Monthly Archives: December 2009

Democrats’ Narrative Isn’t Selling

Scott Rasmussen finds that for the first time, a plurality of voters say the Democrats’ stimulus bill has hurt the economy: A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 30% of voters nationwide believe the $787-billion economic stimulus plan has helped the economy. However, 38% believe that the stimulus plan has hurt the economy. This is the first time since the legislation passed that a plurality has held a »

Laps in security

Andrew McCarthy draws on his experience as prosecutor of the Blind Sheikh in the first World Trade Center bombing to show history repeating itself in the case of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab: In Willful Blindness, I recount the debacle of repeated entries into the United States by, among others, the Blind Sheikh (Omar Abdel Rahman) and al Qaeda operative Ali Mohammed — the former permitted free entrance, egress and, finally, a »

The year the locusts ate

In his famous speech of November 1936, Winston Churchill characterized the preceding years during which Britian and France failed to respond to German rearmament as the years the locusts ate. Churchill was seizing on the Biblical locution first applied to the period by Minister for Co-ordination of Defence Sir Thomas Inskip. In The Gathering Storm, Churchill describes Inskip as “well versed in the Bible” and shortens the formulation to title »

Reality intrudes on plans to close Gitmo

Politico notes that the Christmas bombing plot may “complicate” plans to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. The problem is this: (1) the Obama administration plans to send more than 80 Gitmo detainees to Yemen but (2) evidence indicates that the Nigerian man who tried tried to blow up a plane as it landed in Detroit spent time in Yemen and may have been fitted with customized, explosive-laden clothing »

The center shifts, but will it hold?

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is making a bold bid to broaden his coalition and/or destroy his rival party, Kadima. The Jerusalem Post is reporting that at least six Kadima members of the Knesset intend to join Netanyahu’s coalition. Reportedly, they requested that Netanyahu ask Kadima’s leader, Tzipi Livni, to join the government. Their expectation was that she will decline, thus providing the basis for the defecting Kadima MK’s to »

Why Was Abdulmutallab Flying?

We now know that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab (spellings vary; all are phonetically derived from the Arabic) has been on a U.S. government list of persons with known or suspected ties to terrorist organizations for at least the past two years. This apparently has led the oh-so-cerebral Obama administration to engage in a bit of soul-searching: President Barack Obama’s aides are pondering how the government is using terror watch lists after »

“Don’t Say We’re Violent, Or We’ll Kill You”

That has been the message of Islamic extremists on a number of occasions, e.g. the Mohammed cartoons. An extreme case occurred recently when the proprietor of the web site Religion of Peace received a death threat from members of the religion of peace: A recent e-mail to a website launched after the 9/11 terror attacks to document the instances of Islamic violence said simply: “We will kill you. Like this »

Suicide Underwear?

That’s what ABC is reporting: The plot to blow up an American passenger jet over Detroit was organized and launched by al Qaeda leaders in Yemen who apparently sewed bomb materials into the suspect’s underwear before sending him on his mission, federal authorities tell ABC News. At Hot Air, Ed Morrissey speculates about what this will mean for air travelers. We can’t wear our shoes through security because of the »

More on the Nigerian Bomber

We wrote last night about the Nigerian, Abdul Mudallad (phonetic translations from the Arabic vary) who tried to bring down a Northwest/Delta flight from Amsterdam to Detroit with an explosive. More information is coming out about the would-be terrorist, who claims affiliation with al Qaeda. It appears that he is the son of a prominent Nigerian Banker named Alhaji Umaru Mutallab who most recently has been an engineering student at »

Learning from Hannah Rosenthal

Barack Obama’s appointed head of the State Department anti-anti-Semitism office is one Hannah Rosenthal. Like other Obama administration diplomats, Rosenthal has apparently decided that her real battle should be against Israel. Rosenthal made waves in Israel this week when she criticized Israel Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren for failing sufficiently to appreciate the phony pro-peace, genuinely anti-Israel organization J Street. Michael Goldfarb asks: Are there not enough anti-Semites »

Lincoln in Peoria: The book

When Michael Barone invoked the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 to place the struggle over Obamacare in historical context, I briefly took a look back at Abraham’s Lincoln’s great Peoria speech of October 1854 on the subject. There is nothing quite like the Peoria speech in the Lincoln corpus. In light of Barone’s column, the Claremont Review of Books posted Harry Jaffa’s review/essay on Lincoln’s Peoria speech. The occasion of Jaffa’s »

Kristin’s White Kristmas, with kleavage

Kristin Chenoweth and violinist Joshua Bell appeared on the special Christmas Eve installment of Fox & Friends on Thursday before an in-studio military audience. They performed “White Christmas,” the Irving Berlin standard that falls afoul of Keillor’s Christmas curse. The military audience for the song was appropriate. As my friend Steve Hunegs observes, “White Christmas” debuted on NBC with Bing Crosby singing it on December 25, 1941, just two weeks »

The uses of Ted Kennedy

Many Senate Democrats must have mixed feellings about passing the Senate health care bill. No doubt, they are pleased to have passed legislation that would signiificantly increase the number of Americans with health insurance while substantially expanding the government’s control of the health care industry. But many Senators must be stung by the harsh criticism of the bill’s substance by their leftist base. Some may also be stung by the »

Your move, Mr. President

Yesterday, before leaving town for Christmas, the Senate approved 30 more of President Obama’s nominees for federal posts. However, it did not approve Dawn Johnsen, Obama’s choice to head the Office of Legal Counsel at the Justice Department. There was no vote on Johnsen, she just “ran into opposition,” in the words of Harry Reid’s aide Jim Manley. In other words, the Dems didn’t have the votes to confirm her. »

Shoe Bomber II?

Early news accounts indicated that a passenger on a Delta/Northwest flight from Amsterdam to Detroit set off fireworks shortly before landing. Now it’s being reported that the passenger tried to blow up the airplane: A Northwest Airlines passenger landing in Detroit on Friday tried to blow up the flight but the explosive device failed, two U.S. national security officials said…”He appears to have had some kind of incendiary device he »

The Climate Change Scam: A Concise Summary

In the wake of Climategate, common sense deniers like to say that there is lots of other evidence for global warming, in addition to that which has been debunked by the East Anglia whistleblower. Actually, however, the scientific evidence for AGW is remarkably weak. At Icecap, Lee Gerhard, geologist and reviewer for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, sums up the key scientific evidence with admirable brevity: It is crucial »

Worst Times quotes of the year

I was honored to be asked this year for the first time by Clay Waters of the Media Research Center’s Times Watch to pick the worst New York Times quote of the year. I served as a judge along with Thomas Lifson of the American Thinker and Donald Luskin of The Conspiracy to Keep You Poor and Stupid. Waters winnowed the field to nominate the worthy candidates among which the »