Israel Under Attack



Last week, Hamas fired hundreds of rockets and missiles at targets throughout Israel, including the nuclear reactor at Dimona. Two of the three M-75 missiles targeting Dimona missed the mark entirely, but one had to be brought down by Iron Dome, Israel’s antimissile shield. The U.N. considers an attack on a nuclear reactor an act of nuclear terrorism, which in this case might have taken a catastrophic toll on Israel’s population—as well as the Palestinians.

And now Obama is offering to play honest broker and negotiate a ceasefire between this terrorist group and our ally Israel. Why not? Just last month, the Obama administration helped usher Hamas into a Palestinian unity government. It’s not as if the White House didn’t know whom it was dealing with. Hamas hadn’t changed its stripes or its founding charter, which calls for unending war on Israel until the Jewish state is erased from the pages of history. Even as the administration ...


More Than a Smidgen


The facts are simple. The IRS systematically targeted conservative and Tea Party groups after their activism proved decisive in the 2010 midterm elections—Obama’s famous “shellacking.” The effects of this targeting were widespread. Some Tea Party groups were neutered in the months ...


Free Elections for Hong Kong


Over half a million people filled the streets of Hong Kong on July 1, marching for democracy on the anniversary of the British colony’s handover to Chinese Communist rule in 1997. On June 29, an unofficial referendum organized by democracy activists concluded with 800,000 votes ...


Disorder at the Border

What Obama wrought.


Detainees color at a federal  processing facility in  Brownsville, Texas, June 2

Watching the influx of unaccompanied minors crossing our southwestern border daily, a reasonable man could conclude that we are living out the fevered dreams of a dystopian novel. The United States has lost a basic aspect of sovereignty. Control over its borders is a relic of the past.

Having traversed Mexico with the help of drug cartels freely operating human trafficking networks, Central American minors are voluntarily entering the United States through the Rio Grande Valley. They’re shepherded to the border, where they cross on their own and seek apprehension by Department of Homeland Security agents, believing that minors won’t be deported.

According to Brian Bennett’s intensely reported July 5 Los Angeles Times story, U.S. Customs and Border Protection figures show that officers took fewer than 4,000 unaccompanied children from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras into custody ...

Tips from Rand on your summer reading!

A Revealing Reading List

Rand Paul’s book recommendations.


Rand Paul is a man of conviction. His reputation for acting on principle is the foundation on which he has begun to build the infrastructure of a presidential campaign. It is very difficult, however, for a man of conviction to adjust his image without compromising his reputation ...

Gary Locke

Stubbornness as Governance

A president incapable of pivoting.


The circumstances facing Israel have changed. Rockets fired from Gaza now reach deeper into the country, threatening two-thirds of Israel’s eight million people. Hamas, the terrorist group responsible for the surge in rocket attacks, has become a partner in the government of Palestinian ...

The good old days

The Politics of Money

Go bold with gold.


Republicans are searching for big, bold ideas that will inspire voters to embrace a conservative agenda. To unite its disparate segments, the GOP needs to uphold our nation’s founding principles—a key requirement for Tea Party ...


The Truth About Iraq

And why it matters



As the jihadists of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) capture territory and establish a caliphate stretching across the now-eradicated Syria-Iraq border, hard-won gains secured with American blood and treasure are being lost. We are watching the rise of potentially the gravest threat to our national security in a generation, one that surpasses even the threat we faced on 9/11. Against this backdrop, as we debate what our response should be, it has become fashionable in some quarters to say, “Let’s not relitigate Iraq.” It’s not politically expedient, this line of argument goes, to discuss why we invaded Iraq in the first place, or the lessons we learned. This view is wrong on the history, misguided on the politics, and dangerous as a matter of policy.

The larger war, of which the liberation of Iraq was part, is still ongoing. Winning it requires that we understand the truth about the liberation of Iraq, the challenges America ...

Demet Muftuoglu-Eseli

Cool Istanbul

Bright young things of the Bosphorus


Demet Muftuoglu-Eseli is standing perilously close to the fire. The Turkish fashion mogul turned gallerist is hosting a gala dinner for “Istancool,” the annual arts and culture festival she founded with her husband in 2009. The ...


The Common Core Commotion

Haven’t we seen this movie before?


It has been five years now since America got the news, or was supposed to: Henceforth our children would enjoy a revolutionary new approach to learning in the public schools, in the form of national educational standards. They’re called the Common Core State Standards, or Common Core for ...

