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Thank you



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Thank you to everyone who reads and supports NRO. A special thanks to those serving overseas and to your families — God bless you for your sacrifices. And thank you. 

Christmas



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The New York Post goes straight to the source .

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“SYRIA IS ANNEXED TO IRAN”



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Who says so? The Lebanese Druze leader, Walid Jumblatt. This is why the notion of negotiating Syria away from Iran is so naïve. Assad is far more frightened of Tehran than he is of Washington — justifiably so based on recent history. Tehran kills with impunity (including Americans) while America’s ability to project force effectively in the current international environment remains questionable.

Jumblatt adds

I will talk about an Arab axis and a Persian axis. Amr Musa represents Egypt and the Arabs. The main Arab forces are today in Saudi Arabia and Egypt. We hope Algeria and Morocco will join us against Persia; that is, Syria and Iran. Syria is annexed to Iran. … The ruler of Damascus bet his destiny and sold his Arabism for the sake of his existence.

More here .

Web Briefing: December 18, 2014

After All That Holiday Cheer



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Comic geeks should get some Kirbycise in. Only comic geeks will appreciate this, by the way. Nod to Brian Doherty.

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The Obama Surge Continues



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A lump of coal for Hillary. From the Concord Monitor:

Two weeks after speaking to a sell-out Manchester crowd of more than 1,600, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama is reaping the benefits of his visit. If the Democratic primary were held today, Obama would be in a statistical dead heat with New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, according to a new Monitor poll. Last month, a Monitor poll showed Clinton trouncing her opponents, with Obama lagging 23 points behind.

“I’m not surprised, because Barack Obama got five days of constant media attention in New Hampshire,” said Jim Demers, a lobbyist and former Democratic lawmaker who accompanied Obama throughout the senator’s New Hampshire visit. “Obama has demonstrated to the people of New Hampshire that he’s a top-tier candidate.”

Although Clinton commands considerable support among likely Democratic primary voters, she struggles in general election match-ups, according to the poll. If the contest were held today, both Arizona Sen. John McCain and former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani would prevail over Clinton. Obama, in contrast, would eke out a slight win over both Republican candidates. Former Democratic vice presidential nominee John Edwards is neck-and-neck with the Republicans.

James Brown, RIP



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Merry Christmas Everybody



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who cares about Christmas merriment. And Happy Monday Off to the rest of you. 

Blessed Christmas Prayers



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Best wishes from everyone here. Have a wonderful Christmas….

Me Wanna Go Home



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Harry Belafonte—who used to have the good judgment to stick to calypso—has compared George W. Bush with Adolf Hitler and Colin Powell with house slaves (“You got the privilege of living in the house if you served the master. Colin Powell was permitted to come into the house of the master.”)  So? 

So Dartmouth College, one of the “ancient eight” institutions that comprise the Ivy League, has invited Belafonte to deliver the keynote address at its Martin Luther King Day celebration.

Dartmouth students and alumni are not best pleased.  For the response of Dartmouth trustee Todd Zywicki, click here; of Dartmouth alumnus and PowerLine maestro Paul Mirengoff, click here; and of Dartmouth undergraduate Joe Malchow, click here .

Iran in Iraq



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Drudge Just reported that, according to NYT, We have arrested several Iranians, including “senior military officials.” Some were arrested in the compound of brother Hakim, who was in Washington recently to explain his peace plans to President Bush. Here you go.

John Kerry



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Blogging Heads TV



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After technical hassles too complicated and boring to describe, my conversation with Ann Althouse is up at BhTV. It got a little heated in the begining and I’ve been trying to figure out why Ann and I had such a problem talking to each other about Frank Meyer, state’s rights etc. Ann’s a nice and reasonable person, after all.

A little background: She and I both attended a Liberty Fund conference on Frank Meyer’s legacy. Meyer was the author of the doctrine which became known as Fusionism (though Meyer didn’t like that label). Meyer was obsessively libertarian in almost all realms, but he alo took the structure of the constitution very seriously, making him a staunch supporter of State’s rights. This put him in the untenable situation of defending States’ rights in the face of Jim Crow. He was right on the constitutional principle of state’s rights, but he was wrong historically and morally about how that principle needed to be applied in reality. We set aside a whole panel session for this topic, though many of us — but not Ann — had already spent the night arguing about this stuff until 2:00 in the morning. Anyway, earlier last week, Ann ran a post on her site implying that attendees of the conference were a little scary because they “believed” too much. I called her post “odd.” She apparently, and I think wrongly, took considerable offense. She later explained that she was really talking about the libertarians and their extreme dedication to ideological conviction. Proof of this, I learned while talking to her, was the lack of realism when talking about the States’ rights stuff.

Anyway, you can learn more and see all the related links by going to BhTV. But what’s been bothering me ever since our conversation is that Ann sees herself as specially positioned — both at the Liberty Fund and in conversations with me — to lecture others about race. I agree with her entirely about how conservatives need to be very careful when trying to sell federalism. But what bothers me is the assumption that conservatives need liberals to tell us about how to be racially “enlightened.” It seems to me — and this is just my theory — that because a roomful of people who were not trying to persuade any audience or play to any constituency didn’t perform the usual liberal rituals about how terrible Jim Crow was, Ann interpretated this as a lack of commitment. Morevoer, she thought the people in the room were woefully out of touch with racial reality and therefore need moral tutoring from a liberal who really understands these things. Maybe at a similar conference full of liberals there would be much gnashing of teeth and teary-eyed condemnations about the legacy of Jim Crow. But, if that’s the case, mightn’t that be a sign of how liberals embrace liberalism to feel good about themselves and morally superior to others? There’s a certain Sorkinesque aesthetic to liberalism, full of self-congratulation and righteous grandstanding, that assumes the world needs liberals to tell everyone else what’s right and wrong.

