Monthly Archives: July 2011

The uses of petulance

Featured image President Obama turned in a rare performance on the debt ceiling negotiations on Friday night. Here is the transcript; the video is below. The performance was rare not only in the context of Obama’s cool persona, but also in the history of presidential statements and press conferences. One would have to go back to Bill Clinton denying sexual relations with “that woman” to find a similarly angry presidential performance, and »

Obama’s Lying Demagoguery About Social Security

Featured image Of course, it might not be lying demagoguery, it could be ignorance; with Obama that question is always present. Obama says that if August 2 arrives without raising the debt ceiling, Social Security checks may not go out. Law professor Michael McConnell, a former federal appellate judge, explains why Obama is wrong: The Social Security trust fund holds about $2.4 trillion in U.S. Treasury bonds, which its trustees are legally »

The Sistine Debt Ceiling

Featured image Michael Ramirez reminds us, in typically entertaining fashion, that the problem we face isn’t the debt ceiling, it’s the debt; and the debt problem is a spending problem: »

House Republicans Readying New Debt Proposal

Featured image Byron York reports that the House Republicans are preparing yet another solution to the debt ceiling crisis: House Republicans are finishing work on a new proposal to resolve the standoff over the debt ceiling. The proposal, set to be finished Sunday, will be in two parts. The first will combine a short-term increase in the debt ceiling with spending cuts. The second will lay the groundwork for a longer-term increase »

Racial Polarization In American Politics

Featured image Race plays a smaller role than ever in American life. Whether we look at business, popular culture, sports, the military or daily life in general, race has pretty much disappeared as an issue. This is largely true in politics, too, as activists on both the left (labor unions) and the right (the Tea Party movement) are integrated and are organized around ideology, not ethnicity–hence the popularity of figures like Herman »


Featured image Today is the birthday of contemporary country/bluegrass artist Alison Krauss; she turns 40. Krauss became a star in the world of bluegrass music as a teen-age fiddle champion. She signed with Rounder Records at the age of 14. It wasn’t long, however, before her outstanding vocal talents eclipsed her instrumental prowess. Rounder gave her the time and the space to develop from a prodigy into the artist she is today. »

Bloomberg Blowback

Featured image I’m bouncing around on a very rowdy North Sea today (I know, your heart bleeds for my trials and tribulations), but it means the satellite Internet connection I’m using is even more twitchy than usual, and as for oceanic cell phone service, fuggedaboutit, as they say in the Big Apple. But I want at least to acknowledge the Power Line reader from Connecticut (thank you, RM), who was kind enough »

Norway: A Postscript

Featured image They are still counting the bodies in Norway, and it is probably unseemly to start making political points. I haven’t seen any information about the apparent perpetrator, so his motivations (if any, other than insanity) are unknown at this point. But one observation seems to be in order; no doubt, it has already been made by many others. What happened on Utoya island was that the murderer, dressed as a »

Voters Prefer Republicans on Debt Crisis

Featured image The Republicans’ failure to win clearly the messaging battle over federal spending and debt is frustrating, but the latest poll data–significant because they come from likely voters–indicate that the GOP is coming out on top so far, albeit not by a wide margin. Today’s Rasmussen Reports headlines, “Most Voters Are Unhappy With Both Sides in the Debt Ceiling Debate.” No surprise there–many people are much too quick to adopt a »

Terrorist Attacks In Oslo

Featured image Earlier today, multiple terrorist attacks took place in Oslo. A bomb went off in the central city, near the government building that houses the Prime Minister’s office. At least two people were killed, and others injured. At around the same time, a gunman dressed as a policeman opened fire on a youth camp outside the city where Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg was scheduled to speak. Apparently at least five people »

Take my wives — please!

Featured image The Republican Party was founded in the belief that it was “the imperative duty of Congress to prohibit in the Territories those twin relics of barbarism — Polygamy, and Slavery,” as the party platform of 1856 put it. The slavery issue took a civil war to iron out, but Utah would not in fact be welcome in the Union until Mormons ditched their devotion to plural marriage. Polygamy is therefore »

Left Turn: A modest experiment, part 4

Featured image Today we conclude our exclusive series of excerpts from Tim Groseclose’s new book, Left Turn: How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind. Professor Groseclose is the Marvin Hoffenberg Professor of American Politics at UCLA and this is an important book. Thanks to Professor Groseclose for entrusting us with this series. We have previously posted the preface, the introduction, chapter 8 part 1, and chapter 8 part 2, and chapter »

Conservatives and Taxes Revisited

Featured image Opinion is sharply divided over whether the “Gang of Six” framework can produce a workable debt ceiling compromise, with the Wall Street Journal editorial page and other observers expressing cautious optimism, while other sound and sober voices like James Capretta are saying “we’ve seen this movie before, and the ending sucked; why would we think the sequel will be any better?”  My own view is that even if the favorable »

Bloomberg to Washington: “Drop Dead”

Featured image I just can’t bring myself to doing the usual “This Week in Climate News” roundup today, since the subject has a Groundhog Day quality to it that gets tedious after a while.  How often can you take note of the mania that causes adults to repeat themselves long after everyone has stopped listening, like this UN chap who said this week that climate change will lead to more wars and »

What I Did Tonight

Featured image As regular readers know, the Power Line Prize competition has been going on for the last couple of months. The deadline to submit entries was midnight on Friday, and Joe Malchow, Mike Scholl of the Freedom Club and I spent last weekend winnowing the several hundred entries down to 43 semifinalists. We put those onto USB drives and overnighted them to our distinguished panel of judges–Hugh Hewitt, Glenn Reynolds, Marcheta »

Budget Myths

Featured image At this moment in history, there is one clear imperative: the Republicans must not agree to a last-minute, closed-door deal that would chart the nation’s fiscal course for years to come on the basis of a half-baked, poorly-understood “compromise” in which trillions of dollars are committed, based on bullet points written on the back of a napkin. We need an open, legal, transparent budgetary process in which the inevitable compromises »

That’s no lady!

Featured image Barack Obama’s hand-picked head of the Democratic National Committee is one Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Rep. Schultz is perhaps best known, courtesy of Rush Limbaugh, by the handle Debbie Blabbermouth Schultz. She specializes in smarmy demagoguery that faithfully toes the party line, reducing it to its essence. It’s why Obama loves her. On Tuesday Schultz singled out fellow Florida Congressman Allen West for condemnation on the floor of Congress in remarks »