Sunday, July 31, 2005

Howard Dean Blames Kelo on "Bush Supreme Court"

Patterico came up with this gem on his blog, that Howard Dean has blamed the Kelo eminent domain decision on President Bush and "his right-wing" Supreme Court...apparently Dean, head of the DNC, is unaware of the fact that Bush has yet to have a nominee seated on the Supreme Court. Not to mention that the judges who favored the right to take private property were from the liberal wing of the court, not the conservatives.

Dean is either nuts, deliberately ignoring the facts, or (most likely) both.

Is Middle School Bad for Kids?

I could have told the "experts" middle school was a bad idea back when I was a 12-year-old. :) I knew then that I was experiencing waaaay too much change in my life all at once.

It will be interesting to follow the long-term results in the districts which switch to K-8 schools and allow children to remain in smaller learning environments, "where everybody knows their name," for a couple extra years. Sounds like a great idea to me.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Constitution Park?

Justice Breyer's home has now been targeted by activists seeking to make a point about the Supreme Court's wrongheaded Kelo eminent domain decision, which allows the government to take private property by force not just for "public use," but to transfer to any other private owner who wants the land and can make a case they will be a "better" owner, i.e., pay more property taxes.

Justice Souter's home is also the target of libertarians who would like to erect a "Lost Liberty Hotel" on his land.

A brilliant way to illustrate just how wrong the Kelo decision was. If it's not fair to take Justice Souter or Justice Breyer's property, it's not fair to take any citizen's property.

Saturday Morning at the Movies

Movie expert Leonard Maltin has a fun website. He has some wonderful pics up of from the re-premiere of John Wayne's THE HIGH AND THE MIGHTY. Also check out "Leonard's Picks" for his current recommendations.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Accident at Disney's California Adventure

At least 15 of 48 passengers have minor injuries this evening after two trains collided on the California Screamin' roller coaster at Disney's California Adventure.

After the fatal Big Thunder Mountain accident in Disneyland a year or two ago, that this accident could happen is disturbing, to say the least.

A Favorite Children's Author

Children's author Catherine Woolley, author of the GINNIE AND GENEVA series, has died at age 100.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

David Limbaugh on Democrat Judicial Tactics

A good piece by David Limbaugh. Schumer's chutzpah in issuing "strikes" against Roberts quickly showed the Democrats' true colors when it comes to the President's Supreme Court nomination.

Farewell to Robinsons-May

L.A. Observed reports tonight that Southern California will be losing Robinsons-May department stores at year's end -- the stores will either be rebranded as Macy's or closed. As L.A. Observed notes, Robinsons and the May Company stores served this area for the better part of a century.

First TV Guide disappears, now Robinsons-May. Time marches on and life's landscape gradually changes...

Hooking Them While They're Young

Over at Betsy's Page there is an excellent discussion about teaching history in schools. She references this article from the Washington Post regarding David McCullough's recent Senate testimony on history education.

I believe one of the "missing links" in history education in U.S. schools is our schools are generally not teaching history from Kindergarten on; they give the children the odd Lincoln or King holiday lesson, but otherwise history doesn't come up until they hit "Social Studies" in 4th grade. If you teach "history as a story," as McCullough advocates, you can interest children at a very young age, rather than having them be wary of history as something difficult only studied by older children.

This lack needs to be addressed both in schools and at home. For instance, when I realized my older daughter was not being taught history in public elementary school, I began supplementing her reading and filling in that gap myself. There are many resources available for parents to meet this need outside school hours -- and if you make it fun, such as reading time with your children, they won't feel it's "extra work." For my younger children, I chose a homeschool curriculum which begins teaching history in Kindergarten. It's their favorite subject!

Schools could improve the situation by tying history in across the curriculum starting in elementary school -- for instance, children who are learning to read could be reading history rather than some of the poor-quality readers currently being used.

