Shouting 'Cross the Potomac

barstool philosopher,
backseat driver
but never a Monday morning quarterback

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Saturday, November 30, 2002

Match This, Elf Boy!

Will Vehrs
Ok, Tony, I've got the roof, porch and garage outlined with icicle lights. The lighted "Merry Christmas" sign is up over the garage door; the garage door frame and the porch are outlined with garland. The picket fence is outlined in garland and lit. Every window has a wreath. Tomorrow I bring out the heavy lights, reindeer, sleigh, and all the rest--after Punditwatch.

So, what have you and Santa been doing?

And They're Off!...

Tony Adragna
No time to chit chat, Will! I just pulled all of the outside decorations out of the basement, and William just brought home more stuff (another lighted tree thingy, and a lighted archway).

Santa's crakin' the whip, so I gotta go...

Thursday, November 28, 2002

Sweet Potato Mousse?

Tony Adragna
How could somebody do such a thing — 'tis a culinary blasphemy, I say!

Sweet Potatoes — or Yams, if'n that's your preference — are meant to be cut into moderately sized chunks, then baked in a treacly coating, with raisins, nuts (pecans are OK, but leave your pee cans at home), and DON'T FORGET THE MARSHMALLOWS! How can you have Sweet Potatoes without marshmallows!?!

Sweet Potato Mousse, indeed!...

Anywho, the cookings done! The menu:
Sweet Potatoes
Homemade Macaroni & Cheese
Potato Salad
Green Beans
Fresh Baked Rolls
Savory Stuffing with raisins & walnuts
Deviled Eggs
Honey Cured-Princess Anne Spiral Sliced Ham
Pumpkin Pie
Cherry Pie
Yes, I did bake the lamb this year! That's the whole menu...

Oops! Silly me, I forgot the turkey! Great big bodacious 18 lb beast that's gonna make great sandwiches for the next week. The bird sat in a lemon pepper with lemon juice marinade [don't buy it — read the ingrediants from the bottle, then make it yourself so you can control the flavour] for 24hrs before baking. Can't wait...

Happy Thanksgiving Day to All!

Now, let's grub!!!

Happy Turkey, Happy Football, Etc.

Will Vehrs
As Tony noted, I did the Thanksgiving travel thingy, arriving safe and sound in Wake Forest, NC around 5PM yesterday. There are 13 of us here at my sister's lovely house, with various and assorted hunters dropping in to warm up. My nephew shot a fox last night. Apparently all the deer have gotten away just when a bead was being drawn on them.

A 25 lb. turkey is in the oven. We raided one of the pecan and one of the pumpkin pies last night, so more pies may need to be produced.

Tony, I hope you and all our readers are having this kind of Thanksgiving, among friends and family. We all have much to be thankful for, regardless of our individual circumstances.

I am being called for the dress rehearsal of an American Girl Doll play being put on my nieces and my daughter ... I am Uncle Gard, apparently a critical role. I hope this production is over by the time football starts. Last night the girls had a very successful art raffle.

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

Wednesday, November 27, 2002

A Highjacked Religion, Not a Religion of Highjackers...

Tony Adragna
Salman Rushdie writes today of who the Islamic world's real gaolers are:
[...] The Islamic world today is being held prisoner, not by Western but by Islamic captors, who are fighting to keep closed a world that a badly outnumbered few are trying to open. As long as the majority remains silent, this will be a tough war to win. But in the end, or so we must hope, someone will kick down that prison door.
The word that sticks out most — because it's in stark contrast to repeated contrary assertions by other folk — is "majority". Can this be correct? Is it really true that the "majority" of Muslims think differently than the Islamofascisti?

Short answer: Yes!

From Asia Minor to Southern Asia, the Levant to the Maghreb, and Iran to Indonesia, the vast majority of Muslims are people who want what we have in the west: Freedom from the oppression of political despots & religious crusaders. Why does this majority remain silent?

I don't think the majority is silent! There are internecine "clashes" occurring all over the Islamic world — Muslim women are particularly vocal — but we in the west, for reasons understood in light of the violent acts directed at us, haven't heard as much about Islam's internal conflicts as we have its "clash" with western culture.

Or, rather, we have heard about the conflicts, but only in terms of political & civil rights struggles, and not as a fight for the soul of Islam. The latter context — a metaphysical (or, theological if you prefer) debate about what it means to be Muslim — is a dialogue that goes back centuries, and there have always been, as there are today, voices that speak in rebuke of extremist views. There is an obvious reason why the west isn’t so familiar with this debate: outside of the academy, it is of no interest to a non-Muslim.

