Jacob Heilbrunn

The Peculiar Case of Paul Wolfowitz

Look who's back: Paul Wolfowitz, who was deputy secretary of defense in the George W. Bush administration, resurfaced yesterday on NBC to declare that not only was he not an architect of the Iraq War, as Chuck Todd had introduced him, but that, in any case, it was time to let bygones be bygones when it comes to Iraq and look to the future, and, heck, that if President Obama rescued Iraq from itself, why, then, he could claim lots of credit for being a fine leader. That statement sounds lofty but was, of course, self-serving since it is Wolfowitz and Co.

Good Riddance to Eric Cantor

There must be something in the water at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, VA. Two professors from that institution will square off to fight for Rep. Eric Cantor's seat--David Brat, who polished off Cantor in the primary, and Jack Trammel. Each is an author. Brat has published such works as God and Advanced Mammon – Can Theological Types Handle Usury and Capitalism?” Trammel is the author of Down on the Chickahominy: The Life and Times of a Vanishing Virginia River.

Obama's Dangerous Scandal At the VA

The surprising thing isn't that Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki resigned today but that he didn't do so sooner. Like Kathleen Sebelius, he is another Obama administration appointee who simply lacked the management skills to run a large organization. He charitably described himself as "too trusting."  But his resignation itself won't shield President Obama himself from the political fallout of what appears to be a real scandal at the VA as opposed to the manufactured one of Benghazi.

Why Is Netanyahu Praising Obama?

In a revealing interview with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Jeffrey Goldberg extracts some unusual praise from him for President Obama. Despite the frosty relationship between the two leaders, Netanyahu apparently thinks that Obama has had some real success in Syria. He tells Goldberg:


Why Germany Admires Putin

Is there a new Berlin-Moscow axis developing? A few weeks ago Gerhard Schroeder, the former German chancellor who serves on the board of Gazprom, was photographed giving Russian president Vladimir Putin a bear hug. Another former Social Democratic chancellor, Helmut Schmidt, declared in the weekly Die Zeit that the uproar over Putin’s expropriation of the Crimea was so much piffle. It was, he said, “entirely understandable.” And the German public itself has no appetite for confrontation over Ukraine.

The Rand Paul Threat

Sen. Rand Paul should be pleased by the wilding that conservatives have attempted against him in the past week. Paul is attracting numerous brickbats from the likes of Rich Lowry, the editor of National Review, Bret Stephens, a columnist for the Wall Street Journal, and Rep. Peter King. The attention suggests that his opponents are worried—worried that Paul may be making friends and influencing people both inside and outside the GOP.

The Assault On John Judis

John Judis, whose new book Genesis is critically and soberly reviewed by the eminent historian Bernard Wasserstein in the new National Interest, has been coming under fire from a number of conservative outlets for allegedly displaying hostility toward Israel.