Gail Collins: Everyone OK, if Uninvolved in Iraq Debacle


There exists an irritating journalistic habit, common amongst European leader writers and culture columnists, of bringing every point, every news story, no matter how thematically far afield, back to the subject of Iraq. For New York Times columnist and former editorial page editor Gail Collins, it's a subject to work into every piece, if possible. For example: In a recent column on the death of possibly-homo-hating freak show Leona Helmsley, Collins argues that while she might have been "the queen of mean," Helmsley "had nothing to do with global warming and she never got us into war." (Wait, Helmsley was in government?)

Collins' next column, dated August 23, tackles Hugo Chavez's loopy plan to move Venezuelan clocks ahead by half an hour, creating a uniquely Bolivarian timezone that will help his subjects "better metabolize." This may sound daft, Collins writes, "but in the name of fairness, remember that…so far, Hugo Chávez hasn't invaded anybody." (Another reason, according to Collins, that Chavez's St. Augustine-like ruminations on the nature time need to be contextualized: "You live in a country where the administration believes that cutting taxes for the heirs to billion-dollar estates will lead to increased prosperity for unemployed steel workers.")

Full column, sequestered behind the TimesSelect firewall, here. Radar Magazine writes that while Barack Obama maybe a rubbish basketball player, "it's not as if he, like, lead us into an impossible war on false pretenses" here.

Back in the day, before treading water in the deep end, Paul Craig Roberts defended Leona Helmsley in National Review. Bonus Sherman Hemsley bio from Wikipedia.