Monthly Archives: January 2009

Uncharted Waters, Part II

As we noted here, the Democratic Congress has embarked on a program of deficit spending that dwarfs anything we have seen since World War II. Monetary policy, too, has gone off the charts. This graph, from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, is stunning. It shows the nation’s “adjusted monetary base,” a measure of the money supply, from the end of the First World War to the present. Click »

Did Israel win in Gaza?

I took stock of Israel’s recent military action in Gaza in this post and during the Power Line show on PJTV. Noah Pollak does the same in this post at Contentions. Pollak’s take is quite similar to mine, though more detailed and probably better informed. He concludes that “for Hamas, the war was a major setback, but not a devastating one.” it was not a devastating setback “only because Israel »


Last July, Antonio Margarito beat Miguel Cotto in a classic welterweight title fight; the referee called it the best fight he’d ever been in the ring for. Tonight on HBO, Margarito will take on Sugar Shane Mosley. I asked my son to preview the bout; here is his take: Tonight Sugar Shane Mosley and Antonio Margarito will meet at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. The fight will take »

The Hockey Stick Hoax

The key evidence relied on by Al Gore, the United Nations and other global warming alarmists is the “hockey stick” graph developed by Mann, Bradley and Hughes. It purports to show that 20th-century warming is unprecedented and that the 20th century was the warmest ever: The “hockey stick” graph had the virtue, from the alarmists’ perspective, of “getting rid of” the Medieval Warm Period, which had always been acknowledged as »

The essential Rush Limbaugh

The New York Post reports: President Obama warned Republicans on Capitol Hill today that they need to quit listening to radio king Rush Limbaugh if they want to get along with Democrats and the new administration. “You can’t just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done,” he told top GOP leaders, whom he had invited to the White House to discuss his nearly $1 trillion stimulus package. That’s quite »

What makes Billy Joel so bad?

Ron Rosenbaum explores the essential badness of Billy Joel in “The worst pop singer ever.” It’s an entertaining column with insights based on a painfully close reading of the lyrics to Joel’s songs. At his Pajamas Media blog, Rosenbaum also provides his “favorite anecdote about Hollywood and art.” UPDATE: The indomitable Joe Malchow rises to Joel’s defense. I agree with Joe too! To comment on this post, go here. »

Secretary Ritchie responds

In “Minnesota’s recount goes south,” I inferred on the basis of circumstantial evidence that Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie had held private conversations with the Franken campaign during the recount. We have submitted a freedom-of-information request to the Secretary of State’s office regarding communications with the Franken campaign, asked Secretary Ritchie for an interview on the subject and submitted written questions to him via spokesman John Aiken. The office »

Holder’s disgrace, part 2

The role played by Eric Holder in Bill Clinton’s pardon of Marc Rich shows him to be a man of weak character. In “Unpardonable: Holder’s Marc Rich shuffle,” Andrew McCarthy makes a strong case that Holder’s testimony on the subject is also deficient in veracity. Tim Sumner posts exhibits supporting McCarthy’s column here. To comment on this post, go here. »

Seeing Captain Castro

This past summer in his NRO Impromptus column Jay Nordlinger opened with thoughts prompted by Army Captain Ivan Castro: Lately, I’ve had occasion to think about what is cool and what is not. And by “cool” I mean admired, thought groovy, especially by the young. And do you know what is cool — or rather, who is cool? The late-night-comedy people. I don’t mean the Jay Leno types, I mean »

Elections have consequences; so does bad legislation

In his inauguration speech, President Obama said, “the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply.” He even suggested that these arguments should be set aside as “childish things.” However, today Obama reportedly reacted to Republican criticism of his stimulus package during a meeting with congressional leaders by acknowledging that there are philosophical differences between the parties on this issue and then reminding the assembled »

The Dems’ Pork-Fest: What’s In It?

The Democrats appear to believe that they can toss anything into a deficit-financed pork bill, as long as they refer to it as “stimulus.” In the short term, that may well prove to be right. As Barack Obama reminded Republicans today, the Democrats won in 2008. So this will be their bill, and they will have to take responsibility for the consequences. In the meantime, Congressman Jack Kingston of Georgia »

Business As Usual? Not At All

Barack Obama says his administration represents the end of “business as usual” in Washington. So far that appears to be true. What’s happening these days is considerably worse than what has previously passed for standard practice. Currently, the politically powerful are lined up to receive billions in federal bailout funds. Glenn Reynolds best described what is going on in Obama’s Washington: This is not so much a stimulus, as a »

Rah! Rah! For O-Bam-A!

That’s the sound of the New York Times cheering the ascension of a fellow Democrat to the White House. At New York magazine, Gabriel Sherman reports on the paper’s Obama inauguration party: Down on the Bowery last night, the New York Times hosted an inauguration party at the New Museum to fête Barack Obama’s nascent presidency. At around six o’clock, guests began arriving in the museum’s cavernous ground floor and »

In the footsteps of Daniel Webster

The news that Governor Paterson will appoint Rep. Kirstin Gillibrand to Hillary Clinton’s Senate seat prompts our Dartmouth alumni readers to note that Rep. Gillibrand is a magna cum laude member of Dartmouth’s class of ’88. I believe Rep. Gillibrand was the the first female Dartmouth alum to serve in the House. Now she will be the first to serve in the Senate. The Dartmouth reports here, with some background »

Submission in the Netherlands

City Journal has posted Bruce Bawer’s commentary on the prosecution of the Dutch politician Geert Wilders for “incitement to hatred and discrimination” against Islam. Wilders is of course the politician who made the film “Fitna” (video below). The film apparently provides the basis for the charge against Wilders. Bawer writes: Even before Fitna was released early last year, Doekle Terpstra, a leading member of the Dutch establishment, called for mass »

A small bank with big friends

Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal featured a page-one story noting Rep. Barney Frank’s support of the troubled OneUnited Bank in Boston. Rep. Frank earmarked $12 million in TARP funds for the bank, already operating under remedial orders from state banking authorities for bad loan practices and excessive compensation, purportedly because the bank invested heavily in FNMA stock which was made worthless by the government takeover. The Journal describes the earmark: Mr. »

Neither Kennedy nor Cuomo

New York Governor David Patterson has selected Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand to fill Hillary Clinton’s Senate seat. I suggested early on in the process that New York’s large Demcratic congressional delegation might be the best source of a qualified Senator. In retrospect, I probably overrated that delegation, but in the end that’s where Patterson turned. Gillibrand has only been in Congress since 2006, when she won an upstate seat the Republicans »