W.

 

He’s baaaaack:

Mr. Bush is re-emerging to promote his memoir, to be published a week after the Nov. 2 elections.While the timing suggests that the book will not provide fodder for midterm campaigns, Mr. Bush will return to the public eye just as the Republican Party looks ahead to asserting greater power in Congress and to choosing its 2012 presidential nominee, and as President Barack Obama accuses the GOP of wanting to take the country back to Bush-era programs that, the Democratic president says, “drove the car into the ditch.”

Arrivederci Robert Stacy McCain

 

This past week, our genteel and perfectly intrepid correspondent torpedoed the Halcro-Murkowski strategem, pondered the Mehlman revelation, stayed up late for the anonymity convention, wished death upon his telephone, celebrated blogola, cheered for Jane Harman’s challenger, jeered at Frank Rich, and got all misty-eyed over the salad days of media dinosaurs. Like Miley Cyrus or the komodo dragon, a force of nature like Stacy McCain can’t be tamed, so join us in a round of thanks for his gracious and indulgent stay, and keep one eye trained on the horizon as he prowls back Smittyside to The Other McCain. As the election season closes in, all blood in the water and news in the air, you can be reasonably certain that the earth will long tremble beneath the shoeleathered footsteps of Robert Stacy McCain.

The ACLU vs the Ten Commandments

 

Two Kentucky counties had the audacity to install exhibitions in their courthouses called “Foundations of American Law and Government” which included the Ten Commandments along with nine other documents, including the lyrics of “The Star-Spangled Banner” and the texts of the Declaration of Independence and Magna Carta.

Guess what? The ACLU is challenging the display (as it did earlier displays), because of those dangerously religious commandments. Over at the NYT, Linda Greenhouse has a long meandering piece about the case. Let me summarize: she’s against the 10 commandments, even when offered in convenient tablet form. And she extols retired Justice Stevens for being so strict about the Establishment Clause.

Member Post

 

So I just got back from the Restoring Honor rally at the Lincoln Memorial. I’m not a crowd counter, but it was another one of those crowds so humongous, so unbelievably large that it might even get the media to refer to it as numbering in the dozens. I arrived two hours after it began, […]

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For the second year in a row, the domestic birth rate has fallen. It’s now the lowest it’s been in a century. More from the Associated Press: Last spring’s report, on births in 2008, showed an overall drop but a surprising rise in births to women over 40, who may have felt they were running […]

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Liberty vs. Tyranny: The Choice

 

Thanks, Conor, for your reply to my latest on liberty vs. tyranny. This seems like the crux of it:

Mr. Poulos spent a lot of time persuasively arguing why liberty belongs in that formulation, and no time persuading us that it ought to be pitted against tyranny. Sure, it’s perfectly acceptable to make the case that political liberty is our most precious possession, and to let that insight guide our actions in the political system. The problem comes when, having decided that, your reflexive assumption is suddenly that all your political adversaries are on the side of tyranny. Someone can conclude, as many conservatives have done, that political liberty is one precious possession, but that we cannot value it exclusively. There were French revolutionaries who saw liberty as their most precious possession. Would it have been “almost completely useless” for them to tell Edmund Burke, “We are for liberty, and you for tyranny?” I report, you decide. It makes no more sense to cast modern American liberals as operating on the side of tyranny. They value liberty far more highly than most people in the history of humanity, but assert that some checks on liberty are permissible because equality or justice are important too.

The General Confusion of Rev. Sharpton

 

While eagerly awaiting Emily Esfahani Smith’s account of the Glenn Beck rally honoring the troops and calling for a restoration of honor, I read that Rev. Al Sharpton objects. Not that he doesn’t want to honor the troops, or doesn’t support honor in general. He simply objects to the juxtaposition of a rally dedicated to the idea of honor with the anniversary of Dr. King’s speech dreaming of a time when men would act honorably, which is about par for the reverend. Sharpton’s confusion is brought into sharp focus with the following statement:

The structural breakdown of a strong national government, which is what they’re calling for, is something that does not serve the interests of the nation and it’s something that Dr. King and others fought against.

Seven Long and Bloody Years Later: Was it Worth It?

 

More than seven years after the United States invaded Iraq, President Obama will confirm next week that the final American combat troops have departed. From the current issue of The Economist:

Mr. Obama always considered this a “dumb” war, and events have proved him largely right. America and its allies may have rid the Middle East of a bloodstained dictator, but Saddam Husseins’ vautned weapons of mass desctruction turned out to be a chimera and the cost in American and especially Iraqi lives has been hideous. Iraq, it is true, is no longer a dictatorship. Thanks in part to Mr. Bush’s lonely refusal in 2007 to heed the calls to cut and run, the sectarian bloodletting that followed the invasion has abated. But the country’s new democracy remains chronically incsecure…which is one reason why some 50,000 American “support” troops are to stay behind to shore it up.

