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September 30, 2005

Quote of the Day

Senator Frist, other members of the Senate, I view the vote this morning as confirmation of what is for me a bedrock principle, that judging is different from politics.


-  Chief Justice Roberts, at his swearing-in ceremony

Amen, brother.

September 30, 2005 at 10:09 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 28, 2005

Why does the NYT hate poor people?

Slate's Mickey Kaus is having way too much fun with TimesSelect. Just start at the top and keep scrolling . . . (Via Instapundit.)

September 28, 2005 at 09:37 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 27, 2005

Liberal Porn

There it is. That headline is the only substantive point I have to make about Geena Davis' new TV series, Commander in Chief. I didn't watch it, though if I had known it was on, perhaps I would have. I'd always had a soft spot in my heart for her after her starring role in Earth Girls are Easy. But I became disenchanted when I found that she had married Jeff Goldblum. And the sight of her practicing archery in an attempt to make the Olympic team just did not look sexy. (Personally, I prefer my women to use firearms.)

Anyway, here are some reviews from people who did watch it;

  • The NYT's Alessandra Stanley:

    "Commander in Chief" is a political fantasy, a feminist twist on "The West Wing," which this season pits a Hispanic Democratic nominee against a Republican challenger. And like "The West Wing," the series has a romantic vision of government.

    Nobility in the nation's capital is still a hard sell on television, even in an era of forensic anthropologists with pretty faces and criminal investigators who see dead people. But "Commander in Chief" is well written and playful with its premise even as it conjures a post-Hillary world where female politicians are pure at heart or at least have learned from Senator Clinton's early mistakes.

  • The LAT's Al Martinez made his review into a poll of the LAT's newsroom regarding which woman they would most like to see as president. No surprise there, Hillary won in a landslide.

  • The WaPo's Tom Shales didn't really like it (too much focus on the "just imagine! a woman as President of the USA!"), but he did offer this oh-so-daring bit of editorializing: "We could do a lot worse than have Geena Davis serving as president of the United States. Indeed, we already have."

  • The NY Post's Linda Stasi manages to tie it all together with this observation:

    Several years ago I found myself with several other female columnists chowing down and chewing the fat with Hillary Clinton at a White House lunch. We talked about politics, media, kids and the curse of bad haircuts. I swear.

    The next morning, a front-page New York Times story proclaimed that Clinton had invited us all in for makeover advice!

    The point? One, sometimes even other women can't bear to see a woman in a position of power and, second, on tonight's premiere of "Commander in Chief," President McKenzie Allen's makeup is so crazy-lady-on-the-bus bad that even Clinton's lunch bunch could have done a better job.

Liberals may not be able to win elections in this country but, thanks to their pals in Hollywood, they can still pretend.

September 27, 2005 at 10:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Funny t-shirt seen at the gym

Talk is cheap, until you hire a lawyer.

September 27, 2005 at 09:14 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

September 25, 2005

The Permanent Opposition?

There were a couple of interesting pieces on the future of the Democratic Party this weekend. David Brooks amusingly contrasted the recent public utterances of the former "great hair team", Kerry and Edwards. (Via VikingPundit, who figured out a way to break the TimesSelect blockade.) Kerry, in Brook's view, defines himself by his opposition to Bush. His vision of the future, sense of policy priorities, what he stands for, etc. can all be boiled down to "Bush is evil and I am not Bush."

In surprising contrast, Edwards appears to have left Washington partisanship behind him and is, instead, thinking creatively about the problems of race and class in America. Brooks did not say much about his ideas, but the fact that there are some Democrats who may have them is a noticeable step forward.

On a similar note, Mark Steyn weighed in with the observation that the Democratic party is so addicted to contributions from leftist activists that it is, in essence, marginalizing itself:

. . . The more money shoveled at the party by Moveon.org, Hollywood, NOW and other unrepresentative fringes, the less it's able to see over the big pile of green to the electorate beyond. A party as thoroughly Sorosized as the Democrats is perforce downsized.

Of course, it's too early to write off the Democrats. And Hillary Clinton is certainly not falling into the trap of playing to the out-of-mainstream, leftist fringe of Democratic activists. But it is ironic that Soros and his political largess may be helping to push the Democratic Party into irrelevance.

September 25, 2005 at 08:32 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

September 23, 2005

All the world's a stage

I have been remiss in not linking to Richard Landes' new documentary Pallywood. I found it to be a very persuasive video document, analyzing how Palestinian cameramen, working for western news agencies, appeared to collaborate with Palestinian radicals to stage phony Israeli Defense Force violence against civilians.

I highly recommend it, and it's free, either as a download or as compressed streaming video.

September 23, 2005 at 03:55 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Cindy, we hardly knew ye. . .

Dr. Bob is worried about the coming disappearance of Cindy Sheehan.

Cindy, Cindy, Cindy! You are a white dove flown into the strike zone of Randy Johnson heat. You are no longer taunting the President–whose handling of political enemies borders on the effeminate. This is Hillary: you have poked the bear with a stick, and there’ll be Hell to pay. For Bush, politics is a vehicle for principles; for the Clintons, politics is principle.

You were useful in your day–eroding the popularity of an embattled President and his compatriots in crime. But Hillary is on the move, craftfully tacking to the center, supporting the war while criticizing it, moderating her stance on abortion, seeking the support of those elusive values voters so critical to her 2008 presidential bid. Hers is a treacherous tightrope: snarling denizens of the Moore, teeth bared, panting for blood while shoveling dollars into the raging furnaces of the Left; on the Right, wary independents and ex-Democrats fed up with Bush–but still mindful of the tainted regency she ruled with an iron fist, concupiscent husband close in tow.

