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January 27, 2009

Who Should Replace Kristol at the NY Times?

Michael Calderone asks an excellent question:

With William Kristol gone from the New York Times op-ed page, that leaves David Brooks -- a fan of talking philosophy with Obama -- as the lone conservative regularly on the page. Since September 2003, when Brooks joined the op-ed page, there has typically been another conservative or libertarian columnist at the Times, such as William Safire or John Tierney.

Editorial page editor Andy Rosenthal wouldn’t comment to Politico—or his own paper—as to whether he’ll add another conservative voice to the stable of Dowd, Rich, and Krugman.

But that won't stop the speculation. Here are few possibilities:

1) David Frum: A former Bush speechwriter, Frum left his contributing editor post at the National Review to found a site devoted to the future of the GOP, NewMajority.com. Perhaps, that could be more attractive for the Times than a conservative writer recycling the same old debates. Bonus Zabar's points: The New Yorker's George Packer thinks he'd be best for the job.

2, 3) Byron York and Megan McArdle: During a talk at Columbia University, Rosenthal mentioned that he admired the work of the National Review’s Byron York and The Atlantic’s Megan McArdle. “Wooing Megan?” asked colleague Andrew Sullivan earlier. Politically, they’re quite different, with York the conservative, and the latter more on the libertarian side. However, both already make the rounds on BloggingHeadsTV, which is now on NYTimes.com.

4) Ross Douthat: While hovering around 30, The Atlantic’s Douthat might seem a bit young to be under consideration for the Times. But his rise on the right has been impressive: Douthat’s the author of “Privilege: Harvard and the Education of the Ruling Class” and co-author of the Brooks-touted “Grand New Party.” Of course, he's willing to trash Harvard, while also writing pro-life columns. No telling how that would go over on the Upper West Side.

5) Peggy Noonan: There probably wasn't a columnist more praised during the 2008 campaign than the Wall Street Journal’s Peggy Noonan—Brian Williams is a big fan. Not to mention, she might already share feelings about Sarah Palin with your average Dowd reader.

Dark horse) Rush Limbaugh: Yes, it’s unlikely. But NextRight’s Patrick Ruffini floated the idea earlier on Twitter, and it led to a discussion on Culture11. “We need a heartland conservative who will shock the elite's sensibilities,” Ruffini wrote. Is he saying that Brooks isn't shocking elite sensibilities?

If I may put a slight twist on Michael's question, given that whoever the Times chooses could arguably be viewed as the lone ambassador for conservatism on the pages of the Times (I don't think anyone can credibly argue that David Brooks, though he writes an interesting and often thought-provoking column, does anything to advance conservative ideas), who do you think would do the best job of explaining and defending conservatism to an audience ill-inclined to be receptive to anything that contradicts their world view?

I take for granted here that there are two goals here:

1. Introduce a credible and persuasive conservative voice to progressive readers of the Times who (if the comments section of any offering which dares to contradict the conventional wisdom are any indication) are not only unreceptive to any argument from a conservative but in many cases actively hostile to such offerings.

2. Build a real following amongst Times readers, even if they aren't completely convinced by the arguments presented, because the quality of those arguments compels them to rethink reflexively held positions.

Recently, John Hawkins posted his 2009 Conservative Blogger Awards. Embedded in the awards was a response for pundits which may be helpful in formulating your answers. I love John's lists and polls and have since 2004: they're one of the best things he does.

So, who do you think is the best candidate to replace Kristol, and why?

Here's my take on the possibilities Michael put forward, and my tentative picks:

1) David Frum: I've never been that fond of David Frum as a columnist. Not sure what he brings to the table.

2)Byron York:

Byron is easily one of the best conservative columnists around. His writing is concise and well researched and he knows how to construct an argument. He might need to throttle his technique back a bit to appeal to Times readers' justly famed 'flexible urban viewpoint' but if he can manage to make his arguments in a slightly more New Age Sensitive Male way, he'd be a first rate choice.

3)Megan McArdle: Haven't seen full length columns by Megan; only her blogging. She can write. Her thinking is generally fairly sound.

She's not going to be an ambassador for conservatism, however.

4) Ross Douthat:

Douthat is an impressive fellow. Only recently became aware of him and I like what I've seen. Smart, credible, not a rabid idealogue but understands the difference between being able to see shades of gray and jettisoning his moral compass.

I think he'd be a fine choice and what's more I think Times readers would like him - and listen to him.

