WOW [Jonah Goldberg]
A blog dedicated to who will be the next World Bank President.
Nod to Dan Drezner.
Posted at 11:01 PM
WHY.... [Jonah Goldberg]
Is John Kerry meeting with the president of Syria?
Posted at 10:48 PM
NICE QUOTE [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader in response to the latest column:
Thomas More on incremental relativism:
Posted at 10:46 PM
YAWN [Jonah Goldberg]
I don't think this is an ideological point: You can tell where a pundit or blogger resides on the ideological spectrum based upon what he or she assumes is self-evidently damning.
So, here is Atrios compiling what he apparently considers to be a bunch of self-evidently damning statements on my part.
Anyway, without getting into the weeds, I guess I just think Atrios is a bore.
Posted at 10:43 PM
THROW A NET OVER HIM [Jonah Goldberg ]
Michael Newdow is at it again:
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- An atheist who sued because he did not want his young daughter exposed to the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance has filed a suit to bar the saying of a prayer at President Bush's inauguration...
[oops...sorry...see this was already posted earlier]
Posted at 07:07 PM
BUSH NAMES COMMISSION TO STUDY TAX REFORM [Tim Graham]
Connie Mack, John Breaux head it up.
Posted at 05:09 PM
GINGRICH FOR PRESIDENT? [Jonah Goldberg]
I'm exhausted already.
Posted at 04:58 PM
THANK YOU, ADM. SHELDON KINNEY; R.I.P. [KJL]
A retired Navy man whose life, as this profile reports, was a service to our nation, dies:
Posted at 04:41 PM
IN IRAQ [KJL]
The bad guys continue to try to stall the elections:
Militants abducted three senior Iraqi officials, beheaded a man who worked for the U.S. military and killed at least four others, officials said Saturday, a day after a U.S. general warned that insurgents may be planning "horrific" attacks ahead of Jan. 30 elections.
It will get worse. But don't delay.
Posted at 04:31 PM
RE: THE WILLIAMS THING [KJL]
From that same NYTimes story, this is funny:
"I thought we in the media were supposed to be watchdogs, not lapdogs," Bryan Monroe, an official of the black journalists' group and an assistant vice president at Knight Ridder, said in the statement.
Posted at 04:05 PM
RE: THE CLINTON ADMIN & ARMSTRONG WILLIAMS [KJL]
From the NYTimes:
But public relations executives said that the government distribution of prepared news segments without on-air disclosures of their origin was a bipartisan practice that predated the Bush administration.But was there money involved (maybe they saw no need)?
Posted at 03:54 PM
BEGALA AND JONAH: MIND MELD! [KJL]
Mark yesterday as a day for the history books. Here's Paul Begala on Crossfire, questioning Armstrong Williams: "Do you think that -- what do you think your friends on the right would do if a similar thing had happened with Bill Clinton? Jonah Goldberg was on the program that precedes us, "INSIDE POLITICS." He suggested that steam would be coming out of his ears if a liberal had done this under Bill Clinton."
Posted at 03:33 PM
NEAT [KJL ]
The homepage of the U.S. Pacific Command has a link to Tom Smith’s NRO piece on the humanitarian work of the USS Lincoln in south Asia (and elsewhere).
Posted at 03:28 PM
HOW DO YOU SPELL RELIEF? [KJL ]
C-o-n-d-o-m-s, perhaps, if you’re the U.N. Population Fund. Birth control and abortion aids are part of their emergency help to tsunami victims. But don’t expect the U.N. to spell that out in their appeal for money; here’s the translation.
Posted at 03:05 PM
BIAS OR UNBIASED? [KJL]
Roger Simon looks at two very different takes on how to deal with news: mine and the head of Wikipedia.
Posted at 03:01 PM
THE ACTRESS AND THE DEFENSE SECRETARY [Tim Graham]
Julia Roberts buys land from Don Rumsfeld.
Posted at 03:00 PM
...AND TO DUST YOU SHALL RETURN? [Tim Graham]
AP reports from Tennessee: "A former crematory operator who admits dumping 334 bodies and passing off cement dust as their remains pleaded guilty Friday to Tennessee charges and was sentenced to 12 years in prison."
Posted at 02:57 PM
HE'S KIDDING, RIGHT? [Tim Graham]
In profiling the pop band the Scissor Sisters (whose hit on the radio sounds like a carbon copy of an Elton John song), Washington Post music writer Richard Harrington says of lead singer Jake Shears: "Getting serious about it was not on anyone's agenda. After all, Shears was anticipating a course in journalism, and, like many journalists, supporting himself as a go-go dancer and stripper."
Posted at 02:52 PM
WISHFUL THINKING [Cliff May]
According to a Washington Post editorial this morning, “Palestinian Candidate Mahmoud Abbas has been a strong and courageous opponent of violence against Israel and a strong supporter of Palestinian compromises to move toward a two-state solution.”
Would that it were so. To the best of my knowledge (Cornerites are invited to correct me if I’m wrong) Abbas has never opposed violence – not even the murder of children – on a moral basis (the only basis that could be called “courageous.”)
Instead, he has merely said that such acts, at this point in history, harm, rather than help the Palestinian cause (which may be defined variously as establishing a Palestinian state or wiping Israel off the face of the Earth).
And when has Abbbas ever said that the Palestinians will have to make serious compromises with the Israelis in order to achieve peace? By contrast, Ariel Sharon has often told Israelis that they must prepare to make “painful compromises.”
With this as background, it is no surprise – though it is a disappointment – that Abbas has waged his campaign by attacking “the Zionist enemy,” saying nothing that will help Palestinians move toward a resolution of the conflict that is less than they were promised by Arafat – less than a Palestinian victory and an Israeli defeat.
And remember: Abbas has had no serious opponent in this race. True, there are those who are not candidates who might attempt to kill him should he say anything that displeases them. But that will be true after he wins as well. And if the goal here is to build democratic values and institutions, would it not be useful for Abbas to say a few words critical of such people? Shouldn’t the Post have noted that?.
Posted at 02:38 PM
HOW ABOUT A "THANK YOU"? [KJL]
"Don't convert our children, Muslim group warns"
Posted at 02:32 PM
ALSO ON SUNDAY [KJL]
Our friend Michelle Malkin will be a talk-radio host from 10 am to 1 pm eastern on WABC AM in New York City. Rep. Tom Tancredo will be one of her guests (and taking questions from listeners) during the 11 o'clock hour. You can listen online here.
Posted at 02:28 PM
DINO ROSSI WENT TO COURT YESTERDAY [KJL]
to contest the election where dead people voted, among other things.
Where's the John Conyers outrage, etc.?
Posted at 02:04 PM
RE: SUNDAY [KJL]
Correction on Meet the Press: Kate was on Meet the Press last Sunday--but NRO fans who tune in won't be disappointed, Byron York is on this Sunday.
Posted at 02:00 PM
BACK TO THE ISSUE OF THE DAY [KJL]
A reader just pointed out: In all of the reports (there are a lot of them) about Brad Pitt and Jennifer Anniston's split, on the roll call of her movies, WHERE IS OFFICE SPACE? Seems to be missing.
Posted at 01:55 PM
NEWDOW, THE PLEDGE GUY, IS BACK [KJL]
He's suing to keep Bush's hand off a Bible on Jan. 20 (Not in the way that would make Barbara Boxer and co. most proud though).
Posted at 01:47 PM
NATURAL DISASTERS [Cliff May]
Why do they get priority over unnatural disasters? Why is there so much empathy, so much support for the victims of acts of God, and so little empathy, so little support for the victims of acts of man?
Why does the “international community” care more about the victims of a tsunami than they do about the victims of Saddam Hussein, Sudanese Islamic fascists, Kim Jong Il, Rwandan mass murderers, Pol Pot et al.?
My Scripps column on this topic is here.
Posted at 01:43 PM
FOX [Rich Lowry]
Fyi--scheduled to be on around 3:40 pm today.
Posted at 01:35 PM
ON MORE IMPORTANT MATTERS: I STILL BELIEVE [KJL]
in Brad and Jen. I must. There's still a chance for them. I will not concede one of my 2005 predictions on Jan. 8.
Posted at 01:32 PM
OVERREACT MUCH? [Jonah Goldberg]
I'm sorry I ever linked to this Gilliard guy. Not because I take back anything I said. If anything I was probably kind. But because Gilliard's making a fool of himself. He's now calling me, Rich Lowry and NR racists, comparing us to Klansmen and writing what would be called a sophomoric racist parody of a thin-skinned black liberal having a hissy-fit -- if it weren't actually written seriously. I don't really take offense because I can't take this guy seriously. All of his language is hackneyed (Oh how clever! An uncle Tom barb! Never heard one of those). His "ideas" are a caricature and, judging from his (several) fans' email to me, all he's got going for him is a rather sad persecution complex. How else to interpret this sort of hysteria but as a perfect -- if trivial -- example of the moral exhaustion of black liberalism. Am I supposed to cry because he called me a racist over something like this?
Seriously, Steve, take a few deep breaths. If you're going to call me a Klansmen for criticizing you and Armstrong Williams, how do you expect to have any moral authority for, well, anything? Maybe someone else can explain this to him?
Posted at 01:21 PM
RE: CALL ME CRAZY [Jonah Goldberg]
Readers are telling me this guy is black. Ok, so if we want, we can play the usual games about whether or not blacks can be racists when talking about other blacks. Particularly when smug, un-funny, liberal blacks talk about conservative ones (since we know it's not allowed the other way around). Or we can declare in advance that we find such post-modern thumbsucking racial seminars very boring and ignore the whole thing. The guy's post still strikes me as racist, offensive and idiotic and the fact that he's black may make it more interesting for people who play those games, but not for me. His commnets are gross and his skin color doesn't make them hip.
Posted at 08:26 AM
Friday, January 07, 2005
CALL ME CRAZY .... [Jonah Goldberg ]
But I think this guy's post about Armstrong Williams is flat-out racist, and it's not like I throw that around lightly.
I found it while searching Technorati for what the blogosphere was saying about Armstrong Williams. I don't know much about Steve Gillard. Okay I don't know anything execpt I've come across the name in searches before and Technorati says it's fairly well-known.
Anyway, I find the Williams thing to be a total trainwreck, but I don't think it warrants lame slave jokes and the like. Then again, I don't think anything warrants even non-lame slave jokes. Shame on this guy whoever he is.
Posted at 09:07 PM
RE: KATE O'BEIRNE [KJL]
She's been very hard on No Child Left Behind.
Had you only known, Kate....
Posted at 06:29 PM
KATE O'BEIRNE [NRO Staff]
will be on Meet the Press Sunday, fyi.
Posted at 06:26 PM
FORMER HILLARY MONEY GUY [KJL]
Posted at 06:13 PM
HAVE A GOOD WEEKEND, Y'ALL [KJL]
Hard to believe we're only about one week into the new year--long first one.
The Corner will be around now and again as usual this weekend, stop by. Otherwise, enjoy.
Posted at 05:08 PM
NYTIMES CHARGING WEB READERS [KJL]
Would I ever read it again?
Posted at 04:45 PM
OK, I'M A SORE LOSER, TOO [KJL]
I enjoy knowing the Red Sox are having some problems.
I posted that because Red Sox fan Shannen Coffin is on the road. Heh.
Posted at 04:40 PM
I DOZED LAST NIGHT [KJL]
I wasn't sure last night if Peter Jennings mentioned the certification meltdown last night--he did, briefly (I might have blinked): From the Media Research Center:
) Two network anchors treated as a noble and credible cause, not as an unworthy publicity gimmick without any factual basis, the move by a few far-left cranks in the House and Senate to object to the certification of the Electoral College vote in Ohio in favor of President George W. Bush. ABC's Peter Jennings noted that "the Democrats knew that it was a pretty ceremonial objection," but he stressed how they "regarded it as important." Brian Williams, from Singapore, teased Thursday's NBC Nightly News by assuming facts not in evidence as he presumed there were "problems" in Ohio, "Protesting the vote: Congress forced to interrupt its ceremonial counting of the electoral votes because of problems on Election Day in Ohio." NBC's Chip Reid proceeded to relay, without citing any evidence, how "the objectors cited irregularities in Ohio from alleged intimidation of minority voters to too few voting machines."
Posted at 04:25 PM
HOW LONG BEFORE MIKE BLOOMBERG MAKES THESE MANDATORY? [Michael Graham]
Hey, it's for the children, right?
(Thanks to Michelle Malkin for the tip.)
Posted at 04:09 PM
RE: THE CJR INTERVIEW [KJL]
After I got asked that question about what three liberals I'd like to be stuck in a room , I started polling. The sanest choice was: "DP Moynihan, Chris Hitchens, and Camille Paglia." An alternative to Bill Clinton--they'd all criticize him. Though does Paglia qualify (or Hitchens, come to think...)? She might be a label unto herself.
The bravest choice: Dean. Who knows what could happen. Someone would run out screaming.
Posted at 04:06 PM
LOCKED IN A ROOM WITH BILL CLINTON [KJL]
The Columbia Journalism review interviewed me about the media’n’stuff. Kinda quirky, as the subject line suggests. You can see it here. It's a Friday kinda read.
Don't hate me for not naming names, btw on the worst reporters--but you'll see I slipped everyone's favorite WashPost White House correspondent in elsewhere (you're welcome, Mr. Rove).
Posted at 02:59 PM
ACTUALLY, ROGER [KJL]
the Green party thing might be a joke.
But your point is well taken--there's not even a good-looking guy to explain the utter blindness. Stuttaford wrote about red chic on the catwalk a while back (I'm sure that assignment was all selfless on his part), here.
Posted at 02:55 PM
MY LATEST COLUMN CALLS INTO QUESTION MY COMFORT AS A CITIZEN... [Rich Lowry ]
...according to this e-mail: "You, sir, sound as if you would be more comfortable as a member of the Taliban, justifying the severing of the hands of accused thieves, and the stoning of accused adulterers, than as a citizen of the United States."
Posted at 02:52 PM
BEVIS & BUTTHEAD LAKE [Jonah Goldberg ]
A small lake southeast of Lake Stevens has two different names, Bevis and Butthead - almost identical to snickering characters in TV's "Beavis and Butt-head" show.
Posted at 01:38 PM
MORE OUTRAGES UNCOVERED [John Derbyshire]
"Dear Mr. Derbyshire---I recall we once celebrated a West Point classmates birthday by tying him naked and spread eagle on a clothing rack, painting him blue, edge-dressing his privates (edge dressing is glossy veneer used to paint the side of your shoe soles pure black), then wheeling him around campus to the cheers of his fellow cadets.
"Abu-Ghraib style we took photos. I think I have some copies in a shoebox somewhere. What fun!
"Of course that probably helped create the permissive atmosphere that lead to Abu Ghraib."
I advise you to burn those photographs, Sir, before they fall into the hands of the New York Times.
Posted at 01:38 PM
GOLLY [Jonah Goldberg]
Someone's actually been cataloging my monkey references:
Should Cosmo be concerned?
Posted at 01:28 PM
RE: GODDARD ON MOORE [KJL]
At first I was disappointed it wasn't Jean-Luc Picard on Moore.
Yes, that's what The Corner has done to me. Hope you're happy, Jonah.
Posted at 01:22 PM
HAMMER AND SICK [Roger Clegg]
Kathryn, I like your Che postcard idea., and the sooner the better. Consider: I’m in Starbucks earlier this week, and I see a young student-type wearing a t-shirt with a light green background and a pink … hammer and sickle. Now, we’ve discussed why Che t-shirts are bad, and I’d say the same about those t-shirts featuring Castro or Marx or Trotsky or Lenin, but this seems to me much worse. I mean, you can romanticize the nice-looking Che, but what’s the excuse for wearing the unadorned symbol of Communism, number-one murderer in world history? And it turns out this kid is not alone; there’s other hammer-and-sickle paraphernalia, too, here (“For the little Internet communist inside all of us, this spoof http shirt …”) and here (Green Party). I’ve felt rotten all week because I didn’t say something to this kid, like “Do you have one with a swastika, too?” What’s going on here? Is this supposed to be ironic? I don’t get it.
Posted at 01:08 PM
THESE PEOPLE REALLY EXIST [Jonah Goldberg]
Please don't send me email explaining why this guy is wrong. I just thought you'd be interested in knowing that I really do hear from people like this guy:
Subject: Insurgents Are NOT Terrorists...!!!
Posted at 12:56 PM
RE: NORDLINGER'S ARTICLE AND CHE [KJL]
Here's an idea: You know how bars will have a corner with postcards by the door--movie ads, restaurant ads, etc? Someone should do whatever one has to do to print that concise sum-up graph Jay did of WHO CHE IS on a postcard. Just put Che on the front, which'll draw all the "cool kids" in and you've started to educate. Think about the possibilities.
Posted at 12:53 PM
MORE ON INTERROGATION [Rich Lowry ]
E-mail: “Torture achieves little except the demeanment of the torturer. Why do you vaguely allude to torture as the means to capturing wanted terrorists, and do not give a specific example?”
ME: First, I don’t endorse torture. Second, here is a specific instance of a coerced interrogation producing valuable information. Bush critics should tell us whether they would be willing to forgo this kind of information, and the resulting captures, or not. From the June 27, 20004 Washington Post: "In March 2002, Abu Zubaida was captured, and the interrogation debate between the CIA and FBI began anew. This time, when FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III decided to withhold FBI involvement, it was a signal that the tug of war was over. "Once the CIA was given the green light . . . they had the lead role," said a senior FBI counterterrorism official.
Abu Zubaida was shot in the groin during his apprehension in Pakistan. U.S. national security officials have suggested that painkillers were used selectively in the beginning of his captivity until he agreed to cooperate more fully. His information led to the apprehension of other al Qaeda members, including Ramzi Binalshibh, also in Pakistan. The capture of Binalshibh and other al Qaeda leaders -- Omar al-Faruq in Indonesia, Rahim al-Nashiri in Kuwait and Muhammad al Darbi in Yemen -- were all partly the result of information gained during interrogations, according to U.S. intelligence and national security officials. All four remain under CIA control."
Posted at 12:50 PM
RE: CHE [Kathryn Jean Lopez ]
Sorry that was a looong post. But the book-ad is just so precious.
Posted at 12:47 PM
MY MOTORCYCLE DIARIES MISTAKE [KJL]
I haven’t see the movie. Basically, I have the same philosophy with it as I had with Fahrenheit 911. If I missed the previews (I did), I’m not paying money to see it. I might watch it on HBO--or whatever--one day.
A friend in the movie biz (God bless him for staying sane!) was kind enough to share one of the routine "for your consideration" Oscar ad packages Hollywood types get around this time of year. It's for The Motorcycle Diaries.
It’s a lauding pictoral look at Che Guevara's young life as portrayed in the movie, filled with adoring, though relatively minimal text (compared to the overwhelming photos).
And, well, heck, I almost like Che now.
It explained why I’ve been feeling off recently, though: I should have seen the movie. It would have changed my life. Or so the Oscar ad says in word and image. I’d be into the whole Che Chic thing Jay Nordlinger has written so ably about. Had I seen it, I would get Che and be, at last, chic. As Christy Lemire of AP reviewed the film: “After seeing this film, you’ll want to follow them wherever they roam.” (That's one of the quotes scattered through the ad book.)
Shortly thereafter, in the commerical package, you are reminded, “that Che is a modern hero…”
And, of course, MD is “a love story.”
And there is some dialogue from the film here and there. Like:
Communist Woman: Are you two looking for work?You need to understand, you see, that: “The story has a universality that transcends politics.” – Stephen Farber, Movieline’s Hollywood Life
“…the story tells how Guevara begins to find himself morally and politically.”--David Elliott, San Diego Union-Tribune
“’The Motorcycle Diaries’ could be about anyone spreading his wings for the first time, and that’s what makes it so touching.”--Ruthe Stein, San Fran Chronicle
And you should see the warm--and hot--movie stills. He goes from egghead to glorious, in love, an adventurer, an inspiration.
HOW CAN YOU NOT LOVE THIS YOUNG MAN, THIS GUEVARA?! HE IS EVERYMAN. (What was that Jay anti-Che-ism all about?!) My emotions are charged from the overdose of Motorcycle Diary Che fluff (emotional sugar) in the Motorcycle Diaries ad book!
To quote Señor Jay Nordlinger, in the current NRODT: “To turn the tide against Guevara would take massive reeducation--a term the old Communist would very much appreciate.” He’s a hot hero who moves the world (“sexy" makes it into the just-short-of-70-pages commercial—not that it is needed. Again, the images tell that story).
And there are the endnotes: “It’s a love story about loving the person that’s your neighbor; it’s a love story about loving the land and therefore loving oneself.”--Gael García Bernal (who plays hero Che)
I think they forgot to mention the love.
“’The Motorcycle Diaries’ is the kind of movie that can change us all for the better.”--Andrew Sarris, New York Observer
There’s not even a decent hint that the subject is a man who would be a controversial figure. Because, I guess, he really isn’t. The Communist thug who is the stuff of legend now. (And "Fidel" is "uncle.")
Jay writes, in his piece--which should be printed on index cards to hand out everytime you see someone with a Che shirt:
The fog of time and the strength of anti-anti-Communism have obscured the real Che. Who was he? He was an Argentinian revolutionary who served as Castro's primary thug. He was especially infamous for presiding over summary executions at La Cabaña, the fortress that was his abattoir. He liked to administer the coup de grâce, the bullet to the back of the neck. And he loved to parade people past El Paredón, the reddened wall against which so many innocents were killed. Furthermore, he established the labor-camp system in which countless citizens--dissidents, democrats, artists, homosexuals--would suffer and die. This is the Cuban gulag. A Cuban-American writer, Humberto Fontova, described Guevara as "a combination of Beria and Himmler." Anthony Daniels once quipped, "The difference between [Guevara] and Pol Pot was that [the former] never studied in Paris."[Emphasis mine.]
The cover, by the way, of the Oscar MD lovefest says “Let the world change you…And you can change the world.”
Well, it didn’t say for the better.
Posted at 12:41 PM
CLARIFICATION RE SCHOOLS AND EMAIL [KJL]
I'm not suggesting you prevent temptations or save the world from perverts by principals deciding no teacher-student e-mails. I'm just saying it avoids new problems--people say things over email they won't say in person, etc. Things written quickly are misunderstood. Odd times are misinterpreted. Etc.
Posted at 12:34 PM
CNN [Jonah Goldberg]
I'll be on around 3:45 today.
Posted at 12:23 PM
UNSCRIPTED ERROR [Rich Lowry ]
E-mail: “Subject: back to the dictionary for you "be afforded such things as commissary privileges, script (i.e., advances of monthly pay), athletic uniforms and scientific instruments." while it is true that I object to everything in your column, I would at this time point out to you it is called "SCRIP" not SCRIPT, according to Webster's 2.” [It's fixed now, fyi--Ed.]
Posted at 11:46 AM
TEACHERS & KIDS ONLINE [KJL ]
This new case of a teacher—middle school—going at it with students: she used e-mail to make it all happen. I’ve had this conversation with teachers and administrators before: I really don’t think teachers should give students their e-mail addresses. Schools should have policies about it, and that would be mine. It just makes sense, it seems. I’ve heard homework help justifications for e-mailing, but it’s not necessary and it’s too easy for problems to arise. Common sense.
Posted at 11:43 AM
THIS MAY TAKE A WHILE... [Jonah Goldberg ]
Noah Millman has an epic-length response to my G-File today and I'm delighted for it. I was hoping for more feedback as this Pragmatism stuff is something of a hobby-horse of mine these days. That said, I've got to work on something else right now and this is way too long to respond to now.
But I will quibble now with his first quibble. He says that "pragmatism" doesn't have a positive connotation. He makes this case by coming up with words which mean the opposite of pragmatism -- principled, for example -- which we like and words which he says are synonyms with pragmatic that we don't like -- "mercenary," for example. That's all find and dandy. But this guilt-by-association really doesn't disprove my assertion that pragmatism is a well-liked word in political discourse. Sure, there are some of us who don't like "pragmatic" any more than we like it when politicians are celebrated for "growing" in office, since both terms are often code for liberal agendas. But this is a rarefied interepretation carrying a lot of ideological freight. In common usage, even among conservatives, the word is well-liked and well-meant.
Posted at 11:36 AM
WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO BUTTOCK'S BOOTH? [John Derbyshire]
My great pleasure as a child was to cycle around the countryside near my
Well, one of those villages -- it boasted the part-excavated site of a Roman
Is this yet another example of Geographical Correctness? -- like all those
Posted at 11:07 AM
THE UPCOMING IRAQI ELECTIONS [KJL]
Anonymous American and British diplomats increasingly suggest that elections cannot be held in the deteriorating security situation, but it is the worsening atmosphere that is driving the Iraqi desire to vote. Iraqis look forward to the January 30 poll, the first free elections Iraq has seen in 50 years. Not only those in the Shia south, but also many Baghdadis talk about voting 169, the position of the Iraqi National Alliance on the ballot. Many others say they plan to vote for President Ghazi al-Yawar's list. Most Kurds will support Masud Barzani and Jalal Talabani's Kurdish list. Few if any Iraqis say they will support Allawi. He has failed them. Re-Baathification may win King Abdullah of Jordan's approval and Syrian President Bashar al-Asad's consent, but the policy will not improve Iraq's security. Insurgents and terrorists may kill Iraqis lining up to vote. They may assassinate winning candidates. But only through voting, can Iraqis choose their own government, one that will have the moral authority to undertake remedies forbidden by professional diplomats and intelligence operatives who have had trouble letting go of the old order. It is time to listen to the Iraqis.Read the whole piece here.
