CONTENTS: Hanson – America Declines; Inhofe – sequestration; Rush –BO skates; Hagel blocked; Collins’ No; PreSchool pointless; Henninger – Bama state; Looking at you; Taranto – pravda; Drones in PA; RIP traffic court; Knepper – privatize; Guzzardi x 2; BUDGETS –Murdock; SOTU fact check; Nancy no guns; Walter E –culture vs guns; Malkin – Chicago; Gabriel – Benghazi; Simon -Benghazi the film; Klein – told you so; Shlaes – Cool Cal; Announcements
“Congress, the Cabinet of courtiers, the press, the people and indeed the national problems described in that State of the Union speech—it’s all brick and mortar in the future Obama monument.” Daniel Henninger
“Americans are smart enough to know that President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech was nothing more “than a wish list that we can’t afford and that the president can’t get done.” Jim DeMint
“The fight goes on,” said conservative editor Bill Kristol, who marshaled opposition research, media buys and op-eds against Hagel. Kristol vowed that he would “continue to work to convince a majority of senators of the undeniable truth that we can do much, much better than Mr. Hagel.”
1764: St. Louis, Missouri, was founded as a French fur-trading post.
1799: Pennsylvania authorized the first printed election ballots in the United States.
1820: Women’s suffrage leader Susan B. Anthony was born in Adams, Massachusetts.
1898: The USS Maine blew up in Havana Harbor, touching off the Spanish-American War.
1933: President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt narrowly escaped an assassination attempt in Miami.
Victor Davis Hanson, NRO: “The Decline of America”
“. . . In literature from Catullus to Edward Gibbon, wealth and leisure — and who gets the most of both — more often than poverty and exhaustion, cause civilization to implode.
One recurring theme seems consistent in Athenian literature on the eve of the city’s takeover by Macedon: social squabbling over slicing up a shrinking pie. Athenian speeches from that era make frequent reference to lawsuits over property and inheritance, evading taxes, and fudging eligibility for the dole. After the end of the Roman Republic, reactionary Latin literature — from the likes of Juvenal, Petronius, Suetonius, and Tacitus — pointed to ‘bread and circuses,’ as well as excessive wealth, corruption, and top-heavy government.
“For Gibbon and later French scholars, ‘Byzantine’ became a pejorative description of a top-heavy Greek bureaucracy that could not tax enough vanishing producers to sustain a growing number of bureaucrats. In antiquity, inflating the currency by turning out cheap bronze coins was often the favored way to pay off public debts, while the law became fluid to address popular demands rather than to protect time-honored justice. . .”
Senator James Inhofe (R-OK): “. . . The Impacts of Sequestration and Continuing Resolution”
Thx, Bill Bennett,
“The Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs testified last week about the tragic events in Benghazi and stated that the United States military did not have the assets necessary to deter or ultimately respond to the terrorist attack that killed our Ambassador and three other Americans in one of the most volatile regions of the world. This is a stark and sobering admission about the ability of the United States military to protect United States citizens abroad, and sequestration only further undermines our ability to respond to similar crises in the future. Our men and women in uniform, the American people, and our friends around the world deserve better than sequestration and it is our shared responsibility – both the President and the Congress – to ensure that it does not take place.
“The Department of Defense has absorbed almost $600 billion in defense cuts under President Obama, with an additional $500 billion under sequestration – totaling over $1 trillion in total cuts to our military. For more than 14 months we have repeatedly requested the Administration provide us with a detailed assessment of the impact of sequestration on our national defense. We have been met with delays, gag orders, generalities and authoritative promises by the President that sequestration “will not happen.” But now, we are 16 days away from more cancelled deployments, thousands of jobs lost, furloughs, and the imminent threat of a hollow military force unable to respond to contingencies around an increasingly dangerous and deadly world. . .”
Rush Limbaugh: “Barack Obama Will Never Be Held Responsible for Anything”
“. . . you were looking at the very definition of low-information voters. It’s amazing. They had the same reaction I had.
