Jonathan V. Last

Jonathan V. Last is a senior writer at The Weekly Standard andeditor of the three humorous books on virtues:  The Seven Deadly Virtues: 18 conservative writers on why the virtuous life is funny as hell; The Dadly Virtues: Adventures from the worst job you'll ever love; and  The Christmas Virtues: A Treasury of Conservative Tales for the Holidays.

In 2013 he published What to Expect When No One’s Expecting: America’s coming demographic disaster, which might be the funniest book ever written about demographics. He lives in Virginia with his wife and three children.

Stories by Jonathan V. Last

Pope Francis Dismisses Cuban Dissidents

8:00 AM, Sep 23, 2015

On the continuing question of whether Pope Francis is a menace or a farce, the Holy Father offered another data point during an interview with members of the media aboard his flight to the United States on Tuesday.

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Would a Muslim President Be Good on Gay Marriage?

6:06 AM, Sep 22, 2015

Because presidential politics are as much about in-group signaling as actual policy, Ben Carson is locked in a media-generated controversy about whether or not he’d be down with having a Muslim president. Carson was asked about this deeply-important question on Meet the Press. He said no.

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Walker, Busted

5:05 PM, Sep 21, 2015

It’s hard to exaggerate how shocking it is that Scott Walker is out of the 2016 race on September 21.

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Pope Francis: Menace or Farce?

1:32 PM, Sep 19, 2015

Back in 1999, The Weekly Standard ran one of my favorite cover lines ever: The New Europe: Menace or Farce? I often think of that question when I watch Pope Francis.

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Is Everything We Know Wrong?

“This time is different”—again.
8:09 AM, Sep 18, 2015

Say what you will about the Romney 2012 campaign, but Stuart Stevens is bright, perceptive, and candid—always worth listening to.

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The Trump Show, Act II

A debate preview.
11:12 AM, Sep 16, 2015

It's fight night again and if the second GOP debate is anything like the first (no guarantees on that, by the way) then whatever happens tonight will shape the next several weeks of the race.

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The New Atlantis on Cloning

3:12 PM, Sep 11, 2015

Cloning is one of those ethical problems that seemed terribly urgent twenty years ago, but which, for some reason, dropped off of our collective radar. Ever wonder why? Well now the New Atlantis has the definitive answer.

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The Donald Keeps Getting Stronger

11:32 AM, Sep 10, 2015

We have a debate coming next week and far from fading, The Donald is now in the strongest position he's thus far occupied. He's at 28 percent in the RealClear average.

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Ashley Madison Was the Greatest Scam Ever

11:24 AM, Sep 02, 2015

You've probably now heard of Ashley Madison, a dating website set up explicitly for married people looking to have affairs. Their entire system got hacked--not just member accounts and credit-card info, but internal company data, too. And the most interesting stuff to come out of it isn't about Ashley Madison's clientele: It's about the company itself.

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Hillary Is In the Zone of Maximum Danger

An excerpt from Jonathan V. Last's free weekly newsletter.
1:05 PM, Aug 28, 2015

Let's check in with the big 2016 news from last week: Jim Gilmore? He gone. From the CNN debate, that is. I expect he'll be formally gone from the race soon and whoever manages to scoop up his support will be in the driver's seat to Cleveland.

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Remember Ebola?

An excerpt from Jonathan V. Last's weekly newsletter.
10:03 AM, Aug 13, 2015

You might think that you want to talk about the Greatest Debate Ever, but we're going to set that aside and let it breathe for a week. It was glorious, but there are more things in heaven and earth Donald Trump. For instance: Remember Ebola?

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High Intelligence, Low Information

A chat with a ‘Real American.’
3:45 PM, Aug 12, 2015

I live out in Real Virginia, which is to say the part of Virginia that is technically a D.C. exurb, but is populated almost entirely by normal people. My neighbors are teachers and plumbers and soldiers and engineers. Plenty of the folks out here work for the federal government, but none of them work in politics.

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The Best, Classiest Debate Ever

10:04 PM, Aug 06, 2015

Best debate ever, right?

But entertainment value aside, there were a handful of foundational clarifications about the candidates, if not the race itself. Quickly:

Donald Trump: Mark Hemingway joked:


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The Trump Debate

6:15 AM, Aug 06, 2015

Tonight is fight night and it could be the first inflection point we've seen in the race since June, when Donald Trump began his rise. In 2012 not every debate mattered, but the ones that did mattered a lot: Gingrich's rise came through the debates and Perry's collapse began not with his memory flub, but with his "you don't have a heart" immigration line.

