The Suicide of Political Science

Featured image The book I am currently trying to finish writing is in part about the defects of modern academic political science, which suffers not so much from leftism as much as sheer irrelevancy and obtuseness. (The irony is that compared to academic history, political science looks pretty good some times, especially when you see political scientists writing better history books than academic historians, which happens with surprising frequency.) But perhaps I »

A South Carolina poll

Featured imageBill Kristol calls attention to a poll from South Carolina that he obtained from a political operative he trusts. The operative is not working with a campaign, but his organization, using a “reputable pollster,” took a poll Wednesday night. The results were as follows: Trump 32 Cruz 26 Rubio 20 Bush 10 Carson 7 Kasich 2 Is Rubio really doubling up Bush? Is he within 6 points of Cruz? I’m »

Obama’s new appellate court nominees should be blocked

Featured imageIn his final year in office, President Obama remains in a position to continue his project of transforming America. He can do so through Executive Orders, for example. Republicans, though, are in a position to close the book on one front — the transformation of the federal judiciary. In November 2014, the GOP took control of the Senate. Consequently, no federal judge can be confirmed without Republican complicity. Indeed, as »

The Tao of Gregg Popovich

Featured imageGregg Popovich is the highly successful coach of the San Antonio Spurs. Jason Gay gives us a glimpse into the Tao of Popovich in the Wall Street Journal column “The Popovich for president movement” (accessible via Google here, I hope). Gay clearly admires Popovich and “his clipped in-game interviews.” Gay’s column was inspired by Popovich’s “classic exchange with TNT reporter David Aldridge during Tuesday night’s Spurs-Heat game” If you haven’t »

What I Will Miss About Barack Obama

Featured imageAs the Obama administration limps through its last months, its impending demise is mourned by few. One of those few is the perennially clueless David Brooks, apparently the New York Times’s idea of a conservative. Brooks is infamous for falling in love with the crease in Barack Obama’s pants. Seven years later, he has found more to like about our failed president: I Miss Barack Obama. Many of the traits »

The crying game

Featured imageWe still don’t know what really happened when the Iranians took two riverine Navy boats into their custody last month. We know that the boats were said to have been traveling from Bahrain to Kuwait when they lost their way, but some have their doubts about that. FOX News recalls the background here if you need a refresher. We know that the Iranians humiliated the sailors by disseminating images of »

Sports post of the day: The forgotten miracle on ice

Featured imageTwenty years before the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team defeated the Russians and won the Gold Medal at the Lake Placid Olympics, our 1960 Olympic hockey accomplished the same feat. As in 1980, the win against the heavily favored Russians occurred in the semifinals. The 1960 team came from 2-1 down to win 3-2 on goals by 145-pound Billy Christian (a relative of John’s oldest daughter’s husband, I think). It »

The Fatal Three Minutes

Featured imageMarco Rubio finished a highly disappointing fifth in the New Hampshire primary. Five days ago, his popularity was soaring and he looked like an almost certain second-place finisher. Then came three bad minutes in Saturday night’s debate when he was being attacked by Chris Christie, and Rubio’s momentum came to a screeching halt. This graphic showing the Real Clear Politics poll averages tells the story. Donald Trump is the blue »

More on the Supreme Court vs the EPA

Featured imageThe Supreme Court’s stay of Obama’s “Clean Power Plan” yesterday is fairly unusual. But it may have come about because the EPA essentially dared the judiciary to stop it. Jonathan Adler has some useful observations up on this point at The Volokh Conspiracy yesterday: Looking back over the various stay applications, I suspect that the EPA’s arguments against the stay were undermined by the Agency’s own statements about the potentially »

After last night

Featured imageI offer the following observations and speculations in the spirit of inquiry following the results in the New Hampshire primary last night. I acknowledge that we are in the realm of opinion and that I may well be mistaken. These are my thoughts. Let me begin, however, in the realm of fact. New Hampshire runs an open primary with independents allowed to vote in the party of their choice. Turnout »

Where does the Democratic presidential race stand?

Featured imageEveryone has known for a good while that Hillary Clinton would lose to Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire. But it was far from clear that she would lose (as apparently she will) by 20 points. Where does this leave Clinton and Sanders? It leaves Clinton behind her Southern firewall. Her theory, widely shared, is that whatever happens in Iowa and New Hampshire, she will begin to win decisively once states »

Trump Meets the Honeymooners

Featured imageOne thing to be said in favor of a Donald Trump presidency is the comic possibilities it offers, which are way beyond any previous president. Like this nice piece of work (55 seconds long): »

Chris Christie’s national legacy

Featured imageChris Christie reportedly is set to abandon his badly faltering presidential campaign. Christie was counting on a strong showing in New Hampshire, but finished in sixth place last night with only 7.4 percent of the vote. Though he failed to impress voters, Christie leaves quite a legacy. In 2012, he dished out a huge assist to President Obama by embracing the president on virtually the eve of what looked like »

Steve Toth for Congress

Featured imageCharlie Cook rates Texas’ Eighth Congressional District as the fourth most conservative House district in the country. It went heavily for Ted Cruz in his race 2012 primary race against David Dewhurst. Yet TX-8 is represented by Kevin Brady, recipient of a 55 percent rating this Congress by Heritage Action. Brady, the head of the Ways and Means Committee, was a backer of the disgraceful omnibus spending bill. Brady faces »

Another Friendly Reminder of Peak Nonsense

Featured imageI know I posted just yesterday the National Geographic cover (from back around 2006 or so) about the end of cheap oil, but I can’t resist doing so again today because of the headline this morning in the Wall Street Journal, posted right below: Heh. Remember this when the oil cycle moves up again, as it inevitably will at some point (though that point may be longer and slower in »

Where does the Republican presidential race stand?

Featured imageHere, via FiveThirtyEight, are the new betting market odds on the GOP race: Trump 43 Rubio 20 Bush 17 Cruz 16 Kasich 3 Christie 1 In my opinion, the Bush number is way too high and the Cruz number way too low. But then, Bush has been overestimated and Cruz underestimated ever since the race began. Almost everyone’s two takeaways from the New Hampshire primary are (1) Trump is now »

The 3 am Call at the DNC Tonight

Featured imageThe most astonishing thing about the result in New Hampshire tonight is not Bernie Sanders’s large margin of victory, but the exit poll result that showed a third of Democratic voters chose “honesty and trustworthiness” as the main thing that determined their vote. Sanders won these voters by a margin of more than 9 – 1. Clinton is finished. I’ll bet even Bill knows this. The DNC has to be »