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Is This True!?


Doing a little catching up on my non-progressing article on Vermont. I found this disturbing email about Vermont’s alcohol policies:

You cannot have more than one drink in front of you, and you cannot order more than one at a time. For example, if you went to the bar to order a drink for you and your wife-as she was sitting at a table, or standing talking with some friends away from the bar-sorry, only one drink per person. Alternatively, if you were sitting at a table, receiving waiter service, your next round of drinks couldn’t be put down unless you had finished the prior round, or the prior round would have to be picked up before the new drinks could be set on your table….

Engaging The Enemy


This is probably my favorite line from the president’s address last night: “For America, there will be no going back to the era before September the 11th, 2001 — to false comfort in a dangerous world. We have learned that terrorist attacks are not caused by the use of strength; they are invited by the perception of weakness. And the surest way to avoid attacks on our own people is to engage the enemy where he lives and plans. We are fighting that enemy in Iraq and Afghanistan today so that we do not meet him again on our own streets, in our own cities.” It reminded me of something Kate O’Beirne used to say, when we were debating whether there should be a new Department of Homeland Security: “I already have a Secretary of Homeland Security. His name is Don Rumsfeld.”


Hey Mexicans: Tear Down This Sprawl


A study suggests that immigration leads to sprawl. I’m a bit skeptical about how much immigration contributes to the problem (“problem”?) of sprawl. But I haven’t looked at the study myself and, besides, it does make the issue a bit more interesting, politically speaking.

Web Briefing: December 28, 2014

Pretty in Pink? But Hark!


John Podhoretz certainly started something this morning (see the posting “Pretty in Pink,” below), and I report, gloatingly, that every one of the emails I’ve received today sticks up for John Derbyshire, Rick Brookhiser, and yours truly.

From one reader, this lovely little ad-hominem riposte:

I think Mr. Podhoretz should be careful. I distinctly remember a piece
he wrote about his youthful excitement over the annual Academy Awards
broadcast, and his memorization of all Oscar nominees and winners. In my neighborhood, this might not exactly qualify as a totally macho hobby.

From another:

“But Hark! The cry is ‘Astur!’

And Lo! the ranks divide

And the great lord of Luna

Comes on with stately stride.”

By the very manly MacCaulay, the Lays of Ancient Rome.

The clincher? This, from NR’s own Mike Potemra:

I wasn’t aware that there was a stereotype that conservatives were effete and womanish. The stereotype I have always heard is the exact opposite, i.e., that conservatives are crude, brutish, loutish, bullying yahoos. I think the stuff you, John Derbyshire, and Rick Brookhiser have been posting recently is a welcome and intelligent rebuke to that stereotype.

So there.


What If There Were No Wmds?


More reports that we may never find WMDs. I know this is hardly news, but it is worth noting that these reports — while an embarrassment for the intelligence community — do not undermine the case for war. It appears that if the intelligence communities of the Western world — including our anti-war allies — were duped, it was thanks to a very sophisticated effort by Saddam. If that’s the case, Saddam certainly got what he deserved. If I pull out an unloaded gun on a cop, the cop has every right — and perhaps obligation — to shoot me. Liberal indignation after the fact doesn’t change that.

Abbas, Estrada & More


Check out today’s Impromptus.

I Should Shut Up


Because I don’t have a driver’s license, but: Though I appreciate Adam Schaeffer’s point about the silliness (and expense) of mandatory full-service gas stations, I actually, as the back-seat driver who often does the directions and pumping, prefer the full-service one. Not because I am lazy or handicapped, but not that coordinated and more nervous about these things than Woody Allen at his most neurotic. Always half expect to do something ridiculously wrong with a gas pump in hand. But perhaps this attitude comes from being a tri-state girl from birth: If you were in a car growing up, you were always leaving the city (and living not too far from the Lincoln tunnel, never took too long), and, headed to N.J. for some tax-free clothes shopping or some other wonder of the Garden State.

Howard Dean: Why Not?


Vermonter John McClaughry:

Many Americans are asking what kind of a president Howard Dean would make. Based on his 11 years as governor of Vermont, a reasonable person could fairly conclude that he would not make a very good one. This verdict is not based on his views on particular issues. It is based on a review of his autocratic style, his lack of ability to deal with bureaucratic management and his overwhelming commitment to his own political ambitions rather than to any recognizable principle.

Read more.



