Sunday, January 29, 2006

Rhodenhiser Returns

After a six-month hiatus from posting here on the Brief, I am pleased to be back and on the job. Moving to Wrightsville Beach in July, becoming accustomed to my new job, and becoming acquainted with my new surroundings left me little time to post my thoughts on the events of the day. I plan to resume my writing here on the Brief, though I know that it will not be a daily occurrence.

The move to the coast went quite smoothly, and transitioning into my job has been a welcome challenge. After six months in the office, I feel comfortable in saying that I made the right decision back in July. I know too many people who have been unable to say that.

With that, let's get to the real reason you and I are here - thought-provoking (or not) commentary.

Newt's State of the Union

Newt Gingrich, the former Speaker of the House, has written a column which I would like to call Newt's State of the Union. Moreorless it encapsulates the key issues of the day (so far as he is concerned) and give us all an idea of the issues which he plans to key on in his antipated run for the 2008 GOP nomination. If you are interested in policy and have not read his book, I urge you to buy a copy of Winning the Future today.

In his comments regarding the war on terrorism, I like how Newt refers to the terrorists as the "irreconcilable wing of Islam." This continues the terminology from his book and his comments to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Subcommittee on Oversight. It shows that the terrorism that our fight must key on is that coming from the Arab world. This also shows that Islam itself is not the enemy, but rather those who have hijacked Islam for evil. Like they hijacked the airplanes on 9/11, so they have done with a religion that is and should be peaceful. The goals and tactics of these fanatics are indeed irreconcilable with the religion they claim to defend.

Gingrich will make the run for the 2008 GOP nomination interesting. He would not be a likely winner in a general election, but he will force the candidates to truly discuss policy initiatives with some substance. And that can only be a positive.

Krauthammer on Life

Charles Krauthammer, one of the Fox News All-Stars during Brit Hume's 6:00 telecast, has written a very touching piece about the passing of his brother. It reminded me of one he had written about a medical school professor. Not only is Mr. Krauthammer incredibly intelligent, he can also write very touching, personal stories to which we can all relate.

Saturday, July 16, 2005


This medic is a man and a half. This is a small example of why I am so proud of our men and women overseas. This guy took a shot, yet he kept his head and did his duty. I wonder if I would have been capable of doing what this medic did? My gut says no, but that's why they train.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Eastbound and Down

The Brief will be a bit quiet over the next few weeks. I have accepted a position as an associate with Steven Siegel in Wilmington, NC. I will be moving early next week as I begin work on the 20th. I imagine I can get the Brief back going in August, but in the meantine I will try to post when I can.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Two Words: Fred Couples

Fred is my story today as he finished birdie-birdie in the late Thursday afternoon sun at St. Andrews to fire a -4 round and share third with a gaggle of others. Links golf would not appear to suit Fred's game, but he made me a believer today. His length gives him a similar advantage to that possessed by Tiger Woods on the Old Course. Tomorrow's early tee time works to his advantage since the wind should be calmer. The questions are how Fred's abck will handle the cooler weather and whether he can keep his long putter rolling true.

The other keys to Thursday's golf? Tiger came out firing on all cylinders. Goosen showed he has recovered from Pinehurst. Hensby is having an incredible run in the majors. Greg Norman looked pretty good shooting an Even par round after having back trouble. Nicklaus and Watson have a shot at the weekend. Luke Donald is a gamer, playing that well with Watson and Nicklaus is impressive.

Myrick's CAFTA Problem

Sue Myrick, a popular choice for the GOP gubernatorial nod in 2008, has a CAFTA problem. Myrick is the only North Carolina member of the House of Representatives who openly supports CAFTA. While this shows her as a free trade conservative, it likely hurts her chances of winning a statewide election. Other GOP candidates and all Democratic challengers will make hay out of Myrick's support of the trade pact, and that will be persuasive in this textile/furniture state.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Crawford as Rove

Craig Crawford has written a column where he analyzes what he thinks Karl Rove thinks of the potential GOP nominees for 2008. More good pub for Senator Allen.

Interesting Take on Judicial Nominations

There is an interesting take how President Bush will select a SCOTUS nominee from Jack Balkin at Balkinization.

Hat tip: From the Bleachers.

Judge Bork wrote about the importance of these upcoming nominations this weekend.

Meanwhile, the Rehnquist Watch continues, and I continue to wonder about Justice Stevens's health.

Governor Myrick?

There is talk of Rep. Sue Myrick running for Governor of North Carolina in 2008. Myrick, a former Charlotte mayor, has been a very popular Congresswoman representing the Ninth District in Washington, DC.

British Open Week

The Open Championship at the Old Course has arrived. Everyone has been looking forward to this week, preparing for Jack Nicklaus's final goodbye on the golf course. Let's hope he makes the weekend.

I have just three quick thoughts before the week begins in earnest. Watch Luke Donald this week; I like Tiger's chances the best of the big four; and, Greg Norman is playing this week.