Books & Arts

Fantastic Voyage

The literary (?) career of Jules Verne


David Niven and Shirley MacLaine in ‘Around the World in Eighty Days’ (1956)

Certain amusements appropriate to childhood or adolescence have established a beachhead in adulthood, or its 21st-century American simulacrum. Grown men and women indulge, with or without shame, in video games, fantasy football leagues, sitcoms, online porn, comic books, and movies based on comic books—or that involve Las Vegas, 33 shots of tequila, and waking up athwart two female Sumo wrestlers and a chimpanzee.

And of course, for those who still feel obliged to read something semi-respectable but prefer not to trouble themselves with heavy lifting, there is science fiction, as well as the fantastic adventure tales that don’t quite fit into that genre but are the next best thing.  

This literature has its own canon, and some of its eminences are familiar, if only by name, to all who read books, even heavy and troublesome ones. The early masters are the most famous: ...

Louis XIV

L’État, C’est Moi

With the stroke of a pen, the executive branch reigns supreme


The administrative state is a modern invention. It was, and remains, a necessity in our complex modern age. Or so goes the argument. 

“The trouble in early times was almost altogether about the ...

Beaver at work

Natural Design

The birds and the bees and the engineering instinct


Louis Sullivan, an early advocate of office towers, called rooms “cells,” meaning the cells of plants, not those of monks or prisoners. Plants inspire architecture, as do structures built by animals and insects. Call them nests, hills, reefs, hives, ...


Red Dawn

The best-laid plans of Lenin and Trotsky are thwarted


On November 8, 1917, Vladimir Lenin gave a rousing speech at the Smolny Institute in Petrograd calling for permanent revolution across all Western democracies. Afterwards,

Emma Lazarus

Lazarus Rising

One poem, one statue, and a cast of characters from Gilded Age America


Did the United States really need a French statue, especially one of colossal proportions? The visionary French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi thought that it did. And if it weren’t for Bartholdi and his generous nature—to say nothing ...

Concert Ticket line

Shut Up, Please

One man’s approach to a problem of modern music


A few years ago, I was offered two very good tickets to a New York Knicks game at Madison Square Garden. I invited my daughter to the game, but almost immediately

AMC theater, La Jolla, California

The Comfort Zone

Latest trends in the modern moviegoing experience


Something interesting happened a year ago: The movie theater a few blocks from my house was radically redesigned. This came as a surprise, for the AMC 84th Street wasn’t failing in any way. Indeed, from ...


The Daily Dishes

David Skinner, dedicated dishwasher


David Clark

Recently I was fingerprinted for a work ID. Sitting at a little table across from a gentleman who, like many federal employees, wore his ID badge and metro card around his neck, I concentrated on rolling my right thumb just so over the scanner between us, from the leftmost edge of the nail to the flat, fleshy center before lifting straight up. Then I did it again. And again. And again.

Following his instructions, I pressed my thumb to my forehead, to pick up a dab of perspiration to help the machine take notice of those hard-to-read folds that comprise my unique skin pattern. Still the machine didn’t respond. It was like one of those electronic soap dispensers that refuse to notice me standing there, with my hand out, waiting. Or perhaps my fingerprints were the problem. Had they worn off? Was that even possible?

As I continued gently rolling my fingertips over the ...


The Pawn

The Pawn


Hillary the Careful Reader

The Scrapbook has its compassionate side, and confesses to feeling a twinge when it read the recent interview with Hillary Clinton in the New York Times Book Review. The NYTBR, it should be explained, interviews famous people about their reading habits​—​their ...


‘Welcome, Mr. Gandhi’​—​Winston Churchill

Scrapbook correspondent Richard M. Langworth, the author and longtime president of the Churchill Centre in Washington, D.C., weighs in on the new statue of Gandhi to be erected in London .  .  . 

* * *

North Korea!

A Fish Rots from the Head

North Korea’s Kim dynasty is in decay—literally. According to a report in the defector publication Daily NK, the founding dictator Kim Il-sung’s embalmed corpse, which has been on public display for some 20 years, is starting to show its age. “Kim’s skin appears to be ...



Last week, Rep. Henry Cuellar, a Texas Democrat, lashed out at President Obama over the border crisis. Since last fall, more than 40,000 unaccompanied minors, mostly from Central America, have been caught illegally trying to enter the country. Cuellar called Obama’s response ...


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