Tina Brown does the counterintuitive thing today and defends Bob Woodward -- because she thinks what he has on tape will soon enough bring down the whole Bush operation. More entertaining to anyone who knew her before she became a girl scout is her reference to "the cynicism of quarterly profit-driven conglomerates enslaved to entertainment values." And in case you didn't know, she compares the scandal over the absence of WMD in Iraq to "the secret deal at Suez in 1956" and -- Jed, are you listening? -- "the phony evidence for the supposed Tonkin Gulf attacks." As she writes, "it's not just tragic; it's embarrassing."
The Spectacle Blog
The Washington Times called around to federal agencies yesterday asking what they'll be calling their Christmas trees. Most folks are using the traditional Christmas moniker or don't have an official name. Not so surprisingly, Norm Mineta's Transportation Department calls theirs "holiday" trees.
Predictably, the bitterest criticism of the president's speech yesterday comes not even from the Dems, but from their think tank, the New York Times. In its lead editorial today, the NYT editors presume to speak for the American people, compare Bush to an isolated Nixon, and do their best to revive their campaign to re-create Vietnam in the Middle East. The money quotes:
We neglected to note this here, but the Commerce Department revised upward third quarter gross domestic product figures yesterday -- 4.3% growth instead of 3.8%. Naturally, the WSJ is bullish (sub. req'd): "We interrupt your daily doom-and-gloom programming with a word from the economy." Now if only the President would tout this as loudly as his predecessor did and let Americans know it.
The new abortion ammo for/against Judge Alito probably will not substantially hinder his confirmation. He weathered the 1985 Justice Department application release well, thanks to the White House's successful message control under Steve Schmidt. Schmidt convinced the press and most moderates that Alito must be evaluated as a judge, not a political job-seeker. Schmidt's already working from that successful playbook on this newly released memo:
"Judge Alito should be evaluated on his 15 years of jurisprudence as a federal judge where he has authored hundreds of opinions," Schmidt said. "On some of those cases, he has upheld abortion rights. In other cases he has not. To leap to conclusions and try to infer future decisions from 20-year-old memos borders on the silly."
Jed, the Gulf Stream has shifted before, north, in the middle ages. It caused a major global power realignment, because it brought the great codfish schools with it -- and moved that source of national wealth marginally out of reach for the vessels of Spain and Portugal at the time. England and the cities of the Hanseatic League benefited, to the extent that by the mid-1300s, the League had taken over global control of the salt fish trade.
Another wonderful EUnuch day comes to an end. The first face transplant (partial one, at least) was accomplished surgically in France. And those who are the most ardent supporters of the Kyoto global warming treaty, inevitably, are now facing the prospect of a -- wait for it -- mini-Ice Age that could engulf Europe.
From the Department of Stuff We Can't Make Up comes the report that the ocean current that gives Europe its balmy (atmospheric, not political) climate is failing and may create another ice age on the Continent. The (intemperate) money quote?
Wonderful points about the wonderful Charlie Brown Christmas special, Dave, but you inadvertently make the point about how impoverished current productions are. CB was made in 1965. That's the TV equivalent of re-running "The Tennessee Ernie Ford Show," to name only one of that era's unabashed TV Christians.
It sure pays well to be a Pennsylvania state legislator. So well, in fact, that two key players in approving the recent unconstitutional pay raise, state Supreme Court Chief Justice Ralph Cappy and Senate President Pro Tempore Robert Jubelirer both own Bonita Springs, Florida, homes in the same gated country club community. Cappy's Florida home is valued at $333,000 and Jubelirer's at $317,000. Those homes are in addition to their Pennsylvania homes.