Yet another book on Churchill: will they never cease? The short answer is No, and for good reason. The man in question was astonishing, a fact conceded as readily by his detractors as by his admirers. Here, for example, is his colleague in the Liberal Cabinet, Charles Hobhouse, writing in 1912: “Churchill is ill-mannered, boastful, unprincipled, without any redeeming qualities except his amazing ability and industry.” David Dilks, born in the year of the Munich agreement, is one of the very few historians still writing who knew most of the people close to Churchill, including Anthony Eden (for whom
A score of people this past week have asked me about the three million Republicans allegedly "missing" at the polls this year. For starters, if the Washington Post is to be believed, Mitt Romney received 1.3 million fewer votes than John McCain did in 2008, not 3 million. For the record, Obama received 7.5 million fewer votes in 2012 than he did in 2008. More than 1.1 million of the Republican votes were "lost" in California. It is not that California Republicans turned against Romney. His percentage of the vote was higher than McCain´s in 2008.
The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal have new stories out tonight about the scandal which led to David Petraeus’s resignation on Friday, both hitting on one interesting point: Petraeus’s affair was known at the top levels of the Justice Department months ago. The Times explains that “high-level officials at the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Justice Department were notified in the late summer.” The Journal story goes further, saying that Eric Holder himself “knew about the email link to Mr. Petraeus as far back as late summer,” timing the NYT deliberately leaves unclear.
Last Tuesday evening I went to bed in denial, thinking that there must be some mistake. I declined to believe that a majority of the voters were stupid enough to re-elect a President whose incompetence makes Jimmy Carter seem Washingtonian by comparison, whose mendacity far surpasses that of a pathological liar like Bill Clinton, and whose administration is so corrupt that it actually evokes nostalgia for the Nixon era. (Snip) On Wednesday, forced to face the grim reality of the election results, I became angry. My seething thoughts turned first to the “news” media.
I am a naturally optimistic fellow, not easily depressed. But on election night, despite a supply of cheap champagne and leftover Halloween candy to boost my spirits, I went to bed thoroughly demoralized and in the dumps. The piece by Robert Stacy McCain that appeared on this site the next morning ("Doomed Beyond all Hope of Redemption") pretty much summed up my feelings. But Time, the Great Healer, soon started to have its salubrious effect on my psyche, and I was able to wade through some post-mortem analyses without getting physically ill,
With just four minutes and a series of well-tied knots, Michael McDonnell saved himself and his Belle Harbor neighbors the night Hurricane Sandy hit. The experienced fisherman and surfer from the Rockaways fashioned a lifeline from electrical wire and twine to ferry a half-dozen people to safety from raging waters and fire. “You are only as good as the knots you make,” he said. Now McDonnell is hoping to take his experience to youngsters and others to help them figure out what to do if they have only minutes to evacuate their home — as he and others
Kevin Clash -- the man known as the voice of Elmo -- has taken a leave of absence from Sesame Street in the wake of allegations he had a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old boy, TMZ has learned ... allegations Clash adamantly denies. We´ve learned ... Sesame Workshop lawyers recently met with a 23-year-old man who claims he and Clash began a sexual relationship 7 years ago ... when he was 16 and Clash was 45.