5) Peggy Noonan:

Peggy is the conservative's Susan Collins without the cheap snark. She writes beautifully.

I'm not sure she does much, if anything, to advance conservative ideas. Her columns tend to be a pastiche of semi-random musings all too often colored by her emotional reaction to events of the day although there's definitely a mind and plenty of sharp insight there, too. That's fine for the op-ed pages of the WSJ, where she's among friends. On the rough and tumble pages of the Times, I don't see her doing us any good. Too David Brooksian.

I bet this is who they pick.

6. Rush Limbaugh: Two words: too polarizing. His persona and the dislike he engenders would overwhelm any argument he might make. It would always be about Rush, not the ideas.

A few choices not mentioned:

1. Daniel Henninger. Sober, thoughtful, principled without being overly partisan, Mr. Henninger was my first choice for 'favorite columnist who's not a blogger' in the Right Wing News poll.

2. Thomas Sowell would be a particularly shrewd choice because quite frankly, he's black and he's so brilliant that once he begins writing, at least some Times readers will begin to wonder why they've never heard of him. And so they should.

3. Walter Williams: another thoughtful and credible columnist. Like Sowell, he has a wonderful way of turning issues on their heads and making people see them in a different light.

4. Debra Saunders: solid reasoning, good persuasion skills.

Posted by Cassandra at January 27, 2009 08:43 AM

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Either #2 or #3 from the not mentioned list would be my choice. Both are outstanding... at least IMHO.

Posted by: bthun at January 27, 2009 10:15 AM

Geez, you ought to apply for the job...

I agree that it would probably be Peggy Noonan if anyone - she's 20 years out of date and predictable. That would be non threatening enough for the Times.

Posted by: Pogue at January 27, 2009 10:26 AM

Not Frum. No. Way. Please!

Not Peggy, although that would be the logical NY Times choice, since she already writes for the WSJ. I usta like Peggy (well, actually I usta really love Peggy, after a 1993 interview on CSPAN, but I grew out of it), but the last few years have seen her run out of viewpoint and ideas. Meh.

Byron York. He would be my #1 choice for all the reasons that you cited. Plus he's still pretty young.

Thomas Sowell. Very good writer, has a long list of books and will take no prisoners. He is honest as the day is long in his analysis and opinions, and will never be compromised. Dr. Sowell's only drawback is that he is getting up there in years and might only want to do it for a few more years. Same with Walter Williams.

Ann Coulter? Rush Limbaugh? Baw-ha-ha-ha-ha!

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at January 27, 2009 10:27 AM

Also, Andrew Ferguson?

Also writes for "The Weekly Standard", that bastion of "evil neocons", so who knows? But he is pretty funny at times.

Victor Davis Hanson? Not a "true" political conservative, but a "classical conservative", in the Greek notion.

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at January 27, 2009 10:30 AM

How about Kathleen Parker? After sh got a job with WaPo, she turned so far left she'd fit right in.
I'd recommend BHO, but he's busy with OJT on another new job.

Posted by: Joseph Brown at January 27, 2009 10:41 AM

You know, I used to like Ms. Parker a lot. I still enjoy her writing at times.

I think, however, that she and a few other conservative pundits (Ms. Noonan is another example, and women do tend to do this a lot, though Lord knows there are PLENTY of men who do this too) lack the ability to have philosophical disagreements with other conservatives without 'going hermitile', as my Dad would say :p

In opinion writing, it is often hard to be dispassionate. It's even harder in blogging due to the instant nature and disinhibiting character of the Web. That is why I like Mr. Henninger's columns so much. I can tell he cares passionately about his subject, yet his writing is not hot-tempered or unnecessarily personal, but rather well considered and impeccably reasoned - even when I don't agree with him (and I don't always). That commands respect.

IOW, it's that self control thing. If I were a syndicated columnist, that is the quality I would aspire to.

Posted by: Cassandra at January 27, 2009 11:16 AM

Peggy Noonan voted for Obama, got deep into the slobberfest, IIRC. How Conservative is that?

Posted by: MathMom at January 27, 2009 12:17 PM

I agree that Bryon York or Thomas Sowell would be excellent picks, as would Victor Davis Hanson. I would also suggest Ed Morrissey from Hot Air, Jeff Goldstein from Protein Wisdom, and Pejman Yousefzadeh from Chequer-Board of Nights and Days. A definite "no" on Peggy Noonan.

