J.P.: I do wonder who the real scrooges are in this kerfuffle. I omitted from my article a press release we received last week here at the Spectator: a short instruction in "how you can save Christmas." That's right -- the entire holiday is at stake. One strategy, which you mention, is to correct sales clerks when they wish you a "Happy Holiday." What gall that must take. My barber and his lovely wife wished me "Happy Holidays" with utmost sincerity this week. Chiding them would have been nothing short of rude.
The Spectacle Blog
The McCain Bush photo should have gone into this filler article for AOL People.
(Linked to Yahoo)
McCain exhibits an openness, and sincerity in listening to Bush. Bush, leaning forward, is being proactive, half smiling and half empathizing. They've had a rocky relationship, but we don't think they'll break up any time soon.
I've wanted to flash my credentials as a contrarian on the Christmas issue, but I'm having difficulty. I want to oppose the liberals who want to have Chrismahanukkwanzikah and yet I don't want to exhibit belligerence to Target store greeters who wish me a happy holiday. There's that whole "reasonable" argument about how the Pro-Christmas folks aren't really pushing Christmas -- Dave already discussed that here, and the Wall Street Journal picked that view up here (I think registration required). Here's a snippet that bugged me:
"The idea that we should slice 'Christ' from 'mas' is un-American."
Wait, huh? Etymology?
Not the one in the National Archives. I mean the area's weakness when a drop of snow hits the ground. Yesterday, hours before precipitation began, area schools preemptively closed left and right -- all that trouble for midday snowflakes turning to icy rain. And today, with blue skies, a forecast of 44 degrees, and the current temp hovering around freezing, Prince William County, Virginia, just added itself to five other counties taking the day off.
Growing up in Montana, without about an inch of black ice covering every road in town, school would not close. Your first-period teacher gave you a little leeway on the first snow day, to learn how to drive in the stuff again. After that, you were expected on time. In four years of high school, I can't remember school closing for weather. If we had the D.C. area's standards, we'd rarely attend between December and March.
Possible caption for photo: "You can squeeze tighter, but you'll never get me to talk!"
In case you haven't heard about Madison County, Illinois, you should. In recent years it has become infamous as a destination for trial lawyers. Judges and juries were remarkably friendly to nearly any class action lawsuit, leading the American Tort Reform Association to dub it the number one "legal hellhole" in 2003 and 2004 (in 2005 it dropped to merely number four). How bad is it? Between 2003 and 2004, judges certified more than 200 class action lawsuits, more than any jurisdiction in the country.
The trend may be over. The most touted of Madison County's egregious lawsuits, a $10 billion verdict against Philip Morris for claiming "light" cigarettes are less harmful, was thrown out yesterday by the Illinois Supreme Court. Now let's see some federal tort reform.
You've a sharp eye, Wlad. If body language determines victory or defeat, the President seems the victor. However, if this is a win, I'm quickly getting tired of them.
I disagree, Dave. The president is clearly seated higher than the senator. He's looking down on the latter as they shake hands. Plus McCain looks tired, bushed if you will.
HASC chairman Duncan Hunter (R-Ca) said he won't agree to the conference report including the McCain amendment unless he's assured it won't degrade our ability to gather intelligence from terrorist detainees. Hunter is the last hope to stop this horrifically vague and dangerous legislation. Let's hope he sticks to his guns. No bill is worth this. And just why is the president caving in to McCain? Again?