Monday, October 31, 2005

Tony Snow Predicted Democrats Would Slur Alito

Tony Snow was prescient when he said this morning that the Democrats would use cultural slurs against Alito. It was only a matter of hours. Tony predicted Alito would be called a "fascist"; today it was the Mafia, maybe fascism will be tomorrow.

NewsMax summarizes Tony's comments on his radio show earlier today.

The Republican National Committee moved quickly to put word of the "Mafia memo" up on their website.

As Chris Matthews rightly noted, the very first thing that Democrats found worth mentioning regarding the nominee was a 20-year-old Mob case?

Tuesday Update: Captain's Quarters has more on this topic.

And Now for Something Completely Different...

...this Christmas you can ask for your very own NASCAR crockpot!

I saw an ad for these in TV Guide and found the notion of cooking in a Jeff Gordon or Dale Jarrett Rival Crockpot quite amusing :).

More Alito Reactions

National Review is happy (above).

James Taranto of Opinion Journal says: "Once again, all is right with the world."

Power Line notes that President Bush's poll numbers are on the rise.

Betsy Newmark of Betsy's Page predicts there will be no attempt at a filibuster.

The Political Teen has video of Chris Matthews making public Democrat talking points which amount to an ethnic smear on Judge Alito, mentioning that he didn't win a conviction against the Mafia.

If ethnic smears and threats implying that Judge Alito will turn back civil rights are the best argument that the Democrats have to offer, I don't see much future for the Democratic party, and I see clear sailing for Alito.

Update: Red State has uncovered the names of the authors of the "Mafia memo."

Hugh Hewitt's Blog Poll on Alito

So nice to be in agreement with Hugh Hewitt once more!

Hugh is running a poll on the Alito nomination. He will tabulate the results for each blog who refers readers to the poll, so by all means please link to his poll from here. :)

Frist on the Constitutional Option

Power Line has a transcript of Senator Frist on Tony Snow's show saying that he will absolutely use the "Constitutional Option" to prevent a filibuster if the Democrats attempt to use it against Samuel Alito.

I think Senator Frist finally means it. Judicial confirmations have, of course, been an ongoing frustration for conservatives, particularly with the Republicans dragging their heels dealing with blockaded nominees and more recently the maneuvers of the "Gang of 14." But especially after the Miers debacle, I believe we've reached the tipping point.

Hopefully Matthew Franck and Ed Morrissey are correct that a filibuster won't even be attempted (see earlier post), but if it is...well, as the saying goes, bring it on. The "base" is going to be solidly behind the Senate Republicans, and Alito will be confirmed.

President Bush's Turnaround

Michael Barone and Bill Kristol both believe that the President is on the upswing.

They each believe last week wasn't nearly as bad for the President as it was painted in the general media. Today's nomination confirms the turnaround.

I suspect that Miers' nomination will end up as an interesting footnote in the history books...conservatives are already in the process of rallying around Alito and the President.

"His Nomination...Is Brilliant"

Rush Limbaugh has been quoting this optimistic assessment of the upcoming confirmation process by Matthew Franck at Bench Memos. Franck says that not only is the Alito nomination brilliant politically, but this may put to rest once and for all the Democrats attempting to keep a completely qualified conservative off the Supreme Court.

It simply cannot be argued, Franck says, that after 15 years on the bench Alito isn't knowledgeable or qualified.

Limbaugh, incidentally, is enthused and encourages conservatives not to listen to Democrat "whining." He said, in his first hour today, "My friends, this is what we wanted...the President has made a great pick here."

Update: Ed Morrissey at Captain's Quarters expresses an opinion similar to Franck's: "Building a hearing record for obstructionist mischief on the floor will probably blow up in the faces of the Judiciary Democrats..."

Happy Days Are Here Again!

Thank you, President Bush, for picking a sterling nominee with a proven track record.

Joyous reaction at Confirm Them, above.

Mark Levin says, "If he is not qualified to serve on the Supreme Court, then no conservative is qualified."

Ed Whelan says, "Congratulations, President Bush!"

It's a great day for those who care about the Constitution being interpreted as written.

Update: Sen. Schumer is already making noises about needing documents from Alito's tenure in the Justice Department. The same issue which allowed Harriet Miers a graceful exit may be a double-edged sword which creates difficulty for the next candidate. It remains to be seen whether the Republicans can successfully differentiate to the public that, unlike Miers, Alito has a lengthy public record outside the Executive Branch which can be examined by the Senate.

Further Update: Michelle Malkin, as is so often the case, has an extensive compilation of relevant links.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

John Fund on Miers and the New Media

I find it interesting that Harriet Miers was "astonished" at the role the Internet played in the debate over her nomination. In this age of Rathergate, etc., that reaction seems to indicate a certain isolation from modern political realities which is rather fascinating in someone who works in the White House.

One hopes, particularly with the next nomination imminent, that there are others in the White House who are a little more savvy about the "new media."

Spain Welcomes New Royal Heir

The Crown Princess of Spain has given birth to her first child, a daughter. Little Infanta Leonor is now second in line to the Spanish throne after her father, Crown Prince Felipe.

Congratulations to the new parents and the people of Spain. :)

Supreme Court Announcement Monday?

So says the Washington Post.

Alito, Luttig and Batchelder are the possible names mentioned by the Post.

Hot SCOTUS Rumor From The Corner

A Supreme Court announcement tonight at the Capitol, before paying tribute to Rosa Parks?

It would be too perfect to announce Janice Rogers Brown in such a context. I know I shouldn't hope, but I have a dream...

Update: The Corner now reports there will not be an announcement today. Oh, well.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

A Sad Statistic

Last year 35.7% of all births in the United States were to unwed mothers.

It is sad to contemplate the consequences for both the children and our society when over one-third of all U.S. children are born without a dad married to their mom.

Retro Style Holiday Candles

I recently purchased a set of nostalgic Thanksgiving candles -- shaped as Pilgrims and a turkey -- from Vermont Country Store. I think they are too cute to actually use and will probably decorate with them for years to come.

Vermont Country Store now has similarly styled Christmas candles in stock, including Santa and carolers.

End Daylight Saving Time!

If these weekends traveling back and forth in time annoy you as much as they do me (grin), visit this website.

Alas, I doubt contacting Congress will do much good at this juncture as they recently voted to expand Daylight Saving Time beginning in 2007. As of that year, the United States will be on Standard Time only a little over four months out of the year -- which causes me to wonder how they could keep calling it "Standard" Time.