Posted at 11:04 AM
AMBER WAVES OF DISGUST [KJL ]
And, not to be too cranky, but: about the Amber Frey book tour. There’s a mother and child dead. A child who never got to see the light of day. And we’re left talking about whether Amber loves Scott or not. Why do we watch this? We obviously do or Sean Hannity for goodness sakes wouldn’t wind up interviewing her.
Posted at 10:56 AM
FYI [Rich Lowry ]
Here is a piece I wrote with David Rivkin defending Rumsfeld in the Los Angeles Times.
Posted at 10:56 AM
“THERE’S A LOT OF LOVE THAT GOES INTO TAKING CARE OF ANDREA YATES.” [KJL ]
That came from her lawyer on The Today Show earlier. Obviously, we should treat everyone with love and respect. But I really don’t need to hear that as part of the supposed news story (their lead) on this case. Yates—whatever her mental state, and she obviously has problems--killed her children. But what’s the discussion? She’s doing ok. Better than ever, her lawyer said. And now isn’t even convicted of murder anymore. What a society.
Posted at 10:53 AM
THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES IN MICHIGAN [Roger Clegg]
The Ward Connerly-led Michigan Civil Rights Initiative has submitted over a half-million signatures, more than enough to put its initiative banning preferences based on race, ethnicity, and sex onto the ballot in Michigan (a key target there is the University of Michigan’s admissions discrimination). And the Center for Individual Rights has now demanded that UM refund the $40 application fees of all students (i.e., whites and Asians) who have been discriminated against in this way.
Posted at 10:50 AM
NO SITTER? USE THE CAR TRUNK [KJL]
I hope there's some key element to this story I'm missing.
Posted at 10:46 AM
REUTERS: HELL'S NEWS BUREAU [Jonah Goldberg]
A guy is caught in the act of planting a bomb under civilian vehicles in Iraq. That much Reuters reports as fact. But they label him a "suspected insurgent." As Michael Totten notes if he's planting a bomb under a civilian vehicle he's not an insurgent, he's a terrorist. Second, why is he a "suspected" anything? Look at the picture Totten has. Argh!!!
Posted at 10:43 AM
JEAN-LUC GODARD [Ramesh Ponnuru]
on Michael Moore (read the comments).
Posted at 10:36 AM
WOOPS [Jonah Goldberg]
I forgot to actually link to the blogger who writes about me and Postrel mentioned below. The blog is MasterofmyDomain.
Posted at 10:36 AM
INDEX OF CORRUPTION [John Derbyshire]
The nations of the world, ranked by perceived level of corruption.
USA is tied with Ireland and Belgium at No. 17. China ties with Saudi Arabia and Syria at No. 71. Up at the top: all those dull, righteous Scandinavians.
(I haven't looked into the methodology here, so I don't know how much this is worth. It agrees pretty well with the few data points at which I have some experience, though. And Passau is a very pretty town -- hard to believe anything bogus could come out of it...)
Posted at 10:36 AM
YES, BUSH THE COMPROMISE KILLER [Tim Graham]
Yes, Jonah, this is Nancy Gibbs and John Dickerson in their "Person of the Year" piece:
In the meantime, the lessons Bush draws from his victory are the ones that matter most. The man who in 2000 promised to unite and not divide now sounds as though he is prepared to leave as his second-term legacy the Death of Compromise. "I've got the will of the people at my back," he said at the moment of victory. From here on out, bipartisanship means falling in line: "I'll reach out to everyone who shares our goals." Whatever spirit of cooperation that survives in his second term may have to be found among his opponents; he has made it clear he's not about to change his mind as he takes on Social Security and the tax code in pursuit of his "ownership society." So unfolds the strange and surprising and high-stakes decade of Bush.
Posted at 10:32 AM
TORTURE, FRATERNITY STYLE [John Derbyshire]
Torture, fraternity style: "My experience: My future 'brothers' broke eggs on top of my head. They took off my socks and broke eggs into them (not comfortable walking around for hours like that), no jacket in December, blindfolded with a Tampon, forced to hold hands with a fellow pledge in this condition while singing Christmas carols in a public, downtown setting. All through the evening, I was screamed at and my manhood was constantly challenged. Looking back, it was pretty funny."
Posted at 10:29 AM
MODERN LIBERAL PRESIDENTS [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Fred Barnes writes, "The last time a Democrat won as an unalloyed liberal was 1964." I don't know if I would say, as Barnes implies, that Bush just won re-election as an unalloyed conservative; but I take a different view than Barnes of what conservatism is, especially in relation to the size of the federal government. What interests me about the quote is that if you take, say, Ted Kennedy as a paradigmatic modern liberal, you would have to conclude that no unalloyed (modern) liberal has ever won the presidency. LBJ was obviously quite hawkish (even if Goldwater outdid him), and was not associated with post-'60s social liberalism. I'd say the last time an unalloyed conservative won the presidency, meanwhile, was in 1984. (Sure, Reagan had his pragmatic deviations from conservative orthodoxy. But I think it's reasonable to think of him as being as conservative as Ted Kennedy is liberal--I'm not using Dennis Kucinich as my paradigmatic liberal.)
Posted at 10:29 AM
CATHOLIC BISHOPS WRITE TO SENATORS [KJL]
and urge against considering pro-life views a disqualifier for judicial nominees.
Posted at 10:26 AM
ABU GHRAIB [KJL]
Writing from near Abu Ghraib, the Mudville Gazette has a useful fact quiz.
Posted at 10:21 AM
DINO’S ABOUT TO SLIP THE COLLAR [John Hood]
It appears that Republican gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi may file his official protest as early as today against the certification of Democrat Christine Gregoire as the new governor of Washington. Among his arguments will be that provisional ballots were mishandled in King County, the Democratic power base where a questionable recounting swung things in Gregoire’s direction (she ended up with an apparent 129-vote statewide edge). Also, some number of dead folks crossed over in the county to exercise (or perhaps exorcize) their democratic prerogatives.
Basically, there were more votes counted in King County than there were voters in the election. Leave it to those humorless Republicans to be such sticklers for detail.
BTW, former Sen. Slade Gorton is advising Rossi and doing some of the media rounds.
Posted at 10:13 AM
ARMSTRONG WILLIAMS: CLARIFICATION [Jonah Goldberg]
Sorry if I seemed to be critcizing only Williams. I think it was stupid and unacceptable for the Administration to give him the money. If the Clinton Administration had been paying off liberal pundits to promote his policies we would have gone batty, and rightly so. A better explanation is required. The whole thing seems gross to me.
Posted at 10:08 AM
SIMULATED TORTURE VS. REAL [Jonah Goldberg]
I'm getting a lot of flack for my point in my syndicated column that Air Force Academy cadets get water-boarded in their training and that therefore it might fall somewhere short of actual torture. Here's a typical email:
dont you think its a bit preposterous to cite torture simulation as a reason that torture is acceptible? "Our soldiers experience torture simulation as part of their training. Thus it's okay to torture prisoners." Do you actually see no difference between a simulation and the real thing? This is not just a ridiculously bad argument as a simple matter of rhetoric, it's a morally despicable argument that reveals some seriously warped thinking.
Me: Of course I see the difference between the two: it's a psychological difference. And while I don't want to be categorical about this and say "as long as it's only psychological, it's not torture" I do think this is an important distinction. For example, I think Ted Kennedy made a very good point yesterday when he denounced the "torture memo" because it would allow cutting off fingers because that doesn't amount to organ failure. Good point. That counts as torture in my book.
Well, you can't "simulate" cutting off fingers either. Telling a prisoner you're going to do really terrible things to him in order to get him to give up the goods doesn't bother me nearly as much as doing those things. Electrocuting the privates of a cadet would be torture, period. I think we're all on the same page on that. In other words, the fact that something can be simulated accurately without offending our sensibilities suggest that when we do it in reality it might not be as terrible as something we would never dream of even simulating. Depriving terrorists of sleep to get them to spill the beans is not torture it's interrogation.
Posted at 10:03 AM
A MARINE SNIPER [KJL]
makes Iraq-war history
Posted at 09:45 AM
OH COME ON! [Jonah Goldberg ]
I've never had any beef with Armstrong Williams before. Good guy. Nice guy. Smart guy. But what the hell is this about?
White House paid commentator to promote law
Me: I mean come on. Why do this? Did someone need an operation? Unless some major facts are being left out this just dumb. It looks bad because it is bad.
Posted at 09:35 AM
POSTREL & GOLDBERG: YIN & YANG [Jonah Goldberg ]
A blogger offers a flattering theory of the universe in which Virginia Postrell and I are the Alpha and the Omega:
Postrel and Goldberg represent the two urges that have created the America we know today, optimism and caution. Both are adherents to a philosophy of process instead of ideology: In Postrel, the unwavering vector towards the future. In Goldberg, a belief that many things were superior in the past, and all movement towards to future (no matter how valuable) must be taken in small increments, lest it overwhelm our sense of where we came from. To Goldberg, the most crucial question in any political debate is "what will anchor us to our values."
Interesing and, again, flattering. But I don't think it's right. First of all, I agree with a lot of what Postrel has to say. Second, for the dichotomy to work I would need to be far more opposed to change than the author -- Darren -- suggests. I'm not afraid of technology, a point I tried to convey, perhaps to subtley, in my column "I'm Not Afraid of Technology" (long time readers will remember it as the column I wrote before I went under the knife). Also, I don't know that Postrel dismisses the wisdom of the past as all this would suggest. It's been a while since I read her book, but I can't imagine she doesn't think important knowledge is cumulative.
Lastly, this guy completely misses my real reason(s) for disliking Pragmatism. One reason I will share here because it is the most relevant to this discussion: Pragmatism is not Hayekian (while Postrel most certainly is).
While Holmes may have liked markets -- philosophically -- this shouldn't be misunderstood to mean Pragmatists were anything like Hayekians. Dewey particularly had contempt for the notion of accumulated, collective, wisdom which might be unknowable to the individual. The whole "Pragmatic razor" was designed to dismantle institutions and dogmas without concern for all of the hidden social attachments and meanings they might have. I think it's very unlikely that any Pragmatist (again, everybody note the capital P) would be opposed to gay marriage.
Hayekians are obviously in favor of change and experimentation, but they are also respectful of the limits of an individual person to see all the angles. Now, Pragmatists might say to this "we are too" respectful of all that stuff. Maybe some are in faculty lounges and editorial boards. But when it came to the political project of the Pragmatists in the 20th century such respect was left in the locker room while the contempt for tradition, hidden law, custom and dogma was brought out on the field.
Note: Link fixed/added.
Posted at 09:29 AM
RE: WOMEN OF THE WHITE HOUSE [KJL]
No, that's not a Playboy feature. (Just anticipating e-mails, based on past experience.)
Posted at 09:22 AM
AM I BEING OVER SENSITIVE? [KJL ]
This is how Ann Gerhart, no fan or friend of the women of the White House, begins her piece on the new White House dog: “ With Karen Hughes long gone, a 10-week-old named Miss Beazley moved yesterday to become the dominant female on the White House staff.” She compared Karen Hughes to a dog? (Yes, a female dog.) And no editor barked?
Posted at 09:19 AM
BIG FAT SWEATY [Jonah Goldberg ]
egg-heady G-File is up. For those of you who've been wondering why I keep blegging about Pragmatism, this should help explain things a little.
Posted at 09:03 AM
THE DEATH OF COMPROMISE? [Jonah Goldberg]
Tim - did they really call it the "death" of compromise? I mean what are they going to do in, say, 2068 when some President cuts a deal with Congress, issue a retraction? "At the begining of the century we reported that compromise was dead. These reports appear now to have been premature."
Posted at 09:00 AM
REAGAN DOCS [John J. Miller]
New papers are now available to the public.
Posted at 08:53 AM
RADIO [NRO Staff]
Andy McCarthy will be on Linda Chavez's radio show around 8:35 EST this morning.
Posted at 08:21 AM
GOOD LUCK LUCK [Jonah Goldberg]
I'm not sure why, but in all the mayhem and gore of the last year in Iraq, I find the news that we need to send a fact-finder to Iraq the most depressing. Rummy's sending General Luck to figure out how to get things going. It sounds like the smart and right thing to do, but that it's necessary is pretty depressing.
Posted at 07:49 AM
RAMSEY CLARK, CHEWING BARK [Tim Graham]
In a sign of things to come, the Washington Post’s Manny Fernandez reports on forthcoming kooky-left Inauguration protests and finds no need to ideologically identify where on the frazzled America-hating fringe of the political spectrum they’re located. In paragraph 16, the Post finally acknowledges “Bush has been a popular target for left-leaning activists since he took office.” Left-LEANING? "Left-careening" would be a better term.
This is especially true of International ANSWER, described by the Post as simply “an anti-war, anti-racism coalition.” Their call to protest the Inauguration www.internationalanswer.org wildly states that President Bush “is determined to maintain U.S. occupation and aggression against Cuba, Haiti, Afghanistan, Korea, the Philippines, Sudan, Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Colombia, and other countries.” That’s plenty kooky. (Hey, Ma, did you know the U.S. was occupying Iran?) But worst of all, the Post story excluded the very relevant fact that the “anti-war” coalition’s leader, Ramsey Clark, signed up last week to join the defense team for Saddam Hussein. Isn’t that a relevant factor in determining where International ANSWER stands on the war and human rights? Wouldn't it be fair to assume that this lobby is pro-Saddam, not anti-war? Shouldn't this lobby have to struggle with press questions about it? But then try to find the Washington Post story on Ramsey Clark’s newest job...
Posted at 07:38 AM
GOING OUT WITH ONE MORE OBAMA HOSANNA [Tim Graham]
While Time magazine ended the year with its collective choppers clenched, feeling forced to acknowledge George W. Bush as its Person of the Year – the magazine typically warned that Bush’s second term legacy was “the Death of Compromise” – Newsweek celebrated someone far more ideologically congenial on their year-ending cover. That would be Senator-Elect Barack Obama, whom Newsweek said was hailed by Democrats as “about the only good news in a dismal election year." While they ogled Obama, they ripped on Rick Santorum, the "cultural militant" with the "combatively devout approach." Brent Bozell captures the contrast here.
Posted at 07:38 AM
YOU BRING MEANING TO MY LIFE, YOU'RE THE INSPIRATION [KJL]
Senator Boxer on the relationship between Michael Moore's movie and her well-noted courage yesterday.
Posted at 07:35 AM
TAXMAN COMETH [John J. Miller]
Jacques Chirac is proposing an "international tax."
Posted at 07:32 AM
WHAT DID WE KNOW.... [Jonah Goldberg ]
Justin Katz picks up where we left off yesterday on the issue of our alleged ignorance of torture stories.
Posted at 07:28 AM
"TURKEYGATE" ON THE HOUSE FLOOR [Jim Boulet]
Michigan Congresswoman Candice Miller concluded her remarks yesterday on the Ohio election complaint with: "These challenges today are turkeys. These turkeys should be given to someone else."
Posted at 07:24 AM
SCHUMER’S WARNING TO THE WHITE HOUSE [KJL ]
On The Today Show right now, Charlie Schumer said that Alberto Gonzales will be confirmed as AG because: “There is a lower standard for attorney general than for judge.”
Posted at 07:20 AM
ONE ON JACKSON FROM OHIO [KJL]
Just an editorial worth reading before the week is through (sorry, not online):
Dayton Daily News
Posted at 06:22 AM
REV. JESSE ON THE CERTIFICATION PROTEST [KJL]
From the WashPost coverage:
"Some senators . . . have gone to Ukraine to investigate that election," Jackson said. "They've gone to Iraq. But not one has gone to Columbus, Ohio."
Posted at 06:19 AM
NEWSOMS: ANOTHER REMARK [KJL]
I was waiting for....
Posted at 06:09 AM
FOUND ONE [KJL]
Michael Novak on religion and the upcoming Iraqi election.
And stay tuned. In a bit, will have more on the Gonzales hearing, Iraqi elections, a Victor Davis Hanson, adventures of the "Fever Swampers," and more--including a Goldberg File. And I'm hoping The Corner won't disappoint--some important, fun, and useful stuff (those are separate categories, for the record) should be forthcoming.
Posted at 06:03 AM
GONZALES, "ENABLER IN CHIEF OF THE PRO-TORTURE LOBBY" [KJL]
That's Bob Herbert today.
Ok, enough with the stuff you don't want to read...
Posted at 05:57 AM
NYTIMES ON DEM MELTDOWN [KJL]
Yes, somehow the Dems come off brave and the Republicans are a "ridiculing" majority in the paper of record's coverage of the certification nonsense yesterday. (I wish I had put money on this: First two quotes are from Rick Santorum and Tom DeLay.) Funny, no mention in the coverage of the man of the day: Michael Moore. And remember it wasn't the right who introduced him to the mix yesterday. Maxine Waters dedicated her 5 minutes to him. They had no shame bringing him up in the halls of Congress. That's no mean blogosphere rumor. (My piece would have had the chronology of the morning: Moore goes on Today Show and calls on one senator to be brave. Within the hour, Boxer announces...)
But none of this surprises you, I'm sure.
Posted at 05:53 AM
CHINA TO MAKE BABY-GIRL-KILLING (SELECTIVE ABORTION) A CRIME [KJL]
Where would NOW & co. have to come down on this?
Posted at 05:42 AM
MULTIMEDIA COMSTOCK [KJL]
Barbara will be on Laura Ingraham's (terrific) show this morning on the same topic, around 9:30 EST.
Posted at 05:39 AM
THE EDUCATION OF CHRIS MATTHEWS [KJL]
This is a rough transcript of some of Barbara Comstock on Chris Matthews last night on the Gonzales hearing. Her favorite part has got to be when he says, "you're right on everything. i mean it." Think you'll enjoy:
COMSTOCK: the geneva conventions require things beyond humane treatment like monthly pay and uniform to interact with the other al qaeda and get and say don't tell them about los angeles or the bomb plot in chicago.
Posted at 05:36 AM
I WOULD HAVE AVOIDED THIS TITLE [KJL]
on an article on the Palestinian elections: "Rocking the Vote in Gaza, West Bank." Sub: "Campaigns Fire Up Palestinians for Presidential Poll." Phrase "political minefields" within.
I did assume the vote literally was rocked before I clicked on the link.
Posted at 12:17 AM
Thursday, January 06, 2005
KERRY CRITICIZES BUSH FROM BAGHDAD [KJL]
San Fran Chronicle:
But in several instances, Kerry attacked what he called the "horrendous judgments" and "unbelievable blunders" of the Bush administration. The mistakes, he said, included former U.S. occupation leader Paul Bremer's decisions to disband the Iraqi army and purge the government of former members of Hussein's Baath Party. Both moves are widely believed to have fueled the largely Sunni insurgency.
Posted at 10:21 PM
TORTURE [Jonah Goldberg]
So many readers have made variations of this point, many, many from personal experience:
After I was captured, my hands were tied behind my back and I was struck repeatedly in the face with an open hand. After enduring the beating I was thrown on the water board, where under questioning the enemy would drown you till the verge of losing consciousness, only to revive you and start all over again. Then a black bag was secured around my head and throat which made it difficult to breathe. I was confined to a three by four foot tiger cage with a coffee can for a toilet. Loud music blared from speakers in the compound and I was repeatedly dragged from my cage for more beatings and interrogation. At night when it was freezing the guards would pour cold water on me. I was deprived of any food for five straight days.
Posted at 08:45 PM
RE: CONCESSION [Shannen Coffin]
K-LO, Senator Cornyn has been quite impressive in this whole Gonzales confirmation process, and I'm not simply saying that because my former assistant, the lovely and talented Katherine Bloemendal, now works for him.
Posted at 08:34 PM
THE OPPO-WITNESS TABLE: A CONCESSION [KJL]
I just got this from Senator Cornyn's office about the afternoon session of the Gonzalez hearing, after Gonzales left and the witnesses brought in to hurt his nomination went on:
For nearly three years, the Bush Administration has been harshly criticized by various media and legal elites for its interpretation of the Geneva Convention and its legal conclusion that al Qaeda fighters are not POWs and thus not entitled to the privileges afforded to POWs by that convention – despite overwhelming legal evidence and international scholarly support favoring the Bush interpretation.
Posted at 07:51 PM
I MIGHT HAVE DOZED, I MAY BE WRONG [KJL]
But I don't think World News Tonight with Peter Jennings mentioned the Democratic meltdown of today.
Someone tell me I just dozed. Tim Graham? Anyone?
Posted at 07:00 PM
LET'S HEAR IT FOR THE GAL SENATOR! [KJL]
I, right-winger targetting Senator Boxer, received this e-mail at 3:51 PM--a little amusing, since the certification tantrum was basically over:
Dear Feminist Activists,The feminist left is oh so relevant.
Posted at 06:53 PM
BYE, RICH, GOTTA GO. IT'S BEEN GREAT, BUT YOU'LL UNDERSTAND. [KJL]
I have found my calling:
NATION SEEKS WEB EDITORBecause, if I got the job, I could have lunch with....Michael Moore.
Posted at 06:43 PM
FYI [Rich Lowry]
I'll be on O'Reilly tonight around 8:15 pm.
Posted at 06:36 PM
RE: I DON'T KNOW ABOUT YOU [KJL]
And when isn't it?
Posted at 05:55 PM
RE: TORTURE [John Derbyshire]
A large, interesting, and quite disturbing subset of the reader e-mails I've been getting on the torture issue consists of accounts of the reader's hazing experience at the hands of a college fraternity. Good grief! I didn't know half this stuff went on.
If you've just been tapped for a college fraternity and are curious to know what you might have to go through by way of initiation, you might want to do a close reading of the Abu Ghraib scandals.
Posted at 05:48 PM
OHIO CERT: THE YEA ROLL IN THE HOUSE [KJL]
Johnson, E. B.
Here's the full roll.
Posted at 05:40 PM
I DON'T KNOW ABOUT YOU GUYS... [Jonah Goldberg]
But I thought the Corner was pretty darn strong today.
Posted at 05:36 PM
THREE KINGS DAY [KJL]
Yup, I appear to be out of luck on the Christmas card thing. From a reader:
It is too late.
Posted at 05:13 PM
RE: SPEECHWRONGING [Ramesh Ponnuru]
I'm reliably informed that the Gerson-McConnell-Scully axis of speechwriting was not underplayed, and that McConnell did a lot of work for the president while also working for the vice president. It certainly wasn't my intention to deny McConnell any credit he deserves. Apologies. The rest of my criticism of Newsweek I stand by--at least until someone else corrects me on that. . .
Posted at 05:05 PM
I HAD TO TURN OFF CSPAN...WAS GETTING TOO RIDICULOUS [KJL]
But a friend watching e-mails: "I just watched Conyers on c-span praising Michael Moore as a truth teller. Watching this charade is so bizzare. "
Don't need to comment. They speak for themselves. And have no filters or wise aides to talk them off the cliff.
Posted at 04:32 PM
SPEECHWRONGING [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Drudge is linking to a Tamara Lipper story for Newsweek on changes in the White House speechwriting office. She notes that Bill McGurn will be the new head speechwriter--but keeps calling him a Wall Street Journal editorial writer, which he hasn't been for a while. She also writes that "Bush's speeches will . . . be missing Gerson's religious undertones." Well, sure. But they'll have McGurn's religious undertones instead--just read his recent articles for NRO or First Things or the New York Post and you'll see that he is not so far off from Gerson's (or Bush's) understanding of the proper role of religious language in public life. Lipper also overplays the notion that Bush is breaking up a "trinity" of Gerson, Matt Scully, and John McConnell. McConnell didn't write speeches for the White House for most of the last term; he spent more of it working for Cheney. Anyway, I'm glad McGurn (formerly NR's Washington bureau chief, and a friendly acquaintance) got the job.
Posted at 04:22 PM
RE: THAT MICHAEL MOORE TODAY SHOW APPEARANCE [Tim Graham]
Leftist filmmaker Michael Moore was awarded seven and a half minutes of air time in the 7:30 half hour of Thursday’s "Today" show to offer his political analysis of why the Democrats failed to oust Bush. Katie Couric felt that wasn’t enough, so she invited him back an hour later for another eight minutes and forty seconds of air time, or 16 minutes, 10 seconds overall. While Couric tried to suggest that maybe Hollywood liberalism hurt the Democrats (and even noted the "vitriol...you seem to embody"), she also inaccurately promoted Moore’s latest book as "new" and "currently on many bestseller lists" when it came out in October and is ranked #1,547 on Amazon.com.
