July 30, 2005

Column 2005-7-30 Commentary

Well, Brooks isn't quite as lazy as I thought: he only took a few days of vacation this time. However, he comes back with a column about how great his son's AAU baseball team is, and how people should stop criticizing youth sports because, as he reasons with typically Brooksian logic, if his son's team is so good, all youth sports teams must be good. (It must be noted that his rhapsodic descriptions of youth baseball suggest that he fits the stereotype of the parent who is living through his son's athletic success to a T.) Combined with his previous column on the dangers of airplane travel with small children, it appears that either Brooks is remaking himself into a family-oriented columnist (another attempt to get himself removed from the op-ed page and perhaps moved to the Style section?) or is simply too lazy to write about any actual issues that might require actual thought or actual research, though this theory is undermined by the fact that Brooks never does any thinking or research anyway. But I should stop looking a gift horse in the mouth: Brooks is not tormenting his readers with his idiocy, and that's all that I could possibly ask for.

July 28, 2005

Non-Column 2005-7-28: Brooks is a Lazy Bastard

I'm torn here. On the one hand, the less David Brooks, the better. And I need the time usually spent pointing out how much of a moron Brooks is for actual work associated with my actual life, such as it is. On the other hand, Brooks got back from his last vacation two frickin' weeks ago! And he doesn't exactly have the hardest job on the planet, either. Well, maybe he was exhausted by the effort of making his last column actually funny and had to take some time off to recover. On the whole, I'd rather have him gone: what really pisses me off is that he's likely to come back.

July 24, 2005

Column 2005-7-24

Today, Brooks has chosen to be humorous. Instead of writing about something important, he chooses to write about the vicissitudes of traveling on airplanes with children. We must give credit where credit is due, however: he actually manages to be funny, which is quite a departure from his usual comic efforts. Also, I feel something of an undercurrent of rage in this column. Perhaps he is drawing on personal experience? Otherwise, there's not much to be said here. We await Brooks's inevitable return to moronicity on Thursday. In the meantime, you can go here for proof that Brooks has not decided to reinvent himself as a comedian.

July 21, 2005

Column 2005-7-21 Commentary

In Brooks's Thursday column, we learn that Brooks wants to have sex with John Roberts, Bush's Supreme Court nominee. (Wait a minute, that's not right). Correction: in the Rude Pundit's Thursday column, he says that he wants to have sex with John Roberts. Brooks is not actually in love with Roberts, merely his nomination. This is hardly surprising, as it is impossible to imagine Brooks being critical about any administration nominee to the Supreme Court, up to and including James Dobson. Brooks really gives himself away with two sentences: one from the beginning of the column -- "President Bush consulted widely, moved beyond the tokenism of identity politics and selected a nominee based on substance, brains, careful judgment and good character." -- and one from the end "And most important, [Bush has] shown that character and substance matter most." Note first that Bush has "moved beyond the tokenism of identity politics": that is, he picked a rich white male ("the face of today's governing conservatism", as Brooks so nicely puts it). What's more interesting, though, is the fact that "Bush accelerated his search for a Supreme Court nominee in part because of special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation into the leak of a CIA agent's name, according to Republicans familiar with administration strategy." Apparently Bush dumped the long-term advantage of playing identity politics in favor of the short-term advantage of trying to manipulate the media (which didn't even work very well). But maybe Brooks, Rove's indefatigable defender (more on that in the archives), thinks that this is merely another way for Bush to demonstrate how much character and substance matter to him. After all, Brooks never specified whose character and what substance.

As for Roberts himself, Brooks does a nice whitewash. Look! Roberts submitted his wedding notice to the New York Times (according to Saturday's New York Times, his wife grew up in the Bronx, which might have something to do with it)! His wife is a member of a culturally heterodox anti-abortion group! And he lives in the Maryland suburbs of D.C., not the the Virginia ones! Clearly, then, he's not some crazy ideologue! The only real substance backing Brooks's claim that Roberts is not an ideologue is the assertion that Roberts "has done pro bono work on behalf of the environment, parental rights [and that's a hot-button liberal topic-ed.] and minorities." Unsurprisingly, the word "abortion" does not appear in this column. Neither does the phrase "Roe v. Wade". How Brooks hopes to analyze Robert's record without once mentioning his views on this key issue is beyond me (of course, Brooks doesn't actually present Roberts's views on any issue, never getting beyond platitudes about how "principled" and "rich in practical knowledge" he is). As a side note, Brooks states approvingly that Roberts is "
a conservative practitioner, not a conservative theoretician", who is "skilled in the technical aspects of the law," but "doesn't think at the level of generality of, say, a Scalia." Exactly two columns ago, Brooks wrote that Bush should pick the candidate with the largest brain, a philosophical giant who would stun us all with the breadth and depth of his conservative theorizing (see below for more). So, in exactly one week, Brooks has completely abandoned every idea he set forth in that column without a peep of protest. Can you say "partisan hack"?

