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Remarkable



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The Michigan GOP would be for this, I assume?


NFL Fines Lions $200K Over Coach Search
23 minutes ago
By MIKE HOUSEHOLDER, Associated Press Writer
DETROIT – Detroit Lions president Matt Millen was fined $200,000 by the NFL on Friday for not interviewing any minority candidates before hiring coach Steve Mariucci.

The Saudis



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Rich’s latest column is on the “cover-up.”

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We Don’t Get to Read The Accusations & Evidence...



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…but we have to listen to Bandar shoot ‘em down!


Prince Bandar dismissed the report’s assertions about Saudi involvement in the hijackings.

“The idea that the Saudi government funded, organized or even knew about Sept. 11 is malicious and blatantly false,” Prince Bandar said. “There is something wrong with the basic logic of those who spread these spurious charges. Al Qaeda is a cult that is seeking to destroy Saudi Arabia as well as the United States. By what logic would we support a cult that is trying to kill us?”

He added: “In a 900-page report, 28 blanked-out pages are being used by some to malign our country and our people. Rumors, innuendos and untruths have become, when it comes to the kingdom, the order of the day.”

Web Briefing: September 15, 2014

Re: Admission



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Terry, I recently Amtraked to Toledo, Ohio. It is slow and goes a completely roudabout route–up to Buffalo first–but does have some gorgeous views, especially when in the Hudson Valley.

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Grudging Admission



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I’m an Amtrak fan–at least when it comes to trains running between New York and Washington–and not just because flying makes me squirmy. I love trains for their own sake. I love looking out the window and letting my mind wander and being able to get up and walk around. A friend just told me that she and her boyfriend are going to take a transcontinental train trip in a couple of weeks, and I turned green on the spot (from envy, not nausea).

Please don’t remind me of all the compelling arguments against Amtrak–I know they’re right. Still and all, it would make me terribly sad if I couldn’t take the train to Washington anymore.

Libertarian Paradise?



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The entire Norwegian government is on vacation.

Denver Lyrics



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Some of us have been corrected in referring to Dan Rather using lyrics from the John Denver song “Take Me Home, Country Roads.” It is correct to call them “John Denver song lyrics,” since it’s his hit, but drop the “song” and you’re wrong. It was written by Bill Danoff, better known by the old people as one-fourth of the Starland Vocal Band, whose one hit was “Afternoon Delight,” a song Dan Rather has not yet found occasion to read on the air, not even during the release of the Starr report.

Athletically Correct



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One of the rules of politics ought to be not to use ignorant sports analogies. In the New York Times, the odious California Democratic Party hack Bob Mulholland boasts from the Gray Davis camp, “We are at the beginning of spring training, and we already have our team, and we know what the issues will be…While the Republicans are starting spring training, and they don’t have a quarterback.”

“Spring training” is a baseball term, not a football term, and it’s never held in July. “Training camp” is the term the Democrat is fumbling for. To demonstrate which party’s operatives have a better grasp of being athletically correct, GOP spokesman Rob Stutzman comes back with the analogy, no doubt responding to the reporter’s suggestions, and nails the baseball analogy: “They may be in spring training, but there are going to be all kind of clubhouse brawls.”

One Last Thing Re Jonah and Yaf



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Right after I was told about the VD comment, it was explained to me why the schedule was about 25 minutes behind: Someone had asked Jonah to talk about conservatives and LIBERTOIDS! (A plant?)

Ap Silliness



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Conservatives may want to put aside the very worthy procedural debates over recall or no recall to notice that the media will be carrying Gray Davis’s water yet again. One factor in the rapid recall signing process was a tripling of the car tax by Davis. But AP seems to think a state official called “the deficit” signs tax increases into law:

“The budget deficit has already caused the state’s car tax to triple, and Davis’ approval rating to sink into the low 20s in many polls.”

Bacon & Erdos Numbers



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Several readers note that Stephen Hawking has been in movies & therefore
presumably has a finite Bacon number, as well as almost certainly an Erdös
number. Also this: “Derb– Tim Hsu and David Grabiner have observed that
since Dan Kleitman actually appears (briefly) in and is a mathematical
consultant for the movie Good Will Hunting, Bacon has a combined Erdös/Bacon
number of 3, since Kleitman has Bacon number 2 (via Minnie Driver, who was
in Sleepers with Kevin Bacon) and Erdös number 1. Bruce Reznick is in a
similar position, with an Erdös number of 1 and a Bacon number (by virture
of being an extra in Pretty Maids All in a Row with Roddy McDowall) of 2. In
fact, Paul Erdös himself has an official Bacon number of 4, by virtue of the
N is a Number (a documentary about him), and lots of other mathematicians
have finite Bacon number through this film.”

Speaking of Texas



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I was on a panel with Jim Graham of Texas Right to Life. What a guy! He’s a hugely untapped resource, in my opinion. The Anthony Robbins of the conservative movement, if you ask me. A graduate of the Young America’s Foundation, he funds teens to go to the summer conference every year to go through the boot camp. (In telling students why he does what he does, I am certain he could have inspired the most apathetic kid on campus.) He’s been a pro-life activist for ten years and seems every bit as dedicated–although perhaps even moreso–than the day he started. So many of the folks you meet get cyncial, jaded, depressed. He’s a fighter, along with his wife, Elizabeth, and is glad to do it all because he has his ultimate, eternal goal in mind all the while. People are doing great things in the states all the time who just do not get the credit they deserve. Thank God for them.

