Monthly Archives: June 2013

Brazil is back

Featured image Brazil served notice today that it’s more than ready to compete for the World Cup next year, as it handily defeated the current World and European champion 3-0. Spain can take no comfort from the fact that Brazil had the home field advantage; the World Cup will also be played in Brazil. But perhaps it can take some comfort from the fact that the team was playing with just two »

Sending Off “Schrammbo”

Featured image Last night here in Ashland, Ohio (where I’m team-teaching an intensive one-week masters degree course on the Cold War with Stephen Tootle), we held a great sendoff for Peter Schramm, stepping down as director of the Ashbrook Center after two decades, and handing off the reins to the supra-capable Roger Beckett.  (We highlighted Peter in the Power Line 100 series previously.) We held an old fashioned Dean Martin-style roast, featuring »

The Enduring Mystery of Barack Obama

Featured image Under our Constitution, unlike a parliamentary system, the chief executive has no direct relationship with Congress. He can, of course, veto legislation, but historically the president’s power has been judged to be largely a function of his personal stature. To the extent that a president holds sway over Congress, it is because he is popular with voters. The odd thing about Barack Obama is that he has never been a »

Big day of protests means a bad day for Morsi

Featured image If the protests throughout Egypt today were, in fact, a test of numbers, then the test didn’t go well for President Morsi. According to the Washington Post: [A]s each side sought to claim the nation’s majority, and thus the legitimacy, on Sunday, it was apparent that the president’s supporters were vastly outnumbered. And that, political analysts said, left a resolution to Egypt’s crisis hanging in uncertainty. In Cairo, again according »

What’s Race Got To Do With It?

Featured image I wrote about the George Zimmerman trial here, noting that so far, the trial seemed to have gone badly for the prosecution. I also said: I confess that I find much of the commentary on the Zimmerman case, and even a good bit of the evidence, mystifying. There is no question that Zimmerman shot Martin; he claims self-defense. That defense raises a straightforward question of fact. All of the nonsense »

“Wake Up, America!”

Featured image Massive protests and counter-protests are under way in Egypt. It is hard to be optimistic about events in that part of the world, but who knows? The course Egypt is on is unsustainable, as its economy is close to utter collapse. I don’t see how the current Muslim Brotherhood regime can stave off that collapse, so change of some sort seems inevitable. Perhaps it will be for the better. Meanwhile, »

Previewing the Brazil-Spain match — eyes right

Featured image To the extent that Spain and Brazil have been vulnerable during the Confederations Cup tournament, it has mostly been to attacks down the right flank. Brazil’s vulnerability stems from the propensity of its left back, Marcelo, to play as a winger. As with his predecessor, the great Roberto Carlo, left back is more of a mailing address than a position for Marcelo. Spain has a better-rounded left back in Jordi »

EJE: The Snowden variations

Featured image Our friend Edward Jay Epstein is the author of several books on intelligence related matters including James Jesus Angleton: Was He Right? and Deception: The Invisible War Between the KGB and the CIA. Ed now wonders “Who helped Snowden steal state secrets?” We previewed Ed’s intriguing Wall Street Journal column here. I wrote Ed this morning to ask him what he made of today’s story that the NSA was monitoring »

Another Obama Red Flag Appointment

Featured image Scott wrote yesterday about the problematic appointment of Ron Binz to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.  He’s not the only one.  Obama’s new secretary of energy, Ernest Moniz of MIT, has chosen as his chief of staff Kevin Knobloch, who up to now has been the president of the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).  The UCS leans far to the left, and long ago became a partisan adjunct of the »

There’s something about Proud Mary

Featured image John Hinderaker to the contrary notwithstanding, I have long held that there’s something about “Proud Mary.” Ike and Tina Turner may have ruined the song for many, as they did for John. Marc Myers helps us return to the song with fresh ears in his wonderful Anatomy of a Song column in the Wall Street Journal a few weeks back. Myers checked in with John Fogerty, the composer of the »

What Danny Werfel signifies

Featured image When the Bush administration had to contend with enormous public distrust of the Department of Justice in its last year, President Bush sought out and appointed a man of impeccable integrity as Attorney General. In his short time in office, Michael Mukasey added luster to an already distinguished career. Contrast the Obama administration’s approach to the crisis in which the IRS finds itself today. It is embroiled in genuine scandals. »

The view from Istanbul

Featured image Claire Berlinski has a front row seat for the protests unfolding in Istanbul (and elsewhere in Turkey) in recent days. The protests continued yesterday as thousands took to the streets of Istanbul’s Taksim Square today to call out the Erdogan government. Claire covers recent events in a diaristic format in “The Gezi diaries: Can we still call Turkey civilized?” She notes her perspective on the protests in her opening: “I’ve »

In Egypt, a test of wills and of numbers

Featured image The battle between Sunni and Shiite will, I think, be the dominant theme in the Middle East for some time. But that doesn’t mean that the struggle between secularist and Islamist will have no sway in any portion of the region. To the contrary, we see such a struggle shaping up in Egypt now. The consequences have already been deadly and may well become more so on Sunday, when massive »

At last, Spain vs. Brazil

Featured image Since 2008, Spain has dominated international soccer, winning the European Championship that year and in 2012, and the World Cup in 2010. Even in 2006, Spain was as good as any side at the World Cup, but the coach’s tactics let the team down in a knock-out match against France. Before 2006, Brazil was soccer’s dominant nation. It won the World Cup in 1994 and 2002 and finished second in »

The Hinderaker-Ward Experience, Episode 49: Men On Strike

Featured image This morning Brian Ward and I recorded Episode 49 of the Hinderaker-Ward Experience. It was a busy week in the news: Supreme Court decisions, immigration, the George Zimmerman trial. We covered it all. We also had as a guest Dr. Helen Smith, Mrs. InstaPundit, to talk about her new book Men on Strike: Why Men Are Boycotting Marriage, Fatherhood, and the American Dream – and Why It Matters. Helen was »

Saturday Musings & Spindle Items

Featured image So I’ve got a lot of idle jottings and thoughts piling up from the week, and need a place to get them out.  Twitter is too short. I’m puzzled: liberals says conservatives don’t like Darwin, but then they say we’re all a bunch of “Social Darwinists.”  Something doesn’t add up here.  Well, at least there’s one form of Darwinism that liberals disapprove. To be sure, I will admit that most »

Kenneth Minogue, RIP

Featured image Yesterday brought the sad news of the passing of Kenneth Minogue, long time professor of politics at the London School of Economics and one of the giants of modern conservative intellectual life.  At an early point I contemplated attending the LSE for graduate school to study with Minogue (and Oakeshott); fortunately I was lucky enough to meet and converse with him on two memorable occasions, once in my early 20s, »