Featured Articles — December 18, 2007

Interesting Takes from Home and Abroad:

Voters Signal a Hunger for Change — Gerald Seib
Change is the most powerful word in politics, and it’s beginning to appear American voters want to send change roaring through the system like a gale-force wind in 2008.

A Buyer’s Christmas — James Surowiecki
’Tis the season to buy. Of course, for Americans it’s always the season to buy, but there is something special about the spending frenzy we engage in at holiday time.

Academic Intimidation — Thomas Sowell
There is an article in the current issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education — the trade publication of the academic world — about professors being physically intimidated by their students.

Five events that have defined 2007 — Gideon Rachman
There are some events that change the world in an instant: the fall of the Berlin wall; the tanks rolling into Tiananmen Square; the aeroplanes flying into the World Trade Center.

Why TR Claimed the Seas: The importance of a strong Navy. — Bret Stephens
On Dec. 16, 1907, the 16 battleships of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet sailed from Hampton Roads, Va., on a 43,000-mile journey around the world. The occasion was immediately understood as Teddy Roosevelt’s way of declaring that the United States, already an economic superpower, was also a military one. Unnoticed by most Americans, this past Sunday marked its centennial.

McCain’s Surge — Wall Street Journal Editorial
Why he’s making a primary comeback.

This Is Not Your Land Anymore — Jonathan V. Last
An outrageous story of eminent-domain abuse.

Fund the Palestinians? Bad Idea — Daniel Pipes
Lavishing funds on Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority to achieve peace has been a mainstay of Western, including Israeli, policy since Hamas seized Gaza in June. But this open spigot has counterproductive results and urgently must be stopped.

Secular Europe or Religious America? — Dennis Prager
Last week, New York Times columnist Roger Cohen wrote a column titled “Secular Europe’s Merits,” in which he explained why he prefers the secularism of Europe to the religiosity of America.

Huck: Playing to Our Inner Jimmy Carter — David Limbaugh
At the risk of incurring a roundhouse kick from the great Chuck Norris, I must confess that I’m even more troubled by Mike Huckabee’s direction than I was last week.


Featured Articles — December 17, 2007

Interesting Takes from Home and Abroad:

The Algerian terror lesson — Boston Globe Editorial
THE SUICIDE BOMBINGS at United Nations headquarters and the Supreme Court building in Algiers last week were crimes against humanity. They also offered clues about the aims of Al Qaeda and true scope of the threat from fanaticized jihadists.

General Petraeus, Man of the Year — By the Naional Review Editors
Time magazine hasn’t announced its pick for “man of the year” yet, but we certainly know ours: Gen. David Petraeus, commander of the multinational force in Iraq and architect of the surge strategy that is turning the tide in the war.

How Petraeus Turned Around Iraq — Trudy Rubin
On Thursday, Gen. David Petraeus addressed a gathering of hundreds of Sunni sheikhs in flowing robes, including some who were attacking his soldiers around the capital not long ago.

Iraq – the best story of the year — Tim Hames
Against all the odds, an optimistic prediction comes true

Thoughts on Religion and Politics — Rod Dreher
Herewith, my views on religion and the politics of the present moment, with something to offend just about everyone.

A Republican Retreat — Robert Novak
Nearly the entire federal government would be funded by an omnibus appropriations bill to be unveiled today after covert negotiations. In subsequent parliamentary maneuvering likely to extend all through this week, Democrats will pare the spending level to the maximum demanded by President George W. Bush in order to avoid a veto. Republicans will declare victory. In fact, they are in retreat.

I’m More Anti-Illegals! — Howard Fineman
GOP voters focus on who’s coming into America.

Taxing Time For Democrats — Michael Barone
It’s been a while since taxes were a potent political issue. It was almost 20 years ago that George H.W. Bush invited voters to “read my lips” and a baker’s dozen years since Republicans captured Congress by decrying the Clinton tax increases. George W. Bush did promise to cut taxes, but it didn’t help him much in 2000, and the ensuing economic recovery didn’t help him much in 2004.

