Monthly Archives: November 2010

Happy Birthday, Winston!

Today is Winston Churchill’s birthday. He is, of course, one of our heroes, and a relatively obscure Churchill quote–“Arise and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time”–is this site’s motto. We haven’t had time to write an appreciation of Churchill for this year’s birthday, but Dan Blatt did at Gay Patriot, so we will turn it over to him. Coincidentally, we first met Dan at the Claremont »

This day in DADT history

Today, the Pentagon released its report on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” It comes in at 267 pages. I haven’t read it, but Bruce Kesler has. He summarizes the report here. Also today, Defense Secretary Gates was on Capitol Hill urging Congress to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” before the end of the year in order to avoid having the courts repeal it first. Gates warned that judicial repeal would be »

Left-liberal panel to review Prop 8 decision, but disqualification issue looms

The Ninth Circuit has selected the panel that will hear the appeal of the ruling striking down California’s Proposition 8, which provides that “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” The panel consists of Judges Stephen Reinhardt, Michael Hawkins, and N. Randy Smith. Judge Reinhardt is perhaps the most notoriously activist left-wing federal appeals court judge in the land. And, according to Ed »

Mohamud’s hate

Politics Daily executive editor Carl Cannon asks what made the would-be Portland bomber Mohamed Mohamud hate enough to attempt the mass murder of fellow Americans. It’s a good question, and I’m glad Cannon is asking it, but his answer is, as you might expect, a little obscure. Cannon provides only one explicit answer: “The geographical answer is Somalia…” Well, okay, but what is it about Somalia? You wouldn’t know from »

Deadly fictions

Lee Smith reviews the stolen diplomatic cables disseminated by Julian Assange. Smith likens the cables to the Pentagon Papers, with a difference. The difference, according to Smith, is that while the Pentagon Papers substantially vindicated the American left, the Wikileaks cable dump vindicates the right. Here are the eight examples that Smith deems the most obvious from the documents that have so far appeared online: 1. While the Israelis are »

Does Spending Cause Growth, Or Does Growth Cause Spending?

Keynesian economists tend to focus on stimulating spending, as Keynes’s central argument was that consumer spending generally lags, causing aggregate demand to be depressed. Most economists nowadays believe that this is wrong, and that spending is the effect rather than the cause of economic growth. Hiwa Alaghebandian of the American Enterprise Institute explains: One would think that the events of the last decade have refuted Keynes once and for all. »

Obama’s chickens come home to roost

In a front-page story in today’s Washington Post, Karen Tumulty finds that leading Republicans have unearthed a previously obscure concept with which to attack President Obama. That concept is “American exceptionalism.” Tumulty seems to view this development as part jockeying for position among presidential hopefuls and part attempt to raise questions about Obama’s Americanism. Tumulty’s first error is to assume that the concept of “American exceptionalism” is obscure. The term »

Lush Life

Today is the ninety-fifth anniversary of the birth of Billy Strayhorn, the compositional and arranging genius behind many of Duke Ellington’s best-known songs such as “Take the A Train,” “C-Jam Blues,” and “Satin Doll.” Strayhorn is said to have written both the music and lyrics to “Lush Life” as a teenager, yet it is a remarkable song whose sadness, glamor, excess and dissipation he seems to have lived out: I »

U.S. gets the level of candor it deserves from Israel

Evelyn Gordon at Contentions points to a minor but intriguing revelation from WikiLeaks. It seems that, in January 2007, then-Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, told two U.S. senators that, based on exploratory talks with the Palestinians, she didn’t believe a final-status agreement could be reached with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. Yet, in her current capacity as opposition leader, Livni publicly takes the position that a peace deal is achievable, and »

“The Criminalization of politics”

That was Tom Delay’s take on his conviction for alleged money laundering last week. No surprise there. But it also happens to be the take of the Washington Post’s board of editors. They point out that in Texas, as elsewhere, money laundering is defined as knowingly using “the proceeds of criminal activity.” Typically, that means cash from drug deals or the like. In Delay’s case, as I understand it, he »

Wikileak: Hezbollah Smuggled Weapons In Ambulances

This is one of many interesting items in the diplomatic cables that were disseminated by Wikileaks: Iran used Red Crescent ambulances to smuggle weapons and agents into Lebanon during Hezbollah’s 2006 war with Israel, a leaked US diplomatic cable showed on Monday. The 2008 classified cable which originated in Dubai quotes an Iranian source as saying the Iranian Red Crescent was used as a cover by members of the elite »

All Sarah, All the Time

Actually, we probably spend less time talking about Sarah Palin than almost any political web site–a fact of which I am rather proud. But, for those who need a daily Sarah fix, here it is. Howard Kurtz, one of the savviest media critics around, is “starting to believe the detractors are wrong and that Palin is executing a shrewd strategy that has catapulted her past potential rivals:” In her TLC »

Better Late Than Never

Eric Holder says the Department of Justice is looking for someone to prosecute in connection with the Wikileaks leak: “To the extent we can find anybody who was involved in the breaking of American law, who put at risk the assets and the people I have described, they will be held responsible; they will be held accountable,” Holder said at a news conference on another topic. He called the WikiLeaks »

Three guys named Mo

Today’s Los Angeles Times features a profile of the would-be Portland bomber named Mohamed Mohamud. Those of us wondering how the Mohamud family was admitted to the United States, or how Mohamud came to swear fealty to the United States and become a naturalized citizen, will have to look elsewhere for an answer. The best the Times’s two reporters could come up with is this: “He and his parents, Mariam »

The Times then and now

The New York Times is participating in the dissemination of the stolen State Department cables that have been made available to it in one way or another via WikiLeaks. My friend Steve Hayward recalls that only last year the New York Times ostentatiously declined to publish or post any of the Climategate emails because they had been illegally obtained. Surely readers will recall Times reporter Andrew Revkin’s inspiring statement of »

Freaks and geeks

In late October, Charles Murray wrote a piece in the Washington Post called “The tea party warns of new elite; they are right.” I meant to comment on it at the time, but forgot to because of the impending election. Murray’s thesis is that a new elite has developed that is no longer in touch with ordinary Americans. The new elite consists of folks who attended school “with people who »

“Oregon Fire Raises Muslims’ Fears of Attack Backlash”

Is that a familiar headline, or what? Will the long-awaited “backlash” against Islamic terrorism ever materialize? The subject of the Associated Press headline, of course, was a fire that someone set in the mosque where Mohamed Mohamud occasionally worshipped in Corvallis, Oregon. Let’s be clear: we are unequivocally opposed to arson and other crimes. At this point, the authorities have no idea who set the fire in the mosque, but »