NICE CROWD FOR W [KJL]
Posted at 11:13 PM
COLD CASE [Ramesh Ponnuru]
I like the show, but they seem to be playing up the politics, or at least the feminism. They had a case from the early '40s a few weeks ago--the culprit turned out to be a guy who was angry that his wife had become independent as a Rosie the riveter. Could not have been more heavy handed, especially at the end.
Posted at 10:19 PM
HOLY BIAS, BATMAN! [Dave Kopel]
Have the New York Times and other media been fair in covering the controversy over Catholic Bishops urging Catholics to vote pro-life? Not entirely, I argue in my new media column.
Posted at 09:41 PM
THAT REMINDS ME [KJL]
There were some distractions Wed. night/Thursday morning, or I would have mentioned sooner. West Wing premiered for the season this week and it was an episode that would have made Alan Sorkin proud. In Israel, two American congressmen and other Americans (I think a Cabinet member, too) were killed in a terrorist attack and President Bartlet’s response…is a peace summit. At one point, advisers are giving him weak intel to try to connect Syria and Iran to the attack, which they’re all content with. “I’m not bombing half the Middle East to make us feel better.” When more protest his peace summit, he proudly exclaims, “I’m trying to find a way to make peace—and when I’m done you can go on TV and explain why you were against it.” He, of course, successfully gets the prime minister of Israel and the head of the PA to sit down by the end of the show. And, throws in an attack on a Syrian terrorist camp simultaneously, so we know Dems do kill bad guys, too.
Correction: That should have been Aaron Sorkin, not Alan.
Posted at 08:49 PM
PRIMETIME POLITICS [KJL ]
Catching a few minutes of Cold Case on CBS. The story line is some unsolved murder that is turning out to be tied into illegal abortions in the 60s. The two murdered were evidently killed while/because of escorting “women” (seems to be teens) to abortions (the investigation is complete with stories of teens who would not let their lives be “ruined” by unplanned pregnancies). Besides bike parts and coat hangars, they’ve managed to get a W.-on-the-Lincoln hit in, too during this primetime drama. The female detective is looking with awe at all the women they’ve been talking to who had had abortions. At one point, the male cop asks one of them why the male dead was involved in escorting girls to this one hero abortionist, Did he know someone who had an abortion?, the male cop asked. The woman, reminiscing, replies (looking at him like he is a clueless child), “Most everyone does.”
Posted at 08:45 PM
OUT-OF-STATERS TAKE RETIRED JEWS TO THE POLLS [KJL]
Posted at 08:42 PM
GREAT IDEA FOR AN ARTICLE [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Richard Rushfield wears a Bush t-shirt in Blue America, and a Kerry t-shirt in Red America, and compares reactions.
Posted at 08:22 PM
Provisional ballot ruling reversed in Ohio
Posted at 08:15 PM
"I THINK IT'S A VERY DISTURBING TREND." [KJL]
That's from an attorney for Planned Parenthood, talking about police tracking down statutory rapists. In a case where a man had sex with a 13-year-old girl, Planned Parenthood is trying to block law-enforcement from tracking down the statutory rapist because the police got a warrant to seize the remains of the child's abortion, arguing that the remains are part of her medical records, that they are invading her privacy.
That's Planned Parenthood, always looking out for children.
Posted at 07:59 PM
DWI FLASHBACK [KJL]
Capital Gang....which Kate isn't on this week...just ran one of their "classic" segments, running a piece from their archives. So what do they choose? The Bush drunk-driving story from four years ago in the 11th-hour of the campaign. Thanks for the reminder. Am I paranoid to assume it was picked for a reason?
Posted at 07:42 PM
MOVEON IS RUNNING PAT ROBERTSON COMMERCIALS [KJL]
Posted at 07:38 PM
MORE VANDALIZATION [KJL]
Posted at 07:36 PM
RE: THE GUARDIAN [Jonah Goldberg]
When you think about it, the most pathetic thing about this idiot's comments isn''t the fact that he wants someone to assasinate the President of the United States. It's that he doesn't have what it takes to do it himself. All of his cliched leftist's courage at declaring God dead is revealed as so much false-bravado. If it would really save so many lives, if it would really be such an un-questionably good thing for a Lee Harvey Oswald to murder George W. Bush, why doesn't this yutz do it himself? Or at least try (and then, God-willing, get caught by the Secret Service and get interrogated thoroughly at Guantanamo). That said, I'm delighted he doesn't, of course. But the talk is so pathetic.
Posted at 05:55 PM
PROBLEMS AHEAD FOR KERRY? [KJL]
See here, too.
Posted at 05:47 PM
I'M FEELING MUCH BETTER [KJL]
A reporter who has been around the president all day today e-mailed:
I saw your post in the corner yesterday about Bush spending lots of time in Crawford this weekend. I see that you've since noticed him stumping Florida today. I've been with him...all day and am now awaiting him to arrive in Jacksonville where 40,000 or more people will fill Alltel Stadium (where the Jags play) for a rally. He helicoptered in to his first event in Ft. Myers, landing in centerfield of the Red Sox (ha!) Single-A affiliate to the screams of the crowd of 12,000 Even cynical members of the press corps were impressed. He will finish the day completing four rallies in Republican-friendly areas of Florida, giving his speech to perhaps more than 70,000 people all told. This is undoubtely an impressive get-the-base-fired-up stretch by any definition or sense of history. And while he overnights in Crawford tonight, we're out on Sunday afternoon for a rally in New Mexico. He originally had no public events scheduled for Sunday (he traditionally likes to rest on the Sabbath), but the NM event was added early this week. I think he learned his lesson in 2000: Run hard all the way through the tape. Monday it's another hectic day, with one rally in Colorado and two in Iowa. Then it's on to a four-city bus tour through the heart of rural Wisconsin on Tuesday. Wednesday is one stop in Pennsylvania, two in Ohio and one in Michigan (obviously Corner speculation that Michigan might be winnable is shared by Rove). He's wearing out the press corps, but his energy seems endless. And he's using it.
Posted at 05:41 PM
MORE SOJOURNERS [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Ethics professor Glen Harold Stassen has claimed that President Bush's economic and health policies have led to rising abortion rates. The National Right to Life Committee, in its response to Stassen, noted that he had signed a 1977 document in support of Roe v. Wade. Whether Stassen himself opposes legal abortion does not, of course, affect whether his statistical argument is correct, but it does suggest that his self-presentation as a pro-lifer is misleading. Stassen came back with a denial: "I did not sign a statement in 1977 supporting Roe V Wade; along with very large numbers of Christian ethicists, I signed a statement supporting academic freedom for Christian ethicists and moral theologians who take varieties of positions on these issues, and who were under pressure in some schools. I do not appreciate the personal attack.” That 1977 statement has now been posted. The most charitable view is that Stassen's memory has failed him: The document is an unequivocal statement of support for Roe and says zilch about academic freedom. If Stassen has changed his views since then, good for him. But he ought to correct the record.
Posted at 05:23 PM
NRO READERS AND THE GUARDIAN [KJL]
The most oft-heard suggestion in my in-box is that the editors of the Guardian, as well as the writer, should be put on our terror-watch list.
Posted at 05:20 PM
WHY THE TIE? [Ramesh Ponnuru]
David Brooks asks an interesting question: After everything that has happened in the last four years, why is the balance between the parties nearly unchanged? We could very well end up looking at a map of the election that looks almost exactly like the last one, although perhaps with Wisconsin and New Hampshire switching teams.
Brooks argues that the country's division can't be explained by foreign, economic, or social policy issues, because the division has stayed the same even though the issues being discussed have changed. He writes that two factors do account for the division. First is partisanship, the tribal instinct to root for one's own team, especially "in a closely fought contest." Second is two visions of leadership: Republicans prefer a soulful leader and Democrats a cerebral one.
I am partial to the "culture war" explanation of our political divisions (although I hate the phrase), and I don't think that the social issues cease to be the basic division in political life on those occasions when they are not discussed. It would not be too hard, I suspect, to construct an account of how the underlying values divide would lead to different views of leadership. (There must be some reason Republicans and Democrats have different ones, assuming Brooks is right to say that they do.)
And how much can partisanship explain? It looks to me as though Brooks has come close to saying that the country is evenly divided because it's evenly divided.
One tentative suggestion: Maybe the country is evenly divided because the political parties are efficient and their bases politically sophisticated. In other words, both liberals and conservatives are too demanding to allow their parties to gain too high a margin, and too pragmatic to allow them to sink too low. If the GOP were getting 60 percent of the vote routinely, conservatives would want it to move right--achieving more of their goals at the price of eliminating some of the vote surplus. Liberals, meanwhile, would give up some of their demands to help the Democrats get more votes. This is a simple model, to be sure, but the basic story seems highly plausible to me.
Posted at 05:14 PM
RE: SHAME [KJL]
It's hard to be outraged anymore by the media, but that is unrivaled. Remarkable.
Posted at 04:55 PM
A MOMENT OF COMMONSENSE…. [Andrew Stuttaford]
…from the court system. Yes, really.
“LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The world's whales, porpoises and dolphins have no standing to sue President Bush over the U.S. Navy's use of sonar equipment that harms marine mammals, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday.”
Posted at 04:40 PM
JAMES, MEET MICHAEL [Andrew Stuttaford]
“First of all, I don't know of any liberals or lefties who brandish the name of Muqtada al-Sadr. This isn't 1968, he isn't Ho Chi Minh, his ragtag militia isn't hailed as a liberation front, and nobody--including me--knows how to pronounce al-Sadr's first name without hurting our teeth. The man simply doesn't come up in cocktail party conversation when we nihilists get together to drink blood.”
“The Iraqis who have risen up against the occupation are not "insurgents" or "terrorists" or "The Enemy." They are the REVOLUTION, the Minutemen, and their numbers will grow -- and they will win. Get it, Mr. Bush? You closed down a friggin' weekly newspaper, you great giver of freedom and democracy! Then all hell broke loose. The paper only had 10,000 readers! Why are you smirking?”
Posted at 04:30 PM
PARTY! PARTY! [Andrew Stuttaford]
It’s United Nations Day tomorrow!
Posted at 04:25 PM
THE LAST TRAIN TO CLARK COUNTY [Andrew Stuttaford]
Well, one thing the Guardian has, mercifully, done, uh, right....is abandoned its effort to pester the voters of Clark County, Ohio into voting for John Kerry. Under the circumstances the wisest thing for the paper’s writers to do would be to run from the scene of their humiliation and blame the whole thing on, oh I don’t know, the Daily Telegraph. Unwisely, however, they are following that aforementioned strategy, digging a deeper hole. The indefatigable Scott Burgess has more here.
Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised. When it comes to the subject of George W. Bush the poor old Guardian has, I’m afraid, simply gone mad. Of course, it’s quite possible for sane people to disagree with Dubya, and disagree strongly (although stiletto boy John Edwards apparently does not think the same of voters who don’t choose Kerry) but read a Guardian piece like this one here,and it’s difficult not to conclude that the writer is badly in need of a straitjacket, a sedative and a nice cup of tea.
Posted at 04:11 PM
SHAME ON THEM [Jonah Goldberg]
If the Guardian were a sane and professional newspaper, the publication of this column would cost several people their jobs. Here's the last paragraph:
Posted at 03:36 PM
LES GATEAUX D'ANTAN [Andrew Stuttaford]
John, I remember those cakes well. I also remember the stern rule stipulating that it was not acceptable only to eat the icing and marzipan: The ‘cake’ bit had to be consumed too. Harsh times.
Posted at 03:04 PM
SOJOURNER UNTRUTH [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Michael New, a professor at the University of Alabama and friend of mine, writes in:
"In the Corner I have noticed a lot of discussion about Dr. Stassen's article in Sojourners. As someone who has done some research on fluctuations in abortion rates, I might have some insights to offer. Overall, I think that Dr. Stassen's reasoning is very flawed for the following reasons.
"1) Academic researchers who study abortion, almost never use data from state health departments the way Dr. Stassen does. Papers in academic journals always use data from either the Center for Disease Control (CDC) or the Alan Guttmacher Institute (AGI). Both of these groups have collection mechanisms that are more consistent.
"2) Dr. Stassen does pose an interesting question when he asks why the abortion rate declined during the Clinton administration? The research I have done indicates that the decline has little to do with Clinton's policies. Instead, it has more to do with the sharp increase in pro-life legislation that was enacted at the state level during this time.
"In 1992, virtually no states were enforcing had informed-consent laws, by 2000 27 states had informed-consent laws in effect.
"In 1992, no states had banned or restricted partial-birth abortion, by 2000, 12 states had bans or restrictions in effect.
"In 1992 only 20 states were enforcing parental-involvement statutes, by 2000 32 states were enforcing these laws.
"My January study for the Heritage Foundation, which analyzes abortion data from every state from 1985 to 1999, provides solid statistical evidence that state legislation caused real declines in the abortion rate.
"3) Why was there this increase in pro-life legislation? There are two reasons and they both have to do with the election of pro-life candidates. The same candidates whom Dr. Stassen likely opposes.
"First, Republicans took control of both chambers of the state legislature in 11 additional states during the 1994 elections. In most cases, Republicans maintained control of these legislatures through end of the decade. This made it easier for pro-lifers in many states to enact protective legislation.
"Second, judicial appointees by Presidents Reagan and Bush gave state
"Prior to Casey, the only laws that consistently survived judicial were parental involvement laws and Medicaid funding restrictions. After Casey, informed consent laws and many state partial birth abortion bans were upheld as well."
Posted at 12:04 PM
INTIMIDATING REPUBLICANS FROM VOTING IN FLORIDA? [KJL]
Posted at 11:56 AM
ON SHORT LAST NAMES WINNING THE PRESIDENCY [John Derbyshire]
A reader: "Thank goodness Malcolm X never ran for President!"
Posted at 11:39 AM
BUSH MUST, AND WILL, WIN [John Derbyshire]
A splendidly sane op-ed piece in today's Daily Telegraph from British journo Charles Moore, who does not much like GWB but very much wants him to win this election: Sample: "George W Bush doesn't travel, literally or metaphorically. ... But he has got the big idea. There is a global problem with Islamism. There is a problem of alliances between bad states and terror organisations that reach beyond state boundaries. There is an almost universal rottenness in the politics of the Arab world. There is an atrocious weakness or, as the UN oil-for-food scandal shows, worse than weakness, in many of the Western nations and international organisations that are supposed to help guarantee our security. And it is the duty of the most powerful nation on earth to do something about it."
Posted at 11:36 AM
FEELING BETTER RE: CRAWFORD NIGHTS [KJL]
Saw W. rocking Florida this morning, where I believe he will be all day.
Posted at 11:34 AM
BLOODY WASTE OF TIME [Jonah Goldberg ]
Bows and arrows with a little geometry.
Posted at 11:26 AM
CAKE DREAMS [John Derbyshire]
Andrew: You have stirred recollections of my English childhood: birthday cakes covered with white hard icing that you needed a cold chisel & 7-lb hammer to break through. And underneath --- MARZIPAN!
(Ancient English children's joke: Q---What's yellow and sweet and swings through the trees wearing a loincloth? A---Tarzipan!)
Posted at 11:18 AM
POND LIFE [John Derbyshire]
The antics of the British Left are always good for a smile.
A key component of the Left in Britain has always been the labor unions (called "trade unions") over there. As in the US, the unions have preserved, even strengthened their positions as bastions of leftist power since the labor movement was taken over by representatives of government employees -- became, that is, a vehicle for promoting an ever-expanding public sector.
Anyway, there are ructions in the Stop the War movement over there. The movement naturally draws its strength from lefty agitators, many of whom came up through the unions, or are affiliated with them. The unions, however, are in a bind with Iraq. Their doctrine of international brotherhood dictates that they support Iraqi labor unions, who are organized under the Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions (IFTU). The IFTU, however, wants Coalition troops to stay in Iraq at least until after the January elections. Britain's Stop the War folk, however, demand IMMEDIATE withdrawal of coalition forces.
"The TUC [i.e. Britain's Trade Union Congress] is trying to raise cash for the federation [i.e. the above-mentioned IFTU], and seems to be increasingly supportive of its view that the troops are needed to prevent Iraq breaking up or an Islamic fundamentalist state being formed. Stop the War's controlling faction dismisses that as a Blairite line tantamount to approving the occupation."
Street fighting should break out any time now. Hey, it's more fun than watching the Yankees choke.
Posted at 11:17 AM
SCAPEGOATING [Andrew Stuttaford]
More fine German journalism.
Via Davids Medienkritik
Posted at 10:52 AM
LURKING BROOKHISERS [Rick Brookhiser]
I know there is a clutch of Brookhisers in Iowa. I was in SE Iowa once, idly checking a hotel phone book--a lifetime, guaranteed disappointment--when I astonished to discover two listed Brookhisers. No, I didn't call them--it seemed intrusive.
People often ask if I am Louis Rukeyser, but that falls into the category of excessive ear wax.
Posted at 10:44 AM
CAKE - THE LAST WORD [Andrew Stuttaford]
Tennessee Tipsy Cake. Stupid name, but, so far as cakes are concerned, there is nothing, nothing better.
Posted at 10:42 AM
I NEED TO [KJL]
start avoiding the Boston Globe.
Posted at 10:42 AM
Friday, October 22, 2004
EPPUR SI MUOVE [Andrew Stuttaford]
Here’s a truly remarkable article from the Guardian attacking Bjorn Lomborg, the ‘skeptical environmentalist’. It’s remarkable, not for what it says, but for how it says it, a blend of smear, insult, paranoia and assertion, a useful reminder that much environmentalism these days is more about faith than logic.
Posted at 09:26 PM
Ok, here's one: You make a phone call. Secretary/Receptionist answers, puts you on hold. Comes back, "Jennifer?" On air, at NY-1: "Jennifer Lopez from the Nation." That's K-Lo from around The Corner to you, dear anchor.
Posted at 08:34 PM
LURKING BROOKHISERS [Rick Brookhiser]
Rick: Don't be too complacent. Google gave me 1,660 hits on +brookhiser -richard -rick. They're out there.
Posted at 08:32 PM
END OF MORE NAMES [Rick Brookhiser]
No one mistakes me for anyone.
Posted at 07:57 PM
NOSE4NEWS NEWS [KJL]
(The New York Times) After Curse and Cursing, a Pinstripe Shade of Blue Just to illustrate the suspense that choked Yankee fans while their team was struggling on Wednesday night: No homicides were reported in New York City during Game 7, the police said.
Posted at 07:22 PM
GOP, MIA? [Michael Graham]
Posted at 06:47 PM
ON SOLDIERS OBEYING (OR NOT) A LAWFUL ORDER [John Derbyshire]
Sorry, a bit late with this, news-cycle-wise, but I thought it worth a mention. The following passage is from John Keegan's fine military classic THE FACE OF BATTLE, p.189 of my 1976 edition:
"Howard [Major Howaard of the British 10th Hussars, fighting at Waterloo], at the very end of the day, was ordered to charge a French regiment. he asked another officer what he thought of his chances, 'who said that without the co-operation of infantry it was better not as the [enemy] square was well-formed ... Major Howard said that having been ordered to attack he thought it a ticklish thing not to do it, and gave the order accordingly.' Grove, of the 23rd Light Dragoons, saw him ride forward: 'we nodded to each other ... and a very fine handsome fellow he was; but he evidently looked as if his time had come.' A few moments later, 'he gave the order [to charge] and did it with effect, though the enemy stood well, the [British] Officers being wounded close to their bayonets and Major Howard falling so that a man in the ranks [stepped forward and] struck him with the butt end of his musket' (in fact he beat his brains out). Howard's open-eyed 'going upon his death' seems to have epitomized for most Waterloo officers what honorable conduct was, for he is picked out for mention more than any other British soldier present and his kinsman, Lord Byron, who made a pilgrimage to his grave, wrote a funerary ode for him."
Posted at 06:03 PM
MY TAX DOLLARS AR WORK -- REALLY! [John Derbyshire]
May God forgive me for all the unkind things -- all right, abusive & insulting things -- I have said about government employees.
At 5:40 pm -- note that time! -- I got a phone call from a lady at the Dept. of Labor EBSA (Employee Benefits Security Administration), New York office. She was sympathetic and helpful way beyond the call of duty, looked up the offending firm on her database, told me they already have an open review on them (i.e. I am by no means the first person to complain), and gave me detailed instructions on how to add my own complaint to the pile.
Bless you, Ma'am. As penance, though I cannot bring myself to stop writing your employer as the "feddle gummint," in future I shall at least capitalize it: "Feddle Gummint." There.
So let's see: I have a small private firm displaying gross incompetence and irresponsibility, and a gummint -- sorry, Gummint -- department acting with despatch and consideration after working hours. Does not compute does not compute...
Posted at 06:01 PM
POLLS, ETC. [Rich Lowry]
A Bush type on the Time poll (quoting roughly): “That's sort of what we're seeing across the board. I don't think it's five, but I don't think it's one either. Its probably about a 3-point lead. Its really right back where it was in 2000, with us with the momentum and a slight lead. I think the tightness of the race helps us. Our people are a little on edge and that's a good thing. I have never seen anything like the kind of turnout opperations that we are seeing on both sides this year. My guess is that the turn-out fight turn out to be a bit of a wash.”
Posted at 06:00 PM
NEWSWEEK'S STATEMENT ON THE THOMAS BLURB [KJL]
Newsweek's behind-the-scenes election project, which will run in a Special Election Issue released after the polls close, will run at book length in a book published by Public Affairs. To promote their book, Public Affairs' winter 2005 catalogue includes a mock cover in the event of a Bush/Cheney victory, and a mock cover in the event of a Kerry/Edwards victory. Several online booksellers appear to have posted promotional copy that describes the book as already contemplating a victory for only one candidate. We have asked the online booksellers to correct this error.
Posted at 05:54 PM
SHARKS (PREFERABLY WITH LASERS) [Jonah Goldberg]
Several readers have commented that the wolves in the ad are too warm and fuzzy. I kind of agree, though I'm sure it's partly my canine-urban biases. Still, sharks circling around would be scarier.
Posted at 05:37 PM
RE: THE RULE OF TWO [Ramesh Ponnuru]
An email: "Bush doesn't really need two of FL, OH, PA. EV from last time for Bush are 278. Ohio is 20, Wisconsin is 10. MN is 10. IA is 7. NM is 5. So IA and WI could substitute for Ohio even if Bush also loses NH (4). He'd then have 278-20+17-4 or 271. If he wins Ohio instead of Florida the same combination would give him 268. Replacing Florida would be tougher, but still possible."
RP: I didn't mean to endorse the idea that Bush has to win two of Fla/Penn/Ohio--but if he doesn't, I would think the likelihood of his carrying Iowa and Wisconsin would drop.
Another email: "And who is ahead in Ohio and PA? Kerry. I think Bush is in trouble." This emailer adds, w/r/t the Time poll, that it had Bush 6 points up among likely voters nationally in a poll taken October 25-26, 2000. Which is certainly worth remembering.
Posted at 05:33 PM
RAMADAN-A-DING-DONG [Jonah Goldberg]
Cliff - I was kind of hoping that people would complain about the Ramadan thing so I could recycle this column which I liked quite a bit, if I do say so myself.
Posted at 05:23 PM
TRIAL LAWYERS [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Don't blame them for the Sinclair cave.
Posted at 05:17 PM
OHIO: THE RULE OF TWO [Ramesh Ponnuru]
"Analysts have begun to focus on three states as the key to electoral victory: Ohio, Florida, and Pennsylvania. Whoever wins two out of three wins the presidency. The same can be said for the battle of labels. The battleground issues are the economy, terrorism, and values. Whoever wins two out of three wins Ohio." And not just Ohio, I should think.
Posted at 04:56 PM
NEW TIME POLL [Rich Lowry]
I hear that it has Bush up 51-46 among likely voters. Bush up 50-43 among registered voters.
UPDATE: Geraghty has that Time poll too, and beat me by three minutes in posting it. The case for a raise gets even stronger...
Posted at 04:55 PM
MICHAEL GORDON... [Rich Lowry]
...had a three-part series in the NYTimes this week on the mistakes we have made in Iraq. I don't necessarily agree with it all, but it is remarkably fair-minded stuff. It is notable especially for the fact that the James Fallows argument that everything went wrong in Iraq because the State Department was ignored is entirely absent. This piece picks up on a major theme that I wrote about in my piece--that our flawed intelligence about the post-war was as bad as our flawed intelligence about WMD. This is, of course, disturbing and argues for real intelligence reform, but it also discredits the idea that it was rosy-scenario civilians in the Pentagon who bull-headedly underestimated the difficulties of re-building Iraq.
Posted at 04:54 PM
JOBS AND LIFE [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Prof. Glen Harold Stassen has argued that pro-lifers should support John Kerry because Bush's economic policies have led to increased abortion rates. The National Right to Life Committee, among others, has responded to the bits of evidence and logic Stassen uses to reach these conclusions. Now Justin Taylor has posted Stassen's response to the critiques. I don't doubt that Stassen is sincere in wanting to reduce the abortion rate. But to my mind, his response is totally unpersuasive, as was his initial "study." He doesn't establish that higher unemployment or lower health-insurance rates increase the abortion rate, that Bush's policies have caused unemployment to rise, or that abortion rates have even risen at all under Bush. For example, he does not deal with NRLC's point that abortion rates and unemployment rates don't appear to correlate with each other among states. Nor does Stassen attempt to deal with other factors that might have affected the data. Stassen also leans too much on his own family's experience, in a way that attempts to guilt-trip people out of disagreeing with him.
One side-issue that has come up here is whether a statement that the professor signed in 1977 supported Roe v. Wade. If anyone has a copy of that statement and could post it, this issue, at least, could be resolved.
Posted at 04:48 PM
JESSE VENTURA IS SUPPORTING KERRY [KJL]
Does anyone care?
Posted at 04:14 PM
BUT DO THEY EAT FRUIT CAKE AND SING SLAYING SONGS? [Cliff May]
Remember when we were seriously debating whether it would be insensitive for American troops to fight radical Islamists in Afghanistan during the Ramadan holy season?
Well, Ramadan began this month and, according to Pentagon officials, there has been a 25 percent increase in daily attacks in Iraq. What’s more, the Al-Qa'ida Internet Magazine, Sawt Al-Jihad, is calling for an intensification of fighting during Ramadan which it calls: “The Month of Jihad.” Our friends at MEMRI have more on this here.
(Slaying songs, get it? Not ‘sleighing’ songs but … oh well.)
Posted at 04:05 PM
A NATION DIVIDED [John Derbyshire]
Yes, there really are two Americas:
Reader X: "My family, true southerner Floridians, of the Pensacola/New Orleans region, loves fruitcake! ... It is good to hear from someone else who knows and appreciates this excellent dessert!"
Reader Y: "Dude, I'm in the heart of red America (South Carolina). Fruit cake? Uh, let's say it skews a bit older and, dare I say, a bit less, uh well, manly."
Posted at 03:54 PM
PENNSYLVANIA AND ABORTION (AND IDEOLOGY) [Jack Fowler]
Most recent SurveyUSA poll of Keystone State voters shows self-described “pro-life” voters going for Bush 68-28, while “pro-choice” voters go for Kerry 70-28. When you factor in that 41 percent of all likely voters are self-described as “pro-life,” while 49 percent label themselves “pro-choice,” you can see that Kerry is drawing from a bigger pool. Ugh. Also unpleasant: some 18 percent of “conservative” likely voters (about a third of Pennsylvania voters) say they’ll vote for Kerry, whereas only 7 percent of liberals (albeit but 1/7th of the state electorate) will swing for Bush. So nearly one out of every five Pennsylvania conservatives will vote for Kerry. Gee, I wonder why? All those who helped defeat Pat Toomey in April, please, don’t be shy: Take a bow!
Posted at 03:52 PM
ANN COULTER [Ramesh Ponnuru]
comes dangerously close to having dessert.
Posted at 03:46 PM
SECRETARY HAGEL [John J. Miller]
Among the people John Kerry will consider for secretary of state, if he's elected, according to the Washington Post: Chuck Hagel, the allegedly Republican senator from Nebraska.