Saturday Afternoon Baseball

Big news for L.A. Dodgers fans today -- General Manager Paul DePodesta is apparently on his way out the door. That is bad news for his fans but good news for people like me who have been unhappy with DePodesta since the day he sent Paul LoDuca packing.

Baseball Analysts has the interesting theory that former Dodger pitching hero Orel Hershiser will not end up managing the team, but become the new G.M.

More at Dodger Thoughts and 6-4-2.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Barone on Bush

Michael Barone assesses the current status of the Bush Administration.

More on Chris Cox

The notion of Chris Cox as a potential Supreme Court justice may be simply a creation of the media and bloggers, but it's picked up a little steam today. John Fund at Opinion Journal favors the idea (linked above). (Hat tip: The Corner.)

Thomas Lifson at American Thinker likes the idea too. (Hat tip: Confirm Them.)

Jed Babbin notes at The American Spectator Blog that the President has taken Harriet Miers and Andy Card to Camp David with him for the weekend.

More on The War on Christmas

Kathryn Jean Lopez of National Review has interviewed Fox News Channel's John Gibson about his new book.

Christmas Cookie Postage Stamps

The U.S. Postal Service has just released some cute Christmas cookie stamps, pictured at the link above.

A traditional Madonna and Child stamp, first released last year, is also available.

I'm So Confused...

If I understood what I just heard, the Special Prosecutor kept talking about it being a crime to knowingly reveal the name of a covert agent...but he hasn't charged Mr. Libby with that crime.

Some of the transcript is posted above at Michelle Malkin's site.

I'll be interested to read further analysis about what's happened today by those with legal expertise.

Attorney Victoria Toensing, who wrote the Act which was originally the basis for this investigation, will be on Sean Hannity's radio show today. She was highly skeptical of the Special Prosecutor when I heard her speak the other day, and I have a feeling she's going to be a fascinating interview.

The Latest Buzz

The Alito & Luttig rumors intensify. As of Friday morning, "Scalito" seems to have the edge.

Meanwhile John Podhoretz analyzes the President's handling of the Miers withdrawal. Podhoretz was pleasantly surprised to be wrong that the President wouldn't withdraw Ms. Miers.

(Registration may be required by the New York Post.)

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Late-Night SCOTUS Gossip

The American Spectator's blog says Alito and Luttig are in the running, and the announcement could be as soon as Friday morning.

Either of those names would thrill conservatives.

Confirm Them has an open thread for Supreme Court suggestions and speculation.

Erick at Red State also says the President wants a quick timetable on the new nominee.

I'm going to hope that, quick nomination or not, the next nominee has been thoroughly vetted!

Vintage Shopping Malls

Malls of America has some wonderful pictures of shopping malls of the '60s and '70s. They're sure to bring back memories for anyone who knew them when, and they're very interesting as well for anyone who enjoys "retro" graphic art and photos.

(Hat tip: Pop Culture Junk Mail.)

Fall Food Coloring

McCormick has a fun idea: food coloring in forest green, burgundy, orange, and black.

Just in time for decorating our pumpkin and fall leaf cutout cookies! :)

Byron York Reports on the Withdrawal

There will certainly be more extensive reports on this in days to come, but in the meantime Byron York at the Corner gives the first play-by-play on how the withdrawal process took place on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, a side note of interest is that Dr. Dobson says the President made a "wise decision." (Hat tip: Confirm Them.)

Update: National Review has published a column today suggesting former California Representative Chris Cox as a potential Supreme Court nominee. Confirm Them has been discussing this idea this week. I think it's an idea with potential. Cox has an excellent reputation and is known to desire a career in the judiciary, which has previously been thwarted by Senators Boxer and Feinstein.

A Big Thank You to Radioblogger!

It was quite a thrill to notice that Generalissimo Duane, Hugh Hewitt's radio producer, has included a link to Laura's Miscellaneous Musings on the blogroll on his Radioblogger site. Check out the Ryan Newman Up 'N Comers list! :)

My deepest gratitude to Duane (a fellow NASCAR fan!) for this expression of support. I am most appreciative!

What a Relief

Ms. Miers did the right thing and withdrew, and for that I'm grateful. It's been an uncomfortable time for the President's supporters, and I am hopeful that the President will now select a candidate who will inspire the enthusiastic support of all conservatives.

Many posts of interest above at Confirm Them. (When Miers failed to turn in her "do-over" questionnaire last night, there was speculation at that site that the withdrawal was imminent, as indeed it was.)

Michelle Malkin also has an extensive round-up of links.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Truth Laid Bear Blog Poll on Harriet Miers

The Truth Laid Bear is running an interesting project, scanning blogs for pre-determined key phrases to determine each participating blog's position on the Miers nomination and register the votes on the TLB website.

The tracking page compiling the votes is above.

For your blog to vote, click here for instructions.

While I was initially disappointed by the nomination but inclined to be optimistic and try to give the President and Ms. Miers the benefit of the doubt, in recent days I have regretfully concluded: I oppose the Miers nomination.

The Supreme Court position is, for better or worse, too important to entrust to a cypher like Miers whose political beliefs are, at best, ambiguous. I don't believe we're going to learn a great deal more about her judicial philosophy during the hearings, which lean toward political theater more than an honest discussion of a nominee's positions. I believe Miers did the President a disservice by accepting his nomination when she certainly must be aware of the many fine candidates who would be suitable to be the next Supreme Court Justice.

Sweet Talk

When I first came across the term demerara sugar in a Nigella Lawson recipe, I had no idea what it was. A little Google time proved educational, although I still couldn't find the sugar at my local store.

Time Magazine explores demerara and other "exotic" sugars in the article linked above. I feel a trip to Trader Joe's or Bristol Farms coming on :).

Meanwhile the Newark Star Ledger has this interesting article on one of my favorite flavors: caramel! (Click on "The Sweet Complexity of Caramel" at this link.)

Update: For more sugary talk, check out the "Sugar High Friday" dark chocolate recipe entries linked at Lovescool!

USA Today Doctored Photos of Condi?

The blogosphere is abuzz about the scary-looking photo of Condoleezza Rice published in last week's USA Today.

Michelle Malkin has extensive info, including many links to other sites and informative emails from her readers.

Update: Michelle Malkin reports that USA Today has taken the photo off their website and posted a note confirming that the photo was "altered" and that it did not meet the paper's "editorial standards."

That is well and good, but it does beg the question: who originally altered the photo -- the photographer who took it or someone else at the paper? -- and why? (Well, maybe we can guess why...)

Bench Memos' Ed Whelan Calls on Miers to Withdraw

The anti-Miers movement grows today as NRO's Whelan has now come out against Miers.

