Magazine | November 15, 2010, Issue



(In Memory of Marianne Moore)

Something waiting to be born,    

The oak tree folded in the acorn,

We might say, the felicity

Of potential: an embarrassment of riches

Takes a chance at life in ditches,

A miracle that’s hard to beat.

Squirrels never grow to what they eat

And acorns never penetrate concrete

On which I’ve heard them bounce on windy nights,

Landing loud as bottle caps

After the shortest and straightest of flights –

Without even the hint of a somersault.

Where you land is sometimes the wind’s fault.

In This Issue


Politics & Policy

NPR’s Class Act

A few years ago, during my weekly commentary on the local public-radio station, I used the word “midget.” I was explaining the ruthless and whip-fast efficiency of the Hollywood casting machine. ...
Politics & Policy

Hard Money

The U.S. economy is at risk of falling into either an inflationary or a deflationary spiral, which is a consequence of the Federal Reserve’s having been either too loose or ...


Politics & Policy

Red Scare

During the 2008 campaign, Barack Obama’s most loyal and affectionate constituency was one that cannot legally vote in U.S. elections: foreigners. His campaign and subsequent election were celebrated in European, ...

Books, Arts & Manners

The Straggler

Sad, Bad, Mad

Scowling out at me from my New York Post is Steven Hayes, recently convicted of an exceptionally vile crime in my neighbor state of Connecticut. With another man, not yet ...
Politics & Policy

The Obama Vision

The charge by some conservatives that President Obama was and indeed still is a socialist has been met with disbelief or brushed aside as irrelevant by our liberal elites, most ...
Politics & Policy

Northern Light

In modern American liberal-arts colleges, the Scottish Enlightenment tends to get short shrift. Except in specialized courses focused on the intellectual history of the 18th century at the few institutions ...


Politics & Policy


The Two Faces of Paul Krugman Stephen Spruiell’s characterization of Paul Krugman’s difficulties as an opinion journalist is compelling (“Professor Ahab,” October 18). As a graduate student at the University of Chicago, ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ Vice President Biden said, twice, that conservatives have spent $200 billion on political ads. He meant $200 million. Explains a lot about the last two years. ‐ Barack Obama is ...
The Long View

Update to New York Times Stylebook

FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION TO: Editorial Staff FROM: Editorial Policy Committee RE: Election pieces, approved language Oct. 26, 2010 As you all know, Election Day is one week from now, and we know you’re all busy ...
Politics & Policy


LET SPRING BE SPRING (In Memory of Marianne Moore) Something waiting to be born,     The oak tree folded in the acorn, We might say, the felicity Of potential: an embarrassment of riches Takes a chance at ...

Tax-and-Beg Radio

The billboards for the local public-radio station say “NO RANT. NO SLANT.” That flatters the target audience nicely, eh? Unlike those wingnut stations where Rush Limbaugh speaks in tongues through ...

Most Popular


Two Truth-Tellers, Brave as Hell

Yesterday, the Human Rights Foundation hosted an event they called “PutinCon” -- a conference devoted to the Russian “president,” Vladimir Putin: his rise and his deeds, both at home and abroad. Participating were both Russians and well-wishing foreigners. It was, above all, a day of truth-telling -- a ... Read More
Economy & Business

The Swamp: Navarro Nucor Edition

The Wall Street Journal has a story today about the ties between President Trump's trade adviser, Peter Navarro, and the biggest steel company in the U.S. -- Nucor Corp. It is particularly interesting in light of the stiff steel tariffs successfully pushed by Navarro, which he championed ever since he joined the ... Read More


EMPIRICAL   As I can fathom neither endlessness nor the miracle work of deities, I hypothesize, assume, and guess.   The fact that I love you and you love me is all I can prove and proves me. — This poem appears in the April 2 print issue of National Review. Read More
Politics & Policy

Rolling Back Dodd-Frank

The Senate on Wednesday passed a bill that would roll back parts of Dodd-Frank. The vote was 67–31, with 17 members of the Democratic caucus breaking party lines. If the legislation passes the House and is signed, it will be the largest change to the controversial financial-reform package since it became law in ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Samantha Power Regrets

‘I’ve had a lot of bad ideas in my life,” former U.N. ambassador Samantha Power tells Politico. “Though none as immortalized as that one.” Wow. It’s a major concession. And what might “that one” be? Not standing idly by in the White House while Iranians protested a fixed election in 2009, then ... Read More