HAMDI TO KSA? [KJL]
Posted at 12:14 PM
A MUST CLICK [Jonah Goldberg ]
Can you imagine how weird it felt rehearsing this?
Posted at 12:11 PM
IS BURKETT THE CBS SOURCE? [Tim Graham]
Bill Burkett wrote some interesting comments to President Bush in August...
Posted at 12:08 PM
RATHER A STRANGE DEFINITION OF "HONEST PERSON" [John Derbyshire]
Last night O'Reilly re-ran his earlier interview with Dan Rather, which contained the following gem:
O'REILLY: And I want to ask you flat out. Do you think President Clinton's an honest man?The whole thing is here.
Posted at 12:04 PM
ROMANCE VS. MAJESTY [KJL]
Can it be both? The splendor of the seat of power mixed with contant influxes of rooted young idealism and patriotic sentiment.
I'm off to coffees--finally.
Posted at 11:57 AM
PICTURE FASHION WEEK AT MECCA [KJL]
Saudi Arabia is a hotbed for women's fashion designers?
Posted at 11:46 AM
MR. DERB GOES TO WASHINGTON [John Derbyshire]
OK, I am suiting up to ride Amtrak down to the Great Wen. I can't say I agree with Kathryn that DC is a romantic place. I love all the national monuments -- but that's majesty, not romance. And yes, the security barriers have taken the shine off everything. So, come to think of it, have all those conversations I've had with Washington insiders, where I ask: "Why doesn't someone in Washington do something about...?" and then they, after falling around laughing for a while, explain patiently to me that nobody in Washington ever *does* anything, other than conduct turf fights and take lunch with lobbyists.
Anyhoo, DC here I come. Hope to see some of you NRO readers at Kate's this evening.
Posted at 11:27 AM
THE PUNITIVE APPROACH [John Derbyshire]
P.J. O'Rourke seems to be with me on Iraq -- i.e. teach 'em a lesson, then clear out: "A mess was left behind. But it's a mess without a military to fight aggressive wars; a mess without the facilities to develop dangerous weapons; a mess that cannot systematically kill, torture, and oppress millions of its citizens. It's a mess with a message - don't mess with us. As frightening as terrorism is, it's the weapon of losers. When someone detonates a suicide bomb, that person does not have career prospects. And no matter how horrific the terrorist attack, it's conducted by losers. Winners don't need to hijack airplanes. Winners have an air force."
Posted at 11:26 AM
DON'T BLOG ON THE ROAD, GAL [KJL]
A reader: "[D]ear, I fear that you may still be intoxicated. Would you mind spending a few seconds proofing your grammar and spelling, like, making sure your tenses agree, the numbers agree with the subjects, the tenses make sense, etc.?"
Point taken! But, better not admit this: not a drop. But no coffee this morning either.
Posted at 11:24 AM
RE: WOODY ALLEN [KJL]
I'm brooding here--no R Kelly, no Michael Jackson--Congressional Black Caucus has snatched them both, I am reminded--Bush may not win in the category that binds them all together.
Posted at 11:19 AM
WHERE'S STUTTAFORD? [KJL]
He's on Amtrak, I think, actually. A friend (who was recently subject to some age cracks, thus the end of this) just emailed me a report on the most important thing (or so he says) that happened last night--the end of the Stargate season. I run it as a sci-fi olive branch to Star Trek lovers I've banned from raising the topic here:
SG-1 managed to save the lives of millions of Jafar - by thwarting the planetary nerve gassing plans of the nefarious "Trust."
Posted at 11:13 AM
UNHUDDLED MASSES YEARNING FOR WHITE HOUSE BADGES [KJL]
Read David Brooks today
Posted at 11:05 AM
BULL SHINE [Michael Graham]
In an interview dated August 30th of this year, Dan Rather told Broadcasting & Cable magazine: "Ethical and principled reporters should come to campaigns trying to separate brass tacks from bull shine."
Someone might have mentioned to Mr. Rather that a key "bull shine" indicator is when a document arrives anonymously from a Kinko's and is found not to be authentic by at least two of the five experts you hire to analyze it.
Actually, the entire B & C interview is deliciously filled with unintended ironies and embarrassing self-parody. Rather tells the interviewer that there's too much coverage of the candidates' 1970s activities ("In the end, what difference does it make what one candidate or the other did or didn't do during the Vietnam War?"). Of course, this is just two weeks before he and CBS "break" the Bush/National Guard story.
Posted at 11:04 AM
RE: FOX AIN'T CBS [Jonah Goldberg ]
Jon - That whole TNR piece is shockingly sub-par. As most people know around here, I'm a fan of TNR, but this thing is really just a collection of lefty cliches strung togther. First of all, Buck's right. It's flatly untrue that Fox never acknowledged the fakery of those Fonda photos. I remember seeing them address it more than once. Moreover, the silly habit of Fox-bashers to match-up Sean Hannity and Brit Hume as if anyone thinks they have the same job is so lazy. I don't hold Judy Woodruff accountable for what Paul Begala says on Crossfire, but for some reason I'm supposed to think that Hume and Chris Wallace are interchangeable with Hannity? I just don't get that.
But on a broader level, the obsession with Fox is just so lame. Crying "What about Fox!" everytime the mainstream media gets criticized is not an answer to legitimate complaints -- it's an attempt to deflect them. Besides, Brit Hume is great but liberals can't keep citing him as a match for Rather, Jennings, Brokaw, Woodruff, Couric, et al. combined.
Posted at 10:46 AM
WOW--THIS CHANGES THE DYNAMICS OF THE RACE [KJL]
Woody Allen's not voting for Bush.
Posted at 10:45 AM
WFB AT NR WORLD HEADQUARTERS… [Jack Fowler]
on Monday to sign copies of Miles Gone By. It’s the ultimate Buckley book, and a must for any of his fans. Get your personally autographed copy here.
Posted at 10:39 AM
UNFAIR POLLING? [KJL]
Dave Hogberg thinks so.
Posted at 10:37 AM
RE: ZHANG-YEOH WARS [John Derbyshire]
Several readers have told me that Michelle Yeoh and Zhang Ziyi actually *did* have a fight in "Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon." Oh. That must have been after the point where I fell asleep.
Perhaps I should just give up on sword flicks altogether. Anyway, for the Yeoh-Zhang showdown, I had in mind something more along the lines of a wrestling pit filled with jell-o. Can that be fitted in to a movie about ancient China? I bet it can. What the heck's wrong with the air conditioning in here?
Posted at 10:25 AM
THANKS THANKS [KJL]
We still have some doing before we make up the $65k we lost in the last year on legal defense, but we're getting there--and there is still time, this weekend. Would you consider supporting NRO, please? Thank you. And Thank you if you have contributed already.
Posted at 10:17 AM
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT [Barbara Comstock]
The following is an excerpt of a piece about Kitty Kelley by Andrew Ferguson in the Weekly Standard.....note Kelley's previous fake letters she produced..........hmmmmm....and she was interviewing Bill Burkett.....makes you wonder if ol' Kitty ever wandered by an Abilene Kinko's....
"It was not always so. There was a brief window in Kitty Kelley's career when respectability hovered within her grasp. His Way: The Unauthorized Biography of Frank Sinatra (1986), which among much else described Sinatra's mother as an abortionist and depicted Ol' Blue Eyes himself bellying up, so to speak, to a steak-and-egg breakfast served off the bosom of a Las Vegas prostitute, had been praised in most establishment circles. Then, in 1987, she announced that her next subject would be Nancy Reagan. Within months the Washington Post, whose proprietress Katharine Graham was close to Mrs. Reagan, ordered up the definitive profile of Kitty Kelley. Exhaustively reported and cheekily written by Gerri Hirshey, the story appeared in three installments in October 1988. It ran to over 25,000 words, a sordid tale of personal betrayals and professional malfeasance, and it established, beyond a reasonable doubt, that its subject was a bit of a head case.
Posted at 10:12 AM
WHO YOU CALLING A TERRORIST? [KJL]
Consistent Reuters complains about a news agency's (CanWest) use of the word "terrorist."
Posted at 10:08 AM
MORE CBS COOKIE CRUMBLES [Tim Graham]
Posted at 10:03 AM
D.C. DOWNERS [KJL ]
You guys who live in D.C. are way used to it by now, I imagine, but I still can't spend time in D.C. without getting depressed and angry. This town--especially if you are (realistically) idealistic about the American republic--is the most romantic town we have. (Stop laughing, all you who live in God's country.) Nothing like a Friday night walk around the Capitol. Long-time D.C.ers recall doing so (one Georgetown alum did last night, in conversation) at the end of dates during college, etc. But that's really all gone now. The big white slabs. And not even unform security barriers. (And how exactly do they decide which Cabinet buildings get concrete slabs and with don't?)
I'm being unfair here, but in NYC we were attacked, and you look around and we just fought back, darnit. We savor the large crowds and the famous buildings. And, despite large guns about, we carry on as normal, with 1,000 possibilities for jihadist dangers. In D.C.--where, granted, a government facility exists roughly every yard in some areas--nothing will ever be the same. Maybe it had to happen that way--I don't know. But it makes you livid.
Posted at 09:56 AM
WE'RE NOT BIAS [KJL]
W. is up in the polls. Washington Post Editors call emergency meeting: "QUICK. NEED HALLIBURTON STORY FOR FRONT PAGE ASAP."
Posted at 09:44 AM
AMTRAK SHOCKER [KJL ]
Got what had to be the last seat on the 3:00 train to DC yesterday. Was at a table, four seats at it. Two lively, attractive college girls, one laid-back Philly-area lawyer. ALL REPUBLICANS. ALL BUSH VOTERS.
Whenever I take a cab I inevitably get into politics without trying. Most drivers, frankly, who I have encountered, are in the Kerry camp—and they are usually Arab and have the impression Bush is waging war against them. But, I have encountered pro-Bush ones lately, and some Arab pro-Bush cabbies. And it’s always tied to 9/11.
Maybe things did change. For one, it became safe to admit to being Republican in the northeast corridor.
Posted at 09:42 AM
I've received many emails from people complaining that we have somehow forgotten there is a war going on.
Read Victor Davis Hanson and call me in the morning.
Posted at 09:27 AM
RICH LOWRY [KJL]
is on Fox and Friends right now.
Dan Rather--what the heck else?
Notice Rich is never on pre-8 am. I know he must really want to do the 6 am one...a shame..
Posted at 09:26 AM
STAY TUNED [KJL]
a Ledeen piece up in a few.
Posted at 09:24 AM
FOX AIN'T CBS [Jonathan H. Adler]
Kevin Drum and TNR complain CBS' handling of the forged Killian memos is no worse than Fox News' alleged treatment of doctored Vietnam-era photos showing John Kerry side-by-side with Jane Fonda. Fox accepted the photo as real and never issued a retraction, they claim. Yet, as Stuart Buck demonstrates, Fox didn't fall for the fake photos -- and repeatedly told viewers about the doctored pictures making their way around the internet.
Posted at 09:19 AM
REPUDIATE THE VOTE [Rich Lowry]
I'm beginning to think Kerry should just repudiate his vote to authorize the war. Yes, it will be one of his largest flip-flops, and would be a major risk. But at least it would give him an Iraq position that is coherent in the here-and-now, even if it hasn't been consistent over time. It's obviously much easier to argue that we have been mislead into a mistaken war and you regret your vote to authorize it, than it is to argue that we have been mislead into a mistaken war and you stand by your vote to authorize it. It must be the flip-flopping criticism that is keeping Kerry from doing this, so this Bush campaign line of attack has two benefits: it tars Kerry as a flip-flopper AND keeps his Iraq position incoherent.
Posted at 09:14 AM
BYRON YORK [KJL ]
Will be on Tim Russert’s CNBC show this weekend...Saturday at 7pm, again at 10pm, and again at 1am.
I can tell you the show is pretaped because Byron will be celebrating NRO at the O’Beirne home tonight with some of our top donors.
Posted at 09:10 AM
Friday, September 17, 2004
AH, CAPITALISM [Jonah Goldberg]
Posted at 10:21 PM
ABSURD TIMEWASTER [Jonah Goldberg]
I'm posting this over the weekend so as not to cause the economy too big a blow productivity-wise.
Posted at 10:19 PM
THAT SF THING [Ramesh Ponnuru]
will run from 7 to 10 pm.
Posted at 06:25 PM
LOOK'N GOOD SENATOR [Jonah Goldberg]
Two words: Donkey Teeth.
Posted at 05:57 PM
NRO SF UPDATE [Ramesh Ponnuru]
This thing has gotten a little out of control--I did not expect more than 50 people to RSVP, but that is what has happened. We now have Steve Hayward, Deroy Murdock, and the legendary Bill Rusher--NR's publisher for many years--confirmed. (No word from Peter Robinson yet, but he may still be sick.) And maybe this lady:
"I will try to be there Monday night – mostly because I never pass up an opportunity to drink with Steve Hayward when he is in town. And I figure you should have a couple of conservative women there just to prove we are not extinct in San Francisco.
"Oh, and I want to meet the panty-waist Saab driver who’s afraid to put a W’04 sticker on his car. I have mine proudly displayed on my un-PC pickup truck, and while I’ve been called a [expletives deleted] a couple of times, no one has keyed it yet – even on Haight."
They can meet Monday night on the second floor of Gordon Biersch at 2 Harrison Street. You can email me at email@example.com if you want to join us.
Posted at 05:56 PM
KEN MEHLMAN [Ramesh Ponnuru]
He's Bush's campaign manager, and I just talked to him. He doesn't believe the polls that have Bush up 14. "I think we're about a 4 or 5 point race." He's not worried about overconfidence: "The reality is I think everyone understands that the nature of the environment is it’s never going to be like 1984 where you know you’ve won the election.” He thinks it's a tight race in Minnesota. "That's a state that is trending away from its historic Democratic roots. You're also seeing it to some extent in Wisconsin, and you saw it in Texas in the '80s and '90s: First the suburbs and then the rural areas begin to vote their ideology instead of their heritage. Those areas are culturally conservative and increasingly economically conservative."
He mentioned Bush's oft-expressed hope that he does not have a "lonely victory." "Candidates that want a personal victory say vote for me, I’m a good guy," said Mehlman. "Candidates that want a broad-based victory say vote for us, we have an agenda. That’s what the president is doing."
Posted at 05:41 PM
SHOT FIRED FROM LEXINGTON [Ramesh Ponnuru]
The Economist's "Lexington" column snipes at National Review this week, describing NR as a magazine from which a Republican will learn only that "abortion is a bad thing yet again." There is a lot that could be said about that comment, but I think the key thing to say to Adrian Wooldridge, the Economist's Washington editor, is this: I'm sorry my review of your book hurt your feelings, and I promise to write a rave of your next one if it's any good.
Posted at 03:18 PM
FROM GEOGRAPHY TO DEMOGRAPHY [Ramesh Ponnuru]
David Winston, the Republican pollster, argues that a Bush lead of 4 to 5 points poses a problem for the Kerry campaign that hasn't been much discussed. Kerry's campaign has been focused on ekeing out a victory in selected swing states--Ohio, West Virginia, etc. That makes sense if the electorate is closely divided. But a significant Bush lead means that he has to gain ground nationally among select demographic groups. "You have to move married women with children in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and Wisconsin," says Winston. "And they're going national at the same time that they reshuffle the campaign." They have to restructure their strategy while having already spent money on the old one, he adds. They have to change the national equilibrium--and things like "the hurricanes are taking time off the clock."
Posted at 02:59 PM
FISHING STORIES [Rich Lowry]
After the Cornell debate I went fly-fishing up near Lake Ontario. It turns out it was the first day of the salmon fishing season. We went to a bend in the very aptly named Salmon River. My guide told me that this would be the best salmon fishing anywhere except Alaska. I know nothing about fishing, but he looked to be right. There were about 10 people on either side of the shore, and literally about every 30 seconds someone would yell “Fish on!” and a huge salmon would jump about 3 feet in the air. It was unbelievable. The salmon were like popcorn going off. Unfortunately, I had no idea what I was doing during the crucial time between about 6 and 8 am and hooked nothing. I had to be the only person there who hooked nothing. The guy next to me must have hooked 15 salmon. He would give me some tip, “See here, you want to cast in right about here.” Bam--he hooked a fish. He would cast again. “And don't pull out, until about here.” Bam--he hooked another fish. It was embarrasing. My guide repeatedly gave me that consolation line, “Well, its really all about just being out here.” When they stopped biting there, we went to a little creek where my guide thought there might have been a few salmon that swam up during the flood the week before. For a while, I thought that this was going to be the closest I came to a fish, smaller than my quarry last year, if that's possible. But we ended up hooking 5 salmon in there between us--he hooked three, I hooked two. It was very, very cool. They all got away (no big deal since we were catching and releasing and if you fight them too long you risk killing them on the line anyway), except one. Reeling this thing in has to be one of the most exhilirating sporting experiences I've had. Unfortunately, my guide hooked it, so I was cheating, but he handed me the reel and the thing dashed upstream about maybe 50 yards (?), as you can see here. The splash in the far background is the fish. Then I closed in on her and she turned around and booked maybe 100 yards in the other direction and I had to run after her, as you can see here. Eventually, she stopped in calm water and my guide managed to pull her out of the water, an absolutely amazing 3-foot long creature. It was awesome. During the transfer so I could hold her for a shot, we (mostly I, of course) dropped her and she got away. But it was a great day. If you want to catch salmon get yourself up to the Lake Ontario area right away.
Posted at 02:32 PM
WASHINGTON POST VS HOUSTON CHRONICLE [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Posted at 02:25 PM
JUST 57 SHOPPING DAYS TILL CRUISEMAS [Jack Fowler]
Still a few cabins left. One of them is yours – if you don’t dilly-dally. Sign up here.
Posted at 01:56 PM
We've passed the 30K mark on our post-defense defense fund drive, but are still far short of the 65K we lost. We are planning on ending the appeal over the weekend so if you have yet to give and would like to, please go here. And, again, thank you. We ask because we have to. NRO wouldn't be NRO without you. Again, here are the deals.
And, again, a heartfelt thank you.
Posted at 01:32 PM
I LIKE THIS THINKING ( & THANKS) [KJL]
I just saw your post on the Corner:
Posted at 01:26 PM
HANK [Jonathan H. Adler]
Now there's something Derb and I can agree upon!
Posted at 01:26 PM
THE GIRL AT THE RALLY [KJL]
Michelle Malkin has more.
Posted at 01:24 PM
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HANK [John Derbyshire]
He would have been 81 today.
Posted at 01:21 PM
NOWHERE LEFT TO FLOP [Jonathan H. Adler]
Krauthammer pounds on Kerry's Iraq positions in today's column:
If the election were held today, John Kerry would lose by between 88 and 120 electoral votes. The reason is simple: The central vulnerability of this president -- the central issue of this campaign -- is the Iraq war. And Kerry has nothing left to say. Why? Because, until now, he has said everything conceivable regarding Iraq. Having taken every possible position on the war, there is nothing he can say now that is even remotely credible.Ouch.
Posted at 01:13 PM
O.C. BLOGGING [Jonathan H. Adler]
I'm in Newport Beach, California attending the Claremont Institute's Constitution Day conference on "Defending the Constitution: Property Rights and the New Regulation." I'll be live blogging bits of the conference today over on The Commons Blog.
Posted at 12:56 PM
DEFENDING PRYOR [Jonathan H. Adler]
Mother Jones grossly distorts the record of Judge William Pryor, but SA's Feddie is on the case to set them straight.
Posted at 12:56 PM
KUDOS TO ESPN [Jonathan H. Adler]
All week they've been broadcasting Sportscenter from a military base in Kuwait as part of their "Support the Troops" week.
Posted at 12:56 PM
THE BUSH ENVIRONMENTAL RECORD [Jonathan H. Adler]
The NYT profiled the Administration's environmental policies here. Max Borders assesses the record rather favorably on TCS here, and the Administration defends himself here.
Posted at 12:56 PM
MUST SEE TV [KJL]
This Sunday night, 9/19 at 9 PM ET, the Fox News Channel special: “Breaking Point: UN Blood Money.” NRO Contributor Claudia Rosett--the Oil-for-Food reporter will, of course be on.
Posted at 12:52 PM
CNN [Jonah Goldberg]
I'll be on Inside Politics around 3:45. FYI.
Posted at 12:32 PM
NEW SWIFT VET AD: DAZED AND CONFUSED [Jonah Goldberg ]
I'm not sure how effective it is for people who haven't followed the story closely. But I don't see how anyone can claim this stuff isn't fair game.
Posted at 12:31 PM
KERRY, WAR, MEDIA... [Michael Ledeen]
I too, have emails from readers, many of whom keep asking that NRO keep chanting, "We want Kerry's 180! We want Kerry's medical records."
And maybe, in the interests of understanding media bias, someone would like to go back and see how often the NYT and CBS and the rest of the dead wood crowd asked for the medical records of republican candidates, compared to the dems...
Finally, Andy McCarthy is right (as usual) to say that the coordinated strategy among the various terrorists in iraq shows that Saddam and the terrorists knew one another and planned their actions together. But it doesn't go far enough, as the WSJ editorial is too limited as well. I constantly warned, in the months leading up to Operation IRaqi Freedom, that we were going to face a terror war in Iraq after the fall of Saddam, because it was quite obvious that Iran, IRaq, Syria and Saudi Arabia were planning it.
It is very discouraging to see Zarqawi's picture in the WSJ, as in USA Today of late, without mentioning that his headquarters were and probably still are in Tehran. Proof of this is superabundant, starting with German and Italian court records, all public.
Posted at 12:25 PM
AND THE EMMY GOES TO... [KJL]
... Matt Stockes of Tuscaloosa, Alabama and Eric Berlin of Milford, CT. were first to ID the two running themes (if someone forced at moments) on the homepage today: Rathergate, natch (notice all of the articles teaser lines) and Ramones titles: the text on the three art spots are titles of songs Ramones did. Try as I did, I really could't make Hanson say "I Want to Be Sedated."
Posted at 12:13 PM
FOX [Rich Lowry]
I'll be on Dayside around 1:30, talking politics of the day.
