Monthly Archives: January 2009

A pathetic message

Amir Taheri carefully reviews President Obama’s first message to the Muslim world, as do Victor Davis Hanson, Fouad Ajami and Claudia Rosett. In the guise of cosmopolitan sophistication Obama conveys a Carterite weakness. It is hard to believe that it won’t come back to haunt us, sooner rather than later. To comment on this post, go here. »

Stimulating

Among the goodies stuffed in the trillion dollar grab bag passed by by House Democrats yesterday — in addition to billions for ACORN — are many surprises. George Will discovers a Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research: The stimulus legislation would create a council for Comparative Effectiveness Research. This is about medicine but not about healing the economy. The CER would identify (this is language from the draft report on the »

Milbank mocks the Goracle of doom

Readers with a long memory may recall that the United States never adopted the Kyoto Protocol because the Clinton administration never submitted it for ratification to the Senate. The Clinton administration never submitted it to the Senate for ratification because in July 1997 the Senate voted 95-0 to adopt a resolution stating that ”the United States should not be a signatory to any protocol to, or other agreement regarding, the »

Hat In Hand to Tehran?

Determined to distinguish itself from its predecessor, the Obama administration reportedly is working on a conciliatory letter to Iran: Officials of Barack Obama’s administration have drafted a letter to Iran from the president aimed at unfreezing US-Iranian relations and opening the way for face-to-face talks, the Guardian has learned. … Diplomats said Obama’s letter would be a symbolic gesture to mark a change in tone from the hostile one adopted »

The Name is a Clue

This is one of those news stories that just make you laugh. The Associated Press reports that the snowy owl, native to the far north, has been moving south: The showy white owls of “Harry Potter” fame are spotted in small numbers in upstate New York and other northern states every winter. This year, they’ve also been spotted farther south, in states where they’re rarely seen. In Tennessee, birders armed »

House Republicans Hold Firm

Congratulations to the House Republicans: all 177 voted against the Democrats’ pork-fest bill. Eleven Democrats joined the Republicans in rejecting Nancy Pelosi’s fiscal insanity, which, the Congressional Budget Office confirmed yesterday, would actually cost $1.1 trillion. The Republicans put together their own stimulus package; they say that, using Christina Romer’s methodology–she will be the Chairman of Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers–their program will create 6.2 million jobs. Whether that’s right »

How Dumb Does He Think We Are?

Barack Obama has a remarkable ability to utter howlers with a straight face, but this one from today’s radio address, talking about his proposed budget, stretched even his flexible standards of truth: These steps won’t sit well with the special interests and lobbyists who are invested in the old way of doing business. I know they’re gearing up for a fight as we speak. My message to them is this: »

It Could Be Worse

The International Monetary Fund projects that the U.S. GDP will contract by 1.6% in 2009, canceling out a modest 1.1% growth in 2008. That’s not good, but it’s better than the IMF predicts for any developed country other than Canada. The IMF projects Germany’s GDP to be down 2.5% this year, France’s 1.9%, the U.K.’s 2.8% and Japan’s 2.6%. Similarly, the IMF expects the U.S. to lead the way out »

Legislating the Lilly Ledbetter lie

President Obama is set to sign into law, as the first legislation of his tenure, the so-called Lilly Ledbetter Act. It changes the rules for bringing lawsuits for alleged pay discrimination, enabling plaintiffs to bring stale claims, as Ledbetter herself attempted to do. It is fitting that this law will be the first legislative product of the Obama presidency, for it is based on a lie. I demonstrated this last »

Voting Underway in Iraq

Early voting in Iraq’s provincial elections started today. The main balloting will come on Saturday, but some Iraqis are eligible to vote as early as today. Turnout was reported as high, with few reports of violence. Sunnis, especially in Anbar province, boycotted the 2005 provincial elections. That set the stage for the sectarian violence that followed, as the government was dominated by Shiites and Kurds. This year, voting in Anbar »

Hub fans bid kid adieu

RealClearPolitics has posted the column by Sam Adams celebrating John Updike’s skills as an essayist. Adams writes: “He was, for my money, one of the greatest belletrists of all time — a master of the short, casual, elegant, whimsical, roving piece about absolutely anything.” One of Updike’s classics of the form is “Hub fans bid kid adieu.” Updike reports on Ted Williams’ last game at Fenway Park. It’s a beautiful »

Name that party (Hartford edition)

Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez surrendered to authorities on corruption charges yesterday. The Hartford Courant’s initial story by Jeffrey Cohen and Mark Pazniokas omit the mayor’s party affiliation. (As JammieWearingFool notes, however, Perez is identified as a former community organizer.) In their subsequent long story on the charges, Cohen and Pazniokas identify the mayor’s party affiliation in the thirteenth paragraph. Hartord residents will continue to enjoy the mayor’s services while he »

Name that party (banned in Boston edition)

The AP reports that Massachusetts House Speaker Salvatore DiMasi is resigning from his powerful position under an ethical cloud. Winding down to paragraph 17, the careful reader can infer DiMasi’s party: The resignation of DiMasi has some in the state wondering if there’s something about the power of the office, or the increasingly one-party nature of Massachusetts’ politics, that makes the job of House speaker particularly vulnerable to self-inflicted wounds. »

Entertainers From Hell

On January 23, Joy Behar, who apparently was once a comedian of some kind and now is in politics–sort of like Al Franken–appeared on the Larry King show on CNN. The Gay Patriot caught it and commented, but didn’t have access to the transcript. It’s up now, here, and it illustrates pretty well what we’re up against in the world of entertainment. (I assume someone out there must think Behar »

All Politics, All the Time

This was the most laughable item in the news today: On the eve of a key vote, President Barack Obama privately promised Republican critics he stands ready to accept changes in $825 billion economic stimulus legislation, and urged lawmakers to “put politics aside” in the interest of creating badly needed jobs. What a joke! The Dems’ $825 billion pork-fest bill is nothing but politics. Every constituency of the Democratic Party, »

John Updike, RIP

The death of John Updike at the age of 76 represents an irreplaceable loss to American letters. Indeed, Updike was an old fashioned man of letters. An accomplished novelist, gifted short story writer, occasional poet and superb critic, his death leaves a void in American literature. His gifts may have emerged most vividly in his short stories. He certainly wrote quite a few great ones. His stories about the Maples »

John Updike, RIP

The death of John Updike at the age of 76 represents an irreplaceable loss to American letters. Indeed, Updike was an old fashioned man of letters. An accomplished novelist, gifted short story writer, occasional poet and superb critic, his death leaves a void in American literature. His gifts may have emerged most vividly in his short stories. He certainly wrote quite a few great ones. His stories about the Maples »