Posted at 03:34 PM
HERE I STAND [Peter Robinson]
At Oxford twenty years ago, one of my closest friends was Nicholas Mellor. Nick would go on to found Merlin, the British countpart to the French organization, Medicins Sans Frontieres, but at Oxford one Hillary term Nick devoted his medical attentions to a fruitcake. Each day at teatime, Nick would pull out the fruitcake, which he kept stowed away in a corner of his room, remove the fruitcake from its tin, and, using a syringe he’d swiped from the Oxford hospital, inject the fruitcake with brandy. At the end of the term, Nick invited me and a few others in for an especially festive teatime. We divvied up the fruitcake, by then drenched in brandy, and, with due ceremony and high hilarity, devoured it.
If Derb hadn’t broached the subject, I’d never have admitted this. But yes. I too am a fruitcake man.
Posted at 03:28 PM
I'M TOTALLY INTO THE WESTERN WHITE HOUSE THING [KJL]
But, I think I want the president in battleground states, not Crawford this weekend...
Posted at 03:25 PM
GOP=ADVANTAGE KERRY [KJL]
The Republican Majority for Choice is running ads arguing that 73 percent of Republicans are pro-abortion. They plan to run it in the likes of New York, Conn. & Penn. PENNSYLVANIA? I haven’t seen the ad but, my gut is that helps Kerry. He’s arguing he’s really pro-life in his heart and on what matters most (flu shots) and they’re arguing that the GOP is’t against abortion anyway. Thanks, “Republicans.”
Posted at 03:21 PM
WHO INVITED THOSE PEOPLE? [John Derbyshire]
Posted at 03:15 PM
CHRISTMAS PUDDING STORY [John Derbyshire]
I know the following sounds improbable, but it is true.
While teaching in provincial China, 1982-3, I wanted my students to get some of the flavor of a traditional English Christmas. I put up a tree and so on; but it seemed to me that I should try to tackle all their senses, including taste. So I wrote a friend in London, and he very kindly airmailed me two real English Christmas puddings from Fortnum & Mason's store in Piccadilly.
Shortly before Christmas, the college had midyear exams. I set a written paper, but I insisted on testing their conversational English, too. The students had to come into my office one by one and engage me in a brief conversation. After we had chatted for five minutes, I made each student eat a mouthful of Christmas pudding before leaving. They all did so.
Canvassing the students later, I heard from several of them that getting that mouthful of Christmas pudding down was the hardest part of the exam. The general opinion was that it tasted "like traditional Chinese medicine" (which tastes awful.)
Posted at 03:14 PM
RE: DERB'S GOTCHA [KJL]
Chocolate cake...normal cake. Even the collapsed cakes I bake....
Posted at 03:12 PM
RE: BLEG -- PENSION PLAN REGULATOR [John Derbyshire]
Many thanks to all who have responded. The sense of the meeting is that
(a) It's a matter for the feds, most precisely for EBSA
(b) My ex-employer has a duty under relevant legislation (ERISA -- the Employee Retirement Income Security Act) to respond "prudently and in the interest of [me] and other plan participants and beneficiaries" when operating my plan, so there is likely some sort of technical violation here -- especially in their having taken three months to notice that my forms were not completed correctly. However, this is one of those violations nobody is going to do anything about unless I file a case in Federal court.
(c) Even then, my ex-employer has all sorts of outs and excuses she can deploy. The feds regard all this as basically market transactions, self-regulated by competition. I shouldn't have signed up to their stupid 401K plan in the first place. (But how was I supposed to know they are incompetent plan fiduciaries?) Since I have a full paper trail on this, and since I have said nothing untrue, and since I am seriously ticked off, I'll tell you that the employer is A & Z Software Shop of New Hyde Park, New York, run by a certain A. Kay Silverstein, and advise you to have nothing to do with their pension arrangements if you can possibly help it.
My only real option here is to file a Federal case, which would at least inconvenience them, though it might end up costing me money. Anyway, for the time being, I have put in a call to my local EBSA office & left a message. (Yes! Can you believe it? A government office that doesn't pick up their phone!) I shall report any further developments.
Posted at 03:07 PM
PUH-LEEZE [Rich Lowry]
Check out this stilly LA Times op-ed:
"Is John Kerry too intelligent to be president of the United States?
It was what I felt instinctively the first and only time I met him, at a lunch at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in 1998. He was subtle, full of cultural and historical references, elaborating each fine argument at length, with perception and nuance. I commented to one of his aides afterward that I regrettably thought his brains could turn out to be the biggest impediment to a man like him ever occupying the White House."
Posted at 03:05 PM
PARODYING OURSELVES? [John Derbyshire]
Cast the beam from your own eye, Kathryn.
Home page of today's National Review Online: "KATHRYN JEAN LOPEZ: Dascle wants to eat his cake and have it too."
That would, presumably, be fruitcake.
Posted at 02:53 PM
ODAH [Mark R. Levin]
Hamdi and Rasul have now spawned Odah et al. v. U.S. -- a Clinton judge has now ruled that enemy combatant detainees not only have access to federal civilian courts for the purpose of habeas hearings, but they have a right to counsel and confidentia/privilege consultations with counsel. This is a first in American history, and the slippery slope remains very slippery.
Posted at 02:46 PM
HMMM, KINDA DOUBT IT [Rich Lowry]
Kathryn got this email: “Is Rich Lowry in a brief walk-by in the movie `13 going on 30’ by any chance? I saw it and thought I saw Rich walk by on an NYC street..”
ME: Haven’t seen it. I suppose it’s conceivable, but it would have had to be entirely inadvertent. If it’s true, I will immediately add to my bio “appeared with Jennifer Garner in the winsome comedy, `13 going on 30’” and demand SAG union wages the next time I walk by a movie being filmed in Manhattan.
Posted at 02:39 PM
KERRY WINS [KJL]
There's an Evan Thomas book to come on Amazon. The title is up as: "Election 2004: How Bush/kerry Won…." But read the description: "An extraordinary behind-the-scenes look at the 2004 Kerry presidential victory reported by Newsweek's premier political reporters, including bestselling biographer Evan Thomas...."
Posted at 02:35 PM
MEET THE PRESS [KJL]
Byron York will be on Sunday.
Posted at 02:32 PM
RE: THE WASHINGTON READ [John Derbyshire]
The games scientists play, from a reader at a prestigious research institute not a million miles from Madison, Wisconsin: "Mr Derbyshire---There is always the apocryphal Science Read. For anonymously peer-reviewed scientific journals, there are stories of people who misspell by one letter all the names in the bibliography. One can then deduce who reviewed the paper, as people only ever look for their own works, and will ask that they be corrected."
Posted at 02:16 PM
RE: FRUITCAKE FOLLIES [John Derbyshire]
A reader from Milwaukee, a city I know only through the old Jerry Lee Lewis number "What Made Milwaukee Famous Made a Loser Out of Me":
"Derb---You really opened a can of worms by admitting you like fruitcake. Must be a vestige of your former life as a Brit (and therefore, not entirely your fault). NO ONE in America, red-state, blue-state, or otherwise, likes fruitcake. What we like to do is give fruitcakes as gifts to OTHER PEOPLE; what we REALLY like to do is 're-gift' fruitcakes that were given to us for other occasions. In fact, a common joke is that there is really only one fruitcake in the entire country, and it just keeps being passed along to hapless recipient after hapless recipient."
Well, nobody ever gave *me* a gift of a fruitcake. I'd be thrilled if they did. And if it's really true -- which I don't for a moment believe -- that my fellow citizens are being gifted with unwanted fruitcakes -- hey, send 'em on to me at National Review. Far as this household is concerned, you can never have enough fruitcake.
O beautiful for raisins fine!
For candied orange peel!
For cherries too, all crystalline--
It's better than a meal!
O fruitcake fair! O fruitcake fair!
You light our winter days!
All steeped in wine
From glaze to shining glaze!
Posted at 02:12 PM
W. IS GOING TO MICHIGAN NEXT WED. [KJL]
He must think it is winnable...
Posted at 02:10 PM
RE: CASEY, THE CATHOLIC DEMOCRAT [Jack Fowler]
More from the great Bob Casey that surely indicts John Kerry – this from a 1996 Wall Street Journal article:
For a generation we have lived with abortion on demand. Starting 23 years ago with Roe v. Wade, this policy was sold to America as a kind of social cure. Instead it has left us wounded and divided. We were promised it would broaden the circle of humanity. We were told the whole matter was settled and would soon pass from our minds; 23 years later it tears at our souls.More domestic violence, more exploitation of women: This is what the former altar boy now running for President has helped bring about with his 20 Senate years of defending Roe. And yet some Catholics, even those who consider themselves pro-life, are backing Kerry.
Of course, in Pennsylvania, I wonder – why shouldn’t they? Rick Santorum – who argued that it was OK for abortion foes and Catholics to back Arlen Specter over Pat Toomey in the Senate primary earlier this year – gives them all the cover they need for such. Thanks Rick!
Posted at 01:57 PM
FYI [Jonah Goldberg]
I'll be on Inside Politics on CNN some time after 3:30 PM EST.
Posted at 01:49 PM
COLLEGE KIDS VS. ROCK THE VOTE [KJL]
Posted at 01:46 PM
FRUITCAKES, HE EXPLAINED [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
Keep in mind that Mr. Derbyshire is English. During the Penal Years, English farmers used fruitcakes to conceal their unlicensed distilled spirits from the revenuers. Ever since, Englishmen have demonstrated notable warmth (principally in the ears and nose) toward fruitcakes, even those from Holy Cross Abbey, which are not shipped pre-soaked.
Posted at 01:37 PM
How? Why? We occasionally fall into a parody of ourselves in here, don’t we? (Yes, some more than others, the guilty confesses.)
Posted at 01:34 PM
TWO THREADS [Cliff May]
There was a famous southern California architect whose name was Cliff May. I’ve know for years that he was the “father of the ranch house.” But I didn’t know until recently that we’re not talking here just about nice little houses with no stairs. Last time I was in L.A., I was invited to dinner at the home of someone quite fabulously wealthy. The home was among the most grand I’ve ever seen (even JFK & THK would have been impressed) and yes, I was informed, it was “Cliff May's house.” I’m often asked if I’m related. Sometimes I lie and say yeah, I am. Speaking of lying, I too like fruitcake but I wouldn’t reveal that in mixed company – nor would I tell a pollster.
Posted at 01:32 PM
MAN-HATING HELEN [Tim Graham]
Actress Helen Hunt has made a little film for Planned Parenthood that urges single women to vote as a big liberal bloc. Poor Helen comes to the polling place in scary black and white with a patriarchal mate. But when she enters the ballot box, everything turns to color, as if Dorothy landed in Oz. While she's in smiling at the other idealistic women for abortion and other liberal causes, like educating the children that were spared from "choice," the male partner peers in cluelessly from the black and white world, wondering where his love slave went. Doesn't she know he's waiting patiently to oppress her?
Posted at 01:14 PM
FRUITCAKE FOLLIES [John Derbyshire]
Jonah: "I don't think I know anyone who likes fruitcake." That statement of yours belongs, if you don't mind my saying so, with Pauline Kael's famous remark about not knowing anyone who voted for Richard Nixon. Now we see you in your true colors -- just another Beltway elitist. Out here in the **real** America, we all love fruitcake. Don't we, folks? Folks? Hello?
Posted at 01:09 PM
MSM FOR KERRY [Stanley Kurtz]
In all the talk about media bias, there’s been relatively little focus on the news magazines. But take a look (or better, don’t) at Newsweek’s cover story this week on stem cells. That cover is obviously Newsweek’s best effort to help Kerry. The story could have been ghost written by the Kerry campaign. U.S. News has an interesting cover story on America’s divisions. But the opening piece, on the debates, is utterly biased in favor of Kerry. Despite its obvious bias on social issues, the media used to at least make an effort to be fair on political coverage. No more. This year MSM has definitively discredited itself. If Kerry wins, the media will have been the key to tipping the balance in his favor. That’s true, despite the great success that blogs and other alternatives have had in breaking the media monopoly. I think you’ll see a substantial further weakening of MSM, post-election. But like it or not, they’ve made a real difference in this contest.
Posted at 01:08 PM
SOFTBALLS FOR KERRY [Stanley Kurtz]
Hugh Hewitt, whose blog hughhewitt.com has been must reading for me during this campaign, used to count out the days since John Kerry had faced open questioning from the press. The presumption was that, if finally given the opportunity, someone in the press would ask Kerry if he’d ever been in Cambodia, or if he’d agree to release his military files. Well, Hewitt doesn’t count out the days any more. Is Kerry still avoiding questions, or is the real problem that the mainstream media isn’t asking them? Diana West reminds us just how badly the media has betrayed its reason for being. I suggest someone start counting out how many days it’s been since the press has failed to ask Kerry if he’s ever been in Cambodia. Or maybe we should create a prize–something like the X Prize–for the first reporter who asks the question.
Posted at 01:07 PM
THIS, MY FRIENDS, IS WHY I DO IT... [KJL]
Kathryn,And now she gets, essentially two for the price of one--she gets NR paper in her home, and all the different, varied content on NRO, everyday, throughout the day...all the while knowing she's putting her money where her eyes are set to.
Posted at 01:02 PM
THE WASHINGTON READ [John Derbyshire]
In an earlier posting I wondered: "Is it a sign of something when, on picking up a book, you go looking for your own name in the index?" I'm delighted to learn that there is actually a name for this act: the Washington Read.
Posted at 12:58 PM
FRUITCAKE FOREVER [Mark Krikorian ]
John: Forget the fruitcake forms and just visit the gift shop at the monastery. They also make (or at least used to make) bread, which DC supermarkets sometimes carried. It’s and hour or so outside Washington--I went to a retreat there years ago, and got to be a Trappist for the weekend, silently eating while one of the brothers read during dinner, reveling in (English-language) Gregorian chant, etc. On a sort-of related topic, someone responded to my “parents say the darnedest things” posting with a tongue-in-cheek site on “Old Testament Parenting,” including lines like, “Bite not, lest you be also bitten again. Neither drink of your own bath water, nor of the bath water of any kind; nor rub your feet on bread, even if it be in the package; nor rub yourself against cars, not against any building; nor eat sand.”
Posted at 12:57 PM
CASEY, THE CATHOLIC DEMOCRAT [KJL]
I nearly choked when I heard a Kedwards reference to Bob Casey at a stump event earlier in the week (I think it was this week...it's all kinda a blur at this point). A friend passes on Bob Casey's 1995 speech at Notre Dame, worth reading, especially as Kerry apparently is about to present his much-talked-about "faith speech." A little of Casey:
The fundamental question posed is this: once a child has been conceived, what is the proper response of a good society - of America at her best? If pregnancy presents a challenge, do we as a society rise to the challenge by dispensing with the child? And when a pregnancy comes at a difficult time, what is the worthier response? Do we surround mother and child with protection and love, or do we hold out to her the cold comfort of a trip to an abortionist? Where is our true character as a nation to be seen - let's ask ourselves this question: Where is our true character to be seen, in an adoptive home, or in an abortion clinic? Who are we? Who are we America? That question deserves an answer. And what woman is truly empowered, I ask you, the woman who takes life, or the woman who gives life?Read it all.
Posted at 12:40 PM
OVER ON THE HOMEY [Rich Lowry]
We lend our support to Rep. Pete Hoekstra who is fighting the good fight on the intell reform bill, trying to get needed reforms of the immigration system in it. Also, you can get our take on the Roberston flap.
Posted at 12:36 PM
ME, .INF [Dave Kopel]
What file extension am I? "You are .inf. You are informative. When you are gone you make life very difficult for others." What operating system am I? "You are HP-UX. You're still strong despite the passage of time. Though few understand you, those who do love you deeply and appreciate you." Which Nigerian spammer am I? "YOU ARE AN ACCOUNTANT WITH THE NIGERIAN NATIONAL PETROLEUM CORP. YOU WISH TO REMIT $21 MILLION TO MY COMPANY FOR SAFEKEEPING. YOU ENJOY BICYCLING AND TYPING IN ALL-CAPS." To learn more about yourself, try these on-line quizzes.
Posted at 12:33 PM
RE: LE SHAFT [Jonah Goldberg]
John - I am satisfied with that (and it really is a very enjoyable book so far).
However! I must confess I'm distracted by the news that Derbyshire likes fruitcake. I don't think I know anyone who likes fruitcake. In fact, I wasn't even sure fruitcakes were edible anymore because I assumed the fruitcake companies (what Al Gore would call "Big Fruitcake") had simply made cheaper plastic faux fruitcakes. Maybe that's just the way they taste?
Posted at 12:32 PM
BLEG -- PENSION PLAN REGULATOR [John Derbyshire]
May I please beg for readers' expertise in the area of financial regulation? Some years ago, I was briefly employed by a firm in New Hyde Park, New York. I had a 401K plan with them. I have been trying to get that plan rolled over into one of my retirement accounts. I asked them what to do. They sent me a Pension Distribution Form. I filled it out & mailed it to them on July 7. A month later I got a statement from the same old 401K plan. Obviously the rollover hadn't been done. I wrote to inquire. No answer came back. A month later -- same thing. I wrote again. No answer. (All these letters, BTW, were Recorded Delivery, and I have the signed receipts.) Another month... still no action. I just phoned them. A secretary said: "Your forms are right here, waiting to be processed." After THREE MONTHS? I grumbled to the secretary, though not in an ill-mannered way -- it's not her fault. She said they'd get on it. Ten minutes later I got a call from her. The boss of the firm had looked at my forms and found them incorrectly filled out. She would send them back to me. After three months of no action. Now, here's my question. This is **MY MONEY**. This miserable excuse for a business enterprise is merely custodian of it. Plainly, to judge from my experience, being custodian of other people's money is a thing they are appallingly bad at. Presumably some agency of New York State has licensed the firm to do this business, and regulates their doing of it. I should like to register a complaint with that regulating agency. I don't think these dipwads ought to be in charge of my money, or anyone else's. Does anyone know what agency I can complain to? Answers please to firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted at 12:30 PM
THE FATAL IDIOCY OF MODERN CROWDS [Shannen W. Coffin]
Tragic death as a result of mass fan stupidity in Boston Wednesday night. Why has it become a predictable part of sports that big victories and big defeats are met with fires and rioting?
Posted at 12:27 PM
“FRAUD” [Rich Lowry]
Asked a Republican official what he is most frightened by that could happen in the next two weeks and that was his answer. Ohio, Colorado, and Florida are the hotspots and the GOP is gearing up for what could be a very nasty post-election fight against the Democratic argument that “all the votes should count (even if they are fraudulent).”
Posted at 12:26 PM
FRUITCAKE FOLLIES [John Derbyshire]
Because we have handed over the running of our society to lawyers and accountants, we are fast approaching a point where only a lawyer or an accountant can perform ordinary daily tasks.
Case in point: fruitcakes.
Every year around this time, I get a mailing from Holy Cross Abbey in Berryville, Virginia, asking if I want to buy one of their fruitcakes. You bet I do: I l-o-v-e fruitcake. Every year I fill in the form and send it back, with an order for two fruitcakes, one for Thanksgiving, one for Christmas.
This year the letter duly arrived. The forms, however, have got an order of magnitude more complex than they used to be. They have, in fact, got so complex, the monastery has included a sheet showing "models" of how the form should be filled out, depending on precisely what you are ordering, and whether or not you are a Virginia resident. (There are six models altogether.)
After struggling with this for a while, I gave up and just called the monastery by phone. A friendly brother took my details and placed the order. Then we had the following conversation.
Me: "Have a lot of people complained about the complexity of the forms?"
He: "Well... we've had a few... but we just started sending out these new forms."
Me: "They sure are complicated."
He: "Things are getting more and more complicated all over."
Me: "I know. It's getting to be too much. Maybe I'll come join your community."
He: "Oh, we have our own complexities..."
If even religious retreats are under the thumb of the lawyers and accountants, what hope is there for our civilization? We are doomed, doomed.
Posted at 12:25 PM
FRENCH FRIED [John J. Miller]
Jonah, Derb: I wanted to avoid the appearance of impropriety by celebrating NR's role -- and specifically Jonah's role -- in promoting the term cheese-eating surrender monkeys. Was worried it would appear as NR backscratching. Maybe I shouldn't have been so reluctant. The new issue of NRODT has a great review of Our Oldest Enemy: A History of America's Disastrous Relationship with France. Talk about backscratching! Will you be appeased (so to speak) if I promise to call the sequel Still Our Oldest Enemy: A History of America's Disastrous Relationship with the Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys?
Posted at 12:19 PM
LE SHAFT [Jonah Goldberg]
JJ: I too was crestfallen to see no mention of Goldberg in your fine tome, which I am enjoying quite a bit too. Once the election's over I plan on writing about it at some length. But why so stingy with the glory of French-bashing? As your book amply demonstrates, there's room for everyone.
Posted at 12:07 PM
MORE NAMES [Mark Krikorian ]
People think my name is unusual, but that doesn’t necessarily help much. Actually, Krikorian is a very common Armenian name, which is why there’s a writer named Mark Krikorian in California, a stock broker in Philly, a telecom executive in Atlanta, the former head coach of the now-defunct women’s soccer team in Philadelphia, and the now-dead architect of many of modern Armenia’s important public buildings. And since my name starts with a K and ends with an -ian, I constantly have to tell people I’m not related to Dr. Death, Jack Kevorkian -- neither one of us is the other!
Posted at 12:03 PM
NAMING NAMES [John Derbyshire]
J.J.: Pity. I think "Derb Miller" would have been an excellent name, a name any American could be proud of. The principal rule I laid down when the issue of naming our own children came up was that their names shoul be dactyls, as "Derbyshire" is. This will make it easier for scops and gleemen to celebrate their deeds in verse. On the larger matter of names, check out this piece from BBC News. In Presidential races, it seems, the guy with the shorter name has an edge. That's why Bush-Gore was so close, see? I am greatly enjoying your book Our Oldest Enemy... But I wish you could have found space to mention my own venture into Frog-bashing; your book has no index entry between "Democracy in America" and "Derrida, Jacques." Is it a sign of something when, on picking up a book, you go looking for your own name in the index? Probably.
Posted at 11:59 AM
THE WOLVES [John J. Miller]
The new Bush ad would be better if the wolves were ringwraiths.
Posted at 11:44 AM
WOLVES [Jonah Goldberg]
The new GW Bush ad is up at georgewbush.com. I like it, but I hope it's a series because I don't think this one alone hits hard enough. I would cut another using the quote from the Times magazine and say something like this:
"John Kerry had a twenty year record of being soft on defense and strong on talk [show headlines of votes, factoids etc]. He fought Ronald Reagan when Ronald Reagan was fighting for America and freedom. Kerry voted to cut funding for the military and intelligence.
Posted at 11:39 AM
IS TOM DASCHLE ACTUALLY A SOUTH DAKOTAN? [KJL]
Thune-ites will appreciate this.
Posted at 11:33 AM
BLACK VOTE [Rich Lowry]
Had a conversation with a smart GOP insider who thinks the recent poll showing Bush with 18% of the black vote highlights a real phenomenon. Bush may not get that much of the black vote on Nov. 2, but he will make in-roads. He thinks we are a more and more integrated society where race matters less and less, so the traditional Democratic racial appeals are losing some of their force. He guesses that two election cycles from now Republicans will be getting 30% of the black vote.
Posted at 11:25 AM
I ASK YOU JOHN KERRY [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
Posted at 11:23 AM
FILTERED RICE [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
Did it ever occur to you that maybe the only way to get anything anybody in the administration says portrayed accurately in the press is to get them out on the campaign trail? With the present state of affairs, Condi Rice as National Security Advisor could hold a press conference and declare that we had just received an offer of uncondtional surrender from the terrorists in Falluja and it would make maybe the 35th page of the NYT and would not even rate mention on ABC, CBS, NBC, etc. unless they were to portray it as some sort of desperation move on the part of the Administration to start "negotiations" with the "insurgents". But if she's out in front of a crowd on the campaign trail what she says will at least get covered in local media, and maybe even accurately. Think about it.
Posted at 11:22 AM
RE: NAME GAME [Jonah Goldberg]
I get confused for JJ Goldberg (from the Forward) which isn't surprising since my legal name is Jonah Jacob Goldberg. And whenever Jeffrey Goldberg is on C-Span I get email intended for him. But I get far more email intended for Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, author of Hitler's Willing Executioners. Every month or so someone writes me to say I'm such a hypocrite for having written X in a column but Y in that book. Unfortunately, Goldhagen's royalty checks have never turned up in my mailbox.
Posted at 11:18 AM
EVERYONE'S A COMEDIAN [Jonah Goldberg]
Now my email box is filling up with questions like "What's google?" "How much rain did Cleveland have last year?" "What's the capital of Kenya?" Etc.
Posted at 11:05 AM
MAKE SURE THEY GO TO THE RIGHT COLLEGE! [Jack Fowler]
For less than two sawbucks you can dramatically impact a kid’s life. So before you drop $150,000 (or more!) for a sheepskin, make sure you get to get your son, daughter, grandchild, or some other great kid in your life who’s contemplating higher ed institutions the special NR edition of Choosing the Right College. This 900-plus page mega-tome gives you the detailed skinny on over 120 top U.S. colleges and universities. Get it now for only $19.95 (a big $10 savings—and a heck of a lot cheaper than $150,000) here.
Posted at 11:02 AM
NEW NRODT IS UP [KJL]
You can read it if you are an NR Digital subcriber or a subscriber to the actual paper edition (includes Digital access). Sign up today. If you don't, you're missing countless Derbyshires, Brookhisers, Longs, Steyns and so much more.
Posted at 10:55 AM
SPEAKING FOR SENIORS? [Mark Krikorian]
The AARP has come out against Arizona’s Proposition 200, which hasn’t the slightest thing to do with senior citizens. But then this should come as no surprise, since the AARP effectively backs the administration’s Social Security giveaway to Mexico -- the group has been socialized into the elite consensus for open borders, and probably can’t imagine taking any other position.
Posted at 10:34 AM
NAME GAME [John J. Miller]
Derb: Thank your lucky stars that you don't have a ridiculously common name. In college, there was another John Miller in my dorm. When I got to Washington, there was a John Miller in Congress. There's a baseball broadcaster with my name. And if you're interested in my book, Our Oldest Enemy: A History of America's Disastrous Relationship with France, going to Amazon.com and entering "john miller" in the search box isn't the best way to go about it. I haven't written a tour guide of New Orleans, a driving instructor's handbook, or Darling Judi: A Celebration of Judi Dench (which isn't to say I don't consider her a fine actress). I am not now nor have I ever been a professional golfer. Furthermore, I have no plans to take up professional golf. My middle initial is "J," which alleviates some confusion but hardly all of it. When the Miller kids were born, I proposed first names like Conan and Elrond and Ichabod. If I had known you back then, I might have proposed Derb as a first name. I doubt my sensible wife would have gone for it, but I still might have tried.
Posted at 10:12 AM
DIFFERENT FOLKS [John Derbyshire]
Earl Russell (i.e. Bertrand Russell the philosopher) and Lord Russell of Liverpool (prominent prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials) got fed up with getting each other's mail, and composed a famous joint letter to the London Times stating that "neither of us is the other." In the same spirit, I want to make it plain that Luis Ernesto Derbez, the Mexican Secretary of State, and myself, are two different people. There is no resemblance whatsoever. Neither of us is the other.
Posted at 09:52 AM
QUESTIONS FROM READERS [Jonah Goldberg]
I love 'em. I wish I could write back more than I do. But I try to answer thoughtful questions from readers when I can, where I can. Often readers send questions that would require a five page essay to answer honestly or even close to comprehensively. Such questions usually meet with silence, I'm afraid. However there is one kind of question that really annoys me. I know most of the time they're asked harmlessly and in good faith. But I really can't stand it when people ask me questions that google can answer better. A half dozen people have asked me where's Wabash college (where I'm speaking next week). It's Indiana. But you could learn that faster and more reliably from other sources. Ditto all sorts of questions about finding transcripts from Hardball, or locating a speech by the president. I wouldn't complain except I am having a very hard time -- every day -- keeping my email box from overflowing. And these sorts of things seem like an easy place to start economizing.
