January 5, 2008

"You paint all Islamics the same way."

Ron Paul rails at Rudy Giuliani at the debate tonight. And Giuliani responds:

Now, watch Rudy's new ad:


"They all hate Mitt."

Jonathan Martin, blogging the Republican debate.

Sorry not to liveblog. I forgot it was on, but, watching from the midpoint, I was struck by how lively — and testy — it was.

On to the Democratic Debate.

ADDED: Hillary sounds terrible — saying "uh" and "you know" a lot and haranguing in a yelly voice. Meanwhile, Edwards and Obama are keeping their temper and playing super-nice. Richardson... well, why is he there, getting the same amount of time? He just keeps trying to insert info from his résumé. ("Is experience a leper?")

MORE: Will any of them admit the surge is a success? No. Obama thinks any improvements are due to the election of Democrats in 2006 (and the consequent threat that American troops would leave).

AND: "Well, that hurts my feelings." Funny answer by Hillary to the ridiculous question that was nothing more than an assertion that people don't like her.

BY THE WAY: I loved the format tonight.

"Everybody knows Frankie doesn't say 'Submit.' Frankie says 'Relax.'"

Uh oh! Uncle Jimbo is out and about in Madison, Wisconsin, checking out the chalkings.

(Frankie background... in case you missed the '80s.)

Hillary's problems.

Joe Gandelman thinks Bill Clinton is ruining Hillary's campaign. He doesn't seem to think Bill is doing it on purpose (which is what I think). (Great cartoon at the link too.)

Karen Tumulty says things are all awry inside Hillary campaign.

Secret Service agents told Bill O 'Reilly to calm down and get behind a barricade.

Supposedly, he was "screaming" at a 6'8" Obama aide. Called him "low class." But eventually, he got to tell Obama he loved him and invited him on the show. I don't know. Is that news? It's getting talked about...

MORE: Here:
When the popular Fox News entertainer arrived at the Obama event in Nashua, people turned to him but not always approvingly. "Hey O'Reilly," yelled a man. When O'Reilly turned he got a single-finger salute. A few people approached Bill to shake his hand but the overwhelming sentiment was unfavorable. "O'Reilly hatemonger," yelled a woman. A few other people gave him the bird. "I hate you Bill," yelled a man. "You can't stop us Bill," yelled another. I thought someone might brain him with one of those Obama "Hope" signs.
Irony. It's amusing. You mean, Obama hasn't actually called us back to our highest selves, to the place where America exists as a glittering ideal, and where we, its honored inhabitants, seem capable of achieving it, and thus of sharing in its meaning and transcendence? (I was going to write a post about Ezra Klein's goofball creative writing assignment, but it seems like everyone else already did, and I'm afraid it's too late now.)
A number of people shouted falafel, the word O'Reilly used in a racy set of telephone conversations with a young woman he was trying to seduce as he described a shower they might take together. He meant loofa, which is not a Middle Eastern delicacy but a bath item....
Now, that's funny. Giving him the finger and shouting "I hate you" is only helping him, giving him the video to skewer you. (You kebab.) But yelling "falafel" — he can't use that. Nothing like a good personalized insult that's horrifying for you but not even a dirty word.

Romney wins!

In Wyoming. 12 delegates. Coming in second: Duncan Hunter.

Do you feel a little sorry for Wyoming? It tried to get attention by going early, but it still didn't get attention. It's just really small — in population. Beautiful place, though. I've been there. See?

Big Horn

Hard to find voters.

"Imagine if you could have Superman fight the Hulk!"

Jonah Goldberg enthuses about how cool it would be if we ended up with Obama versus McCain. (Video, quote at 17:34.)

IN THE COMMENTS: Allen S: "Does anyone really think that Chuck Norris is going to let that happen?"

"I'm imagining this 22-year-old guy with his scenario for, you know, marrying Scarlett Johansson."

Jonathan Chait talks to Matthew Yglesias about what it would take for Rudy Giuliani to win the nomination. Video.

Why was Hillary booed twice in New Hampshire?

Time's Jay Newton-Small writes:
The first time was when she said she has always and will continue to work for "change for you.["] The audience, particularly from Obama supporters (they were waving Obama signs) let out a noise that sounded like a thousand people collectively groaning. The second time came a few minutes later when Clinton said: "The there [sic] are two big questions for voters in New Hampshire. One is: who will be ready to lead from day one? The second," and here Clinton was forced to pause as boos from the crowd mixed with cheers from her own supporters. "Is who can we nominate who will go the distance against the Republicans?”
Could Time blog a little better? This piece fails to say when this dinner took place. And: "If the New Hampshire Democratic Party’s 100 Club dinner is any bell weather – Barack Obama will handily win here." Bell weather? One reason to avoid trite phrases is that you may have no idea what image you are invoking:
It is not entirely wrong to say bell weather, although it is certainly an archaism, "weather" having been used by Shakespeare and having died in the 19th century. It describes the sheep, usually a ram, castrated but hung (speaking of irony) with a bell to lead the flock.

Of course, we prefer bellwether (and without a hyphen). Very well, we insist upon it. This is what our style guide says: "bellwether - sheep that leads the herd; customarily misspelt, misused, or both".
So if you meant to compare New Hampshire to a castrated ram with a bell around its neck, well then, fine. Perhaps you intended a reference to Shakespeare:
First, an intollerable fright, to be detected with a iealious rotten Bell-weather: Next to be compass'd like a good Bilbo in the circumference of a Pec ke, hilt to point, heele to head. And then to be stopt in like a strong distillation with stinking Cloathes, that fretted in their owne grease: thinke of that, a man of my Kidney; thinke of that, that am as subiect to heate as butter; a man of continuall dissolution, and thaw: it was a miracle to scape suffocation. And in the height of this Bath (when I was more then halfe stew'd in grease (like a Dutch-dish) to be throwne into the Thames, and coold, glowing-hot, in that serge like a Horse-shoo; thinke of that; hissing hot: thinke of that (Master Broome.)
If you were thinking of Shakespeare, well, then, I'm really iealious of your erudition.

So let's turn to Jonathan V. Last of The Weekly Standard for a better report of that dinner:
Twenty-four hours after finishing their brawl in Iowa, the Democratic candidates are all in the same room together to speak at the New Hampshire Democratic party's 100 Club dinner....

There are 3,500 ticket-holders in attendance, theoretically from the full spectrum of party regulars. And whenever Obama's name is mentioned, they go insane--shouting, chanting, holding up small round "O" signs....

[Hillary Clinton] gets a long standing ovation to start.

But a few minutes into her speech she trots out her standard line about how "some people think you get change by demanding it and some people think you get change by hoping for it" (a dig at Edwards and Obama)--there's actually some booing. It throws her off. After starting the speech upbeat and sunny, she becomes a bit brittle. The response from the audience gets fainter with each applause line until you can actually see the Obama supporters sitting on their hands, their "O" signs resting on their laps.

"We have to pick a president who is ready on day one," she says, to muted applause from her small contingent. The Obama crowd then waves their signs and begins chanting "Obama! Obama!" while she keeps speaking. It's a tense moment and Clinton seems rattled by it.
I was saying yesterday that it seems as though Hillary has already showed us every possible permutation and that there is no way now for her to come up with anything new. But getting booed — to her face, anyway — puts her in a new place. She might find some new way to play off that. You can build a reputation on booing.

