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Week in Review


THE EDITORS: Milton Friedman, Nancy Pelosi & more. Window on The Week — 11/17/06 11/17 12:50 PM

DERB RADIO: John Derbyshire on O.J., Larry King, and more. DerbRadio – 11/17/06

You Can’t Help but Wonder


My remote ancestors, stumbling around in the great forests of northern Europe, believed that powerful spirits dwelt in trees.  Were they on to something?

Walking my dog every morning, we pass a huge, gnarled old tree.  Every time we pass this tree, I have to pat it with the flat palm of my right hand.  I don’t know why, I have just made it a habit.  Every morning for 15 years I have patted this tree.  It’s my lucky tree.  (I actually have to cross a road to get to it, so there is a nonzero probability I’ll get killed on the way to my lucky tree, but never mind that.)

Well, coming up to my lucky tree yesterday, I saw a crabby old lady from the next street with her even more disagreeable dog, hanging round quite unnecessarily by the tree.  We’ve had words with this woman and her husband about issues related to children’s pranks, and we now avoid them.  I also didn’t want Boris to get into a fight with the woman’s ugly, stupid, belligerent, no doubt flea-infested dog.  So just for once I passed up on patting my lucky tree.

Later my wife took her car in for a tune-up.  They did something wrong to it, and after she’d picked up the car & was driving away, it emitted a terrible noise.  We got it back to the service station & they said they’d call us next day ( i.e. today).  So we were a one-car family last evening.

Took Danny to football practice, which is from 6pm to 8pm.  Around 7:15 it started to pour, so practice was truncated.  Took Danny back to car.  I had locked my keys inside–a thing I don’t think I have ever done before.  Stood in the rain with cell phone borrowed from coach, calling wife, under withering scorn from son.  Wife reminded me that we have only one car.  Begged ride home from coach, hurled self on mercy of neighbor, who drove me the 4 miles to the field with spare car key.  (God bless you, Pat.)

When I got home I found my computer had crashed.

I’ve pretty much recovered now, car in driveway, computer up and running.  Touch wood.


The Fighting 110th Minority


Don’t you dare count us out, incoming Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says. I popped by his whip office yesterday for a few minutes and here’s a write-up about our chat.

Web Briefing: September 18, 2014

Hispanic Family Values


Heather Mac Donald has something to tell us about Hispanic family values in City Journal.

Every 1,000 unmarried Hispanic women bore 92 children in 2003 (the latest year for which data exist), compared with 28 children for every 1,000 unmarried white women, 22 for every 1,000 unmarried Asian women, and 66 for every 1,000 unmarried black women. Forty-five percent of all Hispanic births occur outside of marriage, compared with 24 percent of white births and 15 percent of Asian births. Only the percentage of black out-of-wedlock births—68 percent—exceeds the Hispanic rate. But the black population is not going to triple over the next few decades.


An Ending Hollywood Would Hate


While And Tango Makes Three continues to ruffle feathers (oh no he didn’t!) in book form, doubtless the full-length movie version will include the surprise twist ending of the true story: the penguins broke up.

Coolest People Ever


A timeline. I’m not sure I agree (particularly that Olbermann nonsense), but I applaud the effort.

Getting in On the Action


I could use someone to do my housecleaning, period.

Help Wanted


I’m gonna need a meticulous, smart, diligent intern/assistant type to help me with the house-cleaning on my manuscript. In particular, I need someone to help get my copious footnotes and the like in order. There will also be some serious research-related stuff to do as we head into galley mode.  It would be best if he or she — or conceivably it — went to school or worked in the DC area so we could meet from time to time. I haven’t thought through the money question, but you can be assured it won’t be lavish. But what’s filthy lucre compared to a glowing mention in the acknowledgements and my eternal gratitude? Anyway, anybody interested in said gig should send an email with appropriate info (resume, experience, dancing ability etc) to [email protected] 

October Brainteaser


I’ll confess I did it by what mathematicians politely refer to as “enumeration” (translation:  breaking rocks).  I came up with 17 solutions, as follows.  Each set of five numbers is arranged:  pennies, dimes, quarters, 50-cent pieces, dollar pieces.


Hail to the Victor


Bo Schembechler, the legendary Michigan football coach, has died.

Tomorrow, Michigan needs to win one for Bo

Milton Friedman Explains Himself


On an episode of Uncommon Knowledge recorded in 1999, I asked Milton Friedman to explain—and defend—libertarianism. He acquitted himself brilliantly, needless to say, but also proved warm, funny, and conversational, treating me with the same courtesy, intermixed with rigor, that he was famously display toward generations of students. (I’d have represented a very slow student, but still.) A lovely last look at a magnificent man .