Posted by: Tim K at January 27, 2009 12:30 PM

"I take for granted here that there are two goals here:

1. Introduce a credible and persuasive conservative voice to progressive readers of the Times who (if the comments section of any offering which dares to contradict the conventional wisdom are any indication) are not only unreceptive to any argument from a conservative but in many cases actively hostile to such offerings."

Y'all are assuming two very important points:
1) They've checked with Xerxes to see if it's *ok* to include a conservative voice on his flagship propaganda machine.
2) That they want another conservative voice in the first place.

You know what happens when you "assume"....

This is the NY Times after all.

Jus' sayin'.

Posted by: DL Sly at January 27, 2009 12:41 PM

Speaking of Xerxes... I can't help but wonder if Carlos Slim Helú might insert (or assert) an opinion into this selection/go-no-go process?

In the interest of transparency (I love it when politicos use that phrase as a preamble to their inevitable obfuscation, whether the topic needs it or not)... I based my choices on Sowell or Williams not only due to their obvious qualifications and my appreciation of their work, but also due to the prospects of the NYT editors, worker bees and subscribers heads exploding en mass, for reasons intuitively obvious to the most casual observers. After they devote their energies to the production of much stammering, stuttering, slandering and swearing in columns and columns of vacuous but undoubtedly sardonic material. Think Tommy Smothers Oh, OH YEAH! shtick.

That alone might provide enough material to kick start the next incarnation of the late, great Bob Hope. That reminds me to add a lot of popcorn to the survival stocks in the hovel’s underverse.

I'll hush now.

Posted by: bthun at January 27, 2009 01:29 PM

There's only one person who should fill those shoes, RUSH LIMBAUGH. Let the man who plants fear in the heart of Pres. Obama be given his own column. After all the NYSlimes had a half dozen columnists raking Pres Bush over the coals for eight years, and as the libs are wont to say, IT'S ONLY FAIR that they have the most popular conservative columnist to balance the ObamaTimes opinion pages.

Posted by: eaglewingz08 at January 27, 2009 02:18 PM

My second choice would be Thomas Sowell and my third choice Michelle Malkin.

Posted by: eaglewingz08 at January 27, 2009 02:20 PM

Michelle does write a good column.

Posted by: Cass at January 27, 2009 02:40 PM

Robert Samuelson would be another good choice if he wrote on a broader range of topics. I enjoy his work greatly.

Posted by: Cass at January 27, 2009 02:41 PM

I love Dr. Williams. So, that means he will not be picked. I love Thomas Sowell. Oh, wait, this isn't about how we feel...it is about how we think. I love the way Dr. Williams and Thomas Sowell think and I love their writing.

Posted by: Cricket at January 27, 2009 03:01 PM

The Star Tribune just axed our lone conservative voice - Katherine Kersten. Shocking, huh?

Not necessarily a national name, but Powerline has linked to her frequently...

Posted by: zok86 at January 27, 2009 03:44 PM

"Hermitile", Cassandra? I love it.
I'd suggest Krauthammer, but I have to keep a dictionary handy when I read his columns!
I'm not really sure if he'd want to do a daily column, tho.
Kathleen Parker lives in my state, SC, and because she does our paper (which unfortunately is owned by the NYT) used to print her column every Wednesday. But since she went to WaPo she's sort of absent on Wednesdays these days.

Posted by: Joseph Brown at January 27, 2009 04:20 PM

I wondered about Krauthammer too.

I like his columns. Often he has a way of cutting right to the essence of a difficult issue and clarifying it. On the other hand, he has occasionally seemed to me to take a somewhat partisan stance that I found difficult to reconcile with an objective view.

IOW, what I'm saying is that if I think he is a bit biased (yes, everyone is biased but I think a column - to be persuasive - ought not to give that impression) than I can't imagine how he would come across to someone more liberal. They might discount everything he says.

What I'd like to see is someone who is persuasive, dispassionate in his/her analysis, and gives the impression of being fair and respectful to the other side. If the goal is to persuade, I think these qualities are essential. What I don't want to see is someone who panders to either the right or the left.

You can make the best argument in the world, but if you raise so many hackles on the way that people stop listening, it falls on deaf ears. Preaching to the choir doesn't help us any - it's the moderates we want to appeal to, and progressives (and there are some) inclined to see another side on selected issues of importance. That's how you build consensus - not by flaming the opposition.

Posted by: Cass at January 27, 2009 04:41 PM

I think sometimes that people - especially some folks who are really peeved that we lost, forget that elections are won and lost on the margin and Obama really won this one by steady accretion of small wedge groups.

