Monthly Archives: January 2008

Bipartisanship: Possible After All!

It’s possible, anyway, when the parties can agree on mailing checks to voters during an election season. That’s the essence of the “stimulus package” now being negotiated in Congress. The details are in flux, but the one thing that appears certain is that while non-taxpayers will get “rebates” of taxes they never paid, those who pay the most taxes, i.e. those earning over $130,000, will get nothing. Along with election-year »

Looking for a few good fellows

Our friends at the Claremont Institute are again recruiting fellows to participate in their Publius program. Every summer since 1979, the Claremont Institute has brought together a select group of young conservatives for the Publius Fellowship. These Publius Fellows meet with the Institute’s Senior Fellows and other distinguished visiting scholars to study American politics and political thought. In intensive daily seminars and relaxed evening symposia, fellows discuss great American readings-from »

Down the memory hole at the State Department

Last week AFP reported on remarks by Bush administration special envoy for human rights in North Korea Jay Lefkowitz at an American Enterprise Institute forum (the text of Lefkowitz’s remarks is accessible here). Lefkowitz candidly acknowledged the dead end the administration has reached with North Korea: Using unusually sharp words, he said North Korea “has not kept its word,” was “not serious about disarming in a timely manner” and “its »

Al Franken: Why not him?

Al Franken is the former comedy writer now seeking the Democratic nomination to run against Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman in November. He wants the job so badly that he moved from New York to Minneapolis to run for it. In June 2005 I took a look at Franken’s introduction of himself to Minnesota Democrats in “Saturday Night Live with Al Franken.” As a comedy writer, Franken hasn’t been funny since »

Who says Freddy’s dead?

Our friends at RealClearPolitics have plucked an intriguing column by Steven Stark from the pages of the Boston Phoenix and posted it as “Who says Freddy’s dead?” It’s a column that postulates a McCain loss in Florida as the predicate for a brokered convention. Stark works in some relevant political history and even (in the title of his column) an allusion to pop culture. Although the Wes Craven film (“Freddy’s »

One Out of Three Ain’t Bad

Early in the primary season, Rep. Duncan Hunter was one of the most impressive Republican contenders. He performed well in the first debates and was viewed as a solid, across-the-board conservative with impeccable credentials on foreign policy, economics and the social issues, especially immigration. Hunter has now dropped out of the race, and has endorsed: Mike Huckabee! We’ve been writing a lot about the Reagan coalition and the three-legged stool »

Bill Unbound

I’ve thought for a long time, as I wrote here, that Hillary Clinton is unlikely ever to be President, largely because lots of uncommitted voters will recoil at the idea of sending Bill back to the White House for something like a third term. Not because they dislike Bill, but because it’s just too strange. But I always thought that Bill would play a subdued role in Hillary’s campaign and »

A pair of flat-footed ties?

By the beginning of February, both races for the presidential nomination might be effectively “tied.” In South Carolina, Barack Obama looks like a great bet to defeat Hillary Clinton, who reportedly is shifting her focus elsewhere. That would mean that the two will have evenly split the first four contested races (Iowa and S.C. for Obama; New Hampshire and Nevada for Clinton). Meanwhile, a Mitt Romney win in Florida would »

Who was that masked gunman?

According to the news, “masked gunmen” blew up the barriers separating Gaza from Egypt yesterday. Who were those masked gunmen? Israeli security forces abandoned the Rafah crossing at the urging of Secretary Rice; the EU bailed out when it became hazardous duty. Now Israelis seeking the cessation of the daily rocket bombardment from Hamastan will have to try a more direct approach than the half-hearted blockade that provided the pretext »

At the end of the rainbow coalition?

The apparent hostility of Hispanic Democrats to Barack Obama on racial grounds seemed to play a prominent role in the Nevada caucuses last week. Obama lost hugely to Clinton in Nevada among Hispanics (23-64 according to Newsday). Why? Last week’s New York Times story by Adam Nagourney and Jennifer Steinhauer on black-Hispanic tensions stays resolutely on the surface. It’s a phenomenon that we would be learning much more about if »

A revolt or just some push-back?

David Brooks finds that »

Thoughts on Fred

I like Fred Thompson, and I agree with him on pretty much every issue. So I’ve puzzled over why my reaction to his candidacy was more negative than positive. Now that he has dropped out of the race, it may be time to draw a few conclusions. First, Republicans are looking for a winner. If Thompson’s candidacy had really taken off, and if there had been any sign that he »

Fred Thompson withdraws

Moments ago, Fred Thompson withdrew from the presidential race. Here is what he said: Today I have withdrawn my candidacy for President of the United States. I hope that my country and my party have benefited from our having made this effort. Jeri and I will always be grateful for the encouragement and friendship of so many wonderful people. Thompson did not endorse anyone, and it’s not clear that he »

Mike Huckabee retools

Mike Huckabee’s campaign for the Republican nomination has exceeded all reasonable expectations. However, he was never going to be the nominee, and the confirmation of that fact in South Carolina on Saturday apparently has hurt his fundraising and impaired his ability to compete in Florida. Thus, the Miami Herald reports that Huckabee is “skimping” on his Florida campaign. His present plan, according to this report, is to campaign in that »

Coming soon: Power Line Book of the Year

We will shortly be announcing our selection of the Power Line book of the year (2007). Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous benefactor, a contribution of $25,000 will be made in honor of the author to Soldiers’ Angels, thus giving the award a larger financial component than any of the major book awards. By comparison, the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Critics Circle awards provide for a $10,000 payment »

William Katz: Alfred Hitchcock and the 2008 election, take two

Bill Katz began his consideration of Alfred Hitchcock and the 2008 elections here. Today he continues: Last week in this space I wrote about Alfred Hitchcock, a director with an uncanny understanding of people, and how his film ideas apply directly to a political race. I gave five of Hitch’s “lessons.” Today we cover six through ten: LESSON SIX »

How far am I from Canaan?

Today is the anniversary of the birth of Sam Cooke. Cooke was born in Clarksdale, Mississippi on January 22, 1931, grew up a son of the church in Chicago, and died a violent death under tawdry circumstances in Los Angeles on December 11, 1964. In the beginning, writes Cooke biographer Joe McEwen, Cooke was black America’s favorite gospel singer. At age 19 Cooke replaced the lead singer — his idol »