Hitchins and Ron Reagan

This is funny. Christopher Hitchins and Ron Reagan were having a bit of a disagreement on air on MSNBC the other day.

Hat tip: The Political Teen.

Temporarily Home

I am back at my desk for now and will make every effort to find time to comment on something interesting while here. I will be back on the road for job interviews shortly.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Back on the Road

The Rhodenhiser Roadshow continues today, as I make my way back to eastern North Carolina. Have a safe weekend. While I am gone, ponder Michelle Wie's third venture into a PGA Tour event, how it is better for President Bush to run bikes into his hosts (irony here) than vomit on them as his father did, why living on the panhandle of Florida has become so dangerous, and when Chief Justice Rehnquist will choose to retire (not Rhenquist...there must be a reaosn the Professor spells it that way over there). Talk amongst yourselves.

By the way, how about Jack Nicklaus - almost wins The Skins Game and gets his face on money. Not too shabby.

Was the Fix in at ABC?

Tonight was the finale of ABC's reality hit Dancing With the Stars. The couple who seemed to be the favorites (John O'Hurley and Charlotte Jorgensen) lost to Kelly Monaco and Alec Mazo. Now, I'm not going to say it was rigged, but it smelled funny. My mother has been beside herself for an hour now, in disbelief over the results.

Bear in mind that the voting rules were as follows: the top scoring couple in tonight's show as determined by the judges would get 2 points with the other couple getting 1 point, and the top couple as determined by online and toll free calling from last week would get 2 points with the other couple getting 1. In other words, in order for a winner to be announced on tonight's season finale, the same couple had to win both the viewers' vote and the judges' vote. Otherwise, a tie would result. After the final dance by the favored O'Hurley, Monaco needed a 29 of 30 to tie in the judges' eyes. She scored a perfect 30 (on a routine that seemed inferior to that of O'Hurley's 27). Did the judges know that Monaco was to win? Is it a coincidence that Monaco, who stars on an ABC soap opera, won this ABC contest over a non-ABC O'Hurley? It is speculation, but until someone shows otherwise I'd smells funny.

EDIT: Controversy on this is building.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Will on Allen

George Will wrote about Senator George Allen (R-VA) in today's Washington Post. From the quotes Will took from Allen's speech in New Hampshire, it sounds like Allen gave moreorless the same address there as he did to the John Locke Foundation when I heard him speak earlier in the year. Mr. Will came off impressed by Sen. Allen and his delivery, which suggests that Senator Allen has improved the stump speech some. That was needed. I was very impressed by Senator Allen's philosophy and his bearing when he spoke in Raleigh, and I continue to watch him closely as the race for '08 heats up.

Antiquity on the Screen

Ever since the success of Gladiator in theaters, Hollywood has had a growing fascination with Rome, Greece, and things historic. Last night, I finally bit the bullet and watched Troy. That movie was a joke. The writing was bad, the historical accuracy was bad, and the acting was bad. Amazing. We kept laughing through the whole thing. It was a rip off of Gladiator in terms of cinematography and direction - from the cheesy ethereal music to the talk of the wheat fields at death. If that is the best effort Hollywood has, then they are better suited not trying.

On the other hand, I have been watching ABC's drama Empire. While it too plays fast and loose with facts, it isn't as bad to see that with a made-for-TV effort as with a Hollywood blockbuster. The characters are more developed, and the actors seem more comfortable with their roles. If Troy showed how poorly antiquity could be shown on the big screen, Empire shows how well it can be done on the small screen.

Sanders to Lead Winston-Salem SAE

Congratulations to Kirk Sanders, the new President of the Winston-Salem Area Alumni Association for Sigma Alpha Epsilon. Sanders replaces Jack Williams, who had served as President of the organization since it's inception in October 2001. Well done, Jack. Good luck, Kirk.

Triad Commercial Real Estate Information

PF Chang's will be opening a restaurant in Greensboro, where the old Burlington Industries headquarters was located.

Harris Teeter will be moving into old Winn Dixie locations. The Winn Dixie store closings were announced in June. In High Point, the Harris Teeter at the High Point Mall will move into the Winn Dixie location at the other end of the same mall in order to gain a larger box.

Cameron Condolences

The Rhodenhisers send our deepest condolences to the family of Daniel David Cameron, a respected leader, husband, father, and grandfather in Wilmington, NC. WECT has a nice video about Mr. Cameron on their website.

Law & Order Appointment

Former Senator Fred Thompson (actor turned senator turned actor again) will be handling the confirmation process for the White House. This is a wise move by the Bush Administration. Senator Thompson knows the people on the Judiciary Committee very well, and he is respected on both sides of the aisle.

Brief Return Before Hiatus

I am posting a few thoughts today after having spent the holiday weekend in Wilmington. I am in High Point conducting some business today before spending the weekend at the coast with Mr. Branch.

As expected, Justice O'Connor retired late last week. I am sure everyone enjoyed the coverage given by Confirm Them, Volokh and SCOTUSBlog.