What is really fascinating, though, is the last part of the column, in which Brooks analyzes the effect of this nomination on the Democratic party, seeing a fight between the "Democratic elites" (for some reason, he refers to the centrists in this way) and the "liberal interest groups" (which appears to refer to the rest of the party). "The outside interest groups and donors . . . need this fight" Brooks says. They are "rolling out the old warhorse rhetoric" and "distorting Roberts's record . . . ." And to cap it all off, they insist that the balance of the court be maintained! How dare they insist that Bush nominate a non-crazy conservative like O'Connor, rather than a crazy one like Scalia! Brooks also makes the mistake of asserting that the balance of the court "never matters when a Democrat is president. This is a mistake because it invites a brief diversion down memory lane to the last time a Democratic president (one W. J. Clinton) got to nominate a Supreme Court Justice. Courtesy of Think Progress, we find that, amazingly enough, Clinton actually consulted with the ranking minority member of the Senate Judiciary committee, Orrin Hatch! Why, one might almost think that he took that "advice and consent" nonsense in the Constitution seriously! Furthermore, one of his nominees, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, was pretty clearly a moderate (a study found that she voted with her Republican-appointed colleagues on the D.C. Court of Appeals more than with her fellow Democratic appointees). So much for balance, I guess. It goes without saying that Patrick Leahy, the current ranking minority member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, was never consulted on this nomination.

Who was consulted? Why, the crazy ideologues and holy warriors, naturally. And there lies the rub, for a day after Brooks attacked liberals who were making Roberts out to be an extreme conservative, the New York Times published an article detailing how the administration managed to convince its base on the lunatic Christian right that Roberts was one of them. Brooks does not assert in so many words that Roberts is no Scalia, but his claim that Roberts is not as broad a thinker as Scalia is undoubtedly intended to disassociate Roberts from Scalia. It is interesting, then, to find Leonard Leo, chairman of Catholic outreach for the Republican Party and someone "tapped by the White House to build the coalition for judicial confirmation battles", describing the process by which people came to realize that "'Roberts fit the president's standards as he set forth in his two campaigns' - a jurist in the mold of Antonin Scalia or Clarence Thomas . . . ." Brooks speaks of liberals "misrepresenting" Roberts's record, which makes one wonder what to think when Jay Sekulow, also picked to help sheperd the nominee through and "chief counsel of an evangelical Protestant legal center founded by Pat Robertson," who also worked with Roberts as a lawyer, says that he knows that "Roberts doesn't argue just to argue", and his heart was in all those cases he fought (including ones in which he argued that Roe v. Wade should be overturned). In fact, the Times article says that a central part of the case for Roberts was his record as a lawyer for Republican administrations. And no less a personage than James Dobson is quoted as saying "We believe the issues we care about will be handled carefully by this judge." So, either the administration has been baldly lying about Roberts's record and beliefs in an attempt to persuade Dobson, Robertson, and their minions to back him, or Brooks is simply casting baseless aspersions on liberals as part of an adminstration campaign to present Roberts as a moderate (with a wink to the Dobsonites) to make his confirmation easier. A tough call, admittedly, but given the loud outcries and veiled threats from the radical Christian right when the idea of an Alberto Gonzalez nomination was floated, I'm going to say that the second option is likely the correct one (after all, what is the name of this website?).

PS: Since Brooks didn't bother to actually address Roberts's record, I didn't either. However, if you're interested, you can download this pdf from the Alliance for Justice, or check out the always-good People for the American Way. Also, see this post for information about a recent and extremely disturbing Roberts decision. And don't forget that Roberts advised the Bushies during the whole Florida recount thing back in 2000.

