Nicer to Bomb-Throwing William Ayers Than Conservative William Buckley
"In your new book, Race Course: Against White Supremacy, you and your wife, Bernardine Dohrn, describe your long struggle against racism and social injustice. Do you think Obama's victory has put America on a new course?"
"How did you feel when Obama publicly disowned you, describing you as a guy in his neighborhood who had committed 'despicable acts' when he was eight years old?"
"How do you feel when you wake up?"
"You're weirdly cheerful for a former bomb-thrower."
- Some of New York Times Magazine "Q&A" interviewer Deborah Solomon's questions to former Weather Underground bomber Bill Ayers, February 15.
"You have made so many offensive comments over the years. Do you regret any of them?"
"You seem indifferent to suffering. Have you ever suffered yourself?"
- Some of Solomon's questions to the late founder of National Review, William F. Buckley, in a July 11, 2004 New York Times Magazine interview.
But It Was OK When Lefties Called Bush a Fascist for 8 Years
"Conservatives might be seeking a spiritual leader, organizing principle and fresh identity, but they at least seem to have settled on a favorite rhetorical ogre: socialism...It seems that 'socialist' has supplanted 'liberal' as the go-to slur among much of a conservative world....Right-leaning bloggers and talk radio hosts are wearing out the brickbat." - Mark Leibovich, March 1 Week In Review.
"...Mr. Bunning has shown no sign of stepping aside and delivered a string of incendiary pronouncements that have fed an impression that he is, to go with a baseball metaphor, a bit of a screwball." - Mark Leibovich's profile of controversial conservative (and former MLB pitcher) Sen. Jim Bunning of Kentucky, March 6.
Rush Limbaugh a "Sweaty, Swollen Man"
"As someone who spends a lot of time on the road, I used to find Limbaugh to be an obnoxious but entertaining companion, his eruptions more reliable than Old Faithful. But now that Limbaugh has become something else - the face of the Republican Party, by a White House that has played him brilliantly - he has been transformed into car-wreck-quality spectacle, at once scary and sad. Behold: The sweaty, swollen man in the black, half-buttoned shirt who ranted for nearly 90 minutes Saturday at the Conservative Political Action Conference." - Former Times reporter Timothy Egan on his "Outposts" blog, March 4.
At Least It's Original. Bad, But Original
"The whole sorry episode reeked of the same cowardice that the entire party is showing in the face of this howler, afraid of offending his Limbaugh-tomized minions of the far, far right." - Times columnist Charles Blow on the dust-up between radio host Rush Limbaugh and RNC Chairman Michael Steele, March 7.
Laying on the Conservative Negatives
"In recent years, the Fourth Circuit had become the most assertively conservative court in the nation. Its judges have taken the lead in trying to reduce federal power in several areas, even once trying to lead the way in undoing the Miranda rule that criminal suspects must be apprised of their rights before they answer questions. The court's conservative majority also tried to roll back affirmative action policies and was reliably supportive of Bush administration efforts to widen presidential authority in detaining terrorism suspects without trial or charges without Congressional input.... They tend to be more restrictive of abortion rights, less accommodating to criminal defendants and sharply skeptical of expanding federal authority at the expense of the states." - Supreme Court reporter Neil Lewis, March 11.
Column Title, "Middle East Reality Check," Evidently Meant Ironically
"Like Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah has long been treated by the United States as a proscribed terrorist group. This narrow view has ignored the fact that both organizations are now entrenched political and social movements without whose involvement regional peace is impossible....Perhaps Hamas is sincere in its calls for Israel's disappearance - although it has offered a decades-long truce - but then it's also possible that Israel in reality has no desire to see a Palestinian state....Speaking of violence, it's worth recalling what Israel did in Gaza in response to sporadic Hamas rockets. It killed upward of 1,300 people, many of them women and children; caused damage estimated at $1.9 billion; and destroyed thousands of Gaza homes. It continues a radicalizing blockade on 1.5 million people squeezed into a narrow strip of land....The Gaza war was a travesty; I have never previously felt so shamed by Israel's actions." - Foreign affairs columnist Roger Cohen, March 9.
Planting '60's-Style Propaganda for Left-Wing ACORN
"As resistance to foreclosure evictions grows among homeowners, community leaders and some law enforcement officials, a broad civil disobedience campaign is starting in New York and other cities to support families who refuse orders to vacate their homes. The community organizing group Acorn unveiled the campaign with a spirited rally on Friday at a Brooklyn church and will roll it out in at least 22 other cities in the coming weeks. Through phone trees, Web pages and text-messaging networks, the effort will connect families facing eviction with volunteers who will stand at their side as officers arrive, even if it means risking arrest....In recent months, a budding resistance movement has grown among Americans who believe they have been left to face their predicament on their own - and the Acorn campaign is an organized expression of that frustration, Ms. Lewis said. Instead of quietly packing up and turning their homes over to banks, homeowners are now fighting back." - Reporter Fernanda Santos in a February 18 profile of ACORN organizer Bertha Lewis.
"Genial Enforcer of Rome's Ever More Conservative Writ"
"Archbishop Dolan, who Pope Benedict XVI named on Monday to lead the Archdiocese of New York, is a genial enforcer of Rome's ever more conservative writ, a Falstaffian fellow who talks of his love of the Brewers baseball team and Miller beer, and who takes obvious joy in donning his bishop's robes and pounding his bishop's staff as he tromps into church." - From Michael Powell's February 24 profile of New York's new archbishop.
Hmm. What Should We Be Using for Toilet Paper, NYT?
Americans like their toilet tissue soft: exotic confections that are silken, thick and hot-air-fluffed. The national obsession with soft paper has driven the growth of brands like Cottonelle Ultra, Quilted Northern Ultra and Charmin Ultra - which in 2008 alone increased its sales by 40 percent in some markets, according to Information Resources, Inc., a marketing research firm. But fluffiness comes at a price: millions of trees harvested in North America and in Latin American countries, including some percentage of trees from rare old-growth forests in Canada." - From a February 26 story by Leslie Kaufman. The New York Times prints over one million copies every day.