California Assemblyman Marc Levine, D-San Rafael, has introduced a bill to make it illegal for people to smoke in their own homes -- if they live in an apartment or a condo or a multifamily home. When last I wrote about Levine, he was pushing a statewide law to require grocers to charge for bags. Now he's after cigarettes -- but only the legal kind.
Habemus Papam! We have a pope! That was the word, or rather the words, from St. Peter's Basilica on Wednesday, and it wasn't just a worldwide church that had awaited the news, but the world itself. And the news was good, as in the Good News. For suddenly the air in Rome and far beyond seemed filled with a hope that was almost palpable.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus has launched a nationwide “Growth and Opportunity Project” reviewing eight key areas he believes must be examined in the wake of a disappointing 2012 campaign.
Since the 1950s the Longview, Wash. City Council has opened its public meetings with prayer, as Congress has done for 239 years. But fear of a lawsuit from groups like the ALCU has caused the mayor to tell the local ministerial association that it is “not acceptable” for ministers who volunteer to give a Christian prayer that refers to Jesus.
When it came to thundering against the “Yankee imperialists!” Hugo Chavez sure talked a good one. But despite his bluster and monkeyshines he wasn’t crazy enough to lift a finger against his top customer, or even wish him (genuine) harm. It’s impolitic to reveal, but the U.S. is –by far--the biggest customer for Venezuelan oil. Hugo Chavez was our fourth largest oil supplier, behind only Canada, Mexico and Saudi Arabia.
In an era when almost every mention of religion is in a negative connotation - one religion against another, one sect against another, religious influence on secular life, and so on - it was soothing, really, to see the amount of time at least the American cable networks devoted to the choosing of the leader of one.
Last week, I reported on the federal government's massive new student-tracking database, which was created as part of the nationalized Common Core standards scheme.
While many have long seen America as the global bad boy, everybody likes Canada. If Uncle Sam tucks his pack of Marlboros under his T-shirt sleeve and plays by his own rules, the Canadian moose -- or whatever their Uncle Sam equivalent is -- always wears his blue blazer and school tie and does his chores without being asked. Canada is a global citizen, a good neighbor, a northern Puerto Rico with an EU sensibility that earns its gold stars from the United Nations every day.
How can anyone take President Obama seriously when he tells us our national debt is no big deal? Well, we have to take him seriously, because, unserious thinking or not, he has serious power, including the power to obstruct progress on reducing the debt.
My favorite talk show host is John Batchelor, whose often expressed, playful worry is that he isn't being cynical enough. The wisest (or is it the most cynical?) among us recognize that a degree of caution is always advisable when dealing with fellow human beings, and that the world has never lacked for frauds, liars, and hypocrites.
Fifty years ago, Betty Friedan described the suburban woman as the unhappy housewife. She lacked challenging choices. Her abilities and identities were attached to her kitchen. She could whip up sour-cream-and-artichoke dips in a flash in an up-to-date kitchen with a refrigerator, range and blender in coordinated shades of peach, tan and aquamarine, but you could hear growing laments of discontent as the grrr in the purr became a growl.
American Federation of Teachers President Rhonda “Randi” Weingarten’s arrest last week for blocking an entrance to a public meeting was seen as a bold move by those seeking to protect the status quo in education.
Has there ever been a statement more clearly demonstrating the liberal and union sense of entitlement than “Governor Walker’s Coup D’Etat,” the headline of former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich's latest whine at Talking Points Memo?
Rampant unemployment will, eventually, give way to a political crisis as austerity measures galvanize radical political parties opposed to the status quo.
Since the Wisconsin DPI also suggests getting a person of color to hold me accountable, I contacted some friends of mine at Project 21, an all-black conservative action network, to see if all of the above was a thinly veiled attempt to consolidate power or if I should genuinely hang my head in shame because of the color of my skin.
The age old answer to the question, “Is the Pope Catholic?” is, “Yes.” But the answer to the question, “Is the Pope capitalist?” is, “Probably not.”
Perhaps because St. Patrick’s Day is coming up, I’ve found myself re-reading Edmund Burke and Conor Cruise O’Brien — and drinking Irish whiskey. I first became acquainted with these three sources of stimulation back in 1978. That was also my first brush with terrorism.
A lesbian bondage expert and a campus-wide condom scavenger hunt are among the activities planned for The University of Tennessee’s first-ever “Sex Week” – an event paid for in-part by student fees.
