A Bad Deal Gets Worse



As we go to press, the White House has reportedly offered Iran a deal regarding its nuclear program, a framework agreement with details to be worked out in the coming months. However, even as the interim agreement is set to expire November 24, it seems the Iranians have not responded to the Obama administration’s offer. And why would they? The White House has made it clear it wants a deal more than the Islamic Republic does. Under the circumstances, why wouldn’t Tehran wait to see how many more U.S. concessions it can extract?

There appears to be compromise on a number of major issues, like the number of centrifuges Iran will be able to keep (around 5,000). Other details, like the pace of sanctions relief and addressing the possible military dimensions of the program, seem to be where the Iranians are trying to force the administration to bend. All we know for certain is that the Obama White House is a long way from where it was a ...


With Israel, Against Terror


The New York Times editorial board took a break this past week from its usual practice of blaming Israel for being the cause of assaults against her. On Wednesday, after the terror attack on Jews praying in a synagogue in Jerusalem, the Times editors ...


How to Rebuke a President



Gary Locke

For responding to a president who defies his constitutional limits, Congress is said to possess four powers: to impeach, to defund, to investigate, and to withhold confirmation of nominees.

But there is a fifth recourse, which the new Republican Congress might consider in view of President Obama’s executive amnesty for illegal immigrants: the power to censure. In fact, censure could work in tandem with Congress’s other powers, helping the legislature make the moral case for responding to the president’s lawlessness.

Presidential censure is a rare occurrence. Most notably, in 1834, the Whig-controlled Senate censured President Andrew Jackson, a Democrat, for moving federal deposits from the Second Bank of the United States to local banks, derisively called his “pets” because most were operated by loyal Democrats.

Jackson’s legal justification was dubious at best. Under the law, only the ...

Mitch McConnell, center, with fellow GOP senators  John Barrasso and John Cornyn

Lessons from the 1995 Strategy

Tactics and an agenda for the new Congress.


The Republican victory in the midterm election was decisive. Now the victors must chart a sensible course for the next two years—one that demonstrates they can be trusted as America’s governing party and sets the table for 2016.

The landscape is more ...

Luciana Borio of the FDA, at right, testifies before Congress regarding Ebola, O

Failing to Rise to the Challenge

What the FDA should learn from Ebola.


In the froth and frenzy surrounding Ebola reaching America, a surprisingly unprepared Department of Health and Human Services, particularly the Centers for Disease Control, largely failed to rise to the challenge. The FDA contributed to, and continues to ...

The Victims of Communism Memorial, Washington, D.C.

First a Memorial, Then a Museum

Remembering the victims of communism.


Ninety-seven years ago this month, Bolshevik troops stormed the Winter Palace at Saint Petersburg in the coup de grâce of the Russian Revolution. As much as any other event, this triumph of communism would dominate and shape the remainder of the century. To get a sense of ...

Gabriel Naddaf speaks after receiving a World Jewish Congress award, January 201

An Israeli Priest Defends Israel

The case for Jewish-Christian collaboration.


Father Gabriel Naddaf, a Greek Orthodox priest in Yafia, near Nazareth, made news in 2012 when he publicly urged Israeli Christians of Arab descent to join the Israel Defense Forces. Since then, he’s become a lightning rod for encouraging Christians to integrate themselves into ...

Obamacare becomes law, March 2010: Count the Republicans.

He Never Learns

Obama stands alone, alas.


There’s a lesson from President Obama’s first term that he should have learned long ago. It’s simple: On an issue that affects many millions of Americans, it’s best—even necessary—to have bipartisan support in Congress. Going forward in a purely partisan fashion is bound to cause ...


The Spiritual Shape of Political Ideas

How it is that we once again find ourselves rooting out sin, shunning heretics, and heralding the end times


Dave Clegg

1. The Return of Original Sin 

Every day she must search her conscience. Every day she must confront her flaws—discern the dark that dwells within her, seek the grace to turn toward the light. Oh, she is a moral person, she believes: good willed and determined to do good deeds, instructing us all about the heart’s deep iniquity. But even she, Kim Radersma, a former schoolteacher now preaching our bondage to sin—even she still feels the fault inside her. Even she must struggle to be saved. And if someone like Kim Radersma has to fight the legacy of inner evil, think of all that you must do. Think how far you are from grace, when you do not even yet know that you are lost and blind.

In another age, Radersma might have been a revivalist out on the sawdust circuit, playing the old forthright hymns on a wheezy harmonium as the tent begins to fill. In a different time, she might have ...

