ITALIAN ABORTION DRAMA WINS BIG IN VENICE [KJL]
Posted at 07:31 PM
RE: YET MORE TYPEWRITER TRIVIA [John Derbyshire]
So how many eight-letter English words can you touch-type using all eight fingers (i.e. each finger exactly once)?
I'm getting a wide variety of answers here. Merging them all (thank you, MS Excel), I so far have 64:
aphorise apomicts autopsic bakeshop biplanes captions captious clasping displant dystopia earlship elapsing epistoma esophagi haplites harelips impalers impearls jackpots lempiras meropias metopias outspeak pactions palmiest panelist pantiles parosmic parsonic pearlish penalist perisoma petalism pintados piroques plainest plashier plastein plaudits plausive pleasing poniards postique pralines premisal proximad pyralids pyrexial saponite satinpod scalping scoparin scripula septimal slipband spandril spicular spirulae spongiae spongida sprackly stipulae toadship wainrope
Though somebody has a better dictionary than I have: "toadship" isn't in Merriam-Webster's Third. I can't help thinking it *should* be, though. "His toadship" has an obvious meaning to fans of "The Wind in the Willows."
Posted at 07:29 PM
POSTCARD FROM THE PAST [Rod Dreher]
A friend forwarded to me today the e-mail I'd sent to some friends that morning three years ago. It's startling to me to read this now. Notice the date and time stamp. I'd just walked in out of the conflagration:
Date: Tuesday, September 11, 2001 10:09 AM
I'm not going to tie up the phone lines long, but I wanted to tell you that we're okay. My dad phoned this morning to say, "The World Trade Center is on fire. Go look out your front door." You can see them clearly across the harbor from our front door.
"Oh my God! Julie come see!" I said.
I ran down to grab my reporter's bag, knowing I'd have to go over to the fire. At that point, we didn't know what caused the fire. Then, while downstairs, I heard a tremendous explosion and screams.
I ran out to the street. "A plane just hit the second tower!" a man screamed.
I knew the subways would be out, so I decided to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge to get to the scene. There was a steady stream of people sobbing, coming out of downtown over the bridge boardwalk. I interviewed several of them. They told absolutely horrifying stories of seeing people jump out of windows from high floors, their ties and coats flailing as they plunged to their deaths. One woman's knees were bleeding from having been pushed down by the terrified crowd.
"The Pentagon has been bombed!" a man screamed.
I made it to the last pillar of the Brooklyn Bridge before going into downtown. I ran into a colleague of mine. She said, "We better not go over there. Those towers are going to blow up."
One minute later, the south tower fell in on itself. I nearly fainted. It ... well, I can't describe it now. I'm too shaken. Everybody on the bridge screamed. Some collapsed in tears. A woman started to vomit. My knees went weak, and a huge plume of soot and smoke barrelled toward us. I decided to turn around and go home.
A stout black woman, covered with sweat, screamed to no one in particular, "Every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess! It ain't over people!"
An F-16 fighter flew overhead. The cloud of soot reached us, and it was like being in a volcanic eruption. Everybody had to breathe through their shirts. Cell phones didn't work. I rushed home to see Julie. When I opened the door, she was sobbing and shaking.
Now I'm learning that the second tower has collapsed, and the Pentagon has been bombed. The sky outside is black with soot and smoke.
There is no World Trade Center anymore. I can't believe we're seeing this.
It's war, you know.
Posted at 07:27 PM
I'M TOTALLY IN THE TANK FOR WAL-MART [KJL]
(See, for instance.) But, knowing nothing about this, it sounds like the Blue W might be asking for trouble this time.
Posted at 07:11 PM
THE WASHINGTON POST ON COMPETITIVE ELECTIONS [Ramesh Ponnuru]
"Eleanor Holmes Norton is unopposed -- as she should be." Unfortunately, there remain isolated pockets of resistance, but these will be stamped out in due course.
Posted at 02:44 PM
KERRY ON "ASSAULT WEAPONS" [Ramesh Ponnuru]
He says, ""Every law enforcement officer in America doesn't want us selling assault weapons in the streets of America." I'm sure the fact-checkers at the Washington Post--Milbank, Pianin, Pincus, et al--will go over this claim with the same finicky thoroughness that they apply to Bush.
Posted at 02:41 PM
WANT WFB, SIGNED? [KJL]
Posted at 12:58 PM
RATHERGATE [John Derbyshire]
Mark Steyn's piece includes: "'This was too hot not to push,' one producer told the American Spectator."
Looks like a case of that old Fleet Street tabloid seal of approval on a story: "Too good to check."
Posted at 12:56 PM
STEYN! ON RATHERGATE [KJL]
The tragedy for Rather, Oliphant, Krugman and Co. is that even if the memos were authentic nobody would care. Their boy Kerry had a crummy August not because he didn't hammer Bush for being AWOL in the Spanish-American War but because the senator's AWOL in the present war. Big Media are trashing their own reputations in service to a man who can never win.
Posted at 12:41 PM
9/11 SLIDE [KJL]
A few people suggested we link to this again today. Nicely done and helps keep the anger and resolve fresh.
Posted at 12:33 PM
2,990+ CHILDREN LEFT BEHIND [KJL]
They had parents murdered three years ago today.
Posted at 12:20 PM
DAN'S DIKE COLLAPSES [Tim Graham]
Tuned in to Hannity & Colmes tonight to see Brent Bozell. It was amazing to watch it all unfold that Ben Barnes' daughter says he told her a different Bush-Guard story in 2000, and that Jerry Killian's son said CBS producer Mary Mapes interviewed him and his mother and just left them on the editing floor. Wow. Defiant Dan has new quotes in Howard Kurtz's piece today.
Posted at 12:12 PM
RE: BARBARA OLSON [KJL]
I meant to post this earlier: Ted Olson's November 2001 Federalist Society speech: "They are so wrong. We will prevail for the very reason that we have been attacked. Because we are Americans. Because the values that made us free, make us strong; because the principles that made us prosperous, make us creative, resourceful, innovative, determined and fiercely protective of our freedoms, our liberties and our rights to be individuals and to aspire to whatever we choose to be. Those values and those characteristics will lift us and will defeat the black forces who have assaulted our ideals, our country and our people. "
Posted at 12:09 PM
BERAN PIECE [KJL]
I posted the wrong link earlier (correct now in the post). Here is Mike Beran's Battle Hymn piece.
Posted at 10:04 AM
Terry Teachout's thoughts.
Posted at 09:52 AM
9/11 ARCHIVE [KJL]
Here's a mini-directory of some of our 9/11 pieces, in the days after.
Posted at 09:42 AM
LILIES AND TERRIBLE SWIFT SWORD [KJL]
I always want to sing the Battle Hymn of the Republic on days like today, but God Bless America seems preferred. As long as it is not John Lennon imagining there is no Heaven (which Mark Steyn, in National Review, called "John Lennon's anthem for fluffy nihilists.") (Battle Hymn at ballgames!) Here's Mike Beran deconstructing that song.
Posted at 09:41 AM
BARBARA OLSON [KJL ]
We especially remember our friend Barbara Olson today, who was murdered on the plane that was flown into the Pentagon, who in her last minutes called her husband Ted for advice on solving the problem “an action entirely in keeping with her character.” She was a “Braveheart” and a “patriot.”
I recently came across an e-mail from her. We had been talking about the Clintons and had just done an interview on the Chandra Levy case that was ongoing that summer (she was a former federal prosecutor). She was already thanking me for promised coverage of her book on the Clintons forthcoming in the fall—again typical. Whenever I saw her—and I did not know her anywhere near as well as some of us (her dear friends Barbara Comstock, the Ledeens, the O’Beirnes…), but she would always thank me for our coverage of Ted’s fight to become solicitor general—the Left went all-out trying to hold him back—and our Florida post-election election coverage, to which she contributed with a byline and countless other ways. She was a remarkably gracious woman, besides the intellect and love-for-life and humor and tenacity…
Barbara Comstock talks more about Barbara here. Our prayers are with everyone who has had someone taken from them in this war. And always with Ted.
Posted at 09:37 AM
RE: GRIPING [KJL]
Besides what Jonah points out, I resent the implication we refuse to publish things we don't agree with. First of all, yes, we are completely free to publish what we want to and I reject near countless pieces all the time, for all sorts of reasons (our cup, mercifully, runeth over with people who want on--more than our space and manpower can handle, some days). And, I confess to being a tyrant on some topics (culture of life--I plead guilty) where I humbly think the other side's argument is just everywhere. I know that one piece on NRO buying the mainstream or Left line can often do more to help the side we disagree with than 100 well-argued pieces in support of our side of the argument. I'm in no one's tank, but we are opinionjournalism, and I am not deaf to those considerations--which is well within the point of our existence. We're not standing athwart history yelling stop in a vaccuum.
That said, here's Doug Bandow opposing the Iraq war on our site, for one for instance.
I should add, too, even on those life issues: Here's Ron Bailey on NRO, who debated Princeton's Robert George and Patrick Lee on stem cells.
NR and NRO are not a subsidiary of anyone's campaign, and anyone who reads us knows that.
Posted at 09:22 AM
HODGES RECANTS [Jonah Goldberg]
From ABC News:
HODGES SAID HE WAS MISLED BY CBS: Retired Maj. General Hodges, Killian's supervisor at the Grd, tells ABC News that he feels CBS misled him about the documents they uncovered. According to Hodges, CBS told him the documents were "handwritten" and after CBS read him excerpts he said, "well if he wrote them that's what he felt."
Posted at 09:21 AM
TEDIOUS TENDENTIOUSNESS [Jonah Goldberg]
REAGANITES VERSUS BUSH: Doug Bandow joins the growing throng of principled conservatives unwilling to give Bush a second term. Money quote:Quite simply, the president, despite his well-choreographed posturing, does not represent traditional conservatism -- a commitment to individual liberty, limited government, constitutional restraint and fiscal responsibility. Rather, Bush routinely puts power before principle.
ME Uh, maybe because they disagree? These little jabs get so tiresome. Note the implied lack of principle of those who don't join the "throng."
Moreover, while I can't speak for the Standard, National Review (and NRO) have criticized many different aspects of Bush's conservatism. How many time does Ramesh have to write cover stories lambasting Bush's big government conservatism for NR to get credit for them?
Also, it just strikes me as silly to suggest -- as Andrew so often does -- that a "principled conservative" must prefer John Kerry as President (during a war). Can't a principled conservative say, "Golly I don't like This and I don't like That but Bush is obviously preferable to Kerry"?
I thought part of traditional conservatism was a certain degree of realism about taking the world as you find it. I respect Bandow and others who disagree with me on this, but I reject completely the idea that a "principled," "traditional," "fiscal" or any other label Andrew conjures requires voting for -- or otherwise hoping for -- the election of the far more liberal presidential candidate. What bothers me about Sullivan's swipes at conservatives who disagree with him is the impulse to whip the troops into line by telling them there's no room for disagreement. How many times has Sullivan crafted sentences which say that it's "obvious" that "no" "fiscal" conservative can vote for Bush? For all his lamenting of "popular front conservatism" it sometimes seems that Andrew's real gripe is that he can't dictate the precise terms of a Popular Front -- led by him.
Posted at 08:56 AM
"PORTRAITS OF GRIEF" [KJL]
Here's the link to the NYT profiles.
Posted at 08:52 AM
“WE WILL SHOW THE WORLD AND WE WILL PASS THIS TEST” [KJL]
President Bush’s morning statement after the attacks: “Freedom itself was attacked this morning by faceless cowards. And freedom will be defended.”
Posted at 08:50 AM
FOR IN ONE HOUR SO GREAT RICHES IS COME TO NOUGHT. [KJL]
You'll want to reread Rick Brookhiser on "our day of infamy" right about now. Go here.
Posted at 08:46 AM
TODAY IS "PATRIOT DAY" [KJL]
Posted at 08:42 AM
GETTING CAUGHT UP [Jonah Goldberg]
I don't like to exaggerate, but the forgery story is the greatest story since Noah got all those animals on a boat.
Posted at 08:39 AM
NO PANIC HERE [Jonah Goldberg]
Warning: this is very dirty and explicit. But it does convey a certain level of concern with the progress of the Kerry campaign among some anti-Bush types.
Posted at 08:33 AM
MATLEY CONFIRMS DOCUMENTS WERE COPIES [Byron York]
The New York Times interviewed CBS documents expert Marcel Matley, who confirmed that the documents the network gave him were photocopies -- and poor ones at that. According to the paper:
"Mr. Matley said the documents the network sent him were so deteriorated from copying that it was impossible to identify the typeface." '''It's sheer speculation to say that you couldn't have done that until a computer came along,'' he said."
"As a result, he said, he focused on the signatures. CBS sent him the four newfound documents, as well as others that have been verified as signed by Colonel Killian. 'There were significant similarities and the differences were insignificant,' he said in the configuration of letters and the angle of the writing."
Meanwhile, the Washington Post reported that, "Matley said last night that a '60 Minutes' executive had asked him not to give interviews."
Posted at 08:23 AM
RATHER [Rich Lowry]
As a general matter, his performance Friday struck me as extraordinarily weak and defensive. It was the sort of thing you would expect from a political campaign-- evasive and one-sided, questioning the motives of the critics. This wasn't journalism as traditionally understood, but advocacy and not particularly good advocacy at that.
Posted at 08:04 AM
ME=MIA; FORGERIES [Jonah Goldberg]
My apologies. Crazy Day. Glad to see that the Corner's on top of the forgery thing. One point: When will CBS produce a credible expert who says he'd stake his reputation that these are real docs? There is no confidentiality when it comes to protecting expert witnesses. Today's Washington Post did not mention a single expert by name who said the docs are authentic. I'm sure this has been mentioned already but it's been bugging me all day.
Posted at 01:08 AM
Friday, September 10, 2004
RATHER NEWS [Byron York]
The major news in CBS anchorman Dan Rather's defense of the alleged Bush National Guard documents is the revelation that CBS News does not have the original documents purportedly written by Bush's commanding officer Lt. Col. Jerry B. Killian. Rather reported tonight that the network's document consultant "believes they are real, but is concerned about exactly what is being examined by some of the people now questioning the documents, because deterioration occurs each time a document is reproduced, and the documents being analyzed outside of CBS have been photocopied, faxed, scanned, and downloaded, and are far removed from the documents CBS started with, which were also photocopies." That last clause is critical. Document experts say it would be relatively easy to determine the authenticity of a typewritten original; a typewriter makes a small indentation into the paper with each strike, and those indentations can be studied in great detail. But a photocopy is another thing. There's no way to analyze the physical aspects of the typewritten words, nor is there a way to analyze the actual signature. In fact, an image of a legitimate signature could have been placed onto a computer-generated document and then printed out and photocopied. The news is that CBS based its report on photocopies, making it difficult to determine whether or not the documents are in fact authentic.
Posted at 08:16 PM
A CONNECTION [Wesley J. Smith]
Someone ought to note that the CBS fraud charges are reminscent of the flap between Blair and the BBC over Gilligan's "sexed up" charge. And the BBC was totally discredited. It allowed its desires for Blair to have lied to color its journalistic judgment. Same thing seems to have happened here.
Posted at 08:11 PM
RE: ISLAM [KJL]
Andy Bostom has a response to Mustafa Akyol's NRO pieces.
Posted at 07:24 PM
RATHER DEAF [KJL]
Defiant Dan ought to read Byron who points out "even if there were no physical questions about the documents, the story they tell still wouldn't add up."
Posted at 06:44 PM
WAS IT CRIMINAL? [Jonathan H. Adler]
Tom Maguire wonders, if the Killian memos are proven to be forgeries, was a crime committed? Eugene Volokh explores this question, and suggests it could be under the laws of at least two states, though it is highly unlikely CBS News could be prosecuted.
Posted at 06:17 PM
RATHER BLAMES "PARTISAN POLITICAL OPERATIVES" FOR ORCHESTRATING RATHERGATE [KJL]
Dan Rather was just defiant in a package on CBS local news, which included a plug for Powerline, presumably run by Karl Rove.
Posted at 06:16 PM
YOUR KITTY KELLEY ARSENAL [Tim Graham]
While Doris Kearns Goodwin (on MSNBC) and Michael Wolff (on CNBC) tout the societal usefulness of slime queen Kitty Kelley, you may get a quick lowdown on the media's record of indulgence for her tall tales here.
One note from that:
In 1992, Today dropped an invitation to Richard E. Burke, a former Ted Kennedy aide who wrote a book titled The Senator, which claimed that Kennedy used the drugs cocaine and amyl nitrate in nightclubs and had regular sex with interns. Said then-Executive Producer Jeff Zucker: "In reading it over and seeing the way it was being portrayed by tabloid television, it didn't feel right for us."
Posted at 05:58 PM
“3-POINT RACE” [Rich Lowry]
Just talked to a Bush strategist, who said: “Within seven days, this will be a 3-point race. There was no reason for the near-panic among Republicans eight weeks ago or so, and there is no reason for the euphoria now. No one is going to build a substanital lead in this race. It's going to be very close until the end.”
Posted at 05:57 PM
DEAN [Ramesh Ponnuru]
An email: "So, can Dean remind me again who is trying to push through a bill to reinstate the draft? I don't recall that it was a Bush crony."
Posted at 05:54 PM
MSM=MAINSTREAM MEDIA [Rich Lowry]
For those who have asked. (And if you had to ask you aren't reading enough blogs!)
Posted at 05:27 PM
ON THAT SUPERSCRIPT [Rich Lowry]
Byron York tells me that there in indeed a “th” superscript on one of the indisputially authentic documents released by the White House. But the typescript, including the spacing between letters, appears significantly different than that of the CBS documents. (I'm still officially agnostic on this whole thing, BTW.)
Posted at 05:17 PM
RATHER FUNNIER [KJL]
Posted at 04:52 PM
RATHER-GATE [Rich Lowry]
The CW within the MSM at the moment seems to be that the documents are forgeries. Two questions it would be good for CBS to answer: Who was/were your experts? What kind of typewriter exactly do they think these things were typed on?
Posted at 04:43 PM
I FEEL BILL'S PAIN [KJL]
Won't John Kerry leave him alone already?
Posted at 04:17 PM
RATHER FUNNY [KJL]
Posted at 04:00 PM
TWISTED SISTERS [Jack Fowler]
Michigan nuns send donation to pro-abortion EMILY’s List. I’d love to rap them across the knuckles with a ruler!
Posted at 03:40 PM
RATHERGATE: THE MERCHANDISE [KJL]
Maybe TKS should come out with a line.
Update: Here's a good one.
Posted at 02:59 PM
FROM BEN BRADLEE TO DAN RATHER [Michael Ledeen]
I see that CBS is gonna stand by its story, as well they should. To do otherwise would sabotage the high values of modern journalism, which include the stern injunction to never tell the suckers what is really going on.
It calls to mind the highest achievement of modern journalism, which as we all know was Watergate. If you read the self-encomium by Woodward and Bernstein--"All the President's Men"--you will discover, after the confessions of tampering with a grand jury and illegally obtaining telephone records, the story of a very bad day for our heroes and for their editor Ben Bradlee. WoodBern had run a front page story that day, and by noon they had been ravaged by Nixon's Press Secretary, Ron Nessen, who denied it all and called them liars and frauds. They checked with the Delphic Oracle, then plying his trade under the pseudonym "Deep Throat." He confirmed Nessen's claims. The story was wrong. The Post had lied. So WoodBern went to Bradlee, who wrestled with his conscience and quickly won: "F**k it," he said, "let's go stand by our boys," and he wrote an editorial reasserting the Post's confidence in the story.
So of course Rather and CBS will stand by theirs.
Yesterday Rush pointed out that Jeff Greenfield had complained that the politicization of the tv audience was sabotaging CNN's ratings, which is to say his own. And yet it apparently does not occur to him that at least part of the collapse of public confidence in CNN is the result of his own actions a few years ago, when he presented a "documentary" purporting to prove that US forces had used chemical weapons on our own boys in Vietnam. After a while CNN fired the producer, but my old friend Jeff (we shared an apartment one summer at the University of Wisconsin long ago, when he was young) never apologized, and apparently doesn't see the need.
That's why Old Media is dying. As I said the other day, the American people have long known they were being lied to, but they didn't know where to go to get the truth. They can now go online, and if they work at it, they can probably sort it out. At least there's a chance. They are convinced there's no chance with the Old Media.
