Monthly Archives: June 2011

Quotations From Chairman Jim, part 7

Jim Leach is the former congressman who is the chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities. We’ve been following Leach’s tenure as he has undertaken a series of speeches seeking to spread the gospel according to Barack Obama. Shortly after his installation as chairman Leach undertook a 50-state tour preaching the gospel. The tour is in progress and the song remains the same. Most recently, we posted a week-long »

Minnesota cage match, cont’d

Democratic Governor Mark Dayton and the Minnesota legislature are engaged in an epic budget battle. By law, the budget for the coming biennium must balance. The governor demands big spending increases and tax increases to pay for them. Republican majorities in the Minnesota House and Senate resist spending increases that require tax increases. A state government shutdown is looming, despite the governor’s campaign promise not to shut down the state »

Captain Incompetence

President Obama is proving not to be the superhero that some envisioned back in 2008. On the contrary, the gulf between the high expectations that many had for him and the reality of his administration–one failed policy after another, an odd sense of detachment, downward drift not just for our economy but for our nation–may be unprecedented. Michael Ramirez sums up by labeling Obama a new sort of superhero: Captain »

Fast and Furious Backpedaling at the Department of Justice

We haven’t written much about the Operation Fast and Furious scandal, which reportedly is about to lead to the resignation of the Acting Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. The best way to get a handle on the controversy is by reading the Joint Staff Report that was prepared for Congressman Issa’s Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and Senator Grassley of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and »

Three Strikes for the Left at the Supreme Court

The left is having a terrible day today at the Supreme Court, where two cases the left had held out high hope for went down in flames in unanimous decisions (so they can’t complain about the usual 5 – 4 conservative-liberal split). The first is a delicious case of environmentalists being hoist by their own petard. In American Electric Power v. Connecticut, the Court ruled 8 – 0 (with Sotomayor »

Minnesota cage match, cont’d

The reporters at the Minneapolis Star Tribune are doing their best to make sure the public assigns the blame for the looming state government shutdown to the Republican legislature. This despite the fact that Governor Dayton promised not to force a shutdown in order to enact the income tax increases that for the core of his creed. Today’s story on the pressure exerted on Republican legislators is in itself part »

The war on girls

Unless you subscribe to the Wall Street Journal, you probably missed Jonathan Last’s review of Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Men by Mara Hvistendahl. Here is Jonathan’s summary of the core of Hvistendahl’s book: In China, India and numerous other countries (both developing and developed), there are many more men than women, the result of systematic campaigns against baby girls. In »

The Shame of the American Meteorological Society

Bill Gray, a professor emeritus at Colorado State, has been a member of the American Meteorological Society for more than 50 years. In a lengthy post at Watts Up With That, he expresses his dismay at the manner in which AMS has sold out science in the interest of politics: I am very disappointed at the downward path the AMS has been following for the last 10-15 years in its »

Tinkering With the Pledge at the Open?

I got this tweet a few minutes ago: Pledge of Allegiance recited by kids at the start of US Open on NBC left out the words “under God”. Shame on you NBC. #USOPEN Can this possibly be true? Other tweets appear to confirm it. Very bizarre. UPDATE: It’s confirmed, NBC said on-air that their editing “was not meant to offend anybody,” per a commenter. »

Not Just Weird, But Perverse

As I wrote here, the central purpose of our federal government, as defined by the manner in which it spends money, is to transfer wealth from the young and the middle-aged to the elderly. This is, at best, an odd vision of the purpose of government. I am not aware of any political theorist or politician who has ever advocated it–openly, anyway. But, as AARP reminds us, this transfer of »

Modernizing Liberalism, After Action Report

Several years ago Peter Berkowitz of the Hoover Institution edited two slim volumes entitled Varieties of Conservatism in America and Varieties of Progressivism in America, featuring essays from leading thinkers and observers of both camps. The two books presented, unintentionally I think, a vivid contrast in the totally different modes thought prevalent on the right and left. The book on conservatism was mostly about ideas–what should we stand for based »

Do you want to know a secret?

Putting the Wikileaks episode to one side, by far the most damaging leaks of classified information in the past 10 years must be the disclosures that blew the NSA terrorist eavesdropping program (James Risen and Eric Lichtblau, New York Times, December 16, 2005) and the Treasury Department’s SWIFT terrorist finance monitoring program (James Risen and Eric Lichtblau, June 23, 2006). I wrote about the first of these leaks in the »

This father’s day

My father was not an intellectual, but he was an extremely thoughtful man. He used to tell me the things he was grateful for and in retrospect I can see he thought about gratitude a lot. He frequently said that the three things he was most grateful for were: 1) that his grandfather didn’t miss the boat from Russia to the United States, 2) that when he arrived in New »

Clarence Clemons, RIP

Clarence Clemons was the unmistakable presence in Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band. His sax style was a throwback to the hot sax sound passed down from Louis Jordan, Big Jay McNeely, Junior Walker, and King Curtis. In telling the story of the band in “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out” (video below), Springsteen paid tribute to the day when “the Big Man joined the band.” And he portrayed himself leaning on Clemons in »

Miss USA Final Preview

The Miss USA pageant concludes tomorrow night. It is perhaps worth mentioning that Miss USA, along with the Miss Universe pageant, is Donald Trump’s greatest contribution to civilization. Our pageant coverage seems to have inspired other hard news outlets to follow suit. Thus, Business Insider has a piece on the current betting odds. We have already posted photos of most of the favorites here and here. Miss California remains the »

The Hinderaker-Ward Experience, Live From Right Online

Yesterday Brian Ward and I attended the Right Online conference in Minneapolis. I spoke during the opening main session and took the opportunity to plug the Power Line Prize. Brian and I then interviewed Steve Bannon, director of the movie The Undefeated, about Sarah Palin. Steve was a terrific interview; unfortunately, the audio quality suffered from the hotel’s limited wireless bandwidth. We finished off the day by listening to James »

Even the Russians Have Figured It Out

Russia’s President, Dmitri Medvedev, addressed the annual St. Petersburg International Economic Forum yesterday. He pledged a new course for Russia: Medvedev acknowledged that the government’s expansion in managing the economy and the centralization of authority in the Kremlin under Putin was necessary in an earlier period of the country’s post-Soviet development. But, he said, “this economic mode is dangerous for the country’s future.” “The proposition that the government is always »