They disagreed with pretty much everything Obama said, policy-wise, but they supported him, and they thought it was a great speech, and they liked the part about everybody working together to get along. They liked the fact that he’s gonna tackle the deficit. They liked the fact that he’s gonna create jobs. They didn’t agree with how he was gonna do it, but they liked that he’s going to. They liked that he’s gonna reduce the deficit. They liked the fact that he’s gonna bring the debt down. They liked the fact that health care costs are gonna come down. Did you know that? Health care costs are already coming down and I found myself agreeing. I thought it was cool. I disagreed with, you know, how the president said he’s gonna do it. . .”
LEADS . . .
Kane & O’Keefe, WaPo: “Senate Republicans block vote on Hagel nomination”
“. . . Republicans predicted they would relent to a simple majority vote, guaranteeing confirmation, later this month — but only if they see more information about Hagel’s post-Senate foreign policy speeches and his work in private investment groups. Senior Republicans initially scoffed at those demands, first raised by freshman Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), as unnecessary, but now party leaders hold them up as the main cause for delay.
“Even if Hagel is eventually confirmed, the process marked another escalation in long-running nomination wars dating to the 1980s, now crossing into an area that has long been the most bipartisan on Capitol Hill: national security.
“The Hagel fight also demonstrated the Republican fixation on the events surrounding the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya that killed four American diplomats. GOP senators have clung to the tragedy as cause for holding Hagel’s nomination hostage in exchange for more details about the attack. . .”
AllahPundit, Hot Air: Susan Collins – no to Hagel
“. . . She switched! Or Garrett was wrong all along. Either way, they’re back to 56 votes with momentum against confirmation, especially now that McCain’s hinting that he’s switched too. Not only that, but Reid said shortly after the Collins news broke that he’ll move for cloture right away, which could mean that he’s worried about the defections snowballing and wants to try to push Hagel through before things turn critical.
But wait. Wait, wait, wait. Tucked away at the very end of Collins’s long statement explaining what a terrible SecDef Hagel would make is this not-so-minor footnote:
“Unfortunately, I am concerned that Senator Hagel’s nomination would send the wrong message at the wrong time to our allies and adversaries around the world about the resolve of the United States. It is telling and disturbing that when I asked Senator Hagel what he believed were the greatest threats facing our country, he identified the resource shortage that could result from the addition of two billion more people during the next couple decades as near the top of his list. While there no doubt will be tremendous challenges associated with this development, his response concerned me when I consider all of the enormous near-term threats facing our country…
“I am unable to support Senator Hagel to be the next Secretary of Defense because I do not believe his past positions, votes, and statements match the challenges of our time, and his presentations at his hearing did nothing to ease my doubts. I regret having to reach that conclusion given our personal relationship and my admiration for Senator Hagel’s military service. But I have concluded that he is not well-suited for the tremendous challenges our country faces during this dangerous era in our history.
“As I announce my decision to cast my vote in opposition to Senator Hagel’s nomination, let me address one final question: Should this nomination, which causes me such great concern, be filibustered? As a general rule, I believe a President has the right to choose the members of his Cabinet, and only in extraordinary circumstances should such a nomination be filibustered. I oppose Senator Hagel’s nomination, but I cannot join in a filibuster to block each Senator’s right to vote for or against him.
“She’s all but saying that the guy’s out of his depth for the most important position in the cabinet at an extremely precarious moment internationally. Pretty much everyone across the spectrum understands that he’s being nominated only so that a Republican will share blame when Obama starts cutting defense. If that’s not an “extraordinary circumstance” worthy of a filibuster, what is? How dangerously unqualified would this guy have to be before Collins decides that she can’t leave it to Democrats to do the right thing here?” (emph added, jb)
Joy Pullmann, Daily Caller: “President ignores evidence government preschool hurts children”
“A month ago, The Huffington Post broke the news that Education Secretary Arne Duncan and the Department of Health and Human Services have been plotting to get 1.85 million three- and four-year-olds enrolled in government preschool. Currently, the federal Head Start program enrolls about 900,000 small children from poor families, at a cost of $8 billion per year, or $180 billion since the program was conceived in a well-meaning thrust of government paternalism. President Obama wants middle-income kids in government care centers, too, as he announced Tuesday during his State of the Union.
