Monthly Archives: June 2009

The roots of an incoherent policy

My Examiner column argues that President got it wrong in Iran by misapplying a flawed theory of international relations, namely realism. Here is what I wrote: President Obama’s unwillingness to provide wholehearted support for the objectives of those seeking to topple the murderous, America-hating regime in Iran has left some observers scratching their heads. But to many old foreign policy hands, Obama’s tepid approach has invoked a knowing smile of »

My Thoughts on Michael Jackson

I once did a post called “My Thoughts on Britney Spears,” which for some reason I can’t find in our archives, at a time when she was in the news. It set the record as shortest blog post ever. I don’t have anything to say about Michael Jackson, either; his career mostly coincided with a period in which I wasn’t listening to popular music and I never thought much about »

Don’t wanna be startin’ somethin’

Serving in the Reagan White House as a young lawyer, future Chief Justice John Roberts showed promise as a music critic in addition to his more obvious talents: “I hate to sound like one of Mr. [Michael] Jackson’s records,” Roberts wrote, “constantly repeating the same refrain…” Roberts feared sounding like a Michael Jackson record as he sought to prevent President Reagan from providing testimonial letters to be used by Jackson’s »

Make no mistake

President Obama devoted his weekly address yesterday to the cap-and-tax bill that passed the House on Friday. In case you wanted to know what it’s all about, Obama explains: Make no mistake: this is a jobs bill. We’re already seeing why this is true in the clean energy investments we’re making through the Recovery Act. In California, 3000 people will be employed to build a new solar plant that will »

Obama’s EPA Quashes Climate Change Science

The Competitive Enterprise Institute has obtained an EPA study of the “endangerment” to human well-being ostensibly caused by carbon dioxide emissions, together with a set of EPA emails indicating that the study, which concludes that carbon dioxide is not a significant cause of climate change, was suppressed by the EPA for political reasons. You can read the comments that the CEI submitted to the EPA on EPA’s proposed endangerment finding »

Minnesota: It’s Not Really So Bad

I’ve never been accused of suffering from an inferiority complex, which makes living in Minnesota a bid odd. Minnesotans tend to be schizoid: becomingly modest about their state in public, while at the same time convinced that our inherent wonderfulness is so obvious that people will flock here no matter how high we raise our taxes. Actually, of course, people have never exactly flocked to Minnesota, in part because of »

Bad Taste Award for 2009

Ed Morrissey pointed out this story to me this morning at the radio station: BritneySpears to star in Holocaust film: Spears, who is currently in the process of successfully resuscitating her recently languishing music career with her global “Circus” tour, is reportedly reviewing a script for a film tentatively titled “The Yellow Star of Sophia and Eton.” The flick would see her playing a character named Sophia LaMont who travels »

Save the last dance for me

Today is the anniversary of the birth of the great pop songwriter Doc Pomus (Jerome Felder). Pomus was one of the true characters of the Brill Building era of pop songwriting. Together with his partner Mort Shuman, he wrote hit songs for a long list of artists including Elvis, Ray Charles, Dion and the Belmonts, and the Drifters. The Doc Pomus site includes a good biography and list of song »

A bad sign for the mullahs

On June 17, Iran’s soccer team took on South Korea in an important World Cup qualifying match in Seoul. SIx or seven members of Iran’s starting 11 wore green tape on their wrists as a show of support for opposition candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi. They were forced to remove the tape at half time. Among these players were Iran’s best known stars — captain Medhi Mahdavikia, Ali Karimi, and Vahid »

Eight Republicans make Pelosi’s job easier

As John notes below, the House passed cap-and-trade energy tax legislation last night even though no complete copy of that legislation existed, making it impossible for our representatives to know exactly what they were voting on. The vote was 219-212. Eight Republicans voted in favor of the legislation. They are: Mary Bono (CA), Mike Castle (DE), Mark Kirk (IL), Leonard Lance (NJ), Frank LoBiondo (NJ), Chris Smith (NJ), John McHugh »

Mullahs Ascendant

Protests in Iran have died down as the regime’s violent tactics have allowed it to reassert control. In his sermon last night, the Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami called for execution of leading dissidents. The London Times reports: A hardline cleric close to the Iranian regime demanded the execution of leading demonstrators yesterday as the opposition ended the week in disarray. In a televised sermon at Friday prayers in Tehran, Ayatollah Ahmad »

Bill? What Bill?

At The Examiner, David Freddoso adds a coda to the bizarre story of the cap-and-trade energy tax that passed the House yesterday. The bill that the House voted on doesn’t, strictly speaking, exist: Texas Republican Reps. Joe Barton and Louie Gohmert have just asked the chair whether there exists a complete, updated copy of the Waxman-Markey carbon-cap bill. “If a bill for which there is no copy were to actually »

Friday Night News Dump

In five short months, it’s become a tradition: you have to watch the news wires carefully on Friday evening, because that’s when the Obama administration announces or leaks actions or decisions that they want to stay under the radar. Last night, it came out that the administration is considering an executive order to detain some of the Guantanamo inmates indefinitely: The Obama administration is considering issuing an executive order that »

The price is right (Monica Conyers edition)

Monica Conyers — the wife of Democratic House Judiciary Committee chairman John Conyers — pleaded guilty to a bribery conspiracy charge in federal court yesterday. Conyers took a bribe in a pay-to-play scheme for a $1.2-billion-plus Detroit sludge treatment contract won the old-fashioned way by SynagroTechnologies. Conyers took “at least $6,000” to change her vote on the sludge contract. The price seems cheap, but according to the linked Free Press »

The price is right (Ellison hajj edition)

We’ve written several times about Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison’s hajj to Mecca, most recently here. A spokesman for Ellison, the first Muslim congressman, first told the Star Tribune that Ellison paid for the pilgrimage himself. The Star Tribune subsequently reported that the Minnesota chapter of the Muslim American Society paid for Ellison’s hajj. MAS spokesman Mahdi Bray heatedly denied the report, describing it as a “myth” and “urban legend” that »

A Reminder

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Obama administration sides with Saudis, seeks to deny 9/11 families their day in court

It’s no secret that members of the Saudi royal family have provided extensive financial support to al Qaeda. But now, as Eric Lichtblau of the New York Times reports, thousands of pages of previously undisclosed documents provide a detailed look at this disgusting phenomenon. The documents have been compiled by lawyers for the Sept. 11 families and their insurers who are suing the Saudi government and the individual Saudi princes »