Trump tests the intelligence of populists

Featured image It’s well documented that until fairly recently Donald Trump was a Democrat and that he took mostly liberal positions on major issues. But Kevin Williamson deepens our understanding of Trump’s non-conservatism — as well as his deep cynicism — by looking at how the tycoon has tried to influence American politics through money. Williamson makes his point by comparing Trump to others who, as Donald likes to say, are “really »

Live from Vox: Bernie Unplugged

Featured imageEzra Klein interviewed Bernie Sanders for his tyro website Pox, and it makes for fun reading. Yes, of course we know Sanders is a socialist, but it’s helpful when a socialist is as open about it as Bernie, and in places it appears he’s even too left for Klein. Sanders emphasizes that he’s a “democratic” socialist. Oh well, then it’s okay I guess for a majority to confiscate the wealth »

Israel’s choice

Featured imageThe Iran deal finances and otherwise facilitates Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons. It even sets up the United States and the other parties as protectors of Iran’s nuclear program. Why would President Obama want to do that? He seems to believe that Iran should play the role of “a very successful regional power.” If he believes that this is in the national interest of thee United States, he is a »

What Carly can do

Featured imageThe field of Republican presidential candidates is extraordinarily impressive. Even so, Carly Fiorina stands out. She’s the only woman and she has articulated her critique of the Democratic opposition with a special zest and bite. In his recent dispatch from New Hampshire, Jay Nordlinger dubs her “Carly the communicator.” I am unsure what the premise of her candidacy for president is, but it seems to me at the least that »

This day in baseball history: The Reds hang in there against Koufax

Featured imageThe Cincinnati Reds didn’t win the National League pennant in 1964; they finished a game behind the St. Louis Cardinals. Judged by run differential, however, they were the best team in the NL. The Los Angeles Dodgers struggled in 1964, a season in which they lost Sandy Koufax for a month and a half. However, they were the champion’s of baseball in 1963. Thus, it wasn’t surprising that, as they »

Kerry refuses to commit to follow U.S. law on sanctions

Featured imageJohn Kerry testified today before the House Foreign Relations Committee about the Iran deal. I watched only a small portion of it. The debate, though very important, is becoming stale. For me, the most interesting moment occurred when Rep. Brad Sherman, a Democrat from California, asked Kerry whether, if Congress disapproves of the agreement and overrides President Obama’s veto of its disapproval, the administration would follow the law regarding what »

How Can Government Help Black Americans?

Featured imageExcept when it comes to law enforcement, by doing less. The Obama administration has been a disaster for Africa-Americans, but most pretend not to notice out of a sense of ethnic loyalty. That is understandable, but if you are an African-American and are looking past the Obama administration, wondering what policies might produce better results, check out this graphic that was tweeted a couple of days ago by the Young »

Putting the Senate on Cruz Control?

Featured imageLast night I watched on C-SPAN the Senate roll-call vote on the transportation bill amendment to reinstate the Export-Import Bank, and it passed by a vote of 69-28. (McConnell voted no on the amendment.) So note that there is overwhelming support in the Senate for the Ex-Im Bank, at least on a recorded vote. It is remarkable that the opposition to this small piece of crony capitalism has succeeded in »

Ted Cruz on the Important Question: Kirk v. Picard

Featured imageTed Cruz has upset some of the usual “cultured despisers” (a phrase that I have traced back to sociologist Peter Berger in the 1960s, incidentally, though it may have earlier origins [UPDATE: It was Schleiermacher—I should have tried out that Google thing]) by asserting in the New York Times Magazine Sunday that Captain James T. Kirk of the Original Series is superior to Captain John Luke Picard of the UN-congruent »

Where Did Rand Paul Go? (2)

Featured imageLast week we pondered the disappearance of Rand Paul. Once again, Power Line was on top of the curve. Today, Politico has a long feature on Paul’s “downward spiral.” Interviews with more than a dozen sources close to the Kentucky senator, all of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity, painted a picture of an underfunded and understaffed campaign beaten down by low morale. They described an operation that pitted »

The versatile Kate Duval

Featured imageIn their Wall Street Journal column “The stonewall at the top of the IRS,” Reps. Ron DeSantis and Jim Jordan write in connection with the bottomless IRS scandal: [O]n Aug. 2, the House Oversight Committee issued its first subpoena for IRS documents, including all of Ms. Lerner’s emails. On Feb. 2, 2014, Kate Duval, the IRS commissioner’s counsel, identified a gap in the Lerner emails that were being collected. Days »

An anti-Trump smear and its aftermath

Featured imageYesterday, the Daily Beast smeared Donald Trump by suggesting that he raped his ex-wife Ivana. It justified digging up this ancient story on the theory that “Donald Trump introduced his presidential campaign to the world with a slur against Mexican immigrants, accusing them of being ‘rapists.'” If Donald Trump committed rape, however long ago, there is no need to justify writing about it. The problem is that, from all that »

Planned Parenthood Video No. 3

Featured imageThe Center for Medical Progress released its third Planned Parenthood video today. It is around 12 minutes long and is posted below. This video is quite different from the first two. It features a woman named Holly O’Donnell, who formerly worked for a company called Stem Express. Her job was to extract intact body parts from aborted babies. The first time she tried to do it, she fainted. The video »

Speaking of the Iran deal (9)

Featured imageBelow is the video of the Hudson Institute event held over the noon hour today in Washington, D.C. on the pending nuclear deal with Iran. Senator Tom Cotton keynoted the event. Senator Cotton’s address was followed by a stellar panel discussion including Michael Doran, William Tobey, Hillel Fradkin, and Lee Smith. The embed code was graciously sent at my request by the Hudson Institute. I can only say that I »

John Kerry’s ugly warning to Israel

Featured imageSecretary of State John Kerry has warned that if Congress rejects the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran, Israel will be blamed. “I fear that what could happen is if Congress were to overturn it, our friends Israel could actually wind up being more isolated and more blamed,” Kerry told the Council of Foreign Relations. The question is: “more blamed” by whom? The answer, I think, is “more blamed” by »

Mike Huckabee’s overblown rhetoric on the Iran deal

Featured imageMike Huckabee is under attack for a comment he made about the Iran nuclear deal. Huckabee stated: This president’s foreign policy is the most feckless in American history. It is so naive that he would trust the Iranians. By doing so, he will take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven. The comment is over-the-top for several reasons. First, it is too harsh. It’s Iran that »

The fire this (last) time [With Question by John]

Featured imageThe end is nigh. This is the last in my series of posts about Ta-Nehisi Coates’s new book, Between the World and Me. The publisher retails the book for $24.00. Amazon sells it for the discounted price of $14.40. As a New York Times best-seller (number 1 on the nonfiction hardcover list), it is also available at a 30 percent discount from Barnes & Noble. None of these options represents »