This issue: May 30, 2011 (Vol. 16, No. 35)
Do House Republicans want to kill the elderly? If you listen to the left these days, you’d certainly think so. Last week, a liberal advocacy group called “The Agenda Project”—which claims to advance “rational, effective ideas in the public debate”—released an ad showing a look-alike of House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan pushing an old woman in a wheelchair off a cliff. “Is America beautiful without Medicare?” the ad inquires of viewers. “Ask Paul Ryan and his friends in Congress.”
Nor is it only rabid interest groups that have succumbed to such appeals. Kathleen ...
In his speech at the State Department on May 19, President Obama called Egypt essential to the future of democratic reform in the Middle East and North Africa. As the largest and most influential Arab country, Egypt could in large part determine the course of ...
Dominique Strauss-Kahn and the downfall of France’s elites.
Dominique Strauss-Kahn, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, was not just rich and powerful. He was also, until last Saturday, the likely next president of France. So commanding was his lead that rumors had been flying since April that Martine Aubry, his chief rival for the Socialist nomination, would soon drop out of the race.
Even if the idea of Strauss-Kahn as their head of state is something the French were only trying on for size, no people can be comfortable seeing their potential leader marched around as an accused rapist, particularly under the customs of an alien legal system. The French are indignant at the “perp walk,” the tradition of marching an arrestee before the video cameras that is former U.S. attorney ...
French women are starting to speak up.
Rein in the spending hidden in the tax rules.
President Obama is increasing government spending even faster than the budget numbers imply. That’s because some of his increased spending ...
But he hasn’t undergone a full conversion.
President Obama’s speech on May 19 outlining the administration’s Middle East policy vindicates his predecessor’s freedom agenda, though the ...
Notre Dame drops trespassing charges against pro-lifers.
Early this month came the news that Notre Dame has agreed, at last, to drop the trespassing charges it had been pressing against the ...
Thank you, Illinois taxpayers, for my cushy life.
After 34 years of teaching sociology at the University of Illinois at Chicago, I recently retired at age 64 at 80 percent of my pay for ...
The one-room schoolhouse is alive and well in Alaska
Thorne Bay, Alaska
The Southeast Island School District in remote Alaska is a tad different from yours and mine. Take the case of Garrick Obern-dorfer, who commutes to the Thorne Bay school over a half mile of ocean in a 15-foot skiff, a bit tricky in the pitch dark or in four-foot waves. Garrick is 15. On the opening day of trapping season—think mink, otter, and ermine—scads of students skip school (as do some teachers) to run their trap lines. No worries. It’s a perfectly legit excuse to be late to school if you kill a deer en route and stop to dress it. Deer tacos are popular here. In science class, students dissect—what else?—a deer. When a visiting writer goes to a principal’s house for supper, he isn’t sent home with an extra slice of apple pie; he’s given a beaver pelt. Meanwhile, a local ...
The new senator from Kentucky is not his father’s clone—or is he?
I was interviewing Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky on February 17, in his temporary office in the Russell building on Capitol Hill, when ...
The two-wheeled approach to happiness.
It’s All About the Bike
The Pursuit of Happiness on Two Wheels
by Robert Penn
Bloomsbury, 208 pp., $20
In this age, when an Olympic gymnast is unable to make it through a floor routine without a ...
Why Montaigne is worth knowing.
When I Am Playing with My Cat, How Do I Know That
She Is Not Playing with Me?
How the story of the Holocaust gets retold.
The End of the Holocaust
Is Rome’s newest museum an ornament, or not?
Even visitors who know Rome well are unlikely to venture north along the Via Flaminia, beyond the Aurelian Walls that encircle most of the ...
‘Bridesmaids’ is a triumph for both sexes.
Joseph Epstein, last of the news-watchers
By the time you read this, Katie Couric will no longer be the anchorwoman on the CBS Evening News. She could not do what she was paid $15 million a year to do: bring up the ratings for CBS prime-time news and with them its advertising revenues. Both fell further during her tenure. While advertising revenues are down 9.1 percent for prime-time news shows generally, CBS’s revenues fell, according to the Wall Street Journal, a full 23 percent.
I have been among Katie Couric’s dwindling audience, and, in perhaps a slightly perverse way, I shall miss her. Prime-time news in Chicago goes on at 5:30 p.m., which is drink time chez Epstein: specifically, time for a glass of cold Riesling and a handful of Paul Newman pretzels, which, as the spoonful of ...
The Scrapbook had been looking forward to the commencement exercises at Catholic University on May 14, mostly because of the donnybrook that was expected to erupt over the choice of commencement speaker: GOP House speaker John Boehner.
A few days before the ceremonies at the Washington campus, over 80 academics (about 30 of them from Catholic) had distributed an open letter to Boehner declaring that his “voting record”—that is, his support for drastic budget cuts and a revamping of Medicare and Medicaid—was “among the worst in Congress” in terms of abiding by the Catholic church’s “most ancient moral teachings” that require the powerful to ...
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