Archive for May, 2009

National Review’s Ramesh Ponnuru on Richard Nadler

Sunday, May 31st, 2009


I just learned that one of my oldest and dearest friends, Rich Nadler, died this morning at his home in Kansas City. Rich was many things: a high-school dropout, an autodidact, a traveling jazz musician, an ex-communist, the publisher of the late, great K.C. Jones, a hilarious movie reviewer, the head of the Missouri Taxpayers Watchdog Association, and a sometime contributor to National Review and, lately, the Corner. In the last years of his life he was, above all, a devout orthodox Jew and a devoted husband to Barbara.

He gave me my start in journalism and constantly encouraged me, even as we came to disagree on some matters. He was one of the most brilliant men I have ever known. Now there are a hundred things I won’t be able to talk or argue with him about. R.I.P.

Tony Perkins of Family Research Council on George Tiller murder

Sunday, May 31st, 2009

From NRO:

“We are stunned at today’s news. As Christians we pray and look toward the end of all violence and for the saving of souls, not the taking of human life. George Tiller was a man who we publicly sought to stop through legal and peaceful means. We strongly condemn the actions taken today by this vigilante killer and we pray for the Tiller family and for the nation that we might once again be a nation that values all human, both born and unborn.”

National Right to Life Committee on killing of late-term abortionist George Tiller

Sunday, May 31st, 2009

From NRO:



WASHINGTON – The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the nation’s largest pro-life group, today condemned the killing of Dr. George Tiller.  The following statement may be attributed to NRLC Executive Director, David N. O’Steen, Ph.D.: (more…)

Saturday’s press release from KCMO Mayor Funkhouser, after it was learned that recall petitioners failed to gather enough signatures

Sunday, May 31st, 2009

From Bottom Line Comm.:

Mayor’s Statement on the City Clerk’s announcement regarding the recall petition:
Every day since I have been elected has been a challenge. Every issue I have tackled has had opponents. As I said in my State of the City Address, change is hard. My critics, the organizers of this effort, clearly do not like the status quo being challenged. But that is the reason I was elected to begin with. I plan to continue carrying out the agenda I laid out in the State of the City. (more…)

Bottom Line Comm.: Rich Nadler Passes Away

Sunday, May 31st, 2009


Nadler was the author of political biographies on Sen. Phil Gramm and commentator Pat Buchanan, and a contributor to such publications as the Wall Street Journal, New York Post, National Review, Policy Review, Insight Magazine, Education Reform News, and Human Life Review. In 2006, he co-edited the Daily Dispatch, a military blog reporting every weekday on the war in Iraq.

“Rich was always passionate about a side he took in any debate and well-prepared,” noted Kris Ketz, morning anchor on KMBC-TV9. “He was a good guy on and and off the set. Sad”
Nadler was the assistant B’al Koreh (Torah reader) at the Torah Learning Center of Overland Park, Kansas.

“Rich Nadler was a visionary always on the cutting edge of any subject he tackled. His knowledge was encyclopedic with an unsurpassed brilliance for extracting the last ounce of meaning from his carefully researched data.
“If there is a stereotype of the traditional Talmudic scholar, Rich epitomized its finest elements. I will miss him greatly.” — John Altevogt

NRO’s Bench Memos on political connections of judicial nominees: ‘Federalist Society, No! La Raza, Si?’

Sunday, May 31st, 2009


A commenter at the Weekly Standard Blog reminds us that the Democrats were very, very concerned about the association of John Roberts and Samuel Alito with that well-known extremist group, the Federalist Society.  So we know they’ll be equally interested in Judge Sotomayor’s past (and present?) association with La Raza, right?

Charles Krauthammer on Sotomayor: ‘What should a principled conservative do? Use the upcoming hearings not to deny her the seat, but to illuminate her views;’ ‘be elevated, respectful and entirely about judicial philosophy’

Sunday, May 31st, 2009

Charles Krauthammer in The Post:

Since the 2008 election, people have been asking what conservatism stands for. Well, if nothing else, it stands unequivocally against justice as empathy — and unequivocally for the principle of blind justice. (more…)

Jay Nordingler at NRO: Brown University faculty votes to change the name of Columbus Day to ‘Fall Weekend’

Sunday, May 31st, 2009


NRO: Federal Obligations Per Household Up 12%, Reach a Record $546,668 per Household

Saturday, May 30th, 2009


USA Today reports that key federal obligations are:

  • Social Security. It will grow by 1 million to 2 million beneficiaries a year from 2008 through 2032, up from 500,000 a year in the 1990s, its actuaries say. Average benefit: $12,089 in 2008.
  • Medicare. More than 1 million a year will enroll starting in 2011 when the first Baby Boomer turns 65. Average 2008 benefit: $11,018.
  • Retirement programs. Congress has not set aside money to pay military and civil servant pensions or health care for retirees. These unfunded obligations have increased an average of $300 billion a year since 2003 and now stand at $5.3 trillion. . . .

