Monthly Archives: July 2010

A one-way dilemma

Ben Smith of Politico finds that Rand Paul, the Republican candidate for the Senate in Kentucky, has a dilemma. The dilemma arises because Paul is a liberatarian and, as such, favors some positions that are unpopular. According to Smith, Paul is uncomfortable fudging his liberatarian views, but also wary of articulating them, thereby providing ammunition to his opponent. One solution is to avoid the media, but this creates the impression »

Ben Nelson’s mostly meaningless gesture

Sen. Ben Nelson, of Cornhusker Kickback fame, has announced that he will vote against confirming Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court. There are good reasons to vote that way, but Nelson has trouble articulating them. His position seems to be “some of my friends are against her and I’m for my friends”: I have heard concerns from Nebraskans regarding Ms. Kagan, and her lack of a judicial record makes it »

Separated At Birth?

Earlier today I did a serious post on Pfc. Bradley Manning, the suspect in the leak of tens of thousands of classified documents relating to the war in Afghanistan to the Taliban. This is a not-serious addendum. When I saw this photo of Manning, it reminded me of someone: It didn’t take long to find Manning’s long-lost twin. OK, I admit the ears are different, but still: We report, you »

Annals of Government Medicine

For reasons I have never understood, some people think it would be a good idea to put the government in charge of their families’ health care. Most who favor government health care would admit that socialism, whenever and wherever it has been tried, has been not just a failure but a debacle. Still, they seem willing to give socialism a try where it matters the most. The United Kingdom, which »

No Demagoguery Allowed!

President Obama warns against demagoguing illegal immigration: “We want to work with Arizona. I understand the frustration of people in Arizona. But what we can’t do is demagogue the issue,” Obama said in an interview with CBS, according to excerpts released by the network. What that means, of course, is that the Democrats’ position on the issue is unpopular. Scott Rasmussen finds that 59% of American voters support Arizona’s immigration »

A New Perspective on Private Manning

Pfc. Bradley Manning is the only suspect in the Wikileaks scandal that may have endangered both American soldiers in Afghanistan and their Afghan allies. He is now in custody awaiting court martial. Manning worked in intelligence and was stationed for a time outside Baghdad. I have no insight into whether Private Manning is guilty or not; presumably the facts will come out in his court martial. I am struck, however, »

The bigger they think they are, the harder they fall

Rep. Maxine Waters could follow Charley Rangel into the congresional dock. Waters has been under investigation for a possible conflict of interest involving a bank that was seeking federal aid. Her husband owned stock in the bank and had served on its board. We noted the situation here. Now comes word that ethics allegations may be lodged against Waters next week. That would set the stage, barring a plea bargain, »

Target: Target

Target and a few other Minnesota-based companies have contributed to Minnesota Forward, a PAC running ads in support of the campaign of Republican Minnesota gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer. These companies fear the aggravation of Minnesota’s already difficult business climate if a Democratic governor is elected to join forces with a Democratic legislature. We haven’t elected a Democratic governor in Minnesota since 1986. He left office in 1990, a generation ago. »

Obama in Detroit

President Obama visited GM and Chrysler factories in Detroit yesterday. He spoke at both plants. Here is the text of his remarks at GM’s Hamtramck plant; here is the text of his remarks at Chrysler’s Jefferson North assembly plant. Henry Payne’s critique of Obama’s remarks at the Jefferson North assembly plant — “a fog of contradictions and half-truths” — applies equally to his remarks at Hamtramck. Obama’s remarks at the »

Handcuffing the States

The federal government’s position in the Arizona case is, I think, outrageous. The Obama administration has decided to abdicate its most basic constitutional responsibility by failing to enforce the nation’s immigration laws, and now it demands that the states do nothing to protect themselves against the invasion of illegals that federal nonfeasance inevitably encourages. This attack on the most fundamental police powers of the states is, to my knowledge, unprecedented. »

Citizens Vs. the Political Class

The most fundamental divide in American politics today is between mainstream citizens, a large majority of whom hold traditional, largely conservative views, and our political class, which tirelessly seeks to impose a very different regime on the rest of us. This divide comes into sharp focus when Americans are asked whether more government spending is good for the economy. Scott Rasmussen reports: In official Washington, there appears to be a »

Dems Hope to Survive November With Dignity

That’s why President Obama apparently is calling on Charlie Rangel to resign. With the Democrats facing a brutal election cycle, an ethics trial stretching into the fall is the last thing they need. Hence Obama’s concern that Rangel experience a dignified exit: [Obama] tells CBS News that it’s time for the embattled 80-year-old former Ways and Means Chairman to end his career “with dignity.” “I think Charlie Rangel served a »

Whatever happened to the Constitution?

If Obamacare is constitutional, we have experienced the demise of limited government. If the government can, among other things, command citizens to purchase health insurance of a prescribed shape and size, you can bet it will be using this power in a variety of (other) unpleasing ways in the future. It’s just a matter of time. As the Tea Party folks recognize, it’s time to take a stand. Yet there »

Christmas in July (Preston Sturges edition)

A few years back the films of “capitalist comic” Preston Sturges were released in a seven-disc boxed set, including four Sturges films on DVD for the first time. Terry Teachout recently revisited Sturges’s films in connection with his consideration of the vagaries of Sturges’s reputation in “Whatever happened to Preston Sturges” (subscribers only), an excellent essay for Commentary. One of the newly released films was Christmas in July, a movie »

Christmas in July, and maybe November too

A newly released Fox News poll of registered voters shows the Republicans ahead in the generic ballot by 11%. Bill Otis, who brought this poll to my attention, says that if it accurately reflects how people will vote in November, “Republicans will take the Senate as well as the House; indeed, we will have our biggest House majority since 1946.” JOHN adds: If you’re in the mood for more good »

Meet Mr. Pawlenty

Regular readers know that I am a big fan of Minnesota’s Governor, Tim Pawlenty. He has compiled an enviable record of fiscal conservatism in the face of a hostile Democratic majority in both houses of Minnesota’s legislature. While he has not announced as a 2012 Presidential candidate, I don’t think there is any doubt that he intends to throw his hat into the ring. In this video, he introduces his »

Persistent Persecution

This is a sickening news story: “Spanish Court Seeks Arrest of U.S. Soldiers in Hotel Attack.” The National Court of Spain has issued an “international arrest warrant” for American soldiers who were involved in the Palestine Hotel incident in Baghdad in 2003: On the morning of July 29, Spain’s National Court announced that it has re-issued an international arrest warrant against three U.S. soldiers it implicates in an attack on »