Books & Arts

Her Fifteen Minutes

The truncated, self-destructive history of Valerie Solanas



Valerie Solanas (1936-1988) is remembered by most people only as a name—the name of the woman who shot Andy Warhol. On the day of the shooting, June 3, 1968, Warhol was at the pinnacle of his fame, first as a pop artist, and then, as the 1960s progressed, a cinematic auteur. Warhol’s innumerable home-movie-style films, hastily and sloppily put together at his Manhattan studio, the Factory, and starring the beautiful and minimally talented hangers-on of both sexes, acquired a cult following among trendsters of the time. 

Solanas, who had had a bit part as a butch lesbian (more or less herself) in one of those films, I, a Man (1968), was in a running dispute with Warhol, who she claimed had either stolen or lost a play she had written called Up Your Ass, the sole manuscript of which she had turned over to him in the hope that he ...

Bust of Alexander the Great, St. Petersburg

Happy Warriors

The burden of command, lightly borne, in the classical world


Our generals today don’t seem to enjoy war very much. They usually appear grumpy on television, although distrust of their political masters might well have something to do with that. But even in a ...

Toby, Matthew Gilbert

Canine Therapy

On the dog as a catalyst among humans


This wonderfully perceptive memoir follows Matthew Gilbert’s transformation during his first year as a reluctant dog owner. A neurotic, death-obsessed, and socially uncomfortable television critic for ...

The temptation is to laugh at Bruce Springsteen and his admirers

Born to Rant

The temptation is to laugh at Bruce Springsteen and his admirers


In the fall of 2012, a few days after Hurricane Sandy touched ground, Chris Christie received a phone call from Air Force One concerning New Jersey’s relief efforts. On the other end were two very important Americans: One was, of course, the ...

Suffragette in the diary of Reginald Marsh (1912)

Brush to Pen

The daily, sometimes hourly, thoughts of artists


On April 15, 1865, the painter Rubens Peale received “sad news of the murder of President Lincoln.” On April 23, Peale was afforded “a fine opportunity of viewing the corpse and decorations of the ...

Matthew Arnold, circa 1877

Culture’s Champion

On rereading ‘Culture and Anarchy.’


It was by chance that my first reading of Culture and Anarchy with my students coincided with the centenary of its publication. But it was not by chance that I chose to read it then, in 1969, at the height of the culture war. Anticipating that war ...


The Dakota Directive

Joseph Bottum in The Snowball Identity


Jori Bolton

I couldn’t make a snowball to save my life. Not that my need was actually desperate, this time around—although it might have been, if my life were a Robert Ludlum thriller. The Snowball Identity. The Winter Deception. The Coldland Conundrum. Anyway, even in a small town, snowballs are nice for splattering the garage in a kind of Jackson Pollock painting, if the man had ever painted with ice. Or knocking icicles off the rain gutters. Or using for a cruel game of fetch with the dog. Where’d it go, Spot? Where’d it go? But out here in the Black Hills, after the first real blizzard of the season, the snow just wouldn’t hold its shape.

The morning after the storm, the snow was six inches deep, and the temperature had risen to a balmy 21 degrees—to be followed by a low that night, unfortunately, of 8 below. This is the Hills, after all. The particular snowball problem, however, was that the humidity was ...


A ‘Hell of a Story’: More Obamacare Lies


It was obvious earlier this year that something odd was happening with Obamacare’s enrollment numbers. In May, the White House claimed that over 8 million people had signed up for insurance through Obamacare exchanges after an unexpected and much-hyped “last minute surge” in enrollment​—​but this was only after the initial enrollment period was -extended. Nonetheless, liberal pundits high-fived each other, and Obama held a defiant press conference in which he all but pointed fingers at people who doubted the law would be a success. Shortly afterwards, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced it would no longer issue monthly updates on the number of people enrolled.

That’s no doubt because enrollment quickly started to decline. In September, federal officials testified before Congress that there had been attrition but that 7.3 million Americans were still enrolled in Obamacare​—​comfortably surpassing the stated goal ...


Who Didn’t He Rip Off?

If you’re not already keeping score at home, star CNN talking head Fareed Zakaria has been embroiled for months in a widening plagiarism scandal. The Week provides a useful summary. Zakaria’s “many ethical lapses have been chronicled by the pseudonymous bloggers ...


Dept. of Corrections

Christopher DeMuth writes:

“My article ‘A Constitutional Congress?’ (Oct. 27) mistakenly said that the 1974 Budget Act was enacted over Richard Nixon’s veto. I ...


Doctors Yearning to Breathe Free

"Brain drain” is a phrase that first appeared in the 1950s, when London’s Royal Society expressed concern about the number of British scientists, engineers, and physicians being lured to the United States. Its concern was not misplaced: The Second World War had essentially ...


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