Be sure to check out Whelan's link to a speech Miers gave in 1993, which is also discussed at Confirm Them and in The Washington Post.

Miers said that "self-determination" should be the guide for issues such as abortion. As is pointed out in the Washington Post, that kind of philosophy could also open the door to rulings in favor of gay marriage.

Put a fork in this nomination, she's done. I hope.

Update: Ed Whelan expands on his thoughts in a longer article for National Review Online.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

An Inept Plame Investigation?

If this article is true, the eve of possible indictments is a bit late in the game for the Special Prosecutor to be conducting a basic background investigation on Valerie Plame.

The Art and Science of Laundry

Cheryl Mendelson, author of Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House, has written a new homemaking book, Laundry: The Home Comforts Book of Caring for Clothes and Linens.

Time Magazine has an interview at the link above.

Mendelson's earlier book was highly readable and inspiring -- if also a tiny bit intimidating to those of us who don't operate quite on her level (grin) -- and I'm looking forward to this new volume.

More here from the Akron Beacon Journal. (Registration may be required.)

Monday, October 24, 2005

Colorized Movies Are Back (Ugh!)

I just love this quote from an executive: " can you expect a 7-year-old to even comprehend the idea that something isn't in color?" (Rolling eyes.)

And if he's suggesting that THE MARK OF ZORRO isn't as "spectacular" a B&W film as LAURA or ALL ABOUT EVE, well...!

THE MARK OF ZORRO was released in a beautiful edition by Fox Classics not long ago, and this is the version I recommend.

The only thing added to the so-called "Special Edition" is the computerized color version.

(Registration may be required by The New York Post.)

Time's List of the 100 Greatest Novels Since 1923

Mrs. Happy Housewife has a fun post and discussion today about this Time Magazine list.

I posted some of my thoughts on the list on her site. More on this can be found at Semicolon, which is linked in her post.

"Teachers Fear, Backers Cheer Prop. 74"

My H.S. daughter's got an AP English teacher who had a student aide grade their last essay test -- and he refused to commit that this wouldn't happen again -- and a far left-wing AP Civics teacher. You bet I'm for Prop. 74!

Two years is simply not long enough to offer public school teachers tenure. Under the new rules, the AP English teacher would not yet have been there long enough to have tenure, and our complaints might actually have some effect, and there might have been enough time to discern the Civics teacher's inappropriate teaching methods before he was tenured.

Any teacher worth their salt has little to fear. One of the "scare ads" airing on the radio suggests that a principal could fire a great teacher parents love. Which begs the question, why would such a teacher be fired? Occasionally you might find a bad situation with an unfair firing, but "office politics" are part of any career. There's no reason that, unlike other professions, teachers should have special protection after only two years on the job.

Is the President Starting to Back Away From Miers?

NRO's Bench Memos highlights an interesting exchange between the President and a reporter. He doesn't directly answer whether the White House has begun making Miers contingency plans but notes that he will not produce privileged documents.

Is Charles Krauthammer's exit strategy taking shape?

(Registration may be required by the Washington Post.)

The problem with Krauthammer's idea, to allow Miers to gracefully withdraw over privileged documents, is that this executive privilege issue has already been a bone of contention for past judicial nominees (think Miguel Estrada) and it will only serve to encourage the Democrats to use it again in future. This could have the effect of preventing anyone who has worked in the White House from ever being nominated for a judicial appointment.

Update: More on this issue at MSNBC.

White House Resumes Vetting SCOTUS Candidates?

That's the rumor today at Confirm Them.

If true, I hope we can assume the research will be more thorough than it was on Harriet Miers.

Update: Confirm Them suggests former CA Representative Chris Cox for SCOTUS. He was blocked from the appellate court a few years ago, but it's thought he could win confirmation now since he was confirmed to head the SEC. Interesting idea.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Andy Card: "Serial Souterizer"?

Here's the latest on the state of the Miers nomination from John Fund. It's both a depressing and fascinating read.

Fund believes that in the end Miers will withdraw or be defeated.

Tonight's Movie: The High and the Mighty (1954)

Tonight I caught up with John Wayne's THE HIGH AND THE MIGHTY. This film, which has been little seen in recent decades, has recently been released in a beautiful 2-disc DVD set, which includes numerous documentaries and a commentary track. Several surviving cast members participated in the extras.

The movie does a great job conjuring up a more glamorous flying era, when your stewardess met you at the check-in desk and you "dressed" for travel. The plane's navigator looking at the stars through a window in the cockpit roof was sure an eye-opener for someone used to travel in the era of computerized navigation! Many such small moments combine to provide a fascinating peek into the past.

The film is overlong and could easily have been shortened by cutting out the dull flashbacks about individual passengers, but the airplane and rescue coordination scenes are all very entertaining. And it's wonderful to be able to see a "new" John Wayne movie!

Mr. Coburn Goes to Washington

I greatly admire Senator Coburn's attempts to introduce a sense of fiscal responsibility into the Senate.

I note that Senator Allen was one of the 15 Senators voting for Coburn's bill, which will further burnish his image with conservatives who see him as a likely Presidential contender. Rush Limbaugh mentioned Allen to Sean Hannity last week when asked who he saw on the horizon as a good possibility for President.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

A Glimmer of Hope

The White House denies it, but there are stories that some conservative leaders have recently received calls asking for advice on how to handle Harriet Miers pulling out, if she were to pull out...

(Hat tip: Confirm Them.)

Tonight's Movie: Sense and Sensibility (1995)

Tonight we watched a favorite film, certainly one of the best films of the '90s: Emma Thompson's adaptation of SENSE AND SENSIBILITY. Beautifully told, with a superlative cast including Hugh Grant, Kate Winslet, Alan Rickman, Hugh Laurie, and two actors from favorite old British programs, Gemma Jones (THE DUCHESS OF DUKE STREET) and Robert Hardy (ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL).

The novel is probably my favorite by Austen, though PRIDE AND PREJUDICE and EMMA are stiff competition :).

The DVD includes two commentary tracks and some entertaining deleted scenes.

Tropical Storm Alpha Sets Unique Record

Alpha marks the first time that the National Hurricane Center has run through their complete list of names for a hurricane season and had to use the Greek alphabet to name a storm.

Update: AccuWeather has a story tonight that there is a potential for Tropical Storm Alpha and Hurricane Wilma to merge into a "superstorm."

