The Crusades Haven’t Been In the News Lately

Featured image It has been a couple of months since Barack Obama suggested that the Crusades were somehow on a par with, or even a justification for, 21st-century Islamic terrorism. I objected to Obama’s casual slur at the link, saying, among other things: There was nothing wrong, in principle, with the Crusades. They were an appropriate (if belated and badly managed) response to the conquest of the Holy Land by Islam. Did »

The Times Corrects But Does Not Confess

Featured imageYesterday the New York Times published a typically vituperative editorial on the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting in progress in Nashville. Titled No Firing Pins, Please, as the N.R.A. Gathers, the editorial accused the NRA of hypocrisy because it banned guns from its own convention: Seventy-thousand people are expected to attend the National Rifle Association’s convention opening on Friday in Tennessee, and not one of them will be allowed to »

Who Reads Power Line?

Featured imageReihan Salam, executive editor of National Review, bon vivant, and neck-and-neck with National Review’s Ramesh Ponnuru as smartest man in America (except for when Paul Krugman dines alone)—that’s who.  He loves Power Line so much we had to do two takes! »

Understated Headline of the Week

Featured imageWith the exception of what it calls “B-Hed” features about quirky news, the Wall Street Journal typically employs a fairly straight up headline style (unlike The Economist), but sometimes they could use just a little more imagination.  Consider today’s front page howler: In Campus Rape Cases, Some Men See Injustice Well, duh.  Ya think?  And especially given some of the understated but devastating reporting in the body of the story: »

The case of Patrick Fitzgerald

Featured imageAfter the media firestorm over Joseph Wilson and Valerie Plame, then-Deputy Attorney General James Comey appointed Patrick Fitzgerald to serve as independent counsel. Fitzgerald was to ascertain who had identified Plame to Robert Novak as a CIA agent and whether a crime had been committed in the process. The chain of events having been initiated by Wilson’s New York Times op-ed column, the Times itself served as the ringmaster of »

The Week in Pictures: Ready for Hillary Edition

Featured imageSo Hillary’s in tomorrow, with what we are told will be a “low key” launch on “social media.”  There’s never anything “low key” about the anti-social Mrs. Bill, but I suspect this low key launch may serve her well when her campaign runs into deep trouble and she withdraws over some sudden “health issue.”  (Either that or she’ll discover she’s “dead broke” again.)  She can say she was never really »

Is Iran rational and would that be good enough?

Featured imageFareed Zakaria argues that (1) “at the heart of the concerns surrounding the deal with Iran is [the] simple question [of] whether Iran is rational” and (2) Iran’s foreign policy has, for decades, been rational. Zakaria also takes critics of President Obama’s “deal” to task for claiming both that Iran is not rational and prescribing a policy — racheting up pressure — that presupposes Iran’s rationality. Zakaria’s analysis is shallow »

Who Pays Federal Income Taxes?

Featured imageToday’s Wall Street Journal has an estimate of who paid 2014 federal income taxes. The estimate is from the Tax Policy Center, as official IRS data won’t be available for a couple of years. The Journal headlines, “Top 20% of Earners Pay 84% of Income Tax,” but that actually understates how skewed the tax burden is. This chart shows shares of income and income taxes by quintile. Note that the »

Two Good Reasons to Curb Immigration

Featured imageI spent a good part of the Laura Ingraham show today talking about immigration. I read portions of Jeff Sessions’ op-ed in the Washington Post titled “America needs to curb immigration flows.” Senator Sessions makes several basic points in a clear and persuasive manner: The first “great wave” of U.S. immigration took place from roughly 1880 to 1930. During this time, according to the Census Bureau, the foreign-born population doubled »

Overheard high on Foggy Bottom

Featured imageWe understand that Secretary of State John Kerry placed a frantic call to Iranian Foreign Affairs Minister Mohammad Zarif yesterday after the Supreme Leader’s speech on the occasion of National Nuclear Technology Day. According to the partial transcript provided to us, the conversation went down like this: John Kerry: Mohammad, your Supreme Leader is killing us! We understand he might have gotten carried away in the spirit of the day. »

Thoughts from the ammo line

Featured imageAmmo Grrrll returns with VISITING MY PEOPLE, a Six-Part Love Letter and Travelogue of Sorts. She writes: My parents were celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary (Holy Moly, Rocky!), followed four days later, by my Mother’s 94th birthday. (More on these in Part Six. Hang in there with me!) It was time to leave Arizona for Minnesota. In March, the iffiest of months, weather-wise. We have discussed my aversion to flying. »

The Paul Campaign Borrows From Obama

Featured imageI don’t think Barack Obama is particularly talented, with one exception: he is the greatest money machine in the history of politics. So when it comes to fundraising, if you’re going to steal, you may as well steal from the master. One famous aspect of Obama’s email campaign was his team’s use of seemingly odd or inappropriate subject headings. Foremost among these was “hey.” A tech publication writes: President Obama’s »

John McCain and those newly released Lois Lerner emails

Featured imageAccording to Judicial Watch, documents it has released show that top staffers from the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee met with Lois Lerner and others in a “marathon” meeting to discuss concerns raised by Senators John McCain and Carl Levin that IRS was not reining in political advocacy groups in response to the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. The meeting took place 11 days prior to Lerner’s admission at an ABA »

Jorma returns

Featured imageJorma Kaukonen was the lead guitarist of the Jefferson Airplane. Together with bassist Jack Casady, he split off from the Airplane to form Hot Tuna and pursue other interests, originally in acoustic blues. Their first album, recorded live in Berkeley, has been reissued in a deluxe two-disc format and sounds better than ever. The heart of the album consists of traditional blues songs with updated arrangements of numbers by Rev. »

The Alinsky Way of Governing

Featured imageMy School of Public Policy colleague (and top statewide GOP vote-getter in California last November) Pete Peterson has a nice piece in today’s Wall Street Journal on “The Alinsky Way of Governing” that details the degrading effect Alinskyist politics is having on today’s generation of liberals.  (Keep in mind that Hillary Clinton wrote her senior thesis at Wellesley on the greatness of Alinsky.) Since the article is behind the Journal‘s »

Bottom Story of the Week

Featured imageThe New Republic, with its punk owner Chris Hughes having locked the cockpit door, continues its rapid decompression and descent into the mountainside.  This week TNR carries a piece saying that the Rolling Stone UVA rape hoax story is the fault of . . . conservatives. The story (and “story” it is) by Elizabeth Stoker Brunig shows what an expensive college education in postmodern theory gets you these days: Pinning »

Report: Hillary changed stance on trade deal after donations to Clinton Foundation

Featured imageThe Hillary Clinton email saga, and in particular her explanations of it, appear to have hurt her soon-to-be-announced candidacy. Polling by Quinnipiac shows now Clinton struggling in the key states of Colorado, Iowa and Virginia. Quinnipiac’s Peter Brown finds it “difficult to see Clinton’s slippage as anything other than a further toll on her image from the furor over her e-mail.” I agree. In the long run, however, scandals associated »