Obama’s “breakout time” shell game

Featured image Eli Lake shows that the Obama administration has been playing a shell game with the public when it comes to estimating Iran’s nuclear “breakout time.” Behind closed doors, the White House has long estimated that Iran is three months (at the most) from developing enough fissile material for a nuke. Until recently, however, Obama did not disclose this estimate. Instead, he stated publicly that it would take Iran at least »

The Ugly Side of the Gay Marriage Campaign

Featured imageIt is extraordinary how having the exact same view about marriage that President Obama and Hillary Clinton professed until very recently now gets you cast into outer darkness as a vile bigot and reprehensible human being. What explains this? I have my own theory, but take note of Damon Linker, a long-time gay marriage supporter, writing in The Week about the “ugliness” (Linker’s term) of the demonization of gay marriage »

A message (or two) from Iran

Featured imageYesterday’s New York Times published a column under the name of Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif with the heading “A message from Iran.” It’s an interesting column with more than one message for the Times’s American audience. Noah Rothman admirably places the role of the Times as the servitor of the Iranian regime in context in “Favored venue for anti-American tyrants publishes a message from Iran.” He also takes a »

At the inaugural disinvitation dinner

Featured imageLast week on April 15 the William F. Buckley, Jr. Program at Yale inaugurated its annual Disinvitation Dinner. The Buckley Program has written a new chapter in how to take a lemon and make a lemonade. Some kind of congratulations are in order. Its online site is located here. The Disinvitation Dinner was a black-tie affair at the Pierre Hotel in New York. Buckley Program chairman Roger Kimball introduced keynote »

A Spindle-Full of Weird

Featured imageScott clears his spindle from time to time, and I have my own spindle of weird but oddly compelling news.  Like video of Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott downing a beer in seven seconds at a victory celebration of an Aussie soccer football team. Good on ‘ya, mate!  I knew there was a reason I liked Abbott. Speaking of consumption, any traveler along Interstate 40 or the old Route 66 »

Deep Behind Enemy Lines Again

Featured imageWhile John was off visiting his home town in South Dakota, an inter-dimensional crossrip in the space-time continuum found me today, April 20th—better known to potheads as 420—back in Boulder: However, there was no second-hand smoke of any kind (no 420 on 4/20!), because the university has cracked down on the large smoke-ins of previous years, with the simple expedient of police tape—plus a whole lot of police on hand »

Who Says You Can’t Go Home?

Featured imageI haven’t been posting much the last couple of days because I have been in my home town, Watertown, South Dakota. BISCO (the Business Industry School Coalition), a local organization that promotes a “progressive and meaningful relationship among business, industry and schools,” invited me to speak at their annual lunch meeting. They thought it would be fun to hear about Power Line and related subjects. I said sure. Before that »

Brennan’s bromides

Featured imageThe Obama administration national security apparatus has to leave a knowledgeable man feeling a little queasy. You’ve got national security advisor Susan Rice, a knave or a fool with credibility somewhere south of zero. You’ve got assistant to the president and deputy national security advisor for strategic communications Ben Rhodes. What is this man doing here? You’ve got Secretary of State John Kerry, the man whom Obama has entrusted to »

Hillary Clinton’s bane

Featured imageI have referred to the Clinton Foundation as “Hillary Clinton’s Bain Capital” on the theory that it will connect her to unsympathetic figures and entities who behave badly in something like the way Bain Capital was said to connect Mitt Romney to bad corporate behavior. But now, with word of Peter Schweizer’s new book (to be released on May 5) “Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign »

Hillary Clinton’s Bain Capital

Featured imageNewsweek reports that “one of the biggest benefactors to the Clinton Foundation has been trading with Iran and may be in breach of US sanctions imposed on the country.” The “benefactor” in question is Victor Pinchuk, described by Newsweek as a “Ukrainian oligarch [who] has courted the Clintons for at least nine years – in the United States, the Alps and Ukraine.” Newsweek says it has seen declarations and documents »

Deal? What Deal?

Featured imageAmid debates over whether the Obama administration’s “framework” agreement with Iran is a good deal or a bad deal, an even more basic question keeps arising: is there any deal at all? The agreement as announced by America’s State Department included a robust program of inspections. The New York Times, which greeted the framework enthusiastically as “a surprisingly specific and comprehensive understanding,” emphasized the importance of the inspections regime as »

Rubio surges but tough questions about immigration linger

Featured imageThings keep looking brighter and brighter for Marco Rubio’s presidential campaign. Last week, I noted that Rubio is running essentially even with Jeb Bush among Florida Republicans, a huge improvement in his standing. Now, CNN finds that Rubio has broken into double-figure support among Republicans nationally. He’s at 11 percent, according to CNN, basically tied with Scott Walker, Rand Paul, and Mike Huckabee. Only Bush does appreciably better 17 percent, »

What Mr. Luger said

Featured imageI’ve written here many times about the challenges raised by Minnesota’s large and ever growing Somali population, as in “Somalis say: Show us the money” and “The Somali muddle, once more once.” Today with the arrest of six Minnesota based Somalis for conspiring to join ISIS, we witness another manifestation of a deeply embedded problem about which approximately nothing remotely reasonable is being done. The Star Tribune story on today’s »

The Iran deal — treaty or not?

Featured imageI have criticized the positive reaction to Corker-Menendez bill, arguing that the Constitution requires a two-thirds majority to have a deal like this approved, whereas under Corker-Menendez it takes effect unless there is a two-thirds majority against. However, the estimable Jack Goldsmith argues that the Constitution does not require President Obama to muster a two-thirds majority to approve an “international agreement,” which is how he characterizes Obama’s pending deal with »

The red line revisited (or not)

Featured imageFour years ago President Obama declared that Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad had to go. As Assad held on, Obama elaborated on his thinking at a 2012 press conference in Stockholm, drawing his infamous red line: I have, at this point, not ordered military engagement in the situation. But the point that you made about chemical and biological weapons is critical. That’s an issue that doesn’t just concern Syria; it concerns »

Obama is right, the Republican Senate is embarrassing

Featured imageOn Friday, President Obama lashed out at the Republican Senate for not confirming Loretta Lynch as Attorney General. “There are times where the dysfunction in the Senate just goes too far,” Obama scolded. “This is an example of it.” Doing his best impression of Harrison Ford in “Witness,” Obama huffed: Enough, enough. Call Loretta Lynch for a vote, get her confirmed, let her do her job. This is embarrassing. You »

Kristol asks, Krauthammer answers

Featured imageCharles Krauthammer’s collection of columns (mostly) — Things That Matter — has sold well over a million copies. It is a remarkable achievement for a book of previously published pieces by an author who is a pundit and not a political player in his own right. Aside from the merit of the pieces compiled in the book — a big consideration, to be sure, but the pieces were almost all »