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Longevity



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In November, President Ford became the longest living ex-president in American history. Gleaves Whitney marked the occasion in this piece on NRO.

Bush on Ford



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STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

Laura and I are greatly saddened by the passing of former President Gerald R. Ford.

President Ford was a great American who gave many years of dedicated service to our country. On August 9, 1974, after a long career in the House of Representatives and service as Vice President, he assumed the Presidency in an hour of national turmoil and division. With his quiet integrity, common sense, and kind instincts, President Ford helped heal our land and restore public confidence in the Presidency.

The American people will always admire Gerald Ford’s devotion to duty, his personal character, and the honorable conduct of his administration. We mourn the loss of such a leader, and our 38th President will always have a special place in our Nation’s memory. On behalf of all Americans, Laura and I offer our deepest sympathies to Betty Ford and all of President Ford’s family. Our thoughts and prayers will be with them in the hours and days ahead.

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R.I.P.



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Web Briefing: December 25, 2014

Amnesty, Left for Seconds



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An Obama Intern Problem



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What Will Amnesty International Say?



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If Saddam Hussein is really put to death this month?

Cajun Edwards



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John Edwards is annoucing in the shadow of Katrina.

New Census Numbers



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Interesting posts over at The Hotline and RedState re: the new census estimates for ‘06 and what they portend for reapportionment in 2010 (doesn’t it still sound far-off to say “2010″?).

The bottom line — and this shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone — is that the Great Migration of the 21st Century continues unabated: People are flocking from the Northest and Midwest to the South and West.  Further, more and more immigrants are bypassing traditional first-stop’s along the Washington-Boston corridor and are heading straight to the South.

One item I’d be curious about is how many among the snowbird set are African-American.  It’s largely anecdotal (though I do recall an NYT story a few months back) but there is a trend where some blacks, only a generation or two removed from the sharecropping South, are moving back to Dixie to be with relatives in warmer and cheaper climes.

Out West, I’m struck by California’s comparitively sluggish rate of growth.  Each time I see the explosive numbers out of Nevada and Arizona, I can hear the Governator’s voice from that circus of a debate in ‘03 warning that the state’s business climate was driving folks across its eastern border.   Workers’ comp reform aside, looks like folks are still headed to less-costly land next door. 

Obama Moves



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If anybody doubted that Sen. Barack Obama is giving a long and very serious look at a WH bid, check this item out from The State’s retiring (and respected) Lee Bandy:

U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., who had lunch with Obama recently, declined to handicap the race “until I see what the field looks like.”

Clyburn, House majority whip, said Obama requested the meeting.

“He didn’t ask for my support, and I didn’t offer any,” the congressman said.

The two most notable lines, of course, are “had lunch with Obama recently” and “Obama requested the meeting.” Maybe the freshman senator just wants to get to know the highest-ranking African-American member of Congress (Clyburn will become the Maj Whip in January), but methinks their powwow more to do with Clyburn’s status as the biggest prize in South Carolina Democratic politics. 

BUT SURELY THERE IS NO MILITARY SOLUTION?



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The Financial Times reports :

Meles Zenawi, Ethiopia’s prime minister, on Tuesday said between 3,000 and 4,000 Ethiopian troops had “broken the back” of the Islamist forces and that up to 1,000 Islamic fighters had been killed. “We have already completed half our mission, and as soon as we finish the second half, our troops will leave,” he said.

Me: How many “fighters” have we killed in Iraq? You think it was a wise decision on the part of the Pentagon not to provide such estimates while everyday we learn how many Americans have been killed?

Hat tip: John Willamson

More on Somalia



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I’ve just been talking with an FDD researcher who has been monitoring developments in Somalia via Arabic media. It does indeed appear that the Ethiopians are defeating Islamist forces there. Why are they achieving what American forces in Somalia in1993 did not and what American forces in Iraq today apparently are not?

More “boots on the ground” may be part of the explanation. The Ethiopians are not attempting to have a “light footprint.” They are not worried about whether they will be seen as “occupiers” or whether their “occupation” will be viewed as benevolent.

Secondly, the Ethiopians are not overly concerned about whether their tactics will win approval from the proverbial Arab Street – or the European Street or Turtle Bay. They are fighting a war; their intention is to defeat their enemies; everything else is secondary or tertiary.

Anyone have an alternative interpretation?

The Great Cauldron Bubbles...



