What Europe Needs is a Tea Party


I’m in Prague for a few days — I knew you all were wondering where I was, right? — and spent last night with a collection of journalists, some ex-pat Americans, some British, some Czech — trying to explain what the Tea Party movement was all about.

It’s hard, I think, for Europeans to truly understand what this kind of movement means. After all, when Europeans march in the streets, it’s to protest government austerity.

The Khmer Rouge: They Did It Because They Were Communists


The four surviving leaders of Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge have been indicted for genocide by a UN-backed Cambodian tribunal.

City Journal’s Guy Sorman makes a point that cannot be made often enough: The Khmer Rouge did not slaughter one and a half million of their countrymen because the United States provoked them to do it. They did not do it because of their distinct Khmer history. They did it because they were communists, and that’s what communists do.

A Dizzying Journey Through the Stuxnet Wormhole


Funny you should ask that, Molly, I was just about to link to this. Once you start spinning hypotheses about that worm, it’s hard to stop:

The Russians have sold much of the technology to the Iranians, in the face of weak and ineffectual protests on the part of our State Department. Is it possible that there is a quid pro quo where we let the Russians sell the technology (to get the hard currency), but the technology is actually sabotaged a la the Siberian Pipeline of the 1980s? The cover story now becomes a worm did the damage, to keep the Russian’s hands “clean”. If so, then it’s possible that we created this. Absolutely we have people who know how to do this (I know some of them).

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When I heard that a computer virus was slowing down Iran’s nuclear capability, I assumed there was some fancy spycraft involved. This New York Times story has more: Deep inside the computer worm that some specialists suspect is aimed at slowing Iran’s race for a nuclear weapon lies what could be a fleeting reference to […]

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The Rising Tide, Part Two


On Sunday, I drew attention to a survey done by Glenn Bolger of Public Opinion Strategies for the American Action Network, which showed that — while the Republican advantage on the generic ballot was only 5% — the party had an 18% advantage in the 66 House districts held by the Democrats and rated a toss-up by Charlie Cook at the time the poll was taken. I also noted that no pollster had foreseen Joe Miller’s defeat of Lisa Murkowski and Christine O’Donnell’s defeat of Mark Castle, and I suggested that the pollsters may be underestimating the conservative surge underway.

On Tuesday, I presented further evidence for the surge, noting that John Raese had opened up a modest lead in the West Virginia Senate race, and citing two polls – one showing Linda McMahon closing on Richard Blumenthal in the Connecticut Senate race, and another suggesting that Dino Rossi is about to overtake Patty Murray in the Senate race in the state of Washington.

Grumpy Curmudgeon Conrad Black Erupts


Oh, Conrad, you’re so crabby.

The U.S. was magnificent in the defeat of the Nazis, imperial Japanese, and Soviet Communists, and in the inducement of China into at least state capitalism. But — apart from the facilitation of NATO expansion through Bill Clinton’s bunk about a Partnership for Peace (via dismemberment of the Soviet bloc), and possibly the setting up of a post-Saddam power-sharing regime in Iraq — the U.S. has been completely ineffectual in the world since the original Gulf War and the end of the Cold War 20 years ago.

Today’s Progress, Tomorrow’s Barbarism?


I’m mildly surprised that Ross Douthat didn’t say what I’m about to in his recent post about Kwame Anthony Appiah’s thought-provoking op-ed on what future generations will count against us morally. Appiah gives us three indications that a current moral sentiment is going to be overturned:

First, people have already heard the arguments against the practice. The case against slavery didn’t emerge in a blinding moment of moral clarity, for instance; it had been around for centuries.

World War One is Finally Over


People tend to see history in decade-shaped chunks. It helps to sort the events and trends if we can store them in boxes marked 70s = shag horror or 50s = conformity or whatever concept we ascribe to the mood of the time. The farther you go back, the more standardized the labels become, so the 40s = war, the 30s = everyone in a sepia-hued breadline, and 20s = Jazz Age, whatever that means. Beyond that, though, it gets indistinct. The teens of the previous century seem quite remote; they had a big dress rehearsal for World War Hitler, and then . . . well, people sat around waiting for the Charleston to be invented, I guess.

But everything from the previous century still affects us today, and sometimes you get little pieces of news that remind you how close Now is to Then. Such as:

What Can Parents Do?


This story so depressed me, so frightened me as a parent, that I couldn’t even watch Part 2 of Ken Burns’s baseball documentary, “The Tenth Inning,” on PBS last night. (I’d watched Part 1 on Tuesday night and felt high on life. Isn’t baseball grand? Weren’t the 90s the best time for someone like me to be a sportswriter! I’m great! Life is great!)

Then, I read this story. I’m a mom. I imagine the moms and parents of each of these three young people. I wonder what they, if anything, could have done differently.

