Author Archives: Steven Hayward

Is the Obama Justice Department Secretly Supporting Rand Paul?

Featured image What can possibly explain the Justice Department’s subpoena of Reason demanding the identities of anonymous commenters on its website? Bloomberg columnist Virginia Postrel (the editor of Reason magazine back in the 1990s when I wrote for it frequently) explains: This is happening in America — weirdly, to a site I founded, and one whose commenters often earned my public contempt. Los Angeles legal blogger Ken White has obtained a grand »

The Crisis of the Administrative State, Part 6

Featured image Now this is very interesting: Federal Judge Rules SEC’s In-House Judge’s Appointment “Likely Unconstitutional” A federal judge ruled Monday that the Securities and Exchange Commission’s use of an in-house judge to preside over an insider-trading case was “likely unconstitutional,” a potential blow to the agency’s controversial use of its internal tribunal. The decision possibly creates a serious headache for the SEC, which is increasingly using its five administrative-law judges to »

How To End the Title Nein Fascism in Five Minutes

Featured image By now it is evident even to honest liberals that Title IX is an out of control monster that makes old fashioned political correctness and speech codes look like a John Stuart Mill seminar. The Laura Kipness episode at Northwestern University might prove a tipping point, but I doubt it: between the determination of the will-to-power left, the cravenness of most college administrations (including Northwestern’s feckless president Mort Schapiro—I’ve got »

The Liberal Learning Curve Is Flat

Featured image Last fall Ross Koningstein (whom I know slightly) and David Fork, two Google engineers who headed up Google’s ambitious RE<C project—which stood for “Renewable Energy Cheaper Than Coal”—wrote a cogent explanation of why Google decided to pull the plug on RE<C: Unfortunately, not every Google moon shot leaves Earth orbit. In 2011, the company decided that RE<C was not on track to meet its target and shut down the initiative. »

The Progress of Progressivism

Featured image In trying to decide for a previous post what version of the Progressive Operating System (POS) we’re currently using (6.0? 8.0?), I just arbitrarily decided to go with 12.0. Oh, now do pipe down; Microsoft Windows is my model here; the acronym POS is a pure coincidence. But in any case I’m sure Progressives will scorn this as “Whole Numberism,” which is defined in the PC Dictionary as a “microaggressive »

When Liberal Pieties Collide

Featured image I didn’t expect to read this in the New York Times this morning: Do women and men have different brains? Back when Lawrence H. Summers was president of Harvard and suggested that they did, the reaction was swift and merciless. Pundits branded him sexist. Faculty members deemed him a troglodyte. Alumni withheld donations. But when Bruce Jenner said much the same thing in an April interview with Diane Sawyer, he »

Highlights from First VIP Livecast

Featured image We started Power Line VIP membership service a few months ago primarily as an option for people who requested some way of accessing the site without ads, over which we do not exercise complete control. (Though I must say I do enjoy it when a left-wing ad pops up on our site. I always make a point of clicking on it, since it costs the advertiser some money, even if »

The Week in Pictures: FIFA Red Card Edition

Featured image I’ve got it! Bruce Caitlyn Jenner should be the new head of FIFA. What was more unlikely a year ago: that Bruce Jenner would switch teams, or that the hooligans who run international soccer would be brought to justice? Now both have happened. As Churchill put it in My Early Life, “Scarcely anything material or established which I was brought up to believe was permanent and vital, has lasted. Everything »

Dems Looking for the Panic Button?

Featured image John mentioned on Tuesday that Democrats should be very worried about the early and obvious weakness of their presumptive nominee, and Fred Barnes takes up the theme in today’s edition of the Weekly Standard in “The Coming Democratic Panic”: That Clinton’s candidacy is in trouble is indisputable. She’s not threatened with losing the Democratic nomination—at least not yet. She has the well-financed Clinton machine and a national network of supporters »

Jen, Jenny, Jenner (2)

Featured image I wasn’t going to take the bait that the identity politics left is dangling like so much shark chum hoping to score some cheap points against us retrograde defenders of human nature, but then two worthy stories related to the Bruce Caitlyn Jenner matter crossed the screen. First, Damon Linker of The Week, a centrist not afraid of laying some smack on cultural conservatives—including a column a few days ago »

The Dems’ Missing Linc

Featured image Lincoln Chafee—who I liked to call the “Missing Linc” during his brief tenure as a U.S. Senator—has made moving to the metric system a key plank of his presidential campaign. What—is he trying to allow Jon Stewart’s writers to get the day off? Trying to make Bernie Sanders look sensible by comparison? But the Missing Linc has missed his real opening if he really wants to get the approval of »

Oh Frack! EPA Lets the Greens Down

Featured image This morning the EPA released its long-awaited, multi-year study of hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking,” though those of us with more refined sensibilities call it “rock-massaging”), and it’s going to be a major bummer for the anti-energy left. Here’s the Wall Street Journal headline: Fracking Has No “Widespread Impact” on Drinking Water, EPA Finds A decade into an energy boom led by hydraulic fracturing, the Environmental Protection Agency has concluded there »

Another Emily Litella Moment for the Climatistas

Featured image From the New Scientist magazine on Tuesday: Small atoll islands may grow, not sink, as sea levels rise Rising seas are eating away at small islands and will eventually turn their inhabitants into climate refugees, right? Not so for some of the world’s most threatened islands, which have grown despite experiencing dramatic sea level rise. Funafuti atoll, which includes the capital of Tuvalu, is an islet archipelago in the tropical Pacific Ocean »

Antidotes to Silly Commencement Addresses

Featured image So it’s college commencement time, which means graduates are typically subjected to appallingly trite commencement addresses from appallingly trite celebrities whose mediocrity goes unnoticed even when on full live display in front of the new graduates of some of our finest universities. Which may say something about the substantive quality of higher education today. One antidote is the six-minute video George Will has done this week for Prager University on »

The Best Law Journal in America?

Featured image The Harvard Law Review? The Yale Law Review? The Journal of Law and Economics perhaps? No: let me suggest it is The Green Bag, which I wouldn’t exactly call a law review, but somehow law journal doesn’t seem to quite fit it either. There’s nothing else like it. Call it, for lack of a better term, a compendium of legal things of interest, not always serious or even timely. You »

Behold Al Gore, Operatic Inspiration

Featured image Behold Al Gore, journalist and author, former vice president, film star, investment banker, tobacco farmer, chick magnet, scientist, Nobel Peace Prize winner, and . . . operatic inspiration? Yes, indeed. From E&E News (subscription only, so no hot link): Climatologist David Adamson stood alone onstage. A film featuring images of the Earth appeared on a screen behind him. He spoke directly to the audience, laying out the case that climate »

Climate: The Road to Paris (1)

Featured image The climate change circus is aiming to achieve a binding global treaty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions—think of it as Son of Kyoto (my what a success that was)—in Paris at the end of the year. I’ll be all over this story between now and then, but a preliminary meeting has opened in Bonn, Germany, this week to try to make progress on a framework that is still very sketchy »