The WaPo’s Dana Milbank reports that “all-around tough guy” Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) was wearing a sh**-eating grin at the press news conference he held about his aide, Phillip Thompson, who was arrested at the Russell Senate Office Building last Monday morning – his 45th birthday, as it happens - with a loaded pistol and extra ammo in a briefcase that he said belonged to his boss:
“Dying is easy. Comedy is hard”. Those words will probably be John Kerry’s political epitaph. Kerry discovered something most of us already knew - telling jokes in public is not as easy as it looks. Advance disclaimer –now that election season is over, this nonpartisan critique is about joke telling, not politics. It assumes Kerry actually tried to tell a joke and is not about what he said, didn’t say, or meant to say. It’s about the road to comedy oblivion that looms in Kerry’s future because he ignored some essentials about the art of joke telling:
Kerik’s indictment could set the stage for a courtroom battle that would draw attention to Kerik’s extensive business and political dealings with former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, who personally recommended him to President Bush for the Cabinet. Giuliani, the front-runner for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination according to most polls, later called the recommendation a mistake.
If you are an typical guy (or a woman who hates most typical guys!) this article is probably not for you. It is quiche in literary form. If you insist on reading this let me make one small suggestion: Drink HEAVILY! Okay, here we go…
A man leaves the house for work in the morning with certain necessities on his person: wallet, keys, money clip, sunglasses, iPod, cell phone, notebook, pens, security pass, Zippo lighter, pocketknife — OK, so I like to be prepared — comb, briefcase, datebook, handkerchief.
In a recent column, Dick Morris called Mitt Romney a “corpse” and a “political duck decoy” who “can’t get nominated or even become the consensus candidate of the right wing.” He’s trailing badly in the polls, The Associated Press reports:
It is popular these days to come up with hypothetical questions to escape from the monotony of our own boring existence. This week’s question is a personal doozy: If you could go back and be any age of your life and remain there until you die, what AGE would you choose and why?
The biggest story of the 2008 cycle to date is the potentially transformative role of on-line media in presidential campaigns. Every campaign is going on-line in a big way — from candidate announcements to YouTube and MySpace zones, to social networking. But might it be that the on-line medium campaign managers yearn to embrace might instead destroy the traditional model of how campaign messaging works?
“American Idol” gets it. Most Americans don’t. Using the, “Howard Cosell He hate me” ratings hook, the show is riding on the back of Sanjaya Malakar all the way to the bank! And you thought this was a singing competition.
A couple of months from now, I believe Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban will bathe in the well-deserved glow of adulation that comes with winning an NBA championship. But along the route to that love-fest lies an unfortunate roadblock of his own creation.
Laleh Bakhtiar, a 68-year old Iranian-American who adopted her father’s Islamic faith when she became an adult, has been working on an updated English translation of the Koran for seven years. Her handiwork will roll off the printing press next month. The project was tough going for Bakhtiar, because she can read Arabic but does not speak the language. She was completely stopped in her tracks when she came to Chapter 4, Verse 34, which instructs that a rebellious wife should first be admonished, then shunned sexually, and finally “beaten” - the most common translation for the Arabic word “daraba” - unless she starts obeying her husband.
We still don’t know if Jim Webb is as good at shooting lawyers as Dick Cheney, but Dana Milbank’s piece today does shed light on one question arising from his aide getting popped for carrying Webb’s firearm:
In a situation reminiscent of when GM’s make-your-own Chevy Tahoe commercial was used by environmentalists to protest gas guzzling SUVs, Kleenex recently incurred the wrath of GreenPeace at a Manhattan “Kleenex Let It Out” event in Times Square.
Before there were laws against cruelty to children, there were laws against cruelty to animals, and it is historical fact that when society first prosecuted parents for abusing their children, at the end of the 19th century, they had to use laws intended to protect animals, because beating your child wasn’t against the law.
Vive la differencecry Parisians, who ironically often shrink from judging good v. bad. (One reason they are French.) By contrast, Americans, as writer Mark Reiter says, like making “clearer and cleaner decisions about what is good, better, best in the world.”
In a break with his party, Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) wants to approve $122 billion in funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – but without requiring that troops be withdrawn by March 31, 2008. It’s not that he doesn’t want a firm date to bring our soldiers home, it’s that he wants the timetable for withdrawal to be classified and known only to the White House, Congress and the Iraqi government. Pryor tellsThe Washington Post:
In the autumn of 1972, when I was in seventh grade, several times a week after school I would visit the local McGovern campaign headquarters, where I’d answer phones, stuff envelopes, and perform other small duties tangentially related to ridding the nation of the Nixon nightmare.
Fairly interesting show on the ‘boomer’ generation tomorrow night on PBS. Among others, includes interviews with immanences including Eve Ensler and Oliver Stone — plus Tony Snow, who many might not know plays flute in a rock band. Here’s part of a review for Bloomberg, all of which can be found at
Forget the maundering of pundits. Put aside the boilerplate statements from heads of state and their representatives. There are only two people you need to study in order to comprehend duplicity, fatuity, inanity and naivete in the Middle East.