Posted at 02:57 PM
PARTY AT THE O'BEIRNE'S [Rich Lowry]
Please join us. It will be an intimate gathering and a chance to spend quality time with your favorite NRO writers. We will roughly have a 1-1 ratio of NRO types and guests, so this will be the next best thing to having your favorite NRO writer show up in your own living room...
Posted at 02:55 PM
RE: TYPEWRITER MOMENTS IN CONSERVATIVE HISTORY [John Derbyshire]
From a reader whose e-address ends with "cune.edu." Wow, standards have really dropped at CUNY -- they can't even spell their own name any more!
"Derb, here's another for you that I've never seen in print. How many eight-letter words can you find that are typed with all eight fingers? I've found: 'pralines,' 'pleasing,' and 'plausive.' But I know there are more..."
[NB: I guess the reader is referring to touch-typing, a thing I never mastered.]
Posted at 02:49 PM
A FEW DECADES LATE [Ramesh Ponnuru]
The left wing of the Democratic party is moved to denounce communism. From AP: "The Republicans have the best propaganda out there since Lenin, and they just make stuff up and they keep repeating it, and hope people are going to believe it," said Howard Dean. Elsewhere in the same article, Dean says, ""I think that George Bush is certainly going to have a draft if he goes into a second term, and any young person that doesn't want to go to Iraq might think twice about voting for him." I guess he's gotten that chain e-mail, then.
Posted at 02:49 PM
DOCUMENTGATE [John Derbyshire]
Come on, admit it -- this story about the forged documents is delicious, isn't it? Now Dan Rather is squirming. Wheeeee!
The lefty media decided to pull out all the stops to defeat the President. Now they find they pulled out one stop too many. Hoo hoo hoo!
I know, I know, we're not supposed to crow over the misfortunes of our enemies; but sometimes it's hard to resist.
Meantime I hear the Kerry campaign, to help get things going again, has taken on a new group of consultants: the Kobe Bryant prosecution team.
Posted at 02:48 PM
CORNELL [Rich Lowry]
I'm going into hostile territory to debate David Corn at Cornell this coming Tuesday. The event is open to the public, so if you are a conservative in the area I'd love to see you there. It's at the Willard Straight Hall auditorium on campus and starts at 7:00 pm.
Posted at 02:36 PM
THE END OF DAN RATHER? [Ramesh Ponnuru]
And not a show too soon!
Posted at 02:36 PM
DATE PROBLEM? [Jonathan H. Adler]
After reading Byron’s excellent piece on the Killian documents from this morning, I'm left with a question: Why would Killian write a memo on May 19, 1972 about Bush’s desire for a transfer if – as reported in the authenticated May 2, 1973 memo that Killian signed – Bush had already left the Texas base for Alabama on May 15? Is there an obivous explanation that I'm missing?
Posted at 02:28 PM
"CHOICE" [Shannen Coffin]
K-Lo's posting on the Ellen Barkin story is interesting. Barkin certainly gives lie to the term "pro-choice." For if she were truly "pro-choice," she would leave to her teenage daughter the decision on whether to have a baby or not. But we all know that "pro-choice" is a misnomer. Indeed, the abotion lobby's opposition to parental notification laws in based on the fiction that a pregnant teenager is in the best position to assess whether or not to have a baby and that her parents can only interfere with that decision. But by suggesting that she'd drag her teenage daughter to the abortion clinic, Barkin is undermining that rationale. So will we see Ellen Barkin lobbying for parental notification and consent laws? I somehow doubt it.
Posted at 02:03 PM
NO CBS INVESTIGATION [Byron York]
There is a new statement from CBS News, contained in a story on its website.
The relevant portion of the story is as follows:
"This report was not based solely on recovered documents, but rather on a preponderance of evidence, including documents that were provided by unimpeachable sources, interviews with former Texas National Guard officials and individuals who worked closely back in the early 1970s with Colonel Jerry Killian and were well acquainted with his procedures, his character and his thinking," the statement read.
"In addition, the documents are backed up not only by independent handwriting and forensic document experts but by sources familiar with their content," the statement continued. "Contrary to some rumors, no internal investigation is underway at CBS News nor is one planned."
Posted at 01:30 PM
TYPEWRITER MOMENTS IN CONSERVATIVE HISTORY [John Derbyshire]
Posted at 01:04 PM
YET MORE TYPEWRITER TRIVIA [John Derbyshire]
Who attempted to break the fire-alarm glass by hitting it with a typewriter?
Posted at 01:01 PM
WHITE BUCKS FRENZY! [John Derbyshire]
Good grief! It seems that for once in my life I am traveling in the same direction as the zeitgeist.
"Derb---I made some calls locally - Raleigh, NC - and found out some interesting stuff. The market has gone crazy this summer for white bucks - indeed, bucks in general. Most stores are sold out and won't be getting any until next Spring. One local store has one pair (10.5 Medium) ($140.00) that the salesman said you might want to try as a possible substitute. He also said that sales people that normally don't talk to each other have joined together to find these shoes for their customers. Our local guys have gone from Charleston to New Orleans and there are none to be had."
Well! Many, many thanks to all who have tried to help with this. I have a lot of leads. Unfortunately, nobody has yet come up with a wide-fit white buck in size 10. The best so far is "medium," which I know won't do. I have seriously wide feet (EEEE) -- the family joke is, that I can scuba dive without flippers. For years I've been relying on Hitchcock for my shoes; but they don't do a white buck.
Readers tell me, though, that tony men's outfitters like Brooks Brothers might stock these items, so on my next trip to Manhattan I shall explore & try on anything they might have.
Posted at 01:00 PM
MAYBE IT'S SOMETHING IN THE HOLLYWOOD WATER [KJL]
Actress Ellen Barkin would force her teen daughter to abort.
Posted at 12:58 PM
FAMOUS TYPEWRITERS IN LIBERAL HISTORY: CHAPTER ONE [Jack Fowler]
Here’s a refresher on the Mother of All Incriminating Typewriters, the Woodstock model owned and used (for very bad purposes) by one Alger Hiss. For more detailed reading on the matter, and on leftist grassy-knolling, read the wonderful appendix (“‘Forgery by Typewriter’: The Pursuit of Conspiracy, 1948-1978”) in Allen Weinstein’s definitive book, Perjury.
Posted at 12:36 PM
THE WEB FALLS BEHIND [KJL]
Amazon.com does not have the cool new Foreman grill up yet! Was on Today this morning. I guess there are still miles to go yet on the world wide web.
Posted at 12:24 PM
JOHN KERRY: FULFILLMENT OF PROPHECY! [Rick Brookhiser]
George Washington to Jonathan Trumbull, July 21, 1799
"Let that party set up a broomstick, and call it a true son of Liberty, a Democrat, or give it any other epithet that will suit their purpose, and it will command their votes in toto!"
Washington was too polite, I suppose, to say where the broomstick was.
Posted at 12:16 PM
RE: BIG ORANGE TAKES MANHATTAN [John Derbyshire]
Kathryn: Home Depot will need to customize their store a bit for the Manhattan homeowner. In my own Manhattan days, living in a broom closet on East 46th Street, there were stores along 2nd Avenue that sold wonderful things you could use to save space: e.g. a plastic-coated metal mesh you could fix to your wall and hang things off.
The entire art of living in Manhattan is arranging your stuff in your apartment in such a way that there's enough space left over for you to breathe in and out. I hope Big Orange understands this.
Posted at 12:04 PM
THE REAL SMOKING GUN [Jonathan H. Adler]
Forget Bush's service record, Kerry was in Cambodia after all! (LvInstapundit).
Posted at 12:02 PM
BLAMING ROVE [KJL]
George Stephanopoulos this morning: "Charlie, I've just got to tell you, people from all over the political world yesterday, they don't even know where the dirty tricks are coming from. I should say, just before we got on the air, Joe Lockhart of the Kerry campaign denies that the Kerry campaign had anything to do with these documents. Another Kerry researcher says they learned about them on television. A lot of Democrats suspect this was a set up, something set up by Republicans. So there's a lot of suspicion going around on all sides."
Mr. S: Why don't you go back and read Susan Estrich Now tell me this is all GOP scheming. If the tables were turned, and these were fake docs benefitting PResident Bush, people would be whispering Watergate on the Today Shows of the world already.
Posted at 11:59 AM
RE: TYPEWRITER TRIVIA [John Derbyshire]
Yep, it was TOM SAWYER.
And my machine, for those who asked, is a German model, an Adler Gabriele 10. I bought it second hand in England, circa 1980, and wrote a book on it (unpublished).
Posted at 11:54 AM
TYPEWRITER TRIVIA [John Derbyshire]
A reader: "As long as you're asking about typewriter trivia: What 10-letter English word can be written entirely on the top row of a typewriter keyboard? (I mean the top row with letters, of course.)"
Did you really think an old word buff like me wouldn't know that? "TYPEWRITER," of course.
You will sometimes hear it said that this is the longest top-row-only word. Not so: "RUPTUREWORT" is longer.
Posted at 11:51 AM
JOBS FIGURES [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Rich, about that spinsanity post: They're right that the Kerry-Edwards campaign is inflating the number of jobs lost under Bush. But the way this deception works isn't exactly comforting, at least for conservatives. We have lost 1.6 million private-sector jobs (using the payroll survey). Knowing that the public sector has expanded to keep the total loss down to 913,000 isn't exactly a consolation.
Posted at 11:39 AM
BUCHANAN [Ramesh Ponnuru]
My TCS piece on his book is now up.
Posted at 11:34 AM
REPORT -- NO RACISM [Rod Dreher]
Remember the nationally infamous case of drug prosecutions in Tulia, Texas, in which police in the Texas Panhandle were accused of racism and civil rights violations for arresting and charging dozens of black folks with drug dealing? New York Times columnist Bob Herbert crusaded against the cops, and -- to make a very long story short -- Texas Republican Governor Rick Perry pardoned those convicted, and a $6 million civil suit settlement was paid to these people.
Well, guess what? In a major scoop, Fort Worth CBS station KTVT reveals that separate investigations by the FBI and the Texas Attorney General's office have found no grounds to the civil rights violations charges. According to this new report: CBS-11 has learned that civil rights investigations by the FBI and one by the Texas Attorney General's office were closed after nearly a third of the 40 defendants interviewed by federal agents implicated themselves and others of actually dealing drugs in Tulia. Gov. Perry, under enormous pressure from national civil rights organizations, pardoned those convicted of drug crimes thanks to the investigative work of undercover agent Tom Coleman, who was vilified in the national media as a racist. Perry and the state pardons board which recommended this action, either ignored or did not seek out the investigative work by law enforcement agencies that would have shown these people did not deserve pardons.
Channel 11 apparently got a leaked copy of the FBI report. Both the FBI and the Texas AG's office have fought to keep these documents private. Marcus Norris, the city attorney for Amarillo, which settled the civil suits with the Tulia defendants for millions, said that after the governor's pardons, there was no way the city could hope to win in court. From the CBS-11 story:
"The FBI was not going to come out publicly and say there was no racial bias because everyone in the media was convinced of that, and the politicians, too," Norris said. "Everyone had it built up in their mind it was all racism.
"I'm telling you the whole thing was so politicized and media-sized we did wonder what kind of jury verdict we were going to get. We could not handle a $60 million hit. It would have bankrupted our city."
This is a major national story. Let's see who covers it.
Posted at 11:32 AM
FREE QUEEN ZIXI OF IX [Jack Fowler]
Why, is she being held captive? Hardy har har. Now you can get a free copy of Queen Zixi of Ix, or The Story of the Magic Cloak--written by the great L. Frank Baum (of “Oz” fame) when you purchase a copy of The National Review Treasury of Classic Children's Literature (the original edition or the even-better Volume Two) and/or The National Review Treasury of Classic Bedtime Stories. By the way, here's the take on these big, beautiful books from the respected essayist and commentator Midge Decter:
“‘Treasure’ is the right word to use for these three collections of children’s literature. Indeed, reading through the National Review treasuries is a happy reminder of the time when children were respected as creatures capable of both real thoughts and real imaginings rather than, as they so much are today, no more than a cohort of small and conventionally attitudinizing adults. Indeed, with the Treasuries in tow, parents and children are both apt to begin anticipating bedtime as a whole new adventure.”
Powerful words from a great lady! And speaking of great ladies, Queen Zixi is just one of the many characters in this beautiful new book NR has published (Baum said it was his best work, and our edition is enhanced with over 90 illustrations by the great Frederick Richardson!). It’s an exciting tale that all boys and girls will love. Wholesome and well-written, it’s precisely the kind of book you would want your kids or grandkids to have. Get your free copy, direct from NR, here.
Posted at 11:32 AM
IT'S FASHION WEEK IN NYC [KJL]
And yet again, NR is not bombarded with samples and invites. Wassup with that? We don't all dress like Raj, Vera.
Posted at 11:28 AM
FORGERIES: NEXT QUESTION [Andy McCarthy]
Those dox have been fax'd and otherwise electronically transmitted across many state lines, I imagine. It looks like they are bogus, and apparently part of a scheme to defraud -- whether aimed to turn the election or, conceivably, to spike the viewership (and, hence, the ratings and advertising revenue) of CBS, which appears to have acted with reckless disregard for their bona fides if not with intentional deceit. Where I come from, that's at least worth investigating as a federal wire fraud felony (under 18 USC 1343), including hauling some people in to explain themselves to a grand jury. Given some of the other stuff that's been investigated this year, this is worthy -- this is not about policy or the sanctity of the media's First Amendment rights; this is about fraud. Hopefully, someone at DOJ is getting on it.
Posted at 11:25 AM
FOX [Rich Lowry]
FYI, scheduled to be on around 12:20 pm today.
Posted at 11:23 AM
IF YOU'RE WONDERING [KJL]
why you'd want to spend $750 on a party, here's why. You love NRO. You come here every hour or every day or every few days for news and commentary. You want to see it continue to expand. And you enjoy it, and have a sneaking suspicion you'll enjoy meeting some of the characters who make up NRO.
The event at Kate's a week from tomorrow is going to be a classy shin-dig. Civilized--unlike our wild (and great) Turtle Bay blast--and intimate (also unlike anything we've done before). They'll be great food and entertainment and company. And minus the money to cover the food and drink, etc., the money made goes straight into NRO's bare bones: the hardware, the minimal labor, the modestly paid writers.
You might be wondering: Why does NRO bring out the tin can from time to time?
Here's how I explained it a few months back--all of which still applies (no sugar daddy has sent us the underwriting check yet):
I've been getting many emails from readers (and I'm sorry I haven't responded personally to them all yet, I hope to) who honestly love reading NRO but who honestly don't buy that we need money. Heck, why would you believe it? The problem, I'm told, is that NRO looks too good. The product is too good. How can a full-fledged magazine come out every weekday, with treats for the weekend too, and not be poshly rewarded?I hope that puts it all in some better context. We're not big media even if we feel like it when compared to a guy blogging from his garage in his spare time. And I'm delighted we can offer you a little something extra this time: a thank-you party for your support.
So, one last time: Our classy party at class-act Kate O'Beirne's house is next Saturday, Sept. 18. Sign up today if you want in. Details here.
And, bear this background all in mind next week, too...
Posted at 11:18 AM
101 THINGS TO DO ON A RAINY DAY [John Derbyshire]
With all the flap about forged documents, suspiciously modern typefaces, etc, I dragged my old manual typewriter up from the basement, blew the dust off the case, and opened it up. Haven't used it for 10 years or so. Something horrid has happened to the ribbon -- the exposed section is covered in a sort of turquoise mold. A couple of the keys stick. Otherwise it works fine.
The kids came over, started playing with the thing, and got totally hooked. They LOVE it. Nellie has typed pages of stuff -- mostly gibberish, but hey.
Now, for the kids' amusement on rainy days, I'm thinking of sprucing it up. Need a new ribbon, some of that special typewriter oil,... No, this isn't a bleg, I can look the stuff up on Google. I know it's out there, because I occasionally get a typewritten letter from a reader.
Literary quiz: What was the first novel to be delivered to its publisher in typescript form, as opposed to hand-written?
Posted at 11:15 AM
RE: STEYN ON KERRY [KJL]
We were handing out copies of that issue to delegates and other convention goers last week. Multiple people throughout the week quoted lines from it to me at various corners of MSG and around town. It's a classic already.
Posted at 10:44 AM
THE 9/11 TOLL [KJL]
Rich's piece today will give you chills.
Posted at 10:41 AM
THE CBS PAPERS [Jed Babbin]
I spoke to Col. Bill Campenni (USAF ret) earlier this morning. As I've written before, Campenni was a member of the President's squadron and flew with him often. Campenni told me that there are a whole slew of reasons -- beyond those being debated now -- to question the authenticity of the CBS papers:
1. The 4 May 1972 order and the 1 August 1972 memo both have a letterhead for the wrong organization. Correspondence and orders in those days would be issued in the name of the parent organization -- the 147th Fighter Interceptor Group -- rather than the squadron. The letterhead is typed. They used printed ANG letterhead;
2. Orders were issued on the standard USAF orders form. (I still have a stack of my old ones. There's not a "memo" among them). Campenni remembers that orders weren't issued as "memos" like the 4 May 72 document;
3. The Killian "CYA" memo of August 1973 refers to pressure by Gen. Standt. The problem with this is that Standt retired in 1972. Why would anyone be worried about pressure from him?
4. Jerry Killian, according to Campenni, never went near a typewriter. In the Air Force, in those days, notes -- if anyone kept them at all -- were handwritten. That raises questions about both the 19 May 72 and the 18 August 73 memos. And, lest we forget, bureaucrats -- not fighter jocks -- write "cya" memos.
5. Orders -- like the purported 4 May 72 order to take the flight physical - wouldn't normally have been signed by Killian. They would be signed by a senior sergeant "by order of" Killian.
If, as it appears, someone faked these papers they did a bad job of it. I can tell you that in the early to mid-1970's when I was on active duty, the active service didn't have anything fancier than the earliest models of the IBM Selectric typewriter, and many offices didn't even have those. The reserves and national guard had our cast-offs, so it's terribly unlikely they could have produced anything as fancy as these papers. (Is it just my imagination, or is Dan Rather's nose growing longer every day?)
Posted at 10:38 AM
MARK STEYN [Rich Lowry]
I was talking to a friend who told me he has read Steyn's article in the last issue (Kerry issue) several times, and laughs out loud every time. If you missed this piece, you shouldn't, as well as the other laugh out-loud stuff in there by Lucianne, Rob Long, and others.
Posted at 10:37 AM
ASTONISHING [Rich Lowry]
The Boston Globe has a front page National Guard wrap-up story today that doesn't even mention the forgery flap (Jim also noted this omission over at TKS).
Posted at 10:16 AM
E-MAIL FROM WALL STREET DAD [KJL]
worth noting, weather seems identical to Sept 11th, just a beautiful day on Wall Street. I wonder how many people remember what a fantastic day that was until... I'm a fall/spring guy, it was one of those days that make you happy you got out of bed. I'm splitting work after the open, picking up the kids, go have a family weekend. These days can't be wasted.
Posted at 09:53 AM
BUCK ROGERS [Alex Rose]
Regarding Mr. Derbyshire's plea for a pair of white bucks - though it's after Labor Day (!) - he could try the large department stores (Macy's, Bloomie's), which tend to carry large selections of traditional men's shoes throughout the year, or alternatively, Saks and Bergdorf's, for more upscale, rather trendier, models, or, if all that fails and he wishes to spend a great deal of money on a good cause, have a pair made at John Lobb's on Madison.
Another avenue would be to call up a Ye Olde-type place, where they sell items like seersucker suits and so forth, such as J.Press and Brooks Brothers.
Or you could go down South.
Posted at 09:52 AM
BIG ORANGE TAKES MANHATTAN [KJL]
DERB! DERB! I see an on-the-scene report coming.
Posted at 09:29 AM
MY RUNNING THEME [KJL]
Welcome to NRO. Get comfortable. Stay for awhile. There's lots we offer. Explore our homepage. Patronize our advertisers (Have the hat of the season yet?). Come spend a night with us.
Posted at 09:16 AM
POWS AGAINST KERRY [KJL]
Kate O'Beirne views the new Vietnam POW film.
Posted at 09:13 AM
HOLLYWOOD FOR KERRY [Tim Graham]
The Washington Times reports Kerry refuses to denounce the 527 Texans for Truth and their ads attacking the president's military record. One big funder is Hollywood writer/producer Daniel O'Keefe, whose major credit is "The Drew Carey Show." He also wrote for (sorry, Derb) "Married with Children."
