David Rodeback's Blog
Local Politics and Culture, National Politics,
Saturday, January 27, 2007
The Week's Excellent Readings
There's much discussion of President Bush's State of the Union speech and the issues it touched, but a lot of other good stuff, too.
Favorites: Everything but the State of the Union Speech
Orson Scott Card's essay from a couple of weeks ago on President Bush's speech about the war in Iraq (and beyond) is must-read, both for its picture of how and why events have transpired and what we should do now. (Card is a Democrat, by the way.) One excerpt:
George Will takes an insightful and rather witty look at the airline industry. His explanations have the indispensible virtue of clarity.
Steven Malanga makes a case you don't hear every day: Rudy Giuliani is a conservative.
How important could quotations from a couple of dead white guys, William Shakespeare and H. L. Mencken, really be? Very important, in this case. Walter Williams applies them to the current religious fervor over alleged human-caused global warming. (You may already have realized that my previous sentence qualifies me as a war criminal, in some environmentalists' view.) Williams also quotes a letter signed last year by "60 prominent scientists," which says in part:
Dean Barnett tells of some Republicans who are finally acting out their anger with Republican "Congresscritters," and doing so in a reasonable way. Here is his conclusion:
Jonah Goldberg explains:
You'll want to read what brings Maggie Gallagher to write:
Ken Blackwell writes of victory and defeat, and the battles that never end. Don't miss the excellent Elie Wiesel quotation near the end.
Flemming Rose and Bjorn Lomborg are two guys Al Gore will not debate, because they accuse him of distorting, inventing, and ignoring evidence in his single-minded pursuit of an environmentally obsessed, economically suicidal -- and, please note, homocidal -- world.
Victor Davis Hanson explains a serious, long-term solution for illegal immigration that isn't talked about much these days.
Thomas Sowell explains that greed makes a flimsy economic theory.
Pete du Pont explains the sham of "pay as you go."
Daniel Henninger writes that our pessimism is contributing to our defeat in Iraq, and he explains its roots.
Favorites: State of the Union
John Podhoretz calls the speech gracious, and says President Bush found a new political voice. During his interesting analysis, Podhoretz notes that Democrat behavior strongly suggested they don't want to win in Iraq.
Larry Kudlow offers his own survey of the economic state of the Union.
Paul Greenberg waxes eloquent about the speech, current circumstances, political calculation, etc.
Ben Stein's lynch mob detector is going off. This is an insighful article.
Alan Reynolds takes apart the bizarre, imaginative, and very familiar economic claims in Senator Webb's response.
Robert Novak reports that President Bush already had Senator Reid's and Speaker Pelosi's rejection in his pocket when he mentioned forming a bipartisan advisory council on the war. Here's the beginning of the article:
That could be the most overt snub of a presidential overture since Abraham Lincoln was told that Gen. George B. McClellan had retired for the night and could not see the president. Courtesy aside, it shows that the self-confident Democratic leadership is uninterested in being cut into potentially disastrous outcomes in Iraq.
Steve Chapman isn't crazy about the energy portion of the peach.
Michael Barone offers a good play-by-play, in reverse, of the speech, including notes on who applauded what. This is best read after you've been through the speech itself.
Michelle Malkin takes up the immigration section of the President's speech. Note that she doesn't believe him -- as many conservatives don't -- when he says there will be no amnesty, partly because she seems to believe that a guest worker program is amnesty. (At least at the end of the piece she suggests that there's more to solving the problem than building a fence.) Along the way, she also notes the important fact that we don't have the functioning bureaucracy necessary to solve this problem.
Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., describes the urgency and importance of President Bush using his State of the Union address to turn small minds to the unpleasant facts.
Linda Chavez explains the medical insurance proposals in the speech.
Want to read what happens when a conservative book hits a liberal nerve squarely? Read Alan Wolfe on the new Dinesh D'Souza book -- an excerpt from which was listed here among last week's favorites. Stalin, Satan, McCarthy -- these, supposedly, are D'Souza's heroes, based on the Wolfe's reading of the book. Maybe if they call him enough names . . .
Here Dinesh D'Souza himself explains several liberal myths that just ain't so, where Iraq, Iran, Osama bin Laden, and Islam are concerned.
Michelle Malkin and others have caught the Associated Press with its facts down -- again. Some mosques AP reported were blown up . . . weren't. And there's more. (Good grief. Facts mean nothing. Obey your politics . . .)
Even the Left gets it right sometimes. Senator Barbara Boxer apparently has decided that the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is not a nice organization. Joel Mowbray explains.
Benny Morris describes the second Holocaust, "in five or 10 years' time."
Lorie Byrd doesn't pull any punches. She says the Democrats don't want victory in Iraq.
Jeff Emanuel writes of al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) and its recent plans for attacks in the US.
Around the World
Masha Lipman describes Russia's economic and political conditions.
Austin Bay reports on the ongoing stabilization of the Balkans, eight years after the war, and suggests a lesson or two for application in Iraq.
