Monthly Archives: October 2003

News flash from E.J. Dionne

President Bush has lost the support of many hawks on Iraq. Does this mean that Victor Davis Hanson and Cliff May have jumped ship? Well, not exactly. It’s those hawks over at the Progressive Policy Institute and the Democratic Leadership Council whose support, such as it might have been, the president has squandered. Under the auspices of these groups, a panel of Democratic foreign policy specialists has issued a policy »

Specious protection

We haven’t had much to say about the biggest story of the week — the fires in southern California. This is a topic that falls well outside of any expertise I might have, and perhaps the same is true of my colleagues. Hugh Hewitt, on the other hand, is an environmental lawyer, and he has been all over the subject of the fires in his blog and in his Daily »

Notes on mojo

I could swear this is a ScrappleFace story hacked into the CNN site, but it is apparently authentic: “Rumsfeld unsure of missing ‘mojo.'” According to the lead in the CNN account: “U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has said he does not know whether or not he has lost his mojo, as a leading news magazine suggested, largely because he doesn’t really know what mojo is. ‘Is Rumsfeld Losing His Mojo?’ »

Sour Grapes from Krugman

Poor Paul Krugman had to write his Friday column on the day after last quarter’s spectacular economic results were announced. What did he have to say about the good news? I’ll spare you the suspense. He wasn’t impressed. Krugman actually admits that “it’s possible that we really have reached a turning point.” Still, he can’t bear to give President Bush any credit: “If so, does it validate the Bush economic »

Car wars

Charles Krauthammer assesses our chances of winning the “car bomb war” being waged against us in Iraq. He notes that car bombs are the nuclear weapon of guerilla warfare and proved decisive in Lebanon. This time, Krauthammer thinks, the car bomb war “consists of a race.” That is, “he United States is racing to build up Iraqi police and armed forces capable of taking over the country’s security — before »

What went wrong?

The November issue of Commentary carries David Frum’s interesting review of Al Franken’s number-one best-seller Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right. The review is “Inside joke.” Frum carefully weighs the book’s merits, both substantive and satirical, and essentially finds none. But it is his consideration of the meaning of the book’s popularity among liberals that makes the review worth reading. »

Henry Kissinger and the fall of Allende

The Amreican Enterprise Institute has made available Mark Falcoff’s important contribution to the literature on the fall of Salvador Allende: “Kissinger and Chile.” Falcoff’s piece is the lead article in the November issue of Commentary magazine and is otherwise unavailable. You won’t want to miss Falcoff’s consideration of the evidence, some of it previously unreleased, but here is his conclusion: “The United States did play a role in Chile, though »

“Insert Heimlich Manuever here”

Diana West gets paid to follow public affairs with the kind of attention that brought her to focus on the White House celebration of Ramadan earlier this week. I, on the other hand, am a volunteer observer of public affairs with a normal threshold for pain. On occasion I therefore avert my eyes from events that I know will hurt too much to witness. Thanks to Diana West, I didn’t »

Reasoning to a stalemate

George Will considers the death penalty and concludes that its use is contrary to reason. He reaches this conclusion after juxtaposing the views of Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (pro death penalty) and attorney-novelist Scott Turow (against it). Romney cites three reasons why the death penalty should be used in some instances — its deterrent effect will prevent some murders; it expresses and reinforces society’s “proportionate revulsion” against the most heinous »

Aesthetic Value, Mostly

The photo below shows the northern lights, around midnight, over the Matanuska Glacier in Alaska. This is almost exactly the spot where I spent three months earlier this year. The lights are enhanced by the magnetic solar storm now emanating from the Sun. Actually, the point does have significance beyond the aesthetic. The Sun produces energy at a relatively constant, but still varying, rate. It is the variations in energy »

Here’s the Spin

The New York Times admits that today’s great economic news “gave Mr. Bush and his party a compelling piece of evidence to back their assertions that they have put the nation back on the road to prosperity a year before Election Day.” Earlier today I wondered what the Dem spin would be. Here it is, from troglodyte Democratic Senator Kent Conrad: “The president’s policy, as I see it, props up »


The economic data for the third quarter are amazingly good: GDP increased at a 7.2% rate, the highest since 1984, mostly as a result of the tax cuts. (That was true in 1984, too.) Spending on durable goods was up 26.9%, after a 24.3% gain in the second quarter. Business spending rose 11.1%, its fastest pace since the first quarter of 2000. Real final sales–GDP minus the change in private »

Iraqis Don’t Give Up; Why Should We?

These two headlines from today’s papers say a lot about what is going on in Iraq: “Rebels Attack; Int’l Groups Bolt Baghdad”; and “Iraqi Police Stay on Job Despite Attacks.” From the latter story: “‘I am not afraid of these people. This is our country. If we don’t defend it, who will?’ Sgt. Akeel Muteb said as he was pinned with the Iraqi equivalent of a Purple Heart. Muteb, who »

Blowing the whistle

The Minnesota Democratic Party needs a candidate who can run in camouflage against the incumbent Republican congressman of Minnesota’s Second District, our friend John Kline. Today’s Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that the Minnesota Democratic Party is recruiting FBI agent Coleen Rowley to run against Kline: “DFL woos FBI’s Rowley.” I called Rowley to ask her a question about 18 months ago, when Kline was working as the chief operating officer »

Radical lies

In his New York Post column today Eric Fettman draws attention to a new book that unmasks the lies behind the successful campaign to release Kathy Boudin from prison for her role in the Brinks robbery that resulted in the murder of three law enforcement officers: “Kathy Boudin’s lies.” Warning: Don’t read this one if you have high blood pressure. On a related note, Fettman also has a review of »

The political geography of the mainstream

Ann Coulter’s column today is an outstanding defense of Justice Janice Rogers Brown against the assault on her by liberal politicians and their megaphone at the New York Times: “The ‘mainstream’ is located in France.” In its combination of analysis, satire, ridicule and humor it is classic Coulter. Coulter notes the political utility of the liberals’ rhetorical strategy in stigmatizing nominees such as Justice Brown: “Fortunately for liberals, soccer moms »

Who Needs North Dakota?

I’m back from a couple of days in New York. During a break in a deposition today, my witness pointed out this opinion piece by the New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof: “Make Way for Buffalo.” Kristof argues that “parts of ten states”–a “large chunk of the plains,” apparently including most or all of North Dakota–should be turned into a “Buffalo Commons,” where buffalo and other wild animals would roam free. »