November 23, 2011
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To paraphrase the old Peter, Paul and Mary song: where has all the money gone? Long time passing. Gone to earmarks and down a sinkhole. When will we ever learn?
Most businesses conduct audits or internal reviews to make sure they are operating efficiently. Not the federal government.
Though Fred Phelps is gone, the kind of hate he preached remains. It is why hate must be opposed no matter which group, faith, ceremony, or individual is the target.
Arizona Republican Governor Jan Brewer has vetoed the “religious freedom bill” passed by the Republican legislature. While there is no mention in the bill of same-sex marriage, or even homosexuals, most people believe same-sex marriage and homosexuals were the targets of the proposed law.
After much criticism from conservative quarters, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has decided, at least for now, to withdraw plans for its proposed study of how media organizations gather and report news.
Michele Bachmann remains confident and resolute despite many political setbacks. We met in her office while much of Congress was fleeing the Capitol Building ahead of a major storm that eventually dumped a foot of snow on Washington. The snow was a big deal to residents of the nation’s capital, but little more than flurries to a Minnesotan like Bachmann.
Should Governor Christie be exposed as a liar about lane closures, would that be more serious than the lies the president has told about far more serious matters?
Americans typically hate waste. It is why as children most of us were told to clean our plates because somewhere in the world there were hungry people. Requiring the left to prove their programs and policies are producing outcomes at reasonable cost would shift the debate from ideology and good intentions to reality.
Outrage is the primary ingredient for political fundraising and political power. One must always have an enemy.
Freedom and security should not be contradictory, but complimentary. In an age of terrorism, this “devil” is really in the details.
This is the problem when humanity does not accept an Authority higher than itself, an Authority that holds life, all life, however inconvenient, however tiresome, infinitely valuable. But if we consider ourselves nothing more than evolutionary accidents in an impersonal universe, then we are all potentially vulnerable, depending on the value assigned to us by the state.
Many violent revolutionaries became peacemakers once their oppressors were removed from power. Whether Mandela experienced a “conversion” after we met him, or simply adapted a more pragmatic path to his goals, I cannot say. Let us charitably assume the best about a man revered by many who ended an evil and gave his country an opportunity to build something better.
If things satisfied, wouldn’t Americans be the most satisfied people on Earth? We have more stuff than any generation before ours. The overflow we deposit in rented public storage units. The stock market is up substantially, but we want it to go higher with no bursting bubble this time. Then what?
History can be a great teacher if the “students” pay attention. Many things in the world have changed since the disastrous Munich Pact, but human nature never does. Tyrants respect agreements only so long as it allows them to further their objectives. Munich only delayed the onset of World War II; it did not prevent it.
On the 50th anniversary of his death, C.S. Lewis remains perhaps the 20th century’s most towering intellectual practitioner of the Christian faith. Lewis combined humility — rare among those who have achieved fame — with a style that relied less on argumentation than on logic and persuasion. He asks readers to join him on a journey he himself has taken and, like a tour guide, shows us a better world and a better life than the one he describes in “The Chronicles of Narnia” as being “always winter, but never Christmas.”
The administration pledges to watch Iran closely and if it violates any provisions in a final agreement, sanctions would be re-imposed. If sanctions and other means, such as the introduction of the Stuxnet virus into Iran’s computers, failed to deter Iran’s nuclear program, why would anyone think additional threats and more sanctions would produce the desired results? Iran is playing for time and it appears the United States is willing to give it to them.
If individual members of the Greece, N.Y. town board, or any other legislative body, wish to pray silently to their God before their meetings, no law or court decision prohibits them from doing so. Why would God be more impressed and more likely to respond to a public prayer than to a private one?
Too great for small dreams. What an inspirational line. Reagan believed the strength of America was not in Washington, but in the people. If the people can catch that larger vision, he believed, they could fulfill their greater dreams.
Rather than sending people to Washington in the vain hope the capital can be run like a state, Mike Pence says Washington should look to states “where there is innovation in health care, education, balanced budgets and taxes” and follow their lead.
Nothing would change Washington faster than the transformative idea that only we can make our lives better by our financial and moral choices. It’s long past time for politicians to say “eat your vegetables, they are good for you” and for citizens to comply.
If the United Kingdom, whose population of slightly more than 62 million people, is experiencing severe problems and potential insolvency with its 65-year-old National Health Service (NHS), why would anyone believe a government-run health insurance system in the United States and the health care monstrosity that must inevitably follow will be any more successful with a population more than 300 million?
There is no “community of nations.” There are individual nations with individual interests. If the United Nations could bring peace and prosperity to the world, progress toward that goal should have been made by now. Instead, 68 years after its founding, wars and rumors of wars are increasing.