Paul Weyrich explains that the international race to militarize space is on, even if the Left in the US doesn't care to believe it.
Writing of Israel, Caroline B. Glick explains that rule of law and rule of lawyers are opposites.
National Issues: More on the Speech
Hugh Hewitt identifies the key paragraph in the President's speech and offers a flattering historical comparison.
Charles Krauthammer says the energy independence proposals are useless, and says there are three things we can do now: tax gas, drill in the Arctic, and use nuclear power. He finishes this way:
Perhaps President Bush should have engaged Michael Medved to help with the speech?
Jonathan Alter gushes about Senator Jim Webb's response for the Democrats.
Jonah Goldberg notes that, when the Democrats had a chance to applaud the notion of victory in Iraq, they sat on their hands.
Mona Charen saw them sitting on their hands, too. Here are two paragraphs, one from near the beginning, then the last.
National Issues: 2008 Presidential Race
Jonathan V. Last says Mitt Romney has some hurdles to clear, but -- and I think this is intended as a compliment -- he also says:
Michael Barone muses on the flaws in our method of selecting presidential candidates, and therefore presidents, and what, if anything, we can do about it.
Joan Vennochi discusses John McCain's worries about Mitt Romney and his possible courses of action.
Barack, Hillary, Iraq, the BMA . . . Mark Steyn melds them all into a commentary on our postmodern politics.
Dick Morris and Eileen McGann write that the major Democratic presidential candidates are racing each other to the left.
Don't look now, but they're monkeying with the presidential primaries. Peter A. Brown reports.
Neal Boortz describes the Hillary Clinton the BMA won't portray. Warning: This blog post is not for people who think we should always say nice things about everybody. It is caustic in tone and unflattering in its description of New York's junior Senator.
Bill Murchison explains that policy matters more than race or sex.
Mr. Tony Blankley is not buying Ms. Hillary Rodham Clinton's renewed desire to have a nice chat. He's a bit tongue-in-cheek and somewhat sarcastic at times, but he has a point about the presidency.
Jeff Jacoby calls Democratic presidential candidates' silence on the war dangerous.
So if you're Hillary, and you're running for President, what do you do with Bill? Michael Medved explores the possibilities.
National Issues: The New Congress
George Will profiles Barney Frank, the new chair of the House Financial Services Committee and his unusually coherent, unusually liberal thoughts.
Robert Novak explains the damage which will be done by the House's newly-passed student loan bill, if it becomes law. (One more 100-hour fraud.)
Jonathan Gurwitz tries to figure out what the Democrats will do after the "first 100 hours."
National Issues: Everything Else
Did you know the tomato needs to be liberated? Paul Jacob explains one very small recent step for tomatokind.
Paul Greenberg writes that judges should be very, ahem, judicious in their public speeches.
Debra J. Saunders describes the political difficulty of limiting the California state government's spending, and throws some thoughts our way about public transit in the process.
James J. Kilpatrick recounts recent arguments before the US Supreme Court in a teachers' union case.
David Strom notes that we're about to get another warning about the end of the world.
See also "Favorites" above.
Donald Lambro offers a clear explanation of the well-known but unintended consequences of raising the minimum wage. Here, he summarizes:
Phyllis Schlafly explains that nationalizing the public schools is really not what we need to do, thank you very much.
Henry T. Edmondson III offers some educational insights, inspired by a visit to Italy.
The Culture, Broadly Defined
Orson Scott Card offers a long and thoughtful essay on parenting and children, a pet topic.
Clarence Page pays tribute to the late Art Buchwald.
Paul Greenberg remembers a colorful uncle.
Unspam Technologies, a Park City software company, is using Bayesian analysis to predict the best and worst films of this year's Sundance Film Festival. Some folks clearly have more fun with math than others.
Debra J. Saunders reports on a California state legislator who wants to make spanking a child a crime. Her party affiliation will not surprise you.
Jennifer Roback Morse has some thoughts on spanking, too.
Clear Registered Traveler may get you through the airport quicker.
George Will defends Jon Will's right to life. Here's the last paragraph:
James J. Kilpatrick insists that since is not an acceptable synonym of because, no matter what the dictionaries say.
Lenore Skenazy spent the afternoon giving away twenties, in honor of Larry Stewart.
Suzanne Fields suggests that a women without a man may not be like a fish without a bicycle.
According to this brief Deseret News article, John Dougall (R-American Fork) is proposing that local governments be required to maintain e-mail lists for notifying residents of public meetings. That amendment may actually kill a bill that would otherwise wrench required meeting notifications closer to the twenty-first century.
Congressman Chris Cannon received a less than ideal reception at the Utah State Legislature, according to this Alan Choate story.
American Fork, American Fork, and Thereabouts
Stephen Speckman writes of Slamdance and American Fork.
Bob Mims reports on one sign that Utah's high-tech sector might be slowing down.
According to Barbara Christiansen, the answer to American Fork's problem with noxious air in the pool bubble is ultraviolet light, and the price tag is $60,000.
Copyright 2007 by David Rodeback.