Monthly Archives: August 2009

Senator Kennedy’s legacy

If Senator Kennedy had never uttered a word about a judicial nominee, he still would be among the most important U.S. Senators of the 20th century. But Kennedy did utter words about this topic, to the point that he is probably the most influential U.S. Senator in history (qua Senator) when it comes to the Supreme Court. As Scott explains below, Kennedy played the lead role in derailing the nomination »

Senator Kennedy, RIP

With the passing of Sen. Edward Kennedy, we can expect the usual suspects — liberal talking heads, Senate colleagues and the like — to tell us how Kennedy was a giant of the Senate, among the most influential Senators of the 20th century, etc. This time, the usual suspects will be right. I first visited the Senate in 1960, in time to see Lyndon Johnson in action. Johnson was the »

Edward Kennedy’s America

The death of Senator Edward Kennedy from a malignant brain tumor superimposes somber intimations of mortality onto a frequently frivolous political scene. It puts us in mind us of what Wordsworth called the “fallings from us, vanishings” that ultimately reconcile us to our own mortality. As a young man Senator Kennedy became, as he is today, the pillar of a large extended family. We extend our sympathies to his family »

Quote of the Day

I don’t know who Doctor Zero is, but his post at the Greenroom on Eric Holder’s persecution of CIA officers is excellent: Apparently Obama and his accomplices decided to distract their liberal base from the fiery Hindenburg crash of socialized medicine, by offering them a relaxing cruise on the Titanic of leftist foreign policy. As with everything else the current Administration does, it’s a remarkably foolish move: dangerous for America, »

An unsatisfactory end-game in Iraq

The Washington Post reports that major Shiite parties in Iraq with close links to Iran have announced a new coalition that excludes Prime Minister Maliki, According to the Post, “if the new coalition remains intact and secures a majority of parilamentary seats in the Jan. 16 vote, Iraq’s next government probably will be run by leaders with deep ties to Iran, which would considerably curb U.S. influence here as American »

Ten for Tark

Like Newt Gingrich, our friend Hugh Hewitt is a fertile source of winning ideas for Republicans. Hugh’s latest brainstorm is “$10 for Tark” — his campaign to signal opposition to Obamacare via a $10 contribution to Harry Reid’s only announced opponent, former UNLV hoopster Danny Tarkanian. Since Hugh mentioned his brainstorm yesterday during his syndicated radio show, he has received more than 500 e-mails with copied messages to Harry Reid, »

Are Republican reinforcements on the way in Arkansas? Part Two

Our friend Tom Cotton continues to attract the attention of political pundits in Arkansas as they think about the 2010 Senate race. First it was John Brummett of the Arkansas News. Now it’s David Sanders of the same publication. Here is what Sanders wrote about Tom: Tom Cotton is unproven in politics but his friends believe he could make an impact. Obviously, he would face an uphill climb if he »

Why We Believe “Myths”

This story was highlighted on Yahoo News today: “Majority of Americans Believe Health Care Reform ‘Myths.'” More than 50 percent of Americans believe a public insurance option will increase health care costs, according to a new survey on assertions the White House has called myths. The national survey, conducted from Aug. 14 – 18, involved a random sample of 600 Americans aged 18 and older living in the 48 contiguous »

A wild choice for acting dean of Dartmouth

A former professor at a leading Ivy League college once told me that when he informed older alums of that college about some of what was going on there, they simply did not believe him. Some alums may have trouble believing Joe Asch’s report on the appointment of Sylvia Spears as Dartmouth’s acting dean. Spears is a specialist in “cultural competence and diversity training.” It would be churlish to suggest »

Bam’s $2 trillion Friday surprise

The New York Post features our own John Hinderaker’s column “Bam’s $2 trillion Friday surprise.” John’s column takes off from the Obama administration’s leaked announcement last Friday that it will revise its projection of the federal budget deficit over the next 10 years from $7 trillion to $9 trillion: “That $2 trillion upward revision will put the White House’s numbers in line with the $9.1 trillion deficit that the Congressional »

Steven Hayward: The Age of Reagan 2

My friend Steven Hayward’s The Age of Reagan, 1964-1980: The Fall of the Old Liberal Order was published eight years ago. Upon its publication, Charles Kesler saw something epochal about the book itself. Kesler declared: “The end is near. Not the end of history, but the end of liberal history, the kind of history written by liberals, for liberals, and usually about liberals[.]” Kesler found Hayward’s book to be “a »

A good time to be a jihadist, Part Three

The biggest non-scandal of the summer has got to be the revelation last month of a Bush-administration plan to kill key al-Qaeda figures. The CIA did not tell Congress about the program, which was never implemented. Leon Panetta duly canceled the program, such as it was. If there is a scandal here, it’s the failure to implement the program (had the program been implemented without telling Congress, that might have »

Obama will reappoint Bernanke

President Obama plans to nominate Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to another term tomorrow. Bernanke is controversial among conservatives (and leftists too, I imagine). However, he strikes me as an extremely able economist/bureaucrat who has made mostly good decisions under very difficult circumstances. So I applaud Obama for reappointing Bernanke. And I suspect the move will reinforce the growing confidence that our economy is on the road to recovery. »

Miss Universe: A Retrospective

The finale of the Miss Universe pageant was last night and, as Paul suggested this morning, I was too busy to cover it live. As you’ve no doubt heard, Miss Venezuela won, a rare repeat as the new Miss Universe, Stefania Fernandez, will replace fellow Venezuelan Dayana Mendoza. Here she is: A pretty girl no doubt, but not at all my type. You can see the list of finalists here. »

Paul Rahe: Obama to veterans: Drop dead!

Hillsdale College history professor Paul Rahe writes: When I wrote my Power Line post “Obama to Elderly: Drop Dead,” I had no idea that the Obama administration had already in one sphere implemented the macabre policy embedded within the various drafts of the health care bill, but now I know better. In an important column published in the Wall Street Journal last week, St. Vincent College President and former director »

The CIA Report: What Does It Say?

Attorney General Eric Holder has appointed a special prosecutor to look into criminal charges against CIA employees who allegedly exceeded legal guidelines in interrogating terrorist detainees. Holder said the appointment was based in part on a May 2004 report of the CIA’s Inspector General, which was made public for the first time today, in redacted form. The Associated Press describes the Inspector General’s report breathlessly: The Obama administration launched a »

A good time to be a jihadist, Part Two

As expected, Attorney General Holder has decided to appoint a prosecutor to investigate cases in which CIA interrogators and contractors allegedly violated the law in connection with the interrogation of terrorism suspects. Apparently, that prosecutor will be John Durham, a career Justice Department lawyer from Connecticut. According to the Washington Post, Durham has spent several years investigating the alleged destruction of interrogations tapes by CIA personnel. Since prosecutors properly hate »