Bad Weed

Review: ‘Going to Pot’ by William Bennett and Robert White

Two trends have been at work in American culture over the past few years, and not much attention has been paid to the tension between them. On one side is the push for greater public health, manifested in limits on soda sizes and a stigmatizing of cigarette smoking. In many areas, local governments have outlawed smoking tobacco in bars and restaurants and near building entrances, and PSAs trumpet the health risks of smoking. On the other side, a push for greater acceptance of marijuana is gaining ground, with cities and whole states legalizing weed despite federal laws outlawing it.

Agents of Chaos

Review: Patrick Cockburn’s ‘The Rise of the Islamic State,’ and Erick Stakelbeck’s ‘ISIS Exposed’

In the last year, an entire literature has developed around the Islamic State.

‘Furious Seven’ Review

They’ve made seven of these movies, people. Seven.

Since last we saw the dudes and dudettes who populate the Fast and Furious franchise—charitably described by your humble reviewer in 2013 as “James Bond flicks for the Ryan Lochte set”—much has changed, both in the series and in real life.

Benghazi, Bergdahl, and the Bomb

Column: President Obama’s stories haven’t held up before. How is the Iran deal any different?

President Obama strode to the lectern in the Rose Garden Thursday to announce a “historic” agreement between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran. The preliminary deal made in Lausanne, Switzerland, the president said, “cuts off every pathway Iran could take to develop a nuclear weapon.” I hope he’s right.

Packing It In

Review: Clive James’ ‘Poetry Notebook’

About a decade ago, Clive James came out to give a talk in the corner of academia where I was, at the time, pretending to be a scholar. The idea was that he would read some of his poems and then take questions, but things struck a sour note when some of us posing the questions seemed entirely uninterested in James’ poetry, and instead wanted to talk about his memoirs. James was visibly annoyed, though he later recovered over beers with a group of students, speaking with quiet passion on poetic and literary matters. He was in his mid-sixties at the time, but seemed much older, and not well.

Iran Accuses U.S. of Lying About New Nuke Agreement

Says White House misleading Congress, American people with fact sheet

Javad ZarifJust hours after the announcement of what the United States characterized as a historic agreement with Iran over its nuclear program, the country’s leading negotiator lashed out at the Obama administration for lying about the details of a tentative framework.

Congressmen to Obama: Stand With Israel

House resolution rejects UN meddling in Israeli-Palestinian talks

A bipartisan group of congressmen are rallying behind Israel as reports indicate that the White House may embrace a France-sponsored United Nations Security Council resolution that would “meddle” in direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.