Monday, January 30, 2012

Visionary grandiosity

I was willing to let it pass when Newt Gingrich compared himself to Abraham Lincoln, Charles de Gaulle, Napoleon, and Mahatma Ghandi, but the Wright Brothers is just a bit too much.

Friday, January 20, 2012

The moral race to the bottom

Morally bankrupt ideologies go through three stages before reaching their full offensive maturity in our political culture.

What begin as recognized evils become justifiable or necessary evils before at last transmuting into positive virtues that brook no argument.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

War of 1812 in paper (how quaint)

The paperback edition of my book Perilous Fight, about the of War of 1812 at sea, is being released today.

“A rousing story . . . Budiansky writes with sure and vivid command.”
—Evan Thomas, Washington Post

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

You're fired!

Energized with their newfound enthusiasm for class warfare (you can always tell an amateur), the Republican candidates were making much of Romney's "gaffe" yesterday in which, speaking of the supposed need for more competition in health insurance, he displayed his solidarity with the working classes by saying, "I like being able to fire people who provide services to me."

You know something really strange is going on when Ron Paul is out there denouncing capitalists who take money from the middle class to enrich themselves.

But what left me marveling was not Romney's cluelessly echoing the very charges against his performance at Bain Capital, but rather his obliviousness to the fact that any firing that goes on in the health insurance business is done by the insurance companies, not consumers. After all, everyone wants to fire their health insurance company, usually while listening to the same Kenny G number for the 132nd time on hold waiting to have someone in Bombay swear they have no record of their claim. That's hardly the point when the insurers hold all the cards.