Sears Plans to Spotlight Lands' End

I believe the Sears takeover of Lands' End has been a disaster. Shopping for Lands' End "in person" sounds great -- until you get to the local Sears store and find a run-down, messy clothing department with filthy, broken dressing rooms and no customer service in sight.

An email to Sears about these problems last summer was not answered, despite my sending a follow-up email; a statement on Sears' website says that they will respond within 48 hours. This lack of customer responsiveness is one more example why Sears is failing.

Then there's the changes to Lands' End. As of Fall 2004 their children's clothing was suddenly "fashion forward," particularly for older girls, instead of "classic." Spaghetti straps for schoolwear? No way. Lands' End's classic knit play dresses were suddenly available only up to Size 8. (They have rectified that on a few dress patterns for Fall 2005.)

I'm skeptical that there's hope for either company under the present circumstances. As a longtime Lands' End customer, it's been a big disappointment. This story rumors that Sears may sell off Lands' End. As long as the company survives under new ownership, that would probably be good news.

(Registration may be required by the New York Post.)

Saturday Morning at the Movies

Turner Classic Movies' website has a great page which allows you to watch trailers for dozens of classic films online. If you enjoy movie trailers -- or are trying to decide whether you're interested in seeing a particular movie -- this is a great resource.

Another great site for trailers is Video Detective.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Tonight's Dinner

We welcomed my husband home from a business trip tonight with dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, Lucille's BBQ. It's a very "happening" place which packs 'em in, especially on the weekends.

If you like your food on the spicy side as I do, I highly recommend the "Hot and Spicy" BBQ sauce which is available at their online store, linked above. They also sell a milder "Original" sauce and a vinegary "Memphis" sauce.

Googie Architecture

The L.A. Times ran a fun article on Googie architecture in this week's Home section. What is Googie, you ask? Take a peek here for some visual examples. Think '50s Southern California coffee shops, bowling alleys, and motels :).

One of my fond memories growing up was going to the theater at Westwood Playhouse, then going for a late-night snack at Ship's. They had toasters on each table where you could cook your own cinnamon toast just the way you liked it.

There used to be a lot of Googie-style motels around Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm, but they are slowly disappearing.

The book mentioned in this article, Googie Redux, is outstanding, filled with great photos.

The author also wrote the beautiful coffee table book Ranch House. Coincidentally, the same issue of the Times ran an article suggesting ranch house homes are coming back into vogue.

My interests are nothing if not eclectic! :)

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

Islamic Role Playing in School Appealed

Hmmmm...if the word "Christian" was inserted throughout this article for "Islamic," how would the courts rule?

Air Force One Exhibit Dedicated at Reagan Library

We'll be taking a "field trip" to see this new exhibit in coming months. The Reagan Library is beautiful, and this exhibit, providing an opportunity to see the inside of Air Force One up close, should be especially exciting.

More info here.

The Reagan library's website is here.

The War on Christmas

John Gibson of Fox News Channel has written this book, subtitled "How the Liberal Plot to Ban the Sacred Christian Holiday Is Worse Than You Thought." Sounds like an interesting read.

Update: Gibson has written a column about his book which is available on the Fox News website.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Yours for a Mere $1,449.98

I got a kick out of this listing on Amazon. That's a lot of classic movies! (Grin)

Seriously, Warners does an incredible job on their DVD sets. I'm anxiously anticipating a two-disc collector's edition of An American in Paris which is rumored to be coming in 2006.

College Gender Gap

USA Today on the "college gender gap": only 43% of college students are men, though they outnumber women in the general population. The article considers some possible reasons for the male-female imbalance and what, if anything, should be done about it.

What Was This Teacher Thinking?

The Washington Post reports that a teacher of 8th grade middle schoolers thought it would be a great assignment to give them a list of 100 banned books and choose one of the banned books to read with their parents.

The list contained titles such as The New Joy of Gay Sex and Madonna's Sex -- titles inappropriate for use in a public school at any age, let alone with 12- and 13-year-olds.

The Post's columnist, Marc Fisher, unbelievably supports this project: "...this was a creative assignment, tuned perfectly to eighth-graders' desire to be let in on adult topics, yet tempered by requiring parents to help kids pick the right point of entry."

One parent who supported the assignment is quoted thus by Fisher: "How can I build a resilient child in this world when this is how schools react to pressure?"

There is so much I could say in response to that parent, but it's such obvious common sense I'm not even going to bother.

Desperate Housewives Backlash

Fun article in USA Today about a book written to encourage and inspire women who are Happy Housewives.

Personally I love being a homeschooling, self-employed homemaker. (I usually spend the evening hours working at home as a proofreader.) The book sounds like a great idea.

More Miers Doom and Gloom

More bad (or potentially good, depending on how you look at it) news on the state of the Miers nomination by Byron York.

I wish they'd just end this thing and nominate Janice Rogers Brown or Edith Jones :).

Update: A White House staffer has responded to York's piece, as he reports at The Corner.

Thursday Night Update: The Washington Times confirms something discussed in York's piece: Miers is prematurely ending her meetings with Senators, as they are not going well, to say the least.

An...Interesting...Reason To Homeschool

As an enthusiastic homeschooler, I'm always happy to see this excellent form of education spreading and growing.

This article, though, describes what seems to me to be the strangest reason to homeschool I've ever heard. Although the poor quality of Santa Ana schools is mentioned in passing, the ultimate reason for this mother to homeschool is because her school district doesn't provide what she believes is adequate sex education. The district covers abstinence but not birth control.

It seems to me that if this is truly the mother's only issue with school, she could educate her daughter in this area as she wishes and continue to send her to school.

It sounds as though what the parent is actually doing is using her child to publicize her agenda for the school. The columnist, Yvette Cabrera, certainly supports her in this, saying that students have "a right to receive sex education that explains all their options."

The Founding Fathers would doubtless be amazed by what some people consider "rights" in 2005.

(Registration may be required.)

"The Life and Faith of Jackie Robinson"

I first read this article a few months ago and found it a great read. It came to mind again today as I was discussing Jim Crow laws and desegregation during a History lesson with one of my children.

The author, George Mitrovich, focuses on the role Robinson's religious faith played in helping him deal with the racism he encountered as the first black player in the major leagues. It gave me new insight into Robinson and is quite moving.

Why College Campuses Are Liberal

A survey cited in this article says Democrat professors outnumber Republican professors by 7 to 1 on college campuses. Columnist John Tierney has some interesting theories on the reasons why this is so.

(Registration may be required.)

