MAKING MONKEYS OUT OF KANSAS [Andrew Stuttaford]
Further comment would be superfluous:
"TOPEKA, Kan. - (KRT) - None of the eight intelligent design proponents who testified at the Kansas State Board of Education's evolution hearings Friday have read the science standards they want changed. Under cross-examination, all eight admitted they simply read the 28-page minority report and not the full 107-page draft of proposed science standards, most of which is not controversial."
Posted at 08:19 PM
ONCOLOGY BLEG [Jonah Goldberg]
A while back an oncologist answered a question about something or other for me. I have a new question for him -- or any other oncologist -- but it's not for public consumption and I lost his email address. Note: I'm okay and so is everyone else in the family (it's about a non-urgent situation a friend is in). Still, if you've got a minute for some free advice I'd love to pick your brain.
Posted at 05:29 PM
EXTREME IRONING? [Mark Krikorian]
I am not making this up.
Posted at 04:04 PM
RE: JAMES WOLCOTT [John Derbyshire]
I know, Jonah. Eye contact is always a problem with the Hooters girls.
I got a similar reaction when I told my waitress how much I admired her embonpoint.
Posted at 04:03 PM
NERVE [K. J. Lopez]
Not sure Schumer should have addressed the president on the topic of rhetoric today given his "loser" leader.
Posted at 03:46 PM
HOOTER'S GALS [Jonah Goldberg]
Derb - My gal was having a fine time until I asked her if she thought Fabianism was a gnostic heresy.
To which she replied, "ask me that when you can do it while making eye contact."
Posted at 03:36 PM
RE: REID [K. J. Lopez]
Jon, It's not surprising at all he's saying no to filibustering the first SCOTUS vacancy. Seems like smart politics--doing it right now makes the Dems look more reasonable even as the fourth anniversary of Priscilla Owen's nomination comes up this week. And I don't know how they'd manage to successfully spin a SCOTUs filibuster come midterms. Would be suicidal politics to do that filibuster, I would think.
Posted at 03:30 PM
BREAKING NEWS [K. J. Lopez]
Some moms are happy being moms and will do with their careers whatever works and will be happy that they did. Motherhood is not all madness and misery. How did that make it into print?
Posted at 02:59 PM
RE: WOLCOTT [John Derbyshire]
Wolcott: "I look forward to the digital pix from 'Atlantafest' that they'll no doubt post on the site next week showing Jonah and Derb with their arms flung around two Hooters waitresses who are doing their best to bury their shame and smile."
Jonah: I must say, I thought the Hooters gals were genuinely enjoying themselves. Well, mine was, anyway.
Posted at 02:52 PM
JUST DOING HIS JOB [Warren Bell]
Wolcott's interpretation is a little broad, but Leftist Media Hack Directive #3 does state, "Miss no opportunity to criticize the opposition or their party."
Posted at 12:45 PM
TO YOU AND YOURS [John J. Miller]
Happy Free Comic Book Day.
Posted at 10:55 AM
WOLCOTT [Jonah Goldberg]
Posted at 08:03 AM
Friday, May 06, 2005
I'M JUST FASCINATED [K. J. Lopez]
that James Wolcott cares so much about what we do and say.
Posted at 10:40 PM
GOP PLAYING THE RACE CARD [Jonathan H. Adler]
Our friend Robert A. George argues Republicans can play the race card just as much as Democrats when it comes to judicial nominations, and not always so effectively. I agree to a point, but it seems there is a fundamental difference between recognizing how the race or sex of a nominee affects his or her prospects of confirmation and attaching a nominee's race or sex with independent significance.
Posted at 07:48 PM
GAS TOO CHEAP? [Jonathan H. Adler]
Todd Zywicki dissects the Maryland law that requires some gasoline stations to increase their prices. Maryland readers, this is your government at work.
Posted at 07:45 PM
WHY SOLOMON IS OKAY [Jonathan H. Adler]
Marci Hamilton explains why the Supreme Court is likely to find the Solomon Amendment constitutional.
Posted at 07:44 PM
EARTH GETTING BRIGHTER? [Jonathan H. Adler]
The NYT reports that the global dimming trend has been reversed, and that this may be the cause (in part) of higher temperatures.
Posted at 07:40 PM
RE: REID [K. J. Lopez]
Jon, he's a loser.
Posted at 07:16 PM
MEDIA BIAS [Cliff May]
Here’s one way media bias expresses itself: I got in touch with a producer at a liberal media outlet to which I have been cordially invited to contribute.
I said I’d like to do a commentary on the inappropriateness of the University of Pennsylvania asking Kofi Annan to be its commencement speaker this month and planning to award the UN Secretary-General an honorary (honorary!) doctorate of law (law!).
She replied that it’s not really a big controversy. I suggested that it might become one – if it were to be reported on in the MSM, or even if she were let me raise objections to it. After all, were an Ivy League University to invite Ken Lay – or even Tom DeLay – to speak and accept an honorary degree, does anyone doubt that the MSM would be all over the story and that it would be a mega-controversy within hours?
But, OK, I said, if that idea doesn’t grab you, let it go. I then proposed several other ideas – not one of which, I’m afraid, would tend to reinforce liberal notions of what’s wrong with the world, America, conservatives, Republicans and President Bush. Guess what? She wasn’t taken with any of them.
Meanwhile, my Scripps column on Kofi and the University of Pennsylvania is here.
Posted at 07:06 PM
ATLANTA REPORT [John Derbyshire]
Great party in Atlanta. Highlights:
---Best two panel comments: (1) Kate O'Beirne's remark that GWB missed a valuable opportunity right after 9/11 to point out how utterly useless all those big, tax-eating federal government agencies were at locating easy-to-locate enemies of our country and defending the citizenry against their nefarious deeds. I have similar thoughts when I see TV clips of illegal immigrants streaming across the southern border: For all the stupendous sums of our money the feddle gummint consumes, for all the Washington DC real estate they occupy, for all the numberless legions of well-salaried college graduates they employ, they can't do anything about **this**? No, they can't. Why not? Because they're totally bloody useless, that's why not.
(2) Ramesh pointing out that the last time a conservative was put on the US Supreme Court without an assist from identity politics was 1972. (Scalia, remember, was picked partly to be the first Italian-American justice.)
---Most Derb-simpatico floor question: The gentleman who asked us whether, given the vast increases in feddle gummint staffing and expenditures under GWB's presidency, and the relentless expansion of the welfare state in the name of "compassionate conservatism," there is any hope for small-govt conservatism in this country. No, Sir, there is no hope. We are doomed, doomed.
---Best of the post-event gathering at Mahogany Ridge: Jonah expounding lustily on the theme of his book. My lips are sealed; but one of the villains is a 20th-century US president who I never thought particularly badly of before.
Posted at 07:02 PM
REID DOESN'T WANT FILIBUSTER [Jonathan H. Adler]
So Senator Reid is telling Republicans that Democratic Senators don't intend to filibuster a Supreme Court nominee "except in extreme circumstances." That would be reassuring except for the fact that, according to Democratic Senators, they are only using the filibuster in "extreme" circumstances now.
Posted at 04:38 PM
MAX BOOT GETS IT WRONG... [Andrew Stuttaford]
…on Blair and his lies. He faults the Tories for attacking Blair as a liar:
It especially doesn't work for the Tories because they're accusing Prime Minister Blair of duplicity on an issue about which they actually agree with him. Conservative leader Michael Howard says he would have supported the invasion of Iraq even without weapons of mass destruction — the subject of Blair's supposed dissembling. By nevertheless making the L-word the centerpiece of today's election, Howard comes off as opportunistic and unprincipled.
This, I am afraid, is nonsense. The accusation, entirely deserved by the way, that Blair is a liar did not revolve around the war; the point that the Conservatives were making (not that effectively, admittedly) was that Blair’s lies over the war were just one example among many. Blair simply cannot be trusted, really, on anything.
As Blair’s own finance minister, loopy Gordon Brown, told the PM last year, “there’s nothing that you could ever say to me now that I could ever believe.”
What a pity that a trusting 37 percent of British voters (Blair’s share of the poll) disagreed.
Monday-morning quarterbacking someone’s predictions is all too easy, and all too unfair, but this comment from Boot also made me laugh:
The biggest change Howard has promised is a reduction in immigration. This may snare some votes among xenophobic yobs, but it has also led (Arnold Schwarzenegger, pay attention) to a backlash against "mean-spirited" right-wingers.
Some backlash, Max.
Incidentally, in a recent interview on the BBC, Blair was asked eighteen times for an estimate as to how many illegal immigrants there were in England. He refused to answer. I guess he thought the plebs (sorry, Max, ‘yobs’) didn’t deserve to be told. Charming.
From the Guardian:
Labour feared last night that a pincer movement of working-class antipathy to immigration and middle-class opposition to the Iraq war had cut Tony Blair's majority by much more than he had hoped.
Some backlash, Max.
Posted at 04:29 PM
TOO MUCH DEMOCRACY [Andrew Stuttaford]
The Irish people once gave the EU Commission the ‘wrong’ result in a referendum. Such errors cannot be allowed to happen again:
The Irish government is considering amending the national constitution to allow for major future changes to EU rules to be made without a referendum, according to a report in The Irish Times on Friday.
Posted at 04:26 PM
LIAR [Andrew Stuttaford]
George Bush decided, quite rightly, to go to Riga, Latvia, ahead of his trip to Moscow to attend the ceremonies marking the sixtieth anniversary of the end of World War II.
That was the right thing to do. The annexation of the Baltic States was a disgraceful episode even by the disgusting standards of that Soviet Union of which Vladimir Putin is, apparently, now so proud. The presidents of Lithuania and Estonia are quite right to boycott the Moscow event. It is a shame that their Latvian counterpart is not doing the same.
As the Daily Telegraph reports, one of Putin’s spokesmen takes a different view:
Sergei Yastrzhembsky, Russia's point man on relations with the EU, claimed yesterday that the Red Army was welcomed into the Baltics. He said: "One cannot use the term occupation to describe these historical events. At that time, the troop deployment took place on an agreed basis and with the clearly expressed agreement of the existing authorities in the Baltic republics. There was no occupation of foreign territory seized by military means.
Words fail me.
Until Russia begins to acknowledge its past, the prospects for its future look grim.
Posted at 04:25 PM
NEW LABOUR, NEW TRICKS [Andrew Stuttaford]
“Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, has been warned that postal vote fraud is widespread among Labour Party members in his Blackburn constituency. At a public meeting in the town's cathedral, the Liberal Democrat and Conservative candidates accused the Foreign Secretary's supporters of rigging ballots to keep Labour in power.”
Posted at 04:24 PM
RE: TECH BLEG [Jonah Goldberg ]
A long post on this subject at Brain-Terminal. Very useful stuff. Anybody who sees a problem with this route, please lemme know.
Posted at 04:18 PM
BTW: ATLANTA [Jonah Goldberg]
What a motley collection of moperists and goat herders.
Actually just kidding. Delightful, smart, funny bunch of people. My only regret is that I didn't jump on the Cinco de Mayo buffet table and scream: Mennnnnnndooooooozzzzzzzzzzaaaaa!!!!
Other than that, a wonderful time was had by all (I think and hope).
Posted at 04:11 PM
BLEG [Jonah Goldberg]
A reader writes:
Posted at 03:51 PM
WILL THIS NRO EDITORIAL WRITER NOW OUT HIMSELF? [Rich Lowry ]
Subject: NR ON THE BRIT ELECTIONS
Posted at 03:50 PM
MELODY'S TALE [Rich Lowry ]
I've just been reading the transcript of Bolton-accuser Melody Townsel's interview with the foreign relations committee staff. It's more than a 100 pages long, so I just skipped to the juicy parts--i.e., when Bolton allegedly threw stuff at her. Remember Townsel wrote this in a letter to the committee that the Democrats eagerly brandished before doing anything to confirm it: "Mr. Bolton proceeded to chase me through the halls of a Russian hotel -- throwing things at me, shoving threatening letters under my door and, generally, behaving like a madman." She then elaborated to USA Today: "'He threw a folder across the desk at me' during their first meeting, at the Aerostar hotel in Moscow. In a subsequent meeting, 'he threw a plastic tape dispenser at me.'"
This makes the transcript interesting reading. She initially says that Bolton just threw a folder off a table--not necessarily even at her. And, according to the transcript, he “waved” a roll of tape at her (no longer a tape dispenser, but a roll of tape). After reviewing the transcript, she apparently has gone back and had that changed to “winged” a roll of tape at her. This all sounds very much like a contentenious exchange or two--during which she says twice that “ we began shouting”--that have been exaggerated in her memory and in her telling since. At one point she says Bolton was “speaking quite forcefully.” Almost as bad as putting his hands on his hips! By Melody's own account she doesn't sound like the most level-headed person.
Anyway, here are portion of the two relevant passages, which should obviously be taken with a grain of salt:
And we began to be heated. I was arguing with him. He accused me of fabricating the things that I had contained in the letter. I don't recall if he had a letter at that point, or he was simply going on reports from Matthew Freedman, but I do remember that we began to shout at each other. And at some point during this, I'd say, about 15- to 25-minute conversation, Mr. Bolton punctuated his frustrated by just throwing a folder off the table, and a -- a folder full of papers -- and, at that point, I said, "This meeting is over," and I got up, (inaudible) and returned to my hotel room.
Posted at 03:46 PM
TECH BLEG [Jonah Goldberg]
For Mac folks only, for you are the Chosen People.
The Hotlanta trip sealed the deal. I want a cellular modem thingamajig for my laptop. Ponnuru has one and I cannot abide him having one when I don't. Also, I travel a lot and being able to file/post/timewaste from anywhere is just too attractive an option. The costs, according to Ramesh are tolerable, especially when you figure I can drop my account with T-Mobile for use at Starbucks, etc. The question is, do they make such things for the Mac universe? A quick search of the Apple Store was to no avail. If they do make 'em, what should I get? If they don't, is there a third party solution? Can I make one myself with twine and duct tape?
Note: PC jingoists don't need to send me emails making fun of Macs and the like. I've heard it all before and I won't be switching.
Posted at 03:27 PM
FUNDAMENTALISM [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
Dear Mr. Goldberg,
Posted at 03:04 PM
TIMEWASTERS GALORE [Jonah Goldberg]
Punch out now. Your workday is done.
Posted at 02:48 PM
GEORGE WILL [Jonah Goldberg]
I just got around to reading Will's column. I think it provides a useful corrective and I agree with a lot of it. But I think Will also misses the mark in a couple spots. His evidence that religion is thriving in America -- Mel Gibson's "Passion of the Christ," the Left Behind books, etc -- potent as it is, is not evidence that anti-Christian sentiment is declining. Indeed, it seems more logical to me that anti-Christian sentiment is rising precisely because Christians are asserting themselves more and that terrifies some people and annoys others.
Posted at 02:44 PM
TROUBLE IN SCOTLAND [Rich Lowry ]
It seems the trip that DeLay is most vulnerable on is the Scotland leg of his London/Scotland travel. David Rogers has a piece on it in the Wall Street Journal today. Here is a key bit:
House rules say such trips are acceptable only if they are principally designed for information gathering, and Mr. DeLay's visit to Scotland and London was billed as an effort to promote an exchange of ideas with British conservatives.
Posted at 02:39 PM
ABRAMOFF, FORMER DELAY AIDES, AND SAIPAN [Rich Lowry ]
We'll be hearing more about this long investigative piece in the LA Times today...
Posted at 02:34 PM
RE: NUMBER OF THE BEAST [Jonah Goldberg]
That is Great News now Sidney Blumenthal can finally show off that 666 birthmark on his scalp without shame.
Posted at 02:34 PM
NR ON THE BRIT ELECTIONS [Rich Lowry ]
Our editorial is up on the home page. Here is a key bit:
From almost any conservative angle, Britain’s election result is disappointing.
Posted at 01:59 PM
MY BLISSFUL APRIL, MY FASCINATING MAY [Rich Lowry ]
After watching seven games in October last year that seemed to last a couple of months I resolved not to pay any attention to early-season baseball again. It just seemed silly to get butterflies watching games in April when the Yankees “always” make the post-season. So I blissfully tuned out all the April panic in Yankeeland (how many times have the papers written dire “What's wrong with Rivera” pieces before?). But now I'm fully engaged because the Yankee collapse is so interesting. This isn't just following a team anymore, it's the baseball equivalent of rubbernecking--a fascination with the compellingly awful. I can't wait for Kevin Brown's next start, or Tom Gordon's next relief appearance, or Jason Giambi's next at bat (has anyone ever hit .200 before and had a .400 on-base-percentage?). I can't believe they are really this bad, but, then again, this may be--yes, Shannen--the final collapse of what's left of the Yankee dynasty. Whatever happens, I'll be watching--they've gotten my attention.
Posted at 01:57 PM
ATLANTA... [Rich Lowry ]
...was marvelous. Thanks to everyone for coming, and to Steve at Southern Appeal for bringing the “small batch” bourbon (which the experienced bourbon-sippers among us pronounced excellent).
Posted at 01:24 PM
LOVING ISRAEL -- EXCEPT WHEN IT MATTERS [Mark Krikorian]
I attended the American Jewish Committee annual dinner last night; John Negroponte spoke and, as our chief spy, he naturally said little of substance. What struck me instead was the parade of foreign leaders that always address this dinner -- this time, the foreign ministers of Singapore, Romania, and Chile; in earlier years, the president of Spain, the prime minister of Argentina, et al. And it's always the same: We love the Jews! We love Israel! This from countries that routinely vote against Israel in the UN. The guy from Chile added a twist -- he boasted that the head of his country's public libraries was Jewish. Libraries! How about letting an Arab run the libraries and instead stop singling out the Jewish state in the UN.
Now, for American dignitaries to address an important, politically active constituency is perfectly normal. But the foreigners have flown thousands of miles just to address the event, and you know what's got to be going through their heads: "The Jews run America, so let's go make nice with them." As my charming tablemate said, everyone but the Jews seem to believe the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
Posted at 09:50 AM
ILLEGAL LOBBYING [Mark Krikorian]
Sometimes slippery slopes really do exist, and we're seeing one in the process of defining deviancy down in immigration, where only "bad" illegal alien criminals are stigmatized, while "good" illegal alien workers are glorified. Well, now how about this--an illegal alien testified before the Wisconsin state legislature this week. This kind of participation of illegals in our political process is no longer unusual, coming on the heels of pro-illegal-alien lobbying by Mexican consular officials across the country. All we need now is someone to introduce a constitutional amendment to allow illegal aliens to run for president.
Posted at 09:49 AM
BIG TENT? [Mark Krikorian]
Rep. Chris Cannon, leader of the high-immigration, loose-borders Republicans in the House, said this week that he didn't think Rep. Tom Tancredo, leader of the low-immigration, tight-borders side, was a real Republican. This is hilarious coming from a post-American like Cannon, a man who has lionized illegal immigration and boasted that he's working to enact the agenda of MALDEF.
Posted at 09:47 AM
RE: NUMBER OF THE BEAST [Jack Fowler]
This news that 616 replaces 666 will have numerous cultural impacts, including and maybe especially for Bingo. When O-66 is called, the lovely ladies ring bells – a tradition to ward off the evil spirits affiliated with the number. Not that the Devil or any evil spirit would mess with Bingo ladies. Now, I guess the bells will have to ring on I-16 and O-61. Trust me: for many seniors this is much more important news than reforming Social Security.
Posted at 09:45 AM
ALEXANDER ON SHARANSKY [Stanley Kurtz]
Gerard Alexander’s first-rate review of Natan Sharansky’s The Case for Democracy is on the cover of the new Claremont Review of Books. Alexander offers very powerful criticisms of the idea that our foreign policy should be organized exclusively around democracy promotion. Yet Alexander rightly points out that U.S. policy is already a good deal more complex than what Sharansky calls for. This review is definitely not a blanket dismissal of Sharansky, or of democracy promotion. But it is an extremely intelligent case for prudence, balance, and patience in pursuit of that larger goal.
