Monthly Archives: February 2013

Desultory notes on the West Coast Retreat

Featured image We returned from the Horowitz Freedom Center’s West Coast Retreat at the Terrranea Resort in Palos Verdes last night. I want to record a few notes in the hope they may be of interest to readers. I use the word desultory to describe them as a sort of homage to William F. Buckley. I know what the word means, but how do you pronounce it? The emphasis is on the »

Celebrity Government: Show Business for Ugly People

Featured image Politics, it has been said for a while now, is “show business for ugly people.”  (The line is said to have originated with either Paul Begala, or Texas political consultant Bill Miller, in a 1991 Dallas Morning News article.)  Actually, the ugly part is less and less true; it is slowly becoming a requirement in politics as in Hollywood that you be good looking to succeed. With the appearance at »

How Argo won

Featured image I hear that Argo has won the Academy Award for best picture. I saw the movie on Scott’s recommendation and thought it was quite good, but inferior to Lincoln which I also saw on Scott’s recommendation. How Argo compares to other highly-regarded movies of 2012, I cannot say. Absent a strong recommendation by someone I know and trust, I don’t attend Hollywood films. But I suspect that Argo clinched its »

Introducing the Power Line 100

Featured image Coincident with my mid-career semi-shift back to academia, the Power Line editorial board has been pondering a new feature that will highlight the best 100 college professors in America: the Power Line 100.  And we might as well begin today.  We’ll concentrate on tenured faculty only, since an approving nod from Power Line could well end the career of any untenured professor who is unlucky enough to be spotted by »

Thoughts on the present discontents

Featured image I’m back from the Horowitz Freedom Center’s West Coast Retreat. I spent the weekend listening to outstanding keynote speeches and panel presentations, so I’ve been out of touch with the news. I hope to put some notes on the conference up later today. In the meantime, here is what I prepared to say (with links!) on the panel addressing where we go from here which I participated in along with »

The third shoe drops

Featured image Mackubin Thomas Owens serves on the faculty of the Naval War College. He is also the editor of Orbis, the quarterly journal of the Foreign Policy Research Institute, and author of US Civil-Military Relations After 9/11: Renegotiating the Civil-Military Bargain. Saturday’s Wall Street Journal published Mac’s column “America’s kinder, gentler Department of Defense,” expanding on a theme he touched on here on Power Line. Although the column is accessible via »

Lindsey Graham postures on Hagel nomination

Featured image Sen. Lindsey Graham has written a letter to his former colleague Chuck Hagel asking that Hagel open his Senate archive at the University of Nebraska-Omaha and that he authorize the release of past speeches organized by the Washington Speakers Bureau. Graham notes that the Washington Speakers Bureau is refusing to transfer to the Senate any video recordings of Hagel’s past speeches because Hagel apparently hasn’t authoritzed this. In addition, the »

Politico Smears, Can’t Back It Up

Featured image When Politico was founded in 2007, it purported to be a high-quality, non-partisan source of news about politics. But, while it does have a limited degree of diversity among its reporters, Politico has proved to be, for the most part, just another Democratic Party cheerleader, no better than the New York Times or the Washington Post. A case in point is the “reporting”–rumor-mongering, really–that Politico’s Ken Vogel has done on »

The Medicaid expansion is not a done deal in Florida

Featured image As has widely been reported, Florida’s Republican Governor Rick Scott recently agreed to Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion for the Sunshine State. However, Avik Roy (co-author of a good piece on why the expansion is a bad idea) explains that this doesn’t mean that the expansion will occur in Florida. Roy relies on the reporting of Tia Mitchell of the Tampa Bay Times and the Miami Herald, who covers health care developments »

Placing blame for the adverse consequences of sequestration where it belongs — a modest proposal

Featured image Yesterday, Steve suggested that congressional Republicans should prepare detailed budget cuts of their own, department-by-department, providing exact line items of what programs can be cut or delayed under a sequester. If House Republicans can get their act together to that extent, I second the motion. Meanwhile, here’s another possible approach that isn’t inconsistent with Steve’s. When the public begins to feel the bite of the sequester, House Republicans should haul »

Two Cheers For Sequester

Featured image Hysteria is rampant inside the Beltway, as politicians and their media fanboys contemplate the unheard-of possibility that federal spending may not rise very much this year. The horror! I’m guessing that outside the confines of America’s last boom town, the idea of cutting federal spending sounds pretty good. Most voters are probably skeptical that it will really happen, given the federal government’s iron grip on our wallets, and they may »

A Simple Solution, Favored the World Over

Featured image The big news in the upcoming Italian election is the rise of former comedian Beppe Grillo, whose party may finish as high as second in the voting. There is a lot about Grillo at The Corner. He sounds like a pretty typical bad-government populist; normally you would think it would be a disaster if he took power, but this is Italy, so things may or may not get worse. What »

The Radosh Files, part 3

Featured image In my last video with Ronald Radosh, I asked him about his most recent book, written with Allis Radosh: A Safe Haven: Harry S. Truman and the Founding of Israel. It is an excellent, moving, highly recommended (by me) book. Walter Russell Mead’s note on the book in Foreign Affairs agrees. »

Quote of the day

Featured image Andrew Klavan is the prolific author whose most recent book is A Killer in the Wind. In the panel on our culture this afternoon at the Horowitz Freedom Center West Coast Retreat, the discussion turned to Zero Dark Thirty in the question-and-answer period. Klavan pronounced the quote of the day in his comments: “I personally believe that waterboarding jihadis should be an Olympic sport.” »

The Radosh Files, parts 1 and 2

Featured image I’m at the David Horowitz Freedom Center’s West Coast Retreat. The historian Ronald Radosh — one of my favorites — spoke on a great panel on the culture this afternoon along with Andrew Klavan and Ben Shapiro. After the panel, I caught up with Ron to ask him a few questions on matters of interest to me. I’ve been wrestling with the interaction between iMovie and YouTube to get the »

The (low) wages of Obamacare

Featured image The mandate to offer health insurance doesn’t take effect until 2014, but the “measurement period” used to determine a whether an employer has enough full-time employees to be required to offer health insurance commenced last month. Thus, as the Wall Street Journal reports, the perverse effects of Obamacare are starting to kick in. Under Obamacare, firms with 50 or more “full-time equivalent workers” must offer health plans to employees who »

The Week in Pictures

Featured image Because it’s time for another set of zany, zafdig looks at the crazy world around us.  Starting of course with topical humor: What do you want to bet that a future movie on drone warfare does win the Best Picture Academy Award? By the way, I can’t wait for the Ron Burgundy sequel, currently under way I am told. What’s Homer Simpson’s motto? “Beer: the cause of–and solution to–most of »