Michael Barone

June 2006

The latest from Mexico

MEXICO CITY—The weather in Mexico City is cloudy and chilly, with rain in the evening: not festive weather for an election.

But Mexico is a huge and varied country, and the high is in the 90s in the Yucatán and Monterrey and Acapulco, 80s in Guadalajara and Oaxaca and Veracruz; the Mexico ...

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Whose side are they on?

Richard Fernandez of the Belmont Club blog reminds us that New York Times Editor Bill Keller, who approved publication of NSA surveillance secrets last December and Swift bank secrets this month, does set some limits about what he will publish.

He refused, for example, to publish the Danish ...

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Mexico polls

Here are the final poll results in Mexico's July 2 presidential election. Under Mexican law, polls cannot be conducted after June 20, and results cannot be published after June 23. The results average out as follows: 36 percent for the PRD's Andrés Manuel López Obrador, 33 percent ...

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A victory for free speech

The Supreme Court today ruled by a 6-to-3 margin that Vermont's stringent limits on campaign expenditures and contributions are unconstitutional infringements of the First Amendment.

Hurray! Alas, there were six separate opinions filed. Chief Justice John Roberts may be trying to winnow down the ...

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Warren Buffett's philanthropy

The brilliant investor Warren Buffett has decided to leave the vast bulk of his fortune to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The Washington Post has the story, unsurprisingly, since both Buffett and Melinda Gates serve on the Post company board of directors. Buffett has long made it clear that ...

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Why do they hate us?

My Creators Syndicate column this week is on the latest outrage perpetrated by the New York Times, last Friday's story detailing the government program to identify terrorist-financing transactions. Let me also pass along excellent commentary on Times editor Bill Keller's latest apologia (which was ...

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Counsel advises breaking the law

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlaws racial discrimination. I supported the act in 1964, and I support it now. But it appears that some large segments of the legal profession disagree. They're urging others to violate the act, in the name of "diversity."

Case in point: The American Bar Association ...

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A 1970s education proposal

Richard Kahlenberg has produced for the Century Foundation a well-intentioned proposal to encourage the movement of children from bad schools to high-performing schools.

He wants to change the No Child Left Behind Law to encourage the transfer of kids from schools in high-poverty areas to other ...

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The Krieble plan

I had an opportunity to talk this week with Helen Krieble, head of the Krieble Foundation and proprietor of an equestrian ranch in Colorado. Krieble's foundation has been a major benefactor of the Heritage Foundation, and I had seen her honored at Heritage events where she has had little to say.

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The Voting Rights Act

The most effective civil rights law in our history was the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Before it was passed, millions of black Americans were effectively denied the right to vote.

By the time of the next presidential election, in 1968, very few blacks were denied access to the ballot, and by 1972,

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A take on the Democratic agenda

Here is my Intercollegiate Studies Institute intern Brian Sopp's take on the Democratic agenda announced last week. I would phrase some of this differently myself, but I do think the agenda was pretty thin gruel. But I think we have to admit that it's hard for an opposition party to come up with an ...

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Murtha on Meet the Press

Rep. John Murtha has been taking some hits in the blogosphere for his performance on Meet the Press Sunday. Here's an interesting excerpt:

When we went to Beirut, I said to President Reagan, "Get out." Now, the other day we were doing a debate, and they said, "Well, Beirut was a different ...

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The latest polls in Mexico

Five public opinion polls have been released during the past week on Mexico's July 2 presidential election. The candidates are Andres Manuel López Obrador of the leftist PRD, Felipe Calderón of the center-right PAN, and Robert Madrazo of the long-governing (1971–2000) PRI. The ...

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The young Tony Blair

The British press has unearthed something interesting: the 22-page letter that 29-year-old Tony Blair sent to the leftist Labour Party leader Michael Foot in 1982. Blair had just recently stood as the Labour candidate in a byelection in Beaconsfield, a hugely Tory seat in the London exurbs where ...

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The votes against the Iraq resolutions

The Senate voted on Thursday and the House on Friday on resolutions calling for a continued military effort in Iraq. The vote in the Senate wasn't close: 93-6 in favor. Senators Robert Byrd (WV), Edward Kennedy (MA), John Kerry (MA), Tom Harkin (IA), Barbara Boxer (CA) and Russ Feingold (WI).


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A royalty trust in Iraq

Excerpt from the president's press conference Wednesday:

What are your feelings about discussions in the new Iraqi government of amnesty for insurgents? And regarding the oil resources in Iraq that you discussed, do you support guaranteeing the Sunnis a percentage of the oil profits, either through ...

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Hopeful signs in Iraq

Here is a piece by the Iraqi scholar and democrat Kanan Makiya on the outlook for Iraq, writing for the Foreign Policy Research Institute before the death of Zarqawi. He has plenty of negative things to say but also some hopeful ones. To wit:

"The battle of ideas has only just begun. We have a long ...

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The Virginia results

James Webb, onetime Navy secretary in the Reagan administration and Vietnam veteran, noted author of both fiction and nonfiction, has beaten Harris Miller in the Democratic primary and will face Republican Sen. George Allen in the general election. Webb used to be a Republican and supported Allen ...

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How the Democrats can win

The Washington Post Outlook section last Sunday had a feature on "How the Democrats Can Win." It included recommendations from various Democratic strategists and thinkers, and from some Republicans and others as well. Nothing wrong with it at all. But here's my question: Do you remember whether the ...

