During George W. Bush's presidency, it was a matter of liberal faith that the use of enhanced interrogation techniques on al-Qaida members "undermine our moral authority and do not make us safer," as Barack Obama once put it.
Matt Damon’s latest film “Promised Land” arrived in theaters nationwide yesterday with a focus on the controversial issue of fracking. Written by Matt Damon (who won an Oscar for co-writing “Good Will Hunting”) and John Krasinski (“The Office),” the story focuses on a small community that is asked to debate the merits of the process when a large corporation arrives in town wanting to buy much of the local land.
Here is the biggest problem with the news coverage of the Fiscal Cliff. The only message coming through was President Obama's message: that he was trying to save the middle class from a tax increase by raising taxes on the rich. On the Republican side, the message was…well…it was a muddled mess.
When a society’s laws recognizing marriage as the union of one man and one woman are changed to honor the unions of same-sex couples, it’s not just the law that changes—it’s also the society itself that changes. A top-down metamorphosis begins in which every aspect of public law changes to match the new definition of marriage.
The accelerated transformation of the American economy and polity into a mandatory racially-based spoils system was a defining trait of President Barack Obama’s first term in office. Though perhaps understated, it is set to become an even more defining trait of his second.
For those who refer to the buy-and-hold approach as “investing,” the benefit is the freedom to have a life beyond the daily trading ritual of staring at a digital screen. Yet, the difficulty of buy-and-hold is not only in the “buy,” but also in the “hold.”
This time I should’ve been the one listening. But listening can be tough sometimes when you’re an analyst and a commentator, and people around the country – listeners, readers, media, candidates, causes, businesses, etc. – come to you to find out why things are happening and what may happen next.
Much of the Internet exploded in wrath over Pope Benedict XVI’s Christmas greetings to the Roman curia. Delivered in those historic halls painted by Renaissance artists, the Pope’s address was given to those tasked with administering the Vatican State and serving the Catholic faithful worldwide.
For the record, count me among the opponents of the fiscal cliff-averting measure that passed the House and Senate this week.
In August, Rupert Murdoch's FX picked up a Cold War series set in the 1980s titled "The Americans." Liberals might have braced themselves for the worst. It sounded like some kind of Chuck Norris-style "jingoistic" homage to freedom-loving intelligence agents. But this is Hollywood, so the show instead focuses on KGB spies who speak perfect English, working to destroy Reagan-era America, which is not altogether a bad thing to people in Hollywood.
Following the fiscal cliff melodrama, Senator Richard Shelby appeared on television to declare that we are becoming European. "We're always wanting to spend and promise and spend and borrow but not cut. We've got to get real about this. We're headed down the road that Europe's already on."
PAWLEYS ISLAND, S.C. -- It seemed like a good idea at the time. After Christmas, my wife, Betsy, and I planned to head south to this lovely barrier island in the South Carolina Lowcountry. Our plan included celebrating New Year's quietly with as many of our kids, their kids and our friends as possible and then returning to Virginia.
The pagan god Janus has two faces, and that's a good thing. He can look to the future and reflect on the past, all at the same time. As ancient gods go, Janus is good at transitions. January, named for Janus, is not only a dreary month to get past as quickly as possible, but it's a time for useful reflection and resolve.
The shooting of 20 schoolchildren and six adults in Newtown, Conn., just before Christmas has reignited the debate about guns and violence in America. But the problem with trying to tackle a complex issue in reaction to a horrific event is that too often we end up making symbolic gestures -- and sometimes those gestures end up doing as much harm as good.
Americans, Gallup tells us, admire Hillary Clinton more than any other woman in the world -- again. This latest accolade marks the 17th time Gallup has found Clinton to be the Most Admired Woman (MAW?) since she became first lady nearly 20 years ago. Only Eleanor Roosevelt (13 MAWs) comes close. Only Mother Teresa (1995 and 1996) and Laura Bush (2001) have interrupted Clinton's winning streak, and even then, Clinton came in second.
