Monthly Archives: May 2010

New on our bookshelf

Our bookshelf now features works by two of my favorite public intellectuals: Voting Rights and Wrongs: The Elusive Quest for Racially Fair Elections, by Abigail Thernstrom. The World Turned Upside Down: The Global Battle Over God, Truth, and Power by Melanie Phillips. »

Tom Friedman’s fantasy — Dictator for a day

Thomas Friedman wishes that our democracy worked as well as China’s dictatorship. He thus fantasizes about the U.S. being “China for a day.” After Friedman has used that opportunity to impose his will on us, we can go back to being a free country — at least until the next set of bees enters his bonnet. So I don’t–I, I–I’m worried about this, it’s why I have fantasized–don’t get me »

A thug too far, part 2

Nina Easton’s account of the SEIU demonstration that terrorized the son of her next-door neighbor — the deputy general counsel of Bank of America — has drawn remarkably little attention. That’s the way that SEIU wanted it; the union only alerted one of its handmaidens at the Huffington Post of the event. Easton notes that only “a friendly Huffington Post blogger showed up, narrowcasting coverage to the union’s leftist base. »

Necessary Secrets: A word from the author

Gabriel Schoenfeld’s Necessary Secrets: National Security, the Media and the Rule of Law is published today. I read Schoenfeld’s book in galley proof. It is an important and (to borrow an adjective) necessary book. At our invitation, Schoenfeld has prepared a post for Power Line readers adapted from the book’s preface. Schoenfeld writes: I am a New Yorker who was in Manhattan on the morning of September 11, 2001. Like »

Not dark yet

Today is the birthday of Minnesota native son Bob Dylan; he turns 69. He is a remarkable artist, self-invented, deep in the American grain. Attention must be paid. A few years back I visited Dylan’s old house at 2425 7th Avenue East in Hibbing. 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 »

Why we should be very afraid of Elena Kagan

From the Harvard Law Record, via Ed Whelan, we learn that Elena Kagan considers Israeli supreme court justice Aharon Barak her “judicial hero.” According to Kagan, Barak “is the judge who has best advanced democracy, human rights, the rule of law, and justice.” However, it would appear that Kagan’s judicial hero actually has very little regard for the rule of law and, indeed, is the antithesis of what a judge »

Gulf Backlash Beginning?

The Gulf oil spill is unfolding in slow motion, as oil continues to flow from a mile deep and slowly make its way toward shore. Criticism of the federal response to the spill has been muted, in part because visible consequences of the incident have been slow to appear, and in part because it doesn’t fit the newspapers’ preferred narrative. Today, however, Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal went public with criticism »

A thug too far, part 1

Nina Easton filed a report with Fortune on a protest outside her home in suburban Washington, D.C., last Sunday. Her report had an unusual personal twist as well as a strikingly close-up perspective depicted in the photograph accompanying her article: [M]y front yard exploded with 500 screaming, placard-waving strangers on a mission to intimidate my neighbor, Greg Baer. Baer is deputy general counsel for corporate law at Bank of America »

A Djou with 40 percent ayes

As Joel Mowbray anticipated here this past Friday, Republican candidate Charles Djou emerged victorious with nearly 40 percent of the vote in the special election for Hawaii’s First Congressional District. The outcome is notable because it occurs in President Obama’s home district, which hasn’t sent a Republican to Washington in a very long time. Obama carried the district with more than 70 percent of the vote in 2008. The outcome »

This day in baseball history

On May 23, 1960, Sandy Koufax allowed only one hit in the Dodgers’ 1-0 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates, the eventual World Series winners that year. The only Pirate hit came in the second inning, a single by pitcher Bennie Daniels. Koufax walked six batters. The win was Koufax’s first of the season. It brought his record to 1-4. He would finish the season with an 8-13 mark, bringing his »

People Are Crazy

The refrain of a popular country song goes, “God is great, beer is good, and people are crazy.” I’m not sure that all people are crazy, but the Europeans certainly are, or have been for the last few decades, anyway. The New York Times reports, “Crisis Imperils Liberal Benefits Long Expected by Europeans.” No surprise there. But this particular fact was news to me: In Sweden and Switzerland, 7 of »

Obama’s Danny Pearl speech: What didn’t he say?

Mark Steyn devotes a brilliant and devastating column to what Obama said, and what Obama didn’t say, in his brief comments about Daniel Pearl upon signing the “Daniel Pearl Press Freedom Act.” Steyn notes that this is what Obama said: “Obviously, the loss of Daniel Pearl was one of those moments that captured the world’s imagination because it reminded us of how valuable a free press is.” I doubt that »

Obama’s West Point Speech: What Did He Say?

President Obama delivered the commencement address at West Point today. If you believe the New York Times, Obama laid out a new military and diplomatic strategy and repudiated the policies of the Bush administration: President Obama outlined a new national security strategy rooted in diplomatic engagement and international alliances on Saturday as he repudiated his predecessor’s emphasis on unilateral American power and the right to wage pre-emptive war. A careful »

Voting rights and voting wrongs

The Spring issue of »

Guarding the Northern Border

Mark Steyn brilliantly juxtaposes federal policy at the Canadian border, where millions of dollars in “stimulus” money are being spent to ensure security at border crossings no one uses, with the southern border, where Arizona ranchers lie awake at night listening to illegals in their yards: I gave a speech for the Goldwater Institute in Tucson a few weeks back, and several people came up from the border to see »

Dueling Headlines

The Hill reports that Washington Democrats see things going their way, and want to put the pedal to the metal: Sensing momentum, Senate Dems don’t want to ease up. Sure, that makes sense. They want to drive their approval rating down into single digits by passing cap-and-tax, the Union Thug Empowerment Act, and so on. Meanwhile, the smart money–such as it is–goes elsewhere. The Washington Post reports: Corporate PACs shift »

You’re either for or against the military we have

Robert Merrill is a captain in the Marine Corps. He fought in Iraq and currently serves as a legal adviser to a Marine infantry batallion in southern Afghanistan. In between, he attended and graduated from Harvard law school. Writing in the Washington Post, Merrill defends Elena Kagan from charges that she is anti-military. He argues that Kagan’s discriminatory treatment of military recruiters at Harvard didn’t impair military recruitment. And he »