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Selective Thoughts #5

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

President Obama has often been accused of acting professorial. More importantly, it appears he thinks that he is running a college campus where all the appointees are tenured employees. Maybe he does not understand that he can fire someone.

Certainly, at minimum, John Brennan, the Deputy National Security Adviser, should get the ax. There are multiple reasons why he should be shown the door, but his recent comment that the recidivism rate of terrorists released from Guantanamo is better than that of common criminals released from American prisons may be the single stupidest thing I have ever heard an Administration official say in my lifetime.

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We received our census form and completed it promptly. Where the question of race was asked, we wrote “none of your business.” We read in the constitution where a census is required every ten years, but we missed where it stated our government should divide us along racial lines.


There are many reasons to question the appointment of Rashad Hussain as special envoy to the Organization of Islamic Conference, but at the top of the list is the fact that he is a 31-year-old attorney. What real experience does this man have to represent the President of the United States, or to negotiate with this organization on America’s behalf? Obama apparently believes that graduating from law school gives someone wisdom and experience. Why wouldn’t he? It got him to be President of the most important country in the world with little additional experience.


I am a supporter of the statement made by Jack Nicklaus regarding the Tiger Woods’ scandal. He simply said “It is none of my business.” But Tiger’s recent news conference was still fascinating in a couple of ways.

First, the fact that it was covered on virtually every television channel raised it to the level of an historic event. Second, the real message of the event was not the apology. It was the fact that he wanted the press to know that they should keep their hands off him and his family. He will not be going on Oprah or writing a “tell all” book.

In an age where loads of people want to reveal their most intimate experiences to the world in a salacious manner, Tiger said a resounding NO to any more exposure of his own personal life.


Alan Simpson was appointed to co-chair the aptly-named Bipartisan Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. I have spent some time with Mr. Simpson and he is a fascinating guy, but his opening comment about the work to be done was dead wrong.

While interviewed on Fox News Special Report, Mr. Simpson stated, “We are not going after foreign aid here. That is like a sparrow’s belch in the budget. We are going after things like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.” While I commend Mr. Simpson for his folksy description and the fact that he is willing to take on the big issues, he is profoundly mistaken.

We got into this mess because of callous disregard for taxpayer dollars, and by providing services that people should be doing for themselves. The co-opting of the individual responsibility of American citizens has caused this mess. Millions become billions, and then everyone starts quoting Everett Dirksen.

While it is imperative that the “big three” be dealt with, the Federal budget needs to be stripped bare. All the unnecessary million dollar items and useless commissions need to be eliminated. We have to bring in people like Murray Blum, the accountant in the movie Dave, to get the budget taken down to the bare bones.

Which brings us to the essential problem with this commission – there are no outsiders involved. The people who helped to create this mess and have fed off this mess should not be trusted to fix this mess.


Here is a quick way to save money at all levels of government. Stop putting up those obnoxious self-congratulatory signs that praise all the elected officials when a new government projects starts. That would save a lot of bucks right there. What a waste!


The Obama Administration Justice Department has finally cleared Bush Administration lawyers of professional misconduct charges in connection with memos written authorizing harsh interrogations.

Thankfully, someone came to their senses that the memos were a difference of legal opinion and that the effort to criminalize advice provided to a former President would paralyze the executive branch of our government. Apparently, an element of the Administration overruled the bloodthirsty left that blames every evil on Mr. Bush.


Last week, I was reading an editorial on global warming in the New York Times. I know it’s hard to believe, but they were actually defending the work of the United Nations panel on climate change. While the editors insisted that the recent scandals about the panel’s activities were “minor,” they made sure to mention (again) that the panel had received a Nobel Prize in 2008.

It reminded me once more how the left has co-opted something that used to have universal credibility. With awards like the one to the U.N. panel and to Barack Obama, the once-great reputation of the Nobel Prize has been forever tarnished. That is sad.


The brilliant and insightful Victor David Hanson recently wrote an article describing how President Obama has failed to implement policies because of his compulsive attempt to make the reforms comprehensive instead of incremental. It also cited how GWB’s efforts to reform social security and immigration failed for the same reason.

Mr. Hanson’s points are all valid, but he’s missing the big picture. The reason these elaborate schemes fail is because of the nature of the American electorate. We are a moderate people who want incremental improvement, not radical government change. We like things step-by-step. If our government lurches too far left or right, we rebel. It’s that simple. Thankfully this is still a country run by and for the people.

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