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12:04 PM, Jul 29, 2015

You didn't think that the Donald was going to pay a price for insulting John McCain, 

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Truth Overruled: The Future of Marriage and Religious Freedom

11:42 AM, Jul 22, 2015

The lone bright spot last week was the release of Ryan Anderson's much-anticipated (by me, at least) book on Obergefell and the future of marriage.

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Open Season

Jul 20, 2015

We turn now to the suburbs of Philadelphia. Waldron Mercy Academy is a private school in Merion Station which takes children all the way from daycare at three months through eighth grade. It is not cheap—tuition for grades one through eight is $13,250 per year. Its campus sits nestled around an old convent in an upscale suburb and boasts all the bells and whistles. It has a long, low stone wall surrounding green lawns and athletic fields. In 2009 it was designated a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence.

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When Donald Met Ross (and Jesse the Body)

Remembering the first time Trump ran for president.
9:35 AM, Jul 17, 2015

In this week’s newsletter, I talked about Donald Trump’s electoral prospects in the context to two other reasonably successful, non-traditional candidates: Jesse Ventura and Ross Perot. My basic point is that voters are more likely to support fringe candidates than the establishment often assumes.

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Trump Is the Ghost of Ross Perot

9:17 AM, Jul 16, 2015

Before we begin discussion of Donald Trump, we must start with Kevin Williamson's epic burn from a few weeks ago, because it's the truest thing you've ever read:

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The Big, Fat, Gay Marriage Post-Mortem

1:38 PM, Jul 01, 2015

Look, it's not the end of the world.  

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Ben Wattenberg, 1933-2015

He had the courage to stand against the mob.
11:28 AM, Jun 29, 2015

AEI reports that Ben Wattenberg has died. I met him only once but had admired him for years, and it strikes me that he stands as a particularly important figure today.

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Socialist Sanders vs. Zombie Hillary!

7:01 AM, Jun 26, 2015

Bernie Sanders isn't Hillary Clinton's worst nightmare. He probably doesn't even crack the top five on Hillary's watch list. (I'm pretty sure it's Elizabeth Warren who keeps people awake at night Clintonland. Though, just for kicks, imagine what would happen if Michelle Obama decided to run. Do you think there's any chance Hillary could beat Michelle? Me neither.)

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You Will Be Assimilated

The same-sex marriage bait-and-switch
Jun 22, 2015

You may recall Brendan Eich. The cofounder and CEO of Mozilla was dismissed from his company in 2014 when it was discovered that, six years earlier, he had donated $1,000 to California’s Proposition 8 campaign. That ballot initiative, limiting marriage to one man and one woman, passed with a larger percentage of the vote in California than Barack Obama received nationally in 2012. No one who knew Eich accused him of treating his gay coworkers badly—by all accounts he was kind and generous to his colleagues.

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In the Occam's Razor View, Rubio Would Be the Nominee

12:05 PM, Jun 17, 2015

Let's stipulate to a few things concerning the Republican 2016 field:

* It's historically big, and unusually high quality.

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Strangers on a Train

A Martin O’Malley sighting in the wild.
12:15 PM, Jun 05, 2015

I took a 7:00 a.m. train this morning from Washington to New York and about an hour into my trip, I made my way to the café car for a cup of coffee. Standing at the little bar/work area was Martin O’Malley. He was just hanging out.

So far as I could tell, O’Malley had only one or two staffers with him. He was having coffee, too, and doing a little light office work. For the first few minutes, he was basically anonymous.

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The Bernie Boomlet

9:16 AM, Jun 04, 2015

Matthew Continetti wrote a great column last week about Bernie Sanders' quixotic quest for the Democratic nomination:

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Paul Ehrlich: Even Worse than the New York Times Says He Is

Environmentalism’s biggest clown and greatest monster.
11:45 AM, Jun 02, 2015

Everyone is talking about the New York Times piece exposing how utterly wrong, willfully blind, and insanely dangerous Paul Ehrlich is, and has been, for the last forty-seven years. There’s video, too.

This is great, I guess.

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Casual Podcast: The Grass is Not Greener

6:50 PM, May 31, 2015

THE WEEKLY STANDARD Casual Podcast, with Jonathan V. Last reading his casual essay "The Grass Is Not Greener."

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Gay Marriage Goes Beyond 'Bake Me a Cake'

1:35 PM, May 27, 2015

Over the last few years, the gay marriage movement has transformed from "equality for all" to "bake me a cake." As it picks up steam, the movement looks more and more totalitarian, both at home and abroad.

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World's Largest Hotel: For Muslims Only

Discrimination is a terrible thing, but only when the wrong people do it.
2:33 PM, May 26, 2015

The Guardian had a story last week about the soon-to-be completed Abraj Kudai, a new hotel in Mecca which will have 10,000 guest rooms, 70 restaurants, four helipads, and five floors reserved for the sole use of the Saudi royal family.

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