Michigan voters rejected two union-backed efforts to amend that state’s constitution on Tuesday despite heavy spending by big labor and a largely unionized population. Government employees unions led by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) proposed two amendments to the state constitution that would have made collective bargaining a constitutional right (Proposition 2) and forced family members that care for disabled relatives into the union (Proposition 4). Despite the fact that the state’s workforce is 17.5 percent unionized--about 50 percent higher than the national average, according to a 2011 Bureau of Labor Statistics study, the most recent available--Proposition 2 lost
A new attorney general may be hard to find. Eric Holder teased the notion this week that he may step down from his spot as the nation’s top cop at the end of the year. Holder’s tenure as head of the Justice Department (DOJ) has been fraught with controversy and GOP criticism, as more than 100 lawmakers have called for his resignation and House Republicans led a vote placing him in contempt of Congress. But finding his replacement is likely to be even more contentious. A new attorney general will face a thorough grilling from conservative senators
With postmortems on the Romney campaign piling up faster than broken promises of relief to Sandy´s victims, there is time before the "big deal" gets cut and the national misery deepens to reflect briefly on what Mitt Romney did right -- and there was much he did right. Romney saved the House of Representatives from reverting to Nancy Pelosi´s rule. A bad enough showing from the GOP nominee, or even an uninspired replay of 1996 or 2008, would have left dozens of House freshmen dangling. National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions runs a great operation,
While national eyes were on the presidential election on Nov. 6, citizens of Louisiana were voting on a state-constitutional amendment that made the right to keep and bear arms "a fundamental right," and put gun-grabbing judges on notice. Titled the ´´Louisiana Right To Bear Arms, Amendment 2 (2012)´´, the amendment passed 73.45 percent to 26.55. It bolsters the exercise of 2nd Amendment rights within the state by eliminating ´´language within the Louisiana Constitution that would allow passage of laws prohibiting concealed weapons´´. It also mandates that ´´any restriction of a [gun] right requires the highest standard of review
The Central Intelligence Agency denied charges Sunday that its annex in Benghazi, Libya secretly held a few jihadi prisoners until it was destroyed in the Sept. 11, 2012 attack. Paula Broadwell, the girlfriend then-CIA chief Gen. David Petraeus, made that claim during an Oct. 26 speech in Denver, Colo. “I don’t know if a lot of you have heard this, but the CIA annex had actually had taken a couple of Libyan militia members prisoner. And they think that the attack on the consulate was an effort to try to get these prisoners back,” Broadwell declared
New Jersey Republicans are accusing Sen. Bob Menendez (D., N.J.) of having violated Senate ethics rules by failing to disclose or seek Senate permission for air travel and lodging provided by a wealthy campaign donor. The Middlesex County Republican Organization is asking the Senate Ethics Committee to launch an investigation into Menendez based on public records and media reports indicating the senator failed to disclose and seek permission for a series of flights to Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic between 2010 and 2012. Records indicate Menendez made at least four trips on a corporate jet owned by Salomon Melgen,
Each year I drive across the eastern half of the country twice, including the states of Ohio and Indiana. Without benefit of signage it would be hard to tell them apart. Each has an industrial base in the north and a heartland dedicated largely to agriculture. Each state is 86 percent white and has a Republican governor. Over the last 25 years, I think I have stopped at every McDonald´s on 1-70 and 1-71, and the service is uniformly upbeat and amiable along the whole route.
Dancing in Chicago, young voters gleefully celebrated President Obama’s victory. Indeed, voters younger than 30 may well have changed the outcome of the race. They represented 19 percent of all voters, even more than they did in 2008, and they favored President Obama by 60 to 37 percent, according to exit polling. One college student asked me, “What exactly are they so excited about?” Presumably, they aren’t celebrating their job prospects. Under this administration, unemployment of younger Americans and recent college graduates is not very different from the scandalous unemployment rates of youth in failing European countries
While the rest of America was holding an election last week, the gnomes at the Congressional Budget Office released the final budget totals for fiscal 2012. They´re worth reporting because they illuminate the real fiscal choices that confront the country, as opposed to the posturing you´ll be hearing over the next few weeks. The nearby table lays out the ugly details. The feds rolled up another $1.1 trillion deficit for the year that ended September 30, which was the biggest deficit since World War II, except for each of the previous three years. President Obama can now proudly claim
Remember Operation Fast and Furious? Mexicans sure do. And now some are planning to sue their government, and ours, for one of the dumbest maneuvers in the history of warfare — part of a 6-year drug war that has exacted more casualties than any other involving the United States in that period. Mexican legal sources tell me that lawyers there are putting the final touches on a massive lawsuit by relatives of Fast and Furious victims against the American and Mexican governments that launched the botched operation. Washington careers, perhaps even that of Attorney General Eric Holder, may be destroyed.
The FBI has been investigating Paula Broadwell, former CIA director David Petraeus´ biographer and reported mistress, for months, citing concerns about classified information and a potential national security breach. Well, it turns out that during the FBI´s investigation, the bureau did find classified documents on Broadwell´s computer, reports the Wall Street Journal. In September, the FBI began to do a legal analysis to see if there were any charges that could be brought. They decided to interview Broadwell.
