This issue: January 30, 2012 (Vol. 17, No. 19)
Right diagnosis. Wrong prescription. That’s the fairest way to describe Rick Santorum’s idea to provide tax breaks for “manufacturing.” Leave aside the definitional issues—some of us at The Weekly Standard who “manufacture” ideas might qualify for the benefit he intends for others. The solution to the problem of unemployed and anxious blue collar voters lies in trade rather than tax policy.
Everyone agrees on three things.
Last week, Syrian security forces withdrew from Zabadani, a town near Damascus where defectors from the army and other antiregime elements had been exchanging heavy fire with the army. In Lebanon, some democracy ...
On to Florida.
Myrtle Beach, S.C.
An hour before the Republican presidential debate started on January 16, a relaxed Mitt Romney strode confidently behind the scenes at the cavernous convention center, past an empty concession stand, stepping over the thick cables alongside the bustling Fox News workspace to get his makeup for the big event. Hands in his pockets and wearing a suit without a tie, Romney smiled as he chatted with three of his top advisers—Eric Fehrnstrom, Ben Ginsberg, and Stuart Stevens. If Romney looked like a man without a care in the world, who could blame him? He had won the first two contests of the 2012 presidential ...
Who knows what the first marriage is really like?
We have good news for all you skeptics who’ve been wondering whether you should trust the gossipy stories in the new book The Obamas: You can stop ...
The AWOL Democratic Senate.
The Senate often goes into recess. This year it’s going a step further. It’s going into hibernation.
The liberals’ dirty little secret.
On January 1, 2012, Maine became the first state to ban smoking in all low-income public housing. Twelve thousand poor people faced ...
How North Korea and Iran can militarize ‘civilian’ nuclear plants.
At first blush, our government’s approach to head off Iranian nuclear weapons with tighter sanctions and military threats seems totally at ...
Can a Republican win a congressional seat in Portland, Oregon?
Lake Oswego, Oregon
Ohio’s natural-gas bonanza.
Starting in March 2011, a series of microearthquakes hit Ohio. The first few registered just above 2.0 on the Richter scale and were not ...
Ron Paul and his supporters.
In early May, a little over a week after President Barack Obama ordered the raid that killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, Texas congressman ...
To the rear, march!
You can criticize Barack Obama—and fear not, I’m about to—but he has been a consequential president. Obamacare, his signature domestic accomplishment, is a substantial step toward the government-run health care program that Democrats have long desired. It may be hard to get rid of, even with a Republican president and congressional majorities. Undoing the effects of Obama foreign and defense policy won’t be any easier. Beginning with the Libya intervention, the president has been charting a new direction for American strategy and acting with great energy to create a fait accompli that will make it difficult for a successor to reverse course. The leading-from-behind Obama Doctrine consists of three main tenets: a smaller, secret, and “silent” approach to the Long War in the greater Middle East; a “Pacific pivot” that would deter ...
Democracy flourishes with conflict.
We have Occupy Wall Street to thank for the already grating tendency among pundits to sort the American people by percentages. The possibilities for such categorization are endless. There are, of course, the 1 percent of Americans who make more than $516,000 a year and the 99 percent who do not. But there are also the 21 percent of Americans who identify as liberal and the
79 percent who do not; the 28 percent of Americans who hold an undergraduate degree or higher and the
72 percent who do not; the less than
1 percent of the population that watches the O’Reilly Factor on a given night and the more than 99 percent that does not; and the 39 percent of Americans who attend religious services on a weekly basis and the 61 percent who do not.
Has the death of the ‘physical’ book been exaggerated?
It’s had a great five-hundred-year run . . . but it’s time to change.
Does the fall of Qaddafi mean the rise of tourism?
Blood, sweat, and tears at an English public school.
Set amid the historic halls of England’s Harrow School, The White Devil plumbs the literal depths of a shambling student residence known as the Lot to uncover a dank and sinister mystery linking one ...
New York’s museums are mysteriously averse to the New York School.
New York’s art museums are shirking two crucial civic duties. One is to show major artworks, not just buy them. The other is to serve the ...
Joseph Bottum, in search of the right(-speaking) man
The angry man at the town-council meeting snarled, “As Harry Truman put it, ‘There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.’ ” “No,” answered his tension-easing neighbor, “that was Mark Twain. You remember, the guy who also said, ‘The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco’—and he should have been talking about the weather we get around here.” Everybody laughed, and the council moved on to water rates.
Except, of course, that Harry Truman didn’t coin that phrase about lying statistics, and Mark Twain only quoted it, attributing the line in 1906 to Benjamin Disraeli because he thought Leonard Courtney had said in 1895 that Disraeli had come up with it before he died in 1881, although, in truth, Disraeli didn’t say it, and Courtney ...
If anybody doubts that our future will be mixed up with the People’s Republic of China, The Scrapbook invites you to take a stroll along New York Avenue in Washington, D.C., and gape at the big new office building going up within easy walking distance of the White House. It’s the Washington headquarters of China Central Television (CCTV), from which English-language news broadcasts with a Beijing twist will be coming soon to a cable service near you.
Apparently, the Chinese believe that their country doesn’t get favorable coverage in the world’s press because the world’s press is, of course, largely non-Chinese. The Scrapbook isn’t so sure about this (have they not been enjoying Thomas Friedman’s New York Times columns in Beijing?), but if it works for the BBC ...
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