He was a minor figure in the freak show and dictionary of dysfunction that was American culture during the downhill years of the last century. And the more minor a figure, the better. Yet on his death at 86, another proof that the good die young, he still fascinated. You could no more stop watching him than you could maggots in a pile of rotting garbage. Call it the fascination of the repellent.
Within minutes of the announcement that Paul Ryan would be Mitt Romney's running mate, the Democratic attack machine shifted into high gear. "Paul Ryan will destroy Medicare as we know it," claimed the ads. "So will Mitt Romney." Be afraid. Be very afraid.
The progressive mindset is set. It believes that whatever it pursues at the moment must be progress. Think Progress is one of the groups that is convinced progress is achieved by the right people thinking the right thoughts. Or, the right people thinking the left thoughts. "We are the people we've been waiting for," said candidate Obama four years ago. Better to wait for Godot.
This week a German doctor in Bavaria filed a criminal complaint against Rabbi David Goldberg. Rabbi Goldberg's "crime"? He performs ritual circumcisions on Jewish male infants in accordance with Jewish law. The doctor's complaint came shortly after a ruling by a court in Cologne outlawing the practice of male circumcision.
When New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan offers a benediction at the Republican Convention in Miami on Thursday, he will appear as a pastor, not a politician. The distinction often gets lost when one finds oneself talking about issues that necessarily involve politics. It especially goes missing in media coverage, which thrives on conflict and contrast and categories, tilting toward black and white in a world often much more complicated.
Sasha and Malia apparently aren’t enough for Michelle Obama. She wants to mother our children, too. That’s the only conclusion that can be reached when observing the First Lady’s campaign to decrease parents’ role in raising their children.
Like conflict, numbers have a way of concentrating the mind. Everyone knows the economy is in bad shape. But just how bad is it? As President Obama campaigns to move the country “Forward” and tries to scare the middle class into voting against Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan (rather than for him), it’s critical to note how badly Americans’ incomes have fared in the Obama economy.
"What we should probably do is go and split up investment banking from banking, have banks be deposit takers, have banks make commercial loans and real estate loans, have banks do something that's not going to risk the taxpayer dollars, that's not too big to fail,"… He added: "If they want to hedge what they're doing with their investments, let them do it in a way that's going to be market-to-market so they're never going to be hit."
In combination the request for aid and the military huffing and puffing are meant to convey the same trite message: the North's willingness to discuss aid does not mean it is weak. In fact, everybody knows that is precisely what it means.
Since the assumption is that the Federal Reserve’s power brokers have chosen to disregard the most recent economic improvements in retail, housing, and even employment (simply viewed as artificial seasonal adjustments), it only stands to reason that, once again, it’s time to stop the bleeding.
Breaking news: The Fishwrap of Record has finally discovered that the Obama administration gives its Chicago corporate pals special access to power and regulatory favoritism. On Thursday, The Not-So-New York Times published an A1 story titled "Ties to Obama Aided in Access for Big Utility."
Todd Akin would do his party and his country a service by stepping aside. The rest of the campaign will be dominated by this side issue, possibly denying Republicans a key Senate seat. To use the words "legitimate" and "rape" in the same phrase betrays a serious lack of judgment. Only about 1 percent of women undergoing abortions report that they were raped, according to the Alan Guttmacher Institute. One percent is not zero.
When Republicans formally nominate Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan next week, the race against President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will be officially underway. Yet while the two teams represent different ideological views, different upbringings, different faith backgrounds and different experiences, neither of them has yet inspired any confidence among voters. Just 32 percent believe the economy will be stronger in a year if Obama is re-elected. Only 36 percent think it will be stronger if Romney wins.
It's the time of the year when children's smiles begin to look a little pinched. You can feel it when you walk through any school supplies store. While the colored pencils and lunchboxes on display evoke memories of "the good times," they also spark memories of all that filler work -- the spelling and grammar exercises, multiplication tables and the dates of the Revolutionary War.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney travelled to New Mexico this week in search of the state's 5 electoral votes, but he has a significant hurdle to overcome. The latest Rasmussen poll numbers in the state show Romney trailing the president by 14 percent.
Talk about bitter clingers who cling to their religion: It’s gotten so bad that the New York Times is appealing to people to “believe in” Obama, like he’s a children’s character or a Vegas magic act, rather than president of the United States.