I’m not saying that Ann is one of those liberals, by the way. In fact, she gets a lot of grief from the left for not playing that game. But, I do think she doesn’t know conservatives (or libertarians) very well, and so when we don’t talk like liberals, or when we don’t talk like conservatives at the University of Wisconsin, Madison — who’re forced to dance a “I’m-not-racist” kabuki every time they make a point — she thinks we don’t understand reality and that we really do need liberals to guide us to enlightenment.

One last point I tried to get in our conversation, but couldn’t. Conservatives were, broadly speaking and with more exceptions than the conventional narrative allows, on the wrong side of the civil rights movement. That goes for National Review, too, by the way. But the left has used this fact to put the mark of Cain on conservatives ever since. It’s amazing to me how eager liberals are to say that intellectual history matters when it’s inconvenient conservative intellectual history. But whenever you try to to turn the subject to liberal intellectual history, all you get back is eye-rolling. One small example: Recently, I wrote that liberals had a long love affair with Fidel Castro. This is simply factually true. And yet, I was deluged by liberal readers and lefty bloggers whining about how either that never really happened or that was old news, hardly applicable to liberals today. Well, liberal and leftwing fawning and excuse-making for Castro is far more recent than conservative support for Jim Crow, thank you very much. The Progressive movement, which we today call liberalism, stands on a foundation of eugenics and theocracy. But, if you bring that up, you mostly get ignorant stares from the same liberals eager to tell me — a guy named Goldberg from New York City — that I have to atone for what “my side” did in the 1960s. I don’t mind coming to grips with my side’s intellectual history, in fact I love that stuff. What offends me greatly is when liberals say conservatives are the only ones who should do it and, moreover, they should only do it when it suits liberal ends.

Anyway, there’s other fun stuff up over there, from robot rights to kid’s cartoons. Time for me to take Cosmo squirrel hunting.

Merry Christmas Eve



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That is all.

Fairwell Southern Appeal



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RE: REDUCTION AD HITLERUM



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MALDEF’s president informs me that his group wasn’t at the deportation-equals -Nazism press conference, as the Reuters story I linked to implied. Instead, as the San Antonio paper’s coverage made clear,the conference was hosted only by “LULAC President Rosa Rosales and local community-activist organizations.”

iran adopts resolution on iran’s nukes



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But it isn’t clear who clearly loses here besides the United States. Leaning on a veto threat until the very last, the Russians shielded the top Iranians who run the nuclear program from a travel ban — a manged to save their light-water reactor at Bushehr. The resolution bans transfers of enrichment and reprocessing equipment, which would be helpful if Iran wasn’t already technologically self-sufficient in both. (It is already enriching uranium, and has laid all the groundwork for a plutonium-reprocessing capability). Further economic sanctions (under Article 41) are darkly hinted at.

Underlying all of this is the great unanswered question of the Iraq War’s Resolution 1441: Does the U.S. need Council permission to use force? For the U.S., the key issue is how to enforce Iran’s obligations. For the Europeans, the key issue is how to keep the U.S. from enforcing those obligations itself. The resolution text leaves the point ambiguous and allows all sides to claim authority for their position–just like Resolution 1441–and that is bad for the United States, which is giving the impression that it has given up on any threat to use force.

So far, the Europeans have used the Security Council as a brilliant device for containing the United States. But what happened to containing Iran? The further economic sanctions hinted at open up another interval of many months during which the Iranians know they can plow full steam ahead with no consequences. This resolution was little more than a permit for Iran to Ahmadinejad to throw the big “coming out” party he plans for February, when Iran is set to declare itself a nuclear state.

It’s interesting that those who strongly believe we can contain a nuclear Iran have so little interest in containing it now.</i>

Rudy To Ramp Up In IA



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Starting very soon, per the Des Moines Register.

Speaking of, what do you Iowans think about the GOP field so far?   What is the buzz going into ‘07?  Shoot me an email so I have a little political fix as I wait in the TSA line today.

Last Christmas?



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What the...?



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The HuffPo is looney tunes.

But Romney can be glad he’s even on their radar as they begin seeing life after Bush Derangement Syndrome. 2007 promises to be INSANE.

UPDATE: Here’s the statehouse story from an informed Romney supporter: Per ridiculous Huffington Post item and from the category of no good deed goes unpunished…. By tradition in Massachusetts, the departing Governor NEVER attends the inaugural swearing-in of his successor.  The two meet in the Governor’s office, exchange some symbols of office, and then the outgoing Governor leaves the building via the front doors for his “long walk” down the steps. At the same time, the incoming Governor is escorted to the House chamber for his swearing in.

Because Deval Patrick wanted to hold an outdoor swearing-in on the front steps, it was not possible to do the “long walk” at the same time. For that reason, Governor Romney magnanimously offered to do the exchange of symbols and the long walk the previous evening in order to accommodate Deval Patrick’s change in the swearing-in. 

Re: Gary Hart



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Yes, and Woodrow Wilson did such a bang-up job.

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