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A Top-Down History of World War II

By 5.18.15

American Warlords: How Roosevelt’s High Command Led America to Victory in World War II
By Jonathan W. Jordan
(NAL Caliber, 624 pages, $28.95)

The most horrific and world-changing event in history traveling under one name is World War II. Some call it “the good war,” not because there was anything good about it, but because, compared to other armed conflicts, if featured a good deal of “moral clarity.” Meaning you can tell who the good guys and the bad guys were. (True, though even here there has to be a good deal of moral sleight-of-hand when it came to the Soviet Union.)

Special Report

Equal Opportunity for All Through Educational Freedom

By 5.18.15

Economist Stephen Moore, in a May 1, 2015 editorial in the Wall Street Journal, “President Obama, Are You Listening,” raised this question: “The scenes of Baltimore set ablaze this week have many Americans thinking: What can be done to rescue families trapped in an inner-city culture of violence, despair and joblessness?” His answer should lead us to start a grass-roots movement to convince political leaders in the state capitals and the U.S. capital to offer all parents, not just the wealthy, equal opportunity through educational freedom. How? Follow Mr. Moore’s advice:

Republicans should seize this issue. And when unions mobilize to kill school choice, the GOP should fight side by side with these inspiring students and parents to expand it across the country. The Education Department’s spending for K-12 education will soon reach $50 billion. How about a GOP plan that would take that money from the bureaucracy and distribute five million vouchers of $10,000 each to the lowest-income Americans—like those who live in Baltimore?

Another Perspective

Put Harriet Tubman on the $20 Bill

By 5.18.15

Washington’s latest symbolic battle is looming. America’s money celebrates its early political leaders, white males all. There’s now a campaign to provide for greater currency diversity. The group Women on 20s held a poll on what woman should be added: the victor was famed antislavery activist Harriet Tubman, who narrowly beat out First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Finishing further behind were Rosa Parks, the Civil Rights heroine, and Wilma Mankiller, the first female Cherokee chief.

Of course, it wouldn’t be the first time that a woman appeared on America’s money. Suffragette Susan B. Anthony graced the ill-fated dollar coin that was little used and quickly forgotten. The Native American Sacagawea later did the same and suffered a similar fate.

The Treasury Department is authorized to choose figures for America’s money. The administration has almost total discretion, since all that matters is that the person be dead. President Barack Obama indicated his interest in showcasing more women, encouraging feminist groups to rev up their political engines.

Another Perspective

‘Christian’ Paths to Amnesty

By 5.18.15

I understand the ideological, political, economic, and perhaps even ecclesiastical scramble over immigration “reform,” with various parties exhilarated or terrified at the prospects for gain or loss. I understand the daunting practicalities of it all and calls for emergency compromise. (Exigencies can birth strange policies, including cooperation with one mass murderer, Stalin, to stop another, Hitler.) But I’m having difficulty accepting the “Christian” case for some form of amnesty, offered (albeit by good folks) at the expense of the respect for law taught in Romans 13:1-7. The more they plead, the less convinced I find myself.

As an aside, I’ve been surprised at how those who work with Hispanics confide matter-of-factly in me their indifference to the illegal status of their flocks and their indignation at efforts to harass them. I suppose it’s a compliment of sorts, their attributing to me a certain level of sanctification, which certainly would bring me in line with their “Christlike” position. Alas, I’m not there yet, and here are 26 factors:

A Further Perspective

Waterboarding Worked

By 5.18.15

Dianne Feinstein of California arguably used to be the CIA’s best friend on the Democratic side of the Senate. I think it’s fair to say that San Francisco voters were not enthusiastic about her pro-intelligence posture during the George W. Bush presidency. One thing DiFi has going for her, though, is that it’s hard even for critics to not crack a smile at her famously idiosyncratic stubborn streak. She’s old-school. She makes up her mind and digs in deep. And then something else sticks in her craw.

As Senate Select Committee on Intelligence chairwoman during President Barack Obama’s first six years, Feinstein did lock horns with CIA brass — and it was over the Bush years. She is on a crusade to convince America that Bush-era coercive interrogation techniques were wrong — a respectable position — but also produced no intelligence, which is hard to believe.