Mitt Romney is about to accept his party's presidential nomination in a shower of -- no, not confetti and red-white-and-blue balloons -- but questions about his taxes. Naturally, he complains that all this ginned-up furore over his personal finances is just a distraction from real issues facing the country, mainly the sluggish state of the economy and persistent unemployment. And says he'd really like to get back to talking about substance.
The recent spate of incidents is also not all that unusual. Other examples stand out in recent years of different streams of domestic radicalism leading to a confluence of attacks by different types of actors.
The timing of this meeting coincides with the emergence of a new aggregation of state and non-state interests against those of the US.
Most people believe that while many other classes of government workers are represented by Big Labor, our military and national security employees cannot be unionized. But is that really true?
Congressman Todd Akin claims refusing to step down from the Missouri Senate race is his way of taking a stand to “strengthen our country… standing on a principle of what America is.” But Akin claims heroism where only self-preservation exists.
When Congress returns to Washington in September, it needs to do more than hold a few political posturing votes before going home to campaign. Even if a continuing resolution to fund government is passed as expected, there are still serious unresolved issues that should not be left for an unaccountable lame-duck session. Not only should Congress act to avert the toxic brew of tax hikes coming at the end of the year, but it should also act to check lame-duck regulatory abuses by the Obama administration.
It’s now official: Tod Akin is now losing horribly to his Democratic opponent. It is time for a full court press to force Akin out of the running. In the first legitimate poll to be released following Akin’s travesty, Rasmussen reports that he is losing by a stunning ten points, 48% for McCaskill versus 38% for Akin. Akin had a three point lead before his toxic gaffe.
Iran or Israel: Which is more deserving of censure? On the one hand, as the French news agency Agence France-Presse reported last week, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is calling Israel “a cancerous tumor” that, he threatened, will “soon be excised.” He added: “The nations of the region will soon finish off the usurper Zionists. . . . With the grace of God and help of the nations, in the new Middle East there will be no trace of the Americans and Zionists.”
Last week, a man with a master's degree from George Mason University, a gun and 50 rounds of ammo walked into the Family Research Council. When a building manager named Leo Johnson blocked his entry, he shot Leo in the arm.
As gas prices climb back toward $4 a gallon, the Obama administration -- facing a tough re-election campaign and rising Middle East tensions -- is once again considering tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. For years, administrations have bought and stored oil for emergencies, in fear of a cutoff of imported oil, as happened during the Arab embargo of 1973-74.
Readers with long memories may recall that Charles E. Wilson, president of General Motors and nominee for secretary of defense, got into trouble when he told a Senate committee, "What is good for the country is good for General Motors, and what's good for General Motors is good for the country."
Which is worse, Rep. Todd Akin's, R-Mo., ignorance about human anatomy -- or the way Republicans jump, run and hide when the Democrat-media complex decides they should?
The criticisms of the recent absurd comments by Missouri Republican Congressman Todd Akin, who at this writing is his party's nominee to take on incumbent Missouri Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill in November in a contest he had been expected to win, have focused on his clearly erroneous understanding of the human female anatomy.
The national media was clearly tired of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright rants broadcast over and over again on talk radio and shown on FOX News four years ago. The press was only too happy when candidate Barack Oba ma disavowed the man he said he could never disavow. Well, that’s over.
In politics, where there are more men than women in elected positions, it's easy to get the impression that men matter most. You see them on TV, see their pictures in the paper, hear them pontificating on the issues on TV and radio.
You claim that the FRC knowingly disseminates false and defamatory information about LGBT people. Why, then, have you refused to have a public dialog with FRC head Tony Perkins in order to demonstrate your points? What if there is support for the statements the FRC has made, or what if their statements have been taken out of context?
Rep. Pete Stark, 80, has seven children; three are minors, the product of his third marriage. He once told the Los Angeles Times that he calls the three youngest his "second litter." Lucky Stark. Thanks to a dated Social Security system, he enjoys a "second-litter" subsidy.
Oh, yes, it seems to happen to Republicans so often. Just when the other side stubs its toe, somehow the GOP trips over the entire foot.
President Obama needs to give EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson an ultimatum: Waive the requirement in the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) established in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 mandating ethanol blending in motor fuels now, or hit the road Jack-son.
Silverman's support of Romney is particularly notable as he publicly supported Barack Obama in 2008, has spent most of his life as a Democrat, is Jewish, a member of the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association, and a self-identified "moderate."
Relying on Todd Akin's sense of decency has not worked. Within hours of his idiotic comments about "legitimate rape," Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS pulled out millions of dollars in funding for the Missouri Senate race. Akin didn't get the hint.
