Monthly Archives: November 2010

Someone Should Tell Congress

When I was in law school, my tax professor commented one day that the only intellectually respectable argument in favor of the corporate income tax is that it employs a lot of accountants and lawyers. This news story about Ireland, the latest EU country to pass through a fiscal crisis, brought to mind that observation: The Irish government has been given a stark warning from some of the biggest American »

Obama’s foreign policy triumph: A comment

In the New York Post this week Arthur Herman condemned the pending Russian return to Afghanistan that is to be worked out with the assistance of the Obama administration. It is a “foreign policy triumph” that looks like a confession of failure. Reader Jim Lanave raises similar qualms about Obama’s “foreign policy triumph” with missile defense: [L]et me get this straight; Russia is mad that we developed a defense to »

Obama’s Foreign Policy Triumph: Missile Defense!

For those who remember the “Star Wars” hysteria of the 1980s, when it was an article of faith among liberals that missile defense was 1) impossible and 2) a mortal threat to world peace, it is remarkable to see President Obama, formerly the candidate of the anti-war left, announcing the first real foreign policy success of his administration–a missile defense system on which NATO and Russia will collaborate: The anti-missile »

A desperate Steele wraps himself around the Tea Party

Michael Steele’s days as RNC head appear to be numbered. However, Steele is fighting to keep his job. To that end, he is now claiming credit for saving the Republican Party from a schism by reaching out to the Tea Party movement. He contrasts himself to unnamed members of the “the Washington crowd who treated the Tea Party with disdain or condescension.” There’s some irony in this, given Steele’s own »

Are Republicans Still Interested in National Security?

At the Washington Post, resident jokester Dana Milbank claims the Republican Party is no longer interested in national security, and the Democrats should try to take political advantage: [R]ight now, Republicans are providing the comfort [to America’s enemies]. They are objecting loudly to new airport security measures designed to detect bombs hidden under clothing. And they are blocking a Senate vote on a treaty with Russia that is critical to »

Reichstag Attack Uncovered?

Der Spiegel reports that al Qaeda is planning an attack on Berlin’s Reichstag. Information on the plot comes from a tip received by a man who wanted to leave the terrorist organization: According to information obtained by German security authorities, al-Qaida and associated groups are believed to be planning an attack on the Reichstag building in Berlin, the headquarters of Germany’s parliament and also an attraction visited by thousands of »

The Times’s Communist thing

Harvey Klehr and John Earl Haynes are the foremost scholars of American Communism. In their brief Weekly Standard article “Black and white and red all over,” Klehr and Haynes document the difficulty the Times has had dealing with the historical record they (and Ronald Radosh) have unearthed. The article is occasioned by Charles Isherwood’s New York Times review of Amy Herzog’s autobiographical play “After the Revolution.” Isherwood describes “After the »

Louis Zamperini endures

Last week’s Wall Street Journal Saturday review section carried Steve Oney’s moving joint profile of Laura Hillenbrand and Louis Zamperini, the subject of Hillenbrand’s book Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption. Zamperini competed in the 1936 Berlin Olympics and then served in the Army Air Corps during the war. David Margolick concisely summarizes what happened next: In late May 1943, the B-24 carrying the 26-year-old »

The Ellmers juggernaut

Earlier this week I celebrated the victory of Renee Ellmers over seven-term Democratic incumbent Bob “Who are you?” Etheridge in North Carolina’s Second Congressional District. Even though the race was subject to a recount demanded by Etheridge, it was apparent that Ellmers was going to win and be certified next week by the North Carolina authorities. Yesterday Etheridge came to the same conclusion and conceded to Ellmers. Etheridge picked up »

Will Shas add to the shellacking?

President Obama is experiencing something of a shellacking in the realm of foreign policy these days. As the Washington Post put it (a bit over-dramatically), in an article called “Foreign policy setbacks deepen Obama’s wounds,” From failing to secure a free-trade agreement in South Korea to struggling to win Senate ratification of an arms-control agreement with Russia, Obama has bumped up against the boundaries of his power at a defining »

Forgotten musical masterpieces of the Holocaust era

What kind of music might a composer interned by the Nazi produce in 1944? Karel Berman, a composer and opera singer interned at Theresienstadt (and later Auschwitz and Dachau), wrote “Buds” – four songs for bass voice and piano. The songs, though somber at times, also feature a whimsy consistent with titles like “When a baby awakens” and “Children at play.” Berman’s masterful evocation of the everyday joys of life »

Is mindlessness over airline security confined to the TSA?

The quest to prevent future terrorist attacks upon and/or via airplanes has several fronts. One is in Afghanistan and other terrorist strongholds where such attacks can be planned and coordinated, as they were on 9/11. There, U.S. troops endure isolation from family and friends and put themselves at great physical risk. That risk includes having their gentials blown up. The other major front is U.S. airports. There, the U.S. government »

Will the Mitt fit in 2012?

At the American Spectator, Philip Klein argues that Mitt Romney is the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012. Judging him against the other candidates who seem to be running, Klein argues that “bizarre as it may seem, despite his numerous weaknesses, Romney appears to be the most likely to win the right to challenge President Obama.” I don’t know if that is true or not, but it gives »

Revolt against the TSA

The revolt against the TSA is a sign of the times. Popular frustration with the TSA dates back to its establishment during the Bush administration. It is another big government bureaucracy that performs ineptly and with gross inconvenience. It provides far more security theater than security. The TSA is bound by a form of political correctness that has long rendered it a joke. With its newly implemented scanning and pat »

Two Overblown Scandals

Many of our friends on the right won’t agree, but I think that two scandals currently in the news are mostly faux. The first is the Transportation Security Administration’s full body scanner/pat-down policy. Large segments of the country are up in arms, but, as one who flies somewhere almost every week, I haven’t seen much of a problem. Relatively few airports have the new scanners; I have gone through a »

Hoping the EU Fails

Yesterday I did a post linking to a column by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard that speculated on whether the current fiscal crisis will bring down the European Union. I commented, casually, “I rather hope so.” At Foreign Policy, David Bosco took me to task, asking, “Is it OK to hope the EU fails?”: At Power Line, John Hinderaker admits that he “rather hopes” the European Union fails (h/t Instapundit). I would dismiss »

Michael Steele — going, going. . .

Michael Steele’s prospects for remaining head of the RNC continue to diminish. In the aftermath of Gentry Collins’ stinging indictment of Steele, three powerhouse governors have signaled that they believe it’s time for Steele to go. Mississippi governor Haley Barbour, himself a former RNC chair, did more than signal this view; he flatly stated that the RNC needs a new chair. He then explained: To defeat an incumbent president, even »