July 18, 2005

Column 2005-7-17 Commentary

To the unitiated, Brooks's latest might suggest that Brooks is a fair-minded conservative. He praises Robert Kennedy, after all, and Theodore Roosevelt, who is hardly an icon to today's conservatives. And while he does wholeheartedly endorse McCain and Giuliani, they are somewhat outside of the modern conservative mainstream, and certainly not beloved by the lunatic Christian right. This faux reasonableness is Brooks's greatest (and, for that matter, only) weapon, which is one of the reasons why we feel this blog provides a valuable public service. After all, immediately below this entry, you can read about Brooks's recent appearance on NPR in which he did nothing but disgorge talking points in defense of Karl Rove. The radio appearance was only a couple of days before the column, so either Brooks went through a complete about-face in those days, or he is not quite the reasonable being that his newest New York Times offering suggests. A quick survey of the archives would rapidly convince anyone new to Brooks that reasonableness is the last attribute that would be associated with him, and allow such a person to dismiss this column as a rather transparent attempt to keep himself in the good graces of his largely liberal readers.

From this perspective, one can note that Giuliani turned himself into a Bush shill in the months leading up to the election (and how much courage does it take to attack "self-indulgent edifice of urban liberalism"? For that matter, what is the "self-indulgent edifice of urban liberalism"?) and that John McCain is far more conservative then is generally acknowledged (see the Daily Howler for more on McCain). Kennedy was undeniably liberal, but he is also safely dead, and is praised for his courage in fighting the mob, rather than for fighting for any liberal cause, such as social justice. Brooks's paean to "courage politicians" sounds nice and appeals to liberals who still dream of a Republican party that does not regard all liberals as traitors, but it's merely a distraction. The real David Brooks is the one lying through his teeth (or, at best, mindlessly repeating Republican talking points) to defend Karl Rove, and it's important not to lose sight of this fact.

July 16, 2005

2005-7-15: Special NPR Edition

(Hat tip to Dave for bringing this to my attention.) Apparently, Brooks is a regular commenter on All Things Considered on NPR, and on Thursday appeared on that show to answer questions about the Plame case, the Supreme Court vacancy, and the London attacks. Since his discussion of the Supreme Court vacancy was simply a rehashing of his most recent column (see below for more) and he merely gave some meaningless platitudes in answer to a question about the London attacks, we'll concentrate on his amazing ability to memorize RNC talking points about Plame. First, a transcript (by ear, so any errors are my fault, from here):

Host: David Brooks, is President Bush standing by his closest adviser, or is the absence of a vigorous presidential defense of Karl Rove more noteworthy, despite every other Republican offering a vigorous defense of Karl Rove?

Brooks: Yeah, I think the president is not inclined to leap into this thing where we know so little and when the investigation is still ongoing. It would stun me if George Bush were to walk away from Karl Rove, it would take a lot to pry that guy away from the other guy. And I must say, I'm not really one of those people who understands Roveaphobia, the idea that Karl Rove is the dark genius at the center of the universe. And I must say, the frenzy has gone on around us all week, I still don't know that there's a crime or anything particularly wrong going on here. Joe Wilson was going around saying that the Vice President sent him to Iraq, which turns out to be untrue, and Matt Cooper, from what we know of his memo, was looking into that story, and Rove said "No, it wasn't the Vice President who sent him, his wife's a CIA agent."

Host: If there's no crime, what's Judy Miller, from your newspaper, doing in jail right now?

Brooks: Well, she is there to protect a principle. The principle is that you don't reveal sources: that has nothing to do with crimes.

{Interval in which E.J. Dionne, the other analyst, speaks}

Host: David, one more point here.

Brooks: Well, I mean, we're in Alice in Wonderland territory. The idea -- Joe Wilson was the guy not telling the truth. He said the Vice President sent him there, that turned out from the Senate Intelligence Committee not to be true. He said his wife had nothing to do with him being sent, that turned out according to the Senate Intelligence Committee not to be true. Karl Rove, from what we know from Matt Cooper's memo, was the guy actually telling what happened.

Host: But on a more central pont, he said there's nothing to the Iraq looking for uranium in Niger story, and at that time, that was still the official line of the U.S. that there was an Iraq interest there.

Dionne: And Wilson turned out to be right on that the central point.

Brooks: Well, we don't want to get deep into that, but the CIA said that he did not look deeply into it enough -- the Iraq was trying to get Uranium but that's deep into the weeds it just shows how we're getting into Alice in Wonderland territory.

