Prominent congressional Republicans are urging a reluctant White House to make sure President Bush's anticipated veto of the supplemental appropriations bill does not just protest the measure's deadlines for removing troops from Iraq but also assails its domestic spending provisions.
Earlier this year, top Democrats in both houses of Congress refused to attend a bipartisan briefing offered by General David Petraeus to discuss the challenges in Iraq. Next week they’ll have another chance when the General comes to Capitol Hill to brief lawmakers in the House and Senate on our progress in the Global War on Terror.
Closing our eyes to the costs of global warming regulations will not make these costs disappear. And yet, the debate on global warming is progressing as if these costs do not exist. For instance, many leaders of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) movement are calling for the United States to implement a carbon emissions cap on U.S. industries – or a "cap and trade" system. One example is the U.S. Climate Action Partnership (USCAP) – a coalition of environmental organizations and corporations including major corporate members such as GE, Alcoa, BP, Caterpillar, DuPont, Lehman Brothers, and PG&E.
Women's groups are incensed –incensed! Patriarchal Supreme Court Justices are after our rights! If we don't have the right to puncture unborn children's skulls moments from birth, women cannot live freely. But what does the Supreme Court's shifting gears to uphold a national ban on the partial birth abortion procedure really bode for women? Is it really a slippery slope back to the bad old days? Most women leaders purporting to represent women have an opinion, believe you me.
Three short years ago before I started blogging, literally no one knew who I was outside of my family. And even my cousins would sometimes forget my name. And yet on Monday, I found myself part of “big media” covering the tragedy at Virginia Tech while sitting in for Hugh Hewitt on Hugh’s radio show.
Townhall.com's Mary Katharine Ham sat down with presidential candidate Mitt Romney to talk about the campaign trail, the Virginia Tech tragedy, the war in Iraq, partial birth abortion, and more.
"If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert," Nobel economist Milton Friedman once quipped, "in five years there'd be a shortage of sand." Friedman's admonition is especially pertinent to the ongoing effort by Senate liberals to give federal bureaucrats a leading role in setting the price of drugs for seniors.
Following the Virginia Tech travesty, I reflected again on my experience at Grove City College and the severe contrasts I see between educations grounded in the teachings of Christ and the atmosphere this creates for a student body- as opposed to the secular educational system of public colleges and universities.
All the polling and analysis of the 2008 presidential primaries neatly bifurcate their consideration into partisan categories. In the Democratic primary, Clinton, Obama and Edwards face off, while in the Republican contest, the polls take measure of Giuliani, McCain, Romney and, depending on their assumptions, Gingrich and Fred Thompson.
It's part of human nature to seek shelter -- to yearn for safe surroundings. Sure, we take precautions: We buckle our seatbelts. We lock our doors. But even then, we preserve our mental well being by refusing to dwell on the reasons we take those precautions in the first place. >"Schools should be places of safety and sanctuary in learning," President Bush said after the homicidal rampage that left more than 30 people dead at Virginia Tech. "When that sanctuary is violated, the impact is felt in every American classroom and every American community."
On April 18, the Supreme Court of the United States upheld the nationwide ban on partial birth abortions passed by Congress in 2003. The closely divided decision illustrates the importance of nominating the correct individuals to the Court, and the enduring legacy of a President when the Senate confirms those nominees.
Thirty-three people are dead; 32 of them innocents, gunned down by a young man who then killed himself. We want to know why. We want to understand how such a horrific thing could happen on a bucolic college campus. Could it have been prevented? Do we need better laws? Did university officials ignore the warning signs of a dangerous young man bent on destruction? Did police fail to protect students in the hours between the first shootings in the dorms and the massacre that ensued in the engineering building later that morning?
In early 21st-century America, what do you do when you encounter a severely mentally ill person? Anyone who lives in the city knows the answer to that question — you step around him on the sidewalk, you hope he doesn't hassle you, and maybe you give him some money if he's panhandling. The authorities at Virginia Tech did their own version of this urban shuffle in their handling of Cho Seung-Hui.
