March 27th, 2004


More Clarke

In my last entry I speculated about how the Bush administration could have defused the whole Richard Clarke thing, by simply saying 'that's his opinion' and moving on. Their apparent obsession with personal loyalty to Bush won't let them leave it alone, though.

Now in the NYTimes today, Colin Powell is quoted, taking exactly the sort of tone I suggest would have defused the situation:

'While saying that Mr. Clarke's book is "not the complete story," Mr. Powell said on the PBS program "NewsHour" he was "not attributing any bad motives" to Mr. Clarke.

"I'm not aware of a campaign against Mr. Clarke, and I am not a member," Mr. Powell said. "The book is the book, and you can read it and make your own judgment as to whether it's accurate."'

The whole article. Of course you'll have to register, and the link will roll over to a request for money after 10 days

Powell has always seemed the odd man out in the Bush Administration. He's been cut off at the knees more than once by the Rumsfeld/Rice/Cheney wing of the White House Posse. If Bush wins again, we'll likely have Condaleeza Rice as Secretary of State, God help us all. I expect flying monkeys to start streaming out of the White House moments after the inauguration.

Oh yeah. This is Bill Frist's finest moment. Now he's shown himself to be yet another of the reptilian predators of the GOP, along with Rove, Delay, Santorum, etc, etc.

Jersey Girl

Jersey Girl is an odd movie to come from Kevin Smith, given his previous movies. What is preserved is an easygoing atmosphere, a certain sense of humor and New Jersey. Really, though it's Smith's remake of John Hughes remake of "It's A Wonderful Life." It's very much a schmaltzy, sentimental Hollywood tearjerker.

But at least it is a perfectly done schmaltzy sentimental Hollywood tearjerker. I loved the way that it mythologizes small-town New Jersey -- turning "Gateway to Sandy Hook" into a new Bedford Falls. Affleck is better in this role than he's been in anything recent; he displays some range, and seems as natural as any freakishly handsome modern Adonis can seem in a movie.

George Carlin, though, steals the show, with probably his best performance in a movie ever. He's funny without being a bufoon, and his wry ill temper keeps every scene he's in from becoming cloying. Liv Tyler is as adorable as ever, but this script gives her more to work with than most of her roles. In that comet-colliding-with-earth movie, she might as well have had a head of solid wood, for all the script asked of her, and she was little more than a mannekin in the Lord of the Rings movies.

I can see how people wouldn't like this movie, but it worked for me. It's a big tureen full of sentimental goop, but it's the best tureen o goop I've seen in a long while.