Bernanke Blows Smoke — Lawrence Kudlow
Ben Bernanke’s Federal Reserve blew smoke at the markets last week, and markets blew smoke right back. Nothing was solved in terms of the growing global credit crisis, the result of a sub-prime virus that continues to infect money and capital markets everywhere.

A Civilian Partner for Our Troops: Why the U.S. Needs A Reconstruction Reserve — Richard G. Lugar and Condoleezza Rice
It is unusual in Washington when an idea is overwhelmingly supported by the president, a bipartisan majority of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the State Department, and both the civilian and military leadership of the Pentagon.

Challenge in Kosovo — Washington Post Editorial
Europe and the United States should not allow Russia to block the Balkan province’s independence.

Featured Articles — December 16, 2007

Interesting Takes from Home and Abroad:

Justice Clinton? — Douglas Kmiec
President Taft went on to the Supreme Court. Maybe Mrs. Clinton will park her husband there.

McCain’s Last Stand — Fred Barnes
He still has a chance.

Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani are struggling to stay front-runners — Michael Goodwin
A year ago, it was in the bag. Six months ago, dead certain.

A Gates-Style Thaw — Jim Hoagland
“We are going to do something terrible to you,” one Kremlin insider frequently told Americans in the 1980s as the Soviet Union was crumbling before the unbelieving eyes of U.S. intelligence. “We are going to deprive you of an enemy.”

America’s Priorities in the War on Terror — Mike Huckabee
The United States, as the world’s only superpower, is less vulnerable to military defeat. But it is more vulnerable to the animosity of other countries.

A Realistic and Principled Foreign Policy — Bill Richardson
Sixty years ago, in the pages of this magazine, George Kennan presented a compelling case for U.S. global engagement and leadership to contain Soviet power. His strategic vision laid the foundation for a realistic and principled foreign policy that, despite mistakes and setbacks, united the United States and its allies for the duration of the Cold War.

Government Entitlement For Risk Takers — George Will
She who would be president excoriates, as Democratic presidential candidates must, the current president and almost all his works. But she and he largely agree regarding the subprime mortgage problem.

It’s Too Late for Later — Thomas L. Friedman
The negotiators at the United Nations climate conference here in Bali came from almost 200 countries and spoke almost as many languages, but driving them all to find a better way to address climate change was one widely shared, if unspoken, sentiment: that “later” is over for our generation.

A Time For Leadership — Rudy Giuliani
Thank you. Tested. Ready. Now. America needs a leader. I am running for President of the United States because I believe that I can lead America into a new era with bold leadership, optimism, determination, and distinctly American solutions.

Why are the wheels coming off the Clinton bandwagon? — Dick Morris and Eileen McGann
In Iowa and New Hampshire — the first two tests for the presidential nominating process — Hillary Clinton is faltering badly.

Featured Articles — December 15, 2007

Interesting Takes from Home and Abroad:

Of Pork and Patriotism — Brian M. Carney
John McCain doesn’t mince words when it comes to Iraq, the State Department and spending.

Barack Obama seizes his chance — Toby Harnden
Clumsy slurs from Hillary Clinton’s campaign have seen Barack Obama pull past her in the race for the White House. Toby Harnden describes how the senator hit fighting form

The Huckabee Trap — Ramesh Ponnuru
In october the Republican Presidential candidates spoke before social conservatives, mostly Evangelicals, at the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit. The event was awkward for several of the contenders.

When Inevitability Isn’t So… Inevitable — John Zogby
It seems like we’ve been involved in the presidential campaign for a year, probably because we have been involved with the presidential campaign for a year.

Conventionally Ignorant — Victor Davis Hanson
The same old simplicities about Iraq. Washington is an echo chamber. One pundit, one senator, one reporter proclaim a snazzy “truth” and almost immediately it reverberates as gospel.

With Spies Like These . . . — Joseph Weisberg
Anyone Giving Intelligence to the U.S. Could Be an Enemy’s Double Agent

George Mitchell’s report has shed light on baseball’s steroid era. — Mike Lupica
It is the morning after for George Mitchell.

