Time to Revitalize Congress?

Featured image Scott kindly noted a couple days ago my appearance earlier this month at Yale’s William F. Buckley Program on the topic of James Burnham. While Burnham’s classic Suicide of the West was the main focus of the conference, in rereading the Burnham corpus before the conference I was struck by one of his neglected books, Congress and the American Tradition (1959). Even in 1959 Burnham could see the capacities of »

Breaking: Supreme Court to Review EPA Mercury Rules

Featured imageJust announced in the last hour: The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to decide whether the Obama administration went too far with new power-plant pollution caps the government estimates will cost almost $10 billion a year. The justices today said they will hear industry and state contentions that the Environmental Protection Agency didn’t adequately consider those costs when it limited mercury and other hazardous power-plant pollutants. The affected companies include American Electric »

Believe your eyes, not liberal talking heads

Featured imageIn the post just below, Scott refers to “the underlying behavioral disparities that are reflected in the numerical racial disparities” in incarceration rates, school discipline and so forth. As he notes, these behavioral disparities were on display for all to see last night. It was surreal to hear liberal talking heads complaining about the number of African-Americans in prison while watching African-Americans (their “hands up” only as high as it »

Oil, Oil, Toil and Trouble

Featured imageThe fall OPEC meeting is under way right now in Vienna, and all eyes are on the Saudis, to see whether they will lead a strategy to stop the fall in oil prices, which is putting the crimp on Iran, Russia, and Venezuela, among other worthies. We’ve commented previously about what the Saudis may be up to (here and here), and today Business Insider reports that the Saudis show no »

Rioting Mainly for Fun and Profit

Featured imageI wonder whether there would have been the exact same rioting and unrest in Ferguson last night if the grand jury had returned an indictment for manslaughter, or even murder, against officer Wilson. In such a case, the ready-riot brigade would have taken it as vindication of their grievances, rather than the fresh grievance that the non-indictment supposedly supplies. This heterodox thought is prompted by Edward C. Banfield’s famous chapter »

The fire this time

Featured imageWatching the Ferguson mob rioting for fun and looting for the traditional reasons live on television last night, I didn’t see much “anger” in evidence. The arson and destruction looked premeditated and deliberate, an orgy of opportunity. Was it an accident that the orgy commenced as President Obama urged calm? (The White House has posted the text of his remarks and a video of his statement here.) It was either »

No indictment in the Michael Brown shooting

Featured imageA Missouri grand jury has declined to indict Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown. The decision will, no doubt, be greeted by much outrage and perhaps some violence. At this time, I doubt that anyone outside of the grand jury process knows enough about the evidence to say whether Wilson should have been indicted. Unfortunately, this won’t stand in the way of a blizzard of »

Civil Rights Commissioner Objects to Institutionalized Racism in Minneapolis Public Schools

Featured imageWe wrote here about the Minneapolis public schools imposing a quota system for suspending students. I wrote: Why does [School Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson] suppose that students, white, black, Asian, Hispanic or whatever, are being suspended? Presumably it is because they were disruptive and were degrading the learning environment for the other students. Does Ms. Johnson seriously believe that teachers and principals are suspending students for no reason? If so, then »

Chuck Hagel — not a war time consigliere [With Comments by John]

Featured imageGood news. Chuck Hagel is out as Secretary of Defense, or will be as soon as a successor is nominated and confirmed. Let’s hope that any effort by the Republican Senate to block the confirmation of Obama administration appointees will exempt the Secretary of Defense position for national security reasons. The reason for Hagel’s ouster (let’s not take seriously the claim that he wanted out) is said to be that »

Iran’s win-win

Featured imageThe deadline for reaching a deal with Iran over its nuclear program expires today without the parties having reached a negotiated agreement. The negotiating period will be extended until July 1 of next year. This development is being reported as “no deal,” but there actually is a deal of sorts here. According to the British foreign secretary, Iran will receive about $700 million per month in frozen assets. In exchange, »

The ascent of FOX News, &c.

Featured imageThe rise of FOX News Channel to its place as a dominant source of news on television is easily one of the most consequential journalistic developments of the past 25 years. The Baltimore Sun’s David Zurawik has written a timely column taking note and paying tribute to FNC’s steadfastness along the way. As the channel’s Washington managing editor and anchor of what he turned into the best news program in »

In Ferguson, No Indictment [Updated Re Obama's Comments]

Featured imageThe Ferguson, Missouri saga finally winds toward a conclusion with tonight’s announcement that the grand jury declined to indict Officer Darren Wilson. The decision seems pretty clearly correct; in any event, the grand jurors are literally the only people who have heard and seen the evidence, including the testimony of Officer Wilson. Michael Brown, high on marijuana and having just robbed a convenience store and bullied the clerk, made the »

John McCain’s cynical attempt to portray Chuck Hagel as a victim

Featured imageIt’s normal, I suppose, for conservatives to be sympathetic towards any public official who runs afoul of President Obama. But it’s abnormal to do a 180 degree turn about the merits of such an official. John McCain, though, has executed a full 180 with respect to Chuck Hagel. Today, McCain defended the ousted Secretary of Defense. In response to White House leaks that Hagel was performing poorly, stated, “Believe me, »

Is Immigration Lawlessness a Precedent? Obama Is Stumped!

Featured imageGeorge Stephanopolous asks Barack Obama the question that we posed here: if Obama doesn’t have to enforce the immigration laws, then why can’t a future Republican president decide not to enforce any laws of which he disapproves, like, say, the tax on capital gains? Amazingly, Obama has no answer. He stumbles and fumbles like a kid who is called on in class and hasn’t done his homework: Or, to give »

Liberalism: Nihilist, Incoherent, or Both?

Featured imageVictor Davis Hanson puts his finger on the core meaning of Grubergate with his most recent column referring to the Gruber types as “Snobocrats.” It is worth recognizing that Gruberism isn’t just simple elitism, but has an overlay of snobbery about how much better are the Grubers of the world than the grubby middle class on whose behalf the Grubers endlessly toil and fret. But this should raise a curious »

The Power Line Show: Episode 2, With Tom Cotton and Bill Voegeli

Featured imageFriday night we got the whole PL crew together for Episode 2 of the Power Line Show. We were joined by Senator-elect Tom Cotton and Bill Voegeli, author of The Pity Party. The president’s amnesty order and multiple email mysteries were the main topics of the day. You can join Power Line VIP for only $4 per month or $40 per year. Click here to join. Not only will you »

U.S. to maintain Afghan combat role through 2015, but why?

Featured imagePresident Obama has decided to authorize an active combat role for the U.S. military in Afghanistan for another year. This is a reversal. In May, Obama said that the American military would have no combat role in Afghanistan next year, and that missions for the troops remaining there would be limited to training Afghan forces and hunting the “remnants of Al Qaeda.” However, now, as the New York Times reports, »