The Corner

’Tis the Season to Be Contrary

I hate to disagree with Charles Krauthammer, but it seems to me there are at least two ways to look at the blackbird known as the lame-duck 111th Congress. You can find my take here in my New York Post column.

And isn’t this the essence of the enigma that is Barack Obama? During the summer of 2008, with the McCain candidacy already looking doomed, a group of us in Los Angeles were debating the nature of the Democratic champion: Chance the Gardener from Being There or the Manchurian Candidate?  Empty suit, talking parrot — or brilliant manipulator of the public’s emotions?

We didn’t know then and we don’t know now. But we’ve got two more, long years to figure it out.

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Thursday Links

It's William Shatner's birthday: Here he is in 1978 'singing' Rocket Man, plus a Star Trek/Monty Python mashup. Sold: Isaac Newton’s Notes on the Philosopher’s Stone. It was a long time before anyone admitted that he was interested in alchemy. High-tech forgery: Computer-generated 'Rembrandt' ... Read More

Korea: A Deadly Question

Olympic Games often have political significance, as in 1936 and as in the Olympics just past -- the Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Those Games seemed as much political as athletic. I talk about this with Michael Breen on my latest Q&A. Breen is one of our best Korea-watchers, one of our soundest ... Read More
Film & TV

Superannuated ‘Idol’

In the pilot episode of Fox’s American Idol, Simon Cowell defined the show’s thesis: “We are going to tell people who cannot sing and have no talent that they have no talent. And that never makes you popular.” The show’s producers and its three judges -- Cowell, Paula Abdul, and Randy Jackson -- kept ... Read More