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Good Morning!



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What a great day. I had the smoothest commute to Alexandria since the day after the blizzard last winter. Since I arrived at the MRC early, I wandered down to the end of King Street, where the Potomac has flooded up the street a block or two, and there were a pile of cameras there (three local stations and CNN’s David Ensor). There were gawkers galore, and more dog-walkers in one place than I’ve ever seen before. It feels like a real storm down here. Out in Prince William County, it seemed boring, quite a let-down from the Irwin Allen disaster movie we were bracing for. Laura even was treated to the “Survivor” premiere without it being canceled by panicky storm coverage. But she wanted more storm drama!

MRC is up and running today, and stayed up until 3 PM yesterday, although I skipped it. But no morning shows to watch for bias since it was all local hurricane coverage. You’ll have to be our eyes and ears. What did we miss, other than the Hillary stuff?

Wonks Go Back to The Frontlines...by Boat



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A Heritage Foundation wonk emails me: “Hi Kathryn, I just want to tell you that the Heritage Foundation is open today! You called us wimps yesterday for closing due to the hurricane. Could it be that NRO has even more influence than previously assumed?”

Again, you never know what little comment will get people moving.

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Trapped



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My street’s blocked off to traffic. We have no electricity. I’m running my laptop on dwindling battery juice (stupid, stupid, stupid: should have charged batteries). Phone lines do work, but phones don’t because they’re electric. Freezer thawing. Cosmo confused. Lack of coffee critical. Supposed to go to Alaska tonight but flights we’re cancelled. May leave tomorrow. Lowry’s worried about Vermont piece. Chaos, confusion. I’ll be in touch. Keep hope alive. Don’t eat wooden nickles (or metal ones either).

Web Briefing: December 17, 2014

Not Berlusconi, Ctd.



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From the EU Observer


“The Eurostat fraud scandal, which has shed doubts over whether the present Commission took the necessary steps against alleged corruption and fraud, appears not to be an isolated case as investigations have spread to other departments.”


“President Romano Prodi, whose Commission had pledged ‘zero-tolerance’ on fraud and mismanagement when they took office in 1999, will appear before a meeting of the political group leaders on 25 September in Strasbourg, where he will personally answer questions over this affair.”


Ha ha ha.


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Bill Gates



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Bill Gates has given $50 million to the New York schools systems. Blogger Rodney Balko is not impressed – and he’s quite right.

Smoked Salmon



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Oxblog is usually a good read, but sometimes it goes off the rails. Here’s Josh Chafetz making a fool of himself:


“One of the nice things about being so close to Scotland is cheap smoked salmon (and cheap Scotch, of course) — although the Scots could learn a thing or two from New York delis about how to smoke it. Anyway, smoked salmon must be eaten with a bagel, cream cheese, and red onion (or, as KS would want me to point out, scrambled with eggs and onion), and low fat cream cheese isn’t worthy of the name. Hence, “full fat” it is!”


This is nonsense. Ordinarily I would say that the cheese, the cement-bread better known as a bagel and the sensory overload represented by an onion would obliterate the delicate taste of smoked salmon, except that there is nothing delicate about the pink slabs of cured fish that New Yorkers call smoked salmon.


Proper smoked salmon is Scots, eaten with brown bread and butter and flavored with a little lemon juice. Come to think of it, this delicacy (along, perhaps with potted shrimps) is one of the few that does need brown bread. Everything else tastes better with Wonderbread, an often overlooked treat.

There’s more on this important topic over at Crooked Timber, but the writer there goes too far. The butter does not have to be Irish, and homemade bread is just pretentious. Store-bought will do just fine, and ignore those remarks in the comments section about capers. Capers are the anchovies of the vegetable kingdom – useless and rather nasty.


Gosh, You Never Do Know



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Just in my inbox:

It was your “English-speaking world” line that did it. My husband and I budget twenty bucks apiece per month for whatever we want. Usually my twenty gets frittered away, but now I will reap the benefits of a wise choice for a whole year. Of course, I must forgo my visits to Rembrant’s Coffee Shop for the month of October because that is the twenty I spent…drat, Folger’s drip for a whole month with no breaks.
And she has five cents to spare!!

The Anti-Patriot: John Edwards Lied



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Byron’s got the Dems’ # on the Patriot Act. Read here.

Bolshie Bureaucrats



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The EU Commission is, it seems, never satisfied with the power that it already has. Now its functionaries are looking at banning smoking in bars, cafes and restaurants. An overpaid lout by the name of David Byrne (he is, apparently, the bureaucracy’s ‘health commissioner’) is claiming that “there is clear evidence now that there is a correlation between passive smoking and health related responses like disease.”


What nonsense. Byrne’s argument is as shaky as his grammar. Any correlation is statistically irrelevant, except, perhaps, in the case of asthmatic children – and children should not be in bars in the first place. To be blunt, Byrne’s statements are dishonest, manipulative and insulting. In any normal organization he would be drummed out of office.


In Brussels, doubtless, he will be promoted.


