Monthly Archives: March 2005

Confusion and its Sources

I’m home in bed today with a wicked cold, and have whiled away the time with various email exchanges. In the course of these, I found that I was being denounced as a “liar” because of my description in the Weekly Standard of the two versions of the mysterious “talking points” memo on the Schiavo case. I wrote that there were a total of six errors in the ABC News »

Trading places, the early years

John Fund looks at three books about the Contract With America, the document that helped the Republicans win control of Congress a decade ago. One of the books is by the master-mind behind the Contract, Newt Gingrich. I view the Contract as a key element in the process through which the Republicans supplanted the Democrats as the party of pragmatism (a phenomenon I discussed here). The key precursor to the »

Talking Points Story Goes Up In Smoke

For more than a week, the mainstream media have been beating up the Republican Party over an alleged “GOP talking points memo” that, they argue, proves the Republicans took up the Terri Schiavo case in hopes of political gain. We, on the other hand, have questioned repeatedly whether the memo was authored by Republicans at all, and have raised the possibility that it is a Democratic dirty trick. The best »

Thou shalt not criticize our robed masters, Part Two

Here’s another shrill piece about the dangers our republic faces because folks are criticizing judicial decisions and suggesting that judges have too much power. The author of the piece, Bert Brandenburg, makes no serious attempt to defend the existing balance of power between the judiciary and the other branches of government, or the way in which that power is being used. Rather, he assumes that judges should possess all of »

More on the minimum wage

Yesterday’s Minneapolis Star Tribune editorial supporting an increase in the minimum wage in Minnesota to $7.00 deserves much more attention. The Star Tribune editorial plays into a Democratic effort that seeks to use the Democratic majority in the Minnesota Senate to roll House Republicans (holding a tenuous majority) and present Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty with the unpalatable alternative of signing or vetoing the bill. I wrote about the editorial in »

Paul Krugman, Around the Bend

We’re not the first to this party, but, hey, it’s never too late to pile on Paul Krugman. Rightwing Nuthouse says that Krugman’s latest column in the New York Times is evidence that he has “gone stark, raving mad.” I won’t go that far; let’s just say that Krugman has abandoned any claim to be taken seriously. Krugman’s latest column is a hysterical tirade against conservative Republicans. But you knew »

A backward glance

The professional association of newspaper editorial writers is the National Conference of Editorial Writers. Its quarterly publication is The Masthead, whose editor this year is Arizona Republic editorial writer and columnist Douglas MacEachern. At the end of last year Doug invited me to submit a column reflecting on our experience covering the political scene on Power Line last year as part of a bloggers’ symposium for Masthead’s forthcoming (Spring) issue. »

Home away from home

Tomorrow, France and Israel play a soccer match in Tel-Aviv that will help determine the World Cup qualification prospects of both countries. The two teams are currently tied, along with Ireland, for the top spot in their qualification group. Switzerland is just behind these three. The group winner will automatically qualify; the runner-up will remain eligible. France won the World Cup in 1998 and the European Championship in 2000, but »

Hell no, he won’t go

Kofi Annan is hanging tough for now. Fox News reports that, when asked today at a news conference whether he would resign, Annan responded, “hell no.” I’d be happy to see Annan stay on. But then, I don’t have the interests of the U.N. in mind. »

The real stakes in the social security debate

Brendan Miniter of the Wall Street Journal explains the true stakes in the debate over social security reform. Ultimately, says Miniter, the issue isn’t whether social security funds will be invested in the stock market. Rather, the issue is whether the government will direct this investment. I think Miniter is correct. The news on the future of social security is almost entirely grim. At some point in the future, the »

Volcker Report Released

The Volcker Committee issued its Second Interim Report on its U.N. Oil-For-Food investigation today; you can read it here. I haven’t read it yet–and, frankly, I probably won’t–but you can read Roger Simon’s comments on the report here, and Move America Forward’s analysis here. Senator Norm Coleman, who investigated the Oil For Food program as chairman of the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, released a statement that said in part: »


The deadline for Dartmouth alumni voting in the Dartmouth trustee election is April 22, not the earlier date to which I referred in a post last night. (Thanks to reader Joseph Asch for pointing out my error.) »

Now They Tell US

According to the Associated Press, the mystery of Iraq’s missing anthrax may have been solved. Both the U.N. and various nations’ inelligence agencies had been puzzled by what happened to approximately 1,800 gallons of anthrax that Saddam’s regime produced, but never accounted for. Prior to the Iraq war, it was widely believed that the regime retained some or all of this material. The AP reports: [T]he mystery of the missing »

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Or is it the other way around? The Washington Times reports: The condemnation of Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda by the Islamic Commission of Spain on the first anniversary of the train bombings in Madrid that took 200 lives is making waves throughout the Muslim world. The Spanish commission’s fatwa, or condemnation, follows other signs of the kind of public theological debate rarely seen in the Muslim world, openly »

Faith and economics at the Star Tribune

The Minneapolis Star Tribune editorial on the proposal to raise the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.00 is, as might be expected, pitiful: “Minimum wage/Time for an increase.” It is also, however, a perfect example of what passes for argument and analysis among the Star Tribune’s lefties-only editorial board. The proposal emanates from the Democrat-controlled Minnesota Senate. The source of the proposal is a kind of warrant of its good »

He Wasn’t Dead Yet, After All

Reader Louis Rossetto pointed out this extraordinarily well written piece on the Schiavo case by Harvard student Joe Ford, who suffers from cerebral palsy. Mr. Ford still seems a bit annoyed with the doctor who once tried to put him out of his misery. It is a superb article; don’t miss it. »

Where motley is worn

In his great poem “Easter 1916,” William Butler Yeats reflects with ambivalent admiration on the Irish uprising against the British. Yeats moves from noting how the uprising has altered his perception of his fellow countrymen, to paying tribute to the sacrifice of those fallen at arms, to wondering whether their valor may have required too much hardness of heart, to asking whether their sacrifice might prove needless. Yeats nevertheless finds »