Posted at 08:37 AM
G-WORD & SUDAN [KJL]
Nina Shea reports on a milestone.
Posted at 08:34 AM
THE CBS STORY DOESN'T ADD UP [KJL]
Here's Byron York this morning.
Posted at 08:24 AM
SCORE ANOTHER ONE FOR ALTERNATIVE MEDIA [KJL]
John Podhoretz on the CBS story and the blogosphere. With some Kerry Spot/Jim Geraghty kudos.
Posted at 08:21 AM
WAS THE DNC CBS' SOURCE? [Jonathan H. Adler]
That's the suggestion here.
Posted at 07:47 AM
JONAH CALLED IT [Jonathan H. Adler]
According to Powerline, last night on Nightline, Chris Lehane suggested the GOP might have been responsible for the forgeries.
Posted at 07:43 AM
SOFT BIGOTRY OF LOW EXPECTATIONS [John Derbyshire]
Peter: Sorry, I have just recalled you asked me why I object to this phrase.
It would take much to long to explain in detail, but as best I can cram my objection into a nutshell, it goes something like this: "The Soft Bigotry of Low Expectations" is the popular expression of a theory about educational performance, a full-blown theory favored by some educational psychologists. I believe that theory is not supported by any evidence; I believe, in fact, that it is supported by nothing but wishful thinking; and I don't like to see tremendous sums of taxpayer money spent on programs that are premised on a dubious theory.
Posted at 06:52 AM
BLEG--WHITE BUCKS [John Derbyshire]
Google and eBay both let me down on this one.
Where can I buy a pair of real traditional white bucks, size 10 extra wide?
Posted at 06:50 AM
ISRAELI'S LEFT-WING ENCOURAGES HAMAS [KJL]
Posted at 06:16 AM
"GOD WAS WITH ME." [KJL]
No person, nevermind child, should ever have to see what Georgy Farniyev has.
Posted at 06:11 AM
"UNLIKELY BUT POSSIBLE" [KJL]
I understand wanting people to feel safe, especially about their kids, but only if it's true, thank you. Does Tom Ridge really know it is "unlikely" that a Beslan would happen here? I dunno, considering it sounds like it's a scenario our Cabinet department tasked with protecting against such things hadn't seriously considered pre-Beslan.
Posted at 06:04 AM
ISLAM'S CHANGING? [KJL]
The New Statesman says that there is a Muslim reformation afoot.
Posted at 06:00 AM
WHATCHA CALLING BIAS? [KJL]
Malkin vs. MoDo.
Posted at 05:39 AM
HAVE YOU THOUGHT ABOUT [KJL]
spending a week from Saturday with us?
Posted at 02:19 AM
BESLAN AND RADICAL ISLAM [KJL]
Adrian Karatnycky asks what you're not supposed to ask. Three years after 9/11, we must.
Posted at 02:14 AM
ARE YOU READY FOR SOME WAFFLES? [KJL]
A few readers report this:
Funny moment from the Indianapolis Colts AT the New England Patriots tonight (in Foxboro, MA). In the fourth quarter on one drive the Colts get a good spot on third and 1 for a first down and then a questionable Pass Interference call in the end zone, but Edgerrin James fumbles at the 1-yard line on the next play, giving New England the ball with a 3 point lead and 3 minutes left. Here's the commentary:
Posted at 12:43 AM
Thursday, September 09, 2004
CHECKING CBS'S VITAL SIGNS [KJL]
Here's the Washington Post. Here's ABC. The blogosphere moved that fast. And yet more. And here's Steve Hayes.
Posted at 11:45 PM
CHENEY COMMENTS [Andy McCarthy]
I'm late weighing in on this, but I just finally saw a tape of Vice President Cheney's remarks that have caused such consternation among the Libs (e.g. ) and some tut-tutting on our side. I cannot for the life of me understand what the big deal is. I don't even see why people should be trying to make excuses -- like he was "rambling," he was "inartful," etc. What he was was right. He might not express the thought precisely the same way if he were to sit down and write prepared remarks rather than speaking off the top of his head, but what he said was both true and important.
Cheney said that if the wrong choice is made on election day -- meaning if Kerry wins -- "the danger is that we'll get hit again" (meaning like 9/11), and that we'll go back to a pre-9/11 mindset, meaning that terrorism will once again be regarded as a criminal justice issue rather than a military challenge. Isn't that exactly what we think? Bush believes in, and has governed since 9/11 in accordance with, a doctrine of pre-emption and a military-first approach to terrorism. The reason we support those initiatives is because they drastically reduce -- not eliminate, but reduce -- the chance of a successful 9/11 style strike. They result in the killing or capturing of terrorists before they can strike, and, obviously, the permanent removal of those terrorists as a future threat. Since September 11, 2001, there have been no successful terrorist attacks in the domestic U.S.
Kerry has said in his nomination acceptance speech that he is for a reactive approach to terror -- hitting back at the enemy only after we have been hit. He has said on other occasions that he regards terrorism primarily as a law enforcement and intelligence issue. This approach -- the one that was in vogue from Feb. 26, 1993, through September 11, 2001 -- has been shown to embolden terrorists and convince them that their attacks risk comparatively little consequence. It makes them more able to recruit and plan, and more likely to strike, than they would be if they thought the price of simply planning could be annihilation. Not surprisingly, when the Kerry approach, which is the pre-9/11 approach, was in place, we were subjected to repeated terrorist attacks and plots at home and abroad.
Based then on the empirical record, there is a "danger . . . that we'll get hit again" if Kerry wins that is qualitatively differnt and more immediate than the danger that will exist if Bush wins. That doesn't mean we're out of danger if Kerry loses; but it does mean we're in significantly less danger.
This doesn't mean Kerry is a bad man, that he is unpatriotic, that he doesn't care about national security, or that he would not work against terrorism. But he has a different approach and a different set of priorities which have been shown to increase the risk of terrorist attack. What is wrong with saying that? It's what the election is about.
Posted at 08:08 PM
NRO IS ON THE FUNNY PAGES [KJL]
Mallard Fillmore gives us a shout out.
Posted at 07:34 PM
FAMILY AFFAIR [KJL]
The son of Lt. Col. Jerry Killian is challenging the CBS docs.
Posted at 07:26 PM
STATEMENT FROM CBS NEWS [Byron York]
As is standard practice at CBS News, the documents in the 60 MINUTES report were thoroughly examined and their authenticity vouched for by independent experts. As importantly, 60 MINUTES also interviewed close associates of Colonel Jerry Killian. They confirm that the documents reflect his opinions and actions at the time.
Posted at 07:23 PM
SPINSANITY ON THE CASE [Rich Lowry]
I’ve been wondering about the Democrats never revising their oft-cited job loss figure to take account of the job gains that have made the net loss figure dip beneath a million. Spinsanity is on the case.
Posted at 07:21 PM
HEH [Jonathan H. Adler]
Scrappleface has the real scoop: "1972 Email Casts Doubt on Bush's Guard Service."
Posted at 06:32 PM
WAPO-ABC ON THE ISSUES [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Bush beats Kerry on the economy (4 points), Iraq (16), education (4), taxes (10), the war on terrorism (22!), the Supreme Court (10), and relations with other countries (10). He's down only 3 on health care, down 5 on helping the middle class, and down 2 on creating jobs. He's even beating Kerry (by one point) on "understands the problems of people like you." Republicans should really enjoy this moment.
Also, the number of people who are satisfied with the country's situation has pulled even with the number who are dissatisfied--it's 49-49. And by 4 points, people think Bush has done more to unite than divide the country.
A majority feels that the war in Iraq was worth fighting, that it is part of the war on terrorism, and that we are safer than before Sept. 11.
Posted at 05:49 PM
NOW THAT I LOOK AT THE DETAILS [Ramesh Ponnuru]
The fav/unfav numbers are from registered voters. Dick Cheney, by the way, gets 43-37, while John Edwards is 39-26.
Posted at 05:39 PM
SIGNING OFF [Jonah Goldberg]
Alas, I'm moving into a new extended-temporary pad this evening and the internet connection isn't set-up yet. So I will in all likelihood be MIA for the rest of the evening. I appreciate all the forgery email, but I won't be able to check in til tomorrow, so please refrain from sending "breaking" news type emails as they will doubtless be old by the time I see them in the AM. I'm feeling fairly bullish on the forgery thing btw, but only time will tell.
Posted at 05:34 PM
TWO THINGS TO NOTE [Ramesh Ponnuru]
1. Lots of stuff Bush backers will like, but note that the candidates are tied among registered voters in swing states.
2. Kerry's got a net-unfavorable rating. Only 36 percent of voters had a favorable view of him, compared to 42 percent with an unfavorable one. He was 51-32 favorable at the beginning of August--he's gone from a 19-point surplus to a 6-point deficit on the question. (The article does not make it clear whether these are registered-voter or likely-voter ratings.)
Posted at 05:32 PM
WAPO-ABC [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Yup, it's 52-43.
Posted at 05:27 PM
Wow. For all these years he didn't apologize. Sure an apology would be all principle--nothing to do with polls and the impact of the SwiftVets.
Posted at 04:50 PM
KERRY TO APOLOGIZE? [Rich Lowry]
This is from the Washington Post yesterday: “Aides say Kerry may soon apologize for some of his most heated comments during the Vietnam War protests of the early 1970s, a move that would rekindle the debate for a few more days.” It’s probably too late for a lot of vets, but if (in the unlikely event) an apology is broad enough, it at least would serve to undercut those who STILL defend Kerry’s over-heated war crimes allegations, besides just being the right thing to do.
Posted at 04:44 PM
NUTTY FUNDING UPDATE [KJL]
I'm told that the Neugebauer amendment just passed, by voice vote. A small victory for common sense.
Posted at 04:38 PM
NATIONAL GUARD AT 6 [KJL]
Byron York will be on Brit Hume's show on FNC at 6 EDT.
Posted at 04:31 PM
SO MUCH HANGS ON THAT "TH" [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader (I've gotten many like it):
We still have an IBM selectric in the office. I powered it up and typed at bit. The Letter Gothic ball has no smaller superscript "th". Interestingly, the repairman's sticker and phone number was on the machine. I called, just now. He was working on one when I spoke to him. He said positively, no ball he has ever seen has had a "th" together. He said, too, that it can't work as there are no keys on the typewriter with a "th". I suggested the 1/4 or 1/2 (which is available) could have been a substitute key if the ball had a "th" or "st", he said no. He mentioned that NASA approached him, years ago, to see about symbology (math symbols etc.) balls that could work. He couldn't help them with that.
Posted at 04:01 PM
PREDICTION! [Jonah Goldberg]
If they turn out to be forgeries, expect the Salonish types to very quickly float the idea that Karl Rove orchestrated the whole thing to make the anti-Bush side look desperate.
Posted at 03:33 PM
FREE-ROLLING CONS [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
Posted at 02:50 PM
HELPFUL SUGGESTION [Jonah Goldberg]
Getting lots of these:
Posted at 02:46 PM
MAKE YOUR OWN BUSH DOCS [ Jonah Goldberg]
Little Green Footballs did it no problem.
Posted at 02:43 PM
UPDATE [ Jonah Goldberg ]
Yep, the memos were CBS's.
Posted at 02:39 PM
FORGERIES [ Jonah Goldberg]
Lots of folks keep asking, including Andrew Sullivan, how can they be forgeries if the White House released two of them. I can think of several possible explanations. But one of them is the one floated by Josh Marshall : It's not clear that the White House wasn't simply recycling memos CBS had given them to comment on. I'm still agnostic on the final status, but I think this a great moment for bloggers either way. And I thoroughly disagree with Sullivan's wishful thinking that if the documents are real they're "devastating" to Bush.
Posted at 02:37 PM
SENATE OUTLOOK, 2 [Ramesh Ponnuru]
The new Republican senators would be replacing Murkowski, Nickles, Fitzgerald, and Campbell in the party conference. Nickles is a solid conservative, and Fitzgerald is more conservative than some conservatives give him credit for. But that would still be a step or two to the right for the conference.
Posted at 02:31 PM
DOOM AND GLOOM [John Derbyshire]
My subscription copy of THE SPECTATOR just arrived from England. It has an article by Theodore Dalrymple, with sub-heading: "Britain is sick and tired, says Theodore Dalrymple: there is no religion, no culture, and no patriotism -- and not even leisure can lighten our burden."
To this expat, that is a must-read.
The odd thing about Dalrymple is, that when you meet him in person, he is cheerful, jolly, witty, and good-natured; always laughing and telling jokes, apparently highly amused by all the horrid misfortunes he regales us with.
Posted at 02:23 PM
SENATE OUTLOOK [Ramesh Ponnuru]
I'm so over the Iowa markets; now I'm a tradesports.com man. Here's what the markets are indicating in the Senate races: Republicans pick up South Carolina (DeMint), Louisiana (Vitter), Florida (Martinez), and Georgia (Isakson); Democrats pick up Illinois (Obama) and Alaska (Knowles). Republicans gain two seats.
Posted at 02:22 PM
makes an appearance in a tape shown on al Jazeera.
Posted at 02:15 PM
16 members of the House (15 Dems and Ron Paul) voted against the following oh-so-controversial 9/11 resolution:
H. RES. 757Conyers Frank (MA) Hastings (FL) Hinchey Honda Jackson (IL) Kucinich Lee Lofgren Markey McDermott Paul Schakowsky Stark Waters Woolsey
Posted at 02:14 PM
LittleGreenFootballs is pretty confident it is.
Posted at 02:01 PM
SOCIALIZING WITH SPOUSES' WORK COLLEAGUES [John Derbyshire]
Yesterday I passed a comment on the East Asian prejudice against a wife joining her husband in after-hours socializing with work colleagues. I had never thought this through, but blogger Robert Hayes has, and offers the following justification for the prejudice.
"There is a very reasonable basis for a custom wherein spouses do not socialize with work colleagues. It is conducive to higher job performance if one can let off a little steam about one's wife with work buddies. It is conducive to happier home life if one can blow off a little steam about those idiots at work with the wife. Having wife and idiots meet could be bad; knowing that wife and idiots would meet would lead to clamming up in both places. Wife understands this; avoids colleagues; and gets a hubby who is happier and more productive. Sensible."
This sounds right to me. Nothing in my approval, however, should be taken to imply that I regard my NR collegues as idiots. Nor that Mrs. D. ever, ever gives me cause to let off steam. Perish the thought!
Posted at 01:38 PM
RE: SEC'T OF WELLNESS [Stanley Kurtz]
Having received your many nominations for Secretary of Wellness, I now have some sense of just how difficult the job of president must be. With so many well qualified candidates, the choice is next to impossible. Nonetheless, the overwhelming favorite is clear. Corner readers want Richard Simmons to be the first Secretary of Wellness. Oprah and Dr. Phil are runners up, as is Arnold, in the event that president Kerry wishes to make a bipartisan gesture. There are many honorable mentions. Among politicians, president Clinton, Howard Dean, Ted Kennedy and Dennis Kucinich received a couple of votes apiece (Kucinich mentioned because of his disappointed hopes in a Department of Peace). Mayor Bloomberg got a vote, but so did Mayor McCheese. Stuart Smalley, Shirley McLaine, and Deepak Chopra have fans. But my favorite suggestion came from Jed Babbin, who put forward the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, noting that in his case, whether he was dead or alive was irrelevant.
Posted at 01:35 PM
THE FORGERY THING [Jonah Goldberg]
It's looking, to me at least, that the forgery story is, as I suspected, too good to be true. But I really don't get the canned or sincere outrage from some liberal readers about entertaining the suggestion. The theorizing was certainly in good faith and the whole point of the exercise was to enlist the expertise of blog-readers everywhere. Why is this so scandalous or objectionable? I have no idea. It's not like I said "prove so-and-so isn't a pedophile." The theory is that "60 Minutes" had been duped. Such things have happened before you know. I still think it's possible, just not probable.
As for me saying I don't much care about the substance of the story -- i.e. Bush's behavior 30 years ago -- that happens to be the truth. I don't care that much. My conclusion has long been that Bush served enthusiastically for the first few years of his service, as Byron York has reported, and then he took a more laid back approach because the Guard had become more laid back about such things as the Vietnam war was winding-down. This doesn't make him a deserter but it does suggest that he was too unserious when he was younger. I know there are arguments on both sides, but I really honestly don't care very much. This allegation was made in 2000 and before and most people have drawn their own conclusions. Bush never touted his Vietnam era service as a reason for him to be president. John Kerry has in spades to the almost complete neglect of a 20 year Senate record. That's why Kerry's service and protesting is relevant. For all of these people who thought Clinton's behavior during Vietnam was a non-story to suddenly be scandalized by Bush's strikes me as remarkable chutzpah.
So that's why I was much more intrigued by the forgery allegation than the substance of the documents themselvs. I make no apologies for it.
Posted at 01:25 PM
RE: BRIDESHEAD [John Derbyshire]
Peter: A British commentator (if memory serves, it was Edward Pearce writing in Encounter around 1982), noting the popularity of the TV version of "Brideshead" in the USA, lamented that if Americans really went for all that Mother-Church country-house Oxford-bags snobbery, then "The Battle of Yorktown was fought in vain." That's pretty much how I feel.
Posted at 12:55 PM
FORGERIES? I DON'T THINK SO [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
Posted at 12:47 PM
RE: BUCHANAN [Jonah Goldberg]
While touting his book, Buchanan's been rehashing the same silly talking point that the GOP's been "hijacked" by neocons (ominously, if variously, defined). One of the things which bothers me the most about this formulation is that it suggests the party's rank-and-file have gone along unwittingly with what Buchanan describes as a neocon hostile takeover. Buchanan's use of this formulation, I think, stems from his need to remain populist and placating to the base of the party because he's become such a politician. "My quarrel isn't with the good people who make up the Republican Party," Buchanan seems to be saying "it's with this alien and hostile force which has taken over the GOP and Bush's brain."
The problem with this -- as I've written many times -- is that it's nonsense. That NYT poll of convention delegates, for example, found that 96% of them agreed with President Bush (and disagreed with Buchanan) that "the United States did the right thing in taking military action." How exactly is this a hijacked party?
Posted at 12:30 PM
BUSH UP 7 [ Jonah Goldberg]
In new CBS poll.
Posted at 12:20 PM
BUCHANAN'S LATEST BOOK [Ramesh Ponnuru]
I'm reviewing it for TCS. I wondered what his source was for the following passage, on pp. 53-54: "In 1996, Irving Kristol had written: 'With the end of the Cold War, what we really need is an obvious ideological and threatening enemy, one worthy of our mettle, one that can unite us in opposition.' On 9/11 opportunity had knocked. The neoconservatives had a new 'enemy. . . worthy of our mettle' . . ."
So I looked up the Irving Kristol essay in question. I think what Kristol is actually saying is that attempts to understand American foreign policy are doomed to end in frustration since that policy will never be coherent absent such a threat. But whatever Kristol meant--and whatever else he has written--we have reason to doubt that this comment was entirely serious. Here are the lines immediately following the passage Buchanan quotes: "Isn't that what the most successful movie of the year, 'Independence Day,' is telling us? Where are our aliens when we most need them?"
Posted at 12:13 PM
ARE THEY FORGERIES? [ Jonah Goldberg ]
While I have very little interest in the National Guard story, I do find the coverage very interesting -- and often infuriating. It would be very enjoyable to discover that these "smoking gun" files touted by the Globe and "60 Minutes" are in fact forgeries. Here's the best -- and only serious -- case I've seen. My gut says this is too good to be true. But All Hail The Blogosphere if it slays the "60 Minutes" giant on this one.
Also: If you have specialized expertise in fonts, printing, etc. please add your insights to the effort. If they aren't forgeries better to find out as soon as possible and if they are forgeries, well, that would just be so much fun.
Posted at 12:04 PM
DEPT. OF WELLNESS [Jonah Goldberg]
Frankly except for Kerry's Dovishness, nothing -- not judges, not tax hikes, not whatever else Kerry is for -- scares me more than a Department of Wellness. The Orwellian sound of the name alone should cause conservative and libertarian hackles to ride high. The moment such a department is created, the rent-seekers, homeopaths, psychics, fruitarians, communitarians, magneto-therapists, anger-management gurus and the entire Star Wars cantina of 12-Step New Age Handholders would march to Washington to set up shop and try to define "Wellness" in ways favorable to them and annoying to you (or at least me). You want preventative medicine? Fine. Let's innoculate more kids and have more exercise in gym class. But give Theresa Heinz (the source of this idea) the opportunity to oversee American "Wellness" and don't be surprised if the State Trooper asks you to turn your head and cough before he gives you a parking ticket. There's nothing more intrusive than a government given a mandate to do what it deems necessary "for your own good."
