What Does Trump Believe?

Featured image Donald Trump’s core political beliefs are a matter of hot controversy, because they have changed over the years. It is not a sin to change your positions both large and small (Ronald Reagan did, after all), and not all changes make you a “flip-flopper.” The question of whether Trump’s current views reflect a genuine change of mind because of more careful study on his part or conversions of convenience for »

Birth of “Lolita”

Featured imageYesterday’s Wall Street Journal carries an interesting review of Robert Roper’s Nabokov in America. (Subtitle: On the Road to Lolita.) The review, by Ben Downing, appeared in the paper under the heading “The naturalization papers.” I’m generally familiar with Nabokov’s career, but I had missed the humorous details behind the success of Lolita, a tale told by a classically unreliable narrator: When, in 1947, Nabokov began contemplating what he described »

Sunday morning coming down

Featured imageJimmy Webb seems to me a songwriting genius. He has certainly made some permanent contributions to the Cosmic American Music. In 2010 Webb called on several of his friends and admirers to revisit a few of those contributions with him on the disc Just Across the River, recorded in Nashville. (He did it again, incidentally, for the 2013 disc Still Within the Sound of My Voice.) The friends who turned »

The fire this time (4)

Featured imageAccording to Ta-Nehisi Coates in Between the World and Me, his widely acclaimed new book, “The problem with the police is not that they are fascist pigs but that our country is ruled by majoritarian pigs.” Later he decries “the horror of our prison system” and “the long war against the black body[.]” “Here is what I would like for you to know,” Coates confides to his son. “In America »

Trump, it seems, favors amnesty

Featured imageDonald Trump’s rhetoric on illegal immigration has helped push him to the top of the polls in the contest for the Republican presidential nomination. His rivals have only themselves to blame. Three of the leading contenders for the nomination — Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and Scott Walker — have been soft or wobbly or both on the issue. Trump simply took advantage of the opening they provided. But Trump himself »

Former Gitmo inmates arrested on terrorism charges

Featured imageReuters reports that Belgium has arrested two former Guantanamo detainees on charges of terrorism. Both were held at Gitmo between 2001 and 2005. They were then sent to Belgium, spent time in prison there, and eventually were released. Now, according to the government of Belgium, they are promoting terrorism. Specifically, they are accused of seeking recruits to fight in Syria. Belgium is, per capita, the largest European supplier of Islamist »

Live from Norwalk, it’s Carly

Featured imageReader Dave Begley has reported for us from Iowa on appearances by presidential candidates including Democrat/Socialist Bernie Sanders and Republican candidate Scott Walker. Dave is a Nebraska resident who, like us, is a representative specimen of the kind of active conservative who participates in Republican caucuses and (in Dave’e case) primaries. Today Dave files this enthusiastic report on the appearance of Republican candidate Carly Fiorina in Iowa yesterday: I wore »

Open Thread: Some Interrogatories for Trumpeters

Featured imageA great many readers both here on Power Line and elsewhere are aligning with Trump and complaining that our criticisms are wrongheaded. Let me pose some “interrogatories,” as I call them in my graduate classroom, to see if we can clarify this discussion. Please comment below, and if you’re not signed up for Facebook or another of our comment filters, feel free to email me directly ([email protected]). I won’t be »

What Sen. Cruz said

Featured imageThe charter for the Export-Import Bank ended on June 30. That’s the good news. Congress now seems to be resurrecting the bank. That’s the bad news. The Wall Street Journal editorial reporting the events in process is “Raising Ex-Im from the dead” (accessible via Google here). The Journal editorial states that, as part of the trade bill jostling, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell promised Democrats a vote on renewing the »

The fire this time (3)

Featured imageTa-Nehesi Coates opens the second section of Between the World and Me with the death of Prince Jones, his fellow student at Howard University. Jones was killed on September 1, 2000, in Fairfax County (Virginia) by a Prince George’s County (Maryland) police officer (coincidentally named Carlton Jones) working undercover. Jones was 25 at the time. A Washington Post account of the incident fills in a few of the sorry details: »

Why Donald Trump was a Democrat

Featured imageDonald Trump was asked today to explain why, in his words, he has identified more with Democrats than with Republicans. The answer, he claimed, is that the economy crashed in 2008 because of mistakes made by President Bush. This may be a good answer (or the best one available) from a political perspective. Trump is appealing primarily to disaffected Republicans who believe the GOP hasn’t stood up for them sufficiently »

Background Check System Failed In Lafayette Murders

Featured imageJohn Russell Houser, the “drifter” who murdered two and wounded several more in a movie theater in Lafayette, Louisiana, was crazy as a loon. That isn’t unusual in such cases, but what is unusual is that Houser was involuntarily committed to a mental institution in 2008. That fact should have prevented him from buying the gun that he used to commit murder, but the federal government’s NICS system failed. The »

The Supreme Leader Tweets

Featured imageI had never looked at the Ayatollah Khameini’s Twitter feed until this morning, when Drudge linked to it. Here is the Supreme Leader’s latest tweet, from earlier today: US president has said he could knock out Iran’s military. We welcome no war, nor do we initiate any war, but.. pic.twitter.com/D4Co7fVuVg — Khamenei.ir (@khamenei_ir) July 25, 2015 I take it that is President Obama. My own view is that we should »

“Fair Housing” comes to Hillary’s home town

Featured imageIt’s not uncommon for constituents to visit their elected officials to ask for relief from government abuse. Yesterday, an elected official visited a constituent for the same purpose: Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino walked up to the gated entrance to the Clinton home in this leafy hamlet on Friday, telling the guard he wanted to see Hillary. . . . Astorino, a Republican, had summoned reporters to the cul-de-sac outside »

How Much Will Iran Gain from the Nuclear Deal?

Featured imageIf the long-term consequences of the administration’s Iran deal are murky, the short-term results are crystal clear: on Implementation Day, estimated to occur in a matter of months, sanctions against Iran will be lifted and Iranian assets that have been frozen abroad will begin to flow back to Tehran. This is, of course, why the mullahs made the deal. Sanctions imposed by the U.S., the E.U. and the U.N. have »

The Week in Pictures: The Trouble With Trumples Edition

Featured imageThere’s still just one story trumping, er . . . I mean, Trumping all others right now in the presidential race. The Donald represents the braggadocio of Muhammad Ali crossed with the serially escalating spectacle of Madonna. Maybe she will be his running mate? In any case, I’m starting to warm to Trump. Once it was pointed out that he owns both the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants, the »

At this point, it might make a difference

Featured imageByron Tau’s Wall Street Journal article on the internal government review conducted by the IC Inspector General related to Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server/account during her tenure as Secretary of State seems to me to be a bombshell. I take it that we cannot necessarily trust Madam Hillary to take care that confidential national security information is treated with care commensurate with its importance if such treatment »