Following Mitt Romney's decisive victory and Mike Huckabee's surprise second place finish at the Iowa Straw Poll, the campaigns must quickly turn their attention to the next pre-primary season challenge - the Townhall.com Texas Republican Straw Poll.
You can’t have national security without border security. It’s not only necessary for any meaningful immigration reform; border security plays a key role in both the interdiction of illegal drugs and in defending America against terrorist threats.
Anticipating that Sen. Hillary Clinton will clinch the Democratic presidential nomination, some supporters are beginning to argue against her principal rival -- Sen. Barack Obama -- for vice president. They maintain that Obama provides no general election help for Clinton. As an African-American from Illinois, Obama represents an ethnic group and a state already solidly in the Democratic column.
An interesting story has come across the Associated Press wire—one that should give every taxpayer in America pause. President George W. Bush noted that the $22 billion difference between the spending proposed by the White House and by Congressional Democrats is not, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi maintains, a "very small difference."
Economist Milton Friedman once wrote that some “businessmen believe that they are defending free enterprise when they declaim that business is not concerned merely with profit but also with promoting desirable social ends; that business has a social conscience and takes seriously its responsibility for providing employment, eliminating discrimination, avoiding pollution and whatever else may be the catchwords of the contemporary crop of reformers.” Friedman added, “In fact, they are . . . preaching pure and unadulterated socialism. Businessmen who talk this way are unwitting puppets of the intellectual forces that have been undermining the basis of a free society these past decades.”
We’re still more than a year from the next presidential election, and the cast of characters involved seems underwhelming. It’s difficult to get excited over whether or not Mitt Romney was able to convince a few thousand Iowans to eat his free food and cast a straw poll ballot for him.
When I asked Karl Rove this week to summarize his approach to politics, he quoted from memory a 167-year-old letter by Abraham Lincoln to his Whig campaign committee: "Keep a constant watch on the doubtful voters, and from time to time have them talked to by those in whom they have the most confidence."
Our mailbox overfloweth this week, thanks to Washington resident John Lockwood, who while conducting research at the Library of Congress came across an intriguing Page 2 headline in the Nov. 2, 1922 edition of The Washington Post: "Arctic Ocean Getting Warm; Seals Vanish and Icebergs Melt."
Denny Hastert never met a problem he couldn’t solve. He was so good at legislating that it’s possible he would have been just as successful in his career had he never been Speaker at all. That is to say, Denny didn’t need the gavel to lead, but to a greater degree than many know, Congress needed him to govern.
You don't often hear any Congressmen or Senators demanding answers on how long the duration or how great the number of troops will be required in Kosovo, South Korea, or Germany. But you hear little other than those questions when the subject of Iraq comes up.
Now, I will be the first to admit that the GOP was very disappointing in the 2006 election cycle and although the Republicans have improved significantly in a lot of areas, they're still not doing as much as conservatives have asked them to do on spending, corruption, immigration, and foreign policy.
Elizabeth Edwards complained to the Progressive magazine that antiwar critics such as Sen. Barack Obama are "behaving in a holier-than-thou" manner on Iraq. Too bad for Edwards that Obama opposed the war in Iraq in 2002, while her husband John Edwards -- as well as Sens. Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton and Christopher Dodd -- voted for the Iraq war resolution.
The GOP has traditionally been the party of political primogeniture. From Ronald Reagan to George Herbert Walker Bush to Bob Dole to George W. Bush, Republicans have nominated the man who could best lay claim to being the natural heir.
"What's the South like?" said the man in the white suit, as if repeating a question. "That's what they all ask. Well, that depends on which South you mean - the antebellum mansion, the fly-specked roadhouse, or the latest of the New Souths, the Sunbelt? Or northern Mexico, aka Texas? Or one of the uncountable other Souths? And which image is the facade for which? One South fits into the last one like one of those Russian dolls. Do not be too quick to decide which is the real South. There is no such thing. Nor is it easy to see which South is supplanting the other at any given time. The professional Southerner is all leaf and no roots; the most Southern of us all may never think on what it means to be Southern."
Unlike his father, President George W. Bush sometimes is difficult to understand. However, one issue about which he has been resolute and consistent in recent times is taxes. In the past Bush did not veto higher spending bills. In his entire first term and well into his second President Bush did not veto a single bill. Even now he has vetoed only three bills, two of which would have expanded embryonic stem-cell research. His rationale for not exercising his veto power was that he did not want to quarrel with the first Republican Congress since 1995-1996. He let Congress get by with profligate spending until exasperated voters threw out the rascals in 2006.