The American system of democracy is under threat. It's under threat from an Obama campaign that seeks to polarize Americans along race and class lines. It's under threat from a Democratic Party that seeks to pit those who pay taxes against those who don't.
There are 366 major metropolitan areas in the United States, and a comprehensive new study by the Chronicle of Philanthropy ranks them on the basis of generosity -- the percentage of income the median household in each city gives to charity. According to the Chronicle, the most generous city in America is Provo, Utah, where residents typically give away 13.9 percent of their discretionary income. Boston, by contrast, ranks No. 358: In New England's leading city, the median household donates just 2.9 percent of its income to charity.
If “all politics is local politics,” it must be said: This is a bad week to be a Missourian. No, I don’t live in Missouri. But I’m a conservative and a pro-life advocate, so thanks to Rep. W. Todd Akin, I must necessarily worry about the U.S. Senate race in Missouri, a contest that should have been an easy win for my side.
Years, and sometimes decades, pass between my visits to movie theaters. But I drove 30 miles to see the movie "2016," based on Dinesh D'Souza's best-selling book, "The Roots of Obama's Rage." Where I live is so politically correct that such a movie would not even be mentioned, much less shown.
Can we stop calling the hosts of the presidential debates "moderators"? They're left-erators. It's time for the old media godfathers to end the pretense that they're fair and neutral observers of the American political scene. And it's time for the GOP to stop perpetuating these rigged exercises in futility.
I wanted to like Paul Ryan. Before he was nationally known, Rep. Ryan visited me at ABC, and we went to lunch. He was terrific. He was a rare politician, one who actually cared about America's coming debt crisis and the unfairness of entitlements. He even talked about F.A. Hayek's "The Road to Serfdom"! If only more politicians thought that way.
If I were a Klansman, wanting to sabotage black education, I couldn't find better allies than education establishment liberals and officials in the Obama administration, especially Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, who in March 2010 announced that his department was "going to reinvigorate civil rights enforcement."
If it hasn't completely vanished down the memory hole, you might recall that last week a man walked into the headquarters of the conservative Family Research Council with a backpack full of Chick-fil-A sandwiches and bullets, said something like "I don't like your politics" and then shot the building manager.
Here they go again. Even before Mitt Romney’s choice of Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate has been formalized at the Republican National Convention in Tampa next week, the Democrat drive to scare seniors by raising the specter that the GOP – led by Ryan - will eviscerate Medicare, has moved into high gear.
Americans witnessed a remarkable drama this week when some of our most exalted politicians frantically scrambled to reassure voters that they, too, believed that the United States ought to permit the deliberate killing of at least some innocent human beings.
Dear Mr. Potok, Because your organization has not responded to my previous attempts to interact and because the SPLC is coming under increasing public scrutiny, I am writing this open letter with the hope that you will respond. You should be familiar with my name, since I am on your list of “30 New Activists Heading Up the Radical Right” and since I was profiled in the Spring 2012 Intelligence Report (more on that shortly).
The Olympic games, ancient Greece's gift to the contemporary sports world, ended with a closing ceremony featuring British pop stars, aging rock icons and classical musicians. The show's promoters described it as a "mash-up" of British music.
Ayn Rand is back in the news, as she always is in the subconscious of healthy American males. Reading her is as much a developmental stage as puberty. Most grow out of it, but that doesn't mean it leaves them, it just becomes part of their make-up somewhere back there. Like old girlfriends or nights on the town fondly remembered, but not something they'd want to go through again, please God.
If Justin Bieber or the Rolling Stones suddenly decided to stage an impromptu concert in a public place somewhere in America without a permit, would the authorities ignore it and shrug it off? Doubtful. Even buskers performing in the New York City subway system can't play without formal authorization from the city.
As our children head back to school, parents need to teach them this truth: Words matter.
It has been a very rough patch for Our President, and I do believe it is going to get rougher still. Do not be surprised, as the month goes on and August runs into September, that his campaign budget becomes tighter. President Barack Obama is spending more money than he is raising.
When Ronald Reagan was elected president the Dow Jones Industrial Average hovered around 1,000 (less than 2,800 inflation adjusted) — and had dipped, under President Carter, as low as 759. Unemployment stood at an unacceptable 7+%. The Soviet Union was aggressive, bellicose, and, in the eyes of the Western policy elite, could be but contained, not challenged. At the end of Reagan’s eight years in office, the Dow had tripled in value, on its way much higher. Job growth was vibrant. The USSR was well on its way to dissolution.