Posted at 09:37 AM
THIS JUST IN FROM N.C. [John J. Miller]
Two Senate race polls: Mason-Dixon has it tied between Republican Richard Burr and Democrat Erskine Bowles, and Rasmussen is about to release numbers showing Burr up by four. Considering where Burr was just a month ago, this looks like more evidence that he's peaking at exactly the right time.
Posted at 09:30 AM
FRAME DRAGGING [John J. Miller]
Weren't we discussing this Einstein theory on The Corner at one point--and specifically the NASA satellite full of gyroscopes that are meant to test a phenomenon relativity theory predicts? Well, it appears as though a couple of scientists have done what NASA hasn't yet been able to accomplish despite a $600 million budget. Read about the makings of a scientific David-and-Goliath story here.
Posted at 09:21 AM
RICE ON THE STUMP [Jonah Goldberg]
An explanation from a reader:
Jonah, I suspect they're doing this to make a controversy over her, which highlights for everyone that the Bushies have a prominent African-American woman on their team. Cynical, yes. Open to criticism, yes. But this is a matter of taste and manners. Clinton sent out Janet Reno on the stump, and few complained that it made her look partial. You can see why they might not send a Tony Lake or Sandy Berger.
Posted at 09:19 AM
MATCHMAKER, MATCHMAKER MAKE ME A MATCH.... [Cosmo]
Anyone got digits for this lovely lass?
Posted at 09:17 AM
ABOUT MARRIAGE [Stanley Kurtz]
A long attempt to refute my claim that same-sex marriage weakens marriage has just been published in an online law journal. The article is authored by Yale Law Professor, William Eskridge, Lawyer, Darren Spedale, and Hans Ytterberg, Sweden’s Ombudsman Against Discrimination on Grounds of Sexual Orientation. I’ll post a detailed refutation sometime after the election. (The article’s arguments are eminently refutable.) But one comment for now: The core of my case on the causal effects of same-sex marriage (and marriage-like registered partnerships) rests on my treatment of Norway and the Netherlands. Yet this article has essentially nothing to say about either country. The entire article is about Sweden and Denmark. Now I do think that registered partnerships have helped to lock in and reinforce the separation of marriage and parenthood in both Sweden and Denmark. But as I noted in my original piece on Scandinavia, the causal effect is significantly weaker in Sweden and Denmark than it is in Norway. That’s why I’ve focused my Scandinavia work on Norway. I’ve argued that parental cohabitation and same-sex marriage (or marriage-like registered partnerships) are mutually reinforcing. In Sweden and Denmark, marriage was already very weak prior to the establishment of registered partnerships. That weakness helped create registered partnerships in the first place. In Norway and Holland, on the other hand, registered partnerships were adopted when marriage itself was significantly stronger than it had been in Sweden or Denmark. And when same-sex marriage (or its rough equivalent) was brought into an environment where marriage itself was relatively strong, it had the effect of substantially weakening marriage. That’s why Norway has been the key to my causal case in all my various writings on Scandinavia. And since then, I’ve made my strongest causal argument by pointing to the example of Holland. Yet this supposed refutation of my argument says essentially nothing about the two countries at the empirical core of my causal claims. That makes this “refutation” something of a non sequitur.
Posted at 08:13 AM
DUNGEONS & DRAGONS [John J. Miller]
My offbeat articles for NRO often generate the strongest responses from readers. I've received a ton of email about my story from last Friday on D&D--much of it from fully certified adults, many of them married and with kids, who say they still play. I've found myself sneaking back the the official D&D website all week long, just to poke around. I've been delighted to learn that the game is no relic from the 1980s, but a thriving hobby and business.
Posted at 08:12 AM
RICE ON THE STUMP [Jonah Goldberg ]
I have to say I do think it's a bit unseemly to use the National Security Advisor on the stump as a political surrogate. I have no problem with touting her in ads and the like, if the point is to reach out to blacks or soccer moms. But for someone everyone thinks will be the next Secretary of State it just seems inappropriate and opens the White House up to criticisms like this one.
Posted at 08:08 AM
EMPTY PROMISES [Mark Krikorian ]
In today’s Washington Post, the latest in a string of stories about freed Guantanamo detainees who have gone back to fighting against us, despite having signed pledges not to do so. Maybe someone has addressed this, but what are the consequences of breaking this promise? For a POW, such release would be called parole, and if he violates his parole by rejoining the army, his life is forfeit. When do we start executing former detainees who have resumed their fight against us? We’d be taken more seriously by at least some of these characters if we made judicious use of the firing squad.
Posted at 08:07 AM
OUR SECOND-OLDEST ENEMY [Mark Krikorian ]
Posted at 08:05 AM
KERRY HAS A LOWER I.Q. THAN BUSH? [KJL]
that's what Steve Sailor says he's found.
Posted at 07:02 AM
KERRY'S REASON GAP: YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE RELIGIOUS TO GET IT [KJL]
KLO, Full disclosure: I am not a religious nor faith-centered person. Yet it is totally perplexing to me that rational people would actually think, nevermind say, that Catholics, or any other religious person, should not impose their beliefs on the rest of us. I suppose the basic principle, if there is one, that is being argued is that of the often misused "separation of church and state"?
Posted at 07:00 AM
BUSH COUNTRY [John J. Miller]
I still doubt Bush wins in Michigan, but here's another poll, from today's Detroit News, showing him in the lead. Even better news for the president may be that it's a "registered voters" poll rather than a "likely voters" poll, which means it may slightly underpredict Bush's strength. Having said that, the numbers are 45.9 percent for Bush and 43.3 pecent for Kerry--very close, and well within the margin of error.
Posted at 06:26 AM
ARCHBISHOP CHARLES CHAPUT SUBTLY DEBUNKS THE KERRY ELECTORAL THEOLOGY [KJL]
In the New York Times today:
The theologian Karl Barth once said, "To clasp the hands in prayer is the beginning of an uprising against the disorder of the world."
Posted at 06:18 AM
OOE2 [John J. Miller]
My publisher, Doubleday, has just ordered a second printing of Our Oldest Enemy: A History of America's Disastrous Relationship with France. To everybody who has bought a copy already: Thank you very much. To everybody else: They make great Halloween treats for the kids. Buy a box today!
Posted at 05:46 AM
CHRIS MATTHEWS CLAIMS, BUSH ISN'T PRO-LIFE [KJL]
Posted at 05:36 AM
Thursday, October 21, 2004
KOFI ANNAN ENDORSED HUMAN CLONING TODAY [KJL]
(The U.N.'s cloning advocacy--another place where the Bush administration has been defending life....)
Posted at 11:31 PM
“WOLVES” [Rich Lowry]
I hear the GOP is coming out with a new ad very much like the famous “bear in the woods” ad. Told it will “make the liberals howl.” For what it's worth...
Posted at 11:02 PM
POTENTIALLY DUMB QUESTION [KJL]
Are 7 electoral votes only "symbolic"?
Posted at 10:46 PM
RE: JOG MY MEMORY [Jack Fowler]
John Leo has (as usual) an excellent column on Berger affair’s disappearance, and other lefty-media doings, in the current U.S. News & World Report.
Posted at 10:37 PM
In their daily tracking poll, Bush-Cheney is not only leading, but with women.
Posted at 10:08 PM
ON THE HOMEPAGE [KJL]
We have an(nother, but different) survey for you--thanks for your help in advance.
Posted at 08:49 PM
HALLOWEEN TREAT [KJL]
The Committee for Justice has zillions of “Kerry’s Scary” bumper stickers left--if you are interesting in obtaining some to distribute, you can order them through www.kerrysscary.com or email email@example.com.
Posted at 06:22 PM
RE: MICHIGAN [KJL]
Henry Payne's pretty psyched over at the Battlegrounders.
Posted at 06:15 PM
MY BAD--MCCURRY'S IN [KJL]
A reader tells me: "Mike McCurry was on the Today Show this morning, up against Liz Cheney. She completely dominated the discussion, and left him whimpering and Katie gaping." I guess I only turned on NBC in time to see Duran Duran on Ellen. (Yes, Mr. Capano. You got me cable in the office so I could watch Simon Le Bon.)
Posted at 06:07 PM
A LITTLE BIRD... [Jonah Goldberg]
Tells me that Bush may be doing better in Michigan than we've been told, given a poll coming out tomorrow. We'll see.
Posted at 06:04 PM
DESERVE AIN'T GO NOTHING TO DO WITH IT [Jonah Goldberg]
This reader makes a point I've mulling for a while:
Just read Chafetz' response. It's the final sentence that bothers me. In the immortal words of Clint Eastwood in "Unforgiven," "deserve ain't got nuthin' to do with it." This isn't a friggin' job interview. The ONLY question is who has the "right stuff" to deal with the security issues before us. Whether Bush receives an A or and F in his handling of foreign policy really has no bearing except to the extent that it gives us a sense of what the future may bring. In that respect, does Chafetz actually believe that Kerry will perform better than Bush? Sure doesn't sound like it from his response. The point being: grading the President retrospectively is only useful if it gives a clue to the future, specifically in the context of his opponent. In this instance - i.e., an existential war - voting against Bush because he doesn't "deserve" it is silly.
Posted at 06:01 PM
MICHIGAN: THIS IS INTERESTING [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
There is a reason Cheney has been here twice in the last 5 days, Condi Rice is scheduled to make a speech in Detroit and the Bush campaign has said the President will make one more stop in West Michigan. Gore won here by 5, with the traditional turnout among blacks and low turnout in Republican strongholds. We all know what recent polls say about the black vote this go around and if gay marriage is one of the driving issues in that trend, it helps it's on the ballot here. Republican turnout, on the other hand, is expected at very high levels.
Posted at 05:48 PM
CHAFETZ RESPONDS [Jonah Goldberg]
Posted at 05:42 PM
QUIT IT WITH CONDI [KJL]
Joe Lockhart & co. (hey--Rich asked this the other day: WHERE'S MIKE MCCURRY? CAN WE START A COUNTDOWN? XX # of days and the Dems' best spokesman is nowhere to be seen.) are complaining about Condi Rice going to battleground states. He says that it is unprecedented for a National Security Advisor to go stumping for the president. We are at war though. She ain't a bad person to be making the case--while doing her job. Just like the president continues to do his job while campaigning...can't say the same for Senator Kerry--check the vote rolls.... Would seem to that it's the people of Massachusetts who have a legitimate complaint to register.
Posted at 05:41 PM
IT'S LESS AMUSING [Jonah Goldberg]
Posted at 05:40 PM
FOR YOUR AMUSEMENT [Jonah Goldberg ]
I think Bush looks particularly comfortable doing the Money Walk. Money Walk.
Posted at 05:38 PM
"CLASS" [Shannen W. Coffin]
Derb seems to have a different definition of "class" than many of my readers and fellow Red Sox loyalists would employ. Was the reaction of the fans to a proper call by the umpires in Game 6 classy? Well, classy if you define class as the need to line riot police down the outfield lines. How about ARod? Sure, he's given $2000 to his old boss, George W Bush, but how classy was his tomahawk chop of Bronson (otherwise known as Brandon by the inept Tim McCarver) Arroyo? And his feigned indignation at being caught cheating? Throw out the rulebook. It didn't take a technical interpretation of any rule to see he what he was up to. I guess Steinbrenner's felony convinction is a sign of class (no extra points for cheating on behalf of Richard Nixon). Oh, and as good buddy Chad points out, what about the attempt earlier this year to force Tampa Bay to forfeit a game because they didn't get to New York in time for a scheduled game BECAUSE OF A HURRICANE. I won't even mention the fact that I was hit with some sort of hard object during game 7 last year in Yankee Stadium, and that's after the Yankees had tied the score. So let's not talk classless. There's plenty to go around. Sure the Sox need a collective haircut and everyone could have done without the image of Johnny Damon cutting his toenails on national television, but we can talk about Schilling's work for ALS, David Ortiz's clubhouse passing the hat on behalf of Dominican hurricane victims. There's plenty of class in Boston. I'm not saying that there aren't class acts on New York's side of the aisle. Joe Torre is a man to be admired by all, and there are other examples that I can't bring myself to recognize. But let's be careful, Derb, in making the class distinction.
Posted at 05:21 PM
PBS [Rich Lowry]
I was in DC today, taping a segment for an election special that airs sometime tonight. Sorry to be clueless about when, but I'm still a little dazed.
Posted at 05:19 PM
ZARQAWI’S CHOICE [Cliff May]
My Scripps Howard column this week makes the case that if Zarqawi is an al Qaeda operative – and whatever our brilliant intelligence analysts may have decided, he now says he is --- it’s no longer possible to seriously argue that Iraq is a “diversion” from the war on terrorism.
Posted at 05:09 PM
"MORALLY WRONG" [KJL]
Here's a story on Kerry at the Reeve event.
To the reporter's credit, Reuters there does mention Edwards's morally wrong comments about Reeves and stem cells from last week.
Posted at 05:07 PM
RE: "KERRY LEAGUE" [KJL]
Shannen totally posted that yesterday. I was being a pompous Yankee fan still, so I blocked it out, of course.
Posted at 05:05 PM
A-ROD'S "KERRY-LEAGUE" PLAY [KJL]
Argh. Curt Schilling is really trying to get me to like him. Of course, that is one more popular vote for W.
Posted at 04:53 PM
HE'S LIKE THE CANDLEMAKERS WHO WERE AGAINST ELECTRICITY AND THE TYPEWRITER MAKERS WHO WERE AGAINST COMPUTERS [KJL]
I just heard a quick clip of that from Kerry's Ohio stem-cell appaearance with Dana Reeve today. Haven't seen full transcript yet, but as usual, shrill, misleading, and full of nasty false hopes.
Posted at 04:51 PM
KERRY'S FAITH SPEECH: SAT., FLA. [KJL]
Catholic Floridians: Make sure it's not your parish! (I don't know the name--will post when I do.)
Kerry plans to deliver a new speech on faith this weekend in Florida, McCurry said, focusing on an explanation of his values.
Posted at 04:43 PM
RE: CLINTON POSITIONS [KJL]
You read it that way...I didn't necessarily mean it that way.
Posted at 04:35 PM
GO ASTROS? [John J. Miller]
K Lo: Your list of Bush-supporting athletes includes two current members of the Houston Astros (Beltran and Biggio), but no members of the St. Louis Cardinals or the Boston Red Sox (or the New York Yankees, for that matter).
Posted at 04:34 PM
A READER POINTS OUT [KJL]
Bill Clinton will put women in positions in the U.N., for sure...
Posted at 04:33 PM
CATHOLICS AGAINST KERRY [KJL]
Posted at 04:24 PM
ATHLETES FOR BUSH [KJL]
Posted at 04:23 PM
ENGAGEMENT? [Cliff May]
Did the State Department send American taxpayer money to al Qaeda?
Newsweek's Isikoff and Hosenball think it may have happened in the late 1990s. (But terrorism was only a nuisance then.)
Posted at 04:19 PM
LOST CAPITAL [Jonah Goldberg]
Me: If Josh means in the first part that he's sure Kerry would respond with force to another 9/11, I'm sure he's right. To which most people would answer big whup. That hold true of pretty much anybody but Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky and Cynthia McKinney. The second point is a more serious and nuanced one and I hear variations of it a lot. Frankly, I don't buy it. I agree that Bush is in a situation where using force the next time -- if there is one -- will be more difficult. But what few people appreciate is how difficult it would be for a President Kerry to govern if he had the right instincts and judgement (something I doubt very much).
A huge chunk of Kerry's base doesn't like him very much -- they hate George W. Bush. An overlapping but not identical chunk of his party is flatly anti-war. This means he would not have anything like the support of his own half of the electorate Bush would have. This sounds like a recipe for another LBJ situation where the center does not hold and the left is determined to tear the whole thing down. Meanwhile, while I will continue to support the war no matter who's in the White House I'm not optimistic that a significant chunk of the GOP won't simply wash its hands and say "it's Kerry's problem now."
A re-elected Bush meanwhile can hold his own party together and get support from a sadly small but still not insignificant slice of middle-of-the-road voters and Democrats. If Josh's concern is who will have more political capital to implement his policies, I am at a loss to understand how charisma-impaired, alliance-obsessed John Kerry with a horribly split party, a hostile Republican opposition which controls the House and Senate will have the more powerful stockpile of political capital.
Posted at 04:18 PM
TNR & THE SAUDIS [John J. Miller]
Does it strike anybody else as odd that The New Republic is hosting a forum next week called "Myths and Realities: Saudi Arabia Re-examined"? And that the sponsor is the Saudi government?
Posted at 04:17 PM
IMPORTANT THINGS HAPPENING OVER AT THE U.N. TODAY [KJL]
From a press release:
WOMEN STILL FACE OBSTACLES IN REACHING SENIOR STAFF POSITIONS AT UN – REPORT
Posted at 04:16 PM
I'M SORRY [KJL]
When I read that Sean Hannity told Mary Landrieu "well, you're not the vice president. And I doubt you ever will be." (David Brock's outfit is evidently complaining about it.) I said , "Thankfully!"
Posted at 04:07 PM
THE MOOSE IS BACK IN TOWN [KJL]
Posted at 04:02 PM
CIVILIZATION FATIGUE PART 1,008,034 [ Jonah Goldberg]
A school has cancelled Halloween partly because it's insensitive to witches.
Posted at 03:56 PM
ANOTHER E-MAIL OUT TODAY FROM BILL CLINTON [KJL]
"We are in the final two weeks of this campaign and the outcome is in our hands. It's a dramatic, decisive moment that will set America's course for years, perhaps decades, to come. That's why I am urging you to do everything you can possibly do to support John Kerry, John Edwards and other Democratic candidates."
Posted at 03:55 PM
FRENCH GRATITUDE, OR LACK THEREOF [John J. Miller]
I enjoyed this blogger's post on the French. I would have said this even if it didn't include a small reference to Our Oldest Enemy: A History of America's Disastrous Relationship with France.
Posted at 03:50 PM
CLINTON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL? [KJL]
I feel like this is one of those every-six-months rumors.
Posted at 03:49 PM
THE JEWISH VOTE [KJL]
Scott Johnson and Anne Bayefsky.
Posted at 03:40 PM
THE SENATOR FROM BRAY [John Derbyshire]
My NRO column for September 17th was an updated version of the old English song "The Vicar of Bray," words changed to make it fit John Kerry. Several readers wanted to hear it sung. OK, here you go.
Posted at 03:37 PM
UNFIT FOR COMMAND? [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Eugene Volokh has been blogging about whether Kerry is constitutionally disqualified from the presidency because he gave "aid or comfort to the enemies."
Posted at 03:35 PM
POSITIVE SPIN [KJL]
Nick Schulz says: "The 'Stros are going to win tonight, on the back of Roger Clemens, who never led the BoSox to glory but did help the Yanks win the World Series. That means Clemens pitches game 3 of their matchup with the Red Sox (winning, natch), and wins game 7 for the Astros -- a Texas team beating a Mass. team right before the election -- and Red Sox nation heads into winter seething at what Clemens did to them -- first with the Yanks, now with the Astros. It's much much sweeter this way! "
Posted at 03:19 PM
MAUREEN DOWD DOES DELHI [John Derbyshire]
(Continuing my "POP POLI SCI" thread.)
"Derb---I just read your post in the Corner. You can add India to the list also. I am convinced there is anti-Bush stuff in the English language press here, much of it from the NYT or WaPo (which many here thinks shows diversity of opinion) that Pat Leahy would say goes over the top. Fareed Zakaria looks like Richard Perle here in comparison to the average Indian op-ed person or the routinely syndicated Maureen Dowd, Paul Krugman, and Robert Scheer.
"My biggest laugh is how people here revere Clinton and have no clue that Bush is a far better friend of India than Clinton ever was. But when you have the level of corruption and the number of criminals who hold elected office here (imagine if Sammy The Bull was a NY State Assemblyman and John Gotti was President of a state political party), it makes Clinton seem like a man of virtue."
Yet another argument for bringing back the Raj?
Posted at 03:15 PM
DAD MILESTONE [John Derbyshire]
I wasn't actually *too* devastated by the Yankees' loss yesterday because of something wonderful, wonderful, wonderful that happened earlier in the evening. If you have a low threshold of tolerance for parents gushing about their kids, you'd better stop reading right here. Wednesday evenings I take my sone Danny (aged 9) to a local outfit named "Fitness Through Boxing," run by a local amateur boxer, Rob Vanacore. it's a great place -- the boys get an hour of basic calisthenics mixed with boxing instruction. I've written it all up for my "Straggler" column in this week's NRODT, as it happens. Well, the last few months Danny's just been learning stuff -- working the bags, skipping rope, and so on. Last night, for the first time, he put on a sparring helmet and went in the ring one on one with an instructor. I simply can't tell you how thrilling it was to watch. The instructor is an ex-US Army boxer and European amateur champion (Jr. Middleweight), who also boxed professionally for a while. Big guy, fast and skillful. My son is 4'6" in his socks, and skinny like his Dad. He was game, though, chasing Tony round the ring, keeping up his guard, throwing all his punches, ducking and weaving. For a doting Dad, this was something to see. I only regret I didn't have a camera.
Posted at 03:14 PM
DEBUNKING MOORE [Dave Kopel]
A new college student activist website, Must Have Info, promotes campus screenings of the movie "Farenhype 9/11," which debunks the lies in "Farenheit 9/11." Among the people appearing in the "Farenhype" are Ed Koch, Zell Miller, and myself.
My written report "Fifty-nine Deceits in Fahrenheit 9/11" now has over one million page views. There is a 4-page summary in PDF which you can distribute for free. The 4-page summary is also available in Spanish, in Italian, and in Swedish. There is also a French version of the full-length report, covering deceits 1-33, and supplemented by many photographs and documents.
Posted at 03:08 PM
FLA. COURT REFUSES NEW SCHIAVOHEARING [KJL]
Posted at 03:05 PM
NEW NUMBERS IN NORTH CAROLINA [John Hood]
The John Locke Foundation just released our biannual Agenda poll for this year. The Agenda 2004 poll found Bush leading Kerry by eight points in North Carolina (48 percent to 40 percent), Richard Burr (43 percent) and Erskine Bowles (42 percent) neck-and-neck for U.S. Senate, and Democratic Gov. Mike Easley (49 percent) with a significant edge over Republican nominee Patrick Ballantine (34 percent). Another interesting bit from the poll is that we found the largest percentage of likely voters saying they are “extremely” likely to vote (it is part of our likely-voter screen) that we have ever found, at 85 percent. It usually stays around 65 to 70 percent in presidential years and 50 to 55 percent in non-presidential years.
Posted at 02:49 PM
NO BOSOX BOUNCE FOR KERRY [KJL]
Not likely, because he remains John Kerry. Consider the statement during his "hunting trip" today in Iowa. Kerry said he was having a hard time focusing because "I'm giddy about the Red Sox." How many baseball fans are describing themselves today as giddy? This can only cost Kerry votes among the regular guys he's trying to appeal to, and it won't get any better because this is the real Kerry and he can't help himself.
Posted at 02:40 PM
SANDY PANTS [Cliff May]
Jonah, you’re probably right about Lanny Davis. When it comes to damage limitation he’s the master.
And it appears that in this instance he took what should have been a major controversy and swept it under the rug, where it will stay for at least the next two weeks.
Posted at 02:38 PM
MY HOMELAND [John J. Miller]
I suppose there's more than one reason to say "Go Blue!" I seriously doubt Michigan will vote Bush, apart from the obvious reason that the state is trending Democrat: 1) Polls I've seen suggest that the second choice of an awful lot of Nader voters is Bush, to the point where his presence in the race this year may be more of a wash than people realize; 2) Four years ago, conservatives pushing a school-choice initiative in Michigan got their clocks cleaned; maybe the gay-marriage proposal will actually pass, but even if it does I'm far from convinced that conservative ballot measures in Michigan actually boost conservative turnout; 3) Several years ago, the auto unions negotiated Election Day as a paid holiday. Gore benefitted from this and so will Kerry.
Posted at 01:16 PM
ANOTHER REMINDER [Jonah Goldberg]
I'll be at Wabash college on the 27th.
Posted at 01:02 PM
ON THE OTHER HAND [Jonah Goldberg]
From another reader:
Posted at 01:00 PM
"NOT GONNA HAPPEN" [Jonah Goldberg]
From a Michigan Reader:
Not gonna happen. I have resigned myself to living in a solid blue state. I will do my part to help with the national popular vote-count, but most people (sadly) in this state think that the President's job is to make manufacturing companies stay in Michigan and bend over for the unions.
Posted at 12:54 PM
BUSH MOVES AHEAD IN MICHIGAN [Jonah Goldberg ]
According to a Detroit News poll. I kind of doubt Bush will take Michigan, but it's nice to hear.
Posted at 12:35 PM
YES, YES [KJL]
Boston freebie slots filled. But you can still subscribe yourself...
Posted at 12:06 PM
GOOD QUESTION [Jonah Goldberg]
Cliff. And, for the record, I am largely convinced that Lanny Davis was the one who leaked the story in advance of the 9/11 Report. The fact that he refused to deny it and that the story was broken by his favorite leak recipient said it all.
Posted at 11:49 AM
JOG MY MEMORY [Cliff May]
Does anyone know why we’ve never heard more about Sandy Berger and the documents he stuffed in his pants? Is that story dead?
Posted at 11:45 AM
REMINDER [Jonah Goldberg]
I'll be speaking at Dickinson College in PA on Monday night.
Posted at 11:43 AM
TEXAS VS. MASSACUSETTS [Cliff May]
If the Astros win tonight and compete against the Red Sox in the World Series, isn’t it inevitably going to be viewed that way?
Posted at 11:31 AM
Rumors: Kerry has evidently been driven away from that event at St. Catherine's in St. Paul tonight. (The diocese had to back down because of complaints, perhaps.) He might be doing something in Florida over the weekend, I've heard. (A shocking thought: Kerry speaking at a church pulpit? Imagine!)
Posted at 11:30 AM
RE: HILLEN THING [KJL]
You must live in Boston now (I'm responding to emails here).
Posted at 11:05 AM
SPREADING YANKEE CHEER ANYWAY [KJL]
Just talked to broken-hearted John Hillen... He says, he is determined to "spread the NR gospel anyway" despite the Red Sox win. The first 10 Bostonians (or Mass native) to email me will get a free sub gratis via John Hillen. He's giving one for every run they scored last night.
Posted at 10:59 AM
RE: KERRY A RED SOCK [Jonah Goldberg]
I don't know how a Red Socks victory helps Kerry. New Jersey has a lot of Yankees fans. New England -- including tied New Hampshire -- has a lot of Sox fans. Ticking off Yankees fans and improving the social contentment of New Englanders doesn't seem like a huge boost for Kerry. Though in general I agree that all of this is silly to take seriously.
Posted at 10:56 AM
THE YANKEES AT LEAST HAVE CLASS [John Derbyshire]
A comforting, and very true, point from -- who else? -- a *.mil reader: "Derb---I am not a Yankees fan - I despise the arrogance of the organization and the way they go out every year and simply purchase the best team money can buy. With the kind of money they throw around, they should win the World Series every year. "That being said, I do like the fact that the Yankees maintain certain basic requirements in the area of personal appearance. When they acquired Jason Giambi, the first thing they did was make him cut his hair. "Watching the Yankees-Red Sox series, I was struck by how trashy the Sox looked compared to their opponents. The Yankees looked like professionals and role models. The Red Sox looked like a group of homeless men who had been rounded up and paid with crack rocks to play ball. Red Sox players who didn't look like they needed to be dipped in a flea bath were the exception, not the rule. "So at least on that front, I tip my cap to the Yankees and hope that other teams will also adopt their standards in this area. "And Go Cardinals (or Astros) in the Blue State vs. Red State rumble in the World Series!" Right on, Sir! To precis your point (if you don't mind): The Yankees are a class act; the Bosox are a rabble. But we always knew that...
