Monthly Archives: September 2009

Bad Numbers

The New York Post reports that unemployment among young people is at a post-WWII high: The unemployment rate for young Americans has exploded to 52.2 percent — a post-World War II high, according to the Labor Dept. — meaning millions of Americans are staring at the likelihood that their lifetime earning potential will be diminished and, combined with the predicted slow economic recovery, their transition into productive members of society »

William Safire, RIP

William Safire the former Nixon speech writer who became a New York Times columnist, has died. I didn’t know Safire, although he was a member of the synagogue to which we belong until leaving (along with Tom Friedman and Dennis Ross) to follow our ex-rabbi to a new synagogue. The circumstances of the great Bethesda schism are discussed here. John Podhoretz offers a nice tribute to Safire. He concludes: It »

Let’s reset those extravagant claims about the “reset”

In the wake of the recent revelation that Iran has been operating a clandestine nuclear enrichment facility, Russia has talked as if there may be some shift in its views on sanctioning Iran. Specifically, Russian president Dmitry Medvedev has said that “sanctions are seldom productive but they are sometimes inevitable.” Seizing upon this utterance, some are claiming that President Obama’s “reset” of relations with Russia has been vindicated. Adrian Pabst »

Good News From Germany

Exit polls indicate that Germany’s more conservative parties have scored well in today’s election, which means that Chancellor Angela Merkel should be able to form a center-right coalition with her preferred partner, the pro-business FDP. The leader of the rival Social Democratic Party called it a “bitter day for German Social Democracy.” Once again, we see the sad spectacle of the Obama administration trying to mimic what has been worst »

Lowdown in Minneapolis

We saw Boz Scaggs perform live with a jazz combo in Minneapolis at the Dakota Restaurant and Jazz Club earlier this year. Boz put on an awesome show in an intimate setting, covering some of the standards he has recorded in recent years as well as reinterpreting his hits of the 1970’s. We sat about five feet from Boz, who is still lanky and cool after all these years. (The »

Even In Minnesota…

…support for President Obama and his policies is shriveling. The Minnesota Poll, run by the Minneapolis Star Tribune, finds Obama’s approval rating at 51 percent, down 11 percent since April. Among those aged 18-34, it is down 17 percent. This was an anyone-who-answers-the-telephone poll, so Obama’s support among likely voters presumably is below 50 percent in the state. I guess Walter Mondale must think we have a lot of racists »

When Sarkozy mocked Obama

Jules Crittenden comments on President Sarkozy’s statement at the United Nations last week: “It’s a sad state of affairs when a Frenchman mocks an American president and you have to go with the Frog.” Here’s what the man said: President Obama dreams of a world without weapons … but right in front of us two countries are doing the exact opposite. Iran since 2005 has flouted five security council resolutions. »

Insufficient tuned-in-ness: It’s an epidemic

The videos posted by James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles at Big Government exposed ACORN housing officials around the country as eager to lend a hand. They wanted to help O’Keefe and Giles set up brothels in which minors from Central America would be set up as working girls. The New York Times did its damndest to ignore the story, until the political consequences of the videos made it almost impossible. »

Reading Tea Leaves on Afghanistan

The New York Times reports on the conflicting advice President Obama is getting on Afghanistan, as he considers whether to go along with commanding general Stanley McChrystal’s request for more troops. The Times story is interesting, since it is based on either 1) a dozen or more separate leaks from pretty much every member of Obama’s security team and others, or 2) a comprehensive leak from someone in the White »

Case Closed

One of President Obama’s mantras with regard to the Democrats’ health care proposal (whatever it turns out to be) is that if you like your present health insurance coverage, you will get to keep it. More recently, when the fraudulent nature of that pledge was revealed, he changed the formula to “the bill won’t require you to lose your coverage.” That’s right; it won’t require you to lose your coverage, »

Conservative Prospects Brightening

Congress’s approval rating is in the basement, at sixteen percent. Fifty-three percent rate the Democrat-controlled Congress as “poor.” It’s striking that even more independents (72%) than Republicans (64%) rate Congress’s performance as poor. Michael Barone says that Democrats are losing the enthusiasm battle, too. No surprise there: what phenomena have liberals mustered that begin to approach the tea parties, townhalls, and the march on Washington of a couple of weeks »

The meaning of an Iranian nuke

In August 2007 I was part of a small group including Andrew Breitbart, Jim Hoft, Jeff Emanuel, and Laurence Solov that met with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu in Netanyahu’s Tel Aviv office. (Netanyahu was then head of the Likud Party in opposition to the Olmert government.) The meeting had been arranged by Fern Oppenheim of America’s Voices in Israel. Fern led our group and snapped a picture of us with »

Judge not. . .

Thanks to President Obama, the odds that effective action will be taken against Iran’s nuclear weapons program have increased in recent months, and perhaps significantly. Not action by the U.S. of course; Obama intends to fiddle and diddle indefinitely. But Obama’s conduct has made it more likely that Israel will attack Iran. Prime Minister Netanyahu, who reportedly had Obama pegged as the next U.S. president back in 2007, has now »

“Death panels by proxy”

As John notes in the post immediately below, Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee have refused to allow the final text of their health care bill to be posted online prior to their vote on it. They claim the language is too technically difficult for ordinary people to understand, so that releasing the text would just sow confusion. More likely, the Dems don’t want people to see language like that »

Keeping the Voters in the Dark

Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee have refused to allow the final text of their health care bill to be posted online prior to their vote on it. The Democrats claim it’s too technically difficult; in reality, of course, they don’t want voters to have an opportunity to see the bill and react to it before it becomes a fait accompli. The Democrats have brought a lack of transparency to »

This Time He Really Means It

The big news of the day is the announcement, by President Obama and other world leaders gathered in Pittsburgh, that Iran has been working for several years on a secret, underground nuclear facility that has been hidden from International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors. The U.S. has known about the facility for years, administration officials say, but Obama decided to go public now because Iran learned that the secret was out. »

Obama backs an insane horse

Meanwhile, in Tegucigalpa, the deposed Honduran president and Chavez wannabe Manuel Zelaya has sneaked into the country and taken up residence at the Brazilian embassy. La Gringa reports that Zelaya’s return was accompanied by an outbreak of violence by supporters. The democratic forces of Honduras oppose Zelaya’s restoration to power, but the government of the United States adamantly backs Zelaya. The Obama administration is punishing Honduras for refusing to accede »