"Samuel Beckett, not known for displays of strong feeling, cried his eyes out over 'Effi Briest.'"

The 5 best books about marriage. "Anna Karenina" and "Madame Bovary" don't make this list, but don't complain unless you've read these 5, which of course, you haven't.

"I just realized I'm on camera... looking like a blogger blogging about the election, but I'm blogging about Britney Spears, ha ha, no one knows..."

That's something I wrote on November 7, 2006 — Election Day — when I was blogging from a room full of bloggers assembled by CNN so there could be something to show on camera to demonstrate that bloggers are blogging the election. The quote is in the post "Wait! Forget the election! Britney Spears is divorcing Kevin Federline!"

Considering that, a reader who remembers that post emails, wondering why I let a mere primary, viewed in the privacy of my home prevent me from blogging about the current Britney news. This is an excellent — and bloggy — question. The answer is 3-part.

1. We're picking a president, not just a Congress, like back in '06, and the Iowa caucuses were utterly fascinating, not just because we'd been watching and talking about this cast of characters for 2 years and finally some actual choosing was taking place, but also because we were seeing thrilling upsets in 2 parties. We were getting results at last, but we were also at the beginning of the process, and the situation was ripe for observation and analysis.

2. Sitting at home, I was better able to perceive and think and write about what was happening, which was something I wanted to do. I wanted to do that too at the CNN party — and that desire was augmented by a sense of obligation — but the pressure and the distractions made it very hard to do my usual bloggerly thing. I needed to adapt and find a way to write in that environment, and writing about Britney was just a little thing that was easy to do — a warm-up.

3. Britney was more of a lighthearted distraction then. Divorce is a serious matter, but a celebrity divorce seems to confirm our belief that celebrities are living shallow lives, that they are starved for the things that we have, things that are so much more important. But Britney's current troubles are pretty sad. ("Britney Spears was locked in a psych ward on Friday night after a meltdown that ended when she was strapped to a gurney and rushed to a hospital.") It's hard to see any value — even as a distraction — to pointing at her.

January 4, 2008

One of our commenters sends iPhone photos from an Iowa caucus.

Our regular commenter reader_iam sends these pictures from the Democratic caucus last night in the auditorium at Washington Elementary School, Locust Street, Davenport, Iowa. She emails:
Final count (viability was 38): O-184 (170), E-52 (38), C-7 (29), B-3 (9), Richardson-0 (4) Undeclared-4 (3). [Parenthetical numbers represent the initial declaration. A couple of people left before the final count; also, note that in the final count, the Clinton and Biden holdouts, along with the undeclareds, don't "count" under Dem rules].

These pix (sorry for their quality) focus primarily on the Obama group (which, obviously, was the largest). In the first picture, you can see some of the Edwards supporters way at the back to the left and to the right starting from the orange-shirted guy moving backwards.

Washington Elementary School, Locust Street, Davenport, Iowa.  These photos were taken by Reader_Iam, a frequent commenter on my blog.

In the second, the Edwards supporters start in the row behind the blue-shirted guy with his arms crossed, and then move backwards.

Washington Elementary School, Locust Street, Davenport, Iowa.  These photos were taken by Reader_Iam, a frequent commenter on my blog.

The final photo contains only caucus-goers from the Obama group. I wasn't in a good place to get a picture of the whole auditorium — unless I had leaped upon the stage and shoved aside the chairman, which, given what a crappy alderman he was with regard to my immediate neighborhood, I wouldn't have minded doing! ; )

Washington Elementary School, Locust Street, Davenport, Iowa.  These photos were taken by Reader_Iam, a frequent commenter on my blog.
I don't think my precinct is a particularly active one; in fact, I think it's one of those which tends to feel sort of disenfranchised, though my immediate neighborhood is an exception (more professionals, I guess — lots of lawyers, for example, though not wealthy ones). But out they came, for what was billed as potentially a three-hour or so event (we were out in less than half that time). At the caucus I was attending, they were expecting something like maybe 125 people, I'm given to understand. But attendance topped 250! So go figure.
Thanks so much for sending the pictures and letting me post them. Reader_iam also participated in the comments here last night. It's one of the coolest things about blogging that I can connect like this to a place where something is happening.

And the photos are terrific. I love the shape — the humanity — of crowds.

"I'm dead. That sucks... But all the tears in the world aren't going to bring me back."

Andrew Olmsted — G'Kar — blogs his own death. (Via Memeorandum.)
I do ask (not that I'm in a position to enforce this) that no one try to use my death to further their political purposes. I went to Iraq and did what I did for my reasons, not yours....

Which candidate moved into the lead within his party in the Iowa Electronics Markets?

McCain! Huckabee went up, but not as much as McCain, and now McCain has the clear lead.

On the Democratic side, Hillary is plummeting and Obama is soaring, but the Obama line has yet to cross the Hillary line.

Post-Iowa caucus, I overhear the locals at a café in Madison talking about...

John Edwards.

"This feels good. This feels just like I imagined when I was talking to my kindergarten teacher."

Obama tells a joke.

On voting for a candidate because you think other people will like him — AKA The Kerry Mistake.

Back in July 2004, I blogged this email from my son John Althouse Cohen:
You wrote about how everyone watching the convention is imagining how the speeches will seem to someone else, even though it might be that none of those "someone elses" are actually watching the speeches. The same thing happened when Kerry won the primaries. Everyone was voting for him because they thought he would appeal to someone else. And those voters believed at the time that that was the politically savvy thing to do. But it was actually politically disastrous: if everyone was just voting for him because they thought someone else would like him, then NO ONE ACTUALLY LIKED HIM.

One problem is that if you're trying to choose the most "electable" person, I would imagine that you'd be likely to do it by process of elimination -- by ruling out all the candidates with obvious political liabilities. I think this is the number-one reason why Kerry won the primaries: he was the only candidate who didn't seem to have anything particularly wrong with him. Edwards was too inexperienced; Clark was a poor campaigner; Dean seemed kind of insane; Gephardt was too liberal; Lieberman was too conservative. So they choose the one candidate who has no qualities that would really make anyone hate him. The problem is that he also has no qualities that would really make anyone like him either.
Today, John reminds me of that old blog post and sends me this piece from The Plank by Jonathan Cohn:
I'll leave the strategic implications of tonight's outcome to the professional speculators on television. But, as a supporter of progressive causes, I'm struck by how different this feels from the 2004 Iowa race — when the late implosion of the front-runner (Howard Dean) handed the contest to a candidate (John Kerry) whom almost everybody understood to be a severely limited politician and about whom almost nobody was actually enthusiastic.

You can't say that about what just transpired. Barack Obama has a great many people excited about his candidacy – many of them new to the political process or, at least, new to the Democratic Party. He won this race not because the caucus-goers found him the least objectionable alternative, but because they found him the most appealing. They liked his speeches. They liked his ideas. They liked him.

John McCain, still doing conference calls with the bloggers.

I'm on the call right now, and he's saying he's going to keep connecting to the bloggers.

ADDED: There's a lot of talk about the town hall meeting he did in New Hampshire yesterday — and especially the role Joe Lieberman played alongside him there. McCain (and the blogger he is talking to) say, it was particularly effective when Lieberman said, referring to some attacks from Mitt Romney: "To say that John McCain ever supported amnesty for illegal immigrants is simply a lie." McCain effuses about a young girl who spoke at the meeting. I hope there's video of that somewhere.