Posted at 10:52 AM
I'M A JERK PLUS.... [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
“Nevertheless, I do hope the Red Sox lose in the World Series. There aren't many curses left in modern society most people still believe in. We've sanitized the culture of such mysticisms.”
Posted at 10:50 AM
THE HEADSCARF MENACE [John J. Miller]
A while back, France passed a law forbidding students from wearing conspicuous religious symbols to school. It was essentially an attempt to get Muslim girls to quit putting on headscarves, though the law also applies to large crucifixes and yarmulkes. This is fundamentally misguided: If France wants to solve its Muslim problem, it should begin by looking at its immigration policies rather than the dress habits of 12-year-old girls. Anyway, the law is now actually taking effect: So far this week, the French have kicked five girls out of school for violations of the country's holy secularism. More expulsions are on the way, and they're also likely to affect turban-wearing Sikh boys. I've been writing about it and linking to articles from the news page at oldestenemy.com.
Posted at 10:43 AM
KERRY A RED SOCK? [Rick Brookhiser]
In any sensible reckoning, the October classic and the November election have nothing to do with each other. But I wouldn't be surprised if Frank Rich, or Maureen Dowd, or both, spin Boston's pennent as a Kerry victory.
Posted at 10:40 AM
AT LAST [Shannen W. Coffin]
It's not just that the Red Sox finally overcame the most storied franchise in baseball history. It's not just that they stood down the team that humiliated them in Game 7 last year (with me and my brother Jamie in the upper deck at the Stadium ducking insults and a few batteries), that steamrollered them in the 1999 ALCS, that brings back memories of Bucky Dent every time this year. It's not even that they may have the chance to put the Curse of the Bambino (which doesn't exist) to rest forever. It's that they subjected the Yankees to the most humiliating defeat in major league history. The Bronx Bombers collapsed like nothing ever seen in sport. It was baseball's version of Kevin Costner in "Tin Cup." As one reader appropriately observed, it was a "spectacular flameout of Howard Dean proportions." You can imagine Steinbrenner making "the scream" look like child's play, can't you? Sorry, Rich and K-Lo, but once again, "all is right with my world." Anyone want to help an NRO contributor out with World Series tickets?
Posted at 10:39 AM
THE NEVER-ENDING STORY [Jonah Goldberg]
I've got to get work on my syndicated column, but I'll be saving this piece for my thick liberal wishful-thinking file. Mark Schmitt, who was supposed to write a regular column about the intellectual roots of liberalism (prompted by some Corner comments by yours truly) but never managed to follow-through, has written a nearly giddy obituary of conservatism based upon four sets of tea-leaves: Robert George's cover story in the New Republic; Marshall Wittman's latest volte-face for the DLC; Benjamin Wallace-Wells' Schmittian obit; and -- get this -- the blog-quarrels between Andrew Sullivan and Dan Drezner.
Is it me or is this is a bit like tracking the internal Communist party struggles in Bulgaria in 1959 and concluding that they spell the doom of the Soviets in Moscow?
I think Schmitt makes some perfectly fine points (and some real howlers) and I respect all of these guys (though I don't know anything about Wallace-Wells save that the article in question was underwhelming). But the title of the article -- American Conservatism, RIP -- reminds me of Lionel Hutz's declaration "Mr. Simpson, this is the most blatant case of fraudulent advertising since my suit against the film "The Neverending Story." Though since liberals like Schmitt have been writing this sort of piece for forty years, it really is a neverending story.
Posted at 10:24 AM
PLEASE MAKE IT STOP [John Derbyshire]
Election fatigue definitely set in early this time around. Just picked up the 10/25 issue of The New Republic. Cover story: "CONSCIENCE OF A CONSERVATIVE: WHY I CAN'T VOTE FOR GEORGE W. BUSH" by Robert A. George (mentioned last week in The Corner). Thought to myself: "Why would I want to read this? As opposed to getting started on the wiring in my attic (which I'm renovating), or taking Boris for walkies, or reading the fascinating biography of deeply weird 20th-century algebraist Alexander Grothendieck in the current Notices of the American Mathematical Society, or listening to another one of my Teaching Company lectures (Prof. Robert Solomon on "The Philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche" -- Prof. Solomon starts where every lecturer on Nietzsche *ought* to start: with the mustache), or back-washing my Water Pik? I don't think I'll be reading Robert's piece. I know I should; I just can't face it.
Posted at 10:13 AM
THE RED SOX CURSE [Jonah Goldberg]
This isn't sour grapes. I may technically be a Yankees "fan" but it's only out of vestigial loyalty sort of like the way Madonna is still a "Catholic."
Nevertheless, I do hope the Red Sox lose in the World Series. There aren't many curses left in modern society most people still believe in. We've sanitized the culture of such mysticisms. Or we've elevated them to quasi-religions deserving full respect under the rules of political correctness ("Oh? You're a Pagan? Isn't that wonderful! My hairdresser's a Druid!"). The BoSox curse is old but it's not weird. It's a comfortable bit of lore which adds drama to life. If it disappears the magic and mystery of life will be a teeny bit diminished. Except of course for Red Sox fans, who will be whistling dixie out of every orifice for a year. Depriving them of such joy seems worth the price.
Posted at 09:53 AM
RE: POP POLI SCI [John Derbyshire]
A reader who is teaching in China: "One of the things I find particularly distressing is how the careless and hateful rhetoric of Democrats and the media have been swallowed hook, line, and sinker by the Chinese, who receive it via (God help us!) the BBC. Bush evil. Bush stupid. That's what my students believe; the dismissive tone of their voices, when they mention President Bush's name, speaks more than any words can. Democrats and the media are so insular, that they do not begin to conceive of the impact of their propaganda and how that shapes the way the rest of the world views us. What has poisoned the perception of the U.S. abroad is not the actions of GWB, but that of the Democrats and the media who noised abroad their disdain and lack of support for Dubya, all for political gain. Had the Democrats and media done what was right, the U.S. would be in different odor around the globe."
Posted at 09:46 AM
PLANE HOLES [John J. Miller]
This is fishy: Holes punctured in two passenger planes. An FBI agent "would not describe the nature of the damage, but said it was highly unlikely to have been caused by normal wear and tear."
Posted at 09:42 AM
MY BAD [Andy McCarthy]
My post yesterday unfairly maligned the Kerry campaign for marring the baseball playoffs with stump speeches. I'm informed that this was Fox's brilliant idea and that both candidates have been involved. Obviously, my post was more an attempt at humor than anything else, but I do apologize for assuming the worst from the Senator's campaign. However, I stand by the reference to cutting to a Viagra commercial as that, er, medication appeared to be the permanent background ad at Yankee Stadium last night.
Posted at 08:51 AM
ABORTION RATES ON THE RISE UNDER BUSH? [KJL ]
Andrew Sullivan links this morning to a piece from Sojourners that is making the rounds from a doctor essentially making the you-can-be-pro-life and pro-Kerry case. His numbers, claiming that Bush policies have increased abortion rates, don’t work. The National Right to Life Committee deconstructs his piece (and pro-life creds) here.
Posted at 08:47 AM
THE LONG DARK SECOND INNING OF THE SOUL [John Derbyshire]
Pain... Grief... Humiliation...
Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio? Bucky Dent?......
Posted at 08:39 AM
PERCENTAGE OF OLDER BLACK CONSERVATIVES DOUBLES [Jonah Goldberg]
That's the silver-lining on an otherwise not too cheery survey. Why? Because younger blacks are becoming more Democratic.
Posted at 08:25 AM
DANA REEVES [KJL]
(Christopher Reeve's widow) will be endorsing Kerry on the trail today, I'm hearing on NBC. I suspect they'll be smart enough to keep the snake-oil salesman (Edwards) away. The message, sadly, may not be all that difference--of the false-hopes variety.
Posted at 07:06 AM
how about them Astros?
Posted at 05:35 AM
AMAZONIA [John J. Miller]
Another open-minded liberal offers an Amazon.com "customer review" of Our Oldest Enemy: A History of America's Disastrous Relationship with France. The headline: "I haven't read this juvenile book, and for a good reason." From the body: "This is the sort of thing you would expect from someone who works for the 'National Reveiw' [sic]--high volume, low intellect, my way or the highway style arguments that leave no reason for any nuance or context." Ah yes, but will you at least give us a tiny bit of credit for the fact the NR's book reviewers actually read the books they write about before they turn up the volume and turn down the intellect?
Posted at 05:32 AM
CONGRATS TO THE BOSOX [Rich Lowry]
The best team won.
Posted at 12:03 AM
Wednesday, October 20, 2004
BIN LADEN [KJL>A]
some video and audio here.
Posted at 11:28 PM
CHENEY'S FLU SHOT [KJL]
I'm glad someone in the line of succession got one.
Posted at 08:42 PM
MORE PROOF THAT PRO-LIFE STAND IS BIG NET VOTE PLUS FOR BUSH [Jack Fowler]
Posted at 07:08 PM
ZARQAWI? LET ME THINK... [KJL]
Steve Hayes has a disturbing report on Kerry's likely pick for Condi Rice's job and her knowledge of this war we're in.
Posted at 07:00 PM
REVOLUTIONARY CASUALTIES [Rick Brookhiser]
Of course there were fewer American battlefield casualties in the whole American Revolution than in the Battle of Antietam. But America was a much smaller country in 1780 than it was in 1862. If you ask what percentage of Americans, and what percentage of Americans in arms, were killed or injured, the American Revolution was quite deadly enough.
By the second measure, I believe the Mexican War was the deadliest we ever fought.
Posted at 06:14 PM
MICHAEL MOORE ON KERRY [Rich Lowry]
“There's a reason that they're saying Kerry is the No. 1 liberal in the Senate. It's because he is the No. 1 liberal in the Senate."
Posted at 05:50 PM
IS EDWARDS UNAWARE OF HIS CAMPAIGN'S POSITION ON SNOWMOBILES? [Rich Lowry]
From St. Paul Pioneer Press, reporting on Edwards appearance in Minnesota: "'It is so important that we preserve our rural way of life, it's part of who I am, part of what I'll always be,' said Edwards, a U.S. senator from North Carolina. 'And that includes, making sure ...that your right, your ability to hunt and fish is protected; making sure that you can go in the national parks and national forests and ride on a snowmobile.'"
Posted at 05:49 PM
WILL WIN. WILL DELIVER. [KJL]
John Hillen reiterates: "NR Digital goes for $19.95 for a year’s subscription. That’s what I’m signing up for. I’ll pay for 26 Boston area subscribers to get NR Digital for a year if the Yanks take it. $520."
Posted at 05:42 PM
NO SANCTUARY [Andy McCarthy]
Just turned on the tube to watch Cardinals/Astros, Game 6. But who instead should appear on my screen? KERRY, reading a stump speech about what he'll do as president. Campaign obviously did an ad buy for the ballgame -- infuriating. Here's how POTUS can close the deal: buy 15 seconds, not 90, during Game 7 tonight, and simply say: "As your president, I never have and never will invade the sanctity of the playoffs with lame-o political stump speeches. Now back to our regular sponsors." [Then cut to Bob Dole and Viagra]."
Posted at 05:30 PM
RE: PARENTS SAY THE DARNEDEST THINGS [Mark Krikorian]
Boy, I seem to have struck a nerve in asking for phrases that can only be uttered by people with kids. Some of the submissions: "Stop licking the remote control"
"Don' t lick the toilet!"
"No licking each other!"
"Wipe your OWN bottom"
"Why is there a pair of underwear on the ceiling fan?"
"No, Ella, that's not my brain, that's a bald spot."
Then there's the sub-genre of nose-related comments:
"Sweetie, we don't drink through the nose."
"Come here so I can clean out your nose!"
"Why did you stick that up your nose?"
"Give me that booger"
"Don't put noodles in your brother's nose"
"Take the rock out of your nose!"
And another about pets: "Don't throw the cat"
"Where are the rest of the cat's whiskers?"
"Get out of the catbox!"
"We don't put cheese on the cat."
"No licking the dog."
"Okay, who spray-painted the dog?"
"Get the frog out of the toilet."
And last but not least: "That is why we don't staple packets of hot sauce."
Posted at 05:25 PM
HOW STUPID CARTER IS--QUANTIFIED [Mac Owens]
Re my post on Carter’s claim that the revolution was an “Unnecessary war,” I received this e-mail:
Dear Mr. Owens
Posted at 05:21 PM
CH-A-A-ARGE! [John Derbyshire]
Every *true* Yankee fan knows that the lads have 100 percent control of the situation. They're just working up a little excitement for us, that's all.
O ye of little faith!
Posted at 05:11 PM
STAY AT HOME MOMS--THIS IS FOR YOU [Rich Lowry]
Karen Hughes on the THK apology, from CNN today:
JUDY WOODRUFF: “Karen Hughes, just quickly, it's my understanding that today Teresa Heinz Kerry issued a statement saying that she had forgotten that Mrs. Bush had worked as a teacher and a librarian, and she said there's no more important job than teaching children. Do you accept—does your campaign accept this apology?” KAREN HUGHES: “Well, I think it's very nice that she apologized, but in some ways the apology almost made the comment worse, because she seems to have forgotten that being a mother is a real job. Again, I think her comment threw an inappropriate wedge between women who choose to work at home and women who choose to work outside the home. I think most women--and most men--would be offended by that, because most women want to be able to choose to do what's right for them, whether it's to stay with their families and work at home or to work outside the home pursuing a career.”
Posted at 05:00 PM
KATHRYN, [Rich Lowry]
To belatedly answer your baseball question from earlier, “I don't know.” What A-Rod did last night for a moment seemed like it would be the greatest example of, ahem, “heads up” Yankee base-running since Reggie Jackson's hip back in one of those Yankees-Dodgers match-ups in the the 1970's. But I'm glad the umps got the call right. I give credit to the Red Sox--they are a dangerous and gutsy team. It may turn out that they got hot at the exact right moment, i.e. the end of the series rather than the start. On the other hand, you have the momentum up to the moment you don't. I'm pretty sick of watching Ruben Sierra and Tony Clark strike themselves out and without the 2-4 spots hitting, it's very tough, but I'll be rooting my heart out tonight for that hit or play or whatever that changes the feel of this series again--and not a moment too soon!
Posted at 04:58 PM
TERESA "APOLOGIZES" [KJL]
Still dissing stay-at-home moms.
Posted at 04:55 PM
EDMUND BURKE AGREES: THE YANKEES MUST WIN [KJL]
Iain Murray e-mails:
I think Edmund Burke would argue that, as it is traditional that the Red Sox lose, it is therefore right that the Red Sox lose.
Posted at 04:48 PM
PUT DOWN THE CRACK PIPE [Jonah Goldberg]
Dana Milbank told Howard Kurtz he isn't rooting for Kerry (nod to Andrew Sullivan):
KURTZ: But you're a reporter, do you want Kerry to win?
Posted at 04:41 PM
REASON'S PREZ POLL [Rod Dreher]
Spent an enjoyable lunch hour today perusing Reason magazine's poll of presidential picks by their libertarian and libertarian fellow-traveler panel. Lots of good comment here. My favorite -- and the one out of all the entries that comes closest to my own view -- came from Louis Rossetto, the co-founder of Wired, who wrote: 2004 vote: Bush may be wrong about everything else, but he is right about the issue that matters most for my children's future: stopping Islamic fascism. And Manchurian candidate Kerry and the Copperheads, er, Democrats, are just a joke, preferring to act as though this probably generation-spanning war is about politics, not the survival of the West. Rossetto goes on to say that he's never voted for president before, but feels that there's too much at stake now to sit this election out, because "the alternative of not voting and allowing a billionaire currency speculator like George Soros to pick the next U.S. president is too dire to contemplate."
Posted at 04:28 PM
OIL FOR FOOD APATHY [Tim Graham]
For anyone who wants to quibble with the notion that the media favor Kerry, consider this: Since January 1, 2004, here are the number of morning and evening news stories and interview segments the networks have devoted to uncovering the growing United Nations Oil for Food program bribery scandal: four. NBC aired three: a January 15 report by Myers, a July 20 report from Andrea Mitchell, and a Myers story on October 6, when the Duelfer report came out detailing the scam. ABC aired only one this year: from investigative reporter Brian Ross on April 21, the day the UN announced its own internal probe into the scandal. But we found CBS has not aired a single story on the scandal, even when using a list of different search terms in the Nexis search engine trying to find one. Maybe they were hip-deep in phony documents. Why isn't this a major scandal for the major networks? Despite the nine ongoing probes, the networks would rather chase anti-Bush angles. ABC, CBS, and NBC have combined for more than 75 stories on George W. Bush's National Guard Service, more than 50 stories on "skyrocketing" gasoline prices, and hundreds on prison abuse at Abu Ghraib. All year, Kerry has touted a greater UN and European role in Iraq. Now, those players look like what liberals called "the coalition of the bribed." And the anchormen are keeping quiet. More on the media apathy here.
Posted at 04:27 PM
RE: SPEAKING OF THE TIMES [Jonah Goldberg]
I'm getting lots of email like this regarding the editorial from the Times:
How is this scaremongering? For those of us who have to deal with some of these issues, it seems like a very real threat. Gay men have been thrown in jail before for having sex in their own homes; you don't think it could happen again? You don't believe there is the very real possibility that there could be more and more legislation against homosexual activity and that that legislation wouldn't be upheld by a Supreme Court filled with Scalias and Thomases? I'm sure there are conservatives out there who would like nothing more than to see homosexuals legislated right out of existance.
ME: I'm sorry but so much of this is nonsense. No I don't think there's anything like a real possibility there will be stricter laws against homosexual activity. The fallback position of countless conservative and Republican politicians today is to permit civil unions. According to this paranoid imagining the political climate would have to switch to the point where consensual gay acts in the privacy of your own home would be outlawed. As amusing as I would fine a spoof where the guys from NYPD Blue bust down the doors of Will and Grace and arrest Will and his cop boyfriend, I don't think that passes the smell test of plausibility.
Most of the commentary among conservatives who opposed the Supreme Court ruling on sodomy -- and that hardly represented a huge majority of conservative commentary -- was that sodomy laws were constitutional but that they were also bad policy. Even Clarence Thomas said he would vote against such laws if he were a legislator. Most states had long since dropped their sodomy laws and no states were considering new ones. Any new sodomy laws would A) be very hard to pass and B) would probably receive stricter scrutiny from the courts than old laws which had the advantage of already being on the books.
Posted at 04:11 PM
Since when is Pat Robertson someone that CNN considers a sound source? Since he claims the president told him there would be no casualties in Iraq.
Posted at 04:11 PM
FINAL STRETCH [Kate O'Beirne]
Just spoke to a senior GOP strategist who used the phrase "coming home" to explain what's happening in some of the battleground states. E.g. Ohio is "coming home" to Republicans - although "it's not as cozy as it used to be." So too, is Nevada. The thinking is that Minnesota is "coming home" to the Democrats. The most promising blue state pick-ups are Iowa, Wisconsin and New Mexico. There is still a Pennsylvania possibility for the GOP, thus the President's visit. The keystone state is thought to be a true swing state - it breaks late and breaks decisively. This Republican thinks that this year "change" is seen as "risk" in voters' minds.
Posted at 04:07 PM
MARY CHENEY [John Derbyshire]
The idea that Kerry mentioned Ms. Cheney deliberately, in the hope of peeling off some votes from the un-compassionate conservative bloc, does not seem to have found much favor.
It seems to me entirely plausible, though. By the third debate, it was late in the campaign, and any big-issue voter has made up his mind. If you think abortion is murder, you're not going to vote for John Kerry; if you think US forces should operate abroad only under daily orders signed by the UN Security Council, you won't be voting for Bush. We are down to secondary appeals -- peeling off groups of "undecided" (i.e. not-very-attentive, no-big-issue) voters. How do you do that? Say something that catches their attention.
A thing we are barely allowed to say out loud any more, but which comes out clearly in polls, is that huge numbers of Americans don't like the promotion, or even the open expression, of homosexuality. For example: Polled by Gallup in May 2003, 35 percent of persons responded "Not legal" to the question: "Do you think homosexual relations between consenting adults should or should not be legal?"
Now, 35 percent of the adult population would be 75.3 million. George W. Bush and Al Gore got about 50 million votes each in the 2000 election. Thus, the number of people who think homosexual acts should be *criminal* -- I'm not just talking about Derb-style tolerant disapproval here -- is almost certainly larger than the number of votes either candidate can hope to win on November 2nd!
Of course, that hypothetical 75.3 million are not going to decide who to vote for based on the candidates' positions on homosexuality. At any rate, very few of them are. The Gallup guy came along and asked them a question, so they gave him an answer; but I doubt this is something they think about much. Most of them will have other big issues in mind: the war, the economy, and so on.
Still, some small proportion of that hypothetical 75.3 million don't have a big issue in mind, don't have much of a clue who to vote for, and can presumably be influenced on a minor issue like this. "What? Cheney's daughter's a lesbian? Hmph! -- I though the Bush people were traditional values types..." A small proportion is worth a soundbite and some media grumbling. One percent of 75.3 million is 753,000 -- way more than the popular-vote margin in 2000.
Some voter segments are just too big to ignore. A politician has to cast his line where the fish are. Kerry has most of the homosexual vote; if he can peel off a few of those tens of millions of un-compassionate conservative votes as well, without alienating the homosexuals too much, he has done a clever thing.
The way the poll numbers are moving, it looks as though this didn't work. From Kerry's (or rather, I suppose, his advisers') point of view, though, it seems to me it was worth a try, from a calculating perspective.
Posted at 04:06 PM
RED, WHITE & CURT [Shannen W. Coffin]
Another reason to love Curt Schilling, in addition to his baseball prowess, philanthropy and love of country. An email from a reader:
Thought you might get a kick out of an exchange between Schilling and Dan Patrick on Patrick's radio show this morning (assuming you didn't hear it). Patrick asked Curt whether or not he thought ARod's mitt slap was bush-league and Schilling said, "No, it was Kerry-league." He seems to be no fan of ARod or Kerry. Just one more reason to love the guy.
Posted at 03:35 PM
SAUCE FOR THE GOOSE [Mark Krikorian]
There's much contorversy in Arizona over a ballot initiative, Proposition 200 , that would require proof of citizenship when registering to vote, proof of identity when actually voting, and proof of legal status when applying for government benefits (those benefits not mandated by federal law, like emergency room care). All the usual suspects are against it, including big business, big labor, and big religion, along with the Democratic governor, "Republican" John McCain, and of course, The Wall Street Journal. So imagine my surprise when I read in yesterday's Arizona Republic that Mexico has had these very requirements in law for many years. In the words of a spokesman for the Mexican agency that oversees immigration, "Every agency has its own regulations, but generally, that's the rule. To receive these government services, you have to prove you are in the country legally."
Posted at 03:32 PM
THE PROOF IS IN THE BOMBING [Mark Krikorian]
The new head of Mexico's Federales seems to think that the U.S. is inordinately concerned with terrorists sneaking across the border. "There haven't been proven links to al-Qaida," he said Monday of recent terrorist scares south of the border. What kind of proof does he want? We've broken up at least two organized rings, including corrupt Mexican officials, which had smuggled Middle Eastern illegals across the border, including one prominent Hezbollah official indicted in Michigan. Though Mexico is certainly cooperating with us, the security of our territory is not something we can contract out to foreigners, an idea implicit in calls for an increasingly open southern border.
Posted at 03:31 PM
NO-GO AREAS -- IT'S NOT JUST FALLUJAH [John Derbyshire]
A week or so ago I posted an item about no-go areas in France, apparently areas populated by Muslim immigrants. Here is some related news from Scandinavia.
Posted at 03:30 PM
CARDINAL NEWMAN VS. ST. CATHERINE [KJL]
"The College of St. Catherine [which is hosting John Kerry's "faith" speech tomorrow night] is willing to compromise its Catholic mission simply to host an event that has nothing to do with academics and everything to do with politics," says Patrick Reilly, head of the Cardinal Newman Society.
Posted at 03:14 PM
THIS TIME I KNOW OUR SIDE WILL WIN [Mark Krikorian]
The Heritage Foundation has made its first sustained foray into immigration policy with a Backgrounder by Ed Meese and Matt Spalding released yesterday -- and the cause of America has been advanced significantly. It's a preliminary effort, articulating basic principles and offering a few concrete recommendations, but all are sound and include specifics that explicitly reject positions promoted by the open-borders faction of the GOP. This is a welcome development, since Heritage has long been conflicted with regard to immigration. There have always been supporters of sound immigration policy within the think tank -- most notably welfare expert Robert Rector -- but disagreement among its staff, board, and funders had long led it to decide, as my grad school advisor would have put it, "when in doubt, fall on the ball." Heritage's new willingness to critique a broken immigration policy represents an important step toward a new intellectual consensus for reform.
Posted at 03:00 PM
PARENTS SAY THE DARNEDEST THINGS [Mark Krikorian]
Around the campfire at a recent Cub Scout overnight outing we parents started discussing sentences that childless people would never utter. Some examples: "Get your hand out of the soup!" and "No! Not on the ceiling!" Has anyone compiled a list of such phrases, strings of words that could be generated only in the presence of children?
Posted at 02:58 PM
GREAT AD UNDERFUNDED [Kate O'Beirne]
In contrast with "Ashley's Story," the largest ad buy of this expensive campaign season, check out the Club for Growth's latest ad by David Zucker, a Hollywood director who was "mugged by 9/11." If only "Steve's Story," a funny effective ad, had $14 million behind it!
Posted at 01:43 PM
STUFFY? [John J. Miller]
Another fun-lovin' Amazon.com customer review of Our Oldest Enemy: A History of America's Disastrous Relationship with France:
"I don't think Miller's book will do much to enhance the reputation of its authors beyond the stuffy, francophobic confines of the National Review where resent-driven, talentless intellectual wannabes receive payment to champion the ideologies of their masters."
That's really unfair. I can deal with "francophobic" and "resent-driven" and "talentless" and so on. But no magazine that's done yeoman's work promoting the notion that the French are "cheese-eating surrender monkeys" deserves to be called "stuffy."
Posted at 01:41 PM
GAY MARRIAGE MAY UNDO DASCHLE--AND KERRY? [KJL]
Maggie Gallagher reports on the South Dakota race. View the anti-Daschle pro-marriage ads running in South Dakota here.
Posted at 01:28 PM
RE: TRANSITION TEAM [Tim Graham]
K-Lo, last time around, the Bush team was set up on November 26, and the anchors dismissed that as too preliminary. Reported Peter Jennings after Bush's speech: "If by chance, you joined us late, you may not know that the Secretary of State in Florida today certified the election results for that state, even though in some respects they were not fully complete. Palm Beach County, one of the most contested counties in the state, did not fulfill or did not finish its complete count on time, and so the Secretary of State chose the election numbers from November the 14th, the time she tried to certify the election once before. So though Governor Bush quotes Thomas Jefferson and says every difference of opinion is not necessarily a difference of principle, names a transition team led by Dick Cheney, names Andy Card to be a chief of staff and says he wants to open a transition office and work with President Clinton, this is certainly not over..."
Dan Rather opened the November 27 CBS Evening News by giving equal weight to the claims of both candidates, though only Bush was certified the winner the night before: "The battle moved into a new phase today. Believing he is now President-elect, and claiming to be, Texas Governor George Bush kicked his transition team into high gear. But Vice President Al Gore said, not so fast. He is challenging the election on the basis that there are thousands of votes that have never been counted and he will address the nation this evening to explain why he is in the courts to contest the certification."
Posted at 01:14 PM
POP POLI SCI [John Derbyshire]
I gave a talk yesterday to a room full of visitors from China -- media types, journalists, etc. It went well -- surprisingly well, considering that I was rather rude about the Chinese govt. Anyway, I gave them a sketch of the conservative scene & conservative media in the US, and some of the things they might expect to read about China in our conservative magazines & newspapers.
