The Iran Deal: Oppose, Obstruct, Delay . . . Defeat


An S-300 system deployed in a Russian exercise  in Kaliningrad, January 30, 2015

Hillary Rodham Clinton, quondam secretary of state and presumptive heir to the presidency 

of the United States, spent Monday, April 13, in her Secret Service van heading out to Iowa. She was undoubtedly preparing diligently for several hours of arduous mixing and mingling with “everyday Americans.” We don’t know whether she had time that morning to take a look at the Wall Street Journal, with its report that “the Kremlin has formally lifted its own ban on the delivery of S-300 missiles to Iran, setting the legal groundwork for the possible Russian sale of a powerful air-defense system to Tehran.”

We do know that the delivery of the S-300s had been suspended under pressure, first from the Bush and then from the Obama administration. And we do know that, as Foreign Policy magazine reported in 2010, the S-300 success was being “touted by the White House as a new dawn in ...


The Selling of Hillary, 2016

Big government favors the powerful— and vice versa.


Gary Locke

In The Selling of the President, Joe McGinniss details how Richard Nixon’s handlers micromanaged every aspect of his public persona in 1968, to craft an image for a fickle public that had rejected the longtime politician eight years before.

It is an easy bet that Hillary Clinton’s top strategists have dog-eared copies of this book close at hand. Clinton has been running for president nonstop since 2000, but earlier this month she announced her candidacy—on Twitter, no less. She tweeted, “I’m running for president. Everyday Americans need a champion, and I want to be that champion.” Nixon’s people would be impressed.

To be sure, every candidate nowadays is intensively stage-managed, but there does seem something special about Clinton’s handling this second time around. Nothing is being left to chance. One can imagine the debate over her Twitter announcement: Should it be “average ...


Ready for Coddling

Hillary does Iowa.


"Do you have a statement for the Palestinians?” “What about your gaffes?” “Do you feel that your gaffes have overshadowed your foreign trip?”

No, that wasn’t the press corps last week greeting Hillary Clinton on her journey into foreign lands ...

Jeb Bush and wife Columba on Election Day, November 3, 1998

Bush’s Forgotten Book

Self-government begins with citizens.


Nowadays when you mention the book Profiles in Character to Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida and, as it happens, the coauthor of Profiles in Character, he immediately cracks wise.

“You mean you actually found a copy?” he ...


The Party of Ideas

Applied conservatism, 101.


Middleburg, Va.
Republicans have few built-in advantages in politics. But they do have one that’s already a factor in the 2016 presidential campaign. That advantage is ideas, especially ones affecting middle-income Americans.


Might as Well Go Green Yourself

The five hidden ways you’re paying to subsidize renewable power.


Do you want to know how to beat the stock market? In 46 of America’s 50 largest cities, installing a fully financed, typical-sized, residential solar power system will do just that, according to a Department of Energy-backed study released earlier this year. In other words, by ...

Zaur Dadayev in court, March 8, 2015

Who Shot Boris Nemtsov?

There’s no shortage of suspects.


A month and a half has passed since Boris Nemtsov, the Russian political activist who rose to prominence as a dynamic young reformer in the 1990s and later became one of the fiercest critics of Vladimir Putin’s authoritarian rule, was shot dead a few blocks from the Kremlin. The ...

Hugo Award

Revenge of the Nerds

Science fiction fans against the progressives.


Not that long ago, if you’d spun a dystopian yarn about some future society where culture wars were so pervasive that nobody could enjoy reading a novel without first approving of the author’s politics, it would have been almost too fantastical to be believed. But within the ...

Rep. Goodlatte

Trolling for Trolls

.  .  . and securing crony capitalism’s future.


With congressional Republicans back from their spring recess, presumably revived and resolved to keep our country competitive, there is one more thing they should do to gird up for the resumption of legislative business.

They should take a ...


The Rise of Rubio

A first-term Florida senator sets his sights on the White House



Five days before he would take the biggest step of his young political career, Marco Rubio called Bernie Navarro, a Miami real estate investor, to ask for a favor. Rubio wanted to have a small, low-key gathering to thank friends and family before his official announcement the next day, and he needed someone to host it. Navarro, like Rubio the son of Cuban exiles, asked permission from his wife. Although she had denied his repeated requests to host a Super Bowl party, there was no hesitation in approving this one. 

