Monthly Archives: October 2009

“…UK-funded Torturers on West Bank”

The full headline is: British police and intelligence officers sent to tackle UK-funded torturers on West Bank. There’s no surprise here, of course: The Government is sending British police and intelligence officers to the West Bank to try to stop a wave of brutal torture by Palestinian security forces funded by UK taxpayers. … Yesterday a senior official from the semi-autonomous Palestinian Authority (PA), which runs the West Bank and »

Bad news for the public option

Harry Reid’s plan to attempt to push through the Senate health care legislation containing a public option has hit a snag. Republican Olympia Snowe reportedly will oppose such a bill. This means Reid needs the vote of every Democrat. But it appears that he does not have Joe Lieberman’s support. If Lieberman isn’t on board, Democratic Senators from red states, especially those who will be running in 2010, may feel »

The limits of a politics of disillusionment

Yesterday, we posted a piece by Matt Latimer about his provocative new book Speech*Less. Here, as promised, is my mixed review of the book. It’s easy to criticize obscure White House staffers who write kiss-and-tell books. But depending on how the book is executed, and assuming the administration is no longer in power, these books can be worthwhile. I recall reading two of them after George H.W. Bush left office, »

Rocco’s Modern Life

Rocco Landesman is President Obama’s handpicked chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. Last week he gave the keynote address to the 2009 Grantmakers in the Arts Conference. Those of us concerned about the politicization of life and art in the Age of Obama will not be consoled by a reading of Landesman’s speech. The speech bears examination in its entirety, but Landesman’s tribute to Obama is especially worth »

Something to keep in mind

The government has failed dramatically in its effort to make the swine flu vaccine widely available. We’re quickly approaching the time by which this was supposed to have been accomplished, but the government is nowhere close to having accomplished it. In July the Obama administration said that 80 to 120 million doses could be ready by mid-October. But now, in late October, only about 16.5 millions doses have become available. »

Two cheers for bribery

My post about recent success by U.S. forces in Helmand Province, Afghanistan prompted a skeptical Diana West to point me to her article about the extent to which our success, or the appearance thereof, is driven by sheer bribery. I read Diana’s piece and you shoud too. The designers of our counterinsurgency policy would deny that they are engaging in bribery. They would characterize our policy as undertaking projects to »

The Right, Resurgent

The Gallup Poll finds that conservatism, more than ever, is America’s leading ideology. Actually, Gallup’s headline–Conservatives Maintain Edge as Top Ideological Group–understates the case. Conservatives aren’t “maintaining,” they’re surging, as this Gallup graphic reveals: Conservatives are growing at the expense of both moderates and liberals. I suppose that’s why the folks at CNN have so desperately tried to denigrate the tea party movement and town hall protesters. This is, of »

Health Care Regression: The Final Word?

Democratic efforts to pass a health care “reform” bill–any bill!–are reaching a crescendo in Washington and, to a lesser extent, on television nationwide where many millions of dollars worth of pro-”reform” commercials are playing, to what seems very little effect. Somehow, most voters are able to see past the Democrats’ nonsensical claims and understand the implications of government health care. The Rasmussen poll writes what should be the epitaph for »

A word from Matt Latimer

Matt Latimer was deputy director of speechwriting for President George W. Bush during the latter part of his presidency. Before that, Matt was the principal speechwriter for Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld. Matt has written a book called Speech*Less about his time in Washington, which also encompassed working for three Republican members of Congress. The book has received mixed reviews. For example, Ann Coulter raves about it, but Matt’s former boss »

Dan Senor and Saul Singer: Start-up Nation

Dan Senor, a professional investor, is an adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He was a foreign policy adviser to former Governor Mitt Romney and the administration of George W. Bush. From 2003-2004, he was based in Baghdad as the chief spokesman for the U.S.-led Coalition in Iraq. Saul Singer is a columnist for the Jerusalem Post, where he also served for six years as editorial page »

The 1959 World Series — Game Three, Alston pushes the right buttons

The Chicago White Sox and Los Angles Dodgers split the first two games of the 1959 World Series in Chicago. The scene then shifted to LA for the first ever West Coast World Series games. The Dodgers, their pitching rotation having been thrown off by a playoff series with Milwaukee, were finally able to start their ace, Don Drysdale, in Game Three. White Sox manager Al Lopez opted for Dick »

Obama’s War on Fox News Called on Ten-Run Rule

Can we all now agree that President Obama’s declaration of war on Fox News was one the most boneheaded political moves of recent history? He set out to plumb the depths of obeisance he could command from the liberal media, and finally hit bottom. This was going a little too far even for his most loyal press sycophants: Thuggish, but incompetently so–a bad combination. The graphic comes from a Hot »

The nuclear energy debate — a case study in reactionary American liberalism

Former Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham, writing in the Weekly Standard, decries the Obama administration’s unwillingness to embrace nuclear power to meet his energy goals. President Obama says he’s committed to reducing the use of fossil fuels. But Abraham shows that, without using nuclear power, reliance on fossil fuels will almost certainly increase. At present, nuclear power accounts for about 20 percent of our nation’s power supply, (compared to 80 »

Obama Burned In Effigy

In Kabul, by anti-American, anti-NATO demonstrators: There might be some pretty good reasons for Afghans to burn Obama in effigy, but this mob was coming from quite a different direction: A considerable number of people seem to have voted for Obama on the theory that he would make us more popular. A dumb reason to vote for a President, but it probably worked to some degree with Western Europeans who »

The Battle of Midway

Big Hollywood’s series on conservative movies continues with an account of director John Ford’s filming of his documentary on the Battle of Midway, in the course of which Ford himself was injured. When Ford viewed the rushes that he had taken at Midway — the massive explosions, the debris slamming into the camera, the spectacular raising of the flag amongst black clouds of ruin — he knew he had something »

We Are Doomed

On our radio show yesterday we interviewed John Derbyshire, whose new book is We Are Doomed. Derbyshire is a paleocon, a throwback to the days when conservatism was defined by skepticism about human nature, before Ronald Reagan associated conservatism with sunny optimism. (Although, as Derbyshire argues, Reagan’s optimism was more a matter of style than policy.) In his view, things are going very badly for humanity in general and conservatives »

Commies yes, mommies no!

Writing In the Wall Street Journal, Brian Anderson reviews the concluding volume of the Marxist trilogy by Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri. Hardt and Negri are the authors of Empire (2000), Multitutude (2004) and now Commonwealth. The books are published by Harvard University Press, supported with the surplus value extracted by capitalists from the back of the proletariat. Hardt is a professor of literature and Italian at Duke University. From »