Afterwards one of the Chinese people came up to me and said something like this: "I note you didn't say much about the neo-cons. They are the real problem, you know. These Jewish neo-cons are using Bush on behalf of Israel. They will bring America to destruction."
Now, I have good friends -- no names, no pack drill -- who hold some similar, though more sophisticated theory, and have expressed it in writing & blogging. It's worth remembering how ideas get pared down and simplified when they spread out to the general public, here and abroad. There are now probably a couple of billion people world-wide who believe in the Great Jewish Neo-Con Conspiracy to Hijack US Foreign Policy, in the crudely antisemitic form that this Chinese gentleman (professional, well-educated) presented it to me.
Posted at 01:06 PM
DO UNDECIDEDS BREAK FOR THE CHALLENGER? [John Derbyshire]
I bet they do. It's the Muggeridge factor. The late British opinion journalist Malcolm Muggeridge once said that in a general election, he always voted against the incumbent party. His reasoning was that in an electoral democracy, the only real power a citizen has is the power to throw out the govt, so you might as well use that power on the rare occasions it's in your hands.
There are, of course, all sorts of logical problems hidden in there. It's rather an appealing line of thought, though, and I bet a lot of the more cynical kind of voters act on the Muggeridge principle. Heck, I've been tempted myself...
Posted at 01:04 PM
"I DON'T KNOW THAT SHE'S EVER HAD A REAL JOB--I MEAN, SINCE SHE'S BEEN A GROWN-UP" [KJL]
Teresa disses Laura Bush, and stay-at-home moms throughout the country. (Nevermind that she did work outside the home as a teacher and librarian. Not real jobs to a NE elitist?)
Posted at 01:02 PM
LAWN-SIGN CHAOS [KJL]
"Pennsylvania Democrats have threatened to spread itching powder on signs to keep the opposition at bay, and an Illinois family last week covered their yard sign with petroleum jelly to repel thieves."
Posted at 12:51 PM
JOHN HILLEN--HERO! [KJL]
Posted at 12:49 PM
RE: HOW FAR WOULD I GO FOR NR SUBSCRIPTIONS? WOULD I SELL THE PINSTRIPES? [John Hillen]
Challenges, schmallenges. I will gift 26 NR (Digital) subscriptions to Boston area subscribers if the Yankees win tonight to make up for the heart-ache.
Posted at 12:48 PM
WHITHER THE UNDECIDEDS (CONT.) [Jonathan H. Adler]
More discussion of whether undecidedd really break for the challenger here. The bottom line: One month out, there's no clear trend for challengers, but one week out it appears there is.
Posted at 12:43 PM
ON THE ROAD [Jonathan H. Adler]
I'll be on a panel discussing "Bush and Kerry on Environmental Policy" at 4:30 this afternoon at Princeton Unviersity in the Friend Center Auditorium (assuming my plane is on time), and I'll be speaking on a similar panel at Capital University Law School in Columbus, Ohio on Friday at noon.
Posted at 12:39 PM
WHO'S FAIR & BALANCED? [Jonathan H. Adler]
The Center for Media and Public Affairs latest assessment of network campaign coverage is out. The findings? The major networks all tilt anti-Bush in their coverage, but ABC is the worst. From Sept. 7 to Oct. 1, the networks cave positive coverage of John Kerry 38 percent of the time, but positive coverage of Bush only 29 percent of the time. ABC's pro-Bush coverage was the lowest at 20 percent. CMPA finds Fox's "Special Report" tilts a little toward Bush, but is more balanced in its coverage than the networks.
Posted at 12:24 PM
THE KIDS WANT BUSH [KJL]
Really, is there a better judge of character? They have the highest BS detectors out there?
Posted at 12:23 PM
THE NEW KRUGMAN STANDARD [Jonathan H. Adler]
If Bush makes an accusation against Senator Kerry, based on Kerry's record, that the Senator explicitly disputes, it's a lie. But if Senator makes a charge, based on speculation, that Bush explicitly disputes, it's candor.
Posted at 12:19 PM
HOW FAR WOULD I GO FOR NR SUBSCRIPTIONS? WOULD I SELL THE PINSTRIPES? [KJL]
Its been extremely heartening to see some pro-Red Sox sentiment on The Corner. I've always felt a little unwelcome there during Sox-Yankees matchups. I'm challenging 26 Red Sox fans/NROniks to subscribe to NR Digital if the Sox win tonight (that's one for each World Championship the Yankees have won since 1918). I'll be the first. If the Sox do the unthinkable and win the World Series, I challenge them to purchase 86 subscriptions (one for each year of agony since the last Sox championship).
Posted at 12:11 PM
BILL LOVES ME [KJL]
But does he love John? Well, he's making an effort. Just got an e-mail (me and the rest of the Kerry e-mail list) from Bill Clinton:
Posted at 12:08 PM
FROM THE SOX FAN [Shannen W. Coffin]
Bleary eyed and unable to sleep, I wrote my two cents about Curt Schilling's masterful performance in Game 6 last night. Click here. You'll note that notorious Yankee fan Kathryn Lopez, looking to put the hex on my carefully crafted make-no-predictions-for-game-seven piece, subtitled it "Victory, but a game away." Knowing that defeat is too, no self-respecting, superstitious Sox fan would ever say something so utterly reckless. Sneaky woman, that K-Lo. But seriously, folks, thanks to the Sox and Yankees, and Cardinals and Astros, for giving us a much needed (though very stressful) break from the angst of politics this October.
Posted at 12:05 PM
RICH, WHAT SAY YOU? [KJL]
Did A-Rod break the curse? Are we doomed? Can he be traded now?
Posted at 12:04 PM
GERAGHTY... [Rich Lowry]
...has interesting AP item about Kerry declaring victory even if the election is in doubt. (I wish the same tactic were available to me in this Bosox-Yankees series!)
Posted at 11:26 AM
OH LITTLE TOWN OF BELTWAYSVILLE [Liz Fisher, NRDC]
DC commuters found a treat this morning at the Capital South metro stop--carolers! Singing what else, but anti-Bush songs. Yes, this small group bravely weathered the cold and sang such catchy tunes as "Doctor...where is my FLUUUUUU SHOOOOT?" As I walked past I kept my head down but managed to catch a glimpse of their banner. The three words I caught were "Bush. Catastrophe. and Die!!" Compelling!
Posted at 11:04 AM
DAVID GARROW ON CLARENCE THOMAS [Roger Clegg]
David Garrow, author of among other books a Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of Martin Luther King Jr., reviews Ken Foskett’s new book, Judging Thomas: The Life and Times of Clarence Thomas, in the current issue of The New Republic. The review is favorable to the book and even more favorable to Thomas himself, and agrees forcefully with the justice that a black man has just as much right to be a conservative as anyone else (what a radical idea!).
Posted at 11:01 AM
SILLINESS FROM MOLLY IVINS [Roger Clegg]
Molly Ivins’s column yesterday snidely criticizes President Bush for, among other things, “choosing Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday to announce his administration would oppose affirmative action in the University of Michigan case ….” Not for the first time, Ivins is recycling a common line—Kerry has used it, too--but it is a silly one. Bush’s announcement on January 15, 2003 (King’s actual birthday, by the way, not the day on which Americans celebrated it that year) was driven by the fact that the administration’s Supreme Court brief had to be filed the next day, and of course that date was a result of Court rules, not the administration’s choice. Anyhow, what’s wrong with announcing on that day that student applicants should be judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin?
Posted at 10:57 AM
OOE AGITATORS [John J. Miller]
Over at Amazon.com, a few Francophiles are writing customer reviews that savage Our Oldest Enemy: A History of America's Disastrous Relationship with France. "Imbecile bilge," says one. "A piece of trash," says another. A third says my co-author and I "wish to provide comfort reading to all the French-bashing neocons."
Considering the sources, however, some of these criticisms actually read like inadvertent endorsements. In other words, people who are really upset that President Bush isn't submitting U.S. foreign policy to a "global test" graded by Jacques Chirac become absolutely hysterical when someone suggests that France isn't a tried-and-true friend of America. I can live with that. Anyway, most of the reviews of Our Oldest Enemy at Amazon are actually rather positive--and I'm grateful to those who have posted them.
Posted at 10:52 AM
HOW 'BOUT THEM SOX? [Mac Owens]
I was a reasonably good athlete when I was young. I actually played football in college. But I was TERRIBLE at baseball. As a sophomore in high school, I decided to give the game another try during a summer league in Oceanside, California. I remember being at the plate and not being able to see the ball at all as this hot-shot pitcher burned it across the plate. On the third pitch, I decided to swing, no matter what. I am pretty sure the ball hit the catcher’s mitt before I did so. Since I was so bad at it, I naturally concluded that the sport itself was the problem. I never followed it at all…until I came to New England 17 years ago.
Despite my best efforts, I have been sucked into the vortex of the Red Sox. Like everyone else up here, I now live and die with these guys (although lately, thank God for the Patriots). I was in Japan last year at this time. There I was, getting up at 4 AM to watch the ALCS. There’s nothing like watching baseball with commentary in Japanese. The Japanese commentators, of course, were focused on Matsui. At some point, I believe I was actually beginning to understand what they were saying. I know I was yelling at Grady Whateverhisnamewas when he didn’t pull Pedro after the seventh inning of the final game with the Sox leading. EVERONE, even baseball ignoramuses like me, know that Pedro is (was?) fabulous for 100 pitches and you yank him then
Anyway, I BELIEVE! As Lee Corso would say, “not so fast, my NRO/National Review New York friends!” This is the Sox’s year.
Posted at 10:43 AM
THE LAWYERS ARE COMING! THE LAWYERS ARE COMING! [KJL]
Jim Geraghty reports. Mark Levin warned us.
Posted at 09:27 AM
BUT SINCLAIR IS BAD? [Michael Graham]
Michael Moore wants to make illegal, undeclared contributions to the Kerry campaign by making copies of his Fahrenheit 9/11 video available for free. "We believe as many Americans as possible should see this film before the election, before they make up their minds," Moore said.
But for some reason, Moore & Co. don’t feel the same way about the “Stolen Honor” documentary. But threats from Democrats prevented its showing at a MOVIE THEATER last night in Pennsylvania.
Thus far, the media are allowing this blatant double standard (Kerry speech good, Bush speech bad) to continue unchallenged. If they do, it will yet another body blow to the notion of the press as a air and objective arbiter of national discourse. And can’t the knuckleheads in the media see that every time a show gets shut down, it makes it more likely that their next broadcast will be in danger?
Where is the ACLU when we need them? Oh, they’re busy trying to get terrorists back on the streets.
Posted at 09:24 AM
SPEAKING OF THE TIMES [Jonah Goldberg ]
Did you guys see this? From Monday's signed editorial by Adam Cohen. Talk about scaremongering:
Posted at 09:16 AM
FLASHBACK [Jonah Goldberg ]
It was almost exactly a year ago -- under similar circumstances -- that New York's hometown newspaper endorsed the Boston Red Sox. I don't think they've done it again this year. But I liked the column I wrote on it quite a bit. So here ya go.
Posted at 09:10 AM
PUMPKINS IN THE WASHPOST [KJL]
Our Fever Swamp Mom gets an Anne Applebaum mention today.
Posted at 09:06 AM
JIMMY [Jonah Goldberg]
Ha! I was going to make a point that it seems Carter actually already made. I was going to say "Well, that makes sense. Carter would love America to be more like Canada and if we hadn't fought the war, that's what we'd be today." But Lo and behold that excerpt on LGF actually shows that Carter made exactly that point. How on earth did a guy like Carter get elected president in the first place?
[That's Democracy for you Mr. Burns]
Posted at 09:03 AM
RE: THE REVOLUTION AS AN "UNNECESSARY WAR" [Mac Owens]
In addition to saying the Revolution was unnecessary, Jimmy Carter, the eminent historian and grammarian, also says that “more than any other war up until recently, [the Revolution] has been the most bloody war we’ve fought.” Hmm. I guess the Civil War and WWII weren’t wars for this idiot. To paraphrase Dwight Eisenhower, Jimmy Carter provides a new and surprising answer every day to the question: “how stupid can this man really be?”
Posted at 08:30 AM
SAVORING THE MOMENT [John J. Miller]
"If anybody can reverse its gagging, it's the Yankees, the team that usually has the past on its side," writes Tom Boswell in today's Washington Post. But wouldn't it be nice, he also says, to be able to ask this question of Yankees fans: "How does it feel to root for a team with the biggest payroll ever that has the biggest choke in the history of the game?"
Go Red Sox!
Posted at 08:23 AM
GEORGE BUSH WILL SET FIRE TO YOUR HOUSE.... [Jonah Goldberg]
Shoot your dog, eat your best cold fried chicken, jam your Xerox machine, grope your wife, give nukes to the Crips and the Bloods, raise taxes on the poor to 110%, give Margaret Cho a two hour nightly "comedy" special, replace vegetables with sand on all high school cafeteria menus and require that all women be handcuffed to their basement radiators until they breed the requisite 3 Aryan children this countries needs. If minority women can't churn out the good stuff, they stay handcuffed. And -- oh yeah -- he'll reinstitute the draft.
Why doesn't John Kerry say all of these things instead of merely saying Bush will bring back the draft? I mean whenever he's asked "Why are you saying this when the president has denied it categorically?" He responds, "Well, he also said there were weapons of mass destruction. He has no credibility."
Never mind the asinine cynicism involved in that Kerry also said he thought there were WMDs (don't make me go through the list of others who did as well). But if you aren't bound by evidence and the President's denials don't count, why not really cut loose with some scary scenarios. The president will require that all taco meat be replaced with blue cheese. A 500 foot nude statue of Helen Thomas will replace the Washington Monument -- that towering symbol of our phallocracy. Puppies will burn, kittens will fly, diapers will chafe -- all if George W. Bush is elected.
Posted at 07:48 AM
"AN UNNECESSARY WAR" [KJL]
Jimmy Carter, on the American Revolution.
Posted at 07:12 AM
PRAYING FOR THE CURSE [KJL]
You can feel the NYPost's pain. (Well, some of you.)
Posted at 07:06 AM
FRANCE AND THE TERRORISTS [John J. Miller]
The French continue to play footsie with Iraqi terrorists--ahem, "insurgents"--who are busy slaughtering civilians and killing American troops. Today in the New York Sun, Eli Lake reports that Egypt may announce today that it will hold an international conference on Iraq in November. His article includes this sentence:
"A spokesman for President Chirac last Tuesday said Mr. Chirac had told Mr. Mubarak that France was hoping to invite groups representing insurgents to the international conference and was seeking to revisit a possible timetable for when American troops would leave Iraq."
Think about it: The French want terrorists sitting across the table from Prime Minister Allawi. This is madness. Does anybody still doubt that France is Our Oldest Enemy?
Posted at 06:36 AM
MORE KERRY-SPECTER FODDER? [KJL]
Did you know that Arlen Specter has a campaign ad running where Michael J. Fox praises him (Fox, of course, has done the same for Kerry)?
Posted at 06:09 AM
IN OTHER SPORTS NEWS... [KJL]
More than you ever wanted to know about NASCAR and the election.
Posted at 12:05 AM
Tuesday, October 19, 2004
COMMUNISTS FOR KERRY [KJL]
Cubans working the phones...
Posted at 11:45 PM
WHY THE YANKS MUST WIN [KJL]
An e-mail, from a thinking Boston man:
If the Red Sox come from behind to win this series from the Yanks, after being down 3-0, just look out for the "Comeback Kerry" campaign to co-opt their success. And should the Red Sox win their World Series, and finally shed the curse, it would stand to be even worse. That would be a sickening spectacle for baseball.
Posted at 11:40 PM
SOME STRETCH [KJL]
Another e-mail: "You guys are missing the obvious potential in this entire Kerry/BoSox thing. Follow me for a moment: The World Series will be won sometime between 27-31 October; Less than a week before the election. IF the BoSox are able to reverse the curse, AND win the world series the folks in Mass will be absolutely nonfunctional for weeks afterward. If, in that melee we can still somehow get the Repubs there to get out and vote: Bush wins Mass; 12 electoral votes; HUGE coup! Think about it."
Posted at 11:16 PM
A TIGHT RACE WITH TED KENNEDY FOR THAT ONE [KJL ]
According to the Denver Post, in an interview with the paper, “Kerry said he had the best record in the Senate when it came to Catholic issues.”
Posted at 10:58 PM
THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO KERRY [KJL]
Rumor has it that JohnKerry has the go ahead from Archbishop Flynn (sigh) to give a speech on religion at St. Catherine's College in St. Paul on Thursday night.
Posted at 10:57 PM
POSTED WITHOUT APPROVAL [Jonah Goldberg]
I got this email in response to the column on Kerry and religion. Apparently any email I post must be one I approve of, so I figured I'd better add the above qualifier.
Anyway, from a reader:
Jonah the libertine Jew Goldberg is going to define how one professes Christianity, get real, how would you know the difference between a falsehood and a truth, you know as well as I do Bush is a fascist and doesn’t give a damn about Jew, Muslim or Christian Ideology, like you, he speaks for money Ideology.
Posted at 08:37 PM
CRACKED ME UP [Shannen W. Coffin]
From a reader : "Thank God that you post on the Corner - Lowry and Lopez have really ticked me off w/their Yankee crowing (Lowry is from DC - there is no way he can get the generational thing going on w/the Sox). But I am writing to reassure you that there are way more than 20 conservative Sox fans - w/in my family alone there are 22!!"
Posted at 07:44 PM
THE KURSE OF KERRY! [KJL]
Another e-mail: "Just remember Kerry has already made his choice, he wants the White House over anything the BoSox could do in the Series. I doubt the Red Sox winning will really help him. However, if they lose maybe Boston fans will remember he made the choice and said it out loud - The Kurse of the Kerry."
I'll stop now and go back to work.
Posted at 07:03 PM
RED STATES, RED SOX [John J. Miller]
K Lo: A Red Sox victory does not give Kerry momentum. Quite the contrary. You must understand that we who hail from the American heartland hate the Yankees. In fact, we love to hate the Yankees. October is normally "anybody but the Yankees" month for me. I think that most of my brethren from the flyover states would agree. Kerry is simply irrelevant in this equation. The red states are for the Red Sox. Or the Cardinals. Or the Astros. Anybody but the Yankees!
Posted at 07:01 PM
RE: BUMPER STICKERS [Rod Dreher]
Funny, but here in Bush Country, I'm seeing way more Kerry bumper stickers in my neighborhood close to downtown Dallas -- which says everything about my neighborhood, and nothing about the way this area's going to vote on Nov. 2. My five-year-old is the big Bush backer in our family. His mother and I are fretting over the conduct of the war and the outrageous spending under this administration, but The Boy is not going wobbly one bit. When the neighbors across the street put a Kerry sign in their front yard, he was aghast. "But we know them!" he said. "They're my friends!" The kid and I always say his morning prayers on the way to kindergarten, and today I heard him in the back seat saying, "Dear God, make President Bush win, and make good laws." So if John Kerry becomes president, I'm thinking we're going to have to deal with a crisis of faith in our house, and a good two or three years before the Santa Claus thing becomes an issue.
Posted at 06:58 PM
STERN WARNINGS FROM BOSTON [KJL]
Your messing with some bad mojo there, just put the keyboard down and step away. We love you and The Corner but God bless Shannen Coffin for posting on behalf of the BoSox and trying to counter act you, Lowry and the evil empire. You believe in the triumph of good over evil don't you?I'd say "Let the saner fans win," but, well, I've spent my fair share of time in the South Bronx.
Posted at 06:57 PM
OH MY [KJL]
As a New Englander who's voting for Bush, I got the SERIOUS creeps when I read your e-mail about the Sox winning and giving Kerry some momentum somehow. Look, just leave the Sox OUT of this election. Do not talk about them, do not write about them, do not think about them. Leave it alone. You are messing with some seriously bad stuff; I'm talking voodoo stuff, witch stuff. Do not mess around with this, especially not a week and a half before Halloween. You have no idea what sorts of jinxes or hexes you might cause. You don't know what goblins or spirits you might unleash.
Posted at 06:46 PM
"A KERRY PRESIDENCY WOULD NOT BE A SETBACK FOR OUR PRESENT WINNING STRATEGY; [KJL]
it would be an unmitigated disaster."
That, from Victor Davis Hanson, in the upcoming issue of National Review (Nov. 8--freakishly cover date). You know what to do.
Posted at 06:39 PM
NICE TRY [Shannen Coffin]
I see that K-Lo wishes to drive a wedge between me and the rest of my loyal band of at least 14 conservative Red Sox faithful out there. I can never, ever root for the Evil Empire. If a win tonight gives John "Manny Ortez" Kerry momentum, we just have to redouble our efforts. Unlike him, I'm not willing to trade one for the other. We can have both. This is America, *&%! it.
Posted at 06:38 PM
RE: NOT THE GREATEST GENERATION [Jonah Goldberg]
John - Do keep in mind that those daytime CNN viewer polls are horribly, horribly unscientific. Throughout the lead-up to the war when a majority of Americans were pro they were going very much the other way.
Posted at 06:36 PM
BUSH AT 51% IN WASHPOST TRACK [Rich Lowry]
Posted at 06:36 PM
RE: SCHILLING OF HOPE [KJL]
Shannen--If a Red Sox win meant some kind of weird Kerry momentum--New England pride or some nonsense, would you take the Yanks tonight?
Posted at 06:35 PM
I NEVER EVEN THOUGHT OF THAT [KJL]
An e-mailer: "While renewing my NRODT subscription, I also went to your advertiser www.flagw.com for magnetic 'W' decals that I can take with me or place inside the car when parking.
Such measures are strongly suggested if driving into San Francisco."
Posted at 06:29 PM
NOT THE GREATEST GENERATION [John Hillen]
Unbelievably, 70% of CNN viewers (on air, yesterday) support the Army unit in Iraq that refused to deliver supplies to front line troops due to the danger involved.
Almost every vet I know believes they should be court-martialed to the man (woman).
Posted at 06:10 PM
WIKIPEDIA PROBLEMS [KJL]
Posted at 05:47 PM
AH-NULD: FOR ABSTINENCE? [KJL]
He did say that he's offered to go to Ohio for W.(in the no-sex story, scroll down)...:
Schwarzenegger said the one state where he might campaign for Bush outside of California was Ohio, where he owns a gym and sponsors an annual body building competition.
Posted at 05:44 PM
SCHILLING OF HOPE [Shannen Coffin]
I was in Boston today on business. Weather damp, people tired, spirits high. I'm told David Ortiz has been canonized despite lacking certain of the other qualifications, having performed two of the requisite miracles in the last 48 hours. The Vatican has not confirmed this rumor, however. I am operating on about two cylinders after 10 1/2 hours of gutwrenching baseball. It's all been a wild ride. I continue to remain pessimistic for my beloved Sox because the euphoria associated with being wrong is much better than the despondency of being disappointed again. But Schilling's going tonight (weather permitting). Who's to say that he doesn't have a third miracle stuffed into his highly advertised Reebok hightops?
Posted at 05:37 PM
A BUMPER-STICKER THEORY [KJL]
An e-mail: "My wife and I have a theory about bumper stickers. The most common sticker (and they are VERY common everywhere you go - we live in NY and have traveled recently in MA, CT, NY, NJ and DE) are the support the troops ribbons. We have never seen any cars with these stickers who also sport Kerry stickers. Occasionally we see Bush stickers along with ribbons. We suspect that the ribbons are a stealth way to support the President and avoid dirty looks/hand gestures/vandalism. Now this may not be 100% but I suspect there is a heavy weighting for Bush."
Posted at 05:31 PM
THERE GOES THAT DARNED ACLU AD AGAIN [KJL]
Victoria Toensing has at the ACLU's annoying (and misleading) Patriot Act today.
Posted at 05:16 PM
HEY RICH [Jonah Goldberg ]
This guy calls me the David Ortiz of political punditry. Does that get me closer to a raise or a pink slip?
Posted at 05:12 PM
1-95 BUMPER-STICKER POLL [KJL]
A dear friend of mine and NR e-mails: "I just returned today from a week in D.C. As usual I ran my Interstate 95 bumper sticker poll......On the way down from Ct. to D.C. - not one (!!!) Kerry bumper sticker and 4 Bush/Cheney. Return trip today gave me 3 Kerry stickers (2 in N.J. and 1 in CT.) and 7 Bush/Cheney stickers. Of course we are much more animated - waving, flashing lights and the W sign to each other. Don't have any idea what any of this means!! "
Posted at 05:03 PM
BUSH UP IN OHIO [Jonah Goldberg ]
According to the latest Fox poll. Interestingly, if Nader gets on the ballot Bush drops two points and Kerry gains one.
Here's the opener:
Bush leads Kerry by a margin of 49 percent to 44 percent. Independent candidate Ralph Nader (search) is still trying to get on the ballot in Ohio, and when he is included in the vote he garners three percent, Bush 47 percent and Kerry 45 percent.
Note Stupid typo fixed
Posted at 05:01 PM
RE: WHERE'S AH-NULD [KJL]
A wag ads: "WOW - a Kennedy refuses to have sex!"
Posted at 04:56 PM
RE: WHERE'S AH-NULD [KJL]
He's not stumping for Bush because He wants his sex.
Posted at 04:54 PM
ELECTORAL COLLEGE [Jonah Goldberg ]
I've gotten some grief from readers who think I'm trying to pull a fast one with my electoral college count posted earlier. Not at all. I was merely using the polling data provided by the LA Times. If you move the mouse over a particular state it gives you their latest polling info. That's what I went with.
Several readers have suggested I use Realclearpolitics.com data instead.
Posted at 04:54 PM
RE: WHERE'S MCCURRY [Jonah Goldberg]
Rich - I don't know if this fits in, but Bob Novak's column this week said McCurry was the only senior advisor to say Kerry should apologize for the Mary Cheney thing. That in of itself isn't very interesting. But it could be a sign that McCurry is comfortable leaking to Novak which in turn would be a sign that McCurry is indeed on the outs inside the Kerry camp.
Of course, this is wild Kremlinology.
Posted at 04:48 PM
WHERE'S MCCURRY? [Rich Lowry]
Republicans are wondering why McCurry isn't out there on TV more. He's one of the more appealing spokesmen the campaign has. What's going on?
Posted at 04:43 PM
AH-NULD ON STEM CELLS [KJL]
His stem-cell move (no surprise at all) means, more than ever, Jay Nordlinger's plea that he get off his seat and campaign for Bush in the final days.
Posted at 04:26 PM
RE: PREDICTIONS [KJL]
(NRO peeps best communicate via The Corner, fyi. We're an open book.) Which stress-inducer you want to bet on first? Yanks and The Cursed or The Battle for Civilization (Bush vs. Kerry)?
Posted at 04:23 PM
OUR GUY CAN HUG! [Kate O'Beirne]
I, for one, am not encouraged that the pro-GOP outfit, Progress for America Voter Fund, is spending $14 million in battleground states on the "Ashley's Story" ad showing President Bush comforting a little girl who lost her mother on 9/11. Are the polls tight because too many people think Bush is unsympathetic to people who lost loved ones? It can't be an appeal to people who figure he's a nice enough guy, but might be in over his head. Seems to me it plays to the caricature of Bush as an unfeeling warmonger so beloved by Michael Moore Democrats. It's an awful lot of money to waste with so few days left and that Edwards's primping ad unmade.
Posted at 04:15 PM
HARDBALL [Rod Dreher]
Here's another reason to vote for Bush: he's playing hardball with suspected terrorist supporters, trying to get them booted from the country on anything that'll stick. Here in north Texas, the government is trying to kick out a wealthy Palestinian businessman it accuses of participating in a sham green-card marriage in the early 1980s. The businessman went on to marry a second time, get fabulously wealthy with a carpet business ... and become a board member and close associate of the Holy Land Foundation, whose leadership is under federal indictment for allegedly using the charity as a front to raise money for Hamas. It's hard to imagine John Kerry having the guts to play hardball like this with alleged terror symps.
