The week (May 19th): Nobody asked me, but…

With a bow to the incomparable Jimmy Cannon, nobody asked me, but…

HOW ABOUT A MORATORIUM on the phrase “speaking truth to power”? When CIA Director nominee General Michael Hayden, Senator Barbara A. Mikulski, Rep. Jane Harman and Michael Kinsley all use it within a few days, you know it’s losing whatever meaning it ever had. I’ve never cared for the phrase; there’s something overwrought about it.

THE USUAL DEFENSE INDUSTRY SUSPECTS–Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, Boeing–apparently love President Bush’s $2 billion high tech border control plans. The New York Times says they will all be in the hunt for these juicy federal contracts. But where is Halliburton on that list? It seems un-American that Dick Cheney’s favorite corporation might miss out on the latest windfall.

SOMEHOW I DON’T THINK they will find Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa’s remains on that farm in Michigan. Isn’t a spot under the 50-yard-line in Giants Stadium in New Jersey’s Meadowlands a more fitting resting place?

FORMER DUKE LACROSSE CAPTAIN David Evans, the third man charged in the alleged rape of a stripper at a team party, is certainly acting like an innocent man. He has loudly proclaimed his innocence, and noted that he has cooperated with the authorities. Evans’ attorney has provided the results of a privately-arranged lie detector tests that appears to exonerate the former Blue Devils player.

Does Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong have evidence above and beyond what has been made public that has spurred his prosecution of the Duke Three? Traces of a date rape drug in the accuser’s blood? An eyewitness? A member of the Duke team who will testify against his fellow players?

With the trial date set for spring 2007, it may be some time before the truth emerges. Beware those with the greatest certainty about this case–what happened that night still remains a mystery.

IT’S A SHAME THAT TAYLOR TWELLMAN of the New England Revolution didn’t make the U.S. World Cup soccer team, because he’s a gutsy player with a great work ethic who knows how to score goals.

IF THE NOVEL IS SUPERIOR to the movie version of The DaVinci Code, as many critics argue, then Ron Howard and Tom Hanks may have an Ishtar-Waterworld-level flop on their hands. And the reviews are brutal

THE NAME NEVAEH (Heaven spelled backwards) is now the 70th most popular girl’s name in the United States. Bostonians are used to the concept: the popular former Red Sox shortstop, Nomar Garciaparra, now a Dodger, was (backwardly) named after his father, Ramon.

JOHN MCCAIN gave essentially the same commencement speech at Liberty University, Columbia and the New School–and the Republican Senator’s support of the Iraq war was not well received in New York. McCain’s presence on Rev. Jerry Falwell’s campus was widely interpreted as McCain’s olive branch to the Christian conservative wing of the GOP; as Michael Kinsley and others have noted, many Republican conservatives don’t trust McCain, despite an impeccable right-of-center voting record, and will support him only as part of an ABC (Anybody But Clinton) strategy.

Copyright © 2006 Jefferson Flanders
All rights reserved

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