THE SUPREMES CONSIDER ANOTHER POWER GRAB…THE EPA’S THIN LEGAL AIR The Environmental Protection Agency’s habit of stretching its legal authority faces another reckoning on Tuesday when the Supreme Court considers whether the agency can rewrite the Clean Air Act to usurp state responsibilities. This one ought to be in Justice Anthony Kennedy‘s federalist sweet spot. The case focuses on the Clean Air Act’s “good […]

BRET STEPHENS: CHUCK HAGEL WAS RIGHT Chuck Hagel was right: The Obama administration’s policy on Iran’s nuclearization is containment, not prevention. The secretary of defense let that one slip at his confirmation hearings in January, and the media played it as a stumble by an intellectually overmatched nominee. But it wasn’t a stumble. It was a gaffe—an accidental, embarrassing act […]

ANDREW McCARTHY: IMPEACHMENT LESSONS Well whaddya know: The topic of impeachment reared its head at a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday. Jonathan Strong’s report here at NRO noted the wincing consternation of GOP-leadership aides at utterances of the “i-word” during the testimony of prominent legal experts. For the Republican establishment, it seems, history begins and ends in the 1990s: […]


North Korea has increased the size of a labor camp where prisoners have been beaten to death with hammers and forced to dig their own graves, according to a report by a rights group published Thursday.

Amnesty International commissioned satellite analysis of the country’s largest prison camp — which is known as kwanliso 16.

It shows new buildings have been constructed inside the compound — which is three times the size of Washington, D.C. — since North Korean leader Kim Jong Un replaced his late father.

Amnesty International also interviewed guards and inmates who have first-hand experience of life in the camps. They said women are often raped and then executed in secret by officials, and those who try to escape are beaten before being publicly shot or hanged.

RUTHIE BLUM: KERRY’S GOSPEL OF WEAKNESS U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Israel on Wednesday for the eighth time since taking office in February. And he’s been visiting regularly since July, when negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority were “renewed” after a three-year hiatus. Unlike his previous little trips to the country, however, for the ostensible purpose […]


This week’s Glazov Gang was joined by Dwight Schultz, a Hollywood actor, Ann-Marie Murrell, the National Director of PolitiChicks.tvand Monty Morton, a Walking Encyclopedia of Facts.

The Gang gathered to discuss The ObamaCare Nightmare. The dialogue occurred in Part I and focused on the catastrophe that Obama’s health care plan is inflicting on America.

In Part II, the Gang shed light onIsrael Betrayed, analyzing the Obama administration’s surrender to the Mullahs’ quest for the Bomb. The discussion was followed by an analysis of The Knockout Game and ofSpencer and Geller Banned from the UK for Pro-Israel Stance.

Watch both parts of the two-part series below:

On the Brink : A World in Transition Before the Great War. Susanne Klingenstein

“The first second of 1913. A gunshot rings out through the dark night. There’s a brief click, fingers tense on the trigger, then comes a second, dull report. The alarm is raised, the police dash to the scene and arrest the gunman straight away. His name is Louis Armstrong.” Armstrong is 12 years old. At the Colored Waifs’ Home for Boys, where he is later dumped, he is so unruly that the home’s director thrusts a cornet into his hands to help the boy blow off steam. He never puts it down. A star is born.

With this shot in the night, the German art historian Florian Illies opens this entertaining romp through the mind-boggling year 1913.

Among historians, who stare mesmerized into the vortex of insanity that produced the Big Bang of August 1914, the precursor year is a bit of an orphan. World politics are in a holding pattern; the players of the future lounge about, biding their time. Hitler is painting postcards, Stalin is writing nationalist essays, Trotsky is playing chess. All three are in Vienna. Hitler and Stalin enjoy morning walks in the park of Schönbrunn, as does the old emperor Franz Josef, who is contemptuous of the Erzherzog (Archduke Franz Ferdinand) racing through Vienna in a car that has golden spokes like the emperor’s coach.