Political Hay

The Problem for Folks Like Us

By 5.18.15

I heard it first at the barber shop. Then at the airport. And then from callers to a radio show. Folks like us seem to think we have a problem.

They think that we have too many candidates, and that the candidates will spend too much money tearing one another down, and that the process may produce, after a burst of fratricidal campaign spots, a mortally damaged nominee. This concern is unlike us. Folks like us tend to encourage dissent and welcome debate; we are the permanent insurgency and we thrive on the hurly-burly of controversy. But now that we’re up against the glacial advance of Clinton Inc., these folks seem to be saying, maybe we should skinny down a bit, husband our resources, and begin to look for the high ground of party unity.

I hear these folks. But they’re wrong, or at least prematurely wrong.


Bye, George!

By 5.15.15

Fate has a nasty sense of humor sometimes. The single most engaging person in show business today at any level is Ali Wentworth (Schmoopie to Seinfeld devotees), former host of Yahoo’s Daily Shot, the best original production in the history of the Internet. I defy any honest viewer to see any episode of that show, or any of her public appearances, and not find her immensely likeable. In particular, I would recommend her coffee klatsch with Jerry Seinfeld on his new show, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.

And who does this absolutely delightful human being choose as a spouse? None other than the penultimate creep George Stephanopoulos (the title of “ultimate creep” is taken during Charles Schumer’s lifetime.) If that match was made in Heaven, it might have been through connections his father cultivated on high in his quarter-century as Dean of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan Cathedral.

Well, there is no accounting for tastes. Personally I never baste lamb but I would not lambaste people who do. Hopefully we can keep liking Alexandra while heaping scorn upon her husband.


Buy George

By From the October 1994 issue

From our October 1994 issue: "Buy George: Is that what top people at NationsBank were thinking when they gave Clinton aide George Stephanopoulos an exceptional $668,000 loan?"

In May, with the help of a $668,000 loan from NationsBank Mortgage Corp. (a NationsBank subsidiary), George Stephanopoulos bought an $835,000 D.C. building containing a posh apartment above an eyewear retail store. Gossips, realtors, and all manner of investigative reporters immediately began asking: How could someone who pulls down a mere $125,000 a year—with a net worth between $30,000 and $100,000—afford such pricey real estate? “Stephanopoulos got a great deal,” says one source in the banking world. “They waved it in front of him. The only thing he did wrong was he should’ve known NationsBanc wasn’t giving him this deal because he was Joe Schmoe off the street. He was given this deal because of who he was.”

Special Report

The Train-Wreck Ghouls

By 5.15.15

Mere hours after Train 188 from Washington to New York City jumped the rails and killed eight, the Democrat spin machine stood atop the wreckage and cranked up its familiar rant about Republican neglect of America’s infrastructure.

The Washington Post’s Philip Bump opened with a piece Wednesday morning assailing Republicans for Amtrak’s “funding problems” (it was chartered as a for-profit agency, directed again by Congress to turn a profit in 1997, has never seen a drop of black ink and has soaked up some $45 billion in the four decades since inception) on the basis that Republicans don’t ride its trains.

Then came the parade of leftist politicians.

We failed them,” said Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) of the dead, before there was a firm body count.

Campaign Crawlers

Rand and Rubio Drive the Debate

By 5.15.15

The Republican Party plans to pare down its presidential primary-season debates from 20 in 2012 to less than half that this go-around. No matter. The candidates, two of them at least, appear ready to drive the debate before any formal such event takes place.

“I think there’s a consistent theme here that every candidate should be asked,” Rand Paul told CNN’s audience this week, “and that is: Is it a go-ahead idea to go into the Middle East, topple governments, and hope something better rises out of the chaos? Because recent history seems to show that—you know what?—we’re not getting something better, we’re getting something worse.”

There’s something fundamentally conservative in the libertarian’s answer. When I interviewed the Students for a Democratic Society’s first president Al Haber for A Conservative History of the American Left, I asked him in his book-filled living room to define the motivating idea behind the Left: “What is the better world possible?” Rand Paul asks conservatives to consider the worse world possible.