Conservatism

Why conservatives should be wary of criminal sentencing reform

Featured image The war on standards in America proceeds on multiple fronts. Employers are under pressure to lower employment standards; public schools to lower student discipline standards; colleges to lower admissions standards; banks to lower lending standards, and so forth. America’s most basic standards are those embodied in its criminal laws. These standards are enforced through the penalites (usually in the form of prison sentences) associated with non-compliance. Conservatives generally have tried »

Clearing my spindle, NR edition

Featured image I have been catching up on the past three or four issues of National Review between breaks in the programming on the NR cruise. Yesterday’s stop in St. Maarten interrupted the excellent programming that is the main attraction of the cruise. When the programming resumed, it kicked off with a panel on feminism featuring NR roving correspondent Kevin Williamson and Christina Hoff Sommers responding to questions presented by Jay Nordlinger. »

Recalling the Buckley legacy

Featured image The National Review Institute put together the video below featuring the estimable William F. Buckley, Jr., the founding editor of National Review and the man without whom….well, listen to George Will’s voiceover tribute in the video. NRI unfurled the video last week at the dinner awarding NRI’s first annual Buckley Prize. The video covers a lot of territory in six minutes. It does so in a manner calculated to raise »

A conversation with Christopher DeMuth

Featured image In the newly posted installment of Conversations with Bill Kristol, we meet up with the formidable public intellectual Christopher DeMuth (complete video below, broken into six chapters here, transcript here). As president of the American Enterprise Institute from 1986 to 2008, DeMuth built AEI into a powerhouse. He currently serves as a distinguished fellow at the Hudson Institute. In this conversation, Kristol and DeMuth discuss political thinkers including Edward C. »

The New Normal and Millenial Voters

Featured image The Obama administration is in many respects a more sinister version of the Carter administration. Now, as then, we hear talk of a “new normal.” Pundits and news people who recognize that the economy is lousy, but can’t believe that liberal policies are the cause, conclude that we will just have to get used to slow growth, lower incomes, massive underemployment and a fast-rising cost of living. This “new normal” »

Hispanic Voters Are Reagan Voters!

Featured image That’s the message of this hard-hitting new anti-Mark Udall ad in Colorado, which is lighting up the internet this morning. The ad, produced by Conservative War Chest, is playing in both Spanish and English. It is aggressive, to put it mildly; it will be fun to hear the Democrats squawk about it over the days to come. The ad represents the most meaningful effort I have seen to take seriously »

Scruton to the Rescue

Featured image Roger Scruton has a new book out How To Be a Conservative.  Does Roger publish a book every week?  It sure seems like it sometimes; I’m still working my way through The Soul of the World. Anyway, if you’re running behind on your reading pile, as I always am, you should avail yourself of Richard Reinsch’s interview/podcast with Roger about his new book at the Liberty Fund’s indispensable LibertyLawSite.  (In »

Mark Steyn: Preview and retrospective

Featured image Mark Steyn takes note of his appearance yesterday at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis for an audience convened by our friends at the Center of the American Experiment. Mark warmed up for his speech with an interview conducted by Dave Thompson on location in Orchestra Hall, broadcast on News Talk 1130 AM and 103.5 FM (video below). The interview went down before Mark’s speech and gave a good preview of it. »

Mark Steyn Live

Featured image Last night, Scott and I, along with around 900 others, had the great pleasure of hearing Mark Steyn at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis. The occasion was the Center of the American Experiment’s Fall Briefing. I had expected Mark to talk (among other things) about his Michael Mann lawsuit–if you’ve just returned from an extended trip to Albania, Mann is trying to shut up Mark, National Review and others by suing »

Sabo Strikes Again: Gwyneth Paltrow Edition [Updated]

Featured image The emergence of anti-Obama street art over the last couple of years has been a welcome development, which we have reported on several times. Most recently, an artist who calls himself Sabo decorated actress Gwyneth Paltrow’s neighborhood just before her scheduled fundraiser (what else?) with President Obama. Apparently Sabo has been interviewed on Fox News, so his identity may be known, just not to me. This Sabo poster calls Paltrow »

The Science Is Settled: Conservatives Are Happier, Neater, and Smell Better, Too

Featured image We know that conservatives are happier people than liberals, but did you know the latest social science says we’re neater people and smell better, too? From the wonderful annals of social science: A 2006 report from the Pew Research Center showed that 45% of conservative Republicans reported being very happy, as compared to 30% of liberal Democrats. According to the report, this “partisan happiness gap” had shown up in surveys »

Krauthammer’s million

Featured image Last night on the FOX News Special Report, Bret Baier announced that Charles Krauthammer’s collection of columns (mostly) — Things That Matter — has sold a million copies. It is a remarkable achievement for a book of previously published pieces by an author who is a pundit and not a political player in his own right. Aside from the merit of the pieces compiled in the book — a big »

HuffPo Has a Scoop: Conservative Candidates Appreciate the Support of Conservative Donors!

Featured image Someone–possibly an attendee, possibly a member of the hotel staff–audio taped a Koch-sponsored conference that was held in California last June. This, I take it, was one of the twice-a-year seminars that Koch puts on, by invitation, for conservative donors and others. Three Republican Senate candidates, Joni Ernst, Tom Cotton and Cory Gardner, participated in a panel titled “The Senate: A Window of Policy Opportunity for Principled Leaders.” Whoever recorded »

Katie Kieffer: Message to the millenials

Featured image My young friend Katie Kieffer is one of two beautiful and conservative Katies with books out this summer. Katie Pavlich is the author of Assault and Flattery:The Truth About the Left and Their War on Women, seeking to corral women to the conservative cause. Katie Kieffer is out with Let Me Be Clear: Barack Obama’s War on Millennials, and One Woman’s Case for Hope, seeking to corral millennials to the »

George Will begs the question and blames America

Featured image Last year George Will wrote a disappointing column on the Obama administration’s interim deal with Iran. The problem with Will’s columns is its assumption that Iran can be contained/deterred. Will assumes without argument that doctrines of containment and deterrence are viable in the case of Iran; he assumes what is to be proved, i.e., he begs the question. Two fundamental problems undermine his assumptions. First, Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons »

Up From Liberalism—Now More Than Ever

Featured image I first read William F. Buckley’s classic 1959 treatise Up From Liberalism when I was in high school a long long time ago, and recently picked it up off the shelf for a quick re-reading.  And I’d recommend everyone read or re-read it, as many parts of it hold up extremely well, and could be deployed even more urgently today.  For example: The salient economic assumptions of liberalism are socialist.  »

Harry Jaffa on the Famous “Extremism” Speech

Featured image Paul noted yesterday the 50th anniversary of Barry Goldwater’s famous—or infamous—convention speech in 1964.  Has there ever been another convention speech before or since that is as well recalled for a single line?  Only William Jennings Bryan’s “Cross of Gold” speech comes close. Harry Jaffa, who turns 96 in a few weeks, reflected some time ago about the famous line—”Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice”—and his role in »