Monthly Archives: October 2011

Stuff You Can’t Make Up

Featured image Busy day–and week–for me.  Subbing for Bill Bennett this morning on the radio was fun, but three hours behind the mike is surprisingly tiring.  I don’t know how Bill and the rest of our radio heroes do this day after day, week after week.  My flight out to California at noon got bollixed up, so I’ve postponed my trip to tomorrow.  Lots of blogging to catch up on–I’ve got lots »

A Dissenting Note on the Iraqi Troop Withdrawal

Featured image A long-time reader writes: I disagree with John’s view on President Obama’s decision to exit Iraq. John argues that “the U.S. has done everything reasonably possible to give Iraqis a chance. At this point, the future is up to them.” It’s difficult to argue with this sentiment, but I view the situation in more pragmatic terms. For me, the relevant question is whether a U.S. withdrawal appreciably increases the likelihood »

Rick Perry: Not Ready For Prime Time

Featured image Yesterday Rick Perry made the astonishing claim that it was a mistake for him to participate in this year’s GOP presidential debates: “These debates are set up for nothing more than to tear down the candidates. It’s pretty hard to be able to sit and lay out your ideas and your concepts with a one-minute response,” the Texas governor told Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly. “So, you know, if there was »

The “Occupiers” Aren’t a Political Movement…

Featured image …they are a crime wave. In Oakland, battles between occupiers and police have been raging for the last 24 hours. At PJ Media’s Tatler, Zombie has an excellent collection of videos and photos which she continues to update. Dozens of videos have been posted on YouTube, pretty much all of them by sympathizers with the protesters who are claiming police brutality. Zombie sums up the origins of the current confrontations: »

Send in the clowns

Featured image I probably made a mistake yesterday in singling out Mitt Romney for criticism as a GOP presidential candidate. He has become a caricature of a certain kind of candidate, but we seem to be going through the Send in the Clowns phase of the contest for the nomination. 1. Rick Perry: Jennifer Rubin has been roasting Perry for his assorted flops and failings. She declared yesterday “A day down the »

Politics and the English Language

Featured image I was a little surprised to see that hundreds of readers clicked on the link to George Orwell’s great essay “Politics and the English Language” in my post yesterday on English usage. It is an essay that bears repeated rereading. If you haven’t read it before, please check it out. I want to draw your attention to Orwell’s contrast of good writing with bad writing. “I am going to translate »

Barack “Macho” Obama?

Featured image Hector “Macho” Camacho was a boxer whose name lent itself to an irresistible, and entirely appropriate, nickname. Somehow, “Barack Obama” doesn’t trend “macho.” But that hasn’t stopped our president and his supporters from beating their chests over successful killings of certain anti-American targets. Hillary Clinton’s “We came…we saw…he died” is perhaps the most ludicrous comment ever attributed to an American Secretary of State. Remember when the Democrats were appalled by »

Correction!! Correction!!

Featured image We work fast, and every once in a while we make mistakes. Usually they are minor, but if we become aware of an error, we try to correct it promptly. Still, now and then–very rarely–we make a really serious mistake. Something that goes to the heart of a post, and could endanger our credibility with readers. On those extraordinary occasions–I can think of two–we do the equivalent of Drudge’s rotating »

Will Jane Mayer Respond to a Crushing Refutation?

Featured image Jane Mayer is an agenda journalist who currently writes for the New Yorker. Her entire career has been spent carrying water for the Left, going back to her book-length smear of Clarence Thomas. She wrote a piece in the October 10 New Yorker on a North Carolina Republican named Art Pope; it was absurdly titled “State For Sale” and claimed that Pope “bought” the 2010 elections in North Carolina by »

Mr. Romney regrets

Featured image Over at Ricochet, Troy Senik draws attention to a Politico story on Mitt Romney’s visit to Ohio today. Polico reports that during the visit Romney declined to state his position on a high-profile referendum there on the new state law that curtails the bargaining rights of public employee unions. Earlier this year, however, according to Politico, Romney indicated support for the reforms signed by Governor Kasich. Senik cruelly quotes Romney’s »

“Occupy” Police Blotter Continues to Grow

Featured image Drudge is highlighting the continuing criminal problems of various “occupy” groups: in Boston, a heroin bust, in Dallas, a sexual assault. Zombie visited Occupy Oakland and came away disgusted–no wonder, since the City has “issued an eviction notice the day before the rally, citing sanitation issues, garbage, rats and other hygiene problems at the encampment.” (Yes, I know, it’s just like the Tea Party.) Zombie found widespread evidence of criminal »

Quotations From Chairman Jim, digital edition

Featured image Jim Leach is the Obama administration’s chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the subject of this long-running series. The NEH has now posted Leach’s remarks last week at the Digital Public Library of America Conference. In these remarks Leach touches in passing on the subject of illiteracy “in the citadels of academia” or, as I have called it in a previous installment of this series, educated illiteracy. »

A note on usage

Featured image In his New York Times op-ed column today on the new biography of Steve Jobs, Joe Nocera refers to “the enormity of Jobs’s accomplishments — from starting the personal computer industry in his garage to creating a half-dozen of the most iconic consumer products ever invented[.]” Folks, “enormity” is not a synonym for “magnitude.” “Disinterested” is not a synonym for “uninterested.” “Literally” is not properly used as an intensifier. “Unique” »

Anatomy of Romneycare

Featured image Last time around, in the race for the GOP nomination in 2008, Mitt Romney sought to present himself as the the conservative candidate. That should have been the right space to occupy in the field of contenders on the Republican side, but Romney turned out to be a tough sell as a conservative. He’s still a tough sell on that score, but he has adjusted his marketing accordingly. This time »

Media Alert!

Featured image For east-coast drive-timers and early risers elsewhere, I’ll be guest-hosting Bill Bennett’s “Morning in America” radio show again tomorrow morning from 6 – 9 am eastern on the Salem Radio Network.  You can find a local station on the show’s website,, and you can stream it live on your computer if you don’t have a local station. We’re still lining up guests, but we’ll have at least one liberal, »

Miss World: A Good Pageant, In Spite of Itself

Featured image This web site’s pageant coverage has focused on the two great international competitions: Miss Universe and Miss World. Donald Trump, for better or worse, owns Miss Universe, while Miss World has remained in the same British hands for decades. Both pageants have their strong points; Miss World not only has a talent competition–long ago abandoned by Miss Universe–but has a system of preliminary contests where the winners of the talent, »

Is Obama Losing Iraq?

Featured image That is what some conservatives are saying. Due, apparently, to fumbled diplomacy, American troops are on their way out of Iraq, on the double. Maybe that will create an opening for al Qaeda. Or Iran. Or native Iraqi fruitcakes. Hugh Hewitt, for one, sounded that alarm on his radio show tonight. My own view is different. Perhaps the end game could have been handled better, but after eight years, it »