Miers Nomination Update

Michelle Malkin has lots of links and interesting (though depressing) info today on the current state of the Miers nomination.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Ann Coulter on the Supreme Court

Written in Ann's usual no-holds-barred, humorous style. The ending is quite thought-provoking -- she says we've gone from a democracy to a monarchy (the Supreme Court) and are reduced to hoping "the next king is a good one."

My daughter shocked her civics teacher today by reading Ann's How To Talk To a Liberal...If You Must while waiting for class to begin. He was quite dismayed, to say the least, especially when he learned she's read Coulter's other books. Daughter calmly replied, "It's supplemental reading" and carried on.

"Supplemental materials" is the term the teacher uses for the noncurricular left-wing baloney he shares with the class on a regular basis, such as Michael Moore shows or Unprecedented. Of course, to date he hasn't attempted to provide any alternate points of view for balance. We're keeping a list of the materials with an eye toward sharing it with the principal and possibly the school board down the road.

According to this teacher, there is a center and a right, but not a left. He's like every bad liberal cliche come to life.

"Colleges to Avoid"

Mike Adams, a professor at the University of North Carolina, has written a couple of articles on the current politically correct college scene. It's so sad that these colleges don't realize how silly they are.

Part 2 is here.

I hope in future he makes more positive recommendations for colleges worth consideration.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Miers Doesn't Read Books?

OK, now I'm scared.

(Hat tip: Confirm Them.)

"Being Rachael Ray: How Cool Is That?"

The NYT profiles Rachael. Her new magazine debuts this week.

I've been enjoying Rachael's new Friday night show Tasty Travels. I especially now want to visit Atlanta and The World of Coca-Cola. I love vintage Coke advertising, in particular.

The Shrinking L.A. Times Sports Section

The main reason left to buy the L.A. Times is getting smaller and a measly 8 pages. It seems rather ironic that the Times is trying to save costs by shrinking one of their main "selling" points.

Dodger Thoughts has some examples of stories the Times is publishing online but not including in their print editions.

(Hat tip: L.A. Observed.)

Doris Day Update

Liz Smith of the New York Post has a nice piece on Doris Day, who has been financially aiding efforts to rescue animals from New Orleans.

A "massive" new biography of Day is due in late 2006.

Analyzing Responses to Katrina

USA TODAY highlights some of the problem areas with the Red Cross's response to Hurricane Katrina.

Meanwhile Robert Novak has written an interesting article on Nagin, Blanco, and the future of New Orleans.

Tuesday Night Update: The Washington Post reports that the Red Cross vastly overstated the number of people it was helping to stay in hotels -- the correct tally was about 200,000, just one-third of the 600,000 number the Red Cross had reported.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Random Thoughts From Thomas Sowell

I always enjoy Thomas Sowell's writing...his "Random Thoughts" columns make particularly fun reading.

Our high schooler read Dr. Sowell's Basic Economics last summer at our suggestion, to help prepare for her Advanced Placement Economics course this year. She found it quite interesting, and we're particularly glad she was exposed to Dr. Sowell given that her teacher is a hard-left liberal.

UC Riverside Recruiting Homeschooled Applicants

Universities seem to be increasingly receptive to homeschoolers...a positive trend which will hopefully continue.

Inside Out Junior Mints

My husband is a Junior Mints fan...I'll have to surprise him with this discovery from Candy Blog: Inside Out Junior Mints!

Disneyland at the Henry Ford Museum

My 13-year-old son is currently working on a History essay on Henry Ford and the automobile.

While he was doing research today, we made a fascinating discovery: The Henry Ford Museum in Michigan currently has a special exhibit on the history of Disneyland. The exhibit, which will be open through January 2006, includes artwork, ride vehicles, and Mr. Lincoln.

They are selling a number of unique souvenirs in their online store, too.

Charter Schools Growing in CA

According to this editorial from the weekend's L.A. Daily News, by 2012 at least 20% of all children in California public schools will be enrolled in charter schools.

A Crackdown, Not A Crackup

Rush Limbaugh writes on the Miers nomination for Opinion Journal. Rush says the ongoing crackup is on the left.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Chris Wallace on Media Bias

Wallace says he didn't really notice media bias before working for Fox News Channel, but now he feels it's "astonishing."

If only he could persuade his father to this point of view. :)

Today's Sunday Dinner...

...was Chicken in a Pot from The Yellow Farmhouse Cookbook, linked above. The book's author, Christopher Kimball, is the editor of Cook's Illustrated. Along with recipes, the book contains engaging anecdotes about Kimball's rural childhood. (P.S. The meal was quite good.)

We also had Northern Cornbread from The Joy of Cooking. With 4 tablespoons of sugar in the recipe, this was closer to the "sweet" cornbread recipe I'm looking for and generally went over well, but we're not quite there yet.

Dodgers Hire P.R. Head Who Worked for Gores


Saturday, October 15, 2005

Liberal Groupthink at Teaching Colleges

This article is fascinating and depressing -- the more so considering some of the liberal teachers we've been dealing with at our local public H.S.

(Hat tip: Betsy's Page.)


I'm trying to keep this straight. Judy Miller told the grand jury she thinks she got Valerie Plame's name from Scooter Libby, but not by Plame's name. Yet later she testified she thinks the Plame name in her notebook came from another source, not Libby, but she can't remember who.

And for this she went to jail?

I'm soooo confused.

Power Line attempts some analysis of the latest developments, such as they are.

Congratulations, Denmark!

Aussie-born Crown Princess Mary of Denmark has given birth to her first child, a baby boy.

The baby is likely to be named Christian, as his father's name is Frederik -- and Danish kings have alternated being named Christian or Frederik for about 500 years now.

I recently watched The Prince and Me, a cute film about the Crown Prince of Denmark finding love with a pre-med student at a Wisconsin university. The mythical title prince was named Edvard. Guess the filmmakers didn't know about the Christian/Frederik rule :).

Tuesday Update: Official photos have been released today.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Peter Robinson's Questions for Harriet Miers

Robinson, a former speechwriter for President Reagan, has written a particularly good column asking how Miers could have accepted the nomination.

Robinson, incidentally, is the author of How Ronald Reagan Changed My Life, which is a very good read.

A Day in the Life of a Flight Attendant

USA Today has an interesting "tick tock" following a flight attendant throughout her day as she works a cross-country route.

For more on this subject, Come Fly With Us! A Global History of the Airline Hostess is an excellent history of flight attendants, from the "flying nurses" of early aviation to the miniskirted waitresses of the '70s.