The Perils of Putinism — Wall Street Journal Editorial
A non-transfer of power that makes Russia less stable.

The Man Who Started It All — Andrew Ferguson
Twenty-five years of John McLaughlin.

Subprime Politics — The Nation Editorial
As news of the growing financial crisis and impending wave of mass foreclosures became too dire to ignore, the Bush Administration briefly roused itself from its lame-duck slumber to announce… well, not much.

Featured Articles — December 14, 2007

Interesting Takes from Home and Abroad:

An Overdose of Public Piety — Charles Krauthammer
Mitt Romney declares, “Freedom and religion endure together, or perish alone.” Barack Obama opens his speech at his South Carolina Oprah rally with “Giving all praise and honor to God. Look at the day that the Lord has made.” Mike Huckabee explains his surge in the polls thus: “There’s only one explanation for it, and it’s not a human one. It’s the same power that helped a little boy with two fish and five loaves feed a crowd of 5,000 people.”

Steroids in Baseball: Say It Ain’t So — Thomas Sowell
Shoeless Joe Jackson was the only man to bat .382 in his last season in the major leagues. After that he was banned for life for his role in the “black sox scandal,” the deliberate throwing of the 1919 World Series.

Love Thy Enemy — Michael Young
Is talk of a U.S.-Iranian dialogue realistic?

A Second Democratic Year in ’08? — Larry Sabato
Look at recent history. The Senate has changed party control six times: in 1980 (D to R), 1986 (R to D), 1994 (D to R), 2001 (R to D), 2002 (D to R), and 2006 (R to D). This is no longer a rare event. And the Democrats now control the Senate by the slimmest of margins, 51 to 49. Surely, then, Republicans have a real chance to recapture Congress’ upper chamber in 2008.

CIA let mullahs off hook — Greg Sheridan
I DON’T think I have ever seen anything quite so foolishly irresponsible by an American administration in the field of diplomacy as last week’s release of the US National Intelligence Estimate on Iran. There is a dismaying clumsiness and stupidity about it, a kind of reckless disregard of allies and consequences, which is both bewildering and bizarre.

Must they be wars without end? — The Economist
No, as recent successes show. But “winning” will take many years, and cannot be achieved by force alone

Russia Incorporated — David Satter
Why Vladimir Putin dare not give up his position as capo.

A Moral Core for U.S. Foreign Policy — Derek Chollet and Tod Lindberg
Is idealism dead? Should the promotion of American values of liberalism, democracy, human rights, and rule of law be a core element of U.S. foreign policy?

Fred Ain’t Dead — Quin Hillyer
Memo to readers: With his superb performance in Wednesday’s debate in Iowa, Fred Thompson has made a monkey out of me.

Plan B For Pelosi And Reid — E. J. Dionne
Congressional Democrats need a Plan B. Republicans chortle as they block Democratic initiatives — and accuse the majority of being unable to govern. Rank-and-filers are furious their leaders can’t end the Iraq War. President Bush sits back and vetoes at will.

Featured Articles — December 13, 2007

Interesting Takes from Home and Abroad:

Intelligence Oversight in Free Fall — David Ignatius
Whatever else one might say about America’s accident-prone intelligence agencies, it seems clear that the system of congressional oversight that was established in the mid-1970s to supervise them isn’t working.

Misreading the Iran Report — Henry Kissinger
The extraordinary spectacle of the president’s national security adviser obliged to defend the president’s Iran policy against a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) raises two core issues: How are we now to judge the nuclear threat posed by Iran? How are we to judge the intelligence community’s relationship with the White House and the rest of the government?
Hillary’s Slush-Fund Attack — Robert Novak
David Axelrod, the seasoned Chicago Democratic political operative who is chief strategist for Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, was taken by surprise in the last minute of CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Dec. 2. Howard Wolfson, Sen. Hillary Clinton’s spokesman, accused Obama of running a “slush fund.” In fact, the Clinton campaign was spreading that story privately months ago.

