- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Tomorrow the world
"[I]n the California gubernatorial election, the dull (incumbent Gray Davis, who in a rare flash of color said that Al Gore is his charisma adviser) is leading the desperate (Republican Bill Simon, who is running 'Do you know me?' ads). Sixty-five percent of likely voters say they wish someone else were running, and the someone most often mentioned is actor/humanitarian/ Conan-the-Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger.
"Arnold, or 'Ahh-nuld' as he calls himself, is barnstorming the state to drum up support for Proposition 49, a ballot initiative that would increase access to after-school programs by making matching grants available for all K-9 public schools. The proposition's Web site is joinarnold.com. And its passage seems entirely dependent on the action star's cult of personality not a bad thing in California, where neither 'cult' nor 'personality' is a word generally associated with Davis or Simon.
"[I]t has been 34 years since the 55-year-old Schwarzenegger left his native Austria with nothing more than a gym bag, washing up on our shores to take over the bodybuilding world, then the film world, and next, well, probably the world."
Matt Labash, writing on "Muscular Republicanism," in the Oct. 28 issue of the Weekly Standard

'Root causes'
"The slaughter of hundreds [in the Oct. 12 Bali terrorist bombing] is, relative to population, an Australian 9/11, with the same heart-rending details of people clawing desperately through the rubble in search of husbands, wives, children. When Osama's boys hit the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the root-cause crowd, after some pro forma regret about the loss of life, could barely conceal their admiration for the exquisite symbolism of the targets, the glittering monuments to American militarism and capitalism.
"This mass murder [in Bali] was clearly going to be harder to excuse, but the root-causers gamely rose to the occasion.
"[Australian diplomat Bruce Haigh] told Australia's Nine Network, 'The root cause of this issue has been America's backing of Israel on Palestine.' You don't say. It may well be true that, for certain Muslims 'frustrated' by Washington's support for Israeli 'intransigence', blowing up Australians in Bali makes perfect sense. But, if even this most elastic of root causes can be stretched halfway around the globe to a place conspicuously lacking either Jews or Americans, then clearly it can apply to anyone or anything: My advice to [Irish Republican Army leaders] Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness is to put down the Omagh bombing as an understandable reaction to decades of frustration at Washington's indulgence of the Zionist oppression of the Palestinian people."
Mark Steyn, writing on "They want to kill us all," in the Oct. 19 issue of the Spectator

Golden throat
"Sen. John McCain couldn't carry a tune if it had a handle.
"And that was part of his comedy shtick this weekend as the Arizona Republican butchered a number of Barbra Streisand songs and slammed her politics as he hosted NBC's 'Saturday Night Live.'
"In a spoof commercial hawking an album called 'McCain Sings Streisand,' the senator portrayed himself as a man who 'has served his country in the military, the Congress, and the Senate,' said the announcer. 'Now he serves America with song.'
"That's when McCain jumped into a brutal rendition of Streisand's 'Evergreen.'
"'I've been in politics for over 20 years, and for over 20 years, I've had Barbra Streisand trying to do my job,' said McCain during the spot. 'So I decided to try my hand at her job.'
"'Do I know how to sing?' McCain asked. 'About as well as she knows how to govern America,' he said to roaring laughter from the studio audience."
Joe Kovacs, writing on "McCain 'slays' Streisand," Sunday in World Net Daily at www.worldnetdaily.com

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