After we read about a serial killer or mass murderer, the first question people always ask is, "Why?" What set him off? Why did he kill all those innocent people? Unfortunately, no matter how many different ways you try to fill in the blanks, there's never going to be a satisfying answer.
This week, while the masters of America's mainstream media were probing the carnage perpetrated by a deranged, lone gunman in Blacksburg, Va., Defense Secretary Robert Gates was in Israel, discounting the threat posed by an irrational government intent on acquiring nuclear weapons. Neither act makes any sense.
April is the cruelest month, mixing memory and desire. Or so T. S. Eliot opined. How did he know, not being a Cubs fan? Perhaps that poet and expatriate forsook baseball altogether, like optimism and all else American, when he settled in London and became more English than the English. What a pity. With his talent for the elegiac, Thomas Stearns Eliot would have made a fine baseball writer instead of only a pretentious poet.
Frankly, I was shocked at his remark about the women on the Rutgers basketball team. It just struck me as so gratuitous, so completely off the wall. My immediate reaction was to wonder if he was drunk when he said it. But who, besides maybe Ted Kennedy, drinks at that hour of the morning? Then I wondered if he'd dropped a ton of money betting against the team. But who, besides maybe Ted Kennedy, bets on women's basketball?
Less than seventy-two hours have passed since the shootings that killed thirty-two innocent people and injured another thirty at Virginia Tech. Americans can relate to what Virginia Tech President William Steger said immediately after the killings: "I'm really at a loss for words to explain or to understand the carnage that has visited our campus..."
Secular-minded folks, versed in the hymns of pure science, will ridicule the idea that an embryo, or a fetus might actually have thoughts of any kind, and I am not aware that any half-written diaries have been found in post-abortion medical waste. However, from a non-secular perspective, we really do not know what the soul is, or if the soul is aware before being attached to an earthly life.
The phrase “the price of freedom” is often used when referring to the sacrifices of soldiers in battle to defend America’s freedoms. There is another price of freedom though. We paid it most recently in a very big way in Blacksburg, Virginia, but we have paid it many times previously, as well.
In the past week, Don Imus was fired, all charges against the Duke University lacrosse players were dropped, and almost everyone has offered a sermon about the racial and class issues involved in both cases. But we need look only to the Ancient Greeks for the best insight. The Greeks believed that insolence naturally leads to bullying, or hubris. This arrogance induces a mad behavior called ate . Finally, that recklessness earns well-earned destruction unleashed by the god Nemesis
Eight decades have done nothing to alter the essential character of England's Fourth Estate. That was demonstrated last week, at the convention of the National Union of British Journalists when, by 66 to 54, delegates of the 40,000-member group voted to impose a boycott on Israeli goods.
There has been a sudden and highly significant shift in the Democratic Presidential race: Hillary Clinton is rapidly losing her frontrunner position to Barack Obama as her negative ratings climb.
Patrick Ruffini uncovered a gem a couple of days ago when he linked to Matt Sotller's Pollyanna romance novella where Matt announces to the world how much he loves to pay his taxes. And in true lib fashion, instead of espousing his love for taxes in isolation, he chooses to include a thrashing of "right-wingers" and presumably regular conservatives in the process, because they don't love paying their taxes quite so much.
Hours after the Virginia Tech massacre, Barack Obama spoke at a campaign stop in Milwaukee. Obama could have shown compassion unalloyed with politics, what one hopes to find in a leader when disaster strikes. But he didn't. In the grand tradition of leftist orators, Obama repackaged the awful news of the day to "reflect" on his own political themes.
This week Americans were shocked over the methodical murder of 32 Virginia Tech students and faculty at the hands of a suicidal lunatic. These brutal murders are a tragic reminder that life is a precious and fragile gift. But another development this week provides a ray of hope: the U.S. Supreme Court's decision upholding the 2003 ban on partial-birth abortions.
