EDITORIAL

We Do Not Know

BY WILLIAM KRISTOL

Picture of giant red question mark

“The phrase ‘I do not know’ becomes inexpressibly bitter once one has proclaimed oneself to be a pundit, if not a polymath, especially when station, office, and dignity seem to demand that we should know.”

—Moses Mendelssohn, Jerusalem, or
on Religious Power and Judaism
(1783)

Mendelssohn ...

Photo of President Obama with General David Petraeus, Robert Gates and Joe Biden

The President & the Generals

BY FREDERICK W. KAGAN

The New York Times reported last week that President Obama decided not to apologize to Pakistan about the U.S. airstrikes that killed ...

Photo of U.S. troops in eastern Afghanistan in November 2011.

Losing Afghanistan?

BY GARY SCHMITT and JAMIE M. FLY

Marines are known for their bluntness, so it was not surprising to see the matter-of-fact honesty of General James Amos, commandant of the Marine ...

ARTICLES

Bobby, We Hardly Know Ye

Governor Jindal’s unheralded success story.

BY FRED BARNES

Photo of Obama and Jindal discussing the oil spill on May 2 2010

Baton Rouge

Bobby Jindal is forgotten but not gone. He followed the surest path of all to lose the attention of the national media. More than a year ago, he announced he wouldn’t run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012. Except for a spate of news coverage last year when, as governor of Louisiana, he had to cope with the BP oil spill, Jindal all but vanished from the national political scene.

Now he’s reemerging, and for good reason. He has a success story to tell or for others to ...

Photo of Gingrich sharing a laugh with supporters

The New Newt

He’s tanned, rested, and ready—and having a good time on the campaign trail.

BY MICHAEL WARREN

Bluffton, S.C.

Photo of Nicholas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel

Crisis of the Eurozone Divided

Someone’s gotta give.

BY CHRISTOPHER CALDWELL

A lot of intelligent money people think this is make-or-break week for the euro. They say that by Friday, December 9, either ...

Photo of Nebraska abortion clinic

Romneycare and Abortion

Iowa’s social conservatives weigh the candidates.

BY JOHN MCCORMACK

Mitt Romney erased any doubt that he’s playing to win the Iowa caucuses when he rolled out his first campaign ads in the Hawkeye State last week. A glossy paper mailer pitched Romney to socially conservative Iowans as ...

Photo of a Buenos Aires bank

Tango Lesson

The Argentine preview of the eurozone crisis.

BY ANDREW STUTTAFORD

There are good days and bad days, but even on the good days the abyss is never too far away. The eurozone’s dangerously original mix of innovation, ...

Photo of Barack Obama

Alabama Slammed

Obama’s mendacious case against an immigration law.

BY QUIN HILLYER

Mobile

Photo of The British embassy in Tehran under siege on November 29

The Thirty-Year War

Iran policy goes from failure to failure.

BY LEE SMITH

The storming of the British embassy in Tehran last week by the Islamic Republic’s Basij loyalists is evidence that fevered paranoia is now part of ...

FEATURES

Climategate (Part II)

A sequel as ugly as the original.

BY STEVEN F. HAYWARD

Photos of Phil Jones and Michael Mann

The conventional wisdom about blockbuster movie sequels is that the second acts are seldom as good as the originals. The exceptions, like The Godfather: Part II or The Empire Strikes Back, succeed because they build a bigger backstory and add dimensions to the original characters. The sudden release last week of another 5,000 emails from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) of East Anglia University​—​ground zero of “Climategate I” in 2009​—​immediately raised the question of whether this would be one of those rare exceptions or Revenge of the Nerds II

Before anyone had time to get very far into this vast archive, the climate ...

Books & Arts

There at the New Yorker

The wit and wisdom of Wolcott Gibbs

BY JOSEPH EPSTEIN

Photo of Wolcott Gibbs, Dorothy Parker, and James Thurber

The New Yorker, like New York itself, is always better in the past. In the present, it seems always to be slipping, never quite as good as it once was. Did the magazine, founded in 1925, have a true heyday? People differ about when this might be. The New Yorker’s heyday, it frequently turns out, was often their own.

I began reading the magazine in 1955, at the age of 18—not my heyday, which, near as I can tell, has yet to arrive—drawn to it originally because someone ...

Painting of Oliver Cromwell

Friends Indeed

How and why the Jews have thrived in England.

BY DANIEL JOHNSON

In the last words of this book, the author quotes her brother Milton Himmelfarb in one of his last essays: “Hope is a Jewish virtue.” Nobody embodies that virtue more felicitously than Gertrude Himmelfarb, who over a ...

Photo of consumers

The Mighty Dollar

A wealth of worthless observations about money.

BY P.J. O'ROURKE

Dr. James Roberts, professor of marketing at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, exhorts us to curtail our consumer spending. Here’s a place to start. Don’t buy this book.

Painting of the school of Athens

Classical Gas

Seeing things in the Hellenic world that aren’t there.

BY JAMES SEATON

Until quite recently it was generally believed in the West that an acquaintance with the ancient classics was the mark of a civilized individual, one whose personal views were grounded in the moral and cultural norms of ...

Movie still from Hugo

Closely Watched Trains

A railway station in 1930s Paris, and cinema magic.

BY JOHN PODHORETZ

How many rhapsodic adjectives can be summoned up to describe Hugo, Martin Scorsese’s new movie in 3D? Well, perfect comes to mind, ...

CASUAL

Marion Montgomery, 1925-2011

Joseph Bottum on Marion Montgomery

BY JOSEPH BOTTUM

Photo of Marion Montgomery

I was at the clock-repair shop when a friend called with the news that Marion had slipped away—Marion Montgomery, the great Southern critic and teacher. I was dropping off my grandfather’s broken watch when the call came. I was standing at the counter, holding a run-down timepiece, when my friend told me. And the clocks on the wall ticked, and ticked, and tocked. 

The pocket watches on faded velvet pads beneath the scratched counter glass. Wristwatches, too: whole armfuls of old Timexes and Rolexes, Omegas and Cartiers. That pseudo-Swiss cuckoo thing on the back wall. The battered case clock looming in the corner. The table clocks, with gilded feet and little pillars on the sides, like miniature temples to forgotten gods. ...

SCRAPBOOK

D.C.’s Discrimination Escalation

Cartoon of Marion Barry

Readers outside of Washington may or may not be aware that there has been a more or less continuous movement, since the late 1960s, to grant statehood to the District of Columbia, the nation’s capital city. It came about as close to success as it ever will during the Carter administration (1978), when a constitutional voting rights amendment passed Congress but failed to be ratified by the requisite number of states. 

The Scrapbook isn’t about to rehearse the arguments for or against statehood; we simply mention this fact by way of introducing the latest reason why statehood will never be granted to the District. Councilman Marion Barry​—​the onetime four-term mayor of Washington​—​has just introduced legislation to add ...

PARODY

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