A No-Brainer for the House GOP


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This fall, voters will get another chance to register their opinion on Obamacare. President Obama’s signature legislation is causing health costs to spike, federal spending to soar, doctors to leave their profession, millions of Americans to lose their health plans, and millions more to be coerced into buying overpriced insurance against their will. For those who care about quality and affordability in health care, fiscal solvency, the separation of powers, liberty, or economic prosperity—which is to say pretty much everyone—Obamacare is a disaster, and it must be repealed and replaced with a well-conceived conservative alternative.

Yet, despite having broken with more than 200 years of precedent in requiring all Americans to buy a product from a private company—namely, Obamacare-compliant health insurance—the Democrats who passed ...


Senate Mischief


On the topic of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, the contraceptive mandate case decided on the last day of the recent Supreme Court term, the Democrats are fighting mad. They don’t like the decision. No, they despise it. Indeed, their rhetoric on Hobby Lobby has ...


The VA Debacle


The twilight of the scandal-plagued Obama administration is upon us, and voters are faced with a real conundrum. Which of the failures of progressive governance should be confronted first? The Mideast is an even more blood-drenched goat rodeo than pessimists predicted. There are ...


In Tibet to Stay

China builds a spiffy police state.


The new Lhasa River Bridge: And the trains run on time.

ven Years in Tibet was the title of a popular book and movie. I spent only five days in Tibet in early July—just long enough to get adjusted to its headache-inducing altitude (the capital is 11,800 feet above sea level)—so I hesitate to draw sweeping conclusions. But even a brief visit revealed realities beyond the headlines, which normally focus only on events such as monks burning themselves to death to protest Chinese occupation. Visiting two of the largest cities, Lhasa and Tsetang, and driving around the countryside, I saw the benefits as well as the bane of China’s rule.

Benefits? I admit to being surprised to find any, given the (understandable) focus of “Free Tibet” activists on how terrible China’s rule has been. The Chinese have killed hundreds of thousands of Tibetans and inflicted upon them oppression that has been described as cultural genocide. But, high as ...

Maliki: looking less to the United States . . .

How to Play a Weak Hand in Iraq

Counter ISIS without propping up Maliki.


Iraqi prime minister Nuri al-Maliki knows what he wants: a third term in office for himself and U.S. military help in defeating ISIS (now the Islamic State). Political reconciliation between Iraq’s Shiites and Sunnis, and between Arabs and Kurds, can wait. In the words of one of ...

Margot Bentley in 2000, when diagnosed with Alzheimer’s

The Ethics of Food and Drink

Starvation is not mercy.


Should the law compel nursing homes to starve certain Alzheimer’s patients to death? This is not an alarmist fantasy, but a real question, soon to be forced by advocates of ever-wider application of assisted euthanasia. The intellectual groundwork is already being laid for ...

the weekly standard

A Glimpse of Our Health Care Future

The pen is mightier than the Freud.


To what will Obamacare lead? If the administration’s health policies continue on their present trajectory, Obamacare will lead to some form of European-style single-payer national health system.

I have a sure and certain hope that I’m wrong about that. Sure and ...


Who Gets to Draw the Lines?

An electoral blind spot for conservatives.


It looks like Florida legislators are heading back to the drawing board—literally. On July 10, Tallahassee circuit court judge Terry Lewis ruled that the GOP-run legislature violated the state constitution by redrawing two congressional districts “with the intention of obtaining ...


Conviction Politician

Out of prison, with a new wife and infant son, Edwin Edwards, 86, hits the campaign trail again


Edwin Edwards with wife Trina and Baby Eli

Gonzales, La.
The last time I saw Edwin Edwards, he was breaking the law. It was 14 years ago, in the cafeteria of the Russell B. Long federal courthouse in Baton Rouge, where a portrait of Russell’s dad Huey—the Kingfish himself—kept watch over the lobby. At the building’s ribbon-cutting several years earlier, Edwards, who was then in the last of his four nonconsecutive terms as emperor/governor of Louisiana (and who is now running for Congress), had joked that the ceremony was “my first invitation to a federal courthouse not delivered by U.S. marshals.”

Like all his best lines—and Edwards always had the best lines (on his electoral chances: The only way I can lose .  .  . is if I’m caught in bed with a dead girl or a live boy; on his deliberative competitor: Dave Treen is so slow, it takes him an hour-and-a-half to watch 60 Minutes)—the one at his courthouse christening was dark, ...

Gary Locke

Rick Perry, Version 2.0

After a disastrous 2012, he’s alive and kicking. But will voters give him a second chance?


