MANY people are too busy to read essays that take longer to finish than a cup of coffee or a couple of cigarettes. However, for those who have 23 minutes to spare (estimate by Read-o-Meter) and who love American political history, I recommend The Price of the 1980s by Christopher Caldwell at Claremont Review of Books. Caldwell’s detailed but highly engaging analysis of how Ronald Reagan inadvertently saved the Great Society socialism of Lyndon Johnson – extending rather than terminating an era of debt-fuelled entitlement, economy-destroying immigration and a desegregation bill that can never be paid – is magisterial.
AT never-Trumper National Review Online, Andrew C. McCarthy has the best and most sober analysis of the Roger Stone sentencing debacle. Because it’s NRO, McCarthy offsets his admission that a seven-to-nine year stretch was preposterously extreme – and born of a demonstrably corrupt investigation (which he lowballs as merely “specious”) – by placing equal blame on the President. Rather than criticise the Mueller-linked officials who came up with the tariff, he argues, the President should have kept silent, empowered as he is to pardon Stone later. McCarthy is bright. Surely he has worked out by now that if Donald Trump can attack and resolve, he will always do both. Stone should be freed on health grounds alone. Nutty as a fruitcake.
IN 2018, Prada in New York marketed and sold these meant-to-be-cute (and presumably expensive) monkey doll trinkets. After civil rights lawyer Chinyere Ezie saw them she was “shaking with anger” and posted pictures on social media. A “blackface” and “racism” firestorm was off and burning. Prada surrendered and removed the monkeys from their shelves. That wasn’t good enough at all for New York City’s Commission on Human Rights which has now reached a deal with Prada after a 12 month investigation. This is real:
The way the political left has now formalised the connection between simians and black people – a connection that only they seem to notice or believe in – is one of the more strange new orthodoxies in the so-called ‘human rights’ firmament. Because, you know, it seems shockingly racist.
THE MARGA memo on reviving classical architecture – discussed here last Thursday – has become a real, old-fashioned debate about aesthetics, morality, beauty and humanity. And we have Donald Trump to thank for it. Funny how standing up for a principle – even an unfashionable one – brings out the best in everyone.
- In the Wall Street Journal, Myron Magnet: Drain the Swamp of Ugly Architecture.
- In City Journal, Catesby Leigh: Make Architecture Classical Again.
The nation would benefit handsomely if the federal government made it a policy to offer humanistic alternatives to the dehumanized anomie afflicting our contemporary architecture.”
- In the Washington Post, Michael Lykoudis: Trump’s plan for federal buildings is a bad idea.
- In The Atlantic, Amanda Kolson Hurley: Trump’s Bizarre Plan to Make Architecture Classical Again.
THIS was the Resolute Desk when Kennedy was President. That may be the last ashtray ever to be used on it:
Not all presidents have used the desk; some have preferred another, usually historical, alternative or moved the RD to the president’s private study in the White House residence. Here it is in President Taft’s study. President Hoover used it in the Lincoln Bedroom. It was put to work at one stage in the Treaty Room. George H.W. Bush didn’t use it at all, preferring the “C+O Desk.” As most people know, the little door at the front was ordered by Franklin Roosevelt to hide his leg braces. However, he didn’t live to see it installed. President Truman liked the eagle motif on the new door, however, and decided to order it affixed in 1945. Interestingly, this was prior to his decision to turn the eagle’s head in the presidential seal to face the olive branch of peace rather than the arrows. Hence the eagle in the Resolute’s ‘modesty panel’ faces the weapons of war. Because the desk became so closely associated with Kennedy following the publication of Stanley Tretick’s masterful photographs of the President’s son playing underneath it, it was sent on tour after the assassination before winding up in the Smithsonian. To his very great credit, a President not usually considered resolute – Jimmy Carter – insisted it be returned to the White House immediately when he assumed the office. Anyway, I have to say I like clutter on a desk. President Trump is too neat for my liking. Happiest photo: this one. A replica is as close as she came.