District Attorney Michael Nifong has apologized to the Duke University students he indicted for rape for "judgments that ultimately proved to be incorrect." Contrary to the fashionable phrase, "mistakes were made," there is no reason to believe that any mistake was made by District Attorney Nifong in this case, or that he misjudged anything other than miscalculating what he could get away with.
Thirty-two fine young men and women are dead and that is a huge tragedy. It is also, however, a tragedy that the death toll could have been substantially lower if it were not for an absurd law that kept the students and faculty from exercising their Constitutional right to protect themselves and others by bearing arms on campus.
It wasn't my first thought on hearing of the massacre at Virginia Tech University. Initially, there was just shock and outrage, followed by the self-examination all of us do after a tragedy, as we ask ourselves if we might have done more to prevent such a senseless loss of life.
We search for meaning in tragedy, particularly in the sudden deaths of our young, and a tragedy like that at Virginia Tech emphasizes the poverty of language and image as we grasp at solace and hints of understanding. Investigators look into security issues, psychological clues and missed opportunities for prevention, but that's only with hindsight.
The unasked question about the $26 million Hillary Clinton collected in the first quarter is: Can she keep up that fund-raising pace? The answer: It's unlikely because a big chunk of the New York senator's contributions came from donors who gave the maximum $2,300 they are allowed by law to donate to one candidate in a single year. What most of the news stories did not report: She cannot go back to these donors again until next year.
Imagine that it's 2009 and a Democrat is in the White House. He (or she) determines that the U.S. mission in Iraq has failed irretrievably. What happens next? It is not too much of a stretch to say that Kenneth Pollack and Daniel Byman -- foreign policy analysts who served in the Clinton administration and strong candidates to serve in a future Democratic administration -- have proposed an answer in the form of an "analysis paper."
It's a cliché that other women are a woman's worst enemies. It's also a cliché that female bosses are more hard-nosed than male ones. Everybody also knows that women feel guilty whenever anything goes wrong; they tend to think problems are their fault. Now we have another book written by a woman for women telling us that we are making mistakes in our life choices and giving up too much. The basic message of a new book, The Feminine Mistake: Are We Giving Up Too Much?, by Leslie Bennetts, is that women need to be selfish by avoiding economic dependency and self-centered in recognizing that their worth is largely dependent upon their workforce identity.
Charitable foundations play a large and important role in American life. Beginning well over a century ago with the creation of charitable foundations by several very wealthy men, they have enriched our national life in many ways.
Most of the news this week has been so horrendous that I thought I'd write about something positive. There is one of those subjects being discussed again in Washington on which nearly everyone is in agreement. It is a consumer issue that is important to families and to the free-market economy. Most surprising is that is if a law were to be passed by Congress that would mandate this change of policy it would be welcomed by the left and the right and have bipartisan support.
Public policy often illustrates the law of unintended consequences. Society's complexity -- multiple variables with myriad connections -- often causes the consequences of a policy to be contrary to, and larger than, the intended ones. So, when assessing government actions, one should be receptive to counterintuitive ideas. One such is John McCardell's theory that a way to lower the incidence of illness, mayhem and death from alcohol abuse by young people is to lower the drinking age.
wo French economists, Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez, can count on a flood of publicity every time they release a new estimate of the share of U.S. income supposedly received by the top 1 percent. Even veteran Washington Post columnist Robert Samuelson approached their latest "astonishing" estimates as unquestionable scripture.
In 1999 Gingrich said that voters "have the right to know everything about a presidential candidate, everything, because they're going to be in an Oval Office with nuclear weapons, and you have the right to know in advance 'Who is this person?'" I agree. That means it's fine for reporters to ask about Gingrich and Giuliani's adultery, Romney's religion and the personal lives of Clinton, Obama, Edwards, McCain and others.
