Entries from September 2011

No, The Red Sox Did Not Choke

September 30th, 2011 at 5:51 pm 13 Comments

It didn’t take long for the mob to start spewing venom over the Red Sox’s collapse. On the morning after the team’s season-ending defeat Wednesday night, the Boston Globe’s Dan Shaughnessy cut to the chase: “The greatest choke in baseball history ended the only way it could have ended, with the Red Sox gagging on the Camden Yards lawn one last time.”

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The Fat Diaries: It’s a Struggle Keeping Out Bad Influences

September 30th, 2011 at 5:50 pm Comments Off

My kids are finally reaching that age where I’m not involved in every aspect of their life. A few years ago I decided what they ate for breakfast lunch and dinner. I came up with, or at least supervised every activity they pursued. I enforced good manners from the moment they woke up to the moment they went to bed. That is no longer the case.

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Michael Moore and the Tea Party Deserve Each Other

September 30th, 2011 at 5:50 pm 50 Comments

This month, Michael Moore has unleashed his latest on left and right alike, a memoir of the early years that shaped him in his beloved Flint Michigan, along with his remarkable and colorful family, aptly titled Here Comes Trouble. Ironically, it’s a book which explains more than Moore – it may explain the entire battle currently shaping American politics.

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The EU’s Big Fat Greek Mess

September 30th, 2011 at 3:49 pm 9 Comments

Herman van Rompuy is neither a “poet lost in politics,” nor “charismatic,” but rather a timid church mouse – precisely the sort of leader that a lowest common denominator institution like the EU requires. This reputation has dogged Von Rompuy ever since his contested appointment as President of the European Council in 2009.

Van Rompuy’s ignorance seems to not only cover his dull personality but also the magnitude of the Greek crisis. Rompuy on his recent New York visit suggested that Greece will not default because it cannot be allowed to default.

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Why Obama is Quiet About Al-Awlaki

David Frum September 30th, 2011 at 2:14 pm 220 Comments

Michael Tomasky asks, “Why doesn’t President Obama take more credit for killing the al-Qaeda leadership?”

Tomasky is normally a tough-minded observer of all points of the political compass, but on this occasion he has sunk much too deep into liberal self-regard.

Imagine if the Bush administration had killed bin Laden, under circumstances as daring as the ones under which he actually was put on ice by the Obama administration. Imagine what that week would have been like. On Fox News, we’d have been subjected to endless Soviet-style encomia to our heroic leader. What would the administration itself have done? I’ll concede the 10 or 15 percent chance they’d have surprised us and played it humbly. But in all likelihood, Bush and Cheney and Rummy and Condi would have dashed around the country making speeches at martial events, alternated (of course) with bathetic public ceremonies in the presence of some of the very 9/11 widows whom the Bushies, in other moments, aspersed for wanting things like an honest commission investigation into how 9/11 happened in the first place.

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Opposition Media Fails to Stop Chavez (UPDATED)

September 30th, 2011 at 1:08 pm Updated3 Comments

The frustrating fact about many of the news organizations that are opposed to Hugo Chavez is that they are not very good at their job.

To give a recent example, on September 28th the Nuevo Herald reported that Hugo Chavez went into a Military Hospital in Caracas in a “fairly serious condition” and that he was probably experiencing kidney failure due to his recent and last round of chemotherapy to fight cancer.

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Obama Won’t Indulge Black Frustrations

September 30th, 2011 at 12:11 pm 19 Comments

When it comes to issues of race, the nation’s first black president makes us question one of the hoariest axioms in American politics: If both the left and the right are mad at you, are you doing something right?

On September 29th, Politico documented rising criticism of a weekend speech Obama gave to the Congressional Black Caucus, during which he beseeched his audience to: “Stop complainin’! Stop grumblin’! Stop cryin’!” Putting aside for the moment the condescendin’ g-droppin’, the performance has drawn sharp rebuke from figures ranging from Tavis Smiley to emerging gadfly Maxine Waters.

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Wow, US Banks Really Hate Debit Cards

David Frum September 30th, 2011 at 11:29 am 59 Comments

One of the really striking differences between daily life in the US and Canada is the all-pervasiveness of debit cards north of the 49th parallel and their comparative absence to the south.

On the US side, banks until recently charged retailers a very hefty price for the use of a debit card, averaging 44 cents a transaction. This summer, the Federal Reserve imposed new limits on debit card charges, driving fees down to an average of 24 cents.

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I May Vote for Romney, But I Won’t Like it

September 30th, 2011 at 11:02 am 37 Comments

David manfully takes up the job of stirring enthusiasm for Mitt Romney as President. I was for Pawlenty before that became impossible. Now Perry has revealed himself to be another Republican politician who cannot talk. Worse, he seems to insult the base without knowing it. At least with Huntsman it’s a strategy.

I think David is factually wrong on three statements he makes in his piece.

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Government is a Lousy Investor

September 30th, 2011 at 8:57 am 58 Comments

Jim DiPeso is right to draw attention to the Colony Shale disaster and the disastrous Synfuels government supported enterprise that helped make it happen. But there’s a broader point to be made: the government is utterly clueless when it comes to developing consumer products.

Aside from developing products used only by governments alone–fighter jets and spacecraft–governments almost always fail when they try to develop things that individuals (or even business) want to buy.

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