Former Vice President Al Gore has made a personal fortune promoting the cult of global warming, a cult being partially defined as a belief system that ignores proof contrary to its beliefs. Perhaps the climate change counter-revolutionaries should adopt the yo-yo as their symbol and send Gore and his apostles a box of them.
It was an atypical August summer day in Washington, D.C., 50 years ago next week. Temperatures were in the low 80s, about 10 degrees cooler than normal. Skies were partly cloudy. Most government officials were vacationing.
It bears restating that the Ayatollah Khomeini believed in the strength and resolve of Ronald Reagan. That is why on the day of Reagan’s 1981 inauguration he released 52 American hostages held for 444 days. Strong individuals deter bullies. Strong nations deter enemies and keep the peace.
On the day I visit the Anne Frank House, which is actually the family’s hiding place atop Anne’s father’s business, the wait to get in is as long as three hours. Such is the attraction of this historic site, 53 years after it was opened to the public.
A USA Today poll found that young people put “elected official or working for one” at the very bottom of their career choices. Given the performance of Washington’s political class, who can blame them?
President Obama rarely misses an opportunity to insert himself into an issue. Last Friday, he appeared in the White House pressroom to comment on the George Zimmerman verdict.
When it comes to the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial, we are all influenced by our backgrounds.
FT. WILLIAM, Scotland – The power of television to shrink the world has always amazed me. Eating lunch on the road to Ft. William, a man at the next table recognizes me and introduces himself.
The military coup that ousted Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi marks another failure in U.S. foreign policy over several administrations, which have erroneously promoted the notion that American-style democracy in Islamic lands will produce a nation more like ours.
"Posterity! You will never know how much it cost the present generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it." -- John Quincy Adams. Freedom is not the default position of humankind; otherwise more would be free. In much of
"For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh." -- Genesis 2:24, NIV. The problem for people who believe in an Authority higher even than the Constitution is that
"Character, not circumstance, makes the person." -- Booker T. Washington. The Supreme Court's narrow 5-4 decision to strike down a central component of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, "freeing nine states, mostly in the South," writes The New York Times, "to change their election laws without advance federal
The "Faith and Freedom" Coalition held a gathering last week in Washington, D.C. It resembled many similar conservative assemblies: mostly white male speakers, a mostly white, middle-age audience and mostly full of attacks on President Obama, liberals, Democrats and Washington. That is not a winning strategy.
After 12 years of fighting, the Taliban in Afghanistan have announced they are ready to talk peace with the United States. The Taliban opened a political office in Qatar. The talks will take place there, but without the Afghan government, which is refusing to take part
The United States has a bad track record in the Middle East.
Ever since President Clinton "did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky," whatever remains of standards seem to have fallen even lower among people who hold offices and positions once thought to require good behavior and strong moral character.
More and more of us don't trust government.
The coming Obamacare catastrophe. For years I have been writing about the failures of the UK's National Health Service (NHS) as a warning for what the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) will do to health care here in the U.S.. London's Daily Mail has chronicled the growing problems with the
The annual ritual known as the Scripps National Spelling Bee came and went last week with kids spelling words that, I suspect, many with graduate degrees couldn't spell.
Why is it always Republicans who are seen as the impediment to progress? Why aren't Democrats labeled obstructionists or chastised for advocating policies that lead to escalating debt?
What Westerners struggle to figure out is how to distinguish Islamists from moderate Muslims and how to recognize the true Islamist when they are taught to deceive us about their radical beliefs.
President Obama gave two commencement addresses in one to graduates of Morehouse College in Atlanta last weekend. It would be easy for this conservative to critique the political and social elements of his speech. Instead, I choose to focus on the inspirational part.
Tyranny is no longer lurking. It's here.
It was the pictures and riveting testimony that convinced a Philadelphia jury that abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell was guilty of murdering three infants born alive following botched late-term abortions and also guilty of the involuntary manslaughter of Karnamaya Mongar, who overdosed on Demerol during an abortion at Gosnell's clinic.
Journalists should do their jobs on Benghazi and IRS issues.
The debate over taxing Internet sales isn't about "fairness," as the cleverly worded title of the bill suggests, it is, or ought to be, about spending, which is where the real problem lies.
"Mainstream media" are alarmed by reports that billionaires Charles and David Koch are considering the purchase of Tribune Company's eight daily newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times.
Addressing a meeting of Planned Parenthood on Friday, President Barack Obama accused pro-lifers of wanting to "turn back the clock to policies more suited to the 1950s than the 21st century."