At the high school level, history teachers should have actually studied the history they're teaching, rather than meeting their credentialing requirements with sociology courses or the like. A teacher who knows and loves his subject can be a great inspiration -- my best teacher was my high school U.S. history teacher, and he had more than a little to do with my choice to major in History in college. On the other hand, a teacher who is poorly educated and doesn't care enough to immerse himself in his subject (whether it's history or any other area) can do great damage to his students' enthusiasm. Our family has seen both ends of the teaching spectrum.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

The Other NASCAR Drivers

Some of the hardest-working people in NASCAR are the haulers who spend February to November criss-crossing the country to deliver the race cars to the tracks. Here's a fun feature story on the subject from USA Today.

A Judge Who Doesn't Know There's a War On

I happened to hear Hugh Hewitt launch into a great rant on the sentencing of the would-be Millenium Bomber on his radio show today. The man who intended to blow up LAX on New Year's Eve 1999 may be out of jail in as soon as 14 years! Be sure to check out the judge's digs at how the U.S. is handling enemy combatants.

Update: Hugh Hewitt has now posted info about the judge, who has an interesting history, on his webpage.

Also see Michelle Malkin and Captain's Quarters on this subject.

As so often happens in recent years, the blogosphere moves quickly to cover important stories. It will be interesting to see how much coverage this story rates in the MSM (mainstream media).

Dick Morris Weighs in on the Roberts Nomination

Morris, speaking in terms of political strategy, says, "Bush is brilliant."

(Hat tip: Real Clear Politics.)

Radical Change for TV Guide

From the morning paper comes the startling news that after over a half century, TV Guide, as we have always known it, is no more. The magazine is changing into a People-style celebrity magazine which will be heavy on articles and short on TV listings. In future there will only be East Coast and West Coast editions rather than the 140 regional editions currently published.

In recent years the magazine had become less useful, with the elimination of individual daytime listings; these changes cement that trend. TV Guide may continue to exist as a magazine title, but sadly it's the end of the digest many of us have relied on for decades.

As If We Didn't Already Have Enough to Worry About

The New York Times reports a class-action suit has been filed charging that Teflon cookware releases carcinogens during "normal cooking use."

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Senate Proposes Change to Presidential Succession Law

If passed by the full Congress and signed into law, the Homeland Security Secretary will be raised from last to eighth in the line of Presidential succession.

Roberts Advocated Judicial Restraint

Judge Roberts' writings while working for the Reagan Administration indicate that he was a strong believer in judicial restraint. Hopefully those ideas haven't changed over the years.

Around the Political Blogosphere Today

Don't miss Power Line's story, linked above, "A Planted Story Gone Bad," in which they analyze the Dick Durbin/Jonathan Turley/John Roberts flap.

Betsy's Page and Bench Memos have more analysis on the Durbin incident. It certainly seems likely that Durbin lied in an attempt to undermine Roberts.

Changing subjects, over at Patterico's Pontifications there is a great analysis of the L.A. Times' uncritical front-page story asserting that Hillary Clinton is now in the Democratic Party's "center." (Hillary would like us to think that, but...!)

Don't read when hungry...

...or checking out the links in this Washington Post article on food blogs will make you even hungrier!

Seriously, the article, first published last spring, is still timely and contains excellent links to some top-of-the-line food blogs. Some of these blogs, such as Chocolate and Zucchini or Baking Sheet, also have outstanding photography. Both links are posted at the left of this page.

The Bolton Playbook

I'm glad to see Arlen Specter threatening that the Senate's summer recess may need to be cut short in order to start Roberts' confirmation hearings if the Democrats won't agree to vote before the October term starts. The Democrats, of course, will always want more documents than they've been given, and I suspect the "Bolton Playbook" is very much in operation: keep asking for more documents, always moving the goalposts, and delay, delay, delay.

Update: The Washington Times reports that 75,000 pages of documents will apparently not satisfy the Democrats, who continue to demand out-of-bounds privileged documents. This ploy may have worked to delay or end the Bolton and Estrada nominations, but it's past time for Senate Republicans to call an end to the game and ensure that we will finally have a timely vote.