At dusk on a steamy Sunday evening, Rubio, wearing khakis, a plaid oxford, and brown loafers, walked to the middle of the backyard of the stately suburban Miami home to address the group that had come to wish him well. Navarro had introduced him as “the next president of the United States,” though he apologized for scooping his friend’s own announcement. The crowd of ...

Books & Arts

War. What Is It Good For?

The man who answered the question.


Carl von Clausewitz

If you know nothing else about Carl von Clausewitz (1780-1831) but that he wrote the seminal On War (1832), you might form a mental picture of an intellectual soldier moving in the top echelons of the early-19th-century Prussian Army. This conception would be partly right, as Clausewitz did indeed mingle with Prussian and other European royals, as well as diplomats, field marshals, and generals in the struggle against Napoleon. And yet, as Donald Stoker shows, Clausewitz also had a keen feeling for field service. 

Here he is, writing to his wife Marie upon rejoining the Prussians after service in Russia:

Being with a very dear little army .  .  . headed by my friends, passing through beautiful country during the nice time of the year .  .  . is pretty much the ideal of Earthly existence. .  .  .

Joshua Reynolds

Great Awakening

What you see is what you get, philosophically speaking.


John R. Searle, the Slusser professor of philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley, is a philosopher in the tradition of Wittgenstein. He wants to clarify things. That is, he thinks there are two big mistakes ...

The assassination of August von Kotzebue (1819)

Terrorized by Terror

The rippling effects of the French Revolution.


One March morning in 1819, a young radical activist named Karl Ludwig Sand knocked on the door of the home of August von Kotzebue, the famous royalist writer, in the German city of ...

Carbon critics, Pittsburgh (2014)

Double Dividend?

The economics and politics of taxing carbon.


There are three ways to view a carbon tax. Conservatives see it, or should see it, as what is called “a tax swap”—a revenue-neutral tool to shift the burden of taxation from income and other taxes that reduce economic growth and ...

Arthur Conan Doyle (1925)

Not So Elementary

The story within the stories of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.


"Cultural biography” is not the sort of classification that usually inspires much confidence. It’s generally a sure sign that the reader will be spending most of his time with everyone in contemporary society but the subject: more pages ...

Alicia Vikander

Mind Over Matter

A robot by any other name .  .  .


There’s a new movie called Ex Machina whose message can be summed up as “don’t fall in love with a robot.” This is not exactly the freshest theme, since male movie characters have been ill-advisedly falling in love with female robots ...


Their Money or Your Life

Philip Terzian, down and out in D.C.


Dave Clegg

During Christmas vacation 1968-69 I ran into a high school friend much wiser in the ways of the world than I. He had stumbled onto a curious job for the next few weeks— collecting the proceeds from a chain of bowling alleys in the Washington area, counting the loot, and delivering it to corporate headquarters—but he needed a driver. The work required no particular skill, was done quickly, late at night, and he was willing to divide the fee. So I signed on. 

I was, at this time, in what might be called the Orwellian phase of my working career. Inspired, to some degree, by Down and Out in Paris and London (1933), I had resolved to supplement my higher education with a string of part-time, blue-collar, low-wage endeavors that would give me some exposure to a workaday world of which I knew virtually nothing. So I labored on construction crews, in a bookstore, at a concrete company, picking up laundry, washing dishes, ...


Hillary Champion


Brian Williams

Fungible Anchors

The Scrapbook is not in the habit of closely following show biz gossip—well, not too closely. Still, we couldn’t help but notice that the Manhattan media world is abuzz about the return of Andrew Lack, after several years’ absence, as chief of NBC News. This, in itself, is of no ...


Minimum Sense

The New York Times recently declared, citing the release of a University of California study, that companies with employees earning an annual wage so low as to qualify them for government aid of some sort are effectively being subsidized by the federal government and ...

Garry Trudeau

Sorry, Charlie

Cartoonist Garry Trudeau accepted the Career Achievement Award last week at the allegedly prestigious George Polk journalism awards. But in his acceptance speech, he raised more than a few eyebrows by attacking the cartoonists at Charlie Hebdo—the ones who were murdered ...


Flag Day in Kabylie

We are the friends of liberty everywhere, the guardians only of our own: John Quincy Adams’s famous aphorism comes to mind as we observe the cruel realities of international affairs. It is a happy day in Kabylie—the large mountainous region east of Algiers that is home to Algeria’s ...


The Krauthammer Conversation

The Scrapbook has previously touted the Conversations with Bill Kristol video series, but we suspect readers will be particularly drawn by the latest in the series—an extended discussion between our ...


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