Monthly Archives: June 2007

The reticent social engineer

Today’s Supreme Court decision in the race-based school assignment cases turns out to be a disappointment. Chief Justice Roberts wrote an excellent opinion explaining why the two plans are unconstitutional, and four other Justices agreed with the result. However, one of them, Justice Kennedy, would not sign on to a key part of the Roberts opinion — the part that says assigning students to schools by race cannot be justified »

Reflections on a Memorable Day

I was in Washington today for a combination of business, politics and pleasure. I met with a number of Republican Congressmen and Senators, attended a press conference, and followed events on the Senate floor. Here are a few random thoughts on the day’s events. * The defeat of the immigration bill was due entirely to the public outcry against it. In the end, wavering Senators knew that there was no »

A symbolic visit to a Wahhabi outpost, part 2

In his speech at the Islamic Center of Washington yesterday, President Bush announced that he is appointing an emissary to the Organization of the Islamic Conference — to listen and learn from it, of course. What might our emissary learn? Steve Emerson explains: While this may sound nice, it is rooted in complete ignorance of the rampant radicalism, pro-terrorist, and anti-American sentiments routinely found in statements by the OIC and »

The flying imams request: Privacy please, part 2

In her Washington Times story on the motion brought by the attorney for the flying imams to exclude press coverage and hold proceedings in closed session, Audrey Hudson notes that blogs are among the thorns sticking in the side of the flying imams: Mr. Mohammedi did not respond to a request for comment, but he told the judge his clients had received death threats and had been unfairly criticized in »

Shades of Allen Freer

Earlier today, I speculated that a number of Senators who ultimately voted against cloture likely were prepared to vote “yes” if the prospects for success had been better. In fact, Senator Brownback actually did vote yes only to change his vote as the outcome became apparent. This brings to mind a story Evans and Novak told in their book about Lyndon Johnson’s days as Senate Majority Leader. I read the »

Always A Silver Lining

Today’s defeat of the comprehensive immigration bill in the Senate was, in my view, a victory for the American people. It was also a defeat for the Senate’s Democratic leadership, which tried to push the bill through without committee hearings and without a normal amendment process. Normally, one would expect most reporters and editors to be disappointed by the failure of a predominantly liberal measure. But on immigration, there is »

Counting to 50

In the end, there were only 46 votes for cloture, with 53 against and Senator Johnson unable to vote. It seems very likely that there were Senators who were prepared to vote for cloture, but decided not to once it became clear that the supporters lacked 60 votes. No point in taking such a politically risky vote in a lost cause. Anyway, the Republicans who voted for cloture were: Bennett, »

Bridge on the River Why

Thanks to a new generation of Republican heroes arriving on the scene to fill the shoes of Colonel Warden and Commander Shears and blow up that damn bridge, the immigration bill was blown up on the Senate floor this morning. Who filled the shoes of Colonel Warden and Commander Shears? Let’s name some of them: Senator John Cornyn, Senator Jim DeMint, Senator Jim Inhofe, Senator Jeff Sessions, Senator David Vitter, »

A defeat for race-based school assignments

As expected, but with Justice Kennedy in control one must always hold one’s breath, the Supreme Court has invalidated two school integration plans that considered students’ race in school assignment decisions. The vote was 5-4, and Chief Justice Roberts wrote the majority opinion. Kennedy produced a concurring opinion. I’m tied up now, but hope to comment later in the day. UPDATE by JOHN: I haven’t had time to read the »

Reflections on the revolution in cyberspace

Roger Kimball is provoked by Michael Gorman into reflections on “Technology, temptation and virtual reality.” Roger writes: In one breath, Mr. Gorman assures us that we should take care to be »

The Hagelian antithesis

Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning is challenging incumbent Senator Chuck Hagel for the Republican nomination. Bruning’s site is here. Patrick Ruffini interviews Bruning here. Those familiar with the Dialectic may understand that this particular Hagel requires an antithesis so that the Republican Party can achieve synthesis. In this case, Jon Bruning is the necessary antithesis. Support Jon Bruning! To comment on this post, go here. »

Iraq and the neoconservatives

This morning we continue with our previews of the new (Summer) issue of the Claremont Review of Books, which is hot off the press. The CRB is the flagship publication of the Claremont Institute and is my favorite magazine. The magazine has collected testimonials from a who’s who of stars in the conservative constellation including the late, great Milton Friedman: »

Evan almighty

In “Film portrays stifling of speech, but one college’s struggle reflects a nuanced reality,” the New York Times begins with a look at Evan Coyne Maloney’s documentary film “Indoctrinate U.” Maloney’s film portrays the suffocating intolerance of heterodox speech in the name of diversity and sensitivity on college campuses. You know we’re in trouble when the Times’s critique finds the film wanting in “nuance,” but in “New York Times covers »

Billions for Z Visas, Not a Cent for Security?

When proponents of comprehensive immigration reform decided they needed to sweeten the pot to get their bill passed, they added $4.4 billion that was supposedly to be spent up-front on border security. This was intended to partially satisfy the desire of millions of Americans that border security and employer enforcement be addressed first, and other measures considered only after we are satisfied that we have control over our borders. Senator »


Joachin Andujar once said he could summarize baseball in one word — youneverknow. The same is true of soccer. On Sunday, the U.S. defeated Mexico 2-1 in the Gold Cup final. Tonight, a watered-down Mexican squad (no Pardo, Salcido, Osario, or Guardado) beat Brazil 2-0 in the opening round of Copa America. Brazil played its first team except for superstars Ronaldinho and Kaka, who are taking the summer off after »

The flying imams request: Privacy please

The AP reports on the lawsuit brought by the flying imams in Minnesota federal district court. Try as it might, the AP can’t entirely sympathize with the “six Muslim scholars” as the victims they claim to be — the “six Muslim scholars” claim in part to have been victimized by the AP itself. Readers will supply their own laugh track: A federal judge overseeing a lawsuit filed by six Muslim »

Counting to 60

NRO’s Corner continues to be the best source I know of for reports on how tomorrow’s cloture vote on the immigration reform bill is likely to go. The latest indications are that Harry Reid may come up short of the 60 votes needed to move the legislation forward. NRO cites a report that Richard Burr, Christopher Bond, and Ben Nelson are opposed to permitting a vote on final passage, while »