In the former context we need to be mindful that Islam hasn’t always been the bad guy — there’s fault at both ends of the ideological spectrum. In places like Saudi Arabia & Iran the non-Islamic is suppressed and dissent is, though not as effectively as in the past, squelched [actually, isn’t it true that Saudi dissenters are merely sent away to be someone else’s problem?].

In other places, like Turkey & Egypt, nominally democratic republics founded by nationalists [with a socialist political philosophy in Egypt’s case] merely exchanged the caliphate’s autocratic rulers for their own secularist dictators. Where’s the middle ground?

The middle ground is, of course, exemplified by our First Amendment, and it took us a revolution to get that. Rushdie & “Rushdies” will be remembered for their “common sense” after this new revolution. But, we’ve still got to deal with the inconvenient fact that our foreign policy made the gaolers our allies — what impact will that have on our relationships with the revolutionaries?

Dunno: the only example that comes to mind is Iran, but I’m suspecting that even the Iranians feel none too good right now ‘bout how that one turned out…

Addendum: I purposefully used the word "crusader" above because that better describes those who dream of a reprised Islamic Empire — just as Christians once fought to reclaim the Holy Land from Muslims. "Jihad" is about the struggle between good & evil, and on the personal level is analogous to "the ascent of Mt. Carmel".

I also meant to note, in case it's not clear above, that Islam's internal clash is just as much a clash of cultures as is the west's fight against Islamic extremists. Indeed, in some very important ways our western values are a better match to those of moderate Muslims in North Africa and Indonesia than to those of secularist [governments] in Egypt & Turkey...

Two Minutes on the Road

Tony Adragna
Don't fret, folks. Will Vehrs is on the road doing that Thanksgiving travel thingy, but will most likely make appearances as time permits. In the interim, y'all is stuck with me!

I shall have something up this afternoon...

Tuesday, November 26, 2002

... And a Dad & His Marine

Tony Adragna
I, too, read Frank Schaeffer's moving essay "My Heart on the Line", and I was moved!

What say you, Will: if Mark Shields pitched his "national sacrifice" schtick the same way Mr. Schaeffer has — straight over the plate, instead of high & to the left — might his message have gotten a better reception? Schaeffer is a parent talking from his soul, and that always beats out a pundit pushing an agenda...

Bravo Zulu to Mr. Schaeffer! Semper Fi to Corporal Schaeffer!


Four Guys & A Dog

Tony Adragna
State employees aren't the only people gonna send Hinkle some nastygrams rebuking his forthright suggestions, Will — enough there to raise the hackles on every kind of government kept special interest animal... I'll keep an eye on the letters page...

I'm curious about Hinkle — might he be the first libertarian to run an editorial page... I'll trade him for Fred Hiatt...

You know I like Kinsley, [who was taken to task by Chris Merrill for the non-readage] but did you know that I'm also a fan of his old Firing Line boss? William F. Buckley, Jr. is the only [excepting you] conservative with whom I can always respectfully disagree when I do — more often than not — disagree. Never, however, can I ever fault his reasoning. When we do agree [rather, when my humble self agrees with him] it's almost as if I'm looking at Buckley, & he looking at me, and I've got to ask why so many others fail to get it.

Today I agree with Buckley! It has been suggested in the blogosphere that an alive Osama is more useful than if he were dead. Buckley — I suppose I should abide his rule, so that, though I haven't graduated college, I have attained a "certain age" and should call him Bill — argues that Osama needs be made dead
Osama alive means an enormous invigoration of the myth of Osama, as the great leader of a great movement. Not quite the equivalent of Christ arising from the dead, but hugely advancing the mythogenic figure. Do you see what is proved? the cultists are saying in the Wahhabist circles of the true believers. They cannot destroy him. He is immune to mere Western movements intended to do so. He has survived 100 (allow for the exaggerations) U.S. Army divisions, bombings and artillery and helicopters and intelligence agents. He lives!


There are tens of thousands of enthusiasts, unfortunately throughout the world, who are cheering Osama bin Laden's reappearance on audiotape. He renews his own legend. Formal Muslim procedures have been cited to the effect that if one is truly dead, the fact of death is not to be concealed. Osama appears to have lived by that stricture. If he had been killed, his death would have been acknowledged by his own supporters.

He wasn't killed. Could it be that this is so because he is -- a creature of God? Doing God's work?