MORE: He's pleased with the role he played in fending off the change in Senate rules over the confirmation of the new Supreme Court justices. "Can you find me one republican who now thinks we should have only 51% to confirm a judge?"

AND: The time for questions ends, and he's all "Oh, no, can I have one more?" He's asked how he can be the agent of change. He says he changed the Rumsfeld strategy. "I was criticized, because I was, quote, disloyal." So, he's the "most important agent of change." That is, he was instrumental in turning the Iraq war around. He cites many other achievements in the past. "Look at my record. And look at their record." He's stuck with his positions, and he's stuck with conservative principles. And that — somewhat paradoxically — is why he's best for change.

He requests yet one more question. It's about money. Does he have enough? "It's comin' in fine. And if we win in New Hampshire, it will trigger another flood." The questioner suggests that the Huckabee win will make people want to spend money opposing him. McCain responds by stressing that he won't go negative.

"I think we've got our bearings." He's been around a long time, he says, and because of that, what he cares about is the judgment of history. He starts to say "it's almost more important than winning," but he stops at "almost," restarts, and says "It's very important."

MORE: Some other bloggers who were on the phone call: Brainster ("Senator McCain... was upbeat and confident, and the callers were much more positive in their questions."), Matt Lewis ("I've probably been on a dozen, or so, calls with McCain, and I've never heard him this fired up, and this passionate about defending his positions."), Jennifer Rubin ("he sounded like he understands he has to win over the base of the party").

Ron Paul beat Rudy.

I can't stand Ron Paul, and Guiliani was kind of my favorite at one point, but somehow I find this news funny.

"Her tailspin began when he got off the airplane in Iowa and started running around making 3-hour speeches about himself..."

Rush Limbaugh (TiVo'd on Fox News at 3:19 AM, Central Time).

I've never seen two political earthquakes in one night.

David Brooks opines from Ottumwa, Iowa:
Whatever their political affiliations, Americans are going to feel good about the Obama victory, which is a story of youth, possibility and unity through diversity — the primordial themes of the American experience.

And Americans are not going to want to see this stopped. When an African-American man is leading a juggernaut to the White House, do you want to be the one to stand up and say No?...

On the Republican side, my message is: Be not afraid. Some people are going to tell you that Mike Huckabee’s victory last night in Iowa represents a triumph for the creationist crusaders. Wrong....
Huckabee won't be the nominee, Brooks assures us. The Huckabee earthquake will only shake up the Republicans and revitalize them in some way, before one of the more appropriate candidates takes over.

"The common demoninator here, other than a patent lack of qualifications for the presidency, is likeability."

Power Line comments on what happened in Iowa.

IN THE COMMENTS: George writes:

Is Huck the foretold anti-Christ?

A question for Hillary.

"[D]oes she really want to spend the rest of her viable political career on the national stage tearing down the man who is poised to become America's real first black president?"

"Class war is forbidden in the Republican playbook."

"But Huckabee, despite an inept last week of campaigning, has forced the Republican party to face the Wal-Mart shoppers that they have long taken advantage of. He’s here. He’s Gomer. And he’s not going away."

Writes Timothy Egan.

"And the hope they have unleashed is palpable."

Writes Andrew Sullivan, palpating hope.
Look at their names: Huckabee and Obama. Both came from nowhere - from Arkansas and Hawaii. Both campaigned as human beings, not programmed campaign robots with messages honed in focus groups. Both faced powerful and monied establishments in both parties. And both are running two variants on the same message: change, uniting America again, saying goodbye to the bitterness of the polarized past, representing ordinary voters against the professionals....

That hope is not just about their parties. It is about America. America's ability to move forward, to unite, to get past the bitter red-and-blue past. That's what the next generation wants. And they now seem motivated enough to get it.
Is everyone high on hope this morning?

Maybe the losers could have an antidote to hope theme. America, settle down. Don't get carried away with charisma. Running the country is not a rock concert.

ADDED: "Andrew Sullivan's site, not surprisingly, is completely drenched in a combination of Obamamania and Huckenfreude."

What the bloggers said.

Joe Gandelman has a nice roundup of what the bloggers said last night.

What happened to Hillary?

Here's something pollster John Zogby said back on December 14th:
I cringed when her chief strategist and my polling colleague, Mark Penn, wrote a 350-page memo several months ago declaring her to be inevitable as the next President of the United States. It was the wrong message for a number of reasons.

First, it raised expectations way too high, so she was left running against herself and, secondly, it sounded horribly arrogant, which I still think it was. Number three, it misunderstood—then and now—the genuine anger that voters feel and their willingness to take it out on some of the best-known candidates. Finally, one thing I know about Iowa voters is that they don't like to be told whom they're going to vote for. It is not over, but let me restate here what I've been suggesting in columns, speeches, and media appearances for a couple of months—Sen. Clinton could come in third in Iowa. Thus, arguably the best-known presidential candidate in American history has a ceiling of 25% to 29% in Iowa. Not likely to bring those numbers up, she has tried to go negative at Obama to bring his numbers down. It seems to be backfiring on her.
And now she has come in third. What can she do now? It seems she's already tried everything. After getting dirty with the insinuations about drugs and religion and after using her husband the ex-President as much as he could be used, she faces an opponent who has never gone negative and has acquired a new and powerful aura. We've already seen every possible permutation of Hillary, haven't we?

January 3, 2008

Watching the Iowa caucuses.

Are you watching? I'm hanging out with CNN, where Wolf Blitzer is talking about entrance polls. (Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in a tight race, with Edwards trailing.) They've got a camera at a 53-person caucus that's taking place in someone's living room in Persia, Iowa. It's folksy and boring. And every single person is white.

UPDATE #1: Now, we're wandering the hallways of a middle school, where there are are caucuses in the gym, the cafeteria, the library, and the auditorium. CNN is doing some terrific camera work with a journalist in the hallway, swaying about under a curved ceiling with a lighted trophy case in the background. They've got a nice Americana vibe going. White Americana.

UPDATE #2: It's a Norman Rockwell illustration. Don't you love these people? From that middle school hallway, we're hearing a description of the human drama of having to abandon the sticker of your first choice and stick on the second choice. Now, we're being told there are lots of women, older women. And 60% of the Republicans are evangelical Christians.

UPDATE #3: Bill Bennett offers commentary "as a former philosophy professor": "We've been watching pictures out of Kenya, of people with machetes killing each other, watching pictures from Pakistan, the Bhutto thing. People like to make fun of Iowa, but there they are, in their homes, you know, welcoming each other and talking. There's no violence. There's no killing. There's no imposition of will. It's a great country. It's a great system. An incredible thing."

UPDATE #4: "It's a clash of generations of epic proportions." 17 to 29 year olds are 57% for Obama, 11% for Clinton. With the over 65 voters, Clinton is at 45% and Obama at 17%.

UPDATE #5: CNN projects Huckabee as the winner of the Republican caucuses. "A dramatic, dramatic development... A huge win... " says Blitzer.

UPDATE #6: Maybe I should be watching Fox. I see from the NYT blog that Romney just conceded on Fox.

