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

Featured image Good 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 »

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 »

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 »

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, »

Renewable Energy Will Never Work, But Can Nuclear?

Featured imageVia the indispensable Watts Up With That? come two of the most interesting articles I have read in a very long time. The first is by two Google engineers who were charged with thinking creatively about how to replace fossil fuels with renewables. After four years, Google shut down the project. The engineers concluded that it simply couldn’t be done: At the start of RE »

Obama Disses Another Ally

Featured imageLost in the shuffle of Obama’s immigration diktat and his sham of a farce of a travesty of a climate agreement with China was his speech about climate change in Canberra, Australia, where Obama went out of his way to insult Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott.  Apparently our embassy personnel in Canberra advised Obama against this course, but naturally Obama knows better. Australian newspaper columnist Greg Sheridan reports on the »

When you’re strange, cont’d

Featured imageWe quoted comments from a specialist in immigration law in “When you’re strange.” I emailed him a follow-up question and he elaborated his comments through the day. I thought those of us trying to understand what Obama has wrought might be interested in taking a look at the rest of our correspondence. I asked whether the authorities have have discretion to grant work authorizations to the law abiding in order »

Is There Any Hope For Our Civilization?

Featured imageI am an inveterate optimist, but the more I learn about what goes on in our universities, the more I conclude that our civilization has a death wish. Heather Mac Donald’s article in City Journal on “micro-aggression” at UCLA prompted this particular bout of despondency. What goes on in our universities is scarcely believable. Mac Donald’s article is lengthy and should be read in its entirety, but here are a »

Another al-Shabab Massacre In Kenya

Featured imageTwenty terrorists from al-Shabab, the Somali Islamic group, ambushed a bus near Mandera, Kenya, with 60 passengers on board. They segregated those who didn’t look Somali and–since al-Shabab has nothing to do with Islam, as President Obama likes to assure us–demanded that they recite the Shahada. The 28 who couldn’t do so were lined up on the ground and shot. Warning: graphic photo. The dead included nine women and 17 »

More on “more than fair”

Featured imageYesterday, I wrote about the report on Benghazi issued by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. The report found essentially no fault on the part of the CIA or the military in its response the attack in Benghazi — findings that I consider sound. The report also finds that the administration’s subsequent narrative about the attack was the product of a “flawed” process. What’s more it finds that aspects »

Miss World 2014: A Preview

Featured imageI didn’t cover the Miss World pageant last year because the organizers, fearing possible terrorism in Indonesia, canceled the swimsuit competition. This year the event returns to London, its original home. The finale will be on December 14, but the contestants have already arrived and the sports events are under way. More than ever, it seems that beauty pageants mirror the themes of current news headlines. This year, most tragically, »

The protracted conflict

Featured imageEarlier this month The William F. Buckley, Jr. Program at Yale held a conference in honor of the fiftieth anniversary of James Burnham’s Suicide of the West, republished in a new edition by Encounter Books. The festivities included introductory remarks by Donald Kagan followed by three panels and a keynote speech by former NSA/CIA director Michael Hayden. The Buckley Program conference videos are all accessible on YouTube here. The Buckley »

The House Intelligence Committee’s Benghazi Report — more than fair

Featured imageThe House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence has issued its report on the Benghazi attack. You can find it here. The Committee concludes, among things, that CIA personnel on the ground in Benghazi during the attack behaved bravely and made reasonable tactical decisions that saved lives, and that the CIA received all military support that was available. It further concludes that after the attack, the administration’s initial public narrative (via »

Funniest Paragraph of the Day, Courtesy of the NY Times

Featured imageThe New York Times has a longish story today about an internal fight going on at the Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley, CA, where Unitarian Universalists apparently go for advanced theological instruction.  Yes, that would seem like a short curriculum to me, too; either that or it’s one of those mail order diploma mills where you send in 25 cents and two cereal boxtops, and you’ll be »

They’ve got a secret

Featured imageThe latest report from the nuclear negotiations with Iran indicates that they are likely to be extended. The deadline is Monday and “big gaps” remain, despite the Western powers’ strenuous efforts to surrender. Omri Ceren emails a status update suggesting that the negotiations have descended into a travesty of a mockery of a sham of a mockery of a travesty of two mockeries of a sham. Omri’s message expands on »