Monthly Archives: December 2013

The year in reading

Featured image Scott has done a great job handling the year-end list department. But I thought I would add Tevi Troy’s discussion of his year of reading. Tevi offers praise for two books about the 2012 presidential race — Mark Halperin’s Double Down and Dan Balz’s Collision 2012. As much as I respect Tevi, I’m going to pass on these two works The 2012 campaign was too painful, and I could never »

How Obama Thinks We Should Live: A Reader Responds

Featured image Paul’s dissections of the Obama administration’s “affirmatively furthering fair housing” initiative have been characteristically cerebral. But a reader responds a little more, shall we say, viscerally. Sit back and enjoy: Nothing surprising here–it’s the strategic end state, the logical culmination of the racially and economically just society…the final elaboration of the means to destroy the deep structures in society that produce most social evils, especially discrimination and racism from which »

Obama moves to impose his vision of how we should live, Part Two

Featured image I wrote here about the Obama administration’s proposed rule on “affirmatively furthering fair housing” (AFFH), an attempt to dictate how we shall live. I argued that, in essence, President Obama seeks to use the power of the national government to create communities of a certain kind, each having what the federal government deems an appropriate mix of economic, racial, and ethnic diversity. To get a good idea of what this »

A liberal mugged by reality

Featured image Mark Andrew is a prominent Minneapolis Democrat. He served as long as he wanted to as a Hennepin County (Minneapolis and inner-ring suburbs) Commissioner, from 1982 until he resigned from the Hennepin County Board in 1999. He served a term as chairman of Minnesota’s Democratic Farmer Labor Party in the mid 1990s. Last month he came in a distant second in a crowded field running for Minneapolis mayor, though it »

This Is Why You Build Pipelines, Kids

Featured image A former State Department official who told me not long ago that Canadians are baffled—and exasperated—with President Obama’s opaque stance on the proposed Keystone pipeline.  This seems rather simple to me: Obama is in the clutch of the environmentalists, and the Canadians simply don’t understand that Obama is heedless of U.S.-Canadian trade relations.  Keystone has made blockheads out of the administration, which is why I think we should be calling »

Justice takes a back seat in Israel thanks to John Kerry

Featured image I wrote here about Israel’s decisions (1) to release convicted terrorists as part of the renewed “peace process” that John Kerry is pushing but (2) to announce that it will proceed with new construction beyond the “green line” even though Kerry clearly does not want Israel to engage in such building. I suggested that the second decision is an attempt to make the first decision — a major concession — »

The NY Times Looks In the Wrong Place for Corrupt Academics

Featured image Academic research of all kinds receives funding from a variety of sources. Does the money taint the research? That is a complicated question that sometimes deserves to be asked. But this hit piece by David Kocieniewski in the New York Times, titled “Academics Who Defend Wall St. Reap Reward,” is a disgrace. Kocieniewski attacked two economists, Craig Pirrong and Scott Irwin, who have argued that “speculators” do not drive up »

On the Moon Landing, Nixon Was Prepared For A Worst-Case Scenario

Featured image From the Daily Mail, a fascinating historical document that I had never seen before: in July 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon for the first time. In those days, America’s space program took real risks–remember Apollo 13–and it was by no means certain that Armstrong and Aldrin, having landed on the moon, would be able to return. So William Safire, one of Richard Nixon’s speechwriters, prepared »

A setback for the Democrats in Montana

Featured image The Republicans are favored to pick up the Montana Senate from which Democratic Senator Max Baucus is resigning. The most recent poll I’ve seen showed Republican Rep. Steve Daines leading Lt. Gov. John Walsh, the Democrats’ front-runner, by 17 points. However, the Democrats are hoping to provide Walsh with some momentum by appointing him to fill out Baucus’ term. That, at least, has been the speculation. But Walsh may lose, »

The Climate Change Gods Must Be Crazy

Featured image I mentioned a couple of weeks ago here that the climate change crusade has unraveled so badly that it has become a bore to follow.  The media and the public started losing interest long ago.  In designing an environmental policy course for next semester, several faculty told me “students are really bored with the subject,” and advised sidestepping climate for the most part.  Has anyone seen Al Gore lately?  I’m »

Why won’t Obama target Benghazi ringleader?

Featured image My initial reaction to the New York Times’ revisionist account of Benghazi was that if there’s anything to the story, Congress should hold hearings to test, in light of the new information, the competing versions of who and what were behind the attacks. This remark was intended to point out that Benghazi revisionism might be a dangerous game for Hillary Clinton and her supporters to play. I made the same »

Fools and knaves: New York Times edition

Featured image A reader who has previously contributed to this series writes to comment on David Kirkpatrick’s New York Times story on the Benghazi massacre. I have tried to set off the quotations he includes in the text of his message with links to sources. If I have missed any such quotations below, it is an oversight on my part. I think the message makes a contribution to understanding this chapter of »

Rough Sox

Featured image Like so many prominent Democrats, Eliot Spitzer, formerly the Governor of New York, was born rich, the son of a billionaire. His vast wealth apparently gave him a sense of entitlement, which he expressed most famously as Client Number 9. Spitzer’s attachment to prostitutes derailed his political career, but probably not for long. Meanwhile, one of his call girls has written a book in which she says that Spitzer liked »

The NY Times’ Attempt to Whitewash Benghazi: Not Just Wrong, But Futile

Featured image Paul and Tom Joscelyn have done an excellent job of dissecting the New York Times’ revisionist account of Benghazi. The Times, attempting to shore up Hillary Clinton’s 2016 candidacy, tries to show that the attacks on American facilities in Benghazi that took place on September 11, 2012, were not orchestrated by al Qaeda. The paper’s reporter reaches this conclusion, as Paul and Tom show, by simply ignoring most of the »

The New York Times — off the rails for an ulterior motive

Featured image One shouldn’t question the good faith of a news report merely because one disagrees with the report’s conclusions. But David Kirkpatrick’s revisionist Benghazi account in the New York Times invites doubt about his commitment to unbiased reporting about that tragic affair. My doubts stem both from the reporting itself and from what a person whom Kirkpatrick interviewed told me. Let’s begin with the reporting. Kirkpatrick centers his account on one »

How the New York Times tried to airbrush al Qaeda out of Benghazi

Featured image Yesterday, in discussing the New York Times’ claim that, as far as it can tell, neither al Qaeda nor any other international terrorist group had a role in the Benghazi attack, I wrote: The Times chooses to focus on a militia leader named Ahmed Abu Khattala, whom it characterizes as “an erratic extremist” and very much his own man. But I believe that other leaders connected to the attack have »

Republicans Are Overwhelmed By A Sea of Democratic Cash

Featured image The Minneapolis Star Tribune investigates independent political spending over the last few election cycles. The results are stark, but won’t surprise anyone who has been paying attention: A Star Tribune analysis of ­campaign finance records found that just three dozen individuals or entities have contributed more than $27 million to political action and independent expenditure committees over the past three election cycles. The analysis shows those donations heavily favored Democrats. »