Posted at 09:44 AM
MEET HILLARY CLINTON [K. J. Lopez]
She can talk all she wants, but here is where she is at: opposing a bill that would prohibit children from being taken out of state for abortions without a parent's knowledge.
Expect another common-ground-like speech soon, to make sure this positioning is soon forgotten. Expect MSM to cooperate.
Posted at 09:19 AM
WORD OF THE DAY [John J. Miller]
Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia. This is one that I guarantee WFB has never used.
Posted at 09:10 AM
ATLANTA [Warren Bell]
You have to wait for me to stop yawning to see it, but I am still smiling about the NRO shindig last night. What a great time. Everybody lives up to their rep; Jonah is funny and voluble, Ramesh is brilliant, K-Lo is dry and ironic. I could go on, but... yawwwwwwn. And the readers -- smart, interesting, fun, and every so often, completely out of their tree. Thanks for having me.
Posted at 09:08 AM
"THE OTHER MOTHER" [K. J. Lopez]
Keeping in mind the joy and pain of adoption--in a special way, the "China Mommy"
Posted at 09:07 AM
THE DOMINIONISTS, CON'T [Stanley Kurtz]
This AP report by Richard N. Ostling is the most detailed I’ve seen yet about that conference on dominionism and the religious right at CUNY. Ostling does his best to be fair by rightly noting that some conservative Christians have taken their own rhetoric too far of late. But Ostling is clearly put off by the one-sidedness and extremism of this conference. He’s also quaintly shocked that so obviously partisan and political gathering is filled with scholars and sponsored by a university. We’ve heard all the criticisms of the language and political inclination of religious conservatives. Will we now hear indignation against The Rev. Bob Edgar, a former Democratic congressman and general secretary of the liberal National Council of Churches? Edgar strongly favors religious politicking–except by conservative Christians. And Edgar believes that the desire of conservative Christians to have fewer activist judges means that: “This may be the darkest time in our history.” I await mainstream media outrage over Edgar’s dangerous quest for a liberal religious theocracy. Note also that Ostling dismisses the link between the tiny fringe movement of dominionists and mainstream evangelicals.
Posted at 09:04 AM
NUMBER OF THE BEAST [John J. Miller]
A scholar says it's really 616, not 666. Sounds like bad news for the good people of Grand Rapids.
Posted at 09:04 AM
U.K. [K. J. Lopez]
Daniel Johnson's election diary
Posted at 08:50 AM
DROP DEAD, FIDEL. [Jack Fowler]
This is why we love NR – the following paragraph from “The Week” appears in the May 23, 2005 issue:
Fidel Castro reads NR, but he doesn’t learn anything from it. On April 30, he quoted from Otto Reich’s cover story in our April 11 issue, on the partnership between Castro and Venezuela’s strongman Hugo Chávez. (The two were having a summit in Havana.) Reich had written, “With the combination of Castro’s evil genius, experience in political warfare, and economic desperation, and Chávez’s unlimited money and recklessness, the peace of this region is in peril.” According to Reuters, “Castro, 78, read out Reich’s words to a delighted audience in Havana’s Karl Marx Theater.” Delighted, we’re sure — not half as delighted as Cubans will be when the tyrannical old bastard finally meets his reward. Why doesn’t he read out those words, next time he’s in the Karl Marx Theater?Look, if Fidel Castro reads NR (jefe cubano wants to know what his enemies are up to), surely you too should! Every issue of NR brims with insight, wisdom, and wit – all brilliantly written, and now all available (only through NRO) in a digital version. Get this: if you subscribe to the magazine, I can assure you your copy of the May 23 issue is in the mail – how quickly you actually get it may depend on whether you tipped the mailman at Christmas. But if you subscribe to NR Digital (which comes in PDF, Image, and Text versions), you can access the entire May 23 issue today, at noon. That’s probably a week sooner than you’d get the “paper” copy. And the cost is only $21.95 for a full year, which is nearly a third of the print subscription cost! That’s a HUGE savings for a super-timely, super-convenient fix of conservatism. Go ahead and try the Digital version of NR, which you will find (including a free sample of a recent issue) here.
Posted at 08:48 AM
TEXAS HECKLER'S ARRESTED [Jonathan H. Adler]
Eugene Volokh takes a serious look at the constitutional aspect of arresting Ann Coulter's Texas heckler.
Posted at 08:35 AM
RE: YESTERDAY [K. J. Lopez]
Atlanta was seriously NRO. Smart people saying smart things--readers and writers. And me obsessively working. Jay Nordlinger was moderating our panels and directed a question to me. K-Lo couldn't answer because...she was answering e-mails. (The Duran Duran concert in N.J. is when? Seriously, it was all bizness. Derb was looking over my shoulder.) We all had a good laugh, but man, was I busted (and busted on).
Anyway, thanks to all who came, all who considered coming, and everyone who put up with the constant pitches.
Posted at 08:30 AM
EW [K. J. Lopez]
George Galloway is back in office in the U.K. (Refresher on the Saddam bud here.)
Posted at 06:59 AM
CALLING ALL TIME TRAVELERS [John J. Miller]
Some MIT grad students are hosting a time travelers convention this weekend. Organizers have asked sympathetic members of the public to help advertise the event: "Write the details down on a piece of acid-free paper, and slip them into obscure books in academic libraries!" Specifics here.
Posted at 05:41 AM
ATLANTA REPORT [K. J. Lopez]
Just for the record: He doesn't lie.
Posted at 01:17 AM
IT'S AFTER MIDNIGHT... [K. J. Lopez]
and I just left a bunch of the NR crew still going somewhat strong here in Atlanta. Successful events, delightful people--thanks to everyone who made it or made it happen. Wish you all could have been there.
Posted at 12:43 AM
Thursday, May 05, 2005
HERMAIN CAIN [K. J. Lopez]
just shared how to save Western civ....
Posted at 05:30 PM
DEMANDS FOR DEATH OF AN EDITOR [K. J. Lopez]
Posted at 05:01 PM
FIREWORKS [K. J. Lopez]
Ramesh vs. Derb on Schiavo...
Posted at 04:55 PM
THE BLAST IN NYC THIS MORNING AT THE BRITISH CONSOLATE [K. J. Lopez]
A U.N. employee is being questioned.
Posted at 04:53 PM
WHO KNEW? [K. J. Lopez]
Jonah just shared his secret to meeting girls.
Posted at 04:22 PM
CONFESSION TIME [K. J. Lopez]
Andrew Stuttaford admits his social life is dictated by New York Times mandates...
Posted at 04:20 PM
NOT LOOKING SO HOT [K. J. Lopez]
This goes well with Jim Robbins's piece today on al Qaeda.
Posted at 04:06 PM
"CAMPAIGN OF FILIBUSTERS MUST BE BROKEN" [K. J. Lopez]
Ramesh is giving the talk here in Atlanta the Republican leaders (da president) should be giving....here in the land of Bill Pryor (if he's allowed to stay by the Senate Dems).
Posted at 04:05 PM
SENATOR O'BEIRNE [K. J. Lopez]
Kate reveals her plans for the Republican slot challenging Hillary in 2006 here in Atlanta....
Posted at 03:48 PM
OH NO... [K. J. Lopez]
Derb's about to fight me over something I cut from one of his columns 12 years ago (or more recently). 'Cuse me while I make sure I've got reinforcements.
Posted at 03:44 PM
MOVE OVER, JOHN BOLTON [K. J. Lopez]
Rich Lowry just proposed Zell Miller for U.N. ambassador if Bolton doesn't happen (he will though).
I'm liveblogging from Atlanta, but promise not too much...
Posted at 03:38 PM
OUR MEN [K. J. Lopez]
at work in Iraq.
Posted at 03:36 PM
JUST SO YOU KNOW... [K. J. Lopez]
I'm sitting with the Derb and Stuttaford looking at a bright, happy, smart, attractive crowd at our Atlanta fundraiser.
Posted at 03:21 PM
ELECTION BLOGGING [K. J. Lopez]
do check in with Jim Geraghty, who is over in London.
Posted at 02:30 PM
TELL US WHAT YOU REALLY THINK... [K. J. Lopez]
Dana Milbank: "Tom DeLay sneaks around the Capitol like a fugitive these days..."
Posted at 02:28 PM
MARGARET THATCHER [K. J. Lopez]
writes a letter in support of John Bolton.
Posted at 02:17 PM
LAURA LENO BUSH [K. J. Lopez]
only reminded Margaret Carlson that Carlson doesn't like W.
Posted at 02:02 PM
BE GLAD THE CORNER IS SLEEPY TODAY [K. J. Lopez]
At least it's not tired and tacky.
Posted at 01:58 PM
PEACHES'N'NR [K. J. Lopez]
NR crew has landed in Atlanta...that's all I have to say. Aren't you glad I did?
Posted at 01:54 PM
THE HIGHLIGHT OF CINCO DE MAYO AT THE WHITE HOUSE (ONLY READ IF YOU CAN HANDLE TOTAL W. GROUPIE GUSH) [K. J. Lopez]
was hearing the president address a woman he obviously knew (during the reception mingling time) "Como estas, baby!" Now that's pretty darn cool.
Posted at 09:00 AM
RE ECONOMIC LIBERTY AND THE COURTS [Mark R. Levin]
I would be more than happy to read all the Supreme Court decisions defending economic liberty, post-1937. Where are they? And, here goes -- the fundamental problem with the libertarian approach is its embrace of the judiciary as the institution that will best defend individual liberty, including economic liberty -- as a kind of benevolent Olympian council. But like any oligarchy, ultimately it abuses its power. At this point, any restraint it exercises is voluntary for it need not fear an effective response by the other branches. Indeed, any suggestion of impeachment (a modern day dead-letter, for the most part) or Article III limitations are met with tremendous resistance. It's really quite odd how libertarians embrace such a concentration of authority in the hands of so few -- hoping that only if the right people are appointed to the Court, and enough of them who share their principles, that cause of liberty will be advanced. And it's remarkable that despite 70 years of evidence of the judiciary's lurch to the left, they continue to argue for judicial supremacy. While it's true that the elected branches can often be no better, change and redirection are at least more likely through the ballot box. Not so with lifetime appointed judges. And while it is also true, as our libertarian friends remind us, that states can and do often violate individual rights, a primary strength of federalism is that state decisions are not national decisions. This is a long way to say that I find more similarity between the liberal and libertarian approach than the liberal and conservative approach.
Posted at 08:53 AM
COULTER'S TEXAS HECKLER [Jonathan H. Adler]
Apparently this is what passes for intelligent liberal commentary at the University of Texas. (Note: I'm not defending the arrest, just commenting on the heckler.)
Posted at 08:52 AM
WHO WANTS DRUG WAR? [Jonathan H. Adler]
Apparently the war on drugs had no defenders at CPAC. Details here.
Posted at 08:51 AM
"CENSORED" CLIMATE DEBATE [Jonathan H. Adler]
Are Science and Nature deliberately excluding dissenting voices in the debate over climate change? That's what this Telegraph story suggests.
Posted at 08:51 AM
MANHATTAN MUSIC [K. J. Lopez]
Fr. George Rutler invites you to a concert of music performed by Johannes Somary, on the occasion of the dedication of the Eileen Grady Manning Memorial Organ, at the Church of Our Saviour, 59 Park Avenue (at 38th Street), on Thursday, May 5, at 6 p.m.
Posted at 08:19 AM
THE DEBATE CONTINUES [Jonah Goldberg ]
To be honest I haven't looked at Andrew Sullivan's debate page much. When I get the chance I will respond to his longer stuff (Right now I've got to walk Coz, pack, and head to Atlanta for the Sourthern leg of NRfest '05). But he does have an answer for my post yesterday -- where I suggested that he seemed to be practicing precisely the sort of moral equivalence he was once so eloquent denouncing after 9/11. He says:
If Andrew had written anything like this to start, I never would have commented. That's not to say that I agree with it. But it's not what he originally wrote. He wrote:
THE DUTCH CONFLICT: A good friend of mine dares to walk hand in hand with his boyfriend in Amsterdam. Yes, Amsterdam. A "Moroccan-looking" guy with a heavy accent spits at him in the face, mutters something about "f****ing fags", and then a small gang beats him up. His story is here, including a picture of his bloodied face. Hatred of open and proud homosexuals is intrinsic to Islamist fundamentalism, as it is to Christian fundamentalism. The struggle against both is the same one - at home and abroad.
Anyway, as for his response, fine. But I would add that Erik Rudolph is not a trend. He's a man. John Ashcroft -- the poster child for everything Andrew dislikes about the GOP -- very aggressively sought the death penalty for Rudolph and if I recall correctly the "theocrats" didn't object. Meanwhile, it's simply not true that terrorism in America has only come from the extreme right. Yes, there was Oklahoma City (though those nutjobs were hardly Christian fundamentalists, and -- again -- John Ashcroft sought the death penalty to the applause of the supposedly Talibanish GOP). But there was also the Unabomber who was in fact defended -- or at least apologized for -- by some on the respectable left. Moreover, environmental terrorists groups are a real trend in this country. And, I should add, apologists of foreign terror of the Ward Churchill variety far, far, far outnumber anything of the sort on the right.
Oh, I think I should clarify something myself, particularly in response to the pissy post Andrew links to refute me (interesting where Andrew finds allies these days). When I wrote,
"Christian fundamentalism gave birth to the Protestant reformation, individual liberty, the American nation, the modern American university, and the like. This is not a minor distinction either."
I should have been more precise. I was in my own mind referring to the sorts of things Andrew calls Christian fundamentalism -- i.e. conservatism of faith, politics of faith, using faith to reach policy conclusions etc. I was not trying to discuss the historical concept in and of itself. I do understand that what we call Christian fundamentalism has gone through some changes over the years. Though there is no denying that a politics of faith was behind, for example, the founding of most of our leading universities and liberal arts colleges. And if this Duss guy is a stickler for precision when it comes to use of the term, I assume he'll be taking a hatchet to Sullivan's prose any day now. I'd respond more in depth, but Cosmo awaits the park.
Posted at 08:11 AM
I HATE FLYING [K. J. Lopez]
so of course I schedule this piece on the TSA today. All aboard...
Posted at 08:10 AM
OFF WITH A BANG [K. J. Lopez]
Two grenades went off at the British consolate in NYC? Apparently.
Posted at 07:57 AM
CUATRO DE MAYO [K. J. Lopez]
...the president throws a mean Cinco de Mayo fiesta (where I was last noche). (Does the Mexican la casa blanca celebrate Cuatro de July?) Details later...I gotta get a-moving to Atlanta.
Posted at 07:51 AM
HAPPY MAY 5 [John J. Miller]
Happy Cinco de Mayo. Today is not only a Mexican holiday, but the anniversary of one of the greatest defeats in French military history (at the hands of Mexicans, as it happens). See page 124 of this book for details.
Posted at 05:30 AM
I'LL GIVE YOU JETER, A-ROD, AND THOMAS AQUINAS [Warren Bell]
The late Pope John Paul II's trading card is in high demand.
Note to collectors: this is Benedict XVI's rookie season, so this year's card should be extra valuable in the long run. Also, if you got a Cardinal Ratzinger from this year before he called up to the show, that would be pretty special.
Posted at 04:05 AM
PARKER AND STONE [Warren Bell]
Several emails to me pointed out that the creators of "That's My Bush" had pledged to do a show about whoever won the 2000 election, so we might well have had "Blood and Gore" or something more (or perhaps less) clever. Many South Park episodes have been cited to me, all of which sound funny and conservative inasmuch as they are anti-liberal. I think the danger is in embracing something simply because it is anti-liberal -- isn't that the same as the Left rejecting everything that is, for example, pro-religion?
Posted at 04:03 AM
Wednesday, May 04, 2005
PROFESSOR BAINBRIDGE [Ramesh Ponnuru]
thinks I understated the claims of tradition in that post about Oderberg--although he is too kind to call attention to the grammatical error in the quote he uses, which I'll correct now.
Posted at 06:26 PM
ECONOMIC LIBERTY AND THE COURTS [Ramesh Ponnuru]
William Mellor writes: "Without realizing it, liberals and conservatives are working from opposite ends of the political spectrum, under opposing rationales, to reach the same end: expanded government power." Liberals don't care about economic liberty, only "personal" liberty, while conservatives don't want judges overriding legislative decisions, and therefore the courts aren't protecting economic liberty.
It's an interesting argument. I'm not sure how unwitting this collaboration is. Let's say you're a conservative who believes, say, that the Founders did not intend for the federal courts to override (some) state infringements of economic liberty. Wouldn't you be happy that on this point, at least, liberals, for whatever reason, came down in the right place?
I'd have to know a lot more history on this point to venture a judgment about whether that hypothetical conservative is right. But I don't think the argument that Mellor makes--that politicians don't have the proper incentives to protect economic liberties and therefore judges should--works. On his own account, judges don't appear to have felt any incentive to protect economic liberties either.
Posted at 05:09 PM
DAVID ODERBERG [Ramesh Ponnuru]
The fact that his article has received some incredibly stupid responses, as provocative articles sometimes will, does not establish that Oderberg's basic argument is sound. I think it is not, nor are some of the frills on top of it.
Oderberg contrasts the moral views of the late Pope John Paul II with those of our current president. Where the two agree, as on abortion, Oderberg agrees with both of them. Where they disagree, as on war and capital punishment, Oderberg believes Bush's views to be more "traditional" and "defensible" than the pope's.
First of all--and I don't see how anyone could really deny this point--the fact that a particular moral view is "traditional" cannot establish its rightness, even if one judges the tradition of which a view is a part to be generally sound (and even if one therefore gives a particular traditional view a respectful hearing because it is part of that generally sound tradition). Oderberg's references to Aquinas tend to establish that there has been a development of Catholic doctrine on the death penalty, but they don't go anywhere in telling us whether earlier or later views were more defensible.
Second: What the heck does Oderberg mean by this? "Indeed it is somewhat amazing that John Paul seems to have remained so unmoved by the unrelenting violence, sexual decadence, and drug-fuelled vice of modern materialist society (the very society he chastised over and over for its naked greed) as never once to have advocated executing some of the criminals who make contemporary life such a misery for so many people" (emphasis his). Are we to picture JPII saying, "Let me--just this once--say, I really think this guy needs to be fried?" And to regret that it did not happen? And who is Oderberg suggesting that the pope should have come out for executing? Rapists? Drug dealers? Sellers of pornography? The passage sweeps pretty broadly. It's a weird and troubling view of things that imagines that you haven't been truly "moved" by negative social trends until you've been moved to kill people over them.
Posted at 05:01 PM
SO I FORGOT... [Jonah Goldberg ]
Yer right, I posted the subservient chicken last year.
Posted at 04:53 PM
RE: CHICKEN [K. J. Lopez]
Jonah, that site is so last year. In fact, you probably linked to it...circular these timewasters.
Posted at 04:49 PM
RE: CHILL [K. J. Lopez]
Beautiful day in D.C. Time for a drink. Later.
Posted at 04:40 PM
CHILL [K. J. Lopez]
While saying "chill" a little about Laura Bush, I--as an aside--threw in a word for a good book that addresses crass sex in pop culture. Even while I did that I played down that I was worried Mrs. Bush was really a significant part of that trend. (Grand Theft Auto: Vice City worries me. Laura Bush doesn't.) So people are mad at me that I have no sense of humor because I made that small linkage (even while saying it was only tangentally related) and people are mad at me that I did not get upset that Laura made Desperate Housewives jokes. Everyone needs to chill.
Posted at 04:38 PM
BEHOLD [Jonah Goldberg ]
The Subservient Chicken
Posted at 04:34 PM
THE NEW DEMOGRAPHY [Mark Krikorian]
Stanley Kurtz’s mention of his Policy Review article on the implications of falling birthrates provides me an opportunity to shamelessly plug my own article on this subject in the new issue of the Claremont Review of Books, as well as a paper we just released debunking the myth that immigration can “save” Social Security.
