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“Crunchy Cons: The New Conservative Counterculture and Its Return to Roots” is the name of a book he wrote, back in 2006. As the italics indicate, the quote above refers to what he said in his book, not what the people he labeled “crunchy” did — at least not directly.
In his new article, Dreher describes himself “someone who used to live in big cities, and who now lives in a small town [and therefore] more understanding of why someone with a family would choose to live in the suburbs.” The same old reasons people move to the suburbs affected him and his family, so now he sees the point.
While I still believe there are serious objections to the way our suburbs are designed, and ways to design them to be more aesthetically pleasing and human-scaled, I appreciate very much Keith Miller’s critique, and how he urges us to think about whether we are not simply baptizing and moralizing aesthetic preferences. Don’t get me wrong: I do believe that the material order in some real sense reflects, or should reflect, the sacred order. Aesthetics are rarely completely divorced from metaphysics or morals. On a more practical level, though, I think we ought to all give more grace to each other. Not everybody who moves to the suburbs wants to build a gargantuan McMansion and live the full-consumerist lifestyle. Not everyone who chooses to live in the city is driven by morally pure motives; they could be refusing one kind of consumerist narcissism for the sake of embracing a more attractive version of same.What aesthetic preferences have you tricked up as moral imperatives?
“To solicit funds from health-care executives to help pay for the implementation of the President’s $2.6 trillion health spending law is absurd.”
Over the past three months, [HHS Secretary Kathleen] Sebelius has made multiple phone calls to health industry executives, community organizations and church groups and asked that they contribute whatever they can to nonprofit groups that are working to enroll uninsured Americans and increase awareness of the law, according to an HHS official and an industry person familiar with the secretary’s activities. Both spoke on the condition of anonymity to talk openly about private discussions.
An HHS spokesperson said Sebelius was within the bounds of her authority in asking for help. But Republicans charged that Sebelius’s outreach was improper because it pressured private companies and other groups to support the Affordable Care Act. …
Federal regulations do not allow department officials to fundraise in their professional capacity. They do, however, allow Cabinet members to solicit donations as private citizens “if you do not solicit funds from a subordinate or from someone who has or seeks business with the Department, and you do not use your official title,” according to Justice Department regulations.
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John has undertaken a series comparing Benghazigate to Watergate. Benghazigate is still unraveling, so the comparison presents certain difficulties, but we are still in the dark concerning some of the most basic facts regarding the Watergate scandal as well.
Nixon spokesman Ron Ziegler characterized Watergate as a “third-rate burglary.” The Democrats, by contrast, characterized Watergate as something vastly greater than the crime on the surface. According to Senator Ervin, this was Watergate: “To destroy, insofar as the presidential election of 1972 was concerned, the integrity of the process by which the President of the United States is nominated and elected.”
Democrats held Watergate to be an assault on the American political system. The target of the operation, after all, was the Democratic National Committee. The treasure sought by the burglars, whatever it was, wasn’t filthy lucre.
But what was Watergate? We don’t know who ordered the bungled second break-in of the Democratic National Committee on June 17, 1972. We don’t know the motive for the break-in. We don’t know what the burglars looking for. We do know that as early as June 20, 1972, President Nixon took charge of efforts to cover up his campaign’s link to the break-in and and sought to manipulate the resources of the executive branch to engineer a coverup.
Forty years later Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward looked back. In their retrospective last year they purported to provide the perspective of time and the accumulation of knowledge to the judgment that Nixon was far worse than we thought.
I’m pretty sure they always thought he was as bad as they portrayed him. Did they really need forty years to render their verdict? Anthony Lukas arrived at the same verdict on much the same evidence in Nightmare: The Underside of the Nixon Years in 1976, as did Stanley Kutler in The Wars of Watergate in 1990.
You have to slog through nearly to the end of the 2012 Woodstein remix to find this:
Even now, there are old Nixon hands and defenders who dismiss the importance of Watergate or claim that key questions remain unanswered. This year, Thomas Mallon, director of the creative writing program at George Washington University, published a novel called “Watergate,” a sometimes witty and entirely fictional story featuring many of the real players. Frank Gannon, a former Nixon White House aide who now works for the Nixon Foundation, reviewed the book for the Wall Street Journal.
“What emerges from ‘Watergate’ is an acute sense of how much we still don’t know about the events of June 17, 1972,” Gannon wrote. “Who ordered the break-in? . . . What was its real purpose? Was it purposely botched? How much was the CIA involved? . . . And how did a politician as tough and canny as Richard Nixon allow himself to be brought down by a ‘third rate burglary?’
“Your guess is as good as mine.”
Of course, Gannon is correct in noting that there are some unanswered questions — but not the big ones. By focusing on the supposed paucity of details concerning the burglary of June 17, 1972, he would divert us from the larger story.
Thanks for clearing that up, guys.
A thoroughgoing dishonesty permeates the Obama administration. From Obamacare to Benghazi, this is the gang that can’t talk straight. Philip Klein catches the president in the act of being himself, peddling instantly classic doubletalk:
As part of a Mothers’ Day weekend defense of his signature legislative accomplishment, President Obama claimed that the law represented the “largest health care tax cut for working families and small businesses in our history. “
His argument was a Hail-Mary effort to redesignate subsidies for individuals to purchase health insurance on government-run exchanges as a “tax cut.” But according to the Congressional Budget Office, these subsidies actually qualify as more than $1 trillion in “Exchange Subsidies and Related Spending.” (Emphasis mine.)
Far from being a historic tax cut, Obamacare actually qualifies as one of the largest tax increases in history. It contains roughly $1 trillion in taxes — on insurance plans, medical devices and investment income. And many of the taxes will end up falling on the middle class. The law’s individual mandate, which the Obama administration successful argued was a tax before the U.S. Supreme Court, is projected to hit nearly 5 million Americans with incomes less than $60,000 by 2016.
Go to Klein’s post for the links and to this Americans for Tax Reform compilation of Obamacare Tax Hikes.
How long before Obama begins telling us that Freedom is Slavery, or has he already done that?
Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times/Landov
CIA director David Petraeus was surprised when he read the freshly rewritten talking points an aide had emailed him in the early afternoon of Saturday, September 15. One day earlier, analysts with the CIA’s Office of Terrorism Analysis had drafted a set of unclassified talking points policymakers could use to discuss the attacks in Benghazi, Libya. But this new version—produced with input from senior Obama administration policymakers—was a shadow of the original.
The president has described the Boston terrorists as “self-radicalized,” and his voice is but one in a great chorus insisting that we face a major threat from Americans gone bad, almost entirely on their own, and certainly without any input from foreign countries or terrorist groups. Some of these voices can be heard in a front-page “analysis” by Scott Shane in the May 6 New York Times, whose title says most all of it: “A Homemade Style of Terror.”
Rooting around in a bookstore not long ago, I stumbled upon a second edition of Functions of a Complex Variable (1917) by the Scottish mathematician Thomas MacRobert. Immediately I felt a chill, a sense of doom and foreboding, I had not experienced since youth. This was a dread mathematics text with which I had once wrestled, with limited success.