Kate O’Beirne–and Jim–hold the greatest parties. Kate did not forget those wonderful little pastries for dessert that I have tasted only in her house, the chocolate one to die for, the vanilla one merely exquisite. And it was really fun to meet so many readers and fans of NRO, and to listen to exciting observations and analyses from them, and get some questions and probings… I was, however, startled to meet so many fellow writers on NRO, whose names have become famous to me, but whom I’ve never met. Wow! are you fellow writers young! …I have seldom in my life felt so grandfatherly… And I do not think that marvelous Communist rendition that John Derbyshire managed with enormous aplomb and feeling actually was sung in Mandarin Chinese, as he said. It sounded to me like a dialect far, far to the South of that. But the Communist feeling was authentic. Especially if one imagines Communists as if they were actually in the cast of Les Miserables (Al Gore’s favorite show). John was heroic, and he alone would have made the evening…But everything about the evening was sweetened by the hostess and her welcoming, laid-back, happy ways. She does a party right. So that the conversation flew fast and furious. The drinks flowed, and the smoke soared skyward.