Posted at 04:34 PM
THE BRITISH ELECTION [Ramesh Ponnuru]
This analysis strikes me as dead-on.
Posted at 04:34 PM
UNFORTUNATELY NOT A RELATIVE [Mark KRIkorian]
No billionaires in my family!
Posted at 04:32 PM
AGAINST NOSTALGIA [Ramesh Ponnuru]
A number of people have suggested that bringing back the cots might solve the judicial-confirmation mess. The Committee for Justice has posted an old memo from the Senate majority leader's office that explains why it wouldn't.
Posted at 04:27 PM
LICENSES FOR ILLEGALS? [Mark Krikorian]
Congressional negotiators have agreed to keep the Real ID Act in the emergency Iraq appropriations bill, which should be voted on in the House tomorrow and the Senate next week. The most important element seeks to bar illegal aliens from getting drivers licenses. Unfortunately, the version that is likely to pass contains a loophole that would allow states to issue two kinds of drivers licenses--the regular kind, that illegals couldn’t get, and thus would be acceptable for federally mandated uses like boarding airplanes or entering nuclear power plants, and a second version, usually called a “driving certificate,” which wouldn’t require the applicant to prove he’s in the country legally, but which would have to indicate something like “Not for identification purposes" on the front. Of the 11 states that allow illegals to get licenses, Tennessee and Utah already do it this way, and the danger, as I see it, is that this loophole will be taken by the states as a cue from Washington, and we could end up with more and more states doing it, states that otherwise wouldn’t have issued illegals any kind of license at all.
The problem with this approach is twofold: First, any kind of official documentation provided to people who aren’t supposed to be here helps incorporate them into our institutions and is one more step toward amnesty; and second, despite any disclaimers printed on the illegals-only licenses, they will inevitably end up being accepted for identification purposes anyway. This is what we saw in Tennessee, where the certificates say “Not valid for ID” right on the front, but which the state police said from the get-go that they would just accept as ID anyway.
I debated the head of the immigration lawyers guild (“Jihad Jeannie” Butterfield) last night on the NewsHour, and she gave all the usual talking points against the bill, but I don’t understand why the open-borders crowd is fighting it--the two-tier license loophole is their best shot at providing documents for illegals across the country and thus taking a big step toward a de facto amnesty. Maybe they’re just following Jefferson’s advice when Britain transferred Florida back to Spain in 1784--object just enough to make your enemies think you oppose the move, but not enough to stop it, since it’s in your interests to let it continue.
Posted at 04:26 PM
IAN REIFOWITZ [Ramesh Ponnuru]
has written an unintentionally hilarious piece for the New Republic comparing today's Christian conservatives to the "radical multiculturalists" of the 1990s. The latter were threats to "American pluralism," in their day, as Christian conservatives are today. (Wait a second. Weren't the Christian conservatives supposed to be threats to American pluralism back in the early 1990s, too?) I won't linger on the thesis, since it's unassailable--as long as "American pluralism" is identified with New Republic-style liberalism, and Christian conservatism requires a commitment to views that are not held by, say, a majority of opponents of abortion. (Stanley: You'll be delighted to see that the word "dominion" gets mentioned.)
Odder is this passage: "[C]onservative nominees to the bench are not under attack from liberals for holding Christian beliefs; they are under attack for advocating a judicial philosophy that would impose those religious beliefs--on same-sex marriage, on abortion, on stem-cell research--on other Americans" (emphasis his). What world is Reifowitz living in? Where is the judge who has said that he would ban abortion or stem-cell research or same-sex marriage even if the public wanted to allow these things? Justice Scalia hasn't said anything like this. Nor have the mainstream opponents of judicial nominees such as Bill Pryor and Priscilla Owen--until, that is, this weekend, when Mario Cuomo made the same bizarre claims in the Democratic response to the president's radio address. Maybe Reifowitz is getting his information from Cuomo? In reality, the people who want judges to overturn or block democratic decisions in this area are our liberal "pluralist" friends.
The amusing part of the article comes at the end, when Reifowitz explains the strategy for defeating Christian conservatism: "[L]iberals will have to reach out to conservatives who care deeply about pluralism. . . . We are starting to see signs of dissent among Republicans and conservatives, most notably in recent comments by Christie Todd Whitman, Christopher Shays, and John Danforth. (Andrew Sullivan did his part in last week's TNR cover story.) Whitman, a moderate former governor and EPA chief, called her book It's My Party Too. Shays, a member of the House since 1987, commented on March 25 that 'this Republican party of Lincoln has become a party of theocracy.' Danforth, in an eloquent New York Times op-ed on March 30, argued that religious conservatives have 'hijacked' the GOP. 'Republicans,' he wrote, 'have transformed our party into the political arm of conservative Christians. . . . [I]t has become the political extension of a religious movement.' Whitman, Shays, and Danforth should receive support from liberals in these efforts." Oh, they do.
What they don't receive is much support from actual self-described conservatives, who tend to see them as has-beens whose hold on their party was defeated a long time ago.
I wrote two posts about Senator Danforth's op-ed that I may as well link here. I would add that we should resist the devaluation of the word "eloquent" into a word of empty praise for anyone who has said anything with which we agree.)
Posted at 04:23 PM
BILL MAHER [Jonah Goldberg]
Posted at 04:15 PM
ADVANTAGE: [K. J. Lopez]
Posted at 04:15 PM
SOUTH PARK CONSERVATIVES [Warren Bell]
I just ordered the book (and with Amazon Prime I will be receiving it in two days for no extra shipping charge! The best deal in the world!) so I can't comment in depth, but the whole South Park Con thing strikes me as somewhat off target. Let's not forget that Parker and Stone also created "That's My Bush," the lame Presidential parody sitcom a few years back. I don't know how those guys vote, but as writers they're iconoclasts. Maybe their breakthrough is to realize that the Liberal Media is every bit as much of An Establishment as The Government Controlled By The Man, so they give a comic de-pantsing to the left and the result seems conservative.
As for "South Park" itself, I don't watch it, but I absolutely loved the first thing I ever saw of it, which was Parker and Stone's homemade Christmas special, which I believe was sent around L.A. as a holiday gift by an agent. If you haven't seen it, there's lots of swearing, Jesus and Santa fight to settle things once and for all, and then Brian Boitano shows up and delivers the true meaning of Christmas. It's hilarious and a teensy bit more inappropriate than Laura Bush's joke about... well, I'm blushing so I can't type.
Posted at 04:03 PM
MADNESS [Andrew Stuttaford]
I would have thought that everyone would be in favour of vaccination against the virus mainly responsible for a certain type of cancer. Apparently not.
Posted at 02:16 PM
HORSING AROUND [Andrew Stuttaford]
While everyone gets onto their high horses (so many possible jokes, so little time) over Laura's naughty joke, apostate, heretic, and all-round good guy Robert A. George has the last word:
"Laura Bush: Uniter Not a Divider: Liberals without a sense of humor meet conservatives without a sense of humor. Hijinks ensue!!"
Posted at 01:37 PM
THE WAY OF THE COMMANDOS [ Rich Lowry ]
Meant to note this story from last weekend Times magazine earlier this week: It has eye-opening reporting in it about a very effective Iraqi unit fighting the insurgents. These Iraqis aren't the nicest people--which is what prompts the author, Peter Maas, to give the story a negative spin--but these are the kind of people it pays to have on your side. They are tough as hell, enjoy killing and capturing insurgents, and are good at it. I wouldn't want the U.S. military to behave the way they do (and we should continue to try to teach them Western norms of warfare), but, by Iraqi standards, they are probably pretty mild. The sooner they can relieve our guys from carrying the bulk of the fight in Iraq, the better.
Posted at 01:34 PM
CHEERLEADERS? [Andrew Stuttaford]
Texas legislators are spending time worrying about cheerleaders? Cheerleaders? They must be out of their tiny, tiny, big-government minds. This is something for the schools and parents to worry about. Nobody else.
Posted at 01:28 PM
VIETNAM CONT'D [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
Posted at 01:20 PM
SULLIVAN CONT'D [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
Jonah, As you know, I've been a Lesbian for less than 24 hours so I might not be qualified to comment on Sullivan and his views on Christian and Islamic fundamentalism, but I will do it anyway. Andrew ignores the fact that Christians aren't imposing their will on the rest of the world. The truth is, it's the Christians that are under attack from people like Sullivan and groups like the ACLU. As soon as Christians start circumcising non believers, I will start making some comparisons.
Posted at 01:11 PM
A TOWNSEL NON-CORROBORATOR [Rich Lowry]
It has been reported in the press that Kirby Jones, who worked at Burson-Marsteller (a sister company of Meldoy Townsel's direct employer), corroborates her outrageous account of being chased through the hallways by Bolton in Moscow. But that's not what he told the committee. He only says she was “uncomfortable” in Moscow--understandable because she was embroiled in a dispute at the time with her contractor IBTCI about how she had run the office in Bishkek. Here is what Jones says (I've snipped out some irrelevant bits; and excuse the length, but this stuff tends not to get reported anywhere else):
Q Are you aware of any contacts that she had with John Bolton?
Posted at 01:07 PM
WHAT A SHAME [Jonah Goldberg]
Andrew Sullivan writes:
Hatred of open and proud homosexuals is intrinsic to Islamist fundamentalism, as it is to Christian fundamentalism. The struggle against both is the same one - at home and abroad.
I'm sorry. But:
1. Even if hatred of homosexuality were intrinsic to Islamist and Christian fundamentalism, the fight against Islamic fundamentalism isn't about homosexuality. It's just not and no matter how much you care about the issue, it won't ever be.
2. Islamic fundamentalism and Christian fundamentalism aren't the same thing. They can both be "bad" but that doesn't mean they are the same. Depending on what you mean by Christian fundamentalism, I don't think it's bad. I certainly don't think it's bad if you go by Andrew's expansive use of the phrase. But even if I did, I would recognize some important differences between the two. Like: Christian fundmentalists have not constructed a grand theological construct to justify mass murder in the modern era. No followers of Jerry Falwell are suicide bombers. This is not a minor distinction. Christian fundamentalism gave birth to the Protestant reformation, individual liberty, the American nation, the modern American university, and the like. This is not a minor distinction either.
3. Writing things like this makes it nearly impossible to defend Sullivan from the charge that he lets homosexuality color his perceptions of every other argument and issue.
Addendum: It occurs to me that a charitable explanation of Sullivan's statement is that he's trying to persuade liberals -- gay or otherwise -- to understand the threat from Islamic fundamentalism in terms they can appreciate. Alas, Andrew's recent diatribes against fundamentalism don't really jibe with this interpretation. And, besides that wouldn't absolve the slander or inaccuracy.
Posted at 12:42 PM
CAN YOU SAY DAMNED IF DO, DAMNED IF YOU DON'T? [Rich Lowry]
I love this bit from the Kessler piece:
...none of those officials who angered Bolton were punished, and in fact they were often promoted, the interviews show. With the exception of the Westermann case, Bolton's complaints were directed at the officials' superiors, who either rejected Bolton's concerns or ran interference within the State Department.If Bolton had actually gotten any of these people re-assigned we would never hear the end of it and it would be evidence of just what a freakishly intimidating bully he is. But if none of them were reassigned, well, gosh, that too just shows how utterly unsuited Bolton is for the job of UN ambassador. What a joke.
Posted at 12:00 PM
BOLTON [Jonah Goldberg]
Yeah, I had the same reaction to that piece in the Post today.
It seems to me the anti-Bolton forces are in trouble. The whole essence of the serial abuser charge is the serial part. It seems like the anti-Bolton Dems can't come up with a real, clear, pattern of dubious or irresponsible behavior. If the Dems accusation were true it still wouldn't merit disqualifying him, but it would certainly be easier to prove.
Posted at 12:00 PM
CAT MAN'S WEBSITE [Jonah Goldberg ]
By the way, as a couple readers have noted, this guy says he's transforming himself into a tiger in accord with his Indian heritage. But, uh, since when are tigers indigenous to the Michigan region?
Posted at 11:56 AM
GLENN KESSLER V. DOUGLAS JEHL [Rich Lowry ]
If you want a stark demonstration of the difference between fair reporting and ax-grinding check out the difference in how the Washington Post's Glenn Kessler and the New York Times' Douglas Jehl handled the latest Bolton transcripts. The headline of the Post piece captures the spirit of Kessler's piece accurately, “Senate Staff Interviews Show More Nuanced Image of Bolton.” For instance, Jehl only quoted the seemingly damning bits from former intelligence official Alan Foley's testimony (headline: "3 Ex-Officials Describe Bullying by Bolton"). Kessler has the honesty to report the exculpatory parts, e.g. that Bolton was “complimentary” of his analysts and that the negotiation with Bolton was “normal.” The Kessler piece just might be the beginning of a turning point in the conventional wisdom over Bolton.
Posted at 11:51 AM
WHO ARE WE TO JUDGE? [Jonah Goldberg ]
It's part of who he is.
I'm sure Rich -- cat guy that he is -- would give this cat guy a job.
Looking freakishly like a tiger has gotten Dennis "Cat" Avner lots of attention. But it hasn't paid many bills.
Make sure to see the picture.
Posted at 11:21 AM
AHHHH [Jonah Goldberg]
An important clarification:
Jonah, columnists like you i.e. not you (a bugaboo of a professor of mine). Tyrants such as Rich Lowry do, in fact, have villas.
Posted at 10:52 AM
MY COUCH IS MY VILLA [Jonah Goldberg]
A good bumper sticker. From a reader:
Read more closely, youse is accused of PSYCHOLOGICAL tyranny, therefore your villa must likewise be...psychological. Therefore, logically, The Couch is your villa...
Posted at 10:42 AM
IF I'M A TYRANT, WHERE'S MY VILLA? [Jonah Goldberg ]
The Internet is the hammer and anvil with which one can shatter the shackles of psychological tyranny perpetrated by the likes of Fox, the Washington Times, and columnists like Jonah Goldberg.
Posted at 10:30 AM
BLEG [Jonah Goldberg ]
Anyone got an electronic version of Woodrow Wilson's The State handy? Copyright expired long ago so property rights aren't an issue.
Posted at 10:27 AM
ON THE ROAD AGAIN AND AGAIN [K. J. Lopez ]
Speaking of that, Derb...I’m off to D.C. in a few for…dinner in the Rose Garden. I’ll be sure to fill you in. It promises to be interesting. Then, Atlanta calls…
Posted at 10:08 AM
RUNAWAY BRIDE -- THE BOTTOM LINE [John Derbyshire]
"Jennifer Wilbanks hails from a slice of the South where 32-year-old, never-married women are either insane, in prison, or gay." ----America's Newspaper of Record http://www.nypost.com/
And where is it that we're all headed tomorrow, Kathryn?
Posted at 10:08 AM
LET'S BE ADULT [K. J. Lopez]
We posted today my syndicated column on adult stem cells. It is nfuriating how ignored this workable alternative is (multiple, really). When you get beyong the oh-so-friendly e-mails hoping anyone who opposes embryonic-stem-cell-research gets a terrible disease (my typical inbox), there are a lot of options when you look beyond embryos.
Posted at 09:56 AM
IT'S A RED THING [K. J. Lopez]
I think the joke Laura Bush told has less to do with porn invading the mainstream than it has to do with farm/ranch humor. I think if you look you'd find variants of this joke in rural humor about as far back as people milked cows.And another:
Perhaps I am very slow, but I have been telling a true story similar to this about my mother for about 57 years only she was trying to milk a steer. I even told it earlier this year at her funeral and no one ever considered it a masturbation joke. Only people who never milked a cow would think this joke off-color. The joke was that he could not tell a horse from a cow.and another:
Hi, I appreciate your thoughts on the Laura Bush jokes at the Correspondents Dinner and your willingness to avoid jumping on the prudery bandwagon. But I think you may be missing something important, which is that Laura Bush has spent most of her life in Texas, where cattle and horse jokes are not considered pornographic or even necessarily vulgar. Animal reproduction is a source of both income (I remember getting a lecture on the breeding practices of a $2 million Arabian stud at one person's farm) and amusement in red states. Farm people or people who grew up around farmers and cattlemen actually seem more comfortable with sexuality because they are around it so much and even rely on it for income.and another:
K-Lo — Farm humor is not coarsening; nor is it appreciated by the coastal elites, most of whom have never been nearer a farm than the Shuckey’s on the Interstate exit. Farm humor isn’t about sex, it’s about life... and life on the farm is far removed from inside the Beltway sensibilities. Between the two, I’ll take the farm as far more sensible. --
Posted at 09:38 AM
LAURA & KINGPIN [Jonah Goldberg]
A reader asks:
Is it really that big a deal that Laura Bush loves the part in Kingpin when Woody Harrelson is pretending to be Amish?
Posted at 09:37 AM
A RANGER WRITES: [K. J. Lopez]
One of Maj. Robert Rogers “Standing Orders” to his Rangers back in the French & Indian War was “4. Tell the truth about what you see and what you do. There is an Army depending upon us for correct information. You can lie all you please when you talk to other folks about the rangers, but don’t never lie to a Ranger or officer.”
Posted at 09:36 AM
RE: SOUTH PARK CONS [Jonah Goldberg]
With the possible exception of the bestiality humor (her husband trying to milk a boy horse) none of Laura's schtick bothered me. I thought it was all in good fun and fine. What made it funny is that she's so obviously not a raunchy babe.
However, as I said at the time, I really, really disliked the Bush Twins' similar routine at the GOP convention. I guess the differences include the distinction between insidery events (Correspondents' dinner) and outsidery events (the infomercial convention); the fact that Laura's a better joke-teller; and the fact that Bush Twins make a plausible case that they're being sincere when they're playing to type.
Posted at 09:28 AM
SOUTH PARK CONS [John Derbyshire]
I'll admit to being a South Park con. I mean, I laugh at the show, I like gross humor, I believe PC is such a horrible and oppressive thing that no amount of scorn, mockery, or insult directed at it can ever be enough.
HOWEVER, I am not happy about the First Lady cracking off-color jokes. It's a matter of compartmentalization. I like a dirty joke, and deliver a good unforced belly laugh when I hear one... in the right surroundings. Which probably means, at a bar, with a few old guy friends I'm comfortable with. If my minister were to crack that same joke from the pulpit, I'd get myself another church.
An important part of getting the hang of life is being able to move from one little "world" (colleagues, family, friends, neighbors, club,...) to another, adjusting one's behavior accordingly. It's a kind of hypocrisy; but then, as every conservative surely knows, a measured and understood hypocrisy helps hold society together. The larger social version of this is that we expect a proper demeanor from public persons, and think poorly of their judgment if they stray from conventional paths. That's one reason we were so scandalized by Bill Clinton's behavior. "It's private!" whined the Left. Not when he's in the Oval Office, it isn't.
So I think a bit less of Laura Bush now than I did this time last week. I doubt that'll lose her much sleep. Anyway, it's nothing personal -- she is plainly an awfully nice person. I just don't think so highly of her judgment.
Posted at 09:14 AM
BUSINESS PROFESSIONAL RELEASED IN GAZA [Andy McCarthy]
All a big misunderstanding. The police evidently thought the guy was a terrorist just because rockets at been launched at the Israelis, the guy shot at the police from his car when they tried to stop him, and the car was found to contain a rocket launcher when they finally arrested him. Luckily, the Egyptians intervened and helpfully explained that the guy was one of those business professionals from Hamas. [See here.] So, he's been released by PA leader Mahmoud Abbas (who promised last week to confront terror with an "iron fist") -- but only after a FULL DAY in detention.
Meanwhile, and I'm not makin' this up, AP reports that PA Interior Ministry spokesman Tawfik Abu Khoussa issued an official statement asserting that "it was 'completely unacceptable' to have Hamas members touring with a rocket launcher." Good to get that cleared up.
