No mask for Gov. Northam

Featured image Ralph Northam, Virginia’s governor, toured Virginia Beach with his entourage on Saturday. He stopped to talk with folks, at least one of whom took a selfie with Northam. Northam and his fan were no more than a foot apart when the woman snapped the selfie. The governor has instructed Virginians to maintain a “social distance” of six feet. Northam was not wearing a mask. Although Virginia hasn’t yet required that »

Mask Mania

Featured imageIncreasingly, wearing and not wearing face masks has become a cultural divide. Those who fear COVID-19, or who want to make the point that the virus is the great issue of our lifetimes, or who want to show support for high-handed politicians who have issued shutdown orders that may or may not be legal, wear masks. Those who are skeptical of any of the above propositions, or doubt whether masks »

Is COVID-19 Dying Out?

Featured imageFrom the U.K. comes the extraordinary news that vaccine manufacturers may not be able to test their vaccines successfully because hardly anyone is getting the Wuhan virus: Hopes that a vaccine for the coronavirus could be ready by September are hanging in the balance, as the scientists developing it are concerned that a slowdown in the rate of infection in the general population could invalidate the human trials currently taking »

David Brooks gets U.S. history and the cultural effect of the pandemic wrong

Featured imageHere is how David Brooks begins his May 21 column for the New York Times: I was an American history major in college, back in the 1980s. I’ll be honest with you. I thrilled to the way the American story was told back then. To immigrate to America was to join the luckiest and greatest nation in history. . . . To be born American was to be born to »

Coronavirus in one state (49)

Featured imageGovernor Tim Walz called a press conference yesterday afternoon to announce his limited stand down on religious worship. I have posted the video from the governor’s YouTube channel below. Walz takes the lectern at about 3:00. Walz is a force to contend with. He played a losing hand here to maximum effect and then smothered the resolution in a torrent of verbiage. No one is going to outtalk this guy. »

18 years: 18 thoughts

Featured imageIt was 18 years ago this weekend — 18 years ago today, I think, but maybe tomorrow — that John Hinderaker went to Blogger and set up Power Line. On Memorial Day that weekend he gave me a call and invited me to contribute. We’ve moved on from Blogger, but we’re still here. Survival has its charms; many good sites have come and gone or gone off the deep end »

Not dark yet

Featured imageToday is the birthday of Minnesota native son Bob Dylan; he turns the ripe old age of 79. It’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there. We’re going to celebrate him as long we’re both still around to enjoy the occasion. He is a remarkable artist, self-invented, deep in the American grain. A few years back I visited Dylan’s old home at 2425 7th Avenue East in Hibbing. The house »

Judge Sullivan lawyers up

Featured imageJudge Emmet Sullivan has hired Beth Wilkinson to represent him as he defends his unusual actions in the Michael Flynn case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Sullivan already asked for assistance from outside counsel when he appointed John Gleeson to argue against the Justice Department’s motion to dismiss the Flynn prosecution. That extraordinary move helped land Sullivan in the dock, so to speak, thus causing »

The Power Line Show, Ep 188: “This Cannot Go On”—The Breakdown of Higher Education, with John Ellis

Featured imageThis may well be one of my favorite episodes out of all 188 that we’ve done to date—certainly one of the most interesting. My guest this week is John M. Ellis, distinguished professor emeritus of German literature at UC Santa Cruz. Prof. Ellis is out with a terrific new book, The Breakdown of Higher Education: How It Happened, The Damage It Does, & What Can Be Done About It. This slim »

The Week in Pictures: Unlicensed Freedom Edition

Featured imageYou can almost feel it: more and more Americans are saying “nuts!” to the shutdown, and the politicians are starting to “adjust” their reopening schedules, supposedly linked to “new information,” but the relevant new information is that civil disobedience is spreading. Meanwhile: Slow Joe keeps handing out gifts seven months before Christmas. Headlines of the week:   And finally. . . »

The deadly health impacts of prolonged lockdowns

Featured imageSince the early days of the pandemic, we have noted that an economy seriously damaged by prolonged lockdowns would be very bad for public health. In our first Power Line VIP program following the lockdowns, Steve pointed to robust research regarding the adverse health effects of major economic downturns. Since then, many others have made the same point. Even some liberals seem finally to be recognizing this reality. Writing in »

Not dark yet, cont’d

Featured imageBob Dylan is first and foremost a songwriter. He somehow absorbed the folk, rock, country and blues traditions as a precocious young man and then recapitulated them in his own voice many times over while adding a twist of modernist poetry to the mix. On his birthday, I want to take the liberty of reposting some notable cover versions of great songs you may not have heard before, at least »

Minnesota governor backs down on restriction of religious services

Featured imageScott reported here on the resistance from Minnesota’s Catholic bishops and Lutheran leaders to continuing restrictions placed on religious worship by Gov. Walz. That resistance has paid off. Walz has agreed to lift his restriction on church services of more than ten people. The way is now clear for houses of worship of all faith traditions to open to larger groups starting Wednesday, May 27, 2020. The Becket Fund, which »

Origin of Crossfire Hurricane Discovered?

Featured imageJudicial Watch has uncovered a document that on its face purports to be the origin of the Crossfire Hurricane “investigation.” It was authored by Peter Strzok, is heavily redacted and requires some knowledge of FBI protocols to understand fully. Nevertheless, the general import seems clear: FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION Electronic Communication Title: Crossfire Hurricane Date: 07/31/2016 Cc: [Redacted] Strzok Peter P II From: COUNTERINTELLIGENCE [Redacted] Contact: Strzok Peter P II, »

Coronavirus in one state (48)

Featured imageYesterday brought the news that this year’s edition of the Minnesota State Fair is canceled. Dating back to our territorial days, the fair was last canceled in 1948 as a result of the polio epidemic. The cancelation is only the fifth time in the fair’s history. State authorities advised the fair board that COVID-19 “would still be with us at dangerous levels” at the end of August, according to Health »

Normal Americans Consider the Shutdown

Featured imageRebellion against governors’ irrational and unscientific shutdown orders is growing across the country. As we have noted before, the revolt is especially strong in rural areas. What is striking is how sane and thoughtful the critiques from red America are, compared with the submissive hysteria that dominates most urban areas. This is just one example among many, an account in the Mille Lacs Messenger, a central Minnesota newspaper, of a »

FBI Opens Investigation Into Flynn Case

Featured imageFBI Director Christopher Wray has been a severe disappointment. He has shown no inclination to reform that troubled agency, and seems to have, if anything, abetted the longstanding coverup of FBI misdeeds. Today he belatedly announced that the FBI is launching an investigation into its conduct in the Flynn case: BREAKING: @FBI Director Christopher Wray just opened an internal review into the Michael #Flynn 2017 interview and subsequent investigation. See »