The rest of us who have worked hard to create the most just, racially tolerant, freest and most mobile society ever, will have to do our part too, rather than just sucking off the hard work of the technocrats at the World Bank, the IMF, the United Nations, and the OECD-M-O-U-S-E.
"it’s going to be a five billion-person middle class. This will become the most powerful force in the world. Their demand for our goods and services will set off an economic boom…I believe that we’re heading for not just a sonic boom, but maybe a supersonic boom."
The key to Obama’s deception was class warfare. People are easily fooled by class envy. Convincing them the greedy 1% who have amassed all the wealth aren’t paying their fair share, while the victim goes without, is an easy sale especially with accomplices in the media.
Alliance Defending Freedom recently settled a lawsuit brought on behalf of Julea Ward, a former graduate student at Eastern Michigan University who was expelled from her counseling program after refusing to violate her religious beliefs.
Republicans in Congress screwed up big time in voting for President Barack Obama’s tax hike on Americans. All in the name of letting Obama “have his way” in sticking it to the rich, the deal to avert the country’s cliff dive doesn’t do anything but stall the country’s fall for another two months.
As I prepare to spend a week teaching the book of Jeremiah to Chinese pastors in Hong Kong, I’ve been reflecting on the strengths and weaknesses of the Church in America. Regrettably, the list of negatives is longer than the list of positives.
The United Kingdom has long been proud to host the Mother of Parliaments. Now, if Prime Minister David Cameron has his way, Britain will be home to the Progenitor of Parliaments. Britain’s Conservatives – the Tories – are deeply divided by the precipitous actions of their young, hip Prime Minister.
Congressional Republicans caved in to the Democrats this week, surrendering their principles in order to pass a bill that merely delays the looming fiscal cliff by two months.
Most of us would be honored to have our name become a verb. Especially those of us in public life. But that is not how Judge Robert H. Bork got into the dictionary. He was "borked" when President Reagan nominated him to the U.S. Supreme Court. No sooner had the announcement been made by the White House on July 1, 1987, than Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) raced to the Senate floor to denounce the distinguished judge and former Yale Law Professor.
Demographics buffs get a special Christmas present every year courtesy of the Census Bureau: its annual estimates of the populations of the 50 states and the District of Columbia.
CNN's Piers Morgan writes that the pro-gun crowd's anger toward him stems from anti-British bias: "This gun debate is an ongoing war of verbal attrition in America -- and I'm just the latest target, the advantage to the gun lobbyists being that I'm British, a breed of human being who burned down the White House in 1814 and had to be forcefully deported en masse, as no American will ever be allowed to forget."
Everything that everyone loathes about Washington was present in the "fiscal cliff" bill just passed by Congress. It is 153 pages long; most members probably hadn't read all of it before voting on it; it was delivered in the middle of the night; it was loaded with pork -- the mother's milk (to mix a metaphor) of politicians -- and while the country is already swamped with massive debt, it contains massive giveaways to satisfy interest groups and campaign contributors. Did I mention the bill raises taxes on top of the coming Obamacare taxes, but does nothing -- nothing -- to address the debt problem?
It tells you something about the news media that before the House vote Tuesday, talking heads were warning Americans that unless the GOP House voted for a bill to stall our going over the fiscal cliff, taxes would go up on 98 percent of Americans.
Now the election is over. Sweets are off the table; the congress is a lame duck even if still addicted to pork. And a deal has been FINALLY struck to “tackle our debt and deficits in a serious way.” Just wait; this ought to be really funny.
Oh, the carnage. President Barack Obama played his cards masterfully, as the Republican Party once again caved in one of his endless games of legislative chicken.
In November 1979, two weeks after Iranian voters approved his Islamic revolutionary constitution, the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini identified the U.S. as the source of Iranian misery. The angry old cleric also swore that American corruption not only polluted Muslim nations but tainted the entire planet.
It may be a distinction to become a verb, but not necessarily a welcome one. Look under Boycott, Captain Charles C. A land agent, he found himself shunned -- boycotted -- after he attempted to raise the rents of Irish tenant farmers who worked the fields of an absentee English lord. Or see Crapper, Thomas. He held at least three patents on improvements to the flush toilet, a useful and sanitary innovation that revolutionized plumbing systems worldwide.