[...]Osama bin Laden needs to be pursued precisely because any myth to the effect that he is immortal needs to be destroyed. Meanwhile, his movement also needs to be coped with and destroyed. That will take a lot longer than however many more months or years go by during which the begetter of al-Qaida continues to live.
Now, many have argued killing bin Laden would not end this "war", and I agree — there are others who would fill the void. But have any of those others the charismatic qualities of the megalomaniacal Osama bin Laden? Can they inspire and lead as he has? Are they the same stuff of legend — Bill says "myth" — that bin Laden represents to his followers?

I don't think WSC would mind me fooling around with his phraseology when I suggest that while the death of bin Laden won't be the end, and we've already seen the end of the beginning, bin Laden's death may very well signal the beginning of the end...

"An Iraq War Won't Destabilize the Mideast" is Reuel Marc Gerecht's NYT op-ed contribution today. He's conditionally correct.

Yes, Egypt and Jordan have been quick to energetically put down any threats to the ruling regime. But, those same regimes have also been willing, when it suited, to opiate the masses with the drug of anti-westernism. Whether those governments join with us and put down internal dissent, or protest diplomatically and fan the rhetorical flames in order to save their own arses, depends on how we go about our business.

What about the "non tax-paying class"? I've seen that WSJ editorial refered to several times, and E. J. Dionne picks up on it today. I find this whole debate curious for one reason — it's not about a serious policy alternative [right, like somebody's gonna propose raising taxes on the lower classes]. Rather, it's nothing more than a rejoinder to the assertion that the upper tiers don't pay a fair share.

The potential that some lawmaker will actually argue for raising taxes on us po' folk is about the same as tax simplification happening in our life time...

To the dog, and Richard Cohen's lesson titled 'What Dogs Teach Us About People"...

Did he say "unconditional love"? Yup!

You know I'm a cat fancier [as opposed to a dog lover] and will never understand what it is between a boy — or a man — and his dog. But, neither do I dislike dogs — in fact, I'm quite ok with William's dog.

I don't have a choice — my cat rules the house, and decided she likes the dog...

p.s. I think there's already more than four guys mentioned above, so I might as well throw in another — Jack O'Toole is back...

PPS from Will: Add another guy, Tony. It's Fritz Schranck's birthday ... but he uses the occasion to make me wince. A youngster like you wouldn't understand ... but you will.

p.p.p.s. from Tony: As I have been 25 for the past 12 years — look it too — and shall remain so in perpetuity, I am compelled to insist that of that which makes yourselves wince, myself shall be ever ignorant... And I am unanimous in that!

Twp Minute Drill

Will Vehrs
Muckraker Tony, you've been Scott Ritter's worst nightmare and I commend you for keeping up the pressure on this self-absorbed opportunist.

Virginia Corner

Interesting that you bring up Thomas Jefferson, Tony, in response to Virginia Governor Mark Warner's call for amending Virginia's constitution to allow a two term Governor. Virginia has prospered over the centuries under a wise system of checks and balances to limit the power of government--strong executive, as state executives go, but with only one term, and a part-time, "citizen" legislature. I don't recommend changes to that lightly, but the battle against limited government has been fought. Limited government lost. Now the battle is how to best manage government. Allowing the governor, who runs the state government with money appropriated by the legislature, to have the chance of implementing his/her vision over eight years (the vision renewed or renounced after four) seems the best way to positively manage the unruly beast that government has become without overly impacting the balance of powers. Lord knows we don't want a full-time legislature ....

The Washington Post has endorsed the elimination of the one term limit on Virginia's governors. That was quick.

And, speaking of Jefferson, Tony, our favorite Richmond Times-Dispatch columnist, A. Barton Hinkle, invokes the third president:

TO PARAPHRASE Thomas Jefferson, build a wall of separation between the state and the economy. As a general principle, government should stay out of the market as much as possible.

Hinkle goes on to take up Governor Warner's call for "ideas" from the opposition, if they don't like the governor's. It's a long list, but this part directly impacts what I do:

From a fairness perspective it is wrong to use the coercive power of the state to favor some competitors over others. From a practical perspective, government interference tends to distort incentives. It also invites businesses to try to gain market leverage by seeking political advantage - thus encouraging them to salt the political process with oodles of money and gifts. So:

End state and local incentives for businesses to locate or expand in Virginia. Cease funding the Center for Innovative Technology, which has precious little to show for the considerable sums it has consumed since its 1984 creation. Shut down the Virginia Tourism Authority: Let the state's hotels, restaurants, and entertainment venues collectively seek customers through their own tourism campaigns. Close the Department of Minority Business Enterprise. Minorities are just as good at entrepreneurship as whites (blacks are twice as likely to start a business as whites, according to a new report entitled The Entrepreneur Next Door). Shut down the state's small-business incubator program, the Information Technology Employment Performance Grant Fund, and all the other picayune programs that subsidize some market participants but not others.

