Monthly Archives: November 2012

Sandra Fluke for person of the year

Featured image Sandra Fluke is among the 40 contenders for Time Magazine’s Person of the Year. 2012 was the year in which losers, have-nots, and the immature combined to reelect an unsuccessful (by customary standards) president. Accordingly, Fluke would make an ideal Person of the Year for 2012. I also think that Time should name Lilly Ledbetter its Person of the Year for 2008 in view of her service as Barack Obama’s »

Jihad passes muster at the Post

Featured image I wrote about the photograph of BBC Arabic editor Jihad Masharawi holding the shrouded body of his 11-month-old son in posts here, here and here. The photograph depicted Masharawi outside Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. The young Masharawi’s death was attributed to an Israeli air strike. The photograph went viral on the second day of the conflict between Hamas and Israel, being featured on the Web and in newspapers around »

The fiscal cliff, the debt cliff, and the political cliff

Featured image We’ve written, as has virtually every other commentator, about the “fiscal cliff.” But the term is probably a misnomer. It refers to the fact that, absent a budget deficit deal, taxes will rise on everyone who pays them and federal spending will be cut. The combined effect would be a small but discernible change in fiscal policy that might well slow the economy down or, given how slow the economy »

A worthy predecessor to, and successor of, Jesse Jackson, Jr.

Featured image Mel Reynolds has announced that he will run for the congressional seat held by Jesse Jackson Jr., who has resigned. “Swell Mel” held that seat, Illinois’ Second District, before Jackson. He resigned from Congress in 1995, after a jury found him guilty of having sex with an underage campaign worker. Reynolds later was convicted of federal charges of bank and campaign fraud. He remained in jail until President Clinton commuted »

Climate Change: Bush’s Fourth Term?

Featured image Lefties try to change the subject when you point out that in the war on terror, President Dronestrike’s policies—though not his rhetoric—represent a continuation or extension of the policies of George W. Bush.  (I wonder if Obama will renew his pledge to close Guantanamo at the beginning of his second term?) But there’s another area where Obama has come round to the Bush approach: climate policy.  Yesterday Obama signed a »

Hamas rocket attacks are “like a bee sting on the Israeli bear’s behind” — Washington Post

Featured image Responding to criticism that the Washington Post doesn’t publish pictures showing the consequences of Hamas rocket atacks on Isral, the paper’s ombudsman, Patrick Pexton, says that “the overwhelming majority of rockets fired from Gaza are like bee stings on the Israeli bear’s behind.” Where to begin? Let’s start at the beginning. The present controversy commenced when, as Scott discussed at the time, the Post published a large front page photo »

Gaza terrorist theater 101

Featured image The murderous thugs of Hamas possess formidable expertise in a wide variety of subjects, including how to terrorize a civilian population — and not just Israelis. Their mastery of media manipulation also impresses. It would be even more impressive if the media they manipulated were’t such willing tools. In the video below, Rabbi Shraga Simmons gives a short course in Gaza Terrorist Theater. At this point, it’s a useful retrospective. »

The horror, a white might win Jesse Jackson’s congressional seat

Featured image The scramble is on to fill the congressional seat that Jesse Jackson, Jr. had to abandon due to mental illness. And, according to Politico, the black establishment is fearful that the seat might fall into the hands — not of a Republican; there’s no way — but a white. The concern is that former Rep. Debbie Halvorson, a white Democrat and veteran of suburban Chicago politics, will win the Democratic »

It Doesn’t Pay to Work

Featured image In the wake of President Obama’s re-election victory, there has been a lot of discussion about makers and takers. Mitt Romney said on a conference call with supporters, among many other things, that Obama bought a lot of votes with “gifts” to various constituencies, an evidently true observation for which he mysteriously was maligned by Bobby Jindal and others. The truth is much worse than Romney suggested or than most »

Latest Photo Roundup

Featured image So a Chinese newspaper fell for an Onion gag about North Korea’s Kim Jong Wong Dong Doodle Doe, or whatever his name is, as the sexiest man in the world.  Wink, wink, nudge, nudge, maybe they’ll also fall for story about how Germany is going to outlaw sex with animals.  What?  You mean it’s true?  How do you pronounce “Rover vs. Wade” in German, anyway? It’s been a while since »

Thought Experiment: Burns vs. Sunstein

Featured image I’m working my way up to a Christmas books post in which I intend to include some discussion of which old C.S. Lewis book you ought to have on your Christmas book buying and/or reading list, but for now I want to derive a short thought experiment from this frequently cited Lewis passage from his essay “The Humanitarian Theory of Capital Punishment” (found in the indispensable collection God in the »

Egyptian protesters are on their own

Featured image Egyptians flocked to Tahrir square today in protest against the decree that grants exceptional power to President Morsi, and against the Muslim Brotherhood in general. Some protesters threw stones and the police fired tear gas. Size matters when it comes to such protests, but it also difficult reliably to measure. The Washington Post estimated the Tahrir square crowd at about 20,000. In Alexandria, an anti-Morsi protest contingent was estimated at »

“Thank You, Iran!”

Featured image Reuters reports on what some may see as a touching display of gratitude: “Gazans say ‘Thank you Iran’ after Israel conflagration.” Gazans offered very public thanks to Iran on Tuesday for helping them in this month’s fight against Israel, when Iranian-made missiles were fired out of the Palestinian enclave towards Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. “Thank you Iran”, said large billboards on three major road junctions in the Gaza Strip – »

Rice meets with McCain, Graham, and Ayotte; doesn’t help her cause (Updated)

Featured image Over the weekend, Susan Rice asked to meet with Senators McCain, Graham, and Ayotte so that she could defend, or at least explain, why she provided erroneous information about the deadly Benghazi assault. That meeting happened today. Not surprisingly, Rice failed to mollify the Senators, at least two of whom would have been hard to mollify even if Rice had a decent defense, which she doesn’t. Lindsey Graham declared, “The »

While the French government flounders, its opposition flames

Featured image Last week, I mentioned the bitter fight to determine who will succeed Nicolas Sarkozy as leader of the UMP, France’s conservative party. At the time Jean-Francois Cope, the more conservative candidate, appeared to have defeated former Prime Minister (under Sarkozy) Francois Fillon by fewer than 1,000 votes, but Fillon had not recogized the result. A week later, Cope is officially the winner, but Fillon still doesn’t accept the result. And »

Fiscal Cliff: Done Deal, or Battlespace Preparation?

Featured image My very sagacious and tech-savvy friend Anne Marie Fowler (venture capitalist, entrepreneur, innovation maven, etc) has an interesting conjecture up on her FaceBook feed this morning: If the President is taking his fiscal cliff case “to the people” this strongly suggests to me that the deal has already been substantially if not entirely made. If it wasn’t he wouldn’t be doing this. I’m not saying this in compliment or complaint, »

How to approach the fiscal cliff

Featured image James Capretta offers four guidelines for navigating fiscal cliff negotiations. On the whole, I think they are sensible suggestions and, at a minimum, worthy of consideration. First, “acknowledge the economic and policy risks of going over the cliff.” It’s possible that the looming tax increases and spending cuts wouldn’t send the U.S. economy into a recession. It’s also possible that massive cuts to the military budget wooudn’t produce adverse consequences »