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Jonah, Pinkerton is not that much of an expert on vintage rock. The Velvet Underground’s White Light/White Heat dates from the 1960s, not the 1970s, and it’s usually said to be about Speed, not heroin. The Lou Reed/Velvet Underground song about heroin was called, well, Heroin. Pedantry exorcized, I’ll go and lie down now…

Dallas Flying Monkeys Meet


It’s official: NR/NRO fans in
Dallas are getting together on Wednesday night for a Vast Right-Wing
Conspiracy beer-a-palooza. We’ll be going from 6 to 8 p.m. on the patio of
Trinity Hall, a fine Irish pub which is hosting a
“Beer University” event that night. It seemed like the kind of thing of
which Jonah would approve, so that’ll be our spot.


Curse of The Bambino


I am not qualified to weigh in on this. But some of you might find it interesting. From a reader in response to today’s column:

Frazee did not sell Ruth to finance No No Nanette.

This is a myth Bostonians tell their kids because it sounds more chilling than: “Frazee sold 15 players over the course of a couple of seasons in order to make money. One of them was Babe Ruth”

This ¾ century+ lie is told in order to further the ridiculous notion that the woes of the Red Sox and the sale of Babe Ruth are somehow related. It’s called sports, some teams win and some teams lose, over and over, for extended periods of time. 75 years from now will anyone care that the Cincinnati Bengals have never won a Super Bowl? Will we talk of “The Curse of the Wychino?” (The curse that plagues any team that allows Sam Wyche to be a head coach)-

Web Briefing: January 28, 2015

Iraqi Debt Forgiveness


George Will wrote a good column against the idea of having Iraq repay us for reconstruction aid out of its oil revenue. He comes out against forgiving Iraq’s debts, however, in an aside: “It would be fun to forgive the debts contracted by a regime that ruled against the interests of the Iraqi people, money owed to nations that opposed the liberation of those people who are saddled with the debt. Fun, but improvident: Chaos in international finance would result from making the validity of nations’ debts contingent on the virtues, or continuity, of nations’ regimes.”

Any of you think there is something to this argument? I tend to think that it would be a good thing if people were less inclined to lend money to regimes such as Ba’athist Iraq–and if the people who did lend them their money had a higher chance of losing it. Andrew?


G-File Up


Pinkerton On Drugs


Jim Pinkerton has written a long column which reveals that he has a quintessential baby boomer’s knowledge of 60s and 70s drug rockers. He’s also written a column which, eventually, mentions that he thinks Rush Limbaugh should now favor the legalization of drugs. Now I know I’m in a minority here on the issue (National Review officially favors the end of the Drug War), but I must say that of this is the best argument the legalization crowd can make post-Rush, the drug war will be here for a long time. First of all, Pinkerton claims that somehow people will admire Rush if he comes out for legalization — only after he gets caught. That Pinkerton believes this will let Limbaugh off the hook on the “conservative hypocrite” charge strikes me as bizarre.

Even more bizarre is his use of famous rock star heroin addicts as examples of how drug use isn’t necessarily that destructive. Of course, he conveniently selects the rock star addicts who happen to be still alive. His column would read pretty poorly if he’d cited Jimmy Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, Brian Jones, Sid Vicious, Janis Joplin or that guy from Blind Melon.

Moreover — and this is an important point — most drug addicts aren’t rich rock stars. For a guy who claims to be such a policy maven, maybe Pinkerton should have spent less time rummaging through his albums and spent more addressing the fact that addiction for poor people is a different public policy problem than it is for rich people. That’s unfair — but it’s also true. Limbaugh made serious mistakes, but he didn’t need to mug anybody to feed his habit.

I’m not saying that the legalization argument doesn’t have answers — or responses — to this point. I’m just saying Pinkerton’s column isn’t the place to look for them.



It’s okay if the baby tears up the Journal’s news pages.

Fuming in The Filter


Snarky Washington Post reporter Dana “Our Hero Worked the Rope Line” Milbank writes today about the President’s “unprecedented” interviews with regional broadcasters, who nail-chewing White House press types view as patsies and cheerleaders. (Does he really believe Clinton never established the precedent of going around the national press and talking to local news anchors? Or Reagan?)

