Monthly Archives: March 2012

FDR, A One-Percenter Tax Avoider

Featured image Mitt Romney has taken lots of flack for paying an effective tax rate of about 14 percent on his considerable income of the last few years.  Well, how about Franklin Roosevelt?  Turns out in 1914, the second year of the income tax, he only paid a 1 percent rate on just 7 percent of his total income.  What would Occupy (or Obama) say about this? This link takes you to »

No justice, no agitation

Featured image Anyone who spends time looking at crime statistics will discover the basics of race and crime before too long, but you better be careful not to talk about them in polite society. They are protected by a taboo even stronger than the Victorian taboo against public discussions of sex, but with good reason. The facts are painful. No one can take joy in publicizing them. Murder is the crime which »

Iran Again: Machiavelli Meets Churchill

Featured image I’m giving a lunch talk today here in the DC area on the subject of “The Education of Winston Churchill,” and one passage from my notes comes to mind in thinking once again about the difficult Iran problem: One important political book that we know Churchill read either at Bangalore or shortly after, but which he omits to mention anywhere in his memoirs, is Machiavelli’s Prince, often called “the most »

Hey, nineteen

Featured image Today is the seventieth birthday of Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul. The metaphor of royal lineage actually has some application in Franklin’s case. Her father, the Reverend C.L. Franklin, was the renowned Detroit preacher whose New Bethel Baptist Church provided the original venue for Aretha and her sisters, Erma and Carolyn. She became a child star as a gospel singer, signing a recording contract with Columbia Records at age »

The Hinderaker-Ward Experience, Episode 23: Better Late Than Never

Featured image After a brief hiatus and Brian Ward’s return from vacation in Hawaii, we recorded Episode 23 of the Hinderker-Ward experience yesterday afternoon. We talked about the latest in current events, updated various Obama administration scandals, and awarded our Loon of the Week and This Week In Gatekeeping prizes. You can listen to the podcast by playing it right here, or you can go to Ricochet to download or subscribe to »

Shades of Sharpton

Featured image We seem to be in the “sentence first, verdict afterwards” phase of the Trayvon Martin affair. Speaking outside of his New York City headquarters, Al Sharpton said that it is important to show “sustained indignation” over Martin’s death. Has that cretin ever beat the drums for a cause that had truth or justice on its side? If so, I don’t remember it, but I suppose there’s always a first time. »

More Class Warfare–Oh, Wait. . .

Featured image So one of the proposals floating around Washington this week says this: “The tax code is patently unfair: many of the deductions and preferences in the system—which serve to narrow the tax base—were lobbied for and are mainly used by a relatively small group of mostly higher-income individuals.”  These tax gimmicks add up to about $1 trillion a year in lost revenue, and “are disproportionately used by upper-income individuals.  There’s »

It’s a Long Way to Complimentary

Featured image Last weekend I struggled to understand the Obama administration’s advance notice of propose rule making reformulating the happy hour on contraception, sterilization and abortifacients that is to be shoved down the throats of Catholic institutions under Obamacare. The powers-that-be in the government call the services at issue “preventive services” and struggle with how to make them “free.” The advance notice has been posted here. Take a look. It provides a »

Bureaucratic Gas

Featured image I’ve got an article fresh up this morning in the Weekly Standard on how the Obama Administration could slice a dime or more off the price of gas–and shrink oil refiners’ profit margins at the same time (bonus if you’re a liberal!)–with one simple move: get rid of the boutique gasoline requirement of the Clean Air Act, which is nearly obsolete anyway as a smog-reducing measure.  Sample: Thirty-four states use »

Thoughts on Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman

Featured image We haven’t written anything about one of the day’s major news stories, the shooting of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman. So let’s wade in: 1) For liberals, it is always 1962, and we are always in Mississippi. Unfortunately, however–from their perspective–it isn’t 1962, and the problems we now face are far more complicated and harder of solution than the problems of the early 1960s. In fact, liberalism offers no guidance »

Campaign Epic Fail

Featured image Move over Etch-a-Sketch guy.  Move over whoever thought of putting Michael Dukakis in a tank.  Move over everyone in the Democratic Party who thought a Kerry-Edwards ticket was electable, let alone advisable. There’s a new gold standard for political campaign ineptitude–this campaign bus from Canada: Guess they’re going to change out the hubcaps.  And right on cue, an academic rushes to the rescue to instruct us on the deeper meaning »

More Epic Greenfail

Featured image When Solyndra crashed and burned last fall, defenders of government greenery said, “Well, just like venture capitalists, investments go bad sometimes.  Solyndra was just one out of a whole portfolio.”  So stop making such a big deal. Well, today we learn, courtesy of a Freedom of Information Act request by the Wall Street Journal, that fully one-third of the Dept. of Energy’s clean energy loan portfolio is on an internal »

Sweet smell of success (WTF? edition)

Featured image In the adjacent post I describe Dartmouth College President Jim Yong Kim as unqualified to head the World Bank — the position to which he has been nominated by President Obama — but that may be too charitable. His views on global economic development (the mission of the World Bank) are so wide of the mark they are scary. He appears to believe that the rest of the world is »

Sweet smell of success (World Bank edition)

Featured image Today President Obama nominated Dartmouth College President Jim Yong Kim to head the World Bank. The New York Times reports on the nomination here, the AP here. President Kim stuck around Dartmouth barely long enough to get his ticket punched (not quite three years). Except for his apparent lack of relevant background for the position — no one had guessed that Kim was in the running for the nomination — »

The FedEx Indicator

Featured image The economy is supposedly improving, but even if we took the falling unemployment rate at face value, there are too many signs that something is wrong.  There are too many anomalies.  I noted a few weeks ago the anomaly of collapsing gasoline and diesel fuel consumption, which started well before the current run-up in pump prices that is causing Obama to contort himself in unnatural ways.  Falling fuel consumption ahead »

Obamacare at two

Featured image Democrats observed the second anniversary of Obamacare in silence yesterday. Obamacare must really be a problem for them, because they’re yakking nonstop about everything else with a lower than usual ratio of veracity to baloney. Charles Krauthammer provides a reckoning in his weekly column, reminding us of a a few basic and important facts about Obamacare. Krauthammer concludes: “Rarely has one law so exemplified the worst of the Leviathan state »

Medieval Warm Period In the News Again

Featured image One of the biggest stumbling blocks to the climate campaign has been the well-established existence of the Medieval Warm Period (MWP), when temperatures were as warm or warmer than today, but when there were no SUVs to blame it on.  The obvious implication is that if it was as warm then as it is today, you can’t rule out—in fact you should probably rule in—that natural causes partly or wholly »