Kinsley Exiting L.A. Times?

The New York Times reports that Michael Kinsley may be on the way out after a short (and, in my view, unimpressive) tenure heading the L.A. Times Op-Ed pages. Kinsley may remain with the paper in an alternative position.

(Hat tip: L.A. Observed.)

Monday, July 25, 2005

Fred Thompson's "Reality" Role

The Los Angeles Times has a good profile of Fred Thompson, discussing his current roles on LAW AND ORDER and as John Roberts' Senate escort during the Confirmation process.

John Fund Proposes Supreme Court Term Limits

I think Fund's idea, combined with Barone's idea to limit Supreme Court clerks, would provide the Supreme Court with much-needed reform.

Michael Barone on the Failure of Bush Bashing

And if you haven't yet read Barone's weekend email to Power Line about Souter vs. Roberts and Supreme Court clerks, be sure to check it out.

(Hat tip: Real Clear Politics.)

"Twists and Turns on the Path to a Nominee"

An absorbing Washington Post "tick tock" of the days immediately preceding the President's selection of a Supreme Court nominee.

"Winnie Cooper" is a Math Star

Last week The New York Times ran an interesting profile of former WONDER YEARS actress Danica McKellar, who co-invented a proof while a UCLA math major. McKellar, who continues to act, has a website which includes a section where she assists with math questions.

(Hat tip: Kitchen Table Math, via The Corner.)

Robert Novak: "The Ginsburg Standard"

It's heartening to know, per Robert Novak, that John Roberts' colleagues consider him "Scalia...without the fireworks." I'll happily take another Scalia, with or without fireworks, thank you very much.

Sunday, July 24, 2005


Now this qualifies as terrible news. Cold Stone Creamery has stopped selling Cake Batter Ice Cream?!?

Say it ain't so!!

As Ye Sow...

Captain's Quarters has an amusing story about continuing efforts to condemn Justice Souter's home under the Supreme Court's recent Kelo eminent domain decision. The Justice's neighbors are apparently all for the idea.

The One-Room Schoolhouse Lives On

An interesting story about efforts to keep open a one-room schoolhouse on a remote part of Catalina Island, off the Southern California coast. Last year the school had only three students. Despite that enrollment number, the school has wide community support, with over 100 members in the school's PTA; the island's residents raised over $72,000 to keep the school open next year.

(I am curious to know why it costs the school district $91,000 to operate a school for three students; it would be interesting to see a breakdown of the costs beyond the teacher's salary, materials, and utilities.)

Many of the advantages described from learning in a one-room schoolhouse sound strikingly similar to the benefits found in homeschooling.

Another fascinating story about a one-room schoolhouse in California can be found here. The Eastern Sierra Academy in rural Bridgeport, California, has recently achieved national recognition for the high percentage of students who take and pass Advanced Placement exams and go on to succeed in college.

An Interesting Vote for Roberts

The Drudge Report says tonight that Hillary Clinton plans to vote to confirm John Roberts, as she continues to tack to the center with the 2008 election in view.

Steyn on Roberts

Mark Steyn has an amazing way with words.

Meanwhile over at Power Line Michael Barone shares some interesting thoughts on Souter vs. Roberts. Did you know that for years Souter's law clerks were chosen by liberal law professor Lawrence Tribe of Harvard? Fascinating.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Dueling Surf Cities

First it was feuding ghost towns, now California has a rivalry over the "true" location of Surf City, U.S.A.

As an Orange County native, of course I side with Huntington Beach!

London Bomb Plots Connected

The Guardian reports that Scotland Yard has found links between the two terrorist cells which carried out the attacks in the London.

Will California's Special Election Be Cancelled?

Uncertainty surrounds California's November Special Election after the courts struck propositions from the ballot on Thursday and Friday. Some advising Governor Schwarzenegger are suggesting he may call for the cancellation of the election.

Should Justice O'Connor Quit Now?

