Is success in Iraq "vital to America’s national security," as President Bush so often says? Fewer and fewer Americans think so, as the declining support for our activities there clearly shows. A major reason for this is the fact that the ongoing struggle in Iraq has become divorced from the larger War on Terror in the minds of many Americans.
It used to be that McCain's willingness to boldly follow his principles was considered the gold standard of selfless political principle. Now, the media portray the same boldness as primarily a drag on McCain's political ambition.
Key Democrats have already announced that the president's plan to use the tax code to encourage more Americans to obtain health insurance is dead on arrival on Capitol Hill. They complain that this is just one more scheme to give tax breaks to people who don't need them, while continuing to deny essential health care to the most vulnerable.
Two recent news items grabbed my attention. The first of them dealt with a brouhaha occurring down in Katy, Texas. It seems that farmer Craig Baker decided to show his displeasure over the Katy Islamic Association buying up neighboring acreage and trying, he felt, to force him off his land for the purpose of building a Muslim school, mosque and community center.
You don't have to be a military strategist on the order of Sun Tzu or Carl von Clausewitz to understand this: It is a bad idea to fund your enemy's war effort. But every time we fill the tanks of our cars with gasoline we put money in the pockets of terrorists intent on killing Americans.
"As I look at Iraq, I recall the words of former general and soon-to-be-President Dwight Eisenhower during the dark days of the Korean War, which had fallen into a bloody stalemate. 'When comes the end?' ... And as soon as he became president, he brought the Korean War to an end."
I'm not convinced by the argument for sending 21,000 additional troops mainly to Baghdad, and I'm downright incensed at Senate Foreign Relations Committee voting along (Democratic) party lines (plus GOP Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska) to declare this same so-called troop surge to be against "the national interest."
You could hear the slight weariness, the semi-artificial cheer, the hurry-slowly tempo in Tony Snow's voice. The president's always pressed-for-time-and-running-late spokesperson was conducting still another pre-State of the Union conference call Tuesday afternoon at about 3:30 Washington compressed time.
Is there anything more depressing than yet another promise of energy independence in yet another State of the Union address? By my count, 24 of the 34 State of the Union addresses since the oil embargo of 1973 have proposed solutions to our energy problem.
Sam Staley, co-author with Ted Balaker of the book, “The Road More Traveled: Why the Congestion Crisis Matters More Than You Think, and What We Can Do About It,” is the director of urban and land-use policy at the Reason Foundation. His book offers real-world solutions to problems city-dwellers know far too much about from daily experience -- increasingly crowded, poorly designed and deteriorating highways.
As Jimmy Carter’s dismal presidency drew to a close, his field of vision was narrowed to an embassy in Tehran. On Richard Nixon’s last day, all he could see was a tape recorder.
It’s a story that could be ripped from today’s headlines. An unpopular president commits American forces to a dangerous mission. If things go well, millions will probably see him as a hero. But if they go poorly, his political career is over. Oh, and he may well trigger a new war.
A potpourri of quotes generally on topics currently in the news:
So much of what President Bush said in his State of the Union address ought to have been said and done when Republicans held a congressional majority. That especially applies to his call for a "special advisory council on the war on terror, made up of leaders in Congress from both political parties."
President Bush and the Republicans aren't the only political casualties of America's deepening disapproval of the Iraq war. Sen. Hillary Clinton also risks being caught in the crossfire of her party's divisions over the battle for Baghdad.
Recently, as an airliner taxied up to a gate, a flight attendant made the usual announcement -- thank you for flying with us -- but with an unusual coda: "We know you have your choice of bankrupt airlines." Which raises a question: What is wrong with American Airlines?
Girl-power feminists who got where they are by marrying men with money or power -- Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Arianna Huffington and John Kerry -- love to complain about how hard it is for a woman to be taken seriously. It has nothing to do with their being women. It has to do with their cheap paths to power. Kevin Federline isn't taken seriously either.
I haven’t any real idea of what Shawn Hornbeck was forced to endure during his four-and-a-half years as a captive of an obviously deranged child abuser, but I know exactly what he’s going through now at the hands of his parents.
Anthropologist Margaret Mead, a popular professor during my years at Yale in the late 1960’s, frequently challenged students with her famous formulation that “the biggest problem for any society is to try to decide what on earth to do with its men.”
A childless legislator here in California (where else?) has proposed a legislative ban on spanking. Sally Lieber, Democrat (naturally) from Mountain View, which is in Northern California (why am I not surprised?) believes this is a proper function of state government.
Political commentator Henry Louis Mencken (1880-1956) warned that "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed -- and hence clamorous to be led to safety -- by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary." The Weather Channel has taken up that task with its series "It Could Happen Tomorrow."
In her first appearance as a presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton spoke at a community center while holding the hand of small child. Nancy Pelosi has said that when she took the Speaker's gavel, she took it "from the hands of the special interests and (put it) into the hands of America's children." Sen. Barbara Boxer recently belittled Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice because Rice doesn't have children and therefore cannot appreciate the full impact of war the way Boxer can.
The voice on the answering machine was that of my favorite cousin — a sweet, always assuring voice I’d known since earliest childhood. It was just as slow and Southern as ever but this time you could hear the strain and hesitation in it, not just the always present consideration.
First principles plus the resolve to defend them are the mark of great presidents, and it has always been so in the history of the country.