Posted at 04:02 PM
PREDICTIONS [Jonah Goldberg]
Kathryn - When do you want all of us around here to start making them?
Posted at 03:58 PM
EMOTIONAL AD [KJL]
Have you seen "Ashley's story" yet?
Posted at 03:55 PM
CBS ON "FAR RIGHT" BUSH [Tim Graham]
CBS is still fabricating things for John Kerry. MRC's Brent Baker reports that without correcting John Kerry's distortion of a quote attributed to President Bush about how he'll "privatize" Social Security, on Monday's CBS Evening News, reporter Jim Axelrod ideologically augmented Kerry's strategy by saying they aim "to raise the specter of a second Bush term driven by far-right ideology in which regular folks lose" -- a label Kerry did not employ.
Posted at 03:47 PM
KERRY'S SPECTER [John J. Miller]
Just came across this story on NRO Battlegrounders: Kerry-Specter signs popping up in Pennsylvania. Does President Bush--the man who dragged Arlen Specter across the finish line last April, when Rep. Pat Toomey nearly won the GOP Senate nomination--know about this?
Posted at 03:44 PM
SIGH [Jonah Goldberg]
After "blegging" for a conservative/NRO to address the Mary Cheney thing on his terms (does Sullivan know "bleg" is a word coined by John Derbyshire? The horror, the horror) Andrew Sullivan chooses to ignore my column on the issue and instead cite an email I posted "approvingly" which is far more convenient to his increasingly shrill story line that conservatives are bigots when they disagree with him. For the record, the email was in response to someone else's email. I do this often (but I'll stop if readers think it's tedious). But that hardly means I agree or disagree with the content or phrasing of a particular email. That is, of course, unless I say something along the lines of "I agree with this guy" or some such.
Posted at 03:42 PM
MY BLINDNESS [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
Mary Cheney's comment was a short-term political gaffe and if it costs Kerry the election I would feel extremely depressed.
Posted at 03:31 PM
RE: KERRY'S RECORD [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
Just thought I would mention in response to Drum's "After all, before 9/11 George Bush and his advisors had little concern for terrorism and expressed frequent contempt for things like nation building and democracy promotion."
Posted at 03:25 PM
ELECTORAL COLLEGE [Jonah Goldberg ]
I know everything's in flux and many sites claim Kerry's in the lead, got the big Mo etc. But I just decided to go through the LA Times map thingy again. I gave every state that Bush was leading in to Bush and every state that kerry was leading in to Kerry. Many of these margins were tiny and some of the polls were old -- Tennessee's is a month old -- but the final tally was 289 to 206 for Bush. I left PA, IA and NJ out because they are exact ties. But even if you give all three to Kerry Bush still wins.
For what it's worth.
Posted at 03:24 PM
RE: KERRY CHUTZPAH (OR SOMETHING) [KJL]
An e-mail: "Transition Team? This is the same guy who has as his slogan 'John Kerry - President'. And it was on his plane when he got the nomination."
Posted at 03:17 PM
GOING FOR GOLD [John J. Miller]
Yesterday, my co-author Mark Molesky appeared on David Gold's radio show on KMSR in Dallas to discuss Our Oldest Enemy: A History of America's Disastrous Relationship with France. Mark learned that the French ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Jean-David Levitte, is scheduled to appear on the same program today, probably between 7 and 7:30 pm EST. As readers of The Corner may know, I personally handed the ambassador a copy of Our Oldest Enemy on Friday evening. Mr. Gold knows this. We're hoping he asks the ambassador to tell the world what he really thinks about the Miller-Molesky thesis. Is this an international incident in the making? In a few hours, you can listen to the live interview here.
Posted at 03:15 PM
GETTING A LITTLE CONFIDENCE, ARE WE? [KJL]
CNN's Inside Politics just reported that Alexis Herman has been named to Kerry's transition team. Is that unprecedented? Naming names publicly before the election?
Posted at 03:11 PM
BATTLE OF YORKTOWN ANNIVERSARY [Jack Fowler]
Today we celebrate the 223rd anniversary of the sadly forgotten event which marked the end of the Revolutionary War, as Washington and the Colonial Army – aided by the French, sorry to admit – bested Cornwallis in Virginia. If it is any consolation to Francophobes, the forefathers of the cheese-eating surrender monkeys followed up the American victory by trying to screw over our new nation during treaty negotiations with the British, but failed, all of which (the battle, the aftermath) is explained concisely here.
Posted at 03:07 PM
GIVE RUSH A RAISE [KJL]
Readers tell me, Kate, that Rush was first to the Breck girl thing.
Posted at 03:06 PM
UH-OH THAT KIND OF GUY [Kate O'Beirne]
The Edwards' primping tape would drive even more women voters into Bush's arms. What woman would vote for a guy who fusses more than she does about how he looks, by ALOT? It would make a great ad: As he feels prettier, should we feel safer? OR Hair today and we're all gone tomorrow. Edwards is half the team that wants to take on the war on terror. Definitely, whoever first called him the Breck Girl should get a raise.
Posted at 03:05 PM
SENATOR, YOU'RE NO JFK: KNOW-NOTHING KERRY [KJL]
On a Bush campaign conference call just now, Massachusetts Democratic state senator Brian Golden makes the point that John Kerry doesn’t want you to know about his God talk: That John Kerry is no JFK (or Al Smith). Kennedy and Smith said, accept me even though I am Catholic. Kennedy told the Southern Baptist Convention in 1960: “But if the time should ever come--and I do not concede any conflict to be remotely possible--when my office would require me to either violate my conscience, or violate the national interest, then I would resign the office, and I hope any other conscientious public servant would do likewise.” That’s not John “Article of Faith” Kerry. Kerry’s is more a perverse anti-Catholic—but more freakishly anti-reason--strategy: Accept me even though I am "Catholic" because my conscience is separate from my public life (well, on some issues--wink, wink).
Posted at 03:04 PM
BATTLEGROUND WATCH [KJL]
NRO's latest feature is here.
Posted at 02:34 PM
MISTAKES AND APOLOGIES [Ramesh Ponnuru]
I linked, below, to Doug Kern's article against presidential apologies. But I should note that I don't entirely agree with it; or at least, that admitting mistakes, a close cousin to apologizing, can be a good idea. In the late summer of 2003, the public was still trying to figure out what to think about the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. If the president had made a speech then, or even in early fall, forthrightly acknowledging that some of his assumptions were wrong but going on to make the case that the war was nonetheless right, his critics would no doubt have spent the remainder of his term saying, "Even the president now admits the war was a mistake!" But I think more people would have trusted him than trust him now.
Posted at 02:30 PM
RE: I KNOW, I KNOW [Jonah Goldberg]
That's not what Rich was saying around the office!
Posted at 02:24 PM
IN THEIR FACE [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
The reader who felt that naming Mary Cheney was harmless since she was out anyway and there's nothing shameful about being gay has missed the point: Kerry and Edwards were throwing it in her parents' faces. We don't know what pain they may have gone through, and accepting something is a far cry from not wishing one bit that it were otherwise. There are some things you just don't bring up to people. If they want to bring it up, that's different. Everybody in the room may know that someone present has a family member who is profoundly retarded, or--less innocently--a drunken gambling addict cheating on a spouse. But you don't bring it up. When Cheney thanked Edwards for his kind remarks, I think he was just doing the gentlemanly thing. He rightly perceived it as the overly personal remark it was. Where on earth did these two supposedly upper-class men learn their manners?
Posted at 02:22 PM
I KNOW, I KNOW [Rich Lowry]
Please stop sending me “Ortiz was safe!” e-mails. I was joking about the stealing thing.
Posted at 02:16 PM
HAIR [Rich Lowry]
E-mail: “Rich, I just had my boss (an Army Colonel) watch the Edward's hair video. He just about fired me for making him feel VERY uncomfortable in seeing another man do that.”
Posted at 02:14 PM
UPDATE: HE CAN SEAL THE DEAL IN JERSEY [Jonah Goldberg ]
According to this poll by the Newark Star Ledger:
Two weeks before Election Day, the odds that President Bush will pull an upset and grab New Jersey's 15 electoral votes are growing slimmer, a Star-Ledger/Eagleton-Rutgers poll shows.
Posted at 02:03 PM
EDWARDS HAIR VIDEO [Rich Lowry]
It's worth watching over on Slate (Adler and Kathryn have already discussed it). Kind of amazing. Everyone looks dumb getting ready to go on TV, but the sheer length of this thing and the compact mirror make it very notable...
Posted at 02:02 PM
NEW FOX POLL 49 BUSH/ 42 KERRY--LIKELY VOTERS [KJL]
Posted at 02:00 PM
SOMETHING ABOUT MARY [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
Me: Nice note, thanks. But I disagree. Kerry may or may not think there's nothing wrong with being gay. We don't know the answer to that. As I noted in my column, I don't think it really matters to this controversy. What matters is if he thought he was bee-bopping and skatting off of somebody else's family for political gain. His campaign manager said Mary was "fair game" for a reason. Look, I don't think this whole story is as huge as some are making it. But I do think a lot of people saw a glimpse of the kind of man Kerry is at that debate. Not just during the Mary Cheney part, but when he agonized over how to say nice things about his wife and how he created a rhetorical Rube Goldberg machine to explain how religion influences his policies.
I think that man turned off a lot of voters even though they were willing to concede he's a better debater. That's why I predicted in my column that Bush would go up in the polls after the debate. I was right (which is sufficiently rare in my record of predictions that I don't mind mentioning it). I don't think it's all about Mary Cheney, but she's come to symbolize the man and the performance.
Posted at 02:00 PM
GUARDIAN MEDDLING [Andrew Stuttaford]
As the Guardian continues to pester the voters of Clark County, Ohio, here is part of the letter that film director Ken Loach is proposing to send:
"You have the chance to do the world a favour. Today, your country is reviled across continents as never before. Because of your president, and some who have preceded him, you are seen as the greatest bully on earth."
Ken, old chap, I'm not convinced that's going to do the trick.
Posted at 01:59 PM
VATICAN DENIES CONNECTION TO THAT LETTER [KJL]
Posted at 01:58 PM
JOHN HOWARD [Andrew Stuttaford]
Mark Steyn is, rightly, impressed.
Posted at 01:46 PM
SPECIAL DELIVERY [John J. Miller]
"It's nice to see you're voting for the right candidate," said the delivery guy to my wife just now. He was commenting on the Bush-Cheney sign we've had in our front yard for a few weeks. I won't say which company he's from--you never know what kind of blowback these guys could face--but it sure was good to hear.
Posted at 01:12 PM
WITHOUT APOLOGIES [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Doug Kern makes a forceful case against Bush apologies.
Posted at 12:31 PM
A WIN [Jim Boulet]
The Florida supreme court ruled unanimously against a coalition of labor unions, the American Civil Liberties Union, People for the American Way Foundation and other groups who sought to allow Florida voters to cast provisional ballots anywhere in the state and have them counted for the Presidential and U.S. Senate races.
The fight against organized vote fraud in the Sunshine State is not over. "A similar lawsuit involving the same issue was filed by the state Democratic Party and is still pending before a federal judge in Tallahassee," reports the Florida Sun Sentinel.
Posted at 12:28 PM
MY BOY BILL [John Derbyshire]
Jonah, Ramesh: Your insouciance about the prospect of Bill O'Reilly going down in scandal is, I believe, misplaced. You may not like the guy; a lot of conservatives don't like him; any time I have put in a word for O'Reilly on this site I have got a sheaf of e-mails from conservatives telling me at great length why they don't like him.
Sure, O'Reilly's no movement conservative. Sure, his positions on actual issues are all over the place. Sure, he's way too full of himself. Sure, he thinks the feddle gummint should get into all sorts of things you and I would much rather it keeps out of. Sure, he'd split the difference between Churchill and Hitler in his efforts at "fairness." Sure, sure. Consider the following points, though.
1. My enemy's enemy is my friend. O'Reilly is a **huge** hate figure for the Left. They loathe the guy. His downfall would be immensely energizing for them. Whatever you think, *they* consider him a conservative.
2. In war, you take what allies you can get. You're not going to get Edmund Burke hosting on prime-time TV. Heck, you're not going to get William F. Buckley, Jr. This is *TV*. It's junk. If there's a junk-conservative, a sometime-kinda-conservative, a not-quite-our-kind-of-conservative running a popular prime-time TV show, go down on your knees and give thanks. It's more than we can expect. It's more than we had for 50 years.
3. Conservatives have taken too many of these lifestyle hits. If O'Reilly goes down on a lifestyle charge, it's bad for us, whether you like his program or not.
Posted at 12:25 PM
EPISCOPAL FOLLIES [John Derbyshire]
Been reading the Windsor Report, the considered response of the Anglican Communion (whose U.S. member is the Episcopal Church) to the election of openly homosexual bishop Gene Robinson to the Diocese of New Hampshire, and to the authorising by a diocese of the Anglican Church of Canada of a public Rite of Blessing for same sex unions.
It is, for an Anglican document, suprisingly forthright. It scolds the offending parties for supposing they had more latitude in deciding these things than (according to the Report) they actually have. It asks them to apologize, and urges that no further such actions be taken until "realistic and visionary ways" can "be agreed to meet the levels of disagreement at present," and "to reach consensus on structures for encouraging greater understanding and communion in future." Translation: No more of this stuff, please, till we've had a few years to chew it over.
These scoldings are tucked away in a vast souffle of gassy prose about "healing" and "communion," "study and reflection," "listening and discernment," etc. etc. etc. Still, as Anglican-speak goes, it's a stern rebuke.
(Twenty years or so ago there was a sharp exchange in the House of Commons between Labour Party pit bull terrier Dennis Healey and the diffident, soft-spoken Geoffrey Howe. Healey later said that being criticized by Howe was "like being mauled by a dead sheep." Reading the Windsor Report brought this to mind.)
Posted at 12:22 PM
LYING LIARS AND THE LIARS WHO LIE ABOUT THEM [John Derbyshire]
Passing thru Penn Station on my way home from NR editorial meeting, I browsed one of the magazine stands. Noted with interest the cover of The Nation, issue dated 10/25/04. Cover headline: CAN WE STOP PRESIDENTS FROM LYING? Accompanying full-cover illustration: old photograph of some convicts in old-style striped convict fatigues, chained together. Superimposed as the convicts' heads are Lyndon Johnson, Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, and Richard Nixon.
Interesting. But wasn't there a president who actually lied under oath to a court of law, and was impeached for it? Perhaps I dreamed that...
Posted at 12:20 PM
THEY JUST DON'T LIKE HIM [ Jonah Goldberg]
Kerry can't seal the deal in New Jersey.
Posted at 12:15 PM
RE: EDWARDS'S COMPACT [KJL]
Whoever first thought to call him a Breck girl just got a raise.
Posted at 12:02 PM
RE: HA! [KJL]
We should all try that more often, Jonah. I bet there's an NRO on every street corner--or at least within driving distance of every car dealership in America.
Posted at 12:00 PM
HA! [Jonah Goldberg]
As I said, I'm sitting here poking away on my laptop at the car dealership. All of a sudden a lady walked in with a copy of a William F. Buckley book she was carrying ostentatiously aimed in my direction. It was like wearing a red carnation on the orders of the French resistance.
It turns out she saw that item on the Corner and drove over here just to say hi and keep up the good work at NRO etc. It was pretty cool.
Posted at 11:57 AM
9/11 CHANGING EVERYTHING [Jonah Goldberg]
Come to think of it, are there any major Democrats other than Zell Miller -- and to a lesser extent Joe Lieberman -- who can claim 9/11 changed everything for them? I mean in a hawkish way. Obviously Wes Clark became more dovish because of 9/11. To her credit, Hillary became more centrist, but you don't hear her speaking in convincing terms about how everything's changed (I'm sure, however, she's used the cliché about how "everything's changed"). Her big issue is first-responders. They're important of course, but by definition they respond to attacks. Spending money on paramedics is honorable, but it ain't hawkish.
Posted at 11:51 AM
BTW [Jonah Goldberg]
I'm at the Don Beyer Volvo service center in Virginia. I'm the only guy under 40 in the waiting room and I'm definitely the only one wearing a "The Pipeline Inn" T-Shirt. No, it's not a gay bar memento. It's from the bar in Valdez, Alaska where the captain of the Exxon Valdez went before, um, mistakes were made. I don't know why, but I particularly enjoy wearing it at a Volvo dealership -- and at crunchy locales everywhere. Their WiFi, by the way, is inconveniently spotty. Still, it's nice to have.
Posted at 11:40 AM
FOX [Rich Lowry]
FYI--will be on Fox around 12:30.
Posted at 11:38 AM
THE PASSING OF A SPACE PIONEER [Andrew Stuttaford]
Early, um, astronaut Betty Hill dies.
Posted at 11:34 AM
DAVID ORTIZ = EDGAR MARTINEZ? [Rich Lowry]
That's my fear. In the 1995 division series, Edgar Martinez hit .571, fueling a Seattle come-back from an on-the-brink 2-0 deficit in the best-of-five series. Ortiz is looking very Martinez-like at the moment. My proposed solution? Walk him every at-bat that matters and hope he tries to steal!
Posted at 11:33 AM
BOB CASEY IS GONE [Jonah Goldberg]
From a Philly Guy:
Jonah, First please don't use my name or e-mail address (maybe Philly guy will suffice) I play basketball every Monday night with about 15 or so regular guys. Politics for the most is not part of the evening. Last night was an exception. We are all hard working guys, family comes first, The NBA is not scouting us types. We are also Democrats! Son's of Catholic, Union, Blue collar workers. We all went to collage and have good jobs. And we're ALL voting for Bush. Why? Because the days of Bob Casey are gone. The days of the Democrats nominating someone with a spine are over. We also believe (because either our Fathers, Uncle's served in the military) that these murders want to kill our children, wives and us! GWB is the only candidate willing to do what it takes. Interestingly enough for the most part we all voted for Gore (ugh!) We (I) won't make that mistake again.
Posted at 11:23 AM
TEAM AMERICA [John J. Miller]
This write-up makes me want to see the movie.
Posted at 11:19 AM
ON MEL [John J. Miller]
Jon: I'm not at all surprised by Martinez the ex-trial lawyer coming out in favor of damage caps. He came by the NR office in DC earlier this year and we quizzed him on legal reform--he seemed open to a range of ideas that our team generally supports. Now, it's possible that he was saying what he thought (correctly) that we wanted to hear, but I think there was more to it than that. My guess is that he'll be a perfectly reliable vote in the Senate on legal questions. His main GOP primary opponent, Bill McCollum, tried to tar him as an ambulance chaser, but that accusation was more about name calling than substance. Any Republicans who remain wary about Martinez at least should remind themselves that his Democratic foe, Betty Castor, surely won't ever cross the trial bar.
Posted at 10:58 AM
MEL VS. THE TRIAL LAWYERS [Jonathan H. Adler]
According to the local press reports (I'm in Tallahassee), GOP Senate candidate Mel Martinez has come out in favor of damage caps -- a surprise to some who opposed Martinez in the primary because he was a trial lawyer himself.
Posted at 10:35 AM
ANOTHER BY THE WAY [KJL ]
This is a good time to re-read Ramesh Ponnuru’s “Rites and Wrongs” on the communion issue vis-à-vis Kerry.
Posted at 10:33 AM
By the way, I have no doubt this is not a Bush administration push to have someone declare Kerry excommunicated. I don’t think that is somewhere they would want to go. And, frankly, in terms of pure politics: I don’t think people would take to it well.
Posted at 10:32 AM
BURR SURGE [John J. Miller]
The Senate campaign of Republican Richard Burr is surging in North Carolina. Last month, most polls showed him trailing Democrat Erskine Bowles by 8 to 10 points. Many Republicans criticized his tendency to micromanage his campaign (he likes to drive himself to his events) and praised Bowles as a vastly improved candidate compared to his losing performance against Elizabeth Dole two years ago. Both of these observations remain on target, but they haven't prevented Burr from pulling even with Bowles. In fact, I've seen a few polls--including a brand-new one from Survey USA--showing Burr ahead, 47 percent to 45 percent. This race has gone from one Republicans felt pessimistic about a few weeks ago to one they're hopeful about today.
Posted at 10:32 AM
KERRY, EXCOMMUNICATED? [KJL ]
I’ve read the letter that a Dominican father sent this layman in California who wants Kerry branded heretical, sent on behalf of a Vatican official. It doesn’t say KERRY IS A HERETIC in any breaking news way. It’s a letter spelling out church teaching on abortion, with no new news. The Vatican has been (almost uncharacteristically clear) on abortion and politicians, especially in recent years. There is nothing new here—this is a priest spelling out those directives—which priests should be doing, and more of. He never mentions John Kerry. (This is a nonpartisan directive: George Pataki, Ah-nuld, Rudy…)
In the end, if John Kerry is excommunicated, that’s a matter between him and his bishop. And I would hope—pray—that his bishop has made that clear to him, privately. It would be unfortunate, though, if this became a game—laymen trying to get the hierarchy to actually influence the election. If a bishop were to have to deny communion to a politician during the course of election, that would be one thing. KERRY-EXCOMMUNICATED! Press releases are another (which, mercifully, I don’t anticipate). Contrary to what some may believe (on right and left), there is no lay Torquemada society (even if that would make unique stationery).
For voters, on all this faith stuff, the question is “Integrity, Integrity, Integrity” as Momma Kerry, we are told, said. Who’s the guy who has the character to pull off leadership? The guy in office seems to have proven he’s got some of the right stuff. And I think Kerry’s only going to continue to hurt himself if he keeps talking about religion--running convoluted loops around his record and theology.
Posted at 10:31 AM
RE: KERRY'S RECORD [Jonah Goldberg]
Jon - Yeah, a bunch of people have sent me that excerpt. I wish I'd mentioned it. It certainly hollows out the case that Kerry should be left off the hook because 9/11 changed everybody.
But what's also noteworthy is how terrible it makes Kerry look. First of all, what arrogance! He can't admit that he was wrong in the 1990s? For all the grief Bush gets -- sometimes rightly -- for not admitting his mistakes, he's at least conceded that we were all wrong in the 1990s.
Moreover, if Kerry knew these trends were in the works, why didn't he do something? He wrote a book about the international mafia, not international terrorism. He didn't berate the Clinton Administration for ignoring Osama Bin Laden. Raproachment with Vietnam is nice, but if he knew this was on the way, paving the way for cheap shower shoes from Hanoi could have waited. He didn't do anything except plan a run for the Presidency. If Kerry was so prescient, how come I haven't heard him cite a single example of his Churchillian warnings about the gathering storm? That would be a big story and big rationale for his candidacy but I've never seen any evidence of it. Surely Drum and Andrew Sullivan would be invoking such examples if they existed.
Posted at 10:26 AM
SO ADLER BEAT ME TO THE PUNCH AGAIN [Ramesh Ponnuru]
but his Bainbridge link is still screwed up.
Posted at 10:20 AM
PRO-LIFE COLLEGE STUDENTS [Ramesh Ponnuru]
from 14 universities--including Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, Georgetown, and MIT--are running ads in their campus newspapers today. Here's the text.
Posted at 10:18 AM
JUST TO UNDERLINE THE POINT [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Drum's argument would be more persuasive if Kerry had not insisted, in his interview with Bai, that September 11 hadn't changed him.
Posted at 10:14 AM
EDWARDS'S PERFECT COIF [Jonathan H. Adler]
He certainly works at it. (Yes, that is a compact in his hand.)
Posted at 10:10 AM
DID KERRY CHANGE? [Jonathan H. Adler]
Jonah -- Your response to Drum is excellent, but there's one point you missed: Kerry himself says 9/11 didn't change all that much. Here's the relevant passage from the Oct. 10 NYT Magazine piece:
When I asked Kerry how Sept. 11 had changed him, either personally or politically, he seemed to freeze for a moment. ''It accelerated -- '' He paused. ''I mean, it didn't change me much at all. It just sort of accelerated, confirmed in me, the urgency of doing the things I thought we needed to be doing. I mean, to me, it wasn't as transformational as it was a kind of anger, a frustration and an urgency that we weren't doing the kinds of things necessary to prevent it and to deal with it.''If Kerry's view of 9/11 is that it just "confirmed" the need to do the things he already wanted to do, that's scary.
Posted at 10:06 AM
MORTAR ATTACK [ Jonah Goldberg]
This looks pretty serious. It's telling how the insurgents recognize the threat -- and weak link -- the Iraqi National Guard represents.
Posted at 10:00 AM
TEXAS REDISTRICTING II [Jonathan H. Adler]
There's lots more on the Supreme Court's action yesterday at Beldarblog. The bottom line: This is not a "victory" for Democrats against Republican redistricting in Texas, media reports to the contrary notwithstanding.
Posted at 09:55 AM
WHY SO FEW VACCINES? [Jonathan H. Adler]
Professor Bainbridge observes that some liberal bloggers are discovering the most unlikely of culprits: federal regulation! And to think Senator Kerry wants to blame it all on President Bush's alleged solicitude toward pharmaceutical companies. [Link should be fixed now -- JHA]
Posted at 09:51 AM
OOE UPDATE [John J. Miller]
Now available online: a video and the text of my Heritage Foundation speech on Our Oldest Enemy: A History of America's Disastrous Relationship with France. Go here for everything. Also, visit oldestenemy.com for more on the continuing story of French perfidy.
Posted at 08:46 AM
GETTING BACK TO MYOPIA [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
Posted at 07:45 AM
LEDEEN [Jonah Goldberg]
Maybe this was posted already. But I missed it if it was. Here's a long profile of our own Michael Ledeen.
Posted at 07:34 AM
SULLENTROP ON THE POLLS [Jonah Goldberg]
His round-up is useful, if a bit more bullish for Kerry than I think the numbers suggest.
Posted at 07:30 AM
KERRY'S CRUDE [Jonah Goldberg ]
David Brooks nails it.
Posted at 07:22 AM
OBSESSING OVER KERRY'S RECORD [Jonah Goldberg ]
Link history: Blogger Dan Drezner says he's worried about Kerry's 30 year record. Blogger Kevin Drum tries to explain why he shouldn't. Blogger Andrew Sullivan basically agrees with Drum. Here's Drum:
[O]bsessing over Kerry's entire 30-year public history is probably unproductive. After all, before 9/11 George Bush and his advisors had little concern for terrorism and expressed frequent contempt for things like nation building and democracy promotion. Does that affect how we feel about Bush today?
Me: This is a good point as far as it goes, but it's a better debater's point.
First of all, ignoring Kerry's pre-9/11 record only makes sense in this analysis if there's overwhelming evidence that Kerry's changed his worldview since 9/11. I've seen no such evidence. He ran on his Vietnam record before 9/11, he runs on it now. He's offered no apologies nor revealing introspection for his anti-war efforts and his opposition to the Reagan administration. He surrounds himself with Clintonian foreign policy advisors and others to their left. He touts his decidedly pre-9/11 book on global crime as a training manual for post 9/11 world in which hunting terrorists is a "law enforcement issue" and terrorism is something he hopes to get to the nuisance level. His pre-9/11 views on diplomacy, defense and intelligence don't really seem to have gone away -- or gone away for long. He invokes the same idiotic story about De Galle trusting the United States, he worships the UN, he voted against the $87 billion for ever-changing reasons, but none of them seem to be the result of an epiphany about the dangers of the 9/11 world. To this day the only use of force he's said wouldn't be subject to a global test and that he could be counted upon to administer would be a response to an attack. Woop-dee-frickin' doo.
During the primaries, when asked if he'd call himself a war president the way Bush does, he responded: "I'd see myself first of all as a jobs president, as a health care president, as an education president and also an environmental president."
This is a man who's changed because of 9/11? In fact, I thought Kerry's appeal to folks like Sullivan and Mickey Kaus was that he'd offer a "resting period" after all of Bush's big changes.
Second, as for Bush's change of heart since 9/11, I think he certainly had one. He campaigned on the promise of a "humble" foreign policy after all. Sullivan writes: "Bush in 2000 was adamantly against nation-building, paid little attention to terrorism as a threat, and wanted to spend less on the military than Gore. Should he be held to account for that today? Not really. So why should Kerry?"
