Monthly Archives: December 2008

A solution worse than the problem

RealClearPolitics has posted a column proposing a solution to “Minnesota’s recount fiasco” by AEI director of economic studies Kevin Hassett. Hassett observes the inconsistent rulings on disputed ballots made by the Board of Canvassers. He notes that the rulings tended to favor Franken, as have other issues addressed by the Board. Hassett’s solution? “[T]he candidates should agree to a process that recognizes the partisan enmity that has been stoked during »

Whose “peace chances”?

The Washington Post simultaneously displays its Obama-centric world view and its dislike of Israel in this headline: “Israeli Airstrikes on Gaza Strip Imperil Obama’s Peace Chances.” The accompanyting Post story isn’t much better. The Post never pauses to ask what realistic “peace chances” there were prior to the counter-attack, given the central role in Palestinian affairs of an outfit that relentnessly bombs Israeli villages to the disgust even of some »

Margaret Thatcher According to AFP

We noted earlier today that the French news agency AFP is hopelessly biased when it comes to coverage of the Middle East. Actually, AFP is hopelessly biased, period. Its “news” reports are even more full of liberal editorializing than those of the Associated Press. A case in point is this report, titled “Thatcher laid bare in secret 30-year-old files.” If you had any doubt about what AFP thinks of England’s »

Republicans go to war with the media we have

A second candidate for chair of the Republican National Committee is now embroiled in a controversy having to do with race. As discussed here, Katon Dawson belonged for years to a country club that did not admit African-Americans. Now we learn that Chip Saltsman sent RNC members a CD by parody artist Paul Shanklin that included the song “Barack the Magic Negro.” The song’s title came from an op-ed in »

The Middle East According to AFP

Agence France-Presse (AFP) is one of the world’s most biased news agencies, especially where the Middle East is concerned. Today AFP published this helpful guide to the “key events in 2008” relating to Gaza, Hamas and Israel: In AFP’s narrative, the story begins with Israel imposing a blockade of Gaza in January. No mention of the rocket attacks launched by Hamas from Gaza that prompted the blockade. The next event »

From here…

A reader writes from Hawaii regarding President-elect Obama’s visit with the Marines: Aloha. I’m an active duty naval officer stationed in Pearl Harbor. I was there for the president-elect’s appearance. The crowd was respectful, as you might expect from today’s professional Marines. The reception was a short photo-op kind of thing. Couple of quick turns around the tables and he was gone. What was of more interest, at least to »

What’s the matter with Waziristan?

In commenting on the death of Harvard professor of government Samuel Huntington, Mark Steyn pays tribute to one of Huntington’s most notable books. Mark also alludes to Robert Kaplan’s Atlantic profile of Huntington while he was alive and kicking. UPDATE: Mac Owens memorializes Hungtington’s contributions in “Scholar and gentleman.” To comment on this post, go here. »

Crisis of the House Divided

Harry V. Jaffa titled his 1959 book on the Lincoln-Douglas debates Crisis of the House Divided. In the book Jaffa began the restoration of our understanding of the political thought of Abraham Lincoln. The prominent historian Allen Guelzo observed in the bibliographic essay that concludes his highly regarded biography of Lincoln that Crisis is “incontestably the greatest Lincoln book of the [twentieth] century.” Bill Kristol discreetly recommends the book to »

She said she said

She said, I know what it’s like to want to be a senator, and not be able to say when it dawned on you that you aspired to hold higher office. She told the New York Times reporters in their extended interview with her that she wishes she could think of the moment and will give the question a little more thought. The Times, incidentally, first described Kennedy in the »

Higher education, Hamas-style

In today’s newspapers one can read via Reuters, for example, that “Israeli warplanes bombed the Islamic University in the Gaza Strip on Sunday, a significant Hamas cultural symbol[.]” The targeting of the university sounds like an error, or an example of Israel’s allegedly disproportionate response to the rocket attacks against which it is seeking to defend itself. Why bomb a university? Turning to the Jerusalem Post, one discovers: Two laboratories »

Fifth Column

Maybe it’s only because I’ve failed to pay attention, but I was shocked by the reaction of Arab members of Israel’s Knesset to the current conflict. Arab MKs united to oppose Israel’s effort to defend itself against attacks from Gaza, and some Arab members declared their solidarity with their fellow Arabs in the Strip: Some 200 kilometers away from the Gaza Strip, the Knesset became a battleground on Monday between »


The usual anti-Israel demonstrations are in progress in the Arab world, but of much greater significance is the man-bites-dog story: Egypt blames Hamas for the mess in Gaza. Egypt’s failure to toe the terrorist line has evidently alarmed Hezbollah, as the Jerusalem Post reports: Hizbullah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah reprimanded Egypt in a televised speech Sunday for casting the responsibility of the condition in Gaza on Hamas. Nasrallah attacked Egyptian »

The Greening of Earth’s Economy

If you seriously believe that the Earth is threatened with destruction by global warming, then the current global economic slowdown is providential. Reduced economic activity equals less energy consumption equals less carbon emitted into the atmosphere. Environmentalists have been telling us we need to reduce our energy consumption, and live more modestly, for years. Now we’re doing it. So where’s the celebration of the world’s sharp turn Greenward? Victor Davis »

A glimpse inside the Washington Post

Deborah Howell is the outgoing ombudsman of the Washington Post. Her time in that job will probably best be remembered for the abuse she received from left-wing bloggers and their charming readers on the Post’s blog. The lefty response — “personal attacks, the use of profanity and hate speech” — was so vile that Jim Brady, director of the Post’s online operation, felt compelled to shut down the comments section »

It depends on the meaning of “us”

The Washington Post’s Outlook section has a piece called “She’s a Kennedy, But She’s a Lot Like Us.” The author, Anne Glusker, is a “freelance journalist living in France.” To comment on this post, go here. »

Coming attractions at the Dakota

The Dakota Restaurant and Jazz Club in Minneapolis is my favorite spot to hear live music. It’s an intimate venue that combines class and warmth. Proprietor Lowell Pickett sports an easy smile at least in part because the restaurant combines his passion for music with his vocation. Britt Robson profiled Lowell in “Planet Pickett,” and the Dakota naturally assumes a prominent role in the profile. In the past year we’ve »

Before there was the blog post. . .

there was its generally better-written cousin, the angry letter to the editor. I enjoyed this letter to the Washington Post from Martin Carr of Walkersville, Maryland: I’ve got to stop reading the Post. The Dec. 17 front-page fluff piece on Caroline Kennedy [ Friends Say Kennedy Has Long Wanted Public Role] was nauseating. You devoted more than 1,200 words to the subject but none that addressed why she is qualified »