God and guns go hand-in-hand according to a Chicago-area pastor who hosted a Second Amendment Sunday in his church – that included a cake decorated with an edible chocolate Glock emblazoned with the phrase, “Blessed Are the Peacemakers.”
The desire of intellectuals for some grand theory that will explain complex patterns with some solitary and simple factor has produced many ideas that do not stand up under scrutiny, but which have nevertheless had widespread acceptance -- and sometimes catastrophic consequences -- in countries around the world.
The College of Cardinals met in conclave on Tuesday to begin the process of electing a new pope. The cardinals have been getting plenty of advice from American journalists.
Sometime in the new millennium, "global warming" evolved into "climate change." Amid growing controversies over the planet's past temperatures, Al Gore and other activists understood that human-induced "climate change" could better explain almost any weather extremity -- droughts or floods, too much heat or cold, hurricanes and tornadoes.
Is Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg really complaining -- in 2013 -- that "only" 14 percent of executive officers are female, that women earn 77 cents compared to a dollar earned by men, and that women hurt their own advancement by failing to "lean in" and become more assertive?
By the time you read this, the world’s billion-plus Roman Catholics may have a new pope. And when the black smoke of Tuesday’s indecisive first vote has turned to the white smoke of final decision, don’t be surprised if the cardinals have chosen… a Catholic pope.
As a corporate budgeter, I learned decades ago that only a few people can look at an organization's money, corporation's money or someone else's money and spend it as if it were their own money -- i.e., very deliberately, based on the priorities and values of the organization.
Pamela Geller, most famous for fighting what she called the "ground zero mosque" in New York, bought ads on the sides of 10 San Francisco buses that feature hateful quotes from Osama bin Laden, accused Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan and failed Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad -- under the headline "My Jihad."
In choosing Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio to become its next pope, the Catholic Church offers those of us who are a part of its membership, and the rest of the world as well, the hope of a spiritual leader who can rekindle the common touch for which Pope John Paul II was so beloved -- and perhaps rid the Church of its reputation for loving the material of this world as much, if not more, than the spiritual.
I was deeply troubled when video surfaced last week of striking Strongsville, Ohio teachers heckling substitute teachers who were applying to be their temporary replacements
The application to permit construction on the Keystone pipeline was filed in September 2008. Since then, four reports have been produced on the potential environmental impact of the pipeline—each coming in with essentially the same conclusion.
It seems easy: collect data, process data, publish data, and everyone becomes better informed and wiser. It’s seductive, and it was clear listening to President Barack Obama and Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) that both are under data’s spell when it comes to budget-busting higher education. But the main college problem isn’t a shortage of useful information -- it’s massive federal student aid discouraging its use.
Instead of wailing and gnashing of fiscal teeth, Congress and the President ought to be heaving a sigh of relief and heaping kudos on the former vice-presidential nominee, for doing what they collectively and separately have failed to accomplish.
Once we recognize that large differences in achievement among races, nations and civilizations have been the rule, not the exception, throughout recorded history, there is at least some hope of rational thought -- and perhaps even some constructive efforts to help everyone advance.
The Beltway is buzzing over President Obama's likely nomination of Thomas E. Perez as the next head of the U.S. Department of Labor. But when Americans find out whom Perez has lobbied for most aggressively over the course of his extremist leftwing social justice career, they'll be wondering which country Obama's pick really plans to serve.
American education is in a sorry state of affairs, and there's enough blame for all participants to have their fair share. They include students who are hostile and alien to the education process, uninterested parents, teachers and administrators who either are incompetent or have been beaten down by the system, and politicians who've become handmaidens for teachers unions.
"All is well," the public bankers at the central banks around the world are saying to the private bankers on the Wall Streets around the world, even as the central banks distribute their Get-Well-Soon cards disguised as dollars, pounds, francs, lire and renminbi.
When Israel took action against Hamas in the Gaza Strip last year, the world media did its damndest to try to paint the Jewish state as a human rights violator. One of their chief cards in this effort was a photo of BBC video editor Jehad Misharawi holding his son Omar's body. Supposedly Omar had been killed in an Israeli missile strike.
Not so long ago in this republic, most parents of school-age children would frequently visit grocery stores where they would use their own money to buy things like peanut butter and jelly, and bologna and cheese to make lunches for their kids to haul to school in brown paper bags.
