Monthly Archives: May 2011


Michael Barone elaborates on Glenn Reynolds’ theme: why is it that after two years, bad economic news is still “unexpected?” As megablogger Glenn Reynolds, aka Instapundit, has noted with amusement, the word “unexpectedly” or variants thereon keep cropping up in mainstream media stories about the economy. “New U.S. claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly climbed,” reported May 25. “Personal consumption fell,” Business Insider reported the same day, “when it was »

Ask Comrade Kathy

Here is how the Department of Health and Human Services put it in a press release on May 19: Today, The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a final regulation to ensure that large health insurance premium increases will be thoroughly reviewed, and consumers will have access to clear information about those increases. Combined with other important protections from the Affordable Care Act, these new rules will help »

Can the U.K. and Canada Save the West?

I wrote in praise of Canada yesterday; today Conrad Black surveyed the dismal international scene and concluded that the United Kingdom, along with Canada, offer hope for western-style democracies to survive: When Barack Obama took office, the official normal money supply of the United States was about $1.1-trillion. The $3-trillion in federal budget deficits that have been run up since then have largely, technically, escaped the money supply, though accretions »


We went to see the Cirque du Soleil production Ovo tonight. It was great fun; better, I thought, than the C du S show we saw a few years ago. C du S, if you haven’t seen it, is a unique combination of dance, gymnastics, music, costumes, color, comedy and good old circus acts. Taken together, it is like nothing on Earth. Ovo has a bug theme and is likable »

Misremembering Hubert

Growing up in Minnesota I acquired a healthy respect for Hubert Humphrey. He established the modern state Democratic Party in a death struggle with the Communists and persevered to make his reputation with a devotion to the cause of civil rights when civil rights meant colorblindness. The great victory of the civil rights movement was one of moral persuasion. Leaders such as Humphrey and Martin Luther King, Jr., persuaded Americans »

Remembering Harmon

The MInnesota Twins held a public memorial service for Harmon Killebrew at Target Field on Thursday evening. It was a fitting tribute to a magnificent ballplayer and outstanding man (who also happened to be a solid conservative). More than 40 members of the Killebrew family were there. The Killebrew clan included Harmon’s widow, Nita Killebrew. Mrs. Killebrew gave an incredibly moving speech in honor of her husband. She radiated love »

Let’s Hear It For Canada

Canada has left the United States in the dust on a number of fronts lately, including getting its deficit under control–hey, Canada actually has a budget!–and allowing economic growth. (Of course, Canada has an unfair advantage. There is no Democratic Party there.) In foreign policy, too, Canada is showing the way. Ynet reports Group of Eight leaders had to soften a statement urging Israel and the Palestinians to return to »

Who Looked Presidential, as a High School Student? (Bumped, With Results)

The Atlantic had photos of a number of the Republican presidential candidates when they were in high school. That gave me an idea for a poll: here are photos of eight of the candidates as high school students. Which one, at that age, looked the most like a future president? I have not attached names to the photos so you will not be biased by your present opinions of the »

That Was Then, This Is Now (Part 2)

While researching something else, I ran across this editorial from the New York Times, dated September 24, 2004. The editorial is titled, “Congress Slouches Toward Home.” You don’t need to be reminded which party controlled Congress at that time: The Republican-controlled Congress is shambling to the end of one of the lightest workloads in decades without a hint of embarrassment, concentrating on the defense of the flag, tax cuts and »

That Was Then, This Is Now

Last night, President Obama “signed” a four-year extension of the most controversial features of the Patriot Act. They used to be controversial, anyway; apparently no longer. President Obama merely said: It’s an important tool for us to continue dealing with an ongoing terrorist threat. That is quite a change from Obama’s original attitude toward the Patriot Act. When he was running for the Senate in 2003, Obama answered the question »

Dayton Vetoes Voter ID Law

In 2010, control over Minnesota’s government flipped: Republicans captured both the Minnesota House and Senate, while Democrat Mark Dayton replaced Tim Pawlenty as governor. The Republican legislature passed legislation to reform the state’s voting system, in part by requiring photo identification. The law provided for issuance of free voter IDs to any legitimate voters who, for whatever reason, have no driver’s license or other form of identification. Minnesotans, aware that »

Escape to New York

I am headed to New York for the holiday weekend and wanted to leave some good reading behind. Please check out the Wall Street Journal column “Stephen Colbert’s free speech problem,” by Steve Simpson and Paul Sherman. Setting out to lampoon the Supreme Court for its Citizens United decision, Stephen Colbert may have discovered that the joke was on him — assuming he is capable of learning from his own »

Back Off, Dude!

This photo was posted by Daniel Foster at The Corner. Apparently there are hazards associated with moving in elevated international circles that we had not appreciated: »

Pawlenty Shoots! He Scores!

I missed Tim Pawlenty’s tweet on Twitter, but picked it up from The Tatler and InstaPundit: @BarackObama sorry to interrupt the European pub crawl, but what was your Medicare plan? The Tatler was inspired to create this image of TPaw as Thor: »


That is the title of Stanley Kurtz’s revealing article in National Review. Kurtz poses the question, what does President Obama really think about the Palestinians and the Middle East? To answer that question, he reviews what we know about Obama’s history and relationships that bear on the issue. His conclusion is not reassuring: The continuing influence of Obama’s pro-Palestinian sentiments is the best way to make sense of the president’s »

Rush’s Rhetoric

Yesterday at the end of his show Rush Limbaugh engaged a caller on “what makes Netanyahu Netanyahu.” The substance of the question was one on which Rush could speak with some authority: what makes Netanyahu such an excellent communicator? Rush gave a hint: “It begins with a P.” The caller guessed “principled” and “proud.” Not wrong, but not right either. Rush’s answer is “passion.” He elaborated: It is passion that »

The real unemployment…

Walt Whitman famously observed to a friend in 1863 that “the real war will never get in the books.” Whitman knew what he was talking about, so the proposition can’t be discounted. But in the case of the Civil War, if the real war hasn’t gotten into the books, it’s not for lack of trying. Louis Masur even made a good book out of Whitman’s challenge. The mainstream media are »