Posted at 04:11 PM
ANSWERING PETER ROBINSON [Mark Krikorian ]
Peter: I’m sure there are at least three dozen Corner readers who have written dissertations on Christians in the Islamic world, but I will nonetheless wade in with my limited knowledge. You’re right that there were still many Christians in the Middle East after the Arab conquest. In fact, at the very beginning, non-Arabs weren’t even welcome to convert, though that changed quickly. Some places turned overwhelmingly Muslim very fast (Iran, the Maghreb), while Egypt and Syria and Mesopotamia did not. But given that Christians and Jews were the negroes of the Islamic empire, protected only so long as they accepted their subordinate status, the proportion of Muslims grew, and after the Crusades Islam became the majority religion. In fact, I think it likely that the glory of Islamic civilization is inversely related to the proportion of Muslims in the society; i.e., in the Abbasid Empire (and later the Ottoman Empire), culture flourished precisely because most of the people weren’t Muslim, and decline began as soon as that changed.
As to democratization: If Egypt or Syria turned into Switzerland tomorrow, the Christians there would bask in the warm light of freedom. Alas, becoming Switzerland is not on the agenda. It is, on the other hand, realistic to hope that Iraq and its neighbors can develop less-awful governments that are somewhat more responsive to the public. And in that circumstance, the Christians will be fed to the wolves (the Jews having already been consumed). Dalrymple’s book is actually a good illustration of this -- in (sort of) democratic Turkey, he described Christians living circumscribed, fearful lives, whereas in very undemocratic Syria, they did not need to hide their religion. A more immediate example is the difficulties Christians face in Iraqi Kurdistan, which is the closest thing to a democracy that country has ever seen.
Someday, when tolerant, modernist strains of Islam become dominant, this will no longer be the case. But the road from here to there will be long, and there will be few, if any, Christians left when the Middle East reaches that destination.
Posted at 04:07 PM
LOST IN CYBERSPACE II [Andy McCarthy]
This, was meant to be posted around noon: Sen. Feingold says in their conversations, Judge Gonzales has been specific about concerns about section 215 (library records) and sneak-and-peek warrants. This will be something to follow.
Posted at 03:59 PM
LOST IN CYBERSPACE [Andy McCarthy]
K-Lo: Thought this was posted at 10:30, but computer bugs prevailed: Interesting exchange b/w Specter and Gonzales on Section 215 of the Patriot Act -- the business records provision which has been libeled as the "library records" law. As Gonzales correctly pointed out, libraries are not even mentioned in the provision. Specter suggests that prosecutors should be required to show the "traditional" probable cause before getting a order compelling the records. This is not "traditional." These are third-party records (like telephone company records), not privately held things, like in your bedroom nightstand, that prosecutors have to get a warrant for. As Gonzales pointed out, prosecutors have for eons gotten third-party records by grand jury subpoena with no judicial supervision.
Posted at 03:58 PM
RE: WATERS [KJL]
And McKinney's "blackout." No, the Dems don't racebait. (Mona Charen is good on this topic in her new book, btw.)
Posted at 03:25 PM
"REALITY SUCKS. THAT'S THE PROBLEM. WE WANT ANOTHER REALITY." [KJL]
That about sums up the sore loser party today. Comes from a quote from a post on the Democratic Underground today. DU is going batty (ok, that's not saying much) after watching the Senate vote (and actually accept the election, despite the Boxer Rebellion).
Posted at 03:22 PM
I WASN'T GOING TO MENTION SPECTER AGAIN [KJL]
BUT, did you see Drudge headline re him questioning the Patriot Act at the hearing? This, from the corresponding article, which is pre-hearing:
But in a phone interview yesterday, the senator said his comments should not have been interpreted as a promise to support all of Bush's nominees. "I never gave him a blank check. I expect to conduct this hearing like I've conducted a lot of others," Specter said, adding that he was not feeling pressure to act differently because of the chairmanship controversy.This is him saving face, which I can respect and is necessary to some extent. The blank check thing is empty talk and makes him sound in charge. Fine, the judiciary chairman should be, of the committee. But what was the deal during the hearing? I missed. Andy?
Posted at 03:19 PM
WATERS [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader on the Hill:
Rep. Maxine Waters on the House floor just now (paraphrased slightly) - "Mr. Kenneth Blackwell, Ohio Sec. of State, who I am ashamed to say is an African-American man..."
Posted at 03:16 PM
A CONSERVATIVE SCREENWRITER COULDN'T HAVE SCRIPTED IT BETTER [KJL]
Mad Max Maxine Waters just dedicated her protest to MICHAEL MOORE. This is just too much.
Posted at 03:11 PM
IKEA YOUKEA [Jack Fowler]
NR colleague Russ Jenkins forwards evidence of a new international problem: the inability of Swedish companies to understand English.
Posted at 03:06 PM
RE: OH! [Jonah Goldberg ]
[Sigh] At least once a week for two and half years I've gotten at least one email from some leftwinger (often from Germany or even more far-off Berkeley, California) demanding, imploring, pleading that I apologize for attacking Cynthia McKinney. This or that revelation, they insist, proves that she was right all along. She is a hero. A Nubian goddess. A truth teller. And I am a bigot, a fool, an apologist for murder, a conspirator. Seriously, the emails never stop.
Anyway, I tell all of these people the same thing. She's awful and I don't retract a word. Here's the column that started it all. It begins reasonably, I think:
"I don't mean to be such a pain in the ass to Cynthia McKinney (D., Ga.), but it appears this is the fastest route to her brain."
Posted at 02:58 PM
I WOULDN'T GO THERE [Andy McCarthy]
At the Gonzales hearing this morning: On "water-boarding," Senator Kennedy, I kid you not, actually said that "as a human being," he would have been "offended" by something that could have caused "drowning."
Posted at 02:45 PM
Jonah, you didn't have your Cynthia-McKinney-is-back-in-Congress celebration yet.
She just said this protest is about a "blackout."
Posted at 02:42 PM
RE: LONG LINES IN OHIO [KJL]
Having some conversations with election-watchers (lawyers/commentator types) in Ohio (the alternative was listen to Bernie Sanders). I wanted to know what their responses were when I brought up the people-waiting-for-ten-hours-example that I imagine might be a soundbite on the evening news tonight. Here’s some of what I got back: Robert Alt:
There are multiple responses:Ohioan #2:
it’s unfortunate, but as I understand it local county boards of elections are responsible for that sort of thing – not the Republican Party or Ken Blackwell or whatever – and many of the local county boards are in Democratic strongholds, so how can it be Republicans’ fault?
Posted at 02:39 PM
TORTURE [John Derbyshire]
Jonah: All right, I have checked out those reports your reader sent, and remain deeply unmoved.
" saw a detainee sitting on the floor of the interview room with an Israeli flag draped around him, loud music being played and a strobe flashing."
This is TORTURE? For heaven's sake!
I notice, too, the mention of someone having "placed lighted cigarettes in detainees' ears." Now, a post or two ago, Jonah, one of your readers said: "...Not to mention cigarettes extinguished in ear canals..."
Without having read *all* those reports, I can't help wondering whether the first cigarette-in-ear story hasn't mysteriously morphed into the second. And I'd really like to know WHICH END OF THE CIGARETTE WENT IN THE PRISONER'S EAR. If, as that first reader implied, it was the burning end (intention: infliction of pain & possibly hearing loss) that is one thing. If, on the other hand, it was the unlit end (intention: at minimum, to make the prisoner feel silly, at maximum, to make him afraid you would let the thing burn right down), that's another.
It seems absurd to pick at minutiae like this, but we're talking about drawing lines. And from what I've seen here, there is some shifty sleight of hand going on by the angry-about-torture crowd.
Posted at 02:32 PM
"THIS IS NOT ABOUT WHETHER GEORGE BUSH WON THE ELECTION OR NOT" [KJL]
Andy, Tom Harken just said the same. Uh-huh. UPDATE: Obama just said the same. Sticking to script. ZZZ.
Posted at 02:24 PM
HRC [Andy McCarthy]
Kathryn, did you also hear HRC say that she'd be making this protest no matter who had won the election?!?!?! PULEEASE!
Posted at 02:21 PM
just brought up Ukraine.
She's worried that "our moral authority will be weakened" throughout the world without this kind of protest.
She Says our democracy is on a "slippery slope." (Maybe, but not for her reasons. Let's talk judges, Hill)
Posted at 02:14 PM
GONZALES HEARING: LEE CASEY CALLS INTO THE CORNER [KJL]
Lee Casey of the famous Casey-Rivkin team:
Posted at 02:08 PM
RE: THE 12TH DAY OF CHRISTMAS [KJL]
Epiphany--I take it to mean it actually is too late now to send out this year's Christmas cards?
Posted at 01:57 PM
AH, DEMOCRACY [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
This morning, as I walked up First Street from Union Station, I passed the Dirksen Senate Building and there were three people standing on the corner with homemade, anti-Gonzales signs getting the attention of tv cameras and assorted newspeople. Further on, in front of the Supreme Court a lady held a homemade sign proclaiming that she was seeking justice because she was the daughter of Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe . . . . And it's not even the 20th of January.
Posted at 01:53 PM
TORTURE REPORTS [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
Me: I don't think folks at the Corner were unaware of such reports, just that anecdotes seem to be translated into data pretty easily.
As for my point about the WWII atrocities it's exactly what I said it was, regardless of the "either or" debating trap the reader sets. The notion that America has lost the high moral ground because of what has been alleged strikes me as absurd and offensive. All of the clichés about how we become "like the terrorists" if we do this or that, are rhetorical bits of moral bullying and self-righteous blather. None of these atrocities from WWII I've recounted makes me think that America became "like the Nazis" or that we'd lost the high moral ground in that war. And I've never heard all of these Greatest Generation-and-FDR-worshipping liberals qualify their love of Roosevelt and support for WWII with any such language. But today there is a knee-jerk tendency to do precisely that when it comes to these (I would guess) far more isolated cases in the War on Terror. I mean most of the evidence this reader cites was unearthed by the US military and government in the course of investigating and prosecuting the abuses.
Posted at 01:47 PM
WE LIKE MIKE [Peter Robinson ]
Over the holiday, my friend George Savage and I both devoured Michael Crichton’s new novel, State of Fear. Below, George’s mini-review (in which, for what it’s worth, yours truly concurs).
The characters are thinly drawn. Standard Crichton
Posted at 01:47 PM
FOX [Rich Lowry ]
FYI--scheduled to be on around 2:10 pm.
Posted at 01:44 PM
SHE GOT AN AMEN [KJL]
Rep. Jones just thanked God for Barbara Boxer's signature.
Posted at 01:31 PM
OBJECTION PRESENTED... [KJL]
Stephanie Tubbs Jones and Barbara Boxer.
Joint session splits and both houses debate...Thanks for the bipartisan, goodwill start of this Congress!
Posted at 01:22 PM
WWII ATROCITIES CONT'D [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
I think it was in the Band of Brothers book (and wasn't in the HBO mini series), that Ambrose told this story...
Posted at 01:22 PM
CALLING MARK KRIKORIAN [Peter Robinson]
In “Fleeing Christians,” Mark, you make a couple of assertions that strike me as dubious. “The percentage of Christians in the population of the Middle East,” you write, “has been declining since the Islamic conquest.” Not exactly. For the first several centuries of Muslim, most converts were Arabs, who had previously been pantheists, not Christians. These Muslims did indeed conquer much of the Middle East and North Africa, domains previously Christian, but they left the Christian populations largely intact, merely installing new, Muslim governments. The Seljuk Turks, who during what Europeans call the Dark Ages replaced the Arabs as the dominant force in the Muslim world, proved less hospitable to Christians. But for the most part they, too, left Christian (and, for that matter, Jewish) communities intact. There were few mass conversions of Christians to Islam and relatively little emigration.
As the dominant force in the region, Islam certainly exerted a certain pull—a range of professions, notably in government, were open only to Muslims—and individual Christians did indeed adopt Islam. And there are indeed examples of brutal treatment of Christians in this or that specific instance. But large and thriving Christian communities continued to exist throughout the Muslim world, a condition that remained true for many centuries.
Around the beginning of the twentieth century, this changed, with (among other atrocities) the Turkish massacres of Armenians (a subject on which anyone named Kirkorian is likely to know a lot). Christian communities came under increasing pressure during the second half of the century, as Islam became radicalized. Christians began to leave Lebanon, Syria, and other countries, often for the United States. For a very good account of all this—and some beautiful prose—take a look at William Dalrymple’s marvelous book, From the Holy Mountain. Note, though, that Muslim hostility toward the Christians who inhabit the Muslim world represents a modern phenomenon. Even as they reconquered the Christian principalities at the end of the Crusades, Muslim armies often left Christian populations unmolested. Only during the twentieth century did that attitude undergo a systematic shift.
“The spread of democracy,” you write, “is guaranteed to reduce the number of Christians still further.” Are you sure? Isn’t the whole point that democracy will tend to de-radicalize Islam? To make it more tolerant? Why should it prove impossible for nascent Muslim democracies to write protections for minorities, including Christian minorities, into their constitutions? If Egypt became a democracy tomorrow, wouldn’t its new leaders, like all democratically-elected leaders, find themselves accountable for establishing a tolerable administration of justice and promoting economic growth? And wouldn’t that make life better, not worse, for the ten percent of Egyptians who are Coptic Christians?
Sure, we can imagine scenarios in which Christians would find themselves subjected to persecution in Muslim democracies. But would the spread of democracy guarantee such persecution? To the contrary, I think. The spread of democracy would make such persecution less, not more, likely.
Posted at 01:15 PM
THE SIPOWICZ RULE [Jonah Goldberg]
In the abstract I guess I've been more sympathetic to torture under very specific circumstances. Indeed, I still don't think anyone can deny that there are obvious hypotheticals where no sane person would oppose using torture. But I guess, at the end of the day, I'm in Derb's camp. If those hypotheticals are ever translated into reality -- God forbid -- nobody's going to care about the Geneva Convention. If we know there's a nuclear bomb en route to an American city and we have someone in custody we know has information on how to intercept that bomb, my guess is we'll get that information no matter what the missives and memos from the White House say. And anyone who thinks that's a bad thing is a fool in my book.
That said, short of those incandescantly clear cases I think torture should be ruled out. But as I've written several times and as Andy McCarthy perfectly summarized yesterday, I think applying the Geneva Convention to al Qaeda detainees is batty.
Moreover, I have no problem with playing a little smacky-face with prisoners. Think about it. The standard being put forward by Sullivan and others on all this would rule the tactics of Detective Andy Sipowicz on NYPD Blue unacceptable. For years, Sipowicz has been smacking suspects around in order to force them to confess. He threatens to "beat their balls off" every other show.
It is beyond me why this should be considered beyond the pale for terrorists.
Posted at 01:12 PM
TORTURE: THE META-ISSUE [John Derbyshire]
As interesting as the issue of where to draw the "torture" line, is the meta-issue of why people are engaged passionately with this.
I would much rather, as I said at length in that column I've linked to, that my country not approve systematic torture of captured terrorist suspects. I also think there's a lot to be said for the argument that it's in the most trying circumstances like these that our character as a nation has a chance to show itself. Yes, sure. I don't want bad stuff happening. When it happens -- as now and then it surely will -- I want it properly investigated, and suitable punishments awarded. No problem with any of that.
There are people out there, though, for whom this is an issue in which their emotions are passionately engaged. You can see it in your mailbag, I'm sure, as I can in mine. I don't get that. The War on Terror has many aspects and angles, and each of us, according to temperament, is more involved with some one angle than with some other. What is it that gets some people so powerfully, angrily indignant about U.S. misbehavior -- which, as Rich's post pointed out -- is anyway at a pretty low level as these things go for U.S. forces in hot combat. (And let's not even talk about the troops of other nations...)
So why are some people fixing their interest on this one aspect of things? In some cases I can figure it out. It's not hard to see why Democratic Senators would make a meal of it, for instance. But what about so many of the rest? Why is the thought of U.S. troops misbehaving so obsessively exciting to some Americans, rousing them to such furious indignation? I don't get it.
Posted at 01:12 PM
THE DEMOCRATS: A SUICIDAL PARTY [KJL]
Terry McAuliffe stay as DNC chair?! That's what some want:
McAuliffe met privately Wednesday with several Democratic senators on Capitol Hill, and was asked again to consider serving for another year or two, Democrats say. McAuliffe's response was not immediately known, but he has been cool to such overtures in the past.
Posted at 01:09 PM
" THEY'RE JUST PLAYING GAMES. " [KJL]
Dayton Daily News
Posted at 01:06 PM
JOHN CONYER'S SELECTIVE ELECTION CONCERNS [KJL]
Worth reading about now, as the joint session convenes, re: John Conyers and elections:
Wednesday, December 22, 2004
Posted at 01:03 PM
WWII ATROCITIES, CONT'D [Jonah Goldberg]
From a professor:
Posted at 01:03 PM
CRUEL, INHUMAN AND DEGRADING [Andy McCarthy]
Sen. Durbin elicits from Judge Gonzales: "No torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment under any circumstances." This could be problematic. As we've noted before, there is an important difference between what the term "cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment" means under U.S. law versus how it is interpreted by other nations, the UN and (for example) the ICRC. There is a world of difference between what most Americans think of as "degrading" and, say, what the NYTimes thinks -- particularly in the context of captured terrorists who are the repositories of intelligence that, if wrested, may save thousands of American lives.
Posted at 12:53 PM
WWII "ATROCITIES" [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
Posted at 12:53 PM
SEN. DURBIN [Andy McCarthy]
"The torture that occurred at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo." I refer him to the eminent Mr. Derbyshire for a remedial course.
Posted at 12:50 PM
"HOW TO INTERROGATE TERRORISTS" [KJL]
Heather Mac Donald
Posted at 12:42 PM
DEFENDING PRISCILLA OWEN [KJL]
They've gotten to the parental notification part of the hearing.
Notes that his infamous "activism" comments--"words that have been used as a sword against Judge Owen"--were not aimed at her, as has been explained before, but generally ignored.
Posted at 12:39 PM
THIS WILL GET MARK & RAMESH'S ATTENTION [Andy McCarthy]
Sen. Schumer has pressed Judge Gonzales on whether the Constitution prohibits filibusters of judicial nominees, and has challenged Gonzales to point to where in the Constitution such a prohibition is written. (Schumer insists it is hypocritical for "strict constuctionists" who reject the "right to privacy" because it does not appear in the Constitution to claim a prohibition against filibuster which, Schumer points out, is not expressly spelled out either.) Judge Gonzales is trying to duck -- insisting that he has no opinion and that it's an internal senate matter. Schumer is not satisfied, has asked Gonzales to think further on it, and promises to press him again in the second round of questioning, after giving Gonzales time to study his copy of the Constitution.
Posted at 12:39 PM
"DON'T GIVE UP THE FILIBUSTER!" [KJL]
That's the PFAW action-item message for Senator Reid.
Posted at 12:35 PM
TORTURE REPORTS [Jonah Goldberg]
Justin Katz asks a question a lot of others have been asking me too:
Regarding the email that Jonah posted as well as some claims that Andrew Sullivan has made on his blog, I'm wondering if y'all know what official reports Sullivan is referring to. My guess is that these claims blow up the worst individual events as representative, and I wouldn't be surprised if they mix accusations with confirmed incidents to make the latter act as slippery confirmation of the former.
Posted at 12:31 PM
"I AM NOT A CANDIDATE FOR THE SUPREME COURT" [KJL]
Gonzales just told Schumer in response to his diatribe. Oremus.
Good for Gonzales though, he, of course, defended the nominees who have been sent, saying they are collectively well-qualified. (Even those radical pro-life types who dare to cancel their young families' Disney world vacations when they coincide with Gay Day, Senator! But I digress...)
Posted at 12:31 PM
THE PEOPLE FOR THE AMERICAN WAY'S [KJL]
brief against Gonzales
Posted at 12:31 PM
ARCHIE AND JUGHEAD, CALL YOUR OFFICE [Mark Krikorian]]
The Mexican government's comic-book-style guide for illegal immigrants must be important, because the New York Times wrote about it today.
Posted at 12:24 PM
WARM-UP ACT [KJL]
Charlie Schumer is ranting on "radical" judges Bush has sent the Senate at the Gonzales hearing now. A promise of the obstruction to come.
Posted at 12:24 PM
FDR VS. GWB [Jonah Goldberg]
Does anyone doubt that more "atrocities" and atrocities were committed during FDR's prosection of World War II? Never mind the wholesale internment of the Japanese and how you think that compares to Abu Ghraib. It seems beyond doubt that there were summary executions, beatings, torture and generalized cruelty throughout the European and Pacific theaters. How much of this sort of thing was officially sanctioned and how much wasn't would be interesting to know. If any of my military history guys want to shoot me some 411 on this I'd like to see it. But I find it pretty hard to believe that things didn't get out of hand from time to time.
Anyway, I understand that the two wars are different in very practical senses. For example, we weren't fighting a battle for many hearts and minds back then and there was no equivalent of al Jazeera. But if we're talking about absolute morality, I'd like to know if any of the folks -- like Senator Graham -- who say that we've lost the high moral ground in the war on terror also think we lost the high moral ground in WWII when some GI shot a bunch of German prisoners or when the President of United States rounded-up 100,000 Japanese families?
Posted at 12:24 PM
BARBARA BOXER AND JOHN CONYERS WOULD UNDERSTAND [KJL]
Yanukovych Appeals Ukraine Vote Results
Posted at 12:24 PM
RE: CONVERSATION STARTER [John Derbyshire]
Being commentators and not actors, the best we can do on The Corner is say where we stand. Here's where I stand on the precise topics raised by your reader.
Name calling: Yes.
Murder in custody: I assume "murder" excludes justifiable homicide, e.g. in self-defense, in defense of other staff or prisoners, to prevent possible terrorist escape, and probably one or two others I can't bring to mind. The answer then is: No.
Cigarettes extinguished in ear canals: No.
Anal rape: No.
Dog bites: I'd want to know the circumstances. On the whole -- and having been bitten by dogs myself -- I don't think this very important.
Can your reader, Jonah, supply us with the names and circumstances of those murders in custody? Or the anal rapes? Names, dates, and circumstances, please. Your reader is correct: I haven't looked into these charges in detail. Let us be enlightened.
Posted at 12:22 PM
RE: GONZALEZ HEARINGS [John Derbyshire]
Incidentally, reader response to that Nov. 2001 column I wrote on torture was overwhelmingly pro-torture. Several dozen readers e-mailed in to berate me for wimping out in the WoT.
I remain opposed to torture, as I understand the term, and as I believe the common understanding of the term has been in Anglo-Saxon democracies this past 100 years or so. On the evidence of my mail-bag, though, millions of Americans are much less fastidious. I wonder what on earth *they* make of the Gonzalez hearings.
Posted at 12:17 PM
FLEEING CHRISTIANS [Mark Krikorian]
Apropos today's NRO article criticizing our policy towards Iraq's beleaguered Christians: The percentage of Christians in the population of the Middle East has been declining since the Islamic conquest (through murder, conversion, and emigration), and I'm afraid that no extra effort by our State Department can reverse that. In fact, the spread of democracy is guaranteed to reduce the number of Christians further, which is one reason Christians in Syria and Egypt are leery of calls for popular government. The removal of Saddam was an important goal of U.S. foreign policy, but we need to understand that the disappearance of Christianity from Mesopotamia was an unavoidable consequence of success.
Posted at 12:09 PM
SOME PERSPECTIVE [Rich Lowry ]
According to the Schlesinger report(and this now may be dated, but you get the general point), “Since the beginning of hostilities in Afghanistan and Iraq, U.S. military and security operations have apprehended about 50,000 individuals. From this number, about 300 allegations of abuse in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Guantanamo have arisen. As of mid-August 2004, 155 investigations into the allegations have been completed, resulting in 66 substantiated cases. Approximately one-third of these cases occurred at the point of capture or tactical collection point, frequently under uncertain, dangerous and violent circumstances."
I wonder how the US prison system--with its full panoply of protections for prisoners being held in non-war zones--compares in terms of abuses per capita.
Posted at 12:06 PM
PATRIOT WARNING SIGNS [Andy McCarthy]
Sen. Feingold says in their conversations, Judge Gonzales has been specific about concerns about section 215 (library records) and sneak-and-peek warrants. This will be something to follow.
Posted at 12:03 PM
SENATOR GRAHAM [Andy McCarthy]
His comments are dismaying: that Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay have caused us to lose "the moral high ground" -- logically setting up a moral equivalence for the stupidity at Ghraib (and who knows what he's talking about at Gitmo) with the atrocities of Zarqawi.
Gonzales is great on this: "I reject your suggestion that we are becoming like our enemy. We are nothing compared to our enemy."
Posted at 11:54 AM
MERRY [Mark Krikorian]
Posted at 11:51 AM
PROTOCOL I TO THE GENEVA CONVENTIONS [Andy McCarthy]
Judge Gonzales very effectively explained that the U.S. has, for a quarter-century, rejected the 1977 Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions precisely because it would have vested terrorists with Geneva privileges and immunities.