Posted at 11:41 AM
PREVENTATIVE HEALTH CARE [Ramesh Ponnuru]
I'm not sure what you mean, Stanley, when you say that "liberals have got it all over conservatives" on this question. Is it an article of conservative faith that preventative care is a bad thing? Or do you mean to suggest that liberals are right to say that the federal government should do more to encourage it? Or that a free-market health-care system would discourage people from getting it? (That's a common attack on health savings accounts.)
Posted at 11:22 AM
COLLEGE PAYOFFS AND AFFIRMATIVE ACTION [Roger Clegg]
Ramesh: There’s also a racial angle to this, of course. The use of racial preferences at selective schools (where, indeed, they are most heavily weighted) is frequently defended on the grounds that one must have an Ivy League diploma in order to be really successful in life. Trouble is, it turns out that (a) this is not true, and (b) admitting someone to a school where they are less qualified than everyone else may actually be bad thing for his or her career, not a good thing. For instance, last year’s book Increasing Faculty Diversity by Stephen Cole and Elinor Barber suggests that racial preferences have steered many students to schools where they end up getting lower grades that had they gone elsewhere, and this is one reason for the shortage of blacks and Latinos in academia. (Ironically, the book was funded by the liberal Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which tried to distance itself from the book’s findings.)
Posted at 11:12 AM
NO NADER IN FLORIDA [KJL]
Posted at 11:07 AM
WHAT'S THE PAYOFF FROM COLLEGE? [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Gregg Easterbrook, working from a study of post-collegiate incomes, argues that the value of going to the most selective schools is overrated; Matt Yglesias comments that having the resume that gets admissions officers at those schools interested does matter. What the discussion leaves me wondering is how much having a college diploma matters.
Easterbrook understands that you can't just compare the average wage of graduates of very selective schools to the average wage of graduates of less selective ones. You have to control for student aptitudes to figure out how much of the apparent wage premium from going to selective schools is a function of their having more academically capable students. But when it comes to the premium from going to college at all, he makes no such adjustment. ("Research does find an unmistakable advantage to getting a bachelor's degree. In 2002, according to Census Bureau figures, the mean income of college graduates was almost double that of those holding only high school diplomas.") Yet presumably part of what we think of as a reward to college diplomas is really a reward to high IQs--but those letters don't get a mention in Easterbrook's piece.
Posted at 10:27 AM
SHARON SAYS NO [KJL]
Sharon Bush, Neil's ex, says Kitty Kelley lies about stuff Kelley says Sharon Bush gave her about W. coke use.
Posted at 10:24 AM
YOU MUST CONSIDER THIS [KJL]
Posted at 10:08 AM
NOT WELL [Stanley Kurtz]
When it comes to preventative health, liberals have got it all over conservatives. This is one area in which I’m fairly “crunchy.” Having said that, John Kerry’s plan to create a “Department of Wellness,” seems to me to be going too far. If Kerry wins, however, the Department of Wellness could become a reality. In the spirit of bipartisanship, therefore, I invite suggestions on who president Kerry ought to appoint as Secretary of Wellness.
Posted at 10:03 AM
KERRY HONORABLY DISCHARGED [KJL]
from the Senate
Posted at 09:55 AM
"THE GREAT DIVIDE" [ Jonah Goldberg ]
While trying to demonstrate a split in the GOP on foreign policy, Peter Beinart writes :
Asked by the Times this week whether the United States should "try to change a dictatorship to a democracy where it can," 41 percent of GOP delegates said yes, while 48 percent said no or that it depends on circumstances.
Posted at 09:22 AM
POPERY VOTES [KJL]
Ramesh Ponnuru reviews George Marlin’s new Catholic vote book here.
Posted at 08:44 AM
MICHAEL MOORE GETS PAYNED [Tim Graham]
Posted at 07:11 AM
BEN BARNES BONANZA [Tim Graham]
Perhaps sensing that people would greet them for what they are -- partisan hacks trying to sway an election -- Dan Rather and the "60 Minutes" crew last night tried to strike a temperate tone for the temperate swing voter in their Ben Barnes story last night.
Rather hit a few notes of balance, that Bush drew some praise from commanders, and he noted in passing that Barnes is a fundraiser for John Kerry. But Rather didn't ask Barnes any questions about that -- while any Swift Boat vet, and there haven't been any of those on "60 Minutes" would get all the partisan-conspiracy questions first and perhaps last. Instead, CBS allowed Barnes to plead his case that he was just saying all these politically damaging lines about Bush so he could put "truth" on the public record.
For some real balance to CBS trying to highlight any flaw in Bush's National Guard service, see Byron York's summary. For an idea of just how incredibly one-sided "60 Minutes" has been this year, see your media memory banks here.
Posted at 07:10 AM
RE: THIS ELECTION [Tim Graham]
K-Lo, for those of us not in the hazily undecided bloc of voters, our feelings about the nastiness of the campaign can circle around how our candidate is treated. I've learned this week that some national reporters thought the Swift Boat ads were "evil." They're upset that everyone just doesn't accept Kerry as dashing war hero, especially since liberal reporters don't usually fall for dashing war heroes.
By contrast, Bush fans are bracing for whatever space-aliens-ate-my-Buick tales (like Laura-Bush-as-pot-dealer tales) that come from Kitty Kelley. We might be shocked that anyone would assume that Bush's conversion story is a fraud, that he didn't quite overcome alcoholism and whatever "young and irresponsible" drug use lurks in his young adult life.
But if you're talking history, this year is not unprecedented in its negativity, even if it feels that way. I suspect people have already forgotten the sleazy moments of 2000, both before and after the votes were cast.
Posted at 07:08 AM
DA W. VIDEO [KJL]
A lot of people have asked me if I know where they can find the Bush video that introduced him at the convention: It's on his website now.
Posted at 12:03 AM
Wednesday, September 08, 2004
SLIVER OF GOOD NEWS? [KJL]
One of the world's foremost experts on abortion law tells me about today's ruling: "There's a tiny sliver of good news in his ruling -- he doesn't decide whether the statute might be constitutional or not post-viability, which is a pyrrhic victory."
Posted at 11:40 PM
WELL OF COURSE [KJL]
I buy the slippery slope on all this.
Posted at 11:18 PM
THIS ELECTION [KJL]
I am not the cynical-about-politics type. But a smart guy just said this to me and it certainly feels right about now:
Resolved: this is the worst, most disgusting political campaign in modern history. W will win, I think, but how many good people will be scared away from politics. Why would anyone put his/her family through this?
Posted at 11:08 PM
MIKE WEIGHS IN ON WAUGH [Peter Robinson]
This marvelous piece of criticism just in from Mike Potemra, NR's books editor. Mike is, as he always is, on to something:
I think Brideshead Revisited is a lovely book. It is lacking, perhaps, in realism, and occasionally too complacently didactic in its religious and political opinionizing; but it is nonetheless a feat of great imaginative integrity. Waugh in that book managed to create an alternative world that has fired the imaginations of many thousands of people.
Posted at 11:03 PM
A POX UPON MY HOUSE [Peter Robinson]
Stomach pains, a pounding headache, and a low-grade fever sent me from the office to my bed this afternoon, and my wife now informs me that one of the children's friends, with whom our oldest daughter spent much of the weekend, is down with chicken pox. Can a middle-aged man who had chicken pox when he was a child come down with the dreaded pox a second time? (Is there a doctor in the house?)
In any event, She Who Must Be Obeyed, never particularly sympathetic when her husband falls ill (with five children to oversee, she simply lacks the strength) has told me to stay away from the kids, placing me under quarantine in my own home.
Clear liquids, Tylenol...and zero fun.
Posted at 11:02 PM
CHENEY [Rick Brookhiser]
I thought Cheney's comment was foolish. You should argue that you will do a better job than your opponent in fighting terror (if not, why run?). But a better job can only mean putting up the best defense possible, and addressing the root causes--i.e., toppling or hogtying dictatorships. This will thwart many planned attacks, and weaken the enemy generally. But it is never possible to prevent all attacks. We are all marked men and women, and will be for the rest of our lives. We need manly stoicism, not bluster.
Posted at 09:10 PM
MO' WAUGH [Rick Brookhiser]
The prose of Brideshead, first version (the only one I've seen) is not the problem. Artists are not always their own best critics. (Three words: New York edition.) I bet the love affair with Julia is still bad in the pared down version.
Posted at 07:15 PM
RE: ALAN KEYES [Rod Dreher]
The news from Illinois just gets more and more depressing, doesn't it Kathryn? I'm beginning to think Alan Keyes (R-Saturn) is a Democratic plant. Depressingly enough, I've been involved in some heated debates with fellow pro-life Catholic conservatives regarding the Keyes candidacy. Some of them consider it treason to criticize Keyes, because he's pro-life. Such tunnel vision! If Nicolae Ceaucescu, the communist dictator who banned abortion in Romania, came back to life and declared for US Senate, you'd have these lemmings cheering him on because HEY, he's pro-life!
Posted at 07:01 PM
THE AMAZING RED SOX [Rich Lowry]
Man, they just keep on coming. I remember following the 1978 race when I was 10, and it is still one of the great sports thrills I've ever had. Young Red Sox fans, in particular, will remember this forever if they pull this thing out (although the wild card dilutes the race somewhat). Of course I'm rooting that they don't...
Posted at 06:40 PM
O'BEIRNE BASH [John Derbyshire]
In response to queries: No, 'Er Indoors will not be attending the O'Beirne bash. There is some East Asian thing I have never got to the bottom of, against women socializing with hubby's work colleagues. (It's even more marked among the Japanese, I'm told.) Mrs. Derb will, however, be accompanying me on the November cruise.
Posted at 05:29 PM
ABOUT THE $200 BILLION [John Hillen]
A little less actually Peter – and it should be remembered that this war cost is spread out over several years – so it’s really just over 1 % of an annual GDP. Overall, defense spending has been steadily declining vs. GDP since the mid-80’s.
Economic historian Niall Ferguson, in his book Colossus: The Price of America’s Empire, makes a powerful case for the relatively inexpensive cost of projecting American power in many ways in order to make us, our allies, and the global systems we depend on more secure.
Posted at 05:22 PM
'64 AND '04 [John Hillen]
"This statement by the vice president of the United States was intended to divide us," Edwards said. "It was calculated to divide us on an issue of safety and security for the American people. It's wrong and it's un-American."
Wonder if anyone ever said that about the famous little girl/nuclear war ad run against Goldwater in the ’64 election?
In this case, of course, Israeli and Spanish experiences among others give us an empirical base for validating Cheney’s speculation.
Posted at 05:21 PM
SPEAKING GIGS [Jonah Goldberg]
I'm going to be on the road in October. Here are some confirmed events:
Details and whatnot to come.
Posted at 05:04 PM
KATE! KATE! KATE! [Jonah Goldberg]
I am very psyched about the O'Beirne-O'Palooza. Kate throws a great party. The only downside is that you can't get too festive -- i.e. break furniture, bring sheep etc -- because the military taught Mr. O'Beirne like 37 ways to kill a man without leaving a mark. But, with that in mind, it's just a great time. And -- fyi -- if you show up, you might just meet my lovely bride as well as L.T. Goldberg, AKA Goldberg: The Next Generation.
Posted at 04:55 PM
RE: SCHEDULING CONFLICT [KJL]
The Auburn-Alabama game does not conflict with the NRO evening on Sept. 18.
Posted at 04:41 PM
SCHEDULING CONFLICT [John Derbyshire]
A reader down in the Gnat Belt: "Just read through yet another of those plugs for the NR cruise at The Corner, and I believe I know beyond a shadow of a doubt why it hadn't sold out. Don't these people understand that their little boat ride conflicts with the Auburn-Alabama game? Does anyone actually expect a self-respecting rational being to get on a boat bound for God-knows-where without even the guarantee of ESPN for that high holy day? This doesn't even touch on those of us with actual tickets to the game, of course--sheer blasphemy to suggest that we would miss it for a mere nautical scamper. What kind of schedule checkers do you people employ up there, anyway?"
Jack, who's responsible for this foul-up? Heads must roll.
Posted at 04:39 PM
SCHEDULING CONFLICT [John Derbyshire]
A reader down in the Gnat Belt: "Just read through yet another of those plugs for the NR cruise at The Corner, and I believe I know beyond a shadow of a doubt why it hadn't sold out. Don't these people understand that their little boat ride conflicts with the Auburn-Alabama game? Does anyone actually expect a self-respecting rational being to get on a boat bound for God-knows-where without even the guarantee of ESPN for that high holy day? This doesn't even touch on those of us with actual tickets to the game, of course--sheer blasphemy to suggest that we would miss it for a mere nautical scamper. What kind of schedule checkers do you people employ up there, anyway?"
Jack, who's responsible for this foul-up? Heads must roll.
Posted at 04:39 PM
RE: WAUGH [John Derbyshire]
Readers who would like to get some flavor of Waugh the man should listen to these clips from the 1960 BBC-TV interview with John Freeman (who, incredible as it may seem listening to him now, was considered in his time to be a ferociously cruel and ruthlessly intrusive interviewer).
JF: Have you ever brooded on what appears to you to be unjust or adverse criticism?
EW: I'm afraid if someone praises me, I think: "What an arse." And if they abuse me, I think: "What an arse."
JF: And if they say nothing about you at all and take no notice of you?
EW: That's the best I can hope for.
JF: You like that when it happens, do you?
JF: Why are you appearing on this program?
EW: Poverty. ... No honest man has been able to save money in the last 20 years.
Posted at 04:34 PM
RE: $200 BILLION [Peter Robinson]
As best I can make it out, even the highest estimates put the costs of the war in Iraq at only about three percent of GDP. The costs of the Second World War? Fifty-five percent of GDP.
Posted at 04:32 PM
DOING THE WRONG THING [Jonah Goldberg]
Here's what I don't get. Every liberal pundit and Democratic consultant in the Known Universe has said Kerry must offer a sharp contrast with Bush on the war. Since Kerry's been all over the place -- for, against, against-but-for and for-but-against -- the Dems aren't offering a clear alternative to Bush. But if Kerry's position is really murky gray-on-gray then how can Dems defend telling Kerry to take a position he doesn't hold?
Let's say Kerry's position on Iraq is something like, "it was a tough call, I would have worked the UN and allies more, but at the end of the day it was probably worth doing knowing what we knew then even if it was poorly implented and the post-hoc revelations about intelligence failures are a bipartisan scandal which calls Bush's judgement into doubt." I disagree with that, but that's a perfectly honorable position. Moreover, that's the position Kerry's more or less taken most days of the week since he got the nomination. Now: How do you defend saying that Kerry must declare the war a total disaster and a completely bone-headed decision? Isn't that basically saying the Democratic nominee needs to lie in order to win?
Worse, how can Kerry defend himself for obviously agreeing to follow that advice? This is more than a flip-flop. It's simply a lie for the purpose of seeming resolute when that is the last thing you are.
Posted at 04:30 PM
KITTY KELLEY [Jonah Goldberg]
I see from Drudge that the Today Show is running interviews with Kitty Kelley Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. I wonder what happened to Thursday and Friday. I guess the producers thought that might be overkill.
Posted at 04:20 PM
EVELYN WAUGH'S WASTE PAPER BASKET... [John Derbyshire]
"... is among the many very silly holdings of the archives at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center." [A reader tells me.] "Other 'treasures' include the green dress Miss Scarlett makes from the curtains near the end of 'Gone With the Wind' and the specs and letter-openers of various literati. Mostly junk dating from the bad old days when Texans were still insecure about 'not having culture.'
"When I was at UT we found one good use for the HRHRC. The building itself offers a featureless, windowless, white facade that faces that balcony of the apartment I used to rent across the street, and it makes a perfect screen for late-night, alfresco, 50-foot-high showings of adult-oriented films. Watching the cars swerve down Guadalupe as a gigantic vagina loomed over the collegiate architecture seemed the very pinnacle of humor when I was 19. The management of the building was less amused than I was."
Interesting to imagine the insurance report filed after one of those cars swerved into another. "I was proceeding south on Guadelupe when suddenly..."
Posted at 04:18 PM
DOING THE RIGHT THING [Rich Lowry]
Its power is often underestimated in our politics. But it can make a big difference. Imagine if Kerry had voted what was almost surely his conscience on Iraq (thus doing the right thing in his own mind), and opposed authorizing the war. He would have been stronger during the primaries and stronger now that he seems to be making the calculation that opposing the war four-square (more or less, or as four-square as he ever gets) is the soundest play for him.
Posted at 04:17 PM
RE: AUSTEN NIETZSCHE [John Derbyshire]
"Never explain a joke" is one of the ground rules of life, I have always believed. However, four different readers have now e-mailed in to say they didn't get the first of my Austen-Nietzsche quips: "Goest thou to woman? Do not forget thy barouche-landau." It didn't help that I messed up the spelling, but here's an explanation.
One of the very few things we were taught about Nietzsche in my youth (I mean, unless you were majoring in 19th century German philosophy) was that he said: "Goest thou to woman? Do not forget thy whip!" Perhaps that was just a peculiarity of English schooling (no further comment); or perhaps it's dropped out of the curriculum. It's in N's book ALSO SPRACH ZARATHUSTRA (Thus spake Zoroaster), and in German reads: "Du gehst zu Frauen? Vergiss die Peitsche nicht!"
A barouche-landau was a type of gentleman's carriage in the early 19th century. I can't find a picture, but here's a description.
Well, there's a barouche-landau in Jane Austen's novel EMMA. There now. That's it.
Posted at 04:15 PM
HELP--CAMPUS HEROES, CAMPUS OUTRAGES [Rich Lowry]
For an upcoming education issue of NR, we want to write about some of the lowlights and highlights from campuses around the country. Would love to hear your suggestions about what should be featured as the top PC outrages and top acts of orthodoxy-defying heroism at schools lately. Please don't email me, but my colleague Rachel Friedman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted at 04:06 PM
O'REILLY [Rich Lowry]
I significantly oversold that John O'Neill interview on O'Reilly yesterday (it most definitely was not the full hour). But O'Neill did quite well. Every time one of these Swift Boat guys is on TV you expect to see wild-eyed raving, given the media depiction of them, but just about every one them comes across as calm, factual, and inherently credible.
Posted at 03:58 PM
KERRY CAPTIVE OF HIS PAST... [Kate O'Beirne]
and will take more incoming fire from Vietnam veterans, this time 17 POWs whose accounts of the effects of his betrayal are depicted in a new documentary, Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal. The former POWs spent between 5 and 8 years in captivity and include two Medal of Honor winners. Each one has been awarded at least one silver star. The 45-minute documentary will be shown tomorrow morning in Washington, following a press conference with former Senate Majority Bob Dole and some of the former POWs. Clips from the documentary are available on the documentary's website, stolenhonor.com.
Posted at 03:24 PM
RE: WAUGH AND ME [Peter Robinson ]
Rick Brookhiser, Terry Teachout, and now Derb—all lined up against me? I’d cover my retreat by asserting de gustibus non est disputandem, but I was the one who started the dispute in the first place.
I don’t know. Brideshead’s Charles Ryder strikes me as one of the really indelible character/narrators, right up there with Gatsby’s Nick Carroway. And the book is simply filled with characters who are, literally, unforgettable—it’s been years since I reread Brideshead, but they all come right to mind: Charles, Sebastian, Bridey, Marchmain, Julia, Cordelia, Mr. Samgrass. (By contrast, I’m unable to recall the name of a single character in the Sword of Honour trilogy.)
Oh, well. I now lay down Brideshead Revisited, and walk softly away, backwards, hoping no one will notice.
P.S. for Derb: Yes indeed, Waugh’s letters and diaries are superb—vivid, cutting, thoroughly alive. While studying in England a couple of decades ago, I happened to pay a call on Malcolm Muggeridge the very week (as I recall) when Waugh’s diaries were published. Muggeridge was thrilled with them. Why? As Muggeridge himself delightedly explained, “Waugh called me a prize s**t.”