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The Reform Party of Syria, the good guys in that sad corner of the world, reported a few minutes ago that a wave of arrests is going on in the country’s major cities.  It seems a large number of military officers have been rounded up, along with the usual civilian suspects.  RPS stresses that the targets do not seem to be Islamists (read:  Muslim Brotherhood).   It’s apparently a serious matter since tanks and armored personnel carriers were deployed in Aleppo, Hama, Idlib and Deir el-Zour.  As RPS points out,

 Baschar al-Assad has traveled outside Syria in the last few weeks after refusing to leave the country for at least six months for fear that in his absence someone will mount a coup. Given how extensive the raids of last week were, Assad without a doubt will re-assess his military by ordering a clamp down that will inevitably hurt the morale of his generals and army officers.
  Machiavelli reminds us that tyranny is the most unstable form of government, and the Mideast is a dangerous place for them these days.  Despite the often feckless performance of our leaders, there are many revolutionary forces at work.

More On Althouse & Federalism



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I haven’t been following Ann’s follow-ups. Just haven’t gotten around to it. But the blogger Gahrie Grumbles has.

More over at the Volokh Conspiracy.  

FOX HED: “GOVT & ETHIOPIAN TROOPS FORCE ISLAMISTS TO RETREAT”



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Maybe we can learn something from the Ethiopians in Somalia?

A little more here . 

Cutting Corporate Taxes



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Many thanks to the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page for continuing my mantra that lower corporate tax rates will boost worker wages.

They cite economist Kevin Hassett’s worldwide study that capital migration in response to corporate tax rate relief improves economic growth, jobs, and wages.

But the editorial should have cited one additional fact – namely, 70 percent of the corporate tax cost is borne by wage earners (the remaining 30 percent is paid by shareholders).

My friend James Pethokoukis (aka “Jimmy P”) over at U.S. News & World Report has also picked up the theme of cutting corporate taxes to boost wages.

The bottom line here is that if companies paid less in taxes – or better yet none at all – then more money could be paid out to those who work at those companies.

Think of it.

Merry Christmas



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Whether you have today off or not, hope you’re able to continue to enjoy family and friends.


That Iran Resolution at the U.N.



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“Have Yourself a Merry Little Congress”



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You haven’t experienced an NRO Christmas if you haven’t read some of the unique offerings on our homepage…like the Derbyshire sing-a-long. But there’s more. Skelly remembers Americans saving Western Civ. Smith talks to warriors. And much more…

Anthony Lewis Trivia



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I was fact-checking my column and stumbled on Anthony Lewis’ bio at Wikipedia . I came across this little tidbit, which I did not know:

He is married to Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, who was formerly the General Counsel and Vice-President at Harvard University. She wrote the majority opinion in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, which legalized gay marriage in Massachusetts.

What to Read?



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A quick look at some worthwhiles, courtesy of NRO’s Hot Links (on the homepage — visit daily):

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 26TH

EDITORS: The United Nations’ basket of sanctions against Iran has holes big enough for dinosaur eggs to fall through. New York Sun

AMIR TAHERI: There’s a boom outside Baghdad. New York Post

CAROLINE GLICK: in Bethlehem, as the dwindling Christian population reeled with the news that their tormentors may soon return to rape, murder and extort them again, Manger Square stood near-empty on Christmas. Jerusalem Post

MICHAEL BARONE: Bush needs to channel Churchill and Roosevelt on Iraq.TownHall.com

EDITORS: Do we need a bigger Army? Chicago Sun-Times

MICHAEL OREN: Jimmy Carter has a religious problem with Israel. Wall Street Journal

JEFF SESSIONS: I suggest that Democrats and Republicans can successfully work together to create personal savings accounts for all Americans outside the Social Security system.Washington Post

LAWRENCE SUMMERS: The markets are pricing in tranquillity as far as the eye can see. The commentariat begs to differ. Los Angeles Times

TOD LINDBERG: This has been a good year for taking stock of the state of the political system.Washington Times

BILL CLINTON: Two years after the southeast Asian tsunami, we can honor its victims by applying lessons we’ve learned in the recovery to future natural disasters. Washington Post

JUSTIN WEBB: Is America ripe for a Mormon president? BBC

ELIZABETH WILLIAMSON: Senator McCain calls for troop boost as son becomes a Marine.Washington Post

PAULINE W. CHEN: Patient deaths, for many doctors, represent a kind of failure, and so without really thinking, we look the other way. New York Times

ERIC FETTMANN: Uri Dan, R.I.P. New York Post

BOB NEWHART: Back to the stores! New York Times

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