Posted at 11:48 AM
THE 2002 DOJ "TORTURE" MEMO [Andy McCarthy]
Here's what now appears not in dispute: It's DOJ's Office of Legal Counsel's job, by regulation, to issue legal opinions for the AG. Agencies involved in dealing with al Qaeda captives (the CIA and others) wanted to know what precisely the law was. Gonzales, on behalf of the WHCounsel's office, asked OLC to perform this function. While OLC was completing its memo, thre was "give and take" -- as there routinely is b/w DOJ, OLC & the WHC.
The dispute: Gonzales is being pushed on, but not necessarily accused regarding, whether this "give and take" consisted of him (Gonzales) forcing his own viewpoint and getting it fed back by OLC as its own opinion (such that the so-called torture memo constitutes his personal views).
Gonzales has been effective in maintaining that (a) the 2002 OLC opinion represented the judgment of the OLC, not necessarily his views; (b) that judgment is a legal opinion by a component of DOJ, not a statement of official policy of the U.S.; and (c) he has always supported the Bush policy that Geneva doesn't apply but that we should treat captives humanely to the extent consistent with military necessity.
Posted at 11:43 AM
Posted at 11:43 AM
A CONVERSATION STARTER [Jonah Goldberg]
Let me just drop this email from a reader like a hockey puck and see what you guys do with it:
What's most disturbing about reading the NRO Corner thread today is how little it seems NR writers have actually dealt with reports of torture in the war on terror. This is not just noogies and name calling; people have actually been murdered in custody. Not to mention cigarettes extinguished in ear canals, anal rape, and dog bites. I'm just breathless to read how little this seems to move conservatives, the annointed repositories of the Jesus light.
Posted at 11:37 AM
RE: GONZALEZ HEARINGS [John Derbyshire]
Andy is right to pick on that point, and I stand corrected. The Abu Ghraib offenses were not utterly unconnected with interrogation. But the connection was, as Andy says, at one remove. I.e. what you see in those photographs is not interrogations taking place, but a bunch of idiots misbehaving after hours under the impression (true or not remains to be determined) that U.S. interrogators and their superiors would turn a blind eye.
I'll say what I said before, a little more precisely: What you are seeing in the Abu Ghraib photographs is (a) not torture in any way I (let alone the average inhabitant of the average Arab country!) understand, and (b) not interrogations taking place.
Posted at 11:37 AM
SHADES OF HEIDI! [Andy McCarthy]
Just as questioning by Kennedy was getting heated and interesting, CSPAN cut away to the House. Reminded me of the famous "Heidi" football game when I was a kid (around 1968 or so), when, with a minute left in a game b/w the NYJets and Oakland Raiders that was running slightly long, NBC decided to cut away from the game for the scheduled 7pm airing of the movie "Heidi." While they cut away, the Raiders scored twice for a thrilling come-from-behind win ... that no one saw.
Posted at 11:24 AM
"RATS, BUGS, BOYS: ATTACK!" [Jonah Goldberg]
Instead of using guns and bombs, let's attack the enemies of freedom with bugs, rats, and horny gay men.
Posted at 11:18 AM
JEB [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Michael: I detected much more enthusiasm for a 2008 Jeb Bush run in circles around the White House back in 2001-02. People have sobered up since then, largely because of the dynastic issue. The one scenario that could mitigate, though not eliminate, the problem is the one you mention: if Jeb were running against Hillary. Then you'd have two dynasties fighting for the second time.
Posted at 11:14 AM
SLIGHT DISAGREEMENT WITH DERB [Andy McCarthy]
John is absolutely right that the hijinks at Abu Ghraib were not torture. I don't think we can conclude, though, that they had nothing to do with interrogation. The reason so many military and intel people have been disciplined beyond just the prison guards (it's up over 40 now, I think) is that there may be some force to the claim by the prison guards that they were encouraged by the intel people on-scene to create an environment that would be conducive to more forthcoming answers to interrogation. As Gonzales observed, that's why there are so many ongoing investigations -- to find out what happened, and why. That doesn't make it torture -- unpleasant coercive interrogation, notwithstanding the ICRC and Sen. Leahy, is not torture. But the idiocy that went on may have been related to interrogation.
Posted at 11:09 AM
TORTURED LOGIC [Cliff May]
I agree with Derb. I wrote a column on this topic more than a year ago.
An unpleasant issue that Americans need to begin to discuss: How far should interrogators go when questioning terrorists and terrorist suspects – those who flagrantly violate the rules of war and have therefore forfeited Geneva Convention protections? I'd argue that there is a line that shouldn't be crossed ... I'd argue that interrogators should not kill or maim suspects. They should not gouge out eyes or chop off fingers. They should not apply electrodes to suspects' genitals. …The column is here.
Posted at 11:08 AM
ANGRY TONE [Jonah Goldberg]
Nobody is better at sounding outraged in every single syllable than Ted Kennedy. He could read a phonebook and the moral indignation and rage would be implied without ever being explained: Fred Katz! Sam Katz! John Katzen!....
Posted at 10:58 AM
VERY NICE... [Rich Lowry ]
...round of questioning by Orrin Hatch.
Posted at 10:52 AM
SMALLEST DETAIL ASIDE [KJL]
A probing reporter points out Hatch seems to have gavels on his tie.
Posted at 10:50 AM
A LITTLE LATE ON THE PREZ '08 SWEEPSTAKES, BUT... [Michael Graham]
PLEASE! The Corner must lead the fight against the nascent “Jeb in ‘08” movement. I’m a Jeb fan, too, and would have gladly voted for him over GW in 2000 if given the chance.
But every time I hear (as I did again this week) that people inside the White House are seriously planning to back Jeb in ’08, I feel a cold wave of panic. I can’t believe they don’t see what an unmitigated disaster running another Bush would be. Americans reject the notion of dynasty at a genetic level. It runs counter to everything we believe about ourselves as a people. Every outside the beltway person I’ve mentioned the idea to since November has the same reaction to a Bush ’08 campaign: Yuck!
I have personally guaranteed my radio listeners that Hillary Rodham Clinton cannot be elected president. It isn’t possible, under normal political conditions.
But if we were dumb enough to run another Bush in ’08, I would have to withdraw that guarantee.
Posted at 10:47 AM
GENERAL IMPRESSION [Rich Lowry ]
Gonzales is doing fine. He has a nice manner and seems to have been prepped to dodge and weave enough to avoid traps.
Posted at 10:47 AM
A SENSIBLE TOM FRIEDMAN COLUMN [Cliff May]
When such news occurs, it should be reported.
Money quotes: “It needs to be clear that these so-called insurgents are not fighting to liberate Iraq from America, but rather to reassert the tyranny of a Sunni-Baathist minority over the majority there. The insurgents are clearly desperate that they not be cast as fighting a democratically elected Iraqi government - which is why they are desperately trying to scuttle the elections. After all, if all they wanted was their fair share of the pie, and nothing more, they would be taking part in the elections.
“We cannot liberate Iraq, and never could. Only Iraqis can liberate themselves, by first forging a social contract for sharing power and then having the will to go out and defend that compact against the minorities who will try to resist it. Elections are necessary for that process to unfold, but not sufficient. There has to be the will - among Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds - to forge that equitable social contract and then fight for it.”
Tom throws in the usual slaps at the usual suspects for allegedly “thinking “that such an experiment would be easy, that it could be done on the cheap, that it could be done with any old army and any old coalition and any old fiscal policy and any old energy policy.” But that’s the price of admission.
The full column is here.
Posted at 10:47 AM
THE "TORTURE MEMO" [Andy McCarthy]
As expected, Sen Leahy went right to the August 2002 memo issued by DOJ Office of Legal Counsel. Leahy asks do you think it has to be pain equivalent of "organ failure" or "death" to be torture -- as the memo (sort of) said. Gonzales said his job as WH Counsel was to ask the question; it was up to DOJ to answer it; and the substance of that DOJ opinion (which DOJ has rescinded) was never the position of the WH or, more importantly, the policy of the United States. Leahy kept interrupting Gonzales's answer; Specter firmly intervened and permitted Gonzales to answer.
Leahy keeps saying the Aug 2002 memo was "the policy of the Justice Department" for two years. That memo is a legal analysis by non-policy makers. It was never a statement of policy.
Posted at 10:44 AM
GONZALES HEARING [John Derbyshire]
What a dismaying spectacle! Right after 9/11 I wrote a piece against torture which people still quote back at me. I was writing about torture, though: "Rubber truncheons? Electrodes? Pliers? Razor blades? Blocks of ice? Not in my name, no." I don't want fingernails pulled out, flesh sliced, electrodes applied, or systematic beatings. But wet towels? Sleep deprivation? A whack with a nightstick? (That's what nightsticks are F-O-R.) A kick to get a stubborn hard case into his cell? None of those is torture, and it is shameful and dishonest to say they are. And the Gonzalez, er, interrogators are going much further than that. If we don't give a terrorist cable TV and Nautilus machines, and food for his goldfish, we're "torturing" him? Does anyone in that room have a clue how the world's dirty work is done? The Abu Ghraib shenanigans (a) were not torture in any sense I understand, and (b) had nothing to do with interrogation. They are, therefore, perfectly irrelevant. What a farrago of nonsense!
Posted at 10:41 AM
NEW DRINKING GAME [Jonah Goldberg]
Every time Specter mentions his experience as a prosecutor, do a shot. And why does he say "Patriot's Act" instead of Patriot Act? Maybe you should chug a beer when he says that.
Posted at 10:30 AM
ROMNEY'S RELIGION [Ramesh Ponnuru]
There has been some interesting discussion of how it might play out in 2008. At this point, all we can do is speculate. But it seems to me our analysis goes off track if we think that the problem is limited to evangelical Christian Republicans' alleged dislike for anyone who is not "born again." Evangelicals alone can't explain why only one non-Protestant has made it to the presidency.
I suspect that it's the interplay of the social issues and Romney's Mormonism that will matter. It may be, that is, that a pro-choice Mormon can't win the Republican nomination and that a pro-life Mormon can't win the general election. Evangelicals are hardly the only Americans who find Mormonism a bit strange. As for whether a Republican will ever be able to win the party's presidential nomination without being "born again": I think the answer to that question is obvious, at least if a conventional definition of the phrase "born again" is being used. It was only nine years ago that a Republican who wasn't born again won his party's presidential nomination, and the influence of evangelicals on the party wasn't much lower then than it is now.
A Catholic, or non-born again Protestant, can win the nomination, especially if he has solid conservative credentials. If Jeb Bush had a different last name, he would already be the leading contender for the nomination, and he's a Catholic.
Posted at 10:27 AM
HERE WE GO [Andy McCarthy]
Chairman Specter says he understand that there will be pictures displayed, and wants notice before they are referred to protect children and the squeamish in the TV audience.
Posted at 10:24 AM
GONZALES OPENING [Andy McCarthy]
Upon distinguishing the honorable combatants to whom they apply, and the terrorists to whom they do not, Judge Gonzaels asserts: "I consider the Geneva Conventions neither obsolete, nor quaint."
"America stands against and will not tolerate toture under any circumstances." As AG, Gonzales commits to prosecute torturers aggressively.
Posted at 10:24 AM
DID GONZALES [KJL]
have to congratulate Specter on becoming chairman? I mean, did he see NRO today? Do us the smallest favor, Judge.
Last time. I promise.
Posted at 10:21 AM
INTROS OF GONZALES [Andy McCarthy]
Sen Cornyn's introduction was superb -- pointing out the inconvenient fact (for Leahy et al) that Judge Gonzales's position on the Geneva Conventions is the correct legal position, and has been upheld at least three times by U.S.courts.
Good move to have new Colorado Senator, Democrat Ken Salazar, do the other introduction -- creates a sense of inevitability of the confirmation. One disturbing note -- Salazar said that while he supports the Patriot Act it needs more civil liberties "balance" and that Judge Gonzales has pledged to work with him on that. It'll be interesting to find out, in the coming months, what's up with that.
Posted at 10:18 AM
RE: SPECTER [KJL]
he had a precancerous skin lesion removed.
Posted at 10:15 AM
SPECTER'S NOSE [Jonah Goldberg]
What happened to it? It's all bloodied up with a bandage on it. It looks like he did some sort of trick where he balances a dog biscuit on his nose and his jack russell terrier is supposed to pluck it off -- only it went horribly, horribly wrong.
Posted at 10:05 AM
LEAHY'S OPENING STATEMENT [Andy McCarthy]
This could get ugly. "Harsh treatment is tantamount to torture." Sen. Leahy has taken the ICRC position, which is not the U.S. interpretation of the UN Convention Against Torture. This lays the groundwork for tagging the administration directly for Abu Ghraib. Plus, according to the senator, the American people have failed our government: By placing Republicans in charge of all three branches, they have left too few checks and balances in place. As a result, so the argument goes, we need an exquisitely independent AG -- not an "enabler" as, according to Leahy, Judge Gonzales has demonstrated a propensity to be.
This administration -- "high officials," with Rumsfeld particularly Rumsfeld mentioned -- have engaged in a "systematic effort" to ignore our law and treaty obligations. Gonzales has been at the center of this effort. Thus, Sen Leahy intones: "I hope things will be different if you are confirmed, Judge Gonzales."
According to Leahy's remarks, Dems have evidently packed the hearing audience with military torture victims who oppose administration policy. Evidently, Sen. Leahy believes Zarqawi will stop beheading his captives if we give al Qaeda Geneva prisoners the kitchenettes and sports equipment contemplated by the Geneva Conventions for honorable combatants. Right.
Posted at 10:02 AM
WHEN JOSHUA MET CHLOE [John Derbyshire]
Nice piece in today's Telegraph on the choice of kids' names in the U.K. Top for boys: Jack. For girls: Emily.
Straw in the wind: "For the first time, Mohammed has entered the top 20. It would be in the top 10 were it not for the different ways of spelling the name, such as Muhammad and Mohammad."
Posted at 09:54 AM
RE: RE: YATES [KJL]
This is emotive, but I just can't help but be distressed at that kinda thing: a culture where a woman who kills her children isn't swiftly and decisively dealt with? Just such a bad cultural message kinda moment.
Nevermind the cause celebre she became to the liberal feminists. Are people at NOW happy this morning at the news?
Not to be too overly dramatic, but it gives me the kinda chills I got the first time I read Julius Ceasar:
Blood and destruction shall be so in useThat's just the first thing I thought of when I heard the news.
I'm sure Andy's right--I'm just in a Derb pessimism mood. Getting over it...Leahy's on in the Senate now...the Gonzales hunt has commenced. Go Specter! Don't let this become a circus--you're our man now.
Yes, that hurt.
Posted at 09:51 AM
RE: YATES [Andy McCarthy]
She'll never get out. She pled the insanity defense -- worst thing that happens is she'll be institutionalized in a mental hospital rather than a jail. There'd be a technical possibility she could get out, but I don't believe the State of Texas would ever permit such a thing. But, that said, the conviction should have been upheld. Insanity is a fact question -- that's the kind our system lets a jury resolve . . . and her jury resolved it.
Posted at 09:43 AM
SIGH: JUD CMTE LOVEFEST GAVEL PASS... [KJL]
The Gonzales hearing is beginning and Hatch just gave Specter the gavel. Specter did a little victory raising of the gavel. And here we go.
Posted at 09:40 AM
DID I FORGET TO WAKE UP TODAY? [KJL]
This is all I know about the Yates news, and it sounds like an episode of LA Law (anything less realistic than Law and Order):
The three-member appeals court took exception to the testimony of prosectutors' psychiatric witness, Dr. Park Dietz, who told the jury he had served as a consultant on an episode of the television drama Law & Order in which a woman drowned her children in the bathtub and was judged insane. He testified the show aired shortly before Yates drowned her five young children.
Posted at 09:33 AM
ANDREA YATES [KJL]
Her murder conviction (you'll recall she killed her children) has been overturned by a three-judge panel in Texas. New trial ordered.
Posted at 09:27 AM
I REALLY THOUGHT [KJL]
wiser heads might prevail among the Democrats. There must be some.
Posted at 09:16 AM
THERE WILL BE A A BOXER OBJECTION [KJL]
Fox is reporting--confirmed
Posted at 09:13 AM
OVER 110 CABINS BOOKED! YOU SNOOZE, YOU NO CRUISE! [Jack Fowler]
Folks, we’re setting sales records here. Over 110 cabins have already been reserved for the National Review 2005 British Isles Cruise. That’s no surprise, given the amazing speakers – Bill Buckley, Paul Johnson, Peggy Noonan, Larry Kudlow, Robert Bork, David Pryce-Jones, Kate O’Beirne, Rich Lowry, Jay Nordlinger, John O’Sullivan – who will be sailing on Crystal Cruise’s ultra-luxurious Symphony from July 10-21, visiting London/Dover, Liverpool, Waterford, Dublin, Belfast, Edinburgh, and St. Peter Port (on Guernsey). We are now out, as in “SOLD OUT,” of the most affordable cabins. So keep dilly-dallying, keep putting off booking that cabin, and before you know it you will be guaranteed to miss this true once-in-a-lifetime voyage. Or you can make certain you will be part of this fantastic trip by going to www.nrcruise.com and reserving your beautiful stateroom now!
For those of you who have always wanted to go on an NR cruise but haven’t, for whatever reason (maybe you fear you’ll be picked last for the shuffleboard tournament), take some inspiration from the fact that the “typical” NR cruise alumni has been on five of the 16 (!!) sea-faring funfests we’ve had since 1994. NR cruisers return again, and again, and again because NR cruises are wonderful experiences (enjoyed in the company of wonderful people!). So go ahead and take the plunge (lifejackets not required). Sign up now. And if it will make a difference, I promise to pick you first for my shuffleboard team!
Posted at 08:52 AM
"WILL ONE DEMOCRATIC SENATOR HAVE THE COURAGE…?" [KJL]
Michael Moore’s on The Today Show egging Senator Babs on to join the protest.
Posted at 07:52 AM
KERRY IS A TROPICAL CYCLONE [KJL]
Headed toward Australia.
I guess I won't moveon either.
Posted at 07:34 AM
NOT FOR NOTHING... [KJL]
...but Moveon is running an anti-Gonzales commercial with a Bill Frist quote (saying the Abu Ghraib photos were "disgusting").
I'm just reminded the Senate Majority Leader is not in town for the beginning of the first big confirmation battle.
Posted at 07:22 AM
CBC PLAYBOOK [KJL]
To preview the protest charade today, here's the House Judiciary Committee minority staff report on their beef against Ohio.
Posted at 07:18 AM
HAPPY BIRTHDAY SHERLOCK [John J. Miller]
As I understand it, Arthur Conan Doyle never recorded the birthday of Sherlock Holmes in the stories and novels he wrote about the world's greatest detective. That hasn't stopped Holmes aficionados from settling on January 6, 1854 as the most probable date of their hero's birth. That would make today Sherlock's sesquicentennial.
Posted at 04:59 AM
KERRY: PHONES IN... [KJL]
There's this statement prominently on his website: He says he is not joing the protest, but echoes the concerns that are in the mass e-mail he sent out about the Ohio vote, cite Conyers, doesn't call protesters off...
Posted at 04:56 AM
ANOTHER--EXCUSE THE TERM--AWOL SENATOR [KJL]
John Kerry, of course, is in the Mideast, not in Washington where he could help his party save face--or help do the business the people of Mass. elected him to do...though, based on the famous Kerry attendance record, I guess he is doing just what they have come to expect.
Posted at 04:52 AM
"IN PRESENCE HE IS RESERVED, QUIET, THOUGHTFUL—DIGNIFIED, YOU MIGHT SAY, IN THE OLD-FASHIONED SENSE." [KJL]
Ramsey Clark on why he is defending Saddam Hussein.
Posted at 04:46 AM
CHINA INVADES NORTH KOREA? [John J. Miller]
I guarantee that the most provocative piece of opinion journalism to appear anywhere in America today will be "An Immodest Proposal," by Bruce Gilley, in the Wall Street Journal. (Available online only to subscribers.) He writes:
"Here is an immodest proposal that could reduce global tensions, bring justice to millions, and cement China's emergence as a great power: Beijing should invade North Korea on humanitarian grounds and establish a China-backed transitional regime there. The U.S. and its allies in Asia should provide diplomatic and logistical support to the operation, while the U.N. should provide its legal blessing."
I'm not sure whether this idea is absolutely crazy or brilliantly inspired; I am certain it's fascinating, and Gilley's op-ed is well worth reading in its entirety.
Posted at 03:38 AM
MEA CULPA [John J. Miller]
Yesterday I posted a short item on New York Times copy style, making the point that the newspaper capitalized the word "federal" but not the phrase "cold war." Turns out I'm wrong. What I said was once true but is true no longer. An editor at the Times, Toby Harshaw, has sent me the following entry from the NYT stylebook:
federal (governmental). Capitalize when part of a proper name (Federal Reserve Board; Federal Bureau of Investigation) but lowercase in other uses: federal courts; federal troops; federal agents.
Also, NYT style does call for a lower-case "cold war."
Posted at 03:32 AM
Wednesday, January 05, 2005
STUPID DEM STRATEGIES? [KJL]
Instalinks to a wide variety of of torture pieces from Glenn Reynolds (which he appears to continue to update).
Ashamed I didn't come up with this myself--or slap it on as a headline for Shannen's piece or something this morning: "Bonus to Karl Rove if any Democrats connect Gonzales to the 'Spanish Inquisition.' I don't really expect that, but then nobody ever does."
Posted at 10:03 PM
NURSE! NURSE! [Jonah Goldberg ]
It's time for Mr. Nader's medication. He's debating the puppets again.
Posted at 09:13 PM
WATCH FOR THE UPCOMING JON STEWART DANCE [KJL]
Looks like Crossfire is history.
Posted at 08:10 PM
A FILLIP FOR MILLER [Steve Hayward]
Last night I came across the following remark Churchill wrote in a letter in 1899: "What a vile nation the French are. Nature must vindicate herself by letting them die out."
Also, to Derb: While we are memorializing the death of Calvin Coolidge, let us also recall that he was the only American president who was born on the 4th of July.
Posted at 07:57 PM
Kerry still e-mails me:
From: John Kerry [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Posted at 07:53 PM
RE: COMMON COLD [John Derbyshire]
Nice bit of Nashery. Here is how *I* feel when afflicted: I wakened on my hot, hard bed;
Upon the pillow lay my head;
Beneath the pillow I could hear
My little watch was ticking clear.
I thought the throbbing of it went
Like my continual discontent;
I thought it said in every tick:
I am so sick, so sick, so sick:
O death, come quick, come quick, come quick,
Come quick, come quick, come quick, come quick...
Posted at 07:45 PM
DICK WADHAMS!!! [Cliff May]
I know Dick from my cowboy days back in Colorado. He’s the best. Buy Allen futures now.
Posted at 07:39 PM
RE: WHERE IS JOHN KERRY? [KJL]
Found, in an e-mail that went out to supporters in the last few hours (multiple readers have sent to me; I am hurt I didn't get one--our e-mail filter is apparently finally blocking Kerry campaign e-mails):
Dear [X],Somehow left out "I've asked my colleagues in the House to MOVEON to election reform and certify this election tomorrow so we can get on in this new year with the business of America, etc.."
Posted at 07:21 PM
HOLDING ONTO THE 2004 ELECTION [KJL]
Watching the Hume show: The Dems objecting is "an expression of the death wish of the Democratic party," Fred Barnes just said on Fox. He thinks "even" Barbara Boxer is too smart to play along.
Posted at 06:49 PM
ONE THING I AM CERTAIN OF [KJL]
Tomorrow's CSPAN is going to be candy for political junkies.
Posted at 06:46 PM
RE: GONZALES WITNESSES [Shannen W. Coffin]
Based on my last post, I had to go back and confirm something before running with it. But Dean Koh actually went so far as to be named as a plaintiff in a legal challenge to the Solomon Amendment in Connecticut federal court. So he's more than an outspoken opponent of military recruiting on campus. He's gone so far as to sue the Defense Department to prohibit the conditioning of federal funding on access to student by military recruiters.
Posted at 06:39 PM
MY LATEST HILL CONVERSATIONS [KJL]
As mentioned here earlier, Barbara Boxer is said to be considering concurring with the Conyers/Congressional Black Caucus objection to the Ohio certification during tomorrow’s joint session.
In 2000, as we’ve mentioned, the CBC objected to the Florida count. No senator concurred, so nothing happened.
If Boxer concurs, the houses split for two hours of debate/nonsense obstruction. Thank you, Democratic party.
To his credit, I hear Harry Reid has tried to talk Boxer out of it. But, again, I ask: Where is John Kerry? Around this time in 2001, Gore made clear that he didn’t want his colleagues drawing certification out. Where is John Kerry?