The Senate's Democratic leaders have a political problem with earmarks. Ever since the infamous "Bridge to Nowhere" in Alaska captured the public's imagination last year, they have been on record against legislators stealthily slipping in their favorite spending projects. But most senators, from both parties, really want to keep earmarks.
ill Clinton defined the March 31 financial filings as the "first primary" as he exhorted donors to do their utmost to lift his wife to the winners' circle. Now the results are in - and Sen. Barack Obama is the victor by a wide margin.
How often does the Food and Drug Administration advise Americans to deliberately take an overdose? Apparently, only when the drug in question is something the good people at Planned Parenthood want to sell over the counter. That's the conclusion that comes to mind after reviewing the Food and Drug Administration's decision late last year to allow the "morning after pill" – also called Plan B – to be sold to people over age 18 in pharmacies without a prescription.
The Virginia Tech shooter died with the name Ismail Ax written in red ink on his arm. The mainstream press doesn't seem to have a clue as to what this might mean. To quote Indiana Jones, "Didn't any of you guys go to Sunday School?"
Former Senator Fred Thompson's recent disclosure that he has a form of cancer called lymphoma has people wondering if he should still run for president. The answer is yes for at least three reasons: 1) His cancer is non aggressive and has been in remission for over two years; 2) He could be the next leader we need for this country; and 3) Cancer is not a death sentence.
There's no polite way or time to say it: American colleges and universities have become coddle industries. Big Nanny administrators oversee speech codes, segregated dorms, politically correct academic departments and designated "safe spaces" to protect students selectively from hurtful (conservative) opinions -- while allowing mob rule for approved leftist positions (textbook case: Columbia University's anti-Minuteman Project protesters).
So many Americans graduate high school and college having learned what to think as opposed to acquiring the tools of critical, independent thinking. Likewise, they have learned little about our nation's history. As such, they fall prey to the rhetoric of political charlatans and quacks.
Everything worth saying about the Don Imus thing - which isn't much - has been said already. We've now moved beyond Imus to the "national dialogue" phase of this familiar cycle. This is where we're supposed to tackle hard questions and deep truths about our society.
Did you know that there were more people using mass transit during the ‘40’s and early ‘50’s than there are today? I most certainly did not. This is an astonishing revelation when you think about it.
Last year Virginia legislators considered a bill that would have overridden policies at public universities that prohibit students and faculty members with concealed handgun permits from bringing their weapons onto campus.
Since the New York Times lit the fuse on the opt-out debate in 2003—reporting that a growing number of married, professional women are permanently or temporarily opting out of full-time jobs—feminist reaction has ranged from denial to condemnation to the predictable call for more government-funded daycare.
After more than a week of pandering, pontificating and supplicating in the wake of Don Imus' firing by CBS and MSNBC, we've shed little light on the gleaming nugget buried deep within the rubble of rhetoric. As is often the case, the truth was in front of our noses, captured in a single image: Imus and Al Sharpton facing off in Sharpton's radio studio the day the civil rights wrangler gelded the cowboy.
There's a first-class political fight looming. The repercussions of it will be very broad. It will decide major questions of national strategy, critical allocations of authority and, almost certainly, the immediate fate of the existing political parties. In the circumstances, a great deal hangs on getting things right. A recent poll hints at deep divisions. Nine percent of Americans are unambiguous: They want us out of Iraq. They do not want to send another dollar there, and they want the troops home forthwith.
No one who hasn't been through it can tell the family, friends and victims how they should react, or what helps them cope. To mangle Frank Sinatra: I'm in favor of God or grief counseling or whatever else helps you get through the night. But for the rest of us, who sit helplessly on the sidelines watching another senseless massacre break out at a McDonald's, a post office, a Luby's cafeteria, a high school, or a Virginia university, I personally want to say: Enough with the healing process, the fingers of blame, and most of all enough with the senseless explanations of the mass murderer's psyche, background and motivations.
The following is a transcript from the Bennett Morning's radio show this morning.
In his most recent Townhall column, Armstrong Williams has laid out a plan that he claims will "divorce" money from politics. In the process, Williams employs every tired canard of the campaign finance "reform" community.