By the way, we give the Egyptians a couple of billion a year in foreign aid. If you do what they did here in, say, Chicago, you get indicted for material support to terrorism. If you do it in Cairo, you're one of our staunch allies in the "war on terror" -- making your vital contribution to Middle East peace. Whatever.
Posted at 08:41 AM
UNZIP THIS [John Derbyshire]
Since Jonah (not me! not me!) has introduced the topic of Banach spaces into The Corner, I feel justified in venturing a sally into mathematical humor. Hold on to your desk, now, this is a killer.
Q: What's linear, complete, normed, and yellow?
A: A Bananach space.
Posted at 08:39 AM
FREE NRD [Jack Fowler]
Go here, scroll down, and click on “SEE A FREE SAMPLE OF NRD”--and you’ll be taken on a magic ride to the digital versions (Image, PDF, and Text formats) of the April 11, 2005 issue of NR. Dig in! Prepare to be very impressed. And count on asking yourself “Why oh why haven’t I subscribed yet to National Review Digital?”--then answering, “I don’t know why, but I’m going to start my NRD subscription right now.”
Posted at 08:33 AM
SMUT [K. J. Lopez ]
Kids should not dress like sluts. Just felt the need to weigh in on this cheerleader thing given my Laura Bush position. I’m still in the realistic prude category. No child of mine is walking out of the house looking like Paris Hilton. And Ivory would be administered after a horse joke. Which is where I want all America to be.
Posted at 08:24 AM
RE: THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT LAURA [K. J. Lopez]
The one more Malkin-like thing I will say is that, perhaps, the fact that a First Lady would make such jokes (strippers, etc.) is but one of a zillion worse signs that Gil Reveal is right. In his book, Smut, he says that porn has invaded the mainstream. Laura Bush horsing around might be just a tiny sliver of that. But his book is full of examples that bother me much more.
Posted at 08:23 AM
RE: SOUTHPARKCONS [K. J. Lopez ]
Michelle also makes some points about Brian Anderson’s new book on “Southpark Conservatism.” I’ve been meaning for days now to write on his book. I like Brian a lot but am not totally on board with his take on the lay of the land vis-à-vis new media and things. Anyway, hate to just say that without backing it up, but I will say more in coming days.
Posted at 08:23 AM
THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT LAURA [K. J. Lopez ]
It is really rare that I disagree with Michelle Malkin, but Michelle writes today: “The First Lady resorting to horse masturbation jokes is not much better than Whoopi Goldberg trafficking in dumb puns on the Bush family name. It was wholly unnecessary.” Yes, unnecessary, but the Whoopi stuff was just forthrightly crass. (And, I might add, I believe that was the night the Kerry campaign and Hollywood claimed to represent America in all their crassness. Laura Bush best represented Americans Saturday night in her ode to her man and family at the end of her schtick, when she got real.) On Saturday night, I ran into more than one person who hadn’t even gotten the horse thing when it was delivered. Maybe there was just enough subtlety that she saved the office of the First Lady from ill repute.
Don’t get me wrong, as I’ve said, I would have totally avoiding the horsing myself. Like Michelle, I tend to be a G-Rated conservative--unless I’m writing about topics that would require an R if on the silver screen (say, a partial-birth abortion). And while I totally get South Park humor, the 4th-grade-boy kinda stuff I could generally do without. (My teen love (still one to many a “desperate housewife,” Simon Le Bon, didn’t charm me with his burping and fart jokes in Duran Duran’s Rolling Stone interview this week.) But that we’re even talking about this White House Correspondents Dinner stuff on Wednesday, about a silly dinner where professional adults gush over celebs—some 15-minute specials, I might add (no offense, American Idol contestants/last year, Apprentice losers)--seems silly. As I’ve told people in the last few days who’ve asked, we choose our battles, and this I, at least, don’t have the energy to get worked up over.
But, remember, I’m the one who thinks Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo is a conservative movie—and on marriage and family kinda levels. Never let the kids watch it, but for the big kids, it’s just fine and funny and clever in silly ways.
Yes, I worry about the coarsening of our culture, but I don’t really think that a White House where people don’t swear is contributing to it much. And I don’t think that’s me trying to be hip.
Posted at 08:21 AM
RE: PRESSURE [K. J. Lopez ]
When I was in school, the sisters wanted me to sign up for the nunnery. Opus Dei was a little too interested, too. Look, I have no idea what’s going on at the Air Force Academy, and I admit I roll my eyes instantly when I hear Americans United for Separation of Church and State is on the scene…but: It kinda worries me that Air Force cadets might not be able to handle a little of that kind of pressure. It’s a public school, of course, and no one should be forced to convert, but prayers, etc., don’t get me bent out of shape.
Posted at 08:12 AM
"THE PLACE IS BEING HELD HOSTAGE IN A VISE GRIP BY EVANGELICAL CHRISTIANS, AND PEOPLE ARE TERRIFIED TO COME FORWARD" [K. J. Lopez ]
Jeepers. Those evangelicals sound like a vicious lot. Color me skeptical that the Air Force Academy is under an evangelical tyranny.
Posted at 08:10 AM
THE TRUTH, ALWAYS [K. J. Lopez ]
Do they really need to know it was friendly fire? I can understand a human temptation to want to water down the truth, say when reporting a death to a family. But the military is not new to this business and should know better than to cover up such things, as was evidently done in the case of Pat Tillman. That he died as he did does not take away from the fact that he was a self-sacrificing hero, like so many others who serve the United States. And as for his family: He died. That’s the most hurtful fact. The rest are just details. As for the public, the military should be playing it straight. Those putting their lives on the line deserve that.
Posted at 08:09 AM
GOOD MORNING, IRAQ [K. J. Lopez ]
Iraq has a democratically elected government. That’s—not to point out the obvious—huge. The New York Times, however, focuses on empty chairs.
Posted at 08:03 AM
BEHOLD [Jonah Goldberg ]
The caterer of the Atlanta fundraiser. No one can leave without finishing at least one burger.
Nod to Drudge.
Posted at 07:57 AM
PEARLSTEIN'S POUNDING [Tim Graham]
Wow, fairly liberal Washington Post column Steven Pearlstein (appearing in the Business section) unloads on the Democrats for not appearing to have much of a strategy besides obstruction.
Posted at 07:57 AM
FREEDOM OF CHOICE [Stanley Kurtz]
Here’s a short article on Social Security that I think pretty fairly and clearly presents the claims of both sides–and the choices we face.
Posted at 07:52 AM
"PROBLEM" [Stanley Kurtz]
The thing I like about this piece in Slate is what Brad DeLong says at the start: “As everyone knows, Social Security has a problem...” Really? I pointed out a couple days ago that liberal bloggers don’t know this–or at least don’t admit to knowing it. On the contrary, liberal bloggers have been busy making “the principled case for doing nothing.” But since DeLong admits there’s a problem, his complaints about the president’s plan obligate him to come up with an alternative.
When they’re not pretending that Social Security has no problem, Democrats now echo DeLong’s complaint that the president’s plan threatens long-term public support for Social Security. Dems are afraid that once we openly change Social Security into a welfare program, voters will turn against it. Some say Social Security’s been a welfare program disguised as an insurance policy all along. Either way you see it, if you don’t want progressive indexing, you can’t keep Social Security as it is without raising taxes. It’s easy (and true) to say that Democrats are afraid to openly and honestly call for a tax increase. But the deeper point is that, even if we want to, over the long term we can’t save our entitlements by raising taxes.
In the end, the demographic facts are going to force benefit cuts, and probably a move to a more privatized entitlement system as well. In all likelihood, the welfare state as we know it is doomed. There simply aren’t enough children being born to sustain it. (See my “Demographics and the Culture War” for more. This short piece on the retirement age is also relevant.) Europe is just now waking up to the demographic facts. The Europeans are scaling back their pensions and lengthening their work week. Over here, the Dems are still in denial. George Bush’s legacy as the first president to speak the truth about our entitlements is secure. The only question is whether we’ll acknowledge his greatness sooner, rather than later. Certainly the president may fail in the short term. But the public is waking up to the reality of our entitlement dilemma, and the Democrats are beginning to sense the political trap they may already have fallen into. Clever and courageous as he’s been, in the end it wasn’t the president, or even Karl Rove, who pulled the Democrats into that trap. For good or for ill, it’s the new kind of family life we’ve been living for the past forty years that’s forced all of us into this dilemma.
Posted at 07:51 AM
TIMEWASTER TIME [Jonah Goldberg]
Now that I posted all of that meaty substance stuff, let me feel guilt free in ruining the productivity of many of your work days. Vintage arcade games. I know there are many sites with such games, but I find most of them to be buggy and slow (maybe because I'm a Mac guy, maybe because my standards for such things are so high). This one works great, at least for me. I just wish they had Defender.
Posted at 07:47 AM
"WHEN COLUMNISTS CRY JIHAD" [Jonah Goldberg]
A former Timesmen -- and the Times' only evangelical reporter -- throws some cold water on the imagined flames of inquisition. Personally, I think he's too generous in his praise, but maybe the flattery will help Dowd & Co. to take it to heart.
Posted at 07:44 AM
ENOUGH STUDY [Jonah Goldberg]
More airborne-laser volcano-lancing. From Nature:
Posted at 07:37 AM
TEXT OF ZARQAWI LETTER [Jonah Goldberg]
Remember that letter to Zarqawi I mentioned yesterday? Here's a big chunk of the text. Basically some of the Jihadis are feeling picked-on.
Posted at 07:34 AM
OLIN FOUNDATION FADING AWAY [Jonah Goldberg]
A great institution is winding down. Fortunately, there's still time for them to buy that NR Jet! (Or get the Goldbergs off government cheese!" -- The Couch)
Posted at 07:29 AM
BIG ATTACK IN IRAQ [Jonah Goldberg ]
State-owned TV in Iraq and Al-Arabiya television gave even higher casualty figures, saying 60 were killed and as many as 150 wounded.
At least seven cars parked near the center were destroyed by the blast in Irbil, a Kurdish city 220 miles north of Baghdad. Several nearby buildings were damaged.
Posted at 07:24 AM
CISNEROS/BARRETT UPDATE [Byron York]
Word late tonight is that House and Senate conferees have dropped a Democratic attempt to de-fund independent counsel David Barrett. Barrett is the independent counsel chosen to investigate former Clinton administration housing secretary Henry Cisneros. In 1999, Cisneros pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor after he was accused of lying to the FBI about payments he made to a former girlfriend. During the investigation, Barrett is said to have uncovered evidence that some Internal Revenue Service officials used their position to protect Cisneros. Barrett's final report is said to be a revealing look at the IRS's actions. In light of that, some Senate Democrats, including Byron Dorgan and John Kerry, tried to kill the Barrett report by immediately cutting off funds to his office, which would make it impossible for Barrett to publish his findings. But tonight, that attempt has been defeated, and it is likely that the Barrett report will be made public, perhaps as soon as next month.
Posted at 01:20 AM
Tuesday, May 03, 2005
THE SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Here's a story that once again brings up the question: Exactly why do we need it?
Posted at 11:01 PM
"GIRL, 13, GETS ABORTION, BUT NO TV FOR A WEEK" [K. J. Lopez]
Posted at 06:00 PM
HOW DID I LIVE BEFORE THE CORNER? [Warren Bell]
Anyone in need of hard statistical proof of the influence on my life of this particular zipcode in the blogosphere need look no further than my copy of iTunes on my computer. The program keeps track of the number of times you play any given song, both on the computer and your iPod. My number one, checking in with 52 separate plays, "Dragosta din Tea."
And just for K-Lo, I listened to "The Reflex" five times.
Posted at 05:59 PM
THAT HERBERT PIECE [Rich Lowry]
Here’s more casting doubt on it, by someone who was present at the prison riot:(Hat tip to Blackfive)
Posted at 05:58 PM
'68 [Jonah Goldberg]
From a historian:
Posted at 05:10 PM
NUMA NUMA ON IDOL [Jonah Goldberg ]
This one's for Derb.
Posted at 05:03 PM
HYBRID CARS AND OTHER THINGS [K. J. Lopez]
Click on our ads--see the mysterious hybrid one to the right, down a little and all the rest. Clicking on helps NRO. Actually, while we're in Atlanta Thursday, you might want to keep clicking in lieu of Jonah's timewasters.
Posted at 04:54 PM
RE: TV [Stanley Kurtz]
Looks like my appearance on O'Reilly tonight to talk about Dominionist conspiracy theory has been pushed back to another day. I'll post the reschedule date when I've got it.
Posted at 04:31 PM
THE FORTAS FILIBUSTER "LIE" [Jonathan H. Adler]
Pejman and Patterico take apart David Greenberg's LA Times op-ed alleging the filibuster of Chief Justice nominee Abe Fortas is ample precedent for the current filibusters of appellate nominees. Bottom-line: There were serious claims of ethical improprieties against Fortas and he lacked majority support in the Senate.
Posted at 04:30 PM
YET MORE FOLEY [Rich Lowry ]
Jehl also makes a big deal of a member of Bolton's staff (Fred Fleitz) telling Foley that Bolton wanted Fulton Armstrong fired and Fulton “being jarred” by this. Now, my understanding of the controversy is that there were probably perfectly legitimate reasons to want to fire him. But let's just say that this was an unjustified vendetta. It wasn't pursued very energetically by Foley's account. He said Bolton never mentioned it to him and he recalls Fleitz only mentioning it once. Here is how he describes it:
Q:Do you remember exactly when Fred said, "Oh, and under Secretary Bolton wants this guy fired," but did he say specifically for what cause or --
Posted at 04:29 PM
VIETNAM -- ANOTHER BOOMER VIEW [Jonah Goldberg]
I don't entirely agree with the sentiment here, but it's probably not so objectionable to me as it is to folks like Mitchell:
I have to say it's not just liberal Boomers who see Vietnam in every war. Whenever we see commie rat bastards marching for "peace," some of us still have the instinct to punch their lights out.
Posted at 04:26 PM
MORE FOLEY [Rich Lowry]
Is Bolton an outrageous bully of intelligence analysts? Check out this exchange:
Q: Did he ever complain about any of your analysts?
Posted at 04:14 PM
FOLEY GOT JEHL-ED [Rich Lowry]
Here is one of the passages from former intelligence official Alan Foley's testimony that Doug Jehl portrayed as damning to Bolton in his New York Times piece today. This doesn't sound outrageous to me, particularly when you realize that interpreting intelligence is an uncertain business and that policymakers SHOULD be probing intelligence analysts about their data and assumptions (my apologies for the long post):
Q: Well, do you -- let's step back for a second. You don't necessarily remember the specifics of the testimony that Ed's mentioned, but do you remember occasions when there were problems with Bolton's office, and that your analyst involved you in trying to resolve it?
Posted at 04:12 PM
TIMEWASTER [Jonah Goldberg ]
Guess the Google.
Posted at 04:08 PM
IS ANYONE [K. J. Lopez]
remotely interested in the future of American Idol? Yeah, me neither.
No, strike that. I do--a world without being stuck listening to Clay Aiken or Kelly Clarkson at inaugurals, Christmas tree lightings, etc...that I could deal with.
Posted at 03:58 PM
HEY [K. J. Lopez]
I linked to Dilbert earlier suggesting the cartoon was channelling The Corner and totally forgot Dil's the same syndicate as K-Lo. Now I know I was right. I mean, we're colleagues.
Posted at 03:56 PM
RE: ME, MITCHELL ETC. [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
To that editor guy. Oh btw, very nice meeting you at the Dubliner, you were just like I picture you from your work, except you were a BIG guy. You have noted your west side Judaism so much I had Woody Allen with your face in mind. I was, uh, wrong.
Posted at 03:55 PM
RE: BOOMER IDIOTS [Jonah Goldberg]
Thanks Rick. Just to be fair, I'm not exactly fulsome with praise for the so-called Gen Xers either. Also, Mitchell might like to know that the Mexican-American war was so unpopular that the Mexican Army was able to field units comprised entirely of American deserters.
Posted at 03:53 PM
BOOMER IDIOTS [Rick Brookhiser]
Jonah, I am a baby boomer, and shouldn't slag my generation, but most of us really know nothing before Howdy Doody. Your friend Mitchell has never heard of the Hartford Convention, or the Draft Riots (not even when Leonardo di Caprio played in them).
Posted at 03:45 PM
DERB, [K. J. Lopez]
there's money out there for you in Hollywood.
Posted at 03:40 PM
RE: WHO KNEW? [K. J. Lopez]
Jonah, it would be news if he weren't huge. And I know you wanted a talking car when you were in high school, so don't try fixing your image now.
Posted at 03:32 PM
GANNONGATE [Byron York]
In its upcoming issue, Vanity Fair has done an investigation into the current cause of the kooky left, the case of disgraced White House reporter Jeff Gannon/James Guckert. And reporters David Margolick and Richard Gooding have uncovered...nothing. No White House wrongdoing. No secret plotting or illicit Gannon affairs with White House staffers. No Karl-Rove-master-plan-to-undermine-democracy hijinks. Nothing. "As time passed, Gannon came to seem, to at least some of the [left-wing] bloggers, as more like a freelance zealot than the linchpin of some much larger conspiracy," Margolick and Gooding write. "They now admit that for them Gannon emerged as less a target in and of himself and more of an instrument for venting rage and for building what Gardner and Keeler [two zealous posters on the far-left DailyKos website] have incorporated as 'ePluribus Media,' an Internet-based freelance investigative unit." The investigating is far more important than the venting, because Gardner, Keeler and others are the Left's pajamahadeen, smart and highly motivated, even if they had nothing of significance to probe in the Gannon matter.
Posted at 03:25 PM
WHO KNEW? [Jonah Goldberg ]
David Hasselhoff is huge in India.
Posted at 03:11 PM
SOL TAX [Jonah Goldberg]
Okay, first of all, the Sol Tax puns are flying in and all I want to do is duck. But I will suggest that should aliens who come here to steal our sun's energy turn out to be Democrats, they would merely call it the Sol Tax.
Anyway, a reader responds to the other reader:
Posted at 03:08 PM
FINALLY! [Jonah Goldberg]
Create your own moss graffiti.
Posted at 02:53 PM
RE: SOL TAX [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
"Someone named Sol Tax"
Posted at 02:52 PM
SO... [Jonah Goldberg]
This is why I keep sticking a fork into the toaster. Email (allegedly) more damaging to IQ than pot.
Posted at 02:50 PM
PART IV [Jonah Goldberg]
And then Mitchell starts with what he sees as the most obvious similarity between Vietnam and Iraq:
Let’s start with: the nation’s leaders lying to the American people to gain our involvement in the two wars. Don't take my word for it. Gallup found this week that half of all Americans now say that President Bush deliberately misled them on WMDs.
Um. That’s his evidence? A poll? The number could be 100% of Americans and it wouldn’t count as proof – in a court of law or with a fair editor -- that Bush “lied” (neither, alas, would Mr. Mitchell’s “word” that it is so). Indeed, the polling question is whether or not America was “misled” not if it was lied to. Readers around here understand that the distinction is significant. Readers probably also understand that if the polls overwhelmingly said Bush told the truth, Mitchell wouldn’t bother with polls.
Beyond all this, I’m not sure it’s worth going after Mitchell much more. The rest of his vein-popping tirade has nothing to do with me. He goes off on “Goldberg types” and ascribes to me by association things I have never said. He again cites polls as proof of … something or other.
The spittle really flies when he offers a list of alleged similarities between the two wars which amount to little more than question-begging or listing things he didn’t like about both wars side-by-side. I’m sure the people he “knows” talk about the similarities of destroying Fallujah and destroying Vietnamese cities all the time. But it’s not a point that comes up in the press that much.
Mitchell seems to operate under the assumption that only lefties of his age and anti-war demeanor can speak intelligently – or righteously – about Vietnam War (if that’s the case maybe he should read Christopher Hitchens on the subject).