Call it North Korea's version of a '50s revival, though Pyongyang's 1950s retro is vicious Stalinist threat, not an evening of Chuck Berry and Elvis.
Despite the stock market's rapid ascent to record levels, economic analysts were warning that it doesn't reflect the economy's anemic fundamentals and that we may well be entering another bubble that's about to burst.
Last month, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence gave John Brennan, the new CIA director, another opportunity to answer a question he had dodged at his confirmation hearing: "Could the administration carry out drone strikes inside the United States?" Brennan's written response: "This administration has not carried out drone strikes inside the United States and has no intention of doing so."
The question, then, is not whether we should help "the least of these," it's how. When Republicans object to programs touted as beneficial to the poor, they must do a better job of explaining why. Too often, the Progressive approach to social justice fails to solve the problem, and in many cases only makes matters worse.
The Denver Post, on February 15th, ran an Associated Press article entitled Homeland Security aims to buy 1.6b rounds of ammo, to far too little notice. It confirmed that the Department of Homeland Security has issued an open purchase order for 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition.
A chess piece has fallen in Latin America. The road to prosperity and peace for the citizens of many countries -- probably even yours -- runs through the recent death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and a counterintuitive deal between two nations.
To understand the environmentalists' theology you must check common sense at the door. On the surface, wind turbines seem like a great alternative to fossil fuel. But the dirty little secret is fossil fuels are used to fill in during down times.
One of the biggest problems that conservatives have in this country is that we're far too willing to support people who mock, despise and hate us.
There are so many fallacies about race that it would be hard to say which is the most ridiculous. However, one fallacy behind many other fallacies is the notion that there is something unusual about different races being unequally represented in various institutions, careers or at different income or achievement levels.
Republicans don't care. Or at least that's the perception of us. President Barack Obama's convincing re-election in November despite a climate of high unemployment, stagnant economic growth and waning American influence around the globe has caused a great deal of soul-searching for the Republican Party.
Given his track record on marital fidelity, former President Bill Clinton is not the person I would consult about "committed, loving relationships." Clinton used those words in a Washington Post op-ed last week, urging the Supreme Court to overturn the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage as the legal union of one man and one woman, which he signed into law.
Denver television station CBS4 reports that Colorado has seen a sharp spike in marijuana use among teenagers since Colorado voters passed Amendment 64 last November legalizing recreational use of the drug.
The question for our generation is: have we reached the limits of what changing the law can actually do to correct such inequalities?
Our governor here in Arkansas now has vetoed not one but two anti-abortion bills that made it past the state legislature this session. One bill sought to protect the unborn starting at the 20th week of pregnancy. The other would go into effect after 12 weeks' gestation if a fetal heartbeat could be detected. Both are now law, passed over the governor's objections
The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction runs several programs that heavily emphasize racial issues in public schools, EAGnews.org has been finding.
In 1919, back when the United States was a constitutional republic, Congress passed a child labor law imposing a 10 percent excise tax on companies that violated it. A North Carolina furniture maker challenged the law and won.
Most people always envy athletes for their fame and money, but really they should envy their work ethic. Now I know they have it great, they play a game for a living and make millions of dollars, but it takes a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to get there. Unlike many in society, they have to to earn their success based on their merits, they weren’t given anything.
The wife of an American pastor held captive in an Iranian prison for nearly a year tells me the Obama Administration has not done anything to help free her husband – and the law firm representing the family believes it’s because the pastor is a Christian who converted from Islam.
From the early days of the Montgomery (Alabama) Improvement Association in which Dr. King became the first president in December 1955, to the March on Washington in August of 1963, the Civil Rights Movement went beyond giving blacks a chance to escape poverty.
Although it hasn't made much news, what with the world missing a Pope, the Senate missing an on-the-floor bathroom, Venezuela missing a President, and President Hamid Karzai missing a press conference with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel; but President Barack Obama has missed the deadline for producing a budget document for the United States.
Republicans are losing elections in part because they are losing key demographic groups. Some of those groups, like Hispanics, are growing, making them impossible to ignore. 37 percent of the country is nonwhite. Hispanics comprise 16 percent of the population, accounting for half the population growth within the past decade. 51 percent of children born in California are Hispanic, and 46 percent of the population in New Mexico is Hispanic.
