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My Discovery of Philip Roth


Philip Roth dead! Hard to believe. He ever seemed like the spirit of youth itself even as he grew old and frail. I first learned of him when I was a student at Yale Law School. If memory serves, my ultra-genius classmate and friend, Duncan Kennedy, told me about Portnoy’s Complaint. It was a screamingly […]

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California’s Gubernatorial Yawner


Sacramento When Donald Trump last week endorsed San Diego area businessman John Cox for California’s gubernatorial election, some of the Trumpiest grassroots Republicans were outraged. They blasted Cox, a fairly traditional conservative with a professional demeanor, and swore their fealty to Assemblyman Travis Allen, a populist Orange County bomb thrower whose campaign is built around cheerleading […]

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Roth, et al.


AP story on Philip Roth’s passing on the internet: standard newswire, fine as such, touches the bases quickly, even if it goes way over the conventional 21-word-max lede. He was “prize-winning,” “fearless”; his novels looked at “sex death assimilation fate” with “comic madness”; in the end it was “heart failure.” Excellent, I hear someone saying […]

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Minimum Wage Gimmicks Are Costing Governments Big Time


Local governments should beware that when they pass exorbitant minimum wage laws, they might be giving up a lot in tax revenue. Minimum wage laws have driven up costs for hotels and motels and thus driven away customers from those businesses to sharing economy outlets, such as Airbnb. That means a lot of customers who […]

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Who Needs Congress Anyway?


What if I were to suggest turning all of New York into a national monument? OK, maybe we would exclude the gigantic city, but the rest of that beautiful state could be our newest national monument. You might instinctively see a couple major problems with my idea. There are other cities and towns in the […]

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Tom Wolfe Is Dead and I Am in Italy


Castelvetro di Modena, Italy On May 14th a star failed to come out. Tom Wolfe passed away that day. With his passing the conservative movement lost its greatest social critic, and America lost one of its greatest novelists. As a writer Tom was his own man. He died as he lived, on his terms or […]

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Trump’s Quiet Victory in Europe


In early 1943, pressured by Nazi Germany, the Bulgarian government agreed to secretly deport its 48,000 Jews to Nazi death camps. After fierce resistance from the Bulgarian Orthodox Church and Bulgarian society, however, the deportation was canceled. Bulgarians themselves, for centuries subjected to forced Islamization and ethnic cleansing by the Ottoman Empire, intuitively recognized the […]

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Donald Trump: The Pro-Life President


Who knew? Who knew or really believed that candidate Donald Trump would become pro-life President Donald Trump? Politicians say things. Mitt Romney was for abortion in Massachusetts before he was against it as a presidential candidate. John McCain held a nuanced view on abortion as presidential candidate saying that abortion would be okay in special […]

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The Papadopoulos Affair: Such a Downer


To paraphrase Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca, of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, George Papadopoulos, an adviser to the Trump presidential campaign, had to walk into London’s Kensington Wine Rooms in May 2016 where he got drunk and told Alexander Downer, Australia’s High Commissioner to the UK, that Russia […]

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John Brennan’s Plot to Infiltrate the Trump Campaign


As Trump won primary after primary in 2016, a rattled John Brennan started claiming to colleagues at the CIA that Estonia’s intelligence agency had alerted him to an intercepted phone call suggesting Putin was pouring money into the Trump campaign. The tip was bogus, but Brennan bit on it with opportunistic relish. Out of Brennan’s […]

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