Monthly Archives: April 2009

Is There A Story Here?

I wrote here about yesterday’s bizarre fly-by of the Statue of Liberty and other New York landmarks by the federal government. I chalked it up to bureaucratic stupidity, and that’s probably all there is to the story. Still, it’s hard not to wonder. News reports say that the point of the fly-by was to “update” the White House’s photo of Air Force One flying past the Statue of Liberty. This »

Specter’s rant

Arlen Specter punctuated his decision to leave the Republican party with a rant about how the party’s “right wing” is causing moderate Republicans to lose elections. Specter cited several defeated Republican House members but was most annoyed by the demise of former Rhode Island Senator Lincoln Chafee. That result, Specter complained, cost him his chairmanship of the Senate Judiciary Committee. That, in turn, prevented the confirmation of more than a »

Not So Fast

The Democrats are riding high these days, and understandably so. Yet there are persistent signs that a great many Americans are not on board with their agenda. It’s too soon to diagnose a case of buyer’s remorse, but none of the major initiatives of the Obama administration and the Democratic Congress–TARP II, the bailouts, the “stimulus” pork bill, the budget, cap and trade, card check–poll very well, and some poll »

Speculating about Specter

Arlen Specter certainly would have lost a Republican primary for his Senate seat. But will he win a Democratic primary? That question turns, presumably, on who runs against him and, at least as importantly, on the posture of the party establisment in Pennsylvania and nationally. It seems likely that Specter sought assurances on the Democrats’ posture towards his candidacy before making his switch, and that he made the switch only »

Specter to let Specter be Specter

Arlen Specter, having concluded that he likely will not win the Republican primary next year, will switch to the Democratic party. As he explained: It has become clear to me that the stimulus vote caused a schism which makes our differences irreconcilable. On this state of the record, I am unwilling to have my twenty-nine year Senate record judged by the Pennsylvania Republican primary electorate. Specter added: My change in »

Government Takeover of Private Sector Continues

You are about to become the proud owner of a controlling interest in General Motors–well, you and tens of millions of fellow taxpayers, anyway. A deal has been struck that tries to keep GM out of bankruptcy. As I understand it, the deal is contingent on GM providing a turnaround plan that is satisfactory to its new owners–us–by June 1. The company’s bondholders are up in arms about the deal: »

Obama’s incoherent powder

President Obama and his spokespersons are deflecting questions about prosecuting former Bush administration lawyers who wrote memos saying that harsh interrogation techniques are legal. Their line, as stated by Valerie Jarrett for example, is that the Attorney General “is supposed to make decisions about prosecution.” But the administration’s position is incohernt because Obama has stated that anyone who committed acts approved by the Justice Department should not be prosecuted. If »

Real religion

I wrote here about the University of Notre Dame’s decision to have President Obama speak at its commencement. That decision seemed quite odd, given Obama’s view that women should be able to have abortions on demand, and the actions Obama has taken in furtherance of that view. Indeed, honoring Obama seems flatly contrary to the decree of the U.S. Catholic bishops that “the Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not »

Decade of Greed

The Congressional Republicans have produced some good charts that show what has happened to the country’s fiscal health since the Democrats took control of Congress and, worse yet, what they themselves project over the coming years. This one charges the Democrats with irresponsibility: Fair enough. But why is it that the public sector is never charged with greed? What we see in this chart is, in fact, the insatiable hunger »

Fly-By Folly

No doubt you’ve heard about the White House’s ill-advised and unannounced (to the public) flyby of the Statue of Liberty and other New York landmarks. The stunt seems almost unbelievably dumb: how could anyone not have foreseen that the sight of a low-flying 747, apparently being pursued by one or two military aircraft and just missing New York landmarks, would fail to create a panic? It’s lucky, really, that no »

TARP: The Looming Debacle

On April 21, the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program Act of 2009–”SIGTARP”–submitted his quarterly report to Congress on his office’s activities in relation to the TARP program. The report is a disquieting document that should be read by every American–certainly be every taxpayer. The Inspector General’s report documents the stunning and at least partly illegal expansion of TARP from the $700 billion originally allocated by Congress »

Is the Panic Subsiding?

This morning’s Rasmussen Reports has an interesting finding: support for free-market economics is rebounding: Seventy-seven percent (77%) of U.S. voters say that they prefer a free market economy over a government-managed economy. That’s up seven points since December. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey also found that just 11% now prefer a government-run economy, down from 15% four months ago. Further, the public is now evenly divided on the »

A word to our Dartmouth readers — why I voted against the constitutional amendment

The leadership of Dartmouth’s Association of Alumni (AoA) has proposed an amendment to ithe AoA’s constitution. The amendment would change the procedures for the election of alumni trustees to the Dartmouth Board of Trustees. Voting on the amendment ends May 6. I voted against the amendment. For the reasons presented below, I urge our Dartmouth readers to consider doing the same The amendment provides: With this amendment, the Alumni Council »

Mum (and Pup) Dearest

I can’t imagine what possessed Christopher Buckley to publish the memoir of his recently departed parents that is excerpted at length in the New York Times Magazine as “Growing up Buckley.” The excerpts derive from Buckley’s forthcoming Losing Mum and Pup: A Memoir. The Times excerpts seethe with hurts and resentments that the passing of Buckley’s parents appears to have done little to assuage. He sees his father from a »

Hope and Change in Iran

George Stephanopoulos interviewed Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on ABC this morning. To say that he never laid a glove on the agile Ahmadinejad would be an understatement. As I’ve said before, the mullahs are playing Barack Obama like a violin; their strategy came through once more in the ABC interview. Obama has famously promised to meet with Iran’s leaders “without preconditions,” but that offer isn’t good enough. It’s now Iran »

An established power on the center right

John’s praise of the Washington Examiner is spot on. I was honored when Mark Tapscott asked me to write a monthly column and delighted when Byron York and Michael Barone joined the Examiner’s ranks. The Washington Times, of course, has been a mainstay of non-leftist journalism for years. Recently, the estimable Richard Miniter became its editorial page editor. Today the Times published an op-ed I wrote about Tom Perez, the »

Environmental progress continues

Steven Hayward is not only the author of the forthcoming “The Age of Reagan, 1980-1989: The Conservative Counterrevolution. He is also the author of the fourteenth annual edition of the Index of Leading Environmental Indicators, just published to coincide with Earth day and Lenin’s birthday. The 61-page pamphlet is published by the Pacific Research Institute and available in PDF here. Steve’s annual reports are a chronicle of environmental progress. They »