Monthly Archives: August 2010

Don’t Give Up Hope

I live in an outer-tier Minneapolis suburb that has, by contemporary standards, an excellent school system. My youngest daughter participated for several years in a school district-wide choir that sings together in the fall: three or four high school choirs, plus a little-kids group of 4th through 6th graders. That was the choir my daughter sang in. In 2007, I returned from a business trip just in time to get »

CNN Explains

CNN is a reliable Democratic Party outlet, so it is no surprise that it puts the worst face on Americans’ indignation over the Ground Zero Mosque. NewsBusters caught CNN in this justaposition, comparing today’s anti-GZM protesters to pro-Nazi activists of decades past: How’s that for subtlety? In case you missed the point, CNN adds this photo, and others to the same effect: It’s all part of A Brief History of »

A convertible John Edwards can love

Dan Neil reviews the new 2011 Mercedes-Benz E550 Cabriolet with its standard-equipment “Aircap” wind-deflector system. It sounds like Mercedes has achieved a breakthrough in automotive technology for convertibles; Neil assures readers that the Aircap protects the hair of passengers both front and back. I can’t quite visualize it, but the Aircap sounds good: “Comprising a deployable spoiler-like device that levitates out of the windshield header and a motorized mesh air »

Congressional Oversight

Via Ramesh Ponnuru, the New York Times demonstrates its commit to civil liberties in an editorial today. We noted here that the Department of Justice announced, years after the fact, that it is no longer investigating former Majority Leader Tom DeLay. But in the eyes of the Times editorialists, DeLay is getting off on a technicality: But many of Mr. DeLay’s actions remain legal only because lawmakers have chosen not »

Miss Universe: Finale In Sight

The finale of the Miss Universe pageant will be broadcast live from Mandalay Bay on NBC tomorrow night. The betting odds have pretty well shaped up, although the favorites vary a little depending on which betting site you check. This site has Miss Philippines as the favorite; she has been close to the top from the beginning, but I’m a little skeptical. Here she is: Miss Mexico, second on that »

Prairie Republic: The Interview

On our radio show yesterday, Brian Ward and I interviewed Jon Lauck about his new book, Prairie Republic, a history of the founding of his state and mine, South Dakota. It’s an excellent book and it was a fun interview. Jon is a senior adviser to Senator John Thune, as well as a historian and a lawyer, and at the end of the interview we also touched on Senator Thune’s »

Sayings of Chairman Jim (Mosque edition)

We’ve followed the speeches given by Obama administration NEH chairman Jim Leach here (commenting on Leach’s “The tension between speaking and listening”) and here (commenting on Leach’s “Bridging cultures: NEH and the Muslim world”). Leach has embarked on what he calls “a 50 state civility tour.” We observed the kickoff of his tour with stops in New York and Philadelphia in “Civility for thee…” His tour recently took him to »

New evidence that the Obama stimulus was a bust

The debate in the popular press and on blogs about the efficacy of the 2009 stimulus bill generally has been superficial on both sides. Those who tout the bill point to a study by liberal economists Alan Blinder and Mark Zandi purporting to show that the fiscal stimulus enacted under Presidents Bush and Obama lowered the unemployment rate by approximately 1.5 percentage points. However, as Lawrence Lindsey points out in »

Is Obama incompetent?

My friend Ray Hartwell, writing in the Washington Times, expands his thesis that, contrary to what many conservative pundits are saying, President Obama is not incompetent. Rather, says Ray, Obama is “scary competent.” In my view, Obama’s competence should be measured not solely by what he has accomplished — which, as Ray shows, is far from inconsiderable — but also by what a president with the same ideology and the »

Which way in Washington state? Part Three

In my last post about the Senate race in Washington state, I referred to a poll by Survey USA according to which 54 percent of Washington voters disapprove of Sen. Patty Murray’s performance, while only 41 percent approve. Now comes »

An Appalling Story

This afternoon at 4 p.m. Pacific, Jodie Evans, co-founder of Code Pink, is hosting a $500-per-person fundraiser for Jerry Brown. John Nolte reports at Big Hollywood: You might call him Governor Moonbeam, but I prefer Governor Double Dip, and there’s nothing harmlessly moonbeamy and charmingly hippie dippie about his doing business with Jode Evans, co-founder of the obnoxious anti-American group Code Pink and someone with a well-documented history of supporting »

Life lessons from Zoltan Mesko

Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal dubbed Zoltan Mesko the NFL’s most interesting man. Mesko was a 10-year-old immigrant to the United States from Rumania. He played high school football and attended the the University of Michigan, where he also played for the team as a punter. He signed on with the New England Patriots after they drafted him in the fifth round of this year’s NFL draft. Mesko hasn’t even made »

Today’s Macho Hero

One of last week’s internet sensations was a video of a guy and his girlfriend at a baseball game. A foul ball was hit toward them; he stood up and made as if to catch it, but then bailed at the last second. The ball hit his now-former girlfriend. A sad story. Today, we saw the opposite: a red-blooded young American who caught a foul ball while returning from a »

Target of the Left

We wrote here about the left’s campaign against Target, based on the company’s contribution of $100,000 to Minnesota Forward, a PAC that supports Republican Tom Emmer in the race for Governor of Minnesota, Target’s home state. This story is a highly revealing one. Leftists organized a boycott of Target on the pretext that Emmer is opposed to gay marriage. That’s true; Emmer opposes gay marriage, as do the vast majority »

Prairie Republic

Jon Lauck is a historian and a senior adviser to Senator John Thune. His new book, Prairie Republic, is a history of the formation of his home state and mine, South Dakota. It is an excellent book, and remarkable in that it is a success story. One might think that historians would want to study success so that it can be replicated, but, for various reasons, they tend to be »

Once Again, Pageant Queen Outsmarts President

My coverage of beauty pageants is somewhat tongue in cheek, but it also reflects genuine respect for the young women who participate in them, especially the international ones like Miss Universe and Miss World. For smart, ambitious young women, pageantry can be a ticket to fame and fortune. And pageant contestants often display better judgment than political leaders. For example, last year we noted that Miss Universe, Dayana Mendoza, wrote »

The Iraq war — a summing up and a look ahead

James Jay Carafano of the Heritage Foundation provides a good summary of the way things stand in Iraq: Here is what we know for sure. 1) Given the state of Iraq in 2006, the country is in a much better place today that any reasonable observer then dared hope. 2) Iraq is better off than it was in the age of Saddam. Now the country has a future, and it »