Letters to Holly

Wednesday, May 17

Almost Gone

Tomorrow I leave for Memphis. I checked the hotel reservation today and the flight schedule to and from. I pack tonight, and the most important question concerns what books I carry to read. I’ve started Brief History of the Time again and will probably take it along. There’s no way I’m hauling a Harry Potter book.

Moving Picture of the Day
This is a preview of Aaron Sorkin’s "Studio 60," his follow-up show to “West Wing.” It feels a lot more like his “SportsNight.” That’s not a bad thing. I dig the cast greatly and am glad to see Bradley Whitford play off Matthew Perry. This could be very good.

In the news
Former Fox analyst Tony Snow gave his first press briefing yesterday. He’s clear and professional. He dealt initially with the definition of “amnesty” under the House and Bush proposals. He defended the wiretapping program (without officially affirming it) by comparing it to a hypothetical Al Qaeda spying program, saying we of course are doing it with democracy and security in mind. You can watch this at the ten-minute mark. He went on to talk about the immigration speech and the use of the Guard, including the point that border governors will have to request the troops for their land. What I notice from Snow is that he uses his time to answer a question to veer off into a routine spiel on conservative policies. It’s the same stuff he said on his radio show. He teared up when asked about his cancer surgery.

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The Saudi king asked paper editors to stop running pictures of women. It could lead young men astray. Just a few hours after I read that, I heard Albert Mohler’s radio show. He’s the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He used his show to warn June brides to wear wedding dresses that “serve the men of the ceremony.” In other words, their immodesty can lead all the men astray. If one looks at it logically, he’s saying our women are so hot that they lead every guy astray, not just the young ones. Or he’s saying we older American guys have less control than the Saudis. Either way, dumb ain’t ethnic. It smothers the world.

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According to ABC’s chief investigative reporter Brian Ross, the government is using the wiretap program to watch the phone traffic of news organizations and reporters, possibly to track anonymous sources. This is scandalous if true and should make folks long for the days of pay phones. The two parties agree to call at a certain time and trade info. There’s nothing to identify the callers.

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