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Friday, February 03, 2006

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Not reticent, the jihadists. Michelle Malkin has striking visuals of their placards in London. Their talking points include: "Butcher Those Who Mock Islam"; "Exterminate Those Who Mock Islam"; "Be Prepared for the Real Holocaust." There can be no surrender to people who threaten the security of communities whose "crime" is simply the exercise of free speech. Gerard Baker has got it right: no compromise is possible with fascists, including the butchers of Hamas and Tehran.

Monday, January 30, 2006

THE SPRINGER STANDARD: To discuss Oprah's apology for hyping fake-memoirist James Frey, MSNBC's Joe Scarborough — generally sane in public — decided he needed a genuine authority on standards of public decency. So he brought Jerry Springer on his TV show to discuss what constitutes, um, authenticity. Springer got off a wonderfully revealing line when he boasted that he had never stooped to bringing an author on his TV show to hype a book. The clear implication was that doing so would lower his TV show's standards. "My viewers can't read," he added, with the hint of a mischievous smile. Spoken like a true liberal: Mock the populist masses even as you make a fortune exploiting them on a TV show that makes a trip to the carnival seem like a visit to the Museum of Modern Art.
HILLARY'S CHANCES: If I had to bet, I'd wager against Hillary returning to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. I might also be willing to put money down against her chances of winning the Democratic nomination. I went to see Hillary get interviewed by Jane Pauley in San Francisco last week. I wanted to see if I found her more impressive in public than on TV. If anything, she came across as even more dull than usual. Her voice is flat and her command of the issues, though seemingly broad, conveys a robotic quality. Here's what I think about this woman. During Bill's rise to prominence, he knew how to create empathy by shmoozing in public while Hillary was well known for the ferocity of her behind-the-scenes opinions. Now that she's front and center and Bill's in the background, she's decided she needs to modulate her passion lest her barely concealed shrillness peek through. The result of her tamped-down tone: Hillary conveys that she's working very hard to keep herself in check. Kind of like a person controlling her breathing patterns in order to pass a lie-detector test. Apparently she and her handlers think this will make her less offensive to red state males, but it also serves to make her not exactly a rock star in the eyes of the people who vote in Democratic primaries: left-loons who thrive on rhetorical red meat. It's one thing for Hillary to benefit from the aura of "presumptive nominee and possible first woman president" at this stage of the game. It's another thing entirely for Hillary to take her current persona to the political stump: Iowa and New Hampshire. I wouldn't be surprised if she slips early and never recovers. Remember Ed Muskie? And let's not forget Geraldine Ferraro's alleged comment about President George Bush (the first) as the personification "every woman's first husband" or words to that effect. Parallel: Hillary has a way of coming across as the wife a lot of divorced men are glad to be done with. That's a necessary if not sufficient factor in my prediction that she's not going to make back to the White House. (Caveat: It's a long way to 2008 and the political dynamics are hard to calculate. Hillary, if nominated, will face off against some actual GOP candidate who will bring strengths and weaknesses of his or her own...)
DESTITUTE DEMS: Reality-based Democratic Party leaders (yes, there are a couple of 'em) who'd like to dislodge Howard Dean as DNC chair without angering the party's wacked left base may finally have a justification other than Dean's hysterical (in both senses of the word) political views: Party coffers are about empty.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

PROGRESS: Ramsey Clark is iced about the way Saddam is being treated in court. Clark's displeasure is always a good thing. Who says things aren't going well in Iraq?