Every time a tax cut is proposed, liberals go apoplectic about the supposed injustice of it all. It's as if conservatives were suggesting sending out the Sheriff of Nottingham to shake down the peasants to subsidize the lavish lifestyles of the rich and famous. Well, I have news for you: it's the liberals who are shaking down the peasants, and their "socially just" policy of progressive income taxation is aimed squarely at middle-class people working their way up the economic ladder, not at the "rich" who supposedly pay the most under this system.
Jim Wallis has devoted his whole career to trying to force the round peg of leftist ideology into the square hole of biblical orthodoxy. When he wrote his "vision" designed to "transcend" the ideologies of the religious left and right, he ended up further polarizing instead of unifying the two evangelical movements. He rails against the "political language" of the right as well as the tendency of conservative evangelicals, in his opinion, to claim their use of scripture as authoritative. In so doing, Wallis hoists himself on his own petard.
Just before the Attorney General of North Carolina appeared on television to announce his decision on the Duke University "rape" case, one of the many expert TV legal commentators said that Attorney General Roy Cooper would probably use the words "insufficient evidence" but not the word "innocent" in dismissing the case. As it turned out, the Attorney General did use the word "innocent," saying that he and his staff considered the accused students innocent. It was the only decent thing to do.
Is it any wonder he would take refuge in sci-fi, and invent a whole constellation of alternative universes? Or that in one of them he would create the Church of God the Utterly Indifferent? Only by despising hope did he seem able to hold onto it. So it goes
Ronald Reagan said it back in 1983: "Our federal tax system is, in short, utterly impossible, utterly unjust and completely counterproductive [it] reeks with injustice and is fundamentally un-American it has earned a rebellion and it's time we rebelled."
So here we are as usual this time of year, fuming and fretting and rummaging for choice epithets about income tax and the urgent, the unquestionable, the unimpeachable need for tax reform. We always talk this way in April. And it never comes to anything but talk.
I had a chill as I sensed the history of that church, the pew in which Lincoln worshipped and the opportunity to listen to a conversation about Lincoln by the dean of American historians, Franklin, and the dean of Howard University School of Law, Kurt Schmoke, both of whom are African-American.
Conservatism survives and continues to evolve no matter who holds the majority in Congress or lives in the White House. Our essays and panel discussions on "The New Conservatism" have been honing the finer points of theory and practice for several years. However, if the current Congress gets its way over the next few months or if the President in the next term is a Democrat it will be nearly impossible for us to get the word out on radio anymore.
What was really interesting about my article, however, was the reaction to it. A University of Oregon economics professor named Mark Thoma posted a long commentary on it on his blog. I posted a response, which led to many other comments, including a couple from Paul Krugman, a Princeton economics professor and New York Times columnist.
There are a number of lasting lessons to take away from the Don Imus controversy.
I am writing this prior to having any clue about the perpetrator, or his motives in the Virginia Tech shooting horror, but for some odd reason I feel compelled to say something. Can we adequately express our condolences to the loved ones of those killed and wounded? The short answer is that we cannot.
In "A Beautiful Mind," her bestselling biography of mathematician John Nash, Sylvia Nasar describes the process whereby he went mad. He spun coincidences and unrelated incidents into a pattern utterly detached from reality. Nash's example suggests that if Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is at risk of losing his job in the flap over the firings of U.S. attorneys, New York Sen. Chuck Schumer might be at risk of losing his mind.
On the first day that H-1B visas became available, corporations snapped up all that are allowed. Our government received 150,000 applications for the 85,000 slots set aside to bring in foreign skilled workers.
Yesterday, by decree of Major League Baseball, was Jackie Robinson Day. A player on each big league team was designated to wear Robinson's uniform number, 42. The Dodgers, Robinson's club in its Brooklyn incarnation, intend to go one better; every player will wear the hallowed number. Jackie Robinson Day is an exercise in racial public relations. Baseball desperately wants to repair its connection to the black community, whose younger generation seems to regard the national pastime as only slightly more relevant than curling.