Posted at 12:04 PM
RE: KERRY'S MIND [Jonah Goldberg]
A reader writes:
I think what you are describing (Kerry's ability to nuance his butt off) is actually a symptom of a bigger failing. I have often thought and others have written extensively about the moral relativism of modern liberals. I believe the phenomena you describe is simply part of the condition that makes all things good or evil based upon a constantly updated current evaluation of how I feel and what others are doing or thinking. Kerry and those like him have to reevalutate what is right and wrong every moment of every day because they are too sophisticated and brilliant to be constrained by a dreary notion of right or wrong rooted in anything so silly as religion or even philosophy. The inability to recognize their own wishy washy behavior is a symptom of the disease that is moral relativism.
Posted at 11:33 AM
"THE CAMERA BLINKS" [KJL]
Until I saw this headline, I had completely forgotten my first journalism class at the Univ. of Montana. It was titled “Introduction to Journalism”, but we ONLY read Dan Rather’s book, as if it were the Bible. It was all we studied for the entire quarter. I changed my major after that class.
Posted at 11:19 AM
NRO THIEVES [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
Posted at 11:16 AM
SAN FRAN [KJL]
Ramesh, maybe you should start your get-together at Borders: everyone walking in at once asking for Unfit for Command. Here's an e-mail:
Posted at 10:58 AM
FROM THE BBC! [KJL]
Iraq the model has some valuable translations and commentary from the BBC's Arabic website:
America is not an enemy of Arabs and Muslims, on the contrary, on many occasions she backed Muslims when other Muslims did nothing like in Bosnia, Afghanistan and Iraq. America helped us get rid of the worst dictatorship in history and despite the unstable security situation now in Iraq we breath freely and say whatever we want to say without fear from Saddam and his dogs...
Posted at 10:54 AM
NEWS OF THE DAY [Andy McCarthy]
WSJ editorial on Iraq today makes a critical point: based on all we now know, the resistance by combined forces of Saddam loyalists and jihadists is not an ad hoc arrangement caused by the U.S. invasion, the version of history the MSM and the Democrats are trying to sculpt as the conventional wisdom. It is, instead, a strategy that was adopted before the invasion -- and a very shrewd one at that. Knowing they were unable to match our forward march, the enemy played to its strength. It planned to go dark and wage a guerrilla campaign on its own turf during the occupation. Obviously, this suggests we could have planned better, could have reacted better, and made a real error in pulling the plug on the Marines' Falluja operation this past spring. Falluja and the rest of the Sunni triangle are proving to be the heart of this resistance -- which can't be coopted and thus has to be wiped out. But it also shows that this is a thought-out plan, not a later development -- a plan that banked on Saddam's ties to terrorism which, notwithstanding the nay-sayers, he assiduously developed throughout the 1990's.
Posted at 10:50 AM
CHARACTER RECOGNITION SOFTWARE [Jonah Goldberg]
No, not for candidates -- for me. I have a huge number of PDFs of old newspaper and journal articles. They are basically pictures. Does anybody know of good -- Mac based and relatively cheap -- software that would make it possible for me to search them by key word etc? I assume it exists. Heck, for all I know it exists on my computer. Please send answers or other solutions I'm too stupid to figure out to JonahResearch@aol.com. My normal address is too full to deal with tech responses -- which are always voluminous.
Posted at 10:48 AM
THE LITTLE GIRL EPISODE [Jonah Goldberg ]
The plot thickens.
Posted at 10:39 AM
PLEAS(E) [Kate O'Beirne]
As a recovering lawyer I can say something about winning a suit but losing owing to costs of the defense. That’s the situation here at NRO, and why we could use your assistance. Read here and consider supporting your favorite website.
Posted at 10:37 AM
HOW TO WIN THE WAR ON TERROR [Jonah Goldberg]
Convince Osama Bin Laden to hired Bob Shrum as his master strategist.
Posted at 10:33 AM
PARIS 2012! [Andrew Stuttaford]
OK, the New York Press may not always be a paper that I agree with, but who, apart from Nurse Bloomberg , a few misguided boosters, oddly insistent masochists, and some ill-informed corporate cheerleaders, could possibly take issue with these comments from this article on the idiotic idea that the 2012 Olympics should come to New York City?
“Some might say that the Olympics, should they come here, are still eight years away, so what's the point of worrying about them now? Well, the mayor's office is worrying about them now, and that's what concerns us. These things take years to put together, and planning for 2012 needs to be snipped in the bud.
“The Olympics never bring about the kind of economic boom they promise, as the last few host cities can attest. (And is anybody ever going to trust estimates from the mayor's office again?) Security measures would be much, much worse than during the RNC, because the general public would be involved and not just party delegates. Instead of a singular, localized event space to keep an eye on, there would be half a dozen spread all over town. Traffic would be a nightmare, not just during the games, but for years prior to their arrival as the infrastructure gets built. Instead of bringing in a few thousand delegates, protestors and journalists, you're talking about many hundreds of thousands of extra bodies. The worst of it would drag on for weeks if not months. Olympic hype, already suffocating the event no matter where it occurs, would reach a truly unbearable pitch. And speaking of the ancient Greeks, the target-rich Olympics would put dangerous strains on the men and women in charge of Operation Atlas, whose expensive wheels would no doubt be put in motion.
“So what's the point of squeezing the Olympics onto our geographically tiny, overcrowded city? Prestige? We've already got prestige. We don't need to prove anything to anybody. Apart from that, what is there, really? New badminton courts on the waterfront? Higher billboard ad rates? Who exactly would benefit from this? Not you, and not us.”
Posted at 10:06 AM
WE HAVE TWO WINNERS--TIED ON TIMING [KJL]
details to come
Posted at 10:02 AM
CRIS RAPP [KJL]
a former editor at NR (and classmate of Ramesh's at Princeton) just came closest. But didn't fully pull it off.
Posted at 09:45 AM
I'm surprised. Everyone so far has gotten the second theme wrong.
I bet those would see it are the late-rising types.
Or maybe I was drinking too much while working last night.
Posted at 09:38 AM
THE FIRST PERSON [KJL]
to e-mail me identifying both running themes on the NRO homepage today will be the recipient of a commemorative set of NRO's 2004 Republican National Committee buttons, mailed direct from K-Lo's cove at NR HQs to your home.
Posted at 09:24 AM
RE: KERRY'S MIND [Jonah Goldberg]
A reader responds with my kind of constructive criticism:
Posted at 09:20 AM
"THE CAMERA BLINKS" [KJL]
Byron writes on the Pajamahadeen vs. Rather here.
Posted at 08:28 AM
CLASSY [Jonah Goldberg ]
Dozens of people keep sending me this story/picture.
Basically, some Kerry guys made a little girl cry by ripping up her "Bush Cheney" sign.
Not to be too mercenary, but if Karl Rove is on his game, he should have the President send her something nice. The West Virginia media would lap it up.
Posted at 08:16 AM
ZHANG-YEOH WARS [John Derbyshire]
I am getting a *lot* of very partisan e-mail on an issue obviously more important to a lot of NRO readers than the election, the Iraq War, or the fate of Dan Rather, viz.: Who is more attractive, Zhang Ziyi or Michelle Yeoh?
I am not going to take a position on this. It occurs to me, though, that if this is a major issue for so many people, some enterprising movie company could make a feature of the two ladies fighting for supremacy -- sort of like King Kong versus Godzilla. Hmmm. Is it getting warm in here?
Posted at 08:14 AM
KERRY'S MIND [Jonah Goldberg ]
I was just reading Charles Krauthammer's excellent column on Kerry and something occurred to me. First, here's the part about Kerry on Imus that got me thinking:
When Don Imus asked him this week, "Do you think there are any circumstances we should have gone to war in Iraq, any?" Kerry responded: "Not under the current circumstances, no. There are none that I see. I voted based on weapons of mass destruction. The president distorted that." But just last month he said that even if he had known then what he knows now, he would have voted for the war resolution.
Me again:Now, Krauthammer's interpretation is that Kerry's simply an ever shifting flip-flopper who takes whatever position he thinks is politically warranted at the moment. Fair enough. Indeed, I think this is the most plausible and likely interpretation.
But there's another one. This one takes Kerry at face value. What if Kerry's positions are constantly shifting not because of the polls but because of the changing events in Iraq? What if he's the kind of guy -- and I think we've all met them -- who greets every setback with the declaration "This was a stupid idea to begin with!" but who greets every triumph by saying "I knew this was a great idea from the get-go!"
In other words, maybe Kerry constantly plays the movie backwards judging past decisions by the here-and-now rather than what's in the long term. I think this is quite possible -- in part because it doesn't contradict interpretation number 1. Kerry's "vision" is profoundly stunted. His accomplishments in the Senate can be found with a microscope and tweezers. Maybe it's because he lacks the kind of imagination which can comprehend a trendline that moves in more than one direction. Things are going bad now, they must always be bad. Things are going good now, always good. And so on. In this scenario what he calls "nuance" is actually an acute inability to grasp that today's headlines do not automatically corrupt yesterday's decisions or tomorrow's goals. If I'm right, this strikes me as the worst possible characteristic of a Commander-in-Chief.
Anyway, I think I'm on to something. But I'll keep pondering.
Posted at 08:12 AM
HUMOR IN EURIPIDES [John Derbyshire]
Good grief! There *is* a joke in "The Trojan Women." Who knew?
"Mr. Derbyshire---You accidentally pushed my hot button. So far as I know, I am the only classicist (Ph.D. Indiana U. 1974) who has discovered humor in Euripides' 'Trojan Women.' I can't cite the line, but at one point Andromache is expostulating with Menelaus, trying to convince him not to allow Helen to ride back to Sparta in his boat (she apparently believes that Helen will bewitch him into doing something foolish). From memory, here is the bit of dialogue that left me gasping for air: A--Let her not be put in the same ship with you. M--What do you mean? Is she heavier than she was?
"No commentator that I know of found this worthy of remark. Solemnity rules, apparently."
Can this be true? Yep, found it. It's actually Hecuba, not Andromache.
. . . .
Posted at 08:11 AM
RE: PASSION BLOG [Rod Dreher]
There's was a bad link up yesterday: SHould be this.
Posted at 08:08 AM
RE: TIME FOR CHANGE [John Derbyshire]
I *almost* believe this: "John---The reason that the MSM [=Mainstream Media] has decided now--of all times--to begin reporting on immigration is quite simple. It shows how desperate things are in terms of getting their guy elected in the presidential election. The Time report is a trap they are hoping to set for Bush. If popular discussion of this grows it hurts Bush, who is pathetic on the issue, with his base. If Bush tries and respond to criticism from his base and say he will do something about it the dems begin race baiting immediately."
See what I mean? It hovers on the edge of plausibility. There is, I think, no issue on which GWB "loses his base" more than the issue of illegal immigration. (No, not even public spending: the losses there are mostly among the wonks.) Highlighting this now might just persuade a few more members of the GOP base to stay home Nov. 2nd. Hmmmm. A couple more MSM features on "the Bush administration's failure to enforce immigration laws" and I really will believe it.
Posted at 08:07 AM
BULL DOG BOB VS. MOVEON [KJL ]
WHERE was this side of the man when he was running for president?
Posted at 08:04 AM
FROM WRONG TO RIGHT [KJL ]
Can I just say: CUA is an example of a school that can turnaround. When I was there--not that long ago, the president told me, in an open forum that having a school-sponsored abortion-rights group was acceptable (among other things), even something to be encouraged. If a Catholic school is not Catholic, what is it though? The current president, Fr. David O’Connell, gets that.
Posted at 08:03 AM
SORRY, STAN [Kathryn Jean Lopez ]
If I weren’t still paying my tuition (the L-word: loans), I would totally give money to my alma mater, the Catholic University of America, every time they did the likes of this: Deny Stanley Tucci the floor because he advocates abortion.
Posted at 08:02 AM
BERNIE GOLDBERG [KJL]
writes in the Journal today
Posted at 06:55 AM
MY RIDE HOME [John J. Miller]
I was on CNBC last night to discuss a subject of enormous interest to me, and the network offered me a ride home, which I gladly accepted. My driver was Bosnian; he has lived in the United States for eight years. We were together for about 50 minutes (the studio is in DC, and I live outside the Beltway), and we talked about politics, what he thinks of America, and so on. He leans a bit to the left, but mostly enjoys chatting with the people he drives around. Toward the end of the ride, he mentioned that he thinks Republicans are much more polite than Democrats. "Someone can be in the car with me for three minutes, and I'll know their party just from how they behave," he said. I told him that sometimes my wife takes phone calls from people I'm trying to interview, and always tells me who is friendly over the line. The most polite phone caller, hands down: Ken Starr. He once returned a call of mine, got my wife, and immediately apologized for interrupting "the dinner hour." (In my house, "the dinner hour" is about 20 minutes of madness involving children, toys, vegetables, messes, and quarreling over who sits where.) At any rate, I mentioned this bit about Ken Starr--and my driver turned around (we were at a red light) and lit up: "Ken Starr is the nicest man in Washington."
Posted at 06:22 AM
can a conservative do a poll and manage to find W. behind just so noone gets lazy here? 14 makes me so nervous. Much more than when it was tied.
Posted at 12:19 AM
Thursday, September 16, 2004
BUSH UP 14... [Jonah Goldberg ]
According to Gallup. Obviously, this is too good to be true. But is it really so bad in the eyes of the AP to bury it so far down?
Posted at 10:37 PM
NURSE! [Jonah Goldberg ]
This guy needs another round of electroshock.
Posted at 09:38 PM
SHOULDER RANK DOOHICKEYS [Jonah Goldberg]
From a Captaain in the USAF:
Posted at 09:09 PM
HUNTING WOES [Andrew Stuttaford]
Flew back from the UK today, where the big news was the demonstration in Parliament Square against proposed legislation (to ban hunting with dogs) and the ‘invasion’ of the House of Commons by a small number of protestors. This is a complex story, but over at the EU Referendum blog, Helen Szamuely gives a good introduction:
“Let us get things into proportion. What happened yesterday was a very large (over 10,000 people), peaceful though noisy demonstration outside Parliament of people who are looking at the complete destruction of their lives, their livelihoods, their communities, their traditions, their freedom for no reason at all. Anyone would get angry and they were angry. As someone who has been with these people on previous rallies and marches, who has also worked alongside many of them, I can testify that they are not unreasonable and are not full of bloodlust. Nor are they toffs, despite the hate-filled faces of the police, who, no doubt saw themselves as defenders of the common people. Many of those in Parliament Square yesterday were the common people. Mostly, they are bewildered. Just exactly, why are they under this attack? They have never harmed anyone. And why will their perfectly reasonable arguments (acknowledged to be so by every single commission of enquiry set up by this government) not be heard? Among the many thousands there were a few who became somewhat more angry and possibly more abusive than is necessary. The police proceeded to clout anyone who argued with them on the head.”
Just another day in Tony Blair’s England.
Posted at 07:12 PM
GRIFFITH ON THE ROCKS [Jonathan H. Adler]
The Deseret News reports that BYU general counsel Thomas Griffith's confirmation to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit looks increasingly unlikely. (LvHB)
Posted at 06:52 PM
LEFT TURN? [Jonathan H. Adler]
Is the Kerry campaign turning left? Bob Novak has an interesting report.
Posted at 06:31 PM
SIGH [Jonathan H. Adler]
Sitting here in the Detroit airport reminds me that there won't be much of a hockey season this year, and therefore little chance of a Detroit-Philadelphia Cup final.
Posted at 06:21 PM
MAD ABOUT MADD [Andrew Stuttaford]
Radley Balko is mad about MADD – and he’s right. Just like the anti-smoking crusade has little now to do with health, so MADD, once a valuable response to a real problem, has now let its flirtation with prohibitionism get the better of its original purpose. What a shame.
And while we’re on the topic of destructive legislation, it’s worth repeating what one former university president has had to say about this country’s idiotic minimum drinking age:
“The 21-year-old drinking age is bad social policy and terrible law. It is astonishing that college students have thus far acquiesced in so egregious an abridgment of the age of majority. Unfortunately, this acquiescence has taken the form of binge drinking. Campuses have become, depending on the enthusiasm of local law enforcement, either arms of the law or havens from the law.”
Indeed. And it’s something to remember next time Elizabeth Dole comes up for re-election.
Posted at 06:19 PM
INTERESTING EMAIL [Jonah Goldberg]
I've never subscribed to the theory: So goes Columbia, so goes the nation. But still:
Posted at 05:30 PM
I DON'T WANNA KNOW... [Jonah Goldberg]
But the airpower guys are in a tizzy over lax dress codes. I think.
UPDATE: His shoulder rank doohickeys -- to use the technical lingo -- are all kerflunky. Yes, I'm phrasing this in such a way to invite a beating.
Posted at 05:14 PM
A TAXPAYER BILL OF RIGHTS [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Heritage is pushing it. Sign me up.
Posted at 05:12 PM
NRO SF: FEAR AND GREED [Ramesh Ponnuru]
An email: "I'm truly torn over attending Monday's NRO West Coast Jamboree. While I'm interested in listening to the comments and opinions of the NRO staff and readers, the thought of the Bay Area kooks getting wind of more than 10
"I have this picture in my mind of pseudo-activists from The Haight, Cal, UC
"It's crazy but true. I'd love to put a W04 sticker on my new Saab, but it would be seriously damaged if I parked it on the streets. Such is life when you live in this glorious city."
Another one: "I'll be there. I'll bet one of our guests will have enough cash to pick up everyone's tab. Or maybe I've been reading too much Paul Krugman?" Well, even if someone could pick up the tab, that would be wrong--because they should spend the money here.
Posted at 05:09 PM
HERE'S THE NEW PEW POLL [KJL]
Posted at 04:41 PM
SAY WHAT? [Rich Lowry]
I've been catching up on that Knox interview. She said this last night, in explaining how the forgeries were produced, “It seems that somebody did see those memos, and then tried to reproduce and maybe changed them enough so that he wouldn't get in trouble over it.” Does that make any sense? You would reproduce the memoes, but reproduce them poorly so you would not get in trouble?
Posted at 04:38 PM
HERO: AN EXCHANGE OF VIEWS [John Derbyshire]
"Mr. Derbyshire---I must protest. I am white and 23, and I have a Chinese girlfriend/soon-to-be-fiancee. I do not find Zhang Ziyi attractive. I think she looks juvenile (the precocious and petulant roles she plays do not help). I think that Michelle Yeoh is a much prettier Chinese actress than Zhang. When Crouching Tiger came out during the time I was in college, all of my friends captured pictues of Zhang for their computer backgrounds, so I understand you have the majority opinion on your side. I, for one, however, do not see it. Also, I loved Hero. I will concede to most everything you said about the movie (including the commie/nationalist message), and yet I still loved it. I am as big a supporter of Taiwanese statehood as I know, and yet it wasn't enough to turn me off of this movie. Take that for what it's worth."
[My reply] "Well, the fact that Hero was a box-office smash in Taiwan tells us something, I suppose. But you are still WRONG! WRONG! WRONG! about Ziyi. Go wash out your mouth with soap and water."
Posted at 04:36 PM
INTERESTING POINT ABOUT THE PHYSICAL BUSINESS [Rich Lowry]
I hadn't noticed this point before, but it's probably because I've been away and haven't been reading enough Geragthy at TKS. Anyway, Gary Killian said last night on Hannity & Colmes (according to the Hotline newsletter), “The documents themselves, which I have seen, for example, the one directing him to report to the clinic, people that were requested or directed to report to a clinic for a physical, those letters came from the clinic commander, not from operations.”
Posted at 04:35 PM
BREAKING: TERESA'S NEW BOOK [KJL]
Joke making the rounds: "Did you hear that Teresa Heinz Kerry is writing a book? The title is It Takes a Villa."
Posted at 04:25 PM
THIS IS GETTING RIDICULOUS [KJL]
A blogger (@ "Editors in Pajamas):
Thursday, September 16, 2004Dan Rather: STOP THE MADNESS!
Posted at 04:24 PM
RATHER UNTRUE [KJL]
Jim Geraghty says Dan Rather's heart-of-the-story contention is bogus.
In the end, not a single "witness" relied on by Rather has been corroborated. the only corroboration of the child-of-privilege-who-didn't-fulfill-Guard-requirements case were the memos!
Posted at 04:11 PM
WHERE WE ARE [KJL]
We've raised, by the way, about $23,000 thanks to generous readers. We obviously have far to go yet to make up the money spent defending ourselves. Would you consider helping up make up the $65,000?
Thank you--from all of us here--for your support.
Details, again, are here.
Posted at 04:09 PM
THE FIRST THING TO TO... [John J. Miller]
...is consider a donation. If you've ever complained about trial lawyers and lawsuits, then you need to take a moment and read about what happened to NRO last year. Many of you have been generous to help up make up for this lost money--if you haven’t, and can, please contribute. Details here.
Posted at 04:00 PM
MOVEON.ORG [Ramesh Ponnuru]
The Kerry Spot criticizes its latest ad. I think if you're going to complain about all the money the Iraq war is costing, you probably shouldn't also complain that our troops are "poorly equipped."
Posted at 03:55 PM
I HAVE A WITNESS [KJL]
I sent NRO some money ($100) to help out with the [legal] bills. [H]ere's why: Hey, I'm visiting NRO (particularly the Corner and the Kerry Spot) three and four times a day to get the REAL news about Rathergate and the Kerry campaign (or is that redundant); how can I not chip in to help the cause??
Posted at 03:28 PM
ERRATA [John Derbyshire]
In my previous post
(1) I mis-spelt "Dao-jia" and "Dao-jiao" as "Tao-jia" and "Tao-jiao." Dang! (Or possibly "Tang!")
(2) I said "artsy self-consciousness" when I really meant "self-conscious artsiness." The first I can just about tolerate; it's the second that brings me out in hives.
I blame the DayQuil for these errors.
Just one more note on Hero: so far nobody has contested my opinion about Zhang Ziyi. It is in fact, I believe, incontestable.
Posted at 03:21 PM
TIME ON IMMIGRATION [Ramesh Ponnuru]
I don't trust Donald Barlett and James Steele, even when, as here, I agree with what they are propagandizing for.
Posted at 03:18 PM
RASMUSSEN... [Rich Lowry]
today shows an uptick for Bush--for what it's worth.