Posted at 03:18 PM
KENNEDY HOME MOVIE [Rod Dreher]
Documentary filmmaker Rory Kennedy's "Indian Point: Imagining the Imaginable" is getting some publicity in advance of its premiere on HBO tomorrow. It has to do with the vulnerability to terrorists of the Indian Point nuclear power plant on the Hudson just north of New York City. Entergy, the company that owns Indian Point, feels sucker-punched by the film. According to the company, representatives of Ms. Kennedy's production company never told Entergy in initial interviews that the film would have any connection to the environmental group Riverkeeper, nor its director Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. -- the brother of the filmmaker. An Entergy representative tells me that the company confronted Ms. Kennedy about the fact that she didn't disclose her close personal relationship with Riverkeeper in their negotiations, she told the company that her brother wouldn't be involved in reviewing or promoting the documentary. Well: a screening and reception scheduled for Washington tonight invites guests "to join Rory Kennedy and RFK, Jr." for the party. Sounds like Entergy made the right decision not to participate in the making of this film.
Posted at 02:57 PM
SILLY JOHN ROBERTS [Tim Graham]
Here's one way to know a reporter's really in the tank for a campaign. They assemble an entire story to make the cast that John Kerry's not a flip-flopper. Maybe tomorrow he'll do a story on how rain doesn't really come from clouds.
Posted at 02:36 PM
SPYING ON YOUR FRIENDS--AND INSIDE VIEW [John Derbyshire]
A reader takes issue with my Japanese correspondent: "It was a long time ago (72-75) but having served with the 500th MI Group in Japan I know most certainly that the Japanese did a fair amount of spying, especially on North Korea. (As you probably know there is a large Korean population in Japan some of whom are underworld types - the police take an active interest in them both for domestic and foreign purposes.)
"Years after I served in Japan, I met a Japanese police officer who was then serving as a security officer at the Japanese Embassy and who had known me in Japan. I was then a police officer researching the Japanese approach to drunk driving. I let slip my military connection. He said he had always suspected I was military but was never sure. We joked about spying on each other. Young and naive as I was I knew that Japan and the US cooperate out of mutual interest not out of love. We worked well with the Japanese but neither side doubted where their loyalty lay."
Posted at 02:33 PM
SPYING ON YOUR FRIENDS [John Derbyshire]
A reader in Toronto: "Mr Derbyshire---I am a Canadian and I dimly remember Canada getting caught spying on Japan a few years ago. I was dissappointed that we got caught and confused as to why we would spy on Japan. The incident was in the newspapers for a couple of days, we apologized and it was quickly forgotten. The situation may have turned out differently if significant portions of the Japanese population operated under the working theory that there was a conspiracy of Canadians to subvert the foreign policy of Japan, but stories like that sound a bit far-fetched."
I wouldn't be too sure, Sir. Those Chretienists will stop at nothing to further their Greater Canada agenda.
Posted at 02:31 PM
NO FRIENDS, ONLY INTERESTS [John Derbyshire]
Yes, Pal, of course. Thanks to many.
AUTHOR: Henry John Temple, 3d Viscount Palmerston (1784-1865)
QUOTATION: We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow.
ATTRIBUTION: LORD PALMERSTON, remarks in the House of Commons defending his foreign policy, March 1, 1848.-Hansard's Parliamentary Debates, 3d series, vol. 97, col. 122.
Posted at 02:28 PM
NO WONDER THEY HATE US [Denis Boyles]
In Germany, one of John Kerry's trusted allies in his plan to pull back in Iraq, recent polls have shown that most Germans have happily swallowed Gerhard Schroeder's anti-American line. Not long ago, a poll revealed that a significant majority of Germans think Americans are "bloodthirsty." To us, anti-Americanism seems so unlikely in a place like Germany, especially after our successful efforts to reunify the country. But a new poll shows than 25 percent of west Germans want the wall back, while a third of east Germans say they're no better off now than they were under communism. At least now we know why they don't like us.
Posted at 02:27 PM
WAIT UNTIL MARK KRIKORIAN SEES THIS! [Michael Graham]
A University of Maryland group has conducted an international poll of 34, 300 adults on the Bush/Kerry election. Not surprisingly, Kerry wins big. It is interesting to note, however that the three countries where Bush did the worst were France, Germany and...Mexico.
After three years of sucking up to the Mexican government and refusing to get serious about enforcing immigration law, President Bush is less popular in Mexico than he is in China.
Karl Rove, can we please stop the shamelessly pandering now?
Posted at 02:25 PM
THE KERRY-BUNDY CONNECTION [John Derbyshire]
"Derb---Does the way Kerry clings to his four months in Vietnam and his medals remind you of Al Bundy's obsession with playing football at Polk High and scoring four touchdowns? Just wanted to be the only person ever to compare John Kerry and Al Bundy."
Now it's been pointed out to me, I see a lot of parallels. I doubt, for example, that Teresa Heinz-Kerry is any better acquainted with the workings of a kitchen range than Peg Bundy was...
Posted at 02:24 PM
FOR DERB, RE: I FORGOT WHO SAID [John Fonte]
It was Palmerston (19th century British statesman) who said nations have only permanent interests, not permanent friends. I think the reference was specifically to Britain, as in "Britain has etc."
Posted at 02:23 PM
“$200 BILLION” [Rich Lowry]
Just read Kerry's Iraq speech. It's pretty contemptible. There are plenty of legitimate criticisms to be made of Bush's Iraq policy, but apparently the only one that really counts in Kerry's mind is that its costing $200 billion. He repeats that figure over and over again. It is scandalous that it is costing so much because all that money would be better spent here at home, on after-schools programs for kids, on the COPS program, etc. This is a speech of a man who can't be taken seriously on national security.
Posted at 02:00 PM
TREAT YOURSELF [KJL]
On Sat., Sept 18, NRO is having a civilized, up-scale, intimate party (this will be like no other NRO gathering). NRO writers and some of your favorite NRO writers: John Derbyshire, David Frum, Jonah Goldberg, Rich Lowry, Cliff May, Kate O’Beirne, Mac Owens, Ramesh Ponnuru, Byron York, and more. Details here. Act now, it's coming up and we won't be taking reservations forever. It will be worth your while.
Posted at 01:56 PM
HORNS ON THE PATRIARCH: THE FINAL WORD [Peter Robinson ]
When the week before last I asked for explanations of the horns on Michelangelo’s Moses (for which, click here, one reader of this happy Corner made an especially good suggestion: Ask Roger Kimball. Roger is an editor of The New Criterion and author of the marvelous new book, The Rape of the Masters: How Political Correctness Sabotages Art. Here’s Roger’s reply:
I have not pondered the question much, but I am skeptical of the "cornu" interpretation: I suspect that the horns represent not Michelangelo's interpretation of a passage from Exodus but rather his effort to provide a visual and emotional correlative for the kind of severe religious sublimity that Moses embodied. A quality that is often discerned in Michelangelo's work is terribilità: a term that is hard to define but that embraces the sublime….What we see in Moses here--Moses the law-giver, Moses the chap who has just had an awful (in the old sense) encounter with God--is the results of an artist's effort to represent visually something that exceeds the boundaries of the representable: the horns are a sort of objective correlative of that overwhelming moral awesomeness: forbidding, grotesque, yet commanding. That, anyhow, is how it appears to me at first blush. (The proper question here, I suspect, is not "What does it mean?" but "How does it feel?" That is, the issue…is less one of symbols and semantics than one of aesthetic force and religious passion.)Herewith, at last, a completely satisfying explanation of what Michelangelo was attempting. The convention of portraying Moses with horns may very well have arisen because of a mistranslation of one or two terms of Hebrew into Latin. But Michelangelo uses it not out of confusion or ignorance but for the high purposes of his art.
In a single paragraph, an entire course in art appreciation. With thanks to Roger--and to the reader who suggested I ask him.
Posted at 01:22 PM
EVERYTHING YOU EVER REALLY NEEDED TO KNOW YOU LEARNED IN THE FOOTNOTES [KJL]
From today's partial-birth-abortion decision: "I do not use the term 'abortionist' pejoratively. So long as abortion is legal, doctors who perform abortions and who properly concentrate on the health of their female patients will be treated in this court with the same high degree of respect as fetal and maternal specialists who do not perform abortions and who properly divide their loyalties between the health of the fetus and the health of its mother."
Posted at 12:39 PM
RE: IN FAIRNESS TO CASEY [Jack Fowler]
I do not agree with the defense of the partial-birth decision and of the judge (good man though he surely is), with the strong pro-life defense of “precedent,” (in our history, the great enemy of slaves, minorities, and the unborn), with the refusal to fight fire with fire, with the consuming fear that an “activist” ruling benefiting our side be issued (better that the Apocalypse come than that happen!), with the naive political assessment (I’ve heard from an assortment of folks) that Judge Casey’s decision will somehow force Chuck Schumer et al. to deep-six their campaign against allowing practicing Catholics who hold to Church teaching on the bench (“See Senator, you can be assured that they will uphold Roe – just look at Judge Casey! There’s nothing to worry about!”), and with the assumption that if we can only get “our” guy or gal on the bench (Souter, Kennedy, O’Connor!!!) that all will be well. But heck, I can barely spell Fedarlest Societiy, so what do I know. Still, I’ll bow to the points made by all my good pro-life friends and colleagues, and only ask them to take the obvious next step: urge the President, if reelected, to appoint Judge Casey to the U.S. Supreme Court. He’s confirmable, no? – surely even the leftiest of senators will have a problem fighting the nomination of this Catholic, Democrat, Clinton-appointed, handicapped jurist. And he’ll vote our way, no? – I mean, everyone just knows with every fiber of their being that if he was on the High Court (as opposed to a lowly District Court) and the partial-birth case was before him that Judge Casey would have voted for the babies. If the problem is the Supreme Court, surely Casey, if made a member, will solve it. I’m pro this choice!
Posted at 12:25 PM
ZELLICIOUS [Jonah Goldberg]
From John in Davis, CA:
I had lunch with three Democrats yesterday (not Bush haters but registered Dems and they voted for Gore). Every one of them said they were voting for Bush. One used the 'don't change horses midstream' line, another hated Kerry's abuse of his Vietnam record and the third pointed to Zell's speech as the tide turner for him. I live in Northern California where the Dean bumper stickers still outnumber the Kerry/Edwards ones (saw one today that said Bush=Torture) and I had no trouble finding Bush Democrats. Anecdotal? Yes. Does it mean anything? Probably not. Is this another attempt to get a mention in The Corner...? Of course.
Posted at 12:19 PM
CLINTON IN THE HOSPITAL [Mark R. Levin]
As someone who has had bypass surgery, with complications, I find the reporting on this to be absurd. It seems at every turn, someone "close to the former president" is "leaking" information to the media about his condition. "He's breathing on his own." "He's talking." "He's in good spirits." What next? Is he using a bed pan? The fact is he feels like crap about now, he'll be up on his feet in about 3-4 weeks, and he'll be just fine.
Posted at 11:58 AM
ARE YOU A COLLEGE STUDENT IN NYC [KJL]
Conservative. Reared on WFB? Would love to feed Cosmo during the fall semester? E-mail me with explaining why you would like to intern at NRO this fall and what qualifies you to do so. Also, what times you'd be available. Include anything that you'd like us to know about you. Please make sure "internship" is the subject line.
Posted at 11:52 AM
TRAITOR DERB [John Derbyshire]
If you want to see the word "traitor" flung about with gay abandon, take a ride on the Paleocon side: "Isn't there something on the citizenship application form about approving of treason? It's amazing that they let Derbyshire, an immigrant from Britain, into the country, let alone making him a citizen."
To the best of my recollection -- I don't have my citizenship application to hand -- there actually isn't. Furthermore, to say that I assume that all nations, including friendly ones, spy against the US is not the same thing as saying I "approve" of it. I regard it as a sort of natural phenomenon, like the weather, that we ought to protect ourselves against as best we can -- I own several umbrellas -- but is not really in a zone where "approval" or "disapproval" operate.
The moral status of espionage is an interesting topic, which I will leave to be commented on by colleagues with a better religious or philosophical education than I had; I just take it as a regrettable fact about the world, and reserve the right to laugh out loud when I read of someone being shocked, shocked, to learn that it goes on, even between friendly nations. ("Nations don't have friends, they have interests"--forget who said it.)
Incidentally, on the topic of spying by friendly countries, an e-acquaintance who lives in Japan & knows the place well tells me:
"Japan doesn't spy or does very little spying for the simple reason that there is no government agency charged with that function.
"Japanese associate spying with war and in their current pacifist condition spying is politically incorrect.
"Having said that, I'm sure the Ministry of Foreign Affairs does its share of informal information gathering, which the Japanese are very good at, because it is a necessity domestically as well."
Posted at 11:43 AM
CLINTON'S HEART SURGERY [Jonah Goldberg]
I'm no fan, but I'm glad he came through ok.
But here's what I don't get. The president of the United States is supposed to be among the most medically supervised people in the world. How does he get taken by surprise by 90% blockage in up to four arteries? I mean, from what I understand fifty percent or even thirty pecent blockage is serious enough to take active measures. But somehow, no one knew this medical condition was coming down the pike. Did he just sprout all of this blockage in the last three years? How could the White House docs not know this condition existed?
Posted at 11:34 AM
A SOUTH DAKOTAN "SNOB" [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
As a South Dakotan, it saddens me to agree that Pierre is such a bleak town. With the Missouri River dividing the state it becomes very obvious that East River and West River South Dakota are two very separate places and Pierre, though on the east side, is a very West River kind of place. It is a prairie outpost and little more. It is always 10 degrees hotter in the summer and 20 degrees colder in the winter than the rest of the state. Kind of God's little joke. Did you venture into Fort Pierre? Oh, my. You mention the hotel and the "bad" neighborhood surrounding the capital building which is, itself, quite nice, but you don't mention the large number of strip clubs or the scantily dressed skanky looking women with no teeth walking the streets. I'm sure that being a family kind of guy, you politely didn't notice. A former Congressman in South Dakota, who was briefly the Marlboro Man, actually rode a horse into a Pierre bar. No one thought much of it. Just our own little bit of Americana. And yet, I would rather have Pierre represent my state than the horribly up-town wannabe Minneapolis, Sioux Falls.
Posted at 11:22 AM
WRONG WAR [Jonah Goldberg]
Email from Pops:
Why can't someone say that it's the wrong war at the wrong time in the right place? Or the wrong war at the right time in the wrong place? Just to kill the cliche! The bad consequences would be just the same.
Posted at 11:19 AM
RE: PIERRE, SOUTH DAKOTA [Jonah Goldberg]
Getting lots of grief about the a whole Pierre thing. I have no quarrel with those who say there's more to the town than met my eye. Yes, I am sure there's lots of great fishing, pheasant hunting etc there (many of my in-laws come down from Alaska to shoot the pretty birds in South Dakota). Yes, I am sure that judging by the standards of my citified expectations is unfair etc.
But I'm sorry I don't buy this "you're a snob" nonsense. Yes, I suppose I am a snob in many respects, though it's not the word I would choose. But, look, just because I'm from the city/East Coast does not mean I can't tell when a burgh is rundown or not. Like so many once-thriving small towns and small cities in this country, Pierre looks like it's seen better days. The downtown stores look like Wal-Mart et al have inflicted serious damage. The video-poker casinos are everywhere. How is it snobbery on my part to point these things out? Is it un-snobbish to say "I like the way the neon casino signs light up the night sky"? Would you prefer condescension? "Oh, the Best Western is lovely-- by South Dakota standards I'm sure."
On the subject of the Pierre Best Western, by the way, I should say that I suspect they dump the dog owners in the D cellblock where they put us -- right by the railroad tracks. So there might be much nicer bits to the hotel.
Anyway, I've been to plenty of places that are very un-East Coast city-slicker that I like very much. In fact, I'm a big fan of Fairbanks, Alaska where I've spent quite a bit of time and which is geographically and every other way about as far from the Upper West Side as you can get. I agree with Derb's emailer that you need to look beyond the "downtown" facades to get a real sense of the what the community is like and about. But spare me the charges of snobbery when I accurately describe the facades that I saw.
Posted at 11:11 AM
GIVIN' 'EM ZELL [Jonah Goldberg]
For the record, I think a week out it's clear the speech was a big success and very effective in doing what it needed to do. When the talking point of the Democrats is to call a popular Southern Democrat the Darth Vader of the Party, you know the speech hit center-mass. The gamble paid off. That does not mean it was not a gamble, as the attempts of the media to Buchananify it have demonstrated.
Posted at 10:34 AM
BROKEN RECORD [KJL]
This partial-birth-abortion decision reminds us WHY THIS ELECTION IS SO DARN IMPORTANT.
The RNC should have distributed judge flash cards at the convention.
Posted at 10:32 AM
IN FAIRNESS TO CASEY [KJL]
The National Catholic Register's editorial on Judge Richard Casey, and his partial-birth decision of late August. The gist: Blame the Supreme Court. You'll recall that was Shannen Coffin's read. And, with this new, really long, opinion in from Nebraska, I refer you back to Coffin's piece on the San Fran case, too.
Posted at 10:29 AM
MORE BAD NEWS [KJL]
Partial-birth-abortion ban is a no-go, says Nebraska court. 0-3.
Like with Beslan (I have yet to be able to read a complete, detailed newstory on it), I've completely lost my ability to get fully outraged by courts prohibiting Americans' rights to ban infanticide.
Posted at 10:23 AM
AD IDEA [Jonah Goldberg]
Maybe the GOP should come up with a cloning commercial in which John Kerrys get spun out like in the (Oscar deprived) Multiplicity. Each Kerry who comes out of the machine has a different position. The tag line could be, "When you vote for John Kerry, you don't have to settle for just one." Or something like that.
Posted at 10:08 AM
WORK WITH ME [Jonah Goldberg]
John Kerry (at least one of them) says that the war on Iraq is not part of the war on terror. He also said that the 1,000th American died in Iraq in the war against terror. How does that work? Is the war in Iraq the war against terror or is it not? Are the soldiers who are there fighting the "wrong war, in the wrong place, at the wrong time" suddenly become martyrs to the war on terror when they die there? I'd better ask another John Kerry to explain.
Posted at 10:06 AM
GO USA HOCKEY [Jonathan H. Adler]
The U.S. World Cup hockey team beat the Russians yesterday to advance to the semi-finals. The next game will be Friday, against either Finland or the Czech Republic. With an NHL strike looming, Hockey fans should watch this stuff -- as it may be the last professional hockey we see for a while.
Posted at 09:59 AM
GORE'S MISTAKES [Jonathan H. Adler]
Al Gore's made plenty of mistakes, he just can't remember what they were. Well, Al, here's a recent one.
Posted at 09:59 AM
BESLAN [John Derbyshire]
In the midst of our horror at what happened in Beslan, let's not forget that this isn't the first time Islamic terrorists -- Whoops! Sorry! I mean "rebel insurgents" -- have invaded a school and deliberately murdered little children. From the "Letters" section of America's Newspaper of Record today:
"On May 15, 1974, Yasser Arafat's terrorists took over a school in the northern Israel town of Maalot. They murdered 22 children and wounded 60 before they were killed by Israeli commandos. An American doctor who was vacationing in Israel treated many of the survivors. He reported that the Arab gunmen aimed at the faces and heads of the children.
"The objective of Islamist terrorists is to inflict the most sadistic death possible on the victims. If the Republicans and Democrats in Washington don't get serious about securing our borders and controlling immigration, we can expect to see a repeat of the school takeovers by terrorists in Russia and Israel right here in the United States.
"We can't let that happen."
Posted at 09:59 AM
ZOGBY SAYS, "WHAT 11 POINTS?" [Rod Dreher]
Pollster John Zogby criticizes the methodology of the Time and Newsweek polls, and says his own polling has Bush up only by two points.
Posted at 09:57 AM
RESPONDING TO THE ASSAULT [Jonathan H. Adler]
Mr. Minuteman offers the Bush campaign advice on how to respond to the latest string of "Bush AWOL" stories and the Kitty Kelley book. I've never thought what happened 30 years ago to be all that relevant to the choice for President -- whether it's Bush's Guard service or Kerry's adventures during and after Vietnam -- but if it's going to be open season, isn't it about time Kerry released all his military records? (And then there's Teresa's tax returns . . . . )
Posted at 08:34 AM
KURTZ ON KITTY [Tim Graham]
In today's Washington Post, Howard Kurtz nails down how many media outlets are going to offer publicity for trash-for-cash Kitty Kelley, starting with three days of interviews on Today starting Monday. Know that in April of 1991, the same program gave Kelley three days to trash the Reagans -- interviewed softly by the delightfully objective Bryant Gumbel. Also note that "Today" has so far failed to interview any member of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, who somehow are placed lower on the reliability food chain than the woman who claimed Nancy Reagan and Frank Sinatra were having an affair in the White House.
