“Don’t do stupid [stuff]” and “Smart Power” — what’s the difference?

Featured image Hillary Clinton famously chided President Obama for his foreign policy when she declared: “Great nations need organizing principles, and ‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ is not an organizing principle.” But what is the organizing principle of Clinton’s foreign policy? According to Clinton, it is “smart power.” In remarks posted on her website (before it was scrubbed of content), she said she is “enormously proud of what we have achieved” using her »

The case of the mystery virus

Featured imageTwin Cities internist Chris Foley is a faithful reader whom I know in his professional capacity. Today he writes to address the case of the mystery virus: It might be worth a short commentary re the connection between the sudden “mystery” virus that is hospitalizing children all over the US and the indiscriminate distribution of illegal alien kids “all over the US.” To wit: “Human rhinoviruses and enteroviruses in influenza-like »

Jan Karski’s message

Featured imageI first learned of Jan Karski’s story in Walter Laqueur’s The Terrible Secret: Suppression of the Truth About Hitler’s “Final Solution,” published in 1980 (and first learned of Laqueur’s book from George Will’s excellent column on it in the Washington Post that year). Karski was an incredibly brave and dignified man. We need to attend to his example, now more than ever. Karski performed heroic service in World War II »

What’s Wrong With California in One Map

Remember Barry Goldwater’s famous line that the country would be better off if we sawed off the Atlantic seaboard and let it drift out to sea?  Well, the same thing should be said of coastal California. This isn’t exactly news of course, but below is a great photo that dramatizes the problem: it shows which California counties have banned single-use plastic bags.  No mystery as to the politics of this. »

Do you know the way to Mel Tormé?

Featured imageToday is the anniversary of the birth of Mel Tormé on September 13, 1925. I think Tormé is simply one of the all-time great American artists, too little known and vastly underappreciated. Permit me this salute in the hope that I might interest you in deepening your familiarity with his work. Tormé died at age 73 in 1999 in Los Angeles at the end of an incredibly fruitful career. The »

Bill Maher flips

Featured imageTo borrow Rick’s lovelorn lament in Casablanca: Of all the gin joints in all the towns in the world, Bill Maher walks into mine (and John Hinderaker’s). My gin joint, so to speak, is Minnesota’s Second Congressional District, where I drink, live, and vote. Bill Maher has walked in to announce that he has has picked incumbent Republican Rep. John Kline to knock off in Maher’s bid to Flip a »

Barack Obama Still Has One Loyal Court Historian…

Featured image…and his name is E.J. Dionne. Traditionally, Paul has the E.J. beat, but I can’t resist taking a swing at this Dionne column, dated yesterday, which places Barack Obama’s foreign policy–the one he is pursuing this week–in the coveted Goldilocks position on the continuum of history. It’s not too warlike, not too passive–just right! Over the last decade, Americans’ views on foreign policy have swung sharply from support for intervention »

We Have Always Been at War With ISIL!

Featured imageCould the administration be in any more disarray? After carefully avoiding any use of the word “war” in connection with its proposed operation against ISIL, and apparently having received more ridicule than it bargained for, administration spokesmen are now reversing course: it is a war after all! And, for good measure, we have been at war with al Qaeda all the while. White House spokesman Josh Earnest explains: So apparently »

Hillary Clinton scrubs the vanilla from her website, leaving it calorie-free

Featured imageJeryl Bier reports that Hillary Clinton’s website, Hillaryclintonoffice.com, has removed the only substantive content it contained. The “remarks” button on the website, which made a little bit of content available, vanished sometime between July 23 and August 27. The content that formerly appeared consists of February 14, 2013 remarks at the Joint Civilian Service Award Presentation; April 2, 2013 remarks at Vital Voices (a non-governmental organization promoting women’s leadership); and »

Jihadist Serial Killer? Ho Hum!

Featured imageIf a jihadist were going around the United States committing random murders, you might think it would be a significant news story. But apparently not: until this morning, I had never heard of Ali Muhammad Brown, a “devout Muslim” who murdered at least four random American men as an act of Islamic jihad. The story has actually been around for a while; this article from a local paper in New »

Thoughts from the ammo line

Featured imageAmmo Grrrll reports this morning “Healthy as a Californian.” If your weekly fix of Ammo Grrrll is not enough for you, she also steps out from the deep cover of her Power Line alter ego to celebrate the late Donald Westlake in the Weekly Standard book review “Westlake lives!” For us Ammo Grrrll writes: My mother once sent me the dozens of warnings that came with her new dustbuster including »

The Week in Pictures: Unitarian Edition

Featured imageThe most astounding news of the week is that the Bad Guys of the Week in the Middle East, the “Islamic State In Iraq” (ISIS) or the “Islamic State In the Levant” (ISIL) or ISIOMH (“Islamic State Inside Obama’s Mush Head”) is not Islamic!  Pay no attention to the term Islamic in their name!  I’m sure Obama is right; they’re probably Unitarian Universalists.  Oops—that’s the problem: they’re universalists.  They want »

Obama weaves a Syrian fantasy

Featured imageThe New York Times homes in on a concern I expressed with President Obama’s plan to use “moderate” Syrian rebels as his foot soldiers in the campaign against ISIS in Syria — namely, that these rebels are at war with the Assad regime, not ISIS. Since pushing ISIS from parts of northern Syria early this year, Syria’s rebels have few military advances to point to and in many areas have »

Sessions v. Zuckerberg, a Knockout

Featured imageA year or two ago, most observers thought that immigration “reform” was a foregone conclusion. The entire Democratic Party wanted it, including union leaders who were happy to sacrifice their members’ interests; the Chamber of Commerce wanted it; quite a few libertarians were OK with it; and just about every rich person (and political donor) in America, it seemed, was on board. Democrats and the media confidently declared that Republicans »

Netanyahu on 9/11

Featured imagePrime Minister Netanyahu spoke yesterday at the 14th annual International Conference on Counter-Terrorism in Herzliya, Israel. He speaks as both a student of terrorism and a the leader of a country on the front line against the perpetrators of terrorism, so as always his remarks have a special interest. The text is posted here. The video is below. In his introductory remarks, Netanyahu addressed himself to United States Ambassador Dan »

Dems grow desperate as Elise Stefanik opens up a lead

Featured imageThe race in New York’s 21st congressional district between Republican Elise Stefanik (a Power Line pick) and Democrat Aaron Wolff is rated a toss-up by pundits like Larry Sabato and Stu Rothenberg. But there have been signs of panic from Democrats. Earlier this month, a self-described “independent analyst” and “Wolff supporter” wrote a letter to the editor of a local newspaper, the Watertown Daily Times, asking about Stefanik’s dating history: »

Full-Frontal Environmentalism: We Knew It All Along

Featured imageThere’s an old line that environmentalists are “watermelons”—green on the outside, red on the inside. A lot of environmentalists will take great offense if you say this: No no! We like economic growth and capitalism just fine! We just want it to be “sustainable,” whatever that means. And don’t ask for specificity about what “sustainability” means in detail, unless you have a lot of time and a full bottle of »