The Spectacle Blog
Dorothy Rabinowitz admires 24 in today's Wall Street Journal Weekend section, an admiration she acquired at least partly by doing what apparently many of the show's fans have done at some point: view whole seasons via DVD over a few days. The show encourages such addictive watching, as its plot structure relies on cliff hanger endings to nearly every episode. I'd concur with her judgment that the show's 4th season was its best, and that the just completed 5th season left more than a little to be desired:
"As it turned out, the show's writers, who had had no problem, earlier, creating entirely believable American leaders, models of honor and decency - take that heroic specimen, President Palmer (Dennis Haysbert) - seem to have fallen on hard times in Season Five."
If she becomes speaker in the next Congress, she says, she would press to severely reduce earmarks. "Personally, myself, I'd get rid of all of them," she says. "None of them is worth the skepticism, the cynicism the public has... and the fiscal irresponsibility of it."
"Not every single dollar" would go to the Treasury, she said, "but I hope that...we would use the rollback of the tax cuts" to address the deficit since "it is the biggest drain...on the next generation."
Manon McKinnon's column today shows the embarrassingly if not entirely dimwitted mean side of reporter Helen Thomas.
So it may surprise some that Ms. Thomas doesn't always play the ogre. In fact, she can be the life of the party. That's what she was last December 15 at a late afternoon White House Christmas reception for Washington media types and their families. While the President and Mrs. Bush spent the entire time in the ground floor's China Room, patiently having their photos taken with individual guests, Helen Thomas held court upstairs alongside the buffets in the East Room and State Dining Room, with stops in the Blue, Green, and Red Rooms, shucking and yucking with other revelers, and, most alarming off all, having her picture taken with a number of wide-eyed guests as if she were some kind of star or world leader.
Well, at least she didn't boycott the White House while it remains the official home of the hated Bush.
Jim Webb has agreed to debate him July 22 at the Virginia Bar Association's annual meeting at the Homestead in Hot Springs, Virginia.
So badly that Roll Call reports that he's trying ($) to quit the chewing tobacco. His spokesman confirmed that he is using Snus, which doesn't generate the typical chew spit.
If he switches, it's a good thing. There is nothing quite like seeing a U.S. senator behind a grand desk spitting into a plastic cup -- or a president, for that matter.
Really, there is some historical revisionism that is just beyond the pale, but, coming from the mainstream media, just as predictable. So it is any time one of the big networks digs the sainted Gorbachev out from under whatever dacha he is enjoying while "advising" the "moral person" of Vladimir Putin. See this ABC piece today from Claire Shipman. Let us count the ways that it distorts history. First, the lede sentence alone is absurd: Mikhail Gorbachev is generally regarded as the man who broke down the "iron curtain" that separated the communist world from the West and thawed the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union. Yeah, RIGHT. Gorby just stepped up to that curtain and tore it from its moorings. Deliberately. On his own. There never was a guy named Ronald Reagan, much less a Pope John Paul II, a Thatcher, a Walesa, a Havel....
Then there is this: