Monthly Archives: May 2006

The Center Holds a Good Party

Tonight was the fifteenth annual dinner of the Center of the American Experiment, a Minnesota-based think tank that, by universal consent, has exercised considerable influence over Minnesota politics in recent years. The Center was founded by Mitch Pearlstein, a scholar from New York who found a home in Reagan’s Education Department, and later at the University of Minnesota. When Mitch first conceived the idea of founding a conservative think tank »

Radio Is A Sad World

Not for guys like me, just passing through and having fun. But our first producer on the Northern Alliance Radio Network died today. He was a very young man. Mitch Berg, who knew Joe for a long time, has a touching post that conveys a lot about what it’s like to work in the radio business. Blog of the Week Fraters Libertas, where I first saw the news, has more. »

Christmas in May

I’ve suggested that the best hope for Congressional Republicans this year may be to campaign as the only force that stands between America and amnesty oriented immigration reform legislation. Reasonable minds can question the wisdom of running on so obstructionist a platform, particularly after Bush’s speech advocating an alleged “middle ground” polled so well. After reading this piece by Dana Rohrbacher, however, I’m reasonably convinced that obstructionism represents the best »

Duking it out over immigration

Rick Amato takes an inside look at the race to succeed Duke Cunningham in California’s 50th District. According to Amato, the key issue in that special election, to be held on June 6, is illegal immigration. Republican Brian Bilbray has been leading the charge against amnesty and other benefits for illegals for years. When he served in Congress during the 1990s, he sponsored legislation to deny citizenship at birth to »

What the Base Thinks

The Bush administration and Republican Senators have badly misjudged both the attitudes of most Republicans (and, of course, most Americans) toward illegal immigration, and the intensity of those views. While we have opposed the Senate plan, we have been pretty mild-mannered about it. So I’m turning the microphone over to my friend Bob Cunningham. No one I know of argues immigration-related issues more cogently. Equally important, no one I know »

Skilling and Lay Convicted

Jeff Skilling and Ken Lay were convicted by a Houston jury today, Skilling on 19 fraud, conspiracy and insider trading counts, Lay on six counts of conspiracy and fraud. Professor Bainbridge says: It’s not the crime, it’s the cover up. The real crimes at Enron mainly consisted of turncoat government witness Andrew Fastow’s shady deals, but Skilling and, especially, Lay are going down for improperly misrepresenting Enron’s fortunes. I don’t »

Standing Up to the Press

We got several emails from readers who heard press secretary Tony Snow interviewed on NPR this morning. Joe Malchow was kind enough to track down the audio; here it is. The fireworks start around five minutes into the clip, but it’s all interesting. What I find striking is the hostile attitude of the NPR interviewer, Steve Inskeep. At one point, Snow describes one of his questions as “snarky.” Basically, Inskeep »

Greeley goes wrong

In 1858 Horace Greeley urged Illinois Republicans to unite around the figure of Democrat Stephen Douglas in that fall’s election. Why? Because Douglas had led the fight in the Senate against the fraudulent Lecompton constitution that would have made Kansas a slave state. Illinois Republicans decisively rejected Greeley’s advice by naming Lincoln their candidate in the contest against Douglas. Accepting the state Republican Party’s nomination in Springfield on June 16, »

Mr. Zinsmeister goes to Washington

Karl Zinsmeister is the long-time editor in chief of the American Enterprise magazine. Over the past ten years John and I worked with Karl on several articles and columns of ours that he edited for the magazine. In the process, we became huge fans of his. His work establishes him as a man of intellect, substance, integrity and courage. Yesterday we received word from Karl that President Bush had persuaded »

Those stinkin’ badges

Reuters reports that Canada’s National Post has retracted Amir Taheri’s report that the Iranian clothing law will require religious minorities to wear color-coded strips. The New York Daily News evinces nothing but Schadenfreude regarding the New York Post in reporting on the retraction. I am struck, however, by the lack of interest in the undisputed component of the law on which Taheri focused. Taheri reported that the the Iranian Majlis »

The second time around

I doubt that love is lovelier the second time around, and immigration reform is certainly not. But how bad is it? At Hugh Hewitt, Mary Katharine Ham summarizes the conference call with former Attorney General Meese and Heritage Foundation fellow Matt Spalding that Heritage arranged yesterday to follow up on Meese’s New York Times column on the Senate bill’s amnesty provision. The problem is not just the bill’s amnesty provision, »

Anonymous Leaks: Reliable As Always!

There has been a great deal of buzz about ABC’s report that Dennis Hastert, Speaker of the House, is “included” in the ongoing bribery investigation of House members. That report, of course, was based on leaks from “federal officials.” Tonight, the Justice Department denied the report: The Justice Department denied a news report Wednesday that it was investigating House Speaker Dennis Hastert. Perhaps it could still turn out to be »

Gore in the Balance

Blog of the Week Fraters Libertas: Overstating the extent of the threat? Cherry picking data to make the case? Ignoring the views of dissenting voices? Implying connections that have not been proven? Must be talking about the Bush administration’s actions in the run-up to the war in Iraq, right? Wrong. Try Al Gore’s new movie. Dr. Robert C. Balling Jr., a professor in the climatology program at Arizona State University, »

On the Beach

There are good reasons to go to Cannes–starlets, possibly even topless; and bad reasons–pontificating anti-American movie directors. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, director of “Babel,” is one of the latter: The United States has an “obsession” with power and is making mistakes in the way it pressures other countries to cooperate in its “war on terror”, a leading Mexican director said at the Cannes film festival. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu made the jabs »

Failing to settle old scores

Even taking into account the intellectual inferiority complex that seems to plague certain leftists in relation to the neo-conservatives, it’s difficult to explain the absurd triumphalism of today’s column by Harold Meyerson. The burden of Meyerson’s piece is that neo-conservatives made their names by showing how the well-intentioned projects of 1960s-era liberals had, through their unintended consequences, made matters worse. But now, in a bit of cosmic irony, the neo-cons »

Down A Dangerous Road

Michael Barone has been busily posting. In “Official Secrets,” he dissects yesterday’s editorial in the Washington Post on the Espionage Act and the possibility that the New York Times may be criminally prosecuted. Suffice it to say that the Post gets the worst of it. Here is Barone’s conclusion; he begins by quoting the Post: “It is a dangerous road.” I agree. But of course it was the press, led »

Not dark yet

Today is the birthday of Minnesota’s own favorite son, Bob Dylan; he turns 65. Last year Martin Scorsese’s Dylan documentary occasioned some fine retrospectives of Dylan’s career, among which was Ben MacIntyre’s preview of the documentary for the London Times: “Minstrel Boy, Forever Young.” In his outstanding City Journal essay on Pete Seeger (“America’s most successful Communist”), Howard Husock places Dylan in the agitprop folk tradition that Seeger founded. Husock’s »