DeDe Scozzafava Quits: Next Time, Run a Primary

The electrifying news that the "handpicked" Republican candidate for New York's 23rd Congressional District is throwing in the towel is good news for conservatives who were supporting the Conservative Party candidate, Doug Hoffman. But it's also a good lesson in why party regulars are better off more often than not letting the rank and file …

Happy Halloween from Positive Infinity

It's that time of year again. Everywhere we see these Halloween decorations with all of these fake black cats and pumpkins. So we wanted to show you a real black cat and a real pumpkin together, and we think they're a big improvement over the fake stuff. Fact and fantasy have a strange way of …

The Moonies are Still On the March

And they are looking ahead to a generational leadership transition, complete with Ivy Leaguers: This month, the Reverend Sun Myung Moon went to Washington to introduce As a Peace-Loving Global Citizen, his autobiography that, according to the Moon-owned Washington Times, "recounts the joys and challenges, the teachable moments and the monumental experiences of his life …

The Will of God and the Green Bananas

"American as Mother, apple pie and the flag" used to be an expression of things that united us in this country.  Maybe that's why life in these United States has been a little too interesting for me: my mother and I didn't see eye to eye on many things, and when we were in the …

Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind

The trip through the music alluded to in the novel The Ten Weeks will take a mellow turn this week with Gordon Lightfoot's "If You Could Read My Mind."  Lightfoot is the only Canadian represented in this list. This is a relatively new performance, but this is still a very smooth and beguiling song and …

Our Government Targets Wealth Accumulation, Not Just Income

Most discussions on taxation and wealth transfer focus on income, but the IRS has its sights on those who have the bad taste not to merely live on credit but to accumulate wealth, as Charles Rubin notes here: Basking in the glow of the recently completed offshore voluntary compliance program, IRS Commissioner Shulman in a …

When the Vulcan Man Travelled…

From time to time, I mention the family business I used to be involved in: Vulcan Iron Works Inc., which was in my family (with one break) for 144 years.  We did a great deal of business outside of the U.S., especially for the offshore oil industry.  From about 1960 until the early 1980's, offshore …

Matthew Hoh’s Resignation: Losing Our Focus in Afghanistan

I can't much blame this ex-Marine (if such exists) for throwing in the towel: When Matthew Hoh joined the Foreign Service early this year, he was exactly the kind of smart civil-military hybrid the administration was looking for to help expand its development efforts in Afghanistan. A former Marine Corps captain with combat experience in …

Underestimating Obama’s Personality Cult is Dangerous

But former McCain-Palin staffer Robert Heiler does it just the same: In many countries - as the history of Latin America alone illustrates - the institutions and the culture offer a weak defense against personality cult movements. In America, the defense is strong, buttressed by the First, Second, Fifth, Eighth and Tenth Amendments to the …

The Strange and Wonderful Story of Sister Germaine

It's not very often that I do what I would call "heartwarming" stories on this blog.  Perhaps I should do more; in the world we live in, we could use a few every now and then.  But so many of them are, to put it bluntly, "hokey" or trite. This one is an exception. One …

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