Monthly Archives: January 2013


Featured image It’s been more than 10 years since we last dipped into the Mailbag under a post with that heading. I thought we might retrieve it to publish a couple of messages from readers. In my view, John Hinderaker is one of the few commentators on the subject of guns and the Second Amendment writing in the aftermath of the Newtown massacre who has consistently added facts and context that illuminate »

Ballot Integrity In the State of Washington

Featured image A reader emailed earlier today to say that he and his wife recently moved to Washington State. His wife is a Canadian citizen who has a green card. Much to their surprise, she received in the mail a voter registration card issued by the county in which they live, informing her that “You are registered to vote.” Our reader writes: My wife is a Canadian citizen, has her green card, »

More Great Moments in Failed Predictions

Featured image A few days ago in “Great Moments in Failed Predictions” John visited what Bjorn Lomborg called in another context “The Litany” of environmental doom and gloom culminating in the spectacular flameouts of Paul Ehrlich.  As I noted in a recent spindle dump (Item #4), the “population bomb” turned out to be a wet firecracker.  (I’ll add, in passing, that I have debated Paul Ehrlich twice, and believe it or not »

Gun laws and the fools of Chelm

Featured image The city of Chelm figures prominently in traditional Jewish humor, where it appears as a den of supposedly wise fools. You know the type. David Mamet draws on the tradition for his Newsweek cover story/essay “Gun laws and the fools of Chelm.” As you might expect, Mamet has many wise words in the essay. Here he gets around to the subject of guns: Many are opposed to private ownership of »

Tonight on FNC: Boomtown

Featured image Our friend Peter Schweizer writes to alert us that he is narrating a one-hour Hannity special airing tonight called “Boomtown” on the Fox News Channel at 9:00 pm EST.  The show promises to provide a look at how cronyism has made a lot of people rich in Washington, D.C.  A preview clip is posted here. And there’s a nice notice in the New York Times Friday listings: In this edition »

That Constitution Thing Again

Featured image As if the DC Circuit Court opinion striking down Obama’s recess appointments weren’t enough of a blow to liberals, there is the fun constitutional controversy over presidential elections bubbling up again.  Liberals who have long hated the Electoral College and want it abolished in favor of direct popular vote are suddenly . . . in love with the EC just as it is.  Why?  Because noises by some solid blue »

A nation of takers

Featured image Nicholas Eberstadt is the author of A Nation of Takers: America’s Entitlement Epidemic. The book, it should be noted, includes dissenting essays by Yuval Levin and William Galston. President Obama seems to have been responding to Eberstadt in a key passage of his second inaugural address: “The commitments we make to each other through Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security, these things do not sap our initiative, they strengthen us. »

An act of wanton destruction

Featured image With word that outgoing Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has lifted the ban on women in combat — “on the recommendation of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,” no less — one has to wonder how President Obama has brought the military to heel. As with Obamacare, the details remain to be worked out. It seems to me an act of wanton destruction — David French calls it “Demilitarizing the military” »

Learning from Gaza

Featured image The Wall Street Journal’s Bret Stephens gave one of the featured speeches at David Horowitz’s Restoration Weekend this past November in the immediate aftermath of the election. He took Gaza as a case study of error, his own and Israel’s, while contemplating the hostilities that erupted in Operation Pillar of Defense. Stephens covers a lot of ground in his remarks and they remain timely. Notes: At around 25 minutes in »

Fight! Fight!

Featured image Over at the Claremont Review of Books “Upon Further Review” online department, I’m engaged with a disputation about Republican Party “extremism” with Geoffrey Kabaservice, author of Rule or Ruin: The Downfall of Moderation and the Destruction of the Republican Party, from Eisenhower to the Tea Party; and William Voegeli, whose recent CRB article “Extremism in Defense of Liberty” started this whole fracas.  Rounding out the field is David Frum, who is »

The Feinstein “Assault Weapons” Ban: What’s It All About?

Featured image Today Senator Dianne Feinstein unveiled her long-promised legislation to ban “assault weapons.” Since there is no such thing as an assault weapon, we will have to read the text of the law to see what it actually does. So far, I haven’t seen the text anywhere, but Feinstein’s web site has a fairly detailed description of the bill, including a list of the 157 weapons that are specifically banned. News »

We’re Kicking Some Fracking Butt Here

Featured image Not sure whether we have added to the chorus about the new documentary Fracknation that debuted this week, from the dynamic Irish film duo Philem McAleer and Ann McElhinney and co-director Magdalena Segieda.  (We did have a brief squib featuring McElhinney in my highlight reel from CPAC last February.)  It’s the perfect antidote to Matt Damon’s Promised Land, which, shall we say, isn’t exactly setting the box office on fire like »

The Hinderaker-Ward Experience, Episode 41: Simon, Teo and Armstrong [Bumped]

Featured image If you missed it over the weekend, Episode 41 of the Hinderaker-Ward Experience is a fun show, and still timely. I posted this on Saturday: Last night, Brian Ward and I covered the good–a terrific interview with Roger Simon and his wife Sheryl Longin–the bad–Lance Armstrong–and the ugly–the bizarre controversy over Manti Teo’s nonexistent girlfriend. This is how Brian described the podcast over at Ricochet: The Hinderaker-Ward Experience (HWX) podcast »

Have Morsi

Featured image Meeting Ayaan Hirsi Ali at the fourth annual Presidential Conference in Jerusalem this past June may have been my personal highlight of the year. I posted videos of my interview with her here and here. She is a true friend of Israel. In her comments Ayaan expressed high hopes for developments in Egypt. Paul Mirengoff discussed Ayaan’s comments in “The short term and the long term in post-Mubarak Egypt.” If »

Is Ned Ludd Writing for the Associated Press?

Featured image The Associated Press has undertaken an ambitious series of reports on the rotten U.S. and global economies. To its credit, the AP recognizes that our current recovery is, by any historical standard, awful: In the U.S., the economic recovery that started in June 2009 has been called the third straight “jobless recovery.” But that’s a misnomer. The jobs came back after the first two. Most recessions since World War II »

Unions’ Decline Continued in 2012

Featured image The numbers are out, and for unions they are grim. The Associated Press reports: Union membership plummeted last year to the lowest level since the 1930s as cash-strapped state and local governments shed workers and unions had difficulty organizing new members in the private sector despite signs of an improving economy. Government figures released Wednesday showed union membership declined from 11.8 percent to 11.3 percent of the workforce…. Overall membership »

A Tough Morning for Hillary

Featured image Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made her long-awaited appearance before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee this morning to testify on Benghazi. In her prepared remarks, Clinton said: “As I have said many times since September 11, I take responsibility.” But this is responsibility in its unique Washington sense of responsibility without consequences. Clinton remains in her cabinet position and, while four underlings have been reassigned, she herself has suffered no »