Now that there is actually a nominee for her seat, it might be helpful if Justice O'Connor were to announce her retirement is effective immediately, rather than awaiting Roberts' confirmation. Sen. Leahy has called O'Connor's statement that she would retire effective on her successor's confirmation "a great gift." A gift which may encourage the Democrats to stall Roberts indefinitely.

Ed Whelan at Bench Memos suggests above that O'Connor beginning the October term may be problematic because, among other things, she must remain on the court in order to participate in decisions for any cases she hears, and the decisions might not be issued for months after hearing oral argument.

Confirm Them suggests today that in future Supreme Court justices should give definite retirement dates.

Saturday Morning Nostalgia

This website, Kiddie Records Weekly, has children's storybook record albums of the '40s and '50s available for downloading. The website's goal is to preserve a part of our culture which has been steadily disappearing.

Those of a certain age may rediscover pleasant childhood memories while perusing the album covers. :)

Friday, July 22, 2005

"Eminent Domain Ruling Reverberates in CA"

Dan Walters of the Sacramento Bee writes about reaction in California to the Kelo Supreme Court decision.

There was recently a troubling eminent domain case here in Orange County, in which the city of Cypress took away a church's land to give it to a Costco, reasoning that the Costco's tax contributions would be worth more to the city than the services a church might provide. (The case was ultimately settled with a land swap.) The Kelo case will surely invite more of the same.

State Senator Tom McClintock has introduced legislation to protect California's citizens from another Kelo -- or Cypress -- case. You can read more in McClintock's opinion column published in today's Orange County Register.

Standing Up for the Boy Scouts

Senator Frist has introduced an amendment to the Defense Department Authorization Bill to protect the Boy Scouts, whose longtime association with the Defense Department has recently been ruled unconstitutional.

Here's a copy of Senator Frist's speech on the Senate floor, reprinted by The Chattanoogan.

A Good Summer Political Read

REAGAN'S REVOLUTION: THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE POLITICAL CAMPAIGN THAT STARTED IT ALL, by Craig Shirley, chronicles the 1976 primaries and convention and Ronald Reagan's near-upset of Gerald Ford for the Republican nomination for President. Although you know how it will turn out, it reads like a suspense novel.

I was a young teen at the time of that convention and vividly remember watching Reagan's inspiring speech after Ford had secured the nomination. I think it was one of the moments which first sparked my interest in politics.

About That Form 180...

It seems rather ironic that John Kerry, of all people, would be demanding all of John Roberts' professional records.

"Content Had Nothing to do with the Circulation Decline"

John Carroll demonstrates why the Los Angeles Times continues to lose readers.

(Hat tip: L.A. Observed.)

The Silliest Bush Criticism Ever?

According to Jonathan Chait in the Los Angeles Times, the President's problem is that he exercises too much. It's "creepy." That's right, you read correctly.

Rolling eyes. I'm speechless.

(Registration may be required for the L.A. Times.)

The Washington Post should be ashamed...

...for printing this unsigned tripe in their Style section ridiculing the Roberts family as "Easter eggs" and "Necco wafers" because they were dressed respectfully -- I'd add beautifully -- for their visit to the White House. The article says the family "went too far" and in essence says they were dressed too nicely, especially the children.

The left can't bring down Roberts on the basis of talent or character, so in this instance it's been decided to attack him on the basis of his family's manner of dress.

For the left, even small children are fair game.

I find it quite curious that the paper and the author apparently didn't have the nerve to publish their insults under a byline.

(Registration may be required for the Washington Post.)

(Hat tip: Free Republic)

Friday Morning Update: The Style article now has a byline. The author is Robin Givhan.

See Betsy's Page and Michelle Malkin for more commentary on this story.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

"A Progressive's Worst Case Scenario"

This article by Bill Kristol, "It Takes an Establishment," closes with an assessment of John Roberts from a liberal lawyer who was once mentored by Roberts.

