 09:05 PM
CONSERVATIVE CARTOONS [John Derbyshire]
Blogger Lane Core, Jr. points out that the L.A. Times has a Michael Ramirez archive, though I can't get to it without one of those fussy registration thingys that I can rarely be bothered with.
And if you look on Lane's blog for July 12, you will see a really fine editorial cartoon by Ramirez on Ronald Reagan's funeral.
Posted at 08:51 PM
RE: GOOGLE BILLBOARD [John Derbyshire]
So what *is* the first ten-digit prime to show up in consecutive digits of the decimal expansion of e? 7427466391.
Posted at 07:28 PM
TWO AMERICAS [John Derbyshire]
"John 2 came up with the theme of two Americas in the primaries, and John 1 still hasn't articulated his vision for one."---Maureen Dowd in the NY Times, 7/18/04.
Er, actually, it was Benjamin Disraeli who came up with it back in 1845, in his novel Sybil: "I was told that the Privileged and the People form two nations."
Posted at 07:10 PM
RE: I/D CREEP [John Derbyshire]
Andrew: My dear wife, 'er indoors, whose actual age is the smallest prime number which is not the difference, in some order, between a power of 2 and a power of 3, still occasionally gets "carded" when buying my beer supply at the local supermarket. When it happens, it leaves her chuckling over it for a week afterwards.
Posted at 07:06 PM
RE: BY THE SWORD DIVIDED [John Derbyshire]
Slow-witted Derb checked the IMDB site, but not Amazon. Turns out that "By the Sword Divided" is to be issued on DVD this September.
Posted at 07:04 PM
"DELONAS" CARTOON [John Derbyshire]
Whoops, sorry, Tim. You are right, it's not a Delonas, though it might well have been. Encouraging to be reminded, anyway, how many excellent conservative editorial cartoonists there are. Why should the Devil have all the best cartoons?
In re Sean Delonas, I got this rather surprising e-mail from a reader: "Derb---I sat across from Sean Delonas' office for four years at the NY Post and I can confirm he is one of the nicest guys you would ever want to meet. Very few people know that he painted the altar mural at the rebuilt Church of St. Agnes on W. 43rd Street in Manhattan. I recall going to Mass there in the late 1990's and he would be up there, like Charlton Heston in 'The Agony and Ecstasy,' painting during the service. I went up to him after Mass once while he wasn't looking and asked, 'When will you make an end?' Without missing a beat, he turned and said, 'When I'm finished.'
"Actually, a number of the 'saints' on the wall are actually NY Post editors and reporters. Would love to point them out to you sometime."
Posted at 07:02 PM
MEDICARE MADNESS [Andrew Stuttaford]
According to the New York Times , Tommy Thompson’s decision to fatten up big government with a tasty slice of the war on obesity is already attracting potential diners to the trough:
“… commercial programs are considering what the Medicare change might mean for them. Dr. Stuart Trager, the medical director for Atkins Nutritionals, said, "We will pursue having the Atkins nutritional approach become a therapeutic option that is reimbursable."
Will this be how your tax dollars are put to work?
Posted at 06:21 PM
MULTICULTURALISM WATCH [Andrew Stuttaford]
Here’s a thought-provoking, and, in its conclusions, undeniably troubling, article by Will Cummins in the Sunday Telegraph, written in the aftermath of two by-elections in the UK. This extract is particularly striking:
“What was fascinating about Thursday's by-elections in Leicester South and Birmingham Hodge Hill was the extent to which the candidates of Britain's main parties were prepared to appease the singular agenda of what has come to be called "the Muslim vote". (In both constituencies, Muslims form roughly 20 per cent of the electorate, within an overall minority population of 30 per cent.) In Leicester South, the tribunal before which the intrepid candidates satisfied the Faithful was the "Friends of Al Aqsa" committee. They were questioned on the three issues that meant most to Muslims in this very deprived ward. Not health, transport or crime but "Palestine", "Iraq" and "faith [read Muslim] schools". Yvonne Ridley, the candidate for George Galloway's Respect party, was at something of an advantage here, having been converted to Islam and kidnapped by the Taliban.”
What do Britain’s political parties think they are doing?
