Monthly Archives: September 2012

The Sane and the Crazy

Featured image The Koch brothers have become the Rorschach test of American politics. They must marvel at the bizarre images that their names conjure up in the minds of the unhinged. Like Howard Dean, appearing yesterday on MSNBC’s Ed Show: This is what Dean said: He’s being financed by the Koch brothers, who just write fat checks from their booty they take in from all over the place. So he’s going to »

NFL Muppet Doppelgangers

Featured image While we’re waiting for the American people to figure out more clearly that we have a president who is the functional equivalent of an NFL replacement ref, we might as well take time out to look at some NFL quarterback Muppet character doppelgangers, courtesy of Buzzfeed.  I think my favorite is Aaron Rodgers/Chester Rat, but Tom Brady/Pepe the King Prawn is pretty good, too.  They’re all worth checking out.  Here’s »

Has Elizabeth Warren Been Practicing Law Without A License?

Featured image Elizabeth Warren’s Senate campaign is, I think, going rapidly down the drain. On top of her affirmative action fiasco comes another scandal: it appears that she has been practicing law in Massachusetts without a license for some years. Credit William Jacobson, who, like Warren, is a law professor, for the discovery. Jacobson has been one of the most effective members of the blogosphere over the last couple of years, and »

Obama’s Speech at the United Nations

Featured image Barack Obama and Mitt Romney both delivered foreign policy speeches in New York today, Obama at the United Nations and Romney at the Clinton Global Initiative. The coincidence offers an opportunity for comparison. For now, let’s look at Obama’s speech, and I will try to get to Romney’s tomorrow. The context for Obama’s speech was turmoil in the Arab world and the murder of Ambassador Stevens and other Americans in »

RVP at an All Time High

Featured image Little did I know that just days after my post on “Reid Vapid Pressure,” Harry Reid would sink to an all time low, even for him.  Yesterday Reid said on a media conference call that Romney had “sullied” Mormonism.  Reid said he agreed with a Puffington Host columnist that “[Romney] is not the face of Mormonism.” Normally I do not spend much time evaluating the fidelity of people who belong »

Leo Baeck, Berlin, 1935

Featured image Jews begin the observance of Yom Kippur tonight at Kol Nidre services. Last year a Christian friend asked to join us at our service. She pointed out to me in our prayer book an adaptation of the prayer composed by the progressive German Rabbi Leo Baeck for delivery in German synagogues during the Kol Nidre service on October 10, 1935. It is a prayer that, to say the least, remains »

The Bill Clinton lovefest

Featured image It happened today. In exchange for being a party to this embarrassing event, Mitt Romney received token praise from Bill Clinton and a favorable review from the pro-Obama partisans at Politico, which condescendingly called Romney’s remarks “one of [his] best-prepared, and best-delivered, speeches of his campaign.” At a time when America desperately needs a president who can distinguish our enemies from our friends and act accordingly, wouldn’t it be nice »

Support Josh Mandel for the Senate

Featured image One of this year’s most-watched races pits far-left Ohio Senate incumbent Sherrod Brown against Power Line Pick Six candidate Josh Mandel. Yesterday I caught up with Josh on the phone, and we recorded this interview: Brown held an early lead which Josh has steadily eroded. Today the race is a dead heat. Its outcome will have a huge influence on whether the GOP is able to wrest control of the »

This day in baseball history

Featured image On Tuesday, September 25, 1962, the outcome of a pair of close games ensured that the National League pennant race would come down to the final games of the season. Heading into the previous weekend, this didn’t seem very likely. The Los Angeles Dodgers held a 4 game lead over the San Francisco Giants with just 9 games remaining. But the Dodgers dropped two of three games in St. Louis, »

Green Weenie of the Week: The Electric Car

Featured image Very stiff competition for this week’s coveted Power Line Green Weenie Award.  Al Gore is even warming up for another shot at another Green Chakra Weenie for his solar-powered mantle.  But one contender has risen above the rest of the green slime to claim the prize: the electric car. Who says?  The Congressional Budget Office, that’s who.  In a recent report on The Effect of Federal Tax Credits on the »

How megalomania explains Obama’s response to the Arab Spring

Featured image This critical look by the New York Times at President Obama’s responses to the “Arab Spring” is very much worth reading. It describes the “hard lesson[] the president ha[s] learned over almost two years of political turmoil in the Arab world” as follows: “bold words and support for democratic aspirations are not enough to engender good will in this region, especially not when hampered by America’s own national security interests.” »

Replacement Refs Call the Presidential Contest

Featured image With uproar over the NFL’s inept replacement referees at a fever pitch, today’s cartoon by Michael Ramirez couldn’t be more timely. Say what you will about the replacement refs, at least they don’t try to tackle anyone: Over the years, I have gotten pretty philosophical about our corrupt news media. Obviously, they are trying to elect Barack Obama. Equally obviously, they have some impact on voters. Probably a lot of »

Tocqueville on the 47 Percent

Featured image Romney’s “inelegant” comments about the 47 percent who don’t pay taxes is regarded by the mainstream media as the equivalent of “You didn’t build that,” but one wonders how the argument might come across if it were put more elegantly.  Well, we can turn to the always elegant Alexis de Tocqueville—I was reading him again over the weekend preparing for my Monday evening seminar on American Political Economy at Ashland »

The case of David Ignatius, cont’d

Featured image David Ignatius is the prominent Washington Post columnist who specializes in foreign affairs. He writes highly regarded espionage novels in his spare time. Ignatius is full of good feeling toward some of the world’s foremost terrorists, tyrants, and malefactors. In September 2003, for example, Ignatius got together for a little chat with Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah. Ignatius’s subsequent column on the interview maddeningly refers to the Hezbollah war of extermination »

Will Obama free the blind sheikh?

Featured image The thought that Barack Obama might free the Blind Sheikh (Abdel Rahman) — the convicted guru of the first World Trade Center bombing — is unbelievable, at least to me. Andrew McCarthy nevertheless found the thought, coming from deep within the Obama administration, highly credible. Now comes Michael Mukasey, the former federal judge who presided at the trial of the Blind Sheikh and friends. (Mukasey left the bench to serve »

Bill Clinton, still lying after all these years

Featured image Nearly twelve years after the end of Bill Clinton’s presidency it has become easy to forget this central fact about the former president: he is a pathological liar. For better or for worse, Clinton’s active participation in this year’s presidential campaign reminds us of this sad reality. Take, for example, this exchange between Clinton and Fareed Zakaria: ZAKARIA: Is Mitt Romney right that the only thing you can do with »

State Department Meltdown

Featured image You have probably heard about it, but if you haven’t yet read the email exchange between Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Philippe Reines, Hillary Clinton’s personal spokesman, and Michael Hastings of BuzzFeed, you should read it in its entirety. It begins with Hastings asking legitimate questions about the State Department’s Libya fiasco. The immediate subject was CNN’s discovery of Ambassador Chris Stevens’s diary at the unguarded consulate in Benghazi: Hey »