Let's be clear what the "fiscal cliff" deal does and doesn't do. It permanently preserves the bulk of George W. Bush's tax cuts for most Americans, but it does not offer desperately needed new incentives to revive a weak economy and jobless labor market.
I wonder, as we begin 2013 and look forward to four more years of this insufferable poseur in the White House, where Sandra Fluke might be. Miss Fluke is the lady who made birth control a matter of national security, in particular her own personal supply of pills and God knows what else.
Now that President Obama and congressional Republicans have managed to talk themselves and the nation off the fiscal cliff, one of their top legislative priorities for 2013 will be to tackle the ever thorny issue of immigration reform.
I am bored with politics, refuse to pay attention to the news and am watching only True Crime TV shows and Turner Classic Movies these days. With the Democrats controlling the Senate and presidency, nothing good can possibly come out of Washington for at least another two years. So I thought I'd start the new year with something useful, like a short list of bad inventions.
Many Republicans have accused Barack Obama of ignoring the economy. That's not true. The problem with Obama is not that he has ignored the economy, but that it was never his top priority in his first term as president, even as millions of Americans suffered the consequences of a devastating economic downturn.
The idea for massacring children in an elementary school or shooting up a mall filled with Christmas shoppers does not come from reading books, watching movies or listening to music. Does the incitement for such unspeakable acts come from hours of role-playing violent video games?
When President Barack Obama was re-elected, the winds waned behind many patriots' ships' sails. My wife, Gena, and I felt that sock in the gut for our country and posterity, too. But instead of cowering in defeat, I believe we need to discard conventional (unsuccessful) strategies and advance in new directions.
When a deal is bad beyond all pretext, the only thing left to do is spin. Democrats, including Senate lackeys and administration lummoxes, spin the Senate version of the Fiscal Crap Sandwich to mean absolute victory over Republicans who have "finally" raised revenue (read "taxes.") Republicans spin that they moved to give even more people a tax break in 2013. Both obscure the reality; President Obama sold out the middle class for the wealthy.
The D.C. police investigation of NBC hotshot David Gregory for waving around an empty ammo magazine on "Meet the Press" easily proves two things. First, D.C.'s "ammunition control" laws are ridiculous. But more importantly, once again, we find the arrogance of the national press knows no boundaries.
Eleven years ago, al-Qaeda terrorist Richard Reid tried to blow up American Airlines Flight 63 with a bomb hidden in his shoes. As a result, air travelers to this day must remove their shoes to pass through security at US airports.
Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., shootings, said: "The British are not coming. ... We don't need all these guns to kill people." Lewis' vision, shared by many, represents a gross ignorance of why the framers of the Constitution gave us the Second Amendment.
Neither Congress nor the White House has proved itself capable of reaching a decision on how to begin trimming the $16.5 trillion national debt with which these two institutions have saddled the American taxpayers.
Progressivism in America has always been a thuggish ideology. It rests on the notion that laws require no evidence to support their implementation, that intentions are all that matter and that those who oppose "change" of the sort progressives like are morally deficient.
Chris Williams, a Montana medical marijuana grower, faces at least five years in federal prison when he is sentenced on Feb. 1. The penalty seems unduly severe, especially because his business openly supplied marijuana to patients who were allowed to use it under state law.
This week, blogger Wesley J. Smith directed his readers' attention to an article on Salon.com written by Lillian B. Rubin. Eighty-eight years old and in failing health, Rubin speculates about our society's fear of death, the taboo surrounding elder suicide, and her own struggles with "ambivalence" about taking her own life.
The highly critical report and the subsequent personnel reassignments are not simply a low watermark for the State Department; rather, the events following the attack signify another phase in the diplomatic security funding cycle.
As this column is being written America is preparing to head down the, theatrically styled, “Fiscal Cliff.” That “cliff” really is the chicken roost of 40 years of mostly disappointing — and more than a decade of catastrophic — economic growth. Lousy growth leads to a diminished tax base, capable of producing only anemic tax revenues.
