CAN YOU TORTURE A BOOK? [John Podhoretz]
Anybody notice that the debate over American conduct at Gitmo has moved from the question of whether detainees were tortured to the question of whether a book was tortured? Granted, we are talking about a holy book. But it is an inanimate object, no?
Posted at 05:16 PM
MUDVILLE GAZETTE WITH SOME PERSPECTIVE [K. J. Lopez]
Posted at 04:40 PM
THE NERVE OF SOME PEOPLE! [Cliff May]
Three Saudi reformers have been sentenced to prison for being reformers.
They signed a petition asking for an elected parliament and a constitutional monarchy. As a result, “Ali al-Demaini, Abdullah al-Hamed and Matrouk al-Faleh were sentenced on May 15 to nine, seven and six years of imprisonment respectively.” Details are here.
Thanks goodness for Amnesty International. I’m sure they’ll have these guys out on bail in no time. If not, I’m sure they’ll be demanding that Saudi leaders be arrested in foreign countries, just as they’ve said Americans should be arrested in foreign countries. Don’t you think?
Posted at 04:28 PM
VA PARTIAL BIRTH LAW FALLS [Jonathan H. Adler]
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld a district court ruling invalidating Virginia's partial-birth abortion law. SCOTUSBlog has the details here. I would expect Virginia to seek en banc and/or Supreme Court review.
Posted at 04:24 PM
AMNESTY STILL DOESN'T GET IT [Jonathan H. Adler]
More from that once-respected human rights organization (via the NYT):
LONDON, June 3 - An official of Amnesty International said Friday that the term gulag in its annual report to describe the United Stateys prison camp at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, was chosen deliberately, and she shrugged off harsh criticism of the report by the Bush administration.The issue is not that Amnesty criticized U.S. treatment of Gitmo detainees. Insofar as there have been abuses -- and it appears there have -- U.S. officials are worthy of criticism, but as many others have already note, the Gulag comparison is offensive and wrong.
Posted at 04:23 PM
HYSTERICAL HARKIN [Jonathan H. Adler]
Robert Novak reports on some outrageous comments by Senator Tom Harkin:
Harkin, appearing on liberal Randi Rhodes's national radio talk show, became animated as he said of Owen: "This is not a person to put on the bench for a lifetime appointment. This person is wacko! She's wacko!"
Posted at 04:22 PM
FOLKS IN SPAIN [K. J. Lopez]
protest against the government negotiating with terrorists.
Posted at 04:20 PM
WELL, MY WEEKEND IS SHOT [K. J. Lopez]
AP: "Saddam Hussein's morale has plummeted as the gravity of the war crimes charges he faces sinks in, the judge who will oversee his trial said, and an Iraqi regarded as a top terror leader was arrested Saturday in northern Iraq."
Posted at 04:17 PM
GITMO: DO THE MATH [John Podhoretz]
If the facility at Guantanamo Bay has a prisoner-to-prison-guard ratio anywhere near the ratio in the prison field in general, there is one guard for every five prisoners. That means, with some 600 prisoners, there are more than 100 prison guards, and that doesn't include however many interrogators there are. And surely, in the course of that time, there has been a guard rotation or two, which would suggest there have been several hundred guards and interrogators at work at Gitmo.
In the space of more than three years, according to the Pentagon, there are three confirmed incidents in which the Koran was desecrated, the worst being an occasion when it was kicked. The person who kicked the Koran was kicked out of Gitmo.
No Koran was stuffed in the toilet, as Newsweek had falsely alleged. Indeed, according to Pentagon investigators, there were 15 instances in which the Koran was defiled by Muslim prisoners.
What does this tell us? It tells us that, after these revelations, it would be profoundly dishonest for anyone to say that such conduct was either typical or condoned or part of the interrogation techniques used there. But many people will say precisely this, just as they will claim Newsweek was somehow vindicated because there was an incident in which urine splashed onto a Koran through an air vent. And you know why they will say it? Because, for various reasons -- from ideological hostility to the United States to a desire to keep themselves at a distance from the Bush administration -- they want to believe it.
Posted at 08:57 AM
WARREN... [K. J. Lopez]
...I'd be worried if too many people e-mailed you on Friday night! End of week fun, sleep, catching up, letting the kids stay up late, etc. Life isn't The Corner, just substantial portions of it.
Posted at 01:55 AM
ROMNEY ON THE ABORTION CONTROVERSY [K. J. Lopez]
In New Hampshire Friday night, explains the past and present, implies the future:
"I am opposed to abortion, but I indicated that I would maintain the laws as they exist in Massachusetts, and I've done exactly that. That's been my promise and continues to be my promise," he said.
Posted at 01:53 AM
I ASKED, AND CORNER READERS LISTENED [Warren Bell]
Only three people wrote to give me a hard time about Ferris. One wrote to say Breakfast Club is better than Sixteen Candles. Kind of makes me think all this worry about certain topics generating too much mail is silly. Anyway, what's a holodeck?
Posted at 01:49 AM
THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO FEMINISM [K. J. Lopez]
Posted at 01:47 AM
KORAN@GITMO [K. J. Lopez]
Michelle Malkin keeps reading.
Posted at 01:41 AM
Friday, June 03, 2005
WARREN.... [Jonah Goldberg]
Just curious: What do you think about: Drug legalization, libertarians, Ayn Rand, the holodeck,m intelligent design or the gas tax?
Hint: Answer carefully.
Posted at 11:33 PM
OF COURSE [K. J. Lopez]
When one tries to catch up on responding to e-mails at the end of the week, half of them bounce back. That's my real excuse for why you didn't get an answer from me. You all know who you are. Try again tomorrow! G'Night.
Posted at 08:19 PM
FEMINISTS VS. ROMNEY [K. J. Lopez]
The Boston uproar continues:
STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, JUNE 3, 2005…[subscribers only] Reacting to a magazine report that Gov. Mitt Romney has been “faking it as a pro-choice friendly,” female Democratic state lawmakers Friday demanded that Romney make clear his stance on women’s reproductive rights.You'd think those feminists would be warm to Romney...but that would be assuming their top priority weren't keeping abortion legal and always accessible.
Posted at 08:11 PM
SPEAKING OF [K. J. Lopez]
Posted at 07:35 PM
BRINKLEY NO REAGANITE [Steven Hayward]
Appropo Tim Graham's observations and Jay's Impromptu remarks, Doug Brinkley's new embrace of Reagan threatens to give opportunism and hackery a bad name. His Jimmy Carter book, The Unfinished Presidency, includes every possible anti-Reagan slur imaginable. But then, when Reagan's popularity began to rise a few years ago, Brinkley turns up at the Reagan library hoping to be blessed to write a new official biography to make up for Morris's botch job, and he got all the way to Nancy Reagan before cooler heads prevailed. Now this nonsense.
I was on Kudlow and Cramer with Brinkley a couple years ago, and I made a remark in praise of Reagan's "evil empire" speech, whereupon Brinkley broke in to say that there were a lot of conservatives at the time who didn't like it. He must not handle his mint juleps well down there in New Orleans.
Posted at 07:24 PM
DON'T CALL MARK FELT A HERO [K. J. Lopez]
Ben Stein does not hold back on Deep Throat.
Posted at 07:21 PM
SUPPLY YOUR OWN [K. J. Lopez]
cheese-eating surrender-monkey headline.
Posted at 07:08 PM
H-BOMB [K. J. Lopez]
I just took a look after sparing myself for a while--I was losing patience and was utterly bored by the John Bolton video at the top of the page for however long she had it up (2 days?). Now she has a link to Media Matters as one of the near-top links. Readers have been imploring me to stop linking to the H-Bomb. I think I can probably make you happy there--the novelty of watching the Left be way too honest is just getting boring. And I really need a drink in my hand oftentimes to listen to Bill Maher or Erica Jong. And we just don't have a budget for my in-office bar at the moment.
Posted at 06:58 PM
WEIRD [K. J. Lopez]
Mitt Romney has to go to Harvard to get an alumni award next weekend. It was Harvard in part driving the embryonic-stem-cell/cloning issue in Mass. Harvard which has an oh-so wonderful record when it comes to "Brave New World" type issues.
Posted at 06:50 PM
DOUG BRINKLEY'S REAGANITES [Tim Graham]
I've been fussing in the office this week about "popular historian" Douglas Brinkley trying to wipe off the stain of his Kerry-campaign hack book Tour of Duty (which should have been called "Tour of Corrections") by doing a book boosting the boys of Pointe Du Hoc, and praising Reagan's D-Day speech honoring them in 1984. Reagan's on the cover of U.S. News this week, and Jay Nordlinger put the lie to Brinkley's centering pose today by quoting this sentence: “Even though Reaganites tried to pretend for political purposes that the Vietnam War was a morally justified crusade, in their heads and hearts they knew better.” Bravo, Jay!
Posted at 06:44 PM
SERVER SHUTDOWN? [Warren Bell]
There were no posts in 3+ hours? Chaka!! Put down the giant strawberry!
Posted at 06:38 PM
MORE DISCOVERIES IN IRAQ [K. J. Lopez]
"Gross human rights violations"
Posted at 06:32 PM
IRAQI WMD? [Cliff May]
“[M]aterial that could be used to make biological or chemical weapons … has been removed from 109 sites in Iraq, U.N. weapons inspectors said in a report obtained Thursday.” Does this mean that while Saddam didn’t have any Weapons of Mass Destruction, he did have the materials to make Weapons of Mass Destruction? In which case, there was never any reason for concern, right?
Posted at 06:28 PM
HA! AN E-MAIL ON MY DISLIKE OF THE BREAKFAST CLUB [K. J. Lopez]
"Snoozer? Only because you probably never were sent to detention, were you?"
Posted at 06:25 PM
THE FASCISM OF FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF [K. J. Lopez]
I see a book in your future, Warren. I can't believe you just went there though. On The Breakfast Club, though, right on, Bell.
Posted at 06:21 PM
HESITANTLY [Warren Bell]
I will venture my opinion on Breakfast Club, but only if everyone promises not to email. (I mean it. You know who you are.) Breakfast Club is a disaster. A bad bad movie. Overwrought self-important garbage, and a huge letdown from the shimmering delight of Sixteen Candles.
ButnotasbadasFerrisBuellerwhichisamovieaboutfascism - no emails no emails no emails!!!
Posted at 06:20 PM
THE MOST INTERESTING/DISTURBING THING I LEARNED AT THE BOOK EXPO [K. J. Lopez]
was how much obscenely longer the line to get Candace Bushnell's John Hancock on a book was than the line for Oscar Madison. So I said hi to Oscar from The Corner.
Posted at 06:16 PM
I WENT TO THE ALL-EXCITING BOOK EXPO ACROSS TOWN [K. J. Lopez]
and now see The Corner has taken a siesta!
Posted at 06:10 PM
KNEE-JERK BUT TRUE? [K. J. Lopez]
A reader, responding to a post:
re: Can a headline ever report new jobs without dismissing them?
Posted at 01:32 PM
FLIRTING WITH A MAN FROM MASS. [K. J. Lopez]
Just for the record, I did not write the table of contents text to the Romney piece by JJM that's the cover story in the new NRODT: i.e. I'm not the only one who noticed the completely superficial here besides the fair and right. The text:
Mitt Romney, the handsome governor from Massachusetts, will decide this fall whether to run for reelection in 2006 or president in 2008. If he aims high, he could become the most prominent governor (or recent ex-governor) in the GOP field. But he'll need to catch a break from conservatives who possess an instinctive wariness of anything emanating from the land of Kennedy, Dukakis, and Kerry. Their skepticism is well warranted -- but Romney also deserves a fair hearing.
Posted at 01:31 PM
NEW SAT QUESTION ROCKS MY WORLDVIEW [K. J. Lopez]
Think carefully about the issue presented in the following excerpt and assignment below:
Posted at 01:30 PM
80S MOVIE QUESTION [K. J. Lopez]
I thought Breakfast Club was a snoozer. Is that a bad good movie or just a bad bad movie?
Posted at 01:15 PM
HOW FEMALE [K. J. Lopez]
is your brain?
Posted at 12:39 PM
MY TAKE ON JOBS [Larry Kudlow]
On the surface, today’s 78,000 increase in nonfarm payroll jobs looks weaker than expected in the May jobs report. But surface conclusions are often misleading. The household survey, from which the 5.1 percent unemployment rate is derived, supplied 376,000 new workforce entrants. Over the past three months the household survey has increased by an average of 444,000 per month compared to 158,000 for the established business count.
According to Bear Stearns economist John Ryding, on a payroll-adjusted basis (excluding self-employment and adjusting for multiple job holders), household employment rose 210,000 in May and has averaged 372,000 per month over the last three months. So there’s still a good deal of labor-market strength despite today’s headline weakness. Year-to-date non-farm payrolls are averaging 180,000 per month, on track to deliver 2.2 million new jobs this year, the same total as 2004. Households, on the other hand, are tracking year-to-date at a 2.6 million annual rise, much stronger than last year’s 1.7 million total.
Meanwhile, wage gains for non-supervisory workers have increased 2.6 percent over the past twelve months. However, worker earnings when measured more broadly are actually much stronger. Compensation per hour in the non-farm sector increased 3.9 percent over the past year. In the non-financial corporate sector, hourly comp registered a whopping 7 percent annual gain. Total wages and salaries from all sources are rising about 7.5 percent. So, at a low 5.1 percent unemployment rate, the U.S. workforce is experiencing significant income gains.
Though mainstream economists and reporters pay scant attention to the fiscal-policy influence on jobs and incomes, the fact remains that since President Bush’s supply-side tax cuts went into effect in mid-2003, non-farm payrolls have grown by 3.5 million with household employment gaining 3.9 million. Unemployment has dropped to 5.1 percent from 6.3 percent. Average quarterly growth in real GDP has advanced by 4.4 percent annually. The economic power of lower marginal tax rates on household incomes and capital formation is still misunderestimated, to re-coin a phrase.
Posted at 12:34 PM
"PAYROLLS GROW BY JUST 78,000 IN MAY" [K. J. Lopez]
Can a headline ever report new jobs without dismissing them?
Posted at 12:03 PM
NEWSWEEK: THE POPE IS PERVERSE [Tim Graham]
Newsweek's Jonathan Alter confidently predicts that embryo-destroying stem cell research will be a killer issue (pun intended) for the Democrats in 2006: "Only Bush bitter-enders and the pope are in the perverse position of valuing the life of an ailing human being less than that of a tiny clump of cells no bigger than the period at the end of this sentence."
Posted at 11:48 AM
RE: TRANSGENDERED DOLPHINS AND THINGS [K. J. Lopez ]
That episode reminded me why I don't like the term "South Park Conservative." It's the same reason I get annoyed at Rod Dreher's "Crunchy Con" thesis (as our friend Rod knows). Conservatives can eat organic and—shocking as it may be—can be pretty darn funny. Neither makes us anomalies. Conservatism is about ideas, but it's not a lock-step army, with dress and behavior codes. (I think Warren gets this right here.) If, in the end, "South Park Conservatives" and "Crunchy Cons" make more people realize conservatives are people too—i.e. most of red America—cool, fine. But my worry has always been these unnecessary labels and things just further ghettoize and stereotype. This goes back to why I get annoyed every time I see another "conservative beat" story by David Kirkpatrick in the NYTimes. We're not an alien species. Just cover politics, etc., and the Right will fit in in that beat.
Posted at 11:33 AM
WHERE'S THE BATHROOM FOR THE TRANSPECIED? DOLPINS HAVE RIGHTS, TOO, YOU KNOW. I'M A LAWYER, I KNOW. [K. J. Lopez ]
RE: Team America. Warren's wife could handle it. Derb's couldn't. A few days ago I caught a South Park rerun. Ridiculously funny but ridiculously crass as it tends to be--if you've seen the transgendered dolphin episode you know what I mean: the kid exploding and why he exploded was more than I needed to think about.
So, despite many encouraging me to see it, I've steered clear so far from TA. And maybe I'm not a South Park conservative, and still manage to very obviously exude hipness.
Posted at 11:27 AM
MEANS AND MEDIANS [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader (and Poli Sci Prof):
I know you don't actually care, but you were almost certainly right the first time.
Posted at 11:19 AM
PROMISING IDEA [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
start calling the web guy, Chakah. that will teach him a lesson.
Posted at 11:18 AM
RE: WARNINGS UNHEEDED [K. J. Lopez]
Cute, Warren. And deadly dangerous.
Posted at 11:14 AM
WARNINGS UNHEEDED [Warren Bell]
Sorry, Jonah and K-Lo, I didn't have time to read what you said about topics that generate lots of mail, as I am polishing up a post about science fiction. I think it's a second-rate form of literature, don't you?
Posted at 11:13 AM
WOODWARD & BRADLEE, ETC. [Michael Ledeen]
I sometimes lecture on "journalism," and much of that talk consists of excerpts from All the President's Men by Woodward and Bernstein. In that book, they admit to a wide range of unethical and illegal behavior, from tampering with a grand jury to illegally obtaining and using private telephone records (a kind of private Patiot Act for the "Post"). Then I read from a section (pp. 184-192) in which they discuss an unhappy event. They had written that grand jury testimony had fingered Haldeman as a conspirator in "Watergate". Ron Ziegler, Nixon's press secretary, had violently denied it. Woodstein went back to their sources, and concluded they had been deceived. The story was wrong. Then (pg 192): "The reporters said (to Bradlee, their editor) they were virtually certain that Sloan must not have given testimony about Haldeman before the grand jury. Woodward suggested writing that much, at least, and acknowledging their error."
