Monthly Archives: May 2006

The House Hangs Tough

We share the general dismay with various aspects of the immigration legislation that recently passed the Senate, but that bill is not the one that is ultimately going to be adopted. The action shifts now to the conference committee, and early indications are that the House conferees are going to hang tough. The Washington Times reports: One of the top House negotiators on immigration said yesterday the only way a »

Bernard Lewis at 90

Reuel Marc Gerecht’s meditation on the career of Bernard Lewis is a moving tribute to Gerecht’s teacher: “The last Orientalist.” Gerecht concludes: Many years ago, when I was still an Iran-watcher in the CIA’s clandestine service, I thanked Lewis, who had been my teacher at Princeton, for his writings and the long conversations that he’d so generously had with me. I could respect Iranian holy warriors, who then interested the »

Happy Birthday To Us

Power Line is four years old this weekend. I originally set the site up on Blogger; I was stumped for a name, and “Power Line” was suggested by a thirteen-year-old friend of my oldest daughter. On the Tuesday after Memorial Day, I asked Scott, my long-time writing partner, to join me on the site. He looked at it and called me back. We’ve never let him forget his response: “It »

That to philosophize is to learn to die

One of my outstanding college teachers was English professor Dain Trafton, now retired. Professor Trafton had devoted his dissertation to Shakespeare; he loved the literature of the Renaissance. The only Renaissance writer he ranked in the pantheon with Shakespeare, just a notch below him, was Montaigne. In Professor Trafton’s course on the literature of the Renaissance we read Montaigne’s essay “That to philosophize is to learn to die.” Talking about »

Speaking of Norm Geras

made me realize that I haven’t published my EPL All Star team for the just completed season. Here it is: Shay Given – Newcastle Ledley King – Tottenham Jamie Carragher – Liverpool John Terry – Chelsea Steven Gerrard – Liverpool Frank Lampard – Chelsea Morten Pedersen – Blackburn Christian Ronaldo – Manchester Utd Wayne Rooney – Manchester Utd Darren Bent – Charlton Thierry Henry – Arsenal Player of the year »

“. . .to make an end is to make a beginning”

Beginning with these words from T.S. Eliot, our friend Norm Geras eloquently explains why he and other British leftist have launched the Euston Manifesto, which calls for an unambiguous democratic commitment by the left, with no apology for tyranny: Anyone who’s ever belonged to anything, as we all have – a family, a group, a club, a movement – will know that this involves having some quarrels. If you’re part »

What Does It Take to be Discredited?

By any normal standard, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Jimmy Carter’s National Security Adviser, would be consigned to the dustbin of history along with his boss. But, since the media have an inexhaustible hunger for anti-George Bush talking heads, Brzezinski has been brought out of retirement, or wherever he’s been for the last 20 years. Yesterday, Brzezinski had the temerity to pontificate on Iran. He thinks the Bush administration has a “false sense »

A Reuters Employee Threatens the Wrong Guy

Earlier today, Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs emailed us about a death threat he had received, apparently from an employee of Reuters in London. It’s a complicated story; you can read it all here. LGF got an email from the obviously fictitious address, “zionistpig@hotmail.com.” (“Zionist pig” is revealing, I think.) The subject heading was: “You bunch of wankers.” That jumped out at me; to my knowledge, the only people »

(She gave us) Fever

Today is the anniversary of Peggy Lee’s birth. Lee had an improbably winding path to success from her hometown of Jamestown, North Dakota, to Fargo (where she took on her show business name), to Minneapolis and St. Louis, and to Chicago, where she was discovered by Benny Goodman at the moment he needed a replacement for Helen Forrest. In between St. Louis and Chicago were a couple of premature attempts »

A word from Heather Thul

In “A note to our Minnesota readers,” I asked our Minnesota readers to answer the call of Minnesota National Guardsman Dave Thul, serving in Iraq with Weapons Company 1-133, asking on behalf of his unit for conservative reading material. This afternoon we have received a message from Dave’s wife, Heather: I just wanted to send a quick note of thanks…I am proud to say that I am Sgt Dave Thul’s »

Not that lame

In a post below, John questions the extent to which President Bush is a lame duck president. The illegal immigration debate makes one thing clear — when Bush is aligned with liberals and moderates, he can be a force to be reckoned with. Thus it is that, as Tony Snow explained yesterday, he has tried to put Republican House members in a box — back down on amnesty/citizenship-path or get »

Galloway: Blair Assassination “Logical”

The appalling George Galloway is at it again, justifying the assassination of Prime Minister Tony Blair in a magazine interview: Galloway was quoted as saying an attack on Blair that caused no other casualties would be a justifiable response to Britain’s support for the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. “It would be entirely logical and explicable — and morally equivalent to ordering the deaths of thousands of innocent people in »

The brightest and the best

The confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh, a top aide to Kenneth Starr during his time as the Independent Counsel in the Clinton investigations, led me to come up with a partial list of alumni of that office and the public service jobs they hold or have held since: Brett Kavanaugh — DC Circuit judge and Staff Secretary to the President; Steve Colloton — US Attorney in Iowa; 8th Circuit judge Amy »

Something to smile about

By a vote of 57-36, the Senate has confirmed Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the D.C. Circuit. The White House and the Senate leadership should be commended for getting this done. I don’t know Kavanaugh, but I can’t help but think that he comes out of this process a huge winner. Because the Dems held up his nomination for so long, he was able to serve for an extended period in »

Five Senators Speack Out

Yesterday, a number of Senators spoke out against the Senate version of the immigration “reform” bill. You can watch them at Power Line Video. Rick Santorum, who urges an “enforcement first” approach, is here. Jim DeMint, who says bluntly that the bill’s sponsors are not serious about basic issues like border security, is here. John Ensign is here, George Allen is here, and John Cornyn is here. Or, of course, »

An exchange with Dafydd ab Hugh

In response to my post arguing that congressional Republicans will be better off if the run having obstructed bad immigration reform than having been accomplices to it, our friend Dafydd ab Hugh writes: Paul, are you really suggesting that the best politics for Republicans is to run against their own president? When has that ever worked? And doesn’t that set you up for an even worse electoral catastrophe in 2008… »

The claims of literature

Once upon a time liberal education sought to incuclate students, in Matthew Arnold’s words, with the best that has been thought and said in the world, with the object of knowing ourselves and the world. Now the notion of “the best” has itself been displaced by the ideology of “diversity” that reigns in academia. Nowhere has this displacement caused more damage than in the study of literature. In the current »