Posted at 03:09 PM
FAIR ENOUGH [Jonah Goldberg ]
Andrew Sullivan says he doesn't hate George W. Bush. I take his word for it, though considering the rhetorical lengths he goes to it's sometimes hard to tell.
In all honesty, however, I got the notion that he "despises" Bush from something I recalled incorrectly. I could have sworn a friend of mine had told me that Sullivan had written in Esquire that he "detests" Bush. Apparently it got garbled in my memory. Sorry about that.
Posted at 03:00 PM
KEEP THE NATIONAL GUARD IN THE NEWS! [KJL]
Not that women are fickle about these things, but can the president as a hot Guardsman hurt?
Posted at 02:58 PM
RE: TIME FOR CHANGE [KJL]
Heather Mac Donald has an excellent piece on the Time cover here.
Posted at 02:51 PM
TIME FOR CHANGE [John Derbyshire]
Just read the TIME magazine report on illegal immigration
Amazing that TIME, of all outlets, should break the code of silence on this topic. A real breakthrough. How much longer, I wonder, can the mainstream political establishment remain deaf, dumb and blind on this issue?
Posted at 02:50 PM
JJM TV [KJL]
John J. Miller will be on Kudlow and Cramer tonight, to talk about his new book. Will be on toward the end of the show, in the final quarter hour.
And my sincerest apologies: I forgot to mention that WFB would be on Larry's show last night. Mea culpa. If I could buy you all a copy of his new book, Miles Gone By, I would. But I can lead you to an autographed copy offer.
Posted at 02:38 PM
MORE RE: MRS. KNOX [Jed Babbin]
Just spoke to another one of Dubya's squadron mates from the 111th. (I don't know how to do superscripts on e-mail). He passed on the Question of the Day for Mrs. Knox: You said that Mr. Bush got into the National Guard on the basis of preferential treatment "...because there were a lot of other boys in there the same way." Does that include your son, Ted, who joined the squadron in about 1972?
Posted at 01:47 PM
NOTRE DAME CORRECTION [Rich Lowry]
Oops. It has been pointed out to me that that was the wrong information on the Notre Dame debate earlier. Here are the correct coordinates: 7pm at Notre Dame's Washington Hall, next Wednesday the 22nd.
Posted at 01:41 PM
HAIL THE CONQUERING HERO [John Derbyshire]
I was surprised by the level of passion in responses to my trashing of the movie Hero. Passion on both sides: A lot of people hated the movie as much as I did -- "I left the movie fuming," said one reader. A different lot, including many I'm-a-conservative-BUT readers thought that Hero was a terrific movie. Well: "One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other."
Permit me to have a little fun with some of the sillier comments. At the end, to make up for my snottiness, I'll concede a gotcha.
Comment: Having written previously that I like ballet, how can I not like those sword-fight scenes, which after all are just a kind of ballet?
Response: I have seen a lot of ballet, but I don't recall any of it using skyhooks or slow motion; and to the best of my recollection, beautiful music was an essential part of the ballet experience in all cases. I have a definite impression, in fact, that the movements of the ballet dancers had something to do with the music...
Comment: Why must a movie or theatrical production have humor? Would you want humor in a play about The Holocaust?
Response: I don't see why not. I will cling to Shakespeare as my guide here. Far as I can recall, not one of his plays is without humor -- not Macbeth, not even Lear. Now, if you want to tell me that it is possible for a profound and brilliant play to have no humor in it at all, I will certainly agree -- I can't recall too many jokes in, e.g., The Trojan Women. Unfortunately, Zhang Yimou is not Euripides. (And, I must say, having seen the Trojan Women performed once, I have no strong desire to see it again. I was on suicide watch for a week.)
Comment: You obviously understand nothing about cinematic art.
Response: I am a well-educated, well-informed and fairly intelligent person. There are movies I like, and movies I don't like. Are you telling me that in order to have an informed opinion about a movie I must first put myself through college classes in "cinematic art"? If you are, then I offer the following prediction: If movie-makers are going to start making movies that can only be appreciated by people who have studied "cinematic art" at college level, then movie-making will pretty soon be in the same state as modern poetry.
Comment: How dare you pour scorn on eastern religion, about which you obviously know nothing?
Response: I never mentioned "eastern religion" (whatever that is). I passed some remarks about philosophical Taoism, spelling it out like that. Unfortunately the English word "Taoism" covers two quite different Chinese words: "Tao-jia," which is the name of a philosophical system, and "Tao-jiao," which is the name of a religion. A writer on this topic should, therefore, always make clear whether he is talking about the philosophy or the religion. I think I did that. I have actually said kind things about the Taoist *religion* elsewhere.
Comment: You object to "myriads of people all moving and speaking in unison." Ever heard of the Greek chorus?
Response: Sure; but that was a convention of the time, with a clear purpose understood by everyone. It is not a convention in the modern cinema, and when those hundreds of black-robed figures (who they? we are not told) show up and surround the Emperor (what happened to the hundred paces rule?) and harangue him in unison the effect falls entirely flat.
Comment: You plainly know nothing whatsoever about Chinese culture.
All right, now I'll concede a gotcha. I grumbled about "the modernist-experimental layering of the narrative" and said: "I prefer my narrative plain and simple: beginning, middle, end." A reader pointed out that this eliminates quite a large part of the western literary tradition, starting with The Odyssey. Yes, of course it does, and I overshot my mark, expressing myself badly. I don't object to the skillful use of flashbacks and breaks in chronology. I'm fine with them. The layering of "alternate narratives" in Hero goes way beyond that, though, into the realm of artsy self-consciousness, to which I am strongly allergic. (See my remarks on T.S. Eliot in this space recently.)
Posted at 01:16 PM
NEW MOVE ON AD... [Rich Lowry]
...has video of an American soldier sinking in quicksand, with his arms raised helplessly above his head by the end. It strikes me as the kind of thing the left will love seeing, but that will make a lot of people pretty uncomfortable. Probably some backlash potential there.
Posted at 01:12 PM
RE: GALLUP [Jonah Goldberg]
Rich -- You must have gotten the same fake-but-accurate memo I got.
Posted at 01:02 PM
PLAGIARISM AT HARVARD [Jonathan H. Adler]
Stuart Buck blogs on the latest plagiarism scandal to hit Harvard.
Posted at 01:01 PM
GALLUP [Rich Lowry]
I'm hearing that the new Gallup number is going to have Bush up BIG.
Posted at 01:00 PM
HURRICANES AND CLIMATE CHANGE [Jonathan H. Adler]
Before anyone tries to connect Charley, Frances and Ivan the Terrible to global warming, they should read this and this.
Posted at 12:51 PM
BIG BET AGAINST TOM [Kate O'Beirne]
Last evening, Fox News reported that Senate Minority Whip Harry Reid has given $1 million from his campaign's war chest to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee to help his party's candidates - and himself. The Committee's Chairman, Senator Jon Corzine, was elated. Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle must be less pleased. Should Daschle be defeated, Reid is expected to run for the Leader post and now is the time to build up support from grateful colleagues. The Nevada Senator has just placed a big bet that there will be a vacancy next year.
Posted at 12:37 PM
BACK FROM CORNELL, ONTO NOTRE DAME [Rich Lowry]
Debate was fun. C-SPAN was there, so it might show up on air at some point. The crowd was very liberal, but good-humored. I was a little harsher than I like to be, but I tend to get driven crazy by David Corn's unwillingness to apply some minimally consistent standard for calling someone a liar. He calls Bush officials liars for supposedly saying that Iraq was an “imminent” threat. But he won't call John Edwards a liar for actually saying saying Iraq was an “imminent” threat. I brought this up, over and over, and he never answered--because there is no answer. Anyway, we are having a rematch at Notre Dame Wednesday. The debate will be held at McKenna Hall Auditorium in the Center for Continuing Education on campus, and starts at 7pm.
Posted at 12:24 PM
OPUS ON RATHER [Jonathan H. Adler]
It seems Bloom County called this one . . . in 1984. (LvInstapundit)
Posted at 12:23 PM
KERRY'S CONSISTENCY [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
Posted at 12:14 PM
KEEP IT COMING! [KJL]
From a reader:
If it's true that Bush gets ahead in the polls the longer the news media talks about the National Guard/Bush physical story, shouldn't we try to keep the story in the news longer? Right now, we keep making the mistake of pointing out that no one cares whether or not Bush took a physical in the 1970s. The more effective we are with that message, the sooner they'll stop talking about it. Let's encourage them to keep talking about the physical by showing a little fear:
Posted at 12:00 PM
MRS. KNOX [Jed Babbin]
Apparently the Chirac Broadcasting System hasn't learned the first rule of politics: when you're in a hole, stop digging. Marian Carr Knox -- the 86-year old former secretary to Dubya's squadron commander, Jerry Killian -- was flown to New York to talk to 60 Minutes last night, and began the conversation by saying the famous CBS memos weren't authentic. But, like any lawyer who doesn't have opposing counsel to object to improper questions, Dan Rather led her through statements about which she apparently knew nothing. And Mrs. Knox speculated her heart out.
Mrs. Knox said that though the CBS documents weren't real, what is stated in the forgeries is. She talked and talked about how Killian was upset with Mr. Bush, how the rest of the pilots resented him for being a child of privilege, and said that Killian's son -- who disputes the validity of the CBS case against Mr. Bush -- "...has no way of knowing whether it's true or not." And she does? Not according to the members of the squadron I spoke to this morning.
Col. Bill Campenni (USAF, Ret.) wondered just how Mrs. Knox would have more knowledge than Killian's son. He told me that not only was young Killian the son of the squadron commander, he was a member of the squadron on duty with the rest of the guys. Mrs. Knox -- the squadron secretary -- only knew paper. Not people. Killian's son was in a very good position to know, and she wasn't.
Mrs. Knox said she remembered that Killian was upset because Mr. Bush didn't take his flight physical. And she transforms Killian's supposed frustration into a statement that the other pilots werer resentful of Mr. Bush be cause of his attitude. That's flatly false according to both Campenni and Joe Glavin, another pilot who flew with Dubya. I asked Glavin if there was any such resentment of Bush. He said, "Absolutely not," and added that you'd have a really hard time finding anyone who would agree with that.
(Bill Campenni reminds me that though Mr. Bush missed the physical, it made no sense for him to have taken one. He wasn't going to continue flying. His skill with the F-102 was obsolete, and he wasn't going to retrain for another aircraft. He was about to leave the Guard to go to Harvard. Which makes it pretty unlikely that Killian actually ordered Mr. Bush to take the physical.)
So why is Mrs. Knox saying all this? Glavin says nobody should care what she said. "She had nothing to do with the unit. She didn't fly, she didn't hang out with us." According to Glavin, she was out of the mainstream of the squadron, in an office that the pilots only visited occasionally. According to Bill Campenni, Knox is a "yellow dog" democrat, and her biases were noticeable even in 1972. Leave it to CBS to find the one yellow dog Dem in the 1972 Texas Air National Guard. Her statement is as valid as the CBS memos.
Posted at 11:57 AM
"THE GATHERING STORM": [Rod Dreher]
Mitch Muncy of Spence Publishing talked me into reading Churchill's The Gathering Storm, and I'm so glad he did. Here's Churchill's judgment on Wilsonian naivete, and how the American insistence on forcing liberal democracy on a nation unready for it led to disaster:
A democratic constitution, in accordance with all the latest improvemenets, was established at Weimar. Emperors having been driven out, nonentities were elected. Beneath this flimsy fabric raged the passions of the mighty, defeated, but substantially uninjured German nation. The prejudice of the Americans against monarchy, which Mr. Lloyd George made no attempt to counteract, had made it clear to the beaten Empire that it would have better treatment from the Allies as a republic than as a monarchy. Wise policy would have crowned and fortified the Weimar Republic with a constitutional sovereign in the person of an infant grandson of the Kaiser, under a Council of Regency. Instead, a gaping void was opened in the national life of the German people. All the strong elements, military and feudal, which might have rallied to a constitutional monarchy and for its sake respected and sustained the new democratic and Parliamentary processes were for the time being unhinged. The Weimar Republic, with all tis liberal trappings and blessings, was regarded as an imposition of the enemy. It could not hold the loyalties or the imagination of the German people. For a spell they sought to cling as in desperation to the aged Marshal Hindenburg. Thereafter might forces were adrift, the void was open, and into that void after a pause there strode a maniac of ferocious genius, the repository and expression of the most virulent hatreds that have ever corroded the human breast -- Corporal Hitler.Umm...Santayana, shut yo' mouth!
Posted at 11:43 AM
RETHINKING "THE PASSION": [Rod Dreher]
A priest friend has sent me this extraordinary column by a Canadian writer who had bitterly criticized "The Passion of the Christ" when it was released in theaters, but who has seen it now on DVD, and had a conversion experience. It's quite a moving reflection.
As it happens, my wife and I watched the DVD version this week. It was the first time for her, and the third for me. She was torn to emotional bits by the intensity of it, as I had been on first viewing. What moved her most, as a mother of two boys, was Mary's participation in her son's suffering. She also told me that after seeing that film, and realizing what Jesus endured, it's hard to see how one can experience the mass in the same way. "Maybe you can understand now," I said, "why on Ash Wednesday, after having seen the movie, I wanted to run out of the mass that evening when the priest started his usual happy-clappy banter." She agreed that the film did a terrific job of making Jesus and Mary into flesh-and-blood people, not plaster saints, while also greatly raising their dignity.
My wife also said something that got to me, and that gave me something to think about. She reflected on the "bloodthirstiness" of the crowd, and said how frightening it was to see how indifferent they were to the agony going on right in front of their eyes, and in fact caused in part by their own decision. My wife said that no matter how angry we get at our enemies -- and here she was talking about those who attack this country -- we must never, ever forget that they are human beings, and even if we have to kill them for just reasons, we should never take pleasure in that. "We are not them," she said. "And we can't let ourselves be." She's right. I'm going to have to do better.
Posted at 11:41 AM
GEORGE WILL ON SENATE-ITIS [Ramesh Ponnuru]
I enjoyed his column today, but questioned one of his comments: "Kerry also is a casualty of nuance-itis, which is a kind of house mold prevalent in the north wing of the Capitol. Senators--unlike governors, who often sharpen issues--are forever blurring things to manufacture legislative majorities. Partly for that reason, senators rarely become presidents." He's right that senators rarely become president, but I think the rest of this is exactly backward. How many Republican governors are as ideological as Phil Gramm, or Jesse Helms, or Rick Santorum? How many Democratic governors are as liberal as John Corzine, or Russ Feingold, or the late Paul Wellstone? Senators are under much less pressure to get things done than governors, and can indulge their principles much more easily. Governors need their proposals to command legislative majorities a lot more than senators need theirs to. One reason governors do better than senators may be this difference between posturing and governing.
Posted at 11:37 AM
FIGHT! FIGHT! [Jonah Goldberg ]
Ramesh says in the current NR that Bush's "laundry list" at the convention spelled the end of American liberalism. Andy Ferguson says it spelled the end of American conservatism.
Chant it with me: Two men enter, One man leaves! Two men enter, One man leaves!
Posted at 11:13 AM
SEPTEMBER ELEVENTH [John Derbyshire]
Lest we forget: The folk at FoundersOfAmerica.com have produced some beautiful commemmorative images.
Posted at 10:40 AM
BUSH'S YOUTH [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
Your 2 Scandals post in the Corner got me thinking. I am a disgruntled democrat who will be voting for Bush. I voted for Gore in 2000 and paid very little attention to the Republican primaries in 2000. I had a vague idea that Bush had partied and accomplished nothing well into his 30’s. I didn’t know he was a pilot until he landed on that aircraft carrier and I didn’t really absorb that he was a fighter pilot until this memo scandal. Now I discover that Bush only managed to successfully fly fighter planes for 4 years when he should have done it for 6. Guess what? My opinion of Bush’s misspent youth just went up.
Is it a good plan for the left to dwell on ‘fighter pilot Bush’ when they could be dwelling on ‘Iraq occupation debacle Bush’?
Posted at 10:18 AM
THE KURTZ STORY [Jonah Goldberg]
These are my favorite paragraphs from the Howard Kurtz story about Rathergate.
"If the documents are not what we were led to believe, I'd like to break that story," Rather said in an interview last night. "Any time I'm wrong, I want to be right out front and say, 'Folks, this is what went wrong and how it went wrong.' "
Uh, excuse me while I drill this clue into your brainpan, Dan: the story’s been broken. All of those people pointing and laughing at you know this. Indeed, that’s why they’re pointing and laughing.
No. No there isn’t a ferocious debate about these documents. The ferocious debate is about whether you and Dan Rather should quit to save the reputation of CBS. Or maybe it’s about whether you guys should reveal the source of this hoax. Or maybe it’s about whether Dan Rather is losing his mind. But, as for the documents, I’ve read a lot of the coverage about this and to date, the only people claiming these documents are real are you guys. Even your experts don’t think they’re real. You see, for there to be a “ferocious debate” you need to sides disagreeing about something. Right now, pretty much the whole world thinks one thing and you guys are lying – or in Dan-nial -- when you say you think another thing.
And then the last two go together:
"This is not about me," Rather said before anchoring last night's newscast. "I recognize that those who didn't want the information out and tried to discredit the story are trying to make it about me, and I accept that."And…
"I try to look people in the eye and tell them the truth," Rather said. "I don't back up. I don't back down. I don't cave when the pressure gets too great from these partisan political ideological forces."
Now, the irony here is that Rather is saying all of this to Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post. The Washington Post, needless to say, is not a partisan political ideological force – at least not one allied with the GOP. Indeed, considering that Rather made his bones giving Richard Nixon a wedgie, you’d think he’d might remember which side the Post was on during that brouhaha. This is the most glaring insight into where Rather is coming from. He thinks any criticism of him is partisan. He’s a warrior for truth and the forces of darkness – i.e. conservatives – are arrayed against him. And this formulation becomes syllogistic. If you are against Rather, you are conservative. It’s all so frick’n fascinating!
Posted at 10:16 AM
DELAY HUNTDOWN NEARLY CALLED OFF [KJL]
Posted at 10:14 AM
KOFI TALK [Cliff May]
After reading Andy McCarthy’s excellent NRO piece on the U.N., I shared with him – and want to share with Corner readers, too -- a footnote.
About 6 o’clock last night, I received a call from the BBC.
It seems Kofi Annan had given the BBC an interview in which he said that the US intervention in Iraq was “illegal.”
The BBC folks were very excited about this; never before had Kofi had gone quite that far.
But to round out the story they wanted a response from a bona fide American unilateralist-cum-troglodyte -- so they called me. I was happy to oblige.
I explained as best I could that Kofi Annan is entitled to his personal opinions, but that we should understand he is not the Chief Justice of a World Supreme Court, and he is not President of a world government.
He heads up an international debating society. His pronouncements on international law are not final or even authoritative.
I added that if legalities were under discussion, Mr. Annan might want to discuss history’s largest corruption scandal which took place under his auspices. (It would be helpful were he to at least release the records on the UN Food for Oil program to investigators – or to Claudia Rosett.)
Also, on his watch, numerous crimes against humanity are now being committed, for example in Sudan and North Korea. He evidently is not “seized with these issues.” And we should not forget Rwanda where a genocide was committed that did not appear to rankle him nearly so much as the liberation of Iraq from one of the world’s most brutal and dangerous dictators.
The BBC interviewer, of course, was not persuaded. He was far too gleeful about the UN Secretary General calling the US an international criminal, a view he clearly shared. The BBC has become so ideologically biased as to make Dan Rather look like Brian Lamb.
Posted at 10:00 AM
EVIDENCE THE GUARD THING ISN'T HURTING BUSH [Jonah Goldberg]
From the Kerry Spot:
MEANWHILE, THE KERRY CAMPAIGN IS CRATERING... [09/16 12:34 AM]
If this is the trend when the Guard story is in the news, maybe Bush should start bragging about going to hooker and cocaine parties while he was dodging physicals in Alabama.
Posted at 09:59 AM
I so would have snatched the employee of the day award (from the jaws of Cosmo) if I had only worked a reference to our post-defense defense fund into that last post. So close, but I'm a surrender monkey.
In all serious, thanks for your contributions. We wouldn't ask if it weren't needed--your support helps keep us going, in more ways than one.
Posted at 09:00 AM
THE EMPIRE WFB WROUGHT [KJL ]
We have National Review, of course, mothership, founded by William F. Buckley Jr. in 1955 (whose recently released memoir, Miles Gone By is a must-read). National Review Online, its way cool kid--which you obviously know about since you’re here. National Review Digital, the convenient alternative to the ole paper version (you’ve signed up, right?). And NR on Waves: The Singles’ Cruise! (Though it’s not only a singles’ cruise, still makes an excellent anniversary present….)
Posted at 08:57 AM
200TH CABIN BOOKED! #201 WAITING FOR YOU! [Jack Fowler]
Just wanted to boast, and to see that th thingee that is so much in the news. By the way, you single folks out there who want to come on the National Review 2004 Post-Election Caribbean Cruise but find your inner wallflower is preventing your bon vivant Id from signing up, stop girlie-manning! Sign up: So far over 60 unattached souls--all sexes, ages, makes, and models--are coming. You won’t be a 5th wheel (there’s that th again!) or the odd man/woman out. Odds are you’ll be the life of the party (make that parties--a number are planned), and you’re sure to make a gaggle of new friends (and who knows, maybe a future better half!).
Whether or not a Love Boat experience awaits, we promise you will be amazed by the wit and wisdom dispensed--during our seminars, at cocktail receptions and smokers, and over intimate dinners--by our All Star speaker line-up of 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. That alone is worth coming.
Come on, you want to. Do it! One of the few remaining available cabins has your name on it, unless you dawdle, but won’t happen, because right now you’re going to www.nationalreviewcruise-carib.com to sign up!
Posted at 08:47 AM
TWO SCANDALS [Jonah Goldberg]
Last night, NPR introduced a commentary by Daniel Schorr by saying something to the effect of "The controversy over George W. Bush's Guard service continued to rage this week..." The gist made it sound like the Memogate story is part of the same scandal as what Bush did in Alabama. Schorr went on to underscore how the media is now obsessed with what the candidates did thirty years ago. I've heard this theme in lots of coverage. Indeed, Dan Rather himself wants the story to be about the Higher Truth of his report -- what Bush did or didn't do thirty years ago -- not the actual facts in it. So do the Democrats, but for slightly different reasons. The Democrats simply want to beat Bush. That's fair, they're Democrats. Rather wants the heat off his back and he thinks the real story is about Bush, not him. That's why he's saying the story's accurate even though the evidence isn't.
