In Case I Lose That Bet

Where — besides sex shops, hopefully — may one go to find an edible hat? Fruit-flavored would probably be best.


Mitt Romney: The Sodium Pentothal Question

This Monday morning, Research on Religion has put up its hour-long interview with your diarist about the new free e-book (seriously, no dollars and zero cents right here folks), America’s shifting political-religious landscape and why a certain someone might have to publicly eat his hat if the GOP overperforms in Pennsylvania.

There may be one explosive aspect of this interview near the end, where I bust out what friends and colleagues have started referring to as “Mitt Romney: The Sodium Pentothal Question.” The question is this: Does Mitt Romney harbor some dislike for Catholic clergy, or at least their drinking?

This is not a political question. As I say in the interview, if I could get it out of him, I don’t think I’d actually do anything with it for a good long while. I’d just like to know.

I’m curious because he was given what many would consider good cause to dislike Catholic priests. If someone could go through what he went through without holding at least a mild grudge, he’d be a saint. [Read more...]

From Anvil’s Lips to God’s Ears

Your diarist should apologize in advance for the mild swear on this family-friendly website. So, sorry folks, but it’s unlikely anybody has ever come up with better words to sum up the day just past than Lips in Anvil: The Story of Anvil. He said “Family is important shit, man.”

Indeed it is. We sacrifice countless hours of our lives and money and God only knows what else to help our own out and to be with them — often for very short periods of time. We move to new places, take different jobs, burn scarce vacation time, put thousands of miles on our cars, brave airport security, and place ourselves in uncomfortable circumstances. We do all of this just to get back to what we knew first — and know best.

Please trust that I am not being melodramatic when I say that I traveled to the very center of my own personal hell today. I did so, with fear and trepidation, to be with my family. And yet, with them there by my side — catching up and cracking jokes and throwing the football around –, it wasn’t so bad at all.

Tina Brown Didn’t Kill Newsweek

With today’s news that Newsweek will officially quit printing at the end of the year, many many critics will pile on to editor Tina Brown, blaming her for the newsweekly’s demise.

And make no mistake, this is a demise. The Daily Beast, which predates and is different from Newsweek, is the Internet face of that enterprise. There is no good reason to split the brand. Even if Newsweek retains some Internet presence, it will shrink to nothing before long.

Brown didn’t save Newsweek, but she didn’t set it on its death march either. Her tenure as editor was more like very buzz-filled hospice care. She tried to reinvigorate it with Girl Power, and that didn’t work. She tried bringing in names like Andrew Sullivan and David Frum to get more subscribers. Again, a flop. [Read more...]

Happy Birthday Alice Sullivan & Real Clear Religion

Alice Sullivan, for those Jeremy Lott’s Diary readers who don’t know her, is a Nashville based editor who worked on a few of my books when she was at Thomas Nelson and still serves as a well trained ear for my longer writing projects. She’s also a friend who is enjoying — oh let’s call it — her 29th birthday today. (Misery and despair/people dying everywhere/happy birthday to you.)

Alice’s birthday is extra-easy for me to remember because it’s the same day that Real Clear Religion was launched, in 2010. That’s right, RCR is now entering its terrible twos. Hopefully, we can keep the public tantrums to a minimum.

Ten Infallible Observations About Tonight’s Debate

1. Given the serious fluctuation in the polls everywhere, including in swing states, the stakes for tonight’s debate are incredibly high.

2. If Mitt Romney wins this one decisively, the third debate won’t matter worth a whisker.

3. Regardless of the content of his answers, Obama is going to do his damndest to appear more decisive than last time. This will mean more decibels and fewere ums, ahs and uhs.

4. The Obama administration’s weakest point is Libya. Given his past willingness to criticize the administration over this, expect Romney to go after Benghazi with everything he’s got.

5. Let me apologize in advance to the neighbors for all the ruckus if Romney calls for Hillary’s scalp. [Read more...]

Take Responsibility Hillary, Resign

One empty phrase American politicians employ that reeks to the heavens is this: “I take responsibility.” It’s usually used as a way of evading responsibility for a screw-up that, in any decently run government, would be followed by resignation or worse.

The latest politician to claim responsibility is Hillary Clinton. She said during a state visit to Peru that the wider Obama administration should not be held responsible for her screw-up at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that led to the murder of ambassador Chris Stevens.

Our secretary of state claims that a State Department investigation is underway that will uncover exactly what happened and that justice will be done. That’s well and good but it should proceed without her, because she has proven that the American people cannot trust her on this matter.

She should resign immediately or Obama should fire her. If neither of these things happens in short order, American voters have a duty to punish her party at the ballot box in November.
[Read more...]