Meanwhile at Confirm Them there is a rather interesting anecdote regarding Roberts and Sandy Berger, of all people.

Daylight Saving Time Extension Approved

I looked up this story after hearing Hugh Hewitt discuss the Daylight Savings extension on his show today. Personally I wish Congress would make up their mind to one year-round time and be done with it. Under this plan, we will be on Standard Time only 4 months per year. Does that mean Daylight Time should be renamed Standard Time? :)

This summer, as it happens, I've been reading two interesting books on the history of Daylight Saving Time, Seize the Daylight: The Curious and Contentious Story of Daylight Saving Time and Spring Forward: The Annual Madness of Daylight Saving Time. Both books are informative, fast-paced reads on a relatively little-discussed topic which affects everyone.

(Registration may be required by the L.A. Times.)

Friday Update: USA TODAY quotes both of the above-named authors in their news coverage of the Daylight Saving issue.

Is a nominee's wife fair game?

Being preoccupied with the news from London this morning, I didn't open the Los Angeles Times till this afternoon, and found this headline just below the fold: "Wife of Nominee Holds Strong Antiabortion Views." Jane Roberts, wife of Supreme Court nominee John Roberts, has been involved with a prolife group called Feminists for Life.

I couldn't help wondering, if the reverse were true and a candidate's wife held strong pro-abortion views, would that also rate a headline in the Times? And regardless of the answer to that question (I suspect we already know the answer), is it right that a nominee's spouse's career or advocacy be raised in the press? Will the Democrats raise the issue of Mrs. Roberts during the confirmation hearings?

I've often considered dropping my Times subscription, but it's hard to imagine living without their great Sports section...and reading the news coverage certainly gives insight into mindset of the Left.

(Registration may be required for the L.A. Times.)

Blog of the Day

Farm Girl Fare combines beautiful "Daily Farm Photos" with bread-baking tips (not to mention mouth-watering bread photos ).

It's enough to make me want to get out The Bread Bible this weekend and finally start learning to bake bread :).

Young Potter readers need to talk, grieve

The new book is very intense, as family members who have read it attest. Here are some interesting thoughts on the book's value, as well as helping children process what they experience reading the book.

SPOILER ALERT: The article alludes somewhat vaguely to incidents in the book. I suggest saving it to read later if you intend to read the book.

(Registration may be required for

(Hat tip:

Ebonics Controversy in San Bernardino, CA

San Bernardino is in the news due to their recent announcement of a pilot program which will be "affirming and recognizing Ebonics."

Thomas Sowell shows one reason why this is a terrible idea.

This gives "Beam me up" a whole new meaning...

James Doohan's ashes, along with those of a STAR TREK writer who passed away in 2002, will be launched into space this fall.

More Terrorism in London

There was a disturbing "Groundhog Day" feeling turning on the TV this morning to the news that three Tube trains and a bus had been hit with "explosive devices" in London. Fortunately there are no deaths reported and the explosions appear to have been minor compared to the incidents two weeks ago. However, the explosions were apparently simultaneous, a level of coordination which hints that very organized forces were again behind this, as compared to the possibility of "copycats." Details are still murky at this hour.

Michelle Malkin, linked above and to the left, has an excellent group of links to the ongoing coverage.

Also check out The Corner, as Jonah Goldberg reports in from London.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

"Roberts nomination, how do I love thee?"

David Brooks of the NYT is! :)

(Registration required for The New York Times.)

(Hat tip: Free Republic)

Roberts Will Redefine 'Mainstream'

Commentary by Michael Barone, one of the nation's most respected political experts.

Some conservatives were alarmed when the President recently announced he would nominate a "mainstream" candidate, as that is a favored liberal term for someone who tilts leftward. My own feeling was that the President was instead co-opting the word and using it to mean a conservative or Constitutionalist, and I believe his nomination of Roberts has borne out that optism.

(Hat tip: Free Republic)

Dueling Ghost Towns

Calico, California, never got over Bodie being designated as the state's Official Gold Rush Ghost Town.

