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Frugality Theater

May 31, 2010 - 6:00pm

WASHINGTON -- Barack Obama, an unbeliever genuflecting before the altar of frugality, is asking Congress, as presidents do, to give him something like a line-item veto. Coming in today's context of his unrelenting agenda of expanding government, his proposal constitutes a counterfeit promise to get serious about controlling spending and the deficit.

Running Not Shrugging

May 26, 2010 - 6:00pm

MILWAUKEE -- Before what he calls "the jaw-dropping" events of the last 19 months -- TARP, the stimulus, Government Motors, the mistreatment of Chrysler's creditors, Obamacare, etc. -- the idea of running for office never crossed Ron Johnson's mind. He was, however, dry tinder -- he calls Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" his "foundational book" -- and now is ablaze, in an understated, upper-Midwestern way.

In Politics, As Good As It Gets

May 19, 2010 - 6:00pm

WASHINGTON -- The candidate who on Tuesday won the special election in a Pennsylvania congressional district is right-to-life and pro-gun. He accused his opponent of wanting heavier taxes. He said he would have voted against Barack Obama's health care plan and promised to vote against cap-and-trade legislation, which is a tax increase supposedly somehow related to turning down the planet's thermostat.

Europe's Lack of Discipline

May 15, 2010 - 6:00pm

WASHINGTON -- When Chancellor Angela Merkel decided that Germany would pay part of Greece's bills, voters punished her party in elections in Germany's most populous state, North Rhine-Westphalia. How appropriate.

The 'Civilianization' of the U.S. Military

May 8, 2010 - 6:00pm

MacDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- When asked whether nationalism is putting down roots in Afghanistan's tribalized society, Gen. David Petraeus is judicious: "I don't know that I could say that." He adds, however, that "we do polling" on that subject.

When Indignation Trumps Information

May 1, 2010 - 6:00pm

WASHINGTON -- "Physician, heal yourself," said the founder of the church in which Roger Mahony is a cardinal. He is the Catholic archbishop of Los Angeles and he should heed the founder's admonition before accusing Arizonans of intemperateness.

In Praise of Cheerful Men

April 24, 2010 - 6:00pm

WASHINGTON -- Hearing about a shortage of farm laborers in California, the couple who would become Susumu Ito's parents moved from Hiroshima to become sharecroppers near Stockton. Thus began a saga that recently brought Ito, 91, to the Holocaust Memorial Museum here, where he and 119 former comrades in arms were honored, during the annual Days of Remembrance, as liberators of Nazi concentration camps.

The Thunder Roars in Trenton

April 21, 2010 - 6:00pm

MORRISVILLE, Pa. -- The bridge spanning the Delaware River connects New Jersey's capital with this town where the nation's most interesting governor occasionally eats lunch at Cafe Antonio. It also connects New Jersey's government with reality.

No (Political) Experience Required

April 14, 2010 - 6:00pm

WASHINGTON -- Stiffening their sinews and summoning up their blood, pugnacious liberals and conservatives who relish contemporary Washington's recurring Armageddons are eager for a summer-long struggle over Barack Obama's nominee to replace Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens. They should pause and ponder how recently and radically the confirmation process has changed.

Facing Up to a Pension Crisis

April 10, 2010 - 6:00pm

WASHINGTON -- A puzzle from Philosophy 101: If a tree falls in a forest and no one hears it, does it make a sound? A puzzle from the prairie: If an earthquake occurs in Illinois and no one notices, is it really a seismic event?


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