In the end, it added up and handed him the election.

If we were able to do that by dint of persuasion, it would be huge. Like it or not, the Times is an influential paper and we do need credible, persuasive conservative voices there. As nauseating as it was recently, the lovefest between Brooks and Collins wasn't a bad thing. Progressives see that and they're less inclined to dismiss Brooks out of hand - and he does make some conservative arguments quite well, despite his occasional angst-fests.

Posted by: Cass at January 27, 2009 04:45 PM

Can the line of Volvos headed for Washington driven by applicants for jobs in the Obama Administration really be seen from space? :)

Remember that one by Brooks? Maybe its Prius' now.

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at January 27, 2009 05:26 PM

"If we were able to do that by dint of persuasion"
... Yessum, while knowing that the persuaded would be restricted to those on the margins. And in this environment, I imagine that it will take a while for the effects of the current Administration and Congress on our lives and our nation to provide those on the margins with enough of an incentive, or if you'd rather call it a nudge, to once again consider conservative positions on their merits.

BTW, wasn't this past election all about passion over reason? Or did I miss more than I thought?

Posted by: bt_of-the-pinched-nose-voting-block_hun at January 27, 2009 05:33 PM

This is just my take, bthun.

I think a lot of it was fatigue. People are tired of war. They are tired of big problems no one seems to know how to solve.

They grew tired of being told every night on the news that the White House is incompetent and dishonest and that we are torturing people and no one likes America. Just as they lost confidence in the markets, there was a slow, steady sapping of confidence in government: in our public institutions.

And so they wanted change, even if they didn't know what "change" was. Several progressives have admitted privately to me that they didn't know what Obama would do. They weren't even interested in specifics - they say they were but when you pin them down: did they agree with this? Did they agree with that? They will say that they "trusted" Obama to make positive changes, even not really knowing what those changes would be.

They just wanted a change.
And that's why all that hope-y change-y nonsense worked so well. It perfectly exploited a shared feeling, and since it was non-specific, different people could write their own hopes large upon it.

Posted by: Cass at January 27, 2009 05:54 PM

I think they'll be ice-skating in Hades before Limbaugh gets the post. Your take is spot-on.

"who do you think would do the best job of explaining and defending conservatism to an audience ill-inclined to be receptive to anything that contradicts their world view?"

To quote Hamlet, "that is the question".

For far too long, the conservative voice has been faint and near-reaching. We see the result of that failing today in the White House and Congress.

Daily column? That's a killer. There aren't many who can last on that schedule - at least, not with a lot of pablum-recycling.

Don Brouhaha: I'm curious about your "Victor Davis Hanson? Not a "true" political conservative, but a "classical conservative", in the Greek notion."

I know he's a classical scholar, but how do you characterize a "true political conservative"? (I know it would be extremely difficult to find an example to point to today.) Would Bill Buckley or Russell Kirk fit that mold?

Posted by: ZZMike at January 27, 2009 05:54 PM

The blog princess, of course....

Posted by: The Army Wife With the Cool Shades at January 27, 2009 05:56 PM

I read a lot of conservative and libertarian bloggers and I'd be happy with a good representative from either camp. Megan McArdle as the libertarian would be fine and as the conservative I'd love to see Mark Steyn.

Posted by: John C. at January 27, 2009 06:06 PM


Your perceptive take is spot on, as usual, at least IMO...

Emoting sure seems to be the catalyst that consumed rational deliberation in ~52% of the electorate.

And I agree with TAWwtCS, that you would be a good choice, but I do not think I would wish that upon you under most any circumstance.

So I'll stand by my desire to see Sowell or Williams fill the slot. I chill some brews and pop some corn while waiting for the wailing, self-flagellation and lamentations of the disillusioned left.

Posted by: bt_of-the-pinched-nose-voting-block_hun at January 27, 2009 06:32 PM

Well ZZMike, ya got me there.:)

Having read a lot of VDH, my only conclusion was that he adheres to a lot of hard-earned and learned classical virtues and perspectives, which don't always agree with "political conservatism", as it is known in America.
In other words, I greatly respect his wisdom and insight, and yes, he is more like Buckley than say, Peggy Noonan or David Frum. But he is not a "political" commentator or analyst, more of a philosphical analyst.
I don't know if he could be inventive enough as a writer to crank out the volume needed to fill the job. When he writes too much about certain subjects, his writing tends to get a little stale.
I am presently reading "A War Like No Other", VDH's history of the Pelopenessian War.