Before I continue, I just want to confirm that yes, Brooks really did say that Joe Wilson was going around saying that the Vice President had sent him to Iraq (it took me several listens to convince myself), but we'll generous and assume that he simply misspoke.

Now for the analysis. First, Brooks says that "we know so little" about this when in fact we know a lot. For instance, we know that Rove revealed Plame's identity to Matt Cooper, a reporter for Time magazine. The day after this NPR show, we found out that, at the very least, Rove confirmed Plame's identity to Robert Novak (however, Brooks may not have known about this at the time, so we'll gave him a pass for now). One thing we knew, then, beyond all doubt, is that Karl Rove revealed the identity of a CIA agent operating under nonofficial cover to someone not authorized to know that information. Did he do it deliberately? Did he know that she was a NOC at the time? That we don't know. Brooks is, of course, correct to say that "I still don't know if there was a crime . . . ." But what we do know is that Rove acted, at the very least, very recklessly in revealing the identity of an undercover CIA agent and that his act certainly damaged national security. To me, it seems like this is plenty, but Brooks apparently is not satisfied.

It's interesting, though less germane, that immediately after talking about who difficult it would be to "pry that guy away from the other guy" (the guys are Rove and Bush) Brooks declares that he can't understand "the idea that Karl Rove is the dark genius at the center of the universe." Maybe he sees Rove as the good genius at the center of the universe.

Anyway, on to the completely false assertion that Joe Wilson went around telling people that Dick Cheney had sent him to Niger. Courtesy of TPM, we can quote the relevant material from his New York Times op-ed that began the whole thing:

"In February 2002, I was informed by officials at the Central Intelligence Agency that Vice President Dick Cheney's office had questions about a particular intelligence report. While I never saw the report, I was told that it referred to a memorandum of agreement that documented the sale of uranium yellowcake — a form of lightly processed ore — by Niger to Iraq in the late 1990's. The agency officials asked if I would travel to Niger to check out the story so they could provide a response to the vice president's office.

After consulting with the State Department's African Affairs Bureau (and through it with Barbro Owens-Kirkpatrick, the United States ambassador to Niger), I agreed to make the trip. The mission I undertook was discreet but by no means secret. While the C.I.A. paid my expenses (my time was offered pro bono), I made it abundantly clear to everyone I met that I was acting on behalf of the United States government."

Does Wilson assert that he was acting on Cheney's behalf? It doesn't seem so. According to the Daily Howler, the closest Wilson came to making such a statement was on CNN's American Morning, where he said: "Well, I went in, actually in February of 2002 was my most recent trip there—at the request, I was told, of the office of the vice president, which had seen a report in intelligence channels about this purported memorandum of agreement on uranium sales from Niger to Iraq." (emphasis from the Howler). The RNC talking points Brooks is using have a different Wilson quote, however, one taken from a different CNN program and nicely debunked by Josh Marshall. Wilson, in fact, never directly claimed that he was sent to Niger by Cheney, and Brooks is just plain wrong here. However, his constant pushing of this line does open the door for a very revealing quote, in which Brooks is paraphrasing Karl Rove: "No, it wasn't the Vice President who sent him, his wife's a CIA agent." This is so revealing because put this way, you can see that there is really very little connection between the two. Why not say simply say that Cheney didn't send him, it was an internal CIA matter? After all, Wilson was not exactly unqualified for this job: he had been acting ambassador to Iraq at the breakout of the first Iraq war and was commended for his service by President Bush the first. He had also served as a diplomat in West Africa for many years and helped direct Africa policyfor Clinton's NSC. His wife may well have recommended him, but she was not, after all, in charge of the CIA, and presumably he ended up going thanks to these qualifications rather than his wife's status. (Some conservatives, most notably Ann Coulter, have ridiculed a memo from Plame pointing out that Wilson knew the President of Niger and the Minister of Mines, because of course you would never want to send someone on a sensitive diplomatic mission who had actual contacts among people who might know the information he was supposed to obtain). Mentioning Wilson's wife was clearly unnecessary if all Rove wanted to do was warn Cooper off of a story. On the other hand, if he wanted to attack Wilson to prevent his story of no attempts to purchase uranium from Niger from being believed, the suggestion that Wilson only got his job through nepotism could come in very handy.