The Art of the Airways is a beautiful coffee table book of classic airline advertising. The colorful depictions of exotic destinations are enough to make anyone want to be a flight attendant. :)

Deconstructing George Clooney's Murrow-McCarthy Movie

I was intrigued by GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK because of its generally excellent reviews, but have also been a skeptic about how accurate the film would prove to be, given Clooney's political views.

Allan Ryskind of Human Events Online critiques the movie from a historical point of view.

Rich Lowry on Bible Education

Rich Lowry of National Review writes on a topic which has been popping up in the media of late, whether Bible literacy should be taught in public schools.

Although I'm generally in favor of the idea, one thing gives me pause, in that so much depends on what an individual teacher does with the material. My lone public schooler, a H.S. senior, is currently in an AP Civics class where the far left-wing teacher is seeking to indoctrinate the students with Michael Moore movies and other non-curricular materials. (The stories I could tell...) A teacher of his ilk teaching a Bible literacy class would be a disaster.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

California Screamin' Coaster to Reopen at Disney's California Adventure

A local radio station reported that it reopens at 10:00 a.m. Friday morning.

I'm not anxious to go on it again anytime soon, however...I'm a nervous rider on that one without a history of brake failure!

Power Line on Sandy Koufax

A lovely tribute to one of the all-time great Dodgers.

John Kerry, Go Home!

'Nuff said.

Time to Withdraw?

The ever-interesting Confirm Them says Republican Senators may be signaling the White House that it's time to withdraw Miers' nomination.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Family Memories, Family Dinners

A Washington Times article on the importance of children having a sense of family history -- which is often most conveniently shared at family dinners.

Miers: A Failed Vetting?

John Fund has written the latest in a series of articles on the Miers nomination, this time a highly critical look at the vetting process.

Peggy Noonan, also writing for Opinion Journal, suggests that Miers be nominated to an appeals court instead. She also criticizes Laura Bush for making "her first mistake as First Lady."

An Outrage

The umpires just gave the Angels-White Sox game to Chicago in one of the worst calls in playoff history. That a home plate umpire could (correctly) call a strike and an out and then reverse himself after the Angels leaving the field, letting the White Sox batter take first, is inexplicable. That the umpires didn't consult and then right the wrong is even more inexplicable.

There's no guarantee how the game would have ultimately ended, but this must surely rank as one of the worst blown calls in postseason history.

Update: Replays Support Angels' Case Against Umpire.

Thumbs Down on the "New" TV Guide

Call me a traditionalist, but if I wanted to subscribe to US Weekly, I would have done so.

Mark Levin and Hugh Hewitt Debate Miers

I admire Hewitt's loyalty to the President, but I think Levin comes out on the winning end of this debate. Radioblogger has posted a transcript of their discussion, which was very enjoyable not only for its intelligence but for its civility.

Levin's Men in Black: How the Supreme Court is Destroying America is an excellent read.

Too Many Commercial Breaks

There are now more reasons than ever to wait and watch TV shows on DVD rather than during their initial TV run. As if the on-screen advertising, miniscule end credits, and commercial breaks aren't enough, networks are now squeezing in more commercial breaks than ever before.

Last night during GILMORE GIRLS we were baffled by the frequency of the commercials. We should time the show with a stopwatch next week (grin). We watched the first seasons of the show on DVD, and it's certainly a more pleasant way to watch a series. Perhaps one day there will be direct-to-DVD TV shows, just as there have been direct-to-video movies. :)

Laura Ingraham for SCOTUS!

Richard Miniter of National Review uses Laura Ingraham's resume to make the point that while Harriet Miers may be acceptably qualified for the Supreme Court, she is not the most qualified, as the White House has been insisting.

The White House argument that Miers is the most qualified for the job is one of the things that's made me especially uncomfortable about this nomination. There are doubtless hundreds, if not thousands, of lawyers who have similar records of legal work and public service, and there are a number of potential nominees who have more impressive resumes. The only thing that is different about Miers is her close work with the President.

Miers' White House experience is a plus, and she may turn out to be a fine nominee, but I'd like a little more honesty about whether or not she's the "most" qualified.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

So Long, Jim Tracy

We'll miss you and wish you every success with the Pittsburgh Pirates -- unless, of course, they're playing the Dodgers :).

Miers an Andrew Card Pick?

In the "For Whatever It's Worth" department, there is some interesting speculation on how the Miers nomination came to pass posted today at Confirm Them. Among the more intriguing bits, credited to "inside sources," is that another potential nominee backed out the weekend before Miers was announced.

Update: Drudge reports that resistance to Miers on Capitol Hill is hardening, per The New York Times.

The Washington Times carries a similar story.

Mrs. Bush Disappoints

I am a very great admirer of Laura Bush, but on the subject of Harriet Miers being the "possible" subject of sexism, she's simply wrong. Ed Morrissey weighs in at the link above.

I also disagree with some of Miers' more vehement critics, putting myself in the "disappointed but trying to be optimistic" category...but again, the idea that the ongoing debate is the result of sexism is preposterous. That complaint is so 1970s. This debate is about who can be trusted most to interpret the Constitution as it was written. There would have been no similar debate were the nominee Edith Jones, Janice Rogers Brown, or one of a number of other very fine potential women candidates.

On the other hand, the issue of academic elitism as a hidden cause of some of the Miers criticism I find a more interesting idea, though I don't have a firm opinion on it myself at present. I tend to doubt anyone would have looked askance at Janice Rogers Brown's undergraduate degree from Cal State Sacramento, however. Hugh Hewitt has been discussing the "elitism" argument at some length.


Sounds like an interesting premise for this new book. I'm curious to try it, although a couple things I've read online have led me to believe it might turn out to have more foul language than I'm comfortable with. I hope not, it otherwise sounds like a fun read.

I have Mastering the Art of French Cooking but haven't cracked it open yet! I think I need to spend more time first working my way through Child's The Way to Cook, which is lavishly illustrated and an excellent tutorial for a relative beginner like me.

Today's Field Trip

Today we visited the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. Just a few years away from the centennial of its opening (est. 1913), the museum claims to be the second-oldest "cultural institution" in Los Angeles. I'm still trying to Google the answer to the "oldest" in that category! The Museum has a wonderful hands-on Discovery Center and Insect Zoo for children. My favorite room is the Gem Vault. :)

"It's Gore Time"?

I guess there would definitely be some entertainment value if Al Gore ran for the Presidency again, but why is it that the Democrats keep insisting on fielding candidates with, at best, a tenuous grasp on reality?

Monday, October 10, 2005

Congratulations Anaheim Angels!

