Monthly Archives: December 2010

Frank Rich then and now

This morning RealClearPolitics serves up Frank Rich’s Sunday New York Times column “Who killed the Disneyland dream?” RCP pairs Rich’s column with Byron York’s Washington Examiner column “Frank Rich rewrites history.” York contrasts Rich’s current column praising the Disneyland dream of the 1950’s with Rich’s 1995 column portraying the 1950’s as a “phony nirvana,” if not a nightmare decade. The contrast between Frank Rich then and now suggests why Rich »

Attacked By A Turkey

No, not a left-wing blogger, a real wild turkey. We drove to South Dakota yesterday and saw a flock of several dozen turkeys in a wood. Then one in town nearly ran into our car: Wild turkeys are one of many species that have become weirdly plentiful, even in urban and suburban areas, in recent years. UPDATE: Our friend Evan Coyne Maloney writes: There’s a wild turkey that roams around »

Gangster government, FCC edition

Earlier this year the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued its long-awaited decision in Comcast Corporation v. FCC. “In this case,” the Court said, “we must decide whether the Federal Communications Commission has the authority to regulate an Internet service provider’s network management practices.” It was an important question and the Court scrupulously addressed it in a detailed legal analysis. The Court noted that the FCC »

So You Lost Your Election

Via InstaPundit, perhaps Iowahawk’s funniest post ever: “So You Lost Your Election,” hilarious advice for newly-unemployed Democratic Congressmen and staffers, from Iowahawk Congressional Outplacement Services. Here are a few excerpts: In order to land that good job back in your home district, you first need to understand the ins and outs of the non-Washington economic system. Unlike Washington’s easy-to-understand system of leveraging raw unbridled rulemaking and police power to extract »

A decline in anti-semitism in America

Harvard sociology professor Robert Putnam has concluded that anti-Semitism in the United States is at an all-time low. He bases this view in part on a survey in which a cross-section of 3,000 Americans rated Judaism as the most popular religion (I assume respondents weren’t allowed to name their own religion). He also finds that incidents reflecting anti-Semitism are down from what they were in the past. However, Abe Foxman »

Merry Christmas, Baby

“Merry Christmas, Baby” is the kind of secular Christmas song to which Dave Marsh and Steve Propes devoted an entire book of the same title. (The subtitle of the book is Holiday Music From Bing to Sting.) “Merry Christmas, Baby” is a smoldering blues love song with a Christmas theme. Great line: “I haven’t had a drink this morning/But I’m all lit up like a Christmas tree.” The song was »

A Very Merry Christmas…

…to our readers. »

A good year in Iraq

The Washington Post’s editorial board describes what it calls “a good year in Iraq.” The Post cites (1) a national election judged to be free and fair, “a rare event in the Middle East;” (2) the eventual formation of a coalition government led by Shiite parties, but with Sunnis and Kurds in major positions; (3) a significant decrease in violence; and (4) a much improved economy that, at least in »

Stranger than fiction

Last week Jerusalem Post editor David Horovitz dreamed up a cable by Hillary Clinton setting out an ostensible “recalibration” of the Obama administration’s policy regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Some readers mistook it for the real thing, even though its perceptiveness has been conspicuously absent in the diplomacy of the Obama administration. In his imaginary “WikaLikes” cable Horovitz had Hillary Clinton writing to her State Department team on lessons learned. The »

O Holy Night

I grew up in Watertown, South Dakota, and attended Watertown’s public schools. At that time, Watertown’s school system was renowned for a quality that could scarcely be matched by suburban school districts that spent many times the money. I still remember many of my teachers: Donus Roberts, famous as perhaps the country’s top debate coach; Miles Smart, who taught me the rudiments of mathematics; Mrs. Chase, who taught me English »

“Hub fans bid kid adieu”

Somehow, I managed to exclude Ted Williams’ last at-bat from my series of anniversary posts about the 1960 baseball season. On Wednesday, September 28, 1960, Williams hit a home run off of Jack Fisher into a wicked Fenway Park wind. The following season, Fisher gave up another famous home run — Roger Maris’ 60th, on September 26, 1961. Only 10,454 fans attended Williams’ final game. Fortunately, John Updike was one »

A level playing field?

Charles Krauthammer argues that, as a result of passage of the tax deal, the New START treaty, and DADT repeal, the battles of the next Congress begin on a “level playing field.” This is true, I think, in the Senate, where there are only 47 Republicans, several of whom Obama has gained momentum in dealing with. But it isn’t true in the House, where liberal legislation will be dead on »

After True Grit

Reader Roger Franklin writes with a kind word from down under in connection with Stephen Hunter’s review of True Grit: I greatly enjoyed the review of the new True Grit, which I cannot wait to see when it is released here in Australia. After that, well, I will be saying novenas in the hope that the Great Producer prompts the brothers to take up the Charles Portis novel to which »

Gangster government, HHS edition

Obamacare figures to be a fount of gangster government if and when it is ever fully implemented. Over time it will render us all subjects of the administrative state. As Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius is giving us a preview of coming attractions. Jeffrey Anderson explains: Not satisfied with the colossal amounts of power that she would acquire under Obamacare if it isn’t repealed, Health and Human »

Gangster government, TSA edition

Michael Barone first noted the pattern of what he dubbed “gangster government” practiced by the Obama administration. Barone’s formulation is a powerful metaphor for the excesses that have become characteristic of the administration, but today’s installment, featured on Drudge, is something very like the real thing: An airline pilot is being disciplined by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for posting video on YouTube pointing out what he believes are serious »

Who’s Crazy?

This bizarre news story struck me forcefully because the events described took place just a few blocks from my house: [Rhonda] Arkley’s husband, Stuart Arkley, said he was resting in a lower-level bedroom when his wife entered and threw gasoline on him, hurled a lit oil lamp at him and hit him in the head with an exercise weight. … The two struggled at the front door as Stuart Arkley »

Sickness In Seattle

This AFP report is disgusting: Seattle peace activists are planning to post anti-Israel ads on the sides of local commuter buses protesting US support for the Jewish state, prompting outcry from Jewish groups. The banners show Palestinian children standing around a demolished building, with the caption “Israeli war crimes: your tax dollars at work.” A group called the Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign paid King County 1,794 dollars to plaster the »