Robert Schlesinger: Quick Hits

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Incoherence at the UN. Stephen Schlesinger (my brother, who has written a book on the founding of the UN) has a good take on the Mark Balloch Brown/John Bolton kafuffle over at HuffPo.
China has cracked the Da Vinci Code. Or more precisely cracked down on it. According to Reuters the Chinese government has banned the blockbuster flick, instructing theatres to pull it and instructing the state media services not to even mention the film’s name any more.
There’s no official explanation. Theories on why it was pulled range from China accommodating Catholic protests (unlikely) to Chinese fears that the movie’s rampant success could make its domestic films look bad.
My theory: It’s the result of a nefarious cabal that includes the NSA, Opus Dei, the Freemasons and NASA.
Mixed Messages. For an illustration of how hard it is to read the tea leaves on a special election, take a gander at the front pages of The Washington Post and NY Times today.
Washington Post: “Victory in California Calms GOP
New York Times: “Narrow Victory by G.O.P. Signals Fall Problems
Where does the truth lie? I think the Post’s sharp political blogger (who did not write the story headlined above), Chris Cillizza, hits it pretty well:

In the end, yesterday’s election results change little. If Democrats had won, it would have been interpreted (rightly, we think) as a sign of a wave building that could well wash Republicans out of the majority. But simply because Busby came up short does not mean that any hopes of Democrats winning back the House in November have vanished.
The national environment — as determined by the deep disapproval for the job President Bush is doing and overwhelming majorities who believe the country is heading in the wrong direction — is still very difficult for Republicans and ensures that a number of incumbents who have not faced serious elections in recent years will be forced to run real campaigns. Tuesday’s result means that while these incumbents are endangered, they are not yet extinct.

And of course November remains a long, long time away. Well, a long time anyway.
Robert Schlesinger, a Washington-based author writing a book on presidential speechwriters, regularly blogs on the Huffington Post.

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  8. jerryr says:

    Update, they were helping the Catholics… after the Catholics claimed the movie would cause social unrest!!! I don’t know who to feel more nauseated by.

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  9. LeeB says:

    About CA-50 and Francine Busby:
    I hear that there are between 60,000 and 65,000 absentee ballots yet to be counted in this district. Wouldn’t it be lovely if all the commentators would hold off on their analyses of this election until we have the final tally? (Assuming they actually count the ballots, of course, which is one HUGE assumption.)
    What say you about this “count the votes” idea . . . it’s revolutionary, I guess.

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  10. jerry says:

    Could it be they’re accomodating the Catholic Church? I’d guess some creative Chinese citizens are trying to turn the Communist Party into an extreme form of Opus Dei. Maybe all those JC family records in Scotland resonate is some weird way with China’s ancient culture.

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