It only smells when you kiss his gorgeous mug. Babe (right) had an encounter with a skunk in the wee hours at Goomp's yesterday, and the memory lingers on. Two of the beautiful people -- nephew Chris and his enchanting lady friend Nicole -- dropped by for champagne and doibs Sunday morning. Chris applies the sniff test, above. As Susie noted when she heard the news, it must be embarrassing for someone of Baby Cakes's gravitas to be so malodorously disposed, but he's managing heroically. Anybody out there know of a miracle cure? Googling suggests tomato juice is out, while hydrogen peroxide mixed with baking soda is in.
"Some Americans argue there's no point trying to win over the rest of the world because the leading nation in any era is always doomed to be unpopular? Do you agree?" Clive Davis asks former Reagan speechwriter and current Hoover Institution Research Fellow Peter Robinson in a lively and quotable e-mail interview:
Oh, sure. Without a doubt. What citizen of another country wouldn’t feel some resentment at Number One? But it’s possible to hold Europe and the United States together, even so. I consider Thatcher instructive here.
"If you had Karen Hughes' job, what would be your first three priorities?" asks Davis:
Honestly, at this point I’d have exactly one priority: to find, and to hire, Arab-speaking Americans — native speakers, with a feel for the Arab world, who are nevertheless prepared to make the case for the United States. Lots of such people exist. It drives me to distraction that so few occupy prominent positions in the State Department. Note, though, that the armed forces have done pretty well on this score: General Abizaid is a fluent Arab speaker.
We adore General Abizaid . . . 'Have caught him from time to time on C-Span reruns. He is the very model of a native speaker with a feel for the Arab world who is "nevertheless prepared to make the case for the United States." You absolutely must read the whole interview, wherein Robinson notes that "Despite the constant carping, no responsible Democrat wants to pull out of Iraq, while no responsible Republican wants to increase our troop levels at all dramatically." Our blog buddy Frank of The Cool Blue Blog made the point big time here the other day. Here's our fave bit of business of all, Robinson's answer to "What's the best book on America that most Europeans have probably never heard of?":
But aside from [my own book], I’d read Mark Twain, both Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Yes, I know Europeans have already heard of Twain. Really, though, you can’t find a more gorgeous or more accurate portrait of this big, free-wheeling, rambunctious country.
We fell in love with Huck and Big Jim in high school as the two oners made their wise and witty way together down the Mississippi on a raft. As we told Scott Johnson of PowerLine awhile back, we think Mark Twain would have been a blogger. We learned to our horror in recent years that politically correct "educators" had determined Mark Twain's masterpiece was racist. That was number two beside our sorrow at the loss of scientific intelligence betrayed by the inroads made by Intelligent Design "theorists" in our day. Some hope has come in recent curricular developments that would bring biblical studies into public schools as a historical subject rather than religious indoctrination.
Update: Lots of intelligent designs at the 82nd Carnival of the Cats at Where the Dolphins Play.