Michael Barone


January 2006


The Washington Post on the Canadian election

Here is a very tart Washington Post editorial on the Canadian election. As the Post points out, outgoing Liberal Prime Minister Paul Martin was the second Group of Eight head of government to play the anti-American card and lose an election anyway; the other was German Chancellor Gerhard ...

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Blogs and the Canadian election

David Kopel in the Rocky Mountain News briefly and usefully summarizes, better than I did in a recent post, the important role Minnesota blogger Ed Morrissey played in Canadian politics. He makes the point that while Morrissey uncovered information about corruption in Canada that a judge had ...

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Dealing with Iran

One subject George W. Bush seems sure to address in his State of the Union address Tuesday night is Iran. What should we do about a regime that seems bent on acquiring nuclear weapons and whose leader denies there was a Holocaust and promises to wipe out Israel? Can we live with such a regime?

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The case for pork

I haven't seen a defense of pork barrel spending in the blogosphere recently, so let me make one. The late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan used to argue that pork barrel spending was politically benign because it was one way for an administration or for the congressional leadership to hold together a ...

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Off the rez

National Review's John Miller has a piece in the Wall Street Journal today advocating the abolition of Indian reservations. He makes a strong argument.

Reservations are, as he says, "collectivist enclaves in a capitalist society." Indians living on reservations don't own land and hence can't raise ...

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The coalition against dynasticism

In his widely read blog "Talking Points Memo," liberal Josh Marshall opposes Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential candidacy because it would be a form of "dynasticism."

"George H. W. Bush left office to be followed by two terms of Bill Clinton. He, in turn, was followed by two terms of Bush's ...

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The coalition against dynasticism

In his widely read blog "Talking Points Memo," liberal Josh Marshall opposes Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential candidacy because it would be a form of "dynasticism."

"George H. W. Bush left office to be followed by two terms of Bill Clinton. He, in turn, was followed by two terms of Bush's ...

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What is it about the Los Angeles Times?

You can find a lot of things in the Los Angeles Times, which in the face of circulation losses seems to be trying to reinvent itself. You can find first-rate political analysis, like this piece headlined "Why Democrats Argue Rights at their Peril" by the veteran Ron Brownstein. And you can find ...

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Canada: rejoining the Anglosphere

James Bennett has some very interesting ideas on how Canada under its new Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper can rejoin, and expand, the Anglosphere. Bennett makes a point of advising Harper to emphasize Canada's past and present military achievements. Liberal governments have vastly ...

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Canada gets a new government

Canadians yesterday voted to oust the Liberal government and give the Conservative party a chance to form a minority government. Here are the official results (English version), and here is the excellent Wikipedia entry. And here is Ed Morrissey's excellent Captain's Quarters blog. The ...

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The new judicial mainstream

Since the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Robert Bork in 1987, Democrats have charged that Republican nominees are "out of the mainstream." Last summer I wrote a U.S. News column predicting that then Judge John Roberts would help create a new judicial mainstream. Now University of Chicago Law ...

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My latest in U.S. News

One of the highest words of praise that could come to a Washington Post reporter from Ben Bradlee when he was executive editor was the hearty phrase, "You're all over the paper!" Well, I guess I'm all over U.S. News this week. I wrote the cover story on American presidents at war and also a column

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Canada votes Monday...

And it's looking more and more likely that the Conservatives, led by Stephen Harper, will win a major victory—and perhaps an absolute majority—in Parliament. They've been leading the governing Liberals in the polls by margins of around 10 percent for a couple of weeks now. Here are some ...

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The Iraqi election results

Here's a story on the results of the Iraqi election. (Interesting that the New York Times ran wire copy on this. Not important enough for an NYT reporter? Hmm. Anyway, the AP story seems just fine.) The good news is that the United Iraqi Alliance didn't win an absolute majority; it came up 10 ...

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Healthcare

The advance word is that the Bush administration, unable to get Congress to vote on Social Security individual investment accounts, is going to try to get congressional action on healthcare this year. The administration never came out for a specific Social Security plan, and it may not come out ...

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Immigration and assimilation

I participated in a panel at the Hudson Institute November 30 on dual citizenship. Hudson's John Fonte presented a paper on dual citizenship and the dangers it poses to the United States. Fonte decried the Mexican statute that allows Mexicans who become U.S. citizens to retain their Mexican ...

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Why does Joe Biden talk so much?

