This issue: August 29, 2011 (Vol. 16, No. 46)
In his Inaugural Address, President Obama quoted from Thomas Paine’s The Crisis: “Let it be told to the future world that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive, that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet it.”
And so, ironically, it will be told to the future world that in 2009 and 2010, Americans from city and country, alarmed at the common danger of President Obama’s agenda, came forth to meet it. They repudiated his program, after he’d sought to take advantage of the crisis he ...
Congratulations to President Obama for finally calling on Syrian president Bashar al-Assad to step down. It was past time for the White House to break decisively with a regime ...
‘Sports diplomacy lives!” raved a former national security official traveling with the Georgetown University basketball team on a visit to China timed to coincide with Vice ...
That is Paul Ryan’s question.
For months the Republican presidential campaign has been a sleepy affair. The biggest news was that one supposedly top candidate had refused to criticize the frontrunner. Riveting.
The last week changed all of that. Michele Bachmann, once regarded as a sideshow candidate, won the Iowa straw poll, narrowly beating Ron Paul, still regarded as a sideshow candidate. Then would-be contender Tim Pawlenty dropped out. And whatever momentum Bachmann might have gained was halted by the announcement of Texas governor Rick Perry, who not only emerged as a first-tier candidate but is leading in at least one national poll.
In Republican politics, it’s Texas.
Whether he wins the nomination or not, Rick Perry’s August charge into the top echelon of GOP presidential hopefuls marks at least this ...
The arc of the Obama presidency bends towards failure.
Now more than halfway through his third year in office—with the economy flat-lining, American prestige evaporating, and public anxiety ...
A federalism debate on the right.
Campaign events tend not to be the first place to look for nuanced constitutional debate; the Lincoln-Douglas encounters are the exception ...
Ohio state treasurer Josh Mandel takes on Sherrod Brown.
It’s not so conservative.
There’s no question that Chris Christie, the tough-talking hero of the right, is more conservative than the last Republican elected governor ...
The unintended benefits of a protracted conflict
What was supposed to be a short police action by NATO has turned into a protracted conflict, but the Libyan people may be the long-term beneficiaries of the unexpectedly long war here. In the Western Mountains, hit hard by the conflict, Abdul al-Razaq, an oilfield technician from Sabratha before the war, explained from his brigade headquarters in Zintan: “In Tunisia and Egypt the revolutions were from the top. They changed their president. In Libya, our revolution has started from the bottom.” The need—and time—to rethink institutions from the bottom has given democracy the space to trickle upward in Libya.
The Texas governor enters the race
Britain’s conquest of the Ottoman Empire.
Winston Churchill titled the final volume of his World War I memoir The Unknown War. The topic of that volume was the Eastern front, but the title could just as well have described the Great War against the Ottoman Empire in Mesopotamia (the present Iraq) from 1914 until 1918, and its aftermath. While at the time considered a sideshow of the Great War, the British invasion of Mesopotamia was to have far-reaching geopolitical and strategic consequences. These consequences were recognized at the time by Archibald Wavell, a British officer who served with distinction during the Great War, when he prophetically declared, at the close of the peace conference, “After ‘the war to end war’ they seem to have been pretty successful in Paris at making a ‘Peace to end Peace.’ ”
‘Because I wanted to be pretty again.’
The main reason I wanted to read Prime Time, which is Jane Fonda’s latest book—there have been others—about Jane Fonda, is because of its cover. On the right-hand side, next to a large color photograph of the actress, her lips painted the precise ...
The torment of a novelist in Nazi Germany.
Otto and Elise Hampel were improbable German resisters. By all accounts, the working-class, middle-aged couple accepted Hitler’s New Order up until 1940. Then, during the invasion of France, Elise’s brother was killed—and something snapped in them. The pair ...
Making movies that meant something.
One of the biggest box-office hits of 1969 featured a 10-minute scene with a husband and wife getting ready for bed during which a hilarious argument slowly builds and then erupts about six minutes in. Such a patient and leisurely sequence would be ...
Matt Labash, rough-and-tumble dad
As a child-rearer, I’ve always prided myself on my carefree attitude and libertine ways. No “helicopter parenting” for this guy, no childproofing my children’s childhoods. If the kids set themselves on fire with their Zippos, not a problem—they can just douse the flames with their beers. Likewise, I fancy myself the family’s Director of Funtivities, as my nephews who are forced to call me “Funcle Matt” will attest.
This summer, however, I’ve sensed a chilly disinterest with my sons, Luke, 11, and Dean, 8. Maybe it’s just them getting older, but lately they’ve eschewed our living-room wrestling bouts and rounds of trampoline murderball, opting instead for the more cerebral rewards of Wii’s Super Smash Bros. Brawl or SpongeBob television marathons. This panics ...
Far be it from The Scrapbook to begrudge Barack Obama his summer vacation. The president, like all presidents, has earned the right to a little rest and recreation. And in the midst of Obama’s various missteps, miscalculations, and misery-inducing labors on the nation’s behalf, he no doubt welcomes time away from the Oval Office. Our only quibble is with his choice of venue: Martha’s Vineyard. More about that in a moment.
Of course, few presidents ever mollify their roughest critics, and when they lay down their burdens at taxpayers’ expense, out come the sticks and stones. Criticism of Obama’s time off—the mere fact that he is taking it, ...
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