Unwinding Obamacare


Gary Locke

Obamacare is no longer a theoretical proposition. It is now being implemented, if with some notable exceptions for the portions of the law the Obama administration finds particularly inconvenient. Millions of Americans are experiencing its consequences directly, and millions more are forming their opinions of it based on what they are hearing of its effects. Those opinions are generally not positive. The fact that many of the law’s congressional supporters are now running scared for fear of voter backlash is a good indication of how poorly the rollout is going.

Obamacare’s travails seem likely to play into the hands of the law’s Republican opponents this year, even if the GOP does very little to try to reverse or slow the law’s implementation. The inevitable displeasure of those forced into inferior coverage with diminished access to care at higher cost because of Obamacare (and the concern of those who fear they might be) appears set to overwhelm the ...

Hillary & TIME

Hillary? Really?


This week’s Time magazine splashes the question on its cover: “Can Anyone Stop Hillary?” The Weekly Standard is happy to provide our friends at Time with an answer to their query: Yes. Hillary Clinton can be stopped. How? Let us count the ways.


Rein in HUD


Under our Constitution, a government agency may not act beyond the authority given it by Congress. Indeed, as the Supreme Court has said, “an agency literally has no power to act .  .  . unless and until Congress confers power upon it.”

The principle is basic, but ...


Done Being Born

Israel after Sharon and his generation.


Dave Malan

Although he has, in most respects, been gone from the scene for the better part of a decade, Ariel Sharon’s death this month has nonetheless hit Israel hard. His military career was among the most exemplary in a nation that has seen far more than its share of great warriors. And by the end of his political career (if not at every point throughout it), Sharon was widely respected and admired. The sudden end of his premiership in 2006 left many in Israel with a sense of missed opportunity and unexplored possibility. But perhaps more deeply than that, his death signals the passing from the political scene of Israel’s founding generation. Sharon was the last prime minister who participated personally in the nation’s founding, and there will not be another. Israel has clung to its founders as long as it could. 

In the 1990s, Israelis tried out two leaders from the younger generation—Benjamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak—but reached back ...

Cowperthwaite in 1967

No Statistics, No Mischief

A modest proposal for the new Fed chairman.


It's been more than a week now and I’m beginning to suspect she’s not going to call, so here I will offer Janet Yellen the advice I’ve been hoping to give her privately since the Senate confirmed her as the new chairman of the Federal Reserve. My advice is: Think about John ...

Mark Pryor, left, and Tom Cotton

A Good Chance of Pryor Restraint

Thanks to Obamacare, Arkansas may get another Republican senator.


To appreciate the Senate race shaping up in Arkansas between two-term incumbent Democrat Mark Pryor and freshman Republican House member Tom Cotton, it’s useful to review the state’s particular variant of Southern politics.

Arkansas defies easy ...

With Israeli troops outside Beirut in 1982

The Arab Myth of Ariel Sharon

He’s not the author of their woes.


During Anwar Sadat’s historic trip to Jerusalem in 1977, he met Ariel Sharon, the Israeli general credited by his countrymen as one of the heroes of the 1973 Arab-Israeli war. Sharon’s crossing of the Sinai and his encirclement of the Egyptian Third Army had turned the tables on ...


Don’t Give Him What He Wants

Beware Obama’s trade deals.


Republicans are being urged to support President Obama’s request for TPA so that he can complete negotiations on TPP and TTIP while pursuing other deals at the WTO. For those who do not often feast on this alphabet soup: Obama wants what we used to call fast-track authority to make ...

Two of those who got away

The Real Scandal

Why are the Benghazi killers still at large?


Months and months ago, when Barack Obama could be bothered to say anything at all about the attacks in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012, the president promised to bring the perpetrators to justice. That was before White House spokesman Jay Carney dismissed the attacks as ...

Go Navy

Control of the Seas

A strategy to meet the challenges to the U.S. Navy.


In 2007 the U.S. Navy published a new maritime strategy, “A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower,” known as CS-21. The Navy had already shifted from its Cold War focus on defeating the Soviet fleet at sea to projecting power from sea to shore, as challenges in such places ...


What Would Arik Do?

Fortune favors the bold


Ariel Sharon discusses plans for a West Bank wall with locals, 2005.

What would Arik have done? The death of former prime minister Ariel “Arik” Sharon last week has evoked this question for Israelis, who face chaos and jihadists in Syria, Hamas in Gaza, instability in Egypt, and above all a potential nuclear threat from Iran.

This question of how Sharon would have handled a particular crisis arose for the first time just months after the stroke that incapacitated him in January 2006. For on July 12 of that year Hezbollah forces rocketed northern Israel and crossed the border to kill several soldiers and kidnap two more. Israel’s prime minister, Ehud Olmert, decided in response to launch a war. That war did not go as well, as most observers​—​Israeli, American, European, and Arab​—​had initially expected; Olmert had stated war aims that were far greater than Israel’s actual achievements. An investigating commission concluded that the conduct of the war had failed in many ways, and reviews of the war ...