That's all fair to a point. But in 2000, the world did seem a different place and Bush's response to 9/11 shows a change of heart while, at best, Kerry's show a change of tactics.
Still, if someone had told me that Bush had had Kerry's positions on the Cold War during that struggle I would have been very concerned. Moreover, if Bush had been anywhere near as wrong as Kerry was on the Cold War, Bush wouldn't have gotten the nomination. People forget now, but Tom Ridge probably lost the VP nomination in 2000 because of conservative opposition to his squishiness on foreign policy in the 1980s (thanks to John Miller's reporting, if I recall).
The most telling thing about this whole line of argument is how much it reveals John Kerry's record is dead weight. There's a reason Kerry focused on Vietnam at his convention, a reason bolstered by 20 years of political reporting in his home state and in Washington: Kerry's done almost nothing to be proud of in two decades of work in the Senate. With the exception of the reconciliation with Vietnam, what is there? Why has the Democratic Party burped up one of the least qualified men in its party to deal with the greatest threat to the United States since the Cold War? The urge to say Kerry's a "new man" is a direct response to the inconvenient fact that the old man was so worthless.
Posted at 07:09 AM
KERRY "WON" THE DEBATE [Jonah Goldberg ]
I know that the media and the Kerry campaign are invested in the fact that those tracking polls said Kerry won the final debate and that Bush's gain has everything to do with cynically exploiting the Mary Cheney thing. And I know that I'm invested in saying that Bush was the real winner of that debate (I predicted Bush would rise in the polls after the debate even as the polls said he'd lost the debate). Well, nevertheless, I think I'm right. Bush's gains couldn't possibly be attributable solely to the Mary Cheney flap. This Colorado poll has him surging with women (from 7 points behind to 2 ahead), reclaiming independents (from a 30 point deficit to a 7 point one) and bolstering his stance with his base (plus 4). That's pretty broad momentum to attribute solely to Kerry's Lesbian gaffe. Kerry proved once again he was the better debater that last night. Bush proved he was the better candidate.
Posted at 06:36 AM
Before I even had time to get outraged that Georgetown let pro-abortion Al Gore speak on their supposedly Catholic campus, I wondered: Why would Georgetown want AL GORE speaking on their campus? Do they want to be a Bellevue for ex-pols?
Posted at 06:32 AM
ARAFAT [Jonah Goldberg ]
Posted at 06:23 AM
SEN. KERRY (D., FRANCE) [John J. Miller]
I'm not sure this was advisable: On the campaign trail yesterday, John Kerry spoke in the language of Our Oldest Enemy. The French-looking senator is now also the French-sounding senator. Here's a news report.
Posted at 05:37 AM
Monday, October 18, 2004
THAT ABOUT COVERS IT [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
Unless you're writing for the National Enquirer, there's little to say about O'Reilly. If the woman is telling the truth, he's a pig and his career at FOX should be over. If she's lying, he is being unfairly maligned and his reputation will probably never be fully restored. Why would NRO or any objective journalist render speculation or judgment at this point?
I think that summarizes my last word. If O'Reilly did it, he should lose his job or resign from it. If he didn't, he should win his counter-suit and perhapos she should even go to jail. If it's something in the middle, well, we'll have to make up our mind then.
Posted at 09:03 PM
PHOTO FINISH [John J. Miller]
Three new polls on Florida Senate--two have it tied between Republican Mel Martinez and Democrat Betty Castor, and one shows Mel up by two points. A prediction: President Bush will carry Florida by enough of a margin that Democratic complaints about "voter intimidation" and ballot problems don't wash. But this Senate race may be closer. I've been tipping it for Martinez all year long, and continue to think he'll prevail. But it will be closecloseclose. And the Dems will complain, complain, complain.
Posted at 04:49 PM
KENTUCKY SURPRISE? [John J. Miller]
Democrats are touting a new poll that shows the Kentucky Senate race between GOP incumbent Jim Bunning and Democratic challenger Daniel Mongiardo tied, at 43 percent to 43 percent. A couple weeks ago, the same pollster had it 47-39 for Bunning. Count me skeptical on the new numbers, but I will say this: Earlier this year, some Democrats said that Kentucky would be their dark-horse race.
Posted at 04:42 PM
WALK AWAY [Jonah Goldberg]
I like this one:
Mr. Goldberg Perhaps my analogy is faulty, but while reading your Corner posting on stem cells (the one with the letter attached), I was reminded of a conversation I had with an English professor I admired while I was an undergraduate. We were discussing the "Alive," the movie about those soccer players who survived a plane crash in the Andes. The survivors resorted to cannibalism for food. While addressing the subject of eating one's friends for nourishment, my professor said to me, "You and I never would have found ourselves in that moral dilemma; we'd have started walking out of that mess immediately just to avoid the problem." Sometimes walking away well before one steps into a moral quagmire is the right answer. Merely because the road of embryonic stem cell research may lead to cures and new organs does not mean it is the high moral path. Maybe we need to avoid that road altogether.
Posted at 04:14 PM
READERS ON STEM CELLS [Jonah Goldberg]
A few emails:
Jonah, I'm surprised that anyone could honestly make the sort of argument you posted. It sounds great until you realize the implications: the exact same logic would condone pretty much ANY ethically dubious enterprise which might produce positive results. We made use of Japanese biological research following World War II despite the fact that it was obtained using human test subjects, but does that in any way condone the detestable methods which produced those results? Should we now throw up our hands and say, "Well, we used the Japanese data, might as well carve up Muhammed here to see if this new idea works!". Also of concern is the old debate over whether unethically obtained data should be published and used or not. This is largely irrelevant and purely hypothetical, however, as any beneficial research is still only theoretical. No matter which side of that debate one takes, their argument still manages to completely avoid any of the truly important areas of debate surrounding this issue as it stands today while simultaneously saying something quite disturbing about their views on research ethics.
I read your entry in the Corner about people emailing you the same arguments. These nutcases need to know: 1) Stem cell research is not illegal. 2) The Feds have been providing funding. 3) Stem cell research is not illegal. 4) The Feds will stop providing funding. 5) Stem cell research is not illegal. 6) A Google Search for "donate to stem cell research" produces 76,000 English hits. 7) Stem cell research is not illegal. 8) Here's just one place accepting donations http://www.stemcellresearchfoundation.org/Give/give.htm 9) Stem cell research is not illegal. "Donations to the Stem Cell Research Foundation are tax-deductible under the Internal Revenue Code of the Internal Revenue Service for computing income and estate taxes. The Stem Cell Research Foundation is a program of the American Cell Therapy Research Foundation, a federally recognized 501(c)(3) non-profit, tax-exempt organization."
Posted at 04:10 PM
WHAT A BUNCH OF CHUMPS [Jonah Goldberg]
A friend of mine just got this email-letter from the folks at Rock the Vote. It manages to be galling, lame, offensive and silly all at once:
Dear [Name Withheld],
Posted at 03:00 PM
ARCHBISHOP CHAPUT OF COLORADO [Ramesh Ponnuru]
The New York Times ran a transcript of the interview, which appears to take a more nuanced (and more defensible) line than that. I wouldn't say that the Times account is deliberately misleading--some of the distinctions involved seem to be rather difficult for people to grasp.
Posted at 02:48 PM
STEM CELLS [Jonah Goldberg]
I've gotten ten emails basically saying this today. Maybe there's a blog or something out there encouraging it. But it's odd how all of a sudden everyone feels compelled to make this identical argument to me:
Jonah, I wonder if all these religious, moral, sanctimonious people will stick to their guns if embryonic stem cell research does bear fruit. Can you imagine: Doctor: Mr. and Mrs. Smith, we are able to give your child a new liver, but it would involve using embryonic stem cells to grow a healthy one or we could simply use research procured from embryonic stem cell research to repair his diseased liver. Mr. Smith: Sorry Doc. We are morally against embryonic stem cell use so we must wait and put our child's fate in God's hands. Yeah right. I suspect they'll take the new liver and pray for forgiveness later. Sort of like all these anti-gun whackos who are against firearms until a nice big 9MM fired by a police officer saves their life or until their precious loved ones (ahem, Rosie O'Donnell) need protection. Honestly, who knows if embryonic stem cells will ever produce anything meaningful. If the people "protesting" this research now pledge to never use any technologies derived from it for themselves or their children, I say keep on marching. But if new treatments are developed all of these hypocrites will be among the first in line for treatments (even if they successfully keep their tax dollars from supporting this research). And they know it. For that reason alone they ought to shut up.
Posted at 02:47 PM
PREVENT TOMORROW’S KERRYS TODAY! [Jack Fowler]
Get that child or grandchild, or even that obnoxious neighbor – the one that’s already angling to be a Senator from Massachusetts –the books that will set them on the straight and narrow: The National Review Treasury of Classic Children’s Literature (original edition and, my favorite, Volume Two) and The National Review Treasury of Classic Bedtime Stories (wholesome stories perfect for beginning readers, or for even younger ones as tender preludes to sweet dreams). You’ll get a free copy of Queen Zixi of Ix, L. Frank Baum’s beloved tale, with every order, which you can accomplish right here.
Posted at 02:47 PM
TEXAS REDISTRICTING [Jonathan H. Adler]
The Supreme Court's order on the Texas redistricting cases may be much ado about nothing. What the Court did is send the cases back to the district court for reconsideration in light of Vieth v. Jubelirer, a decision from last term. Basically, the Court punted on deciding these cases in favor of having the lower court take into account the Court's most recent pronouncement on the issue. The order has no effect on the districts for this year's Congressional elections, and does not augur Court approval or disapproval of Texas' district lines. There's additional commentary on the order here and here.
Posted at 02:42 PM
KERRY'S SENATE RECORD [Jonathan H. Adler]
James Lindgren breaks down the details of John Kerry's Senate record here. It's none too impressive. Indeed, I'm inclined to suggest Senator Kerry's twenty years in the Senate are less distinguished than Senator Edwards' six.
Posted at 02:40 PM
THIN-SKINNED DEMS ON FOX [Jonathan H. Adler]
In the past few weeks I've noticed several Democratic politicians and Kerry surrogates getting visibly annoyed with questions from Fox News hosts and their underlying premises. Indeed, they're quite thin-skinned about it. To be sure, Fox News folks are more likely to ask tough questions of Democrats with right-leaning premises than reporters from other networks, but this is hardly an indignity. Conservatives and Republicans are used to similarly hostile or difficult questions -- we get them all the time. If those on the Left can't handle similar heat, they should get out of the kitchen.
Posted at 02:40 PM
HOLBROOKE SHOULD LISTEN TO KERRY [Jonathan H. Adler]
Only a few minutes into his speech, Kerry (after mentioning Vietnam, imagine that), Kerry accuses President Bush of misleading the American people. Hmmm. That sounds like an attack on Bush's sincerity to me.
Posted at 02:40 PM
HOLBROOKE ON FOX [Jonathan H. Adler]
Ambassador Richard Holbrooke was quite testy on Fox after the President's speech. He claimed to be upset by the President's alleged misrepresentation's of Senator Kerry's record and by questions that accepted some of the President's claims as premises. Senator Kerry's record is much stronger on defense and security than President Bush allows, Holbrooke claimed, citing Kerry's service in Vietnam as exhibit A. The howler in the interview was when Holbrooke said neither Kerry nor his surrogates have been similarly harsh in their attacks on the President. "We know he's sincere in the war on terror," Holbrooke said. Really? What about when Kerry and his surrogates have called the President a liar? Accused him of misleading the American people? Or challenged his patriotism? Or went after his National Guard record? Sorry Holbrooke, that argument's just not credible.
Posted at 02:39 PM
A NEW STANDARD OF PATRIOTISM [Jonathan H. Adler]
Senator Kerry just said that the budget for the Department of Veterans' Affairs should define patriotism in America.
Posted at 02:38 PM
ROBOT’S REBELLION [Cliff]
In the Books section of yesterday’s Washington Times is a review of “The Robot’s Rebellion: Finding Meaning in the Age of Darwin.” Among other things, the book makes the case that the mind processes information differently depending on the situation.
So, for example, the decision-making process employed by an engineer designing a car that can maneuver well on a curving mountain road in the rain is different from the decision-making process that the driver of that car will have to utilize if he suddenly finds himself in a skid on that road.
Not everyone is equally good at both kinds of decision making – just as not all runners are equally good at sprints and long-distance events.
In which kind of decision-making skills do we prefer a president to excel? Does our preference change in a time of war as compared to a period of peace?
And are there not some voters who take their time to carefully decide for whom to vote, while others make up their minds only when, as it were, the car is skidding and there are seconds left to choose?
Posted at 02:34 PM
"YOU STUPID YELLOW-TOOTHED PANSIES" [Jonah Goldberg ]
Look, everyone here knows I'm a raging anglophile. But this stuff is hilarious. The Lefty newspaper the Guardian launched a letter-writing campaign to get Ohioans to vote for Kerry. Here are some of the responses from America's heartland.
Posted at 02:11 PM
O'REILLY [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Al Franken must be the happiest man in America.
If the charges are true, I think O'Reilly is done. It would be no great loss for conservatives, or America. What more is there to be said?
Posted at 02:11 PM
NOW WE'RE TALKING [Rich Lowry]
In a long riff attacking Kerry for his record during the Cold War and the Reagan years, Bush just hit Kerry for his sympathy for the Sandinistas and opposition to the Contras.
Posted at 02:10 PM
NEW HAMPSHIRE... [Rich Lowry]
...on the other hand, still looks worrisome for Bush.
Posted at 02:08 PM
OREGON [Rich Lowry]
I don't know what its reliability is, but there is a new poll out that has Bush ahead in Oregon, the first one in a while.
Posted at 02:06 PM
BUSH JUST HIT... [Rich Lowry]
...Kerry for his “protest and defeatism.” “Protest” is a very good subliminal word to use.
Posted at 02:02 PM
I'LL HAVE... [Rich Lowry]
...to read the transcript of this Bush speech that is on now, but it seems very, very strong.
Posted at 01:58 PM
BUSH WINS NEW JERSEY! [KJL]
Ok--premature, but that's one revved up crowd he is speaking too right now and W.'s on fire.
Posted at 01:47 PM
(SAD BUT) HIGHLARIOUS [Jonah Goldberg ]
Drudge is teasing a story with the following headline: "MAN GIVEN CRACK COCAINE TO REGISTER VOTERS ARRESTED IN OHIO... DEVELOPING..."
Update: here are the details
Posted at 01:26 PM
VOX POX [Jonah Goldberg]
Vox Day is frothing at the mouth about Bill O'Reilly and the silence of conservatives about him. Frankly, I don't have a lot of patience with arguments like his which boil down to the suggestion that if I don't write what he wants and when he wants it, then it must be because I sold out. It's a shabby form of argumentation bordering on bullying someone into trying to prove a negative.
As for the substance, the comparison to Bill Clinton is faulty at countless turns, for reasons that should be fairly obvious. As for my motives for not writing about O'Reilly, they're pretty straightforward. I don't care very much about the guy. I'm not a fan of O'Reilly and I've said so countless times in print. I have a contract with CNN so I couldn't appear on O'Reilly's show even if wanted to. Actually, I wouldn't mind appearing on the show for the fun of butting heads with him. But I don't care enough about the guy or the story to spend much time following his shennanigans, sexploits or whatever. However, should he run for president of the United States, I will pay much closer attention.
Posted at 01:23 PM
MUST BE ON THE FRONT PAGE [John J. Miller]
David Horowitz's Frontpagemag.com runs an interview with me today about Our Oldest Enemy: A History of America's Disastrous Relationship with France.
Posted at 01:22 PM
NOTE FROM JERSEY [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
Posted at 01:00 PM
HUH? [Jonah Goldberg]
Don't worry, I won't be droning on about neoconservatives all day. But Andrew Sullivan's "Quote of the Day" leaves me a bit flummoxed. Here's the whole post:
ME: Lilla's a smart guy and all that. And since I don't subscribe to the New York Review of Books I can't get through to the whole article. But this strikes me as a honeycomb of non-sequiturs and stolen bases. Since when has neoconservatism ever been synonymous with Straussianism? Maybe Lilla defines his terms better in the full article, but this quote makes it sound like that's what he's saying and if it is, that's just dumb. And it's unfortunate for Sullivan to offer tacit approval of that sentiment by offering this quote as a stand-alone statement.
Also, if some neoconservatives -- like Irving Kristol -- once practiced a "hard realism" in foreign policy others, like Norman Podhoretz and Ben Wattenberg, were also profoundly idealistic. Sure, they were hawks, but idealistic hawks. Speaking of Irving Kristol, one gets the sense that Lilla is saying that Irving Kristolism, Straussianism and neoconservatism are all the same thing. Given Lilla's history with the Kristol family, that's interesting but it's not exactly persuasive.
Posted at 12:37 PM
RE: JERSEY [John J. Miller]
If Bush wins NJ, he wins the election. I don't see how it could be any other way. Forcing Kerry to shore up his defenses in a this purplish-blue state may weaken him in Ohio or Iowa or Wisconsin. Then there's also the popular vote to consider. It's entirely possible that Bush once again will win the electoral college but not the popular vote. Let's dispense with the debate over what the popular vote technically means (not much: if it mattered, both the Bush and Kerry campaigns would be spending lots of time in California and creating a different result) and point out that the White House would love to avoid this fate. Extra GOP turnout in NJ may not turn the state red, but perhaps in addition to distracting Kerry it will boost those popular-vote numbers and whatever legitimacy they lend.
Posted at 12:27 PM
I'M VOTING FOR KERRY [Jonah Goldberg ]
Because in John Kerry's America -- thanks to stem cells -- things like this won't happen.
Posted at 12:20 PM
NEW JERSEY & THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE [Jonah Goldberg ]
Obviously, it's still a stretch to think Bush could win New Jersey. But if he did, it's fairly easy to see how he could win without Ohio or Florida.
I know this because I'm fairly addicted to the LA Times' electoral vote map doohickey. I can't like to it because it's a pop-up thingamajig. So go to the LA Times home page and scroll down until you see the map. It's very well done.
There's also electoral-vote.com which is pretty good too.
Posted at 12:16 PM
RE: "ETHNIC WEALTH GAP" [John J. Miller]
A new blog, The Ernie Chambers Project, raises more questions about the subject Roger Clegg mentioned earlier.
Posted at 12:16 PM
FLASHIE WAS THERE TOO [Jim Robbins]
A reader reminds me that Nana Sahib also pops up very dramatically in Flashman in the Great Game -- well worth reading, seeing as how it is an eyewitness account, or should be thought so anyway.
Posted at 12:08 PM
GOV'T AND HIGHER ED [Stanley Kurtz]
Congressman Pete Hoekstra, newly appointed head of the House Intelligence Committee, has an important piece today on NRO. Hoekstra is the author of HR 3077, the International Studies in Higher Education Act. HR 3077 would reform the system of federal subsidies to programs of area studies–including Middle East Studies. The academy has smeared HR 3077 as “McCarthyism.” That is ridiculous. As congressman Hoekstra points out, the bill simply restores an advisory board to a program that had one for years, and calls for the teaching of diverse perspectives on international issues. How is a call for intellectual diversity McCarthyism? As Hoekstra points out, the bill explicitly protects against government control of the college curriculum. And no one is forced to apply for these funds. There are 125 programs of Middle East Studies. Only 17 of those get government subsidies. If a program doesn’t want to encourage debate among diverse viewpoints, or doesn’t want to help train students to serve the government after graduation, it doesn’t have to apply for the grants. In fact, few students who benefit from these subsidies go to work for the government. The core purpose of the program has been lost, and congress is absolutely right to try to make sure that taxpayers once again get bang for their buck. But the real significance of congressman Hoekstra’s piece is that it sends a political signal. HR 3077 passed the House unanimously, yet it’s been held up in the Senate by the higher education lobby. Hoekstra notes that this is a last chance for the Senate to pass the bill. Implicitly, Hoekstra is warning that he is not going to give up on the effort to reform area studies. In fact, we know from his remarks in this excellent piece by Slate’s Lee Smith that Hoekstra’s next bill may be a far more difficult pill for the academy to swallow. So in effect, Hoekstra’s piece on NRO today is a shot across the bow of the academy: “Stop blocking HR 3077, or risk far worse next year.”
Posted at 12:06 PM
DUMB QUESTION [KJL]
Why is there early voting? I understand, of course, when it is absentee/military voting. But why the on-site stuff?
Posted at 12:00 PM
AN “ETHNIC WEALTH GAP”? [Roger Clegg]
A headline today announces “U.S. ethnic wealth gap widens”; it’s for an Associated Press story on a report that the median net worth of white households after the recent recession is, at $88,000, now 11 times more than the figure for Hispanic households and 14 times that for black households. Three obvious caveats: (1) For Hispanics, the figure will continue to rise so long as the percentage of recent immigrants in their total continues to grow, since those immigrants tend to have very few assets; (2) While of course the left will assert that this gap (of about $80,000) is all attributable to past and present discrimination, it is not at all clear how much of it really is (note that the report has few figures for Asians, who have suffered discrimination on par with Hispanics, but whose net wealth is, the report’s author acknowledged to me, much higher—much closer to whites’); and (3) Just because the gap may be “ethnic” doesn’t mean that ethnicity should be part of the remedy, if any—i.e., there are plenty of white families below the $88,000 figure and plenty of blacks and Hispanics above, so any program should be means-tested, not race-tested.
Posted at 11:23 AM
RE: MIQUELON [Jonah Goldberg]
John - I particularly like this part from the review: "Miller is well known for his talent as a polemicist, but he probably wasn’t sufficiently versed in obtuse history to write this book alone. He therefore teamed up with a Harvard lecturer, Mark Molesky, thus gaining, in the eyes of some, a certain intellectual respectability."
I always knew you weren't versed in obtuse history.
Posted at 11:03 AM
MIQUELON [John J. Miller]
And why do these Francophiles have a website called miquelon.org? Hint: It refers to an episode in the Second World War when Charles de Gaulle threatened to order French forces to fire on American soldiers. The whole story is told in chapter 9 of Our Oldest Enemy: A History of America's Disastrous Relationship with France.
Posted at 10:48 AM
PREEMPTIVE ATTACK [John J. Miller]
There's a pro-France website called miquelon.org that I check for news every so often. The folks over there took an early interest in my book, Our Oldest Enemy: A History of America's Disastrous Relationship with France. Their interest in the book was so early, in fact, that they posted a review of Our Oldest Enemy last December--before the book was finished being written! It made me laugh at the time. Aren't the French supposed to be against pre-emptive attacks? Anyway, the "review" is posted on Miquelon's main page once more. I'm especially amused by the claim that my co-author and I should have read Margaret MacMillan's book on the Versailles Treaty, when in fact our chapter on the First World War footnotes it 16 times. (One reviewer who really did read the book criticized us for relying too heavily on MacMillan--there's just no pleasing everyone.) Anyway, for a quick tour of French apologia, there's no beating miquelon.org.
Posted at 10:42 AM
STARTING THEM EARLY [KJL]
Paul V Schaeder Jr., 3 1/2 years young, e-mails to declare himself "NRO's youngest fan."
My question, of course, When does his subscription to NRODT begin?
Posted at 10:21 AM
CELEBRATE LIFE [KJL]
This weekend is the 18th Annual Indian Summer Ball in Washington, D.C., raising money for the Northwest crisis-pregnancy center. Good people, good cause, good fun (Dancing—good election stress relief.)—and held at the gorgeous Organization of American States building. Get details and tickets here.
Posted at 10:18 AM
BREAKING: SCOTUS/TEXAS [KJL]
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court on Monday ordered a lower court to reconsider a Texas congressional map that could give Republicans six more seats in Congress in upcoming elections and help the GOP protect its majority.
Posted at 10:13 AM
RE: YOU [KJL]
Wolcott has issues with Nordlinger too.
Posted at 10:00 AM
KERRY ON MARRIAGE [Stanley Kurtz]
Kathryn, glad you posted Kerry’s latest, sure to be controversial, remarks on gay marriage. Looks like Kerry’s setting himself up for the ultimate post-election flip-flop. Of course, no one believes Kerry opposes same-sex marriage. This is the man who voted against the Defense of Marriage Act and called it “gay bashing on the floor of the U.S. Senate.” How does that square with Kerry’s supposed belief that marriage is the union of a man and a woman? Would a man who really believed that say he might change his mind “if someone made a persuasive argument”–as if all the arguments haven’t been made. I’d say sometime not too long after the California Supreme Court legalizes same-sex marriage by overturning a democratic referendum passed by 61 percent of Californians, Kerry will discover a “persuasive argument” in favor of gay marriage.
Posted at 09:53 AM
WALLOWING IN ME [Jonah Goldberg ]
James Wolcott doesn't like me (Apparently Wolcott has a blog now). His specific gripe is that I use what he calls the "Jonah Goldberg Limited Take Back."
It works something like this. First I say something like: "James Wolcott is an aging precious writer for Vanity Fair whose work is best known as the pointless filler between the articles spoiled wives in the Hamptons actually read."
Then, I say something like this, "Okay, that was a bit unfair."
In tribute to Jimmy I won't say the second part. Though I must say I'm flattered that he's reading my column regularly. That's a lot more than most of us can say about his.
As for the "substance" of his criticism (lest someone think I'm ducking). His first example -- when I wrote "John Kerry is a sphincter. Okay, that's a bit juvenile." -- is fair enough. But at least I was recognizing my "rhetoric" was tongue in cheek. In other words, I don't take myself too seriously. James Wolcott on the other hand could write a grocery list and be disappointed he didn't get a Pulitzer.
As for his second example, one needs to see it in the context of the article I wrote. I think it stands on its own merits and I don't apologize for it. Perhaps Wolcott's real problem is with lively writing. That would certainly explain a lot.
Posted at 09:51 AM
TOM SMITH [Ramesh Ponnuru]
has fun with the Suskind article. (I followed Orin Kerr at volokh.com to the post.) Scrolling down, I see that Maimon Schwarzschild is re-inventing one of Conquest's Laws: Every man is a reactionary in his own field of expertise.
Posted at 09:41 AM
KERRY'S PROBLEM [Stanley Kurtz]
Most of the polls seem to indicate that the president’s lead is growing. Why? Adam Nagourney, in The New York Times, argues that the Mary Cheney mistake has canceled out Kerry’s supposed victory in the debates. That’s way too simple. No doubt Kerry’s been hurt by the Mary Cheney dustup. But there’s a lot more going on than that. For one thing, the president did far better in the debates than Nagourney lets on. In particular, the president’s been stressing Kerry’s liberalism. Kerry’s flip-flops aren’t just a matter of bending with the political wind. They’re an attempt to disguise his underlying liberalism. Kerry fell behind because the Swiftboat Vets and the Republican convention–especially Zell Miller’s speech–painted a true and persuasive picture of Kerry’s dovish record. Kerry’s Vietnam protests reveal him to be a McGovernite liberal, and his twenty-year Senate voting record confirms it. Electoral momentum shifted to Kerry after the first debate, when almost every question Jim Lehrer asked was about the troubles in Iraq. That put the president on the defensive and took Kerry’s record off the table. But the president turned Kerry’s record back into an issue in the next two debates. The Mary Cheney remark may be Kerry’s most obvious mistake, but Kerry’s real problem is that the president has put Kerry’s liberalism back into play. And the president did this, not just by highlighting Kerry’s record, but by laying out a real alternative. The Times would have it that Kerry’s victories on substance are being canceled out by the kind of minor cultural gaffe only flyover country types could care about. What Nagourney and the Times don’t want to admit is that, despite Kerry’s smooth performance in the debates, the public is just not comfortable with his extreme liberalism.
Posted at 09:34 AM
TURNING TO SUSKIND [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Yesterday I wrote about the Bruce Bartlett quotes that open the New York Times Magazine’s cover story on Bush’s faith. Today I’m writing about the rest of that story, by Ron Suskind. In short, it’s a mess.