Next, Brooks gets asked why Judy Miller is in jail. Why, Brooks cries, that's a matter of principle! Certainly no crime is involved here! Well, that's why Miller chose to go to jail rather than talk to prosecutors. Why prosecutors want to talk to her so badly they're willing to send her to jail is another matter entirely, one almost certainly connected to some sort of crime.

Brooks then returns to his patently false claim that Wilson had said that Cheney sent him to Niger, and then makes the possibly true claim that Wilson asserted that his wife had nothing to with his being sent to Niger, finishing by asserting that Karl Rove is the one honest man in the whole story. Finally, Brooks attempts to dispute the fact that Iraq was not trying to purchase uranium from Niger before subsiding as he realizes that he really doesn't want to get into questions of weapons of mass destruction at this point. The best he can do is say that the CIA wasn't sure if Wilson did enough work to warrant his conclusion: this doesn't change the fact that it was still the correct conclusion. So, did Wilson deny that his wife had a role in his going to Niger? Possibly, but really, who cares? This is a minor point, and it's time for the big picture now. In the big picture, Brooks says that yes, Rove leaked the identity of a clandestine CIA operative working on WMD proliferation to the media, damaging national security, but that he was right to do so because otherwise the media might have believed Joe Wilson's lies (remember, this is Brooks's defense: Wilson did not lie about the main point, who sent him to Niger). What was so horrible about Joe Wilson's lies? They might have damaged the credibility of Dick Cheney and thus the administration. In Brooks's formulation, then, it's fine to hurt national security by leaking the identities of covert CIA operatives if that's what it takes to prevent people from thinking that the administration might have lied about something. And, really, this isn't very far from what actually happened, which was the damaging of national security by the leak of a covert CIA operative's identity to the media in order to prevent people from realizing that the administration was exaggerating the threat of Saddam's WMD's. In fact, Brooks has taken the accusation against Rove, mixed in a few attacks on Joe Wilson's credibility, and turned it into his defense of Rove. Which means that he has one thing exactly right: we are deep, deep, deep into "Alice-in-Wonderland territory."

July 14, 2005

Column 2005-7-14 Commentary: The Return of Brooks

Today Brooks returns from his vacation anxious to persuade his regular readers that he has not lost anything during his two-week break and is still just as much of a moron as ever. He responds to those who are whispering that he may be growing soft or that the pressure of fighting of Tierney is getting to him by accomplishing the unprecedented feat of writing an entire column about who Bush should nominate to the Supreme Court without once mentioning ideology as a potential motivating factor. Brooks begins by pointing out that some say Bush should name a Hispanic or a woman. Harry Reid wants someone who's not too controversial, Arlen Specter wants a fresh face, and James Dobson wants another Clarence Thomas or Antonin Scalia. Except, of course, that Brooks doesn't mention Dobson, or any members of the religious right, despite the fact that they are undoubtedly exerting far more pressure on Bush than Arlen Specter, much less Harry Reid. The radical Christian right has hardly been keeping silent: mere hours after O'Connor resigned, the religious right began a preemptive trashing of Alberto Gonzales because Gonzales's views on abortion don't match the party line. In fact, abortion is likely to be one of the defining issues on which the battle over the next Supreme Court nominee is fought, and yet Brooks doesn't refer to it once in his column. The sheer, unmitigated cluelessness of not even mentioning abortion as one of the pressures that Bush is under strongly suggests that this column is intended to be a whitewash, especially as it's clear that Brooks has a particular "philosophical powerhouse" in mind, Judge Michael McConnell (and the fact that he is strongly conservative is a complete coincidence, of course). Only one other potential justice is even brought up in the column, and even she is mentioned only in passing. It's possible that Brooks believes that McConnell is the smartest and most accomplished judge in America, but it seems more likely that Brooks is trying to represent McConnell as an unideological judge whose value to Bush would lie in his philosophical abilities rather than his views on Roe v. Wade.

