Monthly Archives: June 2011

Time to Dodge This Needless Destruction

Featured image So my beloved LA Dodgers have filed for bankruptcy protection as a result of the perfidious ownership of Frank McCourt, and major league baseball is contemplating the MLB equivalent of an FDIC bank seizure.  Major league team owners as a class seem to have a higher proportion of roguish characters among their ranks than exist in the general population distribution, but you really have to go some to become the »

There Is Really Only One Special Interest Group

Featured image And that is labor unions. Antony Davies of Duquesne has prepared a series of charts that summarize special interest political contributions from 1989 to 2009, based on data from Open Secrets. This chart is the most revealing; it shows that the overwhelming majority of special interest money goes to Democrats, and that unions dwarf everyone else. It’s actually even worse than the chart shows at first glance, since teachers’ unions »

More Jimmy Carter Theater

Featured image In his debate with Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter famously invoked daughter Amy’s advice regarding the most important issue in the 1980 election (video below).  It was one of the golden moments that turned Carter into a laughingstock. In yesterday’s press conference, President Obama invoked the good examples set by daughters Malia and Sasha in a lame attempt to shame Congress for his own nonfeasance.  How lame was  it?  Jim Treacher reports that »

Think Ignorance: A Behind the Scenes Look

Featured image ThinkProgress is a left-wing web site that is often viewed as a mouthpiece for the Obama administration. Some months ago it made a tactical decision to try to demonize the Koch brothers, and Lee Fang, who previously was best known for faking videos, was put in charge. The results have frequently been hilarious. Most notoriously, Fang produced a post called “The Contango Game” which we took apart here. It was »

A word from Adam Bellow

Featured image Adam Bellow is executive editor at the Broadside Books imprint of HarperCollins. Adam writes: Dear friend of Power Line: Scott Johnson has graciously invited me to let you know that our Fourth of July symposium is now live at the Broadside Books website. In the Harrison Ford film Regarding Henry, about the redemption of a high-powered litigator who survives being shot in the head, a colleague fondly recalls how Ford’s »

Whatever happened to the three-martini lunch?

Featured image Reading the transcript of President Obama’s press conference yesterday, I had a flashback to Jimmy Carter railing about the tax deductibility of the three-martini lunch.  I felt young again.  Whatever happened to the three-martini lunch?  The good news is that the three-martini lunch remains a deductible business expense after all these years (I think). The bad news is that President Obama is reviving Jimmy Carter Theater with his repeated gibes »

A Power Line Moment of Zen

Featured image Jon Stewart frequently signs off the Daily Show with “a moment of zen,” which is typically the opposite of what I understand Zen to be, but whatever.  Seems to me we can play that game, too.  This short video clip shows two California gray whales frolicking and spouting off; I shot it yesterday from the deck of my house out in California yesterday morning. There’s a lesson from this video, »

Jamaicans Nostalgic For Colonialism

Featured image Jamaica’s biggest newspaper conducted a poll and got results that were considered shocking: by a 60 percent to 17 percent margin, Jamaicans say they would be better off if they were once again a British colony: The depth of feeling is particularly astonishing as generations of Jamaican leaders have portrayed the British as oppressors who subjected the Caribbean to slavery. Not so astonishing, perhaps, if you know anything about Jamaican »

The Hinderaker-Ward Experience

Featured image Last night, Brian Ward and I recorded Episode 11 of the Hinderaker-Ward Experience, produced by Scott Immergut and hosted by Ricochet. Episode 11 is titled “Sloping Foreheads,” a reference to this week’s Loon. Ben Shapiro was our guest, talking about his new book Primetime Propaganda. Ben is a great guest, and one of those people who make you feel inferior: he has had a syndicated column since he was 17. »

Lead? Who, Me?

Featured image Earlier today, I wrote about President Obama’s press conference today, and John Boehner’s strong response. Now, having had an opportunity to read the transcript of Obama’s press conference/campaign appearance, I have some additional comments. My overarching observation is that Obama’s performance exemplified his chronic inability to lead. Here’s why: But there are more steps that we can take right now that would help businesses create jobs here in America.  Today, »

Any Prospect for a Green Reformation?

Featured image I have an article appearing in the next print issue of National Review that goes to the printer Friday afternoon about the prospects of a Martin Luther/95 Theses nailed to the (Green) church door Reformation of environmentalism.  The environmental movement is so intellectually shallow and politically bankrupt that it seems unlikely that such a thing could happen, especially with the literal commissars who enforce the party line so rigidly.  But »

Obama: Please, PLEASE Raise Taxes!

Featured image I haven’t yet seen a transcript of President Obama’s press conference this morning on the budget. No doubt I will have more to say after reading it. Based on the Washington Post’s account, however, the President seemed desperate to get the Republicans to agree to raise taxes. Any taxes: Obama said he is willing to cut spending on a range of programs by more than $1 trillion, to trim the »

Welcome to Power Line 3.0

Featured image Last night we switched over to a new, more newspaper-like format. The new look is propagating through the internet, and different people can see it at different times. The most obvious difference from the reader’s perspective is that there are more posts on the front page, but you have to click on “read more” or the post title to read the entire post. This is, obviously, a tradeoff. If you »

This Day in Climate News

Featured image It’s been another bad week for the climate campaign.  Walter Russell Mead offers yet another installment of his periodic beat downs of human car alarm former Vice President Al Gore.  (Here’s the previous one.)  I didn’t think anyone could get more snarky about Gore that I do, but Mead easily wins the contest for the most thorough dismantling of the Goreacle. Despite the view of the UN’s mirthless Wirth mentioned »

What Do Michele Bachmann and a Serial Killer Have In Common?

Featured image Nothing. Yesterday Michele Bachmann was talking about her Iowa upbringing and uttered these completely unobjectionable lines: “John Wayne was from Waterloo, Iowa,” Mrs. Bachmann told Carl Cameron of Fox News in an interview. “That’s the kind of spirit that I have, too.” My Lord, you would think she had said something really stupid, like that Franklin Roosevelt talked to our enemies, or had misquoted Churchill, or claimed that John Kennedy’s »

Someone Should Be Pistole-Whipped

Unfortunately I fly a lot, and I have little patience for the security-theater of the absurd that is the TSA. Unless I am late for a flight, I typically opt-out of the x-ray full body screening and demand a pat down, on the theory that it is more humiliating for the TSA officers who have to go through this charade than it is for me. Do I want a private »

Civil rights for the Age of Obama

Featured image KUSI reporter Tom Jordan met up with civil rights hustler Al Sharpton in San Diego talking about the city’s pension reform initiative. Sharpton had a nine-minute chat with Jordan that, according to KUSI, “became a bit heated.” KUSI has edited the conversation down to five minutes of comedy gold. Sharpton says the city’s proposed pension reform initiative is a civil rights violation, and that attention should instead be placed on »