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Jesse Jackson Is a Cad


A friend of mine set off the metal detector at TSA security in national airport Friday afternoon. While waiting to be personally screened, a man pushed in front of her without apology. It was Jesse Jackson. When she protested, he insisted he needed to cut in front of her because he was late for his plane. Her plane was already boarding as well, she replied, but Jackson dismissed her concern and pushed ahead. Were that not enough, the TSA employee conducting the screening, acquiesced and checked Jackson ahead of my friend.

Out of My Cold, Dead Hands


It would be (pleasantly) surprising – no, astonishing – if cryonics were actually to bring someone back from the dead, but where’s the harm in trying? None, but some Arizona legislators seem set to try and regulate the cryonauts out of existence.

Blogger Rand Simberg is right not to be impressed:

“For now, the best course is caveat emptor. By the time they’re signed up, cryonics patients are made extremely aware of the promise, and risk of the process. If someone makes fraudulent claims (e.g., guarantees of reanimation), then they can be prosecuted for that, but short of that, no one right now is smart enough to regulate this industry.”

My own funeral plans remain unresolved.


Me Mia


My apologies for the absense all day. This has been the worst 24 hours of travelling I’ve been through in years. Anyway, I’ll be on board next week.

Web Briefing: October 22, 2014

Rodham Republicans


Senators Judd Rodham Gregg (‘R’-NH) and Mike Rodham DeWine (‘R’-OH), two more Republicans who have clearly forgotten that theirs is supposed to be the party of limited government, are pushing forward a bill to give the FDA the power to regulate the tobacco industry. That’s pathetic and, as the indispensable Jacob Sullum points out over at Reason it may also be lethal. The excuse for this bureaucratic overreach? You guessed it. “The children.” Here’s what Rodham DeWine has to say:

“We are taking a step toward reducing the number of children who begin to smoke.”

And then there’s this:

“We are taking a step toward limiting the kinds of advertisements directed at our children.”

And this:

“We are taking a step toward finally giving the FDA to fix the problem of youth smoking.”

Making it illegal for youngsters to buy tobacco products is not, apparently, enough.

Amongst the other provisions in the nauseatingly named “Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Bill” (inserting the word ‘family’ in the title of some dumb legislation does not, Senators, make it a good law) are “incentives to help those who want to quit” (the prospect of painful disease, lingering death or both is not, apparently, enough). It’s also claimed that the bill will ensure that consumers are “better informed” about the risks associated with tobacco use. As Sullum shows, it will do the opposite.

Thanks, guys.


Bye-Bye Segway


The Bossy Aussie’s Tribute


Here’s another in a series of articles for people to use when someone tries to insist the Washington Post doesn’t have a liberal bias. Today, diplomatic reporter Nora Boustany hails Helen Caldicott, the loony Australian nuclear-weapons abolitionist, with absolutely no ideological labeling except her gusto at fighting the “neocons.” The headline describes her as an “anti-nuclear pioneer.” Boustany hailed her as “the anti-nuclear movement’s town-crier-in-chief.” We’re also told her “angst is both unnerving and endearing. Her bright red reading glasses hint at her rage, but a string of opera-length pearls suggest sensibility and smooth authority.”

Then consider her speech earlier this year, in which she declared that the human male should not be allowed political power any longer: “They are truly pathological and they should all be removed, as I have said, for the public health of the people of the planet. Now 53% of us are women. We’ve had the majority and we’ve been absolute wimps. And it’s time we smacked their bottoms, removed them, and we took over. I’m not just joking — this isn’t funny. I am deadly serious.”

On Said


As The Corner noted yesterday, Edward Said has died. You can read a series of assessments over at Arts & Letters Daily. It’s interesting to compare the laudatory piece by Malise Ruthven, for example, with the story in the Telegraph. For my own post 9/11 appraisal of Said, go here.

Can Congress Revive Do Not Call?