No way, said Bradlee..."Bradlee then turned to his typewriter...after a number of false starts, he issued the following statement: "We stand by our story."
And there's a footnote: "He was later to recall: 'I issued two statement in that one year...Geez, what options did I really have? ...I can remember sitting down at the typewriter and writing about thirty statements and then sort of saying, "F**k it, let's go stand by our boys." ' "
Which is why I have no heroes in this saga...
Posted at 11:11 AM
ERRRANT WATERGATE THOUGHTS [Cliff May]
Today, I’m pleased to say, there could be no repetition of Watergate. Two reasons:
1) The DNC is no longer housed in a hotel suite, it’s now in a multi-million dollar building, professionally guarded. This, of course, is the result of decades of congressional campaign finance reform – taking the money out of politics.
2) With the DNC led by Howard Dean, who would be stupid enough to believe there was any information at the DNC headquarters worth stealing?
Posted at 11:05 AM
WASTED OPPORTUNITY [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
Re: WARREN, WARREN, WARREN
Me:Hey, if you want a candidate for hazing, a few weeks ago I was IMing with our webguy and I referenced the G-File. He asked if that's what I call my column archives.
If you listen carefully, you can still hear a distinct "whack" sound from the NRHQ storeroom and his baleful cries "Thank you sir! may I have another?"
Posted at 10:53 AM
"HOLY 6:07AM POST, BATMAN" [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
Posted at 10:50 AM
BROOKE SHIELDS P.S. [K. J. Lopez]
Another active name, of course.
Posted at 10:34 AM
IT'S RAINING JUDGES? [K. J. Lopez]
Some new stuff up on Bench Memos.
Posted at 10:16 AM
E-MAILS [K. J. Lopez]
Jonah: You forgot computers: Mac vs. anything else. Unbearable flow. NEVER GO THERE, WARREN. Also, anytime you bring up Rick Santorum, left and right go nutty.
Posted at 10:13 AM
WARREN, WARREN, WARREN [Jonah Goldberg]
Ah, young grasshopper....you think 78 overnight emails is a lot? Try dissing engineers while making a basic math error: guaranteed 200 emails.
Make jokes about the Red Chinese leadership leaving menus under your door or how they want to eat your dog: 400 emails, sure thing.
And then there are some issues -- Ann Coulter, Mecca, etc -- which have no known upper limit of emails they can generate.
These are just some of the things you learn from trial and error around here.
Posted at 10:09 AM
GOOD-BAD SONGS [Shameless]
Can anyone say Heartbeat? I'm Looking for a Heartbeat? Heartbeat. Heartbeat...
Posted at 10:04 AM
TWO MORE... [Jonah Goldberg]
Outstanding good-bad movies: Extreme Prejudice and Uncommon Valor.
Posted at 09:36 AM
WHAT'S WITH [Warren Bell]
the big blue ball?
Hat tip: emailer Bruce.
Posted at 09:34 AM
SPEAKING OF GROSS POINTE BLANK & CUSACKS [K. J. Lopez]
Joan Cusack is underappreciated, starting with Sixteen Candles on down to School of Rock and Raising Helen (and Toy Story!)
Posted at 09:30 AM
BETTER OFF CUSACK [Shannen Coffin]
Though this is a dangerous discussion to wade into when I am trying to get some real work done today, I have to come to the unsolicited aid of JPod. The Sure Thing is brilliant comedy, and one of the more quotable movies of my generation. ("Repre-essed!"). But I'd go one further and stick up for all of the John Cusack movies of that era--Better off Dead, for instance, is a very low budget high comedy. Cusack is one of the more underrated comic actors out there. More recently, his take on an assassin with questions about his career choice in Gross Pointe Blank was terrific stuff.
Posted at 09:27 AM
I'M NOT ANGRY [Warren Bell]
I had a pretty firm policy of answering all my NRO email. Sometimes just a line or two, but I remember that feeling of sending a note off into the ether to someone and just never knowing whether or not it was even seen. I wanted folks to know I read what they had to say, and so often I really did appreciate the effort it took to write me.
And now you movie nerds have ruined it. I can't personally respond to the 78 emails I came home to last night. Sorry, but this will have to do: I'm glad you agree with me on Tombstone. "Wyatt Earp's coming and Hell's coming with me!" is a great line. Dana Delany is kind of pretty, but seriously bad in that movie. I'll give Big Trouble in Little China a try. Buckaroo Banzai is wacky fun, but not really good at all. Remo Williams was okay, if I'm thinking of the right movie.
Red Dawn is cool, I was kidding. Karate Kid?
Posted at 09:26 AM
WESTERN WELFARE [Stanley Kurtz]
The Western welfare state is going down. Here’s Tom Friedman’s take. Naturally, Friedman’s emphasis is on globalization. But demographics make a very interesting appearance in this piece. Compare the attitude to work of an aging population with the attitude of a relatively young population. If this contrast looks significant now, just wait a decade. True, fertility rates are declining steeply even in Third World countries like India. But it will take a generation or two before they reach Western levels. In the meantime, we’re going to see the effect outlined by Friedman multiplied on a huge scale.
Posted at 09:24 AM
EUROPEAN EARTHQUAKE [Stanley Kurtz]
Here’s an interesting essay from someone at The Economist who’s been reading conservative American blogs. In fact the piece is partly addressed to America’s conservatives. The argument is that, except for the self-satisfied chortling of America’s anti-EU right, the United States has mistakenly ignored the big events in Europe. A European union is not a military or foreign policy threat to America, says The Economist. On the contrary, it could be a powerful ally--especially if the EU really did take up the “ultra-liberal” economic policies favored by the United States and Britain. America shouldn’t rejoice in the EU’s dilemma, the Economist says. It should quietly help to nudge Europe toward the free market policies that the anti-EU left so fears.
I do think America is paying too little attention to the earthquake in Europe. As The Economist suggests, that’s partly due to our mistaken sense that Europe doesn’t matter any more. Yet I suspect that much of our silence is due to the awkwardness of the European dilemma for America’s liberals. Just now, the American left is engaged in an ultimately doomed effort to protect our out-of-control entitlements. They don’t dare directly identify themselves with Europe’s anti-EU left, but they can’t bring themselves to condemn the European left either. Mostly, America’s liberals would just like the awkward comparison with Europe’s failing welfare state to disappear.
Sure, it would be great to see Europe adopt free market reforms. But it’s tough for American conservatives to get excited about a union where undemocratic elites work to impose the dogmas of the cultural left on their continent–and ours. Some American conservatives might want to see Europe “absorb” Turkey. For many others, however, that is not a wise objective. Democracy, the nation-state, and some modicum of inherited cultural tradition still seem like good ideas to most American conservatives. The EU threatens all that. And with America’s liberal elites enchanted by Europe’s post-nationalism, it’s welfare state, it’s sixties inflected culture, it’s undemocratic legal stratagems, and its pacifism, conservatives are not going to get excited about the European Union any time soon. Maybe if Europeans themselves begin to point their ambitions in a different direction, that will change.
Posted at 09:17 AM
IF THE FRENCH CAN DO IT, WHY NOT THE IRANIANS? [Rachel Z. Friedman]
“My interest is not in why the French people turned down the new EU treaty…but rather the fact they had the opportunity to do so,” writes Akbar Atri, a student leader of the Iranian referendum movement, on The American Spectator’s website.
Posted at 09:01 AM
LITTLE TOM CRUISE MONKEYS JUMPING ON THE COUCH [John Podhoretz]
Brooke Shields is going after Tom Cruise at the right time. I happened to be watching his unbelievable "I love Katie Holmes" performance onOprah the other week and I began the countdown to his eventual starring role on CSI: Medicine Hat. In past years, when Cruise was represented by a brilliant PR executive named Pat Kingsley, there would be these moments when uncomfortable rumors would swirl around him. Just then, he would appear out of nowhere and pull somebody from a burning car or save somebody from a carjacking. This is not a joke. But he fired Pat Kingsley, and now he's leaping up and down on Oprah's couch and insulting women with post-partum depression because they take medication. Memo to Cruise: Go hire an extra, stage a drive-by shooting and rescue somebody. But quick.
Posted at 08:59 AM
THE END OF “UNDERREPRESENTATION”—AND AFFIRMATIVE ACTION? [Roger Clegg]
There’s an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education about two recent government reports that document the increase in minority and female enrollment at universities. Women and Asians are, we already knew, considerably “overrepresented” (that is, their share of the university population is much greater than their share of the general population). African Americans are not “underrepresented” anymore either, since as of 2003 they made up 13 percent of college students--versus 10 percent in 1993--the same or perhaps even a little more than their percentage of the general population. And “Hispanic students made the biggest gains in that decade,” says the article, up to 10 percent from 4 percent (but still below their general population share, which is now just slightly ahead of blacks).
Now, one must be careful in how one uses these numbers. For instance, the fact that Hispanics may still appear to be “underrepresented” does not take into account the fact that fewer Hispanics than other groups graduate from high school, a prerequisite to attending most colleges. On the other hand, the fact that you are enrolled in college doesn’t mean that you will graduate from college (the chances are only about 50-50). On the third hand, not all colleges are equal. On the fourth hand—well, you get the idea.
Still, the numbers do tend to show how untenable it has become to assert that racial preferences are necessary to ensure equal access to higher education in this country. And, indeed, a couple of other studies during the past week have concluded that schools are making less use of this sort of affirmative action (here and here). This is, one hopes, what even the defenders of preferences have professed to want—a withering away of preferences as time goes by.
Posted at 08:56 AM
HERE'S THE NEW NRODT COVER, BTW [K. J. Lopez]
NR Digital will be up later this morning. (Subscribe here.)
(Scroll down for more on the story and the Boston buzz it's got going. It's been a long day already.)
Posted at 08:53 AM
WARREN'S BIG TROUBLE [John Podhoretz]
Warren, Big Trouble in Little China is a profoundly disappointing movie. Which is to say, you can see how and why it might be a classic comic adventure, but it just doesn't get there. Its director, John Carpenter, blamed the special-effects team. He said there were so many effects movies going on that he got the short end of the stick and the effects stank, which they do. But there is great great stuff in it -- not just Kurt Russell's hilarious performance but also a peerless villain turn by a Chinese character actor named James Wong, who is alternately a 40 year-old man and a 1000-year-old man. Also funny is that even though Russell is technically the action hero here, he stands around while another guy does all the fighting.
So, basically, your friend remains annoying.
Posted at 08:53 AM
BIG TROUBLE, THE ENTERPRISE, AND THINGS [K. J. Lopez]
Do you think that 50 years or so ago, WFB and Whittaker Chambers and crew were having similar conversations, the 1955 or so equivalents? Nevermind...I get a little worried when I think about it.
Posted at 08:53 AM
BROOKE SHIELDS VS. TOM CRUISE [K. J. Lopez]
Ouch. Something tells me a generation of men will fall in love all over again--and their wives won't mind:
"Tom Cruise's comments are irresponsible and dangerous," Shields said in London last week. "Tom should stick to saving the world from aliens and let women who are experiencing postpartum depression decide what treatment options are best for them."
Posted at 08:50 AM
NO "GITMO GROVEL" [Tim Graham]
Kudos to E.J. Dionne for dressing down Amnesty International for using the loaded word "gulag" to describe Gitmo, even if he hates the way Bush is allowed to call their charges "absurd." Better yet is Charles Krauthammer, who soundly rejects the Amnesty tilt:
Under the rules the Pentagon later instituted at Guantanamo, proper handling of the Koran means using two hands and wearing gloves when touching it. Which means that if any guard held the Koran with one hand or had neglected to put on gloves, this would be considered mishandling.
Posted at 08:50 AM
ANNOYING FRIEND WRITES ME [Warren Bell]
Regarding Big Trouble in Little China.
"Warren, Warren, Warren... you may think that your "principled" stand against what is perhaps the best John Wayne movie of all time (starring, of course, Kurt Russell as John Wayne) hurts me. But, really, you're only hurting yourself."
Actually, a ton of email now supports Annoying Friend's opinion. I'll watch the movie, but if I like I won't tell him.
Posted at 08:38 AM
CONFUCIUS HE SAY [John Derbyshire]
"At sixty, my ears were receptive to Truth."
Posted at 08:36 AM
"WELL, REPUBLICANS...A LOT OF THEM HAVE NEVER MADE AN HONEST LIVING IN THEIR LIVES..." [K. J. Lopez]
Just what the Dems need: Dean reaching out .
Posted at 08:11 AM
DON'T YOU BE CALLING THE SURE THING GOOD-BAD... [John Podhoretz]
....because it's just about a perfect romantic comedy, and it features a truly great performance by John Cusack. It's good-good, by any measure.
Posted at 08:09 AM
CNN INTERNATIONAL [K. J. Lopez]
was Fidel Castro's idea.
Posted at 08:08 AM
WEIRDEST NEWS STORY OF THE DAY [K. J. Lopez]
"Mr." North Korea. (I ignore all Michael Jackson stories when considering this categories' nominees.)
Posted at 08:07 AM
"OUR VERSION OF THE TRUTH" [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Dan Rather holds onto his National Guard story.
Posted at 07:41 AM
GOOD BAD MOVIES [Rick Brookhiser]
I would have said, the first Star Wars, until I saw it when it was re-released, and the proportions of badness swelled alarmingly.
Posted at 07:36 AM
#32 [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
Me: If I were czar, your prize would be to be dragged away for a flogging. But, alas, I am not czar so thanks for the clarification.
Posted at 07:30 AM
FRENCH WOMEN [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
are not all that.
Posted at 07:25 AM
IT'S ALMOST 7:30 ALREADY! [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Productivity is down in NR World Headquarters (the indentured servants come in mighty early--just ask Ross Douthat). I blame Jonah's list. I was distracted by #17.
Posted at 07:24 AM
ABOUT THAT LIST. [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Don't be knocking Happy Gilmore. And...since at least one person signed up for our Chicago fundraiser claiming he did so because of the promise of revelations about K-Lo's good-bad movie list, here's one: Little Nicky. Don't judge me. You make God very nervous.
Posted at 06:24 AM
RE: G-MAIL [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Am I lame for passing up invites right and left for a while now? Or just too cool for g-mail?
Posted at 06:21 AM
"WAS SATAN BEHIND BUSH V. GORE? " [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
John Miller, by the way, has a great opener in a WSJ piece today: "It was a little more than eight years ago that a priest performed an exorcism on me."
Posted at 06:17 AM
JONAH'S POST [Kathryn Jean Lopez ]
is the kinda thing I fear someone will post at 3 am, after a night out.
Posted at 06:11 AM
MY TAKE ON THE ROMNEY THING [Kathryn Jean Lopez ]
As you'll read in the Globe today—and hopefully in NR shortly thereafter--Mike Murphy gave our John J. Miller a rather indelicate quote about Romney's position on abortion. I tend to agree with the Ron Kaufman read in the Globe piece:
But Ron Kaufman, the Republican national committeeman for Massachusetts and a powerful Washington lobbyist, said he doubted that Murphy was targeting a particular voter bloc. Rather, Kaufman speculated, Murphy was probably saying, undiplomatically, that Romney may oppose abortion, but has kept his word as a governor.Romney said he wouldn’t change the laws of Massachusetts on abortion. Love him or hate him for that, he kept his word there. In fact, to the extent that he fought the legislature to the end when they went ahead and decided to change the definition of life during the course of the recent embryonic-stem-cell-research/cloning debate. So if you're looking for a guy who takes a stand for life when it's an actual issue before him. That debate wasn't about abortion, but it showed a respect and understanding for the dignity of human life (despite my disappointment he didn't go all the way--but even his frozen embryo position served an educational purpose, I thought, as I've explained).
Romney, as I've maintained, is going to have to get into this more if he wants to run for the White House, but I don't fault him too much for "faking it" as a pro-choicer if that's what he did to some extent. He was running in Massachusetts. He was not going to win as a pro-lifer and he was not going to succeed in changing laws in the state. (Don't get me wrong, I'm not endorsing lying here--I'm just trying to be realistic about the political realities in the Bay State--and yeah, think conservatives--and pro-lifers--should not discount this guy.) But, you know, when push came to shove and he could take a stand against a radical new state-okayed destruction and production of human life, he put his foot down, against all odds. He lost, but he fought, and put himself on the record pretty clearly--and educated some people in the process (as I've said, rarely has a politician spoken so clearly and passionately on the issue). I'll judge him in the present and future and we'll see where he goes.
So, anyway, I don't think the Murphy quote is as big of a deal as it is being made out to be. But, of course, as a loyal team player, I'm always happy when people are taking about us, so I'm not complaining. Though the good governor & co. must love that a positive profile in NR has become a blowout about one ill-advised comment.
Posted at 06:09 AM
JUST FYI [Kathryn Jean Lopez ]
Subscribers to NR Digital will be able to read our new cover story (by John J. Miller) on Mitt Romney a little later on today. It's the article Boston is buzzing about today.
Posted at 06:08 AM
A FEW THINGS [Jonah Goldberg ]
1. I will agree that Val Kilmer's performance in Tombstone is top notch. But I actually think Kilmer is one of America's finest actors. Then again I take great solace in the fact that he's supposedly a jerk and so his career has suffered. I like the idea that people who aren't nice to the people around them don't succeed.
