Bush Summons Comparisons to Prez Buchanan
'Often it is difficult to know when a president has entered the state of political purgatory known as 'lame duck' status. For this president, the questions is no longer whether, but how lame. Political science has given us regretably few tools for answering this question with precision. But our own qualititative analysis suggests that not since James Buchanan has a president been lamer. Second-term presidents often see their agendas stalled by gridlock. But haggling over substance at least has the excitement value of conflict and opposition. Bush, on the other hand, has seen his agenda die from within, of its own accord. The last years of Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Reagan were like watching an angry traffic snarl. The last years of George W. Bush's presidency are like watching a car resting on cement blocks in the front yard.'
--from an editorial in the May 8th issue of The New Republic
That'll Do It. A lively profile on the actor Rip Torn in today's New York Times magazine includes this surprising information: "Torn's most famous career turn occurred in 1967, when he had dinner with the writer Terry Southern and his wife and the actors Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper to discuss the possibility of his appearing in a film they were pulling together called 'Easy Rider.' Of course the role eventually went to Jack Nicholson, and years later Hopper maintained that Torn lost the role after he pulled a knife on Hopper at the dinner." The piece goes on to explain, however, that Torn eventually sued Hopper for libel, and won a million-dollar settlement.