Monthly Archives: December 2007

Romney’s point

The bitter clash between the McCain and Romney campaigns is certainly heating up. Indeed, with the ordinary world on holiday, most of my emails these days come from one or other of these two campaigns. This piece by Chris Cillizza provides the flavor of the feud. For example, when Romney charged that McCain had failed “Reagan 101” by opposing two of the tax cuts proposed early on by President George »

Bhutto killed this time

Sky News reports that Benazir Bhutto was killed as the result of a shooting followed by a suicide bombing at a political rally where she spoke. Live coverage is available here. Max Boot comments here. Michelle Malkin has much more here. Via Drudge. JOHN adds: In a separate attack in Rawalpindi, gunmen fired on a rally for former premier Nawaz Sharif, killing at least four people. Sharif’s supporters claimed that »

Stem cells and the president

Previewing its January issue, Commentary has posted an essay by Jay Lefkowitz — the Bush administration’s point man on stem cells — offering an inside account of how Bush made the 2001 decision in light of the world-changing news last month on stem cells. This passage caught my attention at a crucial point in the story: I brought into the Oval Office my copy of Brave New World, Aldous Huxley »

High on Foggy Bottom

To outward appearances Secretary Rice has delegated responsibility for diplomatic issues with North Korea to Christopher Hill, with Iran to Nicholas Burns, with Iraq to John Negroponte, and reserved Israeli-Palestinian issues to herself. While Secretary Rice seeks to salvage a legacy out of her weak record of the past seven years, American interests in every one of these areas have suffered. In her treatment of Israeli-Palestinian issues, Secretary Rice has »

Liberal and gutless

The U.S. House of Representatives conducts routine votes, called “Journal votes,” on whether to approve the record of the previous day’s proceedings. On 18 occasions this year, the Journal vote has been handled through a roll call. A “nay” vote on this purely procedural matter is, of course, meaningless. But the Washington Post reports that a number of freshman Democrats routinely vote “nay” in roll call Journal votes in order »

Reading the candidates

Campaign books are not designed to be revealing. They are generally ghost-written artifacts of public relations. Yet Andrew Ferguson finds that treating the campaign book as a genre, considering questions of authorship, theme, taste and tact, the books can shed light in dark corners. Reading books of the season by Joe Biden, John Edwards, Hillary Clinton, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, and Christopher Dodd, Ferguson has suffered for the revelations he »

Ms. Hillary finds her voice

The Clinton campaign has just posted an item in the name of Ms. Hillary on Glamorocracy (the Web site of Glamour). In the post Ms. Hillary divulges the secret of her greatness, a secret she formulates as how she found her voice: Like so many women I know, it took me a while to find my voice »

BBC exerts every effort on behalf of terrorist smugglers

One of the top stories broadcast on the BBC world service this morning is almost unadulterated propaganda. The story simply regurgitates the hilarious complaint that Israel is meddling in Egyps’s affairs with the United States by complaining about Egypt’s refusal to stop weapons smuggling into Gaza. The Egyptians are peeved that Congress has temporarily frozen $100 million in military aid to get the Egyptians’ attention. The Egyptians don’t think that’s »

What’s wrong with this picture? part 2

Mark Steyn mulls over the legal advice he has received regarding the complaint pending against him in Canada’s Human Rights Commission. Steyn rejects the legal advice in favor of a political response: This is a political prosecution and it should be fought politically. The “plaintiffs” certainly understand that, ever since the day they went in to see Ken Whyte and demanded money from Maclean’s. I want the constitutionality of this »

The courts follow the flag

Liberals may not be overjoyed with what they view as the imperial overreach of our military, but they certainly don’t want our imperial judges to miss out on the adventure. Thus, as Robert Haddick explains, lawyers for terrorist detainees are insisting (in cases like Boumediene v. Bush) that the Supreme Court extend the judicial power of the United States into the territory and affairs of other nation-states. Prior to 2004, »

What’s wrong with this picture?

The AP asks whether any of the candidates stumping in Iowa will attract first-time caucus goers. The strategists and potential first-time caucus goers canvassed by the AP’s Beth Fouhy range in their preferences all the way from Barack Obama to Hillary Clinton. Via reader Matt Bates. »

The clock ate Huckabee’s homework

The Washington Times reports that, as governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee failed to sign an agreement with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that would have enabled the state to enforce federal immigration law. In campaigning for president, Huckabee touts his record of cracking down on illegal aliens. And Huckabee did sign a bill that had to be enacted in order for the state police to arrest them. However, signing »

Oscar Peterson, RIP

The jazz piano virtuoso Oscar Peterson died on Sunday at the age of 82. A gentle giant of a man, Peterson set the standard for taste and invention on the instrument in the course of his long career. Although his greatest influence was undoubtedly Art Tatum, he incorporated elements of Nat King Cole and Teddy Wilson into his own inimitable sound. Norman Granz discovered him in 1949 and put him »

A brief history of Christmas

John Steele Gordon brings a creative historian’s eye to bear on resolving the war on Christmas. Are people getting tired of being bullied by the ACLU & Co.? According to Gordon, “A little history can clear things up.” Gordon offers his Christmas gift in “A brief history of Christmas.” »

George Washington resigns

“There is a Christmas story at the birth of this country,” writes Thomas Fleming, “that very few Americans know.” As Commander in Chief of the Continental Army, “Washington had become as much a chief executive as the United States then had,” in the words of James Thomas Flexner. In May 1782, Colonel Lewis Nicola had urged Washington to accept the responsibility of becoming king of the United States. You can »

Christmas in Christendom

As I noted last year, “Christmas in Christendom” is the 1967 essay by the late University of Dallas professor Frederick Wilhelmsen with which William Buckley closed his anthology Did You Ever See a Dream Walking? American Conservative Thought in the Twentieth Century. The essay was dropped from Keeping The Tablets: Modern American Conservative Thought, the later, revised edition of the anthology produced by Buckley and Charles Kesler in 1988. It »

Shocking news from the Washington Post

The subtitle to this front page story in the Washington Post about private security companies in Iraq reads: “Despite Shootings, Security Companies Expanded Presence.” While this statement may not be as clueless as the infamous piece that wondered why crime was decreasing as the prison population was increasing, the genre is the same. In other words, it’s not necessarily paradoxical that the violence which caused American security contractors to shoot »