Honor! Dignity! Glenn Beck! Religion and Politics in America


Since Glenn Beck’s Restoring Honor Rally didn’t leave much in the way of familiar political targets for folks on the left to hammer, some have turned to cultural criticism. I’ve questioned Beck’s theatrical approach before, but their issues are different, and at least a few have stumbled onto something worth talking about. Here’s Ed Skelton:

Glenn Beck obviously knows nothing of dignity, so he should shut up about honour, no?

An Inconvenient Suit


Global warming makes strange bedfellows. Eight states are suing a group of coal-burning utilities on the grounds that their greenhouse gas emissions constitute a “public nuisance.” Last week the Obama Administration filed an amicus brief siding with . . . the utilities. The Natural Resources Defense Council declared itself “appalled.”

It’s not that Obama likes utilities, of course, but the Administration argues that the EPA’s emerging plans to regulate greenhouse gases pre-empts state action. I’m no expert on pre-emption, but I don’t buy it. For example, the EPA also regulates lead paint, but the feds never tried to stop the rash of state nuisance lawsuits on lead, like this one in California.

Member Post


I’m sure folks here are not aware of it, but I posted a response yesterday on HuffPo to President Obama’s speech in New Orleans: “Obama Speaks to New Orleans from Planet Zarg” or something like that. I’ve never written in a greater nimbus of white-hot fury. Basically, the President came to a city commemorating the […]

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Mad Men #6: What Does Glenn Beck Know That Don Draper Doesn’t?


Hands down, this was the best-written episode of the season — possibly in as long as I can remember, and not because I’ve been on any blackout benders lately. Sweet and fitting that this is true of an episode (a) anchored by a tedious yet bacchanalian awards ceremony and (b) aired during the Emmys. (PJTV’s Owen Brennan has the line of the night: “I feel duped. My wife let me think these were the “60-second” Emmy Awards.”)

This episode was about alcoholism. Alcoholism is a disease that still makes people turn to God for a cure. Only, cure isn’t the right word; it’s a lifetime of coping. “The important thing is not to be cured,” said Abbe Galiani to Madame D’Epinay, “but to live with one’s ailments.” That is a Christian judgment but it is also, in different hands, an anti-Christian, anti-sacred, therapeutic one. Some people are troubled by this mirroring. But therapy, like the prescription drugs that have increasingly replaced it as the expert weapon of medical choice, cannot forgive you. Only God and other people can do that. And the alcoholic, or any other terminally selfish human being, knows that the forgiveness of mere other people — wives, husbands, fathers, mothers, children, coworkers, lovers, strangers — can be broken and denied by their sickness and by themselves.

No Peeking, Claire


This coming Thursday, I’ll be sitting down to tape an episode of Uncommon Knowledge with Ricochet’s own, inimitable Claire Berlinski.

I figure I’ll talk with Claire about three broad topics:

The chilling effect… on MDs


Suddenly, it is MUCH harder to find MDs and RNs who are willing to record calls about the health care legislation. With more and more physicians becoming employed by hospitals and large groups, fewer and fewer are willing to take a political stand for anything other than tort reform. Everyone it seems is afraid of getting fired or an IRS audit, or in some way adversely affecting their practice. One more reason why being dismissive about government control is to be cavalier about our liberty and the perils of intimidation.

Member Post


I’m on my way to Minneapolis for a day trip from San Francisco. I know, I know. But with fewer fellow taxpayers spinning the federal Wheel of Taxation in the old economic hamster cage, the rest of us have to run that much faster. Minnesota is different. I can already tell in the SFO gate […]

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The (Spending) Devil Is in the Details


When I lived in Washington, it often struck me that the secret to reducing opposition to spending was to make it boring. The Congressional Budget Office has just confirmed this.

In an excellent posting on his own excellent website, my former White House colleague Keith Hennessey discusses the arithmetic that went into the CBO’s finding that Obamacare would “reduce federal budget deficits over the 2010-2019 period by a total of $143 billion.” Now — five months later — they reveal the math: while mandatory outlays were projected to rise by $401 billion, revenues would go up $525 billion.

