I just read the 3/24/08 issue of "The Weekly Standard" since I'm at my parents' new house and didn't feel like watching TV. I'd heard of this magazine before, but this was the first time I'd actually read it.

It's got a right-wing bias, but I can't exactly place it. One article takes President Bush's former speech writer to task for suggesting that those who don't agree with all of the President's social programs are lacking in virtue.

There was an article about some private girls' school in Hollywood. Technically it was a book review, but read like an article. It was a little unusual in that the tone of the whole thing was patronizing like it was a silly school but the conclusion was that it was a very good school that trained its students well.

There was a story about all the musicians through history who have declined White House invitations, and their reasons.

The cover story was incredulous that Barack Obama found so many supporters who didn't realize that every word out of his mouth about "change" is the same old stuff politicians have been spouting forever. Barack Obama quotes were shown side-by-side with quotes from other politicians and it was pretty striking how many others presented ideas the same way. But this is not news to me, I know it's the same-old-same-old which is why I don't bother paying attention.

There was one bit in the very beginning of that article that I found amusing--some bloggers had determined that the sentence "we are the ones we've been waiting for" couldn't be translated into French, with the discussion of why this is so; neither C'est nous qui nous avons attendu or Ceux qui nous attendons, c'est nous sounds right to the French ear. I didn't expect to ready anything quixotic like that, but it made me smile. Also, I didn't realize that Barack didn't come up with it-- it's the title of a book by Alice Walker published two years ago.

My overall impression of the magazine is neutral. While the choice of topics seems clearly partisan to me (for example there's an article about how labor unions are bankrupting or close to bankrupting several cities with their excessive pensions), the articles themselves are admirably factual. I was generally impressed that the views presented were reasonable and considerably less inflammatory than their headlines would suggest. While I'm generally sympathetic to conservative ideology (I'm in favor of small government, personal responsibility, states' rights, pro-life / anti-death, and income tax simplification), and I appreciate that at least someone was writing from a non-liberal perspective, I nevertheless didn't find the articles all that compelling.

Except for the parody page near the back, I thought that was hilarious: Candidates Heighten Search For 'Most Pathetic American'. It always bugs me when politicians truck some poor unfortunate (PU) across the country to sit at their speech so they can use them as a prop when they say, "Jane Doe can't pay her bills because of x, y, z" as the camera pans to the PU as the politician finishes, "but I think that's a tragedy and I propose a, b, and c to fix the problem." It does make me wonder how many staff people they've got on the job just hunting down someone with the exact problem the politician wants to speechify.

Anyway, the bottom line is that I'm neither going to subscribe to the magazine nor go out of my way to buy issues or read it at the library, but I will read it if I find it lying around somewhere like a doctor's office or subway car (or more likely, my parents' house), since it's at least more interesting to me than "Road and Track" or whatever those car ones are that doctors all seem to have.