This was largely my point about liberal babyboomers being incapable of looking at the world without seeing Vietnam. I think he proves my point.
Posted at 02:27 PM
PART III [Jonah Goldberg]
Then he writes:
Does Mitchell think I made this up? He offers no evidence to the contrary to disprove my assertion he simply makes fun of it like so many smug lefty boomers do when they hear something they don’t want to be true. For the record, I talked to and/or corresponded with a half-dozen military experts and vets I respect when I wrote the piece (including my longtime military guy, Donovan.Here is an except from one retired infantry Colonel:
“Vietnam was a state vs. state war. The United States and South Vietnam vs. North Vietnam and its Communist backers. The pure insurgency was over by 1965. After that it was a conventional war with U.S. forces fighting Main Force VC and NVA units. By 1970, main force VC units had ceased to exist except in name (they were manned by NVA soldiers and units), and the NVA was unable to operate in force inside South Vietnam. This changed as the US withdrawal accelerated in 1971. NVA units began to move back into S. Vietnam and take on S. Vietnamese units. They were still beaten back by a combination of S. Vietnamese forces and U.S. Airpower. The North Vietnamese finally succeeded with a massive conventional force attack after the U.S. had totally withdrawn all combat forces. (See McMaster, Dereliction of Duty; Sorley, A Better War.)”
Until Mitchell can offer an actual argument to counter the above, I’ll stand by what I wrote.
Then Mitchell continues:
With that taken care of, Goldberg described the ways that Iraq is "completely different from Vietnam in almost every major respect." He mentioned the differences between a “jungle war” and a “desert war.” Also, “the technologies” are “incomparable.” And let’s not forget: the “terrain,” the “ideologies,” not to mention “the cultures.” The Cold War vs. The War on Terror. The casualty rates.
Oh… I see. The refutation lies in a quick survey of the people Mitchell knows. How silly of me.
Posted at 02:27 PM
ME VS. MITCHELL PT II [Jonah Goldberg]
Anyway, let’s run through a few points.
Attempting to bolster this argument, Goldberg charged the boomers aren’t even in touch with the facts: namely, the Vietnam war wasn’t among the most unpopular in our history. His one piece of evidence: someone named Sol Tax of the University of Chicago who apparently claimed, in a 1968 study, that Vietnam ranked as only "the fourth or seventh least-popular war in American history.”
The complaint about imprecision is fair enough. It stems from the fact that Sol Tax’s study measured some wars which might not count to some, including some Indian wars and the Civil War.
There’s obviously other evidence to bolster my point, I just thought the Tax point was interesting. But if Mitchell needs more, he might have read more closely. I did mention that “large numbers of young people support[ed] the war.” This was not a throwaway line. Young Americans who didn’t attend college were often the wars strongest supporters according to Gallup. A majority of them supported the war in the late 1960s. I picked 1968 for the simple reason that this was when the study was conducted. I wish it had been updated in 1975, but I couldn’t find it. If Mitchell can stop for a moment patting himself on the back for the great accomplishment of simply existing during the war, he might recognize that 1968 was pretty significant year, what with the Chicago convention and the repercussions of LBJ’s decision not to run for President. But yeah, I’m sure he remembers the war as super-popular in ’68.
Posted at 02:27 PM
ME VS. MITCHELL I [Jonah Goldberg]
Okay, sorry, I had to get something else done.
Now, as for this Greg Mitchell guy and his criticism of my USA Today piece, I’m going to take a little room to deal with him. Although it’s probably dumb for a syndicated columnist and would-be author to beat up on the editor of the leading trade rag. But, what the heck.
First, let me say I think E&P is a good publication which has been stacked up in piles around my parents' house since before I was born.
Second, let me say I think Greg Mitchell is playing to type. He sounds almost exactly like the sort of smug liberal babyboomer I had in mind when I wrote the piece. But, then again, what do I know?
Posted at 02:27 PM
RE: BLUE SLIPS [Andy McCarthy]
I was unclear in my last post, apologies. What I mean by "killing in committee" is the shenanigans of letting the nomination die by not moving it for a hearing or a vote. I'm not saying the Judiciary Committee shouldn't be able to vote down a nominee and effectively kill a nomination fair and square that way. As Mark Levin has pointed out, the full Senate maintains an ability to correct a rare injustice by the Judiciary Committee by considering those nominations on the floor.
Posted at 01:36 PM
I SUSPECT [K. J. Lopez]
that more than a few Corner readers could put this to good use: news-junkie drinking games.
Posted at 01:34 PM
RE: AL GORE'S WEBBY [K. J. Lopez]
A reader reminds me of this.
Posted at 01:18 PM
JONAH, HOW ABOUT TIGHTENING THIS ONE'S SHACKLES, AS A BIRTHDAY GIFT FROM NRO? [K. J. Lopez]
According to Palestinian Media Watch, this birthday wish appeared in the official Palestinian Authority daily newspaper, Al Hayat Al Jadida:
Blessings to the leader of the masses, Saddam Hussein the faithful, the legal President of the Iraqi Republic on the occasion of his 68th birthday.
Posted at 12:58 PM
DOUGLAS JEHL [Rich Lowry ]
He really should be made an honorary member of the Democratic staff of the Senate foreign relations committee. In the New York Times this morning, he again relies on Democratic leaks to provide a stilted portrayal of the allegations against Bolton. He leaves out that Alan Foley, the former head of the CIA's weapons proliferation center, was asked if Bolton--in one of the key allegations against him--had attempted to bypass intelligence officer Fulton Armstrong when getting approval of his Cuba BW speech at the Heritage Foundation. Foley said Bolton didn't try to by-pass anyone--and Foley never would have argued to such a request. Foley was asked if Bolton had a problem with any of his analysts. He said, on the contrary, Bolton was complimentary of his intelligence analysts, worked well with them, and was interested in what they had to say. He went on to say that the back and forth between Bolton's office and his office was “normal.” But you can't rely on Doug Jehl to report on these kind of things--it's only all the news that fits to hurt the nomination of John Bolton.
Posted at 12:56 PM
RE: WHOA WHOA [K. J. Lopez]
We're really going back to our regularly scheduled programming now. Filibusters anyone? More Iraq?
I will point out, howeever, that this thread began as pure politics. Blame Andy Taylor. Blame Rolling Stone. Don't blame K-Lo.
Posted at 12:40 PM
GOOD NEWS [Jonah Goldberg ]
Zarqawi (allegedly) complains that morale is low. Better news would be if he complained that his leg shackles were too tight. But we'll take what we can get. Whoops! The letter is (allegedly) to Zarqawi not from him. Sorry. Perils of fast reading when on deadline.
Posted at 12:37 PM
WHOA WHOA WHOA [Jonah Goldberg]
Not since the Borgia Popes has their been a wider chasm between principle and practice than what we've seen on display in the Corner today. Kathryn posts pictures from a Duran Duran concert -- a recent Duran Duran concert at that. And I'm supposed to take seriously her fatwas against Star Trek mentions? Indeed, her strategic reference to Star Trek is proof that she is the Corner equivalent of an Indulgence peddler.
Hello Pot, this is Kettle, you're black!
Posted at 12:32 PM
YOU DO KNOW THAT THERE ARE ACTUALLY TREKKIE WEBSITES OUT THERE, RIGHT? [K. J. Lopez]
WELL, YOU LINKED TO A PIECE WHICH HAMMERED S.T. SOMEHOW THAT DOESN'T COUNT FOR ME.
Posted at 12:27 PM
JUSTICE BROWN [Jonathan H. Adler]
The Volokh Conspiracy's David Bernstein thinks some of the attacks against Justice Janice Rogers Brown are unfair. He explains why here.
Posted at 12:21 PM
"AMAZING" [K. J. Lopez]
ORCHARD PARK, New York (AP) -- Ten years after a firefighter was left brain-damaged and mostly mute during a 1995 roof collapse, he did something that shocked his family and doctors: He perked up...
...Staff members at the nursing facility recognized the change in Herbert, Manka said, when they heard him speaking and "making specific requests."
Posted at 12:18 PM
DD [K. J. Lopez]
By the way: Thanks to the Corner reader who sent these, from their recent Boston concert:
I was sent more, but really, I'm not pushing your DD tolerance limits here.
But if you feel I am, remember I did link to a ST piece.
Posted at 12:16 PM
RE: CHILD ON CHILD TRAGEDY [Peter Kirsanow]
Many questions and comments about this story, but the first ones are, just why was this girl in state "custody" for four years and how can the state defend such custody when its ward winds up seeking an abortion at age 13? Her previous circumstances may have merited taking her into custody but the result strongly suggests doing so was not an improvement.
Posted at 12:05 PM
MORE DD POLITICS [K. J. Lopez ]
Still from Rolling Stone:
Andy [Taylor] goes off on a fifteen-minute rant about the U.S. government, apropos of nothing, "I tell you, they're going to change the American Constitution to let an Austrian Nazi who's admitted using steroids become president," he says…"Now back to the regular Corner Arena background music…(actually, that's not a half-bad idea…)
Posted at 11:55 AM
DO YOU REALLY WANT TO HURT ME? [K. J. Lopez ]
From the May 5 issue of Rolling Stone: "We hadn't traveled anywhere outside of Europe when we first came here, but we had still been more places than George Bush had when he became president," says [Nick] Rhodes."
Yes, that's Duran Duran's Nick Rhodes. Durranies knew he was left (and then there is Simon Le Bon, who needlessly and lamely knocked Bush at a D.C. area concert last month), but…hush up.
Posted at 11:55 AM
RE: BLUE SLIPS [Andy McCarthy]
Many thanks, Jon, for additional clarity on blue slips. I guess I'm less concerned about hypocrisy charges than you are, although I acknowledge that they surely don't help. We only get so many historical opportunities to fix something important that is not working well, and what's in front of us now is a chance to overhaul the nominations process so it works as it's supposed to, with the nominees getting up-or-down votes (whether they are nominated by a Republican or a Democratic president), and the system having the kind of transparency and accountability that it ought to have.
I don't think it would be a good idea to institutionalize a rule you and I both agree is not desirable, even it were done as part of an admirable olive branch that concedes, as we should concede, that our side has not always been exemplary. Going forward, I think a lot of things are going to have to change -- including nominations getting killed in committee, something both parties have engaged in. Those sins are not in the same league as the systematic filibuster of the last several years, but they are bad and we ought to get rid of all of them. I agree with you that everyone ought to get an up-or-down vote, and I think for public consumption that it's a clear, understandable position that has the virtue of being right.
Posted at 11:42 AM
CHILD ON CHILD TRAGEDY, STATE SANCTIONED [K. J. Lopez]
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) - A judge has ruled that a 13-year-old girl at the center of an abortion fight with the state may terminate her pregnancy.Yes, women, nevermind 13-year-old girls are never harmed by abortion.
Posted at 11:41 AM
IF YOU PULL THAT TRIGGER [K. J. Lopez]
you'll be spared some of the thursday dead moments in The Corner I'm anticipating Thursday, since, well, most of us will be in Atlanta hangingin out with, hopefully, you...
Posted at 11:36 AM
READ THIS [Kevin Longstreet, Department of Suits]
We have one spot left for our Atlanta shindig. I know someone out there is itching to pull the trigger. Go for it.
Posted at 11:34 AM
HMMMM [Jonah Goldberg ]
I'm no scientist, but this sounds like pretty bad science to me. According to a new study, women who report experiencing discrimination more are more likely to have hardened arteries:
This research, which used a subset of the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN) Heart study, examined the relationship between chronic exposure to discrimination and subclinical outcomes such as coronary artery calcification. Such calcification is believed to be a measure of overall atherosclerotic plaque burden, with some studies finding that arterial calcification is predictive of clinical events such as heart attack.
Me: This just smells bogus to me. I'm not saying there isn't real discrimination out there, but isn't it possible that women who tend to feel discriminated against and let it bother them are going to be the kind of women who are going to feel more stressed generally? And isn't stress bad for you? My understanding was that people in foul moods who constantly find fault with the world as they find it were likely to have worse health than people who knew how to relax and go with the flow. This doesn't mean people should ignore bigotry for the sake of their health, but it seems to me this study is counting angry people and then identifying a single cause for their anger. It would be interesting to know if they asked subjects about some non-racial grievances as well. Like: how often do you get parking tickets unfairly?
It'd also be nice to know how this plays out over time. Discrimination has indisputably gone down over the last century. Was there a corresponding drop in heart disease? Etc.
Anyway, something tells me this study will be celebrated by trial lawyers.
Posted at 11:29 AM
R.I.P. [Rick Brookhiser]
It was very gracious of Kathryn to link to a topic she detests (Star Trek R.I.P.) The post reminded me of Mark Twain's famous critique of James Fennimore Cooper--it's all true, and none of it matters.
Dyspeptic critics, and genre specialists, have a way of forgetting what literature is about.
Posted at 11:26 AM
OUR FATHER? [K. J. Lopez]
From a press release:
Setting the record straight on one of recent history's most persistent political myths, The Webby Awards, hailed as "the online Oscars" by Time, announced today that it will present former Vice President Al Gore with The Webby Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of the pivotal role he has played in the development of the internet over the past three decades.Just to play along, someone should ask him how he feels about being the reason we're doing what we do today.
Posted at 11:22 AM
DLIBERT IS ON THE CORNER TODAY [K. J. Lopez]
Posted at 11:21 AM
MILESTONE, IRAQ [K. J. Lopez]
Veteran Kurdish leader Jalal Talabani was sworn in as Iraq's president Thursday, becoming the first non-Arab president of an Arab country and Iraq's first democratically elected president in more than 50 years.
Posted at 11:20 AM
RE: RACE, SEX & ROE [K. J. Lopez]
Tell ya what, the exchange this a.m. in The Corner between those two guys distills the entire judiciary/filibuster/Roe debate down to it's essence.
Posted at 11:02 AM
RADIO [Andy McCarthy]
I'm scheduled to be on Linda Chavez's nationally syndicated radio program at 415pm today. Steve Malzberg will be guest-hosting in place of Linda. Topic is my recent NRO articles on the global terror statistics released by the State Department and the NCTC.
Posted at 10:44 AM
RE: RACE, SEX & ROE [Peter Kirsanow]
I agree with Andy's Corner comments regarding Roe. Competing positions on Roe also represent competing judicial philosophies (most easily crystallized in the differences, say, between an Antonin Scalia and a Ruth (International Law) Ginsburg) that animate the judge wars between the parties. That said, however, (and to stretch metaphors to their maximum tolerances) within such wars abortion equates to a Battle of the Bulge, Operation Cobra, Inchon, etc---a pivotal engagement that dictates the direction of the remainder of the war, if not it's outcome. Moreover, within the Left's broader Roe philosophy (replete with penumbras emanations, etc. that are used to justify, as Justice Thomas put it, "the faddish notions of the cognoscenti" ) , nothing marshals their troops like the defense of abortion. It is the most vivid example of the demarcation between " Living, Breathing Constitution" types and " Inanimate Textualist (or Originalist)" types.
Posted at 10:42 AM
BLUE SLIPS [Jonathan H. Adler]
Andy, your correspondent has it exactly right. As traditionally used, senators from the state in which a given appellate judge would sit could block a nomination by returning a negative blue slip or refusing to return a blue slip at all. This is how both Republican and Democratic senators blocked various nominees to the Fourth Circuit who would have sat in North Carolina and nominees to the Sixth Circuit who would have sat in Michigan. It worked because the seats each Circuit are traditionally divided among the states within the Circuit. In the Sixth Circuit, for example, there are four "Michigan seats," all of which are now vacant.
I'm not a big blue slip fan; I like the principle that every Presidential nominee to federal courts and executive agencies should get an up-or-down vote. The reason I am attracted to this idea, however, is that it eliminates the Democratic charge that the GOP keeps changing the rules on judicial nominations -- a charge that actually has some validity. When Republicans took the Senate after the 1994 election, Senator Hatch enforced the blue slip rule fairly strictly. Yet when President Bush was elected, Hatch announced he was loosening the blue slip rule. Now, Republicans are observing the traditional rule sporadically, if at all. This allows the Democrats to chrage -- correctly -- that they are being denied some of the traditional means of slowing down or blocking judicial nominees. Again, even though I'd like to see the blue slip disappear completely (at least for appellate nominees), the way Republicans have gone about phasing it out is open to charges of hypocrisy and opportunism.
So, what I am suggesting is that Republicans commit to observing the blue slip requirement for Bush's nominees. This would mean that Dems could block nominees who would sit in states with one or more Democratic Senators, but it would also mean that most of the currently stalled nominees would go through, and Bush's confirmation rate for appellate judges would match that for prior Presidents.
Posted at 10:36 AM
TV [Stanley Kurtz]
Tonight I'm scheduled to be on the Bill O'Reilly show to talk about Dominionist conspiracy theory.
Posted at 10:33 AM
DOMINIONISM [Stanley Kurtz]
Chris Hedges, author of the Harper’s Magazine cover story I talked about in “Scary Stuff," appeared recently on “On Point,” a radio show out of Boston’s public radio station WBUR. You can listen to the interview here. The fundamental problem with Hedges’ approach was on display throughout. Hedges calls any conservative Christian with an interest in political action a “Dominionist.” This bogus move allows Hedges to connect all the wild dystopian fantasies of true Dominionists (e.g. capital punishment for moral crimes, the overthrow of the constitution and its replacement by a theocracy) with any Christian who supports the appointment of conservative judges. This radio show invited an actual Dominionist on the program, who promptly gummed up the works for Hedges by disavowing any connection with the activities of mainstream evangelicals. Hedges spent the rest of the program trying to explain why this sort of doctrinal difference really doesn’t matter–why all conservative Christians are in fact “Dominionists.” And as Hedges kept trying to tar mainstream evangelicals with the Dominionist label, he continued to link them to the plans of Dominionists in the proper sense–like the idea of execution moral criminals. I’d say this was the worst sort of guilt by association, but it’s almost crazier than that. After all, real Dominionists seem to disavow any association with mainstream evangelicals.
Posted at 10:32 AM
RACE, SEX & ROE [Andy McCarthy]
I agree with a lot of Peter Kirsanow's piece this morning, with a caveat. Both he and John Leo peg Roe too narrowly. It's not simply about abortion -- although that's a huge part of it. As I have argued here before, it is about the whole philosophy of Roe, which says there are no objective limitations on what the courts may impose on us via the pretense that the Constitution mandates it. That, and not abortion, is what those opposing the president's judicial nominees are really fighting for.
If Roe got reversed tomorrow, we'd still have plenty of abortion -- the matter would merely be turned over to the public to decide democratically at the state level, as it should always have been. Some small number of states would permit abortion on demand, a similar number might ban it outright, and I suspect the vast majority would make it more or less available with a greater or lesser degree of regulation -- because that's about where the American people are on this issue.
But undoing Roe would substantially undo the rationale for the Supreme Court inventing new rights out of whole cloth -- inventions that effectively remove many issues from the democratic process, and thus permit a minority which is unsuccessful at the ballot box to impose its agenda by controlling the composition of the judiciary.
Posted at 09:49 AM
STAR TREK, R.I.P. [K. J. Lopez ]
"There's just no need for 'Star Trek' anymore."
Posted at 09:44 AM
AVOIDING WORK [John Derbyshire]
By way of avoiding work, and curious to try out a thing that a fan of this blog is pushing on us columnists, and also as a small mark of admiration for an author I wish to follow, this posting will, I think, catch your fancy. Or if not, I'm hoping that it will at a minimum not annoy.
Posted at 09:39 AM
"SHAME OF FIRST LADY", [K. J. Lopez]
No horsing around; the Kenyan first lady stormed a newspaper office and slapped a cameraman after some unflattering coverage of her. And, as it happens, it turns out it was the wrong newspaper she hit. Laura Bush has no competition for first-lady-of-the-week.
