Monthly Archives: February 2013

Green Weenie of the Week: Rajendra Pachauri

Featured image Can it really be that in all these months we’ve never given the coveted Power Line Green Weenie Award to the railroad engineer who heads the IPCC, the egregious Rajendra Pachauri?  As the official co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize alongside Al Gore, Pachauri deserves a weenie on general principle alone.  While he may know railroad engineering, whose connection to climate science is unclear, he is certainly ignorant of Godwin’s »

The American Mind with Mark Helprin

Featured image The Claremont Institute continues its American Mind series with host Charles Kesler, editor of the Claremont Review of Books, and guest Mark Helprin. Helprin is the acclaimed novelist and observer of the contemporary scene. He has been a ferocious critic of our response to 9/11 in Afghanistan and Iraq. The institute posts the interview in segments on a weekly basis here. We are pleased to post the interview in its »


Featured image Five years ago today National Review founder William F. Buckley, Jr. passed away at home, at his desk, while working. NR commemorates his death with a symposium on WFB, an interview with Alvin Felzenberg, and a personal recollection by St. Paul native Larry Perelman. Buckley’s NR editorial colleague Jeffrey Hart opened my eyes to the claims of the great tradition while I had the great good fortune of being his »

Hagel’s confirmation; the Republican scorecard, with particular attention to Rand Paul

Featured image As expected, the Senate has confirmed Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense. The confirmation occurred through two votes. First, the Senate voted by 71-27 in favor of cloture. This ended “debate” and meant that Hagel would get an “up-or-down” vote. In that vote, Hagel was confirmed by a margin of 58-41. 18 Republican Senators voted to end cloture. They are: Alexander (Tenn.), Ayotte (N.H), Blunt (Mo.), Burr (N.C.), Chambliss (Ga.), »

How Much Would the Sequester Cut Into a Big Mac Extra Value Meal?

Featured image The idea that the sequester cuts, which actually amount to more like $44 billion than the $85 billion that is often bandied about, are somehow draconian, is ridiculous. Out of a $3.55 trillion federal budget–well, no, the federal government doesn’t have a budget, that is just an estimate of FY 2013 spending–$44 billion is a pittance. So it is time to bring back my Big Mac analogy. In March 2011, »

Rubio camp issues non-denial denial of its smear

Featured image According to the Washington Post, Marco Rubio’s team has promoted an attack on conservative opponents of comprehensive immigration reform. The attack is actually a smear — namely, that Rubio’s conservative adversaries in the immigration debate oppose reform as part of an anti-life agenda. Indeed, those pushing the smear, such as Mario Lopez, deny that their conservative adversaries in the debate actually are conservatives. I addressed this smear here and here. »

GAO: Obamacare Is A Multi-Trillion Dollar Budget-Buster

Featured image President Obama sold the voters a bill of goods on Obamacare. In obvious defiance of the facts, the administration claimed that Obamacare would help solve the federal government’s budget crisis, and enlisted the Congressional Budget Office in its effort. The administration gave the CBO a number of bogus assumptions that CBO was required to work with, and in its most transparent ploy, told the CBO to model a ten-year window »

Christians Are Now World’s Most Persecuted Religion

Featured image At Commentary, Evelyn Gordon writes that Christianity has replaced Judaism as the world’s most persecuted religion: In recent months, a new consensus has emerged: For the first time in millennia, Judaism has lost its title as the world’s most persecuted religion; today, that dubious honor goes to Christianity. “Christians are targeted more than any other body of believers,” wrote Rupert Shortt in a 54-page report for the London-based Civitas institute »

The Mid-Week in Pictures

Featured image I know it’s a little early for a week in pictures feature, but it’s a fast-moving news week, what with Hagel going to the Lew before being sequestered with the rest of the jury in a hotel room while . . . what’s that?  Mixed-up metaphors?  Okay, but still, there’s this: And now for a few general public service announcements: »

Jack Lew, an object lesson in plutocracy

Featured image The Wall Street Journal focuses attention on two questions regarding Jack Lew and the paychecks he received from private employers before returning to government. First, why did New York University pay severance to Lew in 2006 when he left there voluntarily to work at Citigroup? In my experience, employers don’t pay folks to quit their job. Severance pay is what you get when you are, in effect, sacked. Second, why »

What Would We Do Without Social Science?

Featured image Quantitative social science is best when it provides rigorous evidence of counter-intuitive propositions, that is, when it can debunk commonly held perceptions about phenomena.  A good example is Charles Murray’s careful analysis of social survey data in Coming Apart, showing that in fact low-income whites are abandoning religion and marriage much more than high-income whites—the reverse of what is typically perceived.  But much of the time, social science is proving »

Fishing for Oscar, the Lincoln edition

Featured image In Hollywood, I imagine, the two sincerest forms of flattery are imitation and left-liberalism. As I suggested yesterday, Argo clinched its Oscar for best picture through the flattery of a left-liberal introduction and conclusion to its story about revolutionary Iran. But let’s not overlook the opening scene from Lincoln which, in my opinion, strikes the only false notes in this brilliant film. That scene features an African-American soldier, in the »

Obamaworld full of lies

Featured image President Obama’s transparent mendacity about his responsibility for the sequester is revealing. The obtuse Chuck Todd doesn’t think it’s a story; he characterizes it as a traditionally sterile argument about who is to blame for the unpleasantness (which is the way the New York Times treats the issue it when it deigns to touch it). Todd can’t be that stupid, can he? True, it would be nice to know how »

Chuck Hagel, a Secretary of Defense Louis Farrakhan can love

Featured image Louis Farrakhan, the rabidly anti-Israel, anti-Semitic leader of the Nation of Islam, is full of praise for Chuck Hagel. Farrakhan delivered his praise yesterday during a speech in Chicago. According to Betsy Woodruff at NRO, Farrakhan began by arguing that the media is controlled by Jewish interests. He then praised Hagel for, among other things, standing up to the “Jewish lobby.” And he complained that Hagel is “in trouble” as »

Mario Lopez doubles down on smear of immigration hawks; where does Marco Rubio stand?

Featured image I wrote here about the disgusting attempt of some supporters of comprehensive immigration reform within the Republican Party to discredit advocacy groups that oppose such reform by claiming that their views on immigration are rooted in an anti-life agenda. The argument (and I use the term loosely) is based on evidence that someone called John Tanton, who provided funds to launch certain such advocacy groups including the Center for Immigration »

The Democrats’ Permanent Campaign Continues

Featured image As we have noted repeatedly, the Democrats never stopped campaigning after the last election. They know they can’t move the country significantly to the left as long as Republicans control the House, so everything they are now doing is intended to fire up their party’s base so that they will have the kind of enthusiasm in 2014 that conservatives had in 2010. Can it work? Given what happened in November, »

Is Obama Using Anti-Gun Spambots?

Featured image Texas Congressman Steve Stockman has blown the whistle on President Obama’s anti-gun Twitter campaign. Stockman says that hardly any of Obama’s anti-gun tweets come from actual human beings, while most are computer-generated spam: “Obama’s anti-gun campaign is a fraud,” Stockman said. … Stockman said that in response to Obama’s call for people to tweet their congressman in support of gun control legislation, he received just 16 tweets. But he said »