Monthly Archives: November 2010

Who’s Ignorant?

Dumb liberal op-ed pieces are legion, and generally we let them pass in silence. But this one by Richard Cohen in the Washington Post is such a howler that it deserves comment. Cohen’s theme is that Sarah Palin is ignorant; the evidence is her criticism of Michelle Obama’s famous observation, in connection with her husband’s Presidential nomination, that “For the first time in my adult life, I am proud of »

War In Korea?

This closed circuit television video from Russia Today shows North Korean shells landing on the island of Yeonpyeong: Does this mean war? Based on experience, one assumes not: North Korea’s provocations generally arise out of its desire to be bought off by the West. Still, the combination of crazy leadership, nuclear weapons and missile capability inevitably makes people nervous. Which raises, once again, the question why the Obama administration apparently »

Chandra Levy died for INS’ sins (of omission)

Ingmar Guandique has been found guilty in the murder of former federal intern Chandra Levy. Guandque is an illegal immigrant from El Salvador, a fact that reports from some major MSM outlets failed to note. Assuming the jury reached the correct verdict, Chandra Levy presumably would be alive today if the federal government had enforced the immigration laws as to Guandique. But even with the stakes of immigration enforcement this »

“Govt unveils tough new immigration rules”

The headline is real, but, unfortunately, it refers to the United Kingdom, not the U.S.: The coalition government said on Tuesday it would cut the number of non-EU migrants allowed to work in the country by a fifth to a maximum of 21,700 a year, as it seeks to radically slash immigration levels. Home Secretary Theresa May also announced plans to tighten student and marriage visas, as the government seeks »

Fed Lowers Forecast

This is bad news for all of us, but more than anyone, for President Obama: “Fed lowers economic expectations for 2011.” Top Federal Reserve officials expect the unemployment rate to remain around nine percent at the end of next year and eight percent at the end of 2012, according to internal forecasts that drove the central bank to take new efforts to boost the economy three weeks ago. The 18 »

Smart diplomacy meets fake Taliban

Peter Schweizer notes this strange report by Dexter Filkins in the New York Times that the supposed Taliban leader with whom we have been negotiating in Afghanistan — the man we thought was Mullah Mansour — was actually an impostor. The negotiations don’t seem like a smart idea to begin with. But now American officials have discovered after three meetings (including one with Karzai) that they have been had. One »

Richard Epstein at the speed of thought

Reason’s Nick Gillespie interviewed Professor Richard Epstein at the New York University Law School last month. As the Reason TV post notes, the conversation was wide-ranging and high-energy. Indeed, the video seems to have been edited to eliminate conversational pauses and deliver Epstein at something closer to the speed of thought. Under normal circumstances it’s difficult to keep up with Professor Epstein, but the video heightens the degree of difficulty. »

Midnight Sun

Last week — on November 18 — we should have marked the centennial anniversary plus one of the birth of Johnny Mercer. With the publication of The Complete Lyrics of Johnny Mercer last year, Mercer’s place in the pantheon of artists responsible for the great American songbook seems more secure than ever. Among the more than 1,000 songs for which Mercer is known to have written the lyrics are “I »

Getting serious about deficit reduction

We’ve mentioned, but not talked much about, the deficit reduction blueprint issued by Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, co-chairs of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. Although their recommendations apparently will be unable to garner 14 of 18 votes among the commissioners, as is required for them to be adopted as the Commission’s recommendation, they provide a potentially useful starting point for serious deficit reduction. In my view, »

What a man!

The release of Jane Leavy’s raw biography of Mickey Mantle reminds us of the personal deficiencies and/or tortured psyches of some of our major baseball heroes of the past (think also of Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, and Ted Williams). On a happier note, though, let’s also think of Stan Musial. Stan the Man turned 90 years old on Sunday. The occasion prompted Bernie Maklasz of the St. Louis »

The conventional wisdom finally turns against Obama on the Middle East

It’s good to see statements like the following from Ben Smith in Politico about President Obama’s Middle East adventures becoming the conventional wisdom: Instead of becoming a heady triumph of his diplomatic skill and special insight, Obama’s peace process is viewed almost universally in Israel as a mistake-riddled fantasy. And far from becoming the transcendent figure in a centuries-old drama, Obama has become just another frustrated player on a hardened »

Obama’s message to the world

The Obama administration has a message for the world. The message is something along these lines: The United States is very bad, but Barack Obama is very good. He seeks to redeem America from its evil. Eye on the UN has compiled the disgusting video below of the United States abasing itself before some of the most reprehensible regimes in the world. I believe this is what goes under the »

Obama’s foreign policy time warp

The Washington Post’s Jackson Diehl notes that Obama’s foreign policy is in crucial respects stuck in the 1980′s, when Obama was a Columbia undergraduate faithfully peddling the Soviet Union’s line on the nuclear freeze (my words, not Diehl’s). Diehl argues that Obama is stuck in a time warp with respect to his focus on Russian nuclear arms and his approach to the Arab conflict with Israel. Earlier this year I »

Who killed Rafik Hariri?

Israel Matzav has posted the video of Neil Macdonald’s CBC report on the UN investigation into the February 2005 assassination of Rafik Hariri. The CBC has posted Macdonald’s report in four parts with this summary: Among other things, CBC News has learned that: * Evidence gathered by Lebanese police and, much later, the UN, points overwhelmingly to the fact that the assassins were from Hezbollah, the militant Party of God »

Continuity With the Past

I may be the only guy who ever grew up in South Dakota without once firing a gun at a bird. But if you are a hunter or fisherman, or even if, like me, you aren’t, you probably will enjoy these vintage photographs, taken in the Upper Midwest between 1900 and 1940. My overriding reaction is that game was really plentiful in those days. Also, the hunters seem pretty formidable. »

Tax wars

Matthew Continetti of the Weekly Standard takes a look at the current Democratic “tax strategery.” The Democrats say they want to increase taxes only on households making more than $250,000 a year. Yet, despite their control of Congress and the White House, they have done nothing to make this tax structure a reality. As a result, notes Continetti, “businesses, entrepreneurs, financial planners, tax preparers, and taxpayers have no certain idea »

The bigger they think they are, the harder they fall, Part Four

I agree with John that Charlie Rangel’s ethics violations seem like small potatoes. But that’s not the case with Maxine Waters, whose difficulties I wrote about here and here. Waters is charged with intervening with federal regulators on behalf of a bank in which she and her husband had substantial investments, and where her husband once served on the board of directors. The bank bailout bill ultimately included provisions that »