Meanwhile, Mickey Kaus thinks the CBS stonewall might hurt Bush because it keeps the guard story in the news. Kaus's motives are honest, of course, but I think he's wrong.
Here's why: For a great many of us -- journalists, bloggers, citizens etc -- this story has absolutely nothing to do with Bush. This is my own personal sense of it, but I don't think very many people who are wading into the Rather story care about what Bush did thirty years ago. I'm sure quite a few of them even dislike Bush a great deal or they aren't supporting him. Andrew Sullivan (who's got a good outraged post today) despises Bush. Howard Kurtz is no partisan. The good folks at ABC News are never at the VRWC bingo night Etc, etc.
This story is fun, important, exciting, fascinating etc. because it's about what Dan Rather and CBS did and are doing in the here and now to report a story they could not prove. I've been on record for a long time: I don't care about the Guard story. I suppose Bush probably didn't conduct himself as honorably and dutifully as he should have during his final two years, but I don't care anymore. I've digested that allegation. That's why I think Kaus is wrong and Rather's (and the Democrats') gamble is foolish; most Americans have digested this info too. The focus on Kerry's behavior 30 years ago hurts Kerry because he's got so much invested in what he did back then. Bush invested some old pennies, a button and some pocket lint on his exploits thirty years ago. That's why Kerry's numbers went down when attention was focussed on his record. Bush's stayed the same or went up. The Bush story is played-out dudes. It's old, it's dull and even if Rather nailed it, it would still be old news to people. The Kerry stuff is fresh and farr more relevant because Kerry's running on his behavior from back then. Thus this tit-for-tat about what the two men did back then is so absurd, a creation of the media's childish obsession with parallelism and the Democrats' silly effort to make this very important election about events which pre-date Watergate.
What's interesting is that Rather can't see this. He wants Bush to answer the questions his fraudulent report has raised. He thinks people want to hear that stuff. They don't. The Democrats agree not because they need more info before they make up their minds but because they have made up their minds already.
This story is not about Bush. And Dan can click his heels together as many times as he wants saying "It's about Bush" over and over and it won't change that fact.
Posted at 08:45 AM
CBS'S DOUBLE STANDARD [Andrew C. McCarthy]
Interesting how the worm turns. In the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, the MSM -- with CBS front and center -- argued that it didn't matter what the officials involved SAID about what instructions, if any, had been given by the White House, the Pentagon, or the theater commanders. It didn't matter that those officials SAID they gave directions that torture and the kind of degrading treatment that went on at Abu Ghraib were prohibited. What mattered, the media insisted, was strictly the WRITTEN PAPER RECORD: gleaned from internal discussion memos, even though they were written by subordinates not policy makers, and even though there was no evidence that those memos were ever implemented as policy.
Now, CBS has recklessly built a story on a shoddy paper record that has, predictably, collapsed. Its reaction? The WRITTEN PAPER RECORD is nigh irrelevant and the only thing that matters is what is being SAID -- the orally related memory of an 86-year-old woman who was not a decision-maker in the matters at issue and that has been contradicted by multiple sources who were arguably closer to the decision-maker in question.
What media bias?
Posted at 08:17 AM
HELP... I'M NOT THE EXILED SON OF THE NIGERIAN OIL MINISTER [Jonah Goldberg]
Thanks so much to everyone who's contributed to the legal defense fund. We're very grateful. But, if you haven't given anything yet, and you're so inclined, we'd really appreciate it. This is not spam.
Posted at 07:36 AM
IT’S OFFICIAL [KJL ]
People may be enjoying this Dan Rather stuff a wee bit too much.
Posted at 07:34 AM
RADIOBLOGGER [KJL ]
The man behind the Hugh Hewitt machine, Duane Patterson, has a new blog site.
Posted at 07:33 AM
BREAKING DAN [John J. Miller]
There's an amazing quote in that Kurtz story on Rather. Says the CBS anchorman: "If the documents are not what we were led to believe, I'd like to break that story." What an astonishing statement. Does he actually think this story hasn't broken already? Still, I'd love to see Rather interrupting our regularly scheduled program to deliver the verdict: "This just in... We were duped!"
Posted at 05:37 AM
GOT HOSTILITY? [KJL]
Check out the caption on this wire photo.
Posted at 05:35 AM
JOHNNY RAMONE, RIP [John J. Miller]
Another member of the Ramones had died. (See this article for details. Also note, with amusement, that the band had an "artistic director.") Last year, Kevin Cherry wrote a fine NRO article on the Ramones here.
Posted at 05:28 AM
60 MINUTES IN 60 SECONDS [John J. Miller]
I was out of town when Rathergate started breaking, and have been playing catch-up ever since. Here's a pretty good piece on the scandal, from our comrades at the Mackinac Center.
Posted at 05:01 AM
“LET THEM GO NAKED,” THK SAYS RE HURRICANE VICTIMS [KJL ]
Okay, Marie Antoinette.
Mrs. Kerry was saying that water is more important than clothes.
Uh, true, but... Teresa Heinz stopped being cute for the Dems a while ago.
Posted at 04:31 AM
RATHER SAYS “IF” [KJL ]
More kudos to Howie Kurtz in Rathergate.
Posted at 04:16 AM
Wednesday, September 15, 2004
Forget the Emmys.
I had missed this breaking news: Jim Geraghty was awarded the "Golden Drawstring Award" over at Lucianne.com earlier today for his coining of the latest entry to the blogosphere's glossary.
Posted at 09:37 PM
THAT SAID [KJL]
As Sean Hannity said on his radio show today to a listener who got on and said the election is "in the bag,": "Do not. Do not get cocky."
Posted at 09:30 PM
NJ TROUBLES FOR KERRY, TOO? [KJL]
Posted at 09:29 PM
KERRY LOSING LEAD IN ILLINOIS? [KJL]
Although, that link is a CBS report....
Posted at 09:18 PM
BUSH AND RATHER IN THE SAME BOAT [KJL]
Very rough transcript of Bill O'Reilly earlier on Rathergate. "There is a difference between a lie and being misled. this is the same parallel situation that george w. bush found himself in with weapons of mass destruction. he was misled by information, ok? there were no w.m.d.'s and michael moore and the lefty started calling him a liar. what i'm going to say it looks at this junction, and it could change. that they are misl ed."
Laura Ingraham let O'Reilly have it later on in the show. O'Reilly's been a tad soft on Rather.
Posted at 09:08 PM
I FEEL SO UNAFFIRMED [KJL]
Dan Rather thinks we're not "responsible points of view."
Posted at 08:19 PM
JIM MCGREEVEY TIME ON 60 MINUTES II: "MY TRUTH IS" [Barbara Comstock]
"I'm gonna say that he did because I feel that he did................."
Posted at 08:18 PM
60 MINUTES AIN'T HAPPENING HERE [KJL]
My coffee machine is dead. And so goes productivity.
Posted at 07:47 PM
PEOPLE ARE SO PSYCHED [KJL]
to see Powerslave on NRO, based on e-mails and run-ins today.
Posted at 07:42 PM
R IS FOR ARRRGH [KJL]
Another objection to that AMC documentary, this time, from Feminsts for Life:
For Immediate Release September 15, 2004
Posted at 07:32 PM
ABOUT 20 PEOPLE [Ramesh Ponnuru]
have already emailed me to say they're coming on Monday night--many of them trying to figure out how many conservatives there are in SF. And one of the people who might be there is Corner contributor Steve Hayward.
Posted at 07:26 PM
HUGH HEWITT WANTS HEARINGS [Ramesh Ponnuru]
He thinks I'm wrong about the folly of Republicans' holding hearings. He says that I'm unduly fearful of negative old-media reactions to such hearings. I didn't say anything about old media, and I rather think that some bloggers would also object to hearings on First Amendment grounds. Anyway, my general point was that hearings would create allies for CBS that it does not deserve, and I think that point stands.
Hewitt continues, "Someone tried to manipulate a presidential election! If that isn't a matter of Congressional oversight, nothing is. . . . Congress might not [choose] to do its duty, leaving it open to the charge that it just doesn't care much about electoral honesty. Wait and see" (emphasis in original). It is possible that whoever forged these documents committed a crime (or crimes). It is not the case that it is the "duty" of Congress to hold immediate hearings on all election-related crimes, or all important election-related crimes--especially when other attempts to hold the people involved accountable are underway. Let's see if pressure can make CBS cough up the identities of the forgers, and then see if any prosecutions make sense.
More Hewitt: "If the forger rides off unmolested, with only CBS News' reputation left in ruins, the message is clear: Try again next time, only use better forgers. Whatever works is repeated. Whatever fails without penalty is improved and repeated. Whatever is punished--severely--goes away." Congressional hearings are no guarantee that the forgers will be "punished severely." Nor is severe punishment a guarantee that nobody will reach the conclusion that his forgery is so much better that it will never be caught. We have reason to think that current efforts to hold both CBS and the forgers accountable are in the process of succeeding--thanks not least to Hugh Hewitt!--and there is no reason for Congress to force the issue in a way that could well backfire.
Posted at 07:23 PM
MILES GONE BY, GO BUY! [Jack Fowler]
An crusty, long-time, non-girlie-man NR subscriber called me the other day to tell me how reading Miles Gone By – Bill Buckley’s new, best-selling literary autobiography – brought him to tears, recalling powerful memories of the heady, fun-filled vineyard-toiling during the Goldwater campaign, Bill’s uplifting 1965 NYC mayoral bid, Jim Buckley’s senate triumph, et al.
Can’t blame him. Miles spans a lifetime (the accounts of Young Bill and his clan are delightful), and beautifully – perfectly – captures (the essence, the spirit) a half-century of conservatism, from its founding to the present.
It’s a very special book, which is why National Review is offering a limited number of copies, personally autographed by Bill, for your purchase, here. This one is a keepsake, friends. Get a copy for yourself, or for that special someone who is a big WFB fan.
Posted at 07:20 PM
Jim Geraghty in TKS coined the word "Pajamahadeen" yesterday for the blogosphere.
Posted at 07:14 PM
HERE'S THE TEXT [KJL]
of that Blunt letter.
Posted at 07:05 PM
I was sorta hoping for something dramatically insane from Dan Rather tonight--just more silly defiance from CBS on the Evening News. Guess there is always Jonah's 48 Hours scenario with the secretary.
Posted at 07:03 PM
"D FOR DECEIT" [KJL]
Screenwriter Barbara Nicolosi says she was misled by those AMC doc people.
Hat tip: Amy Wellborn.
Posted at 07:00 PM
BLUNT ON RATHER TONIGHT [KJL]
WASHINGTON--- House Majority Whip Roy Blunt (Mo.) today called on CBS News to retract its September 8 story calling President Bush's National Guard record into question. According to numerous press reports, CBS based its reporting on documents that it cannot prove are factual. Blunt also asks CBS to reveal the identities of the people he says have used the network "to deceive [its] viewers in the final weeks of a presidential election."
Posted at 06:37 PM
MEMOS - THE FINAL WORD [Jonathan H. Adler]
Kevin Drum is one of the most respected liberal bloggers -- and with good reason. While quite partisan, he's thorough and honest (and he generally avoids the ad hominems that mar so many high profile lefty blogs). Today he advises his readers to accept that the Killian documents are fake and move on. Let's see if the left blogosphere listens.
Posted at 06:14 PM
DAN RATHER VERSUS THE SECRETARY [Jonah Goldberg]
Dan Rather is going to interview the 86 year-old former secretary of Lt. Col Killian. I hope he grills her like Sam Kinison quizzing Rodney Dangerfield in "Back to School."
Dan Rather: Is it possible thaat Lt. Col. Killian wrote these memos when you were sick one day? Or on vacation? Or perhaps you took one too many nips at the sacremental wine?
Sweet Old Lady:Mr. Rather I don't believe so....
Dan Rather: Listen Lady! I'm not going down over this! Is it possible?
Sweet Old Lady: Is it possible?
Dan Rather: Yes, damn it! Is it possible?
Sweet Old Lady: Well...
Dan Rather: Say it! Say it you old battle-axe! Say it! For all that is holy if you want to see your 87th birthday you'll sayyyyyyyyyy it!!!!!!!!!!!!! SAY IT!!!!
Dan Rather: There you have it ladies and gentlemen, Lt. Col. Killian's own former secretary says they're real. The truth will out. I'm Dan Rather. Courage.
Posted at 06:11 PM
UH, FOLKS [Jonah Goldberg]
For those of you who didn't realize, the Italian Riviera post was a joke. The point was someone would have to pay for my family and friends to go to the Italian Riviera. A joke explained is a joke ruined, of course. But it wasn't that good a joke in the first place. Note: I think it's only a tiny minority of people who didn't get it.
Posted at 05:37 PM
HUH. [Jonah Goldberg]
I thought Josh Marshall was the Blogosphere's James Fallows.
Posted at 05:10 PM
RE: ORDERS OF IMPORTANCE [Ramesh Ponnuru]
An email: "Ramesh, plus which, blogworld is still reveling in its Front Page days, and should be allowed a few years of fun and games before the civic-journalism scolds get ahold of it. If he's a close friend, you should warn him that he treads close here to becoming the blogosphere's James Fallows, which isn't anything I'd wish on a friend of mine."
Posted at 05:07 PM
CASABLANCA, CTD. [Ramesh Ponnuru]
The story I linked to was a hit job on the American Film Renaissance. Jim Hubbard, one of the organizers of it, called me to complain about a number of other things in the story--notably its description of the other chief organizer, his wife Ellen. Bryan Curtis writes, "[Ellen] Hubbard, who is middle-aged, has golden hair that was coiffed in the preferred style of a Dallas socialite—raised high, then dramatically swept back over the head." Jim says she's 31; here's a picture of her. "It's just insane how they try to marginalize you," says Jim. I can't quote what he said about the Salon reporter who covered the film festival.
Posted at 04:59 PM
ALLRIGHTY THEN [Jonah Goldberg]
Dan Rather says of the memos: "The longer we go without a denial of such things—this story is true."
Well then: I hereby announce that Dan Rather walks around with an elaborate system of studded leather bindings and pulleys under his pants which cause trapped miniature ferrets to bite and claw him in sublimely agonizing ways. In fact, Rather's odd pronouncements are usually the result of a particularly exquisite sado-masochistic pain he's administered to himself just beneathe the news desk. The famous "courage" sign-off was actually a note to himself to endure an especially vicious critter in his trousers trying to eat its way out.
The longer Dan Rather goes without denying this the more likely it is the allegation is true.
Posted at 04:58 PM
CLEARLY [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Jonah is jealous that he didn't think of this scam first.
Posted at 04:49 PM
"RATED R: REPUBLICANS IN HOLLYWOOD" [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Watched it last night. Not bad--pretty good, actually--but marred by filmmaker Jesse Moss's inexplicable assumption that viewers will care about his political views and reactions to his interview subjects as much as they will care about the actual topic of the show.
Posted at 04:45 PM
FOR READERS ON THE ITALIAN RIVIERA [Jonah Goldberg]
NRO's convention parties in New York City and Boston were so successful, and so many of you email me whenever I say I'm going to be in a certain area, I've decided to hold an informal NRO get-together when I'm out there this Winter. The major differences: there's no convention, and instead of all the great NRO writers we have, you'll just have to settle for just me and my family (and a few friends of mine). Also, as I do not have the means to purchase airfare or accomodations for any of us, I'm afraid you folks will have to pony that up. But assuming that's doable, let's all plan on meeting at the bar at Le Sirenuse in Positano the first Saturday in December.
Posted at 04:31 PM
FOR SF-AREA READERS [Ramesh Ponnuru]
NRO's convention parties in New York City and Boston were so successful, and so many of you emailed me a while back when I mentioned I was going to be out at Stanford for a week in September, that I've decided to hold an informal NRO get-together when I'm out there next week. The major differences: there's no convention, and instead of all the great NRO writers we have, you'll have to settle for just me (and Deroy Murdock, if I can get him to join us, since I think he'll be there too).
So--on the advice of one of said readers--I'm inviting NRO readers to come by the Gordon Biersch Brewery at 2 Harrison Street in San Francisco between 7 and 10 pm on Monday, Sept. 20. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org so I'll have some idea of how many people are going to show up.
Posted at 04:13 PM
CASABLANCA [Ramesh Ponnuru]
It seems awfully perverse to describe "Nazism" as one of its "values."
Posted at 04:00 PM
INVESTIGATING CBS [Jonah Goldberg]
I'm with Ramesh. I think it's probably a bad idea in general, but definitely a bad idea even to bring it up before the election (though it probably did catch the CBS suits' attention). This story isn't about Congress, it's about CBS. Having the GOP-controlled Congress investigate makes the story a government-versus-press tale rather than the glorious story of Rather's well-deserved petard hoisting. As long as Congress stays out, the press has every reason to go after CBS. Once it gets in, the media will circle the wagons.
Posted at 03:58 PM
THE THRESHHOLD QUESTION [Jonah Goldberg]
If the scuttlebutt is correct and CBS declares that the docs may be fake but the story is real, the question they must answer is "Would they have run this story without benefit of these documents?" Since the original story hinged largely on the docs plus Ben Barnes' word and little else, one wonders how they can say yes.
Another thresshold question: Who are they going to fire for greenlighting these docs?
And, the oldy but goody, if the docs are fake -- who gave them to CBS?
Posted at 03:54 PM
VIACOM [Ramesh Ponnuru]
An email: "I'm surprised you or someone over at the Corner hasn't posted Viacom's stock chart for the past week. Think the investors are a bit spooked?"
Posted at 03:47 PM
ORDERS OF IMPORTANCE [Ramesh Ponnuru]
My friend Orin Kerr says there are more important things to blog about than the CBS fraud. It's a reasonable point, but I'd be wary of assuming that bloggers are under some sort of responsibility to blog about The Important Issues of the Day. There are all kinds of very important things I don't blog about because I have nothing new or interesting to say. But I do have some thoughts on the CBS question--see "Hearings," below--and may as well share them.
Posted at 03:36 PM
HEARINGS [Ramesh Ponnuru]
I think that a congressional investigation of CBS is a terrible idea, and I'm surprised Chris Cox is proposing one. CBS right now lacks defenders. An official investigation will cause a lot of media outlets to spring to the network's defense, citing First Amendment concerns. Whether or not those concerns are justified, there's no reason for Republicans to raise them in the first place. Besides, right now the story is about CBS vs. the truth. Why would Republicans want to make it Republicans vs. CBS?
Posted at 03:19 PM
BIG BILL, BIG THANKS [Andrew Stuttaford]
Readers have been terrific, and extremely generous, this week in contributing to NRO's post-defense defense fund. Standing athwart this legal process didn't come cheap, however. There's still a way to go until all the damage is repaired so contributions continue to be welcome - and greatly appreciated.
Posted at 03:16 PM
BUSH IS WORSE THAN DAN RATHER [Jonah Goldberg]
Say Matt Yglesias, trying very hard to get the world back on message (White House evil, Bush liar, Cheney mean, etc etc). One could take the bait and deal with all of the Red Herrings Yglesias throws up (not a great image). For example, surely, Yglesias would agree that Bush's "sourcing" on WMDs was better than Rather's on the 60 Minutes story. Indeed, Bush's sourcing on the "yellowcake" story itself was better, despite the impression Yglesias tries to convey.
But I don't want to take the bait, because that would take me off message. And the message of the day folks is Dan Rather is melt-imploding like those dudes who looked into the Ark of the Covenant at the end of Indiana Jones.
But, I should also note that Yglesias is making what some call a category error. The President of the United States isn't a newsman -- let alone the iconic personification of the establishment media righteousness. If Yglesias thinks Presidents should be judged by such standards, than I assume he thinks Bill Clinton should have been an intern at Weekly World News.
Posted at 03:14 PM
AND TONIGHT ON 60 MINUTES [Tim Graham]
The general who's been called a religious fanatic and a three-star bigot finally tells his story to 60 Minutes, tonight at 8 p.m. ET/PT.
Posted at 03:12 PM
BEST GUESS PLUSS SCUTTLEBUTT... [Jonah Goldberg]
Has me predicting that CBS digs a basement in the bunker. They will dig in, fight back, scratch, whine and bark claiming the story is real. You heard it here.
Posted at 03:09 PM
SORRY... [Jonah Goldberg]
Kathryn. I got too excited and took a Lifesaver instead of my special pill.
Posted at 03:00 PM
RE: MOUNTAIN DEW [KJL]
Uh, Jonah: Your medication. Now.
Posted at 02:45 PM
BREEEELIANT! [Jonah Goldberg]
Tell an already blood-hungry media that you will come out with a statment and then keep them waiting for hours. This is exactly the sort of crisis management and public relations that looks great on the resume. Maybe they should pee in all the cans of Mountain Dew at the press conference before they let the journalists in. Thaat will really win friends.
Posted at 02:34 PM
RE: NETWORK [KJL]
Terry Teachout is on that frequency, too.
Posted at 02:32 PM
GOOD PEOPLE OF EAST TENNESSEE... [Peter Robinson]
...you have been spared. Northwest delivered my bag, just in time for me to shower and shave before speaking.
Posted at 02:28 PM
OH, JUST TO BE CLEAR [Jonah Goldberg]
I don't actually care if DC joins Maryland or not. I think it's fine like it is, though I wouldn't mind giving it back to the Feds outright either. I just think retrocession is the obviously preferable choice to statehood. The most preferable choice is to give it to...me. I would rule fairly, but strictly. Dogs would be welcome everywhere -- so long as owners were held accountable for their dogs actions. Taxes would be slashed. The death penalty would be back inside of a week. Schools would be voucherized. Fig Newtons would rain from the sky!
Posted at 02:25 PM
BY THE WAY [Jonah Goldberg]
Network is still an astoundingly relevant and good movie.
Posted at 02:23 PM
IS IT POSSIBLE TO DIE OF SCHADENFREUDE? [Jonah Goldberg]
I'll let you know if Dan Rather comes out and does a full-blown Howard Beale.
Or my next of kin will notify you.
