Congratulations to North Korea!

Those of us who hope for the downfall of the North Korean regime are forced nevertheless to tip our hats to the skill and resourcefulness of the regime's internal security forces. They have captured Merrill Newman, an 85 year old American veteran of the Korean War, and have convicted him for "hostile acts." Why, they have …

On Obamacare “Improvements”

Before reading this story and the excerpt that immediately follows, ensure first that your expectations are as low as they can possibly be. Done? Good. Now read: Administration officials are preparing to announce Sunday that they have met their Saturday deadline for improving HealthCare.gov, according to government officials, in part by expanding the site’s capacity so …

A Friendly Note to the Obama Administration

Not that you aren't aware of this, guys (at least, I hope that you are aware of this), but the Chinese are testing you. Try not to fail the test by actually allowing the Chinese to expand their air defense zone. Rather, inform the Chinese--quietly but firmly--that the United States will not recognize the expansion …

The Semi-Autobiography of Walter Bagehot

It comes highly recommended. And it now goes on my must-read list. A taste of what one might expect: The tragedy is that Bagehot, in the vast range of his writings, left no autobiography. But that lacuna has been splendidly filled by an American scholar of Britain, Frank Prochaska, who has taught at Yale and …

Your Government at Work

The next time someone tells you that a larger, more intrusive federal bureaucracy is just what the doctor ordered, refer that someone to this: Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service Director George Cohen is resigning only days after learning he is a target of a congressional inquiry spurred by a Washington Examiner series. The Examiner series reported that FMCS employees spent …

An Absolute Coincidence, I’m Sure

There is no way--none whatsoever--that there could be any kind of low political cunning behind this: The new U.S. Treasury/Internal Revenue Service rules aimed at clarifying what constitutes political activity for tax-exempt "social welfare" organizations are likely to give more heartburn to conservative groups than their liberal counterparts. In 2012, conservatives pumped nearly eight times …

Green Shoots of Sanity

There is plenty of craziness in the world; including, among other things, war, famine, corruption, broken political systems, and a botched healthcare rollout. So when a story comes along about obsessive fans of the Dutch masters, it actually serves to restore my faith in humanity. In writing that, I don't pretend to opine on behalf …

Plaintive Plea of the Day (Part Deux)

Can we please stop pretending that China is the equal of the United States on the world stage? Because it's just not true: Many people around the world believe that China’s rise to the role of dominant global player is inevitable. A Pew Research Center survey released earlier this year found that in 23 of …