Obama’s Senior Swindle


Cartoon of a snake wrapped around a doctor's symbol

The most politically brazen feature of Obamacare has always been its looting of Medicare. About half of Obamacare’s costs are to be covered with money taken from an already nearly bankrupt program for seniors. And the most politically perilous aspect of this ploy is Obama-care’s cuts in Medicare Advantage funding, which would cause many seniors to lose their preferred health plans. Under the implementation schedule stipulated in Obamacare, many seniors would either lose their plans, or learn that they are going to lose them, before the election that will likely decide Obamacare’s—and Obama’s—fate. 

Anticipating a senior revolt, the administration took ...

Photo of a woman holding a sign that says, "Marijuana is medicine"

Legalized Drugs: Dumber Than You May Think


Even smart people make mistakes​—​sometimes surprisingly large ones. A current example is drug legalization, which way too many smart people ...


Flying Not Quite as High

Our threatened airpower.


Photo of a fighter jet

The release of the Obama administration’s defense budget in January makes clear just how the president intends to reshape the U.S. military. For starters, the Army will shrink 14 percent by 2017, the Marines will decrease by 20,000, six Air Force fighter squadrons will be deactivated, and the Navy will make do with fewer ships. Putting skin on this skeleton is the Defense Strategic Guidance, released in January at the Pentagon. Most significantly, the document calls for a shift of resources to Asia and promises that America will “maintain its ability to project power in areas in which our access and freedom to operate are challenged” by states like China and Iran. Yet in Secretary of Defense Panetta’s own words, U.S. forces will have to do this while facing “profound challenges” and relying on “low-cost and small-footprint ...

Cartoon of French political rallies

The Most Hated Man in France

I was a Facebook martyr for the Sarkozy cause.



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Terrorists or Fall Guys?

The MEK puzzle.


The Treasury Department has issued subpoenas to the speakers’ agencies of 11 prominent former U.S. officials, including a governor of Pennsylvania, ...

Movie still of the video made by New York Times reporters

The Next Pension Crisis

Union plans are taking on water fast.


Talks between the Newspaper Guild of New York and the New York Times have been heated. In late March, the union forced the paper to drop ...

Map of Azerbaijan

What’s Going On in Azerbaijan?

The Iran-al Qaeda alliance.


On April 18, just days after a U.S.-led coalition wrapped up the first round of renewed nuclear negotiations with Iran, the Republic of Azerbaijan ...

Image of people with smiley faces on their heads

Get Happy!

Something new to worry about.


Is there no end to the technocratic impulse? Just when you thought that our government overlords couldn’t find any new way to intrude into our ...

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A Health Insurance System that Works

Why does the market function better for pets than for humans?


Around the time Lisa Mulhearn’s Old English ...


Authentically Yours

Against his primary opponents, what looked like Romney’s characteristic defect ended up serving him well.


Cartoon of Mitt Romney as a wind-up toy

"Authenticity” has been all the rage in the Republican primary season, which bounced back and forth from one extreme to the other, with the field neatly split between the five or six people who were all too authentic, and one who wasn’t authentic enough. There was Mitt Romney, who was inauthentic as a politician and as a conservative, against six or so others whose authenticity was only too evident: Michele Bachmann, authentically provincial; Ron Paul, authentically cranky; Herman Cain, authentically ludicrous; Jon Huntsman, authentically condescending; Rick Perry, authentically unprepared; Rick Santorum, authentically preachy; and Newt Gingrich, authentically Newt. Except for Huntsman, whose first day was his best, and after that was authentically moribund (and Paul, who is a whole other story), each of the group flared up in ...

Photo of Marine Le Pen

The Lady with the Popular Front

France’s rightists have grown too big to ignore.


The French prefer “tenacity” to “cooperation” by a measure of 51-44 percent, according to a poll about political attitudes published this election ...

Books & Arts

It’s Still Her Courtroom

The jurisprudence of Judge Judy.


Photo of Judge Judy

Like many members of America’s “cognitive elite” (I’ve got a string of fancy degrees to prove it), I’ve taken the “How Thick Is Your Bubble?” quiz in Charles Murray’s Coming Apart, which explores the brainy upper crust’s alienation from the dimmer and poorer lumpenproletariat that lives in trailers and deems crystal meth, not appletinis, its recreational drug of choice. 

My score on Murray’s test was a mere 22—signifying a dense enough elitist bubble encasing my skull to leave me puzzled as to why, if I’m so smart, I’m not rich enough to live in one of those leafy “Super ZIP Codes” (as Murray calls them) where my fellow members of the ruling class make their cavernous homes and send their offspring to those five-figure-tuition private schools that train the little ones to run the country while voting liberal-Democratic, just like their parents.

One question in ...

Photo of Jimmy Carter receiving the Nobel Peace Prize

Mysteries of Oslo

The tenuous relation of the Nobel Peace Prize to peace.


The Nobel Peace Prize is the world’s most prestigious award, as Jay Nordlinger argues in this erudite and insightful history. He has written not only the go-to reference book for the prize and its laureates but also an important philosophical reflection on the nature of “peace” in modern ...

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The Wiki-Poet

A brave new bard for the Internet age.


A complete understanding of Michael Robbins’s poetry requires, in roughly equal measures, knowledge of modern academic poetry, its Romantic-era predecessors, seventies and eighties pop music, recent death metal, and au courant literary criticism. Knowing more than a ...

Illustration of The creation of Eve from the 15th century

On Seeing the World

The more we know, the less we seem to understand.


In his tragedy Phoenissae, Seneca wrote “Anyone can stop a man’s life, but no one his death; a thousand doors open on to it.” For Seneca, death was a part of life, a natural process that could not be avoided. And indeed, at the time, death pervaded the world through ...

Photo of Performance artist Dawn Kasper

Fad Men

The Whitney Biennial strikes again.


Paradox is supposed to be interesting and subversion is supposed to be fun. But this year’s supposedly subversive Whitney Biennial, though paradox incarnate, is the sort of thing that gives soul-annihilating ennui a bad name. And its tedium is a direct consequence ...

Photo of three people dressed as Storm Troopers and a child dressed as Spiderman

Fandom in Focus

An affectionate (?) look at popular obsession.


Have you ever seen those hilarious recut movie trailers on YouTube—like the one that takes Stanley Kubrick’s horror classic The ...


Charles Colson, 1931-2012

Fred Barnes on Charles Colson, 1931-2012.


Photo of Charles Colson

I don’t remember when I first heard from Chuck Colson. Most likely it was in the late 1980s or early 1990s. Nor do I recall whether he called or sent a letter. But I was flattered he had bothered to get in touch with me. That I remember. 

I’d never met Colson, didn’t cover the Nixon White House where he’d become semi-famous for playing political hardball, and hadn’t read his book, Born Again, about his conversion to evangelical Christianity while in prison. But I knew, just from reading about him, that Colson was for real. His wasn’t a fake jailhouse conversion designed to get him out of prison early or to fool folks into thinking better of him ...


Remember John Kerry’s Running Mate?

Photo of John Edwards

The Scrapbook admits that it has taken some interest—well, more than a little interest—in John Edwards’s fraud trial in North Carolina. Like many grand catastrophes in the political world, it combines bizarre facts and distasteful anecdotes with an unseemly element of satisfaction. If any political figure of recent times had to fall, and fall hard, who better than the self-infatuated, expensively coiffed ex-personal injury lawyer-turned-freshman senator who ran (twice) for president?

And that has been, for the most part, the way the press has played it. Inevitably, the New York Times sent Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Maureen Dowd ...


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