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Suddenly, All of those Castle Grayskull References in the Weekly Standard Make Sense

8 Oct

In the middle of a fairly incisive article examining why Bob Herbert is a boring columnist, T.A. Frank makes a brilliant observation:

By contrast, I could easily name ten other columnists who seem to make it their mission to find new, untested forms of destruction to bring upon us. If you told me that, say, Charles Krauthammer’s articles were ghostwritten by Skeletor, I doubt I’d blink.

Makes sense to me.

The Soft Bigotry of Conservative Expectations

17 Sep

Jonah Goldberg makes note of a conservative/libertarian blogging contest for college students (for which he is a judge) sponsored by America’s Future Foundation. If you win, you get $10,000, as determined by a panel of notable right-leaning/libertarian bloggers. This is from the press release:

– Jonathan Adler of The Volokh Consipracy
– Radley Balko of The Agitator
– Robert Bluey of The Heritage Foundation and
– Jonah Goldberg of National Review Online
– Mary Katharine Ham of
– Megan McArdle of

To enter, and for the complete set of rules, college bloggers canvisit There bloggers can enter their site for consideration. The deadline for entries is December 31, 2007. From the entries, AFF will choose ten finalists. The panel of seven judges will then track the blogs between January and April and will then choose a winner.

So far, so good. Seems like a nice little contest, if your political sympathies align with America’s Freedom Foundation, you have a blog, and are enrolled in college. But then AFF had to go and include this: Continue reading

George Will: Erudite Sportsman

13 Sep

Like Matt Zeitlin, I often like what George Will has to say. When he’s wrong, he can be as ideologically unimaginative as other pundits, but he’s a sensible conservative voice on This Week. But the best is his baseball commentary–or rather, a great parody of George Will by Dana Carvey on SNL. What do you get when you mix an educated, elitist square with a baseball fan’s love of trivia? George Will’s Sports Machine. You’ve got to love the audience reaction to questions like: “The precarious balance between infield and outfield suggests a perfect symmetry. For $50, identify the effect of that symmetry.” Teh funny.

Just Don’t Tell Ben Bernanke

12 Jul

Via Andrew Sullivan, a roundup of a minor blogosphere debate about FDR and the more, uh, “creative” ways Roosevelt made economic policy.  Pejman Yousefzadeh of Redstate asserts that the relevant lesson to be drawn from this is  to beware of an unchecked Executive:

I don’t care how long ago this pathetic and frightening policymaking fiasco occurred. It is appalling that it ever happened and in order to make sure that no President ever again thinks of arrogating unto himself/herself the authority to engage in command-and-control decisions concerning issues best left to the market, it behooves those of us who actually are serious about policymaking and historical lessons attendant to policymaking to point out such travesties for the historical record . . . the better to avoid such trainwrecks in the future.

I’ll just point out that the sort of “policy making fiasco” Yousefzadeh is talking about is avoided by investing that power in the Federal Reserve.  As Kevin Drum noted, the idea of messing with the price of gold was a way of controlling inflation, a task we now invest in the Fed Chairman.  There really isn’t any danger of a president going around setting the price of milk and iPods (see: all of the 1990s).  So it’s agreed: markets know more about the economy than the president, so “boo!” to price controls.  Fiscal policy gets left up to an unelected, former Princeton econ professor.  Deal.