Taking One for the Team


The thing I most frequently hear in reference to Marsha Blackburn, House Republican from Tennessee, is that there is a sense among members that she is not a team player. That said, I thought GOPers should consider sucking it up and electing her because they could use a woman, she’s perfectly qualified, articulate, conservative, great on TV, etc. Anyway, fwiw, she lost (didn’t make the final ballot even) but sounds like a team player nonetheless:

 WASHINGTON, DC — Representative Marsha Blackburn issued the following statement today in reaction to the House Republican leadership elections.


“We have a great group of talented public servants in our Conference, and I’m confident that together we’re going to reaffirm our place as the top choice of voters across this country. Running in this election made it clearer than ever to me that all of our Members are leaders. We are all committed to our districts and our country, and now it’s time to roll up our sleeves and work together to be certain Americans know what we stand for and why. I will continue doing my best to support our leadership and support our Party’s principles.” 

House Republicans would be wise to make use of her and she — like the likes of Paul Ryan and Jeb Hensarling and other cool young conservatives — ought to make her presence known and felt in the 110th minority. They are key members of the team.

Remember What I Was Saying about the Arctic Yesterday?


It turns out there are already signs of cooling up there.  My colleague Myron Ebell has the details – and the quite extraordinary reaction of scientists – over at Open Market.

Fox News All-Stars


From last night’s Special Report with Brit Hume:

On the House Democratic Leadership Race

KRAUTHAMMER: [Backing John Murtha] was a losing proposition. . . . You don’t want to lose on day one. And when you lose 2-1, what she has done with Hoyer is . . . created a number two who is . . . a rival. She is going to have to look over her shoulder. If she stumbles in this term, he is going to end up inheriting her spot in the next Congress.

FRED BARNES: On the Murtha thing, this was a win for Nancy Pelosi. . . . Just think if Murtha had won, and was actually the majority leader. Then, she would be in trouble. You know, Brit, as I said a couple nights ago, I thought the media was going to give Murtha a pass. Boy, was I wrong on that. The media has not done that at all, has brought up all the old, and some new, ethical charges against him, even more than the ones Charles mentioned. And, if Murtha were there as majority leader, this would be a continuing story day after day after day. And the whole leadership of the Democrats in the House would be bleeding.

On John McCain’s Run for President

BARNES: Well, I would say his chances among the Republicans are better than anybody else’s. But he has got some real problems. . . . [H]e’s against the marriage protection amendment. He voted against it. But he did some things that I don’t know how he’s going to overcome with conservatives. You know, he voted against all the Bush tax cuts. He voted for, was the architect of campaign finance reform, which, you know, drives a lot of conservatives crazy. He is for gun control and all those things. . . .

KONDRACKE: [Moderates] are the people to whom John McCain will appeal, or can appeal, and I don’t think he is going to go so far off, you know, the independent reservation that he can’t appeal to them. And his strength will be that he, among . . . all Republicans, could probably beat Hillary Clinton.

KRAUTHAMMER: Look, he knows his problem is on the right. He has indictments. He is a hero of the media. He has been working assiduously for — over these six years to repair his relations on the right. Now, we heard him in the sound bite. He spoke about reducing the size of government. And, yes, the conservatives like the fact that he has opposed all this spending. But he has also — but he hasn’t opposed the increase in the reach of government. And that’s where conservatives are upset . . .

And he is the strongest candidate for the general election.

HUME: So, you think he can do it, right?

KRAUTHAMMER: I think he can. I think he will.

More on Conference Race


On the third ballot, Rep. Adam Putman defeated current conference chair Jack Kingston 100-91. Reps. Dan Lungren and Marsha Blackburn were defeated on the first two ballots.

More House Baseball


Conference chair 1st ballot: Putnam 81, Blackburn 31, Kingston 58, Lungren 29. Lungren drops off.

Iraq Hostages


John, no more pip-squeak arguing.  I promise!

re: Re: End the Cyclen


Well, I do, in fact, think that when one looks around, that  “that the crass commercialization and distribution of birth control is demeaning to women, degrading of human sexuality and adverse to human health and happiness” is obvious. Evidence will be at many a bar, in many a pint of Ben & Jerry’s, etc. this evening.

Heard in the airport on CNN


 ”O.J. Simpson’s new book. Has he gone too far this time?”

House Leadership Update V


Roy Blunt beats John Shadegg by a margin of 137 to 57.


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