Posted at 02:21 PM
BORDERS HIDING UNFIT FOR COMMAND? [KJL]
Posted at 02:08 PM
"THE CATHOLIC VOTE" [KJL]
The National Catholic Register puts it in black and white.
Posted at 02:00 PM
LEFTY LENO? [KJL]
The best line: "there’s nothing funnier to me than the French. "
Posted at 01:57 PM
CBS STATEMENT DELAY [Jonah Goldberg]
Lord, I'm hoping that it's taking so long because Dan Rather has swiped all of the extension cords in the office in a spirit of "if I can't play, no one can!" after learning that he's being hung out to dry. Or something like that.
Posted at 01:43 PM
THE MAN WITH NO GRAY FLANNEL SUIT [Peter Robinson]
The afternoon wears on, but Northwest Airlines still hasn't found my suitcase. The worst so far? Putting on yesterday's socks. But worse is yet to come: I'm supposed to give my talk in a couple of hours, and unless my suitcase turns up in the meantime I'll be forced to appear unkempt, unshaven, and in jeans.
Is it possible to sound like a Republican while dressed like a Democrat?
Posted at 01:39 PM
I DON'T KNOW ABOUT YOU... [Jonah Goldberg]
But I'm having hard time concentrating in anticipation of Kristin Gore's novel.
Posted at 01:38 PM
TENNESSEE UPDATE: EAST, NOT EASTERN [Peter Robinson ]
From a reader:
Sorry to sound nitpicky, but just make sure you refer to "East Tennessee," rather than "Eastern Tennessee" in your talk today. Tennessee has three "Grand Divisions," East Tenn., Middle Tenn., and West Tenn., that are both legally defined within the state (we actually have some rules on representation and the apportionment of offices that take them into account) and are distinct geographically and culturally. So we Tennesseeans take pride in our Grand Division, and we sometimes get a laugh or a rise out of hearing someone unfamiliar with them refer to a vague "Eastern Tennessee" or "Western Tennessee," which in our minds does not exist.Grand divisions and local pride. Why haven’t I ever spent time in Tennessee before?
Posted at 01:36 PM
DANA MAKES A MOVE FOR ARNOLD [KJL]
(Washington, D.C.) Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (CA-46) introduced a constitutional amendment today that would allow foreign-born Americans who have been citizens for at least 20 years to be eligible to seek the office of the presidency.
Posted at 01:25 PM
MORE AGAINST RETROCESSION [Jonah Goldberg]
From a loyal reader:
Several Maryland Governors, most recently Parris Glendenning, have said "No" when retrocession of the District to Maryland was proposed.
Posted at 01:22 PM
COLLEGE BLEG [KJL]
In an upcoming NRODT, we'd like to cover stars and lowlights on college campuses around the country. Campus "heroes," (students, faculty, administration, the right-wing equivalent of Robin Williams in that Matt Damon movie...) campus outrages--send them on. Send your ideas to Rachel Friedman at Rachel Friedman.
Posted at 12:57 PM
Saudia Arabia is makes State Department "concern" list:
ADDITION OF SAUDI ARABIA TO STATE DEPARTMENT’S "CPC" LIST IS MILESTONE
Posted at 12:43 PM
Chris Cox is calling for congressional investigation of CBS
Posted at 12:18 PM
ALTERNATIVE MEANINGS [KJL]
I hadn't thought of this one, for sure. A reader who works at an AIDS-education center says: "In my line of work, MSM stands for 'Men who have Sex with Men.'"
Posted at 12:17 PM
RACHEL DICARLO [Ramesh Ponnuru]
catches Kitty Kelley pulling a fast one on Matt Lauer.
Posted at 12:16 PM
MARYLAND DOESN'T WANT DC [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
Mr. Goldberg: Instead of giving DC back to Maryland, I've got a better idea - give Montomery and Prince George's Counties to the District.
Posted at 11:57 AM
OH, AND FOR THE RECORD [Jonah Goldberg]
I've changed the name of my home network, lest some of you wackier netizens sought to drive around Washington looking for my house so you could hack into my system and download all of my saved Doom games.
Posted at 11:37 AM
W. GETS A NYC BOUNCE? [KJL]
Posted at 11:30 AM
DAY 7... [Jonah Goldberg]
of CBS held hostage to Dan Rather. Shouldn't we have a countdown clock or something?
Posted at 11:22 AM
RE: MSM [KJL]
Not a week ago, Rich asked me, "do you recognize MSM?" I replied, "You mean MSN?" As in why does Slate have Bill Gates's wallet and we don't? You see where my mind is...
Posted at 11:17 AM
MARION BARRY SHOOTER [Jonah Goldberg]
Longtime readers surely remember this story, as I often show up at collegiate speaking events to find kids eager to buy me a MBS. Anyway, if you don't know what a Marion Barry shooter is, here's the story (as plagiarized from an old column of mine):
When Marion Barry was elected mayor of D.C. -- after his release from prison -- I was with friends in a bar (sort of like saying, “ when Barry was elected I was breathing”). Barry had recently spent some time in the pen for smoking crack. The bar had the local news on and there was a reporter doing a stand-up from Barry campaign headquarters, where the victory party was already starting. The reporter — in total, complete, un-ironic seriousness — said something to the effect of “Well, Jim, I'm here tonight at the Barry headquarters. It's a really diverse group, with people from every part of the Barry coalition…..with a strong turnout from the ex-offender community.” Recall that Barry campaigned in the local prison, telling inmates to tell their families to vote for him because he would liberalize parole, create an “office of ex-offenders' affairs,” etc. The “ex-offender community” (a.k.a., criminals and hangers-on) accounts for a sizable portion of the voting population.
Note: The Marrion Barry is a terrible, terrible drink which leaves you in the morning thinking someone drove a three-penny nail into your forehead. No one at National Review, the Corner nor myself in anyway endorse the consumption of this beverage.
Posted at 11:15 AM
MSM MEME [Jonah Goldberg]
Man. The widespread usage of the initials for "Mainstream media" -- MSM -- has been almost instantaneous.
Posted at 11:09 AM
ACTION ITEM [Ramesh Ponnuru]
NRO readers have been very generous in contributing to our post-defense defense fund. But we could use more help! Please give whatever you can. (And by "whatever you can," I do not mean sonnets.)
Posted at 11:07 AM
PROBLEM SOLVED (SORTA!) [Jonah Goldberg]
Thanks top everybody. The consensus so far is that my Desktop's WiFi antenna is loose/improperly installed. I will investigate that when I get the geekterone (that's geek + testosterone) to open up the computer and fiddle with that stuff.
However, while I was sweating and cursing, my wife noticed that there's a cable line in this office/walk-in closet. So, I simply moved the cable modem in here. Attached the desktop by ethernet straight to the base station and I'm golden. Much appreciation for everybody who offered to help.
Note: I will be reprinting this message in the original post too.
Posted at 11:03 AM
MARCIA ANGELL [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Her new book is getting raves on the morning shows, but it's bad news for sick people.
Posted at 10:47 AM
SINCE WE DON'T GET TO TALK ABOUT DC MUCH... [Jonah Goldberg]
A) Statehood's a joke. DC should rejoin Maryland, AKA retrocession. It's not only the better solution, constitutionally, politically and economically, it's the more plausible one. If Statehooders want representation in Washington, let them vote for two Maryland Senators and a couple Marlyand congressmen.
B) DC's biggest problem isn't that it doesn't have enough rich people, it's that it has too many poor people. Meanwhile, Middle Class blacks keep leaving town because they're, well, middle class and they want the same things for their kids that everyone else does. So we get left with a lot of very poor blacks and a lot of very rich whites (and some very rich blacks) and the city's politics reflect that. Anthony Williams seems to recognize this and that's why he's been so successful.
C) And, finally: ENOUGH talk about "no taxation without representation"! Yes, it's true to a point. But it's also written into the Constitution. If you don't like it, move! However, I do think the far better and more exciting idea would be to make DC exempt from Federal Taxation. We could voucherize poor folks in existing low income housing so that they would have to be bought out when this city became Monaco-on-the Potomac, and do a few other things to help thee poor with the inevitable dislocation that would ensue. But we would see the greatest economic boom ever. Of course, the government would lose trillions as zillionaires all moved to DC. But someone smarter than me, say Ramesh, could figure out how to fix that problem. And yes, as a homeowner, I definitely have a conflict of interest here. But that doesn't mean I'm wrong.
Posted at 10:42 AM
MAC HELP! [ Jonah Goldberg]
Okay here is the dilemma/situation. I have new cable modem. I have successfully created a new WiFi network (JGHOME1) in our new accomodations. Both my laptop and Jessica's are successfully on it. Connected to internet, hunky dory. So, I'm setting up my Desktop computer and
A) it can barely receive the WiFi signal (if it at all. I'm not completely convinced it's not picking something up from my laptop).
B) While it says -- when it gets the signal -- that it can join JGHOME and it even says it's connected to the internet via airport, there is zero web access.
C) Meanwhile, my laptop receives the base station signal full throttle from the exact same position.
So, questions: Could it be hardware problem? i.e. could the Desktop's airport card just suck? But even if that were the case, why can't I get on the web when it receives a tiny bit of the signal? Is it possible that the Desktop thinks there are two JGHOME1s? I may have created a network on the Desktop thinking I was joining the existing one. Is such a thing a possible?
The best, quickest, clearest and most successful answer to this question will earn you my eternal gratitude, a coveted "no-prize," and -- should you wish it -- thanks by name in the Corner.
Since I have complete faith in you people, please watch this space for when I declare "problem solved!" so that I don't get deluged with superfluous email for the next 24 hours. But please....HELP!
UPDATE:Thanks top everybody. The consensus so far is that my Desktop's WiFi antenna is loose/improperly installed. I will investigate that when I get the geekterone (that's geek + testosterone) to open up the computer and fiddle with that stuff.
However, while I was sweating and cursing, my wife noticed that there's a cable line in this office/walk-in closet. So, I simply moved the cable modem in here. Attached the desktop by ethernet straight to the base station and I'm golden. Much appreciation for everybody who offered to help.
Posted at 10:30 AM
RE: GITLIN [Ramesh Ponnuru]
I was talking the other day to Don Fierce, a Republican strategist, who told me, "The American Psychiatric Association should really be supporting Bush, because of all the group therapy that will be needed in every precinct in the country the day after the election."
Posted at 10:28 AM
RE: BARRY [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Barry claimed that Williams is too focused on renovating a "glittering downtown," and not focused enough on the downtrodden. The mayor's pursuit of a baseball stadium shows that Barry's critique is not completely wrong.
My favorite comment in the Post coverage was not Barry's remark that his victory was also a "victory. . . for God," but rather that of one of his supporters, who said, "He's just like Jesus." Except for the bit about getting caught in a cocaine sting with a hooker.
Posted at 10:21 AM
THIS NYT HEADLINE CANNOT BE REAL. THIS IS SELF-DESTRUCTION BEFORE OUR EYES. [KJL]
Memos on Bush Are Fake but Accurate, Typist Says
Posted at 10:16 AM
FINANCIAL AID TODAY [John Derbyshire]
You want to get a nice fat college scholarship for your kids? Here is what you have to do.
Posted at 10:07 AM
RE: DECRIMINALIZATION OF MARIJUANA [John Derbyshire]
It's pretty darn compelling if you have kids, & have to spend all your time trying to stir them to do something -- anything! -- other than sit around in a switched-off state waiting for the next flickering screen to appear.
Like Steve, I worry a lot about the zombification of life. When I was a kid, if there wasn't an actual blizzard going on, adults kicked us out of the house saying: "Go play." I keep trying to kick my kids out of the house, but they seep back in. "There's nothing to *do* outside...."
We are raising the first generation of human beings *ever* who think there is nothing to do outside.
Posted at 10:00 AM
GITLIN'S PREDICTIONS [Jonathan Adler]
If Bush wins reelection, Todd Gitlin predicts a demoralized -- and potentially violent -- left:
Many activists, novices and veterans, will despair, or wrestle with despair. They will entertain wild, secessionist fantasies, or claim they're on the verge of moving to old Europe. Morosely, they will remind themselves that Republicans have triumphed after the grandest Democratic-liberal mobilization in decades. They will lack a theory of history that injects them with confidence that, despite defeat, the wheel will eventually turn their way. So, politics altogether will seem to be blocked. Dropouts will multiply. In this overheated atmosphere, I would not be surprised to see outbursts of political violence the likes of which we haven't seen since the Weather Underground of the 1970s. The commitment to marginality in much of the antiglobalization movement would take on a tang of negative logic. The master argument will sound like this: What else you got, you so-called practical types? The practical types had better be practical.
Posted at 09:57 AM
CAMPAIGN NASTINESS [Jonathan H. Adler]
The Coburn-Carson fight for the Oklahoma Senate seat is getting nasty, according to this report.
Posted at 09:56 AM
WAS THE FORGERY CRIMINAL? [Jonathan H. Adler]
Eugene Volokh has some thoughts here, here, and here.
Posted at 09:55 AM
CORNER INFLUENCES NY PRIMARY [KJL]
That's what a reader says, noting John Fleming's primary win. And then flashing back to this Corner mention.
I'm never one to refuse credit.
Posted at 09:53 AM
D.C.'S OTHER BAD NEWS [John J. Miller]
The headlines blaring Barry's victory have drowned out another story: the defeat of city councilman Kevin Chavous. I don't know much about the guy, except that he was one of the brave Democrats who broke ranks with his party to join mayor Anthony Williams and congressional Republicans in support of a limited school-choice plan for poor kids in the District. I would have preferred to see Chavous re-elected than to see Barry defeated. Oh well. (Here's the Washington Post synopsis of yesterday's results.)
Posted at 09:41 AM
BARRY'S UPSIDE [John J. Miller]
One good thing about Marion Barry: He opposes plans to have the District government finance a new baseball stadium intended to house the Expos once they leave Montreal. Public financing of sports arenas is a boondoggle--and Barry is right to oppose it. I'm far from convinced that he opposes it for the right reasons, but motives don't much matter when votes are counted.
Posted at 09:35 AM
BARRY'S BACK [John J. Miller]
In a supreme metaphysical sense, the return of Marion Barry is an unwelcome development. I wish he had lost yesterday. But it's also slightly helpful to Republicans, who can now refer to the "Party of John Kerry and Marion Barry" and not seem outlandishly retro.
Posted at 09:28 AM
BREAKING NEWS [Jonah Goldberg]
Word is that CBS will issue a statement today at noon.
Posted at 09:24 AM
FEAR THE MUNCHIES [Jonathan H. Adler]
C'mon Derb. This is a compelling case against marijuana decriminalization? I expect to hear such social engineering arguments from Yale professors hoping to tax junk food or communitarians seeking to limit automobile use, but not from a conservative. By Sailer's reasoning, we should tax, if not prohibit, remote controls! I also think the articles underlying premises are wrong. But even if they are not, the argument "product X" will encourage people to lead less productive lives is hardly a compelling case for criminalization -- at least not in a free society.
Posted at 09:21 AM
JUDGE WARS RETURN [Jonathan H. Adler]
Law.com reports on the likely revival of judicial nomination fights this fall. Among other things, the article suggests there will be cloture votes on several of President Bush's stalled nominees, including California Supreme Court Justice Janice Rogers Brown. (LvHB) In related news, Justice Brown will be honored this Friday at the Claremont Institute's annual Constitution Day dinner.
Posted at 09:12 AM
RE: ODE [KJL]
I cannot comment on this, except to say: WOW--Ledeen got four lines.
Posted at 09:10 AM
ODE TO NRO [John Derbyshire]
You mention poetry, you get poems.
Here's a sonnet from a reader. It touched my heart... or possibly it was my pancreas.
Ode to NRO
A joyful sight to me the NRO
Each morning as the Web to start my day
With reading Derb and beauteous K-LO
And Jonah boldly steps into the fray
Ledeen with wisdom and experience
Does comment on the workings of the State
And how it handles its Intelligence
A system he will often times berate
Brave Stuttaford and clever Ponnuru
With Myrna blithely make the columns shake
While Nordlinger with comments impromptu
Does cause my thoughts to tremble and to quake
These stalwarts write and still I cry for more
While all around me shout "Bush in '04!"
Posted at 09:08 AM
OH WELL. [Jonah Goldberg]
The Saturday London Times, for which I've been writing a bi-weekly (fortnightly as they say) column has undergone a redesign and picked up a new US editor who will be writing a letter from the States that will bump off my column. At first I was reluctant to pick up the gig for time-management reasons, but it was just so cool to be a columnist for the Times of London -- and the money didn't stink -- it seemed like something I couldn't say no to. Now, it's over. I'll miss doing it, but I am a bit relieved too.
One weird thing was that I almost never got any feedback on it. It was like writing a column, stuffing it into a bottle and throwing it across the Atlantic. Every now and then I'd bump into someone who'd seen it, but because of the Times' web firewall, nobody on this side of the pond ever saw it. I had grand hopes that the column would result in regular invitations to London for trans-Atlantic punditry (note: Jonah wants to opine in lavish Euro-hotels once his book is done). They never materialized either. Again: Oh well.
Posted at 09:02 AM
RESEARCH BLEG: HOLMES [Jonah Goldberg]
Question for legal eagles only. Does anyone out there think Oliver W. Holmes would have advocated for judicial restraint if the progressives in Congress and the states weren't making such "progress." In other words, would he have favored a bit more judicial activism if he didn't think the activists were getting things done. I know the basic and standard answer is "no, he really did believe in judicial restraint." I know about his nihilist streak and all that (and that he was, essentially, a jerk). But I'm wondering if this is more of an open question than I've read/heard. Please send interesting and illuminating responses to JonahResearch@aol.com
Posted at 08:40 AM
LOWRY V. CORN COVERAGE [Jack Fowler]
Posted at 08:25 AM
GOOD MORNING, NRO! [KJL]
We're hip-hopping in here today, nice and early (and throughout the site--take a look: and don't forget the Kerry Spot). Before you head off to other things, though: Please give this a read. Thank you.
Posted at 08:08 AM
DECRIMINALIZATION OF MARIJUANA [John Derbyshire]
Steve Sailer makes a strong case AGAINST decriminalization in The American Spectator.
Posted at 07:53 AM
FROM THE NINTH FLOOR OF THE KNOXVILLE MARRIOTT [Peter Robinson]
Mist obscuring a bend in the Tennessee River; a long, high bluff on the other side; pink sky; in the distance, the squat cones of the Smokies. If Northwest Airlines hadn’t lost my suitcase, leaving me with nothing but jeans and Rockports, I’d be out exploring right now, pounding along the river in my best imitation of a morning run. But even from my hotel window I can tell that all the folks who sent me emails about Eastern Tennessee yesterday were right. This is lush country.
Posted at 07:46 AM
A JOURNEY OF A THOUSAND MILES . . . [Mark Krikorian]
Congress has not approved a cut in legal immigration since 1924. But on Tuesday, the House immigration subcommittee voted to kill the visa lottery, an egregious program that each year admits 50,000 people at random, without regard to their skills, connections to the United States, or humanitarian need. (I wrote about the lottery here.) According to the alert folks at Numbers USA, the vote was 5-3, with several members involved in other business. Two of the votes to kill the lottery would not have happened before this year and appear to have been responses to grassroots conservative outrage over immigration: Rep. Melissa Hart (R-PA) was mediocre on the issue (see her and others' grades here), but has been getting an earful, most recently as chairman of the GOP platform subcommittee in New York that dealt with immigration issues, where her assignment was to railroad through a plank supporting the White House amnesty proposal; and Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), who recently faced a strong primary challenge because of his co-sponsorship of John McCain's amnesty bill.
The next step is a vote of the full Judiciary Committee next week. This would seem to be something that high-immigration supporters could back, since the lottery lacks both a policy rationale and interest-group support. But the slippery-slope people will argue that any concession to the critics of mass immigration will cause the whole edifice to collapse (I wish!).
Posted at 07:37 AM
THE WORM TURNS [Peter Robinson]
Listening to Dan Rather deliver the latest of his tortured defenses yesterday evening, I knew that Rather reminded me of someone, but of whom? This morning it came to me.
Posted at 07:32 AM
IS THIS WHY JOE GIBBS CAME BACK? [Michael Graham]
According to Jim VandeHei in the Washington Post today, "In the past 18 presidential elections, if the Redskins lost or tied the last game before the election, the party in the White House lost, too." The 'Skins last game before Nov. 2? John Kerry's "favorite" NFL team, the Green Bay Packers of "Lambert Field" fame. I also understand Kerry's a big fan of legendary Packers coach Vince Linguini.
Posted at 07:30 AM
HE'S BAAAACK [KJL]
Marion Barry makes a comeback on the D.C. city council.
Posted at 06:50 AM
EXIT SCHIEFFER [John J. Miller]
The Bush campaign should insist that someone other than Bob Schieffer moderates the upcoming presidential debate--and suggest that Brit Hume serve in his place. I suspect that there's no way the Kerry people will agree to anyone from Fox News, but it would be nice to see the team at America's favorite cable-news channel get the plug. And it would drive certain people absolutely batty.
Posted at 06:00 AM
BOBS SCHIEFFER MIGHT BE A LOT HOTTER INTERNALLY [KJL]
He should be: His rep and future as presidential debate moderate should depend on it.
Posted at 05:34 AM
BOB SCHIEFFER ON RATHERGATE [KJL]
Posted at 05:32 AM
RE: CRIBBAGE [KJL]
4:30 am games of cribbage on the NR cruise!
I'll pass, but thanks. Marmite at 8?
Posted at 05:29 AM
RE: DEATH WHERE THY STING? ETC. ETC. [John Derbyshire]
The problem with going to bed that early is, of course, that you are going to wake up correspondingly early. So here I am at 4:30 am, playing Freecell while scarfing down oatmeal and OJ. Cribbage, anyone?
