Not Ready for Hillary



"Ready for Hillary” is the rather ominous name given to the super-PAC working on behalf of Hillary Clinton’s putative presidential campaign. One group that appears to be ready for Hillary, according to the Hill, is the vast array of lobbyists known as K Street: 

With Democrats in Congress already anointing Clinton as the party’s standard-bearer, lobbyists are pledging their allegiance and making clear they will do whatever they can to help the former first lady become first in command. .  .  .

Clinton has not yet revealed her plans for 2016. But after more than two decades in national politics as first lady, senator and secretary of State, she has a virtual ...

AP Images / Charles Dharapak

War-Weariness As an Excuse


Are Americans today war-weary? Sure. The Iraq and Afghanistan wars have been frustrating and tiring. Are Americans today unusually war-weary? No. They were wearier after the much larger and even more frustrating conflicts in Korea and Vietnam. And even though the two world wars of ...


Wrong Again

The economists’ confession.


David Clark

It's hard to find nice things to say about economists. Their detachment from the real world of human activity is matched only by their enormous influence over it, and by their unearned assumption that this arrangement is well deserved. That all changed last month, however. Now we can say something nice about at least some of the economists at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, and it is this: They may not be very good at what they do, but they’re not afraid to admit it.

Last month they released a report, “OECD Forecasts During & After the Financial Crisis: A Post-Mortem.” It is not beach reading, unless you’re the sort of person who works for the OECD or The Weekly Standard. The report’s watery tone and obscure nomenclature are common to the literature of professional economists—and are indispensable when it comes time to hide an unflattering conclusion from the prying eyes of laymen. The unflattering ...


The Luck of the Republicans

They owe it all to Obama.


President Obama is a gift to Republicans. His policies, his partisanship, his allegiance to liberal interest groups, his indecisiveness​—​they all have served Republicans well. Without Obama’s self-destructive presidency, Republicans would probably be somber today. Instead they are ...


The Real Scoop Jackson

He’d be with McCain, not Obama, on Ukraine.


Henry M. “Scoop” Jackson was a congressman and then senator from Washington state from 1941 until his death in 1983. Jackson was a traditional Democrat: liberal on domestic policy, strongly tied to the labor movement, and a hawk on national security matters. He was very much in the tradition ...

John Zich

Can This Boy’s Life Be Saved?

The answer may depend on President Obama.


The January 31, 2014, Boston Globe front page included two life-and-death stories. One announced that the U.S. Department of Justice would seek the death penalty for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who is facing trial for the Boston Marathon bombing. Animated debate about the proper ...

‘Mean, small-minded, and vengeful’

Dismembering Ukraine

The Putin invasion.


In more ways than one, the crisis that now grips Ukraine and Russia—as well as the rest of Europe—dates back to September 2011, when Russian president Dmitry Medvedev announced that Vladimir Putin would return as president in 2012. Medvedev ...

AP Images / J Scott Applewhite

A Big Fight Over Small Differences

The powers behind the Nebraska Republican primary.


The National Republican Senatorial Committee is mad as hell, and it’s not going to take it anymore. This is the third election cycle in a row where incumbent Republicans and the NRSC’s hand-picked candidates have faced stiff primary challenges funded by Tea Party groups. No less ...


A Tea Party of Rivals

The Ted Cruz-Rand Paul foreign policy split.


Ted Cruz is not in a fighting mood. The Texas senator is sitting in a booth at the Capital Grille, an upscale restaurant on Pennsylvania Avenue, about halfway between the Capitol, where Cruz works, and the White House, where many suspect he’d like to end up. His jacket is off, his light blue ...


Not a Model

Obama’s inexplicable admiration for China’s infrastructure policy.


President Obama likes to promote his domestic policy agenda by highlighting economic competition from China. In particular, he has repeatedly pointed to China’s massive infrastructure investments to tout his proposals for infrastructure spending in America.


French Undressing

Where PC meets overweening government power, a terrible politics is born


French Undressing

On a bright Wednesday afternoon in late February a bunch of French Muslims gathered in an upstairs room at the Café du Pont Neuf on the Seine. They had summoned a group of Internet journalists before whom they intended to lay out a few grievances. Their leader, Farida Belghoul, a 55-year-old Frenchwoman of Algerian Kabyle background, is a veteran of the movement that, back in the 1980s, sought to rally North African immigrants’ children (known as beurs) behind Socialist president François Mitterrand. Belghoul was the eloquent and camera-friendly voice of the so-called Second March of the Beurs in 1984, but she drifted from view after that. She has spent the intervening years teaching, writing novels, making films, studying, and, most recently, living in Egypt. Journalists who have written about ethnicity, immigration, and left-wing politics in decades past retain a vague memory of her name. 