In the fable, the farm boy phenom makes his way to the big city to amaze the world with his arm. At a stop at a fair on the train ride to Chicago, he strikes out the Babe Ruth of his time on three blazing pitches. Enter the Dark Lady. Before he can reach the stadium for his tryout, she shoots him and leaves him for dead.
Wall Street remains caught in a tizzy over a power outage in the credit markets. But Main Street is in fine economic shape, according to the latest reports out of Washington.
Lately, there have been a lot of nasty rumors floating around about Rudy and Judith Giuliani. I’ve heard, for instance, that he’s been having an affair. I’ve also heard that she, wife number three, is a royal pain in the butt who goes berserk if anyone dares call her Judy.
Citizen Watts may look like a troublemaker to NASA's experts but he's convinced he's on to something important. He's found no evidence that anyone except him has ever made an effort to verify the quality-control standards at every weather station site.
In September 1898, an outnumbered British-led army battled the forces of a Muslim fanatic in Omdurman, Sudan. The Brits unleashed machine-gun fire and artillery on the primitive warriors and suffered a loss of 48 dead and 434 wounded, while killing 9,700, wounding 13,000 and capturing 5,000 of the enemy.
As we approach next month’s report by General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker, the debate about Iraq will intensify. One key point of discussion will be a threshold question: How important is Iraq in the larger war against Islamic extremism? Is Iraq a central battleground in the fight against jihadists, or a distraction?
Churches and ministers bury sinners every day. But we don’t highlight their sin on the big screen while we’re doing it. We exalt Christ. We proclaim the gospel
For far too long, too many have spoken out on the problem of illegal immigration but done too little. The laws we need to combat illegal immigration are on the books in this country, and they are pretty clear. However, these laws only work if they are enforced across all levels of government – federal, state and local. If we are to end illegal immigration, we must establish the rule of law and enforce the current laws.
Going back for a high school class reunion sharpened my focus on certain realities. It was a milestone event for me this past weekend in Griffin, Georgia. Driving into town for the first time since my parents moved a year after my graduation was a trip back into what I like to think is authentic America.
Interesting, isn't it, now that Rove has announced he is leaving the White House Democrats (who consider him to be a combination of - in reverse order of publication - Lord Voldamort, Darth Vader, and Grendel) are leaping up and down with joy, elbowing each other out of the way on cable news chat shows to point out that they don't really care if he stays or goes and they never thought that much of, or about, him anyway.
In retrospect, you knew there would be trouble when you put the people responsible for the Space Shuttle program in charge of tracking U.S. temperatures. So perhaps it shouldn’t have come as a big surprise when it was revealed that NASA committed a bit of an oopsie regarding data constantly used by the mainstream media and other global warming proponents.
A general good rule of thumb is to expect that someone will be soaked whenever Congress starts talking about making the tax code fairer. Another good rule is if you want less of something, tax it. Such is the case with a proposed adjustment to an established tax rule with far reaching implications for the American economy.
Every generation is sure that its social and cultural trends are here to stay. When history moved slowly before the dawn of the electronic media, it might have seemed so. But with instant communication through cell phones, fax machines, e-mail and Internet meeting places, such as Facebook and YouTube, cultural trends accelerate dramatically. The future as imagined by Generations X, Y or Z is easily blown away by the high velocity winds of change.
The bewilderingly shifting dates in next January's early presidential primaries may complicate the candidates' timing and tactics, but is it wreaking havoc in our American political system? I don't think so. The major primaries and caucuses will be held a little earlier than usual in January, as anticipated by the candidates. But Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Florida and now Nevada will remain the entry portals to the Feb. 5 Super Duper Tuesday when it is likely that the nominees will have been all but chosen by their parties.
“The only thing this surge will accomplish is a surge of more death and destruction.” That was the prediction of blogger and anti-war activist Arianna Huffington back in December of last year -- one month before the Senate unanimously confirmed Gen. David Petraeus as commander in Iraq.
If you want to pose as an all-purpose expert on the Middle East, just assume the demeanor of a wise old owl and announce, "It's all about oil." Why did the United States invade Iraq? "Oil." What are the Sunnis and the Shiites battling over? "Oil." What is Iran's motive in its Byzantine power plays? "Oil." Don't try to explain the details of your analysis: Keep it simple, and just blame everything on oil.
Townhall.com’s gold partner Freedom Alliance is sponsoring the 2007 Hannity Freedom Concerts all across America this summer. Greg Stamps, a native Texan and a longtime member of the Townhall.com team, represented Townhall at the August 14 concert in Texas.
