The Death Rattle of Obama’s Reputation

Look in a mirror.

The members of Barack Obama’s administration in exile have become conspicuously noisy of late—even more so than usual. Former CIA Director John Brennan accused Donald Trump and his administration of engaging in “outrageous,” “narcissistic” behavior typical of “vengeful autocrats” by threatening proportionate retaliation against countries that voted to condemn the United States in the United Nations, as though that were unprecedented. It is not. James Clapper, Obama’s director of national intelligence, all but alleged that the president is a Russian “asset.” Perhaps the most acerbic and incendiary series of accusations from the former Democratic president’s foreign-policy professionals were placed in the New York Times by Obama’s national security advisor, Susan Rice. In her estimation, America has abdicated its role as a “force for good.”

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The Death Rattle of Obama’s Reputation

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Going full Bernie.

Conservatives who criticize socialist schemes are often met with a particularly droll challenge from of our friends on the left. “You don’t like socialism?” they say. “Then I guess you want to get rid of the police force, paved roads, and NASA.” Or, as Bernie Sanders once put it: “When you go to your public library, when you call your fire department or the police department, what do you think you’re calling? These are socialist institutions.”

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Natalie Portman Is No Prize

Toddler-esque petulance.

Local gossip among the chattering classes in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem has it that the Israel Genesis Prize is a response of Russian-Israeli oligarchs who resented feeling sidelined in the fishbowl of Jewish power, which tends to be dominated by Americans. So, they pooled their considerable resources to create what some refer to as the “Jewish Nobel Prize.”

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Podcast: Israel – The Miracle at 70

Israel, North Korea, and Mike Pompeo

On this podcast, we explain why, for the state of Israel, these are the very best of times, even though American Jews and those who hate Israel seem to believe otherwise to the exclusion of all available evidence. Then we talk about what Sohrab Ahmari dubs the North Korea “somewhat” and Mike Pompeo’s nomination. With a guest appearance by Skeletor. Give a listen.

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Mobs Win at CUNY and Duke

Undisciplined

I don’t envy university administrators the hard job of responding to student protests. But it’s not hard to understand that the job requires a clear view of what sets universities apart. Universities are supposed to be havens for rational inquiry into ideas, however unorthodox they may be. That is why they are uncommonly open to protesters, who often try to convey neglected ideas, and also why their rules are designed so that protests will, as much as possible, catalyze fresh thinking instead of hindering it. But sometimes administrators, either because they don’t understand universities or because they panic, neglect those rules and thereby do harm.

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The Conscious Act of Forgetting

A false innocence.

Trayon White, the Washington D.C. councilman who earned national scorn last month when he blamed this winter’s persistent snow on the work of a shadowy cabal of Jewish conspirators, is trying to broaden his perspective. His unpublicized attempts at penance have included attending a Passover seder, meeting with local Jewish leaders, and making a sojourn to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. That last bit went about as well as you might expect.

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