Monthly Archives: December 2005

A Kwanzaa Story

Mary Katharine Ham tells the story of how she learned about the origins of Kwanzaa, and why the readers of her newspaper didn’t. »

The empire strikes back

Is the Washington Post unhappy that bloggers are breaking the MSM monopoly on reporting from the world’s hot spots? That’s one possible explanation for this piece in yesterday’s Post which casts alternative sources of information about the situation in Iraq, notably Bill Roggio, as a military information operation. Don’t miss Roggio’s response. JOHN adds: The obsolete media fear competition more than anything. This story is a great example. The Washington »

Democratic laboratories

Reuel Marc Gerecht has a must-read piece in the Weekly Standard on the political progress in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the broader question of the extent to which democracy is compatible with Islam in its current state. Here’s his concluding paragraph (but please read the whole thing). Iraq and Afghanistan as liberal beacons in the region never really made much sense; as democracies in which devout Muslims wrestle through difficult »

Our Advice to Democrats: Cheer Up!

This morning I came across one of the most remarkable pieces of poll data I’ve seen in a long time, in the Quinnipiac University poll that was released yesterday. The poll has generally been cited for its finding that Americans are highly optimistic about 2006; by a margin of 79% to 10%, respondents say that they expect 2006 to be better for them personally than 2005. But here is what »

The injustice theory of terrorism

In my round-up yesterday on the best columns on Steven Spielberg’s film “Munich,” I missed Edward Rothstein’s excellent New York Times commentary: “Seeing terrorism as drama with sequels and prequels.” Rothstein is alert to Spielberg’s message for America: “There’s no peace at the end of this,” warns Avner, the morally anguished Mossad assassin, as Steven Spielberg’s new film, “Munich,” draws to a close. And by “this” he means the targeted »

Steve Hayes speaks

For the past year or two, Weekly Standard writer Stephen Hayes has doggedly pursued the release of unclassified documents obtained by American forces in Iraq as a result of the war. Steve’s most recent article on the subject is “Down the memory hole.” It appears that Steve is finally making some headway in his campaign for these documents. Witness last week’s Washington Times column by Rep. Peter Hoekstra as well »

Common sense from Colin Powell

Normally, it’s front page news when Colin Powell, or someone who knows Powell, criticizes any aspect of Bush administration policy. But I didn’t see anything on the Post’s front page (or anywhere in its news section) about Powell’s support for Bush’s policy with respect to electronic intercepts of terrorist communications. Powell told ABC’s This Week that “I see absolutely nothing wrong with the president authorizing these kinds of actions. . »

Get thee to a monastery

The Washington Post produces a hit-piece against John Yoo, the former Bush administration lawyer who wrote a number of controversial memos defending the president’s power to take various actions to combat terrorism. Peter Slevin seems astonished that, having had the audacity to take positions with which liberals and some moderates disagree, Yoo is defending these positions instead of doing penitence. Thus, the headine of the story is “Scholar Stands By »

Media Alert

I’ll be on Bill Bennett’s radio show tomorrow morning at 6:30 central time, talking about the big news stories of 2005. »

Getting Specific About the Patriot Act

The Minneapolis Star Tribune ran an editorial today attacking the Patriot Act. It was mostly the usual boilerplate; the Strib says that “American liberty is at stake.” The following is the only substantive paragraph that explains why the Strib thinks the act is such a grave threat: This law expands the ability of law enforcement to conduct secret searches and surveillance. It permits the FBI to paw through citizens’ medical, »

The ever-helpful Justice Kennedy

The following is a comment received by the Volokh Conspiracy: In my law school moot court final…Justice Kennedy asked me a hypothetical question that basically posed the question here: can the government conduct warrantless searches by electronic means for nuclear material inside a home. I do not remember my answer, but I remember that he was unimpressed by it. At the reception following the competition, he told me that I »

What Kuttner could learn from Lincoln

On Saturday in “Thinking about the Great Liberator” I wrote a little on Lincoln’s exercise of the commander-in-chief’s war powers during the Civil War. Wielding Lincoln as his club, left-winger Robert Kuttner coincidentally attacked President Bush in a column for the Boston Globe on Sunday: “What Bush could learn from Lincoln.” At Discriminations, John Rosenberg commented on Kuttner’s column: “What would Lincoln do? What Lincoln did.” My point was that »

Travels with Cheney

Our friend Steve Hayes has been on the road with Vice President Cheney in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. The new issue of the Standard carries Steve’s long report: “Travels with Cheney.” On the matter of the Bush adminstration’s defense of its policy in Iraq and related documents that Steve has been urging the administration to release, Steve writes: [I]t appears the Bush administration will continue to make the case aggressively »

More on “Munich”

I haven’t gotten around to seeing the film “Munich” yet, and I’m not sure I will. The film has nevertheless elicited some interesting commentary. Last week I linked to Kate Wright’s American Thinker essay: “‘Munich’ stands for appeasement.” Brad Miner commented at Compass Points Blog about director Steven Spielberg’s own deep thoughts on the point of the film in “Munich.” The New York Sun has published two good columns on »

The New York Times to the rescue

I suspect that the average American has two competing images of George Bush. The first is of the leader who responded so vigorously to 9/11. Some average Americans might believe that the Iraqi aspect of his response was too vigorous, but the public was sufficiently satisfied with the overall vigor of Bush’s post-9/11 response to re-elect him. The second image is of a president perceived as slow off the mark »

Merry Christmas…

…to our readers. I’ll be doing family activities for the next couple of days and, I hope, won’t have much to say about politics. Best wishes for the holidays to all of you. »

The Washington Crime Wave Continues

Another scandal–Bush is protecting us against nuclear attack! U.S. News reports: In search of a terrorist nuclear bomb, the federal government since 9/11 has run a far-reaching, top secret program to monitor radiation levels at over a hundred Muslim sites in the Washington, D.C., area, including mosques, homes, businesses, and warehouses, plus similar sites in at least five other cities, U.S. News has learned. In numerous cases, the monitoring required »