Sunday, January 11, 2009

Richard John Neuhaus dead at age 72.

Fr. Richard John Neuhaus, a leading voice of Catholic conservatism in America, and one of those rare theologians and spiritual leaders whose influence vastly exceeded the boundaries of their religious community, has died at 72.

He'll be missed.

A deterrent restored?

Israel may have reached a deterrent moment in its war in Gaza against Iranian-backed Hamas. I spoke with a senior Arab diplomat last night. He told me that the Arab street is afraid that "the Jews have gone crazy."

Yes, it's true. He noted, "Israel has begun to restore its deterrence" in the Arab world. "Hamas miscalculated," he added. They had thought Israel would not attack, but would merely accede to tougher Hamas demands for an improved "Tahdiya," their version of a temporary calm.

More here.

Is it too soon to talk about the failed Obama presidency just because Obama isn't president yet?

Come on, Obama, what kind of Democrat are you? I thought Democrats were supposed to be good at this stuff. It's us Republicans who stink at political corruption. One clumsy little elephant misstep and it's GOPterdämmerung with villainy that lives on in popular legend for generations--McCarthyism, Watergate, Iran-Contra, Enron, Jack Abramoff.

But when Democrats get their hand (or other body part) caught in the till, folk heroes ensue--Boston's James Curley being reelected while jailed, Washington's Marion Barry being jailed while elected, Quixotic Bill Clinton unfazed by the Rush Limbaugh windmill and riding off into the sunset with fair Dulcinea Lewinsky unceremoniously dumped from the saddle. And, of course, there's Obama's Toddling Town, the Windy City of Richard and Richie Daley with its "corruption that works."

P.J. O'Rourke has more here.