As liberals sink their fangs into Jefferson’s spirituality and then pick them clean with his Bible, they are woefully unmindful of a major driving force behind the First Amendment. Protecting the church from the state, not vice versa.
The US Senate did what any government body would do when trying to control spending: They sped-up the pace of spending and raised taxes.
As a Christian, it can be difficult to reconcile all the evil that happens in the world with an all knowing, all powerful loving God who could stop it if He wants, but chooses not to do so.
NBC's David Gregory interviewed President Barack Obama on "Meet the Press" Sunday, and a conversation ensued that would have been more fitting for a show called "The President Meets One of His Many Mainstream Media Enablers."
President Abraham Lincoln had been warned by Gen. George B. McClellan not to interfere with the institution of slavery. McClellan was a “War Democrat,” willing to fight to preserve the Union, but unwilling to do anything about the root cause of the rebellion that threatened the life of the nation.
HONG KONG -- We read about famous people like French film star Gerard Depardieu, who moved to Belgium to avoid a 75 percent income tax on millionaires proposed by France's Socialist government (a measure rejected last week by a French council, though French leadership has vowed to resubmit a similar proposal).
Unlicensed drivers are nearly three times likelier than licensed drivers to cause a fatal crash in California. Indeed, unlicensed drivers are likelier to cause fatal crashes than drivers who have had their licenses suspended or revoked.
How much easier and safer would have been this takedown of a punk in New York City if the clerk had been equipped with a hand gun rather than just a vodka bottle?
Predicting events can be a dangerous game. That's because some people simply project wishful thinking, allowing their personal biases to obscure reality. We see it repeatedly during election season.
What's this? Joe Biden in weekend conversation with Mitch McConnell over how to step back from the fiscal cliff? Isn't Biden the man in charge of solving The Gun Problem? How does he have the time or energy -- not least the ideas -- to launch another rescue mission?
Time Magazine has just named President Obama as their Person of the Year. This has been, of course, controversial, and for the usual reasons: much like with the President’s Nobel Peace Prize, one has to wonder what he actually did to deserve it. Surely getting re-elected is important, but beside the point; what matters is what you do in office, and I just don’t see much in the way of achievement by the president this year, in which he spent most of it either campaigning or doing nothing to avoid rocking the boat before the election.
It is a time when so many virtues have dimmed -- to the point where they may be confused with their opposite. Leadership becomes the art of assigning responsibility for failure to others. (See the news out of Washington.)
I won some, a lost a few too. Okay more than a few. But some of the more outrageous predictions, like Barney Frank's wedding, panned out.
There's a natural human impulse to help people who need a hand. In the political world, that often translates to an impulse to have government help people who need a hand. Who wants to argue with that?
Matt Damon, the actor who once gave $2,000 to Dennis Kucinich, is giving up on politics. He told Playboy, “It’s easier now more than ever in my life to feel the fix is in, the game is rigged and no matter how hard you work to change things, it just doesn’t matter.”
Senator Dianne Feinstein is queuing up come January 2013 to retable—yet again—an Assault Weapons Ban (AWB) in order to “severely mitigate the possibilities of another Sandy Hook atrocity.” Great idea, Dianne, as the first AWB that Clinton signed into law worked wonders in schools from 1994-2004.
When American Federation of Teachers President Rhonda “Randi” Weingarten proposed a “bar exam” of sorts for teacher prospects, it was hailed as a step forward in improving teacher quality, EAGnews.org reported.
The American medical system has the latest technology, the greatest variety of new drugs and unparalleled resources. But anyone who thinks we're getting something great for our dollars inevitably encounters a two-word rebuke: infant mortality.
Long after the old farms and new forests of New England disappeared in my rearview mirror, I was still scrawling those words in the reporter's notebook on my knee. Big, empty, rich and unchanged - that's a pretty boring scouting report for the America I "discovered" along the Steinbeck Highway.
California’s legalization of prescription pot lead to an economic boom in Humboldt County. However, as a local report states: “Eventually, the inevitable happened. Supply outpaced demand. There were more people growing pot than smoking it."