Monthly Archives: April 2010

Five jokes for General Jones

Kyle-Anne Shiver explicates the Jewish joke told by Obama administration National Security Advisor James Jones as last weekend’s keynote speaker at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Shiver’s explication is plausible, though I still find Jones’s joke mystifying. His comic delivery could use some work, as could his material. More pointedly, David Rothkopf says of Jones: “No wonder they call him the funniest Jim Jones this side of Guyana.” »

Rubio For Senate

Florida Governor Charlie Crist apparently will bolt the Republican Party tomorrow to run for the Senate as an independent. Crist views this as preferable, evidently, to being thumped in the Republican primary by Marco Rubio. Crist started the race as a prohibitive favorite, but has steadily lost ground to the more charismatic and more conservative Rubio, former Speaker of the Florida House. I’ve been impressed by Rubio in the couple »

Mr. Brown regrets

“Education, health, and helping people, that’s what I’m about,” Gordon Brown told Labor supporter Gillian Duffy during his meeting with her on the street in Rochdale. Now we know that’s not all Prime Minister Brown is about. Unaware that the microphone he was wearing remained live, Prime Minister Brown unburdened himself of his thoughts. Parting from Ms. Duffy with the politician’s phony bonhomie, Brown climbed into his car and declared: »

The front-runner among front-runners

Tom Goldstein takes an in-depth look at the three apparent front-runners for nomination to the Supreme Court — Elena Kagan, Diane Wood, and Merrick Garland. He concludes that Kagan is likely to emerge as the nominee. Although I originally viewed Kagan as the front-runner, recently I suggested that Wood might have a slight edge. Tom is much more knowledgeable and sophisticated in these matters than I am. In addition, my »

Wag the dog

Earlier this week, I noted that PA President Abbas was in the process of deciding whether to engage in “proximity talks” with Israel, and would consult with Arab states about the matter this week. However, I neglected to emphasize the sad fact that Abbas thinks he needs approval from Arab leaders before he can engage in non-talk talks with Israel. That fact is not lost on Elliott Abrams. In a »

Is sexual sadism a mitigating factor in a rape and murder case?

The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold hearings this afternoon on the nomination of Judge Robert Chatigny to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Judge Chatigny can expect plenty of skepticism about his suitability, given his handling of a case involving Michael Ross, a Connecticut serial killer who raped and murdered at least eight women and girls. The facts are summarized in this article in the American Spectator. Chatigny found that »

Deep secrets of Obamacare

Yesterday I wrote about the Waxman/Stupak political theater of the absurd involving the charges against earnings taken by Caterpillar and other big companies because of Obamacare. On a related note, House Energy and Commerce Committee ranking minority member Joe Barton released a staff memo indicating that four big companies under investigation by committee Democrats see incentives in dropping employer health care coverage thanks to Obamacare. Rep. Barton’s press release is »

Investigate this

Last week General Motors chairman and chief executive officer Edward Whitacre took to the pages of the Wall Street Journal to make an important announcement: “The GM bailout: Paid back in full.”. Whitacre asserted that GM had paid back all the funds it borrowed from the United States in full with interest. Whitacre omitted two facts that rendered his column highly misleading. They are the kind of omissions that constitute »

Talking Baseball

Twins baseball, that is. The season is off to a great start, partly because of Target Field. I described my experience at the Twins’ new stadium on opening day, complete with video, here. Since then, the Twins have played very well. They are now 14-6, the second best record in baseball. The Twins beat the Tigers 2-0 tonight, behind Francisco Liriano, who has almost miraculously regained his 2006, pre-Tommy John »


President Obama’s stridently anti-Israel policies have drawn criticism from some of his key Jewish political allies. Among the most prominent are Sen. Charles Schumer and Rep. Anthony Weiner. Such criticism poses a serious threat to Obama’s popularity among American Jews. Most mainstream Jews would rather silently suffer Obama’s shabby, and dangerous, treatment of Israel than risk deviating from liberal orthodoxy. But once liberal giants like Schumer refuse to suffer silently, »

Join Us at the Center of the American Experiment’s Annual Dinner

When Scott and I started writing together around 1990, the first notable conservative to support our efforts was Mitch Pearlstein, the President and founder of Minnesota’s Center of the American Experiment. The Center published some of our early research papers and featured us in several programs. Later, Scott and I both served on the Center’s board. The Center’s Annual Dinner is one of the highlights of the Twin Cities’ political, »

Demonizing Goldman Sachs

I’ve now read most, although not all, of today’s proceedings before the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations at which a number of Goldman Sachs employees testified. The proceedings were revealing in many ways. Here are some thoughts, more or less at random: 1) This was one of the rare Congressional hearings where it isn’t easy to tell the Democratic questioners from the Republicans. There is no political percentage in sticking »

Don’t leave it to Cleaver, part 10

On March 20 the McClatchy news organization faithfully served up the story peddled by Reps. Emanuel Cleaver, Andre Carson, John Lewis and James Clyburn: “Tea party protesters scream ‘nigger’ at black congressmen.” There is just one problem with the congressmen’s story and McClatchy’s account of it: it didn’t happen. Since they were out peddling their story on March 20 and immediately afterwards, a funny thing has happened to the prominent »

Political theater of the absurd

Caterpillar and other companies took billions of dollars in charges against earnings when Obamacare was enacted. One section of the Obamacare bill eliminated a tax break available to companies that provide drug benefits to retirees as part of their insurance coverage. The government’s own accounting for the tax change anticipated that it would generate $4.5 billion of revenue over the next 10 years. Yet when Caterpillar and the other companies »

Test pattern

Chris Muir is the ingenious cartoonist who has taken to the Internet to ply his trade at Day by Day. I like his artwork, enjoy his characters, admire his wit, and envy his somewhat detached point of view. Chris calls the cartoon below “Marketing Muhammed.” I originally found it posted under that title here. In it Chris comments on the South Park affair. I love Chris’s use of the test »

Dressing up left-liberal jurisprudence once again

A year ago, in connection with his decision to choose a successor to Justice Souter, President Obama said that the quality of “empathy” was important in a Supreme Court Justice. The notion that one should decide cases based on empathy, rather than the dictates of the law, must not have polled well because, as the Washington Post reports, this time around “reporters could not bait White House press secretary Robert »

Obama Administration Puzzled…Again

President Obama and his foreign policy team appear genuinely surprised that their conciliatory approach to the world’s dictators has been so unsuccessful. The latest case in point is Syria. At Commentary’s Contentions, Noah Pollak explains: Michael Young, the opinion editor of the Beirut Daily Star, has a fine column parsing the latest developments on Syria, Lebanon, and the Obama administration. He confirms the interpretation I made recently on this blog, »