Monthly Archives: May 2008

Exposed in the New York Times

Our friend Hugh Hewitt originally discovered Power Line and started talking about our site almost six years ago, in the fall of 2002, as we covered the Wellstone-Coleman race and then (after Senator Wellstone’s death) the Mondale-Coleman race. Looking around at the work on offer from our fellow bloggers based in Minnesota, Hugh dubbed the whole lot of us including Ed Morrissey, now of Hot Air, Mitch Berg, King Banaian »

Another silly season non-story, Part Two

Barack Obama has commented about Hillary Clinton’s reference to Robert Kennedy’s assassination. Obama stated: I have learned that when you are campaigning for as many months as Senator Clinton and I have been campaigning, sometimes you get careless in terms of the statements that you make, and I think that is what happened here. Obama is clearly correct that Clinton did not mention the RFK assassination in an attempt to »

Pessimism, with and without attribution

Providing the perfect counterpoint to my post yesterday on “Optimism, with and without attribution” with respect to McCain’s prospects in the coming campaign, today’s New York Times gives us Adam Nagourney’s “Worries in GOP about McCain camp disarray.” Adam Nagourney is not the reporter I would choose for a briefing on the state of the McCain campaign, but the article is worth reading worth reading. The article only touches on »

The gathering storm

Barry Rubin writes from the GLORIA Center in Herzliya with an unusually despairing column about the fall of Lebanon. The heart of his column is a critique of Barack Obama’s reassuring assessment of the minimal threat presented to the United States by Iran. Rubin finds the following deficiencies of understanding in Obama’s remarks: •No understanding that Iran follows strategies designed to circumvent that problem of unequal power including terrorism, guerrilla »

Saturday sports report

It wasn’t meant to be For the second year in a row, Johns Hopkins has, with a one goal victory, ended Duke’s lacrosse season. Last year, Hopkins defeated the Blue Devils in the championship game 11-10. Today they won a semi-final clash 10-9. This year’s win ranks as a major upset. Duke, with six outstanding five-year players, was clearly the nation’s best team throughout the season, and they defeated Hopkins »

Not dark yet

Today is the birthday of Minnesota native son Bob Dylan; he turns 67. I visited Dylan’s old house at 2425 7th Avenue East in Hibbing last summer. The house is a small two-story residence with a one-car attached garage on the side. The house is exactly two blocks from Hibbing High School, Dylan’s alma mater. A Dylan fan must own it. The garage door has the cover of Dylan’s “Blood »

Optimism, with and without attribution

David Paul Kuhn reports on scenarios leading to a possible McCain victory in November. At least to me, the article is so counterintuitive that it is almost humorous. One Republican operative whose identity required protection so that his optimism could be expressed on the record asserts: “We’re actually sitting pretty well in most states.” Republican pollster Glen Bolger is bolder, allowing his name to be attached to this statement: “No »

Fried Rice

The “surge” of troops to Iraq has produced the signal foreign policy success of George Bush’s second term. In his devastating Weekly Standard cover story on Condoleezza Rice’s tenure as Secretary of State, my friend Stephen Hayes reports that Rice opposed the surge. (Hayes quotes Rice confirming her opposition to the surge in a May 9 interview conducted with him for the article.) The success of the surge is of »

The silent treatment

We have noted the Washington Post’s decision not to review Douglas Feith’s important book, War and Decision, an inside account by the former Under Secretary of Defense of the key decisions of the first Bush II administration regarding the war on terror generally and the war in Iraq particularly. The Post’s justification — that it already ran a front-page news story about the book — is implausible on its face. »

“Big Oil”

I hadn’t realized, until the hearings on energy that were held this week in House and Senate committees, that the United States doesn’t have any big oil companies. It’s true: the largest American oil company, Exxon Mobil, is only the 14th largest in the world, and is dwarfed by the really big oil companies–all owned by foreign governments or government-sponsored monopolies–that dominate the world’s oil supply. This graph tells the »

An intriguing pair of showdowns

The semi-finals of the NCAA men’s lacrosse tournament will take place tomorrow in Foxborough, Massachusetts beginning at noon (eastern time). As expected, the semifinalists are Duke, Johns Hopkins, Syracuse, and Virginia. The Duke-Johns Hopkins match is, of course, a replay of last year’s thrilling final, which Hopkins won 12-11. Duke, though, will be favored this year. With most of their team back, after the NCAA granted an extra year of »

Another silly season non-story

Hillary Clinton is receiving criticism today for this statement, in which she mentioned the assassination of Robert Kennedy while explaining why she remains in the race: My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California. It seems quite obvious that Clinton was simply establishing that »

Global Warming: A Primer

In the web site of the New Zealand Centre for Political Research, Fred Singer offers an excellent summary of the skeptics’ view of anthropogenic global warming. If you haven’t followed the issue in detail and want to review the basics, it’s a good place to start. Singer makes one point that cannot be repeated too often: the AGW theory depends entirely on computer models, but we know for sure that »

A lesson for Obama

One would never know it from Barack Obama’s remarks on the subject of negotiations with our enemies, but the subject of whether or not, and under what conditions, the United States should meet with the Soviet Union was addressed in the 1960 Kennedy-Nixon debates. Obama, of course, cites Kennedy as authority for the proposition that the president should be agreeable to meeting with America’s enemies without preconditions. Here is the »

How a gaffe became a doctrine

I’ve noted the improvised quality to the expression of Barack Obama’s foreign policy views. I thought at the time that Obama’s commitment to meet with America’s enemies all over the world (made last year in the July 23 Democratic candidates’ YouTube debate) was one such high-minded but ineffably benighted bit of improvisation. Today Charles Krauthammer observes that “what started as a gaffe became policy. By now, it has become doctrine. »

Success that probably only the Democrats can reverse

Yesterday, we noted how the Iraqi army has taken control, for now, of Sadr City. This accomplishment follows a campaign in Basra that even the New York Times has acknowledged was successful. . And the good news doesn’t stop here. Max Boot points out that in Mosul, considered the last stronghold of Al Qaeda in Iraq. the number of daily attacks has dropped at least 85 percent since U.S.-Iraqi forces »

Happy Birthday to the Great Bridge

The Brooklyn Bridge is 125 years old today. Its reputation as a marvel of engineering and architecture has only grown through the years. David McCullough has become more famous than ever with works like 1776 and John Adams, but my favorite of his books is still The Great Bridge, about the building of the Brooklyn Bridge. The Great Bridge is full of colorful characters, including John Roebling, the great designer »