Conservatives are quick to criticize public welfare for the poor, pointing out that it often undermines natural consequences and the incentives that flow therefrom. Such criticism is often well founded—poverty frequently becomes multigenerational when "solved" by simply throwing money at the poor. But conservatives should no less vehement in their opposition to corporate welfare, a form of welfare that is running rampant while the taxpayers of our country are dying a slow death of a thousand payouts.
Bashar al-Assad's wretched presence in the presidential palace of Damascus may, contrary to Western assumptions, do more good than harm. His murderous, terroristic, and pro-Tehran regime is also non-ideological and relatively secular; it staves off anarchy, Islamist rule, genocide, and rogue control of Syria's chemical weapons.
Last week’s near-massacre at the Family Research Council (FRC) put into sharp relief a curious fact: The people most aggressively denouncing others for their “hatemongering” sure are engaging in a lot of it themselves – with dangerous, and potentially lethal, repercussions.
It's such a shame that she's not being given an opportunity to speak at the Republican National Convention in Tampa. So here are the quotes the GOP brass need to read to change their minds.
The New York Times reported, "With waning approval ratings and a stagnant economy, the possibility that Mr. Obama will not be re-elected has entered the political bloodstream." It's more than entered; it's flowing strong.
A former Texas high school teacher was convicted of multiple felonies after having sex with five 18-year-old students at her home. The conviction was a victory for the prosecution but it was a setback for the feminist movement. It was also a setback for the homosexual uncivil rights movement, which seeks unlimited authority to redefine relationships among consenting adults.
Have you noticed how often the president's supporters talk about the "likeability" factor in politics these days? No longer do we hear that presidential candidates must convey "the vision thing" or "gravitas" or credibility as commander in chief.
Mallory Factor blows the lid off of government union corruption in his scathing new book, Shadowbosses: Government Unions Control America and Rob Taxpayers Blind.
We do not know who will win the White House in November. But we do know that American politics has crossed the Rubicon on spending and entitlements, and these issues will at long last complete the journey from a forbidden third rail to a central element of national politics. Even if Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan lose this year’s battle to Barack Obama, they will win the war on the challenge of our generation.
Helen Gurley Brown wasn't just a little girl from Little Rock, to borrow a lyric from "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes." No, sir, she was from Green Forest, Ark., which is about 125 miles up the road from Little Rock. And from Los Angeles as well as Texas State College for Women at Denton, to name a couple of other locales that could claim her.
Recently announced Vice Presidential pick Paul Ryan is being called a radical by the left for his fiscal policies. But no one would expect that anyone would imply that the Roman Catholic family man would be a Black Panther. Yet, the New York Times ran the headline "Paul Ryan, Black Panther?" on the day after the announcement was made. This was in a series called “Historically Corrected.”
The examples of the Obama Administration "stimulating" jobs everywhere on the planet except here in America are endless. An astute reader reminded us of one of the most glaring examples – hiring Chinese companies and Chinese workers to build roads and bridges all across America.
It is now being reported that Donald Trump is likely to play a "surprise" part on the first day of the Republican National Convention in Tampa -- perhaps, some speculate, in a comedy bit involving the firing of a Barack Obama impersonator.
Paul Ryan claims fondness for the music of Rage Against the Machine, a hard-left, union-backing and "peace-marching," grunge group. Ryan specified that the music -- rather than lyrics -- forms the attraction. For this, the band's outraged lead guitarist (Harvard-graduate) Tom Morello recently took to the pages of Rolling Stone magazine to denounce Ryan as "clueless."
Public awareness of Rep. Paul Ryan’s familiarity with (and apparent fondness for) the works of Ayn Rand has now seeped into the academy. The Chronicle of Higher Education features an essay today by Professor Alan Wolfe, Director of the Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life at Boston College. This is an edited version of my response to Professor Wolfe in the article’s comments section.
Michael Bloomberg, the independent mayor of New York City, is no one's idea of a hardline Republican conservative. Media titan Rupert Murdoch, whose empire includes Fox News and The Wall Street Journal, is no one's idea of a squishy Republican moderate. And Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, a lifelong Democrat, is no one's idea of a Republican at all.
It’s been a tough primary season. One to race to watch is the newly redrawn 6th congressional district in Arizona. The Independent Redistricting Commission carved up the map in favor of Democrats, forcing two incumbent congressmen to run against one another. The primary is August 28.
The American people face an important choice in November. They will either re-elect President Barack Obama for another four-year term, or they will replace him with Governor Mitt Romney.
