Has Michael Ignatieff Learned from Failure?

By 2.4.14

I knew Michael Ignatieff was committing political suicide when I read he was planning to bring down Canada’s Conservative government in a vote of non-confidence and force an election. Ignatieff’s Liberals were behind Stephen Harper’s Tories by double digits in the polls and a majority of Canadians did not want another election. Here is some of what I wrote on the morning of March 25, 2011 only hours before Ignatieff forced Canada’s fourth election since 2004:

Now I could understand Ignatieff doing this if the Liberals were up in the polls by double digits and if he was the most popular leader in the country. But it seems to me that if half of all Canadians don't want an election a lot of them aren't going to vote Liberal. Now I realize that a week in politics is a lifetime. Harper could make a mistake and Ignatieff could capitalize. But unless Ignatieff becomes Prime Minister in the next 60 days or so then his political career is done.


And the Award Goes to… Sleep

By 1.22.14

It appears that Oscar season is once again upon us. Actually, Oscar season was upon us months ago when newspapers began printing their annual dope sheets on who would win best actor, costume, short subject, yadda-yadda. Oscar season is forever upon us.

Half the year now seems taken up with Oscars and Golden Globes and Directors and Screenwriters Guild awards of one kind and another. Scarcely a week goes by that does not include an awards ceremony of some sort — Country Music, People’s Choice, Critics’ Choice, Grammies, Emmys, Tonys, Blobbys, whatever. It would be hard to find anyone in Hollywood who hasn’t won some major award. You get one just for attending. It’s become a kids’ birthday party for grownups.

The Hollywood awards ceremonies long ago faded to black, for me anyway, and surveys show that fewer people watch them anymore. They’ve outlived their own hype. The only folks who still seem to care much are the gaga media, which spends vast amounts of ink, newsprint, and airtime to document the Best Everything.


Auld Acquaintances to Be Forgot

By 1.2.14

1. Alec Baldwin: He’s in a movie a week, every third commercial, and once a month hosts Saturday Night Live. If that’s not exposure enough, he regularly goes viral on YouTube blowing his stack. You need a long vacation next year, Alec — as we do from you. Why not give a few of your brothers a break — and us too.

2. & 3. Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell: The Senate’s two major sourpusses need to give serious thought to retiring for a year. At least get some pep pills, guys, a face lift, something. Your disappearances in 2014 are sure to give Congress — or at least the voters — a double lease on life.

4. Tom Brokaw: I thought he’d retired five years ago, but he keeps popping up at the drop of a hat to weigh in on the Greatest Generation, which he seems to have given birth to single-handedly. It was a darn fine generation, Tom, but it’s time to take a final bow.


Saint Lenny

By 12.24.13

Amidst all the commentary and talking-head punditry concerning the Duck Dynasty business of recent days, I’ve yet to read or hear spoken a name that always pops into my head when such controversies arise. That would be the legendary hipster junkie comic (or as Walter Winchell described him “vomic”), Lenny Bruce (1925-1966). Though while Lenny’s travails were notably different from Phil Robertson’s present trouble (which is not a First Amendment issue), it is interesting to note that the latter’s supporters are mostly conservatives, while the former garnered the support of the liberal cultural establishment of his day.


The Dark Side of Roger Waters

By 12.18.13


There is a dark side to Roger Waters when it comes to Israel. When asked about his support for a cultural boycott of Israel in an interview with Counterpunch magazine earlier this month, the ex-Pink Floyd front man likened the Jewish State to Nazi Germany:

The situation in Israel/ Palestine, with the occupation, the ethnic cleansing and the systematic racist apartheid Israeli regime is unacceptable. So for an artist to go and play in a country that occupies other people’s land and oppresses them the way Israel does, is plain wrong. They should say no. I would not have played for the Vichy government in occupied France in the Second World War, I would not have played in Berlin either during this time. Many people did, back in the day. There were many people that pretended that the oppression of the Jews was not going on. From 1933 until 1946. So this is not a new scenario. Except that this time it’s the Palestinian People being murdered.


Bill de Blasio’s Communist Pals

By and 11.1.13

Who will train New York's finest -- Sandinistas or former Stasi? 


Lillian Hellman Haunts History.com

By 10.25.13

I thought Lillian Hellman was dead. It must be her ghost, then, that’s haunting—and writing—at History.com. How else does one explain this “This Day in History” post this week?

On October 20, 1947, the notorious Red Scare kicks into high gear in Washington, as a Congressional committee begins investigating Communist influence in one of the world's richest and most glamorous communities: Hollywood. […]


The R-Word?

By 10.15.13

The venerable Bob Costas joins the scalpers of the Washington Redskins.


Sorry, Wendy

By 10.8.13

The governorship of Texas is getting like the governorship of New York and California: a venue for spotting political trends and up-and-coming national leaders. Which helps explain all the media oooh-la-la-ing over Wendy Davis’s bid to become the next Rick Perry — colored blue instead of red.

Could Texas, under the witching spell of a future Davis administration, turn from gun-toting, business-loving, Bible-quoting conservatism to cuddly, hand-in-someone-else’s-pocket liberalism?

Well, since you ask — no. First, It would take a real — not just a suppositious — Gov. Davis to initiate, far less effect, such a notable change. I’m afraid, boys, that ain’t going to happen this go-round. State Sen. Davis, who filibustered her way into liberal media hearts everywhere, trying to block an abortion bill she pronounced too stringent, enjoys slightly better odds of winning the governorship of Texas than might be accorded an armadillo lumbering across an interstate highway during rush hour.