I’m So Disappointed



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that I did not get to break the VD news to you. As soon as I walked into the George Washington University ballroom where the Young America’s Foundation confab was happening, I was told about Jonah’s explanation for Rich’s absence. It sounded like it was once of the most memorable lines of the week. If it makes them buy the book, Jonah, Rich might owe you royalties.

Viva Brooks



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A thousand congratulations to David. With former NRODT-ite Paul Gigot at the Journal, and former NRODT-ite David at the Times, all we need to give Eric Alterman nightmares is a minion at the Washington Post. Volunteers?

Ditto



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I wish to ditto Peter Robinson’s objections to Rick’s aversion to Republican attempts to attract the Hispanic vote. If you re-run every California election going back to 1960 with today’s demographic and vote split, Republicans lose them all–both Governor Reagan’s two elections and all the presidential elections that Republicans won through 1988.

Reagan’s pollster Richard Wirthlin has gone further and suggested that what has happened in California is going to happen nationally unless Republicans compete better for the Hispanic vote. It is not a matter of obsession; it is a matter of necessity.

Those Nutty Cubans



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You are right to point that out, Nick. Sure, it’s a wild photo and all that — but how desperate do you have to be to make a boat out of a car? I don’t think those guys were trying to come here because they want their MTV.

Did you read the other day about Celia Cruz? She recently visited Guantanamo and put her hand under the fence saying, that’s as close as I’ll get to Cuban soil until Castro is out of there.

Kristol, McCarthy, Liberals—and Coulter



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I have been wondering whether anyone on The Corner might take up the thread of Ann Coulter’s over-the-top argument in her latest book (especially after David Horowitz, or all people, disavowed her on his site—see) and Jonah finally did, however obliquely, in his comment on the Kuznet-Kristol-Gephardt business.

Coulter’s attempt to rehabilitate Joe McCarthy wholesale is likely to give McCarthyism a bad name. Her style is not suited to it. While we await M. Stanton Evans’ major book on McCarthy, we would do well to recall a passage contemporaneous with Kristol the Elder on McCarthy that gets the problem with McCarthy just right from a conservative perspective. It is from one of Whittaker Chambers’ letters to Bill Buckley, collected in Odyssey of a Friend (must reading if you’ve never seen it—you understand Witness and Chambers a lot better from these remarkable letters).

In February 1954—just a few months before McCarthy’s Waterloo in the Army hearings, Chambers wrote this to WFB:

“It is no exaggeration to say that we live in terror that Senator McCarthy will one day make some irreparable blunder which will play directly into the hands of our common enemy and discredit the whole anti-Communist effort for a long time to come.”

This pretty much has it right on. Even before I ever saw The Manchurian Candidate, it occurred to me that a clever KGB disinformation officer would dream up someone like McCarthy in order to sully anti-Communism.

Chambers returned to the problem of McCarthy in an April 1954 letter that gilds this point:

“Senator McCarthy was almost made to order. He is a man, fighting almost wholly by instinct and intuition, against forces for the most part coldly conscious of their ways, means, and ends. In other words, he scarcely knows what he is doing. He simply knows that somebody threw a tomato and the general direction from which it came. His general tactic might be epitomized in Samson’s bright thought of setting fire to the foxes’ tails and sending them helter-skelter against the enemy. A tactic not altogether ruled out in a minor skirmish in a guerrilla war—but it is not a strategy; and repetition dooms it, not only to defeat, but to boredom.”

Come to think of it, this critique may apply to Coulter’s technique as well.

Pine Tar



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This week marked the 20 anniversary of the infamous pine-tar incident, one of the great baseball imbroglios of all time. Like all Yankee fans, I still haven’t forgiven MLB. The whole dispute is very much like the 2000 Florida election controversy, with the Royals in the role of the Gore legal team (the rules shouldn’t apply to us), the Yankees in the role of the Bush team (sorry, the rules are the rules). Last night, I saw the footage of the actual home run by George Brett, which I haven’t seen a long time since what is always re-played is the footage of him running out of the dugout like a maniac. It was high heat, up and inside, and I can’t believe the way Brett turned on it. What a marvelous hitter, probably the best I’ve ever seen in person (I’ve never watched a Barry Bonds game).

Out-of-Staters



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E-mail: “I’m a fairly regular reader of NRO and the Corner, and as a Texan (a Texas Aggie, at that) I must say I’m very proud that you think we `always eat up rip-roarin’ right-wing talks…’ I hope Texans always appear that way to out-of-staters, and I hope any “Texan” who doesn’t appear that way becomes an out-of-stater (e.g. the cowardly Democrats in the legislature).”

To My Benefit...



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I subbed-in for Rich. Great crowd, nice folks, good times. I did mention to the audience that I was worried that Rich’s eye infection might have something to do with the fact he’s been researching a book on Bill Clinton for over a year. “I hope it’s not venereal,” I might have said.

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