State Fair 2014

Featured image We went to the State Fair yesterday. As always, the sheer scale of the thing was stunning. Literally. Maybe a city exists, somewhere in the Orient, as crowded as the Minnesota State Fair, but I haven’t been there: The Midway is where the rides are. Also the hairy lady, some sort of dwarf, and other oddities used to be exhibited there. Are they still? I don’t know. But the Midway »

When Barry gets blue, cont’d

Featured imageMichael Goodwin devotes his New York Post column this morning to the spectacle of President Obama orating on the beheading of James Foley by the Islamic State and golfing with his buddies a few minutes later. In the New York Times, Peter Baker and Julie Davis assured us that, appearances to the contrary notwithstanding, everything was copacetic. I thought their evidence was thin at best. I wrote about Obama’s statement »

Eric Holder shows he isn’t interested in real justice

Featured imageEric Holder candidly acknowledged his objective in the Michael Brown case when he stated, “my commitment. . .is, long after this tragic story no longer receives this level of attention, the Justice Department will continue to stand with Ferguson.” One might have hoped that the Justice Department’s commitment in this instance would be to justice, rather than to standing with any particular group or geographic location. The two goals are »

The Perry recipe?

Featured imageOur Austin correspondent directs us to what she calls “the Rick Perry recipe for lemonade,” available from RickPAC. She thinks that readers might be interested in ordering “before these T-shirts sell out.” She just ordered hers and notes that this is the only link that works. »

Scott Brown appears to be closing the gap in New Hampshire

Featured imageYesterday, I wrote about a new poll from Kellyanne Conway’s firm that found substantial public support for a hard line on immigration policy. Other pollsters may be seeing the same phenomenon because certain Republican Senate candidates — notably Scott Brown, Tom Cotton, and Terri Lind Land — have been running ads sounding the hard line theme. Given the diversity of the states in question — purple Michigan, red Arkansas, and »

Sen and Sensibility on Climate

Featured imageI’ve never quite made up my mind about Harvard’s Amartya Sen, the Nobel Prize winner in economics who also traffics in philosophy—a rather rare combination. Sen has an article in the current issue of The New Republic with the promising title “Stop Obsessing About Global Warming,” noting sensibly (or should that be “Sen-sibly,” just as we used to say Irving made everything “Kristol-clear”) in the subtitle that “Environmentalists are ignoring »

The Week in Pictures: Junior Varsity Blues Edition

Featured imageNothing speaks confidence and clarity like having the President refer to the surging ISIS battalions in the Middle East as the “JV team,” while your special forces—our varsity squad—are unable to rescue American hostages. Maybe that’s because we have a JV President. I was recalling yesterday Russell Kirk’s great line dismissing the John Birch Society charge that Eisenhower was a Communist: “Ike isn’t a Communist, he’s a golfer.”  If Kirk »

Hamas at work

Featured imageI believe that Hamas killed more Gazan Arabs than Israel did on Friday. You may have read that Hamas summarily executed 18 Palestinians on Friday, as in this YnetNews report. The YnetNews report combines Reuters, AFP, and AP reports with its own reportage and includes chilling photographs such as the one below that you may not have seen elsewhere, even if you caught up with an article on the killings. »

Headline of the Day

Featured imageMaybe it’s a sign of a warped sense of humor, but I found this headline from the AFP hilarious: Living Forever May Never Be Possible: Study What would we do without studies? »

Add some music to your day

Featured imageI first heard the late Kenny Rankin back in the day on Minneapolis’s KQRS when it was a freeform FM radio station, in the late ’60 or early ’70s. I liked what I heard (probably his “Peaceful” or one of his many covers of Beatles songs), but forgot about him for a long time until I heard John Pizzarelli and Jessica Molaskey talking him up and playing his music on »

What do Americans believe about immigration?

Featured imageKellyanne Conway has released the results of a new poll on immigration. The poll takes a deeper look at the issue than any survey I recall seeing. It finds that (1) immigration has become a massive issue, (2) neither political party has an edge on immigration, but (3) the issue represents a major opportunity for Republicans if they adopt a stance that favors American workers over immigrants. A majority of »

Will Democrat Money Avert a Republican Sweep?

Featured imageYou might think that Democratic Party donors would close their wallets this cycle out of embarrassment, but you would be mistaken. As Kim Strassel reports in the Wall Street Journal, the Democrats are winning the money race. Kim argues that the Democrats’ incessant attacks on Charles and David Koch have worked. Those attacks have two purposes: to stir up Democratic donors, and to intimidate Republican donors. Both goals, she thinks, »

Two Wongs don’t make a…

Featured imageSenate Majority Leader Harry Reid apologized yesterday. Not for his false and defamatory attacks on Mitt Romney or the Kochs, but for the putative offense taken by someone somewhere at his slightly off-key “Asian-themed jokes” before the Las Vegas Asian Chamber of Commerce. No offense was taken by the group or, so far as we can tell, by the audience, but the ritual apology issued when America Rising posted video »

White House Violates First Rule of Holes

Featured imagePresident Obama’s bizarre performance on Wednesday, when he took a brief break from his vacation to make a statement on James Foley’s murder and then teed off minutes later, grinning and fist-bumping, has drawn criticism from just about everyone–even the New York Times. I wouldn’t have thought the White House could make the embarrassment any worse, but deputy press secretary Eric Schultz, who is with Obama on Martha’s Vineyard, achieved »

What Are Your Kids Learning In School? [Updated]

Featured imageProbably we should all be past being shocked at what goes on in the public schools, but I confess that an email I got today from Devin Foley of Better Ed shocked me. It quoted descriptions, written by Twin Cities area high school teachers, of how their schools teach literature classes. This one comes from Edina High School, which was once known as an excellent institution: Acceptance and inter-cultural understanding »

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Featured imageLast week John noted that he went out shooting for recreation. I chase after ocean-going wildlife.  But somehow I keep forgetting my harpoon.  Anyway, here’s two short highlight reels of the action this week.  Call the first one “The Porpoise-Driven Life.”  Okay, groan if you want to.  The second one has some great whale-on-whale action: »

Fraud? Did You Say Fraud?

Featured imageLiberals who defend Obamacare used to point to the VA as an example of how the government could provide universal health coverage just dandy. Well, that talking point has rather disappeared down an Orwellian memory hole. Another favorite talking point was that the government’s low administrative costs for Medicare proved that private insurance, with their higher overhead, were inefficient profiteering price gougers, etc. That was one reason for Obamacare’s mandate »