The man and his wife were married while they were still in school and had a little boy before they graduated. The second child was born several years later. They had a very good life with in-laws taking the two-hour drive to visit the grandchildren from time to time.
I suppose I come from what’s left of America’s warrior class. Not the 'noblesse oblige' style warrior of the Civil War or World War II, but a working class stock of martial warrior who serves for a sense of individual purpose, and who coincidentally comes from a line of previous warriors.
Beware of liberals using such words as "fairness." In resurrecting the "Fairness Doctrine," liberals are trying to kill conservative talk radio and restore their media monopoly. Period.
Eureka! Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has the solution: "The 50 Percent Solution." Schumer is credited, as much as any other man, with putting into place the strategy that regained Democrats control of both houses of Congress.
Although Los Angeles Dodgers’ center fielder Willie Davis was widely considered the fastest man in baseball throughout the 1960s and 70s, he is perhaps more often remembered for a remark he made following game two of the 1966 World Series against the Baltimore Orioles. Even more important than his amazing speed, Davis had extraordinary perspective.
Maybe it's not "The Most Important Speech of His Presidency" -- according to conventional wisdom, that would have been his recent announcement of a "new direction" in Iraq -- but the upcoming State of the Union address still presents a hugely significant opportunity for President Bush.
When historians sit down to write about the recently departed 109th Congress, one fact is likely to stand out: The supposedly conservative majority spent as if it was a liberal majority.
Sen. McCain has a lot of relationship building to do with bloggers. Some will be unwilling to hear him out. Others will be willing to hear him out but will remain unpersuaded. And some, in time, may come around. Rest assured, we are reaching out to bloggers in an aggressive way
"There's Emerald City! Oh, we're almost there at last! At last! It's beautiful, isn't it? Just like I knew it would be! He really must be a wonderful wizard to live in a city like that!" But as all who've seen The Wizard of Oz know, Dorothy's initial opinion was wrong.
Democrat senators Joseph Biden and Carl Levin appeared on "Fox News Sunday" to promote their toothless resolution against the president's troop "surge" in Iraq, but ended up unwittingly reinforcing their party's image as lacking the requisite seriousness to run the war.
Fund-raisers on the left and right are salivating now that Sen. Hillary Clinton has declared, "I'm in" the 2008 presidential race. On the left, feminists will likely hail her as the reincarnation of suffragette Susan B. Anthony. On the right, conservatives will portray her as a cross between Lady Macbeth and Bonnie Parker.
The problems with public schools - low scores and lack of discipline - are bad and not improving. Therefore, we need the federal government to take the management of schools away from school boards, and we need state taxpayers to take the funding of schools away from local jurisdictions.
About a year ago, Smith Barney, the brokerage giant, announced that it would start calling its stockbrokers "financial advisers." Most Smith Barney clients, if they heard this pronouncement, probably greeted it with some variation of "duh." These investors already assume that the brokers, who handle their accounts, are advisers.
In August, President Bush approved a new U.S. policy on space exploration and on the military and commercial uses of space. The White House announced that the United States would not agree to any arrangements that would restrict our own ventures into space.
Tonight’s [Tuesday’s] State of the Union address should be unlike any in recent memory. Not because George W. Bush turns it into the expected paean to bipartisanship, or abases himself before his newly ensconced opposition. Rather, it should stand apart because the President uses the occasion to speak unvarnished truth to power.
Talk about a big Presidential Election weekend: Hillary got in. NM Governor Bill Richardson got in. Kansas Senator Sam Brownback got in. Newt and Biden were on Fox News Sunday. McCain was on Meet the Press.
When the ABCNews.com column assignment arrived mid-morning --"Is the TV show "24" going too far by depicting a nuclear attack in Los Angeles in its opening episode?"-- the drama went out of tonight's two-hour program. Or so I thought. As zero hour approached, I found myself assuming that the program really wouldn't actually depict a nuclear detonation near Los Angeles.
It was wholly a pleasure to receive your thoughtful inquiry in response to my opinion - it might even be called my obsession - about the danger of judges taking part in political debate. Judges can be sly about it: Some take political stands while claiming to be only discussing the general philosophy of the law.
I strongly supported President Bush when he declared war on Iraq and sought regime change there once and for all. I adamantly defended President Bush when he outlined his post-Saddam Hussein plan to stabilize Iraq and rebuild it as a free and democratic country. I staunchly backed our President when he asked the country for patience and Congress for more money to win the war. But after last week’s speech in which he laid out plans to send in another 21,500 US troops to Baghdad, my support stopped.
Rather, the philosopher-king is the reluctant ruler, motivated not by ego or personal gain. His motivation is the love of wisdom and justice. These ideas, indeed, form the basis for our republican form of government, in contrast to a popular democracy ruled by the masses.
Barney Frank, the 14-term Massachusetts congressman who chairs the Financial Services Committee, says it might be useful to "make it a misdemeanor to use metaphors in the discussion of public policy," such as "a rising tide lifts all boats."
A few weeks ago, remember how we were all a buzz about Keith Ellison (D-MN) choosing to make his oath on the Koran as the first democratically-elected Muslim to sit in Congress? We all agreed it would be unconstitutional to prevent him from doing so. Yet, something was deeply troubling about it even though we couldn’t quite put our finger on it.