Viewers of the hearings on Judge Samuel Alito may have noticed—could not have helped noticing—that Sen. Joseph Biden talked a lot. Too much, as he cheerfully admits. As he usually does. Why? My own explanation is this: As a child, Biden stuttered. Painfully so, as he told me in an interview in ...

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Connecticut on Lieberman

Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman is up for re-election this year. Former Republican Sen. Lowell Weicker, whom Lieberman beat in 1988 and who in 1990 was elected to one term as governor as an independent, has talked about running against Lieberman. But the latest Quinnipiac poll shows Lieberman far ...

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New Orleans

James Glassman, who once edited an alternative newspaper called Figaro, keeps us up with the latest in New Orleans in www.opinionjournal.com. He says that large parts of the city won't and shouldn't be rebuilt but that much of it—and most of the parts important to tourists—have already recovered.

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The House Republican leadership race

House Republicans are going to have an election soon to replace Tom DeLay as majority leader. The candidates are Roy Blunt, the majority whip who has been acting majority leader since DeLay was indicted in Texas, and House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Boehner.

I learned long ...

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Sirius and Fox News

In October 2004, I bought (actually leased) a new BMW. One of the attractions was that it was wired for Sirius satellite radio. Ever since, I have enjoyed listening to the satellite radio very much, particularly the classical music channels and the audio from Fox News Channel.

No more. On January ...

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Judge Randolph on Judge Friendly on abortion

Two months ago Judge A. Raymond Randolph of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit delivered a speech to the Federalist Society in Washington on the late Judge Henry Friendly's draft opinion in a 1971 case challenging New York's laws against abortion. Here is the ...

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Judge Alito on Hamilton Township and Princeton

In his opening statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Judge Samuel Alito referred to his early years in Hamilton Township, just outside Trenton, and his college years at Princeton.

I got here in part because of the community in which I grew up. It was a warm, but definitely an unpretentious,

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Richard Reeves

I've been reading Richard Reeves for 30 years now and continue to admire his writing, though we tend to see things differently in many respects. Here's his column on the Jack Abramoff scandal, which I heartily recommend. He begins with his life growing up in Jersey City.

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The Anglosphere and economic freedom

My post last week on the Wall Street Journal/Heritage Foundation 2006 Index of Economic Freedom, and the predominance of the Anglosphere among the most free nations, have prompted an interesting response from James Bennett, who coined the term Anglosphere, on his Albion's Seedling blog. I heartily ...

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So much for democracy

Here's James Risen, the New York Times reporter who coauthored the paper's December 16 story on NSA surveillance of foreign terrorists, flogging his new book on the Today show. He presents an interesting theory of governance.

Risen: Well, I–I think that during a period from about 2000–from 9/11 ...

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Recent writings

Here's my U.S. News column for this week. It's on the Canadian and Mexican elections this year; Canada votes later this month and Mexico in July. These elections are not headline news in the United States, but they're important to us and, I thought, deserved some notice. I wrote it in part because ...

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From the bookshelf

Here are some reactions to two books that I've started but not finished this week, both of which I liked very much.

The first is John Lewis Gaddis's The Cold War: A New History. This is Gaddis's latest crack at a subject he has specialized in for years; he says he wrote it in response to the ...

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The roaring '40s

Serendipitous book-buying results in large piles of books on my library coffee table, and over the holiday weekend I happened to read three that deal with the 1840s, the decade when the United States annexed the Republic of Texas, gained full control of the Oregon Territory, and obtained by the ...

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I was inspired . . .

. . . to write my book Hard America, Soft America by my longtime observation that American 18-year-olds are incompetent or far less competent than 18-year-olds in other advanced countries, while American 30-year-olds are the most competent 30-year-olds in the world. Now Fareed Zakaria looks at the ...

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The best political column I've read this year

. . . and maybe the best one I'll read for some time comes from my friend Barry Casselman, in today's Washington Times.

Barry is unique in the political commentary field: He lives in Minneapolis, where he maintains a wide and cordial acquaintance among just about every prominent Democratic ...

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The American presidents series

This series is edited by Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., the prolific historian. The list of writers he has chosen to write each volume is interesting. I was disappointed to see that none of the authors seems to be a conservative (though perhaps some are; some of the names are unfamiliar to me), and ...

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A slur on liberals

The ever likable E. J. Dionne Jr., in his year-end column, issues the following lament:

"Ah, yes, the president and his people have a lot of enemies out there, but his friends are just as exercised. A reader from San Diego offered a view that was repeated in many different forms: 'Most liberals and ...

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