Monthly Archives: February 2008

Present at the creation

The death of William F. Buckley, Jr. deprives the modern American conservative movement of its founder, for Buckley was preeminently the founding statesman of the movement that gained its political expression first in Barry Goldwater and then Ronald Reagan. When Buckley founded National Review in 1955 at the age of 29, he lit the fire that sparked the movement. Buckley had already achieved notoriety–if not celebrity–with the publication of God »

Korb your good faith

I’ve commented several times on the sophistry of Lawrence Korb, who seems willing to argue anything if he thinks it will advance his anti-war (and anti-Bush) agenda. Here »

If You Love the Democratic Party, You’ll Like the New York Times

Scott Rasmussen polled the New York Times, and the results are grim: Just 24% of American voters have a favorable opinion of the New York Times. Forty-four percent (44%) have an unfavorable opinion and 31% are not sure. Worse yet: The paper »

Mark Steyn on World War IV

We’ve written a number of times about the gala evening in New York when we awarded Norman Podhoretz the Power Line Book of the Year award for 2007, for World War IV. One of the highlights of the evening was Mark Steyn’s speech, in which he highlighted a basic difference between the current war and its predecessors: in World War IV, if that really is what we are fighting, the »

Yes we Farrakhan!

Ann Althouse impressively explicates the text of the exchange last night between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama on Obama’s dance around the question of Louis Farrakhan’s support for him. »

Democrats Still Blocking FISA Reform

The Senate passed the renewal of the Protect America Act with 68 votes, and the Act will pass in the House if Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic leadership allow it to be voted on. So far, however, they have successfully blocked a vote in the House. They have thus advanced the interests of their patrons, class action plaintiffs’ lawyers, at the expense of national security. Today two senior officials, one »

A rival to Colley Cibber

Five years ago John Hinderaker made a powerful case that Minnesota poet Robert Bly had just dashed off the worst poem ever written on commission from the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Once upon a time, Bly was a respectable poet. Politics — specifically the Vietnam war — seem to have driven him nuts by 1967, at least insofar as his aesthetic judgment is concerned. That year Bly published The Light Around »

Truly irreplaceable

William F. Buckley, Jr. has died. I’ll post my thoughts a bit later. For now, I urge you to head to NRO’s Corner to read the many tributes already posted there. UPDATE: I’m a relatively recent convert to conservatism, but a long-time admirer of Buckley. During the late 1970s, Firing Line was the only non-sports television program I watched regularly. Though I resisted many of Buckley’s ideas at that time, »


Ed Whelan writes: According to a well-placed Supreme Court source, New York Times reporter Linda Greenhouse is telling folks at the Court that she has accepted a Times buyout package and will be ending her coverage of the Court at the end of the current term. The Times would likely replace Greenhouse with a reflexively liberal reporter. But perhaps that reporter would not share Greenhouse’s 1960s style radical and feminist »

The Kosovo exception

With Kosovo’s declaration of independence this week, one wonders whether it is wise to establish a breakaway Islamic state over in the corner of Europe that lit the match for World War I. Several European states that have declined to recognize Kosovo’s independence are obviously concerned about the threat represented by the Kosovo precedent. In her statement regarding the American decision to recognize Kosovo, Condoleezza Rice emphasized that Kosovo represents »

Obamanations, part 3

Watching the Democratic debate last night, I thought to myself: I would buy a used car from Barack Obama. He is smart, disarming, adroit, and likable. In a debate format with Hillary Clinton, the competition has been reduced to seeking Democratic votes on claims to the greatest ideological purity. For him, the claim rests on his opposition to the Iraq war. For her, the claim rests on her health care »

Tonight’s Democratic debate

Having long ago stopped thinking like a Democratic voter, I doubt that my impressions of tonight’s debate have much value except perhaps as a reverse barometer. But since I watched the entire 90 minutes, I might as well unleash a few observations. Hillary Clinton came out like a high school debater on steroids, insisting on the last word, complaining (justifiably based on the Texas debate) about always having to answer »

Are We Underestimating Obama?

Scott’s observations on Obamanations are a good introduction to this provocative piece by our friend Steve Hayes in today’s Wall Street Journal. Steve’s thesis is that the commonplace criticism of Obama, that he is all generalities and no substance, misses the mark. In fact, he compares Obama to Ronald Reagan, against whom similar criticisms were leveled. Steve includes our references to Obama as “Chance the Gardener,” the character played by »

Obamanations, part 2

Reader Doug Ross alerts us to the video above, which I had not previously seen. It might fairly be described as stating the Obama plan to disarm America. In the video Obama pronounces a McGovernite credo like a catechism: I will cut investments in unproven missile defense systems… …I will not weaponize space… …I will slow development of future combat systems… …and I will institute a “Defense Priorities Board” to »


The pseudonymous Spengler has written a highly speculative column on Barack Obama’s secret that is must reading. Spengler draws powerful inferences based on scanty evidence derived from “Obama’s women” (his wife and mother). His conclusion is that Obama hates America. I have doubts about each of Spengler’s inferences, and his conclusion seems to me in any event to overstate the case. In what sense does Spengler mean that Obama hates »

McCain’s Veep tightrope

Byron York argues that John McCain has a problem when it comes to selecting a running mate because if he chooses a solid conservative, he’ll have a running mate who disagrees with him on some key issues. York shows that two frequently mentioned prospects for the ticket, Tim Pawlenty and Mark Sanford, have strongly disagreed with McCain on immigration and campaign finance reform. However, Pawlenty, perhaps the more likely of »

Huckabee for Senate?

Phil Kerpen at NRO urges Mike Huckabee to give up his presidential run and file for the U.S. Senate race in Arkansas (the deadline for doing so is March 10). It won’t happen; in fact Huckabee says he’s more likely to “get tattooed and go out on the town with Amy Winehouse. »