August 31, 2007
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
August 30, 2007
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.!"
August 30, 2007
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
August 28, 2007
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.
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.
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.
The Wapo's Romney Drive-by
August 24, 2007
I realize I'm coming to this a little late, but it's egregious enough to weigh in on anyway: Like Marc Ambinder, I thought yesterday's Washington Post front-pager on Mitt Romney's continued abortion flip-flopping was pretty unfair. The premise of the piece is that Romney has made contradictory statements about his abortion stance over the last few weeks. On August 6, Romney told George Stephanopoulos that he supports the so-called human life amendment to the Constitution. Then, a few days ago, Romney told Nevada political commentator Jon Ralston that he'd like to see Roe v.
A Less Cheery Dispatch From The Uae, For Once
August 23, 2007
I saw Jason DeParle's byline over a New York Times dispatch from Dubai. Jason, who started his career at The New Republic is a correspondent not given to cheery subjects. So when I saw his name matched with the dateline I knew something serious was afoot.
I Hate New York!
August 21, 2007
Fred Thompson has posted a blog item on his (non-) campaign website decrying an "attack by New York City on the Second Amendment" by "the same activist federal judge from Brooklyn who provided Mayor Giuliani's administration with the legal ruling it sought to sue gun makers." Meanwhile, as Jason noted, Mitt Romney's new radio ad bashes "cities like Newark, San Francisco and New York City that adopt sanctuary policies" for illegal immigrants. A lot of media folk say Rudy has no shot at the GOP nomination. But his rivals don't seem to feel that way! --Michael Crowley