Who Won Israel's Latest War?
November 21, 2012
There is a measure of thanksgiving, or at least relief, in the land of Israel. With the ceasefire, Israelis are grateful that their young men waiting on the border—and almost everyone has a husband, son, brother, friend among those 70,000 reservists—will be spared the horrors of fighting in Gaza. They are grateful that the civilians in southern Israel can now emerge from their shelters.
Has The Tide Turned On Taxes?
April 17, 2012
Tax Day 2009 was a very steamy affair. As you may recall, tempers got so hot at several anti-tax Tea Party protests in Texas that the Lone Star governor who was riling up the crowds, one Rick Perry, declared that he might just be open to his great state seceding from the union. Just three years later, Tax Day 2012 has now passed in decidedly quieter fashion.
The Playful Modernist Ceramics of an American Master
January 04, 2012
Eva Zeisel, who designed some of the most beautiful ceramics of the twentieth century, died on December 30. She was 105, working on new designs almost to the end. I met her nearly forty years ago, when I responded to an advertisement for a part-time job on a bulletin board at Columbia. I was in my early twenties, recently graduated from the college.
My Alcoholic Holiday Season
December 21, 2011
I’ll be sober. And for that, I will also be really, really grateful.
The Establishment vs. Newt: A Long List of Republicans Who Want Anybody But Gingrich
December 09, 2011
As a former Republican House speaker and veteran of the culture wars of the 1990s, Newt Gingrich understandably earned his share of liberal detractors. But who knew how many enemies he’d made among the Republican political elite? As Gingrich’s recent surge in the polls moves ever closer to bearing electoral fruit in the Iowa Caucuses, it’s fair to say that the GOP political establishment is freaking out.
November 23, 2011
What's the matter with Pennsylvania? That question, or the implication of it, was embedded near the end of my last post looking at whether President Obama faces an "Ohio versus Virginia" choice in plotting a path to reelection.
Super Committee Fails?
November 20, 2011
On Friday I said we'd probably get a "ticktock" of how the super committee failed Thanksgiving weekend. I was off by five days. In Politico today Mike Allen has a rough-draft ticktock of how the super committee failed. This is testament, I guess, to Politico's slightly insane commitment to getting the news before it happens; to Allen's particular skill at doing so; and to the heretofore unacknowledged apparent reality that the super committee was pretty much destined to fail from the beginning. Allen reports that two members--Rep.
How Iowa’s Social Conservatives Lost Their Influence
November 18, 2011
This weekend’s “Thanksgiving Family Forum” at a Des Moines megachurch probably seemed like a great idea to Iowa social conservatives when it was first developed. You’d have the presidential candidates arrayed around a “Thanksgiving table,” obediently waiting for a symbolic serving of activist support. In the pews would be thousands of stolid Iowans of the sort most likely to show up at the January 3 caucuses. Wielding the microphone would be focus-group king Frank Luntz, probing the worldviews of the candidates to determine their fidelity to a teavangelical, big-God, small-government creed.
More Super Committee Chicken-Littleism
November 14, 2011
The only thing that's alarming about the super committee's struggle to reach a deal on $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction is the eagerness of reporters and Washington chin-pullers to be alarmed. What exactly will happen if Thanksgiving comes and no deal is reached? "If the panel falls short," Robert Pear explains in the Nov. 14 New York Times, "a series of automatic cuts, split evenly between military and civilian programs, would take effect, starting in 2013." This might be cause for alarm if the current month were Nov.
November 07, 2011
Never in my life have I written anything that made so little impression on the reading public as my last TRB column ("Trigger Happy"), wherein I explained that it doesn't matter that the super committee won't meet its eve-of-Thanksgiving deadline to find $1.2 trillion in budget cuts and/or tax increases. (I include in that calculus the three years I spent writing for and eventually editing Highlights, my high school newspaper, 1973-1976.) Indeed, I wrote in my column, blowing the deadline would likely be best for all concerned. Let me repeat that. Forget about the super committee deadline.