Still More Fred

For those not already weary of Fred Thompson's now-active candidacy, his big new campaign video is up here. As in the brief teaser that Mike blogged about yesterday, Fred is standing, a bit stiffly, in an office somewhere. (Can't they seat him behind a desk?) He speaks a little too quickly, and his emphasis rarely varies much. He also has an odd tendency to punctuate sentences with jerks of his head--something he doesn't seem to do when speaking off the cuff or reciting memorized lines.


This is rich. Joseph Farah, founder and editor of one of the internet's most popular conservative websites, WorldNetDaily, will moderate the GOP "Values Voter Presidential Debate" on September 17th.

"i Shoot To Win Because I Shoot To Win"

I came across this a little late, but anyone looking for further evidence that Gilbert Arenas is the most entertaining hoopster since Charles Barkley can find it in abundance in this blog post: Usually I give out awards at the end of the year, but somebody won the "Best Interview of the Century" award this summer. If you guys haven't seen it, you need to search "Marbury interview" on YouTube. If you don't think this is the best interview in history, something is mentally wrong with you.

Craig's List

So it appears that if Larry Craig doesn't jump on his own, he will be pushed by his party today. I imagine the GOP very much wants to get this Band-Aid ripped off before the story bleeeds into the week after Labor Day. Meanwhile it may be worth noting that on the "My Guiding Principles" page of Craig's website, "Goal Three" reads simply: "Defend and strengthen the traditional values of the American family." --Michael Crowley

Tucker's Bathroom Blues

Full disclosure: I like Tucker Carlson. He's a nice guy. Questionable fashion sense. Even more questionable politics. But what can you do? Now that we've got that out of the way: I have no idea if any part of Tucker's personal bathroom anecdote was exaggerated or fabricated for entertainment purposes. And it is pretty appalling that when he shared the story, he and his fellow MSNBC panelists considered it such a scream.

In Case Of Emergency, Shout "p.o.w.!"

The more John McCain's fortunes sag, the more he falls back on his (unimpeachably heroic and amazing) biography as a Vietnam fighter pilot and P.O.W. This has always been the best thing McCain has going for him. But when I wrote a McCain story recently, a couple of his advisors mentioned to me that the memory of his bio--which was all you read about in late 2000--might have faded, and the campaign wanted to remind people about it. I'd already noticed that McCain seems to be talking more about his Vietnam experience in debates and public forums.

Being Gay In The Gop

In the wake of Larry Craig's stance-width-related arrest, it's worth a look back to a piece Michael Crowley wrote last October about Washington's gay Republican culture. Here's the opening: In the bars and clubs frequented by Washington's gay men, a new character has recently cropped up: the hammered gay Republican.

Kibbitzing About The Kibbutz
August 28, 2007

People of my age and perhaps a bit younger may have read and must have heard of Children of the Dream, a book by the psychoanalyst Bruno Bettelheim who watched children growing up in the kibbutz. Rumor had it that it was "my" kibbutz at which I learned to dislike socialism and hard work. At any rate, during the last two or three decades, the dream has been dying, not only at Bettelheim's kibbutz, but at mine and just about everyone else's.

More On Risk Analysis: On Terrorists And Dick Cheney (and The Wisdom Of The Kiwis)
August 27, 2007

In an earlier posting on Open University, I suggested that we have, as a society, strange, even bizarre, attitudes toward risk. That is, as is well known, we overestimate the risks of certain events, sometime to the point of panic, even as we underestimate others, to our severe detriment.

China Agitates
August 25, 2007

The export trade of China is in a shambles. Not proportionally, of course. Still...could the most rapacious of capitalisms have been worse? It's not just that the guy whose company had been black-balled by Mattel for coating its toys with toxic paint had committed hari-kiri. No, no, that's a Japanese guilt ritual. Anyway: Mattel has turned back at least 18.2 million toys. Including some of my grandson's favorites: Thomas the truck. Or is it Thomas the tank? I think, actually, that it's Thomas the engine.