UPDATE #7: "Did you want to knock his teeth out?" Chris Wallace asks Huckabee's campaign chairman Ed Rollins, referring to this story. Wallace also asked him about this Town Hall blog that reports an evil conversation of his that was overheard. Rollins admits it all but says it was a private conversation with his wife. Rollins has an insanely nasty edge that's totally at odds with Huckabee's image. This is how he acts when he's just won a big victory? The hell? From that Town Hall blog: "He distinctly talked about going negative in South Carolina and told someone on the phone to 'put some good in there if you have to, with the bad. Do what you gotta do.'"

UPDATE #8: Fox declares Obama the winner of the Democratic caucuses.

UPDATE #9: CNN declares Obama the victor too.

UPDATE #10: Juan Williams: "For a black man to win... astounding... historic... a 95% white state..."

UPDATE #11: I'm leaning toward Fox now. Bill Kristol, Fred Barnes, and Juan Williams are better commentators than the group over on CNN (led by Bill Bennett).

UPDATE #12: Giuliani on Fox, talking to Sean Hannity and Alan Colmes. How to not seem irrelevant? The words "Tested. Ready. Now." appear on the backdrop screen behind Giuliani's glistening pate. Colmes is badgering him about various policies and scandals. Not enough about the amazing Huckabee.

UPDATE #13: It's John Edwards. "The status quo lost, and change won. And now, we move on..." He's almost claiming Obama's victory as his own.

UPDATE #14: Hillary speaks. Thanks for voting ... for a Democrat....

UPDATE #15: Dodd drops out. Do we even care if he endorses someone?

UPDATE #16: Huckabee speaks. With Chuck Norris at his shoulder. "A new day in American politics." The banner behind him reads: "I like Mike." We need to be more concerned "about going up" — he says, pointing heavenward — and not just to the left or right.

UPDATE: #17: Finally, Barack Obama. "To end the political strategy that's been all about division, and instead make it about addition. To build a coalition...."

UPDATE #18: Biden drops out.

UPDATE #19: What a night! It feels historic, doesn't it? Not just for the reason stated by Juan Williams (see update #10), but because the old, predictable candidates were upset, upset by 2 fresh, new individuals who, it seems, invented themselves and succeeded by revealing what they were to us.

"Half the fun of working in the entrance area at the Mansion is that you got to play a character of your own devising."

"You could put a silly or sinister spin on the butler or the maid. It was all up to you. But now with this official script and the new blocking, that's all going to change. It won't be nearly as fun as it used to be to work at the [Haunted] Mansion."

Must everything get less fun?

Mike Huckabee's attack ad runs anyway.

After all that.

Click here for the video.


... celebaby.

"Ice, buses, John Edwards, coffee shops, ethanol, farmers, ice, darkness…"

"... is it any wonder the national press corps is having a group nervous breakdown in Iowa?"

Law professors and their paper.

Eugene Volokh passes along a question from a law review editor asking whether lawprofs would accept it if the law reviews banned the submission of articles in paper form and required the use of the electronic submission service.

Apparently, law professors think there is a slight chance that the paper copy will get more of a look, and however small it is, it's worth going to a lot of extra trouble and expense.

The question shouldn't be why to the lawprofs cling to it, but how can we get ourselves to give it up. I suggest shaming: It's bad for the environment. You're contributing to global warming. If you keep printing and mailing unnecessary paper, you lack the moral authority you need to indoctrinate young people.

And now that I have your attention, my fellow lawprofs, take note that you should also stop sending out reprints of your articles. And no more of those ridiculous brochures about the glorious achievements of your law school.

How were Bill and Hillary Clinton different — as law professors?

I've been reading Carl Bernstein's book "A Woman in Charge: The Life of Hillary Rodham Clinton," and this comparison of the two as law professors caught my eye. (Had you forgotten that they both taught at the University of Arkansas Law School?)
Hillary's style was confident, aggressive, take-charge, and much more structured than Bill's. "All business," a colleague said. Her questions to students were tough and demanding. Bill almost never put his students on the spot; rather, he maintained an easy dialogue with them. His conversational approach often gave students the run of the class, and he let them filibuster.

"If you were unprepared, she would rip you pretty good, but not in an unfair way," recalled Woody Bassett, who became good friends of both, and worked in many Clinton political campaigns. "She made you think. She challenged you. If she asked you a question about a case and you gave an answer, well then — here comes another question. Whereas in Bill Clinton's classes, it was much more laid-back." In class Hillary never mentioned her work on the impeachment inquiry."
(Hmmm... she never mentions her work on the Nixon impeachment inquiry these days either. I wonder why.)
Bill was far more open about discussing political issues with his students, whether Nixon's impeachment or Roe v. Wade, on which he spent several weeks. The subject of his constitutional law course more naturally lent itself to political questions than Hillary's.
(She taught criminal law, criminal procedure, and trial advocacy.)
He was regarded as the easiest grader in the law school. Hillary's exams were tough, and her grading commensurate with what she expected law students to know. There was little doubt that she was the better teacher, possessed with "unusual ability to absorb a huge amount of facts and boil them down to the bottom line," Bassett thought. Clinton was more likely to go at a subject in a circular way, looking at it from every angle and sometimes never coming to a conclusion. But usually his was the more interesting class, because of the passion and knowledge with which he addressed legal questions related to everyday events.
If you were going to be a law professor, which model would you choose, Bill or Hillary? Or is some blend of the two preferable? Assume you'd have to be the Bill-type professor or the Hillary — no blends! Which would you try to be? Is your choice based on what you think is better? What is easier? What will make you more popular? Or is it dictated by your ingrained personality?

If the passage above were all you knew about two individuals, which one would you think would be better suited to the presidency? Or would some blend of the two be preferable?

(Althouse's questions to readers are tough and demanding. Feel free to answer them, at the risk of getting more questions, or to go at them in a circular way and perhaps never come to a conclusion. )

"He showed us that politics do not have to be harsh or overly partisan."

Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle pays tribute to our former governor, Lee Sherman Dreyfus, who died yesterday.
Dreyfus, who had been ill for some time, died Wednesday evening from "respiratory failure relative to a heart issue" at his home in Waukesha, his son Lee Dreyfus Jr. said this morning.

Dreyfus died sometime in the half-hour preceding the 10 o'clock news, his son said. His wife, Joyce, came in to ask him what channel he wanted to watch, and Dreyfus did not respond.

"I guess Al qaeda haven't figured out how to set up a facebook profile yet. I want Osama himself to message me his death threat, that'd be wicked."

Someone impersonates Benazir Bhutto's 19-year-old son Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Facebook and fools a lot of journalists:
[T]he author appears to have been an Internet prankster who calls himself Tonay, who chronicled the caper on a vulgarity-strewn bulletin board that tracks with the developments on the Facebook profile....

The jocular quotes on Islam mentioned... and references to “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” apparently had no point aside from sparking laughs from other bulletin board users searching the Web for more articles citing the Facebook page.

They also urged Tonay to “cause as much mayhem as you can before the world finds out! Hurry!!!”...

Of course, it is against Facebook policy to post phony profiles...
I know. I got a fake page using my name taken down a while ago. Anyway, Facebook has now removied this, but not before it caused havoc. Don't you think the idea that it was real and its contents will remain alive on the internet? If Bilawal had an embarrassing page, don't you think it would have been taken down with assertions that it was fake?

Now, let's check out that "vulgarity-strewn bulletin board." You can get a good sense of how "pranksters" see themselves — which is, with little understanding of the harm they might do. It's just a big joke and anyone who falls for it is an idiot.
Gimme some ideas for what I should do! I'll change my religious views from 'muslim' to 'christian' soon. And join the group called 'Benazir Bhuto is sexy'. Couple of islamic extremists poked me too, scary...

