EDITORIAL

The Hagel Thesis

BY WILLIAM KRISTOL

Hagel/Hegel

As we go to press on Friday, December 14, former Republican senator Chuck Hagel appears to be the leading candidate to become the next secretary of defense. Anti-Israel propagandists are thrilled. Stephen Walt, junior partner of the better-known Israel-hater John Mearsheimer, writes that if President Obama nominates Hagel, it will be “a smart move.” Why? Because, “unlike almost all of his former colleagues on Capitol Hill, he hasn’t been a complete doormat for the Israel lobby.” Indeed, a Hagel pick would “pay back Benjamin Netanyahu for all the ‘cooperation’ Obama received from him during the first term.” Furthermore, Walt writes approvingly, Hagel is “generally thought to be skeptical about the use of military force against Iran.”

Sen. Harry Reid

Reid v. Madison

BY JAY COST

For years, liberal pundits and Senate Democrats have talked about altering the filibuster, the procedural rule that requires a 60-vote supermajority to end debate in the U.S. Senate. The device has been a burden for majority leaders for generations, and it dogged Majority Leader Harry Reid ...

ARTICLES

The States Should Say No

. . . to ‘free money’ for Medicaid expansion.

BY ANDREW B. WILSON

A sketchy deal from Uncle Sam

If someone who is sinking deeper and deeper into debt comes to you with an offer of “free money,” you would be best advised to:

(a) take the money and run,

(b) say thanks, but no thanks, or

(c) call the police?

Obama negotiating with Congress

Obama’s Hard Line

He wants a ‘deal’—on his terms.

BY FRED BARNES

In the struggle with President Obama over taxes and the fiscal cliff, Republicans are their own worst enemy. They’re playing into ...

Hugo Chavez

A Metastasizing Problem

If Hugo Chávez goes, what comes after?

BY VANESSA NEUMANN

During the course of his 14-year rule, Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez has ...

Leader of the Finns party, Timo Soini, at a polling station in Espoo last Januar

Fight for the Finnish

Leader of the Finns party, Timo Soini, at a polling station in Espoo last January

BY ANDREW STUTTAFORD

He won more votes than any other candidate in Finland’s 2011 parliamentary election, and the maverick party he leads is a profound embarrassment to the current eurozone regime, but ...

The perils of the zero interest rate policy.

We’ve Been ZIRPed

The perils of the zero interest rate policy.

BY ANDY KESSLER

Father-son talks are always difficult, but it was time to teach my teenager about how things work. I dragged him to our local branch of Wells Fargo and opened a ...

Ann Wagner

First Among Freshmen

Ann Wagner, House class of 2012.

BY KYLE HUWA

Ann Wagner will be sworn in next month to her first elected office. But the congresswoman-elect from Missouri, who won Todd Akin’s suburban St. Louis district in November, ...

FEATURES

The Real Cliff

The staggering debt from decades of continuous government borrowing is about to come due

BY CHRISTOPHER DEMUTH

Ravenswood Red Ledger Ink


It is important to understand that the fiscal cliff is a charade. There are, to be sure, many conscientious debt reformers working to avert our proclaimed year-end epic fall​—​along with many cynics who are using the occasion to advance pet projects that will make the debt problem worse. But all concerned are working within a fiscal system that has become seriously pathological. The cliff is the latest expression of that pathology.

The U.S. embassy in Cairo, September 11, 2012

Al Qaeda Lives

The real story behind Benghazi and the other attacks of 9/11/12

BY THOMAS JOSCELYN

What actually happened in Egypt and Libya on September 11, 2012? The story from the U.S. government has changed many times in an effort to craft a narrative that causes as little damage as possible to the Obama administration. Now the administration seems to have settled on something approaching ...

Books & Arts

The German Question

Where did they come from, where are they going?

BY THOMAS A. KOHUT

Proclamation of the German Empire at Versailles, 1871

The Third Reich hovers over German history.   

