Monthly Archives: June 2011

Pawlenty Backs American Power

Featured image Barack Obama is more distrustful of American power than any president since Jimmy Carter. At the same time, weariness with foreign policy has infected many Republicans, too. Ron Paul is only the most extreme (and consistent) example. Today Tim Pawlenty delivered a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations in which he attempted to stake out a position as the inheritor of Ronald Reagan’s foreign policy mantle. It was a »

Let Debt Negotiations See Light of Day

Yesterday, Senator Jeff Sessions called for negotiations over raising the federal debt ceiling to be conducted openly: The ranking member on the Senate Budget Committee says President Obama needs to bring the negotiations over increasing the debt ceiling out into the open. “We might as well stake it out publicly to see what the disagreements are,” Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) said Friday in an interview with The Hill. “I believe »

Courtside Notes

Featured image I noted here on June 20 that the left had a really bad day at the Supreme Court, and they had another one yesterday especially with the decision striking down Arizona’s welfare-for-politicians campaign matching funds scheme in Arizona Free Enterprise Club’s Freedom Club PAC v. Bennett. (Just try to say the plaintiff’s name three times fast. Or just once fast.) It was another 5 – 4 decision along familiar lines, »

Power Line Prize Update

Featured image The days are dwindling down to a precious few: the Power Line Prize competition ends on July 15. So if you are a creative sort who knows how to make a video, write a song, paint a painting, design a video game–you name it–it is time to get to work. The grand prize is $100,000, and even if you don’t win, the runner-up gets $15,000 and two third-place finishers will »

Our Hokey President

Featured image Michael Ramirez skewers President Obama for playing politics with our troops in Afghanistan. But then, when does Obama do anything other than play politics? His release of oil from the strategic reserve is a classic: the Democrats tell us that increasing our domestic production won’t affect gas prices, until they face a political crisis. Then the clouds part, momentarily, and they remember Economics 1: increasing supply will lower prices. They »

How to Reform Medicaid

Every entitlement program has been a fiscal disaster. With hindsight, it is easy to see that it was folly for Congress to abandon responsibility for budgeting fixed sums for such programs as retirement benefits and seniors’ health care, instead setting eligibility criteria that created open-ended liability on the part of the federal government–open-ended, that is, until the programs become patently unsustainable and must be reformed or repealed. Which is where »

Let’s Be Moral

Featured image President Obama’s spokesman explained today that Obama thinks the Republicans’ position on the budget is “immoral.” This, just as Obama reportedly is stepping into an active role in the debt limit negotiations. Typical Obama: your position is immoral; now, let’s compromise! Meanwhile, what is Obama’s view of the budget? That government spending should be pumped up to ever-higher levels, exclusively on the backs of the very people who are already »

Blago Guilty

This afternoon a federal jury in Chicago found former governor Rod Blagojevich guilty on seventeen counts of corruption–wire fraud, bribery, extortion conspiracy–that related among other things to his effort to sell Barack Obama’s Senate seat after the 2008 presidential election. An earlier trial resulted in a hung jury on all counts but one. So Blagojevich will be the fourth former governor of Illinois to go to jail since 1973. It »

Good Poll News For Pawlenty?

Regular readers know that I am a fan of former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty and have been frustrated by his failure, so far, to make much of a dent in the polls. So this poll result, noted by the Wall Street Journal, is interesting: [A] new poll of registered voters in Minnesota from SurveyUSA shows he does well against President Obama. The poll, conducted late last week, put Mr. Pawlenty »

To Quote Sir Robin’s Minstrel: “They Bravely Ran Away, Away”

Featured image Some years ago–1997 in fact–I was invited to participate in a climate change group grope in Denver hosted by former Colorado Senator Tim Wirth, who left the Senate first for a Clinton Administration State Department post, and then to be the head of the UN Foundation, an entity set in motion by Ted Turner’s billion-dollar pledge to the United Nations–a pledge that Turner later had to renege on after his »

The uses of polarization

n 1858 Abraham Lincoln attained national prominence in the Republican Party as the result of the contest for the Senate seat held by Stephen Douglas. It was Lincoln’s losing campaign against Douglas that made him a figure of sufficient prominence that he could be the party’s 1860 presidential nominee. At the convention of the Illinois Republican Party in June, Lincoln was the unanimous choice to run against Douglas. After making »

Minnesota cage match, cont’d

In the current budget battle heading toward a possible state government shutdown on July 1, the St. Paul Pioneer Press has served as slight counterweight to the Dayton administration public relations work performed daily by the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Over the weekend the Pioneer Press editorial “Unnecessary pain” observed: Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton has attempted to position himself as interested in compromise. Though both sides have compromised, the governor seems »

Super 8: Super stupid

I asked my youngest daughter to pick a movie I could take her to this past Saturday night. Wanting to see Kyle Chandler of Friday Night Lights, she picked Super 8. Chandler plays the lead adult role in the film. I knew nothing about the film except that it received an enviable 83 percent Tomatometer reading over at Rotten Tomatoes site. I thought it should be good. (Warning: plot spoilers »

Coming Soon: Power Line 3.0

This site dates to May 2002. Since then, we have revamped its look twice and have updated its functionality on one or two additional occasions. For a while now, we have been working on a major renovation. Well, to be more accurate, Joe Malchow has been working on it. The rest of us have weighed in, mostly on aesthetic issues, over the last few days. Some time in the next »

Game of Thrones

I have a demanding job, a wife and four kids, and a web site. So I don’t watch much television. Still, now and then I run across something I like, like Rome a few years ago on HBO. We let our HBO subscription lapse because we weren’t watching it, but then I saw this post by Jonah Goldberg at The Corner on Game of Thrones: I really like it. I »

The Mask Slips. Yet Again.

No one who has lived through the last forty years can be surprised when a New York Times reporter reveals his contempt for those who don’t share his cultural biases; especially, against those like me who live in the “middle places.” But when Times reporter David Carr blurted out that “middle places” like Kansas and Missouri are the land of “the low-sloping foreheads,” even the jaded took notice. Ed Driscoll »

“Signs of Progress”? Oh-oh

Scott has been covering in detail the current budget impasse in Minnesota. Our Republican legislature enacted budget bills that would increase spending over the past biennium. Governor Mark Dayton, however, wanted even bigger spending increases, so he vetoed the spending bills. As a result, a government “shutdown” impends. Based on experience, I don’t see anything to fear in such a “shutdown;” I’m not sure I would notice it. But local »