Monthly Archives: September 2013

What ever happened to the Washington Nationals?

Featured image On Opening Day of this year’s baseball season, with expectations sky-high for the “World Series or bust” Washington Nationals, I wrote, “teams that looked as good as the Nats do on paper have played .500 ball over the course of the long season.” This statement wasn’t intended to be prophetic. It was simply a word of caution in an otherwise gushing post. I expected the Nationals to approach or exceed »

It Looks Like a Long Night

Featured image The House has passed its latest government funding proposal, which would also delay Obamacare’s individual mandate by one year, and cancel taxpayer subsidies for health insurance for Congressmen and their staffs and senior political appointees in the executive branch. This latest measure passed on a 228-201 vote. For what it’s worth, the Republicans are now picking up a few more Democratic votes. Nine Democrats voted with the majority this time. »

How the Other Side Sees the Shutdown Battle

Featured image I’ve been getting inundated with fundraising emails from the Democrats over the last few days, each one more hysterical than the last. This one ostensibly came from Barack Obama, on behalf of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee: From: Barack Obama Subject: This has gone too far John — This has gone too far. House Republicans are threatening to shut down the government — and potentially default on our bills for »

Why Obama is unlikely to compromise

Featured image President Obama has thus far refused to entertain the idea of a compromise with House Republicans that would avoid a government shutdown. From all that appears, he won’t even negotiate. The primary reason for his refusal is political. He believes that the public will place primary blame on Republicans, thereby giving his presidency and his Party some needed much needed momentum. Frankly, I think Obama is probably right about this. »

Still More Climate Follies

Featured image Yesterday I noted a sentence from the draft Chapter 9 (“Evaluation of Climate Models”) of the IPCC’s full climate science report that reads: The ability of a climate model to make future climate projections cannot be directly evaluated. . . Well, today the “final” report was posted online (“final” because the IPCC says it may still be re-written to conform to the politically-determined Summary for Policymakers), and this sentence has »

A government shutdown primer

Featured image Since the odds now favor a government shutdown, it’s time to figure out what a shutdown would and would not mean. Politico offers this guide from the Associated Press, which seems largely devoid of the AP’s usual pro-Democrat spin. A shutdown would not affect the delivery of mail or of Social Security and Medicare benefits. The airports would remain up and running with no impact on air safety traffic control. »

How to Fix the Humanities

Featured image Over on the Minding the Campus website, there’s a symposium up today on how to fix the humanities in higher education, with contributions from seven fine thinkers.  Mine is listed first: Rescuing the humanities from the slough of postmodernism and its other debilitating afflictions would require replacing many of the current faculty in our universities with new faculty that is not hostile to our civilization and its principles.  This is »

From Tehran with Quds

Featured image You may have missed the news over the weekend that Israeli intelligence authorities apprehended an Iranian spy of Belgian nationality as he was departing the country two weeks ago. Haaretz reports the story here and the Washington Post here. What was he scoping out on behalf of his paymasters in Tehran? He apparently hadn’t received word that it is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius in Tehran: On his »

You Can’t Say That!

Featured image Britain, like Germany, is trying to find a way out of its ruinous commitment to costly renewable energy.  Yesterday Britain’s environmental minister blurted out what is surely on the minds of many Brits: modest warming would be beneficial to Britain: Owen Paterson, Britain’s secretary of state for environment, food and rural affairs, says effects of global warming could be beneficial. The cabinet minister responsible for fighting the effects of climate change claimed »

The lesson for today

Featured image The Medal of Honor Society convened its annual meeting in Gettysburg earlier this month. Nearly half of the 79 living Medal of Honor recipients attended this year’s meeting. Several of them stopped off for an appearance at the Gettysburg Middle School to share their thoughts. Among them was my friend Leo Thorsness, author of the incredibly powerful memoir Surviving Hell: A POW’s Journey. Stars and Stripes leads off its report »

A look at Minnesota’s Somalis, but not too close

Featured image With the horrendous terrorist attack at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Somali al Qaeda affiliate al Shabab is back in the news. We still don’t know the identity of the perpetrators, or whether any of them had made their way to al Shabab from Minnesota or points elsewhere in the United States. I trust that time will. For now we have the New York Times visit to Minneapolis to pass »

The elusive Plan C

Featured image Tomorrow, the Senate will reject the House’s Plan B — i.e., to fund the federal government for the next few months, with: a one-year delay in Obamacare, repeal of the medical device tax, protection of servicemen’s salaries, and postponement of Obamacare’s requirement that employers pay for their employees’ birth control. The fact that Harry Reid has waited until tomorrow, and quite possibly tomorrow afternoon, to reject Plan B shows that »

The Associated Press Goes to Bat For the Democratic Party

Featured image Why do Republicans never seem to come out ahead politically when they go toe-to-toe with the Democrats? Part of the reason, at least, is that the press, to a greater extent than at any time in our history, is monolithically Democrat. The most important news organ is the Associated Press, whose articles appear in hundreds, or possibly thousands, of newspapers around the country. The AP pretends to be a neutral, »

Is Netanyahu as charming as Rouhani?

Featured image Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is here in the U.S. for a three-day visit. On Monday, he will meet with President Obama. The Jerusalem Post describes the visit as an attempt to offset Iranian Prime Minister Rouhani’s “charm offensive.” Unfortunately, anyone clueless and/or anti-Israel enough to be charmed by Rouhani will be immune to the charm of Netanyahu which, to the extent it can be detected, consists of speaking truth to »

Meanwhile, Back In Africa…

Featured image …forty Nigerian college students have been murdered by Muslim terrorists. The attack was not as spectacular as the Nairobi mall massacre, but it was deadly: Suspected Islamist militants stormed a college in northeastern Nigeria and shot dead around 40 male students, some of them while they slept early on Sunday, witnesses said. The gunmen, thought to be members of rebel sect Boko Haram, attacked one hostel, took some students outside »

Breaking Glad

Featured image Former Qwest CEO Joseph Nacchio served a 64-month prison sentence that recently ended with his release. (Nacchio served time following conviction on 19 counts of insider trading. The convictions were reversed by a panel of the Tenth Circuit and reinstated by the full court.) The Wall Street Journal reports on Nacchio’s time behind bars in “Tales from a white-collar prison sentence” by Dionne Searcey (behind the Journal’s jealously guarded paywall, »

Today’s Climate Follies

Featured image As I read through the surprisingly underwhelming IPCC Summary for Policy Makers released Friday, I was struck by one of Matt Ridley’s comments in the London Times a couple of days ago (unfortunately behind a subscriber firewall that I can’t seem to breach with the usual tricks): In the climate debate, which side are you on? Do you think climate change is the most urgent crisis facing mankind requiring almost »