Monthly Archives: March 2012

The famed sisters of “Wonderful Town”

Featured image Our friend Bill Katz holds down the fort at Urgent Agenda. He writes to follow up on my brief celebration of “Wonderful Town,” the Wonderful Musical that I saw on Broadway in the 2004 revival starring Donna Murphy. Bill adds back into the mix much of the incredible human interest that I left out of the story: Earlier this week Scott wrote a piece on the musical, “Wonderful Town,” which »

Sense and severability

Featured image The issue in the Obamacare argument before the Supreme Court this morning goes under the heading of severability. The issue only becomes relevant if the Court holds Obamacare’s individual mandate unconstitutional, the issue before it in the argument held yesterday. Thus the whole argument this morning becomes moot if the Court upholds the mandate. Having read the transcript and listened to the audio of yesterday’s argument, I think it is »

Uncommon Knowledge with Mitch McConnell

Featured image In this intensely interesting episode of Uncommon Knowledge with Peter Robinson — interesting from beginning to end — Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell takes a look back at the dark days of 2009 when the Democrats held 60 seats in the Senate. With that majority, the Democrats jammed Obamacare down our throats, but without a single Republican vote: Once it was clear the president was going to try to turn »

Justice Kennedy on the Brink

Featured image Our former colleague Paul Mirengoff provides his impressions of today’s oral argument in Department of Health and Human Services v. Florida: When all was said and done, it seemed to me that we are where most people outside of the wishful thinking liberal commentariat thought we’d be – with the fate of Obamacare riding on a conflicted Justice Kennedy. To be sure, Chief Justice Roberts did not fully tip his »

Senators Call Obama On His Energy Lies

Featured image The Obama administration’s energy policies have been a disaster for America. Obama appointed a Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu, who shared Obama’s desire that fossil fuel prices increase, so that it would be more expensive for you to drive your car, heat your home, buy groceries, power your laptop, and so on. Obama wanted higher prices in order to reduce carbon emissions and to enrich the Democratic Party fat cats »

Is Obamacare Going Down?

Featured image Obamacare has run into a buzz saw at the Supreme Court. That isn’t really a surprise, and, as countless commentators have pointed out, you can’t necessarily predict a judge’s opinion from the tenor of his questions during oral argument. Still, Justice Kennedy, a moderate liberal, is likely the decisive vote, so the fact that he explicitly recognized that Obamacare is unprecedented is heartening to conservatives: Kennedy: [H]ere the government is »

The Upside-Down Constitution

Featured image While we wait for Day Two of the Obamacare argument at the Supreme Court, let’s take a detour for the moment to acknowledge what I am certain is going to be regarded as one of the most significant books about the Constitution of our time—a book that will have long shelf life among legal academics and people serious about understanding the Constitution: it’s Michael Greve’s The Upside-Down Constitution, just out »

Obama’s useful idiocy: A look back

Featured image Obama’s private conversation with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev was not intended for public consumption. It carried a secret that Obama wanted to keep from the American people — before the election. He did not want to let them in on it until after he had won his “last election” and had the “flexibility” that comes from not having to submit himself for the approval of the American people. At Politico, »

Wednesday Media Alert

Featured image So here’s a heads-up for Power Line readers: tomorrow (Wednesday), I’ll be guest-hosting Bill Bennett’s “Morning in America” radio show again from 6 – 9 am eastern time.  You can listen online quite conveniently at if the show is not carried by a local station in your area.  I’ve got my guests already lined up: we’ll be conversing with Dan Mitchell of the Cato Institute about the Ryan budget »

Wonderful Town

Featured image When I visited my oldest daughter in New York in 2004, I’d never heard of “Wonderful Town.” A revival of the 1953 musical, book by Joseph Fields and Jerome Chodorov, music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Comden and Greene, was playing on Broadway. We went to see it on the strength of the creators. The star of the show was Donna Murphy in the role originally played by Shirley Booth »

Johnsonian Gleanings

Featured image In my post below on David Albert’s striking review of Lawrence Krauss’s new book in the current New York Times Book Review, I messed up the link to Samuel Johnson’s great essay on Soame Jenyns’ Free Enquiry Into the Nature and Origin of Evil. Memory of Jenyns’ otherwise forgettable book lives on thanks to the explosion it triggered in Johnson. Johnson’s essay is available online in a form edited by »

Annals of Government Medicine

Featured image The Supreme Court is hearing arguments on Obamacare today, which makes the timing ideal to consider this news story from the cradle of socialized medicine, the United Kingdom. The article is titled “Elderly dying due to ‘despicable age discrimination in NHS.'” Thousands of elderly people are dying unnecessarily early because “despicable” age discrimination in the NHS is denying them treatment for cancer, a charity has warned. A lack of treatment »

Bobbleheads Explain the News

Featured image Why get your news and analysis from the bubbleheads of the media when you can get it from the bobble heads of Power Line?  Herewith a 90 second video recap and preview of current topics in the news offered by Power Line’s own bobble head staff.  (And if you haven’t yet ordered your copy of The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Presidents, why not?) »

If At First You Don’t Succeed, Rebrand!

Featured image I think Time magazine holds the record for running the most cover stories about global warming over the last couple of decades, always without any subtlety, like the “Be Worried, Be Very Worried” cover here.  It’s almost as if whenever Time’s editors are stuck for a cover, someone says, “Hey—let’s do global warming again!  It’s such an easy story to write, and we can leave early from the office!”  I’ve »

Kill this “space” program

Featured image Jake Tapper reports another of Obama’s moments of inadvertently shared candor, caught on microphone in Seoul: At the tail end of his 90 minute meeting with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev Monday, President Obama said that he would have “more flexibility” to deal with controversial issues such as missile defense, but incoming Russian President Vladimir Putin needs to give him “space.” The exchange was picked up by microphones as reporters were »

Something from nothing?

Featured image Among my favorite review/essays are Samuel Johnson’s demolition of Soame Jenyns’ A Free Enquiry Into the Nature and Origin of Evil and Hugh Kenner’s demolition of John Harrison’s putative takedown of Yeats, Pound, Eliot et al., The Reactionaries. Were it not for Johnson, no one would remember Jenyns, and Kenner performed a similar favor for Harrison (through the graces of William F. Buckley, who anthologized Kenner’s essay in Did You »

A word from Stephen Fields, SJ

Featured image Last month I briefly paid tribute to my and my youngest daughter’s Latin teacher, Dartmouth’s Professor Edward Bradley, in “Speaking of Metamorphoses.” Every once in a while we get a message like this one, just in today: Dear Mr Johnson, I just had the pleasure of reading your moving tribute to Professor Bradley of Dartmouth. I’d like like to thank you. I am a Jesuit priest and professor of philosophy »