Mark my words: the coming Kitty Kelley media boomlet is another indelible example of the liberal media's lack of reverence for fact-checking and their enthusiasm for unproven smears when the target is Republican. This is where the liberal media earns the label.
Posted at 08:33 AM
OH, YEAH? [Michael Graham]
Has anyone else noticed how incredibly lame the Kerry/Edwards team are at rebuttal? Drudge has the official Kerry response to the shotgun flap yesterday, and it's painful to read. The issue is that Kerry was brandishing a semi-automatic shotgun he was given by a supporter, a model that Kerry himself tried to outlaw through federal legislation.
The Kerry campaign response? "The facts are clear. John Kerry opposes banning this gun and always will. John Kerry was proud to receive this union-made gun at the United Mine Workers Labor Day picnic in Racine, West Virginia.
"The Republican Party and George Bush's campaign will stop at nothing to mislead voters about John Kerry's record."
Excuse me? Did you say Kerry "opposes" (present tense) the ban and "always will?" (future tense)? That's it? That's your answer? Why don't you just say "Yeah, he tried to ban it but got his butt kicked and now is desperately trying to avoid the gun issue completely?"
Better still is the claim by Kerry's campaign that, while he was trying to ban shotguns, he was also "support[ing] Second Amendment gun rights." So if you're a supporterof the Second Amendment who wants to take away your uncle's shotgun, you're a Kerry supporter.
Sheesh. I'm a stinkin' REPUBLICAN and I could write better rebuttals for Kerry than this.
Posted at 08:32 AM
WAUGH WARS [Rick Brookhiser]
Peter, I don't believe the love story between the narrator and Julia for one minute. This obviously weakens the impact of the second half of the book. Minor points: I don't think Waugh knows how insane Sebastian's older brother is, or how annoying his sister is.
Posted at 08:19 AM
THE WAUGH IS OVER [Terry Teachout]
Well, bear in mind for starters that Waugh himself harbored retrospective doubts about Brideshead. Among other things, he thought the prose was overripe--a result, he claimed, of wartime deprivation--and did a good deal of paring and trimming when he prepared a revised version in 1960 for the uniform edition of his novels. The edition of Brideshead available in this country does not reflect these later changes, with which most American readers are unfamiliar. (For more information about them, go here.)
I myself find Brideshead flawed but rereadable. It has wonderful things in it, the comic scenes above all, but I do think it suffers as a work of art from the explicitness with which Waugh makes his religious points (as opposed, say, to Black Mischief or A Handful of Dust, where all is done by stealth). He did more or less the same thing far more effectively in the Sword of Honour trilogy--which, like Brideshead, is best read in the revised one-volume version prepared by Waugh for the uniform edition.
One of these days I'll write an essay about all this....
Posted at 08:18 AM
QUESTIONING PATRIOTISM [KJL ]
I often wonder, When did Bush-Cheney question John Kerry’s patriotism? The Kerry camp is always complaining about it, but I never hear it.
But—wait—what is this? John Edwards questioning Dick Cheney’s patriotism? When Dick Cheney told a crowd yesterday that a Kerry win would put us in danger of another attack, Edwards responded that Cheney was being "un-American.”
Cheney could have worded it better—the fact is, of course, that we are in danger under a President Bush or President Kerry. But, it is more than fair to say that threat is increased if indecisive, Swiss-cheese-on-Philly-cheesesteak-eating-surrender-monkey-minded Kerry is elected.
Posted at 08:17 AM
WAUGH [John Derbyshire]
I am going to come out of the closet on this one and confess that I find Waugh the man more interesting than Waugh's novels, which I have found very variable. I have got more pleasure from the Letters, Diaries and Essays/Journalism than from the novels. In fact, I'll admit I have never been able to finish BRIDESHEAD REVISITED (though this is the only Waugh novel I've tried of which I can say that). I speak as an English boy, though, strongly allergic to class snobbery. In BRIDESHEAD, from what I recall of it, Waugh's snobbery was utterly out of control.
Did you know that Waugh's waste-paper basket is at the University of Texas?
Posted at 08:07 AM
REALITY TURF-WAR TV [KJL]
Posted at 05:46 AM
Tuesday, September 07, 2004
A TOWN WITHOUT PEER [Jonah Goldberg ]
I'll follow-up on the fallout on my Pierre, SD post tomorrow morning. Going to sleep now.
Posted at 11:29 PM
SENIOR PHOTOS [ Jonah Goldberg]
Posted at 11:24 PM
WOBBLY SHMOBBLY [ Jonah Goldberg ]
In a largely interesting and insightful column, David Horowitz takes a needlessly juvenile shot at me. Before admittedly "cribbing" from my column about Zell Miller, Horowitz asserts that "Like several other conservatives Goldberg has gone wobbly under the left’s assault."
C'mon David, poor form. I have no problems with criticisms of my positions. But I think this sort of thing amounts to cheap bravado and bullying on the cheap. How would you know why I came to my position? Are you aware of any leftist "assault" I was subjected to that caused me to go wobbly? Or are you just making that up because it makes your position sound braver and more pure? Since my motives are plain to you, perhaps you could make your own a bit clearer too. Because from my experience the tendency to assume bad motives of those you disagree with is a leftist tendency, as you should know better than anyone. Why can't I be wrong? Why must the answer be that I don't have your intestinal fortitude? If the answer lies in my writing, please send examples.
However, as you should be able to deduce from the plain meaning of my column, I was offering analytical and strategic objections to the speech more than anything else. But even on the substance, am I supposed to bite my tongue on such matters for the cause? By the way, I also said in the Corner that I thought Miller's speech was "fantastic" and never retracted that.
Posted at 11:17 PM
WE MADE IT [Jonah Goldberg]
From Chicago to DC with considerable traffics and a few stops in 11 hours.
Posted at 10:57 PM
JEB ON THE HORIZON? [KJL]
From People’s interview with George, Laura, Barbara & Jenna Bush:
People: Do you think there is any chance you are the last Bush in the White House?
Posted at 09:42 PM
AUSTEN NIETZSCHE [John Derbyshire]
Goest thous to woman? Do not forget thy barouche-landau.
Beyond Sense and Sensibility.
If any young men come for Mary or Kitty, send them in, for I am experiencing a spiritual dawn.
In marrying your nephew, I should not consider myself as quitting that
sphere. He is a gentleman; I am a blonde beast.
Posted at 08:53 PM
RE: GENERAL MERRILL MCPEAK [John Derbyshire]
"Mr. Derbyshire---I wasn't going to contribute my two cents on McPeak but seeing that dissenting opinion you posted on the Corner irritated me no end. McPeak was a horrible chief of staff, something that seems to be in agreement with most men and women I know who were in the Airforce at the time. As to his 269 combat missions - that makes him a dedicated pilot, a brave airman, and someone who did his duty to his country - it does not reflect on someone's leadership or make them 'right' on the issues of the day.
PS. I first heard about the advertisement yesterday from a friend who is also in the USAF and called to complain upon seeing the McPeak ad. Alas, living in the red state headquarters of Texas and Alaska the last five years I get to see none of the political ads addressed to the 'swing voters'."
Posted at 08:50 PM
RE: WAUGH AND ME [Peter Robinson]
Rotten spots in Brideshead Revisited, Rick? But where?
Along with The Great Gatsby and A Farewell to Arms, Brideshead Revisited represents one of the very few twentieth-century novels that is technically and dramatically flawless. I repeat: Flawless.
You say rotten, Rick, and I say flawless. For the tie-breaking vote, over to Terry Teachout.
Posted at 08:47 PM
KEEPING ALLAH OUT OF BESLAN NEWS [KJL]
Did the New York Times bend over backward to avoid mentioning Islam in their Beslan coverage?
Posted at 08:44 PM
MASSAGE THERAPISTS FOR BUSH [KJL]
Edwards takes the You're wrong approach with voters:
But at that gathering he was also confronted by a supporter who feared that he and Mr. Kerry had not batted away Republican claims about their records.
Posted at 08:38 PM
ALAN KEYES'S LATEST [KJL]
I hearby have a personal moratorium on all Illinois Senate news. My condolences if you live there.
Posted at 08:22 PM
LENO VS. LETTERMAN, AGAIN [Ramesh Ponnuru]
I completely agree with James Wolcott, although I haven't watched either for years.
Posted at 06:01 PM
NEW DONKEY [Ramesh Ponnuru]
says Democrats have less to fear from the polls than from dumb reactions to the polls, including a decision to concede national-security issues to Bush. I think this New Donkey fellow is right.
Posted at 05:57 PM
RE: GENERAL MERRILL MCPEAK [John Derbyshire]
I must say, it is unusual to see such unanimity from readers. In 40+ e-mails, only one dissent so far -- see below. This guy's a stinker, say the troops.
Except: "John---Do you really want to be seen as sniping at a guy who flew 269 missions over Vietnam? Sure, you can find other military types who have negative things to say about McPeak -- grumbling is, after all, a soldier's privilege -- but the average American is going to feel that McPeak earned his right to criticize Chickenhawk Bush, no matter how much you might disagree with those criticisms."
Posted at 05:33 PM
CAN YOU TELL ME HOW TO GET, HOW TO GET TO ELECTION DAY? [KJL]
Bill Bennett, on his radio show, Morning in America discovers the new genius behind the Kerry campaign.
Posted at 05:21 PM
LESTER MADDOX [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Invoking him sort of, um, undermines the rest of the liberal case against Zell Miller, doesn't it? What's the message here? It's okay to be a dead-end segregationist as long as you toe the Democratic party line?
Posted at 05:08 PM
WODEHOUSE ON COPY EDITORS [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Terrific, which is to say, Wodehousian.
Posted at 05:03 PM
IMAGINE THERE'S NO HEAVEN... [KJL]
...it's easy if you try...; Madonna dedicates the last song I'd want to hear--probably ever--at a time of tragedy, to Russia.
Posted at 05:00 PM
SPEAKING OF DEMORALIZATION [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Garrison Keillor ends a ridiculous rant--for which there is, I think, nothing positive to be said--with this: "I have spoken my piece, and thank you, dear reader. It’s a beautiful world, rain or shine, and there is more to life than winning."
Posted at 04:58 PM
THE STATE OF THE RACE (ACCORDING TO ME) [Ramesh Ponnuru]
One thing I find quite notable is Kerry's fealty to his base--not just the liberal party activists, but the Democratic apparatchiks. When they say pick Edwards, he asks, How quickly? When they say, Hit back hard at Bush-Cheney, he does it with that stupid rally. Conservatives, meanwhile, have pleaded with the White House for months to outline a domestic agenda, only to be told, again and again, We're going to wait until the convention and then start spelling it out. No amount of whining made the Bushies budge.
What does that mean for now? I think the obvious thing for Kerry to do is to hit Bush on Social Security. Ideally, he would wait until the closing days of the campaign to take that tack--as Gore did in 2000, when his ads were pretty effective. But I don't think that Kerry has the luxury of waiting given the restiveness of his base.
I still think the electorate is evenly divided, albeit tilting toward the Republicans. Kerry cannot afford to have a large number of his supporters conclude that he has lost. Challengers can find their backers getting demoralized more easily than incumbents can, unless the incumbent's situation is as grim as 1992. If Kerry starts to look like a loser, he will start losing voters to Nader. He's got to take his best shots starting now.
Posted at 04:42 PM
MORE AUSTEN NIETZSCHE [Rick Brookhiser]
Ecce Puella (Latinists please correct the case)
Gentlemanly, All Too Gentlemanly
The Twilight of the DeBurghs
Posted at 04:34 PM
WAUGH AND ME [Rick Brookhiser]
I walked out of a movie last night--a rather common occurrence--Bright Young Things, based on Vile Bodies, Evelyn Waugh's second novel.
Years ago I was in a conservative dinner and discussion group called the Vile Body (Bruce Bawer was in it: that's how long ago it was), which took its name from Waugh's novel--one little sign of the esteem in which he was, and still is, held among conservatives. The Brideshead Revisited cult was another sign.
With a few exceptions--the lead actor, Peter O'Toole in a cameo--Bright Young Things is quite bad. Props and set design had too much money to play with, and it shows. The camera work intended to imitate 30s movie dissolves and cuts, and it's pretentious and distracting. The tempo was a hair too slow, which is fatal--Waugh is all about speed. Some funny scenes were simply bungled. When a gossip columnist files a false story on a society party, he writes (in the movie) that it was an orgy. But no one would have been scandalized by that (or not much). In the novel, he said the guests confessed their sins to an American evangelist--that was shame-making. Etc., etc.
But then I went back to the book. It was never one of my favorites, and I saw yet again why. Waugh plays both sides of the street, shocking and titillating with the emptiness of it all, then pulling spurious long faces. In the book, Fr. Rothschild, an omniscient Jesuit, gives a speech about how the young people of 1930s England are searching for something in their emptiness. Give me a break. One character kills himself, another has a breakdown--how do we pity puppets? The bookends in an apocalyptic battle of a new world war--give me another break. People who like this kind of thing are the same people who think the Bostonians is a good Henry James novel. They prefer journalism to fiction, positions to life.
It was worse than I remembered, actually, which is sad. I first read Waugh at the end of my college years; he seemed the last thing in brightness and daring. I know there are rotten spots in Brideshead Revisited; I fear a re-read will disclose that they have grown with the years. Scoop, on the other hand, is immortal, because Waugh had a low opinion of the press, which is never falsifiable.
Posted at 04:33 PM
RE: GENERAL MERRILL MCPEAK [Jack Fowler]
A newsgroup slam on the General (by a 25-year retired Air Force Master Sergeant) shows he was not held in high regard, was consumed with fashion, etc. It ends “I guess the bottom line is that McPeak is a yo-yo.”
Also, before cutting ads for Kerry, McPeak was a Howard Dean backer/advisor-- which says a lot.
Posted at 04:25 PM
FUNNY TIME-WASTER [KJL]
Posted at 04:23 PM
It was the Jews.
Posted at 04:14 PM
RAKING LEAVES? [KJL]
I think I might sign up for the cruise...
Posted at 04:07 PM
CRUISIO, ERGO SUM [Jack Fowler]
So I failed Latin. But you get the point: unless you hit the high seas in the company of hundreds of fellow conservatives, and a mega contingent of luminaries, you aren’t a complete, full, maxed-out person. To give your ego that ergo so you’re sum-ing to your full potential, you must join us on the National Review 2004 Post-Election Caribbean Cruise.
Well over 350 fine souls have already done such, and yes, there still is room for you. But not for long.
You see, 13 new cabin reservations have come in since last Wednesday, and there’s no let up, which shouldn’t surprise. Given the uplift of the GOP convention, the gut feeling that Bush will triumph, the flip (flop) side that Kerry will go kaput, and the added pleasure you anticipate of liberal flaks screaming about lies and stolen elections and all that hoo-haa, more and more NRO fans are certain that there’s a lot of celebrating that will need doing after the votes are counted, and what better way to do that than on the NR cruise – where do I sign up?!
Look ahead friends. Picture yourself spending the week of November 13-20 on Holland America Line’s beautiful Zuiderdam, with Bernard Lewis, Victor Davis Hanson, Dick Morris, Rep. Pat Toomey, Ed Gillespie, Stephen Moore, John Hillen, Dinesh D’Souza, Michelle Malkin, John Derbyshire, John O’Sullivan, Rich Lowry, Ramesh Ponnuru, and Jay Nordlinger.
Or picture yourself spending that week raking leaves.
Not much of a choice. So go to www.nationalreviewcruise-carib.com and sign up now, while there is still space!
Posted at 04:06 PM
RE KERRY'S GUN [Dave Kopel]
S. 1431, co-sponsored by Sen. John Kerry, says that an "assault weapon" is any semi-automatic rifle or shotgun with a "pistol grip." According to the bill, "(42) PISTOL GRIP- The term 'pistol grip' means a grip, a thumbhole stock, or any other characteristic that can function as a grip." Kerry's new semi-automatic gun has a protrusion below the stock, which a person could grip. The protrusion is not a "pistol grip" in the ordinary meaning of the term, but it is a "pistol grip" as defined by S. 1431.
Posted at 03:04 PM
MORE TROUBLE FROM SADR [Rich Lowry]
Fallujah and Sadr, the two problems we've never managed to take care of fully, continue to cost us dearly.
Posted at 02:58 PM
GENERAL MERRILL MCPEAK [John Derbyshire]
A word from my Air Force Guy: "Hey Derb! As an Air Force guy, it galls me every time I see General Merrill McPeak doing ads for Kerry.
The fact is, McPeak was one a very unpopular Air Force Chief of Staff. He instituted all sorts of costly changes that didn't in any way contribute to combat effectiveness such as changes to the uniform, changing our guiding directives from 'Air Force Regulations' to 'Air Force Instructions' and a host of other staff-time consuming irritants.
"Why don't you get into The Corner and see if other Air Force guys have similar views about McPeak?"
No sooner said than done!
Posted at 02:22 PM
SEE IRAQ [Jim Robbins]
Alex Zemek spent 11 months in Iraq and has put up a web site with some images of what he saw -- the kind of pcitures banned from network TV news -- shocking scenes of happy, free Iraqis. Check them out here.
Posted at 01:56 PM
I'VE GOTTEN A LOT OF THESE, TOO [KJL]
An e-mail: "Notice in the pictures of Kerry shooting trap at Edinburg, Ohio that he has no eye or ear protection. No real trap shooter would do that. It is against ATA (Amateur Trapshooting Association) rules and the rules of every gun club I know. Thanks to the gun club where these pictures were taken for exposing Kerry as a phony by letting him shoot without protection."
Posted at 01:55 PM
GUN TROUBLES [KJL]
Other readers tell me KErry might have problems because he is not a resident of the state where the gun gift was given to him.
Posted at 01:39 PM
PAUL KENGOR IS RIGHT [KJL]
Kengor says Dems can get away with God-talk. Republicans can't.
Here's Al Gore in The New Yorker: "It's the American version of the same fundamentalist impulse that we see in Saudi Arabia."
Posted at 01:15 PM
DUMP CHENEY [KJL]
Does this non-story story ever get old? On Election Eve, I fully expect a front-page piece in some major paper lamenting the fact Cheney is still on the ticket. If Bush wins, the Election Day story will be how he would have won by a wider margin if he had another running mate. If he (GULP) loses, it will be Cheney's fault.
Posted at 01:12 PM
BILL CLINTON HAS BEEN IN GOOD HANDS [KJL]
His surgeon is a Bush donor.
As Ronald Reagan would say: "I hope you're all Republicans."
Posted at 12:59 PM
THE STICKS: BOTTOM LINE [John Derbyshire]
A country gal writes: "I grew up in a town of 600 people in N.E. Iowa and have nothing but great memories of my time there. But while rural America is a great place to live, it is a terrible place to visit unless you have friends or family there.
"The drab hotels you and Jonah described are truly sad places. They do not reflect the quality or feel of the community which surrounds them. Rural America is not set up for strangers to wander in off the highways and stay at hotels. It's oriented toward hosting families and guests in homes.
I think she has got the essence of the matter right there.
Posted at 12:48 PM
HANNITY & COLMES [Rich Lowry]
Have gotten lots of good feedback from last night, which is what comes from being called a Nazi, I suppose. The lesson from Bob Beckel's ranting last night (and even the usually more civil Alan threw in a Goebbels reference) is just how DESPERATE the Dems are at the moment--you can smell it on them. Here is an e-mail that captures it:
"Dear Mr. Lowry,
The plain rudeness of the left, still, after all these years, amazes me. Colmes asked two very good questions, which you answered well, about possible double standards, etc., but he couldn't let you answer. He kept talking over you as if to filibuster his time. I thought he was uncharacteristically rude.
It was also obvious that the new Dem strategy is personal smear. From the Estrich column to Beckel (is that it?) last night, the warm up to desperate personal attacks is, `Okay, if you want to play it that way, get ready.' Besides being slimy and disingenuous, it's transparent: they've tried the personal smear thing from the get-go and they are trying to set the stage for more of the same. I know we'll hear lots about Bush's drinking, National Guard duty, etc. from here on out. And Kerry still won't have a clue that his ideas don't sell to most Americans. Pathetic."
Posted at 12:45 PM
CALLING DAVE KOPEL [KJL]
A lot of readers who know a lot more about guns than I ever will are telling me: " the shotgun Kerry is holding does not have a pistol grip, but a stock grip, and is probably not subject to his proposed law, unless there's something else wrong with it."
