How Jim Powell raises the dead.

Herb Matthews and I were celebrating his dead-day last week (July 30, for Herb – “Here’s dirt in your eye!”) at Rubell’s new place. I should say “newest” place. Qiana Club. The place is painful, but not as painful as Herb’s whining about how he’s the forgotten man of our paper’s editorial board. I kept telling him to look around at the nobodies we have here – almost all of them worked on 43rd Street, and nobody even knows they died, that’s how dull they are.

Anyhoo, who gets resurrected today by right-wing blogger and Catoist Jim Powell? Herb! I called him and read it to him – well, just the last page, since most of it had to do with yours truly. He was thrilled, until I got to the last line and Acton’s old bromide about power and corruption. “How dare he appropriate a condemnation of that Pope and use it on me? Tell Powell that I said if you want to make a frittata, amigo, you gotta bust a few huevos!”

On that topic: Would somebody explain to me why Mastai-Ferretti went to that other place? Chasm 3 here on C8 has its own Popeville, that’s how many of those Italians we ended up with here. They have their own Swiss pool boys and everything. Like a little Vatican, really.

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Posted 03.08.2010 by Pultizer Prize-winning New York Times correspondent Walter Duranty
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I heart you, Peggy!

We need Republicans, or we’d have nothing. We all have our favorites down here, but Peggy Noonan is at the top of everybody’s list. At the Bob Byrd housewarming, they made a beautiful Peggy-cake, with all hundred candles stuck in the eyes. Nice effect when they turned off the lights, but Bob practically caught his sheet on fire. That was awkward.

Peggy, of course, knew Reagan personally. Martha M once told me she sold Peggy a fragment of Ronnie’s True Shorts. She the kind of Republican we love because her politics are the politics of a party drunk, and the GOP can never have enough of those. They sell a little Chinese “executive gadget” down here for your desk. It’s a miniature teeter-totter – they call it “Crazy Lady Flamers” – with Peggy on one side and Maureen Dowd on the other. Two bouncy redheads! You wind it up and it makes a noise like cats fighting.

Last week, on her Wall Street Journal perch, Peggy took after those Tea Party people. I loved the way she called them Birchers – then denied, in the same breath, she’d done any such thing. She hates them because they make her look less important than Mo.

She has a point. Dowd just has Frank Rich to embarrass her. Noonan has the Tea Party set. I really howled when she called them citizens of “crazy town” and told them to “get serious” by worshipping the governor of New Jersey, I suppose because he wants to balance budgets.

Personally, I think balanced budgets are the Tea Party’s thing already. But they hadn’t been insulted by Noonan yet, so now that’s done. If you can hear me, thank you, Lady Carrot-top! See if you can be one of the boys on Tom Tancredo’s bus! He rolls right over those little people and their annoying signs.

We heart you, too, Tom!

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Posted 02.08.2010 by Pultizer Prize-winning New York Times correspondent Walter Duranty
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I’m okay. I’m fine.

Three years with Bob Gibbs. I thought Hell was hell. Putting him in a suit is like dressing your trash for the curb. Absolutely no experience in journalism, a full-time campaign hack.

It’s my fault, of course. I told Barry to hire him. “The guy’s a soccer goalie! Get it?” Sure enough, the first briefing, the first question – from Helen Thomas, no less – and instead of just saying,”Helen, fix your damn teeth,” he jumps sideways across the podium with his arms in the air. When the guy from Univsion yelled, “Goooooaaal!” I thought I’d die. Well, actually…OK. I’m okay. Fine. And back.

Posted 02.08.2010 by Pultizer Prize-winning New York Times correspondent Walter Duranty
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