Monthly Archives: December 2011

Newt, The Series

Featured image I’ve got it!  Instead of seeing Newt Gingrich’s campaign as an extended book tour, it should be conceived instead as a really, truly, fundamentally radical and transformational take on reality TV.  What prompts this thought is today’s column from George Will, “Gingrich, the Anti-Conservative,” which really takes the wood to Gingrich for his recent remarks on the judiciary: Gingrich’s unsurprising descent into sinister radicalism — intimidation of courts — is »

Save the last dance for them

Featured image In the outpouring of commentary on the death of North Korea’s murderous Dear Leader, I’ve been looking for the thoughts of Clinton administration Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. She courted Kim Jong Il relentlessly, thinking that the powers of her charm could compete with his yen for nuclear weapons. Her charm offensive culminated in a rare direct meeting in October 2000 with Kim Jong Il at which she danced with »

What price Volt?

Featured image Each Chevy Volt sold thus far may have as much as $250,000 in state and federal dollars in incentives behind it – a total of $3 billion altogether, according to an analysis by James Hohman, assistant director of fiscal policy at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Mackinac reports on the study here at its Michigan Capitol Confidential site. Mackinac sought a response from GM, which it has added as »

Egypt’s Kristallnacht

Featured image The persecution of Christians in Egypt is one of the mysteriously underreported stories of our time. At Big Peace, Charles Jacobs writes: Gordon College is a Christian school between Salem and Rockport. A few weeks ago I spoke there at a commemoration of Kristallnacht, Germany’s night of broken glass, the first mass assault on Europe’s Jews and the harbinger of the Shoah. I told the Christian audience how good it »

#Keystone Fail #2

Featured image The Democrats’ sad propaganda campaign against the Keystone pipeline continues. Yesterday on the floor of the House, Georgia’s Hank Johnson explained why he and his fellow Democrats oppose the pipeline, along with tens of thousands of jobs and cheaper energy: Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., protested today on the House floor that the libertarian Koch brothers “control Congress,” arguing that the Republican push for President Obama to approve the construction of »

#Keystone Fail

Featured image Because I’m something of a graphics geek, one of my favorite books is Edward Tufte’s semi-cult classic, The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, which starts out with what Tufte calls the single greatest graphic ever done: Charles Minard’s 1869 map of Napoleon’s invasion of and retreat from Russia in the ill-considered campaign of 1812-1813.  The main bar shows the size of the army along its way from France to Moscow »

Bagless in Seattle: Resistance is not futile

Featured image A reader from Lincoln City, Oregon, writes in response to “Bagless in Seattle: Victory is at hand” about creative workarounds for the Seattle plastic bag ban: The Oregon coast town I live in is also currently considering a plastic bag ban. One gets the feeling after listening to these ardent loonies that collecting that 5-cent per paper bag extortion fee (to fund more green sillines) is vastly more important than »

A word from Scott Rasmussen

Featured image Ace pollster Scott Rasmussen writes in response to John’s post on Obama’s improving poll numbers, in part as measured by Rasmussen himself: “In reading John’s post on why Obama is gaining ground, I found one thing lacking—a reference to consumer confidence. Confidence today is far from high, but it has improved in the past two months.” It’s an observation that readers may want to keep in mind to understand shifts »

Does The Times Regret the Error? Probably Not

Featured image The New York Times reported Sunday on the second stage of the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange, in which Israel released 477 more Palestinian prisoners to bring the total to 1,027. The Times covered the event mostly as a happy homecoming. One released prisoner was identified specifically; the point, evidently, was to emphasize what minor offenses most of those in Round II had been convicted of: At the Palestinian presidential compound »

Bagless in Seattle: Victory is at hand

Featured image Earlier this month we noted the legislative initiative to ban plastic bags in Seattle. The initiative demonstrated the persistence of the environmental faithful. In August 2009 the people of Seattle decisively rejected a 20-cent fee for every paper or plastic bag they get from supermarkets, drug stores and convenience stores, the fee having been adopted by an ordinance which had not yet taken effect. Greg Pollowitz hailed the outcome at »

Obama Places Himself on the Continuum of Greatness

Featured image There was an initially-overlooked moment in President Obama’s recent interview with 60 Minutes. Excerpts from the interview were played on television, and CBS posted the interview in its entirety on its web site. Left on the cutting-room floor, it turned out, was a revealing moment when Obama judged himself against the greats of past eras: »

Is Obama Making A Comeback?

Featured image I heard it first this morning on Fox and Friends–President Obama’s approval rating is up five points since November, and he is now slightly in the black, at 49-47. Drudge has been highlighting the same poll today, with a “+5” headline. Of course, a bounce in a single poll doesn’t mean much. But it fits with what I have been seeing, less dramatically, in Scott Rasmussen’s likely voter polling. Obama’a »

The Sidney Award?

Featured image So I wake up this morning to find I have won a “Sidney Award,” named for Sidney Hook, for something I wrote that has got me into all kinds of trouble.  Unlike the Power Line Prize, I don’t think the Sidney Award comes with any cash.  In fact, I think it’s just a figment of David Brooks’s imagination; I don’t think there’s any real award.  Anyway, here’s what he says »

We Could Have Told Them for Free

Featured image More than once in this space I have mentioned New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof’s 2007 column smacking the environmental movement for squandering its moral authority and social capital by its relentless doom-mongering for dooms that never came: Environmentalists have an awful track record, so they’ve lost credibility with the public. . .  I was once an environmental groupie, and I still share the movement’s broad aims, but I’m now »

Two under 30

Featured image Forbes has compiled an impressive list of 30 under 30 (years old) deserving recognition in law and public policy. Taking a place of honor on the list is our own publisher, Joe Malchow (age 26): “Stanford Law student and conservative activist co-founded Internet advertising firm Integer.” Having founded and manned Dartblog as a Dartmouth freshman, Joe has provided invaluable assistance to us on Power Line since he was a sophomore »

Fact checking the AP fact checker

Featured image According to Pete Yost last week in a superficial AP fact check story: “Republican presidential candidates have claimed that the Obama administration is cleansing government files of references to radical Islam, an assertion so juicy that politicians keep repeating it — even though it’s a wild exaggeration.” But I think the GOP candidates have it right, more or less, and Yost has it wrong. At least they are closer to »

MF Global: How Could It Happen?

Featured image During the Age of Obama, the scandals come so thick and fast that you can hardly remember them all, let alone keep track of their details. One of the most recent is MF Global, which not only went under–with former Democratic Senator and Governor of New Jersey Jon Corzine at the helm–but misplaced $1.2 billion in client funds along the way. How do you lose track of a billion dollars? »