And you are shaking that tightrope, Cindy. . . 

Heh.

September 23, 2005 at 07:03 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 22, 2005

Gag me with a spoon

Tina Brown, pining for the good old days when the "intellectual elite" ruled the roost.

The White House doesn't seem to realize it yet, but we are entering a post-spin era in public life. The shift has long been underway in the business world, propelled by the Enron catastrophe and the collapse of the dot-com bubble. Process, not perception, is king in boardrooms today. After so much corporate malfeasance it all got too dire to put up with fake CEOs anymore.

Now after the Iraq debacle, the ballooning deficit and the aftermath of Katrina, Americans are pining for grounded leaders in public office, too -- leaders who have moral conviction, yes, but also the gnarly, dexterous ability to think things through.

The irony is that no one would have believed that Clinton -- the king of spin, who went out under a cloud of indecency five years ago -- could climb back to such credibility. Monica is fading and he's backlit now by his disciplined handling of the economy, the unsought comparisons of how well FEMA used to perform under his watch and the enlightened nature of his global activism.

A weird reputational exchange has taken place between Clinton and President Bush. After so much dishonest reasoning it's the vaunted "CEO president" who begins to look like the callow, fumbling adolescent. And it's the sexually incontinent, burger-guzzling, late-night-gabbing Bubba who is emerging as a great CEO of America.

"We are so arrogant because we are obsessed with the present," he told his guests at the conference's end. "I've reached an age now where it doesn't matter whatever happens to me. I just don't want anybody to die before their time anymore."

Now that MoDo is on pay-per-view, maybe Tina is making her move.

September 22, 2005 at 10:59 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Picking up the thrown gauntlet

Tim Blair tagged me, but I'm rolling with it:

1975: 30 years ago.

Living in a college dorm in Portland, Oregon, with an Israeli draft dodger for a roommate. (I think his only friend on campus was his lab rat, whom he named Kafka.) Wearing: jeans and tee-shirts. Hair: in a ponytail. Listening to: Donna Summer. Politics: I thought I was a Maoist. (But I was only 18, so give me a break.) Driving: a falling apart, ten year old Honda 300 motorcycle I bought for $125.

1985: 20 years ago.

Living in a rent stabilized NYC tenement apartment whose hallways smelled of urine and mouse droppings (though I stayed at my girlfriend (now wife's) upper east side apartment most of the time), working 60 hours a week for the man. Wearing: business suits I bought wholesale from a friend of the family's sweatshop (located in what is now part of the ABC Carpet retail empire). Listening to: Madonna's Into the Groove. Hair: corporate. Politics: just recovering from having voted for my first ever Republican presidential candidate (Reagan) after having voted twice (!) for Jimmy Carter. (In my defense, this was before he became certifiable.) Driving (well riding in) a GMC Transit bus.

1995: 10 years ago.

Living in a town house on Manhattan's upper east side with my (now) wife and baby daughter, working 70 hours a week for the man. Wearing business suits custom made in Hong Kong. Listening to: Coolio's Gangsta's Paradise. Hair: still corporate. Politics: right / libertarian. Driving: black Jeep Cherokee 4.0 liter in line 6 cylinder.

2000: 5 years ago.

Living in the same house with the same wife, now with two daughters. Quit my job at an investment bank to start my own investment fund. Wearing: a suit when I had to. Listening to: Spin Doctor's Little Miss Can't Be Wrong. Hair: needs a trim. Politics: glad the Clintons were over (as if!). Driving: supercharged, big block Chevy suburban 4x4.

2002: 3 years ago.

Same house, kids, wife. Managing money on my own. Started blogging, inspired by Tim Blair's friend Imre. Wearing: jeans or shorts whenever possible. Listening to: Pink, Don't Let Me Get Me. Hair: usually shaggy. Politics: armed and dangerous. Driving: new Chevy 8.1 liter Suburban 4x4 with DVD player for the kids.

2005: This year.

Same as three years ago. (I know, I have a boring life.)

2015: Ten years from now.

Wearing a burqa, living in Saudi Arabia. Hair: who has time for hair? Politics: Islamist cross-dresser. Listening to: the muezzin's call to prayer. Driving: a beat-up Toyota loaded with explosives. Politics: you're either with us or against us.

I tag:

The Dissident Frogman (now active at No Pasaran!)

Viking Pundit

Captain Ed

Stefan Sharkansky

Roger L. Simon

(Now if someone would only tell them that they are tagged, we might be in business!)

September 22, 2005 at 06:35 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Quote of the Day

Slate's Mickey Kaus on why Democrats should abandon troglodyte policies like support for the Davis-Bacon act:

 . . the real problem with laws like Davis-Bacon isn't that they make a few government buildings, highways, and levees, etc., a bit more expensive. It's that--in combination with similar laws that apply to services, and with the civil service laws, and with misguided court decisions that impose special procedural obligations on government (e.g. before workers can be fired or public housing tenants evicted)--they make the private sector more efficient than government at virtually anything both of them do. The result is a pervasive public cynicism about government efficacy that has done more to undermine the case for government action than union lobbying can ever do to support it.

(Am I the only one who wonders why someone as intelligent, clear-sighted and well-informed as Mickey Kaus continues to vote Democratic? I know, I know: it's not a party, it's a secular religion. But still. . .)

September 22, 2005 at 06:03 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack