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Just a Dig



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Jennings concluded ABC coverage by noting he asked reporter David Wright in Baghdad if Iraqis there would be watching the speech, but noted the power went out there as the speech began.

“It happens a lot these days.”

Lula Lunacy



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CNN’s richard roth says Brazil’s Lula is a “very controversial figure” but off to a “good start.” How about “radical leftist”?

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U.N.Dercovered



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Watching live coverage of Kofi Annan reminds me: our national media never investigates anything about the UN or its effectiveness. To the average American TV watcher, Kofi Annan is, for all he or she knows, a great world statesman, while they know the media think that President Bush is “sinking,” as CNN declared yesterday.

Web Briefing: Nvember 27, 2014

Polar Climate



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I don’t want to belabor the obvious, but this country is mighty polarized just now. Have a look at the latest New York Times best seller list. It’s filled with attack books from the right and the left. Right now, the left is slightly dominant, in marked contrast to the months after 9/11. But both sides are in full culture war mode. It isn’t just a question of right versus left. The sheer number of political books on the best seller list is striking–and it’s been this way since 9/11. Am I wrong to say that there was a time when political books did not dominate the best-seller list? We aren’t just polarized, we’re politicized. September 11 still energizes the right, and the right’s attack books still focus on 9/11 and the terrorist threat. The challenges of post-war Iraq have energized the left, which is pushing its theme of the “lies” of the right. Each side thinks the other is ripe for defeat. Meanwhile the Dixie Chicks say they no longer consider themselves to be part of country music. That’s a pretty impressive bit of polarization. I still think Natalie and her fellow chicks just don’t get it. They don’t see that their controversial remarks went beyond merely expressing opposition to the war and represented a kind of insult to the South that was bound to alienate their fans. (See this old Corner post of mine and scroll up.) But the gulf between country fans who see the Chicks’ remarks as dishonorable, and the Chicks themselves, who simply see their words as a straightforward political protest, shows that we are dealing with a cultural chasm. Still don’t believe me? Then consult the article by James Q. Wilson and Karlyn Bowman in the latest issue of The Public Interest.

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Preparing For War?



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CNN broke out Aaron Brown and Paula Zahn for U.N. speech coverage.

California Crunch



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Brother Hugh, some news.

John Eastman, a professor of law at Chapman University and a frequent guest on your radio program, has just brought to my attention a poll that will interest you. Commissioned by the Lincoln Club of Orange County, the poll includes the following results:

If Arnold Schwarzenegger found himself in a head-to-head race against Cruz Bustamante–that is, in effect, if Tom McClintock dropped out of the race–then Schwarzenegger would win, 44 to 37 percent.

But if Tom McClintock found himself in a head-to-head race against Cruz Bustamante–that is, in effect, if Schwarzenegger dropped out of the race–then McClintock would win, 42 to 40 percent.

From the beginning, Hugh, you have made a single argument against McClintock, insisting that he cannot win.

But he can.

Arafat & The Kgb



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Ex-Communist general Ion Pacepa writes (in the Journal–subscribers only):


The Israeli government has vowed to expel Yasser Arafat , calling him an “obstacle” to peace. But the 72-year-old Palestinian leader is much more than that; he is a career terrorist, trained, armed and bankrolled by the Soviet Union and its satellites for decades.

Before I defected to America from Romania, leaving my post as chief of Romanian intelligence, I was responsible for giving Arafat about $200,000 in laundered cash every month throughout the 1970s. I also sent two cargo planes to Beirut a week, stuffed with uniforms and supplies. Other Soviet bloc states did much the same. Terrorism has been extremely profitable for Arafat. According to Forbes magazine, he is today the sixth wealthiest among the world’s “kings, queens & despots,” with more than $300 million stashed in Swiss bank accounts.


Treat Yourself



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When Polls Resemble Candidates



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Greetings From The Plains



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Lord, how Minnesotans love their state–since asking for sight-seeing advice yesterday morning, I’ve received something like 50 emails. It turns out that I won’t have this morning to visit both Minneapolis and St. Paul–I’d always thought they were in effect two halves of one city, like Buda and Pest, when in fact they lie about nine miles apart–and since my hotel is in St. Paul, that’s where I’ll see the sights. If I can manage it, I’ll make not one stop but two.

First up, the rotunda of the state capitol, where I hope to look upon the battle flag of the First Minnesota Infantry Regiment, the suggestion of Scott Johnson, a board member of American Experiment. “The regiment,” according to materials Scott sent along, “is best known for the dramatic charge at the battle of Gettysburg…The First Minnesota crossed over 200 yards of open ground and charged the Confederates in spite of odds of five to one. The rebels recovered and in five minutes killed or wounded over 170 of the 300 plus men. The survivors did not panic but fell back to thier original position and ralled around the remnant of the flag….”

From the capitol, if time permits, I’ll go to St. Paul’s cathedral at the suggestion of both Fr. George Rutler, a sometime contributor to this happy Corner, and of Hugh Hewitt, who broadcasts each year from the Minnesota state fair. I’ll light a candle for Hugh, of course. Anyone who could remain unmoved by my arguments on behalf of Tom McClintock stands in need of a little prayer.l

The Bradley Prizes



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K Lo: You scooped me on the Bradley Prizes yesterday! Judging from the four people who will take home $250,000 apiece, it looks like the Bradley Foundation is trying to create a kind of Nobel Prize for conservative intellectual achievement. Readers who are especially interested in the business of high-prestige prizes may want to check out a story of mine that appeared in the May/June 2003 issue of Philanthropy magazine.

Tomorrow Morning



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The 9th Circuit will announce its new ruling, sources say.

Slick Wesley?



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Even liberal journalists are amused by Adam Nagourney’s account of how General Wesley Clark is twisting like a pretzel over his views on Iraq. He’s so unready for prime time he’s asking aides to remind him what his views are:


“Mary, help!” he called to his press secretary, Mary Jacoby, at the front of the plane, as he faced questions about Iraq. “Come back and listen to this.” He would have voted for the war to give “leverage” to the UN a la John Kerry, but Howard Dean is also right. “I didn’t want to go in there either.”

Who said generals are decisive?

I’m Still in Alaska



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You should still subscribe to NR Digital because, while I like it here, I’d like to come home too.

Bradleys Announced



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What a list:


Milwaukee, WI—The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation announced today that the inaugural Bradley Prizes to honor outstanding achievement will be awarded to Mary Ann Glendon, Leon R. Kass, Charles Krauthammer and Thomas Sowell.

“These outstanding individuals are being recognized for achievements that are consistent with the mission statement of the Foundation, including the promotion of liberal democracy, democratic capitalism, and a vigorous defense of American institutions,” said Michael W. Grebe, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Bradley Foundation.

The $250,000 prizes will be presented in a ceremony that will be held at the Library of Congress on Tuesday, October 7.

The 2003 Honorees include:

Mary Ann Glendon

Mary Ann Glendon is the Learned Hand Professor of Law at Harvard University. A distinguished public intellectual, Professor Glendon is an influential teacher and an internationally respected expert on family law and human rights law. She is widely acclaimed for her scholarship on moral reasoning, cultural politics, the impact of feminism on the status of women, and the subordination of law to rights. Professor Glendon was appointed by Pope John II as an advisor to the Vatican and by President George W. Bush to the President’s Council on Bioethics. She received her J.D. degree from the University of Chicago.

Leon R. Kass

Leon R. Kass, M.D., is the Addie Clark Harding Professor in the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago and the Hertog Fellow in Social Thought at the American Enterprise Institute. His earlier research in molecular biology led him to contemplate the human consequences of science, an area of inquiry in which he has been engaged for more than 30 years. In particular, Dr. Kass’s scholarship has focused on the broader moral and cultural questions raised by biomedical advances. His powerful books and essays on the prospects of, and problems with, biotechnology unguided by ethical and philosophic reflections have contributed significantly to the public debate. In 2001, President George W. Bush appointed Dr. Kass Chairman of the President’s Council on Bioethics. A Chicago native, Dr. Kass was educated at the University of Chicago where he received his B.S. and M.D. degrees and at Harvard where he earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry.

Charles Krauthammer

Charles Krauthammer, M.D., is a Pulitzer Prize winner for distinguished commentary, a journalist, and media commentator. He writes a nationally syndicated editorial page column for The Washington Post and is frequently published in Time, The New Republic, The Weekly Standard, and other magazines. He is also a contributor to FOX News. Widely respected for his penetrating clarity of thought on foreign policy, national defense, politics, bioethics, and other topics of broad public interest, Dr. Krauthammer articulates a public philosophy in the best tradition of American thought. He was educated at McGill University and Oxford University, and holds a medical degree from Harvard University.

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is the Rose and Milton Friedman Senior Fellow in Public Policy at the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace and one of America’s most perceptive public intellectuals. Trained as an economist, Dr. Sowell is the author of 30 books and an influential syndicated columnist whose writings address subjects ranging from race preferences and cultural differences to the origins and ideology of political conflict. An ardent spokesman for personal responsibility, governmental restraint, the genius of the marketplace, and the essential goodness of America, Dr. Sowell is a formidable presence in the nation’s intellectual life. He is well–respected for the quality of his work, intellectual rigor, and fierce independence. Dr. Sowell received his education at Harvard, Columbia and the University of Chicago.

These individuals were selected based on nominations solicited from more than 100 prominent individuals. The winners were ultimately chosen by a selection committee that includes Michael W. Grebe (Chairman), former U.S. Senator William L. Armstrong, Wall Street Journal Editor Emeritus Robert Bartley, The Honorable Robert H. Bork, William F. Buckley, Jr., Paul Johnson, Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick, Dianne Sehler and James Q. Wilson.

“Each year, through the Bradley Prizes, we will recognize individuals who have made outstanding contributions and hopefully, encourage others to strive for excellence in their respective fields,” said Mr. Grebe.

Founded in 1985, The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation is devoted to strengthening American democratic capitalism and the institutions, principles and values that sustain and nurture it. Its programs support limited, competent government; a dynamic marketplace for economic, cultural activity; and a vigorous defense, at home and abroad, of American ideas and institutions. Recognizing that responsible self-government depends on enlightened citizens and informed public opinion, the Foundation supports scholarly studies and academic achievement.

Off to The Twin Cities



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Will be leaving in an hour to fly to Minneapolis, where I’ll be speaking at noon tomorrow about–yes indeed–
How Ronald Reagan Changed My Life
. The event, sponsored by the Center for the American Experiment, will take place at noon at the Four Points Sheraton. (Any Cornerites who attend should be sure to let me know, because nothing cheers me more than cheering K-Lo, and nothing cheers her more than hearing about her empire.)

But here’s question. Tomorrow morning, I’ll be free. What one sight should I be sure not to miss? Please place “Twin Cities” in the subject heading.

Re: Michelman Spin



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K-Lo, I whole-heartedly endorse your “press release” view of the NY Times story on Kate Michelman, in which NARAL-PCA (much less sympathetic to defenseless little creatures than the ASPCA) is described as “the country’s most vocal group advocating abortion as a legal right for women.” They could at least say “most uncompromising,” if they’re not going to say “most liberal,” or to use daily Michelman-speak, the “most extremist.” But the real give-away is calling Michelman “one of the grandes dames of the reproductive rights debate,” as if she was the Margaret Thatcher of the Pregnancy Terminators.

I Like The Way He Thinks



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An e-mail:


Thank you!

Finally, after making this suggestion to Jonah a couple years ago, I can now read NR on-line….I just started my digital subscription…

If you are one of the many who has pined for the NR Digital product in the past, what are you waiting for. Even if you never thought about it before, just subscribe! For less than 20 bucks, why not?

Debate-Plus-Five



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Over in my little debate with Hugh Hewitt (see NRO’s homepage), I’ve just posted a defense of Tom McClintock–and a proposal. Tom and Arnold will debate this coming Wednesday. (This is the only engagement to which Arnold has agreed. If he’d spent half as much time working out his policy positions as he’s devoted to dodging Tom, Arnold would be a lot better off right now.) Either that debate will enable McClintock to break out, overtaking Arnold at last–or it won’t. And within five days of the debate itself, McClintock will have had time to play up his performance–and the pollsters will have had time to gauge voters’ reactions.

If he’s still trailing on September 29, I figure, McClintock should bow out. But if he has indeed managed to overtake Arnold, then Arnold must go.

I’ll let you know when I hear back from Hugh.

Draft Cynthia!



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