2. I'll even concede that the acting in Tombstone is quite good.
3. But the film's climax comes like a full 50 minutes before the end. That is very annoying.
4. There are all sorts of odd messages to be found in the film. I used to have a better catalog of them, but I do seem to recall a wagon full of women demanding "equal work for equal pay" going by in one scene. If I remember this right, this was as out of place as having an AMC Pacer drive by in a movie about World War One. In fact, I think the Pacer was closer to WWI than the slogan "equal work for equal pay" was to 1870s Wyoming.
5. Happy Gilmore is nowhere near as good as Tommy Boy. But The Sure Thing might be.
6. I will never concede that Bugsy Malone is a bad anything -- but others might. So I put it on the list.
7. I loved Get Shorty.
8. Get these squirrels off of me!
Number Nine, Number Nine, Number Nine, Number Nine...: Oh, no this list has gotten away from me....
10. Freedom! Horrilbe Freedom!
11. Okay, calm down. Get it together.
12. The Fox shows "Flying Blind," "Tribeca" and "Profit" were all cancelled too soon.
13. Nick's the kinda guy you can trust. Nick's your buddy. Nick's the kinda guy you drink beers with. The kinda guy that doesn't care if you puke in his car. Nick.
14. Stop the Humanoid.
15. Where? Here diagonally.
(15.a Pretty sneaky sis.)
16. Take human bites.
17. Behold! A God who bleeds!
18. I could tell you stories about my teeth that would make your hair stand on end.
20. No time for pleasantries, Kyle. We have a level five emergency.
22. Those aren't pillows!
23. Lou Costello had a dime stuck in his ear most of his life.
24. [Regaining composure]: Q: How could you leave Gymkata off the list of good-bad movies? A: Because it's a good terrible movie.
25. John: "Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?"
26. Speaking of Kelly's Heroes, did you know that it's working title was "The Warriors"?
27. Did you know that snails can sleep for up to three years?
28. The human brain contains more than 4 terrabytes of information.
29. More people are born in India every year than live in Australia.
30. Central Park is bigger than Monaco.
32. Half of all Americans are of below average intelligence.
33. Married men, on average, are more likely to be married than short men.
34. Chop Suey was invented in America.
35. The Shah of Iran gets a bad wrap.
36. Or, I suppose that's rap.
37. Speaking of rap, my brother is in the background in the Sbarro scene with the Fat Boys in Krush Groove.
38. He also made appearances on Wonderama and Zoom.
39. New Yorkers say that they wait "on line" while most other people say they wait "in line."
41. 40 is a nice biblical number so I will stop there.
Posted at 06:07 AM
G-MAIL [Warren Bell]
I have fifty invites, first come first served.
Posted at 01:20 AM
Thursday, June 02, 2005
G-MAIL BLEG [John Podhoretz]
Anybody have an invitation? If so, I'd be grateful. UPDATE: Got one. Thanks!
Posted at 09:57 PM
WAR CRIMES [K. J. Lopez]
Posted at 06:11 PM
K-LO HAS LEFT THE CORNER [She's Like the Wind]
The Road House talk compels her to grab this from itunes, naturally.
Posted at 06:07 PM
OH TOMBSTONE [Warren Bell]
Where to begin? A great performance by the mostly underrated Kurt Russell. A fine ensemble supporting cast with Val Kilmer, Sam Elliott, Bill Paxton, Powers Boothe, Michael Biehn, and a cool cameo from Charlton Heston. Kilmer is especially outstanding, perhaps never better, as the tubercular Doc Holliday. The script is by Kevin Jarre, who also wrote Glory, and its chock full of super cool tough guy dialogue.
Johnny Ringo: Isn't anyone here man enough to play for blood?
It was directed by the guy who did Rambo, so the action scenes are first-rate, and except for a regrettable romantic subplot with the snoozy Dana Delany, it's just great through and through.
Now, it's no Red Dawn...
Posted at 06:04 PM
IF YOU'RE MENTIONING TOMMY BOY... [The Pod]
...you can't leave off Happy Gilmore.
Posted at 06:04 PM
GOOD-BAD CINEMA [Warren Bell]
Several votes for Big Trouble in Little China, a movie which has been recommended to me so many times by an annoying friend that I now refuse to see it.
Posted at 05:56 PM
OH WARREN [Jonah Goldberg]
Tommy Boy you are absolutely correct about; a truly wonderful movie.
But Tombstone? Dondé esta the genius?
Posted at 05:53 PM
RE: TPM [ K. J. Lopez ]
Oh goodness. Marshall is hanging with Annie Lamont now? It's a long road from Ralph Reed!
Posted at 05:53 PM
BAD MOVIES WE LOVE [Warren Bell]
So hard to choose, mostly because this isn't "So Bad They're Good," which is a different thing entirely.
Rocket Man (starring Harland Williams as an inept astronaut)
And a movie that doesn't belong in this category because it isn't bad at all, but still I include it because most people think of it as being pulpy when it is in fact genius: Tombstone.
Posted at 05:33 PM
WATCH LARRY KING BLOW HIS NOSE! HEAR BARBARA BUSH CONSULT HER PALM PILOT! [John Podhoretz]
Harry Shearer, the Leftoid comic genius and Huff-Puff columnist, has posted a commercial-break feed from Larry King's interview of George HW and Barbara Bush. You've never seen anything like it, so watch it here.
Posted at 05:26 PM
SNAKE PLISSKEN AND BIG JAKE [John Podhoretz]
I am reliably informed by about two billion people that the repetition of the line "I thought you were dead" originated not in Escape from New York, but in a John Wayne movie called Big Jake. I dimly recall seeing Big Jake when I was 11 years old and it didn't make much of an impression on me. You want good late John Wayne, you gotta go with the criminally underrated The Cowboys.
Posted at 05:02 PM
PEOPLE WHO LOVE SWILL ROTS... [John Podhoretz]
...are gettin' angry -- so angry they are comparing me to cheese-eating surrender monkeys: "Your Star Wars comments on NRO's Corner have bombed utterly. Your review was out of the mainstream, your attempt to politicize the film was silly, if not worse--I think you were duped by a bunch of liberals, Frenchmen, and even some liberal Frenchmen at Cannes-- and your Matrix analogy is highly flawed. By the time the weekend is over, the latest Star Wars movie will have shot past the previous movie in terms of tickets sold, something the last Matrix sequel did not come close to doing. If I didn't think you were inviting this type of correspondence, I'd remind you of the first rule of damage control: quit digging the hole deeper."
To which my only answer is: "Tiens-moi, Anakin! Tiens moi en la manière que tu as faites par le lac sur Naboo!"
Posted at 04:56 PM
IT'S LIKE THE HUFFINGTON POST, ONLY IT'S NO FUN [John Podhoretz]
If you haven't seen it yet, Joshua Micah Marshall has started a Corner-like group blog called TPMCafe.com. It's really great...if you like dreadfully boring and earnest policy wonkishness, occasionally interrupted by an ideologically incoherent jape from my old friend Marshall Wittmann, who's a Democrat this week. But really, read TPMcafe if your idea of fun is reading a week's worth of blogging from John Edwards. Sample Edwards sentences: "In Albuquerque, I submitted testimony in favor of a minimum wage proposal at a meeting last week of the City Council. At the same time, I'm working with ACORN, labor unions, and other grassroots groups to help pass ballot initiatives on the minimum wage in targeted states in 2006. " Thrilling. Remember that moment, back in 2004, when people were saying Edwards was exciting? He's about as exciting as...as...as TPMcafe.com!
Posted at 04:38 PM
RE: PETE DAMON [K. J. Lopez]
Just wanted to point out that disabled veteran Pete Damon, the subject of that heart-warming Boston Globe story you linked to, was exploited by Michael Moore in his "Fahrenheit 911." Damon set the record straight in Mike Wilson's "Michael Moore Hates America."Andrew Leigh wrote about the latter here.
Posted at 04:36 PM
MEET PETE DAMON [K. J. Lopez]
Even I'd watch this Red Sox game
Posted at 04:18 PM
I THINK THIS IS A RIOT [K. J. Lopez]
or an important moment: Our Oldest Enemy, the book John J. Miller co-authored about how awful France is now available in French.
Posted at 04:04 PM
I WAS KINDA SORTA AGREEING WITH TED TURNER [K. J. Lopez]
Until he said this: ""I wanted to be The New York Times of the airwaves."
Posted at 04:02 PM
MISREMEMBERING GOOD LINES FROM GOOD-BAD MOVIES [John Podhoretz]
Earlier, I said that I thought Dalton from Road House was dead -- an effort to echo a line from the film. Eagle-eyed reader A.B. points out that my elliptical reference is incorrect. Everybody in Road House says they thought Dalton would be bigger. It's Snake Plissken in Escape from New York of whom everybody says, "I thought you were dead."
As for me, I say: "They used to be just another snake cult. Now they're everywhere."
Posted at 04:01 PM
I ADMIT, I WAS A SENSATIONALIST [Tim Graham]
From today's WashPost chat with reporter/author/Clinton-coddler John F. Harris (near the end) on passages like Hillary telling the White House staff they weren't "real men":
Puzzled: Why the enormous difference between the Drudge accounts of your book and The Post excerpts?
Posted at 03:56 PM
NEW STAR WARS ACRONYM [John Podhoretz]
Andrew Leigh, who writes fine stuff for NRO, e-mails to point out that if you type out all the initials and numerals for the Darth Vader Story, you come out with something very close to "Swill Rots."
Posted at 03:43 PM
CHICAGO BACKLASH [K. J. Lopez]
I *REFUSE* even to be in the same state with people who think the execrable Road House is a good-bad movie.I promise Road House is not on my list. No Swayze movie is...although...no...maybe...no, no. A "DD" belongs on the pop music list only. So don't let that or anything else keep you from your NRO date in Chicago.
Posted at 03:32 PM
FILM GEEKS -- ENOUGH! [John Podhoretz]
1) Okay, stop e-mailing me. I get it. Dalton from Road House went to NYU, not Harvard. Thank you for the all-important correction. By the way, I thought Dalton was dead.
2) I don't know why some of you are determined to demonstrate to me that Star Wars ROTS is too a big hit. I never said it wasn't a big hit. It's a mega-hit. So what? So were the Matrix sequels, and they were as bad as movies can be. What I said was that (as was true with the Matrix sequels) the second-week box-office falloff was very significant, an indicator of a lack of enthusiasm among its audience. You don't want to take my word for it? Here's Gitesh Pandya of boxofficeguru.com: "The concluding chapter of the Anakin trilogy has been depreciating at a slightly faster pace than its predecessor Episode II from 2002." That means it is doing worse at this point than Attack of the Clones, which even Star Wars geeks agree was a low point in the history of everything. So stop e-mailing me about this, because it really doesn't make sense for you guys to act as defensive linebackers for George Lucas, who doesn't deserve you.
Posted at 03:28 PM
I DON'T KNOW HOW FAR THIS WILL GO [K. J. Lopez]
but I'll reveal my good-bad movie list for a few Chicago sign-ups.
Posted at 03:21 PM
DOES WARREN [K. J. Lopez]
ever work from, like, home or the office?
Posted at 03:17 PM
SAME COFFEE BEAN, DIFFERENT VIBE [Warren Bell]
My new fave hangout and WiFi spot is not today overrun with semi-celebrities. No, as of this moment, it is close to packed with high school students. I am sitting next to one table and across from another. Nice looking kids, various levels of hip, cool, cute, smart.
And what are they talking about? Paris marries Paris? Britney's baby? American Idol?
Posted at 03:15 PM
SOMEBODY TOLD ME... [K. J. Lopez]
Adler--so you're in for the Killers concert?
Posted at 03:15 PM
REID [K. J. Lopez]
Full disclosure: I lifted this right off an RNC press release. But, come on. Harry Reid in Rolling Stone:
BATES: You've called Bush a loser. SEN. REID: And a liar. BATES: You apologized for the loser comment. SEN. REID: But never for the liar, have I?What a leader for the Dems.
Posted at 03:14 PM
DEMS ASSUME PROFS ARE LIBERAL [Jonathan H. Adler]
Several of my right-leaning colleagues and I continue to receive unsolicited e-mails from the Democratic National Committee and affiliated entities seeking to enlist our support in various party endeavors. Unless someone signed us all up as a joke, the faculty was added en masse under the assumption that legal academics must be liberal. Now where would the Democratic Party ever get an idea like that?
Posted at 03:04 PM
AMNESTY UNREPENTENT [Jonathan H. Adler]
Amnesty International is defending the "gulag" comment, according to this story. For more on the Amnesty report, see this post and the comments at Opinion Juris.
Posted at 03:04 PM
HEH [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
You know what’s particularly entertaining about all this is how you know Woodward must have crafted a Felt obit that made the guy out to be an absolute saint—selfless, torn apart by the corruption of Nixon, etc.—with the intent of cashing in big on that send off. Now Felt comes out and basically says it was basic pettiness about not getting a promotion and he’s only coming out now for the money. Hot dog.
Posted at 02:59 PM
AFL-CIO CALLS UNION "EXTREME" [Jonathan H. Adler]
As Eugene Volokh notes, the AFL-CIO labels as "extreme" an opinion by Justice Janice Rogers Brown that backed the position advocated by an AFL-CIO-member union in the case.
Posted at 02:50 PM
80S MUSIC REDUX [Jonathan H. Adler]
K-Lo -- Don't worry. Lots of folks share your fondness for 80s music. Indeed, its making a resurgence on the airwaves. The 80s influence is palpable in bands like The Killers, The Bravery, VHS or Beta, and Kasabian among others. All good stuff that draws heavily on The Cure, New Order, and other 80s bands.
Posted at 02:48 PM
MARK FELT TO JOIN THE NR GANG IN CHICAGO [Ed Capano]
now that I have your attention, why not take a moment to join your favorite editors and other like-minded NROers at the East bank Club on June 23rd. Details here.
Posted at 02:47 PM
DA LIST [K. J. Lopez]
JPod makes a good point, of course. But having my name associated with "Girls on Film" indicates too much information is already out there.
Posted at 12:32 PM
GOOD BAD MOVIES [Jonah Goldberg]
Oh man, I'm running out to lunch, but I can't pass up the opportunity to chime in here. John and I might disagree on the terminology. I would characterize a good-bad movie as more like a great rental or movie that's on cable you end up watching purely for the entertainment value, not for the camp, but because your expectations are low etc. I reserve the right to revise and extend my remarks, as the Senators say, but these are off the top of my head:
Will cogitate further...
Posted at 12:29 PM
RE: K-LO'S GOOD-BAD LIST [Her Name Is Rio...]
Why not list the movies, Kathryn? Anybody who has made public her continued devotion to Duran Duran really has nothing more to be ashamed of...
Posted at 12:28 PM
RE: GOOD-BAD MOVIES [K. J. Lopez]
It will take a great deal to get me to confess my good-bad movie list. Some things that just don't belong on the public record.
Posted at 12:25 PM
CLINTON'S CUP OF KOFI [John Podhoretz]
Oh, what the hey, let our Bill be secretary general. After all, there's a lot of beautiful and exotic women at the U.N., he would have diplomatic immunity, and we know the organization doesn't care much about sexual niceties anyway.
Posted at 12:23 PM
GOOD-BAD MOVIES [John Podhoretz]
Apropos Star Wars ROTS, which he enjoyed but didn't respect, a reader asks if there are bad movies that are still enjoyable and good movies that are boring. George Orwell once coined a term for popular novels that are pleasing even though they are intellectually indefensible. He called them "good bad books." Most good movies are actually "good bad" in Orwell's terms, but there is certainly a whole subgenre of movies that are, according to any reasonable standard, awful but still extremely enjoyable. My favorite "good bad" movie is The Best of Everything, an unintentionally hilarious but still engrossing pre-feminist melodrama about three pretty girl graduates of good colleges sharing an apartment in 1959 New York. There's Road House, the movie in which Patrick Swayze plays a Harvard-educated, philosophy-spouting bouncer whose fame has spread to every dive bar west of the Pecos. And a billion others.
As for "good but boring" movies, there are plenty of those as well, I think -- though maybe "worthy" would be a better term than "good." In this category I would highlight Tender Mercies, the brilliant drama about personal salvation that won Robert Duvall a deserved Oscar and is moving and powerful and understated and also makes you want to take a long nap about 45 minutes through.
Posted at 12:18 PM
CLINTON FOR SECRETARY GENERAL? [K. J. Lopez]
Never (whatever John Harris says)! I nominate W.
Posted at 12:15 PM
TRIPP V. FELT [Jonah Goldberg]
I put in my time talking about Linda Tripp, and then some. But this stuff about Felt being a hero really does rankle (See Tim's "Two Faces" post from this morning). It's becoming increasingly clear that Felt did what he did for motives that have little to nothing to do with the high-minded stuff of New York Times editorials and Bob Woodword's speeches-in-praise-of-me. The notion that a man who learned about bugging and breaking-in at the feet of J Edgar Hoover was scandalized by what Nixon ordered doesn't pass the laugh test. Moreover, Felt's family has admitted they've gone public now largely for the money.
That was all fair game to a certain extent, even if it was often untrue. But what drove me nuts was the way people would argue that Clinton didn't do the things he did because Tripp's motives were impure in some way. The New Republic even argued that Clinton was the victim of "private sector entrapment." You cannot dispute facts by attacking motives.