The first court decision striking down the Federal Trade Commission’s Do Not Call list properly found that Congress had not delegated such power to the FTC (though Congress had given such authority to the FCC, which declined to act). Without a doubt, Congress can (and will) overturn this decision by explicitly granting such power to the FTC. But then the other shoe dropped. A second federal court held yesterday that the Do Not Call list is unconstitutional because it violates the First Amendment (see opinion here). The court’s reasoning merits serious consideration. Should it withstand appeal, Congress will be unable to authorize the creation of a Do Not Call list, at least one along the lines the FTC initially proposed.

Do Not Call The Do Not Call Dissenters


Rather than harass those who voted against creating a federal “do not call” list, I’m inclined to recognize these members of Congress as profiles in courage for recognizing that this sort of thing is simply not a proper responsibility of the federal government. There are voluntary, albeit imperfect, private do not call list, as well as numerous services and technologies that can block unsolicited calls. It is rare for a member of Congress to stand up and say a popular initiative is beyond the scope of federal power. On such rare occasions, we should applaud those who stand on such principle.

Jed’s Idea, Raised


A reader writes: “If you really want to annoy them, all the calls should
trying to sell National Review Subscriptions…..”

Lights Out On Power Station


Robert Palmer (“Addicted to Love”) has died, according to CNN.

Choking On Wheat Chex


Joe Lieberman just said on Imus that if he was the prez, we wouldn’t just be a “superpower,” but a “super-partner.” The straw man he was building was that Bush never listens to our European friends.

French Deck


Surprised it took so long.

Re: Jonah in Nyc


I feel like there is too much NRO in one geographic location. Hurricanes, whatever, never a good idea. Off to an undisclosed location. Stuttaford’s always at one, actually, so they’ll always be an NRO as long as he has wings and a laptop, battery, and phone line. It’s like his shortwave.

Rob Long


is advising Gray Davis. Check it out.

Lost in Space


A baffling line in today’s New York Times story on China’s upcoming manned space mission: “China’s leaders have invested significant resources in their secretive military-affiliated space program and have tried to stir nationalist sentiment about the project, as the United States and the Soviet Union did in the 1960’s.” The U.S. space program was secretive? Granted, technical details were kept under wraps, but the public became deeply familiar with the Mercury 7 team (Alan Shephard, John Glenn, etc.) and had a good grasp of what they were doing. In China, the public does not know the following: 1. The date of their manned orbiter’s launch; 2. How many people will be on board (it’s presumed to be one, but could be as many as three); and 3. The names of the astronauts in the Chinese space program. And as for “stir[ring] nationalist sentiment”: Okay, Americans took patriotic pride in their space program–but it’s absurd to suggest that a fundamental motivation of the Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations was to prop up their regimes with space stunts. The Chinese will feel good in their nation’s accomplishment in space, too–as well they should. But let’s remember that the U.S. space program had much to do with winning the Cold War (and thereby defending liberty) whereas the Chinese one has much to do with legitimizing a government of questionable legitimacy.

Daily Show -- Nyc


Thanks to everyone for the kind words about the Daily Show thing. Didn’t know what to expect, but it turned out ok I think (it’ll be on Comedy Central a couple times today). Anyway, I’m heading off to CNN to do my regular Friday thing, but from here in NYC. After that we spring Cosmo from the kennel, jail, the Big House, the Ol’ Stoney Lonesome. We had to put him there for our trip to Alaska and then NYC. Since he may rip my larynx out in revenge for his false incarceration (I just hope he hasn’t changed his name to Mumia-Abu Cosmo), this may be the last time we speak. Anyway, thanks again.

Reader’s Assess Jonah With Jon Stewart



I’ll back up that he was funny. It’s strange to see him on television,
though — he always seems less dorky than I imagine him when I read his

I do hope you’re currently asleep… [me too!]

Headline of The Day


New York Times: “In Breakthrough, Rats Are Cloned in France.” Will they do weasels next?

Full Deck?


In the land of Bonaparte (France, not Corsica), where all the sophisticated pepole know that the axis of evil isn’t headquartered in Pyongyang or Tehran but in Washington, it is now possible to purchase one of those decks of cards featuring American leaders. The man behind the enterprise, Thierry Meyssan, is famous for his recent French best-seller, The Big Lie, in which he claims 9-11 was sponsored by right-wingers in the American government to create a rationale for war.


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