Monthly Archives: February 2011

Did Megrahi Blackmail Qadaffi?

The most interesting news story of the morning comes from Libya, where it is claimed that Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi, the Lockerbie bomber, secured his release by blackmailing Muammar Qadaffi, who in turn bribed England’s Labour government to let him go: Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi allegedly threatened “revenge” on Col Gaddafi unless he was returned home to his family, prompting the dictator to spend £50,000-a-month on lobbying and legal fees »

And now, the Obama doctrine?

On Friday, the White House announced sanctions targeting the Qaddafi regime (I’m going with the White House spelling of Qaddafi’s name). Jay Carney then briefed the White House press corps, assuring the assembled multitude that there was a lot of consultation, coordination, and cooperation going on: The President spoke today with Prime Minister Erdogan of Turkey to coordinate our efforts to respond to developments in Libya and to ensure appropriate »

Pretense and Delusion, Libya Edition

We have written a number of times about Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer, whose virulent anti-Israel crusade has contributed to ignorance about the Middle East. At Urgent Agenda, our friend Bill Katz notes that Walt’s myopia has extended to Libya in a manner that, given current events, supplies today’s ration of black comedy. Last year, Walt visited Libya. He was impressed by what he saw: Although Libya is far from »

Glenn Reynolds Channels Jack Benny

Two of my favorite people, Charles Krauthammer and Glenn Reynolds, team up here, as Glenn quotes and links to Charles, while invoking another of my favorite people, Jack Benny: CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: We have heard everyone — from Obama’s own debt commission to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff — call the looming debt a mortal threat to the nation. We have watched Greece self-immolate. We can see the »

The “Ventriloquist Journalism” Beat

Kudos to John for staying after Eric Lipton’s fast one, which is a classic in the genre of what I call “ventriloquist journalism”–the highly refined technique by which “news” reporters seek out a source to confirm their preconceived story line with a specific quote. I didn’t think of that term myself; I learned it from my first mentor out of college, the great M. Stanton Evans, who was one of »

A weak horse in the White House

Lee Smith wrote the book on The Strong Horse: Power, Politics, and Arab Civiilization (just out in paperback). The premise of the book, the quote from which the title is taken — “When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature, they will like the strong horse” — derives from Osama bin Laden. As Daniel Pipes wrote in National Review, Smith argues that the strong-horse principle, not »

Louis Zamperini endures (updated)

This past November the Wall Street Journal’s 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 summarized what happened next: In late May 1943, the B-24 carrying »

Muammar Christie?

Wisconsin’s unions have been getting lots of attention for their boorish behavior, but let’s not forget New Jersey’s. At this anti-Chris Christie rally, New Jersey teachers and other union members explain why Christie really is just like Muammar Gaddafi. More rational political discourse from the left: If these people would just carry around signs that say “I want your money,” I would respect them more. »

Still Nothing From Eric Lipton

So far, I have heard nothing from Eric Lipton of the New York Times in response to my inquiries. A number of readers have emailed Mr. Lipton to ask him to respond. This email was sent by Bill Otis: Dear Mr. Lipton: I am a former Special Counsel for President George H. W. Bush and was a federal prosecutor under both political parties; for the moment, I am an adjunct »


Michelle Malkin “does the reporting the Tea Party-bashing national media won’t do on the rabid outbreak of progressive incivility and violence at Big Labor protests across the country.” She titles her column “Hate-a-rama: The vulgar, racist, sexist, homophobic rage of the Left.” As posted on her site, it includes a good introduction and not-to-be-missed video. »

Survival of the fittest

This past December Barack Obama announced that his views on gay marriage — he purportedly opposes it — are “evolving.” He articulated the depth of his “struggle.” Nobody knows the trouble he’s seen: “I struggle with this,” he said. “I have friends, I have people who work for me, who are in powerful, strong, long-lasting gay or lesbian unions. And they are extraordinary people, and this is something that means »

Horse to the Water

Today is the anniversary of the birth of George Harrison. He was known as “the quiet Beatle,” but conservatives know him especially as the composer of “Taxman,” the eloquent cri de couer that opens the Beatles’ best album. That would, of course, be the great Revolver. In honor of the day, is streaming the entire Concert For George all day long. Unfortunately, traffic to the site has overwhelmed its »

Uncommon Knowledge with William Voegeli

Last week we posted Peter Robinson’s interview with William Voegeli. Given our format, the interview rotated off the site after a few days. We’ll have another installment of Uncommon Knowledge next week. In the meantime, here is the interview with Voegeli, once more once, after a brief introduction. Why are welfare state liberals like our president and his congressional allies perpetually seeking to appropriate the income and manage the lives »

*Yawn* Another Union Goon

I dunno. It’s been a long time, but I dimly remember something about liberals proclaiming an era of “new civility.” They were going to be super-sensitive to any rhetoric that might, via a couple of degrees of separation, be related to violence. You know: military metaphors, that kind of thing. No more talking about “attacks,” or “campaigns,” or “crosshairs” or “battlegrounds.” No. From now on, it will only be conciliatory »

No Retreat, No Surrender

If you were concerned that Charles and David Koch, two of the very few billionaires who support the conservative/libertarian side of the political spectrum, might be frightened off by the vicious attacks that have been launched against them by the Left, from the Obama administration down to the deepest cesspits of the internet, you can rest easy. The Koch brothers aren’t going anywhere, as they explained in an exclusive interview »

No Word From Eric Lipton

I wrote last night about an article by Eric Lipton in the New York Times of February 21 titled “Billionaire Brothers’ Money Plays Role in Wisconsin Dispute.” I called attention, in particular, to this paragraph in Lipton’s article, which was based on his telephone interview with Tim Phillips, the head of Americans For Prosperity, a grass-roots organization that is supported in part by the Koch family: Even before the new »

Pawlenty Stands With Walker

Governor Tim Pawlenty made this video, called “Standing With Scott,” to show solidarity with Governor Scott Walker in his effort to bring Wisconsin’s budget under control. It is an excellent video: »