I need to write a single response which I can send back to all the letters of condolence. Something sad, poignant, and then becoming weird and disturbing....

WOW, someone who works in the tv industry (I listed my fave tv shows as The WestWing, Simps, XF, Curb, awfultruth n bufffy) sent me this...

"I noticed some of your favorite programs are programs I have worked on... which was why I mentioned my profession. If there is anything I can do, autographs or something, let me know?"

The only one of those shows set in New York is The Awful Truth, so maybe she knows Michael Moore. Awesome, I'll see if I can get her to post his tits...

Maybe it's the ego talking but I'm fairly confident I can start rioting that'd kill thousands.

I mean, I know exactly what to say, how to say it and everything...it's just my annoying conscience stopping me. For fucks sake....

So far I got 1149 messages and about 2100 friend requests. No death threats so far, but then I guess Al qaeda haven't figured out how to set up a facebook profile yet. I want Osama himself to message me his death threat, that'd be wicked.

That was twizzled.

Everything was a little off last night on "Project Runway." It was obvious to anyone with experience scrutinizing reality show editing that Jillian — the designer who made a bodice and skirt out of Twizzlers — was not in danger of losing — as they tried to make you think — but that she was going to end up triumphing. (It was just like Austin and the corn husks in Season 1.) But then she didn't win. Using materials scavenged from the Hershey store, she was the only one who saw fit to make her clothes out of food. Yet she came in second. At least first went to one of the designers who used candy wrappers as fabric and not one of the many idiots who tried to make it easy by using cloth (disgusting cloth ripped from novelty pillows). And then they kicked out Elisa and not Sweet P. Why? Because she turned the candy theme macabre. But you could her demise coming — you who have experience scrutinizing reality show editing — because they chose this episode to let us in on her tragic background — a Porsche crashed into her head and split it open 4 inches (which may explain a good bit of her elfin eccentricity).

"Since when is it considered unprofessional for a journalist to take a drink? "

Jack Shafer is nostalgic for boozy reporters.

Are you all atwitter with excitement over the Iowa caucuses?

Or are you mostly just excited to get closer to the point where we don't have to hear about them anymore? Based on talking to ... one person... I think excitement arises in proportion to support for an individual candidate. I am not for or even against any particular candidate, and I therefore find myself coolly observing the scene with uncanny equanimity. I await the news of what Iowans think is best for us. I would like to thank Iowa. For everything. For all the corn. For the best rest stops on the interstate highway system. And for listening endlessly to politicians so we don't have to.

Meanwhile, if you feel like voting, it's your last day to vote for me here [no, actually it's too late], which I'm reminded of by reading this, where there happens to be a little poll where you can toss me a teentsy vote if you're so inclined and you've got nothing better to do while waiting for Iowa to go through its little ritual.

And, really, what's with Christopher Hitchens gettting so pissy about it?
It's only when you read an honest reporter like Dan Balz that you appreciate the depth and extent of the fraud that is being practiced on us all. "In a primary," as he put it, "voters quietly fill out their ballots and leave. In the caucuses, they are required to come and stay for several hours, and there are no secret ballots. In the presence of friends, neighbors and occasionally strangers, Iowa Democrats vote with their feet, by raising their hands and moving to different parts of the room to signify their support for one candidate or another. … [F]or Democrats, it is not a one-person, one-vote system. … Inducements are allowed; bribes are not." One has to love that last sentence.
Oh, the horror, that people should have to interact with each other in the flesh instead of pushing a button off by themselves. What is the fraud? That they do exactly what they say they do: caucus? Is it undemocratic? Hasn't Iowa democratically chosen to do things this way? Is it wrong that we focus on one state at a time? What could be more American (or, I should say, United Statesian)?

Frankly, it seems that Hitchens is mostly irked that the system — whatever it is — worked out well for Mike Huckabee.
[T]he rest of the United States is a passive spectator while about half of 45 percent of 85,000 or so Republican caucus voters promote a provincial ignoramus and anti-Darwinian to the coveted status of "front-runner" or at least "contender."...

It is impossible that the Republican Party could be saddled with a clown like Huckabee if there were a serious primary in Iowa, let alone if the process were kicked off in Chicago or Los Angeles or Atlanta.

January 2, 2008

A vlog for the day after New Year's, the day before the Iowa caucuses.

Vlog alert.

I think I'll make a little vlog at about 5 Central Time. At this point, however, I have nothing to say and need inspiration. So if you can think up some questions other than who's going to win the Iowa caucuses or what New Year's resolutions did you make — let me know.

Has this page been loading slowly for you?

I believe I've solved the problem.

"I don't know who that actress is or how much Clinton is paying her to 'live' with her...."

"... but I'll take my Hillary straight-up smart, ambitious, and cutthroat, thank you very much. I want the woman who makes Republicans cry at night and strikes fear into the hearts of conservative children everywhere, not this phony who drinks coffee and looks at old photos (Hillary scrapbooking?) in the kitchen, of all rooms, with her 'mom.' Feh."

LOL. Sacha Zimmerman hilariously reviews the candidates' ads.

On Obama:
The Harvard Law impresario [Laurence Tribe] is downright inspired by Obama, who could have "written his ticket on Wall Street," but decided instead to "devote [his brilliance] to the community." This is something I can relate to. I dropped out of law school at Georgetown--where I could have learned how to become a highly paid attorney--but decided instead to devote my genius to critiquing ad campaigns. You're welcome, America; you are welcome.

People are getting fat all over the world... but we have different ideas about why we're getting fat.

There's geographical variation. Some people blame the government. Some blame the food. Some take personal responsibility. Where? You might wonder — where are people most likely to cite lack of self-discipline for their chubbiness? Somehow it's the United States and Great Britain. I'm not sure what that means. At first, I thought, great. Seeing the failure in ourselves means that we believe we have the power to improve our situation. But then, it seemed to me that we're probably admitting our personal failings because we are less ashamed and less harshly moralistic toward ourselves. This isn't a step on the path toward improvement, but acceptance and generosity toward ourselves and our imperfections.

"To have the management of the mind is a great art, and it may be attained in a considerable degree by experience and habitual exercise."

Wrote Samuel Johnson, who, John Geirland writes in Smithsonian magazine, laid the groundwork for modern cognitive therapy.

"Let's just say that global warming deniers are now on a par with Holocaust deniers...."

John Hawkins collects 40 "obnoxious" quotes from 2007, including a few I don't remember seeing before, like that one from Ellen Goodman, some that are very familiar, and some that I don't agree are obnoxious.

"An apology for what? Apologizing because I said the government is a liar when they accused those guys to be supporting terrorism?"

Asked Fouah al-Farhan, "the first Saudi blogger to be detained by state security. "
The arrest created widespread anxiety among other Saudi bloggers and advocates....

“An incident like this has its effect,” [said Ahmad al-Omran, a blogger and a friend of Mr. Farhan.] “It’s intimidating to think you might be arrested for something on your blog. On the other hand, this means that these voices on the blogosphere are being heard. But it’s really sad that a blogger who is writing about important issues out in the open would get arrested, while there are extremists who call for violence and hate, and the government is not doing much.”

January 1, 2008

The view from my ice cage.

The View From My Ice Cage

"There are lots of things to enjoy, the countryside and beauty everywhere."