A job well done. On to Chicago! :)

Senator Lugar: Bloggers Not Journalists

My thought is that sometimes bloggers are journalists, and sometimes they're not -- and the government shouldn't be in the business of making the definitions.

Campus Speech

A story in the news today about a profane UC Santa Barbara "Disorientation Guide" -- financially sponsored by professors -- called to mind an interesting book review in the weekend's Orange County Register.

In "Decontaminating the University," Alan Bock reviews Restoring Free Speech and Liberty On Campus by Donald Downs.

It sounds like they may possibly be needing some copies of Downs' book on the UCSB campus soon, if they don't need it already.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Last Night's Viewing: Stranded Yanks (2002)

Last night I caught up with the documentary STRANDED YANKS, which presents a heartwarming and reassuring flip side to the tragedy of 9/11, in that it tells the story of thousands of good and caring people. The program is about the many thousands of Americans who were stranded in remote areas of Canada when their planes were grounded due to the closing of U.S. airspace on 9/11. Entire towns pitched in to care for the grounded passengers in the anxious days which followed.

The experiences in one such town, Gander, Newfoundland, are chronicled in the moving book The Day the World Came to Town. Gander, normally a town of 10,000, cared for 6,000 stranded travelers.

You can also read more in this October 2001 post at Free Republic.

The Family Dinner

I often disagree with Ruben Navarrette on political issues, but he's written a good column on the importance of family dinners. It's definitely a challenge some days squeezing in dinner together between soccer practice and piano lessons, but very worthwhile.

Today I'm trying out a new pot roast recipe from Fine Cooking, a magazine I highly recommend.

Hugh Hewitt on the Miers Critics

Hugh has posted a lengthy, thoughtful piece critiquing the anti-Miers arguments. A passage where Hugh contrasts Robert Bork's past writing on problems with the Supreme Court with Bork's current negativity on Miers is of particular interest.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Dr. Dobson To Be Subpoenaed by Judiciary Committee?

The Ankle Biting Pundits (formerly Crush Kerry) blog has one of the stranger rumors of the past week.

(Hat tip: Confirm Them.)

Arnold's Veto Pen

This week the Governor vetoed state education testing in Spanish and driver's licenses for illegal aliens.

Regarding the testing issue, he mentioned that, as an immigrant himself, he knows the importance of mastering English as soon as possible.

Given that our state legislature leans very far to the left, any time Arnold takes out his veto pen it's usually a good thing.

For Rachael Ray Fans

She has a new magazine coming out next weekend :).

Go Angels!

Sportswriter Bill Plaschke is one of the reasons I continue to subscribe to the L.A. Times despite their often appalling news bias. Here's a lovely column -- if you're an Angels fan, that is -- about last night's win over the Yankees.

"...they walked off the Yankee Stadium field after midnight here caked in mud and grass stains and improbabilities..."

The Beltway Boys Discuss Miers

Radio Blogger has a transcript up of Hugh Hewitt's week-in-review chat with Fred Barnes and Morton Kondracke. A good read.

Friday, October 07, 2005

The Problem with RINOS and Miers

Thomas Sowell on the timid Senate Republicans who may have prevented the President from successfully making a bolder choice for SCOTUS.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

A Case For Miers

This is perhaps the most interesting pro-Miers piece I've read. Of particular note are her financial contributions to pro-life candidates (including the Nebraska Attorney General who defended the state's partial birth abortion law in front of SCOTUS) and her writing on the Second Amendment. (She is also a past gun owner.)

I was truly shocked by the nomination, but am beginning to hope that the President might have outflanked the Democrats with a better outcome than initially seemed possible...maybe he really did figure he didn't need to have a barn-burning fight with an army of wobbly RINOs if he could get what he (and the "base") wanted with Harry Reid's blessing.

I have found the "stealth candidate" tactic disappointing in part as I think the "public conversation" about the proper roles of the judiciary and the Senate that might result from the appointment of someone like Edith Jones would be good for the country, and I also don't like that anyone who's taken a public stand on controversial issues seems to be excluded from being nominated. But I'm now feeling more optimistic that the long-term results, at least, will be positive.

(Hat tip: Hugh Hewitt.)

A Bible Finds Its Way Home...

...thanks to eBay and the kindness of strangers.

"Holistic" College Admissions

...which may be another name for a back-door affirmative action program.

The University of Washington's new criteria will include factors such as applicants overcoming "personal or social adversity."

Have a good sob story or have a single parent, go to college, regardless of grades or test scores. But if you are a high-achieving high schooler who comes from a traditional two-parent family, you had an unfair advantage and just might not deserve college admission.

Mark Levin on Miers and "The Gang of 14"

Levin makes a point also made the other day by Rush Limbaugh -- part of the reason for the President's latest Supreme Court pick is that the President felt he couldn't "go to war" and count on the votes of all the Republican Senators.

More Reaction to Miers Nomination

I'm fascinated that the White House was apparently rather caught off guard by the negative reaction to the Miers nomination.

(Hat tip: Confirm Them.)

Thoughts from Peggy Noonan and Robert Novak.

Ed Morrissey at Captain's Quarters expresses concern about the continuing discussion of Miers' religious faith. I think he has a valid point. Unfortunately, one of the only possible clues we have to how Miers might act on the court is her religious faith, because we have no legal writings or speeches to evaluate her Constitutional philosophies.

With the nomination a done deal, I'm trying to remain positive and take a wait-and-see attitude.

And I certainly hope that should we see another retirement in the next year or so, we will be greeting a Justice Alito, Luttig, Brown, or Jones.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

More on Bill Bennett...and Double Standards

Brent Bozell (above) and Larry Elder share thoughts on the ongoing Bennett controversy.

1918 Flu Caused By Birds

A fascinating article describing how scientists "resurrected" the 1918 flu strain and determined it jumped from birds to humans, and what the implications may be for modern-day concerns about Asian bird flu.

There are also interesting ethical questions -- should something so dangerous be recreated? Could it be more dangerous than helpful?

The Joy of Cake

Nigella Lawson writes in The New York Times about the pleasures of baking cakes, with plenty of tips for good results.

Lawson's book Feast has an amazing "Chocolate Cake Hall of Fame." I enjoy her droll sense of humor and the beautiful photography found in her books.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Media May Have Caused Katrina Aid Delay

The same media that was patting itself on the back for its Hurricane Katrina coverage may have actually caused a delay in delivery of some of the aid because of the false stories that were aired about violence in New Orleans.