The Oprah Factor: A Big Boost for Obama — Dick Morris
The era of celebrity endorsements ended some time ago. We no longer buy the shaving cream that Derek Jeter tells us to use; nor do we vote as some Hollywood actor suggests. We have come to assume that political endorsements are often the product of partisan loyalty rather than any particular standard of merit and that commercial testimonials come only in exchange for cash.

Immigration reshapes politics everywhere — Jim VandeHei and John F. Harris
If there was any doubt about the fearsome power of an anti-immigration message in American politics this election cycle, Republican Bob Latta drove a stake through it on Tuesday.

When waterboarding works — Byron York
About a year ago, I had dinner with a man who played a key role in the U.S. war on terror

Powerful Awakening Shakes Iraqi Politics — Trudy Rubin
Eight bodyguards with machine guns guard the entrance to his three-story stone Baghdad office.

The End of Globalization? — Gabor Steingart
Great political change often begins with the smallest of doubts. Such a doubt is beginning to make itself heard in the US presidential campaign. Free trade, Hillary Clinton is saying, may not be so great after all. Could it signal the beginning of the end for globalization?

Crimson in Clover — Wall Street Journal Editorial

Why Harvard costs so much.

Harvard for Free — Fay Vincent
Higher education is about to change as elite universities decide what to do with their huge endowments.

At Last, a Vote! — Daniel Henninger
Iowa’s January caucuses finally arrive for a face-weary electorate.

Featured Articles — December 12, 2007

Interesting Takes from Home and Abroad:

The Roots of the Mortgage Crisis — Alan Greenspan
Bubbles cannot be safely defused by monetary policy before the speculative fever breaks on its own.

America must resist protectionism — Michael Bloomberg
The US economy has turned downward. People are feeling insecure. There are grave concerns about jobs moving overseas and about losing ground to Asian countries. Heavy pressures are mounting on the presidential candidates in both parties to pander to protectionist and even isolationist sentiments.

The Huckabee Factor — Zev Chafets
Mike Huckabee walked into the lobby of the Des Moines Marriott at 5:30 a.m. on Dec. 3, deposited an armful of dirty laundry at the desk and checked to make sure he was being credited with Marriott Rewards points toward his next stay. Then, accompanied by his wife, Janet, his daughter, Sarah, and his press secretary, Alice Stewart — who doubles as his Boston Marathon trainer — he walked into the dark, freezing morning, climbed into a waiting S.U.V. and headed for Central College in Pella, Iowa.

Last debates could have ‘seismic impact’ — Thomas Beaumont
The Des Moines Register’s presidential debates, set for today and Thursday, are the last meetings of the candidates before the leadoff Iowa caucuses and most meaningful of the dozens already held this year, campaign strategists agree.

Bill Clinton to aid Hillary’s campaign — KENNETH R. BAZINET and THOMAS M. DeFRANK
Insiders say Bill Clinton is furious at some of the decisions made by wife’s campaign team. Bubba to the rescue! Alarmed by his wife’s slide in the polls and disarray within her backbiting campaign, a beside-himself Bill Clinton has leaped atop the barricades and is furiously plotting a cure – or coup.

That Does Not Compute — Jeffrey Lord
Mitt Romney has a passion for data. A great president needs a passion for principle.

Muscle Flexing in Senate: G.O.P. Defends Strategy — DAVID M. HERSZENHORN
Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, operates with near-robotic efficiency when it comes to negotiating budget figures in public, consistently refusing to answer questions that would ever commit him to a specific number at the bargaining table.

Paper Trail — Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball
Who authorized the CIA to destroy interrogation videos?

Politics, Putin-Style — New York Times Editorial
The Soviet-style guessing game over Russia’s presidential succession seemed all but decided this week when President Vladimir Putin endorsed the candidacy of his loyal protégé, Dmitri Medvedev, and then Mr. Medvedev announced that, once elected, he would appoint Mr. Putin to be his prime minister.

Hugo’s Crude Politicsm — Investor’s Business Daily Editorial
Politics: Joe Kennedy’s back, playing Santa Chavez with a new sleigh full of Venezuelan heating oil for “the poor.” The tropical dictator’s politicized “gift,” however, comes with strings. We see Joe dancing on them.