Federal researchers have been studying Head Start for decades, and have never found significant, long-lasting benefits. The research consistently shows that kids who attend Head Start are, four or five years later, no different from their peers who did not attend. In short, the program is like an $8 billion Popsicle binge: it makes grown-ups feel good about giving the kiddos a token while the kids get no nutrition. Seeing these results, HHS suppressed its own research and dumped the latest report full of zeroes on the Friday before Christmas 2012. In January, Congress sent Head Start a $100 million bonus.
While his administration apparently doesn’t want to admit how poorly the feds administer preschool, perhaps one can assume the president does not know Sweden is light years ahead of the U.S. in implementing a literal nanny state and, although Sweden is hailed as one of the most enlightened social welfare states, the results aren’t good.
Daniel Henninger, WSJ: The State of Obama
“A State of the Union speech normally is about relating a president’s public policies to conditions in the country. An Obama State of the Union speech is about one thing: the Obama project.
“It would be unfair to say that everything and everyone else in a complex world are irrelevant. But let’s be clear about the priorities: Congress, the Cabinet of courtiers, the press, the people and indeed the national problems described in that State of the Union speech—it’s all brick and mortar in the future Obama monument.
“That we are all just riding in Barack Obama’s sidecar should have been obvious from day one. His 2008 Denver acceptance speech enveloped nearly everything. The vast, sweeping goals he then laid out in January 2009 are virtually the same ones he described Tuesday night—the climate cleansed, education for all, social justice achieved and the drowning middle-class saved.
“The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein, an Obama admirer, commented without irony right after the State of the Union: ‘In some ways, what was most noticeable about the speech was what wasn’t in it: Nothing.’
“Commentary from right to left after the speech noted the mismatch between its goals and money available in any conceivable federal budget. So why is he doing this? More to the point, what have we gotten ourselves into with this president? . . .”
Aaron Klein, WND: “Big Brother to monitor ‘sovereign citizens’”
“With almost no media coverage, the White House last week announced its new Interagency Working Group to Counter Online Radicalization to Violence that will target not only Islamic terrorists but so-called violent “sovereign citizens.”
The FBI defines “sovereign citizens” as “anti-government extremists who believe that even though they physically reside in this country, they are separate or ‘sovereign’ from the United States.”
The law enforcement agency noted such citizens believe they don’t have to answer to any government authority, including courts, taxing entities, motor vehicle departments or police.
“The FBI warned that sovereign citizens commit murder and physical assault; threaten judges, law enforcement professionals and government personnel; impersonate police officers and diplomats; and engineer various white-collar scams, including mortgage fraud and so-called ‘redemption’ schemes.
“The new online working group will be chaired by the national security staff at the White House with input from specialists in countering what the Obama administration calls violent extremism.
“Also included in the group, according to a White House release, will be ‘Internet safety experts, and civil liberties and privacy practitioners from across the United States Government.’”
James Taranto, WSJ: “Pravda on the Hudson”
Thx Ted. . . Maybe The Donald will change his mind and buy it . . .
“The New York Times’s Jackie Calmes bravely speaks truth to power:
“Inside the White House and out, advisers and associates have noted subtle but palpable changes in [President] Obama since his re-election. “He even carries himself a little bit differently,” said one confidant who, like others, asked not to be identified discussing the president. He is relaxed, more voluble and even more confident than usual, these people say, freer to drop profanities or dismiss others’ ideas–enough that even some supporters fear the potential for hubris. . . .
“As the president prepares to outline his second-term agenda, it is clear from these personal accounts as well as his public acts, like his bold Inaugural Address, that he has shown an assertiveness, self-possession, even cockiness that contrasts with the caution, compromise and reserve that he showed for much of his first term.
“As a formal matter, this article is “balanced”: Calmes allows that, however awesomely impressive the president may be, future political successes are not assured (although “so far Mr. Obama has carried the day”). If you read far enough into the piece–though why you’d want to is anyone’s guess–you’ll even get to the obligatory quotes from Republicans.
“Still the overall tone, exemplified by the quoted passage, which consists of the second and fourth paragraphs, is of a paean to the great leader. . .”
Melissa Daniels, PA Independent: “Lawmaker proposes restricting drone use in PA”
“HARRISBURG – A Philadelphia state lawmaker wants to make sure that Pennsylvania citizens aren’t needlessly spied on by aerial drones.