Posted at 06:20 PM
FUN WITH SCIENCE [Andrew Stuttaford]
Here’s some entertaining science reporting from today's newspapers:
“Nicotine could soon be rehabilitated as a treatment for schizophrenia, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, as well as hyperactivity disorders.”
And then there’s this:
”Global warming has finally been explained: the Earth is getting hotter because the Sun is burning more brightly than at any time during the past 1,000 years, according to new research.”
Posted at 06:15 PM
I/D CREEP [Andrew Stuttaford]
Seen at a beer concession at Wrigley field yesterday: I/D required for anyone under 35. It’s 40 for any suds shoppers at my local supermarket in NYC. What’s next? Carding Methuselah?
Posted at 12:40 PM
THE PARTY OF BIG GOVERNMENT, CTD. [Andrew Stuttaford]
Incredibly, the Senate, which was, I naively believed, controlled by the GOP, has voted to subject tobacco to the FDA.
A dreary ‘Republican’ by the name of DeWine (R-Ohio) (he’s the lead sponsor of the bill along, revealingly, with Ted Kennedy), claims that “a lot of lives will be saved”. Over at Reason, Jacob Sullum isn’t so sure.
Interestingly, a number of Republicans only signed up for this mess as part of a deal that included $12 billion in spending on a bailout for tobacco growers.
Big government meddling and big government spending - all in one fat package.
Thanks for nothing, Dr. Frist.
Posted at 12:37 PM
CHAMPIONSHIP STATE [Andrew Stuttaford]
Thanks to the reader who wrote to me highlighting the fact that Colorado is the only governmental entity ever to reject the five ring horror show better known as the Olympics, after voters wisely rejected a bond issue to finance the proposed hosting of the 1976 winter games by Denver.
In the unfortunate event that New York City is ‘awarded’ the 2012 Olympics, the electorate should follow this splendid example.
Posted at 12:34 PM
AGREEING TO DIFFER [Andrew Stuttaford]
Here’s Mark Steyn on British plans to make it a criminal offense to incite ‘religious hatred’, whatever that might be.
“…Isn't that pretty much how it's likely to go once David Blunkett's new protection for Islam is in place? If you're the "moderate" Imam Yusuf al-Qaradawi, you'll be invited to speak at the "Our Children Our Future" conference sponsored and funded by the Metropolitan Police and the Department for Work and Pensions. But, if you express concern about ol' Mullah Moderate, an Islamic lobby group will file an official complaint about you.”
Read the whole thing (but you know that already). The piece also includes some thought-provoking comments on Islam from Winston Churchill, written just over a century ago, including this:
“No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytising faith… raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science - the science against which it had vainly struggled - the civilisation of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilisation of ancient Rome."
You can agree with that type of analysis, or disagree, but you should not be able to threaten prosecution to those who make it.
Incidentally, those inclined to see those Churchill’s words as simple, and archaic, bigotry should note the dig about Christianity and science: old Winston was not a man who was easily pigeonholed.
The UK controversy is also interesting in the context of the way in which such matters are handled in the US. Contrary to conventional wisdom, there is an official creed in the US, a bland ecumenicism that insists that (in public statements, at least) everyone should ‘respect’ the beliefs of everyone else. This is something that goes far, far further than merely respecting the right of others to hold those beliefs (a respect that defines the freedom of religion that is, quite correctly, a cornerstone of American liberty).
If some religious fundamentalist happens to believe that those who disagree with him are destined for a toasty afterlife that is his right – and it’s his right, and maybe even his moral obligation, to say so out loud. It makes no sense for such a believer to claim to ‘respect’ the differing beliefs that, according to his faith, lead to eternal damnation. Equally, it is everybody else’s right to say that our fundamentalist’s faith is complete nonsense, and wicked to boot. That’s called religious debate, and it’s healthy, something that people once understood in this country.
These days, by contrast, such frankness is frowned on. It’s insensitive, we are told, boorish, or worse. To take one trivial example, whenever (as occasionally happens) I write something unflattering about Wicca, a ‘religion’ so absurd that it makes creationism look like rocket science, there are always a few people, not all of them witches, who e-mail me with the (entirely accurate) complaint that I don’t “respect” the Wiccan creed. Well, that’s just too bad. It would be much more interesting if such correspondents could write explaining why I was wrong. Revealingly, they rarely do. In today’s America, false ‘respect’ is better than honest discussion.