Posted at 06:00 PM
GRAMM, JEB, ALLEN ETC [Jonah Goldberg]
Look if I can't have one afternoon to talk about my ideal candidate four years out before I have to pick a compromise candidate then we're in really sorry shape. Yes, I know Gramm is very, very unlikely run and even more unlikely to win. But dagnabbit a socially conservative libertarian foreign policy hawk is my kind of guy.
Anyway, I agree that Allen was very impressive and certainly he was the biggest surprise of the bunch I saw back at those NR-meetings during the GOP Convention. I don't know enough about his campaign style or his record. As for Jeb. I do think it's sad that he's got such a headwind against him, but I think it's a real headwind. George W. Bush has exhausted his and his family's credibility with so many Democrats and the media (fairly or not) that I think a Jeb candidacy would be dominated with Bush family themes and would of necessity have to be a 100% referendum on GWB -- in the primaries and the general -- at a time when people are going to be naturally looking for a change. That just sounds like a tough hurdle, even if Iraq is looking great by then.
Posted at 05:49 PM
ART GALLERIES [John Derbyshire]
"John---Galleries have always taken 50%. This goes way back before there were opening receptions for an artist's show--a practice started in the 50s; sort of a merging of the fashion world social scene with art.
"The best analogy to what a gallery does for an artist is the real estate broker. And those percentages are less than 10%. The bottom line as to why the 50% is (1) tradition and (2) galleries can get away with it. It's more of a pimp/prostitute relationship than either party wishes to acknowledge."
Posted at 05:46 PM
PROSPECTS FOR 2008 [John Derbyshire]
I am, as everyone knows, the last person to engage in any kind of kissing up to the boss; and I do understand, Rich, your reasons for so gracefully backing out from the '01 New York mayoral campaign after a promising start. I do hope, though, that you will not be deaf to the call of duty. It's not too soon to start organizing. I am ready to go proselytizing in the mathematical and lucite-obsessed communities, and I think I can get something started with those NASCAR dads. We await your trumpet call!
Posted at 05:46 PM
UNPUBLISHED LETTER TO EDITOR OF U.S.A. TODAY [John Derbyshire]
My brother Roy Noel Derbyshire, of Swindon, UK, was visiting the USA recently & saw a gushing encomium to Tony Blair in USA Today. He was moved to write a letter to the editor. They did not print it. I hope no-one will mind if I use my NRO privileges to run Noel's letter here.
Posted at 05:34 PM
WOW [Jonah Goldberg ]
This guy has already lost 321 pounds.
Posted at 05:22 PM
Love him. Let it go, Jonah. Let it go.
I have a picture somewhere of Ramesh behind a big foam Gramm head we had on display in the NRDC office back in the day. NR was his campaign.
Posted at 05:16 PM
LINCOLN AND HIS BIOGRAPHERS [Rick Brookhiser]
Re: Lincoln, see my forthcoming review in the New York Times Book Review, Jan. 9.
When Lincoln died, Stanton said, "Now he belongs to the ages." True of him, and of every historical figure. A great man belongs to all subsequent ages, with all their varying preoccuptions.
The key factor in deciding whether to emphasize any trait is its proportion to the life--the life as lived by the subject, and as written by the biographer. Alexander Hamilton's sex life impinged, grotesquely, on his public career, in the Reynolds Affair; ignoring it was not an option. Gouverneur Morris's even more active sex life had many fewer public effects (partly because his public career was less considerable). But I wanted to study him as a moral, even more than a political example; so I had to understand how a compulsive adulterer (with other flaws besides) could also be kind, generous, high-spirited and brave. For other lives (in both senses) sex may be largely beside the point. That was mostly what I concluded when I wrote about George Washington, though even there, the gushing of Abigail Adams (and other ladies) is an important measure of his charisma.
Re: Lincoln, it seems to me that his mixed (and incredibly mixed-up) sexuality may have added a layer to his melancholia, which was an important element of his thinking, and of his public persona. It doesn't explain the Cooper Union Address, but it is certainly as worthy of thought as the 935th analysis of what happened at Cemetary Ridge.
Posted at 05:13 PM
ALLEN IN 08 [KJL]
Actually, when NR eds met with George Allen this summer--during RNC week--I remember I liked him more than I expected to (not enthused, mind you, just surprised).
And he does have some Senate wins under his belt from 2004. (I.e. If it's Allen vs. Frist, I bet on Allen.)
And now the guy who managed Thune's win over Daschle--the most important campaign of the year--Dick Wadhams is working for Allen.
Of course, he's a senator...but he has been a governor. [And conservatives are going to be slow going on him--what's his abortion position again?]
Sigh--but Jeb is one now--and a darn good one. Sigh.
Posted at 05:01 PM
HAS ABORTION RISEN UNDER BUSH? [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Jesse Walker, on Reason's blog, notes that Scott Richert is raising the question in the January issue of Chronicles. Richert's piece claims that the rate has risen, but he relies for this claim entirely on the shaky estimates of Glen Harold Stassen. Stassen's research has been thoroughly debunked--see here, here, here, and here.
Posted at 04:58 PM
GRAMM...GRAMM...GRAMM [Jonah Goldberg]
[in a loud stage whisper, say it with me] Gramm...Gramm...Gramm...Gramm!
Posted at 04:46 PM
ROMNEY--CLARIFICATION [Rich Lowry ]
Since a number of people have written in asking: yes, the point that insider I cited earlier was making was that a Mormon would have trouble connecting with the evangelical Christian base of the party. I don't know whether he's right or not...
Posted at 04:37 PM
COMMON COLDS [Jonah Goldberg]
A strong majority of readers say it's not ethnicity but gender which is the great dividing line. But within that majority opinions differ wildly. The two biggest camps are what I will call the Darwinians and the Freudians. The Darwinians believe that women of child-bearing age are more immune to the ravages of the common cold. The Freudians believe that boys are spoiled by their mothers when they're sick and so men revert to boyhood when they get a cold. I think there might be merit to both theories. On the one hand, women really do seem to handle colds better than men and I find it hard to believe that men -- who are normally so adverse to showing weakness to women -- break down entirely for psychological reasons when they get colds. On the other hand, even if we do suffer more that doesn't mean we don't whine about it too much.
Posted at 04:37 PM
RE: JEB [KJL]
He can't. He just can't. Another Bush? This close together. Which is a genuine shame, because he is my favorite at the moment.
Posted at 04:35 PM
RUN JEB, RUN [Rich Lowry ]
An e-mail: "If Jeb Bush is the strongest candidate and best qualified to be president, Republicans must insist that he run. The "dynastic" issue is more of a mental block than a deterrent to actually being elected. I cannot think of a single person who would have otherwise voted for George W. except for his father's service, can you? If Hillary makes an even half-hearted attempt to seek the presidency, she will have the same criticisms directed at her. If the Dems come sniping after Jeb because of his family ties, how can they justify any degree of support for Hillary? Besides, George P. will be turning 40 in 2016 and he needs dad to smooth the transition to the next generation. Bush 2008! Bush 2012! Bush 2016 Bush 2020! Etc."
Posted at 04:21 PM
ANOTHER GONZALES WITNESS [Shannen Coffin]
A faithful reader has provided further background on Dean Harold Koh, one of the key witness testifying for the Democratic minority at Judge Gonzales' confirmation hearing tomorrow. Koh has been a vocal opponent of military recruitment on Yale's campus, something I should have remembered from my days defending the Solomon Amendment against challenges by Yale's faculty in court. Similar to Admiral Johnson, Koh argued against passage of a broad authorization for use of military force and instead advocated simply prosecuting as war criminals the perpetrators of 9/11. He argued that federal courts should try Osama Bin Laden. Later, he pushed to have OBL and Saddam tried in the ICC: "[Bush] could have supported the International Criminal Court as a way of bringing the Osama bin Ladens and Saddam Husseins of the world to justice." (The Economist, October 30, 2003) Koh has also argued that the US had to seek authorization from the UN prior to deposing Saddam.
Posted at 04:11 PM
EMANUEL EXPECTED TO HEAD DCCC [KJL]
From Roll Call: "Illinois Rep. Rahm Emanuel will soon be named as the new head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, according to several well-placed sources."
Posted at 03:56 PM
HOMAGE TO NASH [Jonah Goldberg]
Inspired by your post of the Nash poem, (and probably inspired in part by the medication):
Posted at 03:01 PM
2008: TAN, RESTED AND READY [Jonah Goldberg]
Is it too early to start the draft Phil Gramm campaign?
Posted at 02:44 PM
WAY TOO PREMATURE 2008 THINKING [KJL]
I'm not this down on Bill Frist (there is time for political redemption) yet: An e-mail:
Given the fate of Bill Owens, Howard Dean, etc. perhaps NR should put Bill Frist on its cover and wipe him out now!
Posted at 02:39 PM
RE: 2008 [KJL]
Bill Frist? Isn't he a doctor? He has leadership aspirations?
Cool comments on judges from yesterday aside (and they were), I think this Asian trip--humane as it is--is setting out on a bad start.
Posted at 02:23 PM
RE: WHERE'S KERRY? : GORE WAS CLASSY IN JAN. 2001 [KJL]
You can't always say this, but at this moment, Kerry should follow the Gore model:
Armey said GOP leaders had received assurances by Wednesday that there would be no serious objection to the count. House Minority Leader Richard A. Gephardt (D-Mo.), whose aides consulted with Gore's staff, urged the Black Caucus members not to raise an objection because the vice president did not support such a move.
Let Maxine Waters make a fool of herself, it's her profession. Goodness knows Senate Dems are going to demagogue full-time to come. Kerry'd look like a good loser if he'd urge his colleagues to get on with the business of the Senate.
Posted at 02:11 PM
PREMATURE 2008 PUNDITRY [Rich Lowry ]
Here is how one GOP insider sees the state of play (in other words, not necessarily my take on things). Rudy Guiliani wasn't fundamentally hurt by the Kerik flap. Its ultimately Kerik's problem, not Giuliani's. The former mayor is loved by GOP crowds and has great all-around political skills. He has something of George W. Bush's ability to connect with individuals in a crowded room. He was a wonderful surrogate for Bush last year. But his problem on gays, guns, and abortion is probably insurmountable. It is likely he can't fix it short of totally revising his positions, and that will be difficult given his tough-guy, straight-shooter image. Bill Frist is in perhaps the strongest position. He will soak up publicity as Senate Majority Leader, leading on issues like judges. He headed the senatorial committee when the GOP took back the Senate. He is close to the White House, has a good relationship with Dick Cheney, and is loyal to Bush. He is pro life and knows how to talk to socially conservative audiences. He will be able to raise a ton of money. Jeb Bush won't run. He is arguably the most talented GOP officeholder in the country. He would probably be the strongest GOP candidate. But he considers the dynastic issue too serious to overcome. Because of his family and faith, he doesn't lust after the job like most politicians. And he is 52 in February, so is young enough to wait, eight years if neccessary (he probably wouldn't take the VP slot if offered). The theory is that he has to skip at least one cycle the way W did to have some distance from his dad and the way Hillary did to have some distance from Bill. George Allen is a politician to watch. He wears cowboy boots, he is tall and handsome, he doesn't take himself too seriously, he's a solid conservative, and he's putting together a tip-notch team. It will be hard for any senator to get traction, however, when the Senate Majority Leader is running. Mitt Romney is going to have a hard time connecting with the social sonservative base of the party given his Mormon faith--just a fact of life. For what it's worth...
Posted at 02:08 PM
WHERE'S KERRY? [KJL]
Just a thought about these lingering election shenanigans. If he wanted his party to look classy, he could, at the very least, lean on his colleague, Senator Boxer, to MOVEON.
He gave a gentlemanly concession speech (unlike his running mate) when he did concede the afternoon after Election Day. You'd think he'd want to carry that over to the beginning of the rest of his Senate career. That's what a responsible leader would do. (Remember: Ohio even did a recount.)
Posted at 01:41 PM
DEMOCRAT FOR GONZALES [Shannen Coffin]
While the Democrats on the Judiciary Committee are likely to bruise Gonzales, at least in the main stream media's eyes, it doesn't appear likely that they will be able -- or even try to -- sink him. Indeed, to his everlasting credit, Freshman Senator Ken Salazar (D-CO) is testifying in support of the nomination. Gonzales will be confirmed, despite the chattering classes.
Posted at 01:37 PM
ACTION MOVIE BALLOONS [Jonah Goldberg ]
Turn any trip to the dentist or drop off of the kids into an action movie adventure.
Posted at 01:32 PM
RE: CLINTON & LINCOLN [Jonah Goldberg ]
Great word: uxorious.
Of course, I think you're wrong about Clinton. You may call it "routine hypocrisy," but that begs the question of how you would define astounding, jaw-dropping hypocrisy. Moreover, while I agree that the perjury raised the stakes, they did not raise them from zero to impeachable, as you suggest. They raised them from huge scandal to impeachable scandal. Nobody wants to revisit all that stuff. But I reject the standard you -- and many others -- put forward that because Clinton wasn't breaking the law, his behavior was irrelevant. At least two of the pertinent events which illustrate my point: his famous 60 Minutes interview in which he and his wife swore to the public that such behavior was behind them and that if it happened again it would be a huge deal. It happened again. The second event was his strengthening of sexual harassment laws which made what he did technically illegal whether he lied about it or not and incandescantly -- not routinely -- hypocritical. The guy had an intern under his desk while he was on the phone talking about deploying troops.
As for your point about Lincoln, I think your real disagreement is with Ramesh. I find the campaign against Lincoln tacky because of the obvious motives and questionable history behind it. But if it's true, it should be discussed, put in context and dealt with.
Posted at 01:26 PM
This Conyers story is a vast right-wing plant to distract from an illegitimate election in Ohio!
Posted at 01:14 PM
RE: THE GONZALES HEARING [Shannen Coffin]
The witness list for tomorrow's confirmation hearing for Alberto Gonzales was released this morning. Democrats are calling three witness. First, retired Rear Admiral John Hutson, who was the Navy's JAG during the Clinton Administration, served in an official Kerry-Edwards advisory group and is, among other things, a recent critic of the military's "Don't Ask Don't Tell" statute (often called a "policy", but in fact a federal law enacted by Congress and signed by President Clinton. Although Hutson opposes the Bush Administration policy on the Geneva Conventions, even he has admitted, in a recent NPR interview, that the Conventions "were written for a different era." Second, Harold Koh, Dean of Yale Law School, who is a former Clinton State Department appointee and was frequently mentioned by John Kerry as one of his potential Supreme Court nominees. And last but not least, "torture expert" Douglas A. Johnson, who you can read about here, as K-Lo mentioned. Let the partisanship begin!
Posted at 01:14 PM
IRAQ, ISRAEL, JIHAD [Jonah Goldberg]
Great stuff over at Powerline.
Posted at 01:10 PM
ANTI-AMERICANISM [Andrew Stuttaford]
Just how virulent is it? Read this post from the Belgravia Despatch and judge for yourself...
Posted at 01:05 PM
CLINTON AND LINCOLN [Andrew Stuttaford]
An unlikely heading to say the least...
Jonah, I'd differ with you on both these gentlemen. On Clinton, the fact that he was so publicly uxorious and privately well, you know, was nothing more than routine hypocrisy, and should not have been grounds to turn his private life into a national circus. Where it was relevant was over the allegations of perjury. As for Lincoln, I don't think it's inappropriate to discuss whether this rather notable historical figure was or was not bisexual. If he was, it doesn't take anything away from his character and any family members who might be hurt by its disclosure are long dead.
Posted at 01:02 PM
MORE ON DRUG COURTS [Jonah Goldberg]
From a friend of mine:
Posted at 12:59 PM
RE: GONZALES [KJL]
Shannen Coffin has a new one up previewing one of the witnesses against Gonzales--who opposed the Afghan war.
Posted at 12:51 PM
I DON'T SAY THIS ENOUGH [KJL]
Thanks, Mr. Limbaugh, for the plug--Rush is reading Andy McCarthy's piece on Gonzales and torture right now (calling his approach "a brilliant bit of sarcasm").
He read the Rivkin/Casey piece on the same issue from the current issue of NR yesterday.
I should say the same for Mr. Hannity, too, who is likewise very kind to us.
Posted at 12:48 PM
DRUGS AND COURTS [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
As a criminal defense lawyer, I have seen how drug additions can devastate lives of the addicts and others. If a well-off person gets nailed for a drug-related crime, he'll hire a good lawyer. The first thing a good lawyer will do is get the addict into a real treatment program and be brutally frank about what happens if the addict fails. Those programs cost $$$$, but the well-off addict will have the resources to pay.
Posted at 12:37 PM
FADING GREEN [Jonathan H. Adler]
Things aren't so good at the Bush EPA, at least not so far as federalism is concerned. I explain here.
Posted at 12:32 PM
BETTER AS AN ASSOCIATE [Jonathan H. Adler]
Berkeley law prof, and former Thomas clerk, John Yoo argues that Clarence Thomas has more influence as an associate justice than he ever could as Chief.
Posted at 12:32 PM
THE ODIOUS UN PART 389,003,876 [Jonah Goldberg]
In response to today's column on the The Odious UN, a reader sent me two interesting links. The first is to the following story from New Zealand about how the UN stinks at disaster relief. Here's how it opens:
While the United Nations appears to be adept at having meetings, the organisation is hopeless on the ground say career foreign service officers in tsunami-affected regions.
The second link is the anonymous blog run by foreign service officials The Diplomad which has some fun first hand evidence of the UN odiousness.
Posted at 12:29 PM
ANTI-THOMAS CAMPAIGN? [Jonathan H. Adler]
The last several days has seen a rash of editorials denouncing Supreme Court Justices -- Justice Thomas in particular -- for receiving excessive gifts. See, e.g., these pieces in the LA Times, Nashua Telegraph, and Miami Herald. Is this part of a coordinated campaign? Is this an effort by some progressive group to poison the well lest Thomas gets the Chief Justice nomination?
Posted at 12:26 PM
MCCAIN VETOES NUKE OPTION [Jonathan H. Adler]
According to How Appealing, CQ is reporting Senator McCain will not support using the "nuclear" option to end judicial filibusters. If so, there goes any leverage Senator Frist had in dealing with the Dems.
Posted at 12:24 PM
LASER GUY [Jonah Goldberg]
So many thoughts.
First of all, I hope nothing he does discredits in any way the important mission of airborne laser volcano lancing.
Second, given this guys monumental stupidity, I have to hand it to his wife for being willing to hold his hand at the courthouse. For better, for worse, for chronically idiotic.
Third, several readers have asked me if I think it's overkill to go after him with the Patriot Act. Shannen or Andy McCarthy would be better qualified to answer that. But it seems to me that precedent probably matters. Mucking around with the air-traffic system is something we really, really want to discourage. Yes, this might lend credence to critics of the Patriot Act who worry about mission-creep (a somewhat fair concern, if you ask me). But I just don't know enough about the laws on the books to answer the question intelligently.
Posted at 12:19 PM
THE CASE AGAINST PRIVACY [Jonah Goldberg ]
A strong argument for why Sontag's private relationship was fair game and should have been mentioned in the major write-ups.
Posted at 12:14 PM
KEEP ON MNOOKIN' IN THE FREE WORLD [Jonah Goldberg]
Reihan responds, and then some, to my post yesterday on the middle class and drug addicts.
Posted at 11:38 AM
RE: PRIVACY [Jonah Goldberg]
Ramesh - I think I share your inclinations. But just to take an example we are all familiar with, Bill Clinton invoked his private life and his marriage constantly when it suited his purposes but then claimed any negative attention paid to either was completely and entirely unfair. It seems to me that at some point invocations of a right to privacy cannot only come when they are self-serving.
As for the history thing. Yeah, I think this Lincoln stuff is inappropriate. But as you say you're not sure "we" need to know about Lincoln's sexual habits. That's an argument -- or sentiment really -- about the needs of the living not the rights of the dead. I think historians should always go for the truth, put it in the right context, and then move on. What offends me about the Lincoln stuff is that it stinks of propaganda and agenda-driven "history."
Posted at 11:32 AM
THE DISABLED & WORK [Rich Lowry ]
A nice e-mail about my column the other day on the disabled and work: “I really appreciated your article on the mentally disabled. We have a 21 year old adopted daughter from India. She happens to be mentally and physically disabled and can't physically care for herself She lives with us but goes to our local DAC (developmental achievement center) 4 days a week. There she gets a small paycheck every two weeks and does simple jobs like shredding paper (they had to make her a special device even to do that). She also (with help) makes a line of greeting cards using rubber stamps. These are sold in the thrift store belonging to the DAC (which employs DAC clients). These activities, together with socialization with other DAC clients, are very important to her. They give her life meaning. The DAC - and Heartland Homes, which provides supervised living facilities for the disabled as well as respite care - are state chartered and supported non profit organizations. The living facilities include dedicated apartments and homes in the community. They are FIRST CLASS accommodations specifically designed for the handicapped. DAC clients have jobs in the community or at the DAC. In fact, the DAC operates the county recycling center and thus provides well paying jobs, in a supervised environment, for high-functioning clients. The directors of the DAC and Heartland Homes, together with the staffs they have put together, are absolutely phenomenal people who do a spectacular job for all their clients. Other states could use the Minnesota programs as an example. Our community has embraced the mentally and physically disabled, and accepted them for the human beings they are, largely because the DAC and Heartland Homes place them in the community where people can get to know them. I wouldn't live anywhere else in this country but right here with our daughter. When I was young and lived in Minneapolis I remember a young child in a wheel chair in our neighborhood who was picked up every day by a handicap bus and taken to the Michael Dowling School. No one in the neighborhood ever knew this child and I realized one day I never even knew if the child was a boy or a girl. Thank heavens those days are past.”
Posted at 11:28 AM
STEVE MOORE’S NEXT PROJECT [Rich Lowry ]
From the New York Times: “REPUBLICAN LOBBYING GROUP FORMING Stephen Moore, president of the Club for Growth, which raised almost $20 million to support Republican candidates in last year's election, said he was leaving the organization to form an advocacy group that will lobby for Republican positions on economic issues like tax reform and Social Security. The new group, the Free Enterprise Fund, hopes to raise about $15 million for television advertising and other lobbying to bolster President Bush's domestic agenda in Congress. The group will try to marshal support among Republican lawmakers and "hold their feet to the fire," Mr. Moore said.”
More on this later, but it’s my understanding that Pat Toomey will be the new head of the Club for Growth.
Posted at 11:24 AM
CAPITOL BUZZ [KJL]
RE: Election certification--I'm hearing Barbara Boxer will support challenge and the Senate will likely vote down the challenge by voice.
Posted at 11:17 AM
THE COMMON COLD, BY OGDEN NASH [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
One of my favorites:
Posted at 11:10 AM
PRIVACY [Ramesh Ponnuru]
I'm not sure that the fact that someone disclosed a lot of other information about their personal lives should be relevant here: If we respect people's privacy, doesn't that mean respecting their choices about what they wish to publicize and wish not to? I'm also not sure about death. I don't know that we all need to know about Abraham Lincoln's sexual habits. Even dead presidents deserve private lives. But I'm expressing an inclination here, not a conviction.
Posted at 11:10 AM
A NEW FEAR OF FLYING [John Hood]
A member of the famous circus family, the Flying Wallendas, was paralyzed from the waist down in a fall way back in 1962. Now, after retiring from a different career and trying several sedentary pastimes with no luck, Mario Wallenda has designed a special wheelchair that allows him to do aerial acts on a high wire. Pretty cool, huh?
Except that he’s having a hard time convincing organizations to let him perform. They are afraid that audiences will think the act is making fun of the disabled. The Wallendas find this notion “unfathomable,” as do I, but it shows the extent to which the victimology implicit in modern disability policy serves to harm the very people it is supposed to help.
Posted at 11:10 AM
IN MEMORIAM [John Derbyshire]
A moment of silence this morning, please, in memory of President Calvin Coolidge, who died on this day in 1933.
Posted at 11:07 AM
THE CURSE OF BUMPY TONGUE (CONT.) [John Derbyshire]
"Mr. Derbyshire---According to _Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary_ (Philadelphia: W.B. Sanders, 2000), 'bumpy tongue' is technically known as erythema nodosum, which is sometimes seen in cases of primary coccidioidomycosis. I'm afraid that it is terminal -- your son has probably no more than 70 to 90 years left. With regrets..."
Posted at 11:02 AM
THE CURSE OF BUMPY TONGUE [John Derbyshire]
Apparently it's real: "Dear Mr. Derbyshire---I am no medical person of any sort. However, I know exactly what your son is speaking of. I get 'Bumpy Tongue' on occasion. I used to think it was because I was getting sick, however, it seems to just be random. The back of one's tongue feels really bumpy. If you look closely, you may notice that the back of his tongue looks slightly more bumpy than usual. However, at a glance, it doesn't look any different than usual.
"I have never been able to figure out what causes this or how to get rid of it (other than waiting it out). One thought is that perhaps the tongue is a little dehydrated. In any case, I just wanted to let you know that your son is not the only person that has experienced 'Bumpy Tongue'."
Perhaps we can get a support group going. How bumpy is a tongue SUPPOSED to be, anyway?