Posted at 09:33 AM
NOW HERE IS A SCANDAL [K. J. Lopez]
Out of Chicago:
City Hall officials ordered the city's top water boss, Donald Tomczak, to marshal his political army of city workers for Mayor Daley, Congressman Rahm Emanuel and other politicians, according to a federal court document released Monday and other sources.
Posted at 09:24 AM
DEMS & SOCIAL SECURITY [Stanley Kurtz]
E. J. Dionne's explanation for the Democrats' refusal to offer a Social Security plan is completely unconvincing. If Democrats don't like the sort of proposals the president has ruled out, fine. Let them put forward whatever proposals they want. If Dionne thinks we need a big tax increase to pay for Social Security, let the Democrats offer a tax increase. Obviously, the Democrats don't want to do that, so they keep making excuses for their silence. Instead of blaming the president's nasty negotiating terms, liberal bloggers are trying another tack. They want to develop "a principled case for doing nothing" about Social Security. If we don't fix Social Security, it will be the Democrats fault. And if we can't handle a big but fixable problem like Social Security, we haven't got a chance of dealing with the vastly larger challenge of medical entitlements. These problems are real, and getting worse every year. If the Democrats wallow in obstructionism and denial for short term political gain, the public is going to know it. And for years to come, as the entitlement crisis plays out, the Republicans will be able to say, "We tried to fix it, but the Democrats blocked a solution."
Posted at 09:21 AM
E&P AND ME [Jonah Goldberg]
The editor of Editor and Publisher is quite cross with me for writing my USA Today piece on Vietnam.
I've got to run out for an appointment, but when I'm back I'll try to deal with some of his points and his condescension.
Posted at 08:59 AM
ERRETT BISHOP...ERRETT BISHOP... [Jonah Goldberg]
Nope, doesn't ring a bell.
Wait a minute! Do you mean Errett Albert Bishop? Author of Spectral Theory for Operations on Banach Spaces?
Why I read that at the beach last Summer. Riveting stuff! Though the end is a bit disappointing.
Posted at 08:54 AM
BLEG: ERRETT BISHOP [John Derbyshire]
Any reader who studied under, or worked with, the late Errett Bishop and has anything interesting to say about the man or his philosophy, please drop me a line at email@example.com. Thanks!
Posted at 08:47 AM
ROGER SIMON [K. J. Lopez]
is organizing bloggers.
Posted at 08:34 AM
MOVE OVER HILLARY [K. J. Lopez]
J-Lo wants to be president. Have no fear, K-Lo will do her in. Peggy can handle HRC. (Real even there, I know!)
Posted at 08:09 AM
THE CASE FOR NUCLEAR [Jonah Goldberg ]
At the Becker-Posner Blog. It's not exactly sexy prose, but the case is made nicely.
Posted at 08:07 AM
HAVING UNLOADED DOLLAR BILLS AT CHIPPENDALES [K. J. Lopez]
is not a requirement for liking John Tierney today.
He writes, in part:
The favorite Democratic explanation is that the red staters are hicks who have been blinded by righteousness, as Thomas Frank argues in "What's the Matter With Kansas?" He laments that middle-class Kansans are so bamboozled by moral issues like abortion and school prayer that they vote for Republicans even though the Republican tax-cutting policies are against their self-interest.Breaking at 11: Conservatives: Not an Alien Race, Afterall.
Posted at 05:42 AM
Monday, May 02, 2005
RE: RE: BRING BACK THE BLUE SLIP? [Andy McCarthy]
Is the Corner not the best? A thoughtful lawyer who knows a lot more than I do has answered my questions:
My understanding is that blue slips historically have been to signal approval of -- or, more to the point, block -- appellate nominees, not just candidates for the federal district courts. See this web page, for instance, which tracks the blue slips that were received during the 107th Congress.
Posted at 07:23 PM
AIDAN DELGADO [Rich Lowry ]
Here is his version of the Abu Ghraib story in an interview with Democracy Now!:
And I remember just sort of questioning the guy, saying, “Do you really feel proud of having shot an unarmed man who threw a stone?” He was like, “Well, I'm doing my job.” It was a very machismo thing, to have killed someone. I felt this immense loathing and this immense disgust for the whole incident.
Here is his version in the Herbert column:
Mr. Delgado confronted a sergeant who, he said, had fired on the detainees. "I asked him," said Mr. Delgado, "if he was proud that he had shot unarmed men behind barbed wire for throwing stones. He didn't get mad at all. He was, like, 'Well, I saw them bloody my buddy's nose, so I knelt down. I said a prayer. I stood up, and I shot them down.'
For what it’s worth…
Posted at 05:53 PM
RE: IS IT BECAUSE I'M A LESBIAN? [K. J. Lopez]
Just when I thought that thread was dead....
Posted at 05:51 PM
BRITISH ELECTION CHOICES [Andrew Stuttaford]
The BBC has details of some of the more entertaining alternatives available on in some UK ballot papers this Thursday.
America's Minutemen could, perhaps, take a tip from the Church of the Militant Elvis which has plans to place "giant photos" of certain notorious British celebrities in Heathrow and Gatwick "to discourage undesirable foreigners from entering Britain".
And if that's not enough, there's the oddly appealing Dungeons Death and Taxes party which pledges to reintroduce hanging, "but only for minor offences such as writing graffiti and dropping litter". Murderers and those guilty of improper use of mobile text abbreviations will be disembowelled. The new school leaving age would be nine, with "thickie" children forced to take up manual labour. The party also pledges to occupy and annexe France, and to have tax rates of 90%. "
I assume they are joking about the tax - that really would be going too far.
Posted at 05:50 PM
IS IT BECAUSE I'M A LESBIAN? [Jonah Goldberg ]
Posted at 05:47 PM
RE: BRING BACK THE BLUE SLIP? [Andy McCarthy]
I have what are more questions than comments for Jon (or anyone who knows the answers). How does the blue slip work with Court of Appeals nominees? I've always thought (perhaps mistakenly) that the blue-slip was pretty much limited to the district courts, where it is easy to apply -- i.e., the jurisdiction of a district court is always within one state (or territory), so a nominee can be blue-slipped by one of the two senators for that state. (E.g., in the 4 federal districts in NY -- SDNY, EDNY, NDNY & WDNY -- Sens. Schumer or Clinton could blue slip any nominee.)
But the Circuit Courts of Appeal are a very different animal. There are only 12 Circuits and they divide up all the 50 states and the territories (which comprise something like 94 federal districts). The Second Circuit, where NY's federal courts are located, for example, also includes the federal districts of Connecticut and Vermont. (Some Circuits, like the 9th, are enormous.) Would what Jon is describing mean any of the six senators in the Second Circuit states could tank any nominee to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals? Or would the blue slip be limited to the senators from the state of which the nominee is a citizen?
It would seem to me that if every senator in a Circuit could potentially veto a nominee, without any vote or hearing, just by a blue slip, that would be even worse than the filibuster. For example, how would you ever get an originalist judge on the Second Circuit if any one of Sens. Schumer, Clinton, Leahy, Dodd or Jeffords could effectively veto it? Would Sen. Boxer be able to blue-slip someone like Judge Janice Rogers Brown? I know she's supposed to go to the D.C. Cir, not the 9th Cir., but would the fact that Brown is a California citizen mean Sens. Boxer and Feinstein would have the power to blue slip her?
Posted at 05:21 PM
STUART TAYLOR VS. JANICE ROGERS BROWN [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Taylor argues that Brown is a judicial activist of the Right and asks, "Where is the conservative outrage? I don't think all his evidence is on point--one can regard the New Deal as a "socialist revolution," as she does, without believing that it's the role of Supreme Court justices to undo it--but I agree with his basic conclusion.
I wrote something similar back in December 2003 for NR: "Republicans, and their conservative allies, have been willing to make . . . lame arguments to rescue even nominees whose jurisprudence is questionable. Janice Rogers Brown, one of Bush's nominees has argued that there is properly 'an extra-constitutional dimension to constitutional law.' She has said that judges should be willing to invoke a 'higher law' than the Constitution. She has said that judicial activism is not troubling per se; what matters is the 'worldview' of the judicial activist. If a liberal nominee to the courts said similar things, conservatives would make quick work of her."
Posted at 04:59 PM
FAINTING GOATS [Jonah Goldberg ]
I can't make it any plainer than that. Fainting...goats.
Posted at 04:33 PM
RE: "LIBERALS IN EXILE" [Mark R. Levin]
Greve's short essay is compelling. Even more, it underscores Jeffrey Rosen's intellectual dishonesty. There is no "Constitution in Exile" movement, despite the best efforts of all of us to uncover it. Yet he pens an entire piece on the subject, even identifying its supposed adherents, in the New York Times Magazine. This is truly astonishing. It reminds me of his recent Washington Post hit piece in which he suggests I am encouraging threats against judges. Rosen also made it into a recent Nightline episode. He is obviously the go-to guy for the liberal media. But is this really the best the Left can offer? I long for the days of Laurence Tribe, unattributed quotes and all.
Posted at 04:28 PM
GEEK MY RIDE [K. J. Lopez]
This is for a certain kind of crowd. You like it, don't you?
Posted at 04:00 PM
"LIBERALS IN EXILE" [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Michael Greve has a response to the "Constitution in exile" chatter: "Liberal interest groups and intellectuals and their house organs (such as the New York Times) are warning of an impending return to a reactionary 'Constitution in Exile.' The laughable warning serves to distract from the liberals' own agenda, which is not at all laughable. They, not conservatives, are nurturing a radical Constitution in the wings. Alas, it's Europe's."
Posted at 03:59 PM
RE: O'BRIEN [K. J. Lopez]
But one CBS is grateful for.
Posted at 03:11 PM
PAT O'BRIEN IS A DIRTY BIRD [Jonah Goldberg]
This is a family website so I cannot offer links, but those of you who know what I'm talking about know what I'm talking about.
Posted at 03:05 PM
THAT DINNER [K. J. Lopez]
David Corn blogs on horses and troops--he questions the president's committment to the troops because he didn't mention those killed in action during the White House Correspondents Dinner routine. (Does anyone seriously believe this is a president who doesn't understand this responsibility he has to men and women who serve? Don't answer that. You can bet I've heard from them [see here].) Don't you get the feeling the some media folk see their glitz nights as somehow on State of the Union level?
Posted at 02:54 PM
MIZZ NBC [Jonah Goldberg]
Here's an idea. According to Drudge MSNBC is changing its name, dropping the MS for Microsoft. Well, maybe there's still time for the moribund feminist movement to leap to the rescue and join foces. Then it can be MsNBC.
I will now smack myself with a ruler for writing this.
Posted at 02:51 PM
COOL THINGS ABOUT BEING POPE [K. J. Lopez]
A top ten
Posted at 02:35 PM
THE ADLER PROPOSAL [Mark R. Levin]
I have no problem with blue slips or voting down nominees in committee. The Senate can, at any time, bring a nominee to the floor for a vote if a simple majority of the members decide to do so (including the blue-slipped Michigan nominees). Not so with a filibuster, in which 40 can stop confirmation. The up or down vote applies to nominees who make it out of committee. It has now been redefined to mean that every nominee should have a vote on the Senate floor. Republican senators need to be less sloppy in defining what they're talking about (unless, of course, I am wrong about their intentions, and they actually believe every nominee should get a vote in the full Senate). While I have no problem with your point, I don't see the Democrats buying it. They want the filibuster and, I expect, won't agree to anything short of it.
Posted at 02:02 PM
FERTILE GROUND FOR PEACE [K. J. Lopez]
*Clip # 649 - Fatah Leader Farouq Qaddumi: Israel Can Only Be Confronted with Bullets; I Do Not Accept Any Amendments to the PLO Charter
Posted at 01:23 PM
< SIGH > [Jonathan H. Adler]
Have I ever posted that I hate grading exams? Just checking . . .
Posted at 01:21 PM
"CONSTITUTION IN EXILE" DEBATE [Jonathan H. Adler]
It's Randy Barnett versus Cass Sunstein on the alleged "Constitution in Exile" movement.
Posted at 01:16 PM
SOLOMON AMENDMENT TO THE SUPREMES [Jonathan H. Adler]
As Stanley mentioned, today the Supreme Court accepted a Solomon Amendment case for next term. SCOTUSBlog previews the case here.
Posted at 01:15 PM
BRING BACK THE BLUE SLIP? [Jonathan H. Adler]
I was no more enthusiastic about yesterday's Brooks column than my fellow Cornerites, but it got me thinking: Is there a potential deal that both sides could accept? One possibility I thought of is a combination of the current Frist deal (or its equivalent, like the old Democratic legislation for successively declining cloture requirements) with a restoration of the blue slip. Senate Democrats could like this deal because it would allow them to block some Bush judges. So why should Republicans like it? Perhaps because it is, essentially, a restoration of the status quo ante Democrats started their filibusters and -- unlike the current situation -- comports with Senate tradition. During the Bush 41 and Clinton presidencies, the blue slip was the only means for the Senate minority to block judicial nominees with majority support, and it was used by both Democrats and Republicans. Moreover, it was based upon the understandable principle that home-state Senators -- as representatives of their states qua states -- should have some influence on their states' representation on federal courts.
I have not yet sold myself on this deal because I am not a big fan of the blue slip. On the other hand, Senate Democrats have a fair point that this is the first time in history that Senate Republicans have called for an up-or-down vote on each and every judicial nominee. Republicans did not treat Clinton's nominees that way when they were in the majority, even if they treated Clinton's nominees better than Democrats have treated Bush's nominees. Nonetheless, this deal would preserve what I believe is the central (and most important) argument on the GOP's side, which is that the Democratic filibuster of judicial nominees is unprecedented and cannot be allowed to stand.
On the practical side, this deal would mean that all of Bush's current nominees would go through save for the "Michigan Four." Given that both Michigan Senators are Democrats, the GOP might have to make a deal on those seats. On the other hand, this deal would make it readily transparent that the obstruction of these four nominees has little to do with ideology, and is political payback, pure and simple.
Would such a deal make sense? I'd be curious what Shannen, Ramesh, Mark and others think about this idea.
Posted at 01:14 PM
SPEAKING OF DUCKIE [K. J. Lopez]
You know the real reason Andy McCarthy is writing for us, right? Mistaken identity. (As if--our Andy's a star in his own right. And as much as we all loved Mannequin...putting the blind sheik away wins)
Posted at 01:11 PM
MAY DAY [Jonathan H. Adler]
Yesterday was May Day. As Eugene Volokh reminds us, it was more a time for remembrance than celebration.
Posted at 01:10 PM
FOR THE RECORD [K. J. Lopez]
Unfortunately we do do more than socialize here. Unless you consider NRO one big party.
Posted at 01:10 PM
PARTY AT THE HILTON [K. J. Lopez ]
We had a reception as we do every year at the Washington Hilton (Reagan Hilton as I crassly call it) during the White House Correspondents Dinner. Again, great people, nice scene. Weird convergence when you realized Don Rumsfeld and Jon Cryer were both hanging there for a bit. No word about Cryer's political preferences, but, Jon, if you're reading: I'd probably give Duckie posting privileges if he asked. Some of the other sightings at our party included Paul Wolfowitz, Nadia from American Idol (I don't know if that was intentional), and Al Franken (he knew where he was--and, oh yes, and he was very close to Byron York, author of that new book that has a little something to say about Air America) Lots of others too, many who you would recognize; was a good crowd.
Posted at 01:08 PM
I KNOW IT'S MONDAY [K. J. Lopez ]
So I'm sorry to keep bringing up the weekend, but for those who missed the comments Friday and Saturday, the Dubliner bar night went well—we had a good crowd of a multiple hundreds (we didn't get a count,but over 300 casually RSVPed) and it was a delight, as always, to meet some of you. I do apologize for not meeting a lot of you, however. I caught a late train and although I stuck around later to make up for it, I know from my inbox I missed a good deal of you who were there. Sorry about that, but we'll try again soon, somewhere.
And if we were still plugging Atlanta, I'd point out the advantages of these fundraisers, in terms of the social aspect. If you do want to chat with NR writers, etc., it's a near guarantee when it's a smaller crowd, as Atlanta will be and NY was in February. Stay tuned for more opportunities along those lines. And thanks again for coming Friday. And if you're signed up for Atlanta, I look forward to seeing ya'all Thursday!
Posted at 01:04 PM
RE: HEY, HOT STUFF [K. J. Lopez]
Stop me if I get Laura Bush racy.
Posted at 12:43 PM
THANK GOODNESS [K. J. Lopez]
The swiftnews site (where people complained Laura Bush wasn't respecting her husband) is a satire website. It's like linking to Scrappleface, the Onion, or the Borowitz report as news. (Which people unfamiliar with those websites often do, expressing outrage; another sign of the difficulty of non-face-to-face interactions.)
Posted at 12:38 PM
WHAT YOU GET IN NR [Jack Fowler]
The paragraph below (from the May 9, 2005 issue of NR) shows you why many conservatives depend on America’s premier journal of opinion, and especially its rat-a-tat-tatting section of news nuggets and editorials, “The Week.” Go on – take a bite!
Chinese resentment of Japan has been one of the invariants of the modern world, going all the way back to the May Fourth movement of 1919, when mass protests erupted in China over the transfer of German concessions in that country to Japan after World War I. The egregiously bad behavior of the Japanese in their various aggressions against China from 1931 to 1945 further stoked the fires. Still, that was all a lifetime ago, and the ferocity of the anti-Japanese demonstrations all over China these past few days needs some explaining. The major cause, the Chinese tell us, is a decision by Japan’s education ministry to approve a school textbook that downplays the 1931–45 horrors. We have a modest proposal to offer. Let Japanese schoolchildren be taught of the cruelties their ancestors inflicted on the Chinese; and let Chinese schoolchildren be taught about the numerous campaigns of mass murder, forced labor, and cultural destruction carried out by the Chinese Communist party against Tibetans, Turkestanis, Mongolians, landowners, intellectuals, religious believers, “counter-revolutionary elements,” and so on. A close examination of China’s high-school textbooks would, we feel sure, demonstrate that in the matter of suppressing unpleasant facts about history, China’s ruling Communist party has nothing to learn from anyone.Delicious. Every issue of NR teems with this sort of candy (the kind that doesn’t rot your teeth or give you a tummy ache!), so go ahead and fill your face! Oh yes: to do that, you must subscribe. Try the Digital version of NR, which you will find (including a free sample issue) here.
Posted at 12:36 PM
HEY, HOT STUFF [K. J. Lopez]
Go to town on the t-shirts, Mr. 180.
Posted at 12:33 PM
HOLD ON A DARN SECOND [Warren Bell]
Maybe I'm new, but what's with all the NR t-shirts available in XL and larger only? Have I gotten myself involved with some sort of wacko anti-slender conspiracy? I'm 6'3", 180, and pretty sensitive about it. I hear your whispers and catch your glances, believe me. So how about we see some shirts for "the rest of us"?
Posted at 12:33 PM
MY SALLY FIELD MOMENT [Jonah Goldberg ]
I want to thank all of the bloggers who like my columns. Kathryn posted this earlier, but apparently I'm the second-favorite columnist among rightwing bloggers. Mark Steyn -- who I will obviously have eliminated by the end of the week -- came in first. Assuming I'm reading the numbers correctly, what's interesting and oddly gratifying is that while I'm not too many bloggers' favorite columnist I'm one of the favorites of a great many bloggers. In a sense you could say that makes my column sort of a vanilla product on the web. Few people claim vanilla is their favorite flavor, but even fewer people dislike vanilla. I choose to read this not as a statment that people think I'm bland but that there's a flattering consensus about my writing out there (albeit among the forces of villainy and cruelty according to the left). It's particularly nice to hear because hate mail in the last six months has been running high and if you use the blog search engines -- technorati, blogpulse etc -- to guage opinion about yours truly, you would have to conclude bloggers think I'm a biggoted moron. So, thanks folks. I'll buy you a few beers at Mark Steyn's Irish wake.
