SIGN IN to access Harper’s Magazine
1. Sign in to Customer Care using your account number or postal address.
2. Select Email/Password Information.
3. Enter your new information and click on Save My Changes.
Subscribers can find additional help here. Not a subscriber? Subscribe today!
In an appearance this morning on Bloomberg television’s Margaret Carlson program, conservative columnist Robert Novak has coined a new defense for embattled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales: he’s a dummy, but only one of a great number of dummies that Bush imported with him from Texas. In fact he’s not even particularly dumb considering the low-IQ level of the entire group. Here are some excerpts from the transcript:
NOVAK: Margaret, the president can get rid of him any time he wants to. There’s no political setback. It would be a benefit. The president is stuck with these subpar people he brought up from Texas. That’s a failing on President Bush’s part… the Democrats that are having trouble with serious questions like funding the iraq war, deciding what to do on it, passing legislation. And so pounding on this poor Gonzalez who never should have been in a high government post in the first place is all they can do. And the Republicans, they decided there’s enough of it, but let me tell you, they think he ought to go, too . . .
NOVAK: He’s terrible. He shouldn’t be there. But there’s a lot of bad people in this administration…
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!
“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”