Member Post

 

“Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.” Ronald Reagan, August 15, 1986. There’s a lot that isn’t moving in the United States right now and government money is flowing like […]

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I know most folks here have a theory about major media. Most folks on the left do, too. I’ve got my own, and I share it with you today because I’ve just been living through empirical evidence of it. The story starts with my own experience as a callow youth working for Newsweek in Los […]

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If you’ve haven’t followed the political drama surrounding the Alaska GOP Senate primary . . . well, lucky you. What looked like a close win for Sarah Palin-backed insurgent Joe Miller — the winner by 1,668 votes in the final count of Tuesday’s ballots — has shown signs of turning into an ugly nightmare. Shortly […]

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Failure to Execute: Obama Halts the Case Against the Cole Bomber

 

It’s a sleepy Friday in late August, the president is on another vacation, Congress is out of town, no one is paying much attention. What better time for the Obama administration to pull the plug, once again, on military commissions? This time, it has halted the case of top al-Qaeda operative Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, who was to be prosecuted by a military court for the Cole bombing. The Washington Post report is here, and Jen Rubin has thoughts at Contentions.

None of this is terribly surprising. Prosecuting the Cole case by military commission sticks in the Left’s craw because it shows the incoherence of the Obama/Holder position. They want to treat the war like a crime and endow our enemies with all the rights and advantages of civilian courts; yet, they went military in the Cole case, despite the fact that there is a pending Justice Department civilian indictment addressing that attack. There can be only one explanation for that: they are afraid the case against Nashiri is weak and might not hold up under (slightly) more exacting civilian court due process. That is, the Obama/Holder position is not principled — for all their “rule of law” malarkey, they are willing to go where they have the best chance to win. But there were no military commissions when the Cole was bombed, so what is the basis for trying it militarily? Answer: the 9/11 attacks and the ensuing war… except the Left doesn’t accept that it’s a war and the administration wants to prosecute the 9/11 plotters in civilian court. None of it makes any sense. — Andy McCarthy

So, Did Anyone Catch Me on Hugh Hewitt Yesterday?

 

Because this is what happened. I was supposed to be on at 6:00. At about 5:55 pm, I noticed to my horror that my cell phone was dead. It’s a new phone. I didn’t know the battery would run down so fast. My friends and I are outside a Japanese restaurant in Tribeca. A cliffhanging scene ensued–could I charge it in the ladies bathroom? No, no plug. (5:56.) Could we swap the SIM card with someone else’s phone? We try–“Get me a hairpin! Who has a hairpin!” We swap–it doesn’t work. (5:57.) If we smack it hard, might battery revive? Nope, it’s dead for sure. (5:58.) Can I call the show and tell them to call me on another number? Nope, don’t have their number. (5:59).

There was only one thing left to do: Plug in the phone underneath the reception desk at the restaurant, say “Stand back please, ma’am, this is essential to national security,” to the hostess, dive under the reception desk, ball myself into the fetal position, and do the interview from underneath the desk. Oh, I should also mention that I looked like a little rough because the gym I’d gone to with Jonathan Gilbert the night before didn’t have a shower, so I had to get back into the only clothes I’d brought with me while I was still pretty sweaty, and while I’d managed to bathe since then, the clothes hadn’t.

Hope–Even in the Golden State

 

Just got off the phone with the former governor of California (and future Ricochet guest contributor) Pete Wilson. As we discussed the races here in our beloved Golden State, Pete proved in a particularly ebullient mood. I asked why.

“You mean you haven’t seen them?” Pete replied.

A Dastardly Duo–and a Secret Memo. (And on a Friday evening, could anything be better?)

 

The August 30 issue of The New Yorker includes a long article on Charles and David Koch entitled “Covert Operations: The billionaire brothers who are waging a war against Obama.”

Needless to say, the article proves predictably and risibly tendentious. Since George Soros funds the left, he receives only a polite, passing mention. Since the Koch brothers give money to organizations that promote free markets, advocate low taxes, and question global warming, they’re portrayed as sinister, self-dealing, shadowy, and pernicious; a couple of Mr. Bigs intent on taking over the world—and doing a pretty good job of it. (The reporter, Jane Mayer, seems honestly to believe that the Tea Party has more to do with the organizations the Kochs have founded than with the policies of Barack Obama. “The anti-government fervor infusing the 2010 elections,” she asserts, “represents a political triumph for the Kochs.”)