EDITORIAL

Speak Softly .  .  . and Fight Back

BY WILLIAM KRISTOL

Cartoon of a man writing "Death to U. S." on the side of a missile

The foiled Iranian plot to blow up the Saudi ambassador to the United States has met with a tough U.S. response. Tough talk. And lots of it. If words were dollars, the federal budget deficit would have disappeared, as U.S. officials from President Obama to Vice President Biden to Secretary of State Clinton have been waxing eloquent against assassinating ambassadors, condemning any and all who would order such a thing, insisting there will be repercussions, and promising “accountability.”

There’s been plenty of talk. But of course no action.

Image of Iranian flag with the shadow of a gun

The One-Way War

BY LEE SMITH

Last week, federal authorities arrested Mansoor 

Photo of money changing hands

‘Just the Way Business Works’

BY MATTHEW CONTINETTI

Of the many lame excuses used by the Obama administration to explain why the Energy Department extended a $535 million loan guarantee to the ...

ARTICLES

Boneheaded Economics

Magical thinking about jobs from liberal ­Democrats.

BY FRED BARNES

Cartoon of donkeys dressed as witches with a brewing cauldron

It’s not just the Occupy Wall Street rabble who are promoting unorthodox ideas (to put it kindly) about our economic plight and how to create jobs. They have friends in Washington. A few examples:

Barbara Lee, a House member from California, is upset about computerized checkout lines at grocery stores. She avoids lines with no flesh-and-blood checker. “I refuse to do that,” Lee said at a House Appropriations Committee hearing, “I know that’s a job or two or three that’s gone.”

Representative Jesse Jackson Jr. of Illinois is up in arms about the iPad, ...

Photo of annual pro-democracy parade march in Hong Kong

The Autumn of Hong Kong

Increasingly, it’s one country, one system.

BY ELLEN BORK

Hong Kong

Photo of the Federal Bank building

Republicans Learn Moneyball

Why the GOP candidates need to talk about the Fed.

BY JEFFREY BELL

Three Republican presidential candidates​—​Herman Cain, Ron Paul, and Newt Gingrich​—​have at least hinted about the desirability of a return to the ...

Photo of Herman Cain giving a speech

The Cain Surge

A to-do list for the new Republican frontrunner.

BY JOHN MCCORMACK

Just a few weeks ago, former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain was stuck in single -digits in the Republican presidential primary polls. Then, on ...

Photo of a protest sign that says, "Keep your hands off my Medicare!"

Duck and Cover

Romney is coy on entitlement reform.

BY STEPHEN F. HAYES

In late February, New Jersey governor Chris Christie visited Washington to deliver a highly anticipated speech on entitlement reform at the American ...

FEATURES

Time for Another Harding?

How a much-derided Republican president actually succeeded in cutting the budget and fixing the economy.

BY ALLIS RADOSH and RONALD RADOSH

Photo of President Harding

The presidential campaign was heating up, and the progressives in office were nervous about their chances of holding the White House. It was unclear at first which contender for the Republican nomination would get the nod, but when the candidate eventually was chosen they denounced him as “a confirmed and hopeless reactionary.” 

The year was 1920, and they were talking about Warren G. Harding. The editor of the New Republic foresaw dark days: Though no fan of the Democratic candidate (James Cox), Herbert Croly expected Harding’s Republicans to concede nothing to the progressives. The United States, he wrote shortly before the election, was about ...

Photo of Admiral Mike Mullen

The Pakistan Illusion

The friend of our enemies is not our friend.

BY THOMAS DONNELLY

During his four-year tenure as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen embodied the quiet professionalism of the American officer ...

Photo of a crashed train car

A Model to Avoid

The dark side of Chinese state capitalism.

BY YING MA

Big-government types in the United States are simultaneously seduced by the sizzle of China’s economic growth and envious of the rapid ...

Books & Arts

City of Faiths

What Jerusalem means to the world.

BY BENJAMIN BALINT

Pen and ink drawing of the Old City of Jerusalem

In the encounter between writer and city, there is a certain distance of perspective—neither blurringly close nor loftily Olympian—at which the urban subject comes into sharpest focus. In this well-proportioned narrative history of Jerusalem, Simon Sebag Montefiore pulls in close and trains a microscope on the lives of the more or less representative individuals who built, occupied, and razed this most storied of cities, and on the families—the Davidians, Herodians, Maccabees, Umayyads, Fatimids, Hashemites, and Husseinis—who forged it.

Taking in a thousand years of Jewish rule, 400 of Christian control, and then 1,300 years of Muslim governance, Montefiore, a British historian of Catherine the Great and of Stalin, divides Jerusalem ...

Photo of the entrance to the British Museum

Show Business

The case for the museum as ‘a world in miniature.’

BY AMY HENDERSON

This is a brief but vigorous defense of museums in the grand manner. Begun as the 2009 Campbell Lectures at Rice University, Museums Matter ...

Painting of Sir Walter Scott reading a paper

Scot on the Rocks

Why readers should rediscover Sir Walter Scott.

BY BARTON SWAIM

As recently as a century ago, Sir Walter Scott was known all over Europe and America. In life he had been the original literary celebrity, called ...

Photo of Professor Pera

A Western Blueprint

An atheist defends the Judeo-Christian ethic.

BY MICHAEL NOVAK

A movement is growing among atheists to demand honesty about their own intellectual convictions. Sooner or later, one by one, some face the fact ...

Photo of George Clooney in a still shot from the film

The Great Race

A political thriller more thriller than political.

BY JOHN PODHORETZ

The Ides of March is just about the last movie I expected to like.

CASUAL

Batman and the Gray Lady

Jonathan V. Last, comic collector

BY JONATHAN V. LAST

Comic book image of Batman

It’s never good when the New York Times covers comic books. 

Comics have existed in their own, mostly subterranean, culture for about 80 years, attracting very little notice from the wider world. Superheroes are born, villains are vanquished, and the people who care about comics indulge in their guilty, four-color pleasure in comfortable obscurity. 

But every once in a while, something in comics attracts public ...

SCRAPBOOK

Occupy the Washington Post

Photo of Wall Street protestors

One of the many unwritten rules of journalism is that business reporters should be temperamentally hostile to business. This is the opposite of another unwritten rule​—​that environmental reporters should be propagandists for environmental organizations​—​but, given the ideology governing most American newsrooms, it makes sense. On the business pages of most American newspapers, you will find business treated as a semi-criminal enterprise, and businessmen with disdain. 

The Washington Post is no exception​—​although the Post Company is a business enterprise like any other, if slightly more rapacious than most. Steven Pearlstein ...

PARODY

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