Just a thought from a woman who, with her twin sister, turns 100 this New Year's Day.

Betty Richards and Jenny Pelmore.

Did you know there is beauty everywhere?

"'Twas the Night Before Caucus: The Republicans."

Cool animation, with excellent caricatures of the candidates.

NOTE: I've disembedded the video, which was too slow-loading.

"Am I sorry I tried? Yes and no. Yes, because it accomplished little except to throw away the rest of my life."

"And, no, I'm not sorry I tried, because at the time it seemed a correct expression of my anger."

Said Sara Jane Moore at her sentencing in 1976. The woman who tried to assassinate President Gerald Ford was paroled yesterday, in accordance with a federal law — not applicable to crimes committed after Oct. 31, 1987 — that requires parole after 30 years of good behavior.

Does this mean Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme is due for release? Fromme too received a life sentence after attempting to assassinate Gerald Ford. Fromme was a devotee of Charles Manson, and she went first. Moore — a radical accountant who volunteered to do bookkeeping for the Symbionese Liberation Army — followed on 3 weeks later.

Great photo at Drudge right now.

It says so much:

the election is razor close...

Huckabee faces a close shave in more ways than one...

and he needs close shaves to stave off his resemblance to Nixon...

Huckabee has a monobrow which he controls not with metrosexual waxing but manly straight-razoring...

Matt Drudge wants us to think about "Un Chien Andalou."

ADDED: Yes, and think about "Sweeney Todd" too.

AND: Uncle Jimbo, in the comments, convinces me that the razor is not being used between the eyebrows.

What's so bad about negative advertising?

Since Mike Huckabee wanted to rope everyone into showing his negative ad against Mitt Romney, I'm going to show Mitt Romney's negative ad against Mike Huckabee:

Now, what's wrong with doing that? I think it's better than these empty feelgood ads about hope and character and experience. Facts are stated. It's substantive. Don't we want substance? If the facts are wrong or distorted or incomplete, there will be plenty of talk about it. And we'll be talking about substance.

The main thing that troubles me about this ad — and it was true of Huckabee's anti-Romney ad — is that the music tries too hard to manipulate us into thinking these facts are really horrible. Like in Huckabee's ad, there's a list of terrible things about Romney, and one is: "No executions." And the music is all: He killed a guy with his bare hands and he wants to kill you too.

I'm not going to run this negative ad... here, watch it.

Everyone's laughing — including the reporters in the room — over Mike Huckabee's "Enough Is Enough" news conference in which he said he'd pulled a negative ad campaign and then showed the ad, presumably intending that the reporters report both his loftiness and the ad. Huckabee is a bit of a neophyte, and he hasn't quite worked out exactly how dumb we are.

Okay, so they're not that dumb...

ADDED: Video:

Happy New Year! Let's hope it's a good one.

I've decided I'm going to be good. Really! You should see the post I was just in the middle of writing. I was going to post it and then shame myself for being so bad as to post it — on New Year's Day no less. Then, I decided I am going to be good. Why step into the gutter on Day 1 just because you see a juicy glob of raw blog material there. Who is that going to help? How will that improve the world?

IN THE COMMENTS: Looks like everyone wants me to be bad. Best advice, from EnigmatiCore:
Follow Huckabee's lead. Update this post to include what you were going to post, to prove to us that it existed and to demonstrate what you won't be posting in order to be good.

December 31, 2007

The 2007 posts-of-the-month.

January: C'mon, guys, wear leggings!

February: That polar-bears-on-the-melting-ice-cap photo.

March: I'm going to watch "An Inconvenient Truth."

April: Let's take a look at that 10 Commandments monument.

May. Caricature and handwritten notes from the 7th Circuit conference.

June: Why the judge cried about the pants.

July: Ingmar Bergman has died.

August: Just a few museum photos.

September: About Justice Kennedy's garish carpet and the way his desk is wedged in a corner.

October: Madison and New York/young and old.

November: A vlog about Thanksgiving squirrel, Mancow, guns, law school, commenters, and Madison versus New York.

December: I get pissed off at TNR.

Blogging the presidential campaign — month by month, 2007.

January: Analyzing the text of Hillary Clinton's announcement.

February: "Wearing an overcoat but gloveless on a frigid morning, Mr. Obama invoked a speech Lincoln gave here..."

March: "And people are going to have to take better care of themselves. We cannot afford all the illness that folks are bringing on themselves."

April: Is Obama a gasbag?

May: Chris Wallace asks Giuliani about his statement that it's "okay" if Roe is overruled and "okay" if it's not — but doesn't push him on his answer.

June: Let's take a closer look at Bill's carrot and Hillary's onion ring.

July: Giuliani and race.

August: You people are soooo invisible. And you will always be invisible. Without me.

September: The world, tired of hating America, wants Hillary to win.

October: Like George Bush, Hillary Clinton "presides over an office of intense and focused workaholics, protective of their patron and wary of outsiders."

November: "Hnh, Biden stomps some dirt on Robert Bork's grave."

December: "It said my house is pink. I would not have a pink house, I assure you."

Here's where I pick out all my favorite quotes from the things I've collected on this blog over the past year.

"I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy." Joe Biden on Barack Obama.

"And to say that we are going to feed more American young men and women into that grinder, put them in the middle of a tribal, sectarian civil war, is not going to fix the problem...." Chuck Hagel, sure the surge would fail.

"I am self-involved, mercurial and comfortable eating dinners of frozen waffles in my underpants."

"Is Coulter truly oblivious to her gender weirdness? It's no coincidence that words like 'tranny' and transvestite' clog the anti-Coulter blogs." Camille Paglia, getting ugly.

"I'm pretty much going to stay out of it until the course — the case has finally run its final — the course it's going to take." President Bush, declining to say if he'll pardon Scooter Libby.

"Since the slaughter raised no real issues, it was a blank slate on which anyone could doodle." Christopher Hitchens on the Virginia Tech Massacre.

''He still didn't put the butter up... I was like, 'You're just asking for it, you know I'm giving a speech. Why don't you just put the butter up?''' Michelle Obama.

"An aging roué, who is almost too facile, and a grimly ambitious feminist lawyer, with a tough but conventional mind." Noemie Emery -- in The Weekly Standard -- on Bill and Hillary Clinton.

"We believe bottled water has become less about the physical act of hydration and more about being a companion to people."

"We like the United States of America, but we do not like your Waschbaeren!"

"I suggest to you with respect, Your Honor, that you're a few French Fries short of a Happy Meal..."

"If you don't like your life, change it." Something simple but profound that Laurence Olivier once said, noted on the 100th anniversary of his birth.

"Maybe his solution will be to get out his small varmint gun and drive those Guatemalans off his lawn." Something hilarious John McCain said about Mitt Romney.

"I will follow him to the gates of hell." "You sure wouldn't want to be where Saddam Hussein is, where we helped put him." Hell talk from John McCain and Rudy Giuliani.

"Teachers taught, and students listened. Teachers commanded, and students obeyed." Justice Clarence Thomas.

"I believe that Ann intentionally keeps her camera focused on the books behind her... so that she is filmed in a flattering soft focus." Some ADS sufferer on Bloggingheads.

"Are you going to convict Jack Bauer?" Justice Antonin Scalia.

