NATO general echoes Trump’s critique of NATO

Featured image Donald Trump has been criticized for declaring NATO obsolete. In my view, the truth of Trump’s statement depends on what he meant by “obsolete.” If Trump meant that NATO is no longer useful, I think he is wrong. If Trump meant, as he seemed to, that NATO needs to be revised and restructured, I think he is right. I’m not the only one. Michael Birnbaum of the Washington Post reports »

Washington Post Disgraces Itself

Featured imageNormally I’m able to keep my equanimity in the face of the relentless stupidly of the media and even academia, but once and a while something sets me to full boil. Such as this headline and story in the Washington Post, which is beyond a disgrace even for the worst of the comPosters: David Gelernter, fiercely anti-intellectual computer scientist, is being eyed for Trump’s science adviser By Sarah Kaplan Now »

Syllogisms from the Headlines

Featured imageThis is fun. “Ripped from the headlines,” as they say on Law & Order. News item/major premise: 1,500 Law Professors Sign Statement Opposing Jeff Sessions for Attorney General. News item/minor premise: Law Schools Have Shed 1,460 Full-Time Faculty Since 2010. Conclusion: Law schools haven’t laid off nearly enough faculty yet. QED. For more on the disgrace of law professors, see this story over at American Greatness. »

Obama Exits Stage Left, With a Lie and a Threat

Featured imageWhen Barack Obama speaks, especially without a teleprompter, you can almost see the zzzzzzs rising over the heads of his audience. You can only listen to platitudes for so long. But then, suddenly, Obama will come out with a falsehood so other-worldly that you sit up and say, “WTF was that?” This was one such moment in today’s press conference: OBAMA: We are the only country in the advanced world »

The White House Press Corps Bids a Slobbering Farewell to President Obama

Featured imageIn his final press conference today, President Obama said to the White House press corps: You’re not supposed to be sycophants, you’re supposed to be skeptics, you’re supposed to ask me tough questions. You’re not supposed to be complimentary, but you’re supposed to cast a critical eye on folks who hold enormous power and make sure that we are accountable to the people who sent us here, and you have »

Bottom Story of the Week

Featured imageSince James Taranto has given up his daily “Best of the Web” column for the Wall Street Journal, others need to fill in the gap, especially his “Bottom Story of the Week” category. And here is another story out of Canada showing that we’re losing our minds: Moby Dick’s Restaurant Barred as an Offensive Name VANCOUVER, B.C. (CN) – A business in Vancouver, B.C., has sued its building council for »

Associated Press Gives Credibility to Smear Against Tom Price

Featured imagePresident-Elect Trump’s nominees are going through their confirmation hearings, and in pretty much every case the press is covering the hearings by highlighting the Democrats’ allegations against them, no matter how false or petty those complaints might be. A case in point is Dr. Tom Price, whom Trump has nominated as Secretary of Health and Human Services. The AP headlines: “Pointed questions for Trump’s pick for health secretary.” It is »

DeVos hearing leaves Democrats frustrated

Featured imageBetsy DeVos, the nominee for Secretary of Education, had her hearing last evening. I saw about half of it. Senators were limited to five minutes of questioning and one round. This was consistent with the procedure used for both of President Obama’s nominees for this position. Republicans asked few questions of note during the portions of the hearing I watched. The Democrats mainly wanted to know whether, in effect, DeVos »

Freeing a terrorist mastermind

Featured imageIn his invaluable history of the maniacal leftist terrorism of the 1970s, Bryan Burrough frankly characterizes FALN leader Oscar López Rivera as “the man behind the deadliest bombing campaign of the era.” That’s quite a distinction. And the man remains unrepentant, as they say. He therefore escaped pardon by Slick William J. Clinton in the festival of corruption that accompanied his departure from office. Clinton pardoned 16 of the 18 »

Worst president ever?

Featured imageOur two most recent presidents both have been called “the worst president ever” by some of their critics. In doing so, these critics place partisanship well ahead of an understanding of American history. They should read up on the presidency of James Buchanan. As much as I dislike Barack Obama, I’m not sure he’s even the worst president of my lifetime. You can make a good case that Jimmy Carter »

Speaking of dysphoria

Featured imagePresident Obama has commuted the 35-year sentence of Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning for serious violations of the Espionage Act involving the disclosure of hundreds of thousands of classified documents to the alleged Russian front known as Wikileaks. Manning has served not quite seven years of her sentence. At the time she committed her offenses, Manning had access to sensitive documents serving an intelligence function in Iraq. Manning was accordingly tried »

Tales from the Left Coast

Featured imageSo I’m up to my gills with the first week of the semester out here at UC Berkeley, hence my posts are a little scarce and light this week. I’m trying to get one of my classes recorded on video so I might share some parts here, but I couldn’t get the technology to work in the lecture hall yesterday. Meanwhile, some things are just too good not to share. »

Elizabeth Warren won’t shake Betsy DeVos’ hand

Featured imageI wrote below about Betsy DeVos’ confirmation hearing which took place last evening. The hearing was contentious at times, but never truly nasty. Democratic members were frustrated, but to the extent they were upset it seemed mostly to be with Chairman Alexander’s limitation on their questioning time. After the hearing, the nominee made her way to the dais to shake hands with committee members. Among those who shook her hand »

Mr. Ellison regrets

Featured imageIn his bid for election as chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Minnesota Fifth District Rep. Keith Ellison has staked out his ground in the Sanders/Warren socialist wing of the party. Let us concede this much. It’s a big wing. No one will get to Ellison’s left in the contest for DNC chairman. Ellison has therefore announced his refusal to attend the inauguration of Donald Trump on Friday. The Star »

Attention Austin Readers

Featured imageFor Power Line readers in the Austin, Texas, area, I’ll be giving a lecture about Ronald Reagan at the University of Texas at Austin on Friday at lunch time (one hour into the Trump Administration!!), as a guest of the Clements Center for National Security at UT. It’s part of a three-day conference the Clements Center is hosting on “Ronald Reagan and the Transformation of Global Politics in the 1980s.” »

How Rex Tillerson Got Even With Venezuela’s Socialists

Featured imageThe Washington Post tells a story that sheds considerable light on Rex Tillerson, former CEO of ExxonMobil. The story begins in Venezuela, where ExxonMobil and other oil companies had long done business. Socialist ruler Hugo Chavez needed cash to shore up his failing economy, so he demanded that all foreign oil companies give his government a bigger cut of their revenues. All the companies went along, except ExxonMobil, where Tillerson »

Trump on the EU and NATO

Featured imageThe Washington Post reports that European leaders are “shocked” by statements Donald Trump has made about the EU and NATO. According to the Post, these leaders fear a “transatlantic split.” What should we make of this story from an American perspective? I think we need to analyze the EU and NATO separately. Regarding the EU, Post reporter Michael Birnbaum points to a statement by Trump that he expects the EU »