Posted at 04:44 AM
REMEMBERING MARGARET SANGER'S BIRTHDAY [KJL]
(which was before midnight)
Posted at 12:04 AM
Tuesday, September 14, 2004
BUSH VS. KERRY ON LIFE [KJL]
Posted at 11:28 PM
RE: SYRIA [Andy McCarthy]
Note that the Syrian chemical weapons experiments on the human guinea pigs in Darfur are alleged to have come in conjunction with a military exercise between Syria and Sudan. Why is this worth bearing in mind? Remember the retaliatory strikes after the 1998 embassy bombings? One of the targets we hit was Sudan's al Shifa pharmaceutical plant: because it was believed, based on intelligence, that bin Laden was underwriting chemical weapons production there, which was being carried out, with Sudan's approval, by Saddam Hussein's experts. In the 9/11 Commission investigation, President Clinton, Nat'l Security Adviser Berger and Defense Sec'y Cohen continued to stand by that intelligence -- although, of course, the Commission did not find a meaningful relationship to exist between Iraq and al Qaeda. In any event, the role of Sudanese in the menace we're fighting continues to be profound and understated. Recall, as the UN and the "international community" continue impotently to plead with them to stop the genocide in Darfur, that this spring the State Department took them off the terrorist black list.
Posted at 10:53 PM
UNFORTUNATE STRATEGY [KJL]
Rough transcript of former senator Fred Thompson (a.k.a. the kinda surrogate you want on your team) on John Gibson's Fox show:
GIBSON: democratic national committee going after president bush's military record with operation fortunate son -- going back to the fogerity song -- the credence clearwater soldier who can't get out of vietnam because he's not rich. the new question about the national guard memos shown on cbs. we start with the republican perspective from former tennessee senator fred thompson. welcome, good to have you.
Posted at 10:35 PM
HEART OF EVIL [KJL]
While John Kerry apologizes to the world that we got rid of one Baathist tyranny, Die Welt reports that Syria tested chemical weapons on people in Darfur.
Posted at 10:20 PM
I GUESS THAT WORKS [KJL]
A reader: "Do you think CBS is standing by the story just to improve its ratings? I know I watched it for the first time in years. I wasn't even sure what time it came on."
Posted at 07:02 PM
KERRY MUST BE DESPERATE [KJL]
Ted Kennedy's back on the trail for him.
Posted at 06:53 PM
"CBS NEWS CONTINUES TO STAND BY ITS REPORTING" [KJL]
The word from John Roberts on CBS tonight, in the midst of a defiant report on W. daring to speak at a national guard gathering today.
Posted at 06:46 PM
POP CORN [Cliff May]
Regarding Rich’s visit to Cornell to debate David Corn: Yes, it probably will be a he said/he said over whether Bush is a liar. This thought: When I was at the RNC during the second Clinton term, I can distinctly recall the Chairman, Jim Nicholson, refusing to use words such as “liar” -- even once it became apparent that Clinton was knowingly telling falsehoods. He genuinely felt that such harsh terms were out of bounds – that you didn’t say such things about a sitting President, out of respect for the office. The trend since then, to paraphrase Daniel Patrick Moynihan, clearly has been to define the discourse down.
Posted at 06:36 PM
HANDSOME? [John J. Miller]
That's not what my wife thinks. She was a bit startled to see a naked lady on the cover, and looked at me funny when I explained it's a famous piece of art. She's been calling it Our Nudest Enemy.
Posted at 06:01 PM
RE: YOUR BOOK [KJL]
It is quite handsome, if that eases your mind!
Posted at 05:37 PM
MY BOOK [John J. Miller]
K Lo: I'm delighted that you've received an advance copy of my new book, Our Oldest Enemy: A History of America's Disastrous Relationship with France, whose formal on-sale date is still three weeks away. Oddly, I haven't received a finished copy from my publisher yet. I sometimes joke with Kate O'Beirne that I'm the last to know what goes on at NR, but this is ridiculous!
Posted at 05:36 PM
KILLIAN SECRETARY SPEAKS [Rod Dreher]
The Dallas Morning News found Lt. Col. Jerry Killian's secretary, and she says she never typed those memos. But the 86-year-old lady, who is emphatically not a Bush supporter, says that the information in those memos accurately reflect opinions that the deceased Lt. Col. Killian held. The DMN reports: "She also said the memos may have been constructed from memory by someone who had seen Lt. Col. Killian's private file but were not transcriptions because the language and terminology did not match what he would have used."
Posted at 05:32 PM
SULLIVAN ON RATHER [Ramesh Ponnuru]
The last two graphs are particularly strong.
Posted at 05:30 PM
MORE ON AMNESTY’S REPORT ON RACIAL PROFILING [Roger Clegg]
Worse than the diagnosis in Amnesty International’s report on racial profiling (see Derb’s postings yesterday) are the prescriptions: (1) require the police to count their stops by race (thus, inevitably, pushing them to get their numbers right by pointlessly stopping more of those with a color for whom they “don’t have enough” and letting through some of other colors for whom they “have too many”); (2) hiring by the numbers--“aim to reflect the diversity of their societies at all organizational levels”—which means, apparently, that profiling in hiring and promoting is okay, just not in stopping; (3) avoiding “discriminatory impact” (that is, avoiding perfectly valid policies if this has a disproportionate racial effect, like sending extra patrols to high-crime areas if those areas are disproportionately African American); (4) implementing more international treaties (of course!); and (5) making it harder for the police to stop and question ANYONE.
Posted at 05:15 PM
DEATH WHERE THY STING? ETC. ETC. [John Derbyshire]
I have the worst head cold in the history of the human race. Just got stoned on DayQuil & shall now take to my bed. Goodnight, Gracie
Posted at 05:10 PM
POOR COSMO [Jonah Goldberg]
He was just wrestling with his cousin Buckley. He seems to have cracked or broken one of those claws on his lower leg. Debating taking him to the vet.
Posted at 04:47 PM
MILES TO GO... [KJL]
...No, not a Robert Frost post....
The response to our “defense fund” appeal has been heartening. However, we could still use a little boost. If you'd like to help, here's the 411.
Posted at 04:45 PM
HARVARD LAW SCHOOL’S JAYSON BLAIR? [Roger Clegg]
Eye-opening item by Joseph Bottum in the current issue of The Weekly Standard about how Harvard law professor Charles Ogletree “inadvertently,” “under pressure of a deadline,” copied out of one book on Brown v. Board of Education into his own book on Brown. Except it’s really much worse than that: Ogletree wasn’t even really writing the book he authored--he was having his assistants write it, or, rather, he was having them copy and then paraphrase the work of other authors. As Bottum notes: “Despite his very limited scholarly credentials, Charles Ogletree was granted tenure at Harvard Law School in 1993 as an expert in race relations during the peak of the agitation—sit-ins, marches, accusations of racism—to diversify the school’s faculty. Rumors swirled about the writing, editing, and placement of his tenure-winning essay in the Harvard Law Review, but, by any measure, Ogletree was hired precisely because race cases like Brown v. Board of Education were his specialty. He is not supposed to need other sources. He’s a Harvard law professor; other sources are supposed to need him.”
Posted at 04:15 PM
COULDN'T HAVE HAPPENED TO A NICER GUY [ Jonah Goldberg]
Sorry, but I can't muster any tears for the guy who beat his fiance and then threw an 8-month old baby out of a moving car while fleeing police in a stolen car. He died in a car crash.
Posted at 04:01 PM
CBS EMPLOYEES’ POLITICAL $$ FAVORS DEMS [Jack Fowler]
Jim Geraghty reports in TKS that “CBS is looking into the political donations of document examiner Sandra Ramsey Lines, fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, who assessed the memos for CNN and for the Associated Press.” What’s good for the goose: if you’re curious as to whom/what CBS personnel are making political contributions, go to www.opensecret.org and plugged in “CBS” for the occupation in the individual contributors search function. I did that for the 2002 and 2004 election cycles, and the results are lopsided: over $163,000 was donated (warning: some is from companies that have “CBS” in their titles, but aren’t part of the media giant) to individual candidates or to Viacom (the CBS corporate parent). And nearly every penny sent to an individual campaign from a discernible CBS employee, whether from the news, entertainment, or corporate divisions, went to a Democrat. Look for yourself here. Most of Viacom’s donations in the current cycle are going to Republicans (PACS typically give to incumbents and the party running Capitol Hill), but in 2002 the donation split was only 51-49 in favor of the GOP.
Posted at 04:00 PM
CANADIAN HEALTH GET GETTING SICKER [Jack Fowler]
Amazing: Reuters is running a story admitting that Canada’s health care system is in misery – “creaking alarmingly, with long wait lists for treatment, and shortages of cash and doctors” – and citing a study by the “right-wing” Fraser Institute that the “average waiting time for treatment in 2003 rose to 17.7 weeks from 16.5 weeks in 2002.” Nice of Reuters to come around to the sorry truth about the country’s insane system.
Posted at 03:52 PM
RE: KERRY=FOOT FUNGUS [Jonah Goldberg]
A reader notes "The scary part is that Bush is not exactly trouncing foot fungus."
Posted at 02:50 PM
SIGH, I CAN'T WIN [Jonah Goldberg]
When I write serious columns, light on the jokes, I get deluged with email saying "where's the funny?" When I write fun columns like today, I get emails like this:
There is hope for you! Much hope. Your philosophy sound, your mentors solid and very often you are right on the mark. Now please discard the sophomoric humor you tend to include with serious pieces. You do not have to punctuate your humanity with this humor. You are in a serious business and the nature of your work will expose your defects sufficiently. Use your gifts to expose the frauds, like Rather, and the fraudulent pap that is hyped by the likes of Rather. There is enough to keep you busy for a long while. God bless you, your work and your family.
Posted at 02:26 PM
POOR KERRY [Jonah Goldberg]
Drudge has a brutal smack. Kerry's only slightly moore popular than foot fungus.
Posted at 01:05 PM
BUSH'S AGENDA: THE "COST" [Ramesh Ponnuru]
The front page of the Washington Post claims that extending the tax cuts and creating private accounts for Social Security would cost $3 trillion over a decade. Fully $2 trillion of this estimate comes from the private accounts.
It is important to remember that the "cost" of private accounts is a matter of moving some of the Social Security system's obligations forward in time. The system is supposed to help pay for the retirements of current retirees and of today's workers. Funding private accounts means that some of the money for today's workers has to be set aside today. That is a formidable challenge, but it's not the same thing as creating a new spending program.
If private accounts are part of a deal in which workers accept a lower guaranteed benefit, the long-term costs of Social Security go down. And since those long-term costs are the chief good reason to be worried about deficits in the first place, the apparent price tag should not keep us from going forward with the accounts.
Posted at 01:03 PM
PROVING THEY COULD BE TRUE [Jonah Goldberg]
As I noted in today's G-File -- which was written yesterday -- Dan Rather's best option is to argue it's not impossible the memos are authentic. That, of course, is an outrageous position for a news organization. Imagine if NR ran a story saying John Kerry has an unconsumated crush on Jacques Chirac or, for that matter, if we ran a story saying that Kerry is a closet pederast and we defended the story by saying that it "could be true." Indeed, the big media ridiculed the Swift Boat Guys for alleging things that couldn't be proven true. The Swiftees did not get far by saying their allegations could be true. Anyway, Jonathan Last -- in a very useful piece -- highlights this point today:
Posted at 01:01 PM
RE: CORNELL & RATHERGATE [KJL]
Looks like you'll have at least one friend there, Rich.
Posted at 12:57 PM
APOLLOSTORY.COM [ Jonah Goldberg]
The book is back and has a website to boot. Must see for space junkies.
Posted at 12:46 PM
60 MINUTES & THE TRUTH [Mackubin Thomas Owens]
If, as now seems likely, the Air Guard documents that 60 Minutes used to bash the president are exposed as forgeries, it would not be the first time that CBS and 60 Minutes were duped because they were predisposed to believe a story. This comes from my piece for the NR issue of 23 February:
[H.G.] Burkett discovered that over the last decade, some 1,700 individuals, including some of the most prominent examples of the Vietnam veteran as dysfunctional loser, had fabricated their war stories. Many had never even been in the service. Others had been, but had never been in Vietnam.
Posted at 12:45 PM
LOONEY TUNES ET AL [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader who feels very strongly about this. Please: I don't have the room in my email box to start a debate over this:
Jonah, Abominable Snowman??? A minor notable character who does not "own" this quote at all. This must be addressed because the Bugs Bunny episodes (two of them) to which you refer are from the much beloved Saint Bernard Character (ala "Rabbit tracks.... TRAIN tracks!"...WHAM... "HEY FELLAS I CAUGHT A TRAIN I DID!!!). Now I assume that in the interest of journalistic integrity you will address this post haste because I know from your writings that you, like me, have gotten a fair amount of your undeniably truthful view of the world from the magnificent cogotations of various Lonney Toones (to which we owe Warner Brothers eternal adulation since a more poignant source of simple wisdom the world has not seen since Aristotle... or Ok... maybe there's been a few other sources in between Ancient Greece and the mid 20th century Warner Brothers lot... but not many!!!). Now then... since you have never managed to take note of any of my political comments, I am pretty insistent that this much more important subject matter inspires a response from you in The Corner. Kevin [Name withheld] An American in Norway PS I agree however, quite heartily with the spirit of the quote. I love this story that way too. I wish I could hug it and squeeze it and call it whatever. A rare media "Feel the Love" moment!
Posted at 12:38 PM
OFF FOR CORNELL [Rich Lowry]
I'm headed out for this debate with David Corn. Short preview: “Bush is a liar.” “No, he's not.” “Yes, he is.” “No, he's not,” etc. It's open to the public if you are in the area (please note the venue change): tonight, 7 pm, at Statler Hall Auditorium on the main campus. Afterwards, I'm driving north and am going--weather permitting--to do some guided fishing off the waters of Lake Ontario on Wednesday, an attempt to make up for a fly-fishing rain-out a few weeks ago.
Posted at 12:36 PM
IN EVERY SILVER LINING... [Michael Graham]
...there's a dark cloud. I just got an email from a listener asking "Who will take Kerry's place when he drops out?"
Hey, it wouldn't be the first time for the Democrats. Remember New Jersey?
So, let's say that CBS's source on the bogus memos has a direct, indisputable link to Kerry. If so, the election is over...and it's not even October.
Why would the Democrats stick with a guaranteed loser? Why wouldn't they push Kerry out, pressure him to resign, etc? It certainly wouldn't make sense to wrap a dying Kerry campaign around the necks of Democrat house or senate campaigns.
Has my paranoia gotten to me, or is this the obvious outcome if Kerry's fingerprints are on the Dan Rather memos?
Posted at 12:05 PM
LAUREATE WARS [John Derbyshire]
Having succeeded in getting Rick out beating the bushes for enemies of academic Eng. Lit. amour propre and defenders of the proposition that a good poem should be spontaneously liked by lots and lots of non-academic people, I shall scuttle back to my jungle bivouac. ("The bivouac of life," of course.)
If it's poets you're wanting, though, see my upcoming piece on George Crabbe in the NY Sun (tomorrow, I think).
In the meantime, let me canvass reader (and contributor, if you like) opinion here. On my "36 Great American Poems" CD I included Joyce Kilmer's "Trees." A reader just emailed in to ask why. Thinking about it, I am not sure.
Yes, I can see why "Trees" is a slightly absurd poem, a soft-center-chocolate sort of poem. Some of that, though, is due to the fact that "Trees" is, as I remark on the CD, the most-parodied poem in the American language. Most of us, I imagine, encounter a parody of "Trees" (in my case it was Ogden Nash's) before the thing itself, which distorts judgment. So why do I like "Trees"? It's not even what Orwell called a "good bad poem," because it's not *quite* bad enough. I don't know, there's a mystery here. "Trees" works for me, and that's the ultimate test. (As a small plus, which really should not be factored in, but which I think probably was, Kilmer was a genuine American hero.)
Posted at 11:55 AM
NOTE FROM A BLOGGER [Jonah Goldberg]
ME: These are all fine points, many of which I agree with. However, let me just say it is obvious to me at least that the blogosphere can never replace Big Media entirely. It just can't. Bloggers can't open bureaus in foreign capitals. They can't all quit their day jobs to sleuth out stories. They can't cover Capital Hill day in and day out. Now, before you start pointing to bloggers who do seem to do many of these things, keep in mind that all of those bloggers are largely responding to news which first appeared in big media. Blogs are wonderful for many things, but they will never replace the New York Times because bloggers need the New York Times more than anyone. They might -- and I think will -- change the New York Times, but that's a different thing altogether.
I remember when a friend of mine bought some tacos from a local joint we used to frequent called Burrito Brothers. He took a few bites at the taco and made a face. I said, "How are they?" He responded, "There's a reason they don't call this place 'Mexican food Brothers.'"
Blogs are great at blogging, which is a specific form of news and analysis. They aren't great at all forms of news and analysis.
Posted at 11:44 AM
LIBERTY? EQALITY? FRATERNITY? OR JUST PLAIN GALL? [KJL]
I have just now received a copy of Our Oldest Enemey: A History of America's Disastrous Relationship with France, co-authored by our very own John J. Miller.
Anyone mind if I disappear now?...have some reading to do (That was definitely a rhetorical question.)
And then, I gotta get cracking on a first book--Miller's running rings...
Posted at 11:43 AM
CRICKETS AND THAT TAPPING AT MY CHAMBER DOOR [KJL]
You mean it's not serious, Rick?
Next someone's going to say Emily Dickinson was neither a great poet nor philosopher.
Frost, Poe, Dickinson--I think that about covers poetry in most American classrooms--up to a little while ago, when Maya Angelou was added to the curriculmn, and Hallmark.
Posted at 11:38 AM
LAUREATE WARS: LAST NOTE BEFORE HEADING TO AIRPORT [Peter Robinson]
As best I can tell, the entire discussion of Ted Kooser that has taken place in this Corner over the last couple of days is based on reading nothing more than a single, slight poem by Kooser that I posted on Sunday. Googling around, I see that Kooser is the author of at least half a dozen books of poetry. Anyone who would care to inform himself about the work of the new poet laureate might begin by clicking here.
P.S. Between me and anyone who fails to include Frost among the truly great American poets there exists a gulf that will persist until the crack of doom.
Posted at 11:32 AM
POOR DAN [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
Jonah: I worked with Dan Rather at KHOU TV in Houston at the time he got his big break by wading hip deep in water at the weather bureau in Galveston, TX during Hurricane Carla. Believe me, Jonah, and everyone who knew him would agree, he was a "sad buffoon" even then. Dan was never thought to be the sharpest knife in the drawer as an anchor, but when he got trapped by rising water that Summer of 61and was spotted by Walter Cronkite, a career that probably never should have happened, did. He has acted like a loon on many occasions, but the hilarious high point for me was his appearance in Afghanistan wearing a turban and a burnoose and a bunch of towels. I fell out of my chair. Old Dan, from Sam Houston State, undercover in Afghanistan! Got to admit, I'm his age, only he looks a lot older.
Posted at 11:20 AM
TOO FAR KNOXVILLE [Peter Robinson ]
Off to the airport to board a plane, cross three-quarters of the continent, and come down in Knoxville, in the western foothills of the Smokies, and drive to the University of Tennessee. Tomorrow I’ll be participating in a program at the University’s Howard Baker Center. Entitled “Presidential Communications,” the program is free. Readers of this happy Corner, come one, come all.
And be sure to introduce yourselves. Every time I meet a new reader I tell Kathryn. I’ve found that nothing cheers her like news of her empire.
For time and place, click here, then scroll about halfway down the central panel.
Posted at 11:20 AM
[CRICKET NOISE, CRICKET NOISE] [Jonah Goldberg]
That's the sound you'll hear if anyone asks me to weigh in on the poetry debate taking place in the Corner today.
Posted at 11:12 AM
ELIOT WARS [Rick Brookhiser]
John starts the Eliot wars again, like some doughty old Japanese veteran in a cave in New Guinea, c. 1965. I have nothing new to say, except to be surprised that he calls Eliot British and Auden American simply because the two poets moved to those countries. Eliot has an extremism of technique that marks him as a Yank, even when it manifests itself in his efforts to impersonate a donnish TLS contributor. Auden, when he lets his guard down, has a fussy cuteness which is found only among some Englishmen. An Oxford thing? A gay English subcultural thing? I don't know. We see it gaining the upper hand in "In Praise of Limestone." By "Poems to a Habitat," it is all that is left. It grew most virulent, in other words, when he was living in America.
Poe was a great short-story writer, but (with one exception--"To Helen") a pretty lousy poet. "The Raven" is a wonderful comic poem, but Poe meant it seriously.
I haven't read much Longfellow, but all of it was fine.
The great American poet of the modern age is Eliot, with Frost close behind. If we score for productivity, obviously Frost pulls ahead, but if we score for grand slam home runs, as we should, Eliot stays in the lead.
The great American poet of the Romantic age was Whitman--like Wordsworth, a triumph of genius over garrulity.
Posted at 11:09 AM
EXPOSING THE SOURCE [Jonah Goldberg]
I'm sure this has been covered elsewhere, but let's be clear. The moment CBS admits these docs are bogus, theymust divulge who their source was. Protecting sources who tell the truth is honorable (though not as sacrosanct as some in the press think). Protecting sources who gave your news organization an umbrella enema and then opened it, is nuts. You have no obligation to protect a source who lies to you. Indeed, you have an obligation to out such sources. The only plausible motive I can think of for why Rather et al would protect the source of these documents -- once they admit the truth -- is that the source of these docs is even more embarassing than the fraudulent nature of the documents themselves. If it's Chris Lehane or Ben Barnes or someone else tied to the Kerry campaign, CBS News will have actively aided and abetted a partisan smear. And they can't afford to admit that.
Look at it this way: Assuming CBS comes clean, imagine if Karl Rove were the source. They'd admit it in a heart beat.
Posted at 11:08 AM
WMDS V. FORGED DOCS [Jonah Goldberg]
A reader takes my comparison of Bush's stance on WMDs to Rather's on the memos even further:
Imagine this press conference: GW Bush: "We found WMD in Iraq. All of our critics have been completely discredited"
Posted at 10:42 AM
THUNE IN THE LEAD... [ Jonah Goldberg]
Daschle falling behind. According to the latest poll . (Nod to Instapundit).
Posted at 10:36 AM
VETS RALLY AGAINST KERRY [Jed Babbin]
While the rest of us were savoring the spectacle of Dan Rather dissolving like the wicked witch of the west, Vietnam Vets for Truth rallied against John Kerry on Sunday under their banner, "Kerry lied while good men died." There were thousands of demonstrators, but only the Washington Times seems to have noticed.