What philosophical abilities are those? Well, it seems that McConnell is opposed to the "Separationist" view in which church and state are to be strictly separated on the grounds that it is "not practical" and "leads inevitably to discrimination against religion." (Brooks here provides two examples of such discrimination, one of which is patently stupid). Instead, McConnell proposes a "Neutralist" view in which the government is, well, neutral about religion. Apparently this is some sort of philosophical breakthrough which has had vast influence: "in the past decade, courts have returned to the Neutralist posture McConnell champions." Or so says Brooks. No evidence is offered to suggest that the courts are actually making Neutralist rulings, or that, if they are, it is because of McConnell. To me, Neutralism sounds like an attempt to water down separation of church and state by essentially saying that if the government doesn't endorse religious speech, it's discriminating against it (or even a morally relativistic, politically correct way to excuse homophobia and similar viewpoints on the grounds that they're Christian viewpoints), but I'm hardly a legal scholar (and god only knows how Brooks has mangled, or, more likely, oversimplified McConnell's positions) so we'll assume that Neutralism is a perfectly legitimate theory. It does seem that McConnell opposes prayer in schools, so he's not a theocrat. But only barely. While giving an outline of McConnell's philosophical position, Brooks sadly neglects McConnell's record, so let's take a look at it, courtesy of the invaluable People for the American Way.

To start with, McConnell has criticized a number of Supreme Court decisions, such as the decision to strip Bob Jones U. of its tax-exempt status because BJU had banned interracial dating. According to McConnell, this is an "egregious" case of the court failing to defend religious freedom "from the heavy hand of government". McConnell is, of course, strongly opposed to Roe v. Wade, which he has compared to the Dred Scott decision (a good sign of a dyed-in-the-wool wingnut), and he has proposed that the Constitution's equal protection clause should apply to fetuses. McConnell also believes that one person, one vote is “wrong in principle and mischievous in its consequences.” (this in reference to key civil rights cases Baker v. Carr and Reynolds v. Sims). Not only does McConnell believe that racial discrimination is a-okay if it's religious, he thinks that nonprofit religious foundations should not be required to abide by federal labor standards (because apparently the minimum wage is deeply unchristian) and that there's nothing wrong with polygamy for Mormons. It's beginning to look like this "Neutralism" may actually require that the government not interfere with anything anybody wants to do as long as they claim that their religion requires it, which is an interesting way to interpret the separation of church and state. Need more evidence? McConnell has written that companies should be allowed to discriminate against homosexuals based on religious (or even non-religious) objections. And finally, McConnell has written an article in which he praised a judge for his "courage in defense of conscience" in essentially flouting the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances law, which rather damages the credibility of his protestations about how Roe v. Wade is settled law that he would never interfere with.

In short, McConnell is clearly a highly ideological judge who is very strongly opposed to abortion and believes in not just neutrality but special treatment for religion, as well as rather backwards views on civil rights. McConnell defended Robert Bork at Bork's nomination hearing, and McConnell doesn't appear to be that different from Bork. Brooks's attempt to present McConnell as a legal lion who cares only for judicial philosophy is laughable at best, although it strongly suggests that McConnell may be the next Supreme Court nominee. But Brooks does manage to reclaim his title of most moronic writer for the Times editorial page with ease, and that's something, isn't it?

July 08, 2005

Our amazing run of luck continues

David Brooks is still on vacation! While he's gone, a couple of Brooksian tidbits:

First, from an article on whether or not conservative thinkers believe in evolution (a stupid question, really, as one can't really "believe" in a scientific theory):

"David Brooks, The New York Times (via email)

Whether he personally believes in evolution: "I believe in the theory of evolution."

What he thinks of intelligent design: "I've never really studied the issue or learned much about ID, so I'm afraid I couldn't add anything intelligent to the discussion.""

Well, at least he's willing to admit it for one topic.

Also, we learn from Liquid List that Brooks is approximately five feet tall. Not that this is really relevant to anything, but it's interesting nonetheless.

Finally, Brooks's absence has, surprisingly, failed to improve the tone of the NYT editorial page. Thomas Friedman's neo-liberal bullshit is now completely unreadable, John Tierney is really stepping up his efforts to displace Brooks (and I don't mean that in a good way), Kristof is succumbing to sensible-liberal syndrome, Dowd's replacements continue to range from ludicrously vapid to vomit-inducingly bad, Bob Herbert's latest column on the need for more fathers in the black community was below his usual standard and even Krugman's latest series on obesity fails to grip me. Not that this means that I want Brooks back, of course. Remember, things can always be worse.

July 02, 2005

Glory Hallelujah!

Brooks is on vacation! I was going to say something snarky about how he already had an all-expenses-paid trip to Africa for which he had to write a mere two columns and why did he need another vacation now, but then I decided not to look a gift horse in the mouth.