August 28, 2003
I'm still here
I've been busy with some for-profit writing. More here in a bit.
August 20, 2003
Go, Arnold, Go!
Good for Arnold Schwartzenegger for sounding the right notes at today's press conference:
"I feel the people of California have been punished enough," Mr. Schwarzenegger said. "From the time they get up in the morning and flush the toilet, they're taxed. When they go get a coffee, they're taxed. When they get in their car, they're taxed. When they go to the gas station, they're taxed. When they go to lunch, they're taxed. This goes on all day long. Tax. Tax. Tax. Tax. Tax."And he skillfully scuttled the recent flap caused by Warren "Tax My Life-- Please!" Buffett:
This weekend a hullabaloo enveloped the Schwarzenegger camp after Mr. Buffett suggested to The Wall Street Journal that state property taxes needed to be increased. The idea instantly riled Republicans in a state known for the tax rebellion that pushed through Proposition 13 and its limits on property tax increases...
"First of all, I told Warren if he mentions Prop 13 one more time, he has to do 500 sit-ups," [Schwarzenegger] said.
Mr. Buffett gave a crooked smile.
August 19, 2003
Greetings From Baltimore
The move went well, and we were out of New York State before the crisis hit. Commentary should return shortly.
In the meantime, the "Best Moment" features that are running now as part of Slate's Campaign 2004 Field Guide are worth looking at; so far Will Saletan and Ben Jacobs have examined the false heroics of Carol Moseley Braun, Howard Dean, John Edwards, and Dick Gephardt.
August 08, 2003
I'm in the process of moving, and today I'm disconnecting the Internet; I most likely won't be posting here for a while. Check back in a week or so.
At a book release party for Jacob Sullum's Saying Yes: In Defense of Drug Use last month (I dished about the event a bit here), the conversation turned at one point to the expected California recall, and the possibility of an Arnold Schwartzenegger candidacy. "I'd vote for Arnold," said Sullum, because "it'd be hilarious."
There's more to it than that, of course-- for one thing, Arnold has shown an interest in libertarian ideas-- but Sullum's latest column expands on the basic thesis of his off-hand cocktail-party remark:
Davis' supporters (I've counted at least half a dozen) say Schwarzenegger's candidacy only enhances the "circus," "carnival," or "sideshow" quality of the recall vote. Notice what all those things have in common: Unlike politics as usual, they're fun.
So even if Schwarzenegger's libertarian tendencies have been exaggerated, he can still strike a blow for freedom by encouraging people to take politicians less seriously...
If Jesse Ventura, who had a much smaller role in Predator, can be governor of Minnesota, why can't Arnold Schwarzenegger be governor of California? His political career should be judged by the same standard as his movie career: its entertainment value.
Interestingly, Schwartzenegger and Ventura aren't the only Predator cast members to entertain gubernatorial aspirations. Sonny Landham-- he played Billy, the guy who turns to face the Predator and cuts himself with a machete in some sort of faux-Indian tough-guy ceremony right before he bites it-- was for a while running for Governor of Kentucky, first as a Republican and then as an Independent. His website, where if you have your sound turned on you can here him laugh and greet you, reports in an annoying and hard to read crawl:
NEWS: On June 18, 2003, Sonny Landham held a press conference at the Kentucky State Capital, in Frankfort to announce his withdrawal as an independent candidate for governor of the state of Kentucky. This was done with the advice of campaign consultants who determined that the Landham campaign was 6 months behind schedule and lacking the funds to run a successful campaign. Sonny stated that he came into this race to win and not be a spoiler. Following Landham's withdrawal he indorsed [sic] republican candidate, U.S. Representative, Ernie Fletcher and the complete republican slate of candidates.
One hopes that Arnold's people will proofread all campaign material.
This Post is Not Libel
James Abourezk is a total traitor.
UPDATE: Some readers think I'm tempting fate. I think Abourezk will have his hands full losing his current bogus lawsuit, but just to be clear, the above is a joke; Abourezk's praise for terrorists who kill Americans is not treason, though it's certainly Coulter-treason.
August 05, 2003
Journalists are Scum
Last week I got a call from a reporter (not Jonathan Alter) who wanted to talk to me about my blog post from July 2 that encouraged Republicans to donate money to Dean...
So here's what appeared in Alter's story:Then there’s Tom Bevan, a 38-year-old former advertising executive from the Chicago area with a conservative bent. He wrote a $25 check to Dean last week after seeing him surge. “The further left he goes and the Democrats go, the better for my man Bush,” Bevan says. “Some of the more centrist candidates would present more of a challenge to a Republican.”
Well, let's see: First, I'm 34 years-old, not 38. Second, I contributed $20 to Dean's campaign, not $25. Third, while I like and support President Bush I have never referred to him either in public or in private - and most certainly not on the record to a reporter from Newsweek magazine - as "my man."
That's 2 factual errors and a misquote in 62 words of copy. I'm sorry, but that's pretty shoddy journalism.
There's also the curious omission of any mention of our blog or web site despite the fact that the reporter contacted me specifically to discuss my blog post from July 2. Referring to me as a "former advertising executive from the Chicago area with a conservative bent" is technically true but also somewhat misleading: it doesn't describe what I currently do and have been doing for more than three years which is running the RealClearPolitics web site. Even if Alter didn't want to mention our site by name, it seems to me that referring to me as a "conservative blogger" or "editor of a conservative political web site" would have been more appropriate and accurate.
RealClearPolitics is a fairly popular site-- check out the many prestigious fans. Doesn't that make it all the more ridiculous that Newsweek framed Bevan's quote as if he were an average Joe they happened to chance upon?
August 01, 2003
A few months ago, in advance of the premier of Rudy: The Rudy Giuliani Story on the USA Network, I sent an interview request to James Woods's publicist. I wanted to interview the actor for a piece, tied to the TV movie, focusing on Woods's political views. (I'd blogged about Woods and read some of his pro-Bush, pro-Giuliani public statements; I thought his politics would make for an interesting article, though not interesting enough to actually be payed for it unless I did original reporting.) I knew it was a long shot, but it was worth a try.
I never heard from the publicist, which is a shame. I'm pretty sure that if I'd interviewed Woods, he would have come off better than he does in this Salon.com interview, reprinted by FrontPageMag.com so you needn't worry about the tedious ads. Woods is so paranoid that the liberal reporter is going to write an attack piece (rather than the verbatim interview that we're reading), he unwittingly writes one himself. The angle: Woods is paranoid about liberal reporters.