One of the consequences of abandoning a standard by which right and wrong can be judged is our increasing inability to mete out punishment that fits the crime. In fact, too often we weigh extenuating circumstances rather than guilty actions.. In the case of the Boston bombers, observers search for
President Obama rightly asked us not to "jump to conclusions" about motives or responsibility for the two bombs that exploded Monday at the Boston Marathon, killing three and wounding more than 170. That request was pre-emptively ignored.
The death of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher has prompted reactions from Britain's far left that takes bad taste to new extremes.
The lady Thatcher was a champ. MANCHESTER, England -- There is a story about Margaret Thatcher, which is probably apocryphal, but speaks volumes about the strength of Britain's first female prime minister, who died Monday at age 87.. Following her election in 1979, the story goes that Thatcher took her
Gun laws and human nature. In 1983, when President Reagan ordered the deployment of missiles in Europe as part of his "peace through strength" strategy to counter the Soviet Union, the very liberal town of Takoma Park, Md., declared itself a "nuclear free zone."
My first question after reading about seven teachers in an Atlanta public school accused of altering standardized test scores to make it appear students performed better than they actually did was: How could they!?. The seven were nicknamed "the chosen" and, according to Georgia state investigator Richard Hyde, the less
There are many successful liberals, so why do so many of them wish to subsidize failure for the poor, instead of showing them how to succeed? Take Dr. Ben Carson, as one example.
"If there is anything that links the human to the divine, it is the courage to stand by a principle when everybody else rejects it." -- Abraham Lincoln. History is full of warnings about what happens when people follow public opinion instead of standing by their principles. In its
Last week, politicians who helped craft the Affordable Care Act celebrated in self-congratulatory style the third anniversary of that monstrosity which will soon extinguish health care as we've known it.
Too many people shy away from confronting the truth of radical Islam because they fear being attacked.
I have often proposed a deal for my liberal friends who are anti-death penalty but pro-choice: I will surrender my position in favor of the death penalty, if pro-choicers support laws that protect the unborn. But so far I've gotten no takers.
Since the Motown sound went silent -- except on oldies stations -- and General Motors and Chrysler (but not Ford) required life support from Washington, there has been little to recommend Detroit, Mich., to visitors, much less its residents.
All of the arguments for and against same-sex marriage have been heard and will be heard again on March 26 and 27 when lawyers on both sides of the issue argue two key cases regarding same-sex marriages before the Supreme Court.
The Broadway musical "Annie" is enjoying another revival on Broadway. The show opened during the Carter administration when America was in need of some optimism. "The sun'll come out tomorrow," sang Annie, and with the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980, for a while, it did. Now we're back in "Hooverville."
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., is looking beyond Friday and the beginning of the sequestration.
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Gov. Rick Scott, R-Fla., was one of those tea party stars whom voters believed had the courage of his convictions when he promised, as recently as last summer, to block the Affordable Care Act in his state.
At the end of 1995 and stretching into January 1996, the federal government "shut down" because of an impasse between President Bill Clinton and House Republicans led by then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich. The issue was increased taxes vs. less spending. Sound familiar?
Double threats to the cult of big government. Just as Lenin's body remains on public display in Russia, because one never knows when he might be useful to rally the masses, so, too, does the ghost (but thankfully not the body) of the late Joseph McCarthy, R-Wis., remain a useful symbol for Democrats in Washington.
President Barack Obama's approach to so-called "climate change" appears to include recycling old ideas.
Our politics have become so polarized and corrupted that a president of the United States cannot even attend an event devoted to drawing people closer to God and bridge partisan and cultural divides without being lectured about his policies.
An unsigned and undated Justice Department white paper, obtained by NBC News, reports The New York Times, "... is the most detailed analysis yet to come into public view regarding the Obama legal team's views about the lawfulness of killing, without a trial
Under pressure from religious and conservative groups, the Obama administration has offered another compromise on the issue of birth control coverage within the Affordable Care Act.
In the days of the late Mike Wallace, "60 Minutes" was known for hard-hitting, aggressive journalism that asked the questions viewers wanted answered and held the powerful accountable. Not so much these days.
Some political commentators are dancing on what they believe to be the grave of the Republican Party.
At last week's signing of "executive actions" designed to combat gun violence in America, President Obama, flanked by schoolchildren, said, "...when it comes to protecting the most vulnerable among us, we must act now.". There's no doubt that children, especially schoolchildren, are vulnerable to all kinds of threats
One definition of "imperial" on dictionary.com is, "of the nature or rank of an emperor or supreme ruler.". At his news conference Monday, a petulant, threatening and confrontational President Barack Obama spoke like an emperor or supreme ruler. All that was missing was a scepter, a crown and a
If laws were enough to deter criminal behavior prisons would be empty. The latest effort to "control" guns in America is as likely to deter someone intent on breaking the law as outlawing lust would affect one's libido.
