Conor Friedersdorf again makes the point that, although conservatives outside of Washington are largely correct that their inside-the-Beltway brethren can be divided into hackish, careerist sellouts and people who write and say what they actually believe, their conception of which is which is almost exactly reversed--that is, the moderate heretics and iconoclasts tend to fall into the latter category, and the down-the-line partisan warriors into the former. He first argued this back in July, comparing Ross Douthat and Human Events, to the decided detriment of the latter.
It's become so common in media coverage that I should probably be over it by now, but I found this passage, in a WaPo article on health care reform over the weekend, utterly infuriating: Some Democrats are urging Obama to cease courting Republicans and to attempt to pass a Senate bill solely with Democratic votes, to preserve the public option in its full form. But that would require Democrats in the Senate to use a legislative maneuver known as reconciliation.
What is the most boring job in the world? It’s a question that filmmakers have addressed, usually obliquely, countless times. Often, the dullness of a feigned career is offered in ironic counterpoint to the excitement of a real one--Tom Cruise’s cover identity working as a traffic analyst in Mission Impossible III (which actually sounded somewhat fascinating) or Arnold Schwarzenegger’s sunlighting as a software salesman in True Lies (which decidedly did not).
When former Democratic Rep. Jim Traficant was released from prison yesterday after 7 years behind bars, the AP reported that he "had his famously wild hair pulled back." Well, yes and no. The piled-high pompadour that had long been the congressman's calling card--the technical term for the style was, I believe, the "artichoke," and Traficant often joked that he trimmed it with a "weed-whacker"--was famous and wild, but it was not in fact his hair.
It is easy to disagree about the death penalty in the abstract, but anyone who doesn't harbor serious reservations about its application--the racial disparities, the often dubious safeguards, the eleventh-hour Death Row exonerees--isn't paying adequate attention.
Colleague--and Kubrick enthusiast--Henry Riggs passes along the news that Dame Vera Lynn, a.k.a. "The Forces' Sweetheart," has just charted in the UK at the record age of 92 with her her album We'll Meet Again: The Very Best of Vera Lynn. The most encouraging aspect of this musical reacquaintance, of course, is that it didn't even entail nuclear Armageddon:
There is a moment in the first scene of Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds that is not what it appears to be. A Nazi colonel named Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz) is interviewing a French farmer (Denis Menochet) he believes to be sheltering Jews. Landa is conducting the inquiry in more than passable French (yes, with subtitles and everything), when he pauses. He's come to the limits of his francais, he claims. Does the farmer speak English and, if so, might they continue in that tongue?
When last we checked in with Redstate.com's Erick Erickson, he was loudly threatening to make reported Palin naysayers from the McCain campaign--Steve Schmidt, Nicolle Wallace, Mark McKinnon--"political lepers" by mobilizing his readers to work against any candidate foolish enough to hire them in the future.
Michael Goldfarb is admirably upfront about the rank dishonesty of his own party, even if he is rooting for more of it: Liberals seem to be under the impression that health care reform will be like a new entititlement, and that Republicans will run against it at their own peril -- as was the case with Social Security reform in 2005. And they may be right, but not until this monstrous bill actually goes into effect some time in 2013.
It's not exactly William F. Buckley taking on the Birchers, but the clearer heads over at National Review have been making tentative, intermittent efforts to disassociate conservatism from its craziest adherents. The problem, of course, is that some of those adherents work for National Review.