Monthly Archives: November 2011

See Me on Minnesota Public Radio, Tomorrow!

Featured image Tomorrow at 7 p.m., if you are within driving distance of St. Paul you can watch the taping of Minnesota Public Radio’s Bright Ideas show. I will be host Stephen Smith’s guest for an hour, including some time taking questions from the audience. There will be a reception afterward, and I am looking forward to meeting some PL readers as well as greeting some old friends. If you can make »

Bye-Bye Barney

Featured image Barney Frank announced a few minutes ago that he will not run for re-election to the House next year: Frank said he originally intended to run for one more term, but that his decision was partially due to the fact that the state’s new redistricting map will include many people he has never represented before. Which presumably is another way of saying that, after a relatively close race in 2010, »

Deep Mitt

Featured image Like a lot of conservatives, I have struggled to identify the GOP presidential candidate who might be the strongest conservative standard bearer. Unfortunately, our strongest standard bearers have chosen to sit this one out and remain on the bench. To the extent that the contest comes down to one between Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, the struggle to find the strongest conservative standard bearer is, in my view, something of »

More Green Energy Fail

Featured image So, we learned in recent days that Chevy Volt batteries can catch fire in accidents.  Welcome to the Pinto of our time.  Oh goody: another product liability suit in the making. Meanwhile, Google has quietly abandoned an alternative energy program that it launched with great fanfare just two years ago.  Google’s “Renewable Energy Cheaper than Coal” project featured all the hallmarks of the pie-in-the-sky energy mongers, especially the “it’s-just-around-the-corner” trope.  »

Newt Gingrich As Debater – An Extended Look

Featured image Newt Gingrich is feeling cocky these days, which many take as a bad sign. He says he wants to engage President Obama in a debate, and Obama can use a teleprompter. Many conservatives are cheering Gingrich on, convinced that he would eat the fumble-prone Obama alive. Maybe so. But a long-time reader points out that Gingrich hasn’t always been so aggressive when he has actually been in the ring with »

Sunday Media Notes

Featured image Ross Douthat has the kind of op-ed up in today’s New York Times that could easily get him fired from his post as one of the barely-tolerated conservatives appearing regularly in the Times: he takes on the “Kennedy Cult.”  Zoo-ey mama! But its narrative power still depends on accepting the false premises of the Kennedy cult — premises that will no doubt endure so long as the 1960s generation does, »

Voters’ Trust In Republicans Holding Firm

Featured image Neither the daily vicissitudes of news headlines nor the GOP presidential campaign seems to have had much impact on voters’ perceptions of the parties. Voters continue to favor the Republicans by significant margins on most key issues, as the most recent Rasmussen survey of 1,000 likely voters shows. In particular, voters trust Republicans over Democrats on the all-important issue of the economy by 48-37%. Those numbers have changed little compared »

On the prosecution of Senator Stevens

Featured image Joshua Waxman is a prominent Washington attorney and friend of the late Nicholas A. Marsh, the federal prosecutor who had been involved in the botched prosecution of Senator Ted Stevens. Marsh committed suicide last year during the separate Department of Justice and court-ordered probes of misconduct in the prosecution of Senator Stevens. My recent post on the New York Times story occasioned by the completion of the still-secret report on »

Maybe the Mayans Were Right About 2012?

Featured image With only five weeks to go before 2012 arrives, there are several plausible candidates for the “end of the world” that every New Ager has been eagerly anticipating since Mayan calendar fetishism replaced the made-up Kwanza holiday as the favorite diversion of the trendier-than-thou set.  Right now the leading threat is the Eurozone crisis.  It is looking more and more as if financial Armageddon is inevitable at some point, with »

1980: Sowell vs. Piven

Featured image Equality is the great theme of American politics, but is equality rightly understood as equality of rights or results? Equality of rights is deeply rooted in the foundational documents of the United States. It is, you might say, the American way. Equality of results is the great error that continues to exert its powerful attractions. In the Federalist Papers, Publius recognizes “the diversity in the faculties of men, from which »

Were Wall Street Banks Bailed Out?

Featured image What kind of a question is that? Doesn’t everyone know that the great bailout of the last decade was of “the big banks”? Isn’t that why small groups of Occupiers are shivering in public parks and plazas across the country? Isn’t the bailout of Wall Street the reason why millions of Americans have lost faith in both their government and private enterprise? I used to think that revisionist history could »

Give ‘Em Hell, Mitt!

Featured image Mitt Romney’s first television ad stirred considerable controversy, even though it ran briefly and only in New Hampshire. The ad included Barack Obama saying, “If we keep talking about the economy, we’re going to lose.” The quote, from 2008, is legitimate, but Obama was quoting the McCain campaign. So Democrats went ballistic. »

Harry and Tonto revisited

Featured image I think I went to see Harry and Tonto after Art Carney won the Academy Award for his portrayal of Harry Coombes in the title role. For some reason, however, I went to see the film with no particular expectation that I would enjoy it. Probably for that reason the movie caught me by surprise and bowled me over. Watching it again on cable yesterday, I found that the film »

This Week in Climate News

Featured image Climategate 2.0 is the main climate news this week, right?  As it happens, there’s a study just out a couple days ago in ScienceExpress, which is the advance online venue for Science magazine, on a new study that blows the hinges off the catastrophic global warming scenarios.  The study concerns the sensitivity of climate to carbon dioxide concentrations.  The complete study (“Climate Sensitivity Estimated from Temperature Reconstructions of the Last »

The Democrats’ Black Eye

Featured image The Occupiers have made the Democrats look bad, that is obvious. The more interesting question is, why? Because they say what other Democrats actually think, and act in ways that other Democrats approve of but are afraid to emulate. If you want to see liberalism in action, move into an Occupier encampment for a while, without police protection. Michael Ramirez illustrates the point. The Occupiers are the Democrats’ black eye: »

Thanksgiving Recap

Featured image I wrote nothing yesterday, a rare non-event. I actually started a couple of posts, but abandoned them as not worth the trouble–a standard that one hopes will not become permanent. We hosted some relatives for Thanksgiving, and my wife, who is a superb cook, produced her best-ever Thanksgiving dinner. Everything was marvelous, but the highlight was the turkey–a 22-pound Amish Heritage bird, which was sensational. As usual, she followed Martha »

Climategate 2.0 and Me

Featured image Back in 2005 I wrote a paper for AEI entitled “Climate Change Science: Time for ‘Team B?’”, which argued that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was so badly politicized that the time had come to emulate the famous CIA Team B assessment of the Soviet Union in the 1970s: A genuinely independent climate assessment process would need to build from the ground up, recruiting a team wholly independent »