Monthly Archives: November 2008

Lush Life

Today is the anniversary of the birth of Billy Strayhorn, the compositional and arranging genius behind many of Duke Ellington’s best-known songs, such as “Take the A Train,” “C-Jam Blues,” and “Satin Doll.” Strayhorn is said to have written both the music and lyrics to “Lush Life” as a teenager, yet it is a remarkable song whose sadness, glamor, excess and dissipation he seems to have lived out: I used »

The more things change. . .

From the first chapter of Steve Hayward’s next book about Ronald Reagan: Human Events newspaper–one of Reagan’s favorite periodicals– wrote that “less than three weeks after the election, the euphoria in the conservative community is already dissipating somewhat. . . [C]onservatives have a right to feel somewhat distraught.” Direct mail wizard Richard Viguerie complained to the Washington Post that “the names we’re seeing now do make us nervous. It looks »

“Heroes in Cummerbunds”

The London Times reports on stories of heroism on the part of the staff of the Taj Majal Hotel: They were heroes in cummerbunds and overalls. The staff of the Taj Mahal Palace hotel saved hundreds of wealthy guests as heavily armed gunmen roamed the building, firing indiscriminately, leaving a trail of corpses behind them. Among the workers there were some whose bravery and sense of duty led them to »

What price pseudo-centrism?

Eric Holder has come in for considerable criticism from conservatives for his role in the pardon scandal at the end of Bill Clinton’s second term. And properly so. But conservatives have had little to say about substantial allegations of corruption on the part of Hillary Clinton throughout the Clinton presidency. All but our youngest readers will recall the particulars — Whitewater (which led to the appointment of an independent counsel), »

Worse Than the Fairness Doctrine

Here in the U.S., the Democrats want to drive talk radio off the air. But at least they aren’t actually shooting up radio studios. Check out what happened to a television newscaster in Thailand whose broadcast apparently displeased the government: Via Breitbart TV. To comment on this post, go here. »

Leaks: A Different Story in Great Britain

We have complained for years about the fact that leakers in the CIA, the State Department and elsewhere in the federal bureaucracy have carried on a war against the Bush administration since the President’s first term, a war they largely have won. Politically-motivated Democrats in the bureaucracies leak to politically-motivated Democrats at newspapers like the New York Times and the Washington Post, who run “exposes” of the Bush administration based, »

Coleman Lawyers Up

With the Thanksgiving holiday, there hasn’t been much news in the Senate recount contest between Norm Coleman and Al Franken. The Minneapolis Star Tribune shows Coleman with a 282-vote lead, with 88 percent of ballots recounted. It seems clear at this point that Franken’s hope of significant gains in the recount process has not materialized and that, barring some unforeseen development, Coleman will win the recount. The next step, presumably, »

Five dead at the Chabad House

The New York Daily News profiles the American/Israeli rabbi and wife whose fate at the Chabad House in Mumbai was left hanging overnight. CNN reports that the bodies of five hostages have been found at the Chabad House. CNN describes the perpetrators as “militants.” This morning FOX News was holding out the possibility that the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks are Hindu extremists. The willful blindness involved in the reportage »

My favorite Democrat, part 22 (I think)

Zell Miller is my favorite Democrat. I started this long-running series in March 2003 (with this post). In the series I noted Miller’s speeches, columns, books and other items that reflect his excellence. I believe I broke off the series with part 21 commending Senator Miller’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution column on the CIA’s subversion of the Bush administration via Valerie Plame and Joseph Wilson. On Thursday Senator Miller reappeared in an »

Alleged Terrorists Attack Mumbai

This is a screen grab of one of the Islamic terrorists who attacked Mumbai: Reuters’ caption for the photo begins: “A suspected gunman walks outside the premises of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus or Victoria Terminus railway station in Mumbai November 26, 2008.” Notice the object the terrorist is holding in his hands. It’s a gun. He isn’t a “suspected gunman,” he’s a “gunman.” This kind of silly political correctness infects »

Happy Thanksgiving…

…to our readers. In the private realm, there is much to be thankful for this year, as always. In the public realm, we are grateful above all for the success that has been achieved in Iraq. 2008 has been a tough year in a number of ways, but it may well be that the progress made in Iraq will, from the perspective of history, dwarf the year’s many setbacks in »

Just what the doctor ordered, for now

As I noted below, Israeli prime minister Tzipi Livni’s standing among voters has dropped significantly due, it is assumed, to Israel’s recent economic woes. More generally, one would expect ruling parties to take the fall for the economic downturn throughout the world of what we used to call “the industrial democracies.” Certainly, that was the case in the U.S. In England, however, the story is different. Gordon Brown, the current »

Livni on the edge, Part Two

The latest poll numbers from Israel show that the Likud party has surged to a substantial lead over the ruling Kadima party. According to the poll, it the election were held today, Likud would win 37 Knesset seats compared to 25 for Kadima (there are 120 seats in the Knesset). This breakdown is consistent with the 35-20 split in favor of Likud on the question of which “team” voters have »

Israeli hostages in Mumbai

Not much attention has been paid to the Israeli hostages being held at the Chabad House (also referred to as Nariman House) in Mumbai. The BBC has posted a brief report. Drudge has also posted a link to the longer Jerusalem Post article reporting that a rabbi, his wife and several other Israelis are being held hostage at the Chabad House. (The Post article reports that Israelis are also being »

In re Mumbai

On November 21 we received a message from reader Richard Harper inquiring whether we had seen any reports to support his own speculations regarding prospective terrorist attacks: I follow the stock market and actively trade. As a result, I remember well the way the market behaved before 9/11. There is enough foreign money in our market to amount to strong potential for influence… at least short term. It is highly »

Mumbai Update

If you’re just getting going this morning, Pajamas Media’s BarcePundit was updating through the night. The Indian newspaper DaijiWorld has up to date reports, with lots of photos. The Times of India is here. The Indian government has speculated that “external links” may have played a role in the terrorist attacks. That usually means Pakistan. The terrorists came to Mumbai aboard a trawler registered in Vietnam called the AV Alpha »

A word from Tom Cotton

Readers may recall Tom Cotton as the Harvard Law graduate who clerked with a federal appellate judge and worked with two Washington law firms before enlisting in the Army to become an infantry officer. The late, already missed Dean Barnett included Tom among his profiles of great Americans in “the 9/11 generation.” Dean wrote of Tom: Cotton enlisted for one reason: He wanted to lead men into combat. His recruiter »