European Decline

Tom Friedman Says . . . Drill, Baby, Drill?

Featured image I’ll bet Tom Friedman would really like to indulge his authoritarian impulse to be “China for a day” (because then we could impose the “right solutions” to all our problems) right now. Today he uncorked a primal scream whose subtext is: Sarah Palin (and Donald Trump) were right: we should drill, baby, drill! here in the U.S.  Yes—for oil and natural gas! Don’t believe me? It turns out that Putin »

Biden Gets a Clue?

Featured image The Washington Post reported yesterday that someone woke up Slow Joe: White House alarm rises over Europe as Putin threatens energy supply White House officials are growing increasingly alarmed about Europe’s energy crisis and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s threats to force a bleak winter on the continent. Seeking to punish Russia for the invasion of Ukraine and force a retreat, Western allies have moved to set a cap on what »

“The Lamps Are Going Out All Over Europe”

Featured image Perhaps the most memorable comment at the outbreak of World War I—or at least the one quoted in every history book—came from the British foreign minister Sir Edward Grey: “The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our life-time.” The first half of this statement suddenly applies again to Europe’s energy crisis that threatens a cold and dark winter ahead, and we’ll have »

War Is the Health of the State, 21st Century Edition

Featured image I don’t have a firm conclusion about just what we should do about the Ukraine crisis (beyond not sending Kamala Harris to Munich to embarrass the country). We ought to arm the Ukrainians with all the weapons they can use (short of nukes), impose serious sanctions on Russia, and perhaps some heavy cyber actions. But it is also worth considering that if Germany won’t stand up with the rest of the »

Happy New Year from Eric Zemmour

Featured image To say “opinion is divided about Eric Zemmour,” the right-wing candidate for president of France, is an understatement, and we have heard from a number of sensible observers of French politics that Zemmour might not be the best idea. Certainly the mainstream media is as panicked about him as they are about Trump. Some conservative critics say he a lightweight, a poser, the equivalent of Bill O’Reilly, and running chiefly to »

Will France Save the West?

Featured image Yesterday in our “Picks” section we linked to Christopher Caldwell’s terrific CRB essay “France on the Verge of Civil War,” which was a deep dive into the rise of Eric Zemmour on the French political scene. The controversial Zemmour has rocked to the top of the early polls ahead of the presidential election scheduled for next spring, leaping ahead of Marine Le Pen, the previous outsider candidate from the right. »

The Green Grift, or Gangrene Energy?

Featured image The renewable energy fanatics like to point out that the cost of solar power has been falling dramatically over the past decade, the result of technological and manufacturing improvements. This is true, but raises the question: why does the solar industry continue to demand subsidies then? The Financial Times ran an unintentionally hilarious and illuminating story on this point yesterday: French solar investors up in arms over threat to renege on »

Nigel Farage Bids Farewell to the EU

Featured image We’re less than 48 hours away from Britain’s exit from the European Union (oh happy day!), and today at the EU Parliament in Strasbourg the irrepressible Nigel Farage took a well deserved victory lap. Very much worth watching the whole five minutes here, especially for the cheeky violation of EU Parliament rules against displaying national flags at the end. Watch all the way through to the churlish chairlady, who has »

The End of Multiculturalism in Scandinavia?

Featured image Let’s take in a few headlines from the last few days, starting with the New York Times: COPENHAGEN — More than 60 years of hassle-free travel from Sweden to Denmark has ended after the Danish authorities, struggling to quell a wave of bombings blamed on Swedish gangs, introduced passport checks for the first time since the 1950s. The measures put in place on Tuesday are temporary and will be applied »

Yes to Acquiring Greenland! [With Literary Comment by John]

Featured image It is amusing to watch the reaction to Trump floating the idea of the U.S. buying Greenland. It’s not like we have never done such a thing before (i.e., Louisiana, Alaska), and while there were arguably constitutional defects with those acquisitions (especially Louisiana), just watch as Trump-hating liberals who ordinarily say our Constitution should be as “flexible” as Gumby and as “alive” as a mold suddenly become strict constructionists again. »

The Power Line Show, Ep. 126: Henry Olson on the EU and Australian Elections

Featured image Just in time for the start of your Memorial Day weekend, an early edition of our podcast. I’ve decided that “populism” is when the wrong person or party wins a democratic election. Certainly the way the media and liberal elites have reacted to the Liberal Party’s upset win in Australia bears this out (keep in mind that the Liberal Party in Australia is the conservative party, but what do you »

With Howie Carr on Elizabeth Warren and the State of the Union

Featured image A number of people commented that they enjoyed my appearance on Howie Carr’s radio show yesterday. Howie is one of America’s great radio hosts, and it is always a fun conversation. With yesterday’s news featuring Elizabeth Warren’s latest pratfall and the State of the Union, there was plenty of material. So I thought some of our readers might enjoy it. The audio below is of the whole hour; my appearance »

Well Houellebecq That!

Featured image You may have to go all the way back to the late 20th century to recall an article in Harper’s magazine that was worth reading, but the current issue features an article from the controversial French novelist Michel Houellebecq that defends Donald Trump (“Donald Trump Is a Good President“) in ways that will drive just about everybody out of their minds. Houellebecq is the author of, among other works, a »

Europe on a Knife Edge

Featured image A few hours from now British Prime Minister Theresa May will face a no confidence vote from her own party, and as of this moment I’d bet she will lose the vote and be ousted. Whether this will lead to a general No Confidence vote of the entire House of Commons, which would result in an immediate general election, is harder to forecast. Much will depend on whether the Tory »

Europe: Things Fall Apart

Featured image German Chancellor Angela Merkel is hanging on by her fingernails in Germany right now, as the backlash against migrants reached a critical mass in recent weeks. The cabinet minister who confronted Merkel and forced immigration concessions, Horst Seehofer of the “conservative” CSU party based chiefly in Bavaria, has seen his own poll ratings collapse in the aftermath of the political crisis. But this is just as likely to be the »

Getting Italy wrong

Featured image “The real challenge that the populist coalition in Italy poses to the EU is one of policy, not of democracy.” So writes Angelos Chryssogelos of Chatham House. I think the same can be said of populism in most Western democracies, but let’s keep the focus on Italy. What are the policy challenges that the populist coalition there poses to the EU? There are two: the economy and migration. Chryssogelos explains: »

The German Question, Again

Featured image As noted here a few days ago, Chancellor Angela Merkel is having trouble putting together a coalition government in Germany following a terrible showing in the last election. The German result was similar to the recent French election in one respect: it represents a repudiation of the main ruling parties. There is one big difference: while the French economy continues to stagnate, the German economy is arguably the best in »