The Real History of American Relations With Iran
September 30, 2009

When I took over The New Republic in 1974 one of the first people I recruited--on a trip to Rome, as I recall--was Michael Ledeen, a scholar of Italian fascism. I think it was his doctoral supervisor and my friend, the great German Jewish historian, George Mosse, who suggested that we meet. But it actually was Claire Sterling, the brave journalist of uncomfortable truths, who introduced us. Michael was then working on a book about Gabriele d'Annunzio, the futurist poet, artist, fighter pilot, political theorist and neo-fascist adventurer who led a march on Fiume to keep it in Italian hands. Th

The Looming Deficit Disaster, Modeled
September 30, 2009

Yale's Ray Fair, well-known for his economic model predicting the outcome of presidential elections, has a new forecast out on the macroeconomic effects of large budget deficits -- and it's not pretty: A depreciation of the dollar leads to inflation, as expected, but this is of only modest help regarding the debt problem. It does not appear that the United States can inflate away its debt problem. The picture is worse regarding output if there is a flight from U.S. stocks as well as the dollar. Personal income tax increases and transfer payment decreases have similar effects on the economy.

The Senate Climate Bill Drops Tomorrow. Then What?
September 29, 2009

It looks like Barbara Boxer and John Kerry will introduce their climate bill into the Senate on Wednesday. Dave Roberts has a great preview of what to expect. Boxer has said she's planning to model her proposal after the Waxman-Markey bill that elbowed its way through the House in June, albeit with a few tweaks: She wants, for example, to amp up the short-term emission targets, aiming for a 20 percent cut in CO2 emissions below 2005 levels by 2020, instead of the 17 percent cut Waxman-Markey calls for.

Notes From The Cuckoo's Nest
September 25, 2009

I don't know how many head-of-state nut cases arrived in New York for the annual meetings of the United Nations General Assembly. But surely there are many others besides Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Muamar Gaddafi. There is a class of rulers from Africa, for example, who govern recklessly in behalf of themselves but under the cover of one or another form of millenarianism. (The brutal clowns of South America are a bit different. They still believe that Fidel Castro is a model for building the good society.) This is, I suppose, the revenge of ideology over the London School of Economics.

A Sacred Aura
March 07, 2008

There is one book that says it all.   An old book, nearly a classic. Oddly, it is rarely mentioned in France.   This book, published in 1957, is titled The King's Two Bodies: A Study in Mediaeval Political Theology.   Its author is Ernst H.

Glamorous Pictures
October 11, 2007

James Fenimore Cooper: The Early Years By Wayne Franklin (Yale University Press, 705 pp., $40) Click here to purchase the book. Like Poe, Stowe, and Longfellow, James Fenimore Cooper--"Fenimore" to his friends--is a giant of world literature with a sharply diminished stature at home.

My Son, The Doctor
September 05, 2005

The saga of Jews and medicine.