• What does Mother Nature have against delightfully eccentric and vibrant cities? First, she takes out New Orleans, then Galveston. Why doesn't she pick on Duluth?

• Sarah Palin and the financial crisis both have added to the weirdness of 2008: liberals calling for a woman to stay home with her children and conservatives calling for government regulation of Wall Street.

• Whenever anyone brings up John McCain's age, his supporters dismiss the subject. Chanting "drill, baby, drill" they might add — "live, Johnny, live."

• I must confess that I thought the Bush Doctrine meant attacking countries that start with a vowel.