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at January 27, 2009 08:46 PM

Another vote for Mark Steyn, conservative and funny as well.

Posted by: James at January 27, 2009 10:00 PM

Victor Davis Hanson then Mark Steyn.

No to Rush Limbaugh or Michelle Malkin as they are TOO far right and a too reactionary for my taste.

Posted by: Donna B. at January 28, 2009 03:38 AM

Mark Steyn. YES.

Michelle Malkin? Well, although I was totally amazed the first time I heard her speak and figured out that she was a Conservative (Woman? Of Ethnicity? and Conservative???), I check her blog daily but more often than not come away depressed.

I do not think her extreme language helped McCain's chances during the campaign, and though McCain was my choice of last resort, he was our last resort. Look what we have now, though McCain was too imperfect for Mrs. Malkin! Look at the vituperation she heaped upon George Bush, who may have made bad choices but also, unbelievably, kept attacks away from our shores for seven fargin' years. That, and liberating 50 million Muslims from totalitarian, homicidal rulers, earns him a place on Mt. Rushmore, in my opinion.

It may have turned out that McCain would govern exactly as Obama has started, by throwing gazillions of our tax dollars into the whirlwind. Hell, he may have even chosen Hillary Clinton as Sec of State, in his ill-conceived "spirit of bipartisanship". He dissed "greedy" CEOs, but would not call out Barney Frank and Chris Dodd, and he went all populist on the oil companies and Al-Gorish on ANWR, without ever educating himself about them (or looking at god-forsaken ANWR). But he would not have turned bum-up to Russia and stood down on a missile shield in Europe, inviting thuggish behavior that will now be unmet by muscle.

I wonder how many Michelle Malkin readers became too discouraged by her writing to vote for Mav in the last election? How many did she cause to stay home, and by failing to oppose The Messiah, elect him?

Posted by: MathMom at January 28, 2009 09:46 AM

I read Fraulein Malkin occasionally precisely for that reason. I do think she has a sense for news and does have a Finger On The Pulse, but her bedside manner?

Sheesh. I'd take Ann Coulter. But then everyone would ignore her as another screeching right wing harpy. We need thought-provoking persuasive arguments and commentary.

Posted by: Cricket at January 28, 2009 10:05 AM

The New Ledger has just come to my attention. Some seriously good, thoughtful writing over there.

Posted by: MathMom at January 28, 2009 11:52 AM

MathMom, I went over there and read one article. I think Cassandra ought to shop her stuff over there...she is right up there with the commentary and ability to think, write and Get The Word out.

Hear me, Cass? I would hate for you to quit blogging, but you truly do have what it takes to write for the National Review Online and the New Ledger.

Posted by: Cricket at January 28, 2009 01:42 PM

Hey Cricket -

After linking to The New Ledger, I read an article over there entitled "Barack Obama: The First Truly Catholic President", based on his extension of abortion services worldwide (I kid you not). Of course, this guy dances around it with talk about helping the least among us or some such "logic", I lost interest when I felt my brain twisting and starting to leak out of my ear. So...I guess there is a variety of opinion there. Can't say you're preaching to the choir!

Still, I found good, solid writing and thinking, and believe you are right when you suggest that Cass join them.

Posted by: MathMom at January 28, 2009 01:58 PM

I think it's a fairly big assumption that the NYT actually wants a conservative to fill the spot. I don't see it.

As for the candidates...

Limbaugh ~ no thanks. I'm a conservative and he drives ME insane. He's pompous, self-centered, and incredibly arrogant. I can't remember how many times the word "I" or "Me" or "My" came up the last time I did a word count while listening to him but it was inordinate. I'd have to gouge my eyeballs out with a pencil.

Malkin ~ like Cricket said, her bedside manner is, um, lacking.

VDH ~ I think he'd be above he heads of the majority of NYT readers. On so many levels.

Steyn ~ acceptable. I like hiim on Hugh Hewitt and when he fills in for Limbaugh. I think his "outsider's" viewpoint is good.

I'd have to cast my vote for either Krauthammer or Frum. But I suspect that my vote would be in vain as I do not truly believe the NYT is looking for a true conservative to fill the spot. They are looking for an Alan Colmes to play conservative flunky.