Posted at 12:14 PM
LEAVING ON A JET PLANE [Ed Capano]
The NR jet is in a parking spot on 32nd street, and it’s your turn to feed the meter...
Posted at 12:09 PM
CIRCUMVENTING, PART II [K. J. Lopez ]
If you're a right-winger concerned about the culture and were thinking about issuing a Laura-blasting press release (I'm guessing there aren't too many sweating this), go to lunch and chill instead.
Posted at 12:08 PM
BTW [K. J. Lopez ]
I didn’t hear it, but I suspect this Instacomplaint was far removed from the outraged folk Drudge linked to (more like light morning-show banter).
Posted at 12:05 PM
LET ME CIRCUMVENT THOSE [K. J. Lopez ]
"Shut up you ditz" e-mails some readers right now are tempted to send (been there, done that). That was me being light about something light. Quite a concept.
Posted at 12:03 PM
MINORITY REPORT [K. J. Lopez ]
As for the website Drudge linked to highlighting some of the criticism: This is one of the drawbacks of the blogosphere. Anyone can look to be, with the right highlight, representative of some kind of bloc. I happen to be a conservative who is Christian, and know more than a few others, and, well, we haven't spent the last week questioning Bush's manliness, for instance, (some of this has to be a joke...please). And that Mrs. Bush was violating biblical mandates never entered my mind while at the Hilton Saturday night. Call me weird.
Actually, what I was offended by in Mrs. Bush's speech was her demeaning his brush clearing. But I forgive her--it was a purely defensive thing (translation: "He's mine, stop looking").
Posted at 12:02 PM
LEAVE LAURA ALONE [K. J. Lopez ]
This is so silly. Laura Bush is getting grief about Desperate Housewives Saturday night—but, thankfully, only really seriously in obscure corners, I suspect (and hope). Sigh. Yeah, the First Lady probably could have skipped some of the, uh, horsing around (I'm not spelling that one out). But, it was a joke skit, at a roasty-type event, and life went on. As it should. And the DH stuff was funny.
And considering most of the female media divas were gaga over the DH boy toy on the premises at the dinner that night, Mrs. Bush probably did more than her husband could ever to make the Bushworld look normal to some of them (yes, maybe even MoDo, for a crackberry second).
Posted at 12:00 PM
GROVER AND ISLAMISTS [K. J. Lopez]
In April 2003, Byron York took a detailed look at all the Norquist stuff. You can read the article here.
Posted at 11:54 AM
HOT AND HEAVY NR XXL-ATHON [Jack Fowler]
Big NR duds (XXL windshirts, polos, long- and short-sleeved tees) await big NRO dudes at great prices, with freebies (a complimentary NR tee-shirt for every item purchased!), going fast, here.
AND HERE’S ANOTHER XL-ENT IDEA
We’ve got some great NR polos and windshirts for you XL-sized dudes and dudesses. Each comes with a FREE NR tee-shirt. Oh glorious day! Order here.
CELEBRATE MOTHER’S DAY … WITH FLORENCE KING!
To heck with the powder and perfume: Send Dear Ol’ Momma a copy of Miss King’s revered STET, Damnit! The Misanthrope’s Corner, 1991 to 200-- it’s the complete, unedited, and rip-roaring collection of each and every column NR’s official curmudgeon wrote for the magazine’s back page over those 12 nincompoop-poohing years. Use the UPS option to make sure it gets to your mommy by Sunday. And we’ll include a FREE NR tee-shirt and a gift card (we’ll inscribe it with whatever gooey sentiment you desire – “Mom, I could have sent flowers, but I know this will give you much more pleasure …”). All for just $29.95 ($34.95 if your UPSing). Get a move on, and get it all here.
Posted at 11:53 AM
RE: COKE BOTTLES IN IRAQ [Michael Rubin]
I'm actually an avid collector of Coke bottles, and have them from 130 countries and territories.
Iraq does not have Coca-Cola (nor does neighboring Syria), although a Pepsi canning plant opened about a month ago. The Pepsi Cans, in Arabic, carry the slogan: "The Soft Drink Made in Iraq." Most of the Coca-Cola and other soft-drinks are imported in cans from Turkey (in the north) and Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Jordan.
In Iraq, soft drinks are sold in both glass bottles and cans. You can buy plastic bottles of Zam-Zam, which is manufactured in Iran. The glass bottles tend to be the 330 ml size. They would not shatter over someone's head. The person who claimed as such was untruthful. The U.S. military bases provide cans of Coca-Cola, most often imported from Kuwait but, in the north, from Turkey.
That said, early on, some U.S. soldiers did drive through street markets and upset pushcarts and vendors. This was unfortunate and uncalled for, but our civil affairs teams put an end to such incidents quickly.
Posted at 11:30 AM
SOLOMON GOES SCOTUS [Stanley Kurtz]
Shannen Coffin just tipped me off to a very significant development. The Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal of a lower court's decision to invalidate the Solomon Amendment. The Solomon Amendment withholds federal funds from schools that refuse to cooperate with the military. Here's a news report.
Posted at 11:09 AM
IMAM NORQUIST -- NOT [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
Posted at 10:05 AM
IT IS CONCEIVABLE… [Kathryn Jean Lopez ]
…that it could be harder to clone a cat than a human being in California...
Posted at 10:02 AM
RE: COKE BOTTLES [Jonah Goldberg]
Obviously, I'm no expert on what's happening in the streets of Baghdad on a daily basis. But I do enjoy trying to spot lies. If I had to guess, something like the Coke bottle thing happened once or twice and Herbert's guy is guilty of turning an anecdote into a trend. People tend to exaggerate far more than fabricate. But the idea that every day soldiers are driving around smashing glass bottles on civilian Iraqi heads sounds pretty implausible if for no other reason than it's so public. There are lots of westerners and journalists over there. Why hasn't anyone seen it happen -- other than this guy?
Posted at 09:52 AM
WEIMAR WATCH [Andrew Stuttaford]
From the Financial Times today:
"The smouldering row between Germany's ruling Social Democratic party and big business turned into a shouting match at the weekend, as Franz Münterfering, the SPD's chairman, drew up a "locust list" of 12 figureheads of capitalism that he said were a scourge on the country."
"Dieter Hundt, head of the BDA employers' association, told ZDF television: "What is going on in this country at the moment makes me puke."
Posted at 09:52 AM
RE: JETS [K. J. Lopez ]
Answer, btw: We're spending money on better things--making NR/NRO bigger and more useful, etc. (As we will on our Atlanta money…but…wait…I don't have to plug our Atlanta fundraiser anymore—we're done taking RSVPs. Phew…I didn’t have to use the runaway bride…) It's all about you, not jets.
Posted at 09:51 AM
BELLY OF THE BEAST [Kathryn Jean Lopez ]
The high school (Crossroads) where one of Michael Jackson's victims went—and where tons of the star scene goes and then send their kids too, as the guys in Hollywood Interrupted chronicled--has a convicted sex offender working on their security, according to Breitbart & Ebner.
Posted at 09:51 AM
NEED ONE TO PIMP ONE [K. J. Lopez ]
Jonah, last week you called it: Everyone else has a jet, dude. Where's NR's?
Posted at 09:50 AM
"FILIBUSTERS" [Mark R. Levin]
One of the latest tactics of the leftwing groups and senators in the judge battle is to argue that hearing delays and senatorial holds are the equivalent of filibusters. First, delays and holds have been standard practice of both parties for decades, like them or not. The full Senate has the power to bring the candidate to the floor despite these tactics. Second, filibusters have not been standard practice, and prevent the full Senate from voting on nominees. And for all the lament about Clinton's judges being delayed, he appointed nearly as many judges as Reagan, including 2 Supreme Court justices with little opposition. Moreover, he continued to nominate judicial candidates late in his term, knowingly full well there would not be time to process them. The Republicans would do well to break down the numbers.
Posted at 09:49 AM
FILIBUSTERING PRINCETONIANS [Jonah Goldberg]
Funny, I thought all Princetonians were filibusterers.
Seriously though. As silly and wongheaded I think most of their arguments may be, I wonder how much they appreciate the irony of their talk-a-thon. It's pretty clear the Post itself missed the point entirely. The gabbing Princetonians actually have to keep talking. The Senate Democrats don't want an actual filibuster, where people jabber on getting hoarse and stinky. They want a petty procedural motion which is a filibuster in name only. It'd be nice if this point were a bit more appreciated in media coverage.
Posted at 09:48 AM
QUICK REACTION ON THE COKE BOTTLE QUESTION [Rich Lowry ]
“Rich,ME: Interesting points. I had wondered the same thing about the availability of glass Coke bottles, but sometimes you do see them overseas…
Posted at 09:44 AM
NO MORE SUPER QUICKIES? [Kathryn Jean Lopez ]
Muslims in India are considering making divorce a tad harder than "I divorce you!"
Posted at 09:44 AM
TIGER IN MY DESKTOP [Jonah Goldberg]
I've got the new Tiger OS for Mac. So far it's very cool. Spotlight -- the new desktop search function -- has a few downsides but is basically a quantum leap in quality over the old search features. The dashboard doohickey is very cool. And the Sherlock application finally deservers to live on the desktop rather than face deletion.
Posted at 09:41 AM
THANK THE KIDS! [K. J. Lopez ]
A Princeton protest may be the best thing Bill Frist has going for him right now. They take him seriously.
Posted at 09:38 AM
FROM THE ARCHIVES [Jonah Goldberg ]
A timewaster classic.
Posted at 09:33 AM
IT FIGURES... [Jonah Goldberg]
Stalin was "a compulsive and professional editor who corrected any manuscript that crossed his desk for style and grammar as well as for ideology."
Nod to ALD
Posted at 09:29 AM
DO WE BELIEVE THIS? [Rich Lowry ]
I'm not naïve about nasty things people can do, including American troops, but does this sound plausible? From Bob Herbert today, citing a conscientious objecter who was in Iraq named Aidan Delgado:
The officer's comment was a harbinger of the gratuitous violence that, according to Mr. Delgado, is routinely inflicted by American soldiers on ordinary Iraqis. He said: "Guys in my unit, particularly the younger guys, would drive by in their Humvee and shatter bottles over the heads of Iraqi civilians passing by. They'd keep a bunch of empty Coke bottles in the Humvee to break over people's heads."
Posted at 09:23 AM
“THEY KNOW HOW TO FLAUNT IT, AND THEY’RE KEEPING IT REAL IN THE CRIB.” [Kathryn Jean Lopez ]
James Lileks hits the Bratz dolls slut-jr. line and pimp-my-pet toys. From the Dogs:
These Hardcore Dogs Been Picked up by animal control officers and deemed hostile, unsociable and aggressive in behavior. No one has ever attempted to claim or adopt them. Therefore they are doing HARD TIME.
You think I'm making this up, I know you do.
That's a good way to start your week with a "we're so screwed" attitude, I know. Sorry.
But, you know what? "We're so screwed" can be quite healthy—a motivator.
So…Back to work!
Posted at 08:58 AM
BRIDGE TO REFORM [Stanley Kurtz ]
The truth has begun to dawn on Jake Tapper. And how about some pressure on the Democrats from USA Today? Meanwhile, Steve Moore is more than willing to go along with the president’s new proposal. Looks like the president is successfully bridging the opposing camps.
Posted at 08:52 AM
DEMS [Stanley Kurtz ]
The Democrats, on the other hand, have taken the easy way out. Desperate to recoup their position after a disastrous election, they decided to refuse all cooperation to the president on Social Security. Their plan was to electrocute the president by juicing up the third rail with AARP-sponsored televised biographies of Franklin Roosevelt and such. With feet firmly planted in the 1930's, the Democrats keep denying that there is any problem here at all. For all his grudging acknowledgments, Kinsley is still under this political delusion. He thinks the Democrats can now safely join in a reform for which the president will take the political fall. Well, the president’s faith in the rightness of his action–and in the good sense of the American people–is going to be rewarded. Social Security is in trouble, and the public knows it. The president has the courage to fix it, and for that he’s going to get credit, not blame. The Democrats are trapped now. Their obstructionism is exposed, and the president stands to gain his rightful political reward when this problem finally gets fixed. I have never seen anything like the swift, massive, and unified Democratic effort to kill the president’s Social Security plan. It put the far more divided and unenthusiastic Republicans to shame. Trouble is, for all that effort, the Democrats have been digging their own political grave.
Posted at 08:50 AM
COMMITMENT [Stanley Kurtz ]
Now let’s look at the politics. The president decided to tackle a major national dilemma he could easily have evaded. Handing off the Social Security mess to the next administration would have been safe short-term politics, although every year without a solution makes the problem vastly more expensive for the country as a whole. Instead, the president decided to run the serious political risks inherent in any solution to the Social Security problem, in faith that the public would ultimately recognize and reward his courage. I suspect this is one of the ways in which the president’s religious beliefs really do affect the way he governs. The president is a canny politician, not a blind risk-taker. But I do think the president’s faith encourages him to shoulder burdens others might shirk, believing that doing right will ultimately be rewarded, whether sooner or later.
Posted at 08:49 AM
WHERE IS THE DEMOCRATS’ PLAN FOR SOCIAL SECURITY? [Stanley Kurtz ]
Or, to put the question from a liberal Democratic perspective, where is the Democrats’ plan for social security? It was certainly striking to see both Michael Kinsley and the editors of the Washington Post grudgingly praise the president and call on the Democrats to submit a plan of their own. (And even if less explicitly, Nicholas Kristof has broken with the Democratic line.) The Post acknowledged that: “The Social Security system does need fixing.” Or, as Kinsley put it: “[The Democrats] know in their hearts that Social Security has got to change in some unpleasant way.” Both Kinsley and the Post are speaking up because they know the president has offered a real solution–one that slows the growth of benefits, while also protecting the less well off. And with a real solution on the table, Kinsley has acknowledged that voluntary private accounts will not be harmful. I’d say the president’s proposal is a stunning success. He’s rightly being praised on substance, and pressure on the Democrats to stop obstructing and finally make a deal is mounting.
Posted at 08:49 AM
IS GROVER NORQUIST AN ISLAMIST? [Jonah Goldberg ]
This discussion's only just getting started, I'm sure.
Posted at 08:41 AM
ME & SULLIVAN [Jonah Goldberg ]
I see that Andrew Sullivan has responded to me (and Ramesh). I don't know if I'll respond to the whole thing, but this passage from his response bugs me:
Jonah's first and final point is that, given moral decline, we need "at least a few rocks in the river." He cites his Jewish father's approval of Benedict XVI. I have to say I'm not too enamored of outsiders backing fundamentalism in faiths they do not share for political purposes. But, hey, that's been the neocon position on religion for a long time: we don't believe it, but it's good for the masses. I'm not quite up to those levels of cynicism yet. My first concern with any religious argument is: is it true? Not: is it useful?
Let me see if I can explain. Sullivan assumes – or at least strongly suggests – that my first impulse is to ask whether a religion is “useful” rather than if it is true. Why? What evidence is there that this is the first question I ask?
Truth be told, it is, in fact, the second or third question I ask (the first is, "Do they allow open bars at their celebrations?"). But I do ask it. As a Jew, what’s wrong with me asking whether Catholicism – or Christianity in general – is good for the world? What is wrong with a Catholic asking the same question about Judaism? Or Hinduism, or Islam? And as a conservative, it seems almost mandatory to ask whether a given faith – and how it is currently practiced – has a positive or negative effect on the social fabric. This is entirely in keeping with the American tradition of being more concerned with morality more than theology (as I’ve written about several times, including here). Americans opposed Utah’s entry into the United States so long as Mormon’s advocated polygamy. Once they dropped that, Americans said come on in. No one cared about the theological bells and whistles. They merely cared about behavior.
Second, in a fairly classic display of his capacity for moralizing righteousness, Andrew strikes a pose of mild disdain of my “cynicism” for suggesting that maybe religion is good for “the masses.” I fail to see why this is cynical. Frankly, I think it is factual. The data is certainly there to support the contention, as Andrew certainly knows. Moreover, while neocons have made this argument one needn’t be a neocon to make it. I know that it feeds into the anti-neocon phantasmagoria of clever secular intellectuals manipulating the society for their own ends, but there’s nothing sinister or dishonest about it. In my own case I’ve written a blajillion columns and articles arguing that hypocrisy alone doesn’t make an argument wrong (“you’re consistently pro inconsistency!” – the Couch). I could be a baal-worshipper in my private life, or I could believe that nanobots and gene therapy are the only salvation for mankind, that wouldn’t mean that my public arguments about religion were wrong. Neither would it render my public argument that 2+2 =4 wrong if I privately believed 2+2 is a duck in short pants. I know Andrew has a tendency to believe his own personal political preferences should and must be in perfect accord with external reality, but I’ve never subscribed to such a view.
Also, Andrew says he doesn’t like it when outsiders back what he calls fundamentalism in faiths they don’t share for political reasons. The significant silences here are deafening. Would Andrew support outsiders backing “reform” in these faiths? Or is it only political support for “fundamentalism” which irks him? Does he like support from reformers? And if that’s the case, then his is the more political position. After all we know Andrew advocates reform for Islam.
Meanwhile, my position is to support allegedly similarly “fundamental” causes at lots of institutions and organizations. I was against women at VMI. I’m opposed to Cookie Monster eating carrots instead of cookies and I despise cartoons where Tom and Jerry are friends. I thought it was outrageous for the New York Times to endorse the Boston Red Sox in the World Series. And, I think it would be folly for the Catholic Church to support abortion. This doesn’t mean I’m opposed to all reform and innovation. I merely have a Lincolnian preference for the old and tried over the new and untried. I support the civil rights acts, the creation of the double-stuffed Oreo and the teaching of law in English rather than Latin and a non-violence movement within Islam. And, for the record, I think the Catholic Church would be smart to let more priests marry (it’s easier to do than allow women priests and there’s plenty of precedent for it).
I’m at a loss to see how that makes me a neocon, but if it does in his mind, okay. But the neoconservative view about religion isn’t nearly so sinister or inconsistent with its view about everything else or with the conservative view of everything else than he tries to suggest.
Posted at 08:25 AM
JONAH [K. J. Lopez]
gets high marks (along with other NRO-ers).
Posted at 07:29 AM
OVERPAID BILL [Tim Graham]
For a taste of over-the-top Moyers, see here.
Posted at 07:06 AM
CPB DID WHAT? [Tim Graham]
The New York Times considers it big news that Ken Tomlinson of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting is pressing PBS about "alleged liberal bias" in its programming. (This is like saying there is "alleged conservative bias" on the Rush Limbaugh show.) What does this really say? It says it's somehow highly unusual for CPB to urge PBS to seek balance in its programming, even though it's written right into the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967 and rewritten into the law in 1992. The Times demonstrates its own liberal bias by equating efforts to seek balance with "chilling journalistic efforts."
The funniest part of the story is when the Times tries to suggest Bill Moyers has a fairer show than Paul Gigot's. "Public television executives noted that Mr. Gigot's show by design features the members of the conservative editorial board of The Wall Street Journal, while Mr. Moyers's guests included many conservatives, like Ralph Reed, former head of the Christian Coalition; Richard Viguerie, a conservative political strategist; and Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform." >
A Times reader might guess that Moyers has conservative guests on weekly, instead of once in a blue moon. The better way to measure is to compare the WSJ show to "Washington Week," since it never has on conservative reporters to sit with Gwen Ifill. Then compare Moyers to Tucker Carlson. Which one was more obviously shrill, denouncing politicians for "feeding on the corpse of war"? Then remember this: Tucker Carlson had a show for a year. Bill Moyers has built his multimillion-dollar personal fortune through PBS for decades.
Posted at 07:03 AM
SHARANSKY RESIGNS [K. J. Lopez]
Posted at 06:45 AM
THOSE NATS [John J. Miller]
Washington gets a new baseball team. The result, after opening day, two homestands, and a winning record: Slightly-below-average attendance, compared to the rest of the league.