Posted at 10:54 AM
COMMON COLD NO FAIR [John Derbyshire]
I too have pondered this, Jonah. It's something constitutional. My father used to get colds, but you'd hardly know it. His voice went a little raspy, was all, and he'd blow his nose now and then. It would never have crossed his mind to take time off work. My mother, by contrast, though a tough person physically (coal miner's daughter) was floored by colds, and in abject misery for days.
I got Mum's genes. A cold wipes me out for a week. It's a major affliction. Rosie's like my Dad -- for her, a cold is just a minor nuisance. No fair.
Posted at 10:51 AM
THE COMMON COLD [Jonah Goldberg]
Why does it afflict people so differently? My father and I both expect to see the Grim Reaper pointing his bony finger of damnation at us when we get a cold. Stipulating that I'm giant baby about these things, it's nonetheless true that everytime I get a cold I feel like I spent the night in a Bolivian jockey bar drinking tequilla-and-sewer water and fighting-off a dozen little dudes who eventually beat me about the head and chest with fire extinguishers. Meanwhile, the missus -- of hardy Alaskan stock, to be sure -- can function at about 50% efficiency. Do certain ethnic groups suffer more than others? Is it partly a male-female thing? It vexes me.
Posted at 10:36 AM
I'M CHANGING MY MIND... [Jonah Goldberg ]
A little. The other day I linked to Andrew Sullivan's post about Susan Sontag's rumored relationship with Annie Leibowitz. Kathryn chastised me in polite terms about how Sontag's private life should remain private. Given that Sontag made the private parts of her life that were professionally or "artistically" useful and her lifelong contempt for traditional America and its values my first instinct was that her private life should be fair game, particularly in an obituary. Indeed, it's because she's dead that I'm still inclined to think her sexuality is fair game. After all, no historian will ignore the topic (especially given the interests of today's historians). But I'm becoming more sympathetic to Kathryn's point and if all these write-ups were taking place while she was alive I would probably agree entirely.
Posted at 10:29 AM
PEDIATRIC OBSERVATIONS [John Derbyshire]
My kids keep discovering diseases hitherto unknown to medical science. My 9-yr-old son is complaining about "bumpy tongue." Symptoms? "My tongue feels all bumpy." Let's take a look. Hmm, looks like a normal tongue. "No, it's got bumps on it. I can feel them."
Anyone know anything about bumpy tongue?
Posted at 10:25 AM
LAURA KIPNIS [Ramesh Ponnuru]
is not being wry in the following sentence, which is what makes it so amusing: "For some reason, the majority of women simply would not give up the pursuit of beautification, even those armed with feminist theory."
Posted at 10:09 AM
SEX AND MONEY [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Jim Lindgren takes a second look at a much-discussed recent study that purports to show that higher incomes are not associated with higher frequencies of sexual activity.
Posted at 09:58 AM
THE NY VOTE, BTW [KJL]
has evidently been fixed. (I mean it's John F. Kerry now, not that Bush REALLY won the state.)
Posted at 09:55 AM
MY FROWNY [KJL]
Despair.com trademarked it. They'll forgive me because I have their 2005 calendar up. January is Motivation month: "If a pretty poster and a cute saying are all it takes to motivate you, you probably have a very easy job. The kind robots will be doing soon."
Posted at 09:47 AM
MITT 2008 [John J. Miller]
Someone is already selling t-shirts on the web. Go here for a news article, and here for a list of products. For what it's worth, the design isn't terribly attractive. And shouldn't somebody be selling Mitt mitts, i.e., baseball gloves?
Posted at 09:26 AM
ONE SHOULD NEVER READ DEMOCRATIC UNDERGROUND TOO CLOSELY [KJL]
But, just so you know, some schoolkids are going to be watching C-SPAN tomorrow with a teacher who's still hanging onto Kerry '04 hopes--and posts to the Democratic Underground.
Posted at 09:25 AM
TIMES STYLE [John J. Miller]
I just noticed something about New York Times copy style -- the word federal is capitalized but the term Cold War is not. In other words, a proper NYT sentence looks like this: "The Federal government fought the cold war." Here at NR, we do it the other way: "The federal government fought the Cold War." It's a little thing, but it tells us a lot about competing worldviews.
Posted at 08:59 AM
I’M SURPRISED [KJL ]
I haven’t heard from any D.C. bar owners yet in response to my bleg of yesterday. Could it be that no Corner readers own Beltway pubs? It’s probably more likely that you own the most popular joints, and have been too busy to e-mail. Because Corner readers just seem to be everywhere. Or maybe you were just watching Black Sheep again.
Posted at 08:14 AM
EURO VERSION [KJL]
Loyal European correspondent Jack Jolis reports:
You should know that in today's International Herald Tribune (100% owned and published by the NYT), the same picture appears "above the fold", but on page 4, and the caption beneath simply says "An injured child from a coastal area arriving at the military airport in Banda Aceh, Indonesia" -- no mention at all of the American nationality of the officer in the picture.
Posted at 08:08 AM
"THE FISH'S POINT OF VIEW" [KJL]
PETA turns on Jimmy Carter.
Posted at 08:01 AM
TSUNAMI HELP: HOW TO GIVE [KJL]
I found this helpful.
Posted at 07:33 AM
RED SQUARE RESTAURANT - COMMIE CHIC? [Andrew Stuttaford]
If I recall correctly (it was a long night), Red Square is guarded by a beheaded statue of Lenin. The head can be found in the vodka freezer. Commie tongue-in-chic, more like, and, I would think, not a problem...
Posted at 07:25 AM
A SMALL :-( FOR THE RECORD [KJL]
Smileys are general verboten here.
But there you are. I stand behind previous statements of gratitude and admiration for the great work so many of you did in bucking up Senate Republicans to give Arlen Specter a strong message--and I think the Senate is better for it, and Bush nominees will have a fighting chance, etc. because of it all. But you know the whole deal, and, at bottom, I think it's still a bit of a shame: Arlen Specter was officially elected chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday.
Of course: "With the committee's backing, Specter now must receive the blessing of the 55 members of the Republican Conference, who are to meet Wednesday."
But this isn't the Conservative Underground, so I'm not going there.
Posted at 06:10 AM
CONYERS WILL “SEAL THE DEAL” ON THE 6TH [KJL]
As you can imagine, there is lots of Democratic Underground sore-loser wishing and hoping.
Posted at 06:02 AM
BESTSELLER WATCH [KJL]
Mona Charen's new book is moving on up in Amazon world.
Posted at 06:02 AM
OF COURSE [KJL ]
the safest thing for me to do, following that nytimes promise, is to not read any further than that caption. So be it.
Posted at 05:56 AM
I HEREBY REFRAIN FROM ALL NYTIMES CRITICISM [KJL ]
For the duration of the morning. Above the fold this morning—at least in the early-morning edition I picked up in NYC—(at this linking seen here) has, as the caption describes it: “An American medical officer carried an injured child yesterday after arriving by helicopter at the military airport in Banda Aceh, Indonesia.” I don’t think it’s reading too much into the photo to see the young officer’s concern and devotion in his face, in his grip on the defenseless child.
The face, the arms of a stingy American?
It’s on the front-page of the paper of record, which has editorialized that we are stingy Americans, in the last week.
A picture speaks a thousand words—trumps that edit, for one, if you ask me.
Posted at 05:53 AM
MCCAIN HAS THE POWER [KJL ]
This blogger has an astute point: McCain could determine if the Gonzales confirmation happens or not.
Posted at 05:39 AM
Tuesday, January 04, 2005
THE DNC RACE [KJL]
the field is narrowing (watch the soon to be renamed kerry spot for more)
Posted at 11:31 PM
RE: GONZALES [Mark R. Levin]
As for those generals who oppose Gonzales for supporting interrogations and detentions of the enemy, I'm sure if George McClellan were alive, he'd sign on with the liberals too.
Posted at 11:08 PM
RE ELECTORAL COLLEGE VOTE CHALLENGE [Mark R. Levin]
It should get nowhere fast. But Republicans should exploit these pathetic Democrat missteps and take their case to the people. And Frist should be in town leading the charge. The party that claims to want to count every vote seeks to disenfranchise tens of millions of voters. Frist should also be out front against Democrat efforts to undermine the war on terror by smearing Gonzales's support for interrogating terrorist detainees. And he darn well better understand that if the Democrats are willing to fight the Gonzales nomination like this -- a moderate Republican and first Hispanic ever nominated to attorney general -- they will be even more rabid in their attacks on any Supreme Court nominees. The battle has begun, and Frist and company better be engaged.
Posted at 11:03 PM
IT'S ALL GREEK TO ME [Jonathan H. Adler]
Thanks to all the readers who pointed out that Achilles dragged the body of Hector, not Patroclus, around Troy. Patroclus was Achilles "friend," and was killed by Hector. If I knew Classics half as well as I know obscure bits of environmental policy, I would have caught that one. Alas . . ..
Posted at 11:02 PM
WHAT FRIST LEAVES BEHIND [KJL]
An e-mail blast just out from The Nation:
Dear EmailNation Subscriber,
Posted at 11:00 PM
MAD MAX IN 2001 [KJL]
Here's a fine Maxine Waters performance:
The VICE PRESIDENT. For what purpose does the gentlewoman from California (Ms. WATERS) rise?
Posted at 10:46 PM
I'm crashcoursing in Electoral College 101 here, sorry to be piecemeal with details. (Has someone turned back the Frist plane yet?) Objections seem to work like this:
3 USC 15
Posted at 10:44 PM
KEEPING VIGIL IN BEACON HILL…HOPING FOR A CONGRESSIONAL MESS [KJL ]
Got some vigil candles? You can join this woman tonight in Boston.
The election is not over...sigh.
Posted at 10:15 PM
WHO'S WILLING TO DELEGITIMIZE BUSH'S SECOND TERM? [KJL ]
Here’s one hopeful sore loser hoping the likes of Obama will keep the Senate from certifying.
I wouldn't bet on Obama doing that--this is really early on for a pol with a future.
Posted at 10:12 PM
IF FRIST GOES TO ASIA (HE SHOULDN’T)… [KJL ]
….this might be a good moment for Rick Santorum to do some serious leading. He might have to.
Posted at 10:10 PM
“DR. FRIST” OR “MAJORITY LEADER FRIST”? [Kathryn Jean Lopez ]
I was just chatting with a high-ranking congressional source. A potential Electoral College mess is developing.
As you know, John Conyers and other members of the congressional black caucus have been continuing to fuss about Ohio. On Thursday, Congress is supposed to certify the election. Technically, I gather, only one house has to certify for the election to be final. (They start out in a joint session, but if someone objects, they break up.)
Which brings us to the problem. With some libs still barking about Ohio, it is possible that, in a nutshell, as it was just explained to me: Tom DeLay’s House certifies but the Senate doesn’t. (Just predicting how the MSM will report it for you there.)
(Quick aside: A majority is needed to certify. Now presumably a majority will happen—since the GOP is theoretically in the majority. But…)
The “but” is, high-ranking types--especially ones thinking strategically in the House--are vocally voicing concerns. And, at least to them, some Senate leadership seems to be shrugging--one house will cover it, what’s the big deal?, is the attitude, I’m told, behind closed doors.
This seems a little more than shrug worthy. This is all worst-case talk, but that serious Hill vets are worried is more than enough reason to keep the Majority Leader of the Senate in town for the certification of the election. But Bill Frist is about to head to south Asia. As in TONIGHT.
(Expected 2008 Presidential Contender) Bill Frist, from all I’ve heard over the years, is a great doctor. But he’s the Senate Majority Leader now, and there are some worried troops on the Hill. It seems like a crucial time for him to stick around town. Preventing four more years of “illegitimate President Bush” rhetoric is an excellent reason to delay his trip. Actually, it probably rises to the level of obligation. (Oh, and what about that little Gonzales nomination fight...?)
In other words, Senator Frist, do not leave Barbara Boxer in charge of the Senate--to, say, filibuster certification of the election. (Think about it, what’s she got to lose?)
SENATOR Frist should stay in Washington. That’s where his current job is.
Posted at 10:07 PM
PEOPLE FOR THE AMERICAN WAY [KJL]
points to us (today's Cornyn piece).
Posted at 08:26 PM
I’M DISAPPOINTED [KJL]
I had to read this in the “??? Overlooked ???” section of National Journal’s “The Hotline” today:
CHRIS FARLEY, A MODERN DAY NOSTRADAMAS?I routinely rely on Corner readers for this kind of information (take it for granted, frankly)--where were you?
Posted at 08:01 PM
FAIR ENOUGH [KJL]
A reader points out: "... I'll stick up for her on this one. Brit semi-regularly invites Bill Sammon, a White House reporter for the WaTimes, to the panel. Sammon writes good rightish books but by definition his day job is objective, like Ceci's. Brit has also had Jim Angle and Wendell Goler on the panel at times, though those two men are very close-to-the-chest."
Posted at 07:56 PM
RE: TWO EARLIER DISCUSSIONS [KJL]
Random media question--sorta delayed reaction from reading this morning's Washington Post. Why does Ceci Connelly write for the front page but Charles Krauthammer has to write for the op-ed page? They're both opinion commentators--Fox (on that "All Star" panel, for instance) seems to recognize that. Word hasn't gotten to the Post?
Anyway, just asking.
Posted at 07:44 PM
RE: RED SQUARE [Jonathan H. Adler]
Not all Corner readers find communist chic distressing. One writes of the Red Square restaurant in Las Vegas:
I actually approve of the Stalinist-chic decor -- not because I'm a closet Bolshie, but because using Bolshie iconography is a way of reminding oneself that the good guys won the Cold War. It's like using their dead as a trophy; Achilles dragging the corpse of Patroclus around Troy.
Posted at 07:29 PM
RE: RE: 58 WIVES [Cliff May]
Actually, K-Lo, you know, that’s a serious argument.
In polygamous societies, a few men get many wives – many others get nobody. That leads to frustrations and psychological problems for the very lonely.
Those so troubled may be easily susceptible to be recruited to radical enterprises.
Another way to say it: Monogamy is democratic and egalitarian. One to a customer.
Posted at 07:08 PM
THE NEXT ARTICLE [Ramesh Ponnuru]
in the magazine, by Robert Kuttner, is on the other hand a helpful guide to what Democrats are thinking about Social Security--and contains some decent political advice to them. And the whole thing is online, which is not the case with the article to which I just linked.
Posted at 07:08 PM
RE: 58 WIVES [KJL]
Well, Cliff, I know some gals who might point out there are not enough guys to go around, so...
Posted at 07:05 PM
SUSAN JACOBY [Ramesh Ponnuru]
I'd been meaning to pick up a copy of her Freethinkers. . . until I read her article in The American Prospect about the Supreme Court. Garbage, from beginning to end. She misrepresents Justice Scalia in a way that even Laurence Tribe has condemned. She maintains that Bill Pryor, as Alabama's attorney general, "was distinguished by his unremitting support for Judge Roy Moore's installation of a 2-ton Ten Commandments monument in the state courthouse." Qualified support would have been a more accurate comment: Pryor took a lot of flak from Moore's supporters when he argued that Moore had to obey a federal court order to stand down. Leon Holmes is castigated for thinking that "Christianity transcends the political order" and that the end of time will see a Kingdom of God. Jacoby flings around terms like "fanaticism" and "archconservative"--flings them around so often that you begin to see how the terms function as a crutch for her intellect--but it's quite clear that she has been blinded by her own extremism, which seems more unthinking than freethinking.
Posted at 07:01 PM
Cathy Seipp will be on Dennis Miller tonight: 6 and 9pm Pacific Time, 9pm and midnight Eastern time, on CNBC.
Since she's an LA-er, I thought I'd be courtesy and put the Pacific time first. I think that is a first ever. (Signed, Obnoxious Northeasterner)
Posted at 06:24 PM
RE: FRIST [Mark R. Levin]
Based on the excerpt, I think Frist's statement is very good. I leave the tactics to him. But I hope he's prepared to go all the way, if he must, and trigger the constitutional option.
Posted at 06:08 PM
TAX REFORM AND SOCIAL SECURITY [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Andrew Sullivan supports Social Security reform, but thinks Bush should push tax reform first: something like the 1986 reforms, closing loopholes and cutting tax rates, or something "even more ambitious." But this isn't just a question of sequencing. There isn't a chance that Bush would seek the kind of tax reform that Sullivan has in mind. Sullivan worries that Social Security reform would make Bush, and conservatism, look like a servant of Wall Street and rich people. The tax reform he favors, on the other hand, would end corporate tax shelters to lower people's tax rates--so Bush and conservatism would take on a more populist cast.
But the kind of tax reform Bush himself favors--judging from his record, the published and unpublished thoughts of his advisers, and plenty of reports (including my own)--would cut taxes on saving and investment, certainly by individuals and probably by corporations too. That kind of tax reform would be just as easily caricatured as Social Security reform will be. Nor would Sullivan's version of tax reform be a boon to the party: If the 1986 reform benefited either Republicans or conservatism, it isn't obvious.
Finally, I don't think that the appeal of conservative economic policies has declined since the 1980s because those policies have become less populist. I think it has declined because of changed conditions. The income tax has grown more progressive in respects that reduce the popular appeal of tax cuts. And the politics of the economy has favored Democratic candidates for four straight presidential elections. If economic conditions are perceived to be very good in 2008, conservative and Republican policies may become more popular. The increase in the number of investors is another changed circumstance that has affected the appeal of conservative economic policies, of course, in the other direction.
Posted at 06:05 PM
FRIST GETS GRIEF [Ramesh Ponnuru]
from the right over his statement: Human Events wanted him to force a rules change at the start of the new Senate, not to threaten to do so in some future confirmation fight. Robert Bluey buys the argument that changing the rules mid-Senate will be harder.
Posted at 05:49 PM
MOTHER IN L.A., HOWEVER, [KJL]
is expected to face murder charges for killing her infant son--putting him in a washing machine and setting fire to it.
Posted at 05:46 PM
NAPOLITANO [Ramesh Ponnuru]
I didn't hear what he had to say about Gonzales and torture. But it's not surprising that he is critical of the administration on civil liberties. He has been critical in the past--and sometimes foolishly so.
Posted at 05:43 PM
NAPALITANO ON GONZALES [Mark R. Levin]
I just heard Fox's Andrew Napolitano, the Sr. Judicial Analyst, characterize Alberto Gonzales as supporting torture. What has happened to this guy?
Posted at 05:31 PM
BUYING ANNIVERSARY PRESENTS MUST BE A NIGHTMARE [Cliff May]
Saudi man with 58 wives says he’s “the happiest man in the world.” Stirs polygamy debate.
Posted at 05:18 PM
SHE HAS THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE, I GUESS [KJL]
In Michigan, a girl asks her boyfriend (both are 16) to beat her with a baseball bat so she will miscarry. They evidently kept him striking at her abdomen over the course of two weeks. He is being charged with a crime. She is not.
Posted at 05:15 PM
MORE ADVICE [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
Posted at 05:15 PM
GIBSON CAN'T BE SERIOUS [Tim Graham]
In one of those moments that just makes you shake your head and wonder how stupid Charlie Gibson assumes his audience is. Today he was interviewing Bush 41 and Der Schlickmeister about tsunami aid and asks this beauty: "But I'm curious. You guys are such a political Odd Couple. Which one of you is Felix and which one of you is Oscar?"
Of course, it could be more political, as when Katie Couric told Clinton this morning he was a "noted deficit hawk" and explained how he was so dedicated to reducing debt in office. But Gibson could have asked a real news question -- for example, has either former president considered going to the tsunami front lines to see the disaster for themselves? Why bring up old TV shows youngsters like don't remember?
Posted at 05:08 PM
ACETAMINOPHEN & ALCOHOL [Jonah Goldberg]
I normally wouldn't write about this sort of thing, but my post about taking a lot of Thera Flu has prompted more than a few emailers to share stories about booze and various cold and flu remedies. One fellow reccomended a hot toddy of Thera Flu and bourbon.
I do not advise this. I am not a doctor and I do not play one on TV or in the blogosphere. But my understanding is that booze and acetaminophen-based products (Tylenol, Nyquil, Thera Flu etc) do not mix. Now admittedly this is mostly advice for people who drink every day or almost every day. But acetaminophen and regular boozing can cause serious liver damage and even death. As someone who enjoys and respects his liver and the hard work it does, I've been wary of Tylenol et al. for quite a while. Anyway, if you're not a regular drinker you don't have much to fear. But if you like the sweet, sweet taste of a cocktail on a regular basis, stick with aspirin.
Posted at 04:55 PM
RE: FRIST ON JUDGES [Shannen Coffin]
To follow up on Ramesh's post, "Bravo" to Senator Frist. His words are measured, but his message is clear. Continued obstruction of President Bush's judicial nominees will not stand. The full text of his comments, which Ramesh mostly quoted, is here. Let's be clear about something -- this is not a "nuclear" option as its opponents have called it, but merely allowing the full Senate to vote "yea" or "nay" on President Bush's nominees. The Dems went nuclear some time ago with unprecedented filibusters of judicial nominees. But Frist's threat merely restores order to chaos.
Posted at 04:52 PM
CORNER SCOOP [Shannen Coffin]
E-mail in response to this post:
I live in the greater La Crosse area and thought you would get a kick out of know that you and the Corner scooped the local media and City Attourney on this decision. I read your posts yesterday and dutifully tuned into the local TV news broadcasts last night for more information but to my surprise there was no mention in either local affiliates broadcast. I emailed them inquiring about the ommission last night and got an email this morning letting me know they had not heard about it nor had the City Attorney (both were very curious how I got this information before they did).
Posted at 04:33 PM
I MAY BE THE ONLY ONE WHO HADN’T YET SEEN THIS… [Rich Lowry ]
…hilarious fake Mastercard ad about the Red Sox winning the World Series.
Posted at 04:17 PM
FRIST ON JUDGES [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Mark Levin should be mostly happy, I would think:
"Our first responsibility above all else is to do our constitutional duty. Nothing should come before it. Nothing should stand between it. Not party, not ideology, and certainly not politics. And yet in the last Congress, I believe the Senate failed to perform in an essential constitutional duty. It failed to offer advice and consent to the president by filibustering ten judicial nominees and threatening to filibuster another six.
"These filibusters were unprecedented. Never in the history of the Senate has a minority filibustered a judicial nominee that had clear majority support. This was an abrupt and an unfortunate break in more than 200 years of Senate tradition, of Senate history. This tradition must be restored, not merely because we honor the traditions of the Senate, but because this tradition reflects the proper role for this body, the Senate, as designed by our Framers in the constitutional arrangement.
"Next month we'll have the opportunity to restore Senate tradition. I'll bring one of the president's very capable and qualified judicial nominees to the floor. We can debate that nomination. We can vote to support it or to oppose it. And we must offer the president advice and consent by giving this and future judicial nominees who are brought to the floor up-or-down votes.
"Some, I know, have suggested that the filibusters of the last Congress are reason enough to offer a procedural change today right here and right now. But at this moment, I do not choose that path. My Democratic colleagues have new leadership, and in the spirit of bipartisanship, I want to extend my hand across the aisle. I have a sincere hope that we can move forward past difficulties, beyond the past difficulties we saw in the last Congress, and look forward to a future of cooperation. I seek cooperation not confrontation. Cooperation does not require support for the nominees. Cooperation simply means voting judicial nominees brought to the floor up or down.
"So let me say this: if my Democratic colleagues exercise self-restraint and don't filibuster judicial nominees, Senate traditions will be restored. It will then be unnecessary to change Senate procedures. Self-restraint on the use of the filibuster for nominations, the very same self-restraint that Senate minorities exercised for more than two centuries will alleviate the need for any action.
"But if my Democratic colleagues continue to filibuster judicial nominees, the Senate will face this choice. Fail to do its constitutional duty or reform itself and restore its traditions and do what the Framers intended. Right now we cannot be certain judicial filibusters will cease, so I reserve the right to propose changes to Senate Rule 22 and do not acquiesce in the carrying over all the Rules from the last Congress.
"As a public servant who has twice taken an oath to support the Constitution, I cannot stand idly by, nor should any of us, if the Senate fails to do its constitutional duty. We as United States Senators have our constitutional duty to offer the president advice and consent."
Posted at 04:04 PM
BLEG--D.C. WATERING HOLES [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Any Corner readers own DC bars? The why forthcoming (you'll like).
Posted at 04:01 PM
THE U.N. IS BLOCKING [KJL]
Western adoption of tsunami-victim children?
Posted at 03:50 PM
HELP--FALLUJAH [Rich Lowry ]
I'm working on something related to the battle for Fallujah. I'm looking for personal stories from the battle. If you know of anyone who can e-mail me any such personal recollections or if you have received e-mails detailing things that happened there that you feel you can share, I would appreciate very much hearing from you. Thanks...
Posted at 03:46 PM
BOGGS, SANDBERG... [Rich Lowry ]
elected to Hall of Fame
Posted at 03:44 PM
RE CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER [Cliff May]
Rich, you’re so right about Charles. He’s a brilliant, incisive and amazing guy, in print and on television as well.