Hell no, my chardonnay won’t go!


My daughter went back to school this morning and I regained my life and my morning touch-point with Ricochet!

Last Wednesday I flew to Santa Fe. The lines were horrendous, so my husband and I decided to carry on our bags, forgetting we had an expensive bottle of Far Niente Chardonnay nestled in our underwear. A birthday gift for our friend in New Mexico. Needless to say TSA took it. No surprise. But I was surprised that there was no system for retrieval. None. The only thing you can get back is a firearm…after your arrest. Nice.

My Home Beck-ons


Oh snap. You know what I just found out? He lives in my town! Glenn Beck lives in my Connecticut town!

Some of you may know that I recently moved to Connecticut from Manhattan so my three kiddies would have a little more room. We chose this town because of its great reputation for special education. I did not know before moving here, for example, that Stephanie Seymour detoxed here, or that Kitty Genovese is buried here, or that Paul Simon lives here. But, now that I’ve learned this fun fact about Glenn Beck, I’m hoping to settle this edgy Beck/Ricochet thing right here at my house!

Member Post


I live on Capitol Hill and try to go to as many major marches and rallies as I can. To some extent, it’s easier to cover or follow a rally via C-Span. At a rally, you simply can’t hear much of what’s going on unless you’re right in front of a speaker system. But what […]

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A Really Cool Billboard in Georgia


On the Georgia side of the GA / SC state line, facing the south bound side of I-85, I saw this bill board.

What started as a group of “concerned businessmen” has grown into an effort to plaster this and similar messages across the country. Their website even has a mechanism whereby we can donate and help put up more of these signs. Is it just me, or do you get the sense that November will usher in a seismic change in Washington DC?

Green Claire Berlinski


I’ve stored up so many mental notes about the way the United States looks to me after a long period away that I’m not sure where to start. So in keeping with my universal advice to people who aren’t sure where to start, I’ll start small. For now, a quick observation: Whoever thought of this “Green” business is a marketing genius. I just can’t believe what people are willing to buy, accept, and enthuse over on the grounds that it’s “Green.”

I stayed at a hotel the other night that proudly offered normal-sized bars of soap with a big, oblong hole cut out of the middle of the bar. The shape, according to the corrugated, earth-brown wrapper, was “Green.” Green how? Well, this shape (topologically identical to both a donut and a coffee mug, incidentally) reduced waste, thereby saving the planet. I know, I know: How would this reduce waste any better than, say, offering guests a mini-bar of soap of exactly the kind that has been a hotel-room staple since the Second World War? Obviously, all you have to do is call something “Green” to draw a veil of smug satisfaction over the consumer’s every higher cognitive function. It’s amazing.

Will Anything Save the EU?


Via HotAir, I see Georgetown’s Prof. Charles Kupchan — the man who once proclaimed The End of the American Era — has now taken ruefully to the Washington Post to announce the impending end of the European Union. Gone are the heady days of 2002, when Kupchan’s crystal ball informed us that

The coming clash between the United States and the European Union will doubtless bear little resemblance to the all-consuming standoff of the Cold War. Although military confrontation remains a remote prospect, however, U.S.-EU competition will extend far beyond the realm of trade. The U.S. Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank are destined to vie for control of the international monetary system. Washington and Brussels will just as likely lock horns over the Middle East. Europe will resist rather than backstop U.S. leadership, perhaps paralyzing the World Bank, the United Nations, and other institutions that since World War II have relied on transatlantic cooperation to function effectively. An ascendant EU will surely test its muscle against America, especially if the unilateralist bent in U.S. foreign policy continues. A once united West appears well on its way to separating into competing halves.

“Saturday Night’s Alright”


I know, I know,…it’s not relevant to the major issues of the day. But it is the weekend, so a break isn’t necessarily a bad thing. After all, college football starts in a few short days,…and it is Saturday Night. And back home on the bayou, as the video shows, Saturday Nights are very, very special. Geaux Tigers!