Posted at 05:24 AM
RE: REID'S DEAL [Andy McCarthy]
Ramesh, I would have more sympathy for Brooks's nostalgia for the old ways of doing things if it had been timely. Instead, he posits his protest not when Democrats, in an unprecedentedly systematic way, start filibustering judicial appointees. He pines for the good old times only after Republicans propose getting rid of the filibuster -- a maneuver that has a lot more pedigree than does the filibuster of nominees.
The Democrats' position here would be much stronger if they had actually taken a nominee on regarding the substance of his/her positions. They don't want to do that because the nominees' positions, to the extent they are known, are actually appealing to most Americans, and in any event respectful of the law. So, instead, the Dems' position has been the vaporous "They're too extreme and, besides, we can stop them on Parliamentary rules." That's not a competitive debate, it's gamesmanship, and it calls for getting rid of the Parliamentary rules so the real debate can take place.
If the Dems have real reasons why these people shouldn't be confirmed, no one is saying they shouldn't be able to put 'em forward. But what is going on here is just extortion, and no one should give in to that, even if David Brooks has tired of it.
The GOP has the decisive majority and it has the decided edge on substance in the debate. That's what's ordinarily what's known as a rout. If the New England Patriots play PS 127, the final score should be 300-0, and it should look like every bit the rout that it is. What Reid is saying here is that fairness, on some calculation, calls on us to make it look like a closer game than it really is because, dammit, the game is really important to PS 127. I don't think so.
When I was a prosecutor, defense lawyers were always looking to cut a favorable deal -- a deal that was better than the circumstances objectively called for. I didn't blame them for trying -- that was their job. But if the evidence was overwhelming, such that it was abundantly clear that the defendant should lose on the merits, the prosecutor was not expected to give away the store to try to appear "fair" and "reasonable."
He was not supposed to be representing himself and his future prospects. He was supposed to be representing the public and promoting its welfare. Thus, he was expected to make the defendant say "uncle" to a severe conviction and sentence. If the defendant was unwilling, the prosecutor was expected to say "Let's get it on -- pick a jury!" The defendant would then get creamed at the trial and get slammed at sentencing. And no one boo-hooed about the supposed unfairness of it all. What happened was what was supposed to happen.
Frist ought to tell Reid, "Let's get it on." If Reid is in a dealing mood, the deal will get better with his feet to the fire. If it doesn't, who cares? He should lose 300-0.
Posted at 01:01 AM
EPSTEIN ON BOLTON [Barbara Comstock]
Best line: "Whenever I hear the senator from Delaware in his accusatory mode, I always think of something Tocqueville never got around to saying: that one may have hair plugs or a high moral tone, but surely one ought not to be permitted both."
Posted at 01:00 AM
Sunday, May 01, 2005
SPEAKING OF DEALS [Ramesh Ponnuru]
here's one for the Ace of Spades: I'll add him to my bookmarks if he'll make the effort to learn how to spell my name. Can we shake on it?
UPDATE: We have reached an accord.
Posted at 07:47 PM
REID'S DEAL [Ramesh Ponnuru]
I'm not inclined to be quite as tough on Brooks's column as Andy and Mark are, but I am skeptical.
My first reaction to the column--beyond noting that Brooks appears to have gotten a rather nice scoop here--was to think that the deal Reid allegedly outlined might be worth taking, or at least starting negotiations over. (Whereas the deal, as it was initially described, sounded terrible.) My second reaction, though, was that there are (as Andy and Mark suggest) reasons for distrusting Reid. He was (again, reportedly) unwilling to guarantee no filibusters for the next Supreme Court nominee in public because he fears liberal interest groups. But will he fear them less when there's an actual fight going on about a Supreme Court nominee? The proposal only makes sense if you assume that Reid was going to be non-committal, or even supportive of a filibuster in public, while telling a few Democratic senators to vote the other way. And how does Reid propose to protect these Democratic senators from the left? Would he allow them to explain that Reid had given them a pass? I just don't see how the secrecy of this abortive deal could be made to work.
Which brings me to Brooks's larger point about how populism has gotten rid of the back-room deal: I'm afraid that the very conservative temper that he means to vindicate here tells against him. Brooks wants our politicians to be statesmen who can fit their principles to the circumstances in which they find themselves. But among the circumstances they confront is that modern politics has a highly public and (relatedly) ideological character. The cameras aren't leaving the Senate. The scope for dealmaking is reduced. There is a lot lost in moving to an ideological politics, and one can certainly sympathize with Brooks's nostalgia. But that doesn't make it a constructive basis for action.
Posted at 07:45 PM
NICHOLAS KRISTOF [Ramesh Ponnuru]
has a pretty good column today, but I think he could have profited by reading powerline.
Posted at 07:29 PM
TOUGH TO BE A BUSHMAN AT STATE [K. J. Lopez]
John Bolton was "despised" at State; said one hater to the Los Angeles Times: "John was a super-frustrated guy, pinioned at the wrists by Rich [Armitage], held down and clubbed regularly by his own people, and generally nullified by the secretary's skills at thwarting him." And why did they do this? Because they wanted their own foreign policy. And now the Left doesn't want him to bring White House policy to the U.N. either
Posted at 06:49 PM
LIBERTAS CONTRA LUCAS [Jonathan H. Adler]
Jason Apuzzo has more to say about George Lucas -- and this time he isn't so complimentary.
Posted at 06:29 PM
THE REID-BROOKS DEAL [Mark R. Levin]
Do we want a Republican president to nominate originalists and a Republican Senate to confirm them? This is the least controversial of the proposals for addressing judicial activism. Indeed, with a few exceptions, it is what every Republican president since Dwight Eisenhowe has attempted (with very limited success). However, if this is deemed controverisal and negotiable, then there's little hope for ever limiting judicial activism.
There can be no deal of the kind Harry Reid offered, and David Brooks endorses. Every originalist nominated to a high court will be characterized as radical because they won't endorse an approach to adjudicating that enhances the leftwing agenda. The Reid deal, such as it is, offers nothing beyond the confirmation of a couple of circuit candidates. And it institutionalizes an extraordinary role in the judicial selection process, should a president have any hope of appointing numerous candidates to the appellate and Supreme courts. The result -- Republican presidents will appoint more nominees like Sandra Day O'Connor and John Paul Stevens.
The hoops through which so many bright thinkers are willing to jump to accommodate the Senate Democrats' brazen power grab through obstructionism is mind-boggling. And why? For fear of changing a Senate rule?
Posted at 06:29 PM
SHIFTING COURTS LEFT [Jonathan H. Adler]
Northwestern law professor Steven Calabresi's Standard article on the Dems judicial strategy is a must read.
Posted at 06:28 PM
ONLY IN THE ACADEMY . . . [Jonathan H. Adler]
Can liberals be considered conservatives, and they are.
Posted at 06:26 PM
GERMANY FALLING... [Andrew Stuttaford]
Interesting comment from a reader in Berlin on the recent leftward shift among Schroeder’s Social Democrats (the SPD):
“I read your Daily Telegraph bit about Germany. Actually, I don't know if you have been following this, but there is an election coming up in North Rhine Westphalia in May. NRW is the SPD heartland in Germany and their support in polls for the SPD has been soft. Presumably in response, about a week and a half ago, the SPD’s [new party chief] Muentefering, has been complaining about "predatory capitalism" and "locust investors" (investors from the US and Britain that invest in German companies, which then lose their ties towards Germany and decide to send jobs to China). The general interpretation is that all of this is to throw red meat to the NRW base to get them interested in the election so that the SPD can stave off a loss. Another interpretation, put forward by Oswald Metzger, a Green, is that Muentefering is setting the SPD up for the opposition. In other words, the SPD can’t oppose the center-right CDU (assuming they win the next general election) with the economically responsible, center right policies they have been implementing, so they need to prepare the type of rhetoric suitable for an SPD opposition party. Hence the anti-capitalism.”
If you’re in a hole…
Posted at 06:25 PM
SAYING NEE [Andrew Stuttaford]
At the time the Euro, the EU’s single currency, was set up, one of the most critical issues was the rate at which each former national currency (Guilders, Francs and so on) would be exchanged into Euros. Now Dutch blogger Arjan (Zacht Ei) is passing on this:
“According to De Nederlandsche Bank, the Dutch equivalent of the Federal Reserve Bank, the guilder (our former currency) was five to ten percent undervalued when it was absorbed into the Economical and Monetary Union (EMU), the entity that has produced the euro. This article (in Dutch) states that lots of people knew, but because of political pressure from Germany (the article speaks about 'sensitivities') nobody did a thing about it. All for the greater ( European/German) good. As a result of this magnificent example of Dutch policy makers and civil servants acting for the best interests of our nation, Dutch prices have increased more than would have been necessary, and our competitive position has deteriorated. Thank you, European Union, on behalf of all those who are currently unemployed because our economy is in a slump, or are having trouble to make their salaries meet their material needs.”
That’s bad enough, but then Arjan makes the connection with the upcoming (June 1) vote on the draft EU constitution:
“Worse may be to come. The EMU was 'just' about our money. The constitution is about our voting rights, our collective defense, our welfare state. Indeed, our very sovereignty is at stake here. Is there anyone out there who can seriously believe that Dutch interests won't be trumped time and time again if the European constitution were to be adopted, God forbid, and the bigger member states would get even more power in even more areas? They have been lying to us, they have been deceiving us. They need to be stopped. Throw a spanner in the works of the EU machinery. Vote no.”
Zo is dat.
Posted at 06:24 PM
HMMM [Andrew Stuttaford]
The Sunday Telegraph has more on the growing scandal surrounding the Labour party’s decision to relax the rules on postal voting:
“Concerns over fraud are so widespread that senior police officers, election officials and other senior civil servants were recently summoned to an emergency Whitehall summit to discuss ways to combat ballot-rigging. The Association of Electoral Administrators, which represents election officials, last night accused the Government of ignoring calls to tighten voting procedures. Malcolm Dumper, the association's chief executive, said: "We do not have the time or the resources to carry out stringent checks and that means there is the opportunity for widescale fraud." In December the association warned the Government that the deadline for postal vote applications, April 24, would allow only five days to process millions of application forms and send out ballot papers. It called for the deadline to be brought forward to April 19, but the Government ignored the request.”
I wonder why that was.
Posted at 06:23 PM
RE: EU SAUNA CODE [Warren Bell]
On behalf of Americans here at home and abroad, please allow me to thank the Brussels Commission for requiring EU officials to shower before using their private sauna.
That soft white rectangle there is called "soap."
Posted at 06:20 PM
EMPLOYEES MUST WASH THEIR HANDS [Andrew Stuttaford]
How the Brussels Commission spends its time, and taxpayers’ money…
“Ever the masters of punctilious regulation, the European Union's 25 Commissioner have outdone themselves with a code of conduct for their new and beautifully-appointed Brussels sauna. A 10-point code sent to Peter Mandelson and his colleagues advises them on etiquette in the mixed facility, which opened last week. Nudity is de rigueur, according to the commission's infrastructure office, but bravado is not."Reckless competition about who stands heat best is out of the question. Leave your clothes in the dressing room - nakedness is natural," the code tells its 18 male and seven female commissioners. "Sweating makes swimsuits uncomfortable." The list of dos and don'ts is comprehensive. Commissioners in the sauna, installed in the EU's recently renovated Berlaymont headquarters in Brussels, are advised to take their time, allowing "at least an hour and a half" for each session. Showers are required beforehand "to moisten the skin and remove any possible body or fragrant odours" and they are reminded to dry themselves with a towel afterwards.”
You couldn’t make this stuff up.
Posted at 11:41 AM
RE: PUT SIMPLY [Cliff May]
Are we really supposed to believe that the North Korean missile program began after Bush’s election?
Is there anyone so dense as to not recognize that the North Koreans were working on their nuclear weapons program during the entire eight years Clinton was President – a time when the Clinton administration, encouraged by former President Jimmy Carter, was paying the North Koreans billions not to develop nukes, and the North Koreans were cheating under his nose and the noses of the intelligence community?
Posted at 11:34 AM
CRUSHING DEBATE? [Andrew Stuttaford]
One of the curiosities of the debate over man-made global warming is the way in which true believers in this hypothesis seem so unwilling to enter into any debate with those that challenge them. I can understand established scientists not wanting to give equal time to cranks but shutting out experts of the calibre decribed in this account seems to be indicative of something else.
Is the global warming crowd quite so sure of the science as it likes to make out? Read on, and judge for yourself...
"A British authority on natural catastrophes who disputed whether climatologists really agree that the Earth is getting warmer because of human activity, says his work was rejected by the American publication, Science, on the flimsiest of grounds. A separate team of climate scientists, which was regularly used by Science and the journal Nature to review papers on the progress of global warming, said it was dropped after attempting to publish its own research which raised doubts over the issue.The controversy follows the publication by Science in December of a paper which claimed to have demonstrated complete agreement among climate experts, not only that global warming is a genuine phenomenon, but also that mankind is to blame.The author of the research, Dr Naomi Oreskes, of the University of California, analysed almost 1,000 papers on the subject published since the early 1990s, and concluded that 75 per cent of them either explicitly or implicitly backed the consensus view, while none directly dissented from it.Dr Oreskes's study is now routinely cited by those demanding action on climate change, including the Royal Society and Prof Sir David King, the Government's chief scientific adviser. However, her unequivocal conclusions immediately raised suspicions among other academics, who knew of many papers that dissented from the pro-global warming line.They included Dr Benny Peiser, a senior lecturer in the science faculty at Liverpool John Moores University, who decided to conduct his own analysis of the same set of 1,000 documents - and concluded that only one third backed the consensus view, while only one per cent did so explicitly. Dr Peiser submitted his findings to Science in January, and was asked to edit his paper for publication - but has now been told that his results have been rejected on the grounds that the points he make had been "widely dispersed on the internet".
What's going on?
Posted at 11:26 AM
"PUT SIMPLY, THEY COULDN'T DO THAT WHEN GEORGE BUSH BECAME PRESIDENT, AND NOW THEY CAN." [K. J. Lopez]
Hillary positions herself.
Posted at 10:51 AM
NORTH KOREA [K. J. Lopez]
fires a test missle.
Posted at 10:48 AM
FILIBUSTERS: BROOKS GETS IT WRONG [Andy McCarthy]
David Brooks's column this morning, contending the Frist should have taken a compromise deal reputedly offered by Reid, is really one of his weaker efforts. See here.
First of all, according to Brooks, Reid has committed to Frist that if the GOP will withdraw some number of POTUS's nominees, Dems will not only permit an up-or-down vote on others but Reid will ensure that the next Supreme Court nominee will not be filibustered. Leaving aside the important question of whether Brooks's sources are reliable, Brooks gives no indication why Reid should be believed on such a promise. As Rich Lowry has pointed out, the Dems recently broke deals on the procedures to be followed in Bolton's nomination process. (See.) Why should Frist trust Reid without having some kind of hammer over him?
Second, the Dems haven't made the case that a single one of POTUS's nominees is unqualified or otherwise unacceptable. Not even close. The Dems aren't being stifled here -- they've had hours upon hours of debate and they are fully entitled to vote no. What they are demanding is a minority right to win, and under circumstances when they've done nothing to persuade other than flex the extortionate muscles of a capacity to gum up the works. On what principle, then, shall we say that these of POTUS's nominees should get through but these others should be withdrawn? Which ones and why? We don't know b/c the Dems have not mounted an issue-based debate. They've mounted an extortion-based debate. Why should they be allowed to get away with that?
Third, who needs a deal for the next Supreme Court nominee? If Justice Rehnquist steps down, a conservative nominee is not going to change the balance of the court. The Dems obviously know that, and in a high-stakes nomination that gets tons of press attention, they may well decide not to filibuster because it's not in their interest to do so. Why should Frist purchase something he might get for free?
Finally, Brooks inanely asserts that "Frist should have grabbed this offer because it's time for senators to re-establish the principle that they, not the outside interest groups, run the Senate." We are at this impasse precisely because the Dems' outside interest groups have induced their partisans in the senate to cast tradition aside and deny a floor-vote to nominees. It is simply absurd for Brooks to frame the argument as if it is opposition to the filibusters, rather than the filibusters themselves, is the telling evidence of outside interest groups running the senate.
Posted at 10:34 AM
MODERN WARFARE [Cliff May]
I woke up early this morning and read Rich’s masterful cover story in the May 9 NRDT. Like his earlier “What Went Wrong,” this piece, “What Went Right,” is required reading for anyone who wants to understand what has been unfolding in Iraq – anyone who wants to understand how warfare is changing to confront America’s 21st Century enemies. (How telling, too, that you can find nothing on this level in the MSM.)
A few key points that deserve emphasis:
For years, Pentagon planners prepared to fight the Soviet Union on the plains of central Europe. They did not seriously prepare to fight terrorists and insurgents in places like Fallujah and Sadr City. One example: Tanks were built heavily armored in front--to face the enemy head on--but left vulnerable in the back. Insurgents in Iraq were not slow to figure this out. Another example: Humvees were not heavily armored because they were not meant to be used in battle, they were meant to be used in the rear. But in a “small war” there are no front lines and there is no rear.
Rich makes it clear that the military needed to learn not only how to fight differently but also how to think differently. Soldiers and Marines came to see that they were fighting a war of ideas as well as a war of weapons.
“We had a different understanding of the things that make you successful,” the commander of an armored division told Rich. “A crucial question was, What is our information campaign?” Rich elaborates: “So the information campaign came first and the military operation was supplementary to it.” Adds the commander: “We reversed the paradigm that we had lived with during my first 30 years in the Army.”
(When will the State Department undergo a similar paradigm shift in regard to the War of Ideas? Hopefully, when Karen Hughes and Dina Powell get there.).
Great, valuable piece. Congrats, Rich.
Posted at 10:27 AM
I CAN'T DRIVE 55 [John J. Miller]
The New York Times has an article today suggesting that bringing back the 55 mph rule on highways is a good way to reduce America's energy consumption. If you look at the story's own graphic, however, it's not at all clear that the limit had any effect on consumption between 1973 and 1987 (when it was imposed and when it was relaxed). The idea also brought to mind a conversation I recently had with one of my brothers. He's got one of these newer model cars that has a real-time display reporting how many miles to the gallon the car is getting. So I asked him if there was an optimal speed in terms of fuel use. "Yeah," he said. "Zero."
Posted at 05:36 AM
TIMING [K. J. Lopez]
A reader points out: " I'm thinking you guys missed a tremendous opportunity here by not having the soiree in Atlanta this weekend. I'll bet there is a lot of free booze sitting on ice at the Atlanta Athletic Club where the reception was supposed to take place..."
Posted at 03:37 AM
SILLY [K. J. Lopez]
The White House Correspondents Dinner and similar events are silly on a very obvious level. However...there is something to be said for everytime the opinion punditariat on the right and left get together and realize a good number among them are just decent people doing what they believe is right. Its a kinda healthy civic thing, in a somewhat odd way.
Posted at 03:32 AM
JUST NOTING [K. J. Lopez]
Man, it's 3:30 a.m. and D.C. was silly all night over Jane Fonda, Richard Gere, Jon Crier (yes, Duckie), and American Idol, etc. Nothing in the Washington Post, but The Corner was there, kids.
Posted at 03:28 AM
WHCD [K. J. Lopez]
Speaking of Desperate Housewives, "the plumber looks even better in person," was the most overheard comment of the night...
Posted at 03:22 AM
"CEDRIC, AN I DOING ALRIGHT? [K. J. Lopez]
That was Laura Bush's declaration of comedic victory line tonight.
Posted at 03:22 AM
MOVE OVER, CONDI [K. J. Lopez]
Laura Bush is the rock star of the Bush II administration. She lit up the room at the White House Correspondents Dinner tonight. Funny, delightful. Though, man, there were jokes she threw out there I would have stayed far away from.
Posted at 03:21 AM