John Edwards’ decision to pull out of next year’s NC Senate race is no surprise–it’s been known for weeks he would do this. What is surprising is how quickly this Dem wonder boy has sunk in the party establishment’s estimation. This was the guy who was going to duplicate the Clinton trick of running for the White House as moderate southern Dem. But he’s gone nowhere (except in the fundraising category, where he has posted some impressive numbers). A lot of candidates could run for president and Senate at the same time–they’re popular enough to pull it off. But Edwards can’t. Is he already a has-been?

Russert Nails Krugman — Plugs Squad


Tim Russert hosted New York Times columnist Paul Krugman on his hour-long CNBC show Saturday night. Here’s Don Luskin’s description in today’s edition of the Krugman Truth Squad: “The nervous, stammering, shifty-eyed, twitching, ill-tailored, gray homunculus slumping across the table from Tim Russert Saturday night was simply not recognizable as the titan who strikes fear in the hearts of conservatives everywhere each Tuesday and Friday morning.” Russert did his homework for the interview, referencing the Truth Squad more than once. Krugman unravelled. Read all about it.

Not Going Away


I’m Not Alone


Getting lots of sympathetic email on my concerns about Bush. For example:

Jonah, I couldn’t agree more with you about the unease you are feeling regarding the president. I too have become jaded by the domestic side of the ledger since the beginning of his term. I find myself questioning the point of having a republican president that governs as a democrat. Carl Rove and Ed Gillespie better realize pretty damn quick that their base is becoming antsy. Does this mean I may vote for DeanKerryLiebermanEdwardsKucinichGrahamClintonClarkSharptonGephardtBraun? Of course not, but there’s always that libertarian on my ballot.

Bush needs to come back from his vacation recharged and do something powerful to prove his conservative principles. A good start would be a veto threat of that God-awful Mediscam bill making its way through committee. The domestic agenda is a disaster for small government and he risks losing the base in a big way.

Full Disclosure


Nick Gillespie and I have crossed virtual pens a few times as well. In a debate for TechCentralStation and in my endless spat with libertrarians.

Ponnuru 2, Gillespie 0


Ramesh smacks Reason editor Nick Gillespie this morning on NRO. It’s a bit highly technical in parts. But, it needs to be in order to demonstrate the yawning disconnect between Nick’s almost invariably condescending tone and the substance, or lack thereof, of his arguments. It’s quite fun.

Bush’s “Admission”


Email from Dallas:


In response to the point you made with “Biden’s Talking Points” on “The Corner” — I think it’s important to point out that Biden, as well as several other Dems and the mainstream media–are all attempting to plant the notion that Bush admitted to a “mistake” by not involving the U.N. from the onset. This, of course, is poppycock, and a deliberate misrepresentation of the facts. President Bush wished from the start to have the U.N. involved with humanitarian efforts in Iraq. He simply (and correctly) did not want them making military decisions. He hasn’t veered from that same course.

“What They Said”


If you haven’t seen it, Momma G’s website has a fun feature called “what they said”

Nrd: Vienna in The Hizzy


An email:

And they thought sliced bread was the greatest invention of all time???

Thanks! This is incredible!!!! I had just last week lamented to my wife about not being able to receive it overseas. My solution: Have my father-in-law send me his copy each week. Might have cost NR a few bucks, but at least I could be reading the articles……

Thanks again. I am absolutely giddy….
Rob Halsey

Biggest Waste of Time Ever


I watched “The Life of David Gale” last night on pay-per-view. Why? I blame bad clams, or at least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Anyway, if you haven’t seen it, don’t. It’s plodding, predictable and well even more plodding and predictable. I’d read that it was actually an interesting murder-mystery type movie. I was wrong. The fair Jessica and I had figured it out about 20 minutes into the movie and stuck around solely in the hope of being proven wrong. I’m sure the makers of the film thought it was brilliant idea for a movie — anti-death penalty activist on deathrow, blah blah blah — but oh my stars and garters, this thing was awful. I just don’t know if I should spoil the “surprise” ending or not for people so off-their-meds that they actually might want to see it. But if it turns out that if an anti-death penalty cornerite wants to defend this root-canal of a movie, I will be forced to do so.

I Love The Fungi Story But...


I’m now convinced that global warming us caused by the decline in cigarette smoking. Why? Because it would just be so cool if true. And besides, people have started to quite just as temperatures have allegedly started to rise.

Dig It, Al or Dig It All, Dig It Any Way You Can


That’s right baby! We’re going digital! (Which I like to pronounce dig-it-all, because, well, it seemed clever at the time. Sign up or die a slow lingering death. It’s reall that simple.


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