"Gerald began - but was interrupted by a piercing whistle which cost him ten percent of his hearing permanently as it did everyone else in a ten-mile radius of the eruption, not that it mattered much because for them ’permanently’ meant the next ten minutes or so until buried by searing lava or suffocated by choking ash - to pee." Winner of the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest.

"I wallowed in a morass of general and specific dislike and pity for most people but me especially..." Young Hillary Clinton.

"Clinton's low-cut shirt simply reflected a few centimeters of sartorial miscalculation..." Robin Givhan.

"He quickly matched my urgency in the clothes-removal efforts and we were naked and happy in no time." Al Gore's daughter writes a novel.

"We are 45 doctors and we are determined to undertake jihad and take the battle inside America."

"Jesus has a very special love for you. As for me, the silence and the emptiness is so great that I look and do not see, listen and do not hear." Mother Theresa.

"I will on no account vote for a smirking hick like Mike Huckabee, who is an unusually stupid primate...."

"He knows enough to know he's not descended from apes!"

"So here’s the rule. You never repeat right wing talking points to attack your own, ever. You never enter that echo chamber as a participant. Ever. You never give them a hammer to beat the left with. Just. Don’t. Do. It." Jane Hamsher tells Elizabeth Edwards what to do.

"What politics has become requires a level of tolerance for triviality and artifice and nonsense that I have found in short supply." A quote from it's-easy-to-guess-who that I wrote 10 questions about.

"He's typing and drinking and threatening to 'shave Paul Krugman with a broken bottle.'" Maureen Dowd, describing Stephen Colbert as he's writing a guest column for her.

"Si te gusta el sexo oral, vote por Caragol por consejal." My favorite foreign language quote of the year.

"And another thing - the crotch, down where your nuts hang - is always a little too tight, so when you make them up, give me an inch that I can let out there, uh because they cut me, it's just like riding a wire fence. These are almost, these are the best I've had anywhere in the United States. But, uh when I gain a little weight they cut me under there. So, leave me , you never do have much of margin there. See if you can't leave me an inch from where the zipper (burps) ends, round, under my, back to my bunghole, so I can let it out there if I need to." LBJ, ordering pants.

"The rage he harbors raises questions about whether he can sit as an impartial judge in many of the cases the Supreme Court hears." New York Times editorial about Clarence Thomas.

"It strikes me as a self-hurt book." Jon Stewart on Chris Matthews' self-help book.

"Carelessness. I lost my one true love. I started drinking. The first thing I know, I'm in a card game. Then I'm in a crap game. I wake up in a pool hall. Then this big Mexican lady drags me off the table, takes me to Philadelphia. She leaves me alone in her house, and it burns down. I wind up in Phoenix. I get a job as a Chinaman. I start working in a dime store, and move in with a 13-year-old girl. Then this big Mexican lady from Philadelphia comes in and burns the house down. I go down to Dallas. I get a job as a 'before' in a Charles Atlas 'before and after' ad. I move in with a delivery boy who can cook fantastic chili and hot dogs. Then this 13-year-old girl from Phoenix comes and burns the house down. The delivery boy — he ain't so mild: He gives her the knife, and the next thing I know I'm in Omaha. It's so cold there, by this time I'm robbing my own bicycles and frying my own fish. I stumble onto some luck and get a job as a carburetor out at the hot-rod races every Thursday night. I move in with a high school teacher who also does a little plumbing on the side, who ain't much to look at, but who's built a special kind of refrigerator that can turn newspaper into lettuce. Everything's going good until that delivery boy shows up and tries to knife me. Needless to say, he burned the house down, and I hit the road. The first guy that picked me up asked me if I wanted to be a star. What could I say?" Bob Dylan.

"I knew this was no fetish-laden intrigue with a woman of another race, but a gift from God." Clarence Thomas, on meeting his second wife.

"I'd done what I thought was right, and I took heart from George Benson: I decided long ago, never to walk in anyone's shadows/If I fail, if I succeed/At least I live as I believe/No matter what they take from me/They can't take away my dignity." Clarence Thomas, steeling himself by listening, over and over, to "The Greatest Love of All."

"What I wanted was for everyone — the government, the racists, the activists, the students, even Daddy — to leave me alone so that I could finally start thinking for myself." Clarence Thomas describing how he felt after reading Ayn Rand.

"He insisted that we bathe in what he called a 'teaspoon' of water, using laundry detergent instead of soap. 'Waste not, want not,' he repeatedly warned us. We weren't allowed to use towels to dry ourselves, either, since Daddy thought washcloths were good enough to get us dry (as well as being easier to launder than towels). Whenever he thought we hadn't gotten ourselves clean enough, he finished the job himself, a terrifying experience that we did everything we could to avoid." Clarence Thomas, on the baths of childhood.

"Sen. Clinton is claiming basically the entire eight years of the Clinton presidency as her own, except for the stuff that didn't work out, in which case she says she has nothing to do with it." Barack Obama.

"And I would never spend my money on a Chinese girl skeleton. That would be crossing the line. It's a Chinese boy, for the record." Marilyn Manson.

"Maybe yellow blotches, wrinkles, and phantom fetuses really get a pubescent neotenic mole salamander in the mood for love." Go Fug Yourself.

"At the moment, Giuliani and fellow moderate Mitt Romney are attacking each other for being insufficiently Tancredo-esque." David Brooks.

"I did shift from being against the death penalty to thinking that if it has a significant deterrent effect it’s probably justified." Cass Sunstein.

"Blogs are walking up to legal scholarship and slapping it in the face. Blogs say to legal scholarship: 'How dare you! Evolve or Die!'" From the Bloggership Symposium.

"If you don't pass universal health care by July of 2009... I'm going to use my power as president to take your health care away from you." John Edwards, megalomaniacally.

"It's basically akin to someone sitting on their couch and chewing up food and spitting it all over the floor and the walls and the furniture month after month until it piles up and congeals and grows into mold, turning the room into a repulsive, health-threatening mess." Bad Simile of the Year, from Glenn Greenwald.

"Oh gee, I can't figure out what I think. Don't pick on me by asking that question! That's a gotcha question!" Rudy Giuliani spoofs Hillary Clinton.

"Everything I'm saying here is my wife's position, not just mine." Bill Clinton, remembering to talk not only about himself.

"I'm not doin' hand shows today." Fred Thompson.

"Well, Hillary, I'm looking forward to you advising me as well."


Happy Year's End.

I hope you had a good year. If not, it's over anyway.

I thought I'd mark the occasion with three posts gathered from the things I've collected in this giant archive over the last 12 months.

The first one will have a post from each month. Maybe it's what I consider the best post of the month, or maybe it's just one post from the month that I feel like bringing up again at year's end.

The second post consists of one post from each month about the presidential campaign. I've excluded all the debate simulblogging, because who wants to read those again and because the debates are fairly easy to remember and I thought it would be interesting to bring up some things that may have slipped away.

The third post is just all my favorite quotes from the many quotes I've copied out here over the course of the year.

So hang on a minute. I'm almost ready to put these up.

December 30, 2007

I wave good-bye to a beautiful year.


Just a picture from back in April, which I'm seeing tonight as a frantically survey the past 12 months of posts to put together 3 year-end posts for tomorrow.

"What one's sin is, means it's missing the mark. It's missing the bull's eye, the perfect point."

Mike Huckabee explains what he means when he says that gay people who do not abstain from sex are sinners. From today's "Meet the Press":
MR. RUSSERT: This, this is what you did say about homosexuality: "I feel homosexuality is an aberrant, unnatural and sinful lifestyle." That's millions of Americans.