Dear Mr. Clinton, with all respect to the office of the president which you held for 8 years, I must say that it is not just ironic that you are now asking the Supreme Court to overturn the legislation you signed into law 17 years ago. It is downright tragic.
Reihan Salam seems to be everywhere. He’s the lead contributor of the “The Agenda” blog on National Review and policy advisor at e21, a think tank that promotes economic policies for the 21st century. He’s a frequent contributor to CNN and Vice.com. He’s also a columnist for Reuters and The Daily. I think he may have more jobs than I do.
They're flailing. That's the impression I get from watching Barack Obama and his White House over the past week.
Totalitarianism is brewing in the heartland. An Indiana inmate is now serving two years for voicing his online opinions against a judge who took away his child-custody rights during a divorce case. I know the custody case pretty well having written about it in 2009. But I'm convinced that the free speech case that is brewing in its aftermath heaps an even greater injustice upon an existing one. And I'm convinced it is showing the darker side of a dangerous man who needs to be stopped.
In April of 2007, a mentally disturbed student showed up at the campus of his school, Virginia Tech, brandishing two semi-automatic pistols, and murdered 32 students, teachers and school employees and wounded 17 others. Then he took his own life.
Here’s something that slipped through the cracks thanks to the fake drama that was going on during the fake fiscal crisis coming from our fake government in Washington, DC: Another fake green company boondoggle has resulted in federal dollars being spent on …nothing.
Do you think the federal government has a spending problem? In private negotiations, President Obama reportedly told Boehner, "We don't have a spending problem." When Boehner countered that "we have a very serious spending problem," Obama eventually replied to Boehner, "I'm getting tired of hearing you say that."
The battle rages on about whether this country wants to further restrict the availability of guns, the types of guns and the ammunition to be used in those guns. On one side is what is referred to as the Gun Nuts with the point being taken by the NRA.
The name “Abraham Lincoln” enjoys a boundless shelf life. The 16th president of the United States is more popular today than ever. The blockbuster movie “Lincoln” recently took home two Oscars, with Daniel Day-Lewis earning the “Best Actor” nod for his masterful portrayal of the Civil War president.
To an astonishing degree since he arrived on the national stage, the national story has been whatever Obama wants it to be, and decidedly not what he doesn’t. If others journalists follow Woodward’s lead, Obama will have to operate in an environment where the major media covers him, instead of fondly echoing him.
Over the weekend an al Qaida spokesman in Pakistan stated in a video obituary for a fallen Kashmiri militant that after Afghanistan is retaken, Indian Kashmir is the next target.
It’s no surprise that many Hollywood actors and actresses are on the left side of the aisle. But what is a surprise -- and a nice one at that -- is to see some of them stand by their ideology even when many liberals on Capitol Hill will not.
Last week on Hannity a “Democratic Strategist” named Zerlina Maxwell told Sean and his audience that guns are not the proper deterrent to dissuade rapists, but rather “teaching men not to rape is the key”. When I heard that chunk of stupidity I blew apple juice out of my nostrils -- and I haven’t had any apple juice in the last eight years.
Circular firing squads are about as helpful as they sound, yet they are something at which some Republicans excel. I do my best to avoid engaging in them. To paraphrase President Reagan, my 80 percent friend is not my 20 percent enemy. But sometimes my 80 percent friends do something 100 percent stupid, and pretending they didn’t could cause more damage than calling them out on it.
It’s not your fault. You screwed up; you’re a liberal. You’re probably a product of public education, Catholic guilt, or protestant gilt. I played a trick on you and you fell for it. Like most liberals you have a problem with both math and common sense. You really think that the government needs the money more than people who need to save for retirement.
"Barack Obama of 2007 would be right down here with me arguing against this drone strike program if he were in the Senate," Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., declared in the course of his 13-hour Senate "talking filibuster," which delayed a confirmation vote for now-CIA chief John Brennan.
The federal government now borrows and spends with such reckless abandon that it is careening toward a global economic catastrophe. If Christians can’t muster the courage to speak out against what Rep. Paul Ryan has called “the most predictable debt crisis in history,” we won’t deserve to be taken seriously after the collapse.
Washington only talks about two choices when the cost of running the government exceeds the revenues: raising taxes and cutting spending. Taxes were raised as a part of the fiscal cliff deal. Sequester fills out the other half of the equation by cutting spending.