“State Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Philadelphia, circulated a co-sponsorship memo Tuesday for a bill requiring law enforcement to get a court order from a judge before using “unmanned aircraft surveillance” in the commonwealth.
“Cruz told his fellow lawmakers that the point of the bill is to protect against invasions of privacy. He also said his legislation would ensure drones would not be used in Pennsylvania “without reasonable cause given for their use and proper approval given from the court system.”
“The authorization would be similar to the current rules law officers follow to intercept communication.
“So far, the bill has four co-sponsors…”
Eric Boehm, PA Independent: RIP Philly Traffic Court
“HARRISBURG – The state Senate approved legislation to abolish the scandal-ridden Philadelphia Traffic Court, one day after two former judges pleaded guilty to charges stemming from a wide-ranging investigation into corruption and ticket-fixing.
One bill approved by the state Senate would transfer the responsibilities of the traffic court to the Philadelphia Municipal Court and would move two of the traffic court’s seven current judges into new roles within the municipal court, effectively shuttering the traffic court as an independent judicial body. A second bill would amend the state constitution to remove the traffic court permanently.
“There is no good reason for taxpayers to continue footing the bill for a court that is unnecessary and has become an embarrassment to the state’s judicial system,” said Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, R-Chester, who sponsored the bills.
Leo Knepper, CAP: “New Poll Finds Broad Support for Privatizing State Stores”
“February 13, 2013: On February 11th, the Commonwealth Foundation released an incredibly detailed look at how voters felt about the privatization of liquor stores. The most striking finding was the level of support that privatization enjoyed among union households:
“Despite vigorous union opposition from the United Food and Commercial Workers union, nearly 6 in 10 union households favor selling the system to private owners as well as the majority of union members themselves.”
“Another compelling finding was the polls look at the ‘collar’ counties that surround Philadelphia. Respondents in the collar counties favored privatization by a two-to-one margin. This level of support could complicate the positions of Democratic lawmakers who have traditionally aligned themselves with the liquor clerk union. . .”
Bob Guzzardi, “Republican Sen. Rafferty Voted for Gov. Rendell’s Act 44 of 2007 with foreseeable consequences”
“Republican Sen. John Rafferty voted for Governor Ed Rendell’s initiative to fund Philadelphia unionized mass transit leading, as could be foreseen, to increased turnpike tolls and increased turnpike debt.”
Bob Guzzardi: Rafferty’s Gas Tax
“YIKES State Senate Republican and Democratic Leadership collude to raise taxes fees on motorists by $2.8 billion.
“Republican Sen. John Rafferty is Majority Chair of Senate Transportation Committee leading this latest attack on The Forgotten Taxpayer (not every taxpayer, only those who own cars, including commercial trucks) to pay for Union constructed, or prevailing wage, infrastructure. Prevailing wage will add 10s of millions to costs and send millions and millions in union dues to fuel even more union demands.
“I note that Republican Governor Corbett’s Transportation Secretary, bureaucrat. and former lobbyist for highway construction companies Barry Schoch is unclear whether imposing additional fuel tax will increase retail gas prices. Maybe Secretary Schoch thinks taking more money from drivers will lower prices.
“It would be good if Republican and Democratic leadership were (to) would collude to reduce spending.”
Deroy Murdock, NRO: “For Our Children’s Parents”
“Fiscal conservatives unwittingly sabotage themselves by warning that the $16.5 trillion national debt will impoverish America’s children and deliver unborn grandkids directly into Chinese slavery. While these dire predictions may come true, calling America’s massive indebtedness a challenge for future generations triggers relaxation about an immediate priority: curtailing federal spending and borrowing. By defending “the children,” budget hawks let big spenders invoke Scarlett O’Hara to justify their profligacy, at least until the tykes mature. “Cut the budget later,” spendthrifts propose. “Tomorrow is another day.”
Unfortunately, annual deficits and the accumulated national debt are harming American adults right now. . .”
Joel Pollak, Big Govt: SOTU Fact Check
“President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address included few new or unexpected proposals, but many factually incorrect or misleading assertions. Here are the lowlights. . .”
