Isn't backing down like that a sign of weakness in Kristol's culture? ... Maybe he meant "yahoo" in, you know, a good way. ... P.S.: Actually, the second quote was Kristol's reaction when Juan Williams took Kristol's own sneering characterization of the anti-Bush immigration conservatives and ran with it. ... P.P.S.: But this Robert Novak column really might be one of the first signs of pessimism in the current suspiciously concerted, panicky GOP pundit-push for a bill-any-billby Memorial Day:
The problem is that President Bush's efforts to take control of the border have been unconvincing. Sources in the Homeland Security Department say that his summoning of 6,000 National Guard troops, who cannot arrest anybody or discharge firearms, will release only 500 Border Patrol guards for actual duty on the border. ... [snip]
The consensus on Capitol Hill is that Bush and Rove were blindsided by the immigration tide and are still foundering.
Wasn't this same Novak person writing, a month ago, that Bush was "gaining rather than losing strength" on the immigration issue because Republican "constituents are less outraged by leaky borders than the possible loss of immigrant workers, some from their own households." I think he was! ... [Maybe Novak is just prisoner of his sources-ed If so, why hasn't La Raza consultant Jeff Bell been calling and boasting about how the issue's still tipping in Bush's favor?] ... [Thanks to reader I.C.]7:06 P.M. link
Pregnant Burkle Sentence of the Day: Let disgraced Page Six reporter Jared Paul Stern read the New York Times for you! Today, he emails to note that publicity-shy billionaire Ron Burkle is back on the Times front page. In a piece on the Clinton marriage, the Times reports:
Mr. Clinton is rarely without company in public, yet the company he keeps rarely includes his wife. Nights out find him zipping around Los Angeles with his bachelor buddy, Ronald W. Burkle, or hitting parties and fund-raisers in Manhattan; ... [Emph. added]
What do Clinton and Burkle do to fill the night-time hours? Good question! According to the NYT, "prominent New York Democrats" were concerned about a photograph of Clinton merely leaving a restaurant with a large group that included Belinda Stronach, the Canadian pol. That's a low threshhold of concern! ... I predict they will be concerned again! ...
P.S.: My second favorite sentence in the NYT piece was this:
He sometimes takes part in her strategy sessions, but the sensitivity about his political role is so great that her advisers differed on his influence and frequency of participation — though all agreed that at home, his sway is felt.
Why weren't these differing assessments based on differing perceptions, as opposed to "sensitivity about his political role"? Because NYT reporter Patrick Healy simply assumes that the Clinton aides will spin (i.e., lie about) the relationship as necessary to avoid issues of "sensitivity." I can't say he's wrong. ... 1:57 P.M.
She's Back: Jackie Shire busts Judith Miller for exaggerating Libya's WMD threat (this time in the Wall Street Journal, not the NYT). ... P.S.: I just discovered that you can play that video, and others, at faster-than-actual speeds on Windows Media Player. Just click the little box under the screen. I recommend 1.5X speed: You don't miss anything, and the software automatically adjusts the pitch of the voices. It makes me sound like Jim Pinkerton! Not that there's anything wrong with it. ... Why live life at only full speed? Once you go 1.5, normalcy seems unWebbily slow. ... 2:42 A.M. link