Last Night's Movie: Executive Suite (1954)

This was an absorbing film about corporate wheelings and dealings that take place when a company president dies unexpectedly, leaving no designated successor. The business themes were surprisingly undated a half century later, though of course the technology of business has changed (i.e., emails have replaced telegrams). One of the striking things about the film was the lack of background music; instead city sounds, notably a clanging bell, were used to good effect. The film also has some interesting set designs, particularly William Holden and June Allyson's home.

Besides Holden and Allyson, the all-star cast includes Walter Pidgeon, Fredric March, Paul Douglas, and Barbara Stanwyck. Directed by Robert Wise from an Ernest Lehman screenplay; Wise and Lehman later teamed up on West Side Story and The Sound of Music. Wise, sadly, passed away just a couple weeks ago; Lehman preceded Wise in death by just a little over two months.

The film is not yet out on DVD but is available on video as well as on Turner Classic Movies.

July 2007 Update: This movie will be out on DVD October 30, 2007.

2014 Update: This film has been reissued on DVD by the Warner Archive.

"She Knows His Expectations"

The Washington Post quotes a "senior official" suggesting Harriet Miers' ethics are such she would never allow herself to be considered if she knew she couldn't meet the President's expectations for the Supreme Court.

(Hat tip: Betsy's Page.)

Hugh Hewitt ends this post with a reader email sharing the same thought.

Hugh's site also recommended this interesting piece by Thomas Lifson at American Thinker.

I'll take what encouragement I can get :).

Monday, October 03, 2005

And To Cap the Day Off...

William J. Bennett has resigned from the board of K12, Inc. K12 is an outstanding homeschooling curriculum which I'm now in my third year with. It first came to my attention thanks to Dr. Bennett, and I'm sad he is cutting ties with the company in the wake of the flap over his radio remarks.

Update: Dennis Prager weighs in on "The Bennett Libel."

A Bad Day Heading Downhill Fast: Dodgers Fire Tracy

The Los Angeles Dodgers have capped one of the worst seasons in their L.A. history by firing manager Jim Tracy (unless you want to charitably call it "a parting of the ways" as it's being cast in the media). The person they should be firing is General Manager Paul DePodesta, the man who saddled Tracy with a bunch of malcontents and minor leaguers. Tracy has been a miracle worker given what he's had to work with since mid '04 in particular.

Chocolate, Anyone?

I'm feeling the need for a chocolate fix tonight :). Lick the Spoon provides a photographic taste of a Nigella (Lawson, I assume) brownie recipe. It looks fabulous (but SIX eggs?!).

Another Reason Judy Miller Stayed in Jail?

If true, that's quite a payday for a three-month stay.

If You're In Need of Cheer Today... can now mail your letters with Muppets postage stamps!

Governors Reject Disaster Relief Takeover By Feds

U.S. governors have soundly rejected a proposal by the President that the military take charge of responses to natural disasters.

Gov. Haley Barbour of Mississippi said of the federal government, "We don't need them coming in and running things," while Gov. Joe Manchin of West Virginia said "I would never abdicate...the responsibility to protect the people of my state."

All of which serves to underscore the point which was perhaps deliberately ignored by the media and the left in their rush to politicize the response to Hurricane Katrina: the pre-hurricane planning and immediate relief response was not the chief responsibility of the federal government or FEMA, but was the responsibility of state and local officials, who sadly botched the job in Louisiana.

Miers an Evangelical Originalist?

We shall see. Fred Barnes at The Weekly Standard attempts to reassure the base with the news that the President became convinced of Miers' beliefs on the Constitution and judicial restraint through the vetting process she's been managing for Roberts and the current opening.

The White House surely realizes conservatives are, at best, puzzled. Vice President Cheney called in to Rush Limbaugh's second hour to make the case for Miers and assure Rush's listeners that we can trust Miers to practice judicial restraint.

From World Magazine, quoted by Rush today, comes the news that Miers is an evangelical Christian.

The Love of Books and Learning

A great story from the L.A. Times about an illiterate Brazilian who has collected thousands of books and opened a private library in his home to serve his community.

Disappointed and Discouraged

Rather than choosing a known "originalist" for the Supreme Court, the President has selected a big question mark with zero judicial experience...who has, in the past, donated to Democrats.

Reaction above at Confirm Them, and also at Bench Memos -- be sure to check out Mark Levin's posts at the latter site.

SCOTUSBlog has more.

Hugh Hewitt is keeping the faith.

Power Line is also disappointed.

This may turn out okay in the end, but in the meantime I find this perhaps the single most disappointing decision in the career of President Bush, a man I otherwise admire considerably. He had a chance to make a big difference in the life of this country with a nomination of a quality candidate with sterling credentials, such as a Luttig, Jones, or Alito, and he went instead for a friend about whom very little is known.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Congratulations to Dale Jarrett

Jarrett broke a winless streak of over 2 and a half years when he won a wild race today at Talladega. Jarrett became the fifth-oldest winner in NASCAR history.

A Touching Salute to a Hero

Read this one...lovely.

"New Car Smell" Kills?

Or maybe not...if you read way down in the article it says that there is no evidence the chemicals that cause "new car smell" are toxic in the concentrations found in cars. Nonetheless, auto makers are going to be working to reduce the chemicals that lead cars to smell factory fresh.

Many thanks to one of my readers for sharing this story :).

A Return to Sunday Dinner

Russell Cronkhite's A RETURN TO SUNDAY DINNER is a beautiful coffee table book of menus to make Sunday meals extra-special. It has high-quality color photos and enjoyable "Sunday" family anecdotes spread throughout. I highly recommend it for both reading and cooking pleasure.

Cronkhite has written a sequel of sorts, the colorful A RETURN TO FAMILY PICNICS.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Babies Thrive When Raised By Their Mothers

A British study has found that babies fare better developmentally when cared for by their mothers. One of the study authors says: "The social and emotional development of children cared for by someone other than their mother 'is definitely less good.'"

It's kind of interesting to me that this might be viewed as surprising news in some's such fundamental common sense.

Thinking along parenting lines, Maggie Gallagher had a fun column last week about parenting differences between men and women. Another surprise: women love to care for their babies! :)

L.A. Times to Tilt Back to Center?

So rumors Media Bistro's Fish Bowl L.A.

As for me, I'll believe it when I see it, or should I say read it.

Madame Alexander Dolls at McDonald's

My younger daughter and I are always happy when McDonald's gives away miniature Madame Alexander dolls in Happy Meals. The "Setting Sail" doll, in sailor dress, is adorable.

Just a note for those of you with little girls. :)

Alito in the Running?

The ongoing Supreme Court speculation for a Saturday morning, courtesy once more of Confirm Them.

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