Motives have never concerned me nearly as much as behavior. Bob Woodword reveals secret things for personal gain every day. That's his job as a journalist. But when private citizens do it, people freak out and bring all sorts of bizarre ideological baggage to the table. Journalists aren't priests and they don't have any rights the rest of us don't (or at least they shouldn't).
But if you're going to say that Tripp wasn't heroic while Felt was, you are going to have to make a very careful explanation about why his motives were purer and more high-minded than Tripp's were alleged to have been. Because, it seems to me that motive goes to the heart of heroism. If I shoot a rapist by accident while cleaning my gun, the result is good but I don't think anyone would call me a hero. If Mark Felt leaked to Woodward in order to screw his boss or to pay Nixon back for being passed over, you're free to think the result was good. But don't give me this hero nonsense.
Posted at 12:14 PM
FELT - FWIW [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
For what it's worth:
Posted at 12:01 PM
FEEL A DRAFT? [John J. Miller]
President Bush, in the second presidential debate last fall: "We're not going to have a draft, period. The all-volunteer Army works."
Headline in today's Washington Post: "After 30 Years, Draft Fears Rise."
Posted at 12:00 PM
FRIGHTENING SPLIT SECOND [K. J. Lopez]
I read this headline as: "Cloning arguments to begin in Jackson case"
Posted at 11:59 AM
SPELLING BEE [Mark Krikorian ]
Apparently, the National Spelling Bee is being picketed by the Simplified Spelling Society, because words like “knee” or “laugh” should be spelled differently. Who gets out of bed in the morning to picket irregular spelling? If a new, simpler spelling of a word catches on, like jail instead of gaol, fine, but people don’t seem to want that (as a conservative in temperament as well as politics, I sure don’t). The Washington Post 20-plus years ago changed its spelling of “employee” to eliminate the final “e” (“employe”), but it didn’t stick and they went back to the right spelling. I just hope the government doesn’t decide to get involved.
Posted at 11:52 AM
"SADLY, NOT EVEN STEM-CELL RESEARCH PROMISES A CURE FOR LACK OF CONSCIENCE OR COMMON SENSE." [K. J. Lopez]
More fun letters in the Seattle Times about this Bolton column. Well, fun, if this weren't feeding the Dems' obstruction, among other things.
Posted at 11:51 AM
GIRLZ RULE [K. J. Lopez]
It's pretty obvious the editor making the call is a gal when the cute guy from Smallville winds up teasing Warren Bell's I'm-not-worried-about-my-kids'-seeing-those-condom-ads piece on the homepage. But I'm fair and balanced--you've seen Terri Hatcher in recent days, too. We're giving equal time (and then some). But don't let them say it's a boy's club on the Right.
Posted at 11:25 AM
IN NYC TOMORROW AND WANT TO HELP A GOOD CAUSE? [K. J. Lopez]
The 20th annual Ball for Life is happening in Manhattan tomorrow night. All proceeds go to Good Counsel, which takes in needy pregnant women to help them facilitate the choice to have their children. Details here. Larry Kudlow, Rich Lowry & K-Lo, among others, are all delighted to have our names attached to the worthwhile (and fun) event.
Posted at 11:19 AM
THE PERFECT STORM [Shannen Coffin]
Actually, Jonah, the "Mark Felt as Deep Throat" offers somewhat of a perfect storm of self-importance. Listening to Woodward, Bernstein, Brokaw and Russert on Imus this morning, it occurred to me that the story has given both the main stream media and the Baby Boomer generation a chance to wax rhapsodic about their heyday. But perhaps the reason the story hasn't resonated as much with the general populace is that the influence of these self-absorbed institutions is waning.
Posted at 11:15 AM
P.S. [Rick Brookhiser]
Oh yes, the Clintons--George, 2 VP, DeWitt, 1 P.
Posted at 11:12 AM
ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL [Rick Brookhiser]
Since we've been talking about Bush family prospects, including the Jeb for Veep option, let's have a statistical framework of candidate dynasties. The Bush family has racked up six runs for President or Vice-President (GHWB, 2 VP, 2 P; GWB, 2 P), which ties them with the Adamses (JA, 2 VP, 2 P; JQA, 2 P).
This puts them ahead of the Pinckneys (Thomas, 1 VP, Charles Coatesworth, 1 VP, 2 P), the Harrisons (William Henry, 2 P, Benjamin, 2 P) and the Stevensons (Adlai, 2 VP, Adlai III, 2 P).
Still in front, the Roosevelts (TR, 1 VP, 2 P; FDR, 1 VP, 4 P).
Richard Nixon all by himself scored 5 (2 VP, 3 P).
Note: I'm not counting rogue electors (JQA got one electoral vote in 1820). I know about the 12th Amendment, but I'm assigning P and VP in early races in the rough-and-ready, not technical sense. Only actual nominations of major parties count.
Should the Adamses get an extra score because Charles Francis was Veep on the Free Soil ticket in 1848? Close call--the ticket got no electoral votes, but it was not a minor third party (it was headed by an ex-P, Van Buren, and probably decided the election by keeping the Democrat from winning New York). Am I missing any family?
Posted at 11:12 AM
RE: STEM CELLS [K. J. Lopez]
Oh, Tim. If I had a dollar for every "oppponents of stem cell research" type reference in America today...I'd just be home watching the Dukes of Hazzard (actually, Remington Steele, Scarecrow and Mrs. King, and Cheers would all be higher up on my list).
Posted at 11:09 AM
EYES ON THE SCANDAL [K. J. Lopez]
I have a quick write-up of the terrific news last night of Claudia Rosett's well-deserved award. Gives you some links and I note two things I thought should be passed along: a) Eric Briendel was one prescient fella: one of his last columns pointed to this debacle that would come in the U.N.-Iraqi relationship b) as Claudia graciously thanked folks who published her, worked with her, etc., on this, she was naming a whole long list of conservative alternative-media types (the WSJ and FNC would be the exceptions to the non-MSM rule, but you know what everyone says about Fox and the WSJ edit page). These, along with the blogosphere have drove this story. Well, let me rephrase that: Claudia drove, uncovered, wrote, testified to this story. And the aforementioned made sure people paid attention.
Posted at 11:04 AM
STAR WARS AND ROTTEN TOMATOES [John Podhoretz]
A reader points out that 83 percent of the reviews of Star Wars ROTS have been positive, according to the rottentomatoes.com website, which also features a poll of its readers. And 88 percent of them like it too. "Seems that it's a wee bit overreaching to think people reject the movie as much as you have. Your reaction is curiously like what I would expect from Democratic activists who really, really believe something and then assert because they believe it so much everyone believes it. Sometimes otherwise good people can in fact disagree with your usually astute opinions."
That's a nice way of putting it, and I thank you. But citing rottentomatoes.com against the plummeting second-week boxoffice numbers -- unquestionably indicating disappointment and a lack of enthusiasm among those who have already seen it because they're not going back to see it again -- is a little like talking about the polls that showed Kerry won even though the hard numbers showed Bush's victory. ROTS is rotting.
Posted at 10:56 AM
DEAN: U.S. PICKED ON "IRRELEVANT" SADDAM [Byron York]
In a speech to the "Take Back America" conference sponsored by the liberal organizing group Campaign for America's Future, Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean, while listing what he said were the failures of the Bush administration, asked, "Is there a problem with defense posture when we pick on dictators who are irrelevant to the United States and leave nuclear powers like North Korea alone? Yes."
Posted at 10:29 AM
TED TURNER, SOVIET SUCK-UP, NOW SAYS HE WON THE COLD WAR [John Podhoretz]
Check this out: Speaking on the occasion of the network's 25th anniversary, CNN founder Ted Turner told Christiane Amanpour, "I'm absolutely certain I did" play a major role in ending the Cold War. How, exactly? By sucking up to Soviet puppet states from Cuba to the Sandinista-dominated Nicaragua? By paying the Soviet government millions to host a counter-Olympics called "The Goodwill Games"?
Turner is a perplexing figure. On the one hand, he's a brilliant businessman -- and if his former colleagues at Time Warner had listened to him instead of sending him to the glue factory, the company wouldn't have made the ridiculously ruinous merger with AOL. On the other, he's a loon.
I have personal experience of his lunacy. In 1994, I attended the annual confab of television critics in Los Angeles. One evening, Turner hosted and sponsored an event to promote a documentary series called The Native Americans. This was the most politically correct program imaginable, and the event featured a Sioux dance-and-drum troupe putting on an endless performance in a hotel ballroom. We all watched in respectful silence. Then Turner got up and said, "I want to thank you all for coming. But I better thank the entertainment first. After all, I don't want them to scalp me."
One of the show's producers, Jonathan Taplin, put his head in his hands. The musician Robbie Robertson, who wrote the score and was sitting next to me, coughed in astonishment, tapped me on the shoulder and shook his head in disgust. And then Turner laughed at his own joke. And kept laughing. Like a hyena.
Posted at 10:12 AM
STAR WARS EPISODE DUD: REVENGE OF THE MOVIEGOER [John Podhoretz]
As conservatism's foremost critic of the calamity that is SWIII:ROTS, I would like to pay tribute to the good sense and good taste of the American people. In its second week at the boxoffice, ROTS's take fell 50 percent from the first week. This is significant because it indicates word of mouth on the movie is lousy and that those who went to see it the first week aren't making a return trip (second and third viewings are the reasons a movie takes the leap from success to blockbuster). ROTS will end up making a zillion bucks, but the moviegoing public knows a dog when it hears one barking.
Posted at 09:59 AM
HARD HABIT TO BREAK [K. J. Lopez]
Addicted to NRO? Don't break the habit--feed it. Get a dose of NRO in person at our Chicago fundraiser. If our past shin-digs are any indication, you'll hang with NR editors/writers, meet cool people, and have some fun--and ask those questions that have been nagging you about that notorious but as-yet-still secretive Goldberg-Lowry jailhouse rescue. Sign up for Chicago here.
Posted at 09:59 AM
BAD ALBUM COVERS AND GOOD MOVIES [Warren Bell]
I actually have that website that Jonah linked to in the form of a coffee table book. My favorite is the Orleans cover of the five shirtless and likely naked dudes. The guy second from left is repeating "Please let this never end, please let this never end" over and over.
On the upside, we actually enjoyed two movies recently out on DVD, and I know that's news because I rarely have anything positive to say about movies that don't feature a certain austere sect of superhuman space knights. One, covered by Derb yesterday, is Team America, which is just high-larious. Derb's spot on -- very gross, very funny, not for everyone, though my wife loved it. Kim Jung-Il steals the show.
The other is House of Flying Daggers, which is a love story with spectacular martial arts sequences, as opposed to a kung fu movie with some kissing. Ziyi Zhang is the female lead, a blind girl who is part of an austere sect of superhuman non-space knights who vex the autocratic Chinese government by throwing dozens of knives of them. Ziyi is also cute cute cute. The story has a number of good twists and the fights have that Crouching Tiger ballet thing going on. First rate.
Also, both movies feature a "Mendoooozzzaaa!" moment, one in Chinese and played straight, one with puppets and played for laughs.
Posted at 09:52 AM
MORE EUROPE [Stanley Kurtz]
Here’s a great London Times op-d from Anatole Kaletsky on the EU votes.
Posted at 09:50 AM
TURNING POINT [Stanley Kurtz]
Someday the rejection of the EU constitution by France and the Netherlands will be seen as the early death throes of the Western welfare state. The most obvious threat to the European “social state” is globalization–the threat of competition from Muslim and Eastern European immigrants. Yet the deeper challenge is the coming demographic crisis. All this has led to calls for paring back an unsustainable welfare state–and loud resistance to those calls.
Europe’s real problem is that the demographic future is going to burst everyone’s bubble. The right resists the flood of unassimilated non-Western immigrants, yet demographics will create enormous pressure to expand immigration. The left is determined to defend the welfare state, yet demographics will shortly render it unaffordable. The center (the French center, anyway) wants the a united Europe to stand as a world power to counterbalance the United States. Yet Europe’s demographic crash is going to sap its power and influence–while ushering in a long era of the sort of political paralysis and conflict we’re just beginning to see now.
The best solution for Europe would be a turn to the right. If Merkel defeats Schroeder in the fall, and if Sarkozy wins the French presidency in 2007, economic reforms might jump-start European growth. Growth would be the best way to counter the terrible demographic deficit Europe will shortly face. In the best of circumstances, though, the demographic pressure on Europe is going to be immense. Even were it tried, massive immigration from outside of Europe wouldn’t solve it. It’s going to take a whole lot of growth to get Europe out of its mess. And the left isn’t going to go down quietly. Too bad for us if America rejects the chance at entitlement reform the president is giving us now. A long era of political-economic gridlock over a demographically unsustainable welfare state could someday be our own.
By the way, for a quick primer on the coming demographic crunch in the U.S. and beyond, see this transcript of a recent PBS New Hour on the Graying of America. Ah, and here I see that David Brooks making the key point about Europe very effectively.
Posted at 09:49 AM
TRADITION [Stanley Kurtz]
Lee Harris has written a long, thoughtful, and deeply felt piece for Policy Review about the nature and significance of tradition. The argument culminates in a profound critique of the idea of same-sex marriage. On the way, Harris offers, among other things, criticism of Hayek’s understanding of tradition. Without quite knowing it, I think Harris is reinventing a bit of the sociological-philosophical stream of thought that flows out of the work of Emile Durkheim. I don’t want to impugn the originality or power of what Harris has to say, though. He’s found a way to make the reader experience even classic sociological wisdom as a kind of bolt from the blue. Also, Harris offers a gentle and indirect criticism of my own approach to the marriage debate. Yet I very much like his line of thinking. I understand all too well how unfortunate it is that arguments like mine are necessary. There is danger in offering a rational defense of take-for-granted social assumptions. The sad fact is that we’ve come to the point where we have no choice. In any case, Harris is onto deep truths.
Posted at 09:42 AM
EBERSTADT'S PLEA [Stanley Kurtz]
Nicholas Eberstadt’s piece on North Korean refugees is a powerful humanitarian plea. Yet it’s much more than that. Up to now, we’ve assumed that only China has the necessary leverage on North Korea to force a fundamental change of policy–or regime. Now Eberstadt’s piece shows that South Korea too has the power to peacefully change the North Korean regime. Implicitly, Eberstadt creates a scenario in which a South Korean decision to accept North Korean refugees might start a chain reaction of the sort that led to the fall of European communism.
The problem is that both China and South Korea have power over the North, yet neither has the will to use it. Were South Korea to do what Eberstadt recommends, there is at least a chance that it could bring down the North and unite the peninsula. Yet just because of that, there’s a chance that in the chaotic transition time, the North would strike the South. So the South is reluctant to take even the seemingly simple step of accepting refugees from the North. They’d rather keep the North’s anger focused on America.
Meanwhile, the Chinese have so far refused to put real pressure on the North Koreans. Some Chinese rather like the idea of nuclear terror hanging over America’s head. Supposedly, now that China’s economic welfare is tied to our own, all that has changed. I’m not holding my breath waiting for Chinese help. But maybe–just maybe–with pressure, time, and the right confluence of factors, the South might someday be persuaded to do what Eberstadt suggests. It’s a longshot. Yet it’s also a possible way out of the Korea policy nightmare. That makes Eberstadt’s proposal very important indeed.
Posted at 09:42 AM
TWO FACES [Tim Graham]
"I just think — I don't know, ‘hero,’ that's not a word I throw around. But in just looking at the landscape at the time, what Washington was like, it does make a kind of moral sense to me." — CNN NewsNight anchor Aaron Brown on Mark Felt as the leaker "Deep Throat," May 31, 2005.
"Accept for a moment this premise. There will be no winners in the impeachment battle going on, no heroes are going to emerge from this mess, that when all is said and done, the landscape will be littered with losers of varying sorts. Ms. Lewinsky, whose life is forever changed, Ms. Tripp, who will never seem heroic, Judge Starr will be no winner, and Mr. Clinton will be the biggest loser of all. According to this premise, the only person even vaguely close to a winner is the First Lady. And what a heavy price she has paid for that. "— ABC Good Morning America/Sunday anchor Aaron Brown leading into a segment on how fabulous Hillary looks in the new Vogue magazine, November 22, 1998.
Posted at 09:40 AM
RAYMOND RODHAM HERNANDEZ? [Tim Graham]
New York Times reporter Raymond Hernandez reports on the inspiring devotion to Hillary within "Hillaryland." His account on their insular nature is itself insular, quoting no one outside "Hillaryland" for comment.
Posted at 09:39 AM
THE STEM SELL [Tim Graham]
Today's nitpicking of the day is how media outlets use the misleading term "stem cell opponents," as in today's N.Y. Times headline, "From Stem Cell Opponents, an Embryo Crusade." As in, what do pro-lifers have against stem cells? Pro-lifers aren't even stem cell research opponents, as many reporters suggest. They are embryo-destruction opponents, not "stem cell opponents." This isn't just a lingo dispute. This is an accuracy dispute.
The lingo dispute is touched on in Pam Belluck's story where "conservative Christians" are using the term "embryo adoption," which "irritates the fertility industry, abortion rights advocates and supporters of embryonic stem cell research, who believe that the language suggests -- erroneously, they maintain -- that an embryo has the same status as a child." The reporter does not seem to discover that calling one side "conservative Christians" and the other side nonpartisan research supporters is irritating to some.
