Archive for December, 2008

They Can Have Him

Newsday reports that the Boston Red Sox are considering signing free agent pitcher Carl Pavano. Seriously.


From the Inbox

Several friends of StillRight have been kind enough to email on a variety of issues…

Regarding my recent missive blasting the New York Times, a friend takes me to task for being too harsh. He writes:

Of course, the odds of terrorist in Mumbai hitting the Chabbad House by accident and/or thinking that an identifiably Jewish building was an “unlikely” target displays both stupidity and naiveté. Nonetheless, I think you and Hitchens are a bit unfair here. The article you and Hitchens cite was written early in the Mumbai crisis when things were still very unclear. The Times’ subsequent coverage never denied, and in fact asserted, that the Chabbad House was a deliberate target of a vicious terrorist attack. The Times’ coverage re: the Chabbad House was extremely sympathetic. I have a LOT of problems with the Times’ coverage of Israel, the Arab world, Iran, Venezuela, and much of the rest of the world and here at home. But in this instance I think your criticism is a bit unfair. It just seems to me that fair criticism should at least place the timing of the Times’ article in context (I know you gave the date) and mention the Times’ subsequent coverage.

Another friend and regular contributor, in response to my post about my recent visit to England, asks if I noticed a more receptive environment during my visit, to wit:

You forgot to mention the reception you got in England as it relates to the recent election outcome. Were the British buying you drinks, shaking your hand, and congratulating you? Did you disappoint them by revealing that you supported the confused and cranky old rightist and his eye candy sidekick? I hope not. Here’s what Stanley Bing had to say about England and the election results after his trip to Europe:

I will report to you that I believe it is FAR more pleasant to have visited Europe after the election of Barack Obama than it is before. There are two headlines that leapt out at me from the vast newsstands covered with Obamamania of one sort or another. One was from a British paper, and simply said: “THANKS, YANKS.” The other was also in English, but looked local. It said: “Welcome back, America.” During the conference, at which there were but two other Americans among a crowd of some 1,500, a number of folks came up to me and congratulated me on our new president. The only one who expressed serious reservations, quite interestingly, I think, was a pleasant, very thin, very gray Russian fellow. Shades of the Cold War. I don’t think they like us very much. Again.

I know, you likely view European ecstasy at the casting off of one of the most unpopular regimes in the history of the United States, both here and abroad, as proof that we made the wrong choice, since in your view the rest of the world are crazy, socialist, terrorist coddling wimps. And it is indeed true that a huge outpouring of domestic and international support does not always into a successful administration. But surely you must concede that, as we move forward in this hour of desperate need for international cooperation to combat the global economic crisis and the international terrorist threat, we will be on far stronger footing when Obama asks our allies for help than were we to continue Bush and McCain’s “my way or the highway” republican strategies of the past eight years.

Another friend shares his thoughts about the recent news that President-Elect Obama plans to offer Israel a kind of “nuclear umbrella” against a nuclear Iran. He writes:

A nuclear umbrella. How wonderful Israeli’s must feel, knowing that they will all be posthumously avenged – and they don’t need to waste anything from their own nuclear arsenal because it’s on us, their good buddies in the good ‘ole US of A.

Let’s all applaud the President elect, not only for his unwavering support for Israel (well for its charred remains at least), but for the new efficiency he is bringing to Foggy Bottom and the Pentagon. With this wonderful nuclear umbrella, our diplomats and military leaders no longer need to worry about preventing Iran from finishing up their nukes. With that nagging issue off their plates, they can turn to matters more important to the Obama administration and its grateful nation.

Thanks, and keep ‘em coming.

You can share your thoughts by posting a comment or emailing me at


The Times: Maybe It Was An Accident

How naive can people be?

As Christopher Hitchens notes, when it comes to recognizing the true nature of Islamic terrorists, naivete is boundless, at least at the New York Times. He writes about the Times coverage of the recent attacks in Mumbai:

The obvious is sometimes the most difficult thing to discern…An all-time achiever in this category is Fernanda Santos of the New York Times, who managed to write from Bombay on Nov. 27 that the Chabad Jewish center in that city was “an unlikely target of the terrorist gunmen who unleashed a series of bloody coordinated attacks at locations in and around Mumbai’s commercial center.” Continuing to keep her brow heavily furrowed with the wrinkles of doubt and uncertainty, Santos went on to say that “[i]t is not known if the Jewish center was strategically chosen, or if it was an accidental hostage scene.”

An “accident”?? Forgive my language, but a f—ing “accident”?


Backpedaling 101

The way this is going, by the end of the day, I’m sure we’ll be told that Barack Obama and Rod Blagojevich have never even met. Look at this backpedaling:

Emanuel told the New Yorker earlier this year that he and Obama “participated in a small group that met weekly when Rod was running for governor. We basically laid out the general election, Barack and I and these two.”

Wilhelm said that Emanuel had overstated Obama’s role. “There was an advisory council that was inclusive of Rahm and Barack but not limited to them,” Wilhelm said, and he disputed the notion that Obama was “an architect or one of the principal strategists.”

An Obama Transition Team aide emails to note that Emanuel later changed his recollection of this story to Rich Miller’s “CAPITOL FAX,” saying, “David [Wilhelm] and I have worked together on campaigns for decades. Like always, he’s right and I’m wrong.”

Rod who?


Change He Believed In

From Jake Tapper of ABC News:

On June 27, 2002, state Sen. Obama said, “Right now, my main focus is to make sure that we elect Rod Blagojevich as Governor, we…”

“You working hard for Rod?” interrupted Berkowitz.

“You betcha,” said Obama.

“Hot Rod?” asked the host.

“That’s exactly right,” Obama said.



Barack Obama, December 9, 2008:

“I had no contact with the governor or his office and so we were not… uh… I was not aware of what was happening”

Obama senior advisor David Axelrod, November 23, 2008:

“I know he [Obama] has talked to the governor and there are a whole range of names that have surfaced. He has a fondness for a lot of them.”


Where Have I Been?


Haven’t been posting because I took a trip to the UK. And so, now safely back in the US, here are my random observations about England:

1. It’s cold in London. Really cold and rainy and wet.
2. It gets dark very early in England in December. Night time starts at 4 pm.
3. Driving in England is tougher than I thought- I knew about the whole “wrong-side-of-the-road” thing, but I was not prepared for numerous other complications, such as the tiny, winding roads, especially the single lane roads (helpfully called “unnamed road” on the GPS) that are literally 7 feet wide. Trust me, it is no picnic.
4. And speaking of driving, no rest stops! Unlike here in the US, where it seems we have a full service rest stop with toilets and restaurants and convenience stores every five miles, in England there are pretty much none. Which leads me to wonder- do English people not pee?
5. Parking your car opposite the direction of traffic is apparently legal since everyone does it.
6. Drinking on the sidewalk outside of pubs is so common, even if it’s about 30 degrees out, it seems mandatory.
7. Cambridge is nicer than Oxford.
8. British tabloids are trashier than even the New York tabloids.
9. Not enough cable channels.
10. London cabbies are way smarter and more informed than New York cabbies.
11. High tea is expensive.
12. Not enough trash cans on the city streets.
13. Even though it’s a chain restaurant, Pizza Express has awesome pizza.
14. Heathrow Airport – what’s up with no food shops or newsstands near the gates?

Here are a couple of pics- a shot of my ride, and a shot of me enjoying the scenic view.
My Ride

Enjoying the view


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