And - for the love of Pete - don't start any new programs like the new "Savor Virginia," which attempts to gain greater visibility for the state's food products in restaurants.

In a similar vein, end the special-interest tax favoritism - the tax credits for worker retraining, for investment in day-care facilities, for creating jobs involved in clean-fuel vehicles, for buying equipment that burns waste motor oil and equipment that applies advanced-technology pesticides and fertilizers, for research and development expenses in tobacco-dependent localities, and so on. Warner has complained about the effect of these exemptions on the budget. The rest of us should complain about politicians using the tax code as a tool of social engineering to reward some kinds of behavior

Ouch. I have to say, though, that Hinkle is on to something. I'm not sure how much--he doesn't say what his ideas will save. Virginia has to come up with a billion dollars on top of the billions already cut.

There is fat, duplication, and dubious value in the areas he mentioned. If it isn't cut, it at least ought to rationalized.

Hinkle will get tons of outraged letters from state employees because of his charge, further along in his piece, that they get too many days off. While I don't think the days off are unreasonable, state employees ought to quit complaining about their pay once and for all. If they don't like it, they can vote with their feet. During this state budget crisis, complaining about pay is like sticking taxpayers in the eye.

The Wuerffel Factor Another journeyman quarterback, Koy Detmer, led Philadelphia to a big victory last night. I love it.

Monday, November 25, 2002

Ritter Redux: Advantage Blogosphere!

Tony Adragna
OxBlog, via Armed Liberal, sends me away to read Barry Bearak's 7 page New York Times Magazine feature "Scott Ritter's Iraq Complex" [I'll read the longer, and probably more interesting — to me anyway — Leonardo DiCaprio item later].

Now, I'm not wanting to be known as one of those bloggers who thinks that this format will ever replace real journalism, because that's not what I think. Though I basically wrote this same story on Ritter back in September ["Scott Ritter Knows..." and "...Why He's Doin It"] I had to rely on what was already on record — I have neither the time to properly run down these type of stories, nor the inclination to have actually spent time in Scott Ritter's company. Thank God somebody did!

What set Ritter off?
[...] in January 1998, he learned the Federal Bureau of Investigation was investigating him for espionage with the Israelis. ''The idea of it, questioning me on the subject of patriotism!'' he said. To add to his ire, he had been told that the F.B.I. also held concerns about his wife, whom he had met in Votkinsk, where she had worked as a Soviet translator. Some in the F.B.I. thought she might be an agent, ''a hostile penetration attempt.'' He was furious.[page 3
Then, as he sees himself losing a "turf battle" and getting frozen "out of the loop", he considers resigning, consults a lawyer, and starts talking to the media. Ritter says that he then got a call from somebody at the NSC who was worried that he might start running off at the mouth — after all, Ritter wasn't some clueless grunt, but a skilled [albeit arrogant] intelligence officer. Ritter responds:
''I'm going to walk away, very critical of your policy. You've got to be grown up about that. What I don't want, though -- if you come after me and call me a liar, I'm going to tell the truth. If you question my patriotism, I'm going to demonstrate how I was a patriot. Come after my family, I will [expletive] you all.' Those were my words.''[page 4]
Not a very "grown up" way for Ritter to act — as I said previously, he knew the rules of the intel community, but instead of behaving professionally he decided to take everything as a personal slight. For instance, the investigation of his Russian wife is something that as a member of the intelligence community Ritter should have taken in stride. Hell, even when I joined the US Navy as a seaman recruit I had to have a special check done because I had lived in Vietnam as a child and had a Vietnamese step-mother.

Yes, Ritter knew the rules of the game, but just didn't think they ought apply to him. Go back to page 2 for this ort:
''So I said, I want to be an intelligence officer,'' he told me, recounting a favorite tale. He was a newly commissioned second lieutenant in the Marines. There was a rule: intelligence work first required three years in the combat arms. With stunning moxie, he wrote the Marine commandant. ''I said, My name is Lieutenant Ritter, and I'm the best damn intelligence officer you're ever going to meet.'' For him, they changed the rules, he boasted.
Arrogant, boastful, and someone who considers himself so exceptional that rules ought be broken for him — that's Scott Ritter.

