Monthly Archives: December 2012

Al Qaeda Offers Bounty on American Ambassador [UPDATE: Obama–Benghazi Was “Just Some Sloppiness”]

Featured image Well, why not? They’re one for one so far. Maybe someone will claim the bounty by organizing a group movie review. The AP reports: Al-Qaida’s branch in Yemen has offered to pay tens of thousands of dollars to anyone who kills the U.S. ambassador in Sanaa or an American soldier in the country. An audio produced by the group’s media arm, the al-Malahem Foundation, and posted on militant websites Saturday »

Hagel earns coveted Buchanan endorsement

Featured image In his quest for appointment as Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel has earned the endorsement of Patrick Buchanan. Buchanan of course is a true believer in the key components of the Hagel thesis, right down the line. Ron Radosh explicates the meaning of Buchanan’s endorsement. Does Hagel’s nomination remain on track? I was dubious, but Hagel seems to have one thing going for him. He represents some of Obama’s deepest, »

In praise of Vladimir Bukovsky

Featured image Vladimir Bukovsky is the incredibly brave Soviet dissident who spent 12 years in prison and political psychiatric hospitals before his expulsion from the Soviet Union in 1976. His memoir — To Build a Castle — one of the great documents of the era (and now out of print). Today Bukovsky turns 70. Michael Ledeen celebrates the occasion with this arresting observation: We’ve been friends for a long time, ever since »

Deal or no deal?

Featured image There are somewhat conflicting rumors about the status of “fiscal cliff” talks between Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell. Byron York reported that a deal is close, one in which tax rates would rise only for those making $400,000 (or conceivably $500,000) a year and in which there would be a few other cliff-related fixes. But Politico says that there are no signs yet of a breakthrough. It’s not clear that »

The Weekly Winston: Fiscal Cliff Edition

Featured image Everyone supposes that supply-side economics was a purely American phenomenon, with its antecedents going back to Calvin Coolidge and his tax-cutting Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon and ending up with the Laffer Curve.  And of course Ronald Reagan liked to quote John F. Kennedy on the wisdom of income tax rate cuts, much to the consternation of good liberals today. But in fact Churchill was part of the early supply-side revolution, »

Republicans Set to Cave?

Featured image Byron York passes on what he is hearing from Senate Republicans on the fiscal negotiations in DC. What he is hearing isn’t good: The word among some Senate Republicans is that a fiscal cliff deal is likely to be struck by Sunday, or Monday at the latest. … Those Senate Republicans hope the final deal will make permanent current tax levels — Bush tax cut levels — for everyone who »

Generate this

Featured image Steve linked to Michael Ward’s Create Your Own Thomas Friedman Column a while back. Ward’s template tended to demonstrate the formulaic nature of Friedman’s columns, but it required a little work on the part of the reader to select the variations on Friedman’s themes. Ward’s work inspired Brian Mayer to create the Thomas Friedman Op Ed Generator. If you want to reduce your effort to one click, check out the »

Walk Away

Featured image Tracy Nelson has been a favorite of mine for a long time. She celebrated her birthday on Thursday and I wanted to take the occasion to draw attention to her work. I first heard Tracy as the founder and vocalist of the San Francisco- and Memphis-based group Mother Earth in the late ’60s and early ’70s. Her signature song, “Down So Low,” dates from her time with the group. Thanks »

Obama uses summit to turn up heat on republicans

Featured image At the White House on Friday, President Obama apparently told the “summoned” that he wants Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell to reach a deal on the income threshold for tax hikes along, I assume, with a few other partial “cliff” fixes. If they don’t reach a deal, Obama will have Reid call for a Senate vote on Obama’s plan to increase taxes on everyone earning $250,000 or more, plus an »

Green Weenie of the Week: Matt Daaaymon, and His Flatulent Movie “Promised Land”

Featured image If Matt Daaaymon was hoping his new Arab-funded film “Promised Land” would do for natural gas “fracking” what “The China Syndrome” did for nuclear power, he’d better hope for a sequel to “Team America” to rescue him from being an embarrassment to the professional Left.  John already took official Power Line notice of the movie a few weeks ago, and I already gave Damon a Green Weenie back in September »

Spendaholics Anonymous Meets In D.C.

Featured image If there is one thing we know for sure about the federal government, it is that it spends way too much money–around $3.54 trillion in FY 2012, with a $1.1 trillion deficit. You would think that the man who presides over this mess, Barack Obama, would have the decency to be embarrassed. He has, after all, run up more than $4 trillion in debt in a mere four years. But »

Soak the Rich?

Featured image The “fiscal cliff” drama is playing out in Washington, with Barack Obama fixated, apparently, on raising taxes on “the rich”–i.e., hard-working families, most of them with multiple income-earners. So the IRS’s recent release of tax data for 2010 is timely. The American Enterprise Institute has the numbers: According to new IRS data, the 1.35 million taxpayers that represent the highest-earning one percent of the Americans who filed federal income tax »

Is Obama over-playing his “fiscal cliff” hand?

Featured image The “fiscal cliff” consists of two elements — tax increases and spending cuts. The tax side is essentially a win-win for President Obama. Either he extracts a large amount of money for the government through across-the-board tax hikes he can blame on Republicans or he extracts a smaller amount of money from well-off Americans, thereby satisfying his emotional desire to stick it to Republicans and the well-off. The spending cuts, »

Ezra Klein: pseudo-wonk

Featured image Ezra Klein is a self-styled “wonk blogger” for the Washington Post. His work does, indeed, have a wonkish quality. But if you strip that veneer away, he’s just another liberal columnist who writes intellectually dishonest pieces intended to show that Republicans are intellectually dishonest. In other words, E.J. Dionne with a calculator or Dana Milbank with a smaller smirk. Consider the recent column in which Klein argues that conservatives aren’t »

Sean Penn: Bard for Our Time

Featured image There are a handful of writers, Shakespeare being the best example, whose works best come to life heard aloud rather that read silently on the two-dimensional page.  Sean Penn, the actor and, as the Puffington Host reminds us, “Ambassador-at-Large for Haiti,” is another such bard for our time.  He has a piece up right now at the PuffHo, enticingly titled “Breached Pinatas,” that will surely take its place in the »

A close reading of Thomas Friedman

Featured image It hurts. It’s painful. It didn’t have to be done, but I’m grateful that Barry Rubin has undertaken a close reading of one of Thomas Friedman’s recent profusions of inanity. Rubin begins with an apt quotation from Bob Dylan and then says in his own words: The entertainment director on the ship of fools that constitutes so much mainstream analysis of the Middle East—I refer, of course, to Thomas Friedman—has »

Reset this

Featured image Today Vladimir Putin signed the new Russian law that will prevent Americans from adopting Russian children. Taking effect January 1, it halts adoptions in process as well as adoptions whose completion is imminent. The New York Daily News reports that Russia has 740,000 children not in parental custody with 18,000 Russians standing in line to adopt children. The law is aimed at Americans and suffused with anti-American animus as well »