Today Governor Schwarzenegger signed a "compromise" bill naming Calico as California's Official Silver Rush Ghost Town.

The unfussy, quiet Bodie, preserved in a state of "arrested decay," is considered by many to be the more "authentic" ghost town, while Calico has characters in period costume roaming the streets.

A side note, Walter Knott, founder of Knott's Berry Farm, owned Calico for 15 years and deeded it to San Bernardino County in the '60s. The Calico name is used prominently in the amusement park's Ghost Town area.

Hong Kong Disneyland Previewed

The White Rabbit will have more trouble than ever staying on schedule at Hong Kong Disneyland.

The Standard, a Chinese business newspaper, shares the interesting info that the park will contain few clocks, as they are a symbol of death to the Chinese.

The park will also avoid green hats, for reasons explained at the linked article.

Big News at the L.A. Times

L.A. Observed reports this morning that editor John Carroll has left the troubled Los Angeles Times.

The paper has steadily been losing its readership and has most recently retooled its Sunday Opinion pages into a new section called Current. One of these days maybe someone at the Times will be bright enough to realize that the problem with the Times is its liberal point of view and lack of factual reliability, issues which won't be addressed by cosmetic changes.

The latest example of the Times' slant is addressed today at Patterico's Pontifications.

Tonight's Dinner

We're skipping lunch today anticipating tonight's dinner at what we believe is the most consistently enjoyable restaurant in Southern California, El Cholo. El Cholo was first established in Los Angeles nearly nine decades ago and is particularly famous for its green corn tamales and margaritas. Legend has it that nachos first became well-known at El Cholo.

We usually eat at El Cholo's La Habra location in Orange County, opened in 1962. A political side note: the La Habra branch displays an autographed photo of President Bush among the celebrity pictures in the lobby. :)

Those who know the restaurant well, or want to know it, might be interested in searching out El Cholo Cookbook: Recipes and Memories from California's Best-Loved Mexican Kitchen.

"The Brilliance of Bush's Court Choice"

Howard Fineman weighs in at Newsweek, suggesting that Roberts "is very conservative -- and has a high probability of confirmation." (But couldn't Howard have found a better analogy than to liken the President's loyalty to "a hunting dog"?!)

The White House seems to have all their ducks in a row for a successful media offensive, beginning with the primetime announcement last night and continuing with their deputies discussing Roberts throughout the day. Rush Limbaugh, who rarely conducts interviews, just had a chat with Rudy Giuliani, who accurately said Democrats' "only objections to Roberts could be his philosophy, and that's not the Senate's choice, that's the President's choice."

V.P. Cheney will lead off Sean Hannity's radio program today just after noon, PDT.

Internet Bloggers Log On to Weigh In on Roberts

This Seattle Times article also addresses an issue which should be of great concern to all bloggers, the possible FEC regulation of free political speech on the Internet.

The Supreme Court Nomination Blog, referenced in the article, can be found here.

Update: The Supreme Court Nomination Blog reports today on the initial reaction of Sandra Day O'Connor to the nomination of her successor.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Tonight's Movie: Out of the Past (1947)

Tonight a change of pace with the brooding OUT OF THE PAST (1947), considered by many to be the quintessential example of film noir, starring Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, and Kirk Douglas.

An interesting side note, portions of this dark and moody film were filmed in November 1946 in beautiful Bridgeport, California, in the Eastern High Sierras. Many of the landmarks visible in the film, such as the white courthouse and the general store, are still in existence today.

2014 Update: Please check out my review of the Warner Archive Blu-ray and two photos posts on the movie's locations (here and here).

It's John Roberts...

...says Drudge.

Update: Power Line says "Pop the champagne corks, conservatives."

More positive reactions can be found at Confirm Them, The Corner, and elsewhere.

Further Update: The Drudge Report has a brief account of the selection process. (Hat tip: Betsy's Page.)