Milbank sees the interviews as an attempt “to circumvent what the administration views as unfairly negative coverage of the Iraq conflict.” But why does the national press that THEY are the only reporters who have the skill and intellect and skepticism to adequately filter the president’s remarks? Only THEY have the right to manufacture the public consensus about how Iraq is going? They scorn White House “news management” (or acknowledge its success) as if they don’t orchestrate the “news” into a politically helpful product for Howard Dean.

Supreme Court


Pedro V. Zimmer


I won’t get into the merits of Pedro throwing at people’s heads and slamming a 72-year old man to the ground—because it’s hard to be objective about such things. I will just relay an interesting juxtaposition of perspectives. I was in a car listening to the radio in Virginia on Saturday, and had to go back and forth from the ESPN radio broadcast and the Yankee WABC broadcast, depending on which came in best. On ESPN, Jon Miller and Joe Morgan were saying during the fourth-inning brouhaha, “The only one who deserves to be thrown out in this situation is Don Zimmer, for throwing a punch of Pedro Martinez.” Then I got the Yankee broadcast, and there was no mention of any Zimmer punch, instead it was all, “Pedro Martinez grabbed Don Zimmer by the head, and hurled him to the ground, in an act of ferocity nearly unparalleled in baseball history.” I kept it on the Yankee broadcast. Anyway, what a game! It was one of those “pull over” games—it was impossible to keep listening and driving at the same time in the ninth, so I had to stop at a gas station to hear the end…

Strategic Humor Initiative


I heard a piece this moring on NPR about a new PBS series called the Strategic Humor Initiative hosted by David Frost. It sounds like it might be pretty funny. But either we’re going to hear a lot of jokes about the acronym for “SHI Tonight” or they really didn’t think through the name.

Ohio Residents


If you read my syndicated column in the Cincinnati Enquirer please let them know. Please, no spam campaigns or anything like that. But honest support would be appreciated.



I want to write my syndicated column on the drug-problem hooplah. If you’ve seen particularly nasty celebrating about the guy’s misfortunes, please send examples (as always, preferably with URL, dates etc) to [email protected] by noon. Thanks.



…was, thankfully, easy on me this morning when I was on his show hawking Legacy (that’s L-E-G-A-C-Y). He asked me what was the first book I could remember having read to me, which is an interesting question. The books I remember most from my childhood are from the Curious George series. The one where George is supposed to be delivering newspapers, but instead makes them into paper sailboats and floats them down a stream was particularly memorable (Lucy will be doing that with Wall Street Journals before we know it). Also, a great, great book was Go, Dog, Go!, which for some reason, is endlessly fascinating. I still get pleasure from leafing through the thing at bookstores today. . .

Don’T Buy This Book!


At least that would be Bill and Hillary’s advice. In LEGACY: PAYING THE PRICE FOR THE CLINTON YEARS, I take a scalpel (and occasionally a sledgehammer) to their claims of political and policy mastery in the 1990s, on everything from the economy, to welfare reform, to crime, to health care. I defend Ken Starr and impeachment, and excoriate the Clinton foreign-policy record, which makes Neville Chamberlain look clear-eyed and strong willed in comparison. Sidney Blumenthal and Hillary Clinton have piled massive amounts of manure around the Clinton record. Legacy is your way of digging out. (End of sales pitch.)

Eminent Domain Abuse


I take on the abuse of eminent domain in Lakewood, Ohio here. For information on the Institute for Justice’s legal efforts to defend the property owners, see here. And for those who missed the 60 Minutes story, see here.

Harold Bloom Campaigns For Wes Clark?


Taking Off Groundhog Day, Too


I’m still getting complaints about yesterday; here’s one:

I do have to agree that taking off Columbus day is pretty weak. Columbus Day has fallen behind Groundhog Day and Flag Day in terms of popularity. What will be next? Taking the day off to celebrate Cosmo’s 4th birthday? Most of America (and all of Bermuda) worked yesterday. We NEED the Corner to help pull us through! I was happy to see that despite the day off and lack of posts, you STILL got in the plug for NR Digital!

Reports: Car Bomb Explodes At Turkish Embassy in Baghdad


This, part of the reason they say “stay.”

Lowry’s Legacy


Congrats, Rich Lowry! He’s on Don Imus right now, marking his first interview on the Legacy: Paying the Price for the Clinton Years book tour, which is officially released today. May the book-buying commence!


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