It was so, well, Soviet. This weekend's news clips showed Russian goon squads charging courageous opponents of an authoritarian Kremlin, truncheons flailing, roughing up the dissenters and arresting their leaders. One of those detained on Saturday was Garry Kasparov, the long-time World Chess Champion and a world-class champion of freedom.
The differences between America's two major political parties are never clearer than they are on Tax Day. As the deadline passes for completing the complicated forms required to turn over your hard-earned money to the federal government, it is worth examining those differences, and what they mean for our nation's future.
So where do the Duke University lacrosse players go to get their time, money and reputations back? More than a year after an African-American stripper accused three white team members of gang-raping her at a party, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper apologized to the defendants last Wednesday, declaring them "innocent" and victims of "a tragic rush to accuse."
The motives of the "overreaching" prosecutor, as Cooper called him, are obvious: Prosecuting three white men on charges brought by a black accuser helped him win black votes he needed in an election. The motives of those who rushed to believe the charges -- and continued to believe them 366 days after DNA testing implicated none of the players -- are something else.
Don Imus is the anti-hero for our sordid times, the white shadow who reveals everything about the culture. Elvis Presley took black music and made it white, and that was shocking in the '50s, but his raw talent excused a lot. Rock 'n' roll developed as a fusion of black and white rhythms.
Last week, every GOP state senator and assemblyman, except for Sacramento Assemblyman Roger Niello, signed the Americans for Tax Reform's no-tax-increase pledge. As GOP operative Jon Fleischman wrote on flashreport.org, "enough state legislators have signed the ATR Taxpayer Protection Pledge to guarantee that there is not the required two-thirds vote in either the state Senate or the state Assembly to pass a tax increase."
In March, I had two major speaking engagements, which together showed me the real condition of the women's movement. At the University of Virginia, I debated the state of Women's Studies programs. In Harrisburg, PA, I presented The Smart Sex Workshop to a statewide network of crisis pregnancy center counselors. These contrasting audiences revealed this surprising truth. The self-styled women's advocates housed in Women's Studies are now the Establishment. The new underground, counter-cultural radicals, the really committed advocates for women, are the women of the Pro-Life movement.
On Saturday, April 7, ending a seven-day visit to Israel, I finally got an interview I had sought for a year. I sat down in a Palestinian National Authority office in Ramallah with a leader of Hamas, the extremist organization that won last year's elections. He pushed a two-state Israeli-Palestinian solution and deplored suicide bombers. But officials in Washington seemingly do not want to hear Hamas calling for peace.
It was over a hundred years ago that Ohio political boss and Senator Mark Hanna spoke about the relationship between politics and money. So there's no use longing for the "good old days" when it comes to political fundraising – because there weren't any. Let's not be naïve here, the fact is that politics has always been infested by money. And that's a major problem - money and politics just do not mix, and it is time for their divorce.
Ever since I read that line, I have regarded my own brain as an attic. Considered as such, it makes sense that young people would have a relatively easy time remembering things. It's like when people first move into a house. In the beginning, the attic starts out as clean and well-organized as the den or the kitchen. But as time passes, people start stowing stuff on top of other stuff. So it is, I believe, with our brains. The reason old folks have trouble recalling words and names is because they're buried under piles of other words and names.
In my neighborhood, in DeKalb County, Georgia, where last month an extra one percent sales tax was quietly extended through a referendum only its advocates seemed to know about, I see able-bodied teenage boys waddling in pants with crotches down to their knees, throwing potato chip bags to the ground. The Ph.D.'s who insist that these youth are disadvantaged and write nonsense about such things as "post-traumatic slave syndrome," cannot, despite their abilities to take a far-removed obscure occurrence and weave an entire school of thought around it, make the simple observation that the droopy drawers restrict mobility nearly as much as the slave shackles of old.
I'll vote for Romney if he wins the Republican nomination. And I will continue to contend for the historic Christian faith with the sharply-dressed Mormon missionaries who come to my door.