Monday, February 25, 2008

The Morning News ...

[Left, French President Sarkozy pretending to be a cowboy. Right: Napoleon showing off.]

---Cowboy Nick puts his boot in his mouth again in another incident

I keep pointing out that M. Sarkozy, who is wearing a Ralph Lauren shirt in this pose, is astride a pony, not a horse, as was universally misreported in all of those gushing accounts of the new style the dashing little rake was bringing to Elysee Palace.

A Carmargue pony, to be specific. And video clips at the time showed that his riding skills are elementary. Dead giveaway, aside from the fact that he's wobbling even in a western saddle: He keeps kicking his horse. A skilled rider gets a horse's attention with a subtle pressure from the leg and seat.

The fearsome Napoleon rode bravely, if not well, while off on his savage missions. He was known among his troops for falling off his horse rather frequently (like any good rider, he got right back on despite the pain). He is shown here in the heroic image the French love so much.

But in fact, Napoleon actually rode a mule over the Alps in his Second Italian Campaign, which would be the sensible way to travel across a mountain if you couldn't fly.


---I love reading the contrarian John Tierney merrily debunking knee-jerk thinking, like this morning's entry on his Times blog. I hope he's collecting his stuff, including that landmark magazine piece on recycling of several years ago, in a book.

---Speaking of books, Susan Jacoby's "The Age of American Unreason" is a must read.

---Will this guy ever just go away? (See also Andy Borowitz on Nader.)

---And finally, the excited Drudge headline of the day:
"Obesity 'More Dangerous' Than Terrorism."


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