NEWS AND OPINION:
A timely and important book arrives Tuesday. That would be “Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words,” based on both historical documents and extensive, exclusive personal interviews with the Supreme Court justice conducted and edited by Michael Pack and Mark Paoletta.
Do those names sound familiar?
The pair produced a well-received, two-hour documentary film of the same name which was screened in 110 movie theaters nationwide two years ago and deemed “a marvel of filmmaking” by Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker. The film continues to stream at multiple online viewing sites.
There are no retreads here. Over 90% of the material in the new book did not appear in the film. And yes, Ginni Thomas, wife of the justice, is also featured in the book. The authors, meanwhile, bristle with ability and background.
Mr. Pack is president of Manifold Productions Inc. and the writer, director and producer of numerous award-winning, nationally broadcast documentaries. He also served as CEO of the U.S. Agency for Global Media under former President Donald Trump, as the president and CEO of the Claremont Institute and as the senior vice president for television programming at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
Mr. Paoletta served as general counsel to the Office of Management and Budget under Mr. Trump from 2018 to 2021 and as chief counsel and assistant to Vice President Mike Pence from 2017 to 2018. A veteran lawyer, he also specializes in representing clients in congressional investigations.
The book has already earned glowing reviews from the likes of Sen. Mike Lee, Utah Republican; Fox News hosts Laura Ingraham and Mark Levin; former U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese; and C. Boyden Gray, counsel to President George H.W. Bush.
“Clarence Thomas is an American hero, representing the best of America. We hope that learning more about Justice Thomas’ life and ideas will be as inspiring to you as it has been to us,” the authors write in their introduction.
The book is from Regnery Publishing.
HERE COMES ‘SUPER FRUGAL’
Inflation is prompting a cultural shift.
“People who are already frugal are certainly having a moment,” pointed out Axios, noting that prices are up on iconic summer interests such as barbecues, children’s camp or flights to a vacation destination.
This could be a repeat of the days when “frugal chic” and “frugalista” were popular terms, emerging around 2005 — exemplified by a New York Times article that asked “Frugal chic, anyone?”
But time marches on and the chic folk have upped their thrifty knack — newly identified as “Super Frugal” by a new Wall Street Journal analysis.
“What Inflation? The Super Frugal say they were made for this moment. For families with strong habits to curb spending, sticking to their strict household budget is the plan,” the Journal noted in a headline.
“Extremely frugal families are coping with record-high inflation by doing what they’ve always done: not spending money,” wrote columnist Clare Ansberry.
“With high inflation costing many Americans more, a small but enthusiastic group of already-super-frugal people are taking their saving strategies further. Some of their tactics: checking wholesalers for sharply reduced ‘distressed’ foods with damaged packaging; designating no-spend months when they abstain from buying nonessentials; and auditing one or two categories of spending to see where they can shave costs,” Ms. Ansberry said.
“Extreme money-saving measures are gaining interest as more than 80% of American consumers say they plan to cut back spending by buying cheaper or fewer products,” she noted, citing a May survey of 1,014 people conducted by NPD Group.
THE PLOT THICKENS
Uh-oh. Looks like the gloves are about to come off. News coverage of President Biden is undergoing some changes.
“The taboo lifts on discussing Biden’s age,” wrote Jim Geraghty, a senior political columnist for National Review.
“Almost overnight, Biden’s age, mental state, memory, and health changed from the elephant in the room to a topic that is now acceptable for Democrats and the media to discuss. Hey, how about the rest of us who noticed all of this a long time ago?” he asked.
“Suddenly, it’s okay to say Biden is really old and out of touch. Did you notice that discussing Joe Biden’s age, memory, and mental state — denounced as the ‘gross, lowest-common-denominator politics that drive people away from public life’ by CNN’s Chris Cillizza when I wrote about this issue last August — became an acceptable subject for quiet and subdued expressions of public concern in the past week or so?” Mr. Geraghty asked.
Yes, well. The columnist cited very recent examples of just that in The Atlantic, The New York Times, CNN, and The Wall Street Journal, among others.
President Biden appears to be convinced that the electric car will remedy U.S. energy woes and maybe save the planet, advises Roger Simon, a columnist for the Epoch Times.
“It’s almost as if the current occupant of the White House worships the electric car in a fashion bordering on idolatrous. Without the slightest apparent thought, he destroyed U.S. energy independence and is threatening worldwide economic collapse on its behalf,” Mr. Simon advises.
“Indeed, the electric car is Biden’s ‘Golden Calf.’ He should get down on his knees and pray to a Tesla. With inflation at 8.6%, the highest in 40 years, he’s going to need some divine help. But someone might want to explain to Biden the reality of electric cars, if indeed he’s capable of comprehending it. For that someone, I would nominate Bjorn Lomborg — the Danish author and president of the think tank Copenhagen Consensus Center — who has been perhaps the world’s most esteemed climate journalist for decades,” the columnist said.
“As recently as February, Lomborg wrote a lengthy article for the Daily Mail with the equally lengthy title, ‘Are electric cars the new “diesel scandal” waiting to happen? They generate polluting particles just like petrol vehicles, are not even that cost-effective and, as one expert finds, will not save the planet,’” Mr. Simon wrote.
POLL DU JOUR
• 97% of U.S. adults report they have a smartphone, 83% keep it with them throughout the day, 72% have it near while they sleep.
• 50% say they can’t imagine their life without a smartphone; 44% would be anxious if they lost it even for a day.
• 21% say it has made their life “a lot better”; 44% say the phone has made their life “a little better.”
• 24% say the phone has not affected their life for better or worse.
• 10% say it has made their life “a little worse”; 2% say it has made their life “a lot worse.”
SOURCE: A Gallup poll of 34,591 U.S. adults conducted online Jan. 3-Feb. 18 and released Monday.
• Follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.