URLs du Jour


  • What's the best slogan for MoveOn's effort to shut up its critics?

    • MoveOn: We were for free speech, before we were against it.

    • MoveOn: Dissent is the highest form of patriotism, unless you're dissenting with us.

    • MoveOn: We have all the lawyers that George Soros can buy, so do you really want to mess with us?

    • MoveOn: Why are you picking on us when Dan Rather's back in the news?

    Any other suggestions out there? Well, Michelle has lots.

  • Funny review of Alan Greenspan's book by Andrew Ferguson. Overserious devotees of Ayn Rand will probably want to forgo it, though. Insightful paragraph:
    From "How do we equalize incomes and make American society fair?" the preoccupying question of Democrats and social progressives became, "Say, where'd all this money come from?" Some goose somewhere was laying some kind of gi-normous golden egg! They looked around for someone to credit--for surely it had to be a government official who was responsible--and settled on the owlish fellow in the Poindexter glasses, who spent his days doing God-knows-what in a sealed-up marble sarcophagus on Constitution Avenue. "In Greenspan We Trust," said the headline on newsmagazine covers.

  • Democrats are betting a lot of their political future on populist rhetoric, in hopes that resentment and envy can propel them to political power, and also support tax hikes (on only "the rich", of course) to fuel their various spending schemes.

    It would be nice if, in defense, every single Republican read the City Journal article "What Really Buys Happiness?" by Arthur Brooks. Brooks argues that income inequality by itself doesn't drive resentment among most Americans that populists hope for:

    What I found was that economic inequality doesn't rustrate Americans at all. It is, rather, the perceived lack of economic opportunity that makes us unhappy. To focus our policies on inequality, instead of opportunity, is to make a grave error—one that will worsen the very problem we seek to solve and make us generally unhappier to boot.
    I think GOP policy proposals centered around such insights would be effective vote-getters. And also, not coincidentally, would be far better for the country.

    Of course, that course would require Republicans to have both brains and courage. So prospects are iffy.

The Phony Campaign

2007-10-01 Update

My favorite, John Edwards, has taken a sharp move upward to reclaim second place!

Query StringHit CountChange Since
"Hillary Clinton" phony469,000+72,000
"John Edwards" phony355,000+55,000
"John McCain" phony319,000+18,000
"Barack Obama" phony307,000+58,000
"Ron Paul" phony269,000+33,000
"Fred Thompson" phony259,000+52,000
"Mitt Romney" phony255,000+40,000
"Rudy Giuliani" phony242,000+58,000
"Dennis Kucinich" phony126,000+13,000
"Dave Burge" phony62+1

But Clinton continues to pull away from the rest of the field. Much of this may be attributable to her new tactic of emitting scary inauthentic laughter at inappropriate moments.

[Scary video removed at some point by Viacom. Booo!]

When the NYT starts talking about the "Clinton Cackle," it may be the sign of a meme taking off.

To me, it's a lot more creepy or obnoxious than it is phony. So maybe my man Edwards still has a shot. Right now, however, the phony campaign is Clinton's to lose.

Last Modified 2014-12-01 10:41 AM EDT

Eastern Promises

[Amazon Link] [4.0
stars] [IMDb Link]

So with Mrs. Salad out of town, I figured I might as well check out a movie she would have absolutely no desire to see, no way, nohow. And this one fit the bill pretty well. Set in London, it begins with some pretty unpleasant deaths, one guy getting an unusually close shave at his barber's, and a young girl dying in childbirth.

Naomi Watts plays Anna, the attending midwife in the latter death; she gets intrigued by the dead girl's Russian diary, and develops an attachment to the healthy baby. This combination draws her into investigating further, and—guess what?—before you know it, she's hobnobbing with some of the people involved in the barbershop murder. Prime among these folks is enigmatic Nikolai, played by Viggo Mortensen; he's "just a driver" for the Russian mob. He sends out waves of bemused lethality, but seems to like Anna, who's both frightened and attracted by him, etc.

Before I went to the movie, it was #235 in IMDB's top 250 movies of all time. By the time I got back, it had dropped out. Funny.

I was the only person in the theatre for the showing.

There are a couple of Shocking Plot Twists near the end of the movie, and (I must admit) I didn't see either one coming.

It's rated R for "strong brutal and bloody violence, some graphic sexuality, language and nudity, some involving Viggo Mortensen's wiener." You might want to take that into account when deciding whether to take this one in.

Last Modified 2014-12-01 5:56 AM EDT