Former POW Jim Warner told me this morning that one of John Kerry's former Vietnam Vets Against the War pals showed up to heckle, and was eventually removed by the Capitol Police. Warner spoke Sunday, but left out one critical thing. He, like the rest of the group, still believe John Kerry slandered them all by his infamous 1971 Senate atrocities testimony. Warner told me he wished he'd talked more on Sunday about the atrocities that did occur in the Vietnam war. "There were atrocities," he said. "That's why we were there. As always, the communists committed atrocities such as the 5,000 citizens of Hue they killed during the Tet offensive."
While the smoke is clearing from the Sunday demonstration, and the Vets are planning their next steps. Organizer Larry Bailey told me this morning that we're going to hear from them long, hard and continuously between now and the election. Stay tuned.
Posted at 10:33 AM
ON LEAVE [Jonah Goldberg]
The missus has volunteered to await the cable and phone persons (funny how feminists don't insist on "cable gal"). So I'm at a Starbucks in North West Washington. Plugging away. If you sent me an email between 10:07 and 10:31 and it bounced back, please resend since my email box filled up while I was offline.
Posted at 10:32 AM
LOCKEANS [John J. Miller]
John Hood of the John Locke Foundation has a helpful NRO article today on this year's gubernatorial races. He doesn't address the important question of who invented that awful but essential word -- goobernatorial -- though he does give us the lowdown on nearly a dozen races. On October 4, I'll join Hood, John Fund, and Marc Rotterman in Raleigh, N.C., for a JLF forum on this year's elections. For more information, go here.
Posted at 09:53 AM
WMD FOUND... [John J. Miller]
...off the coast of Georgia.
Posted at 09:35 AM
PLEASE READ. (THANK YOU.) [KJL]
TO: NATIONAL REVIEW & NRO READERS
FROM: NR Publishers & Editors
Just about a year ago National Review was sued by a southern Californian Muslim Activist, Hussam Ayloush, who is the executive director of the southern Californian office of the Council for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). The suit arose when a guest article by Shawn Steel on NRO stated that Ayloush co-hosted an event at which an Egyptian Muslim leader called Jewish people the "descendants of apes."
As it turns out, Mr. Ayloush was not at the event and did not co-host it. However, another branch of CAIR did sponsor the event and the remarks were made. Even though NR acknowledged that Mr. Ayloush was not at the event, he still pursued the suit. As it was expressed by CAIR-LA Communications Director, Sabiha Khan, "We hope this action will deter hate-mongers from undermining the character and work of those who do not share their extremist views."
We viewed this as an attempt to intimidate and punish NR. We probably could have settled early and cheaply, but we took the more principled route--we fought back. We asked the court in Orange County, California to throw out Mr. Ayloush's lawsuit because it lacked any merit. And the court agreed. In February, the court found that Mr. Ayloush failed to establish that the article was defamatory, failed to demonstrate that the article was false, and failed to produce evidence that NRO knew the article was false or acted recklessly in publishing it.
Fortunately, California has a law that allows libel defendants such as NR to recover their attorneys' fees when they win a frivolous case like Mr. Ayloush's. Unfortunately, according to Mr. Ayloush's lawyers, Mr. Ayloush did not have nearly enough money to cover our expenses. In a settlement reached a few weeks ago, Mr. Ayloush agreed to pay us $2,000. To his credit, Mr. Ayloush acknowledged it was a mistake to sue NR and apologized for dragging NR into his lawsuit. But the financial damage was done.
It was a very costly affair. Even though we have libel insurance, it comes with a $50,000 deductible. That, along with other attendant costs, brought our entire defense expenditure to more than $65,000--money that NR can ill-afford. At the time, we were contemplating setting up a defense fund, which we felt would have attracted not only donations but media interest as well. However, we decided against it because the litigation was still pending.
So now we are out $65,000, money that came right out of NR's budget and should have been used to pay some bills. So, once again, we turn to you. If you would like to help defray this expense--let's call it a post-defense defense fund--you can make a contribution via Paypal or send it directly to National Review (215 Lexington Avenue; 4th Floor; New York, N.Y. 10016). Anything you can do will be gratefully accepted.
Posted at 09:29 AM
ALMOST FREE AT LAST [Jonah Goldberg]
As you may recall, the Goldbergs had to move out of our house and into a rental pad quite a bit smaller. We've gone almost a week without phone, TV (oh, sweet TV you'll never let me down), or internet access. That ends today, allegedly. Which is why I will be away for a chunk of the morning, waiting for the rescue team as it were. By the way, there's a new G-File up on the homepage.
Posted at 08:56 AM
THE MOST DEAFENING SILENCE OF ALL [Jonah Goldberg]
I have no doubt that other Cornerites have had similar experiences. Whenever a big-fun-outrageous story/scandal breaks that conservatives like, somewhere between 5%-25% of my email is from furious liberals and Democrats who think conservatives are making fools of themselves for making such a big deal of the whole thing. "Wishful thinking!" "you're deranged!" "You're showing your true stripes!" are the sorts of thing I got durning the Sandy Burglar story (whatever happened there?), various Kerry gaffes, etc. I've missed a bit of email of late, but so far I believe a total of one reader has offered such comments since it became clear that the story was legit.
That none of the animal spirits of the left have felt the need to say "you guys are off base here!" tells me that Rather is in real trouble. I'm not talking about the professional writers like Blumenthal, i.e. the Gus Halls of the Democratic Party, but the average folks who are passionate about liberal politics or the sanctity of elite journalism. If they don't think Rather is a sympathetic figure and the mainstream media is already feeding on Rather, CBS is in real trouble. Because that means it's all alone.
Posted at 08:48 AM
MUST-READ MUSHNICK [Jack Fowler]
The train ride home is a happy one when the New York Post runs Phil Mushnick’s sports/media column. One of America’s best culture critics, Mushnick regularly bemoans the defining-deviancy-down antics, hot-dogging, and lack of sportsmanship (all of it glorified by dim-witted anchors) that rule on the playing field. Yesterday’s column--on gridiron idiocy this September 11th--was typically sharp. Mushnick in ’08!
Posted at 08:46 AM
PINCH SULZBERGER WHINES ABOUT TONE [KJL]
Posted at 08:42 AM
FIRST LADY LAURA SEZ: "PROBABLY ARE FORGERIES" [KJL]
(CNN) -- First Lady Laura Bush has said that National Guard documents used in a CBS News story questioning whether her husband fulfilled his National Guard service duties are probably forgeries.
Posted at 08:35 AM
WHILE I'M AT IT... [Rich Lowry]
...hat's off to Jim Geraghty over at TKS who has been all over the document story like white on rice. It has become a joke between us in recent days that every time I suggest he note something or cover some angle, he has already done it and I just hadn't noticed or caught up with TKS in the last 10 minutes.
Posted at 07:15 AM
KUDOS TO HOWARD KURTZ [Rich Lowry]
...and Michael Dobbs. The Washington Post continues to do terrific work on the CBS document scandal. Also, I would love to see the complete tape of Rather's talks with Marcel Matley. Judging from his interviews with the press, his opinions were grossly distorted by Rather in his Friday night defense, when Rather suggested that Matley was only worried that critics were working off copies, when he was obviously concerned that CBS was working off only copies too, and Rather also left the clear impression that Matley had authenticated all the signed (and initialed) documents when he hadn't. Unless Matley has for some reason radically changed his position in his recent statements, this is journalistic malpractice of the first order.
Posted at 07:12 AM
PRESIDENTIAL FORGERIES [John J. Miller]
The apparently forged documents on CBS remind me a bit of the JFK forgeries that went on the market a few years back -- the guy behind the scam was trying to use ABC News and our friend Seymour Hersh to vouch for their authenticity (an thereby increase their value). Hersh had wanted to accept them (for a TV documentary he was trying to produce), but ABC News subjected them to detailed scrutiny and eventually said no. The lesson here: If documents embarrassing to the Kennedys turn up, the media will engage in due diligence; but if it's Bush, anything goes.
Posted at 06:37 AM
W IS FOR WISCONSIN [KJL]
Bush's Wisconsin lead widens
Posted at 06:30 AM
HUGH ON SAFIRE [KJL]
Hugh Hewitt calls Bill Safire's column yesterday "intervention."
Posted at 06:15 AM
CBS'S TOO-GOOD-TO-BE-TRUE SCOOP [KJL]
John Podhoretz writes another column on Rathergate today. He says:
Anybody who spends an hour reviewing the evidence and the expert testimony knows they're forgeries.And adds:
Fifteen years ago — maybe even five years ago — the world would simply have accepted the legitimacy of the documents. After all, CBS said it had gone to an expert to have them authenticated.
Posted at 06:04 AM
SELECTRIC FOR SALE [KJL]
Rich might want to buy. Anyone wanting to fool CBS probably just needs Microsoft Word.
Posted at 06:00 AM
MISSILE DEFENSE DELAY [John J. Miller]
Any day now, the United States will have its first real missile-defense system. (Or at least the first one since the 1970s, if you insist on counting the brief Vanguard deployment as "a real missile-defense system.") Sometime between now and the end of this month, operators at Alaska's Ft. Greely will flick a switch and turn the system on. When it happens, we'll all be a bit safer in the event of a rogue strike from North Korea. Moreover, President Bush will have a good news day -- sort of. The media will want to debate the system's effectiveness, and item no. 1 on their list of talking points will be this decision to delay an intercept test until after the election.
Posted at 05:58 AM
MORE AUTHORITATIVE [KJL]
A reader suggests: "CBS will submit the documents in question to the CSI teams - all three of them, Miami, LV & NY. The CSI teams will authenticate the documents in the series opener next week."
Posted at 05:54 AM
FACE-TO-FACE WITH YOUR FEARS [KJL]
Art Spiegelman in US News:
You covered the Republican convention for the New Yorker.
Posted at 05:45 AM
RATH HER WEIRD [KJL]
Derborah Orin discovers what Dan Rather's "expert" is an expert in: Marcel Matley is author of Spirituality in Handwriting and Female/Male Traits in Handwriting.
In "Spirituality in Handwriting," Matley assesses a woman's "libidinal energy" based on her handwriting.Based on the other book, perhaps he can tell us more about the presidential candidates than we ever thought to ask:
"For your male client, you will be able to recognize the facade of machismo — and also recognize the hurt boy- child who uses that as a defensive hiding place."
Posted at 05:40 AM
MANNY MIRANDA SUES OVER MEMOGATE INVESTIGATION [KJL]
Posted at 05:31 AM
WHAT AUTHENTICATION? [KJL]
You know all about this already if you read the Kerry Spot.
P.S. Jim Geraghty points this out: Why is this story on A8 of the Post? Huge journalism scandal here, involving the presidential election....
Posted at 05:29 AM
Monday, September 13, 2004
READERS WEIGH IN [KJL]
I really love these "Laureate Wars". This could only happen in The Corner. It's like a mixture of the New Criterion and WWF Smackdown. I find it all strangely compelling.
Posted at 10:01 PM
SORORITIES OF SIN [Rick Brookhiser]
Just an average night at Smith, seems to me.
Posted at 09:40 PM
HANNITY'S #2 [KJL]
in Playgirl ranking. Something tells me he could have done without that one. (Though he definitely beats Olbermann--no competition--in this Corner of the world, I am confident in saying.)
Posted at 08:58 PM
RE: LAUREATE WARS [John Derbyshire]
Grrrrrr. Having produced an actual CD of American poetry, I don't take kindly to being told that I have neglected it. And I'll trade your wretched, dull and pretentious, T.S. Eliot (who became a subject of the Crown) for W.H. Auden (who became American bu naturalization, AND who was a far superior poet).
The United States has produced two poets of the first rank: Poe and Longfellow. It has produced at least twenty really, really good poets. I don't need to be told.
And then, if you go back to the third, fourth, fifth, rank, and keep going, you will eventually encounter Ted Kooser.
Posted at 08:51 PM
RE: CORNER MORALS POLICE [KJL]
A reader asks
Posted at 08:44 PM
MATTHEWS GETS IT RIGHT [Rich Lowry]
After ranting about this Cheney quote for a few days (if I remember correctly), Chris Matthews finally read it as it was almost surely meant—a warning about the wrong response to a terrorist attack, not a warning that we will get hit again if Kerry is elected. Kudos to Matthews for correcting himself. The bit from the transcript:
“SHOW: The Chris Matthews Show Various Times NBC
Posted at 08:42 PM
WOOPS! [ Jonah Goldberg]
When the realtor is away, the dogs will play.
Posted at 05:36 PM
SPEAKING OF TYPEWRITERS [Jonah Goldberg]
Since we're on the subject of typewriters, I have one gripe against computers. The old system of haveing the period "." key the same in both uppercase and lowercase made speed typing a lot easier. Now, you have to let go of the of the shift key before you type a period. It took me a long time to get used to that. Although, on the upside if Oscar Madison had used a computer he would never have injured that frog (I'm sorry: that's another ancient TV reference, I've just got it in my system today).
Posted at 05:30 PM
SHRUM THE SHREW [ Jonah Goldberg ]
I meant to post this Friday but forgot. I had recently seen the third Harry Potter movie on a plane where one of the characters turns into a mouse. Tell me something similar isn't happening to Bob Shrum. Click on the "enlarge photo" button above the pic to see what I mean.
Posted at 05:25 PM
SORORITIES OF SIN [KJL]
Jonah, what makes you think they are not banned from The Corner now?
Posted at 05:22 PM
GOOD POINT [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader re the POB on the fake memos:
Oh for gods sake, I spent 20 minutes killing myself laughing at the P.O.Box 34567 on these silly documents. How hard is it for someone to find out if that P.O.Box even existed in that town. This is just comically silly.
Update: I'm told the P.O.B. is real. Mea culpa.
Posted at 05:15 PM
RE: RICH'S TYPEWRITER COLLECTION [KJL]
Truth be told, he wrote Legacy on a typewriter, than made NR staff translate it to the 21st century.
Posted at 05:13 PM
TYPEWRITERS [Rich Lowry]
While we're all on the subject of typewriters, I should mention that I'm a half-hearted collector of typewriters. I have 5 typewriters all told in my apartment, one a modern electric one that I used to write on occasionally because I liked the click-clack sound and the feel of it, four others that my girlfriend and others have given me from antique shops or their basements after they heard I like typewriters. One is a wonderful, huge honkin' black mass of metal that must weigh 30 pounds with those classic white-on-black keys--it must have been the pride of someone's office, what, 50 years ago? I remember thinking as a kid that typewriters were the coolest things, and I still have some of that feeling, although I'm not quite interested enough to know anything about them or even the models cluttering my apartment (except that none of them are Selectrics).
Posted at 05:11 PM
OLD TIME RAUNCHINESS [ Jonah Goldberg]
If the Corner existed in the 1950s, this stuff would be banned!
Posted at 05:09 PM
THE LAUREATE WARS [Peter Robinson]
1) Derb may relax. Unlike the British poet laureate, who serves (as I recall) for life, or at the pleasure of the Crown, or for some other long and indeterminate term, the American poet laureate serves for only eight months. By next spring, Kooser will be gone.
2) From a reader:
"Mr. Derbyshire writes that he expects the poet laureate of the United States to be in the tradition of 'Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Longfellow, Tennyson, and Kipling.'
Oh really? Save for Longfellow, all of his poets are Englishmen.
How about a laureate in the tradition of Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, T.S. Eliot, Robert Lowell or Robert Frost, just to name a few 'Muricans!"
Posted at 04:55 PM
AH, THE FALLUJAH BRIGADE [Rich Lowry]
Some of the details from the excellent Washington Post piece on a Marine general’s upset with our Fallujah incoherence: “Eventually, the 800 AK-47 assault rifles, 27 pickup trucks and 50 radios the Marines gave the brigade wound up in the hands of the insurgents, according to Marine officers. Marines manning a checkpoint on the city's eastern fringe were shot at by gunmen wearing Fallujah Brigade uniforms.”
Posted at 04:53 PM
WHINING YOOTS [Jonah Goldberg]
I know most of you don't care, but I've been astounded by how much shelf-life my syndicated column on youth politics has had. The Dallas Morning News just ran it last week, and my syndicated column email box runneth over with angry kids -- many of them writing as part of class assignments -- saying "kids are people too, wack-a-doo, wack-a-doo." (That's a paraphrase. I couldn't resist the reference to "Wonderama.").
What I find so depressing is the knee jerk tendency of young'ns to overlook all of my caveats and take personal offense when I refer to a demographic cohort they happen to belong to. Anyway, I won't rehash all that. But let me just say that if you're biggest point of pride is that you were born in the general temporal proximity if ten or twenty million other people, than you need to burnish the old resume a bit.
Posted at 04:44 PM
I FIGURED IT OUT! [ Jonah Goldberg ]
Using the question of motive as my only standard, it strikes me as obvious that the only possible culprit are the investors in the Selectric Typewriter Museum Website!
Actually, the guy who runs it has some interesting observations.
Posted at 04:36 PM
THANK YOU [KJL]
to those who have jumped right in and contributed to our post-defense defense fund. If you have not, please read this, and consider pitching in.
Posted at 04:35 PM
I'M A MORON [ Jonah Goldberg]
The argument speaks for itself.
Posted at 04:23 PM
RE: KOOSER [John Derbyshire]
A reader points out that whatever Ted Kooser's failings, at least he isn't Amiri Baraka.
Well, yes. As bad as things are, they could always be worse, I suppose. That's thin comfort, though.
Posted at 03:53 PM
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL [John Derbyshire]
A reader nails it: "Dear Mr. Derbyshire---They keep referring to racial profiling 'victims'. Victims of what? Beings asked a few questions? Being asked to walk through the metal detector again? I can't remember the last time I've seen the word 'victim' used so superficially. Who will Amnesty International champion next? Theatre 'victims' who are forced to endure excessive previews? Restaurant 'victims' who are wrongfully served fries when they ordered onion rings? I thought these people were supposed to stick up for people who were being tortured? What a joke."
Posted at 03:35 PM
RE: KOOSER [John Derbyshire]
I am sorry, I didn't mean to impugn anyone's taste in poetry. However...
"Nothing more than that, but certainly that, which, after all, ain't nothing. Parse the poem? Claim that it makes the Muse weep? To paraphrase your denunciation of the overreaction to Martha Stewart's misdeeds, As well break a butterfly on the wheel."
This dude has been appointed (elected? selected? acclaimed? I have no clue about the process) POET LAUREATE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. If that means anything, it should mean that he is, among all 290,000,000 of us, one of the half-dozen or so best poets. His work should therefore be of an extremely high standard.
Not "nothing more than that." Not "ain't nothing." Not "butterflies." Kooser's stuff should soar and swoop, peal and toll, make the bristles stand up on your chin. (And whatever the female equivalent is.) The specimen presented does not do any of those things. It just lies on the ground, inert and silent.
If this is the best that 290,000,000 Americans can do to keep alive the tradition of Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Longfellow, Tennyson, and Kipling, then we are doomed, doomed.
This guy should be the BEST, the top, the bee's knees, the cat's pajamas. My impression so far is that he is, in point of fact, a few ticks below mediocre.
(And to people who've written in to tell me that I myself make grammatical blunders: Sure, of course I do. But I ain't POET LAUREATE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, see? Unless somebody's keeping it as a surprise, I'm not even in the running. "I may criticize a carpenter who makes me a bad table, though I could not make a table myself. It is not my business to make tables.")
Posted at 03:31 PM
RE: KOOSER [Peter Robinson]
I'm not familiar with Kooser's work, Derb, but I posted that poem when I came across it the other day because it seemed of a piece with the interview he gave to the Times--wry, pleasant, and amusing. Nothing more than that, but certainly that, which, after all, ain't nothing.
Parse the poem? Claim that it makes the Muse weep? To paraphrase your denunciation of the overreaction to Martha Stewart's misdeeds, As well break a butterfly on the wheel.
Posted at 03:08 PM
REFUND DEMAND [John Derbyshire]
I can remember, back when I was a young and idealistic student, and Amnesty International was an apolitical organization run on a shoestring, dedicated to helping free political prisoners in dictatorships, giving money to them.
Wonder if I can claim it back?
Posted at 01:52 PM
AMBUSH THE GENDER GAP [Jim Robbins]
The media orthodoxy is that George Bush faces a gender gap in this election, that he is less attractive to women voters for a variety of reasons, from his tough action against terror to his position on abortion. Of course, one could also say that Kerry can't pull in his share of the men. So what to make of the new Newsweek poll showing both men and women at 49/43 in favor of Bush? Maybe the pop psychologists have it wrong? Maybe there really aren't "women's issues" after all? Or maybe Bush is just a better candidate for all Americans? At the very least it should generate some discussion.
Posted at 01:14 PM
BEWARE THE IDES OF … NOVEMBER [Jack Fowler]
Which will be the 13th, to be precise. And as we all know, that’s the day the majestic Zuiderdam will sail, with nearly 400 (if not more) happy conservative revelers aboard, from Ft. Lauderdale on the National Review 2004 Post-Election Cruise.
What’s to beware? Well, if you’re one of our happy passengers, nothing (unless unrivaled fun, the enjoyment of scintillating seminars and exclusive cocktail receptions and smokers, and dining with illustriati like 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 give you the willies!).
But otherwise, I’d be very bewaring, because November 13th is likely to find you home, looking outside, rain running down your window pane, gusts kicking up leaves, the dog wet, smelly, and barking, the phone ringing with vinyl-siding telemarketers, and you mumbling, as your eyes well with tears, “Why oh why didn’t I sign up for that NR cruise?!” Poor, poor pitiful you.
Hey, it’s not like you weren’t warned. By the way, over the weekend five more cabins were booked. That’s five less cabins for you to pick from. We’re on the brink of 200 sold! Space is running out. So’s time. This is going to be SOME par-tee, with (preferably) or without you. Enough already: get complete information, and/or reserve your luxury cabin, at www.nationalreviewcruise-carib.com. Now!
Posted at 01:11 PM
HERO [John Derbyshire]
A third reader has just e-mailed in to ask me if I have seen this new Chinese sword flick "Hero." Yes, I have; and I wrote a review which will be up on NRO in a day or two. Not to give anything away, but... I doubt I'll get invited to Zhang Yimou's next dinner party.