BTW, I don’t think I’m telling tales out of school if I mention that I ran into Charles just last week in the Fox Green Room and he mentioned (out of the blue and with absolutely no prodding by me) how much he enjoys reading all of us on NRO --- the pithy, amusing and generally interesting items he finds there.
Posted at 03:40 PM
I will read Hugh Hewitt's new book BLOG before the week is out--looking forward to it. (He's got this timing down good--You Can't Cheat for election year, Blog capping the year of the blog...)
Posted at 02:23 PM
WATCHING ARAB MEDIA [Rachel Zabarkes Friedman]
For those who haven’t gotten to it yet, Samantha Shapiro’s latest New York Times Magazine piece, on the television network Al Arabiya, is a good read. It begins and ends with Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed, the station’s general manager, who was widely noted after the Beslan massacre (including on NRO) for his harsh words about Islamists. He also has harsh words about the Middle Eastern media, particularly Al Jazeera (his main competition); and has been criticized, including by his employees, as too pro-American. In fact, you get the impression from Shapiro’s article that the station is tilting, even slightly, pro-American, but I’m skeptical. Overall, though, the piece is a revealing glimpse into the Middle East media wars, and Al-Rashed is a sympathetic figure--someone to keep an eye on.
Posted at 02:12 PM
AS SUSPECTED [KJL]
Looks like reports of Zarqawi's capture are highly exaggerated, again.
Posted at 02:01 PM
HOPEFUL NEWS [KJL]
A midwestern girl seeks a non-embryonic stem-cell surgery that has already worked in Portugal.
Posted at 01:51 PM
GREAT NEWS [KJL]
Ward Connerly & co look to have enough signatures to get a Michigan Civil Rights Initiative to a vote.
Posted at 01:01 PM
DEMS WON’T MOVE ON [KJL ]
Posted at 12:58 PM
THE MARINE AND THE TAMPON: I HAD NO IDEA [KJL]
A reader: "Dear Kathryn: This isn’t new. In Vietnam some grunts would carry 'Kotex' Feminine pads for they were great as compresses on wounds. When they came in to the BX at DaNang, they were sold out immediately."
Posted at 12:44 PM
DRUG POLICY GENEROSITY [Jonah Goldberg ]
What angers me, and I realize that I haven’t been very coherent, is that a middle-class person can mess up again and again, falling through safety net after safety net, and still thrive, given time and a bit of gumption and stick-to-it-iveness. If you’re not middle class, and you’re not from a stable, intact, literate, ambitious family, you will have a very, very hard time. Your likelihood of death is vastly higher, as is the likelihood that you’ll live at the mercy of a criminal justice system you scarcely understand. (That I, in my infinite idiocy, scarcely understand.) This is a grave injustice, and it derives at least as much from a cultural breakdown driven by middle-class people who’ve suffered virtually none of the consequences as from the unconscionable stinginess of a social policy oriented primarily towards social control.
Me:As someone who has seen loved ones destroyed and brutalized by drugs, I can certainly understand where Reihan is coming from. But I just can't quite get where he's going with this. Is it a shock that the Middle Class have more resources than the lower class? Is it news? Is it unique to the issue of drug addiction? The answer is no on all fronts. Kids with gambling problems, alcohol problems, health problems, problems stemming from their sexual preferences, family problems .... people with problems have more opportunities -- over all -- to overcome their problems if they're from the middle class, all else being equal. It was ever thus and shall be ever thus. Maybe it's a "grave injustice" but if it is, than grave injustices are simply baked into the cake of life.
That said, the picture is more complicated than the class-centric view Reihan seems to embrace. For example, I would rather be born into a stable two-parent family with fairly traditional values then an upper-class family with only one parent and messed-up values. And, last I checked, the social science backed me up on this.
In that last clunky sentence Reihan seems to be implying that a public policy which was less stingy and less geared toward "social control" would result in a world where poor drug addicts get as many second-chances as well-to-doo ones do. How would that work? Exactly? It seems to me that a public policy which involved more social control -- if by social control you mean the tightening of morals in this country -- would do far more good than a less stingy one.
Posted at 12:32 PM
GOOD POINT [KJL]
On a positive note about this art work... The artists are picking up the tab for all costs including labor, materials, security around exhibit (according to NYT). . unlike the federal $$ forked over for the controversial stuff that few would call art and is often offensive. Translation: Free market art! I like it and my taxes don't fund it!
Posted at 12:18 PM
GONZALES [Rich Lowry ]
I'm begining to wonder whether there is some real chance the Democrats can defeat him...
Posted at 12:18 PM
REID CAN'T READ [Jonathan H. Adler]
Incoming Seante Minority Leader finally identified an opinion by Justice Thomas that he believes was poorly written, particularly when compared to the opinion Justice Scalia wrote in the same case -- only Scalia didn't write in that case. It seems the Senator claiming Thomas can't write can't read. OpinionJournal has the details.
Posted at 12:15 PM
BUT HE SMILED WHEN HE SAID IT [Cliff May]
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas today called Israel "the Zionist enemy.”
So can we now stop calling Abbas “moderate”? Maybe he’s a pragmatist. But there is a difference.
A moderate understands that it’s wrong to murder other people’s children. A pragmatist says, “Well, there’s not much point in murdering other people’s children if it doesn’t get us what we want.”
Posted at 12:15 PM
MORE ON WHITMAN [Jonathan H. Adler]
Does Christine Todd Whitman want to "take back" the GOP, or simply sell books by bashing the the Bush Administration? Consider this item in the Post's story:
The two-week tour for "It's My Party Too: The Battle for the Heart of the GOP and the Future of America," to be published Jan. 31, takes her to the District as well as to New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Illinois and California -- not a red state in the bunch.I've also commented on this book at The Commons Blog.
Posted at 12:11 PM
“BUSH PLAN TO CUT PROMISED BENEFITS” [Rich Lowry]
That's the sub-head on the Washington Post front-page story on Bush's planned change in indexing, and is a mere hint of the likely deluge to come. In general it seems to me that the reformers need to emphasize less the future crisis in Social Security funding--which will seem pretty far off to most people--and talk more about the benefit to younger workers of private accounts, the increased rate of return and the enhanced ownership.
Posted at 12:08 PM
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER [Rich Lowry]
This isn't news to anyone, but was watching the Fox all-star panel last night and was just blown away by the quiet absolute-in-command authority that he conveys. What an amazing guy.
Posted at 12:05 PM
DELAY [Rich Lowry]
How thoroughly mishandled was the DeLay indictment business?
Posted at 12:02 PM
DEMS WON’T MOVE ON [KJL ]
Posted at 11:52 AM
is no more. Feels like Nov. 3 (afternoon) all over again.
Posted at 11:52 AM
DELAY AND RULE CHANGE [KJL]
The wasteful witchhunt against tom delay has had me sympathetic to the rules change plan in the House (here’s what I said in November), but, this seems wise, pr wise if nothing else (though makes you wish it was never proposed now that it's been dropped...).
Not that Delay’s going to be any less reviled (and worse)…
Posted at 11:49 AM
CHRISTO IN CENTRAL PARK: IF THIS IS GREAT ART, [KJL ]
count me among the unsophisticated who do not and increasingly will not appreciate it
Posted at 11:46 AM
puts liberal feminists to shame (a topic which they could expend a lot more energy on—the treatment of women in the rap/hip-hop world).
Posted at 11:43 AM
IF WILLIAM STUNTZ [Ramesh Ponnuru]
wanted to make his idea for a coalition of academics and evangelicals sound less "nuts," he has not succeeded. The two groups can come together on free trade with poor countries? Well, that's a terrific idea. But many liberal elites already support free trade--liberal academic economists, for example. The Washington Post's editorial page has also been quite good on the subject. That hasn't made Stuntz's coalition a winning coalition. There's a reason that John Edwards trumpeted his opposition to such free-trade pacts more loudly than Bush discussed his support.
On abortion, Stuntz's theory is that his two groups can join forces--or at least that the issue won't block their joining on other issues--so long as the evangelicals give up their opposition to Roe v. Wade. That's not going to happen. And his argument for why they should be willing to give up their opposition to Roe is simplistic, depending on the notion that law and culture occupy two distinct, hermetically sealed boxes. Stuntz argues that without the force of the law behind them, pro-lifers have been better able to affect the culture. "Back-alley abortions are no longer a story; partial-birth abortions are." How does Stuntz suppose that partial-birth abortion became a story? It was because a political movement made a priority of changing the law to ban them--and was not willing to stand down because legal academics (and later the Supreme Court) said that a ban would violate Roe. Stuntz writes that "the [pro-life] movement is likely to keep doing what works -- finding ways to encourage young women to 'choose life.'" That isn't a complete description of what the movement does--certainly in its political guise--nor of its proper goals. And as long as evangelical conservatives continue to believe that it is necessary to change unjust laws that permit the killing of innocents, Stuntz's coalition will not materialize.
Posted at 11:43 AM
SEXING UP [KJL ]
Posted at 11:40 AM
SENTINEL [KJL ]
Mona Charen, by the way, is an alumnus of NR, so the “fam” is always glad to see continued success from one of our own. In addition, the publication of Do-Gooders is another cause for kudos: another success from friend and occasional NR/NRO contributor Bernadette Malone. She went to Penguin to be editor of their new conservative imprint, Sentinel, in very late 2003 by way of Regnery and the Manchester Union Leader and has midwifed some important books already, including Mary Eberstadt’s Home-Alone America. Congrats to Malone—and to Penguin for seeing the market for smart conservative books.
Posted at 11:37 AM
Today marks the release of Mona Charen’s new book on The Left. With this new one and her first book, Useful Idiots, she does the thankless work of chronicling the failures of Left-wingers who talk a good talk but don’t deliver and do harm. In Useful Idiots she focused on Cold War characters, in Do-Gooders she takes on, essentially, all of the domestic conventional wisdom of the day (Sixtiesish on).
What I love about Mona is she packs in facts and figures in a very accessible way—the markings of a bestseller. We’d all be better off if it becomes one.
We have a Q&A up here today on Do-Gooders.
Posted at 11:31 AM
RE: SONTAG [Jonah Goldberg]
K-Lo - I hear you. But at the same time, given Sontag's sovereign contempt for "red America," traditional values and all the rest, it seems to me there's room for being interested in this beyond the prurient.
Posted at 11:29 AM
WHO’S YOUR DADA? [Jack Fowler]
Absolutely surreal. Channel-surfing last night, I came across Fox’s Who’s Your Daddy? I felt like an audience member after the opening number of Springtime for Hitler: dumbstruck. Could this really be happening – a zaftig, cocktail-dressed, Clorox-haired woman IM-ing her “birth” father and dad-imposters, sobbing tenderly over nuggets of info (yes, I loved your mom . . .), fondly hoping to meet this lout?! Before screaming I changed the channel. Deviancy, defined downwards once again. By the way, for the best regular take on the Idiot Box read New York Post TV columnist Phil Mushnick, his latest is here.
Posted at 11:26 AM
RE: SONTAG [KJL]
Jonah, that post from Andrew Sullivan irked me. I have no idea what the deal is, either, but if she wanted to be private about her private life, I think it should be left alone.
Posted at 11:23 AM
I'M SO OUT OF IT... [Jonah Goldberg]
I didn't even know that Susan Sontag was in, or out, or whatever. Very interesting post from Andrew Sullivan:
THE INNING OF SONTAG: I have to say I'm amazed at the fact that almost all the obituaries for Susan Sontag omitted her primary, longtime relationship with Annie Leibovitz, the photographer. Of 315 articles in Nexis, only 29 mention Leibovitz, and most of them referred merely to their joint projects. Leibovitz was unmentioned as a survivor in the NYT and Washington Post. It's striking how even allegedly liberal outlets routinely excise the homosexual dimension from many people's lives - even from someone dead. But perhaps it is reflective of Sontag's own notions of privacy and identity. She championed many causes in her day, but the gay civil rights movement was oddly not prominent among them.
Posted at 10:47 AM
THE FENCE [Cliff May]
The new fences will be chain-link and six feet tall, topped with small spikes to “deter” those who might consider scaling them. Well, we’ll see what the International Court of Justice in The Hague has to say about this!
Oh, wait a minute, sorry. These fences are not being erected along the West Bank to protect Israeli communities from Hamas terrorists, these fences are being erected between the District of Columbia and Prince Georges County in Maryland, and they are meant to stop “criminals” from crossing from the city into the suburbs. The route the fences will block has been used as a “corridor for drug dealing.”
And, off course, drug dealers are committing crimes. Whereas suicide bombers are …how shall I put this …expressing their anger and outrage over grievances? The front page Washington Post story is here.
Posted at 09:53 AM
INVITATION TO A LEVEE [John Derbyshire]
My friends at the excellent Founder of America website have set up a levee for me tomorrow.
The idea is that I am "at home" on the site for conversations (by instant text messaging) with anyone who wants to chat. It's all a bit of an experiment & I'm curious to see how it works out. It's possible, of course, that I shall end up chatting to myself -- which is fine, those are some of my most interesting conversations. On the whole, though, the more will be the merrier, and I cordially invite any Corner reader so inclined to accept the invitation on the Founders of America website front page. You'll be asked to register, but this is only to deter freaks and "flamers," not to let them pester you with junk e-mail, which they won't.
You will notice, scrolling down a bit, that FoA has some great lines in notepaper, coffee mugs, T-shirts, posters and so on. I especially recommend the "tribute to GWB's first term" collection, which is beautifully done.
Posted at 09:50 AM
SPEAKING OF THE DEVIL [KJL]
Zarqawi's people take credit for the assassination this morning.
Posted at 09:47 AM
SEMI-APOLOGY [Jonah Goldberg]
In the current print NR I've written presumably my last take on the Beinart "Fighting Party" essay. It's more historically minded than the other stuff I wrote about it. But, even though no one has pointed this out, one could read it as a bit of a contradiction of my stem-winder against Kevin Drum from last month. In the G-File I'd criticized Drum for saying that Beinart should have first explained why liberalism should consider islamic totalitarianism an "existential threat." The reason this annoyed me so was that Drum and others had been complaining for so long that the war in Iraq was a distraction from the war on terror and that "whistle blowers" like Richard Clarke were heroes, even though they criticized Bush from the hawkish right. If you don't think terrorism is an existential threat why would you make such criticisms your own?
Well, in the current NR (reachable through NR Digital) I basically make the case that the Democrats are only capable of standing up to existential threats when the Democratic Party itself is facing an existential threat. Beinart wants the Democrats to emulate the Americans for Democratic Action from 1947. But, the problem with Beinart's history is that the ADA was formed first and foremost not to fight Communists abroad, but to fight Communists in the Democratic Party. For the rest of its history, the Democratic Party and liberalism is general never purged the "softs" from the party or the movement. In that sense Drum is right. In order to make the case Beinart wants to make he does need to explain why Islamic totalitarians are a threat -- a threat to the Democratic Party.
Posted at 09:35 AM
WEIRD READING HABITS [KJL]
I linked to that Zarqawi story from Tass and Jonah from China Daily.
Posted at 09:28 AM
ZARQAWI ARRESTED? [Jonah Goldberg ]
I'll feel better when it's the Washington Post reporting.
Posted at 09:20 AM
TSUNAMIS BOON FOR SEX TRADE? [KJL]
Reprehensible transactions: Child victims of the tsunamis are being further victimized.
Posted at 09:15 AM
ME = MIA [Jonah Goldberg]
My apologies for being missing yesterday. I came down with the flu-cold-plague-rickets on Sunday. By last night I was on a full-blown vision quest (aided by way too much Thera Flu). I'm fairly coherent now, but still quite the mess. What did I miss?
Posted at 09:10 AM
A MILITARY GUY [KJL]
unloads on the NYTimes.
Posted at 08:57 AM
TAMPON SAVES (MALE) MARINE'S LIFE [KJL]
Guys--really--it's ok to read this.
Posted at 08:39 AM
VOTE OR DIE, MIDEAST STYLE [KJL]
Richard Gere speaks for the "entire world," urging Palestinians to vote--with some unsavory co-stars.
Posted at 08:32 AM
BARAK OBAMA [KJL]
reaches out. [Update: Apologies: I forgot the WashTimes blog requires registration--I was just pointing to a post that reports Obama seen reading the Washington Times]
Posted at 06:26 AM
THE INCREDIBLE DANGEROUS POWER OF THE RIGHT-WING CHRISTIAN BUSH ADMINISTRATION [KJL]
By permitting abstinence education in high schools on the federal dime, adult women are increasingly not using birth control. (Seriously:
Many physicians put partial blame on federally funded abstinence-only education programs that by law prohibit discussion of contraceptives, except to detail their failure rates.)
Truth be told, though, I barely got that far into the article. Excuse me for not taking the Washington Post too seriously when one of the first experts Ceci Connelly calls on is "Repro Rights Man" James Trussell of Princeton.
Posted at 05:59 AM
THE GOVERNOR [KJL]
of the province that includes Baghdad is murdered.
Posted at 05:52 AM
Zarqawi has been captured again.
Posted at 05:34 AM
RE: IRAQTHEMODEL [KJL]
Ringing in the New Year:
Sorry, pessimists, we didn't lose hope in Iraq yet
Posted at 12:16 AM
WHY ALI [KJL]
quit IraqtheModel, explained here. (And, he's got his own site now.)
Posted at 12:14 AM
BLOGS: SOME EMPLOYERS [KJL]
just don't understand
Posted at 12:08 AM
THE CONTINUING ELECTION SAGA OF WASHINGTON STATE [Jim Boulet]
Washington State Democrats may have had another ace up their sleeve in their governor's race. King County "a Democratic stronghold," not only discovered a trove of 700+ uncounted ballots just in time for the second recount, but produced 3,539 more votes cast than voters. Democrat Christine Gregoire was certified as the winner December 31 by 128 votes after a hand recount. Republican Dino Rossi won the original count by 261 votes and the mandatory machine recount by 42. A legal challenge must be filed by January 22nd.
Posted at 12:05 AM
Monday, January 03, 2005
RED LIMITS [KJL]
China plays a secondary role in tsunami-relief effort.
Posted at 11:56 PM
ACLU SAYS GONZALES MEMO RESPONSIBLE FOR ABU GHRAIB [Cliff May]
"There are too many questions swirling around Mr. Gonzales' role in developing the legal framework that may have led to the torture and abuse we all saw in those Abu Ghraib photographs (in Baghdad)," said ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero in a statement.
Yes, no doubt Lynndie England said: “Well, lookee here, according to this memorandum from Mr. Gonzales over at the White House, we’re supposed to strip our prisoners nekkid and put dog leashes around their scrawny necks. Gosh darn, that ain’t my idea of a fun night out but when duty calls, what’s a girl gonna do? Hey, whose got the Polaroid?”
Hat tip: Mark Levin
Posted at 11:16 PM
MY NEWEST ENEMY [John J. Miller]
So I taped a segment on the O'Reilly Factor around 6:30 pm, discussing Our Oldest Enemy: A History of America's Disastrous Relationship with France--and 10 minutes after it airs on TV tonight there's already a negative review on Amazon.com. I don't mind the negative reviews. If the Francophiles aren't ticked, then I've done something wrong. But this one makes me laugh out loud: The book "doesn't even rise to stupidity ... This is absolutely useless trash posing as serious thought." Etc. There are a few gratuitous swipes at President Bush. Then there's this: "The 'revelations' and nuggets of wisdom can be digested, if you can call it that, in mere minutes in a bookstore, and are not worth your money, unless of course, you bow before the altar of Bill O'Reilly every night." Like the guy has even touched a copy of the book in the bookstore--his whole critique is based on (to paraphrase him) "mere minutes watching the tube."
He also failed to notice that O'Reilly and I actually got into an scrap over the merits of the consumer boycott of French goods--O'Reilly's a big advocate; I sympathize with the motivations but wonder about its effectiveness and suspect it ultimately may feed French delusions of grandeur. It was actually an interesting exchange. Maybe I'll write a piece on it.
In the meantime, the O'Reilly Factor airs again tonight at 11 pm EST. I can't wait to see if there's another dumb review posted on Amazon.com before midnight.
Posted at 09:29 PM
DEBATING THOMAS [Jonathan H. Adler]
"Should Thomas Be Chief Justice" in this week's Legal Affairs "debate club."
Posted at 05:17 PM
THE "CONSTITUTION IN EXILE" [Jonathan H. Adler]
Stuart Buck and the VC's Orin Kerr have worthwhile posts on the subject.
Posted at 05:15 PM
COURT PROGNOSTICATION [Jonathan H. Adler]
Based on what I saw over the weekend, there's an interesting divide among political commentators on who President Bush will pick to replace the ailing Chief Justice. On Fox, most analysts I saw suggested that the Chief Jsutice nomination will go to Clarence Thomas, if he would accept it (which, in my mind, is a long shot). On other networks, however, pundits seemed dismissive of a potential Thomas nomination, opining that the President would be crazy to pick such a fight. Of course, it is not as if many TV pundits have demonstrated a knack for predicting Bush Adminsitration policy. I suspect the folks at Fox have better sourcing. Again, however, I doubt Thomas would accept a nomination for Chief Justice even were it offered. I cannot believe he has any desire to go through the confirmation process one more time.
Posted at 05:11 PM
RED SQUARE [Jonathan H. Adler]
I recently ate at the "Red Square" restaurant at the Tropicana in Atlantic City. The vodka selection is great, but the food was quite disappointing. Although the Russian themes were not drawn exclusively from the Soviet era, I found the communnist schtick a bit creepy. No doubt a German-themed restaurant would never pay equivalent homage to the 1930s and 1940s.
Posted at 05:07 PM
WHITMAN [Jonathan H. Adler]
The early press on Christie Todd Whitman's book makes it seems like she made the mistake of believing her own press. After raising substantial support for Bush's first election bid, she demanded a key administration post. As she could not be trusted in any of the spots she sought -- Commerce, USTR -- Whitman landed at the EPA. Within weeks, Whitman demonstrated that she was in over her head, understanding neither the politics nor the policy of environmental issues. A largely sympathetic press ignored the numerous gaffes in which she demonstrated her ignorance of the subject matter within her jurisdiction, and encouraged her to follow the whims of career staffers seeking to continue to environmental agenda of the last eight years. Fortunately, she didn't last long at EPA -- and was therefore unable to do more damage. From this perspective, her forthcoming book is her parting shot. Sight unseen, I would assume it's another misfire.
Posted at 05:05 PM
RE: FIGHTING FIRE WITH FIRE [Shannen Coffin]
One ironic follow up to the City of La Crosse (note that I included the space this time, loyal Wisconsin readers) decision. A reader intimately familiar with the machinations of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals points out that Judge Bauer's dissent, which would have held that the sale of public property in order to avoid the restrictions of the First Amendment Establishment Clause itself violates the First Amendment, ends with a quote from Jesus Christ: "Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's and to God the things that are God's." Did Judge Bauer then violate the Establishment Clause by quoting from the Christian bible in rendering his opinion? I'll have to consult the ACLU.
Posted at 04:56 PM
WISE MAN LOWRY [KJL]
you knew better than to see Ocean's 12!
Posted at 03:20 PM
HOLIDAY MOVIE WRAP [Rich Lowry]
Most everything the disappointed critics say about “The Life Acquatic” is true--little in the way of plot, it's contrived, etc. But who cares? It's still charming and hilarious. Wes Anderson is a genius...I went to “Million Dollar Baby” expecting a cliched sports movie, which I almost always enjoy. But about two-thirds of the way through it becomes ponderous and downright odious. Don't see it... “The Incredibles” is, of course incredible. Pixar is the Wes Anderson of animation...“Closer” is vile and dull...“A Very Long Engagement” is very much like “Cold Mountain” in its basic story. Occasionally as delightful as “Amelie,” but in the end kind of flat.
Posted at 03:14 PM
RE: J.R.R.'S B-DAY [John J. Miller]
K Lo: We assumed everyone knew.
Posted at 03:06 PM
IT IS PRACTICALLY YOUR PATRIOTIC DUTY… [Rich Lowry]
…to read this story about Capt. Bill Jacobsen. What a country that can produce such a man. RIP.
Posted at 02:50 PM
BE STILL MY BEATING HEART [KJL]
President Bush sends Bill Pryor to SCOTUS? Total speculation, but just the Monday nudge I needed to be hopeful about 2005.
Posted at 02:40 PM
FIGHTING FIRE WITH FIRE [Shannen Coffin]
In response to a recent lawsuit challenging the public display of the Ten Commandments in a park in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, the City of LaCrosse sold a portion of the park and the monument containing the Commandments back to the organization that donated it to the city -- the Order of the Eagles. In a decision issued today, a divided panel of the Seventh Circuit held that the sale of the monument and the 440 square foot portion of the park in which it was located to the Order of the Eagles does not violate the First Amendment Establishment Clause.
