- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Quick change

“In the beginning, [Britney] Spears was a doe-eyed, bubble-gum pop princess, her earliest photo shoots and album covers projecting a carefully constructed image of an innocent Southern girl — a wholesome, card-carrying member of the Mickey Mouse Club. But once a fan-base of impressionable and adoring pre-teen girls was established, and — more importantly — parents felt comfortable enough with her to finance their pre-teens’ Britney binges, the marketing scheme shifted. As soon as her albums rose up the charts … Britney tossed off the Mickey Mouse Club beret and there’s been no looking back.

“In March 1999, at the age of 17, Spears posed for her first magazine cover for Rolling Stone. … Clad in her underwear atop a pile of silk sheets, Spears enthusiastically shed her butter-wouldn’t-melt-in-my-mouth image. … Britney candidly informed a Rolling Stone reporter that ‘Holy roller religious people made such a big deal about that photo, and I didn’t really get it. That’s the way I’ve always been, and I thought that photo was a good representation of who I really am.’”

Sheila Monaghan, writing on “Britney Blowback,” Thursday in the American Spectator Online at www.spectator.org

Fertility gap

“Just think of all the time we wasted worrying about the culture gap, the religious gap, the class gap and even the gender gap. Now we are told that the political future will rest in the fertility gap.

“This is the latest bulletin from the demography-is-destiny crowd. The fate of red-and-blue America will come down to who is filling those pink-and-blue nurseries. …

“The Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto explained the ‘Roe effect’: ‘It’s almost a truism that women who have abortions are more pro-choice … so that if liberal women are having abortions, the next generation will be more conservative.’ …

“We now have a number of, um, fertile male minds from left, right and center … agreeing that the political future belongs to the fecund female. …

“This idea hinges on some numbers from 2000. High fertility states such as Utah went red. Low fertility states such as Massachusetts went blue. … [W]omen in Gore states were having 12 percent fewer babies than women in Bush states.”

Ellen Goodman, writing on “Is the right outbreeding the left?” Sept. 19 in the Boston Globe

Naming names

“Tune in to the proudly liberal radio network [Air America], and you’ll hear actress-turned-activist Janeane Garofalo and other hosts frequently blast the ‘influence’ of the ‘neocons’ on the Bush administration, then go on to name names such as [Paul] Wolfowitz, [Richard] Perle, [Elliot] Abrams and [Lewis] Libby. Not a single gentile name makes the list, so it’s the Jewish influence to which the network takes particular exception. …

“By ‘neocons,’ the left means the Jewish subset of neocons. Witness Maureen Dowd’s column last year: … ‘The neocons have moved on to a vigilante action to occupy diplomacy. The audacious ones have saddled up their pre-emptive steeds and headed off to force a regime change at Foggy Bottom. … The president is not always privy to the start of a grandiose neocon scheme. … When the neocons want something done, they’ll get it done, no matter what Mr. Bush thinks.’”

Julia Gorin, writing on “Blame It On Neo,” Thursday in the Opinion Journal at www.opinionjournal.com

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