Bolshie Monkeys (2)



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I’ve been thinking some more about those truculent capuchins, and the more I do, the more reassured I am. Forget Marx or those other folks. Socialism has no intellectual or moral foundation – it’s just the accumulated resentment of generations of monkeys.

Other readers also found some rather different encouragement in the story. We are, it seems, hot-wired to reject welfare:

“The animal’s umbrage was even greater if the other monkey was rewarded for doing nothing. They did more than sulk, sometimes throwing the food out of their cage.”

And anyone who describes this too as the accumulated resentment of generations of monkeys is just being pedantic.

Pirate Talk



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Perhaps someone should post only as a pirate might today.

Cookies



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Numerous people, many of whom describe themselves (between gulps of Kool-Aid) as ‘fans of Derb,’ have written to say that the mathematical skills I displayed in an earlier post are distinctly fuzzy. If cookies today are 700 percent larger than their predecessors, those earlier cookies were, apparently, one-eighth the size of the original, not, as I stated, one-seventh. Frankly, I have no idea, but I never,ever , argue with ‘fans of Derb,’ so I stand corrected…

Let It Be - Not



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Hurricanes & Nr Digital



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Just think about it. You have no power. Public transportation has taken the day off. The roads are a mess. Work is closed. The storm is dying down. Candles are on. You’ve got a six-hour battery in your laptop, unused and fully charged. Thankfully, you have a subscription to NR Digital and you downloaded it and saved it on your laptop only minutes before the power went out. So, there you are. NR Digital by candlelight. What could be a better use of time? What could be more romantic? Get Digital today. (Especially because my pitches are getting lamer and lamer and if the whole English-speaking world would just sign up, I could stop!)

The Corner Is in a State of Emergency



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Jonah has no power. He is on his way to CNN anyway, having no idea what is in the news today, beyond his rotting food. So if his tie doesn’t match his shirt and he has a huge facial scar from cutting himself shaving this morning, don’t be surprised.

Gordon Brown



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Judging by this report, Gordon Brown, Britain’s economically illiterate Chancellor of the Exchequer, has chosen this moment to sound an intriguingly euroskeptical note. Doubtless this is designed to aid him in his relentless (if furtive) campaign to unseat Tony Blair, but it’s encouraging nonetheless. The same report notes that the former Tory PM, John Major, has written a letter calling for a referendum on the EU’s draft ‘constitution’. Major is right, but who cares? This is the idiot that signed up Britain for the Maastricht treaty in the first place.

All we need from him is silence.

Idiots



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From time to time those of us Brits who still can bring ourselves to support Britain’s dismal Tories like to tell ourselves that the party’s leadership has something more to it than the most spectacular death wish since Cleopatra wandered around clasping an asp. From time to time we are reminded how wrong we are.

Britain has a bicameral system of government. Until recently, the country’s ’senate’ (the House of Lords) was a motley blend of judges, bishops, hereditary peers and a mass of stooges, cronies and the retired appointed as ‘life peers’ by various grateful governments. It tended to the center-right. This was unacceptable to Tony Blair. He swept away most of the hereditaries (fair enough), boosted the number of cronies and made a few patronizing promises about the introduction of an ‘elected element’. Needless to say, the judges and, even more disgracefully, the bishops, clung to their seats.

Now, Blair is proposing to junk the remaining hereditaries (too many Conservatives), but he has nothing to say about that ‘elected element’. The Tories’ reaction? A spirited defense of, uh, the hereditary peers.

Talk about losing the plot. The Conservatives have an ideal opportunity to champion democracy. There should be no hereditaries, no bishops, no judges and no ‘life peers,’ just a fully elected upper house, and the Tories should say so. Instead, judging by this report in the Daily Telegraph , they are planning to mount a full-throated defense – of the hereditaries.

Losers.

Hill 2004



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Lisa Caputo and Howard Fineman are chatting with Katie about Hillary running this year. Fineman’s with me, Caputo’s just spinning for her ex-boss, saying nothing too interesting. Fineman seems to think it would happen in a few months. I wouldn’t be surprised if she finds a way to bypass the primaries.

One Reader’s Reply to Hugh Hewitt



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Hugh Hewitt’s entry in our Tom-or-Arnold debate this morning shook me, as I’ve said, but I’ve now received some four dozen emails telling me to buck up. Here’s one:


Just what is wrong with siphoning money from the tribes AWAY from Bustamante? More importantly, is Hugh saying that there’s something wrong with taking money from Indians? Is that the best he’s got?

I am a voting member of the Oklahoma Choctaw Nation, and no, I don’t think gambling does Indians any favors. I am also a social conservative, however, and [McClintock's use of Indian money] is hardly a dealbreaker. Shows Tom can maneuver, and that he’s still a-scrappin.’


I’ve been on the telephone too much today to compose my reply to you, Hugh-at the lastest, I’ll write it on the airplane as I fly home to California tomorrow–but I can already tell you that it won’t involve running up a white flag. This boy is digging in.

Remember Me Fondly



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Lights now flickering here at the Jefferson Hotel. Worse still, no room service.

Can I survive the night?

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