Posted at 01:05 PM
NEW LIFE, NEW HOPE [Rod Dreher]
I just got news that a friend of mine, who is also an NRO reader, became a father for the first time when his wife gave birth to a little girl two days ago -- on September 11. He writes: I hope you'll take joy in our good news. We find it especially hopeful that she was born on a day normally (and appropriately) reserved for sadness, mourning, and not a little indignation. Those things are real, this experience says to me, but so are other things, and they are just as important and more enduring.
Posted at 12:53 PM
SIMBA & DUBYA [KJL]
The Lion King teaches 9/11? (Hat tip.)
Posted at 12:33 PM
PROTECTING AMERICA IS "NOT REALISTIC"? [Mark Krikorian]
Because I was out of town last week, watching illegals pick raisins in Fresno (about which more later), I missed the administration's latest surrender announcement on immigration. Asa Hutchinson, in charge of enforcing the nation's immigration laws, told the Washington Times in a story Friday that it is impossible even to reduce the number of illegal aliens in the country, let alone actually gain control of our borders. Hutchinson was far more honest than other administration officials in acknowledging that there is no interest whatsoever at the White House in enforcing the law, offering the excuse that Americans' "compassion" means there is no political will to do so. He rejected the idea of an "an Israel-type of fence," and said that the public expects the immigration law to be enforced "in a way consistent with our values."
Since 9/11, the ambivalence and "compassion" the White House is so worried about are confined to CAIR and La Raza and the Chamber of Commerce, not the public. And it seems that even the elite media are beginning to side with the public on this. The cover story of the new issue of Time magazine explores the federal government's unwillingness to control immigration (a teaser is here). This 9,500-word blockbuster story is another signal of an ongoing change in the conventional wisdom. Though nothing in the story would surprise readers of NR, the White House could use a few copies -- it notes that lax borders are not only a security threat, but also harm America's poor; that the president's amnesty speech increased illegal immigration; and that, "Nonenforcement of employer sanctions [i.e., the ban on hiring illegals], which is in keeping with the Federal Government's nonenforcement of immigration laws across the board, has been the equivalent of hanging out a HELP WANTED sign for illegals."
Now, I really, really don't want another terrorist attack here -- apart from everyone else's reasons, I work within the blast radius of anything big detonating near the White House. But if something major does happen, and the perpetrators are found (as they will be) to have taken advantage of our Swiss-cheese immigration system, the political fallout for the White House will be huge. And deserved.
Posted at 12:27 PM
New RNC site is launched.
Posted at 12:21 PM
MARRIAGE="OPPRESSING, BEATING, AND RAPING WOMEN" [KJL]
So is the Yale Law view, it seems, if Tom Sylvester's seminar this semester is any indication.
Posted at 11:42 AM
NORTH KOREA [Stanley Kurtz]
John Kerry is right that we are in a mess now because the North Korean situation was mishandled early on. He’s just wrong about when the real mistake took place. The Clinton administration’s failed deal gave the North Koreans the time they needed to cheat, consolidate their ability to destroy Seoul with artillery, and develop nukes. The Bush administration inherited this situation. What John Kerry wants to do in both North Korea and Iran is to repeat Clinton’s mistake by negotiating yet another bogus bargain. The North Koreans and Iranians will drag out those negotiations until they have developed still more nuclear weapons. This is indeed a crisis, and one with no easy solution. But the greatest check on North Korea and Iran right now is their fear that they might go too far and provoke an American attack. That is why each country desperately wants John Kerry to defeat president Bush. The North Koreans and Iranians know perfectly well that they will be able to jerk Kerry around in negotiations forever, while they expand and possibly export their nuclear arsenals. And they know that Kerry is far less likely to do something serious about their crossing any “red lines” than president Bush. The fact that the president has remained resolute despite our internal divisions over Iraq, and the fact that he might actually win reelection because of that, scares the North Koreans and Iranians tremendously. Right now, their fear of president Bush is the best defense we have at this perilous moment in history.
Posted at 11:39 AM
"DEAR CBS NEWS" [Jonah Goldberg]
A reader cc'd me on his letter:
Posted at 11:27 AM
EVEN MORE BREAKING NEWS [Jonah Goldberg]
Underneathe the newly found Dead Sea Scrolls (and, oddly, an April 2002 edition of Maxim magazine) were Commandments 11-20. The full texts of what CBS News is calling "Ten Commandments II" will be reported on "60 Minutes II." Highlights include:
Commandment 14: Thou Shalt not question the frequency Kenneth.
Commandment 17: Nothing In the Pentateuch Shall be Considered an Endorsement of Tax Cuts.
Commandment 19: If My Messager Says "I've check enough sources to burn a wet mule" he is telling the Truth.
Some critics question the authenticity of the tablets. "The early Hebrews did not use formica," insisted Robert Roberts of the University of Texas.
"I would very much like to know how the Canaanites learned how to chisel such a small "th" after the "20th" commandment -- and why they didn't use that technology throughout the document," said another expert unwilling to give his name.
In a streetside interview, Dan Rather responded that such objections were coming from partisans, heretics and witches and that "they should all be burned alive, just like it says in the 13th Commandment."
Posted at 11:14 AM
KERRY GETS UGLY AT THE NATIONAL BAPTIST CONVENTION [Roger Clegg]
On Thursday, John Kerry gave one of his more racially inflammatory speeches to date, at the annual National Baptist Convention, the country’s largest predominately black denomination.
I’m not going to talk about the parts of Kerry’s speech that are wrongheaded but nonracial, like his call for a national health-insurance plan. Nor will I pick on him for lines like “African-American unemployment is nearly 10 percent--double the rate for whites.” I don’t like this sort of race-oriented politicking, but Bush is frequently little better (see, for instance, his proclamation earlier this month of “Minority Enterprise Development Week.” ).
[Incidentally, I was amazed--and exhilarated--to read in WFB’s Miles Gone By about his refusal to participate in the Pulaski Day Parade, Steuben Day Parade, or Columbus Day Parade when he was running for mayor because “he [had] pledged himself make no specifically ethnic or nationalist appeals.”]
But I do want to say a few words about Kerry’s scare tactics, which are unfortunately now routine for Democratic politicians, who insist on suggesting--when they do not declare--that Republicans are hostile to African Americans and favor racist policies, and that we are just one more stolen election away from the return of Jim Crow. Do I exaggerate? Consider these passages from the speech:
* “But that dream--our dream [that is, the Civil Rights Era’s “dream of one America”]--is dim and denied in the Washington of today.”
* Bush’s policies “are taking us back to two Americas--separate and unequal. Our cities and our communities are being torn apart by forces just as divisive and destructive as Jim Crow--crumbling schools robbing our children of their potential … rising poverty … rising crime, drugs and violence.” Bush is responsible for all that?
* “The promise of a better America is not being met, when, fifty years after Brown, in too many parts of our country we still have two school systems--separate and unequal.”
* “Fifty years after the Brown decision, we are also reminded now, more than ever, we need a Supreme Court that will protect our hard won victories.” Kerry cannot seriously suggest that any “hard one victories” from the Brown era are in jeopardy.
* “John Edwards and I know that the whole future of civil rights and affirmative action may hinge on a single Supreme Court vote.” Well, affirmative action maybe--but civil rights? Come on.
* “[President Bush] scorns economic justice and affirmative action … [and] traffics in the politics of division.” Is Kerry suggesting that the failure to embrace racial preferences is divisive? Funny, I would have thought that the preferences themselves are what’s divisive.
It is ironic that Kerry concludes by claiming, “I want to unite us as one America--red, white, and blue.” By endorsing racial preferences and making racial appeals like this speech?
Posted at 11:04 AM
NEW DEAD SEA SCROLLS FOUND [Father George W. Rutler]
CBS-TV’S AWARD WINNING PROGRAM “60 MINUTES” HAS ANNOUNCED THAT NEW DEAD SEA SCROLLS HAVE BEEN DISCOVERED AND WILL BE READ ON ITS NEXT BROADCAST, FEATURING ANCHORPERSON DAN RATHER WHO WAS HANDED THE DOCUMENTS BY AN UNKNOWN HAIRDRESSER. THE PHOTOCOPIED SCROLLS ALLEDGEDLY CONFIRM THE LONG-HELD THESIS OF SENIOR EDITORS OF THE NEW YORK TIMES THAT EVEN IF THERE IS A GOD HE LET US MAKE OURSELVES. AN UNNAMED SOURCE SUFFERING FROM POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS SYNDROME RELATED TO AN ABUSIVE PHYSICAL EXAMINATION CONDUCTED BY EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL BEINGS ON THE WEST SIDE OF MANHATTAN, CONFIRMS THAT THESE NEWLY DISCOVERED SCROLLS PROVE THAT THE HOLY LAND NEVER ACTUALLY EXISTED AS THE BIBLE CLAIMS, AND THAT IT IN FACT WAS A SMALL VILLAGE IN MODERN AFRICAN-AMERICAN ETHIOPIA ENLARGED THROUGH THE USE OF REFLECTING MIRRORS. JESUS CHRIST, WHOM CBS-TV EDITORS DESCRIBE AS THE WELL KNOWN MESSIAH, MAY IN FACT HAVE LIVED IN MODERN TEXAS AND NEVER MIGRATED TO THE MIDDLE EAST.
SOME GRAPHOLOGISTS HAVE RAISED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE VERACITY OF THE FIRST CENTURY A.D. SCROLLS. THEY POINT OUT THAT THEY ARE TYPED WITH MODERN COMPUTER SOFTWARE WHICH WAS NOT COMMONLY AVAILABLE IN FIRST CENTURY GALILEE, AND THAT THEY DO NOT EMPLOY THE JOTS AND TITTLES COMMON TO ANCIENT MANUSCRIPTS. DAN RATHER ISSUED A STATEMENT THROUGH HIS TEMPORARY HAIRDRESSER SAYING THAT HE IS ABSOLUTELY CONVINCED THAT THE SCROLLS ARE GENUINE AND THAT THE EVIDENCE THAT JESUS STAYED IN TEXAS AND USED THE HARVARD MBA PROGRAM AS AN EXCUSE NOT TO GET CRUCIFIED IN JERUSALEM AND RISE FROM THE DEAD IS NEWS “SO HOT” THAT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE NEED TO HEAR IT NOW AND MAKE THEIR OWN DECISIONS.
Posted at 10:58 AM
FOR THE RECORD [Jonah Goldberg]
The Kerry spot already made many of my points about the signatures. From Saturday (When I was not online):
BACK TO THE CBS MEMOS
Posted at 10:50 AM
NR NEEDS YOUR HELP [KJL]
Please read this note to all NR readers.
And, thank you.
Posted at 10:41 AM
RE: SIGNATURES [ Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
Posted at 10:38 AM
RE: SIGNATURES [Andy McCarthy]
Posted at 10:33 AM
RE: LISTS [KJL]
Jonah, Ms magazine used to have an enemies list and I so wanted to be on it. (I was totally jealous of Elaine Donnelly, who you can imagine they were no fan of, when she made it.) Of course, they have since redesigned the magazine and nixed the feature....what's a conservative gal to aspire to anymore?
Posted at 10:31 AM
UNFORTUNATE [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Jagdish Bhagwati writes in today's WSJ that Kerry as president would "have to claw his way to freer trade, making him a greater hero in a war more bloody than Vietnam." I'd have red-penned that.
Posted at 10:27 AM
I MADE THE LIST! [Jonah Goldberg]
There's always something invigorating about making an enemies list. From yesterday's NYT review of Pat Buchanan's book:
The former presidential candidate and longtime journalist has a mission, of course. He wants to marshal this glorious past against ''impersonators'' in and close to the Bush administration who have ''hijacked'' his movement. His enemies list of neoconservatives has unsurprising names: Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Irving and William Kristol, Charles Krauthammer and Jonah Goldberg. He detests them most of all for promoting the invasion of Iraq, for arrogantly believing it would spark a democratic revolution throughout the Middle East. But the self-described populist conservative is still fighting a war against un-Christian cultural elites. And he charges most of the same neoconservatives with abetting the godless enemy on nearly every major issue -- from gay marriage to abortion to immigration. To save the nation, the right must be cleansed.
Posted at 09:26 AM
THE SIGNATURES [Jonah Goldberg]
Because I was agonizingly out of the loop Friday and Saturday, I'm sure this has been covered elsewhere. But here's the thing that bothers me about the signatures. Whether or not they are forgeries is secondary, it seems to me. A document which has been photocopied and faxed countless times cannot be relied upon when examinung signatures. With computer technology -- and even without it --it would be fairly simple matter of putting an authentic signature on an inauthentic document. On a computer all it takes is scanning a valid signature and pasting it into the document. With a Xerox machine, all you have to do is cut a piece of paper with a valid signature on it and glue it to the fake. Since you can Xerox as much as you want, the edges can be gotten rid of with White Out or some such. But if you have Photoshop you can even play with the signature just enough to make it look unique.
There's a reason why so many banks require original documents; because copies can be played with too easily. Unfortunately, CBS News stand by a much lower standard.
That isn't to say news organization should never use copies as evidence in a story. But considering that even CBS's experts say that the typeface stuff is too ambiguous to rely on and all the other iffy aspects of this, you'd think they'd rely on a bit more than they did.
Posted at 09:14 AM
IRAN REPORTEDLY ARRESTS 80 EVANGELICALS [KJL]
Posted at 08:44 AM
STILL MORE FROM USA TODAY [Michael Graham]
Richard Williams, who examined the documents at USA TODAY's request, is a 23-year veteran of FBI document authentication who testifies frequently as an expert witness. He said he had questions about Killian's signature on the memos.
Posted at 08:09 AM
LONELY DAN RATHER [Michael Graham]
The notoriously right-wing USA Today weighs in with an analysis from Gerald Richards, a document authentication expert who worked for the FBI for 20 years and was chief of its document examination and research unit:
"It is highly probable that (the original memos) were computer-generated," Richards said. "And it is highly probable that they were not generated by a typewriter vintage circa 1972."
So, exactly who's left to AGREE with CBS? They'd rather not say.
Posted at 08:08 AM
POET LAUREATE [John Derbyshire]
I don't want to rain on Ted Kooser's parade, but that poem you posted was -- how should I say it? -- cringe-inducingly awful. Quite apart from the fact that it employs not one -- not one! -- of the huge inventory of tricks and techniques that English-langiage poets have so painstakingly built up this past 1500 years, it fails quite basic tests of grammar -- unintentionally, so far as I can tell.
Look at this, for instance: "her hair still damp at the neck / from washing it." Grammatically, this means that the lady's hair washed her neck. I suppose that could be made to work as a poetic conceit, but there is no sign Kooser is trying to accomplish that (or could if he tried). The signs are, that he does not have a very good grasp of English grammar. Similarly with "a raincoat, an old one, dirty / from not having money enough for the cleaners," whose meaning is that the raincoat did not have enough money for the cleaners. Oy oy oy. This man is the representative of American poetry for the next twelve months? The Muse weeps.
Posted at 07:38 AM
WILLIAM SAFIRE DOESN'T BELIEVE DAN RATHER [KJL]
Posted at 07:15 AM
COOL NYPOST IDEA [KJL]
Selling cheap classics. Of course, your child's library is not complete without NR's classic children's lit.
Posted at 06:12 AM
JOHN KERRY NEEDS...AN ACTING COACH? [KJL]
Posted at 05:44 AM
FROM MADONNA TO PARIS [KJL]
An unfortunate trend returns.
Posted at 05:34 AM
ANOTHER TIME THING [KJL]
"I didn't see one minute of the convention." Not even a minute?
Posted at 12:23 AM
BLOGGING FROM THE SUDAN RALLY [KJL]
Posted at 12:10 AM
DRAFT DODGER MEMORIAL BEING BUILT IN CANADA [KJL ]
Posted at 12:08 AM
Sunday, September 12, 2004
I'LL SLEEP TONIGHT, AFTER ALL [Peter Robinson]
Thanks Derb, and everyone who e-mailed.
Posted at 11:49 PM
KAREN TAME-ULTY [Tim Graham]
K-Lo, what a lame set of questions these are. What a set of liberal media establishment talking points -- starting with the sympathetic "this month has been brutal for you" line. And then: "What do you need to do to make this race about what you want it to be about?" Kelly Ripa could ask a tougher question than this. Oh, and then there's the softball question from the right: "Is the President being as aggressive as he should be in dealing with insurgent strongholds in Iraq?" This is a funny question for a guy who wants to start withdrawing troops by next summer. Oh, and this rough one: "Do you think President Bush shirked his duties during the Vietnam era?"
Earth to TIME: a tough question would be something like "In your 1971 Senate testimony, you said American soldiers committed atrocities daily with the full knowledge of their commanders. Will you apologize for that?"
Posted at 11:30 PM
JOHN KERRY'S REGRETS [KJL]
From Time interview:
TIME One question that has left the President at a loss for words is whether he has had regrets. Do you?
Posted at 09:30 PM
PLASTEIN [John Derbyshire]
Main Entry: plastein
Pronunciation: *pla*st*n, -_st**n
Inflected Form: -s
Etymology: International Scientific Vocabulary plast- (from Greek plastos formed, molded) + -ein (as in casein); probably originally formed in German; from its tendency to pass over into hydrogel
--any of several substances resembling proteins precipitated by the action of proteolytic enzymes (as pepsin or papain) on the digestion products of protein
Posted at 09:21 PM
ON KERRY'S HONOR [Michael Novak]
An impressive number of people have written me to question why I went out of my way in a recent column to say that John Kerry was "an honorable man." They point to his 1971 betrayal of his comrades still fighting in Vietnam, and his calling his comrades murderers, rapists, in the tradition of the armies of Genghis Khan. It was a big stretch, but I made myself write "honorable," as a step toward healing the awful breach that has opened up between political parties in the U.S. I hate what Kerry did then, and I also hate his exaggerations and fantasies about his own behavior in the last three months of his time in Vietnam. It is right for me and others to hold him to account for that behavior, since it was he who put it before us to judge.
Still, in argument I want to stipulate at the beginning that men on both sides are honorable men, and then judge their behavior in that light. I admit, faced with Kerry's record thirty-some years ago, it feels to me that I am bending over backwards. Others need not go so far. But sooner or later our society does need to get back to the level of civility that concedes each other's honor and integrity, at least as a starting point, and I am willing to keep making gestures in that direction.
Posted at 09:05 PM
YET MORE TYPEWRITER TRIVIA [Peter Robinson]
Can't find "plastein" in either the Encarta dictionary or the Oxford English Dictionary. Won't be able to sleep tonight until I learn what it means.
Posted at 08:58 PM
BY TED KOOSER [Peter Robinson]
Selecting A Reader
First, I would have her be beautiful,
and walking carefully up on my poetry
at the loneliest moment of an afternoon,
her hair still damp at the neck
from washing it. She should be wearing
a raincoat, an old one, dirty
from not having money enough for the cleaners.
She will take out her glasses, and there
in the bookstore, she will thumb
over my poems, then put the book back
up on its shelf. She will say to herself,
"For that kind of money, I can get
my raincoat cleaned." And she will.
Posted at 08:57 PM
THE POET OF GARLAND, NEBRASKA [Peter Robinson]
Today’s New York Times Sunday Magazine contains an interview with the new poet laureate, Ted Kooser (click here). Kooser sounds down-to-earth, shrewd, funny—one hundred percent midwestern and one hundred percent delightful. At last. A poet laureate for the rest of us.
Posted at 08:56 PM
FOR THE RECORD [Michael Ledeen]
Sorry to bore you with the endless lies from the drooling left, but a website called "dailykos.com" has come up with the fanciful slander that I am a supporter of the MEK, the terrorist organization that has been based for many years in Iraq. "These guys aren’t really terrorists, says Ledeen, but rather our allies..." I Never said it, don't believe it, always spoke out against the MEK, encouraged my colleagues to avoid them. It's a lie.
And while I'm at it, to put poor J.M. Marshall out of his agony, I had nothing whatsoever to do with the Niger forgeries, as he and his buddies have been whispering for many months.
Nor was I on the grassy knoll in Dallas...
Posted at 08:40 PM
TODAY'S THE SUDAN RALLY AT THE U.N. [KJL]
Will the U.N. listen to Francis Bok? How about to Colin Powell?
Posted at 04:38 PM
AMAZON JUST SUGGESTED [KJL]
I'd want Kill Bill II since I got The Passion on DVD. Guess computers don't get the differences in the violence...of course, a lot of pundits haven't either.
Posted at 03:59 PM
HOW TO UPSET A DEMOCRAT 101 [Tim Graham]
Nader said "it would take a press release from al-Qaida to get Democrats and Republicans to pay attention to the nation's social ills." Nader also attracted the Howard Dean voter by declaring the United States has "no major enemy" in the world to fight and called on the major political parties to "end the politics of fear."
PS: Scroll down, and discover the "Native Americans" are also afraid of being disenfranchised by the Republican menace. So much for an end to the politics of fear...
Posted at 02:57 PM
GOP HATES BLACK VOTERS? [Tim Graham]
John Kerry's fanning the flames of racial paranoia speaking to the Congressional Black Caucus.
Posted at 02:56 PM
MORE BAD NEWS FOR DAN RATHER [Michael Graham]
The Washington Times reports on the CBS memos:
"They're forged as hell," said Earl W. Lively, 76, who during the era in question was director of Texas Air National Guard operations in Austin.And this from the Dallas Morning News:
A former Texas Air National Guard general relied upon by CBS News to support the authenticity of memos about President Bush's military service said he never saw the memos before the show aired, and that he doesn't now believe they are authentic. Retired Maj. Gen. Bobby Hodges of Arlington also said that one of the memos' references to undue pressure to "sugar coat" Mr. Bush's evaluations rings false. He said Col. Walter "Buck" Staudt did not interfere in Guard affairs after his retirement, 18 months before the date on the disputed memo.At CBS, the "C" certainly doesn't stand for "credibility."
Posted at 02:55 PM
IRAQ: THE MUSICAL [John Derbyshire]
This sounds absolutely awful.
Posted at 02:34 PM
PERFECT TIME TO CONSIDER CRUISING [KJL]
Posted at 02:30 PM
SLOW CORNER SUNDAY [KJL]
Families of Corner regulars thank you for bearing with us!
Posted at 02:27 PM