Monday, 2 July 2007

Twenty Years Ago

7-2-87 . . . It came as no surprise today when Ronald Reagan nominated Robert Bork to replace Lewis Powell on the [United States] Supreme Court. Bork was one of those considered the last time, when Antonin Scalia replaced Warren Burger. He’s a former Solicitor General and law professor and now sits on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. This is one step below the Supreme Court. As far as Bork’s ideology goes, he’s conservative, but not in the religious sense. He has studied economics and wants to implement rules which maximize social wealth. In this respect he’s like Richard Posner, another Court of Appeals judge. Bork has already ruled that the right to privacy, if it exists at all, does not encompass homosexuality. The odd thing is, if Bork is confirmed by the Senate, he will no longer be bound by that ruling. Before, he was bound to follow Supreme Court precedent; now, if confirmed, he’ll have more authority to change that precedent. It’ll be interesting to see, first, whether he’s confirmed, and secondly, if so, whether he changes his views. That has been known to happen.

Health Care

Canadians have to be the dumbest people on Earth.

“Mussolini in Skirts”

Here is a column about Hillary Clinton. I repeat what I’ve been saying for some time: If it’s permissible to vote for Clinton because she’s a woman, then it’s permissible to vote against her because she’s a woman. She can’t have it both ways.


Mort Kondracke still doesn’t get it, which suggests he’s been in the Beltway too long. He thinks the immigration bill failed because of demogoguery, “anti-Hispanic racism,” and “anti-immigrant nativism.” No. It failed because (1) it rewards (and thereby encourages) criminality and (2) Americans aren’t convinced that the law will be enforced. Secure the border; enforce the law; then we’ll talk about the illegal aliens.


The moonbats at Democratic Underground are livid that President Bush commuted Scooter Libby’s sentence of imprisonment. They’re demanding impeachment. (For what? Exercising presidential authority?) Expect an hysterical editorial opinion from The New York Times in the morning.

Addendum: Emily Yoffe explains the difference between a commutation and a pardon. For a lengthier and more authoritative discussion, see here.


Political scientist Jon Shields has a column about the late Jerry Falwell.


Michelle Malkin has issued a McCain Campaign Death Watch. I knew this guy was slimy when he became my senator in January 1987. Even then, he seemed unprincipled.

Call for Jokes

I like hearing jokes. Tell me a good joke.

Richard John Neuhaus on the Christian Intellectual Tradition

Let me put it bluntly: A student at a Christian university who has not encountered the proposal of the Christian intellectual tradition—from Paul to Augustine, from Irenaeus to Dante, Aquinas, Luther, Milton, and moderns such as Lewis and Polanyi, along with those who have challenged and now challenge that tradition—such a student has been grievously short-changed in his or her university education. This is true not only for students majoring in theology, philosophy, or the liberal arts. It is true, to varying levels of intensity, for all students. If, that is, the Christian in the claim to be a Christian university refers to governing conviction and not merely to a hangover of historical accident.

(Richard John Neuhaus, “A University of a Particular Kind,” First Things [April 2007]: 31-5, at 33 [italics in original])

Best of the Web Today


From Today’s New York Times

To the Editor:

A Long Line for a Shorter Wait at the Supermarket” (front page, June 23) reminded me of inching along one of many slow checkout lines at a Baltimore supermarket one Saturday afternoon in 1974.

Only one customer stood between me and the exit when the cashier, a middle-aged woman wearing a bandana, announced, “I think I need a little break,” at which point she closed her eyes and began massaging her temples in long, languorous circles.

As a native New Yorker, I readied myself for mutiny, but no one behind me peeped, not even the woman whose turn it was. After what felt like an eternity, the cashier felt refreshed enough to return to work.

To this day, I think of her every time I’m languishing on an inefficient one-per-register line, vainly repeating to myself that the reward of patience is patience.

Roberta Israeloff
East Northport, N.Y., June 24, 2007

Note from KBJ: The writer says “languishing on . . . line.” I never stand on line. I stand in line.

All Fred, All the Time

I’m giddy with anticipation about Fred Thompson’s run for president. See here for the latest. How many of you are with us? Remember: Fred Thompson can kill you very easily.

A Year Ago