Hagel's tone on defense, Israel both troubling. Biography isn't policy. President Obama's choice for secretary of defense, Chuck Hagel, former Nebraska Republican senator, has a resume most politicians can envy: a clean senatorial record, no ethical lapses and two purple hearts from a war many opposed and many more tried
As the son of a woman, the husband of a woman and the father of daughters and granddaughters, I celebrate the record number of females who are now United States senators.
I had read about financially motivated expatriates but never knew one who had taken the ultimate step until I visited with my longtime friend “Sam.”
It has been 50 years since President John F. Kennedy ordered U.S. “advisers” to South Vietnam to help battle the communist North and 37 years since the end of that divisive war and the country’s unification under Communism.
BANGKOK -- Most of us can read about sex trafficking with a sense of detachment. It is only when we see its results up close that we are forced to confront the full extent of its horror.. Nana Plaza is one of several "red light" districts in Bangkok. It is
As much as humans have tried for millennia to prevent evil acts, we have not succeeded.
SINGAPORE -- While the U.S. unemployment rate "dropped" to 7.7 percent last month -- a figure even The Washington Post acknowledged was due "...in large part because the labor force fell by 350,000..." -- here in this modern and prosperous city-state of slightly more than 5 million
"You gotta have hope; mustn't sit around and mope." -- "Damn Yankees". Sitting in the room at the Jack Kemp Leadership Award dinner last week, listening to Senator Marco Rubio, Florida Republican, and Rep. Paul Ryan, Wisconsin Republican and of late the GOP vice presidential candidate, I sensed more
An Internet search is inconclusive as to where the phrase "no skin in the game" originated. Some ascribe it to the late columnist William Safire; others to investor Warren Buffett. Politicians often use the phrase to justify policies to their liking. It can also be applied to the latest in
The opening scene-setter for the 1996 film "Independence Day" might serve as a metaphor for what Egyptians could face if a draft constitution written by a panel dominated by Islamists and based on Sharia law wins approval in a referendum: "A loud rumble is heard. Suddenly, we are covered
The diplomatic hosannas for Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi following his brokering of the recent ceasefire between Hamas and Israel were still being heard even as the former head of the Muslim Brotherhood started behaving like a pharaoh.
The resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus over an extramarital affair has raised and will continue to raise a number of questions.
"The color of the world is changing day by day." -- "Les Miserables," the musical. A look at the electoral map indicates the Republican Party won in square miles. Unfortunately for them, electoral votes, not landmass, won President Obama a second term. Analysis from the Center for Responsive
Great nations and proud empires have always collapsed from within before they were conquered from without.. President Obama's re-election mirrors the self-indulgent, greedy and envious nation we are rapidly becoming.. Pollsters Michael Barone and Dick Morris got it horribly wrong. Both predicted a 300 electoral-vote win for
This election will tell us what kind of America we believe in. Is it the one our Founders bequeathed to their posterity of limited government, or is it the one re-made in the image of liberal paternalistic government? The choice, as President Obama has said, could not be clearer.
When the race card is played this close to the election, I suspect the pro-Obama forces are sensing trouble.
After watching the third presidential debate, are you clear on America's foreign policy? I thought not. That's because there appears to be no singular foreign policy, but rather a series of foreign policies which must be tailored to fit each nation.
Former South Dakota Democratic Senator George McGovern, who died Sunday, had all manner of evil said about him because of his opposition to the Vietnam War. He was called unpatriotic, disloyal, an appeaser and an enabler of communism. Those were the printable slanders.
In form, President Obama came back strongly in Tuesday's debate with Mitt Romney, but substantively he continues to lag behind the Republican candidate. That's because the president has a record to defend and it isn't a good one.
In his debate with Paul Ryan, the vice president was merely a jerk.
America's role in the world must be redefined and explained to its citizens. The presidential candidates should be asked about it.
To the millions of Americans unable to find work, to college graduates who can't get a job and are living with their parents, to the underemployed who are working at jobs far below their skill set and experience, and to those who have given up looking for work altogether, a 7.8 percent unemployment rate is meaningless.
Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is on a media tour promoting his book, "Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story." It certainly is.
Mitt Romney's main advantage in his first debate with President Obama tonight may be that the president will be speaking without a teleprompter. His second advantage is the president's record and how he has failed to fulfill many of his promises.