Stalin beats Lenin seven times in a row at chess before leaving Krakow for Vienna. But it is Leon Bronstein (Trotsky) who becomes known as the best player in the Café Central. That year, the man who will kill him in Mexico is born in Barcelona. That’s the sort of thing one learns from Illies.

This marvelous book is like a box of rich cultural chocolates, each wrapped in the brightly glittering foil of its own significance. They are tightly packed, one next to the other in chronological tiers called months. The result is a stunning kaleidoscope of High Modernism: Artistically, 1913 was exploding in fulfillment. Best known is the pandemonium that erupted on May 29 at the premiere in Paris of Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du printemps, choreographed and danced by the scandalous Nijinski and Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes. Although Maurice Ravel, from his cheap seat, yelled “genius” above the outraged audience, the next morning Le Figaro surmised that the Russians weren’t prepared for the French proclivity to protest “once stupidity has reached its nadir.”

The enjoyment of Illies’s spirited depiction is a bit marred by the translation. It was originally done for a British readership. Hence, one has to get used to Briticisms, such as “interval” for “intermission.” Fair enough, if we acknowledge the seniority of British over American English. But there is no excuse for telling us that Gabriele d’Annunzio, who sat in the audience on May 29, had run away from his disciples (Gläubigen) in Italy, when he had really escaped from his creditors (Gläubigern).

Just weeks before he died, one of Zionism’s early prophets was starting to get real traction in his plan to create a Jewish army in the heart of the Holocaust.
In June 1940—at the darkest military moment of World War II—three speeches were given in two days: one by a prime minister; another by a general; the third by a Zionist leader. Everyone knows the first; some have heard of the second; few are aware of the third. But the three are of a piece, and the third still resonates today, nearly 75 years later.

On June 18, Winston Churchill—who became prime minister only five weeks before—delivered a lengthy address to a subdued Parliament, dealing primarily with the catastrophic Dunkirk evacuation he had ordered. In May, Nazi Germany had overwhelmed the low countries of Western Europe in a massive new blitzkrieg; Hitler was days away from defeating France, and Britain was unprepared for the invasion it knew would be coming next. Today everyone remembers Churchill’s speech by its final sentence: “Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, ‘This was their finest hour.’”

The same day, a little-known general, who had escaped the day before from France and would one day be heralded as the greatest French leader of the twentieth century, delivered a radio address in a London BBC studio. He called on French officers and men who were in Britain, or might be in the future, to get in touch with him, with or without their arms, to form a resistance. The next day he broadcast another call: “Faced by the bewilderment of my countrymen … by the fact that the institutions of my country are incapable, at the moment, of functioning, I, General de Gaulle, a French soldier and military leader, realize that I now speak for France.” In France, June 18 is now a national commemorative event, celebrated each year in memory of De Gaulle’s radio addresses.

On June 18, Vladimir Jabotinsky, head of the New Zionist Organization, was in New York City, preparing to deliver an address the next evening at the 4,500-seat Manhattan Center. He had spoken there in March to an overflow crowd of 5,000 people; now he held a press conference to preview the second address: he would call for a Jewish Army to fight “the giant rattlesnake.” On June 19 another overflow crowd showed up at the Manhattan Center, despite an extraordinary public effort by American Jewish leaders to thwart the event.

OBAMA’S COIN TOSS ON IRAN: JED BABBIN Speaking to a forum on Middle East policy on Saturday, President Obama showed how cavalierly he regards his nuclear deal with Iran. Obama said, “We have to be vigilant about maintaining our security postures, not be naive about the dangers that an Iranian regime poses, fight them wherever they’re engaging in terrorism or actions that […]

MARILYN PENN: SHIFTING THE BLAME Almost everything that is wrong with the Times’ sensationalized front page story, “Girl in the Shadows,”   (12/9/13) is foretold by the explanatory caption in the passive voice:  “As New York has been reborn, children like Dasani have been left behind.”  The implication is that we New Yorkers,  under the spell of our old imperial mayor, have […]