State of the Union

The Digest

Takeaways from

Can Ron Paul lead the Occupy Movement?

Liberals should spend more time with conservatives.

Alan Jacobs and Rod Dreher preview Peter Jackson’s rendition of The Hobbit.

The military-industrial complex braces for defense cuts.

Another Republican internationalist is likely to take charge at the Pentagon.


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The Digest

Takeaways from

Do libertarians have a problem with authority?

Frank Gaffney (and Republican Islamophobia) isn’t going away.

When traditionalist conservatives and radicals worry about the same things.

Why the fiscal cliff impasse is really about entitlement reform.

How the GOP can get real on foreign policy (start listening to Jon Huntsman and Rand Paul).

Feel better about yourself.

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The Digest

Takeaways from

Glenn Beck comes out in support of gay marriage.

There is no one-state “solution” for Israel-Palestine.

In some ways, Renaissance painters were as multicultural as 21st century Westerners.

Does the Arab Spring herald an Israeli winter?

Giving soldiers LSD.

The real problem with Susan Rice.

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The Digest

Takeaways from

Scott Galupo checks the GOP’s pulse on the fiscal cliff (hint: Obama holds all the cards).

Harvard responds to Ron Unz’s piece on the “hedgefundersity.”

Can Luigi Zingales save American capitalism?

“Whether declared by church or state, the war against human nature is by definition lost.”

How to have a real argument.

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The Digest

Takeaways from

Rand Paul may be morphing into a more conventional Republican on foreign policy.

Brion McClanahan examines how serious the Founding Fathers were about indivisibility, and where legal questions surrounding secession stand today.

What will the rise of “dignified promiscuity” mean for marriage?

Samuel Goldman is not convinced that the best American literature comes from the South.

What does Jim DeMint’s “ascendancy” to the Heritage Foundation say about the GOP establishment?

Some hard truths about online paywalls.

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The Digest, Dec. 6

A few takeaways from yesterday at

Philip Giraldi asks if we are really going to let the Kagans talk us into prolonging the war in Afghanistan.

Can Catholicism be reconciled with “democratic capitalism”? Elias Crim looks at the Acton Institute’s co-founder’s Moral Case for the Free Economy and the meaning of scriptural prescriptions for economic relationships.

“Common Core Standards” are a bad idea, not for fear of “indoctrination,” but because they stamp a national solution on state and regional problems in education.

Is the power of divine art underestimated in Evangelical culture?

Scott McConnell is probably not alone in his early, but perhaps ill-founded, approval of Egypt’s newly elected Muslim Brotherhood President, Mohammed Morsi.

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The Digest

A few of today’s takeaways from

Sheldon Richman breaks down the vicious circle of financial intervention.

Is good old Southern Hospitality still intact?

On its tenth anniversary, Kelley Vlahos addresses the Department of Homeland Security’s unsound future.

One way to fix the Norquist pledge.

Serious question: Is there any real conservative support for increased protection of copyrights, stronger enforcement and regulation, and stiffer penalties?

Alan Jacobs on fiction’s unmistakable golden years.

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TAC Digest: December 4

Today on, Eric Margolis explained the real problem with Susan Rice. Meanwhile, Scott Galupo took stock of the back-and-forth over taxes rates and entitlement spending:

Republicans will give in to President Obama — reluctantly, kicking-and-screamingly — on the top tax bracket, but they want substantive entitlement reforms in return, and they want bipartisan, Bowles-ian cover as part of the bargain. The outline of a deficit-reduction plan offered by House Republican leaders yesterday in the form of a letter to the president was vague about revenue: a headline number of $800 billion over 10 years was put on the table, but the letter did not specify which deductions and loopholes are on the chopping block. Because that’s not the point. Obama will get his revenue. … Roughly $1 trillion in new revenue for roughly $1 trillion in spending cuts, including modest structural reforms to Social Security and Medicare, is a realistic target to shoot for, all things considered.

Alan Jacobs examined the rich thought at the root of Roger Scruton’s Case for Environmental Conservatism:

To some readers it will feel that Scruton often wanders far from the most heated environmental debates of our day, but this is intentional on his part. He wants to step back from judgments on particular issues in order to train his readers in usefully conservative thought. … The more distant and abstract the place from which environmental initiatives come, Scruton argues, the less purchase they have on the human beings who are acting in ways that affect our planet.

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TAC Digest: December 3

Today on, Rod Dreher reflected on the decline of marriage-and-family culture:

So what? Well, marriage is good for individuals, good for the children they produce, and good for society. Study after study has confirmed this wisdom at the heart of most religions. [Jonathan] Last points out, though, that there will be political consequences to the rapid decline of marriage-and-family culture. People who aren’t married tend to be more focused on the here and now, and not thinking of the future, and the obligations to stewardship future-mindedness imposes. Also, if they don’t have families to help take care of them, the state has to step in.

Philip Giraldi questioned the effectiveness of Israel’s Iron Dome:

Consider for a moment the economics of Iron Dome. There are currently five operational units that are towed to the sites where are they deployed. They have cost $50 million each.  Israel eventually wants to deploy thirteen of them, all paid for by the US taxpayer. In the recent fighting, the Iron Dome units fired an estimated $25-30 million worth of anti-missile missiles, with a per unit cost of $50,000. The Gazan weapons were largely homemade though sometimes using Iranian avionic parts smuggled in and had no infrastructure costs for the launchers. Most were so-called Qassams, lacking sophistication but costing about $100 to construct. So on a one-to-one basis it costs $50,000 per missile fired from a $50 million launcher to defeat something that might cost $100 to build.

A.G. Gancarski catalogued the slow death of American culture à la “Two and a Half Men”:

If one is trapped in a cubicle for nine hours a day, it is easy enough to see how escapist entertainment like this would serve as a diversion. Those who watch “Two and a Half Men” know–from the promos, the opening scene, and whatever else–that the sordidness of the show is part of the package, and it is a sordidness that is part of the culture now.

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TAC Digest: November 30

This week on, Bruce Bartlett’s soul-searching lamentation over the state of the GOP struck a nerve. Ron Unz’s examination of anti-Asian-American bias in Ivy League admissions policies also created a flutter. Samuel Goldman and Dan McCarthy reacted to Unz’s piece here and here.

Noah Millman contemplated Leo Tolstoy, Scott Galupo reflected on the tragedy of young-earth creationism, and Jack Hunter held out hope for Grover Norquist and small government conservatism.

Finally, Rod Dreher discovered an unlikely hero.

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