Mar 9, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 25 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
Speaking of global warming, The Scrapbook could have used a little more of it this winter. Meanwhile we’ve been bundling up against the cold and curling up next to the fireplace with our favorite new book, Jay Cost’s A Republic No More: Big Government and the Rise of American Political Corruption. If you read Jay’s essay in these pages two weeks ago, “Stop the Rot,” you’ll know that he has homed in on a critical issue that transcends the headlines: the deep corruption that is undermining our political system. As Jay writes in the book, “The institutions the Framers created were competent to handle responsibly the -powers they assigned them; Americans since then have added extra -powers under the false assumption that the same institutions could handle the extra load responsibly. But they -cannot, and so the government now -behaves irresponsibly. This produces corruption.”
The book not only tackles an issue of the utmost importance, it’s also a great read. As The Scrapbook’s boss put it in his weekly Kristol Clear newsletter:
One of the blurbs on the book jacket seems to me to put it well: “In explaining ‘corruption as a permanent, institutionalized feature of our government,’ Jay Cost has made a major contribution to American history and political science. His narrative is detailed and lively, accessible to citizens and scholars alike. And he makes a case for reform while suggesting its limits. A real tour de force.” Hey, I wrote that blurb! But it’s true.
Make haste to your favorite bookseller! (And while you’re at it, if you haven’t already done so, sign up for Kristol Clear by clicking here.)
1:03 PM, Jan 22, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
In a press conference with reporters today on Capitol Hill, Harry Reid described what he's been up to since injuring his face and ribs in an exercising accident:
3:49 PM, Jan 12, 2015 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
It's been almost five years since Obamacare was passed, and the law remains as unpopular as ever—public support hit a record low of 37 percent in November. Opposing Obamacare is a no-brainer for Republicans politically, though the question of what to do about the law remains something that divides the right. And finding the right legislative remedy has become an especially acute challenge now that Republicans control the House and Senate.
The Washington Examiner's Phil Klein has justly earned a reputation as one of the best reporters covering Obamacare, and the timing of his new book, Overcoming Obamacare: Three Approaches to Reversing the Government Takeover of Health Care, could not be better. Here Klein takes a look at three major schools of thought on the right about how to fixing the law, or what he calls the reform school, the replace school, and the restart school. If you want to know what the future holds in store for Obamacare, Klein's book is essential reading—and the Kindle version is just $2.99.
The B&A Podcast is hosted by Philip Terzian.10:05 AM, Oct 12, 2014 • By TWS PODCAST
THE WEEKLY STANDARD Books & Arts Podcast with Philip Terzian, on the October 13th Issue's Books and Arts section.
The Loeb Classical Library goes digitalOct 6, 2014, Vol. 20, No. 04 • By SUSAN KRISTOL
“Chemistry and Physics Get Million from Loeb,” blared the Harvard Crimson headline. “Funds will modernize laboratory facilities and establish chemistry chairs.” The donor: scientist Morris Loeb ’83. A million dollars is indeed generous. But on the Harvard scale, did it really warrant a Crimson headline?
Night visions of Americans, and what to make of themJul 28, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 43 • By JUDY BACHRACH
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. My second: Contrary to popular myth-ology, many of us dream of our own deaths—and guess what? We’re prophetic! Then I studied the subtitle and worried some more. Was this going to be as bad as the publisher heralded?
The literary (?) career of Jules VerneJul 21, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 42 • By ALGIS VALIUNAS
Certain amusements appropriate to childhood or adolescence have established a beachhead in adulthood, or its 21st-century American simulacrum. Grown men and women indulge, with or without shame, in video games, fantasy football leagues, sitcoms, online porn, comic books, and movies based on comic books—or that involve Las Vegas, 33 shots of tequila, and waking up athwart two female Sumo wrestlers and a chimpanzee.
Will you, won’t you, benefit from graduate education?Jun 30, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 40 • By ABIGAIL LAVIN
When I sat for my SAT exams as a high school senior, I thought to myself, “This is the last standardized test you will ever have to take!” I had never considered myself an intellectual and was vaguely distrustful of anyone who chose the cocoon of the academy over the rough-and-tumble of the “real world.” Ten years later, I was sitting in a café in downtown Shanghai, gritting my teeth over the Princeton Review’s GRE prep manual.
The Great War, of modern memory, at 100Jun 30, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 40 • By J. HARVIE WILKINSON III
Back then, it was not known as World War I, for the obvious reason that the Second World War still lay in the future. It was simply the Great War, for the world had never seen anything like it.
The changing instinct for self-depictionJun 30, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 40 • By HENRIK BERING
In the history of art, self-portraiture constitutes a world of its own, presenting us with moods ranging from the lighthearted to the sordid. There is sheer delight in Rubens’s painting of himself and his first wife Isabella Brant in a bower of honeysuckle bliss; acute menace when Caravaggio decks himself out as Bacchus, looking like some exceedingly poisonous rent boy, and veering into grisliness when he lets the severed head of Goliath carry his own likeness.
The science and philosophy of putting on/taking off weightJun 23, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 39 • By KEVIN R. KOSAR
Reports have surfaced of a professor with a mania for self-examination. His line of inquiry, however, is not of the Socratic philosophical sort. An expert in computer science, he is collecting data on his bodily functions. To improve his diet (and reduce his weight) he tracks what he eats down to the calorie. He straps sensors to his body to measure his caloric burn while exercising. Unsettlingly, it has been reported, the professor “is deep into the biochemistry of his feces . . .
The stalemate was ended, but the debate goes onJun 23, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 39 • By GERARD ALEXANDER
In the long, tortured history of race in America, there are few bright spots shinier than the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Democratic and Republican reformers from across the country overcame the resistance, mainly of Southern segregationists, to pass legislation that broke the back of Jim Crow.
Jun 9, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 37 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
The Scrapbook keeps an eye on the British press—largely because it’s interesting, and sometimes fun, to read; but also because, now and then, a little nugget emerges which tells a larger story.
Jill Biden made between $15,001-50,000 for hers.3:59 PM, May 15, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Vice President Joe Biden is not making too much money off his book Promises to Keep: On Life and Politics. Last year, in fact, he made less than $201 in royalties from his book publisher, according to just-released disclosure forms.
Here's the disclosure form, which has been "reviewed and certified by ethics officials," according to the White House:
Biden's book was published in 2007 by Random House.