This is a man who, in my opinion, considers himself more important than the mission, and if the mission doesn't revolve around Ritter, then he wants nothing to do with it. What's worse, though, is that Ritter can't just walk away when he doesn't get his way — he's got to fuck over everybody who didn't let him have his way.

Does Scott Ritter really believe anything he's saying? I had speculated that he was making it up as he goes, because he doesn't really know what to believe. The author gives us some insight on a guy whose passion sometimes overwhelms reason, and the subject acknowledges he has trouble thinking through the problem — the very last graf is telling:
I thought the matter might end there, but Ritter was still in turmoil. ''My heart's telling me to kill Saddam, or, I don't know, maybe my gut tells me that,'' he said. ''My heart's telling me to do what the Constitution says, but the gut's saying kill Saddam. And my brain has no clue which way to go here. It's just twisted. And I'm honest when I say I get up every morning and I just want to get the hell out of this.''
"Twisted" indeed, just like his convoluted arguments. I'm glad I didn't hafta sit through any of his harangues...

WWJD... Realpolitik(cont.)... Trial Lawyers v. Big Business

Tony Adragna
'Tis interesting, Will, that a Virginia governor would be proposing a constitutional amendment effecting greater weight to the Executive. I ask myself: What Would Jefferson Do?

I think Jefferson was at an unease with Executive powers, even the limited powers he had as Virginia's governor. He was more interested in ensuring effective representation in the legislature as a balance against the Executive and the Judiciary. While Jefferson did see the need for an energetic executive to manage the republic, he limits the exercise by considering whether the activity would meet with approbation from the public represented by legislators.

It seems to me that in the present case he would have been more apt to write a poignant essay on the legislature's duty to the Commonwealth, than to propose a change granting the Executive more leverage over the legislature..

Jefferson's governorship is also illustrative of what an Executive should do under criticism for failure to provide for defense. In 1781 he retired from the office over charges (of which he was later exonerated) arising from his failure to adequately prepare for what he knew to be an imminet British invasion. I would have liked to see some of the same in our current circumstances...

I don't think I need offer up what Jefferson might have thought of the Department the name of which I still refuse to speak... Jefferson surely would have defended the exceptional extra-legal exercise when defense of the republic made it necessary. But I'm pretty sure that he would have opposed making those exercises no longer exceptional, and the establishment of a bureaucracy to manage the exercise.

BTW: Contrary to the constant criticism that liberals are overly concerned with civil liberties, TalkLeft cites Nat Hentoff on Clinton's Record on Civil Liberties. Somewhere in QP's archives I've made the same observation vis a vis FISA...

Ant it's not just our own liberties at stake, as Fred Hiatt notes in his op-ed today:
Like human rights activists in many countries, journalists struggling to tell the truth are the first to notice when America's attention wavers or its priorities shift. "The anti-terror war," Gomez said, "can lead America to have wrong friends."

And the tension operates on another level too: John Ashcroft, with his tough talk of curtailing liberty in the service of national security, has become every dictator's favorite exemplar. Eritrea's ambassador to Washington, Girma Asmerom, assured me in a telephone conversation last week that locking up the nation's independent journalists without charge was perfectly consistent with democratic practice. As proof, he cited America's roundup of material witnesses and suspected aliens.

And in insinuating that Eritrea's journalists were taking money from enemy Ethiopia, he asked, "How long would an American newspaper last if it was taking money from al Qaeda?"
Of course, Asmerom's defense is twisted, but if we engage in the strategic relationship that's being offered, then so is our response. It's not the "moral clarity" that this administration has made the sine qua non of its rhetorical campaign. Rather, it's "the balancing act, carefully calibrated and nuanced, of a superpower at war [that f]rom inside a prison in Eritrea or Kazakhstan [...] may be difficult to appreciate."

I appreciate the nuance, and I don't think it necessarily a bad thing. But, a whole mess-a-lotta people — including Bush partisans here at home — are not happy at all...

What's missing from the GOP position on trial lawyers versus big business is due deference to those whom the trial lawyers work for — people who have suffered some injury.

Certainly there are some few egregious examples of trial lawyers taking a hot area of litigation and turning it into a "specialty practice" so lucrative that attorneys might be tempted to the outer limits of ethical behavior. But most plaintiffs have valid claims that their counselors pursue in manners consistent with proper standards of practice.

