Monthly Archives: May 2006

Blog of the Week: Wizbang Politics

This week’s BOTW is a brand-new site: Wizbang Politics. Here is how Kevin Aylward describes the site: Wizbang Politics ( reunites former PoliPundit writers Alexander McClure and Lorie Byrd in a new project focusing on politics, campaigns, and elections. Wizbang Politics will be an everyday must read for those wanting to stay on top of the latest political news, polls and campaign strategy. Wizbang Politics will be monitoring individual races »

No! in thunder

Herman Melville wrote memorably of Nathaniel Hawthorne that there was a “grand truth” about him: “He says No! in thunder; but the Devil himself cannot make him say yes.” By the same token, many of the readers who have taken the trouble to write regarding our “Great American Novel” poll at Power Line News have said “No! in thunder” to our 21 candidates for the honor. The greatest number of »

The Last Best Hope

This was a memorable Memorial Day weekend for our family. We were the beneficiaries of the incomparable hospitality of the Hinderakers and Johnsons in sunny Minnesota. We held a 20-minute editorial board meeting in the Johnsons’ swimminng pool, and spent significantly more time coming up with the 21 candidates for greatest American novel, though the critics of the list probably won’t believe it. Meanwhile, in the spirit of Memorial Day »

Time For A Cold One

We’ve had a scorching weekend here in Minnesota, with temperatures in the 90s. So cold beer is on my mind; if your thoughts are drifting in the same direction, check out Blog of the Week Fraters Libertas’s beer ratings. They rate hundreds of beers on a scale of -11 to 19. (I think they started out at 0 to 19, but sampled some worse beers after assigning a zero or »

Summer’s Here and the Time is Right…

…for arguing about literature. I don’t know about you, but we need a break from poltics. So, in anticipation of time at the beach, in the hammock or on the dock, we thought it would be fun to see what our readers consider to be the best American novels ever written. So we’re going to have a poll. We’ve selected 21 contenders for the title of all-time best American novel. »

We remember

Reader Richard Wheeler sends us a copy of his message to Sergeant Dave Thul, serving with the Minnestoa National Guard in Iraq: Dear Sgt. Thul: I recently read Scott Johnson’s post on in which he reported that you and your Minnesota National Guard unit are serving in Iraq and are short on reading material, especially materials with a conservative attitude. Especially today, Memorial Day, I am happy to honor »

Reporting From…

Former Senator Lloyd Bentsen died last week. His obituary in the New York Times was written by Times reporter David Rosenbaum. What’s a bit spooky about this is that Rosenbaum himself died five months before Bentsen. There’s nothing wrong with this, really; it just reflects the fact that obituaries are written well in advance of famous peoples’ deaths. And at the Times, death apparently doesn’t terminate a reporter’s byline. Via »

“Every man did his whole duty”

Reading the story of any unit that served at Gettysburg brings home the meaning of Memorial Day, as well as the meaning of the words that Lincoln spoke four months later on the hallowed battlefield ground. In Minnesota, we remember the men of the First Minnesota Volunteer Regiment. When the war broke out in April 1861, Minnesota Governor Alexander Ramsey happened to be in Wahsington to meet with President Lincoln. »


From everything we know so far, Haditha is shaping up as a very bad news story. “Worse than Abu Ghraib” is a description we’re often hearing, but that comparison mostly points up how relatively trivial Abu Ghraib–the most over-blown news story of modern times–was. If the allegations of multiplr murders at Haditha are true, they are of course infinitely worse than Abu Ghraib. One of the most disgusting aspects of »

Memorial Day Podcast

The second hour of our radio show on Saturday was devoted to Memorial Day. We interviewed three current and former servicemen: Major Steven Givler, author of Notes of Joy and Sadness; Lt. Col. Bob Stephenson of Families United for our Troops and Their Mission, and Joe Carter of The Evangelical Outpost. You can download and listen to the podcast here or, as always, go here to subscribe to our podcasts »

Immigration Prospects Brightening

The Washington Post reports this morning that prospects for the Senate’s immigration package are dimming, due to House members’ concerns about November’s election: Republican House members facing the toughest races this fall are overwhelmingly opposed to any deal that provides illegal immigrants a path to citizenship — an election-year dynamic that significantly dims the prospects that President Bush will win the immigration compromise he is seeking, according to Republican lawmakers »

Return of the magic hat

Preparing for another grab at the brass ring, John Kerry seeks to engage the claims of the Swift Boat veterans. In today’s New York Times, the “magic hat” — the hat that Kerry claims was tossed to him by the “special forces” (apparently Navy SEALS) he dropped off on his journey to Cambodia (formerly dated to Christmas Eve 1968, now to February 1969) — magically reappears. The story by Kate »

The long war and the Cold War

The White House has posted the commencement address given by President Bush at West Point yesterday. The speech likens the current global war against Islamism to the Cold War and the efforts of the Bush administration to those of the Truman administration. I am not aware of his having elaborated the elements of his national security policy to that of the Truman administration in such detail. He specifically refers, for »

On Book TV: The legacy of jihad

Please fire up your Tivo to record Dr. Andrew Bostom tomorrow (Sunday) morning at 4:30 a.m. or on Tuesday, May 30 at 2:00 a.m. (Eastern) to see the indomitable Dr. Andrew Bostom discuss his monumental book The Legacy of Jihad: Islamic Holy War and the Fate of Non-Muslims. As per the C-SPAN 2 notice: Description: Andrew Bostom discusses the history of Islamic fundamentalism throughout the Middle East…Dr. Bostom also talks »

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 »

Wishful Thinking

The media would love to help the Democrats with their “culture of corruption” campaign theme; unfortunately, the facts aren’t cooperating very well. Which didn’t stop CBS News from doing its best, in this story about the Justice Department standing firm on the documents seized from Congressman William Jefferson: Top law enforcement officials at the Justice Department and the FBI indicated to their counterparts at the White House that they could »

Live-Blogging the President’s Speech

This morning, President Bush gave the commencement address at West Point. The President’s subject was victory in the war on terror. Austin Bay live-blogged the speech; there’s lots of interesting stuff. Austin writes: I am listening to President Bush’s speech at West Point and thinking “Why didn’t he give this speech three years ago?” To be fair to the President, I’m not so sure he didn’t. He’s given a number »