This issue: May 10, 2010 (Vol. 15, No. 32)
The most transparent administration in history withholds national security information.
On May 1, 2009, Republican senator Christopher Bond wrote to President Obama with questions about the handling of detainees from Guantánamo Bay. Bond, vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, was concerned about reports that an increasing number of transferred detainees were going “back to the battlefield to kill American soldiers.” He asked a series of specific questions about the detainees and the process for releasing or transferring them.
Almost a full year later, on ...
When bipartisan debate fails, Dems fall back on a knuckle-sandwich approach to politics.
The omens are everywhere. Iran is close to obtaining nuclear ...
Sleep through the commencement speech.
The sunlit season of college commencement has been darkened this year with news of plagiarism. The school paper at Connecticut College, the College Voice, reported last month that one of the speakers at last year’s commencement, a graduating senior called Peter St. John, wowed his audience with a speech that had been lifted paragraph by paragraph from another commencement address given at Duke in 2008 by the writer Barbara Kingsolver.
The incident raises all the usual grisly plagiarism questions, some easier to answer than others. Ask why St. John stole another person’s words, and the answer is obvious: He couldn’t come up with a speech on his own, so in a display of bad character, he took what ...
A comparison that does Obama no favors.
In the famous first 100 days of Franklin Roosevelt’s presidency in 1933, legislation creating the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Tennessee Valley Authority, and the ...
The return of the Gurkhas.
Lashkar Gah, Afghanistan
Another terrible idea from the folks who brought you Obamacare.
Those who think the federal government needs even more debt and more responsibilities will love Florida Democrat Ron Klein’s Homeowners’ Defense Act. Everyone else should treat ...
Just when you thought the environmental movement couldn’t get worse.
Environmentalism is growing increasingly antihuman. Having left Teddy Roosevelt-style conservation and Earth Day consciousness-raising behind, the cutting edge of the movement is ...
The Obama Justice Department—most opaque ever?
Attorneys who formerly represented al Qaeda members detained at Guantánamo now labor at the Justice Department representing the United States and shaping policy regarding treatment of those detainees. Yet the attorney general refuses to disclose the names of those who worked closely on detainee matters before joining the Obama administration.
In mid March in Senate testimony, Attorney General Eric Holder (whose former law firm Covington & Burling likes to tout its work for Guantánamo detainees and who personally filed an amicus brief on behalf of attempted “dirty bomber” Jose Padilla, which he failed to disclose at his confirmation hearings) proclaimed in response to a request from ...
Don’t expect real reform from the Wall Street Democrats.
"Now, the Senate Republican leader, he paid a visit to Wall ...
The Obama administration fumbles relations with India
In 1998, President Bill Clinton flew over Japan without stopping on his way to spend nine days in China. This led to acute concern in Tokyo over “Japan passing”—the belief that ...
Keeping up with the connoisseurs
Adventures in the New French
by Robert V. Camuto
Nebraska, 212 pp., $24.95
Chapter and verse on Moscow’s campaign to subvert America
Francis Asbury was the tireless face of Methodism in America
Accentuating the positive at the Whitney
At this late date in the history of Western civilization, bashing the Whitney Biennial is such an inveterate habit among art critics that even to acknowledge the fact, as I have ...
Not quite the ‘sharp little movie about ordinary people.’
I was reading along in an article in the New York Times Magazine about a woman who reacted to being fired from a rather cushy job by working out her depression through overeating, when I came upon the following sentence: “I put the plate of peanut better, a half bottle of wine, a glass and a linen napkin on a tray and climbed back to my bedroom.” Ah, thought I, “peanut better, what can be butter?”
Why do people take such pleasure in discovering typographical errors—typos, in the trade term—especially in putatively august publications? I confess I do. Is there a touch of Schadenfreude in it? Not so much “see how the mighty have fallen” as “see how sloppy, sadly ...
Every now and then the congressional habit of naming federal programs and structures—buildings, aircraft carriers, courthouses, grants and scholarships, military installations—after members of Congress is not such a good idea. The Scrapbook remembers with fondness, for example, the 1977 bribery case against former Rep. Edward A. Garmatz, D‑Md., which was prosecuted in the Edward A. Garmatz Federal Courthouse in Baltimore. (The charges were eventually dropped when a witness proved unreliable.) Now the Navy might be about to perpetrate a similar embarrassment.
That’s because Secretary Ray Mabus, a former Democratic congressman and governor of Mississippi, has decided to name a new San Antonio-class ...
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