JIM LEACH IS MAKING SENSE. Turns out the moderate Iowa Republican has a bunch of stuff to say that, as Heather Hurlburt observes, "many Democrats, and nearly all Republicans, are either afraid to say or not thinking hard enough about." The thing about Leach, though, is that I've heard him say a number of smart things over the past several years, but have never really seen him do anything about them.
MARRIAGE VERSUS DEATH BY TERROR. The airwaves and newsstands are full of Newsweek magazine�s retraction of its 1986 prediction that a mature single woman�s chances of getting married were the same as her being killed by a terrorist. Relax, girls, Newsweek is �Rethinking the Marriage Crunch,� and that worst of all fates, single female life, can mostly be avoided. Even if you had the temerity to acquire a college degree.
SHOCKING. I've got to give a hand to John Derbyshire's editors at the New English Review, who published the piece Matt cites. The gap in quality between this piece and the writings of someone with the same name and professional history at National Review's The Corner could serve as a case study on the dangers of turning to blogging when you should really just be writing articles, and of the difference between carefully constructed thoughts and tossed off asides. Derbyshire actually deserves to be quoted at some length here, and not just because of his disagreement with Ramesh Ponnuru.
MORE CRAZY ZINSMEISTER ANTICS.Gregspots a falsehood in the bio of new Bush domestic policy chief and all-around eccentric Karl Zinsmeister. The New York Sunpicks up the story and the White House responds.
MORE PARTY OF DEATH. The liberal media's sinister conspiracy of silence regarding Ramesh Ponnuru's Party of Death continues apace, but diehard rightwinger John Derbyshire got a review copy and is even less impressed than Peter Berkowitzwas.
ANOTHER BORING POST ABOUT IRAQ. After reading it, Al Gore's actual statement on Iraq strikes me as significantly more open-minded and conciliatory than Garance's gloss below or the one ABC News gave to it made it sound. By which I mean that, as a member of the anti-war base, I find Gore's take on this to be annoying and something I hope he'll change his mind about, while I've found, say, Hillary Clinton's comments to be more along the lines of infuriating.
GORE SHOWS HIS ROOTS.ViaMickey Kaus, Al Gore raised questions about setting a deadline for withdrawing from Iraq during his This Week appearance yesterday. Some will say that this puts Gore to the right of likely '08 presidential contenders John Kerry, Russ Feingold, and, after his recent comments, perhaps even Evan Bayh, but I'd disagree. Gore has always been a sensible centrist, and his opposition to the invasion of Iraq was a manifestation of his steady understanding of the dangers of pre-emptive war at a time when too many people were seduced by the chest-thumping and martial rhetoric of the right, and not of any native dovishness.
DEMOCRATS 'O6: CATCH THE 'BETTERNESS.' It looks like Harry Reid has begun ending his e-mails with the Democrats' dreaded 2006 catchphrase: "Together, America can do better." Without some better wordsmiths, though, the Democrats apparently can't. I'm reminded of Geoffrey Numberg's riff on the line from his forthcoming book, Talking Right:
KRISTOL ON HADITHA.This article is rather repugnant, but I think it contains a pearl of accidental wisdom: "Liberals may want to win a war on terror without fighting, and are shocked that in a war, crimes and abuses occur. But here's the hard, Trumanesque truth: In war, terrible things happen, including crimes and abuses and cover-ups."
THE DISTRIBUTION'S THE THING.Conservativespuzzling over this weekend's New York Timesop-ed on "Freakoutanomics" would be well-advised to stop focusing so obsessively on growth numbers and begin paying a bit more attention to the distribution of growth numbers. That's basically the point of the op-ed, which argues that the 1870's saw a strong macro-economy that obscured a large class of economic losers.