Monthly Archives: December 2010

NCAA football — Looking out for number one

In writing about FIFA, the governing body of international soccer, I’ve mentioned the corruption that, I believe, plagues that outfit. A subtext of this commentary is my view that international bodies frequently suffer from this infirmity, and that the U.S. should resist ceding power to them, at least when it comes to matters more serious than sports. Without backing down from these conclusions, I’m bound to acknowledge that corrupt sports-governing »

A Rogue Politician Democrats Will Love

Politico carries this ominous headline: “Murkowski goes rogue.” Senator Lisa Murkowsi’s performance during the lame duck session gives serious cause for concern: Lisa Murkowski isn’t gunning down caribou on national TV like that other famous Alaskan, but the Republican lawmaker is going rogue in the Senate just weeks after staging the most stunning back-from-the-dead political win of the 2010 cycle. Murkowski is already showing a fierce independent streak, becoming the »

Why do they hate us?

“If it’s freedom we hate, why didn’t we attack Sweden?” So asked Osama bin Laden in 2006. He was attempting to show that the 9/11 attacks were about America’s “imperialist” foreign policy, not hatred of freedom. And, as Alana Goodman points out at Contentions, “this statement seemed like watertight logic to a certain species of non-interventionists, who immediately began quoting the terror leader as if he was a dependable, trustworthy »

Stephen Hunter: True True Grit

Stephen Hunter is the Pulitzer Prize-winning former chief film critic of the Washington Post. His most recent collection of film criticism is Now Playing at the Valencia. We invited Steve to write something (anything) for us on True Grit, the new Coen Brothers film which opened around the country yesterday. Based on Charles Portis’s novel, the film is a remake of the beloved 1969 movie directed by Henry Hathaway for »

Obama’s useful idiots

The new START Treaty that passed the Senate today seems to come out of a Cold War time warp. Let’s take a look back at Obama’s thoughts on the American nuclear arsenal during the Cold War. When Ronald Reagan set out to bring down the Soviet Union, he built up America’s nuclear arsenal while deploying short-range nuclear warheads in Europe and undertaking a widely derided missile defense program. Reagan’s build-up »

Comeback Kid?

The press is touting the Democrats’ lame duck Congressional session as a big victory for President Obama. The Hill’s report is typical: “After election ‘shellacking,’ Obama racks up string of legislative wins.” The Senate’s ratification of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) with Russia caps a run of victories for a president who in November suffered what he called “a shellacking” of historic proportions in the midterm elections. Obama »

A Mississippi childhood

Haley Barbour is embroiled in controversy over comments he made to Andrew Ferguson of the Weekly Standard about growing up in segregated Mississippi. Barbour said he didn’t remember things being “that bad.” And he praised the local White Citizens Council for keeping the Ku Klux Klan out of his home town. In reality, things were very bad in Mississippi (as elsewhere) back then for African-Americans and, in moral terms, for »

More bad news on the door step

With Everton languishing in 14th place in the English Premier League, and with their struggles due mostly to an inability to score — Evertonians have been hoping that U.S. star Landon Donovan will return to the club on loan in January. However, Donovan has decided not to. He explained: While I enjoyed my time at Everton last season and still appreciate all the support their fans have given me, I »

Let the games begin

Jonah Goldberg lists 24 Republicans about whom there is “non-trivial presidential buzz.” He winnows that list down to five front-runners: Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Tim Pawlenty, and Mitch Daniels. In this field, I think Palin is the most likely nominee. In a field that also includes Mike Huckabee, Palin’s chances of being nominated obviously are reduced, but remain pretty good. In a field that includes Huckabee but not »

Abolish the FCC

It’s hard to keep up with the outrages perpetrated by the Obama administration, the lame duck Congress, and the Obamaite federal agencies. Our freedom is under assault on many fronts, but this one deserves special attention. Since Congress declined to adopt the Orwellian “net neutrality” legislation, the FCC stepped into the breach. It’s another example of the usurpation of constitutional government by the administrative state. John Fund calls out the »

Bill Katz: The Joys of YouTube

Bill Katz is the proprietor of Urgent Agenda and our occasional contributor. He’s been spending some time in remembrance of things past via YouTube: It’s holiday time, and you’re due a little relaxation and real entertainment, as opposed to the kind of entertainment we get from Washington every day. And where do you go for real entertainment? Surprisingly, some of us go to YouTube. When most people think of YouTube, »

Uncommon Knowledge with Milton Friedman

To celebrate the holidays, Uncommon Knowledge brings us a blast from the past. Host Peter Robinson rides in on a motorcycle to kick off the installment. Over at Ricochet, Peter introduces it thusly: He may have been gone for four years now, but Milton Friedman, the Hoover Institution website display indicates, remains one of the most popular interview subjects ever to appear on Uncommon Knowledge. Oh, if only–if only. I »

Our Muslim Congressman: Where Does He Stand?

We have written many times about Keith Ellison (formerly known as Keith Hakim and Keith X Ellison), who represents the city of Minneapolis in Congress and is the nation’s first Muslim Congressman. As such, one might expect that he could do some good: he could support moderate Muslims, many of whom are threatened with death; denounce jihad; and distance himself from radical groups like the Nation of Islam, the Muslim »

The road to Obamacare and to possible repeal

Tevi Troy at Contentions cites studies by Stanford University and the University of Minnesota finding that at least one-third of the 63-seat Democratic loss in the House of Representatives can be attributed to the electorate’s negative reaction to the health-care bill. In other words, that legislation was responsible for turning a bad election and into a historically awful one for the Dems. I don’t know what methodology these two studies »

London Bombers? What London Bombers?

Yesterday the Obama administration’s top anti-terrorism officials–Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, chief counterterrorism adviser John Brennan, and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano–gave an interview to ABC’s Diane Sawyer on the current state of the terrorist threat. The interview has aired, or will air, today; you can watch it here. The questions and answers are unremarkable, except that there is a surreal moment near the end of the interview, »

Justifiable cannibalism

Arlen Specter delivered his farewell speech to the Senate today. He pretentiously called it his “final argument” but at least managed, I hope, to avoid citation to Scottish law. Tim Carney, who says he was just starting to feel a little sentimental about the departure of the stubborn old independent, found Specter’s speech “an angry, petty, mean, self-serving screed that betrayed a total lack of self-awareness.” But not self-absorption. Specter, »

What price Qatar? Part Three

Several readers have sprung to the defense of Qatar, in response to the criticism leveled by reader David G. None, however, argues that it is a good idea to play the World Cup there, as opposed to playing it in the U.S. in other countries that were in contention . One reader, who has been visiting Doha regularly for the past 15 years, tells me: It’s not terribly conservative. Women »