Mitt Romney's selection of Paul Ryan was supposed to be a problem for the Republicans. So said a chorus of chortling Democrats. So said a gaggle of anonymous seasoned Republican operatives. All of which was echoed gleefully by mainstream media.
There are precedents for what Iran's "Supreme Leader" Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has just done. Khamenei is the top in Tehran who is threatening to wipe Israel off the map. Khamenei said "the fake Zionist (regime) will disappear from the landscape of geography.” He said this to a meeting of Iran-Iraq war veterans. That 1980s war claimed millions of lives and was fought for what?
Within hours of the shooting of the security guard at the Family Research Council last Wednesday, more than 20 gay organizations issued a joint statement that they “utterly reject and condemn such violence.” This is highly commendable. Unfortunately, they did not utterly reject, condemn, or even acknowledge their potential role in helping to create the toxic environment that may have contributed to the shooting. Consider how shrill gay activist rhetoric has become.
The year 1965 brought us a new program aimed at securing health care for Americans over the age of 65. This program is now becoming the centerpiece of the 2012 presidential campaign, yet many Americans don’t understand the basic financial facts about the plan, or why its sustainability is considered so essential to America’s future.
It’s bad enough that Democrats, like John Kerry, describe the Global War on Terror as a “bumper sticker.” But when the commander-in-chief of the armed forces of the United States plays politics with intelligence and the lives of our combat troops, you wonder if its not just LSD flashbacks from the 1960s, but perhaps LSD flash-forwards.
Everyone loves the movie Back to the Future. Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) mistakenly launches Doc Brown’s DeLorean time machine car back to November 1955 and finds himself a peer of his high school parents. Thanks to Marty’s interactions with them, he sets in motion an alternate future for his entire family.
It’s difficult to find time to govern between golfing and hobnobbing with celebrities for campaign donations, just ask President Obama. But when he does find time to bill taxpayers for his supposedly non-campaign speeches, he decides to speak to just one swath of American voters at a time.
There’s been a lot of speculation about what might be holding the floor on gold prices, but the explanation is really not all that complicated. All you have to do is look at the accumulation by central banks and China and you have your answer.
If you want to score twenty G’s this summer and garner at least thirty minutes of crazy fame then get busy rooting out Obama’s college transcripts.
If Vice President Joe Biden didn’t exist, you couldn’t invent him. You couldn’t invent him because no one would believe such a character possibly could exist. No Hollywood producer ever would believe someone that dumb could rise to that level without an “R” after his name.
Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan says he wants “to bring on” the Medicare debate with the Obama administration in the campaign for the White House. “We are heading towards a European-like debt crisis which means a deeper recession, fewer jobs, lower revenues and bigger deficits if we don’t get our fiscal house in order fast,” Ryan said on Thursday in an interview with the Tribune-Review.
You think President Obama is avoiding the subject of the economy? Think again.
In 1949, the Communist takeover of China rattled the US foreign policy establishment to its core. China's fall to Communism was correctly perceived as a massive strategic defeat for the US. The triumphant Mao Zedong placed China firmly in the Soviet camp and implemented foreign policies antithetical to US interests.
I would say that a fair number of people who seek elected office suffer from some sort of mental disorder that involves the ego, such as sociopathy or narcissism. They learn how to mimic the traits of conscience without actually having empathy for others.
When you hear of people in Chicago sleeping on the sidewalk to be first in line in the morning, you may figure they are hoping to snag tickets for Lady Gaga or a Cubs World Series. But those were not the explanation Wednesday when thousands lined up at Navy Pier.
Last week, I introduced a new series, titled: The Price of Liberty. In this series, I address the troubling changes occurring in our country, why they are happening, and what to do about them.
The rule is therefore illegal. It lacks any statutory authority. It is contrary to both the clear language of the PPACA and congressional intent. It cannot be justified on other legal grounds.
Even if a biotechnology company's approach is straightforward and understandable, many other factors can trip up an investor -- from disappointing clinical trials to a cash-poor balance sheet to a fickle Food & Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panel.
Essentially, the Treasury has amended its agreements with Fannie and Freddie so that the companies no longer have to pay a fixed dividend to the U.S. taxpayer, but instead “every dollar of profit” from the companies to the taxpayer.
Vice-President Biden tells blacks, Romney’s “gonna put y’all back in chains.” Mitt Romney accuses Obama of running a campaign of “anger and division.” Then MSNBC host Toure charges Romney with engaging in the “niggerization” of Obama. WHAT?