Contrary to the extreme and unfortunate claims by Mississippi Republican Senator Trent Lott that talk radio is “running America” and that “we have to deal with that problem,” the fact remains that the entire new media, of which talk radio is such a dominant part, really is making a difference in the American political landscape—an overwhelmingly positive difference.
In the field of environmentalism -- where brows tend to be frozen in furrow and despair is a professional credential -- Gregg Easterbrook of the Brookings Institution is notable for his optimism. And one cause of his sunniness is smog in Los Angeles.
At an August 13 New Hampshire campaign stop, Obama said that as President he would move more U.S. troops to Afghanistan to “get the job done there, and that requires us to have enough troops so that we’re not just air-raiding villages and killing civilians, which is causing enormous problems there.”
"Nonsense," writes Inside the Beltway reader James McIntosh, regarding our item yesterday on the Architect of the Capitol boasting of taxpayer savings of $2.2 million per year after installing energy-efficient comfort-control systems and lighting that shuts off automatically when nobody is in the room.
Will the execution-style murder of three young students in Newark, N.J., finally turn the tide in the immigration enforcement debate?
Environmentalists, with the help of politicians and other government officials, have an agenda that has cost thousands of American lives. In the wake of Hurricane Betsy, which struck New Orleans in 1965, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposed building flood gates on Lake Pontchartrain, like those in the Netherlands that protect cities from North Sea storms. In 1977, the gates were about to be built, but the Environmental Defense Fund and Save Our Wetlands sought a court injunction to block the project.
There's an old maxim that if Napoleon had been struck by a cannonball on his way to Moscow, he would be remembered as an unrivaled military genius and liberator. But Napoleon overstayed history's welcome and was treated harshly for it, first by the Russians and Mother Nature, then by his own people and, ultimately, by historians.
Former White House speechwriter Michael Gerson has been accused of self-aggrandizement and taking credit for speeches he did not fully write, stealing the lines of others and making them his own. The accusations come from his former speechwriting colleague, Matthew Scully, in the September issue of the Atlantic magazine.
Last week we got another glimpse of the Left’s true feelings about our troops. At a campaign breakfast in Iowa, anti-war Daily Kos diarist Rachel Griffiths asked Mitt Romney why none of his five sons enlisted in the military. It’s a popular form of “gotcha” that the Left likes to play in order to bring out their favorite cat call – Hypocrite! Romney responded, “My sons are all adults and they’ve made decisions about their careers and they’ve chosen not to serve in the military and active duty and I respect their decision in that regard. One of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping me get elected because they think I’d be a great president.”
Whatever happened to the once strong, vital, unique American language? It hasn't been seen in some time. It's been completely obscured by the thicket of "you knows" and "whatevers" and other verbal tics that now cover the language like kudzu.
Tragically, horrifyingly, but quite predictably, it’s going to happen. The only question being which American city or cities?
I have not spoken recently with Paul Jacob. Years ago he was a leader of the movement to establish term limits for elected officials. Jacob is one of the most honest men in Washington. I always listen to what he says.
"Innocent until proven guilty" is a favorite, if sometimes ignored, American trope. We are reminded of that once again with charges being dropped against two Marines in the so-called "Haditha Massacre" of November 2005. As well, we are reminded of the difficulty in applying civilian perceptions and standards to military conflict.
A deeper problem is that publicity does not deter wasteful, parochial spending that legislators want to publicize. Consider what happened last month when Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., challenged a $100,000 appropriation for a prison museum near Fort Leavenworth, Kan.
I asked top Bush adviser Karl Rove -- the man who didn't deliver national unity and has announced he is leaving the White House -- over the phone Monday: Why?
People often tell me that their first emotion on the night of November 7, 2006 was disappointment. Indeed, after spending many nights on the road last summer and fall, traveling around the country and seeing firsthand the enthusiasm and commitment of Republican volunteers nationwide, our loss in the House and Senate was a bitter pill to swallow. But my personal disappointment quickly gave way to resolve, and I knew that if Republicans were going to earn back the congressional majority in 2008 we would have to start the next morning.
The much ballyhooed debate on "Meet the Press" between former Congressman Harold Ford Jr. and Markos Moulitsas, publisher of the liberal Daily Kos website, was instructive for what it revealed about both the divisions in the Democratic Party and the underlying disingenuousness of both factions.
Mitt Romney won his anticipated victory in the Iowa Straw Poll, with 32 percent and 4,500 votes, but fell short of expectations. Ex-Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas, with 18 percent, exceeded them, and is the man of the hour to the political press.
