Monthly Archives: January 2013

A Very Bad Sign

Featured image I will have more to say about the immigration deal that supposedly has been agreed upon by a bipartisan group of eight Senators–the latest “Gang,” apparently–tonight or tomorrow. In the meantime, this photo of two of the senators conferring, which comes from the New York Times, is a very bad omen indeed: A deal on which Chuck Schumer and Lindsey Graham agree–what could possibly go wrong? »

Deception Redux

Featured image Edward Jay Epstein is a gifted writer and investigative journalist who has been at it now for nearly 50 years. I hope to have something on his forthcoming book — The Annals of Unsolved Crime — when it is to be published by Melville House next month. I have been a fan of Ed’s since I read Legend: The Secret World of Lee Harvey Oswald when it was published in »

Max Kampelman, RIP

Featured image One of the themes of my Age of Reagan books is that to a certain extent Reagan’s administration represented a coalition government, as he had a number of prominent Democrats or ex-Democrats (like Minnesota’s Jeane Kirkpatrick) serving in senior posts.  One of the most significant was Minnesota’s Max Kampelman, who passed away last Friday at the age of 92. Kampelman had been very close to Hubert Humphrey, and in fact »

Bureaucracy in America

Featured image Bureaucracy in America may well be the subject and therefore the title of my next book, and its theme would be Tocqueville meets James Q. Wilson.  Tocqueville, as I mentioned in my note about the nanny state here a couple weeks ago, described the form of “soft despotism” that America needed to fear, but which he didn’t quite have a name for.  James Q. Wilson’s 1988 book Bureaucracy is still »

Who’s Funding Whom?

Featured image Michael Mann, perpetrator of the notorious hockey stick hoax, is one of the world’s execrable characters. On top of his more important bad qualities, he is a whiner. The self-pitying Mann »

Barack Obama, Ammo Salesman

Featured image It isn’t just AR-15s that are flying off the shelves. Shooters are also starting to experience a serious shortage of ammunition. This is partly because President Obama is using up so much ammo. He sprang a secret on us in an interview with New Republic, finally letting the cat out of the bag after all these years: Obama says he goes skeet shooting at Camp David “all the time.” Really? »

The Guthrie’s Long Day’s Journey

Featured image In one of his lesser works, Ernest Hemingway famously observed that “all modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn.” Not true, but true enough, and I think the same might be said of modern American theater with respect to one play by Eugene O’Neill called Long Day’s Journey Into Night. Written by O’Neill in 1941-42, but not published until 1956, after his death, the »

Dealing with Obamacare

Featured image What to do about Obamacare? With Obama reelected and with implementation of the law (and regulations) scheduled to kick in next year, the nightmare is almost upon us. I haven’t seen much creative thinking about our options. What to do? In the new issue of the Weekly Standard, James Capretta and Jeffrey Anderson propose “Delay, repeal, replace.” Their proposal has a lot of moving parts. Realistic or not, the proposal »

The Defections Mount

Featured image The defectors from the True Church of Green Religion (i.e., environmentalism) are starting to line up faster than defectors from Soviet Communism in the late 1980s and early 1990s.  A few weeks ago, the reliably green British journalist Mark Lynas issued a mea culpa about his longtime opposition to genetically modified organisms (GMOs).  As I’ve experienced first hand, European opposition to GMOs is nearly as sacred as opposing plastic bags »

Iran: Nuke notes, &c.

Featured image Reza Kahlili served the CIA Directorate of Operations as a spy in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. He tells the story in A Time to Betray. Kahlili now asserts that an explosion at Iran’s underground nuclear facility at Fordo has destroyed much of the installation and trapped about 240 personnel deep underground, all “according to a former intelligence officer of the Islamic regime.” The explosion is said to have taken place »

The Week in Pictures

Featured image Haven’t done a photo essay for a while.  And there some good stuff making the rounds right now:     And finally. . .   »

The Weekly Winston: Women in Combat Edition

Featured image I doubt Sir Winston would be entirely keen on the proposal to open up combat roles to women in our armed forces.  But he would not be surprised it has come to this, as this excerpt from a Strand magazine article in 1938 hints: We take the immunity of women from violence so much for granted that we do not perceive what inroads are being made upon it.  These inroads »

Say It Ain’t So, Derek!

Featured image My wife, who is a big Derek Jeter fan, will be disappointed to see this: Derek Jeter interrupted his rehab work on his surgically repaired left ankle to rub shoulders with the world’s most powerful at the Davos Economic Forum. Jeter — invited by Pepsi — said he hopes climate change would be discussed: “I was in New York for Hurricane Sandy . . . It’s something that needs to »

Climate Crisis Downgrade Arriving on Schedule

Featured image A theme of my environmental coverage here and elsewhere is that most environmental problems are overestimated, partly because of the neo-religious fervor behind the Malthusianism-uber-alles methodology of environmentalists, and partly for the closely related reason that serial crises are the best means by which the political class gathers more power to itself.  In the fullness of time we’ve come to recognize that environmental problems are not world-ending potential apocalyses, but »

“What the Heck, It’s Only a Game”

Featured image Last night my wife and I were guests of our good friend Clark Griffith, whose family used to own the Washington Senators and the Minnesota Twins, and his beautiful wife at an unofficial baseball Hot Stove League event. The president of the Twins was there, along with umpire Tim Tschida and a couple of popular former Twins, Tom Brunansky and Jack Morris, among other luminaries. It was a fun event »

Not a Nation of Takers? Roll Tape Please

Featured image Obama rejects the idea that we’ve become or are becoming a “nation of takers.”  Someone tell it to the folks at the Food Stamp office in East St. Louis: Here’s the local TV news report on the fracas, “Brawl Erupts at Food Stamp Office.” »

World Without Love Revisited

Featured image This past January we decided on the spur of the moment to head over to the Dakota Jazz Club and Restaurant in downtown Minneapolis for the first of Peter Asher’s two nights at the club. Arriving with no expectations, we loved Asher’s show. Asher returns to the Dakota for two shows, next Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. This year we’re bringing along several friends for Tuesday night’s show; we hope they »