Suskind’s central examples don’t demonstrate what he thinks it does. He tells a story about how Bush, in conversation with Rep. Tom Lantos, confused Sweden and Switzerland, said that the former was a neutral power without an army. When Lantos tried to correct him, Bush persisted in his belief—and only in a later meeting conceded that he had been wrong. Now this is certainly an embarrassing story, and perhaps a disturbing one. But it does not show that Bush is a man of arrogant certainties who relies on his faith rather than on facts and refuses to reconsider his views. It shows that he is a man who sometimes has his facts wrong and will briefly persist in error. I have known very, very intelligent people, whose theological views and psychologies are quite different from those of the president, who have had similar conversations.
Suskind talks a lot about Bush’s relationship with Jim Wallis, the left-wing evangelical writer. Bush at first was warm to him, but then lost interest when Wallis explained that he had to lead a fight against poverty around the world to win the war on terrorism. Does this show that Bush is uncomfortable with intellectual challenge? I should think it shows him to be unwilling to waste time with people who give him daft advice.
An anonymous Bush aide tells Suskind, hubristically, that Suskind belongs to a “reality-based community” that comments on the world while the administration goes about changing reality. Later, he quotes Mark McKinnon, Bush’s ad guy. McKinnon is saying that Suskind thinks Bush is an idiot. “[Y]ou do, all of you do, up and down the West Coast, the East Coast, a few blocks in southern Manhattan called Wall Street. Let me clue you in. We don’t care. You see, you’re outnumbered 2 to 1 by folks in the big, wide middle of America, busy working people who don’t read the New York Times or Washington Post or The L.A. Times. . . . They have faith in him. And when you attack him for his malaprops, his jumbled syntax, it’s good for us. Because you know what those folks don’t like? They don’t like you!” Suskind adds, “In this instance, the final ‘you,’ of course, meant the entire reality-based community.”
It did? McKinnon hasn’t, "of course," said anything to echo the anonymous aide’s comments. His remark seems to be suggesting that a handle on reality—or at least the realities of American life—is precisely what the New York Times and its peers lack. This is just liberal self-congratulation.
As is the article as a whole. Bush may very well have too much certainty, and too little empiricism. He seems, for example, to have jumped rather alarmingly quickly from the idea that all people have a God-given right to be free to the conclusion that all peoples are capable of exercising that freedom immediately. But when Suskind concludes by quoting Wallis on how true faith never yields “easy certainty,” you wish that he had done a little bit less catering to the easy certainties of the typical Times reader.
Posted at 09:26 AM
JEB OUT [John J. Miller]
Jeb Bush said yesterday that he won't run for president in 2008. Along with Bill Owens of Colorado and Mark Sanford of South Carolina, he's one of America's best governors. If he had a different last name, conservatives would be begging him to jump in. As it happens, his last name is a handicap: A lot of Americans, including many conservative Republicans, would oppose him simply because of his family. There is perhaps only one Democratic candidate who could turn Jeb's surname into an asset: Hillary Clinton. But as of this moment, it doesn't look like we'll have Bush vs. Clinton, round 2.
Posted at 09:09 AM
DIMWIT ALERT [John Derbyshire]
It is a sad fact, well-known to people who write for the public prints, that some quite substantial portion of the reading public, including people with good educational credentials, cannot actually read. I don't mean that they are illiterate -- we don't hear much from true illiterates -- but that their minds reject any kind of rhetorical device deeper than the simple declarative sentence.
Case in point: Among my e-mail this morning was the following. I have reproduced it as it arrived, though blanking out identifying information to protect the irredeemably dimwitted. **It included the link to my column.**
[Beginning of e-mail]
"Hello John---I stumbled onto your webpage in a google search and saw reference to a story that I found mind boggling. I am involved in media advocacy ... I wondered if you could offer any references/sources on the story below. Many thanks!---[Name and New Mexico address]
"Albuquerque, NM; Sept. 15. A passenger on a United flight from Houston to Los Angeles was shot dead by flight attendants over New Mexico this morning. The passenger, a Moroccan businessman, had complained loudly of having been delayed at the boarding gate because of 'profiling' by security personnel. Half an hour into the flight he began cursing at the cabin staff in mixed English and Arabic, referring to the United States as a 'racist' and 'terrorist' nation. Then he jumped from his seat and began walking briskly forward toward the flight cabin. When an attendant ordered him to stop, he paid no attention. The attendant, together with a colleague, opened fire with the sidearms issued to all flight attendants since 9/11. The passenger was declared dead at Albuquerque airport, where the plane made an emergency landing. A United spokesman praised the actions of the flight attendants, who, he said, had done 'exactly the right thing.' Asked whether the passenger, who was of Middle Eastern appearance, had indeed been profiled by United staff at the Houston departure gate, the spokesman replied: 'Of course. That's what our security people are trained to do.' http://olimu.com/WebJournalism/Texts/Commentary/RealWarOnTerror.htm "
[End of e-mail]
I sent the following reply. I'm not betting that I make $250,000 on this deal, but I wouldn't rule it out.
Posted at 08:41 AM
MORE GOOD NEWS FOR BUSH [Michael Graham]
Retail sales posted the biggest gain in six months in September, the government said Friday, helped in large part by strong auto sales as auto manufacturers enticed customers with more juicy incentives. The Commerce Department reported a 1.5 percent increase in retail sales in September, compared with a revised fall of 0.2 percent in August. It was the best showing in the core reading since a 0.9 percent gain in May. "This says the U.S. consumer is still in the ball game and playing like a champion," said Drew Matus, senior economist with Lehman Brothers.
Posted at 08:37 AM
ANTI-ABORTION SENTIMENT ABROAD [John Derbyshire]
Dominic Lawson, formerly editor of the Spectator, has a good piece on abortion in the London Sunday Telegraph. This is unusual; abortion is not a controversial topic in Britain or Europe, and anti-abortion sentiment, though certainly present, is politically irrelevant.
Posted at 08:35 AM
EVERYONE'S PRO-LIFE WHEN THE RACE IS CLOSE! [KJL]
Evidently Tom Daschle is running ads givine himself anti-abortion creds.
Posted at 08:12 AM
MORE OF FR. HUMMER [KJL]
The New York Times didn't have his best quotes, justifying Kerry's twisted political theology and endorsing Kerry. From AP:
"There are many people who think that the destruction of Iraqi life is as direct an assault on the sacred as is the taking of unborn life. There are many people who regard the death penalty as an admission of the smallness of our nature rather than evidence of our greatness."This is a Catholic priest. Someone please pray for everyone stuck with a Fr. Hummer as a parish priest. Catholic instruction is not likely something they're getting.
Posted at 07:21 AM
KEYES & THE CHENEYS [KJL ]
I keep hearing the complaint that the Cheneys said nothing when Alan Keyes insulted their daughter--that somehow they are hypocrites for jumping all over Kerry and not Alan Keyes. My response: Are you serious? The Illinois Senate race is official GOP AWOL territory. Why would they give Keyes more publicity by responding? And even if everyone weren’t just ignoring that race, you don’t need a chart to explain the huge difference between a Senate candidate who has not chance of winning and the Democratic candidate for the presidency of the United States, currently in a tie-like race.
Posted at 06:58 AM
"WE HAVE MUCH TO TALK ABOUT" [John J. Miller]
On Friday night, I appeared on The O'Reilly Factor to discuss Our Oldest Enemy: A History of America's Disastrous Relationship with France. It was an excellent opportunity to tell people about my new book. But the most exciting part wasn't being on air--it was meeting Jean-David Levitte, the French ambassador to the United States, in the green room after my taping. He was at the Fox studio in DC to appear on a different show, so bumping into him was just a coincidence. Fortunately, I had a spare copy of Our Oldest Enemy in my bag, and I gave it to him. The ambassador looked at the cover for a moment and said, "We have much to talk about." So I gave him my card and said, "Call me and we'll talk." I hope he takes me up on it--maybe over a glass of California wine--and if he does, I'll let NRO readers know what he says.
Posted at 06:45 AM
KERRY & MARRIAGE: A LITTLE SERVING OF NUANCE FOR YOU THIS MORNING [KJL]
Here's the Democratic candidate in the current Advocate:
Would you ever change your mind regarding same-sex marriage?
Posted at 06:41 AM
JUST ONE MORE [KJL ]
Imagine if a priest endorsed Bush in such a way.
A few hours later, a Roman Catholic priest in nearby Chillicothe praised his religious beliefs at a Saturday afternoon service arranged for the traveling candidate.
Posted at 06:16 AM
UH, DID HE MAKE THIS CLEAR, OR DID HIS AIDES TELL THE WASHINGTON POST THAT HE MADE IT CLEAR? [KJL ]
The religious divide, not unlike the political one, comes down to siding with liberals in the church over the more orthodox conservatives. Kerry, for example, has broken with some Catholic leaders who say it is a sin for a politician to support abortion rights. In the final debate, the Democratic candidate made it clear he opposes abortion as an "article of his faith," but would never appoint a Supreme Court justice who favors overturning Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision establishing a woman's right to an abortion.
Posted at 06:15 AM
AND ANOTHER THING [KJL ]
We’re supposedly supposed to be freaked when Bush talks about religion. Because he actually believes it. Listen to Kerry—just oozes sincerity, right? Oy
’Through many dangers, toils and snares I have already come,’ Kerry intoned Sunday morning at Mt. Olivet Baptist Church. ‘Tis grace that brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home.’ He told the crowd of 1,500 he wasn't there to preach but went on to, well, preach about the Good Samaritan, the emptiness of a faith devoid of deeds and God's high calling to love one another -- before criticizing from the pulpit President Bush over Social Security and jobs.
I won’t even get into the legality of this…funny, nor will the MSM, or the FEC, or the IRS…
Posted at 06:15 AM
HE’S A SENATOR…HE’S A PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE… [KJL ]
No, he’s a preacher. The Washington Post begins what might be a perverse sorta "holy week" for the Kerry camp this week. He’s apparently going to give a big “faith” speech this week. I’m hoping it’s as completely convoluted as his previous attempts. But, on the other hands, would they actually send him out there with a terrible script.
Posted at 06:14 AM
Sunday, October 17, 2004
THE GLORIES OF OUR BLOOD AND STATE [Rick Brookhiser]
Are shadows, not substantial things.
Spotted in a thrift shop: Autobiography of a Public Man, by Jacob Javits.
Posted at 10:03 PM
HAITI BLAMES KERRY FOR VIOLENCE [KJL]
Posted at 09:23 PM
BULLISH ON THE FRENCH [John J. Miller]
Here's what one member of the animal kingdom thinks of Our Oldest Enemy.
Posted at 08:41 PM
ELECTORAL CONFUSION II [Mark Krikorian]
Here's a revealing quote from an article by an immigration lawyer on immigrants and the election: "Whether nonimmigrant, lawful permanent resident, or U.S. citizen; your participation in the electoral process is critical so that those elected to office are truly representing the People, not only a small group that is more vocal and more active." Apparently that means that foreign students and green card holders are member of the "People"?
Posted at 08:24 PM
ELECTORAL CONFUSION I [Mark Krikorian]
Some people misunderstood my post from Friday on the role of illegal aliens in shifting electoral votes toward blue states as a result of the 2000 census. The changes in several states' electoral votes I reported are different from the actual reapportionment figures; this is because in assessing the effect of the presence of illegals, we subtracted the estimated number of illegals from each state's population and then recalculated what the apportionment would have been without them. For instance, we found that counting illegal aliens in the census gave California three more House seats than it would have had otherwise; since California in actual fact gained one House seat as a result of the 2000 census, that means that without the presence of illegals, California would actually have lost two seats.
Posted at 08:21 PM
NEW YORK REVIEW OF LEFTIES [John Derbyshire]
A Martian seeking to understand current U.S. intellectual life might pick up a copy of The New York Review of Books under the illusion that it offers a wide-ranging survey of the literary scene by talented writers with a good range of outlooks and opinions.
Well, let's see. The current (11/4/04) issue of NYRB includes a round-up of views on the coming election from the magazine's contributors. You can get the flavor of the thing from the following quotes. I have included all the contributors whose views appear in this symposium.
---K. Anthony Appiah: "In this President, then, we have a self-described 'uniter' who has nominated a succession of right-wing ideologues to the federal bench; a man who has invoked his commitment to 'fairness' as he continues to transfer the cost of governance to people further down the income scale..."
---Russell Baker: "Upon entering the White House he [i.e. GWB] immediately started to govern from the ideological right, and not the smiling Reagan right of the 1980s, but the hard, hard right which had spent generations hating everything governmental that could be called 'progressive,' including Theodore Roosevelt, who had afflicted Republicans with that abominable word for the past hundred years..."
---Ian Buruma: "The question is whether the US will be a better place after years of fear-mongering, military abuse, erosion of civil liberties, and a constant stream of political propaganda that distorts America's proudest legacies..."
---Mark Danner: "It is no surprise that the fundamentalist George Bush responded to the cataclysm of September 11 by rallying Americans to a threat he found in the realm not of politics or strategy but of metaphysics..."
---Ronald Dworkin: "America is very lucky to have survived one Bush administration without a single new Supreme Court appointment, but a second term without more than one new appointment seems unlikely..."
---Michael Ignatieff: "Kerry has begun to win some support simply by insisting on the grimness of the facts [i.e. about Iraq] and by pointing out that Bush and Cheney's optimism borders on the delusional..."
---Anthony Lewis: "[S]ince September 11, 2001, President Bush and his administration have made a mockery of the American commitment to law. Using the threat of terrorism as a reason, they have overridden constitutional rights and treaties to take harsh, punitive action against hundreds of individuals..."
---Norman Mailer: "The sorriest thing to be said about the US, as we sidle up to fascism (which can become our fate is we plunge into a major depression, or suffer a set of dirty-bomb catastrophes), is that we expect disasters. We await them. We have become a guilty nation..."
---Edmund S. Morgan: "We cannot now escape credit for what our government has so shamefully done. We began as a people with 'a decent respect for the opinions of mankind,' and we won admiration for it. We have now lost the good opinion of mankind and with it the sefl-respect of decent Americans..."
---Thomas Powers: "I do not think that voters on election day will forget everything else [i.e. but Iraq] -- the failure to restore lost jobs, a ballooning of the national debt that threatens Social Security, the watering down or outright repeal of regulations on business and the environment, the failure to fund the No Child Left Behind Act, the spreading loss of health benefits for ordinary Americans, above all [sic] the bluder of the unnecessary war..."
---Alan Ryan: "...the election is first about bringing the Iraq folly to an end, second about reversing the erosion of civil liberties, and third about restoring respect for intelligence in the formulation and implementation of policy. Underpinning all this, it would help to have a president who could tell the truth -- and who could distinguish it from fantasy..."
---Brian Urquart: "[T]he ideology of the George W. Bush administration is basically unilateralist, exceptionalist, and anti-internationalist. Its worldview first manifested itself in the rejection of important international agreements like the anti-ballistic missile and nuclear test ban treaties, to Kyoto Protocol on global warming, proposed conventions on chemical warfare and the limitation of small arms, and the recently established International Criminal Court..."
---Steven Weinberg: "President Bush's re-election would be disastrous in another respect. The present Supreme Court has attacked the constitutional powers of Congress, striking down legislation that would protect individuals against unconstitutional state action. The vacancies on the Court that are likely to open soon create an opportunity to reverse these decisions. Four more years of a Bush administration will tip the balance of the Court toward extremist justices like Antonin SAcalia and Clarence Thomas..."
---Garry Wills: "[A] vote for Republicans is a vote for Halliburton and contractors in the oil world, for a Rumsfeld policy of destroying the military, for a Cheny vision of unilateral action in a world of nations dismissed as cowards or fools, for an economy based on tax cuts, deficits, and resistance to social programs..."
Now, there is nothing wrong with being a magazine of the foam-flecked Left. There is not even anything much wrong with being a magazine of the foam-flecked Left under a title that gives no clue about your political orientation. ("National Review" is, after all, from the point of view of our Martian visitor, not very informative in this respect.) As a life-long lover of books and writing, though, I do take mild umbrage at a lefty political rag traveling under the title "New York Review of Books" -- a title that suggests something wider than a solid block of rants against the wickedness of the current administration.
May I suggest that NYRB considers re-titling itself to something more appropriate? How about: "New York Review of the Opinions of Burned-Out Old Stalinists, Aging Hippies Who Just Can't Get Over Vietnam, Affirmative Action Academic Hires, Alcoholic Novelists Who Haven't Had a Decent Plot Idea Since 1962, and Retired UN Bureacrats"? Just a suggestion.
Posted at 08:17 PM
RELEASED TOO SOON? [Andrew Stuttaford]
"Abdullah Mehsud, the commander of the Islamic militants who kidnapped two Chinese engineers in Pakistan's South Waziristan region, spent 25 months in custody at the US base in Guantanamo Bay before his release in March."
Posted at 07:51 PM
BRUCE BARTLETT, CTD. [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Just talked to him. He says that he talked to Suskind (the Times Magazine writer) every once in while over a few months. He didn’t realize that Suskind was working on a story until a week ago, and never gave him a formal interview. He emphasizes that he’s not complaining about Suskind’s treatment of him, but is just explaining that in his conversations he was “just saying whatever popped into my head.”
He neither remembers specifically nor disputes the quotes Suskind attributes to him. He does think Suskind got the context wrong a few times. Suskind quotes Bartlett as predicting a “civil war in the Republican Party starting on Nov. 3” and then says that Bartlett sees it as “the same [conflict] raging across much of the world: a battle between modernists and fundamentalists, pragmatists and true believers, reason and religion.” Bartlett says that “civil war” may have been hyperbolic. He adds, “My discussion of the civil war within the republican party had absolutely nothing to do with religion.” He meant only that conservatives upset with Bush’s record on, say, spending but not eager to hurt him before the election would feel freer to complain on Nov. 3—and that the presidential contest for 2008 would also bring out complaints from people to Bush’s right.
What about the quote about Bush’s being “just like” the enemy in the war on terrorism? “When I was talking about how Bush was like Al Qaeda, I didn’t mean that in a negative sense.” [I’ll let him continue, but you have to admit it’s a pretty funny line standing alone—RP.] “I think it is a source of strength to have a leader who understands his enemy so well. What I mean is that—someone who is of a secular nature, their inclination is to believe everyone can be reasoned with. For somebody who has deep faith, they understand that you cannot reason with some people. I mean, you cannot be reasoned with about your [own] faith. Knowing your enemy is an important part of defeating them and if you understand that these people cannot be reasoned with because his faith is as deep as your faith, the only thing to do is to kill them.”
The quote in the magazine makes it sound as though Bartlett thinks that Bush, like “Al Qaeda and the Islamic fundamentalists,” is an “extremist,” “driven by a dark vision.” I don’t believe that the argument he made to me is sound. I think he is exaggerating the unreasonableness of faith, and I think plenty of secular people are capable of seeing religious people as unreasonable—all too capable, in some cases. If the quote is accurate, he could have found a better way to say what he meant (but remember, he didn’t think he was going to be quoted). But I do think that what he told me is what he meant.
Posted at 07:44 PM
ICELAND! [Andrew Stuttaford]
Via The Spectator
“Iceland’s most famous novelist, Halldór Laxness, won the Nobel Prize with a book called Independent People. That phrase — Sjalfstætt Folk — has a resonance on the island that is difficult for foreigners to grasp. Icelanders believe that self-government is the natural condition for a sturdy, free-standing citizenry. They understand that there is a connection between living in an independent state and living independently from the state. They have no more desire to submit to international than to national regulation. That attitude has made them the happiest, freest and wealthiest people on earth. Long may they remain so.”
Time to visit, I reckon.
Posted at 07:06 PM
THE BRITISH ARE COMING, THE BRITISH ARE COMING [Andrew Stuttaford]
And no, that is not always a good thing.
The Guardian, an always dependable source of the asinine, has launched a scheme to spam the luckless voters of Clark County, Ohio with advice about the upcoming election.
Blogger Tim Blair is not impressed.
Posted at 06:55 PM
JUSTICE EU-STYLE (2) [Andrew Stuttaford]
In Iraq, the search for mass graves continues but apparently European teams who worked on Bosnian mass graves are not helping because of their concerns that Saddam could face the death penalty.
Just as well, I suppose, that we’ve got those pesky Nuremberg trials all over and done with.
Posted at 06:47 PM
JUSTICE EU-STYLE [Andrew Stuttaford]
Marta Andreassen was the EU’s former accountant, suspended for going public with her fears about the vulnerability of the EU’s budget to corruption, something to remember at a time when the EU bureaucracy is proposing additional regulations on company accounting.
Andreassen has now been formally fired. No surprise there, but the EU’s Commissioners have now become so comfortable in their unassailability that none of them – not one – bothered to ask her a single question at the final hearing on her case.
Posted at 06:40 PM
KEN'S PARTY [Andrew Stuttaford]
From the Sunday Telegraph: “Back in Alexandra Palace, the climate has already changed to pouring rain. The outdoor "Cultural Space," situated at the edge of the car park, is not proving popular. Inside a large, draughty marquee, the Bolivia Solidarity Campaign musicians are struggling to find anyone to express their solidarity with. In front of the stage, six desperate delegates sway half-heartedly to the frenetic pan-pipe tunes, clapping politely at the end of each song. A desolate barbecue, providing soggy veggie-burgers to the masses, has no customers. The impression is that of a doomed village fete rather than an invigorating global revolution."
Cost to London taxpayers: GBP 400,000.
London Mayor Ken Livingstone was endorsed for re-election by the Economist.
Posted at 05:37 PM
PERETZ PUMMELS KERRY [KJL]
And Carter and Clinton while he's at it.
Posted at 02:26 PM
BRUCE BARTLETT [Ramesh Ponnuru]
The latest festival of Bush-bashing in the NYT Magazine opens with a quote from him. "This is why George W. Bush is so clear-eyed about Al Qaeda and the Islamic fundamentalist enemy. He believes you have to kill them all. They can't be persuaded, that they're extremists, driven by a dark vision. He understands them, because he's just like them." I find it hard to believe that Bruce would really say something this contemptible.
Bruce goes on to say, "This is why he dispenses with people who confront him with inconvenient facts. He truly believes he's on a mission from God. Absolute faith like that overwhelms a need for analysis. The whole thing about faith is to believe things for which there is no empirical evidence." Is this really the main problem with Osama bin Laden's religious views? That he is not an empiricist?
Posted at 02:24 PM
ROVE ON UNDECIDEDS [Peter Robinson ]
In a post yesterday, faithful readers will recall, I asked, jokingly, if Karl Rove would care to tell us all just what to expect from undecided voters. This morning I received the following email:
Karl Rove gave his view (at some length) as to how undecideds break, in an interview with FNC's Brit Hume. And it's not "for the incumbent" or "for the challenger." Plenty more on…[how to look] at conventional polling of undecided voters as well. Of course, I cannot say whether or to what extent Mr. Rove was giving some spin, but it's interesting reading.Interesting reading from Mr. Rove--and proof, from my correspondent, that Cornerites can summon up anything.
Posted at 02:13 PM
BROKEN HOCKEY STICK [Jonathan H. Adler]
A key pillar of apocalyptic global warming projections appears to have bitten the dust.
Posted at 02:05 PM
WOOING UNDECIDEDS [Jonathan H. Adler]
Several family friends who are quite hostile to Bush -- but hardly sold on Kerry -- found this column by Sebastian Mallaby to be quite convincing. Despite their strong anti-Bush sentiments, they are quite open to the argument that -- whatever his faults -- Bush is correct on the defining issue of the day. Kerry, on the other hand, is wrong -- when he has any position at all.
Posted at 02:03 PM
SNOWMOBILES BACK IN [Jonathan H. Adler]
The Clinton Adminsitration's ban on snowmobiles in Yellowstone and the Grand Teton National Parks is gone for good, thanks to a federal judge, according to this report.
Posted at 02:03 PM
KERRY WANTS "EQUAL TIME" [Jonathan H. Adler]
Here's Howard Kurtz's coverage of the Kerry campaign's call for "equal time" on Sinclair Broadcasting.
Posted at 01:54 PM
WHITHER THE UNDECIDEDS [Jonathan H. Adler]
From this fairly comprehensive historical analysis, it seems that undecideds do not tend toward the challenger prior to the last week of the campaign.
Posted at 01:48 PM
JUDICIAL BOOMERANG [Jonathan H. Adler]
Could filibustering judges haunt Senator Daschle? Perhaps so, according to this report. And if Daschle loses, some Republican Senators suggest, Democrats will be less likely to filibuster judges in the future.
Posted at 01:41 PM
OOOPS [Andrew Stuttaford]
I dubbed an earlier post passing on news of a TSA beanfeast in Washington "Mineta Watch'. As many readers have pointed out, my bad. These days the TSA is run by Tom Ridge, not Norm Mineta. Mind you, bad as it was, my mistake was an error in the right direction. Mr. Mineta needs watching anyway.
Posted at 01:41 PM
RE: MRS. MILLER'S IRISH [KJL]
Go Amy! Go Amy!
Posted at 01:32 PM
GALLUP SNAPSHOT: BUSH 52. KERRY 44 [Jonah Goldberg ]
Posted at 12:44 PM
THE SOURCES OF MORALITY [Andrew Stuttaford]
I’m very, very reluctant to get embroiled into this discussion, but, for what it’s worth, it does appear there is, so to speak, an ‘altruism gene’. Of course, I understand the argument (even if I don’t share it) that the moral code of those without a belief in God rests on shaky philosophical foundations, but, even if this is a matter of instinct rather than logic, biology, as always, may go some way to coming to the rescue.
Posted at 12:28 PM
KERRY AFTER MASS [John J. Miller]
My wife went totally Catholic on me this morning--not an inappropriate thing, when you consider that it's Sunday and we were leaving Mass. Now, you need to understand a couple things. First, Amy is not a very confrontational person (except when I forget to do the dishes). She certainly isn't confrontational with strangers. She's also a hard-core pro-lifer. So it really got her Irish up (as we say around the Miller household) to see a lady passing out Kerry-Edwards bumpers stickers on church property. At Amy's urging, I rolled down the window and offered a few choice words. But then Amy insisted that we turn around and tell the priest. So we did, and he marched out and asked Kerry's minion not to harass his parishioners after Mass on church grounds. She refused. Our priest didn't have time to bicker--there was another Mass to give, and more unborn children to pray for--and so he left the scene. Then we told the Kerry lady that she really ought to leave because of Kerry's views on issues vital to the Catholic Church. She told us she respected our views and didn't budge. It seems to me that if you disobey a Catholic priest's requiest to quit pamphleteering after Mass on church property, then no, you don't respect Catholic views. Okay, enough sermonizing from me--but please read Rich's column on John Kerry's "respect" for the Catholic Church, here. Meanwhile, I've got to finish doing the dishes from breakfast.
Posted at 11:24 AM
I'M A MIDDLE-AGED JERK [Jonah Goldberg ]
The half-life of my anti-youth voting column endures.
Posted at 10:15 AM
PIERRE SALINGER, RIP [John J. Miller]
The old JFK hand has died. This NYT story on his passing, however, fails to mention that Salinger left the United States to live in France as a way to protest the election of George W. Bush. (The Wash Post story on Salinger doens't skip this detail.) I know a lot of people were upset when Bush won in 2000, but most of them didn't feel the need to flee America. Salinger's decision always has struck me as a revoltingly unpatriotic act.
Posted at 08:10 AM
"MORE FRENCH THAN THE FRENCH" [John J. Miller]
In today's Boston Globe, a writer takes a stab at helping us understand the legacy of French intellectual Jacques Derrida, who died a week ago: "What did I expect from Derrida himself that I couldn't get in a course on Deconstruction and Literary Theory at an American graduate school? Somehow I wanted to become French, but more French than the French. French and other. American and other. Self and other. Deconstruction was the language of this impossible desire, as I then knew it."
I'm not sure that makes anything clearer. Mark Molesky and I--who have never aspired to being "more French than the French"--wrote on Derrida here.
Posted at 07:35 AM