Monthly Archives: February 2011

What He Said

There’s an old Abbott and Costello routine where Lou Costello responds to one of Bud Abbott’s propositions with the rejoinder, “That’s a great idea! In fact, I was just about to think of it myself.” That’s how I felt about Roger Kimball’s observations about the scene in Wisconsin yesterday, especially the observation about the irony that this showdown is taking place in Madison, named for the founder who warned us »

Running in the Name

National Review’s Robert Costa has the best Wisconsin update I can find: “Walker holds his ground.” Wisconsin Senate Democrats are still on the run. Somehow, Walker is unfazed. Indeed, his creative juices are flowing: Walker is confident that he can pressure the on-the-run politicians to return and secure passage of his plan, which would drastically reduce the collective-bargaining power of public-sector unions and force state employees to put 5.8 percent »

The New Civility In Wisconsin

“Shut up, he explained” is the motto of the Democratic Party. At yesterday’s pro-democracy rally in Madison, a union thug tried to rip wires from the speakers’ sound board: As the last person interviewed says, union activists are not nice people. No “new civility” for the union thug movement. Actually, though, their position is perfectly consistent. Liberals believe that by definition, anything they say is civil, while anything a conservative »

Bad Vibrations From Cairo

Professor William Jacobson of Cornell Law School writes that “the yuppie revolution in Egypt is over.” He points to the return to Cairo, in triumph, of Sheik Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who had been exiled by Mubarak. al-Qaradawi spoke to a crowd of, reportedly, more than a million Egyptians in Tahrir Square on Friday. Sheik al-Qaradawi has been whitewashed somewhat in the liberal press, but he is a hard-core radical Muslim. Discover »

Not Quite Snowbound

For the second time this year, the forecast calls for a foot and a half of snow to fall here in the Twin Cities. Where I live, about a foot has fallen so far. We made a trip to the supermarket to stock up, on the theory that we may not be leaving the house again for a while. No doubt–this being Minnesota and all–the roads will be plowed some »

The New Civility, Ivy League Edition

Columbia University is debating whether to allow ROTC back on campus, now that the purported reason for its exclusion, don’t ask, don’t tell, no longer exists. The university held a public meeting on the issue, where most of the students who spoke opposed ROTC, on grounds like these: “Transpeople are part of the Columbia community,” said senior Sean Udell at the meeting, referring to the military’s current ban on transgender »

Governor Walker meets the press, part 2

Governor Walked appeared on Fox News Sunday for an interview by Chris Wallace this morning. The transcript is here. Robert Costa reports on the interview: Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin told Fox News Sunday this morning that he will consider “every option” as he attempts to bring Democratic state senators back to the capitol to vote on his budget plan. “We are willing to take this as long as it »

The Wisconsin Bill: What Does It Do?

News coverage of the dramatic events we have witnessed in Wisconsin over the past week has typically been heavy on generalities–Governor Walker and the Republicans in Wisconsin’s legislature are pushing legislation that is “anti-union” or will “limit the public sector unions’ collective bargaining powers”–but short on details. Tim Phillips of Americans For Prosperity sends this handy summary of the Republican legislation: Here’s what Governor Walker’s Budget Repair Bill that they’re »

Lullaby of Birdland

The jazz pianist George Shearing died this past Monday at the age of 91. Shearing’s long career encompassed many phases and stages. The Boston Globe’s Mark Feeney puts his reputation among the beats right up at the top of his recollection: “God’s empty chair.” Those three words above come from Jack Kerouac’s On the Road. They’re how Dean Moriarty describes the piano bench George Shearing has just vacated. Dean and »

A Wrestling Coach, In the Belly of the Beast

J Robinson has been the wrestling coach at the University of Minnesota for 25 years, so he is getting some recognition this year. The Gophers might be mediocre at football and basketball (with some notable exceptions), but they are terrific at wrestling, thanks to Robinson. They are a national power year in and year out, have won three national championships, and are currently ranked #4. Jim Souhan of the Minneapolis »

Pro-Democracy Rally In Progress In Madison

Thousands of demonstrators are rallying at the Wisconsin Capitol this afternoon in support of democracy, fiscal sanity, fairness, Governor Scott Walker and the Republican legislators who will begin reining in the bloated power of the public employee unions, as soon as the Democrats come out of hiding. Here, Herman Cain addresses the demonstrators: More to come. UPDATE: These photos were sent in by a reader. I like this sign; click »

Tunisian Microcosm

Yesterday a Catholic priest from Poland who taught at a school outside Tunis was first beaten and then beheaded, presumably by Muslims. Several thousand normal Tunisians turned out to protest against the murder. The T-shirts in the photo below say “Tunisia secular.” The signs say “Tunisia for all” and “Terrorism is not Tunisian.” This is, in microcosm, the battle that is taking place across much of the Arab world. »

Legislative exile on main street

Ann Althouse points us to the timely new blog The “Badger 14″: Escape from Wisconsin. Althouse asks where those legislators in exile are staying: Are they shacking up with Chicago friends? At what point do they stop looking Wisconsin enough? I see Nancy Pelosi is “very proud of what they’re doing.” I’m sure that will resonate with the people of Wisconsin who are watching and wondering what side to take. »

David Ignatius strikes again

David Ignatius is the prominent Washington Post columnist who specializes in foreign affairs. He writes highly regarded espionage novels in his spare time. And he is full of bonhomie toward some of the world’s foremost terrorists and murderers. In September 2003, for example, Ignatius got together for a little chat with Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah. Ignatius’s subsequent column on the interview maddeningly refers to the Hezbollah war of extermination against »

Obama: Defending the Privileged, As Usual

It is infuriating to see our President weighing in on behalf of overpaid, underworked and greedy members of public employee unions. They are among the more privileged members of our society, but, as full partners in the Democrats’ scheme to suck up ever more money even if it bankrupts the country, they have Obama’s complete support. Michael Ramirez comments; click to enlarge: »

What the House Did Last Night

The House of Representatives spent most of yesterday and last night voting on amendments to H.R. 1, the bill that authorizes continued federal spending through the end of the fiscal year. The continuing resolution is necessary because last year’s Democratic majority never adopted a budget. In the early hours of the morning, H.R. 1 passed on a near party-line vote. The Associated Press says the bill cuts $61 billion in »

The whole world is still watching

As the unions staged their productions in Madison this week, shutting down school systems (for the children!) and seeking to intimidate Governor Walker et al., many of us turned to Patrick McIlheran’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel column to understand what was happening. This morning McIlheran returns with a timely history lesson on FDR’s opposition to public sector unions. McIlheran explains: “Walker, good Republican, is no FDR but he is offering Wisconsin »