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Tony and Tacky
September 16, 2005

Good taste or bad is revealed in everything we are, do, have. Emily Post


offending t-shirt Oh Hobegone!
Garrison Keillor, who has made a career of using humor and parody to make his point, seems to lose his sense of humor when his PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION is the object of the parody. "A blogger decided to have some fun at the expense of that great Midwestern liberal icon Garrison Keillor by marketing a t-shirt which made a play on the name of his radio program and Mr. Keillor's lawyer immediately threatened legal action," says Dorothy Rabinowitz. "In his life as a bitterly partisan political writer, Mr. Keillor is very certain that the Bush Administration or the Christian right and all similar enemies are making away with all of our constitutional rights and silencing the opposition. These are his own words. Mr. Keillor, who writes the kinds of invective that can make Al Franken seem like Casper Milquetoast now is not at all worried about silencing the opposition."

Hoary Stereotype JFK
Forty-five years ago, a presidential candidate named John F. Kennedy made a famous speech about his religion -- Catholicism -- and what influence it would have on his decisions. That issue was raised again this week during the confirmation hearing of Judge John Roberts. "At least they didn't ask Judge Roberts whether he was a Papist or a Romanist," says Daniel Henninger. "Senator Feinstein would never ask a female nominee her views on gender discrimination. She would never ask a black, Hispanic or even Arab-American nominee whether their ethnicity would effect their decisions. What's going on here is a very hoary stereotype that deserves to die. It seems that only Catholics, Evangelical Christians and perhaps Orthodox Jews get asked these questions. I think Senator Feinstein and Senator Specter, who engaged in it, should stop it. It's beyond tacky. It's beyond the pale."

Kofi Annan and President Bush U.N. Woes
U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan had reason to smile this week, despite harsh criticism of his performance he now seems sure to keep his job. "Here is a man who has presided over the United Nations at a time of the biggest fraud ever recorded in history -- the $100 billion oil for food scandal benefiting Saddam Hussein," says Melanie Kirkpatrick. "Paul Volker, the former federal reserve chairman, is leading an international commission investigation the scandal and he found that Kofi Annan, at the very least, participated in the cover-up. So what happens? He's feted and honored this week by the general assembly in New York. President Bush comes to pay his respect. Condoleezza Rice says she does not have a better relationship with anyone. So I'm also going to give a tacky to the administration which somehow thinks that it can effect reform at the United Nations by working with what they see as a weakened Kofi Annan rather than taking their chances on a new man."