Monthly Archives: November 2003

Howard Kurtz Works Overtime

The Washington Post’s Howard Kurtz has a story in this morning’s paper that, along with his regular column, reflects on the relationship between “major” media and its competitors. This report is on changes at the New York Times since Bill Keller took over from Howell Raines. It isn’t especially encouraging; there is no indication that Keller intends to move the Times away from its partisan left-wing stance. However, Keller does »

That’s why the gray lady is a tramp

The Pulitzer Prize board has decided not to revoke the award won by Walter Duranty of the New York Times for the Stalinist propaganda he passed off as reporting when covering the Soviet Union. Andrew Stuttaford of National Review Online dissects the tortured reasoning of the Pulitzer review board and takes the Times itself to task for not sufficiently distancing itself from the prize that “was won by a liar »

What Price Victory?

Joe Klein sums up very well the current political scene. Politically, the Bush administration has outsmarted the Democrats at every turn. But the price has been abandonment of what used to be considered conservative principles. The administration’s pork-laden energy bill and the about-to-be-passed Medicare expansion likely signal the end, for the foreseeable future, of small-government conservatism as a potent political force. Klein writes: “The week’s events illuminate a fundamental difference »

Why the PA is a terrorist organization

Caroline Glick of the Jerusalem Post calls our attention to the unpleasant fact “that recently resigned Palestinian cabinet minister Abdel Fattah Hamayel has told the BBC that the Palestinian Authority shells out $50,000 a month to members of Fatah’s Aksa Brigades terror cells. Hamayel said that Yasser Arafat is aware of these payments.” Moreover, “the BBC reporter then sat down with Ata Abu Rumaileh and Zakariah Zubaidi, the respective heads »

Bret Stephens on Germany

Bret Stephens of the Jerusalem Post provides a thoughtful analysis of the new Germany. Stephens is upbeat. He notes that the popularity rating of the execrable Chancellor Schroeder hovers at about 23 percent. Although this “mainly is on account of his hapless economic management,” Stephens also finds that “many Germans, including opponents of the war, realize their long-term diplomatic interests have not been served by their Chancellor’s short-term political calculations.” »

Democrats Panicked by Pro-Bush Ad

Are the Democrats spooked by the prospect of having to defend their record on national defense next November? This morning Tom Daschle was on Meet the Press, where he demanded that the Republicans stop running their television ad which defends President Bush’s approach to the war on terror. Daschle termed the ad “repulsive and outrageous.” Here is the script for the 30-second ad, in its entirety: PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: »

Getting our minds right in Minnesota

In 1993 the Minnesota Supreme Court Task Force on Racial Bias in the Judicial System issued its report. The task force’s 150-page report found that racial bias permeated the Minnesota courts. On its face, the report was an intellectual scandal. It ignored the substantial body of serious criminological literature on the subject it addressed; it also ignored the existence of racial disparities in crime rates that create the kind of »

McGovern’s revenge

Before his landslide loss to Richard Nixon in 1972, George McGovern had already reshaped the modern Democratic party at the presidential level through his work on the commission that resulted in the scrapping of the old nominating process. The Boston Globe’s Ideas section has an excellent account of the commission’s impact: “Primary colors: How a little-known task force helped create Red State/Blue State America.” »

Two Views of President Bush

Don’t miss Mark Steyn and David Frum on President Bush, in the wake of his visit to England. Steyn, noting that this month marks not only the fortieth anniversary of President Kennedy’s assassination but also the same anniversary of the murder of South Vietnam’s president Diem, contrasts Bush’s commitment to democracy with the “realpolitik” practiced by Kennedy and other American leaders up to the present: “That’s especially true given the »

Republicans Win House Medicare Vote

The Washington Post’s David Broder has a fascinatng account of yesterday’s House vote on President Bush’s medicare reform and prescription drug coverage bill, which passed the House around six o’clock a.m. on a 220-215 vote. For a time, it appeared that the measure was almost certain to be defeated, as conservative Republicans joined Democrats in opposing it. Broder’s account details the arm-twisting that occurred over a period of three hours »

The score on the PATRIOT Act

The Minneapolis Star Tribune runs a good column by David Reinhard via Newhouse News Service on the PATRIOT Act. Reinhard refers to Attorney General Ashcroft’s defense of the act at the annual convention of the Federalist Society in Washington last week. “‘It is a compliment to all who worked on the Patriot Act to say that it is not constitutionally innovative,’ he noted. ‘The act uses court-tested safeguards and time-honored »

Friends in low places

Lori Sturdevant is one of the deeply partisan Democratic members of the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s monochromatic editorial board. In her weekly column this morning she praises Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty for the public prominence he has achieved in supporting the reimportation of price-controlled pharmaceutical products from Canada. Sturdevant recognizes the political calculation that lies behind Pawlenty’s advocacy: “With a single policy stroke, Pawlenty has gone from being the coldheart who »

Saudi Clerics Renounce Violence

The House of Saud has been as responsible as anyone for the spread of Wahhabism and the havoc that fanatical creed has wrought. Since being attacked by al Qaeda terrorists, however, the Saudi government has launched what seems to be an effective anti-terror campaign. There is now some evidence that the Saudis are willing to strike at the heart of the problem: the propensity of the Muslim religion, especially in »

The real history of the Crusades

One can conclude from the instructive historical summary by Professor Thomas Madden of St. Louis University that our efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq indeed resemble those of the Christian Crusades: “[T]he Crusades to the East were in every way defensive wars. They were a direct response to Muslim aggression »

“Bad for the business”

Drudge flags this story by the reference in the lead paragraph to “spam rage,” a phenomenon I think most have us have experienced many times over. I don’t think I have ever felt so sympathetic to a person accused of making terroristic threats. A Silicon Valley computer programmer has been arrested for threatening to torture and kill employees of the company he blames for bombarding his computer with Web ads »

1,000,000 Hits!

This morning we recorded our one millionth hit. This number is of course imprecise; our counter has been down from time to time, has survived our move from our old Blogger site to our new quarters, and records only hits on our main page, so it misses permalinks to specific posts. On the other hand, in the early days a considerable percentage of our hits were by ourselves, admiring our »

A night in Winston-Salem

I really shouldn’t make fun of Wake Forest’s zealous safe-guarding of the crazed Demon Deacon symbol. After all, the university apparently will continue to allow me to use the name “Deacon.” And its letter was very professionally worded. I am nonetheless reminded of Groucho Marx’s famous response to Warner Brothers, when it threatened legal action over the title of the Marx’s film, “A Night in Casablanca,” which the studio thought »