Author Archives: John Hinderaker

For Venezuela, the End Is Near. Someone Tell Bernie!

Featured image Venezuela’s disastrous experiment with socialism is nearing its inevitable end. The Financial Times has the numbers: The year 2015 was an annus horribilis in Venezuela with a 10 per cent decline in gross domestic product, following a 4 per cent fall in 2014. Inflation reached over 200 per cent. The fiscal deficit ballooned to 20 per cent of GDP, funded mainly by the printing press. In the free market, the »

The Cruz Campaign’s Dirty Tricks

Featured image No doubt you are aware of the controversy over the Cruz campaign’s sneak attack on Ben Carson on the evening of the Iowa caucuses. The Carson campaign said that when he left Iowa, he would return home for a few days rather than flying directly to New Hampshire or South Carolina. CNN broke the news in a tweet in an on-air report, making Carson’s plan sound odd and potentially significant: »

Snowstorms Are Fun!

Featured image A few days ago the Minneapolis Star Tribune dutifully hyped a story to the effect that Minnesota is the number one state in the country to retire to. The story was based on a study that assumed the biggest retirement factor is the number of government-sponsored nursing homes, or something like that. In reality, of course, when people retire they tend to move South. How many people do you know »

Germany to Insist on Assimilation?

Featured image The mass immigration from Islamic countries into central and western Europe has been a debacle, particularly in those countries the migrants have selected as desirable destinations, like Germany and Sweden. (Who wouldn’t?) In Germany, the disaster has been such that in at least one poll, 40% of Germans want Chancellor Angela Merkel to resign over her refugee policy. So Germany’s government is trying to adopt a more rational approach toward »

Are the Social Sciences Scientific?

Featured image In principle, the scientific method can be applied to anything, I think. But it works better when you’re talking about, say, physics than when the subject is human behavior. The social sciences derive their prestige (such as they have) mostly by piggy-backing on the hard sciences, but there have been numerous scandals lately where the findings of “scientific” experiments have been impossible to replicate. To be fair, this happens in »

After Iowa, It’s a Three Man Race [Updated]

Featured image With 75% of precincts reporting, the current vote total on the GOP side is 28% for Ted Cruz, 25% for Donald Trump and 22% for Marco Rubio. Sure, we need to be cautious: both Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum are former winners of the Iowa caucuses. Still, this year is different. The RNC anointed the Iowa caucuses as the opening act in this year’s drama, and the candidates have devoted »

Obama Made a Terrible Deal With Cuba, Too

Featured image The Washington Post editorial board documents the pathetic failure of the Obama administration’s Cuba policy under the bleak headline: “Failure In Cuba.” Whether it is a failure, of course, depends on what you think Obama was trying to achieve. President Obama’s opening to Cuba seems to be failing to live up to its declared goals. When the end to a half-century of hostility was announced in December 2014, the proclaimed »

Guardian Declares Discussion of Immigration Off Limits

Featured image The Guardian, Britain’s left-wing newspaper, has decided to ban or limit comments on articles that deal with immigration, race or Islam. The paper’s explanation is interesting: Certain subjects – race, immigration and Islam in particular – attract an unacceptable level of toxic commentary, believes Mary Hamilton, our executive editor, audience. By “race, immigration and Islam,” she means Islamic immigration. This is of course a controversial subject. What does she mean »

Oxford’s Alumni Show the Way

Featured image We wrote here that the sickness afflicting American universities apparently had spread to England, citing among other incidents a group of students at Oxford who, chanting the mantra “Rhodes must fall,” have demanded that the university erase all traces of Cecil Rhodes, one of Oxford’s most generous benefactors. This story has a happy ending, for now, at least, due to a rebellion on behalf of common sense by Oxford’s alumni. »

Transforming America, One State At a Time

Featured image As regular readers know, I retired from the practice of law at the end of 2015 and, on January 1, 2016, became President of the Center of the American Experiment, a Minnesota-based think tank. Both Scott and I have long been associated with the Center. We wrote some of our early papers for the Center and its founder and long-time President, Mitch Pearlstein. Both of us have served on the »

It Couldn’t Happen to a Nicer Bunch of Terrorists

Featured image In Gaza, Hamas members were repairing a tunnel into Israel a few days ago when it collapsed and killed seven of them. These are the cross-border tunnels that Hamas terrorists use to enter Israel to commit murder or, better yet, try to kidnap Israeli soldiers. Thirty or more of these tunnels were destroyed by Israeli forces in the most recent conflict, and Hamas is now rebuilding them so they can »

Swedes Fight Back

Featured image We wrote here about the refugee crisis in Europe, including the fact that hundreds of Moroccan “youths” have taken over Stockholm’s central train station, stealing, assaulting women and attacking security guards. Last night, fifty or more Swedish men, described in some accounts as suspected soccer fans, decided they had had enough and swept through the train station, attacking and driving out the Moroccans who were living there. The Daily Mail »

The Power Line Show, Episode 32: Iowa and Beyond!

Featured image This afternoon Paul, Steve and John got together for a guest-free edition of the Power Line Show. Topic number one was, of course, last night’s GOP debate in Iowa and the state of the races in both parties. Steve and Paul ventured predictions on New Hampshire. They found time for a few more stories in the news, including the latest on Hillary’s home email server, possibly the worst IT decision »

What Are College Students Reading?

Featured image Via our friends at Intellectual Takeout, we see a list of the 200 books most often assigned to American college students. Having perused the list, my judgment is: it could be a whole lot worse. It is striking how many are legitimate classics, everything from Strunk and White–number one on the list–to Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Sophocles, Shakespeare, Homer, Chaucer, Mill and Locke. If students are actually reading this stuff, »

State Department Confirms Hillary’s Server Had Top Secret Documents [with comment by Paul]

Featured image The State Department is releasing the latest trove of Hillary Clinton emails today, and the Associated Press reports that seven email chains are being withheld entirely from production (as opposed to being produced in redacted form) because they are classified as Top Secret: The Obama administration confirmed for the first time Friday that Hillary Clinton’s unsecured home server contained closely guarded government secrets, censoring 22 emails with material requiring one »

Debate Post Mortem: Who Won? [Updated]

Featured image I multi-tasked through tonight’s GOP presidential debate, watching the proceedings on Fox while participating in Power Line Live and simultaneously exchanging several hundred texts with my wife and three of my children. It provided a sort of three-dimensional perspective on the proceedings. For what it’s worth, here is my take. My guess is that the only candidate who gained perceptibly was Marco Rubio. As you may know, I have endorsed »

Audiences Rejecting 13 Hours? Not Exactly [with comment by Paul]

Featured image Paul and Scott have both seen the movie 13 Hours and wrote about it here and here. Scott noted that at the theater he attended, the large room was reserved for Carol. 13 Hours got the smaller venue and was sparsely attended. Scott linked to a Hill story headlined “Benghazi film flops at the box office.” This was a pretty common theme on the left; to cite just one instance, »