Author Archives: Steven Hayward

Ben Wattenberg, RIP

Featured image Sad news today of the passing of Ben Wattenberg at the age of 81. Wattenberg, who had been an aide to Lyndon Johnson, was one of the “liberals mugged by reality” who created “neoconservatism.” I first read Wattenberg’s late 1960s book (co-authored with Richard Scammon) The Real Majority when I was an undergraduate. The Real Majority wasn’t exactly the inspiration for Nixon’s “silent majority” of putatively conservative voters. Rather, Wattenberg »

The Decadence of the Liberal Mind in One Sentence

Featured image As the Greek economy continues its predictable slow motion collapse, one of the early WSJ account of the inevitable bank closures and capital controls imposed yesterday has one of the funniest sentences I’ve read in a long time, but which is also fully revealing of the decadence of the liberal mind: “How can something like this happen without prior warning?” asked Angeliki Psarianou, a 67-year-old retired public servant, who stood »

Could Gay Marriage Lead to . . . Tax Reform?

Featured image Morningafterwise, we didn’t have to wait long for conjectures like this from Time: Now’s the Time to End Tax Exemptions for Religious Institutions . . .  Rather than try to rescue tax-exempt status for organizations that dissent from settled public policy on matters of race or sexuality, we need to take a more radical step. It’s time to abolish, or greatly diminish, their tax-exempt statuses. Or the New York Times »

The Wages of Bork

Featured image Increasingly it appears that the failure of the Supreme Court nomination of Robert Bork in 1987 was a watershed moment for the history of jurisprudence over the last generation, as Anthony Kennedy has been so central to so many bad rulings (and, fairness demands, a handful of good ones, like Citizens United). While Chief Justice Roberts’s jurisprudence may remain inscrutable, nothing about Kennedy should surprise us, though. It was known »

Post-Obergefell Civil Rights: A Tangle or a Knot?

Featured image Remember the Hobby Lobby decision last year, where the Supreme Court sided with employers whose religious faith led them to object to the Obamacare mandate that all health insurance policies must offer contraceptive coverage? The authoritarian and conformist left howled with indignation. Get ready for a lot of sequels in the aftermath of Obergefell. On Friday the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations in America issued a very gracious statement about »

The Week in Pictures: Confederacy of Dunces Edition

Featured image So let’s see where we are in the space of a week: the old Confederate battle flag is coming down, to be replaced, it would seem, by the gay pride rainbow flag. The “reactionary” Supreme Court lived up to its billing, by going all-in for reactionary liberalism. It’s enough to make Ignatius Reilly emigrate to Rhodesia or somewhere. Meanwhile, we’re overlooking who may be the happiest folks today—divorce lawyers. And »

Oy Vey!

Featured image Where to start?  (After the epic face palms, that is.) In no particular order: • Let’s not have any more talk from the Left about how we have a “conservative” or “reactionary” Supreme Court.  Also, let’s note that the author of the majority opinion in the same sex-marriage case, Anthony Kennedy, also wrote the Citizens United opinion that some on the Left have compared to Dred Scott.  (Seriously.) It is »

Power Line’s Drones Go Rogue

Featured image Power Line’s drone air force went rogue this afternoon, as you’ll see below. Alfred Hitchcock, call your office! Though I blame the Supreme Court. Or Cyberdyne Systems. Or something. (Less than 30 seconds long.) »

Bobbleheads vs. Bubbleheads, or Why You Should Be a VIP Subscriber

Featured image The philosopher Alfred North Whitehead supposedly once said (I say “supposedly” because this quote is too good to check out) that “There are two kinds of people in the world: the simpleminded, and the muddleheaded.” Always better to be simpleminded than muddleheaded I say. Also better to be a Power Line VIP subscriber. Only $4 a month gets you ad-free access to the site (better than Ad Blocker, which sometimes »

Behold, the Supreme Court’s Magical Warp Field Generator!

Featured image I recall once reading an interview with one of the head writers of Star Trek: The Next Generation—you know, the faux Star Trek series where the role of Captain Kirk was reimagined by the UN and the National Organization of Women.  (No: This is not arguable. Just as there is only one real James Bond—Sean Connery, damnit—there is only one Star Trek. Simple rule: if it doesn’t have William Shatner, »

And Still More Environmental Epic Fail

Featured image It never rains (especially in climate change-stricken California) but it pours (which it will probably do next winter in California this El Nino-fueled year). No sooner do I deliver the latest eco-backfire news this morning that my (gluten free/non-animal-tested) in-box fills up with two fresh howlers. First, all those places like universities (natch) that are banning bottled water because there are too many plastic bottles in the waste stream? It »

Hillary Clinton, Race-Baiter

Featured image John and others have already noted the Democratic/Clintonian hypocrisy about the Confederate battle flag, but get a load of this moment from Hillary Clinton from 2008 (just 45 seconds long) talking about her support from “hard working Americans, white Americans,” and ask yourself what the media industrial complex would have said if it had come from a Republican: »

More Environmental Epic Fail

Featured image Does it seem like most environmental policies backfire to some extent, or just 95 percent of them? I lately returned to the 2012 National Bureau of Economic Research paper on how electric cars are actually more polluting in some states, depending on the electricity source, e.g. if you live in Indiana, every Tesla should come with a bumper sticker that says “How Do You Like My Coal-Powered Car?”  Heh. Earlier »

Hillary Sagging, Sanders Surging?

Featured image As a public service for you, we regularly screen Salon —yes, it is indeed the news review equivalent of an enema. Salon’s featured article right now is “An Open Letter to White America” about the aftermath of the Charleston massacre. Yes, you’d be right in thinking this letter’s “openness” is about as open as driving school for girls in Saudi Arabia. First sentence: “The Charleston shooting is a textbook example »

The Pope’s Encyclical (1)

Featured image About Laudato Si, the Pope’s encyclical on the environment, some preliminary observations: First, although “encyclical” bears some etymological relation to “encyclopedia,” Laudate Si is either too short to be considered an adequate treatment of the wide range of concrete issues and philosophical themes it treats, or too long because it tries to do too much but does it poorly. It raises specific scientific controversies it would have been better to »

Allen Weinstein, RIP

Featured image One of the things Hugh Hewitt likes to do when he has a liberal journalist or thinker on his radio show—especially a younger one—is to ask first, “Do you think Alger Hiss was a Soviet spy?” He does this for two reasons. First, to test historical literacy. It is amazing how many young liberals know nothing of the Hiss case, and as such this question is a good proxy for »

The Week In Pictures: Trumped-Up Edition

Featured image Donald Trump! The Donald! Duck! Yup, Donald Duck would be a more credible candidate.  I’ve got it—the perfect ticket: Trump-Dolezal 2016! Think of it as a pigment of your imagination. Who knew that Rachel Dolezal would keep on giving so generously. I hope she gets her “reality” show, since she clearly has no grasp on reality. Seems to be a pervasive problem on the left these days. In fact, why »