A bigger problem than trial lawyers running rampant in the courts is the phenomenon of excessive jury awards. Even here the problem is not as bad as some might want to depict — it's not uncommon for judges to adjust awards downwards.

I'd rather trust judges & juries to do the right thing than limit an injured party's ability to hold a company liable....

p.s. Kudos, Will!

Two Minute Drill

Will Vehrs
Redskins Classic Yesterday's Redskins win was electrifying. Victory seemed to be slipping away, as it had so many times before. Suddenly, LaVar Arrington's jarring tackle saved the day. I jumped up from my seat and pumped my fist in the air--it's been a long time since I've done that for a football game.

I was happy for journeyman quarterback Danny Wuerffel, frequent object of fellow 'Skins fan Ben Domenech's scorn. While Ben is right directionally on Wuerffel, there's just something compelling to me about the long ago college star's pluck and perseverence.

Asked what the difference was between this day and all his others in the NFL, Wuerffel said, "[The coach] played me today. I can't think of anything else.

"I've spent half my life being told I was better than I am and the other being told that I'm worse than I am," Wuerffel said

As Ben said, bring on Dallas. But no Clint Longley Thanksgiving Day nightmares, please.

Friday Night Clean Air The Bush Administration pulled that hardy Washington perenniel, announcing changes to the Clean Air Act on Friday night, when not as many people are watching. I can't blame them; as George Will noted on This Week, there is a hysteria about environmental regulations. It's difficult to get a reasoned cost/benefit debate. I haven't studied the new proposal, but old power plants are grandfathered, it's difficult to build new plants because of environmental and NIMBY concerns, and we need power. It sure seems to me that upgrading old plants, if it overall makes them less polluting than they are in their current configuration, makes sense.

Virginia Corner Governor Mark Warner is planning to push for an amendment to the Virginia constitution that will allow a Virginia Governor to succeed himself/herself. Virginia is the only state in the union that doesn't allow a governor to run for re-election. If this change were adopted, it would not apply to Warner.

This is an idea whose time has finally come. It will do more to rouse the bureaucracy than almost anything else. As it stands now, high level officials appointed by the governor who run the bureaucracy spend their first year figuring things out, two years trying to implement a program, then one year searching for a new job. The bureaucracy knows this game and waits out every governor's term. Warner seemed to hint during his campaign that he wanted to create a legacy of a more long-term approach to state government. This would go a long way to fulfilling that vision.

The Washington Post's Melanie Scarborough makes the seemingly outrageous suggestion that former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore be appointed to head the Department of Homeland Security. I say outrageous because Gilmore has as much as been run out of town on a rail for leaving state finances in a mess, not to mention for his perceived arrogance.

Scarborough makes a compelling case, though. Gilmore's credentials for the post--former attorney general, long service on terrorism task forces, proactive record on terror-related issues--are impressive. She doesn't mention his Army service as a military intelligence officer. One could argue that Gilmore's perceived high-handedness, i.e., getting things done his way--is what a Department of Homeland Security needs. Governor Mark Warner appointed former Lt. Governor John Hager, a Republican who served under Gilmore, to head Virginia's version of a Homeland Security department, and Hager's qualifications were dubious.

Gilmore is not a bad idea. Lord knows Governor Tom Ridge is not a wildly popular choice. It won't happen now, but if the wheels were to come off on Homeland Security, look for Gilmore to get a chance for redemption.

Sunday, November 24, 2002

Punditwatch Goes Worldwide

Will Vehrs
I'm very gratified that Jewish World Review has added Punditwatch to the list of commentary it carries. You can find it here.

One thing I didn't mention in Punditwatch was Fred Barnes' little dig at his boss at The Weekly Standard, Bill Kristol. During the Fox panel, Roll Call's Morton Kondracke mentioned that the magazine had been a big booster of John McCain in 2000. "That was Bill Kristol," snapped Barnes, right in front on Kristol.

Instapundit noted that This Week tackled the all-important question, "What would Jesus drive?" Michele Martin answered, "There's no reason not to ask this." Huh? At least she noted that this topic was sweeping the Internet. Michele Martin, blog reader?

George Will used the question to attack the media who are in league with the "environmental hysterics."

Spinning in Native Dress, Spinning on Fox

Will Vehrs
The pundit shows were a muddle of issues, but Punditwatch concentrates on allegations of another Saudi cash connection to terrorism. There's also the strange case of Brit Hume trying to rescue Juan Williams from a conservative spin zone, Novak and Hunt arguing more passionately than usual, and Margaret Carlson seeing evil in the night.