Scrapbook Archives

A Visit from Chair Priebus

Dec 28, 2015

'Twas the night before Christmas, when out on the stump

Not a creature was stirring, not even a Trump;

The pundits were poring o'er laptops with care,

In hopes that enlightenment soon would be theirs;

The pollsters were nestled all snug in their beds;

While margins of error tapdanced in their heads;

And Susan with Chekhov, and I with Lee Child,

Had just settled down for a fun evening wild.

When out in the drive there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from my chair to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,

Tore open the shutters, and threw up the sash.

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G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero

Dec 21, 2015

On December 2, George T. "Joe" Sakato died at the age of 94. Enlisting in the Army after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Sakato was assigned to the segregated 442nd Regimental Combat Team, a fighting force consisting of second-generation Japanese Americans that saw heavy action in Europe. The 442nd became the most highly decorated unit in the war thanks to soldiers like Joe Sakato.

In 1944, deep in the Vosges Mountains of France, Sakato and his platoon were tasked with finding the 1st Battalion/141st Infantry, what became known as the Lost Battalion. In the midst of a German counterattack, Sakato remembers a fellow soldier making the mistake of standing up and getting shot. He died in Sakato's arms.

At which point Sakato got

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No-Fly No-Gun Nonsense

Dec 21, 2015

President Obama spent the weeks leading up to the Paris and San Bernardino terror attacks talking about how ISIS was contained and shaming those who think the government won't do a good job screening the thousands of Syrian refugees he insists on America taking in. When reality suddenly eviscerated his credibility on these issues, the White House went casting about for a distraction and found one.

In a speech so terrible that it left Politico wondering if Oval Office addresses should become a thing of the past, Obama proceeded to demagogue Republicans for not passing legislation preventing people on the "no-fly list" from buying guns. This proposal is a nonstarter and utterly unserious.

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Time Gets One Right

Dec 21, 2015

In naming German chancellor Angela Merkel its "person of the year," Time has made a bold departure from tradition. Often as not, the magazine gives the honor to a vague collectivity: "the Peacemakers," "the Whistleblowers," "The American Soldier," "the Good Samaritans," the "Ebola fighters," "the Protester," and even—at its nadir of editorial inspiration in 2006—"You." And even that was an improvement on its practice of the 1980s, when Time conferred its honors on inanimate objects ("the Computer," "the Endangered Earth").

Merkel, by contrast, is actually a person. She actually did a great deal of importance this past year. She forced a plan on recalcitrant Greeks to resolve the crisis of Europe's single currency,

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Ryan's Beard

Dec 21, 2015

Contrary to popular belief, The Scrapbook is not interested just in affairs of state or in cultural controversies. The Scrapbook takes a healthy interest in trivial matters as well. Consider, for example, the new speaker of the House, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, whose boyish demeanor has caused a certain amount of comment in the nation's capital precisely because it is a little less boyish than before. That is to say, Speaker Ryan seems to be growing a beard.

This would not, in and of itself, mean anything other than the fact that Speaker Ryan is letting his beard grow.

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Wilsonians in the Woodpile

Dec 14, 2015

When a flying wedge of Black Lives Matter activists called the Black Justice League invaded and occupied the president's office at Princeton University in late November, they issued the standard list of nonnegotiable demands. And as might be expected, Princeton's president Christopher L. Eisgruber soon issued a groveling response—in effect, conceding to the league's intimidating tactics.

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Who Pays for Paid Leave?

Dec 14, 2015

Back in October, the Council of the District of Columbia made news when a majority of its members pushed for the most generous paid-family-leave program in the country: a whopping 16 weeks. And we do mean whopping. Sixteen weeks is longer than the 12 weeks supported by Hillary Clinton and the 14 weeks endorsed by Bernie Sanders. It even surpasses the paid-leave provided by the Communist government of the People's Republic of China. (Seriously, think about that.)

The proposal was lauded for its boldness by the Obama administration and others on the left. It is also extremely expansive.

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Double Standards

Dec 14, 2015

Does the American left collectively share responsibility for the Islamic terrorist shooting in San Bernardino? The Scrapbook doesn't believe in such a sweeping judgment, but if one were consistently to apply the left's own logic, they end up indicting themselves.

Recall that in the days leading up to the San Bernardino attack, the left was working overtime to blame the allegedly irresponsible rhetoric of Republicans and pro-life activists for the fact that an obviously mentally disturbed man killed three people at an abortion clinic. The Week's Damon Linker penned a column headlined "The deeply irresponsible rhetoric of the pro-life movement" that was typical of the genre. Much of the condemnation was disingenuous, but leave

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The Rules of Heckling

Jun 17, 2013

For the record, and strictly speaking, The Scrapbook is opposed to heckling. It’s rude, ill-mannered—and reflects poorly on the heckler, not the object of derision. This attitude may come as a surprise to, say, our friends in Great Britain, where Parliament resembles a bear pit at times, and every politician has a ready repertoire of snappy comebacks and devastating put-downs. But our political culture is different, as any C-SPAN viewer knows: The system of checks and balances demands a high level of civility, and public deference, no matter how insincere.

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