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Robert Kennedy Jr. debunked and the latest moonbat theory

In the pages of Rolling Stone, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has argued that the 2004 presidential election was stolen. The basis of his argument is that the NEP exit poll was right and that the election returns in Ohio and other states were wrong.

This is a laughably pathetic argument, and it has been ...

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Simian liberation?

The Telegraph reports that the government of Spain is preparing legislation to recognize the rights of apes.

Spain could soon become the first country in the world to give chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans and other great apes some of the fundamental rights granted to human beings under a law ...

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The plight of the Republicans

An interesting column from Tim Hames in Monday's Times of London: Hames argues that the woes of the Republican Party are overstated.

He sees the chances of a Democratic majority in the Senate as slim; not a bad prognostication, since to get a majority Democrats have to win all six seriously ...

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Lesson for liberals in California

That's the headline on today's Washington Post column by E. J. Dionne, in which this usually optimistic liberal columnist takes an unflinching view of the results of the California primary. As Dionne notes, California voters rejected by 61 to 39 percent a ballot proposition that would have set up a ...

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Mexico prepares to vote

A couple of good articles on the Mexican election. A report on the June 6 presidential candidates' debate from the Associated Press. And a Wall Street Journal front-page story on the battle for Wal-Mart voters. The upshot is that this is still a close race between PAN candidate Felipe ...

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Zarqawi is dead

One of the wonderful things about the blogosphere is that you don't have to get up early to surf the Web for intelligent commentary on events like the death of Abu Musab Zarqawi in Iraq. Glenn Reynolds does that for you. Here's his post on this happy event (and the snarky reactions of some in ...

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More protests in Iran

If you read only the New York Times and the Washington Post, you haven't read much about the impressive number of protests in Iran. You would know more if you read Folha de São Paulo, Brazil's largest newspaper, whose Washington correspondent Sergio Davila recently spent 10 days in Iran and ...

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The June 6 elections

The big election yesterday was the special election to fill the vacancy of the disgraced Duke Cunningham in the 50th Congressional District of California.

Both parties put lots of money into this contest. Democrats hoped that their candidate, Francine Busby, could win an upset victory in a ...

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Terrorism: Call it what it is

Brian Sopp, a senior at the University of North Carolina who is working as an Intercollegiate Students Institute intern for me this summer, contributes the following post on terrorism at the university.

Following the arrest of 17 suspected terrorists in Canada, the mainstream media has made every ...

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The ROTC at Harvard

Harvard University has not had ROTC on campus since 1969, but some Harvard students do enroll in ROTC and take courses on other campuses. During graduation week, there is a ceremony in Harvard Yard for ROTC graduates. Since he became president of Harvard, Lawrence Summers has appeared and spoken ...

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Let's kill all the law clerks

Stuart Taylor of National Journal and Benjamin Wittes of the Washington Post have an interesting article in the forthcoming Atlantic arguing that Supreme Court justices should be deprived of their law clerks. Taylor and Wittes are not cranks; far from it. Taylor is a very widely respected legal ...

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Yes, they are Muslim terrorists

The impulse of denial in response to the arrest of 17 Canadian Muslims on charges of terrorism continues. One is tempted to respond derisively, as I did in this blog yesterday and as Jeff Jarvis does on his blog, The Buzz Machine:

"When a big story breaks — like, say, a major arrest foiling a ...

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Europeans ditch Palestinians

An interesting poll from Stanley Greenberg on European attitudes toward the Palestinians and Israel, via Opinion Journal's Best of the Web Today.

Greenberg, who did polling for Bill Clinton and Tony Blair in the 1990s and for Israel's Labor Party, conducted this survey for Israeli leaders; he's a ...

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Big defeat for Hugo Chávez in Peru

"Publius Pundit" has an excellent collection of blogs on Alan García's victory over Ollanta Humala in Peru.

This was a stinging defeat for Venezuelan quasi dictator Hugo Chávez, who touts himself as the voice of downtrodden Latin America and describes George W. Bush as the greatest ...

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The Canadian bombers foiled

The big story this weekened—or what should have been the big story this weekend—was the arrest in Toronto of 17 Muslim Canadians on charges of terrorism. Here's a link-rich posting from Glenn Reynolds on the subject.

Reynolds links to Roger Simon's posting noting that the New York Times doesn't ...

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A bipartisan issue

Robert Reich, labor secretary in the Clinton administration, has weighed in with a column in the American Prospect endorsing George W. Bush's call for pension reform.

With a few snarky comments directed at the president, presumably to keep within his readers' comfort zone, Reich makes the correct ...

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Marshall Wittmann, onetime staffer for the Christian Coalition, later an aide to Sen. John McCain, and now something of a "new Democrat," has an excellent post on Haditha on his "Bullmoose" blog. Let me quote the whole thing:

Marshall Wittmann, onetime staffer for the Christian Coalition, later an ...

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Putting Iraq in perspective

Let's start with a posting from Gateway Pundit, which provides some useful statistics in tabular form. For example, American war fatalities:

Iraq 2,372

Korea 54,246

Vietnam 58,219

World War II 408,306

U.S. war fatalities per month:

Iraq 65

Korea 909

Vietnam 526

World War II 6,639

MainStreamMedia has ...

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