The Idiot’s Guide to Smart People: Malcom Gladwell Edition

Featured image If I have made any contribution to following Orwell’s advice to banish all clichés from our writing (because clichés usually represent sloppy thinking) it is my occasional use of “a perfect storm of tipping points!”  (Usually in reference to climate hysterics, since they are awash in “tipping points” and “perfect storms.”)  This two-minute video cutting Malcolm Gladwell, whose genius lies in inventing one-word clichés, down to size is so awesome I nearly »

Ball’s bombshell: Tom Cotton digs Publius!

Featured imageWhen Atlantic political reporter Molly Ball called me a couple of weeks ago to ask me about Rep. Tom Cotton, now opposing Democratic incumbent Senator Mark Pryor in the election for the Arkansas seat that is on the ballot this November, my guard was up. I think Tom is a man of great courage and conviction. I support his election. I wanted not to say anything that could be used »

Hamas’ famous victory

Featured imageHamas claims that it won a famous victory over Israel in the recent war in Gaza. But what are the fruits of that “victory”? According to the U.N., as reported in the Washington Post, they are: (1) approximately 108,000 residents of Gaza left homeless, (2) more than 60,000 displaced residents living at schools run by the U.N., and (3) almost half a million residents without access to municipal water. Even »

Rumors of terrorism

Featured imageHave individuals with known terrorist ties been apprehended trying to cross illegally into the United States through Texas? It seems like a straightforward question to address to the Secretary of Homeland Security. Asked the question by Rep. Jason Chaffetz at a House Homeland Security hearing yesterday, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson took the phlegmatic approach and vaguely denied awareness of such a case. Asked directly if he was aware of four »

Elizabeth Warren: It’s “Fair” to Compare Israel to Nazis

Featured imageElizabeth Warren is a heroine to many liberals, who hope she will challenge Hillary Clinton from the left. Even apart from the concept of anyone being to Hillary’s left, this seems bizarre to me. Warren parlayed the false claim that she is an Indian into academic success as an alleged bankruptcy expert. (I am sure that I have several partners who know more about bankruptcy law than Warren does.) Now, »

Is Obamacare Collapsing In Minnesota?

Featured imageObamacare in Minnesota is called MNSure. The state had the usual problems (worse, I believe, than in most states) getting its system and its web site up and running. Once the enrollment period got underway, the dominant insurer turned out to be PreferredOne. Reportedly offering the lowest premiums in the nation, PreferredOne signed up nearly 60% of all MNSure participants. So it was a bombshell when PreferredOne announced earlier this »

Another Falling Bridge

Featured imageWhile we await some new Rick Perlstein news (coming next week, stay tuned), it is worth noting another highly critical review of the book from the left. Jacob Weisberg takes aim in The Invisible Bridge in the Democracy Journal, a smart liberal journal edited by Michael Tomasky. Here are a couple of samples: [T]he reader finishes Perlstein’s very long book with the unsatisfying feeling that the author has not only »

Hath not a Timesman cultural literacy?

Featured imageJoe Biden made waves when he referred to “shylocks” in a speech on Monday. He made waves because he didn’t realize the term was offensive to Jews, drawing as it does on Shakespeare’s problematic portrayal of the Jewish moneylender in The Merchant of Venice. The late, great John Gross devoted an outstanding book to the portrayal of Shylock through the ages. The book provides a humane literary and historical education »

Hirsi Ali heightens the contradictions

Featured imageOur friends at the Washington Free Beacon have dug up the brief video clip below of Ayaan Hirsi Ali speaking at Yale on Monday. This is the clip of her speech that has been running on FOX News. I would like to post a video of her speech in its entirety (please write me at powerlinefeedback@gmail.com if you know where one is), but this is what we have now. The »

Ebola crisis provides warning to unprepared America

Featured imageI don’t think we have written about the spread of Ebola in West Africa, and I confess that I haven’t even thought much about this tragedy, other than to find it odd that President Obama is sending in troops to help deal with the matter. Fortunately, our friend Tevi Troy (along with Scott Gottlieb) has written an excellent piece for the Wall Street Journal about the inadequacy of the response »

The left prepares to cash in on Ray Rice

Featured imageThe Washington Post claims that “women are pro football’s most important demographic” and wonders whether women “will forgive the NFL” for its handling of Ray Rice who punched out his girl friend (now his wife). But the Post’s article proves that women are not the NFL’s most important demographic, and it is unlikely that female pro football fans are upset with the League over the Rice affair. According to the »

This day in baseball history

Featured imageOn September 17, 1964, the Philadelphia Phillies defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers to stretch their lead over the idle St. Louis Cardinals to six and a half games. The Cincinnati Reds, 7-5 winners over the Chicago Cubs, remained seven and a half games behind. The Phillies won the game in the ninth inning when Ruben Amaro scored from third as the Dodgers tried unsuccessfully to complete a double play on »

Udall or Udull?, Part 2

Featured imageAbout ten days ago we noticed here that Colorado Democratic Senator Mark Udall, who got into office chiefly on the benefit of his family name (though his dad Mo was no great shakes in the intelligence department either), is having a tough time against Rep. Cory Gardner.  He did poorly in his one debate with Gardner out in Grand Junction.  Now Udall is declining any further televised debates with Gardner, »

Kansas “Independent” Comes Out of the Closet as a Democrat

Featured imageYou are probably generally aware of the situation in Kansas, where long-time (and not very inspiring) Senator Pat Roberts survived a primary challenge by insurgent Milton Wolf, but was badly weakened for the general election. The Democrats shrewdly talked their endorsed candidate out of the race, and instead are coalescing behind “independent” candidate Greg Orman. Kansas voters surely would not elect Orman if they knew that doing so would keep »

Spencer on the Case: It’s Not About the Climate

Featured imageWe noted here last week that a UN “Leaders Climate Summit” is getting under way in New York next week, but that no world leaders are showing up. Obama, however, is planning to turn up, though that does not falsify our conclusion that no world leaders are showing up. (Anyone want to bet there will be a fundraising event on the itinerary somewhere? The golf game is a given.) We’ve »

The question of Muslim immigration

Featured imageWe have a profoundly serious problem of illegal immigration, but we also have a problem of legal immigration, Unfortunately, it is a problem that can barely be discussed. Is there anyone who thinks the continued stream of Muslim immigration from countries with active jihadist groups is a good idea? Canadian poet and essayist David Solway broadly raises the problem of Muslim immigration in the PJ Media column “The new colonizers.” »

Bobby Jindal looks like a solid 2016 contender to me

Featured imageIt has long been clear that you need to get up very early in the morning to beat Scott Johnson to a story. Now it appears that you need to get up even earlier to scoop Scott’s daughter Eliana. Today, Bobby Jindal delivered an address on energy policy at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. I attended not as much to hear about energy policy as to figure out what »