Books & Arts

Ordeal by Congress

The human cost of advice and consent.


Senators Arlen Specter (Pa.) and Orrin Hatch (Utah) at a press conference

Leslie H. Southwick of Jackson, Mississippi, is (or rather, was) “the nominee,” and here provides an account of his quest to become a judge on a particular federal court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which sits in New Orleans. President George W. Bush nominated him to that court in January 2007. The Senate approved the nomination 10 months later, but only after Southwick had become one of those “controversial” nominees, as they are whispered about in Washington, barely surviving the confirmation process. 

Southwick doesn’t see his story as an “especially worthy tale.” Other nominees—both those who ultimately gained appointment to the bench and those who did not—have “their own involved stories,” he writes, and ...

Robert Graves (1941)

Action into Words

The Great War and modern poetry.


In 1755, in the preface to A Dictionary of the English Language, Samuel Johnson declared that “the chief glory of every people arises from its authors.” Barely 160 ...

Gareth Jones

Hunger for Truth

The silence that came with starvation in the Ukraine.


For decades, the notebooks of Gareth Jones (1905-35), a brilliant young Welshman murdered in Japanese-occupied Manchuria, were stashed away in his family’s house in South Wales, only to be retrieved by his niece, Siriol Colley, in ...

Janie Taylor and Nilas Martins in Balanchine’s ‘Square Dance’ (2005)

An Echo of Balanchine

Janie Taylor: an appreciation.


At the beginning of this month, New York City Ballet principal dancer Janie Taylor, one of the most captivating dancers since George Balanchine died in 1983, took ...

Why They Filmed

Why They Filmed

The Hollywood response to the challenge of war.


It is almost unimaginable: five men past the age of 35 (one nearing 50), among the most successful and garlanded professionals in their field and at the height of their earning powers, leaving their jobs and their families to ...


The Tale and the Teller

Claudia Anderson, born with a blue pencil in her hand


the weekly standard

My earliest memory of being spellbound by a piece of writing is of being read to as a small child from a book of Georgian (as in Caucasian) folk tales, the Yes and No Stories. For a time, I used to ask for “The Fox, the Bear and the Butter Jar” every night. 

I was embarrassed about this. My older sister, quite reasonably, wanted to hear something new—usually a fresh chapter from one of the numerous Dotty Dimple and Little Prudy volumes that had belonged to our grandmother. But the attraction of my story was stronger than my reluctance to look foolish. I would beg, and many nights my mother and sister let me have my way.

Actually, now that I think about it, it was mostly the first page of the story that gripped me. 

For one thing, the initial “T” of the title was gorgeously decorated with a bright red design. ...


The Selling of Joe McGinnis


In 1968, so the story goes, a 25-year-old aspiring journalist named Joe McGinnis overheard an advertising executive on a train report that his firm had acquired “the Humphrey account” for the forthcoming presidential election. “Until that moment,” wrote the Washington Post decades later, “Mr. McGinnis had not realized that presidential campaigns hired .  .  . advertisers to sell their candidates like a brand of soap.” 

And the rest is history. Hubert Humphrey’s staff brushed him off, but the campaign of Humphrey’s rival, Richard Nixon, allowed McGinnis to tag along. The result was The Selling of the President 1968 (1969), an indignant account of the marketing of candidate Nixon, featuring candid observations from not-yet-famous names (Leonard Garment, Roger Ailes, etc.), which nicely played into the growing certitude, among journalists, that Republicans win elections not on issues but by deception. The ...



The carousel of failure at MSNBC has been spinning a little faster the last couple weeks. First Alec Baldwin blasted the network in New York magazine. And then the network’s latest savior, Ronan Farrow, experienced some .  .  . difficulties during the launch of his show, ...

Ted Cruz

Satan and the AP

Liberal media bias is such a fact of life The Scrapbook can’t get exercised about it every day. But there are two subjects in the news a lot in which the fourth estate’s inability to play fair is never less than appalling: Senator Ted Cruz and abortion. Last week, the Associated ...



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