Google has not been kind to Rick Perry. Type in “Rick Perry gaffe” and you get 111,000 results. Google also offers “searches related to Rick Perry gaffe.” These include “Rick Perry drunk speech, Rick Perry oops, Rick Perry gaffe YouTube, Rick Perry gaffe debate .  .  . Rick Perry ...

Books & Arts

Kingdom Come

The irresistible rise of the imperial presidency


F. H. Buckley

There are no copyrights on book titles. F. H. Buckley nevertheless shows remarkable audacity in borrowing The Once and Future King from T. H. White’s children’s classic, published in 1958. White enchanted his readers with a fantasy based on the Arthurian legend, replete with swords and sorcery, while Buckley has given us a sobering account of the transformation of the American presidency into an elective monarchy. Nothing seems to connect these two works—Buckley makes no effort to do so—except, perhaps, for one improbable accident: White’s story, adapted to the Broadway stage as the musical Camelot, became the lens for liberals’ fanciful interpretation of John F. Kennedy’s presidency, a template today for progressives’ worship of their president-king.

Lincoln Dreamt He Died The Midnight Visions of Remarkable Americans from Colonia

Perchance to Dream

Night visions of Americans, and what to make of them


It’s hard to know what to make of Lincoln Dreamt He Died. On reading the title, my first irreverent thought was: Hey, safe bet

William Dampier

Down to the Seas

In pursuit of land, knowledge, and adventure


At the end of the 19th century, physicists smugly proclaimed their field closed. 

“There is nothing new to be discovered in physics,” said one of them, possibly Lord ...

Canal park and lighthouse (2005)

Northwest Passage

A vision of the world in the grain of Duluth


One of the cities of my boyhood was Duluth, Minnesota, where most of my mother’s family lived when they weren’t in Florida. I recall it as spectacular, with high hills overlooking the unswimmably cold Lake Superior, evergreen forests, and many signs ...

Madonna (1983)

Strike a Pose

The unbearable lightness of being cool


The adulatory use of the word “cool” is often credited to Lester Young, the tenor sax man, but the provenance is somewhat murky. Less uncertain, however, is that the term, no matter its definition, is a description many seek: from celebrities ...

Caesar: 'Ape Home.'

Monkey Business

The ‘Apes’ franchise goes unintentionally comical


If you really want to know what a bunch of simians—whose IQs have been boosted by drugs to the human level (or higher, maybe even to the Kardashian level)—would do with themselves if that same drug wiped out all of humanity, then you ...


Unsentimental Journey

Joseph Epstein contra voguishness


Michael Sloan

In past years I have taken to print to attack two words—focus and icon—that drove me bonkers. Focus, a metaphor from the world of cameras and microscopes, replaced the words concentrate and emphasize. Suddenly everywhere ballplayers lost their focus, students were encouraged to find theirs, schools, companies, nations began focusing on this or that problem. Hocus-pocus, I used to -mutter to myself, please, drop the focus. Nobody did, and the word today has still not lessened in popularity. 

In its original meaning icon was a small religious painting used as an aid to devotion. In its new meaning, persons, cultural events, inanimate objects became iconic. To be an icon was, apparently, a step up from being a superstar, as superstar was a step up from being a mere star. The word icon became part of the vocabulary of hype, and was used so often that it no longer ...


Archie, We Hardly Knew Ye

AP Photo Archie Comics

Last week the world of comic books reeled from two bits of sensational news. First, it was -revealed that Archie Andrews, hero of the classic Archie comics, was dead. Or rather, “dead,” as they put it in industry parlance, because only the Archie of one of the Archie books, Life with Archie, had bought the farm. (The Archie of the long-running flagship book, Archie, lives on.) What made Archie’s demise so notable was the manner in which he was dispatched. He was assassinated. Gunned down while valiantly saving the life of his friend. Who’s a war hero. And gay. And also gay-married. And was recently elected to the United States Senate, where he was a crusader against gun rights. You can’t make this stuff up.

On the one hand, the “death” of Archie is part of a time-honored tradition in comics, where publishers looking for a quick hit of publicity (and goosed sales) kill off a character only to bring him back. Superman, Batman, ...


Obama, Edited

Last February President Obama launched a new initiative to help “boys and young men of color” facing tough odds in life to stay on track and reach their full potential. At the time we observed in an editorial that there was a not-exactly-minor problem with “My Brother’s Keeper” (as ...

Halper book

More Summer Reading!

Our colleague Daniel Halper’s highly anticipated new blockbuster, Clinton, Inc.: The Audacious Rebuilding of a Political Machine, goes on sale this week. It promises to be the go-to book for fearless, not to mention nonhagiographic, reporting on Hillary Clinton’s ...

transparency in a dark room


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