Posted at 09:38 AM
BRAIN DAMAGE [John J. Miller]
How could a list of the greatest rock album covers not include The Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd?
Posted at 08:47 AM
BEST ALBUM COVERS [K. J. Lopez]
The positive spin. But it's, of course, all wrong because the 80s are unrepresented .
Posted at 07:16 AM
WHAT WAS I THINKING? [K. J. Lopez]
Teenage girls don't eat hotcakes. Carbs, for goodness sake. Our teenage girl readers pointed out my mistake--thanks, gals.
Posted at 07:12 AM
DEEP THROAT [Jonah Goldberg]
The good news about being out of the loop the last few days is that with the Deep Throat story in play, I haven't missed much. It's a big story to be sure, and I'm interested. But it offers the press the greatest opportunity to do what they love: talk about themselves. Over and over again. This story will be around for a while.
Posted at 06:37 AM
SLEEPING DISORDERS & YOU [Jonah Goldberg]
Partners in Freedom.
Posted at 06:34 AM
WORST ALBUM COVERS [Jonah Goldberg ]
I can't remember if I posted this one before, but it's definitely worth a gander -- again or fort the first time.
Posted at 06:32 AM
BIRDS GOTTA FLY [Jonah Goldberg]
Scientist claim to find the Romantic love center of the brain.
I can see it now: "C'mon baby, you know you're firing the romantic centers of my pimitive brain and not just the love centers."
(Only slightly) More seriously, remember the other day when I mentioned how I'm interested in how science is catching up with age old desires which once seemed absurd (cloning, alchemy, flying)? Well, now we can add love potions to the list.
Posted at 06:29 AM
CHRIS COX [K. J. Lopez]
to the SEC
Posted at 06:24 AM
DASHING [K. J. Lopez]
Was doing some Googling and came upon this BBC profile of Dominique de Villepin. He's "dashing" just like Reuters told us earlier in the week. Imagine an American media that regualrly referred to an American politician similarly. I'm picturing gushes about W's manliness--Stud W. Maybe Don Rumsfeld as a pinup on a magazine cover. But enough about NR/NRO. (You knew it wasn't the NYTimes Mag.)
I don't think I've really ever used "Stud W" but I wouldn't deny it. And, we did have the pin-up cover. Some teen young Republicans might consider the NRODT that just went to bed a good Tiger-Beatish cover for '08 prospects, with a dashing Romney standing in his Beacon Hill political battlefield. I suggested rip-out color shots, but that went nowhere. I think I have a side business: hearthrob pol gush mags. They'll sell like hotcakes in girls' high schools around the country, especially in New Hampshire and Iowa...
Posted at 05:39 AM
Wednesday, June 01, 2005
I DON'T WANNA MISS A THING [K. J. Lopez]
Looks like the Arrowsmiths haven't...and they're not done yet.
Posted at 11:22 PM
SO DELIGHTED ABOUT [K. J. Lopez]
Claudia--a smart, dogged, lucid, and concise reporter and a gem of a lady. This is her Pultizer. More on her tomorrow, and the shin-dig where she got her deserved notice.
Posted at 11:20 PM
BRAVO [Rick Brookhiser]
...to Claudia. Her oil for food coverage is only the latest in a long line of hits. I will never forget her report from Tiananmen Square.
Posted at 10:40 PM
CLAUDIA ROSETT'S NIGHT OF DESERVED GLORY [John Podhoretz]
Just back from a glittering affair at the New-York Historical Society, where the 7th Annual Eric Breindel Award for Opinion Journalism was given to NRO's own Claudia Rosett. The award is especially meaningful because it is given in memory of and in tribute to Eric Breindel, my dear friend and longtime colleague at the New York Post who died suddenly and tragically at the age of 42 in 1998. (I edited a compendium of Eric's columns called A Passion for Truth that was published the year after his death.) Claudia's extraordinary investigative reporting into the oil-for-food scandal won her the $10,000 prize at a ceremony where my bosses Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch paid tribute to her and Eric (and where Mayor Bloomberg made a charming appearance as well). In her remarks, Claudia paid graceful tribute to Kathryn Lopez for being literally a tireless editor -- something that NRO readers, accustomed to seeing a K-Lo posting at 11:59 pm and then one at 4:22 am, have come to take for granted. Claudia Rosett hasn't, and it's wonderful that the Eric Breindel Award means Claudia's world-changing work hasn't been taken for granted either.
Posted at 08:41 PM
WHERE IS THAT OUTRAGE? [Jim Robbins]
I'm waiting for the Muslim world -- not to mention Western punditry - to erupt in protest over the suicide bombing of the Mosque in Kandahar. Surely it rises to the level of the alleged Koran desecrations at Gitmo? No? Should I just keep waiting then?
Posted at 05:22 PM
OH, MAN, IS DEEP THROAT EVER PAT BUCHANAN!!! [Rich Lowry ]
Speaking of Josh Marshall, check out this amusing post from 2002.
Posted at 04:58 PM
OF COURSE [K. J. Lopez]
There is liveblogging of the Spelling Bee
Posted at 04:49 PM
2008 PRESIDENTIAL WIRE, COURTESY PATRICK RUFFINI [John Podhoretz]
The invaluable Patrick Ruffini, whose self-titled blog is one of the best out there (and who ran the Bush 2004 official blog), has begun hosting the 2008 Presidential Wire, featuring every story you could possibly want about every possible 2008 candidate. It's a brilliant idea and a thrill and I salute him.
Posted at 04:27 PM
MORE JEHL [Rich Lowry ]
Sorry, but I'm fascinated by him as a case study in how the “mainstream” media works. Pretty much everything he has written over the last three months has come from Democrats on the Hill--they have been spoon-feeding the guy like a baby. I noticed that his descriptions of the agenda of his sources has lately seemed to get a little more explicit, until I half expected to read in one of his pieces: “according to transcripts provided by a congressional official who would like to ambush and knee-cap Bolton in the Capitol Hill garage.” Anyway, today he claims to have bi-partisan sourcing. How extraordinary. He writes, “The officials included people on both sides of the debate over Mr. Bolton's nomination who said they wanted to provide the public with a clearer picture of the nature of the dispute between Congress and the White House.” Now, it's possible, but I find it very hard to believe that a Republican picked up a phone and gave this information to Jehl. More than likely, it was Democrats on the Hill (one would guess Rockefeller's people) who fed Jehl this item, and the he went to confirm it with Republicans, who thus provided him the cover of his bi-partisan sourcing. Could be wrong, but that's my theory.
One other note: this stuff is extremely sensitive. No one should be leaking it, but someone hands it to Jehl. It's why the administration should be very reluctant to hand anything more over to the Democrats. The chain will go administration-to-Hill Democrats-to-Jehl as reliably as Tinker-to-Evers-to-Chance.
Posted at 03:47 PM
RE: DUTCH NO [Jack Fowler]
Reuters is reporting an exit poll showing Dutch uber-rejecting EU Constitution by 63-37 percent margin.
Posted at 03:45 PM
YOU'RE KIDDING ME [K. J. Lopez]
Some dude just got hired to be the "Dukes of Hazzard Institute" blogger. "This job will change my life," the guy who got the 100,000-a-year gig says. He'll be watching Dukes of Hazzard reruns and blogging on them.
Posted at 03:33 PM
JEHL'S LATEST [Rich Lowry ]
Doug Jehl has a piece in the New York Times today reporting that Bolton didn't just get the names of individuals redacted from NSA intercepts, but also the names of American companies. This is noteworthy, why? Remember the Democratic theory is that Bolton made these requests to pursue his alleged vendetta against certain individual intelligence analysts. That he was requesting the names of companies suggests that Bolton was, among other things, trying to find out what companies might be engaged in illegal trade with rogue states. This was Bolton's job. So this new information is exculpatory. But it has already spawned out-there conspiracy theories on the left (of course, duly promoted by Joshua Micah Marshall).
Posted at 03:30 PM
RE: DUTCH NO [Jonah Goldberg]
K- Don't you mean Dutch treat?
Just checking in for a minute, but I can't help but agree with Rich on the EU stuff. Now is the time for unreasonable giddiness, schadenfreude, and rank geopolitical opportunism. Maybe not items one and two, if we're talking about what the offcial US response should be, but for the rest of us, I can't see how this is anything but fantastic news.
Though I do think there's little reason to rejoice about the voter's intentions. If I understand the debate in France correctly, it was about whether or not a refrigerator box or a tree house makes for a better place to hide. Oh, wait, that was a different debate. This debate was about whether or not the proposed new EU constitution would result in "ultraliberalism" AKA as "the American" economic model. In other words, both the yes-ers and the no-ers were voting with anti-American attitudes. One group wanted the EU to stick it to America geopolitically. The other group found that part appealing, but was more afraid of becoming like America culturally and economically. In short, I think France remains largely a write-off to us. The good news, however, is that France is now far less positioned to determine the course of European foreign policy generally -- and that's great news.
Posted at 03:17 PM
DUTCH NO [K. J. Lopez]
FT is predicting a Dutch rejection of the EU "constitution."
Posted at 03:05 PM
UNLIKELY SPAM [Mark Krikorian]
Forget the lost millions of deposed African gangsters – I got an e-mail offer to buy “Nepal Who’s Who 2003.”
Posted at 02:54 PM
CONGRATULATIONS GRADUATES! [Mark Krikorian]
An interesting tidbit I hadn’t seen before – the Border Patrol in Eagle Pass, Texas, is hip-deep in non-Mexican illegal aliens, because word has gotten back to Central America and elsewhere that OTMs (“other than Mexicans”) are given a summons requiring them come back for an immigration hearing in 30 days and then just let go. The part that was new to me was that the summons is commonly known as “the diploma,” because it allows them to graduate to the interior of the United States; of course, after 30 days, they’re already ensconced in a job in New York or Houston or Los Angeles and aren’t coming back, but they were able to use the “diploma” as a free pass to get where they were going. This is law enforcement?
Posted at 02:53 PM
RE: WATERGATE [Jim Robbins]
It is a bit mystifying to see members of the MSM getting dewey eyed about Mark Felt allegedly "fighting for the independence of the FBI from the Nixon White House" when in the Hoover era the liberals saw such independence as the main problem with the Bureau.
Posted at 02:49 PM
DER KOMMISSAR'S IN TOWN, UH-OH [Tim Graham]
Victor Navasky, the longtime boss of The Nation, is now bringing his radical politics to the Columbia Journalism Review (he is the dean of Columbia's graduate school of journalism). I had to giggle at the funny denials in this account from Editor and Publisher:
As for whether having the longtime editor of a magazine with a famously political (liberal) bent involved in the administration of CJR, [Editor Mike] Hoyt said appearances might not match with reality. "It could give somebody an opportunity to make a connection, but the connection is not there," Hoyt said. "He doesn't push anything editorially."
Posted at 02:37 PM
OIL-FOR-FOOD [K. J. Lopez]
Annan fires someone
Posted at 02:31 PM
UNANIMOUS [K. J. Lopez]
If you didn't see it, Rick Garnett writes on what's an amazing thing here: The Supreme Court ruling unanimously in rejecting an Establishment Clause challenge to a religious-accomodation law--opinion written by RB Ginsberg. The Beckett Fund has more here.
Posted at 02:30 PM
RE: STEM CELLS AND BUSH [K. J. Lopez]
Two further points regarding your response to Corn: 1. I wonder how many infertile couples were even aware that frozen embryos were available for adoption? Had my former wife and I known this, and we were never told any such thing was possible, we might have taken that route. There are millions of those kinds of couples out there. Additional point for Mr. Corn: This Catholic didn't take the IVF route for the very reason of "leftover" embryos. I find that morally unconscionable and while having a deep understanding of the pain and anxiety of infertile couples I still see IVF as utterly narcissistic.
Posted at 01:47 PM
I LOVE THE GUY, BUT... [K. J. Lopez]
Sam Brownback should think about something else for now. I suppose, though, on the all-senators-want-to-be-president assumption, at least he is honest.
Posted at 01:09 PM
THE IMPORTANCE OF CONTEXT [John Derbyshire]
A reader: "I never knew that the opposite of 'data' was 'quaesita'."
Depends on the universe of discourse, Ma'am. In journalism the opposite of 'data' is 'opinion.'
Posted at 01:04 PM
FLOCK OF SEAGULLS, LOVERBOY… [K. J. Lopez ]
NBC is calling me.
Posted at 12:51 PM
WORRISOME? WORRISOME? ARE THESE PEOPLE NUTS? [Rich Lowry ]
A New York Times story today on the EU constitution vote cites an administration official thusly, “Still, one senior administration official said the vote was worrisome because it made Europe more unpredictable, even, he said, as some factions in the administration could see it as checking the growing powerhouse across the Atlantic.” Chirac campaigned for this thing explicitly as a way to create a rival superpower to the US, and it went down to a ignominious defeat--and an administration official dubs it a worrisome development? (With a dismissive reference to factions who might see it differently?) We obviously have to tread softly here, as our editorial today points out, but this is such a wonderful opportunity to help shape a different kind of Europe, one less tightly integrated and less intrinsically hostile to American power. This is the mother of all no-brainers, but it's not clear if the administration is going to get it.
Posted at 12:43 PM
BE THERE OR BE SQUARE [John Derbyshire]
Just checking my calendar for June. Noticed the Chicago fundraiser is just 3 weeks away (from tomorrow -- it's on Thursday 23rd).
If you haven't signed up yet, DO SO RIGHT NOW.
(In response to a couple of queries: Alas, Mark Steyn won't be with us for this event, so no, you won't get to see him doing his celebrated karaoke version of the Numa Numa song. We shall do our best to supply some equivalently memorable spectacle, though.)
Posted at 12:36 PM
TNI PIECE [Rich Lowry ]
Here's a nice summary of an article I have in the current issue of the National Interest, just in case you don't want to pick up the issue and read the 4,000-something-word piece in its entirety.
Posted at 12:28 PM
DESIGN, EVOLUTION, GEOMETRY, ALGEBRA [John Derbyshire]
If you have access to a library (e.g. any college library) that stocks the excellent quarterly magazine MATHEMATICAL INTELLIGENCER, check out a curious little essay by Eric Grunwald in the current (Spring '05) issue. The title of the piece is "Evolution and Design Inside and Outside Mathematics." Grunwald develops a long dichotomy -- a sort of yin-yang schema -- based on the difference in thinking pattersn between geometers and algebraists.
This is actually a line of thought that goes way back, at least as far as Wm Rowan Hamilton's "Algebra as the Science of Pure Time" (1837). The starting point is the idea that geometry is about space, while algebra is about time. Sir Michael Atiyah did a good piece on the same theme in the MAA Monthly back in 2000. Anyway, Grunwald stretches the thing out to breaking point (and beyond, in my opinion), enlisting all sorts of couplets in his dichotomy: Newton/Leibniz, Poincare/Hilbert, socialism/capitalism, design/evolution, regular verbs/irregular verbs.
I found that with very little mental effort I could extend the list indefinitely: Art/Music, Einstein/Mach, prescriptive (lexicography)/descriptive, etc. Somewhere at the end of this road, I feel sure, are our old friends Augustine and Pelagius...
I don't buy Grunwald's whole argument, but it's a nice conversation piece. If you like this kind of thing.
Posted at 12:22 PM
SOUTH PARK DERB [John Derbyshire]
OK, I have seen Team America at last. (Don't get out to movies, except kids' movies. Wait for DVD.)
Gross? WAY gross. Too much for Mrs. D, who walked out. (Of the living room, that is.)
Did I laugh? A lot.
I'm surprised the Hollywood-lefty crowd dare show their races after Team America. I guess, as the saying goes, "they don't embarrass easy."
Posted at 12:06 PM
"FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, THE LAST THING I WANTED TO DO WAS TO MURDER MY OWN CHILD…THIS WAS SOMETHING WE DID OUT OF LOVE AND RESPECT FOR HIM" [K. J. Lopez ]
The LATimes yesterday had a profile of patients of George Tiller ("the man is a savior"), who infamously does late-term abortions. It's heartbreaking and maddening.
Posted at 11:59 AM
SAY HI, MARK [Rick Brookhiser]
Hey, Mark Felt, I see your little hi sign on my AOL start-up menu. You look pretty pleased with yourself. Why don't you roll into a Vietnamese restaurant in Arlington and try it out? Lose a country, gain a restaurant.
Posted at 11:58 AM
RE: WATERGATE [Mark R. Levin]
An oldie but goodie, and very persuasive, at least to me.
Posted at 11:58 AM
NYTIMES ON CIA [K. J. Lopez]
Hugh Hewitt wants the the Plame investigation to expand.
Posted at 11:29 AM
"SEND K-LO TO THE INDY 500" [K. J. Lopez]
There are clamorings. Would it be anything like Derb Does NASCAR?
Posted at 11:27 AM
JUST FOR THE RECORD [K. J. Lopez]
A few people correct an earlier e-mail: "IRL did not split from F1 a few years ago. CART split from USAC who had been the sanctioning body for the Indy 500. The owner of the Indianapolis Raceway formed IRL to compete with CART. IRL has won; CART is on its last legs. See http://www.answers.com/topic/champcars/"
Posted at 11:18 AM
STEM CELLS & BUSH [K. J. Lopez ]
David Corn wants a conservative to stick up for the president on his stem-cell answer at his press conference yesterday. Sure, I'll bite. That's a perfectly defensible answer Bush gave. Should the federal government fund research that destroys embryos? No. And that's the issue Bush is dealing with, the bill he's said he will veto. The president doesn’t have to be our national moral philosopher, he has to deal with policy as its being crafted—and, in this case, sent to his desk.