GOV. HUCKABEE: Tim, understand, when a Christian speaks of sin, a Christian says all of us are sinners. I'm a sinner, everybody's a sinner. What one's sin is, means it's missing the mark. It's missing the bull's eye, the perfect point. I miss it every day; we all do. The perfection of God is seen in a marriage in which one man, one woman live together as a couple committed to each other as life partners. Now, even married couples don't do that perfectly, so sin is not some act of equating people with being murderers or rapists...

MR. RUSSERT: But when you say aberrant or unnatural, do you believe you're born gay or you choose to be gay?

GOV. HUCKABEE: I don't know whether people are born that way. People who are gay say that they're born that way. But one thing I know, that the behavior one practices is a choice. We may have certain tendencies, but how we behave and how we carry out our behavior--but the important issue that I want to address, because I think when you bring up the faith question, Tim, I've been asked more about my faith than any person running for president. I'm OK with that. I hope I've answered these questions very candidly and very honestly. I think it's important for us to talk about it. But the most important thing is to find out, does our faith influence our public policy and how? I've never tried to rewrite science textbooks. I've never tried to come out with some way of imposing a doctrinaire Christian perspective in a way that is really against the Constitution. I've never done that.

MR. RUSSERT: But you said you would ban all abortions.

GOV. HUCKABEE: Well, that's not just because I'm a Christian, that's because I'm an American. Our founding fathers said that we're all created equal. I think every person has intrinsic worth and value...

MR. RUSSERT: But many Americans believe that that would be, that would be you imposing your faith belief...

GOV. HUCKABEE: But, no. It's not a faith belief. It's deeper than that. It's a human belief. It goes to the heart of who we are as a civilization....
If he's really not going to import his religious beliefs into law — and you may not be willing to believe that, but assuming he's not — do you really care if the President thinks you're a sinner? I mean, assuming he's kindly and mellow about it. I wouldn't want a President who seethed and obsessed about it inordinately, mainly because I prefer an unnutty President. But don't most religious folk perceive lots of sin out there in the world? Why pick on Huckabee for being honest about it? At least we get to see more of how he feels about sin and sinners, and it looks kindly and mellow enough to me.

ADDED: Video removed, but you can watch it here.

Remembering the carrots.

After calling that last episode with me "The Forgotten Carrots Edition," Bloggingheads now has the explanation at the top of the right sidebar:
A few months ago, Ann Althouse's spiel about carrots in a Hillary campaign ad rocked the blogosphere. Steve Kaus felt the shockwaves; he remarked on the issue in a diavlog with Bob Wright. But now Steve has forgotten about the carrots entirely.Or has he? Is that a glint of recognition in his eye?
He claims — here in my comments section — that he only remembered later. But since I'm big on seeing things in video and standing by my observations, I really shouldn't point that out.

ADDED: To continue the interpretation of video, watch Bob Wright — on the left in video 2 — after he says "And I'm not sure I've ever thought of carrots that way." Has he? Is that a glint of recognition in his eye?

UPDATE: I've removed the embedded video, which seemed to be causing a lot of problems with the page loading. I've put in links, so you can still see the video if you want.

"Is Gen. Petraeus Killing Kos?"

"Was the left-wing blogosphere always mainly about Iraq?... Maybe the whole blogosphere was about Iraq!"

Traffic problems — noted by Mickey Kaus.

Hitting a blog is an emotional expression, and some blogs attract readers by being the place it feels good to hit when you are charged up about something that is happening in the world. A mutually dependent relationship develops as the blog must satisfy your emotional needs without curing the distress that made you hit it in the first place.

ADDED: Actually, the Kos traffic looks like a pretty stable plateau to me.

We never dreamed that a little girl might lie to get something she wanted.

The store Club Libby Lu gave a big prize — a trip for 4 to a Hannah Montana concert — to a 6-year-old girl for writing an essay that began: "My daddy died this year in Iraq." Now, the girl and her mother are being publicly humiliated because, apparently, there is no dead soldier dad.

Well, of course, it was bad of the little girl to lie, but little kids lie. Making a spectacle out of disgracing a 6-year-old is disgraceful. After failing to check the very checkable fact that made the company think of her essay as the best, it should have quietly resolved the matter with the girl's family — probably by sending her on the trip anyway — and given the prize — the honor of winning plus the trip — to someone else.

"Life spans measured in years don’t take into account how fast we live them."

Bernard Holland says, as he looks at the lives of great composers:
Composing at the speed of life (forgive me), Schubert at 31 was like any normal musical genius at 65....

Schubert was ill [in 1827-1828], probably with venereal disease, and knew it. He was also eaten up by too much drinking. Given the time spent sleeping, taking meals, visiting friends and going to concerts, it is a puzzle how Schubert found time to copy all this music out, much less think up what to write. Forty composer-years were lived in about one and a half....

On the other hand, what more would Chopin have produced had his Paris doctors had the anti-consumption drugs that have since rendered tuberculosis sanitariums nearly obsolete?...

Sometimes the spirit outlives the body that houses it. Haydn in old age, broken and exhausted by “The Creation” and “The Seasons,” said musical ideas assaulted him physically when he no longer had the strength to act on them.
Most of us rely on the belief that we will live a long time, and we fail to accomplish things quickly in the energy of youth. There's plenty of time later. But maybe there isn't, or maybe there is, but you won't do much with it. You'll have a different sort of body and mind when you're older, and it may not do those things the younger you had planned for it.

And don't you wish you could be like Haydn, so beset by your own creativity that you feel your ideas are physically assaulting you? It would be sad if you reached the point where you couldn't do anything about those ideas, but how wonderful to know, even as you approached death, that the full force of creativity still lived in you. It is so much more likely that you will feel well enough but find nothing inside you that demands your artistic work.

"Does he have sex appeal?... Can you smell the English leather on this guy?"

"Does he have sex appeal? . . . Can you smell the English leather on this guy, the Aqua Velva, the sort of mature man's shaving cream, or whatever, you know, after he shaved? Do you smell that sort of, a little bit of cigar smoke?" "

So said Chris Matthews about Fred Thompson — from a list of quotes of the year assembled by Glenn Greenwald, who editorializes that Matthews is "fantasizing about the pleasing, manly body smells of Fred Thompson." Greenwald's unnumbered list is hit and miss, but I'm amused by the manifestations of male enthusiasm for manly males.
"What's appealing about Rudy Giuliani is not the generous side, what's appealing about him is the tough cop side.
Right. You just wait until daddy gets home.
Yes, that part...
That Daddy.
... of the daddy. It's the tough cop side, so...
Yes. Yes" --
Chris Matthews and Howard Fineman, breathlessly sharing their excitement over the firmness of their Daddy, Rudy Giuliani.

He has "chiseled-out-of-granite features, a full, dark head of hair going a distinguished gray at the temples, and a barrel chest . . . . and has shoulders you could land a 737 on" --
Roger Simon, The Politico's chief political columnist, enthusiastically admiring numerous parts of Mitt Romney's body.

IN THE COMMENTS: Palladian explains fragrances for men (and he really knows what he's talking about).

"Supporting anyone except your dad for President when your dad is running for President. Bad idea, Giuliani kiddies."

Bad ideas of 2007 — from the Daily News. That's #3 of 25.