A Rendezvous with Disaster

Obamacare is a nightmare because today’s progressives have forgotten what FDR learned


Obamacare has quickly become a train wreck. Its troubled website, higher premiums, and inevitable shortages and rationing, married to President Barack Obama’s political refusals to enforce parts of the law, guarantee that the program will go down as one of 

Books & Arts

The Ice Palace

Jack London’s thousand words a day.


Jack Oakie, Loretta Young, Clark Gable in ‘The Call of the Wild’ (1935)

In one of the most charming moments of Vladimir Nabokov’s Pnin (1957), our hero is about to be visited by a 14-year-old American boy, son of Pnin’s former (and dreadful) wife and her fraudulent lover, Dr. Eric Wind. Pnin wonders what gifts of welcome he can give young Victor, and decides that along with a football, he will provide some pleasurable reading. Since Pnin believes everyone in his native Russia knows Jack London’s work, Pnin asks a bookstore employee for London’s autobiographical novel Martin Eden (1909), to which the lady responds “Eden, Eden, Eden .  .  . let me see, you don’t mean a book on the British statesman? Or do you?”  

When the confusion is cleared up, the only book of London’s to be found is an old edition of The Son of the Wolf (1900), a collection of stories and London’s first published book. Pnin decides to buy it, though it is inferior to Martin ...

Dick Cheney, Jonathan Reiner, M.D. (2013)

Heavy Heart

The life and cardiac times of Dick Cheney.


Those who follow politics know that Dick Cheney’s biography is an extraordinary one. His rapid ascension from Capitol Hill intern (and Yale dropout) in 1969 to White House chief of staff by 1974 is one of the fastest rises in American political annals. It was so fast, and he rose ...

Vincent of Lérins

Tradition Unbound

A church father gets an ideological makeover.


Vincent of Lérins was a Gaulish monk who lived and wrote in the fifth century. Little is known about him, really. It’s said that he was originally a soldier but gave up his military career to enter a monastery near Cannes, on the small Mediterranean island of Lérins (later renamed ...

sierra club / ballantine books

Remember the Future?

The population bomb was ticking, and apocalypse was next in line .  .  .


Two households, both alike in dignity, 

In fair Verona where we lay our scene. 

Romeo and Juliet

Donna Tartt

Identity Theft

How we know, or don’t know, who we are.


When we speak of “the permanent things,” we should mean the enduring, inescapable, and unfulfilled longings of the contradictory human heart: the helpless yearnings found across radically different times

Saving Mr. Disney

Saving Mr. Disney

The fairy tale is about a movie studio, not Mary Poppins.


The year is 1961. 

A wonderful and kind and nice and glorious man named Walt Disney must convince a mean and nasty and crazy woman named P. L. Travers to allow him and his movie studio to do something really nice for his children and your ...


We Were Smokers Once, and Young

Jonathan V. Last, non-toker


Tom Labaff

As Colorado’s new law permitting—encouraging?—the recreational use of marijuana went into effect, many of our country’s finest journalists felt the need to share the details of their experience with the ganja. Some came to celebrate the state’s new liberality, others to condemn it. 

Yet the stories from both camps followed a similar arc. The writers goofed around with marijuana in high school and/or college, many with their own modest version of President Obama’s Choom Gang. Then they grew out of it. Their non-pot-addled adult lives were proof either that doping up didn’t do them any harm or that toking and leading a grown-up life are incompatible.

What struck me most about the remembrances, though, was the blithe self-assurance these people must have had as kids.

It drives me slightly meshugah when people say that “everyone” does pot. Growing up, I ...


Comprehensively Repellent


Despite what readers may think, when people we never liked reach their expiration date, The Scrapbook tends to lean in the direction of de mortuis nil nisi bonum. (Loosely translated: Don’t speak ill of the dead.) It’s a little different, however, when political careers die—and so we freely confess to a quiet satisfaction at the news that Rep. James Moran (D-Va.) has announced that he will not seek a twelfth term in Congress. Good riddance.

We say this not because James Moran is a Democrat: There are more than a few Democrats we like; there are plenty in the House to the left of Moran; and most Democrats in Congress are considerably more competent than the representative from Virginia’s Eighth District. Nor do we say this because we tend to disagree with Moran on nearly everything, from his profligate spending of taxpayers’ money to his conviction that the “Jewish lobby” promoted the Iraq war.


A Surplus of Hot Air

The political debate over what to do about global warming rages on, largely because liberals refuse to have an honest discussion about their plans to deal with it. The heart of their every proposed “solution” to climate change is a radical economic program that would threaten the ...


FEMA Backs Down?

In our November 25, 2013, issue, Jonathan V. Last chronicled the story of Ocean Grove, the New Jersey shore town which was being denied FEMA relief funds to repair damage from Hurricane Sandy. The problem was that Ocean Grove was originally settled as a Methodist campsite and that ...



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