Posted at 11:12 AM
SOUTH PARK CONSERVATIVE? NON [K. J. Lopez]
Don't you dare call Matt Mehan "cool."
Posted at 11:05 AM
DEAL WITH IT--BE A MAN [K. J. Lopez]
And the women e-mail:
It's whining. Yes, there might be an actual difference and advantage given to Patrick on that front, but it still doesn't excuse the whining. Real men don't whine about this stuff -- they just work harder to overcome it.
Posted at 10:59 AM
CHECK IT OUT NOW [K. J. Lopez]
Besides the RECESS APPOINT BOLTON editorial, and the France edit, the homepage displays some other things (you check, don't you?), including Fumento from Fallujah (it's not pretty, but it's looking better), Donald Ritchie and Ron Kessler on Deep Throat (they both saw Felt coming), David Frum on DT, K-Lo making the case for Santorum (he's a uniter not a divider! seriously), and more. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. Just get yourself to the homepage. And, while you're there, feel free to consider hanging with us and asking us the hard questions you've always wanted to in Chicago.
Posted at 10:59 AM
I'LL SEE YOUR FLUSH AND RAZE YOU A MOSQUE [Andy McCarthy]
So, if you're an Islamic militant, an infidel flushing a Koran down a toilet is grounds for rioting and killing, but your own bombing of a mosque--killing at least 17 Muslims and obliterating who knows how many Korans--is fine.
Just want to make sure I have that straight. And we should care what they think about us because ... why?
Posted at 10:56 AM
OH GOODNESS, WHAT WAS I THINKING [K. J. Lopez]
Auto-racing briefing #19,345 of the morning:
Oh boy, did you step in it with this auto racing stuff..... :)
Posted at 10:55 AM
SHE'S BAACK [K. J. Lopez]
Christine Todd Whitman on judges and "social fundamentalists."
Posted at 10:39 AM
NO-O-O-O-O... [John Derbyshire]
Driving Nellie (12) and her friend to an early school program, eavesdropping on their conversation.
Michelle: Do you like Field Day?
Nellie: It's OK, I guess.
Michelle: What's your favorite event?
Nellie: Mmmm, I think the tug-o-peace.
Posted at 10:34 AM
IF JONAH WERE AROUND [K. J. Lopez]
he'd link to this.
Posted at 10:31 AM
PORK -- SI! [John Derbyshire]
SCIENCE -- NO!
Posted at 10:31 AM
MATH PROBLEM [John Derbyshire]
Teachers of America! You have your work cut out for you. Around 80 percent of an exceptionally large mailbag got yesterday's math puzzle WRONG.
Correct solution here.
Posted at 10:30 AM
WEIGHTY MATTER [K. J. Lopez]
I promise I won't do this all day. Another weight e-mail:
I live in Indy and the Danica story has been a big topic this week. Funny, but nobody ever talked about weight advantages when Janet Guthrie and Lyn St. James and Sarah Fisher were racing. The fact is, they weren't the drivers/racers that Danica Patrick is.
Posted at 10:28 AM
A QUESTION FOR DERB [K. J. Lopez ]
Been meaning to ask this about your May Diary: FedEx? Doesn't everyone deliver his manuscript via e-mail nowadays? Are you just into the ancient ritual? Honestly—next you're going to tell us you use fax machines, too.
Posted at 10:18 AM
IF LOVING YOU IS WRONG, I DON'T WANT TO BE RIGHT [K. J. Lopez]
The French vote was a mixed bag, but killed the EU constitution, thank goodness. Here's the corporate take.
Posted at 10:16 AM
A GOOD WAY TO START THE DAY [Warren Bell]
I know funny spam isn't really funny (like puns, in that sense) but I was greeted this morning by one of the many importunements to help the son of a Sierra Leone rebel leader with investing his millions in the following way: "How are you doing with the entire member of your family?"
Posted at 10:15 AM
I'M SORRY [K. J. Lopez]
I've been using NASCAR generically for auto-racing. Patrick came in forth in the Indy 500, of course.
I may never set foot anywhere in America outside the Northeast or L.A. and be allowed to leave alive. Maybe I have a miles to go yet before I get that degree.
Posted at 09:53 AM
WHINERS LOSE A POINT [K. J. Lopez]
This guy sounds right: "I thought race car drivers were real men, not whining children. So, this woman weighs less because she is a woman. The men are probably physically stronger because they are men. Should their steering be adjusted to make it harder for them to turn because they have this strength advantage over a woman driver because they are probably stronger than she is? "
Posted at 09:41 AM
NASCAR [K. J. Lopez]
I'm going to earn a graduate degree in autoracing by the end of the day from readers. E-mails, however, are split between agreeing that Patrick's 100 pounds makes a huge difference
Yes, the weight thing really does matter, and crew chiefs would kill for a 50 pound advantage. In SCCA club racing, I've know guys who've dieted to take 10 pounds off. Does it make a difference? Yes, certainly. There's less weight to accelerate, less to brake, and less to go around corners (think centrifugal weight). Oh, yeah, weight makes a difference. (Why do you think they weight jockeys and their saddles?)and complaints that NASCAR male whining is "girly man"nish. For various knee-jerk reasons (inclination to figure the guy is right on matters of sports, Ann Coulter), I'm inclined to give the whiners the benefit of the doubt for the moment (though I am not generally inclined to give whiners the benefit of the doubt, as Trekkies the world over know).
Posted at 09:40 AM
NOSTALGIA [Mark Krikorian]
The most notable thing for me about the Deep Throat revelation is how much the MSM reaction reminds me of the bald, overweight old man reliving the glory days of his high school football career. The MSM is pining for the days when “reporter” brought to mind Woodward and Bernstein and not Jayson Blair and Dan Rather.
Posted at 09:35 AM
RECESS APPOINTMENT FOR BOLTON [Rich Lowry]
We call on the administration to give Bolton a recess appointment today. It would be preferable, of course, just to get him confirmed. The White House thinks that's still possible. Maybe, but the Democrats are looking pretty unreasonable to us, with no relief in sight. The safest route would be to cut short this charade of a confirmantion battle this week, and worry about getting him confirmed at some later date. Here's the edit.
Posted at 09:15 AM
BACK TO NASCAR [K. J. Lopez]
Reverse discrimination! In all seriousness though, are there enough women involved in auto-racing for this unfair advantage thing to matter much (though I guess it matters a lot to the guy who came in #5 over the weekend)? I just have no idea.
Posted at 08:58 AM
OF COURSE, FELT AND TRIPP [K. J. Lopez]
Both have verbs for their last names. Clearly, never say too much to an active-name person.
Man, I'm glad Lopez isn't a verb. I'd either be loved or hated in American history. As it happens, if my name occasionally comes up, people will think I was that actress chick who did the awful movie with Ben Affleck that goes down in history next to Ishtar, then realize that was Jennifer, and move on.
Posted at 08:56 AM
FELT, MYTHMAKER [Mackubin Thomas Owens]
Here's an interesting take on the Felt affair from PowerLine. It really bursts the bubble on the claim that the press is the defender of the Republic. If Felt hadn't been mad because he didn’t get to replace J. Edgar Hoover, Woodward and Bernstein wouldn’t have been able to create the myth that makes the press so self-righteous.
Posted at 08:37 AM
TITLE ZZZZZZZ [K. J. Lopez]
Danica Patrick sticks it to President Bush in the heart of red-state sports! Did you miss the NYTimes Title IX rant by Selena Roberts? Thank goodness Title IX has saved all those high-school and college auto-racing programs or that fourth-place finish would have never been possible. And President Bush wants to crush the hopes and dreams of girls racing Ken in their Barbie Dream Cars right now. Outrageous! (Less sarcastic commentary on the current Bush-admin T9 policy here.)
Posted at 08:27 AM
BRIEFING BOOKS [Tim Graham]
For those of you born after Nixon -- in my case, I was only old enough to remember being mad that the Watergate hearings cancelled everything else on TV -- two books I've found helpful to bring you back into the politics of that era are "It Didn't Start With Watergate," by Victor Lasky, and, with a nice, short take on the media bias of the era, there's "The Gods of Antenna," by Bruce Herschensohn (who many remember as a GOP candidate for Senate in California). For example, he noted that The New Republic found the press performed a necessary function against the Nixon administration, but "they're like dogs who have scented blood and running the fox right down to the death."
Posted at 08:16 AM
"WHITEWATER WIMPS" [Tim Graham]
Would it surprise you to know that Woodward and Bernstein were "Whitewater wimps"? If they weren't ideologically motivated against Nixon, why did they think the Clinton scandals were much ado about nothing?
Posted at 07:49 AM
SECRETS PAY SOME BIG BILLS [Tim Graham]
Credit the Today show for having on a very feisty Pat Buchanan and Chuck Colson this morning to balance out the huzzahs for Vanity Fair and Mark Felt. Buchanan ended by saying Woodward and Bernstein ended up as "stenographers." Matt Lauer felt compelled to tout them for having kept the Deep Throat secret for decades. Why wouldn't they keep the secret? It's been a celebrated multi-millionaire's life for those two since Watergate, and the Deep Throat thing was a juicy part of the legend. Woodward has built his whole career as Washington's leading investigative journalist on this legend, preserving his cachet even through strange episodes like his "deathbed interview" with William Casey for his book "Veil." Carl Bernstein has cycled through a pile of high-paying, low-achieving jobs at ABC News and Time magazine, among others. Without all the "Deep Throat" glory -- which was added for spice to the book and movie "All the President's Men" -- their legend wouldn't have had as much staying power.
Posted at 07:49 AM
JUST FOR THE SAKE OF ASKING [K. J. Lopez]
Why do "we" love Mark Felt and hate Linda Tripp?
Posted at 07:44 AM
KIDS SAY THE DARNEDEST THINGS [K. J. Lopez]
Evidently Carl Bernstein's son can't keep a secret.
Posted at 07:42 AM
DEEP THROAT [Jonah Goldberg]
I have a lot of reading to do before I get fully up to speed on this Felt thing. But from the bits and pieces I've heard and stuff I've seen in the Corner, I think this is fascinating news (and no I don't mind at all having my "composite" theory debunked. It wasn't really "my" theory so much as the theory I subscribed to). However, I can't shake this feeling that this is very bad news for Woodward. I think that in the book and ever since, Woodward's been hanging stuff on Deep Throat that doesn't work once you know who Deep Throat was. It seems to me that this would be the most symbolic and exciting moment ever for the Pajama Paladins of the Blogosphere to don their armor. I could be wrong, and I'm sure the bloggers are already on it, I just haven't had time to check things out.
Posted at 07:42 AM
ROTS [K. J. Lopez]
If anyone can keep it relevant, Jonah can. Meanwhile, I'll soon be at work on a review of the Arena concert-tour video, as relevant as ever.
Posted at 07:41 AM
MY ABSENCE [Jonah Goldberg]
Sorry every one, lots of stuff going on, vast majority of it personal (yes, even by the very low threshold I've set for that standard for myself). Anyway, I'm digging out from a move back into our home (we'd been living in temporary quarters while we had work done on our pad. So now, I have all sorts of pesky details to conquer, like "Will Jonah find his collection of Swank back issues before the misses unpacks the wrong box?"
I'll be checking in and out throughout the day. And I know I've got to write that ROTS piece -- and in a way that makes it even remotely relevant two weeks after the movie came out.
Posted at 07:36 AM
OTHER IMPORTANT ISSUES [K. J. Lopez]
JPod, No one really ingests Fluff, right? I always assumed the Fluff in any given grocery store where the same jars there since the establishment of the store.
Posted at 07:20 AM
THE CORNER: THE MOVIE [K. J. Lopez]
I'm working on the script now. I'm thinking blockbuster Thanksgiving Day opener, 2006, right after the midterm elections. "Blockbuster" will mean fewer NRO fundraisers in 2007! (Speaking of fundraisers: You on board for Chicago this month?)
Posted at 07:04 AM
RENDER UNTO CAESAR? [Mark Krikorian]
Big Religion is weighing in on the McCain/Kennedy amnesty, not surprisingly siding with Big Business, Big Labor, Big Media, and Big Philanthropy in supporting the measure. In a column in today's L.A. Times, Cardinal Roger Mahony regurgitates, sometimes word for word, the talking points of the bill's sponsors, making economic and political claims that are, to put it politely, beyond the competence of the clergy. You'd think the Catholic Church had enough problems to occupy its energies without becoming the chaplaincy for the open-borders crowd.
Posted at 07:01 AM
GOOD CASTING [Mark Krikorian ]
Mark Felt actually looks a little like Hal Holbrook , though maybe it's just the hair in these pictures. I want Tom Cruise to play me in the movie.
Posted at 07:00 AM
CONDOM ADS [K. J. Lopez]
If you're watching WB, condom commercials are probably considerably less sexually charged than the show you're watching.
Posted at 06:58 AM
THAT'S A RELIEF [K. J. Lopez]
Nora Ephron has a much easier life today than she did yesterday.
Posted at 06:17 AM
TOMORROW'S HEADLINE? [Warren Bell]
From e-mailer Troy: MARK FELT DEEP THROAT.
Posted at 12:26 AM
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
LAST FELT POST FROM ME [John Podhoretz]
Because some readers appear to be confused, let me assure everybody I have no doubt Felt is Deep Throat. Now the question is: Why did he do it? And as far as I'm concerned, it's open season. You all have at it. I'm going to eat a Fluffernutter now.
Posted at 08:06 PM
DEEP FELT, THEORY THREE [John Podhoretz]
Here's one nobody ever quite envisioned: Deep Throat might have been at the head of a right-wing conspiracy against Richard Nixon. This idea will be given added currency by Mark Levin's amazing discovery of Reagan's clemency pardon for Felt.
Posted at 07:52 PM
DEEP FELT [John Podhoretz]
What with all this denying he was Deep Throat in his memoir and even telling Tim Noah of Slate that it would be a "terrible" thing if Deep Throat had been in the FBI, I've come up with a new idea about Mark Felt. Think about the stuff in the book and the movie All the President's Men. Using a flower pot to deliver messages. Meeting in dark garages. All this skullduggery with all sorts of dark conspiracy warnings when in fact he was himself a leading figure in a conspiracy of sorts. In the end, then, maybe Deep Felt was and is a wacko.
Posted at 07:46 PM
CAN THIS BE RIGHT? [Mark R. Levin]
W. Mark Felt and Edward Miller President Reagan, 1981; granted clemency for authorizing FBI agents to break into Vietnam protestors' offices without warrants.
Posted at 07:43 PM
BROWNSTEIN-MCCAIN MARRIAGE [K. J. Lopez]
Ron Brownstein's wife works for John McCain. Should he be writing on McCain? Hugh Hewitt thinks not without a warning stamp on every article involving the Arizona senator.
Posted at 06:10 PM
RE: FELD [K. J. Lopez]
James Rosen on FNC is reading from Feld's FBI memoir where he basically denied being Deep Throat. Said he talked to Woodward once---and "that was that." Why write a memoir like that if one day everyone would know all, presumably?
Posted at 06:06 PM
TODAY'S TREND IN RADICAL RADIO [Tim Graham]
The one-sided lefty topic of the day on Pacifica's "Democracy Now" chat show was gay marriage among Native Americans. Tribal courts are the latest front for the "marriage" definition-manglers.
Posted at 05:49 PM
FELT THEORY [John Podhoretz]
A hero? Perhaps. Also possible: He was an FBI man with an axe to grind against Nixon because he didn't get the top job at his agency after J. Edgar Hoover's death. He used the Washington Post not because he wanted to reveal the "truth" but in a classic petty score-settling vendetta -- in which he represented not the forces of progress and change, but the forces of Hooverism. Only in Felt's case, he didn't merely threaten to destroy elected politicians using classified FBI information -- he actually went ahead and did it.
Posted at 05:44 PM
GREAT HUMAN INVENTIONS, SERIES #1,129 [John Derbyshire]
Closely followed by the dimple bit.
Posted at 05:25 PM
FELT IS DEEP THROAT--CONFIRMED [K. J. Lopez]
by the WashPost
Posted at 05:23 PM
PRETTY GOOD STORY GIVING CONTEXT TO FELT STORY [K. J. Lopez]
"Salute Watergate's 'Deep Throat', Says Family"
Posted at 05:21 PM
ACTIVE INACTIVE NAME [K. J. Lopez]
Posted at 05:17 PM
THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE [K. J. Lopez]
A Las Vegas tv station interviews a man who claims to summon UFOs on command. This is the Stuttaford beat--you out there already?
Posted at 05:08 PM
BOTH MICHAEL MOORE'S DEEPEST NIGHTMARE AND HIS DARKEST HOPE [John Podhoretz]
An e-mail: "Let's see here. Bush will have done 8 years. Jeb could do 8 as VP and then 8 as President. Each of their kids kids could do the same. That would be a total of 72 years.
"We need another 72 years of Bush! Now that's a slogan!"
Posted at 05:07 PM
TRUE STORY [K. J. Lopez]
"Though she may not be your morning radio listen, is not the name 'Robin Quivers' one of the best active names ever?"