The scandal of imported products from China has accelerated to a level that the public should demand "China-free" labels on anything that goes into a mouth. This includes not only food, vitamins and medicines but toothpaste and toys which, as all parents know, go into children's mouths.
WASHINGTON -- The most useless speculation today in Washington is whom Chief of Staff Josh Bolten might choose to replace Karl Rove at the White House. He is genuinely irreplaceable. Nobody will attempt to combine the political and policy functions as Rove has done. Indeed, fellow Republicans question whether he should have attempted the feat himself.
When I was a kid I recall that Merv Griffin would always break from a guest at the commercial and announce "We will be right back!" So it was a thrill almost 20 years later, when another TV star, McLean Stevenson (TV's MASH and a cousin to Adlai Stevenson) brought Les Sinclair, the talent coordinator for Merv Griffin, to see me and another young performer at the Los Angeles Improv comedy club.
Whoa now. Let’s hold our horses a minute and think about the calls for new tax increases to fix our infrastructure problems. The Minneapolis bridge collapse is a tragedy, but we can’t let it be used to compound other problems – which is what will happen if we’re scared into raising gas taxes.
Foolish. Naïve. Downright stupid. That is how some have described the actions of a group of South Korean missionaries who went to Afghanistan to give humanitarian aid and to preach the Gospel. On July 17, members of the Taliban captured twenty-three of the missionaries and held them hostage, demanding the release of eight Taliban prisoners. Two of the twenty-three missionaries have been killed, with more deaths to come unless the demands of the fundamentalist sect are met.
A lawyer in Atlanta, Mr. Barr in recent days slammed President Bush on the issue of privacy, which was a primary reason for him leaving the Republican Party in the first place. The former Republican is angry the president signed the new anti-terrorism law that amends the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which Mr. Barr contends violates the privacy rights of Americans.
Radical Environmentalists Continue Politicization of Doomsday Clock, Literally Equating Climate Change to Nuclear Weapons
Twenty-five years ago, President Ronald Wilson Reagan shepherded a reluctant world media up the mountain to his beloved Rancho del Cielo to witness the enactment of a 25 percent across-the-board tax cut. This momentous policy change unleashed the entrepreneurial spirit and creativity of America that dwells within all of us.
The deal is, as I understand it, this. The original law regarding the ability of the National Security Agency (NSA) to eavesdrop on electronic communications stems from a 1978 law which permitted warrantless interception of electronic messages which were carried by microwave - that is, they were not carried along copper wires like a phone call between you sitting in your house in Cleveland and your mom in Philadelphia.
In one brief compressed paragraph, the novelist captures a reality of war, the way rumors become stories and how stories testify to the human need for the messenger to embroider facts as though he lives in a romance, where characters are decorated in red and gold. Stephen Crane never went to war, but as every reader learns quickly, "The Red Badge of Courage" dazzles with the authenticity of experience. Good writers do that.
Nothing that I’ve written recently has stirred up the hornets quite as much as a piece in which I declared my support for Rudy Giuliani. I can’t say I was too shocked. After all, aside from religion and, in certain strange circles, TV soap operas, there’s little that Americans feel more passionately about than partisan politics.
Bottom line: Americans believe that a “marriage” is, necessarily, a relationship between one man and one woman. And however tolerant or accepting our culture has become of homosexuals and homosexual couples, at this point in time we simply aren’t ready to change the definition of marriage.
This week, two articles regarding studies focused on children caught my attention because they highlighted everyday activities in children’s lives in America, fast food and TV/video. The Los Angeles Times’ headlines were: “Kids prefer McDonald’s-wrapped food, study finds” and “Baby Einstein': a bright idea?”
Liberals are predictably doing everything they can to win in 2008. Everyone knows a key part of their strategy is to “get religion” and trick as many Christians as possible to care less about the Bible, abortion and gay marriage and more about liberal policy positions: secularism, socialism, bigger government and higher taxes.
Sen. Barack Obama recently told some Iowa farmers that prices of their crops are not high enough, considering what grocers are charging for other stuff: "Anybody gone into Whole Foods lately and see what they charge for arugula?" Living near the University of Chicago, Obama has perhaps experienced this outrage, but Iowans, who have no Whole Foods stores, might remember 1987, when Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis urged Iowa farmers to diversify by raising endive. Said a farmer to a Boston reporter, "Your governor scared me just a hair."
Democrat leaders in the House and Senate are invoking the threat of “Big Brother” in an attempt to undo the changes Congress made to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) before leaving for August recess