Political Animal


YEAH, A RECALL CAMPAIGN SOUNDS LIKE A GOOD IDEA. LET’S DO IT!….The California Republican party, in an apparent effort to make Britain’s Conservatives look like like a lean, mean, disciplined machine, has decided to launch a recall campaign against Gray Davis 15 weeks after he was re-elected. But they admit there could be problems:

Recall organizers agree their effort could be doomed if voters see it as a Republican assault on Davis.

And what, exactly, is the alternative vision they have for their campaign? That it’s an altruistic bipartisan effort?

Are these guys complete idiots or what? Or is the party secretly run by Democrats who are giggling hilariously as they instigate one hopeless fight after another while they cruise through every election essentially unopposed?


SLIPPERY EDITING AT THE LOS ANGELES TIMES…. CenterLine is a proposed light rail system for Orange County that’s been in the planning stages pretty much forever. Here is today’s headline about the project in the print edition of the LA Times:

Inflation Does Number
On CenterLine Costs

The 11-mile light rail system is now estimated at more than $1.5 billion with only half the ridership originally projected, new figures show.

Imagine my surprise. This could be a permanent headline for this project.

But what is surprising is that the headline is completely different in the online edition:

Fewer Riders Expected
For Rail Project

The scaled-back Orange County CenterLine will have half the users originally projected, officials say. Estimated cost hits $1.5 billion.

I checked all the other headlines from the front page of the Orange County section of the paper and there were virtually no changes at all. The changes that were there were obviously due to column width restrictions in the print edition and had no effect on the meaning of the headline. Only this one was completely rewritten.

And even stranger is this: the CenterLine story was the top story of the day in the local Orange County section. But on the LA Times website it’s nowhere to be found, either in the Orange County section or the generic California section. Every other front page story is prominently displayed. I had to do a keyword search to find it.

This is the second time I’ve noticed some slippery editing regarding CenterLine at the Times. What the heck is going on?

ANTI-AMERICANISM….I’ve been a strong proponent

ANTI-AMERICANISM….I’ve been a strong proponent of the view that anti-Americanism in Europe is not as pronounced as American conservatives make it out to be, so in the spirit of not ignoring evidence I don’t like, here’s a passage from the Los Angeles Times today:

In the days just after Sept. 11, 80% of the callers to one of France’s top call-in radio shows declared that the attacks “were well done, it served the Americans right,” said Christophe Hondelatte, the host of the show on the RTL network. Hondelatte said he decided not to broadcast the calls because he thought they were offensive and inappropriate.

I don’t know anything about Hondelatte or the show he hosts, and there’s no way of knowing for sure if he’s characterizing his callers correctly, but even so this is pretty depressing news.

UPDATE: More here.

BUSH VS. GREENSPAN….Irwin Stelzer has

BUSH VS. GREENSPAN….Irwin Stelzer has an interesting article in the Weekly Standard today about Bush, Greenspan, and free trade:

Greenspan’s position infuriates the supply-siders on the Bush team. To them, the deficit is more than a mere tabulation of revenues and outlays–it is a stick with which to beat free-spending Democrats.

….The White House team is saying that the Fed chairman has lost sight of the broader thrust of the president’s tax proposals….They say that these are the first steps on what will be a long road. As the Financial Times perceptively notes, “Little by little, [the administration] has headed towards the distant dream of some Republicans: a tax system based on consumption.”

And on a related note, is it just my imagination or is the Standard really a more interesting, more unpredictable, and basically more honest conservative magazine than National Review? It seems that way to me.