Posted by: Sly's Wardrobe Mistress at January 28, 2009 02:30 PM

Sly's WM -

I listen to Rush now and then, used to detest him. I first heard him on AFRTS radio when we lived in Saudi Arabia in the 90's. I thought he was vain, arrogant, self-centered, and all the synonyms from your comment.

Now, I think he has a healthy self-image, but I've come to believe that the "I", "me", "my" stuff is largely tongue-in-cheek. That "all-seeing, all-knowing, all-sensing, all-feeling Maha Rushie" stuff he says I believe is humor. Maybe some vanity, but mostly humor. Compare the "I, me my" count of anything Bill Clinton says with that of Rush. The count is probably the same. But whenever Rush says "I", he puts all that emphasis on it and stretches it out - I think it's supposed to be funny! Took me a while to figure that out.

That said, there are many times I just have to shut it off if he's on. For those times, I keep Mark Steyn's audiobook of "America Alone" in the MP3 player in the car.

Posted by: MathMom at January 28, 2009 03:12 PM

I suspect that NRO wouldn't touch me with a ten foot pole no matter what I did :p

It's not my writing. It's more an image thing or tone thing, guys. In all these years they have never once linked to me. Never once.

You can't tell me that I've never once written anything good enough. I've seen them link to some pretty suspect stuff and they link to John's place all the time (not that his place is suspect - my point is that John links to me a lot, so it's unlikely it is a matter of falling under the radar scope) :p

The fact of the matter is that the pinup in the masthead doesn't do me any favors either.

Posted by: Cassandra at January 28, 2009 03:32 PM

Keeps out the riff-raff, though...

Posted by: MathMom at January 28, 2009 03:41 PM

Well, if the NRO has the bad taste to not link to you, that is their problem and our good fortune.
Rush is good, but I can't get good reception on am and static bugs me more than he does, so I just Do Without. I read the 'Indispensable Mr. Gaithner.' Excellent piece of writing. I have yet to check out the piece you mentioned, but hey, it beats reading sociology and why I have to be brainwashed into believing in Feminism.

Posted by: Cricket at January 28, 2009 05:10 PM

...they link to John's place all the time...

He only *pretended* to get snockered on that cruise.

He's got the blackmai -- errrrr, *souvenirs* -- tucked in the Fototime® folder he thinks I haven't found...

Posted by: BillT at January 28, 2009 05:16 PM

MM ~ it may very well be an act. There's always some truth behind an act like that. And I can't get past the act to the message 9 times out of 10. I agree with his message. I just can't tolerate the delivery.

Posted by: Sly's Wardrobe Mistress at January 28, 2009 06:03 PM

Sly's WM -

I feel your pain. :)

Posted by: MathMom at January 28, 2009 07:09 PM

You feel her pain, MM?
Her pain!?
Obviously you've not stopped to contemplate the necessary temperature at which icing is required to be just prior to applying to the human body -- so that it doesn't melt too soon, yanno.....not too mention the icing knife.....let's just say that it's a good thing those things don't have *sharp* edges.

Noooo....I'm *still* not ready for my close-up, Mr. DeBille.

Posted by: DL Sly at January 28, 2009 09:38 PM

Ah, oh-KAY. I'll just not talk about icing and human bodies. Wouldn't be prudent. Not at this juncture. :)

Posted by: MathMom at January 28, 2009 10:51 PM

No Mathmom, I think the pin-up brings IN the riff-raff. :)

Seriously, there have been times over the last few years when I think that Jonah Goldberg has read "VC", because he will say something in the Corner that paraphrases something said in one of Cass's columns, and it is with hours (sometimes less). Don't underestimate yourself, Cass. Gerard VanderLeun has noticed you, and he is a pretty good professional writer.

I would stay away from Frum. I think he is slow poison on the Republican Party. Jerry Pournelle has nothing good to say about him (as he calls him a Jacobin), and he has met him. Jerry is pretty much a paleo-con (whatever that means), but his judgement on people is usually very accurate, and he is pretty broad-minded in many ways.

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at January 28, 2009 11:12 PM

No Mathmom, I think the pin-up brings IN the riff-raff.

Nah, I'm just here for the icing...

Posted by: BillT at January 28, 2009 11:42 PM

You're probably right. Don. Gawkers and oglers probably come here to gawk and ogle the pinup. Of course, you have to balance the effect of the pinup with the countereffect of the stuffed marmoset...now I'm getting a headache! I wonder if Barack Obama can heal it?

Posted by: MathMom at January 29, 2009 07:22 AM