Posted at 05:02 PM
JPOD IS A CLUELESS MOOK? [Warren Bell]
You certainly don't seem clueless to me, John. As for mookiness, I confess to not really knowing what that means, despite having used the word myself. Is it like obscenity--one knows a mook when one sees one?
Posted at 04:59 PM
A CORRECTION [K. J. Lopez]
WFB's Friday column had a mistake about Corporation for Public Broadcasting chairman Kenneth Tomlinson. The piece now includes a correction (Tomlinson never worked as an intern for Fulton Lewis Jr., as the piece said he did, relying on a Salon article). Apologies for the mistake.
Posted at 04:58 PM
RE: WATERGATE [Mark R. Levin]
K-Lo, you should be watching FOX. ... I'll bet Richard Nixon is looking down on Washington right now and having a good laugh. The very liberals who detested him simply cannot get enough of him
Posted at 04:53 PM
WHAT WOULD SUSAN ESTRICH THINK [K. J. Lopez]
of this? UPDATE: Here's their direct site.
Posted at 04:44 PM
RE: WASHINGTON POST [K. J. Lopez]
Judy Woodruff reported a little while ago on CNN that the Washington Post says they'll have news on Watergate in the morning paper, on the web today. I know the country is holding its breath--unable to pick the kids up from school, drive home from work...
Posted at 04:42 PM
WORD FROM INSIDE THE WASHINGTON POST [John Podhoretz]
The latest on Felt and Deep Throat's hometown paper from Joel Achenbach's blog on the WaPo website: "At the moment, the newsroom is a bit abuzz about this. Bernstein won't confirm, and there's no word from Woodward or Bradlee." Maybe Woodward could hold a seance with the ghost of William Casey to get guidance.
Posted at 04:39 PM
WHAT, YOU DIDN'T READ MY FIRST BOOK? [John Podhoretz]
A reader e-mails: "If you're lucky, there will be a Bush occupying the White House for your entire life, you pathetically clueless mook!" As the author of a 280-page denunciation of the presidency of Bush Pere called Hell of a Ride, I am offended!
Posted at 04:18 PM
WATERGATE [Mark R. Levin]
Woodward and Bernstein have attempted to control all aspects of the Watergate enterprise, and it could be that they had hoped to capitalize on another book surrounding the unveiling of Deep Throat. Felt may have blunted the intrigue, but they can still add more substance to their dealings with him, which some might find interesting. So, why confirm anything until the timing is right--for them? Just a possibility.
Posted at 04:15 PM
THE POLITICAL WAY TO A BOYHOOD DREAMS [K. J. Lopez]
I have no idea if Matt Dowd dreamt of being a sportstar when he was a kid, but knowing boys, the odds are high. His alternative route ain't bad. The former Bush campaign guy, has an NBA contract.
Posted at 03:57 PM
RE: SCRABBLE GROUPIES AND LOONIES [K. J. Lopez]
Terribly disturbing timewaster.
Posted at 03:43 PM
ACTIVE NAMES [K. J. Lopez]
I used to think Larry Speakes had the coolest name.
Posted at 03:41 PM
MARK FELT MAY BASICALLY BE A SENTENCE [K. J. Lopez ]
But I'm so obsessed with something else that I keep wanting to spell his name with a "d" at the end.
Posted at 03:35 PM
RE: FELT [K. J. Lopez]
The whole thing seems quite suspicious, right? If he were sure he was Deep Throat, he would have absolved Woodward and Bernstein of any confidentiality agreement and they'd have confirmed it by know. Not knowing anything--I haven't read the Vanity Fair article--seems more likely he was one of a few sources.
Posted at 03:29 PM
"LOST IN TRANSLATION"--NEW YORK CITY EDITION [Jim Boulet Jr.]
"All school documents, including school notices and report cards, would have to be translated into nine languages" in New York City schools if the professional ethnic activists have their way. The cost? A mere $20 million.
Another bill would require New York City web sites to be available in six languages. Councilman Eric Gioia (D-Queens) claims existing translation software could probably do the job for around $4,000.
Councilman Gioia may not be aware that Washington State's attempt to use translation software led to nothing but complaints.
Example: a statement by Washington's Secretary of State Sam Reed, proposing "statewide mandates to restore public trust," was translated into Chinese as "Swampy weed suggests whole state order recover open trust."
Should New York City have the same experience as Washington State with translation software, which is likely, demands for taxpayer-paid full-time translators will certainly follow.
Councilman Gioia may be also be unaware that "about eleven proposed spelling systems have been identified for [Haitian Creole]."
Posted at 03:20 PM
RE: FELT AND WOODWARD AND BERNSTEIN [K. J. Lopez]
What a weird report for the Washington Post to link to on their website--a wire report. Even if they just want to sidestep the question, it would seem the Washington Post could provide something less derivative.
Posted at 03:04 PM
THE CHRISTIAN SLATER NEWS [K. J. Lopez]
He allegedly groped a woman (celebs need to do that?) in NYC. I'll never watch Untamed Heart the same again. It won't affect my Heathers viewing though.
Posted at 02:55 PM
IF MARK FELT IS DEEP THROAT... [John Podhoretz]
...don't Woodward and Bernstein have to confirm the truth of that, like, immediately? After all, they've said they wouldn't name him because it was what he wanted, and now Felt himself is saying he was the guy in the garage. Or would W&B flinch from acknowledging that they were part of a weird FBI anti-Nixon subplot? Is this why they've kept so quiet all these years?
Posted at 02:40 PM
ABOUT JEB [K. J. Lopez ]
Here's a scenario: He gives a lesser-known (Romney, Pawlenty) creds as his veepman. The dynasty thing becomes completely irrelevant as far as the Republican ticket goes because we're talking #2. And Jeb gets to add vice president to his resume that heretofore, despite an outstanding gubernatorial record, is (unfairly but understandably) shaded by the presidential-father/brother stuff. Then he runs.
Posted at 02:33 PM
EVIAN [K. J. Lopez]
That's what I'm drinking at NR World Headquarters (in honor of their non). And Rich Lowry (rumored to have made a cameo in 13 Going on 30) was just in my office (haven't I seen him on Fox, too?)!
Posted at 02:28 PM
RE: MARK FELT [John Podhoretz]
A reader writes: "So the FBI participated in bringing down a sitting president. Can you imagine the outrage if this had been done to a Democrat president?"
Posted at 02:24 PM
YOU DON'T KNOW BEANS [John Podhoretz]
Warren, I'm in a Starbucks at 23rd and Park in New York, and mostly what's here are a few smelly people.
Posted at 02:22 PM
SAME COFFEE BEAN [Warren Bell]
Nicholas Brendon, "Xander" from Buffy. This is L.A., folks.
Posted at 02:19 PM
IMPORTANT, IMPORTANT THINGS [Warren Bell]
Yes, Justine's boyfriend was Scott Valentine. Their neighbor was Mark "Skippy" Price, not to be confused with the Cleveland Cavalier guard of the same name, sans "Skippy." Valerie B. had a few boyfriends on ODAAT, but Putch's Bob Morton was a long-running character. And several men of about my age have emailed with a sentiment that I share: Valerie was everything a 16-year-old boy could want in a woman.
And Mark Felt may or may not have been Deep Throat, but one thing is for sure: he is two-thirds of a sentence.
Posted at 02:17 PM
SCOTT VALENTINE [K. J. Lopez]
I had completely forgotten he had an almost spin-off. I'm sure Podhoretz and Bell remember the pilot--and not just because Elaine was in it.
Posted at 02:16 PM
JUSTINE BATEMAN'S BOYFRIEND [John Podhoretz]
Scott Valentine. Please.
Posted at 02:14 PM
GEORGE ALLEN IN '08? [John Podhoretz]
Judging from e-mail responses to the column to which I linked below, there's building enthusiasm for Sen. George Allen of Virginia. He may be the only major politician whose childhood has already been chronicled, hilariously, by his sister Jennifer Allen. They were, of course, the children of the legendary Washington Redskins football coach George Allen, and Jennifer wrote a pretty sensational book about the experience called Fifth Quarter.
Here's the problem. I don't think Jennifer Allen is all that fond of her brother, judging from her treatment of him in the book. And given that she has written for Salon.com, she might not be in ideological lockstep with him. But even if she does love him like crazy and agrees with him, this is a potential danger for any presidential candidate. Let me tell you, if I were running for president, I wouldn't want my sister Ruthie out there telling you all about me...(Note: Clicking on the Ruthie link may require you to do some registering.)
Posted at 02:13 PM
RE: SCRABBLE GROUPIES [Mark Krikorian]
If you’d seen last year’s “Word Wars” documentary about competitive Scrabble players, you’d see what Tierney means when he writes that “I'm not sure how many women want to marry someone who spends his weekends memorizing alphagrams.”
Posted at 02:06 PM
INTERNAL AFFAIRS [Mark Krikorian]
Why has the State Department not expelled this woman from the United States? After all, Article 55 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations says foreign government representatives “have a duty not to interfere in the internal affairs” of the country where they’re stationed.
Posted at 02:02 PM
MEARA [K. J. Lopez]
You can do better than that. Everyone knows Mrs. Stiller--many more than can I.D. Mark Felt, for sure. Meanwhile, I have no idea who the boyfriend on One Day at a Time was. And I'd randomly say, "But you can't name the actor who played Justine Bateman's boyfriend on Family Ties" (who I've never ran into at a Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts, or any other chain that would care to advertise with us), but you're John Podhoretz, who won Jeopardy! and all. So I won't bother flaunting my useless knowledge.
Posted at 01:56 PM
JEB IN '08? [John Podhoretz]
I offer a surprising assessment of his chances (they are intertwined with a certain Democratic politician) here.
Posted at 01:54 PM
MARK FELT IS DEEP THROAT! [John Podhoretz]
Let me be the first to say: WHO???????????????
Posted at 01:50 PM
JOHN PUTCH... [John Podhoretz]
...wrote and directed a pretty good romantic comedy called Pursuit of Happiness. Add it to your Netflix queue. Maybe you should hire him as a writer, Warren. But I thought two-time Tony winner Boyd Gaines played Valerie Bertinelli's boyfriend on "One Day at a Time." Oh, and I just saw Anne Meara outside Zabar's on the Upper West Side. Extra points if you know the names of her husband and son.
Posted at 01:47 PM
THE JUNK IN WARREN'S HEAD [K. J. Lopez]
I'd scold you for namedropping if more people knew Mr. Putch's name.
Posted at 01:26 PM
RE: SWINGS, ROUNDABOUTS [John Derbyshire]
From a reader of the lower type, residing in a double-wide not a million miles from Athens, Ohio: "Implicit, complicit. Ptui! Call me when you've got something ex-plicit."
Posted at 12:50 PM
SCRABBLE GROUPIES? [K. J. Lopez]
The things you learn reading John Tierney.
Posted at 12:42 PM
RE: JUNK IN YOUR HEAD [Warren Bell]
How many of you out there, were you sitting in the right Coffee Bean in L.A. at this second, would recognize the actor who played for a season or two Valerie Bertinelli's boyfriend on "One Day at a Time"? Would you know her character's name, which was Barbara Cooper? Would you know the actor's name, which is John Putch? Would you know he was Jean Stapleton's son?
I would say hello to John for all of you, but the sad fact is, I had to fire him from a guest role on a show once for something that was entirely not his fault.
Posted at 12:19 PM
CORNER SILENT WEEKEND [K. J. Lopez]
Wisconsin tries to take over the world.
Posted at 12:18 PM
FAIRNESS DOCTRINE [Warren Bell]
Having previously sung the praises of Starbucks/T-Mobile/Mac iBook, I should mention I am currently in a Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf using Freedomlink from SBC. It's actually a touch better, because you can buy two hours of access for 4 bucks, instead of all day for 10 at the other place.
Posted at 12:13 PM
RE: I FORESEE A DAY [K. J. Lopez]
I'm afraid to say I've been near there, if not there (a few bad days of all U2 titles, etc.). Just putting the junk in my head to use. Not proud, just making the best of a bad situation.
Posted at 12:12 PM
I FORESEE A DAY [Warren Bell]
When all of K-Lo's posts will have an obscure song lyric or title in the subject line. You can do it!
Posted at 12:11 PM
WEEPING GEORGE [John J. Miller]
My three-year-old son just watched the Voinovich video with me: "He's afraid, Dad! He's very, very afraid! Of Tigers!"
Posted at 12:00 PM
THE HEART AND THE MIND [K. J. Lopez]
Science scans a crazy little thing called love.
Posted at 11:59 AM
DON'T CRY OUT LOUD, SENATOR [K. J. Lopez]
Some Republican college students in Ohio are having some fun with George Voinovich's Bolton speech last week.
Posted at 11:53 AM
WHO IS JOHN HARRIS? [Tim Graham]
There's quite a contrast between the juicy bits of the John F. Harris book highlighted by Drudge and the soft-soap excerpt in today's Post, with more of that talk that so annoys Jonah about Hillary's ingenious "centrist strategy" to hide her ultraliberalism. Despite these new Woodwardesque conversation snippets, it should be noted that John F. Harris is best understood as a pro-Clinton journalist, a sometimes fawning pro-Clinton journalist. See him here in his role as Gannon #3. For his theory that the press is Bush's playful little puppy, see here.
Posted at 11:46 AM
ABC IS REPORTING [K. J. Lopez]
that Mark Felt is Deep Throat, as revealed by a new Vanity Fair article. UPDATE: Here's the ABC link. And here's more.
Posted at 11:37 AM
RE: "ABSURD" [K. J. Lopez]
JPod--I don't think I have actually processed the shock of hearing a president say that about Amnesty International on national television in front of the press corps yet.
Posted at 11:28 AM
SWINGS, ROUNDABOUTS [John Derbyshire]
I am sorry, sorry, sorry, to have written "implicit" when I menat "complicit," in my May Diary today. Homer nods.
On the other hand, I am thrilled to have foxed so many people with my (or rather, Boris Zeldovich's) math puzzle. Lots of people simply don't believe that the rule about the area of a triangle being half base times height remains true even when the triangle has a right angle, and the hypoteneuse is taken as base. Well, it does! So what did all those students get wrong?
(Hint: Draw a circle.)
Posted at 11:25 AM
JUVENILE AND SNARKY [John Podhoretz]
A reader is annoyed because in my item about the presidential press conference I was "juvenile and snarky" toward the White House press corps rather than dealing with the substance. Okay, here's what I have to say about substance: Just for saying the Amnesty International report is "absurd," he gets a gold star. True, Kathryn, he said "disassemble" rather than "dissemble," but at least he didn't say "disresemble" like this guy would have.
Posted at 11:16 AM
DISASSEMBLE [K. J. Lopez]
and this is cheap and silly, but Jon Stewart should appreciate the "lower seniors" gift the president gave him a few ago.
Posted at 11:09 AM
KREMLINOLOGY [John J. Miller]
My all-time-favorite condemnation of the Bush White House's "openness" (or lack thereof) from a member of the media belongs to Dana Milbank of the Washington Post, who found himself in a tizzy a year ago after the Russian government released a statement describing a conversation between Bush and Putin (and the White House didn't): "It may come as a surprise to some that the Kremlin, symbol of secrecy and repression, has become more transparent than the White House, symbol of freedom and democracy. But such experience has become routine."
Posted at 11:08 AM
RE: PRESS CONFERENCE GUY [K. J. Lopez]
Okay, he could afford to one less press conference or so. Some Gitmo detainees have been trained to "disassemble"?
Posted at 11:07 AM
HAWAII DOESN'T NEED CASINOS [John Podhoretz]
It's already the most perfect place on earth. They could use a nice casino inside this building.
Posted at 11:07 AM
"ABSURD" [K. J. Lopez]
The president on the Amnesty International Report, at the press conference. (David Rivkin and Lee Casey, of course, agree.)
Posted at 11:05 AM
PRESS CONFERENCE GUY [John Podhoretz]
It now appears President Bush has gone press-conference-happy. If he continues to meet with the White House press corps regularly, as he has been in the past two months, then what will the White House press corps have to complain about? Because you know members of the White House press corps are the whiniest reporters on earth. "Oh, the briefing room is too small!" "I have to get up at 5 to get to Andrews to ride on Air Force One!" "The administration isn't press-friendly!" Boo-hoo-hoo.
Posted at 11:02 AM
HAY IS FOR ALLISON [John J. Miller]
Allison Hayward has a new blog on campaign finance, ethics, and the like: www.skepticseye.com. The entry from this morning includes a quote "from the House Special Committee to Investigate Campaign Expenditures, Rep. No. 2093 (78th Cong. 2d Sess. January 2, 1945)." But don't let that keep you away! It promises to be a helpful site for political junkies, especially those in search of smart and comprehensive commentary.
Posted at 10:43 AM
NON--A CAUTION [K. J. Lopez]
From the WSJ editorial on the French vote:
One lesson Americans shouldn't draw, however, is that this is somehow a defeat for the common European currency, despite its 1% speculative fall against the dollar yesterday. The euro's impact may well have contributed to the French defeat by exposing the failure of socialist economic policies. The repudiation earlier this month of Chancellor Gerhard Schröder's Social Democrats in their heartland of North Rhine-Westphalia had similar economic causes. The low-tax challenge from other European nations is precisely what many supporters of the euro, including us, had hoped for. The euro has been a liberalizing force in Europe, while the constitution was designed to be centralizing force.