Stephen Kruiser, PJM: “Pelosi Gets More Procedurally Sneaky with Gun Control than Immigration Reform”
“House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Tuesday endorsed different procedural tactics to advance two of President Barack Obama’s top legislative priorities. While she all but ruled out supporting anything short of a comprehensive approach to immigration reform, she opened the door to the possibility of lawmakers considering gun legislation in a piecemeal fashion.
“Stuck in the minority, Pelosi lacks control over what bills come to the House floor. But her imprint will be felt on both immigration and gun legislation, if only because they will almost certainly require Democratic votes for passage. In that light, her embrace of different procedural strategies is a significant predictor of what types of congressional showdowns lay ahead.
“Theory: as long as they’re nipping away at gun-control legislation, they can keep saying that people who think the government will eventually want a total gun grab are crazy. The backlash would be too overwhelming for them to go all-in for a wholesale gutting of the Second Amendment at the moment.
“While not using the exact same tactics, it is somewhat like the segmented approach they are taking towards their single-payer health care dream. The IRS has already shown (to many of those who aren’t self employed, anyway) that Americans have short attention spans if the government is just nibbling away at something, even if it is something as precious as hard-earned income…”
Walter (E) Williams, Town Hall: “Cultural Deviancy, Not Guns”
Thx Ted . . . It can also be argued that ‘impulsiveness’ is to blame for a whole bunch of things . . .”
“There’s a story told about a Paris chief of police who was called to a department store to stop a burglary in progress. Upon his arrival, he reconnoitered the situation and ordered his men to surround the entrances of the building next door. When questioned about his actions, he replied that he didn’t have enough men to cover the department store’s many entrances but he did have enough for the building next door. Let’s see whether there are similarities between his strategy and today’s gun control strategy.
“Last year, Chicago had 512 homicides; Detroit had 411; Philadelphia had 331; and Baltimore had 215. Those cities are joined by other dangerous cities — such as St. Louis, Memphis, Tenn., Flint, Mich., and Camden, N.J. — and they also lead the nation in shootings, assaults, rapes and robberies. Both the populations of those cities and their crime victims are predominantly black. Each year, more than 7,000 blacks are murdered. Close to 100 percent of the time, the murderer is another black person.
“According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, between 1976 and 2011, there were 279,384 black murder victims. Though blacks are 13 percent of the nation’s population, they account for more than 50 percent of homicide victims. Nationally, the black homicide victimization rate is six times that of whites, and in some cities, it’s 22 times that of whites. Coupled with being most of the nation’s homicide victims, blacks are also most of the victims of violent personal crimes, such as assault and robbery. The magnitude of this tragedy can be seen in another light. According to a Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute study, between 1882 and 1968, 3,446 blacks were lynched at the hands of whites.
“What percentage of murders, irrespective of race, are committed with what are being called assault weapons? You’d be hard put to come up with an amount greater than 1 or 2 percent. . .”
Michelle Malkin, Town Hall: Chicago
“. . . On Friday, Obama will travel to the Windy City to decry violence and crusade for more gun laws in the town with the strictest gun laws and bloodiest gun-related death tolls in America.
“Does the White House really want to open up a national conversation about the state of Chicago? OK, let’s talk.
“Obama, his wife, his campaign strategists, his closest cronies and his biggest bundlers all hail from Chicago. Senior adviser and former Chicago real estate mogul/city planning commissioner Valerie Jarrett and her old boss Richard Daley presided over a massive ‘Plan for Transformation’ in the mid-1990s to rescue taxpayer-subsidized public housing from its bloody hellhole. How’d that work out for you, Chicago?
“Answer: This social justice experiment failed miserably. . .”
Erica Ritz, The Blaze: Brigitte Gabriel … Benghazi – It Goes Back to the Bin Laden Attack’
“The story exploded on TheBlaze, with 550 comments and over 12,000 “shares” on social media outlets as of this article’s publication. And keep in mind that that’s only a fraction of the people who read the story.
“We decided to reach out to Gabriel to see if she’d be willing to elaborate on her comments, and you’ll want to know what she had to say
“Weighing in on reports that Ambassador Stevens was involved in a gun-running operation to provide arms to Syrian rebels at the behest of the U.S. government, Gabriel was equally clear.