As an old saw has it, "your right to swing your fist ends at the tip of my nose." The Obama administration says your right to live as a Christian ends if you go into business. Democrats are crowing about a second Obama term, and the Left´s culture-war troops are emboldened by their trouncing of social conservatives. Religious conservatives need to plant their spears and brace for the coming federal assault on religious liberty. The Obama administration this month, in defending its health plan´s contraception mandate, articulated a narrow view of the First Amendment´s religious liberty protections.
Politics is warfare and all politics is based upon deception, as well as perception. And right now, the perception of the Republican Party is that we are a bunch of clowns. Don’t believe me? Well, Chris Cilliza and Aaron Blake of The Washington Post have the numbers, and as my old college calculus professor used to say, ´´The numbers don’t lie´´. According to the numbers, Mitt Romney out-performed eleven out fifteen of the Republican Senatorial candidates, and the four that he didn’t out-perform were from very blue states that Republicans never win. In fact, I’ll let Mr. Blake fill you
This morning on NBC´s Meet the Press, Andrea Mitchell revealed that the Petraeus would not have been public had it not been for a whistleblower who approached Republican House majority leader Eric Cantor. "[Authorities] have pretty much shut down any idea that there was any kind of security or national security leaks," Mitchell revealed on the Sunday show. "So, this is not a criminal matter." Mitchell continued: "And it would have rested there had not, and this is what is new in the last twenty-four hours, had not it come to the attention from an FBI whistleblower
Eugene Contrubis heard the many warnings about Hurricane Sandy but decided to ride it out in his drafty, one-story bungalow at 162 Kiswick Street, near the beach on Staten Island. Soft-spoken and frail, he was a retired Police Department clerk who wrote poetry, enjoyed chess and adored his nieces.(Snip)Mr. Contrubis’s parents bought the bungalow at 162 Kiswick Street in the 1960s as a summer cottage. At the time, they lived in Manhattan, but Mr. Contrubis’s mother loved the beach and she eventually moved to Staten Island full time.
To paraphrase the traditional Passover formulation honored in Jewish homes: why was this election different from all other elections? What makes 2012 stand out in recent political history, either as a temporary anomaly or a significant, long-term shift in the electorate? The most striking change in the results this year involved a precipitous and alarming decline in voter participation, a drop-off that stemmed from a deliberate strategy by the Obama campaign and almost certainly provided the president with his margin of victory. Meanwhile, much of the conventional wisdom about the results has been fatuous and unsubstantiated,
Republicans have whiffed in two straight Senate cycles but will get a third swing at the majority in 2014. It will take a lot more than charm, though, to put them back in power. Twenty Senate Democrats will have to defend their seats that year, while just 13 Republicans will be up for reelection. At least six of the Democrats represent red states — places like Arkansas, Louisiana and South Dakota — and are seen as ripe GOP pickings. Retirements could expand the map for the party. Still, Republicans will need almost everything to break in their favor
One lost detail following the arrest on Friday of Kassim Alhimidi in San Diego, charged with bludgeoning his wife to death with a tire iron last March, was that Alhimidi was reportedly a former Islamic cultural affairs officer for the U.S. Army (HT: Daniel Greenfield). The San Diego Union-Tribune reported: Alzaidy said her father and Alawadi’s husband had previously worked together in San Diego as private contractors for the U.S. Army, serving as cultural advisers to train soldiers who were going to be deployed to the Middle East.
Military expert Paula Broadwell, who was allegedly improperly involved with resigned CIA Director Gen. David Petraeus, confirmed in October that the CIA annex in Benghazi asked for reinforcements when the consulate came under attack on September 11. She also acknowledged that "there was a failure in the system." Broadwell was speaking at her alma mater, the University of Denver, on October 26. Her lecture, which is on YouTube under the title "Alumni Symposium 2012 Paula Broadwell," now has added value, because based on the recent disclosures, it can now be assumed that she indeed knew exactly