That’s quadruple what the average U.S. household owes for all mortgages, car loans, credit cards and other debt combined.

“We have a huge implicit mortgage on every household in America – except, unlike a real mortgage, it’s not backed up by a house,” says David Walker, former U.S. comptroller general, the government’s top auditor.”

Does The Kansas City Star find North Korean threat to be humorous?

Saturday, May 30th, 2009

Prime Buzz’s Bill Dalton with the headline: ‘North Korea: Another day, another missle launch’

Rich Lowry, How to Oppose Sotomayor: ‘Don’t call her names, and yes, ‘stupid’ and ‘racist’ are names;’ ‘she should be vigorously opposed on grounds of her judicial record and of that Latina Lecture and similar statements’

Saturday, May 30th, 2009


I find the attempt to shut down the debate over Sotomayor by crying racism and crowing over the supposed fatal political damage Republicans will do to themselves by opposing her bullying and outrageous. But we do have to be smart about this.

My advice, which tracks with that of others today, is: 1) Don’t call her names, and yes, “stupid” and “racist” are names; 2) Don’t whine about the double standard when a) it’s just a fact that a white male can’t say the kind of things she did in her “Latina lecture” and survive (if you don’t understand why, you haven’t paid attention to American history) and b) liberal Democrats can get away with viciously opposing a Latino nominee like Miguel Estrada without paying a real political price because Latinos aren’t primed to believe that liberal Democrats are hostile to them and their interests (plus, the public doesn’t really pay attention to appeals-court nominees); 3) Do treat her personally with an extra measure of respect because old-fashioned people – and thank goodness, there are still a lot of them out there – will expect a woman to get more deference than a man.

Jay Cost on Specter’s likely primary battle against Joe Sestak: Specter has a real problem

Saturday, May 30th, 2009


Toomey raised $4.5 million for his challenge in 2004. Sestak is going to have to do better. He surely will, already having about $3.3 million on hand as of April 1st.


Suppose Sestak raises the cash. What’s his angle? I think Specter has provided him with a great valence issue – i.e. one that divides the electorate by 90-10 or even 99-1 rather than 50-50 or 60-40. That is: “Why shouldn’t Pennsylvania Democrats demand a real Democrat?”


This is good news for Toomey. If Specter loses the primary, the race becomes an open seat, which improves his chances. If Specter wins, but Sestak puts up a spirited fight, the negativity of the final weeks should knock Specter down a peg. Plus, Specter would have had to spend a good deal of his cash.

Star’s Tom McClanahan asks: ‘Will we know if Afghan mission succeeds?’

Saturday, May 30th, 2009

The Star:

My question was simple: “Can we win in Afghanistan?” But that only prompted another question: “How do you define victory?”

With that, any sense of clarity was a lost hope.

The question was directed at a roomful of mid-career military officers, all clad in gray-green camo. Most were Army, attending the School of Advanced Military Studies at Fort Leavenworth. The school, known as SAMS, trains officers for high-level staff work.

I was one of a group of visitors last week that included another Star editorial writer, several of The Star’s Midwest Voices columnists and two members of the paper’s Readers Advisory Panel. Maj. Grant Martin, a SAMS student and Midwest Voices writer himself, arranged the discussion at the school.

Wow. McClatchy article on Cheney must be pretty bad for Powerline’s John Hinderaker to label it ‘The Most Insanely Biased ‘News’ Story In History;’ Article is ‘DNC/Daily Kos talking points from 2003 to the present’

Saturday, May 30th, 2009


At least I think it’s intended to be a news story. It popped up on Yahoo News a while ago, which I assume means that many thousands of people will read it. It’s written for McClatchy by two reporters–I guess they are supposed to be reporters–named Jonathan S. Landay and Warren P. Strobel and is titled “Cheney’s speech contained omissions, misstatements.” The article is basically a compendium of DNC/Daily Kos talking points from 2003 to the present. It is full of falsehoods, long-discredited canards, and misleading statements. I’m going to bed and don’t have time to deconstruct it, but if you read it no doubt you will be able to make corrections as you go along. It is one of those “news stories” that is intended solely for the ignorant. If we had comments, maybe we could let our readers tear this piece of nonsense apart line by line while we sleep. Perhaps someday.

