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Off the Record

Why didn’t President John Kennedy put women in outer space decades ago?

The first all-female space walk was cancelled last week because NASA didn’t have space suits of the right size for both female astronauts. Most NASA suits are designed for men, who are larger. So the walk was changed to one woman and one man.

Predictably, this raised a cry about female victimhood in a male-dominated world. So a little background is in order.

Everybody’s hat is in the ring, including mine

Of the several thousand people expected to run for the Democratic presidential nomination, two of the early entrants are senators Kamala Harris of California and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York.

Harris says she’s running out of a “sense of duty” and “love of country.” Gillibrand styles herself as a “young mom” who will “fight for your children” as hard as she would fight for her own.

We are all descended from someone, of course

As Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) launches her presidential bid, she’s scrambling to repair the damage caused by her decades-long claim of native ancestry. Liberal media is helping her by putting favorable spin on the story or ignoring it altogether.

We are all descended from some ancestors, but which ones?

As Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) launches her presidential bid, she’s scrambling to repair the damage caused by her decades-long claim of native ancestry. Liberal media is helping her by putting favorable spin on the story or ignoring it altogether.

Some things improve in afterlife

Reading the press accolades for the late President George H.W. Bush, it was difficult to reconcile today’s “revered statesman” with the “wimp” label the media pinned on him in office.

As vice president and then president in the 1980s and early 1990s, Bush was portrayed by the press as an out-of-touch bumbler, a national joke on late-night TV and in newsrooms. White House correspondents delighted in catching Bush in gaffes and in pointing out what, in their liberal view, were his wrong-headed policy positions, which was just about all of them.

Post election aftermath of the U.S. Senate hearing

If the left was energized in the midterms by hatred of President Trump, the right was motivated by rage at what Democrats did to Brett Kavanaugh. The former helped Democrats take the House. The latter helped Republicans keep the Senate.

The Ford-Kavanaugh Senate hearing was always about politics and the direction of the Supreme Court for the next generation. But it was also about the rule of law. Who were you going to believe in the absence of proof? And how would that dynamic play out in future cases?

Fair and balanced, or not at all?

Brett Kavanaugh was as calm as could be expected at the Senate hearing Sept. 27, for someone who has been publicly accused and convicted without proof of assault, rape and exposure.

The people who have been truly hysterical throughout all this are not Kavanaugh or Christine Ford, but the media, especially The New York Times. Their parsing of Kavanaugh’s high school yearbook in a desperate search for evidence of bad character takes investigative journalism to a new low.

Enemy of the people; or, war is hell

If the press doesn’t like being called the enemy of the people, perhaps it shouldn’t be waging war against the president of the people — or at least the president of the 63 million Americans who voted for Donald Trump.

Dickinson: A famous poet’s faded photographs

“Because I could not stop for Death,

He kindly stopped for me;

The carriage held but just ourselves

And Immortality.”

— Emily Dickinson

 

Eyeball injections are fun. Really.

When my doctor told me two years ago that she was sending me to an eye specialist who might give me eyeball injections, I just smiled. There was about as much chance of my sitting still for eyeball injections as there was of Donald Trump’s being elected president that fall.

Two years later, Trump has been president for 18 months and I’ve had 20 eye injections. So much for complacency.

But it hasn’t been as bad as I thought (the injections, I mean. Trump, of course, has been worse).