Despite the careful, intelligent research conducted by countless scholars in numerous disciplines, those 12 years remain in some essential way incomprehensible. How, we ask—without ever being able to provide a truly satisfying answer—could more or less ordinary human beings have done what they did to other human beings in an attempt to create a racial utopia?  

Because its unprecedented horror continues to escape our understanding, the Third Reich has colored how historians have looked at the entire history of modern Germany. The centuries before 1933 are seen—on some, often hidden, level—as paving the way to the Third Reich. The events of the decades since 1945 are seen, usually more explicitly, as somehow in reaction to the Third Reich. Indeed, after the mid-1960s, Germans ...

Charles Addams, Joan Fontaine (1962)

Black Humorist

The funny-macabre century of Charles Addams.

BY JONATHAN LEAF

It’s possible to be underrated though employed by the New Yorker. Peter de Vries was. Another sufferer from this affliction was the cartoonist, born 100 years ago this year, for whom de Vries wrote more than a few captions: Charles Addams (1912-1988). Both men ...

In god we trust coins

First Principles

Dennis Prager defines the challenge for America.

BY MICHAEL WARREN

In this freshly extended era of Barack Obama, conservatives and Republicans are ...

Citizen of Geneva

The hometown tribute to Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

BY PAULA DEITZ

Geneva

Over the past several months, this jewel of a city has been celebrating the tercentenary of the birth of Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) with exhibitions, musical events, literary forums, films, and promenades retracing his steps from the earlier and later years during ...

Yannick Bison as Det. William Murdoch

Person of Interest

The greatest (fictional) detective just may be Canadian.

BY MICHAEL TAUBE

Who is the world’s greatest detective? For fans of mystery and detective fiction, finding a solution to this perplexing question is their raison d’être. But countless hours spent debating the merits of legendary figures usually end up with no answer in sight.

This question ...

Suraj Sharma as Pi, with shipmate

Hold That Tiger

Brilliant cinema in the service of one-size-fits-all faith.

BY JOHN PODHORETZ

"This story will make you believe in God,” says the title character in Life of Pi, the visually ravishing adaptation of ...

CASUAL

Christmas, Inflated

Joseph Bottum, (not simply) having a wonderful Christmastime

BY JOSEPH BOTTUM

Inflatable Santa

I saw an inflatable reindeer this December, out on the snow of a suburban lawn. And, of course, beside it were a candy cane, a Santa, and a sleigh: eight-foot-high vinyl blowups of the secularized action figures of the winter holiday that dare not speak its name. Brightly colored, their heads tilting in ironic self-comment as they slowly deflated in the December cold, they were silly, showy, and weirdly over-sized​—​cheesy almost beyond belief, framed by the hundreds of Christmas lights tacked to the house. And I loved them, smiling as I drove past.

They made me happy, in fact, for the rest of the afternoon. I don’t know, maybe there’s some way to derive satisfaction from ...

SCRAPBOOK

Look for the Union Violence

Look for the Union Violence

If there are two things The Scrapbook has learned during the past two years, it’s that when the privileges of labor unions are addressed by democratically elected legislatures—usually during harsh economic times—you can be sure that the unions will descend on state capitals with marches, epithets, threats of violence, violence, illegal occupations, and vandalism. Call it antidemocracy in response to democracy.

This was last seen in Wisconsin in 2011, when Governor Scott Walker did the citizens of his state a huge favor by reforming collective bargaining statutes that had tied the hands of local governments when dealing with public-employee unions. This demanded no small measure of courage on Walker’s part—and not just because Wisconsin is a ...

Jenni Rivera

Life Outside the Mainstream

Someday, when the shareholders of the Washington Post Company pause to ask themselves where it all went wrong, one of the exhibits that might be brought to their attention ...

Indicted by the Mullahs

Indicted by the Mullahs

Last week the Iranian judiciary issued indictments for a handful of former and current U.S. civilian and military officials. According to Fars News Agency, a semi-official ...

Beloved leader launches three stage rocket

PARODY

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