HT McClatchy Watch.

‘Tens of thousands’ of private health records lost by British government; 140 total security breaches

Friday, May 29th, 2009


The personal medical records of tens of thousands of people have been lost by the NHS, the Department of Health has confirmed.

A total of 140 security breaches were reported within the NHS between January and April this year.

These included computers containing medical records stolen and left by skips and stolen and passwords taped on encrypted discs with sensitive information, The Independent newspaper said.

Over the last six months, the Information Commissioner has been forced to take action against 14 NHS bodies for breaching data regulations.

In an interview with the newspaper, Commissioner Richard Thomas, said the watchdog had ordered an urgent review of data security in the health service.

Business Week – The Great Ethanol Scam: Evidence building that not only is it inefficient, but that it destroys engines

Friday, May 29th, 2009

Ed Wallace at Business Week:

Don’t let anybody mislead you: The new push to get a 15% ethanol mandate out of Washington is simply to restore profitability to a failed industry. Only this time around those promoting more ethanol in our gas say there’s no scientific proof that adding more ethanol will damage vehicles or small gas-powered engines. With that statement they’ve gone from shilling the public to outright falsehoods, because ethanol-laced gasoline is already destroying engines across the country in ever larger numbers. (more…)

KCMO consultants: 14-mile light rail plan rejected by Kansas City voters last year wouldn’t have qualified for federal funding

Friday, May 29th, 2009

Prime Buzz:

The problems were the same old bugaboos that have haunted light rail for years in Kansas City: a lack of good population densities, inadequate policies that spur the kind development that generates riders, too much cheap parking  and our general unwillingness to approve a tax for light rail (with the exception of Clay Chastain’s repealed plan from 2006).

As a refresher, the $845 million line would have run from I-29 and Vivion Road in North Kansas City across the river through downtown to the Plaza and east to Watkins Parkway and south to 63rd street. The price for taxpayers: a three-eight cent sales tax increase.

AP – Obama on government-run health care: ‘If we don’t get it done this year, we’re not going to get it done.”

Friday, May 29th, 2009


Obama’s political organization, Organizing for America, invited campaign volunteers to a midday conference call to describe a nationwide June 6 kickoff for its health care campaign. The president’s message to his re-election campaign-in-waiting was simple: If volunteers don’t pressure lawmakers to support the White House’s goal on health care, Washington would drag its feet and nothing would change.

“The election in November-that did not bring about change, it just gave us an opportunity for change,” Obama said. “So now, we are really going to have to remobilize, we have all had a chance to catch our breath after election and we have gotten a lot of things done during our first four months.

“But health care, that’s a big push.”

The presidential plea came as lawmakers prepare for an aggressive schedule of work aimed at producing comprehensive health care overhaul bills in the House and Senate by August.

Committee hearings-and soon thereafter votes-will start next week, as soon as lawmakers return to Washington from a weeklong recess. Many members of Congress spent the break holding town hall meetings and other forums with their constituents about health care, even as opponents and supporters of Obama’s plans ramped up television and radio ads for and against.

AP: Eminent domain, Missouri Citizens for Property Rights back before the courts in Missouri

Friday, May 29th, 2009

Prime Buzz:

 Missouri Citizens for Property Rights has submitted several potential constitutional amendments for the 2010 ballot.

 A Cole County judge was hearing arguments today from an attorney for the Missouri Municipal League. It contends the ballot summaries and financial estimates for the initiatives are unfair and insufficient.

 Court testimony focused on whether Auditor Susan Montee’s office fulfilled its requirements to independently assess the potential costs of the measures.

Economist Mark Perry looks at purity of cocaine, percent of THC in marijuana and asks: Do stronger drug laws merely result in strengthened potency of illegal drugs?

Friday, May 29th, 2009

Mark Perry:

Washington, D.C.Today, the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) released the latest analysis from the University of Mississippi’s Potency Monitoring Project, which revealed levels of THC – the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana – have reached the highest-ever levels since scientific analysis of the drug began in the late 1970s. According to the latest data on marijuana samples analyzed to date, the average amount of THC in seized samples has reached a new high of 10.1%. This compares to an average of just under 4% reported in 1983 and represents more than a doubling in the potency of the drug since that time.