It isn't the policies and attitude of the United States toward the Arab world that need changing. It's the attitude and policies of the Arab world that need to change.
President's failures out in the open. There's another video, this one of Mitt Romney speaking to donors at a fundraiser in Boca Raton.
"How could this happen?" Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asked in response to the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya that killed Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three others. What doesn't Secretary Clinton get? The actions and statements of Islamic extremists have been visible for some time.
"There is no right to strike against the public safety by anybody, anywhere, any time." -- Calvin Coolidge, responding to the 1919 Boston police strike. This oft-quoted line from the then-governor of Massachusetts might be updated to include "the public interest," as well as public safety
In a speech resembling a TV re-run (the liberal website The Daily Beast called it "dull"), President Obama accepted his party's nomination for a second term. In doing so, he made the most ludicrous claim of this campaign, indeed, of his presidency: "You didn't elect me to tell you
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — If the Democrats and Republicans aren't talking about the greater goal of helping the poor become un-poor (rather than just sending them a check to sustain them in their poverty), is anyone doing something to help them? At least one person is — and within sight of the Democratic National Convention.
My first political convention was in 1964 when Democrats convened in Atlantic City to nominate Lyndon Johnson for a full term as president. I was a young copyboy at the NBC News network bureau in Washington. We arrived from Washington aboard a chartered DC-3 plane that also carried the
TAMPA, Fla. -- This week when Mitt Romney strides to center stage to deliver his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, he might draw inspiration from an unlikely source: the song "I Am What I Am" from the musical "La Cage Aux Folles."
It's trapping season. The targets are Republicans, whom the Democratic-friendly media (the trappers) hunt in order to smear -- especially the Romney-Ryan ticket -- forcing them off message.
Dictionary.com defines a "debate" as: "A formal contest in which the affirmative and negative sides of a proposition are advocated by opposing speakers.". That is not what will take place during three exchanges between President Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, or the one vice-presidential exchange between
When women complain about men who can't commit, they can thank -- or blame -- two people: Playboy magazine publisher Hugh Hefner and the former editor of Cosmopolitan magazine, Helen Gurley Brown, who died this week at age 90.
Is America ready for a serious discussion of issues, rather than the superficial approach that has defined so much of modern politics? We're about to find out.
To call Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid a "mad dog," as Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank did, is an affront to the canine community and those suffering from legitimate mental illness.
Some of Calvin Coolidge's contemporaries may have found his reserved New England manner boring, but some moderns are starting to reconsider the economic rules and political standards by which he lived.
By now the script should be familiar. A bombing or a mass shooting occurs and the media immediately look for a simple cause. Invariably, they turn to talk radio or some other conservative pit of "intolerance."
Stephen Covey, the management guru who died this week, would have had a hard time selling his books in Benjamin Franklin's America, or Abe Lincoln's. His best seller "7 Habits of Highly Effective People" would have been considered a self-evident truth.
Mitt Romney's speech to the NAACP convention in Houston was -- according to one's political perspective -- a "calculated move on his part to get booed..." to help his white base (Rep. Nancy Pelosi), or a presentation to "independent thinking adult citizens" whom he treated as equals (Rush Limbaugh
President's spin on jobless doesn't add up. President Obama's attempt to spin the latest discouraging unemployment numbers as "a step in the right direction" is like telling passengers aboard the Titanic to ignore the sinking vessel and listen to the live music.. A Wall Street Journal analysis of the June
When asked at the close of the Constitutional Convention in 1787 what the Founders had wrought, Benjamin Franklin famously said, "A Republic, if you can keep it." But the "Oprahfication" of America, in which feelings trump truth and personal experience and class guilt rule instead of the Constitution, threatens it.
Throughout America's history, there have been people who denied threats from our enemies.
The U.K.'s National Health Service (NHS) is the best guidebook for Americans concerned where a nationalized health system might take us.
Now it’s Newt’s turn. Having risen to the top in some opinion polls, the former speaker of the House is taking heat for large consulting fees paid to him by the government-sponsored mortgage company Freddie Mac for wisdom a New York Times editorial said was so simplistic it might have come from a fortune cookie.
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Since the congressional super committee appears unable, or unwilling, to take a lesson from Indiana or Virginia -- where Republican governors have made spending cuts and delivered budget surpluses without damaging the social safety net -- members might wish to consider Puerto Rico and what its governor, Luis Fortuno, is doing.Fortuno is Puerto Rico's first Republican governor in 42 years. In 2009 when he took office, the U.S. territory had a $3.3 billion budget deficit. Three years earlier, Moody's Investors Service downgraded the commonwealth's bond rating to junk status while in deep recession.