Posted at 12:34 PM
RNC RECAP [KJL]
If you missed any of NRO's Republican convention coverage, go here. Our DNC archive is here. Bookmark NRO as your election website. (Are you reading the Kerry Spot, by the way?)
And, please, feel free to send any and all suggestions about what you would like to see on NRO in the future to me at email@example.com.
Posted at 12:26 PM
HANGING WITH THE O'BEIRNES--AND NRO [KJL]
You may remember that Kate is having a pre-election party at her house on the evening of Saturday, September 18. It’s coming close and this week is your last chance to sign up—we have about 12 open slots. The party, celebrating NRO and our readers, is a first-of-its-kind fundraiser for NRO--its announcement was the finale to our fundraising week this past May. Tickets are $750 per person, $1,000 per couple.
I personally guarantee the bash will be more than worth the money for any NRO fan. Get the inside scoop on what Jonah's really like and meet the characters (and I do mean characters) behind NRO. In attendance will be Rich Lowry, David Frum, Jonah Goldberg, Kate O’Beirne, Ramesh Ponnuru, Byron York, and more. (I'll tempt you with more attendees in a few hours.)
NR’s Tim Wolff is taking names and contributions. He’s firstname.lastname@example.org and can be reached at (212) 679-7330.
Thank you, again, for all your support for NRO. The money jar is always out only to improve what we have here—to bring you the best commentary, analysis, and reporting we can, on a daily basis, and to, ultimately, keep taking NRO to the next level.
See you soon! But act now.
Posted at 12:17 PM
KERRY'S GUN [KJL]
WHy, of course.
Posted at 12:02 PM
SMALL-TOWN REBUTTAL [Tim Graham]
As a suburban guy who grew up in a two-stoplight cow town, let me rebut Derb and Jonah. About this time of year, the "Friday night scene" is at the high school football game. If you can't go, you can listen on the local radio station's live broadcast. In a small town, the "scene" is probably at the hotel bar -- or in our neck of the woods, at a bowling alley bar. But that's a tiny part of the populace. There's just as many "scenes" at local churches, school plays, and county fairs. The compensation for that lack of "scene" is neighborliness, safety, time for family dinner, and a lack of traffic jams (unless somebody spilled their hay).
Posted at 11:58 AM
MUST READ [Alex Rose]
You may have missed this piece in the Daily Telegraph. It's quite a remarkable admission.
Posted at 11:57 AM
SEX-SATURATION ISN'T A HEALTHY DIET FOR KIDS [KJL]
A RAND study finds that "Kids who said they watched more sex-oriented programs at the beginning of the year were more likely than others their age to become sexually active during the next year."
Posted at 11:49 AM
RE: PIERRE [KJL]
Yikes. Soon someone is going to confess he had never heard of the Gatlin brothers before last week.
Posted at 11:39 AM
RE: PIERRE, SOUTH DAKOTA [John Derbyshire]
Jonah: If the fine people of Pierre have not yet tarred and feathered you and run you out of town on a rail, let me declare a mild sympathy with your big-city snobbery.
Travelling round the USA in a previous life (25 yrs ago, when I was cockier and snobbier), I found myself snowbound in Grand Island, Nebraska. I checked in to the local Ramada, parked my bags, and went down to the bar, where three or four guys in string ties & snakeskin boots were staring gloomily into their drinks. "So," I said brightly, "where's the Friday night scene in Grand Island?" Back came the answer: "This is it."
Posted at 11:27 AM
MUST-SEE TV [Rich Lowry]
John O'Neill is on O'Reilly for the full hour tonight.
Posted at 10:51 AM
ZELL, KERRY & DOUBLE STANDARDS [KJL]
On Thursday morning sometime in the wee hours, someone said to me, "I hear Zell Miller threatened to kill Chris Matthews." Zell Miller had said something along the lines of I wish we lived in a time when duels were common. Oddly, he hasn't called yet today to say that John Kerry similarly threatened President Bush.
Posted at 10:36 AM
IPOD ZELL [Aaron Bailey]
For you iPod-totting readers, iTunes Music Store now offers free audio downloads of last week's RNC prime-time speeches. I listened to Zell this morning on the subway -- a good way to wake up.
Posted at 09:52 AM
NAMING THE ENEMY [Andy McCarthy]
The NYT doesn't want to. If you labored through its page one analysis yesterday of the siege in Russia in which nearly 340 people were slaughtered, you'd have to have gone deep into the newspaper and waded down to the 24th paragraph of the story to learn that: "While the extent of international support may be debated, the attacks bear some trappings of Islamic militancy. Officials here in Beslan said they had found notebooks with Arabic writing, and witnesses reported hearing Arabic exhortations, though the attackers mostly spoke Russian." (Emphasis added.) Elsewhere toward the bottom of the report, the reader also finds indications that the Beslan operation was "financed by a man believed to be an Arab associated with Al Qaeda and identified as Abu Omar as-Seyf." What is the good reason to be hesitant about noting that this latest barbarity, like its numerous predecessors, is the work of militant Islam? An enemy that doesn't get identified, doesn't get wiped out -- and lives to fight another day, resulting in more Beslans, more Madrids, more 9/11s, etc.
Posted at 08:35 AM
COLLEGE SEARCH BEGINS--LET NR HELP! [Jack Fowler]
It’s that time of year, when high-school seniors start to consider which colleges or universities they’ll apply to. A word of advice: don’t let them make this huge decision without the wisdom and essential advice you can only find in Choosing the Right College: The Whole Truth about America’s Top Schools. This massive book is the premier conservative college guide, providing detailed profiles of over 120 of the nation’s top private and public colleges and universities. That sheepskin may cost you well over $150,000 for--if you make the wrong choice--four years of liberal indoctrination. The one and only book you can count on to help you avoid making that horrible mistake is Choosing the Right College, which is only $29.95 (that includes shipping and handling). Don’t dawdle--get the book Thomas Sowell calls “By far the best college guide in America” today (for your kids, or especially for your grandchildren), here.
Posted at 08:34 AM
THE RISE OF THE FEMALE TERRORIST [KJL]
This is the end of civilization.
Posted at 08:13 AM
PUTIN WON'T MEET WITH CHECHEN TERRORISTS [KJL]
He says: "Why don't you meet Osama bin Laden, invite him to Brussels or to the White House and engage in talks, ask him what he wants and give it to him so he leaves you in peace?"
Posted at 08:09 AM
PIERRE, SOUTH DAKOTA [Jonah Goldberg]
I don't want to start a big brouhaha, but I gots to keep it real. I haven't been to too many state capitals -- maybe 20 -- but I suspect that Pierre (pronounced Peer) might be the most, um, well, "modest" -- i.e. grim -- state capital in the country. Again, I could have driven through a bad part of town. But, for example, we drove around the Capital building which shouldn't be a bad neighborhood. And I asked a teenager changing the sign on a movie theater what the best hotel in town was and he directed me to the Best Western. It was a fine Best Western, though our dog-friendly room was fairly grim. But is that really where they put up the fat-cat lobbyists? The whole place seems to have a very run-down feel. Lots of "casinos" and liquor stores. On the other hand the state itself is growing on me. The Black Hills really are beautiful and I'm sorrying to have skipped Deadwood this time.
Posted at 08:03 AM
MICHAEL MOORE [Michael Graham]
is not stupid. In a self-serving announcement on his webpage, Moore says he’s decided not to submit "Fahrenheit 9/11" for consideration for the Best Documentary Oscar. Why? He’s hoping to get it broadcast on television before the election.
“Although I have no assurance from our home video distributor that they would allow a one-time television broadcast -- and the chances are they probably won't -- I have decided it is more important to take that risk and hope against hope that I can persuade someone to put it on TV, even if it's the night before the election.,” Moore writes. “If there is even the remotest of chances that I can get this film seen by a few million more Americans before election day, then that is more important to me than winning another documentary Oscar. I have already won a Best Documentary statue. Having a second one would be nice, but not as nice as getting this country back in the hands of the majority.”
This is obvious nonsense. There’s no reason Moore can’t simultaneously submit his film to the Motion Picture Academy and try to work a network TV deal. If it gets on the air, he’s disqualified. What’s the problem?
The problem, as has been pointed out many times by real documentarians and even Scott Simon of NPR, is that Michael Moore’s films aren’t actually documentaries. Had the Academy upheld its own standards, Moore’s Bowling For Columbine would have been disqualified. There is no way the error-riddled, intentionally falsified Fahrenheit 9/11 could get a similar pass.
Still, turning this weakness (Moore’s total lack of credibility) into a strength (“I’m sacrificing an Oscar to defeat George W. Bush!”) is classic Michael Moore and proves why he is successful. Shamelessness sells.
Posted at 07:59 AM
IF BUSH MADE THIS "JOKE"... [ Jonah Goldberg ]
From the AP:
In West Virginia, Cecil Roberts, president of the United Mine Workers of America, gave Kerry a rifle as a gift. Kerry, a self-described gun-owner and hunter, quipped: "I thank you for the gift, but I can't take it to the debate with me."
Posted at 07:53 AM
THE MASSACRE IN RUSSIA [Jonah Goldberg]
While driving cross country the missus and I keep wondering what would happen if a similar event took place in America. What if a K-12 school in Illinois or Texas was overrun with terrorists and hundreds of children were killed? I'm sure others have though of it too, but I fear/suspect that the political consequences would be enormous. In a sense it's an excellent illustration of how al Qaeda really doesn't understand America. They think smashing office buildings and blowing up planes really impresses us because these are the things they resent about us. But if they really wanted to maximize disruption they'd ignore New York, LA and Washington altogether and concentrate on Kansas, Wisoconsin or Texas. They wouldn't crash a plane into the World Trade Center, they'd crash it into a school.
Posted at 07:46 AM
PROGRESS REPORT [Jonah Goldberg]
We are in Chicago this morning, about to get on the road. Thanks in advance for offers of cocktails, coffee etc. But we are on a mission; to eat at as many Culver's as possible! No, just kidding, to get home already. I'm exhausted, Lucy's exhausted, Jessica's falling apart and Cosmo keeps saying after each farm we pass, "You can just drop me off here."
The Labor Day traffic yesterday was particularly brutal.
Posted at 07:40 AM
SPEAKING OF LOTTERIES, CONTINUED [Cliff May]
Thanks Kathryn and Mark for the information. Now this question: Why doesn’t Bush – or Kerry – promise to end this ridiculous program? The money we spend on advertising it on CNN International and other stations could be put to much better use opening fire stations in Ohio (or Basra, for that matter). What’s more, no patriot should want to see American visas cheapened by making them the prizes in a carnival game. Who favors this abominable program? How many divisions – or votes – do they have?
Posted at 07:34 AM
CIA FUNDS LIBERALS [Tim Graham]
Bill Gertz reports in today's Washington Times that the CIA's Counterterrorist Center has spent more than $15 million in the past three years "funding studies, reports and conferences produced by former Democratic administration officials and other critics of the Bush administration," for example, a $300,000 grant by the CIA to the Atlantic Council for a study co-authored by Richard Clarke.
Gertz concludes: "An investigation by The Washington Times of the CIA's funding of think tanks shows that the CTC's academic outreach program has not funded any studies or conferences at conservative organizations."
Posted at 07:33 AM
Monday, September 06, 2004
"KERRY CALLS MCCAIN A LIAR" [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Or at least a mischaracterizer, distorter, or teller of half-truths. It's hard to say. Captain Ed says the Kerry campaign issued a press release that attacked McCain's convention speech as part of a list of convention lies, mischaracterizations, etc. One of Captain Ed's commenters notes that the release has disappeared from Kerry's website, but that it is still listed among the campaign's September press releases. Since that comment was posted, it has been removed from the list, too. Not a trace seems to be left.
Posted at 11:47 PM
RE: PA FOR W. [KJL]
I'm writing for the first time to the Corner because this post gave me the chills. I'm a student at NYU, one of the most liberal strongholds in one of the most liberal cities in the country. I have experienced several similar occurrances over the past year, and am continually amazed at the level of quiet support for Bush. Although nearly every single political gathering at NYU has a drastically liberal slant, there are more members of the College Republicans than College Democrats. Although our students lead protests and participate in die-ins, there are invariably twice as many people quietly disgusted with their actions than vocally supporting them. Volunteering at the convention, I spoke with numerous police officers, one of whom spelled it out for me very succinctly. "I'm 16 hours deep in a 20 hour shift, and I spent the first half of it being harassed, cursed at, and attacked by protesters over on Eighth Ave. One of them bit me on my hand, so I got sent back here to wat ch over the delegates for the second half of my shift. Since I showed up, I've gotten nothing but smiles, thank yous, and salutes from these delegates. One of my friends just offered to relieve me, but I told him I didn't mind staying around for a while longer. I voted for Gore last time, and Clinton before him, but I'm voting for Bush this time, without a doubt." Hearing that made up for all of the vitriol I've had to deal with being a Conservative at NYU.
Posted at 06:50 PM
RE: NERVOUS NELLIES [Rod Dreher]
Don't be nervous, Ramesh, I actually wasn't thinking about you or Rich. Don't forget I work in a mainstream newsroom, and I heard nothing but "Scary Zell!" the day after, and heard the same thing over and over on the chat shows. I don't begrudge you or anybody the right to criticize the Miller speech on factual grounds, which seems legit. What I believed was misguided was this notion that the militant tone of the Zell speech was somehow going to make swing voters mess their drawers and run crying to John Kerry. Please. It was all about hitting the Reagan Democrats in the sweet spot, and I think it was a bullseye.
Posted at 06:45 PM
LARRY FRANKLIN [KJL]
did meet with Israelis, above board, says Israel.
Posted at 06:39 PM
DON'T SAY 'IMMIGRATION' -- WE'RE LIBERALS [Mark Krikorian]
An alert correspondent pointed out an op-ed in today's Washington Post on the plight of unskilled workers, which never once uses the word "immigrants," despite the fact that the foreign-born make up 40 percent of workers with less than a high-school education. The op-ed's author, "a spokeswoman for the Russell Sage Foundation's project on social inequality," lists several government initiatives to improve the status of low-wage jobs, including a higher minimum wage, more subsidies for business, and socialized medicine. Of course, the market would improve the lot of low-skilled workers if only immigration laws were enforced and numbers were brought down -- thus adding fewer people to the low-skilled labor force in the first place and increasing the bargaining power of those remaining.
This reinforces my general observation that mass immigration helps the Left not so much because of the addition of Democrat voters (though that's a long-term consideration), but rather that mass immigration is the main engine driving the social problems (poverty, income inequality, lack of health insurance, etc.) that the Left points to as the rationale for increasing the size and scope of government.
Posted at 06:37 PM
MORE LOTTERY [Mark Krikorian]
As a matter of fact, Cliff, I just wrote a paper on the ridiculous lottery for visas, which we've conducted in various forms for nearly 20 years. (The paper is here, and the adbridged version, wich ran in The American Enterprise, is here.) And, yes, 2002's LAX shooter, Hesham Mohamed Ali Hedayet, got his green card through the lottery.
Posted at 06:36 PM
VISA LOTTERIES [KJL]
Cliff, here's Michelle Malkin on the case.
Posted at 06:35 PM
"THE WRONG WAR IN THE WRONG PLACE AT THE WRONG TIME" [Rich Lowry]
Kerry apparently has another new position on the Iraq war.
Posted at 06:31 PM
ZELL STRIKES BACK [Rich Lowry]
As many of you know, I gave Zell’s speech only two elephants out of a possible four on Fox the night of the speech, based mostly on what turned out to be ill-founded worries about how it would play. John Miller reports that he saw Zell the other day, and Zell pulled John aside. The Georgia senator said, "Tell Rich Lowry I saw those two elephants. [Pause for dramatic effect.] That's one more than I expected." Zell, a natural charmer, will play very well in his new role as red-state folk hero…
Posted at 02:38 PM
RE: KEEPING HIS DAY JOB [Ramesh Ponnuru]
An email: "Maybe the Wall Street Journal can take back Peggy [Noonan] a little early since she took a leave of absence to avoid the appearance of bias in working with the Bush campaign? While she doesn't need the money, she probably would rather draw a check than not."
Posted at 01:41 PM
CLINTON'S IN RECOVERY [KJL]
Posted at 01:27 PM
SPEAKING OF LOTTERIES [Cliff May]
Reading today’s posting from Mark Krikorian on lotteries I was reminded of this: While traveling recently in Europe and the Middle East and watching CNN International, I kept seeing ads for a US Government lottery – for green cards, I believe. Do I have that wrong? Shouldn’t those who come to the US to live and work and take up citizenship believe in America and want to contribute to America? Why would we still have a program based on dumb luck? And hadn’t that terrorist who attacked LAX a few years ago come to the US on the basis of that program? Didn’t that cause anyone in Congress to re-think its wisdom? I’m sure Mark and others have written about this but I’d love a brief refresher course.
Posted at 01:04 PM
"MISSING" [Rod Dreher]
CNN is reporting that gravediggers in Beslan have been told to prepare 600 graves today, and to be ready to dig even more in the next few days. Six hundred graves, most of them for little children. In Beslan, parents are posting makeshift "missing" posters around the village, just like New Yorkers did after 9/11. It is breathtaking to see that gesture repeated again, so soon. Is it going to have to happen here before Americans wake up to the true nature of the threat posed by Islamic extremism? I'm afraid so, yes.
Posted at 01:00 PM
IN DEFENSE OF "NERVOUS NELLIES" AND "WUSSES" [Ramesh Ponnuru]
These are the elegant designations given by Michael Ledeen and Rod Dreher to conservatives who had reservations about Sen. Zell Miller's speech last week. Ledeen writes, "I was frankly very discouraged to see so many of our people openly wondering whether it was a mistake to permit the unwashed to see a man who was angry about seeing his party go down the rathole."
I know of two conservatives who expressed concerns about the Miller speech: Rich Lowry and me. I'll speak only for myself. I didn't worry too much about the political impact of the speech. I just thought that the speech could have been just as strong politically--and given "the unwashed" as good a chance "to see a man who was angry about seeing his party go down the rathole"--if it had not included a few noxious passages. Miller could have pointed out that neither Kerry nor Edwards had acknowledged our troops' role in ending tyrannies in Afghanistan and Iraq--that would have been tough, but fair. Instead, he more or less suggested that it was wrong for the Democrats to try to unseat the president. (It's as though conservatives, tired of being subjected to false attacks for allegedly calling all opposition to Bush unpatriotic, finally decided just to go ahead and make that attack in reality.) That's not a reason to vote against Bush, as Miller's most overheated critics suggest. But the speech is worth criticizing on the merits, whether or not it helped Bush politically.
Posted at 01:00 PM
CSPAN [Ramesh Ponnuru]
went well today, although I followed Buchanan rather than appearing with him; my post yesterday must have resulted from a misunderstanding of what the booker had told me.
Posted at 12:45 PM
KEEPING HIS DAY JOB [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Note that Paul Begala, in the New York Times story on his new role in the Kerry campaign, "said he would remain a CNN commentator." Perhaps CNN could hire Ken Mehlman to do some political commentary this fall too?
Posted at 12:42 PM
PA. FOR W. [KJL]
I am a northeast Pennsylvania resident who also happens to work up the road from the stadium where Bush made his first post-convention appearance.
Posted at 12:24 PM
WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE [Rick Brookhiser]
On C-SPAN yesterday, Harry Evans, the Brit-born publisher, said that when he revived the Modern Library imprint for Random House, the big sellers were Jane Austen and Nietzsche. I mentioned this to a clever friend, who had these thoughts:
Pride and Ressentiment
Also Sprach Emma Wodehouse
and, my favorite:
If there were any truth universally acknowledged, it would be that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a transformation of all values.
Posted at 12:19 PM
EQUAL-OPPORTUNITY HARDBALLS [Tim Graham]
In case someone wants to argue that Chris Wallace in his new Fox capacity only presses Democrats with hardballs, see these Carville-echo questions to Rudy Giuliani yesterday:
"Let me switch, if I can, from the national security side to the domestic side, because there was less emphasis on that in the convention. And Democrats say that the president has a lot to answer for on the Democratic side. Let me give you a couple of examples here. 1.3 million more people living in poverty last year; 1.4 million more without health insurance; 900,000 jobs lost since Mr. Bush became president. Mr. Mayor, is that a record to run on?"
And: "Let me ask you about another domestic issue, if I can. The administration announced it late on Friday of Labor Day weekend, but Medicare premiums are going to go up 17.5 percent next year, which is the largest increase in 15 years. Is that a record to run on?"
Giuliani's answers were not very impressive. But the fuller, policy-wonk answers on Medicare are partially argued by the RNC here.