Posted at 10:36 AM
WARTIME [John J. Miller]
Yesterday's Washington Examiner published a symposium on great war novels, featuring NROniks John Hillen and Jim Robbins, as well as contributions from Elaine Donnelly, Gen. Barry McCaffrey, and others.
Posted at 10:33 AM
CAN YOU BE COVERT IN AMERICA TODAY? [K. J. Lopez ]
It's tough. The New York Times makes it a bit of a challenge for the CIA, revealing details the public, I would think, needn't know right now. Moreover, al Qaeda not knowing would be helpful.
Posted at 10:30 AM
WHAT THE NATIVE HAWAIIAN GOVERNMENT REORGANIZATION ACT MEANS [Rick Brookhiser ]
Posted at 10:28 AM
HOW I SPENT MEMORIAL DAY VACATION [Warren Bell]
Our three-day respite from probing the collective psyche of the nation was a welcome one--and who doesn't immediately appreciate the improvements on The Corner? I especially like the live video feed from Jonah's couch and the animated K-Lo icon that says "No Star Trek! No Star Trek!"
Meanwhile, I used the time off effectively and wisely--catching up on my TV. I had three hours of 24 with which to finale the season, and the same happy circumstance on Lost. (These are my two favorite shows, in the absence of a Race that is Amazing, which is otherwise number one but ended sooner.) These program reviews brought to you by the high-definition DVR that comes inside my high-def cable box. And in wide-screen high-def both of these superbly mounted shows look as good as movies.
24 was great. Poor Jack Bauer--can he ever just catch a break? At least no one he loved got killed this time around. On the down side, everyone who loves him thinks he's dead. A small negative note--after a lengthy build-up of suspense about a nuclear warhead mounted on a missile by a terrorist and then launched somewhere in the U.S., a fighter jet needed all of about 45 seconds to shoot the missile down and cause no damage to anyone. The big thing apparently with missiles is just finding where they're headed--the rest is easy. Also, the return of Mia Kirschner as an exceptionally bad girl was dee-licious. Emmy for Kiefer this year, please.
As for Lost, some have complained (JPod) that the finale had no payoffs and could lead to a frustrated audience. Well, not this one. People need to remember that season finales are about questions, not answers. J.R. was shot in March, and we found out who did it in November. And for my money, Lost is consistently involving, inventive, and ultimately very satisfying. As we have (or maybe haven't) learned from Thomas Pynchon and Twin Peaks, it's not about the destination, it's about the journey.
Posted at 10:28 AM
OUR MODERN LIFE [K. J. Lopez ]
In his May Diary today, John Derbyshire is quite right that the realities of IVF today make it a much a harder, emotional debate to have--we're not talking about moral theories, we're talking about human lives: lively toddlers, sick parents…(and, yes, frozen embryos). But the fact that there are, indeed, "decent, thoughtful, well-educated people" intimately involved with assisted reproduction, starting families with its assistance--many of whom "must have created 75 embryos to get the two children we are now raising"--should, I would think, make us think even longer and harder before we jump into the next point of no return.
Posted at 10:26 AM
WHAT AM I THINKING THOUGH? [K. J. Lopez ]
Embryonic-stem cells will cure polio—finally.
CORRECTION/UPDATE: There, of course, is not a cure for polio--only a vaccine. I read that blogger's post way too quickly and apologize for that. A reader writes:
Not to be picky with the defense of trendy cause interested celebrities, but there's not a cure for polio. There's a vaccine for polio. Once the body is attacked the degenerative effects of the polio virus are devastating, both in the immediate and in the long term with the significant issues of post-polio syndrome. Having a treatment which could fix the nerve damage would be a cure, as a cure is something which heals after the disease has attacked. There is no such treatment, there is only prevention. The blogger you linked comes off more ignorant than Scarlett Johansson.So many of us pray for cures to devastating disease--many of which have hit our own families. And, mercifully, good men and women are at work on cures everyday. But, re: the public-policy debate--and especially about federal funding--the panacea talk about embryonic-stem-cell research is not a reason to skip over the moral questions involved in stem-cell research. And when ethics and science can be reconciled, as with adult-stem-cell research, cord-blood research, etc., why not focus there?
Posted at 10:25 AM
SUPREME COURT REPORT [K. J. Lopez ]
The Supremes threw out Arthur Anderson's Enron conviction this morning.
Posted at 10:23 AM
AN ADULT CONVERSATION [K. J. Lopez ]
Much has been made of a dramatic debate on This Week on stem-cell research between Sam Brownback and Arlen Specter. I'm not going to pretend that the image of Arlen Specter suffering in real-time is not one that pulls at anyone's heartstrings, it certainly does, and I wish him the best in his painful health battle. But, I still couldn’t help but notice how the conversation on Sunday completely skipped over alternatives to embryonic-stem-cell research (adult, cord blood…)--Brownback mentioned it and it never went anywhere. That might be Brownback's fault this time, for quickly moving onto the when-did-your-life begin question. But alternative alternatives are rarely discussed—but they are a source of hope (I'm sorry to be a broken record here), free of the ethical problems surrounding the embryonic kind.
Posted at 10:23 AM
BLESSED MARY! [K. J. Lopez ]
Congrats from the whole Corner gang, Ramesh. You've got about the only good reason anyone ever can have to be out of The Corner: The Children! (Stuttaford, forgive me.) Enjoy, Dad!
Meanwhile, The Corner promises to have lots of fun without you, in honor of the new Ponnuru.
Posted at 10:10 AM
MARY LAKSHMI PONNURU [Ramesh Ponnuru ]
was born last night. She weighs 7 pounds 5 ounces. She is, like her mother, healthy and beautiful. You'll be seeing less of me on NRO for the next few weeks while I spend some time with my girls. Have fun without me!
Posted at 10:09 AM
“NON” [Rich Lowry ]
It's now my favorite word outside of maybe “kifaya.” The French vote was the best political news in weeks and weeks. Read all about it here.
Posted at 10:05 AM
NEXT TIME, TELL US WHAT YOU REALLY THINK OF HIM [K. J. Lopez]
Reuters: "Dashing new French PM led opposition to Iraq war"
Posted at 09:40 AM
10:45 [K. J. Lopez]
the prez will be holding a White House presser.
Posted at 09:35 AM
IN CASE I WAS BEING TOO SUBTLE EARLIER THIS MORNING [K. J. Lopez]
Are you treating yourself to a fun day in Chicago with the NR crew? Do consider.
And if you missed The Corner a little too much this weekend, how can you not go?
Posted at 09:21 AM
ANTI-BUSH "ART"? TRY "PURE, UNADULTERATED CRAP" [K. J. Lopez]
Michelle Malkin on taxpayer-funded "art."
Posted at 09:09 AM
PENALTY FOR PODHORETZ [K. J. Lopez]
From The Official Vast-Right-Wing-Conspiracy Guidebook: Any members who say anything remotely positive about any Clinton will not receive their discounted copy of Ann Coulter's next book, Homicide: The Democrats Do Themselves In So We Don't Have To.
Posted at 08:46 AM
JUST 20 DAYS [Jack Fowler]
Father’s Day looms. And speaking of looms, only the very best are used to spin off the wonderful garments that earn the title of official NR clothing – tee shirts, windshirts, polos, and much more. And because great minds think alike – a you’ll agree that NR clothes would make the perfect present for Beloved Pop on June 19 – we’ve assembled a number of great packages of NR duds for dads (ranging from M to XXL), about which you can learn more and order right here.
Posted at 08:42 AM
YOU HAVE TO ADMIT, SHE HAS A POINT [John Podhoretz]
According to Drudge, John Harris's new book about the Clinton White House, The Survivor, features Hillary unfavorably comparing her husband's staff to a predecessor's: "JFK had real men in his White House!" Ouch. As Anthony Burgess might have said, right in the yarbles.
Posted at 08:37 AM
OH, JEFFREY DAHMER! HA HA HA! [John Podhoretz]
Salon.com's cartoonist, Tom Tomorrow, compares Ann Coulter to a cannibal-rapist-murderer here (Warning: you may have to go through Salon's ridiculous Day Pass system to see this.)
Posted at 08:27 AM
THE AMAZING CHILD SINGER EUGENE MIRMAN... [John Podhoretz]
...is warbling up a storm here.
Posted at 08:24 AM
A YOUNG MAN OF HONOR [Warren Bell]
Recently my wife began a pen-pal relationship with a young American who left the country of his birth to serve in the Israeli army. For those of us who sometimes fear that today's young people have lost their way, I give you the words of Matan Ronen, age 22:
"Thank you for your support. It really means a lot to me to know that someone out there understands the significance of what I'm doing here.
The hardest thing about being in a foreign army is being misunderstood. Americans think I'm crazy, "Can't you just send a check like everyone else?" Likewise Israelis think I'm crazy, "America wasn't good enough for you?" Somewhere in the middle, if not on the margins, are the people that respect what I and other volunteers are doing. To be certain, I am not doing the most effective service I could be doing for the Jewish people. After all, I am just simple soldier. But I do believe I am doing the most righteous thing a young Jew can do at this time. It is the exemplary path. Once this service is done, the real service can begin. What that may mean for me I am not yet sure. Perhaps it may mean working for a Jewish organization, perhaps it will mean raising my family in Israel. However, the bottom line is not where I live nor what I do, it is that my heart and my values are with the Jewish people. If every Jew kept every other Jew in mind we would be a much more secure, stronger, and happier people."
Posted at 08:18 AM
HOW DID I GET HERE? [Warren Bell]
I don't pretend to understand how the Internet works, but this is really very weird. Check out this page.
Pretty innocuous stuff--memo boards and gift ideas, right? But check out that column on the far right. Down below the suggestion of the Trapezoid Wicker Ottoman w/ Floral Black Fabric Cushion begins something called "web notes." And way far down that column, between a mention of the Downing Street memo and discussion of Gitmo, is my post about a Corner v. Bench Memos softball game.
I guess that's what I get for Googling "Trapezoid Wicker Ottoman w/ Floral Black Fabric Cushion."
UPDATE: I'm no longer there, having been supplanted by "Local Cosmetologists Angry About Fines."
Posted at 08:16 AM
BIBI ON FIRE [K. J. Lopez]
Posted at 07:55 AM
RE: TODAY [Tim Graham]
Maybe you missed Matt Lauer yesterday on the Ellen DeGeneres show, where he began by talking about what a great kisser she was. Do I really need to contemplate that image on Memorial Day? (I think the wife was punishing me as I was cleaning up the mysterious Exxon Valdez-size Hershey's Syrup spill in the refrigerator...I swear it wasn't me who left the squeeze bottle open.)
Posted at 07:40 AM
BONO HEARTS W [K. J. Lopez]
& jesse helms
Posted at 07:34 AM
TIOLETS ARE "HIGHLY CHARGED SPACES, SHAPED BY NOTIONS OF PROPRIETY, HYGIENE AND THE BINARY GENDER DIVISION" [K. J. Lopez]
More ridiculousness in the academy, courtesy of Roger Kimball.
Posted at 07:15 AM
OUR FRIEND, DE VILLEPIN, I SHOULD SAY [K. J. Lopez]
We're quoting him positively of late!
Posted at 07:08 AM
DE VILLEPIN ASCENDS [K. J. Lopez]
BBC: "Dominique de Villepin has been named as France's new prime minister, following the government defeat in Sunday's vote on the EU constitution."
Posted at 07:07 AM
BRING BACK THE WEEKEND! [K. J. Lopez]
The Today Show this morning, in the first minutes: Katie got a hair cut; Matt may be bal,; but he's not impotent; Spokane mayoral sex scandal; Michael Jackson; Paris Hilton...
Posted at 07:04 AM
DON'T MAKE US READ, WE'RE IN SCHOOL [K. J. Lopez]
Lawmakers voted Thursday to ban school districts from purchasing textbooks longer than 200 pages.
Posted at 06:47 AM
THE CHURCH OF MORAL CLARITY [K. J. Lopez]
"Church to let gay clergy ‘marry’ but they must stay celibate"
Posted at 06:44 AM
WHILE YOU WERE OUT [Mark Krikorian ]
News items of varying importance to the future of the Republic: * Your mother was right; you could go blind.
* A local government gets serious about illegal immigration.
* "Feral goldfish"!
* The Ottoman "millet" system comes to Hawaii?
* More victories for feminism.
Posted at 06:29 AM
ON CLOSING GITMO [David B. Rivkin Jr. & Lee A. Casey ]
Tom Friedman’s impassioned call, in Friday’s New York Times, for the closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention facilities, both misdiagnosis the problem and the solution. He claims that Guantanamo is undercutting American policy abroad, and endangering American lives, because it is so very unpopular in the foreign media--especially the London papers--and is “inflaming sentiments against the U.S. all over the world and providing recruitment energy on the Internet for those who would do us ill.” In fact, anti-American spleen is pretty much the normal state of affairs for much of Fleet Street (try reading what the British press said about the Lincoln Administration), and al Qaeda’s recruiting efforts were doing just fine well before we started housing its operatives in the Caribbean sun. Closing Guantanamo would eliminate neither phenomenon.
In fact, it is not merely the Guantanamo Bay installation that has outraged the British and European chattering classes, it is the entire war on terror. They do not accept that the September 11 attacks were a casus belli, or that the United States is engaged in a legally cognizable armed conflict, to which the laws of war apply. Most will claim that the attacks were a “crime.” On the quiet, many believe that we got what was coming to us. To please them, and they would not stayed pleased for very long, the United States would have to adopt a law enforcement model which would not merely make protecting the American population more difficult, it would make it impossible. This was, in fact, the model followed by the Clinton Administration in the 1990s, and it did not work. That policy resulted in the deaths of thousands of Americans.
Mr. Friedman accepts this with too much equanimity. If we have evidence against any of the detainees, he suggests, we should “put them on trial, convict as many [as] possible (which will not be easy because of bungled interrogations) and then simply let the rest go home or to a third country. Sure, a few may come back to haunt us.” What a charming way to describe it--a few may come back to haunt us. For al Qaeda, of course, haunting does not involve shouting boo in the night. It involves arranging matters so that scores of our fellow citizens must choose between burning to death and jumping 100 stories to the pavement.
It may well be that the only way ultimately to defeat Islamicist terror is to transform the Middle East into a region of democracies. That, however, will take years--if not decades. In the meantime, the United States cannot simply ignore attacks on its citizens, and addressing those attacks with only police, prosecutors and the courts will not be effective. The criminal justice process is reactive--it cannot prevent mayhem on a global scale.
Using armed force, including the pursuit, capture and detention of enemy combatants, to defend American lives is in no sense a betrayal of American values. What the critics of the war on terror policies are really complaining of is that the Untied States has simply refused to accept their values. For thirty years the United States has steadfastly rejected efforts by “progressives” to create a new and beneficial legal regime for guerilla and irregular fighters like al Qaeda and the Taliban. Such individuals do not themselves obey the laws of war, and they are not entitled to be treated as honorable, lawful combatants. They can be held until the conflict ends, and are not entitled to a criminal trial unless criminal penalties are to be imposed. Detention during hostilities is not such a penalty. It is, in fact, a boon. Under the law of armed conflict our right to detain captured enemies is the basis of our obligation to take them prisoner in the first place, to grant them quarter on the battlefield. Overall, in establishing the facility at Guantanamo Bay, in denying captured terrorists the rights and privileges of honorable POWs, and in adopting stressful interrogation methods that do not amount to torture, the United States has acted entirely within its established legal rights.
There have been abuses, some of them very serious, and our enemies have used this as a propaganda tool. This, however, is not uncommon in war. Indeed, prisoner abuse occurs in peacetime as well, in virtually all civilian penitentiaries, whether in the U.S. or abroad. Unlike our enemies, however, the United States investigates, prosecutes and punishes those responsible for instances of abuse. This is how our values can be, and have been, vindicated.
Posted at 06:28 AM
CONE OF SILENCE [K. J. Lopez]
I'm kidding. The money raised from Chicago--are ya coming?--will be put to much more fundamental use.
Posted at 06:26 AM
OUR NEXT FUNDRAISER [K. J. Lopez]
will cover a few of these.
Posted at 06:25 AM
POST MEMORIAL DAY THOUGHTS [K. J. Lopez]
From Ronald Reagan:
Beyond those monuments to heroism is the Potomac River, and on the far shore the sloping hills of Arlington National Cemetery with its row on row of simple white markers bearing crosses or Stars of David. They add up to only a tiny fraction of the price that has been paid for our freedom.... Their lives ended in places called Belleau Wood, The Argonne, Omaha Beach and Salerno and halfway around the world on Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Pork Chop Hill, the Chosin Reservoir, and in a hundred rice paddies and jungles of a place called Vietnam. Under one such marker lies a young man--Martin Treptow--who left his job in a small-town barbershop in 1917 to go to France with the famed Rainbow Division. There, on the western front, he was killed trying to carry a message between battalions under heavy artillery fire. We are told that on his body was found a diary. On the flyleaf under the heading "My Pledge," he had written these words: "America must win this war. Therefore, I will work, I will save, I will sacrifice, I will endure, I will fight cheerfully and do my utmost, as if the issue of the whole struggle depended on me alone."
Posted at 06:21 AM
YOU KNOW THE BOYS DIDN'T WANT ME [K. J. Lopez]
to be the first post back...oh well!
Posted at 04:26 AM