Bill Kristol at The Weekly Standard opines "Bush Rises to the Occasion" and describes the President's choice as "courageous."

Late-Breaking Supreme Court Developments

Sean Hannity reported on his radio show within the past hour that the President phoned Edith Clement to say she is not the nominee. Hannity also said the nominee may not appear with the President this evening.

Confirm Them has more info on these late-breaking developments, as do other sites. Only a few hours to go and the suspense will be at an end :).

Update: Bench Memos at NRO reports that Michael Luttig and family have been seen on CNN today walking around in "uncomfortable-for-July" clothing. Hugh Hewitt has now predicted on this radio show that his best guess is Luttig.

Over at Free Republic you can follow speculation and reactions of FReepers in this live thread.

Photographic Blogging

This blog, What I See, consists mainly of photographs. It's worth visiting for a few minutes every now and then.

Among the last few entries, I particularly enjoyed "Empenanda Mama" and "Greenmarket."

Amazon Special Deliveries

Amazon is celebrating its 10th anniversary by having celebrities accompany UPS on some special delivery runs.

Can you imagine having your STAR WARS DVD order personally delivered by Harrison Ford, or having Dale Jarrett and Kasey Kahne walk into your office with a NASCAR order? Amazon has movie clips on its site which are priceless.

Those of us who are "Amazon junkies" can't imagine life B.A. (Before Amazon)!

(Hat tip: Instapundit.)

That's a Big Book Collection!

Those of us who love books know that storage is always an's a couple with an extreme version of the problem -- happily solved!

(Registration required for The New York Times.)

(Hat tip: The Corner.)

A Bait and Switch Between Two Ediths?

Confirm Them suggests today that the President's nominee will not be Edith Clement, but Edith Jones. In any event, we will finally know the answer this evening at 6:00 p.m. PDT.

Some conservative commentators are expressing concern at Clement's lack of a substantive paper trail. The example of David Souter is never far from anyone's mind. :(

Anyone who is interested in this developing story should be sure to consult the political links at the left of this page for late-breaking information and assessments throughout the day.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Tonight's Movie: Heaven Can Wait (1943)

This evening we watched Ernst Lubitsch's 1943 romantic comedy HEAVEN CAN WAIT. We seem to have something of a "theme" going this week...last night it was THE DEVIL AND MISS JONES. In both films, Charles Coburn steals the picture, this time as a rascally grandfather.

A glowing Technicolor confection about the life of a playboy (Don Ameche), the film has a supporting cast featuring many of Hollywood's greatest character actors, including Louis Calhern, Spring Byington, Eugene Pallette, and Marjorie Main. Most especially, this film stars the luminous Gene Tierney, one of the most beautiful (and underrated) actresses ever to grace the screen.

This film was recently reissued on DVD by Criterion. Highly recommended.

2018 Update: HEAVEN CAN WAIT is now also available on a Criterion Collection Blu-ray.

Supreme Court Rumors Swirling Tonight is reporting that Arlen Specter visited the White House this evening. Speculation has intensified that the nominee will be a woman.

Major Garrett reported on Fox News Channel's Special Report with Brit Hume this afternoon that some insiders are expecting the nomination to be announced by Thursday.

Late evening update: The prediction at is now that the pick will be Edith Brown Clement, possibly announced as soon as Tuesday. We'll see what the morrow brings!

That Sound You Hear... political conservatives breathing a sigh of relief.

Tuesday's edition of The Hill reports that "select conservative leaders" have been told by the White House that Alberto Gonzales will not be the President's Supreme Court nominee.

The current tea leaves indicate the pick will most likely be a woman.

Attention Bob Newhart Fans

PBS pays tribute to the button-down comedian Wednesday evening on AMERICAN MASTERS.

Meanwhile TV Shows on DVD reports that the second season of the original BOB NEWHART SHOW will be released on October 4th.

We've recently been enjoying revisiting Season 1. While the clothes and decor now seem wildly dated, Bob's deadpan humor never goes out of style.

