The High Price of ‘Free’ Health Care


Photo of President Barack Obama and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius

Today, in the United States, the federal government does not force insurers to provide free contraception. Yet contraception is as widely available as it is cheap. Most insurance policies cover it. The federal government gives birth control to the poor through Medicaid. The federal government spends an additional $300 million per year to provide it to low-income and uninsured Americans who don’t qualify for Medicaid​—​spending that the staunchest conservatives in Congress supported even when Republicans controlled the presidency, the Senate, and the House. If a middle- or upper-income woman happens to be in one of the small number of plans that don’t cover contraception​—​say, an employee at a college run by Catholic nuns​—​she can buy birth control pills for as little as

Image of proposed design for Eisenhower memorial

Re-Gendered Ike


Last week the chairman of the House administration committee, Dan Lungren of California, sent a letter to the National Capital Planning ...


Gaffing His Way to Victory

News alert: Romney is rich, but voters by and large don’t care.


Cartoon of Mitt Romney driving a Cadillac

Mitt Romney is leading the league in gaffes. We know this because the media are counting. The Week lists his “9 worst clueless-rich-man gaffes.” The Wall Street Journal trumps that with “Romney’s Top 10 Wealth Gaffes.” The Christian Science Monitor refers to the “Mitt Romney gaffe monster.”

This is bad for Romney. Next to being called racist or a homophobe, the worst thing that can be said about a candidate is he’s gaffe-prone. It suggests his brain-to-mouth hookup is faulty when he talks off-the-cuff, and he lacks a grip on ...

Photos of Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney

Who Can Beat Obama?

An experiment shows the scales tilt toward Romney.


Is Mitt Romney the best remaining Republican candidate to go up against Barack Obama in the fall? Or would Rick Santorum, the most likely ...

Photo of huge flames next to a fence

How to Kill an Economy

Egypt sours on its (lucrative) gas deal with Israel.


Late last week Spanish authorities announced that they’re extraditing Egyptian businessman Hussein Salem, a close associate of former president ...

Photo of people in the Radon springs in Misasa, Japan

Nuclear Overreaction

Just how dangerous are low doses of radiation?


After Japan’s tsunami a year ago, about 20,000 people either drowned or were lost along the country’s northeastern coast. The same tidal wave ...

Photo of James Q. Wilson accepting the 2007 Bradley Prize

Political Scientist, Par Excellence

James Q. Wilson, 1931-2012.


James Q. Wilson, a longtime teacher in the government department at Harvard, and an all-time political scientist, has died. He was a Californian who ...


‘The Rich People’s President’

Will France’s Nicolas Sarkozy be the next European leader to fall?


Cartoon of French candidates racing on bikes

If you understood how French president Nicolas Sarkozy found himself holed up in a barroom in Bayonne last Thursday afternoon, it would take you a long way towards figuring out what is going to happen in France’s two-round presidential election, coming up in April and May. Sarkozy, who heads France’s conservative UMP party, was making a surprise visit to the Basque country, along the border with Spain. The Socialists, who have not held the presidency since 1995, got wind of his visit. Together with local Basque separatists, they succeeded in blocking the center of Bayonne. When Sarkozy emerged from his car, he was surrounded by a whistling, hooting, chanting mob, taunting him as “the rich people’s president” and telling him he ought to go home. That is when Sarkozy ducked into the bar to talk with locals while eggs flew, along with ...

Map of Mali

Mischief in Mali

A model African country confronts subversion—with U.S. help.


Mopti, Bamako

Books & Arts

In Shakespeare’s Shadow

A splendid life of rare Ben Jonson.


Photo of Patrick Stewart as Shakespeare, Richard McCabe as Ben Jonson

On the cover of Ian Donaldson’s new biography of Ben Jonson (1572-1637) there is a portrait of the poet and dramatist by the Flemish painter Abraham van Blyenberch showing him regarding the viewer with amused intentness, as if poised to make some choice rejoinder. Here is the man of the theater, the bon vivant, the exuberant conversationalist whose table talk William Drummond recorded with such zest. Here is also the controversialist, who delighted in taking courtiers to task as much as fellow wits, and paid for his barbs by being sent to prison again and again for sedition and disorderliness. Indeed, he was even locked up for manslaughter after killing a man in a sword fight.

But there is another portrait in this generously illustrated book, an engraving by Robert ...

Photo of Roosevelt next to an elephant he shot

TR in Brief

A quick introduction to the indomitable Roosevelt.


Two Christmases ago I received Ron Chernow’s Washington: A Life. I felt both delight and angst. I find our first president endlessly ...

Detail from book cover of little girl picking flowers

Purpose in Life

The glorious burden of a Down syndrome child.


The fear many soon-to-be parents face is the question, “What if?” What if my child is born with a learning disability? What if my hopes for having a ...

Movie still from The Maltese Falcon

Huston Chronicle

The man who filmed the stuff that dreams are made of.


John Huston (1906-1987) had the talent and the courage to live as he pleased. Who would not wish to be able to say the same for himself? Who does not feel diminished beside someone who has done as much? Yet one can ...

Movie still from Act of Valor

Action in Character

A film without pretension about warriors as heroes.


Act of Valor, a movie with no major stars made for $12 million, shocked everyone in Hollywood by earning $24.5 million its first weekend. ...


Pretty Woman

Kelly Jane Torrance talks Syria with a siren.


Cartoon of Angelina Jolie holding the globe

Everyone is talking about Angelina Jolie’s leg.

Her right leg, to be specific. The actress presented at the Oscars last week in a striking Versace dress with a thigh-high slit—and proudly stood so as to highlight her stunning gam.

Almost immediately, the leg had its own Twitter account. Even the non-tabloid press obsessed over it, and the star’s figure generally: The day before important Republican presidential primaries, Bill O’Reilly devoted much of his show to concern that ...


Andrew Breit­bart, 1969-2012

Photo of Andrew Breit­bart

I met Andrew Breitbart back in the late ’90s. I had just graduated from college and started working at The Weekly Standard, and my first grown-up trip was to fly out to Los Angeles for a long weekend. I had a touristy list of things to see and do​—​get a drink at the Brown Derby, play basketball at the court next to Muscle Beach in Venice. High on this list was meeting Arianna Huffington, still a conservative in those days.

We had, technically, met a month or so before, at which time she politely said that if I were ever in Los Angeles I should drop her a line. So the day I touched down, I rang her and, to my slack-jawed amazement, ...


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