Red Ed


Peter asked me a few days ago what Margaret Thatcher would have made of Ed Miliband, the new leader of the British Labour Party. She would have thought him an abomination, of course, but I have to imagine any leader of the Conservative Party would be grateful to Labour for electing him: What more could you hope for in a political opponent than someone who inspires in voters such an overwhelming urge to change the channel? David Cameron is assuredly sleeping better these days.

The Economist’s Bagehot was actually pretty funny about the leadership rally at which Miliband’s victory was declared:

Do Corporations Like Citizens United and AT&T Have the Same Rights as Us?


Last year, in the Citizens United ruling, the high court struck down certain campaign finance laws and ruled that corporations have free speech rights. This year, the Court will consider a case that asks: Do corporations have privacy rights? From the WSJ’s law blog:

In its Citizens United opinion from last year, the Supreme Court shot down certain campaign-finance limits. In so doing, the court essentially ruled that U.S. corporations have First Amendment free-speech rights.

Hey, Claire!


The Robinson/Berlinski interviews over at Uncommon Knowledge have been great so far, part two especially. To hear Claire articulate Thatcher’s moral approach to free markets should be enough to make the scales fall from even a liberal’s eyes – which, if nothing else, would be cheaper than plastic surgery.

But answer me this, Claire: what on earth is that you are wearing around your swan-like neck? I mean, inquiring minds want to know!

President of All?


Earlier today I wrote a short piece just as my flight from L.A. was about to depart (thanks, Emily, for getting it edited and posted), and now that I’m on another coast, I wanted to elaborate on one portion of the piece. In it, I observed that this administration has been evaluating the performance of voters when it was supposed to be the other way around. They’re busy ripping into the Right (ignorant bigots) and the Left (whiners who need to “buck up”) while ignoring their own shortcomings. They seem to have forgotten that they were elected to represent all of us, no matter how distasteful that might be for them.

It got me thinking about the attitude some voters on the losing side of an election have expressed in past campaigns: “He’s not my President!” Well, I’ve never subscribed to that mindset. In fact, every President is our President. That’s why we’re supposed to show respect for the office even as we criticize policies. But something disheartening and alarming is going on. For the first time, I’m beginning to feel as if this man is not my President, and that feeling is not coming from me. He really can’t stand Tea Party people, and he really is exasperated with carping liberals. He appears suspicious of anyone who succeeds in the private sector and positively angered by anyone who had the temerity to become wealthy. He seems to like no one except those who continue to idolize him.

Our Manchurian Candidates in the Mainstream Media Awake


I hereby stop complaining–at least for today–about the left-wing bias in the mainstream media. I’ve no quarrel with this AP item, but you’ve got to admit, it could be an RNC press release:

WASHINGTON (AP) – A deeply unpopular Congress is bolting for the campaign trail without finishing its most basic job – approving a budget for the government year that begins on Friday. Lawmakers also are postponing a major fight over taxes, two embarrassing ethics cases and other political hot potatoes until angry and frustrated voters render their verdict in the Nov. 2 elections.

America Fights, China Gets Rich


At least, according to Anne Applebaum in today’s Washington Post:

Look at Afghanistan, for example, where American troops have been fighting for nearly a decade, where billions of dollars of American aid money has been spent — and where a Chinese company has won the rights to exploit one of the world’s largest copper deposits. Though American troops don’t protect the miners directly, Afghan troops, trained and armed by Americans, do…

Should We Let Obama Assassinate American Citizens?


At the Corner, Kevin Williamson throws down the gauntlet:

set aside the legal questions for a second. The Awlaki case speaks to something even more fundamental than law: Decent nations do not permit their governments to assassinate their own citizens. I am willing to give the intelligence community, the covert-operations guys, and the military proper a pretty free hand when it comes to dealing with dispersed terrorist organizations such as al-Qaeda and its affiliates. But citizenship, even when applied to a Grade-A certified rat like Awlaki, presents an important demarcation, a bright-line distinction in our politics.

What More Does The Liberal Base Want?


Taking a few days of down time from the road, I notice more and more reports of the President, Vice President, and even Senator Kerry (D – France) scolding the liberal base for their restless impatience. I keep asking, what are they impatient about? What more do they want? Perhaps a few of the lurkers from the left will be kind enough to explain. The government has stimulated the economy into a virtual death spiral. They own a large part of the automobile and financial industries. Freedom is on the decline at home even as our enemies gather strength abroad. Sounds like a liberal nirvana to me, so why the long faces? What more do you want? How many more regulations and taxes do you require? How much more private property must you gobble up? How many businesses must you kill before you’re satisfied? How high must the unemployment rate go to quench your thirst for government dependence? When do you stick a fork in this bloated government rump roast and call it done?