Monthly Archives: January 2011

Sputnik? Try Stalingrad

At Ricochet, one of the most provocative posts I’ve seen in a long time, by James Poulos. Poulos notes what he calls the “generational aspect of the President’s [SOTU] address.” Lots there for the elderly; for the young, not so much. Poulos suggests that if we are to select a metaphor from the mid-20th century, Sputnik might not be the most appropriate: Which generation’s Sputnik moment is this, again? If »

No Sale

President Obama’s State of the Union message doesn’t seem to have roused any enthusiasm for his proposals. Scott Rasmussen measured support for increased spending in the categories advocated by Obama before and after the SOTU, and found little difference, with most voters opposing such “investments”: The president’s Tuesday night State of the Union speech had little impact on support for his new spending proposals in areas like education, transportation and »


Make of it what you will, but the best commentary I’ve seen on President Obama’s State of the Union speech is Sarah Palin’s. It’s all worth reading; here are just a couple of paragraphs: The President’s State of the Union address boiled down to this message: “The era of big government is here as long as I am, so help me pay for it.” He dubbed it a “Winning The »

Hu are you, cont’d

Readers who get their news from the New York Times must be among the least informed in the world. In his Reporter’s Notebook round-up on Hu Jintao this past Friday, Times reporter Michael Wines included an item that he called “Piano Politics?” Here is the item by Wines: One of the highlights of the state dinner was a performance by Lang Lang, a Chinese pianist who has been a sensation »

A New Low In Democratic Party Hate Speech?

We can begin by stipulating that Congressman Jim Moran (D-Va) is a disgusting human being. But is he this disgusting? He gave an interview to Alhurra, an Arab television network that, as AllahPundit notes, was founded as an American-supported alternative to Al Jazeera. Moran is asked about the Republican sweep, and he answers–I think–as follows: It [the Republican successes in the 2010 elections] happened for the same reason the Civil »

State of the Union

Michael Ramirez depicts the state of the union, and puts last night’s attempt at bipartisanship in perspective. Click to enlarge: »

Why Is Congress Requiring Poison Light Bulbs?

Isn’t it perverse that Congress is requiring the abolition of perfectly good incandescent light bulbs, and their replacement by fluorescent lights that contain mercury, one of the deadliest substances known to mankind? (Mercury, as you likely know, is what made hatters mad.) How does requiring the introduction of poison into every home in the United States improve the environment, the stated purpose of the legislation? Every now and then, of »

Moving Against Voter Fraud

Republicans in the Minnesota legislature have been trying to enact a photo ID requirement to deter voter fraud, but all such efforts have been blocked by the Democrats. With Republicans having taken control over both the Minnesota House and the Minnesota Senate this month, one of the first orders of business is to begin plugging the holes in Minnesota’s election system. Today, Republican legislators introduced a bill to require voters »

Silence of the Bam

I wrote last night that one striking feature of President Obama’s State of the Union speech was his failure to acknowledge the depth of the fiscal hole the country is in, or the role that his own failed policies have played in digging it. He said that “[w]e need to take responsibility for our deficit,” but failed to do so. On the contrary, he told Americans that “[w]e are living »

A Hollywood first

This past weekend we saw the film “The Way Back,” adapted from The Long Walk by Slavomir Rawicz The film has many flaws — it’s too long, it’s not big on character development, it tacks on an absurd ending, the characters’ accents are distracting — but it is worth seeing. Early on the film shows the Siberian penal labor camp to which the central character is assigned. The film depicts »

Our Sputnik moment

A reader I greatly respect writes regarding the thematic center of last night’s State of the Union speech. He gives the text a close reading: The central conceit of President Obama’s State of the Union address was the “Sputnik moment” analogy. As a new way of packaging the liberalism most Americans find so unpalatable, Obama wrapped his plans to funnel government money into favored projects and enterprises by reminding us »

Uncommon Knowledge with Epstein and Yoo

Last week we posted Peter Robinson’s interview with Professors Richard Epstein and John Yoo. Given our format, the interview rotated off the site after a few days. We’ll have a new edition of Uncommon Knowledge next week. In the meantime, here is the interview with Professors Epstein and Yoo, once more once, after a brief introduction. As Congress convened during the first week of January, Peter Robinson sat down with »

Three Speeches: Will they Matter?

President Obama’s speech tonight struck me as boring and pedestrian, the kind of State of the Union checklist that causes television sets to go off all across America. I thought the speech never developed any real momentum or consistency of theme. It didn’t pretend to grapple meaningfully with the fiscal issues that are paramount concerns for everyone. Half the time he sounded like a Republican; the other half he didn’t »

What a country

If you’re looking for commentary on the president’s State of the Union address tonight, I’m afraid I have to send you elsewhere. My pain threshold limits me to a few notes. Ann Althouse has a higher threshold than I do; check out her comments here. National Journal has posted the text of the speech here. Obama’s domestic policy is big on “investments” — not yours, the government’s. That is, spending. »

Baier’s Boehner notes

Bret Baier has posted his notes from an on the record breakfast this morning with Speaker Boehner. The notes have several items of interest, including this one: The Speaker was asked what the level of outreach had been from the President to him.. and he held up his hand and signaled ZERO. Asked “is that an OK sign?” – he said “no.. it’s zero.. none.. zilch.” He said he talked »

Whither the billions?

John F. Cogan is the Leonard and Shirley Ely Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and a professor in the public policy program at Stanford University. He served as deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget in the Reagan administration. John B. Taylor is the Mary and Robert Raymond Professor of Economics at Stanford and the George P. Shultz Senior Fellow in Economics at the Hoover Institution. He »

He melt for Obama, cont’d

In “He melt for Obama,” I explored the strategic partnership between GE and big government. It has really come into its own in the Age of Obama. Tim Carney explains why Obama’s friendship with GE and its chairman/chief executive officer Jeffrey Immelt represents crony capitalism at its worst. Carney also cites the Washington Post op-ed column by Immelt that we quoted: Subsidies are GE’s lifeblood, and Immelt’s own words make »