The opinion, written by Judge Manion (one of my personal heroes for a dissent he wrote in a case I argued -- and lost -- last year), holds that even if the original installation of the monument (which was erected in honor of those who saved the city from a flood) violated the constitution, the sale of the land cured the supposed violation. So here's the obvious solution to the problem -- privatization of public land! (Hat Tip: How Appealing).
Posted at 02:26 PM
BULLOCK, DELL [KJL]
More stingy Americans
Posted at 02:20 PM
J. R. R. BIRTHDAY [KJL]
surprised we went the whole morning without anyone mentioning...
Posted at 02:17 PM
THE BUSH MARGIN [John J. Miller]
If Whitman wants to interpret the Bush margin as a sign of weakness, she should be reminded of the following factors: Perceptions of the economy were not good, those right track/wrong track poll numbers were awful, presidential approval ratings were lackluster, the stock market was sluggish, gas prices were high, the Iraq war didn't win any popularity contests, the media was wildly hostile, and the pro-Kerry forces actually outspent the pro-Bush forces. It's astonishing that Bush won by any margin at all--to say nothing of the fact that he got a bigger percentage of the popular vote than any Democratic candidate in decades.
Posted at 01:59 PM
"HOW COULD PEOPLE THINK IT'S WRONG?" [KJL]
Chilling "Confessions of an Abortion Doctor":
I have the utmost respect for life; I appreciate that life starts early in the womb, but also believe that I'm ending it for good reasons. Often I'm saving the woman, or I'm improving the lives of the other children in the family. I also believe that women have a life they have to consider. If a woman is working full-time, has one child already, and is barely getting by, having another child that would financially push her to go on public assistance is going to lessen the quality of her life. And it's also an issue for the child, if it would not have had a good life. Life's hard enough when you're wanted and everything's prepared for. So yes, I end life, but even when it's hard, it's for a good reason.
Posted at 01:56 PM
TV [NRO Staff]
John J. Miller is scheduled to be on O'Reilly tonight, talking about France.
Posted at 01:50 PM
MORE GOOD NEWS [KJL]
Posted at 01:47 PM
BUSH'S MARGIN [Ramesh Ponnuru]
An email points out an error in the Christine Todd Whitman post mentioned below. I quoted the Washington Post, which mentioned Whitman's reference to Bush's "three-percentage-point margin in the popular vote" in her new book. The best figure we now have puts Bush's margin closer to 2 than 3 points. (I use 2.5 in my own articles.) Whitman may not have had the latest estimates when writing her book, but the Post should have noted that her figures are dated.
Posted at 01:26 PM
"How about 'Bill and the Athwarters?'"
Posted at 01:08 PM
I GET RAGGED ON [KJL]
Nobody uses the term "posse" anymore. The term du jour is "crew". However, the "crew" must have a name.
Posted at 12:58 PM
MATSUI LEGISLATION [John J. Miller]
Jonah: I don't we've heard the last of it. Apparently Matsui died from a rare stem-cell disorder. How long before someone drops a bill named for him that proposes federal funding of embryo destruction?
Posted at 12:47 PM
CHOCOLATE AND LIES [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Kate Zernike in the New York Times: "As Milt expertly begins to knead my hardened shoulders, a sweet, familiar scent wafts up. It takes me a moment, and then I recognize it: Chocolate." A few things you should know: A) Zernike is in Hershey, Pennsylvania. B) She is staying at the Hotel Hershey. C) She appears, based on the story, to be getting "the spa's signature Chocolate Fondue Wrap." You wouldn't think figuring out that it's chocolate she's smelling would be quite so difficult.
Posted at 11:43 AM
RE: HANGING WITH MR. BUCKLEY & HIS POSSE [KJL]
[UPDATE: Putting a close on the RSVPs for the moment: already filling up...]
Needless to say, the advantage of having limited space is you actually get to have an pretty intimate evening with the gang. Meet everyone, chat, good conversation a given....snag your seat (reserve your drinks!), here's what you need...
The money, of course, raised, goes directly to supporting NR and NRO...
Posted at 11:31 AM
CTW [Shannen Coffin]
To follow up on Ramesh's Whitman musings, this is the second time this week I've heard the observation that Bush's margin of victory is the lowest of any incumbent president ever to win reelection. It fails to take into account the fact that a number of incumbent presidents have lost reelection, including Bush's father. How much of a criticism is it that the President's (non-plurality) election was closer than any that came before? This seems to be a particularly weak criticism and an ineffective attempt to undermine the President's mandate. I'm not sure what Whitman would gain from such efforts, but then again, she didn't exactly distinguished herself in service of the President.
Posted at 11:24 AM
DON'T MISS A BEAT [Jonah Goldberg]
Matsui dies, Pelosi gets in a dig about Social Security:
Posted at 11:15 AM
A STUDENT LEADER [KJL]
Posted at 11:10 AM
CHRISTINE TODD WHITMAN [Ramesh Ponnuru]
According to the Washington Post, she "is violating the omerta of Bush alumni with a memoir that touts the importance of moderates to the future of the Republican Party and flays Bush and his team for ignoring the country's middle. Whitman charges on Page 3 that Bush's three-percentage-point margin in the popular vote is the lowest of any incumbent president ever to win reelection."
It is possible, I suppose, that she will have something interesting to say in the book. But let's not forget that Whitman got only 47 percent of the vote when she ran for re-election as governor of New Jersey in 1997. During the '90s, she was often touted as the great hope for the Republican future. Her enthusiasm for abortion would bring women to the GOP. But she never won a majority of women in any of her statewide elections. If she knows anything about how to build a lasting electoral majority, it's not from practical experience.
Posted at 10:58 AM
DETAILS: YOU'RE INVITED TO A PARTY [KJL]
[UPDATE: Putting a close on the RSVPs for the moment: already filling up...]
Want to party like it's 2005? As I've mentioned, this is the year to celebrate. You're invited to an NR fundraising shin-dig at Bill Buckley's house (yes, you heard that right--and yes, he'll be there) in NYC.
Hang and dine with WFB and some of your NR friends (Rich, Jonah, Ramesh, Rick, Kate, K-Lo, and more). [Jonah and Kathryn in the same location is always an event to behold, of course, as it happens so infrequently, for national-security reasons.]
The date is February 24 (Thursday).
I hope to see you there...
p.s. ...thing is seats, as you can imagine, are very limited. So you really need to act fast for this one. We won't be nagging you for the next month like we might with, say, the cruise...
Posted at 10:52 AM
PROBLEMS WITH AMERICANS IN INDONESIA? [KJL]
Posted at 10:22 AM
THIS WILL ANNOY STUTTAFORD [KJL]
NIH warns against too much fast-food.
Posted at 10:09 AM
THEY'LL BE SOME IRAQI ELECTION VOTING [KJL]
Posted at 10:07 AM
BUSH TAPS BILL CLINTON [KJL]
WASHINGTON, Jan 3 (AFP) - President George W. Bush has picked former presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton to spearhead efforts to raise private US funds to help Asian nations struck by the tsunami disaster, the White House said Monday.
Posted at 09:59 AM
RE: 50TH [KJL]
BTW, Here's a welcoming-NR-to-the-scene blurb from the first issue I thought you'd enjoy.
Posted at 09:07 AM
to NR's 50th anniversary year. To celebrate, we've started only the very beginning of the celebration, predictably, with the first issue of NR. Go over to the homepage and you'll see a link to the mission statement, which appeared in the first issue. We've also put up a James Burnham piece from the following year. As you can see already, we're not necessarily going in order, the goal is to give you a taste of NR through the years as this year unfolds. They'll be lots more, of course: I love the archive stuff myself, but they'll be stories to tell and people to re-meet and the like.
There will also be celebrations. More coming on those. Though you know about the cruise. That's a pretty big, cool one. Consider it, here. It is also, by the way, the tenth anniversary of NRO. Obviously many things have happened since...but NR's weblife began ten years ago this year. And we won't let that pass without a little celebrating either--and toasting to this creature's future (and, have I mentioned some fun new rollouts will be forthcoming this year? Stay tuned).
Posted at 09:03 AM
"UNTIL ABOUT 7 P.M. THAT NIGHT, IT FELT GREAT TO BE THE 44TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES." [KJL]
Kerry to run again? Maybe it seemed that way nine days after the election, but I'd certainly bet against it.
Posted at 08:14 AM
SECOND THOUGHTS ON SNICKET [John J. Miller]
A couple of weeks ago, after reading a couple of chapters of the first Lemony Snicket book, called A Bad Beginning, I declared it a much-better-than-expected piece of kid lit. Well, I've finished the book and should revise the assessment. My son bailed out about halfway through. He really didn't like it. I'm not entirely sure why. Maybe it was some of the book's darker moments -- dead parents, child protagonists thrown into desperate circumstances, a narrator who keeps reminding us that there's nothing happy in the story. None of that especially bothered me. But as the book dragged on (I dediced to finish reading it on my own), it seemed less inventive. I actually enjoyed the narrative style quite a bit, but the story wound up only so-so. Maybe the movie is better. For bedtime in our home, we've gone back to a proven classic, Alice in Wonderland, and we're having better results.
Posted at 07:44 AM
MY NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION: "MORE KERRY, MORE BARRY." [Michael Graham]
QUOTE OF THE DAY, I: "The pundits have never liked me. Is it the way I look? The way I sound?"-- One of the two frontrunners for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008, Sen. John Kerry.
QUOTE OF THE DAY, II: "When you look in the dictionary and look up the word courage, you see my picture."--Newly-elected DC city councilman and drug criminal Marion Barry.
With Marion Barry back in power and John Kerry planning to raise his profile in the Senate, can we all pledge to keep these guys in the media as much as possible? It’s the least we can do for the Democratic Party. The VERY least.
Posted at 07:32 AM
IS THERE ANY BOOK I WOULD LIKE TO READ LESS THAN AMBER FREY'S? [John Derbyshire]
Posted at 07:29 AM
TORTURE, MURDER & GONZALES [John Derbyshire]
"Sen. John Warner (R-VA) chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee has said making the videos [of Iraqi prisoners in U.S. custody being insulted and humiliated] public might endanger more men and women serving in the armed forces in Iraq."
But, hey, what does that matter, if we can keep conservatives off the federal bench?
"Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the videos should be made public and that they proved to him that there was an organized policy of abusing prisoners to get information -- approved by the White House."
Define "abusing." Some of these prisoners are ruthless terrorists with the blood of Americans -- and, of course, many Iraqis -- on their hands. Most of them have done something or other to end up in custody. If U.S. interrogators yell at them, is that "abuse"? If they threaten or intimidate them, is that "abuse"? If they prevent them going to the bathroom for a couple of hours, is that "abuse"? If they smack them upside the head, is that "abuse"?
Nobody seems much interested in drawing lines here. There's a lot of loose talk about "torture" and even, from the more hysterical kind of commentators, "murder" of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. troops.
I have seen evidence of some disgraceful and un-soldierly behavior by U.S. troops, for which the persons suspected have been arrested and will be tried and punished. I have not seen any evidence of "torture" (ripping out fingernails, applying blowtorches to flesh) or "murder" (killing). Where is that evidence? Where is it?
The level of cant here is sickening.
Posted at 07:26 AM
BET WOLCOTT WOULD LOVE TO REDO THIS ONE [Michael Graham]
"I root for hurricanes. When, courtesy of the Weather Channel, I see one forming in the ocean off the coast of Africa, I find myself longing for it to become big and strong--Mother Nature's fist of fury, Gaia's stern rebuke. Considering the havoc mankind has wreaked upon nature with deforesting, stripmining, and the destruction of animal habitat, it only seems fair that nature get some of its own back and teach us that there are forces greater than our own." -- James Wolcott, Vanity Fair Contributing Editor
I found this quote in rightwingnews.com's collection of the "40 Most Obnoxious Quotes of 2004." It's a delightful stroll down memory lane...if you consider "Democrats making idiotic statements that make them look like loons to normal people" delightful. I certainly do.
Posted at 07:26 AM
DEFINING INNOCENCE DOWN [KJL]
Matt Lauer, teasing his Frey interview on Today this morning. Says the Peterson-Frey deal was "A relationship that began, innocently enough, with a blind date." Uh, he was married. She might not have known that, but, he did....
Posted at 07:23 AM
IS THERE ANY BOOK [KJL]
you would like to read less than Amber Frey's?
Posted at 07:14 AM
CBS MAKES NICE TO THE WHITE HOUSE [KJL]
How about delivering Dan Rather's complete resignation letter, Mr. Heyward?
Yes, and maybe his own, too.
Posted at 06:59 AM
FUMBLED FOOTBALL ANALOGIES [Tim Graham]
In the latest American Prospect, Michael Tomasky mourns that the Democrats have lost the NFL-fan vote in recent times, which have "tended to emphasize the regimental, martial, and (let's face it)quasi-fascistic aspects of the game." Earth to Tomasky: if you want the NFL vote, you might want to avoid associating pro football with loathsome political systems.
Posted at 06:56 AM
PRIMETIME TONIGHT [KJL]
I'll have to be watching Las Vegas (Duran Duran guest stars).
And yes, I have well exceeded my DD quota in The Corner in the last month. Temporarily banned.
Posted at 06:51 AM
GOOD FOR RALEIGH-DURHAM FOX [KJL]
A Fox affiliate will air an adoption documentary instead of Who's Your Daddy?
Posted at 06:48 AM
DIVIDED SENATE [KJL]
to use separate restrooms.
Posted at 06:27 AM
SPECTER PRESSURE [KJL]
More, same source:
Senate majority leader Bill Frist of Tennessee said he would hard to "ensure quick action" on the nominees who, if given the chance for a vote, would all gain lifetime seats to the federal bench. But conservatives have heard this before, only to be sorely disappointed. This will be an early test for Mr. Frist, as well as Sen. Arlen Specter, the liberal Pennsylvania Republican who squeaked through a primary challenge from conservative Rep. Pat Toomey and now owes his political survival to the overt support and campaign help of President Bush.Jonah's already made his Frist prediction for the new year. Notice I refrained from predicting "Specter screws right." Some things are too obvious? Or maybe I'll be delusionally optimistic--I still believe he'll do less damage than he would have had the Senate GOP not heard from so many of you.
Posted at 06:21 AM
BELTWAY OPTIMISM ON JUDGES? [KJL]
From Jim Lakely in the Washington Times: "Early indications point to obstruction, but cooler heads may prevail if Democrats up for reelection in 2006 decide they don't want to risk Mr. Daschle's fate."
Posted at 06:18 AM
MORE GOOD NEWS [KJL]
from Iraq: Arthur Chrenkoff's latest round-up.
Posted at 06:09 AM
ANNAN IN DENIAL [KJL]
Sounds like Oil-fo-Food was relatively successful, with only some sidebar problems...from interview on This Week yesterday:
I think the oil-for-food issue was a unique issue. It was a unique scheme. Yes, there may have been some corruption. There may have been some mismanagement. But the program acheieved its results. It was effective against— The sanctions were effective. Iraq was disarmed. Iraq is well-fed. We will make sure that they get their basic necessities with regards to health and others. And, in fact, the distribution system was so effective that today we use the distribution cards as the basis for voter registration for the elections. So, yes, there were, there has been some wrongdoing, which is being looked into, but we should not forget that it achieved its results.
Posted at 05:56 AM
A JONAH KINDA STORY FROM INDIA [KJL]
Dog saves child.
Posted at 05:46 AM
NO JO-MENTUM [KJL]
for hte Bush Cabinet. Lieberman on This Week:
WASHINGTON -- Democratic Sen. Joe Lieberman said Sunday he is not interested in becoming President Bush's national intelligence director or homeland security chief, shooting down speculation he might be under consideration for those jobs.
Posted at 05:44 AM
JOHN MILLER KNOWS HOW TO RING IN THE NEW YEAR [KJL]
A little French love (uh, yeah, you know better) in the NYTimes.
Posted at 05:41 AM
STINGY AMERICANS [KJL]
And the U.S. Navy.
Posted at 05:38 AM
THE CHINESE CENTURY? [John Derbyshire]
Will the 21st be the Chinese century? I seriously doubt it.
Look at the opening of Rees-Mogg's piece:
"The 18TH and 19th centuries were the British centuries, in which industrial, political and imperial development in Britain shaped the world. The 20th century was the American century; the United States changed the world, providing a margin of victory in two world wars, and developing all the major new technologies: telephones, automobiles, television, jet aircraft, the internet and so on."
Britain... America... notice anything? The great successes of these two nations rest(ed) in the Anglo-Saxon political traditions of personal autonomy, freedom under law, representative legislatures, and limited government. China has no such traditions: has, in fact, all the OPPOSITE traditions. I see no sign that this is changing. Rather the contrary: as China becomes richer and more confident, the ancient norms are re-asserting themselves. Spend a couple of hours in a room full of Chinese decision-makers. Then read the Rees-Mogg piece again.
100 years ago there were excellent grounds for arguing that the 20th century would be Germany's, or Russia's, or Japan's -- or even China's! Things didn't work out that way. Why? Politics. Before we arrive in Mr. Rees-Mogg's economistical utopia, there is still plenty of old-fashioned politics to be traveled through.
Posted at 05:35 AM
HATING PUTIN [KJL]
Niall Ferguson: "it was always possible to love Russia and to hate the Soviet Union. And it is possible today to love Russia and to hate what Vladimir Putin is doing to it..."
Posted at 05:24 AM
TSUNAMI FUNDRAISING [KJL]
this is a great news link trove
Posted at 12:33 AM
IRAQIS ENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT ELECTION [KJL]
The Washington Post reports it, even if not on the front page.
Posted at 12:33 AM
RE: ANNAN [KJL]
In that NYTimes piece I just linked to on the U.N., this seems unfortunate:
One of the members of the group had prepared for the session by finding out if the Bush administration was siding with those in Congress who were calling for Mr. Annan's resignation or whether it would support his resolve to stay in office until the end of his term in December 2006.
Posted at 12:23 AM
"TO SAVE KOFI AND RESCUE THE U.N." [KJL]
The two goals of Annan's kitchen cabinet seem at odds.
Posted at 12:20 AM
SCOTUS WATCH [KJL]
Rehnquist will only vote if there's a tie.
Posted at 12:15 AM
NO JANUARY LULL [KJL]
Senate Dems are ready to get ugly when the Gonzales hearings begin Thursday.
Posted at 12:01 AM
Sunday, January 02, 2005
IS THE 21ST CENTURY [Mark R. Levin]
Posted at 10:23 PM
WE HEAR [NRO Staff]
David Frum will be on C-SPAN's Washington Journal Monday at 8 a.m.
UPDATE Apologies--this was actually dated info. He was on last week. Sorrry.
Posted at 10:20 PM
RE RE PACT OF STEEL [Cliff May]
Jonah, are you sure you were reading about the Pact of Steel? Maybe it was the Man of Steel, AKA Superman, one of those vintage DC comics you got for Christmas. Or maybe you were watching that video: Pecs of Steel? Or was it Buns of Steel?
But I digress.
Posted at 09:49 PM
RE PACT OF STEEL [Cliff May]
Jonah, you nonetheless raise another important point: There were serious ideological differences between German Nazism, Italian Fascism and Japanese Militarism. But they were all enemies of freedom and of the democratic experiment; and they made common cause against the Allies – meaning the U.S. and the UK after the fall of Czechoslovakia, Poland, France, etc..
Soviet Communism allied with the US and the UK only after Hitler’s National Socialist regime turned on Stalin’s brand of socialism. But after the defeat of Germany, it quickly became apparent – to conservatives and to some liberals, as well – that the USSR was an intrinsically hostile regime motivated by a poisonous ideology.
The lessons for the current global conflict should be obvious, but evidently they are not, or at least they are not to everyone.
Posted at 07:31 PM
CONTROVERSY DU JOUR? [Cliff May]
Clarence Thomas accepted some gifts. Best I can tell there’s nothing illegal about that and he dutifully reported every gift he took. Does anyone really think that because he accepted an expensive Bible his view on Roe v. Wade or original intent is going to change? Or is this just another attempt to prosecute Thomas for the crime of thinking while black? If I’m missing something here, I know Cornerites will tell me. http://bluemassgroup.typepad.com/blue_mass_group/2005/01/justice_thomas_.
Posted at 06:48 PM
FRUIT CAKE [John Derbyshire]
Note received with an ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS fruit cake from a kind reader:
"At long last, the fruit cake I had promised. I apologize that I didn't get it to you in time for Christmas. I hope you enjoy it and, if you do, all I ask in return is a Corner post for my Mom praising her fruit cake. Her name is Raquel Moore-Green and she lives in Salem, Oregon. The fruit cake is highly coveted by fruit cake lovers in and close to my family and is the source of many 'fruit cake conversations.'"
I am happy to confirm that Mrs. Moore-Green's fruit cake is truly bodacious and altogether superlative. Many thanks to her son for taking the trouble to send it to me.
Posted at 06:45 PM
WOOPS [Jonah Goldberg]
Sorry, dumb mistake on my part. The Pact of Steel was between Germany and Italy, not Germany and the USSR (aka the Nazi-Soviet pact aka the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact aka the Hitler-Stalin Pact). I did know this, I had just been reading about the Pact of Steel and typed the wrong thing. Thanks for all the email though.
Posted at 05:51 PM
Rep. Bob Matsui dies
Posted at 01:47 PM
MORE RE LASERS [KJL]
My viewpoint on this matter comes from prior experience as a scientist with a wide variety of lasers, up to and including the high-power Class IV Nd:YAG lasers. Also, I'm an instrument-rated private pilot. My two cents on the topic? It might be a bunch of kids or misanthropes but then again, it could very well be terrorists in action. Many folks seem to forget that the point of terrorism is to cause terror and you don't have to hit an aircraft with a missile to do it. Scare enough pilots and civilians with these incidents and you've achieved a goal at very minimal cost and effort. The first e-mail you listed seems to twig on to this but the second doesn't and the writer displays only a passing familiarity with lasers and their safety issues. Another point is that the physiology of the human eye/brain is a funny thing. My personal experience is that getting strobed with a laser can do funny things with one's perception in how long a beam has impinged on the eye, where it is and how it's moving, *especially* in a dark environment where the brain loses much of the external reference needed to make those kind of judgements..
Posted at 01:44 PM
ABORTION: SURE. TANNING: HELLO, NO [KJL]
A new law in California: "Children under 14 are banned from using tanning salons, unless they have a doctor's note, and those 14 to 18 need parental permission to receive a tan."
Posted at 11:51 AM
SOME REUTERS EDITOR [KJL]
might have just gotten fired for this headline (As I link to it, it reads: "Tsunami Survivors Cheer U.S. Choppers.")
Posted at 11:48 AM
RE: LASERS [KJL]
Most readers don't buy that terrorists are using lasers. Here are two :
K-Lo: I'm no military expert (unless you count reading Aviation Week) but I don't see why knowing the range to that level of accuracy would be so important. If you are going to fire a missile you need to know when the plane is in range. The flight paths and glide scopes are known. Do the math and you're done.
I live in Wichita, KS in the heart of Airplaneland. We have Boeing, McConnel Air Base, Raytheon, Bombardier, Cessna, Textron, AirBus et al here and several large airports for all their repair, development, military, testing etc. There are B-52, AWACS, G5 execs, et al flying low all over the city day and night along with all the FedEx, and commercial.
Posted at 11:40 AM
UNDER THE SIGN OF SATURN [John Derbyshire]
Several readers have commented on my open declaration of pessimism. They want to know if having such an attitude doesn't make it hard to get anything done.
Of course it does! It's very hard for us pessimists to accomplish anything, or just even get through the day without having to lie down for a couple of hours. As Basil Fawlty -- one of us -- was wont to remark: "What's the bloody point?" I tell you, it's a fight to just get out of bed every morning. But that's life, here under the sign of Saturn.
We gloomsters have some life advantages over you silly optimists (or "smilers," as we call you behind your backs). Most obviously, we are never disappointed. Furthermore, our lives are stress free, since we never have to worry about whether things will turn out as we hope. They won't. Not ever. Fuhgeddaboutit.
Posted at 11:33 AM
RE: RIVALS [Jonah Goldberg]
Cliff's Zarqawi-Saddam post is a good one. The idea that ideological rivals can't strikes deals has always struck me as comic book logic. In the real world it's a very common tale. Does nobody remember the Hitler-Stalin Pact of Steel?
Besides, Zarqawi is now officially a "prince" of al-Qaeda. You would think that all of the folks who want us to get out and soon would at least account for the fact that we'd be running from al-Qaeda attacks which would be an inconvenient fact for those who claim that Iraq is a distraction from the war on terrror, i.e. the war on al-Qaeda.
Posted at 10:54 AM
SURVIVORS? [John J. Miller]
More on the Andaman Islanders, in the Boston Globe: "One Indian newspaper reported this week that the Sentinelese and perhaps the other Negrito tribes (the Great Andamanese, Jarawa, and Onge) had been completely exterminated by the tsunami. That claim was quickly denied by India's minister of defense, who said the aborigines had been hit hard, but survived. It was unclear, however, how much information the government really had, given the difficulty of communication with the islands."
Posted at 08:31 AM