Monthly Archives: April 2003

Some unhelpful reporting by the Washington Post

One of my least favorite locutions in politics is the statement by an official or politician that someone’s criticism of government policy is “unhelpful.” The statement implies that the spokesperson and the critic share a common mission but that the critic has failed to see the big picture and, as a result, has spoken rashly. In reality, however, the critic has usually identified serious flaws in a policy with which »

Homeland insecurity

Our eagle eyed reader Dafydd ab Hugh has alerted us to this deeply troubling story from “A shadowy figure aboard flight 722.” »


If your Spanish is better than mine, take a look at the promising new blog HispaLibertas. »

The Missing Linc Misses Some History

A day or two ago we blasted Lincoln Chafee for opposing the President’s tax cut proposal on the theory that raising taxes is good for the economy. The Linc said: “…when President Clinton came in, .. he did raise revenues, he did address the revenue side of our budget and the economy took off. And then when this administration came in, they had big tax cuts in the spring of »


As this column in the Washington Times by Debra Saunders reports, a court in the Netherlands has sentenced the killer of Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn to 18 years in prison, with the expectation that he will be released after serving just 12. Volkert van der Graaf shot Fortuyn five times at point blank range nine days before the Dutch election in 2002. Fortuyn, a candidate for prime minister, was running »

Protax Efforts Intensify in Minnesota

As regular readers know, Minnesota faces a budget deficit like most states, and our Republican governor, Tim Pawlenty, was elected last November largely on the basis of his pledge to balance the budget without raising Minnesota’s already sky-high taxes. Budget bills are now working their way through the legislature, and, as was widely predicted, the local news media are awash in predictions of doom. Liberal interest groups are pursuing a »

Chalabi On Saddam and al Qaeda

This Fox News Interview with Ahmad Chalabi is worth reading. Chalabi says that Saddam and his two sons are all alive, but he has intelligence about their recent whereabouts and thinks “the coalition forces will be able to catch them pretty soon.” Chalabi also adds to what has recently been revealed about the relationship between Saddam’s regime and al Qaeda, saying that “we have specific information about visits that leaders »

Apparent Nerve Gas Discovery in Iraq

Drums of chemicals believed to be the nerve gas sarin and a “blister agent,” likely mustard gas, were found in northern Iraq earlier today. Soldiers also found two mobile laboratories with equipment for mixing chemicals, but they “appeared to have been ransacked by looters.” »

Health care and a pot of gold

Thanks to the Star Tribune this morning for running a piece by Apple Valley IT technician Taylor George that casts doubt on the wisdom peddled relentlessly in the paper’s editorials several times a week: “Too much government can hurt.” Star Tribune readers also get the better of the Star Tribune’s cheerleading “reader representative” as he responds incredibly lamely to their complaints regarding recent Star Tribune stories promoting France: “Some readers »

Thinking about Woodrow Wilson

More useful in understanding the political scene today than the news and commentary out this morning is the essay by Sidney Milkis on the election that made Woodrow Wilson president, from the winter issue of the Claremont Review of Books: “Why the election of 1912 changed America.” To round out the picture, consider also from the same issue Frederick Kagan’s timely review of two new books on foreign policy issues »

France Briefed Iraq on American Intentions

London’s Sunday Times reports that “France gave Saddam Hussein’s regime regular reports on its dealings with US officials….The conservative British weekly said the information kept Saddam abreast of every development in US planning and may have helped him to prepare for war.” This link is to a summary of the Times article, since the Times requires registration. The Times account is based on “files it had found in the wreckage »

African-American Republicans

George Will notes the steadily increasing ranks of African-American Republicans holding significant elective and appointive office: “Last year three African Americans running statewide for offices in the same state were all elected, something that had never happened before in any state, even during Reconstruction. The African Americans are Democrats, and the state is one of those proudly, reliably liberal ones — Massachusetts, perhaps, or California, right? “Wrong. The state is »

President Bush Addresses Correspondents’ Dinner

The annual correspondents’ dinner is generally a jokey roast-type affair, especially when the President is a Republican. This year the President had some more serious comments, especially about the relationship–contentious for a generation–between journalists and the American military: “‘I think it is fair to say the journalists grew to respect the skill and bravery and decency of the men and women who wear our nation’s uniform,’ Bush said, prompting applause »

Iraq-Al Qaeda Link Proved

Documents discovered by The Telegraph in the bombed-out headquarters of Iraq’s intelligence service appear to definitively prove the link between Saddam’s regime and al Qaeda. The documents show that Iraq invited an al Qaeda envoy to Baghdad in 1998 to establish a relationship and explore means of cooperation. The meeting went so well that it was extended for a week and resulted in an invitation being extended to bin Laden. »

President Bush on the Road

President Bush is shown below addressing workers at a company in Ohio, as part of his tour promoting his tax cut proposal. Here is how the Associated Press describes the President’s efforts: “In timeworn tradition, U.S. presidents keep hitting the road on attempted end runs around Congress.” Have you noticed how the stature and nobility ascribed to Congress in the media fluctuate back and forth depending on which party controls »

The Miranda Waltz

While I was out of town, the Supreme Court agreed to decide a case on the scope of its Miranda ruling. The issue is whether physical evidence discovered because of what a suspect tells the police without being fully informed of his Miranda rights is admissible in court. The Supreme Court agreed to review a Court of Appeals decision excluding such evidence. Here is the Washington Post’s story about the »

What, if anything, does it mean to “lose the peace”?

Yesterday, I posted a piece by Victor Davis Hanson about the prospects for post-war Iraq. I called my blog “Winning the Peace.” It occurs to me, though, that the notion of “winning a peace” may be pseudo-concept, as Rocket Man used to say. It is easy enough in nearly all cases to determine who has won a war. However, I do not know of any criteria for determining who has »