Monthly Archives: June 2009


You can probably date me pretty precisely by the fact that I had zero reaction to Michael Jackson’s death yesterday, but was saddened a bit by Farrah Fawcett’s passing. I remember the Jackson Five, but Michael’s solo career came along during a period when I wasn’t listening to popular music, and to the extent I heard him later on, he made little impression. I understand he was influential as a »

Cognitive Dissonance

This Rasmussen survey seems highly relevant to a number of issues in the news today: Just 17% of Americans say the government is more likely to spend its money wisely and carefully than a private business, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Sixty-two percent (62%) say a private business is more likely to spend its money carefully…. That’s consistent with many other findings, such as the 76 »

Energy Tax Squeaks Through the House

The Waxman-Markey tax on energy squeaked through the House of Representatives today on a 219-212 vote. Eight Republicans voted for the bill, while 44 Democrats voted against it. In a stunning display of arrogance, the Democratic leadership dropped a 300-page amendment onto the bill at 3:00 this morning. No one in either party had an opportunity to study it; no Congressman who voted for Waxman-Markey, as amended, has a clear »

Making a mark

We’ve written about the great strides made recently by the Washington Examiner. This piece in the Washington Independent takes notice of these strides and of the role my friend Mark Tapscott has played in taking them: Since the November 2008 election, the Examiner has beefed up its staff and pulled prominent right-leaning reporters and pundits away from publications like The American Spectator and National Review. Tapscott and a growing staff »

For Scott Johnson, recognition war rages

I wish I could take credit for today’s Washington Times column “For Christians, Vietnam war rages.” The Times credits it to a lawyer, writer and human rights activist who focuses on issues in Southeast Asia, but mistakenly adds that he is a contributor to Power Line. I am not the author of the column and he does not contribute to Power Line. JOHN adds: In the comments, Steve Robbins movingly »

Thoughts on Health Care “Reform”

One of my law partners asked me yesterday which of the Democrats’ current initiatives is worse, the tax on carbon or the health care “public option,” otherwise known as socialized medicine. I replied unhesitatingly that socialized medicine is much worse. Carbon tax-and-trade can rather easily be repealed once people realize what a dumb idea it is. However, once our health care system has been destroyed and replaced with “single payer” »

Cap and Trade to Limp Across Finish Line?

It looks that way, in the House, anyway. With a vote scheduled to take place tomorrow, Nancy Pelosi thinks she has barely enough votes to pass one of the great follies in legislative history, the carbon tax. It will be close, though: Pelosi actually told Al Gore to stay in Tennessee rather than participate in a last-minutes lobbying blitz. Most likely Pelosi didn’t want to remind Congressmen needlessly that the »

There ain’t no cure

With the advent of Obamacare, there will be a lot more of this: President Obama suggested at a town hall event Wednesday night that one way to shave medical costs is to stop expensive and ultimately futile procedures performed on people who are about to die and don’t stand to gain from the extra care. In a nationally televised event at the White House, Obama said families need better information »

The Sanford Fiasco

The spectacle of South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, who was taken seriously by some (but not me) as a Presidential candidate, disappearing to Argentina for a rendezvous with his mistress, prompts one to wonder–not for the first time–are these guys all crazy? The real lesson of the Sanford fiasco is, given the frequency with which politicians display appalling judgment, weak character, and a pathological lack of self-control, why would we »

Hot dogs

The Obama administration’s July 4 hot dog diplomacy with Iran symbolizes the administration’s embarrassing intellectual confusion. The Iranian regime is an evil tyranny supporting terrororists and terrorism against America and its friends. In the struggle of the Iranian people against the regime, the Obama administration has all but supported the regime. What about the protesteres in the streets bravely chanting “death to the dictator”? Well, Obama allows, they’ve got the »

A shocker in South Africa

The U.S. shocked the soccer world today by defeating Spain 2-0 in the semi-finals of the Confederations Cup. Spain had not lost in 35 matches and had won their last 15, an international record. Its team today included five players that I rate among the top five in the world at their positions (Casillas, Puyol, Xavi, Torres, and Villa) — all in the “spine” of the team, where matches are »

Mullahs Take Revenge

Neda Agha Soltan is the young woman who was shot by Basij militia and whose death was filmed and reproduced all over the web. She has become the leading symbol of the freedom movement in Iran. The mullahs who rule the country, evidently worried about the symbolic implications of her death, have harassed her family, banned her funeral, and apparently buried her quietly without telling her family. The Guardian reports: »

Obamacare: Disastrous In Every Way

The Democrats are trying to rush their health care “reform” bill through Congress before anyone understands what is in it. The bill is intended to be the precursor of socialized medicine, the “single payer,” national health system that Great Britain, Canada and many other countries have tried, with uniformly awful results. The Democrats are trying to fudge the cost of their proposal, but Health Systems Innovations, a Minnesota consulting firm, »

Paul Rahe: Iran’s trajectory

Paul Rahe is the distinguished intellectual historian and professor of history at Hillsdale College. Professor Rahe is the author, most recently, of Soft Despotism, Democracy’s Drift: Montesquieu, Rousseau, Tocqueville, and the Modern Prospect. If any scholarly study in the history of political thought was ever timely, Soft Despotism is it. Professor Rahe’s new book has inspired much witty and learned commentary. Mark Steyn freely draws on the book in the »

No hot dogs after all?

The Obama administration is reported to be “seriously considering not extending invitations to Iranian diplomats for July 4 celebrations overseas.” On the other hand, U.S. officials are also saying that if such a decision is made, invitations that have gone out will not be rescinded. Fortunately, it’s doubtful that any Iranian diplomat is now contemplating an appearance at the U.S. embassy on the Fourth of July, in any event. It’s »

Are great powers limited to “bearing witness”?

As I said last night, I was not very impressed with President Obama’s comments about Iran at yesterday’s press conference, and I’m a bit surprised that they seem generally to have been well-received on the conservative blogosphere. Scott was similarly underwhelmed, describing Obama’s remarks as “formulaic.” That’s about right. Obama, as he often does, basically stringed together a series of cliches and talking points in the hope that he would »

Ahead of the curve

There seems to be consternation among mainstream media members over the fact that President Obama’s staff arranged in advance of yesterday’s press conference to have Nico Pitney of the Huffington Post ask a question about Iran. Pitney has been in contact with Iranian dissidents via the internet, and the White House was aware of this. In the unlikely event that any other member of the White House press corps was »