Posted at 11:47 AM
"THE SOVIETS DEFEATED THEMSELVES" [Tim Graham]
Caught this exchange in the car yesterday on C-SPAN radio's rebroadcast of Fox News Sunday. The Cold War apparently was just one long self-righteous Soviet suicide.
CHRIS WALLACE: But let's look, for instance, at the 1980s and the Reagan build-up, because I have a copy here of a press release that John Kerry, the Senate campaign in 1984, put out, in which he said he wants to cancel the MX missile, he wants to cancel the B-1 bomber, he wants to cancel Star Wars. Now, we have a lot of more perspective now than we did then. But it turned out those were precisely the weapons that helped defeat the Soviet Union and led to the end of the Cold War. I mean, at a critical point in the 1980s, John Kerry, wasn't he wrong on the national security and what the central issue was at the time?
Posted at 11:32 AM
ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION -- THE CHILL EFFECT [John Derbyshire]
Mark: I agree, it is a scandal that the feddle gummint will not fulfil its responsibilites in the matter of illegal immigration. As that San Diego registry shows, though, there are a great many things that lesser actors can do to "chill" the appeal of illegal immigration. Since many illegals work in domestic service, home improvement, landscaping, and the like, here is another avenue we might explore. If an illegal immigrant is injured while working on private property, instead of absorbing the costs of his treatment (which they cannot reclaim from state Workmen's Comp schemes since the worker is not covered), hospitals and municipalities shoudl sue the property owner to recover those costs. A few well-publicized prosecutions like this -- even unsuccessful ones, which could still cost the defendant a bundle of money in legal fees -- would have homeowners clamoring for guarantees from home-service contractors that their workforce does not include illegal entrants.
Posted at 11:22 AM
THE ZELL FACTOR [Rod Dreher]
This story from today's NYTimes, datelined West Virginia, says the president has been invoking Zell Miller on the campaign trail:
Campaigning here on Sunday, Mr. Bush invoked Mr. Miller's support as a reason Democrats and independents could feel comfortable voting for the Republican ticket. Mr. Bush has used a version of the same line at every campaign stop he has made since the end of his convention on Thursday night, and here, as in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Iowa and Ohio in recent days, it brought rousing cheers from the audience.
Ha! Let me say, "Nanny-nanny, boo-boo" to the media nervous nellies who went on about how "angry" and "extreme" the Zell speech was, and how it's going to cost Bush votes. I had a number of conversations in which I pointed out that they've got Zell all wrong, that that he was speaking directly to the old Reagan Democrats, and that the Bush people ought to put Zell out front in swing states like Ohio and Pennsylvania. Imagine that: Karl Rove is smarter than the media.
For what it's worth, I talked to a relative down in Louisiana last night, and asked her if she'd seen the Zell speech. "No," she said, "but at work the next day, that's all anybody was talking about. Everybody loved it. It must have been great."
Posted at 11:21 AM
ISRAELI SPY [John Derbyshire]
The paleocon websites -- yep, you bet I read them -- have been going nuts over this story of an Israeli spy in the DoD.
This strikes me as disingenuous. I have always assumed that every country -- including friendly ones -- spies on the US govt to whatever degree it can get away with. The value-added of having some advance, unauthorized insight into US govt policy discussions is tremendous. Foreign governments, friendly or otherwise, would be fools not to do all they can to get insights into US policy.
This does not, of course, rule out the possibility -- make that "certainty" -- that some foreign governments *are* fools. Still, if I were elected Prime Minister of (say) Australia tomorrow, and discovered that the country had no espionage network in place in Washington, I should be furious, and would get a program started at once.
For Israel, whose actual existence as a nation might depend on US policy (as in fact it did in 1973), there is no excuse at all not to spy on the US. An Israeli government that did not spy on the US would be in very serious dereliction of its duty towards its citizens.
Of course, if we catch someone spying for a foreign power -- whether friendly or not -- we should throw the book at him. We are entitled to do everything we can to protect our national secrets, and need not apologize to anyone for that. But that is just the other side of the game.
To throw up your hands in horror on learning that some friendly country is spying on the US is preposterous. Unless, of course, you have a heavy emotional investment in the notion that lots of very senior administration officials owe their true primary allegiance to that country...
Posted at 11:20 AM
DRIVING WHILE W [KJL]
From a reader:
I watched the convention in Connecticut at one of the thousands of nationwide "Party for the President" events. The host picked my name out of a box and I won a Bush/Cheney hat and put it on. I hate hats, but oh well. Driving home, I hit a sobriety checkpoint set up in honor of the new .08% law.
Posted at 11:19 AM
NO REST FOR THE LOTTERY. [Mark Krikorian ]
I don't know how other papers do this, but whenever there's a holiday, the Washington Post runs a graphic of what's closed in the three area jurisdictions (D.C., Maryland, and Virginia). Banks: Closed, Closed, Closed. Schools: Closed, Closed, Closed. Libraries: Closed, Closed, Closed. There's only one thing that's never, ever closed on holidays -- Lotteries: Regular drawings, Regular drawings, Regular drawings. I don't want to start a debate on state-sanctioned gambling (I'm against it), but would it be so terrible to not have lottery drawings on holidays? Or even Sundays? (D.C. and Maryland have drawings seven days a week).
Posted at 09:32 AM
"NO ONE I KNOW VOTED FOR NIXON." [Mark Krikorian]
One of the Washington Post's business columnists had a piece
Posted at 09:31 AM
SEAL OF APPROVAL [Mark Krikorian ]
Some San Diegans are taking a new approach
Posted at 09:30 AM
BACK TO "NORMAL" [KJL]
On the roads this morning en route to NR World Headquarters, I took in the last day of the ghosttown feel--first it was NYers abandoning the Big Apple to make room for the elephants. Now, the tail end of Labor Day weekend. Tomorrow it is back to school, back to work, back to "normal." (Translation: Lotsa traffic.)
Posted at 09:25 AM
YOU THINK YOU CAN STONE ME AND SPIT IN MY EYE [KJL]
Queen hits Iran.
Posted at 04:37 AM
OH WHAT PROBLEMS TO HAVE! [KJL]
MEMO TO READERS: If this Slate piece, How to Raise Unspoiled Rich Kids, speaks to you, here's where to donate to NRO.
Posted at 04:15 AM
HAPPY LAST BARBECUE DAY OF THE SUMMER [KJL]
Hope you have a good one. NR is open for business, working on the next issue of NRODT today (have you subscribed?), so check in The Corner during AC breaks.
Posted at 04:10 AM
STEYN ON BESLAN [KJL]
I remember a couple of days after September 11 writing in some column or other that weepy candlelight vigils were a cop-out: the issue wasn't whether you were sad about the dead people but whether you wanted to do something about it. Three years on, that's still the difference. We can all get upset about dead children, but unless you're giving honest thought to what was responsible for the slaughter your tasteful elegies are no use. Nor are the hyper-rationalist theories about "asymmetrical warfare".
Posted at 04:09 AM
OPTIONAL DISSECTION [KJL]
Posted at 04:02 AM
CLINTON SPELLS OUT THE OBVIOUS FOR KERRY; KERRY CAMP GETS ANOTHER SHAKE-UP [KJL]
(Which means someone in the Democratic party reads the NYTimes.)
Posted at 04:01 AM
THAW PROGRESS [KJL]
(Some of you asked.) Thawed from Siberia, then ODed on OJ, but still catching up. If you've sent me something in the last week and thensome and you have reason to believe I might not have read (i.e. I haven't responded), pls. feel free to resend. I still may be slow responding, but resending doubles your chances...
Posted at 04:00 AM
AN UNDERSTATEMENT [KJL]
AP: "Several dozen Bush supporters greeted Kerry in Steubenville with signs favoring a second Bush term and opposing the Catholic Kerry's support for abortion rights."
More AP reporting issues here.
Posted at 03:42 AM
Sunday, September 05, 2004
FYI [Jonah Goldberg]
The Goldbergs are in Pierre, South Dakota, heading East in the wee hours. Details TK.
Posted at 10:49 PM
AN EMBARASSMENT OF RICHES [Barbara Comstock]
Frank Rich has been hanging out on Broadway toooooooooo long...not EVERYTHING is a sexual image -- (i.e. Rich today: ".....from Mr. Kerry's toy-soldier "reporting for duty" salute in Boston to the special Madison Square Garden runway for Mr. Bush's acceptance speech, a giant phallus thrusting him into the nation's lap, or whatever.") And Frank Rich is now claiming President Bush is a great actor.....a lot of things a liberal might say about George Bush, but being a great actor is a new one. I thought we were getting attacked for the subtle "cross" imagery of the stage; now it's some kind of porno/macho thing?!
It's amazing how desperate Dems have to attribute a Republican ahead in the polls to some type of sinister Manchurian candidate subliminal plot, rather than the actual fact that people find the wind-surfing, flip flopping, taller, thinner version of Teddy Kennedy unappealing and unacceptable on the merits and on the issues. These are also the same people (note, Susan Estrich) who apparently think the country was tricked out of having their heart's desire....President Dukakis in 1988. Are they serious?!
Issues matter guys!! That's what elections are about. And YOUR guys are on the wrong side of most of them -- from refusing to fight the Cold War, and trying to gut the military and intel budgets -- even after the 1990s terrorist attacks on US interests, to refusing to fight communism in our hemisphere, and opposing President Clinton's Defense of Marriage Act and supporting the heinous practice of partial birth abortion, while voting for every tax increase in sight and opposing President Bush's tax cuts for married people, kids, small businesses, etc. Despite the mainstream press wanting to hide that record -- it's not possible to do so anymore. It's not acting or what the stages look like. At the end of the day, it's issues -- and the NY Times hasn't gotten it for a long time....since about 1972 when they didn't know anyone who voted for Richard Nixon and were shocked, shocked, by the landslide....
Posted at 07:25 PM
PATRICK BUCHANAN AND I [Ramesh Ponnuru]
will be on CSPAN tomorrow morning to discuss his new book. It's supposed to run from 8:30 to 9:15 a.m. Eastern time. Not sure how they're planning to divide the callers.
Posted at 03:59 PM
TODAY'S NY TIMES [Ramesh Ponnuru]
must have brought a lot of joy to Republicans. Nagourney and Wilgoren have a seemingly endless list of nationally prominent Democrats giving panicked advice to Kerry. Most of it seems like bad advice too. All these Monday-morning quarterbacks think that Kerry shouldn't have concentrated so much on his Vietnam service during the Boston convention. What should he have done, then? Concentrated on his legislative record? Senator Evan Bayh says that Kerry should essentially cede the national-security issue and hit Bush on domestic issues. Good idea, except for this war on terror thing you may have heard about.
Posted at 03:55 PM
A FEW PEOPLE HAVE ASKED ME THIS... [KJL]
" I don't know much of anything about the science of polling or how reputable Time's number-crunchers are, but I do feel I know something about Time. Is there any chance they are intentionally inflatiing Bush's lead on the theory that when things almost certainly tighten they'll be able to pitch it that Kerry is riding a tidal wave of momentum to the finish? "
Posted at 03:06 PM
CSPAN II--BOOK TV [KJL]
Rick Brookhiser is on right now.
Posted at 02:46 PM
ESTRICH, ONE MORE COMMENT [KJL]
"The trouble with Democrats, traditionally, is that we're not mean enough. . . . I don't particularly like destroying people."
How about Robert Bork?
Posted at 02:29 PM
"ETCH-A-SKETCH" PRESIDENT [KJL]
More Left losing it: Garrison Keillor here.
Posted at 02:24 PM
ESTRICH DELUSIONS [KJL]
Rich Lowry is "as partisan a Republican as you can find." Don't think she is looking hard enough.
Posted at 02:07 PM
WHO WAS *REALLY* BEHIND THE RUSSIAN SCHOOL MASSACRE? [John Derbyshire]
Who do you think? The Jews, of course.
"Ali Abdullah, an ultraconservative Bahraini religious scholar, condemnded the school attack as 'un-Islamic,' but insisted Israelis -- not Muslims -- were behind it and wanted to 'tarnish the image of Muslims." ---AP, byline Susan Sevareid, 9/5/04.
Posted at 02:05 PM
MORE DESPERATION [KJL]
from Frank Rich, this time.
Posted at 02:03 PM
KERRY HITS THE WRONG OHIO TOWN [Kathryn Jean Lopez ]
An e-mail from Steubenville, Ohio, hometown of the Catholic University of Steubenville:
John Kerry came to Steubenville yesterday and quickly realized he was in the wrong city. Steubenville is a city where there are 6 Democrats for every 1 Republican, and the Steelworkers unions are alive and active. You would think this was solid John Kerry territory. The mob used to control Steubenville and now the unions think they do. Well, they are wrong.
Posted at 01:59 PM
LUNATICS [Andrew Stuttaford]
One reason why so many Europeans have so little understanding of what is going on in the US is the sheer shabbiness and dishonesty of the coverage by much of their press of what goes on in America. Here’s a prime example (from today’s London Observer):
”Today, by some margin, George W Bush is the most despised figure in America."
Oh, come on.
Now disapproving of George W Bush is fine (if you are so inclined), and so, obviously, is reporting against him, but comments such as that from a senior writer (Robert McCrum) at a well-respected (if misguided) newspaper do no service to their readers.Telling lies never does.
Actually, the whole of McCrum’s piece, basically a series of brief interviews with discontented literati, is well worth reading by any fans of paranoia, hyperbole and the padded cell. Do have a stiff drink first, however.
If you can’t face the thought of wading through it, here’s a brief extract (from Wallace Shawn, the poor man’s Lewis Lapham):
'Part of the problem presented by Bush and his gang is that they are so crude ... When you are confronted with things that are so crudely brutal, the writer's task of elucidating what lies beneath the surface is redundant. These people believe in cruelty, vengeance and brutality. I think Shakespeare would have done very well with these characters. The American government in my lifetime has never been in the hands of people so unbelievably unqualified to run a large country. These guys are out of touch with reality. The most shocking thing about them is that they have only a contempt for the law. That means that they could - and probably will - do anything. This is the scariest I've known it. Part of the problem with these men is that their sensitivities have never been shaped by any civilisation, of East or West - or even the wisdom of primitive cultures.'
Dear oh dear oh dear. Wallace, you poor old fellow, I really think that you need to have a nice lie-down, a glass of warm milk, and good, long soothing nap. That crude Dick Cheney, however, might have other, more uncomfortable, suggestions.
Posted at 01:58 PM
GODWIN'S LAW [John Derbyshire]
Several readers have e-mailed in to remind me of Godwin's Law which I think should be written into the Constitution.
Posted at 01:49 PM
MORE POST COMBING [Tim Graham]
If you’re feeling super-geeky today, see the Post story on Bush that sits on the page opposite the Kerry-Medicare story. (If you tried to find the Bush-on-the-stump story on the Post home page today, sorry. They do have two links to Kerry stories, but not to the president.) Read the Kerry story, then the Bush story. Here’s something funny. One way you can tell which candidate the newspaper favors is how the Kerry story has no rebuttal from the Bush camp, but whoa, here is paragraph 14 of the Bush story:
Kerry's campaign said that is worse than any single year of the eight that Bill Clinton was president. Kerry aides said Bush does not mention that, on balance, the economy has lost 913,000 jobs since he was inaugurated in January 2001 -- 1,650,000 in the private sector, partly offset by 737,000 added by the government. Kerry used the Democratic radio address to call the most recent jobs report "disappointing." He said Bush "is now certain to be the first president since Herbert Hoover and the Great Depression who didn't create a single job."
The Post also needs a better weekend editor on the campaign beat. Here is paragraph number two: “Ohio, the seventh most populous state but the first in importance to the presidential campaigns of Bush and his Democratic challenger John F. Kerry, has lost more than 200,00 jobs since 2000, making it a ripe target for Kerry’s message that Bush has failed middle-class pocketbooks...” And here is paragraph seven, repeated exactly: “Ohio, the seventh most populous state, but the first in importance....”
Posted at 01:47 PM
POST EMPHASIS=KERRY EMPHASIS [Tim Graham]
The Washington Post reports Sunday that Medicare will dominate Kerry’s message and that “Criticism of 17% Premium Increase Sets the Stage for New Focus on Domestic Issues.”
Lois Romano and Vanessa Williams (no, not that one) began: “John F. Kerry promoted his economic message in this strapped battleground state for the second day in a row, blasting the Bush administration on job losses and the news that Medicare premiums for doctor visits will go up 17 percent next year. ‘Let me ask you something: Who are they going to send the bill to?’ the Democratic challenger asked a rally of 12,000 on Saturday. ‘Are they going to send the bill to Halliburton? Are they going to send the bill to Ken Lay at Enron? You bet they're not. They're going to send the bill to our senior citizens. They're going to send the bill to all of you.’”
I mention this because guess which economic story the Washington Post put top of the page, left hand corner yesterday? “Medicare Premiums to Rise by 17.5 Percent: Percentage Increase Biggest in 15 Years.” What did the Post put on the front page of the Business section, top right? “Payrolls Resumed Growth in August: Gain Not Strong: Unemployment Drops to 5.4 Percent.” Oh yeah, the lowest unemployment rate in three years. Pardon me, but wouldn’t “resume” suggest to the reader the month before had seen a drop, instead of the latest in a year of increases?
Posted at 01:46 PM
RE: CLOSING IN ON OBL? [KJL]
Sorry, missed the link yesterday. Here's one.
Posted at 01:42 PM
NOTHING LIKE MAKING A GAL FEEL GUILTY [KJL ]
A reader from Fort Pierce, Florida e-mailed last night: “There are 100mph winds outside, and I’m reading the Corner!”
K-Lo, meanwhile, was asleep.
Posted at 01:37 PM
YELLOW-CAKE [Andrew Stuttaford]
A set-up by France?
Posted at 01:24 PM
FROM AL-ARABIYA [Andrew Stuttaford]
“It is a certain fact that not all Muslims are terrorists, but it is equally certain, and exceptionally painful, that almost all terrorists are Muslims... We cannot clear our names unless we own up to the shameful fact that terrorism has become an Islamic enterprise; an almost exclusive monopoly, implemented by Muslim men and women. We cannot redeem our extremist youths, who commit all these heinous crimes, without confronting the Sheikhs who thought it ennobling to reinvent themselves as revolutionary ideologues, sending other people’s sons and daughters to certain death, while sending their own children to European and American schools and colleagues.”
Meanwhile, here in Britain the Sunday Telegraph is reporting that “an Islamic cleric has announced that he would support hostage-taking in British schools if carried out by terrorists with a just cause.”
Posted at 01:13 PM
BESLAN [Andrew Stuttaford]
Nothing can ever excuse the horrors of the Beslan massacre or the guilt of the revolting butchers who carried it out, but we will, doubtless, be hearing a lot from some sources about how the Russians at least partly brought this massacre on their own heads by their terrible mistreatment of the Chechens over the years.
It is, of course, certainly true that imperial Russian and, far more so, Soviet treatment of the Chechens was disgusting and, during the 1940s, frankly genocidal. Adding to the misery, the brutality of the wars waged by Yeltsin and Putin against their Chechen opposition has, at times, been staggering. Nevertheless, we should be careful about the extent to which Moscow can be blamed for the current nightmare. Russia did offer Chechnya independence in all but name in the mid-1990s. The result was the creation of a slum statelet that combined religious bigotry, military adventurism and aggressive banditry in roughly equal measures.
It’s also worth noting that the guerillas now in the vanguard of the resistance to Moscow want far more than independence for their own country. As this piece from the Sunday Telegraph explains, the objectives of their leader, Shamil Basayev, now include the establishment of an Islamic emirate across a wide swathe of the northern Caucasus.
And is there evidence that these guerillas gets at least some funding from sources linked to the cesspit ‘kingdom’ now known as Saudi Arabia?
Well, what do you think?
Posted at 01:05 PM
CAN IT HAPPEN HERE? [Rod Dreher]
Could something like the Beslan massacre happen in the United States? Well, why not? Here's a 2002 story about that Islamic paramilitary training camp in Alabama. A quick Google search also turns up a story from this past June about a suspected al Qaeda sleeper in Minneapolis, a man who had fought in Chechnya for the jihadis, getting licenses to drive hazardous materials trucks, and school buses.
Posted at 12:16 PM
ADAM BELLOW [Jonah Goldberg]
(Who's my editor and a friend of NR, fyi) will be on C-Span tomorrow from 12-1 PM EST and again at 4:PM.
Posted at 12:26 AM