Tuesday Update: Catherine Seipp at National Review Online has an excellent profile of Newhart. Worth reading.

All Cupcakes, All the Time!

Cupcakes Take the Cake has to be one of the most amusing ideas for a blog I've seen yet. It's impossible to scroll through their mouth-watering photos without having sudden sugar cravings. :)

Did the CIA "Out" Valerie Plame?

Andrew McCarthy has written a comprehensive piece for National Review Online with the latest updates on the Valerie Plame/Joe Wilson non-scandal.

Be sure to also check out Andrew's link to last week's article by Cliff May, in which Cliff shows the evidence is that the first media reporter to "leak" Plame's identity may have been the liberal David Corn, with help from...Joe Wilson.

Reading the Supreme Court Tea Leaves

Confirm Them has emerged as one of the "must read" blogs for coverage, as well as what seems to be fairly well-informed speculation, on the forthcoming Supreme Court nomination.

Today it's suggested Priscilla Owen is on the Supreme Court short list.

Experience May Be the Best Teacher

A thoughtful article by a homeschooling mother on how effectively children can learn outside a traditional classroom.

I'd add that her thesis actually applies to any age -- for instance, this weekend I've been learning HTML in order to launch this blog :).

(Hat tip: Free Republic)

Photos & Commentary on Disneyland's 50th

Al Lutz's MiceAge website is always interesting. He's posted a number of photos of yesterday's 50th Birthday events. It wasn't quite a home run for Al...but I have to say it looks like it was fun!

Over at MousePad there's this thread on the discussion boards where you can view the free birthday cupcakes given out at the park.

Preschools Put Too Much Pressure on Children

I think Betsy Hart has got it right. Somehow the modern educational establishment has decided that "earlier" education equals "better" education.

I have a theory that if schools would slow down and teach subjects later, when kids are developmentally ready, the kids would learn more quickly (and happily?) and there would be no loss of "academic time" over the long run.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Tonight's Movie: The Devil and Miss Jones (1941)

THE DEVIL AND MISS JONES, starring the inimitable Charles Coburn as a cranky millionaire who goes undercover in one of his own department stores and finds his temperament changing after he's befriended by two charming employees, Jean Arthur and Spring Byington. (Coburn would later star with Arthur in the even better THE MORE THE MERRIER for which he won a deserved Oscar.) A great supporting cast includes Bob Cummings, Edmund Gwenn, and S.Z. Sakall. Worth checking out.

The Voice of Aslan...

...will be Liam Neeson, it was announced today. Disney's new adaptation of THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE opens December 9.

I think Qui-Gon Jinn is a great choice.

We Love Rachael Ray

Personally, we love Rachael Ray. Her cheerleading "You can do this!" attitude on her 30-Minute Meals inspired me to start cooking more and especially to learn to cook new things -- after all, 30 minutes was probably about the amount of time it took me to order and pick up takeout :).

Here's an article from Slate.

(Hat tip: Saute Wednesday)

The Los Angeles Times Caught Hiding the Ball

Great work at Patterico's Pontifications.

One of these days the MSM (Mainstream Media) will realize that the Age of the Blogosphere means accountability. :)

Saturday, July 16, 2005

The Founding Fathers' Portraitist

If you are fortunate enough to visit Washington, D.C., this summer, by all means visit the National Gallery of Art.

(Hat tip: Power Line)

Happy Birthday, Disneyland

Sunday, July 17th, Disneyland is officially 50 years old. The enormity of the impact of one visionary man, Walt Disney, on film, animation, television, theme parks, and worldwide popular culture cannot be overstated.

The above title links to a fun article with "backstage" trivia. (Update: Link is sadly now dead.)

I'm anxious to hear what everyone thinks about the newly reopened Space Mountain!

UC is at it again!

Another step toward making everyone "equal" so the University of California system can practice backdoor affirmative action and admit minorities in the numbers they desire, based on "personal factors," rather than basing admissions on actual merit? Hmmmmm.