“‘There was an operation; they were smuggling weapons to Syria, and he died because he was involved and because something went wrong,’ she stated.
“But according to Gabriel, more information on the gun-running program is only one aspect of the explosive information that will be released.
“So why, roughly five months later, don’t we know this information already? When will it be released? And by whom?
“Gabriel was decidedly optimistic and pessimistic at the same time.
“In her opinion, it’s possible the information won’t ever come out unless we have a short term special committee to investigate the attack, where those involved are forced to answer legitimate questions under oath by lawmakers who actually want to bring light to the matter.
“It can’t be a ‘slobber fest’ like Hillary Clinton’s testimony, Gabriel noted.
“The best way to go about this, she said, is to put pressure on lawmakers by supporting legislation introduced by Congressman Frank Wolf (R-VA) to create the committee, which you can do through her organization ACT! for America.
“Click here for a link to the petition. . .”
Roger Simon, PJM: “Benghazi — The Motion Picture”
“ . . . One story, however, cries out for cinematic dramatization — Benghazi.
It is concise and highly dramatic. And mysteries abound – just where was the president of the United States that night our ambassador and others were under terror attack in North Africa? Why wasn’t Obama directly involved? Why did the secretary of State pay so little attention? Just what was our ambassador to Libya doing in Benghazi that night anyway? Why were the perpetrators allowed to escape? Why did the president lie for weeks about what transpired, trying to make a hopeless video nobody saw seem the cause of the event? And why were his lies covered up by CNN’s Candy Crowley? Why was no attempt made to save our people in the first place? (I could go on, but you get the drift.)
“Though I could guess (and the Daily Mail has some theories), I don’t know the definitive answer to any of these questions, but I do know one thing: If I did… if anybody did… know the truth, Benghazi would be one helluva movie. And a commercial one.
“But would anybody make it? . . .”
Aaron Klein, KleinonLine: “REAL Benghazi Scandal Blown Wide Open. Security sources reconfirm gunrunning to jihadists”
“. . . While the White House has been largely mum on the alleged use of the Benghazi mission to aid the rebels, Obama administration officials did claim the White House rejected a plan to supply arms to the Syrian rebels.
“If, indeed, President Obama rejected the arms plan, as reported last weekend by the New York Times, it would mean the White House went against the recommendations of outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and then-CIA Director David Petraeus.
“The plan was said to have been generated by Petraeus and Clinton.
“During Senate hearings on Benghazi last week, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., asked Panetta and Dempsey whether they had supported a plan ‘that we provide weapons to the resistance in Syria.’
“‘We do,’ Panetta replied.
“‘You did support that?’ McCain asked again.
“‘We did,’ added Dempsey, who was sitting next to Panetta.
“Neither Dempsey nor Panetta elaborated on their positions.
“The New York Times reported the White House rebuffed the Clinton-Petraeus plan developed last summer to arm and train Syrian rebels.
“The Times, citing unnamed Obama administration officials, reported the White House rejected the Clinton-Petraeus proposal over concerns it could draw the U.S. into the Syrian conflict and the arms could fall into the wrong hands.
“The plan reportedly called for vetting rebels and arming a group of fighters with the assistance of Arab countries.
“KleinOnline reported Stevens himself was leading the vetting efforts, working with the Saudis to send names of potential jihadi recruits to U.S. security organizations for review. Names found to be directly involved in previous attacks against the U.S., including in Iraq and Afghanistan, were ultimately not recruited by the Saudis to fight in Syria.
“This scheme seems to mirror the Petraeus-Clinton plan as described by the New York Times. . .”
Special Report on Benghazi: http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/202446.pdf
Amity Shlaes, NRO: “Coolest Cal” ($18-$21, Amazon)
“Even when small, the boy saw politics firsthand,” Amity Shlaes writes of Calvin Coolidge. “At town meetings, it was his father who worked or spoke; Calvin sold apples and popcorn at the meetings, as his father had before him. The villagers noticed early that Calvin was always quiet; when someone played the violin, he would not dance, but was always observant.” Good thing he discovered early on that “politics somehow afforded distraction from loneliness,” because that diligence would serve the 30th president of the United States well. Shlaes, author of the new book Coolidge, talks to National Review Online about Coolidge and what we might learn from him. . .”