What a shame.
Posted at 12:30 PM
MANHATTAN MOTHERHOOD [Rod Dreher]
Here's a personal essay from today's NYT Magazine about a Manhattan woman living with her boyfriend, who got pregnant with triplets. Stricken by the possibility that having three children at once would force her to move to Staten Island and start shopping at Costco, she decides to have a doctor pierce the beating hearts -- she and her lover saw the hearts throbbing on the ultrasound -- of two of the babies in her womb, and kill them. All so she could maintain her Manhattan lifestyle. The mind reels...
Posted at 12:29 PM
GREAT MOMENTS IN HOMELAND SECURITY [Andrew Stuttaford]
I’m hoping that this news story is a sophisticated ploy to trick would-be hijackers that the only undercover air marshals are the people dressed like G-Men. I’m hoping, yes, I’m hoping, but…
Posted at 12:26 PM
RE: DELONAS [Tim Graham]
Derb, there is a reason this whimsical cartoon is not in the Delonas archive. The upper-left corner will tell you it's from Mike Ramirez at the Los Angeles Times. He's a fine cartoonist, but as we say at the fan club, he's no Henry Payne of the Detroit News.
Posted at 12:25 PM
FASTEN SEAT BELTS [John Derbyshire]
This hoarding must be causing a lot of accidents.
Posted at 10:14 AM
FIRST SIGHTING OF A NEW ACRONYM? [John Derbyshire]
"For the remainder of this article we will use BHNs to refer to Blacks, Hispanics/Latinos, and Native Americans, and the term underrepresentation (unless otherwise described) will be used only to refer to the underrepresentation of BHNs in earning doctorates in the mathematical sciences."
-----Doctorate Degrees in Mathematics Earned by Blacks, Hispanics/Latinos and Native Americans: A Look at the Numbers" by Herbert A. Medina, in the August 2004 "Notices of the American Mathematical Society."
I can't resist the wish that some college campus somewhere would stage a softball game between the BHNs and the GLBTQs.
The August '04 AMS "Notices" is (are?) even more of a PC-fest than usual. If you have access to it/them -- you need to be an AMS member for online access, but any decent library should stock it -- read Daniel Ullman's review of Steve Olson's book COUNTDOWN, "the story of the six American competitors in the 2001 International Mathematical Olympiad." Try counting the non sequiturs in the paragraph beginning "In the chapter on talent..." (Clue to what's going on here: the six members of the USA 2001 IMO team were Tiankai Liu, Ian Le, David Shin, Oaz Nir, Reid Barton, and Gabriel Carroll.)
Posted at 10:12 AM
SEAN DELONAS CARTOON [John Derbyshire]
I wanted to recommend Sean Delonas's brilliant editorial cartoon from Saturday's New York Post to all NRO readers. However, it seems not to be included in the usual way in his archive
I have therefore taken the liberty of scanning it in myself, here.
If Delonas or the Post minds my having done this, I apologize, and plead the greater good.
Posted at 10:10 AM
RE: TERROR IN THE SKIES [John Derbyshire]
In the matter of airport security, our own Jack Dunphy did the definitivce piece here on NRO, way back in October 2001. Seems a long time ago now.
Posted at 10:09 AM
ABLE CAIN [John J. Miller]
Conservatives everywhere are cheering for Herman Cain of Georgia in Tuesday's Senate primary. Here's a Wash Post story on the race.
Posted at 06:28 AM
RED VS. BLUE ON TV [John J. Miller]
This is really interesting, from today's NYT: "When deciding where to run his television advertisements, President Bush is much more partial than Senator John Kerry to crime shows like 'Cops,' 'Law & Order' and 'JAG.' Mr. Kerry leans more to lighter fare, like 'Judge Judy,' 'The Ellen DeGeneres Show' and 'Late Show with David Letterman.' Those choices do not reflect either man's taste in television, but critical differences in the advertising strategies of their campaigns, which are spending more money for commercials than any other campaigns in presidential history."
Posted at 05:15 AM