Books

Stronger unread, WaPo edition

Featured image Yesterday in “Better unread” I noted the humorous Amazon reviews of the new book allegedly by Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine. I want to add that the Washington Post’s Carlos Lozada is as harsh as the Amazon commenters, but then Lozada actually had to read the book: “By the time I finished this book, I resented its existence….I don’t understand why this book was compiled — ‘written’ is too generous »

Stronger unread

Featured image Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine claim the authorship of the campaign manifesto Stronger Together, released in paperback by Simon & Schuster on September 6. The book opens with the kind of bold statement that has served Clinton well in the course of her long career in public life: “It has been said that America is great because America is good. We agree.” Let it not be said that she has »

“Shall we wake the president?”

Featured image Our friend Tevi Troy, author of the excellent What Jefferson Read, Ike Watched, and Obama Tweeted, has written a new book. It’s called Shall We Wake the President? Two Centuries of Disaster Management from the Oval Office. Tevi is a presidential historian and served as an aide to President George W. Bush. He knows whereof he speaks. The book is just out and I haven’t read it. However, Tevi offers »

The secret history of Keith Ellison

Featured image I’m speaking this morning to the Maple Grove Critical Thinking Discussion Group at the Maple Grove Community Center. The meeting convenes at 10:00 a.m. The title of my talk is “The Secret History of Keith Ellison.” Now the title is facetious. Ellison’s history only became “secret” when he ran for Congress in 2006 and staked his campaign on three lies about his involvement with the Nation of Islam. I have »

Bech in Czech

Featured image Paul Mirengoff’s tribute to the courage and the sacrifice of the Czech Olympic champion Vera Caslavska brought to mind one of my favorite passages in the works of John Updike that I have managed to read. Updike was a voluminous and accomplished writer in every literary form, though I think he was a master of the short story in particular. Updike wrote enough stories to fill three small volumes about »

Lies of “Truth” revisited

Featured image This past October 16 the Rathergate film Truth opened in more than a thousand theaters around the country. John and I warned viewers not to take the film at face value in the Weekly Standard article “Rather shameful.” On the film’s opening weekend the Star Tribune also carried my column reminding readers of the film’s factual background. The column was published as “Lies upon lies: The sad state of the »

To the person sitting in darkness

Featured image We have lost the power at home twice this week, each time for several hours overnight. It seems to happen every time we have a serious summer thunderstorm. The utter silence and lack of light tend to disturb my sleep. We should have a generator, but we don’t. As I sat the dark thinking about the powerlessness, the title “To the person sitting in darkness” came to mind. Who wrote »

CRB: No buyer for Breyer

Featured image Stephen Breyer seems to me the ne plus ultra leftist progressive on the Supreme Court. I assume that’s one of the reasons why Justice Scalia relished sparring with him. No left-wing dogma is beyond Breyer and he seeks to overlay the absurd with an intellectual patina. His interest in the United States Constitution approaches nullity. Indeed, to borrow a famous Athenian indictment, Justice Breyer seeks to introduce new gods into »

Jean Edward Smith’s Burning Bush

Featured image I’m not going to read Jean Edward Smith’s new biography of George W. Bush for three reasons, one of them coming directly from Smith himself. Smith, the acclaimed biographer of John Marshall, Lucius Clay, and Dwight Eisenhower, once advised me: “Never write a biography of a living person.” He gave lots of good reasons for this counsel, many of which can be easily surmised. I was a little surprised, therefore, »

Our Fractured Republic

Featured image In a recent podcast, Steve talked with Yuval Levin about his brilliant new book, The Fractured Republic: Renewing America’s Social Contract in an Age of Individualism. In the interview, Yuval summarized the book’s themes and some of its key arguments. The discussion begins at around the 19 minute mark. At 21 minutes, Yuval sets forth his core thesis. At 23 minutes, he begins his critique of contemporary conservatism. I can’t »

Catch-22, IRS style

Featured image This past Friday the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals partly reinstated the lawsuits brought by two groups — True the Vote and Linchpins of Liberty — that had sued the IRS over its targeting of conservative or Tea Party-type organizations seeking 501(1)(c)(3) status. The court has resurrected the groups’ claims for relief enjoining the IRS against continued discriminatory treatment. The D.C. Circuit opinion is posted here and is worth reading. »

The Power Line Show, Episode 40: DNC First Reads, Scott Pumps Iron with Charlie Rangel, and Yuval Levin

Featured image Tune in for Episode #40 of the Power Line Show, which offers our reactions and analysis to the first night of the Democratic National Convention as well as reflections on Trump’s coronation last week; also, we rib Scott Johnson for running away to a Trump-branded health spa in Florida that did not offer Trump steaks, but did offer Scott the opportunity to exercise with legendary Democratic Congressman Charles Rangel. Finally, »

Summer reading

Featured image NRO takes time out from politics to offer summer reading suggestions. The recommendations come from Richard Brookhiser, Nancy French, Kathryn Jean Lopez, David Pryce-Jones, Tevi Troy, Ian Tuttle, Hans von Spakovsky, and Kevin Williamson. I can recommend two of the books cited. The first is Karl Rove’s The Triumph of William McKinley. I wrote about that book here and here. The second is Yuval Levin’s The Fractured Republic, a brilliant »

Heather Mac Donald: Our legal order frays

Featured image Heather Mac Donald is the author of the book of the moment if not the year: The War On Cops: How the New Attack On Law and Order Makes Everyone Less Safe. This is the book’s chapter 11, “America’s Legal Order Begins to Fray.” Heather writes: “I’m deliberately not getting involved in things I would have in the 1990s and 2000s,” an emergency-services officer in New York City tells me. »

Don Surber’s “Trump the Press”

Featured image The independent internet journalist Don Surber has produced a terrific short catalogue and analysis of how everyone—but especially the conservative commentariat—missed or misunderstood the rise of Donald Trump. You can order the e-book version of Trump the Press: Don Surber’s Take on How the Pundits Blew the 2016 Republican Race directly from Amazon subsidiary CreateSpace. The book is a wonderful catalogue of all the pundits who completely dismissed Trump from »

Trump University, for Real

Featured image The Chronicle of Higher Education emailed me a few weeks ago asking for a book recommendation or two for background reading to understand the Trump phenomenon. I recommended Jeffrey Bell’s fine 1992 book Populism and Elitism: Politics in the Age of Equality. (I think I also recommended Christopher Lasch’s The Revolt of the Elites.) As I explained to the Chronicle, Bell predicted that the conflict between left and right would be »

Taya Kyle pins Jesse Ventura on appeal

Featured image I wrote about Jesse Ventura’s defamation/unjust enrichment lawsuit against the estate of Chris Kyle in “American Sniper on trial” and in “American Sniper on trial: The verdict” and in American Sniper on trial: The appeal.” The case arises from a couple of pages now excised from the book about Kyle’s close encounter with Ventura at a bar in southern California. Ventura alleged that the story Kyle recounted was false and »