Thursday, June 01, 2006

All the Best Columnists Are on My Sidebar

I have put a bunch of columnists I regularly read on my sidebar, and I've got to say, these guys (and one gal) are performing great.

David Warren is on vacation, and Uwe Siemon-Netto only writes semi-monthly, so let's go to Spengler. This week's column is about the Da Vinci Code -- but it's not any of the usual stuff. Why Leonardo? Why now? He's got some very intriguing guesses.

For economics, I love Robert Samuelson because he's always got the right attitude: focus on the big picture, don't get caught in the news cycle's ups and downs. Plus he ought to get a medal for being the one guy (seemingly) in the .com boom to steadily insist that the business cycle has not been repealed and will not be repealed. And when he writes about immigration here he focuses on why the press never told you about the two key words: not "reform," not "comprehensive," not "amnesty," or "fence," but more or less. Do we want more or less, and will the bills proposed give us more or less?

Dick Morris is the most brilliant political consultant precisely because he really does believe in his heart that whatever the American people really think is true. Here's his analysis of the President's situation. What's hammering him is gas prices. Americans believe gas prices are set by oil barons (and there's no use trying to tell them otherwise). Bush is friends with oil barons. So they all think Bush is hammering them at the pump for profits. Can Bush stop this? Well, if he just waits, prices will come down. But if Bush just lets that happen he won't get credit for it. So he's got to announce a big initiative for oil independence. He announces it now, prices come down in the next couple of months (due to the short term mechanics of supply and demand) and voila! Bush brought down oil prices by sticking it to his oil baron buddies. Cynical, absurd, and brilliant -- but what makes it so charming is that Dick Morris really does believe that if the American people think supply and demand has nothing to do with oil prices, then it doesn't. The naivete of his cynicism is what makes him so sharp.

Anne Applebaum is off on vacation -- and her column on why offers a fascinating counterpoint to her column on "Cartoon Warfare: Why Does the Motherhood Debate Turn Into a Caricature-Building Exercise?"

And in Martin Kramer's "Sandbox/News" he has a hilarious, yet very insightful comparison of the watches and arm muscles of Bashir Assad and King Abdullah. Conclusion: King Abdullah looks good in a uniform and Bashir Assad looks stupid, and in the Middle East that means, put your money on King Abdullah.

Wretchard's only worth reading today, not his usual brilliant self -- even Homer nods, and he's still pretty good when he does.